How to get a job: 5 tips for beginners

The time’s finally arrived: You’re ready to join the world of work. If you feel excited and anxious at the same time, that’s completely natural. After all, this is your first step on a path that could go in so many different directions.

To get you started, here are five easy-to-follow tips for getting a job in 2022.

Key takeaways

  • You can start by identifying what sort of job you’re interested in and make sure it fits with your career goals.
  • You don’t need work experience to create a resume. It’s enough to include details about education, internships and volunteer experience.
  • You can customize your resume to apply for each role that you’re interested in.
  • Networking with professionals already in your ideal field can help you learn more about potential jobs.
  • Researching the company and preparing questions ahead of time can help you in an interview.

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1. Start with job planning

There’ll be more than 160 million jobs open in the U.S. by 2030, according to an estimate by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Knowing what sort of job or career you want can make it easier to sort through what’s available.

The U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored CareerOneStop recommends taking the following steps to get started with job planning:

  • Identify your interests, skills and values.
  • Explore jobs that are relevant to your interests to understand what the job involves, what it pays and what experience can help you land the gig.
  • Consider looking into high-paying or fast-growing jobs in your area.
  • Map out how the role you take first could impact your long-term career goals.

2. Write a resume or CV

Resumes and CVs are a summary of your experience and skills. Think of them as an advertisement for why you’re the best candidate for a role. And they’re often your introduction to the hiring manager.

Whether you need a resume or CV will depend on the role you’re looking to land. Most industries ask for resumes. But if you’re looking for an academic or research-based role, a CV may be more appropriate.

What to include in a resume

Resumes can be one or two pages long and contain information that shows how you’re qualified for the role. The information you provide will depend on your professional experience so far. 

You can consider including:

  • A professional summary
  • Your employment history, including both paid and unpaid internships
  • Your educational background
  • Volunteer experience
  • Training courses and certifications

For more information, check out this guide on how to write a resume.

What to include in a CV

CVs are longer documents that focus on academic achievements. They’re mostly required when you’re pursuing a position in higher education or an adjacent field. 

You can consider including:

  • Contact information
  • Most recent educational achievements
  • Teaching and other professional experience
  • Research and field experience
  • Grants
  • Awards
  • Publications
  • Conference participation
  • Professional development

For more information about CVs, check out this guide.

3. Start networking

Once you’ve completed your resume or CV, you can start thinking about how to launch yourself into the job market. One solid place to start is by creating a profile on a networking site like LinkedIn. Social media sites like this can help you find companies in your target industry—and can help them find you. They’re also good for making personal connections and learning from people in your chosen role or career.

4. Apply for jobs

You know what kind of roles you want, you’ve written your resume and you’ve made industry connections. Now it’s time to find a job.

LinkedIn also has job listings and will often show you who the recruiter is so that you can connect with them directly. There are plenty of other job sites out there to explore too.

Tips when you’re applying for jobs

What do you do when you’ve found a job you’d like to apply for? Consider these tips:

  • Read the job description: You don’t have to meet all the requirements. But be sure the job aligns with your background and offers the experience you want. Make note of whether you need anything else to apply, like a cover letter.
  • Consider a cover letter: Even if the job description doesn’t ask for it, a cover letter can help you stand out from the other applicants. 
  • Customize your resume: No one resume is going to fit every application. Instead, use the job description to get an idea of the hard skills or soft skills the employer is looking for. And tailor your resume to emphasize the skills you have to match.
  • Double-check spelling and grammar: Make sure your resume and application package are error-free and easy to read, especially if you’ve customized your resume.

5. Nail the interview

If an employer reviews your application and believes you could be a match for the job, they can reach out to schedule an interview with you. 

Whether the process ends up being one or several interviews, consider the following tips to help you through:

  • Research the organization: A common question interviewers ask is why you’re applying for a position at their particular organization. Knowing specifics about the organization is one key to answering this question well.
  • Dress for success: Expectations about dressing up for an interview may differ depending on the organization. If the recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t tell you about a dress code beforehand, experts recommend going with a professional look rather than a business casual one.
  • Practice interviewing with a friend: You may not know exactly what an interviewer will ask. But practicing your answers to common interview questions ahead of time can help you build confidence.
  • Come with questions: An interview for a job can be like a two-way street. Be prepared to ask your interviewer questions about the role and how it fits in the organization. You can also ask follow-up questions about anything discussed during the interview.
  • Write a thank-you note: Send your interviewer a brief thank-you note afterward. It can thank the interviewer for their time, touch on what you discussed and reaffirm your interest in the position. If you don’t have the email address of your interviewer, you can ask the recruiter to forward it for you.

Final thoughts on how to get a job

If you’re conducting a job search in 2022, you can:

  • Plan for what type of position you want.
  • Write a resume to show off your skills for that job.
  • Network with professionals in your target field through social media.
  • Apply for open positions that match your career interests.
  • Go in to interviews prepared to talk about your accomplishments and ask questions.

If you’re looking for more job hunting advice, check out these guides on how to ask for a letter of recommendation and how to negotiate salary.

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