With a national unemployment rate in the double digits, competition for available jobs will be stronger than ever. Our employment experts are sharing their best tips for resumes, job searches, and interviews, plus the best skill you can have to get hired.
Our Associate Vice President of STEM and Workforce Programs, Dr. Johannah Williams, recently talked with Dr. James David Collum, the Career Education Department Chair at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, about all this and more. Here are the highlights, and you can watch the full video below.
Build your resume around the job application — use the same language and only include relevant skills. This is not a time to be modest. Make sure you’re able to communicate the skills you bring to the table, including class experience.
Do your research. Read the application and website, and familiarize yourself with the company’s history, work, and culture. By the time you reach the interview process, the employer has already determined you have the skills needed for the job; this is to determine whether you’ll be a good fit.
Be prepared to answer some questions about your skills but also about how you would handle certain scenarios. This is your chance to show off your communication and critical thinking skills.
How to find open jobs
You’re not looking for your dream job; you’re looking for an open door into an organization that will eventually lead to your dream job. Check your college website — many have direct links to jobs in your area. Talk to your instructors and PTK advisors.
Check third party sites like Indeed.com, but be wary if a site makes you pay for access. Look at websites for the overall industry and for specific companies. And, get on LinkedIn, which allows employers to search for you and your specific skills.
Join Student Organizations
Join and be active in as many student organizations as you can. PTK has scholarships to help pay for certifications and programs like Employment Edge and Competitive Edge that help you build soft skills and prepare you for the workforce. SkillsUSA hosts regional and national competitions where you can showcase your talents.
Taking on leadership positions and helping with projects shows employers that you work well with others and can see a project through to completion.
The Top Skill You Need Now
Adaptability. Understand that situations are fluid right now. Be understanding of the people you work with and the organization itself. Showing adaptability, flexibility, problem-solving, and grit will go a long way as you navigate this tricky job market.
Watch the full video: