HOW TO GET A JOB
HOW TO GET A JOB
BRANDYWINE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Getting a job today is difficult!
(1) Competition is stiff for better paying jobs because a person's level of education is
a vital part of decision-making. Approximately 31% of Delaware jobs require a
four-year degree or more.
(2) Increase in job market population. More people mean more competition.
(3) Reduction in "Blue Collar" jobs. Automation tends to reduce the need for manual
(4) Reduction in the number of young people who are entering the services. The
military is becoming more selective.
(5) Changes in the composition of the working group:
(a) More young people looking for jobs.
(b) Increase in number of women at all ages who are in or entering the
(c) Increase in the number of older adults who are staying on the job
SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
(1) Get Organized!
The key to getting a job is getting organized.
What kind of job do you want? -- make a list.
What skills and assets do you have? -- make a list.
Where would you like to work? -- make a list.
What contacts do you have? -- make a list.
What jobs are available? -- make a list.
Writing out the list is important.
It will save you considerable time and will give clearer direction and make your
decisions more efficient.
(2) Write a Résumé
Each person you visit or interview should have a brief but complete account of
your qualifications and experience. Examples follow
(3) How and Where to Start Looking
First discuss your situation with your parents, contacts, counselor, and subject
Second check the classified section of newspaper, Federal and State Employment
agencies, local placement centers such as the Y's, churches, clubs, and community
and school bulletin boards.
Third go to available job locations. Fill out an application, ask for an interview
with the manager. Make yourself known.
(4) You and Your Interview - (See page 11)
(5) How to Prepare and Take an Examination - (See page 19)
(6) Suppose you find that you are not prepared for the job you want. How do I get
more training for the job I want?
(a) On the Job Training - Some companies offer programs on
instruction alternating with periods of work.
(b) High School Equivalency - issued by each state Department of
Education to adult non-graduates who pass tests which measure the
skills and abilities expected of a high school graduate.
(c) Extension Courses - Practical beyond the classroom educational
programs sponsored by the government.
(d) Correspondence Courses - Offer high school and college work
leading to accepted degrees.
(e) Community and Junior Colleges - Offer two year associate degree
programs and non-credit enrichment programs for those who do not
seek a degree.
(f) Work/College Institutes - Some companies will send you to college
with alternating periods of work.
(g) Specialized Military Training - The armed forces offer training and
experience in many "non-military" fields.
(h) Special Schools – These are specialized secretarial, computer,
commercial schools, etc.
(i) Apprenticeship Programs - Traditional steps of apprentice,
journeyman or journeywoman - can be a union or management
(7) Before you accept the job - ask yourself:
(a) What are the chances of advancement? Is the initial salary high
enough or do promotion possibilities make the job acceptable?
What does the future look like six months, one year, two years from
now? Is it a family business? Will the firm send you to school or
invest in you? What are the fringe benefits?
(b) What inner needs does it satisfy?
SOCIAL STANDING - Jobs in the so-called "glamour" fields -
newspaper, magazines, public relations, movies, cosmetics,
decorating, radio, or television - will offer lower salaries.
DESIRE TO HELP OTHERS - Jobs in "non-profit" professions -
Peace Corps, health research, cultural foundations, schools, - may
offer satisfaction in return for true concerned interest. However, they
will also offer lower salaries.
DESIRE FOR MONETARY WEALTH - Research job market and
salaries prior to pursuing choice of career.
(c) Where is the job LOCATED? - Will you be a small fish in a big
pond? Should you work in a small town? Indoors or out? Are you
restricted by reasons of health? Do some regions of the country
appeal to you more than others?
(d) What are the physical WORKING CONDITIONS? Is the job
located near adequate central transportation? Is it close to shopping
areas? Is the route to the job located in a reasonably secure area? Is
the work in an air-conditioned office? Are there physical
(8) Some things to think about
(a) Never underestimate your skills.
(b) The first job is important to your future jobs.
YOU AND YOUR RÉSUMÉ
A résumé is a brief, written description of your job experiences and personal history.
When writing a résumé, you should remember that you are trying to present yourself in the best
possible way - all on one or two sheets of paper.
A résumé's importance is found in the fact that it shows that you are actively and
conscientiously striving to increase your employment potential. If an employer has to choose
between a person with a résumé and a person without a résumé, chances are good that the person
who has gone the extra step to write a résumé will be hired. A résumé in itself will not get you
the job, however. Very rarely will a person be hired sight unseen based on his or her résumé, but
a good résumé will help you get the next best thing - the interview. The major purpose of a
résumé is to get you to the person who has the authority to hire you.
What should be included on a résumé? A résumé should be constructed to best describe
your talents and experiences. You should include your name, address, and telephone number, as
well as pertinent information falling under categories such as:
Honors and Memberships
Personal statistics such as height, weight, sex, race, marital status, hair color, and
birthdate should not be included on your résumé as they might be used in a discriminatory
fashion against you.
When constructing a résumé, remember that you are trying to give the best impression of
yourself without being untruthful or exaggerating. You should highlight your most outstanding
achievements. If you are a graduating high school senior and have worked part-time for three
years as counter worker at a department store, you should emphasize that experience on your
résumé. If, however, you have no work experience, but you have activities which fall under the
above categories, emphasize them. Any in-school activities such as sports, band, clubs, student
government, drama, art, or teacher aide programs should be highlighted. Put your best foot
If you find that you have no work experience, special skills or extra-curricular activities,
try writing a "personal statement" of why you want to work and give this statement to companies
when you apply. This little extra effort often makes the difference between your success or
Construct a résumé based on the samples provided. Change the information to make it
yours. A résumé should be typed. Type it yourself or have a friend or teacher help you.
Employers are impressed by professionally printed résumés. If it is at all possible, take your
résumé to a printer.
One other thing, the best résumé in the world won't get you an interview if it's sitting
under a pile of dirty clothes in the back of your van. Get out and apply, and give out your résumé
when you do.
YOU AND YOUR APPLICATION
For practically every job for which you apply, you will have to fill out an application (this
is especially true for large companies). In order to be prepared, you should practice filling out a
couple of applications in order to familiarize yourself with what information is required. It is a
well known fact that incomplete applications are thrown out. If you do not sign your name, or
forget your social security number, or leave spaces blank, your application will end up in the oval
So, before you go to apply for a job, make sure you know:
1. your social security number
2. the name, address, and telephone number of any companies for which you
3. the name, address, and telephone number of any persons who are willing to
be a reference for you
4. the name and address of any school you may have attended
Request two copies of the application. If only one is provided, copy it before you write
on it. Read the whole form before you start to complete it. State your most recent work and
school experiences first and work back from there. Carefully rewrite the information on your
"good copy". Be neat, spell properly, and use good grammar.
When you are filling out the application, use ink, and make sure that you do not leave any
spaces blank. If you come to a question that does not apply to you (for instance, the number of
years you served in the military) do not just leave the space blank. If you do, there is a possibility
that the employer may think that you have not completed the application. If a question does not
apply to you, use the abbreviation "N/A" which means "not applicable". This way, you will have
something written in every blank.
Applications for employment come in all shapes and sizes. Don't be intimidated. Take
your time, read the directions and fill them out completely. And remember, sign your name.
YOU AND YOUR COVER LETTER
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce an individual to a prospective employer and
to obtain an interview appointment or an application. When sending a résumé, always include a
The cover letter should not exceed one page. Include the following information.
Heading - your return address and the date. In this section, words like Street, Avenue,
First, or West should be spelled out rather than abbreviated. The date usually goes
directly beneath the last line of the address. Do not abbreviate the name of the month.
Inside Address - the name and title of the person to whom you are writing, name of the
company, and the correct mailing address of the company. You should begin the inside
address two lines below the date if the letter is long, or four spaces below if the letter is
quite short. The inside address should be aligned with the left margin which in turn
should be at least one inch wide.
Salutation - the salutation or greeting should be placed two lines below the inside
address and aligned with the left margin. In most business letters, the salutation contains
the recipient's title (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.) and last name, followed by a colon. If you are
writing to a woman without a professional title, address her as "Ms." unless she prefers to
be addressed in another way. If you don't know whether the person you are addressing is
a man or a woman, use a title appropriate to the context of the letter such as, "Dear
Personnel Manager," etc.
Body of the Letter - the body of your cover letter should begin two lines below the
salutation. Single space all sentences within a paragraph and double space in between
paragraphs. Remember, keep your cover letter simple and to-the-point. In a friendly,
conversational manner, state why you are writing to the employer, the position or type of
work for which you are applying, and how you heard about the company. Next, briefly
describe how your résumé (description of your education and work experience) relates to
the position for which you are applying. Inform the employer that you're available for a
personal interview to answer any questions about your résumé or cover letter. Close the
letter by thanking the employer for his or her consideration.
Complimentary Closing - type the complimentary closing two lines below the body of
your letter. It's a good idea to use the standard expressions, "Sincerely yours,"
"Sincerely," or "Yours truly," when closing your cover letter. Four lines below the
complimentary closing, type your full name. Then write your signature in the space
between the closing and your typed name.
Source: The Delaware Career Compass
SAMPLE COVER LETTER
123 Main Street
Anytown, DE 19901
September 12, 2009
Mr. J.D. Baker, Manager
1165 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE 19810
Dear Mr. Baker:
I noticed the sign in your window advertising that you are looking for an assistant
manager. I have had experience working with people as well as with materials and would like to
be considered for the job.
For the past five years I have been employed by a temporary employment agency. This
experience has provided me with an opportunity to work with many different people and
situations. I am known as a bright and ambitious worker and feel I could handle the job.
Enclosed is a copy of my résumé which details my experience and educational
I will telephone you on Monday morning, July 1, to set up a time for an interview. I can
be reached at (302) 000-0000. Thank you for your consideration.
1400 Your Address Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19803
Student Council Special Advisory (12 grade)
Recommend ideas and suggest improvements or options that the Student Council can take
Library Aide (12 grade)
Assist the Media Center Head and facilitate demonstrations on how to utilize the library successfully.
Work the circulation desk and help those who check in/out books, while being responsible for the
upkeep and appearance of the books
Principal’s Student Liaison Committee
Selected directly by the principal
Represents student body in decisions made by principal that affect the students
Acknowledged as the “initiator” by Principal at first introduction meeting
Business Professionals of America (BPA) (10 -12 grade)
Competition and organization, which creates and utilizes marketing strategies applied to real life
African American Student Union (AASU) (11 -12 grade)
Founder and President
An organization that allows students to learn African-American heritage and discuss social issues to
create a change of the image of blacks
Motto - “Closing the Achievement Gap”
Spanish Honors Society
Leader Corps (10 - 12 grade)
Head of the Executive Board
Volunteer and service based group initiated to produce leaders
Change the school’s climate through spirit, activities, guidance etc.
Communities and Schools Inc
Nationwide organization that links schools to communities
Helps the transition and adjustment for better achievement
Mock Trial Competition (10 -12 grade)
Nationwide competition held between schools that explores the aspects of Law and Legal Studies
through mock simulation of a court trial
Gospel Choir (12 grade)
Vocal Trainer and Choir Director of students who desire to sing gospel music and aspire to major in
Indoor Track (9 & 12 grade)
Outdoor Track & Field (9 - 12 grade) 100m, 200m, 110 & 300 Hurdles
Football (9 grade) Wide Receiver/Cornerback Freshman and JV
COMMUNITY SERVICE/ CHURCH ACTIVITY
The Achievers Inc. (Sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi)
An outside school scholarship based program that selects a number of academically exceptional
African American males who endeavor to excel in life by pursuing higher education and giving back to the
Received $1,000.00 scholarship for outstanding volunteer service hours
Delaware Department of Justice: Explorer Law Post
An outside school program that selects a number of youth to experience various features of the Law
and the Criminal system.
True Holiness Covenant of Peace Assemblies of Wilmington, Delaware
Church musician and Jr. Trustee
In charge of collection of offerings and reports of financial status
Involved in church choir and janitorial staff on weekends
Venture Crew Inc.- partnered with Boy Scouts of America
Undertake feats unusual to daily life of students such as mountain climbing, parasailing, etc.
Upward Bound Classic Program
Program at Delaware Technical and Community College
Participated in summer program and college visitations as well as lectures about SAT Training and
Mastering College Life
Wilmington Housing Authority January 2007 – Present
Helped coordinate and organize files
1400 Your Address Rd., Wilmington, DE 19803 (302) 479-1609
Your Address Here Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 555-5555 home
(302) 555-4444 cell
Your Name Here
Brandywine High School, Wilmington, DE
3.0 GPA Diploma (2007) pending
Microsoft Office Suite including, Word, Excel, Power Point, Access
Sales Floor Associate October
2006 - present
Provide customer service
Relieve the cashier when the store is working at high volumes
Set up sales items
Order product that is not in stock for customers
Super Fresh Market
Utility Clerk and Cashier August 2005 - September
Collected carts that were used by customers
Cleaned the store
Provided fast, fun and friendly service to customers by ringing them up as quickly as possible
Educational Talent Search (ETS)
Educational Talent Search is a federally funded TriO program designed to assist middle
school/high school students and high school dropouts with the necessary understanding,
knowledge, skills and self-esteem to continue in and graduate from high school. The Educational
Talent Search program also helps students that have been traditionally underrepresented to
explore training and educational options, and enroll in postsecondary institutions.
Forum to Advance Minorities in Engineering (FAME)
Increased effective participation of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American
youth in engineering and other science professions
Provided accelerated academic enrichment instruction in mathematics, science, English and
engineering related material
Provided an intense and demanding academic setting resembling a college engineering
Resided on-campus during weekly class sessions throughout the summer
Indoor Track 11th grade
Outdoor Track & Field 10 grade
Junior Varsity Basketball 10 grade
YOU AND YOUR INTERVIEW
The interview is often the last step between you and getting a job. It is vital that you put
yourself in the best possible light. You have two main objectives in an interview.
1. Learning more about the company and the position for which you are applying.
2. Selling the interviewer that you are the best person for the job.
It is important that you learn as much as you can about the company prior to your
interview. Know what products and services the company offers, what jobs are available, and
the duties, responsibilities and promotional opportunities for your potential jobs.
Also, know yourself. Know how your education, training, knowledge, skills and abilities
relate to the job for which you are interviewing. Also, be familiar with the information on your
résumé and be prepared to discuss why you are the one for the job as compared to other
WATCH YOUR APPEARANCE
It can't be said too often that good employers will not hire people who are dressed
inappropriately. While schools don't have dress codes, industry does.
Women should wear colors and fabrics that are conservative and appropriate for
business environments. A suit or a modest dress is recommended. Sundresses are
definitely inappropriate. Stockings and conservative dress shoes should be worn. Wear
as little jewelry as possible.
Men are required to wear a jacket, shirt and tie at all times. Jackets or blazers may be
conservative stripe, plaid or check.
Shoes are to be closed (no sandals) and well polished. Work boots are not permitted.
Hair for men and women should be clean and neat. Avoid extreme hairdos and make-
up in all cases.
These rules were made for office workers. However, they also apply to any interview
situation even if the job for which you are applying does not require coat and tie or a nice
dress. Dressing up will show the interviewer you want the job badly enough to spend
time on appearance. Anything you can do to show the interviewer you really want the
job is important.
Men's hair length is a question of concern to many young graduates. Although there are
some places where long hair will not hurt you, there are no companies where it will
actually help you get a job. There are some personnel directors who say they have never
hired a long-haired man. If you can't bear to get a short hair cut, get it styled. Long,
stringy hair is repulsive to many employers.
GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Be on time for the interview. Professional employment agencies tell their people to be at
least fifteen minutes early for an interview. It shows that you are eager to be hired.
When you are introduced to the interviewer, be sure you know how to pronounce his
name and use a good firm handshake. Do not sit down until offered a chair. Sit comfortably but
You will probably be nervous but try to act naturally. Don't toy with pencils, rings,
Throughout the interview you should look the interviewer directly in the eye. Otherwise
he will think you aren't paying attention and, therefore, not interested in the job.
Speak clearly when answering questions. You'd be surprised how many interviewers
gripe about mumblers. Also be careful about your English, slang is not appropriate during the
interview. Chewing gum, smoking and making references to your social life are not in good
Many times students are nervous when applying for a job. They forget to give the
interviewer as many reasons as possible why he should hire them. Therefore, emphasize your
strong points by working them into the conversation as often as possible. Never bring up weak
points. If asked about a weakness, answer honestly but don't dwell on it. If possible, find a
redeeming aspect of your weakness.
Some strong points you might try to work into the conversation:
1. Good attendance record
2. Hard worker as indicated by school grades or previous job experience
3. Skills that you've developed that relate to the job, such as mechanical background
(good for all plant jobs)
4. Hobbies, such as tinkering with cars, appliances, working with children or
whatever is appropriate
5. Leadership qualities as demonstrated by being elected to school offices, captain
of a team, etc.
6. Extracurricular activities, such as yearbook, school newspaper, athletic teams
7. Special awards you may have won
Obviously, this is not a completed list. However, you should try to make up a list of
your own strong points before an interview and, whenever possible, use them when answering
the interviewer's questions.
If an interviewer doesn't ask about your abilities, make your own opening to talk about
them. Never leave an interview without telling them you'd be good on the job.
ALWAYS BE POSITIVE
It is not only what you say but how you say it that will score points with an interviewer.
Employers are never interested in people who constantly gripe and are always unhappy about
their past jobs, their bosses, parents, the system, etc. A good general rule is never talk about the
things you don't like, but about the things you do enjoy. Explain poor working conditions
simply and then go on to something else.
Much of the job interview will be spent answering questions. How well you answer
them will determine whether or not you get the job. Be prepared to answer all questions
thoroughly and look for opportunities to add information about your strong points. Here are
some questions often asked by the interviewers and some possible answers. It is a good idea to
practice answering questions such as these before going into the interview.
1. WHY DON'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF?
Obviously they don't want your life's history. What the interviewer is really asking is
why should I hire you? Be sure to give him plenty of reasons. If you have made up a list
of all your strong points beforehand (as previously suggested), this will be a golden
opportunity to sell the interviewer.
2. WHY DO YOU WANT TO JOIN OUR COMPANY?
Your answer should include something that shows you are familiar with the company's
history, products and services. Such information can be obtained from someone in the
business staff center or by going to the company to request literature. Most companies
have recruiting information that is available by asking the receptionist.
3. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS JOB EXPERIENCE
If you've held a number of past jobs, confine yourself to your last few positions.
Highlight your duties, responsibilities and achievements. If your work experience is
limited, mention summer jobs, part-time work, extracurricular activities or school courses
that might have a bearing on the applied-for job.
4. HOW DID YOU LIKE WORKING FOR YOUR PREVIOUS EMPLOYER?
Even if you did not like the job or the boss, find something positive to discuss. No
employer likes a negative attitude.
5. WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR LAST JOB?
State your reason for leaving briefly and be sure to leave personality clashes out of it.
Don't tell sad tales about how you were a victim of favoritism, unfairness, or prejudice.
Even if this were true, you don't look better by trying to make others look worse. If your
reason for leaving was to seek greater opportunities for growth and advancement, by all
means say so.
6. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE CAREER PLANS?
Try to show how the present job you are applying for fits in with long range career goals.
Also let the employer know that you are willing to learn and have or will be willing to
take classes to prepare for advancement in your career.
7. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR SPARE TIME?
If at all possible, try to link your outside activities with the job for which you are
applying. For example, if you are applying for a blue collar position, employers are
looking for young people who are interested in mechanics, who have built things, worked
on cars, had summer jobs in construction, or service stations, etc. Tell about your
achievements in areas such as extra curricular activities, clubs and sports. This is no time
to be modest. Since interviewers are interested in your character and personality, they
often want to know something about the books you enjoy reading and sports and hobbies
in which you're interested.
8. IN SCHOOL, WHICH COURSES DID YOU PREFER?
Try to name several and tell why you liked them. If possible, try to show how a particular
course or courses helped prepare you for the world of work or, better yet, the kind of job
for which you are applying.
9. WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE A PIPEFITTER’S APPRENTICE WITH
PHILADELPHIA STEEL COMPANY?
For whichever job you are applying, you should have some idea of what the person does.
Such information can be obtained from the books and materials in your school's career
10. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO BE FIVE OR TEN YEARS FROM NOW?
Generally, companies like to hire people who have the potential to be promoted. This
means people who are eager to learn and will work hard to get ahead. If you can't tell
them a specific job, let them know that you are eager to be a skilled employee who has
earned several promotions and is looking forward to moving up further.
11. WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IN LIFE?
While there are many valid answers here, companies are interested in people who strive
to be successful in whatever they do, whether it be as a husband/wife, worker, civic
leader, etc. Although you may not be able to answer this question specifically, a general
answer encompassing the idea of success will often suffice.
12. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN FIRED FROM A JOB?
You can probably answer this with no and that will end it. However, if not, explain the
details without giving a long tale of woe about unfair treatment. If you were wrong,
admit it and let the employer know that you've learned from past mistakes. If you were
not wrong, tell the story just as it happened and let the employer judge who was at fault.
In any case, let the interviewer know that you regret the way things turned out.
13. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE POLICE?
Again, you can probably answer no. If not, explain the nature of the problem. Once
again, make it clear that you regret the whole affair and that you profited by past
14. WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS?
Respond to this honestly, showing positive feelings about yourself when talking about
your strength. When you talk about your weakness, do not put yourself down for it,
rather state the weakness in factual terms. Also, discuss how you are working on
strengthening your weakness.
15. ALMOST EVERY INTERVIEWER WILL ASK IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS
Unsuccessful applicants for jobs never have any other questions than: How many
vacation days? What's the starting salary? What time do I get off work? While these are
valid questions, the interviewer will answer them if he hires you. Personnel Directors
welcome questions that indicate you are interested in the company and eager to work.
Here are some that are usually welcomed by interviewers and should be of interest to job
(a) Does the company have a training program?
(b) Is promotion based on merit or seniority?
(c) I've always been a hard worker and will be the same here. Into what kind of
job could I be promoted? Follow this up by asking: What does a Clerk II
(or whatever the job) do? Ask a few of these questions and you will get an
idea of exactly where you could ultimately wind up and what it takes to get
(d) Mr. Interviewer, I'd really like to work for the XYZ Company. When will I
know whether I am hired?
16. WRAPPING UP THE INTERVIEW
When you ask the last question, you will probably either get a job offer or the employer
will let you know later. If he does offer the job, make sure you ask when you are to
report, where, and to whom. Make sure you leave early enough to be on time.
If the interviewer does not offer the job, let the employer know that you would like to be
hired, and then thank him for his time before you leave. Don't forget to shake hands
17. THANK YOU LETTER
Many times an employer will want to interview more than one person and will make a
decision later. As soon as you return home, write or type a letter thanking him for his
time, telling him you are anxious to work for the company and that you will look forward
to hearing from him. Very few people will bother with such a gesture and it will make
you stand out. If there is no response to your letter within one week, call to express your
interest again and ask about the status of the position.
In the next few weeks, you will have several interviews. It is good to remember that you
will get better each time you try it. So don't become discouraged; analyze your mistakes
and try again. GOOD LUCK!
JOB INTERVIEW TIPS
WHAT TO DO WHAT NOT TO DO
- Know what job you want and find out about -Arrive late
the company before the interview
- Dress for the job you want - Dress to casually or formally
- Be neat and clean - Take along a friend
- Arrive early - Ask about salary, vacations or breaks before
the job is offered.
- Smile - Fidget
- Give a firm handshake if one is offered - Chew gum
- Sit comfortably, straight and at ease - Put anything on the interviewer’s desk
- Answer “Yes” and “No”, not “Uh huh,” -Be to friendly
-Look the interviewer in the eye - Act like you know it all
- Answer questions honestly - Say negative things about other people
- Ask questions - Tell your personal problems
- Thank the employer at the end of the - Talk negatively about previous jobs
- Send a note thanking the employer for the - Lie or exaggerate about past job experiences
- Call back one week later to say you are still - Slump, yawn, or act bored
interested in the job
SAMPLE THANK YOU LETTER
3841 Beal Street
Wilmington, DE 19810
June 15, 2010
Mr. David Smith
3877 Henderson Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Dear Mr. Smith:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview for the position of secretary with
your company. Your interview was well-planned and informative.
In our interview, I failed to mention that I have also had some volunteer office and filing
experience in my uncle's real estate business in Newark, Delaware.
I am still very much interested in working for ACME Corporation as a secretary. If hired,
I would be a most reliable employee.
HOW TO PREPARE AND TAKE AN EMPLOYMENT TEST
WHY ARE TESTS GIVEN?
1. To find out your strengths and weaknesses.
2. To show you how well you reason.
3. To see how your ability "stacks up" with other individuals.
4. To give you experience in working under a certain degree of tension.
TAKING TESTS IN GENERAL
1. Know all test rules and directions.
2. Be there early - be ready to start.
3. Look over the entire test quickly before answering any questions.
4. Budget your time.
HINTS FOR OBJECTIVE TYPE TESTS
1. Answer easy questions first.
2. Avoid mechanical error, mixing symbols, etc.
3. Know the scoring rules.
A. If you are not penalized for guessing, guess.
B. If wrong answers are deducted, omit uncertain answers.
4. Multiple Choice
A. Determine first what the question asks or wants to know. Throw out those
choices which obviously do not fit and then select the best answer from the
B. You may first decide on your answer to the question raised and then
examine the choices to find one similar to your answer.
C. Watch out for the "except type" where all choices fit the question but one -
you are looking for the answer that does not belong.
D. When in doubt, do not hesitate to make a "selective" guess.
5. Matching Questions
A. Look out for matching lists where there are more answers than questions.
B. Do the first items on which you are certain by eliminating those items; you
may then arrive at the latest correct choice.
TIPS FOR THE ESSAY TYPE TEST
Do all of the following as a pre-writing activity.
1. List your ideas briefly and leave a space between each idea.
2. Next, add new thoughts in the spaces you provided.
3. Number your major ideas or principal thoughts.
4. Circle an idea or principal that you wish to illustrate.
5. Keep this outline simple and brief because of time.
Organize these ideas and then write your essay based on these notes.
TIPS FOR PERSONALITY-TYPE TESTING
1. Answer honestly; do not try to "psych them out".
2. Answer with your first reaction; do not try to read any hidden meaning into the
FOR DISCUSSION QUESTION
1. Keep introduction brief.
2. Include names, dates, formulas and terms.
3. Include examples and illustrations of your ideas.
4. Emphasize important ideas and thoughts.
5. Avoid long sentences.
6. Avoid extra words or padding.
RECHECK YOUR PAPER
1. Did you do what each question asked you to do?
2. Did you answer all parts of the questions?
3. Did you check for misspelled words, grammatical errors, omitted words, mistakes
in punctuation, mistakes in setting down dates and formulas?
WHY PEOPLE AREN'T HIRED
The following list includes the most common reasons why an applicant is not hired. The
list is in order with the most common reasons at the beginning. (This was prepared at
Northwestern University and is based on reports from 153 companies).
1. Poor personal appearance.
2. Overbearing - was aggressive - conceited - superiority complex "know-it-all".
3. Inability to communicate clearly - non-standard English usage.
4. Lack of planning for career - no purpose or goals.
5. Lack of interest and enthusiasm - passive (waits for things to happen), indifferent
6. Lack of confidence and poise, nervous, ill-at-ease.
7. Failure to participate in activities.
8. Overemphasis on money - interested only in best dollar offer.
9. Poor school record - just got by.
10. Unwilling to start at the bottom - expects too much too soon.
11. Makes excuses - evasiveness (avoids direct answers), hedges (tries to avoid)
unfavorable factors in record.
12. Lack of tact (sensitivity).
13. Lack of maturity.
14. Lack of courtesy - ill mannered.
15. Talks against past employers.
16. Lack of social understanding (etiquette).
17. Dislike of schoolwork.
18. Lack of energy.
19. Poor eye contact.
20. "Limp fish" handshake.
22. Indefinite response to questions.
23. Unhappy married life.
24. Unable to get along with parents.
25. Sloppy application form.
26. Merely shopping around.
27. Wants a job only for a short time.
28. Lacks a good sense of humor.
29. Lack of knowledge about the work desired.
30. Family makes applicant's decision.
31. No interest in company.
32. Emphasis on whom he or she knows.
33. Unwilling to go where sent.
34. Cynical (sarcastic, negative attitude).
35. Low moral standards.
37. Intolerant - strong prejudices.
38. Few interests.
39. High-pressure type.
40. Poor money management.
41. No interest in community activities.
42. Unable to accept criticism.
43. No appreciation for the value of experience.
44. Radical (very strange) ideas.
45. Late to the interview without good reason.
46. Never heard of the company.
47. Failure to express appreciation for the interviewer's time.
48. Asks no questions about the job.
IF YOU DON'T GET THE JOB
Whatever you do, don't panic and certainly don't give up! Remember - a person who
knows how to conduct a job search will eventually be successful. As a general rule, it takes five
solid job interviews to get at least one good job offer.
Try to make each interview a learning experience by evaluating your performance and
determining how you can improve in your next interview opportunity.
If you have the chance, ask the interviewer what you could have done to make your
interview better. Use this information to improve your next job interview.
IF YOU GET THE JOB
So, you got the job! Good for you! However, remember, your work is just beginning.
Remember the following:
12 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR JOB
1. Be on time.
2. Call your supervisor when you're going to be absent.
3. Dress appropriately.
4. Be dependable.
5. Follow your supervisor's instructions.
6. Follow company or agency rules.
7. Observe safety rules.
8. Be courteous to your fellow employees and customers.
9. Show interest and initiative in your work.
10. Work to improve your job skills and knowledge.
11. Work to the best of your ability.
12. All of the above 11 suggestions are important; however, studies reveal that
employers believe the single most important way TO KEEP YOUR JOB is be
friendly to your fellow employees!
A note from the District Superintendent
Let's plan together! Within the next several months you will conclude your high school
program. An important responsibility you have is to look ahead and plan for the future.
What are your plans for the future... Higher Education? ... Armed Services? ... Business?
... Industry? It is extremely important that you prepare for your future career by CHOICE, not by
The key to making wise career choices is KNOWLEDGE. The Brandywine School
District has initiated a Career Information Program which includes two primary components:
1. "How To Get A Job"
2. "Specialized Training Programs - Career Opportunities"
The enclosed booklet provides directions and assistance for you as you plan your future.
We trust the material will be helpful to you and your parents. Regardless of the nature of your
plans, take the opportunity to begin planning now, so that you may make a smooth transition
from your high school years to the future you have chosen.
We encourage you to review the information and materials contained in this booklet with
members of your guidance staff. Seek their counsel and support. We invite your parents to join
us in helping you attain your goals. Please call on us and them.