What lies in your
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A special publication of the I75 Newspaper Group • Sidney Daily News • Troy Daily News • Piqua Daily Call • Weekly Record Herald
Local employers identify what they look for in an employee Team Orientation – no “what’s in it for me”; employers want people who are competent and confident enough to take initiative and work alone, but can also work successfully on a team. Job skills – they want potential employees to proficient in basic skills like being able to read, write and speak clearly and appropriately. They look for evidence of these skills in the interview and on correspondence prior to the interview, such as resumes and cover letters. Personal Attributes – Personal qualities and characteristics like a professional appearance and good hygiene, but adaptability and flexibility were rated highly. Work Ethic – Work ethic was rated the highest on the survey as a “must have”; if you want to work they say, plan to come to work on time, every day; keep your word; follow through on your commitments, and act as if you expect to take a drug test every day. Communication – The ability to speak, listen, and understand was a vital attribute, along with addressing co-workers, supervisors, and managers properly. Employers are looking for people who can take direction and feedback positively and keep their emotions in check. Slang, mumbling, and cursing will not get you work with these employers. Character – Service orientation, honesty, friendliness, courtesy, and keeping commitments were ranked highly by the employers. Don’t be tripped up of an interviewer asks you if you “have” one of these attributes! Be ready to share an incidence when you USED this attribute! For example: Interviewer: “Would you say you are a trustworthy person? Candidate: “Yes; when I worked for ABC Company as a route salesman, I had to take cash from the stores on my route every day and deposit the money into the company account. My cash and the sales report for the day always balanced.” Based on the responses of the employers surveyed, here are Upper Valley Career Center’s 16 Tips for Personal Interviewing Preparation: • Make sure your clothes are neatly ironed and pressed. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail more than wrinkled clothing. Dress one level above the job you are applying for. • Make sure your clothing fits properly. If your pants or sleeves are too long or something is too loose or too tight you’ll look and probably feel awkward. • Don’t wear flashy jewelry. You’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling. One ring on each hand, one ear-
ring in each ear, and a watch is a good guideline. • Dress according to the season. Don’t wear a stuffy turtleneck sweater in the middle of the summer. • Don’t wear perfume, cologne, or aftershave. You never know if your interviewer is allergic and this isn’t a good way to find out. • Make sure you have a nice, clean haircut that makes you look well groomed. • For men, make sure you shave and keep facial hair to a minimum. • NO VISIBLE TATTOOS! Hide them or have them removed. Most interviewers are not excited about body art unless you’re interviewing for work at a tattoo salon. • Don’t wear anything that is too revealing or tight. It’s best to keep your body parts to yourself. • Avoid articles of clothing with loud, busy prints. It’s best to wear solid neutral colors that flatter your skin tone. • For women, don’t overdo your makeup. Wear natural colors and avoid heavy eye shadow, eyeliner and brightly colored lipstick. • Shoes should be clean and polished. No gym shoes and NO sandals! • Keep hands, and fingernails clean. For women, understated length AND color of nails. • Brush your teeth before the interview if you can; if not, use a (small) breath mint. You may not be aware of your own offensive breath. • Dispose of any gum ahead of time • Don’t eat before the interview! What if you spill mustard on your shirt or sit down across from the interviewer and belch? Logistical Guidelines for Successful Interviews • Before the interview: - Research the company before the interview. What are their products? Where are their locations? - Prepare questions about the company to ask the interviewer. They may ask you if you have questions; “duh” doesn’t work! - Locate the place of the interview before time to AVOID BEING LATE OR STRESSED! - Find out where to park, what door to use, who to ask for, etc. - Go to the interview alone. - Arrive ten minutes early. Introduce yourself to any employees in the lobby. See more page 3
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Welcome job seekers! As a semi-annual publication of Ohio Community Media, Career Connections is being produced to showcase local employment opportunities along with educational tools to assist in the job search process. Our goal is to connect local job seekers with local companies who have local openings. This product will be published in August and February each year. Deadline for the August 7, 2013 edition is July 17, 2013. For more information contact Mandy Kaiser, Inside Classified Sales Manager, at 937-498-5915.
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• During the interview: - Obtain a business card from each person who interviews you. - When you greet each interviewer, shake hands while looking the interviewer directly in the eyes, then wait for the interviewer to speak. Some interviewers like to make small talk at the beginning of the interview; if so, he/she may ask you about your trip there (“Did you have any trouble finding us?” or “What do you think of the weather?”). Answer in a friendly, warm way, but don’t go into detail. That’s why it’s called “small talk”. - Sit down in the chair assigned when asked/told. - Prepare answers to the most common interview questions (listed below). - Answer the interviewer’s questions accurately and honestly. State facts without bragging. Prepare answers in advance for the common interview questions below. - Answer questions fully and to the point. Avoid saying too much or being wordy. - Speak clearly and sit straight. - Look the interviewer in the eyes when you answer a question. - If you don’t understand a question, it’s OK to ask for clarification or to have it repeated.
- If the interviewer asks a particularly difficult question, silence is OK; saying “I need a minute to think about that is also OK. - Refrain from nervous habits like clicking your pen or tapping your fingers. - Speak positively of your past employers, coworkers, and supervisors. Avoid using “they” to describe former employers. Instead say, “We” or “I”. - Do not use personal examples. If you lack experience, use school examples to illustrate your skills and experience. - Place personal items, (purse, folder, etc.) on the floor by your chair. - Take extra resumes with you in a folder. - If you do not fully understand the work you will be doing, ask for clarification. - Thank the interviewer at the end of the interview, and ask when a decision will be made. - If possible, send a personal thank-you note to everyone who interviewed you within 24 hours (That’s why you get a business card at the beginning). • Common Interview Questions - Tell me about yourself - What is something of which you are particularly proud? See more page 4
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3 • Career Connections • February 2013
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- What goals do you have for the next 5 years? - What is one of your weaknesses? - What is your greatest strength? - Why should I hire you? - Why are you interested in this job? - What have you learned from your past experience that can be applied to this job? - What does being a team player mean to you? - Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in your last job. - If I asked your last manager, what would he/she say about you? - How well do you get along with others, especially people who are different from you? - Tell me about your greatest accomplishment in your last job. Submitted by Diana Searls, Program Coordinator at Upper Valley Career Center 937-778-1078 ext 503 email@example.com
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4 â€˘ Career Connections â€˘ February 2013
Career and Job Fair do’s and dont’s BY RANDALL S. HANSEN, PH.D. Here are the keys for students and job-seekers to successfully navigating a career or job fair. Follow these simple rules and guidelines and you should achieve success in this important strategic tool of job-hunting. • Do have a specific strategy for maximizing your time at the event. And don't bother spending time with recruiters from companies that do not interest you. • Do pre-register for the event, and do attempt to get the list of attending companies before the career fair. • Don't eliminate companies because they are recruiting for positions outside your field; take the time to network with the recruiter and get the name of a hiring manager for your particular career field. • Do attempt to research basic information about each company you hope to interview with at the job fair. • Don't just drop your resume on the recruiter's table and walk off. • Do prepare a one-minute "commercial" that focuses on the unique benefits you can offer the employer -- a version of your elevator speech. And do be prepared for common interview questions. • Do be prepared to talk about your work experiences, skills, and abilities. • Do have a few questions prepared for each recruiter, but don't ask questions that any good job-seeker should already
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know, such as "What does your company do?" • Do say the recruiter's name several times during your conversation, even if you have to keep glancing at the recruiter's nametag. • Do remember all the keys to successful interviewing, including a firm handshake, a warm smile, eye contact, and a strong voice. • Do bring enough copies of your resume to the career fair. And do bring different versions of your resume if you are searching for different types of jobs. • Do take advantage of the time you have to build rapport with each recruiter, but don't monopolize their time. • Don't ever just walk up to a booth and interrupt a current conversation; wait your turn and be polite. • Do dress professionally -- conservative is always the safe choice. And do wear comfortable shoes. • Don't ever say anything negative to the recruiter about your college or previous jobs, companies, or supervisors. • Do be sure to ask about the hiring process of each company, but don't ask too many questions about salaries, vacation time, and other benefits. • Do take the initiative and ask about the next step in the process. And do be prepared to follow-up all job leads. • Do be sure to follow-up with each recruiter. Some experts say to call and leave a message on their voicemail right after the job fair, but at a minimum you should send each recruiter a thank you letter.
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Facebook Graph Search: How job hunting will change in 2013 For many people, applying to online ads can feel a little like playing the lottery. The odds of winning a job are stacked against you. But as job search capabilities and social media converge, that is about to change big time -- and to the job hunters' benefit. On Tuesday, Facebook Inc. unveiled its new Graph Search tool (pictured above), which will enable users to search friends, and friends of friends, for all kinds of information. Instead of simply directing users to the timelines, Facebook's Graph Search tool will allow users to search "photos," "likes" and comments -- with just simple short phrases, Facebook product manager Kate O'Neill, told ABC News. At the same time, new web applications like Sonar, BeKnown and BranchOut allow job seekers to see who from their social networks are employed at companies that might have job openings for them. What does this mean for job seekers? It will be easier to find contacts within companies by allowing users to comb their friend groups for business contacts. Both job seekers and recruiters will be able to mine data to find out, for instance, who you know that works at a specific
company, for instance. As Facebook Graph Search begins rolling out, the site will be able to compete with job search websites like LinkedIn. "This should change how people use Facebook," Dan Schawbel, the founder of Millennial Branding, said in an interview with AOL Jobs. "The site's no longer just a social network." And that should benefit workers, according to Schawbel, because on Facebook you are looking for jobs among networks of "people who will actually go out of their way to help you." More than 90 percent of recruiters already check social media websites, Jobvite.com says, but with this new capability, job hunters should begin using Facebook to "build their own brands," Schawbel says. Last year, a series of websites were also rolled out that offered more data to help job seekers in their search. As was reported by AOL Jobs, sites like Bright.com and Path make use of an algorithm to direct job seekers to specific job openings that they would have the best chances of getting. The tools study a company's hiring tendencies, and the workers' education and employment history.
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What are employers asking your references DEBRA AUERBACH References are often the last step in the screening process before an employer extends an offer. While every company has a different policy on references, most still ask for them. What a reference says, or doesn't say, can sometimes make the difference between getting an offer or not. Greg Szymanski, director of human resources at Geonerco Management in Seattle, says that when employers contact references, they're looking to determine if the candidate is the person who presented himself in the interview. "Often what's not said is more important than what is said. And hesitations and dancing in a reference's answers are very telling." The questions employers are asking • Employment verification: The standard questions a hiring manager will ask are ones related to your employment. The employer will want to verify that you did indeed work with this reference, the dates of your employment and the reference's relationship to you (boss, peer, etc.). Sean Milius, president of the Healthcare Initiative, an affiliate of global recruiting firm MRINetwork, says employers also want to know why you left. "It is very important that their story matches that of the candidate," Milius says. "If the candidate says it was a 'mutual parting,' but the reference says they were let go or laid off, there will be a problem. The candidate should always be truthful when asked why they left, as the potential employer will check out their story." • Workplace performance: After a hiring manager asks the
basic questions, she might dig a little deeper into your work performance. Common performance-related questions will cover strengths, areas for improvement, ability to work in a team and biggest accomplishments. Sunil Phatak, director of U.S. recruiting at IT staffing and consulting firm Akraya Inc., says the following questions on both hard and soft skills are also often asked: • What would you say is his strongest attributes? • How would you describe her interpersonal skills? • What would you say motivated him most? • Would you rehire or recommend her for rehire? Personality and well-roundedness: Szymanski notes that while work-performance questions provide important insight, they don't always give a complete picture of the candidate. "If you want to know what the person is like, you have to ask questions that get at that information in a different way." For instance, an employer may ask, "Would you trust the reference to watch your children if you were away on vacation?" Or, "Would you take the candidate to dinner at a nice restaurant with your parents/spouse/significant other?" "The more personal/nonworkrelated questions are often useful, not for what the reference says, but [for] what the reference doesn't say and/or the manner in which the reference provides an answer or doesn't answer," Szymanski says. Who the references are matters, too Sure, a reference's answers hold a lot of weight, but who the reference is can be just as telling to a hiring manager. If the only See more page 8
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references you can provide are your mom, your sister and your best friend, it might raise a red flag with the potential employer. "Most employers would prefer that a job seeker choose a former manager or supervisor as a reference," Phatak says. "This is because managers are usually able to deliver a relatively unbiased opinion and are much less likely to be swayed into giving a positive referral if one isn't truly deserved. A manager is also a good pick for a reference because a positive referral from him will hold more weight than one from a coworker who is similarly ranked. Job seekers should also select references who worked with them for at least a year, have a good understanding of their abilities and can attest to their positive attributes." Setting your references up for success While you likely won't know the exact questions a hiring manager plans to ask your references, you can still prepare them for the call. The first thing you should do is tell your references that they are one. While that may seem obvious, it's not always done, and the last thing you want to do is have your references be blindsided by the hiring manager's call. Even if you've used certain references in the past, don't just assume
they'll be available or willing to serve as one again. The best approach? Ask your contacts first before giving their information to the employer. Phatak says that if you've done a good job of selecting your references, they'll know you and your work style well enough that they won't need any coaching on the answers. He does suggest that you share the basic job description with your references and refresh them on the position you had and contributions you made while working together. "This is especially helpful if a lot of time has passed since you last worked with them. You don't want your references to be caught offguard and failing to recall what it is you even did on their team." Szymanski shares this metaphor to summarize the use of references during the hiring process. "Reference checking is one spoke in the wheel of talent acquisition. If you can get as many spokes in the wheel as you can, your hiring will get better. Reference checking is not perfect, but if used in conjunction with other spokes, reference checking can be useful in verifying/confirming what you already know or breaking ties between two or more closely matched candidates."
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Plastipak offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, and life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, 401(k) matching and more. Plastipak is an Equal Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V 8 • Career Connections • February 2013
Myths about older job seekers SUSAN RICKER Big Foot roams the woods of North America. The Loch Ness Monster lurks below the water's surface in Scotland. Hiring younger workers makes more sense than hiring mature ones. Which one of these myths is most widely believed? Big Foot and "Nessie" may be out in the wild somewhere, but mature job seekers are just as attractive job candidates as their younger counterparts. More experienced, more mature, more reliable -- mature job seekers are the total package when it comes to hiring. So why do employers buy into the notion that their age is a drawback? Learn how to bust three common myths about older workers and get hired. Myth No. 1: You're out of touch Perhaps the most common myth is that mature job seekers struggle to keep up with technology and industry trends. The truth is that it's every job seeker's responsibility, regard-
less of age, to ensure he has the experience and skills needed for the job he wants. While younger job seekers may receive the most current education, mature job seekers can take advantage of this opportunity, too. If your job search isn't yielding much interest, it may be time to consider attending a workshop or seminar in your field. Tailor your résumé to the job posting's requirements. Research the company and mention specifics in your cover letter. Also note your skills and experience, including your technology capabilities. You can beat this myth and market yourself as the total package. You have experience, judgment and dependability on your side. Myth No. 2: You'll expect a leadership position The experience, judgment and dependability that make you the total package may also make you appear to be a high-maintenance job seeker or somebody who expects a leadership position. Combat this assumption in your cover letter by exSee more page 10
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plaining that you're interested in the specific position and that you look forward to joining the team. You may be moved into a leadership position soon after starting, but don't expect a warm reception if you mention a leadership position as a requirement to being hired. Instead, explain your leadership qualities and how they apply to the job for which you're interviewing, as well as how you'll fit into the company culture. Myth No. 3: You'll retire soon anyway The classic "Where do you see yourself in five years?" question makes an appearance at most job interviews, though for mature job seekers, this question may sound loaded. Will you still want to work in five years? While younger job seekers may respond with a positive answer about how they hope to still be working with their team, mature job seekers may need a more specific answer. Hiring managers may worry that more mature job seekers are looking for a pastime before retiring. Make it clear that the age of retirement is rising and you're looking at this position as an important
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JOIN OUR TEAM! Wilson Memorial Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients. Quality care means doctors, nurses and technicians who deeply care about our community’s well being. If you are a dedicated professional who is interested in a career with a hospital who genuinely cares about its employees, we would like to meet you.
Apply online: www.wilsonhospital.com or to Human Resources Dept.
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12 â€˘ Career Connections â€˘ February 2013