Land your First Job

6 Tips to Help Students Find Their First Job

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Finding a job is always extremely overwhelming, especially for students whose resumes are not yet filled with a long list of outstanding achievements. The process can become even harder when taking various complicating factors into account. For example, anxiety associated with the inability to find a job may worsen due to peer or parental pressure, overloads in college or university, availability of mental illness, or living in a region where there is a lack of job possibilities. However, there are certain strategies that can help students cope with distress during the process of job search.

Finding a job is always extremely overwhelming, especially for students whose resumes are not filled with a long list of outstanding achievements. However, there are certain strategies that can help students cope with distress during the process of job search.

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Many universities provide their students with the opportunity to enroll in various internships. A student may search through the official website of his/her educational facility to find these opportunities, or refer directly to the administration of a college/university. For instance: American University located in Washington, DC, provides its students with “unsurpassed internship opportunities” that may involve working as a policy analyst at the World Bank, conducting research within the Department of Justice, or being an SMM specialist within Washington Nationals. A student can productively combine his/her internship experience with studying, and go off to another job after graduation. This scenario is preferred by many students because they do not have to start their job search from square one after receiving their degree.

career goals

#2 Setting Realistic Goals

Some students are unable to find a job because they have unreasonably high expectations about their future workplace. They may go for jobs that are currently beyond their reach, which will only lead to frustration. Understanding one’s own potential and realizing that it is very unlikely to find a good or even prestigious job “for life” right after the university would save people valuable time that can be spent more productively.

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#3 Clearly Defining Career Prospects

Students have to set their career expectations depending on their skills, qualifications, and area of study. Also, they have to take into account that job opportunities in two or more diverse fields differ not only in specificities of their work responsibilities, but also in organizational structure, career prospects they can offer, and soft skills their workers are commonly required to possess. Sometimes, in order to go up the career ladder within a certain field, a person is required to undergo additional training and acquire some other skills. This factor should be taken into account at the initial step of a job search because it can facilitate effective goal-setting.

In order to have the possibility to choose between different job offers, students have to be encouraged to practice job search and apply for positions they consider suitable on a daily basis. For instance, they can use their smartphones to constantly check if the job of their dream has become available. In this case, there is a smaller chance of missing a precious job opportunity, and a greater chance of getting hired faster.

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In the digital age, it has become much easier for students to find job offers. There are Internet platforms that specialize in publishing vacancies only in specific fields, or that focus on a particular target audience. To increase one’s chance of finding a job as fast as possible, there is a need to search through diverse job offering platforms. Moreover, if a student’s beliefs are in line with the mission and vision of certain organizations, he/she should regularly check their websites, where they publish job or internship possibilities from time to time. As with any other activity, persistence is the key to success. A person should dedicate a specific portion of his/her time for a daily job search to look through different job offering platforms. Not only does it structure the process, but it also provides an opportunity to see the current trends within the labor market.

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#6 Staying Organized

Finally, none of the job searching efforts listed above would be successful without properly organizing one’s time and space. Keeping a journal where the time, day, and place of different job interviews are recorded, or tracking one’s job searching progress by using the smartphone organizer is one of the pathways to a more organized way to manage a ton of information during a job search. Knowing what exactly to do next, and what the previous steps within the process help to track progress, evaluate one’s performance during job interviews, ask for constructive feedback based on self-assessment, and most importantly, not feel emotionally overwhelmed and unable to meet deadlines. Staying organized also sends out a good message for potential employers: when they see that a person is able to manage loads of unstructured information, record his/her progress, set goals, and meet deadlines, they will be more eager to hire this candidate.

 References

Open the Door to Endless Internship Opportunities. (2019). Retrieved November 30, 2019, from https://www.american.edu/spexs/washingtonsemester/internships.cfm.


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