The Best Entry-Level Career Advice For New Job Seekers

entry-level career advice
entry-level career advice

Table of Contents

Embarking on a professional journey with the right entry-level career advice can be both thrilling and challenging for newcomers.

For those targeting positions that serve as gateways to their dream careers, such opportunities are invaluable, offering essential on-the-job learning, minimal prerequisites for previous experience, and pathways toward increased responsibility and growth.

Whether you’re a recent grad or transitioning into a new field, the right guidance is crucial for navigating these initial steps in your professional life.

The job market’s unique dynamics, including union-backed apprenticeships for hands-on learning and roles varying in scope and involvement, present a broad spectrum of possibilities.

Securing your first job is more than just earning a paycheck; it’s about setting yourself on a path that aligns with your personal and professional aspirations.

Key Takeaways

  • Strategize your job search; focus and tailor efforts.
  • Prioritize continuous learning for career growth.
  • Prepare and follow up diligently on interviews.
  • Evaluate job offers considering culture and growth potential.

Understanding Entry-Level Job Positions

Embarking on the professional path, whether it’s your first foray into the job market or a pivot to a new career trajectory, can seem daunting.

It’s like to navigating an expansive landscape, filled with myriad paths that could shape your future. The importance of starting off on the right foot cannot be overstated—it’s a foundational step that influences your trajectory towards success.

Where to Start as an Entry-Level Job Seeker:

  1. Self-Assessment: Start by identifying your interests, skills, and values. This will help you find roles that match your capabilities and career goals.

  2. Industry Research: Explore industries of interest and discover entry-level roles. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor for insights on job responsibilities and culture.

  3. Job Search Platforms: Use job search sites to find tailored opportunities. Apply filters for a more focused search and network to uncover hidden jobs.

  4. Application Preparation: Customize your resume and cover letter for each job. Practice answering common interview questions and highlight your eagerness to contribute.

  5. Growth Potential: Inquire about advancement opportunities within organizations to ensure the role supports your career development.

By focusing on these steps, entry-level seekers can navigate the market more effectively, making informed decisions that set the foundation for a fulfilling career.

Consider getting a mentor to guide you on your journey.

Not sure what to ask? We breakdown the right career advice questions for your mentor.

Identifying Your Dream Job for a Entry-Level Position

Embarking on your career journey with an entry-level position doesn’t mean settling for less—it’s about strategically stepping onto the path that leads to your dream job.

Identifying the right entry-level position requires a blend of self-awareness, market research, and strategic action. 

Here’s how to start:

  • Understand Your Values and Skills: Begin by identifying what you value in a job and the skills you bring to the table. Use self-assessment tools to clarify your interests and strengths.

  • Research the Market: Dive into industries and roles that intrigue you. Look for entry-level positions that offer room for growth and align with your long-term career goals.

  • Network and Seek Advice: Engage with professionals in your fields of interest through networking events, informational interviews, and social platforms like Simply Agile.

  • Prepare Your Application: Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight how your unique skills and experiences make you an ideal candidate for your targeted roles.

  • Embrace Learning Opportunities: Be open to roles that offer valuable learning experiences, even if they don’t check every box on your dream job list. Each role is a step forward.

By following these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to identifying and securing an entry-level position that not only meets your immediate needs but also sets you on a trajectory toward your ultimate career aspirations.

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Preparing to Enter the Job Market: Resumes and Networking

Entering the labor market requires more than just the willingness to work; it demands a strategic approach to presenting yourself and connecting with those who can influence your career path.

Here are key strategies for mastering your resume and networking effectively:

Resumes: Your Professional Introduction

  1. Customize Your Resume for Each Job: Tailor your resume to match the job description, highlighting the skills and experiences that make you a perfect fit for the role. Use keywords from the job listing to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

  2. Highlight Transferable Skills: Especially for entry-level roles, emphasize skills that are transferable across various jobs, such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.

  3. Quantify Achievements: Where possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements. For example, “Increased sales by 20% through targeted customer outreach” is more impactful than “Responsible for customer outreach.”

  4. Include Relevant Extracurriculars and Projects: Don’t hesitate to include relevant extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or projects that demonstrate your skills and commitment.

Resumes and networking advise

Networking: Building Your Professional Web

  1. Start with Who You Know: Begin building your network with friends, family, and acquaintances. Let them know you’re entering the workforce and what you’re looking for.

  2. Leverage LinkedIn: Create a professional LinkedIn profile, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions. Connect with industry professionals by sending personalized messages.

  3. Attend Industry Events: Conferences, workshops, and webinars are great places to meet professionals in your field. Be prepared with a brief introduction about yourself and your career interests.

  4. Informational Interviews: Reach out to professionals for informational interviews to learn about their career paths and gain insights into the industry. This can often lead to job leads and valuable advice.

  5. Follow Up: After meeting someone new or completing an informational interview, send a thank-you note to express your gratitude and keep the line of communication open.

By combining a well-crafted resume with a proactive networking strategy, you’re setting the stage for a successful entry into the workforce.

Remember, the goal is to make meaningful connections and present yourself as a valuable candidate.

Career Advice for the Job Search

The job search journey is often filled with highs and lows. Resilience—the ability to recover from setbacks and persistence in your entry-level job search—is a critical skill for navigating this path.

Here’s how to keep going with a positive mindset:

  1. Acknowledge and Move On: It’s okay to feel disappointed, but don’t dwell. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, then shift your focus to the next opportunity.

  2. Seek Feedback: Use rejections as a learning opportunity. If possible, ask for feedback to improve your future applications.

  3. Adjust Your Approach: Reflect on your job search strategy. Could you broaden or narrow your search, or improve your application materials? Make necessary adjustments.

  4. Keep a Routine: Treat your job search like a job. Set a daily schedule for applications, networking, and skill development.

  5. Find Support: Share your experiences with friends or join job search groups. Support from others can offer new perspectives and motivation.

  6. Celebrate Small Wins: Take pride in the small victories, like securing an interview. These successes are steps forward in your journey.

Resilience is about adapting and persevering. Every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow, bringing you one step closer to your ideal job.

Interview and Follow-Up Tactics for Entry-Level Candidates

Mastering the interview process and following up effectively are crucial steps for entry-level candidates to stand out.

Interview Tactics:

  1. Research the Company: Understand its mission, culture, and industry position. Demonstrating this knowledge shows genuine interest.
  2. Practice Common Questions: Prepare for questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “Why are you interested in this role?” by crafting and rehearsing your responses.

  3. Show Enthusiasm: Express your eagerness to learn and contribute. Entry-level jobs are as much about potential as they are about current skills.

  4. Ask Insightful Questions: Prepare questions that show you’ve done your homework and are thinking about the role’s challenges and opportunities.

Follow-Up Tactics:

  1. Send a Thank-You Note: Within 24 hours of the interview, send a personalized thank-you email to each interviewer. Express your appreciation for their time and reiterate your interest in the position.

  2. Be Patient, Yet Persistent: If you haven’t heard back within the timeframe provided, it’s appropriate to send a polite follow-up email inquiring about the status of your application.

  3. Reflect on the Interview: Regardless of the outcome, consider what went well and what could be improved for future interviews. Each interview is a learning opportunity.

By applying these tactics, entry-level candidates can navigate the interview process more confidently and leave a lasting, positive impression.

Job Offers & Company Culture 

Navigating job offers and understanding the significance of a companies culture are crucial final steps in securing an entry-level position that aligns with your career aspirations.

This stage is about more than just accepting a job; it’s about finding a professional home where you can grow, contribute, and thrive.

Evaluating Job Offers: Beyond the Salary

  1. Understand the Entire Package: Look beyond the base salary to consider benefits, work-life balance, career development opportunities, and other perks.
  2. Align with Your Career Goals: Evaluate how the role fits with your long-term career objectives. Consider the potential for growth and learning.
  3. Negotiation: Don’t be afraid to negotiate the offer. Be prepared to discuss your value and how it aligns with the compensation being offered.

Finding Your Fit

  1. Research the Company: Utilize resources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and the company’s social media pages to get a sense of the culture.
  2. Ask the Right Questions: During interviews, ask about the company’s values, the team dynamics, and what success looks like within the organization.
  3. Consider Your Values and Work Style: Reflect on whether the company aligns with your personal values and work style. A good fit is essential for job satisfaction and success.

Making the Decision: A Balanced Approach

Making a decision on a job offer requires a balance between practical considerations and intuitive judgment.

Consider how the position will impact your career trajectory, personal development, and overall well-being. Remember, the right company is one where you can see yourself contributing and growing over time.


As you embark on the journey of navigating the entry-level job search, the landscape can seem vast and at times overwhelming. However, armed with the right strategies and insights, finding your first job after college or stepping into a new industry can be a rewarding experience. 

The journey from being an entry-level employee to securing a position that matches your skills and aspirations involves more than just the desire to find jobs.

It’s about understanding the types of entry-level jobs available, tailoring your search for an entry-level role that aligns with your passion, and presenting yourself as the ideal candidate through your resume and interview prowess.

The path to finding entry-level jobs, answering interview questions effectively, and ultimately landing your first job is paved with persistence, learning, and strategic networking.

Remember, each job application, each interview, and every new piece of knowledge gained is a step forward in your career.

With these essential tips and a focus on actionable strategies, you’re well on your way to making a great impression and securing a job that sets the stage for a fulfilling career.


Nelson Ingle | Founder of Simply Agile

Coach Nelson has 10+ years of experience leading software development teams. As a lifelong learner, he’s passionate about helping community members discover and pursue their ikigai every day.

How can I start a career with no experience?

To start a career with no experience, focus on leveraging your educational achievements, relevant coursework, and any transferable skills you possess. Participating in internships, volunteer work, or even taking on part-time roles related to your field can provide practical experience. Networking is crucial; connecting with professionals on LinkedIn or through industry events can offer valuable insights and lead to opportunities.

Look for entry-level positions or apprenticeships that are designed to welcome individuals with little to no professional background.

How to get a job with no experience at 20?

At 20, securing a job without experience involves highlighting your soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, which are highly valued by employers. Creating a strong LinkedIn profile can help showcase your academic achievements and any extracurricular activities. Consider apprenticeships or trainee programs that offer hands-on experience and a foot in the door of your desired industry.

Applying for roles that are known to be more open to younger candidates, including internships, can also be a strategic move.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career?

For those just beginning their career, embracing a mindset focused on learning and growth is key. Seeking out mentors within your chosen field can provide invaluable advice and support. Setting clear career goals, both short-term and long-term, will help steer your professional development and keep you motivated. Additionally, investing time in networking and building professional relationships is essential, as these connections can lead to future job opportunities and career advice.

Is 2 years experience considered entry-level?

Whether 2 years of experience is considered entry-level often depends on the industry and the specific job requirements. In fields that require extensive training or education, such as engineering or healthcare, two years may still fall under the entry-level category. It’s important to carefully review job descriptions, as some positions might list 2 years of experience under entry-level criteria, while others may consider it as having moderate experience. Use any experience you’ve gained to highlight your suitability for the role, focusing on how your background aligns with the job requirements.

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