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Matthew Poland JVS Best Pro 3/25/10. Outline  Applying for Work  Applications in General  Types of Applications  Paper Applications – a lurking.

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Presentation on theme: "Matthew Poland JVS Best Pro 3/25/10. Outline  Applying for Work  Applications in General  Types of Applications  Paper Applications – a lurking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Matthew Poland JVS Best Pro 3/25/10


3 Outline  Applying for Work  Applications in General  Types of Applications  Paper Applications – a lurking relic  Emailed Cover Letter and Resume  Web-based Applications  Basic Application  Application and Assessment  Personality Assessments vs. Skills and Knowledge-based Testing  Personality Assessments: Behind the Curtain  Summary / Q & A

4 Applying for Work  An application is a written document or data set that provides information to a potential employer about a potential employee’s qualifications for a particular job position  Questions on a job application should be directly related to a person’s eligibility to work in the U.S. (SSN), ability to be successful on the job, employment interests and experience to support qualifications

5 Applications in General…  Personal information is limited to contact information (i.e. should not have questions about medical history, disabilities, political views, religion, sexual orientation, etc.)  Used to track applicant information in a standardized manner, compare qualifications, pre-screen applicants for interviews

6 Applications in General…  Discrimination: Shouldn’t ask questions about medical history, medications, disabilities, etc. The legal question is “Can you perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations?”  If there are questions about race and ethnicity, this should be tracked separately (i.e. a separate part of application)  May ask questions to qualify an individual for tax credits, but must be tracked separately as well  May ask you questions about a criminal history and to consent to a criminal background check and/or drug test

7 More On Criminal Histories  In California, an employer may not inquire about a marijuana conviction that is more than two years old  If a conviction has been expunged or pardoned, the person does not have to reveal this information  HOWEVER, if they are being fingerprinted (DOJ) for jobs such as security, public safety or for a job working with children, the employer will see their entire record. Better to be completely honest…

8 Applications “Do”s and “Don’t”s!  DO: Fill out an application as completely as possible. Incomplete applications can symbolize a less-than thorough approach to work  DO: Answer honestly, without inflating qualifications, exaggerating responsibilities, “filling-in” gaps in employment  DO: Think about answers carefully, especially when answering open-ended questions (e.g. Why do you want to work for Google?)

9 Applications “Do”s and “Don’t”s!  DON’T: Be dishonest on the application – this can disqualify you for employment. Background checks can reveal inconsistencies  DON’T: Give more information than is necessary to relay your qualifications (especially unnecessary personal details or negative information!)  DON’T: Put specific salary requirements (unless required to do so) or limit availability

10 Being Thorough…Addressing Gaps in Employment  Priority #1 – end the current gap! Strongly suggest starting volunteer work, internships, consulting right away  Priority #2 – filling older gaps: do they have volunteer work, schooling or consulting projects to fill the gaps?  DON’T point out unexplained gaps if at all possible on either the resume or application. These can be explained in the interview if necessary and a functional resume can be used.

11 Paper Applications – not gone yet!  Still used by some small businesses and government agencies  Prepare your clients with a master application to carry with them, for both paper and online applications that may need to be done on-site – take home to spend more time if possible  Make sure the writing is neat and legible  Submit with a copy of client’s resume, cover letter and perhaps your business card if you are referring them

12 Paper Applications – a lurking relic  “Will discuss in interview” is not acceptable – need to try and fully explain employment gaps when asked, criminal backgrounds accompanied by full explanation  More likely to have outdated questions that your clients should not be answering such as “Do you have any medical conditions?” – they should leave this blank. If appropriate, you may bring this up with the employer.

13 Emailed Cover Letter and Resume  Make sure your client’s cover letter and resume are tailored to the specific job they are applying for…need to address the specific qualifications, skills and characteristics the employer is asking for  Cover letter IS the body of the email – don’t attach a cover letter  Look out for attachment phobes who want the resume in the body of the email  Have your clients follow-up with someone on the phone at least, if possible

14 Web-based Applications Basic Search criteria for open positions – keyword, location, job number. The less words used, the broader the search, more words = more specific, depending on the number of results Some allow you to create a profile that can be submitted to multiple positions (Job Cart), some just allow one application at a time to a specific position Usually allows one or multiple uploaded resumes, may need to cut and paste – make sure to clean it up! Example: California Pacific Medical Center employment page:

15 Web-based Applications Basic applications may have automatic disqualifiers – “Are you willing to work with the public?”, “Are you willing to work weekends, evenings and holidays?” (retail) or “As a condition of employment, are you willing to submit to a background check?” May have questions about criminal history – READ CAREFULLY – your client may not need to respond if it is only asking about felonies and they have a misdemeanor, etc. However, they may need to explain ANY conviction. Explaining a criminal history should not automatically disqualify an applicant.

16 Web-based Applications Often include questions about referral source, race, ethnicity and gender for tracking purposes. Answers to these questions are kept track of separately and are not tied to the application. May include questions that qualify an applicant for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) such as “Were you referred to this company by a state vocational rehabilitation agency?” and “Has your family received food stamps in the last 12 months?” Sometimes automatically fill in W-4, I-9 forms for employer

17 Web-based Applications Application and Assessment A basic application with an “assessment”, may start with an introduction like “The following are statements about many attitudes and experiences. Read each statement and select the answer that best describes you. Work quickly - choose the answer that comes to mind first.” Can include personality inventory-type questions. Your client should answer these as if they were the most honest, reliable, friendly, social, outgoing, hard-working, meticulous, leader-rather-than-follower employee to ever walk the earth. Despite what the test might say, there ARE right and wrong answers.

18 Web-based Applications Test may be timed and may affect your client’s outcome report if they work too slowly What is being evaluated? * Job Performance Personal Ethics Customer Service Skills / Knowledge General Knowledge Dependability Ability to compete Attitude and behavior Personality *Research by Daniel Newell of TransAccess

19 Web-based Applications Personality Assessments vs. Skills/Knowledge-based Testing Personality Assessment Sample Questions (Borders / Kronos): You love to be with people  Strongly Disagree  Disagree  Agree  Strongly Agree You like to plan things before you start to do them  Strongly Disagree  Disagree  Agree  Strongly Agree People can tell when you are happy or sad  Strongly Disagree  Disagree  Agree  Strongly Agree

20 Web-based Applications  10-key  Internet/Web Development A/C and Heating (residential or business)  Interviewing  A/C, heating and cooling systems (automotive)  Inventory control  Accounts Payable/Receivable  Journalism ??  Adobe Acrobat  Landscaping  Ad Design  Legal / Litigation  Illustrator  Architectural Design  Logistics Planning  Audio/Visual Skills Testing (U-Haul): Please check each of the skills for which you have working experience. (Select at least one skill)

21 Web-based Applications Mechanical Knowledge Questions (U-Haul): Which refrigerator will be easier to roll over uneven ground? (A) (B)

22 First, place the hotel services book on the front left corner of the desk. Place the coffee maker to the right of the lamp in the left corner of the desk. Place a coffee cup in the coffee maker. Place the coffee service basket to the right of the coffee maker. Place a telephone in the back right corner of the desk. Make sure the telephone cord is neatly on the desk to the left of the phone. Place a pad of paper in front of the phone in the front right corner of the desk. Finally, place a pen on top of the pad of paper.

23 How many total mistakes were made? 1 – 0 Mistakes 2 – 1 Mistake 3 – 2 Mistakes 4 – 3 Mistakes

24 Web-based Applications Mechanical Knowledge Questions (U-Haul): With the side gears turning in the direction shown, in which direction will the top gear turn? (A) (B)

25 Web-based Applications Customer Service Knowledge (Based off Target): You are working in a department that you are not familiar with and a customer asks for an item and you do not know where it would be. What should you do? A. Tell the customer that the store does not carry the item. B. Ask a coworker more familiar with the department to help you. C. Invite the customer to help you look for the item. D. Just try and find the item anyway. Which answer is the BEST response? Which answer is the WORST response?

26 Web-based Applications Cashiering Basic Math (Matthew Poland, 2009) If a customer’s total comes to $17.65 and they give you a $20 bill, what change will you give them? A. One dollar, one quarter and two dimes B. Two dollars, two quarters C. Two dollars, one quarter and one dime D. Two dollars, one quarter and three nickels

27 Knowledge and Skills Testing: Government Employment Many government jobs use knowledge and skills testing to rank applicants If using “rule of three”, the top three in scores will be interviewed Tests may include empirical knowledge questions (like examples already shown) or may actually have hands- on practical testing (i.e. assembling something, showing the proper use of tools, etc.) Others: Typing speed verification, Microsoft Office application testing… San Francisco Public Library database has practice civil service exams: (need to have a library card)

28  This section is based on research by Daniel Newell of TransAccess in San Jose  Main Distributors: Deploy Solutions ( Tests developed by Humetrics Kronos ( Tests developed by Unicru Kenexa ( Taleo (

29 A score in this range means the applicant prefers working with customers and tends to be a good listener and problem solver. This applicant is calm, understanding, and empathetic to the needs of others. Likely to arrive to work on time, stay on the job, and show positive work values. Reliable, responsible, competent, customer oriented, and have positive work ethic. However; may show disruptive work behavior, low work motivation, and minor violation of rules.

30 Applicant prefers limited customer interaction or communication. Works well in environments with minimal customer contact. Not always attuned to the customer’s needs or recognizes how to solve issues. Lower probability of staying on the job and shows more likeliness of being tardy or absent. Applicants in this range should be considered with caution for employment. They are less likely to follow rules, be dependable, and show positive work values.

31  Organization of applications/applicants  Automatic pre-screening (Top 10% - 15% leads to better retention)  Decrease time dedicated towards manual organization and pre-screening ( $$ saving!)  Decrease turnover  Help track tax credit eligible applicants  Easier to keep track of statistics (application source, quantity, time, pass/fail rate)  Link legal docs/new hire forms to “hired” applicants (w-4, I-9, application, etc.)

32  Keep in mind different strategies for different types of applications  Have your clients carry a master application with them to complete both paper applications as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Some must be completed on-site (intranet)  Both online and on paper, applications should be filled out as completely and as honestly as possible (except perhaps for the assessment part…)

33  Your clients should practice completing online applications and taking assessments with you or in a workshop  Clients should be prepared for skills and knowledge-based tests as necessary for the positions they are applying for  You and your clients should be following-up with managers after finishing any type of application (may also be able to find out if they are passing the assessments or not)


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