Have you spent hours applying to entry-level jobs only to hear, “You don’t have enough experience for the position"?
Why do they call it entry-level and then expect you to have years of experience?
We can help you there.
Two struggles of the interview process that we will break down are:
1: I am applying for jobs online but I am not getting any interviews.
2: I have had a couple of interviews but I am not getting any job offers.
So how exactly do you apply for an entry-level job?
Landing an Entry-Level Job Interview
Read on to find the three best tips to help you land an interview for an entry-level position.
1. Find Your Niche
The first thing any entry-level professional needs to do is to find their niche.
When you find your niche, you find that quality that makes you stand out.
Everybody is unique.
We've all had life experiences that are different from one another.
So, what is your niche?
- Are you an athlete?
- An A+ student?
- Are you great at fixing things?
- Are you the type of person that everybody wants to be around?
- Maybe you are just a grumpy old man looking for your very first job at the age of 93.
Whatever it is, you are 100% unique and I promise that there is something about you that someone else wishes they possessed.
Once you have found your niche, it is time to write about it.
2. Craft a Resume
What is the main item that enables you to showcase your skills and expertise to someone looking to hire?
You got it, your resume!
Now, I know that resumes are a pain.
If you are not the best resume writer, you can opt to go online and do a quick search on How to Write a Professional Resume.
If you still don’t want to learn how to do one on your own, you can always hire a resume writing service to do the work for you.
The bottom line is if you are an entry-level professional looking to apply for entry-level jobs, you will have a harder time trying to fill up that resume.
Assuming you have little to no work experience, you are going to need to write about your niche!
Instead of a “Job Experience” section, maybe you can have a “Project” or “Personal Experience” section.
Depending on the job you are going for, this experience will vary.
Here is an example of some skills you could use if you were a recent college graduate seeking a career in finance with no paid work experience.
- Finance Major who excelled in all finance courses.
- Responsible for managing personal finances throughout college without accumulating unnecessary debt.
- Assisted other students with financial aid paperwork.
- Member of the Financial Management Association (FMA) Club.
- Applied and qualified for student loans, grants, and financial aid.
- Proficient in Excel, JMP, and PowerPoint.
- Volunteer with Cancer Society, collecting and managing donations.
All of this can be considered experience although it is not from a paid job.
If you have had an internship or part-time work, that is even better!
Perhaps you are changing careers and realize that doing so will require you to start in an entry-level role.
In this case, you will have a little bit easier time with this since you already have some work experience (relevant or not).
3. Be Realistic
One of the worst things someone could do when attempting to apply for entry-level jobs is being unrealistic with the job you are going to get.
Sorry, you probably aren’t going to land a six-figure income right out of college.
I know, I know, I just crushed your dreams and goals, but someone had to.
Remember, I am here to help.
The average salary for someone with a Bachelor’s Degree, fresh out of college, is just over $50,000.
If the job you are applying to says they are looking for someone with five years of paid experience in X industry, don't apply.
It is most likely a waste of time to apply to that job if you have zero years of experience.
Pretty simple, right?
Now that you have realistic expectations, you have discovered your niche, and you have crafted a professional resume, it is time to start applying for jobs.
If you are unsure how to apply for entry-level jobs online, take a look at How to Apply for Jobs Online.
Or check out Where to Apply for Jobs Online.
Assuming you know how and where to apply for jobs online and have begun to do so, I will move on to the second struggle of the interview process.
Landing an Entry-Level Job Offer
If you have mastered the steps listed above and have begun to apply for entry-level jobs, you are most likely getting calls about different job offers.
You are already 80% of the way there.
Did you know that, on average, only 20% of the people who apply to jobs ever get a callback for the job? Here's some advice.
Landing an entry-level job offer can be tough.
One thing that you should be doing once you get a call from a recruiter or hiring manager is embellishing a bit.
If you think that the guy who got the last job instead of you didn’t embellish, you are gravely mistaken, my friend.
What do I mean by embellishing?
I do not mean you should lie; that would be immoral.
I do mean you should have some confidence!
Let's say there are two people with 100% equal skill sets.
The hiring manager asks, “How would you rank your ability to speak with customers?”
Job Seeker A says: I am an absolute pro. I speak with customers in my sleep. When I wake up in the morning, I am already thinking about new great way to speak to customers.
Job Seeker B says: I like to think that I am pretty good at speaking with customers.
Who do you think is going to give this hiring manager more peace of mind?
The guy who is all about the customer or the guy who thinks he is pretty good?
All jokes aside, if you are not confident in your abilities to do the job, then how can you expect the recruiter or hiring manager to be confident in you?
2. Show Personality and Excitement
Woohoo! Yippee-ki-yay! Heck yes, brother!
Yep, I went there.
This is the kind of excitement that you should bring to your interview.
I do not mean literally scream these things at the guy/gal giving you a call, but inside you should be fired-up!
Not just because you are among the rare 20% getting a phone call for an interview.
But also because if you are not excited about the job you are getting a call for, you can guarantee that the person calling you will feel unappreciated.
They might even feel insulted at a "blah" response.
It is crucial to do everything in your power to show this hiring manager that you are pumped up about their company.
The person calling you chose to make a career with this company.
Show them that you think they are the coolest thing since crushed ice for being a part of that company.
With just a tiny bit of embellishment and the right amount of excitement, you are going to meet these hiring managers’ minds!
Closing Thoughts: Get Help from the Pros
If you'd prefer to leave your resume in the hands of professionals, we can help.
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Job searching is hard enough as it is. The last thing you want to do is risk being passed up for your dream job because of an inferior resume.
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