Tips for first time job seekers

posted in: Job Seekers | 0

Your first job search can be scary. You may not know what you need to do, or event how to get started. If you’re struggling with your first job search, we can help. We have FREE programs and services designed to support job seekers at any stage of their job search. If you need help getting started, contact us today.

In the meantime, we’ve put together some helpful tips and tricks that you can use for your first job search.


A resume is a short document that outlines your past work experience, education, current work goals, skills, assets, and strengths. It is the primary document that employers have to get a sense of who you are, what your qualifications are, and whether you are a good fit for their organization. There are a few different formats you can use for your resume, but if it’s your first job search, a functional resume will probably work best for you.

Basic elements of a functional resume

Name Use the name you wish to be known by in a professional environment.
Email Use an email with your name; avoid inappropriate email addresses.
Phone number Rule #1: Pick up the phone! The phone is the fastest way an employer can get in touch with you and will mostly likely use this method over others if they want to ask you in for an interview.
Address The employer will want to know that you’re in the area and can get to work easily.
Skills and experience Although you may not have been employed before, you can show you are capable of performing the job by highlighting your skills as applied in other areas of your experience using keywords.


Keywords are words that indicate a match between your employable skills and the skills required to do the job you’re applying for. Your resume should include examples of ways you’ve used these skills in the past, including:

  • Any relevant work or volunteer experience
  • School activities and projects

Skills Examples

  • Able to accomplish tasks in a timely manner ensuring that priority is given as necessary
  • Excellent ability to relate and communicate with people
  • Ability to work well independently or as part of a team
  • Basic First Aid with CPR certification


Go into every job opportunity understanding the number of hours they’re asking someone to work. Letting the employer know your availability helps them schedule their business accordingly while allowing you to keep your personal commitments.

For example: “Evenings on Mondays / Wednesdays / Fridays, Saturday afternoons, and all-day Sunday.” You will most likely not be scheduled every possible available day; this is just an indication of when you could be reliably available to work.

Job interviews

The job interview is an important part of your job search. It’s likely the first time the employer is meeting you and they’re probably trying to figure out if you’ll be a good fit–which can make it a nerve-wracking experience. These tips may help guide you through your first job interviews.

Interview preperation

  • Do some physical activity in the morning to get your energy up for the day.
  • Wear appropriate attire for the job you’re interviewing.
  • Golf course? Wear khakis and golf shirt.
  • Server at a restaurant? Wear a sensible black dress or black pants and a button-up shirt.
  • Big-box store or retail? Wear khakis/nice jeans, and a button-up shirt/golf shirt.
  • Eat a good meal on the day of the interview, but don’t eat anything that is too potent-smelling!
  • Understand your commuting time and arrive at least 15 minutes early for the interview.
  • Make a great first impression with a good, confident hand-shake with eye contact and a smile!


Answer in full sentences by paraphrasing the question in your answer. Try to avoid answers that don’t give the interviewer any new information, like, “I don’t know.” If you don’t have any real-life on-the-job experience, pull from experiences at school, on a project, or on a team etc. If you can’t think of anything in your personal experience, tell the interviewer what you would do in that situation.

For more information on how we can help with your first job search, contact us today.