What Is an Entry-Level Job? Benefits and How To Get One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 8, 2021 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated July 8, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

Finding a job can be challenging, especially when you are new to the workforce. Entry-level jobs provide a solution to this issue of workplace inexperience. Understanding what an entry-level job is and how to apply can help you start down a successful career path. In this article, we will discuss types of entry-level jobs, advantages of entry-level jobs and how to find these jobs.

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What is an entry-level job?

An entry-level job is a job specifically for young professionals with minimal work experience. Entry-level jobs can help you gain access to higher-level work opportunities that require more experience. Typically, employers hiring for entry-level jobs seek individuals with little or no prior experience in the field.

As you are searching for jobs, you may notice that there are a few different types of entry-level jobs. It is important to pay attention and read the job descriptions carefully so that you can be sure you meet all the qualifications for the job. Types of entry-level jobs that you may find in your job search include:

"Degree not required" entry-level jobs

These types of entry-level jobs do not require a college degree and may not require any previous experience. Examples of jobs in this segment include data entry, technicians, retail and sales positions and administrative positions.

True entry-level jobs

True entry-level jobs are those that you can typically get upon graduation from college. These positions require applicants to have an undergraduate degree and possibly internship experience. Examples of true entry-level jobs can be found in the career fields of marketing, healthcare, law and finance.

"Professional experience required” entry-level jobs

This type of entry-level position requires applicants to have at least one to three years of full-time, professional experience in the field. Employers are looking to fill these types of roles with professionals that require minimal training and guidance during onboarding. These entry-level jobs are commonly found in the areas of business, science and technology.

The importance of entry-level jobs

An entry-level job is an important stepping stone in your professional career. Entry-level jobs provide the opportunity to learn skills that will carry over to future jobs you may have. Also, entry-level jobs promote personal development in the form of responsibility, commitment and teamwork.

Here is what you can expect from an entry-level job:

Communication

In any job, communication is vital to your success as an employee and is essential in a business. Employers hire applicants that exhibit strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Employees at all levels must communicate clearly and efficiently with managers and coworkers for the business to operate smoothly. As an entry-level employee, it is up to you to show that you are an effective communicator in the workplace.

Responsibilities

As an entry-level employee, all duties and responsibilities are opportunities for you to learn about the specific position and the industry. You can use your job tasks as a way to broaden your skillset for future positions. Most of the time, if entry-level employees master entry-level tasks, then there may be increased opportunities for higher-level assignments.

Entry-level jobs can help guide your career by giving you a chance to explore different positions in various career fields. Even if you don't stay in a position, you have still gained valuable work experience and you can explore other career options.

Team mentality

Entry-level jobs present employees with a chance to work together with other employees as part of a team, so it is your job to be a reliable team member to help the team succeed. Every task and assignment that you perform affects your coworkers, managers, department and possibly the business as a whole, so it is important to always do your best.

Advantages of entry-level jobs

In addition to income and health benefits, entry-level jobs provide many advantages such as:

Training

Entry-level jobs allow you to learn the company culture, policies and procedures through specialized training. This on-the-job training provides employees with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their job accurately and efficiently.

Training is a way for entry-level employees to apply what they may have learned in college to the real world and get hands-on experience. For example, an entry-level employee with an accounting degree may find it useful to job shadow an upper-level accountant at an accounting firm to see the daily duties and responsibilities of the role firsthand.

Developing professionally

In an entry-level position, employees develop a skill set for use in that specific career field. Once they have established a unique skill set for use in their job, employees can begin to expand on that skill set to advance their career and achieve their professional goals. Employees at all levels can benefit from professional development.

Companies are always adapting and changing to keep pace with the ever-changing world, so employees must evolve as well. For instance, teachers constantly have to change their approach to how they teach in the classroom due to federal regulations, diversity among students and the use of modern technology.

Gaining valuable experience

Entry-level positions give you a chance to take the first step in your career field. With an entry-level job, you will be able to gain valuable work experience that you will take with you to your future jobs. Thus, a new lawyer that recently finished law school starts out in an entry-level role taking lower-level cases and providing legal advice. It is this type of experience that will allow the lawyer to move on to more challenging cases as their career progresses.

Additionally, getting hired in an entry-level job allows you to begin building your resume, which is crucial if you are just starting out.

Room for growth and advancement

Having an entry-level position provides multiple opportunities for career growth and advancement. For example, it is common for employers to promote from within and hire experienced entry-level employees to upper-level positions within the company.

Hiring from within is advantageous for the employee as it allows them to be promoted and rewards them for their work. Hiring an existing entry-level employee to an upper-level position is also advantageous for a manager. In this case, the entry-level employee already knows the company culture and procedures and may not require as much training as an outside employee would.

How to find entry-level jobs

There are a wide variety of entry-level jobs available in today's job market. Use these steps to help you find an entry-level job:

  1. Conduct a self-assessment.

  2. Write a resume.

  3. Try a Job shadow.

  4. Perform a job search.

  5. Apply for positions.

1. Conduct a self-assessment

Before you begin your entry-level job search, it is a good idea to self-assess to identify your strengths, weaknesses, skills and values that you would bring to your job. In this way, performing a SWOT analysis may be helpful, as it allows you to focus your job search on career paths that align with your skills.

Once you determine which of your skills apply to the workforce, you can explore different career options that utilize your skillset. For example, if you are a talented artist and excel at drawing, then you may be suited for a career in architecture or graphic design.

2. Write a resume

To find an entry-level job, you will need to make your resume stand out among the others in the job search pool. When you are writing your resume, be sure to include any work experience, internships and achievements.

You can tailor your resume to each job you apply to by listing any skills you have that are relevant to that particular job. For instance, if you are applying for a sales position, you could list sales-related skills such as communication, leadership and ability to perform under pressure. Be sure that your resume looks neat and professional and use active language throughout.

3. Job shadow

If applicable, it may be beneficial for you to job shadow if you are unsure about a particular job that you find in your search. Job shadowing allows you to learn more about the position and gain a better understanding of the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of the role. Additionally, job shadowing gives you a chance to see yourself in the role to see if it would be a good fit for you. Before applying, you could contact the hiring manager and ask if they will allow you to job shadow before submitting your job application.

4. Perform job search

Once you have your list of ideal career paths narrowed down, it is time to search for entry-level jobs in those fields that fit your unique skill set and qualifications. You can use Indeed to search for jobs and filter jobs that interest you and match your qualifications. Indeed also shows estimated salary information, so you will be able to get a general idea of income.

5. Apply

After you have created your resume, searched for jobs and crafted a list of specific jobs that you wish to apply for, it is time to apply to those jobs. In your search for an entry-level position, you will likely fill out several applications for different jobs at once. The key is to make your application look its best so that it gets noticed by the hiring manager. Be sure to be honest when filling out job applications by answering all questions thoroughly.

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