The first job is a special moment in a career. Even if you have experienced life in a company through various internships, it is the first time you arrive in a professional environment with employee status. However, your workplace has very specific codes that must be respected. Relationships with colleagues, contract negotiations, work relationships… From the search to the signing of your first employment contract to your taking up your position. In this article, we will share with you all the information you need to ensure that everything goes smoothly for your first job.
1. KNOW THE COMPANY AND YOUR JOB MARKET
As a first job candidate, you can only master what you know! It is imperative to learn about the company before applying: its missions, organization, competitors, history, news… Familiarize yourself with the company. Why should you do this? To reinforce the impact of your cover letter by including factual information about the company and to show your seriousness during the first job interview.
Also, find out about the job market. What are the skills required for a particular first job? What are the average salaries?
2. DESIGN A COHERENT CAREER PATH
Each application has its own CV… Or almost. The idea is to create 2 or 3 CV templates according to your applications for entry-level jobs while structuring a coherent career path. Indeed, all your experiences (jobs, internships…) and skills do not have the same value depending on the position you are applying for! Since a recruiter only spends 30 seconds reading a CV, you must send him or her a version that is best suited to the first job offer.
3. WRITE A PERSONALIZED COVER LETTER
The cover letter serves to prove that you have understood the recruiter’s needs, the challenges of a position and that you are ready to meet them. It must be convincing in 3 parts:
“You”: this part describes the context of the first job offer and explains the objective reasons for your application,
“me”: this paragraph explains how your skills and your project are specifically in line with the requirements of the position,
“We”: a summary of your letter, this part sets out the collaboration project, what you will do together.
You don’t need to rewrite the cover letter from scratch, but changing a few sentences in the “you” and “us” sections is essential to make you stand out (for example, mention a product or project of the company).
4. PREPARING FOR THE JOB INTERVIEW
5. ASSERT YOUR MOTIVATION
Make your motivation your great asset compared to more experienced candidates for the entry-level job interview. An application must always be personalized: standardized answers should therefore be avoided.
Furthermore, take the trouble to follow up on all your applications for the entry-level job by following up with each recruiter. To facilitate your follow-up, keep a daily update of a dashboard (on Excel for example). List all the companies contacted and the applications sent (references, entry-level job titles, and dates sent). You will then be able to know which companies to follow up with and when (generally wait between 7 and 10 days).
And don’t forget to thank your contact person each time for their time. No matter how long your search takes, don’t lose confidence. Stay professional, determined, and positive!
6. WORK HARD DURING YOUR FIRST JOB
Your first job will not lock you into a sector or a profession as long as you know how to clearly motivate your change of direction and reassure the recruiter of your motivation for the new position and your ability to learn. It is preferable to stay two or three years in a first position to master it.
And above all, take advantage of this first job, where you will learn so many useful things for the rest of your career. Now that you know you will have the option to move in another direction, you can focus 100% on this first adventure!