Tips for Finding an Entry Level Job

Portrait of a young african businesswoman
••• Tom Werner / Getty Images

Are you a recent, or soon-to-be college grad who’s ready to settle into that first entry level job? Or maybe you’re thinking about making a mid-life career change and realize you need to go back to an entry level job and work your way up from there? Whether you’re just starting out or a middle-aged career changer, you probably need a little help getting started. If so, read these tips for finding an entry level job.

Job Search Tips for College Grads

If you’re a college student or alumni, regardless of when you graduated, the first step is to visit, call or email your institution's Career Office. The staff will be eager to help you through every step of the job search process. You’ll need to set up an appointment with the office to get started.

Career Office Services

You’ll probably start with a self-assessment (figuring out the role your skills, values, and interests will play in your work related choices) and then you’ll be able to explore career options to decide what you want to do. You’ll also get help writing a resume and cover letter, and the staff will offer advice for finding your perfect job.

Your career office can also put you in touch with other alumni in your field who can help in a variety of ways, like informational interviews, job shadowing, and networking. Don’t overlook this service because building a network is essential for career success.

Most career offices will provide you with personal career counseling, job and internship listings, employment programs, career resources, and other services available for both students and alumni.

But what if you're not affiliated with a college or university or they are far away from where you live now?

The best thing to do is check with your state's Department of Labor to see what services they provide for job seekers or consider hiring a career coach or counselor to help.

Starting a Job Search

The staff at the career office will help make sure you’re ready for the next step, which is to get going on a job search. But what does that involve?

According to recent surveys conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) employers continue to predict an increase in both the number of job opportunities and the starting salaries for graduating seniors.

Employers canvassed in the survey stated they will be seeking candidates from a variety of majors including liberal arts in addition to technology and business majors, which are at the top of the list.

For college students about to enter the workforce, there are a variety of jobs sites dedicated to entry level jobs. These job sites offer several resources such as a searchable database of job listings, a place to post your resume so prospective employers might find you, and helpful career advice.

So, get started. Post your resume, search for jobs that fit your skillset and qualifications and fill out those applications.

Changing Careers and Starting Over

Remember that it’s never too late to begin a new career or even start your first career.

No matter what your age you can find the perfect entry level job.

Many graduates will take a year or so off after college before looking for a "real" job. Look at these 15 things that you can do that will add value to your resume prior to setting down into a traditional position in the workplace.

Many women, and some men, take time off to raise their kids. In fact, there are plenty of stay-at-home moms (and dads) who wait to enter or re-enter the workforce until their kids are grown. Review these tips for stay at home moms and dads who are ready to go back to work.

And don't forget mid-life career changers and retirees who start a second or third career in their later years! If this is you, you’re not alone. The days of having one job are long gone. In fact, the average worker changes positions 10 - 15 times during their working life.

So, don't hesitate to think about what you might want to do the next time around. Brush up your resume and get searching.

What to do next: How to Land Your First Job After College | How to Start a Job Search