It’s that time of year again.
With Thanksgiving passed and Christmas still weeks away, there’s one thing on many people’s minds.
Whether you’re a teen looking for a seasonal job, or an old pro looking to make a change in the new year, here are four tips to land the job you want.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
The first, and most obvious step, is to find a job listing.
But proper research can make this process easier. According to Kit Dunlap, director of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, the best place to start is online.
“The Georgia Department of Labor’s Career Center will have a listing of all jobs, local, in the area or statewide,” Dunlap said.
The Gainesville Career Center is located at 2756 Atlanta Highway. It serves Dawson, Forsyth, Hall, Lumpkin and White counties.
The department’s job search website has more than 225 part-time and full-time job listings in Hall County alone, including needs for farmers, teachers, nurses, human resource managers, groundskeepers and housekeepers.
“If people are hiring, they’ll be with the Department of Labor or they’ll be advertising locally,” Dunlap said.
Finding the job is just the first step.
Next is landing an interview.
Dunlap said, no matter how much experience a person has, it’s good to have a resume.
“Particularly if you are going in to see somebody, take a resume,” she said.
Dunlap also suggested, if the application doesn’t require a cover letter, write a letter anyway explaining interest in the position.
It’s important, she said, to mention previous work experience.
“Certainly you want to mention any kind of job you’ve had before, even if it’s young people who have been babysitting,” Dunlap said. “I find when I’m looking for somebody, if they’ve come right out of school that’s great — if they’ve made good grades and participated — but I’m also very interested in if they’ve had some kind of job and responsibility.”
Again, job seekers can turn to the Internet for help. There are a number of websites with resume builders and templates that can be used as reference.
For many employers, the interview is the most important part.
Dunlap offered tips for how to dress for an interview.
“No jeans, no flip-flops and no 5-inch heels,” she said. “Be conservatively business-like.”
It’s important to be on time for the interview, she added, to set a good precedent.”
She said sometimes “the little things” make all the difference, be it good manners or a firm handshake.
“If you’re asked questions, remember the ‘Yes sir,’ ‘Yes, ma’am,’” she said. “Those are the things that probably most folks know, but it’s about being on your best.”
In local schools, there are a number of programs to prepare students with these “soft skills” needed to land a job.
At West Hall High School, this program is called “Onward Bound.”
According to Shenley Rountree, counselor at the school, students learn short weekly lessons designed to help them be dependable, motivated and organized, strong workers and effective communicators.
“We focus on the soft skills,” Rountree said. “I think that’s something everyone is realizing, that our students do not have the soft skills they need, and while we focus on those in career tech classes, not every student takes one of those classes in high school. So we do a 20-minute lesson every Thursday focusing on a different skill every month.”
Adults who don’t have access to this type of training can also get help, however.
Goodwill of North Georgia’s Career Centers have many of the tools needed to help people get ready for a job. They have job postings, computers with resume writing software, as well as interview tips and coaching to help a candidate stand out to an employer.
The centers offer programs for youth, veterans, people with disabilities and those with limited financial resources.
The nearest career center is located in Oakwood at 3715 Mundy Mill Road.
Finally, Dunlap offered one bit of advice for those looking for work.
“Be who you are,” she said. “But show them your best self.”