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Seeking advice on the various things required in searching for a job.

ArthilArthil Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So... I've lately become a bit disgusted with myself. For the past year or two my friend and his family has allowed me to live with them, and still do, but I feel as though I have been nothing but lazy to not strike out and try to work. It's ironic that it is such a rough time in terms of the economy that I choose to do this, but my life just feels very... empty I think is the right word. I spend much of my time perusing message boards, and have realized most of that time is me simply clicking away at the refresh key to catch one or two new posts. You could probably call me a bird that grew big enough to fly, but instead decided to kind of tumble down into his buddies nest for awhile. Well... to hopefully not sound too corny, I feel I'm prepared to stretch my wings out and fly.

With that likely unneeded paragraph out of the way I seek the guidance of this forum to figure out how things work. My family life had never been a good one, which meant that I was never given any sort of useful information from either of my parents on just what must be done. I believe a lot of what I wish to know could be tracked down via a hefty search... but I trust in this board far more, to tell you the truth. So to move on I'll say exactly what I'd like to know.

*What is the best way to put together a resume if I have never actually worked before? Much of a resume I understand completely but certain areas I'm unsure of what to provide as information other than 'None', since I'm not sure if leaving it blank would be frowned upon or not.

*Here is one of those areas I spoke of. You see I never graduated high school, and me being currently nineteen years old that is rather bad I must admit. I am looking into acquiring my GED and any information on that would be appreciated. However along with this I am curious what sort of jobs hire without the need of a high school diploma or equivalent. The pickings are likely very slim but being that I currently do not have to worry about using my money for any sort of bills it would give me the opportunity to put that money away and let it grow.

*A rather important question for me is where is the best place, or what is the best way, to go about finding a job; especially considering I have never worked before, and therefore have no experience. Most of the jobs I've found for retail on a few job seeking web sites were only interested in hiring for management positions, and it is very frustrating because of my inexperience.

*I do worry a bit about how I look. It is not my size, for I am a big guy, but it is how I keep my head and facial hair. My beard is somewhat grown out, it isn't long enough to reach my chest or anything but I can get a hold of it, especially around the chin area. This I am more than willing to clean up, however I wonder if having a full on beard at all would be detrimental. Along with this is my hair which is decently long, close to my mid-back. This I am less likely to be willing to change considering I keep it well out of the way, tied back. I'd wish to keep my long hair but working something out with a barber or stylist to make it look better but still keep the length may be something I could do.

Most of my questions are regarding appearance, which I wasn't sure would even be an issue, as well as my lack of experience. I do not think I will have trouble displaying my enthusiasm for a job and actually think that my general attitude would be an asset as what most retailers call a 'Sales Associate'. However there must be other fields I could look towards instead of retail, especially once I aquire my GED and any suggestions on that would be greatly appreciated.

PSN: Honishimo Steam UPlay: ArthilCwcuLUM.jpg
Arthil on


  • duallainduallain Registered User
    edited February 2009
    If you haven't graduated high school jobs that are completley self training (call centers, fast food places, customer service in general) is a good place to start looking. With no work and no High School degree it's going to be tough finding a job.

    As to your look, I highly advise getting a shorter hair cut, and probably shave the beard. I know the hair is a thing you would like to keep, but with how many people are out of work you may not have a choice. That being said I don't know what you look like, so your longer hair may be very nice, the question is if potential employers will like it or not.

    Best of luck, good luck getting your GED and finding a job.

    duallain on
  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2009
    Since the people you're with don't seem to mind you there, I'd focus on getting a G.E.D. out of the way before you started worrying too much about a job. Since you have no experience and no degree, you're likely going to be looking at low level retail or foodservice, and if the option came down to a guy with a diploma and a guy without, generally the guy with the paper gets the job (especially in the current economy, with employers figuring out that they can be considerably pickier than in years past due to all of the competition for jobs). Also, the amount of employers who are willing to hire someone without a diploma is dwindling.

    The easiest way to get info on getting a GED is to call your nearest community college. Odds are they will have the info you will need since they will probably offer refresher courses. Also, the test itself will likely be held there (there is a chance it'll be at a county building, but it's not likely). You'll have to take a practice test to see where you are before you are allowed to take the final, but if you payed attention in whatever amount of high school you managed to complete you might not have too much work to do before you can take the actual test.

    A lot of people think that a GED is a cakewalk, or that it is not as difficult to get as a standard high school diploma. If I remember correctly, the GED scores for each state are measured by the median test scores of the previous year's graduating high school seniors. This means that half of all high school graduates cannot pass a GED exam. Odds are you will need to bone up on various subjects, but it's not rocket science. Friends and textbooks can help you considerably. If you decide to take a refresher at a community college, they are usually fairly cheap, and some are free depending on where you are. I tutored GED students for Juvenile Justice Department a few years ago, so you may want to check and see if your county offers any GED prep as well.

    You're going to want to shave your beard before you look for work. You have long hair, and are a little big, so you need to do everything you can to look like less like the basement dwelling neckbeard that you no longer want to be. I'd reccomend ditching the long hair, but if you are dead set on keeping it you have to do everything you can to look clean cut and professional otherwise.

    Some of this stuff will require money (the GED fee varies by state, but it should be less than $100 to take the test itself. You'll need that plus whatever you have to pay for refresher material, and you'll need to buy a nice looking outfit or two and some razorblades for when you go job hunting. I don't know if you can do odd jobs or borrow some money from the household you are living at, but I'd try to find out.

    Finally, I think it's pretty awesome that you are deciding to take the next step in your life and get your shit together, and I wish you luck.

    Einhander on
  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You could also try your public works the trash guys, the county clean up guys not a lot of experience is needed, and its alright for a first job. Looks aren't too important because what's important there is just working. You could also look into construction. It is a really tough job, but I did it and if I can do it, anyone can. You will also feel really good about yourself when you finish a building.

    MoSiAc on
    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • ArthilArthil Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Thank you, to all three of you. I didn't expect to get a response so soon and I'd like to provide a bit more information. Getting my GED may be a bit difficult, since I never actually went to high school. I stopped going to school around the sixth or seventh grade, with the intentions of being home schooled. One major reason was that my family simply couldn't pay to send me to the catholic school I'd been going to and the public schools within a reasonable distance were... more like miniature prisons, than anything. However even if I tried to do work on my own my parents failed me in this case, where I'd hoped they wouldn't. I received little to no support and considering I was just a kid at the time I didn't even know what all there was to do, being that they were my parents and had presented the idea, I thought they had known.

    But in these years I haven't let myself decline, and did my best to learn what was possible for free through the internet. Thankfully my friend is close to finishing high school and would be willing to help, and I have several aunts who were/are teachers. I like to believe that I am close to mid high school level... hopefully more in what I know, except for mathematics, that will be my biggest obstacle. It feels rather odd telling people on a forum this, but it is very important information in regards to getting my GED.

    In terms of my hair and facial hair, I once had my hair in a way that it was long, but when combed back was kept out of the way. May be a good choice to go that length, and in terms of the facial hair I had pondered on trimming it away to a goatee, unless that would be just as bad. It's kind of funny that I wouldn't recognize myself without some kind of facial hair.

    Arthil on
    PSN: Honishimo Steam UPlay: ArthilCwcuLUM.jpg
  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Most high schools have GED prep courses at night for people that work so they should be able to help you get the rest of the way through that part. If the local schools don't offer them surely community centers or even churches would have it.

    MoSiAc on
    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    First order, Congratulations on getting your shit together! It's not going to be easy, but I'm sure you know that... on to the advice.

    1. Beard discrimination is real. I know people who refuse to work with anyone who has a beard. This is stupid, I know, but a beard is viewed as a 'fuck you' to the status quo. Now is not the time to be making bold aesthetic statements on your individuality.
    (this includes goatees, who's wearers studies have shown to be perceived as 'sneaky'... lolz but true)

    2. You seem very intelligent, and to be a self-motivated learner. Skip the classes and get a GED prep-book. You should be able to learn everything you need to from one or two of these. You can get them at a library.

    3. Math is your weakness? First, its good that you already know this. I'm willing to bet that the librarian can point you to a good math prep book to balance yourself out. If this proves too difficult, spurn my earlier advice and take a remedial math class.

    4. Screw the naysayers, get a job. Well, step one is start looking. Shave your face, cut your hair, and start applying. It is perfectly reasonable to work on your GED and find/work a job at the same time. It might not be a cake-walk, but you will no doubt feel better as a contributing member of society. Even part-time work will help offset the future expenses of sitting for the GED, and any prep classes you might need.

    5. Apply for anything and everything you can think of. Construction / Call Centers have been mentioned and these are good, relatively well paying jobs. You will see some competition from other people out there, times are tough. Consider some lower-paying work, as you have a support network, and don't need the money. If you're in an urban situation, check with libraries, not-for-profit centers, gas-stations, coffeeshops, restaurants (sometimes busing tables gets tips). If your in a rural area check with your neighbors for odd jobs.

    6. Explain to everyone on the way exactly what you are trying to do. Showing that you are motivated and trying to better yourself will stand you out. People will want to help you. You never know what may fall into your lap.

    thisisntwally on
  • angrylinuxgeekangrylinuxgeek Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    If you don't have a high school diploma and you are looking for a job you're going to need to cut your hair & shave, sorry bud. If you're serious about this it won't be a big deal. Otherwise employers are likely to think you homeless and not be interested.

    Part of being a responsible adult is doing what it takes to get the job done. If you want to get a job you can't say things like "it is unlikely that I will be willing to cut my hair/shave my beard."

    angrylinuxgeek on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I second the sentiment that you should go for your GED. If you grab a part-time job at the same time that's great, but you absolutely need a GED if you're going to move past the type of jobs that high school kids get.

    jclast on
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'm going to go with not only getting your GED but seriously consider getting an associates degree as well. If anything it will show you're taking the initiative to further your education and that's always a plus. For now you're pretty much limited to fast food and maybe things like grocery stores but once you get your GED more retail will open up, and an associates can help with lower level management in those places. Definitely spruce up, i n this economy you should be clean shaven and dressed nicely to apply to McDonalds. Don't forget to ask your friends if they know any work available or if their jobs are hiring, a good word from a current employee can help you get in the door.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Note that if you want to find a retail job, you'll need to actually go out and look for one. Pick a different shopping center each day, and go to every likely-looking store and ask to fill out an application. Places like that get probably a half to a dozen paper applications a week even outside the high school student rushes before summer and winter breaks, they've got no need or desire to put those online anywhere.

    You may also want to look into temp agencies.

    Edit: Also, being able to work any time (night shifts, business hour shifts) will give you an advantage over students who can only work between school and when it gets dark. I had to laugh a little when I saw applications saying they could work for ~3-4 hours a night.

    Scooter on
  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited February 2009
    With regard to your resume, start to look out for opportunities right now in volunteering. Animal shelters, charities. Anything like this which you even do for a few hours on the weekend can be added to your resume instead of the blank section. Habitat for Humanity for example will get you some really decent work experience for construction and if you aren't an idiot, any of the employed construction people working on the job might be able to recommend you for their business if you do a good job. Meeting people is going to help a lot. It's true when they say that a lot of jobs are filled by people who know someone. Get out there and assume every single volunteer opportunity is a chance to show yourself to someone and you might get lucky.

    Apply for a job at somewhere like Goodwill or Value Village too. In my area they do not require resumes and if you show up looking decent its a foot in the door and something for the resume even if you only work there briefly. It would get you experience with a debit machine and so on.

    onceling on
  • ArthilArthil Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The advice given to me so far has been amazing to say the least. Now the reason I had spoken on likely not being willing to shave my beard and cut my hair is because both are more sentimental than merely 'knocking the man' however if it will truly help me that much they will have to go. On the whole volunteering thing I'm not sure where I'd be able to look really though I should be able to find information on it if that's the way I choose to go. But on to something rather important, the times I work will in fact be restrained. I have no drivers license, my friends mother works during the day and his father likely has enough trouble getting him to school since he is disabled. The only reliable person I can think of is an old friend of my family, I spoke with him a few months back and he seemed more than willing to drive me to work... but this does cut down on just how strongly I can search.

    Although my cities bus system is a possibility, I am not really understanding it completely. For instance according to the info I could find the closest bus stop to where I live is 1.5 miles off, which.... doesn't sound right since I remember there being one very close. Though would I not have to wait at a 'bus stop' as in the whole bench with a roof thing, but a sign? That may be what I am remembering being close or they might have moved the old bench and replaced it with a sign.

    In terms of searching for a place to work my best chance seems to be over the weekend, which will make things difficult. Though there are many... and I do mean many shops and restaurants up in the city proper. From Gamestop and RadioShack to Papa Johns and Subway, it would be my best choice on where to look first I think.

    Arthil on
    PSN: Honishimo Steam UPlay: ArthilCwcuLUM.jpg
  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    After you get a job you might be able to get your co workers to give you a ride if they live close until you get your DL. A lot of the part time places might turn you down for not having one but not all. Another reason I support construction work/ city work. Usually the guys car pool a lot. I always rode with 4 other guys to work, and back home.

    MoSiAc on
    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The fact that you are typing in complete and rather eloquent sentences tells me you're clearly smart enough to get your GED.

    I can't help you on the specifics of studying for it, but I definitely think now is a good time to go about getting it. It sounds like you have a supportive family helping you out. And the economy is currently shit, so you're likely better off spending your time GED-ing than job-searching right now anyway. (Not that you can't do both, of course).

    But please, do not give up on getting your GED.

    Qingu on
  • ArthilArthil Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh I never had any intentions of giving up on it, I just really wish I'd done it a lot sooner. Overall I am seeing that where I'm living is both a boon but also a problem. The people who have cars/a license use them for either work or may not be able to drive me around that much. My location compared to a bus stop is rather far, unless I can find some better information than I already have on it. There is a possible place I could work while getting my GED, A Kroger actually, that is well within easy walking distance. As long as they have an opening in general I can probably get a job there since one of my cousins is the manager of another store.

    But also on the more important thing I know of one aunt of mine in particular who is still a teacher and she should be able to point me in the right direction. I find it rather amusing... my own parents didn't do much to help me for when I'd become an adult but thankfully the rest of my relatives would not only be willing to, but are... hm, maybe the word is 'connected' in the right places to help me. It was my father who made it difficult I think though... and my mother would likely be able to help me a great deal now that he's gone

    I've been given a lot of good information and many of my questions have been answered, but there are a few that haven't yet and I will likely have many more once things get rolling. Since I'd like to actually get working before I get the GED it seems like the first thing I should do is visit a barber.

    Arthil on
    PSN: Honishimo Steam UPlay: ArthilCwcuLUM.jpg
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Arthil wrote: »
    Since I'd like to actually get working before I get the GED it seems like the first thing I should do is visit a barber.

    As a (slightly) bearded member of the workforce who was bushy before really getting out into the world, I feel you. I think that it is worth stating that making changes to your physical appearance should probably be done now as opposed to the day before your first interview. Large changes to one's appearance, especially that which grows out of your head, can lead to mannerisms/actions that can appear downright strange and weird to those on the outside. I know when I got rid of my beard and got a haircut I was reaching for hair that wasn't there and tossing my head to get my (missing) hair out of my face. All the time.

    I would imagine that sitting down at an interview wouldn't be prime in these situations. Get the cut/shave now so that you're used to your "new look." Additionally, you may very well find that looking clean and professional will lead to an air of confidence and professionalism that could very well be the difference between getting the interview and not.

    The Crowing One on
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