The First Job Search: Do’s and Don’ts

Getting your first job can be one of the most exciting (but also nerve-wracking) experiences. You’re finally joining the world of “working adults”. Perhaps you know exactly what you want to do with your life, or maybe you’re still trying to figure it out. But once you start working, it’s not just about keeping your job, it’s about building a career, and doing something enjoyable every day. Whether you’ve just started your search or have been interviewing for a while, here are four things you should do (and three things you shouldn’t) when conducting your first job search.

The DO’s:

DO: Take the time to review your resume.

When you apply for a job, your resume is the first thing an employer sees. Take the time to update your education, past work experiences and relevant internships. It’s always a good idea to have multiple people review it too, so you can be sure to catch any mistakes and get feedback on how to improve it.

DO: Be punctual.  

Most interviewers pay attention to the punctuality of the candidate. It’s extremely important to make sure you’re on time to your interviews, whether they are over the phone or in person. Doing so shows your potential employer that you’re punctual, reliable and trustworthy.

DO: Set up a professional LinkedIn profile.

Making sure you have a professional online presence is essential. Chances are, your recruiters and hiring managers will check your profile to see if you’d fit within their company and it’s an important tool for networking. Making sure you maintain your profile by keeping it up to date is important as LinkedIn also functions as a job search engine and business directory.

DO: Find the best job search sites for your search and enable job alerts.

Job boards like ZipRecruiter, Monster and Indeed are popular websites. They allow companies to post jobs they have and get applicants working for them. If you’re having trouble finding a position that matches your skillset, try creating a profile on one of these pages. You can also enable notifications, so you’re able to see when a new job gets posted that matches your search criteria.

The DON’Ts:

DON’T: Wait for companies to make a job offer.

Some companies take several months to make a hiring decision, so even if you feel that the job is a perfect fit for you, if you haven’t received an offer or started negotiations to accept the job, you should continue to search and interview for other jobs. You never know when the perfect opportunity might come along.

DON’T: Consider every job offer.

While it might be tempting to take the first offer you receive, trust your gut. There is nothing wrong about turning down a job because the salary is below market rate, the benefits don’t work for you, or the company culture is a bad fit. Being a bit selective in your job search can ensure that you end up in a position you love.

DON’T: Get discouraged.

It’s easy to get discouraged when looking for a job. If you’re not hearing back from the companies that you’re applying to, it can make you feel like your search will never end. It might take a bit before you receive your first job offer, but you never know when you might land your dream job. So even if applying for jobs is discouraging, don’t let that stop you — keep applying! Remember, persistency pays off!

If you’re in the market for finding your first job, remember there are a lot of different resources, and a staffing agency like The Reserves Network can help. Whether you’re looking for an opportunity to gain more job experience, learn a new skill, or search for a full-time position, contact us today. Find a branch near you by visiting