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Pave a Path to Employment A brief guide to a successful career search. Prepared for the Foundry Educational Foundation by Eric R. Sorensen October 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Pave a Path to Employment A brief guide to a successful career search. Prepared for the Foundry Educational Foundation by Eric R. Sorensen October 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pave a Path to Employment A brief guide to a successful career search. Prepared for the Foundry Educational Foundation by Eric R. Sorensen October 2011

2 Pave a Path to Employment The six Ps that will help pave your path… Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

3 The Six Ps of Paving a Path to Employment Punctuality Arrive at the right time at the right destination in the right frame of mind having made the right preparations. Punctuality is an indicator of good character. Pizzazz Demonstrate enthusiasm. Positive energy is contagious. Show that the event is important. Charisma opens doors. Polish Exhibit professionalism in appearance, conduct, and speech. Be sensitive to the protocols of the interview process. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

4 The Six Ps of Paving a Path to Employment Performance Speak about your accomplishments. Reveal details about your positive impact on your previous employers. Pride Express the ownership you take in all of your work and the satisfaction you experience from a job well done. Principle Show that you are a person of integrity. Infuse your conversation with illustrations of your character. Ensure that your decisions and behavior in the interview process display positive character traits. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

5 Preparation Get organized. Devise a plan. Decide what you want (in general). Develop the right mindset (flexible, determined, confident). Gather your tools. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

6 Pave a Path to Employment The Resume. The Search. The Interview. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

7 The Resume Understand what a resume will do for you. A resume is designed to be an introduction. The goal of the resume is to get you past the initial screening process so you will have the chance to present yourself in person. Understand what a resume will not do. A resume is not intended to get you hired on the spot. A resume is not intended to be an exhaustive report on everything you have ever done. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

8 The Resume (cont.) What does an employer want to see on a resume? Growth in job responsibility. Complete work history and educational history. Stability. Positions related to the job the employer is attempting to fill. Skills related to the job. Specific accomplishments and recognition. Adequate contact information. Hint: Relate how your previous employers were better off because you worked there. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

9 The Resume (cont.) What does an employer not want to see on a resume? Unprofessional look. Obvious mistakes (dont just trust the spell checker). Over-the-top fluff or cuteness. Overkill. Vague or inexplicable acronyms. Jargon not related to the job opening. Large blocks of type (long paragraphs). Too many pages. Unneeded personal information or comments. Hint: Generally, hiring managers are looking for excuses to throw resumes away. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

10 The Resume (cont.) How should you arrange your resume? Reverse chronological order is usually best. If your educational accomplishments outweigh your professional accomplishments then start with education. Leave room for other information such as other technical skills, community activities, etc. Use an Objective statement only if necessary and if it is truly meaningful and related to the position at hand. Hint: Dont be afraid to customize your resume or create multiple resumes for different purposes. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

11 The Resume (cont.) How should you write your resume? Do: Use plain English. Use sentence fragments and bullets. Spell out acronyms. Maintain parallelism and balance. Make white space your friend (avoid overcrowding the page). Stick to one page early in your career. Add another page as experience and accomplishments warrant. Work from general to specific. Blow your own horn (but not too much). Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

12 The Resume (cont.) How should you write your resume? Dont: Use the first person. Overuse fancy graphics and formatting. Leave off important contact information. Falsify information or stretch the truth. Use pictures or clipart (unless the job requires those skills). Forget to proofread…then proofread again! (Then have someone else proofread it for you!) Hint: Whatever contact methods you include on your resume (phone, , website, etc.) should be appropriate and professional for the job search process. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

13 Pave a Path to Employment The Resume. The Search. The Interview. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

14 The Search Where do I find job openings? Traditional methods (newspaper classifieds, etc.). Internet searches. Monster.com Careerbuilder.com Hotjobs.yahoo.com usajobs.gov Indeed.com Flipdog.com Any search engine And many others… Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

15 The Search (cont.) Where do I find job openings? Company websites. University websites. Government websites. Career Services departments. Trade publications. Community resources. Professional societies. Chambers of Commerce. Local library resources. Recruiters. Networking!!! Hint: The more places you look, the more you will find. This can be good, but can also be overwhelming. Let your original plan help narrow your search. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

16 The Search (cont.) How should I manage my search? Make targeted applications to companies you have researched. Make inquiries as needed but do not apply for everything in sight. Keep your job contacts highly organized. Know who you talked to, when you talked to them and what you talked about. Follow up on resume submittals but dont overdo it. Most hiring managers do not like to be hounded. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

17 The Search (cont.) What other ways might I improve my job search? Have your elevator speech ready (a brief statement of your skills, experiences and career aspirations). If possible, use a specific, meaningful cover letter to enhance your resume/application submission. Explore options as a temporary employee or as an intern. Do not be discouraged if the first contact or even the first interview does not yield a job offer. If applying online, have a formatted resume to attach and a simple resume for use in text submission fields. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

18 Pave a Path to Employment The Resume. The Search. The Interview. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

19 The Interview How do I prepare for the interview? Catalogue your areas of strength. Think through examples of your strengths and accomplishments. Consider potential interview questions before the interview. Prepare questions that you would like to ask. Know where you are going for the interview. Rest properly and mentally ready yourself. Have your references and other material handy. Hint: To quote the philosopher, Know thyself. To quote Eric Sorensen, Now be able to talk about it. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

20 The Interview (cont.) What are some questions I might hear? Describe your strengths. Describe your areas of development. What is one of your proudest accomplishments? Why should I hire you? Why did you leave your last job? How will your last employer remember you? What are your career goals? What is a difficult work problem you have solved? How well do you interact with people? What will be your key areas of focus in the first ninety days? Behavioral questions are very popular (questions that prompt you to share demonstrations of various skills and competencies). Hint: There are a million ways to ask a question, but generally employers are digging for the same kind of information. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

21 The Interview (cont.) What are some questions I might ask? What skills are you looking for in the best candidate? What will you expect from the person in this job in the short- term? What are the greatest challenges for this position? Why is this position open? Is there anything you would like to know about me that I have not covered? What should I do next in the interview process? Hint: Interviewers want to know that you can ask intelligent questions as well as answer them. Have some questions in your pocket and be prepared to ask questions on the fly as well. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

22 The Interview (cont.) How do I make a great first impression? Be prompt (but not too early). Maintain eye contact. Dress appropriately for the situation. Shake hands firmly and confidently. Start a strong conversation. Be particularly mindful of the first thirty seconds. Be prepared to small talk. Remember to smile! Hint: Your enthusiasm and ability to effectively communicate are the most powerful things you can bring to an interview. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

23 The Interview (cont.) How do I answer questions effectively? Listen to and think about the question. Answer what you have been asked. Enunciate. Speak clearly and confidently. Maintain eye contact (but dont start a staring contest). Ask for clarification if necessary. Be truthful and admit you do not know if that is the case. Balance your answers. Be concise. Highlight important information and do not ramble. Present your answers in an organized fashion. Hint: Dont forget that how you say something may be even more important than what you say. The how brings life and color (or not) to the what. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

24 The Interview (cont.) What else should I consider when interviewing? Demonstrate confidence but dont try to take control of the interview. Show respect for the process and for your surroundings. Be mindful of things that might distract from the interview (foot tapping, pen clicking, gum chewing, etc.). Remember that it is fine to take a second or two to think before answering. Avoid vocalized pauses (umm, uhh). Avoid telling the interviewer thats a great question. Hint: Any contact with a potential employer is an interview. Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

25 The Interview (cont.) Dress for Success! Wear clothing that is appropriate for the situation. Dress up and let the hiring manager give you permission to dress down (such as removing a tie, removing a jacket, etc.) Consider how to adjust if you are invited to take a tour of a manufacturing facility (bring an alternate pair of shoes, be prepared to remove jewelry, be ready to wear a hard hat, etc.) Dress modestly and with good taste. It is fine to let your personality shine through, but loud, overstated, flashy, revealing clothes are more likely to get you attention rather than a job. Keep your mobile device turned off! Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011 Hint: It has been said that education unlocks doors to future success. Education and skills only unlock the door. Your appearance, presence and energy are what open the door.

26 Conclusion Control what you can control! There are many unknowns in the interview process and many factors outside of your direct control. However, your mission is to do the best job you possibly can with all the elements in your command (i.e. accuracy and meaningfulness of your resume, your organization of your job contacts, your interview preparation, your appearance, your enthusiasm, and much, much more!). Rather than worrying about things you cannot control (like economic volatility), concentrate on the many things you can do to pave a path to employment! Presented by Eric R. Sorensen October, 2011

27 Pave a Path to Employment A brief guide to a successful career search. Prepared for the Foundry Educational Foundation by Eric R. Sorensen October 2011


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