Applying for a Job
Now that you’re out and about in the community, you may be thinking about applying for a job. Applying for a job, especially if you’ve never had one, can be a little bit nerve-wracking. Some questions you might have are, “Where do I start looking?” “How do I set up an interview?” “What do I wear once I get an interview?” “What kind of questions will they ask me?” “Do I need a resume, and if so, what should I put on it?” In this blog post, you will learn basic steps to follow when applying for a job.
Step One: Brainstorm types of jobs you think are the best fit for you
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- What are your interests?
- What are your strengths? (Attention to detail, organization, time management, etc.)
- Have you been previously employed/what makes you think you’re qualified? (Strengths, skills, etc.).
- Do you have reliable transportation to get to the job?
Step Two: Search community/websites such as ____________________ for job listings.
- Indeed is a great website to start looking for jobs, especially part-time with little to no experience. Indeed.com will also help you build your resume! You can use this resume to apply to multiple jobs.
- Craigslist is another place to look. You can narrow your search by specifically putting “Craigslist Lincoln” or “Craigslist Omaha” to look for jobs in your area.
- A simple Google search with the words “jobs near me” is a fast and easy way to see who has recently put up a job listing.
- Asking around (friends, family, community, etc.) is another way to start! You may have friends who are already employed, and that place may be hiring. It never hurts to check!
Step Three: Contact the employer via website, phone, or email regarding interview
- Fill out the application (online or in-person) thoroughly. If you feel like the application did not cover all the areas you wanted to, you can always attach a document explaining your situation in more detail.
- Directly contacting the employer is a great way to get your foot in the door. You can reach out to them by calling or emailing.
- Send resume and/or cover letter if necessary. Some jobs will only require you to fill in the blanks of an online or in-person application while others may ask for a resume and/or cover letter to be attached.
Step Four: The Interview
- Be early for the interview. Arriving 15-20 minutes before the interview is ideal. You’ll have time to calm your nerves. Plus, you’ll show your employer that you are timely and eager to start.
- Dress appropriately. You are not necessarily required to wear a suit and tie or a formal dress, but you should wear something that is neat, clean, and appropriate. Clothes should not be too tight or too baggy. Blue jeans are acceptable but try to avoid “holey” or tattered jeans. Preferably dark blue jeans. Stay away from graphic t-shirts or any clothing with inappropriate images/sayings on it as well.
- Act professionally. You should stand up to shake their hand, make eye contact, and introduce yourself. Your cell phone should be out of sight and silenced. Interviews are usually short—that text, tweet, or Snapchat can wait!
- Answer their questions honestly—don’t try to lie about job experience or skills you do not have. That only ends up wasting your time and the employer’s time.
- Sometimes they will offer you a position following the interview. However, sometimes they either need to consider or they have other candidates to interview. Don’t get discouraged! Thank them for their time and ask them to keep in touch.
Step Five: The follow-up
- If you have not heard back in over a week, email or call them for a follow up. This will show employers that you are eager to get the job.
- You only need to follow up once or twice. If you pester them, they might get irritated and not contact you at all. Be polite, never pushy, when doing a follow up.
- Some jobs ask you not to do a follow up, and that is okay. It is not always a bad thing. In those instances, just wait it out.
I have a juvenile record; what do I do?
If you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime. A juvenile adjudication is NOT a conviction. However, employers CAN see your unsealed juvenile record and decide not to hire you. This is another important reason to get your juvenile record sealed! Attached are some flyers to help you get started on sealing your juvenile record. If you must disclose your juvenile record, be brief and avoid blaming others. Talk about how you have made better choices and focus on the positive. Practice talking about it with someone you trust to get comfortable. You could possibly get a letter of recommendation from a mentor or teacher.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-CZ-BX-0021 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.