Nothing is worse than the moment you realise you don’t have enough money to get the large slushie from 7 Eleven, so you have to settle for the smallest one. Honestly, devo. If this is happening to you, it may be time to think about a part-time job.
Summer is approaching, the perfect opportunity to jump into the workforce and earn a bit of cash for the holidays (or maybe you’re thinking a bit further ahead–gap years don’t pay for themselves, you know).
It can be difficult, and overwhelming, looking for a job–handing in resumes to every shop in the mall and never getting a call back, applying to chains online and feeling like your application is just lost in the hundreds.
We’ve got a few ways to help you nail your application, and you’ll be earning $$$$$ in no time.
1. Find jobs
Make a list of places you’d like to work (maybe you want the staff discount at Dotti, or the free food at Maccas–and the experience, of course, obviously). Look around for advertisements, in windows or online on websites like Unojobs or Gumtree, even in the local paper.
If a place you want to work at doesn’t have a sign up, you can still go in and ask to speak to the manager, then give them your resume. It’ll show you’re really keen to work there and become a part of their team. If they say they’re not looking for someone right now, express your interest in future work and leave your resume anyway.
It being your first job and all, you’re probably not going to have a lot of experience (and adverts always say “experience required,” but how am I supposed to get any if you won’t hire me?!).
Create a resume that lists your skills, but make sure to tailor it to the requirements of the job you’re applying for–yes, this means you have to make a different one for most, if not all, applications.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be super fancy, or super long–a page or two, black and white should do for most part-time or casual jobs you’ll be applying for. No fancy fonts or paper or borders required, and no one needs like three pages of unrelated graphs (I once received one like this. I work at a cinema). Also, double check all your contact info is right–you don’t want to miss an offer because you spelt your own name wrong when you wrote down your email.
If you want to beef up the work history section and gain some experience at the same time, consider doing some volunteer work. You can put down babysitting, sports coaching, paper runs, selling raffle tickets – anything you’ve done, as long as you can make it sound like it’s helped your worth ethic, communication skills, initiative and/or teamwork. It’s good to have references, too: a teacher, someone you’ve babysat for, someone you volunteered with. It’ll show that you have connections, and people who respect the work you’ve done.
Make sure to check where it’s best to give your resume in. Some places prefer you hand it in in person, where you should probably make yourself known to the manager, while others will require you to apply online. Write a cover letter if they ask for one and even maybe if they don’t (talk about your achievements and skills, and goals and objectives, where you saw the job, why you would be right for the position). If you’re applying in person, top tip–don’t bring your parents. You’re independent and grown up and shit.
And lastly: don’t lie! Employers can absolutely tell when you’ve made something up, especially when you don’t have a lot of other experience, or any at all. You don’t want to be caught out on it, and most of all, you don’t want to miss out on a job because you’ve presented yourself as a liar.
So your resume has impressed, and you’re up for an interview. You’ve got to be on time (obv) or even early, and looking presentable (also obv). Be enthusiastic; show off your skills and your knowledge about the company (which you will have to gain beforehand, if you don’t know anything. Google it).
Ask questions about opportunities and make sure you’re presenting a good image of yourself. Answer questions thoroughly (God, it sounds like exam. Promise they’re not that bad!). You want to walk out of there knowing you’ve done everything you can.
4. Follow up
They said they’d call on Monday and they didn’t? Show how enthusiastic you are about the job (without being, like, weird about it) and display initiative and drive by calling them, or going in to ask about your application. Many job experts recommend checking up about three times max, and between four to ten days apart. Who knows, they might have just not gotten around to it yet, and now you’re at the front of their minds.
And don’t think you have to just apply for one job at a time–you might have to turn one or two down when you get one, but it’s better to have more options than none, right?