Here’s What’s New on Our YouTube Channel!

July was busy for us here at the Career Center! We officially launched our YouTube channel and have a number of videos already there. We’re going to update you on the first Monday of each month as to the newest content, so here’s what we’ve uploaded so far.

Seminars

Mastering the Job Interview

In the first video of our Seminar Series, Resume Coach Lynnette Lee recreates her usually in-person seminar, Mastering the Job Interview. It covers important topics such as what to wear to an interview, how to comport yourself, and what to expect.

How to Spot and Avoid Job Search Scams

This video is a recreation of Anne Nowak’s seminar. In it, she talks about common employment scams that prey on desperate job-seekers, and shows you how to spot and avoid those scams.

Creating a winning resume

In this “winning” seminar, Lynnette Lee shows you how to write and format a resume that’ll be sure to get you noticed by hiring managers. This video covers how to format your resume, what words and phrases to use, and how to order and present your work history to get the best results.

Choosing a Resume Template

Did you know that the Career Center has a page chockablock with resume templates, free for you to refer to and use, at all stages of your career? Lynnette Lee walks you through which one to choose in this video, depending on the type of job you’re looking for and the type of work you’ve done in the past.

Recession-Proof Your Job and Career

Let’s face it—due to COVID-19, the economy is gearing up for a recession. Anne Nowak shows you how to keep your job in the uncertain times ahead in this seminar.

Job Interview Scenarios

Entering a Job Interview

In this role-play video between Lynnette Lee and Career Coach Anne Nowak, they show you what, and what not, to do when entering a job interview and introducing yourself.

How to Answer: “Tell Me About Yourself”

The dreaded open-ended interview opener, “Tell me about yourself,” has confounded job seekers since time immemorial. In this video, Lynnette Lee and Anne Nowak role-play different scenarios to show you how to answer this question like a pro.

How to Answer: “What is Your Greatest Weakness?”

This might be the most-lampooned of all interview questions, but it still gets asked by hiring managers and interviewers. Lynnette and Anne team up to show you what answers work and which ones don’t.

How to Answer: “What are Your Greatest Strengths?”

In this video, Anne Nowak and Lynnette Lee act out how to respond to one of the trickiest questions in an interviewer’s toolbox.

How to Answer: “Why do You Want to Work With Us?”

Here’s a hint: the answer isn’t “I like money.” In this video, Anne Nowak and Lynnette Lee walk you through the right and wrong ways of answering this evergreen question.

Application Walkthroughs

How to Apply for a Job with East Baton Rouge City-Parish Civil Service

Career Specialist Rick Wright shows you how to apply for a job with the City-Parish Civil Service in this walk-through video, so you can apply to your civil service dream job in no time.

How to Apply for a Job at Domino’s

In this video, Career Specialist Cynthia Payton walks you through applying for a job at the ever-popular pizza chain, Domino’s.

How to Apply for a Job with Dollar General

Career Specialist Case Duckworth guides you through the process of applying to work at one of the nation’s leading retail chains, Dollar General.

Work-from-Home Website Reviews

Rat Race Rebellion

Anne Nowak reviews on of the best work-from-home job board websites, Rat Race Rebellion. She’ll show you how to find a good job to do in your spare time or as a full career, as well as what to look out for and avoid.

Remote Planet

If you were laid off or found yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands during the pandemic, remote-work websites might help you find a way to make some extra cash. Anne Nowak walks you through one of them, Remote Planet, in this video.

Flexjobs

Flexjobs is a little different from other work-from-home websites: it requires a (paid) subscription. Anne Nowak discusses the benefits and drawbacks of that model in this review.

If you’d like to see more content like these videos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you’d like to suggest a topic for a future video, please call us at 224-231-3733.

Written by Case Duckworth

Micro-Internships with Parker Dewey

One of the many casualties of the 2020 CoVid-19 pandemic has been the summer internship. What had been a valuable tool for college students to get their foot in the doors of well-paying and meaningful jobs, and for employers to find and vet new talent – the 10-week internship – has become nearly impossible to implement in the age of social distancing and working from home.

As with so many other aspects of our lives, CoVid-19 might have only exposed the existing flaws in the current internship methodology.  That’s what Jeffrey Moss, the CEO of Parker Dewey, thought when he founded the company in 2015. Parker Dewey pioneered the concept of what they call “micro-internships,” which are 5- to 40-hour assignments posted by companies that are open for college students and recent graduates (“Career Launchers,” in the Parker Dewey nomenclature). We at the Career Center recently heard about the program and listened to an interview with Moss, and have compiled a list of pros and cons to Parker Dewey and the micro-internship framework.

A note: The East Baton Rouge Library Career Center and its employees are in no way affiliated with Parker Dewey. We’re posting this to help our college student and recent graduate patrons who might be interested in working with Parker Dewey.

Pros

You get paid!

The cliché about college internships is that it’s a lot of running around, getting coffee and dry-cleaning, and not getting paid for it – you’re supposed to be grateful for getting your foot in the door. Parker Dewey gets rid of that – their business model is to act as a contractor for their client companies, hiring out for jobs that their clients don’t have the time or resources to do with their own employees. So they charge a fee to their clients, skim a percentage off the top, and pass the rest on to the workers – what they call “Career Launchers.”

You can try out different kinds of jobs.

In all the press we’ve read surrounding Parker Dewey – including the interview we sat in on – Moss relates the story of one of the college students working for him who compared micro-internships to dating. Doing short-term work – each job is between five and forty hours – for a multitude of different companies enables students, who are just starting their professional lives, to “play the field” of different industries, different roles, and different careers before deciding where they want to spend the bulk of their careers.

Parker Dewey is pretty hands-off after facilitating the meeting.

Even though student workers are paid by, and technically employees of, Parker Dewey, Moss said that they like to stay as hands-off as possible after giving the employer and worker each other’s contact information. If you work for a company and they want to hire you for something else afterward, or even ask you to join them full-time, they don’t have to go through Parker Dewey to do it – which is nice, especially when a lot of other online facilitating companies like Uber, Rover, etc., will kick users off if they continue their relationship outside their platforms.

Cons

It’s only open to college students and recent graduates.

The limitation to college students and graduates is pretty typical for internships, but it’s still a limiting factor here. Traditional internships also have technical reasons why they’re only open to students, such as their scheduling and lack of pay, but these micro-internships don’t share those limitations. In this light, limiting the hiring pool to just students and recent graduates seems artificial – there are plenty of older people or non-college-graduates who want to try a new career, or to make ends meet between jobs, and they’d benefit from micro-internships too. Maybe Parker Dewey is trying to keep the applicant pool small and manageable.

You are working for parker dewey, not the actual company.

When you enter your work at the micro-internships on your resume, you’ll need to use Parker Dewey’s name as the employer, since they’re technically who you worked for. In the interview with Jeffrey Moss we watched, he said you’re welcome to note the types of projects you did, and usually you can mention the companies you worked with there. But sometimes, you have to keep that secret too – so a micro-internship might not be as good for padding out your resume as a traditional internship can be.

So far as we can tell, Parker Dewey is the only company really in the micro-internship space.

While Parker Dewey seems like a good company that is “mission-focused” (Moss said that multiple times in his interview!) in providing students with quality internships, it would be good if they had some competition in the space. The only other one we could really find was something called Riipen, which seems more focused on providing a pipeline for schools – meaning it’s only available for students at universities who subscribe to their service. Parker Dewey, on the other hand, is open for anyone to use – we were even able to create an account, although we probably won’t get any micro-internships.

If you have worked with Parker Dewey before, or know of another micro-internship company, let us know!

Written by Case Duckworth

Announcing Our YouTube Channel!

We here at the Career Center believe that every cloud has a silver lining, that every thorn has its rose, and that every night has its dawn. The ongoing hardship that is the COVID-19 pandemic has brought its fair share of pain, but it has also allowed time for our staff to create video content that will be useful long after the pandemic is over.

In short, the East Baton Rouge Library Career Center now has a YouTube channel! Our new channel can be found at this address: https://www.careercenterbr.com/youtube. There will be new content up every Monday morning and Thursday afternoon.

Our offerings will include:

  • Resumes and Cover Letters Playlist: Tips for writing, editing, and formatting resumes and cover letters, from our Certified Professional Resume Writers.
  • Job Interview Questions Playlist: Demonstrations of the best – and worst – ways to answer the most common interview questions.
  • Work-from-Home Websites Playlist: Reviews of work-from-home websites, to help jobseekers find legitimate remote opportunities.
  • Common Job Applications Playlist: Walk-throughs of how to complete online job applications for companies which we’ve seen clients struggle with in the Career Center.
  • Popular Seminars: In addition to the topics mentioned above, we will film seminars such as How to Succeed at a Job Fair, Professionalism and Business Etiquette, Advance Your Career With MOOCs, and more.

We would also love to hear from our clients about what they’d like to see on this channel. If you have an idea for a video, please email anowak@ebrpl.com.

So please, check out our YouTube channel, subscribe, and watch some videos! And stay safe while hunkering down at home.

Written by Case Duckworth

New Career Center Books

COVID-19 has made this a challenging time for workers. Unemployment is high, layoffs are widespread, and some people are finding themselves out of work for the first time in years. Please remember, though, that the Career Center is here to help. In addition to our in-person and online services, we also have books on a variety of job-searching topics. Here are a few of our newest guides:

Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide
by Karen Wickre
We often tell clients that the best way to get job leads is through networking. The old adage is true: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Too often, our clients feel uncomfortable and shy about reaching out to their network. This book aims to help jobseekers with networking strategies via an unconventional approach which can work well for introverts. Subjects include: maintaining relationships through social media, mastering small talk, managing email communications, and blending the personal with the professional. Author Karen Wickre, journalist and former editorial director of Twitter, brings to bear a lifetime of experience in communications.

Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed. . .Get Hired
by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark
The rules of resume design change fairly frequently, so if you haven’t reworked your resume in a few years, it may be outdated. Fear not, though: Master Resume Writers Kursmark and Enelow have drawn on their significant expertise to provide a thorough compendium for resume structure, content, and design.  From the big (How do I make a resume ATS-friendly?) to the small (What font should I use?) to the tricky (I haven’t worked in five years. . .), this guide aims to answer all your resume questions. Included are several dozen example resumes.

Job Interview Tips for Overcoming Red Flags
by Ronald Krannich, PhD
The job interview is a stressful process at the best of times. This is of course doubly true if you have a sticky situation that may come up in the interview. Perhaps you have been fired, or received a negative reference. Maybe you lack certain relevant skills, have an unstable work history, or possess a criminal record. Whatever your situation, this guide aims to help you identify your red flags, formulate strategies to overcome them, and find ways to present yourself in your best light at job interviews. Author Ronald Krannich is a job search expert with more than 100 published books to his name.

Comeback Careers: At 40, 50, and Beyond
by Mika Brzezinski and Ginny Brzezinski
Workers over the age of 40 face an extra obstacle in the job search – age discrimination. For women especially, this obstacle can compound with other issues, such as years spent raising children instead of focusing on a career. Yet restarting one’s career in middle age is possible. This book features interviews with dozens of successful professionals who have reinvented and relaunched themselves into a second career. The book discusses ways to use the knowledge and experience you already have as a foundation for building a new image and career. There are also strategies from expert career coaches tailored especially to mid-career jobseekers.

If you’d like to place a hold on one of these books, please visit the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Salary Negotiation, Part 3

Recently, the Career Center’s own Anne Nowak gave a seminar about negotiating your salary with your employer. In case you missed it, here are some of the key takeaways, part III:

Negotiation rules for women

It is 2020 and yet, study after study shows that women are earning less than men and that the glass ceiling hasn’t budged much. One of the reasons women earn less in comparable jobs is that they rarely negotiate their salaries. In part I of this series we showed how much financial difference negotiating makes over a lifetime of work. But only 1 in 5 women ever try to negotiate.

the double standard

Studies show that it is not easy for women to strike the right balance. Men are expected and encouraged to be ambitious, direct, and driven. Those are all positive attributes when relating to men. However, if women display the same behaviors, they are seen as unlikable and met with suspicion and even contempt. One study sent two identical resumes to hiring managers, with one difference: one had a man’s name, the other a woman’s. The managers who received the man’s resume praised his ambition and experience, and said they’d probably hire him; the managers who received the woman’s saw her as unlikable and weren’t sure if they’d like working with her, and passed on the resume. So, the same traits that are seen as positive in men, are seen as negative in women.

Effective strategies for women

In order to negotiate you need to be assertive. But being assertive is seen as negative. So what can women do? It has been shown that women are more effective in their negotiations if they stress “we” over “I,” if they’re more indirect about their needs, or if they position themselves as a helper. Female approaches to negotiation that have shown success:

  • “Help me make this work. In order to be most useful to this organization I need….”
  • “Here are the resources I need to be more effective for our company……”
  • “My mentor/team/supervisor suggests I bring this up …..”

While there are certainly women who have succeeded with the more direct male approach, this more indirect tactic is a good alternative for women who feel ill at ease with traditional assertive negotiation tactics. While it’s best to gauge the specific situation that you’re in, many women have found these shifts in negotiating style beneficial to the end result: a better salary or benefits package.

If you are interested in learning more about negotiation tactics for women, check out former Stanford Business School professor Margaret Neale on Youtube. If you’d like help preparing for an upcoming negotiation, the Career Center can help.

Written by Case Duckworth and Anne Nowak

Salary Negotiation 101, Part 2

Recently, the Career Center’s own Anne Nowak gave a seminar about negotiating your salary with your employer. Last month, we posted some key takeaways for jobseekers negotiating salary for a new position. In case you missed it, here are some of the key takeaways, part II:

Asking for a raise or promotion in your current role

Say you’ve been working at a company for a while and you feel you deserve a raise or a promotion. Do you just go to your supervisor and ask them for more money? Yes – but with a plan!! The conversation with your boss has to be well prepared.

Valid reasons for a raise or promotion are:

  • You have made the organization money, e.g. by selling much more than your quota; by growing customer base; by inventing a new product; by creating and conducting a stellar marketing campaign, by soliciting donors; etc.
  • You have saved your organization money, e.g. by auditing records and discovering waste; by improving workflows; by streamlining purchasing; by negotiating better prices, etc.
  • You have taken on considerably more responsibilities and have performed those well.

The following are NOT valid reasons for a raise or promotion:

  • You are getting married/divorced/are having twins…and need more money
  • You are buying a house and need more money
  • You hear that two colleagues of yours got raises and they are doing the same job as you

Now make your case. If you have numbers or statistics to prove your worth, excellent. But even if you don’t, prepare documentation of your accomplishments and make a good case for your promotion/raise. Focus on the value you’ve brought to the company.

However, you’ve also got to time your negotiation right. Asking for a raise during an economic downturn or company restructuring will probably be met with a no regardless of your accomplishments. Keep track of your company’s financial rhythm and budget cycles too – our presenter shared a time when she asked for a raise, and her boss agreed, but the company had finished its yearly budget two weeks before. She had to wait until the next year to make her case again.

further reading

  • Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You, by Jim Hopkinson
  • Mastering the Job Interview and Winning the Money Game, by Kate Wendleton
  • Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life, by Margaret Neale (electronic resource)

You may place any of these items on hold at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Stay tuned for our final post in this series, which will focus on special negotiation strategies for female jobseekers.

Written by Case Duckworth