Steps to Employment
Content provided by Elizabeth Green
- Get to know yourself.
- Consider the type of job you want and where it is located.
- Reflect on your Career Autobiography.
- Create your resume.
- Conduct an informational interview.
- Searching and applying for a position.
- Complete the application if appropriate, and submit a cover letter and resume.
- Attend the job interview.
- Keep Trying! Access employment resources for help.
STEP 1: Get to know yourself
The first step in finding a job is first getting to know yourself by learning about your goals, values, and strengths.
Tools are available to help discover your career goals, values, and strengths. You can learn about these from your high school guidance counselor, college advisor, or representative from Vocational Rehabilitation.
Tools also are available online. Here are some examples:
STEP 2: Consider the Type of Job and Location
Based on your goals, values, strengths, and information gained from the assessments, you should consider the type of job you want and where it is located.
- Learn about jobs that might be of interest to you by checking out the Occupational Outlook Handbook at Home : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
- To gain experience, you also can explore volunteer opportunities in your community at: VolunteerMatch – Where Volunteering Begins
STEP 3: Reflect on your Career Autobiography
Before getting started with your resume, you might first reflect on your Career Autobiography as a way of organizing the information you will need to create your resume. Here is a list of a few topics you will want to consider.
- Short- and long-term career goals
- Educational history
- Work experience including volunteer work, internships, and special project experience.
- Talents and skills
- Strengths and challenges
- Accommodations – to learn more about accommodations in the workplace, check out the https://askjan.org/
STEP 4: Create Your Resume
A resume should be a snapshot of your employment and educational history not the entire photo album. You can use the Career Autobiography to help create your resume. Information included in your resume should be concise and easy to locate. Below is a list of the information you should include:
- Your name and contact information
- Phone number
- Your career objective – a brief statement of employment goals
- Education – list any degrees, certifications, or competencies you have earned. You can also list relevant coursework you have completed.
- Work experience – jobs, internships, volunteer experiences
- References – have a list of references available. References are people who know you and your work ethic such as employers, co-workers, supervisors, teachers, and colleagues. You can include their name, title, organization, and contact information such as an email address and phone number.
STEP 5: Conduct an Informational Interview
Find someone in your field of interest and request an informational interview. Topics to discuss during the interview might include:
- Job duties – What are the specific duties associated with the position? How did the person achieve this position?
- Typical career path – What are employers looking for in an employee? What are suggestions for getting into the field? Are there additional people you could speak with?
STEP 6: Searching and applying for a Position
Now that you have information about the kind of job you want and have identified the skills you have, you can consider searching and applying for a position. Below are resources that can help you in your job search.
STEP 7: Complete the Application Process
Once you have found the job you wish to apply for, complete the application if appropriate, and submit a cover letter and resume.
The cover letter is a way for you to introduce yourself to the potential employer. You will want to include information about why you are applying for the job and why you think you are a suitable candidate.
STEP 8: Attend the Job Interview
When you get the call for an interview, be sure to:
- Think of questions you could be asked and practice interviewing with a family member or friend
- Check out the company’s website so you have some background knowledge about the company and can ask informed questions.
- Dress neatly and professionally
- Bring along a copy of your resume
- Arrive early
- Prepare to have small talk. Whether online or in-person, interviews usually begin with some small talk.
- Answer questions honestly, completely, and concisely.
- Ask questions along the way or wait till the end of the interview. Be sure to have some prepared related to the company and the specifics of the job.
- Be sure to send a note to thank the interviewers.
- Employers usually notify applicants within 1 – 2 weeks. If you do not hear back from the employer, you can send one email to state your interest in the job and ask about next steps. If you do not hear back, you should move on to another potential employer.
STEP 9: Keep Trying!
- Vocational Rehabilitation – http://www.rehabworks.org/
- Center for Independent Living – http://www.cilncf.org/
- Career source – https://careersourceflorida.com/