Written by guest author: Beverly Leesman, Albuquerque NM
Many New Mexicans need a little help these days finding a job. In-person interviews seem like a distant memory. Pandemic restrictions drastically changed how we search for jobs. The traditional interview, where you met your prospective employer at their place of business, seldom happens these days. Recruiters turned to virtual job interviews to maintain safe social distancing and minimize contact. (Steinberg, Scott, 2020) Today’s job hunter needs to get tech-savvy and quick. Goodwill’s Career Specialists can help you.
As of February 1st, Goodwill is offering virtual and in-person consultations with Career Specialists. Our career experts can teach you to navigate a virtual world. You’ll learn how to use video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets like a pro. They even help you download the apps and make sure they work on your phone, computer, laptop, or tablet. The benefit is knowing how to use them to aid your job search.
Our Career Specialists will:
Goodwill focuses on work history, polishing up resumes, and providing job leads. If a candidate’s skills strongly match a particular job, we encourage the employer to interview them!
“Sometimes the person with the best interview skills gets the job, not the one with the best skill set,” said Ramon Torres, NM Goodwill Employment Program Manager. “Most people need help because after they don’t get a job, they never find out it was a terrible interview.”
When someone has been out of work for a while, the stress begins to affect their confidence. A lack of confidence shows in subtle ways, often creating a perfect storm that keeps them from landing that next job. The loss of self-confidence can infiltrate a person’s tone of voice, facial expression and body language. Goodwill can boost job seekers confidence by addressing these issues during mock interviews.
“Remember, when you interview,” Ramon Torres advises, “don’t say you are honest, hardworking—these attributes are expected for all employees. They are not considered job skills.”
Other interview tips from Goodwill include:
Torres suggests since your virtual recruiter cannot see your desk, take advantage of your at-home-interview. Put your resume in front of you or taped to a wall. Remember, the interviewer can only see you. Place post-it-notes with talking points on your laptop and get ready to nail that job interview.
And, of course, when interviewing at home, be prepared for the unexpected photobomb or unavoidable interruptions. We love our kids, but no one needs a visit from a toddler during an interview. Inform your recruiter that your dog may furiously bark if Amazon makes a delivery. And above all, watch out for the scene-stealing family cat. (The Pet Collective, 2020) If that happens, show them how well you handle an unexpected crisis.
What to Expect from Goodwill’s Free Job Placement Program
Those over 18 years old and looking for full or part-time work are eligible for this free program. Participants range from less than high school educations to job seekers with multiple degrees. All of them want to improve their interview skills and freshen up their resume. Goodwill Career Specialists help veterans, seniors, young people, the learning disabled (LD), handicapped, and those with audio deficiencies. Job seekers with criminal backgrounds, those with gaps in employment, or transitioning to a new field can also get assistance. (R. Torres, personal communication, January 26, 2021)
Our free program works with all types of job seekers. As long as a person qualifies to work in the US, Goodwill can help with their job search and teach them to market themselves. Plus, our website leads learners to a portal with free online courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Sheets and Docs, Photoshop, and hundreds of others to freshen up outdated computer skills or learn new ones.
Expect to meet with a Career Specialist once a week for 30 minutes to go over your progress.
Where to Find Jobs Today
After the pandemic ends, some jobs may transition back to the workplace; others will not. Call centers; personal shoppers; curbside pickups operations; those who deliver food and goods to homes; and restaurants with established drive-up windows have experienced job growth. Telecom, healthcare, and technology exploded in the number of people needed to fill new jobs. (Steinberg, Scott, 2020) Goodwill’s job placement program can help you find your niche in this fluctuating job market.
As national chains closed their doors and local small businesses disappeared, New Mexico suffered. Our unemployment rate rose to 8.8% in December 2020, when the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 6.7%. That translated to 10.7 million Americans out of work across the country. (Johnston, Stacy, 2021) Before the pandemic put our state in lockdown last Spring, we had an employee-friendly market. New Mexico flipped to a pro-employer job market during the pandemic with the coronavirus restrictions and high infection rates—too many applicants for too few jobs. And that is what makes finding a job in this world-wide pandemic a challenge.
Worse, there are also new risks associated with virtual job hunting. Sophisticated scammers only want your information, web histories, and web footprint to sell. Avoiding shady marketing scams, pop-up ads, and bogus phone calls keeps you safe. When you receive an unsolicited email with odd typos, broken English, or from a company you never contacted, be leery. If a recruiter offers you a job for which you are not qualified, think twice about replying. That ploy is called a “hook” or a “con,” meant to get you so excited you fall for their scam. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Our Goodwill Career Specialists can show you how to spot schemes.
Now You Know that Goodwill Finds People Jobs. Want to be One?
If you are ready to get expert help finding a new job there are two easy ways to get started. Call 505-881-6401 or click here: https://www.goodwillnm.org/job-search-help.html and submit your application to participate. There are no obligations, no hoops to jump through and no reasons why you shouldn’t take advantage of this free help.
Goodwill Industries of New Mexico was founded in 1941 with the mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services for New Mexicans. Goodwill® provides a wide array of free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2021, Goodwill's goal is to serve 21,100 individuals and place 1750 individuals in community-based employment. For more information about Goodwill and its programs and services, visit https://www.goodwillnm.org/free-services.html.
Johnston, Stacy. (2021, January 26). “Current News Release: Economic Update January 26, Jobs State of New Mexico, US, Workforce Connection.” New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). (Accessed 2021, January 31.) https://www.jobs.state.nm.us/gsipub/index.asp?enc=JdKtFhuODzQ+aO5C6MuCGQ==
Steinberg, Scott. (2020, May 24). “Coronavirus hiring: How Recruiters are selecting and interviewing job candidates during the pandemic.” CNBC @AKEYNOTESPEAKER. (Accessed 2021, January 30.) https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/24/how-recruiters-select-and-interview-job-candidates-amid-coronavirus.html
The Pet Collective. (2020, August 3). “The Pet Collective. “Cats on Zoom Calls” episode of Try Not to Laugh.” [Video]. YouTube and Facebook. (Accessed 2021, Jan. 31.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=762tbD11LxI; (Original Source) https://www.facebook.com/thepetcollective/videos/287253372699156