"Your source for employment news in the Mother Lode"
This week in Mother Lode Works... - Maximize Your Job Search: Finding Work During the Pandemic
- Virtual Recruitment Events
- MLJT Success Story: Dental Assisting Institute
- COVID-19 Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant
Up to Date COVID-19 Information - covid19.ca.gov: The official website for California COVID-19 Response daily updates and resources. - edd.ca.gov: EDD provides a variety of support services to people who have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced due to the impacts of COVID-19 in California.
Maximize Your Job Search: Finding Work During the Pandemic
Whether you are finding yourself out of work for the first time, or unfortunately have been here before, there are some real concrete things for you to think about and do to maximize your job search efforts.
The first is to ask yourself some questions to assess how serious you are about working. Do you want to or need to work right now? Do you need to earn a specific amount of money for it to be worth it? Is any paycheck better than no paycheck?
If you answered no to all of these questions, then you probably don’t need to read the rest of this article. However, if you answered yes to any of them, then you are in job search mode, whether you want to be or not. Being in job search mode means that you are now in sales. Congratulations! Your unpaid position now is as the lead sales representative for yourself.
So why should employers “buy” you?
Showcase your skills : Really shine up your strongest abilities and characteristics and practice bragging about yourself. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us in this culture, but you’ll need to get used to it.
Feature your availability : If you already have the capacity to work from home, great! Focus on that and describe how you do it, from the equipment you use to the time management you employ when you’re doing it. Are you available whenever you’re needed? Are you flexible? Digitally organized?
Get prepared to work from home: Now is the time to get a home based work space set up, and to start using those remote work applications, like Zoom, TEAMS, gotomeeting, and others. Ask places like Mother Lode Job Training to help you. Remote work requires a different skill set and it is in your best interest to get those skills, so that more opportunities for working safely during the pandemic are available to you.
Get your tools ready: Your essential tools for selling yourself are still your application, resume, and interview – but now these are going to be delivered digitally and not with an in person handshake.
Online application hints: Be sure to look at every single section of the Form you are filling out. Don’t leave things blank! Some forms require you to enter things like dates or job duties in specific ways. Some make you put your work history in reverse chronological order. Some require the full address and phone number of your previous supervisor. You must be careful and thorough when completing the application form, so take your time. If you can save your progress while you are in the process, then DO IT. Remember that these are legal documents and you must be as accurate as possible. If asked to describe your job duties, don’t just write “see resume”. Use the space to expand on the information in your resume for those jobs- and to use key words that are related to the job you are applying for. It should take you about 1 to 2 hours to fill out an online application- this is NOT something to rush through.
Critique your own resume : Imagine you are the hiring person and look at your resume as if seeing it for the first time. Ask yourself if you would hire you. Does it answer the questions? Does it provide a solution to the problem facing the business you want to work for? Does it emphasize the NEW skills and competencies needed for the changed work environment?
Safety trained – or able to follow public health guidelines
Assertive and helpful – Customer service providers need to be able to be assertive with customers who don’t know how or don’t want to follow public health guidelines
Work Ethic – Right now, this character trait is vitally important to businesses. This does NOT mean you show up to work even if you are sick – what this means is that you prioritize work, making sure that you can be counted upon, and keeping your word.
Interviews: On camera, if you are using your phone or computer or laptop, practice talking into the camera and not into the face of the other person on the screen. It seems weird, but with practice it will get more comfortable.
Be well aware of your surroundings- what’s in the background, both in terms of visual and sound. You will still need to prepare for interviews by practicing talking about yourself, preparing examples of how you work and what skills you can demonstrate. See job seeker tips in Virtual Recruitment article below for more information.
Check your social media profile: Absolutely nothing can kill an opportunity like an inappropriate post on Twitter or Facebook. DO NOT EVER have posts where you have criticized a former employer. Do not have references to topics regarding illegal activities. Check your posts (including ones you share or like) for potentially offensive materials. Political speech is protected speech, but do you really want it to keep you from getting your dream job? Was liking that Meme that important to you that you’d miss the opportunity for a career? Maybe and maybe not- so look at your social media with a set of fresh eyes and see if anything jumps out at you as a potential red flag.
MLJT Virtual Recruitment Events: Tips for Job Seekers and Businesses
TIPS FOR JOB SEEKERS
Employers partake in recruitment events because they are looking for job seekers like yourself. Just because they are held virtually does not make that any different. With this advice in hand, navigate the new waters of virtual recruitment events with ease. You never know—it just might get your foot in the door, or even land you the job of your dreams.
Register ahead of time: You are going to want to register beforehand. Not only will this prevent any last-minute hiccups before the virtual recruitment event, but it will allow you to get a glimpse at the employers participating in the recruitment event.
Research participating organizations: After registering, take some time to review the organizations attending the recruitment event. You will want to get an idea of some of the companies you would like to meet with. You also do not want to walk in unprepared—learn about the companies and think of questions you will want to ask. At virtual recruitment events, companies look for candidates who are curious and ask questions.
Prepare your resume: This is a no-brainer, yet so important. Because you are going to provide your resume to employers you meet with, you are going to want it up-to-date and spotless for the optimal first impression.
Practice your “pitch”: How will you introduce yourself? Why are you interested in the company? What types of positions are you seeking? How is your previous work experience relevant? What do you plan on asking the representatives at the virtual recruitment event? You will want to spend some time mulling over questions like these, so you are ready to answer them without hesitation when the time comes. Your well-thought-out responses could impress a recruiter—and even allow you to stand out from the crowd of applicants.
Make sure your technology is ready to go: You will want to make sure your device can support you in the virtual recruitment event. While it is preferable to have camera capabilities in case an employer would like to speak with you face to face, you do not necessarily have to have a device with a camera. You should also try a dry run the day before the virtual recruitment event to ensure smooth sailing on the big day. Plan an IT dress rehearsal before to avoid last minute surprises. Also, be sure to download necessary software for the event if need be. Install these a day early, leaving enough time to clarify any troubleshooting questions you may have. Choose your device wisely. To avoid shaky camera syndrome, use a desktop, laptop, or propped-up tablet rather than a smartphone that you will need to hold throughout the conversation. You may also want headphones if you cannot attend from a quiet, private location.
Wear a professional outfit: You can expect to interact with employers at a virtual recruitment event through chat functions. However, some employers may wish to speak with you face to face. Make the most out of this opportunity to make a connection by looking professional and presentable.
Attend from a distraction free environment: In addition to your professional attire, you will also want to plan out where you will be attending the virtual recruitment event from. A quiet location is ideal—and camera capabilities mean that you will want to ensure its distraction-free for employers. Even on a small screen, potential employers can still see plenty of background. Make sure the room you are in is clean, quiet, and well lit. Your expertise should be the focal point of the conversation, not a visible pile of laundry or dirty dishes.
Be ready to put yourself out there: At virtual recruitment events, it is more important to exert yourself to make connections. It is even easier to be a wallflower at a virtual recruitment event than a traditional one. Once an employer engages you in a chat, the ball is in your court to introduce yourself and ask questions about the organization and open positions. Attendees must present themselves to employers and feel confident doing so.
Use clear and professional business communication: Being a virtual recruitment event, much of your communication will be done through written interactions in the chat function of the platform. To make a great first impression, you will want to demonstrate articulate written communication. Grammar matters, and text lingo, emoticons and any slang will not be appropriate. Your professional written communication needs to be on its A-game.
Demonstrate strong body language in video chats: Just like in a traditional recruitment event, you will want to present yourself as a confident and competent job seeker. One way that employers pick up on this is through your body language. If you are on a video chat with a recruiter at the virtual recruitment event, you will want to stay conscious of your body language. On camera, it is even more critical to hold eye contact with the employers you are interacting with. Speak clearly and avoid slouching. Keep hand gestures to a minimum so you do not distract the person you are talking to or block your face from the camera.
Ask for next steps and contact information: Talking to recruiters at the recruitment event, do not hesitate to be forward and offer to send a copy of your resume. You can also ask about the next steps in the process—whether that means getting in touch with human resources, filling out a job application or sitting down for a formal interview. Before parting ways with a recruiter, be sure to take down their contact information. Some employers may have it uploaded and accessible within the virtual career fair platform. If not, ask how you can stay in touch. You will need this information for following up after the virtual recruitment event.
Reach out the next day with a “thank you”: Whether it’s an email, phone call or hand-written thank-you note, be sure to reach out to the connections you made at the recruitment event, thanking them for their time and further expressing your interest. Because recruiters at virtual recruitment events come in contact with many candidates and resumes, you can use this chance to refresh their memory and remind them about why you’re a promising candidate, why you’re interested in the company and the skills or experience you bring to the table. You may also want to send them your resume if you have not already, along with your portfolio or work samples if you have any.
TIPS FOR BUSINESSES
Contact your local Mother Lode Job Training (MLJT) office to schedule a virtual recruitment. We can assist with creating a Power Point Presentation for the event, advertising and facilitation.
Build anticipation beforehand: If you are looking to fill specific vacancies, try to communicate with groups or individuals on social media such as the company/agency Facebook page and YouTube well before your event. If you are looking to reel in a broader and more diverse applicant base, utilize social media to run promotions that are targeted towards your key demographic. Another great alternative is to collaborate with local business partners to promote your virtual career fair. Schedule the event at least a week in advance, notify interested individuals of event, send out email and phone invitations, post flyers once event is scheduled, email flyer to business partners, the Chamber of Commerce, MLJT and to participants who may be interested.
Pick your employer representatives wisely: It goes without saying that the people manning your virtual booths play the biggest role in developing your employer brand at the online recruitment event. Your event attendees will be interacting with the employer representatives to get all the information they need about your organization. This interaction is pivotal in delivering your employer brand so keep these tips in mind: Make sure you have specialists manning the event, so no visitor leaves an interaction confused or unsatisfied. Treat your candidates like customers. The more effort your employer representatives will put into satisfying the attendees, the more favorable and lasting employer brand your event will cast.
Make webinars your friend: Webinars are widely being used by organizations to disseminate information, boost event engagement and most importantly, position themselves as the industry thought leaders. They are the most popular digital tool used to generate strong leads and therefore, you should leverage this tool to convey your corporate message with maximum impact. Keep in mind the following: Have your most qualified and eloquent employees conduct live webinars at the virtual career fair and have them introduce your organization, its culture, and mission to add the authenticity of human interaction. Keep these webinars roughly 30- 45 minutes long for maximum impact and open the floor for a live Q&A session to amplify engagement.
Hero Storytelling: We are all fans of great stories. Having a strong narrative that weaves your corporate vision together with its current operations can be highly potent in this case. Develop a compelling narrative for your brand and leave a lasting impression by utilizing:
client success stories
If you are interested in attending a Virtual Recruitment Event, follow us on Facebook for event updates. If you are interested in hosting a virtual recruitment event, contact your local MLJT.
MLJT Success Story: Dental Assisting Institute
“When I lost my job due to unfortunate circumstances, I went into Mother Lode Job Training (MLJT) to file unemployment and I was informed about the California Training Benefit (CTB) program. CTB gives you the opportunity to go to school while collecting your unemployment. As a mother, providing for two young boys, this program gave me hope and motivated me to make the career change that I always wanted, but never could afford on my own.
MLJT helped me pursue my new career as a Dental Assistant. I was able to pick the school that I wanted to attend, which had a schedule convenient for me and my family. I was able to focus 100% on school instead of settling for a job to make ends meet. My Job Developer, Lindsay, was so helpful with instructing me to do my research and how to go about it. She contacted me often to check in with my goals, to see how I was doing in school and to give me advice. I appreciate how caring, encouraging and professional she was towards me.
After I completed my training, I asked if I could take two more courses to further my career to become a Registered Dental Assistant. Again, MLJT paid for these classes and helped me succeed. Without this opportunity, I am not sure if I would have been able to have this experience. Now I have a career that I am passionate about! I am excited for this new adventure.”
Sarah started with MLJT in November 2019. On June 21, 2020 she completed all her training and is now as a Certified Dental Assistant with seven professional certificates in her hand. Mother Lode Job Training was able to send Sarah to dental assisting school at no cost to her, totaling $6,385.00.
Sarah is now employed in Tuolumne County as a Certified Dental Assistant! During a rapidly changing world, Sarah persevered and bravely achieved her goals! We are so proud of Sarah Sparaco and her many accomplishments!
COVID-19 Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant
Like many, the Mother Lode has been impacted by the Pandemic with the shutdown of non-essential workplaces due to Covid-19.
Mother Lode Job Training (MLJT) has been awarded an Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant to assist those that have been affected with the loss of their job during the Pandemic. MLJT will be serving 34 participants with this grant and will serve in either basic/or intensive career services such as evaluating career options, job search, and resume assistance. Our goal at Mother Lode Job Training is to create 8 Work Experience (WEX) positions to assist participants in gaining new work experience skills and becoming employable in a post COVID work environment. These 8 positions will be at local businesses that are yet to be determined based on the needs of the businesses, the community, and the interest of the participant. We anticipate assisting 6 participants in Vocational Training and 1 participant in On the Job Training (OJT). The WEX and OJT program is designed to offset expenses incurred by the employer while training a new employee. Support Services will be available to assist a participant in overcoming barriers to employment, such as the need to purchase work related items. If you are a business or a job seeker that has been affected by the pandemic and are interested in any of the above services. Contact your local Mother Lode Job Training Center for more information.
UI Claim Updates
See the latest number of claims filed below:
You can also find this information and more on the EDD site at: www.edd.ca.gov/newsroom.htm
For more information, contact your local Mother Lode Job Training job center:
Amador Center Manager: Annette, Email: email@example.com, Phone: (209) 223-3341 Calaveras Center Manager: Emily, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (209) 754-4242
Mariposa Center Manager: Stephanie, Email: email@example.com, Phone: (209) 966- 3643 Tuolumne Center Manager: Pam, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (209) 588-1150 Mother Lode Job Training is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Equal Opportunity Employer/Program; CRS 711 (TTY) Auxilary aides & services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Mother Lode Job Training is a proud partner of the America's Job Center of California network.