Better Job Search in 3 Easy Steps

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Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

Online Services Delmar Online To access a wide variety of Delmar products and services on the World Wide Web, point your browser to: or email: [email protected]


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps Ben T. Field & Paul K. Wright

Africa • Australia • Canada • Denmark • Japan • Mexico • New Zealand • Philippines Puerto Rico • Singapore • Spain • United Kingdom • United States

NOTICE TO THE READER Publisher does not warrant or guarantee any of the products described herein or perform any independent analysis in connection with any of the product information contained herein. Publisher does not assume, and expressly disclaims, any obligation to obtain and include information other than that provided to it by the manufacturer. The reader is expressly warned to consider and adopt all safety precautions that might be indicated by the activities herein and to avoid all potential hazards. By following the instructions contained herein, the reader willingly assumes all risks in connection with such instructions. The publisher makes no representation or warranties of any kind, including but not limited to, the warranties of fitness for particular purpose or merchantability, nor are any such representations implied with respect to the material set forth herein, and the publisher takes no responsibility with respect to such material. The publisher shall not be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting, in whole or part, from the readers’ use of, or reliance upon, this material. Delmar Staff: Business Unit Director: Susan L. Simpfenderfer Executive Editor: Marlene McHugh Pratt Developmental Editor: Judy Roberts Executive Marketing Manager: Donna Lewis Executive Production Manager: Wendy A. Troeger Production Editor: Elaine Scull Cover Design: Joseph Villanova COPYRIGHT © 2000 Delmar is a division of Thomson Learning. The Thomson Learning logo is a registered trademark used herein under license. Printed in Canada 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 X X X 05 04 03 02 01 00 99 For more information, contact Delmar, 3 Columbia Circle, PO Box 15015, Albany, NY 12212-0515; or find us on the World Wide Web at All rights reserved Thomson Learning © 2000. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system, or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. You can request permission to use material from this text through the following phone and fax numbers. Phone: 1-800-730-2214; Fax 1-800-730-2215, or visit our Web site at Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Field, Ben T. Better job search in 3 easy steps / Ben T. Field & Paul K. Wright. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ). ISBN 0-7668-1564-1 1. Job hunting I. Wright, Paul K. II. Title. III. Title: Better job search in three easy steps. HF5382.7.F53 1999 850.14--dc21 99-36586 CIP

Table of Contents Chapter 1 Employment Outlook and Career Exploration


Introduction Employment Outlook Career Exploration by Occupation Career Exploration by Interest Factor Summary

2 3 4 5 6

Chapter 2 Developing Your Job Search in Three Easy Steps


Review of the SCANS Report Step One Information Worksheet: Personal and Family Step Two Evaluation Worksheet Step Three Job Search Plan of Action Plan of Action Worksheet and Personal Notes Summary

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Chapter 3 Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together


Check the Newspaper Ads Networking and Contact by Referral Networking Sources of Leads and Tracking Methods Job Search by Research and Direct Contact Company Information Worksheet How to Increase Your Responses Employer Quik-Response Form Summary

18 20 22 23 24 26 27 28

Chapter 4 Good Interviews Get You Job Offers


Selling Yourself and First Impressions Important Rules for Better Interviews Difficult Questions in Interviews Interview Record Worksheet One Interview Record Worksheet Two Summary

30 31 32 34 35 36 v

Chapter 5 Changes in the Workplace


The Changing Workplace and You What Employers Expect Be Prepared for Downsizing Company Information Worksheet Summary

38 39 40 41 42

Chapter 6 Apprenticeships and Other Opportunities


Apprenticeship Programs The “Contingent” Workforce Nontraditional Opportunities for Women Tips for Workers Over 40 Personal Notes for Women and Nontraditional Students Summary

44 45 46 48 49 50

Chapter 7 The Electronic Future is Here


The Electronic Future and the Internet Fax, Box Numbers, and Other Problems Summary

52 53 54

Chapter 8 Facts for Students and New Graduates


Facts for Students Facts for New Graduates Fast Growing Occupations (1996–2006) Summary

56 57 58 60

Chapter 9 Resource Information


Suggested Sources of Occupational Information for the Job Seeker Summary

62 63


Preface Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps was written to help job seekers develop an effective job search program quicker and easier. It shows how to use the same “three steps to success” method explained in Better Resumes in 3 Easy Steps: compile your information, analyze your information, and organize your information. Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps contains only the necessary fundamental information organized in a simple, easy-to-read format. Changes in the workplace, growing and declining occupations, nontraditional opportunities for women, and the three primary methods of job search are explained, with an example cover letter for each. A new idea of how to increase response from employer contacts is included. One section is devoted specifically to “selling yourself” in an interview with examples of the most difficult questions that employers will ask and the reasons why interviews go wrong. Facts for students and new graduates are also included. In the new high-tech workplace, it takes marketing skills to find the job you want, get the job you want, and keep the job you want. Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps is a companion book to Better Resumes in 3 Easy Steps and Better Job Skills in 3 Easy Steps, and shows you how to sell yourself to the employer.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank the many people who gave their time and expertise is producing this text. We also wish to thank the reviewers who provided many insightful suggestions for improving this book. We are indebted to them. Michael Mahoney Drake Business School Astoria, New York

Bill Hailey Madisonville Community College Madisonville, Kentucky

Carolyn Hagaman Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky

Connie Martin Tecumseh High School Lynnville, Indiana


About the Authors of This Book . . . They founded Rightfield Business Publications in 1995 and write a weekly Job Search column for syndication.

Ben T. Field is a successful advertising executive with 35 years experience in Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations, including supervisory experience with extensive training and development responsibilities. He has been Art Director at Bristol Myers, Eli Lilly, and CIBA/Geigy. Presently, he is a Professional Marketing Consultant under the name Field Design Group. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville and holds an MFA degree in Graphic Design from Yale University. He has taught creative art and graphic design at the University of Evansville and IVY Tech State College. He is presently teaching advertising at the University of Southern Indiana.

Paul K. Wright, retired bank vice-president (Industrial Relations), has 35 years experience in business development including 11 years as a Chamber of Commerce executive in economic development working with new and existing industry. For 14 years he was a bank executive responsible for industrial relations and 10 years plus as director of an employment and training center. Wright studied engineering at Akron University, and is a graduate of the Industrial Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and the Chamber of Commerce Management Institute at the University of Georgia. He has conducted numerous workshops, seminars, and sales training sessions.


Chapter 1

Employment Outlook and Career Exploration Objective To discuss the employment outlook and present two easy methods of career exploration to help you decide on a suitable career.

After studying this section, you should be able to: • Realize the importance of a dynamic resume. • Understand the value of considering different careers. • Make a career decision based on better judgment.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

INTRODUCTION There are many excellent books about job search techniques on the market with good information, but they contain so much irrelevant material that it takes time to read, and in many cases, creates confusion about what is the best approach for you. This book is written in clear, concise terminology, is easy to read, and contains basic information that you need for an effective job search. Therefore, you can start your job search program sooner instead of reading several hundred pages of material that may or may not help you immediately. Before you start to develop an effective job search program, it is important that you review what is happening in the workplace: the downsizing of companies, the elimination of jobs, the increase in technology, and how these changes affect your job search and your future. You also need to know what skills employers expect employees to have in today’s high-tech workplace in order to overcome the intense competition for fewer good jobs. There are many more applicants than there are good jobs, which means you must sell yourself, and you must have the skills that meet the demands of the workplace. This also means that in order to have a successful job search program, you must have a dynamic resume that sells your skills. If you do not have a copy of Better Resumes in 3 Easy Steps, get one. Read it and make sure your resume will pass the Critical Factors Test and the Workplace Competencies Test. A dynamic, professional resume and cover letter are the foundation blocks for a successful job search program. This book shows you how to develop a successful job search program in Three Easy Steps, the same steps used to write a dynamic resume: Step 1—Compile your information and consider the possibilities. Step 2—Analyze your possibilities and evaluate the alternatives. Step 3—Organize your efforts and implement your plan. The emphasis of this book is to show you how to develop an effective job search program and jumpstart your career. K.I.S.S. means Keep It (job search program) Super Simple or Keep It Specific and Simple if you want the best results. And remember the other key factor you must have to get results: Sell yourself!

Employment Outlook and Career Exploration

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK According to the Department of Labor, employment will rise to 150.9 million between 1996 and 2006, an increase of more than 18 million jobs. It is also expected that women will comprise approximately 50 percent of the workforce by the year 2000. Experts say that jobs will become more specialized and skills will become obsolete faster than ever. Constant training or retraining will be mandatory to keep workers up to date with changes in technology. Occupations that once offered promises of solid careers are declining, whereas new positions are emerging and expanding at an unprecedented pace. The increased use of computers is driving up the demand in virtually all companies for workers trained in computer technology. The service industries, manufacturing industries, and health care all need programmers, operators, repair persons, systems analysts, and the like. Other workers must be computer literate or they will lose out. Managerial occupations are expected to have average growth but middle management and supervisory jobs will decline according to a recent American Management Association survey of human resource managers in AMA member companies. The survey said that almost three middle management jobs were eliminated for every one created and two supervisory jobs were lost for every one created. This is a strong indication that the newly created jobs require less managerial and supervisory expertise with a new range of skills and emphasis on technical know-how. Some managerial occupations will grow faster than the average, such as health care, while others such as industrial production, will decline. Professional occupations, like engineering, educational counseling, and computers are expected to grow faster than the average as well as the number of workers in the health care industry. Other service occupations, such as protective services, food and beverage, and health services are expected to grow faster because of a growing population. Marketing and advertising jobs will grow much faster than the average because of increasing domestic and global competition. Sales jobs are expected to increase as the number of retail establishments increase. Employment for correctional officers, police, detectives, and guards is expected to increase because of the growing concern about crime and the expansion of correctional facilities. Many changes are occurring. Employment for accountants and auditors is expected to increase by 125,000 whereas bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks will decrease by 102,000, and file clerks by 22,000 jobs. Top management jobs are expected to increase by 467,00 but industrial production manager jobs will decline. Metal and plastics machine operators will gain jobs but apparel (textiles) workers will lose 133,000 jobs. Examples of fast growing jobs are shown on page 56 but a complete report about the employment outlook from 1996 to 2006 is published in the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 1998.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

CAREER EXPLORATION BY OCCUPATION The U.S. Department of Labor has unlimited information available about occupations, job titles, job descriptions, skills and abilities required, average earnings, employment opportunities, employment outlook, and so forth. But the government lists over 20,000 job titles, too many to review when considering a career or a career change. Therefore, one of the best books for use in career exploration or career change is America’s Top 300 Jobs published by JIST Works, Inc.* It contains up-to-date information on over 300 jobs in which 90 percent of all American workers are employed. Occupations are listed by cluster, making it easier for anyone planning a career or career change to determine occupational preferences. Occupational clusters are listed below with examples under each heading to give you an idea of the many opportunities available. If you are not sure about your career choice, or need more information about various occupations, purchase a copy of America’s Top 300 Jobs or review one at your local library. Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Accountants, auditors, budget analyst, etc. General managers and top executives, marketing, advertising, and public relations managers. Professional Specialty Occupations Engineers, architects, scientists, computer, mathematical, research, social workers, religious workers, teachers, health occupations, communications, and visual arts occupations. Technicians and Related Support technicians, technicians.

Health technologists and

Marketing and Sales Cashiers, clerks, retail sales, insurance agents, real estate sales representatives, and travel agents. Administrative Support including Clerical Bank tellers, office clerks, motel clerks, secretaries, teacher aides, and data entry personnel. Service Occupations Guards, police, detectives, chefs, cooks, kitchen workers, and dental and medical assistants. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing

Farm operators, hunters, logging.

Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers Aircraft, automotive, diesel, electronic equipment, farm equipment, general maintenance, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration. Construction Trades painters, plumbers.

Bricklayers, carpenters, concrete, electricians,

Production Occupations

Assemblers, inspectors.

Metalworking and Plastics Boilermakers, jewelers, machinists, tool and die makers, welders, printing occupations, textile, woodworking, miscellaneous. Transportation Armed Forces *JIST Works, Inc., 720 N. Park Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3431.

Employment Outlook and Career Exploration

CAREER EXPLORATION BY INTEREST FACTOR Another approach in career exploration is to consider your personal interest factor. What occupations do you like best or which ones would you consider because of your knowledge, training, and experience? The Department of Labor has divided all jobs into twelve major interest groups. The best resource guide we have seen for this information is the Enhanced Guide for Occupational Exploration, published by Jist Works Inc.* It covers 2,500 occupations arranged in the DOL twelve interest groups, and subdivided into work groups with job descriptions and additional information about each job. The twelve interest factors are listed below with examples of the jobs in these groups. A review of these interest groups may help you make the right career decision. Artistic Interest Literary, visual, craft arts, performing arts, modeling. Scientific Interest Plants and Animals Protective Interest

Scientific research in medicine. Activities such as farming, breeding, and forestry. Law enforcement and security services.

Mechanical Interest Engineering, technology, environmental, masonry, construction, plumbing and electrical, electronic, technical, metal fabrication, machining, equipment operation, and maintenance. Industrial Interest Organized activities in factory settings such as production work or technology, equipment operation, or manual work. Business Detail Interest Administrative, secretarial, financial, clerical, processing, and office work. Selling Interest Sales and promotion. Accommodating Interest services, transportation.

Hospitality, barber, beauty services, food

Humanitarian Interest Helping others with mental, spiritual, social, other needs. Social services, counseling nursing, child, and adult care. Leading, Influencing Interest business, administration.

Teaching, instructing, library, legal,

Physical Performing Interest Coaching, officiating, or performing. *Jist Works, Inc., 720 Park Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3431



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY You may be aware of changes in the workplace: downsizing of companies, mergers of companies, job elimination, the increases in technology, and more. All these changes affect your job search and your future. What this means is that you must have the skills that employers want and need to meet the demands of today’s high-tech workplace. As you begin your job search, you must have a dynamic, effective resume. Adhere to the K.I.S.S. concept: Keep It Super Simple. But remember that no matter what you do, the most important factor is to sell yourself. Probably you have done some research and found which occupations are growing and which occupations are declining. Make sure your job search concentrates on those occupations that will need additional workers in the years ahead. Another approach in career exploration is to consider your personal interest factor. What interests you most? What direction do you see your career heading? There are numerous books available that will show you potential areas of growth for your job search. One of the best books is America’s Top 300 Jobs. Another good book is the Enhanced Guide for Occupational Exploration. Either of these books will help you determine which occupations might interest you the most. Making the right choice about your work career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Discuss what implications the changing workplace has on your job search.

2. What are the Three Easy Steps of a successful job search program?

3. Why is it important to know which are growing occupations and which ones are declining?

4. What is an occupational cluster?

5. How do you explore careers by the Personal Interest Factor?

Chapter 2

Developing Your Job Search in Three Easy Steps Objective To review the SCANS report of skills that are mandatory in today’s high-tech workplace and explain how to develop your job search program in Three Easy Steps.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Understand the importance of the SCANS skills. • Compile your information, Analyze the possibilities, and Organize your job search plan.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

REVIEW OF THE SCANS REPORT In June 1991, the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills produced a document defining the workplace competencies and foundational skills required for effective job performance in today’s high-tech workplace. This combination of competencies and skills is called “Workplace Know-How.” Employers demand that workers have a solid foundation in the basic academic skills, thinking skills, and personal characteristics that make a worker trustworthy and responsible. In addition, employers seek five workplace competencies: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Ability to manage resources. Work amicably with others. Acquire and use information. Understand and use complex systems. Work comfortably with technologies. Workplace Know-How

Workplace Competencies

Effective workers can use:

• Resources—Know how to allocate time, money, materials, and space • Interpersonal skills—Can work on teams, teach others, serve customers, lead, negotiate, and work well with people from diverse backgrounds • Information—Can acquire and evaluate data, organize and maintain files, interpret and communicate, and use computers to process information. • Systems—Understand social, organizational, and technological systems. Can monitor and correct performance. Can design or improve systems. • Technology—Can select equipment and tools, apply technology to specific tasks, and maintain and troubleshoot equipment. Foundation Skills need:

Competent workers in the high-performance workplace

• Basic Skills—Reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking, and listening. • Thinking Skills—The ability to learn, to reason, to think creatively, to make decisions, and to solve problems. • Personal Qualities—Individual responsibility, self-esteem and self management, sociability, and integrity. Source: 1992 SCANS Report, U.S. Department of Labor, Lynn Martin, Secretary

Developing Your Job Search in Three Easy Steps

STEP ONE Compile Your Information and Consider the Possibilities Compile all the information possible about what you can do, what you cannot do, what you like, what you do not like, what you want to do, what you do not want to do, what is most important, and what is not important. Also, what you are willing to trade off and what affects your family. Check your D-E-F-G factors. D—Dominant Factors • • • • • • • •

Education, schools Certificates or degrees Specific skill training SCANS skills (see page 8) Industrial or office skills Career interest or priorities Financial needs and projections Continuing education needs

E—Employment Factors • • • •

Career or employment choices Local area occupational potential Local companies with possible job openings Other areas with possible job openings

F—Family Factors • • • • •

Marriage or future plans Children or future plans Spouse’s career and employment Children’s education needs Parents’ situation or needs

G—Growth Factors • Projections and expectations



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

INFORMATION WORKSHEET: PERSONAL AND FAMILY Education (courses) Certificate or Degree Education Needs Skill Training Skill Needs SCANS Skills (circle) Basic Skills, Thinking Skills, Decision Making, Solving Problems, Reasoning, Personal Qualities Competencies (circle) Allocating Resources, Interpersonal Skills, Information Skills, Understand Systems, Use Technology Industrial Skills (list) Office Skills (list) Career Choices (list) Relocation Considerations (where)

Relocation Potential (firms)

Spouse’s Employment Relocation Effect on Spouse’s Job Children’s Education Needs Parents’ Needs Financial Needs Special Needs Expectations (career) Projections (career) Other Needs

Developing Your Job Search in Three Easy Steps

STEP TWO Analyze Your Possibilities and Evaluate Your Alternatives This involves a thorough analysis of your personal situation, your employment situation, your family situation, and your growth situation. Just like playing chess, you must analyze each possibility, evaluate the potential results, and consider the effects (both short term and long term) on you and/or your family. First, what are your career interests and priorities? Do you plan to stay in the same field or do you plan to change careers? If so, are your skills transferable? In either case, are your skills obsolete or do they simply need upgrading? Are you willing to relocate to find suitable employment? If so, in what areas? Next, what are your career or employment choices and what is the potential in your local area? Which companies could use your skills or might have job openings that require experience similar to yours? If you are considering relocation, research the companies in those areas to determine which ones might have suitable job openings. Before any relocation decisions are made, there needs to be family agreement. Does your spouse have a career or suitable employment? Is he or she willing to move and make changes? How would relocation affect the children? Are there any special education or health care needs that should be considered? Are there any extenuating circumstances with parents or other close relatives? Career or Job First Choice Skills I Have Skills I Need Second Choice Skills I Have Skills I Need Third Choice Skills I Have Skills I Need Relocation? First Choice Second Choice Third Choice Spouse’s Career or Job? Skills He/She Has Potential Jobs



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

EVALUATION WORKSHEET Local Area First Career Choice Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact Second Career Choice Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact Relocation (where) First Career Choice Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact Second Career Choice Contact Contact Contact Contact Contact

Company and/or Person to Contact

Developing Your Job Search in Three Easy Steps

STEP THREE Organize Your Efforts and Implement Your Plan An effective job search is virtually a full-time job and must be wellorganized to be successful. All efforts must be coordinated and supervised to get the desired results. The three most accepted sources of jobs and methods of job search as presented here are applicable whether you are just out of college, have just lost your job, or are changing careers. It still takes work to get work. Think about the job search as your personal marketing program. You are selling your skills and experience to employers. You are the product; they are the buyers. A successful marketing program must be broadbased to reach a total market, so you need a broad-based job search program to ferret out those job opportunities you seek. Develop your plan of action to combine these three sources of job leads and methods into a comprehensive program.

Advertisements Even though surveys show that only 10 to 30 percent of the good jobs are secured through want ads, do not overlook them. There are still many good jobs available through ads. However, ads generate enormous response which makes it very competitive. You must have a dynamic cover letter and a dynamic resume to survive the initial screening process.

Referrals (Networking) This is no doubt one of the most popular subjects related to the job search, and surveys are constantly quoted about the high percentage of good jobs found through networking. So do it! People have been doing it for years. It is the easiest way to get an introduction to an employer.

Prospecting (Research) and Direct Contact This can be a very effective method. Conducting proper research on companies in the areas where you are seeking employment can be a most effective method of finding leads. However, there is a right way to conduct research to get positive results.

Plan of Action All three job search methods are explained on the following pages. We repeat that in order to develop the most effective job search program, and to find the job you want quicker, use all three methods in your plan of action. One of the first requirements for a successful job search program is to develop a positive attitude and be determined to reach your goal. It will not be easy but it can be done. Remember that an effective job search program is a job in itself. And remember that persistence pays off. Do not give up! Sell yourself!



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

JOB SEARCH PLAN OF ACTION You must have a comprehensive plan of action to get results. Very few businesses are so unique that they can limit their sales efforts to a single method or technique. When a company announces a new product, it develops broad-based marketing programs using every technique or media available relevant to the new product. You are in the same situation. You are a new product and you have to sell yourself to the marketplace. The big difference is that the company has staff, money, and time to research markets for a new product, begin promotion, and initiate sales almost immediately. You, however, need to find employment as quickly as possible. Therefore, you must develop a broad-based marketing program that includes the three most practical job search methods explained on the preceding pages: help-wanted ads, networking, and research. However, make sure you have a dynamic resume and an effective cover letter as explained in the Introduction, or you will not get the results you want. You are selling yourself and your skills to the employer through those two documents, so they must make a good impression to attract employers’ attention and generate enough interest to get you an interview. Begin with checking the help-wanted ads every day in the area where you live and/or at least the Sunday ads in an area where you want to relocate. Then set up a suitable schedule, allowing enough time for interviews and keeping records. Then follow it. For example: Monday—Go to the library and research potential firms and firms whose ads you are answering. Make notes for your file. Write your cover letters and mail with your resumes. Tuesday—Call to arrange interviews for the next week, preferable on Tuesday through Friday. Follow up calls from last week. Make notes about every call. Wednesday through Friday—Interviews and networking calls. Make notes of every call. Your second and subsequent weeks become more detailed because of increased follow-up activity. Detailed records are an absolute necessity. You can keep paper records or computer records, but they must be complete. For example, keep a file of companies you contacted, the date, comments, when to call back, and so forth; and a file of interviews/ correspondence, interviewer, date, and result. One of the easiest ways to track your plan of action is to use loose-leaf binders with alphabetical dividers. You need two binders. One is for your file of companies with a page for each company showing when you sent your resume, to whom, persons you called, dates, comments, and so forth. Fix the other binder with 9 x 12 pockets for interview records and correspondence. When you receive acknowledgments or have a good reason for possible employment, make a pocket for that employer and place a copy of your cover letter, correspondence, and interview record sheet in it.

Developing Your Job Search in Three Easy Steps




Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY This section is about the skills and abilities that employers expect potential workers to have in order to meet the competitive challenges of today’s workplace. Employers look for people who have a solid foundation in the basic academic skills, thinking skills, and personal characteristics that make a worker trustworthy and responsible. In addition, employers expect workers to have the five workplace competencies: Resources, Interpersonal Skills, Information Skills, Systems Skills, and Technology Skills. This is called Workplace Know How. As you begin your job search, Step One is to compile all the information about yourself that you can. Check your D-E-F-G factors: Dominate Factors, Employment Factors, Family Factors, and Growth Factors. Fill out the Information Worksheet and make sure your answers are factual and truthful because you may have to support them in a future job interview. Step Two is to analyze your possibilities. Analyze yourself and your present situation. Use the Evaluation Worksheet as you evaluate career choices. Step Three is to organize and implement your plan of action. Check the newspaper want ads, network for referrals, and do some corporate research and direct contact. You must develop a positive attitude that will give you the determination to succeed. Remember, finding a job is often a full-time job in itself. Develop your Plan of Action. Sell yourself. What is your plan for the rest of the week? All this is intensive work but it is necessary if you want to find employment as soon as possible. Keep records of phone calls, meetings, who you see, what was said, everything that might possibly help you get a job offer. A comprehensive plan of action will get results.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Describe the Workplace Competencies and the Foundation Skills.

2. Why are the D-E-F-G factors so important to the job applicant?

3. Discuss the Information Worksheet.

4. How can you analyze your possibilities and evaluate the alternatives?

5. What are the Three Easy Steps of a successful job search program?

6. Why is it important to have a Plan of Action?

Chapter 3

Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together Objective To develop a comprehensive job search plan using the three basic methods with a sample cover letter for each one, and a way to increase response from employers.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Better analyze the help wanted ads. • Develop a networking system of contacts. • Find better jobs through direct contact. • Get more response from employers.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

CHECK THE NEWSPAPER ADS Do not overlook the ads in newspapers! Even though consultants say that only 10 to 30 percent of good jobs are found through ads, you can find them if you have a good cover letter, a dynamic resume, and the skills the employer wants. Companies are not going to spend money advertising just to receive thousands of letters and resumes to clutter the mailroom. However, remember that this is a very competitive situation. According to various surveys, the employer spends less then Twenty Seconds to decide whether or not to read your cover letter and resume. He or she will probably glance quickly at the resume looking for one particular word or phrase he or she wants or does not want. In many cases, the original screening is done by a secretary or assistant. Another problem is the use of scanners. Scanners look for key words which make it even more important to determine what the employer actually wants so your resume will not be eliminated. It is imperative that you read the ad carefully, analyze it, and respond to every requirement of the ad in your cover letter. Do not repeat your resume or include irrelevant information, but use the cover letter to emphasize key points relative to what the employer wants. This is your opportunity to tell the employer that you are the right applicant for the job. There is, however, one request that can be a problem: submitting a salary history. Anything you say is a risk. If you do not submit a salary history or if it is too high, you may be eliminated. If it is too low or stagnant, you may be eliminated. Therefore, if your salary history is high, we suggest you add an explanation that salary is not the primary consideration or the determining factor, and that you would like to discuss salary during the interview. Do no make the flat statement, “it is negotiable.” You need the opportunity to sell yourself. You face the same risk if the ad asks for salary required. One suggestion in this case is to say that you would like to know more about the job responsibilities before discussing salary, but you feel the company’s salary range would be commensurate with the job. The following is an example of a job advertisement in the newspaper. Read it carefully, then read the cover letter on the next page in response to the ad.

Manufacturing Engineer USA Manufacturing Co., a well established manufacturer of kitchen and bath storage aids is seeking an IE/MFG Engr with a BS degree, several years relevant manufacturing and CAD experience to join its growing team. The successful candidate will assume responsibility for Manufacturing Engr in our 120 employee plant located in South Bend, IN. We offer a highly competitive salary with excellent benefits. Serious candidates should submit salary history in addition to a detailed resume to: Manufacturing Engineer Position USA Manufacturing Company PO Box 19111 South Bend, IN 46218 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together


1115 Brentwood Drive Atlanta, Georgia 46210 December 18, 1998 Mr. James Arnold Vice-President of Engineering USA Manufacturing Company Post Office Box 19111 South Bend, IN 46218 Dear Mr. Arnold, I am very much interested in the Manufacturing Engineer position in your advertisement in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal. A copy of my resume is enclosed. Please note that I have ten years experience using AutoCAD to design injection molded and vacuum-formed plastic products which are comparable to USA products. Since your company does business overseas, you may be interested to know that I have made several trips to vendors in the Pacific Rim to offer technical assistance. Although I have enclosed my salary history, this is not my primary consideration in obtaining this position. I am sure your salary structure is commensurate with the job responsibilities and I would appreciate the opportunity of a personal interview to discuss my qualifications in detail. Would it be possible to meet with you next week? I will call you to arrange a specific time. Thanks for your consideration. Sincerely,

Robert Harrison Enclosures



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

NETWORKING AND CONTACT BY REFERRAL Networking is probably the most widely publicized job search technique touted by job search consultants. It almost sounds like the old saying “who you know” and not “what you know.” A more appropriate title for this method of job search should be contact by referral. The central purpose of an effective network is to make contact with the right person to get an interview. Then it is up to you to sell yourself and your skills. Remember that it is not the most qualified person who always get hired but the person who makes the best presentation and sells his or her skills effectively. However, referral through a network gives you credibility and virtually the same effect as a good reference without asking for it. Remember, “who you know” may open the door but “what you know” will get you the job and help you keep it. You may contact the employer by letter, by telephone, or direct personal call, depending on what you were advised to do. In any event, get your resume to the employer as soon as possible, and always include a cover letter. The following suggestions show how to approach the employer in the three different scenarios: letter, telephone, and direct personal call. Send a Resume. If your contact suggested that you send a resume, do so, but include a cover letter and explain in the first paragraph who told you to send the resume and why. Did your contact say Mr. Smith is looking for a person with a specific skill? Then sell yourself like you would in any other cover letter. Call Mr. Smith. If your contact suggested you call someone, do so, but tell that person you will send your resume and cover letter that same day and express your desire for an interview at his or her convenience. Personal Call. If your contact suggested you see someone, it is better to call first to arrange an appointment rather than to walk in unannounced. If he or she should ask for a resume first, send it with a cover letter explaining what your contact said. Take a resume with you for the interview as well, just in case the person misplaced it or did not receive your mailed copy. A worksheet for network leads is on page 22 and a method for tracking interviews is on page 24.

Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together


1115 Brentwood Drive Atlanta, Georgia 46210 January 18, 1999 Mr. James Arnold Vice-President of Engineering USA Manufacturing Company P.O. Box 19111 South Bend, IN 46218 Dear Mr. Arnold, Mr. Donald Bell of Angst Anvil mentioned you were looking for a Manufacturing Engineer with my experience and suggested I send you my resume. Please note that I have ten years experience designing injectionmolded and vacuum-formed plastic products similar to products your company produces. In addition, I am proficient in the use of AutoCAD®. I would appreciate a personal interview at your earliest convenience to discuss my qualifications and potential employment. Would it be possible to meet with you next week? I will call you to see if this would be agreeable. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

Robert Harrison



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

NETWORKING SOURCES OF LEADS AND TRACKING METHODS An easy way to track your networking efforts is to use a loose-leaf binder with a page for each person in your network (alphabetical order). Record the leads each person tells you to contact and date the notation for future reference. Then transfer the active leads to a company information worksheet for your job search program. But first, develop your network. Here is a suggested list of sources followed by a sample worksheet. The cover letter on page 21 shows how to respond to an employer based on a personal referral. Workplace Employer Coworkers Supervisors Customers/Clients Vendors Former employer Competitors

Community Grocer Gas Station Car mechanic Barber Beautician Wives’ clubs Husbands’ clubs

Associations Church friends Trade associations Civil clubs Neighbors Country clubs Golf groups Exercise clubs

Professional Doctors Dentists Attorneys Insurance Agent Minister/Priest Pharmacist

School Alumni Fraternity/Sorority Former teachers Present teachers Career office Classmates

Other Friends Relatives

Make a Worksheet page for each source group, allowing as many lines as needed. Here is one for the Workplace. Workplace Group Name Employer Coworkers

Supervisor Customer/Clients

Vendors Former Employer Competitors


Telephone #

Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together

JOB SEARCH BY RESEARCH AND DIRECT CONTACT This is an excellent method to find the kind of job you actually want, but it takes time, effort, and determination. It cannot be done overnight unless you happen to contact the right person at the right place at the right time. Some experts dub this method “cold calling,” which is a misnomer because it takes research and planning to do it right. You use the same Three Easy Steps mentioned earlier: compile, analyze, and organize. You have already made career choices, evaluated possibilities, and made decisions about potential employment. Now you must begin the research for the job search.

First, Compile Information Go to the library and use the manufacturers, corporate (Standard & Poors), or other business directories for the area where you want to work. Look for the companies that make products about which you are knowledgeable, use systems or procedures you know, or which could use your skills. Copy the following important information about the companies you plan to contact: • • • • • • •

complete name and address telephone and fax numbers names and titles of persons to contact number of employees products or services, SIC. #* financial information, sales plant locations, when founded, and so forth

Second, Analyze Carefully read this information and evaluate it to determine which companies you want to contact. Then call, write, or otherwise secure annual reports and brochures about them. This information will help you during interviews with companies, and give you a broader knowledge base in the business world. It also helps you make better first impressions.

Third, Organize Arrange your information so it is readily available, easy to use, and easy to update. One of the simplest methods is to use a loose-leaf binder with a page for each company in alphabetical order with tabbed dividers. You can record contacts with the firm on the back of the page, or if you prefer, you can create a similar file on your computer. Use the sample worksheet on page 24. Now you are ready to include this method of job search in your plan of action and target your efforts toward specific companies. An example of a cover letter to use for direct contact after you have done research on a company appears on page 25. *Standard Industrial Classification Number



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

COMPANY INFORMATION WORKSHEET Company Name Address City, State, Zip Telephone # __________________________________ Fax # ___________________________ Division of Address City, State, Zip Telephone # __________________________________ Fax # ___________________________ Contact Title Telephone # __________________________________ Fax # ___________________________ Contact Title Telephone # __________________________________ Fax # ___________________________ Contact Title Telephone # __________________________________ Fax # ___________________________ Product __________________________________

SIC # _______________________________

Product __________________________________

SIC # _______________________________

Service __________________________________

SIC # _______________________________

Service __________________________________

SIC # _______________________________

Financial Plant Locations Annual Sales When Founded Other Information

Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together


1115 Brentwood Drive Atlanta, Georgia 46210 January 25, 1999 Mr. James Arnold Vice-President of Engineering USA Manufacturing Company P.O. Box 19111 South Bend, IN 46218 Dear Mr. Arnold, I have been researching plastics manufacturing firms and noticed that your company announced a five-year expansion program. I am interested in a position in your design department and have enclosed my resume. Please note that I have ten years experience in designing injection-molded and vacuum-formed plastic parts similar to those produced by your company. In addition, I am proficient in the use of AutoCAD®. I would appreciate a personal interview to discuss my qualifications and potential employment with your firm. Enclosed is a Quik-Response form with a self addressed, stamped envelope for your convenience. Would it be possible to meet with you next week? I will call you to see if this would be agreeable. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

Robert Harrison



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR RESPONSES One of the biggest disappointments when sending out resumes is not receiving any responses. However, remember that in today’s workplace, employers receive a continuous flow of resumes. A single ad about a job opening can attract hundreds of resumes, and for a new plant opening, several thousand. That is in addition to the annual barrage of resumes from the nation’s newest college graduates. Employers simply do not have enough time to acknowledge each resume. Authors and job search consultants constantly publish ideas on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd. However, the real problem is to get the employer to respond. So we offer you an idea that one client used very successfully. We admit that he was very selective in his approach by researching midsize companies that would probably use his experience. He sent about sixty resumes with cover letters addressed to either the President or Vice-President of Engineering at companies in an area where he wanted to relocate. He included a Quik-Response Form (see next page) the employer could check off with minimum effort and return. This was strictly on a trial basis. However, he did receive seven responses (two from head hunters), had four job interviews, and received four job offers. This was an outstanding response. Another client contacted 48 firms and received 12 responses, proof that the Quik-Response Form makes a good impression. We recommend sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with it to make it easier for the employer to respond. The Quik-Response Form is virtually self-explanatory and very simple to use. But just for the record, we’ll run through it with you. Put your name and address where noted so the employer will mail the completed form back to you. Fill in the correct name and title of the person who is mailing it back to you. However, there is a notation in a section of the form instructing the employer to make corrections as necessary. 1. Item one encourages the employer to give you the opportunity to call for an appointment. 2. Item two encourages the employer to refer your resume to a specific department in the company. 3. Item three encourages the employer to tell you when he or she will be hiring and when to call back. 4. Item four is the same as networking, and most employers are willing to help you if you have made a good impression. In addition, they usually know where the job openings are. When you make contact by referral from one employer to another, it is almost like a business reference, so using the Quik-Response Form can be very productive.

Three Basic Methods of Job Search That Really Work Together


Your Name ________________________________________ Date ______________ Your Address ______________________________________________________________ Your City, State, and Zip Code _________________________________________

From: (Make corrections as needed) Name ________________________________________________________________________________ Title _________________________________________________________________________________ Company _______________________________________________________________________________ 1. Please call me for an appointment ________________________________________ Telephone Number 2. I am referring you to another person in our company Name _____________________________________ Title ______________________________ 3. We’re not hiring now but contact me after ______________________________ Date Comments ____________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Here’s a lead for you. Send a resume to: Name _____________________________________ Title ______________________________ Company ____________________________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________________________________ City, State __________________________________ Zip __________________________________



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY Here are the three basic methods of job search that dovetail to achieve a positive result. First, always check the newspaper ads. Companies spend a lot of money for want ads. They are looking for people with specific skills and abilities. You may be that person. Read the ad, analyze it, and respond to every requirement in your resume and cover letter. This is your opportunity to tell the employer that you are the right applicant for the job. Second, develop your network and referral contacts. Networking is the most widely publicized method in job search. Who you know may open the door but what you know will get you the job and help you keep it. Always send a cover letter along with each resume unless directed otherwise. Strive to get an appointment through your resume and cover letter. Your goal is a personal face-to-face interview where you can sell yourself. Keep track of all your networking leads. They are everywhere and people will be glad to give you a lead. Third, research potential employers and make direct contacts. This is a great way to find out what is happening in the business world. Compile information about the company from business directories. Analyze the information and evaluate it to determine which companies you want to contact. Organize the information so it will be readily available and you can access it easily. Increase your responses by using the Quik-Response Form. This form makes it easy for the employer to respond to your cover letter and resume. In their mind’s eye, it says that you are a creative person who gave them an easy way to respond. This is a powerful tool to use in your job search program. Use it in every mailing. It will be productive for you.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Why is it important to check the newspaper want ads?

2. Why should you send a cover letter with every resume?

3. Discuss the Three Easy Steps of job search by research and direct contact.

4. Discuss the Quik-Response Form and why it is so effective.

Chapter 4

Good Interviews Get You Job Offers Objective To better understand how to sell yourself in an interview and make a good impression. This section also has examples of difficult questions and some of the main reasons why interviews go wrong.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Make a good first impression. • Conduct yourself professionally in an interview. • Prepare yourself to answer difficult interview questions.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SELLING YOURSELF AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS Now that you have done your research, made your decisions, and developed your plan of action, it is time to prepare for your interviews. Remember, you are selling your skills. The employer is the buyer and you are the product. Regardless of how many ways you have been told you can control the interview, the employer is still in charge and makes the decision, so you must make a good impression and sell yourself. In fact, you must sell yourself three times: first in your cover letter; second in your resume; and third in the interview. This means you also must make a first impression three times. If they are good, you win; if not, you lose. Remember, a first impression only takes a few seconds but lasts for a long time. Your actions, your appearance, what you say, and how you say it will determine how the employer evaluates you. Many consultants and counselors have said the interviewer decides in the first two or three minutes whether or not to hire the applicant. Advertising, public relations, and selling are essentially the same: they all involve human behavior, they are geared to motivate people, and they use the same basic principles. Therefore, the same principles we explained in writing a dynamic resume in Better Resumes in 3 Easy Steps also apply to selling yourself in an interview. 1. Make a Good Opening. Attract attention. This is the first impression. Call the interviewer by name (correctly), act as though you are glad to meet him or her, smile, be enthusiastic, give a hearty handshake, and be friendly but not superficial. Use good manners. 2. Establish Rapport. Generate interest. Make brief comments about common interests, nice office, family pictures, awards, degrees, same schools, and the like. 3. Give Effective Explanations. Create desire. Answer questions thoroughly and completely but be concise and factual. 4. Give Convincing Proof. Establish memory. Whenever possible, weave your skills and accomplishments into your answers and explanations to prove your abilities and value to the employer. 5. Strive for Effective Closure. Stimulate action. Thank the interviewer and ask such questions as “When will you make your decision?” or “May I call you?” It is not you the employer wants; it is your skills and what you can do for the company. President Kennedy’s famous quotation about “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” is virtually the same as the attitude in today’s workplace. The bottom line is profit, and according to many writers, downsizing is not over yet. The computer is replacing human resources. One of the most important factors to remember is that the most qualified applicant does not always get the job but the one who makes the best impression does. We do not have space to include complete training for interviews in this book, but some good rules for better interviews and information about tough questions are on the following pages. Remember, sell yourself!

Good Interviews Get You Job Offers

IMPORTANT RULES FOR BETTER INTERVIEWS This is it! You are called in for an interview. In fact you will probably have several interviews, beginning with a screening interview for the purpose of eliminating some of the applicants and reducing the number of finalists. Make the first impression good; you only have one chance. Here are some important rules for better interviews: 1. Prepare for the interview. Research everything possible about the company, its products, production methods, corporate size, personnel structure, history, and so on. 2. Review your resume. Know every detail about your skills, abilities, experience, work history, education, training, accomplishments, and references. 3. Practice, Practice, Practice! Role play the interview with a friend using the questions on the next page. If you have access to a camcorder, tape it and play it back for a critique and improve where necessary. If you cannot arrange a mock interview, practice in front of a mirror. 4. Be Enthusiastic. Be enthusiastic about the position and show a definite interest in the job and the company. 5. Do Not Be Late. Arrive at the interview a few minutes early, never late. 6. Dress Appropriately. If in doubt, visit the company’s office and dress accordingly. 7. Be Positive and Confident. Be positive but not pushy. Be confident but not boastful. 8. Sell Yourself. Review the preceding pages on selling yourself, making a good impression, and establishing good rapport with the interviewer. They have a tendency to hire someone like themselves or who thinks like they do. 9. Relax, Be Calm. Do not act tense. The interviewer is a person just like you, but he or she is a buyer and you are a seller. Act like a professional sales person talking to a customer. You are simply having a discussion about buying a product. 10. Act Professional. Be natural. Do not try to be someone you are not. If may look superficial. 11. Act Alive. Maintain eye contact and be alert. Maintain good posture and do not slouch when sitting down. Do not smoke or chew gum. 12. Limit Small Talk. After you have established rapport in the beginning, do not waste the interviewer’s time. Respond to questions and say whatever is necessary but do not ramble incessantly. You may talk yourself out of the interview faster than you came in. 13. Do not Talk Money Yet. Do not mention it unless the interviewer makes you a job offer. Even then, it is better if he or she brings up the subject. But you should be prepared to discuss what salary range is acceptable and what fringe benefits are worth. 14. Close, Notes, and Follow Up. The most effective way to close an interview is with a question like “When will you make your decision?” or “When will you fill the position?” And in some cases, “Should I call you next week?” Immediately following the interview, while the facts are still in your mind, make a record of everything that was said and done. Then sit down and write a thank-you letter to the interviewer. This is another chance to sell yourself.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS IN INTERVIEWS Sooner or later, you will be faced with difficult questions in an interview. It probably will not happen in the screening interview but most certainly someone that makes or influences the hiring decision will ask you such questions. You must be prepared to give good answers. In most cases, those questions will involve your behavior, your attitude, your capabilities, your dependability, and your successes or failures. Analyze yourself. Review what you have done, decisions you have made, why you made such decisions, and how you react to various situations. In other words, make a personal analysis and review any problems you had in employment situations, how you overcame them, and how you met the challenges. This will help you prepare for difficult questions you face in interviews. There are many books with information about interview questions. there are also different opinions on how to answer. Interviewers know you read such books, so all answers must be honest and accurate. We have listed a few of the most difficult questions below but include more information in Better Job Skills in 3 Easy Steps. 1. Why do you want to leave your present job? Be careful what you say. Do not badmouth your employer. Say your potential is limited, you seek more responsibility, more opportunity, more income, or interest in a new career. 2. Why do you want this job? Be enthusiastic but not superficial. This is the kind of job you trained for and have experience in. 3. Why should I hire you? Stress your experience and accomplishments as they relate to the new job. Emphasize that you have the skills it takes and be enthusiastic. 4. What training do you have for this job? Similar to the preceding questions, stress how your experience, education, or accomplishments are related to the new job. 5. Why have you changed jobs so often? Make sure you have a legitimate reason such as opportunity for advancement, increased responsibility, more security or income, commuting problems, company downsizing, or the like. 6. Why were you fired? If it was company downsizing or group layoffs, say so, but if you were actually fired, explain the situation, whether mistake or misunderstanding, and state that you have learned from that experience. 7. How well do you work under pressure? This takes more than a simple answer. Give some good examples with positive results. 8. What are your major strengths? Be careful. Stress your desire for perfection. Match your capabilities and accomplishments to the requirements of the new job. 9. What are your major weaknesses? Be careful. You cannot say that you do not have any because no one is perfect. Try to use something like being impatient with delays, expect too much from coworkers, or desire for perfection. 10 How did you like your last employer? Be careful. Do not badmouth your employer. You liked your job and learned from it, but want to better yourself.

Good Interviews Get You Job Offers

11. What are your salary requirements? This is very difficult and should not come up until the interviewer is ready to make you an offer (see the explanation on page 18). You know what you want but do not know what the interviewer has in mind. You need to know the company’s salary range, benefits package, responsibilities of the job, and prevailing industry compensation for such jobs before you negotiate. Emphasize that you will hit the ground running. Sell yourself to get top dollar, but be realistic. The next two items are not questions but they are just as difficult. In fact, some interviewers may begin the interview with the statement “Tell me about yourself.” They do not want your entire life history or a halfhour dissertation about likes and dislikes. Make it brief and factual. Try to relate it to your training and experience, especially what would be relevant to the new job. You might begin with where you went to school, what you studied, how you began your work experience, how you have progressed, and any outstanding accomplishments. Point out any continuing education or work-related training. You might begin with “I studied engineering at Eastern University, maintained a 3.5 GPA, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.” “I worked three years in design at the GM plant in Cincinnati but decided I wanted to be in the computer field. I attended night classes at the University of Cincinnati studying computer technology and wrote several software programs the university uses in their business offices.” Another difficult situation arises when the interviewer asks you to describe your ideal job. Be careful! This can trap you. Emphasize that it would be a job or position in which you have responsibility, opportunity to advance, satisfaction of achievement, and adequate income for your family.

Why Interviews Go Wrong There are many reasons why applicants fail interviews, but most surveys include the following factors on every list of why applicants are rejected: • • • • • •

poor personal appearance lack of enthusiasm lack of confidence lack of purpose or goals discuss salary too soon badmouthing previous employers

• • • • •

poor communication skills poor attitude/“know it all” not prepared/making excuses lack of industry knowledge lack of experience, skills, or education • late for interview

Most of these factors become evident in the first few seconds of the interview as you are making your first impression. You must watch your body language, the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you shake hands, and the way you sit in the chair. Make sure you maintain good eye contact and be enthusiastic! Many great salespeople say that enthusiasm is the single most important ingredient to their success.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

INTERVIEW RECORD WORKSHEET ONE Company Name ________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip _________________________________________________________________________ Telephone # _______________________________ Fax # _____________________________________ First Interview _________________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Location if different than above _______________ Name of Interviewer __________________________________________________________________ Title __________________________________________ Department ___________________________ Purpose of Interview _____________________________________________________________________ How Successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Results ___________________________________________________________________________________ Comments ______________________________________________________________________________ Follow up and When _____________________________________________________________________ Second Interview ______________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Location if different than above _______________ Name of Interviewer __________________________________________________________________ Title __________________________________________ Department ___________________________ Purpose of Interview _____________________________________________________________________ How Successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Results ___________________________________________________________________________________ Comments ______________________________________________________________________________ Follow up and When _____________________________________________________________________ Third Interview ________________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Location if different than above _______________ Name of Interviewer __________________________________________________________________ Title __________________________________________ Department ___________________________ Purpose of Interview _____________________________________________________________________ How Successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Results ___________________________________________________________________________________ Comments ______________________________________________________________________________ Follow up and When _____________________________________________________________________

Good Interviews Get You Job Offers

INTERVIEW RECORD WORKSHEET TWO Company Name ________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip _________________________________________________________________________ Telephone # _______________________________ Fax # _____________________________________ First Interview _________________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Location if different than above _______________ Name of Interviewer __________________________________________________________________ Title __________________________________________ Department ___________________________ Purpose of Interview _____________________________________________________________________ How Successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Results ___________________________________________________________________________________ Comments ______________________________________________________________________________ Follow up and When _____________________________________________________________________ Second Interview ______________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Location if different than above _______________ Name of Interviewer __________________________________________________________________ Title __________________________________________ Department ___________________________ Purpose of Interview _____________________________________________________________________ How Successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Results ___________________________________________________________________________________ Comments ______________________________________________________________________________ Follow up and When _____________________________________________________________________ Third Interview ________________________________________________________________________ Date ____________________________ Location if different than above _______________ Name of Interviewer __________________________________________________________________ Title __________________________________________ Department ___________________________ Purpose of Interview _____________________________________________________________________ How Successful? ________________________________________________________________________ Results ___________________________________________________________________________________ Comments ______________________________________________________________________________ Follow up and When _____________________________________________________________________



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY Getting a job offer depends on first impressions and selling yourself. You have three chances to make a good first impression: your cover letter, your resume, and the interview. Sell yourself in all three because they are your opportunities for success. In the interview, you must have a good opening, establish rapport, give effective explanations, give convincing proof, and strive for an effective close. Remember, it is not always the best applicant who gets the job but the one who makes the best impression. But whatever happens, you must sell yourself. In interviews, there are rules that create an atmosphere for success. Prepare, review, practice, be enthusiastic, do not be late, dress appropriately, be positive, relax, act professional, establish rapport, do not talk money or politics, close in a positive way, and finally, write a thank-you note to the employer. In every interview, questions are often asked that are difficult to answer. That is why you must know exactly what you said in your cover letter and what you claimed in your resume. You will be asked to prove what you wrote, and prove it you must. Review the suggested answers to the difficult questions in this section. They will help you answer truthfully and objectively and still sell your skills and abilities to the employer. Also, review why interviews go wrong. Make sure you are never guilty of these personal faults. Every fault is negative and will give a potential employer a chance to say “No.” It is your job to keep the interview moving in a positive direction. Maintain eye contact, be enthusiastic, watch the way you sit, talk, and shake hands. It is imperative that you make a good first impression and sell yourself. Following every interview, as soon as possible, fill out the Interview Record Worksheet. Keep a record of everything you say or do. You may have to refer back to the worksheet at some point in the future.

REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Discuss why it is important to make a good first impression.

2. What can you do to make a good first impression?

3. How will the rules for interviews make you a better job applicant?

4. Why is it necessary to practice answering the difficult questions?

5. Discuss some of what you have written on the Interview Record Worksheet.

Chapter 5

Changes in the Workplace Objective To give you a better understanding of the changes occurring in today’s workplace, to discuss what today’s employers expect from job applicants and workers, and a few words of caution about downsizing.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Understand the job changes in the workplace. • Discuss what employers expect from job applicants and workers. • Cope with the potential of downsizing.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

THE CHANGING WORKPLACE AND YOU The biggest shift occurring in the workplace is not the disappearance of jobs, but the changing of jobs. A recent study indicated that job cuts do not always lead to downsizing. Many companies that eliminate positions create new positions at the same time. Even though just as many jobs may be created as the number eliminated, many people are still apprehensive about their job security. Workers feel frustrated due to the paradox of lack of job security, being asked to increase efficiency on the job, and the overall uncertainty of the future workplace. William Bridges, author of Job Shift: How to Prosper in a Workplace Without Jobs, recently made this statement: “We are told the only way to protect our jobs is to increase our productivity, but then we discover that reengineering, using self-managed teams, flattening our organizations, reducing middle management, and turning routine work over to computers always makes many jobs redundant.” Another source of frustration is the lack of one single issue on which to focus. Many of us think that if we can identify the problem in the changing workplace, we can overcome it. The reality is, there is no one, single problem or issue to address. Technological advancements, cultural and gender diversity, company “right-sizing,” global competition, and many other issues continue to deluge employees and employers alike. Added to these increasing challenges in the workplace is the fact that we must also deal with day-to-day issues that occur outside of the job environment such as educational, family, economic, social, and other responsibilities that must be met on a regular basis. You have two choices to handle the loss of control during change situations. First, adapt your attitude to the reality of the changing workplace. Change is going to occur whether you like it or not. Since you know this, the best thing is not to ignore, deny, or fight change, but adopt the mindset that you like change. If you cannot, at least learn to accept change and deal with it constructively. The second choice is to become proactive. Learn all you can about your workplace, business, and industry (the history, the current status, predicted trends). In addition, fill your mental toolbox with the knowledge and skills necessary to create new opportunities for yourself. Learn as much as you can about how to locate employment opportunities and explore new career paths. Develop your skills with the “nuts and bolts” of job seeking; for example, resumes, cover letters, and interviewing techniques. Do some value analysis about your situation. By making proactive decisions based on your values and abilities, you can have some measure of control during this time of change. The only alternative is to let change control you! The fact is, the workplace is changing, and you cannot stop it. But if you learn as much as possible about changes in the field you choose and develop your job seeking skills, you can succeed in this changing workplace. Comments by Dan Strakal, Ed. D., Formerly Assistant Director for Technical Careers at the University of Notre Dame.

Changes in the Workplace

WHAT EMPLOYERS EXPECT Employers want and expect to hire employees that have better skills to meet the demands of today’s high-tech workplace. This fact has a direct bearing on every phase of your job search program—from your resume to your interview and employment. Numerous surveys and articles have been published about what employers look for when hiring new employees but virtually every skill or quality employers want is included in the 1992 SCANS report of Foundation Skills and Workplace Competencies. Unfortunately, many applicants, including young people entering the workforce, do not possess these skills or practice them. Applicants that possess these skills stand out above the rest and are usually the first to be hired. Review the SCANS skills and make sure you have them. If not, make every effort to develop them. You need to show them in your interview and you must have them to advance after employment. Nationally known job search consultant Marvin Walberg stresses the importance of a good first impression, and many experts stress that attitude and communication skills make or break that first impression. Lee Iaocca, former Chrysler Corporation CEO said “talk plain and simple.” In other words, be careful what you say and how you say it. You cannot retract it.

This list of skills and personal qualities is a composite of many articles, but attitude, appearance, experience, teamwork, and other SCANS skills are usually at the top of the employers considerations when interviewing job applicants. Attitude includes manners, enthusiasm Appearance cleanliness, appropriate dress Communication Skills study the SCANS skills Work Experience transferable to new job Interpersonal Skills (teamwork) SCANS skills Education and Training relative to new job Computer Knowledge SCANS skills Basic Skills SCANS skills, such as reading, writing, math Thinking Skills SCANS skills, solving problems, decisions Well-Organized SCANS skills, allocate time, money Personal Qualities integrity and honesty Motivated and Dependable good work ethic Willing to Learn



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

BE PREPARED FOR DOWNSIZING Downsizing, “right-sizing,” or whatever you want to call it, is not over yet. The advice we offer here is not to jump the gun but be prepared for downsizing if it comes. Think about the automated message you hear when calling most any company, and the menu telling you what number to push for what service. It is almost impossible to talk to a human being. Jobs are more specialized, skills become obsolete faster, computers are replacing human resources, and workers are required to be more flexible. Therefore, you need to be prepared. Plan ahead, just in case. Use the same Three Easy Steps recommended in your job search program— compile, analyze, and organize. Step 1. Compile complete information. Watch the trends in your industry. Is it expanding or is it declining? Is it stagnant or is it changing? If it is changing, how is it changing? Is it modernizing, changing systems, or what? Subscribe to the trade journals or go the library and read them. You need current information about your industry. Then study your area the same way. Are companies moving in or moving out? Are local companies modernizing their facilities, building new facilities, or letting existing ones run down? Is your community pro-business by encouraging companies to expand or does it inhibit business? What is the labor climate? Do workers and management cooperate? Study your company and review its history. Has it been growing or declining? Has it been profitable? Has it been stagnant or changing with the times? Has it modernized and purchased new equipment? Has it expanded its operation and workforce or stayed the same? Does it have a plan for future growth? Finally, what is your personal situation? Review your work experience, your training and education, your lifestyle, and your financial resources. Step 2. Analyze your options. Whether or not your company downsizes, what training do you need to make your job more secure? What companies in your area could use your skills? If you have to relocate, where are the companies that could use your skills? Step 3. Organize your plan. Be prepared but do not quit your job unless you have another one that you really want. It is always easier to find a job if you have one. Downsizing does not carry the stigma of layoff or firing. Here are some suggestions for your plan: • keep your resume updated/current • • •

• join your professional trade association maintain a network of contacts • read your industry publication study the changes in your field • crosstrain and expand your skills learn new techniques in your field • go the extra mile in your job to make yourself more valuable be calm but be wide awake about what is happening in your company. And be prepared!

Changes in the Workplace

COMPANY INFORMATION WORKSHEET Company Name Address City, State, Zip Telephone # ______________________________________ Fax # ________________________ Division of Address City, State, Zip Telephone # ______________________________________ Fax # ________________________ Contact Title Telephone # ______________________________________ Fax # ________________________ Contact Title Telephone # ______________________________________ Fax # ________________________ Contact Title Telephone # ______________________________________ Fax # ________________________ Product ___________________________________________ SIC # ________________________ Product ___________________________________________ SIC # ________________________ Service ___________________________________________ SIC # ________________________ Service ___________________________________________ SIC # ________________________ Financial Plant Locations Annual Sales When Founded



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY Today’s workplace is in a constant stream of flux and change. There is nothing you can do to stop it. Change is happening at a fast rate and how you react to change is important to the success of your job search. Change is going to occur whether you like it or not. Try to adopt the mindset that you like change and look forward to it. Do not ignore, deny, or fight it. Learn to like it and deal with it in a positive straightforward manner. Become proactive about change. Learn all you can about business, the industry, and the workplace. Fill yourself with knowledge. Learn new skills that will help you adapt. Develop your job-seeking skills. You can succeed in the changing workplace. Make sure your skills keep you current with today’s high-tech workplace. Review the SCANS skills on p. 8. Show you have those skills in your resume. Use them in your interview. You must have them to advance your work career. Downsizing in business is a fact of life in today’s workplace. We suggest you be prepared in case it happens to you. Jobs are more specialized. Computers are replacing human resources and workers are required to be more flexible. Plan to keep ahead in your present job and prepare yourself for any possibility. Use the Three Easy Steps: Step 1. Compile industry and occupation information; trends, decline, or expansion; change or not; labor climate; personal situation. Step 2. Analyze your options. What training do you need and what other companies can use your job skills? Relocation? Step 3. Organize your plan. Always be prepared. Keep your job. It is always easier to find a job if you already have one. Review the suggestions that enable you to stay current concerning occupation and industry trends. Your career might depend on how well you follow these simple steps.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Explain why you need to know about changes in the workplace.

2. According to the SCANS report, what do employers expect of new hires?

3. What can you do to prepare yourself for downsizing?

Chapter 6

Apprenticeships and Other Opportunities Objective To make you aware of the potential in apprenticeship programs and the contingent workforce opportunities, along with information about nontraditional occupations for women. Specific comments are included for nontraditional students who may be over age forty.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Realize the monetary potential through apprenticeship programs. • Discuss the potential of the “contingent workforce.” • Understand the nontraditional opportunities for women.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS If you are interested in the skilled trades, consider an apprenticeship program. You get on-the-job training and related classroom instruction covering the techniques of the trade, the theories behind the techniques, and information about all aspects of the trade. Apprenticeship normally last about four years but could range from three to six years. As an apprentice, you are an employee working under experienced workers for your on-the-job training and you attend at least 144 hours a year of related classroom instruction. Usually, the apprentice’s pay starts at about half that of the experienced worker and increases periodically throughout the apprenticeship program until training is complete and you attain full tradesperson status. Apprenticeship is the best route to a career in a skilled trade, and in some cases, may be the only route. Apprenticeship programs are registered with the federal government and/or a federally approved state apprenticeship agency. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training oversees the apprenticeship functions and approves job duty standards, related instruction, wages, and safety conditions. Apprentices who successfully complete registered programs receive certificates of completion from the U.S Department of Labor or a federally approved state apprenticeship agency. Registered programs offer apprenticeships in more than 800 occupations. Apprenticeship requirements vary between trades but most require a high school diploma or equivalent, and in some occupations, aboveaverage math skills, drafting, algebra, geometry, and the like. Most programs set 18 as the minimum age for entry. When selecting a trade, consider every aspect from working conditions to the job market. Would you enjoy that occupation? Does it require stamina? Does it require moving from job to job, like construction work? Is it repetitive and monotonous like some industrial trades? What is the potential in your area? In other words, make sure you choose a trade you like. For detailed information about apprenticeship programs in your area, check the labor unions or the Employment Service. Every state has a branch office of the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, usually in the state capital. Information is also available from technical or trade schools in your area. Nationwide, construction accounts for more than half of the registered apprentices, but there is a wide range of occupations available such as automotive mechanic, boilermaker, bricklayer, cabinetmaker, carpenter, cement mason, electrician, machinist, millwright, operation engineer, pipefitter, plumber, sheetmetal worker, and tool and die maker.

Apprenticeships and Other Opportunities

THE “CONTINGENT” WORKFORCE One of the new labor market trends gaining momentum is the use of “contingent” or temporary workers by many companies. If you are having difficulty finding your niche in the workplace, you may want to consider the “contingent” possibility as the front door to your career. We will not cover this subject in detail but include the following information. The temporary help industry has been around for many years. An article in Time Magazine (1993) said that temporary employment at that time had increased 250 percent since 1982 while total employment had grown less than 20 percent. It also said that the Manpower Corporation, with 560,000 workers was America’s largest private employer. In other words, after companies downsize and reduce their labor force, they “order” workers when they need them.

Temporary Help Workers Many companies use temporary workers (temps) to control the number of full-time employees, or to meet business demands. Other companies use temporary help firms as part of their human resources department to find qualified candidates for full-time employees. In other words, they use them for the screening process or on a trial basis before making a job offer. Temporary help firms are not limited to clerical help or general labor but also represent technical or professional personnel, supervisors, and managers.

Contract Workers There are also firms in major cities that specialize in placing professional, managerial, or technical personnel on contracts with companies who either have a hiring freeze or special projects requiring trained personnel. Contracts may last as long as a year and the contract worker that does an outstanding job is often hired by the company. There are several important advantages if you are considering such employment: 1. The opportunity to gain experience, and in many cases, job-related training. 2. The opportunity to broaden your knowledge about the job and determine whether you want to continue in that occupation. 3. The opportunity to explore related jobs. 4. The opportunity to consider various employers depending on assignments, and make valuable contacts. 5. The opportunity to prove your value and sell yourself for full-time status. Other contingent options are part-time work, which may or may not be suitable, and self-employment where you can work on a contract basis. Either way helps build experience.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

NONTRADITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN Nontraditional occupations for women are classified as those jobs in which 25 percent (or less) of the workers are female. The jobs listed below are taken from those published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Complete information is available from the Women’s Bureau at the address shown below. Information is also available from the Employment Office or the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program operator in your area. JTPA is being replaced in 2000 by the Workforce Investment Act. Nontraditional employment is a wide open field for women interested in blue-collar jobs, manufacturing jobs, the skilled trades, and jobs long considered men’s work which pay high wages but require skill training. The precedent of so-called men’s work or women’s work kept women in the lower paying service jobs or traditionally women’s occupations. It was also difficult for women to reach managerial or executive status. This is changing since discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited. Women have moved into many of the nontraditional areas including the skilled trades apprenticeship programs operated through the trade unions. And the United States government has initiated several efforts to eliminate the barriers and encourage women to consider nontraditional employment, most notable of which was the Nontraditional Employment for Women Act (NEW) of 1991. This act requires all states to set goals for enrolling, training, and placing more women in nontraditional employment. In addition, unions in many areas are actively looking for women to enter their apprenticeship programs. Contact the unions in your area relative to particular trades. Wages in manufacturing or the skilled trades vary according to geographic location, but the following examples are indicative of the income potential ranging from from $20,000 to $40,000 per year or more. • • • • • • • •

carpenters, electricians, and plumbers engineering and technical personnel equipment maintenance and repair heating and air conditioning installers machine operators (industrial) tool and die makers sheetmetal workers mechanics

The apprenticeship program is the best route to a career in a skilled trade.

Sources of Information The Women’s Bureau U.S. Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue, Room S 3002 NW Washington, DC 20210 202-219-6611

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) 1325 G Street NW, Lower Level Washington DC 20005-3104 202-638-3134

WOW is a national network of more than 500 employment programs and advocates across the country.

Apprenticeships and Other Opportunities

Nontraditional Occupations for Women in 1995* (Numbers in thousands)


Employed (Both Sexes)

Physicians 693 Operators, fabricators, and laborers 19,068 Guards 846 Precision production occupations 3,867 Chemical technicians 84 Sales reps, commodities, except retail 1,529 Architects 163 Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, laborers 4,990 Drafting occupations 229 Farm workers 797 Correctional institution officers 278 Barbers 87 Sheriffs, bailiffs, law enforcement officers 151 Dentists 155 Surveying and mapping technicians 334 Funeral directors 54 Electrical and electronic technicians 334 Clergy 356 Motor vehicle operators 3,904 Supervisors, protective service 193 Police and detectives, public service 519 Meter readers 49 Engineers 1,934 Fishers, hunters, and trappers 58 Groundskeepers and gardeners 832 Construction inspectors 69 Material moving equipment operators 1,098 Supervisors, related agriculture occupations 124 Pest control occupations 57 Mechanics and repairers 4,423 Forestry and logging occupations 129 Extractive occupations 136 Airplane pilots and navigators 114 Transportation occupations 170 Firefighting and fire prevention occupations 249 Construction trades 5,098

Employed (Female)

Percent (Female)



4,391 201

24.3 23.7

901 18

23.3 21.5

324 32

21.2 19.8

953 42 144 49 14

19.1 18.4 18.1 17.8 16.3

25 21 37 6 37 40 429 21 54 5 162 4 53 4

16.3 13.4 11.1 11.6 11.1 11.1 11.0 10.9 10.4 9.3 8.4 7.3 6.4 7.3



6 3 172 5 5 4 5

5.0 4.9 3.9 3.6 3.6 3.4 2.8

7 117

2.7 2.3

*Nontraditional occupations are any that women comprise 25 percent or less of the total employed.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Secretary, Women’s Bureau, Washington DC 20210, March 1995.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

TIPS FOR WORKERS OVER 40 No question about it! This is a difficult situation. Even though employers admit the number of younger workers with foundation skills is decreasing, many of them resist hiring older workers. However, remember that forty and fifty are not old. You are part of the Baby Boom that started reaching age 50 in 1996. You can contribute many productive years to an employer but you must have a positive attitude and take a whole new approach to your job search. You actually have more to offer an employer than most of the younger workers, but you must sell yourself. You can be an asset in the smaller companies where most of today’s job growth is concentrated. A recent American Management Association survey of companies that reported two supervisory jobs were lost for every one created, and three middle management positions lost for every one created, does offer some hope for older workers. In many cases, such companies lost a good part of their knowledge base, and had to hire more experienced workers to replace it. Also, you have the skills and knowledge that can be valuable to smaller companies. Consider the following advantages a mature worker can offer the employer: 1. Experience and Skills. Reducing the need and cost of training. You may even be able to train other employees. 2. Quality of Workmanship. A good work ethic and pride in workmanship improves product quality and helps to build company image. 3. Efficiency and Productivity. A good work ethic translates into more efficiency and productivity which improves company profit. 4. Attitude and Judgment. Mature workers are a result of years of experience. 5. Stability and Dependability. Results in more company loyalty and less lost time. 6. SCANS Skills. Most mature workers have developed the communication skills, the thinking skills, and the problem-solving skills through their years of experience, and have learned the advantages of teamwork. Statistics indicate that by the year 2000, over 60 million people will be in the 45- to 60-year age group. This means the workforce is getting older. Age 50 is not old today. Some job search consultants maintain that age discrimination does not show up until the 60s and the predominant problem for workers in the 50s is the higher salary expectations due to their experience. Older workers may have to downsize their expectations about position and salary, and consider contingency employment, nonprofit organizations, or even relocation, but they still have many advantages to sell an employer.

Apprenticeships and Other Opportunities




Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY This section presents information about alternative career opportunities. There is a wide range of occupations available in the skilled trades by means of apprenticeship programs that do not require a college education. You get on-the-job training and classroom instruction. However, the apprenticeship program could take from three to six years. Programs registered with the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training offer career opportunities in more than 800 occupations. Skilled trades apprenticeships available to you are automotive mechanic, bricklayer, carpenter, electrician, pipefitter, plumber, tool and die maker, and numerous other trades. Another work area is the “contingent” workforce. Companies have temporary positions for the right person to fill. Contract workers have become another part of the career work force. Many times, the contract is your door to a professional career and may last as long as a year with the same employer. These kinds of alternative career programs offer several advantages. They enable you to gain experience, obtain job knowledge, explore related jobs, look at how various employers operate, and how they relate to their employees. Women sometimes have a distinct opportunity through the Nontraditional Employment for Women Act. This act requires all states to set goals for training and placing women in nontraditional employment. Trade unions are actively looking for women to enter their apprenticeship programs. Note the listing of nontraditional occupations for women and you will see the wide range of careers that have opened up for women in the last several years. Workers over 40 who are changing jobs, looking at new careers, or who have been downsized must look at their job search in a particular way. You can still be an outstanding contributor to a company because you have years of on-the-job knowledge that will back up your skills and abilities. As you develop your resume and your job search program, keep a positive attitude and know that you have much to offer any potential employer. You just have to sell yourself and your abilities to the employer.

REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. What good are apprenticeship programs? 2. What is meant by the “Contingent” workforce? 3. Why would a woman want to be involved in a nontraditional career opportunity? 4. Why is it important for workers over 40 to maintain a positive mental attitude?

Chapter 7

The Electronic Future is Here Objective To review comments by Dan Strakal, Formerly Assistant Director for Technical Careers at the University of Notre Dame, about the electronic future and the Internet. Comments also are included about problems with Fax and P.O. Box numbers.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Understand the impact of the Internet. • Analyze and respond more effectively to want ads. • Better understand the problems when faxing your resume.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

THE ELECTRONIC FUTURE AND THE INTERNET The title of this section is a little misleading. The fact is, the electronic future is already here, and the use of electronic media in the job place is bound to continue into the future. If you are not comfortable using technology, it is time to prepare yourself. Not so many years ago, many employees and employers were not sure what computers, fax machines, voice mail, and the like were or how they applied to the workplace. Now, it is rare not to see a variety of electronic tools in most work environments. And it is no surprise that most employers today have an expectation that employees should know how to use these tools. In fact, one of the five main workplace competencies according to the SCANS report is the ability to use technology on the job. This includes the ability to select the correct technical equipment and tools for the task at hand, apply technology, in whatever form or media, to specific tasks, and maintain or troubleshoot technologies and technical equipment. Although many workplaces employ technical support personnel with specialty skills, such as computer network support technicians, there is a growing expectation that employees should be self-reliant in their use and application of technology. For example, if you purchase a piece of software to enhance your productivity on the job, it is probably up to you to figure out how to best use the software, not to mention having to load it on your machine and troubleshoot or solve any problems that occur. The other impact of technology in the workplace deals with the aspects of career exploration and job searching. More and more companies are using the Internet to post job openings. In addition, these companies are allowing—even encouraging—job applicants to use the Internet to submit applications and resumes. Some organizations are even in the process of using the Internet, in conjunction with special video hardware and software, to interview candidates face-to-face, when onsite interviews are not possible. The Internet offers many more opportunities to research companies and employment possibilities. In fact, all one needs to do these days is simply type career, job, employment, or a related word into one of the dozens of “search engines” available, and an online search can be done on thousands of possibilities for employment, career counseling, submission of applications/resumes, and so on. But remember, these opportunities are nationwide, even worldwide, which may require relocation. This use of technology for job seeking and career exploration calls for some new skills, as well as an integration of skills you already most likely possess. For example, if you are going to submit your resume online via the Internet, you will want the resume to highlight specific accomplishments that relate to the position you are applying for. However, it will not look exactly like the resume you have down on paper. Many software programs that communicate on the Internet require certain encoding to take place. Often, this encoding wipes out all

The Electronic Future is Here

the fonts, italics, tabs, and other codes that make your paper resume so attractive. Another consideration you should be aware of is that many companies are scanning for key words on resumes which is much simpler for them given today’s technology. Many excellent references have been written that deal with use of technology to assist in your job search. Following is a list of our favorites: Using the Internet and the World Wide Web in Your Job Search by Fred E. Jandt and Mary B. Nemnich. Published by JIST Works, Inc., Indianapolis, IN, 1997. Hook Up, Get Hired! The Internet Job Search Revolution by Joyce Lain Kennedy. Published by John E. Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1995. The On-Line Job Search Companion by James C. Gonyea. Published by McGraw-Hill, Inc, New York, 1995. In spite of the growth and use of technology, some basics still apply to your job seeking efforts. These include the necessity to compile your job potential information, evaluate your possibilities, contact potential employers, and all the other techniques outlined in this book. If you view and use technology as an enhancement as to how to go about these techniques, you will be proving to yourself and future employers that you have what it takes to do the job in today’s and tomorrow’s workplace. Comments by Dan Strakal, Ed.D., Formerly Assistant Director for Technical Careers at the University of Notre Dame.

FAX, BOX NUMBERS, AND OTHER PROBLEMS Fax Your Resume. Frequently, companies are including this instruction in their ads. You have no other choice. The problem is that all the resumes look alike, with no eye appeal, and the quality depends on their fax machine, from poor to worse. None have the nice appearance that your resume has on good quality paper. Therefore, we suggest that you explain on the cover sheet that hard copy will follow in the mail. This also gives you double exposure. Be sure to include a cover letter. Blind Ads (with Box Number). Post office boxes only pose a minor problem. Simply ask the postmaster who rents the box. But you need the name of the right person to whom to send your resume. Call the company and ask who is in charge of that department or look in the reference directory at the library. Newspaper boxes, however, are confidential. Analyze the ad carefully. Try to determine what department has the job opening so you can send your resume to the director or manager that makes the decision rather than to the human resources department that screens the applicants. Or you could send a resume to both. In all cases when answering ads, try to find a person’s name rather than sending your resume to the human resources department. Salary History or Requirements. A risky situation anyway you answer it. If your salary is too high, you may be eliminated. If it is too low, you may lose credibility. Refer to our suggested replies on page 18.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY The electronic future is here. You must prepare yourself to be an active participant in it. Technology is one of the five workplace competencies that employers look for in every job applicant. Companies are using the Internet to find potential employees. Job seekers are using the Internet to submit their resumes to interested companies. You can do a great deal of research on a company through the Internet. Online searches on thousands of companies all over the globe can be easily accomplished through your knowledge of computer technology. However, some basics still apply to your job search program. It still is necessary to compile information, evaluate the possibilities, contact potential employers, keep good notes, and follow all the other job search techniques outlined in this book. Consider the use of technology as an enhancement for yourself and your job search program. When you fax your resume to a company, always tell them you are sending hard copy with a cover letter. You never know how a fax is going to look when it is received. Answering blind ads is a challenge. However, if it is a post office box, it is public knowledge. Ask the postmaster whose box it is so you can find out what company ran the ad. Newspaper boxes are confidential, but many times you an analyze the ad and determine the type of company. In some cases, you can narrow the possibilities to several companies and contact them as well as mailing your resume to the box number. See page 18 as to what to do when you are asked to submit your salary requirements.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Explain why you need to get involved with technology and the Internet.

2. Discuss the problems of faxing.

3. How can you deal with a blind ad from the newspaper?

4. What can you say when you are asked about salary?

Chapter 8

Facts for Students and New Graduates Objective To present a simple strategy for developing a job search program with suggestions for students and new graduates. Also, information about fast growing occupations and an example of a cover letter.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Understand why every student should develop a resume. • Understand why you should compile information while you are attending school. • Make better career choices according to industry growth patterns. • Write a better “new graduate” cover letter.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

FACTS FOR STUDENTS The workplace is changing faster than ever and competition for jobs is fierce. There are many more applicants than there are good jobs. You need as much education and training as possible. Whether you are a high school student or college student, you face competition from college or technical school graduates with more education and dislocated workers with more training and experience. First, if you have not chosen a career yet, you need to make that decision as soon as possible. Several excellent reference books about various careers are noted at the bottom of this page. Second, review the SCANS report (page 8) and develop your workplace know-how such as Basic Skills, your Thinking Skills, your Decision-Making Skills, and the Personal Qualities that employers want in their employees. Third, you need to develop your resume. Employers will not talk to you without one. Start compiling the information immediately. Make a record of everything you do in school, your accomplishments, and part-time work experience. You cannot remember everything if you wait until graduation. Fourth, develop a game plan for your job search program. This book will help do that but you probably need help in developing an effective resume. Our companion book, Better Resumes in 3 Easy Steps, gives you outstanding examples to follow. Your work experience and accomplishments in school will make your resume stand out above the rest. The following steps will help you develop an effective resume: 1. Learn Business Terminology. Review the books listed below to familiarize yourself with business terminology used in job descriptions. 2. Build Experience. Involve yourself in school activities related to your career choice, such as the school newspaper, radio station, business office, and departmental affairs to gain experience. Contact local businesses such as banks or retail stores regarding part-time employment. Contact the Chamber of Commerce for a list of voluntary organizations. 3. Keep Good Records. Keep a running log of your activities and accomplishments with thorough explanations so you can use this information when you prepare your resume. 4. Prepare the Initial Outline of your Resume. Make changes and keep it up to date as you have accomplishments and experience to add.

Books for High School Students Exploring Careers. JIST Works, Inc. A young person’s guide to over 300 jobs. Stories about jobs, job descriptions, and pictures of people at work. America’s Top Jobs for People Without College Degrees by J. Michael Farr. JIST Works, Inc. Detailed descriptions of jobs in technical, trade, manufacturing, and transportation that do not require college but do require technical skills. Career Guide to America’s Top Industries. JIST Works, Inc. Listed by industrial groups with information about working conditions, training, earnings, and the employment outlook. This book is also useful for all students.

Facts for Students and New Graduates

FACTS FOR NEW GRADUATES Welcome to the business world! You are out of school and ready to pursue your career. If you have done the things explained under Facts for Students on the preceding page, and have prepared your first resume, you are ready to start your job search program. If not, make it the first item on your agenda. Before you forget what happened in school, make a list immediately with as much detail as possible about your accomplishments, projects, awards, school activities, organizations, offices held, and parttime employment. You need this information in order to prepare an effective resume, since your work experience will be limited. An effective resume is the foundation for a successful job search program. If you do not have a copy of Better Resumes in 3 Easy Steps, get one or check your library. That book shows you how to write a resume that will generate the employers’ interest. The second item in your plan of action is your marketing program (see pages 13 and 14). Steve Hines, author of Atlanta Jobs 1995, said that “simply mass mailing your resume or cold-calling the biggest companies will not find enough openings.” He reported that Atlanta’s largest employers (5,000+ employees) actually decreased total employment by 3 percent and smaller employers increased employment rolls by 11.6 percent. He then emphasized the value of networking and several approaches such as attending meetings of professional associations, joining network groups, and alumni associations, in addition to volunteer time with a charity or nonprofit organization. However, do not overlook the help-wanted ads and target your efforts toward specific companies to develop a comprehensive job search program. The third item is to analyze your personal and interpersonal skills. Recruiting Trends 1995–1996 (College Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University) reported that good oral, written, and interpersonal skills were among the most important attributes of successful new hires. The Michigan State report said those skills were among the most notable deficiencies observed in new college graduates. The 1997–1998 report also listed communication and interpersonal skills at the top. Check your skills before you start any job search program, and make necessary improvements immediately. If you do not, you might fail in an interview for a job that you really want. One way to check your skills is a trial run. Pick a company and ask the manager or chief executive if he or she would be willing to interview you and evaluate you. Most business people are willing to help young people. Choose a company that has some interest for you, because there is the possibility he or she might hire you. However, before you do this, read the sections on selling yourself, and what employers expect of employees. One very important factor in today’s workplace, emphasized in many surveys, is the attitude of lifelong learning. Employers expect employees to continue training to avoid obsolescence, and continually upgrade their skills. In other words, new graduates must be prepared for a faster paced work environment and greater demand for flexibility. Labor Secretary Robert Reich said “college graduates may have to spend several years in a job they feel they are over qualified for.” However, you can get the job you want if you sell yourself.



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

FAST GROWING OCCUPATIONS (1996–2006) Technical and professional occupations in engineering, education, counseling, training, and health care offer the most opportunities but they vary by location, industry, and even within an industry. The following examples, taken from the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Quarterly (Spring 1998), show the employment in 1996 and the projected increase for the ten-year period from that date. Occupations 1996 % Increase by 2006 • Administrative and Management Restaurant and food service managers Engineering, science, computer system managers Financial managers Marketing, advertising, and PR managers Personnel managers, labor specialists Health service managers • Professional and Technical Computer engineers and systems analysts Engineers Computer programmers Accountants and auditors Engineering technicians • Education Kindergarten, elementary, and secondary teachers Preschool teachers and child care Special education teachers College and university faculty Adult education teachers • Health Care and Social Work Registered nurses Nurses aides Social workers Medical assistants Licensed practical nurses • Legal and Law Enforcement Guards Correctional officers Police, detectives, etc. • Retail and Service Cash Retail sales workers Service sales representatives Manufacturers and wholesale representatives Securities and financial services • Administrative Support and Clerical Teacher aides Adjusters, collectors, etc. Receptionists Clerical supervisors • Mechanics and Technicians General maintenance technicians Automotive mechanics • Food Service Chefs, cooks, kitchen workers Food and beverage service workers

493,000 343,000 800,000 482,000 544 329,000 933,000 1,382,000 568,000 1,002,000 698,000

34 45 18 29 18 28

+166,000 +155,000 +146,000 +138,000 +97,000 +93,000

108 +1,004,000 18 +250,000 23 +129,000 12 +125,000 10 70,000+

3,053,000 1,172,000 407,000 864,000 559,000

16 32 59 19 22

+483,000 +379,000 +241,000 +162,000 +123,000

1,971,000 1,415,000 585,000 225,000 699,000

21 24 32 74 21

+411,000 +342,000 +188,000 +166,000 +148,000

955,000 320,000 704,000

23 32 13

+221,000 +103,000 +90,000

3,146,000 4,522,000 694,000 1,557,000 263,000

17 11 57 14 38

+530,000 +499,000 +393,000 +211,000 +100,000

98,000 1,340,000 1,074,000 1,369,000

38 25 30 19

+370,000 +335,000 +318,000 +262,000

1,362,000 775,000

18 12

+246,000 +96,000

3,402,000 4,766,000

17 11

+583,000 +530,000

Facts for Students and New Graduates


801 College Drive Muncie, IN 46210 January 20, 1999 Mr. James Worth Vice-President, Marketing & Public Relations Hoosier Financial Services 2000 N. Meridian Street Indianapolis, IN 46204 Dear Mr. Worth, You recently announced a major expansion program with the addition of ten new branches. I am interested in a position in your marketing department and have enclosed a copy of my resume. I have just graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Marketing & Business Administration, and have worked part-time during my senior year as a bank teller to gain valuable experience. In addition, my special training includes psychology, advertising, and computer technology. I would be enthusiastic and willing to go through any training programs your company offers. I would appreciate a personal interview to discuss my qualifications and potential employment. Enclosed is a Quik-Response form with a self addressed, stamped envelope for your convenience. Would it be possible to meet with you next week? I will call you regarding a time that would be convenient. Thanks for your consideration. Sincerely,

Elizabeth Young



Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUMMARY It is never too soon for a student to begin a career search. Do some research and make a career selection as quickly as possible. Review the SCANS report (page 8) and develop the necessary workplace skills that every employer expects every new job applicant to have. Develop an effective, dynamic resume. Begin by compiling school information, accomplishments, work experience, and everything you have done that could be career related. Learn business terminology. This helps as you develop your resume and prepare for job interviews. Get some work experience. Keep good, up-to-date records of everything you do. There are many excellent books on careers and jobs for graduates in public and school libraries. When you graduate, prepare your resume based on all your college and work experience. An effective resume is the foundation for a successful job search program. Put together a marketing plan that will sell your abilities to the companies you want to contact. Analyze your personal and interpersonal skills. If you lack any of the SCANS skills, take classes or seminars that will help you overcome any deficiencies. Remember, communication skills are always near the top of every employers’ want list for new job applicants. Follow the concept of lifelong learning. This will help you stay current in today’s workplace. Be prepared for a fast-paced work environment and greater demand for skills flexibility. No matter what, always sell yourself and your abilities. Base your working career on the fast growing occupations listed on page 58. You will find a wide range of job opportunities in today’s high-tech workplace. Prepare yourself correctly and your job search will end with you in a strong and positive position.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. While in school, what kinds of things should you do to improve your job search after you graduate?

2. Why is a dynamic, effective resume so important to any job search program?

3. Discuss the concept of lifelong learning.

4. Why are some occupations fast growing and others in decline?

5. Why is a cover letter important to include every time you send a resume to a prospective employer?

Chapter 9

Resource Information Objective To make available the most usable information about job descriptions, employment outlook and potential that is easily accessible to the job seeker.

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: • Make better career choices. • Understand the potential of virtually every occupation. • Realize the training and education requirements of every occupation.


Better Job Search In 3 Easy Steps

SUGGESTED SOURCES OF OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION FOR THE JOB SEEKER Information about most occupations with job descriptions and employment outlook are available in virtually all public libraries in the reference sections. Copies of some references may be ordered from the U.S. Government Printing Office or from other suppliers. The following is a partial list of the most popular books: Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor. Possibly the best general reference available. It contains descriptions of the 250 occupations in which most Americans are employed. Updated every two years, the descriptions include nature of work, earnings, employment projections, and more Occupational Outlook Quarterly. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. A quarterly publication with informative articles about changes in the labor market and updated employment projections for many occupations. Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The DOL lists and classifies 12,741 occupations. The descriptions are very specific. The book includes many jobs that very few people hold. This book is best used by job seekers and career changers in tandem with either of the next two books. Complete Guide for Occupational Exploration, published by JIST Works, Inc. Includes and cross-references all 12,741 from the DOT (above), but the titles are clustered into 12, easy-to-understand interest areas. The interest areas are further divided in such a way that job seekers and career-changers can start with their personal interests and find lists of jobs they should explore. Enhanced Guide for Occupational Exploration, published by JIST Works, Inc. Includes and cross-references the 2,500 most important job titles from the DOT, organized around 12, easy-to-understand interest areas. Each listing includes a specific description along with codes that yield insights into work environment, stress factors, aptitudes, physical demands, and much more. Also available from JIST Works, Inc. are A Career Guide to America’s Top Industries, America’s Top 300 Jobs, America’s Fifty Fastest Growing Jobs, America’s Top Jobs for College Graduates, and America’s Top Jobs for People Without College Degree.

All the references mentioned here may be available at your public library, and all can be purchased from JIST Works, Inc., 720 North Park Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Telephone 317-264-3720.

Resource Information and Conclusion

SUMMARY Choosing a career is sometimes only accomplished through careful consideration and research. Some people know instinctively what their career will be even before they begin college. Others ponder that decision carefully and others do not have a clue as to what their future career might be. This section gives you a selection of books that show numerous career opportunities. These books are available at public libraries, school libraries, and at career information offices at your college or technical school. Most occupations are represented in these books. Job descriptions, employment outlook, job requirements, education required, pay scale, and more are here for your interest and perusal. If you have the slightest question about your career choice, spend careful time reviewing these books. You will learn aspects of over 12,741 occupations. And that is a lot of job possibilities and opportunities!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Why is it important to make a career choice as soon as you can?

2. How would you go about deciding on a good job for yourself?

3. How might you use these listed reference books in your career decision?

4. What would you do if you could not find something that interests you?