Job Search Tips
For Landing That Entry Level Position!
By Joe Stein
One of the phrases I hear most often from Job Seekers is, “I just want to get my foot in the door”. So often, especially in today’s tough economy, a Job Seeker is seeking to start at any level, just to gain entry into the company they desire, or even to just maintain some level of gainful employment.
Often, the perception of searching for an entry-level position is that it is pretty easy. While the key points listed below are pretty basic, they are crucial in landing the desired position, especially at this entry-level. Review the tips below and provide yourself an advantage when competing with the other applicants for these positions.
· Network – You may ask yourself…network for entry-level positions? My answer is…exactly! Positions are not as plentiful as they were a few years ago. Let your friends and family members know you are looking for work. You just may find out that you have a “friend of a friend” who works at a certain store or office. This may be just the edge you need to cause you to be considered and set you apart from your competition.
· Go Where the Positions Are – Besides networking, entry-level positions are often found by pounding the pavement and inquiring at area companies whether they are hiring. WNYJOBS.com is also a great source, as most other papers and websites are too expensive for employers to advertise in for entry-level positions.
· Watch Your Documents – In many occasions, you will still complete a paper application for these positions. Be prepared to complete your application without scratch-outs or errors. This can be accomplished by bringing with you, the most commonly asked application questions already completed and ready for hand transfer. If you do include a Resume, proof-read it carefully and have another set of eyes, such as a friend also review.
· Get Prepared – This is not the time to underestimate the importance of the Interview, or overestimate your current skill level in this area. Review some of the Frequently Asked Interview Questions in the article archive on WNYJOBS.com. Practice with a friend or family member. Take the interview very seriously and your approach will impress the Hiring Manager.
· Polish Your Appearance – In many occasions, an entry-level position will find you dealing directly with the customer. There are some situations, such as a CD/Movie store where “anything goes” regarding your physical appearance, but generally a more professional look is desired. Make sure your personal hygiene is up-to-par and dress appropriately (on the conservative side), being careful about displaying any tattoos, or non-ear piercings. Dress one-level above the position you are seeking.
· Stay Professional – Review anything you produce, such as your Resume, Twitter posts, and Facebook/My Space, for inappropriate material. That includes your e-mail address listed on your Resume. Don’t forget to have a basic, professional voice message if leaving a phone number with that option to the Recruiter.
· Show Enthusiasm – Often, the positions at this level lack the perceived glamour of other positions. All jobs are crucial, however, to the success of a company. Displaying some enthusiasm and interest in the position may differentiate you from your competition, who may just be viewing this as a way to get some work hours. Since many of the entry-level positions consist of customer service, your enthusiasm will probably be seen by the Hiring Manager as a good sign of your skills in this area.
· Be Timely – In these types of positions, reliability/attendance is a crucial attribute. Show your prospective Manager that you will be reliable, by always being on-time for all appointments.
· Be Able to Pass any Tests – By this, I mean the background and/or drug screen. Many companies will do one or the other (or both), especially if you are handling money. Illegal drug use is never a good option, but especially when on the job hunt. Remember, some substances can stay in your system for over 30 days.
· Be Flexible – In many situations, the positions available are the least glamorous roles or schedules. Generally, the more preferred slots were taken by those already within the company. Be open to working the night shift or split days, and you may give yourself a big advantage over others with schedule limitations.
· Stay Focused – In the not too distant past, you would walk into a location and be able to obtain, rather quickly, an entry-level position. Now, not only is it more difficult to be considered, but the likelihood that you will be regretted once interviewed, has increased. Especially, if you are now competing with individuals who have some skills, education, or experience that you lack. The current economy has ballooned the entry-level workforce with people who used to be in much more elevated positions. Stay focused and positive! Don’t get down on yourself.
One final thought is that temporary positions can be a great way to gain entry into an organization, or to obtain quick employment. The pages of WNYJOBS.com contain many agencies that have immediate openings, and are looking for you to apply, in order to make the placement.
As always, best of luck in your job search.