How To Really Get an Entry Level Job

I get asked a lot by all kinds of people about the “secrets” to landing a job – students, parents of students, experienced professionals, not so experienced professionals, etc. – it doesn’t matter – everyone has this belief that because I run a recruiting company and have worked in HR for going on 20 years I have the inside. Well, I do!

The cool thing is, most people already know what they need to do to land a job – they just refuse to do it.   It’s the same with losing weight.  Move more, eat less.  It’s really that simple – but that takes work, that takes discipline – what we all want is that drink as much beer as you want and eat fried foods diet – but we know that won’t work! (BTW – if you have a good Beer and Fried Foods Diet Plan please send it my way!)

Finding a job (especially an entry level professional level job) takes work, it takes networking, it takes picking up the phone and having conversations, it takes asking for help, it takes asking people to do things for you – and many of us just aren’t comfortable doing all of these things.

This past week I received a message through LinkedIn from Christina Hart.  Christina is an entry level college grad from the University of Michigan, looking for an entry level professional level position in New York City.  She is looking for a Social Media, PR, Marketing type position, is willing to grunt work.  Christina was reaching out to me, asking to for a few minutes to talk, network and see how I might be able to assist her in her job search.  After telling her I refuse to help UofM grads and ribbing about her school choice – we scheduled some time to talk.  Here was my advice to her:

1. Keep doing what you’re doing. (Let’s face it – reaching out to random HR people you have no connection to and asking for help – takes guts! She has them.)

2. Use your University of Michigan (wait, I just threw up in my mouth) alumni status.  She needs to LinkIn, email, call every single NYC UofM alumni that she can find and share her plight. Here’s one tip I think most people miss – start at the top first!  Director, VP level and above – the more experienced the more willing they are to help, because they don’t fear you’ll take their job!  If you want a Social Media job, don’t contact the Social Media person – they won’t help – they’ll think you’re after their spot.

3.  Be Specific. Entry levels always want to open themselves up to as many possibilities as possible, but when HR folks and Hiring Managers see these resumes they feel like the person doesn’t know what they want.  If you want a social media position, say you want a social media position and go after it.  Specific people get hired before the all-things-to-all-people People.

4. Ask for help.  Inherently, people want to help someone who asks for help – it’s in a normal person’s DNA.  Entry levels tend not to want to “burden” people, and they make it too easy for people to turn them down.  Don’t do this.  Beg for help, plead for help – you’ll be amazed at what people will do to help you!

5. Commit.  Christina is originally from the D (that’s Detroit for you none Michigan people), but she wants to live in NYC.  She just signed a 4 month lease in NYC – she is committed.  She is not waiting to get a job, then moving.  She’s on the ground – will start tomorrow – ready!  To few are willing to do this – it says a ton about her.

This is really hard for me to do, because I usually get paid a bunch of money for referring someone – but – got an entry level position you’re trying to fill? –  give Christina a call, she is going to make some company very happy (even with that UofM degree)!

And don’t get use to this – I’m not giving away free talent everyday!

11 thoughts on “How To Really Get an Entry Level Job

  1. Wow, these are great tips for many people who are looking for a job and do not know how. People should know that it is very important to improve the network of professional relationships. It’s very important.

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  3. Awesome advice, and it’s so true…no offense to millennials, but so many want the top job without the work. They’ve forgotten how to work and earn things and just expect because they have the education that they should get the top job with the top pay, but it’s not how things work. Sounds like she comes from a place where she learned how to work and EARN and she has testicular fortitude as well. I hope she finds what she’s looking for, but it seems like she will…with her attitude and willingness to WORK, LEARN and then EARN, she’ll get what she wants and move right on up.

  4. This blog has some great advice. At the end of the day landing an entry level job without connections is exactly like sales. When I was getting my first entry level job right out of college I did this same thing Christian is doing. A great way to contact multiple industry professionals to inquire about open position is with They provide a proven system with contact details of hundreds of industry contacts in multiple locations.

  5. The best way is by reaching every people you know and ask for a referral, the same way as you do with your business you have to sell yourself and be valuable for companies

  6. Good for Christina for taking that (gutsy) step towards finding a great entry level position! Tell her (and other students and new grads) to check out – it features meaningful entry level jobs and internships as well as career resources to help get your foot in the door and land that dream job!

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