Tuesday, May 10, 2016

5 Standards to Expect from Private Career Counselors or Career Centers

Your career is one of the most important life decisions you will make fits your interest, abilities and knowledge---definitely if you choose to stay with it for a long period of time. If you are seeking help from a career center or a private career counselor, it should be the one with the following standards, qualities and attributes so you can easily communicate your needs without hesitation, issues or problems.

Be Available. The counselor with whom you are discussing your ideas or matters should be the one who is concerned for you and should be presently availed to you and listen to all your issues, concerns and ideas. Career Counselors in private practice that accept clients have a schedule you usually on a certain day at a certain time with some flexibility to move you to a different day and time.  When you call in to change/confirm an appointment, use this as a means to put arising issues, ideas and concerns for the next appointment.  For example, a leading topic could be, “I am calling in to make sure we are on for next week at 10:00 AM.  I would like to discuss changing my career.  I am looking to take an aptitude test to see where I place for the new nursing program...”

Career Centers are slightly different as they service more clients in an open forum usually attached to an educational institution.  Career Services offices may employ more individuals who can assist students/clients with career tools, workshops, résumé writing, and job seeking services to assist with career exploration.  Their availability may be more limited to the time-frame that fits with the hours of the school. However, a similar concept applies-- concerned for you and should be presently availed to you and listen to all your issues, concerns and ideas. 

Open discussion
Be Open. You can openly and freely discuss what you think about your life and career without any hesitation. In this regard you can be normal and open and the counselor could easily guide you. If you are not open, honest or comfortable in talking with the counselor, then it will be difficult for you to get the best advice or consultation. Many Career Counselors and Career Centers have heard some of the most extreme career choices and some of the surprising stories imaginable.  They are trained to assist you through the changes and waves of your career.  Remember this is your time with them, use it to your advantage and allow them to get to know you and your needs.

Be Supported. Both private Career Counselors and Career Centers should be supportive of you; they should be the ones who will support you in all your ideas. No matter if you are talking a bit awkward or nonsense, the counselor should be the one who will get something positive out of it.  Remember they have many years of training to assist you in developing which road you should develop your career path and tools to help you get there. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, Career counselors can help fellows clarify their goals by identifying significant work related values, preferences and interests.  Through a variety of assessment inventories and discussions, career counselors can help you understand yourself better and relate this self-knowledge into career choices.1

Be Confidential. Confidentiality applies to both private the Career Counselors and Career Centers.  The matters in between you and your counselor should be confidential and remain confidential all times. This confidence should continue to grow on both sides and should sustain throughout the period of the working relationship—and beyond. Counselors of all types have some type of confidentially statement in their practice or office. The counselor should have you sign a confidentiality statement at the beginning before services begin.

Many Career Counselors hold credentials and are licensed in a different counseling discipline (i.e. Mental Health, School, Psychology, etc.) that require them abide by the ethical guidelines of their professional associations. This means that no one outside their offices is given any information without your written consent. However, in most cases there are only three (3) cases where confidentiality can be broken:  1. If, in the judgment of your counselor, you are in danger of seriously harming yourself or others. 2. If current child abuse or elder abuse is suspected. 3. In rare circumstances, if a court order is issued, requiring information release.

Guidance and Encouragement
Be Encouraged. The counselor is not only supposed to give you guidance about the right career, in fact the best counselor is the one who will encourage your ideas and give you the best ways to achieve them. Dr. Y Joel Yong states in his article to the American Psychology Association that individuals who strongly possess the virtue of encouragement tend to enjoy providing encouragement to others, are good at doing so, and do so frequently.2 This is not just for psychologists, but especially for Career Counselors who reach out and touch those who are seeking direction, guidance and encouragement for those who seek working fuel for their lives.

2 Wong, Y. J. (2014). The Psychology of Encouragement: Theory, Research, and Applications. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/education/ce/psychology-encouragement.pdf

Source: Stock Photo World Wide Web

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Getting Ahead in the Construction Industry: Resume Tips for Job Searching in Competitive Markets

Job searching in competitive markets can be tricky. In the construction and development industry, attention to detail is critical. Everything has to be carefully planned and executed to be structurally sound. A building without a solid foundation is destined to fail. An arch with a weak keystone won't hold. Likewise, a resume without the necessary building blocks is not likely to make an impression. Here are a few tips for ensuring your resume is effective and tailored to the industry.
Errors are Unacceptable
Errors on a resume are rarely forgivable, but in the construction and engineering industry, they're a huge no-no. Your projects depend on your ability to identify and troubleshoot even the most minute details. This is one area where you shouldn't cut costs. Have someone help you check for grammatical and/or formatting errors, or hire a professional editing service if necessary.
Replace the Objective with More Important Information
The objective statement is an effective feature in some industries, but not necessarily in construction. Remove
this section and replace it with a summary of your experience and qualifications. This information is more important to hiring managers than an objective. Furthermore, your resume should be concise, so use this precious space to highlight your most marketable credentials.
Show How Your Accomplishments Benefited the Client
Arguably, the most important part of your resume is your list of key accomplishments. How you deliver this information is vital. Focus on what the outcome of your project was. Did you help develop a new system or process that saved a measurable amount of money? Did you finish a project ahead of schedule and under budget?
Include a Complete Project List
Aside from your list of accomplishments, you should also include a list of projects. Include a short description of the project along with its outcome. Depending on your experience, you may have more than one page of projects. If that's the case, it should be included as a separate component to the resume.

Want more tips for building an effective resume? Contact us today.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

5 Great Jobs For Those With No College Degree

If you are looking for a new career, and don't have a college degree in your arsenal, finding suitable  choices can be difficult. Unless of course, you know where to look. There are many great jobs for those with no college degree out there. Here are five of our top picks:

Dental Assistant: Did you know that you can become a dental assistant in as little as ten weeks? The National Dental Academy offers a course to get you ready for your new career in just that time span. The best thing about it is that the classes are held at dental practices in your area and are only on Saturdays. This allows you to prepare for your new career while still earning from your old one.

Administrative Assistant: If you enjoy working in an office environment, becoming an administrative assistant might be ideal for you. Need to boost your typing speed before applying? A quick Google search will give you a host of websites offering free tools to increase your words per minute. Some of them are quite fun!

Life and Health Insurance Agent:  Most states do require that you take a pre-licensing course and an exam, but college is never an issue. In fact, the National Online Insurance School offers a fairly inexpensive course option that can have you exam ready within 2 weeks. The only other training required is a matter of becoming familiar with the insurance products you want to offer, and keeping up to date with continuing education requirements. Don't worry, a few hours of self-study a year will keep you in good standing.

Certified Nursing Assistant:  If you have always wanted to get into the health care field, but thought that lack of a degree was keeping you out, this one is for you. Each state has their own requirements, but the easiest way to break into this field is to contact local assisted living facilities in your area. A lot of them offer free training if you agree to work for them once you receive your certification. For more information on the steps required to obtain a Certified Nursing Assistant license visit CNALicense.org.

Car Salesperson:  Forget the old stereotype of the used car salesman hustler. These days the soft sale sells. People are more put-off by the hard sale, but if you treat a customer right word gets around. Before you know it, you have built a huge base of customers that are all referring their friends to you. The best thing about this career is that there is no real limit as to earnings. The downside is that you can expect to work long hours, to include Saturdays. While most dealerships don't require official training, if you want to give yourself an edge (in getting the job and being successful afterwards), the Automotive Sales College offers a wonderful online sales course.

Not sure which option is the best one for you? Contact us and we can help guide you on the path to your new career.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Facts About Federal Government Disability Hiring Practices

The Federal government's disability hiring process can seem like a lot of information to take in. We are here to help you understand this process and to answer what questions you may have about it.

There are two different Schedule A authorities:
  1. 5 CFR 213.3102(u) - This authority helps individuals who have a severe physical, mental, or psychological disability obtain a position of employment.
  2. 5 CFR 213.3102(11) - This authority appoints assistants for individuals with disabilities. These assistants can range from readers for those with vision problems, to signers for those with hearing problems. They are seen as reasonable accommodation for disabled individuals.
If you have received SSI, qualify for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or have received vocational rehabilitation, you may qualify to apply for a Federal appointment through Schedule A. By applying through Schedule A, you would go through a different kind of hiring process.

As long as you meet the requirements to apply for a Schedule A appointment, which we will discuss in a moment, and meet the minimum requirements for the position you're applying for, you would then no longer be competing for the position against individuals from the general public -- you would go into a separate hiring pool.

The requirements that you will need to meet to apply for a Schedule A appointment are as follows:
  • You will need to provide documentation of your disability
  • You will need to provide documentation that you are ready and able to be hired for that position
These two requirements are not as difficult to obtain as they may seem.

For the first one, you can simply have your doctor write a statement acknowledging your disability, and that you would be able to perform the basic functions of the position you're seeking. If you are participating in vocational rehabilitation, a statement from your vocational rehabilitation counselor/therapist can work also.

For the second one, you may ask an individual to assist you in writing your letter to the Schedule A hiring authorities. That person may insert a statement in your letter saying they believe you to be capable of working in the position you're applying for.

If you have any questions about Schedule A, please contact us and let us know. We will be happy to discuss this hiring process with you, as well as any other questions you may have for us.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Employment Interview Jitters Part 2-America's Past Time

Interview jitters affect nearly every job seeker in the market.  Here are 10 basic tools to help combat interview jitters using America's Past Time--- Baseball:

1. Plan ahead: Prepare and bring a list of questions that you want to ask at the end of the interview. Bring a notepad and a couple of pens. Dress well. 

2. Get up early. Eat breakfast if you normally do. Every ball player sees himself hitting the ball before the pitch is ever made, and you need to do the same 

3. Practice:  Interview with a friend or coworker. Get into the batting cage and swing at every ball 

4. Arrive early: If something comes up, you won't be late; if it doesn't you can use the extra time to calm yourself. Come up to the plate, set your stance.  

4. Study the company: You want to work there, so you should know something about what they do and how they operate. Check out the pitcher and the catcher ahead of time. Know what their signs are and how to recognize when they're having a good day, a great day or an off day 

5. Examine the company's competition: Every company has some, and by examining them, you can answer the 'what benefit do you bring' question that is certain to come up. Give an answer that shows you bring a strength possessed by a competitor, which will reduce this company's weakness. Other batters have swung against these pitchers. What worked for them? 

6. Examine your own competition: if you can. Listen to what they say about themselves and then try not to repeat any of their strengths during your interview. Present their weaknesses as your strengths.  

7. Rehearse the route: research the route you're going to take to get to the interview, preferably at the same time and on the same day of the week as the interview is scheduled. The dugout is a good place to figure out what you're going to do whether you've hit the ball or not: where do you go from there? from one pitch to the next? 

8. Pep talk: If you have the time (and you should, because you arrived early), go to the bathroom and give yourself a pep talk in the mirror. Focus on how great you are, not on how much you deserve the job. Psych yourself up to hit the homerun! 

9. Power stance: If you have the time (and you should, because you arrived early and just finished your pep talk), put on a power stance. Hold it for 2 minutes. Baseball players know how to stand so that all of their power comes from their hips: right before you go in, get into your homerun stance 

10. Cold water: Splash some cold water on your face. It's simple, it's easy, and it works. Know that you can do this. You can be Babe Ruth. 

Then, head into the interview full of confidence and purpose and knock it out of the park! 

Contact us to let us know how it went, or for more help developing your career. Remember, landing the job is just the first part of a long and lucrative career of advancement that we can help you achieve.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

5 Tips To Help You Dress For Success at Your Next Employment Interview

In today's society, it might seem as if the idea of "dressing for success" is antiquated and no longer necessary. While it may appear that society as a whole has embraced a more casual dress code than was the norm 50 years ago, it is still important to make a great first impression at an interview. There are direct correlation between successful employment interviews and dressing for success--even if you are the most qualified candidate for a job, the interviewer could overlook you if you do not present yourself properly.

Check out these five tips that will help you stand out at your next interview:

1. Clean yourself up. Before we even move on to what you are wearing to your interview, let's talk about your personal grooming habits. Your grooming is just as important as your clothing. A well-groomed, clean-cut image makes you seem more reliable and shows that you take pride in yourself. Lost a bet to the guys and not allowed to shave for a year? Find some other way to pay up--going into an interview looking like a grizzly bear will NOT turn out well. Before your interview, the best bet is to get a hair cut, shave, trim your nails (ladies, even if you are fond of long, loud, outrageous nails, now is the time to tone it down), and take it easy on the makeup. Avoid heavy perfume and cologne when going to an interview--they can be overpowering and a major turn off to interviewers. Deodorant and even a lightly scented lotion will do just fine.

2. Find your "power" outfit. Everyone should own an outfit that makes them feel good. You might think it's difficult to find a suitable outfit that both makes you feel great and is dressy enough for an interview. It is possible to feel great and show your personality while still being appropriately dressed for an interview-maybe you have a beautiful skirt that you love, but you usually wear it in a more casual way. Use that skirt, but pair it with a sleek blazer and a pair of killer heels and you've got a power outfit perfect for an interview. The right "power" outfit will make you feel comfortable, successful, and capable of anything.

3. Know what to avoid... If you are struggling to find the right interview outfit, start out by clearly understanding what clothing must be avoided at all costs. Steer clear of tight clothing, shorts, miniskirts, scuffed or dirty shoes, jeans, low-cut shirts (if you aren't sure if you are showing too much skin, err on the side of caution and find something different), sagging pants, and anything with holes, rips, or runs. Your clothing needs to be clean, neat, and crisp. Break out the iron before your interview and get all those wrinkles out. For the men out there-if you normally wear your pants loose and around your hips, be sure to buy a belt and pants that fit around your waist. If you want to be taken seriously, it is important to show that you are serious about the job.

4. Check out the workplace, if possible. It is a huge benefit to check out the workplace before your interview, if at all possible. Take a look around and see how others are dressed and get a feel for the group dynamic. While most interviews require business attire, some types of businesses may be more relaxed than others. For example, if you are interviewing for a position at a graphic design company, you might notice everyone comes to work in jeans and t-shirts. We're not suggesting you show up to your interview in jeans and a t-shirt, but perhaps a three-piece suit is too much. You want to look like a good fit for the company, and showing up overdressed can make you feel like an outsider. In these cases, a business casual approach may be appropriate--clean and ironed polo shirt and khaki pants, maybe. You still want to appear crisp and well-groomed, but not stuffy.

5. Be confident. In addition to your clothing and appearance, your body language can speak volumes. Interviewers will be naturally drawn to a candidate that exudes confidence and pride. You want them to give you a job, so you must make it known that you fully understand the work in question and show them how well you can do it. If you appear comfortable and sure of yourself, this will reassure your interviewers that you would be successful in the position. Confidence, respect, and good manners will take you very far in your interview.

First impressions are extremely important and a negative one could cost you a dream job. Take the time to consider your appearance and demeanor before you go to your next interview. Please feel free to contact us for more tips on making a great impression at your next interview.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Employment Interview Jitters Part 1 – 10 Interview Tips

Your resume and application were excellent and you get called for an interview. Suddenly, you are hit with a severe case of interview jitters, that panicky feeling that is hard to define, but is there nonetheless.

Here are 10 tips to help you get over those feelings ahead of the interview.

1) Dress nearly new. We don't mean go and buy really expensive clothes, but do wear something you are comfortable in and is appropriate for the interview. 

2) Have a dress rehearsal. A day or two before the interview, dress up and go to the location at the same time as the meeting will be. If necessary, do it a few times until the trip seems routine to you.

3) Read your résumé to someone. Ask a friend to hear you read your résumé and ask questions about it. Their questions may not be what the interviewer will ask, but it gives you practice of talking about your career choices.

4) Why do you want this job? It may be obvious to you why, but have you ever said it in words? Writing or talking to someone about why you want the job will allow your thoughts to be clear.

5) List your top 10 strengths. What are you good at? You may be asked this directly in the interview, but even if not, writing this list will allow your subconscious to pick up on it as you talk. If you feel like doing more than 10, by all means do so.

6) List 3 weaknesses. Again, you may or may not be asked. Keep in mind that weaknesses are areas for improvement and growth.  And we all have them and we all are a work in progress.  Don’t over play them, speak to them in the interview as tools for growth and move forward. 

7) Give yourself time. The dress rehearsal will have helped you know how long it should take to get there, but on the day of the interview add extra time as a contingency. Sitting in the car or taking a walk for 10 minutes is better than arriving flustered just on time.

8) Remember, they are not the enemy. They want to employ someone, LIKE YOU. They want you to show them why they should employ you. The questions are your opportunity to shine. 

9) Practice listening. One of the most annoying things for an interviewer is that the candidate that answers a different question than the one that is asked. So practice active listening by asking a friend to read to you and then responding with what you heard from the words.

10) Live the experience. Whether they are smart enough to offer you the job or not, the interview experience is valuable, so look forward to learning what works and what does not.

To learn more about our Career Services contact us today, we'd love to help you turn your interview jitters into a satisfying career.