Whether you are a college student seeking your first part-time job or a high school graduate who feels that you are ready to enter the workforce head-on by landing your first full-time job, here are a few tips to help you as you maneuver through the process.
First of all, know that it may take a long time to obtain a job. And even after landing your first job, you may only work part-time. Companies stagger their total labor hours based on busy times, high revenue hours and budget. The key to this job is to get hired, prove that you can work well with others and also serve the needs of the company. And these company goals are one reason why it takes a long time to find a job. It is expensive for a company to hire an entry-level worker and offer training. So if you are ready for the challenge, here are four top things young job seekers can do to get their first job:
1. First, list all of your events, activities and service projects on a free generic application, like one that is available from the Montana Department of Labor. Complete the application as thoroughly as possible. List volunteer jobs and service projects that you may have been a part of with your youth group, 4H club, band, cheerleader squad, etc. Did you baby sit or mow your neighbors’ yard for pay? Complete every section, placing the letters N/A in blanks that do not apply. Keep in mind that employers are looking for ways to that your past involvements helped you to learn teamwork indicating to them that you will be a value for their company.
2. Go to your local one-stop center and register for jobs. If you are under 18, ask one of your parents to assist you with registering at your local one stop center. You will need a copy of your driver’s license and social security card. Each and every state in the United States of America hosts a job portal to help connect companies with motivated job seekers.
3. Practice basic interview questions. Keep in mind that a potential employer’s job is to figure out if you are a fit for their company. They are asking themselves, “Can you follow directions, work well under pressure, listen, implement instructions without being micromanaged, take initiative and work with diverse cultures”? Practice basic interview questions that provide answers that reflect your past experiences in school, in the community and in groups that you have been a part of where you did these things.
4. Provide 3 to 4 references with 4 to 5 good examples of employability skills that you possess and ask them to serve as a business or professional reference for you. Discuss some of the experiences that you have had in the follow areas: workplace relationships and ethics, communications, personal growth and development, interpersonal skills, information management, multicultural awareness, career and personal planning and independent living.
As a young adult getting started in the workplace, please be encouraged that the workforce wants you and really value your creativity, energy and quick wit. However, you must communicate verbally your ability to help the bottom line and fit in. Your quest for technology, information sharing, community service and family in addition to your high school extra-curricular activities are all areas that can be listed on your resume and applications as you seek out your first part-time or full-time job.
Keep in mind that you will have to apply to 30 to 40 job leads weekly to get a small percentage of hiring officials to look your way. Once you practice verbalizing your skills in a 30 second elevator speech, you will be surprise how receptive managers and hiring officials will be once they realize that you are prepared, understand how to help them to meet their goals and that you have a great attitude.