Things Every First-Time Jobseeker Should Know

From researching the company to cleaning up social media profiles, simple preparations can make all the difference between securing a job interview and being rejected. Here, Claire Gray, Finance and Operations Director of Bain and Gray, explains more.


Taking those first steps out of education to find a new role is a daunting prospect for any first-time jobseeker.

After all there’s so much to consider, from choosing the right industry for you to enter and penning a cover letter and CV, to filling out application forms and finding the right recruiter to help with the job hunt.

It’s a competitive field for any recent grad or school-leaver, especially within the personal assistant circle where competition can be rife.

However, there are some helpful tips and tricks out there to help those on the hunt for their first job succeed and impress during the hiring process.

For example, it’s crucial for candidates to clean-up their social media profiles before an interview, as according to Flexjobs 93% of recruiters will search for potential employees on social media before an interview.

Meanwhile, incorporating key words from a job ad into your CV or cover letter can make all the difference to securing an interview. Many recruiters and employers have opted to use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to serve as a time-saver to scan through applications – so by incorporating key words, it will ensure first-time jobseekers are moved to the top of the pile.

Of course, as a recent school leaver, first-time job hunters may not have a great deal of experience to add to their CV. However, if you have volunteered with a charity, taken part in work experience or even have an example where you have demonstrated commitment and hard work can all help to land an interview.

There are several other tips that can help in the recruitment process. Read on to find out some more:

  • Be very open on the industries you will look at for your first role. This is a foot in the door opportunity and it’s worth meeting as many companies as you can to get an idea of what suits you best.

  • Add as much work experience as you can to your CV. Employers love candidates who have worked during holidays and have taken on work experience.

  • Always turn up well prepared to interviews – know your CV inside out, do your research on who you are meeting and know why you want the role.

  • Take job specs with a pinch of salt – they rarely make the company come alive and you never really know what the culture/work environment is like until you have seen it for yourself.

  • Do communicate with your consultant – let us know how your interview went, we don’t mind if you don’t think it’s right for you, but it will help your consultant make sure you are being contacted with the right sort of roles for you.

  • Don’t be afraid to sell yourself at interviews and do smile. You have one chance to make an impression.

  • Advice is to turn up five to ten minutes early and no earlier than that for interviews.

  • Give as much of your personality away as possible so the hiring manager can see if you will gel with the company and the team. Plus, answer with full sentences and lots of information about what you have been doing but try to avoid one-word answers. Ensure you keep these answers relevant to the job you are interviewing for and not a dream job down the line.

  • Always keep an open mind and don’t rule the role out if you feel one aspect wasn’t perfect.

  • If you don’t get a job, don’t be discouraged. See the interview as a practice opportunity and remember sometimes it won’t have anything to do with you – it was just straight up not meant to be. The fact it can take time to find a job is alright.

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