11 tips that will make your application process easier

11 tips that will make the application process easier

Peyton Beverwyk and Mike Doan

11 tips that will make the application process easier

Everyone needs to make a buck. Everyone wants to make a buck. Almost the only way you can do that is a job. Here are 11 tips that will make your application process easier. 

Find jobs that fit your skill set

   You have two types of skills. Hard skills are measurable, easily defined, and specific. Some examples of hard skills include analytics and marketing. Jobs that love hard skills are ones that involve technology. Then there are soft skills which are hard to measure, difficult to define, and universal. Some examples of soft skills may include teamwork and communication. Soft skills are great in the business field. These skills need to be continuously executed. When applying for a job, look for jobs that fit your skills.

Network yourself

   Start off slow by networking with your friends and family, then once you gain more courage, expand that small group to their friends and family. “For the job I currently have, I was referred by a friend so I just had an interview set up,” Sr. Sandra Sann said. Networking yourself also improves your odds of getting accepted to your job. For many businesses, especially big corporations, the human resources team likely trusts the word of their employees. Having a friend who speaks positively about you to a hiring manager increases your chances of getting hired. A personal connection between you and an existing employee can strengthen that first impression employers have on you. 

Do your research

   Not only does researching your job or company that you are applying to prove your interest, it also gives you a wider lens into your future at that company. Researching a company you’re applying to helps curate better questions. Questions about the jobs available, the company’s goals, and how the company operates. Researching is huge when applying for jobs because of the interest you are showing in the company. Researching your company will also help you know what you’re getting into. Many teens may not know what to expect at their first job. Watching YouTube videos of people’s experiences at your future workplace or similar places helps ease the nervousness going into your interview.

Do not job hop instead go to a job fair

   “Apply to a place that you would want to work so you aren’t job hopping,” Sr. Remie Morris said. Job hopping is common among high school students. While it might not seem like a big deal when you are in high school, job history is important when finding a job as an adult. Unless you are self-employed, employers will look at your previous job experience and history to determine whether you are a good candidate for the position you are applying for. Changing jobs often can tell your employer that you are untrustworthy to stay at their business for a long time, which is not a good impression. Attending a job fair in your local community can help you get the right job so you don’t wind up searching for a new job in a few weeks. “Once you get to the point of having a conversation with a job recruiter, keep the conversation light. I would have a 3 part conversation with them. Part one – Introduce yourself and find something light to talk about for a moment like pets, family, hobbies, etc. Part two – Sell yourself to the employer and demonstrate to them how you would add value to the company. Part three – Close out the conversation, summarize highlights of your achievements, and then touch back again on the light talk you had from Part 1 For example, if we spoke about sports, I would say something positive about a team they support,” West Ottawa math teacher Anthony Seville said. When attending a job fair, use Seville’s three step method to help you succeed. 

Stand your ground 

   Many high school students find themselves bombarded with the amount of hours they have to work each day. Work does not go before school and important events. “During my interview process, I stood my ground and provided them with my availability. I was a multi-sport athlete and attended a Youth group regularly. I created a hand-written note of my weekly availability when I did. I outlined why I could not work certain days,” Seville said. Before you get a job, keep in mind how many hours you want to work each day, how many and what days you want off, and what times you want to work. These are all extremely important questions to ask yourself and make aware of to your employer when you are applying for a job. Not knowing the answers to these questions can give your employer access to schedule you whenever, making it difficult to get homework done, hang out with friends, do extracurriculars, and more. 

Be Prepared

  When you apply for a job, please make sure you know what you need. Nothing angers employers more than applicants showing up to interviews not knowing they need a work permit or documents of identification. Not being prepared can delay processes and make bad impressions. Also, make sure you have references. These can be teachers, previous employers, but not family members or friends. “Get multiple staff from school to be your reference and write you a letter of recommendation,” West Ottawa Superintendent of Human Resources Jens Milobinski said. References are a way of saying why you should be hired according to other people. 

Impressions matter

   First impressions are one of the most important deciding factors for employers. It can take less than a second for someone to form an opinion about you based on your appearance, body language, attitude, and mannerisms. First impressions stick with you forever. Just a small tip when interviewing, “First impressions matter. Make sure you are dressed professionally and that you address the person in a formal way. Firm handshake while looking them in the eye,” Milobinski said. First impressions are crucial to HR and employers when hiring. You are representing their business when you are hired. Having a bad impression that can damage or ruin the reputation of a business is a huge red flag to employers that will probably throw your opportunity for a job in the trash.

Build your resume

   Writing a resume makes your application process ten times easier. The resume process can be frustrating but it is worth it in the long run. A resume is made to introduce yourself, present your qualifications, and secure yourself an interview. Think of your resume as your brand. It shows your achievements, sells your skills, and convinces the company that you are the right person for the job. “Make sure you have no spelling mistakes on your resume. Have multiple people check for spelling and grammar,” Milobinski said. Resumes are a quick but lasting impression. “I would make sure my resume is up-to-date and looks exactly how I want it to look: Clean, neat, organized, and direct. I would also print off many copies of it. I would probably have about 20 copies of my resume ready to give out. I would rather have too many resumes to give out than not enough, because if you don’t have enough resumes, those are jobs you could potentially be missing out on,” Seville said.

Search for jobs

Amazon’s sign-on bonus

   There’s no doubt when applying for a job you look for more chances to earn money. Employee perks come from getting a job. There are sign-on bonuses; for example, Amazon provided a $3,000 sign-on bonus. After 90 days of working at Amazon, you would get $3000 and have no tax taken out, either. Sign-on bonuses are a good tactic for businesses to gain more employees but they also benefit the employees because the goal is to make money.

Have a positive mindset

   This is only your first job, don’t sweat it. When applying for your first job, know that if you don’t get accepted into your desired job, it’s not the end of the world. “The places that you apply at are businesses and will make decisions for what they believe is best for the company. I tried to have a similar mindset. Don’t take it personally, it’s just a business decision,” Seville said. This is only the beginning. Something to get you started. Everyone starts somewhere and their first job may not be where they like, but it sure teaches them lots of valuable lessons. Having a positive mindset and outlook when applying for jobs opens yourself to a better experience. “Don’t be afraid to contact the place of employment to let them know that you will be applying for the job,” Milobinski said. Coming from a person who works in HR, more people need to hear this. You may be afraid to contact your employer, letting them know you’re interested in their company since it may be perceived as needy. Ultimately, companies want employees that aren’t afraid to reach out.

Use your resources

   Right here in Holland we have our very own resources for finding jobs. “My number one tip for job seekers is to utilize the resources of your local workforce development office (that’s us). We have the latest labor market trends, we know what skills, training, and education employers are looking for, and we can help job seekers learn more about what jobs would be a great fit for them both now and in the future. We also have relationships with local employers who are looking to hire individuals we have served. Additionally, the West Michigan Works! The website has a wealth of resources for preparing to apply and interview for jobs. We offer free events to the community each week, both virtually and in person to sharpen their job search and career skills,” West Michigan Works Career Coach Erin Goossen said. Many resources are provided through West Michigan Works and they encourage you to use them as a resource when seeking employment.