Looking for Work While Following “Safer at Home” Guidelines

Life sure feels and definitely looks different here in Southern California than it did just two weeks ago. Many of us started working from home just a few days ago and, as the days passed, more and more of us lost our jobs. And others among us soon may lose ours, as a recession already is here.

There IS hope; Jobs ARE available!

Right now (the last week of March) not only are some companies such as Amazon (to handle the increased need for workers in their distribution centers), Walmart (people are shopping for more food for at-home meals) and Domino’s Pizza (it needs more delivery drivers as people practice social distancing) actually hiring thousands of workers, many employers of all types are still hiring.

The vast majority of these jobs are either those that can be performed remotely, or are for what are deemed “critical” jobs that can’t be performed at home.

Anaheim careers

Job Hunting during “Safer at Home”

The City of Los Angeles’ emergency order is called “Safer at Home, Stay at Home,” yet no matter whether you live in LA, Orange County or anywhere in the Golden State, you’re no doubt hunkering down at home now because many employers’ brick and mortar locations are closed to the public.

Rest assured, employers want to hire people as much as you want to be hired. Businesses still up and running are exceptionally focused on ensuring their operations remain steady. Yet with employers still hiring but not being able to meet candidates in the office, at job fairs, etc. what does that mean for you, the job hunter?

Virtual job hunting and interviewing!

And while that may “seem” really new and, well, odd, it’s not really, because you will – and should – continue emailing with recruiters or hiring managers who have reached out to you, just as you did before. (Tip: While we know you’ll no doubt really, really, really, really want to, we recommend that you don’t email or call a company to make sure it received your application. Contact an employer only after its reached out to you.)

  • If you’re just starting your job search, the rules still apply: if possible reach out directly to a hiring manager when you see a job opening and send your resume directly to their email address. (Make sure you’ve sent your application in online, as well – most companies require this today.)
  • If you were scheduled to come in for an interview before the stay-at-home orders took place and if you haven’t heard from the recruiter or hiring manager, it’s perfectly OK to email and ask if the interview is still on (the employer may have put things on hold for a bit). If the employer does want to postpone, ask them when it would be good time for you to check in again and place the date as a reminder on your calendar.
  • If you don’t have video conferencing on your own computer, laptop or smartphone, don’t worry: most recruiters do on their end and will send you a link you can use to have the interview via video.
  • Make sure your clothing and grooming looks job-interview appropriate for the video interview (at least from the waist up). Set up your computer in a spot that’s quiet and ask family members to be quiet themselves while you’re online.

Finally, don’t worry if you don’t have a laptop or computer at home: we can interview you via video on your smartphone!

Also, because our Helpmates offices are closed right now, we’re interviewing everyone via video: even people who will be working at an employer’s physical location.

We’ll all get through this together

Employers still need you. If you’re looking for work, take a look at our current opportunities and follow application instructions for those that appeal to you and for which you are qualified.

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay well.

The Most Sought-After Skills in 2020

What are the skills employers are looking for now? Do you need to know how to write up an algorithm? Use computer code? Analyze big data? Not exactly. Although the skills companies are looking for do involve some type of analytical thinking, they are not as techy as you might think.

Los Angeles jobs

According to the World Economic Forum, the top skills that companies want, in order, are complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, service orientation, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility.

Creativity

Creativity clocks in at number three on the 2020 skills list, compared to number 10 on a similar list in 2015, showing that it’s a skill rapidly increasing in value among employers. Negotiation skills, which appeared at number five on the 2015 list, fell to number nine on the 2020 lineup, a sign that employers are expecting new technologies, such as AI and big data, to reduce the need for such skills. In fact, a World Economic Forum survey among companies revealed a widespread belief that AI will eventually have a presence on many boards of directors.

A skill that fell off the 2015 list is active listening. However, emotional intelligence, which makes an appearance at number six on the 2020 list, was absent from the 2015 tally, showing the increasing importance of soft skills in the workplace today.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is generally defined as being aware of your emotions and being able to manage them, as well as understanding and managing the emotions of others. People with emotional intelligence, for example, can recognize when they are feeling angry or frustrated and are able to control and direct the emotion. They are also more sensitive to the emotions of others and are better able to cope with them. Emotional intelligence has gained significance because it is generally believed that people who are better able to recognize these emotional signals, both from themselves and others, are more productive employees and leaders.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking and problem solving continue to hold top positions on the list, as they did in 2015. According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking, it’s the process of effectively forming concepts, as well as applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information that is produced through observation, experience, reasoning, or communicating with other people, and using the results of the analysis as a guide for what you believe and how you act.

It’s based on the criteria of clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth and fairness.

The need for such skills is driven by the advance and pervasiveness of technology, which is affecting almost every industry around the world. Change is occurring more rapidly, and for companies to keep up, they need people who understand the change and how to manage it.

Other Skills

Another highly valued skill is the ability to learn. This in turn involves skills such as knowing how to learn, reading intelligently and taking notes. Reading is something that must be done continually in order to learn and to keep up with expanding knowledge.

Reading widely on a routine basis also helps you analyze information and recognize trends and patterns, as well as improving your written and verbal communication skills. Reading also helps improve soft skills, such as cultivating an appreciation and empathy for others.

Communication skills, both written and verbal, are more important than ever. These skills include things like listening effectively, being able to persuade, explain and work with others, as well as providing useful feedback.

If 2020 is the year you plan to move up the career ladder, let Helpmates help you do so. Take a look at our current career and job opportunities and contact the branch nearest you if you see something that interests you.

Hacking the College Job Fair

Yep, it’s February. If you’re a college senior, you’re busy. And one of the things your busy with is getting ready for your campus’ college job fair this spring.

jobs in carson

What? It’s not on your radar!!! Why not!? College job fairs are a terrific way for you to land job interviews with potential employers. Understand that you’re not going to get a job offer at a career fair: your goal instead is to line up job interviews with different potential employers.

The great thing about college career fairs is that employers come to scope out potential employees. They want to talk to you and, if it you looks like you might be a good fit, set up a full-fledged interview at a later date.

So sign up for the career fair!

Yes, dozens if not hundreds of your classmates are going as well. But they may not have read this blog post. YOU have and in this post are three hacks that, if you follow them, will get employers to ask you in for a job interview.

Warning: these hacks will take some time and a good bit of effort on your part. But if you want to stand out, put in the time and you’ll be rewarded.

Take a look below for our three college job fair hacks.

  1. Study the list of companies coming to the fair.

See what companies are coming and then go research the ones that look interesting to you. And almost all of them should look interesting to you because even though, for example, you’re looking for a marketing job, just about  every company has a marketing department, so don’t automatically say no to a bank or a manufacturer, etc. Still, it’s OK to designate your top 10-15 companies and then focus on them

By study we mean, research. Take a look at its website. Look it ALL over, not just the careers or jobs page. Read as much of the site as you can. Take notes about things that pertain to your degree field.

Read everything you can about the company.  Google it and see what others say about it. Check out Indeed.com and Glassdoor for reviews.

  1. Decide what skills and experience you bring to an employer that bring value.

Remember: employers hire people to solve problems. What problems do you solve? What value do you bring to an employer?

Yes, you have little to no real-world experience in the field you want to enter. But do you have initiative? Are you a member of the dean’s list? Have you worked full-time while going to school full time (that shows you know understand what hard work is and that’s highly valuable to an employer)? And so on.

Write down the skills you have that the field you want to enter requires. Have professors, managers at internships, etc. commented on how great these skills are?

You’re going to need to know what problems you solve/value you bring because now you’re going to….

  1. Write a custom cover letter and resume for EACH company you intend to visit at the career fair.

That’s right: one cover letter and one resume for EACH company. No template cover letters/resume for you. And, while many people say there’s no need to bring a cover letter to a college career fair, writing one specifically for each company helps you stand out. And standing out is what you want.

Yowza, this is going to take work! Yes. It certainly is.

But understanding what particular skills and background you provide to a company and then showcasing how they bring value to a particular company shows a recruiter you understand why an employer hires people.

Any time you look for work you should make it as easy as possible for an employer to hire you.  Presenting how you help solve a company’s problems, etc. makes it a lot easier for a recruiter to see how you match a company’s needs (she doesn’t need to read between the lines) and you’ve made it much easier for her to ask you in for a formal interview.

We can pretty much guarantee that very few – if any – of your classmates are going to customize a cover letter/resume for each company at the job fair. Few – if any – of your classmates are going to be able to talk to a recruiter with as much information as you will because of your deep-dive research. Perform these hacks and watch how well recruiters will respond!

Want some real-world experience before you head to the job fair? Take a look at our job opportunities here at Helpmates and if one appeals to you, follow the instructions on the opening or contact the branch office nearest you.

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