You may find it hard to land your first job with no experience, so volunteering for a company or a charity will give you much needed skills and knowledge. But also, it will prove to prospective employers that you are the motivated, energetic and enthusiastic person you’re saying you are.
Most young people use a teacher as a reference, which is no longer enough in this job market. Get out there and get involved in as much as possible to build your own networks and referrals outside of school.
Look outside the square on how things are done. A resume does not have to be printed on a white piece of paper – think about how you can stand out. A student who wanted to work in childcare put together a resume looking like a child’s book. The first place she sent it to called her immediately and gave her the job. Another idea is to include relevant photos: clothing ensembles you’ve put together if applying for a job in fashion, or a photo of a car you are fixing up if applying for a mechanic apprenticeship.
One resume does not fit all applications. Think about what kind of person the employer is looking for and tailor your resume to fit their needs. Try to use the same words from the job description in the resume or cover letter.
Employees tell me all the time that young people lie on their resumes. It’s easy to write you are good at something, but then when you have to do it you need lots of support or are not competent at all. Think of your top three skills and sell those instead. A former GaTech head coach got his dream job coaching for Notre Dame, but when they found out he flalsely claimed he had a Master's degree (he only needed 2 classes more to complete his degree), he was fired.
Check it, check it and check it again, then get someone else to go over it to make sure it’s perfect. Your resume is the first impression an employer will have of you. A spelling mistake might take it to the bottom of the pile.
Sacha shares these final words for young job seekers: “Think positively and get excited about applying for jobs, and make sure that when you call an organization, you always have a positive and friendly phone manner.”
According to a 2019 survey, 70% of all employers checked the social media of prospective employees during the hiring process.
Some ways to clean up your act for a potential employer BEFORE you apply for a job:
1. Go private on all your accounts.
2. Untag yourself from questionable photos and delete questionable photos from your accounts.
3. Delete questionable posts and comments.
4. Make sure your profile pic is professional (or at the very least, not silly)
5. Don't post anything you wouldn't want a prospective employer (or coach or college) to see.
Ask yourself: Are you PROUD of the way your social media presence represents you?