Getting a job after high school is by no means an easy feat. Everywhere seems to want someone who has experience.
But often the most work knowledge high school leavers have is a weeks worth of taking coffee orders and running errands in an office as ‘work experience’ in Year 10.
So how do you get hired when you don’t even know what you’re doing?
In the summer after high school, every one is going to be looking for a job. One way you can be sure to stand out from the crowd is to have a professional looking resume. Even when you’re experience is next to zero, if you make zero look like a million bucks, you’re much more likely to grab your employers attention. That doesn’t mean lots of flashy fonts and colour, but rather a structured and neat resume that shows you’re taking your job hunt seriously.
Learning the basics of the job before you enter into a workplace will put you a step above lots of other job seekers. This could be a short barista course, a Responsible Service of Alcohol course or your First Aid Certificate. Learning a few new skills, and having a certificate to prove it, will show you’re committed to the workforce and have a basic knowledge of the job you’re applying for.
Have you done volunteer work? Have you been a school leader? Have you done babysitting for your next-door neighbour’s sister? All of these experiences show you’ve got skills and traits all employers are looking for. Loyalty, leadership, responsibility. Definitely chuck these on your resume–but make sure your experiences are showing your positive traits only. You don’t want your possible employer to think your best skill is reaching 400 snap streaks, even if it’s true.
Your first job out of high school is not going to be anything glamorous. And as a high-school leaver with very little experience, you don’t really have the option to be fussy about where you work or what work you’re doing. Of course, if an employer is under-paying you, over-working you or forcing you to work in unsafe conditions, get the hell outta there.
But you can’t expect to be serving up fancy cocktails, or making a $100 in commission straight away. You gotta start at the bottom. That means washing dishes, delivering thai food or stacking shelves at midnight.
Nowadays so many people are employed because they know someone else who works within the industry they want to work in. It’s definitely who you know, not what you know. And when you know nothing about working, who you know is definitely the way to go.
Maybe your mate’s workplace is short-staffed. Maybe your parent’s friends own a small business. Maybe your sister needs to find someone to fill her position before she moves overseas.
Finding a job through your connections is a great way to wriggle your way into the workforce. And if you start a job with well-established connections, you’re more likely to be treated well, given extra shifts and progress up the business ladder.