A Step-by-Step Guide to your First Job Search

Congratulations on your decision to change! Now it’s time for the next big hurdle – finding your first job or next job. There’s no need to despair or worry, because we have you covered with our 10-step guide.

Are you ready? Read on:

1. Create a resume.

For fresh graduates, a resume can be daunting because you have little to no “real world” work experience. In its place, you can mention volunteer work and internships, noting how they fit the job you’re applying for. Also, emphasise your soft skills and passion and enthusiasm! Your fresh perspective is a strength all of its own.

2. Start building a professional network.

Especially in Singapore, referrals are one of the top ways in which people find jobs, which is why building your professional network is both necessary and rewarding.

Start letting friends and family know you’re in the market, then expand to professional organisations, career sites and government help. You never know where the next opportunity awaits!

3. Check the job boards.

One of the fastest ways to learn about available jobs is by conducting a search on online job board like Jobscentral. Not only can you search for jobs by job title, skills or company and location, but you can also upload your resume so that employers and recruiters who are searching the site for candidates can easily find you.

4. Prepare a cover letter.

Most postings will need a cover letter, so draft up a basic one and then tweak it according to the job you’re applying for.

A cover letter is especially important because it gives you a chance to introduce yourself personally to the hiring manager, and explain why you think you’d be a great fit for the company and position. Keep your letter short and sweet – no more than three paragraphs – and make sure you tailor it to the specific position for which you are applying.

5. Sign up for job alerts.

Job Alerts save you a ton of time by finding jobs that match your skills and interests FOR you. Simply type in your desired criteria (job title and/or company name) and specify how frequently you want to receive alerts to start receiving regular, recommended job postings. Feel free to create job alerts on multiple sites to widen your reach. (You can always unsubscribe later.)

6. Go straight to the source.

If you have a company in mind that you’d like to work for, go straight to their website to see if they’re hiring. Almost every company has a dedicated “careers” section with information about available opportunities and benefits. With certain companies, you can even register with their talent networks, which will ensure your resume is kept on file for future opportunities.

7. Seek out a staffing firm.

Chances are, if you’ve started looking at the job boards, you may have noticed that most postings are by recruiters rather than the companies themselves. All the more reason to get yourself registered with these staffing firms, who will search out great opportunities for you and send them your way.

8. Get social media-savvy.

Time to get that LinkedIN page, if you haven’t already. Remember, more than half of employers look up candidates on social media, so it’s time to have a professional online resume of yourself on your SNS platforms.

Second, a lot of companies use social media to advertise open positions and recruit new employees, so start following companies you want to work for on social media. Not only is it a fast, easy way to learn about job opportunities, but it’s also a way to communicate, ask questions and learn more about working for the company.

9. Nail the interview.

Got called in for an interview? Check out our interview tips, research the company, and rehearse your answers. Then go in confident and wow them!

10. Cut yourself some slack.

Remember that finding a job takes time, patience and dedication. It’s only natural that you may start to feel defeated. If that happens, it’s okay to take a break every once in a while to “recharge” – just don’t give up.