7 Tips to Land Your First Dream Job

By Maria Onzain

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Work experience in the industry? Previous position references? Demonstrable results? Do these questions sound familiar to you? If you are looking for your first job after university you may be wondering how are you going to face these and many other questions from the companies you would like to work for.

The switch from studying to getting the first job is becoming highly difficult. With a marketplace more competitive that ever, companies want to make sure they hire the right candidates for their teams and this can make the hiring process get longer and tedious. But not only the employers need to make sure they are making the right decision, also employees should be happy about their new position before starting a new job.

These 7 tips will help you not only get your first job but also help you realize if you are landing your dream job. If you need more recommendations you can visit Open Colleges career advice section where you will find in-detailed advice.
 

1. Attitude to work

One of the main complains from employees is that young professionals do not have the right attitude towards work. If you feel that the job you are applying for or the job you have just started is not motivational enough, in the longer term, it will be very difficult to be positive and have the right attitude. Several factors will affect your attitude to work such as the type of work you perform, the work atmosphere, your colleagues, working hours, salary and extra motivations. You should analyze all these aspects before you accept a new position.


2. Work experience

Job descriptions for first time employees that ask the candidate to have previous work experience may seem a contradiction but it is actually not! For this type of entry level jobs, they won’t expect you to have years of professional experience in the field but volunteer work while studying will show that you already have a first-hand perspective for workplace expectations. Having some sort of previous experience, even if it is unpaid, will also tell your employee that you have gained practical skills and will demonstrate your commitment.


3. Responsibility and reliability

One of the main fears of employees when hiring young professionals is how serious will they take their new position. To show that you are the right candidate in this regard, you will always have to be punctual, work extra hours when needed, show respect to colleagues and customers and don’t call in sick unless you are truly sick.


4. Presentation

First time impressions are extremely important when applying for a job. You need to make sure you are dressed appropriately to fit in well with the company culture and think if showing tattoos, piercings, jewelry and your hair-style are acceptable for the job.


5. Further education and training

Many employers believe that training and further education is a very effective way to improve the employment prospects of young people because both lead to the acquisition of work specific skills and qualifications. If you have language skills or technical skills include them in your resume and try to highlight them during the interview by finding a smooth way to connect this further training to the job you are applying for.


6. Job search and application skills

If it is the first time you are looking for a job, it is highly possible that your job search and application skills can be improved. There is so much to learn in this regard, you can always ask a recruiter to help you out with this. But a few tips, based on the most common mistakes by candidates, will be: to pay more attention to detail in the applications and resumes, particularly with regard to spelling and grammar, make sure your application is tailored to the position for which you are applying and be positive but always realistic with the type of roles you are applying for.


7. Realistic work expectations

It is quite common among young professionals to have unrealistic work expectations of the workplace. Your first job won’t be a walk in the park so be prepared for the high demands of the workplace and the nature of the work you are performing. You also need to understand that you need to work your way up and that takes hard work and effort.  Your remuneration will be directly related to your experience, responsibilities and capability to do the work so be patient and more importantly learn, learn and learn!

 

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