Franklin County Technical School   82 Industrial Blvd.   Turners Falls, MA 413 . 863 . 8119

Going to Work

Going To Work

If you are planning to go to work directly after leaving the Tech School, it is not too early to start the process. You should talk with your technical program teacher to determine if COOP is a possibility for you. That would be an excellent first step. Check the information below to start getting your resume together, lining up your references and getting the word out that you are looking for work.

Going to Work
Coop

Requirements for Coop

The Cooperative Education Program is a procedure for extending the student's shop learning experiences into the world of work, whereby the student is placed into a paid position during the shop week. A student may become eligible for co-op by meeting the criteria listed below.

Eligibility Criteria

1)The student should be recommended by the shop instructor.
2) The student should have a minimum of two years in that shop before being eligible for Co-op.
3) The student must have a "C" or better average in every course.
4) The student must have a minimum of 90% attendance in all academic classes and in their vocational program.
5) All vocational portfolio requirements must be signed off before a student is eligible for Co-op.

A student may become eligible for Co-op after the first trimester progress reports of the senior year if the exceed the minimum academic requirements described in #2 above. To qualify a student must have achieved a "B" or better as a final grade in every course in their Junior year and a "B" or better in all courses at the first trimester progress report of the senior year. All other criteria listed above must also be met.

Networking

Networking

Networking, the current "in" term simply means taking advantage of the opportunities and connections that you have, and getting the word out.

Let people know that you are looking for a job, and what kind. Talk to the people you know parents, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors, people that you see in your every day life. Many open jobs are filled without ever being posted or advertised. Word of mouth is a very important source of employment opportunities.

Do not be proud. Many people looking for their first job are reluctant to ask for help or to follow up on leads they get through a family member or friend, because they want to "make it on their own". My advice - "get over it". Getting your first "real" job is not easy most of the time, so take advantage of any help you can get. You will have plenty of time after you have some experience, to get a job "on your own", but getting a job until you have that experience is tough, and you are foolish not to take help if you can get it.

Sit down and make a list of people that you know who may be helpful in finding the kind of job that you want. Then take you list and "network", get the word out and then follow up by "checking in with these people to see if they have any leads"

Take the time to write a thank you note to the people who help you. They will be pleasantly surprised when you do, and since we never know what life will bring in the future, you may need their help again.

Resume

Resumes

A resume is an opportunity to give a prospective employer information about you, in writing, so that when you are not there and an employer is making a hiring decision, you and your skills are not forgotten.

Many jobs that you will apply for when you look for your first "real job" will not ask for a resume, but having one (if it is well written), will make you stand out from other applicants. The key is well written. You may want to ask you English teacher to read it over before you take it out on a job interview.

What should be on your resume? You should include your name, address, and telephone number where you can be reached; Your educational background, (where you went to school), any specialized training that you have received (this is where you talk about you shop training), and any certifications and licenses that you may have earned (CPR, for example); Previous employment, including any part-time jobs that you have held during school (which can include yard work, baby sitting, or other independent work that you performed on a regular basis—any job that will let an employer know that you "know what work is".

Check your spelling! Make sure that peoples names are spelled correctly. Make sure the names of where you worked are spelled correctly. Figure out the dates that you were employed and list them. Ask someone to read over the Resume before you take it with you on a job interview. And do take a copy with you whenever you go on an interview. No, take two copies! One to leave with the employer, and one to use when you are filling out the employment application. Use your copy to copy names and dates to be sure that you have them spelled right and accurately.

References

Approaching References

Whether you are applying for a job or applying to go on to further training, in college or a technical school, the choice of references is very important. In every case there are certain things that you should consider in making your choice.


  • 1. Suitability - what are you applying for? If it is a job, then your shop teacher and previous employers should be the first people that you consider. If you have not had a "job", consider people who you have baby sat for, mowed lawns for etc. What you are looking for are people who can attest to your work habits. If it is further education that you are applying for, a current teacher is essential. Teachers that you have had in the past are also good choices, as long as you did not have them too far in the past. Your first grade teacher probably will not help you much.
  • 2. Permission - NEVER give someone's name as a reference unless you have asked that person if it is ok with them that you do so. This is both a courtesy to them and protection for you. There may be reasons why a person feels that they can not give you a favorable reference, and you want to know this before you write their name on an application.
  • 3. Quality Control - You want a well written, timely written, favorable reference. There a many wonderful people who do not write well, or have trouble meeting a schedule. You will not be helped by a poorly written reference, or one that arrives two weeks late. You also need to ask, what will this person say about me, and will it help me in my effort to do what I am trying to do?
  • 4. Quantity - Get approval from a sufficient number of references so that you can tailor your choices to the application that you are currently working on.
  • 5. Confidentiality - Many people will view differently, references that come directly from the person who wrote it, and references that you bring with you. When providing references, consider this fact and use the method that you think will best help your application.
  • 6. Say "Thank you" - A brief note to a person who writes you a reference is both courteous and smart. So few people take the time to say thank you, that a note from you will not only make the writer feel appreciated, but only can elevate their opinion of you as an individual.
  • If you have any other questions about the use of references, go to the Guidance Office and talk to your counselor.

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