10 Ways to Shorten Your Job Search Webinar

10 Ways to Shorten Your Job Search Webinar

County Supervisor Joe Simitian hosted "10 Ways to Shorten Your Job Search" webinar on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Panelists from NOVAworks, De Anza College, and local employer Sciton discussed 10 actionable tips job seekers can focus on that may help them find meaningful employment sooner than later. Topics included: self assessment, training opportunities, interview preparation, identifying industries with demand for workers, tips to address the mental health challenges of the job search, and much more.

Questions & Answers

Our panelists tried to answer as many audience questions as possible during the live event. For the questions we were unable to get to, our panelists have since answered the questions and we have listed them below for your convenience.

    You should apply for unemployment the day you are laid off or the next day.  Unemployment insurance will let you know based on the type of severance you are getting when you’ll be able to start collecting payments.

    LinkedIn, Indeed and Google (search “job title” followed by word “jobs”) are all great places to look as is the NOVAworks job board. Company hiring opportunities change quickly so check these resources regularly. You can also set up job search alerts so that you’re notified of job postings that fit your search criteria as they’re posted.

    You can search meetup.com for any topic. You can also Google search “healthcare groups.”

    For more information regarding the healthcare industry, look at NOVAworks Industry Snapshot for Healthcare.

    NOVAworks can provide assistance with both resume and cover letter development. Additional information about resume writing can be found in NOVAworks MyPlan job search planning tool.

    The key is to find what works for you. It’s important to have an organizational system in place as a job search can become overwhelming if not organized. You’ll also want a way to access information accurately and quickly when that employer calls!

    Some job seekers have great success managing their job search and tracking with resources they already have at their disposal. This can be as simple as an Excel or Google spreadsheet or organizing job search folders on their desktop. However, some like to access applications or tools available to them online (free or fee based). Here are some (not all) of the sites that have come in discussion with job seekers:

    It depends on what services you’re interested in. To be involved in internships you must be a student taking at least 6 units. As far as counseling, you can call and make an appointment with De Anza College counseling division about becoming a retraining student. You can also contact Randy Bryant for more information at 408-864-8840 or [email protected].

    Take advantage of the career resources available to you from Foothill and DeAnza colleges. As Randy mentioned, there are many opportunities for students through the career centers.

    Also, feel free to join NOVAworks and access the Mature Worker Job Coaching Program. The program, a partnership between NOVAworks and Peninsula Family Service, provides resources and support to help older adults (age 50+) return to work or change careers. 

    It depends on the job. If the job is not highly technical, then managerial skills will be paramount. If you’re not yet in a managerial role, try to seek out and take on increased leadership of projects, responsibilities, and people, when possible. This will allow you to show that you can handle what is needed to be a successful manager. 

    However, for technical roles, often individuals who start with a strong technical background and showcase excellent soft skills (communication, conflict management, collaboration, etc.) are often chosen or promoted into managerial positions.

    Employers consistently tell us that technical skills can be learned but having strong “people skills” are what ensures success in the workplace.

    The first step is to determine a career focus. NOVAworks has a structured career exploration process to help people understand their skills and interests and then align that with the jobs that are in demand. Once the focus is determined, then the appropriate training plan can be created.

    If you’re unable to seek out formal education (college), don’t despair. There are many online and free resources for you to take advantage of that will help you attain skills that align with your career goals.

    You can seek out learning resources through your local library. In addition, NOVAworks maintains a list of low or no cost training options you can access.

    Self-learning may not be sufficient for all positions. Entering a new field without experience can be challenging but is not impossible. Find a trusted person to introduce you to the company.

    A great way to gain some experience is to volunteer. The skills you learn and people you meet while gaining experience will be invaluable when it comes to job search. Not only will you be able to show real time experience (unpaid/pro bono), but you’ll also possibly be able to get a reference or recommendation from the volunteer organization regarding your work ethic, quality of work, dependability, friendliness, attitude, etc. You’ll also be able to expand your network through volunteering which could also lead to an employment opportunity!

    NOVAworks maintains a list of organizations that regularly post volunteer opportunities

    This is a common question. While I understand the intent of the question, some managers might assume the candidate does not want to work. It’s best to do some informational meetings with people who work at the company to get a sense of the time commitments.

    Remember that interviewing is a two-way street so another strategy may be to ask the company a question that will help you get to this knowledge based on the employer's response. Examples of questions you can ask the interviewer are:

    • Can you walk me through a typical day/week for a person working in this role?
    • Is it common to work outside of normal business hours / long days or weekends for this role?”
    • How does the manager/team handle tight business deadlines?
    • What is the workload/energy like at the end of each quarter?

    By asking these questions, or similar ones, you may be able to ascertain what spectrum of work life/balance is attainable or the norm for the organization.

    A lot of the skills you use in your daily life and volunteering are transferable workplace skills. The key is to identify the skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying to. Then craft statements that show that you used the skill. 

    Most people do have difficulty identifying their skills. You can start by looking at NOVAworks’ skills checklist and reviewing what might be applicable for you.

    The De Anza College Promise, which is the two years free college, is available to students who have never attended college. Additional information is available on the De Anza website.

    NOVAworks offers weekly opportunities for members to network with each other and hone their skills. The NOVAworks MyPlan website has information on networking.

    A referral is always a good thing. A known entity is a stronger candidate. That said, people get jobs every day without referrals, for entry level and above.

    Feel free to join NOVAworks and access the Mature Worker Job Coaching Program. The program, a partnership between NOVAworks and Peninsula Family Service, provides resources and support to help older adults (age 50+) return to work or transition careers. 

    For mature workers (age 50+) who are looking to shift careers or wanting to re-enter the workforce, view the recording of the Mature Workers: Vital to Today's Diverse Labor Force webinar Supervisor Simitian, NOVAworks and Peninsula Family Service hosted in 2022.  

    Webinar Partners 

    NOVAworks Job Center logo

    NOVAworks (NOVA) is a nonprofit, federally funded employment and training agency that provides customer-focused workforce development services to the employers and job seekers of Silicon Valley. NOVA's mission is to be a leader in delivering employment and training services that: facilitate skill development and career mobility; align with and are of value to the business community; and enhance people's ability to live and work in Silicon Valley. Call 408-730-7232 to learn more.



    De Anza College logo

    De Anza College offers hands-on career training, with internship opportunities and curriculum developed by industry experts in 24 subject areas. Free noncredit classes and certificates are also available. Programs are designed to prepare students for immediate employment or transfer to a university, and to open new doors for working professionals.

    Learn why De Anza is “Tops in Career Training” for Automotive Technology, Computer Systems Security, Health Technologies, Paralegal Studies, Real Estate – and more – by calling 408-864-8840.

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