Applying for your first job can be an exciting time for anybody, especially for a young adult. To increase your chances of getting hired, it helps to know beforehand what employers may be looking for or expecting in an applicant. Here are a few tips to help you make a great impression during the process.
Employers are always impressed when an applicant is well-versed on the company they wish to work for. It’s great to know facts like how long a company has been in business, how many employees work for it or who its competitors may be. Make sure to be well-versed on the position you’re applying for, too, if possible. If you can’t find information on the position, try to speak to someone who may already work there, or contact their human resources department. Learn more about researching the company and position here.
Some jobs may not require this for first-time job applicants, but, if you want to put yourself ahead of the competition, create one. Even if you haven’t had a formal job before, try to list any volunteer efforts you may have been involved in or any organizations that you were a part of, like the yearbook committee, sports teams or marching bands. Activities show that you have initiative and can work well with, and even lead, a team. You can learn how to build a résumé here.
We don’t all have fancy suits or professional skirts hanging in our closets, but it’s still possible to dress to impress. For women, a tailored top and a knee-length skirt are appropriate and professional; men can wear a collared shirt with a tie and khakis or dress pants. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, a nice jacket can look really good on anybody. See some good examples of interview attire here.
Sometimes, employers are looking for someone who is willing to go the extra mile. Maybe they want someone who can work weekends, or maybe they want someone who can work multiple positions. Maybe they’ve filled the role you were applying for but have other opportunities. Keep an open mind; a job that may not be a perfect fit can lead to another position that you may really like.
This is often an overlooked step in the process, and it could be the difference between you and another candidate. After an interview, it helps to send a letter thanking the person that interviewed you and restating your interest in the position. You can send this in letter form or by email. Just make sure to get the interviewer’s email address before you leave the interview!