Employment tool refines the job search process

March 11, 2013 

Florida statistics show that the average duration of unemployed jobs seekers is more than 47 weeks (December, 2012). That is a shocking number that also includes individuals not receiving unemployment compensation benefits.

According to the Department of Economic Opportunity Labor Market Statistics Center, in Manatee and Sarasota counties there are about 2.5 job seekers vying for every online job. It takes longer to secure a new job when there are a greater number of people looking for work than there are jobs available.

Unfortunately, the longer a person is unemployed, the more likely it is that he or she will lose hope. A job seeker's self-confidence may dip, skills become rusty and he or she become less marketable to employers.

Suncoast Workforce provides a variety of services and resources to empower serious job seekers. To keep this group engaged and motivated, comprehensive workshops are offered at Suncoast Workforce Career Centers that include topics from Resume basics and job search techniques to building your job search marketing plan and preparing for the interview.

Furthermore, job seekers have access to online job postings, computer tutorials, labor market information, and industry research. In August 2011, we launched a pilot Personal Interview Coach that is now fully integrated into the list of resources available.

Personal Interview Coach is a 95-item employment survey tool, scientifically validated, that measures job-related dimensions of personality and offers insight on a candidate's potential job-fit.

Once job seekers complete the survey, a nine-page customized report is generated that better equips them to stand out among the competition, while also helping prepare them to approach an interview with increased knowledge and self-awareness.

We have found that this survey tool has helped provide our job-seeking customers with a heightened understanding of their personal preferences for achieving goals, completing tasks, and relating and communicating with others.

The detailed descriptions in the report of an individual's top four behavioral strengths offers clear words and phrases that can be used not only during interviews, but also in resumes, cover letters and networking introductions.

Personal insights gleaned from the report have given job seekers

self-confidence in their abilities to articulate the value they bring to the job they are seeking.

Personal Interview Coach is offered by Suncoast Workforce in groups or one-on-one with a career adviser. Suncoast Workforce staff review the results with the respondents, customize practice questions that guide the interview preparation process and offer a list of common interview tips.

The Personal Interview Coach tool was developed by Bob Beck of Automated HR Solutions LLC, and Leading Dimensions Consulting LLC. Suncoast Workforce is the first regional workforce board to use this tool.

As with all of our services and resources, customers are encouraged toutilize the tools available to build an effective,successful job search process that can lead to the ultimate goal -- employment.

Mary Helen Kress, is the President and CEO of Suncoast Workforce, a non-profit corporation providing workforce services in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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