How to Land Your First Full-Time Job
Graduating from college is a fun and exciting time in your life but can come with many changes. One of the biggest changes will be when you go from being a student to a full-time worker. Applying for your first full-time job can be daunting at first, however, if you utilize some industry tips, you can make yourself stand out from the crowd and land an awesome first full-time job.
Make Your Resume Interesting
Just a few years ago we were being told to keep resumes simple and plain in hopes of pleasing even the most conservative companies. Nowadays with such a saturated job market and use of better technology, we have the tools and know-how to make our professionally written resume interesting to recruiters .
Tailor your resume and cover letter to the type of position you are applying for. Use colors, layouts, and vocabulary specific to the industry to better stand out. Use a user-friendly version of your resume, such as a clickable PDF so that the recruiter can seamlessly go to your LinkedIn page, personal website, etc. with one click. Research what skills you need for the job and make sure you relay to the recruiter through your resume and cover letter that you possess those skills.
Be persistent in your search. Many times, recruiters are very busy and can forget to follow-up. Go the extra mile to show them you are extremely interested in working for them by following-up if they haven’t gotten back to you about your resume. Sending a LinkedIn message or an email to a recruiter will signal to them that you are very serious about working for their company. Sending a follow-up once a week after applying to a job is standard.
Ace the Interview
Before the interview, research the company fully to understand what they do for their clients, what they offer to their employees, and even ask about the culture and dress of the company. Make sure you come prepared with a few copies of your resume and some questions to ask your interviewer . Be yourself during the interview and take your time to carefully assess and answer questions fully.
Remember that recruiters don’t know almost anything about you, so really take the time to give a full explanation of their questions about your studies and job history so you can really nail the interview. Always thank the interviewer at the end of the interview and get their contact information in case you need to follow-up.
A way to make yourself stand out from other interviewers is to send a thank you card by mail the day of or the day after your interview. This way, in a few days your card will come in the mail and the recruiter will again be reminded of you and how you take initiative.
Accept the Offer
Accepting your first job offer can be a very exciting moment in your life! Because it’s your first offer you might feel obligated to say “YES” right away, however, take the time to really look it over. Look at the median average pay for the position online and see how well it lines up with your offer.
Read the offer letter thoroughly to see what they offer in terms of benefits. Important benefits to consider are time-off, sick time, insurance coverage, and 401K or other tax-advantaged accounts. Benefits might not be on the top of your consideration list but think of them as lost income when a company doesn’t offer them. In this case, you can negotiate for a higher salary in place of a lack of benefits.
Plan for Your New Job
Make sure you research the cost of living in the area where you will be working before considering moving for your new job. This will determine if you need to live with roommates, live far from your office to save money on rent, etc. Survey all your living situation options and sign a contract to make the move.
Before you head to work on your first day, make sure you look up driving time to your office and peak traffic times to ensure you don’t arrive late. Ask the hiring manager about parking, how to get into the building, and if there is anything you need to bring for your first day. Asking these questions will make sure you show up prepared and ready to start your new full-time job!
Don’t forget these tips when trying to land your first full-time job! Doing a bit of interview preparation, follow-ups, and research will help recruiters to know that you are serious about working with their company. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and advice from seasoned professionals to help make you a standout candidate and never hesitate to apply for your dream full-time position!
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a contributing editor for 365BusinessTips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach. Feel free to connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.