"PAY IT FORWARD"

Career Expert Recommends Finding Ways to Help Job Seekers

MENLO PARK, CA -- Traditionally, this is the time of year to reflect on what you are personally thankful for, including the family and friends who have helped shape your career. OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals, suggests taking stock of professional accomplishments and serving as a career resource for others.

"Finding a job isn't a solitary process; candidates rely on a number of personal and professional contacts to assist them throughout the search," said Liz Hughes, OfficeTeam's executive director. "People who receive help during this critical time are likely to remember it, and offer the same type of guidance for others moving forward."

Hughes notes that you don't need to be in a position to hire people to be of assistance. She offers these suggestions: 

  • Give an informational interview. Offer to spend 15 minutes talking with a job seeker about your career or industry. You can provide valuable insight from your professional experience that could point the candidate in a new direction.
     
  • Be a second set of eyes and ears. Volunteer to proofread someone's application materials and role-play interview scenarios to help him or her make the best impression.
     
  • Return to your alma mater. Many college career centers are stretched thin, trying to provide guidance to both current students and recent graduates looking for work in a competitive job market. Offer to participate in a career day or mentor someone in his or her job search.
     
  • Serve as a reference. The reference check is often the last step in securing a position and it's also one of the most critical. If you have direct knowledge of a job seeker's skills, experience and work ethic, offer to be a reference.
     
  • Call your local professional association. National business organizations often have local chapters that may need resources to assist unemployed members. Contact the local chapter and get involved.
     
  • Keep in touch. Looking for a new position at times can be an isolating, discouraging experience. Call or e-mail the job seekers you know to check in, offer your encouragement or invite them to lunch.  

Hughes added that people who assist job seekers help themselves in the process. "By reaching out to others, you expand your own network and build communication and mentoring skills, which are critical to your own professional development." 

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com


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