1. READY

Career Assessments, Career Clusters and Work-Based Learning

Are you career ready?

Becoming career ready involves self assessment, career exploration and real-world experience. It is understanding current and future workforce needs and then taking time and action to determine a career path that best suits you. Career readiness requires core academic skills as well as strong technical and employability skills, also known as soft skills or citizenship.

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Assess

This is a question you have probably been asked many times, especially as a young child. It’s a simple yet important question and the first step to building your career.

Explore

Once you have a sense of your interests, abilities and aptitudes, it’s time to explore and discover careers that interest you. The following resources can help you get started.

Experience

A variety of Work-Based Learning options, also known as Extended Learning Opportunities in many South Carolina schools, are available to today’s students.

2. SEARCH

Where to Look and How to Find Your Next Job

Looking for a Job:

You’ve assessed and explored, gained experience and connections. You’re ready for the next step in building your career — the job search. Knowing where and how to look is key to your effectiveness. Check out our resources and tips below to learn more.

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Where

In today’s competitive and technology-driven world, a successful job search begins with knowing where to look.

How

Every potential job you find, every contact you make, and every person you meet about employment is a job lead. Use the following strategies to connect, follow up and convert leads to interviews or offers.

3. APPLY

Resumes, References, Cover Letters and Applications

Applying for a Job:

Once you’ve determined your right career path and identified potential job opportunities, you’re ready to take the next step in building your career — applying for a job.

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Resumes

A resume is a summary of your education, skills and experience and the first link between you and a potential employer. A custom-designed marketing tool, tailored to your career objectives, the primary purpose of your resume is to secure an interview, not necessarily the job.

References

References are individuals who know you well and can attest to your qualifications, skills and abilities. References may include former employers, teachers and mentors.

Cover Letters

Cover letters are used to introduce you and your resume to the employer. They can be personalized or general, but they should always relate specifically to your resume.

Applications

A job application is an official form — a list of questions requiring factual responses — an employer asks all applicants for an open position to complete.

4. INTERVIEW

Preparation, Dress Questions and Follow-Up

Interviewing for a Job:

The job interview is a critical step in finding a job and building your career. It gives you the chance to prove in person that you are right for the job. It also gives your potential employer the chance to judge your appearance, and ability to communicate and learn more about your qualifications, skills, professional experience and character.

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Prepare

The first step towards a successful job interview is to make sure you are prepared. This means you are able to talk effectively about your skills and career interest and that you are knowledgeable about the company and the position you are seeking.

Dress

A good first impression can make or break your chances of getting hired. That’s why your appearance — how you dress and present yourself — is vitally important in any interview, regardless of the nature of the job for which you are applying.

Ask

As with anything, preparation is the key to interview success. Before your job interview, spend time reviewing possible interview questions and rehearsing your answers.

Follow Up

After each job interview, it is important that you take time to review the position and company, send a thank-you note within 24 hours and that you follow through on any requests for additional information or directions to call back at a specific time.