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What is a good way to present yourself when seeking a job? Is there a certain way to dress or speak? What is expected of us?

I am a 16 year old high school student and want to look into different career paths that may interest me. I also want to understand the job process and what is expected of us when seeking a job. #job-search #career #job

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Subject: Career question for you

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Vivian’s Answer

Hi Kalisa,

The general process of searching for a job looks like this:
- write a resume and cover letter
- search for jobs that interest you
- submit an application
- if the company is interested, they may invite you for interview(s)
- if you pass the interview, the company extends an offer to you!

A few tips to keep in mind:
- Be professional! For example, this may be thanking the company for their time for reading your cover letter. Or if you're meeting them in person, showing up with a positive attitude and a clean attire.
- Be prepared. Search for common interview questions, and think of examples of how you've demonstrated those skills in the past. Don't lie about your experience.
- Show up on time, or even better, a few minutes before your interview begins.
- Prepare a few questions to ask the company, indicating your interest in their culture and values. Think of how you would fit with their company and team.

At the end of the day, the company wants to know if you can do the job (or can learn the skill on the job), and if you will be pleasant to work with. Keep this in mind with every interaction, and you'll increase your chances of getting hired. Good luck with your job search!

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Bridget’s Answer

Hi Kalisa! When applying for and eventually interviewing for jobs, it's important to be professional and enthusiastic. Many interviews may occur in a more formal setting, and therefore, dress should be business casual at the least. When in doubt, always dress more formally. The process of applying to jobs can vary depending on the field, but oftentimes starts with an online application that requires a resume and/or cover letter. You might also need to provide references, work samples, or other supplemental materials depending on the job. Before an interview, in addition to practicing answers to some common interview questions, I would suggest always researching the company thoroughly if you have time. Knowing at least the basics of the company you're interviewing with can give you a big leg up and put you more at ease when interviewing because you know some things about who you're interviewing with and what they're all about.

For now, I would focus your energies on networking and practicing with some informational interviews. Since you want to look into different career paths, it could be very beneficial to you to start talking to people you know with careers that interest you. You can ask family members, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, or anyone else in your life if they might be able to connect you with professionals in your field of interest. Once you've connected with someone, see if they're willing to speak with you for 15-20 minutes about their career path, and make sure you prepare questions since you'll be the one leading the conversation! A lot of people are willing to help others who are interested in their job, and I'm sure you'll be able to connect with people who can give you more insight into the kind of career you might want.
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Matthew’s Answer

Kalisa - I think there are good ways to present yourself in the way you dress and the way you speak when you are seeking a job. The answer directly depends on the type of job. Which industry? Which company? For example, I think it is a mistake to dress in formal business clothing for a job working in a recording studio or chef's kitchen. You have to be seen as a good fit in to their culture.

When I was looking for a job, I had a coach that told me that a person is hired because they are liked and their ability to do the work is tested after they start working.

So, it is important to convince the person making the decision to hire you that you are likeable and that you will fit into the culture of the organization. Therefore, research how people who work for this organization look and speak before you go to the interview and then dress and speak similarly.

Another benefit of doing this research is that if you can't see yourself dressing or speaking that way, maybe you should continue looking for another job. This job may not be a good fit for you at this point in your job search. Make sense?

Just to let you know that these are skills that you can learn and develop and they will serve you well through your entire life.

Great luck to you in your search.

Matthew recommends the following next steps:

Research how people dress and speak for a specific job at a specific company.
When you are going to an interview, dress and speak in a similar way.
Get the hiring manager to like you and see that you will fit into the organization's culture.
You are hired because you are liked and your ability to do the job are tested after beginning work.
If you can't see yourself dressing, behaving, or speaking in the manner needed, keep looking for a different opportunity.
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Jon’s Answer

Hi Kalisa,

While the job application process differs per company and industry, generally they go like this:

1. You search for a job (on a website, on a job board, etc.)
2. You apply for the job (submitting your resume, cover letter, etc.)
3. If selected past the screening phase, you are interviewed
4. If you pass the interview (or a few, depends), then you are hired!

Main thing is to display professionalism throughout the process. This can mean many things, such as presenting a clean and tidy appearance, wearing professional attire to interviews, and familiarizing yourself with the job description and the company's culture and values.

Finally, remember that most companies have more than one employee, which means teamwork, collaboration, and communication are all very important. If you can show these qualities through the various hiring phases above, you will have a higher chance of being hired.
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