[Note : Actually, this was the second job my son Bunso successfully applied for, but this was the first time he actually liked the job. 🙂 So he was gracious enough to write about it after a local Pinoy newsmagazine in Wellington invited him to do so. I liked it so much (his story) that I am reposting it below, with permission of course from both the publisher and the author. You may access Bunso’s online version as well by clicking on the link in this paragraph. Thanks again Didith Tayawa Figuracion and Meia Lopez of Kabayan Magazine in Wellington, and anak for your generosity! ]
KNOWING YOURSELF is one thing but describing yourself is another. On finding a job, one of the most important things to remember is to put your best foot forward. You have to present yourself as the best candidate for whatever job you’re applying for without sounding arrogant or too proud.
It took a while to get my first job but finally, after sending in numerous CVs (both physical and online), my efforts have paid off. When I finally landed a job, I was ecstatic! (I honestly can’t put my feelings into words. But it was comparable to how I felt when I passed the entrance exam for the university I wanted to attend back home in the Philippines. I felt really happy and blessed.)
So here’s my take on how you should prepare to get that (first) elusive job.
Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. Customise your CV and always point out skills and qualities you have that other people might not have. Make sure to relate these to the job you are applying for. Some jobs require you to be independent and some require you to be in a team. If you like to do both, say so but don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not.
Your CV must speak for you especially for jobs you apply for online and situations where you won’t be able to see the prospective manager/boss before getting an interview. Put together an image of yourself based on your personality (are you friendly and helpful?), experiences (have you interacted with people from different ethniticities and backgrounds giving you that cross cultural perspective from your travels overseas or interactions in school?) and skills (are you good with managing your time, multitasking or prioritising?).
Get the best referees possible. Ask your high school (college) principal or your parents’ friends if they are willing to be your referees. Get someone who knows you and is willing to help and can vouch for your professionalism.
Do your homework. It helps a lot if you know the employer or have referees working within the workplace you are applying at. Find out as much as you can about the company where you are applying.
During interviews make yourself very presentable. From your clothes to your demeanor, you are being observed. Wear clothes feel comfortable in and always appear open and approachable. There is not one job in the world that would turn away people with those qualities, if there were they would probably be jobs most people wouldn’t apply for. (ha-ha just kidding.)
Now comes the hard part — asking for prior job experience when it’s your first job (locally). Most jobs you apply for need prior experience but how can you get experience without getting a job? I can only think of two ways to convince the employer to give you a chance. Work for free for a specified amount of time depending on what you’re open to, for example one to two weeks, whatever floats your boat. The other is to ask for an interview and character reference check and if they like what they hear then they might give you a shot.
So, when you do get the job, you better show them that they picked the right guy/gal. Cheers and good luck to all the young people out there looking for employment, it definitely isn’t easy but it’s all worth it.
You go guys! 🙂
- Never stop applying until you have the job (snagajob.com)
- caught between the cracks, surviving between the cracks: Year 6 as a NZ guest worker (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Job rejections getting you down? Take a chill pill! (thoughtsandinsights101.wordpress.com)
- How to: Overcome common cover letter problems (reed.co.uk)
- why Julianne Alvarez is my favorite Kinoy* (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- How To Put Together A Killer Resume In 30 Minutes or Less (collegefeed.com)
- Trade Me mapping site follows jobs launch (firstdigital.co.nz)
- Tips to score big in the summer job hunt (snagajob.com)