Job hunting can be stressful but fun at the same time. I have extensive experience in the matter. I can honestly say, the most stressful time was finding my first few jobs. I had no idea how to job hunt, therefore, I took the jobs that my friends referred me to. Gladly, those jobs were fun and I gained lots of experience.
This blog is mainly for the inexperienced job seeker, but might be useful for the experienced ones.
There are different tools you will need:
- A computer- If you do not own one, visit your local Employment Development Department department or Library. Phones are not program to fill out long applications online. Now a days, employers would like candidates to do the job applications online.
- A notebook and a pen- You will need to write down the company name, position and date applied. This will become handy for follow ups.
- A proper email address- It is very important to use an email address that has your name and last name. A nickname is not professional and the hiring manager will not take you seriously; for example do not use email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may have the qualifications but if your email its not professional, your application will end up in the trash. The email address will help you stay organized as well. You can save all the jobs you applied to, they have the job description and you must know it for the job interview.
- Clean social media pages- employers now a days check your public profiles. Make sure all your pages are private and your profile pictures are descent. Have a strong LinkedIn page, your profile should consist of everything on your resume. If you post comments, exclude political, racial and religious views.
- Resume- This is what will get you an interview. My advice, make your own document, do not use templates. Those are complicated and formatted in a way that the document might loose its format when you copy and paste it to job applications
- On the header of the resume you must have your name in big black bold letters (size font between 16 and 20) Your phone number and email address, you may list the city and state where you live; it is not necessary to list the street address because you already added that in your application.
- PROFILE, that is a short sentence describing your attributes; meaning what values will you be adding to the company you are applying for.
- EDUCATION-if you are a high school graduate only, and completed some units in college but did not graduate, do not add the college information. If you graduate from college, only write the college information not the high school. You will need, school name, City, State, date of graduation and degree earned.
- CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES- Add all your certificates and licenses that you have. This includes, college certificate of completion, trade certifications, etc.
- EXPERIENCE- Here you will add all your work experience, even if the only job you had was babysitting. You must list 10 years of working experience for jobs that you worked for more than 6 months. Visit www.onetonline.org to get a description for your past job titles, this company makes a list of all the jobs in the United States for the Department of Labor, so they know their stuff. This serves as an example, you will use your own words, its illegal to copy word per word other people’s post. Below is what they have listed for babysitter/childcare worker :
- Maintain a safe play environment.
- Dress children and change diapers.
- Observe and monitor children’s play activities.
- Communicate with children’s parents or guardians about daily activities, behaviors, and related issues.
- Sanitize toys and play equipment
- SKILLS- List all the technical skill you possessed. For example, proficient in Microsoft Office. Add if you are bilingual or understand another language other than English. If you are applying to an office job or any job with keyboards, find out how fast you type and add it, for example, I type 65 words per minute, the resume will read 65WPM. There are websites that offer typing test, for example, http://www.typingtest.com/
- Cover letter- this will have to be typed at the time of application because each letter should match your skills with the qualifications of the job. This will be an introduction to the employer. You will need 3 paragraphs, 1-You are letting them know who you are 2- What can you do for them and 3- How they will get back with you.
- Phone- You will need to follow up with the jobs you applied for. Give 48 hours after submitting the application to call. You want to speak to the hiring manager. Introduce yourself and let him/her know you have submitted an application online and are following up with the status of the position you applied for. Depending on their answer, if they filled the position, offer them to keep your information for future needs; if they are still reviewing applications, this is the time to sell your skills.
- Elevator speech- put together 10 short sentences about your skills. Showcase your qualifications. This will come in handy when you follow up with the employer and also at the time of the interview.
If you are still clueless about how to look for work, there are many organizations out there for you to use at no charge. For example, the Employment Development Department, Goodwill Resource Center, college employment resource centers. They can help you put together a job application, a resume, a cover letter and even give you job leads!
Now, you have a lot of information to help you with your job search. Get out of you comfort zone and go get the job you want!