Welcome to Blogmas!! I am really getting into the holiday spirit now and aiming to have one blog post up every day leading up to Christmas. Enjoy!
There comes a time in every student’s life when they start their first job, whether it be for the purpose of earning some money, as a result of peer pressure, or even just for the experience. Having a job as a student can be an extremely rewarding experience, but at this stage of your life, education should always be placed first. With this in mind, getting a job over the summer holidays or as a Christmas casual is a viable option.
The two months leading up to Christmas is often the busiest time of the year for most businesses, which makes it the perfect time for students to get a job. For Christmas casual positions, I recommend that you apply early, sometimes even as early as June or July as employers like to have their employees ready to work by late October, early November.
Step one: Writing your resume. Most, if not all jobs nowadays require a resume. Some employers that advertise specifically for high school students may not require one; however, it is always a good idea to have one written up in the occasion that you want to apply for another job. For high school students with little to no experience in the workforce, a one-page resume should suffice. There are many templates out there that you can find with a simple google search but I like to follow these basic headings:
- Include your email and mobile number under your name so that potential employers can contact you.
- Do not include your address or date of birth. This information should only be given once you have been offered the job to prevent any discrimination that may occur as well as keeping your information private.
- Give information on your highest level of education achieved.
- This is where you list your previous work experience if you’ve had any. If not, then disregard this section.
- List the places you’ve worked at with the most recent at the top and provide a basic description of your duties at each workplace.
- This can include academic, sporting, performing art awards. They could be achieved through school, clubs, societies etc.
- This is a list of your personal characteristics that are relevant to the workplace e.g. commitment, honesty, teamwork, positivity and reliability. Also, make sure to expand on these by describing how you demonstrate these qualities.
- Having previous volunteer engagements can be advantageous for demonstrating your character as well as your suitability for the job.
- List skills that directly relate to the workplace e.g. ability to take initiative, problem solver, cash handling, customer service…
Step two: Applying for a job. Once your resume is completed, it is ready to be submitted to potential employers for review. At this stage, you should have some sort of idea of what type of work you want to be doing, although retail and hospitality is probably the most popular option among students. Then, if you have specific companies and stores in mind, hop over to their websites and fill out the application form provided. If not, there are many job search websites out there that match you up with jobs based on your preferences, where you can follow their instructions and apply from there. Based on my experiences, I recommend that you apply for every job that you can realistically transport yourself to even if you don’t think you’ll get it. That way, you’ll increase your chances of getting to the interview stage.
Step three: The interview process. Once you receive an invitation to interview, you’re already halfway there! Your success at an interview is dependent entirely on their impression of you. Dress presentably in smart business attire and keep your hair out of your face. Engage with the interviewer, smile and nod perceptibly and ask questions. You may just find that the interview was a success a few days afterwards!