Friday, 29 July 2011

Step 5: The Interview

Well, since you’ve made it this far, I’d say you’re doing pretty damn good. The interview can be pretty nerve wracking, but just calm the hell down! Slap yourself if it helps…? You pretty much want to do everything you did for applying in store—dress the part, be prepared, relax and be charming, and turn your phone off! Just make sure you’re extra prepared—not in the sense that you need a blue pen, but make sure you really know about the company, about your specialty, and about what you’ll be talking about. Practise your responses to some typical questions, and be confident in yourself. When in doubt, just smile and look pretty!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Step 4: Go Get 'Em, Tiger!

Okay so I put you through all that preparation: you've got your resume, cover letters, and plan all ready, and it’s time to apply! Dun dun dun dunnnnnn!

1. Apply online
A lot of companies now, mostly in retail, have online applications. This may either mean that you simply upload your resume, or perhaps there’s a full application that you need to fill print and fill out. Whichever it may be, make sure you first apply online. Why? Some places don’t even take in-store applications anymore, at others you may have to fill out an application on the spot, and some just appreciate that you’re not an idiot and took the initiative to check out the company online.

2. Apply in store
Pretty obvious. Most professional and specialized companies won’t have an online application anyways. There’s a few things that you need to remember for when you go apply in-store…
-Make sure you dress the part. If you’re going to a lot of different places, choose something like a button down shirt that works for just about anywhere. Look professional so they take you seriously, but don’t make such an impression that you look like a fool.
-Come prepared. Have your resume and cover letter stapled together already, any additional applications or papers stapled as well, and always have a working pen on hand.
-Be charming. Since you’re going in store, you can really show them who you are. Don’t go overboard and start cracking jokes, but smile, be kind, and be enthusiastic. If possible, ask to speak to whoever is in charge of hiring—ask for the store manager, or in a business location, just speak to the secretary. Speaking to the right people can really make all the difference.
-Oh, and turn your damn cell phone on silent!
Alright so you finally went in store and got it over with. Now you can sit back, relax, and wait for the phone to ring so you can go to your… interview!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Step 3: Cover Letters

Hokay, now that you know where you’re applying, you know where to address your cover letters to. Now, cover letters are optional, in some fields they aren’t all that important, but personally I think it’s much better to have one than not to, especially if you decided not to include an objective in your resume.

Personally I think that cover letters are a pain in the culo to write (Italian much?), but they can be pretty important to have done. So, I tried to give you a bit of a template to follow…

--------------------------------------------------

Your Contact Information
Name, Address, Email, Phone
Copy this from your resume

Today’s Date (or when you’ll be applying)

Addressee’s Name (simply skip if you don’t know)
Addressee’s Title or Position (skip if you don’t know)
Company Name
Street Address
City, Province/State, Postal/Zip Code

Dear Potential Employer/Dear Sir or Madam,

Address why you are writing, the position that you’re interested in, how you heard of the opening, any references, and briefly why you want to be part of the company.

Now your body information. You may write this in point form or paragraph form. Pick a few of your qualifications that you would like to discuss. Quickly outline them and why they make you a valuable part of the company.

Now wrap it up. Thank them for their time, and assure them that they can contact you at any time. Include any other important information that has not been said.

Sincerely/Best regards/Your truly/etc.

[Sign here]

Your Full Name

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Okay hopefully that wasn’t too bad. And again, don’t forget to review this puppy like crazy! ;)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Step 2: Decide Where You're Going to Apply

That’s right, honey, we’re not done yet and still have a long way to go. Now you have to decide where you’ll be submitting the resume you prepared in Step 1. If you’re only applying for a single opening at a specific location, then you’re set and can skip this step. But for all you other lost little rain drops, it’s time to make a plan! It’s best to apply to more places than necessary than not enough—literally, I applied to over 30 places in order to find my job…but the point is that I found it, right?

1. Paper Plan
This is just a list of where you’re planning to apply. If you’re not sure where to apply, just look up everywhere possible. Literally…if you want to be a hairdresser, just go on Google maps and type in “hair salons near [your address]”. If you want to find an entry-level position, just look up the directory to your nearest mall and write down every place that you’re interested in.

2. Physical Plan
Well, this is still going to be on paper, but this is your true game plan.  You have to figure out where you’ll be going so that you’re not running around! Print out a map of your mall directory or city, and get an idea of the most efficient way to hit every location.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Step 1: Get Your Resume In Order

Oh, the resume. I’m sure we all had to make one in school…and I’m sure we all bullshitted about what we wrote too. Unfortunately, it’s time to make a real one. It’s not exactly the most exciting thing, but it’s pretty straight forward, just follow this template...This is a lengthy post, so bear with me!

1. Basic Information
The most important thing, of course! For now, just list a couple of things:
-Full Name
-Full Address
-Email address (use your business address if you have one!)
-Phone number (Include home and mobile, or primary/secondary if you wish)

Job Hunting for Dummies

There’s really no way to introduce this post gently. Basically, we all need jobs, but it’s hard to find them. Being just recently employed (for the first time?! Booyah!), I thought I’d share some tips with you regarding job hunting. It really does take some effort, but it’s not all that bad, and I’ll outline every step that you need to know about. I’ll be posting a new step every day for the rest of the week, so if you’re planning on going job hunting soon, stay tuned! Remember to follow the blog, and comment if you have any questions or if there's anything you'd like me to address!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Welcome to all my little chippes!

So, we’re only a few weeks into summer, and as I do every year, I made a to-do list for summer 2011. Included in this list was writing a blog, and thus the birth of potatoe chippe began!

What can you expect to find here? Well, a little bit of everything. First things first, my name is Melissa, but call me marm. I’m currently a teenager living in Canada. Being young, I’ve already learned a lot about life, but as I discover even more I’d like to share what I can with everyone. Basically I’ll be posting anything that has interested me, and might interest you, or at least put a smile on your face.

As I mentioned, I make a summer to-do list every year, so I figured I’d share a few of those items with you…

-start a blog (done!)
-find a job (done!)
-sand down guitar neck
-re-dye highlights
-learn to pig squeal
-completely reorganize room
-host a backyard party
-go kayaking or canoeing

So what about you? What are you planning to do this summer? Leave your responses below, as well as any requests regarding what you’d like to see on this blog! :)

Lots of love,
marm*