Workshop highlights tips when searching for job, career

By Larissa L. Jimmy
Navajo Times

CHINLE, July 18, 2013

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K atreena Hayes-Wood asked the crowd during the Youth Career Success training session, how long do you think it takes for a person to "wow" a potential employer?

Answers varied from a couple of minutes to 20 minutes.

However, according to Wood, those answers are far from right.

"Your window of opportunity to wow me and to get my attention is five to ten seconds," said Wood, who is a co-founder of Career Services Network, LLC based out of Glendale, Ariz., the company responsible for brining a two-day training to give students an idea of what employers look for in potential employees.

Navajo Department of Workforce Development in Chinle sponsored the event.

"The students are here to gain experience and to learn how to interact with the outside world," said Joe Hale, program director for Chinle's Navajo Department of Workforce Development. "A long time ago, a high school diploma was really something, but today a high school diploma does not have that much weight."

But through the program, students are provided with skills and enrichment activities to help build a strong foundation.

Students who attended the session, held last Thursday and Friday at Chinle High, were taught by Wood what an impressive resume looks like, were advised on how to carry themselves in a job interview, and identified career possibilities through a personality assessment Wood calls "DISC."

It takes less than a minute to catch an employer's attention and to avoid your application being put at the bottom of the pile, Wood said the quality of the resume and application packet makes the difference.

An employer's attention shifts straight to what Wood calls the "profile," which is typically where most people might place "objective."

Wood calls this "prime real estate" because based on how well an applicant can sell their skills and qualities, an employer may just be sold.

A good resume

A good resume is the primary reason that most employees get an interview, said Wood.

Wood emphasized neatness because the resume is a sample of the applicant's work.

According to a survey performed by Career Services Network, 94 percent of employers say that they will not interview applicants with two or more errors on their resume or applications.

Using a vocabulary sheet provided by Wood, students described themselves using words such as receptive, adaptable and enterprising, in place of words with no spark such as "good."

This process is called USP, or Unique Selling Proposition.

Me'Shell Colquhoun, 16 from Ganado, Ariz., who attended the session, said called the resume workshop "fascinating."

"I really liked how she showed us samples," she said. "I think it is going to be very beneficial and now I'm going to know how to do it.

"Whoever hasn't been in this program should definitely take it because it is really helpful and it opens up your mind to other opportunities," she added.

Wood also said the resume should not be longer than a page. However, depending on your experience and accomplishments throughout the years, two to three pages could suffice.

In addition to the resume, students also learned that when picking up an application, how one is dressed could mean the difference between being told, "Sorry, we're not looking," or "Sure, here you go."

Wood said once an interview is set, applicants need to do their research prior to the interview. (See related story for other strategies on how to go about a job interview.)

Avoiding the 'wrong job'

Wood also had students engage in a personality profile assessment known as DISC, which can help a person identify their characteristic traits and behaviors to give an idea of what type of jobs each person might be suited for.

According to the model, "D" represents people who are more decisive and dominant; "I" is for people who are inspiring and influencing; "S" is for people who are steady and supportive; and "C" is for people who are cautious and conscientious.

Wood said she saw on Good Morning America that about 70 percent of people say that "hate" their job and "It's really sad."

According to the Department of Labor 85 percent of high school seniors feel undirected.

They don't know what they are going to do when they graduate, according to Wood, and about 86 percent of Americans feel like they are in the wrong job.

Wood said if you know who you are, what your skills are and what your interests are, and understand those, then they don't have to question their decision once they decide on a career based on what they know about themselves.

For example, if a person likes to talk or interact with people, he or she might find themselves in the "I." Therefore, they would likely be people in the communications field.

Adrianna Begay, 20, from Pinon, Ariz. who is majoring in health occupations at Diné College, said that she fell under "I."

"I agreed with the personality test because I think it's true, so I'm going to stick with the studying tips," said Begay.

Of the entire workshop, Wood said, "For me, I want them to be that philosophy that they matter and that you are here for a reason. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. You can be successful if you know who you are and if you believe in that."

"Once you find out what your true gifts are," she added, "you are asked to do one thing: you are asked to use them to serve others."

Ways to prepare for an interview

CHINLE – According to the Career Services Network here are some ways that can help you prepare for a job interview:

  • * Prepare, prepare, prepare. Do your research on: the job, the company and the person/s with whom you will interview.
  • * Be able to tell the interviewer about yourself. Describe your career skills, values, interests, and job experiences that are related to the job for which you are applying.
  • * Make sure all the notes and information you want to have available are in your interviewing portfolio.
  • * Be able to comfortably talk about your strengths and weaknesses.
  • * Use your DISC assessment to help you define your strengths, weaknesses, and the benefits and skills you bring to the job.

    Some things to do for your interview: * Be prompt; if you're not 10 minutes early, you are late.

  • * Dress professionally; be well groomed and well dressed.
  • * Be brief and to the point; don't take more than two minutes to answer your questions.
  • * Act confident, show your enthusiasm.
  • * Express yourself clearly and answer your questions with examples of the work you've done.
  • * Ask for a business card at the end of the interview so you can send a thank you not (within 24 hours).

    Some things not to do during your interview: * Answer yes or no for any question; elaborate and use examples.

  • * Talk about politics, religion, or bad-mouth past employers, bosses, or co-workers.
  • * Say you can do anything, especially, if you can't.
  • * Bring up salary before the interviewer brings it up.

    Top 10 interview questions:

    • * Tell me about yourself.
    • * What are your goals for the future?
    • * Why should we hire you?
    • * Why do you want this job?
    • * Why are you leaving or have left your job?
    • * How do you evaluate success?
    • * Describe a difficult work situation/project and how you overcame it?
    • * How do you handle stress and pressure?
    • * What is your greatest weakness?
    • * What is your greatest strength?

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