Preparing for the Job Hunt
The most important steps in going to get your first job take place before you even head out the front door. You need to prepare for what you're about to do.
Put Together a Simple Resume
Many first time or part time job seekers don't believe they need a resume, or think that "well, I don't really have anything to put on a resume, so why bother?" Two reasons. First, having a resume to give to the prospective employer shows you've put some effort into finding a job (read: you will put some effort into the job you do for them…). Secondly, it allows you to showcase those things about you that you want the employer to remember.
Having a printed resume sets you apart from the crowd. Even if you have no work experience, you can still give the employer an idea of who you are, and what your strengths are. If all you've done is baby-sit your kid brother, put it down in writing. Emphasize the skills you learned while baby-sitting, the challenges you overcame, and so on.
Make sure when you head out the door, that you are well groomed and well dressed. You don't need to be in a suit, just make sure you look presentable. Make sure "your Grandma would approve…"
Of course, you can use sites that focus on part time jobs for teens like GrooveJob.com to find part time jobs in your area, but there are many other ways to find employers. You can get a list of places looking for people from a variety of sources. You can pick up a local newspaper, go to the library to look at help wanted listings, or walk through town looking for Help Wanted signs. But remember, not every business looking for an employee will have a Help Wanted sign in the front window.
Put on your list of places anywhere that you think would be fun to work, and go get that job. Walking in and asking for a job isn't illegal, and it shows the manager that you are interested and ambitious if you ask for a job even when one isn't advertised.
Prepare for "No"
Before you go apply anywhere, you need to prepare yourself for rejection. That's right. Nobody, and I mean, nobody, gets accepted every single place they apply for a job. As a first time job seeker, you need to mentally prepare for someone to say, "No". There's nothing wrong with a store owner saying to you, "I'm sorry, we don't need anyone right now." However, there is a right and a wrong way to respond to a business owner or manager who says they have no need for you. If you get a "No, I'm sorry" (and everyone will!), respond by saying, "Well, if you do need someone in the future, please give me a call. I'll leave you a copy of my resume. Thanks for your time."
This shows the manager that you are serious about getting a job, and you have demonstrated the ability to follow up. Simply walking away from the store shows the manager that you weren't serious about the job to begin with. Stand up for yourself and demonstrate maturity. It goes a long way in presenting yourself.
Stand Up Straight and Be Mature
Not to sound like your parents, or anything, but…
Go to each of the employers on your list, walk in the door, and ask for that job. Keep you head up, maintain eye contact, have a firm handshake, and be confident. Employers look for certain qualities when a jobseeker walks in the door. Foremost of those qualities is the candidate's ability to communicate. If you are meek, shy, and unable to show the employer that you are serious about getting a job, you probably won't get one. When communicating to a manager, demonstrate that you are eager to get the job.
This is probably the most important part of getting a job. Employers look for candidates who have the ability to follow up with customers, because it shows a willingness to get involved and be responsible. Always make a follow up call or get in touch with the potential employer. Usually, it's best to wait about a week to make a call, and when you do, make sure to get on the phone with the person who will be hiring. Don't rely on someone else to leave the right message for you.
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