Why is it so hard to get a job?
How to write a resume

By Sahyim (Sage) Chung, 17, El Camino Real HS
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Sage Chung was embarrassed about her resume at first.

Last spring I got sick and tired of waking up to my annoying, buzzing alarm clock so I turned to my other option, the radio alarm. One morning, I heard about a jobs program on Power 106. Representatives from the Y.E.S. to Jobs program were offering an opportunity for minorities ages 16-18, to work in the entertainment business for the summer. After hearing all the details, I was convinced. This was my "thing" for the summer.

I checked out the Web site for Y.E.S. to Jobs (Youth Entertainment Summer) and downloaded an application. Along with it, I needed to submit a resume, letter of recommendation, my most recent report card and a statement of interest. This is when I asked myself, "Do I really want to go through with this?" Then I told myself, "It can’t hurt to try. Why not?"

Putting together the letter of recommendation and report card was easy. But after I drafted my resume, application and statement of interest, I felt that they weren’t adequate for success. This was my first application, so I didn’t have much experience. My resume was pretty short. I felt embarrassed and I didn’t want to show that thing to anyone. This is when my dad stepped in—thank God! He corrected all sorts of mistakes that I never even knew were there. He told me that I could include the fact that I speak Korean and I used to be a co-leader of a Korean drumming band.

He taught me how to make everything look professional. He corrected only minor mistakes on my application and statement of interest, but if it wasn’t for him, my resume would not have turned out as professional looking as it did.

After many drafts, I finally felt proud of what I had to show to the people at Y.E.S. to Jobs. I neatly packed my papers into a yellow envelope and sent it out. Around the beginning of May 2002, I got a letter inviting me to an interview in downtown Los Angeles.

Now, I had to prepare for the interview with the Y.E.S. to Jobs people. First, I did a little research on Y.E.S. to Jobs at its Web site. Then, I listed a bunch of questions they might ask. I wrote down my responses for the questions and memorized them. One of the questions many interviewers ask you is, "Do you have any questions for me?" So, I listed some questions of my own and memorized them also. After that, I had to obtain a set of appropriate clothes for the interview. I bought some black slacks and a blue blazer. They went perfectly with my baby blue blouse. The night before the interview, I laid my clothes out, went over my questions and went to sleep.

I was nervous

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous before the interview. I was dressed like a businesswoman, but I felt like a girl in uncomfortable church clothes that her mom forced on her. My dad drove me and that helped with my nerves. I arrived at my interview a little early. As I walked into the waiting room, many eyes turned in my direction. I guess they did that to anyone who walked in. Soon, I became one of them. Every time a new person would walk in, I turned, just like everybody else. I guess we can’t help our social instincts. I couldn’t help getting more and more tense as it almost came time for my interview. Every time a person would stick their head in the room to call someone, my heart skipped a beat.

Finally, a woman called my name. She led me to the interviewing area. It turned out that the different people who called from the door were the interviewers. We sat down and began the interview. She shot the questions at me one after another. I didn’t even have time to catch my breath. I had only five minutes to show my determination and enthusiasm. After the interview, I was glad to have prepared so well. My quick responses moved things along smoothly. I walked out of the interview with a feeling of satisfaction and relief. I could even say it was one of my better days.

Then I found out that I had to do a second interview at the company Y.E.S. to Jobs would assign to me. Another interview? I was less than pleased to hear this. But if that’s what I had to do, I was willing. Soon another letter informed me that I was assigned to WEA, an AOL Time Warner company that was in charge of marketing and distributing for a lot of the well known music labels that many of us can easily find in our CD collections.

Again, I prepared, and Dad drove me to the interview in Simi Valley. This time, the waiting room was the lobby of the company and I was the only one there. Soon enough, a woman came down the elegantly designed stairs to call me up. I followed her to an office. This interview lasted a little longer, but I pulled through. After the interview, my interviewer informed me that I was one of the two candidates for the position.

My interviewer personally called to inform me that I was chosen for the internship. But sadly, I had to turn down the offer. I thought I would be able to get a ride out there but it fell through. I was extremely disappointed. I still feel disappointed, but I know that this was a great learning experience. Next time I apply for a job, I’ll know exactly what to do.