Ward 8 hosts career development workshop

Published 12:14 am Saturday, April 25, 2009

When applying for a job, preparation is half the battle. In a bad job market, it is more important than ever, Ward 8 councilman Corey Bowie said.

“During this economic time, we want to prepare people for the job market and expose them to what’s out there,” Bowie said.

Bowie and the Alabama Career Center system will host a career development workshop Thursday at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. At the workshop, representatives will discuss topics such as how to write a resume, how to fill out a job application, how to dress for a job interview, and how to search for jobs.

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Bowie said these topics are critical for people to know about before applying for a job.

“If you’re not prepared when the job presents itself, you’re not going to get the job,” he said.

Clifford Hunter, interim coordinator at the Central Alabama Skills Training Consortium Selma CareerLink, said getting the information out there is the first step. Hunter said applying for jobs is often difficult because of changes in the job market. A solid foundation never hurts though. The workshop will establish one, too, he said.

“It’s learning how to be prepared,” Hunter said. “I think it’s very important.”

Wayne Vardaman, executive director of the EDA, said job candidates must use every tool at their hands due to a poor economy. It is good to have the basics — a solid resume and networking skills — but a candidate also needs an attention-getter, he said.

“If your resume or whatever you’ve got you’re putting out there is like everybody else’s, your chances aren’t as great,” Vardaman said. “It’s gotta be something different.”

Vardaman said a test run never hurts either. People will leave the career development workshop with a better idea of what happens at a job interview, along with tips on how to navigate the process.

“It’s very helpful to know exactly how to go through the process,” Vardaman said.

Representatives will also discuss short-term training programs in jobs like welding and automotive maintenance. Bowie said this path is a good option for many people. They come out of the program with a certificate and the ability to head straight to work.

Regardless of their career path, Bowie said he hopes people leave the workshop with more knowledge, tools, skills and confidence.

“This is another empowerment mechanism,” Bowie said.