Looking for a job is a full-time effort.  It takes getting yourself organized, spending a lot of time and energy, keeping a positive outlook and making decisions. Finding the right job takes planning and preparation.  Whether you are a first-time job seeker, already employed or re-entering the job market. There are basic steps you can take to prepare for a successful job search.

When you apply for work, you need to have facts about your schooling, work and skills. You will collect more dates and numbers than you can remember easily, so it is helpful to write them all down in one place.  A neat application and resume increase your chances for success.

Keep in mind that one opportunity to demonstrate your skills comes during the application process.

Make a Job Kit:
Collect a folder full of things you may need to obtain a job. Now you have a job kit!

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Resume
  • Personal Data Sheet
  • Names of References with Addresses
  • Work Permit (if applicable)
  • Driver’s License
  • Diploma
  • Letter of Introduction
The Job Interview:
A job interview is a face-to-face meeting with your prospective employer. Normally, only a small percentage of applicants for any job get interviews. Knowing you are among the few selected should increase your confidence and enthusiasm. Your objective now is to convey your confidence and enthusiasm during the interview.

For the Interview:
  • Arrive at least five minutes early.
  • Go alone.
  • Prepare yourself mentally (you will be nervous, but that’s OK).
  • Look your best (a clean, well-groomed person leaves a positive impression).
  • Shake hands firmly.
  • Act naturally (do not smoke or chew gum).
  • Show enthusiasm, ask questions.
  • Let the employer control the interview.
  • Make your answers clear, concise and honest.
  • Give a good reason for hiring you.
  • Don’t discuss your personal, domestic, or financial problems or criticize former employers.
  • Thank your interviewer before leaving.
  • Within 24 hours, send your interviewer a handwritten thank you letter.
Practice answering questions that you may be asked. One way to prepare for an interview is to answer these questions during a practice session with a career counselor, friend, relative or job training representative.

Commonly Asked Questions During an Interview:
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you applying for this job?
  • What do your know about this job?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are your major strengths?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What type of work do you like to do best?
  • What are your interests outside of work?
  • What accomplishment has given you the greatest satisfaction?
  • What was your worst mistake?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • How does your education or experience relate to this job?
  • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
  • What are your goals in life?
Tips When You Visit a Personnel Office:
  • Go alone.
  • Strive for a good appearance: clean fingernails, well-groomed hair, a friendly smile and polite attitude.
  • Dress for success. Dress as you would if you were already on the job. Bring the things you will need: a pen, your driver’s license or other identification, and appropriate samples of your work.
  • When you arrive at the personnel office, introduce yourself and tell the receptionist the job for which you want to apply.