EmploymeNC: 7 reasons it’s your #1 job search site

When looking for job opportunities, you can’t rely on job boards alone. Job searching requires a multi-strategy approach. Your list of resources should also include networking, career expos and social media.

But for CPCC students and alumni who are using online job boards, EmploymeNC should be your go-to site because it’s more than just a job board. Here are seven reasons why you should bookmark EmploymeNC.

It’s only for CPCC students and alumni. The only way to access EmploymeNC is by using your CPCC login and password information. This cuts down the competition of others applying for the available jobs. It also means that employers posting jobs are actively looking for CPCC candidates.

Hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs are updated weekly. On average over 500 full-time and part-time job openings are featured on EmploymeNC each week. Employers regularly contact Career Services with job opportunities they want you to know about and all are directed to post their jobs on EmploymeNC.

Ability to save your job searches makes the process easier. When it comes to online job boards, having to apply to jobs one at a time gets frustrating. With EmploymeNC you avoid this hassle. Save your jobs of interest in a folder and apply to them all at once. Additionally, there’s no need to search the same types of jobs multiple times. After entering your keywords, select to have new job postings emailed to you that fit this same criteria.

Resume writing software. Creating a resume isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Career Services recommends that you create a resume from scratch that targets your specific career interests and best markets your skills and background. If you haven’t written a resume before, EmploymeNC offers a resume writing software called Resume Creator to help you get started. Unlike other resume templates, Resume Creator has templates designed by career services professionals that present your qualifications in a solid standard resume format.     

Free resume critique from a career services professional. Career Services wants you to put your best application forward; therefore, a career counselor automatically reviews each resume you upload into EmploymeNC. If there are any errors on your resume or opportunities to better market your background, you’ll receive an email with your resume attached that highlights the edit suggestions.   

Access to a Career Resource Library. EmployeNC’s Resource Library is filled with valuable career information about resumes, cover letters, interviewing and much more.  

Calendar of career events. Learn about upcoming recruiting events and Career Services programs. Check the box in your profile section to receive emails from Career Services about events as well.

EmploymeNC is a simple, effective online job board to use. Check out the video “Using EmploymeNC” that shows you how to upload your resume and search for jobs and highlights all of its features.  Get started today!

 

 

Spring graduates still job searching? Ask yourself these questions.

If you graduated in May and are still job hunting, you’re probably understandably frustrated with the process. Remember, job searching takes time. Although graduation day may seem a distant memory, the average job search can take months.

But it might be time to evaluate your tools and strategies, looking for changes that could lead to better results. Ask yourself the following questions as they relate to your job search to date.

Are you finding jobs to apply to? If you feel there are a limited number of available positions, examine ways to expand the list.

  • Expand your geographic region if possible.
  • Use multiple job search tools (online job boards, career fairs, social media, networking).
  • Search for different types of jobs. Your education and work experience may qualify you for positions you haven’t explored.

Do you receive calls for interviews? If the answer is no, your resume or application might not be effectively conveying your qualifications for the job.

  • Develop a targeted resume for each position you apply to.
  • Make sure your resume doesn’t have typos or grammar errors.
  • Use standard resume writing guidelines to produce a clean, concise document.
  • Submit a cover letter that effectively explains your interest in and qualifications for the position.

Are you getting interviews but no job offers? The good news is that your resume is getting noticed and employers are calling you for interviews. But if most or all of the interviews don’t lead to job offers, it’s time to examine how you’re presenting yourself in the interviews.

  • Practice answers to commonly asked interview questions.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Review the practice of Behavioral Interviewing, a common interviewing method used by many recruiters.
  • Ask the employer appropriate questions.
  • Send a thank-you email or note within 48 hours of your interview.

Can Career Services help? Yes! Career Services offers job search assistance to alumni.

  • Check out the Resources section of our website for many helpful online tools. View videos that offer tips on writing resumes, interviewing and more.  Use our online Career Guide that contains lots of helpful information about resumes, interviews and job search tools.
  • Visit Career Coach for regional-based job information. Search by CPCC degree or job titles to learn about the local job market for industries and view job openings in the area.
  • Use EmploymeNC, our online job posting and career information board that targets CPCC students and alumni. View hundreds of job postings.
  • Email your resume to Career Services to receive feedback or schedule a resume appointment with a career counselor at any CPCC campus.
  • Schedule a mock interview to receive interview tips from a career counselor.

Are you doing ALL that you can to find a job?

Accenture, a global consulting company, recently released its 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey. The survey examines the difference between graduates’ expectations of the world of work and the reality of that world. The results are pretty interesting.

One statistic in particular stands out: 69% of 2014 graduates expect to find work within the first six months after graduation. However, for graduates of the classes of 2012 and 2013 only 42% found jobs within the first six months after earning their degrees.

Factors that affect the length of a job search:

  • The state of the local and national economy
  • Quantity of jobs in a candidate’s preferred location (not many film jobs in Iowa, for example)
  • Demand for a candidate’s skill level and degree
  • A job seeker’s flexibility regarding types of jobs, geographic location, salary, etc.
  • Quality of the job search

The fifth factor – quality of the candidate’s job search- is critical and one that the job seeker completely controls. For graduates who didn’t find a job within the first six months after graduation, it’s worth asking what their efforts were like. If you’re job searching, ask yourself: Are you doing everything, using every resource and considering every option in your job search? Before answer yes, ask yourself if you’ve done the following:

1. Join professional associations: Every industry, from accounting to zoology, has a representing association or society. Members have access to membership directories, job search databases and other resources. 

2. Join regional groups: Most major cities organize groups that allow residents to meet others. A city’s Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for locating such groups. Meetup.com is another source. The common interest might be professional, cultural, hobbies or a combination.  

3. Attend meetings and seminars: Simply joining a group isn’t enough. Be an active member. Attend networking meetings, seminars and conferences. Meet people face-to-face.

4. Become active on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social media outlet for professional purposes. It needs to be part of your job search toolbox. Learn how to create a LinkedIn profile and utilize this critical job search tool. The CPCC Career Services LinkedIn How To video can help.

5. Volunteer: Get involved in a local community group or cause that interests you. You’ll meet people who share a common interest in that group or cause. Volunteering is one more avenue for meeting people.

6. Conduct informational interviews: Find a professional working in your targeted industry. Contact someone employed at a company you want to work for. Set up a 30 minute meeting to  talk about the company or the profession, ask questions about the person’s career path and receive suggestions for your job search.

Networking is the commonality for all of these tips.

Most job searches take longer than anticipated and it’s not uncommon to spend more than six months searching. But regardless of industry, geographic location or flexibility when considering options, job searching takes longer if you aren’t actively connecting with others.

 

 

What’s in a paycheck? 6 tips for doing salary research

When thinking about what career to pursue, salary is understandably a factor to consider. But what exactly does that salary mean?  What does it mean to make $50,000 a year? What would the lifestyle look like of someone making $20 per hour? Can someone live with an income of $35,000 per year?

Answers to these questions aren’t straightforward because everyone has a different approach to managing money. If a frugal person earns the same paycheck as someone who is more carefree with spending, their handling of that paycheck will be quite different from each other.

A person with little work experience won’t have the same perspective of a starting salary as someone who has been in the workforce for many years. Someone who is not paying living expenses will view salary figures differently than a person who has paid for their own food, rent or mortgage and utilities.

So at the end of the day, how do you know if the average salary of a career you’re considering is a “good” one? Here are some tips to consider:

Do your research.  There’s no reason to guess what a salary is for careers you’re considering. Resources like Career Coach, CFNC, O*Net and the Occupational Outlook Handbook provide lots of career information including salary. Salary calculator helps you determine a salary based on geographic location, industry, years of work experience and education level.

Create a budget and learn about monthly expenditures. How much are monthly payments for utilities, internet, cable or satellite and food? Students who don’t pay these bills yet may be surprised to find out. If you live with family members who pay for these expenses, ask what their monthly payments are. Fast forward to when you will be making the payments. Create a budget based on salary figures to see how far your dollar goes.

Know what debts to anticipate. In addition to monthly bills, will you have student loans, car payments credit cards or other debts? Factor this information into your budgeting.

Have realistic lifestyle expectations or make adjustments accordingly. Owning a new car with all the bells and whistles sounds great, but could a used car work? Enjoying the latest tech gadgets is fun, but do you really need the latest smartphone or tablet versions? Are top of the line purchases a priority? If the answer is yes, what sacrifices are you going to make? If you want to live in a spacious apartment you may have to have a roommate. If your hobbies tend to be expensive, you’ll need to make sacrifices elsewhere.

Don’t count on credit cards. The average credit card debt per U.S. household is $6500. A person with this debt who makes a minimum payment of $20 per month won’t be debt-free for almost 28 years. Credit cards put off the inevitable task of paying for the items you purchase. Nothing is free.

Make a priorities list. Besides the paycheck, what else is important to you in a job? Completing a work values checklist can help answer this question. When you find career options that compliment your work values, learn the salary ranges for the careers. Does this salary fit your lifestyle? If not, what changes do you need to make?

7 signs this job offer is a scam

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. This philosophy applies to many situations, including job offers. With technology and job searching so entwined, scam artists are hard at work luring job seekers with the promise of lucrative job offers that only result in identify theft, stolen money or both.

Many examples exist. A new scam targeting college students offers part-time online jobs. The notification is sent to campus email accounts, making it look more legitimate. But beware: the email indicates the company will send a check to the applicant who is then directed to cash the check and wire money to a stated account via Western Union. Being required to pay money upfront waves a huge red flag that this opportunity is a scam.

What other red flags should you look for? Here seven items that could signal the job you’re about to apply for is fake.

The job posting is very poorly written. If you see typos, mixed verb tenses or a job description that doesn’t make sense, don’t apply. When an ad reads like it’s been poorly translated or doesn’t actually say what the job entails, it’s a scam.

“No experience necessary.” Be careful of ads that indicate anyone could do the job, because not everyone can do every job. Certain skills sets, education level or years of work experience should be listed.

The email is a non-business address. When a potential boss reaches out to you from a Gmail, Hotmail or other personal account, hit the delete button. Legitimate job offers come from company email addresses, not personal ones.

“Please send money.” Candidates shouldn’t be asked to wire money, transfer funds or cash checks. Do your research when a company requires you to send money upfront to receive training materials, required company equipment or further instructions. Legitimate companies won’t do this.

“Before sending you an application, we need to receive your Social Security number, bank account and routing number.”  No, they don’t. Once you’re hired, it’s customary to provide this information to human resources departments for tax or direct deposit purposes. But there’s never a reason to supply personal information based on a job ad. During the hiring process employers may run a background check or a credit check. But you must be notified in writing and give written authorization before the credit check can be completed.

The salary is extremely high. Job scammers post extremely high salaries to attract desperate job seekers. Resources like Salary Calculator and the Occupational Outlook Handbook list salary ranges and starting salaries so you can know what a reasonable salary offer is. Career Coach is a great source for learning Charlotte/regional salaries.

“Congratulations, you’re hired…even though we’ve never met you.” Receiving a job offer on the spot, sight unseen, is a big sign that the job offer isn’t real. If an interview isn’t part of the hiring process – or there isn’t any process at all – it’s likely a scam.

Your ideal real job is out there. Keep searching! Don’t be lured by scams of ideal jobs that really are too good to be true.

Do you feel lucky? 9 quick tips for improving your job search success

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we ask the question: How much of a job search is luck?

You hear references to lucky job searches all the time. “Being in the right place at the right time,” “Knowing the right people.” Some elements of a job search can’t be controlled and do have to be attributed to luck (good or bad).

But job applicants can manage many parts of the job search process. Here are nine tips to help ensure some luck is on your side.

1. Arrive on time to an interview. This means 15 minutes early. Plan your schedule accordingly. Take factors like traffic, bus routes and weather into consideration. But things happen. If you know you’re going to be late, contact the employer as soon as possible to explain your situation. And if you become ill, reschedule the interview for another day.

2. Have a solid online presence. Over 80% of employers research job applicants online before contacting them for an interview. It’s important to have a professional online presence, which means completing a LinkedIn profile. But it’s also important to have a positive online presence on social media outlets like Facebook. Does your Facebook profile paint the picture of someone an employer would hire?

3. Make sure your resume matches the specific job you’re applying for. Employers can spot a generic resume a mile away. It’s the one they receive in their inbox that could have easily been sent to hundreds of other employers in other industries. Targeting your resume to specific jobs might simply involve changing the objective. Other targeting strategies include editing your skills section to include keyword qualifications listed in the job posting. Even if a cover letter isn’t required, send one if given the chance. It’s one more outlet for telling this particular employer why you’re the right candidate for this particular job.

4. Dress appropriately for interviews. Even if you send a stellar resume that lands you an interview, your chances at being hired are zero if you don’t dress professionally for the interview.

5. Network. You won’t be lucky in your job search if you only apply to jobs online. Face-to-face meetings are essential. Schedule informational meetings with people in your targeted industry and companies. Find contacts through LinkedIn. Networking can be intimidating. Talk to a career counselor about developing an approach.

6. Do your company research. In addition to answering questions at an interview, you’ll be asked to show what you know about the job and the company. Research the organization through the company’s website or social media presence. If a company has a Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile, start following it.

7. Send a thank you note after an interview. This is one of the most overlooked step in the job search process. Too many people do not receive job offers because they think a thank you note is an unnecessary step.

8. Be realistic. Don’t narrow your job search (industry, geographically, etc.) too much. Allow time for the process – it can take several months to complete a successful job search. When you are offered a job, review the pros and cons carefully to make a solid decision.

9. Don’t panic. It’s hard not to because job searching is stressful. But when you panic you’re more likely to make errors on cover letters and resumes, appear anxious during interviews or overlook opportunities in your rush to find a job. 

What to do after attending a career fair?

Now that the CPCC Career Fair is over, what’s next?

A job fair may be a one day event, but there’s still some follow up action items to complete in your job search.

Send thank you notes to recruiters you spoke with. Take the time to send a quick thank you note to any recruiters that you talked to, thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in working for their company. Many applicants overlook this simple step that makes or breaks a person being considered for a job.

Contact employers you didn’t meet with. Whether you weren’t able to attend the career fair or couldn’t speak with all of the companies on your target list, reach out to them now. Check out the company websites for information about job opportunities.

Do what employers asked you to do. If an employer requested that you send additional application information, asked you to contact him or her this week or gave instructions to apply via the company website, do it!

Follow up with recruiters within two weeks after the job fair. Touch base to learn the status of your application or jobs you were interested in and to reiterate your interest in working for the company.

Develop a system for keeping track of recruiters, companies, applications and job leads. Mark dates you meet with someone, apply for a job or have an interview. Set calendar reminders to follow up. Many job searching devices exist to help simplify this task.

Review your strategies. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t? If you felt nervous delivering your elevator speech to employers, consider rewriting or practicing it. If after a few weeks you do not receive requests for job interviews, it might be wise to have your resume critiqued. Applicants who receive interview requests but no job offers may want to review their interviewing skills.

Use other job search resources. A successful job search strategy incorporates all resources – job fairs, online job boards, networking, social media etc. – rather than focusing on just one. It’s critical to use all options available to you.

 

 

What’s hot for the 2014 job search?

With the start of the new year comes job market predictions. What’s hot and what’s not? Who’s hiring and who isn’t? What can job seekers expect in 2014?

The good news is that many experts predict a growing job market this year based on recent gains in employment and record stock market highs. Both are indicators that job growth will continue.

In any job market some professions experience more demand than others. The health care and IT industries are traditionally among the fastest growing. This isn’t to say employment opportunities aren’t available in other areas, just not in the larger quantities that IT and health care experience. You can use resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out employment trends for particular professions.

Locally, more positive news from the Charlotte Business Journal lists Charlotte as one of the top 10 cities for job searching in 2014. An article in the Charlotte Observer predicts that the hottest jobs in Charlotte will be in IT, retail sales, nursing and trucking. It’s encouraging to see Charlotte’s economy showing balance in a variety of industries rather than a heavy reliance on banking. This local good news is supported by the ongoing employer registration for the CPCC Career Fair planned for March 6. Companies from a variety of industries have already signed up to attend. As the date gets closer, look for a list of companies on the Career Services website.

It’s understandable wanting to know placement rates for a college program before starting one. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers students choose a major because it leads to a career. CPCC’s Career Coach presents great information to help current and prospective students make decisions about careers. You can search thousands of job titles and retrieve local job market statistics for the field, as well as corresponding CPCC academic programs connected to the professions.

But be careful when using placement rates as your criteria. One CPCC student recently shared with a career counselor that she pursued a degree in transportation logistics at another community college, but dropped out after the first year. While job placement rates were high for the field, her interest wasn’t, which fueled poor grades in her courses. She hopes to study a program in the Human Services Technology division because it captures her true career interests.

And the key ingredients to a successful job search don’t change regardless of the economy. Even if many job opportunities exist in your targeted industry, you won’t get noticed without an effective resume. You’ll be quickly passed over for a job offer if your interviewing skills aren’t up to par. Any job search can’t rely solely on online job boards. Applicants have to incorporate networking and social media into their strategy.

If you’re preparing for a job search this year, know that the news is looking better than it has in recent years. Career Services can help you navigate the search to make it a successful one.

 

How your New Year’s resolutions can help you find a job in 2014

It’s estimated that over 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Are you one of them? If so, is finding a job or changing jobs one of your resolutions?

There are many elements to a successful job search. You need to identify the industries you’re targeting, use the best job searching resources (networking, online job boards, job fairs, etc.) and develop your resume and interviewing skills. Managing an effective job search can be a New Year’s resolution in and of itself. But if it’s one of many you’re making for 2014, don’t feel overwhelmed. The other goals you’ve identified can actually help you complete your resolution to gain employment this year.

Exercise: It’s a myth that your job search must be a 24/7 undertaking. This approach leaves you burned out. With less energy you’ll be less likely to catch typos on your resume, schedule networking meetings, find jobs to apply to or present the best version of yourself during an interview.

Take breaks and get some exercise that suits your interests. Anything from walking the dog to attending a Zumba class counts. Make time away from the job search a purposeful and planned part of your day. You’ll return to the task feeling more motivated.

Eat healthier: Sugar highs aren’t a myth. It’s tempting to munch on cookies or chips while scrolling online job boards. Instead, opt for healthier snacks like fruits, veggies or nuts. Trade in the energy drinks for water. Healthier eating provides more energy to focus and accomplish tasks efficiently. Your waistline – that has to fit into that interviewing suit – will thank you, too.

Become better organized: An organized job search is a successful one. Develop a system for keeping track of people you contact, jobs you apply to and what actions require follow up actions from you.

Have you wondered how much “job search time” you spend browsing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? There’s an app that can track that! In fact many apps exist that can help you become more organized.

Volunteer: Wanting to help others makes many people’s New Year’s resolution list. In addition to the knowledge that you’re making a difference in your community, volunteering provides many tangible benefits to job seekers, too.

Learn something new: Current students achieve this goal through their courses. But all job seekers can find ways to develop new skills and interests. If you’re currently working, look for professional development opportunities through your company’s human resources office.

If you’re not employed, consider taking a course to develop a particular skill that you could market to employers. If you’re afraid of public speaking, now would be a great time to conquer that fear. Computer skills are always in demand. Doing so can be free or relatively inexpensive. Check local community organizations and library branches for seminars and classes.

Be less stressed: Reaching many of the above goals can help you achieve this one and obviously securing employment relieves a lot of stress. Conversely, stress can be a barrier to keeping a resolution. Simple actions like stretching and deep breathing can relieve in-the-moment stress attacks. Additionally look for other ways to eliminate unnecessary stressors.

When it comes to keeping resolutions, statistics aren’t on our side; only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Beat the odds and strive to make 2014 your best year yet!

Happy New Year from CPCC Career Services.

 

Break the elevator etiquette rule (and four other ways to find job networking opportunities)

Networking. It’s the one word that collectively makes most job seekers cringe. But cliché phrases such as “not networking means not working” exist for a reason. When it comes to job searching and career exploration, networking is the number one tool. It’s the key to unlocking doors you won’t find through job fairs, on-campus recruiting and online job boards.

Networking opportunities exist all around you. Here are five outlets for sneaking networking occasions into your life.

1. Work at networking events: If you are a member of a professional association, don’t just attend the conference. Volunteer to help organize the meetings and conferences that everyone is attending. You likely won’t have to pay to attend the event, can be privy to the guest list and make connections with other volunteers.

2. Volunteer at “non-networking” events: Instead of running in the 5K, serve on the committee to help organize it. Is the organization you volunteer for coordinating a fundraiser? Join the group to help plan it. Look for joining opportunities through your place of worship, child’s school or other venues where you can work alongside other people.

3. Look for disguised networking events: Book clubs, exercise classes, moms’ groups/play groups. The reason for gathering isn’t to network, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t. Knowing that you already have something in common with others in the group makes these outlets less intimidating.

4. Break the elevator etiquette rule: Or strike up a conversation with the person you see every day at the bus stop. There are one-to-one networking opportunities around you every day. It won’t work every time, but you’d be surprised how often it does. Are you going to land a job interview through engaging in small talk on the elevator? Maybe not. But you might land an informational interview – which could lead to a job offer down the road. You’ll never know unless you try.

5. View family and friends from a networking perspective: It’s time to look at aunts, uncles, neighbors and friends in a different light. Do they know you’re job searching? Do they know the industries you’re interested in? Because if they don’t know, then you don’t know connections they may have to those industries.

 

Talk to a career counselor about developing your networking strategies. It’s a part of job searching that can’t be ignored.