Job Seeker

WHERE DO I START?

Just taking the first step can be the most difficult part of finding a job or starting a new career. Whether you are ready to start your job search now or need some help in deciding what direction to go, we’re here to help!

ServicesHere you’ll find the information you need to begin opening the doors to your dreams!

JOB LISTING

There are times when you “need a job right now” and getting one yesterday was too late. Although we can’t guarantee you a job, we do have access and information on many employers and their available openings.

JOB SEARCH ASSISTANCE

Register on one of the many online job-search websites – they are your entry into a vast network of employers in the Rural Capital and surrounding area. The internet is a great way to track down job leads (and there’s a wealth of information on this site). However, don’t forget about the two most obvious was to learn about potential job openings:

NETWORKING
The most effective method to find a job is by word of mouth. Every person you know – your friends, neighbors, former employers and coworkers, even your mailman – can be a job source. People are generally more than happy to help you find work if they know you are looking for work. Read on to learn more about effective networking techniques.
NEWSPAPERS
Check the classified section of your Sunday newspaper. Although only 15% of jobs are advertised this way, it is still important to look at the want ads. If you live anywhere near the capital area of Texas, look through copies of the Austin American-Statesman, which contains the Sunday classifieds.

RESUME ASSISTANCE

A resume is your “advertisement” – not your life story. Many employers expect you to have a resume. A good resume will help “sell” your specific skills, abilities and accomplishments. It provides information that will let an employer know how you are a good match for the job. Remember, the main purpose of a resume is to get a job interview.

TIPS ON WRITING EFFECTIVE RESUMES

  1. Use the “need to know” principle. What does the employer need to know about you in order to want to interview you?
  2. Resumes don’t get people jobs – they help to get interviews.
  3. Length should be no longer than two pages. If you use a second page, fill it completely. If you can’t, make it one page.
  4. Tailor the resume to fit you. There is no right or wrong, except for the following: DO NOT use pronouns (“I” or “My”). DO NOT list birthday, marital status, height, weight, references, etc.
  5. Give the employer a reliable way to contact you. Home phone, work phone (if appropriate), message phone (if there is no answering machine and you’re not at home much). E-mail.
  6. Listing an Objective on the resume is optional – some employers like it, some don’t care. However, listing an objective can strengthen a resume, if it is compatible with the job you’re applying for. Having your resume on a computer disk can make it an easy task to change your objective. Never send a resume with an objective that doesn’t match the job that you are applying for. Save the employer time and tell them what you can do – don’t just list a work history and make them figure it out. This is best done using a section highlighting/summarizing skills and accomplishments, e.g. “Summary of Skills & Experience”.
  7. Always list job history with present or most recent job first and work backward from there. Be as descriptive as possible about the work you’ve done – help the employer picture you at work. Quantify accomplishments when possible.
  8. If education or licenses are an important requirement of the job, list them near the top. If not, list high school graduation, GED attainment, college work or degree at the bottom. It is not necessary to list the years of attendance or address of the institution. If you are a graduate of the program, list: Graduate, Springfield Jr. College.
  9. ALWAYS have at least one other person proofread your resume!

INTERVIEW COUNSELING

Have you ever said or thought, “Interviewing is one of the hardest parts of the job search”? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! The interview is your chance to show an employer that your skills and experience would be a great asset and that they should hire you! It’s normal to be nervous before and about the interview, however, there are ways to prepare for and manage your anxiety. To help you prepare for your job interview, consider these questions in advance:

  • What do I wear?
  • What kinds of questions will the interviewer ask me?
  • How should I respond to tough personal questions?
  • What kinds of questions should I ask the employer?
  • Are there some questions that are illegal for an employer to ask?
  • Are there any rules or hints that would benefit me?

The following videos and resource books for resume writing may be valuable. You may be able to able to find these at your local library or government resource center.

VIDEOS:

  • The Complete Video Guide to Job Hunting
  • From Pink Slip to Paycheck the Road to Reemployment – Interviewing
  • The Interview I – Mastering the Job Interview
  • The Interview II – Answering Problem Interview Questions
  • The Job Interview Simplified
  • Job Search Success System: Interviewing
  • The Ultimate Job Search – Effective Job Search Techniques
  • The Ultimate Job Search – Interviewing with Confidence
  • The Ultimate Job Search – Job Search Tips for People with Disabilities

RESOURCE BOOKS:

  • Texas Job Hunter’s Guide
  • Job Hunting for Dummies
  • How to Get a Good Job and Keep It
  • Idiot ‘s Guide to The Perfect Interview
  • Sweaty Palms
  • Knock ‘Em Dead – the Ultimate Job Seeker’s Handbook
  • Interviewing Guide- .50

LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION

Understanding what is happening in the labor market can be an important factor in helping to determine what type of job or career that you want to pursue. Various types of national, state and local labor market data are available through this and other websites. Some of these include:

COVER LETTER ASSISTANCE

A cover letter will typically accompanying each resume you send out. The cover letter can determine whether or not the employer even bothers to read your resume, so it’s worth the time to write an effective cover letter.

Cover letters are an introduction which should complement (not duplicate) your resume. Thus, its purpose is to add a personal touch and also mention how your skills are relevant to the specific job you’re applying for. Remember that the cover letter is usually your first written contact with an employer, so create a good first impression!

Ideally your cover letter should be tailored specifically to each potential employer. Employers can usually recognize when they’ve received a generic “copy & paste” cover letter that has likely been sent to many other employers. Effective cover letters mention reasons for your interest in the specific organization, as well as why your specific skills or experiences would be valuable in the position you’re applying for.

Try to look at your resume from the employer’s perspective if you can. Employers will be thinking “how will this person’s skills & experience be valuable to me?” Try to answer that question in your cover letter.

And one last thing: avoid platitudes! A platitude is a trite or obvious remark that really any applicant could use and ads no real value. For example, don’t write something generic and vague such as “I’m a hard worker.” Any potential employee can say that, and it is essentially meaningless to an employer. Instead, you might mention specific circumstances where you went above and beyond the call of duty to accomplish something in your previous jobs.

CHILDCARE INFORMATION

Child Care Management Services (CCMS) helps parents who are striving to become self-sufficient by giving them more choices in child care arrangements and by helping them find qualified caregivers. If you meet certain income guidelines, CCMS can reimburse some or all of your child care costs. Read more childcare information here…

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS INFORMATION

Read more unemployment benefits information here…

JOB FAIRS

Attending a job fair can be one of the most productive activities for a job seeker. It’s one of the few times that you will have several businesses and other employers gathered together in one spot just to talk to you about a job! They are also a great place to figure out what’s happening in the economy – what companies are growing and what positions are in the most demand in your local area at that time. You don’t have to understand a labor market survey to comprehend just who is hiring when they are sitting right in front of you!