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Labor Market Information
from the Office of Research

ation Applic s Job Lead Résumés

résumés cover letters, fo workshops for interview skill assessment and development, what you th career decisions, training apprenticeships for masonry electricians, carpenters, and more, résumé banks, web sea marketing yourself, job fairs,

DOL offices, free services and résumé workshops, interviewing skills, motivation in your searc dressing appropriately for intervies résumé banks, web search cover letters, résumés, foll information for career choices and devel networking market

Your Job Search Guide

Prepared by: The Connecticut Department of Labor Office of Research 200 Folly Brook Boulevard Wethersfield, CT 06109 (860) 263-6275

This publication is also available at our Web site: www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi

Special thanks to the following agencies for permission to adapt their articles: Maine Department of Labor, Job Hunting in Maine; and Virginia Occupational Employment Coordinating Committee, Mid-Atlantic Guide to Information on Careers.

Table of Contents
To immediately link to the appropriate page, click on the page number. Work Search Planning

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Introduction ...................................................... 2 Section A: Work Search Planning Connecticut Department of Labor Offices ........ 3 Work Search Plan ............................................. 4 Where to Look for Work .................................... 5 Newspaper Help Wanted Ads ........................... 6 Tips on Attending a Job Fair ............................. 7 Using Your Telephone ....................................... 8 Networking ......................................................... 9 What If? ........................................................... 10 Dressing Professionally ................................... 11 The Application Form ...................................... 12 Career Development on the Job ..................... 13 When to Look for Work ............................. 14, 15

Section B: Career Planning Deciding on a Career ...................................... 16 What If I Still Can’t Decide What I Want to Do? .................................................. 17 Section C: Résumés and Cover Letters The Anatomy of a Résumé ....................... 20, 21 The Headline Résumé .................................... 22 Sample: Chronological Résumés ..............23-25 Sample: Functional Résumé ........................... 26 Sample: Headline Résumé ............................. 27 Tips for Professional Résumés ....................... 28 Ten Things to Avoid on Your Résumé ............. 29 Action Words for Résumés ............................. 30 References ...................................................... 31 Sample: Modified Letter Résumé ................... 32 Scannable and Electronic Résumés ............... 33 Sample: Electronic Résumé ........................... 34 Tips for Great Cover Letters ............................ 35 Sample: Cover Letters .................................... 36 Self-Assessment ........................................ 18,19

Section D: Interviewing Interview Preparation ................................ 37, 38 Employers’ List of Top Interview Mistakes ...... 39 Common Interview Questions ................... 40, 41 Your Legal Rights When Job Searching ... 42, 43 Criminal Records and Substance Abuse Testing .......................................................... 44 Section E: Resources Resources ..................................................49-51 Work Search Planner ................................ 52, 53
Your Job Search Guide

The Mature or Overqualified Worker .............. 45 The Lunch Interview ........................................ 46 Thank You Letters ........................................... 47 Salary Negotiations ......................................... 48

Record of Job Leads ....................................... 54

InIntroduction
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Career development is a lifelong, ongoing process. Changing jobs or careers opens new doors to experiences you may not have previously considered. Your Job Search Guide provides information and resources to use in your job search process. Skills assessment, résumé preparation, interview techniques, and networking are all essential components of your job search. Finding a new job is a fulltime job, and is easier to accomplish when using a variety of methods. Career counselors are available, at no cost to you, at Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) offices throughout the State. DOL office locations are listed in the next section; Web sites, books, and other resources are also identified throughout this guide for your reference. The job search process can be challenging and discouraging, but keep in mind that it is a process. It will take time, but eventually you will find the right job. Set aside time for family and friends, exercise, and proper diet. All these elements will help you maintain a positive attitude. Surround yourself with supportive people and be honest with your family and friends; it is very important to avoid isolation. Set attainable goals and focus on your accomplishments. Volunteer work and support groups can also provide a sense of fulfillment. How quickly you find employment relies a great deal on the importance you place on your job search. Unemployment insurance is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are either looking for new jobs, in approved training, or awaiting recall to employment. Call or visit your local DOL office to file for benefits as soon as possible after you are separated from employment. Claims will be taken without a “pink slip.” While each case is evaluated on an individual basis to determine eligibility and amount of benefits, some of the guidelines for eligibility are listed below: • You are physically and mentally able and available for full-time work. • You are actively seeking work by making reasonable efforts to find employment each week. • You are identified as a dislocated worker and participate in selected reemployment services. • You are partially or fully unemployed through no fault of your own, e.g. layoff, downsizing, or termination of a seasonal job. • You have left work to care for a seriously ill spouse or child, or a parent domiciled with you, provided the illness is documented by a licensed physician. • You left work solely because of government regulation or statute. Please keep in mind this is only a partial list of eligibility requirements; a counselor at your local DOL office should be contacted to discuss your individual case and right to benefits. Note: If you are collecting unemployment insurance benefits, you must keep a daily log of the steps you take to find work. You may be required at any time to present this log to an agency staff member for review. If you are declared ineligible for any weeks in which you did not actively look for work, you will be required to repay any unemployment benefits you received but were not entitled to. Whether you’ve become recently unemployed or are seeking a career change, we encourage you to take advantage of the services the Department of Labor Offices offer. Our primary goal is to assist you in any way we can to find your next job. To find a list of the DOL Offices, visit the Department of Labor Web site at www.ctdol.state.ct.us and select “Divisions and Offices”, call 1-888-CTWORKS, or visit the nearest DOL Office (listed on the following page).

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Connecticut Department of Labor Offices
Work Search Planning

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Connecticut Department of Labor offices coordinate the various job development needs of the State for employers and job seekers. They provide easy, one-stop access to a wide variety of career information including services for the unemployed, underemployed, students, those in career transition, and career counselors. Some of the services include:
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Assessment testing Career guidance Career resource library

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Computer and Internet access Job listings Free phone and fax use

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Job Fairs Specialized workshops Training program referrals

For more information about DOL office services, visit the Department of Labor Web site at www.ctdol.state.ct.us and select “Divisions and Offices,” call 1-888-CTWORKS, or visit the nearest DOL Office. Bridgeport 2 Lafayette Square Bridgeport, CT 06604 Telephone: (203) 330-4830 Danbury 152 West Street Danbury, CT 06813 Telephone: (203) 731-2929 Danielson 95 Westcott Road Danielson, CT 06239 Telephone: (860) 779-5850 Enfield 620 Enfield Street Enfield, CT 06082 Telephone: (860) 741-4295 Hamden 37 Marne Street Hamden, CT 06514 Telephone: (203) 789-7741 Hartford 3580 Main Street Hartford, CT 06120 Telephone: (860) 566-5727 Meriden 290 Pratt Street Meriden, CT 06450 Telephone: (203) 238-6148 Middletown 645 South Main Street Middletown, CT 06457 Telephone: (860) 344-2661 New Britain 260 Lafayette Street New Britain, CT 06053 Telephone: (860) 827-4460 New London Shaw’s Cove Six New London, CT 06320 Telephone: (860) 447-6211 Telephone: (860) 442-6937 (Career Services) Norwich 113 Salem Turnpike Norwich, CT 06360 Telephone: (860) 859-5600 Torrington 486 Winsted Road, Torrington Parkade Torrington, CT 06790 Telephone: (860) 626-6220 Waterbury 249 Thomaston Ave. Waterbury, CT 06702 Telephone: (203) 596-4141 Willimantic 1320 Main Street, Tyler Square Willimantic, CT 06226 Telephone: (860) 465-2120

Your Job Search Guide

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Work Search Plan
Work Search Planning

Finding a new job is a big undertaking, and careful planning not only helps you find the right job, but provides a sense of accomplishment during your search. Organized planning makes a job search easier and quicker. Looking for work is a full-time job; you should plan to spend 40 hours a week in your job search activities. Keep in mind that finding a job is a process that takes time, but if you keep looking, you will find employment. Maintain Your Physical and Mental Health. Focus on your actions and progress. Even if you have not received a job offer, you should be proud of the effort you have put into looking for work. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and socializing with family and friends are all necessary to promote activity and prevent depression. Organize Your Job Search. Remain organized in your job search. Plan daily, weekly, and monthly activities that will bring you one step closer to your long-term career goals. Always have a calendar on hand to schedule meetings, record your progress, and set daily priorities. Document your job search activities in order to ensure smooth follow-up conversations - when you called an employer, who you spoke with, when you mailed your résumé, etc. Use the forms on pages 52-53 to organize and record your activities. Photocopy your cover letters so that you will have a record of what you said and will know the date to make your followup telephone call. Research Your Future Job. If you are considering a career change, research your options. Look into self-employment, degree programs, apprenticeships and internships. You may discover a goal that you believed was unobtainable is indeed possible. The more you know about your future career, the more able you are to obtain it. What skills and education are associated with the job you want? Do you need further training or experience to gain these skills? Are you willing to relocate if necessary? Give thought to the kind of work environment you would feel most comfortable in, and look for companies that are compatible. Recognize Potential Obstacles. Fear creates stress and anxiety which only serve to defeat your plans and goals. Define what may keep you from attaining your goals - your attitude, inexperience, lack of education, little emotional support from your family, the local economy - and find solutions to overcome your obstacles. Break down intimidating activities into smaller steps and focus on accomplishing one step at a time. Update Your Skills. Prepare your résumé and brush up on your interview skills - when you find a job you want, you need to be ready to apply. Volunteer or look into training courses to update your work skills. Community colleges and towns often offer low-cost, short-term classes. Visit the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium’s Web site at www.ctdlc.org for details on completing college courses on-line with a home computer. Your new knowledge will make you more marketable and the experience may provide contacts and references. Utilize Your Resources. Networking is important to find unadvertised job openings. Seek out the advice of family, friends, relatives, former co-workers/employers, and any organizations to which you belong. Be open to new ideas; someone may suggest an avenue you had not considered before. Start NOW. Take action now in spite of the fact that you may not feel like it. Your feelings will change and you will feel better as you take action. If you think you need to take a break, slow down the pace for a day or two. Even if you send out only one letter or make one phone call a day, you are still making progress. The important thing is not to let yourself get into a rut of feeling frustrated and unmotivated.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Where to Look for Work
Work Search Planning

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There are many ways to find out about employment opportunities. The more resources you use, the more you will learn about job opportunities. Consider the options below: Apply Directly to a Company: Visit a company to inquire about career opportunities. Most personnel or human resources departments have applications for you to complete. Community Organizations: Volunteering at nonprofit institutions not only offers experience, but also builds contacts and employment leads. Many organizations such as AARP, GreenThumb, and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women offer job placement assistance to persons with particular barriers to employment. If you are interested in a particular company, find out which charities they actively support and volunteer there - it may provide an important contact. Connecticut Department of Labor Offices: Services are provided free of charge regardless of employment status and include job referrals, career counseling, computer, phone, and fax use. Internet: There are many Web sites where you can post your résumé on-line for review by many different companies. You can also visit a specific company’s Web site to view job opportunities and apply on-line. If you don’t have a computer, visit your local library or DOL office. Job Fairs: A job fair gives you the chance to speak to a company representative about their hiring needs and your qualifications for employment. The Connecticut Department of Labor, community colleges, and private groups often hold job fairs with over 100 employers represented. Networking: Let friends, family and acquaintances know you are looking for work. Most people find jobs through word-of-mouth, and your chances of securing employment are always improved if you are recommended to an employer by someone they already know. Newspaper Ads: Read through several newspapers to find the right opportunity for you. Be aware that some training facilities and jobs requiring investments place ads in the employment section. A legitimate job offer does not require money from the job seeker. If you are interested in training or investments, check with your local Better Business Bureau for information on an organization before sending any money. Private Employment Agencies: Otherwise known as “temp agencies,” private employment agencies will place you to work temporarily in a company, anywhere from one day to several years. Temporary work can lead to full-time, permanent positions, and includes clerical, technical, and professional positions. Some companies choose to use private employment agencies for all their hiring needs. Check the yellow pages under “employment agencies” and call them to find out which companies they represent. Professional Associations: Consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook for lists of associations relating to certain occupations. This publication is available on-line at www.bls.gov/oco. Public Library: Books on résumé writing, interviews, and other career development techniques are available. Some libraries now have career centers and computers for patron use. School Career Centers: Almost every high school and college has a career center that offers counseling and job placement. Even if you graduated years ago, most schools offer their services throughout a student’s lifetime. Trade Unions: Libraries have lists of local trade unions for carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. Yellow Pages: Companies are organized in the telephone directory’s yellow pages by the services they offer or products they produce. Call the human resources department to ask about job opportunities.

Your Job Search Guide

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Newspaper Help Wanted Ads
Work Search Planning

The Sunday help wanted section is a mainstay in a job seeker’s hunt. However, the cost of advertisement in a large paper’s Sunday edition is high, forcing some employers to place their ads on weekdays or in smaller papers, so include these papers in your job search. Demonstrate that you follow instructions by complying with an employer’s request to fax résumés, refrain from telephone inquiries, provide salary requirements, or apply in person. If you need to apply in person, visit the company dressed professionally, bring several copies of your résumé, and be prepared to complete an application form. Note the required skills listed in each ad and mention them in your cover letter and during the interview. Keep a copy of any ad you respond to and record the corresponding name and date of the newspaper. A key to understanding abbreviations used in advertisements are provided below: Option to invest money with tax breaks; some employers match your savings AA Affirmative Action Appt Appointment Attn Attention avail Available Bnfts Benefits c/o Care of EEO, EOE Equal Employment Opportunity Equal Opportunity Employer A policy that gives each applicant a fair opportunity. May appear with M/F/D/H/V, which represent Male, Female, Disabled, Handicapped, Veteran Eqpmt Equipment Exc Excellent exp’d, exper Experienced, Experience F/T Full-time Fee Paid Temporary agencies charge companies to use their workers. While some agencies make workers pay this fee, “fee paid” means the agency has paid it. Flex Flexible Flex-time Employees are given some choice in their work hours. gd Good HR Human Resources Hrs Hours
SALES!!! Great opportunity for motivated individuals. Set your own schedule and pay. Call 555-1212 for more information.

401K

This ad is for part- and fullFLORAL DESIGNER time positions as a floral F/T P/T positions, gd pay & designer. Experience is insur, exp req’d. Apply within required for applicants, at Petals Deluxe, 305 Flower and the job offers good Lane, Wethersfield. No pay with insurance. phone calls. EOE F/D/V Applicants should apply in person at the address listed. Petals Deluxe is an Equal Opportunity Employer that hires females, the disabled and veterans. Immed Indivs Ins K Loc M-F Mjr Nec Oppty, Opps OT P/T PC Perm Pref, Pref’d Prof’l Rep Req’d Reqmnts Res Sal+Commis Shift Diff Immediate Individuals Insurance Thousand Location Monday through Friday Major Necessary Opportunity, Opportunities Overtime Part-time Personal Computer Permanent Preferred Professional Representative Required Requirements Résumé Salary plus Commission Shift Differential - a higher wage is paid to workers on 2nd or 3rd shift Temporary Transportation With Week Year, Years

Some advertisements that appear promising require you to send money for an “investment opportunity” or “training.” Check any company that requests money with your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.
The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

temp trans w/ Wk Yr, Yrs

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Tips on Attending a Job Fair
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At a job fair, company representatives rent a display area to present information on their company and its job opportunities. Some companies will conduct in-house job fairs to give a firsthand account of the working environment and employment opportunities. It is up to you to approach the representatives, introduce yourself, and describe your employment goals. To find out about upcoming job fairs, visit your local DOL office, the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Job Fairs Web site at www.ctjobfairs.com, or your local newspaper. Follow the tips below for a productive job fair visit: Do Your Homework. Before attending any job fair, obtain a list of the participating companies and research key information on those firms in which you are interested. Recruiters will ask, “What do you know about us?” and you should have an answer prepared. Know What You’re Looking For. When a recruiter asks, “What are you looking for?” be prepared to answer. Recruiters are not willing to waste their time with people who are in a “what job pays the most” attitude or are unsure of what they want. Even if you can’t narrow your career choice to fewer than three, identify only one to each recruiter. If you have more than one résumé, separate each version by colored folders so you can easily pick the appropriate one. Saying, “Oh, that’s the wrong résumé,” and trying to take it back could ruin an opportunity. Bring Extra Résumés and Business Cards. Copiers are generally not available and finding a copy place takes time away from your job search. Try to determine the number of companies attending and bring at least one résumé for each company. Note that some companies may request additional copies in order to forward them on to different departments. If you do happen to run out of résumés, exchange business cards with the recruiter to ensure that your name will be remembered. Business cards are also helpful when networking with other job seekers at the fair. Get the Recruiters’ Business Cards. This allows you to address follow-up calls and letters to a specific person. Take the time to jot down notes on the back of the card about what you discussed. When you talk to the recruiter again, you will be able to jar each other’s memory by saying, “I remember you, we were talking about marketing research opportunities.” Present Yourself in a Professional Manner. Don’t make the mistake of showing up in casual attire. Recruiters may consider you if you’re in business casual, but professional attire gives you a winning edge and reflects your motivation. Be polite, courteous, and pleasant to everyone you encounter. Approach Employers Individually. If you choose to carpool with a friend, arrange a meeting time and split up while visiting companies. Showing up in a group makes a recruiter doubt that you are serious about your job search efforts. Do not bring children. An employer will be reluctant to hire someone without reliable daycare. Go Early. Usually the slowest time of a job fair is the first hour, so arrive early to spend more time with employers. Give yourself at least an hour to walk through and talk to the company representatives. The worst time to arrive is the last hour; some employers will have found their new employee and left early. Visit as Many Companies as Possible. Pick up a list of the employers exhibiting and visit all of them. Don’t skip a company because of its name or type of business. A hospital may have openings for clerical staff and a manufacturer may be looking for a nurse. Check with employment agencies — you may find the company you wish to work for is represented by one of them. Talk to Other Candidates. While standing in line, take time to talk to other candidates. Someone may have turned down a position you would find rewarding. Someone else may be employed at a company in which you are interested. A job fair is a perfect opportunity to establish new networking contacts.

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Using Your Telephone
Work Search Planning
Proper use of a telephone during networking and job searching greatly increases your opportunity for employment. An employer needs to know that he or she will be able to reach you if necessary and that you will be able to conduct a professional conversation with customers over the phone. The “Record of Job Leads” on page 54 is useful in documenting telephone conversations.

Check your Use Your Home Phone Number. If you are currently employed, you should not p h o n e use your business telephone number for contact information. An employer will messages gain the impression that you are in the habit of using work time to take care of at least personal business. Furthermore, if you share a telephone line at work, your coonce a day, workers and current boss are more likely to find out about your job search. If you and return phone calls have no other choice than using your work number, mention to the employer that the same business day. you are only comfortable taking personal calls during your break time. This request A prompt response to will show that you respect your employer’s rules. If at all possible, establish a one an employer’s message to two hour time frame to be at home each day to answer telephone calls. Then not only creates a good when an employer asks for a good time to call, you will be able to give a specific impression, but also time frame. gives you an advantage Follow Phone Etiquette. Every time you answer the phone, use a professional, over other applicants. calm voice and identify yourself. For instance, “Hello, Jack Brown speaking.” Keep a pen, notepad and calendar by your phone for easy reference. When making telephone calls, make sure there is no background noises such as the T.V., radio, children, or someone calling for you. Do not smoke, drink or eat while on the phone. Remember to smile while talking to a contact or an employer. It may seem silly, but smiling helps you to maintain an upbeat tone of voice. Inform Everyone that Answers the Phone. Let everyone in your home know that an employer may be calling you, and that they should answer the phone politely. Emphasize the importance of accurate messages delivered in a timely manner. Try to limit the number of people that will be using the phone. An employer will not understand if you return a call days later because your roommate forgot to give you the message or your child didn’t write down the person’s name and phone number. Have a Message System Ready. You must have voice mail or an answering machine during your job search. If you do not have a message system, an employer will probably only call twice to try to reach you before moving on to the next applicant. It is unprofessional to call an employer to see if you missed a call. The message you choose for your answering machine or voice mail is important. Avoid jokes, messages by children, or other persons. The employer should hear your voice without background noise. An appropriate message is: “You have reached 555-6868, the June Smith residence. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.” If you do not have an answering system for use while on the Internet, limit Internet use for the evening when employers are less likely to call. Check your messages at least once a day, and return calls within 24 hours. Do not expect an employer to leave more than one message; they will only leave a message once and expect you to return the call. Ask Permission Before Using a Phone Number. If you do not have a phone, ask permission from a responsible person to use his or her phone. Let the person know that employers will be calling; it will only make you look foolish if an employer calls for you and your friend answers, “Oh, he doesn’t live here,” or “Who’s calling? I didn’t even know he was looking for work.” Check for messages every day.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Networking
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Did you know that approximately 85% of the job openings are never advertised? Most employers don’t need to advertise - there are enough interview candidates referred to them from a trusted employee or colleague. A word-of-mouth referral dramatically increases your chances of being called in for an interview. Keep in mind that checking the classified ads should not be discontinued, but the greatest percentage of your time should be spent utilizing the most effective job search technique. Networking is the most effective way of discovering the hidden job market. The purpose is to develop and use personal contacts in order to exchange information, ideas and resources, and to get feedback on your résumé, qualifications, and job search strategies. In the process, your goal is to inform as many people as possible that you are looking for a job and to let them know what type of job you want. At first, you may have some reservations about approaching people for help, but once you get started, you will be surprised at how willing most people are to offer assistance. First, make a list of all the people you know. Include your extended family, business contacts, friends, acquaintances, previous employers and previous co-workers, etc. If you do not want your current employer to know about your job search, do not network with your co-workers. Contact the career centers of schools you attended; most offer their services to alumni and current students alike. Register at a DOL office - where services are provided free of charge regardless of your employment status - to receive job referrals and career counseling. Support groups are also helpful in providing encouragement, job leads, and information on companies. Consider five to ten people you can use for a reference, and ask their permission to do so. Record each person’s name, address, telephone number, and occupation. Let them know what kind of work you are looking for and give them a copy of your résumé. Typically, each time you apply for a job you will only be asked for two or three references, but you should use different people so no one person is bombarded by calls. Family members are not acceptable as references, and you should never use a person as a reference without his or her permission. Contact the people on your list and inform them of your job search and describe your work qualifications and preferences. Send them a copy of your résumé so they will be better able to recommend you if they hear of a job opening. Line up one or two people to review your résumé and practice interviewing with them. Ask everyone to recommend you for an appropriate opening, and to notify you of any job opportunities. Gain as much information as possible by asking questions such as: l How did you get your current job? l When you hire someone, what do you look for? l What training programs or classes do you think would help me? l What mistakes did you make in your job search? l What resources did you find particularly helpful in your last job search? l Will you let me know if you hear of any opportunities that fit my qualifications? l Who would you recommend for me to contact next? You are guaranteed to receive conflicting advice, but don’t let confusion prevent action. Consider the source; usually advice from people in your field is most relevant. Different employers look for different things in a résumé, interview, and employee. Tactics that may work in one occupation may not work in another. For instance, if you are looking to land a competitive sales position, aggressiveness and persistence would probably pay off, but if you are seeking a counseling position, presenting a patient, understanding persona would be better. If in doubt, err on the conservative side and never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Keep in touch with your contacts throughout your job search to update them on your progress. When you do find employment, inform your network. A formal thank-you note lets them know you appreciated their time. Remember to extend the same help to them in the future.

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What If?
Work Search Planning

Q. A.

I am a student. When should I start my job search?

If you are graduating soon from high school, college, or a training program, you should begin your job search two to three months before the graduation date. Starting your job search early gives you a distinct advantage over your competing classmates. It gives you time to prepare your résumé, practice your interviewing skills, obtain references, and network. When you design your résumé, you will want to emphasize your education by placing it above your work experience (see page 23.) If your work experience is limited or unrelated to your desired job, it may be best to use the functional or combination format. Even if you are looking for entry-level work, do not include that phrase in your objective. If you held any leadership positions in school activities, such as captain of the football team or president of the yearbook, be sure to include these in your activities. They demonstrate strong leadership skills which employers are looking for. Most schools have counselors, resource rooms, and computers to help you with your job search. They are often the best way to find employment before and after graduation. Make an early appointment with a counselor to secure individualized attention. At graduation time, they will be bombarded with requests and will have less time to spend with you. Counselors typically have many contacts with local employers, so consulting with them is an easy way to get your résumé in circulation. Your school may even host its own job fairs. Employers want employees with updated skills and related work experience. Hopefully, you have balanced your education with experiences gained through school activities, part-time work, internships, co-ops, job shadowing, or volunteer work. Even if your program does not require technology classes, most employers expect familiarity with computer software programs. Ask those who have already graduated in your area of study which computer programs are most used, and learn them.

Q. A.

I was fired from my last job. How should I present this in my job search?

If you have been fired from your last job, you should allow yourself time to process your emotions. Then, in an objective mindframe, you should reflect on why your job was terminated and determine if you need to adjust your job search. Should you look for a different type of job? Update your skills? Modify your behavior? Addressing the issue and releasing your emotions is necessary in order to be productive in your search for a new job. Do not rely on the myth that it is against the law to give a bad reference; employers can and do give bad references. Once you have formulated a job search plan that addresses the issues related with your termination, contact your former employer. Explain that you are in the process of finding employment and give an example of how you plan to explain your termination in an interview. Ask if it coincides with the reference he or she plans to give. You may be fortunate enough to have an employer that will explain the dismissal as a mutual decision. If you are guilty of any wrongdoing such as theft, insubordination, or lying, it is especially important to contact your previous employer. For example, Joe was fired for theft from his previous employer. He contacted his former employer, apologized for his mistake, and arranged a payment plan. He prepared the following statement to explain his termination in an interview. “I was terminated from my last job because I stole equipment valued at $300. I understand that this was a violation of trust, and have made payment arrangements with my previous employer in order to make amends. I have learned from my mistake, and am anxious to return to work.” In order to reestablish your work record, you may have to take a position with less responsibility or income than your previous one. You may want to consider working temporary jobs through an employment agency in order to reestablish your work record. Remember, your future employer is taking a greater risk offering you a job instead of a typical candidate.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Dressing Professionally
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An employer knows very little about your personality and abilities, and has to rely on the few times you meet to make a decision. They want someone who will be able to represent the company well - persons with all the right experience and skills may be passed by if they do not possess a professional image. Dressing professionally is necessary throughout your job search, even when you are not talking to an employer. You must dress in your best business attire when you pick up an application, network, conduct an informational interview, attend a formal interview, and when you begin working. Cleanliness - You should have showered that day and have clean, neatly combed hair. You will be shaking hands with employers so make sure your fingernails are neatly trimmed and clean. Refrain from using cologne or perfume since many people are allergic and the fragrance can be distracting. Brush your teeth - you don’t want a piece of food in your teeth as you talk to an employer. Your clothes should be clean and pressed without tears, stains or wrinkles. Clothing - Your clothes should always be clean and neatly pressed - never wear stained or torn clothing. For business professionals, wear a dark, conservative suit and polished, unscuffed dress shoes. Women should wear a business suit with a knee length skirt, natural-toned nylons and shoes with a moderate heel. Men should not forget to wear a belt, tie, dark socks, and creased pants. If you are applying for a job that is less formally attired, such as construction or assembly work, business casual is appropriate. This includes a button-down, tucked in shirt, pants, belt, and shoes. Under no circumstances should sneakers, sandals, jeans, shorts, t-shirts, short or tight clothing be worn. A general rule of thumb is to dress for the position above the one for which you are applying. For instance, if you are applying for a cashier position, you should dress as though you were the store manager. Hair - Hair should be clean, trimmed, and neatly combed. During your job search, schedule frequent haircuts to maintain a freshly trimmed style and avoid an overgrown or shaggy look. Avoid any unnatural hair dyes. Men should be clean shaven or have neatly trimmed facial hair. If a woman’s hair falls below the shoulders it should be pulled back or up.

Jewelry - The one piece of jewelry everyone should wear is a watch since it helps you to stay on time and communicates responsibility. A belt should always be worn with pants for a complete, neat look. Both women and men should limit rings to one finger and, if at all possible, conceal tattoos. Men should leave additional jewelry at home - this includes earrings, bracelets, extra rings, and necklaces. For women, light make-up and one pair of earrings is preferred. Fingernails should be business length - just past the fingertips, and no loud colors or designs. Clear polish or a french manicure is best. Anklets should not be worn. Manners - Along with dressing properly, you must communicate confidence and professionalism. Do not use slang words or swear, smoke, or chew gum. Maintain eye contact and speak in a clear voice. Answer with “yes” and “no,” not “yeah,” “nah,” or “uh-huh.” Avoid nervous mannerisms such as fidgeting, tapping, or touching your hair. An interviewer will notice if you are uncomfortable or fidgeting with your clothes. Wear your outfit before meeting with an employer to know that it is comfortable to sit, stand, and walk in and needs no adjustments. Do not eat anything during an interview.

A professional image will make people more comfortable in referring you to an employer.

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The Application Form
Work Search Planning

The application form should be taken seriously; many applicants have lost job opportunities due to unfinished or carelessly completed forms. Whenever you visit an employer to inquire about a job or arrive for an interview, be prepared to fill out a job application. Prior to your initial visit, pick up a job application at almost any business establishment to see what information is requested. Then document the information below and bring it with you when making any employer contact. Employment History - For each job you’ve held, record the company name and address along with your supervisor’s name and telephone number. Confirm that this information is still accurate - phone numbers and mailing addresses can change. Include the month and year of the beginning and ending dates of employment. Personal Information - You will need to provide your address, telephone number, Social Security Number, driver’s license number, and any necessary working papers. You should not use your current work telephone number for contact information. Other information that is typically requested includes the name and address of schools you have attended, your course of study, graduation dates, and G.P.A. Include information on high school, colleges, training programs and equivalency tests. References - You must ask a person’s permission before using them as a reference. It will only reflect badly on you if an employer were to call an unprepared person. Your references should have a copy of your résumé and be familiar with your qualifications and the type of job you are seeking. You will need the full name, home address, telephone number, and occupational title for each of your references. Have at least five to ten solid references available and alternate names so that no one person is bombarded with calls. Family members are not acceptable references.

To complete an accurate, neat application form, follow the additional tips below:
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Tell the truth. If you lie on an application form, you can be fired. Read the entire application form before filling it out. Provide the information where it is requested. For example, notice if you should write your last name first or if there are separate lines for street and town information. Fill out all the information. If you are not sure what the question is asking, ask for clarification. If a question does not apply to you, print “not applicable” or “n/a.” This shows that you did not just skip over a section. Print or type the information. Bring a blue or black pen to fill out the application. Any other color is unprofessional, and borrowing a pen shows you are unprepared. Apply for a specific job. You may list up to three job titles, but never write “anything.”

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Be neat and clear. Do not eat or drink while completing the application, and be sure to print clearly. If an employer has to struggle to understand your handwriting, he or she will probably skip over it. Keep your future job in mind when describing your previous experience. For example, if your last job was as a sales clerk but you are now applying for a bookkeeping job, you would first list the job duties of the sales position that involved bookkeeping, i.e., balancing a cash drawer, calculating sales discounts, following written instructions, etc., before the primary customer service skills. Sign and date the application form. Proofread. Once you have completed the form, reread it to make sure the information is accurate and complete. Double check that you have provided a telephone number.

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The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Career Development on the Job
Work Search Planning

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Even if you take a job temporarily, it is important to provide valuable work to your employer. Not only does this establish a reference for a future job, but it also maintains your self-worth and workplace morale. Use your present job to gain as much experience, training, and skills as possible. In the event that you do decide to move on to a new job, remember to give at least two weeks’ notice. Following the guidelines below will improve your chances for raises, promotions, and positive career development. Be Punctual and employer should be able to rely on you to show up on time 1. each day for work.Dependable. Your at 8:00, you should actually be working at 7:50, not walking If your day begins in the door or getting coffee. Do not call in sick unless you actually are sick - too many sick days will look poor on your job attendance record. Limit your personal phone calls to established break times. your boss’s desk a mess, your work area and equipment should kept 2. Be Neat. Even ifThis helps you to iswork productively while projecting a responsiblebeimage neat and organized. and respect for the company’s equipment.

3. aside a time to discuss your performance and suggestions for improvement. Be open to constructive
criticism. Volunteer for new projects, overtime or new responsibilities. If you have to approach your boss with a question or problem, you should be able to offer a suggestion or possible solution. Avoid Criticism. Employers value good morale as much as technical skills, so do not complain Never criticize your boss to others. Instead of saying, “What a stupid rule,” ask why the rule exists. Usually there is a good reason for workplace procedures.

Communicate with Your Boss. If performance evaluations are not offered, ask your boss to set

4. about your work environment or co-workers.

5. your company and job. Keep in touch with the news - are local, state, or national issues likely to
affect your business?

Stay Informed. Read relevant books, magazines, and other sources of information pertinent to

6. Most colleges now offer distance learning classes; if your schedule is too hectic to attend a class,
consider taking an on-line course. Keeping your skills up-to-date will help you become more productive and will increase your employment opportunities and options.

Update Your Skills. Inquire about training programs and tuition reimbursement at your company.

7. instances where you performed beyond what was required, and problems with employers or co-

Keep a Journal. Record important dates and events at work. Include your accomplishments,

workers. Keeping track of your accomplishments helps in validating your importance during evaluations or salary negotiations. This information can be used to update your résumé (which should be done every six months), and is important for a new job or promotion. If you have a serious problem with a coworker or employer, a record of specific events and corresponding dates will help you prove your pointof-view.

8. mail, Internet use, computer software, or borrowing equipment. Many employers have the capability
to check your e-mail messages, deleted documents, and Internet use and will not hesitate to fire individuals in violation of company policy. Dress and Act Professionally. Your employer should not be in the awkward position of reminding If you are interested in a promotion, you should dress as though you already had the position. Treat everyone you encounter with courtesy and respect. If you have an ongoing problem with an individual, ask a supervisor to sit in on a discussion between the two of you.

Don’t Steal. Using company equipment for personal use is theft. This includes office supplies, e-

9. you to dress and act professionally.

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When to Look for Work
Work Search Planning

Even if you are perfectly happy in your current job, you should stay aware of changes in your company, the job market, and your personal responsibilities that affect your job security. It is rare for a person to spend their working life in one job or company; on average, a person will change jobs eight times during his or her lifetime. Consider the topics below to determine the right time to look for work. It is best to explore possible changes and options before you become discouraged or displaced.

Is Your Industry or Company in Trouble?

If competition in your industry has dramatically increased, if new government initiatives will negatively affect your industry, or if a shrinking customer base is in the future, your industry may be in jeopardy. If your company has had a minimal or zero profit margin for several years or is using 20% or more of its earnings to repay debts, financial trouble is a major concern. A dependency on troubled companies as clients or a small market share compared with competitors can be red flags. Commonplace layoffs, mergers, acquisitions, early retirement offers, and downsizing are all indicators of industry and company trouble.

Is Your Job Type at Risk?

If your job is managing other managers, consists of monitoring, checking or inspecting, or lacks visibility, it may not be secure. Also, if you have been in the same job for over six years, have been working primarily on a product or service that has had poor results, or have difficulty demonstrating a direct contribution to profit, you may need to reevaluate your position. If your job can be easily out-sourced to another department, outside agency, or performed by someone with a lower salary, it may not survive budget cuts.

Are You Buying a House or If you are purchasing a home or have expensive medical care, it may Have Medical Expenses? be in your best interest to stay put. Changing jobs can affect home loan approvals; generally lenders like to see a two year commitment to your most recent job. If you are experiencing large medical expenses, you must consider that medical benefits vary from employer to employer, and changing jobs can create a lapse in coverage.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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When to Look for Work
Work Search Planning

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Have You Changed?

The perfect job is only relative; you may have outgrown your job or it may simply no longer fit your life-style. If your health or family obligations have changed, perhaps you need a job with different hours and responsibilities.

How Valuable are You as an Employee?

Looking for another job keeps you informed of other opportunities and also lets you know how competitive you are in the job market. If your skills have become outdated or job specific, consider training programs in order to update your skills or develop new ones. Job-hopping is often viewed as a flaw in employees, so if you have been changing jobs often, you may need to stay longer to demonstrate dependability.

Do You Dread the Workday?

If you find yourself making negative comments such as “I hate this job,” or “I just dread another Monday morning,” you must examine what you specifically dislike about your job, and then decide if you need a new one or can adjust your present job or attitude to satisfy your needs. If you find yourself bored or postponing job duties, you might need to change your career. If you are unhappy due to your work environment, including coworkers, management style or a long commute, a job with similar duties at another company might be the answer. Seeking a different position with your current employer through a transfer or promotion is a good way to change your work routine without losing established benefits.

On average, a person will change jobs eight times during his or her lifetime.

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Deciding on a Career
Career Planning

If you are considering changing your occupation, your best strategy is to explore your career options before making a commitment. Self-assessment exercises are important to find a job that fits your skills, interests, values, and life-style. An unsuitable employment match will create stress, frustration, and a sense of failure. Understand that there is not just one “perfect” fit for a job, but many jobs that can fit your interests and skills. You are capable of learning many jobs; you just need to choose one that best satisfies your personal needs. What would you like to do for work? This answer may be very different from what your family, friends, and even you think you should do. Often the idea of your dream job comes with a but - “but I don’t have the education,” “but I don’t have the experience,” “but it’s so competitive.” Focus on solutions; perhaps you can go to school on a part-time basis while working for an employer that offers tuition reimbursement. Consider part-time or volunteer work in a field of your interest to gain experience. If you are undecided between two career paths, ask a career counselor about job shadowing opportunities or obtain two part-time positions (one in each field) to better understand the job characteristics before committing to a lengthy training program. Even if your process is slower than you desire, you are still one step closer to your new career. The reward is the satisfaction of knowing that you are working toward a goal you find important and will ultimately have a job you enjoy. There are a variety of sources for information on occupations; some are listed on page 49. In order to gain a better understanding of a specific career, consult with guidance counselors, librarians, and most importantly, employees who work in the field. Ask as many people as possible what they do for a living and for a description of their daily work routine. You may stumble onto a career that you would have otherwise never known about. Another good resource is newspaper ads. Clip out job descriptions that peak your interest, and list what specifically attracts you to the job along with the requirements for employment. Investigate the following categories for each of the careers you are researching:
l Advantages l Brief

and disadvantages of the job

l Professional l Related l Salary

associations

description of the job and daily tasks ladder, advancement possibilities

occupations

l Career l Cost

for entry-level and experienced workers required

and location of training requirements

l Skills/interests l Stress

l Education/training l Job

level used

security and future changes of jobs demands

l Tools/materials/machines l Typical l Work

l Location l Physical

working hours on daily and yearly basis

environment

Keep in mind that there are many options within a field. For instance, the medical profession not only includes nurses and doctors, but also physician assistants, laboratory technicians, home healthcare aids and research staff. So, if upon self-assessment you find you are interested in science, value serving others, and need mental challenge, but want a dependable 40-hour work week with set times, low stress and limited contact with the public, you would be better suited for laboratory technician or research worker than a nurse or doctor.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Deciding on a Career
Career Planning

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What if I Still Can’t Decide What I Want to Do?
One exercise that is often helpful is describing your ideal job to friends and asking them for suggestions that fit the description. For instance, if you said your ideal job involved hiking, cleaning up the environment, and helping animals, your friend might suggest a forest ranger, parks and recreation manager, or groundskeeping job. Researching these careers at the library provides even more career possibilities. Go into as much detail as possible in your description, and use your imagination. If you cannot describe your ideal job, start by describing your worst job or an activity you dread and then try to find a job that reflects the opposite characteristics. For instance, if your worst job would be a lowpaying baby-sitting job for hyperactive children, your job description would start with a quiet office environment, moderate income, and organization. Then brainstorm with a friend to find occupations that fit this description.

My Perfect Job Won’t Work - Now What?
If you are interested in a career, but realize it simply isn’t feasible at this time, don’t despair. Examine the characteristics of the job that attracted you to it in the first place and look for another one with similar qualities. For example, you decide you want to become a travel agent. During your research, you discover that the income is unreliable because would-be customers are booking their own flights using the Internet, airlines are cutting commissions, and people tend to reduce their travel time during recessions. You would like a job that has more security and promising future. To help decide on an alternative career, begin by taking a look at what attracted you to the position: Travel Agent Characteristics l Opportunity to travel l Short training program l Works with the public l Average stress l Pays the salary I need l Uses my organizational skills l It’s fun After considering the list and other interests, you decide to investigate flight attendant and children’s party clown careers. l The flight attendant career relies on travel, has a short training program, involves the public, is fun, and pays more than a travel agent, but has more stress and does not rely on organizational skills. Also, layoffs are common during recessions. l The children’s party clown career would allow you to travel on a smaller scale, has a short training program, works with the public, has less stress, requires organizational skills, and is fun. Extended travel would be possible if working for a circus, and self-employment is possible. However, the salary would be initially less than a travel agent. These possibilities are promising, and after talking to people in these fields along with further research, you decide to pursue a career as a children’s party clown.

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Self-Assessment
Career Planning
Self-assessment is an important step in writing your résumé, in describing yourself to a potential employer, and in figuring out what kind of job suits you. In an interview, you must be able to confidently describe your skills and give examples of how you used them to resolve a problem. This requires researching you. Skills are abilities and techniques that enable you to accomplish tasks and goals. Write down things you enjoy doing and think of what skills they entail. The activities do not have to be work related, and can include daily tasks such as painting a spare room, creating flyers for an event, tutoring children, etc. If you are unsure about what your strengths are, consider what your friends and family ask for your help in. Is it changing the oil on the car, investing money, or for advice on a personal problem? These can be indicators of skills you now possess and may point to your next career. Do not limit your career choices to the skills you now have; skills can be learned and developed. If you have dreamed of writing but haven’t picked up a pen in years, start developing your skills. Begin writing in a journal every day, join a writers’ club, take a class at your local college or on-line. Develop the skills you need for the job you want. If you feel you need additional help, ask a guidance counselor about skills and interest assessment. Consider the list below to describe your abilities: administer attention to detail budget expenses build a team calculate numerical data communicate ideas computer knowledge conceptualize coordinate meetings counsel people create publications creative ability delegate describe in detail design entertain others explain new ideas find solutions to problems finish tasks on time follow verbal directions follow written instructions goal-oriented guide hand dexterity initiate projects integrity and dedication lead learn skills and concepts easily mediate in disputes meet deadlines motivate others multilingual organize people and tasks persuasive sales skills physical strength plan projects prioritize tasks proofread text react to situations calmly reduce costs research information simplify procedures spatial conception speak in public solve problems supervise others teach and train others type efficiently visualize work in teams work independently work under stress write detailed instructions write reports

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How do you transform an everyday task into job-related skills? Start by describing the task performed, and then choose skills that describe the task. You may be surprised at the work related skills you already possess.

Project: Painting a room Description: Figured out amount of paint needed to stay within budget, prepared the room, gathered supplies needed, chose a color to complement the room, finished in the time planned, and cleaned up the room Skills: Budget expenses, calculate numerical data, plan project, organize tasks, creative ability, finish tasks on time, work independently

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Self-Assessment
Career Planning

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In addition to assessing skills, you should also consider your values, interests, and preferred work environment. Taking time to think about what you want to do and the type of place you would like to work in is necessary for developing a satisfying career. The questions below can help identify your work environment. Prioritize your responses by how strongly you feel about them. For instance, is it more important for you to work outdoors or have the opportunity to counsel people? While there are careers that incorporate seemingly contradictory characteristics, you may have to choose between two favorable aspects. You should not expect your job to capture all of your interests; some people even prefer to keep their greatest interests separate from the stress and criticism of a work environment. What would I like to learn more about? What type of magazines, books, and newspapers articles do I read the most? In school, I enjoyed classes in ___________. As a child, I dreamed about becoming a ___. As an adult, I dream about becoming a ____. People describe me as_________________. I have the most respect for people who are: a. athletic b. benelovent c. brave d. creative e. intelligent f. spiritual I have won awards for_________________. I am most proud of: ___________________. Do I prefer to work alone or with others? Am I comfortable supervising other people? Am I comfortable working under close supervision? Am I comfortable working in a position that regularly receives criticism? Do I prefer a fast-paced work environment that requires quick reactions, or a slow-paced work environment with more time for decisions? Do I prefer work that has immediate results? Would I enjoy working with the public? Do I enjoy counseling or teaching others? Am I comfortable in judging and disciplining others?

Do I enjoy working with tools? Do I enjoy “tinkering” to figure out how something works? How important is it to have a job that helps others? Demands respect? Earns a high income? List what you liked and disliked about your previous jobs. Are most of my activities outside or indoors? Am I good at talking others into sharing my opinion or performing a task? Do I perform better in a structured environment with detailed procedures and rules? Do I perform better in an environment which encourages creativity and expression?

Do I use my authority to control others? Am I comfortable in a job with physical risk? Am I willing to take on a high level of responsibility for other people’s health, finances, or legal rights? What income level will suit my needs? What length of time am I willing to dedicate to education and training? Will I be happy in a career that requires frequent updating of skills? Am I willing to travel or relocate for a job? I would like to work for a: a. large established corporation, b. small, slow growth company, c. small, rapid growth company, or d. my own business.
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The Anatomy of a Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters A résumé is a “calling card” to raise an employer’s interest in your skills and experience to secure an interview. Since this will often be your first impression, it is important to have a professional résumé that displays your abilities in the best light. There are two basic kinds of résumés:

Chronological Résumé Organized by work history, this format begins with the most recent employer with job duties, job titles, and dates, detailing up to 20 years of employment history. Most employers prefer this style, and it should be used for job seekers who have a recent work history, have been in a job for two or more years, and are looking for a job similar to their previous jobs.

Functional Résumé Organized by skills and experience, this format downplays gaps in employment and unrelated work experience. This format should be used for persons who have minimal or no formal work history, have decided to change careers, have changed jobs often, or have gaps in employment.

Whichever style of résumé you feel fits your needs, a résumé should have clear, easily distinguished sections. Many people find writing a résumé a daunting task. If you find yourself avoiding it, concentrate on one section at a time. Personal Information
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Your name, home address, phone number (with area code), and e-mail address should appear at the top of the page. If you have a two-page résumé, your name should also appear at the top of the second page. Unless you are in modeling, entertainment, or video journalism, do not include photographs or physical descriptions of any kind. Clear, focused objectives let an employer know you are focused in your job search. Avoid vague, “one-size-fits-all” objectives and do not use the phrase “entry-level.” A strong objective will be specific about the type of job and business sought. If you are considering more than one type of position, create several different versions of your résumé. A summary of skills should be listed after the objective. Be sure to include computer skills, other languages, and special certification relevant to the position you are seeking. In a functional résumé, this section is expanded and the main focus; skills are grouped by type.

Objective

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The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Anatomy of a Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters Work History
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Start with your most recent history and work backwards, detailing the last three to five positions for up to 20 years. The title of your position, the name of the company, the town and state of the company, and the month and year of your employment should all be included. If earlier positions are not relevant to the job for which you are applying, omit the description of job duties. With each position listed, emphasize the major accomplishments and responsibilities that demonstrate your full competence to do the job. Do not repeat details that are common to several positions. Once the most significant aspects of your work are defined, it is generally unneccessary to include lesser achievements since they will be assumed by employers. In a functional résumé, companies and titles are often listed near the bottom of the résumé without job descriptions or dates of employment. If you have graduated within the last five years, your education should be placed above your work history, if it has been more than five years, place it after the work history. If you are a college graduate, it is unneccessary to list your high school information. However, if you have a master’s or doctorate degree, you should still list your bachelor’s degree. Your graduation date should be included with your course of study. If your graduation date is within six months, you may list “anticipated graduation date of June 2003.” If your highest education attainment is a G.E.D. certification, it should be listed with the date certification is/was awarded. Recent graduates may list relevant classes along with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Any military experience with an honorable discharge should have its own section. If you have received special experience or training relevant to your position, detail as you would a job description. Choose language that human resources managers will be familiar with. Do not omit military experience since some organizations give hiring preference to veterans. This optional section reveals your personal side and makes it easier for employers to begin casual conversations. Include hobbies, charity work, and organizations you belong to. Be careful not to include controversial organizations since most businesses prefer to appear neutral to customers.

Education

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Anatomy of a Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters

Headline Résumés This format is also gaining popularity among job seekers and employers. A survey of certified professional résumé writers and employment professionals in Connecticut promotes the Headline Résumé format as an effective résumé for today’s job seekers. The Headline Résumé highlights the individual’s skills, accomplishments, experiences and qualifications needed for the occupation early in the résumé and, therefore, improves the chances for consideration.

Advantages ! Employers can quickly learn about the person ! Headline statement that includes the occupation title and critical occupation skills at the beginning adds impact to the résumé, and improves the chances for consideration ! Includes areas of expertise (keywords), which highlight specific knowledge and skills ! Eliminates using an objective statement which, in many cases, simply states the obvious to the employer ! Effective for all career fields and levels of skills Disadvantages ! Does not include multiple occupations of interest, which may narrow job search ! May be difficult to identify correct occupation Use the Headline Résumé if you: ! have a specific occupation or trade with critical skills ! have extensive qualifications which you’ve compiled over the years and are applicable to the occupation of interest ! are looking for a job similar to your previous job(s)

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Sample: Chronological Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters

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In this résumé, the applicant is seeking a temporary internship for school credit, and hopes to find permanent employment after graduation. In this case, listing a current and future career objective is acceptable; however it should be used with caution since most employers will be reluctant to hire and train someone who might soon change jobs. The education section has been placed above the work experience because the graduation date is within the year and it is relevant to the position sought.

Peter A. Wolfe
560 Forest Lane Manchester, CT 06040 (203) 555-7878 wolfe@aol.com

Career Objectives

Current: Part-time internship as a legal secretary in an environmental law firm. Future: Full-time position as a paralegal in an envrionmental law firm.

Skills Summary

• Accurate typist with speed of 70 w.p.m. • Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel • Persuasive customer service skills • Impeccable spelling and grammar
Paralegal Certification Course, Manchester Community College G.P.A. of 3.1, Anticipated Graduation Date of June 2002 1987 - Present Office Assistant - Building & Growing Construction - Coventry, CT • Established new filing system for streamlined records • Organized frequent meetings and luncheons for groups of thirty • Edited and contributed articles to the employee newsletter • Documented and processed time sheets for 60 employees 1985 - 1987 Receptionist - Comfy Home Real Estate - Tolland, CT • Directed phone calls for ten realtors • Created “quick service” phone book for in-house use • Greeted customers and attended to their needs and questions 1981 - 1984 Cashier - Handy Hardware - Coventry, CT • Responsible for high-volume cash transactions • Designed merchandise displays

Education

Work Experience

Interests

Soccer, Training for the Boston Marathon, Photography, Volunteer for Green Neighbor and Habitat for Humanity

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Sample: Two-Page Chronological Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters
A two-page résumé is acceptable for a person with well-established experience seeking a job in the same field. Pages should be single-sided and the applicant’s name should appear on both pages. Note that more space is dedicated to the most recent job, with less space to earlier positions. In this résumé, the part-time job held in 1989-1990 is simply listed because it is unrelated to the applicant’s field. If requested, further explanation would be offered during an interview. Even though Holly recently received her M.B.A. from UCONN, she places her education at the bottom of the résumé, thereby emphasizing her extensive work experience.

HOLLY JENKINS 555 Main Street Colchester, CT 06040 (860) 555-6633

CAREER OBJECTIVE: A marketing managerial position offering opportunity in solving marketing problems and creating profitable programs. Well-qualified to contribute in such areas as Marketing Management, Marketing Research, Planning or New Product Development. SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE: l Self-directed and motivated professional with vision and eleven years’ progressive experience in product sales and marketing support. l Innovative, dedicated manager with excellent ability to both plan ahead and improvise as situations present themselves. l Proficient at coordinating and managing projects with proven track record of improving sales and reducing costs. l Qualified in motivational training and thematic approaches, cooperative learning strategies, and integrated lessons. l Possess strong organizational, analytical, and communication skills in highly visible and responsible positions.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: 1992 - Present ABC Company, Colchester, Connecticut Communications Manager, Agency Marketing Services l Developed and implemented a marketing support program for over 20 new and 30 improved product lines. l Expanded field sales by 30% through research and development of a direct mail campaign. l Developed and conducted in-house training sessions for field representatives on software set-up, life and annuity products, taxation, and consumer investment strategies. l Directed a series of consumer/dealer acceptance studies responsible for the introduction of a $3,200,000 contra-seasonal recreation product. l Headed task force that introduced computerized forecasting and inventory control system saving $21,000 annually and improving cash flow. l Received bonus for creating Marketing Expense Control System allowing for monthly detailed budget analysis and providing guidelines for projected expenditures. l Involved with almost all levels of product design. Credited with saving over $60,000 in production costs and providing product line continuity by personally designing new graphics, logo, and color scheme for entire consumer line.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Sample: Two-Page Chronological Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters

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HOLLY JENKINS Page 2

1990-1992

XYZ COMPANY, Charlotte, North Carolina Sales Administration Manager l Handled all bid quotations for stateside and international requests for corporate consumer products and distribution in foreign markets. l Developed sales opportunities with appropriate overseas affiliates and provided specific product sales data, prices and information from all domestic companies, as well as outside vendors. l Redesigned international sales campaign of five product lines which resulted in 65% increase in efficiency of operations and 40% increase in sales during the first year. l Decreased shipping costs by $35,000 by combining customer orders and establishing series of dealer-located factory warehouses. Strategic move allowed floor-plan lender to advance funds for further production. QRS PHARMACY, Atlanta, Georgia Assistant Manager LMN CORPORATION, Oakdale, California Marketing Manager, Employee Insurance Administration l Motivated and directed two line managers and 14 sales personnel. l Maintained close liaison with 200 dealers and 12 foreign distributors. l Administered marketing budget and formulated pricing and margin structures. l Supervised creation of advertising and promotional materials and coordinated media purchases. l Instituted cost reduction program and converted previous loss situation into $17,000 profit. l Restructured compensation program and installed new sales quota system to be more responsive to changing company needs. l Saved over $13,000 by renegotiating manufacturer representative accounts.

1989 - 1990

1983 - 1989

EDUCATION: 2000 M.B.A., University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 1980 B.S., Marketing/Finance, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

COMPUTER SKILLS: ACCESS, DBase III+, Excel, FoxPro, Internet savvy, MicroSoft Word, Powerbase, PowerPoint, Unisys

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Sample: Functional Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters

A functional résumé is appropriate when there is job-hopping, re-entry into the workforce or a change in careers. This résumé is an example of a recent graduate who is changing careers and chooses to emphasize skills over work experience. The work experience is described with the future employer in mind; writing skills are promoted over the primary financial responsibilities of the accounting position. Typically, a functional résumé would not include employment dates, but they are included in this example because there is a record of continuous employment.

Andrew Dragon
42 Blossom Drive Wethersfield, CT 06109 (860) 555-5555 dragon@aol.com

Objective

To obtain a writing or marketing position for a well established magazine.

Education

B.A. in English - December 2001 - G.P.A. 3.7/4.0 Southern Connecticut State University B.A. in Accounting - May 1980 - G.P.A. 3.5/4.0 Southern Connecticut State University

Relevant Skills and Courses

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Communication Accurate, lively, and fresh writing style specializing in non-fiction topics. Created reports for local businesses through Professional Writing Internship class.
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Literature Familiar with a wide range of authors from Chaucer to Angelou; focus on American authors.
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Technical Proficient in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

Advanced American Literature Advanced Fiction Writing Harlem Renaissance History of the Language Professional Writing Internship The Study of Words Technical Writing and Communication The Works of Chaucer Writing for Business and Industry

Employment History
1998 - present Clerk, Quiet Corner Book Store, New Haven, CT Assist customers with locating items; create flyers and promotional materials for special events. Accountant, Freeman & Reed Accounting Services, New Haven, CT Created brochures, business cards, and advertisements to promote accounting services. Managed financial records for 20 clients.

1978 - 1998

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Sample: Headline Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters
RICHARD F. JOBSEEKER 35 Gridleon Street RICHARD F. JOBSEEKER Bristol, CT 06010-6207 35 Gridleon Street (860) 555-5555 (H) rfjobseeker.com (860) 555-5555 (H) ACTION-ORIENTED DYNAMIC RETAIL MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL rfjob@rfjobseeker.com ACTION-ORIENTED DYNAMIC RETAIL MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL AREAS OF EXPERTISE l RETAIL OPERATIONS l RETAIL OPERATIONS l MERCHANDISING l CUSTOMER SERVICE

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Team Builder with strong leadership aptitude. Highly effective motivator. Superior customer service skills. Able to develop credibility and confidence with the public. Solid organizational and multitasking skills. Easily establish rapport. Troubleshooter with demonstrated ability to identify problems and implement solutions. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Computer literacy includes MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet savvy.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY ALMOST FAMOUS Watertown, CT 1/90 to Present

Store Manager Manage all facets of daily operations for upscale retail apparel and accessories store with annual sales of $2 million. • Oversee activities and efforts of 23 sales associates. Train staff in providing superior customer service. • Establish and coordinate work and vacation schedules. Arrange coverage for absences. • Orchestrate recruiting efforts including screening resumes/applications, interviewing and hiring personnel. Refer for termination. Conduct exit interviews. • Evaluate staff and deliver constructive performance appraisals. Compensate employees based on corporate guidelines and policies. • Maintain and monitor computer sales and inventory programs. E-mail weekly reports to District Manager. • Coordinate creative merchandising efforts by adapting corporate provided materials to customer demographics. • Address and resolve problems with vendors and suppliers. • Resolved and corrected overstock problems resulting in $2,000 monthly additional sales. • Reduced employee theft 100% by developing and instituting Team Sign Out Policy. Received $500 bonus and commendation from company president. Policy now implemented in all stores nationwide. FOUR STAR VIDEO West Hartford, CT 7/85 - 11/89

Customer Service Manager Oversaw operations for independently owned video rental store with average weekly revenues of $22k • Supervised and assisted 12 Service Representatives in establishing memberships, processing rentals, arranging merchandise and dealing with customer service issues. Trained staff to provide courteous and efficient service. • Handled recruiting functions including reviewing applications, conducting on-site interviews, hiring and performance reviews. Counseled, disciplined and terminated staff in appropriate instances. • Maintained, monitored and updated sales and inventory records on customized software program. • Reduced employee turnover and enhanced morale by instituting store-sponsored health insurance plan. • Increased sales by 45% by instituting Favorite Customer Reward Plan. EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Management - University of Hartford, Hartford, CT

KEYWORDS: Cost Reduction, Customer Driven Management, Customer Liaison, Customer Loyalty, Customer Retention, Customer Satisfaction, Diversity Management, Employee Relations, Employee Retention, Incentive Planning, Merit Promotions, Order Fulfillment, Promotions, Public Relations, Sales Incentives, Sales Management, Service Measures, Special Events, Staffing

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Tips for Professional Résumés
Résumés and Cover Letters
Update your résumé every six months. If you find yourself suddenly looking for work or competing for a promotion, you will save yourself time and stress by not having to create an entirely new résumé at the last minute. For a successful résumé, follow these tips:
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Keep your next job target in mind. The most effective résumés are clearly focused on a specific job title and address the employer’s stated requirements for the position. If you are looking for different types of jobs, create separate résumés. Avoid writing long sentences. Instead, use phrases beginning with action verbs and distinguished by bullets. Devote more space to the most relevant and recent experience. If possible, consolidate your résumé onto one page; however, a two-page document is also acceptable. If your name or the name of a company or school has changed, use the one currently in use. Do not use nicknames. Use 8.5 by 11 inch paper, light or white and 70 lb or greater weight (weight refers to the thickness of paper). Use easy to read fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Garamond. The font size should be between nine and twelve points. It should have space between paragraphs, and there should not be too much information crammed onto one page. Margins should be at least one inch. Spelling, grammar, and typing errors are unacceptable. Proofread your résumé twice, then set it aside for a few hours before proofreading it again. Always proofread it before mailing. Have someone else review your résumé, preferably a career counselor or a hiring authority in your field of interest. Each copy should be produced from a laser printer - mass photocopying should be avoided. Paper should be singlesided (printed on one side of the paper only). Never make handwritten corrections on a résumé or attach notes. Mail it in a large, flat manilla envelope, without stapling or folding your résumé. Include a cover letter that details the position you are applying for and displays your knowledge of the company.

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Ten Things to Avoid on Your Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters 1. Don’t use a résumé with spelling, typing, or grammatical errors. First impressions are critical. An employer will assume mistakes on a résumé indicate a careless employee. Proofread your résumé before its printed and before it is mailed! 2. Don’t write corrections or notes on your résumé. Résumés should always be completely typed. A laser printed copy is preferred. 3. Don’t omit the cover letter. Too many résumés are mailed without cover letters and wind up on the wrong desk with no indication of what position is being applied for. 4. Don’t provide salary history and salary requirements. If salary history is requested, it should be included in the cover letter or on the job application. 5. Don’t lie about your background or stretch the truth. Hiring authorities will call your previous employers to verify your work experience. 6. Don’t include personal descriptions such as ethnicity, age, weight, gender, or marital status. Photos should also be excluded. 7. Don’t use the phrase “References available upon request,” or the word “Résumé” for a title. 8. Don’t fold, staple, or tape your résumé. For mailing, use large envelopes in order to keep your résumé and cover letter flat. 9. Don’t use your present employer’s fax, e-mail, envelopes, or mail department to send your résumé. DOL offices offer these services free of charge, and local libraries have computers with Internet access. Free e-mail accounts can be established through a variety of Web sites, including yahoo.com, excite.com, and hotmail.com Office supply stores and some pharmacies offer faxing services for a fee. 10. Don’t use a résumé that looks cluttered or lacks white space. Remember, an employer will first glance at your résumé. If it is not neatly organized with information quickly available, it will probably not be read. Since a résumé is a quick reference for employers, it should not be more than two pages in length.

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The average employer gives a résumé a 30 second review before examining it more carefully. To give your résumé the edge, avoid these mistakes:

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Action Words for Résumés
Résumés and Cover Letters
This list of action words is provided for reference in describing your achievements and work experience. Beginning each phrase with action words makes your performance active instead of passive. Refer to this list in order to avoid reusing the same words throughout your résumé. Accommodated Accounted Achieved Acted Advanced Advised Analyzed Articulated Ascertained Attended Automated Built Calculated Categorized Caused Clarified Collaborated Communicated Conceived Concentrated Conceptualized Contributed Controlled Cooperated Counseled Created Customized Decided Decreased Dedicated Delivered Designed Determined Developed Devised Dispatched Displayed Distinguished Documented Earned Elected Eliminated Encouraged Enforced Engineered Ensured Enumerated Equalized Estimated Exchanged Exhibited Explored Fashioned Figured Filed Finalized Financed Fine-tuned Focused Followed Formulated Gathered Generated Granted Guided Hired Illustrated Impressed Initiated Inspected Inspired Instructed Integrated Interpreted Invented Judged Lectured Led Licensed Limited Listened Located Manipulated Manufactured Mapped Mastered Maximized Measured Motivated Navigated Notified Nurtured Observed Ordered Organized Oversaw Packaged Participated Patterned Persuaded Predicted Presented Prevented Prioritized Provided Qualified Quoted Ranked Reconciled Reduced Regulated Repaired Restored Scheduled Secured Seized Simplified Streamlined Supervised Supplied Tailored Taught Tested Trained Translated Treated Tutored Updated Verified Wrote

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References

Résumés and Cover Letters

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Most employers will ask for references on an application form, but will typically contact them only when you are a finalist for employment. References are very important, especially if there are other similarly qualified candidates applying for the position. The people you ask to be your references should be able to speak from firsthand knowledge about the skills, abilities and personal qualities that would make you successful in the job for which you are applying. References should also be easy to reach during business hours. Collect information on your references before you fill out an application form or go to a job interview. You will need the person’s name, address, telephone number, occupation, and the length of time you have known each other. Consider five to ten people you can use for a reference, and ask their Andrew Dragon (860) 555-5555 permission to do so. Let them know what kind 42 Blossom Drive Wethersfield, CT 06109 dragon@aol.com of work you are looking for, jog their memory, and give them a copy of your résumé. Typically, References each time you apply for a job you will only be Dirk Komodo asked for two or three references, but you Accountant should use different people so no one person Freeman & Reed Accounting Services 15 Business Lane is bombarded by calls. Family members are New Haven, CT 06011 not acceptable as references, and you should 203-666-5555 never use a person as a reference without his Blunder.fras@aol.com 15 years Years of acquaintance: or her permission. Relationship: former co-worker You should list your references on the same Project Manager type of paper you use for your résumé, with Habitat for Humanity 23 Main Street the same heading as your résumé (name, East Haven, CT 06011 address, phone number, e-mail) along with 203-666-5535 Years of acquaintance: 4 years your name and contact information. Therefore, Relationship: fellow volunteer if you are asked to supply them, you will be Eleta Lizard able to give a professional list. If you want a Sales Manager letter of recommendation, offer to provide the Quiet Corner Book Store paper to the writer. Do not include reference 555 North Main Street New Haven, CT 06011 information in your résumé, or the line 203-666-5545 “references available upon request.” It is eletal@msn.com Years of acquaintance: 2 years assumed that you will be able to provide Relationship: current co-worker references. Contact your references when you have an interview, informing them of the company and person’s name so they won’t be surprised by a phone call. Thank your references and keep in touch, you may need them again in the future for assistance in promotions, new jobs, etc. If you do not have previous work history, then you may consider using a friend, landlord, teacher, principal, guidance counselor, or member of the clergy. Whomever you choose should be able to talk about how you have demonstrated your skills through school, clubs, civic or volunteer activities. Never write a letter yourself and sign another person’s name to it, or ask a friend to pretend to be an employer.
Jamal Monitor

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Sample: Modified Letter Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters

A modified letter résumé is a combination of a résumé and cover letter. It is useful for persons who are reentering the job market after a long absence, have no formal work experience, or are changing careers. The modified letter résumé should be created with a specific employer or position in mind and respond to the employer’s needs. Make sure to follow up with a phone call to request an interview.

59 Rhodes Road Newington, CT 06111 860-555-9999 August 3, 2000 Ms. Ginny Ludwell Petals Deluxe 114 School Street Newington, CT 06111 Dear Ms. Ludwell: Petals Deluxe has been the first choice among Newington residents for fresh flowers and gardening ideas for nearly sixty years. It is with great interest that I read the description of the gardening and sales position that is now open. I have a unique blend of experience that I feel prepares me to fulfill the requirements of this position. Along with a long-term hobby in landscaping and gardening, I have the following skills and accomplishments that will compliment your company:
Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø

Created and maintained custom home garden complete with diverse plants, pond and fountain. Extensive knowledge of characteristics and required care for annuals and perennials. Volunteered to visit residents at Shady Pines Senior Citizen Home. Utilized pleasant phone manner to raise $1,000 for church fund-raiser. Maintained home budget and financial records.

The prospect of working with individuals who share my interest in quality gardening and concern for excellent customer service is very exciting. I will call you on Thursday, August 10th, to further discuss the position and arrange for a mutually convenient time for an interview. Sincerely, (Signature) Heleta Jones

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Scannable and Electronic Résumés
Résumés and Cover Letters
Many organizations use scanners, e-mail, and Internet recruitment to build an electronic résumé library for their hiring needs. The traditional résumé, even from the most perfect candidate, may be lost if it is not redesigned for the computer’s eye. Keywords are more important in scannable and online résumés because computers often rank an application according to the number of keyword matches. For example, an administrative assistant position might look for “typing score,” “WordPerfect,” and “Excel.” The more times a match is found, the better a résumé ranks. Job seekers should check with companies if scanners are used and if the scanners require special fonts, paper, or styles of type. When e-mailing a résumé, it is important to copy and paste your résumé into the message because an employer may not have the appropriate software to open an attached document. There are many Web sites that allow you to post your résumé on-line for employers to review, some are listed on page 50. Some require users to have an e-mail address; you can create an account at public computers, free of charge, by using a variety of Web sites including hotmail.com, yahoo.com, and excite.com. Follow the general guidelines below to make your résumé technology friendly:
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Post your résumé on-line before you see an appropriate job opening. Often employers begin reviewing résumés as soon as there is an open position, and if they find an appropriate match, they may never post the opening on-line. Check to see how often résumés are purged from the system. Typically, résumés are removed after six months and you might want to resend yours to remain a candidate for employment. Always place your name as the first item at the top of the page since the scanner assumes that the first line is the applicant’s name. Your name and phone number should be on separate lines. Provide a laser printed original if possible. Scanners cannot read a faxed résumé; if you fax a résumé, be sure to also mail a hard copy. Use white or light-colored 8.5” x 11” paper, printed on one side only. Do not fold or staple the résumé. Left justify the entire document. Use a font of 10 to 14 points (avoid Times New Roman 10 point). Use standard serif and sans-serif fonts (i.e., Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman, Courier). Avoid fonts where the characters touch. Do not condense spacing between letters. No line should exceed 65 characters. End each line by hitting the enter key - automatic word wrapping will create long lines that may not be readable. Italics, boldface, underlining, and reverse type cause problems for scanners, especially if combined. Use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for emphasis, or set off words with asterisks (*). If you use asterisks, there should be a space between the asterisk and the text. Avoid bullets, vertical or horizontal lines, graphics, shading, or shadowing.

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Sample: Electronic Résumé
Résumés and Cover Letters

An electronic résumé should be plain text. Bold or underlined words, bullets and lines should not be used. Keywords in the actual job posting should be repeated as often as possible, as this sample résumé does in response to the ad below. Note that as an older job seeker, Gerald chose to omit his graduation dates in order to avoid age discrimination.
WANTED: Seminar Coordinator for ABC, Inc., an international pharmaceutical firm. Responsible for in-house training, the right applicant should have advanced communication skills, familiar with ACCESS and Excel, and a willingness to travel. Please mail scannable résumés only.

Gerald White 1399 Sesame Street Wapping, CT 06074 860-555-1234

OBJECTIVE Seeking advanced challenge and responsibility to employ my management and communication skills as a training manager within an international pharmaceutical firm. KEYWORD SUMMARY Proficient in Excel and ACCESS, willing to travel globally, advanced verbal and written communication skills, seven years management and training experience. EXPERIENCE Statewide Manager, Feel Good Pharmacy, 1987 - present + Utilized ACCESS and Excel software to organize employees’ records + Traveled to local stores for in-house training of new managers + Created written materials, including handbooks and reference guides, for training purposes + Organized annual training seminars for current employees + Managed a staff of twelve for five years + Decreased turnover rate of managers by two years + Recruited new staff Store Manager, Quickease Pharmacy, 1977 - 1987 + Increased sales by 25% in first year of management + Managed and scheduled a staff of fifteen employees + Documented and processed payroll using Excel + Interviewed, hired and trained all new employees + Wrote quarterly reports of financial progress + Verbally communicated customer and employee requests to statewide manager VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE American Red Cross volunteer, 1998 - present Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteer, 1996 - present EDUCATION B.A. in Business Management, Central Connecticut State University A.A. in Business Management, Manchester Community College

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Tips for Great Cover Letters
Résumés and Cover Letters
Next to your résumé, your cover letter is your best way to sell yourself on paper. It allows your personality to come through and identifies the benefits of hiring you. It should always accompany your résumé or job application. Follow the tips below for writing effective cover letters:

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1. Always include important information. Your name, address and telephone number (including area code) should be easily visible. The reader will need this when trying to contact you. In the first few sentences of your letter, identify the specific job for which you are applying. 2. Make it personal - address your letter to a specific person within the company. If possible, call for a contact name. “To whom it may concern” and “Dear sir/madam” letters are not read as often as those addressed to a specific person. 3. Make the opening sentence catchy. When employers read letters, they scan them for content. Attention-grabbing first sentences (ones that describe why you’re the best person for the job or that address the employer’s needs) will be more likely to persuade the reader to continue reading. 4. Each letter you mail should be unique. There’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” cover letter. Each job and company for which you apply is different. Express interest and knowledge about the company, its products and services. Local newspapers, business magazines, trade journals, and the company’s Web site are all valuable sources of information. 5. Describe your skills as they relate to the job. Saying you worked for a company in a job doesn’t mean the reader will make the connection between you, your previous job, and the job in question. Relate your experience, training, and accomplishments to show that you have the skills to successfully perform the job. 6. Always type and proofread your cover letter before sending it. Cover letters must be professional; mistakes are simply unacceptable. Errors may negatively affect the employer’s judgment of you. If your letter is neat and professional, the employer is more likely to believe that you are too. The cover letter should be on the same type of paper as your résumé and printed with a laser quality printer. 7. Be brief and use action words to describe your accomplishments. Some employers receive many cover letters and résumés daily, so they want to know as much about you as possible without having to read a great deal. 8. Always request a response or an interview. Your goal is to obtain an interview, so explain that you will call on a specific date (usually seven to ten business days after the mailing) in order to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet. 9. Always keep a copy of every cover letter you send. Maintaining copies of your letters will make your job search and follow-up go smoothly. You will have a hard copy of when you stated you would contact the employer and the topics you mentioned. If you are responding to a newspaper ad, tape the ad onto your copy of the cover letter and note the date and name of the newspaper for easy reference.

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Sample: Cover Letters
Résumés and Cover Letters

The cover letter introduces you to the prospective employer and should always be included when you mail your résumé. It should be unique and express your interest in both the company and the position for which you are applying. Never write a form letter to be duplicated and mailed. Address the cover letter to a specific person. As with your résumé, do not cram too much information on a page. The recommended margin length is one inch or greater. Your cover letter and résumé should have the same font type and paper style. Do not fold or staple the cover letter with the résumé. Remember to proofread - mistakes are inexcusable. Keep a copy of all correspondence you send and receive during your job search for reference in followup conversations and interviews. This sample letter would accompany the Functional Résumé. Salary information is provided, but should only be given at the employer’s request. Normally, only the most recent salary would be listed, but in this case, the two most recent positions are listed to illustrate a more accurate salary history.
Your mailing address Your phone number, including area code 42 Blossom Drive Wethersfield, CT 06109 (860) 555-5555 August 8, 2002 Chris Thompson Editor American Literature Monthly 55 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106 Dear Chris Thompson, I understand that American Literature Monthly has nearly doubled its circulation in the past ten months. It is wonderful to know more people are exploring American Literature and broadening their horizons. I hope that I can be part of this phenomenal growth by filling the Assistant Writer position advertised in the Hartford Gazette. I have recently graduated from Southern Connecticut State University, where I focused on American Literature. While attending, I had the good fortune to work as an intern for Name First, an advertising firm servicing local businesses. Utilizing my writing and computer skills, I created a variety of promotional materials and press releases to suit individual company’s needs. My knowledge of American Literature, along with my writing and marketing skills, would be an asset to American Literature Monthly. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss some of my ideas on the subject. At your request, I am providing my salary history. While working part-time at Quiet Corner Book Store, my annual salary is $11,400. Prior to that, I earned $54,300 while working full-time at Freeman & Reed Accounting Services. I have enclosed my résumé for your review and will telephone you on August 17th to set up a meeting. Sincerely, (Signature) Andrew Dragon Enclosure Date letter is mailed Name and title of a specific person Company name Mailing address Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Last Name, (If the person has a unisex first name, use his or her full name. For women, use Ms. unless you know they use the prefix Mrs.) First Paragraph. In your initial paragraph, state the reason for the letter, the specific position or type of work for which you are applying, and indicate from which resource (placement center, news media, friend, employment service) you learned of the opening. Your first sentence should catch the reader’s attention and reflect your interest in the company. Second Paragraph. Indicate why you are interested in the position, the company, its products or services — above all, clearly state what you can do for the employer. If you are a recent graduate, explain how your academic background makes you a qualified candidate for the position. If you had practical work experience, point out your specific achievements or unique qualifications. Try not to repeat the same information the reader will find in your résumé. Final Paragraph. In the closing paragraph, refer the reader to the enclosed résumé or application which summarizes your qualifications, training, and experiences. Indicate your desire for a personal interview and your flexibility as to the time and place. If the job announcement requests no phone calls, repeat your phone number in the letter. If no such request is made, state that you will call on a certain date to set up an interview. Salary information should only be provided upon request. Sincerely yours, (Your Signature) Your typed name (enclosure)

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Interview Preparation

Interviewing An interview is the best way for an employer to determine if you are the right person for the job, and the best way for you to determine if the position is right for you. Research, preparation, and practice are key to making the interview productive and securing an employment opportunity. Interviews can be stressful, but relax and keep in mind that the employer wants to find the right candidate and fill the position as quickly as you want to complete your job search.
Schedule an Interview

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Make sure you allot enough time for the interview. Remember that you may be asked to fill out an application, take a personality or skills test, or interview with several people. Allow enough time to commute, interview, and jot down notes afterwards. You should also set aside time to write and send a thank-you note within two days. Bring a calendar or date planner with you in case you are asked to schedule a second interview. Do not ask the interviewer for directions; call back to ask the receptionist and inquire about potential traffic problems at the time you plan to arrive. Prior to the day of your interview, obtain a written job description from the Human Resources Department and ask for more details about the job. Talk with someone who has a similar job, or consult publications such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook, for a description of job duties, benefits, education, experience, and training requirements. Know about the company before you arrive for the interview. Check if it has a Web site and visit it. Know the company’s history, its latest sales, the number of employees, its locations, major competitors, philosophy and, most importantly, future goals. Annual reports, trade and business magazines, sales brochures, and newspapers are all excellent sources of information. Many employment Web sites provide profiles on companies. Read the newspaper to be aware of general events in the area and things that could possibly affect the company. You will leave a strong impression if you are able to make a comment such as, “I noticed in Tuesday’s Hartford Courant that the local resort has closed its doors forever. Since your company relies on the tourist season, are you seeking other markets? I have some innovative marketing ideas that may be of help.” Know yourself - be prepared to introduce and describe yourself to the interviewer. Be able to give examples of how you have used your skills to accomplish goals, and how they would benefit the company. You should be familiar with your résumé, and be ready to expand on your strengths and clarify any weaknesses. Review and prepare answers to the questions on pages 40-41. Role play with a friend and, if possible, videotape your mock interview. Along with your answers, pay attention to your posture, body language, eye contact, and attitude. Time your answers; they should not be too long or too short. We are often unaware of nervous mannerisms - ask your friend to take notice of them. Schedule your first interview with a company in which you have little interest in order to gain confidence for “the big interview.”

Research the Job

Research the Company

Brush up on Current Events

Know the Product You are Selling

Practice

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Interview Preparation
Interviewing
Have Information Readily Available At the interview, you may be asked to complete an application; preparation tips are provided on page 12. You should have several forms of identification (driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, work papers), and any relevant training certification or licenses. You should also have the name, address and telephone number for three to five references. Bring several copies of your résumé - you may interview with several persons, or the employer may request a second copy. If possible, bring an example of your work. Bring a notebook to record what was discussed during the interview and the next step you should take. This should be done immediately after the interview, but not in the interviewer’s presence. A professional image will give you a winning edge over other applicants. Keep in mind that you may bump into your future employer in the parking lot or elevator, and should therefore act professionally for the entire time you are on the company’s premises. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for your appointment, and go alone. Be polite to everyone you encounter, maintaining a positive, enthusiastic and courteous attitude. Look the employer in the eye and use a firm (but not crushing) handshake. Be aware of your body language - slouching or crossed arms relays boredom and defensiveness to the employer. Listen carefully to the questions and respond clearly and decisively. Your answers should be positive; never criticize former employers. Answer with “yes” and “no,” never “yeah,” “nah,” or “uh-huh.” Be pleasant to the receptionist and secretary. The employer will consult with them after you have left, and they will surely mention if you were rude or ill-prepared. Introduce yourself and call them by name. Do not ask them for information about the job such as salary, the business’s competitors, or the boss’s personality. Do not complain about the directions or the company, and avoid any negative comments. In addition to acting professionally, you must look professional and wear your best business attire. Detailed advice is provided on page 11. If you are interested in the position, make sure you say so. Offer your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration and ask for their business card. Telephone them in a week or so to reconfirm your interest and to inquire about when a final decision is expected to be made. However, if you get the sense that you are not suited for the job, inquire about other positions within the company that might better match your qualifications. If nothing is currently available, ask to be kept in mind for future opportunities. To strengthen your candidacy and establish goodwill, send a thank you note to each person with whom you interviewed within two days of your interview; an example is offered on page 47. Also, be sure to send thank you notes to any of your networking contacts who gave you the relevant job lead or agreed to be used as a reference.

Present a Professional Image

Be Polite to the Receptionist and Secretary

Dress Professionally

Close the Interview

The Thank You Note

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Employers’ List of Top Interview Mistakes
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Employers are looking for persons who not only have the necessary experience and skills, but also demonstrate self-confidence and a willingness to become a team player. These interview mistakes have cost many people job opportunities - avoid them in order to secure your next job!

• Inability to express oneself clearly. Answered questions with “yes” or “no” but
offered no explanation or further information.

• Lacking career direction - undefined short- and long-term goals. • Came unprepared, i.e., had little or no knowledge of the company. • Arrived late and claimed that the directions given were wrong. • Poor personal appearance - dressed too casually or sloppily. • Poor hygiene. • Brought a friend/parent/child/pet along. • Did not ask questions about the job. • Too interested in salary, vacation and benefits. • Evasiveness; unwilling to account for time when unemployed. • Detailed health problems at length. • Lacked confidence, displayed nervous mannerisms. • Demonstrated overaggressive, overbearing, or conceited behavior. • Presented a sloppy or inaccurate résumé.
• Forgot to bring extra copies of the résumé and could not provide any references.

• Lacked courtesy, maturity or tact. • Displayed indifference or lack of enthusiasm. • Criticized previous employers. • Had no appreciation for the value of experience. • Did not look the interviewer in the eye.
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Common Interview Questions
Interviewing

To be a successful interviewee you will need to fine tune your skills and be prepared to answer a wide variety of questions. Below is a list of commonly asked questions. Background Questions Background questions are geared more to your personal growth, including your personality, education, and overall career development. They are used to determine if you are a well-rounded individual leading a happy, balanced life. Example Q&A: “What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments to date?” - “While I always enjoyed the challenge of learning and wanted to obtain a college degree, my family did not find value in a college degree. I was able to finance my education through scholarships and work, and last year I became the first college graduate in my family.”

• • • • • • • •

Tell me about yourself. How would your friends and past employers describe you? What makes you lose your temper? Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten years? How satisfied are you with your career progress? How do you make use of your spare time? Why did you choose your college major? How did this prepare you for your career? What classes did you enjoy the most? The least?

Work History Questions Work history questions are used to determine if you have the skills and experience to perform the job, and if you have a good work ethic. Sometimes, you may be asked to perform a task, such as typing, proofreading, or finding a solution for a given problem. In your answers, try to show your knowledge of the company. Example Q&A: “Why did you leave your last job?” - “While I enjoyed my work environment, I felt ready for more responsibility and challenge, but there were no opportunities in the near future at (my last employer). Since (employer you are applying to) is known nationwide for its quality products and has grown 25% in the last year, I feel it would be a mutually beneficial work experience.”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

What do you know about our company? Why do you want to work here? What can you contribute to this company’s success? Give me an example of your creativity/problem-solving ability/initiative/reliability. Do you work well under pressure? What situations do you find stressful and how do you deal with them? What are your three greatest strengths? Three greatest weaknesses? Tell me about your last performance evaluation. In your last job, what additional responsibilities or projects did you undertake? Can I see an example of your work? What is your explanation for the gap in employment shown on your résumé? Have you ever been fired or asked to resign? How many days a year did you miss at your last job? Why? How often are you late to work? Why? You seem overqualified for this position. Why do you want this job? How do you feel about travel/relocation/overtime/weekend work?

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Common Interview Questions
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Management Questions These questions are often used to determine what kind of management style you work well with and if you fit the company’s work philosophy. Refrain from criticizing former employees or employers. Example Q&A: “Describe a problem you had with your last supervisor and how you resolved it.” - “Due to a miscommunication, I was unaware that my supervisor would be out of the office for three days to attend a conference and would therefore be unable to sign necessary paperwork. I found his hotel number and faxed him the papers to be signed and returned. To avoid future issues, I suggested using a manager’s log to record issues, schedules, and projects, thereby improving communication.”

• • • • • • •

To what type of managerial style do you respond best? What do you see as the major role of management? Why? Who is involved in your planning process? In what ways do you involve them? What methods and techniques do you employ when managing others? How effective are these? How do you motivate employees and maintain good morale? How do you go about planning for department results? What is the proper balance between managerial control and employee independence?

Stress Questions Stress questions are intended to test your response to stressful situations. Take a deep breath, remain calm, and give a positive answer focusing on what you learned or how you have changed. Example Q&A: “Describe a flaw in your working style.” - “In the past, I have procrastinated on large projects, resulting in requests for deadline extensions. However, I have learned to break projects down into smaller steps, schedule my time better, and now I finish projects before deadlines.”

• • • • •

What aspects of your work are most often criticized? You seem underqualified for this position. Why should I hire you? Describe a time when you failed to solve a conflict with a co-worker. Describe a time when you failed to perform your job. What would you do if I told you that I thought you were giving a very poor interview today?

Questions to Ask the Interviewer Remember, you should be evaluating if this company will fit your career development plans. Asking the interviewer questions will not only give you more information on which to base a decision, but will also express your interest in the company and the position. Do not inquire about salary, vacation, bonuses, retirement packages or any other benefits.

• • • • • • • • • • •

Why is this position available? What are the specific duties of the job? What would be my responsibilities? What would you like me to accomplish in this position? What characteristics would a candidate need to have in order to excel in this position? How would you describe the style of management and reporting structure? What short- and long-term problems or opportunities does this department face? Tell me about the growth plans and goals for the position, department, and company. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this position? How is one’s performance evaluated? How often? I am very interested in this position. Is there anything I can do to improve my standing? When do you plan on making a hiring decision? May I call in a week to see how I stand?

Your Job Search Guide

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Your Legal Rights When Job Searching
Interviewing

You have a right to seek employment and to be judged solely on your skills and experience. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual preference, physical challenges, or religion. The best chance to sell yourself based on skills and abilities is to become educated about your rights and be prepared to handle prejudice and your reaction to it. Consult the table on the next page to determine what an employer can and cannot ask you during an interview. If you are asked an illegal question, you may not want to immediately eliminate the company as a potential employer. Often the person who interviews you will not be your supervisor. If you are asked an illegal question, wait until later in the interview and then inquire who would be your supervisor and who would be responsible for performance evaluations. You have three options in answering an illegal question. You can refuse to answer the question, but if the employer is unaware that the question is illegal, you may appear confrontational and difficult to work with. You can directly answer the question with the knowledge that it may inhibit your employment opportunity. Usually the best option is to look at the intent behind the question and answer appropriately. The interviewer is unlikely to view the question as prejudiced; he or she may feel it is well intentioned or that the belief is justified. If you are interested in finding employment, it is very important to react calmly and answer the question with tact and a friendly tone. For instance, if you are asked, “We have very few minorities working here. Will you feel comfortable in this environment?” Answer A: “It is illegal for you to question me about my ethnicity; I will be contacting the NAACP.” Result: A legal battle and no employment opportunity. The employer will feel justified in viewing minorities as being overly defensive and difficult to work with and will probably continue to screen out minorities. You may feel defensive during future interviews, which will portray you negatively. Answer B: “I enjoy working with many people of various backgrounds. I believe you will find both my work skills and interpersonal skills very satisfactory; my previous employers can verify that I have never had an issue with my co-workers.” Result: You have redirected the conversation to focus on your work experience and skills. The employer is more inclined to give you a job offer, where your good work may help to overcome his or her prejudice. Even if you are not hired, the employer will view you as a professional and may refer you to other positions or companies. Some employers will eliminate applicants before they ever see them because résumés and applications indicate what they perceive to be negative qualities in an employee. Be careful about listing controversial activities or groups to which you belong. Even a well educated, Caucasian man may be skipped over if his résumé refers to volunteer work at Planned Parenthood or membership in the NRA. An older worker can omit graduation dates and some work experience so their age will not be readily distinguished. During the interview, you may be able to convince the employer that your status can be an advantage. For instance, an older worker may point out the demographic studies reveal an aging customer base. Having an older worker would be an advantage in customer relations, marketing new products, and product design. Furthermore, an older worker brings not only experience and maturity to the job, but is also more settled and less likely to change jobs frequently. Many companies actively hire minorities and women; your local library will have books and magazines with referrals to these companies. Look for EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer) and AA (Affirmative Action) symbols in employment advertisements. Your local Chamber of Commerce should have information on companies’ employment, including the number of women and minorities employed. For large corporations, you can call and ask for a copy of their annual report or visit their Web site. Usually a list of the top administrators in the company is provided along with their pictures. This will illustrate how minorities are promoted in the company.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Your Legal Rights When Job Searching
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Consult the chart below to familiarize yourself with your legal rights. If you feel you have been discriminated against, contact your local DOL office or call the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities at 1-800-477-5737.

Issue Age Ancestry or National Origin Birthplace

Employers May Ask: Are you under the age of 18? No questions

Employers May Not Ask: When were you born? How old are you? What is your language, ancestry, or national origin? Where were you born? Where were your parents born? When did you become a citizen? Are your parents/spouse/children citizens? Have you ever been arrested? Do you have or intend to have children? Do you have childcare? Do you have any handicap? How severe is your handicap? When did you graduate? - or any question that would indicate an applicant's age. What is your marital status? What is your maiden name? Are you receiving a service-connected disability pension?

No questions Are you a citizen? Do you intend to become a citizen? Have you been convicted of a crime? No questions

Citizenship Criminal Records Dependents

Disability

No questions What school did you attend/graduate from? What did you study? No questions Are you a U.S. veteran? What is your U.S. military service history?

Education

Marital Status

Military

Organizations

Any question about an organization that Are you the member of any organizations would indicate the religion, race, sexual which advocate overthrowing the U.S. preference, or national origin of its Government by violent means? members. No questions, unless asked for Affirmative Action purposes No questions What is your race? Photos cannot be required with an application. Where does your spouse, parents, or any other relative work or conduct business? What religious holidays do you observe? What religious organizations do you belong to? What is your sex? Are you a homosexual? What is your sexual preference?

Race

Relatives

Religion

No questions

Sex Sexual Preference

No questions No questions

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Criminal Records and Substance Abuse Testing
Interviewing

Q. A.

I have a criminal record. How do I get an employer to give me a chance?

Q. A.

I understand employers can request drug testing. What should I expect?

If you have a criminal record, an employer is more likely to give you a chance if they feel you have become an honest, dependable person. Do not lie about your history; parole officers often call employers to confirm they know of an employee’s criminal conviction. If you lie on an application, you can be fired, regardless of how well you are doing your job. When an employer asks about your criminal conviction, state your crime but do not go into detail. Instead, your reply should focus on your current and future plans for improvement. Do not make excuses or downplay your criminal record in any way. Mention any training that has helped you change your behavior, such as the Intentional Skill Development (I.S.D.). For example: “I see on your application that you have had a criminal conviction. What were you convicted of?” “I was convicted of armed robbery. My two-year sentence gave me the opportunity to face my mistakes and decide where my future was headed. After being released early for good behavior, I enrolled in a class to earn my G.E.D., have reconnected with my family, and am seeking employment to support myself.” Pursuing education or training and volunteer work are good ways to establish your reliability and build references. The more skills you develop, the more an employer will be willing to hire you. Be realistic about where you apply. For instance, if your criminal conviction involves monetary theft, you probably won’t be able to get a position working in a bank or as a cashier. Remember to take things one step at a time; your first job is merely a stepping stone to a better one. As you continue to work you will build a reputation, contacts, and referrals to help you develop your career.

Substance abuse not only affects your mental and physical health, but also your family, friends and employers. AlAnon teaches that for every alcoholic, twelve people are affected. Unfortunately, those twelve people will be the ones you care about most. Substance abuse has become a $100 billion a year problem for employers. When employees call in sick or cannot work to their full potential, an employer loses productivity and revenue. Furthermore, mistakes made while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to a faulty product and lost customers. Add to this the cost of insurance and treatment for employees with substance abuse problems, and employers are forced to have a firm no-drug policy. Employers have several different ways of screening applicants to determine a potential substance abuse problem. They may test urine, hair or blood samples, ask you to take a polygraph (lie detector) test, and directly question you. They may also ask your views on drugs - if they should be legalized, if you consider casual use acceptable, etc. Some employers will tell you in advance of testing, others prefer unannounced testing. If you lie about drug use and tests prove that you use drugs, you can be fired for lying. If you refuse to take a test, it will probably be interpreted as a sign of drug use. If you are tested, be sure to mention any prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take to the test administrator before the test is given. Ask what would cause a positive result - it depends on the type of test used, the type of drug, and how long ago the drug was used. Inquire if any foods or drinks can trigger a false positive result - poppy seeds are an example. If you feel you need help with a drug or alcohol problem, contact your doctor or look in the yellow pages for treatment centers and support groups. Infoline is a telephone service that links callers to appropriate help; to contact them dial 211.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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The Mature or Overqualified Worker
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Q. A.

As a mature worker, how can I avoid age discrimination?

Q. A.

I am told that I am overqualified for a job. How should I respond?

Employers are often hesitant to hire an older worker for several reasons. They may view you to be overqualified, slower to adapt to new technology or ideas, or less ambitious than younger workers. It is your job to present your age as an advantage. During interviews point out that as a mature worker, you have more dedication to an employer and will tend to stay longer in a position and company than a younger person eager to build a new career. Mention that you have years of experience dealing with various personalities and developing problemsolving skills. If appropriate, mention that the aging client population may better relate to a worker in the same age group. It is important to mention new skills you have learned and programs or classes that you have attended. Express an interest in new solutions and give examples of your efforts to use change to solve a problem. Make it harder to distinguish your age. A new suit along with an updated hairstyle and glasses can make you look years younger. You will also be viewed as keeping up-to-date with new ideas and open to change. Avoid comments that hint at your age, such as “I spend as much time as I can with my grandchildren,” or “I graduated from my college in the 50’s, I imagine it has changed a great deal since then.” Instead, use comments such as “I enjoy the time I get to share with my family,” and “I am very proud of the education I earned at my alma mater.” On your résumé, omit graduation dates and early work experience. However, graduation dates are an advantage if obtained within the past ten years. It is illegal for an employer to inquire about your age, but some may ask for your date of birth, graduation date, or other inquiries that would establish your age. If you choose not to supply the information, make sure your answers are calm and polite, not agitated or defensive. Consult groups such as AARP and GreenThumb for job development advice for mature workers.

Employers view overqualified applicants as a risk because they will probably be dissatisfied with their daily tasks and soon seek new work. Presenting interest in both the position and company will help to sway the employer’s mind. Emphasize that you are fully qualified, not overqualified, and don’t discuss all your skills, but only the ones that are relevant to the position. Express how you view both the position and company as important. Find out as much as you can about the company and discuss what impressed you about its history, present and future. Ask questions about the position itself, and future goals for the person in that job. If you have had a similar position in the past, mention what you miss about the work. Point out work experience where you have stayed for years to establish your loyalty to a company. An employer who views you as overqualified will be sure to ask why you want the position. Prepare an answer that relates your dedication to the position. An employer would likely view you as less of a risk if you are taking a position with less responsibility in order to have more time for the care of children and parents, or to pursue personal goals. If this is the case, inform the interviewer of these changes. Employers spend an average of 30 seconds to review a résumé before further consideration. If your résumé displays too much experience or skills, you may be immediately discounted. Rework your résumé to display less information. List skills and experience relative to the position you are applying for and omit some of the irrelevant experience. An employer will only view you as overqualified if you supply the information. The résumé is key to obtaining an interview.

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The Lunch Interview
Interviewing
l l

Sometimes, an interview will be conducted at a restaurant. If you are invited to dine with your future employer, you should conduct the regular research and preparation for an interview and keep these tips in mind:

Dress for an interview - wear your best business attire. Don’t be seated before the employer - wait until he or she arrives before asking the host to be seated. Turn off all pagers and phones - they are an unwanted interruption to conversations. Don’t criticize - keep in mind that the employer chose the restaurant, and it may be one of his or her favorites - do not criticize the food, atmosphere, customers, or workers. Do not drink alcohol or smoke - even if the employer orders a drink or offers you a cigar or cigarette. Order food that you know - you don’t want to be surprised when your order arrives and then be unable to eat it. If you have special dietary needs, call or visit the restaurant ahead of time to inquire about suitable dishes. Order food that is neat to eat - spaghetti and ribs may taste good, but tend to be messy to eat. Getting food stains on your clothes would be embarrassing and unprofessional. Be decisive - show that you can make a simple decision and stick with it. Don’t waver between two dishes or change your order. Take small bites - the employer should not have to wait five minutes for you to finish chewing in order to answer his or her question. Mind your manners - read a book on manners if necessary. Place the napkin in your lap, keep your mouth closed when chewing, leave your elbows off the table, and don’t eat with your fingers. The employer will pay the bill - you should not offer to pay. With this in mind, pick a moderately priced dish, do not order dessert, and do not take a doggy bag. Thank you - the employer has not only taken time to spend with you, but also has paid for your dinner. Do not forget to express your appreciation.

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The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Thank You Letters
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The thank you letter should be mailed within two days after an interview, even if you feel there is no immediate job opportunity for you at that company. Thank the interviewer for his or her time, and refer to the topics discussed along with your ideas and qualifications. If you are certain that you would not accept an offer, ask to be kept in mind for a more appropriate position. If you interviewed with more than one person, send a thank you letter to each individual. Also send a letter to anyone who informed you about the job opportunity. Each letter should be written with an individual person in mind and make specific reference to subjects discussed. As always, provide contact information, type the letter, and double check spelling and grammar.

42 Blossom Drive Wethersfield, CT 06109 (860) 555-5555 August 23, 2002 Chris Thompson Editor American Literature Monthly 55 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106 Dear Ms. Thompson, I enjoyed our discussion on Tuesday regarding the American Literature Monthly’s history and future along with the role of the Writing Assistant position. Your plans to expand coverage on modern literature and poetry will certainly add a new dynamic to the magazine, and thereby increase its audience. Such growth can be accelerated with innovative marketing research and materials. As we discussed during the interview, I have exceptional skills and experience in creating marketing materials that would be valuable in this new venture. For example, my marketing decisions increased sales at Quiet Corner Book Store by 30% in two months. Combined with my knowledge of American Literature, I feel confident in fulfilling the requirements of the Writing Assistant position. Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you. I am very interested in working for American Literature Monthly, and look forward to future discussions. Sincerely, (Signature) Andrew Dragon

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Salary Negotiations
Interviewing
The first step in salary negotiations is research. Check job listings in the newspapers and Internet. Contact different companies’ human resources departments to obtain wage ranges for specific occupations. If you are relocating, you must check the cost of living in that area, even if you are staying in the same state. Many real estate and career Web sites have salary calculators that compare wages from different areas. Have a salary range in mind before going to an interview. The resources below are especially helpful in researching income and can be found in most libraries. Provide requested salary information. Often, salary history along with anticipated salary are requested on an application. Some employers will immediately discard an application if this information is not provided. At the very least, you should provide your previous salary history and write “negotiable” under expected income. Do not provide salary information if it is not requested. Do not ask about salary in the first interview. Show the employer that you are more interested in the position and the company than in the salary. Use this time to promote your skills and qualifications, and wait until a job offer is made before discussing salary. If the employer asks what you expect to earn, inquire what the salary range is for a person in that position, and indicate whether or not that seems acceptable to you. If the interviewer cannot offer a range, do not name a single figure, but rather a salary range. Don’t forget to weigh benefits such as investment plans, medical care, day-care, and tuition reimbursement. Sometimes a job with a lower salary is a better fit when you consider all the benefits offered. If you ask for more than an employer’s offer, you must defend your request with examples of your expertise, abilities, and salary history. Never qualify a salary figure with your needs - the employer is concerned with paying for your skills and experience, not for your life-style. Resources for wage information: Connecticut Occupational Employment & Wages, published by the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Research, offers wage information for Connecticut occupations. Available on-line at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi. Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, offers not only salary information, but also descriptions of working conditions, necessary training, and job growth on a nationwide level. Available on-line at www.bls.gov/ oco America’s Career Infonet provides statewide and nationwide averages for occupations, along with state profiles and many links to career information. Available only on-line at www.acinet.org.

While salary may play a major role in deciding your next job, it must be approached with tact and knowledge. People tend to personalize income and think in terms of what they want or need. You must remain objective and take into account your training, experience and skills for the position you want and judge salary offers accordingly. Since very few employees are viewed as irreplaceable by their employers, an unreasonable request will not be considered.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Resources
Resources

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There are many books, Web sites, and agencies that offer career planning information. Visit your local library, school, or DOL office to access these more popular resources. Call Infoline at 211 to obtain information on support groups, volunteering opportunities, and child care referrals.

w Deciding on a Career Path
Books But What If I Don’t Want To Go To College? A Guide to Success Through Alternative Education, by Harlow G. Unger. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type, by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. Do What You Love The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood, by Marsha Sinetar. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It, by Barbara Sher. What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career Changers, by Richard Bolles. More information is available at www.jobhuntersbible.com. Internet Career Focus 2000 Interest Inventory www.iccweb.com/careerfocus/index.asp questionnaire that determines level of interest in an occupational field and provides a list of occupations matching interest. The Career Key www.ncsu.edu/careerkey Assessment tool in a game format The Keirsey Temperament Sorter www.keirsey.com - on-line personality questionnaire. The Riley Guide www.rileyguide.com researches your skills, occupations, and employers. The TypeFocus Personality Profile www.typefocus.com - quick, easy questionnaire to help discover your personality type.

w Information on Occupations
Books Jobs Rated Almanac, by Les Krantz. Occupational Outlook Handbook, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Available in print and on-line at www.bls.gov/ ocohome.htm Internet America’s Career InfoNet - www.acinet.org Connecticut Department of Higher Education www.ctdhe.org Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium www.ctdlc.org Connecticut Licensing Information Center www.ct-clic.com Peterson’s Guide - www.petersons.com The Connecticut DOL’s Office of Research www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi produces the following publications: l Connecticut Career Paths l Connecticut Occupational Employment & Wages l Writing your Résumé for Success l Your Job Search Guide

Your Job Search Guide

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Resources

w Résumé and Interview Advice
Books Gallery of Best Résumés: A Collection of Quality Résumés, by David F. Noble. 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions, by Ron Fry. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Résumé, by Susan Ireland. The Everything Get a Job Book: From Résumé Writing to Interviewing to Finding Tons of Job Openings, by Steven Graber.

Web Sites for Posting Your Résumé and Receiving Job Search Advice AARP - www.aarp.com - offers career and life advice for mature workers. Connecticut’s Job Bank - www.ajb.org/ct Connecticut Department of Administrative Services - www.das.state.ct.us - provides information on State of Connecticut Employment. Connecticut Department of Labor - www.ctdol.state.ct.us - links to Connecticut’s Job Bank and the Job & Career Connection. Upcoming job fairs are also listed. Connecticut Job & Career ConneCTion - www.ctjobandcareer.org - offers the most comprehensive source of information on jobs, careers in Connecticut. CTnow.com - www.ctnow.com - provides career advice, résumé posting, job listings, and links to other sites. Job-Hunt.org - www.job-hunt.org - internet accessible job search resources and services. MonsterTRAK - www.jobtrak.com - advice and job postings for college students and recent graduates. Monster - www.monster.com - post your résumé on-line and receive job seeking advice. Wetfeet - www.wetfeet.com - researches companies and occupations and enables you to post your résumé. You Belong in ConneCTicut - www.youbelonginct.com - links to several job search Web sites and provides information on Connecticut.

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Resources

w Career Transition Support
Many non-profit organizations in Connecticut provide career transition support, job search assistance, and networking activities. For Re-employment/Career Transition Support Groups in other towns, please call INFOLINE at 211. You may also reference your local newspaper for additional support groups and locations. Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) Offices also offer support groups. Many of these services are free of charge. Others may suggest a donation. Ansonia Avon East Haddam Gales Ferry Glastonbury Granby Groton Guilford Hartford Madison Catholic Family Services, 205 Wakelee Avenue. 203-735-7481. St. Ann’s Church, Rt. 167 & Arch Road. 860-673-7650. First Church of Christ Congregational, 499 Town Street (Rt.151). 860-873-2824. St. David’s Episcopal Church, Routes 12 & 214. 860-464-6516. St. Dunstan Church, Manchester Road & Hebron Avenue. 860-633-3317. First Congregational Church of Granby. 860-653-0121. Senior Center, Route 117 off I-95. 860-441-6785. Christ Episcopal Church, 11 Park Street. 203-453-2279. Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave. 860-525-5696. Shorline Executive Networking, St. Margaret Church, 36 Academy St. 203-421-5668, 203-421-8402. Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller St. 203-238-2344. Russell Library, 123 Broad St. 860-347-2528. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 111 Oenoke Ridge. 203-972-3519. First Presbyterian Church, 178 Oenoke Ridge. 203-857-4625. New Haven Job Club, Catholic Family Services, 478 Orange St. 203-787-2207. New Haven CTWORKS, 560 Ella Grasso Boulevard. 203-624-1493 ext. 210. YMCA, 29 High St. 203-628-5597 Trinity Job Network Group, Trinity Church, Pequot Avenue at Center Street. 203-755-0454. FINE (Entrepreneurship Focus), Westport Library. 203-227-8411. First Church of Christ, 250 Main Street. 860-529-1575.

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Meriden Middletown New Canaan

New Haven

Southington Southport Westport Wethersfield

Check out the new Department of Labor Web site focused on Faith-Based and Community-Based Initiatives at: www.ctdol.state.ct.us/fbo/default.htm

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Work Search Planner
Resources
DATE 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. GOAL SPECIFIC ACTION I WILL TAKE

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Work Search Planner
Resources
DATE 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. DATE: 5. GOAL SPECIFIC ACTION I WILL TAKE

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Your Job Search Guide

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Record of Job Leads
Resources
Employers to Contact
Company: Address:

Phone Results
Date/Time of Next Interview: Notes and Follow-up Action:

Date of Call: Contact Person: Phone Number: Fax Number:

Company: Address:

Date/Time of Next Interview: Notes and Follow-up Action:

Date of Call: Contact Person: Phone Number: Fax Number:

Company: Address:

Date/Time of Next Interview: Notes and Follow-up Action:

Date of Call: Contact Person: Phone Number: Fax Number:

The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Research Publications: Business and Employment Changes Announced in the News Media Connecticut Career Paths Connecticut Career Resource Network Update Connecticut Careers: Career Directions for Entry-Level Jobs Connecticut Data for Affirmative Action Plans Connecticut Economic Digest, The Connecticut Job Outlook by Training Level ...Soaring to New Heights Connecticut Labor Market Information At-A-Glance Connecticut Labor Situation Connecticut Occupational Employment & Wages Equal Employment Opportunity Special Census File Information for Workforce Investment Planning Labor Force Data for Labor Market Areas & Towns Writing Your Résumé for Success Your Job Search Guide Many of these publications are available on the Internet at: www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi The Connecticut Job & Career ConneCTion provides on-line information on career development, occupational profiles, and finding employment, all at one site www.ctjobandcareer.org.

DOL-700 Rev. 5/03 0043-700-12

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The Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research

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