It is spring time and high school graduation time is just around the corner. Though graduation ceremonies are still weeks away there are steps that seniors can, and should, take right now to get ready for the job market–whether you are just looking for a summer job before going away to college, or a job you can keep doing while you put yourself through a program at one of our region’s technical schools or universities.
To those who are about to graduate, your years of hard work and effort in school are about to earn you a diploma that will open doors to you in the job market. However, you will still need to be prepared to put your best foot forward when those doors open. In our region’s competitive job market you may not be able to rely only on a diploma to guarantee a good job. Here are a few tips the Friday Services team put together for you (or for moms and dads who might be wanting to help you start thinking about your first job after you’ve worn that cap and gown across the stage).
- Make sure that your social media accounts present a professional image. Many employers are researching job applicants on social media sites to look for reasons to hire or (more often) not hire. Read our blog Would You Hire Your Facebook Profile for tips on what employers are looking for and how you present yourself on social media can help you–or hurt your chances for getting hired.
- If you don’t have job experience, put together a list of school and extracurricular activities, such as athletics or volunteering, that can be listed on a job application or resume. What skills or experiences do you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for? Now is the perfect time to think about the accomplishments you want to share with a prospective employer.
- Ask teachers, coaches, administrators or other mentors who are not family members if they would be willing to act as a reference for you. Earning positive recommendations from adults that you worked with in high school can speak volumes about your work ethic and your character. Think carefully about who you would like to list as a reference. Only choose mentors that know you well enough to give a good recommendation. And make sure to have a conversation with anyone you wish to use as a reference for their permission before you put them on any application.
- Do your research. What types of jobs are you most interested in? What kind of career do you want to build for yourself? What entry level job can you get now that will help you build experience and skills that will help you achieve your overall goals? O*Net Online is a website sponsored by the U.S. Government’s Department of Labor that can help you discover jobs you may have never heard about before, and learn about the career path you’ll need to take to get hired.
- Enroll in a job training program. Earning a professional licensure or certification will make you eligible for jobs. Lots of good paying jobs (many of which do not require a college degrees), require industry credentials. North Carolina community colleges offer short-term training programs, some of which are open to high school students, that will give you the skills, training, and credentials you need to qualify for many great jobs.
- Consider working with an employment agency. A staffing agency can help you find entry level jobs that you will be qualified for–so you can begin building up experience that will open even more doors for you in the future. Many local employers are looking for high school graduates to hire in entry level positions, in both industrial and office environments. Registering with a staffing agency can help you find these jobs fast. Also, you may be able to try out several different types of jobs to see what you are interested in before you commit to a career. If you are interested in joining the Friday Services team after graduation apply here.
Let us Help!
Congratulations to all of you high school seniors who will be graduating this spring. If you are not sure what you want to do after graduation, or if you don’t know how to go about getting the job that you do want–don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friday Services is here to serve job seekers who are looking for work in Western North Carolina. If you have questions about the job search process or about the types of jobs that are available in Western North Carolina that you are qualified for, don’t hesitate to contact us.