Finding a job hasn’t been easy in recent years. A Barrington based non-profit company understands how tough a job search can be, and offered a free seminar at the Palatine Public Library March 17.
Career Place, formerly known as Barrington Career, hosted the seminar featuring human resources experts. Career Place Operation Director Sherry Leginski introduced the panelists, and shared a key piece of advice for the unemployed.
“Keep your chin up,” Leginski said. “You’re not alone.”
The human resources panelists fielded questions such as how to create a terrific resume to nailing an interview. An interesting topic that drew several gasps from the crowd was cover letters.
“We don’t even look at them,” said Russ Nykaza, a human relations professional with US Cellular.
Each job opening with a large corporation could get as many as 3,000 applicants. With those numbers, reading a resume and cover letter for everyone would be extremely time consuming.
“Again, it’s a volume game,” Nykaza said. “The most important thing is the resume that really reflects your skills and knowledge."
Panelist Andrea Herran of Focus HR said cover letters hold a different level of importance with smaller companies.
“Smaller companies are dealing with about 100 candidates for each open position,” she said. “They do read cover letters…cover letters aren’t the focus, but we do look at it for background,” she said.
If a candidate makes it past the application stage, the next step in the job process is typically a phone interview. Panelist Roshny Manpilly of Motorola Solutions offered her best piece of advice on the subject.
“Do not talk over the interviewer,” she said. “That’s the quickest way to kill an interview. The interviewer doesn’t have a chance to get a word in edge wise.”
Rambling on the phone interview is another way to ruin your chances.
“You need to answer the question,” Nykaza said. “The recruiter is looking for a precise answer on the phone.”
Panelist Donna Dorsey of Navistar reminded job seekers that the recruiter is your friend.
“Let your personality come through,” she said. “If they like you, they will give you the benefit of the doubt in many cases. “
A job seekers legwork in landing employment doesn’t end when the interview is over. All of the panelists agreed that a hand written thank you note is a very welcomed gesture.
“It [a handwritten thank you note] tells me that this person really enjoyed their time here,” Manpilly said.
Barb Volpe is looking for a job in product marketing. She said the seminar was very educational.
“I thought it was very good and very real,” she said.
Job seeker Tim Boppart said having a panel of local recruiters was especially helpful.
“To see it from the employers perspective was probably the most valuable resource for me,” he said.
To learn more about Career Place, visit www.barringtoncareercenter.com