May 15, 2009

Have you completed your skills inventory?

Posted in Interview Tips, skills inventory, Treasure Coast tagged , , , , , , at 6:40 am by jannyf

Being prepared for an upcoming interview is the secret to success.  You have to get a leg up on the competition and show the employer why they should hire you.  One tip I would like to share is completing a skills inventory on yourself.  Remember, 90% of employers say that the primary reason they do not hire a candidate is because the interviewee could not clearly state his or her skills.  You need to know your skills well enough that you can verbalize them in the interview process.  You do this through a skills inventory.  Let’s look at the components of a skills inventory:

  1. General skills – skills that can be found in every industry.  These include things like managing, filing, communicating verbally or in writing, budgeting, etc.
  2. Job-Specific skills – abilities that you need to succeed in your particular job in your particular industry.  For example, if you are a computer programmer then some of your job-specific skills include computer languages and platforms.
  3. Personal Traits – these are the personal characteristics that you possess.  There are a huge list of traits, but some to help you get started include charismatic, balanced, ambitious, intelligent, detail oriented, ethical.
  4. Competencies – these are clusters of skills and they are very quickly becoming the criteria upon which all employees are judged.  Some of the most valued competencies include:  flexibility, adaptability, problem-solving skills, interpersonal communication and ability and willingness to learn.
  5. Your Gift – this is about who you are instead of what you do.  Here are some questions to help you discover your gift:  What is the most compelling thing about you?  What do people compliment you on?  What is a quality, under any circumstance, that you would never give up?  What quality would you like people to remember you for upon your death?

Grab a few sheets of paper and start listing out your answers to this skills inventory.  You must be able to communicate to the interviewer what your skills are and provide backup as well.  List examples that demonstrate these skills.  Practice out loud with your spouse or friend.  In my next blog post, I will discuss how to develop powerful answers using your skills inventory.

Remember, I offer a FREE 10  minute interview analysis.  Visit my site at www.intcoach.com and click on Job Seekers on the top navigation bar.  There is a short form on that page for you to complete and e-mail me your toughest interview question that you would like help with.

Until next time, keep your chin up, stay active and stay healthy!

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May 11, 2009

The April Jobless Claim Numbers Look Good or Do They?

Posted in 20256529, free, hope, interview analysis, jobless claims, positive outlook, Treasure Coast, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:58 pm by jannyf

Hope – we always have it and need to share it.  The jobless claim numbers have been reported for week ending April 11, and there was hopeful news!

The number of new claims dropped by 53,000.  What does this mean for the economy?  Well, we certainly aren’t out of the woods yet.  While these numbers are for initial claims, the number of people still receiving unemployment has risen.  This slight drop in initial claims may mean that the layoffs are slowing, which is also hopeful news. 

Here on the Treasure Coast we continue to struggle with the unemployment numbers.  There are actions you can take as a job seeker right now.  These include:

1.  Consider any part-time work you can find.  Whether it’s delivering pizzas or walking dogs, getting out of your house and engaging in activity is stimulating for your mind and a morale booster.

2.  Consider volunteering.  I know it doesn’t create an income, however, it could land you a job.  This is a great time to explore different non-profits that need your help.  Also, non-profits cover a variety of industries.  By volunteering in an industry that you have no exposure to could help you decide if you have an interest in a certain career field.

3.  Consider returning to school.  Here on the Treasure Coast we have a variety of schools.  From IRSC to MedVance to Massage School, there is some type of training for everyone.

4.  Become a Mom-preneur.  Ok, so you don’t have little ones that you want to stay at home with, however, what about that ‘great idea’ you have that you have always wanted to try?  NOW is the time to get in action.  Call the SBDC at IRSC to make an appointment with a counselor, go to the library and research your idea.  Do you think Henry Ford started with a full blown factory?  NO!  Most entrepreneurs start out of their homes and move from there.  If you have a product to sell, consider the Stuart Green Market or the Flea Market – or try both!  You don’t know until you put yourself out there. 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the jobless claim numbers start to decrease which would indicate recovery.  In the meantime, keep searching!  And if you need some help, consider taking my 10 minute FREE interview analysis to help you on your way!