Whether you’ve recently graduated or are entering a new profession, landing your first job can be difficult. While you may have a strong education and credentials on your side, the competition for entry level positions including Engineers, IT Professionals, HR Professionals, and Accounting Professionals can be steep. Looking to gain a competitive edge against your peers? Here’s how!
Being a skilled job seeker can be an art form. Even candidates who are under qualified or have less experience than others applying for a position, can gain a competitive edge in the interview process simply by being a strong interviewer. Here are some key components to landing your first job:
- Preparation is key.– Nothing jumps out to a hiring manager or HR rep faster than someone who is unprepared. Preparation for a career search can be timely process and being thorough is key. Many candidates complete the obvious such as obtaining contact information for references and preparing a resume, but don’t forget to think of how the recruiting market has changed in the past several years. Make sure that your social media landscape is separated by your personal and professional images. Having an employer locate you on LinkedIn with a professional profile that appropriately highlights your greatest attributes in your career field can quickly lose it’s power if your Facebook profile reflects less than a professional image. Keep in mind that the average recruiter spends less than 10 seconds reviewing your resume. Make sure your resume sells you quickly.
- Maintain an active network. Want to stay up to date on the latest trends in your industry? Do you want to be the first to know of excellent career opportunities in your field? The best way to gain and maintain up to date information in your field is to network with others in it. Social media and sites such as LinkedIn, provide excellent opportunities with little time commitment to stay informed and build relationships with others in your field. Make sure that others in your line of work know that you are looking for career opportunities. A simple update on your LinkedIn profile can quickly open doors. Sharing information and industry trends in groups and through status updates can quickly show others that you are knowledgeable and passionate about your field. In a recent survey by Salary.com as many as 72% of respondents reported using social connections to land a job.
- Do your research. Most employers will do a decent amount of research on you including reference checking, background screening, testing, and credential verifications. Show them that you have invested time into the process as well. Be educated and informed about their company, industry trends, their reputation, and their goals. Make it clear that you want to work with them and that while you have other options, partnering with them to meet their objectives and goals is something you are passionate about. Arrive early and dressed appropriately for your interview. Simply dressing the part and some simple research on the company can give you some added confidence in the interview, something employers are looking for. If you appear unsure, uneasy, or uninformed an employer may get the impression that you are uninterested or unprepared for a position with their organization. Strong interviewing skills can quickly progress you ahead of your peers.
- Partner with an industry expert. If you are a recent graduate or are entering a new line of work, your career search may prove more difficult than others with more experience in the role. Many employers are seeking candidates with prior experience or a more proven ability for their open positions. Getting a foot in the door with these employers can often prove to be more difficult. Working with an industry expert recruiter can significantly increase your chances of landing a position in your field. Partnering with a recruiter allows you a foot in the door, more inside information about the company and its objectives, interviewing and resume support and guidance, with the ability to prove your skills and abilities to an employer for a contracted period of time before they make a hiring commitment. Many employers prefer this flexibility and are more likely to hire an entry level candidate through a staffing partner due to the additional testing available. A contract to hire position also allows you to determine whether or not the position or company is the right choice for you, while building experience and skills for your resume.
Regardless of the profession you are looking to enter, remaining confident during the job seeking process is a must. If you find yourself becoming overly frustrated or discouraged, consider taking a few days off from the job search or partner with a staffing partner for more assistance. Often time candidates who are frustrated with their job search results can come across as lacking confidenence or negatively during an interview.
Are you a stand out professional or technical professional seeking contingent, temporary, or long term career opportunities? Visit our job seekers section for more information! Want to learn more about how you can gain access to Trillium’s national network of professionals and skilled workers? Contact us today!
Trillium, a national leader in staffing and recruitment is a valued staffing partner to over 5,000 companies nationwide. Trillium is privately owned by Oskar René Poch.