Tag Archives: Job search

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

Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RLCBOSS/

One Student’s Advice: The Right Way to Use Social Media When Job Hunting

There have been a lot of great articles and posts written by professionals about the phenomenon of social media and how to use it effectively when looking for a job. However, taking the advice of a fellow student might be one of the best methods to use as you navigate the world of social media when seeking employment. Courtney Cartwright, who is currently a student in the BOSS program at Richland, offers us some great insight into her experiences with social media and job hunting.

When Courtney was recently asked to respond to a discussion board on the topic of social media and whether it could be helpful in finding a job, here is what she had to say:

I do have a social media site, Facebook.

When I was laid off in August, I used my Facebook account to help find employment. I have several friends who work for major companies, and so I would ask them privately if they knew anyone who was hiring, and if so, if they could obtain the information for me to send my resume [to their companies].

I also used Craigslist to locate jobs. I actually got the job I am on now through Craigslist. However, after I was hired, I was told that they did a search for me on Facebook to make sure I wasn’t a “bad” person, or that I wasn’t posting things I shouldn’t be.

Some people don’t like to admit it, but employers do search for you online to make sure you are not going to embarrass their company, and they want to make sure [the people] they are hiring are good people. There are also several other job posting sites within Facebook that can help people find employment. Some temp agencies use Facebook as a tool to search out people who may be looking [for employment].

One of the most important things that Courtney mentioned in her post was the fact that employers do search social media sites to find out more about potential job candidates AND as a way to “weed out” people they consider as inappropriate for employment with them.

Some words of wisdom to job seekers include: “Be careful of what you post (this includes photos) because once it’s on the Internet, it is truly public!”

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.

Are You Computer Literate?

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 bjones@dcccd.edu or 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.


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.