Think About. . . How do we balance supporting/facilitating the process with “doing for” the job seeker? How do we motivate and encourage job seekers to make a plan and work the plan? How do we build customer job search skills?
The Job Search Process Setting goals that will help you: Get interviews Turn interviews into job offers Identifying high value activities that help you achieve your goals. Developing AND working a plan.
To find what you want, youhave to know what you’relooking for.
Preparing for Job Search Know Yourself Know the Market Make the Match
Know Yourself Skills, attributes, assets, etc. What kind of work do you want? What kind of work environment do you want? Where do you do your best work? What job search skills/habits do you need to develop? Potential challenges/barriers
Know the Market What jobs are available? What are the requirements for these jobs? What are the job duties, work environment, location, etc.? What can I found out about the companies/organizations where I might work?
Make the Match What jobs are you most qualified for/likely to be successful in? What specific companies/employers interest you most? What value can you bring to specific jobs/employers? What are your “high priority” and “lower priority” employers/job openings?
Summarize! Write a summary to define job search goals Job titles, tasks, etc. you’re looking for Employer preferences—including specific companies, geography Assets, skills Be as clear and specific as possible Prioritize if necessary
Plans and Goal-Setting Spend MORE time on job search activities.! Set weekly goals. Set daily goals based on weekly goals. Plan a daily agenda based on daily goals. Work with your energy Reward yourself for achieving goals At end of day, review daily progress and set goals for tomorrow. Review weekly progress.
Set Goals Around. . . Networking Researching target companies Finding job leads—posted and “hidden” opportunities Developing the personal brand Professional/Personal Development
Sample Weekly Goals Connect to 3 new people by the end of the week. Have coffee with ____ (to build network connections) Identify and apply for 5 jobs. Do practice interview and review checklist to prepare for Thursday’s interview. Write a 30-second commercial for myself.
Sources for Postings Job Boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed) Company websites Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) Networking events and activities
Job Board ChallengesMany openings outdatedMultiple postings for one openingToo much competitionEmployers find least qualified applicants hereEmployers using boards less
Disability “Niche” Boards Pros Cons More targeted to people Disability first, person with disabilities second May be advertised to satisfy EEOC/ADA requirements Only a subset of available jobs
TipsDon’t spend a lot of time on boards.Use boards primarily for researchSearch locallySearch specificallyUse industry/occupational “niche” boards where possibleFind lead and then go to company website to apply.
For Unadvertised Openings Focus on: Developing relationships with the right people Being a resource Matching your applicants to the culture/needs of the organization
1. Find and Connect toRecruiters&Hiring Managers Events/Associations LinkedIn Society for Human Resource Twitter Managers (SHRM) Industry/Occupational Company websites/blogs Associations Chambers of Commerce Email lists/newsletters Conferences
2. Listen Follow/read what they post Join their groups to see what they’re discussing Sign up for their newsletters Ask questions Probe for “pain” and problems Try to understand culture and “fit”
3. Engage Comment and RT Provide resources, information that solve problems and address their “pain” points Connect them to people and resources—go beyond your agency/organization. Don’t just be about “disability.” Answer questions
Openings for the RightCandidate Match between company needs and applicant skills/experience/personal characteristics Sold on applicant through personal contact Easier through network referral
Creating Openings Know pain and problems Show how applicant addresses pain or solves problem Show how applicant matches culture/skill needs of the organization Coach applicant to sell him/herself!
Profile/Summary ofQualifications Best place to include company/industry keywords Target company and job posting—highlight most relevant skills and qualifications Highlight key accomplishments—SHOW, don’t tell! 3-4 sentences or use bullet points
Work History/Accomplishments Title it “Work Experience” Use keywords liberally Highlight job List employer name, duties/accomplishments location, job title, years most relevant to position. worked SHOW, don’t TELL! Focus on past 15 years Focus on “So what?” Quantify as much as possible
Education Section Don’t include HS if you have college degree Spell out the school name List degree Don’t include GPA unless 1) it’s over 3.0 and 2) you are a recent grad Consider omitting grad date
Completing the “T”1. Review job posting and/or company info2. Identify employer needs, relevant keywords For job For company/culture3. Fill in job seeker info to complete the T.4. If you can’t complete The T—DON’T APPLY!5. If you can, complete your resume.
A Cover Letter is. . . A 30-second commercial An opportunity to add context to your resume A place to clear up confusion/concern One possibility for addressing disability disclosure (when appropriate)
Four Paragraphs1. Capture employer’s attention2. Customized details of professional experience.3. Relate yourself to the company/why you’re a great fit.4. Pro-active closing requesting action.
How to Capture Attention Mention networking contact by name“I was speaking to Jane Doe at the Chamber of Commerce meeting yesterday and she suggested that I would be a perfect candidate for your open warehousing position.” Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Features—1-2 things that make Benefits—how these features you stand out benefit the employer
A Formula for Your USP "Because of my _______, I can do _______ for you better than typical applicants."
For example. . . "I have five years of information technology experience. My expertise is in technical support and troubleshooting computer problems. My technical knowledge will be beneficial in reducing call waiting times and will substantially improve the efficiency of your technical support center."
Tips for Second Paragraph Provide more information on benefits mentioned in 1st paragraph. Stress accomplishments and achievements. Use solid action verbs. If you lack experience, focus on transferable skills related to the position. CUSTOMIZE TO JOB AND COMPANY!
Tips for Third Paragraph Demonstrate knowledge of the company and position: Industry trends and issues Specific challenges faced by company Highlight your accomplishments, qualities, etc. that show the “fit.”
Tips on Final Paragraph Express confidence that you are the perfect fit. Ask for interview Notify employer that you plan to follow up with a call within a specific time. Include email address and phone number
Cover Letter Checklist forSuccess Is your cover letter addressed to specific individual? Do the opening sentences “grab” the employer’s attention? Is the letter customized to the specific position and company? Does the letter show how you will benefit the employer?
Cover Letter Checklist forSuccess Do you demonstrate expertise by using industry jargon? Do you include specific examples of relevant accomplishments? Is the letter succinct? Is the letter authentic, conveying a sense of who you are as a person?
Cover Letter Checklist forSuccess Did you include all requested information mentioned in the ad, such as job reference number, employment availability? Does it end with a confident call for action? Does it include contact information? Did you sign the letter?
Email Cover Letters Follow employer instructions—attachment or in body of email? Subject Line Include reference to job, but highlight qualifications (“Experienced Call Center Support Staff for Opening in Call Center”) Include contact information in your email signature
ATS=Applicant TrackingSoftware Used by 50% of medium companies and almost all large companies. Designed for employer to be able to manage applicants and screen/sort by multiple criteria. Will prioritize and return to the recruiter the top tier (on paper) candidates in rank order.
Beating the ATS Make sure application is complete and error-free. Never send resume as PDF. Don’t include tables or graphics in resume. Call work experience “Work Experience” Don’t start work experiences with dates. Include specific keywords from job posting in resume, application.
“Big Pitch” 30-60 second Introduction Includes: Name “Positioning Statement” Brief Career Summary Work Philosophy Job Search/Business Networking Objectives Be concise, memorable Customize for specific events/jobs PRACTICE—out loud!
Screening Interviews Usually over the phone. Can happen “spur of the moment.” Designed to screen you OUT. Goal is to make it to the next round. . .
Video Interview Often for screening and/or to talk with a remote interviewer Use Skype, G-Chat or some other video-conferencing software
Panel Interviews Multiple interviewers Can interview one candidate or multiple candidates at same time Allows employer to screen multiple candidates at once. Can be awkward for interviewees.
Open-Ended Interviews This is the “basic” job interview most applicants expect. Open-ended questions with no yes/no or right/wrong answers. Can have multiple levels
Behavioral Interviews Questions designed to elicit specific skills and examples. More focused and probing. “Tell me about a time when. . .” Often evaluated and scored against a matrix of “acceptable” answers.
Situational Interview Closely related to behavioral interview. Provided with specific work situations and asked about how you would handle them. Usually involve problem-solving and/or difficult work situations.
General Tips Listen! Focus on the positive Provide specific examples If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification. Sell how your skills, qualifications will benefit the employer Focus on being a good “fit”
Behavioral/SituationalInterviews Describe: Problem/Situation Actions you took Results of those actions Be specific Be positive Don’t “over-explain”
Final Thoughts Job search success depends on: Putting in the time Setting/achieving specific goals Focusing on making and using personal connections and networks Articulating value to potential employers Customizing messages to meet specific needs Communicating confidence, responsibility and the ability to “fit in” while standing out from the crowd.