So you are thinking about getting a job. Starting your job search may seem like an impossible task, but we’re here to share some tips to help.
1. When you’re looking for work, safety should be your number 1 priority. Be aware that many job-related scams, often aimed at young people, are out there. Whether it’s “make $50 an hour working from home” or “earn hundreds of dollars a day as a model,” if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
2. Online, you can limit your exposure to fake job ads by using reputable job search boards to look for work. Check sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Indeed.com. or even go directly to the company website you are interested in.
3. If you’re looking for work in your neighborhood, stay within your community. Start by asking your friends who are currently employed about their jobs; your Club staff and teachers are also great resources. Connections are very important not only when you’re looking for a part-time job as a teen, but also for your future. You never know who you might meet today that can help later in your career.
4. When looking for a job, make sure you’re prepared. If a business has a help wanted sign in its window, the employer will often ask you to fill out a job application on the spot. Information you might be asked to provide on a job application will include your address and phone number, your work history, as well as contact information for your references.
5. If you are visiting places in person, be sure to dress professionally. First impressions are important and you’ll want to look the part. For more on how to dress for success, see CareerLaunch Applying and Interviewing.
6. Don’t limit yourself during your job hunt. Just because you’re looking for an after-school or summer job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about future career possibilities. To start with, think about what you’d like to do in the future.
7. For example, say you’d like to become a hairdresser one day.Contact a locally owned salon (survey adults at your school or Club for a recommendation on a good local business to talk to) and ask if you can speak to someone there about what kind of education and experience you would need to work there. Then find out if you might be able to get a job — even an unpaid one — at the salon to learn more about the business. You might have to start off cleaning up, but a chance to explore a career you’re interested in is invaluable.
8. During your job search, you will probably hear the word “networking.” Networking – or connecting with people in your social network, like friends, acquaintances, teachers and advisors – is very important to job and career success. Many people get their first jobs through someone they know. A good way to start networking is to ask yourself questions like “Who are some people that I already know who might help me think of potential jobs? How strong are my connections to these people? How comfortable am I talking to them right now?”
9. Once you’ve identified some potential contacts, think about how you might approach them. Develop some questions so that you’re prepared when you speak to them. Possibilities include “How did you get where you are today?”, “How did you develop an interest in your field?” and “Can you describe your typical day at work?” If a person’s job sounds interesting to you, ask what they studied and where they went to college.
10. Social media provides another way to network and can connect you with additional people who might be able to help with your job hunt. Always keep your safety in mind when connecting with people online, however. Don’t talk to strangers or reveal personal information like your address via social media.