Valdosta Daily Times

January 24, 2013

Wiregrass Works

Seminar offers advice to job hunters

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in partnership with Express Employment Professionals — a staffing and professional placement agency — held a JobWise Informium on Wednesday to help attendees gather marketable job skills.

“This is a job skills workshop,” said Kay Morris, career services coordinator for the southern region of Wiregrass.

While Wiregrass holds several job seminars for its students, this is the first time it has teamed with Express Employment to hold a job seminar for the public.

“Hopefully, we’re going to be able to do this once a year from here on out,” said Morris.

How this seminar differed from other Wiregrass seminars is that it included employers to give advice.

“We wanted to bring in employers so they can get their perspective,” said Morris.

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency job specialists, Express Employment and Martin’s Famous Pastry Shop spoke to attendees not just about basic job interview and resume skills, but about the things they personally look for in a resume and an applicant.

Dana Armstrong with Express Employment offered some helpful tips that she personally seeks in a job applicant.

“Do your research on the company that you want to interview with,” said Armstrong. “You’re not just interviewing for the title, you’re interviewing for that company as well.”

Armstrong said research not only makes you look more informed in an interview, but it also gives you the opportunity as an applicant to make sure a particular business is in line with your owner morals and beliefs.

As pointed out in the seminar, a resume is the first impression an employer has of an applicant.

“Personally, when I get a resume, if it’s very unorganized, I’m probably not going to look at it,” said Armstrong. “It needs to be presentable.”

Paula Phillips with the GVRA noted that the average employer only looks at a typical resume for 10 to 15 seconds, so you have to make those seconds count.

Armstrong said it is very important for applicants to list their accomplishments. After all, the resume is supposed to be a highlight of an applicant’s best attributes.

In regards to dress, Armstrong stated that you need to dress for the part you want, not the part you have.

“Your appearance, in whatever setting ... needs to remain conservative,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong suggested taking out piercings, covering tattoos and making sure to look put together and clean. If you’re interviewing in a corporate setting, you should always wear a suit, and if you’re interviewing in a more industrial setting, wear slacks and a collar shirt.

Armstrong also stressed the importance of interview skills.

“It’s a really competitive job market,” said Armstrong. “I think (employers) are looking for people who are engaged and who actually want to work there.”

Ivana Africh, a Wiregrass student and employee at the registrar office, felt the information was helpful.

“It’s always good to learn some new skills and to get perspective from employers,” said Africh.

While Africh has attended job seminars through organizations such as the National Honor Society, she feels you can’t get too much information when pertaining to job skills.