Entering the Workforce
So you’re ready to enter the ranks of the working world for the first time. Congratulations! Entering the workforce
is a breeze with this Web guide. Learn where to find a job and internships, pick up tips for the job application process, find advice for that first job and even get help on finding a job without a college degree. View a Spanish-language version of the Guide.
The transition from school to the working world can be difficult. You have to wake up early, dedicate your schedule to work, follow a dress code, endure the daily commute and pay your bills. Luckily, the Internet can help you enter the workplace with confidence.
- This guide presents a selection of links devoted to finding that first job. If you’re thinking more long-term and want to focus on launching (or advancing) your career, be sure to see the findingDulcinea Careers Web Guide.
- The Internet has made the job search process both easier and more difficult: Now you need to make sure your online identity is just as stellar as your offline identity. Don’t miss the “Creating Your Online Identity” section of the findingDulcinea Job Hunting Web Guide for more information.
For general information about transitioning into work …
provides advice on leaving behind college life and entering the working world. Find practical tips on things like changing sleep habits, preparing for entry-level jobs and purchasing interview-ready attire.
For managing finances after graduation …
offers a short audio segment for college students on how to handle their personal finances after graduation. Learn how to manage your spending and save for the future.
Have a hard time getting up early? You’re not alone. Read how Steve Pavlina, author of the blog StevePavlina.com
, trained himself to get up at 5 a.m.
Many entry-level jobs require not only a degree, but also a year or two of work experience. If your summer job waiting tables isn’t cutting it on your resume, consider gaining work experience through internships, work abroad programs or volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations like the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Read on for tips on finding a great internship or volunteer gig to beef up your qualifications.
- If you’re in college, the best place to find an internship is through your campus career development office or their Web site.
For general information about internships …
introduces the different kinds of internships, including co-ops, practicums, externships, field experience, service learning and apprenticeships.
For internship and part-time job search engines …
hosts a list of part-time job opportunities, internships and summer jobs for college students looking for off-campus work. Register with the site for free to begin searching.
covers internships, part-time jobs and entry level jobs for the first-time jobseeker.
posts job listings in a variety of categories. Choose your city or state and search the “jobs” category in your area of interest. Narrow the results by checking the “internship” or “part-time” boxes near the top of the page, or try the “gigs” section for one-time or temporary employment opportunities.
For volunteer opportunities …
has lots of information on living, working, traveling and studying abroad. The article “How to Work Abroad After College” is a combination of personal experience and general information. Don’t miss the helpful Web sites listed at the end of the article, and some useful links on the left sidebar.
helps you decide whether to work for organizations like the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Read “A Day in the Life” of a Teach For America teacher and a Peace Corps volunteer
stationed in Senegal.
is dedicated to community service and involves work in “education, public safety, health, and the environment.” Jobs include things like tutoring disadvantaged youth, cleaning parks or building public housing, among others. Browse the site to learn more about part-time and full-time positions.
Self-promotion may seem narcissistic and pretentious, but it’s vital in the working world. Once you’ve targeted potential employers, you’ll have to engage in the job application process with a one-page resume, spotlight your strengths during interviews and shamelessly network to get a job. Use the sites below to research organizations and figure out where you might want to work, and learn how to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
- A common mistake of those looking for their first jobs is to rely completely on job sites like Monster and Craigslist. Although these are good places to start, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Your first job may very well be found through a person you know, not a Web site you visit.
For help with resumes, cover letters and interviews …
has a wide variety of resources for the college grad looking for work. Use the “Preparation” section on the left sidebar to find links on how to create an entry-level resume, write cover letters and prepare for an interview. Each topic comes with lots of concrete examples and checklists.
has interview and resume tips for new college graduates. Browse the linked articles to find specific topics of interest.
a community of bloggers, has a valuable entry entitled “How to answer 23 of the most common interview questions,” written by an advertising copywriter. Look for such gems as “What motivates you to do a good job?” and “What’s your biggest weakness?” Some of the tips primarily apply to people who have already held a job, but you should be able to glean some useful information.
For job networking …
Get Out Today
provides “8 Networking Tips” that help you access those jobs that aren’t advertised. Though there may be some grammatical errors scattered throughout the article, the information is valuable.
is a popular site that allows you to connect with old classmates, potential colleagues and other professionals and get advice. That senior you took notes for as a freshman might want to return the favor and get you an interview. Set up a profile for free and start searching.
is a search engine and networking site in one. Create a profile, add "tags" (keywords) to your profile and network with other users.
Even though your first job probably won’t be your last, you still want to be happy, enjoy what you’re doing and hopefully make a decent living. The links below can show you the ins and outs of job etiquette and how to navigate workplace politics.
- People who have already entered the workforce can be a great source of advice and guidance, and many of them post on blogs and forums. Try a blog search engine like Technorati or BlogPulse to find helpful information.
- As always when surfing online, be careful about the information you share. Anyone can contribute to or read the discussion, so don’t give away sensitive or damaging information—especially something that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to read.
For doing well at your first job …
was created by Wesleyan University graduates to help students handle various college and post-college related issues. Read “Acing Your First Job…From the Start” for some words of wisdom on how to handle those first few weeks at a new job.
offers a few pointers and insights on how to “Make the Most of Your First Job.” Get tips on building skills, learning about the organizational culture and getting feedback on your performance.
For young women in the workforce …
There’s no question that, on average, those with college degrees make more money in the long run than those without a degree. But it’s not always necessary to obtain a college degree, and there’s still money to be made without one. Use the sites below to learn how to get a job without a college degree, and how to find that first job with minimal, if any, job experience. You’ll also find some information on schools that offer associate degrees.
For jobs that don’t require a college degree …
in conjunction with CareerBuilder.com, presents “20 great jobs that don't require a degree.” As the article states, college degrees may offer the possibility of a higher salary, but you don’t need a college degree for job security. The jobs are based on the book, “300 Best Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree
has a list of nine jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. Find a short summary of each job along with a starting salary range.
To find a job without a degree …
has a short article that shows you how to make the most of your skills and get your foot in the door, without a degree.
Spherion Career Blog
has an advice column, "Ask Seymour," that answers a reader question: "How Can I Find a Job Without a Degree?"
To get an associate degree …
offers a list of associate degree programs with links to descriptions, a summary of the coursework, career info including salary information and a list of recommended schools. Look for a video explaining what an associate degree is and the two main types.
offers a comprehensive directory of “Career Colleges” (also known as trade schools). Search by program type, location or college name to find a school near you.
points out six “hot shots” who are quite successful, despite lacking a college degree.
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