Navigating the Job Market: Strategies For Securing Your First Job

14th July 2023

Embarking on the journey of securing your first job can be both exciting and challenging. As a newcomer to the job market, you may lack the experience that some employers seek. However, there are strategies you can employ to stand out and increase your chances of securing that coveted first recruitment. This article will guide you through some effective approaches to make a positive impression and land your first job.

  • Volunteering – If you’re looking for your first job you won’t have the experience that some employers may be looking for. However, you could consider doing some volunteering to help you stand out. Volunteering shows that you are ready and willing to work and also gives you some experience for your CV.
  • Embrace Extracurricular Activities – things like debating or acting clubs or sports clubs – these can show an employer that you are a passionate, well-rounded person who is loyal and will work hard.
  • Harness Transferable Skills – teamwork from helping your sibling with their homework, or persistence when completing a difficult puzzle. There are many skills you will have built via hobbies and other areas of your life which an employer will be looking for. You just have to recognize them!
  • References – you could request one from an old head of year from school or a neighbour whose dog you used to walk. Or if you manage to do some volunteering (as mentioned above), approach the organization you volunteered with.
  • Take Initiative -Print out your CV and take it to any café’s, small businesses, supermarkets in your local area and ask to fill out an application. Even if they don’t hire you at the time they will have your CV and application on file, and you may get the chance to take a future role before anyone else gets the chance to apply.
  • Showcase Enthusiasm – show the employer that you are keen and want the job and that you will work hard. Don’t try to ‘fake it until you make it’, show your enthusiasm by asking questions and showing your willingness to learn.
  • Cast a Wide Net – keep an eye out, check your local Facebook community pages for any job opportunities. People often spread the word through social media and by looking in all places you are more likely to find something you are interested in.
  • Social Media Savvy – Be very careful with what you post on social media. What you post reflects who you are and it is more than likely that your employer will see what you post. Simply – if what you’re planning to post isn’t something you would like an employer to see, don’t post it.
  • Dress for Success – If you secure an interview – dress appropriately. Even if you feel overdressed, it is better to go feeling overdressed and show your willingness than to turn up underdressed and appear apathetic about the job that you want.
  • Create Your Own Opportunities – If you are really struggling to find a job, try to create your own opportunities. Offer to mow lawns or walk dogs, this can get you a good reference and show any future potential employers than you are a hard worker.
  • Learn and Grow – take advantage of free online courses. The UK government offers free online courses which can help with you develop skills that employers are looking for. Check them out here:
  • Tailor your CV – When applying for different jobs, tailor your CV for the job you are applying to. For example, if you are applying for a job that involves a lot of interaction with people, you can mention in your CV that one of your skills is social interaction. If it is a job that requires working with children, you could explain that you learned a lot about children while growing up with younger siblings.

By implementing these strategies, you can navigate the job market with confidence and increase your chances of securing your first job. Remember, your first job is just the beginning of an exciting career journey. With determination, resilience, and strategic approach, you’ll unlock countless opportunities for growth and success.


The National Careers Service offers free advice about careers and skills to anyone aged 13 or over and living in England. To speak to a professional careers adviser, call 0800 100 900 or use webchat (8am – 8pm Monday – Friday; 10am – 5pm Saturday)

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