(Photo by Marten Newhal on Unsplash)

Permission to Grieve...but not forever

Job loss is significant. Grief is natural and necessary. Acknowledge the loss yet know this is a setback, not a permanent derailment of your value, your dreams, or your future. This too shall pass.  

Recognize you may not be able to return to your former position for some time. This can feel overwhelming. It may be the opportunity to start down new paths, too.


Positive Steps you can Take

Identify your marketable skills. Make a list. Take an assessment if you struggle to understand how your skills translate into jobs in today’s marketplace. Focus on how well your skills align to open positions, rather than position titles.

Need more skills? The time to learn them is now, while you are waiting and searching. Pursue the certifications, learning paths, or degrees that you want or need for your next job.


Perfect that Pitch

Know your value and what you want in a job. Connect your skills, experience, and education to the way you use those to impact an organization.  

Try formulating a power pitch:  

I help [people/companies] by [what I do best at/am passionate about/have proven skills in] so that they can [improve/change/grow, etc.]. I am looking for [define your next career move - be brief but specific].


Prepare to Deliver the Pitch

Be able to verbalize your Pitch in any situation. Practice, Practice, Practice.  

Practice your Pitch with a friend or former coworker until you can weave it into conversations and feel confident sharing it in any environment.

Record yourself delivering the Pitch on video. Watching this video will help you learn to deliver your Pitch in a relaxed, authentic manner. If you are feeling brave, share the video and ask for feedback from trusted friends or associates.


Create Resumes that match Positions

That is right, resumes, plural.

Your resume is a living organism that should be changed to suit the job you are pursuing.

Align each resume to the job posting you have chosen. Summary and accomplishment statements, skills, keywords, and active verbs should align with (but not plagiarize) the description and qualifications of the position you want.

Of course, do not lie, always check your spelling and punctuation, and make sure the contact information is professional and correct.


Share

Create and share your resume, profile, skills, experience, education, and your perfect pitch on appropriate Social Media platforms like Linked In. Share your pitch at in-person events and with family, friends, former coworkers. The more people who know your skills and the position you are in the market for, the better your chance of landing the job.

Lead with a serve. Do not forget to share what you have been learning with others who need help. Serve others and it will come back to you!


Interview Tips

Prepare for success. Know the company - its mission, vision, values, and culture. Know the job and how your skills and experience align with what they are looking for. Know yourself and confidently prove you are the best candidate for the position.

For virtual platforms or video interviews:

  • Secure a quiet, clean location if you can. If your family is nearby, alert them to the interview times and ask for quiet if possible.
  • Test your technology before the interview. Make sure you download any necessary apps. And that they work on your device. Alert the interviewer as soon as possible if you hit a glitch.
  • Test your lighting and the camera angle to ensure the interviewer can easily see your face and shoulders. If possible, use a laptop or tablet for the best experience. Use your phone if you must.
  • Sit still and upright. Smile. Relax.

 

Guest Bloger:
Tracy Trimblett
Employment and Training Specialist
Christian HELP Employment and Resource Center

Job fairs are a great way to network and land interviews. With so many jobs being posted digitally, it can be nice to get out and meet some hiring managers face-to-face. This allows you to set yourself apart from all of the online applicants and leave a lasting impression.

While job fairs provide a great opportunity to meet hiring managers in person, it’s still very important to bring copies of your resume. Below, we will provide a few tips on how to make your resume stand out for a job fair.

1. Print Your Resume on Quality Paper

First and foremost, you are going to want to print your resume on high-quality paper. Go to UPS or FedEx and print 10 - 20 copies of your resume to bring to the job fair. Ask the person who works at the store what kind of paper they recommend for printing your resume. They will usually recommend a thicker type of paper. If a recruiter or hiring manager has a large stack of resumes, yours will stand out. This will only cost you a few dollars more so it is well worth the investment.

2. Add Some Color to Your Resume

In a sea of black and white resumes, a little bit of color can really help your resume stand out. We don’t recommend adding ten different colors. We also do not recommend adding colors like pink, purple, bright green, yellow, etc. The colors should be subtle, such as navy blue or mahogany. By adding some color to your resume headings, you are more likely to draw the hiring manager's attention.

3. Try to Keep the Resume to 1-Page

Normally, resumes should range from 1 to 2 pages. However, at a job fair, it is easy for two page resumes to get lost. The second page could get separated from the first page causing your resume to look incomplete. Try to summarize your skills and experience into a 1-page resume to make sure all the information you want shared is safe and sound. If you must use a 2-page resume, make sure to secure the two pages tightly and include your name and contact information on your second page header.

4. Consider Bringing Multiple Versions of Your Resume

Depending on the job fair that you are attending, it might make sense to bring multiple versions of your resume. If you are attending an accounting job fair, you will probably only need one version focused on accounting jobs. But if you are attending a job fair that will have multiple jobs and employers present, it might be good to bring multiple versions. For example, if you are interested in both sales and finance jobs, you should have a resume that is focused on sales jobs, and another resume that is targeted towards finance jobs. General resumes typically do not work as well as targeted resumes. Be prepared and research the companies that will be in attendance at the job fair before you attend.

5. Customize Your Resume for Specific Companies

One way to take your resume to the next level at a job fair is to customize a version of your resume for each company you are interested in. Most job fairs will announce what companies will be in attendance before the actual event. If you want to go above and beyond, create a version of your resume for each of the companies you are interested in. A great place to specifically mention your interest in the company is in your resume summary. You can mention something like “Passionate healthcare professional who believes in the mission of Anthem Blue Cross to improve the health of the people we serve.” By specifically calling out the company in your resume, they are going to know you are passionate about their company and their mission.

Guest Blogger:
Find My Profession
"a leading resume writing and career coaching company. Founded in 2015, Find My Profession provides elite, personalized, and highly effective career services for professionals and executives around the globe."

“Employment Projections are forecasts of future employment levels for industries and occupations in Florida. The Long-term Employment Projections program provides estimates of current and projected employment by industry and occupation for eight years into the future. The projections also include rankings of the fast-growing industries and occupations in Florida. These data are produced for the state, Workforce Regions, and counties with employment greater than 100,000. Geographic Coverage: Statewide, Workforce Regions, and large counties. Frequency: Annually”

Employment Projections Data is provided by the Florida Department of Opportunity, and can be obtained by visiting http://www.floridajobs.org/workforce-statistics/data-center/statistical-programs/employment-projections

 

Picture this: You get a call from a Recruiter. They ask about your day, you have some small talk and then they ask about your resume or LinkedIn profile. The conversation turns into a discussion about an amazing role they have open with a great local company. You explain your experience, background, goals, aspirations and expected career path. So far, everything is a perfect match! The Recruiter relays the conversation to the Hiring Manager who loves the details and is impressed by your resume. Naturally, it’s interview time!

Whether you’re back on the job market after 15 years or you have been actively interviewing for weeks, it’s time to prepare!

First, Know your audience. Ask the Recruiter as many questions as possible about the client, hiring manager, environment, technology stack, internal workings, everything! The Recruiter is your eyes and ears into the environment you may soon be working in. Lean on them to develop an understanding to make the best first impression possible. Soft skills, interview flow and expectations of the client and company cannot be learned from a job description. Trust your Recruiter and ask them questions!

Second, Arm yourself with the basics. Hop online and read current news about the company and, if possible, the employees. See if you can find anything about current projects, recent acquisitions and even if there have been lay-offs recently and why. Not only research the company’s name, but Google important people in the company to see if they have been involved with initiatives. Knowledge is power. Use these discoveries as conversation points. It shows your interest and will help you have relevant questions and topics to speak about during the interview.

Third, Early is on time, on time is late and late you’re out. I can’t harp on this enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting with someone from HR, a senior-level manager or the CTO of a company, someone is waiting on you. For an in-person interview, check traffic for that time of day in advance. Commutes for morning and afternoon interviews may be impacted by rush hour. For a phone or virtual interview, check your cell service or Wi-Fi and ensure your computer and Skype/Zoom/FaceTime account is up to date. I recommend checking these 24 hours in advance to allow you enough time to troubleshoot any issues. Make sure the interview from your side is as seamless as possible. Tardiness or technical issues may take up your interview time with someone who may not have availability to reschedule.

Lastly, Dress to impress, no matter the skill level, job title, length or seniority of a position. Your presentation is the first thing a Hiring Manager will notice, and putting your best foot forward can be the decision-maker between you and another candidate. No one will ever ding you points for dressing nicely for an interview. It shows respect for yourself, who is interviewing you and the company. Unless specifically instructed to do so, over dressing is always the way to go. First impressions are only made once.

Prepping for an interview is just as important as your skill set. Arriving to an interview dressed well, early and prepped with as much knowledge on the company and Hiring Manager is the next step finding you the best possible job match to compliment your lifestyle and career goals.

Guest Blogger:
TEWS
Staffing Agency
Search more blog articles with TEWS at tewscompany.com/blog




6 Things to Make the Most at Your Next Career Fair

Standing out is never easy! At a career fair, it could be the key to your next big success. Whether you are in college and attending your first event or you have been in the industry for a while and getting back out there, you may have several questions on how to make yourself stand out over everyone in the crowd.

Here are six tips that can make your career fair experience top-notch!

1) Update, format, and print your resume. First and foremost, take the time to update and format your resume with your most recent job experience, education, and accomplishments. This includes updating your LinkedIn account to match your resume. Your resume is by far your most important tool. You may even want to ask a professional to critique your resume. Be sure to print at least 20 copies of your resume to bring with you to hand out.

2) Dress the Part. Before your resume is even in the employer’s hands, they are making sure your dress and professionalism matches their office standards.  Pretend a career fair is the first interview. You wouldn’t show up in your sweatpants and sneakers, would you? Take the time and energy to look your very best!

3) Clean Up Your Social Media. Your social media accounts are easily accessible to future employers. Take the time to clean up your accounts and think, “Could this post ruin my chances of landing my next big break?” If so, I would recommend removing the old posts and not post any similar posts that may affect you in the long run. Less is best when it comes to social media.

4) Be Prepared. Your resume has been perfected, your outfit is primped and ready to go and your social media accounts are cleaned up. What’s next you may ask? It’s time to prepare yourself for the big day! Career fairs can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to expect. First, do some research and find out which employers will be attending the event. Once you have spotted your top employers, prioritize them by most interest and know where they will be located. This will give you a solid game plan for the day.

Take the time to visit each of the employer’s social media platform(s), website(s) and know which position(s) they have available. This gives you the upward edge on what’s going on in the company and some talking points or questions you may have for them. Always have a pen/pencil and notebook handy to write down anything that may be important to your future with that company.

5) Practice the Pitch. You may only have this one shot to sell yourself to the employer. Career fairs are typically very busy and having a short but sweet elevator pitch is key to help you stand out. Your elevator pitch should only last 20 to 30 seconds. Do not “wing it.” Give your pitch some character (be you) but also be concise and confident.

6) Arrive Early and Interact. It’s the night before the big event and you’re excited but nervous. To help ease some of the nerves, take the time to map out your commute (be prepared for traffic) and know where you are going to park.

You’ve parked, arrived early and are walking through the door. Now it is time to interact with the different employers on your list and sell yourself with your elevator pitch. Be sure to ask for the business cards of your top employers (challenge yourself to get at least 5). While you’re accomplishing your game plan you see a booth that wasn’t on the list, but you instantly become interested. Step to the side, pull out your phone and do a quick search on the employer, then go visit. Even though sticking to a game plan is important, it is okay to do a detour.


Guest Blogger:

TEWS
Staffing Agency
Search more blog articles with TEWS at https://tewscompany.com/blog/

 

By #1 Best-Selling Author and Recruiter Scott Vedder

It’s always best to customize your résumé and explain exactly how your experience has prepared you for the specific qualifications listed in a job posting.  That’s a key point I teach in my best-selling book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  But what should you do when you’re attending a job fair where you’ll meet with lots of different employers?  In a job fair setting, employers will know it’s nearly impossible for you to customize a cover letter and résumé for every single company in attendance.   To quantify what makes you a great candidate for several prospective employers, you should showcase examples of your accomplishments and skills related to the most common requirements in your field.

Before you write your job fair résumé, search for online job postings roles related to the career you’re pursuing.  Take a look at the qualifications that different companies require.  You’ll likely find some common trends and frequently used terms which appear in job postings at several different companies.  With this bit of research, you’ll be able to write a résumé that speaks for itself and a cover letter which addresses your qualifications to fulfill the most common needs of your desired career field.

Next, before going to the job fair, try to determine which companies will be represented.  Take a look at the jobs these companies already have posted on their web sites.  If there’s a specific opening for which you’d like to apply, customize a separate résumé and cover letter for that posting and bring it with you along with your job fair résumé.  If there’s not one particular opening that appeals to you, consider how that company generally evaluates prospective candidates.  What key words do they use in their job postings?  What types of skills and leadership attributes do they value?  What can you learn about their corporate culture and business priorities from their web site?  Then customize a résumé for that company with those ideas in mind.

Consider making a list of the companies you know you want to approach at the job fair and write a customized cover letter for those prospective employers.   Your cover letter should explain why you want to work for that specific company and can also indicate the general field for which you’re interested in applying.  When you submit a customized cover letter with your job fair résumé, you’ll stand out from your competition.  Remember, most other applicants, if they submit a cover letter at all, will be handing over form letters written “To Whom it May Concern,” and not to a specific employer.

In your job fair résumé and cover letters, be sure you use specific examples to quantify what makes you a great candidate in your field.  Whether you’re attending a job fair or you’re applying for a single position, your résumé should always be full of !@$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé.

! - Any part of your experience that was "amazing!"

@ - Defining points, places, dates and things in your experience

# - Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ - The dollar value of your contributions

% - Figures that easily show growth and results

When you write a résumé that’s full of !@$%, your résumé will speak for itself and you’ll be on your way to a successful job fair!

Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 recruiter and the author of the #1 best-selling résumé book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  Scott has taught thousands of students and job seekers in résumé workshops at high schools, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations across the country.  Scott’s book has been endorsed as “Recommended Reading” by groups including the Central Florida Employment Council and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative. Scott has been recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management and has been featured as a career expert in nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, on international blogs and in dozens of live interviews on radio programs and television news.  For free résumé and interview tips, visit http://scottvedder.com/freestuff.html


Are you being told you’re “overqualified?”  Focus your résumé on exactly what the employer needs.

By #1 Best-Selling Author Scott Vedder

 

“I keep hearing I’m overqualified for jobs.  What can I do?”  The best way to overcome a perception that you’re “overqualified” is to focus your résumé and your interview on explaining precisely why you’re qualified for that particular job.

Your résumé should cite examples from your experience which showcase the results you’ve achieved.  Be sure to include only the experience and skills which are directly related to the desired and required qualifications listed in the job posting.  Don’t list lots of unrelated accomplishments, achievements and experience.  By focusing your résumé only on the skills and experience called for in the posting, you’ll help an employer understand exactly what makes you a great candidate for the job.  The employer will not be distracted by all the things you “could” do.  Instead they’ll be pleased to see that you’ve got skills which are perfectly suited for their open position.  When you connect your experience directly to the job posting, your résumé will speak for itself.

Be sure you use specific examples to quantify what makes you a great candidate for the job.  I like to say that your résumé should be full of !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé:

! - Any part of your experience that was "amazing!"

@ - Defining points, places, dates and things in your experience

# - Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ - The dollar value of your contributions

% - Figures that easily show growth and results

A customized cover letter is also a great opportunity to explain why you’re a great fit for a particular job.  You can address your level of qualifications in a cover letter by tactfully explaining why you want to work for the company, what you bring to the table and how your experience will enable your long-term success in the position for which you’re applying.   When you customize your cover letter to the job posting and you write a résumé that’s full of !@#$%, your résumé will speak for itself and you’ll earn the interview you deserve.

So, why don’t employers higher the people who seem overqualified?  Recruiters like me typically don’t want to hire candidates who will “take anything” just to get a foot in the door.  Employers may be worried that candidates who possess significantly greater qualifications than are needed in a role will quickly leave a position if something better comes along.  Both turnover (people leaving a company) and churnover (movement within a company from one position to another) can result in increased costs for employers.  When employees leave, a company has to pay to train a replacement and the on-boarding of a new hire almost always creates a loss in productivity.  Candidates who are perceived as overqualified can be considered a “flight risk” and as such might not be the best fit for a role.

When you explain to a recruiter exactly why you’re qualified for the open role and you clarify that you want that job for the right reasons, it will be easy to understand why you’re a great match.  It’s ok to have aspirations for advancement, but you should only apply for jobs you really want and which you can imagine yourself performing for some time.

Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 recruiter and the author of the #1 best-selling résumé book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  He has taught thousands of students and job seekers in résumé workshops at high schools, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations across the country.  Scott’s book has been endorsed as “Recommended Reading” by groups including the Central Florida Employment Council and recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management.  Scott has been featured as a career expert in nationally-syndicated newspaper columns and on international blogs and he’s been interviewed live on dozens of radio programs and television news.  For free résumé and interview tips, visit http://scottvedder.com/freestuff.html

 

You’ve submitted hundreds of applications, filled out countless online “profiles,” read through thousands of job postings and networked with your friends and family.  And now, you’re patiently waiting for a company to call you back to start the interview process. 

 So now what? Are you prepared for the phone call? You only have one chance to “Wow” the recruiter when they call you.  In order to be prepared for this call, there are five common questions you must be prepared for.  No matter what type of position you are interviewing for, there are questions that every job seeker should be prepared to answer on the very first call.

 In The Recruiting Snitch, I provide top secret information on how you can figure out those questions that will be asked in a job interview and the correct format on how to answer each question.

 Here are my top five favorite first round interview questions that every job seeker should be prepared for:

 1.       Why are you interested in working here?

When you apply to a position you are not only showing interest in the role but you are also showing interest in wanting to work for that specific company.  So you should research each company as well as their competitors. 

2.       Why did you leave your most previous position? Or, if you are currently employed, “Why are you looking to leave your current position?

If you are currently unemployed the recruiter will want to know why you left your most recent job and what you have been doing with your time while unemployed.  They are mostly interested to know if you were terminated.  They also want to see if you quit.  If you are currently employed, they will want to know why you are looking for something else.   They want to see what your motives are.  I address acceptable and unaccepted reasons to leave a job in The Recruiting Snitch. 

3.       Why do you believe you are a fit for this role?

This question is your time to shine.  This is also your time to show the recruiter that you feel you are the best candidate for the job.  I also ask this question because I want to know that you remember the position you applied to and you feel you have met all of the qualifications and address to me all of those skills.  In The Recruiting Snitch, I explain in greater detail the science of a job description and how candidates need to only apply to roles where they meet the qualifications for the role. After reading The Recruiting Snitch, you will better understand how to answer this question.

4.       Walk me through your resume.

I’m aware this is not a question, it’s a request.  The recruiter will ask you this because they want to see how you can articulate your work history to them.  They want to see what details you provide and what you chose to leave out. The recruiter is looking for a brief description of what you did at each company, what your title was at the time, how long you were there, and why you left.  I also like to hear how you got the job in the first place. In The Recruiting Snitch, I will walk you through how to answer this question.

5.      What are your short term and long term goals?

I love this question because it receives some of the most interesting responses.  Here’s the secret, your career goal needs to align directly with the position you are applying for.  I was interviewing someone for a Bank Customer Service Representative and I had an applicant tell me they wanted to be a Nurse.   So this is telling me that if I were to hire her she would quit as soon as she started schooling to become a Nurse or that her mind would be on wanting to be a Nurse.  I would rather hire someone whose goal was to move up within my company or someone who wanted a career in banking or a related industry.   This is why it’s important to apply for positions where you see yourself growing.  In The Recruiting Snitch I discuss the importance on selecting a career that you are passionate about.  By doing this, you won’t have to be dishonest when a recruiter asks you this question.

As you can see, there are common interview questions you should know how to answer when a recruiter or company gives you a call.  These questions are relevant for all types of positions and will get you prepared for the first round.  To sum up, you should be prepared to answer why you are interested in working at the specific company, why you left your most recent job or looking to leave, and why you feel you are a fit for the role you applied to.  Lastly, you should be able to “walk” a recruiter through your resume and identify your short and long term professional goals.

To learn more about phone interviews, onsite interviewing tips and more, order The Recruiting Snitch at www.recruitingsnitch.com 

Check back regularly for more insider knowledge on how to land the perfect job.


Written by one of Central Florida Employment Council's Board Member GUEST BLOGGERS:

Alysse Metzler, Author of The Recruiting Snitch

The Evolving Workplace
Written By: Samantha Panitch | Dec 14, 2018 | PeopleReady Connections



The workplace continues to evolve and with that comes change that employees should be ready for. It can be difficult to keep up with the changes in work and understanding what they mean for you. Let’s look into five trends that we anticipate for the New Year. How will you take advantage of them [...]

Read More


*Above article snap shot and image is provided by a partnering employer PeopleReady

 

Let’s all face it; social media has taken over our lives. We are connected at all times to a phone, computer, I-pad, or some sort of digital device. We no longer look up to see what’s going on around us since our noses are worried about how many people “liked” our photo or commented on our status update.  No one picks up the phone any more to call friends and family, they assume you are doing great because your Facebook photos look like you are enjoying life and you seem happy. 

I recently posted on my Facebook telling my friends to stop “liking” my pictures and to pick up the phone to call me. Some people got offended and others “liked” it, ugh! This was extremely frustrating. 

If you are currently looking for employment there are 3 things to think about when it comes to your digital and social media second lives:

1.       Hand written thank-you letters, still appropriate- Even though it’s so easy to quickly type of a generic email thanking the person who interviewed you, but it’s very impersonal. I love receiving hand written thank-you notes.

It’s so easy, bring a thank you card, already filled out, to your interview and drop it off at the front desk when you leave. You will save on postage and it will be delivered that same date.

It’s nice when I’m having a long day to receive a call from our receptionist saying I have a letter at her desk. While it may seem ancient to you, it does still mean a lot to us recruiters.

2.      Pick up the phone and call me-Most of our business is conducted via email; however some things are appropriate to actually speak about.

If you have a list of questions for your recruiter or simply want to follow up, I suggest picking up the phone and calling.  You will be able to learn more about the status of the role and you will be able to communicate better than just sending an email. 

With this said, I don’t suggest calling more than 1 time a week.  If you don’t hear from your recruiter then go ahead and shoot her an email. 

Finally, ALWAYS leave a voicemail. When I received missed calls without a voicemail I think to myself, “Well, it must not have been important enough to leave a voicemail.”

3.      Stop wasting your time on social media-if you’re unemployed, it may be easy to sit on your social media throughout your day while you look for a job. I write about how to manage your time looking for a job as your full time job in “The Recruiting Snitch”.

For this blog purpose I will highlight that you need to get up, get off your computer, get dressed, and go meet people face-to-face. Get off your computer and interact with human beings in your area.  I highly suggest visiting www.meetup.com to see what groups and events are occurring in your area and make it a priority to attend 1 “meetup” event per week.

Social media is great but use it to connect with people and then meet up with them face-to-face. You will receive so much more opportunities by doing this each week.

In summary, social media and our digital lives are a great thing to have, however when it comes to finding employment, don’t let it control you. By writing hand written notes it will set you above the competition. Through phone conversations with your recruiter you will learn more about the role and have a better working relationship. Finally, by getting out of your house and meeting with people face-to-face you will receive more opportunities than sitting behind a computer all day.

These are all valuable thoughts to keep in mind. I discuss these topics and much more in “The Recruiting Snitch”, order your copy today! www.recruitingsnitch.com

 

Written by one of Central Florida Employment Council's Board Member GUEST BLOGGERS:

Alysse Metzler, Author of The Recruiting Snitch