The search for an entry-level position is very competitive. New job seekers, recent grads, and people changing careers means that there could be hundreds of resumes sent for a single opening. Simply sending out your resume to different job postings is not an efficient or effective way to land an interview.
So how do you get ahead and stand out from the competition? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll show you five awesome tips to help you land that entry-level position.
1. Network, Network and Network!
Networking is the best way to find a job yet this is where so many job seekers go wrong. Job seekers tend to undermine how vast their network is. You should be reaching out to friends, family members and old colleagues to see if they can refer you somewhere. Most jobs filled today are through some sort of referral and hiring managers tend to consider referrals over regular applicants.
Remember that when you reach out to a handful of people, you’re potentially reaching out to hundreds as those people know people and so on. Get active on LinkedIn and start reaching out, you’d be surprised at how many people will be willing to help you. Many employees also receive bonuses for referring someone.
2. Send a Cover Letter
There is a ton of bad advice out there that a cover letter is no longer needed. The truth is that some hiring managers don’t give much attention to it where others may put a lot of emphasis on it. You never know who will or will not care so you should be sending a tailored cover letter to each position unless they specifically state not to send one.
A cover letter for an entry-level position is even more important as there probably isn’t much content on your resume. Word the cover letter in a way where your past experience, education and skills are relevant to the position you’re targeting. Here is a good article on how to write a cover letter with little to no experience.
3. Use Career Resources
There are many free job search resources which many job seekers ignore. Many college graduates make the mistake of not utilizing their school’s career resources. Many employers have connections to schools where they hire graduates for entry-level jobs. Reach out to the career services center and see how they can help you.
You should also look out for any upcoming career fairs at the school as many employers attend them to find and hire candidates. You should also check the official government job search website for your state. There are many jobs and resources there to help you land a job.
4. Contact Companies Directly
Browse companies you want to work for and search for the hiring manager in charge. You should then reach out with your resume and ask if they have anything available. This is a good strategy for two reasons.
When you reach out directly to the hiring manager, it shows that you put in time and effort into inquiring about a position with the company. This shows the hiring manager that you want to work for the company and it could really give you a leg up over the other candidates.
Second, companies spent thousands of dollars for each new hire as they pay out commissions to staffing organizations and recruiters. Reaching out directly allows them to bypass those expenses. Make sure you keep the email subject line simple to increase the chances of the hiring managers actually reading it. No fluff, get straight to the point. (E.G. John Smith resume for entry-level accounting position).
You can see some more tips and examples of good email subject lines when submitting your resume here.
5. Stay Organized
Keep your job search organized by setting aside a few hours a day specifically dedicated to it. You should also keep track of the jobs you’ve applied to and follow-up with each submission. Reach out after a week and tell the hiring manager who you are and the position you’re following up on. Keeping a record with Excel or any other tool will ensure you’re following up and doing so at the right time.
Landing an entry-level position today takes some strategy and hustle. You should be applying to as many jobs as you’re qualified for but keep in mind the tips we mentioned above. Most importantly, don’t forget to network as it’s the fastest and easiest way to land that interview. Good luck with your job search!