How to Apply and Be Successful at a Job


Cal Wrigley

Opportunities Await: Working papers, provided at the main office, are very accessible to students applying for jobs.

     Applying for a first job can seem like a daunting and stressful task. However, many students are unaware of the resources they can use online and through their high school to apply for a job.  Equally important, if students are hired, they need to be aware of the ways to be an effective and responsible worker.

     According to an article from Indeed, “How to Apply for a Job in 6 Easy and Effective Steps”, a study from the Pew Research Center found that almost 80% of U.S. job applicants in 2015 used the internet as a primary means for locating jobs.

     While this means that finding companies nearby is as simple as doing a Google search, this doesn’t mean that any of the businesses you browse are worth applying to.

     Applying to every business in demand of workers and choosing the first company that reaches out for an interview means that a student could end up with a job they may regret. This is because the company that responds to the student’s application first is likely the business that needs employees the most, and this could be because of a toxic work environment or poor working conditions.

     What students should do is reach out to the people who work at the companies they’re applying to. As the same article from Indeed explains, “By networking with people who work at companies you are considering working for, you get a better feel for overall company culture.” 

     Another extremely important aspect of searching for a job is researching every company.  By going online and examining the company’s “about” page and performing a search to look for any news, current events or reviews about the company, a student can determine the quality and integrity of a company they’re considering applying for.

     Before the application process, preparing a resume for submission is an option. While most part-time jobs won’t require students to have a resume, students who have previous work experience may want to use it to bolster their reputation. Students should keep their resume up-to-date by adding their most recent education, experience and skills.

     Now it’s time to apply, and the process isn’t very complicated. As the manager of Adams Hometown Market in Milford, Mrs. Deana Olmeda-Costa, explains, “Students can apply for their part-time jobs online.  When applying for the job it’s pretty basic information such as name, address, and the position the student is looking for.”

     Mrs. Melissa Wunder, the head of the College and Career Center at Foran, emphasizes that there are several ways to apply for part-time jobs. Wunder explains that if a company contacts her directly, she will email job opportunities to students with contact information to apply. Students can apply online for many larger companies such as Home Goods or Walmart, or in-person at smaller companies like Adams. She adds that students can also look for and apply for jobs on websites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter and

     Wunder also oversees all of the job applications that run through the high school. Wunder says, “Materials that may be requested in an application include a resume and a work permit for first-time job applicants from the main office. Driver’s license and birth certificate information may also be required on an application.”

     Though applying and working a first job may seem nerve-racking, it is a totally normal process that anybody entering a work force has to endure in their lifetime. Typically, bosses and co-workers will be understanding and cooperative with a newly hired worker. 

     Foran senior Blaze Cook recalls his first time working at the Milford Cinemark movie theater. Cook states, “The process of applying for a job was not as difficult as I was expecting considering the current Covid-19 limitations. They asked me for an interview and before I knew it I was hired.” Cook’s experience shows that if somebody is compliant and follows directions and protocol, they will likely be hired.

     However, if a company doesn’t hire a student immediately, there’s no reason to stress. Students should wait about two weeks after applying to check the status of their application so they’re not pressuring the employer.

     When a student is hired, there are important qualities that they need to display in order to be successful workers. An article from the Harvard Business Review, “Five Tips for Your First Job”, recommends that workers serve their colleagues to earn respect and think ahead of ways to please customers. The article emphasizes that nothing signals seriousness to employers like promptness, perseverance, and dedication.

     Foran guidance counselor, Ms. Lauren Giustino, adds, “Some of the apparent signs of a successful and dependable employee are a student who arrives to work on-time and is always polite and positive while working.” Ultimately, being courteous, diligent, and hardworking will give students the self-discipline they need to succeed in life and their future professions.

     An additional action that shouldn’t be overlooked is listening to the instructions of supervisors and managers. They hold the authority in a work environment, so ignoring them could run the risk of being fired.

     By working hard and maintaining a positive attitude, applying for a job will be less stressful and maintaining a job will be much easier. Forming relationships with employees at the job site are extremely important, as managers will catch on to the good reputation of a worker quickly. Students should not be discouraged if they are turned down from a job, as there are many companies in need of staff and hardworking employees, especially today.