It’s hard to think about getting a job when you’re still trying to finish high school, but for some residential students, they can’t wait to join the working world. The only thing stopping them is the perfect resume. Human Resource Specialist at Community Mental Health Authority, Lori Paine, shared insights from her perspective on how to apply and interview for jobs.
As part of a Life Skills grant from the Community Foundation’s Youth Action Committee, students learned the proper way to write a resume and participated in a mock interview.
Lori taught the students how to correctly fill out a resume, including adding your grade point average to the education section and making sure your e-mail address is professional. She also taught them to tailor their experiences to the job they want.
“I learned to focus my energy on specific job openings that I really want, rather than applying for so many that I seem unfocused and desperate,” said David*.
Just like writing a resume, students found that there is a process for applications as well.
“It’s important to remember that Human Resource Managers cross reference the resume and application to make sure the information given is correct,” said Lori.
Students learned that although it’s time consuming, following the instructions to make sure the information matches can make all the difference in whether or not they are called for an interview.
“I learned how to be prepared with the right materials to get the job I want,” said James*.
The class went over the importance of being prepared for an interview, which is more than just dressing for success. They learned to confirm dates, times, and locations beforehand, and more importantly, to research the company and be prepared with questions during the interview.
“Many people think that because you show up to the interview, you have a chance,” said Lori. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case. During an interview, you need to be prepared to share your skills, professionalism and passion for the position you’re applying.”
At the end of class, students participated in a group interview. Lori provided students with common questions an employer would ask, while she imitated a bad applicant. As they asked her questions like “why should I hire you?” and “why do you want this job?” Lori would answer them incorrectly. When she was finished with her answer, students corrected her mistakes.
Overall, students learned how important it was to be prepared for the job they want, and to devote the time and energy it takes to be successful.
*Not real name.