Whether you’re looking for a job to pay the bills or going for your future dream career, applying for jobs in your twenties can be a seriously calculating and taxing experience. Lucky for us, we’re young, we’re hard workers, and we’re millennials for goodness sake! We’re technologically savvy and we’re ready to make some money! From getting a job to pay your way through college, to trying for that entry level job after graduation, the interviewing process is a huge nerve racker. However, before you even get called for that painstaking interview, you need to know exactly how to apply to the right job.
Depending on where you’re applying to, what kind of atmosphere the work place is, and who you’re going to be working for, exactly how you submit your application and what you put on your cover letter/resume varies per job.
Jobs in the food service/restaurant industry.
Whether it’s going for a management job at a local food chain or applying for a fine dining atmosphere, there are plenty of jobs in the food service industry worth looking into. And I’m not thinking of some rinky-dink job at McDonalds, I’m talking about making some good money bartending or working your way into a management position at a successful restaurant or catering business.
So, when applying for a job in an atmosphere where it’s mostly interacting with people and insuring guest satisfaction, employers want to SEE YOUR FACE. For places like these, if you submit your application online, a lot of the times the company won’t even see it. Employers for this industry are looking for the go-getters, the out-going, the ones who take the initiative to go into their establishment and drop off a resume (or fill out an application) face-to-face. It gives the employer a better idea of who you are. In industries like this, where the hiring process is pretty quick, a lot of the times they might even do a quick interview, then and there, and hire you right on the spot.
I don’t necessarily go all cover letter on their ass, because if you have a good enough resume and some work experience, along with a great personality, then the cover letter is sometimes an over kill for this particular job category.
Jobs in schools/with children.
When you’re going for a position with children, basically all they want to hear is that you have a heart and you love children…along with a couple other things. You need to make it clear, somewhere in the application process, that you truly enjoy children, you can command attention from a room, you’re patient/caring, and you’re flexible with working with kids at various developmental stages.
Applications for schools are all online now. So, apply online and do a little research. Be sure to attach your cover letter and a solid resume. They usually like to hear about volunteer work in the past as well. DON’T INCLUDE BABYSITTING unless that’s the only experience with children that you have. If you do include it in your resume, make sure to word it in a way that’s not simply “babysitter”. Try “care provider” or “child supervisor” or something fancy like that.
References are a big one here. Employers want to know that you’re a good person from someone who knows you on a personal level. So, as always, be sure to verify with your references and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Jobs in health care/hospitals.
If you’re going for a job in a hospital or somewhat health care related, be ready to have your immunization records and some first aid training under your belt. You will almost always be asked to get a standard TB test and possibly a drug screen as well.
Most jobs in the health care setting have gone all online, meaning that if you’re looking to apply, all the information will be right there on their website. If you do happen to go in and ask for an application, most likely the people at the front desk are just going to give you a pamphlet with a website on it and tell you follow the link on the pamphlet to see all the available openings they have, and proceed by telling you to submit your application online.
So, have those cover letters and resumes ready, because almost every online application in the health care field will ask you to either paste them into the page online or attach the file to your application. Also, be sure the file names for your cover letters/resumes are concise and professional. When you’re uploading files to be attached, the employer will see the file names, so don’t name them anything too crazy and try to get your first and last name in there.
Referring back to the beginning of this section, GET CPR/FIRST AID/AED CERTIFIED! Most of your employers will either say that this is necessary, this is preferred, or that once you’re hired you’ll need to get this within 90 days. Most of your competitors will have this certification, so I strongly suggest getting it too.
Jobs in clerical/administrative.
So, you’re looking for a simple reception position at a company that’s related to your career field, GREAT IDEA! You may not be doing the hands-on work, but you’re right by all the action and it’s great for networking.
So here’s a hint, when going for an administrative/clerical position, it’s always nice to add somewhere in your cover letter where you go to college/school and how you’re advanced in programs like Microsoft Office, statistical software, etc.
Also, either in your cover letter or maybe at the top of your resume (as a career objective) be sure to include why it is you want to work wherever you’re applying to. Everyone knows that you’re not just applying to be a receptionist because it’s the best job ever and you love to type. Tell them your motive or future career. This lets the employer know that you’re serious about what you do and that you potentially see a future in the company.
Of course, this is another application that needs to be done online. So, try to avoid having to copy & paste your resume into an application (in order to avoid formatting errors). Attach documents so that the cover letter is seen above/before the resume (unless it’s asked for on a separate page), and always be sure to type any short answers into MS Word (or whatever you use) and then copy & paste it into the application to avoid typos, spelling errors, etc.
My last tip to you in the application process is this, if you’re using a job search website (such as Indeed or Monster), always be sure to check the actual website of the company you’re applying to. If there’s an application on the company website, then apply through that rather than the job search site. I just personally think it stands out a little more, because it shows that you took the time to check out their website, and it doesn’t get as jumbled in with the “100 people have applied for this job” scenario.
And there you have it my fellow twenty somethings! Now’s the part where I send you out into the big world of jobs and hope that you come out on the other side as an actual EMPLOYED ADULT!
So go out and get that job, make that money, and SHOW THEM JUST HOW AWESOME YOU REALLY ARE!