Tips for Finding Jobs, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities
First, ask yourself what you want — a job, an internship, or a volunteer opportunity? Do you want to make money, build your resume for college, gain career-related experience, give back to your community? Your answer to this question will help you determine whether you want a job, an internship, or volunteer service.
Second, think about what you are interested in — e.g., animals, science, medicine, computers, music, children, seniors, nature, art, etc. and make a list.
Third, evaluate the kinds of things you are good at/enjoy doing. Think about what you would be willing to do in order to get experience in a particular field. What kinds of things would you like to learn how to do? Write these things down. They are clues to help you know where to apply. For example, are you good at meeting the public? Are you athletic? Love computers? Enjoy working with young children? Want to learn about the world of politics and government? Enjoy spending lots of time outdoors? Love to read and write?
If you want a Job...
- Create a resume. Go to office.microsoft.com and search for resume templates. Read the sample resumes and create one of your own. If you have never had a job before, include any volunteer or community service you have done, leadership at school, work you’ve done for your parents, school projects, etc. A resume is a picture of yourself on paper. You want a prospective employer to see that you are responsible, dedicated, dependable. It is important to ask someone else to read your resume once you have created it. Ms. Fan is always available to do that for you.
- Take copies of your resume with you and walk up and down Solano Ave., El Cerrito Plaza, Berkeley’s commercial districts, and anywhere else you can get yourself to fairly easily by bike, public transportation, walking, or car if you have regular access to one.
- Look for stores or businesses where you would like to work, and/or those with “help wanted” signs posted. Also consider recreation centers, construction sites, nursing homes, child care facilities, hospitals. Go in and ask to speak with the manager. Tell him or her that you are looking for a job and would like to fill out an application or leave a copy of your resume. Be clean and well–dressed and well–groomed.
- If they say they might be hiring, go back again in a few days if you haven’t heard anything. If you find a place you KNOW you want to work, go back regularly and tell them how much you want to work there. Use judgment in doing this — you don’t want to be seen as a pest.
- Talk with friends and other people you know who have jobs. Find out how they got their job and if they know of other jobs. Talk to people everywhere you go. This is called Networking — and is often the very best way to find a good job.
- You can also use job websites and newspaper ads; some good websites are listed on other side. The Counseling Office also maintains a job board of local opportunities, and publishes a monthly newsletter called Future Focus (available on bulletin boards throughout the school and on the AHS website) that lists jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, summer programs and more.
If you want an Internship...
- Create a resume. Go to office.microsoft.com and search for resume templates. Read the sample resumes and create one of your own. If you have never had a job before, include any volunteer or community service you have done, leadership at school, work you’ve done for your parents, school projects, etc. A resume is a picture of yourself on paper. You want a prospective employer to see that you are responsible, dedicated, dependable. Be sure to ask someone else to read your resume once you have created it. Ms. Parrott is available to do that for you.
- Network. Talk to everyone you know to see if they can suggest places or people you should contact who work in areas you are interested in.
- Use the Internet. On the Internet, you will find information about many nonprofit and service organizations in the Bay Area that most of us have no idea even exist. Be curious and explore.
- Make a great first impression. When you find a place that fits your interests, let the person you talk with know this. Enthusiasm and a positive attitude can go a long way in getting your foot in the door.
The Counseling Office also maintains a job board of local opportunities and publishes a newsletter called Future Focus that lists jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, summer programs and more.
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