Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

January 25, 2012

How to get a non-profit job

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 1:09 pm

by Miriam Salpeter

Summary of article (full article at

Have you considered transitioning to a non-profit career?

Think about Your Skills and How to Use Them

Non-profits are looking for people who:
• have a strong track record of leadership and the ability to influence their constituencies.
• are able to keep people motivated and engaged.
• demonstrate ability to manage across a broad portfolio of responsibility.
• are able to show an impressive record of delivering a solid return on investment.
• bring a passionate interest in their work and mission.
• is committed long-term, even when the finish line is out of sight.

Think about where you want to work by answering these questions:
• What issues do you care about?
• What are the appropriate skills you have to help transition into the sector? (E.g., legal, sales, financial management). What’s missing from your skills? Consider taking a course to fill in any gaps in your background.
• What type of organization will help you thrive? Do you prefer working for an organization that’s slow and steady? A fast-growing group? Maybe you’d love working with a startup, or working directly for a founder?

Once you’ve identified your skills and made a match, you’ll be ready to approach the non-profit market from a position of strength.


10 job-search tips for 2012

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:46 pm

Justin Thompson, CareerBuilder Writer, offers 10 tips for a successful job search in 2012 which are summarized below:

1. Create a job-search strategy.
Do not use shotgun approach to job search. Tailor your existing skills to a job’s requirements and spend time preparing better résumés and cover letters instead of just blasting a generic one to every single posting.

2. Define your goals.
Ask yourself, "What do I really want out of a job?". Define what you want out of your job besides cash. Then you can figure out what your best selling points are and the most valuable skills you have to sell to an employer.

3. Diversify your search.
The more ways you can put yourself out in front of potential employers (social networking, face-to-face networking, applying in person, etc.), the more opportunities you’ll come across and the more you will place yourself ahead of the rest.

4. Evaluate your skills and add more.
Brush up on your skills with online courses or community classes. Government funding and other programs are available for out-of-work job seekers who want to enroll in training or continue their education to better position themselves in the current workforce. And there are free online courses that are available – check out the list of these courses at RochesterWorks Virtual Career Center.

5. Be unique.
Do something that will help you stand out and be memorable to the employer. Find out the name of the hiring manager or someone who heads up the department the position is in, and contact him directly. Use the information on LinkedIn to your benefit. Reach out with a brief introduction, and let him know you’ve applied for the position and you hope to be in touch. After applying, it  never hurts to follow up with a company via social media to share your excitement about the position.

6. Listen.
Pay attention to how employers are communicating their open positions in the social media and their websites. Connect with other job seekers or career experts, and see what methods you can adopt from their job-search strategies. Join Twitter chats and online career fairs to connect with more employers and broaden your network.

7. Set goals.
Yes, the goal is to get a job, but to achieve that, you need to break it down into smaller goals that can be successfully completed. First, choose monthly goals such as joining professional organizations or volunteering at a nonprofit that will allow you to flex and use your skills. Then create a weekly goals and then a daily to-do list. Hold yourself accountable for achieving these goals, you’ll feel better about yourself. And this can be used in your job search and interviews as a great example of your problem-solving skills.

8. Prepare for anything.
Always be ready. Have at least five examples that demonstrate your best qualities. Have your success stories ready. Rehearse for interviews. Have a complete list of references and their contact information to give to interviewers.

9. Positive thinking can lead to positive results.
See every situation as a learning opportunity. A positive attitude is contagious, and the more positive you are, the more likely others will be to go out of their way to help you.

10. Stay balanced.
Get sufficient rest. Meet with friends. Stay active. Do things you enjoy.

See the full article at

Prepare now to take advantage of job opportunities when they arise

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:39 pm

From 25 January Democrat & Chronicle

12:45 AM, Jan. 22, 2012  | 


Written by

Deb Koen

Question: I’m currently employed but I’m waiting for the hiring picture to improve. I am eager to get into something that is related to my profession and in a better company. I’m grateful to have a job, but I hate feeling like I’m in a holding pattern. What can I do in the meantime?

Answer: Patience, not to be confused with passivity, is a virtue. Apply your efforts in three areas, so you’ll be ready to move when opportunities do arise.

Maximize your current work experience. Every job presents a platform for development. Although your current role is not in your profession, you can uncover learning opportunities. Rather than hovering in a holding pattern, kick into action by seeking out a cross-functional project or asking to shadow an employee with a specific skill set. Soak up everything you can about job skills and office dynamics. Creating efficiencies and improving morale, for example, are portable skills that will add value in any environment. While you’re there, seek out the most interesting and influential people on staff to work with and study.

Get involved in your career field now. No need to wait until you have the perfect match to become involved in your chosen profession. Follow blogs, or better yet, start your own. Expand both your network and your experience by becoming an active member of a professional association to develop your leadership skills, build relationships and tap into job leads.

Track the trends. Concentrate on working behind the scenes, for now, following the employers you’re most interested in. Familiarize yourself with key players. Watch for news, awards and developments about these employers. Contact them to congratulate or inquire only after you’ve researched them and are ready to make a powerful first impression. Know the key points you will convey about yourself and the questions you will ask. This type of preparation and positioning is a perfect use of your time during a lull in hiring.

December 3, 2011

10 Things to Know About Background Checks

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, References — Larry @ 10:20 am

You have been working long and hard on your search for a new job opportunity. Finally, you have an awesome interview and you get a great offer. The hiring manager indicates that the only thing remaining is a background check (BC).

Companies are using BCs now, more than ever before, to make certain they are hiring the right person. Unfortunately, BCs are now more common because so many job seekers have a tendency to "exaggerate" on their résumés. Companies want to identify severe problems in the candidate’s employment or personal history. But what information are they entitled to and what privacy rights do you have?

Let’s review the most common BC items:

1. Criminal History

Felony and misdemeanor searches can be conducted by county, state or throughout the nation. Each respective search costs an additional fee. Some states will only provide information for the past seven years. You need to check each state for its policy. Only information of public record is available. Juvenile records cannot be accessed. Bob Mather indicates that identity theft and false criminal reporting are on the increase and can appear on your BC. More about this later and what you can do about it.

2. Civil History

Similar to criminal history and includes whether the job candidate is/was a plaintiff or defendant. 3. National Wants and Warrants If the candidate is "wanted," it will appear through the NCIC system, but this information is not frequently requested.

4. Credit Report

This is a very common item for BCs. Companies are searching for financial stability. Bankruptcies prior to seven years will not appear.

5. Social Security Reports

This will reveal where the candidate has lived for the past seven years. Name variations are frequently used to verify addresses and locations.

6. Previous Employer Verification

This is the item that makes most job seekers nervous. Almost everyone has had some form of disagreement with his or her boss. The concern centers on what the employer will say and whether they will release employment files. In most cases, because of a dramatic upsurge in lawsuits from job seekers who received false bad references, previous employers typically only confirm dates of employment. Compensation and good or bad references are not generally provided; however, that doesn’t mean it is not done. A job seeker might want to consider hiring a "reference check" company to verify what previous employers are saying.

7. Drug Tests

Approximately 15 to 20 percent of all BCs include a drug test. BC companies typically contract with local medical clinics to conduct the test. It can be expensive, so it is not done in all cases. In most cases, the job requirements determine if a drug test is necessary, particularly for anyone operating machinery or a motor vehicle. Executives are also frequently screened for drugs.

8. Reference Verification

The employer or BC firm will contact references provided by the job candidate. Typically, the questions are very specific regarding job performance as opposed to personal or private information. They rarely contact anyone other than the designated references provided by the candidate.

9. Education

The BC will verify attendance, majors, degrees, certifications and dates earned. This has become a common BC item as a result of overwhelming falsification by job candidates. Here is a tip: Job candidates without a formal degree should not waste their money on the phony degree or certification programs where you pay a fee to get a degree based on experience. Be honest about your education. If you believe you need additional education, enroll in an accredited school. Your efforts to complete or enhance your education will definitely be viewed positively.

10. Driving History

A common and almost mandatory BC item for people required to operate a motor vehicle. They are checking for license status, holder, dates of issuance and expiration, violations, suspensions, or other actions.

"Errors in criminal history frequently occur as the darker side of identity theft," Mather says. "Most people quickly become aware of problems on credit history as a result of identity theft. But you should also be aware that false reporting of crimes may be reflected on your BC because someone has stolen your identity."

If you have any concern about identity theft, or if you wish to learn what a BC will reveal about your background, you may wish to conduct a BC on yourself for a nominal fee using This site also has great free resources regarding background checks and how to clean up your report if you find any errors — use the "Consumer Resources" link.

Finally: Relax. Too often job candidates worry too much about a BC. In the overwhelming number of cases, minor problems on your BC will not be an issue. Problems that occurred in the distant past will be overlooked based on your current history and ability to perform your job with talent and integrity. If a company is going to do a BC, be straightforward with them about any problem that might be discovered. Offer evidence that this is no longer an issue. Your hard work and honesty will help overcome any mistakes from the past.

– MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin September 12, 2011

7 Ways to Discover – Who Do I Want to Be?

Filed under: Job Search Preparation — Larry @ 9:52 am

In the article at , the authors discuss 7 tips to help you discover who you want to be:

1. Set Broad Goals

2. Ask

3. Listen

4. Question

5. Research

6. Match

7. Embrace

October 24, 2011

Take an Honest Self-inventory of What You Have to Offer an Employer

Filed under: Job Search Preparation — Larry @ 2:17 pm

From RochesterWorks! (

Unemployment can be a blessing and a curse. If you didn’t see it coming, it can be immobilizing, stopping you dead in your tracks. But this temporary time out provides you with the perfect opportunity to re-examine how you spend more than 25% of your life. This process requires introspection and taking a hard look at who you are at this point in your life. This is particularly important if you have been working in a particular occupation, job or company for a long time.

Ask yourself what’s important in your life, what makes you happy, what do you do best and what causes you the most stress. Greater self-knowledge regarding your interests, skills, and values will enable you to confidently respond to the question asked by every employer, either implicitly or explicitly, “Why do you want this job and why here?” Additionally, the more in tune you are with what you want and what you honestly have to offer, the more focused and therefore, successful your job search will be.

Self-exploration and assessment are facilitated by working with employment and career specialists. Many job seekers either underestimate or overestimate their skills, experience, and marketability. A career advisor or counselor can help you take an objective inventory of your interests, aptitudes, skills, and experience in the context of the current labor market and what’s hot and what’s not. As you network, seek feedback from hiring professionals, industry representatives, and people you know who are in your career field. Act upon this information by adjusting your job or career target and your job search techniques. If advised, pursue training to update your skills and enhance your marketability. Self assessment – the good, the bad and the ugly – is a critical first step for targeting a job search, creating your marketing brochure (the resume) and selling yourself as you network and interview.

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