Advice: Job Hunting

now-hiring-signIt is absolutely horrible, it really is. It is hard and, let’s be honest, really tedious. No one wants to fill out application after application and have to buy 37 ink cartridges for the printer because you’re printing out 4507315435 copies of your resume. That being said, jobs are necessary. You can’t get away from it, but there are ways to make your life easier during the job hunt. Here are tips for job hunting, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

1.     Make sure you have a really good résumé.
Every career driven girl knows that a resume is the most important thing. Employers ask for a résumé all the time, so it’s really helpful to have one on file at all times. Make sure that you have your résumé updated so that it includes all your recent accomplishments, jobs, volunteer positions as well as current personal information.

Nothing looks more unprofessional than having typos and incorrect grammar on a résumé. After using spell check on your computer, have your parents or a teacher look it over. If you’re a college student, you can take your résumé to your university’s career center — an office that helps students with free career and interview advice.

2.  Apply everywhere.
Many upper-level jobs require some type of previous experience, and it is incredibly difficult to get a job like that without it. Now is a good time to get a head start. While it won’t sound too glamorous to say that you’re a sandwich artist at Subway, it will help you when you’re trying to get that job as an assistant chef at a classy restaurant down the line. Even if it’s not your dream job, you will pick up skills to boost your résumé and help you land your dream job in the future. For potential employment opportunities, look in your local newspapers employment section or visit websites like Monster.com and Indeed.com. Word of mouth can also be helpful, so ask your friends and teachers if they know of any job openings.

Jasmine Hansberry,19, recommends that girls try to apply to jobs that are closely related to what they are good at. “If you are good at certain things, go after a job that you know you can work at and get promoted. For example, if you are good at talking to new people try customer service.”

Even though you are applying at several places at once, chances are you might not receive a follow-up e-mail or interview from each application. The more you apply means the greater your chances are of landing a job.

“I applied to a lot of places during the winter break and only one place called me back, but I ended up getting that job,” shares Marlett Mojica, 19.

Playing the waiting game can be stressful, but while you’re waiting make sure you practice for the next step in the job hunt: the interview.

3.     Make sure you’ve practiced for an interview.
 This is a biggie. Not only will it keep you calm but it’ll help you practice answering difficult questions like why do you want to work there and what you can contribute to the company.”Make sure you are friendly during the interview. Be nice and don’t be rude. Make sure you are honest in the interview and tell the truth… [and] say thank you for this interview at the end, ” shares Marlett.

It usually helps to have a parent, teacher or someone with a job help you practice your interviewing skills. When you get an interview, you need to make sure you are dressed professionally and be very respectful and positive during the interview.

4.     Make sure you play up your skills and talents.
 Ask your family and friends to share what they think are your biggest skills as a starting point. Are you a good writer, working with children, and meeting new people? Think about any awards you’ve won, any leadership roles you’ve held in student organizations, or any volunteer experience you have. You can use this to create a list of skills and talents to add to your résumé or mention in an interview. There isn’t anything bad with bragging about what you’re good at.  It makes you seem confident and it helps convince potential employers that you’d be really good at helping them.  Be careful though, don’t overplay it because you may run the risk of seeming cocky. Also, and this is a biggie, don’t say you have a skill you really don’t have because it can backfire.

Jasmine encourages girls to have confidence and not be afraid to step up and take the initiative to follow-up with a job application. “If there is a certain job you like, make the effort to call them. A lot of bosses will think that you really want this job and that they should give you a chance.”

Finding a job can be difficult, but always keep your head up. “Even though it may seem hard, don’t quit. Give yourself a chance and you will find a job,” reminds Marlett.

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