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How to Find Your First Job

Finding your first jobBy Nisa Chitakasem, co-founder of career consultancy Position Ignition.

How do you know what job is for you if you’ve never had one before? To identify what you’d both be good at and enjoy, look at your strengths, talents and passions. If you don’t know how to define these, reflecting on your experiences will help. What have you enjoyed doing in the past-at school, with your friends or as a hobby? What were you good at? Once you get clarity in these areas, you can start looking at what careers would be suitable for you.

Research Employer Organisations
Once you’ve researched yourself, you can move on to researching potential employer organisations. Identify which companies you’d like to work for by looking for ones within the distance you’re willing to commute; with the business areas you’re interested; with values that you agree with; and that are looking for the type of value you can bring. Research them by looking at their website, subscribing to their corporate blog, setting up Google Alerts with the company name as the search term, and speaking to people who are in some way involved with the organisation

Update Your CV
It’s, of course, vital to make sure your CV is up to date with your latest qualifications and any work experience-unpaid or paid-relevant to the position you’re applying to. If you think that we’re implying that each CV you send must be targeted to the actual role you’re applying for, you’d be right. Spraying out the same CV en masse to every email address you can get hold of is not the way to conduct a targeted, clear job search. Writing pages and pages for your CV is also not effective or efficient. Keep it concise, including only the information relevant to the job on offer.

Use Your Network
Using your network to find out more about your target career area and to uncover any opportunities or openings can be very valuable. Although it’s useful to get out there and start connecting with people who can be beneficial to you, don’t neglect your existing network. Think you don’t have a network? Your family, friends, teachers and fellow students are your network. Deepen and maintain a relationship with those who know you well. Once you’ve built up a level of intimacy with your closest connections, you’ll be able to ask them for anything, as long as you’re clear about what you’re asking. Read through this 135 Networking Career Tips guide to really get on top of networking.

Stay Positive
Job searching can be overwhelming at any stage in our career, let alone at the start of it. One of the key things to remember is to stay positive. This means setting realistic expectations and being patient. It takes effort-and can take a fair amount of time-for anyone to find a role suitable for them, so don’t panic if you don’t find the right job right away.

It’s natural to feel like you’re doing something wrong if your job search doesn’t automatically go the way you hoped. There is plenty of advice and guidance out there if you’re feeling lost. Many career advisory services and recruiters now have corporate, career advice blogs that are filled with takeaway job search tips and inspirational career change content. There are also a number of good value eBooks with creative and useful advice on these topics, such as the Position Ignition eBooks ‘How to Get the Job You Want’ and ‘100 Essential Career Change Tips’.

For personalised, one-to-one support, consider working with a professional career guide. By getting to know you well, a good career guide will be able to give you feedback, advice and guidance that can lead you to your ideal first job.

About the Author:
Nisa Chitakasem, is the co-founder of
Position Ignition – a team of career consultants and career coaches dedicated to helping professionals with their executive career change, job search, career choices and career direction. Visit them at:, drop Nisa an email at: or follow their Career Change Blog.

Position Ignition also offers a range of workshops in September – around networking, career change, selling yourself and job searching. CareerBuilder readers get a £10 discount with the code CBUILDER.


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  1. From How to find your first job | The Corner Office | Free Job Search Info | Jul 18, 2011

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