Three Changes To The Job Search – Not Counting Technology

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Technology has changed our lives in many ways, including how we conduct a job search. I have witnessed a number of recruiting and job coaching changes in my 30+ year career. Most – but not all – involve the use of technology. This week I will examine a few non-technology changes.

#1. Whether due to downsizing or a worker’s desire for a new challenge, today’s workplace sees more turnover than ever before. All this change means it is important to keep your resume up to date and be a lifelong learner to remain competitive with constantly improving and expanding skills. Take a class. Earn a certification. Do what you can to best position yourself with market-relevant skills expected by today’s employers.

#2. While networking has always been part of the search process, I would argue it is more important than ever. The days of walking into a company, shaking hands with the hiring manager and having an unscheduled conversation are largely over. Technology makes it easier to locate and apply for work and human resource departments are overwhelmed with applicants. Some companies have responded by building digital barriers to protect their time. You may be qualified for the position, but, if you are one of 300 applicants, personal referrals can improve your chances that the employer will choose to speak with you rather than other candidates.

#3. Employer expectations and what you can do to meet them have shifted. I am seeing companies place more emphasis on soft skills and cultural fit than ever before. For many jobs, you will be required to take an assessment or two. You may have the skills and experience to perform the work, but if your personality does not mesh with that employer’s desired target, you may not get the job.

Employers expect candidates to be prepared; technology allows easy access to information about the company. Online resources help answer interview questions. Doing your homework – being prepared – is more significant than ever.
Technology is a tool. Use it and know you need more than a search and a few clicks to get the job. Good luck!

Storm Lake Job Center Spotlight

There are many reasons that Arely works passionately in the Job Center. Being able to help different cultures is one of those reasons. Arely has learned that patience is important in the Job Center because some individuals have language barriers. Arely appreciates the different opportunities that we offer people in the Job Center and how Goodwill can connect individuals to jobs in the community.

If you need assistance with resumes, cover letters, or finding a job, stop into our Storm Lake Job center, and Arely would be happy to help you reach your employment goals. Our Storm Lake Job Center is located in our Storm Lake store at 229 West Milwaukee Avenue Storm Lake, IA. Our Job Center hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

5 Tips For Networking At Social Events

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Networking and growing your social network can help your chances of being hired, but I hear a few common challenges people have in social settings. Today, let’s explore five tips for making the most of professional and social networking events, including interactions with friends and your faith or civic organizations. People tend to hire and do business with those they know, like and trust. As they say, it’s both what you know and who you know.

Tip #1. Just do it. For some, meeting new people might feel as uncomfortable as public speaking or going to the dentist. It is okay to be nervous; remember: what is the worst that could happen? We all have things we would prefer to avoid but know we need to do them if we are to achieve certain outcomes. Go for it! The more you network, the more relaxed and confident you will become.

Tip #2. Ask someone you know to introduce you to people they know. Whether or not you are shy, it’s important to speak with people you don’tknow to help grow your network of connections.

Tip #3. Keep conversations positive, light and brief. You do not need to give them your life story. Ask open-ended questions. “What do you do?” “What got you into that line of work?”  “What are your hobbies?”

When they ask you similar questions, avoid asking for a job. Instead, share some details about the work you would like to do and ask with whom they might suggest you speak about that sort of work.

Tip #4. Ask for their business card so you can follow up on the event. You can send them a brief email referencing some element of the conversation and about how you enjoyed meeting them. If you have a LinkedIn profile, ask send a connection request and work toward sustaining contact beyond that initial meeting.

Tip #5. Have fun! With these tips, you will succeed and build confidence to in growing your network. Good luck!

Job Center Representative Spotlight, Eduardo

Eduardo works diligently in the Job Center each day to help individuals who need assistance with a resume, cover letter, or finding and applying for a job.

“I like that the Goodwill allows me to impact people’s lives in a positive way,” Eduardo passionately states.

Stop in and say hello to Eduardo in our Sioux Falls Job Center located at
3400 S. Norton Avenue Sioux Falls, SD. The hours of the Job Center are
Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.