Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tips to Landing an Entry Level Job

You have no experience in a particular industry but you need a job. You don't have a job to give you experience in that industry. So you can’t find a job.

Sound familiar?

Don't give up - everyone has some type of experience through part-time jobs, life experiences, school, civic organizations, or volunteer work to help them land an entry level job. Your biggest obstacle is to identify the skills and knowledge you have gained from these types of activities and position them on your resume as qualified experience.

Volunteer organizations, educational activities, family and household management, and vacation planning all give you some type of experience. Think about the skills and knowledge it took to do these things, and you'll begin to see how much experience you actually do have!

Volunteer Organizations
Don't discount or disregard the experience you may have gained from volunteering. Including information about activities you lead or participated in related to planning, advertising, organizing, fund raising, writing, speaking, or chairing can put you head and shoulders above the competition. And don't forget the value of teamwork in these situations. Volunteer organizations typically require creative thinkers who can work independently.

Education and Extracurricular Activities
Finishing school is a time when many people are frustrated and confused about the job search. Creativity is key here - consider any part-time jobs you held while in school, clubs or groups in which you participated in or offices you held, school events you organized and planned, sports events or clubs in which you were an active participant or member, and other school activities. These types of activities provided an opportunity for you to utilize your planning, organizational, communications, and creative skills. Use this experience to your advantage on your resume.

Clubs or groups you've been actively engaged in may have given you more experience than you previously imagined. Being involved in group dynamics, being an active team player or leader, and participating in community activities all provide different levels of experience that can be described skillfully on your resume.

Family and Household Management
Raising a family can provide you with a tremendous level of experience in many areas including financial planning, organizing, event planning, negotiating, decision-making, contractor or vendor management, and time management. Multi-tasking and coordinating services and activities for several people simultaneously is an art in the business world!

Caring for your elderly parents also positions you well. You have sharpened and honed your skills in communication, geriatric medicine, health and benefits management, physician interaction, negotiations, planning, organizing, financial management, and directing. You've learned to multi-task and balance multiple priorities by managing two households and your decision-making skills are heightened as a result of this opportunity. Businesses are always looking for people experienced in this type of situation.

Travel Planning and Time Management
Planning a vacation for your family takes lots of planning and organization. It also requires research and cost comparison in most instances. Whether you've traveled nationally or internationally, you've learned much about organizing schedules, time management, travel planning, and financial management. And international travel broadens your horizons to the multi-cultural differences across the world and gives you a broader perspective on different cultures. If you've learned a second language, that’s even better! Include this on your resume.

Investigating job opportunities when you don't believe you have experience can be a challenge, but when you evaluate your past life and the many things you have participated in or planned, you will identify experience that is valuable to many employers. An employer who is looking for an innovative, creative, experienced, and ambitious individual will see the potential in you!

Entry level jobs don't always mean you have no experience. They simply mean that the position you are seeking is entry level for a particular industry or company, and the experience you actually have may be much more than you originally thought you had.

Identify your transferable skills from other jobs. Combine this experience with your education and life experiences for the most impressive resume and launch a job search that will land that perfect job!

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