Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Graduating and Have No Experience? No Problem

Are you graduating from a vocational training program and have little or no experience in the field? If your related work experience is weak you should be thinking hard about other relevant experience to sell in the job interview.

Keep in mind that employers are not as interested in where you developed the job skills you have, as much as which job skills you actually have. As a graduate from a vocational training or career education program, employers are also interested in your knowledge, abilities, work ethic and attitude.

You can showcase these behaviors in the job interview whether you learned them in school or in a personal life experience.

For example:
Let's say you have completed a hospitality or culinary career program, which included some hands on training, but you have not worked in a restaurant. You might be able to talk about your experience catering events for your church, community organization or for family events.

Before your job interview, make a list of the top competencies that employers in your field want from new employees. You can get this information two ways:
1. From the career placement office staff at school
2. Use O*Net Online to find culinary professions

Once you have the list, think about a personal experience you have had that could demonstrate each of these competencies and remember that experiences do not have to be paid!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

4 Steps to Marketing Transferable Skills in a Job Interview

I wrote this article for Beyond.com a few years ago and had reason to revisit it today.  I wanted to share these four tips, but I also thought that we all could learn from the comments left by readers.

4 Tips to Market Transferable Skill in a Job Interview

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 Benefits of Career Training Programs

Career colleges offering career training and vocational training specialize in hands-on job training programs to prepare job hunters to hit the ground running in a new career. Career programs help students quickly build on current job skills or acquire new job skills.

Here are some of the skills employers want from graduates coming from career training programs.

1.Projects and practical, hands-on classes
Career training focuses on teaching the skills necessary to hit the ground running in the job market. Career Placement services in career training programs know what hands-on experience employers want and are able to show vocational students how to sell these skills to employers.

2. Time Management
Career training programs can be an intense commitment of time to complete even a certificate course. Completion of a career management program shows good work ethic, motivation and commitment.

3. Flexibility
Some career training and vocational training programs offer on-line and on-site classes at different times to suit students who have to work around family commitments.  Employers are impressed with vocational training graduates who show that they mastered the flexibility necessary to juggle life and finish a program.

4. Determination & Motivation
Completing a vocational program shows the employer a student's level of determination and motivation to succeed.  This is a characteristic that employers will value and look for in new candidates.

5. Buzz words
Because career training programs are shorter than a bachelor's degree, graduates complete their career training program, knowing the most current specific industry “buzz” words and phrases. Graduates of career training programs who use these industry "buzz" words in a resume to demonstrate knowledge, will attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers who are using these "buzz" words to screen resumes to find the right candidate.

More resources for career planning graduates:
Top 10 FAQs from Vocational Students about Resumes
How to Choose a Vocational Training Program

Friday, October 14, 2011

200 Good Questions Jobseekers May Ask

Workforce Management has published a list of questions that job seekers can ask an interviewer or hiring manager in a job interview. The questions are categorized based on questions for:

-Headhunters and Recruiters
-HR professionals
-Hiring Managers
-High level probing questions
-Getting feedback
-Closing the deal

Additionally there is a group of questions that the writer suggests that super stars can ask in the job interview. Read the entire list of 200 questions job seekers may ask here.  You will have to register to get the list but it is free!!

Most Popular Interview Articles:

Secret Weapon to Manage Job Interview Body Language

Soft Skills That Could Land You the Job

Do You Make These Mistakes in a Panel Interview?



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Attention College Students! Tis the Season to Apply for Holiday Jobs

With 9.1% unemployment rate, we are in a tough job market for sure. It may be harder this year for college students to find holiday jobs especially since there are laid off workers also job seeking. With slumping retail sales, there are definitely less part-time jobs to go around. Additionally, a tightening credit market means that some students who are self funding their education, have more bills to pay.

The job market this past summer was also tough for college students looking for part time jobs and internships. The News-Record published some job search tips from BullsEyeResumes to help students get hired this past summer. I thought it would be a good time to modify these tips slightly for use this holiday season.

* Dress for success. Put away the baggy pants and novelty T-shirts. Dress neatly, and check your attire ahead of time to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. Neither torn nor tight clothing will impress the hiring manager.

* Get to your interview early. The best way to not get hired is to show up late for the job interview. Remember that first impressions count.

* Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet at the work site, not just the interviewer. These people will be your colleagues if you get the job.

* Speak up, speak clearly and look the interviewer in the eye. This is a conversation, so have your own questions ready: What are the hours? When would I start? What’s the training like? What do you like best about working here?

* Bring a written list of names and contact information for personal references when you complete your job application.

* Bring an updated copy of your resume. (College Sample Resumes)

When you do land a job this holiday season, be sure to make a good impression. You may want to return to the same company next year. You might want to read this article before you start your holiday job - Internship Behavior you May Live to Regret!

Teenagers Singing the Summer Job Blues

Monday, October 10, 2011

Working the Recruiters' Last Nerve

This is not what you want to do if you are aiming for success in the job search. 

Sure, you are trying hard to find a job in a tough market and in some cases you are probably desperate for work.  The last thing you want to do however, is annoy the recruiter or HR professional who is really on your side.

This article in the Wall Street Journal gives some good tips on how to connect with recruiters in your industry niche, without getting gimmicky.  My favorite tip in the article?  Do not launch into a sales pitch about yourself, the minute you meet with a recruiter or headhunter.  You may actually be talking yourself out of a job. 

Another key to working with recruiters is to maintain contact with them while you are employed. You could actually become a source of business leads for them.  They will remember you when you have to call on them later.  Don't forget that networking principle - Givers Gain!