Ditch your elevator pitch for something even shorter!

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As most of you know I have been subscribed to Career Sherpa (author Hannah Morgan) for quite some time. Today she has posted a new article that makes perfect sense to me! So I am sharing it with you. See link below.

If you will recall, I have mentioned several times that I am an expert in job seeking.  I can claim this since I have been working in the field for close to 30 years. That does not mean that I can’t be open minded when new trends come along, and this new trend that Hannah is mentioning seems logical.

Besides that, guess who helped me see this?  One of our students at Western, that’s who!  I was doing a mock interview recently with one of our Bio Med students and his answer to “Tell me about yourself?” was not the text book answer that I would normally coach someone to give. But his answer was far more interesting to me than anything I could coach him to say! And when I read the below article from Career Sherpa this morning, it reminded me of the awesome answer our student gave to the “Tell me about yourself?” question.  So my new advice?  Keep your answer short and interesting!  There will be chances to share your skills and abilities throughout the interview.

http://careersherpa.net/ditch-your-old-pitch-and-use-a-micro-pitch/?mc_cid=d6d604fec2&mc_eid=670bccd2c0

 

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More on Interviewing

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You have graduated. You likely polished off the third and final draft of your resume as part of an assignment here at Western Technical College. Congratulations! Now to worry about interviewing. If you are lucky, one of your instructors had someone from Career Services come in to talk about the art of interviewing. We would have shared an awesome tool that can be found on our website at: https://www.westerntc.edu/finding-employment

Some tell us that “Perfect Interview” isn’t a real interview, so how can practicing in that program help? I can guarantee you that if you take the program seriously and sincerely practice with it, it WILL help you feel more confident in an interview.

How can I confidently say that? Because I know through experience that feeling confident in an interview is all about practice. Practice talking about yourself and your skills. To feel confident, you must talk out loud about your skills and abilities and say them again and again. No memorizing mind you. That is not what I mean. If you memorize, that will be obvious to the interviewer. Just practice answering interview questions out loud at home. You can use “Perfect Interview” on our website, or you can get a good book on interviewing (recommendation: Knock Em Dead Job Interview: How to turn Job Interviews into Job Offers, by Martin Yate)and practice answering questions. Please remember that you do not want to use “canned” answers. By that I mean make your answers YOUR answers to the questions. That is what I like about Martin Yate’s book. Rather than give you canned answers, he talks to you about what the employer is looking for and why he/she asked the question so that you can give your best answer from your perspective. Plus he provides help for every question you can think of. Once you spend some time practicing, your confidence sours! It is all about practice.

Below, another awesome article from CareerSherpa – by Hannah Morgan

http://careersherpa.net/get-the-scoop-on-difficult-interview-questions/?mc_cid=70a3c5718d&mc_eid=670bccd2c0

Reasons to clean up your social media

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I follow Hannah Morgan and her posts. She has a lot of knowledge as a job seeking expert.  This week I am sharing an article that she posted regarding how frequently recruiters are using social media when they are looking for good employees.  Do click on the link below.  You will find some interesting statistics.

Employers Are Checking You Out Online

 

Top 3 Resume Rules

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Keep in mind that your resume is a marketing tool. You want your resume to showcase your skills and abilities, plus assure the employer that you are the right fit for the job opening.

The three most basic resume rules from resume experts include:
1) Keep your resume to one page and make it easy to read.
2) Do not use a template that you find on-line – open Microsoft Word and start typing.
3) Use the key words of the industry that you plan to be working in to describe your skills and abilities….your resume should literally reflect the job opening or posting that you are planning to respond to.

If you are like me, you want to know why these resume rules need to be followed.

Those that review resumes tell us that they have little time to devote to reviewing resumes. Most are trained to review each resume within 6-20 seconds, placing each resume in a “Qualified” or “Not Qualified” destination (on line or physically on a pile on their desk). They are basically sorting all those who applied.

You want your resume to land on the “Qualified” pile. In order for that to happen, the reviewer must be able to see at a glance that you meet the qualifications they laid out in the job posting. This is the reason why a “Summary of Qualifications” has become so popular in recent years. This summary of qualifications needs to be just that…..a Summary of Qualifications. That means this section on your resume should include bullet points about your education, your experience AND your strengths. Make your Summary of Qualifications a well rounded one that includes the main points about your skills and abilities as they match the job posting or what the employer is looking for.

If your resume is too wordy it won’t get read. If the reviewer cannot find the information they are looking for quickly, you will end up in the “Not Qualified” or the “Maybe” pile. You can bet they never look at that “Maybe” pile unless they do not have enough “Qualified” persons.

There are two reasons that we discourage the use of templates for your resume:
#1) Most templates do not let you re-arrange the information later if need be. When it is time to update your resume, it won’t let you, and you will end up typing the entire thing all over again. Using Microsoft Office allows you to cut, copy and paste all you want.
#2) Most templates put your headings in color, then when the employer prints them out, the headings come out in grey-scale. Employers generally do not print resumes in color. You want your headings to be BOLD and to stand out.

And our last bit of advice. Use the key words of your industry to describe your skills and abilities so that you “match” their job opening. The best way you can learn the key words of your industry is to work in the field and/or read a lot of job postings and job descriptions. It is a matter of gaining experience, just like anything else that you learn.

And remember, if you need help with any of this, there are experts out there. Career Services staff at the various colleges, and professionals in your local Job Centers. Find help if you need it.

Author: Chris Magnuson, Career Services at Western Technical College

Gaps in your Work History?

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When I am talking with students about their resumes and how to best market themselves, I generally explain the importance of correct employment dates in the work history section of their resume. More than once I have been asked the question, “I have some gaps in my work history, how should I handle that?”

During our last “Get That Job” event this was discussed by our panel of employer experts, plus I have heard this same response in other situations where the topic has come up.

The winning advice that I hear is this: You will accurately list your employment and dates for the last ten years on your resume and you will explain any gaps in your cover letter. What I hear from employers is, “If I see gaps and they are not explained anywhere, that resume lands in the “no” stack when I am sorting through who is qualified.”

You can explain the gaps in your work history like this.

“You will notice a gap in my work history from ___ to ___. During that time I was dealing with some health problems which have now been resolved.”

Now replace the words “health problems” with whatever works; transportation issues, personal issues, etc. No need to explain any further. What the employer wants to know is that the issue or the problem has been resolved.

Seems too simple doesn’t it? The way I look at it, something should be easy in life, so be thankful.

Taking the time to study a job posting can save you time in the long run

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Sharing an excellent article. This one will really make you think! Thanks to Career Sherpa and Hannah Morgan.

Before You Apply, Spend More Time Doing This

6 Ways to take Advantage of Career Services at Your College

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College Career Services Departments are there to help you with finding employment. So many students think they know how to do an effective job search. If you have submitted your resume several times and you are not getting a job interview, what does that tell you?

It tells me that you need to come in to your Career Services Department at your college and ask if your resume is competitive enough. And then listen to their advice and recommendations.

Staff in Career Services can help you:
1) write Cover Letters that catch attention
2) create a Resume that lands you the interview
3) with your Reference page
4) learn ways to network for employment (still the #1 way to find employment)5) learn how to do an effective job search (mananging your time well)
6) with choosing an educational plan that helps you make a living wage. No more entry level, minimum wages for you!