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Entry-Level Jobs for College Students

How to find an entry-level job as a college student, even without work experience.

Entry-level jobs are a great way to kickstart your career!

Just as their title suggests, entry-level jobs are all about helping you build great foundational skills. In entry-level jobs you can network with coworkers, find career mentors, and figure out where exactly your career passions lie. There’s something new to learn every day, which makes working an entry-level job so much more exciting and stimulating.

Entry-level jobs are also great places to assess what roles in your industry you’re particularly interested in. Don’t be afraid to try out different roles that might not align completely with your major–you could find something exciting in another applicable job if you do! Diversify the companies you apply to and the roles you hold to expand your vision.

What is an entry-level job?

An entry-level job is a position that requires minimal to no previous experience in a professional field. That also makes it easier to break into other entry-level jobs in various professions–just meet the basic qualifications listed on the posting and show your hunger to learn.

What are the best entry-level jobs?

Depending on the industry you want to work in later, consider applying to entry-level jobs that will give you foundational skills to help with those bigger jobs later. For example, if your dream job is to be a software engineer, then consider being a coding tutor or having an entry-level IT job at school. Or, perhaps you’re a journalism major trying to use your skills in marketing; why not try both and see where you’re more inclined?

And if you don’t have it all mapped out (which is valid and more common than you may think), then taking an administrative or customer-service-oriented job is a great way to build soft skills while you decide!

Five great general entry-level jobs:

  1. Customer Service Representative
  2. Administrative Assistant
  3. Social Media Assistant
  4. Student IT Technician
  5. Research Assistant

How much do entry-level jobs get paid?

The pay of entry level jobs depends on what the role is, where you live, and if you’re full-time or part-time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has broken wages down by state here for your specific role’s salary.

How do I find an entry-level job?

Four ways to find an entry-level job:

  1. Handshake: search your area for “entry-level jobs near me” using Handshake’s easy job filtering feature
  2. Your university: browse your school’s job listing page or ask your professors if they know of any openings for TAs or research assistants
  3. Personal network: reach out to classmates, friends, or upperclassmen in other majors and see if they have any advice or connections
  4. Your Handshake network: search on Handshake for other students and alumni who have had jobs that you’re interested in who can answer your questions about their job, how they liked it, and how to go about applying to something similar

What should I look for in an entry-level job?

Before you apply to your entry-level job consider the following questions:

  • Can you work there part-time or full-time?
  • What industry skills do you want to learn more about?
  • Do you want your job to be remote or not?
  • Does the company’s values align with your own?

What experience do I need for an entry-level job?

The majority of entry-level jobs will not require a long list of previous experience. Most just want to know that you are conscious about how to translate your skills and characteristics to their position and that you're passionate about whatever they’re about.

However, occasionally you might come across an “entry-level” job listing that asks for applicants to have more specific training. So, why do some entry level jobs require experience? In this case, it would be easy to continue scrolling along and be discouraged at the things that you don’t think you have. But if the role is something that you just can’t get out of your head, then use the experience you have from school, internships, or volunteering to get your foot in the door.

What should I put on my resume?

Many places hiring entry-level employees are looking for similar keywords in resumes, but what makes the right candidate is listing the skills that make you stand out.

List your past experiences

Even if you’ve never had a job in your field before, you definitely have skills from past experiences you can offer. From mentorships, internships, to school projects that you did–there are always skills you can pull from your life that apply.

Soft skills that might make you a better candidate on your resume:

  • Quick learner
  • Natural leader
  • Organized
  • Accountable
  • Detail oriented
  • Collaborative

Technical skills

If this won’t be your first job, then you may have some technical skills from previous jobs to add to your resume. It’s always a good idea to mention that you have strong industry specific skills, know how to manage projects, or have had experience leading and also being a teamplayer.

What should I write in my cover letter?

Besides your stellar resume, your cover letter is another chance to really sell yourself as a future employee.

Three things you should include in your cover letter:

  1. Previous experiences and how they apply to the role you are applying for
  2. Why you’re passionate/interested in working with them
  3. Specific examples of how you could contribute to their mission

Check out this article with proper formatting techniques and more in depth information about the perfect cover letter.

What is a good entry-level job?

What makes your entry-level job “good” is how it helps you grow professionally and how much it builds your character. In the end, what you get out of the job and how it will help you down the line is a huge factor.

What does “entry-level job” mean?

Entry-level job refers to a position that requires minimal to no previous experience in a professional field.

What are the easiest jobs to get with no experience?

Four easy jobs to get with no experience:

  1. Cashier
  2. Customer Service Representative
  3. Administrative Assistant
  4. Data Entry Agent

How can I start my career with no experience?

Everyone starts somewhere. Artists, writers, engineers, lawyers, accountants–any job role you could possibly think of. In the early years they spend hours trying to figure out where they could fit and what jobs they could get with no experience. Entry-levels jobs are the best way to get the ball rolling on your path to success.

Five ways to start your career with no experience:

  1. Work a convenient part-time job that will help you build soft skills like customer service, communication, and teamwork
  2. Volunteer with organizations you feel passionate about and build strong relationships with the leaders and members there
  3. Create a resume or update yours if you already have one
  4. Research possible certifications that your field values and take a course or two on them in your free time
  5. Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t come alone right away; you have so much value to contribute and share

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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