Archive for the Career Category

Start Transforming Your Resume Right Now

Start Transforming Your Resume Right Now
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Photo Credit: Flazingo LLC

Stand out among other applicants by adding the following 3 items to your resume. Your resume should be tailored to each employer, as what you have to offer may differ for each job — sometimes slightly, sometimes greatly.

Executive SummaryWho are you? How much experience do you have? What are the top skills you can bring to an employer? Your executive summary (also known as “Summary of Qualifications”) speaks directly to the employer. If an employer were only to look at the top one-third of your resume, does s/he know everything you want him/her to?
SkillsWhat do you know how to do that is relevant to the job you’re applying for? Look at the job description for each job as a starting point. List your skills as it applies individually to each position. Whether it be hard/soft skills, the employer wants to know that you can do what they’re asking for. Don’t be subtle — tell them why you’re perfect!
Significant Work ExperiencesWhat did you achieve at each of your former jobs? What will you be required to do in this position you’re applying for? If the job you held 10-15 years ago holds significant value, feel free to include it on your resume if you haven’t had a similar experience more recently.

Want to go a step further in your career exploration process? Call Compass Center to set up a one-on-one career advising appointment at 919-968-4610. Also, be on the lookout for upcoming career workshops.

Use Twitter to Find Your Next Job

Use Twitter to Find Your Next Job

Social media is increasingly becoming more important to employers. Twitter is a great resource to use in your job search. Mashable shared websites and Twitter handles for you to follow. These resources can assist you in finding your next career.

TwitJobSearch: This site allows you to search for jobs posted on Twitter using keywords (for example, “Marketing in New York”).

TweetMyJobs: TweetMyJobs will send you personalized job listings via email, Twitter or your mobile device.

Twellow: Twellow organizes Twitter users by category, making it easier to find the right recruiters and influencers to follow in your job search.

@JobHuntOrg: Susan P. Joyce tweets on behalf of Job-Hunt.org, posting U.S. job listings, career advice and helpful articles for job seekers.

@LinkedIn_Jobs: As the premier social media resource for professionals, connecting to LinkedIn is a must for modern job seekers.

@CraigslistJobs: Incorporate Craigslist into your Twitter feed to receive job postings from across the United States.

@UndercoverRec: This Twitter feed from the social media marketing firm LinkHumans shares articles about cover letters, resume building and interviewing tips from the Undercover Recruiter blog.

@HeatherHuhman: Heather R. Huhman, founder of the content and digital marketing PR firm Come Recommended, doles out job advice tailored to Gen Y job seekers.

@BrazenCareerist: Tweets from the Brazen Careerist website include links to webinars, virtual career fairs and recruitment events.

@Careerealism: From the website of the same name, Careerealism shares no-nonsense blog posts about recruitment and networking.

In addition to these resources, it is important to maintain a professional image on your social networks. While these can be used to share updates on your personal life, “think before you tweet.” Write a Twitter bio that will give potential employers a snapshot of your qualities. Also, be sure your profile image is professional.

There’s Value in Volunteering: 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Involved

There’s Value in Volunteering: 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Involved

Although job seekers often do not see the value in volunteering, volunteering is an opportunity for personal development. In “Don’t Overlook Volunteering as a Valuable Career Tool,” Laurie Morse-Dell explains that many individuals searching for a job believe they should spend their time building relationships and exploring career opportunities. However, volunteering is an opportunity to further market yourself, gain skills and grow your network. Below are 5 reasons why you should volunteer, as outlined by Laurie Morse-Dell.

  1. Volunteering helps fill in gaps on your resume: Are you between jobs? Did you just graduate from school? Employers will ask about what you have been doing since you left your last job. Volunteering is a great way to fill in these gaps and also bring up talking points on leadership and relationship building in an interview.
  2. Volunteering shows that you take initiative: Employers want to see someone who doesn’t sit around waiting for an opportunity to come to them. Volunteering while job searching shows the ability to solve problems and step up.
  3. Volunteering introduces you to a community network: While volunteering, you will come into contact with a lot of people. If volunteering in an area of interest, these contacts could be a direct link to your next employment opportunity. Further, you will get leads just by having conversations with fellow community members.
  4. Volunteering builds your references: Volunteer positions that build your skills or expertise are great for applying for jobs. The volunteer coordinator or director will be hands-on in managing your projects and when the times come will be thrilled to write a recommendation or be listed as a reference.
  5. Volunteering boosts your experience: Whether you are searching for a job or not, gaining experience is always valuable. If there is a skill you are looking to gain, you could search for volunteer opportunities that cater to those skills. Event planning, website design or marketing are examples of skills that are in high demand.

Compass Center offers dozens of ways to get involved. Volunteers have moved on to serve on our Board of Directors, and some have even joined our staff. Click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

What success stories do you have from your volunteer experiences? What worries do you have about volunteering instead of actively being a full-time job seeker? Share below!

Who Are You Accepting on LinkedIn?

Who Are You Accepting on LinkedIn?

6431448699_e660c09aca_bClients often come to Compass Center seeking career advice on job search techniques and/or how to prepare for a job search. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn remains a leading resource for job seekers. LinkedIn elevates social networking by providing an online platform for professional contacts. But to what extent should limits on professional contacts be pushed? Inspired by a Harvard Business Review blog post, we will explore the three categories of a suitable LinkedIn connection.

The Sharers
Sharers help you stay in the know. LinkedIn places relevant content in your personal feed, so having multiple sharers helps ensure you’re receiving the best news – whether it be local news, industry trends or job opportunities.

The Connectors
The Connector is someone that is extremely plugged in. By adding someone that you already know in a professional capacity, you are able to benefit greatly. Connectors are great for offering introductions to their connections, making suggestions on how to better your profile and inform you of groups or meetups.

The Leaders
Leaders are viewed as experts. They understand social media, especially LinkedIn. They are a combination of Sharers and Connectors. The best leaders are willing to answer questions you may have about bettering your profile, as well as connecting you to groups and other professionals.

LinkedIn isn’t designed to be another Facebook or Twitter. The more strategic, exclusive and intimate connections that can be made, the better.

Question: What do you take into consideration before accepting a LinkedIn invitation?

UPDATE: Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

UPDATE: Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

UPDATE (As of 7/24/2013) The 2013-14 budget eliminates the Displaced Homemaker Program by next year. These 35 programs are a self-sufficiency and workforce development programs and one such program is housed at Compass Center. The General Fund appropriation to the program will be eliminated this year. Funds collected by the Divorce Filing Fee that support the program are reduced from $55 per divorce to $35 in FY 2013-14 and are transferred entirely to support the Domestic Violence Center Fund in FY 2014-15. The Domestic Violence Center Fund provides funding related to domestic violence across the State. In FY 2011-12, the Displaced Homemaker Program Fund received $1.8 million from the fee and supported the 35 programs across the state.

Over the past few weeks we’ve asked you to reach out to your legislators to preserve funding for the Compass Center’s self-sufficiency programming.  We’re happy to report that your actions are making a difference!  An amendment to return a portion of the Displaced Homemaker funding to the House budget to preserve our programming and allow us crucial time to refocus and streamline our service delivery model passed unanimously in the House.

However, the fight is not over.  The next step is for the House and Senate to “conference” and work through differences in their respective budgets.  This is where we have to make one more push to see our funding saved!  Please contact the legislators below who serve on the House and Senate conference committees.  They hold the fate of our state funding in their hands.

Below are talking points you may use when you call or email.  Read more about Displaced Homemaker Programs here.

N.C. Displaced Homemaker Program/Talking Points SB 402

  1. Current budget proposal eliminates funding for workforce stabilization:  job preparation/career readiness/support services delivered by Displaced Homemaker program grants. 
  • Last year over 5,000 citizens benefitted from these services. Displaced Homemaker programs currently work directly with Community College systems to increase the job-readiness or to retrain motivated workers to traditional, non-traditional or STEM jobs, all of which can increase the wage earning capacity of citizens needing support
  • Although G.S restricts funding to 35 counties (G.S. 143B-394.5A), many programs serve multi-county regions. No one is turned away due to place of residence.
  • Currently, the NC Council for Women receives and directs divorce filing fees to Domestic Violence Centers.  DV programs only serve victims of sexual abuse/domestic abuse. We estimate that 85% of displaced homemaker clients are not domestic violence survivors.
  • No savings are obtained from moving funding to domestic violence programs in 2014. Cutting 36% of the fees severely hinders the effectiveness of the programs to deliver services. Maintain full $55 per program allocation from divorce filing fees to sustain services and move over 5,000 women/men from dependency to wage earners and taxpayers.
  1. Restore fees from divorce filing applications for Displaced Homemaker Programs in 2013 and 2014.
  1.  Do not phase out the program in 2014 by redirecting fees to domestic violence (DV) programs in 2014. Programs serve different needs and both are important to families in N.C.

“Shifting funding to domestic violence centers in 2014 means women who are not victims/ survivors/ or who are over 50 without small children and who do not qualify for services from county agencies will have nowhere to turn especially in rural areas.” – Dion Terry, Ed.D., M.P.A., Former Executive Director, Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County

There is still much more education work to be done. Please target your efforts to members appointed to the Appropriations Committee. Funding is currently approved until FY 2014 but the 36% reduction will require programs to cut workforce stabilization services. 

Senate Conferees: Sen. Peter S. BrunstetterChair; Sen. Harry BrownSen. Neal HuntSen. Tom ApodacaSen. Bill RabonSen. Ralph Hise

House Conferees: Rep. Nelson DollarChair; Rep. Justin P. BurrRep. Linda P. JohnsonRep. Bryan R. HollowayRep. John A. TorbettRep. Phil ShepardRep. William D. BrissonRep. Marilyn AvilaRep. Mark W. HolloRep. D. Craig HornRep. Chuck McGradyRep. Hugh BlackwellRep. N. Leo DaughtryRep. Pat B. HurleyRep. James L. Boles, Jr.Rep. John FairclothRep. Roger WestRep. Pat McElraftRep. George G. ClevelandRep. Rayne BrownRep. Jason SaineRep. Tim MooreRep. David R. Lewis

Thank you so much for your great support of women and families!  

Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

Senate Budget Eliminates Funding for Displaced Homemaker Programs

While “Displaced Homemaker” may have fallen out of regular use, the women and men whose lives are defined by that antiquated term are still with us. These people have not been fully employed for years, and many of them have been especially hard hit by the great recession. The NC Senate’s budget eliminates funding for displaced homemaker programs will have a devastating impact on the ability of Compass Center and programs like ours in 34 other counties across North Carolina to provide services that help them get reintegrated into our economy.

Who are displaced homemakers? Last year 5,790 individuals received training through North Carolina’s Displaced Homemaker Programs. That training helped them learn job skills, achieve financial literacy, and work toward community college certification, all skills necessary to move them from dependence to independence. They include the persistently underemployed, a category where NC has the sad distinction of ranking fourth in the nation.

Displaced homemakers include Irene, whose husband died suddenly in his mid-50s, forcing her to relocate her home and re-start her career in order to fund college for her teenage son. And Linda, who was downsized from her corporate job and needs new skills to succeed in the new economy. They also include John, whose several part-time jobs together don’t produce enough income for his family.

These and other individuals look to displaced homemaker programs, more commonly understood as workforce development programs, for case management, career services, and other resources and support to help them successfully re-enter the workforce. They learn the skills to land jobs, support their families, and contribute tax revenue to North Carolina’s economy.

The Senate’s budget redirects monies from Divorce Filing Fees, which has funded Displaced Homemaker Programs, to the Domestic Violence Fund. The new legislation does not require workforce development services be provided by domestic violence programs.

If the NC House does not move to reinstate the monies, the impact will be stark:

• 35 existing Displaced Homemaker programs will be eliminated.
• Unemployed and dislocated workers will have far fewer workforce development programs to help them access the skills needed to reenter the workforce
• Domestic violence services, while important, are targeted to victim assistance and awareness programs.
• By definition, not all displaced homemakers are domestic violence victims, thus many “displaced homemakers” will lose vital workforce development services with the elimination of DH programs.

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