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Many of the folks who post in SCN’s Career Center are students or recent graduates. Most of those have spent the last 20ish years pursuing education and are up against the age old problem: Can’t get a job without experience and can’t get experience without a job. This is especially true for functional folks who want to do SAP configuration. I’ve talked about this elsewhere (Advice for Students Interested in a Career in SAP and Advice for Recent College Graduates (aka “Freshers”) in particular, but other blogs from myself and other can be found at SAP Career Blog Links). The short version of those blogs is that for functional folks, you shouldn’t necessarily expect your first SAP job to involve SAP configuration. (See How did you get your start in SAP? for real stories of how folks got their start in SAP).

  1. Find out what companies have headquarters in your area
    • Google “Companies with Headquarters in your-local-area
    • Check Wikipedia for the same
    • Check city/state/regional economic development  group (Often called “Chamber of Commerce” in the US)
    • Check local newspaper and classified ads
  2. Find out which companies run SAP
    • Search their career boards
    • Search national job search sites (Monster or in the US, for example)
    • Search SAP User Group web sites
  3. Cross reference the lists from 1) and 2).
  4. Once you have a list of target companies, narrow it down by whatever criteria you prefer (geographic location, company reputation, places where you have contacts, whatever).
  5. Check the corporate website for a careers section. Pay special attention to intern, recent college graduate, and or entry level sections of their corporate website.
    • You can also apply through the major job boards (,, etc in the United States). I personally prefer to apply directly through the corporate site, but if you spot an opening that is available through the job board and not through the corporate site for some reason, then be sure to apply appropriately!
    • If you are using a recruiter, do NOT duplicate your application by going through the corporate job site as well as this can cause conflicts between the recruiter and the company most easily solved by not considering your resume. Thanks to Susan Keohan for pointing this out!
  6. Apply, apply, then apply some more!
  7. Create a tailored resume for EACH opening. Don’t just blast a generic resume.
    • Include a cover letter that mentions something you like about their company that you’ve learned from your research. You want to communicate that you are interested in specifically working for THEIR company and that you’ve done your homework. This will distinguish you from MANY other applicants.
    • Utilize any network you have, friends, family, friends of friends, whatever to find folks who already work at the company. Arrange a meeting with someone who works at the company. Have lunch, find out everything you can even if the person you are meeting has no hiring authority, they may be able to provide you with insight into what this company is like and may also be able to provide you with contacts who do have hiring authority. Often internal employees will be aware of openings before they’ve been opened up to the general public. The best time to apply is when you are the only applicant!
  8. When you get an interview, be prepared!
    • Dress for success! You don’t have to overdo it necessarily, but you should dress as if you already have the job or maybe a little better. If general daily business attire is business casual. In the US, men should wear a button-down shirt and tie (at least) and women should wear a nice business dress or suit to an interview. Oddly, wearing a formal suit to a company that is on the casual end is not a doog thing. Dresshing in just a shirt and tie to a company that dresses in full, formal suits every day is very bad. Know the workplace attire before you show up!
    • Do your homework! You should know what the company does and where they fit in the marketplace. Have questions ready that are relevant to the company and to the opening.
    • Do NOT focus on benefits and/or salary in the interview. You can ask those questions after you get an offer. Be ready with a number if they ask you what you’re expecting, but don’t initiate any conversations along this line.

Hopefully this is enough to get you started. I wish you all the best on your job search!

Best regards,


The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, ECS.

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  1. Susan Keohan

    Hi Tom,

    This is a very nice blog – with lots of good info.  The only thing I might take issue with is this:

    At some companies, applicants from those two routes take two different paths through the system. It doesn’t hurt (and might help) to have an application go in through each route.’

    While my experience in job-seeking is somewhat stale, I clearly remember being turned away from a potential job because I was ‘double-papered’ – that is, I sent my resume directly to the company, and a recruiter did the same.  This meant that the target company would have to sort out who did what and when – and apparently that can be messy.  If they hired me based on my own submitted resume, the recruiter would no doubt contest that, and require their placement fee. 

    Your thoughts?


    1. Thomas Dulaney Post author

      Hi Susan,

      That’s a good point. I changed the text to reflect your input. I wasn’t thinking about recruiters as much as the job boards, which I think are not contingency fee based in general so there should not be a conflict. Since I don’t know for sure, I took the comment out and included your good advice. Thanks!!!

      1. Susan Keohan

        Hi Thomas,

        It was a very hard lesson for me to learn – I really wanted that job (at the time).  I would be surprised if job boards had the same impact, but then again, you just don’t know – when you submit a resume to a company on a job board, they could be subbing you out for another job (which you’ve already applied for!).



  2. bang ly

    Hello everyone, I have just graduated from University for 1 year.

    Recently I have an offer to become SAP associate Authorization Consultant at a very big multinational firm. With high chances of receiving SAP trainings, foreign languages courses, English communication environment, foreign business trips, sustainable career,…. With career path I may go to BASIS after 3-5 years.

    However, I like to join functional but the boss at that firm said no way, cos I have no experience at functional except a basic SAP funtional course at college and few month internship at a consulting IT firm.

    Should I take the job to join SAP industry, cos chances like that do not always exist and actually I got the job because of large expanded requirement of that firm, and usually they just hire people with at leat 3+ years exp.

    Please, can anyone clarify the detail career job of Authorization. Is it hot, complicated, high paid,…. and future of it.

    Are there any chances I can move to functional after years working ?

    Thank you 😀

    1. Colleen Hebbert


      I am an SAP Security Consultant – aka authorisations. Using SAP to build is relatively easy to learn if you are methodical, logical and meticulous. One thing to note about security compared to basis: in security you learn about all modules. You need to obtain an overview of all SAP functionality to understand how to restrict it.

      In relation to what you want – have a look at the rest of Careers Centre here. I suspect most people would “kill” for the opportunity you have. A large multinational wants to hire you as a fresher and train you! Say yes to whatever they offer. Learn SAP and go from there

      Oh.. and if security – please search SCN before posting in forum 🙂

      Good luck


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