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.
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At the beginning of each new year, we all tend to pause, reflect, project and to think about what is needed to be successful in the new year. Ruth Mantell, who is a writer for the online Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch, provides employees, and those looking for employment, with four key skills needed to be successful in 2013.
Use clear communications—the ability to articulate your point clearly and concisely is absolutely essential in today’s high tech world. While tweeting and texting are part of the toolkit, you also need to be able to communicate effectively in expanded written correspondence and oral conversations. According to leading employment experts, careful writers and speakers also observe spelling and grammar rules. Remember, good communication skills are seen by many as a measurement of workers’ ability, their understanding, and their potential.
Create a personal brand—if you are tech savvy and use blogs, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, etc., then please be aware that recruiters and other HR types scour these sites constantly. Because so many companies have a social media presence, they are looking for employees who can tweet or post on their behalf. For your sake, both now and in the future, it is important that your tweets and posts are attractive, positive, and interesting. With that said, your Internet postings should also reflect common sense and decorum.
Be flexible—for some bosses, an employee’s ability to literally “turn on a dime successfully” is viewed as the principal worker asset. You have got to be ready to learn new tools or work on new projects with a willing and open attitude. Many employers expect their employees to get out of their comfort zone and to be ready to adapt to change quickly and willingly.
Improve your productivity—employers expect their workers to operate in a “growth mode.” According to one consultant cited in the article, “My clients are looking for employees that have a great ability to understand what is wanted and needed, rather than needing to be told.” That means you have to keep your skills and knowledge of technology updated in order to help you increase your productivity.
If you need to take one or more classes to help you enhance your technology skills and productivity, consider taking one of the Microsoft Office classes or other skills/productivity development classes from the BOSS area at Richland College. For more information on BOSS software and productivity course offerings, the BOSS degree and certificates contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, email@example.com 972-238-6215.
A college professor recently remarked that his students, juniors and seniors at a highly competitive university, knew little about computers and did not know how to retrieve an emailed file and operate a simple Windows based program. “How is that possible” asked the professor—”hadn’t these students learned reading, writing, and computing in their elementary and secondary curriculum?” Unfortunately, the answer is no.
School districts across the US have decided that students do not need computer education because they have already learned to use a computer (games, Facebook postings, Web surfing, etc.) However, these skills do not transfer into job specific computer literacy.
If you are looking for a new job, you have probably noticed that computer literacy has become a job requirement. There are many definitions of computer literacy. What do you need to know to be considered computer literate in today’s job market? Here are some things you should consider:
- Can you type at least 40 words a minute using the touch method (no peaking at the keyboard)?
- Do you know how to store files on your computer (or on a removable drive) using folders to organize your data into categories?
- Are you able to quickly locate and open a file that you need to use?
- Can you use a word processing program (Microsoft Word) to create and edit a text document? Can you change the margins and the page orientation in your document? Are you familiar with common formatting such as font, font size, font style (bold, italics and underlining), line spacing, and indenting?
- If you were asked to create a formula in a spreadsheet program (Microsoft Excel), would you be able to quickly find the total or average of a specified block of numbers? Could you create a column or pie chart based on the numbers on your worksheet?
- Do you know how to set up a slide show (Microsoft PowerPoint) with transitions (how the slide appears on the screen) and animations (when and how the information on each slide appears)?
- Besides sending and receiving email, do you know how to attach a file to an email or open an attached file that you receive?
- Are you able to find relevant information online; do you know how to determine if the information you find is trustworthy?
Answering NO to any of these questions will place you at a disadvantage in the highly competitive job marketplace. Most companies now post job openings online; these companies reason that if the job candidate can’t navigate the Internet to find a job, they aren’t technically advanced enough to be a viable candidate.
Irrespective of the position for which you wish to apply, computer know-how is a key factor in your ability to succeed in finding and in keeping a job!
Questions about the Business Office Systems and Support course schedule? Contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-238-6215.
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 III: Finding a job through LinkedIn
Many businesses rely on external recruiters to help them find new talent, so odds are you’ll encounter more than a few recruiters during your career search. Waiting around for a recruiter to find you isn’t enough these days, sometimes you need to find them, and finding them is easier than you might think if you have a profile on LinkedIn. I searched my LinkedIn network to find recruiters that I could reach personally within my network and the search produced 174,518 names. I’m not surprised in the least. I don’t know a single recruiter who is not active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is paradise for savvy recruiters. The network is like a never-ending buffet of professional resumes.
Over the years the forum has become a goldmine for the recruiting industry. After a decade the site has remained entirely business focused, unlike other social media sites. The success is evident as LinkedIn has grown internationally to over 100,000,000 users. Every day thousands of people find leads, apply for positions and land jobs through opportunities they found on the site. I have lost count of the people I know who found jobs thanks to signing up for LinkedIn.
If you are searching for a job 174,518 recruiters sounds a bit overwhelming but I can narrow the number to adding any parameters, such as industry specialty or geography. Don’t forget, I don’t know all these people personally, in fact I have only connected with 36 of them as first degree contacts. The first degree of connection contains people I have connected with personally, usually because we have worked together or have meet somehow and share common interests. Of course the real power of LinkedIn is the trusted referral and the exponential growth of your network based on the connections that your own contacts have beyond you.
The 36 recruiters who are personally connected to me know many other recruiters, all of whom are also on LinkedIn. Presumably everyone who is connected to me may know recruiters as well. When I look to my second degree contacts, those people who I can reach through a referral by a personal contact, the number of recruiters jumps to 14,853. That means through a simple connection request through someone who already knows me, I can reach an additional 14,817 recruiters. By meeting them through a trusted contact I already have someone vouching for me, because they will convince their contact that I’m a good person to meet.
Taken a step further the third degree adds even more people who I can reach through a friend of a friend. Through the third degree I can reach all 174,518 recruiters, if I were so inclined. Job hunting can be a numbers game sometime, and it’s impossible to escape the old adage “it’s who you know.” The power of connection is undeniable and there no better place than LinkedIn to create your own network.
For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, email@example.com 972-238-6215.