Tag Archives: employment

Are Tattoos Part of the New Workplace Normal?

09-09-2013 Are Tattoos the New Workplace Normal--118234840There was time when there was no doubt about your chances of getting a job if you had a tattoo—you didn’t stand a “ghost” of a chance!

However, times and attitudes have changed tremendously. Many employers have become more accepting of tattoos, but take a look at the infographic below to see some facts and helpful tips you can use as you navigate the world of job hunting and employment.

09-09-2013 Are Tattoos Part of the New Workplace Normal

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Are You Really Prepared For That Interview???

Whether the administrative assistant career path is one of your short-term or long-term goals, you need to have in-depth, quality responses ready for potential interviewers.

The online job bank, Monster.com, has provided an excellent list of questions and suggested responses for you to examine in order to help you prepare answers that will help you outshine the competition.

Certainly if you are currently employed as an administrative assistant, you are aware of the fact that your duties may cover a wide area—you have to be proficient in software, have good interpersonal skills, be able to research information competently, be able to demonstrate good writing skills. You may also be responsible for delegating or overseeing projects through to their completion, arranging travel schedules, and handling aspects of the company’s social media site—just to name a few.

According to Robert Hosking, who is executive director of OfficeTeam and who is mentioned in the Monster.com article, you need to have your skill sets delineated into two broad categories—hard skills and soft skills. You need to think of responses that will clearly show off your abilities and initiatives to potential employers.

The bottom line is that employers want to know how you can use your skills in their organization, and you should be prepared to explain scenarios that give them an idea as to whether your skills are good match to the culture of their organization.

For more information on the BOSS program and how it can help you prepare for a successful career, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


How Far Will Your Office Skills Take You In the Future?

In today’s fast-paced world, the word “change” is a constant reminder to all workers that “nothing in the workplace stays the same.”

If you want to succeed within your current company or with a future employer, you need to have a skill set that reflects both flexibility and know-how.  The admin staffing company, Office Team, conducted a study entitled Office of the Future: 2020 that needs to be read by anyone planning to remain in or seeking to become an office professional. One finding of this study revealed that office professionals need to take a dynamic and continuous role in preparing for their own success in today’s, as well as in, future work environments by adopting the following ACTION plan:

Analysis – analyzing information and exercising good judgment

Collaboration – establishing rapport with team members and facilitating team building

Technical aptitude – selecting the best technical tools and using these tools effectively

Intuition – identifying and adapting to the needs and work styles of others

Ongoing education – engaging in continual learning

Negotiation – participating in business discussions that produce positive results

Developing critical thinking and analytical skills, managing time and work tasks effectively, operating in a virtual world, using mobile devices to complete business tasks, and developing specialty “niche” skills are just some of the expectations that have appeared on the horizon, and these employer requirements will continue to play a larger role in the lives of office professionals.

It’s an exciting and yet challenging time, and job titles and roles will definitely change over the next few years. You can download a free copy of this study and others by clicking this Office Team link.

For more information on the BOSS program and how it can help you prepare for success, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Getting Started on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest business oriented, online social network in the world. Used effectively, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your career search. Charles Gillis will explain the growing significance of LinkedIn and provide tips to help you maximize your experience this great resource.

Part II: Getting Started on LinkedIn

The good news about LinkedIn is that is it easy to just dive right in.  Before you create your account, grab your resume and have an electronic photo of yourself ready.  In the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee you can be online and active in the LinkedIn community.

The entire system works around the individual profile.  The first thing you do when you create an account is create your own profile.   LinkedIn will prompt you for information on your past work history, your education, and so on to build your profile.  As you populate the fields your profile takes shape.  LinkedIn uses that information to create your place in the network.  In the beginning you have no connections, so your network is only you.  As you create connections, your network will grow exponentially.

The more people you know, the better it works, so after you update your personal information you want to start adding contacts.  Use the search feature look for everyone that you know on the system.  Teachers, old bosses, friends—they’re all there.  LinkedIn in will even allow you to upload your contact list to find out who is already there.  Once you identify your existing contacts reach out and connect with them.  You will be surprised at how many old co-workers, colleagues and friends are already online.

Once you make your first connection you are now part of a network. It’s only takes one contact to get the ball rolling.  Let’s say my first connection is Bob, a former co-worker.  Bob has been active longer than me and already has ten other connections in LinkedIn.  By connecting with Bob I now have access to him as a first degree connection, but I also have access to his friends because his first degree connections are now my second degree connections.  To put it simply, my network now consists of Bob and ten of his friends.  Technically I could reach out to any of Bob’s contacts and make a connection.  I have access to my friends, and the friends of my friends.

It actually doesn’t stop there.  LinkedIn allows access to connections up to three degrees away.  Let’s say that one of Bob’s friends has a connection who is a recruiter.  Bob may not know the recruiter, but he has a friend who does.  Through LinkedIn I could reach that recruiter through Bob, who would pass my request to his trusted contact, who would then pass the request to the recruiter.  The system works because trust exists all along the chain.

This is just the tip if iceberg.  The more you put into your networking, the more you will get back.  LinkedIn makes the entire process even easier.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


LinkedIn – A Business Necessity

Charles GillisLinkedIn is the largest business oriented, online social network in the world. Used effectively, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your career search. Over the next few weeks Charles Gillis will explain the growing significance of LinkedIn and provide tips to help you maximize your experience this great resource.

Part I: LinkedIn—A Business Necessity

When it comes to your career search, everyone knows that effective networking can help you identify more job opportunities.  For years the power of online social networking has grown and LinkedIn.com has become the dominant forum.  Recruiters know the power of LinkedIn and scour it daily to find ideal candidates for their vacancies.  More and more job seekers have realized that LinkedIn is a great place to self-promote and be seen by these recruiters.  A LinkedIn profile works for you, promoting your credentials 24 hours a day.  With over 100,000,000 LinkedIn users around the globe, a LinkedIn profile is no longer just a helpful add-on, it is a business necessity.

Over the last decade a local company called Architel has grown to become one of the largest technology service providers in Texas, offering managed IT services to companies throughout the United States.  Growing companies like Architel are always looking for talented individuals to join their team.  On their career page, candidates can apply for a variety of positions but they have to provide one thing first: a link to their LinkedIn profile.  Like many employers, Architel knows the power of LinkedIn and recognizes that a LinkedIn profile is very efficient way to learn about a candidate’s work and educational history.  More importantly it show the candidates career successes, connections to their industry.

A good LinkedIn profile is better than a resume in many situations because it provides additional content to the potential employer.  LinkedIn works because we connect with people we know and trust.  The trusted referral is priceless in recruiting, as are recommendations.  If I am considering you for a position and learn through LinkedIn that we have shared business connections, I’ll probably feel more comfortable about your candidacy.  If our shared connections have provided excellent referrals for you, I will feel even better.

Architel provides job seekers with a friendly reminder that candidates with a LinkedIn profile are much more likely to get hired if they have a complete LinkedIn profile.   This is true for all companies.  When your name is Googled, and it will be, your LinkedIn profile will appear on the first page.  With competition high and many opportunities short lived, setting up a LinkedIn profile might the one thing that connects you the job of your dreams.

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From the BOSS Blog Team: We would like to thank Charles  F. Gillis for this excellent article on social networking tips. Charles is Executive Director with the Dallas law firm Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. Charles is a former Richland student, and he currently serves as a member on the BOSS Advisory Committee. He can be reached at cgillis@munsch.com.

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


How Do Your Interview Skills Stack Up?

If you are looking for a job (or seeking a promotion with your present company), the current competitive job market demands that you answer an interviewer’s questions about your qualifications with engaging, impressive details.

In today’s world, employers are not willing to accept empty assurances; rather, they want proof of tangible outcomes! Below are some tips and suggestions that can help you as you plan your responses to interviewers about your qualifications.

Remember, planning your responses carefully, evaluating your qualifications honestly, and providing key details about tasks and accomplishments are crucial to successful job interviews!

Qualification Areas Evaluating and Analyzing Your Qualifications
Technology Provide details of how you have used specific software packages in previous jobs or if you have taken a recent class. Having a respected certification award such as the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS or MCAS) in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access is also a big plus. If you have Web experience or have used social media as part of a previous job, provide the interviewer with examples of how these items were used.
Interpersonal/Human Relations Are you a team player? Have you worked with others to develop and complete projects? Employers value people who have well-developed collaboration skills. They want people who can work well with others (in person or virtually) and get the job done efficiently and effectively. Think about those extracurricular activities, clubs, class projects, volunteer activities, or previous jobs when developing your responses to this area.
Self-Starter Provide the interviewer with concrete examples of how you have taken the initiative in the past to develop successful tasks or projects. If you can provide examples that can show actual dollar amounts that were saved (or that led to positive growth), include this information as well. What evidence can you offer? What leadership roles have held?
Creativity Give the interviewer solid examples of how your creativity or quick learning has helped previous employers—explain these savings in terms of time or money or both. Put this creativity into the context of the target employer and show how these unique skills or qualifications can help this potential employer–that means you have to do your homework and research the employer thoroughly.
Communications Companies know all too well that the high costs of poor communication skills displayed by their workers can impact their bottom lines. In today’s competitive global economy, companies can ill afford employees whose poor communication skills result in lost business and costly mistakes! Set yourself apart and provide examples of how your excellent writing, listening, and speaking skills have benefitted previous employers. You should be prepared to verify these skills and to provide samples of your written work.
Foreign Language Do you write, speak, or understand another language? Remember, we live in a global economy. Provide verifiable details of your foreign language proficiency.

Source: Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy, Business Communication: Process & Product 7th edition, Mason, OH:  South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2011.

For more information, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.