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Tips for Youth - Applying for Jobs

October 6, 2021

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Now that you have created your winning resume, get it out there and start applying for jobs and getting interviews! Like your resume, a job application tells employers a lot about you. While searching for a job, you may encounter some postings or opportunities that seem too good to be true. The tips and information below will help you decide what is a good opportunity or not. Your resume and application have personal information, so being smart and safe in your job search is important.

After you have succeeded in job searching, you're ready for the next step: interviewing. Interviews give you a chance to meet with employers and let them know why you are the right person for the job. You get to bring all of your great skills, experience, and traits that you have described on your resume and put them to action. By using the articles, worksheets, and information below, you will be able to ace your interview and land the perfect job!

These three areas together prepare you for the next step, keeping a balance between work and play.

Preparing for the Search

Before starting any job search, you should have a plan to keep track of all of the places you have applied, the date you applied, and other important information. Use a tool like our Job Search Record Worksheet. Doin​g this will help you stay organized during your search and ensure you don't duplicate applications.

The internet can be a great tool for job searching – but not all sites are trustworthy. Before you start your online job search, be sure to do research to find the best job search sites - especially for youth.

Spammers and fraudulent postings are all over, so it is important to be able to spot the differences. Avoid postings that seem suspicious or too good to be true.

Here are some other signs to watch for:

  • If the posting is written with typos or bad grammar,
  • You receive emails from strange email addresses,
  • You are contacted at strange hours,
  • You are asked to pay money, or
  • You are asked to provide personal information such as your Social Security Number over the phone or email.

Get started with the Illinois workNet Virtual Job Fairs and the JobFinder to find job listings near you.

If you are under the age of 16 and would like to work, you will need a work permit. You can learn more about Work Permits here

With these tips you will be able to search for the right job for you, while staying safe during the process.

Filling Out Applications

Now that you have created a great resume and know how to start your search, you are ready to fill out applications. Applications are the first impression employers have of you, so make it count!

When picking up an application

  • Always come prepared with your resume and have all the information you may need to apply for a job.
  • Dress for success. Though it is not an interview, it could turn into one, so you want to look your best and make a great impression.

Get the specifics in the Things you need to know when appling for jobs article.

When filling out the application:

  • Know what days and hours you can work. You need to have this information to put on the application. Be honest and be as flexible as you can. Employers like this in potential employees.
  • Add skills that match the job opening. When adding skills to the application, pull them from your resume, however, don't list unrelated skills just to have more. Instead, use only the best skills that apply to the work you will be doing for that job position.

Extra Tips:

  • Don't write people down as references without telling them! Let them know so they can prepare to answer calls from potential employers.
  • Print clearly if the application is hand written.
  • Spelling and grammar are a must. Do not ignore these. Like your resume, these are key things employers look at when reviewing your application.
  • Complete every section of the application. Do not leave any sections blank.
  • Set aside time in case the application has multiple parts or if you are asked to have an interview on the spot.
  • Be mindful of the amount of time you spend filling out an application in person. Be thorough, but concise and timely.

With these tips, you will be making a great impression on employers and will be on the road to landing a great job!

Acing the Interview

You have done the research, made a great impression with your resume and application, and now you have an interview. Now is the time to shine!

Preparing for the interview:

  • Research the company so that you are familiar with it.
  • Practice interviewing with someone to get a feeling for the situation. Or use the Resume Builder for practice interviewing - access from your Illinois workNet Dashboard.

Use these documents to help you with practice questions, and the do's and don'ts of interviewing:

During the interview

Start with these helpful items:

Follow up after an interview.

Using these tips and tools will help you ace your interview and land the perfect job.

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