When did we become a society that values youth over experience? Just because someone has a few gray hairs, does that mean they are out of touch? Unfortunately, this is the growing mindset of much of today’s youth. Ageism is rampant in our society, especially in the working world. We cast off our elders as obsolete fools who cannot keep up with the times and advancing technologies. They are characterized as antiquated, unproductive citizens with nothing of worth to contribute. With the Baby Boomer Generation moving into their late fifties and early-to-mid-sixties, an increasingly large number of our population is feeling the effects of ageism.


Cutbacks and layoffs have become commonplace following the recession in 2009. Who are the first to go? Typically, the oldest members of the company. Senior workers are let go because they normally have the highest salaries and best benefits. In other words, the company saves the most money by getting rid of the most expensive employees regardless of their value. These workers are often forced into early retirement and are considered to be too old to work, but are, in reality, too young to retire. This leads to a buildup of massive debts where they are spending a good portion of their retirement while trying to survive unemployment. For businesses, these cutbacks are just a short-term fix for a long-term problem that create even more problems for the economy.


Ageism is most notably a factor when those laid-off begin searching for new employment. Most employers have a certain age in mind for the positions they have advertised. You can fall on either side of the spectrum, too young and inexperienced or too old and too expensive.


Your resume is often a dead giveaway of your age; all anyone has to do is look at your graduation date and they instantly have a rough estimate of your age. How do you get around this?


It’s simple. Scale back your resume. Start by removing dates; graduation dates are not essential. You can also limit your work experience to the last ten to fifteen years. Once you have garnered decades of experience, it is not pertinent to include jobs you had right out of college. If you are worried about this being seen as dishonest, you can even rename this section on your resume to state, “Recent Work Experience.” Let’s say that you have some very impressive experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for, but it falls outside the ten to fifteen year scope; generate another section on your resume for “Additional Experience,” again, without including dates.


Similarly, if computer skills are not listed on your resume, you’ll end up dating yourself. Consider enrolling in an online or night computer course to learn how to use such programs as PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Outlook. Also, remember that with the prevalence of social media, privacy is a thing of the past and you will be “googled” by potential employers. Setup a LinkedIn profile reflecting your resume with a professional, modern looking picture. You want to show employers that you are up-to-date with today’s technology and not resistant of it.


With younger jobseekers fresh out of college, you may need to become more open to the idea of accepting lower wages than you once had to. Applicants with less experience will agree to lower wages so to compete, you may have to do the same. State on your resume that your pay requirements are “open.” Once you are offered the position, then it is time to negotiate.


Tweaking your resume should help to a least get you in the running for a face-to-face interview. Once you get your foot in the door, you’ll have the opportunity to sell yourself.


Remember that some, not all, hiring managers have narrow-minded opinions of older jobseekers. These include being set in their ways, difficult to train, less productive, frail, and technologically inept. So make a point to emphasize traits most valued in older workers, like vast experience, loyalty, excellent work ethic, reliability, exceptional decision making abilities, and self-confidence. In business, it is all about Return on Investment. You are the investment, so make sure the employer knows exactly what he/she will gain in hiring you.


As we have evolved to live longer, healthier, more productive lives, regrettably, our concept of age has not changed along with it. Until our minds catch up with our physiological state, we will never be able to overcome this bias. Instead, older jobseekers are forced to use creative tactics to overcome and find employment.


So, as bleak as it may seem out there in the job market, don’t give up just yet. Try out some of these tips and tricks—you might be surprised at the results.

CFEC Guest Blogger

Jessica Mattison

Jessica Mattison is a freelance writer in Cary, NC. for JobFinderUSA.com

By Jessica Mattison

2017 Central Florida Employment Outlook

By Roger Lear. President, OrlandoJobs.com

Employers in Central Florida Confirm Job Growth is "Vibrant" and Hiring

Challenges Loom in the 2017 Central Florida Employment Outlook Survey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 27, 2017 – Orlando, FL – The 9th Annual OrlandoJobs.com Employment Survey, in which phone interviews were conducted of 135 companies representing 19 sectors and 227,000 employees, finds good news in hiring across all employment sectors. In particular, the professional services sector and the construction industry hit or neared milestones that bode well for the region.

The professional services jobs sector hit an all-time high, growing to more than 210,000 workers, a direct result of our region’s commitment to attracting and retaining employers with higher paying jobs. Construction gained 8,000 jobs last year in the Orlando MSA for a total gain of 71,000 jobs. This industry is finally reaching near pre-recession levels, and if the trend continues will hit that milestone next year.

“The Central Florida Employment Outlook is great!” states Roger Lear, author of the survey and President/CEO of OrlandoJobs.com. “Orlando is a vibrant city, and with the predicted 24,000 jobs employers predicted adding in 2017, we are truly on the brink of showing the world we are leaders in technology, healthcare, medical/military simulation and health sciences, along with our world-renowned reputation as the best in tourism and hospitality.”

Additional key findings from the 2017 Central Florida Employment Outlook Survey:
•A total of 13,323 jobs currently open within the 135 surveyed companies, with another 24,300 jobs predicted to open in the last three quarters of 2017
•39% of surveyed companies indicate that hiring will be better this year than last
•96% of companies plan on hiring at least one person in 2017
•83% of companies currently have open jobs •32% of companies surveyed will be hiring 50 or more employees in 2017
•Top industries hiring in Central Florida are healthcare, skill trades, technology, sales, construction and education

“The positives of our growth do not come without some challenges, however,” cautions Lear. “These survey results show Orlando has a shortage of workers in fields that are key to the region’s continued success, including healthcare, technology, skilled trades, bus drivers, housekeepers and customer service professionals.”

Additionally, frustration on the part of job seekers who don’t get officially turned down after sending an application is growing. “The number one complaint we hear from job seekers is that they never hear back from an employer after they apply to an open position, and so we included a survey question about the job seeker experience.”

Companies shared their best practices for communicating with applicants, all of which are listed on page 10 of the survey report. The bottom line, according to Lear, is that employers must realize that their applicant pool is important group: “If you can reach out and update them on their status, this will go a very long way in establishing your employer brand and set yourself apart from many companies.”

The entire report (and past reports) can be downloaded at www.OrlandoJobs.com/jobreport (no cost).

# # #

OrlandoJobs.com, part of the Great Job Spot Network, is the powerful, pre-eminent career platform in Central Florida, and the only digital job board optimized for mobile, on-the-go usage by jobseekers. With more than 100,000 visitors per month, and over 2,400 employers, there is no better place to find a job. The site was founded in 2005 by Roger Lear and Scott Kotroba, and is the official employment website of the Great Orlando Society of Human Resources (www.GoSHRM.com). OrlandoJobs.com’s sister company, the GreatInsuranceJobs.com Network, is the leading insurance employment network in the nation. The OrlandoJobs.com and Great Job Spot Network proudly partner with and power the career centers on OrlandoWeekly.com, GOSHRM and WKMG Local 6 ClickOrlando.com.

Twitter.com/OrlandoJobs

Facebook.com/OrlandoJobs

By Roger Lear Published: Apr 10, 2017

Make Looking For A Job Your Full Time

By Caroline Levchuck

Looking for a job is a challenge -- especially right now. And out-of-work job seekers face another challenge all their own: Managing their time wisely and resisting the temptations found at home, such as sleeping, watching television or simply slacking off.

Poor time management leads to poor job search results. So to keep your search moving, you need to treat it like a job itself.

Be Your Own Boss

Think you're unemployed? Think again. You've got a full-time job: Your job search. You've just become your own boss and your job is to land your next paid position.

Looking for work is serious work, so it's important to give it all the attention it deserves. First, decide what hours you'll devote to your search and commit to keeping that schedule just as though you were reporting to a "real" job.
Then, try tailoring your schedule even more. Allot time each day to specific tasks, such as networking, responding to job ads, and researching companies. Doing so will help you avoid distractions and stay on track throughout the day.

Get Organized

An organized job search can be crucial to your success.

Start with your office space. Even if you don't have an actual office, designate your work area, complete with computer, phone and filing space if you can. Every time you sit in your "office," you'll feel like you're on the job.
Next, create a system to keep track of your leads, the job ads to which you've responded and the companies you're interested in. Having this information at your fingertips is especially helpful if you've tailored your resume or cover letter to suit a certain position. When a recruiter calls, you'll know instantly and precisely how to respond.

Set Goals

The ultimate goal is to find the job of your dreams.

But until that happens -- and to help it happen -- set small weekly goals for yourself. Agree to send out a certain number of resumes each week. Promise to make five follow-up phone calls a week. Vow to set up at least one interview -- informational or otherwise -- every week.

Whatever your goals are, make sure they're realistic. That way, you'll be more likely to keep them. Write them down and keep the list where you can see it. Cross items off as you go for a feeling of instant accomplishment.
Also, if you need some support, ask for it. Find a friend in a similar situation and share your success at fulfilling your weekly job search goals.

Take a Day Off

All work and no job can make anyone cranky.

Take a day off. In fact, take two. You've earned it. And you might not get the chance again once you land your next job.  See a movie. Sleep in. Visit an old friend. Clean out your closets. Or just relax.

You might even consider limiting your job search to four days a week -- or even three. Use the rest of your time to do the things you never had time to do. Exercise on a regular basis. Volunteer in your community. Spend more time with your family.

Do whatever makes you feel good because a positive outlook will sustain you as you're hard at work looking for work.

---------------------------
Caroline Levchuck has written an excellent article. If you apply these ideas to your job search you will get results!

 

Brand of You
by Renita Hunt, Guest Blogger

Dress for Success Greater Orlando President

www.greaterorlando.dressforsuccess.org

www.socialnita.com

Your mind is the center of creating your brand through your internal image! It’s not just about what is on the outside but what is on the inside. Your mind is your wealth ticket to creating your personal brand image.

Do you know you are a brand just like Apple, Google, and McDonald’s? Of course you are! It is imperative that you live and thrive in the core values of your brand everyday. How do I craft my own personal brand you might ask? Here are 3 awesome ways to be on your way to building a successful personal brand:

Knowing Your Why: Being aware of your life’s purpose sets the standard for the direction you want your life to go. Finding your why is being clear on what your dreams are for your professional self. Is your purpose and dream to lead people, but your current position is admin assistant? Sometimes your current situation is not aligned with your purpose but you have the power to change. Build your personal brand by volunteering or freelancing opportunities that are aligned with your purpose until it can become your full time gig. To find your “WHY” spend time to understand:

      Mission-What do I stand for?

      Passion-What do I love to do?

      Expertise-What do I do really well?

Becoming a Subject Expert: Now you know your purpose. It is time to expand your knowledge on the subject by learning all you can on a subject. We live in a time where information is at a touch of button. Stay current on trends, industry buzzwords, and network with thought leaders in your industry. After you increase your knowledge, showcase it and become an expert by:

      Starting a blog or guest blogging

      Writing for a company newsletter

      Writing for a nonprofit newsletter

      Volunteer for local speaking engagements

Investing in your Mind: Never stop learning is a common quote we hear people say about personal growth but many people don’t understand how to put it into action. Develop a yearly learning plan. Set a portion of funds each month to invest in attending conferences, buying books, meeting with a career coach, and attending workshops. Don't wait for your employer to make the investment for you; if it is value to your brand invest in it for the future. Other ways to invest in mind:

      Join local industry associations and attend national and regional meetings

      Obtain an accountability partner to help you achieve your goals and craft your brand

      Invest in additional education online or offline if needed to take your brand to the next level

So now you know three important keys to build and grow your personal brand. Always live and work so your personal brand can thrive after you have left the room. Next time on the blog, I will explore how to grow your brand on the outside with Dressing for Success.

About Renita Hunt:

Renita Hunt is a marketing communications consultant and motivational speaker. Renita Hunt is also the Board President of Dress for Success Greater Orlando. Renita has been with the organization for over 4 years and has held such roles as: Personal Shopper, Event Director, Vice President, and now President. She has been instrumental on re-launching the organization’s career development series, Next Level to Success Internship program, networking efforts, and individual donor giving.

Renita has a 16- year professional background in marketing communications. Through the course of her career, Renita has worked with such brands as: Home Depot, Ford, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s just to name a few. Renita is extremely passionate about giving back, women empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and all things fashion. In addition to Dress for Success, Renita is apart of many professional boards such as: Central Florida Employment Council, National Black MBA Association, and Orlando Museum of Art-Council of 101.

Renita holds a MBA from University of Phoenix and a BA in Public Relations from Clark Atlanta University.

 

It’s summer and the glowing sun outside coupled with the ocean breeze remind me of renewal and introspection. Are you with me?

New eating habits, a good workout regimen, and new favorite restaurant. New career may be? Many individuals I come in to contact with contemplate their career. They are satisfied with their existing role, and they are successful, their organization is successful and they have a sturdy title, relatively large staff and job security. Yet may be that’s the problem. Too much satisfaction is the enemy of innovation and growth. They tell me they have an aching within that desires change. They don’t feel challenged anymore. That feeling of confidence is making them feel almost bored. They yearn for excitement, intimidation and that adrenalin rush of sink or swim.

I tell them, your instincts are telling you its time to swim, so swim. To them and to you, who are even considering the possibility of a career change, or position change for that matter, I offer the following:

1. Are you ready to hit the waves?

Start by weighing the risks. Know that there always will be that. Family, your identity, and financial responsibilities will always be there, but so will fear. The fear of change and the fear of the unknown. At some point you would have to push away the fear and swim with the waves. Once you accept that reality, your mind and heart will unite and you will be ready to make the proper recourse to weight the real costs and benefits for your decision, without the common denominator of fear.

2.  Go for the plunge!

At some point the weighting would need to stop. The decision must be made. Plan your course with plan B’s along the way and start what will undoubtedly feel like an uphill or upstream swim.

3. Enroll an Audience and Cheerleaders

You ‘re going to need all the emotional support you can get. Set yourself up to be around supportive, calm and clear people. Your network will help you get the position you want, but your support system is the one that will get you through this phase of the game. The AA mentality applies here. The buddy system is meant to create accountability. When you share what you are doing with an invested person, you are more likely to persevere. We all like to achieve and part of achievement is the reinforcements we get along the way. Stay on course and celebrate small wins.

4. Assess the Course and foresee Obstacles

Get a clear assessment of your knowledge, skills, abilities and network. It doesn’t mean you can’t expand on them, but you want to be realistic in setting your goals. Many people assume that because they like a type of job, they have to bend backwards to fit themselves within its walls. Think about industry, and organization type, the everyday nuances, and the type of people you want to be working with, the key players and whom you are already connected to. When I do career assessments with my clients, we do a lot of work together. It is deep. Often times, they themselves are shocked at how far they were from their vision, by the time we complete and interpret all the quantitative and qualitative data. The research is imperative. Let me say that again: the research is imperative. The reality is we are all born with certain traits that make us who we are, are family and upbringing solidify them as well. So I always recommend going after something you know you are good and knowledgeable at, rather than going after something you think you like. The other neat thing is that we get attracted to people whom we can relate to, so your network of people will serve you better being that you have built them through “connections” rather than ambiguity. At least that’s the network that we need to be making. Not random and without follow-up. Challenge is good, complication not so much.

5.  Get on the Diving Board and Jump.  

I like the analogy of the diving board because when you get on a diving board, it means three things: 1. You are making the conscious effort to jump and you know it’s going to be a high jump, 2. You are letting the world know you are jumping, and 3. When you are up in the air, there is no way going back. When you started this journey, you had internal conversations about it. May be you discussed it with a significant other, a colleague or a family member. But your paradigm is still the same. You are in comfort zone. You get the paycheck and the boss still assumes you will be at the next monthly meeting. If you stop here, you don’t have to fear. You are not committed to anything. You didn’t loose anything, but you also didn’t gain anything. Half the battle is the mental decision, but the other half is get on that diving board. You have to make the decision irrevocable.   Our brains are trained to form habits. We are creatures of repetition. So unless the walls of the maze are reset, our brains will command us to repeat the past and to not rock the boat. Pull the anchor and let the ship sail where it needs to and don’t look back.

Fear is a defense mechanism to protect us in life. But it’s also there to motivate us and propel us forward. I am not saying live life in fear. But I am saying don’t expect fear to ever disappear. It’s through fear that your interests get peaked and you search for that truth and possibility. Fight fear and it will haunt you, look at it in the eye and it will guide you. Life is a raft, not a ship. Life of Pi was the perfect demonstration of that.   Ships have navigation system, propellers, and radars. Your career is one aspect of your life, and just like any other, demands determination, patience and exploration. There are no guarantees, you have to do your due diligence, and take a leap of faith. Let the waves take you where they may.

Author and CFEC guest blogger: 

Doctor of Corporate Psychology

“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”

This information is provided by the Florida Department of Opportunity, and can be obtained by visiting http://www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/data-center/statistical-programs/employment-projections  

Employment Projections Data

• 2015-2023 Projections Statewide or by Workforce Region

• 2015-2023 Projections for Largest & Single Counties

By Guest Blooger: Jessica Mattison, JobFinderUSA

Getting the Most Out of a Career Fair

The effectiveness of a career fair is often debated. Some paint them as a huge waste of time, while others swear by them. If you simply show up and expect to land a job based strictly upon your mere presence and winning personality, you’ll fall into the first group. Like most things in life, job fairs take hard work and a lot of preparation. If you are willing to put forth the effort, a career fair can become a truly valuable job finding tool.

Think of a career fair as one big interview. Just as you would if you were being called into a company’s office, you need to be prepared and do your research. Most often, a list of companies that will be in attendance can be obtained. Take this list and research any and all companies you are interested in. Look at their company website and social media pages. Make a list of notes and rank each company based upon which you would like to work for most.  Your time is limited at a career fair and you want to make sure you visit with the right companies.

Take this time to customize your resume and cover letter to match with the culture of each company you plan to visit. Also, have some generic ones on hand in case you come across a company that you had not originally planned for. You might even want to have your own business cards printed. They should include your name, desired position, and contact information. They don’t need to be anything fancy, just make sure it looks clean and professional.

Compiling a list of questions you might want to ask each business is also a good idea. Include some blanket questions that can be asked of any industry as well as some more specific ones for companies you have taken the time to research.

You should also dress the part. Make sure you look neat, clean, and professional with your clothes pressed and stain-free. Your best bet is to wear a dress suit of some kind. As a general rule, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.

While you’re there, don’t just network with the recruiters on hand, but also with your fellow job seekers. You will most likely be stuck waiting in more than a few lines, so take advantage of that time to exchange information—those business cards would come in handy here as well.

Following up is just as important after a job fair as it is after an interview. To make your life easier, ask each recruiter you meet for a business card. This way you’ll have their name, position, and all contact information at your fingertips; no worries about a bad memory or writing down something incorrectly. In return, give them one of your own cards to remember you.

Remember to send thank you notes or emails to each of the representatives you met with whether you liked their company or not. It is important to make good contacts with as many people as possible—you never know when you might run into them again.

After your initial contact thanking the recruiter, you’ll want to continue to follow up on the position you are seeking. You need to be persistent, but not annoying—there is a fine line. You want the employer to know how interested you are in the position, but you don’t want to come across as desperate and overly anxious.

Generally, no matter the position or form of contact, try to be overly polite and humble. As annoyed as you may be that your phone calls and/or emails have gone unanswered, don’t take out your frustrations on your potential employer. Stay away from statements like, “I still have not heard from you” or “you ignored my previous email.” Maintaining a polite tone throughout your email or phone message will keep the person interested, not angry.

Career fairs can be tough and some might not be as great as others, but generally, they’re a good time investment as long as you’re prepared to put the work in.

Article Reference URL: http://www.jobfinderusa.com/article/getting-the-most-out-of-a-career-fair/

Author and CFEC guest blogger: 

Doctor of Corporate Psychology

  Career-Planning: How to Plan for the Interview Process

The unreliable economy and the changes in the job market have certainly impacted the hiring the process negatively. There are now more applicants applying for the same position and applicants are expandintheir search to larger geographical distances. Needless to say, the hiring organizations are becoming more selective because they know there many more applicants available to them. The smart applicant has to not only spend the proper time to brush up their resume and cover letter, revamp their social media reach, and prepare for the interview, but they have to prepare for the 2nd, third and possibly fourth interview.

The first interview, is now mostly done by phone as a screening process. In order to save the recruiter time and effort. The good news is, if you make it past the first interview, it will probably mean you will be interviewing with the hiring manager who has better insight about the role for which you’re being considered. We are taught oftentimes that impression making is all about listening, but as someone that has been involved in the HR arena for over 15 years, I always advocate for two way interviewing. Just because the market is not as upward as we want it to be, we don’t have to settle. An individual who is asking the right questions during the interview can make a well-informed choice if and when they receive the job offer and if they don’t receive the offer, at least they know parts of the job that didn’t fit well within their schema of the right job. Job-hunting is an emotionally challenging task and we can’t possibly receive all yes’s. To stay feeling emotionally positive, and cognitively ready and up for the challenge it’s best to be in the pilot seat than the passenger. If you ask more questions now, rather than later, then the hiring manager will not wonder where your heart and intentions are and whether you were even paying attention.

Finding the ins and outs of the company and the job, doesn’t have to come after six months into the job. There are a lot of questions that can quickly get at the heart of the “True Side” of the job rather than what is portrayed as the “Perfect Side” .

Leader vs. Follower Role

Emotionally intelligent applicants know who they are; their personality, their work style and communication style. Before even applying to the position, the applicant would need to know that the position they are applying to is within the ream of their knowledge skills and abilities. Experience doesn’t necessarily guarantee ability, neither does education and training. Our genetic make-up generally defines our personality and knowing that make-up is very insightful in all aspects of life in dealing with others, but especially in career planning. If you’re interviewing for a leadership position, it is crucial to know you that, that interests you. Plenty of individuals are in follower positions and have less of a headache and more flexibility and their income is not necessarily capped either. On the other hand, a position could be posed as a leadership position, but once on-board, there is not a lot of latitude. If you enjoy and are good at understanding and withstanding subordinates and delegate work to them, you would want to ask that. Asking the right question regarding this in the 2nd interview will lead the hiring manager to explain where you stand in the company’s hierarchy as well as specifc decision-making capabilities of the role.

Norms, Expectations and Performance

The culture of an organization speaks volumes to how the everyday gets done. Walking in to an interview, the applicant needs to have already done their homework as to what type of culture the organization has. The 2nd interview will allow the applicant to ask questions pertaining to communication guidelines, work product reviews, valued actions, and rewarded behaviors. There are two sides to a job, the social aspects and hard skills. I always advocate that if the player doesn’t learn the rules governing the game early on, they are just throwing darts in the dark, hoping it will hit the board. The game is half branding, and reputation building, and half performance as generally defined by fulfilling the job description. All companies want their employees to meet their performance expectations. Its important to ask the hiring manager to explain to you through scenarios, “right” and “wrong” behaviors. Something as simple as resources (staff, copier, paper and ink) can cause conflict. Can you imagine miscommunications? Discussing scenarios and finding out how they are perceived or timelines are played, will not only speak to performance appraisals but also to the underlying rules that govern everyday actions before and after the reviews.

Career Path

I am always amazed to find out how many individuals fall in to the trap of taking a job that pays higher over a job that pays a little less but has a clearly defined path for growth. During the 2nd job interview, it is wise for the applicant to ask about the training and advancement process. Finding out what your role is and what the company’s role is, is very important. The employee contract is very employee driven now and if an applicant wants to succeed, he or she must clearly know what the unspoken rules of that contract are. A position may be on a basic tier level, meaning within a number of years or experiences the next position would be within access to the applicant. On the other hand, the position could be on a partnership track, meaning, a certain group would need to provide a positive evaluation for the individual to go up the ladder. So on and so forth. Asking that the hiring manager to simply provide examples of career advanacement within the company would be a great way to learn the process.

Network Building Opportunities

Social media has amazingly taken over the work culture. Employers not only use social media to make hiring decisions now, but also look at your network to see contacts that you will potentially bring with you. Furthermore, who you’ll be working with is just as important as what you will be working on. It is very typical for managers to invite you to take a tour of the office and meet some of the people with whom you’ll be working. Although this may be a good opener, it will not shed any light on the dynamics you may be walking into. Finding out names and doing a background search on the individuals would be a lot more useful. Again social media is great for that. You can also ask how the organization incorporates team work, how teams are formed, who and what determines which teams get what projects and how is the team evaluated. Knowing how messages are transmitted in an organization speaks volumes to how you will spend your day. The people you work with, ultimately become your second family. The difference is you have a chance at picking your second family.

Career-Planning: How to Plan for the Interview Process

Job-readiness training program - no cost to you!  

In case you didn't know, we have a complimentary job seeker class through our Central Florida Jobs Initiative program which equips and empowers job seekers to become excellent employees. Professional, mid, and entry level job seekers are welcome! We have classes starting often, but sign ups for the next class are ending this week.  If you are job seeking or know someone who is, then please share - sign up quick!

Offering class start dates in Seminole and Orange Counties! Participants are guaranteed job placement assistance upon successful completion of the program.

 

More Information or to sign up for the next session 

  

 

How to Deal With Gaps in Your Employment History

Whether you have been out of work for some time due to an illness or a family situation or simply have not been able to find the right employment opportunity, at some point you will have to answer the dreaded question of what you did while you were out of work for so long. Don’t panic! Think of this time off as a positive rather than a negative. Consider the examples below:

Negative

Positive

I was out of work because I had kids.

I gave birth to two wonderful children in the span of 2 years and my family and I made the decision that I would stay at home to raise and nurture them during their younger years. I am now eager to jump back in the workforce and hit the ground running using the time management and conflict resolution skills that I sharpened during the time I spent with my children. I’m sure these skills will greatly benefit your bottom line.

My mother was sick so I had to take care of her.

I spent the last two years as the primary caregiver to my mother who was diagnosed with a terminal form of breast cancer. During my time off I attended many appointments, treatments, and support groups with her. I learned a great deal about the disease and truly developed empathy and understanding for those going through treatments. I’m eager to bring this experience to this position which will help me understand and relate to your customers in a genuine way.

My last job burned me out.

In my previous industry the status quo was an 80 hour work week. In the summer of last year I decided that for the sake of my health and well-being I would take a sabbatical. After taking time to get to reconnect to my family and friends a little better I found that I truly enjoy working with teens and young adults. I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and found my true calling.

 

Do you notice a pattern here? The negative examples all sound like they are excuses, as if you are blaming someone else for your situation. In the positive examples, you put yourself in the driver’s seat and you show what you learned and gained from taking time off. This will set you apart from the masses and ensure that an employer will remember you for your abilities and not your excuses.

Written by Guest Blogger and CFEC Board Member:
Sarah Siraj
Employment Coordinator, Orlando Office
Brevard Achievement Center
www.bacbrevard.com

(repost for upcoming job fair) 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