How to Land Your First Professional Job as a Student

2 min read
Back in 2013, while I was still a student, I went all out and sent over a hundred CVs in hopes of snagging my first professional gig in marketing. Sadly, most of those applications seemed to vanish into thin air. And when I did manage to get a response, it was usually along the lines of: “Thanks for applying, but we’re seeking candidates with field experience.”

Now, having been on the other side of the hiring table and having brought on board several bright young minds, I’ve got some solid advice for those of you aiming to land your inaugural job.

1. Show your willingness to step out of your comfort zone

Let’s face it: the CVs of young students often look strikingly similar: same alma maters, same majors, same internships. To catch the eye of a recruiter, you need to stand out. Whether it’s an Erasmus exchange time, participation in a specialized program like BAFF, or earning a degree from a foreign university, these experiences can set you apart.

Why do I value these experiences as an employer? They demonstrate your willingness to take risks, push boundaries, and adapt to new environments. In a world where change is constant, adaptability is a prized trait.

Granted, not everyone can jet off to study abroad. In such cases, involvement in youth organizations or projects like Solaride can be excellent alternatives.

2. Leverage opportunities to build your personal brand

In today’s digital era, where anyone can carve out their space online and showcase their talents, having a personal brand is crucial for job seekers. Do you have a lively LinkedIn profile? Do you enjoy creating content on platforms like Instagram or TikTok? These channels allow young professionals to showcase their storytelling skills and visual creativity, giving them an edge in the job market.

3. Pay Attention to detail in your applications

Typos in your cover letter, submitting an English CV for a job in Estonia, or a poorly written introduction— these seemingly minor errors can be the kiss of death when dozens of applicants are vying for the same position. Especially in fields like communications, where clear and concise expression is paramount, attention to detail is key.

4. Research your potential employer

What projects has the company undertaken in the past? What are their standout achievements? How is the communications landscape evolving? Staying informed about the industry and the organization you’re applying to demonstrates your genuine interest and preparedness for the role.

5. Hobbies make you attractive

Work is important, no doubt. But beyond a decent paycheck and a fulfilling career, what most people seek in a job are great colleagues. Employers appreciate individuals with diverse interests and hobbies, as they often bring fresh perspectives and enrich workplace dynamics.

Sure, previous experience is desirable. It can make the onboarding process smoother. However, individuals without extensive professional backgrounds often bring boundless energy and a strong willingness to learn, making them valuable assets in the long run.

Our META IQ internship program is now open for applications starting in March. We offer paid traineeships because we value the time and efforts of our young participants. Moreover, the best trainees are assured of job opportunities within our organization.

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