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Landing Your First Job: A Complete Guide To Getting Hired

The first thing to understand is that you need to take your job search seriously — just like a job.

You may have heard stories about people who scored their dream job in a day, but don’t expect to be that lucky.

Although hiring can happen quickly at times, you’re more likely to get your foot in the door through a slow and steady approach.

Here are the steps to landing your first job:

  • Make sure you’re ready for work. This step may seem obvious, but there are some important logistics and details to go over before you start applying for jobs.
  • Get clear on your career goals. It’s difficult for potential employers to see the big picture if you don’t have one yourself. Doing some simple exercises can help clarify things and give you talking points during interviews.
  • Not all jobs are created equal. Consider things like salary, work schedule, location, required education, career path, tasks and responsibilities.
  • Build your resume (and cover letter). Your resume and cover letter are your first impression with potential employers, so make sure they look professional and contain all the right information.
  • Fine-tune your social media presence. Employers will look at your social media profiles before hiring you — not only for interview preparation but also because what’s visible online is a reflection of who you are as an employee.Make a list of potential employers: Try to find companies that work in your field of interest. Look for information about their culture and see if their mission aligns with yours. Do you have any friends or family members who work at those companies? You might be able to get an “employee referral,” which is helpful when trying to stand out as a candidate.
  • Tap into the hidden job market. The vast majority of jobs are never advertised to the public, so you need to network your way into them. Most people know who you know, not what you know, which is why it’s critical that you expand your network, but do it strategically.
Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.