Entering the job market for the first time can be challenging. You never really had the opportunity to practice interviewing or learned the best strategy for your entry level job search. You apply for job after job and don’t hear back. I receive that feedback from clients on a regular basis.
Data has shown that between 80% and 90% of recruiters and hiring managers will review your social media to determine if you are a viable candidate. Clean up your social media. Take a hard look at the image you are portraying online and your content and ask yourself the hard questions. Would I hire me if I saw that? Do my social media profiles show me in my best possible light? You may need to make some changes. A strong LinkedIn profile is critical for entry level job seekers.
Professional Interview Preparation
Interviewing is stressful. It’s hard to tell what they are looking for during the interview. You want to do your best and show what a conscientious employee you will be but struggle with how to nail an interview. It’s not something you were ever really trained to do. There are career and interview coaches that can help. One session can be a big help in determining how to prepare, what areas of your background to highlight and how to gather the information you need to make a decision regarding this opportunity.
Build Your Network
Although you have friends and family, you need to work on expanding your network to the professional world. Reach out to trusted advisors at school that may be able to help and provide some sound advise on companies to begin to research, possible contacts and a number of ways to assist that you may not have even thought of. Start to build your references to have them ready for when you are applying for entry level jobs. It’s important to have a handful of people that can speak to your character and potential. Perhaps these individuals are willing to write recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. It never hurts to ask. If they have contacts at companies you are interested in, ask if they are willing to pass your resume along.
Think About Your Relevant Skills
So, you may not have the relevant work experience. That’s ok, we all must start somewhere. Think about what you’ve learned in your studies and some experiential coursework that you have done. How can you leverage that to show you are a strong candidate? Have you demonstrated leadership, strong teamwork and communication skills? These are all things you have to think about when determining the best way to present yourself.
There’s a lot entry level job seekers can do to achieve an edge over the competition. The key is to be proactive, do your research and ask for help whether it’s from mentors or professional career coaches. Start to build your professional presence. Be open to the different jobs out there and understand that it does take time to find the right fit.