Employment Tips For People with Hearing Loss – Part One
Editor: Anyone who’s read our newsletter for any length of time is familiar with Cheryl Heppner and her wonderful organization, NVRC. They recently held a workshop focusing on what employers are looking for in today’s market. Here’s Cheryl’s write-up.
A full house came to NVRC to hear what employers are looking for today in screening, interviewing, hiring and promoting. Dr. Sue Pressman, who taught last year’s Career Workshop series and provided individual career consultations to some residents of Arlington and Fairfax counties this year, served as moderator of a stellar panel including:
– Heather Skeen, Disability Coordinator for Recruiting, Booz-Allen & Hamilton
– Teresa Matzkin, Lead Recruiter, Lockheed Martin
– Nancy N. Newman, Senior Personnel Analyst, County of Fairfax Office of Personnel
– Dr. Vic Galloway, recently retired program director in the U.S. Department of Education
Key information from the panelists and Dr. Pressman:
– Never forget to say during your interview “I want the job”
– Vic Galloway: “You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.”
– Always include good contact information. Don’t be afraid to list a TTY number for fear that your application will be rejected. It is important that an employer be able to get in touch with you easily. Make yourself available as many ways as possible. Employers don’t write letters. They call or e-mail.
– Many big employers are now using computer software to read resumes and scan for key words. It is important that you speak on your resume to the minimum qualifications and the more preferred qualifications for the job to have a better chance of being interviewed. Look at the position description and target the key words used.
– Research the company you are applying to. Find out what the values are, how you will fit in, what the environment is, and if you think you will be happy there. Companies often have information on their web pages that can help you in your research. Network with others to find out what companies treat their employees well. People who are happy in their jobs are the key to getting others to work for the company.
– Have a version of your resume that you can send by e-mail. For some high tech companies, a paper version is now outdated. It is easier for a company to take an e-mailed version and send it out to hiring managers. They want to find the best person as fast as they can.
– Cover letters don’t have the importance that they used to. In some companies that use software to screen applicants, they don’t even count. Federal positions do not require a cover letter and it is not even looked at.
– Your resume should speak to your education, skills, and job chronology. Many employers don’t care about your personal interests.
– When using job boards to post your resume, be sure to indicate if you are willing to relocate and when you will be available.
– It is not necessary to put information in your resume about the accommodations you need. The most important thing is to use the resume to capture the employer’s interest and give the reader a clear understanding of your skills and abilities. You can discuss accommodations when you are called for an interview.
– Although it is not a regular practice to send a thank you letter after an interview, it is highly recommended. Most employers appreciate a pleasant, hand written note. This also shows that you are willing to go the extra mile.
– It is important to keep your information concise for private sector job applications. Federal job applications, however, require a lot more detail.
– Sometimes education requirements for a position are not flexible because a contractor requires them or it is a prerequisite for the position and specified in the statement of work or announcement. If you want to change a career and have no experience, look into “limited term” and volunteer jobs as away to gain experience. Registering with a “temp agency” is a good way to gain experience.
Websites Recruiters Call “Most Useful”
The following websites were mentioned by the recruiters on our panel as places they go to when looking for employees:
You should post your resume in as many sites as you can. Don’t overlook the “niche sites” for people with specific skills, where there are small job postings. Doing a quick Internet search for job search websites will give you most of the popular sites.