I Applied—What’s Next?



Step 1: Prepare for your Interview

The selection process will typically include a review of your documents (resume, cover letter, application, etc) and either a video or face-to-face interview.

 To get ready, research the organization:

  • What product or service do they offer?
  • What other kinds of jobs are at the company?
  • What is the history of the company?
  • What has been written about them? Read their “news” or “press” section on their website. 

Think about your experiences and qualities

While you may not have work experience yet, you have other experiences that may relate to the job. Tell stories from your life, school activities or community involvement. Highlight your successes working on a team, completing a difficult assignment, working toward a project deadline, or even dealing with a difficult sibling. Be sure to highlight any volunteer, internship or work you have completed along with any coursework you have taken related to the job.


Step 2: Practice.  Ask a parent or friend to do a mock interview for the apprenticeship you want.


Step 3: Review and update your resume and cover letter.  Be sure to target the requirements desired by the organization specifically. Use these CIC tools to get started. Make sure to bring your resume, application and best presence to the interview


Step 4: Watch your email, mail and phone calls for notification on whether you landed the apprenticeship.

Once you have applied and interviewed for an apprenticeship, you should always send a handwritten note thanking the interviewer for their time. Use the Thank-You Letter builder activity on your ICAP page to start.

  • As with any job, watch your mail, email and phone for a congratulatory or rejection notification.
  • Keep applying. Although you may not land an apprenticeship on the first try, keep adjusting your resume to suit the job description and company, and keep improving your interviewing skills.
  • Get prepared to start work: Make arrangements for transportation, clothing, day care and other lifestyle changes that you will need to accomplish.




During your MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) visit, a service enlistment counselor will meet with you to find the right job specialty. A few different factors contribute to career selection:

  • Needs of the Service
  • Job availability
  • ASVAB score
  • Physical requirements (for example, a recruit needs normal color vision for some careers)
  • Recruit’s preference

The service enlistment counselor will also go over the enlistment agreement with you. It is important to understand this fully before signing. When you sign this agreement, you are making a serious commitment to the military!

At this time, you will be fingerprinted, which is required for background checks and security clearances.



Once your career has been determined, you are ready to take the Oath of Enlistment. In this statement, you vow to defend the U.S. Constitution and obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Family members are invited to watch and take photos.



You will now do one of two things, depending on the terms of your enlistment:

  • Direct Ship – You report to Basic Training shortly after completing MEPS testing requirements. (It varies based on job assignment and branch.) A recruiter will provide instructions on transportation to Basic Training at this time.
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) – You commit to Basic Training at a time in the future, generally within one year. Most recruits enter DEP before shipping, including recruits who enlist before completing high school.  Recruits enrolled in DEP may return to their homes until the time comes to report for duty.





Two-Year Colleges/ Technical Schools

  • Do you intend to continue your education at a four-year college? Make sure the credits you receive from your two-year school program will transfer to (the credits will be accepted at) the four-year school of your choice.






Four-Year Schools

Over the next several months, colleges will notify you of your admission status. Some will give you a decision soon after receiving your application; others may take longer. You may have to wait several months before you receive the decision in the mail, so don't panic!

After you've applied...

  • Continue to apply to colleges you wish to attend.
  • Check in with the admissions office to make sure your application is complete.

As you receive positive admissions decisions from each college

  • Review and compare the college's cost to the financial aid award letter they sent you.
  • Use the SLOPE Calculator to compare monthly loan payments to expected career salary.
  • Decide which school you will attend.
  • Be sure to read the information your college sends and mark your calendar with important dates. You don't want to miss the decision deadline!





Continue to apply for scholarships

Scholarships help bridge the gap, and you can find one for just about anything (duct tape creations, zombie costumes—you name it!). The key is identifying opportunities that match your interests and qualifications and sticking to the submission deadlines.

With more than three million opportunities, our Scholarship Finder database can help you score some extra cash for school. Follow these simple steps:

  • Build your personal profile.
  • Find scholarships that match your skills, interests and qualifications.
  • Save and apply to the scholarships you selected.

Sign up for newly listed scholarship e-mail alerts.





Celebrate your hard work!

Remember to take some time and celebrate your accomplishments. Applying to postsecondary program a lot of work, but it's one of the best investments you can make in your future. Stay on top of your scholarship applications, decision deadlines and FAFSA filings to ensure you make the most of your opportunities!

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