Thursday: Where am I eligible to work based on my age?
Friday: How do I actually apply for a job?
Today: Application Tips.
Wednesday: Interview Tips.
Students need to realize that the real world is very different from the halls and walls of Centennial High School. Here, teachers will pick you up when you fail and students are often given second and third chances to get something right. In school a student might be allowed multiple tardies, might be asked several times to put away their phone, and might be allowed to miss classes on a regular basis. In the real world, workers are dismissed from jobs for being late or calling in sick, and many places won’t allow ANY cell phone use. In the real world, “mistakes” cost businesses money. Some “bosses” are more tolerant than others, and emergencies do happen, but willy-nilly attendance, dress code violations or a lackadaisical attitude will put the worker right back on the job-seeking path.
The point is: THERE ARE NO DO OVERS. Get it right the first time, or you won’t get the job. This starts with the application process.
Paper Applications: If you have an application in hand, (the process to get to this point was outlined in Part 2 of this series) make a copy so you have a “rough draft.” (Better yet, ask for a second copy.) Then complete the application using these guidelines:
Use blue or black ink only (and do not mix the colors)
DO NOT fold the application
Read the whole application before you write anything on it
Complete all areas
If you make a mistake (best not to make a mistake!) cross it out with one line rather than a bunch of crazy scribbles or a great big ink blot
Use “N/A” if the category does not apply (college/military)
Provide complete names and contact information for supervisor and references
Yes, you will need references! These cannot be family members or friends. Use teachers, scout masters, coaches, supervisors for day care, fundraising, and so on.
Online Applications: This is a great way for the “business” to find workers, but it is not such a great way for young workers to find a job because the worker has no idea if the “boss” ever saw the application. If you have to apply online, make sure you stop by the place of business the following day or two and let the manager know that your application has been completed. This will put a name with a face, and it will let the manager know you are serious about the position. If at all possible, DO NOT do this on the phone and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT do this via text unless you were instructed to do so.