Job Seeking for Youth

So, what do you want to do with the rest of your life? We have heard this question hundreds of times from parents, teachers, principals, friends, relatives, and career counselors. Not only do they ask that pestering question, but they provide their own answers:

  • You should be a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, or a teacher. Go to grad school, med school, or get your M.B.A.

All of these may seem like good ideas, but they are not necessarily yours. You can create roads you will be passionate about while also making a living. You have the potential to embark on a life that you will look back on and say, “I was true to myself every step of the way.”

Your personality, the things you like or dislike; these are things that are important to consider when you are researching careers. Most studies show that the average person will change careers, not jobs, more than 3 times over the course of his or her lifetime. Young people entering the workforce today will likely change jobs seven to ten times throughout their career.

Think about what you like to do, what excites and energizes you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? It may be difficult to answer these questions at this stage, that is why it is important to remember that whatever decisions you make now will not be written in stone. You can, and will change your mind and the direction you take throughout this process. Knowing this should take away some of the stress that comes with career choice.

This section will help you focus on yourself and the careers you may want to pursue.

We are all different and after going through this process you will have a clearer sense of what the best career fit is for you. There are so many professions in so many industries available to you. For example, you may discover that you prefer to help and work with people. You are a people person and you are passionate about sports. Or you really value variety of tasks in a workplace. You will use tools and resources that will help you discover these traits and careers that fit them.

Start with the Assess Yourself section and return to Job seeking for Youth after you complete the Expand Skills section.

Check here for a "Heading for Success" resource (website)

Ometz Career Testing
Our Advisors are here to guide you through exploring careers. At the end of this process you will gain an understanding of your:
  • Career interests and values
  • Training opportunities that will help your reach your career goals.
  • Career choices and where they fit in the current Montreal Market.

Resumes: General Guidelines

A good resume summarizes your work experience, education personal qualities and skills as they relate to your work and/or educational goal.  Keep in mind that the reader may formulate an impression of you after a 30-second glance at your resume.  Therefore, it is important to keep your resume focused, concise and easy to read.

Action Verbs for Resumes (pdf)

Basic Resume Requirements
Grammar and Spelling
Your resume must be completely free of grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
Must Have
  • Perfect spelling and grammar
  • Must be preferably one page – at the most two!
  • Must be well spaced and easy to read
  • Must be justified at the left and have all titles lined up under one another
Things to Avoid
  • Do not include health, religious affiliation, race, height, weight or age.
  • Do not indicate salary expectations.
  • Do not include names and addresses of references on the resume.  These should be listed on a separate page and presented at the job interview.

Sample Resume and Resume Worksheet (pdf)

Prepare for Every Interview

Interview Preparation (pdf) worksheet

Answering Questions

Give answers that are complete, but not too long, Add to the information in the resume, don't repeat it.  Remember:  It’s not just what you say, but how you say it!
Try to anticipate the questions you will be asked.  Then, try a couple of different ways of answering them.  Run your answers by your parents, friends and teachers and ask for their reactions.  You might even want to role-play the interview with your friends.  The following questions are samples of the type of questions you may be asked in an interview.

  1. Why are you applying for the job?
  2. Why do you think you’ll be good at this job?
  3. What subject do you like the most (least ) in school?  Why?
  4. What are your strengths?
  5. What are your weaknesses? 
  6. You haven’t done this type of work before, why should I hire you?
  7. How would you describe yourself?
  8. What is your most significant accomplishment?
  9. How do you go about making an important decision? An example?
  10. How do you spend your spare time?
  11. Tell me about yourself.
  12. What questions do you have about this job?

Remember that there are no "right" and "wrong" answers to these questions. There are however "good" and "better" answers, though. Remember to phrase them in positive language and keep them to two or three sentences in length. If an employer wants more details, she’ll ask for them!

Example:

Question A: "Why are you applying for the job at this gas station?"
Good answer: "Because I want to save up for a car."
Better Answer: "I thought that working at a gas station would help me learn more about cars since I’m saving up for one. But that translates into a real keen interest in working around any types of vehicles and I also have top people skills.”
Question B: "How would you describe yourself?"
Good answer: "I like people."
Better Answer: "I’m out-going and upbeat. I like helping people."
There is no such thing as too much preparation; if you would like to research some more questions, check out this link: Quintcareers = 150 interview questions and answers

Finally, when you meet the interviewer, remember:

  • Smile
  • Have a firm handshake
  • Keep your posture straight
  • Keep your voice strong and confident.

TIPS FOR COMPLETING AN APPLICATION FORM

  • HAVE ALL YOUR INFORMATION PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME, AND HAVE IT WITH YOU SO YOU CAN BE ORGANIZED AND ACCURATE.
  • ALWAYS APPLY FOR A SPECIFIC JOB TIITLE.  IN THE SPACE "POSITION DESIRED", NEVER WRITE "ANYTHING".  BE DEFINITE.  YOU CAN HAVE SEVERAL POSITIONS THAT INTEREST YOU.
  • ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS HONESTLY.
  • DON'T LEAVE ANY BLANKS.  IF A QUESTION DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU WRITE "NOT APPLICABLE".
  • READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY.  IF WORK OR EDUCATIONAL HISTORY IS ASKED FOR IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, THIS MEANS YOU BEGIN WITH THE FIRST (JOB OR SCHOOL YOU WERE IN ) AND MOVE TO THE MOST RECENT.  REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER MEANS YOU BEGIN WITH THE MOST RECENT AND PRESENT THINGS GOING BACKWARD IN TIME.
  • COMPLETE THE APPLICATION IN INK.  NEATNESS COUNTS.
  • A SLOPPY APPLICATION FORM SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT YOU.  (DISORGANIZED, UNTIDY, LAZY, ETC.)  ALWAYS PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD.

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