Skills for the job hunt
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent August 21, 2013 1:04PM
Capt. Bradley Ingram, Tanya Lovegrove of CN Railroad, Todd Lecher of WorkOne and Ray Guiden of Lake County Veteran Service Office conduct a “Veterans: Transitioning to Civilian Work” workshop during a Job Seekers Forum at Ivy Tech Community College on Aug. 12. | Photo provided
Updated: September 23, 2013 2:10PM
Vern Garner of Michigan City moved back last September after living in Minnesota and has been looking for a job since March.
She was among a group of people attending a job seekers’ forum at Ivy Tech Community College on Aug. 12. The forum was a partnership among U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, Ivy Tech and Indiana University Northwest and featured representatives from WorkOne, ArcelorMittal, U.S. Steel, CN Railroad and the Lake County Veteran Service Office.
“I am a jack-of-all trades type of individual,” Garner said.
Hodge Patel, state director for Donnelly’s Indianapolis office, said the forum was intended to give those seeking work direct access to companies’ human resources representatives and an opportunity to ask them what they need to do in order to pursue and gain employment.
“These are individuals no one gets to talk to one-on-one. This is a jump start for citizens looking for work,” he said. There were also vendors from the participating companies accepting resumes and applications for job openings.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said opportunities for employment in the city compares to a deeply rooted tree that is a challenge to dig up.
“We have to use a more tailored process in getting the economy flowing again. We have to be a harvest; we cannot use standard procedures when it comes to bringing jobs here,” she said. “If you don’t have a job, you can’t pay taxes, you can’t feed and clothe your family and you can’t buy a place to live. In order to get things done and change things, we have to acknowledge the problem. We have to roll up our sleeves and get things done.”
The forum broke into four sessions: basic job skills, job search tips for professionals, advanced manufacturing and veterans transitioning to civilian work.
Holly Panshyn of ArcelorMittal and Sharla Williams of WorkOne conducted the job-search tips for professionals workshop. Both advised the audience on how to edit their resumes to include their latest job and experiences in short paragraphs that will catch the hiring employer’s attention.
Williams added that sometimes when hunting for a job you may have to go outside your comfort zone to find employment.
“You may have to work less hours, take a salary cut and change your lifestyle. The thing is you have employment and you have to make the best decisions for you,” Williams said, adding that she did that before being hired at WorkOne.