Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Fall Job Fair That Left Us Lonely

The Job Journal hosted a job fair yesterday and Community Business College staff helped out by providing free resume critiques. Here's what happened...

Each time we attend a job fair, the experience is a little different.  This job fair in Modesto was notable because we ran out of resumes to critique. That almost never happens.  Why did it happen this time? Here are some theories:

     People are gearing up for the holidays so job search is on hold.
              The word didn’t get out about this particular fair.
                  More people have jobs than need jobs.

Of the possibilities, the first two seem to make more sense than the third theory.

But, needless to say, offering unemployed job seekers free critiques on their resumes we learn about what’s trending. It’s a good service that a lot of people appreciate.

All told, we helped 34 people with their resumes, from the job fair. It always provides us with a good feeling to help those in need.

In fact, one service group brought a class of youth with intellectual developmental disabilities over and we were able to help them spruce up their resumes and practice interacting with strangers.

We also had a job seeker travel all the way from Ione, California for this job fair and we had a priest who is no longer a priest and needed help on his resume to get a secular job.

By the way, another resume evaluator reminded job seekers that their job search efforts might be tax deductable.

And, finally, one other interesting factiod from this job fair – this may be the first job fair we attended that had two nut companies recruiting for employees at the same time: Diamond Nuts and Fisher Nuts.

So here are the trends we saw amongst the resumes:

Here are some of the tips that came up at this fair:

Rules? We don’t Need No Rules

In addition to the regular rules of job fairs, we did find one worth adding.
First, the regular rules still apply:
          Come dressed as you would for an interview;
          Bring copies of job-ready resumes to hand to employers;
          Be prepared to answer interview questions;
          Take lots of notes to follow up later.
 But here’s a new rule: Don’t come to the job fair if you’ve finished drinking a few beers and spilled some on your shirt.
Yes, it happened. Somebody walked up for a free resume evaluation smelling like a homebrew factory. And, needless to say, he was not as sharp as would have been if he had come in sober. Now, granted, looking for a new job can be really stressful, but it’s not bad enough to hit the brews BEFORE you go in.

It sends the wrong message. It’s like the one person who went from employer to employer, wearing a t-shirt that says, “I’m not laughing with you, I’m laughing at you.

Another thing we came across is someone with Lotus 1-2-3 and old Word Star listed as software skills. Our advice? Stick to listing contemporary programs on your resume unless you find a job opening that specifically asks for one of these classics.

Loyalty To The Extreme

One job seeker was quite concerned that she wouldn’t want her next employer to see that she was still working.
She thought it would make her look disloyal to her current employer. She is working at a part-time job position but is looking for a full-time job her current employer couldn’t provide.
Her leaving for a better position is just the way of things and almost every employer understands that. The bottom line is if employers really want to keep employees, all they have to do is offer better wages, better perks, more hours, etc. That’s part of being an “At Will” employer. If employees can get a better deal somewhere else, they should take it. After all, the employer is under no rules of loyalty to keep employees and layoffs happen all the time.

The Dreaded Double Entendre.

One resume was an electronic oriented resume with lots of technical skills listed. One of the attributes was “Sound Design Skills.”
So was he saying he has audio skills like for dubbing in audio in movies?
Or was he trying to say that his design skills are sound?
When working on your resume phrasing, remember to watch out for phrases that can be read more than one way.
There have been other, more extreme examples of this, like the ever embarrassing – “I was told by my last employer that he was lucky to get me to work for him.”
Sometimes it helps to have friends and family read your resume for that reason alone– it gives you a new pair of eyes who can read things differently like a potential new employer might.

The Real Job Of The Resume

One of the school’s resume evaluators found a common concern - Getting interviews can be quite a challenge.
Here’s one of the most common reminders we offer:  It’s the resume’s job to get you the interview. Then it’s up to the interview to get you the job.
We’ve never heard anybody say that they got a job just off the resume. There almost always is an interview required.

The last quirky thing that occurred at this particular job fair? One job seeker couldn’t stop sneezing. It must still be the end of allergy season.

Do you find the job search process frustrating?  Try taking a short course on finding a job with our six-week, instructor-led online course at:

Need some tips on developing your resume? Get the professional resume development package on sale now at Groupon.

Or try taking a six-week, instructor-led
 resume class or job search techniques class at Community Business College.

And of course, there’s always our popular
 Use Linked In To Jumpstart Your Career certification class.

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