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A How-to Guide to Getting Your First Job

Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)

Many people of all age groups dread the thought of getting a job and maintaining it. Not because they do not want to work, but because they do not know how to start. It’s an understandable, common fear that everyone has had when trying to find one. Where do I start? How should I apply for jobs? How do I get past the interview? These are all questions that are probably racing through the mind of any aspiring employee, especially if they have never been introduced to the workplace before. With that being said, it is nothing to fear, and once you read this article, you will be stationed at a job in no time at all.

First, make sure that the correct papers are filled out. This includes a resume and cover letter and it will be the first thing the company sees when hiring a new employee. Make sure they are honest, but also paint the potential employee in a good light.

Next, choose a wide range of jobs to apply for. This may seem obvious, but too often a soon-to-be employee will dedicate themselves too much to a single application, and if that application is rejected, they feel hopeless. After all, that was their best, and if they can’t land a job there, what chance do they have anywhere else? This belief, while understandable, is a misconception. Applying to many places that you are interested in joining increases the likelihood that one of them will respond and accept an interview.

An aspiring employee should not put all their hopes and dreams on one application, because if it fails, that employee may feel hopeless. In conclusion, try and apply for many jobs, and remember to copy and paste where you can.

So, let’s say the application gets accepted and the company in question agrees to an interview. This is good, and it means only one step left until that seat is filled. The next part of the process in the interview.

In order to make the most out of your interview, you will want to be prepared to answer questions such as: “Why do you want to work for our company?”, “What do you believe you will offer to our company?”, to “How well do you work in groups? Alone?” These questions can be easily answered, and as long as the answers provided are honest, while also painting the interviewee in a good light, this should pass without issue.

The harder part comes in a story-based question. These questions are not really questions, but rather prompts, such as: “Tell me about a time that you overcame hardship” or “Tell me about a time you had to work well in a group of people.” These prompts are asking for the interviewee to tell a story, and it can be a huge opportunity to paint them in a good light. Make sure to be honest, and also try and prepare stories in advance, and do not be afraid to ask for a moment to think. Once the talking starts, make sure to avoid stuttering and accidental holes in the story, and assuming they are listening the whole time, that is a lot of credibility that has been built up with the employer.

Finally, the last thing to do is to remember to be patient, and soon enough, the job offers will come flying in.