Getting a job out right of high-school, college or university can sometimes be a tough task. An entry-level job is perhaps one of the best positions to take on after graduation. Although the pay is typically poor, the experience you gain is invaluable and can help you get your foot in the door to a better position. However, before applying for an entry level job you must think about what separates you from other young and hungry candidates.

1. Expand your Experience

An entry level position can be a bit misleading because it seems you need little or no experience to apply. In rare instances that’s the case, however companies are still very much interested in candidates with experience. Even if you don’t have a lot of particular experience that they are looking for, it is important to find connections between your past jobs and the job you are applying for. Sometimes sitting down and looking at your experience, you will be pleasantly surprised to find how much you can bring to the table.

2. Accomplishments are Key

If you are a graduate, you need to focus on accomplishments that will help you get that entry-level job. We’re you treasurer of your school’s business club and balanced the books successfully? That’s great! You need to list the accomplishment(s) and like your job experiences find meaningful connections between them and the job your applying for. Be detailed and add quantitative data to show to make your case solid on why you are the best candidate for the job.

3. Small can be Actually be BIG

Even if you believe something that you have done won’t translate well onto your resume you need to look at it as a popped corn metaphor. At some point it was a small kernal–with the application of heat it turned into popping corn which is several times bigger than its original size. Now look at the ‘kernals’ of your past jobs, projects and accomplishments. Dig deeper into them. Pull those little kernals out and really roast them and then you will find awesome experiences that can definitely take your resume to the next level.

4. Volunteer & Internships Reflect who you are

These positions were unpaid, yet they can carry your resume and separate you from the competition. It reflects that you took time to help people/organizations that you care about! Or it reflects that you wanted to learn more about your profession or craft. These types of positions show your character as one that is sound, caring and filled with a thirst to learn.

5. Amp up your Skills

What have you learned from your experiences? Companies are looking for employees with hard-won skill sets that can help them build their organizations. Have you gained managerial/leadership skills from a volunteer position or an athletic association? Include those in your coverletter and resume. Companies want and need to see your skills in play in real world senerios.

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