An apprenticeship for an Embalmer will consist of completing a specific number of embalming cases within your State's time frame. For a Funeral Director, you must assist in a specific number of Arrangement Conferences in a certain period of time, according to your State specifications. You must complete an Apprenticeship in 49 states, except California, before or after college in order to obtain your license.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Many copies of your resume
- Fax Machine
- List of local funeral home addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and contact names
- Internet Access
- Business Attire
If you do not have a resume, it is a necessity for finding an apprenticeship, so you must create one. There are many programs available to create one from basic information that is keyed in. In Microsoft Word, for example, go to File and select New. When asked what type of file to create, choose resume. Then you will be prompted to choose the format for your new resume. Choose a format and the program will walk you through the steps to create a professional resume. Always include any education that has been attained, as well as personal and professional references. Once you have created your new resume, save a copy to your computer and print out multiple copies. A minimum of fifteen is a good number to start with.
Once you have the list of local funeral homes, address an envelope with your resume inside to the contact person and attach a stamp. Before sending, if you are unsure of the contact person, call each funeral home and ask to speak to the hiring manager. Normally, there is one available, or the owner of the funeral home will answer. In this case, introduce yourself and let them know you are a recent graduate/beginning school soon. Be sure to let them know that you will take any position available to get your foot in the door, but you ultimately are seeking an apprenticeship. Right off the bat, if there is nothing available, they will let you know. On the average, for every fifteen resumes you send out, you will hear back from two. That does not mean you are not a good candidate. Possibly there are no positions, or your resume was not received. That is the reasoning behind personal phone calls to each and every funeral home in the area.
Make yourself known. Stand out. Choose ten of the fifteen funeral homes that you sent resumes to, and make a visit. It is a common courtesy to call ahead and make an appointment. Take a resume with you, and hand deliver it to the Funeral Director or contact person you have the appointment with. Do not be afraid to make yourself sound good. This is your career, not just another job. if you excelled in your Clinical exams, let them know that. If you participated in double the clinicals required, state so. If you did exceptionally well on your National Board Exam, tell them your score. Remember to always shake a hand when it is extended and, if possible, be the first to extend the hand. Always thank them for their time, as business is always booming. It is taking time away from business to speak with you. This is a courtesy of the profession, not a right.
Two weeks after the date you sent out your fifteen resumes, call through the list you sent to. Remind the Funeral Director that you sent a resume, and that you were still open for any position they may have available. If there is nothing offered, thank them and try back in a month. For the personal visits you made, call back three weeks after the original date. Remind them of who you are, and the meeting you had with them. Let them know that you are still available for a position. Most Funeral Directors are a close knit community, and will try to steer you to someone who is needing help. Thank them for the help and their time.
There are many websites dedicated to Funeral Service professionals, which is what you are as a graduate. The NFDA website has a section for Funeral Career Center under a sub page on the site. You can register with them, and submit the saved resume to their database. You may also search Funeral Service careers in your area. This is an excellent resource for your search. Another site offering Funeral Service Career information can be found using Google. Register with as many as you can find, and post your resume. Within no time you should have employers calling you with an offer.
Tips and warnings
- There are many programs on the Internet that you can submit your resume to for editing. It is advisable to try a free one, just to make sure your resume works well with your experience. Because you were a janitor does not mean that you cannot list that job as an Environmental Specialist. Check into a few programs to see which will work best for you. Chronological resumes only work well for those who have had a steady work history. For more information on types of resumes, the Internet has many search engines well equipped for this search. Always print your resume on nice paper, do not use the standard white paper that comes with a printer. You want a heavy weight paper, with no smudge qualities. Check your local computer store for a wide variety of resume quality paper. Some states require one year apprenticeship, and others two years. Contact your local State Licensing Board for specifics in your area, and for the necessary paperwork needed to file for an apprenticeship.
- Contact your State Licensing Board for more information.
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