This post is out of the norm of what I usually write, but I wanted to share some valuable information for anyone who is out of work and trying to find employment.

When my first child was born, my husband and I thought it best that I quit working and stay at home for as long as I could.  I feel grateful that I have been able to do that for 20 years, but with the economy in the situation it has been and because of someone thinking a rental home of ours was their own personal  meth lab.  I have been forced back into the workforce.

My search for employment started in 2009.  I soon realized after not finding work that after 20 years I needed a lot more skills than what I had obtained.  So another decision was made for me to go back to school.  I enrolled in a technology college in my area.  I have always been kind of a computer nerd, so I really enjoyed it and learned that graphic design was the area that I really loved.

I had high hopes of being able to graduate and find employment  right off.  This was really quite a stupid assumption on my part. Yeah, I have skills now, but I also have no experience other than school in my area of expertise so to speak.

I have been graduated about 2 months now and have submitted resume after resume after resume.  Out of the 20 jobs I have applied for, I have had 3 interviews.  This is painful.  Searching the job boards day in and day out has become so depressing that I have become extremely discouraged at being able to find any employment.

My church has an employment center that has volunteers that help you find work.  Just recently  they offered a free career workshop  that I attended where I found the information invaluable.  I want to share this with others because I found out that I have been doing everything wrong when it comes to resumes, interviews and my actual job search. I thought I had no skills that I could use in the workforce, but I actually have a lot more than I thought.  I want to break up this post into more than one because there is so much information that it would be impossible to put it all into one.

To start off with, make a list of three accomplishments.  Then under each one list the skills that you learned from those accomplishments.  For example: My first accomplishment is being a mother. We were provided a list of possible skills to choose from.  At first it was hard to come up with 10 but then we worked together in groups and other people were able to help me see other skills that I did not.  Here are the skills I came up with.

Ability to Work

Good Judgement

Patience

Vision

Multi-Tasking

Fair

Forgiving Nature

Compassion

Good Listener

Knowledge

Mediation

Work Ethic

Teachable

Thrift

Tolerance

Organization

From this list, then you create a “Me in 30 Seconds” statement to begin your job interview with.  You  need to make your “Me in 30 Seconds” flexible to the job you are applying for.  For example I am looking for a graphic design job, but I do have secretary skills I can use also.  These statements need to be directed to the type of employment you are looking for.  I will give an example of my statement below so you can see how it works.  I actually used different skills that I gained from going back to school.  This was my 3rd accomplishment that I had listed.

“I am a creative graphic designer that is adaptable and a quick learner. My education was a self-paced instructional environment.  I was able to accomplish work and assignments in Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Typography, Computer Illustration, Web Design, HTML and CSS with little to no help. I designed banners, brochures, websites, photo touchups, logos, favicons, and other graphic design elements.”

You don’t want to take more than 30 seconds because time is important to interviewer.  Also, make sure not to add any personal information into this interview.  Guaranteed that the first question that will be asked in an interview is “Tell me a little about yourself”.  If you give personal  information in this answer  it can be used to discriminate against you.  Even though it is illegal to do so, they will do it.  I found that in each interview I kept telling them that I had just graduated from school.  I was proud of this accomplishment, but they see me as inexperienced and everything that I say after that is hard for them to hear because the “inexperience” is the first thing they heard.  I would also add in that I had been a stay-at-home mom for that past 20 years.  This was also wrong.  In my attempt to let them see I was need of employment, I was actually saying that perhaps  my ability to work would be compromised because of my children and their needs from me.  It makes me mad to think the employers would do this, because I am a hard, dependable worker but they don’t know me and judge me by what they hear.

You also want to develop what you call “Power Statements”.  You  need about four of these to use throughout the interview.  There are I Am, I Have, I Can.  You need to let your knowledge work for you.  Select two or three skills. You want to start out with a skill, give an example and then result.  The following is an example of mine that I will be using:

“I can learn quickly, for example: I was an entertainer for the Cache County Fair.  I had to learn and memorize 13 different songs within a couple of months and target the audience that I would be performing for. As a result, I was asked to perform for 4 more years.”

So even though this had nothing to do with work experience, I gained valuable skills from this.  Here are some of the skills:

Determination, confidence, adaptability, flexibility, vision, problem solving, positive attitude, courage, follow through, motivation, endurance, working with others, social interaction, personal drive.

I will end with a list of possible traits and/or skills you can choose from which will help you decide where you have strengths.  This is just a small list that actually can help you think of more skills:

Ability to work with others, adaptability, analytical ability, artistic talent, business sense, caring nature, cheerful attitude, collaboration, confidence, courage, creativity, decisiveness, dedication, dependability, determination, endurance, enthusiasm, experience, fairness, faith, fearlessness, flexibility, forgiving nature, friendliness, generosity, global expertise, good character, good judgement, gratitude, honesty, industriousness, intelligence, intuition, kindness, knowledge, leadership, learning quickly, motivation, negotiation, nurturing, organization, patience, persistence, personal drive, persuasion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationship-building, resourcefulness, respectfulness, responsibility, sense of adventure, sense of humor, service to others, social interaction, spirituality, teachableness, teaching ability, thoughtfulness, thrift, tolerance, trusthworthiness, understanding, vision, willingness and worth ethic.

I truly believe that God does not want any of us to fail in life.  Sometimes we let discouragements get in the way of this knowledge, but He does want us to be the best we can be and He can help us get there.  I find if I rely upon Him each day through prayer that I can overcome any insecurities or trials that I go through.  I know He is there and wants us to be happy.

Feel free to comment and ask questions.  If I have the answer, I will give it to you or find it out.

The next segment I will go into will be appearance and body language.

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