_ Throughout this year, we have covered a multitude of topics on this blog, ranging from high school-related advice to making the most of your college experience. However, in a way, these skills are a means to an end; you will see the most benefit from these skills when applying for a job. This month, we will share some great tips that you can employ to help you land your dream job!
The first step is to fill out the job application. Employers use your application form to determine who they are going to interview for a job opening, so it is important that the application is filled out correctly. When filling out a paper application, make sure to use a blue or black ball-point pen and write neatly. Common mistakes people make are spelling errors and leaving parts of the application blank; be sure not to make these mistakes yourself! When going to fill out an application, make sure you have all the information necessary to fill it out. Things you should consider brining with you include your social security card, driver’s license, and a school ID, if your school provides you with one. When applying for a job, it is important to tailor your information for the job you’re seeking; you should therefore make sure that the vocational and/or educational experiences you are listing are pertinent to the job you’re applying for. It’s a good idea not to offer any negative information about yourself; however, under no circumstances should you lie on an application! Make sure to keep your application consistent with your resume, and proofread it before you turn it in.
The ability to write an effective resume and cover letter is crucial to your success. Outside of the job application, your resume is the first place where an employer will get to know you, your qualifications, and what you have to offer to them as a potential future employee. As a result, your resume is the key to being called in for the all-important interview. It is therefore absolutely essential that your resume and cover letter stand out from other applicants. Here are some tips to help you in this process:
· Research- There are many ways to write a resume and cover letter, but it’s important that you find the method that best suits you and highlights your accomplishments. Keep in mind that the fundamental purpose of these documents is to serve as an introduction.
· Make your format clean and unique- Both Microsoft Word and Apple Pages offer some great resume templates. However, your best bet is to take those formats and modify them to make your resume unique from all of the others the employer will look at. Also, try to avoid large groups of words. Instead, break down your information into smaller paragraphs. Nothing deters a reader more than seeing a giant wall of text.
· Above all, make sure that your resume and cover letter are professional. Avoid “flowery” fonts that are difficult to read. Instead, stick with more conservative fonts such as Times New Roman or Georgia. Keep the formatting of your resume and cover letter consistent. This will make them look more professional.
By following these tips and putting your own spin on your cover letter and resume, you’re sure to be well on the way to employment. Don’t forget to ensure that these documents are unique to you and truly reflect your personality!The next step in the employment process is undergoing the interview. Just getting an interview is an accomplishment, and means that the employer is showing an interest in you! The most important thing to remember about interviewing is to act professionally. Make sure to choose professional clothing to make a great first impression. You should always arrive early- remember that in an employer’s eyes, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is left behind.”
When shaking hands with your interviewer, maintain a firm (but not overbearing) grip. Although it seems trivial, a professional and confident handshake can set the tone for the remainder of the interview. Remember to be yourself, and to let the employer get to know the real you. By doing this, you can establish a relaxed atmosphere, making the interview much easier for both you and the interviewer. Also, ensure that you are well-prepared for your interview. Make sure to bring extra copies of your resume, cover letter, and references. If necessary, find a clean notebook to store all of these documents. It’s also beneficial to run through some possible questions in your head before the interview starts. Common questions an interviewer may ask include: “Tell me about yourself.” or “What makes you the most qualified person for this position?” Just make sure to speak from the heart, have fun with your interview, get to know your future employer, and let him or her get to know you.
If you follow of these tips, you’ll be sure to be a competitive applicant! Just remember- if you don’t get the job, don’t get discouraged. At the very least, you’ll have learned a lot about yourself and the job application process, and will be better prepared for the next job you apply to. Good luck!
Jae-Young Son, State President