Author: Vikas Rana. Founder, WebsiteFix and Mediatimes
I run a digital marketing business and have been doing digital marketing for over 9 years now. However, at one point of time, I was at the same spot as you. It took me a very long time to find my first full time job. In this article, I would like to share the mistakes I made and the things you should avoid when looking for your first job. I’ll give you some exclusive tips which can increase your chances of getting your first full time job in your field.
Finding first job is hard. Once you have experience, then it becomes easier to change jobs and get a new role in a new company considering you are good in your skills and knowledge. Once you get over five years’ experience in a field, then every company wants you. But how to get first job when you don’t have any experience?
We hear many fresh graduates using the term for businesses after being rejected from an interview that “If they don’t give us experience, how can we get experience”. Having this attitude is the biggest mistake job seekers are making.
Almost 90% of the businesses look for employee who can bring the required skills and experience on board to help their business grow. Little bit of training can be provided but you must understand that end of the day, they are a business not a school.
So, what’s the solution? The solution lies in accumulating all the bits and pieces required to get first job. Getting a little bit of experience can go long way. Remember, something is better than nothing. You must understand that if you apply for say a digital marketing job, then just your café experience and retail sales experience will not help you grab the role.
If I have to hire a fresh graduate for a digital marketer role at SEO Brisbane, I would still prefer to see some sort of professional training on their resume. Even a volunteer experience in digital marketing or similar will be fine.
Do volunteer work or apprenticeship if you can’t find full time paid work in your field. If you are skilled and have a great work attitude with a willing nature to learn then you will still find some doors open for you. By the way, don’t assume that just because you’re willing to work free, any business will take you. They may still need to see some good qualities of an employee like positive work attitude, team player and someone who can quickly learn the work and add value to their business.
If it turns out that you are taking a long time to learn and not delivering much value, then you may lose the volunteer job too.
If you think from a business owner’s point of view, then you will call it as fair. Business owners are busy and do not usually have enough time to train someone full time. So, if you get an opportunity to work with an experience professional, take the opportunity, learn quick and deliver the value to their business.
Experience is worth millions of dollars. So, you should take it regardless of whether it’s coming from a paid or unpaid role. Even if you’re not getting paid, you can still make millions in future with job or your own business once you get the experience.
Another mistake that I made in my days of job seeking was not applying enough. Sometimes, it can be a number game. Keep applying until you find your first job. It can be very disheartening when you have been applying for a long time but there is no outcome. I understand that. But you must never lose hope. You must not quit. Keep learning from your mistakes in Resume, application, interview performance and keep improving until you get the job.
It is important to have a perfect Resume and a very professional Cover letter. This is very obvious, and I won’t go in much detail. Just make sure you have a professional looking resume, add relevant experience in it. Many make a mistake to send the same resume in all the job applications. This way, you can never get a job. You must customise, and tailor made your resume to align your resume to the role you’re applying. Twisting few things here and there is something every successful candidate may have done. There is nothing wrong in it. Of course, don’t fake it all as you will be caught in interview.
Learn interview skills. Those who are taking interview are smart and experienced people. If you don’t have the required skills, and experience and thinking to fool them with your confidence then you are mistaken. No matter how smartly you try to fool them in thinking you are experienced and skilled while you are not, they will know whether you are suited to the role or not. So don’t bother trying. Rather, focus on gaining skills and experience and present them with full confidence in the interview.
Another important thing is to get a couple of good references with at least one of them from your own industry. If you have done good job for someone, they will provide you reference. You will definitely need good references to get your first job.
In the end, if you can work out a great tailor-made resume for a job, have some experience in your field, got the references and perform great in the interview, you have excellent chances of getting your first job. Once you get full time paid experience for even one year, then there is no looking back. You are on your way to an amazing career.