Embarking on Your First Job Search? 4 Tips for Success

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  • Today's job market is loaded with opportunities. 
  • If you're seeking work for the first time, prepare to make an effort as you apply for different positions. 

Here's how to tackle your job search and increase your chances of success.

If you recently finished up college, you may now be in the process of settling into young adulthood. And for better or worse, that probably means going out and getting yourself a job.

The good news is that today's labor market is filled with job openings. The bad news is getting a job can be a full-time job. But if you're starting your first job search, these four tips could really set you up for success and help you avoid the frustration some job seekers inevitably experience. 

It's clearly easier to put together a single resume and blast it out to different companies. But if you want a better chance at a job, be prepared to tweak that resume to make yourself seem more qualified for different positions. You may, for example, want to talk up your creativity for a job where that will be an asset, and then focus on your attention to detail for a job that requires a keen eye, like bookkeeping or editing.

2. Put effort into your cover letter

While your resume should serve as a summary of your experience (and yes, it's okay if you have limited work experience if you're a new college grad), your cover letter is a chance to express your personality. So take that opportunity. Craft a cover letter that highlights your most appealing traits and skills, and show employers why they should be clamoring to hire you.

3. Network as much as possible

Entry-level positions aren't always so easy to come by. And so a good bet is to network your way into one. Reach out to everyone and anyone you know who might be in a position to help you land a job. You can tap resources like old neighbors, extended family members, and former professors. 

Similarly, it pays to see if your college's alumni network can be a resource for you. It may be possible to connect with people who graduated before you and are already working -- people who might be in a position to help you get your foot in the door. 

4. Don't be afraid to negotiate

If you're new to the workforce, you may not feel so comfortable with the idea of asking for a certain salary. But one thing you should know is that many companies have been struggling to hire over the past year, so you may have more wiggle room to negotiate than expected. 

Of course, the best way to approach a salary negotiation with confidence is to do your research beforehand. Use sites like Salary.com to see what wages look like in the industry you're applying to so you have some figures to work with.

Get ready to start fielding job offers

Looking for your first job can be an intimidating process. But the sooner you get hired, the sooner you can start earning a paycheck, building some savings, and enjoying your post-college years even more. And following these tips could put you in a solid position to start landing offers.

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