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Your First Job

So you're a teen who is getting ready to enter the work force. Kudos!

Be sure you have:

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Forbes: Five Signs Your Interview Is Fake Because They've Already Hired Someone


Forbes: 15 Ways To Inquire About A Job Opportunity Without Actually Asking


Workopolis: 10 reasons why qualified candidates don’t get hired for the job


Why only 2% of applicants actually get interviews


Create a Resume in Google Docs


Questions to ask at the End of an Interview


12 Things That Ruin a First Impression Immediately


The 10 Most Common Job Interview Questions And How To Answer Them


What are Shadow Boards?


How We Hire at Google

1. have a resume ready Even if you never had a job before, you can still compose a resume.
2. always have a cover letter!   You should never send out a resume without a cover letter, this is the case even if the letter is not required.
Sending out generic cover letters that don't seem relevant to the position is sloppy, and will probably not get you the job.
3. do you volunteer? list it! Make sure you add to your resume any volunteering you have participated in.
4. ask for references   Whenever you leave a job or volunteering project, part ways amicably, and don't forget to ask for references. These can be printed on paper, or online as part of a social media tool like LinkedIn.

There is no point to list a baby-sitting job unless you can provide a letter of reference.
5. keep in touch with colleagues Stay in touch with old colleagues.
You can ask them to check your skills on tools such as LinkedIn, and don't forget, they're the ones that will think of you when a new position opens in their own workplace.
6.  things to add to your resume This section is important if this is your first job. It will help make your resume more interesting.
Add these items to your resume if applicable to you.

- list of skills and expertise,
- list computer skills separately,
- links to your portfolio (web, coding, illustration, articles, etc.),
- participation in competitions,
- participation in festivals, debate teams, sports, and other extracurricular activities,
- your own projects: website, blogs, illustrations, music you wrote or played in a recital, YouTube tutorials you've created, articles you have contributed to various platforms,
- list activity on professional chat boards like CodeProject.
- programs (coding) you wrote
- passions you are involved in,
- character references, for example from a teacher
- professional and business books you have read, for example if you learned a new skill, or researched a topic thoroughly.
7. exit strategy The way you leave the interview is just as important as how you handle yourself in the middle. Make sure you are pleasant and thank the interviewers for the opportunitty.
More advice on this here (find the "exist strategy" section):

Work and Interview Etiquette

Do not converse about politics
The problem with smart
6 topics to avoid
Research the position you are applying to Find out as much as you can about the company offering the position, show you have a genuine interest. After all if successful, you may be working there soon. Know the relevant product names, and be familiar with news about the company. This shows the employers you are invested in working there.
Never be rude to anyone on your way to an interview (or alternately just don't be rude typically...) One of our parent volunteers likes to recounts a story about a previous boss who liked to arrive to work biking. From the way he dressed and his bike helmet under his arm, applicants arriving at the same time to interview with him would often believe him to be insignificant or possibly the delivery guy. If they were rude to him in the elevator, it was only to find themselves face to face with him in the board room soon after.
Don't be late This is a big issue, it makes a bad first impression.
Don't use your cell during an interview   Set you phone on silent, and under no circumstances should you use it during an interview to answer a text or a call.
Don't use slang   Don't use slang during an interview.
Calling the employer a dude, guy, and so on is not respectful. Your employer will have to conclude you are too immature to be employed, and that you may not understand what is expected of you.

Leaving a voice mail or text to your potential employer that start with "hey" is not a professional way of addressing someone.
Asking an interviewer to chill is not favorable to you getting the position either.
Dress the part Don't take it literally, you should not necessarily dress the part.
Dress professionally for the interview regardless of what the position is. It doesn't need to be too fancy, but it should not be too casual either.
You should never wear sweat pants to an interview!
You may be able to get away with a hoodie depending on the position, but not always.
Don't get upset   Some employers like to "stress-test" the candidates a bit during an interview. They'll find some insignificant issue and force it temporarily to see you don't get upset, which is great for working with others in potentially stressful situations.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Should I publish my resume on a website such as and let the employers find me?


While this is a matter of opinion, mine is that dropping a resume in a large database and hoping someone calls is simply lazy. It rarely yields results. Whatever position gets offered so, can't be too good, it might just be that they'll probably hire anyone. Or they're going through a mandatory number of candidates before they can hire the person they really want.

Typically you may get a call from recruitment companies from time to time, but they too are dealing with large numbers of candidates and your resume is likely to go unnoticed.

Employers are able to conclude the exact reason for which you would want to do this: you want to spend less time on doing the work required to get the job. It's not the best message on your part.


Should I follow-up with an email about my resume?

Not unless it was indicated in the posting that you should.

Most companies include the following statement in their job listings.

       "We thank all applicants for their interest, however only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted."

This is a definite indication that you should not contact them, they will contact you if they're interested.

If you already attended an interview, then make sure you do follow up after.


Is it OK to email a "is this position still applicable?" line before sending out a resume?


Administrators interpret the message as an email address probing attempt meant to add the responder's email to spamming databases.

Your email address may be blacklisted as spam, your actual application if sent from the same account may not go through after.


Should I Put My Physical Address on the Resume?

Article on Indeed:

It depends.

If the company you are applying to is well known in your community, then you should always include your address.

If the company you are sending your resume to is unknown, you can replace the address section with only your postal code. This gives the employer an indication you reside in the same city, and the general area, but does not disclose your full address if you are not sure yet. You can provide a full address later during the hiring process.


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