Before you even start to write your resume, there are a few steps you can take. Keep in mind that the goal of your resume is to show the employer that you are a strong candidate for the job and that you will add value to the company.
To do this successfully, you need to know what potential employers are looking for:
- Start by researching job postings that interest you.
- Make a list of keywords you find in the job listings, such as frequently mentioned requirements or skills. You will want to focus on these in your resume to impress the employer.
- Ask experienced professionals what they consider important when they make hiring decisions.
- Consider holding some informational interviews with people in your field to get a sense of what is most important for the kinds of jobs you’re looking at.
You can also read professional publications and websites related to your target industry. Immerse yourself in your chosen field and learn as much as you can. Once you know what is important to employers, you can target your resume to address those issues.
Research the company. Take some time to research the company, so you are familiar with how they operate. There is a lot of company information available online. You might be asked what you know about the organization, so check out the "About Us" and "Careers" section of the company website if you're interviewing with a large employer. For smaller employers, review their website to get an idea of what the company is about. Also, check social media pages to ascertain the company's current focus.
Learn about the job. Find out as much as you can about the position you’re applying for, then ask yourself, "Why am I the best person for this role?" Do you know someone who works at the company? Ask them about the job, the interview process, and the company. The more you know about the job, the easier it will be to answer questions about why you'd be a good fit for it.
Practice interviewing. Review typical teen interview questions and answers, then ask a family member or friend to ask you some questions so you can practice your answers. You may also want to review the ten most common interview questions.
These tips will help you practice interviewing, so you'll be more comfortable with the process.
Dress appropriately. Choose simple and appropriate attire for the position you are interviewing for. If you're not sure what to wear, ask an adult family member, teacher, or guidance counselor.
Write a resume. A resume will make a good impression on the interviewer. You don't need formal work experience to write a resume. You can include informal experience, volunteering, academic achievements, and your participation in sports or clubs. Bring a copy of your resume, if you have one, to the interview, as well as a pen and paper so you can take notes.
Get directions and a ride. If you need a ride to the interview, line it up ahead of time. Make sure you know where you are going for the interview so that you do not get lost and are either on time or—even better—a few minutes early.