Everyone at one point or another is faced with the task of finding an entry level job. There is no doubt that, particularly in a struggling economy, finding an entry level job is a difficult task. However, there are steps you can take that make undertaking an entry level job search easier and increase your chances of success during the process.
Starting your entry level job search
Make sure you craft the best resume and e-profiles you can. Your resume and e-profiles are the ‘store front’ of your own brand, so make sure they are accurate, grammatically correct, informative and professional. Draft a standard cover letter to go with your resume. Do not send a standard letter out to any specific employer, tailor each letter or email to suit the specific entry level job and for each prospective employer.
Before you apply for an entry level job research the company and mention any pertinent facts about it that you discover in your cover letter, stating why you want this particular job. Make sure the recipient of your letter or email sees your enthusiasm and understanding of their company. It is a good idea to check the company’s ‘news’ sections before writing the cover letter. Have they recently made an acquisition, made gains in their stock, or some other good news that you can mention? For example, a recent graduate applied for a job with a well known company in New York. She sent a speculative application as she had read that they had recently acquired a smaller company. Little did she know that they were about to recruit for the position she wanted. She got the job simply because she showed initiative and contacted the company before the rest of the applicants.
Networks and Networking
If you are not using LinkedIn, make sure you set up a profile. Connect with friends, parents, and college professors. Also, be on the lookout for discussion groups relating to your chosen career. Add to these discussions with your thoughts and talk about your job search and things you’ve noticed or are interested in to the groups. Also, don’t count out the possibility of moving for a job. One refreshing thing about entry level job applicants is the ability to be flexible and start a new job in a new place, something many more senior workers can’t afford to do. Tell prospective employers that you are happy to move for the right job and look in other cities if you are indeed open to it.
Twitter and Facebook can also be useful tools in an entry level job search so follow companies that interest you and that you would like to work for. Make notes of what you learn about that company as preparation for job applications. Make sure that both your Twitter and Facebook accounts are suitable for prospective employers. Don’t have inappropriate photos or tweets as they reflect negatively on your judgement. Prospective employers can and do check the social networks of their candidates. Keep it professional. College alumni associations are also great networking opportunities. Find your college alumni association on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Get involved and get networking with people that may be able to help you with an entry level job search.