Ask Kate Anything: Getting the job

Dear Helpless,

Getting a job in this economy can be tricky and frustrating. Throw in a school schedule to work around, and it can very well feel impossible. But the good news is: college students everywhere find and hold down jobs while going to school.

The very first thing you want to do when looking for a job is to be professional. Dress nicely and be polite. Most places don’t want to hire a slob. If a person doesn’t care about their physical appearance and the way they come off, they are probably not a good candidate to represent a company.

Along the same lines, when looking for a job, possible employers will look for you on social media, so make sure your Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram feeds are free of offensive material and don’t show you getting drunk constantly.

Have a clean, simple resume. Even fresh out of high school with no formal work experience, most people have activities from school, volunteer service, babysitting, clubs they were active in, or something they can list to show responsibility. Make sure all spelling is correct. Have five people look at it for accuracy and suggestions.

After all that preparation, you’re ready for the job search. Start with people you know. Most of the time, employers will hire someone recommended by one of their current employees or someone they know over an unknown candidate with a decent resume.

This may not seem fair, but as a company, it is safer to have someone vouching for their new employee. If someone they trust believes that a person would be an asset to the company and a good employee, that person is likely to be considered much more highly than someone with no ties.

After you ask around about openings at places where family or friends work, just start applying everywhere. Fill out applications wherever you go, and remember, always be polite.

Also be persistent. If you really want a job, let them know. Research the company and tell them why you would love to work for them. Call them a few days after you turn in your resume and remind them that you would love to work for them. Contact them again a few days later.

Many places only accept applications online. In these cases, after applying, go into the place and ask to speak to the manager. Tell them that you applied online and that you just wanted to introduce yourself and let them know you would really like an opportunity to interview. Be the face that sticks out to them. Have a firm handshake and a warm smile.

And when you get that interview? Be polite, be friendly, and show them why they want to hire you.

Do you have a question for Kate?  Don’t shy away, ask Kate anything by sending an email to AskKateAnything@gmail.com.  If you have questions of a sensitive nature and would like to remain anonymous, your identity will be kept a secret.