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Getting a Job

Sources Of Career Information, Applying For A Job, Evaluating A Job Offer

While no longitudinal study has yet examined the entire working life of any group of Americans, which would be necessary to compile data that statistically document how many job changes may be expected during one's work life, many career counselors estimate that Americans typically change jobs as often as every eighteen months between the ages eighteen and thirty-five, while those over the age of thirty-five are likely to change jobs, or even career fields, every three years. Each of these job changes requires similar preparation, no matter how similar or different the jobs may be.

The first step in securing a job—whether it is a part-time first job for a fourteen-year-old, or a midcareer change of fields for a successful business executive—is to research the job market. What jobs are available? What are the educational or experiential requirements needed for employment? Will a move to another part of the country be necessary to secure a job doing a particular kind of work?

A job seeker must become qualified to work in a particular field, whether through education or experience, or a combination of the two. When it is time to seek a first job or a new position, the prospective employee should learn as much as possible about potential employers. Using this background of knowledge and experience, a job seeker should then prepare a good résumé. This will be his or her introduction to a potential employer. Finally, when an effective résumé results in an interview, the job seeker should be prepared to meet possible new employers with courteous manners, a good appearance, and sound interview skills.

Additional topics

Jobs and Career OpportunitiesCareers and Occupations: Looking to the Future