Best Of: Starting Your First Job
Chasing that first job may feel something like pursuing a unicorn. The hunt takes you on a wild goose chase of resume and cover letter-crafting (32 revisions and counting), anxiety-ridden interviews and unreturned thank-you emails. When you think you've finally got it, it slips away, disappearing into a cloud of mysterious sparkles.
One friend advises you never to start letters with To Whom It May Concern ("too passé"), while your mom stresses that you're not hearing back from the companies you like because your resume is missing a good old fashioned objective. But at last, after all that hard work and many missteps, you have it in your grasp. It's a marvel to behold: the first job. You quickly realize it's no mythical flying beast, but you feel like you're hanging on for dear life. The new job landscape may feel unfamiliar and full of rules everyone but you seems to understand. What if you say or do something really stupid?
For that, AOL Jobs has compiled a comprehensive must-read list of posts for anyone just starting out in his or her career. Just read through it, take a deep breath and don't curse on air during a live broadcast.
Questions to answer before accepting a job offer
You may feel inclined to take any offer you get right off the bat, especially if you've been searching for a while. Before you get too hasty, make sure to take a step back and ask these questions. Your success rests on your understanding what you signed up for. Don't worry, you won't lose the offer. It's more likely that the hiring manager or your soon-to-be new boss will consider you to be thoughtful and mature as a result.
Negotiating your first job offer
The very idea of it may terrify you, but negotiating your first salary offer is particularly important, says The Street's Lauren Lyons Cole. Even raising it by $5,000 can gain you an extra $500,000 over the course of your career. Watch the video below for tips and sound advice on maneuvering through this necessary conversation.
Ways to make a good impression on your first day
Any new job is unfamiliar territory. With these simple tips, you can launch your career with minimal anxiety, giving you a confidence boost that will make settling in a little easier.
Conference call like a pro
Even seasoned employees can get the conference call jitters. This list will help you master talking to a room full of people you can't see – or make it a tolerable experience, at the very least.
Staying on the radar when you work remotely
If you get to work from home at your new job, make sure you don't become complacent when you're out of the office. Don't think the luxury of working in your pajamas means a Breaking Bad marathon is in order.
Good phone and email etiquette at work
You don't want to be the person who leaves your coworkers a ten minute-long voicemail meandering around the real reason you called. HowCast addresses this and other telecommunication faux pas in the video above.
Tips to stay focused
If you find yourself working on the go, these tips to tune out distractions will come in handy.
Think I missed something? Add your first job advice in the comments below.