Help Wanted: How To Get A Job


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This presentation was given to a high school English class (juniors and seniors) as they began a resume-writing exercise. It includes information on job search techniques, resume preparation and interviewing.

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Help Wanted: How To Get A Job

  1. 1. HELP WANTED: How to Get a Job Spring Valley High School April 14, 2009 Lorraine Faulds Training & Development Director SC Employment Security Commission
  2. 2. What we will cover today… The Job Search Resume Preparation Interviewing Skills
  3. 3. The Job Search <ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Resumes </li></ul><ul><li>Want Ads </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Job Fairs </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>SCESC Workforce Centers </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Internet <ul><li>75% of jobs posted on the major Internet job search sites (like or are generic job postings from temporary employment services. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 7% of job hunters found their job via the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Internet searching should take up about 25% of your time during a job search. You need to use other job search venues, in addition to the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the major job search sites but also look for smaller sites geared toward the field you are interested in. (See handout.) </li></ul><ul><li>Internet job search sites should be FREE!! </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared for junk mail about resume writing and job search services! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Resumes <ul><ul><li>Always have your resume handy. You never know when you will meet someone who can help or are called in for a last-minute interview. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hand your resume out to everyone/anyone: relatives, friends, teachers, parents of your friends, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Want Ads <ul><ul><li>Second most common way to find a job opening (behind networking). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure the ad describes what the work would be (“server, evenings and weekends” or “day camp counselor”). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ads that never really come out and say what you will be doing should be ignored (“earn thousands of dollars each week”). </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Applications <ul><ul><li>Many employers use an application rather than a resume to gather consistent information about applicants or to gather information not usually included on a resume. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually for part-time, entry-level and blue-collar jobs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many different kinds of applications: one-page, multiple-page, clean, or over copied. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep application answers consistent with resume (might have resume attached to application). </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Applications Tips <ul><li>Bring and provide all information you may need. Your resume should have most of the information needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Read instructions carefully and complete the form as neatly as possible (Yes—handwriting counts!!). Proofread carefully. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t leave any blanks. You can use “n/a” when it does “not apply” to you, but never use “See Resume.” </li></ul><ul><li>Keep application answers consistent with resume (might have resume attached to app). </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid negative information. Your goal is to get an interview so using “Job Ended” to explain why you were fired can lead to further discussion and explanation during the interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid a definite salary requirement. Don’t get eliminated from an interview just because your requested wage is too high! Just say that the salary is “open” or “negotiable.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Networking <ul><ul><li>Most people get a job through people they know, not by answering newspaper ads. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a list of people you know: friends, family, family friends, parents of friends, co-workers, teachers, mentors, neighbors, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add to your list by attending community meetings, professional association events, and job fairs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be shy! It costs nothing to ask! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to talk about yourself. Sometimes you only have a couple minutes to make someone see your potential so work on an “Elevator Speech”—a very short summary of your qualifications and what you can offer. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Job Fairs <ul><li>A job fair gathers multiple companies in one location to interact with potential employees. They are usually one day events for companies that either have a current need or are collecting resumes for future expansion. It’s a great way to see many employers on one day. </li></ul><ul><li>To prepare for a job fair, you should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review and research the list of employers to determine who you want to go to. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring copies of your resume and references. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use your “elevator speech.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring pen/pencil and paper to take notes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get employers business cards or other printed info for follow-up. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Volunteering <ul><li>If you can afford to work without pay, consider volunteering. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It gives quality experience and looks good on your resume. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to volunteer in your area of interest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer opportunities include coaching a youth sports team or summer camp, tutor summer school students, walk dogs at the animal shelter, do a river or park clean-up. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. SCESC Job Search Help <ul><li>The South Carolina Employment Security Commission (SCESC) offers FREE job search assistance in each of its workforce centers. They also do skills assessments, connect people to training (including GED classes), provide classes in job search, financial planning, resume writing, and interviewing. </li></ul><ul><li>Search the online database of local jobs by going to . </li></ul><ul><li>At this site you can: </li></ul><ul><li> Create a Jobseeker Account  Post your resume online </li></ul><ul><li> Search jobs online  Get e-mail notices of new job listings </li></ul>Columbia Workforce Center 700 Taylor Street Columbia, SC 29202 Phone: 803-737-JOBS (737-5627)
  13. 13. The Resume <ul><li>What is a resume? </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Resumes </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of a Resume </li></ul><ul><li>Cover Letters </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul>
  14. 14. What is a Resume? <ul><li>A resume is a formal, concise, one-or-two page summary of your job qualifications and skills. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see at a glance how you can contribute to the employer's workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>A resume should be targeted to each position for which you apply, and emphasize your strengths and accomplishments. </li></ul><ul><li>A resume can be mailed to a number of employers and should be accompanied by a cover letter. </li></ul><ul><li>If you use the same resume for different jobs, use a separate cover letter to show your skills and experience for a specific job. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Types of Resumes Chronological This format organizes your information by date. Your education, or work experience may be listed first, whichever is more important. However, your information is listed from the most recent, working backwards. Functional This format organizes experience by types of work done. It focuses on accomplishments and skills instead of specific positions held. Combination This format is similar to chronological and functional, but is a little more flexible. Group your skills and specialized knowledge into qualification categories. This is a good format for someone wanting to change careers, since you can show how your background can be applied to new jobs.
  16. 16. Parts of a Resume Certain information should be included in your resume. The information should be arranged so that your strongest attributes are listed first . Other suggestions are: Contact Information: Name, address, and phone number at the top of the page (centered or flushed with the left margin). Employment Objective: List either the title of the job you want, or a short description of the job you are seeking. You may also include a career objective, if appropriate. Educational Background: Begin with the most recent school, college, or university attended. If you are a recent graduate, list as much information as possible that is related to the job.
  17. 17. Parts of a Resume (con’t.) Work Experience: Your work experience is probably the most important part of the resume. Begin with your most recent job. List the name, location, employment dates and position held for each employer. Work experience may include internships, part-time, summer, volunteer, self-employment and community service activities. You may also list achievements, honors, awards, scholarships, hobbies and extracurricular activities that are related to work. Use descriptive verbs that forcefully list your experience. For example: Directed... Developed... Managed...etc. (see handout of Action Verbs). See samples of resumes.
  18. 18. The Cover Letter <ul><li>A cover letter is your way of advertising. (See handout.) </li></ul><ul><li>It introduces you to the employer and describes your interest in the company. </li></ul><ul><li>The cover letter should explain how you would benefit the company. </li></ul><ul><li>It should be one or two pages single spaced, typed, easy to read and understandable. </li></ul><ul><li>A different cover letter should be sent to each employer. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Cover Letter <ul><li>After you write your cover letter, </li></ul><ul><li>ask yourself the following questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Will the employer read beyond the first line? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I clearly and effectively stated my qualifications? </li></ul><ul><li>Did I request an interview? </li></ul><ul><li>Did I thank the employer for his/her time and consideration? </li></ul><ul><li>Did I write to an individual or some impersonal address such as “Personnel Department”? </li></ul><ul><li>Did I sell myself with as few words as possible? </li></ul><ul><li>Would I be impressed if I received my own letter? </li></ul>
  20. 20. References <ul><li>Offer references based upon request. (See handout.) </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure you have the required information with you and that you have obtained permission from your references. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick your references carefully – make sure they will say nice things about you! </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you get references? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From past employers, teachers, family friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mix of professional and character references for young jobseekers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly professional references who can speak of your skills and accomplishments (for experienced jobseekers) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Interviewing Skills <ul><li>Interview Types </li></ul><ul><li>Interview Format </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Questions from the Interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Questions for the Interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Logistics Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Wardrobe </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>What NOT to do </li></ul>
  22. 22. Interview Types <ul><ul><li>Phone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-on-one </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Panel or group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meal </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. The Interview Format <ul><li>Greeting </li></ul><ul><li>Warm up </li></ul><ul><li>Getting down to business: </li></ul><ul><li>Questions from the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Questions for Interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Closing </li></ul>
  24. 24. Preparation <ul><li>Research the company </li></ul><ul><li>Know your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Question preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Logistics </li></ul>
  25. 25. Questions from the Interviewer <ul><li>“ What are your strengths and weaknesses?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What did you like most about your last/current job? Least?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What are your short- and long-term career goals?” (“Where do you see yourself in two, five or ten years?”) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why do you want to work for our company?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What books are you reading?” ”What movies have you seen recently?” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Questions for the Interviewer <ul><ul><li>Questions demonstrate your interest in the position and the company. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ What are the top three priorities that should be accomplished by the person in this position?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you could change one thing about this department, what would it be?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why do you like working for this company?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What types of people tend to excel at this company?” </li></ul>
  27. 27. Logistics Preparation <ul><li>Materials </li></ul><ul><li>Extra copies of your resume (in folder) </li></ul><ul><li>References (Give only if requested) </li></ul><ul><li>Notepad or portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>List of questions </li></ul><ul><li>Breath mints! </li></ul><ul><li>Getting there </li></ul><ul><li>Map it out and drive the route ahead of time. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early. </li></ul><ul><li>Find out about parking </li></ul><ul><li>Eat </li></ul>
  28. 28. “ Packaging” Many hiring managers make up their minds about an interviewee in as little as five minutes. First impressions matter! <ul><li>Take a shower! </li></ul><ul><li>Have clean fingernails with clear or low-key color polish. </li></ul><ul><li>Clothes: Dress for the position you want, not for the position you have! </li></ul><ul><li>Choose and prepare outfit ahead of time. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Wardrobe Men: suit, jacket, conservative tie, pressed shirt, careful with aftershave/cologne
  30. 30. Wardrobe (con’t.) Women: Suit (not too tight or too short), simple jewelry (that doesn’t make noise), no perfume, hair under control, pantyhose (yes even in the summer), no tank tops, minimal make-up
  31. 31. Follow-up <ul><li>Thank you letter (shows interest in the position and attention to detail) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within 24 hours of interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail is okay but also send snail-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include: expression of gratitude, reinforce your interest in the job, recap two of your strongest qualifications for the job </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Status of Decision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since you probably know when a decision will be made (because you asked at the close of the interview), wait 3-4 days after that date to contact the interviewer about the decision. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a decision has not been made yet, follow-up in one week. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are told you were not selected, ask why. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. What NOT to do! <ul><li>Arrive late to the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Poor dress attire and grooming </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to do research about a company </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to give specific examples of your experience </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t take the opportunity to ask intelligent questions about the company or position </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to practice </li></ul><ul><li>Talk too much or not at all </li></ul><ul><li>Bad-mouth previous managers or companies </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to explain why you are a good fit for the company </li></ul><ul><li>Not state that you want the job </li></ul>
  33. 33. QUESTIONS? Lorraine Faulds Training & Development Director SC Employment Security Commission 803-737-2714 [email_address]