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Getting That First Job

This article provides four career questions to guide job seekers get their first job.

Career Question No. 1: What Kind of Job Do You Want?

Based on your interests and studies, what kind of job would you like to do? In deciding on the kind of job to go for, you may like to think about the things you enjoyed doing at school, TAFE, university, or extra-curricular activities.

Career Question No. 2: What Can You Do?

Based on your studies, hobbies and extra-curricular activities, what are your knowledge, skills and abilities in relation to the world of work? These should be highlighted on the front page of your resume, along with examples of each. The balance of your resume can list any part time/casual jobs, work experience, voluntary work, committee or community involvements and education. If you have been on the school debating team, or have received any awards during your studies, you may like to highlight them in your resume. You may also like to highlight any languages spoken. You can also include hobbies and career goals, but exclude personal details such as age, DOB, marital status, or health. All your contact information should be included on each page of your resume.

Career Question No. 3: What Positions are Currently Available? And, What Do They Involve?

Many positions are formally advertised. So, a good place to start is to search online or in the employment sections of the newspapers. It is of benefit to find out as much as you can about each potential position. You can find out about them by visiting the company's website, or asking for a copy of the position description. The information that you obtain will help you determine whether or not you are interested in the position. You can then send your resume with a cover letter to formally apply to those that are of interest. Be sure to use your cover letter to highlight your capabilities and how they will enable you to do the job.

Career Question No. 4: What Else Can You Do?

As a beginning job seeker, you may find it of benefit to speak to friends or family already in the field. You may also be able to speak to your parents' friends and colleagues. Keep in touch with your contacts and let them know how you are getting on. It may also be of benefit to seek their advice on how to improve your chances of getting a job. Whilst it is not helpful to ask them directly for a job, you are allowed to be delightfully surprised if they pass your name onto potential employers or create something for you themselves.

At the end of the day, remember that finding work IS a full time job. There are likely to be many 'knock backs' before you find something. When you do, you may be faced with several job offers at once. In the meantime, if you are still unsure what to apply for, or how to put your resume together, come and see Dr. Abramson. And for the rest, keep smiling and happy hunting.

Career Quarters®

Our newsletter, Career Quarters®, provides articles, quick tips, food for thought to help you reach your full potential: Professionally. If you would like your own complimentary subscription to this newsletter, feel free to email your request to Dr. Rachel Abramson . You can also follow Dr. Abramson on Facebook or Twitter.

Always deliver more than expected.
Larry Page.

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