Looking for your first job and not sure where to start? There are many choices that lie ahead. Where do you want to work, what jobs would work best for your schedule, and what are your ultimate career goals?
You may have friends who already joined the workforce in various entry-level jobs, but you personally don’t have a lot of experience outside of doing some yard work for neighbors and family members. Here’s how you can get your first job with no experience.
1. Decide what kind of job you want.
There are many different industries that offer flexible job options, but you’ll know where to start by narrowing your fields of interest. For example, are you looking to gain experience in retail, auto, or tech fields? If you like to take care of people, possibly look into the healthcare industry. If that’s not your speed, consider looking into the business industry for something that could excite you. Not every job will be fantastic and amazing every single day, but finding an industry that interests you will be worthwhile.
2. Create a resume or work profile
Many hiring platforms will require a resume, but when applying for jobs with Jipe, you only need a work profile—no resume necessary! This step may seem intimidating when you don’t have any previous job experience. Not to worry! Focus on relevant classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer experiences and you may surprise yourself with how much experience you actually have!
Whether it be a resume or work profile, be sure to highlight your strengths and skills—both hard and soft—that are relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, if you have taken a writing class, highlight your proficiency in written communication. This is a “hard skill.” If you were the captain of your baseball team, include your leadership and teamwork experience. These are “soft skills.” Acknowledging these qualities in yourself will not only be impressive to your potential employer but also build your confidence as you begin your first job.
3. Apply for entry-level positions
Don’t go looking for CEO roles right out the gate. 😉 Whether you’re a high school student, college graduate, or returning to the workforce after an extended break, there are entry-level positions available in almost any industry. These types of positions will help you refine your skills and grow professionally and personally to prepare you for your next job and the one after that. Sometimes searching for internships in a field that interests you is another effective way to get your foot in the door. You may not get the first job you apply for, so keep on trying and apply for a few different positions!
4. Practice for the interview
A quick Google search will show you a list of possible questions that prospective employers may ask you, such as this one from Indeed. Practice answering those questions out loud while standing in the mirror or talking with a friend. Anticipating the questions the interviewer may ask will help you answer to your best ability, rather than scrambling on the spot. Your preparation could be the thing that sets you apart from other candidates.
Bonus tip: come prepared with a few questions of your own! Most employers will give you the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, and it’s impressive to them when you do. For ideas of what questions you can ask, read here.
5. Follow up with your interviewer
Send an email or thank you card to follow up after your interview. Let this potential employer know you appreciate their time and ask when you can expect to hear back with their decision. By following up, you are showing your genuine interest in the position and the employer will take note of that, helping put your name at the top of their list.
If you haven’t heard back from them after the follow-up date that they give you, don’t hesitate to reach out again. Be proactive and send an email or call them on the phone. Give them another reason to see you in a good light and increase your chances of getting hired.