Are you struggling to get a job? How many applications have you sent? How many job interviews have you got from your applications? Do you want to know how to get a job fast?
You might want to change career, spend more time doing your craft and wants to get a part-time job? Do you want to invest your creativity, skills and knowledge in your own business and be your own boss? Jumping from 9 to 5 job to work for yourself can be a challenge but it is not impossible if you plan ahead and act! So maybe a part-time job can be a step to take.
Whatever the situation you are now, if you are reading this post, it is likely that you are looking for a job or may want to help someone to start working. Do you want some tips on how to get a job at 16 or without experience? Here you will find an detailed step by step process that would increase the chances to get hired!
Firstly it is helpful to understand that finding a job is not just to get that “offer” that you are hoping…. It’s a process and with any process, there are steps to take and decisions to make.
Getting a Job
The most important part of “finding a job” is to get “the interview”!!! Yes, the interview is the crucial footstep to get a job!
Just sending millions of job applications without thinking or without spending time on preparing it is just a waste of time. You cannot miss the opportunity to impress in your first contact! Your application, your cover letter, your CV must be compelling, clear and show enthusiasm! If the employer is not interested in what they are reading why bother to call you for an interview?
You need to make your application to catch the employer’s attention, you should give hints that make the employer wants to hear more from you and maybe offer you a job! You need to make the employer curious to know you!
So, let’s have an open mind and think:
You are not looking for a job. You are looking to get an INTERVIEW!!!
The reason to think like that is that when you get the interview you have already won the first battle and are getting your foot into the job! The door is open and the interview is the opportunity you wanted to sell yourself and show that you are the best match to fit the position. To get an interview, you need to learn how to send your job application.
Getting a job or getting hired is a two-way process as the employer is “choosing the one” but you also need to think that “you are choosing (or not) them”! this frame of mind will also help you to feel more confident when applying for jobs or attending an interview.
Accepting a job offer in a spare of the moment can have its downside… as you might get a boss that micromanage and this might be your worst nightmare…. Believe me…
So, let’s look and breakdown the steps to find and get the job you want and that you would be happy with.
1st Step: Questions to Answer to Yourself
You will need to think about and answer the questions below before you start applying for jobs:
- Are you looking for a full time, part-time, flexible hours, home-based, by contract, fixed term or permanent?
- Do you want to work near your home where you will spend less on travel? Do you mind to relocate or to travel hours to get into your work? What locations do you prefer or that will be easier for you to get every day? How much are you willing to spend on transport?
- Do you prefer to travel to work by public transport or do you want to drive? Is necessary to have a parking space available or easy park around? How much does it cost and how much are you willing to pay?
- Do you want to work during the day, evenings, weekends or flexible hours? Are you willing to accept zero hours contract or as needed?
- How much do you want to earn? Do you get paid according to the hours you work or do you want to have a contract describing the hours you will work and get paid by week/month?
- How much do you want to earn annually?
- What about the “boss”??? Yes, you need to think about this…. Do you prefer to work with a leader that will trust in your abilities and work in collaboration letting you shine in your role or do you prefer do work with someone that tells you what to do each step of the way?
- What benefits would you like in your contract package? Annual leave allowance, sick leave days, pension, vouchers, etc
2nd Step: Choosing a Job Vacancy to apply
Well, if you just need “a job” to pay bills, answering these questions and having higher expectations would reduce the chances of getting a job as in these days some companies and organizations want to get the most of you for less as possible…. but, hey, I am not saying that the “good organizations” do not exist! Yes, they do, but you will need to really do your research to find them.
If you really want to get the “right” job (each and every single time you apply for one) you might consider to think carefully before you apply and before you say “I accept the offer”….
In the UK, there are several websites that you can search for jobs. There are companies, especially retail shops that accept applications in person.
You can go straight to the bottom of this page and search for jobs but I really recommend that you read the full article before you do this…
3rd Step: Choosing your next Boss or your next Leader
“Having a micromanaging boss can be worst than not having a job” ………………….… If you do not bother about the managing style of your new “boss”, jump to the next step…
Well, this can happen and if you are not confident and take things personally it can go completely wrong and you could find yourself in a stuck situation where you might need to leave….
I am not trying to discourage you to apply without researching your future boss or to accept a job offer, I am just saying that it is worth to research the company and “the boss” as much as you can prior to the interview and prior to the application if you know who you will be reporting to.
You are in control!
So, to do that, you need to look into the job vacancy advertisement. Let’s look at the example below:
Company: London Fashion Bags
Vacancy: Retail Assistant
Reporting to: Shop Manager (London Branch)
Firstly you will need to think if you would like to work for this company. How big it is? Do you prefer to work in a small shop? This position has to report to the “Shop Manager(London Branch)” so, find out who this person is!
How to do this? Well, search online if the shop has a website and find out if they state the name of the “London Branch Manager”. If not, you can call the shop and ask their name. Just be truthful and say that you are thinking about applying for the position and would like to direct your cover letter to the manager.
They might say that you will need to write to the HR Manager, that’s ok, you still can ask the name of the Shop Manager.
From your phone call, you are already scanning the job…. Pay attention to the tone of the voice of the person you are talking to, you might ask their name as well and say thank you for the information, as you do in any phone call. This person could be your future colleague.
Once you have the “boss” name, research online. No, this is not stalking! This is what people do! Just add their name on google and voila! You can also try LinkedIn but not everyone has a profile.
Having said that it is not always easy to find information online about a person but you might find someone that already knows the person especially if you have a profile on LinkedIn. In any way, if you are invited for an interview you can also observe their behaviors as they will be observing yours!!!
Remember: You are also choosing!
At the interview, you can also notice some “red flags” of the environment you would be joining, your future boss and colleagues. Understanding the basics of body language is always useful in any situation especially in meetings and interviews. Read more about “body language” here.
4th Step: Analyzing the Job Vacancy
Salary, Location, Hours, etc
Read it!!! Yes, read it all! Pay attention to terms as FTC- (fixed term contract), duration of the contract,(hours pay rate), etc…
Duties – job description / job advertisement
On reading the advertisement and JD (job description), think about how you feel. Do you feel confident in applying for the job? Are you saying to yourself: “Yes, I can do this”, or “No, I do not have the skills”, or “Well, I can do some of these duties and I can develop and learn”….
Look at the person specification and/or for what the employer is looking for. If the vacancy stated as “Essential requirements”, think about if you will spend time on preparing and sending an application form that has few chances to get an interview if you do not have the “essential requirements/qualifications”. Would be better to spend time on preparing an application that will get you into an interview?
You can always try on, you never know…there is no harm on sending applications that are not going to be converted in interviews especially if you have time to spend. However, if you really want to work for a specific company, think twice before sending the application. Analyze if the job they are offering is the job you want and think about the chances you have. Wouldn’t be wise to keep checking their website for a more interesting role that will certainly get you the interview you want?
5th Step: The Job Application Form
There are several ways to apply for jobs. But you need to follow the instructions on the job advertisement. Some companies still asking for a CV, others for a CV and Cover letter, others do not accept CVs and you will need to fill application forms online, some still accepting CVs in person as I mentioned above!
The majority of sites ask for you to have an account and sign in, however, if you apply directly in the company website you might just need to fill the application. Some just ask for you to send an email with your CV and application form that you can download from the link in the vacancy advertisement.
Fill the Application Form fully!
For this, it will be easier if you already have a CV as you will need to go through the jobs you have or the schools you attended and dates you started and finished. Even if you just finish school and you are applying for your first job you should have a CV. Include any voluntary position you had, your skills, any course, training you attended and your grades. If you need more info on writing a perfect CV/Resume I highly recommend The Amazing Resume Creator. Click here to know more.
On the application form you will often find a space for you to write “supporting information”. This is a section that must be completed. This will show how your skills, abilities, qualifications, and experience will fit the job description or competencies for the post you are applying for. You will need to address each criteria of the job description ensuring that you give relevant examples of how you meet each criteria/competency.
So, how to do that?
Let’s use the Job Advertisement example
Company: London Fashion Bags
Vacancy: Retail Assistant
Reporting to: Shop Manager (London Branch)
Generally, in this type of role, you will be asked experience on:
- Attention to Detail. …
- Business Awareness. ..
- Customer Service. …
- Information Technology (IT) …
- Interpersonal Skills. …
- Selling Skills.
When preparing your application form you will need to describe each one of the criteria above with an example.
Dos and Don’ts in a Job Application – Win the Race
Let’s see how two candidates would answer the criteria: “Attention to Detail”
Candidate One – I am very attentive and like to check everything before I finish any task.
What can you get from this statement? Let’s see another example of how to answer this topic:
Candidate Two – In my current job, one of my tasks is to organize shelves with new items every day. In one occasion I notice that there were a few items already on the shelf that was damaged for some reason. I removed the damaged item and carry on replacing the shelf as I had to finish by the end of the day. When I finished organizing the shelf I took the damaged item to my line Manager (according to the company procedures) The Manager was impressed with my pro-activity and attention to detail.
In the example above, the candidate two described a “situation”, explaining the task, the actions taken and a successful result.
This is the STAR technique showing to the employer how you deal with situations like that. You are not just showing that you are attentive but that you are proactive, you follow rules and you meet deadlines.
Can you see the difference?
So, pretend you are the HR Manager reading the applications. Which candidate would you invite for an interview?
You can use ANY example to write support information however some companies prefer professional experiences but personal or experience in a voluntary position is always valued. It calls transferable skills.
On writing your examples think about not just professionally by something you have done for a loved one, for a friend, for a neighbor as it always shows your character and willingness to make things happen or to help someone. This is especially helpful when you are applying for your first job and do not have the professional experience to give as an example.
6th Step: The STAR technique to answer Job Applications Forms
What the word STAR stands for?
S – situation
T – Task
A – Action
R – Result
So, let’s look at the example above:
Candidate Two –
S-Situation: In my current job, one of my tasks is to organize shelves with new items every day.
T-Task: In one occasion I notice that there were a few items already on the shelf that was damaged for some reason.
A-Action: I removed the damaged item and carry on replacing the shelf as I had to finish by the end of the day. When I finished organizing the shelf I took the damaged item to my line Manager (according to the company procedures)
R-Result: The Manager was impressed with my pro activity and attention to detail.
This is just a simple example of how to get noticed in your job application and stand out from the crowd!!!
7th Step: The Cover Letter
The cover letter is important as the CV or application form and this is what eventually will get you the “interview”. So, use this opportunity, even if they do not ask for a cover letter! Send one with your email or upload on their website with your application form. This is your business card so used it wisely!
It is highly recommended that you address the letter to a “named person” and not just “Sir/Madam”. It will show a straight way to however reads it that you are really interested in the vacancy and had done your research to find out who would be your next line Manager.
If you do cannot get the name of the person you would be reporting to it is OK, do not be discouraged to apply and send your cover letter. You need to grab their attention! Investing in writing a perfect cover letter is worth it! Sending a cover letter can be a decision maker to the employer to take action and invite you for an interview.
The secret to getting your feet at the job door is a cover letter that will land you that job! You need to be different than your competitors. You are the product and your cover letter is your marketing tool. A properly wording cover letter can be magic! It can make easier for the employer to offer you a job as they can see how you express yourself.
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8th Step: Sent it out and repeat the process
Make sure you send your application before the “close date”! Once you are ready to send, read once again to avoid any mistakes. Be organized!
I usually keep track of my applications in an excel spreadsheet but it is up to you. It would be easier to respond to a phone call when you have all the details in front of you. This can also show that you are right on the ball to the caller and would avoid to get confused or show that you don’t know what the caller is talking about….
You can just open a file in your computer and save everything there so it will be easier to reuse a CV, examples you used in other applications and edit cover letters. Make notes of all your interviews invitations so they do not clash. Yes, if you follow the process it is likely that your phone will ring!
Keep repeating the process until you get “the job”!
You are invited to a Job Interview!
Once you get the call or an email inviting you for a job interview you should give yourself a tap on the back! Yes, you managed it!!!
You are now starting to understand the process, therefore, and if you keep repeating the process you are going to get very good at it! You would get more and more interviews as you practice filing job applications and writing amazing cover letters! If you do this then it is likely that you will be very soon in a position of choosing between many job offers!!!
9th Step: Grab that job! Interview techniques
Now that you got “the interview” you need to prepare for it! Yes, it is not just makeup or a nice suit, it is how you are going to answer the questions!
Research, Research, Research all about the company as this will certainly be one of the questions: “why are you are applying for this position? what do you know about our company?” so, don’t throw your chances out of the window! Research the company as much as you possibly can!
Read all the documents you sent with your application and all the examples and be ready to explain in more details.
Be confident! You got this!
After all your work to get an interview you must prepare for it therefore you need to understand why employers ask certain questions and what should you answer.
If you want to know more and to prepare yourself for “the interview”, I highly recommend The Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers a book by Bob Firestone. Bob has helped over 31,000 people. To learn more about the book click here.
Some websites in the UK to search for jobs: