Friday, October 25, 2013

Job Search Course Teaches Comprehensive Approach

Learn interview techniques with
CPD102AC Creative Job Hunting
Creative Job Hunting (CPD102AC) is a course offered through Rio Salado College's Counseling Services department. The two-credit elective teaches a comprehensive approach that will help job seekers improve the strategic elements of their job search and address the psychological strain of prolonged unemployment.

"There are very few experiences in life that are as painful as an unsuccessful job search," said Rio Salado College Counseling Faculty Chair Melanie Abts. "The mental and physical drain of what feels like constant rejection by potential employers can lead to anxiety and self-doubt."

The creative job hunting class was developed by adjunct faculty member Kamela Craig who said she believes the course material is best suited for recent graduates or job seekers who have an immediate desire to start working.

"This is not a career planning course. This class is for recent graduates or community members who already know what kind of work they want to do," Craig said. "We want our students to feel like they are prepared to find a job after they receive their degree. For our community members, it is an extremely tough job market and taking this course can provide some new ideas on how to tackle their search."

According to Craig, the course teaches students to be better communicators so that they can not only write better resumes and cover letters, but they can also perform better in an interview.

"A majority of my students state that interviewing is their biggest fear, so we want to address that head on. We discuss a variety of techniques to help calm the nerves and then we pinpoint a strategy that will work best for the individual student," Craig said. "Students review common interview questions and behavioral interviewing questions and devise personalized answers with written feedback from the instructor.”

Students gain confidence and become more comfortable with the interview process through simulated interviews. Craig said she believes this helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses in an interview setting.

"As with anything, practice makes perfect," Craig said. "For the final, students must set up a mock interview with an employer to practice their answers and receive feedback in a pressure-free environment." She added, “I think the mock interview can be an 'ah-ha' moment for many students."

With an online delivery format and flexible monday start dates, attending the creative job hunting classes does not have to interfere with the actual job hunt. Participants can expect to learn how to create a job search plan, write a compelling resume and cover letter, use social networking to find job leads, deal with stress to stay motivated, and stay calm during an interview.