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Start Applying

Now that you’ve identified a few promising job listings, it’s time to start applying. Many employers today accept online applications and your local library maintains public computers you can access for free. It’s a good idea to be prepared, so consider pulling together some commonly requested information ahead of time, including: address, phone number, and email.

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Educational background
    • Include the schools you’ve attended from ninth grade on and years completed.
  • Professional references
    • Applicants shouldn’t use family or close friends, but it’s important to choose people who are familiar with your work ethic, reliability and skillset. If you have no previous employer, consider listing: a favorite teacher or professor; your guidance counselor or advisor; a coach or instructor; or someone for whom you have volunteered your time.
  • Past job experience and employer contact information
    • If you don’t have any official job history, include other experiences that count, such as babysitting, mowing lawns and snow removal. And volunteerism shows you are hard-working and reliable, even if you haven’t been formally employed.
  • Special skills
    • Anything from proficiency in certain computer programs, to being able to speak a different language is noteworthy. Add any skills you feel make you a more desirable candidate for the job!

You will also want to draft a resume using similar information while taking the opportunity to highlight any additional reasons that show you’re the right person for the job. Do a quick web search to find a suitable resume format (but beware of services that ask you to pay to save the file you’ve created through their site). Include your name and contact information at the top and consider adding a statement that describes your skills. Once you’ve outlined your work history, volunteerism, and education, add any organizations you’ve participated in, such as 4H, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, library teen advisory board, etc. Make sure to mention any related awards or recognition.

Need more advice? BCLS offers subscriptions to some helpful job and career databases. Check out these articles through Ferguson’s Career Guide (you will need your library card number to access): 3 Ways to Tailor Your Resume for the Position and 3 Ways to Trouble-Shoot Your Resume.

Look for our next job search post to offer resources and tips for a great interview.