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Career Services Center for Experiential Learning Keuka College 279Phone: (315) 279-5274 279Fax: (315) 279-5329
I. Self-assessment Personal values Work values Skills assessment II. Researching job fields III. Researching employers What to research Internet resources for researching employers IV. Networking Networking tips Sample job search networking letter V. Developing effective searching tools Pursue advertised vacancies Develop a contact network Contact employers directly Follow-up and record keeping Be persistent Job search websites VI. Applying for jobs VII. Following up
Competing effectively in today’s market requires self-knowledge, initiative, persistence, and a lot of hard work. Getting a job is not something that happens overnight. The entire job search process usually involves: • Self-assessment • Researching job fields • Researching employers • Networking • Developing effective searching tools (such as your resume, cover letters, and interview skills) • Applying for jobs • Interviewing for jobs • Following up
One of the most important aspects of searching for a job is first knowing yourself. Not only do you need to know what skills and characteristics you have to offer an employer, you should know what type of job will suit your interests and values. Use the activities below to get an idea of what things are most important to you regarding your career. A list of personal values is provided below. Using the following scale, rank each value according to its importance to you: 1 = not important 2 = somewhat important 3 = very important ___ Good Health ___ Many close friendships ___ A large family ___ A fulfilling career ___ A stable marriage ___ A financially comfortable life ___ Independence ___ Creativity ___ Participating in an organized religion ___ Having children ___ A variety of interests and activities ___ Freedom to create my own lifestyle ___ Owning a house ___ A happy love relationship ___ Fulfilling careers for me and my partner ___ Contributing to my community ___ Abundance of leisure time ___ Ability to move from place to place ___ A stable life ___ A life without stress ___ Strong religious values ___ A chance to make social changes ___ To be remembered for my accomplishments ___ Helping those in distress ___ Freedom to live where I wish ___ Time to myself ___ Enjoyment of arts, entertainment, and culture ___ A life with many challenges ___ A life with many changes ___ Opportunity to be a leader ___ To make a major discovery that saves lives ___ A good physical appearance ___ Opportunity to establish roots in one place ___ Opportunity for physical activities ___ A chance to get into politics ___ To live according to strong moral values ___ Opportunity to teach others ___ A chance to become famous ___ To help others solve problems ___ To make a lot of money
Now go through the list and choose five of your most important personal values: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Categories of Work Values are listed below. Make a selection based on the importance of each work-related value.
WORK TASKS Produce a product I can see at the end of the day Work on a project that takes a long time to complete Complete tasks by the end of the day Perform different tasks every day Perform similar tasks routinely Engage in adventuresome/risky tasks Work with hands or hand tools Work with numbers Help people who have needs Influence the opinions or decisions of others Engage in physical tasks Engage in intellectually stimulating tasks Engage in creative tasks Engage in research Not Important Somewhat Important Quite Important Very Important
WORK SETTING Indoors, in my own office Indoors, in a large office with many colleagues Indoors, other than an office Outdoors Combination of indoors & outdoors Work in an urban/suburban setting Work in a rural setting Home-based work setting
INTERPERSONAL ASPECTS Work independently with no supervision (own boss) Work independently with some supervision Work with one or more colleagues as a team Plan work for and supervise others Be supervised by a good supervisor/boss Work with supportive co-workers
PAY, BENEFITS, REWARDS Good benefits package Work for a high base salary Work on a commission basis Job security Starting salary upon graduation over $35,000 Opportunity to obtain large salary increases Receive immediate public attention for accomplishments Social prestige/respect/recognition
Now go through the lists and choose five of your most important work-related values: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Skills Assessment Know your basic skills and be ready to portray them in a cover letter, your resume, and in an interview. Use the checklist below to get an idea of skills that you may have that employers look for: Active listening Instructing Planning Awareness of others Interpersonal Problem solving Communication Management Public speaking Critical thinking Mathematical Technology Decision making Organizational Time management Information gathering Persuasion Writing
RESEARCHING JOB FIELDS
There are various tools you can use to research job fields. Use the resources listed below to investigate job disciplines you might want to become a part of. Use these websites to explore job fields related to your major: www.careers.siue.edu/majors/majors/default.html (career fields, employers, strategies) www.cas.muohio.edu/~advising/Majors/toc.html (interests, competencies, careers, grad schools) www.uncw.edu/stuaff/career/Majors/ (careers, skills, websites, career planning websites) www.utexas.edu/student/careercenter/careers/ (jobs related and not directly related) www.career.fsu.edu/ccis/matchmajor/matchmenu.html (job list for each major) Occupational Outlook Handbook (http://www.bls.gov/oco/) Provides career information on most job titles, including required training and education, earnings, job outlook, job description, and working conditions. America’s Career InfoNet (http://www.acinet.org/acinet/) Find information on careers, salaries, educational requirements, and labor market trends. Job search assistance is also available. Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://stats.bls.gov/) Provides information from the fact-finding agency for the federal government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. ONET (http://online.onetcenter.org/find/) Review occupational information, jobs related to your skills, work requirements, and occupations related to those in which you have an interest.
(From www.distinctiveweb.com/research.htm) Crucial to a successful job search campaign is knowing how to research potential employers. The more you know about a company or organization, their business objectives, goals, mission, vision statement, etc. the better able you will be to communicate your value to them. You may wish to convey your understanding of their needs in a tailored resume and cover letter, and you will definitely want to communicate this during your interview. The hard work that you put into your research will almost always pay off by reflecting your interest and enthusiasm to employers. Begin by trying to locate general information about each company you are interested in. Focus on details that will relate to your skills, knowledge, and qualifications. You may wish to develop a filing system to organize the information that you obtain. Here are some items you can gather: Brochures and sales flyers Magazine and newspaper articles about the company Trade journal articles Press releases
What to Research: What is the age of the company/organization? What is their location? How long have they been established there? How many locations are there? What are the services and products that they sell? What is the size of the company/organization? How many employees do they have? What are their sales? Assets? Earnings? What has their growth pattern been like? What are the various divisions and subsidiaries? Who are their competitors? What are the names of key executives? What is the general reputation of the company/organization? Is the company publicly or privately owned? Is the company foreign owned? How successful is the company? What have been their major achievements? Have there been any major issues or events in the recent history of the company? What are the objectives and philosophy of the company/organization? What is their forecast of anticipated growth?
If you are ready to go onto the internet to begin your research, keep a few things in mind: Know what you are looking for before you go online. Keep a list beside you so that you can cross items off as you locate them. It is too easy to get distracted if you do not remain focused! Bookmark major sites as you come across them. Most browsers will even allow you to create folders or directories to organize the links even further. Make the effort to stay organized now and you will be glad you did later on! Print out a hardcopy of important information. Or you could save a copy of the document to your hard drive instead.
Internet Resources for Researching Employers CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE You may want to begin by contacting the chambers of commerce in the communities your companies are located in. You will find a searchable comprehensive directory of North American chambers of commerce at (http://Chamber-of-Commerce.com) SEC DOCUMENTS Find SEC documents for 10,000 public companies including insider filings, annual and quarterly reports. (http://business.lycos.com/companyresearch/crtop.asp) SEC Documents by company name or ticker symbol. (http://www.freeedgar.com/) IPOs Up-to-date reports on new filings and initial public offerings. (http://www.edgar-online.com/ipoexpress/)
AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE A listing of companies can be searched by stock symbol, company name or company homepage at (http://www.amex.com/stocks/stocks.htm) THE BIG BOOK This is an outstanding resource for finding companies listed by industry or state. (http://www.bigbook.com) PATENTS Search for information about patents by invention type or description. (http://www.delphion.com) SECRETARIES OF THE STATE CORPORATE REGISTRATIONS Links to the secretary of state in each of the 50 US states and their corporate registrations; many allow online lookups of basic information. (http://www.nass.org/busreg/corpreg.html) THOMAS REGISTER Search 155,000+ companies by trademark or type of product. (http://www.thomasregister.com/) U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES Government Agency homepages can be useful for both research purposes and for finding joblistings. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/independent-agencies.html) ANNUAL REPORTS Links to annual reports of thousands of companies; a free service. (http://www.annualreportservice.com/) BUSINESS WIRE Company press releases by industry. (http://www.businesswire.com/) WALL STREET RESEARCH Links to company's SEC filings, stock quotes and history, press releases, earnings estimates, and more. (http://www.wsrn.com/index.html)
Even though networking is one of the most successful ways to find a new job (US Bureau of Labor Statistics claims 85% of jobs are obtained via networking and direct company contact), most people rely solely on the internet. Some call networking the art of building alliances. Simply stated, it is using your current contacts and generating new ones in order to locate opportunities. You network all the time and probably don’t even know it. You are networking when you: Attend professional or trade association meetings Talk with your professors and alumni Volunteer for a local church function Visit with other members of your social clubs or religious groups Talk to your neighbors Strike up a conversation with someone else waiting at the doctor’s office Post messages on mailing lists or in chat rooms
NETWORKING TIPS Begin networking early. Don’t wait until spring of your senior year to begin networking. Make a list of everyone that you know. Write down family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, teachers, etc. Make a list of people you want to know. Think of people who can provide good information about the kind of job you want. Know specifically what you want. The more specific details you can provide to your contacts, the better chances people have to help you out. Keep records. For future reference, jot down notes including names, companies, and conversation details. Maintain contact with these people or you will lose valuable links and credibility. Get involved. The more clubs and organizations you belong to, the more contacts you have. Be polite and personal. Get to know people not only from a professional perspective, but a personal one as well. Set up informational interviews. Explain that you are researching the current job market for opportunities and would appreciate insights and advice. Refer to the Interview Guide for more details. Pick up the phone. In some cases, a quick phone call is more efficient than several e-mails and is more personal. Face to face is even better. Remember names. Make it a point to remember the names of your new contacts. Always reciprocate. When you ask others for help, be prepared to return the favor. Keep supporters informed about your progress and successes.
SAMPLE JOB SEARCH NETWORKING LETTER (from About.com) Your address Your phone number Date you send the letter Contact Name Contact Person’s Job Title Company Address City, State, Zip Dear Mr. Contact, I was referred to you by Diane Smithers from XYZ company in New York. She recommended you as an excellent source of information on the communications industry. My goal is to secure an entry-level position in communications. I would appreciate hearing your advice on career opportunities in the communications industry, on conducting an effective job search, and on how best to uncover job leads. Thank you so much, in advance, for any insight and advice you would be willing to share. I look forward to contacting you early next week to set up a telephone informational interview. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely,
DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE SEARCHING TOOLS
(From www.MonsterTrak.com) A. Pursue Advertised Vacancies The most commonly used job search technique is to respond to advertised vacancies, both in print and electronically. Sources of vacancies include: Online job listings. Campus interviews. Newsletters from trade or professional associations. Newspaper classified ads (most major cities are online). Employment services and agencies run by government and for-profit businesses. Personnel department postings and phone lines. Unfortunately, the most popular method for locating positions, responding to advertised vacancies, is not the most effective. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, nearly 80% of the openings available at any one time are never advertised. Job-seekers should respond to employment ads, but the main thrust of your efforts should be toward establishing networks and identifying the hidden job market. To increase the odds of your success in responding to advertised vacancies, by telephone or letter, keep these tips in mind: Do not waste time responding to long shots. Use your cover letter to answer every requirement in the advertisement. Personalize your response as much as possible. Direct your materials to specific individuals, not "To Whom It May Concern," or "Dear Sir/Madam," unless the advertisements are blind newspaper ads (name of organization withheld). A quick phone call can provide appropriate names. In a blind ad, address your letter to a specific position title, (e.g., Dear "Marketing Manager"). Try to contact or write to the manager who will make the final hiring decision as well as the personnel representative named in the advertisements. For more information, see the Resume & Cover Letter Guide. B. Develop a Contact Network Once you have targeted a career or specific position, you should acquaint yourself with professionals in that field or organization. These professionals offer you an insider's view and can constitute your contact network, which can open doors that might otherwise remain closed. Your network can also consist of family members, friends, classmates, professors, and electronic discussion groups. C. Contact Employers Directly There are several methods and combinations of methods that can be utilized to contact employers directly. Send a letter of application and your resume to the Human Resources department or specific managers. This direct contact method is most successful for candidates in high-demand fields (e.g., engineering and computer science). The success of this method is greatly increased when letters are followed up by phone calls, which may result in an invitation to visit the employer. Contact managers in organizations by phone or letter to request an appointment to discuss the information you have obtained by reading annual reports, trade literature, etc. For example: "I understand XYZ is planning to expand its foreign market. I am completing an international business degree and am very interested in this expansion. It seems a very progressive move. May I have 20 minutes of your time to discuss it?" Indicate your desire to meet with them even if they have no positions currently available in their department. Some job seekers find it useful to state that they will be looking for jobs in the near future, but are now just gathering information about organizations. Do not expect to be interviewed for a job at this juncture
During your appointments with department managers, emphasize your knowledge and interest in their organizations. Always follow up all interviews with thank-you letters, phone calls, and, when appropriate, resumes that have been revised based on information and suggestions provided by managers. Even if managers have no positions available, once they have had a personal interaction with you, they may think of you the next time they have, or hear of, an appropriate opening. It is critical to stay in touch with these managers, at least on a bi-monthly basis. Many job seekers have used informational interviewing to create new positions by identifying organizational needs (through the interview, research, etc.) and proposing these needs be filled with their own skills. D. Follow-Up and Record Keeping No matter what job search strategies you choose, follow-up and record keeping are important for success. Maintain a careful record of all interviews, thank-you notes sent, referrals made and follow-up actions. Job seekers who fail to maintain this information often lose valuable contacts as well as credibility with prospective employers. There are models for keeping such records in the various job search manuals in the Resource Room. E. Be Persistent Job searching is hard work and there are times when you will get discouraged. But if you keep up with it, you can avoid feeling anxious and will actually have more energy. If your search is not producing the results that you would like, avoid blaming yourself and try a new strategy. Do not be reluctant to submit your credentials on more than one occasion to an organization for which you would like to work. This attitude demonstrates your enthusiasm and interest.
JOB SEARCH WEBSITES: Storm Tracker Monster.com USA Jobs America's JobBank NYS Department of Labor Career Builder NACE Link Network Vault Newspapers Arts Business www.keuka.edu/stormtracker www.monster.com www.usajobs.gov www.ajb.dni.us www.labor.state.ny.us jobs.careerbuilder.com Keuka Storm Tracker—Keuka's own online job, Field Period, work study, and volunteer search engine. Search jobs and post your resume for employers to view. Explore Federal job listings. Job bank for positions all over the United States. Search by keyword or zip code. Job listings for NY state.
Online job search engine. National recruiting network and suite of web www.keuka.edu/experiential/careerser based recruiting and career services automation vices/NACElink.html tools. Online finance and communications job and www.vault.com career information site. Directory of national and global online www.dailyearth.com newspapers. www.artsopportunities.org Art jobs and resources. Business career fields information and links. www.careers-in-business.com American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.
Clinical Science www.ascls.org
Communications Criminal Justice Environmental Higher Education Higher Education History Law Mathematics Nonprofit Nursing Occupational Therapy Political Science Psychology Science Sign Language Social Services Teaching Teaching Resources Teaching Theatre & Drama
www.talentzoo.com www.policeemployment.com www.environmentalcareer.com www.higheredjobs.com chronicle.com/jobs www.historians.org www.lawjobs.com www.math-jobs.com/us www.idealist.org www.nursingjobs.com www.otjoblink.org www.apsanet.org www.psyccareers.com www.sciencejobs.com/splash.action www.aslta.org www.socialservice.com www.-teachers-teachers.com www.nea.org/jobsearch/archive.html www.k12jobs.com www.theatrejobs.com
Talent Zoo Local and federal law enforcement jobs. Environmental job postings and information. Jobs in higher education. Jobs in higher education. AHA history jobs and resources. Careers in law, other law-related resources. Math Jobs U.S. Non-profit jobs and internships. Nursing opportunities. American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). APSA—networking a world of scholars. Psychology careers. Premier solution for science recruitment. ASLTA Job site for all types of social services positions. Teaching jobs and resources. NEA National Teacher's Association. Teaching and administrative positions. Theatre job listings.
APPLYING FOR JOBS
Before applying for a job, be sure you know and can communicate your knowledge, skills, and experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Your ability to successfully portray these items is important since your application is often your first impression for an employer or recruiter. Here are some helpful hints when applying for jobs: Proofread! Be sure that there are absolutely no spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors on any documents. It is a good idea to have at least two other people look over your materials. Follow directions. Send all documents mentioned in the application instructions. Leaving anything out reflects lack of attention to detail. Cover letters are a must. A cover letter should always accompany your resume, even if the application instructions do not request a cover letter. It shows good manners and business etiquette while portraying to the employer the purpose of your resume. Use PDF, not DOC. When sending documents to an employer or recruiter, save them in PDF form so that no formatting issues (i.e., different default margins, unaccepted fonts, etc.) occur. Use e-mail etiquette. When communicating with employers or recruiters via e-mail, treat each e-mail as a professional letter. Do not use internet slang, check for mistakes, and maintain professionalism. Use a catchy subject line. Be sure to include the job title or job code if you are applying for a specific job via e-mail. If you are inquiring about the possibility of openings, state this in the subject line. You must have relevant information in the subject line to avoid it getting thrown out as junk mail.
Following up with contacts, recruiters, employers, etc. is vital. It demonstrates a sense of professionalism, courtesy, and perseverance. Thank you letters, phone calls, or some type of correspondence should take place after: A job interview An informational interview A contact has helped you/provided you with information Someone was extremely helpful to you at a career fair You visit a contact at their work site Anyone you wish to express thanks to and/or develop a relationship with You should follow up with hiring personnel within two weeks of sending in application materials and within 24 hours of an interview. Thank you letters can be typed, handwritten, or e-mailed. Hard copy letters are the most formal and are always appropriate after an interview. Handwritten letters are more personal, and can be appropriate for brief notes to a variety of individuals you met during an interview or who may have helped you in other ways. E-mail is appropriate when that has been your method of contact with the person you want to thank, or if your contact has expressed a preference for e-mail, or if you want to send a quick thank you to be followed up by hard copy.
The process of finding a job can seem like a job in itself; it is a lengthy, intricate, time-consuming process that requires motivation, persistence, and a lot of work. If you would like assistance with any part of your job search, please contact the Center for Experiential Learning at (315) 279-5274 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, refer to the Resume & Cover Letter Guide and the Interview Guide. Good luck!
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