All about first impressions: A Guide to Apply, Interview and Snag That Job

Most teenagers are getting ready to get there first job and are ready to get out into the working field. But many may be nervous and unsure about where to start.

On March 21, Richard Hatcher came in and held a job application workshop for sophomores during their Literature class. Hatcher is a business owner of a publications company and also part of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce. He showed students how to fill out an application in the job hunting process.

To get started, students communicate with teachers, parents and community members to find a job. Some students start out with just volunteer work or babysitting every other weekend. Then when their ready, it is time to go job hunting.

Some students, like myself, put together a list of places to apply and places they wouldn’t mind working at. Look for help wanted signs or now hiring signs, but even if they don’t have a sign out it doesn’t mean they won’t take your application. I also called and asked around to make sure those places accept people my age.

“First thing you need to fill out an application is a mindset, that this is important.” Hatcher said.

To prepare for the job hunt put together a simple resume or think about things you can put on the applications such as, previous job experience, special skills or your best attributes. Also make sure you know your address, a reliable phone number, social security number, references and their information.

“How they dress is important to me. Be dressed for an interview. Be presentable.” Hatcher said.

In other words make sure your grandma would approve of your outfit. Also bring a pen for filling out an application. When I was prepared and ready I headed out with my dad and started checking off places on my list.

“The first impression is so important,” Hatcher said. “Be polite and friendly to the people at the front desk.”

Most students should walk in confidently and ask for an application like I did. Once the they hand you one, go take a seat and fill it out.

“Read the entire application before you write on it. Most likely there will be a back side and you won’t want to miss it,” Hatcher explained. “The number one reason why I reject applications is because there’s a mistake on it.”

When filling out the application every space should have data or n/a on it, don’t leave any spaces blank. Also be sure to talk to your counselor and know how many hours you can work for your age because the application will ask you when you’re available to work. Also know your references and their information.

“References are key, don’t use parents or relatives. A good source of references would be teachers, bosses, friends or church members.” Hatcher said.

For your best chance of getting a job, go hand it in and ask if the manager is there. If they are there, most likely they’ll come out and meet you and possibly ask you a few questions and be sure to ask if they are hiring at the moment. But be prepared for rejection too, be polite and thank them because they’ll probably still look at your application and consider you even if they aren’t hiring.

After handing in applications, it’s time to follow up and nag them a little bit. Follow up by calling or emailing and make sure you communicate with the manager. Ask if they got a chance to look at your application and what the next step is in the hiring process. If they said they weren’t hiring when you turned in your application you could still follow up and ask when they may be hiring.

“If your application wasn’t up to par, then you won’t even get through the door for an interview.” Hatcher explained.

If they are really considering hiring you, they will be asking when you’re available for an interview. Then it’s time to prepare for the interview mentally and physically. Most likely people going in for an interview will try to gain knowledge about the company and the job they’re interested in. Also you can look up typical questions that are asked in an interview and make sure you know your responses.

Dress appropriately again, bring pen and paper for notes and also look at the state requirements for working when under 18 and bring papers if needed for work permit. Walk in the ask for the manager and remain cool, calm and collected, even though you may be nervous. You would also try to incorporate what you know about the company. Also ask many questions and what the next step would be to get hired.

Remember to be mature, to stand up straight and to thank them a million times over. According to Hatcher this is true because we aren’t qualified to tell you how to get a job.