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HOW TO GET

 

THE JOB YOU

 

WANT NOW !

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction 3

The Job Outlook 1994-2005 4

Planning Your Time 11

Determining Your Job Skills 13

Where to Get Job Information 15

Cover Letters and Letters of Application 17

Preparing Your Resumé 20

Testing 33

Interviewing 34

After The Interview 39

Job Search Checklist 40

Books That Can Give You More Tips

for Finding the Right Job 41

Chapter 1 Introduction

 

YOU NEED A JOB. Somewhere, an employer has the job you want. How do you get that job? By marketing your job talents. By showing employers you have the skills they need.

Do you have job talents? YES! Homemakers, disabled individuals, veterans, students just out of school, people already working all have skills and experience for many good jobs.

What you need to know is how to market your talents effectively to find the right job. This book will help you to:

· Evaluate your interests and skills.

· Find job information.

· Write resumes and application letters.

· Prepare for job interviews

· Plan your time.

· Take tests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE JOB OUTLOOK IN BRIEF 1994-2005

"There is nothing permanent except change." Even though this was an observation of the ancient Greek Heraclitus, it aptly describes the second half of the 20th century as well. Consumer demand, technology, and business practices are constantly evolving.

Occupations that once offered solid careers are in decline, while positions once unheard of are now among the fastest growing. In today's marketplace, it is increasingly important for people who are planning their careers to be aware of what occupations will be in demand in the future. The $5.3-trillion economy of 1994 is projected to reach $6.4 to $7.4 trillion by 2005. Employment is expected to reach 144.7 million, an increase of 14 percent, or 17.7 million jobs, above the 1994 level.

The next few pages discuss factors that affect an occupation's employment outlook, describe the assumptions used in making the projections, and point out general trends.

Why Employment Changes

The number of workers employed in any occupation depends in large part on the demand for the goods or services provided by those workers. Over the last decade or so, for example, increased use of computers by businesses, schools, scientific organizations, and government agencies has contributed to large increases in the number of systems analysts, programmers, and computer repairers. However, even if the demand rises for goods and services provided by a group of workers, employment may not increase at all or may increase more slowly than demand because of changes in the way goods are produced and services are provided. In fact, some changes in technology and business practices cause employment to decline. For example, while the volume of paperwork is expected to increase dramatically, the employment of typists and word processors will probably fall. This reflects the growing use of word processing equipment that increases productivity and permits other office workers to do more of their own typing. Using information on the demand for goods and services, advances in technology, changes in business practices, and the occupational composition of industries, economists at BLS have developed three sets of projections of the economy in 2005. Each set was developed in light of a series of economic assumptions about the future. The rate of change for the labor force, output, productivity, inflation, unemployment, and other factors were varied in developing each set. Referred to as the low-, moderate-, and high-growth projections, or scenarios, each provides a different employment estimate for most occupations. The scenarios should not be viewed as the bounds of employment growth but as illustrations of what might happen under different conditions. All the data in the "Brief" come from the moderate-growth projections.

Any projection of employment growth is clouded by uncertainty. Unforeseen changes in technology or the balance of trade or major international political upheavals could radically alter future employment for individual occupations.

Between 1994 and 2005, employment will rise to 144.7 million from 127.0 million. This section gives a brief overview of projected employment change. It focuses on the following clusters of occupations based on the Federal Government's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system:

Executive, administrative, and managerial occupations. Professional specialty occupations, Technicians and related support occupations, Marketing and sales occupations, Administrative support occupations including clerical, Service occupations, Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and related occupations, Mechanics, installers, and repairers, Construction trades occupations, Production occupations, Transportation and material moving occupations, Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers.

Executive, administrative, and managerial occupations. Workers in executive, administrative, and managerial occupations establish policies, make plans, determine staffing requirements, and direct the activities of businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. This group includes managerial and administrative workers, such as financial managers, purchasers and buyers, education administrators, funeral directors, food service and hotel managers, and property and real estate managers. It also includes management support occupations that provide technical assistance to managers. Some examples include accountant and auditor, budget analyst, loan officer, purchasing agent, and underwriter.

Overall, employment of executive, administrative, and managerial occupations is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, because these workers are employed throughout the economy, differences in the rate of expansion for individual industries will produce varying rates of employment change for particular kinds of managers and support workers. For example, employment of health services managers will grow much faster than average, whereas industrial production managers are expected to decline.

Due to the large amount of competition for these jobs, job seekers with previous work experience, specialized training, or graduate study have a definite advantage. Computer skills will continue to be an asset as more managers rely on computerized information systems to help direct their organizations.

Professional specialty occupations. Professional workers provide an array of services, conduct research, and are employed in a variety of industries. This group includes engineers; architects and surveyors; computer, mathematical, and operations research occupations; life, physical, and social scientists; lawyers and judges; social, recreational, and religious workers; teachers, librarians, and counselors; health diagnosing, assessment, and treating occupations; and communications, visual arts, and performing arts occupations.

As a whole, this group is expected to grow faster than any other major occupational group and to increase its share of total employment significantly by 2005. This group also is projected to add the largest number of jobs of any occupational group in the 1994-2005 period. However, growth rates for individual occupations are as diverse as the jobs these workers perform. Because most new jobs will be in the education, business, and health services industries, occupations such as physical therapist, human services worker, operations research analyst, and computer scientist and systems analyst are expected to grow much faster than average. Others, such as meteorologists, mining and nuclear engineers, and dentists should grow more slowly than average.

Technicians and related support occupations. These workers program and operate technical equipment and assist engineers, scientists, physicians, and other professional workers. This group includes health technologists and technicians, engineering and science technicians, computer programmers, aircraft pilots, air traffic controllers, paralegal, broadcast technicians, and library technicians.

Although overall employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average, changes in technology, demographics, and ways of conducting business will cause some of these occupations to grow faster than others. This group includes paralegal, one of the fastest growing occupations in the economy. Its growth will result in part from the increasing reliance of lawyers on these workers. Increased demand for health services from a growing and aging population will spur growth for radiological technologists, medical record technicians, surgical technologists, and electroneurodiagnostic technologists. In fact, 7 of every 10 new jobs for technicians will be for health technologists and technicians. Employment growth in other occupations in this group will be limited. For example, employment of drafters should show little change, and broadcast technicians should decline due to laborsaving devices and technological advances.

Marketing and sales occupations. Workers in this group sell goods and services, purchase commodities and property for resale, and stimulate consumer interest. This group includes cashiers; counter and rental clerks; insurance agents and brokers; manufacturers' and wholesale sales representatives; real estate agents, brokers, and appraisers; retail sales workers; financial services sales representatives; and travel agents.

Employment is expected to grow as fast as average because of the increased demand for financial, travel, and other services. However, the rate of growth should be slower than over the previous 11 years because these workers are concentrated in wholesale and retail trade, an industry which will grow more slowly than in the past.

A large number of part-time and full-time positions are expected to be available for cashiers and retail trade sales workers due to employment growth and, more importantly, the large size and high turnover of these occupations. Higher paying sales occupations, such as securities and financial services sales worker, are more competitive than retail sales occupations. Job opportunities will be best for well-trained, personable, and ambitious people who enjoy selling.

Administrative support occupations including clerical. Workers in this group prepare and record memos, letters, and reports; collect accounts; gather and distribute information; operate office machines; and handle other administrative tasks. The group includes such occupations as adjuster, investigator, and collector in the insurance industry; computer and communications equipment operator; information clerk; postal clerk and mail carrier; secretary; bank teller; and typist, word processor, and data entry key person.

This occupational group will continue to employ the largest number of workers, although little change in employment is expected. As a result, these occupations will decline as a proportion of total employment by 2005. Despite the tremendous increase expected in the volume of clerical tasks to be done, increased automation and other technological changes will cause a decline in such occupations as typist, word processor, and data entry key punch; bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk; and telephone operator. In contrast, the occupation of teacher aide should grow much faster than average as schools increase their use of these workers. Receptionists and information clerks are expected to experience faster than average growth because these workers are concentrated in rapidly growing industries.

Because many administrative support occupations are large and have relatively high turnover, opportunities should be plentiful for full- and part-time jobs, even in slow growing occupations.

Service occupations. This group includes a wide range of workers in four subgroups: Protective; food and beverage preparation; health; and personal, private household, and cleaning and building services. The group includes protective service occupations such as firefighter, police officer, detective, and guard; food preparation occupations such as chef, cook, baker, bartender, and waiter; health service occupations such as dental assistant and occupational and physical therapy assistant; and personal service occupations such as flight attendant, home health aide, cosmetologist, and child-care worker.

These occupations, as a group, are expected to grow faster than average because of a growing population and economy. Higher personal incomes and increased leisure time will spur demand for many different types of services.

Because of growing concern over crime, the employment of police, detectives, and special agents is expected to rise faster than average and that of guards much faster than average. As the number of prisoners and correctional facilities increases, more correctional officers also will be needed. Average employment growth is expected for firefighters as the Nation's population grows and fire and rescue needs increase.

 

Full- and part-time jobs will be plentiful for food preparation and service workers due to the large size, high turnover, and overall average employment growth of this group.

Among health services occupations, medical assistant-one of the fastest growing occupations in the economy-and nursing aide, orderly, and attendant will grow much faster than average, in response to the aging population and expanding health care industry.

Growth in personal service, cleaning, and private household workers will vary widely. Homemaker-home health aide should be one of the fastest growing occupations, in part because of the substantial increase in the elderly population. Private household workers, on the other hand, will decline rapidly due to the shift from home to institutional child care.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and related occupations. Workers in these occupations cultivate plants, breed and raise animals, and catch fish. Some occupations include farm operator, fisher, hunter, and trapper; gardener and groundskeeper; and forest and conservation worker.

Although demand for food, fiber, and wood is expected to increase as the world's population grows, the use of more productive farming and forestry methods and the consolidation of small farms are expected to contribute to employment declines in most of these occupations. The employment of farmers is expected to decline sharply, reflecting greater productivity; on the other hand, the need for skilled lawn service managers should result in faster than average growth.

Mechanics, installers, and repairers. Workers in this group adjust, maintain, and repair automobiles, industrial equipment, computers, and many other types of machinery. Occupations include electronic equipment repairer, aircraft, automotive, and motorcycle mechanic; millwright; musical instrument repairer; rigger; and watchmaker.

Average overall growth is expected due to the continued importance of mechanical and electronic equipment throughout the economy, but projections vary by occupation. Data processing equipment repairer is expected to be the fastest growing occupation in this group, reflecting the increased use of these machines. In sharp contrast, communications equipment mechanic, installer, and repairer and telephone installer and repairer are expected to decline in employment due to laborsaving advances.

Construction trades occupations. Workers in this group construct, alter, and maintain buildings and other structures. Occupations include carpenter, electrician, roofer, drywall worker, carpet installer, and plumber.

Virtually all of the new jobs will be in construction. An increase in the number of households and industrial plants, the desire to alter or modernize existing structures, and the need to maintain and repair highways, drains, and bridges will result in average employment growth in construction. Because the construction industry is sensitive to fluctuations in the Nation's economy, employment in construction occupations varies from year to year. Many construction workers become unemployed during downturns in construction activity.

Production occupations. These workers set up, adjust, operate, and tend machinery and use hand tools and hand-held power tools to make goods and assemble products. Occupations include blue-collar worker supervisor, printing press operator, precision assembler, and stationary engineer.

Increases in imports, overseas production, and automation-including robotics and advanced computer techniques-will result in little change in overall employment. However, growth is expected for electronic pagination systems workers, cabinetmakers and bench carpenters, wood machinists, and water treatment plant operators.

Many production occupations are sensitive to fluctuations in the business cycle and competition from imports. When factory orders decline, workers face shortened workweeks, layoffs, and plant closings.

Transportation and material moving occupations. Operating the equipment used to move people and materials is the principle activity of workers in this group. Occupations include bus driver, rail and water transportation worker, subway and streetcar operator, and truck driver. Overall employment is expected to grow about as fast as average, but prospects vary by occupation. Two occupations will grow faster than average: Subway operator, as cities build new systems and expand existing ones; and taxi driver and chauffeur, as demand grows for transportation services. School bus driver and truck driver are expected to grow as fast as the average, but water transportation worker will change little. Slower than average growth is expected in the employment of material moving equipment operators because of the increased use of automated material handling systems.

Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers. These workers perform routine tasks and assist skilled workers. Some of these workers are helpers in construction trades, parking lot attendants, and service station attendants.

Overall employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations, although some occupations, such as machine feeder, will decline due to automation. Many opportunities will arise from the need to replace workers who leave these occupations because turnover is very high. However, economic turndowns may substantially lower the number of openings, particularly for construction laborer and other occupations in industries that are highly sensitive to changes in the economy.

 

 

 

"The Job Outlook in Brief" provides thumbnail sketches of employment data for each occupation in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 1996-97 edition. on which it is based. Nearly all employment estimates are from the BLS industry-occupation matrix. Employment growth rates are compared to the average for all occupations.

Assessing the degree of competition is difficult, although it can be done with some accuracy for occupations with lengthy training and strict entry requirements. However, because most occupations have several routes of entry and flexible requirements, the potential supply of workers is difficult to measure. For many occupations, therefore, no description of job opportunities or competition is given. When given, the description of the relationship between supply and demand is based on information obtained from technical journals and other relevant literature, interviews with occupational experts, historical data, and the judgment of the analyst who studied the occupation.

Growth in employment is only one source of job openings. In fact, BLS projects that 63 percent of all job openings over the 1994-2005 period will arise because of the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. As a result, even occupations with slower than average growth may offer many jobs for new workers; this is especially true of large occupations.

Beyond the "Brief"

"The Job Outlook in Brief" is only a starting point for the exploration of economic projections or careers. The projections in it were produced by BLS as part of its employment projections program, which develops new sets of projections every 2 years. Besides occupational employment, BLS also projects industry employment, industry outlook, labor force activity, and numerous components of the gross domestic product. This information is available in a variety of publications designed to meet different needs.

Employment Outlook: 1994-2005 provides additional highlights and details on BLS projections, a discussion of industries and occupations generating the largest portion of projected job growth, implications of employment growth on education and training requirements, and the implication of growth on the quality of jobs as measured by earnings.

"The Job Outlook in Brief" provides information in a format that allows easy comparison of job prospects in different fields. But employment prospects are not the only consideration when choosing a certain career; matching your goals and abilities to the work done on the job and the education required is another important part of choosing a career. Where you want to live and how much money you want to earn also are important. Information like this appears in the Handbook and the Occupational Outlook Quarterly.

The Handbook has been published for 50 years. It contains more about the outlook for each of the occupations in the "Brief," as well as information about the nature of the work, training and personal qualifications, earnings, and other subjects. Originally published in the Fall 1992 OOQ, "Matching Yourself With the World of Work in 1992" is a 20-page, tabular presentation similar in format to the "Brief." Rather than outlook, it highlights significant job characteristics, including educational level required, working conditions, and interaction with data, people, and things.

Additional information on job growth is also available from State job service offices. The outlook for many occupations varies considerably among local job markets. For example, sections of the country with slow population growth have less need for elementary school teachers than regions with high growth. State job service offices, listed in the State Government section of local telephone directories, can provide information on local labor market conditions. Also, see the section on "Sources of Career Information" in the Handbook.

Ordering Information

BLS publications are usually available in libraries, career centers, and the offices of school and employment counselors. They are sold by the Government Printing Office. Send orders to:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Publication Sales Center P.O. Box 2145, Chicago, IL 60690

Phone (312) 353-1880

Payment by check, money order, VISA, MasterCard, or GPO deposit account must accompany your order. Make check or money order payable to the Superintendent of Documents.

Planning Your Time

NOW is the best time to start looking for a job. You're as qualified as other applicants, so start now before someone else gets "your" job.

You've already made a good start by reading this book! What's the most important thing to know about your job search?

FINDING WORK IS A FULL TIME JOB!

That means in a full time job, you:

A. Have responsibilities (work duties and procedures)

B. "Punch a clock" or be at work "on time"

C. Work hard all day, 40 hours week

D. Report to a boss, who makes sure you carry-out your responsibilities

To find a job, you must:

A. Set your own responsibilities (things you must do everyday to get a job).

B. Wake up early at a set time to start looking for work.

C. Look hard for a job, all day, 40 hours a week.

    1. Be your own boss (or appoint a friend to be your "boss") to make sure you carry-out your

job search responsibilities.

Tips for Planning an Effective Job Search:

· Make a "To Do List" every day. Outline daily activities to look for a job.

Apply for jobs early in the day. This will make a good impression and give you time to

complete applications, have interviews, take tests, etc.

Call employers to find out the best times to apply. Some companies take applications only

on certain days and times during the week.

Write down all employers you contact, the date of your contacts, people you talk to, and

special notes about your contacts.

· Apply at several companies in the same area when possible. This saves time and money.

Be prepared. Have a "master application" and resumes, pens, maps and job information

with you all the time. Who knows when a "hot lead" will come your way.

Follow up leads immediately. If you find out about a job late in the day, call right then!

Don't wait until the next day.

Network. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for job. Stay in touch with friends

and contacts. Follow up new leads immediately.

Read pamphlets and books on how to get a job (see the list of books at the back of this

brochure). The time you spend reading these materials will save you a lot of time in your

job search.

Make automated connections through systems on the Internet, such as America's Job

Bank and the Talent Bank

Determining Your Job Skills

Another tip for finding the right job is to make a list of your background and experience.

If you think you don't have any experience -- THINK AGAIN! You may not have specific job experience, but you do have work experience. You have "worked" as a homemaker, a student, a volunteer, in a hobby or some other personal activity. The skills you use for these "jobs" can be applied to other jobs.

A background and experience list may help you to:

¨ Fill out job applications

¨ Provide information for job interviews

¨ Prepare resumes (if you're applying for professional or office jobs)

Tips for Making a Background and Experience List:

Interests and Aptitudes

List your hobbies, clubs you belong to, sports you're involved in, church and school activities, and things that interest you. List things you are good at or have special ability for. Your list may look like it has nothing to do with job skills or experience. That's O.K. the purpose of this list is to make you think about your interests and things you do in everyday life. Look at the first item on your list. Think about the skills or talents it takes to do that item. Really think about it! All hobbies, activities, etc., take a lot of skills, knowledge and abilities. Write them all down.

Here are some examples:

Hobbies, Sports, School Activities Skills, Knowledge, Abilities and Talents

Things I Do Well: It take to do these things:

Playing Basketball Ability to interact with others ("be a team player")

Ability to use basic arithmetic (keep track of score)

Ability to reach, lift, jump, stoop, and run

Skills in directing others (calling plays, coaching)

Homemaking Ability to manage budgets

Ability to handle multiple tasks

Knowledge of human development

Skills in teaching/training others

Cooking, cleaning, laundry

 

 

 

 

 

Fixing Cars Ability to diagnose mechanical problems

Skill in using a variety of tools

Ability to see differences in shapes and sizes of objects

Knowledge of electronics

 

Work History

If you've worked before, list your jobs. Include volunteer, part-time, summer, and self-employment. Next, write down work duties for the jobs you listed. Now, think about the skills or talents it took to do each work duty. Write them down. Here's an example:

Work Duties Skills or Talents

Pick vegetables and fruits on a farm Inspect fruits for damage/ripeness

Use hoes, shovels and shears to plant, Ability to work quickly and skillfully

cultivate, and prune fruit trees with hands

skill in using tools

Ability to work outside for long

periods of time

Physical endurance Bending, stooping

Education

List the schools you attended, dates, major studies or courses completed. Include military and vocational education and on-the-job training.

List degrees, certificates, awards and honors.

Ask yourself what classes or training you liked. Why did you like them?

Physical Condition

Do you have any disabilities limiting the kind of work you can do? Companies will often make special accommodations to employ disabled persons (in fact, some accommodations are legally required). If you have strong or special physical capabilities, list these too.

Career Goals

What kind of work do you want to be doing 5 or 10 years from now?

What kind of job could you get now to help you reach this goal?

Matching Your Background And Experience To Jobs

Look at the abilities (talents) identified on your background and experience list. You have talents that you use everyday.

Now find out what JOBS can use your talents.

Start at your local State Employment Service Office ("Job Service"). This office has free information about many jobs. You may be given an appointment with a career counselor who can help you decide what kind of work is best suited to your abilities and interests.

While you're at Job Service, ask to see the Guide for Occupational Exploration and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (you can also get these books at most public libraries). These easy to read books, published by the Department of Labor, describe -- work duties for many different occupations -- skills and abilities needed for different types of jobs -- how to enter occupations -- where jobs are located -- training and qualifications needed -- earnings, working conditions, and future opportunities. Match the skills and abilities in your list to the skills and abilities of different jobs. Don't limit yourself. The important thing is not the job title, but the skills and abilities of the job. You may find that your skills and abilities match with an occupation that you have never thought about.

Where To Get Job Information

If you know what job skills you have, you are ready to look for a job. You can look for job openings at these sources:

· Networking. Tell everyone you know you're looking for a job. Ask about openings where your friends work.

· Private employers. Contact employers directly to market your job talents. Talk to the person who would supervise you even if there are no jobs currently open.

· State Employment Service Offices provide help on finding jobs and other services, such as career counseling. See the back of this brochure for the Employment Service Office in your state.

· America's Job Bank. A nation-wide pool of job opportunities which will extend your search to other states and can be viewed in your local Employment Service offices or directly through the Internet at HTTP:\\WWW.AJB.DNI.US

Federal, state and local government personnel offices list a wide range of job

opportunities. Check the Government listings in your phone book.

Local public libraries have books on occupations and often post local job announcements.

Many state libraries are also providing free access to Internet through PCs.

· Newspaper ads list various job openings.

Local phone book. Look for career counseling centers in your area (some may require fees).
Private employment and temporary centers offer placement (employer or job hunter may

pay a fee).

Community colleges and trade schools usually offer counseling and job information to

students and the general public.

Proprietary schools. Private training centers offer instruction in specific trades (tuition is

usually required). Check with your office of state education for credible schools.

Community organizations such as clubs, associations, women and minority centers, and

youth organizations.

· Churches frequently operate employment services or provide job search help.

Veterans' placement centers operate through state employment offices. Veterans' social

and help organizations often have job listings for members.

Unions and apprenticeship programs provide job opportunities and information. Contact

your state apprenticeship council or relevant labor union directly.

Government sponsored training programs offer direct placement or short-term training

and placement for applicants who qualify. Check the yellow pages under Job Training

Programs or Government Services.

Journals and newsletters for professionals or trade associations often advertise job

openings in their field. Ask for these at the local library.

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all of the sources listed above serve persons of any race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 forbids agencies to discriminate against older workers. Both laws forbid employers to discriminate in hiring.

 

Most Commonly Used Job-search Methods

Percent of

total job

seekers

using the Effectiveness

method Method rate *

 

66.0% Applied directly to employer 47.7%

50.8 Asked friends about jobs where they work 22.1

41.8 Asked friends about jobs elsewhere 11.9

28.4 Asked relatives about jobs where they work 19.3

27.3 Asked relatives about jobs elsewhere 7.4

45.9 Answered local newspapers ads 23.9

21.0 Private employment agency 24.2

12.5 School placement office 21.4

15.3 Civil service test 12.5

10.4 Asked teacher or professor 12.1

1.6 Placed ad in local newspaper 12.9

6.0 Union hiring hall 22.2

 

 

* A percentage obtained by dividing the number of job seekers who actually found work using the method, by the total number of job seekers who tried to use that method, whether successful or not.

Writing Intriguing Cover Letters And Applications

You will need a cover letter whenever you send a resume or application form to a potential employer. The letter should capture the employer's attention, show why you are writing, indicate why your employment will benefit the company, and ask for an interview. The kind of specific information that must be included in a letter means that each must be written individually. Each letter must also be typed perfectly, which may present a problem. Word processing equipment helps. Frequently only the address, first paragraph, and specifics concerning an interview will vary. These items are easily changed on word processing equipment and memory typewriters. If you do not have access to such equipment, you might be able to rent it. Or you might be able to have your letters typed by a resume or employment services company listed in the yellow pages. Be sure you know the full cost of such a service before agreeing to use one.

 

Let's go through a letter point by point.

Salutation. Each letter should be addressed by name to the person you want to talk with. That person is the one who can hire you. This is almost certainly not someone in the personnel department, and it is probably not a department head either. It is most likely to be the person who will actually supervise you once you start work. Call the company to make sure you have the right name. And spell it correctly.

Opening. The opening should appeal to the reader. Cover letters are sales letters. Sales are made after you capture a person's attention. You capture the reader's attention most easily by talking about the company rather than yourself. Mention projects under development, recent awards, or favorable comments recently published about the company. You can find such information in the business press, including the business section of local newspapers and the many magazines that are devoted to particular industries. If you are answering an ad, you may mention it. If someone suggested that you write, use their name (with permission, of course).

Body. The body of the letter gives a brief description of your qualifications and refers to the resume, where your sales campaign can continue.

Closing. You cannot have what you do not ask for. At the end of the letter, request an interview. Suggest a time and state that you will confirm the appointment. Use a standard complimentary close, such as "Sincerely yours," leave three or four lines for your signature, and type your name. I would type my phone number under my name; this recommendation is not usually made, although phone numbers are found on most letterheads. The alternative is to place the phone number in the body of the letter, but it will be more difficult to find there should the reader wish to call you.

The purpose of these letters is to:

¨ tell how your job talents will benefit the company.

¨ show why the employer should read your resume or application form.

¨ ask for a job interview.

Tips for writing cover letters include:

· Write a separate letter for each job application.

· Type letters on quality 8 x 11 paper.

· Use proper sentence structure and correct spelling and punctuation.

· Convey personal warmth and enthusiasm.

· Keep your letter short and to the point.

 

Sample Letter of Application

John Kile

Ace Auto Service

1369 Oak Street

Megapolis, IN 01234

Dear Mr. Kile:

I've been checking into auto repair shops in the area to find a garage that has a good reputation and offers an entry mechanic training program. Several sources recommended Ace Auto Service as a reliable garage that uses the latest diagnostic equipment.

I've worked on cars with my uncle, who is a member of the "Tin Lizzies" auto club. I'm doing tune-ups through word of mouth referrals and I recently helped overhaul a Nissan 300ZX. I've worked with computers in school, so I feel I could learn how to operate computerized diagnostic equipment with minimal training.

With my background and interest in car repair, I think I could contribute to the continued success of Ace Auto Service.

I will call you on Monday, December 13 to talk to you about possible job opportunities.

Sincerely,

Joe Clark

6913 Willow Street

Megapolis, IN 01234

(321) 345-6789

 

 

 

 

Show that you've done some homework on the company (you know what they do, their interests and problems) Try to identify something about you that is unique or of interest to the employer. Request an interview. If possible, suggest a specific date and time.

Include your address and your telephone number.

 

Cover Letter Example

Mr. Clarence Brown, Supervisor

Norton Electronics

6543 Sunrise Ave. Anytown, US 04538

Dear Mr. Brown:

I am interested in the position of electronic assembler which you advertised recently in the Anytown Oracle.

The enclosed resume outlines my experience and skills in electronics and printed circuit board assembly. I am familiar with Norton Electronics and the quality products you produce.

I would like to meet with you to discuss how my skills would benefit Norton Electronics. I may be reached at 778-4321.

Sincerely,

Rhonda Ramirez

304 Park Street

Anytown, US 04536

 

 

 

Address each letter to the specific person you want to talk to (the person who would actually supervise you). Highlight your job qualifications. State the position you are seeking and the source of the job opening (newspaper ad, friend, etc.)

Preparing Your Resumé

You might see a hurdle to leap over. Or a hoop to jump through. Or a barrier to knock down. That is how many people think of resumés, application forms, cover letters, and interviews. But you do not have to think of them that way. They are not ways to keep you from a job; they are ways for you to show an employer what you know and what you can do. After all, you are going to get a job. It is just a question of which one.

Employers want to hire people who can do the job. To learn who these people are, they use resumés, application forms, written tests, performance tests, medical examinations, and interviews. You can use each of these different evaluation procedures to your advantage. You might not be able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but at least you can show what a good ear you have.

 

Creating Effective Resumés and Application Forms

Resumés and application forms are two ways to achieve the same goal: To give the employer written evidence of your qualifications. When creating a resumé or completing an application form, you need two different kinds of information: Facts about yourself and facts about the job you want. With this information in hand, you can present the facts about yourself in terms of the job. You have more freedom with a resumé--you can put your best points first and avoid blanks. But, even on application forms, you can describe your qualifications in terms of the job's duties.

Know thyself. Begin by assembling information about yourself. Some items appear on virtually every resumé or application form, including the following:

· Current address and phone number--if you are rarely at home during business hours, try to give the phone number of a friend or relative who will take messages for you.

· Job sought or career goal.

· Experience (paid and volunteer)--date of employment, name and full address of the employer, job title, starting and finishing salary, and reason for leaving (moving, returning to school, and seeking a better position are among the readily accepted reasons)

· Education--the school's name, the city in which it is located, the years you attended it, the diploma or certificate you earned, and the course of studies you pursued.

· Other qualifications--hobbies, organizations you belong to, honors you have received, and leadership positions you have held.

· Office machines, tools, and equipment you have used and skills that you possess.

Other information, such as your Social Security number, is often asked for on application forms but is rarely presented on resumés. Application forms might also ask for a record of past addresses and for information that you would rather not reveal, such as a record of convictions. If asked for such information, you must be honest. Honesty does not, however, require that you reveal disabilities that do not affect your overall qualifications for a job.

 

Know your job. Next, gather specific information about the jobs you are applying for. You need to know the pay range (so you can make their top your bottom ), education and experience usually required, hours and shifts usually worked. Most importantly, you need to know the job duties (so that you can describe your experience in terms, of those duties) Study the job description. Some job announcements, especially those issued by a government, even have a checklist that assigns a numerical weight to different qualifications so that you can be certain as to which is the most important; looking at such announcements will give you an idea of what employers look for even if you do not wish to apply for a government job. If the announcement or ad is vague, call the employer to learn what is sought.

Once you have the information you need, you can prepare a resumé. You may need to prepare more than one master resumé if you are going to look for different kinds of jobs. Otherwise, your resumé will not fit the job you seek.

Two kinds of resumés. The way you arrange your resumé depends on how well your experience seems to prepare you for the position you want. Basically, you can either describe your most recent job first and work backwards (reverse chronology) or group similar skills together. No matter which format you use, the following advice applies generally.

· Use specifics. A vague description of your duties will make only a vague impression.

· Identify accomplishments. If you headed a project, improved productivity, reduced costs, increased membership, or achieved some other goal, say so.

· Type your resume, using a standard typeface. (Printed resumés are becoming more common, but employers do not indicate a preference for them.)

· Keep the length down to two pages at the most.

· Remember your mother's advice not to say anything if you cannot say something nice. Leave all embarrassing or negative information off the resumé--but be ready to deal with it in a positive fashion at the interview.

· Proofread the master copy carefully.

· Have someone else proofread the master copy carefully.

· Have a third person proofread the master copy carefully.

· Use the best quality photocopying machine and good white or off-white paper.

 

The following information appears on almost every resumé.

· Name.

· Phone number at which you can be reached or receive messages.

· Address.

· Job or career sought.

· References--often just a statement that references are available suffices. If your references are likely to be known by the person who reads the resumé, however, their names are worth listing.

· Experience.

· Education.

· Special talents.

Personal information-height, weight, marital status, physical condition. Although this information appears on virtually every sample resumé I have ever seen, it is not important according to recruiters. In fact, employers are prohibited by law from asking for some of it. If some of this information is directly job related--the height and weight of a bouncer is important to a disco owner, for example--list it. Otherwise, save space and put in more information about your skills.

Reverse chronology is the easiest method to use. It is also the least effective because it makes when you did something more important than what you can do. It is an especially poor format if you have gaps in your work history, if the job you seek is very different from the job you currently hold, or if you are just entering the job market. About the only time you would want to use such a resumé is when you have progressed up a clearly defined career ladder and want to move up a rung.

Resumés that are not chronological may be called functional, analytical, skill oriented, creative, or some other name. The differences are less important than the similarity, which is that all stress what you can do. The advantage to a potential employer--and, therefore, to your job campaign--should be obvious. The employer can see immediately how you will fit the job. This format also has advantages for many job hunters because it camouflages gaps in paid employment and avoids giving prominence to irrelevant jobs.

You begin writing a functional resumé by determining the skills the employer is looking for. Again, study the job description for this information. Next, review your experience and education to see when you demonstrated the ability sought. Then prepare the resumé itself, putting first the information that relates most obviously to the job. The result will be a resumé with headings such as "Engineering," "Computer Languages," "Communications Skills," or "Design Experience." These headings will have much more impact than the dates that you would use on a chronological resumé.

 

Fit yourself to a form. Some large employers, such as fast food restaurants and government agencies, make more use of application forms than of resumés. The forms suit the style of large organizations because people find information more quickly if it always appears in the same place. However, creating a resumé before filling out an application form will still benefit you. You can use the resumé when you send a letter inquiring about a position. You can submit a resumé even if an application is required; it will spotlight your qualifications. And the information on the resumé will serve as a handy reference if you must fill out an application form quickly. Application forms are really just resumés in disguise anyway. No matter how rigid the form appears to be, you can still use it to show why you are the person for the job being filled.

At first glance, application forms seem to give a job hunter no leeway. The forms certainly do not have the flexibility that a resumé does, but you can still use them to your best advantage. Remember that the attitude of the person reading the form is not, "Let's find out why this person is unqualified," but, "Maybe this is the person we want." Use all the parts of the form--experience blocks, education blocks, and others--to show that that person is you.

Here's some general advice on completing application forms.

· Request two copies of the form. If only one is provided, photocopy it before you make a mark on it. You'll need more than one copy to prepare rough drafts.

· Read the whole form before you start completing it.

· Prepare a master copy if the same form is used by several divisions within the same company or organization. Do not put the specific job applied for, date, and signature on the master copy. Fill in that information on the photocopies as you submit them.

· Type the form if possible. If it has lots of little lines that are hard to type within, type the information on a piece of blank paper that will fit in the space, paste the paper over the form, and photocopy the finished product. Such a procedure results in a much neater, easier to read page.

· Leave no blanks; enter N/A (for "not applicable") when the information requested does not apply to you; this tells people checking the form that you did not simply skip the question.

· Carry a resumé and a copy of other frequently asked information (such as previous addresses) with you when visiting potential employers in case you must fill out an application on the spot. Whenever possible, however, fill the form out at home and mail it in with a resumé and a cover letter that point up your strengths.

You want to apply for a job. Do you need a resumé? That depends on the kind of job you're applying for:

RESUMÉ REQUIRED

Professional, technical, administrative and managerial jobs. Sales positions, Secretarial, clerical, and other office jobs.

RESUMÉ SOMETIMES REQUIRED

Skilled jobs (Examples: Baker, Hotel Clerk, Electrician, Drafter, Welder)

RESUMÉ NOT REQUIRED

Unskilled, quick turnover jobs (Examples: Fast Food Server, Laborers, Machine Loader, Cannery Worker, etc.)

 

 

Tips for Good Resumés

You need two types of information to prepare your resumé:

1. Self information. You need to know your job talents, work history, education and career goals. Did you complete your background and experience list on page four? If you did, you have the self information required to prepare your resumé.

2. Job information. Gather specific information on the job you're applying for. Here's what you need:

· Job duties (to match your skills to the skills needed for the job). Get your job duties from the job announcement. If the announcement or ad is vague, call the employer and ask for a description of job duties.

· Education and experience required (again, so you can match your education and experience with that required for the job).

 

· Hours and shifts usually worked.

 

· Pay range (make their top offer the minimum acceptable!)

With the information on yourself and the job you're applying for, you're ready to write your resume.

 

Two Types of Resumés:

Reverse chronological resumés list jobs you've had. Your most recent job is listed first, your job before that is listed second, and so on. Each job has employment dates and job duties.

Functional resumes describe your skills, abilities and accomplishments that relate to the job you're applying for. Employment history is less detailed than chronological resumés.

With the two types of resumés that were discussed earlier you can decide which one suits your needs by answering the following questions:

· Have you progressed up a clearly defined career ladder, and you're looking for job advancement?

· Do you have recent job experience at one or more companies?

If your answer is yes, use a REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL resumé.

· Are you a displaced homemaker?

· Are you a veteran and you want to relate your military training to civilian jobs?

· Do you have little or no job experience?

· Do you have gaps in your work history?

· Is the job you're applying for different from your present or recent job?

 

· Do you want to emphasize your work skills and accomplishments instead of describing your job duties?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, use a FUNCTIONAL resumé.

The following pages have examples of both types of resumés and suggestions on how to prepare them.

 

Tips for Preparing a Functional Resumé:

· Study the duties for the job you're applying for. Identify 2 or 3 general skills that are important to the job.

· Review your background and experience list. Find talents and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to perform the job skills.

· List your talents and accomplishments under the job skills they relate to.

· Use simple, short, active sentences.

This applicant is still in high school. He wants to work part time until he graduates.

ROBERT YEE

139 River Lane

Cedar OH 01234

 

 

OBJECTIVE: Part time entry level position in Bookkeeping

QUALIFICATIONS:

· Earned Exceptional Accomplishment raise at McDonald's.

· Excellent at thinking through problem situations.

· 1 year successful experience in Bookkeeping & Cashier at McDonalds.

· Finished business classes with high grades.

EXPERIENCE

Bookkeeping

· Accurately completed bookkeeping assignments at McDonald's in half the usual time required.

· Recorded daily sales

· computed total items sold and tallied total daily revenues

· assembled monthly reports showing cashiering errors and audited employee register records

· Verified accuracy of vendor invoices and helped compute employee hours on time cards.

· Balanced family checkbook and helped pay bills.

 

Administrative Support

· Assisted store manager in training and assigning employees

· prepared new employee personnel folders

· called substitutes to cover during illness or rush hours.

· Filed and retrieved personnel records.

· Posted and filed official documents.

· Word processed letters; answered telephone; scheduled interviews; made reservations.

WORK HISTORY

1990 Full time student Cedar High School

May 89- Present Cashier McDonalds

Dec. 88-May89 Bookkeeper McDonalds

Summer 1988 Clerk Cedar Recreation

Center

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Senior – Cedar High School

Business courses: Accounting, Word Processing, Journalism

President of school Business Club

 

 

 

Focus attention on strong points.

Most resumés do NOT include references.

This applicant is a high school dropout. She has some paid experience, so her resumé focuses on related experience and her hobby.

 

 

JENNIFER A. LONG

215 Amber Lane

Tuvax, CA 94321

(890) 651-2543

JOB OBJECTIVE: position as a Paralegal

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE

I have a strong interest in the law; I spend much of my spare time:

· reading transcripts of old law cases [from law books at the library)

· watching legal/educational programs on TV

· Experience as a Legal Secretary:

· updated and maintained the filing system

· processed documents on the word processor

· processed and delivered the mail

· answered the phone and made appointments with clients

Skills

¨ word processing

¨ can take dictation

¨ have an investigative and curious nature

Academic

· Studied business law and legal principles in high school and community college.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

1987-Present Legal Secretary-- Kramer & Kramer, Truly, CA

1985-87 Receptionist -- Waiter Smyte, MD, Swiss, CA

1983-85 Food Server -- Burger King, Swiss, CA

 

EDUCATION

Moohey College -- Secretarial courses -- two semesters 1984

Lonemont Community College -- Business courses -- three semesters 1985

Lonemont Adult School -- Equivalency certificate 1983

 

Personal information that is not related to the job (age, height, weight, and marital status) is NOT included.

Describe specific skills and accomplishments, using short sentences. List special skills such as word processing or ability to operate special equipment.. Leave space between parts of the resume.

Tips for Preparing a Reverse Chronological Resumé:

· List your jobs starting with your present or most recent job. Give exact dates for each job.

· Briefly describe the main duties you performed in each job.

· Emphasize duties that are important for the job you're applying for.

· Use simple, short, active sentences.

 

This applicant has steady employment. Each new job has increased responsibility.

 

LOUISE JOHNSON

543 River Court

Nashville, Tennessee 37219

(516) 984-1000

EXPERIENCE

Since 1990 Personal secretary, Cotton Gin Inc. Nashville, Tennessee

Secretary to personal director. Duties included taking dictation, word processing and scheduling meetings.

1984-90 Secretary, Cotton Gin Inc. Nashville Tennessee

One of 13 word processors in legal department. Duties included entering correspondence and forms on the word processor, proof reading legal documents, and processing the mail.

 

1979-84 Clerk-typist , Raymond Sewing Factory, Memphis Tennessee.

Duties included typing forms, processing mail, establishing and maintaining filing systems.

1976-79 Receptionist, D.W. Meringue, D.D.S., Memphis Tennessee.

Duties included answering telephone, scheduling appointments, greeting patients and processing billings.

Skills Can take dictation

Wordprocessing

Typing

Good organizational skills

Education Underwood High School, Nashville, Tennessee.

High school diploma with emphasis in business education, 1975

Member National Honor Society

 

Avoid precise dates--just give years if possible

Include scholarships and honors and major school subjects if related to your job goal.

10 Tips for the Effective Resumé

The following rules apply to all resumé:

1. If possible, use a computer to prepare your resume. There are computer programs that make it easy to produce a professional looking resumé. Your local school, library, Employment Service local office or "quick print" shop can help.

2. Do not include irrelevant personal information (age, weight, height, marital status, etc.)

3. Do not include salary and wages.

4. Center or justify all headings. Don't use abbreviations.

5. Be positive. Identify accomplishments.

6. Use action verbs (see the list below).

7. Be specific. Use concise sentences. Keep it short (one page is best).

8. Make sure your resumé "looks good" (neat and readable).

  1. Proofread the master copy carefully. Have someone else proofread the master copy carefully.
  2. Inspect photocopies for clarity, smudges and marks.

Action Verbs

Action verbs give your resumé power and direction. Try to begin all skills statements with an action verb. Here is a sample of action verbs for different types of skills:

Management skills -administered -analyzed- coordinated -developed -directed -evaluated- improved -supervised

Technical skills -assembled -built -calculated- designed -operated -overhauled -remodeled -repaired

Clerical skills -arranged-catalogued -complied -generated -organized -processed -systematized

Creative skills -conceptualized- created -designed- established- fashioned -illustrated- invented -performed

Financial skills -administered -analyzed- balanced- budgeted- forecast- marketed -planned -projected

Helping skills -assessed -coached -counseled- diagnosed- facilitated- represented

Research Skills -clarified -evaluated -identified -inspected -organized -summarized

Communications skills -arranged -addressed- authored -drafted- formulated -persuaded

The Talent Bank

Once a resumé is completed, it can be fed into the Talent Bank, now available in many local Job Service offices. The "Bank" is an electronically searchable database of resumés or other statements of qualifications from job hunters seeking employment. Those searching for jobs or new opportunities can post their resumés/qualifications to the bank. Employers search the banks to select a group of resumés for further screening.

 

Triumphing on Tests and at Interviews

A man with a violin case stood on a subway platform in The Bronx. He asked a conductor, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" The conductor replied, "Practice! Practice! Practice!"

Tests. That old joke holds good advice for people preparing for employment tests or interviews. The tests given to job applicants fall into four categories: General aptitude tests, practical tests, tests of physical agility, and medical examinations. You can practice for the first three. If the fourth is required, learn as soon as possible what the disqualifying conditions are, then have your physician examine you for them so that you do not spend years training for a job that you will not be allowed to hold.

How to prepare for tests:

You can't study directly for aptitude tests. But you can get ready to do your best by taking other tests. Look for tests or quizzes in magazines and school books. Set time limits. By taking tests, you learn about the testing process. This helps you feel more comfortable when you are tested. Brush up on job skills. For example, if you're taking a typing test, practice typing. If you're taking a construction test, review books and blueprints.

Get ready for physical tests by doing activities similar to those required for the job.

For literacy tests, review and do exercises in reading and math books or enroll in remedial classes. It's natural to be nervous about tests (some anxiety may even help you).

Here are some tips that will help you take most tests:

1. Make a list of what you need for the test (pencil, eye glasses, I.D., etc.). Check it before leaving.

2. Get a good night's sleep.

3. If you're sick, call and reschedule the test.

4. Leave for the test site early.

5. If you have any physical difficulties, tell the test administrator.

6. If you don't understand the test instructions, ASK FOR HELP before the test begins.

7. If there are strict time limits, budget your time. Don't linger over difficult questions.

8. Find out if guessing is penalized. If it's not, guess on questions you're not sure about.

9. If you have time, review your answers. Check to not misread a question or make careless mistakes.

10. You may be able to re-take the test. Ask about the re-testing policy.

11. Get a proper interpretation of your scores. The scores may indicate other career opportunities that should be pursued.

To practice for a test, you must learn what the test is. Once again, you must know what job you want to apply for and for whom you want to work in order to find out what tests, if any, are required. Government agencies, which frequently rely on tests, will often provide a sample of the test they use. These samples can be helpful even if an employer uses a different test. Copies of standard government tests are usually available at the library.

 

If you practice beforehand, you'll be better prepared and less nervous on the day of the test. That will put you ahead of the competition. You will also improve your performance by following this advice:

· Make a list of what you will need at the test center, including a pencil; check it before leaving the house.

· Get a good night's sleep.

· Be at the test center early--at least 15 minutes early.

· Read the instructions carefully; make sure they do not differ from the samples you practiced with.

· Generally, speed counts; do not linger over difficult questions.

· Learn if guessing is penalized. Most tests are scored by counting up the right answers; guessing is all to the good. Some tests are scored by counting the right answers and deducting partial credit for wrong answers; blind guessing will lose you points--but if you can eliminate two wrong choices, a guess might still pay off.

Interviews. For many of us, interviews are the most fearsome part of finding a job. But they are also our best chance to show an employer our qualifications. Interviews are far more flexible than application forms or tests. Use that flexibility to your advantage. As with tests, you can reduce your anxiety and improve your performance by preparing for your interviews ahead of time.

Begin by considering what interviewers want to know. You represent a risk to the employer. A hiring mistake is expensive in terms of lost productivity, wasted training money, and the cost of finding a replacement. To lessen the risk, interviewers try to select people who are highly motivated, understand what the job entails, and show that their background has prepared them for it.

You show that you are highly motivated by learning about the company before the interview, by dressing appropriately, and by being well mannered--which means that you greet the interviewer by name, you do not chew gum or smoke, you listen attentively, and you thank the interviewer at the end of the session. You also show motivation by expressing interest in the job at the end of the interview.

You show that you understand what the job entails and that you can perform it when you explain how your qualifications prepare you for specific duties as described in the company's job listing and when you ask intelligent questions about the nature of the work and the training provided new workers.

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to have some practice sessions with a friend or two. Here is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions to get you started.

· Why did you apply for this job?

· What do you know about this job or company?

· Why did you choose this career? Why should I hire you?

· What would you do if... (usually filled in with a work-related crisis?

· How would you describe yourself?

· What would you like to tell me about yourself?

· What are your major strengths?

· What are your major weaknesses?

· What type of work do you like to do best? "

· What are your interests outside work?

· What type of work do you like to do least?

· What accomplishment gave you the greatest satisfaction

· What was your worst mistake?

· What would you change in your past life?

· What courses did you like best or least in school?

· What did you like best or least about your last job?

· Why did you leave your last job?

· Why were you fired?

· How does your education or experience relate to this job?

· What are your goals?

· How do you plan to reach them?

· What do you hope to be doing in 5 years? 10?

· What salary do you expect?

Many job hunting books available at libraries discuss ways to answer these questions. Essentially, your strategy should be to concentrate on the job and your ability to do it no matter what the question seems to be asking. If asked for a strength, mention something job related. If asked for a weakness, mention a job-related strength (you work too hard, you worry too much about details, you always have to see the big picture). If asked about a disability or a specific negative factor in your past--a criminal record, a failure in school, being fired--be prepared to stress what you learned from the experience, how you have overcome the shortcoming, and how you are now in a position to do a better job.

So far, only the interviewer's questions have been discussed. But an interview will be a two-way conversation. You really do need to learn more about the position to find out if you want the job. Given how frustrating it is to look for a job, you do not want to take just any position only to learn after 2 weeks that you cannot stand the place and have to look for another job right away.

 

Here are some questions for you to ask the interviewer.

· What would a day on this job be like?

· Whom would I report to? May I meet this person?

· Would I supervise anyone? May I meet them?

· How important is this job to the company?

· What training programs are offered?

· What advancement opportunities are offered?

· Why did the last person leave this job?

· What is that person doing now?

· What is the greatest challenge of this position?

· What plans does the company have with regard to...? (Mention some development of which you have read or heard)

· Is the company growing?

After you ask such questions, listen to the interviewer's answers and then, if at all possible, point to something in your education or experience related to it. You might notice that questions about salary and fringe benefits are not included in the above list. Your focus at a first interview should be the company and what you will do for it, not what it will pay you. The salary range will often be given in the ad or position announcement, and information on the usual fringe benefits will be available from the personnel department. Once you have been offered a position, you can negotiate the salary. The job hunting guides available in bookstores and at the library give many more hints on this subject.

At the end of the interview, you should know what the next step will be: Whether you should contact the interviewer again, whether you should provide more information, whether more interviews must be conducted, and when a final decision will be reached. Try to end on a positive note by reaffirming your interest in the position and pointing out why you will be a good choice to fill it.

Immediately after the interview, make notes of what went well and what you would like to improve. To show your interest in the position, send a follow-up letter to the interviewer, providing further information on some point raised in the interview and thanking the interviewer once again. Remember, someone is going to hire you; it might be the person you just talked to. If you are-- involved in counseling others about job opportunities, -- thinking about a career, -- contemplating a career change, -- involved in education planning, -- involved in worker training, or displaced worker retraining, -- or simply interested in knowing about the world of work and how it is likely to change, you should examine these two job outlook publications.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Probably the most widely used career resource; found in 9 out of 10 secondary schools. Updated every 2 years, it describes what workers do on the job, where they work, how much they earn, the training and education they need, and job outlook for about 200 occupations.

Occupational Outlook Quarterly

It helps to keep you informed about changing career opportunities, and provides practical, "how-to-do-it" information on choosing and getting today's and tomorrow's jobs. If these publications aren't available in your local public library or high school media center, you may want to purchase them for your own use. Here's how to order:

Send orders to:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Publications Sales Center

P.O. Box 2145

Chicago, IL 60690

or to:

Superintendent of Documents

U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington, DC 20402

Please Note:

Subscription orders and credit card orders must be sent directly to the Superintendent of Documents.

Most hiring decisions are made at the first interview. How you come across in that interview could be as important as your experience and job talents.

Here are some interviewing tips that will help you get the job you want.

Before The Interview

· Learn as much as you can about the company salary and benefits. Friends, neighbors and relatives who work for the company are good sources of information. Libraries, local chambers of commerce, etc. are also helpful.

· Learn everything you can about the job and how your previous experience and training qualify you for the job.

· Write down the things you will need to complete applications: your background and experience list (contains names of former employers, schools, training, etc.).

· a resumé or summary of your work experience.

· samples of your work (if practical). Also include any work-related or community service awards that you have received.

· Be sure to bring your social security card, driver's license, union card, military records, etc.

The Interview:

· Dress for the interview and the job. Don't overdress or look too informal.

 

· Always go to the interview alone. Arrange for baby sitters, transportation, and other pitfalls ahead of time so that you can be on time and relaxed in the interview.

 

· Find common ground with the employer. Pictures, books, plants, etc., in the employer's office can be conversation.

 

· Express your interest in the job and the company using information you gathered to prepare for the interview.

 

· Let the interviewer direct the conversation.

 

· Answer questions in a clear and positive manner. Show how your experience and training will make you productive in the shortest time with minimal supervision.

· Speak positively of former employers and co-workers no matter why you left even if you were fired from your last job.

 

· Let the employer lead into conversations about benefits. Your focus on these items can be a "turnoff." But, don't be afraid to ask questions about things that you really need to know.

· When discussing salary, be flexible--avoid naming a specific salary. If you're too high, you risk not getting the job. If you're too low, you undersell yourself. Answer questions on salary requirements with responses such as, "I'm interested in the job as a career opportunity so I'm negotiable on the starting salary." Negotiate, but don't sell yourself short.

"Closing" the Interview:

· If the employer does not offer you a job or say when you will hear about it, ask when you may call to find out about the decision.

· If the employer asks you to call or return for another interview, make a written note of the time, date and place.

· Thank the employer for the interview and reaffirm your interest and qualifications for the job.

 

Testing

For some jobs, you may need to take a test. Usually, the job announcement or ad will say if a test is required. There are several types of selection and job fitness tests:

· Aptitude tests predict your ability to learn and perform job tasks.

 

· Job knowledge and proficiency tests measure what you know and what you can do in a job (for example, word processing speed for a secretary job, knowledge of street names and routes for a fire fighter job, etc.)

 

· Literacy tests measure reading and arithmetic levels.

 

· Personality tests help identify your personal style in dealing with tasks and other people. Certain personalities can be well suited for some jobs and not-so well suited for other jobs. For example, an outgoing person may be well suited for a sales job.

 

· Honesty and Integrity tests evaluate the likelihood of stealing and trustworthiness of applicants.

· Physical ability tests measure strength, flexibility, stamina and speed for jobs that require physical performance.

 

· Medical tests determine physical fitness to do a job.

 

· Drug tests show the presence of illegal drugs that could impair job performance and threaten the safety of others.

After the Interview

Make each interview a learning experience. After it is over, ask yourself these questions:

 

· What points did I make that seemed to interest the employer?

· Did I present my qualifications well?

· Did I overlook qualifications that were important for the job?

· Did I learn all I needed to know about the job?

· Did I ask questions I had about the job?

· Did I talk too much? Too little?

· Was I too tense? Too relaxed?

· Was I too aggressive? Not aggressive enough?

· Was I dressed appropriately?

· Did I effectively close the interview?

Make a list of specific ways you can improve your next interview. Remember, "practice makes perfect"-- the more you interview, the better you will get at it.

If you plan carefully and stay motivated, you can "market your job talents". You will get a job that uses your skills and pays you well.

JOB SEARCH CHECKLIST

Complete items 1-3 on this checklist before starting your job search

Complete items 4-5 everyday of your job search

Complete items 6-9 when you have interviews

1. IDENTIFY OCCUPATIONS

2. IDENTIFY EMPLOYERS

3. PREPARE MATERIALS

4. PLAN YOUR TIME

· Make a background and experience list. -- Review information on jobs. -- Identify jobs that use your talents.

· Ask relatives, etc. to help you look for job openings.

· Go to your State Employment Service Office for assistance.

· Contact employers to get company and job information.

· Utilize other sources (page 7&8) to get job leads.

· Obtain job announcements and descriptions.

· Write resumés (if needed). Use job announcements to "fit" your skills with job requirements.

· Write cover letters or letters of application.

· Assemble a job search kit: pens, writing tablet, maps, public transportation guides, clean copies of resumés & applications, background and experience list, Social Security Card, and picture ID. Use the Talent Bank.

· Wake up early to start looking for work.

· Make a "to do" list of everything you'll do to look for a job.

5. CONTACT EMPLOYERS

· Work hard all day to find a job. -- Reward yourself (do a hobby or sport, visit friends, etc.)

· Call employers directly (even if they're not advertising openings). Talk to the person who would supervise you if you were hired.

· Go to companies to fill out applications.

· Contact your friends and relatives to see if they know about any openings.

· Use America's Job Bank on the Internet.

 

6. PREPARE FOR INTERVIEWS

Learn about the company you're interviewing with.

Review job announcements to determine how your skills will

help you do the job.

Assemble resumés, application forms, etc. (make sure everything is neat).

7. GO TO INTERVIEWS

Dress right for the interview.

Go alone.

Be clean, concise, and positive.

Thank the interviewer.

8. EVALUATE INTERVIEWS

 

Send a hand written thank you note to the interviewer within 24 hours of the

interview.

Think about how you could improve the interview.

9. TAKE TESTS

Find out about the test(s) you're taking.

Brush up on job skills.

Relax and be confident.

10. ACCEPT THE JOB!

Understand job duties & expectations, work hours, salary, benefits, etc.

Be flexible when discussing salary (but don't sell yourself short).

CONGRATULATIONS!

Books That Can Give You More Tips for Finding the Right Job

Everything You Need For Your Job Search

Bolles, Richard N., What Color Is Your Parachute? Ten Speed Press, Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707. Updated annually.

Figler, Howard E., The Complete Job Search Handbook: Presenting the Skills You Need to Get Any Job, And Have A Good Time Doing It. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 383 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. 1979.

Collard, Betsy A., The High-Tech Career Book. Finding Your Place in Today's Job Market. William Kaufmann, Inc., 95 1st St., Los Altos, CA 94022. 1986.

Durkin, Jon, "Mid-Life Career Changes." Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation, Human Engineering Laboratory, 701 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94109.

Wegmann, Robert, and Chapman, Robert, and Johnson, Miriam, Work in the New Economy: Careers and Job Seeking into the 21st Century. JIST Works, 720 North Park Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana 46202. 1989.

Resumé Writing:

Parker, Yana, The Damn Good Resume Guide. Ten Speed Press, Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707. 1986.

Interview Skills:

Hellman, Paul, Ready, Aim, You're Hired!: How to Job-Interview Successfully Anytime, Anywhere with Anyone, AMACOM, 135 W. 50th St., New York, NY 10020. 1986.

Medley, H. Anthony, Sweaty Palms -- The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed. Ten Speed Press, Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707. 1984.

Young Job Seekers:

Haldane, Bernard, and Jean, and Martin, Lowell, Job Power: The Young People's Job Finding Guide. Acropolis Books Ltd., 2400 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009. 1980.

Durkin, Jon, "Mid-Life Career Changes." Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation, Human Engineering Laboratory, 701 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94109.

Women Job Seekers:

Educational Testing Service, Publication Order Services, CN 6736, Princeton, NJ 08541-6736. I CAN Lists. (Classifies homemaker skills under various job titles in business).

Disabled Workers:

Klein, Karen with Hope, Carla Derrick, Bouncing Back From Injury: How to Take Charge of Your Recuperation. Prima Publishing & Communications, P.O. Box 1260BB, Rocklin, CA 95677. 1988.

Minority Group Applicants:

Johnson, Willis L., Ed., Directory of Special Programs for Minority Group Members: Career Information Services, Employment Skills Banks, Financial Aid Sources, 4th ed. Garrett Park Press, P.O. Box 190, Garrett Park, MD 20896. 1986.

 

Job Skill Requirements:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Supt. of Documents, U.S. Govt. Printing Off., Washington, DC 20402. (Describes hundreds of occupations and thirty-five major industries)

Guide for Occupational Exploration. Supt. of Documents, U.S. Govt. Printing Off., Washington, DC 20402.

Training:

National Association of Trade and Technical Schools,

2251 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009 (202) 333-1021. (A list of accredited technical schools).

Federal Job Opportunities

U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Career America, Supt. of Documents, U.S. Govt. Printing Off., Washington, DC 20402.

State Employment Service Offices

ALABAMA Employment Service, Dept. of Industrial Relations 469 Monroe Street Montgomery, AL 36130 (334) 242-8990

ALASKA Employment Service Department of Labor P.O. Box 25509 Juneau, AK 99802-5509 (907) 465-2712

ARIZONA Department of Economic Security P.O. Box 6123-010A Phoenix, AZ 85005 (602) 542-5678

ARKANSAS Employment Security Division P.O. Box 2981 Little Rock, AR 72203 (501) 682-2121

CALIFORNIA Job Service Division P.O. Box 826880-MIG 37 Sacramento, CA 94280-0001 (916) 654-9047

COLORADO Department of Labor & Employment Tower 2, Suite 400 1515 Arapaho St. Denver, CO 80202-2117 (303) 620-4700

CONNECTICUT Labor Department 200 Folly Brook Blvd. Wethersfield, CT 06109 566-4384

DELAWARE Department of Labor 820 North French St., 6th Fl. Wilmington, DE 19714-9499 (302) 577-2713

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DC Department of Employment Services500 C Street, NW, Rm. 600 Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 724-7107

FLORIDA Dept. of Labor & Employment Security 2012 Capitol Circle, SE Suite 303, Hartman Bldg. Tallahassee, FL 32399-2152 (904) 922-7021

GEORGIA Department of Labor 148 International Blvd, NE Suite 400 Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 656-3011

HAWAII Department of Labor & Industrial Relations 830 Punchbowl St., Room 320 Honolulu, HI 96813 (808) 586-8844

IDAHO Department of Employment 317 Main Street Boise, ID 83735 (208) 334-6110

ILLINOIS Department of Employment Security 401 South State St., Suite 624 Chicago, IL 60605 (312) 793-9279

INDIANA Department of Workforce Development 10 North Senate Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46204-2277 (317) 233-5661

IOWA Department of Employment Services 1000 East Grand Avenue Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 281-5365

KANSAS Department of Human Resources 401 Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66603 (913) 296-7474

KENTUCKY Department for Employment Services 275 E. Main Street Frankfort, KY 40621 (502) 564-5331

LOUISIANA Office of Employment Security P.O. Box 94094 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9094 (504) 342-3013

MAINE Department of Labor P.O. Box 309 Augusta, ME 04330-0309 (207) 287-3788

MARYLAND Department of Economic & Employment Development 1100 North Eutaw St., Rm. 600 Baltimore, MD 21201 (410) 767-2400

MASSACHUSETTS Department of Employment & Training 19 Stanford St., 3rd Floor Boston, MA 02114 (617) 626-6600

MICHIGAN Employment Security Commission 7310 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48202 (313) 876-5901

 

MINNESOTA Department of Economic Security 390 North Robert St. St. Paul, MN 55101 (612) 296-3711

MISSISSIPPI Employment Security Commission P.O. Box 1699 Jackson, MS 39215-1699 (601) 961-7400

MISSOURI Department of Labor and Industrial Relations P.O. Box 504 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0504 (314) 751-4091

MONTANA Department of Labor & Industry State Capitol Helena, MT 59624 (406) 444-3555

NEBRASKA Department of Labor 550 South 16th St. Lincoln, NE 68509 (402) 471-3405

NEVADA Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation 1830 East Sahara Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 486-7923

NEW HAMPSHIRE Department of Employment Security 32 South Main Street Concord, NH 03301-4857

NEW JERSEY Department of Labor CN 110 Trenton, NJ 08625-0110 (609) 292-2323

NEW MEXICO Department of Labor P.O. Box 1928 Albuquerque, NM 87103 (305) 841-8409

NEW YORK Department of Labor State Campus Building 12 Albany, NY 12240 (518) 457-2741

NORTH CAROLINA Employment Security Commission P.O. Box 25903 Raleigh, NC 27611 (919) 733-7546

NORTH DAKOTA Job Service ND P.O. Box 5507 Bismarck, ND 58506-5507 (701- 328-2836

OHIO Bureau of Employment Services 145 S. Front Street Columbus, OH 43215 (614) 466-2100

OXLAHOMA Employment Security Commission 215 Will Rogers Memorial Office Bldg. 2401 N. Lincoln Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (405) 557-7201

OREGON Employment Department 875 Union Street, N.E. Salem, OR 97311 (503) 378-3208

 

PENNSYLVANIA Department of Labor and Industry Labor & Industry Building, Room 1700 Harrisburg, PA 17121 (717) 787-3756

PUERTO RICO Bureau of Employment Security 505 Munoz Rivera Avenue Hate Rey, PR 00918 (809) 754-5376

RHODE ISLAND Department of Employment and Training 101 Friendship Street Providence, RI 02903-3740 (401) 277-3732

SOUTH CAROLINA Employment Security Commission P.O. Box 995 Columbia, SC 29202 (803) 737-2617

SOUTH DAKOTA Department of Labor 700 Governor's Drive Pierre, SD 57402-4730 605-773-3101

TENNESSEE Department of Employment Security 500 James Robertson Parkway, 12th Floor-Volunteer Plaza Nashville, TN 37245-0001 (615) 741-2131

TEXAS Workforce Commission 101 E. 15th Street Austin, TX 78778 (512) 463-2213

UTAH Department of Workforce Services 140 East 300 South P.O. Box 143001 Salt Lake City, UT 84114-3001 (801) 531-3780

VERMONT Department of Employment and Training P.O. Box 488 Montpelier, VT 05601-0488 (802) 828-4300

VIRGIN ISLANDS Department of Labor 2131 Hospital Street Christianstead, St. Croix USVI 00802 (809) 773-1994

VIRGINIA Employment Commission 703 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 786-3001

WASHINGTON Employment Security Department P.O. Box 9046 Olympia, WA 98507-9046 (360) 902-9301

WEST VIRGINIA Bureau Employment Security 112 California Avenue Charleston, WV 25305-0112 (304) 558-2630

WISCONSIN Department of Industry, Labor & Human Relations P.O. Box 7946 Madison, WI 53707 (608) 266-7552

WYOMING Department of Employment 122 West 25th Street Herschler Bldg., 2nd Floor Cheyenne, WY 82002 (307) 777-6402

National Office United States Employment Service 200 Constitution Ave. NW Room N-4470 Washington, DC 20210 (202) 219-5257

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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