Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #38
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Last updateFri, 25 May 2018 5pm

I attended a job fair recently and I didn’t get any call backs for interviews. Is there something I am doing wrong?

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Dear Working Wise:

I have been looking for a job for a month now. I attended a job fair recently and I didn’t get any call backs for interviews. Is there something I am doing wrong? Signed Confused

 

Dear Confused:

 

Job fairs may seem like a dated cliché in these modern times of web sites and Facebook, but they offer a unique opportunity to make a good first impression on an employer and stand out from the crowd.

 

It is hard to say why no one called you back, but some job hunters fail to use job fairs to their full advantage.

 

I attended a job fair recently and used the opportunity to ask employers what tips they would give job seekers.

 

Here are some great job fair tips plus a few pointers from real employers:

1.     Find out which employers will be at the job fair and learn a little about each and what skills they are looking for before you go. Let the employer know that you have talked to someone in a similar position and that you understand the job.

2.     Create a prioritized list so you can visit the employers you are most interested in first.

3.     Arrive early so you have the chance to see the employers you are most interested in. Visit the remaining employers afterward and keep an open mind. You never know who they are looking for or what new opportunities await you.

4.     Bring at least 30 copies of your current resumé plus a pen in case you need to make notes.

5.     Print your resumé on good-quality paper and ensure that it is free of errors. Protect your resumés from stains and creases with a portfolio or folder.

6.     Dress like you are going to a job interview—the people you talk to may be making the hiring decision or might want to interview you right on the spot.

7.     Create your “elevator speech”—a short introduction that tells the employer what your key skills/experience are and the kind of job you are looking for—and be ready to sell yourself.

8.     Use your time well. If you are waiting in line to talk to an employer, try to listen to what the employer is saying to other job seekers. Network with other job seekers to pick up tips and job leads.

9.     Always behave as though your future boss is watching you. Be polite to other job seekers, considerate of each employer's time, and don't talk on your mobile phone while waiting in line for an employer.

10. Greet the recruiter with a smile and a firm handshake. Be friendly, enthusiastic and ready to ask questions and answer their questions. Do not just hand in your resumé—you can do that via the Internet—this is your chance to shine.

11. Ask what the next step is in the hiring process to show your interest and enthusiasm.

12. Collect business cards and send a “thank you” email or note re-stating your interest in the position and your qualifications.

13. If you do not have a current resumé, visit your nearest Alberta Works Labour Market Information Centre www.employment.alberta.ca/lmic or use the resumé tips and e-Resumé Review service on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site http://alis.alberta.ca.    

14. Find out about upcoming job fairs at: http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

 

Good luck at your next job fair!

 

This is provided for general information. Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration.

 


Do you have a list of common questions that I can use to help me prepare for an upcoming job interview?

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Dear Working Wise:

I enjoyed your story on making a good impression during a job interview. Do you have a list of common questions that I can use to help me prepare for an upcoming job interview? Signed, Eager Job Hunter

 

Dear Eager:

 

Preparing for your next job interview is the best way to impress a potential employer, but there are hundreds of potential questions you could be asked—too many to list here.

 

You can find a comprehensive list of potential job interview questions on various web pages or in job-interview books found at your local public library or Alberta Works Labour Market Information Centre (LMIC). Visit www.employment.alberta.ca/lmic to find the LMIC nearest you.

 

These lists are a great way to prepare for sneaky questions like: “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with your supervisor,” or “What’s your greatest weakness?”

 

But most interview questions are designed to help the employer answer three basic questions:

1. Can you do the job (skills/experience)?

2. Will you do the job (attitude/enthusiasm)?

3. Will you fit into the team and culture (people skills/working style)?

 

Can you do the job?

Scan the job posting/description closely and create a list of desired skills and experience. Then, brainstorm high points from your career when you have used these skills with success and be ready to talk about these examples to illustrate what you have to offer.

 

You should know what your greatest weakness is and what you have done to improve on it. You should also be ready with a 20-second “elevator speech” that explains why they should hire you over all others. And, bring proof of your skills and accomplishments to the interview.

 

Will you do the job?

The interviewer might ask what you know about the organization, what research you did to prepare for the interview, or how often you were absent from your last job. They want to gauge your interest and enthusiasm. Do your research and be ready to show your excitement for the job and how you see yourself adding value. Picturing yourself in the job and talking about past successes will help draw out your passion for what you do and what you have to offer.

 

Will you be a good fit?

You might be asked about your leadership style or working style, why you left your last job, or what you didn’t like about your past supervisor or co-workers. You might even be asked about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker or your supervisor. The interviewer is trying to figure out how you work with others and spot any red flags. Examples of how you have used your people skills effectively will go a long way toward reassuring the employer that you work well with others.

 

Understanding why interviewers ask specific kinds of questions will help you anticipate and prepare answers and anecdotes that work to your advantage. The time you spend researching and practicing your answers will build your confidence and improve your performance in the interview.

 

For more tips and advice on job interviews, visit http://alis.alberta.ca/ and click on Tip Sheets.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

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I’m looking for a way to supplement my income.

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Dear Working Wise:

I have a good part-time job, but I’m looking for a way to supplement my income. My options are limited due to family commitments and a lack of a car. I was thinking about applying for one of those online jobs I keep seeing, but many seem to require money up front or the need to create a web site. How can I analyze how safe it is to get involved with one of these Internet jobs? Signed, Cautious

 

Dear Cautious:

You are right to be wary. The Internet is filled with work-from-home scams masquerading as real jobs and business opportunities.

 

Job scams made the Southern Alberta Better Business Bureau’s top-10 list of most common scams in 2010.

 

Top 10 Red flags to watch for:

1.     They want money up front;

2.     You don’t have a good feeling about it;

3.     Vague job title, duties and compensation;

4.     Job offer is a spam e-mail or a web-banner advertisement;

5.     You are required to repackage items sent to you and ship them abroad;

6.     Company is hard to identify, locate, or contact via telephone and e-mail;

7.     They want your Social Insurance Number or banking information right away;

8.     Unprofessional: poor grammar, spelling, web design, webmail e-mail address;

9.     You are required to transfer or wire money out of your personal bank account; or

10. Too good to be true: guaranteed big money, no risk, no skill or experience needed.

 

Don’t buy yourself a job—Beware if they ask for money up front for things like application fees and mailing lists or to purchase instructions, materials or equipment.

 

Research the company—Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints. Try to talk to someone who used to work for the company and find out what it’s really like. Perform an Internet search for the company’s name or your recruiter’s name to see what pops up.

 

Avoid common job scams—Avoid becoming a statistic by checking out theCouncil of Better Business Bureaus web page on the most common online work-from-home scams at http://www.bbb.org/us/article/work-at-home-schemes-408.

 

One common scam is the Secret Shopper. Legitimate mystery-shopper companies exist, but some fraudsters use this type of employment to steal your identity or your cash. Check out the Service Alberta Secret Shopper Consumer Alert at www.servicealberta.ca/548.cfm.

 

Create your own work from home job—Technological advances, and potential cost savings, are making more companies open to the idea of employees working from home. If you really want a second job where you can work from home, you might want to try applying for traditional jobs that you can do from home and then pitch the idea of telecommuting.

 

For more tips on preventing fraud, check out the Central and Northern Alberta Better Business Bureau’s 10 Red Flags You Are Being Scammed at http://edmonton.bbb.org/article/10-red-flags-you-are-being-scammed-16627.

 

March is Fraud Prevention Month with a focus this year on online scams. For tips and information on Fraud Prevention Month, visit Alberta Community Crime Prevention at www.accpa.org or the Competition Bureau Canada at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

 ©iStockphoto.com/EricHood


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