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Department of Labor

Ages 18 to 24

Dream it, Plan it, Make it Happen! The time is now to take the next steps to build a successful future. Landing the job you want and enjoy takes preparation and planning. Check out the information and resources below to help you be a winner in the workplace and life!

ages 18 to 24

Planning for Life Success

Planning for Life Success

Identification You Need to Get the Job

Job Application Tips

Screening Future Employees – For many entry level jobs, employers use applications to screen future employees. The information in a job application is used to decide who they are going to call for a job interview. If you want your application to get you an interview, select the resources below for tips on filling out job applications.

Resume and Cover Letter Preparation: Helping You Stand Out

Why Do I Need A Resume?- Your resume and cover letter show an employer who you are and why they need you! Learn to write a resume and cover letter that will land you an interview. Below are some resources that will help get you started.

Additional Services

Need extra help applying for a job? – Some individuals face barriers to employment, ranging from disabilities to a criminal record. The resources below can help you overcome these barriers and successfully join the workforce.

  • The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) - DEI is located in some of the New York State Department of Labor Career Centers and can help people with disabilities in their job search, resume writing, or job applications.
  • Disability Disclosure - This video shows how youth may or may not choose to disclose a disability. Deciding to disclose a disability is a very important decision to make, especially as it relates to your education and employment. The 411 on Disability Disclosure workbook can help you work through the process in deciding to disclose a disability.
  • Self-Advocacy - Learn how you can speak up for yourself and communicate your interests, needs, and rights to others. Whether you need help completing your job tasks to learning how you can get transportation assistance, it is important you to be your own self-advocate.
  • If you have previously been arrested, make sure you know if you were a youthful offender and know the difference between an arrest and a conviction. There are still many programs that can help you get a job, like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or the Federal Bonding Program

Workplace Safety

I’m Young...Why should I Care About Labor Laws? - Protect yourself and your rights on the job. Whether you want to make sure you are receiving the right wages or are concerned about a co-worker's health, it is important you know your rights so you can have a great work experience and avoid conflict with your employer. Below are some links that will help you get familiar with your rights on the job.

Health and Wellness for Life Success

Trying to balance school, homework, work? Since there are many things going on in your life, it is important to stay healthy and balance your life in order to stay on track. School, home, friends, work, and extracurricular activities are just some the things you need to balance. Below is information that provides tips on dealing with stress, staying healthy, and balancing your life now and in the future.

  • Stress Management - Are you feeling overwhelmed by homework, sports, or applications? This link provides you with relaxation techniques, tips for recognizing stressful situation and keeping your mind clear in order to concentrate.
  • Food for Thought - Tired in the morning? Can't make it through that next class? Find out how a balanced diet can help you stay alert and energized throughout the day, as well as keep your mind and body focused.
  • Apply for Health Insurance through NY State of Health - Everyone deserves quality, low-cost health care. It’s an important tool for building strong lives and strong families. NY State of Health is an online marketplace for health plans. If you are 19 or older and live in New York State, it can help you find health insurance at a cost you can afford.

Career Plan: A Dream Without a Plan is Just a Wish

Start Your Plan – If you’re trying to figure out “Who am I? Where am I going? And how do I get there?” CareerZone can help you by exploring your strengths, skills and talents with a no-cost, career portfolio account. Learn more about your career interests with the following CareerZone features:

  • CareerZone Assess Yourself tool - Use this tool to discover occupations that may interest you.
  • Tech World - Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are on the rise. Find out more about how you can explore STEM careers and plan for your future.

Budgeting & Banking

Budgeting & Banking – It’s never too early to start learning to budget. A good budget can help you plan for the future and save for emergencies, like car repairs or hospital expenses. Below are some tools to help you create and keep a budget.

  • Dollars and Sense Budgeting Tool - This tool in CareerZone can help you create a budget around an occupation or based on life choices.
  • On the Money - Provides information on opening a bank account, credit card and also provides a savings calculator.
  • How to Write a Check - Includes information for writing a check and setting up a checking account.
  • Five Budgeting Tips - Not sure how to budget or what makes up a budget? This site has tips to help.

Learn More About Selective Service

Did you know that almost all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the United States who are 18-25 are required to register with Selective Service? It's important to know that even though you are registered, you will not automaticaclly be inducted into the military. Selective Service is the process by which the U.S. government collects names and addresses of men ages 18-25 to use in case a national emergency requires rapid expansion of the Armed Force.

Find out how you can register or if you’re already registered for Selective Service.

Paths to Success

Below are resources to help you explore education and training opportunities and figure out your next steps toward reaching your dreams.

Preparation for College

  • Making My Way Through College – This guide is for youth interested in going to college and provides information on topics such as preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work. Much of the information provided is for all youth, but the primary focus of the guide is on navigating the college experience for youth with disabilities or those who think they may have a disability.
  • High School Equivalency Diploma – Many colleges and universities require you have a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma to attend. You may want to start thinking how you can prepare and take the exam required to obtain a high school equivalency diploma. Select the link above for more information on high school equivalency diplomas in New York State.
  • Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – Many colleges require you take the SAT as an entrance exam in order to attend. The PSAT is a practice exam that helps you prepare for the SAT. The links above provide information on what the SAT and PSAT are and how you can prepare and sign up for the exams.
  • Financial Aid – It is important to know what financial aid you qualify for to help pay for college. A lot of people end up taking out more loans than they can afford and don’t realize how debt can impact the rest of their lives. It is also important to get financial aid information from trusted resources and websites. Below are some of these trusted websites to help you navigate through the financial aid process:
    • Adult Student Checklist – If you’ve never been to college or started before and did not complete college, this link provides a checklist of activities to look into prior to applying, such as exploring careers and seeing if your employer helps pay for college.
    • Federal Student Aid Portal – Contains information on different types of financial aid (including scholarships ), how to apply for financial aid, and managing student loans. Go to the diagram of the financial aid process.
    • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – This is a form that is prepared annually by current and potential college students ( undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid (including the Pell Grant, Federal student loans and Federal Work-Study).
      • FAFSA4caster - Walks you through different questions about your income, the cost of the colleges you are interested in attending, and other financial questions that lead to an estimate of the federal financial aid you would receive.
      • Start a New FAFSA – This link will direct you to complete a new FAFSA if you are a new college student. If you are a returning college student, you can login to submit a new FAFSA you must resubmit for every school year that you attend and desire financial aid.
  • Check with your School’s Financial Aid/Bursar’s Office – Some colleges and universities may require additional paperwork for you to qualify for financial aid. To make sure you all of the paperwork submitted, contact your school’s Financial Aid/Bursar’s Office.

Exploring Colleges

  • SUNY College Exploration - Want to find out what the State University of New York (SUNY) campus network can offer you as a potential student? Explore community colleges and universities across New York State.
  • CUNY College Exploration - Did you know that New York City has a network of community colleges and four year colleges called The City University of New York (CUNY)? This website will provide you with information on the 23 campuses throughout New York City and help you decide which college suits your interests and career goals.
  • College Match Maker - Helps match a college with what you want to go to school for.
  • - Provides videos on college programs, scholarships and college majors.
  • College Navigator - Search for colleges based on location, type of degree, public, private, two or four year schools, and other factors that may be important to you on your quest for college.

Apprenticeship and Military Opportunities

  • Apprenticeship: Earn it While You Learn it! - Find out how apprenticeships can help you gain new skills and earn money in the process.
  • Career and Technical Education - Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities are out there for you! This video takes a look at training opportunities that lead to careers in auto mechanics, nursing, carpentry, and many other in-demand occupations.
  • Today's Military - Information on what a military career is all about and how to prepare for one.

Dress for Success: Learn How to Leave a Lasting Impression

Not sure what to wear to your interview? – The way you dress for an interview can leave a lasting impression with a business/organization. Below are some helpful resources to help you prepare.

Interview Tips: Know What to Say Before They Ask!

Need help preparing for your interview? - Interview questions can be stressful if you’re not prepared. The resources below provide interview suggestions to help you get the job.

Searching for a Job

Not sure where to find the job you want? - The links below are just some of the job search websites that can help find a job that's a match for you!

Your Digital Identity Matters

What is Social Networking? - Social networks are how people connect with each other whether it's through text messaging, Facebook, or chatting around the lunch table. Social networks connect you to people who could help you find jobs, provide you with resources to find a job, or direct you to their own social network for help. More businesses are searching for candidates and reviewing their profiles on social networks. View a web video on social networking. Below are other resources to help you understand social networking and the importance of your digital identity.

Keep Your Digital-Self Professional- Remember that your social networks connect you to hundreds and thousands of people across the country and the world. Here are some tips on how to make your social networks work for you:

  • Use a formal email address on your resume. It is recommended that you use some form of your name so that a business will remember who you are. Virginia Tech has more information on formal email addresses.
  • Ringback and voicemail messages on your cell phone may sound good to you and your friends, but a potential employer may not call you back if they sound unprofessional. Just have a simple voicemail message with your name and phone number.
  • Have you ever searched for your name on the internet? After a business enters your name into a search engine, they evaluate you based on your social network profile (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter). So keep your profiles appropriate!

So Why Should I Belong to Social Networks? - Social networks can still be fun, but use them to your advantage. Many companies and organizations use social networks to find or attract candidates. Below are a few tips about your social network accounts:

  • Create two different profile accounts: one that's private for friends and family, then a professional account that employers can search for.
  • Learn how to change your privacy settings, and who can and cannot view your profile on the following social network sites:
  • Seek out and join professional organizations and online social networking groups. Ask your contacts who you should meet and ask if you can connect with their contacts. If you do connect with someone, be friendly, respectful and brief. Also be very clear about what you are looking for. Be realistic as a new contact is unlikely to provide a job offer, especially right away. Your goal is to gather valuable information in your field or occupation of interest. Make sure you follow-up. It's your responsibility to keep the communication lines open by touching base every so often updating your contact on your progress with your job search.

Showing Off Your Skills

Are you a good leader? Are you a team player and dependable? - Employers are looking for these kinds of qualities in their employees. Find out more below on how to stand out to a potential employer.

  • Everyone has Skills - Visit the CareerZone Portfolio Job Readiness Skills Module to find out which skills you can add to your resume from your previous work, volunteer, or extracurricular experiences. Make sure to create a Portfolio account or sign into your Portfolio account if you’ve already created one to access the Job Readiness Skills Module.
  • Get the Competitive Edge with Soft Skills - Businesses are looking for people with soft skills (good communication, a strong work ethic, and many other skills). Find out how you can gain soft skills today!

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