Pro Tips from A Broke B*&%# on Becoming Employed

 “Get a job,” they say, like it’s as easy as it sounds. I sound like a spoiled college kid, trust me I know. But as someone who’s dropped off millions of resumes and applications and one who has filled out online application after online application, I know the struggle. It is not fun. Everywhere seems to be wanting help but not actually accepting help. After my sixth application at a facility with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window, I began to feel like this was more of a ploy to get me in the facility to purchase something than them actually looking for employees. Learn some tips from me, as someone who has ridden the wave of college kid brokenness and is now drifting into the shore of some finical stability. While you’re on your hunt for employment, keep these few things in mind.

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One of the biggest employers of students is the university. Make sure you are aware of how your university hires students. If they hire through an online source, like Indiana University of Pennsylvania does, through HireAHawk, then check it frequently. If you need a job for the upcoming semester, don’t wait till the week the semester is starting! Check it before you leave, check it when you get home, check it on Christmas, check it before you come back. Also, if they hire through a website it makes it easy to upload your information, but make sure you double check it because sometimes these automated programs put the incorrect information in the wrong place.

If you live in a college town with local businesses around, make sure you follow them on their social media sites. A lot of businesses are adapting and trying to accommodate their market. They may be seeking help and choose to advertise that on their social media. Also, they love to know their new marketing techniques are working so make sure to put that on the application when you go in. Or even say that you saw it there when you speak with the manager.

Speaking of the manager, if you can find out, go drop off your application during the times the manager is working. You do this for a couple reasons. One is you don’t want it getting lost. Employees don’t always do everything as they should. Do you want to trust your future employment to someone you don’t know and who is not in charge of making hiring decisions? No, you don’t.     

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Not only should you go when the manager is most likely to be present but you should also be dressed appropriately when you do so. This doesn’t mean you need to pull out your business attire for a waitressing position but it does mean you need to look clean and presentable. If you’re going for a position in food service, wearing you’re long blonde hair down with dirt under your nails probably isn’t the best look. And guys, the idea of beard hair in customer’s food probably isn’t attractive to your future employer either.

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If you go in during a time when a manager is going to be in, be sure you are ready for an interview. In fact, introduce yourself and let them know that you are interested in the position and ready for an interview. It shows initiative! And confidence! Qualities that are attractive in future employees. There have been plenty of times where I have let opportunities slip through my hands because I was too shy to introduce myself.

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Also, do not be afraid to name drop. If you know someone who works at the place you’re applying to write their name down as a reference. Of course, you should ask their permission first. This gives you an advantage in a lot of ways. They can gas you up to their boss and a lot of management has the hiring attitude that “good people know good people.” This gives you an advantage and a step in the door over other applicants.      

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Here is a tip that many people are not going to tell you. On almost all applications for college students, it always asks if you are available for breaks, summer and winter. Just mark yes! You don’t want your application thrown out the window because of something as trivial as your availability for breaks. If you prove yourself a valued employee your employer will get over it, if not then you will have had job experience you wouldn’t have had for a few months. Also, a lot happens between the months of February and June.

Your piggy bank is emptying and that is a painful feeling, do what you need to do. Put on your big girl/big boy pants and hit the pavements! It’s time to get paid!

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