Forum: Adults / Work/Employment

PinUp's Guide To Finding a Job Version 2.0 (karma: 1)
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Mar 23, 2008 04:14 PM
Made sticky by hylndlas (107168) on 2008-03-23 22:35:35

This was taken from my sticky on the Girls & Guys board, but I added a few points that are geared more toward finding an "adult" job rather than summer or temporary employment.

Finding a job is hard these days. Be it the economy or the area you live in, the job market can be pretty darn competitive. Here are a few tips and tricks I've picked up in my recent years job hunting.

Okay, maybe not everywhere, but to as many places that are hiring that you can see yourself working. I've applied to as many as 15 places at once and only gotten 3-4 interviews out of and then one job offer. If you think the number of applications you're filling out is outrageous, remember, most of them will never even call you back. I've applied to shoe stores, clothing stores, Bath & Body Works (my current employer), and restaurants. If they'll give you an application, take it.

In the case of college students who are about to graduate, send out resumes to any position you think you might be qualified for. I was told on several occasions that sending out 50 resumes will probably only yield 1-2 offers. Sites like are ideal for recent graduates. They list almost exclusively entry level jobs.

Dress Nicely and/or Neatly
Whether you're picking up applications or returning them, you want to dress nicely. Going in wearing an old t-shirt, holey jeans, and sneakers with stuff written on them won't get you hired to most places. You don't have to go in a full suit. On my last job hunt, I wore a polo shirt and a skirt. If you apply to an upscale restaurant, you may want to dress a little nicer as you'll be wearing nicer clothes while you're working there. You want to give them the impression that you're serious about getting this job and won't embarrass their establishment.

Follow Up
After you've turned in your applications or resumes, wait about a week before following up. That's often enough time for them to review your application if not call you back. If you can, follow up in person. Ask to speak to the manager and inform him/her that you recently submitted an application and you were checking up on your status. If you can't do it in person for whatever reason, do it by phone. Let them know you're still interested. I would say if they haven't asked you in for an interview, consider the lead dead and move on. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. It took Bath & Body Works over three weeks to give me the initial interview call and then another week to extend an offer. Try to focus your energy evenly on as many as possible.

In the case of more career related jobs, it's fine to send the person a short email. I submitted most of my resumes online and my only contact with that person was through email. I would often email back and forth a bit before I got an interview call.

Keep An Open Mind
Apply to places you think are a stretch. I was never a fan of the idea of being a waitress. However, if I wanted to become a bartender, most bars want to see food service experience. I'm fine with being a server for a while if it helps me achieve that goal.

Sometimes you might find a position that you think you might not be totally qualified for. If you have at least half the skills they're asking for, go ahead and apply. It can't hurt and it only takes a minute to attach a resume to an email.

Make Sure You're Of Age
I know for a fact Gap Inc. and Limited Brands don't hire anyone under 18. Some places don't hire under 21 depending on the laws in your state. Make sure that you fall within their age requirements. Places like movie theatres and fast food restaurants will often hire 16 and up, but usually for less than 30 hours a week. Ask the manager of the place you're interested in if they have any age restrictions. Don't bother to apply if they do, just wait until you are of age. They'll throw your application away because it's the rules.

If you have no previous job experience (which was me at 20), you need solid references. You can't use relatives, but you can use friends, teachers, and others who can speak to your work ethic and personality. If you have friends who are employed, use them. Your teachers, dance or academic, can also be good references because they can speak on your work ethic. Just be sure to ask the people you want before you list them, lest they be surprised by a call asking about you.

The Interview
Congratulations on making it this far! This is your opportunity to show the company how much you want to work for them. Smile and shake the hand of your interviewer when you meet him/her. You should definitely dress up for your interview. Nice pants or an appropriate length skirt and a button down or polo shirt should suit most situations. Try to speak steadily and clearly. Thank them after the interview. They should tell you when they'll get back to you with their decision. It's okay to follow up if thatdate passes. I usually give most places until 6pm and if they haven't called, I call or go in the next morning.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask About Compensation
You have the right to ask how much they'll be paying you. In the case of a restaurant, you should ask if it's a wage plus tips or just straight tips. This can often make a big difference in how much money you make. Wages can range from $2.15/hr + tips to $6/hr + tips. At a retail store, you might get a wage plus commission for the sales you make. This is not true at Limited Brand stores, but I know it's true of the Ann Taylor family. Ever wonder why they ask "Did anyone help you today?" when you check out? It's so that person can get a commission for the sale. In case you are unfamiliar, a commission is essentially a tip. The person who made the sale is awarded an extra 20-40% of the total sale in addition to their wage. If you're working on a commission or tip system, the hourly wage is often lower. In the US, it is ILLEGAL to pay someone under $5.15/hr if there's no extra compensation such as a tip or commission. This goes for all 50 states. If someone offers you less than that and no alternate compensation, they're breaking Federal law. Often, it's best to ask about compensation during the interview and they should be very forthcoming with it. If they dodge the question or are vague, that's something to be concerned about.

Accepting a Position
It's okay to want to think about it after they offer you the job. If you're lucky enough to have to choose between jobs, it's perfectly acceptable to ask the person if you can take a few days to think about it. Most places don't officially hire on weekends. If they offer you the job on Friday, it's fine to get back to them on Monday with your answer. If you chose to decline, be sure to thank the person for their time. I would say wait no more than three days to get back to them unless there's an extenuating circumstance (out of town, another interview, etc.).

It'll be difficult and frustrating sometimes, but when you get that first job everything will have paid off.

3 Replies to PinUp's Guide To Finding a Job Version 2.0

re: PinUp's Guide To Finding a Job Version 2.0
By DancinDiva2005member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:06 AM
Wow. This is a great post, and extremely informative.

..Also, I just wanted to say that I'm also a BBW associate :)
re: PinUp's Guide To Finding a Job Version 2.0
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Mon Jun 30, 2008 08:33 AM
I know for a fact Gap Inc. and Limited Brands don't hire anyone under 18.
Old Navy is part of Gap Inc. though, isn't it? And I know for a fact that they do hire people under 18. I have one friend who worked there at 17, and one who's working there at 16.

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