11 Tips For Your First Job Interview

If you’ve landed your first job interview, you are probably nervous about it. I would say “don’t be!” but I know that is a lost cause.

It is normal to be nervous, but you should be prepared. What you’ll find is that when you are prepared, the things you’ve practiced will come back to you at the right time.

After the first couple of questions into the interview, you’ll be in the groove.

Here is a list of 11 tips for your first job interview that will help give you the tools you need to succeed!

1. Practice Makes Perfect

Tips for your first job interview. Practice makes perfect.

Interviews are stressful!  So, a great way for you to feel more prepared is by practicing.  It may feel weird at first, but you will thank yourself in the end.

Find someone who can be the interviewer and give them a list of questions to ask you.  Or, if that feels too uncomfortable for your first practice, start by sitting in front of the mirror.

This will also give you a chance to see what kind of facial expressions you make.  Practice smiling and having a pleasant look on your face when you aren’t speaking.

When you are getting ready to practice, check out this article that lists common interview questions you may be asked.

2. Do Your Research

Do your research. Tips for your first job interview.

The worst thing you can do in an interview is not knowing general information about the company.  Most websites have an about page that lists all kinds of facts about the company.

Pick three facts about the company that you will memorize and bring them up in different ways in the interview.  For example, if you were getting a job at a school, then comment on the year they were founded or an interesting fact about who founded the school.

Read their mission and pick out one part of it that especially speaks to you and comment on that when they ask you why you are interested in the job.

The main goal is to show that you took time to learn about the company and this will speak volumes to the interviewer.

3. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Get Ready

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for your first job interview.

Giving yourself time to get ready for your interview will make sure that you don’t show up flustered and rushed.

You will want to feel as calm as possible, so giving yourself time to get ready will help create the frame of mind that you want to have in your interview.

4. Arrive a Few Minutes Early

Arrive a few minutes early to your first job interview.

When you arrive for your interview, you will feel nervous.  So, to help with that, make sure you get there a few minutes early.  Take that time to relax and look over your resume.

Not being rushed with help you feel calmer as you walk into your interview.

5. Take Deep Breaths Before You Walk into Your Interview

For your first job interview, take deep breaths as you walk into your interview.

As you approach the building where you are interviewing, focus on taking deep breaths.

There is a lot of cool science behind why taking deep breaths helps you feel calm, but basically what it does is tell your brain what is happening.

If you are breathing quickly, then you can go into fight or flight mode.  But, taking deep breaths lets your brain know that everything is okay and will help you feel calm.

6. Say Only Positive Things to Yourself

Say only positive things about yourself as you walk into your first interview.

This is key!  It’s easy to say negative things to ourselves.  So, make sure you only think positive things.

Here are several things you can tell yourself as you walk into your interview:

“I’ve got this because I’ve practiced what I will say.”

“I know a lot about this company and can speak intelligently about it.”

“I’m a happy and friendly person, so I just need to smile and be engaging.”

“I’m a hard worker and this company would benefit having me work here.”

Pump yourself up!  Know what makes you feel better and repeat those things over and over to yourself.

7. Know How to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question

Know how to answer the tell us about yourself question in your first interview.

This question is tough if you aren’t prepared to answer it.  It’s so open-ended that if you aren’t prepared, then you’ll end up talking about something that isn’t important for the interview.

Take some time and think about what you want to say when you are asked this question.  It’s a great opportunity to highlight what you have accomplished in your life so far.

You can also tailor your answer for each job you’re interviewing for.  If you are interviewing for a food service job, you can highlight that you volunteer at your school cafeteria or a soup kitchen.

Pick qualities about yourself that align as closely as possible with the qualities you think will be expected of you in the job you are interviewing for.

8. Create a Connection With the Person Interviewing You

Find a way to connect with the person who is interviewing you.

Being able to connect with the person interviewing you is very important.  People generally hire people they like and creating a good connection with them will definitely make an impact on their hiring decision.

Finding something in common is a great way to connect with the person interviewing you.  Many times as the interviewer is getting ready to start the interview they will chit chat a little.  This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and find out a little more about them.

Asking questions will give you clues to what you have in common with them.  Also, noticing things around their office.  Any sports items, pictures of kids, etc. will give you clues to what is important to them.

9. Only Say Positive Things About Past Employers

Only say positive things about past employers or experiences in your first job interview.

Since this is your first interview, you may not have any past employers.  But, as a general rule, you will not want to bring up any negative reasons for leaving a volunteer position or a side job that you worked for extra money.

Employers are looking for employees that will bring positivity to the workplace.  No employer is ever looking for a negative employee.

10. Have Examples for Every Skill You List on Your Resume

Have examples for your skills on your resume.

Stories are a great way to showcase your skills.  Before you walk into your interview, think through several stories that give you a chance to talk about a challenge and how you overcame that challenge with your skills.

Interviewers love stories, so this will be an important step in your preparation!  Have at least 3-4 stories that you plan to tell when the moment is right.

11. Don’t Forget to Follow Up!

Don't forget to follow up after your first interview.

Less than 40% of the people who interview for a job send a follow-up thank you note.  So, by taking the time to do that, you can really stand out from the crowd!

Send a short handwritten note or email to thank them for their time, say that you’re even more interested in the job after learning more about it, and you can’t wait to hear from them soon.

Please share any interview tips you have in the comment section below!!

I Need A Job Now! – Action Plan

No matter your station in life, there are times when you simply say “I need a job now!”

Perhaps you have been laid off recently and have bills piling up, or maybe you are new to the work force and really need to start saving up money for school, a house, a new car, etc.

Really no matter what the situation, there are several things you can do to find a job quickly.

HELP!  I NEED A JOB NOW!

Help! I need a job now.

If you’ve come to the place where you have admitted that I need a job now, no matter what line of work it is in, that can be an overwhelming feeling. You may feel desperate, anxious, confused, among other things.

Ideally, you would find a job that fits your interests or experience, but right now that isn’t your chief concern. Here is an action plan to get some positive momentum rolling in your job search.

1. Don’t Give Up!

I need a job now. Don't give up!

Perhaps this sounds obvious, but we hear numbers and stories all the time of those who have given up looking for work.

I know it can be incredibly frustrating to send out resumes, make phone calls, and come up empty time after time. No doubt if you are reading this article you’ve contemplated giving up before.

However, think about it this way: what is your alternative? There really isn’t a viable one. Whether you are young or old, your station in life determines how much money you need to survive.

If you have rent, a car payment, food to buy, etc. you need to find a way to make money. Everything else is a short-term solution that won’t bring you satisfaction in the end.

Every time you hear about thousands of job seekers giving up hope, turn that around and think of how much less competition you now face. You can do this, but you have to stick with it.

2. Most Jobs Aren’t Advertised

I need a job now. Most jobs aren't advertised.

As many as 80% of jobs are never advertised, according to CBS News. That means you may be going about your job search all wrong. So many job seekers say “I need a job now” and that translates into jumping on an online job site and sending their resume to every posting they see.

They don’t bother writing a cover letter, checking to see if they are qualified, or anything else. They throw out 200 resumes and hope something good happens. If this sounds like you, you need a new plan.

First of all, since this “strategy” is so easy, there are many people that do it. Is it any wonder most businesses don’t want to deal with that and decide to hire without broadcasting the job opening out to the world?

Would you want to sift through hundreds of resumes for people that aren’t qualified? Of course not. So if online postings aren’t cutting it, what should I do?

Network. You may feel uncomfortable about this concept, but it is more critical now than ever. Companies prefer to hire based off of the recommendation of an employee they already value.

There is typically a much better chance that a referred employee will be a good fit and work out in the long run. Therefore, you have to “network” by talking to your friends and family.

Often they’ll know about jobs that aren’t posted yet, or maybe won’t be open until next week and can get you in touch with the right people.

If you are into social media like Linkedin and even Facebook you should use them as tools to keep up with others that you know.

It is very simple to check out your “friends” or contact’s place of employment. Send them a quick message, even if it is someone you haven’t talked to in years, and see if they know any openings. Here is an example of what you could say:

Hi NAME,

How have you been? I hope all is well. I saw you are working at COMPANY NAME now – how do you like it? The reason I ask is because I am looking for a job and was curious if you knew of any openings. If so, please let me know and I may put in a resume if it is a good fit.

I appreciate it!

YOUR NAME

Not too tough, right? Simple, honest and to the point. Have 300 Facebook friends in your hometown? Why not send out 300 of these?

Look, if you’ve said “I need a job now” you have to act like someone who needs a job now. Don’t do this tomorrow, start now. (I won’t be offended if you read the rest of the article later).

3. Pound The Pavement To Find A Job

Pound the pavement if you need a job right now.

Pounding the pavement simply means to get out there and hustle. Walk in local businesses with copies of your resume and see if they are hiring.

If you don’t want to come right out and ask if they are hiring, start with some small talk about what they do. It is likely a small shop owner will really enjoy talking about their business to someone who seems genuinely interested.

Ask good questions and listen. Then when appropriate, say something like “That’s awesome, I’d love to work at a place like this” and see what happens.

You didn’t ask for a job, but if you stop talking right there they will come back with something like “well fill out an application…” Or “we are actually looking for someone to…” Or “well, we aren’t really hiring but stop by in 3 months and see…” That is progress!

The truth is, you’ve probably tried job fairs and online searches like we talked about earlier. However, you may not have really gotten out there and just went door to door like this.

It probably sounds intimidating to you, but that also means not many people do it. Job fairs can work, but look at how many people are there with similar qualifications as you looking at the same jobs.

Compare that to walking into a local business, striking up a casual conversation, and asking if there is anything you could do to help. Really, there is no comparison. After you’ve tried your network, get out there and pound the pavement.

What is the worst that can happen? You learn a lot about businesses in your community, but you find out none of them are hiring right now. Okay… big deal. You move on to the next one.

4. Update Your Resume

Update your resume if you need a job right now.

If it seems as if you never get a response after sending in your resume, maybe it needs an overhaul. Look, you’ve already come to the conclusion that I need a job now.

Whatever you’ve been doing hasn’t been working so maybe it is time to try something drastic. Think about this from the example of the person we talked about earlier who looks at hundreds of resumes.

If you used a Microsoft Word resume template, how many resumes that look exactly the same as yours do you think they’ve seen already? Exactly.

What about making a resume that is completely unique? Particularly if you have some graphic design skills, or (going back to that word again) have someone in your network that does.

Why does a resume have to be a Word document? Check out this infographic resume designed by Hagan Blount. According to this post at St. Andrews University, a recruiter spends no more than 30 seconds reading your resume.

I’ve seen some estimates where as little as 5-10 seconds are spent checking out a resume. This means you have to catch their eye immediately, if not sooner. Imagine if your resume was a graphically enhanced piece of work like we saw from Hagan Blount.

Do you think a recruiter might spend a little more time looking at that than a Word template? Of course they would. They might call you just to see how you made that.

I know what you are thinking, and you are right, it will definitely take you more time to come up with a unique, visually appealing resume. However, the good news is that your competition is lazy.

So most people won’t go through the trouble or expense (if you can’t DIY) to get it done. That is good news for you. Look, you need a job now, right? It is time to try something new.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You have to be willing to change up the approach.

If you can’t do something completely original, consider adding a photo of yourself on your resume and at least mixing up the fonts on the pre-made Word template.

Again, these people have probably seen that template a million times so do something that may make it stand out a little bit.

A final thought about resumes: if you need someone to proofread your resume or even someone to come up with a unique document design for you, try Fiverr. I’ve used Fiverr for many random things.

You can search “resume” and sort by the best rated, so you make sure you are finding things that others have reviewed positively. This is a quick and affordable way to get some help if you don’t know where to start.

One other great resource you should check out is Re.vu. Their tagline is “Don’t send a resume. Share your story.” This service lets you create an online landing page that you can link to which gives a visually appealing summary of your accomplishments.

This is certainly something that can add an online wow factor for a prospective employer. It is free to sign up and can even pull in your data from Linked In if you’d like.

5. Get To Work

If you need a job now then get to work

Alright, no more excuses. It is time to get to work. Get rid of any ideas you may have had about quitting, and remember your primary motivation for saying “I need a job now!”

Next, start talking to people in your network. That network is bigger than you think and more easy to reach than ever before. Use some variation of our message above and reach out to your friends and acquaintances on Facebook and/or Linkedin.

Then, get out there and pound the pavement. Leave your house and go meet business owners in person. If they aren’t hiring, they may know of someone who is.

This gets positive momentum and the law of attraction working in your favor. Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Finally, get that resume overhauled.

Once your pavement pounding and networking start moving, the next thing they’ll ask for is a copy of your resume. Send something that will stand out.

Have any tips to add for those who say “I need a job now”? Feel free to comment below.

Jobs For Teenagers: Expert Series – Doug of Taos Cyclery

We recently asked a few questions of Doug from Taos Cyclery in New Mexico. Here are some of his insights when you look for jobs for your teenager.

Some great points about the search process and the interview.

1. What are some of the best jobs for teenagers that help gain valuable experience for the future?

Because teenagers don’t have a lot of work experience yet, they will be
asked to do the most simple and least paid jobs.  This means picking up
after a supervisor and cleaning up, “boring”.

However, the ability to do these jobs well and without complaining will mean moving up into better paying jobs quicker.  The first thing teenagers need to do is learn how to work.

That means doing something repeatedly for six to eight hours.  Easier said than done, as many adults I know can’t do this well.  Busing tables or washing dishes in a restaurant are good jobs for teenagers.

If you like being outside, then try landscaping or construction.  Don’t focus too much on a particular type of job, but on learning how to work.

2. What would be your top 1 or 2 pieces of advice for a teenager preparing for their first job interview?

Prepare a resume.  Even if you don’t have a lot of work experience, list
accomplishments or organizations you have been a part of.

The resume is the first thing a potential employer will see as far as someone who is serious about a job.  I don’t have job applications because anyone can
fill those out, only serious applicants will show up with a resume.

Clean up, not all adults understand teenager’s sense of style.  A potential
employer may not want an employee who does not represent their business
well.

3. For a young person who may want to start a business one day, what would you advise them to do now to prepare themselves for this?

What are your goals for starting a business?  Are you so passionate about
something that you want to pursue it as a business?

Or, are you interested in making a profit?  Both are legitimate questions.  If you are passion driven, become a student of your chosen passion.  Understand that this is a life long journey and become the best at what you do.

Making a lot of money may or may not happen.  If you are profit driven, study
business and how to make a profit in changing economic times.

Be flexible and learn which businesses work in the place you want to live, or live in the place you can make the most profit, or find the best compromise.

4. Besides what we’ve asked already, what other advice would you give to a teenager entering the workforce for the first time?

Work in the service industry when starting out.  Doing service work does
not mean being a servant.

There is a real art to good service and it’s being lost.  If you can learn how to please a customer you will go far.

3 Simple Resume Improvement Tips For Teenagers

Maybe you are putting together your very first resume, or perhaps you’ve had one for awhile and now you are starting to look for a summer job.

Here are 3 quick, actionable ideas to improve your resume immediately!

1. FOCUS ON YOUR COMPUTER SKILLS

3 Simple Resume Improvement Tips For Teenagers - focus on your computer skills

Operating a computer is a part of almost every job you are going to find, and in some places being good with a PC or Mac is a requirement. Since you are a “digital native,” that is, you have grown up with computers as part of your life; don’t assume this is the case for everyone.

In fact, that native familiarity is a hot commodity in the job market. You may be thinking that you don’t possess any special skills, but a proficiency you picked up with Microsoft Office in high school is worth mentioning under the skills of your resume.

Just because it comes naturally to you, don’t assume it is that way for people in their 40’s and 50’s.

2. CONCENTRATE ON THE JOB YOU ARE APPLYING FOR

3 Simple Resume Improvement Tips For Teenagers - Concentrate on the job you are applying for

Resumes are rarely one size fits all, where you can drop the same document to a bunch of different types of job openings and expect it to fit. If you are using an objective statement at the top, this is a great opportunity to customize it for the job you are applying to.

You can also tailor your line items for education or experience to the type of job you are shooting for. For example, if you are applying with an event planning company add that you were on the homecoming committee instead of mentioning a sports team, French club, etc.

3. UPGRADE YOUR TEMPLATE

3 Simple Resume Improvement Tips For Teenagers - upgrade your template

If you’ve built a resume before, you may know that Microsoft Word comes with a number of pre-made templates. Don’t you think most other applicants are also aware of these templates?

There isn’t anything bad about using a basic template, but consider doing something custom that stands out. Even if it is just mixing up headers and fonts, give it a shot.

Odds are something a little more visually appealing might catch the eye of the person going through one boring resume after another.

Check out our other articles in the resume category, and best of luck!

How To Get A Job Step By Step

Whether you are a young person or someone with more life experience, there really is an art to getting a job. Perhaps you have been laid off recently and have bills piling up or maybe you are new to the workforce.  Or, really need to start saving up money for school, a house, a new car, etc. Here is a step by step action plan on how to get a job that anyone can follow.

HOW TO GET A JOB – STEP 1

How to get a job - step 1

The first step in how to get a job may go without saying, but it needs to be repeated anyway. Don’t give up! So many people give up and leave the job hunt and this is something we hear about all the time. In fact, the federal government’s unemployment number doesn’t even include those who may have given up hope.

Although you may not be able to find something in your preferred field, you can definitely find work by following the right process.

I know it can be incredibly frustrating to send out resumes, make phone calls, and come up empty time after time.  No doubt if you are reading this article, you ‘ve felt like giving up before.

Unemployment can’t last forever, and you won’t truly be satisfied by living off of the charity of someone else or perhaps a government program.

Every time you hear about thousands of job seekers giving up hope, turn that around and think of how much less competition you now face. You can do this, but you have to stick with it.

HOW TO GET A JOB – STEP 2

How to get a jobs - step 2

After you’ve decided that giving up on your job search isn’t an option, it is time to network. Here is why networking is critical to finding a job.

As many as 80% of jobs are never advertised, according to CBS News. That means you may be going about your job search all wrong. Many people think the answer to “how to get a job” is to get online and start blasting resumes on all the popular job sites.

If you aren’t attaching cover letters and even checking to see if your qualifications and experience are a fit for that job, this probably won’t work.  If this sounds like you, you need a new plan, pronto!

First of all, since this strategy is so simple, and there are lots of people that do it. This may tell you why such a high number of jobs are filled by companies that choose not to list it online.

Who wants to waste untold hours going through a ton of resumes of people who have no business even applying. I wouldn’t want to do that either! So this takes us back to the importance of networking with your friends, family, and acquaintances.

No matter how you feel about networking, it is more important now than ever before. A company loves to hire from a referral of a current employee who they really trust and who already does a good job. Culture is a big part of a 21st century business, so the idea is that someone who is a friend of a well liked employee would probably fit in just fine around the office.

Therefore, networking can be as simple as having conversations with friends and family. Often they’ll know of openings before they happen and more importantly can pass your resume onto the right person, which is huge!

If you are into social media like Linkedin and even Facebook then you should use them as tools to keep up with others that you know. It is very simple to check out your “friends” or contact’s place of employment.

Send them a quick message, even if it is someone you haven’t talked to in years, and see if they know any openings.

Here is an example of what you could say:

Hi NAME,

How have you been? I hope all is well. I saw you are working at COMPANY NAME now – how do you like it? The reason I ask is because I am looking for a job and was curious if you knew of any openings. If so, please let me know and I may put in a resume if it is a good fit.

I appreciate it!

YOUR NAME

Not too difficult, right? Simple, honest and to the point. Have 300 Facebook friends? Why not send out 300 of these? Social networking is huge right now and you should really leverage it to make the most of your network of friends. This is a key step in how to get a job in today’s market.

HOW TO GET A JOB – STEP 3

How to get a job - step 3

Pounding the pavement simply means to go old fashioned and get out and meet people face to face. Walk in local businesses with copies of your resume and see if they are hiring.

If you don’t want to come right out and ask if they are hiring, start with some small talk about what they do. Many times you’ll meet interesting people and small business owners aren’t usually shy to talk about their company and what they do and WHY they do it.

Ask good questions and listen actively. Then when appropriate, say something like “That’s awesome, I’d love to work at a place like this” and see how they react.

You didn’t directly ask for a job, but you may be surprised when they respond with “well fill out an application…” Or “we are actually looking for someone to…” Or “well, we aren’t really hiring but stop by in 3 months and see…” These are all positives!

In fact, they may not be hiring but that may make them think of some other place that is hiring. The key is to be friendly and personable from the beginning. Just be genuine.

Because this pavement pounding may seem a little strange or intimidating to many, that also means you have less competition. How many job seekers are serious enough to really do this? Most are okay with sitting home and clicking “send” on a job website. Setting yourself apart is another key to how to find a job.

Job fairs can work, but look at how many people are there with similar qualifications as you looking at the same jobs. Compare that to walking into a local business, striking up a casual conversation, and asking if there is anything you could do to help. Really, there is no comparison.

Once you spent time networking, get out there and start visiting small businesses in person.  What is the downside?  I would contend that there isn’t one.  At the very least you are expanding your network and getting to know the business influencers in your local community.

HOW TO GET A JOB – STEP 4

How to get a job - step 4

If it seems as if you never get a response after sending in your resume, maybe it needs a visual overhaul. The next step in how to get a job is to get creative with your resume.

Think about this from the perspective of the person we talked about earlier who looks at hundreds of resumes. If you used a Microsoft Word resume template, how many resumes that look exactly the same as yours do you think they’ve seen already? Exactly.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

What about making a resume that is one of a kind? Do you think that would catch someone’s eye? This is simpler if you do some design on your own, but if not you may know someone that does.

Why does a resume have to be a Word document? Check out this infographic resume designed by Hagan Blount. According to this post at St. Andrews University, a recruiter spends no more than 30 seconds reading your resume. This means you have to catch their eye immediately, if not sooner.

Imagine if your resume was a graphically enhanced piece of work like we saw from Hagan Blount. Do you think a recruiter might spend a little more time looking at that than a Word template? Of course, they would. They might call you just to see how you made that.

You may be thinking that you don’t know where to start or that you don’t have the time to do something like this. That is exactly the reason you should – because 99% of your competition will just stick to what is easiest – a boring Word template. That is good news for you.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You need to be flexible and realize that somethings need to change in order to get the job done in the 21st century.

ADD A PHOTO

If you don’t want to go crazy original like the earlier example, then try a template where you can include a photo or mix up the fonts. There is some mixed data about using a photo and whether that is a plus or a minus, so I’d say that it generally depends on the recruiter.

PROOFREADING

A final thought about resumes: if you need someone to proofread your resume or even someone to come up with a unique document design for you, try Fiverr.  Fiverr is perfect for many random things, and the premise of the site is that people offer various services and charge a small fee for that service.

You can search “resume” and sort by the best rated, so you make sure you are finding things that others have reviewed positively. This is a quick and affordable way to get some help if you don’t know where to start.

One other great resource you should check out is Re.vu. Their tagline is “Don’t send a resume. Share your story.” This service lets you create an online landing page that you can link to which gives a visually appealing summary of your accomplishments.

This is certainly something that can add an online wow factor for a prospective employer. It is free to sign up and can even pull in your data from Linked In if you’d like.

HOW TO GET A JOB – STEP 5

How to get a job - step 5

The fifth step in how to get a job is simple to understand but maybe difficult to do. Stop making excuses and get to work. Start talking to people in your network today.

That network is bigger than you think and easier to reach than it was 5 years ago. Hop on Facebook and Linkedin today and maybe just your email account to start sending out some feelers.

Then, get out there and pound the pavement. Go meet small business owners and managers face to face to see what you can get rolling. Whether you get a job with them or not, this gets positive momentum and the law of attraction working in your favor. Ask if you can help, even if (gasp) it is unpaid work at first.

Finally, get that resume updated and think outside the template. People will almost always say “send me a resume” and you want something that will catch their eye and make them want to meet you in person.

If you have anything to add to the discussion of how to get a job, please comment below.

Securing Employment as a Teenager in Today’s Job Market

Today’s job market and economy is tough.  It is taking a toll on job seekers from all experience levels, ranging from teenagers to high-level executives.

Because of this, many qualified job seekers are accepting lower-paying part-time jobs to make ends meet.  Even if they are considerably over-qualified for the job.

This “trickle-down” effect is making it more difficult for teenagers and students to secure part-time jobs.  Especially compared to the 1990s and early 2000s. As a teenager or student, how should you deal with the influx of higher-qualified candidates?

Below are a few tips and tricks to help improve your marketability to potential employers:

1. SUBMIT A RESUME

Securing a job as a teen in today's job market

Since the majority of teenagers are attending college or high school, their time is limited.  Therefore, they tend to gravitate towards part-time jobs that are close to home.

Nearly all part-time jobs require applicants to submit a job application, but very few ask for a resume. Here is your first opportunity to set yourself apart – by submitting a resume.

Although it is not required, submitting a resume can help distinguish you from other candidates by offering employers a professional depiction of your background and skills.

2. SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Securing a job as a teen in today's market

Hopefully you, after reading point #1 above, you have decided to submit a resume. But since your work experience and skills are limited, what should you include on the resume?

Since you are a student, you probably do not have a long list of career achievements.  So, your resume should emphasize your academic success and extracurricular activities.

Consider highlighting your GPA, academic awards, advanced-placement courses, sports-related achievements/affiliations, club memberships, and more.

Showing employers that you are capable of balancing responsibilities, managing your time well, and working with teams to achieve goals help make you look more marketable.

3. HIGHLIGHT YOUR SKILLS

Highlight your skills as a teen in today's job market

Although you are a student, you still have a great set of skills that employers can utilize for their part-time positions. For instance, your ability to listen to instructions, prioritize assignments, and collaborate with your peers to complete projects are all desirable traits.

Perhaps the most desirable set of skills in today’s job market revolve around the ability to utilize computers, the internet, and various software applications.

Spend some time learning and perfecting your abilities with Microsoft Office and other popular software applications. Nearly all companies utilize Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other common programs for their daily operations. If you are proficient with these programs, you are automatically more qualified than several other applicants.

In summary, you have the skills necessary to compete for a great job.  It’s just a matter of uncovering, honing, and highlighting them. Submit a resume, whether required or not.  Focus on your academic success and technical abilities and your chances of landing a job are greatly increased.

Above all, never give up. Apply to as many part-time jobs as you can, because landing a job is a numbers game.  The more you apply to, the greater your chance is of receiving a call for an interview.

By Drew Roark, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with expertise writing resumes for all industries and career levels. Drew is a National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) member and the owner of http://www.drewroarkcprw.com

Our Top Resume Boosting Resources

If you are looking to give your resume a boost, here is a list of resources sure to give you a kick start. We’ve compiled a list of the best resume tools, blogs, and other resources from across the web that are loaded with great advices on your resume.

Without any further ado, we’ll break down our top resources (in no particular order) by showing resume building tools first.  Then great blogs and articles from across the web that we find particularly helpful.

BEST RESUME TOOLS

Resunate

Resunate is an online tool that will score your resume based on the job description of the position you are applying for. Behind the scenes, many employers are doing the same thing, but now you can know ahead of time how well you are targeting the open position. Very cool use of technology. Check it out here.

 

 Resume.com

Resume.com Another great (free) resume builder online. Resume.com also lets you send out your resume to prospective employers and has a ton of job postings on their own site for you to check out. They have a great resume focused blog as well. Definitely worth a look!

 

Talentmarket.org

talentmarket.org

Talent Market is a on a mission to provide talent for the free market non-profit sector. They offer some great, easy to follow tips for your resume in this list.  Remember – “Bullet Points Are Your Friend.”

 

Blue Sky Resumes

A professional resume writing service (with a great looking website, by the way) who also offers a regularly updated blog full of great tips! They talk about more than just resumes, but there are tons of great nuggets that you can use like this one on how to design a resume for maximum impact.

Follow them on Twitter here for the latest updates.

 

Careers Done Write

Debra Wheatman, president of the Careers Done Write maintains a frequently updated blog full of great insights for job seekers. You’ll get plenty of advice on your resume, and even see some Q&A with questions she has received.

Keep up with the blog at careersdonewrite.com and follow Debra on Twitter for the latest updates.

 

My Career Info

A great article by Wes Weiler which lays out 50 tips for getting your resume read.  The thing we like about the article is that many of them are simple things to implement. Small improvements that can make a big difference.

 

GreatResumesFast.com Blog

Greatresumesfast.com is a professional resume writing service, but beyond that they run a very helpful blog. Of course they talk about things like tips for cover letters and resumes, but will also throw in other helpful topics like “Personal Branding.”

You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

LoftResumes.com Blog

Loft Resumes offers a resume service that is designed to make you stand out. Browse through some of their samples and you’ll quickly see how – very impressive! Besides that, they also maintain a great blog with advice about writing your resume along with other practical tips like how to search for job on Craigslist.

Follow them on Twitter for the latest.

 

Resumes To Interviews

Jason B. Resumestointerviews.com has a blog post about the resume words you’re saying that are costing you jobs that you should definitely check out. It is refreshing to see a nice mix of humor and practical advice like Jason B. has put together.

Remember to avoid meaningless words and focus on specific results.

Follow them on Twitter for more updates.

 

Drew Roark Blog

Drew Roark Resume

Drew Roark is a certified resume writer providing a variety of job search services. Having written over 6,000 resumes, Drew knows a thing or two about what makes a good resume. His blog is full of good posts on how to make your resume look better, how to tailor it for your job, and other helpful articles. You can also follow him on Twitter.

 

Officezilla 13 Tips

Office Zilla

The site officezilla.com has a great post by Deidra Jenkins called “Dust-Off Your Resume – 13 Essential Resume Tips” which is a great resource. If you are just starting a resume or perhaps looking to do a refresh of your current one, this is a great place to start. You can also check them out on Facebook.

 

Berks & Beyond Blog

BerksAt www.berksandbeyond.com you’ll find a blog run by the Berks & Beyond staffing firm of southern Pennsylvania. By their own admission, they are a “little different” but in a good way. The blog covers a variety of job search topics, including a great one that gives some thoughts about doing an “infographic resume” and if it is right for you. You can also follow them on Twitter.

 

Mary Jo King

The blog by Mary Jo King at www.allianceresumeandwritingservice.com is full of great advice for a job seeker. One of the recent posts gives you a quiz to test your resume IQ. Once you’ve got a rough draft of your resume, run it past this checklist to see how you score.

Mary has written over 5,000 resumes and you can follow her on Twitter for the latest.

 

Proven Inc.

Proven IncWe are including a great post from Proven Inc. on resume tips and tricks you haven’t thought of. These are all somewhat simple modifications you can make, but the impact can be high. Such little time is spent reviewing each resume, you need to make sure you stand out. You can also follow Proven Inc. on Twitter for the latest information.

 

Resume Deli

Resume DeliResume Deli promises “Expert Resumes. No Baloney”. We particularly like the post about focusing on accomplishments and not responsibilities by CEO Joseph Terach.  It includes very practical advice and even a helpful example to demonstrate the point. Their blog has a number of other job search topics covered, written by experts with plenty of experience in the field. You can also follow them on Twitter to keep up to date.

 

PSG Staffing Blog

PSG StaffingPSG is one of Massachusetts’ largest staffing firms. Katy Leveque, a Senior Group Manager, wrote a great post on their blog about resume tips for new college graduates. If you are just starting out or building that first resume, there are some great thoughts in here to guide you.

You can also follow PSG on Twitter here.

 

One2One Resumes Blog

Michelle Lopez - ResumesMichelle Lopez of One2One Resumes is a certified advanced resume writer, and has a great blog at www.one2oneresumes.com.au with advice about your resume. For instance, “Don’t Make Excuses, Fix It!” reminds you that you only get one shot to make that first impression so don’t blow it! Make sure your resume is up to date and at its best before you start applying. Follow her on Twitter here.

 

Strategic-Resume.com

Candace BarrThe blog at Strategic-Resume.com is run by resume specialist Candace Barr. She has a lot of real world experience which translates into a blog that is super helpful for those needing resume advice. We really like the Resume Critique Checklist she put together so you have a list of questions to ask yourself about your resume.

You can connect with her on Linked In as well.

 

Matt Krumrie Blog

Matt KrumrieMatt Krumrie is an expert with 10 years experience writing resumes and about the job industry in general. Besides his work with the Star Tribune, we’ve also found his own blog to have tons of thorough information on the topic of resumes as well as other career considerations. You should definitely check out his post on 5 reasons to keep your resume up to date, even if you aren’t looking for a job. 

You can follow him on Twitter here.

 

BigInterview.com Blog

Pamela SkillingsPamela Skillings, co-founder of Big Interview, has a great post on 12 tips to make your resume stand out. It is both funny and insightful, definitely worth the read. Beyond that, their blog has many posts that a job seeker will find valuable.

Follow them on Twitter for the latest.

 

 

FINS Resumes

FINS Resumes

FINS Resume Service runs an excellent blog for job seekers. One post we really like is on the topic of lying on a resume. You’ve probably considered telling a half-truth on your resume, but this post might make you think twice about it.

Follow them on Twitter for the latest.

 

TCG Blog

 TCG BlogThe TCG Blog has a great post by Doug White with 8 tips for writing a resume.  They have some data which suggests that you may want to think twice before getting too creative with your resume, as many employers prefer the classic look. Be sure to check out their other common sense advice in this post.

Be sure to follow Doug on Twitter as well.

Megan Wickes – Stevens-Henager College Blog

Megan WickesMegan, a graduate of Stevens-Henager College’s MBA program wrote a nice blog post about keeping your resume up to date. In particular, if you are student and doing volunteer work be sure to add that experience as soon as possible to your resume. Don’t wait until you are finished, do it while it is fresh in your mind.

 

 Toni Bowers – Tech Republic

Toni Bowers

Toni Bowers is a managing editor for Tech Republic and has a great post with 10 resume mistakes you should avoid. It’s funny how some seem so obvious, like having typos in the document, but ask a recruiter and they’ll tell you that these happen all the time!

Follow Toni on Twitter as well.

 

Snelling Blog

SnellingSnelling is a staffing company founded in 1951. They have a great blog at snelling.com with many posts to help you fine tune your resume. Keep an eye out for the 4 resume myths you should know about! Definitely a great resource for job seekers.

Don’t forget to keep up with them on Twitter.

 

Money Resumes Blog

Money ResumesThe professional resume writers at Money Resumes have an interesting post about 2 opposite resume mistakes which can both be bad news. Remember that even if you are a humble person, you have to use your resume to feature your accomplishments while remaining truthful.

Follow them on Twitter for more great insights.

 

Feather Communications Blog

HeatherHeather Rothbauer-Wanish is a professional writer and owner of Feather Communications. She specializes in business communications and put together an informative post about writing a resume when you don’t have a degree. Check it out here. This is extremely helpful for those who may have never gone to college or perhaps haven’t finished.

Follow her on Twitter here.

 

 

Evisors.com Blog

EvisorsThe idea behind Evisors.com is to give you career advice from industry insiders, and many would fall into the resume tips category. Beyond that, they’ve also launched a very cool service called Free Career Chat where you can connect directly to experts for a resume critique or conversation about your career.

Follow Evisors on Twitter here.

 

10 til 2 Blog

TenTilTwo10 til 2 is a staffing service that specializes in part-time work. In addition to that, they have a great blog for job seekers with posts such as “What most resumes are missing” – which reminds you to not overlook your technology skills. Visit www.tentiltwo.com or follow them on Twitter for more updates.

 

Renoir Staffing Blog

Renoir StaffingRenoir Staffing is a real estate staffing agency based in California. They have a great post by Marketing Coordinator Jessie Williams on crafting a resume that will get noticed. Remember to talk about your accomplishments, but play it conservative. No need for the word “fabulous” to appear in your cover letter!

 

Pinnacle Career Institute

PCI logoPCI has a great blog post packed with 40 resume writing tips. Virtually everything you need is found here – a great comprehensive post.

Find them on Twitter here.

 

 Knewton Blog

KnewtonKnewton, an education company, posted a helpful piece of advice for those looking to conserve space on your resume. There are some great tips on here by Igor Khayet of MyResumeShop.com. Check it out if you need to get some resume real estate back.

 

Brand Yourself

Brand YourselfThe personal branding site “Brand Yourself” has a post with 9 tips for a professional resume that is a must read in our book. Remember to be as specific as possible on your resume and avoid being vague at all costs. They give a couple good examples for you to follow. Check it out.

 

Careerfact.com

Careerfact.com logoCareerfact.com has a great post for recent graduates as it relates to your resume. Don’t forget to put in your accomplishments, and this article does a great job of helping you brainstorm some of the things you may be taking for granted that an employer would want to see.

Follow them on Twitter as well.

Addison Group

Addison Group

The Addison Group is a Chicago based employment agency. They have a nice blog for job seekers and we wanted to highlight one post with tips for a more technical resume. Many of the same things hold true, but if applicable remember to link out to websites you’ve built or other web based things that would be relevant and useful for a recruiter to see.

 

 

Right.com Blog

Right Management LogoA blog by the well known staffing firm, Manpower, has a simple post about the things to not include on your resume. This can especially be helpful if you are working on your first resume and thinking about which things should be removed. Check it out here.

Follow them on Twitter for updates.

 

Assaf Avni Blog

AssafAssaf Avni is a master of organizational creativity. He also put together an incredible list of 20 tips for writing a resume in the creative world. I love his analogy about saving something for the second date. Remember the point of a resume in the first place!

Click here to check out all 20 tips.

 

 

 

Shannon Smedstad

Shannon SmedstadShannon has a great post at bloggingforjobs.com about putting your “awesomeness” on display in your resume and cover letter. One great tip for those who are still in school is to learn more about the career services at your university. They would love to help and provide feedback on your resume.

You can follow Shannon on Twitter here.

This concludes our list of the best resume advice on the web! Feel free to comment below if you know of other great resources that people should check out.

Some Of The Most Creative Resumes You’ve Ever Seen

The title of this post claims a lot. However, we recently came across this post on Business Insider which contained some stunning resumes. We talked before in some of our employment guides about the need to be creative with your resume. Don’t settle for ordinary. Here is some inspiration for you:

Read moreSome Of The Most Creative Resumes You’ve Ever Seen

Thoughts About Writing That First Resume

Here are some quick tips about writing your first resume from the folks at Career Builder…