Getting Your First Job

Getting your First Job

by Nik Lemmens on March 19, 2011

Trying to get a job for the first time is by no means ever easy. People often find that they make many applications only to be rejected or not even acknowledged, which can be tough.

We hope that you find this article provides you with some useful, yet straightforward, advice that can help you to land your first ever role.

Firstly, it can be helpful to study the kinds of rejection responses that you can get:

“You lack or have no experience in this sector or job role”
“Your qualifications do not match the role specifications”
“We’ve received applications from more suitable candidates!

Do not be disheartened when hearing these responses, as everyone is subjected to the same at some point in their lives, when they look for jobs. What can make you different is how you choose to deal with these responses in your job search.

You must learn from these experiences, for instance you will lessen the chances of hearing any of the above responses if you only apply for those jobs you are definitely suited to. To avoid being disappointed you must not aim too high when applying for your first job.

You may want a large salary in a FTSE100 company – but do you really have the experience to warrant being awarded such a job at this point in your life?

You should be prepared to fill in the gaps where you are not as qualified for roles that you have applied for, for instance you might not have ever worked in a professional IT role before, but you became self-taught when setting up your own website at university or college so use this to get the job.

To encourage employers to see you for an interview, you need to show that you can self-motivate and that, what you lack in experience, you will make up with hard work.

It can be tempting to fill out as many applications as possible in order to make your chances of scoring an interview higher but this is not effective. In the current economic downturn, thousands of people are doing exactly that, so you will be up against more competition and there is just no point applying for roles that you aren’t qualified to do.

Learn from my experience:

My first job came about after I walked into a restaurant and stated how overworked and busy they looked. They asked if I knew anyone who was free to help and before I knew it, I was helping them out.

Even though things may feel desperate at times, it is important that you never beg for a job. This only devalues you and you are worth more than that.

Don’t be too proud to start at the bottom, even if it means doing something you never wanted to do, such as pub or restaurant work, or even working in the local garage. You will soon prove your worth and who knows who you could meet, or what opportunities might arise whilst working there.

If it is still a struggle to find work then you could try volunteering within the sector which peaks your interest, which will give you valuable experience and could also lead to paid work.

Remember that there are always places you can go to get advice and career coaching.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda December 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

Thanks for sharing this. It really could be hard to find a job and certainly the first one because you never had experience with a job interview or something like that. Thanks for sharing!

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Nik Lemmens December 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hi Linda,
First jobs are never easy but a bit of persistence and the right attitude go a long way!
Nik

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