Job Tips for Youth

How to Interview

 

Be Prepared

So, you applied for a job and you get a call; they want to interview you.
Yikes! This can be a little scary if you don’t know how to prepare for it.

Remember, once you get called for the interview, that means they have seen your application or your resume, and on paper, you have everything you need to do that job, or they would not be calling you. So the rest is all in how you present yourself.

 

Suggestions

LiveCareer has a lot of good information about preparing for an interview. Read over the suggestions. Check out our schedule for interviewing workshops. Ask a friend to practice with you.  Make an appointment at your local Career Center and ask to have a mock interview.  We'll conduct the interview and give you tips and pointers.  Also look over these other tips on interviews and how to dress for an interview

Always remember, everything about you will matter when you go in for an interview: how you look, what you say, if you make eye contact. Even the simple act of smiling and showing good manners all matter.

Be your best. An employer knows that if you do not try to impress them before they hire you, you will never try to impress them on the job.

How to Keep a Job

 

Important to Remember

Okay, so you made it. Someone hired you. Yay! You have a job. Now all you have to do is keep it. Most of the things that are important to employers are things that you have control over:

  • You can control whether you are at work on time.

  • You control whether you show up or not, or when you are sick, whether you call in on time.

  • You control whether you go to work dressed neatly.

  • You control whether you are polite and friendly.

  • You control whether you follow policy and procedure

These are all important to your boss.
 

Leaving a Job

So what if you don’t like your job and want to quit? Guess what? It does matter how you leave a job, too. Future employers will care how you left and why, and you may need a reference.
First Things First:

If there is something wrong at work, maybe it can be fixed. If there is a co-worker who is making you uncomfortable, talk to your supervisor. If your hours weren’t what you expected, talk to your supervisor.

If you need to quit your job because of school or moving or some other reason that can’t be changed, always give your employer at least two weeks notice. Don’t burn bridges. If you just don’t show up for work, it makes you look irresponsible.

Writing a Resume

 

Your Own Commercial

Usually, you will need a resume to apply for a job. Think of a resume as your own personal commercial. A prospective employer will read it and decide if there is anything in it that makes them want to call you for an interview.

A resume needs to tell the employer something about you that says why you would be a good worker for them. There are lots of different ways to write a resume, and especially when you are young, it can be hard to know what to put in one.

You may not have ever held a "real" job before so what do you have to put on your resume?  Plenty.  Volunteer work for one.  Anything you've ever been paid for like babysitting and mowing lawns can show responsibility or a willingness to do hard work.  Extracurricular activities can also be of help.  If you've played a sport, you may have teamwork capabilities.  Head of a club has given you leadership skills.

Also don't forget that your local career center can help you create a resume or fill out an application.  

We have the following articles on resumes as well.  They will give you more tips and show what a resume looks like.

Resume Writing

The Modern Resume

Filling out an Application

 

An application is an important document.  It is often the first impression you are giving the potential employer so you want to make a good one.  Check out the following tips.

  1. Read carefully.  You want to make sure you fill out the information correctly and check the right boxes.  Also make sure you read the job description including requirements and qualifications.  An employer can receive a lot of applications and will narrow the field by eliminating those who they think did not read the job description or requirements, skipped sections, or didn't follow instructions.

  2. Use a professional name and email.  Everyone may know you as Gator but use your real name on your application.  Also set up a professional email using simply your name, and some numbers, if necessary.  Believe me, no hiring manager will be willing to take you seriously if you use a nickname or silly email on your application.

  3. Write neatly if it's on paper!  If they can't read it, it goes straight to the discard pile.

  4. Spelling.  Whether on paper or online make sure you spell correctly.  It shows that you took your time and cared enough to get it right.  Little things can make a difference!

  5. Don't skip sections.  Fill it out completely even if it's not required information or the information is on your resume.  Giving them more information than required shows that you are interested and that you're willing to go the extra step.  If a question truly does not apply to you then enter "N/A" for not applicable; it will shows that you at least read the information.

  6. Assessments.  Many companies have added them to applications.  It's another way for them to weed out undesirable candidates.  When you take an assessment, think from an employer point of view and the answers they are hoping to see.

  7. If they ask for you to attach a resume, cover letter, or any other information then include it.  They are asking for reason.

  8. Follow up.  You've submitted your application and put your best foot forward.  Make sure you check that professional email frequently and answer your phone.  If they can't reach you, the job goes to someone else.

If you need help filling out an application, a resume, cover letter, etc., contact your Career Center.  We can help!

 

Social Media

Social Media can have a big impact on your ability to find and keep a job.  Uh oh.  Sounds like there's a lecture coming...

A little bit but, look, if you're serious about finding and keeping a job, it's important.  Now more than ever, employers are looking at social media as part of their hiring process.  So your first step before applying for a job is to clean up your social media.  Try to think like an employer.  Is that picture of you doing a keg stand likely to put off an employer?  Probably.  Take down any posts and pictures that may put you in a bad light.  

Now I know what you're thinking: what I do on my personal time shouldn't matter.  Maybe.  But you have to think from the employer end of things.  Hiring and training people is expensive.  They want people to stay working for them.  What you have on social media speaks volumes to an employer.  Lots of party pictures may say lots of sick calls to an employer. Risqué photos may make them worried about sexual harassment.

 

Once you have that job, you still need to take care.  Employers sometimes still check social media, and if they don't like what they see, they could fire you.  That is one thing you definitely don't want as it can make it hard to find another job.  So what do you need to be careful of?  Well for starters, say you've had a bad day at work.  It's tempting to vent about it on social media, but don't.  Never bad mouth your job, workplace, or boss on social media.  Also don't film yourself at work, no matter what you're doing, and post it.  Employers expect to you to work while you're at your job, not be taking pictures, filming, texting, etc.

Keep in mind, too, that a lot of employers now have social media and cell phone policies.  Follow them, and you will keep your job.  Your first job may be in retail, fast food, or some other entry level position, but your behavior at that job can help or hinder your employment future.