By Barbara Louise Davis
To prepare consumers for the upcoming Louisville Career Fair on March 20, 2013, CAL is providing a Job Readiness Class on resumes March 7 from 10:00-11 a.m. at the Louisville Free Public Library (main branch). On March 13 CAL will host a Job Fair Boot Camp (at CAL) from 1-4 p.m. Boot Camp will cover knowing your rights, online job applications, what employers are looking for, and other job search issues.
Job seekers have a lot of questions and sometimes make mistakes as a result of not knowing the answers. The following list of dos and don’ts provide a guide. Attending CAL’s Job Readiness Class and Job Fair Boot Camp will ensure applicants have the information and assistance needed in following these guidelines.
Take Job Fairs Seriously
HR managers have ways of keeping track of professionally dressed attendees at job fairs. Additionally, people sometimes get interviewed on the spot and hired. This does not happen to those who arrive inappropriately dressed or with kids in tow.
Believe in Yourself
If you are not absolutely sure you are the best candidate for the job, it will show. Before heading out to sell yourself to a potential employer, sell yourself to YOU.
Put Your Best Self Forward in Your Resume
Show what you accomplished and how you met your employer’s needs rather than simply listing job titles and duties. Use action words and qualifiers to do this. For example: “Promoted customer retention by serving food with enthusiasm and friendliness” instead of “Waited on customers in restaurant.”
Keep interview outfits and accessories clean and tear-free. Have money on hand for gas or transportation expenses. Plan your departure time in advance in order to leave early enough to accommodate any possible delays. Keep your resume polished and up-to-date. If you need assistance with any aspect of the job search, including professional interview clothing, call 211 for information on organizations that can help.
Be Ready for the Interview
Practice your interviewing skills with a friend or a professional during a mock interview. Research the company prior to sending out the application, and be ready with a list of good questions to ask the interviewer. Just before the interview relax and present an appearance of poise and self-confidence. If you practice this often enough, you will be able to get through an interview without nervous gestures or “freezing” at difficult questions.
Know Your Rights
Research disability rights on the internet and at the library. Attend free workshops on all aspects of job seeking - including disability rights - offered at CAL and other agencies. Knowing your rights can ease fears about asking for accommodations and prepare applicants for handling any “illegal” questions that might come up.
Follow Up After the Application and Interview
Show an interest in the position with a follow-up phone call after the application is submitted. If an interview is granted, send a thank-you note immediately afterward.
Prevent this by submitting your application in a timely manner. Stay abreast of technology that is used in job searches. Check your resume, application and cover letter thoroughly for errors and wording. When filling out applications or attending job fairs, be appropriately dressed. Arrive at the interview on time - professionally dressed and confident.
Leave Out the Cover Letter
The cover letter lets the hiring personnel know which position you are applying for and briefly explains why you are the best candidate for the job. It also provides contact information and asks for an interview. Employers will often trash a resume without reading it if a cover letter is not attached.