Your Ultimate Guide to Finding Your First Job

| 6 min read

One of the most exciting phases of adulthood is entering the work world. Once you graduate from school, you look forward to all the possibilities that lie ahead and how you can take the most advantage of them. Landing your first job is a great deal. It is not easy to find a job in a world where there is so much competition. Thus, you need to prepare.

The most dreadful part of preparing for a first job is the job search process; from wading through the unfamiliar waters of CV writing, cover letter writing and job search sites to sitting before an interview panel. This can be frightening but don’t panic. The guidelines below will guide you to land your first job with ease. Let’s take a look;

1. Buckle Up for the Ride to Your First Job

How prepared are you? To survive in the tough work world, you must develop the muscles for it. Before you even think about submitting your CV to a prospective employer, you must prepare until you develop the confidence to face an interview panel. Your goal in landing your first job is to ensure that your CV and interview skills are top notch to get you the job.

Tailor your CV to suit the job you are looking for. A powerful CV will direct your prospective employer’s attention to who is behind the CV (you). As you do this, also prepare a well-sculptured cover letter, and get ready for your place in the interview room.  Reconnect with your references and come up with keywords to help you hone your search on a good jobs website like Jobberman Ghana.

2. Adopt the Best Job Search Strategies

To be successful at anything in life, you need the right strategy. It’s like preparing for an examination, you need to employ the best strategy to get you the top grades; burning the late night candle and memorizing notes. Lacking a good strategy in anything you do is a recipe for disaster. This is no different in finding a job. To find the right job, you need to employ excellent job search strategies at every stage of your job search.

For example; where you cannot go from one company to another in search of a job, you can use your mobile phone to do this at your own convenience. You can sign up on job sites like where you can get daily job updates and take control of your job search and your application process. When tailoring your CV to suit the role, come up with keywords to help you hone your search.

Most employers spend 6 seconds scanning through an entire CV. Heartbreaking right? It is just not enough time to capture their attention.  That is why keywords are important in your CV. For online job applications especially, it places your application on top, making it even more visible to employers.

Capture the right elements in your CV; technical skills, soft skills, and quantifiable successes/certifications. As you do so, learn about interview dos and don’ts so to help you ace your interviews. Go ahead of your prospective employer, know what they want and give off your best to get hired.

3. Be Irresistible to Your Prospective Employer

It is important to know what potential employers are looking for in those few precious seconds, where they look at your CV.  No one wants to end up in the slush pile or stacks of CV’s that will never see the light of day. When your CV doesn’t catch the eye of hiring managers then something is definitely wrong.

This is why you must tailor your CV to perfection. Be irresistible.  You can do this by being the most informed candidate to apply for the job. Throughout your application process; from cover letter to CV to the interview, leave a lasting impression. HR insiders say that candidates who are know about the company and are highly engaging during interviews score the highest points.

4. Don’t Sabotage Yourself

You’d never purposefully want to make a mess of yourself in your job search. But unknowingly,  you may hurt your chances of getting hired. Always remain consistent. It’s important you maintain the same message you convey on your CV, cover letter and during your interview. An inconsistent message will make you look dishonest and eventually reduce your chances of getting hired.

5. Sharpen Your Interview Skills

Know what to expect during an interview. Make sure you dress the part and practice as much as you can before the day. There are some standard interview questions you should always bear in mind; Why you want the job?;  What makes you the best person for this role?; What unique skills are you bringing to the table? and many more. 

Most importantly, research about the most asked interview questions in the industry where you are applying for the job. Without, careful preparation you will be caught off guard and ultimately delay your chances of landing a job.

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate for A Good Salary

Most people fear the question “what is your salary expectation?” The fear is in whether the amount you mention will spoil your chances if you go too high or if you are going to be underpaid if you go too low. As you work your way into your first job, think about how much you want to snag as your starting salary.

What you earn in your first job can either set you up for financial success or financial failure. Once asked the “golden question” remember that your potential employer is not doing you a favor by hiring you but is actually buying your skill set for their company’s growth. While negotiating can be intimidating, be confident walk into your first salary negotiation with boldness. 

The keys to landing your first job are in your knowledge, willingness, and efforts.Finding a job in such a competitive world is no joke. If you want to succeed at getting hired, then your journey starts now. These tips will guide you in every step of the way.

Are you looking for your first job? Share your preparation process with us in the comment section below?


Nelly Sadongo-Bawa
Social Media and Community Marketer at Jobberman Ghana || Blogger || Motivator || Radio host || "Knowledge is like a garden. If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested."