Looking for part-time work can be trickier than applying for full-time positions. And job hunting with an arrest record can be even more difficult. Veteran career counselor Terri Carpenter doles out advice on those topics. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
Specificity key when finding part-time job
Q: I am a retired state employee and would like to know how to state on a cover letter that I am looking for part-time employment. I am willing to work partial hours per week or even full time for a short-term project. Since I already have a part-time job, I need to find another one that fits into my current schedule, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I have excellent people skills, as well as writing, editing and typing skills. I have a master's degree but would be willing to work for low wages as a clerk, in a small store or for a child care provider. But I don't know where to find jobs with the hours I need.
A: You need to apply only for part-time jobs and state on the application the days and times that you can work. I would suggest visiting retail establishments that have posted hiring signs and complete an application. Since you are interested in office work, visit some employment agencies that could place you in temporary part-time positions.
I would also suggest that you continually visit job-search sites that specialize in part-time employment, such as SnagAJob.com. About.com lists part-time job sites that might be helpful: jobsearch.about.com/od/ptjoblistings/tp/ptjobs.html.
You may need to be patient in finding another part-time job for the specific hours you seek, since many employers are looking for wide-open availability from a prospective employee.
A part-time job often does not require a resume or a cover letter. But if you apply in person and complete an application, you should state openly that you are applying for a part-time position.
Never lie about criminal record
Q: My adult son lost his job in December. He has a misdemeanor from several years ago on his record. On a job application, does he have to answer the question regarding an arrest record, or can he deal with it during an interview?
A: Your son must be truthful. If he lies on the application, he risks losing a potential job opportunity: not because of his record, but because he lied about it. Most employers do background checks as part of their regular hiring process.
Misdemeanors are listed in background checks.
My advice to your son is to read or listen to the question very carefully and answer only what is asked. For example, he should not volunteer information about a misdemeanor if he is asked only about felonies. He may also want to explain what he learned from his experience and how he has changed.