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5 Tips for Searching for Your Perfect First Job

Real Handshake success stories share their advice for the entry-level job search.

Everyone has to start somewhere in their career, and it’s okay to not know where exactly you want to go or what you want to do in the long run. But gaining some first hand experience can lessen the pressure and aid you in future pursuits.

Here are five tips for getting your perfect position, straight from Handshake student success stories:

1. Be Open

Keep your eyes peeled for jobs that might expand your work experience even further!

“I would be open to all the possibilities out there. [My] position at the start wasn’t something that I thought would be a good fit for me, but then I took that opportunity to apply and just see if maybe there was more to it than what was written down in the job description.” (Maritsa Restrepo, University of Georgia)

2. Complete Your Handshake Profile

While recruiters are perusing your profile, it makes the process easier when you have fully fleshed out your experience — giving them the whole scope of what you can offer as an employee.

“Really just fully set [your profile] up, make sure to have your resume on there... make sure your profile’s totally set up when it comes to the Handshake website.” (Richard Riehl, JMU)

Handshake tip: To get started, follow these easy steps to complete your profile!

3. Apply, Apply, Apply!

It’s easy to get discouraged when rejections come back, but stay focused on your own worth and the right position will present itself.

“Apply to as many things as you can, just because you don’t hear [back] from everybody; they get so much volume in terms of resumes from different students.” (Jessica DeMaio, Pace University)

4. Chat With Experienced Mentors

Insight on your dream job never hurts. You get to build relationships with seasoned professionals while also learning trade secrets about a position you might hold one day.

“If [you’re] interviewing for a position, talk to someone or find someone with that same position and really ask them their questions. Like what does the day to day look like? How did you get to where you are now?” (Taylor Wong, University of San Diego)

Handshake tip: In the Handshake app, you can also utilize the peer-to-peer Q&A feature to get honest feedback from other users about specific job opportunities and employers.

5. Search Your Own Community

While Handshake is great for getting in touch with companies, it’s also lucrative to search around the great relationships that you’ve already built up around you.

“Talk to your friends, family, professors and anyone who will listen about your job search. You’d be surprised what other people have gone through trying to find the right jobs for themselves.” (Brittney Butler, University of Georgia)

Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.