In the past I've had many jobs, well maybe not many, but I have a work history fit for someone who's only 19 and is unable to drive. It started with me walking into a thrift store I frequented when I was newly 16. I think its the first job I ever applied to actually. I noticed a "help wanted" sign and went in and asked for an application, filled it out, dropped it off talked to the owner, got an interview the next day (to which I wore street clothing too and didn't take as seriously as I could have) and was offered a job that night.
Easiest job I had ever gotten. Unfortunately nothing else seemed to go as smoothly. After the thriftstore went out of business after a few months I applied everywhere I could think of, but receiving no calls for interviews I took time off working to join the Track team. That summer I was out looking again. after many applications and a few interviews, I ended up applying to a Panera the next town after because I had a acquaintance who worked there and was willing to give me a recommendation. I worked there for a full year but since I cant drive and had to have my parents drop me off (often coming in late or staying nearly an hour after my shift ended for my ride to come) I decided to end my employment and got automatically hired for a job at my College Dining center, when the school year ended I decided to peacefully part ways with Dining, and since I quit at Panera last year I have spent the last 4 weeks searching for a summer job for the remainder of summer and one for the school year, and after applying many many part time jobs I have learned to refine the art of the job search and will pass on my tips and tricks.
1. Start Asking Around Early
If there is the slightest possibility that you will be wanting a job start calling around to local businesses and figuring out when the best time to apply is, chances are places only hold applications for 30-90 days so applying over winter break for a summer job may not work, but it might. Make a list, figure out if there are online applications, or walk in. Are you expected to submit a resume or references? start gathering those in the winter. Ask friends or past co-workers as well, because some places ask for personal references instead of previous employers, and specify that on the application. One thing that has worked for me really well is posting on Facebook asking if anyone has any leads, every time I have done this someone has contacted me with suggestions or offer their recommendation. I also post on Facebook if anyone would be willing to be a reference, usually people will volunteer.
2. Apply EVERYWHERE (that is hiring or accepting applications)
If you really need a job, don't be picky. If your too good to work at your local Walgreens or in Dining services at your school, then you don't really need a job. Sure working at a trendy boutique or a popular restaurant is fun but it doesn't give you the best chance of getting a job. That being said, don't apply for any place with work conditions that you don't agree with, or anyplace you don't feel safe working. I would also recommend only trying to get a job with part time companies where you clock in and out. There are lots of pyramid schemes or other companies where you have to pay to start working and you are not guarantee any money back. Those are creepy, never pay to work.
I find that it is best to call a company and ask if they are hiring or accepting applications. If they seem hesitant, or are not enthusiastic, chances are that they have a full staff. Don't waste your time applying for a job that its guaranteed that you wont get. Walking into the store is always good because you can speak to a manager and see shake someones hand.
3. Use acquaintances or friends to get a job.
If you are looking for a job in your home or college town, odds are you know some other people who work in the places you want to work. Contact them and ask if you can use them as a reference on your application. Sometimes employees get bonuses if you get hired using them as a reference so they should be willing to help you out, and may even talk you up to the manager. It truly is who you know, and if someone can vouch for your personality and/or work ethic it gives you a much higher chance at getting a job. I there isn't a spot on the application for a referral write it at the bottom, or mention it in a comment section.
4. Stay organized
Write down all the places that you have applied and the date you applied there, and the date you call to follow up along with any other ways you contact them. Write down the name of who you talked to so when you follow up you can mention it. Also record who isn't hiring at this time. I usually carry around my portfolio with me when applying for jobs: In it is a pad of paper, pens, resumes, and business cards/information of my references. I also have my laptop, a stapler (for attaching my resume) , and a clip board (in case there isn't a hard surface to write on). Ill write the names of online applications on it as well, so that I can go to a local coffee shop and apply for all of them at once.
5. Follow up.
This is probably the most important. 3 days after you submit your application, call during a time when you don't think they will be busy. (right at opening or closing is usually good, or the lull in between meal hours around 3-4pm if its a restaurant) Call to introduce yourself as a applicant and ask if a manager is there. If not when is a good time to reach them (write it down). If the hiring manager is there, introduce your self and ask if they have had a chance to look at your application. Most likely they haven't, will write your name down and tell you they'll call you later. Write all this down, and if they don't call by the time they say, call them back. Or walk in casually for a meal or shopping and introduce yourself to the manager again. The managers are busy and it NEVER HURTS to call a lot. Worst possible scenario: they aren't going to hire you, are annoyed, and you never talk to them again. probably they're just busy and need to be reminded. I recently had a manager of a restaurant tell me not to be afraid to just keep calling, and when i called for the 4th time, the manager set up an interview with me and told me that she was actually just about to call back.
I find that when you leave a message with an employee the manager usually doesn't read it, so make sure you actually speak to someone who will hire you.
Finding a job is a slow process and it may take some time to actually secure your employment. If it takes so long to find a job that you don't have a lot of summer left to work, try making money and using your time for other things. Check out this article I wrote for TheOdysseyOnline.com about different Jobless ways to make money.
If you have questions about anything in specific, leave a comment below and ill answer it, or make a separate blog post with more clarification.
Good luck with the job search lovelies, I wish you all the best!
What are your tips and experiences with looking for jobs in the part time workforce? Comment Below!
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