Most of you reading this probably remember how you got your first job, and the process it took to get that gainful employment. For many of us, the fast food industry was an excellent way to make some extra cash while we were in school. And many of us had full-time summer employment between school years; at least once we turned 15.
Getting a Job Back in the Day
For over a hundred years, getting a job involved filling out an application, or interviewing, or both. That’s right, even as far back as 1890, most jobs required some sort of application process, even if it was just your name and address.
And before that? Well, the job market was a personalized one; either you were a craftsman or a farmer, and that was it. In other words, you either made something, or grew something, and you sold whatever it was that you made – or grew – in the local market.
Unless, of course, you were a hired soldier. But despite the frequency of wars throughout history, that was actually a bit of a rarity; and it didn’t pay very well comparatively.
Of course, people worked for other people in those days, but it was either in the position of an apprentice or as a hired hand; the latter of which was usually retained to handle livestock or bring in the harvest.
How to Get a Job Today
But today, everything is about the internet. An online connection is now a must-have to survive in our modern society. Where just a few years ago, a smartphone was considered a luxury, today it can be a less expensive alternative to a laptop or desk PC, yet still, perform most of the primary functions needed to apply for a job. Even fast food franchises require a potential employee to fill out an application online.
If you need cash now and have no job and want to look for a new job, here are a few of the necessities you will need.
An Internet Connection and a Device That Will Handle E-Mail
Yes, we just said this above, but we want to reiterate the necessity of having a smartphone with some essential software attached to it. Don’t like filling out an application with a virtual keyboard? Check the online marketplaces (hint: the largest one is named after a river in South America) for keyboards that will hook up to your phone. If you absolutely have to, there are internet-connected computers at your local library, but since an application contains personal information, we don’t recommend this method.
Note: if you still have a landline, go ahead and get rid of it and the monthly cost it entails. Use that cost to pay for the monthly smartphone. We understand if you are hesitant to get rid of technology you’ve relied on since you were a child, but trust us; today’s infrastructure is just as reliable as the old analog technology. In fact, the author of this article has had the same phone number since 1998.
You Need a Resume
Even if you think you’re only qualified for blue-collar level jobs, you will still need a resume. Do an online search for ‘resume template’ or even ‘how to write a resume’ and follow the instructions you find there. Some resume templates will let you download a blank resume format and give you tips on how to best fill out each section.
If none of that is going to work for you, then follow this basic formula and format each section as a new paragraph:
1) your name address and phone number
2) what kind of job or jobs you are looking for
3) your skill set (include things like “dedication to work” “excellent planning skills” and other stuff… you can look these up online as well and input any that apply to you
4) Your work history. Five years is usually enough. No need to go beyond ten years.
5) Have at least three references, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses of people who are not related to you.
Save your resume and upload it whenever you apply for a job. Many places just plain require a resume, so it’s always good to have one handy that you can upload.
We’re not endorsing a product, but the online job networking service LinkedIn is pretty much the go-to source for job networking. It’s kind of like Facebook but for your career. Yes, that includes blue-collar type jobs. Make sure you link up with everyone you know; not just your friends. Many potential employers will put a lot of trust in a LinkedIn profile because most of the information is easily verifiable, and multiple people can endorse your various skills.
Sign up for an Online Job Search Service
Most critics agree that Indeed.com (again, not an endorsement, just an example) is the best of the current online job search sites on the web. It’s basically a help wanted section in reverse. Based on your uploaded resume, Indeed will search for jobs that match your skill set and e-mail you notifications whenever a potential job becomes available.
Local Want Ads Are Online Now
Check your newspaper’s website. Chances are they have all of their help wanted ads online, and likely have simply signed up for an online job search service that just lists jobs available in your area by category.
Gone Are the Days of the Follow-Up Phone Call
Used to be a time when you could simply call a place of employment and ask about the status of your application. That’s just not done anymore. However, if you get an interview, ask for the interviewer’s work e-mail address and send a follow-up note letting them know you are very interested in the job. This can often make a positive impression and influence a decision. Just send one note. Don’t ‘pester’ a potential employer.