Discussing Your Strengths in a Job Interview
LinkedIn
interviewees on Zoom call discussing their resumes

When you’re interviewing for a job, there’s a strong chance that a recruiter or potential boss will ask what you believe are your strengths. This is an easy question to answer. Interviewers will certainly want to know that your perceived strengths line up with the position you’re seeking, but they are also interested in whether you’re self-aware and confident. With a little practice, you can answer that question without appearing either arrogant or overly humble. Here’s how.

Show Your Strengths: STAR Method in Action

Talking about your strengths is an opportunity to show why you’d be a great fit for the job and how your skills align with the company or team. The key is to think about what strengths you have that match one or more of the aspects of the job description. A strength can be either a technical skill or a soft skill, such as teamwork or communication.

Once you’ve decided which of your strengths you want to feature, it’s time to identify real life examples where you’ve demonstrated that strength. The best way to approach behavioral questions is to use the STAR method. This helps you break down a scenario and explain how you successfully navigated it.

Situation: Offer some background on the task or challenge that you’ll be addressing.

Task: Define what your role and responsibilities were for the particular situation.

Action: Explain what steps you took or ideas you offered to help solve the problem or tackle that challenge.

Result: Share how the situation was resolved, highlighting how your actions helped reach that conclusion.

Here’s an example:

If you interview for a position that requires you to lead or even be part of a team, you might choose to say one of your strengths is leadership.

Situation: I volunteer as a gardener at a local park and enjoy working with new volunteers.

Task: The park identified a need to educate new volunteers about native plants.

Action: I organized a training session to teach my team members about native plants.

Result: The new volunteers found it so useful that the training is now part of the new volunteer onboarding process.

In this scenario, an interviewer might recognize your ability to take initiative to address needs and lead a new volunteer training. While this answer may seem simple, it demonstrates your strength in both initiative and leadership, which are valuable traits to all employers.

If you find it is hard to identify your strengths, consider your ability to:

  • Collaborate
  • Solve problems
  • Take direction and focus on tasks
  • Use technology
  • Lead or mentor

Rehearsing your answers can also help you feel prepared when heading into your next interview. Common interview questions to consider include:

  • “Why do you want this job?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to learn something quickly but knew nothing about it before.”
  • “Tell me about a time you made a mistake.”
  • “Tell me about a goal you set and how you achieved it.”
  • “What is one of your weaknesses?”

Reflect on your skills and accomplishments. Think about why they qualify you to succeed in the job you’re applying for. Think about the strengths of your professional role models and whether you have some of those same qualities. Consider a time when a teammate shared something they admired about you. Or think back to any times you received recognition for your work and what skills allowed you to shine.

Source: Ticket to Work

What STEM Careers are in High Demand?
LinkedIn
What STEM Careers are in High Demand

Have you ever wondered what the outlook might be for your STEM career five or even ten years out? Or maybe you are a current student weighing your options for a chosen career path and need to know the type of degree that is required.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education labor trends and workforce studies experts have culled through the BLS data and have summarized the outlook for several select STEM careers.

With the right information in-hand — and a prestigious research experience to complement your education — you can increase the confidence you have when selecting a STEM career.

Software Developers
There are over 1,469,000 software developers in the U.S. workforce either employed as systems software developers or employed as applications software developers. Together, employment for software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software because of an increase in the number of products that use software. The need for new applications on smart phones and tablets will also increase the demand for software developers. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks. Most jobs in this field require a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field and strong computer programming skills.

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program from identifying the core functionality that users need from software programs to determining requirements that are unrelated to the functions of the software, such as the level of security and performance. Software developers design each piece of an application or system and plan how the pieces will work together. This often requires collaboration with other computer specialists to create optimum software.

Atmospheric Scientists
Atmospheric sciences include fields such as climatology, climate science, cloud physics, aeronomy, dynamic meteorology, atmosphere chemistry, atmosphere physics, broadcast meteorology and weather forecasting.

Most jobs in the atmospheric sciences require at least a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a related field that studies the interaction of the atmosphere with other scientific realms such as physics, chemistry or geology. Additionally, courses in remote sensing by radar and satellite are useful when pursuing this career path.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer models have greatly improved the accuracy of forecasts and resulted in highly customized forecasts for specific purposes. The need for atmospheric scientists working in private industry is predicted to increase as businesses demand more specialized weather information for time-sensitive delivery logistics and ascertaining the impact of severe weather patterns on industrial operations. The demand for atmospheric scientists working for the federal government will be subject to future federal budget constraints. The BLS projects employment of atmospheric scientists to grow by 8 percent over the 2018 to 2028 period. The largest employers of atmospheric scientists and meteorologists are the federal government, research and development organizations in the physical, engineering, and life sciences, state colleges and universities and television broadcasting services.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 324,600 electrical and electronics engineers in the U.S. workforce. Workers in this large engineering occupation can be grouped into two large components — electrical engineers and electronics engineers. About 188,300 electrical engineers design, develop, test or supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as power generation equipment, electrical motors, radar and navigation systems, communications, systems and the electrical systems of aircraft and automobiles. They also design new ways to use electricity to develop or improve products. Approximately 136,300 electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment such as broadcast and communications equipment, portable music players, and Global Positioning System devices, as well as working in areas closely related to computer hardware. Engineers whose work is devoted exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers. Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree, and internships and co-op experiences are a plus.

The number of jobs for electrical engineers is projected by BLS to grow slightly faster (9 percent) than the average for all engineering occupations in general (8 percent) and faster than for electronics engineers (4 percent) as well. However, since electrical and electronics engineering is a larger STEM occupation, growth in employment is projected to result in over 21,000 new jobs over the 2016-2026 period. The largest employers of electrical engineers are engineering services firms; telecommunications firms; the federal government; electric power generation, transmission and distribution organizations such as public and private utilities; semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturers; organizations specializing in research and development (R&D) in the physical, engineering and life sciences; and navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control systems manufacturers.

BLS notes three major factors influencing the demand for electrical and electronic engineers. One, the need for technological innovation will increase the number of jobs in R&D, where their engineering expertise will be needed to design power distribution systems related to new technologies. They will also play important roles in developing solar arrays, semiconductors and communications technologies, such as 5G. Two, the need to upgrade the nation’s power grids and transmission components will drive the demand for electrical engineers. Finally, a third driver of demand for electrical and electronic engineers is the design and development of ways to automate production processes, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and Distributed Control Systems (DCS).

Data Science and Data Analysts
Technological advances have made it faster and easier for organizations to acquire data. Coupled with improvements in analytical software, companies are requiring data in more ways and higher quantities than ever before, and this creates many important questions for them, including “Who do we hire to work with this data”? The answer is likely a Data Scientist.

When trying to answer the question “what is data science,” Investopedia defines it as providing “meaningful information based on large amounts of complex data or big data. Data science, or data-driven science, combines different fields of work in statistics and computation to interpret data for decision-making purposes.” This includes data engineers, operations research analysts, statisticians, data analysts and mathematicians.

The BLS projects the employment of statisticians and mathematicians to grow 30 percent from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the source, organizations will increasingly need statisticians to organize and analyze data in order to help improve business processes, design and develop new products and advertise products to potential customers. In addition, the large increase in available data from global internet use has created new areas for analysis such as examining internet search information and tracking the use of social media and smartphones. In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, biostatisticians will be needed to conduct the research and clinical trials necessary for companies to obtain approval for their products from the Food and Drug Administration.

Along with that of statistician, the employment of operations research analysts is projected by the BLS to grow by 26 percent from 2018-2028, again much faster than the average for all occupations. As organizations across all economic sectors look for efficiency and cost savings, they seek out operations research analysts to help them analyze and evaluate their current business practices, supply chains and marketing strategies in order to improve their ability to make wise decisions moving forward. Operations research analysts are also frequently employed by the U.S. Armed Forces and other governmental groups for similar purposes.

To learn more about other flourishing careers in STEM, visit bls.gov/ooh to learn more.

Source: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

The Top 5 Growing Career Fields In 2022
LinkedIn
A group of diverse engineers huddled around a project

By Ashley Stahl

When it comes to the future, uncertainty is the only certainty. Think about remote work. Way back in 2019, it was slowly gaining acceptance even as most managers resisted.

In 2020, companies and their employees were forced to adapt. Today many workers have traded long commutes for casual strolls to their home office. For companies hoping to attract top talent, remote work is now an enticing benefit, and non-negotiable for many.

Most of us experienced a bit of emotional whiplash when the summer of freedom petered out and offices delayed reopening. Predicting which careers will flourish in our post-COVID world isn’t easy. Still there are some definite trends. Of course if you’re already loving your career, I’m not suggesting a radical course correction.

However, if you are considering a change, here are the top five growing fields in the years ahead.

1. Healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic had an outsized impact on health care workers. Some caught the virus, many became ill or even lost their lives. After enduring a months-long onslaught of patients, studies suggest over one-third are thinking about leaving the profession. Although there has been a shortage of skilled nurses for years, the pandemic made it even worse. That’s one reason healthcare is a top field of the future.

There will be a need for at least 500,000 more Registered Nurses by 2027. You’ll have to earn a bachelor’s of science or an associate’s degree in nursing along with a license. If you love travel, becoming a travel nurse can mean earning a six-figure income along with signing bonuses. In fact, there’s a range of healthcare jobs that offer travel opportunities. In the top five for fastest growing professions, nurse practitioners are R.N.s who have also earned a master’s degree. Able to do many of the things a doctor does like prescribe medication, nurse practitioners are less likely to be burdened by the average physician’s debt load –– which can easily exceed 200K. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 the median pay for a nurse practitioner was almost 112K.

2. Information Technology

Of course IT has been a growth field for years. What’s different is that an increased focus on remote work and smartphone development has increased demand for software and app developers. Although this field has traditionally required a bachelors of science degree, companies are now recruiting people who learned to code online. So if you’re thinking about a career change and are tech orientated, you may want to consider taking some coding classes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) predicts that by the end of the decade, the software development field will grow by 22% –– which means over 300,000 new jobs with a median salary over six figures. And if you tend to be introverted, software or app development is a great career choice.

3. Supply Chain Management

You probably aren’t surprised to find that this is a growth field. The panic buying that began before last year’s lockdowns upended the just-in-time delivery methods that so many retailers had long relied on. Jobs in this field include Purchasing Agent, Logistics Analyst, and Distribution Manager. Although many start out with a bachelor’s degree, top earners have graduate degrees as well. Industrial engineers are also plentiful in this supply chain management. So if you are skilled with math, statistics, and engineering principles and love making systems work more efficiently, this could be the right field for you.

4. Financial Management

Careers in this field are expected to grow by 15% over the next decade. Financial managers are hired to examine a company’s spending and income while looking for ways to maximize profitability. Fortune 500 companies often seek candidates with an MBA –– although smaller organizations hire financial managers with bachelor’s degrees. The median income approaches 120K. Management consultants enjoy similar high rates of growth and high median incomes.

5. Actuarial and Statistician

Actuaries enjoy an almost 20% growth rate by the end of the decade and a median income over six figures. If you enjoy data and statistics, this could be the perfect high-growth field. Most work for insurance companies, deciding whether or not to insure a potential customer. Being able to evaluate risk is an in-demand skill. Actuaries often have a degree in actuarial science and have passed a series of licensing exams. Statisticians fulfill a similar role for companies by analyzing data and projecting future sales, profits, and obstacles to growth. Data Scientists, who help companies better utilize information, enjoy a projected 30% growth in employment by 2030.

Of course the best job for you may not be the highest paying, nor one with the fastest growth. The key is leveraging your skill set and achieving the best possible outcome. Besides, how many would have guessed the number one fastest growing occupation? According to the BLS, it’s motion picture projectionists.

Read the complete article posted on Forbes.

How to Get Your Resume Past Today’s Software
LinkedIn
multi images of resumes lined up

When you send out a resume today, you can be nearly certain that it will wind up going through automated applicant tracking system (ATS) software.

Many, and probably most, employers use these time and labor-saving programs to review job applications and make an initial sort of resumes to either send to Human Resources for review, or to reject.

Read on to learn about just how employers use these software programs to sort through incoming resumes — and find out how to tailor your resume for success.

How employers use ATS software

Once employers identify a job opening, they use ATS software to describe the skills, education and training, years of experience and other details they want in candidates for the position. As applications come in, the ATS scores each one and puts it in rank order based on how well it meets the employer’s list of criteria.

But unlike a human reader, the software is likely to reject resumes because:

  • Qualified candidates fail to use the employer’s chosen keywords
  • The system doesn’t recognize unusual fonts or formatting
  • Candidates lack the preferred experience, but may have qualifications that could make up for what’s missing

Navigating the ATS when you apply for a job

Use these tips to improve the chances that your resume will pass through the ATS to be reviewed by Human Resources staff:

  1. Use thoughtful, relevant keywords. Analyze the job posting to identify job requirement keywords, then use those exact terms in your resume. Any variation from what’s written in the job posting may be missed.
    • Aim to use each keyword twice, more is not helpful
    • Modify your resume keywords for different job openings
    • Ask someone in a similar job to check your terminology; find people in similar jobs on LinkedIn
    • Check professional association websites and publications for ideas for keywords
    • For additional keywords, review an Occupation Profile and check the knowledge, skills and abilities
  2. Follow the posting’s instructions to the letter. Send only the documents requested by the posting, and use the requested format. If no format is specified, use Word or plain-text files. Avoid scanning resumes and sending them as an image; these will not be recognized.
  3. Prioritize formatting details
    • If a font is not specified, use a basic font such as Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman, with font size of 11 or 12 (10 to 14 is generally OK)
    • Bold and all capital letters are OK to use, but avoid using italics and underline
    • Bullet points are fine, but only use solid circles, open circles or solid squares
    • Avoid graphics, logos, charts, tables and columns — this will disrupt the ATS’ ability to read text
    • Lines and borders may be used as long as they do not touch any text
    • For your name and contact information, avoid extra spaces and special characters
    • For dates, use the standard format MM/DD/YYYY or Month, YYYY; avoid abbreviations, such as ’19
    • When a job posting requests the day a past job began and ended, be sure to include one, even if you have to estimate it
    • Margins of 1″ on all sides are typical
    • Putting extra keywords in a white font on your resume will not “trick” an ATS
  4. Choose a resume style that’s compatible with an ATS. A chronological work history, with jobs listed in order by date, should be used to ensure the ATS will successfully interpret it.
    While a functional resume may best highlight your transferable skills, it is likely to be rejected by an ATS. You can use a section such as “highlights of qualifications” or “professional summary” for transferable skills, just include your work history as well.
  5. Keep these general tips in mind
    • Customize your resume for each job application
    • Resume length: 1-2 pages
    • The general rule is to include your previous 10 years’ work history. If your most relevant experience is older, consider noting it in a professional summary / highlights section, but not in work history.
    • ATS systems check both for your work experiences and the number of years on the job.

Since nearly all Fortune 500 companies use an ATS in their hiring process, double down on this advice if you apply to a job with one of them. But keep in mind that networking is still the best way to bypass ATS systems and get your resume directly into the hands of hiring managers.

Source: CareerOneStop

Is Job Hopping Good for Your Career?
LinkedIn
Group of multiethnic young people hopeful crossing their fingers hoping, asking for best. Human face expressions, emotions, feelings attitude reaction

By Ron Kness

In today’s workplace, 64 percent of employees favor changing jobs several times throughout their career, and when narrowed down to just millennials, that percentage jumps to 75 percent. For the most part, long gone is employee loyalty when a person spent their entire working life with the same company…many times in the same job!

Today’s frequent change of employment is known as job hopping. But even with a high percentage of people favoring job hopping (defined as spending two years or less in a position) it is good for your career?

PROS OF JOB HOPPING

The answer is it can be, and people cite many reasons they chose to change jobs often. Reasons cited include:

  • Getting out of a negative work situation
  • Increasing salary
  • Positioning for a better promotion
  • Learning new skills
  • Keeping competitive in a changing work environment
  • Challenging self to move outside a comfort zone
  • Increasing professional network
  • Preventing boredom

CONS OF JOB HOPPING

However, there are also a few reasons why it is not a good thing to job hop:

  • Hiring managers may not want to take a chance on you if you have a track record of moving every two years or less; five job changes in the last ten years on your resume will raise a red flag.
  • It can weaken your resume if you have many different work experiences in a short period of time.
  • Your resume shows a wide breadth of skills, but not much depth.
  • Starting over with each new job, learning new processes and procedures specific to that company may be exciting with the first few job moves, but it gets old after a few times.
  • Uncertainty of future employment
  • Hitting a salary plateau

SALARY INCREASES HIT A WALL EVENTUALLY

If your job hopping just to increase your salary, eventually you can wind up with nowhere else to go. Moving very quickly up the salary ladder means that you will hit a plateau at some point. The challenge is to avoid being overpriced for the market. So, if you could be missing the skills, education or experience necessary for your next move in order to get the expected salary.

If you move too fast, you won’t have a long-term track record of results. With experts saying it takes at least six months for a newly-hired individual to become productive at their job, moving every two years or less does not leave much time to show what a person can do over time. You may excel in the short-term, but make sure you’re thinking about your long-term track record.

TRACK RECORD IS IMPORTANT

Because hiring, onboarding and training employees is expensive, companies are reluctant to hire someone that has a track record of changing jobs every two years or less. While it can be desirable to change jobs, it should be done for the right reasons and at the right point in one’s career. In the long run, too much job hopping can negatively affect your career instead of enhancing it.

Source: ClearanceJobs

America’s Educated, Experienced, Invisible Workforce
LinkedIn
diverse applicated seated at hiring managers desk while he is looking over resume

By Tawanah Reeves-Ligon

According to the most recent analyses conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since the COVID-19 outbreak, projected growth for many STEM/STEAM occupations in the United States is expected to further increase as the country’s needs continue to shift.

For those employers, recruiting agents and hiring managers looking for nontraditional labor sources, the answer could be much closer than one would think.
 
 
Educated, Experienced, Invisible

According to Jina Krause-Vilmar, president and CEO of Upwardly Global, “…there are over two million college-educated immigrants and refugees who are legally here, who are un- or under-employed.” Most of them have years of experience from their respective home countries, and many are in the STEAM fields. Upwardly Global is a non-profit organization, based in San Francisco (with satellite offices in New York, Chicago, and DC) that helps immigrant, refugee and asylee professionals rebuild their careers in the United States.

If two million seems like a hefty number of qualified, but virtually invisible, applicants, that is because it is. Many obstacles exist between the legal immigrant and refugee population and entry into the professional, competitive American workforce. “There are barriers that people face when they come into this county. We don’t recognize international education or work experience. We don’t make it easy for people with foreign credentials to understand how they would plug and play into the US market,” shared Krause-Vilmar, “There are cultural differences that present as barriers in the interview process: the use of eye contact, firm handshakes, the culture of self-promoting oneself during an interview, mastering the American way of storytelling. All of these cultural differences can become a barrier for folks to be successful during the interview process.”

She continued, “[The idea of two million under or unemployed, yet qualified applicants] is also staggering because we know that ethnically diverse companies perform 33 percent better than the norm. Forbes’ best workplaces for diversity enjoy 24 percent higher revenue growth. The most productive teams are made up of people from different backgrounds with varied experiences and perspectives. So, we know the data is out there. Diversity is good for business, and you’ve got a population — in country — that has the hard skills and the work experience, and they can’t tap into opportunity. These barriers don’t seem like they should be insurmountable, but they are, especially when you’re coming here and you’re looking to survive. So, you’re working that rideshare job while you’re also trying to juggle finding a professional job and potentially also juggling childcare, etc.”

An Untapped Resource During COVID-19

For many of these workers who are in the medical field, standing on the sidelines, especially during the early parts of the pandemic, was painful and heartrending. It was also a waste of a potential talent pool. According to Jina Krause-Vilmar, “We have 165,000 internationally trained doctors in the United States who are un- or under-employed. We surveyed 95 percent of those who are in our network, and 93 percent of them said, ‘If we could, we would serve even though it would be at risk to ourselves and our families,’ because this [survey was taken in] the early days when people weren’t even getting masks. One female doctor from Eritrea told me, ‘I feel like a fraud. I took an oath, and I can’t do it. I’m not allowed to do it.’ We’ve got 8,000 internationally trained doctors in the Bronx and Queens here in New York City where I live, and, during the height of the crisis here when we had doctors committing suicide and people were claiming it was a warlike zone, these people were not allowed to serve. It’s absolutely heartbreaking that during a pandemic we can’t reimagine how people with skills can be plugged in while our current doctors are absolutely exhausted.”

Advocating for Immigrants and Refugees

Before Upwardly Global, Krause-Vilmar spent more than thirteen years working in fragile states and conflict zones across the world helping governments build models for economic inclusion and workplace inclusion for refugees. “So, I would say the issue has been very close, near and dear to my heart around, ‘How do we help people on the move restart their lives?’ And how do we build systems so they can effectively integrate into the workforce. And how do we build systems so that they work for people? Especially underrepresented groups?” she said. “Working with foreign governments to build these models…really gave me a clear sense of how we could think big and see what would be possible, particularly in the context of the United States…”

Through their nationwide network, Upwardly Global has been able to assist by working with those who are new or acclimating to the United States. The organization strives to make them more competitive by helping applicants and hiring managers assess the skills, experience and education of applicants against American standards. They also get applicants access to additional training or education courses, if necessary. Furthermore, Upwardly Global educates those in their network on American culture and business language skills, since professional conversation is different from the casual English they may have learned. It allows them to be better able to integrate, while still being authentic to who they are.

But that’s just the start. According to Krause-Vilmar, “85 percent of jobs are found through networks. So, if you’re new to this country, you have no or very limited networks, including professional networks. So, it can be really difficult to access opportunity as a result of that.” So, how can your hiring agents tap into this valuable labor pool? Upwardly Global wants to generate conversations around this issue. “Some of the work we do with recruiters and hiring managers is to really help them understand a couple of things. One is how do you evaluate a degree from a foreign country? So, if someone has a degree from the University of Baghdad, it’s very hard for me as a recruiter to understand the value of that degree versus somebody with a degree from the University of Connecticut,” explained Krause-Vilmar. “I might understand if [UConn]’s a good school, if that’s a comparable, competitive place that we like to recruit from where we get good talent. I cannot make that same assessment [for the University of Baghdad].” Thus, she believes that the question becomes, “How can we hire people based on skill versus based on pedigree, and how are we building hiring and recruiting systems that allow us to not throw away a person’s CV?”

For example, it helps to not be as quick to disregard CVs with employment gaps. Many refugees and asylees have gaps because they were in refugee camps, were traveling, worked a ‘survival job’ to get by, or went back to school to get additional training. “It’s really hard for them,” said Krause-Vilmar, “Most recruiters are trained to throw away CVs, you do not look at CVs that have a gap.” Recruiters can also attempt to make contact with refugee resettlement programs or organizations like Upwardly Global.

Looking at the Big Picture

“So much of our identity is part of our professional identity. We spend a third of our lives at work. The number of engineers we have from Venezuela, for example, who work in these small stores, and they don’t tell their coworkers about their previous life. They don’t want to advertise their previous life as engineers. It feels shameful. And the women! Some of these women have worked hard in their home countries. We have a woman from Saudi Arabia. She was the first woman software engineer in her company. She worked in Saudi Arabia, left, came here and was working in a bar. She fought hard for an education, fought hard to work and came here to the land of opportunity, ironically, and it was harder for her to work.”

The problem lies in a lack of infrastructure to meet their unique need. “There are no services for them. They can’t go to a workforce agency and say, ‘What can you do?’ ‘How can you help me?’ Because most workforce agencies are largely geared towards helping folks find, what we call rapid attachment jobs, like forklift drivers, etc., those immediate jobs to help people get into the workforce.” They don’t assist with finding positions for those with specialized skills. “We’re not set up for that,” said Krause-Vilmar who went on to talk about the potential impact that putting a dent in college-educated, legal immigrant unemployment would make. “We place about 1,000 people a year into jobs. Close to 50 percent of those are in STEAM roles. Their income gain is about $50,000 a year, so they come to us earning on average about $5,000 a year or less, and now they leave earning about $60-65,000 a year. These 1,000 people a year contribute about $50 million in consumer spending to our economy. So, there’s a compelling reason to get them into the workforce.”

“Our message really is that you shouldn’t have to start from the bottom, and you shouldn’t have to start from scratch. Surely, the country which is a land of immigrants, in some part of our identity…[can] reimagine what inclusion looks like. It sets a barometer for the rest of the country when the people who are educated can’t even make it because of where they come from.”

Long Term Trends in Manufacturing Jobs
LinkedIn
A man and woman look at inventory in a manufacturing warehouse

Like all industries, manufacturing is currently impacted by the global pandemic and recovery. But it’s also in the midst of a long-term shift.

The past several decades has seen dramatic changes in the manufacturing workplace. It’s gone from a hands-on, worker-intensive enterprise with mostly unskilled workers to a high-tech workplace in which automation drives many routine tasks.

The long-term shifts in the manufacturing industry mean that employers now require a skilled, trained workforce able to learn new technology on the job, and quickly adapt from one project to the next. Jobs in manufacturing are expected to see a slight decline over the next ten years due to automation and industry changes, but demand for workers will still be high as existing workers retire out of the labor force. In addition, high growth is expected in specialized manufacturing positions such as CNC machine tool programmers, industrial engineers, dental laboratory technicians, and medical appliance technicians.

Unlike in many industries, new hires in manufacturing are commonly expected to learn the work on the job. Therefore, many occupations have minimal education requirements—typically a high school diploma or less—and new hires can also earn a technical certificate on the job. Examples of these types of careers include welders, packaging and filling machine operators, painting workers, lathe and turning machine tool setters, slaughterers and meat packers, and food cooking machine operators.

An associate’s degree or certificate can open the door to a manufacturing career in a variety of fields, including CNC machine tool operators, machinists, dental laboratory technicians, boiler operators, or medical appliance technicians.

Apprenticeships are common in the manufacturing industry and offer wages while learning a skilled trade. Some of the occupations that may be entered through apprenticeship include CNC programmers, precision machinists, industrial maintenance repairers, mold makers, and tool and die makers.

Manufacturing careers that require a four-year degree offer more management and design tasks; these include industrial production managers and industrial engineers.

Who is a career in the manufacturing industry right for? There are several points to keep in mind:

  • Round-the-clock shifts are common—and first shift positions are usually harder to find than night shifts or weekends. In addition, some employers may require mandatory overtime to meet production demand.
  • Working conditions may include loud noise, heat or cold, and standing for long periods of time.
  • Candidates who enjoy tinkering with hand or machine tools, and are curious about mechanical systems have an advantage and are especially sought after in this industry.
  • Because of worker shortages, manufacturers may have to compete for workers by offering increased wages, benefits, and flexibility in scheduling.

Source: careeronestop.org

Is a Lack of Soft Skills Keeping You from Opportunity?
LinkedIn
man in a suit and tie shaking hands with a hiring manager

You may have heard that employers are interested in hiring people with good “soft skills.” But what exactly are good soft skills?

Soft skills are sometimes called people skills, or work-readiness skills. They are your personality, attitudes and manners. They can also include how you present yourself. So, the way you talk, the way you listen, the way you make eye contact and even the way you dress are part of your soft skills.

Employers look for soft skills to decide how someone may do at a job. This is important to employers when they hire. Soft skills are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote workers.

In fact, one of the best ways to demonstrate your soft skills occurs before you even have the job. During the interview process, employers are not only looking for your technical and educational background, but at the way you communicate. Conversation engagement, active listening and the ability to answer questions carefully and quickly are all traits that carryover no matter what line of work you are applying for.

Typical Soft Skills

Some soft skills can be taught in school. But most you learn in everyday life and can improve at any time. Here are some examples:

  • The ability to adapt to new situations or changes in plans swiftly and with ease
  • Friendliness and respectfulness, regardless of the situation
  • Follows instructions and asks questions, in order to get the job done correctly
  • The ability to work with varying personalities to accomplish a task
  • Responsibility, even when you make mistakes
  • Quick learning
  • Team Work
  • Accepting to criticism
  • Patience
  • Self-Motivation
  • Punctuality
  • Determination
  • Calmness
  • Practicing Your Soft Skills

As mentioned previously, soft skills are often learned from the daily interactions we have with others, whether it’s in a work setting or not. You might have these skills and not even realize they can help an employer or you might struggle with them. If so, it’s always a good idea to practice soft skills.

Here are some ways you can practice your soft skills today:

  • Role play with a friend or family member. Pretending you are in a certain situation with an employer or a customer can help prepare you for the proper response when the time comes.
  • Practice eye contact and active listening. Whether you are buying lunch, going to the grocery store or catching up with your neighbor, there are many opportunities to engage with other people every day. Concentrate on staying engaged in these short conversations as practice; it will make these skills stronger for the workforce.
  • Ask for feedback on your soft skills. Talking to trusted individuals such as family, friends or a counselor to give your insight to your communication can help you to gauge what you need to work on and what you excel at.

No matter where your career journey takes you or what obstacles you will encounter on the way, strengthening your soft skills will always increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Source: CareerOneStop

How to Get Hired at a Virtual Career Fair
LinkedIn
Male hand pressing WE'RE HIRING button on virtual screen over black background, creative collage. Panorama

By Neal Morrison – CareerCoach@CityCareerFair.com

In June 2020, job growth broke records with almost 4.8 million jobs gained. Moreover, this was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual hiring methods, such as virtual career fairs, have facilitated most of this hiring.

Employers have turned almost exclusively to virtual recruiting events because of the benefits, which include safety, low cost, and convenience. Perhaps you should, too! Success is easy if you are prepared.

Virtual Career Fairs take place online between candidates and employers through laptops/desktops, tablets or mobile phones. There are four different types – Video, Chat/Text, Phone, 3D and any combination. I will update you here on Virtual Video (VV), which has emerged as the favorite of both employers and candidates. It is the closest replication of in-person (face-to-face) interviewing possible.

Candidates and employers find viewing and speaking online to be very private, professional and engaging.

Within the virtual video setting, your basic in-person interviewing skills can be deployed with similar success. However, there are detractors that can mute your greatest efforts and enhancers that will help you stand out.

Here are the most important points to consider for an optimized, successful interview.

1. Test your Camera/Microphone and ensure that your device and Internet connection are operating correctly.
TIP – Most Virtual Video platforms perform best when using Chrome or Firefox. Allow yourself the opportunity to test your device the night before. If there is a problem, you’ll have time to resolve it. Have the event organizer’s tech support contact or help line information available.

2.Register and log in early to confirm when you are scheduled to interview with your desired employers.
TIP – Select an appointment later in the recruiter’s schedule because recruiters have occasional computer issues, too. Also, after interviewing for a few hours, they may get distracted while working from home. Note who you are interviewing with and if other recruiters/interviewers are available. You might not connect with the first recruiter. Review all their profiles on LinkedIn and see if you can find any common interest points to warm up the start of your interview conversation. It will make you memorable to the interviewer.

3.Make sure to upload your resume to the Virtual Video Career Fair platform when you register.
If you procrastinate with this update, you may forget. If a recruiter/ interviewer does not have access to your resume BEFORE the VV Career Fair, your appointment will most likely be canceled. TIP – Have a copy of your uploaded resume on hand to reference when being interviewed. You will not have time to go find it because each interview is between 10 and 15 minutes.

4. Do not be put off by a recruiter / interviewer when they open up the conversation by saying, “We’ve got to keep this brief.”
In addition, they may start the interview with a rapid-fire series of questions. Recruiters will be rushed and cramped for time. Nevertheless, go along because when they concluded their questions and ask, “Can we set up a Zoom meeting in an hour or tomorrow?” – You are in the game! – You may be set for a more extensive interview with the staffing or hiring manager. This is where the hiring decisions are made. TIP – Say “YES!”

5. Think of each first session with an interviewer on the (VV) career fair platform as an introduction to being considered for a more extensive interview to follow. Because you only have a few minutes to answer and ask questions, some compare this to speed table dating. TIP – Have five questions memorized to ask the recruiter / interviewer. Make one of them, “What’s your email address?”

6. Your online visual appearance has to be on the spot and at its best.
There are no re-dos. Preferably, set up your interview space in an area or closed room where only you control light and sound. If you can’t sit facing natural light from a window, place two lamps in front of you on either side of your laptop/desktop/device. This will produce a balanced, smooth lighting to enhance your appearance over Virtual Video. Position your face and upper arms so they are visible within the screen – as if you were setting comfortably across from the recruiter / interviewer at a desk. TIP – When using a mobile phone / device place it upon a stack of books to raise and keep steady your image. Don’t forget to let everyone know your meeting schedule/ Quiet/ No Access time – Post a reminder note outside your space so your interview won’t be accidentally video-bombed.

7. Make sure your meeting with the recruiter/interviewer always remains professional and courteous.
Be genuine and authentic without getting personal. TIP – When speaking, look toward the camera and not at the picture of the interviewer on your screen. This will convey you are attentive and engaged with the conversation. No eating, drinking or yawning during the interview regardless of how relaxed you may be.

8. No Negative Thoughts Allowed!
Although the recruiter/interviewer will remain in character and appear momentarily empathetic, you blew it and it will work against you. TIP – As the old saying goes, “Don’t discuss sex, religion, politics or personal tales of woe.”

9. Most of all, keep a positive attitude because mastering the skills of virtual interviewing along with regular participation in Virtual Video Career Fairs will more than ever before exponentially increase your chances of getting hired.
TIP – Even when you are employed, continue to participate in Virtual Video Career Fairs to better your compensation and employment opportunities. As a passive career or job seeker, you will be in greater demand.

10. Always keep learning how to apply and leverage your Virtual Video Interviewing skills to amp up your career and job opportunities.
Virtual Career Fair 102 will update you on How to Find the Best Virtual Video Career Fairs for you among the Employer-Hosted, Job Board-Promoted, Career Fair Organizer-Produced and more. Find more details and send your questions to CareerCoach@CityCareerFair.com.

City Career Fair salutes its over 5,000 satisfied corporate, government, and non-profit clients for ACTIVELY supporting their Diversity Recruitment Initiatives. We invite you to recruit along with most major employers at our upcoming Virtual Video and In Person Diversity Career Fairs for top talent from
the Multicultural, Women, People with Disabilities, LGBTQ, Mature Workers and Veteran communities.

This is how the human heart adapts to space
LinkedIn
Two men are standing looking at each other in front of what appears to be a map.

By Ashley Strickland

When astronaut Scott Kelly spent nearly a year in space, his heart shrank despite the fact that he worked out six days a week over his 340-day stay, according to a new study.

Surprisingly, researchers observed the same change in Benoît Lecomte after he completed his 159-day swim across the Pacific Ocean in 2018.
The findings suggest that long-term weightlessness alters the structure of the heart, causing shrinkage and atrophy, and low-intensity exercise is not enough to keep that from happening. The study published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
Photo : CNN
The gravity we experience on Earth is what helps the heart to maintain both its size and function as it keeps blood pumping through our veins. Even something as simple as standing up and walking around helps pull blood down into our legs.
When the element of gravity is replaced with weightlessness, the heart shrinks in response.
Kelly lived in the absence of gravity aboard the International Space Station from March 27, 2015, to March 1, 2016. He worked out on a stationary bike and treadmill and incorporated resistance activities into his routine six days a week for two hours each day.
Lecomte swam from June 5 to November 11, 2018, covering 1,753 miles and averaging about six hours a day swimming. That sustained activity may sound extreme, but each day of swimming was considered to be low-intensity activity.
Even though Lecomte was on Earth, he was spending hours a day in the water, which offsets the effects of gravity. Long-distance swimmers use the prone technique, a horizontal facedown position, for these endurance swims.
Researchers expected that the activities performed by both men would keep their hearts from experiencing any shrinkage or weakening. Data collected from tests of their hearts before, during and after these extreme events showed otherwise.
Kelly and Lecomte both experienced a loss of mass and initial drop in diameter in the left ventricles of the heart during their experiences.
Both long-duration spaceflight and prolonged water immersion led to a very specific adaptation of the heart, said senior study author Dr. Benjamin Levine, a professor of internal medicine/cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
While the authors point out that they only studied two men who both performed extraordinary things, further study is needed to understand how the human body reacts in extreme situations.
Read the full article at CNN.

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  1. City Career Fair
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  2. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
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    February 9, 2022
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    February 22, 2022
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