Getting your first job is an exciting step towards independence and a significant milestone in your professional development. Determining what type of job to look for and navigating the job search process can be daunting for anyone, and it can be especially challenging if it’s your first time.

To help you embark on your early professional journey, we outlined some tips to help you land your first job.

Start With Researching

As a high school student looking for their first job, it is helpful to start by doing some research on the type of job that best fits your preferences, skills, and schedule. Ask yourself what are you good at? What type of careers or industries are you interested in?  Start looking at job descriptions for current openings to get an idea of the type of roles that best align with your interests.

In addition to the job role, research the companies you are interested in applying for to learn about their mission, work environment, and values. This will help you determine whether this is an organization you want to work at. If you secure an interview with the company, candidates who clearly demonstrate they did prior research into the company will stand out.

Build Your Resume

A resume outlines your professional experience and accomplishments to showcase why you are a good candidate for the job position. As a high school student, you may be surprised that many of your academic and extracurricular activities can be included in your resume. School clubs, volunteer work, and relevant coursework can be included on your resume — just make sure you are able to describe how your skills and experiences from those activities make you a strong candidate for the job role.

For more tips on writing a resume, check out our blog article on resume writing and download a free resume template here.

Look At Online Job Boards

Online job boards are a great resource to look for job openings. Websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed make it easy to search by job titles, keywords, and companies. If there is a specific company you want to work with, most company websites will have a Careers page that outlines current job openings.

You can also talk with your school counselor. They may be able to help guide you and open new doors as you search for your first job.

Practice For Your Interview

Once you secure an interview, take some time to practice answering common interview questions. Ask a family member or friend prompt you allowing you to rehearse possible responses. Craft an elevator pitch that provides a brief overview of who you are and highlights your achievements. You can use your relevant pitch as your introduction when the interview ask you to share about yourself at the start of the interview. Being proactive in preparing for your interview will help you establish talking points and feel more comfortable in an interview setting.

Dress To Impress

Your first impression matters. That is why to make a good first impression it is important to dress in a style appropriate for the job position you are applying for. Dress in business attire or business casual wear to your job interview. Remember it is always better to overdress than underdress.

Follow Up

After your interview, follow up with the hiring manager and team with an email. Thank them for the opportunity and express your continued interest in the role. Conclude the email by inquiring about next steps in the interviewing process and invite them to ask you any additional questions.

Stay Positive

Securing your first job is an exciting milestone. But there may be times when you feel discouraged, especially if you don’t land the job you want. Remember that the job hunting process is challenging for everyone and there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you. Believe in yourself and your abilities. The right opportunity will come to you in time.