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How To Find Your First Job - Young People
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How To Find Your First Job - Young People

Looking for work is never easy, especially in the current economic climate, so it's important to learn as much as possible about how to find your first job, and what steps you can take to make the whole process easier. Key to the success of finding your first job will be preparation, some confidence and perseverance.

Preparation to find your first job:

Check rules: If you’re under 16 there are clear rules about the number of hours per week that you are allowed to be employed for, and the hours vary for different ages. Make sure that you have checked relevant laws where you live before your start. In the UK the information can be found on the official government website

Gather information: Before you start to find your first job, it makes sense that you have all the information you may need at hand. This includes details of any voluntary work you may have done, any clubs you may have been involved with, any qualifications that you have and skills that you have (including languages). You want to list all the things down that you think may be important. You may not need them all, but it’s good to have the information ready when you have to fill out an application form.

Find two referees: When you apply for a job you will be asked to provide the name of at least one referee or even two. A referee cannot be a friend or a relative. Whoever you choose you must remember to ask their permission first. People can get quite cross if they haven’t been asked.

Consider your options: You may be feeling some pressure to find your first job, but think about the sort of job that you’re interested in. It can be very easy to think that you must apply for everything, but there’s no point in going after jobs that don’t interest you. Eg if you don’t want to stand all day, then a job in a clothing shop wouldn’t suit you.

Once you have done your preparation you are ready to start your search to find your first job.

Where to search for your first job:

Ask friends and relations: It’s always worth telling anyone you know that you’re looking to find your first job, because you just don’t know who might know of any.

Search online: There are lots of different job sites that offer part time jobs. You will then be looking for an entry level job.

Contact Careers Guidance: If you’re a student visit your careers office, as they can be very helpful in advising your how to find your first job. They hold lots of useful information and often hold information from companies that are looking for part-time workers.

Read local newspapers: Most local newspapers have a part-time job section. Find out what day job adverts appear and buy the paper.

Browse shop windows or bulletin boards: It’s not as easy as it was in the past to find you first job from an advert in a shop window. However, some shops still do advertise and its certainly worth looking out for. Many of the major retailers have bulletin boards within their shops where they will advertise if they are looking for staff.

Applying for your first job Once you’ve done all your preparation and all your research you are ready to apply for your first job.

Read instructions: Whether you asked to apply in person, make a telephone call, write a letter or fill out an application form you want to make sure you have all the information you need at hand. Always make sure that you read any instructions in an advert or instructions that come with an application form about what you should do to apply. Not reading instructions is a mistake that people often make.

Don’t makes mistakes: Whether you’re filling out an application form or writing a letter, make sure that you complete them without making any mistakes and include all the information that you’re asked for. When you’ve finished make sure that get someone else to read it, who can pick up any mistakes you have made. Make sure that you send the application or letter before the closing date. Applications that arrive after the closing date

Follow up: If you’ve applied in person or dropped in an application form, make a follow-up phone call to show the organisation that you’ve keen and interested in working for them.

Attending your first job interview

Prepare: Make sure that you know as much you can about the job and the company you are going for. If you can’t show that you’re interested in the company, they won’t be interested in you. Ask anyone you know if they have been for a similar interview what they were asked. Being well prepared will help your confidence in the interview.

Relax: If you’re the sort of person who gets nervous in interviews, make sure that you do some breathing exercises before you go.

Wear the right clothes: If you’re not sure what the ‘right’ clothes are take advice from other people. This doesn’t mean you should be going out and buying new clothes but you should always look neat and tidy.

Getting your first job Getting your first job isn’t necessarily easy so don’t give up if you don’t get the first one you’re after. Most people don’t get the first job they apply for so don’t get disheartened and keep trying

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