From overly detailed instructions on what to wear, to resume services that seem free (until you need to print your file) there’s a lot of information out there about how to conduct your job search. We've compiled a simplified, condensed version of the most important advice, with practical instructions for getting your next job:
Where to look for jobs Online:
The internet is a great place to look for jobs. Many stores and businesses only advertise their job listings online, and you can get more reliable information from a company’s website than you can from an individual worker at the storefront who may not be aware of all current hiring needs.
Indeed.com: Indeed lets you search within a city for specific job titles, or for broad industry categories. The site crawls the entire web for job listings, so it’s a good one-stop shop. If you find a job you're interested in on Indeed, try searching the company website to see if it's listed there. Hiring managers will often give priority to applications that come through the company's own site before those that come through job search sites.
The “careers” page on a company website: Usually if you scroll down to the bottom of a company’s website, you’ll see a “careers” section. Some websites also have this section listed under “company” or “about us.” After clicking on that page, you can usually view all available jobs within the company, separated by location or department.
What you’ll need to apply for a job
A resume: Your resume should provide an overview of your relevant work experience, education, and any volunteer experience. It should be simple and easy to read.
A cover letter: Your cover letter should be 2-3 paragraphs that explain, in more detail, why you are a good fit for this particular job. This is where you can get slightly more personal and highlight what makes you uniquely qualified. Before writing your cover letter, read the job description and requirements. Try to focus on 2-4 of those items in your cover letter. For a job description that includes “meticulous cleaning,” you could describe the cleanliness standards you upheld during the two years you spent working as a housekeeper in a five-star hotel.
Writing your resume & cover letter: If you don’t have Microsoft Word, you can create a Gmail account and use Google Docs to write your resume. Google Docs offers most of the same formatting as word and also has resume templates you can use. It’s free to use, download, and print as often as you want. Most online resume-builder and template services will let you make an account and build a resume for free, but you won’t be able to download or print the resume without paying a fee. For your cover letter, you can write it letter-style in Google Docs, without a template. Here’s an easy cover letter guide with examples.
What to bring to your interview
Business attire: Slacks, a button-up shirt or nice blouse, and dress shoes or flats are always appropriate. Old Navy is a great place to buy inexpensive work pants and tops, and Target, Payless and Ross sell inexpensive work shoes. You can also look for these items at Goodwill, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot on something you’ll only wear to interviews.
Printed copy of resume and cover letter: Bring several of these to your interview, in case you are interviewed by more than one person. This makes you look professional and keeps your qualifications fresh in their mind. It also helps to have one in front of you while you’re speaking so you don’t forget to mention your best selling points. Bring them in a folder to keep them organized and prevent any wrinkling on the way to the interview.
After the interview
Follow up: Send an email or deliver a hand-written thank you note, if possible. Send a separate one for each person who interviewed you. Let the person who interviewed you know you appreciate their time and that you look forward to talking with them soon. This may seem unnecessary, but many companies disqualify job candidates who don't take the time to send a follow-up after the interview.
What to do when you get hired
Direct deposit: During your onboarding process, your manager may ask for your direct deposit information. With your SOLE Paycard, you can have direct deposit at any job. Give your manager your card’s routing number and account number to sign up for direct deposit at your next job. Here’s how to find your routing number and account number.