The new year brings resolutions, and that could lead to some wanting a new job. What is needed to find and land your dream job?
The unemployment rate in California was at 4 percent just before November. The state Employment Development Department estimated Kern County's jobless rate at 6.8 percent in November.
Does that mean fewer people are applying for jobs because they are currently working? Not necessarily.
Landing your dream job will be competitive.
Teresa Hitchcock, assistant Kern County administrative officer, and Aaron Ellis, assistant director of workforce development in Kern County, offered advice for those seeking to land their dream job in the new year.
Their department partners with America’s Job Center of Kern, guiding job seekers to services and training opportunities. For more information on those services, call 661-325-HIRE (4473) or visit amerciasjobcenterofkern.com.
TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF
Hitchcock said: “One of the things that is really important for folks who are going out and looking for that dream job is to really do a good self-assessment of where they are at and what skills and abilities they have that might prepare them for the job that they want.
"If they don’t have all the skills and abilities that they need in order to land that job, we can help them with training. There are a lot of different opportunities in our community through the community college district, through our adult school, through Cal State Bakersfield, and also through private providers that can provide training. Sometimes it can be as little as a certificate, other times it might require a degree.
"But you really need to know what those job requirements are so that you can prepare yourself to fit the job description as much as possible.”
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Ellis said: “The best advice I can give to someone who is looking for a dream job is to really do your research and think about what skills you need, what education you need and find out about the industries that you want to get into to make sure there are plenty of opportunities for that particular job. The area you want to live in and so forth is very important when doing the research.
"A lot of folks might want a dream job but then they find out that in Kern County or Bakersfield there’s not a lot of demand for that job. Are you available to move where there are more opportunities for that job? You gotta do a lot of research.
"You have to make sure that this is something that you are truly interested in and have a passion for. If there is no passion for it, if there is no true interest in it, then it won’t be a dream job for long.”
TOP-NOTCH RESUME NEEDED
Both Hitchcock and Ellis said that a resume can set you apart from other applicants, but then again, it can take you out of the running. Staff at America’s Job Center help with resume presentation and production.
It’s best to gain more than one person’s opinion and edit after completing your resume.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that a lot of resumes are not seen by human beings at the job opening for a while," Hitchcock said. "They’ll go through an electronic screening process and if you don’t know what buzzwords to put or how to format a resume so that an electronic screening process can read it correctly then you are really doing yourself a disservice.”
America’s Job Center and some other recruiting agencies also provide interviewing techniques and prepare clients for interviews. Being prepared for the interview is just as important as resume presentation.
Hitchcock emphasized the importance of networking.
"If you are a recent college graduate and you have all the skills that you need to find that dream job, then you need to research the industries that might have those positions available," she said.
Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with the employers and follow the HR managers.
"I hate to say it, but it’s almost like cyber-stalking for a dream job. It’s to make sure you’re making those connections and you’re networking in that community," she said.
USE EVERY RESOURCE POSSIBLE
Websites such as Indeed.com, job-seeking services such as America’s Job Center, job recruiting services and job fairs are among the resources people should use when trying to find a job.
Hitchcock said career counselors will go through an assessment that will test job-seekers for skills and abilities. They get a baseline for where their skills are at. An assessment is done to help determine their interests.
"If you don’t like working outside, then you don’t want a job that has you working outside all day," she said. "We find that people will be much more successful if we link them to jobs that are within their sphere of interest."
Folks have to realize that there are so many resources out there that if they don’t reach out to the resources, they are really putting themselves at a disadvantage compared to others, Ellis noted.
"You have to put yourself out there to be the best of the best to actually get an interview," Ellis said. "The competition is still there. The more resources you take advantage of, the better chance you’re going to have to actually get that job.”