Job Searching in the LGBTQ Community

The LGBTQ community offers many resources for members of the community, especially in regards to job searching. While job searching, it is important to understand what resources are available and how to use them. Recently, legislation has been changing to put policies into place to protect the LGBT community in the workforce.

Some questions may arise such as:

Should I disclose my sexual orientation on my resume or in my interview?

How do I know if my employer is committed to equal practices?

How do I read the culture of the workplace?

How do I decide which employer will be right for me?

Searching for a job that will be a right fit for you and provide a welcoming environment doesn’t have to be difficult. So long as you are able to identify your career goals, and you utilize the resources provided to you, you should be successful in your job search. Below are some links to pages providing helpful information for LGBTQ candidates actively on the job search:

 

 

Don’t Bring Your Phone to an Interview

In preparing for the big interview, you make a mental checklist of everything you need: extra resume copies, business cards, notepad and pen, keys, phone… Phone? Do you need to bring your phone to your interview? In short, no.

First and foremost, you definitely shouldn’t be using your phone during an interview, checking your phone, or have your phone on the interview table. It creates a barrier between you and the interviewer, especially if it is in plain sight or being distracting by chirping throughout your interview. It is best to be turned off or silenced, and tucked away out of sight in a pocket or purse, or not on you at all.

Bringing your phone to the interview can relay a message about you: you aren’t trustworthy, you are dismissing towards the interviewer and the position, or that you just don’t care. The interviewer is looking for a candidate who is genuinely interested in the position, not somebody who would rather check Instagram than set aside 30 minutes of time to have a meaningful conversation.

On a recent episode of 20/20 with Diane Sawyer, interviewers are unsuspectingly interviewing recent graduates that are actually actors. They do a range of different things with their phone in the interview from putting it on the table and not touching it to taking a phone call during the interview. After, the recruiters were questioned on their thoughts about the actors; they described the phones as distracting. They confided that this is an often occurrence, and they dislike giving interviews to people who are distracted by their phones. They advised job seekers to not be on the phone while waiting for the interview and to keep it out of sight as a sign of respect so that the candidate can maintain eye contact and engage in the conversation

Overall, bringing your phone (and sometimes even smart watches) can hinder your chances of getting a job after the interview. Leave them on silent, out of sight, or even leave them at home if you can’t resist the urge to look at it in an interview.

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are the skills that will help you to be successful at any job you may have. These are sometimes called soft skills and they include skills like emotional intelligence, communication and working with others. These skills can be attained from experience in different jobs, clubs, extracurricular or cocurricular activities, and volunteering.  Written and verbal communication, teamwork, and workplace adaptability are all great examples of transferable skills, and these skills will give you an advantage in your job search.

Highlighting your transferable skills during an interview can make or break your chances of getting the job, no matter what your previous experience is. Employers look for these skills to know that candidates can excel in the workplace. Employers may still hire candidates that don’t necessarily have experience in the field but still have the skills to be able to perform the job well. What they are looking for is potential; talk about the skills you acquired from experience and how they will relate to the job for which you are applying.

When you search for jobs review the job description and try to match your skills to the position. According to Forbes, these are some of the most common transferable skills that you can begin developing today (Yate,2018):

  • Technical
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Multitasking
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Leadership

We recommend that you improve these skills by taking more demanding roles at your current job, taking any classes or attending workshops that your company may offer, and overall being more aware of your interaction with coworkers and others. It may take some time and effort, but it will be worth it to enhance the transferable skills that you can take with you to any position.

Reference

Yate, M. (2018, February 09). The 7 Transferable Skills To Help You Change Careers. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2018/02/09/the-7-transferable-skills-to-help-you-change-careers/#756b21424c04

 

Finding Public Career Fairs

The University of St. Francis Career Success Center offers excellent opportunities from career fairs, career month, and other networking opportunities. These are all great resources to take advantage of, but it can never hurt to expand your network outside of USF. Public career fairs are a great way to do this. They are free to the public; all you have to do is register and show up! What’s stopping you? Get out there and build your network!

  • By creating a Handshake account, you have access to public career fairs as well as events at USF and other surrounding schools. Handshake is also helpful for tailored job searches, employer reviews, and connecting with your peers. Create an account at joinhandshake.com and use your MyUSF Portal information to log in and get searching.
  • jobfairsin.com is a great resource to find public job fairs not only in Illinois but other states year round.
  • nationalcareerfairs.com is another resource for finding career fairs all over the country, all through the year.
  • https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/register-for-virtual-job-fair/ offers online job fairs in addition to job listings open to all.

By attending multiple job fairs, you can expand your network, grow your confidence, and become a more marketable job candidate. Be sure to update your resume before every event you attend, and maintain a professional manner to be successful at any career event you may attend.

Remote Work: Is it for you?

With technology on the rise, remote jobs are becoming more and more sought after. Some jobs have become more flexible with part-time on-site work and part-time work from home options, and other jobs have moved entirely online. If faced with the opportunity, how do you know that remote work is right for you?

The first step in deciding if remote work is a good job for you is to know yourself and in which conditions you work best. Some things to take into consideration may be:

  1. Do you work better in solitude or a busy environment?
  2. Do you have an organized, quiet environment to work in at home?
  3. Are you able to set specific time aside to work throughout the day?
  4. Will you be able to complete your expected tasks from the comfort of your own home?

If you can meet work expectations from your home, remote work may be a viable option for you. If this is something that you are interested in, you can search for remote jobs just as easily as on-site jobs. Using “remote” or “work from home” in a keyword search on any job board will provide you with remote job opportunities.

It may be beneficial to take a remote position part-time to adjust to the new schedule and work setting before committing full-time if remote work is not your best way of working. Remote work may come with different working hours, forms of communication, and expectations and tasks. The job may take some adjustment and structure to be successful, but if remote work is a path you choose to take, you may find more job opportunities than you expected.

What is Handshake?

Handshake is an online database that has become popular among college students and employers searching for college students or recent graduates to fill positions. Handshake is much like any job search database, but has some special features that are tailored to college students and employers.

This job board creates custom lists of jobs that you may be interested in based on your field, location, and other jobs in which you’ve shown interest. When you favorite a job, Handshake curates a list of similar jobs for you to browse. You can also view jobs based on if they require travel or not. This is helpful in finding a job that genuinely interests you and matches your skillset and career goals.

Handshake provides an events tab that includes events at University of St. Francis as well as other venues. This is a good place to find free public career fairs and other career related events that you can attend outside of USF. While USF offers great opportunities to meet with recruiters and find a job, it can never hurt to explore on your own.

In looking for a job, you might be wondering, “what’s it like to work here?” or “what’s the job environment like here?”. With job reviews, you can see what others had to say about their own experiences with employers, and get a better idea of the place you’re applying for.

In addition, Handshake gives you the opportunity to create your own profile to highlight your skills, experiences, and what makes you valuable to an employer. While this information is available via your resume, it makes the information easily accessible for employers looking for ideal recruits.

If you haven’t created a Handshake account yet, check out stfrancis.joinhandshake.com and use your USF portal information to login and get access to all the helpful job search tools they have to offer.

Keeping Up with Technology in Your Industry

It’s no secret how quickly technology has changed over the past decade. This has affected every industry imaginable: medical, business, art, education, etc. As an upcoming graduate or recent graduate, technology is key to understanding what’s happening in your industry and knowing it allows you to keep up with industry standards. Candidates with updated tech skills can put these on a resume and enhance their A2B (Applicant to Business) marketing.

Because technology is changing so fast, it may be intimidating to try to decode and understand all of the facets of what you should be familiarizing yourself with and learning. It is an unrealistic goal to know every system in your field, especially with no experience. Patience is crucial in keeping up with technology because there is always a learning curve.

            Research: A great place to start is to review some job postings to see what skill sets and technology are listed.  Go on indeed.com, monster.com, joinhandshake.com, or any other job search boards, and look through various entry-level and mid-level positions in your field. First, look at the required skills and then the preferred ones.  Take note of your findings, and be aware of the programs or technical skills that you see listed for multiple different positions.

Network: Professors, mentors, and other people you know in your field may be able to give you an idea of what technology you should know before entering the workforce. Reach out to recent graduates in your field and ask them what they needed to learn to be successful in their post-graduation positions. Not every position is the same, and will not require all the same skills. Focus on the ones that are being talked about most among your network and job descriptions, and build your skills around those programs or technologies.

More Research: Once you gather a list of technologies and skills you would like to learn, start a preliminary search among others who already possess this knowledge. Look for YouTube How-To’s, Reddit threads, and Google. You need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis.  Is this software worth the price to learn because it will lead to more employment opportunities, or can I use a free trial to gain some experience and evaluate my plan after the trial?  Any experience with technology can help build your resume and land you an internship where you can gain more skills or even a job.

Every industry is changing due to technological advances, and keeping up with them makes you more marketable as a potential employee. Your A2B Marketing Plan will benefit from your technical skills, and so will your resume.

 

Dress to Impress

When interviewing for a potential job, it’s important to look your best and make a good first impression. All you will need is a few staple items that can work for any interview or professional event you have. For women and men alike, it is important to take care of your professional clothes to make sure they’re always clean, free of wrinkles, and properly fitting.

Men’s Professional Dress

When considering what to wear for an interview, consider clothing that is professional but comfortable. If you are comfortable in your clothing, you are more likely to be confident and do well in your interview. Wear a pair of nice pants, a shirt and a jacket that fit well.

In addition to fit, your ensemble should match. The shirt, pants, jacket, tie, and shoes you wear should all coordinate and go together seamlessly. For example, men should have a black, grey, or navy blue matching pants and jacket that could easily pair with a white or light blue collared shirt, and a plain tie. Shoes, usually black or brown, should be polished and match the color of the belt you wear as well.

Your attire is only the beginning: you must be well groomed. Men’s hair should be well kept, and facial hair should be properly groomed.

Women’s Professional Dress

Women’s professional clothing can be very simple to create a wardrobe that is timeless. Women have an array of choice for professional looks. Women can wear sleek dresses, slacks, blouses, blazers, heels, flats, scarves, and multiple combinations of these to create a professional look. Like men’s clothing, these items should match or be coordinated to look put together, and well kept. Clothing should fit properly (not too tight, not too loose) and be able to conservatively cover chest, stomach, legs, and bottom. For an interview, a conservative look is recommended.

Women should be sure to keep a basic look, with neutral colors and clothes that aren’t distracting. Bright colors and prints shouldn’t be worn to an interview, nor should eccentric jewelry, makeup, nails, and other accessories. You can still be expressive, but keep flashy and dramatic pieces away from the interview.

Overall, as long as your clothes are pressed and well put together, and you keep your look simple, you should be ready for any interview. After all, the interview isn’t about your clothes, so you don’t want to outshine your personality with your clothing choices. Remember if you think maybe something you have on is inappropriate or not a good fit, you are probably right. Update your appearance and land the job.

Keeping it Real (On Your Resume) with Kellie Wujek

Our Career Success Center’s new Career Advisor, Kellie Wujek, is a resume expert. She has shared some basic tips on achieving resume success:

Q: How should recent college graduates organize their resumes?

K: For college students and recent grads, education should always go towards the top, and under your name and contact information. It should remain there until you’ve gained a couple of years of experience in your field.

Q: How can I add personality to my resume?

K: That’s a tough one. It’s better to focus on customizing your resume for the job in which you’re applying. Save your personality for the interview.

Q: What are some tools to help me create my resume?

K: Your Career Success Department and YouTube. Avoid paying “resume builders”.

Q: What are your top 3 do’s and don’ts of resume writing?

K: You will get better results with quality over quantity. Take the time to customize your resume. Use keywords from the job posting.

Q: How do I tailor my resume to the job in which I’m applying?

K: In your profile summary, and by using keywords in the entire document.

Q: Can I add non-job related experiences and achievements to my resume? Where?

K: Volunteer and clubs/cocurricular activities can often fit under “Leadership Experience”.

Q: What are some formatting tips to help me make sure my resume works well with resume review scanners?

K: Avoid odd fonts and the use of italics.

For more resume or job search help, or to make an individual appointment to discuss your resume further, stop into the Career Success Center in N204 in the Tower Hall and meet with one of the advisors.

Preparing For An Interview

Picture of Young woman and recruitment procedure in corporation.

You finally get the call you’ve been waiting for… you landed an interview for your dream job! This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, and you really want to nail that interview, but how? How can you be sure to stand out against your competition? Have you created an A2B Marketing plan?

What’s an A2B Marketing plan?

Much like B2B (Business to business) or B2C (Business to consumer) marketing, A2B (Applicant to business) marketing is how you reach the company you’re applying to and convince them that they need you on their team. In other words, A2B marketing is how you market yourself to the company and sell yourself as the best candidate for a job. Here’s how to start your A2B Marketing plan.

Start with research

Researching the company you’re interviewing for is one of the most important steps in the A2B and interview processes. It will give you a better idea of what the company and its employees do, what the goals and values of the company are, and what type of employees and customers the company has. Research the company’s website, social media, and LinkedIn. Doing your research is also expected by most employers. If you show that you’ve researched the company before the interview, it shows you have an interest in the company, and you are serious about the position. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to ask better, more meaningful questions at the end of the interview.

Prepare your Documents

During a job search, your resume is your greatest asset, and it can make or break your chances at a position. In most cases, the resume is the first impression of the candidate, and so you want to use your resume to leave an impression on your reader. For more information on writing a resume, check out this article.

Next, you should create a cover letter. Not all applications require a cover letter, but your cover letter is a good place to outline your A2B skills and let the company know why you’re the candidate they should choose. Just like your resume, it is best practice to tailor your cover letter to the company in which you are applying.

If your application requires recommendation letters, you should reach out to your contacts and provide them with some context about the job. Receiving recommendations can help you stand out from other candidates.

Choose an appropriate outfit for the interview

When deciding what to wear for the interview, it is important to keep in mind that you want to impress the interviewers with your achievements and skills—not your outfit. You should dress sensibly and professionally. There’s no reason to wear any flashy or distracting clothing or accessories to the job interview. Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free, and fit properly.

Practice

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience; and if you come unprepared, it will be evident. Take a moment to draft out some answers to questions like, “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should we hire you”.  Have an idea of what some strengths, weaknesses, and experiences are that you’d like to highlight. Also, think about a few examples that show your work ethic and show your ability to follow through.   Even if these specific questions aren’t asked in the interview, you can use these stories to show how valuable you are, and by telling a story, you are making yourself memorable to those who are interviewing you. Practice telling these stories in a way that show your strengths, and how you can add value to the company. Mock interviews can also be conducted at the Career Success Center if you want extra experience answering interview-type questions. Practice and preparation are two components to a solid A2B promotional plan. By practicing, you become more confident in yourself and you will connect better with the interviewers.

Get to the interview

Much like a job, you should NOT be late for a job interview! Be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the interview accounting for traffic, weather, etc. You want to be there at least 10 minutes early, ready to go. Make sure to bring extra copies of your resume, a notepad, and a pen to the interview. If applicable, you should also have a portfolio of your work with you. Leave your phone out of sight and off (not on vibrate, OFF) for the duration of the interview. Bring your smile, and don’t be afraid to be yourself during the interview. Find tips on the interviewing process here. Good luck on your job hunt!

Other helpful links:

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2017/08/02/4-open-ended-interview-questions-and-what-employers-really-want-to-know/

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2013/06/25/10-unconventional-tips-for-job-seekers/