7 Tips for Getting That First Job

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7 Tips for Getting That First Job

Photo courtesy of Istock under Creative Commons License

Photo courtesy of Istock under Creative Commons License

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Photo courtesy of Istock under Creative Commons License

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Photo courtesy of Istock under Creative Commons License

Maddy Eubank, Fluco Beat Editor

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Application after application, rejection after rejection. If you’re anything like most teens, that seems to be how it goes when looking for your first job. You’re either too quiet, too inexperienced, or not qualified. But there are things you can do, even as a teen, to help you snag that first job while still in high school.

Tip #1: Look close to home

A good way to get some experience while also making money is to start by looking in your neighbourhood. Small jobs such as babysitting and mowing lawns may not seem like “real” jobs. But that can be excellent sources of income and experience, because when you start applying for “official” jobs, the people you have worked for will be able to give you a good reference. In addition, you can include them on your first resume, something which few students tend to have. A good resume can make you stand out among other applicants your age. (See more on resumes below.)

Tip #2: Apply for multiple jobs at a time

Instead of applying for one job at a time and waiting weeks for a response, you may want to try applying for multiple at a time, just in case one or more falls through. Another thing you should always do after applying for a job is make sure that you either email or call to check up on where your application stands.

Tip #3: Always send “Thank You” notes or emails

One way to stand out among other applicants is to write a quick email– or even better, a handwritten thank you note–to the person who interviewed you. Few students know to do this, but it can pay huge dividends as it shows a potential employer that you are professional, appreciative, and show initiative. Consider a short note like this:

Dear _____________,

Thank you for meeting with me today. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about your company and I believe that my [mention two or more traits of your personality, like dependability and friendliness] can make a positive impact on your business. I will call you next week to follow up on our meeting.

Tip #4: Be outgoing

Almost every employer is  looking for someone social who can get along with other people. When you go in for an interview, try to smile often and be as outgoing and friendly as you can to prove to them that you would be a great fit for the position you’re applying for. Don’t be afraid to talk up your accomplishments; after all, if you don’t brag about yourself, no one will.

Also, you might try personally connecting with the interviewer, either by complimenting them on something about the business (like, “I’ve always loved eating here. Your food and customer service are so great, and I’d love to be a part of that”), or by complimenting them on something personal (“I love your sweater”).

Tip #5: Try searching online…or in person

There are multiple websites that post job listings in your area. All you have to do is type into Google “part-time job listings near,” followed by the city or town where you wish to get a job. If that fails, then go job searching around town for places with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. But keep in mind that some places don’t always post a sign in the window, so if there’s a place you would prefer to work, just go in and ask if they’re hiring.

Tip #6: Make a resume

Many high school students feel like they haven’t done enough to be able to create a resume, but a neat, professional (and spell-checked!) resume can really open doors for you. Even if you’ve never had a job before, you can list volunteer work, babysitting, lawn care, and helping at church as evidence that you have a good work ethic and some customer service skills.

In addition, be sure to mention any awards you’ve received (in school or out), positions like team captain or club president or secretary, plus participation in sports or hobbies, especially if you’ve done them for two or more years. This shows that you have perservance and don’t give up on things.

To make a resume, Google “how to create a resume,” or go to this link.


Tip #7: Keep an open mind/consider volunteering

Sometimes you’ll find that you don’t always get the job that you want. So don’t get your mind set on only one job. Most adults can tell you that at one or more times during their careers, they had to spend some time in a job they weren’t thrilled about, but which eventually led to a better job. So be open to something, even if it’s not your first choice.

If all else fails, consider volunteering somewhere. While it may not be a paying job, it’s something that you can put on a resume that will look good for future employers and on college applications. If you do a good job, you’ll probably be able to put your volunteer supervisor down as a reference.

Looking for a job can be difficult at times, but as long as you’re patient and don’t give up hope, a job will eventually come to you. Consider some of these tips for your job search, and you may find those doors opening up faster than you ever anticipated.