If you are among the many people looking for a job, you may find these next few posts very interesting. I have decided to write a four post series on getting the job, starting with the first step: applying.
You can either apply for a job online or in person. Applying for a job online can be processed faster and is more convenient. Some companies even require that you apply online because they don’t carry paper applications. Applying in person may benefit you if you end up speaking to the manager because they may remember you when they review the application.
What You Need for the Application:
- Personal information (e.g. Social Security Number)
- Schools & dates attended
- Names & addresses of previous employers
- Dates of Employment for each employer
- 3 references (get their permission first)
- Your resume
- Your schedule to know which days and hours you are available to work
- A pen (if applying on paper)
- A nice folder to hold application material
Carefully read all directions before you fill out the application, especially on paper where you have to write in black ink. Don’t leave any spaces blank. If something doesn’t apply to you write N/A for not applicable.
Dress business casual if you are applying in person. Did you know that people judge you in the first 30 seconds? This means if you are not dressed appropriately and well-groomed your chances of actually getting the job are slimmer. Don’t dress for the job you’re getting, dress for the job you want. Also, be sure to arrive before 12pm to request the application.
You may either decide to pickup the application and fill it out at home or fill it out at the job you wish to work at. If you take the application home, be careful not to taint it in anyway. Spilled coffee on a job application won’t look very good. If you decide to apply there you may be asked to stay for a brief on-the-spot interview. Either way, make sure you review the application before you submit it, whether online or in person. Reviewing the application ensures that there were no mistakes made.
Be Prepared to Take a Test. Some companies test applicants for employment to determine if the candidate is a good match for the jobs they are hiring for. Companies who conduct pre-employment tests (talent assessments) are seeking applicants that match their hiring criteria. Review advice on taking employment tests, so you’re prepared to respond to the employment-related questions you may be asked. Companies also may require drug tests for applicants for employment. –jobsearch.about.com
Depending on the job for which you are applying, the questions may differ. They generally test your integrity and ethics.
Follow up. Call the potential employer to check on the status of your application. This reinforces your interest in the job and may help you get the interview. Not following up shows the company you aren’t really interested, therefore sending your application straight to the bottom of the pile of applications of those who did follow up.