TOOLS TO GET A JOB
Pathway to Employment
An enjoyable career that creates a meaningful life takes time, effort, and planning. Begin today by setting goals that can help you achieve success throughout your career. The following resources are provided to help you set goals for your career - starting now - to provide you with direction, save you time, and help you to achieve success.
You can change your direction and adjust the details as you go. There is no doubt that the specific details will change as you move forward throughout your life. However, if you have an idea of where you are headed, you will have a better chance of getting there faster and more effectively than if you leave it to chance.
Consider the following resources as tools to help you build your profile and prepare you for your career. If you need help, just ask.
Create a Career Plan
For your long-term goals, you will want to spend time considering what you want and how to get there. That is a process that may take a while.
Consider some of the resources we provide on the Career Goals page. They can help you identify your overall plan and create a path to get you from where you are to where you want to go.
Employment Tool Kit
The best thing to do right now is to get a job. You may be seeking your first job or may be trying to understand how to make yourself employable after graduation. Either way, the same principles apply.
If you are still in high school, getting a job is one of the best ways to gain experience that will help you stand out from other candidates. It's not just what you know or what your potential is - it's what you can demonstrate that you can do. Nothing speaks louder than demonstrated experience.
Programs such as Work Based Learning, Internships, or just a part-time job (summer jobs or year-round) can provide you that experience.
If you are about to graduate (or already graduated), and are looking for your first career job, you need to understand the process to find work. The world is filled with advice that you should get a job - but not as full of advice on the best way to get one. Let's take care of that.
Your Personal Brand
Your first step? Define your "Personal Brand."
Just like a product you would buy, you must define who you are. You must ask and answer the following question:
WHY SHOULD ANYONE HIRE YOU?
Take out a piece of paper and start listing the reasons why someone should hire you in the position you are seeking. Consider the following questions:
What do you know that sets you apart?
What can you do that makes you stand out or talented in this job?
Is there something you can do that others cannot?
Do you do something exceptionally skilled or unique within this type of job?
Are you skilled in an area or have a certain expertise?
Are you known for a skill set or have a demonstrated reputation for being good at a job?
Do you have a work history for other employers with a solid record of high performance?
List out as many things as you can. Identify what you think are the top items that are most important to the employer. These are what we will call your "unique value proposition" - you are going to propose to your employer the unique value that you bring. That way, you can align (a) what they need with (b) what you bring (c) as it compares to what the competition has.
When it comes to finding the right job, the adage "it's not what you know, but who you know" may come into play. That means you should gain the advantage by going out to meet people - as many as possible. Identify industries, companies, managers, etc. where you have interest in working and get to know them.
Watch this short video for more ideas:
Your resume tells your story. Yet too often, they come across without telling it adequately.
The first step is to remember the purpose of the resume. The resume is NOT intended to get you that job. The goal of the resume is to get you an interview. Then you can connect with the employer and get the job.
The resume alone won't get it...so don't try to put too much information into a single document. You will fail (which is where most people go wrong).
Your cover letter introduces you to the employer. It also connects your general resume to the specific job you are applying to. It tells the employer why you are the best candidate for the job and how you are qualified. It adds a personal touch that can come no other way that also makes you stand out from the competition. Check out this video for other ideas and recommendations.
No matter the job, you will have some type of application to complete. It is important to fill it out completely, correctly, and neatly. Applications with missing information, wrong information, or comments such as "available upon request" or "see resume" tell the employer "I don't care enough to fill in the application." It also tells them about your attention to detail, your work ethic, and desire to get the job.
Be sure to complete the application in detail. Once completed, review all of your answers to ensure accuracy and completeness. Review all of your written responses (such as answers to open-ended questions). Be sure you have put your best foot forward before hitting "submit."
You will engage in many types of interviews. Some of them will be interviews that you many to even consider to be an interview. You must be prepared to do your best and give a command performance to show the employer who you are and what you can do.
When the time comes for you to receive the job offer, what do you do? You've heard others tell you to be grateful and accept that first offer. Others tell you to negotiate for more. But what is the right answer?
Success In Your Job
Once you have the job, it's only your first step. Your goal is to continue to learn, grow, and develop in your career so you can advance. As you develop new skills and apply new knowledge, you will become qualified for promotions and other opportunities. It is critical to understand what to do after you get that job to ensure success in the future.