May-June 2014

Class Registration: The next dates to register for classes are July 21-25. Go to the JTE section on our website for a list of our Job Training Centers and class offerings (these vary by location).

Retail Program: The Retail Training program runs nine weeks with seven weeks of in-class instruction and two weeks of on-the-job training in a Seattle Goodwill store. Students gain the skills necessary to obtain entry-level retail/customer service employment. The program is available at the Seattle, Shoreline and Silverdale Job Training Centers.


 

The 5 Finger Tips of Job Fairs

By Sara O'Connor, Director of Case Management and Employment Services, Seattle Goodwill Industries

Job fairs are a great place to network with employers - keep these tips in mind!Job fair season is in full swing! Job fairs are great opportunities for job seekers to network with employers, get connected with current job openings, and try out their interviewing skills. But attending a job fair can be a little overwhelming without preparation. Check out these tips for being ready to shine:
 

Think BYG (Bing, Yahoo, Google) - Research the job fair. When does it start? What is the bus route? Research the employers who will attend the job fair. What positions do they have open? What is their mission? What do they do? What are their hours? This shows the employer that you are interested in them. It also helps you determine if the job fair is a good use of your time.

Prep your Swag - Your swag shows who you are: Your resume, cover letter, references, and any other documents that tell the employer about you. Prepare these things ahead of time and bring enough copies. Use a portfolio to keep things neat and organized.

Preen Supreme - Plan to present yourself professionally and confidently. You only get one first impression! Dress professionally, smile, smell good, have good posture and eye contact, and get that handshake ready.

Work the Room - Take a walk around the room to see which employers are there. Prioritize who you want to speak to, and then go for it! Use your 60-second commercial to tell employers how great you are. Show what you know and how you'll be a good fit.

Close the Deal - Collect business cards and plan to follow up with the contacts you made. Send thank you notes, apply for positions, and even place a follow-up call or send an email. Set yourself apart from all the other applicants by reminding the hiring manager who you are.

 

 

Youth Opportunities Act Opens Doors to Thousands of Young Adults across Washington State

Youth Opportunities Act opens doors to thousands of young adults across Washington state.

Historic bill seals most juvenile records, offering path for successful reintegration

The Youth Opportunities Act strikes a balance between rehabilitation and public safety, by sealing the great majority of juvenile court records after completion of a sentence and payment of fines and fees, with some exceptions. Under the new law, courts would hold regular hearings to seal records of minors once they turn 18 years of age and have completed their sentence, unless the offense is one of the "most serious offenses," sex offense, or a felony drug offense or there is a compelling reason not to seal. Importantly, the courts will now immediately seal records upon acquittal or dismissal of charges.

The sealing of juvenile records will give youth the chance to get an education, a job, housing, and a productive life. At its core, the Youth Opportunities Act is about our most important values: fairness, equality, and opportunity.

This article has been reprinted with permission from Columbia Legal Services at www.columbialegal.org.
 


 

Nordstrom's Dottie Young offers advice from an employer's perspective.Employer Perspective

Perspective of Dottie Young, Diversity Support Program Manager, Nordstrom

What skills and traits are you looking for in a new team member?

We're looking for people who have a strong interest in fashion and are committed to providing great customer service. Prior retail experience isn't required, because we believe there isn't one right way to serve customers.

All of our students have heard about Nordstrom's exceptional customer service. Can you share with our students your "playbook" for training your new teams to deliver what is known as the "Gold Standard" of customer service?

There really is no playbook. We have one rule at Nordstrom: Use good judgment in all situations. This empowers our people to run their businesses as if it were their names on the door and enables them to work to meet the unique needs of their customers.

Many of our students are bilingual immigrants and refugees looking to work in retail. What words of encouragement and advice would you give them?

Don't hide behind fear of saying the wrong thing. Tell your story, be 100% yourself, and the lines of communication will open up.


 

Jacqueline Armstrong, Goodwill's Senior Employment Specialist, answers questions from job seekers.Just Ask Jacqueline

Answers provided by Jacqueline Armstrong, Senior Employment Specialist, Seattle Goodwill Industries

"My coworker loves to wear strong perfume to work. People think it smells great but it's affecting me. It makes me sneeze all the time and my nose doesn't like it..."

If you have already spoken to your colleague's supervisor, then your best course of action is to go directly to the source. If the supervisor's general emails have gone unheeded, perhaps it is because this person is unaware that they are wearing such a strong scent. Talk openly and politely to the offending colleague, and try to make them aware of the severity of your medical condition. Be straightforward but tactful, and ask your coworker to refrain from wearing the perfume/cologne at work so that you will not be affected.

If you are still struggling, perhaps your supervisor could move you to a cubicle further away from this coworker. It won't help when you need to interact with him or her but on a day that you don't need to be near them it would be better than nothing.

"I come in to work on time and make sure I do my job, but some of my coworkers come in late and socialize all the time. What are the guidelines for acceptable amounts of casual non-work conversation and excessive socializing?"

Let me begin by saying it is definitely important to have good interpersonal skills with your coworkers. Everyone enjoys working with a pleasant colleague. If you are a friendly person and enjoy sharing conversations with your coworkers, it can be a sign that you are a team player, outgoing, assertive and one who likes your place of work!

But on the other hand, if you are ALWAYS engaged in conversations that are non-work-related, and you are spending an extensive amount of time "shooting the breeze," that could be a negative! Obviously, showing up on time for your work shift indicates that you respect your employer and the job you are hired to do. Coming in late may be perceived as a lack of concern for the company or your position. Every employee must adhere to the attendance policy. Show up on time, briefly chat with fellow coworkers and then focus on the job you are hired to do! Wait for your appointed coffee and lunch breaks to engage in extended conversations.

 
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