Dear Working Wise:
My teenage son is looking for his first job. He is about to start applying at nearby stores so we don’t have to worry about transportation. Do you have any tips for him? Signed, Proud Parent
A part-time job is a great way for teens to make extra money and start developing employability skills, like showing up on time and following directions, which will serve him well for the rest of his life.
Many retail businesses use job application forms. Here are some tips for filling out job application forms.
- Take the application home, if possible, to give yourself more time, a more comfortable environment, and access to all the information you will need to complete the application.
- Just in case you cannot take the application home, bring all of the information you might need, including: social insurance number, your address and postal code, past employers, positions, volunteer roles, schools and training programs, start/end dates, and three job reference names with phone numbers.
- Use/bring an erasable pen.
- Ask for two applications in case you make a mess of the first one.
- Follow the instructions carefully.
- Print neatly and clearly.
- If a question does not apply to you, write Not Applicable or N/A.
- Be specific about the type of work you are interested in.
- Bring copies of your resumé—the employer may accept the resumé along with the application form.
- Do not answer application questions by referring the reader to your resumé.
- List your most recent work experience first followed by older experiences. Be sure to include any awards or positive results that you achieved.
- If you do not have any work experience, try to find an opportunity to talk about the useful/relevant skills and experiences that you have gained through your volunteer and extra-curricular activities.
- List your most relevant education and training, including dates you attended the programs, the names of the schools, and any certificates you earned.
- Don’t forget to include short-term training courses, special awards and memberships that you have held or hold if they relate to the job in any way.
- If asked to name a wage expectation, give a range or say that you are open to negotiation. You can check the WAGEinfo web site http://alis.alberta.ca/wageinfo for the current salary ranges of more than 400 occupations.
- Use the “Additional Comments” section to highlight any achievements you haven’t already touched on plus any skills or strengths that relate to the position.
- Double-check the form for spelling, accuracy, and neatness, before you submit it. The overall appearance of your application makes an impression.
If you do not have a resumé:
- Visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site http://alis.alberta.ca for free resumé-writing tips; or
- Visit your nearest Alberta Works Centre http://employment.alberta.ca/offices and ask for free assistance with writing your resumé.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at email@example.com. Charles Strachey is a manager with Albert Human Services. This column is provided for general information.