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How to find the right entry-level position in the fields of psychology and human services as an unlicensed, post grad.

In December 2018, I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a bachelors degree in Psychology. Despite my efforts of using Linked in, reaching out to former educators and advisers, and using databases such as Indeed, InHerSight, Glassdoor, and Monster; I still have not landed a relevant job. I never submit a job application with out tailoring my resume and cover letter for the specific position. What am I doing wrong? job-search psychology human-services nonprofit

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kim’s Answer

What do you consider "right" and "relevant"? If you are looking for your first professional job, you may want to look at gov't positions - state hospitals, social service agencies, employment centers, etc. A lot of these don't pay exceptionally well. You take a position there, and then at 18 months start looking for the next position. Just get your foot in the door at anything related to what it is you want to be doing. It usually takes a few moves throughout your career.

What experience do you have? And I'm including retail jobs, everything. In our line of work, you need to be skilled at dealing with irate clients/customers. Express experience in maintaining client confidentiality. etc. It could be that you need to focus more on bringing out your "transferable skills."

Consider volunteering. It may not lead to a job lead, but, it gives you relevant experience you can include in the "experience" section of the resume. You want something attention-getting as close to the top as possible!

You may not be doing anything "wrong." It's just that you are competing against a mobile workforce. Not many people stay with one job any more. So, those who are looking to better themselves are competing for the same jobs you are. You need to look at taking THEIR old jobs. stepping stone.

Here are some general tips I put together for patrons I help at the local library. Not all of them will apply to you, but, hopefully, there is something there you can use.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wBfnFjt_wH2ec5dSwh77Vg5iyCFgwf2G


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Amanda’s Answer

Hi Theresa,

Hang in there! The first job after college is often the hardest to get. I work as a human resources manager at a software company, but that is not where I started. My first job at my current company was as a junior administrative assistant, and I worked hard and was able to move over to HR from there.

There are many different tracks you can pursue in Human Resources (operations, strategy, learning & development, recruiting, etc). Entry-level roles do not typically require a license, and while the entry level roles might not be the most glamorous, they are a foot in the door and you can learn a lot and move up from there if you work hard. Be realistic in the jobs you're applying for, and consider any first job a good job.

A few tips I learned from my experience job hunting as a recent grad (and now as a hiring manager):

- Jobs with "coordinator", "associate", "support" or "administrative" in the title are usually good entry level jobs that can get your foot in the door. For HR, some good job titles to search for are: Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator, HR Associate, PeopleOps Coordinator (or some combination of those words)

- While you're job hunting, start to learn about the software you might be using on the job. YouTube videos and online tutorials can help get you started. Read job descriptions to find the HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that you should be learning about (Workday, SuccessFactors, Zendesk, Jobvite, etc)

- Human Resources does involve some psychology, but a lot of it is customer service as well. Consider looking for jobs in call centers or remote customer service to get some of that experience on your resume.

All in all, try not to sweat it too much. As long as you stick with it, everything will work out.

Good luck in your job hunt!

Amanda recommends the following next steps:

Take online courses to learn the basics of the major HRIS or ATS systems
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