Quick tips to start your 2024 job hunt
Navigating the job market can be challenging even for seasoned professionals with a degree and years of experience. As a new job seeker, here are some valuable tips to help you kickstart your career.
(The best one is at the bottom, in our humble opinion).
Build your resume
Start with a solid resume template. A Google search will give you the most popular templates that are also easy for recruiters to read. Making your resume simple for a busy recruiter to read is key to making sure that they do read it. Many resumes that are full of skills and great experience have been rejected for being overly-complex to read or just too fancy.
Even if you haven’t worked yet, you have enough information to start your resume. A little bit of life experience, a bold objective summary, and some honest and clever wordsmithing can get you started.
- An objective statement – a summary about your professional goals and willingness to dive-in
- Work experience – even the most entry level job is experience
- Volunteering (see that section further down) – that’s experience too
- Your education – High School Diploma/GED and/or College Degree
- Skills (like the Soft Skills listed below)
Consider everything you’ve done in High School, College, or in daily life. You’ll be surprised what could go on a resume.
With a little thought and some research on entry-level resumes, you’ll have a resume ready to be submitted to your next (or first) job!
Create an Online Presence
Set up a LinkedIn profile to begin establishing yourself in the professional space. Connect with professionals that you know – professors, former managers, coworker – and engage with others in your chosen field. You’ll find that LinkedIn is a web of professionals who can bring new opportunities.
Join relevant groups and write a post to get yourself noticed. Comment! Your viewpoint as someone entering the job market is as valuable as someone with decades of experience. A few well-written opinions will have others sending you connection requests.
Polish your social media accounts
We can’t stress this enough – make sure your social media doesn’t lose you a job opportunity. You represent your employer and employers hate to be embarrassed. They won’t even take the chance on a candidate if their social media may give the company a poor reputation.
Read our blog post on how your social media accounts could make or break your job search.
Prepare for interviews
Learn about the company that you’re going to interview with. The company’s ABOUT section on their website is the basic information the company would want you to know about them. Just be generally familiar with it; no need to memorize every word. In the end, they’ll be impressed that you took the initiative to prepare. If you can fit their vision statement into your personal goals and work methods, you’re golden.
Silence when they ask “What do you know about our company?” can end your chances at employment there faster than you think.
Alternatively, a short answer based off of ten minutes of reading can literally land you the job.
Develop Your Soft Skills
You’ve likely seen job postings like this:
REQUIRED: a degree, X years doing Y, expertise in [some skill you’ve never heard of], etc.
But soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and time management are just as important. Even though they are valuable in any and every workplace, not everyone has them. Some of the most skilled employees can still fall short because they lack soft skills.
Managers are made by their ability to communicate. Teams fail if even one person has to have everything their way. Employers want to see that young employees are coachable, willing to learn. Being on time shows dependability. People with proficient grammar and effective communication techniques are more likely to be put in front of high-end clients.
Having soft skills can make you stand out even among people more experienced than you are right now.
Volunteer or Intern
Sometimes getting that first paycheck means putting in a little extra work before we get it.
Look for volunteer opportunities related to your field of interest. Practical experience can make you stand out to employers, especially when you don’t have relevant work experience (yet).
Internships (which can be paid or unpaid) can be a great way to get professional, in-office experience. Surprisingly, some internships are so highly-coveted that they alone secure even more impressive jobs.
Of course, volunteering and unpaid internships are a lot easier said than done – especially if you have bills to pay. But every job is experience. If an hour here or there is what lands you a great position, then it has paid you back.
Sign up with Houston-Jackson Group Staffing
Never underestimate what a great staffing group can do for your job search. A team with REAL open positions, years of knowledge, a full network, and an eye on you can have you getting to work sooner than you realize