Monday, June 30, 2014

"Using Age to Advantage" - July 9, 6:30-8 PM

Jaclyn Jarmulowicz is a workforce and communications professional who is employed by Employment and Training Resources, a Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center. She is a workshop facilitator and program coordinator with experience working with both recently dislocated workers as well as the long-term unemployed.  She works diligently to bring a think-outside-the-box perspective to the job search process. She will be presenting a workshop that focuses on how to use your age and experience as an advantage in a weak economic climate. The goals of the workshop will be to discuss the changing job landscape/new options for workers, how to age proof your résumé, outline the advantages older workers bring to the workplace, identify strategies to “get in the door” and develop effective answers to challenging age-related interview questions.

To register for this workshop, please click here

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ali Kafel on Finding A Job In Today's Online World

Ali Kafel, a Shrewsbury resident, is the Director Marketing for Extreme Networks and also an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University where he is currently teaching CareerLinks, a course on personal branding and marketing, career building, and job searches. On June 25, he gave an excellent presentation on some of the tools that job seekers can use during a job search.

Ali emphasized the importance of LinkedIn:
  • Recruiters will find you if are on LinkedIn. Employers can reach out to you and you can reach out to hiring managers.
  • It's not who YOU know. It's who knows you or who can find you.
  • You can connect with people from your college or with your ex-bosses or former colleagues.
  • You could ask for an informational interview with a person who works in the company you are interested in.
  • If you want to send a message to someone you're not connected to, see what groups they belong to. You can then join one of the groups and then send a message to them.
 Twitter can also be used effectively by people wanting to transition to a new job or career
  • Learn about a company and its managers by following them on Twitter
  • Use Twitter to create a brand for yourself
Ali explained how blogging too is a great way to make yourself visible.

He gave some tips on resume writing:
  • Make sure to use the keywords relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • List the achievements that prove your claims; focus on your completed projects or accomplishments, not just the tasks you've performed
  • Use power verbs to describe your achievements
  • Write your own resume and then get it proofread by others
Ali had a wealth of information to share and has promised to come back for another WIN presentation!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catherine Storing's Dynamic Presentation

Confidence coach Catherine Storing gave job seekers valuable tips about preparing for, participating in and following up on job interviews--tips that can enhance your chances of landing the position you want.

Her first rule: Know your resume. You may get asked a question about something you've listed on it, and you should be prepared to answer it knowledgeably.

Make sure your resume includes current contact information, including a "gmail" account. According to Catherine, if you list a "yahoo" or "aol" account you're dating yourself. Your e-mail address should include your name for clear identification and to help prevent it from getting directed into a potential interviewer's Spam folder. It's also a good idea to set up a Skype account in case someone needs to talk with you face to face but can't be available for a personal interview.

If you've been invited to have a telephone interview, make sure you're wide awake and energized, and dress up as you would for a personal interview. You're more likely to make a good first impression.

Research the company and know where you're going before your interviews. Ask about company culture--you want to dress appropriately, but also be comfortable.

Remember that the interview process is for both the potential employer's and your own benefit; listen to what's said, but also to what's not said so you can make an informed decision about whether or not the job is a good fit for you.

Ask the Human Resources representative about salary range, hours of work and benefits; those aren't appropriate questions for the hiring manager or others who may be part of the interview process. Sit up straight, speak clearly and with confidence.

 Your attire is a key part of the first impression you give, so be sure to dress appropriately for the company and position. One good way to determine what's appropriate is to drive by the company first thing in the morning or at lunch time so you can observe what employees are wearing. Always prepare your interview wardrobe the day before; choose carefully to ensure that your clothes are clean, pressed, and comfortable for you when you're standing and when you're sitting down. Your shoes must be clean and polished, and your hair should be neat and styled. Women should carry a basic, mid-sized purse  and  avoid flat shoes; a small heel  or platform shoe will help your posture and gait. All candidates should have a folder of some sort in which to carry extra copies of resumes and other papers you may need.

Catherine listed some questions that you should always ask if possible:

What is your management style?
What is your most pressing problem or need?
What qualities would your ideal candidate possess?
Why is the position open and for how long has it been available?
What is a typical day like?
What do you like best about your job?
What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Take notes on the answers; you can offer some relevant examples of ways you can help the company in your answers to questions asked of you.

Always send an e-mail thank you message the day after the interview. If you haven't heard back from the company after a week or so, you can send an inquiry into the status of the interview process, and send a second message a week later if you still haven't heard anything.

Catherine concluded her dynamic presentation by emphasizing the importance of having your references ready, and of letting your references know that they should expect a call from a specific person at a particular company. She stayed after the presentation to answer questions, and offered to address specific issues via e-mail.

Posted by Cynthia Carlson

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gabriella Calzolari's presentation on LinkedIn

Gabriella Calzolari

With over 1 million members, LinkedIn is a growing professional networking site used by companies, hiring managers, job seekers and those currently employed as a way of making connections, gathering information and following trends. Gabriella Calzolari, director of recruitment and selection at Northwest Mutual, gave workshop attendees a good overview of how to use the site to your maximum advantage.

By joining an industry, alumni or common interest group, you can easily make multiple connections and learn what your peers and their organizations are involved in. Your LinkedIn profile should not be an exact copy of your resume; instead, Gabriella suggested listing your top five strengths for which you want to be recognized. Asking for and giving endorsements of skills helps to boost your profile as well.

Other tips that Gabriella offered were to be anonymous when looking at employers' profiles, reorder the way in which others will view your own profile, and include a professional head shot so you'll be more recognizable. Also, be sure to include nicknames, previous names and alternate spellings of your name(s) to make it easier for people to find you. For job seekers, she noted that it's a good idea to include your status in your title so that recruiters and potential employers will be aware of your availability. Some companies have even made it possible to apply for a position directly from LinkedIn, a time-saving and easy shortcut to the often cumbersome on-line application process.

As for formatting, bullets make your profile easier to read. Don't make it too long, and list your accomplishments instead of your duties and responsibilities. You can also post articles and quotes to make your profile more interesting.

Finally, Gabriella recommended following companies and people you admire, and looking at the LinkedIn pages of employers. She concluded her presentation by answering questions and offering one-on-one help to those who would like it. 

Posted by Cynthia Carlson