Work-Based Learning

Getting ready for work (part 1)

  • I want to apply for a job!

    Make yourself shine! Applying for a job.

    Applying for a job is a little different for each employer. Some employers have long job applications. Others have short ones. Some employers have paper job applications. Others do it on a computer. Some employers just want you to fill out an application form. Others want a resume. But all employers want to know whether you have the skills and education needed to do the job. And you want to make sure you really shine when you're applying for a job. Remember that your PROMISE team can help with applications - you don't have to do it on your own.

  • I write for my school newspaper!

    Making yourself shine. It’s not just about your papers and degrees!

    Chances are, you have many more skills than you think! Some skills are learned at school. These skills are certainly important to any employer. But some skills are learned in other ways. And these are important too!

    Have you learned skills by volunteering? By helping others with projects? Have you done things in art or music? Have you done something that was really helpful or really interesting?

    Employers want to know this too! Chances are you learned some of this stuff about yourself while you were learning about jobs (PROMISE calls it Pre-work).

  • What else can I put on my list?

    How do you shine? Start by making a list

    You shine in more ways than you realize. Make a list of why an employer would want to hire you. You want to start with your education:

    • What degrees do you have?
    • What skills-based classes have you taken?
    • Sports teams or clubs you've participated in.
    • Special projects you've been involved in.
    • What can you do?
    • Know any foreign languages?
    • What computer programs can you use?

    Finally, make a list of your experiences and accomplishments. Outside of school, what have you done that you’re proud of?

    • Planned an event at church or school?
    • Acted in a play?
    • Helped to build a community playground?


    Remember that you probably reviewed a lot of this stuff with your PROMISE team – don’t forget to look back at your notes!

  • Here’s my application for the writing assistant job!

    Applying for a job—How does it work?

    Each job application process is a little different. Usually, you start by filling out an application. Sometimes, that's all you need to do. But usually, the employer might want a resume or a cover letter. Some employers might want to talk with you to see if you’ll be a good match for the job. This is called an interview. Your PROMISE team can help you practice for an interview. Let your case manager know if this is something you want to work on early, so you have time to practice before you get a real interview!

  • A resume? What’s that?

    What’s a resume?

    Employers want to quickly be able to see why they should hire you. How do they do this? They look at a one to two page paper that tells them about your skills, education and experience. This is called a resume.

  • I can do this!

    Turn your list into a resume

    Take the list you've made of your education, skills and accomplishments. Now turn this list into a one or two page document. Start by giving your name, email, address and phone number on the top. Then, list your education, giving your high school and a list of your most useful classes. After this, list your skills. Finally, list your experiences and accomplishments. You probably worked on a resume when you first joined PROMISE in your Career Planning and Preparation Classes. If you need help, make sure you let your PROMISE case manager know so you can get started on your resume early.

    Let’s get started on your resume!

  • Your resume should make you shine

    You can use short phrases and bullets when you make a resume. But be sure to check that the phrases you use make sense, the spelling is correct, and that your words are easy to read. It might help to ask a teacher or someone else read over your resume.

    To look at an example of a resume, look at these links:

    Teen Jobs

    Career Kids

  • How do I write a cover letter?

    What’s a cover letter?

    Your resume shows your education, skills and experience. You’ll probably use the same resume when you apply for several different jobs. But how will each employer know that you will fit the job they have? This is done with a cover letter. A cover letter is written to each employer. It tells the employer why you are a good person for their job and shows your excitement for the job.

    Here’s some links to write a good cover letter:

  • I'll help you with your job application!

    Getting through the job application

    As a person with a disability, you might need to do things a little differently when you apply for a job. If you don’t see very well, you might need to make the print larger or make the computer show larger words. If you don’t read very fast, you might need a little extra time to go through an application. In most cases, you have a right to do this. Think about what you might need to get through a job application with your disability. To find out more about your rights on the job, call the ADA National Network at 800-949-4232 to talk with someone about these rights. Also, your PROMISE case manager can help you to think through what you might need to do differently when applying for a job.

  • What's this?!?

    Party pictures on Facebook? Your employer will see it…

    Think carefully about what your employer will find out about you when they go on Facebook, Twitter or other social media. They will probably look. What will they think about you when they do?

  • Hi Eric, I have a few questions about your application...

    About a job interview

    Sometimes, employers want to talk with you to see if you can do the job. They might call you on the phone or they might ask you to meet in person. Here’s a few things to think about to get ready for an interview. You can sit down with your PROMISE team to think through these issues:

    What are the two or three the main things an employer would probably want from a worker in this job—like dealing with customers, paying attention to details, or knowing how to use a computer. How could you show the employer you can do these things?

    Be ready to talk about your experiences and education that would help you do this job—things like classes you took, projects you completed, or volunteering.

    Think of some questions of your own. Before you come to the interview, think of two or three questions you have about the job or the company—questions like "What do I most need to know for this job?" or "How can I learn how to do this job?" If you know something about the business and have questions about it, that’s great.

    Thank the interviewer!

    Be on time.

  • Let's practice your interview!

    Practice makes perfect!

    Remember to talk to your PROMISE case manager early about getting in some interview practice. Give the person you’re practicing with a copy of the job description and ask them to pretend that they are your boss for this job.

  • How do we look?

    What to wear?

    You always need to look clean and neat for an interview, but you probably won’t need to have a formal suit. For men, you probably want to wear a button-down shirt that is not wrinkled, a tie, khaki pants, and clean shoes that cover your toes. No t-shirts with logos and slogans, no ripped jeans, and no tank tops or shorts. For women, wear clean clothes with no wrinkles that would fit within your school's dress code. That means no spaghetti straps, no miniskirts or shorts. Leave the sparkle and most of your jewelry at home.

  • Let’s see if you remember the key points!


    When listening to your boss, you should use the time while he’s talking to think about what you will say back to him.


    FALSE. When you are listening to people, you should use the time to make sure you hear and understand what they are saying. If all you do is think about how you will respond, chances are you are not really listening.

    If someone is rude to you at work, you should tell them off.


    FALSE. If someone is rude to you at work, you should take a minute to calm down, and then try to understand why they are upset. Yelling at people at work, whether it’s your boss, a co-worker, or a customer is never a good idea. Instead of getting mad, find out what happened and see how you can help.

    If you went to a great party over the weekend, you should put the pictures on social media.


    FALSE. Think twice about what you put up on social media. If you put it out there, there is a very good chance your boss or co-workers will see it. Pictures of you and your friends are fine, but make sure there is nothing in the picture that you probably shouldn’t be doing.

    If you see something that you would like to try while at work, let your boss know.


    TRUE. Bosses usually really like people who take an interest in the work that they do. Also, telling the boss you want to learn new things lets them know you want to move up with the company.

  • Let’s review this chapter!


    What are soft skills?  Soft skills are skills that help you get along with others at work.  They are also things that help you and your boss get along.  You learned a lot about these things in Career Planning and Participation.


    What are these important skills?

    • Paying attention when other people are talking to you is so important. Listen to hear what people are saying, not to answer them.
    • Tell others you’re willing to help or if you want to learn something new, it shows initiative.
    • Smile at people.
    • Say thank you.
    • If you get mad, wait to respond to your boss or co-workers until you calm down.
    • If you make a mistake, apologize.


    Keep your party pictures to yourself.  What might make you look good to your friends, might make you look bad to a boss.  Don’t put pictures on social media that would make someone think twice about hiring you.


    Write it down.  Think through all of the things that you’re good at and all of the things in life you have contributed to.  Use it to create a resume.  Remember, your resume should make you shine.  Here are some samples:

    Teen Jobs

    Career Kids


    What’s a cover letter?  Cover letters let you tell someone who you want to work for all the reasons they should hire you.  You should always write a cover letter for each job you are really interested in.  Tell the potential boss what makes you a perfect fit and why they should hire you.  Here are some examples:



    Practice makes perfect.  Before you interview make sure that you practice with people you know.  Your family or your PROMISE team would make great practice partners.


    What makes a great worker?

    Here are some simple rules to succeed at work. 

    • Treat others the way you want to be treated.
    • Be on time.
    • Call if you can’t be there.
    • Dress the way others dress at work. If you aren’t sure what to wear, ask your boss.
    • If you don’t know, ask questions.
    • Get support to work through problems on the job. You can either ask your manager or you can ask your PROMISE team.
    • No swearing or using language you wouldn’t want your mom to hear you use.
    • Put your phone away.
  • Chapter complete!