Posts Tagged ‘Job Finding’

TBI and Job Finding Pt. 3 – Employer’s Needs

My Needs!

For now, we have to think past ‘My Needs’ and think about ‘Employer’s Needs’, because if we don’t, we simply won’t get hired. Yes, it’s that simple. Then again, when we examine most of the ‘employer’s needs’, we realize they are not all that complex.

The pre-interview is one of the easiear ways to determine an employers needs, as well as the ‘Help Wanted’ sign. It also helps us determine job fit. ‘Job Fit’ assists us in making the determination of whether or not we really want to work for someone. A pre-interview is doing a walk through with a representative of the company, whether it’s a manager or a simple cashier, it’s an insight into the workings of the company, and a good determination on if the company is a good fit for you.

The interview is where most of us get flustered, and it is essentially the last step to being hired. Sometimes it is done by one person, sometimes it is done by a hiring team of three to eight people who ask a series of questions in random order (kind of like Round Robin.) The multiple person approach can be quite effective for the most part, mainly because it prevents a single person bringing their biases and discrimination with them to the hiring process. Unfortunately, if all of these people have the same biases and discrimination, it can have a negative impact. Hiring teams cango through about 1,000 candidates in a couple ofdays, so they are especially effective indecision making. The problem is, you may not hear backregarding the decision for about a week, because the hiring team may have made a decision, but the person who is supposed to inform the applicants does not move as fast as the team does.

Follow up,that sometimes helps. Two reasons; 1. an applicant who has been decided on may have passed on the job without notifying the hiring team, therefore it sometimes becomes first call, first served. 2. by following up, you score some points (not many, but some) with any hiring team members who did notvote for you, andthey put a note in that you called.Files arekeptfor six months, so if a position becomes available they will look at those whonot only scored highest but those who showed the most interest for call back interviews.

What Employers Want -

In order: Dependability – If you can show up to work, do. If you can’t show up to work, call, or make arrangements for someone to cover you, or show up a little late, just give some warningto your supervisor about how late.

Positive Attitude – If you can’t really smile, fake it. If you can’t fake it, be positive in some other sense. Finish a dozen reports, and don’t make negative comments or compain about how much a slave driver they are (other words, if you have nothing good to say, keep thy mouth closed – watch Bambi.)

Mission Fit – Read above concerning Pre-Interview. If you like how an employer looks on the outside but then discover they are completely different on the inside, it’s a bad ‘Mission Fit’. Find out the ‘Mission’ of the Company and find out if that is how you want to work. If you are not compatible with the Mission, probably not a good idea to apply.

Willing to Learn – Yes, employers want people who can learn, and they want to teach them. They are generally set in their own tried and true ways, so new people get taught how to do things in that manner. Will each employer do this, most likely, yes.

Interested – You have to show interest in the product. If you are not interested in health care, don’t work for a hospital. If you are not interested in economics, don’t work on Wall St. Pretty simple, neh?

Meeting Minimum Requirements- Was pretty sure this would be first, but it’s actually the last item on the list. Meeting minimum requirements comes last, one of the reasons HR people will find accomodations and work with people who have disabilities – because minimum requirements are a flexible standard, everything else comes from the dedication of the person seeking the job. Even before ADA minimum requirements could be met with staples, twine, paper clips and rubber bands by paper who really wanted their jobs. Self-accomodation was occurring long before required accomodation ever took place (it just wasn’t as pretty.) Good HR people will help out people that show dependability, positive attitude, and especially mission fit – of course, that’s another key – good HR people. Not all HR people are going to be the same.


TBI and Job Finding Pt. 2 – Resume and Application

Everyone knows how to write a resume, write?

I intentionally made a mistake in my previous sentence, just for fun. Lot’s of people actually think they know how to write a resume, unfortunately, most of them get it wrong. At the seminar I attended in March of 2011, a question by one of the HR supervisors caught most people by surprise. Andrew Gale asked how many resumes people actually have and keep up to date. His suggestion was that people write one resume for each professional area they have worked in or intend to work in, making their resumes ‘Skill Specific’ (I have had ‘Skill Specific’ resumes for a number of years, currently I have 4 resumes on hand – 1 for Health Care, 1 for Teaching / Education, 1 for Business, and 1 that is non-specific and can be used as a template.)

Cover letters are a slightly different story. They are used to tell a personal story that is not related to the resume. The resume is all technical information, the cover letter is pure personal information, it’s anecdotal, maybe not directly relevant to the position being applied for, but relevant to what type of person you are. It demonstrates something about your character or persona to the person reading it. Think of it as a mini-autobiography, and keep it at around one page, so think of a personal anecdote that can either be relayed in less than one page or written in such manner that takes up less than a page.

The layout for a resume and cover letter should be clean and neat. Use fonts that are straight and block letter (trebuchet and arial are my two favorites for resumes), avoid fancy fonts, even Times Roman (the advice of the HR people) anything straight that keeps straight, no curls, and easy to read no matter the light.

Size the text accordingly; Large (18-24 point) for name and contact info, 3/4 the size if Bold (if you decide to use 24 point, then bold it, make it 18 point.)

Medium Large (14-16 point) for Headings (Objective, Skills, Education, References, Work History, Miscellaneous/Awards/Trainings/Certificates) – note that Headings should be completely capitalized and Bolded.

Medium (10-12 point, preferably 11 point, it’s not a strain on the eyes like 9 and 10 can be and allows for more room than standard 12 point) for the information following Headers.

Everything should be relevant within the resume. Skills in a Business resume should reflect business material and work environment. Skills in a health care resume should reflect health care material and work environment. Anything else that is pertinent can be listed under “Miscellaneous/Trainings/Awards/Certificates” at the end of the resume, it’s an optional section, not all resumes even contain it, some title it differently.

After making contact through application or resume submission, follow up. A couple days after and a week after. More than that and you are being annoying. Calling everyday and you are effectively stalking (other words, not a good idea.) Rule of thumb – twice is sufficient, they get a clue that you are interested, perhaps more than just interested but ‘VERY’ interested. Once they get a clue, they take interest in you also.

Some last notes: Objective Statements – What you want to do in the future sense (5 – 10 years, maybe not there, but at least somewhere.)

Cover Letters – Personal Info, specific, to the point, one page or less.

Work Force Centers (Run by the Department of Labour and Employment) offer assistance in Resume writing and Cover Letter writing.

TBI and Job Finding pt. 1 – Disclosure

Although the economy is poor, we must realize that employers will still hire people that are qualified, even if they have a disability (just be careful about disclosure – I’ll come to that later.)

In March of 2010, CTAT / Denver Options hosted a seminar with three heads of Human Resources to give their perspective and insight. Kelly Benning of Christian Living Industries, Louise Vaughn of Arc Thrift Stores, and Andrew Gale of the Department of Labour and Employment for the State of Colorado.

Christian Living Industries has a 25+ year history in the Metro Denver area. They are a non-profit group that provides health care in a variety of settings. They employ a variety of people to assist in those services – Nurses, Nurse Aides, Housekeepers, Janitorial staff, cooking staff, cafeteria staff, anything that is relevant to service and hospitality (think of who would be employed by hotels and you have the idea.)

ARC Thrift has approximately 19 stores in Colorado, they promote hiring of people with disabilities with all locations as well as promote disabilities services and advocacy at primary county locations. There is at least one store per county that is the advocacy center for that county, where the call center, pick up, drop off and other distributions are located. Cashiers, managers, unloaders, pickup, drivers, loss prevention, and “ARC Ambassadors” (store greeters who do personal advocacy not associated with ARC) are all positions available. Individual Store Managers do the hiring at their specific locations, with very few exceptions. Call Centers and ARC Ambassadors are hired at the major county stores, not the local stores.

Department of Labour – controls Higher Ed, State Depts of Trans, Certifications (DORA or Department of Regulatory Agencies), Inspections, Unemployment, Safety, Claims (Mineral, Mining, Oil, Water, Land, etc), Explosives, Amusement Rides Inspection (the position is currently filled) and 15 other agencies in total.

Disclosure – First recommendation – Understand the culture of the company. If disability is not a factor in ability to perform duties, there is no reason to mention it until rapport built with supervisor or ever mention it. If accomodations are required to perform duties, disclose when the accomodations are necessary for those tasks. Be specific about what accomodations are needed and when. A good HR person will know how much info to request of you and to support the accomodation request, a poor HR person will request too much info or not enough, sabotaging the request.

In short; disclosure may be necessary after being hired, it is not required prior to being hired. The main thing to consider is whether or not you are capable of doing the required duties for the job applied for. If you are able to accomplish those tasks, with or without accomodations, disclosure is only necessary after being hired. Once hired, you only have to disclose to the Human Resources director who is considered to be your supervisor when requesting an accomodation. When requesting an accomodation, be specific about the accomodation, and if necessary, provide only the medical statements from a physician or physical therapist that support your request for that accomodation. You do not need to provide a complete medical history nor do you need to provide a medical diagnosis.

Deacon Patrick’s Round the World Progress

Deacon Patrick's Round the World Progress