It’s a vicious circle. To get a job you need experience and to get an experience you need a job. We have included some infographics to demonstrate how you can get your foot on that tricky first rung of the career ladder.
- An entry-level job is typically designed with recent graduates in mind and usually does not necessitate prior experience.
- According to a 2018 study by TalentWorks, 61% of all full-time “entry-level” jobs require over 3 years of experience.
- The average search for an entry-level job typically takes between 3 – 6 months
5 Ways to Build Experience
- Complete an internship
- Complete an apprenticeship
- Volunteer at a charity
- Start a project (e.g. blog, web series, etc)
- Join a student organization
Where to Find Entry Level Jobs
- Online jobs boards
- Networking events
- Social media
- Careers fairs
For best results, mix and match a few different job-seeking methods.
How to Handle the Experience Question in A Job Application
If you come across a great entry-level opportunity that you think will suit your skills and personality, apply for it regardless of whether or not you meet the experience requirements.
Do Your Homework
Familiarise yourself with common interview questions and prepare your answers in advance of the interview. Read up on the company by checking out their website, press mentions and social media profiles.
Think carefully and dispassionately about your strengths and weaknesses as a candidate. You can also ask your family, friends, and teachers for further insight.
Strike the Right Balance Between Confidence & Modesty
Self-assuredness will go a long way in an interview, but be careful not to come across as arrogant. Answer questions with confidence but don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something.
Highlight Your Motivation & Desire
Clearly, communicate your interest in the position. Consider why you want the job and try to identify what aspects of the role and the company appeal to you.
Identify Your Transferable Skills
You may have developed valuable and relevant skills for the position at school or through your hobbies. Be sure to highlight these skills in your application and demonstrate how you can apply these to the role.
To make a great impression, follow-up with a thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. This will help you to stand out as 3 out of 4 job-seekers don’t even bother sending a thank-you note after an interview.
How to Wow Employers With Your Entry-Level CV
- Carefully proofread your grammar, spelling, and formatting.
- Tailor your CV to each job posting. Showcase your skills, experiences, education, and projects that are most related to the job.
- Mirror the language used in the job posting. Many employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) programmed to identify certain keywords. Including the right keywords may increase your chances of proceeding to the interview stage.
- Seek out feedback on your CV from your career counselor, friends, and family.
- Don’t be afraid to include your own personal projects if they are relevant to the job.
Don’t wait until the deadline to apply. The best time to apply to a job is within the first 48 hours after it’s posted.
6 Ways To Stay Motivated if You Can’t Find a Job
How to survive the job-hunting process with your mental health intact.
- Don’t Take Rejections Personally
Remember that there are lots of reasons for rejection that have nothing to do with you. You can only do your best, and it’s important to accept that there will always be some factors that are completely outside of your control.
- Establish A Routine
Use your calendar to block some distraction-free time for job-searching activities. This will keep you productive and help prevent frustration.
- Take Breaks to Do Stuff You Enjoy
Job hunting is hard work, so don’t forget to take time away to focus on your hobbies. Not only is this good for your mental health, but it will also give you something to talk about in your interviews.
- Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Look after your body and combat stress by maintaining a regular sleep schedule, a healthy diet, and a regular exercise regime.
- Don’t Get Caught in the Comparison Trap
Social media can make it seem like everyone is having a better life than you, but it’s important to remember that they are only sharing the most Instagrammable aspects of their lives. There are a few things you can try to keep things in perspective: alter your notifications, switch up the accounts you follow, or take a social media break.
- Remember, Your First Job Doesn’t Need To Be Perfect
Your first few jobs might not be where you imagined yourself. Just remember that this is perfectly ok, these initial roles will allow you to build the skills and experience you need for your future dream job.