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Why its Hard, Getting Your First Job

This is the first-job advice you'll need to score a position you'll love.

As you’re poised to enter the work world, you might be so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead you haven’t given much thought to, well, actually landing one of those possibilities. A job search — especially your first one — can be tough work, wading through the unfamiliar waters of resume writing and job search sites, plus intuiting exactly what a potential employer wants while sidestepping interview landmines.

Phew. But this is a totally doable task with this first-job guide at your side. Read on to find how to get started, how to hone your search, and how to find your dream job.

Why its Hard, Getting Your First Job
Why its Hard, Getting Your First Job

How to Start

Before you even think about submitting your resume to a prospective employer, you have got a lot of work to do. You'll need to tailor your resume to the job, reconnect with your references, come up with keywords to help you hone your search, create some business cards, and so much more.

How to Search for a Job

It's not enough to search for an entry-level job. To find the right job for you — and to increase your chances of scoring an interview — you have to employ some job search strategies. For example, did you know that Monday is the best day of the week to look for a job? Or that you should always schedule interviews for the morning? These tips and tricks will get you in the door and get you your first job.

How to Use Your Smartphone to Find a Dream Job

If you're looking for your first job, we're willing to bet you're more comfortable on your smartphone than on a job site. If so, the following job search scenarios may sound familiar: Have you ever emailed yourself the link to a job listing so you’d remember to apply when you got home to your laptop? Or have you ever missed out on a position because you applied too late? We’ve all been there but you don’t have to be. Lucky for you, there are a bevy of apps, including Glassdoor’s app for iPhone and Android, that can help you in your job search and even help you find a dream job.

How to Uncover the Right Keywords to Include in Your Resume

Have you ever heard of applicant tracking systems? It's when a company uses a computer program to filter through applications and resumes, weeding out the candidates who aren't a fit — simply because they didn't use the right words. That's right: your resume could be chucked in the proverbial trash before it ever reaches a human's eyes, all because you didn't use a word the system was searching for. How do you know which words to use? A good place to start is the job description.

How to Know What Employers Are Looking For

Depressing statistic: recruiters and hiring managers only spend an average of six seconds reading your resume. (We know, it hurts.) That's not a lot of time to capture their attention. That's why it's so important to know what potential employers are looking for in those few precious seconds, and put them in your resumes. Consider: technical skills, soft skills, examples of impact, certifications, and quantifiable success.

How to be Irresistible to an Employer

No one wants to end up in the slush pile — stacks of resumes that will never see the light of day— because they don't catch the eye of recruiters or hiring managers. But what if we told you that not only can you stand out to a recruiter, but you can become irresistible to him or her? You definitely can — by being the most informed candidate to apply for the job. HR insiders say that being knowledgeable about the company as well as highly engaged are the keys to standing out in a stack of resumes. Read more here.

How to Apply for Your First Job

We've all been there at one point: staring into the abyss of a job site, wondering how to find the right job — and then, how to apply for it. It's a daunting task. But it doesn't have to paralyze you or keep you from getting your first job. Being prepared, writing a killer resume, tapping your college network and using the best online tools can all make applying for your first job so much easier.

How to Organize Your Job Search

If you're applying to multiple jobs at once — and we bet you are — things could get a little hairy if you don't stay organized. (After all, you don't want lose out on a job because you missed a deadline or lost a phone number.) But getting organized is easy — and you won't even need a trip to the Container Store! .

How to Beat Your Competition

In today's work climate, competition for a single job can be fierce. So how can you beat your competition? Experts agree it comes down to information — to knowing more than they do about the job and the company. But more importantly, it's about conveying you have that extra knowledge to a potential employer. To do that, you'll have to figure out how to organize the information you've gathered, come prepared to an interview with the right questions, and pay attention to detail.

How to Not Sabotage Yourself

You'd never purposefully tank an interview. But you may unknowingly be hurting your chances of getting hired. How? By being inconsistent. It's important that you say the same things throughout the interview process — and on your resume and cover letter — to each person you speak to within the company.

How to Know What Questions You'll be Asked

You know to expect some standard questions during the interview. Think: Why do want this job? What makes you the best person for this role? What unique skills do you bring to the table? But if you don't brush up on these other questions — queries you can expect during many interview situations — you might be caught off guard.

How to Know What Questions You Should Ask

It's not enough to come to an interview prepared to answer a manager's questions. You also have to come prepared with questions for your potential employer that not only show you've done your research but will help you determine whether you really want this job. In fact, there are six questions you must ask in any interview.

How to Know What Not to Say

Sometimes it's not what you say but what you don't say in an interview that matters most. Seemingly harmless phrases such as, "that's a great question!" and boastful brags such as "I really can’t imagine anyone more qualified than me" can really get under a potential employer's skin and could even cost you the job. Our experts agree there are 11 things you should never, ever say in a job interview.

How to Make Sure You Get Hired

Applying for a job and going through the interview process can be time-consuming. And no one likes to waste his or her time. That's why we've gathered expert tips to help you beat the competition and all but ensure you snag the job. Being an informed jobseeker or an informed candidate means that you are a candidate who is knowledgeable about the company you’re applying to and you are highly engaged. Employers love candidates who are armed with all the information before applying and during the application process; these candidates have the right expectations, apply to jobs thoughtfully, are well-researched and, studies show, are twice as likely to be hired because they are the right fit.

How to Negotiate a Good Salary

It's not enough to score yourself a good job. You've also got to snag a good starting salary. After all, what you earn in your first job could set you up for financial success (or financial failure) for the rest of your career. (No pressure, though.) And while negotiating can be intimidating, with these tips, you can confidently walk into your first salary negotiation, and hopefully walk out with more money. Plus, using Glassdoor's Know Your Worth will give you a personal salary estimate of how much you should earn given your location, background and more.

How to Make Your First Job Your Dream Job

You might be surprised to learn your dream job isn't just your dream title. A dream job melds together a company that inspires you with a work environment that energizes you and teammates who support you. That's a lot to hope for in a first job, we know. But with a little research, your first job can be your dream job.

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