How To: Apply for a Job
By Rachel Richter
Most high school students get a part-time job sometime during their high school career. Whether you want a job or not, the fact of the matter is that you will most likely have to get one. The problem is, when it comes time to get a job, we don’t know where to begin! Nobody ever taught us how to apply for a job and so we don’t really know what to do.
The process of applying for a job is actually quite simple. The first thing to do is to decide where you want to apply. If you don’t have a certain type of job you are looking for, then I would recommend applying to numerous companies. If you are serious about getting a job, you may as well take all the possible actions to ensure that you get one. I would recommend applying to as many places – grocery stores, restaurants, fast food stations, etc. – that you can think of. The more places you apply, the better your chances are of being offered a job.
Before you begin the application process, you need to do some research. Don’t worry, this step isn’t as bad as it sounds. You just need to make sure you know about the company before you apply there. A simple Google search will give you all the information you need. Simply spend a quick ten minutes learning about the company, what they do and what their goals are. This information will benefit you in the application process and you may even be able to mention a few facts during your interview for some brownie points!
The next important step is to be prepared! Make sure you obtain any and all materials you could possibly need to apply for a job. There are many items that companies require when hiring employees: a resume, a work permit, a driver’s license, and a great attitude. In simple terms, a resume is a Word document that lists your achievements in a formal way. The counselors at Seton are prepared to help you with creating a resume, so you should see your counselor and she will guide you on this process. If you have already made yourself a resume, I would still recommend seeing your counselor. She can offer comments and suggestions to improve your work. In order to obtain a work permit, you must visit Seton’s main office and ask for a work permit packet. This packet contains the steps you need to follow to get a work permit. Follow the steps and you will be good to go. Just so you know, obtaining a work permit typically takes around a week or two. Most jobs also require a driver’s license or other form of identification. If you don’t have a license, a copy of your birth certificate usually works as well. Finally, perhaps the most important thing you need to have is a great attitude! If you are enthusiastic about a company, the company will be enthusiastic to have you.
After you decide where you want to apply, do your research, obtain the paper work you need, and then you’ll be ready to apply for some jobs! Companies either have an online application or a paper application. Since most businesses have not yet created an online application, you will most likely need to drive to the actual business location and ask for an application. Either go to the front desk, or if there is not front desk, ask an employee if there is anyone available you could speak with about getting a job application. In some instances, the worker will simply hand you a paper application. You can choose to either fill the application out at home and bring it back later or fill it out right then and there. In a case like this, I would recommend taking the application home and working on it just so you can give it your full attention, put forth your best effort, and be sure the application is polished. Other times, when you ask for an application it will be required that you fill it out in that very moment. In this case, I would recommend sitting down, answering every question thoroughly, and taking as much time as you need. Seriously! Don’t be afraid to spend a half hour working on the application – this is actually quite common – and nobody is going to judge you for caring. Finally, another possible and common scenario is that when you ask for an application, the employee will tell you that they are not accepting applications at this time. Prepare yourself for rejection.
On this day when you visit the places you are applying, you need to make sure of a few things. First of all, make sure to bring all of the materials you obtained earlier: your resume, work permit, and driver’s license. Don’t forget that great attitude and big smile! And most importantly, remember that first impressions are key. Look presentable, dress nicely, and put in effort into your appearance.
The next important step after turning in your application is to follow up on the position. About a week after you submit you application, you need to call the company during their office hours and say something like, “Hello I am Sally Seton and I am just calling to follow up on the job position I recently applied for.” If the company happens to be hiring, they will most likely set up an interview with you. After the interview, you will find out whether you got the job or not.
If you take all the necessary precautions when applying for a job, you should be thoroughly prepared and confident. Keep in mind that rejection is common, so don’t let it get to you if you get rejected. When it comes down to it, just remember to be prepared and be yourself!