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How to Apply in Person


How to Apply in PersonAlthough applying for entry-level jobs online through email or company websites is becoming more common, many employers still allow you to apply in person. This may include such businesses as retail stores, restaurants, movie theatres, and gas stations. If you do apply in person, consider the following list of DOs and DON’Ts.


Be prepared. Treat applying for a job like a job interview. Dress appropriately and leave your friends behind. Know something about the company you are applying to, bring multiple copies of your resume and references, and be prepared to explain why you would be a great addition to their staff.

Ask for the manager. They are the decision-makers and, as nervous as you may be, you will have to meet them sooner or later. Shake their hand and present yourself as confidently and professionally as you can. Also treat the rest of the staff the same because they may provide their own feedback to the manager.

Sell your qualifications.
It’s a sales presentation. Know your key selling features and use them. For example: “Hi, my name is Mike and I am very interested in working for your company. I have one year of customer service and cash handling experience, a customer service certificate, and open availability. Do you have a moment to look over my resume?”

Establish a follow-up plan. You may be told that they aren’t hiring and that’s okay. Rather than shrugging your shoulders and turning away in disappointment, realize that although they aren’t hiring today, things could change tomorrow or next week. Therefore, respond with something that moves the relationship forward, rather that stopping it dead in its tracks. For example: “That’s no problem, I just wanted to take this opportunity to meet you. Would you mind if I come back in a couple weeks to see if anything has changed?”

Record details of the visit. Once you have left the premises, go somewhere private and record the details of the visit. What was the manager’s name? Did they give you any clues as to when they would be hiring? Did they give you any instructions to follow? Did they mention another location may be hiring? Did they give you the okay to return in a couple weeks?


Don’t walk in and simply ask if they are hiring – even if they are, it’s unlikely you’d be considered with a first impression like that.

Don’t ask to “drop off” your resume – it lacks assertiveness and appears lazy.

Don’t let them see you holding a stack of resumes – you may be applying everywhere but they don’t need to know that.

Don’t ask for an application form – if they want you to fill one out, they will ask you to.

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