The curriculum of PEOPLE is varied and includes college prep and business oriented classes. Class sizes are small (10-12) and taught by recent college grads. The person teaching this program was someone I had mentored in his recent post college job search. He asked me to be a guest speaker to discuss cover letters, resumes and the job search process.
I presented key rules of resumes and the importance of cover letters. We practiced our 15 second introduction and making a positive FIRST impression. The importance of good eye contact, a firm handshake and using the person's name as you introduce yourself. I shared key resources for a successful job search:
- Applying online is a start but you also need to "network to find work". If you know someone at the company where you are applying, include their name in the cover letter. My daughter used this approach and got her first Nursing hospital floor job because of a well crafted cover letter naming a colleague of hers from Marquette University. She had an interview as soon as she sent her cover letter! Employers LOVE TO HIRE from referrals. "Good folks know other good folks".
- Update your LinkedIn profile to indicate you are in job search mode and locations you are targeting for a career move (unless your search is confidential)
- Use indeed.com a job posting aggregator. Setup saved searches and settings where you can receive text alerts on new jobs.
- Tap on your professor's networks. They know people in industry and these connections can help you open a door and get a preliminary interview.
I'm a first generation college graduate. While my parents were not highly educated, they knew the importance of higher education and provided monetary support for me and my siblings. Much of my career journey has been self-guided and I have enjoyed three distinct careers. I was lucky to have some great mentors throughout my career and took advantage of any and all resources to grow my career and earn promotions. I feel VERY fortunate to have all that guidance and an obligation to give back to folks that have less opportunity.
As Martin Luther King Jr. says so well:
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love”.