The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Job seekers should market themselves better, advisor says

By Dea Ozegovic/reporter

To land a good job, applicants need to market themselves, an academic advisor told South Campus students last week.

Noel Garcia, provided tips and guidance at the Job Hunting seminar Oct. 8.

His presentation included preparation for the job search, a resume that captures the employer’s attention, effective job searching engines, sites, and agencies and interview skills to help someone stand out from the competition.

When preparing for a job interview, applicants should do outside research on the company. Garcia said this helps ensure that the job matches what the applicant wants. Because interaction is important, researching the company will also provide ideas for questions to ask the interviewer.

A portfolio is another marketing tool. It should include a resume, transcripts, awards,  references and letters of recommendation. Garcia said the letters can be prewritten by the applicant as long as they are realistic and accurate.

Writing a professional resume is more than downloading a template off the Internet and adding personal information. When creating a resume, one should pick a resume paper appropriate for the business. Texture and color add character to the resume and make it stand out in a pile of plain white resumes.

A typical, well-composed resume has the applicant’s first and last name, phone number, address and e-mail address at the top. 

Many include an objective that describes their desired job and their fit with the company as a way to capture the employer’s attention. But Garcia said this is the wrong approach.

“It’s not what you are looking for, it’s how you fit the job,” he said.

The summary of qualifications should describe the skills that would make the applicant a good asset to the company.

Work history and experience should always fall in chronological order. Garcia said never date back more than 10 years unless the job requires more experience in the field.

College students and recent graduates should not go past their junior year in high school.

Garcia said several books and guides offer examples and tips for effective resumes. Some include Resume Kit, Style Guide and Gallery of Best Resumes. Resume templates can be found through Internet search engines.

A mini-resume is a good tool, Garcia said. The size of a business card, it includes, basic experience and qualifications and is easily dispersed.

In today’s age, networking is the key to success, Garcia said, and a mini-resume works well with networking.

“In the professional world, it’s not what you know but who you know,” he said.

When searching for a job, people can turn to many outlets. The more traditional include newspaper employment ads, walk-ins or employment agencies. But Garcia also said many other options are available like employment search engines, such as monster.com, careerbuilder.com or indeed.com. Also available on the Web are city, country, state and national sites that offer employment opportunities.

Once an applicant has landed an interview, Garcia said the work is not over.

“The key to a successful interview is to stay calm and relax,” he said. “Go in there and be confident.”

Garcia said the most common question an interviewer asks is “Tell me about yourself?”

Many people start the interview completely wrong if they misinterpret the question and start describing their personal life.

Garcia said the employer is asking about professional skills and accomplishments. The answer should tell the interviewer qualities and aspects that make someone the best candidate for the job at hand.

As the interview ends, applicants should take one or two minutes to recap why they should be considered for the job.

Before leaving, the applicant should get the hiring personnel’s name, phone number and address. Instead of calling the prospective employer to get an update on the process, applicants should follow up through a thank you letter. This letter reiterates the applicant’s interest and qualifications.

For more information or to get a resume reviewed, visit the student career and employment services on any campus or visit www.tccd.edu/student_services/career.

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