Getting Your First Job For Dummies

Getting Your First Job For Dummies

by Roberto Angulo
Getting Your First Job For Dummies

Getting Your First Job For Dummies

by Roberto Angulo


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Find—and land—your first job!

Finding a job can seem daunting, especially when it's a brand new experience. There's a lot to know, and often a lot of pressure. Written by the founder of, Getting Your First Job For Dummies is designed to take the stress out of the job search process and help you get an offer.

In this book, you'll discover how to identify your talents and strengths, use your network to your advantage, interview with confidence, and evaluate an offer. Written in plain English and packed with step-by-step instructions, it'll have you writing customized resumes, conducting company research, and utilizing online job search sites, faster than you can say 'I got the job!'

  • Determine what kind of job suits your interests and skills
  • Write a compelling cover letter
  • Know what to expect in an interview
  • Effectively negotiate an offer

Whether you're still in school or navigating the world as a recent graduate, Getting Your First Job For Dummies arms you with the skills and confidence to make getting your first job an exciting and enjoyable process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119431466
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Series: For Dummies Books
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 16.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Roberto Angulo cofounded AfterCollege, the largest online marketplace in the U.S. where college students and employers can connect. He collaborated with the Obama Administration on the launch of Summer Jobs+, which successfully created more summer opportunities for youth ages 16–24. He is also cofounder of, a STEM mentorship program.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1 Preparing Yourself Before The Job Search 5

Chapter 1 Mapping Out Your Job Search Strategy 7

Getting Your First Part-Time Job 8

Securing Internships 9

Finding Your First Job after College 10

Knowing the Importance of Your First Job 11

Getting exposed to an industry 11

Doing the job itself 12

Building your professional network 12

Setting a Goal for Yourself 12

Having expectations 13

Creating a timeline 13

Organizing Your Search with Online Tools and Apps 14

Using Google Calendar 15

Taking notes with Evernote 15

Using Google Sheets 16

Expanding your vocabulary with 16

Chapter 2 Highlighting What You Bring to an Employer 17

Identifying Your Skills 18

Translating your major into specific skills 18

Listing your soft skills 20

Uncovering your hidden skills 21

Getting feedback from your friends 21

Identifying areas for improvement 22

Detailing Your Experience 23

Taking note of volunteer work 23

Listing school projects 24

Showcasing notable sports and hobbies 25

Sharing your background 25

Chapter 3 Figuring Out What You Want to Do 27

Taking Self-Assessments 28

Playing Mercer Match 28

Using Paddle 29

Getting Insights through Career Discovery Tools 32

Utilizing AfterCollege's Explore 32

Leveraging LinkedIn Career Insights 35

Identifying Jobs of Interest 36

Talking to friends about their work 36

Job shadowing 37

Writing someone about shadowing 38

Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook 38

Part 2 Starting Your Job Search 41

Chapter 4 Researching Employers 43

Comparing Large and Small Employers 44

Evaluating the advantages of a large company 45

Considering the advantages of a small company 47

Knowing if a startup is right for you 48

Learning about startups on Crunchbase 50

Working for a nonprofit 51

Finding Employers with New-Grad Programs 51

Rotation programs 52

Nursing programs 52

Sales programs 52

Identifying Employers of Interest 53

Gauging employee morale on Glassdoor 53

Gleaning employee insights on LinkedIn 54

Chapter 5 Getting Ready to Search for a Job 55

Enlisting Assistance from Your Network 56

Networking with LinkedIn 56

Leveraging Facebook 58

Going to alumni events 59

Talking to your teachers and professors 59

Getting help from family and friends 61

Obtaining Recommendations 62

Securing past employer recommendations 62

Writing someone for a recommendation 62

Approaching teachers for recommendations 63

Crafting your own recommendation letter 64

Requesting endorsements via LinkedIn 65

Asking for recommendations via AfterCollege 66

Using Your University Career Center 68

Attending career fairs 69

Signing up for on-campus interviews 70

Practicing with mock interviews 70

Utilizing other resources on campus 71

Deciding to Use Headhunters and Staffing Firms 71

Chapter 6 Searching for Jobs Online 73

Familiarizing Yourself with Search Techniques 74

Conducting a basic job search 74

Using keywords 75

Performing Boolean searches 76

Doing an advanced job search 78

Searching on Job Sites 80

Finding Jobs on Google 81

Setting Up Automatic Job Alerts 82

Setting up AfterCollege job alerts 82

Creating a LinkedIn job notification 83

Subscribing to school email lists 84

Using IFTTT notifications and Craigslist 85

Chapter 7 Building a Great Online Presence 89

Creating a LinkedIn Profile 90

Setting Up an AfterCollege Student Profile 92

Showcasing Your Expertise 96

Sharing on LinkedIn Publishing 96

Writing on Medium 96

Creating content on YouTube 97

Showing off your code on GitHub 97

Competing on Kaggle 98

Cleaning Up Your Online Presence 99

Searching for yourself on Google 99

Checking your credit report 100

Dealing with a DUI or arrest record 100

Tidying up your social media profile 101

Making Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram more private 101

Removing questionable pictures 103

Getting rid of controversial tweets 104

Choosing an appropriate email address 105

Part 3 Navigating the Application Process 107

Chapter 8 Preparing Your Résumé and Cover Letter 109

Writing a Cover Letter 110

Creating a Great Résumé 112

Formatting your résumé 112

Avoiding common mistakes 114

Identifying key résumé elements 114

Using action words 116

Looking at a sample résumé 119

Getting Résumé Help 120

Taking your résumé to your college career center 121

Using TopResume to improve your résumé 121

Chapter 9 Applying for Jobs 123

Starting the Application Process 123

Using Applicant Tracking Systems 125

Finding Someone to Refer You 126

Tapping alumni from your school 126

Checking the Status of Your Application 128

Part 4 Acing the Interview and Getting the Offer You Want 131

Chapter 10 Before the Interview 133

Preparing for Your Interview 133

Starting with the employer's website 134

Using Wikipedia to research the employer 135

Finding competing companies on Owler 136

Seeing employer numbers on Yahoo! Finance 138

Digging into a nonprofit's finances via GuideStar 140

Researching who will interview you 140

Learning about the job you're applying for 141

Practicing for the Interview 142

Introducing yourself 142

What to ask 143

Answering questions 143

Familiarizing Yourself with the Interview Process 144

Initial screening interview 145

On-campus interviews 145

Interviewing with the hiring manager 145

Interviewing with team members 146

Becoming Familiar with Interview Platforms 147

Interviewing via Skype 148

Interviewing via Google Hangouts 148

Using video conferencing 149

Interviewing via phone 150

Chapter 11 The Interview 151

Nailing Interview Etiquette 151

Dressing the part 152

Arriving early 154

Getting rid of your chewing gum, food, and drinks 155

Handling lunch interviews 155

Eliminating distractions 156

Making a Great Impression 156

Starting a conversation 156

Minding your body language 157

Making eye contact 157

Asking the right questions 158

Avoiding the wrong questions 159

Answering Difficult Interview Questions 160

Talking about yourself 160

Addressing your lack of experience 161

Talking about why you're interested in the job 163

Focusing on your accomplishments 163

Delving into setbacks and how you overcame them 164

Listing your top qualities 164

Acknowledging areas of improvement 166

Problem-solving during the interview 167

After the Interview 168

Following up 169

Writing a thank-you note 169

Checking on your status 170

Chapter 12 The Offer 171

Determining What's Important to You 171

Salary 172

Taxes and withholding 172

A brief guide to benefits 173

Bonuses, commissions, and stock 175

Experience 177

Flexibility and work-life balance 177

Company culture 177

Employer brand 178

Negotiating an Offer 178

Dealing with an on-the-spot verbal offer 179

Gaining leverage with multiple offers 179

Researching salary information 180

Negotiating other perks besides money 181

Accepting an Offer 181

Sample offer letter 182

Declining an Offer 183

Dealing with Rejection 184

Replying by email 185

Getting feedback on why you didn't get the job 186

Chapter 13 Relocating for the Right Job 187

Evaluating the Cost of Living 188

Calculating cost of living on PayScale 188

Researching cost of living on NerdWallet 188

Deciding Where to Live 189

Finding out how walkable your city is with Walk Score 189

Finding an apartment on Craigslist 190

Finding housing on 190

Letting your Facebook friends know you're looking for a place to live 191

Tapping into alumni networks 191

Making Sure You Have Things to Do 192

Meeting like-minded people through Meetup 192

Turning to TripAdvisor 192

Discovering entertainment on Thrillist 192

Finding food on Yelp 193

Getting Around a New City 193

Public transportation 193

Car sharing 193

Carpooling 194

Part 5 Starting Your First Job 195

Chapter 14 Learning as Much as Possible from Your Job 197

Setting Up Check-Ins with Your Boss 198

Being Proactive and Taking on Projects 199

Knowing What Others Do on Your Team 200

Taking Advantage of Learning Opportunities 200

Going to lunch-and-learns 201

Subscribing to email lists 201

Joining online collaboration groups 202

Taking advantage of tuition reimbursement 202

Learning through online courses 203

Participating in training 203

Chapter 15 Building Your Professional Network 205

Having Lunch with Your Colleagues 206

Participating in Group Activities 206

Collaborating with People on Other Teams 207

Viewing Your Customers and Clients as Colleagues 209

Maintaining Your Network Online 209

Part 6 The Part of Tens 211

Chapter 16 Ten Sites for Finding Your First Job 213

Indeed 213

AfterCollege 214

LinkUp 215

LinkedIn 215

University or College Career Centers 216

AngelList 216

Glassdoor 216

Craigslist 217 217

Association Websites 217

Chapter 17 Ten Places to Gain Skills and Become More Employable 219

Coursera 220

Udemy 220 221

Khan Academy 221

Codecademy 221

Udacity 222

General Assembly 222

Galvanize 223

Skillshare 223

Community College 223

Chapter 18 Ten (Or So) Potential Benefits Besides Salary 225

401(k), 403(b), and 457 225

Health Insurance 227

Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, and Commuter Spending Accounts 227

Bonus Plans 228

Profit-Sharing Plans and Profit-Sharing Retirement Plans 229

Restricted Stock Units 229

Stock Option Plans 230

Tuition Reimbursement 231

Index 233

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