A Few Simple Tips
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
Do you have a child who is now old enough to start working?
I wish I had some help when I started looking for a job.
Mistakes are inevitable, but it’s great when we have a few pointers to help us make the best of our job search experience.
This post isn’t about “tricks” to get a job. Instead, I hope to share some common sense to give your child the best possible chance at getting the job he or she desires.
Even if your child is not old enough to work now, you can still learn a little now to help them in the future.
Look for a job that is of interest to your child. If your child is not good working with children, then there’s no need to apply for jobs at daycare centers. As a teenager I would look for jobs doing anything because it did not occur to me that I should be looking for a job that I might somewhat enjoy. I’d convince myself that I’d eventually enjoy it, which never happened. My performance was poor which did not help me or my employer.
I know my teenage son would be overwhelmed in a fast-food setting, whereas my daughter would do fine. My son might enjoy a quieter setting like a bookstore, or convenient store such as Walgreen’s.
I know with teenagers sometimes you take what you can get, but even so, her or she can still shift through the jobs that are not a good fit.
Omar (my husband) worked for Costco years ago, and he had to organize shelves prior to the store opening. Does your child like to organize? A job like that might be enjoyable. Do your child enjoy people? Look for jobs where they can utilize their outgoing personality.
The point is; give thought to the type of job your child might enjoy.
Look for jobs that will work well with your schedule.
I remember I took an afternoon/evening job and I disliked it. It did not work well with my schedule at all, but I knew the hours before being hired, so why did I accept that job?
Sometimes we take whatever is offered to us and assume we can make it work. We don’t have to accept every job offered to us. You will end up resenting the job and mad at yourself, so make sure before you apply for a certain job it will work well with your schedule.
Make sure your child has reliable transportation. There’s no need to apply for a job if you know your child will have trouble getting to work. It is a waste of time for an employer to hire someone who eventually will have trouble getting there.
After planning, apply online or send in a résumé. Have a résumé ready even if the application does not ask for one.
When an employer has invited your child in for an interview, set the interview on the best day for you and your child. Most employers will ask for your best days and times. Relax. Don’t get overly excited and pick any random day, then have to cancel or reschedule if that day does not work out. Carefully look at your schedule and your child’s schedule for an interview time.
I worked for a company in Hollywood many years ago. Most of the people who worked there had their own unique style, but they all looked professional.
One day a woman arrived for an interview. She had earrings in several places on her face. She had visible tattoos all over her arms. She was wearing combat type clothing. The interviewer took her back for the interview and the interview was over in literally three minutes. As the woman was leaving she had a flippant attitude.
I’m not against anyone having their own unique style, but it’s not okay to be arrogant about it. If you have tattoos you might want to cover them up for the interview and politely let your interviewer know about them, if they are in a place that will be visible.
If you have earrings in your face, you might want to remove them for your interview.
Not all employers will be okay with every unique style of a person.
Omar went to a job interview a few years ago and he was asked to shave his beard. Omar has a very simple well-maintained beard, however this company has a clean face policy. I LOVE when Omar has his beard, so I was not happy about him having to shave it, but we agreed to it when he was offered the job.
Got to your interview looking professional and pay close attention to their dress policy.
Arrive A Few Minutes Early.
I had a job as a receptionist. Upper management was hiring. A man arrived for his interview – two hours early. Upper management could not see him until his interview time so the man had no choice but to wait in the lobby for the entire two hours. (I believe he did not have reliable transportation which was the reason he arrived so early) At one point, he appeared agitated at having to wait.
Needless-to-say, he was not hired.
Don’t be late, but also don’t arrive too early and assume you’ll be seen. More than likely arriving too early or too late will not please your interviewer.
Smile during the interview.
When the interviewer ask if you have any questions, yes, you do. Ask a few questions. Remember, it’s an interview. You are interviewing the company as well. You hope to work for the company for a while, so you want to make sure it’s a place where you will learn and grow.
Don’t ask about vacation or time off. Ask questions about the company such as who are their main competitors and how do they measure up to their competitors? Is the company involved in community events? Does the company have learning opportunities for potential growth?
Some questions will already be answered as the company gives you information, but the point is, make sure you’re thinking of good questions to ask during your interview.
Look For Red Flags.
I had an interview once and the two women who were interviewing me started to talk bad and share personal information about the woman I’d be replacing.
Umm…total red flag!
You don’t want to work for people who are talking bad about other employees.
Likewise, if you have a job but looking for a new job, do not speak poorly about your current employers. Even if you don’t like your current job, never speak bad about where you work to a future employer. Trust me, they will not hire you if you do!
If you don’t have experience just be honest. Don’t try to wing your answers. Let your interviewer know you do not have experience they are looking for.
It’s possible they might like you enough they’d be willing to train you. You’ll do more harm in the long run by not being honest, so be honest.
After The Interview
Thank You Cards
This is a touchy subject. I am not a fan of sending thank you cards after an interview. I think it comes across as buttering up. If the company thinks you are a good fit, they will call you and offer you the job.
What about a follow-up phone call?
It won’t hurt.
On two separate occasions I called an interviewer to follow-up and was hired. But these two instances are very rare. In my case, I had wonderful interviews. I truly felt I would be hired and I was. However, by and large, this won’t happen with every interview you have. I had an interview in which I thought went well and when I followed-up I was told they had hired someone.
Follow-up doesn’t hurt, but it more than likely won’t end up as a job offer.
Don’t Give Up!
Rejection is never an easy thing but keep applying and keep interviewing. It would be great if we could get every job we apply for. A lot of the rejection is learning experiences for you to help someone else down the road.
So keep going.
I hope these few pointers have helped you just a little.
Do your best!
God has the perfect job for you.
-Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
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