In this article, I will talk about my own personal experience with applications, resumes, cover letters, interviews, etc. Ideally, you can relate to it in some way, but if not, then please comment below with your own experience and ideas, so other people can learn from it.
This is definitely something unique, but my parents did not let me work until I was 18. As soon as I was 18 years old, I started applying for jobs like crazy with no results. Then, I realized I was answering the applications’ questions with no thought process whatsoever. Even if it is a minimum wage job, you need to think about your answers, do research about the company you are applying for and the position you want, and most importantly, be honest! They can figure it out if you are putting the answers you think they want you to choose.
The application process is long, but in most cases, you can stop your application if you get tired and continue it in a later time. Finding a job with a recommendation from someone who already works there is the easy way out, but you will feel better about yourself if you get the job all by yourself.
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At first, I had no idea how to write my resume so, naturally, I went online and look up outlines from resources like Fastweb, but I felt I needed more help. Thankfully, in some of my high school classes and even in college, the instructors gave us specific instructions on how to write our own resumes and it was very helpful.
If you were not as lucky as I was, you can visit your counselor if you are in high school or your major adviser if you are in college; they will either help you write your resume or lead you to someone who can. My advice is that your resume should be one page, including your high school and/or college name, your address, your phone number, your activities, summer jobs, organizations you have being a part of in your campus, volunteer opportunities and classes that taught you valuable skills (law classes, economics, math, writing courses, among others).
Every job experience is valuable, from working at a fast food restaurant to working in retail. My first interview ever was a group interview, meaning that there was me and approximately seven other candidates in the room, plus the interviewer. At first, the interviewer asked a question and everyone got an opportunity to answer, then she asked different questions to each individual. Long story short, I got the job, which was working in my local Kohl’s as a seasonal employee. It helped a lot studying what they could ask me in the interview beforehand. For example, they asked questions like, “’Tell me about yourself’, ‘what you would do in this situation’, ‘who you admire’, among others.”
Although I could not make my seasonal job a part time job, it was a fun experience because as someone who is not very outgoing, working as a salesperson and dealing with people in different situations during the holiday season thought me valuable skills that I will use once I obtain a job in my profession. It also helped me get experience into the real world and give me a push into having better jobs.
I have yet to have a paying job in my field of studying, which some people call “professional job,” but I will continue to follow my own advice and read articles in websites like Fastweb, which have an article for almost every college-related topic you can think of. Best luck in your search for a job!