Tips for getting your first job

Published: 06 Mar 2018 By Illesse Uppal

Whether you’re fresh out of school or finishing your degree, carving out a career for yourself can be tough.

That’s why National Careers Week is dedicated to promoting the importance of a good careers education.

To support NCW18, here are our top tips to help you secure your first role.

Kitting out your CV

Your CV is the first thing a recruiter sees so it needs to make a good impression. If you are lacking in the work experience department, be sure to mention the transferable skills you refined in school / college which could benefit you in a work environment. Examples of transferable skills could be communication, leadership, team work etc.

You could also mention any extracurricular activities you took part in, including sports teams to evidence how you’ve used these skills.

Most employers also look for individuals with good IT knowledge so referencing examples of using the Microsoft packages is a good place to start.

For more CV advice, click here.


Be sure to list your qualifications on your CV, starting with the ones that are most relevant to the type of roles you are applying for. If you find that you have a gap in your knowledge or aren’t getting an interview as you don’t have the right qualifications, doing a professional qualification in your own time will rectify this. Available in a variety of professional subject areas, you can find accredited qualifications for a good price on groupon.

The Interview

Now it’s time to nail the interview! If you’re worried about not having enough experience, you can reference here the transferable skills you mentioned in your cv, give examples of you used these and how they can benefit you in that role. Be sure to also research the company before hand so you are ready to answer any questions about it and can relate your scenarios back to the organisation.

Probably the most important questions during an interview – ‘Why do you want this role?’. Answering this question correctly is key and a great opportunity to demonstrate your passion for the role. If you show that you are eager and willing to learn on the job, your lack of experience shouldn’t stop you from getting the position.

For more interview advice, click here.


Apprenticeships are a great way to get your first step on the career ladder and get real word experience with a successful company. If you are looking for your first role but don’t have the right qualifications for that sector, an apprenticeship in this area will not only give you the qualifications and experience, but also priceless industry knowledge.

The icing on the cake is that an apprenticeship is also a real job with real pay – it just includes more training and development opportunities!

For more information on apprenticeships, click here.

Get back on the horse

One final tip from us is to get back on the horse.

If you aren’t successful in your first interview, don’t let this deter you. Reflect on what you could have done better and use the experience to improve next time.

Check out our advice on picking yourself up after a bad interview here.

Good luck in your job hunt – the perfect job for you is out there somewhere!

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