Getting your foot in the door is the first step toward enjoying a life-long career, but sometimes it can be difficult to take that first step. If you have little or no experience, you might feel intimidated by the job application process.
Fortunately, there are a lot of entry-level job opportunities out there. With a degree or without a degree, you can use these tips to find a great position that allows you to start a lucrative and fulfilling career.
At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we have compiled these tips for applicants who are looking for entry-level jobs:
How to Find an Entry-Level Job With a Degree
After college, graduates are often looking for that first job that will help them accomplish their career goals. For most job seekers with a degree, it is important to remain realistic and understand that it takes time to build up a career.
These tips can help you find an entry-level job after college:
- Build a resume that showcases your education and professional experience. Many entry-level jobs do require a college degree, but that doesn’t mean you will be qualified simply because you have earned a degree in that field. You also will need to prove that you have professional experience or relatable skills. Your resume after college should include any relevant work experience you have had, including internship opportunities or training programs. You also may want to include community work or extracurricular activities, to showcase your interests and passions. You should design a resume that helps you stand apart from the competition.
- Network within your industry. Creating a professional network is critical to finding an entry-level position. While you can apply for positions on job listing websites all day long, you will have more luck finding the right opportunity when you are well-connected within your industry. You can use social media to help build a network, but you also should attend community events and get involved at the local level in order to meet more people.
- Use technology to build your own personal brand. After college, you can begin building your brand by creating a personal website that focuses on your professional goals and accomplishments. You also should create coordinating social profiles on websites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This can help you create a professional identity and brand for yourself, and will make it easy for you to market yourself to potential employers. Creating and developing a personal brand shows that you are willing to do what it takes to kick-start your career in the industry of your choosing.
- Keep an open mind. Most entry-level positions are not going to resemble your dream job. It is important to keep an open mind and remember that your first job after college needs to be a step in the right direction. As you search for a job, you should be open to unique opportunities that may not have fit your original description as the best possible job after college. Sometimes, an opportunity presents itself that ends up being better than you could have ever imagined.
- Begin applying to jobs as soon as possible. You do not have to wait until after graduation to begin networking and searching for an entry-level job. During the final semester of college, you can start applying to positions and making connections within your industry. The sooner you start your job search, the more likely you will be to have a job after graduation. Remember, you are going to face some disappointment, but if you are persistent, you will find the right entry-level job for you.
How to Find an Entry-Level Job Without a Degree
Not all entry-level jobs require you to have a degree. In fact, there are many positions that can lead to a lifelong career that does not require formal higher education. These tips can help you find an entry-level job without a degree:
- Apply for as many jobs as possible that suit your interests and talents. Without a degree, you are not limited by a specific industry or field. You can consider positions that interest you the most, and you will find that there is a vast range of opportunities available. In order to increase your chances of success, you should apply to as many jobs as you can. While you do not need to recklessly apply to every open position on a job board, you should frequently apply to dozens of jobs that are related to your interests and your overall career goals.
- Create a resume that highlights your interests and your involvement in the community. Your resume showcases your professional experience, but in the absence of experience, you can still design a resume that highlights who you are. You can create a resume that includes volunteer experience, involvement with community organizations, and participation in extracurricular activities. Your resume should promote the fact that you are a unique and motivated individual who is excited to contribute to the organization that is offering the job you desire.
- Get personal when you write a cover letter. Most employers will ask you to submit a cover letter along with your resume. This is your chance to shine. You should write a compelling cover letter that provides personal insight into why you want the job that is available. Within your cover letter, you can talk about why you are applying for the job, and what you have to offer the organization. You should use anecdotal evidence to show that you are a dedicated and motivated individual and that you will provide them with the most value for their investment.
- Volunteer with community organizations to gain experience. If you do not have any experience in the field you want to pursue, you can start by volunteering with local organizations that can help you gain experience. For example, if you want to go into the marketing field without a degree, you may want to contact a local church, school or non-profit organization to see if you could volunteer to help them build a presence on social media. It may not be a professional role that allows you to earn an income, but it will help you gain valuable experience you can use to get that entry-level job you want.
- Enroll in training programs to develop a relevant skillset. There are many training programs in Arizona and throughout the region that help workers gain new skills that can be applied in the workplace. You can enroll in in-person training programs as well as online training programs that focus on skill development. Once completed, you can add these skills to your resume, and you will set yourself apart from the competition.
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona provides job seekers with the assistance they need to find a position that is right for them. Our job services include career advising, training services, and job matching. We have a job board that includes job openings for entry-level positions that are perfect for people with a degree or without a degree.
To find out more information about our career and training services, contact Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona today.