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DUA Advisory: Martin Luther King Holiday, 01/21/13 and more

By Stephanie Caporale | On January 2, 2013 | Comments(0)

 

DUA Advisory: Martin Luther King Holiday, 01/21/13

Please be advised that all phone and online applications WILL NOT be available on Monday, 1/21/13.  Services will resume on Tuesday, 1/22/13. For the week ending 1/19/13, if you certify for weekly benefit on Sunday 1/20/13, there will be a one day delay in your payment. Please plan accordingly.  We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

 

Federal Extensions Update (01/02/13)

On January 2, 2013, Congress passed the Tax Relief Extension Act. We expect President Obama to sign this Act into law today. This law will extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits until the end of 2013. If you are currently receiving EUC benefits, please continue claiming benefits weekly to ensure timely payment. Learn more.

 

DUA Advisory: Payment delay for week ending 12/29/12

Please be advised that your benefit payment may be delayed by one day for the week ending Dec 29, 2012. If you claim benefits on Sunday Dec 30, you will receive payment on Wednesday Jan 2. If you claim benefits on Monday Dec 31, you will receive payment on Thursday Jan 3. There will be no payment delay if you claim benefits on other days. Please plan accordingly.

Click here for more information.

 


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Job Interview Checklist

By Allen | On December 26, 2012 | Comments(0)

Job Interview Checklist for Job-Seekers

From QuintEssential Careers

by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., and Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

 

Are you going on a job interview soon? Use this thorough checklist to guide you through the interview-preparation process and move you closer to successfully attaining the job you seek.

 

I have:

– Thoroughly researched the organization I’m interviewing with, the industry, my interviewer, and the job itself.

 

– Conducted research so I know all interview logistics, such as parking, office location, paperwork, attire, and the type of interview that will be conducted.

 

– Prepared and practiced for the interview without memorizing or over-rehearsing my answers. I’ve reviewed the questions I think I may be asked in the interview, as well as my planned responses to them.

 

– Enlisted a friend or family member to do a mock interview with me.

 

– Visualized myself going through the full interview experience and performing magnificently. I imagine myself confidently sailing through the interview.

 

– Asked for good directions and/or searched for a map/directions from an Internet map site, such as Mapquest, Google Maps, or Yahoo Maps.

 

– Taken a practice run to the location where I’m having the interview — or otherwise made sure I know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there.

 

– Gotten a good night’s sleep. Brushed my teeth and used mouthwash. Bathed or showered. Used deodorant soap and put on deodorant.

 

– Planned interview attire that is appropriate for the job, the company, and the industry. I have prepared every element of the outfit, including shoes, jewelry, hose, tie, accessories. Inspected each element carefully. I have ensured that my outfit is clean and neatly pressed. I’ve checked for spots and removed them. I’ve checked for rips or tears and sewn them or chosen another outfit. I’ve checked for runs in my hose. I’ve ensured that my shoes are clean and polished. I have a Plan B for attire if I come across any disasters.

 

– Packed emergency-repair items I might need: small sewing kit, extra pair of pantyhose, spot-remover wipes, tissues, comb and brush, hairspray or gel, makeup for touchups, breath mints, an umbrella, extra copies of my resume in case I have more than one interviewer, and my career portfolio.

 

 

I will:

– Plan to arrive about 10 minutes early since late arrival for a job interview is never excusable. If I’m running late, I’ll phone the company.

 

– Greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect and make a good first impression.

 

– Not chew gum during the interview.

 

– If presented with a job application, fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately.

 

– Bring extra resumes to the interview. (Even better, if I have a job skills portfolio, also bring that with me to the interview.)

 

– Not rely on my application or resume to do the selling for me; I know I need to sell myself to the interviewer.

 

– Greet the interviewer with a smile and call him or her by his or her title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name. I’ll confirm the pronunciation of the interviewer’s name (if questionable) with the receptionist before going into the interview.

 

– Shake hands firmly and avoid a limp or clammy handshake!

 

– Wait until I am offered a chair before sitting. I will be aware of my body language and posture at all times; I will sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. I will avoid fidgeting or slouching.

 

– Make good eye contact with the interviewer(s).

 

– Show enthusiasm about the position and the company.

 

– Avoid smoking, even if the interviewer does and offers me a cigarette. I’ll avoid smoking beforehand so I don’t smell like smoke. Whether or not I smoke, I will brush my teeth, use mouthwash, or have a breath mint before the interview.

 

– Avoid using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as “like,” “uh,” “you know,” and “um”).

 

– Speak with a strong voice to project confidence.

 

– Maintain a high confidence and energy level, but avoid being overly aggressive or cocky.

 

– Avoid acting as though I would take any job or am desperate for employment.

 

– Avoid controversial topics.

 

– Ensure that my strong points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.

 

– Never lie. I will answer questions truthfully, frankly, and succinctly and not over-answer them.

 

– Stress my achievements and avoid offering any negative information about myself.

 

– Avoid answering questions with a simple “yes” or “no;” instead, I will explain and give examples whenever possible. I will describe those things about myself that showcase my talents, skills, and determination.

 

– Highlight the research I have done on the company and industry when responding to questions.

 

– Refrain from bringing up or discussing personal issues or family problems.

 

– Remember that the interview is also an important time to evaluate the interviewer and the company he or she represents.

 

– Realize that a short pause before responding to a question to collect my thoughts is OK, but avoid long pauses. Repeating the question aloud or asking for the question to be repeated to buy some time to think is OK.

 

– Conduct myself in a way that demonstrates my determination to land the job I am discussing. Avoid closing the door on an opportunity until I am sure about it.

 

– Refrain from answering cell-phone calls during the interview; in fact, turn my cell phone off (or set to silent ring).

 

– Show what I can do for the company rather than demand what the company can do for me.

 

– Postpone inquiring about salary, vacation, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after I have received an offer. I will be prepared for a question about salary requirements but will try to delay salary talk until have I have an offer.

 

– Ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry, knowing that if I don’t ask any questions, I will be indicating a lack of interest.

 

– Request business cards from each person I interviewed with — or at least ask the correct spelling of their first and last names. I’ll avoid making assumptions about simple names (was it Jon or John?); I’ll get the spelling.

 

– Close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that I want the job and asking about the next step in the process. (Some experts even recommend closing the interview by asking for the job.)

 

– Immediately write down notes after the interview concludes so I don’t forget crucial details.

 

– Write thank-you letters within 24 hours to each person who interviewed me.

 

Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at [email protected].

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at [email protected].

Copyright by Quintessential Careers. The original article can be found at: http://www.quintcareers.com/job_interview_checklist.html. Reprinted with permission.


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Resume Do’s and Don’ts

By Allen | On December 26, 2012 | Comments(0)

From QuintEssential Careers

by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

Here are the keys to successfully preparing and writing a strong and focused job-search resume. Following these simple rules and guidelines (key do’s and don’ts) should help job-seekers achieve success in this important phase of job-hunting.

Do read Quint detailed Frequently Asked Questions About Resumes: The Complete Job-Search Resume FAQ if you have questions about resume writing and preparation.

And do review some of the many no-cost professional resume samples Quint has published: Sample Job-Seeker Resumes for Job-Seekers in Various Professions. It never hurts to see what a strong resume looks like before tackling your own.

Do consider a bulleted style to make your resume as reader-friendly as possible.

Don’t get overwrought about the old “one-page resume rule.” It’s good to keep your resume to one page, if possible, but if you have a lot of experience, two pages may be more appropriate. If your resume spills beyond one page, but you have less than a half a page of material for the second page, it may be best to condense to one page.

But preferably don’t go beyond two pages with your resume — even if you are an executive job-seeker; resumes are trending shorter these days. (Academics, doctors, researchers, and others who use CVs rather than resumes do not have to pay attention to the page-length rule.)

Do consider a resume design that doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Many job-seekers use Microsoft Word resume templates. There’s nothing wrong with them, per se, but your resume won’t look distinctive if you use one; it will look like the resume of everyone else who used a Word template. These templates can also be a bit inflexible to work with.

Don’t use justified text blocks; they put odd little spaces between words. Instead, make your type flush left.

Don’t ever lie on your resume.

Do include ways to contact you — Website address/URL (if available), city and state only (no street address), a single phone number (no second/third number, no fax number), and a single email address. While job-seekers were once advised to include as much contact information as possible, the emerging trend is for minimal contact information, in part because of identity theft.

Do give your resume as sharp a focus as possible. Given that employers screen resumes for as few as 6 seconds, you need a way to show the employer at a glance what you want to do and what you’re good at.

Do consider a section such as “Summary of Qualifications,” or “Profile,” which can also help sharpen your focus. Here’s a resume with an example of such a section.

Don’t use personal pronouns (I, my, me) in a resume.

Do list your job information in order of importance to the reader. In listing your jobs, what’s generally most important is your title/position. So list in this preferred order: Title/position, name of employer, city/state of employer, dates of employment.

Don’t leave out the locations of your past jobs (city and state). This information is expected, but many job-seekers unwittingly omit it.

Do list your jobs in reverse chronological order.

Don’t mix noun and verb phrases when describing your jobs. Preferably, use concrete action verbs consistently.

Do avoid the verb, “Work” because it’s a weak verb. Everyone works. Be more specific. “Collaborate(d)” is often a good substitute.

Do think in terms of accomplishments when preparing your resume. Accomplishments are so much more meaningful to prospective employers than run-of-the-mill litanies of job responsibilities.

Don’t use expressions like “Duties included,” “Responsibilities included,” or “Responsible for.” That’s job-description language, not accomplishments-oriented resume language that sells.

Do emphasize transferable skills, especially if you don’t have much experience or seek to change careers.

Do quantify whenever possible. Use numbers to tell employers how many people you supervised, by what percentage you increased sales, how much money you saved, how many products you represented, etc.

Don’t emphasize older experience on your resume. Include your jobs that are more than 15 years old, but list them in bare-bones fashion (title, employer, location) with or without dates of employment. You may want to title this section Previous Professional Experience.

Don’t emphasize skills and job activities you don’t want to do in the future, even if they represent great strengths for you. In fact, you may not even want to mention these activities. Why describe how great your clerical skills are if you don’t want to do clerical work in the future?

Do remember that education also follows the principle about presenting information in the order of importance to the reader; thus the preferred order for listing your education is: Name of degree (spelled out: Bachelor of ____________) in name of major, name of university, city/state of university, graduation year (unless you graduated more than about 15 years ago), followed by peripheral information, such as minor and GPA. If you haven’t graduated yet, list your grad year anyway. Simply by virtue of the fact that the date’s in the future, the employer will know you don’t have the degree yet. If you’re uncomfortable listing your future grad date, you can say, for example, “expected May 2014.”

Don’t list high school (unless you’re still a teenager)!

Don’t include on your resume your height, weight, age, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, sex, ethnicity/race, health, social security number (except on an international resume), reasons for leaving previous job(s), names of former supervisors, specific street addresses or phone numbers of former employers, picture of yourself, salary information, the title “Resume,” or any information that could be perceived as controversial, such as religion, church affiliations, or political affiliations.

Don’t include hobbies or other irrelevant information on a resume. In most cases, they are seen as superfluous and trivial. An argument can be made that hobbies are interview conversation starters or that they make you seem well-rounded, but they are generally seen as fluff or filler.

Do, however, list sports if you’re a college student or new grad. Many employers specifically seek out athletes because of their drive and competitiveness, as well as teamwork and leadership skills. Collegiate athletes should even consider listing their sports background in the Experience section.

Don’t list references right on your resume. References belong in a later stage of the job search. Keep references on a separate sheet and provide them only when they are specifically requested.

Do realize that the phrase “References available upon request” is highly optional because it is a given that you will provide references upon request. If you couldn’t, you would have no business looking for a job. The line can serve the purpose of signaling: “This is the end of my resume,” but if you are trying to conserve space, leave it off.

Do proofread carefully. Misspellings and typos are deadly on a resume.

For a good summary of strong resume-writing suggestions, do read, FAKTSA: An Easy Acronym for Remembering Key Resume Enhancers.

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, is an educator, author, and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers. Katharine, who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, OH, is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press), as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters, Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at [email protected].

Copyright by Quintessential Careers. The original article can be found at: http://www.quintcareers.com/resume-dos-donts.html. Reprinted with permission.


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