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What should I bring up when I'm trying to apply for a job?

Being an upcoming junior I am finding it hard to get a job with no previous experience and being under 18.

Thank you comment icon I realize that finding your first job can seem difficult, but try looking for positions that do not demand a lot of experience. And during the interview, tell them that you are smart enough and a quick learner—you have to, of course, be honest and tell them your goals and ambitions. Lake G. Kebie (FCCA,MBA,BA)

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Subject: Career question for you

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Alexander’s Answer

Julaina,

Many employers who seek to fill entry-level positions are quite familiar with applicants who are applying for their first job, so not having prior experience is quite normal. I recommend emphasizing your qualities that align with the job you're pursuing. For instance, if it's a cashier role, discuss how you've been honing your financial management skills or maintaining a checking account for a while. If it's a customer service position, share past experiences where you've engaged in public interactions and feel at ease working with new individuals. Additionally, it's a good idea to mention your quick learning abilities and genuine eagerness to work.

Finding employees who truly want to work can be challenging, so I would prefer someone with a solid work ethic and a passion for learning over someone who is frequently absent or misses shifts. When managing schedules, dependability is crucial, and that's the kind of trait employers are searching for.
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Dominique’s Answer

Hello! It's exciting to hear that you're starting your career journey. I understand that searching for a job can be intimidating at first, but there's no need to worry – everyone has been in your shoes before! When applying for jobs, be sure to showcase your strengths, whether it's being highly organized, skilled with finances, or having a creative flair. Don't hesitate to mention any volunteer work or sports involvement, as these experiences can provide great examples when answering interview questions. Wishing you all the best on your adventure!
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JINJIAN’s Answer

As a beginner, it's important to highlight your traits and ability to learn. It's natural for someone new to not have a lot of experience, but the great thing is that you're eager and always ready to learn. Make sure to share some of your past volunteer experiences and demonstrate the roles you took on during those activities. This will help convince the hiring team that you're a perfect fit for the job. And remember - never give up! The more you try, the more chances you have to succeed. Best of luck!
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Gemma’s Answer

Hey there! I've noticed many people discussing the idea of pursuing a job in the corporate world. However, it might be challenging since you're quite young. In my opinion, applying for a part-time job during high school, particularly over the summer, is an excellent choice! It demonstrates your proactive attitude and, later on, your ability to manage time effectively. Personally, I gained valuable communication skills, especially when interacting with diverse individuals.

When I was in high school, I worked at a local frozen yogurt shop. To land this job, I simply walked in and inquired if they were hiring. I believe this is the most effective way to secure a job at a young age – visiting local businesses and asking if they have any openings. Additionally, it's crucial to be honest during this process. For instance, at my job, when other students came in seeking employment, I would always ask if they were open to working evenings and weekends, as those were the primary shifts. Make sure to be upfront about your availability.

To this day, I still refer to my experience at that job, so I genuinely believe it's a fantastic opportunity to learn and discover the type of workplace environment that suits you best. When I assist with recruitment and college admissions, I find that showcasing a part-time (or full-time) jobs on your resume looks impressive. My sister worked at the local HomeGoods, and my friend at a nearby grocery store, and they both mentioned that their experiences have been brought up during later internship/job interviews, focusing on the skills they acquired. I highly recommend giving it a try!
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Michael’s Answer

Congrats and good luck on searching for your first job!
I know it can be hard and intimidating looking for a job with no experience. When you get your first interview I would write down the things you want to talk about during the interview and questions you may have to ask the manager after the interview. Just having 1-2 questions shows you prepared and are serious about this job.

Possible topics to talk about:
Any clubs, activities or teams you are part of. This shows commitment, being a team player and you are hard working.
Any passions you have or do during your free time.
Why you are applying for this job? It could be because you want to get experience in a certain field. It could also be you want to start earning money. Maybe you want to start saving for your first car, etc.

Possible questions to ask during an interview:
What is expected of me for this job?
What are you looking for in a worker to be successful?

Hope this helps, good luck!
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Naila’s Answer

Hello Julaina,

It's very impressive to see that you are thinking of starting your career at early age. First step is always to read through the job description before you head into the interview. I have always found researching the company and role beforehand helpful, as it gives you a better idea of what to expect from the interview. Consider preparing your answers to common questions and while you won’t be able to predict every question you’ll be asked in an interview, there are a few common questions you can plan answers for. You might also consider developing an elevator pitch that quickly describes who you are, what you do and what you want. Lastly, don't forget to ask any clarifying questions and get to know your recruiter personally. This will help you leave a great first impression on them. Good Luck in your career!
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Gaurav’s Answer

Hello! It's fantastic that you're considering applying for a job even though you're under 18. First, think about what interests you. Then, narrow down your job search based on your interests and concentrate on the positions that appeal to you. Make sure to read the entire job description and determine if you can perform the tasks required for the job you're applying to. Even if you don't have previous experience in the field, consider taking a course or participating in an internship to gain some knowledge. Lastly, ensure that your resume is tailored to the job you're applying for.
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Lydia’s Answer

I suggest using your personal experiences to explain your interest in a specific job. Think about your daily activities and how they can relate to the position you're applying for. Don't worry if you don't have prior work experience; it doesn't mean you're not a good fit or lack the skills needed to excel in the role.
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Kiyanna’s Answer

Kudos on embarking upon your professional journey! Keep in mind that everyone started from square one, and many employers recognize this fact. When you don't have work experience, discussing any volunteer activities you've participated in over the years is a fantastic idea. Remember, many of your everyday skills are valuable, so don't hesitate to highlight your personal achievements. Have you received any community or high school awards? If so, be sure to mention them during your interview. Additionally, consider obtaining a letter of recommendation from a former teacher, community leader, or pastor. Employers often appreciate hearing about you from others before asking for references. Including a letter of recommendation with your application can make a significant impact. Best of luck!
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Parth’s Answer

Hi, everyone so far has provided fantastic input, but I'd like to offer my own perspective on this topic.

Most employers hiring high school students understand that many don't have prior job experience and will typically provide training for the position you're interested in. When applying or interviewing for jobs, it's crucial to convey your dedication to investing time and effort, as well as your eagerness to learn. It can also be useful to search online for common interview questions in your desired field, so you can prepare your own responses to questions about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and skills.

To gain experience for your resume, consider joining local school clubs or organizations related to your intended career path. For example, if you're interested in law, join the debate club, or if you're interested in engineering, join the robotics club. Employers also appreciate seeing volunteer work on your resume.

Furthermore, I recommend researching the companies you apply to, as employers value applicants who take the time to learn about their organization. Prepare some questions about the company and its recent developments (e.g., asking an Apple interviewer about their thoughts on the new VR technology's impact on the business) to ask at the end of the interview. This demonstrates that you're not just sending out applications randomly, but genuinely interested in the specific company.

Wishing you the best of luck in your job search!
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Megan’s Answer

I think showing your desire to learn and your curiosity is key in this situation. Employers want to see that you're interested and understand the requirements to learn the role. My dad used to say "You've got to learn a lot about how to learn a lot" -- it's your desire / willingness / ability to learn that matters most.

Also, always recommend coming to interviews with thoughtful questions! It shows that you're interested and have thought through the role and are prepared.
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Kimberly’s Answer

Keep in mind that even if you haven't gained official work experience, it doesn't imply that you lack experience altogether. Feel free to discuss the abilities you've acquired through school, projects, sports teams, volunteer work, community or church involvement, babysitting, and any other activities that have contributed to your personal growth, work values, and skill set. Stay positive and remember that every experience counts!
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Gina’s Answer

Hi Julaina,

Even without much experience, you are able to relate the things you've done for the qualities the employer is looking for. Read the specification for the position ahead of time and think about some fitting experiences. I would bring pen and a small notebook to take some notes, but remember to stay engaged in the conversation. Try to remember that an interview is a conversation-- and not one sided! Ask some questions! At this stage, you are working to learn as much as you are there to contribute.
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Michael’s Answer

Kudos on taking this brave leap! Prepare for a journey full of amazing experiences, challenges, opportunities, highs and lows, but ultimately, one filled with triumphs!

It's normal to feel apprehensive about finding a job without the required skills or experience. Don't worry! Employers often look for certain qualities in candidates who may not have the necessary background. Focus on showcasing your work ethic, passion for the job, motivation, and reliability. Developing these traits can help you get your foot in the door.

If the job you're pursuing involves specific skills like writing or coding, share personal projects you've completed with potential employers. This demonstrates your strong work ethic, practical skills, and readiness for the job. Employers will likely prefer you over someone who hasn't gone the extra mile.

Finally, never give up and keep pushing until you land that job. Once you're in, continue to grow and learn!

Best wishes,
Michael P.
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Jake’s Answer

Hello Julaina,

This is a great question! Regardless of what job you are looking to apply for it is important to come prepared at whichever job interview you are going to. This may look like having a resume, knowing background about the company you are applying at and your potential duties, and make sure you are dressed appropriately.

Your resume should shine a light on your experiences and qualifications for the job. I think googling different examples of resumes and putting together the best format and information that fits you. The beauty is, there is no 100% correct answer, there are multiple different ways to prepare a resume. Additionally, make sure you have general knowledge of the job you are going in to and the company in which you are interviewing with.

Good luck with this process, it is a great exciting time!
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Lakshmi’s Answer

Hello Julaina - It's great that you're considering applying for a job. While it can seem intimidating at first but it's also exciting as you are starting a new journey - your career! As you prepare for your first step, think of your brand , your story - 'Julaina'. I think every story should have a 'what', 'why' and 'how'.
1. WHAT: What are you passionate about, what interests you? This will help narrow down on what you should be looking for on your first job.
2. WHY: Why are you a fit for this job/role - your skills, traits and the value you will add to this role? If you have any volunteer experiences or group activities or team projects that can tie to this new role, create a story using those.
3. HOW: How to excel or succeed at this new job? With every role, there is a learning curve. It is important to showcase that as a beginner you are open to learning and adapting. Always weave this into your story as you prepare.

Hope this helps! Good Luck.
Thank you comment icon Excellent answer! I second this suggestion and I would also add a thing that when you are in the interview you should mention what you can bring on table for the employer for them to know that you could be valuable to them if hired, irrespective of your age or experience. Cinni Shah
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Karin’s Answer

Express your excitement and strong desire to learn. Mention your past experiences that display responsibility and initiative. Share the methods you used and the choices you made to tackle challenges, as these are excellent ways to prove your capability to perform the job.