Chapter 16 Applying for Jobs
Part 4—The Job Hunt Chapter 16 Applying for Jobs
Chapter Objectives Explain how to find job openings.
Create job résumés, letters of application, and portfolios. Prepare job application forms correctly.
Key Concepts Job hunting requires using all resources available to find job openings. A personal fact sheet will help you write letters of application, prepare job résumés, and fill out application forms. A well-written résumé can help you stand out to an employer. A short, carefully worded letter of application should accompany each résumé you submit. An application form must be filled out completely and neatly.
Finding Job Openings Sources of job leads include:
Friends and relatives. Networking. School placement services. Direct employer contact. Want ads. Trade and professional journals. Government and private employment services. The Internet.
Friends and Relatives Friends and relatives may know of employment opportunities for you. Give them copies of your résumé. Résumé: A brief history of your education, work experience, and qualifications for employment.
Networking Networking: Talking with people and creating connections that can lead to more information or business. Social and professional networks can help you find a job, but a strong professional network may be more important. Your network will become stronger as you make more contacts and show your abilities.
School Placement Services
Your school may have a placement office or counselor to help find students employment. The placement office notifies qualified students about interviews when a job becomes available.
Direct Employer Contact
Directly contacting employers is a good way to find job openings. Make a list of possible employers by looking in the Yellow Pages, visiting the chamber of commerce or public library, and asking friends and relatives for contacts. continued
Direct Employer Contact
Personnel/human resource department: Department of a company that handles responsibilities related to employment. If the company does not have a personnel department, contact the department manager or the president. Write or call the appropriate contact person to express interest in employment.
Want Ads Job openings are listed in newspapers in the “classified ads” or “want ads.” These ads list job openings, the skills required, and salary ranges. Blind ad: An ad that does not include the name of a company or contact person.
Trade and Professional Journals
Many trade and professional magazines publish job ads seeking experienced workers. These journals publish up-to-date information about developments and trends in a given occupation. Reading journals will help you know your field better.
Government Employment Services
Most large cities and towns have state employment offices to help people find jobs within and outside government. After you fill out an application, an employment counselor will interview you to find out your skills and interests. When jobs become available, the office will set up your interviews with them. continued
Government Employment Services
One-Stop Career Centers coordinate local, state, and national resources to provide a wide range of employment, education, and training services. Some of those resources include: O*NET Online. America’s Career InfoNet. America’s Service Locator.
Private Employment Agencies
Private employment agencies help companies find workers and job seekers find employment. These agencies charge fees for their service, either to the employer or the job seeker. Only a small percentage of jobs are found through private agencies.
Searching the Internet
The Internet allows you to search for jobs in different cities, states, and countries. Job-search Web sites list openings by type, title, and location. Many companies announce job openings on their Web sites.
Before You Apply Before you apply for any jobs, you need to make a personal fact sheet. Personal fact sheet: A written summary of important facts that helps a person write letters of application, prepare résumés, and fill out applications.
Preparing a Personal Fact Sheet
Important items to include on your fact sheet: Name. Address. Phone number. address. Date of birth. Summary of education. Work experiences. Skills. Honors. Activities. References. Reference: A person who knows you well and is willing to discuss your personal and job qualifications with employers.
Job Résumés An employer can quickly learn about you by reading your résumé. A well-prepared résumé can draw attention to your qualifications and help you get an interview.
Job Résumé Information
Place your name and contact information at the top of your résumé. Organize your résumé by headings to make it easy to read. List the headings in order of what you feel is most important for the employer to know. Use résumé-writing software to help you organize and format your information. continued
Job Résumé Information
The following headings are used most often in résumés: Job objective – explain the type of job you seek. Education – schools attended from high school onward. Work experience – jobs held and dates of employment. Honors/activities – school/community organizations and activities. Personal information – hobbies, optional and normally not listed. References – instead of giving details, say the information is available.
Preparing a Résumé After you write your résumé, leave it alone for a couple days, then read it again. Ask other people to read and comment on it. Your résumé should fit on a sheet of paper, 8½11 inches. Printed résumés look more professional than those that are photocopied.
Electronic Résumé Submit the file by in a format that can be scanned into a database. Use a file with no special formatting. If you have prepared your résumé electronically, save it as a separate text-only file.
The Job Portfolio Portfolio: A well organized collection of materials that supports your job qualifications. Your portfolio should include a letter of application, résumé, and samples of your best work. A good portfolio may take months or years to develop and needs to be continually updated.
Developing a Home Page Your home page should include your résumé as well as photos of completed projects. Post only the information an employer needs to reach you, such as an address. To protect your privacy, do not post your home address or telephone number.
Contacting an Employer by Telephone
A telephone call to the employer may help you learn more about the job. Plan your call and be prepared. Choose a quiet location for making the call. Prepare a list of your questions. Have a pencil and paper handy. Use good phone manners.
Letter of Application Letter of application: A letter sent to an employer to apply for a job. Also called a cover letter. Write the letter to the hiring manager. Your letter should include three paragraphs. Opening paragraph – state your purpose and the job or type of work you seek. Middle paragraph – explain what qualifies you for the job. Last paragraph – request an interview and provide your contact information.
Job Application Forms Employers use application forms to screen applicants. If your application is incomplete, difficult to read, or smudged, it may be screened out. Your personal fact sheet will help you fill out application forms. continued
Job Application Forms Follow these tips when filling out an application form: Read the entire application before starting. Carefully follow the instructions. Complete every question on both sides of the form. For social security number, write “will provide if hired.” For salary, write “open” or “negotiable.” Include part-time jobs in your work history. Be as neat as possible.
Illegal Questions on Job Applications
Federal laws dictate what questions can be asked by employers in an application form or interview. These laws prevent discrimination in hiring related to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, and disability. Legally, you must only answer questions that relate to your ability to do the job.
Thinking Back What methods will you use to find job openings?
Why is it important to prepare a personal fact sheet before you create a résumé? What are some illegal questions employers cannot ask in application forms or interviews?
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