Employees learn job search tips from Fort Rucker marketing workshop
March 19, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- In celebration of Women's History Month, installation leaders hosted the Marketing "You" for Your Job Search Workshop March 11.
Melissa Harry, Equal Employment Opportunity Special Emphasis Program manager, said she hoped providing both men and women with job search information helps level the playing field for everyone.
"Competition is so stiff now. There are so few jobs and so many people looking for employment," she said. "I think there's still a stigma when hiring women that they'll focus on Family and be out (of work) more. It's a struggle for women."
Utilizing modern social media to network is imperative to job seekers' success, according to host Debbie Gaydos, Army Community Service Employment Readiness manager.
"Social media is how people are communicating nowadays about everything. We need to use it and use it wisely," she said. "Networking is key to finding employment."
Popular social networks include Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Using these and other venues to professionally convey specific job desires often provides leads because the number of people viewing this information grows exponentially on the Internet, Gaydos said.
Gaydos also suggests people attend community and business events to network with others face to face.
With high unemployment rates in Alabama and around the country, Gaydos said job seekers are having tougher times finding employment than in past years. Many businesses receive hundreds of rAfAsumAfAs for a single job opening, so people must stand out from the crowd.
"You are competing with a lot of people for every job out there. So what makes you special' You need to find it, and you need to market it," Gaydos told workshop attendees. "Your rAfAsumAfA is key to getting you in the door (for an interview)."
Identifying one's skills is the first step to building effective rAfAsumAfAs, she said. Documents should be no longer than two pages and list a summary of qualifications at the top. Those proficient with computers should list specific programs and software they know.
Next, people should list any education, including bachelor's degrees or higher. Anything below that level should be listed at the end of a rAfAsumAfA. RAfAsumAfA builders should put work experience third, usually in chronological order.
Individuals should proofread rAfAsumAfAs before submitting them, also preferably asking someone else to review them for errors. Even a few misspellings can land an otherwise stellar rAfAsumAfA in the trash can, Gaydos said.
She counsels job seekers who list e-mail addresses as contact information to only use professional addresses, such as their first and last names.
After rAfAsumAfAs have been submitted, people must always be alert because they could be contacted by hiring managers at any time. This means answering all phone calls politely and being on one's best behavior, Gaydos said.
Once a polished rAfAsumAfA lands someone an interview, preparation is critical to acing this next step, she explained. Small mistakes can lead to disasters.
"If you can get in the door, the interview process is where the wheels fall off for a lot of people," Gaydos said.
Interviewees should anticipate potential questions and formulate positive, professional answers ahead of time. They should also research the company and discuss findings to show forethought to hiring managers.
Individuals conducting phone interviews must remember to "smile a lot, because it releases tension," Gaydos said. "When you are relaxed, you give a more solid answer."
Capt. Sharon Rigney, 2-58th Airfield Operations Battalion Reserve unit personnel officer, attended last week to search for employment opportunities in addition to her military duties. She said Gaydos' advice will assist her in preparing a rAfAsumAfA and inspired her to expand her networking outlets.
Nicole Boyd, a government employee, said she learned the importance of following up every interview with a hand-written thank you note, and said she, too, will be networking online more.
"(Gaydos) had some interesting examples as far as rAfAsumAfA writing. That's helpful. I learned what key words to use on rAfAsumAfAs," Boyd said.
Gaydos offers free employment assistance to military spouses, Department of the Army civilians and Soldiers separating or retiring from the military.
For more information on her services, or upcoming classes, call 255-3949.