When you have chosen your career path and obtained the necessary education and skills, you may need help with preparation to find and get hired for the job you desire. On this website you will find information on:
Finding job opportunities...
Resume and cover letters...
Dress for success...
For more information and assistance with job skills contact:
Helen F. Brunty, Career and Transfer Counselor
Hazard Community and Technical College
One Community College Drive
Hazard KY 41701
606-487-3077 or 1-800-246-7521, ext. 73077
Hazard Campus Office: The University Center of the Mountains Room 152I-JCC
I am available at other HCTC Campuses by appointment. Please call or email for a time.
Finding Employment Opportunities
Applying for a job may require you to complete a paper or online application, submit a resume, or both. A cover letter can help you to provide more detail on why you are qualified for the position to which you are applying. The employer will likely determine whether or not they want to invite you to an in-person job interview based on these documents. Therefore completing your application, resume, and cover letter properly and accurately is essential to getting hired for a position.
A resume can provide you with the detailed information that may be required on a job application. You can refer to your resume to complete an online application.
A cover letter is used to introduce yourself to your prospective employer and is most often sent along with resume. Most cover letters are no more than three small paragraphs in length. It should follow a business letter format and capture the employer's attention.
The job search can be done at your fingertips in today's modern world. There are many websites to assist you with a job search. These are just a few:
Burning Glass Labor Insight Job Reports The Burning Glass Labor Insight software collects online job postings from job boards, employer sites, online newspapers, public agencies, etc. and stores them in a database of job opportunities in the industry. HCTC uses this software to produce several job listings/posting reports in November and April.
Kentucky Career Center Job Site This valuable resource, located in Hazard KY, Is a one-stop center for all you job placement and career needs.
LKLP Jobsite Located in Hazard KY, this is a one-stop location for employment assistance and many other services.
TeleworksUSA Have you ever thought that you might like to work from your home? Teleworks networks with employers from all over the country to enable employees to work either from their home or the hubs available in several area locations.
United States Department of Labor Learn job specifics, outlooks and trends.
Career One Stop Find out about salary, training and job duties on career areas.
The Riley Guide Job Search Site
Glassdoor Job Search Site
Ideed Job Search Site
Job Climber Job Search Site
It is also important to tell everyone you know (and ask them to tell everyone they know) that you are looking for a job and what kind of employment you are seeking. Tell them to let you know if they hear of any job openings.
If you are an HCTC student, check with your program coordinator about companies they are familiar with that may be hiring.
And you can visit with Helen Brunty, the Career Counselor and she can help you with this process also.
Resumes and Cover Letters
Sections to include on your resume
Your resume is an introduction of you to a perspective employer. It is often their first impression of you. It should be divided into clearly labeled sections that allow your prospective employer to skim through and learn about your relevant experience. The tables below explain the required and possible sections you can have in your resume. These are just some of the possible sections. There may be others specific to your field, or others that reflect your strengths and that are relevant for a particular job, so make sure to get advice from advisors, faculty and professionals about what sections to include.
When completed, feel free to send your resume to the Career Counselor, Helen Brunty. She will be happy to review it for you and make recommendations. She can help you to make a strong resume.
This section should be at the top of your page and include your name, your phone number, your emailand a Linked address if you have one. A physical address is not necessary here but should be included in your cover letter. See sample resumes at About Careers to get a sense of what this section should look like.
Starting with college, include which school you are attending, your major, your degree type, and your expected or completed degree year. Only include your GPA if it will impress your employer (above a 3.4 on a four-point scale is a good rule of thumb).
This is the heart of your resume. Include your job title, your employer, the time span you worked, and the location where you worked. Use your active verbs and keywords to describe work experience in bullet points with two to three bullets under each job. Use present tense verbs for current jobs and past tense verbs for past jobs.
Honors and Awards (if applicable)
An honors and awards section highlights that you have been recognized as exceptional in an area relevant to your job. The section should come close to the beginning of your resume and include the name of the award and the year received.
This section is a space to describe community service or other extracurricular experience that might be relevant to the job. As with the "Work Experience" section, include your title (for some this may just be "Volunteer"), the organization name, and the time span you were involved, and where the activity was located. Choose which activities you include based on what might be of interest to your potential employer. Any organization where you ve had a leadership positions, for example, is a good experience to include in this section.
The objective is a sentence included at the very beginning of your resume, right after your contact information that states your goals in submitting the resume. Since objectives frequently repeat job titles or descriptions, which are likely included elsewhere in your application, not everyone agrees about whether you should include an objective statement. We recommend consulting with someone in your field about whether to include this section in your resume.
This section includes a list of the languages you know and your level of knowledge (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Fluent). If you speak an uncommon language (e.g. Swahili or Finnish), including languages can help make you more memorable compared to other candidates. If you speak Spanish, for example, your employer might find that especially valuable, particularly if the job would have you working with people in Spanish-speaking areas.
Technical skills include any specialized computer skills you may have that could be relevant to the job. You can either list them with bullet points or list them with commas, if you need to save space. If you know the job requires you to use specialized software or hardware, be sure to include this section.
Usually, this section comes towards the beginning of your resume under the "Education" section and includes any field-specific certifications you may have along with the year you obtained them. For example, if you are applying for a job as a Project Manager and have a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, you would want to include a certification section because it shows you have pursued this field beyond your basic education.
Simply put Available upon request and create a reference page to be submitted with the resume as needed. Format the reference page just like your resume with your name, address, phone and email at the top of the page.
You can find information on all areas of job placement at About Careers.
For additional information or assistance with resume writing or job skill you can contact:
Helen F. Brunty, Career Counselor
Hazard Community and Technical College
One Community College Drive
Hazard, KY 41701
P: 606-487-3077 or 1-800-246-7521, Ext. 73077
Office Location: RM 151-JCC Hazard Campus in the University Center of the Mountains
Available online through Skype by appointment.
Am I Job Ready-A 3-Level Path to Career Success
Are you getting ready to enter the workforce or considering a career change?
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Using a combination of over 60 years of science in soft skills, bit-size video simulations and real life situational judgement tests, Am I Job Ready provides a single platform to learn your strengths, discover your career fit and develop the skills it takes to get the right job.
Learn about yourself and how you fit into today’s workplace opportunities.
Develop your soft skills and be prepared for high-stakes interviews.
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10 Steps For a Successful Interview
You have been successful in the application process and now have the opportunity to interview for a position with a company you are interested in working for. An interview is your opportunity to shine and prove your qualifications for the position. Look up standard interview questions at About Careers and practice answering them. You want to appear calm and confident.
Feel free to contact the Career Counselor, Helen Brunty, for information on interviews, mock interviews and any job skills assistance.
- Keep your answers brief and concise. Unless asked to give more details, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question. Tape yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.
- Include concrete, quantifiable data. Interviewees tend to talk in generalities. Unfortunately, generalities often fail to convince interviewers that the applicant has assets. Include measurable information and provide details about specific accomplishments when discussing your strengths.
- Repeat your key strengths three times. It s essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths. Explain how the strengths relate to the company s or department s goals and how they might benefit the potential employer. If you repeat your strengths then they will be remembered and if supported with quantifiable accomplishments they will more likely be believed
- Prepare five or more success stories. In preparing for interviews, make a list of your skills and key assets. Then reflect on past jobs and pick out one or two instances when you used those skills successfully.
- Put yourself on their team. Ally yourself with the prospective employer by using the employer s name and products or services. For example, As a member of __________, I would carefully analyze the __________ and ______. Show that you are thinking like a member of the team and will fit in with the existing environment. Be careful though not to say anything that would offend or be taken negatively. Your research will help you in this area
- Image is often as important as content. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65 percent of the conveyed message is nonverbal; gestures, physical appearance, and attire are highly influential during job interviews.
- Ask questions. The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just as you plan how you would answer an interviewer s questions, write out any specific questions you want to ask. Then look for opportunities to ask them during the interview. Don t ask about benefits or salary. The interview process is a two-way street whereby you and the interviewer assess each other to determine if there is an appropriate match.
- Maintain a conversational flow. By consciously maintaining a conversational flow a dialogue instead of a monologue you will be perceived more positively. Use feedback questions at the end of your answers and use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational interchange between you and the interviewer.
- Research the company, product lines and competitors. Research will provide information to help you decide whether you re interested in the company and important data to refer to during the interview.
- Keep an interview journal. As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any follow-up action you should take and put it in your calendar. Review your presentation. Keep a journal of your attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask questions to get the information you needed? What might you do differently next time? Prepare and send a brief, concise thank you letter. Restate your skills and stress what you can do for the company.
Because of its importance, interviewing requires advance preparation. Only you will be able to positively affect the outcome. You must be able to compete successfully with the competition for the job you want. In order to do that, be certain you have considered the kind of job you want, why you want it, and how you qualify for it.
For additional assistance on interviewing please visit About Career.
Dressing for an Interview
You are invited to interview for a position. What will you wear? it is customary to dress one step above the position you are applying for. This interview is a chance to make a good impression on your future employer. Good first impressions are essential to landing a job. You will be evaluated by your interviewer(s) based upon your style, cleanliness, accessories, the firmness of your handshake, your posture, and your eye contact, enthusiasm and confidence.
Dressing for success does not have to be expensive. A few well coordinated pieces work well for your interview. Thrift, second-hand and consignment stores offer appropriate, professional clothes at a very reasonable price.
Feel free to contact the Career Counselor, Helen Brunty, if you need assistance with dressing for success.
There are some simple rules:
General Tips Checklist
- Wear professional and conservative clothing. Choose apparel that has received favorable feedback from people who are knowledgeable about the industry standard or specific company policy. Keep the colors neutral (brown, blue, black, white, tan).
- Ensure that clothing is clean, pressed and well-fitted.
- Wear conservative (dark) shoes that are clean and polished.
- Choose accessories that complement your clothing rather than distract from it.
- Remove facial and body piercings to avoid giving the interviewer the wrong impression.
- Cover visible tattoos to avoid distraction.
- Keep fragrances and jewelry minimal. Avoid anything that jingles, dangles or distracts.
- Make sure your hair is clean and conservative in color and style.
- Less is more. Keep your look simple but classy until you become accustomed to the environment and learn about the company s dress code.
Tips for Women
- Acceptable dress includes a suit (skirt or slacks) or conservatively tailored dress with a jacket.
- Traditionally, skirts should be knee-length. Slightly shorter or longer are also acceptable.You should be able to sit comfortably.
- Avoid blouses or sweaters that are transparent, tight fitting, have low necklines, revealing waistlines or details that detract from your face. You want to appear professional, not sexy. Typically, arms are covered at least to the biceps and often to the wrist.
- Always wear plain-style, non-patterned hose to interviews. The color should flatter your skin tone. A neutral color is always safe. For some industries, you may choose to wear hose that coordinates with your skirt. Carry an extra pair in case of runs.
- Perfume should never be strong. A fragrance can cause an allergic reaction or offend the interviewer. When in doubt, do not wear perfume.
- Apply natural-looking makeup and clear nail polish. This keeps the focus on the interview.
- Do not carry a purse with a briefcase. Choose one or the other.
- Wear flat shoes or low pumps in colors that avoid making your feet a focal point. Be sure your shoes are clean and polished. Avoid shoes that hinder walking fast. This lowers credibility. Avoid open-toed shoes since they are often associated with social agendas.
Accessories express your personality and accentuate your best features. Keep it simple! Women in general tend to wear too many accessories, such as earrings, necklaces and rings. At the same time, these can accentuate your personality and can be an asset if worn in moderation. Avoid dangling earrings, and wear no more than one ring per hand and a dress watch.
Tips for Men
- Wear a matching suit in navy, black or gray (pinstripe or solid). Depending upon the position you can wear dress pants and a button down shirt.
- Select a white or a light blue dress shirt that contrasts with the jacket and/or tie. Typically, arms should be covered to the wrist. Exposing arms by rolling up your sleeves is interpreted as less powerful and is less formal.
- Ties should should coordinate with the jacket and pants, but choose one that strongly contrasts with the color of your shirt; selecting subtle or simple patterns enhances credibility. Be careful in tying the knot the half-Windsor is recommended.
- Socks should be calf-length or above the calf. Choose neutral colors such as dark blue, black or gray.
- Your shoes should be clean and shined and should blend with your pants.
- Select a leather belt that visually blends with or matches your shoes.
- Your hair should be neat and clean and your should be clean shaven. If you have facial hair, it should be neat and groomed.
- Minimize jewelry. Avoid a necklace. Wear no more than one ring per hand and a dress watch.
- Cologne should never be strong. A fragrance can cause an allergic reaction or offend the interviewer(s). When in doubt, do not wear cologne.