The first stage of the process begins with RESEARCH. Find out as much as you can about the organization you want to join. What is there primary business? Who is the boss? How many employees are there? Are there multiple locations? Are there any news stories about the organization? What can you learn about the organization from their web site? etc.
Many organizations have switched to electronic/online applications, but nonetheless, you should remember the following when filling out an application:
HERE IS A LINK TO AN EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE OPEN WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE LINK. YOU THEN WILL GO TO FILE / MAKE A COPY TO COPY THE APPLICATION INTO YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT. APPLICATION
- Be neat and accurate. Messy applications or spelling errors leave a very poor first impression.
- Be as complete as possible. If the application has a lot of blank sections it shows you are not very thorough. If the section does not apply to you, at least write "N/A" (non-applicable).
- Dress appropriately when picking up or turning in the application. This does not necessarily mean a business suit, but dressy casual at the least. You never know if the person you are meeting will be the decision-maker you need to impress at the interview.
- Use blue or black ink when filling out the application. If the organization is still using paper applications, make sure you use a blue or black pen, no crazy colors or pencils.
- Know the names and contact information of references. Every application has a section for references. You should have at least three ready to go with contact information such as email and phone number.
Your resume serves as a 1 page summary of your qualifications and potential. There are a ton of templates and resources available online, but here are some samples you can "Make a copy" of in your Google Drive so you can make any and all necessary changes.
- Gold Resume The highest achieving student who is taking A.P. classes, works / volunteers, active in sports or clubs, etc.
- Silver Resume The high achieving student who has over a 3.00 GPA and is involved in some activities.
- Bronze Resume This is for the student who does not have a very high GPA, is not involved in activities, but should still present themselves in the best possible light.
The best you can hope for from a great application and resume is an interview. This is your chance to convince the decision-maker that you are a good fit for their organization. Be sure to keep the following things in mind:
- Wear business attire. ALWAYS dress up for an interview. This will make an excellent impression and show that you are taking the position seriously. Check out this pdf for a visual reference for professional attire.
- Arrive a few minutes early. It makes a terrible impression if you are late to an interview. It will also add to your anxiety if you are running late. Arrive early and take a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself.
- Shake hands. A firm handshake is essential in making a good first impression. Keep eye contact, exchange a pleasantry and be sure to end the interview with a handshake. Check out the "Professional Greeting" pdf for specifics to remember when shaking hands.
- Non-verbal communication is the key to success. Your body language, facial expressions, and tone communicate more than the words you actually say aloud. Maintain good eye-contact, don't slouch, lean a little forward in your chair, and slightly nod during the questions indicating you understand what is being asked.
- Practice answering typical interview questions. Here's a link so you could practice. 10 Interview Questions Check out the "STAR Technique" pdf for a fantastic approach to answering interview questions.
- Wait a few days and send a thank you email. If you don't hear from the organization a few days after the interview, send them an email restating why you feel you would be an excellent addition to their organization and if they know when they will be making a decision on the position.