Lack of Job Search Skills

Most ex-offenders are job search neophytes. Few have ever conducted a well organized job search or held a steady job. Furthermore, few have a realistic understanding of how the job market operates and how they can best find a job.

When was the last time you conducted a self-assessment, developed a job or career objective, wrote a resume and cover letter, used the Internet to research jobs and employers, networked for information and advice, or prepared for a job interview? If you lack such job search skills, you will be at a distinct disadvantage in today's job market.

The successful candidate usually knows how best to get the job by writing a winning resume and letter, networking for job leads, and interviewing well for the job.

In fact, the job interview is the single most important step to getting the job. If you do well in the job interview, chances are you will get the job offer. But you first need to know how best to present yourself in the interview, handle difficult questions, ask intelligent questions, and close and follow up the interview properly.

If you have weak job search skills, be sure to review The Ex-Offender's Job Hunting Guide: 10 Steps to a New Life in the Work World, contact your local One-Stop Career Center, and seek job search assistance from community-based support groups.

You'll quickly discover a wealth of resources and services available to assist you in developing an effective job search. Start by first assessing your interests, skills, and abilities, and then move on to writing a resume and developing job interview skills.

SOURCE: Adapted from Ron and Caryl Krannich, Ph.Ds, The Ex-Offender's Job Hunting Guide (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications). Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.