Keeping Job Search Skills Up to Date Helps with Promotions, Too

Keeping your job search skills up to date can be an advantage when it comes time to consider a promotional opportunity. One manufacturer in north central Idaho recognized the value of supporting its staff in this endeavor and recently reached out to the Idaho Department of Labor to ask for assistance.

The human resource department contacted Labor’s Lewiston business services staff to see if the local office offered resume and interviewing workshops for people who are currently employed. Periodically the company opens its production supervisor position as an internal promotional opportunity to line staff. However, providing a resume and being interviewed are part of the process and the company found some staff unable to provide a polished resume targeting leadership and transferrable skills and work history. In addition, these applicants fared poorly when it came to providing quality answers to behavioral-based questions in the interview.

Labor staff offered to come onsite and lead a workshop tailored to meet this employer’s specific needs. Using the production supervisor job listing and information about the application and hiring process, workforce consultant Diane Hairston built an hourlong workshop to provide tips and tools for creating a targeted resume as well as a method for preparing for behavioral-based questions in a promotional interview.

Sixteen employees attended the two workshops offered on different days and times to accommodate shift work schedules. Employees left the workshop with a folder of resources and a start on how to build a resume targeted to a specific job. Diane also encouraged the employees to connect with Labor staff for mock interviews and resume proofing/polishing.

Workshop attendees shared positive feedback and the employer has expressed an interest in continuing to offer these services for future promotional opportunities.

If your company would like help preparing employees for promotional opportunities, contact the local Labor office in your area.

Applying for a promotion? These tips will help:

To create a targeted resume:

  1. Develop and keep your “master resume” updated at all times by documenting new duties, internal trainings and awards received, etc. for easy reference.
  2. Match your knowledge, skills and abilities directly to the requirements and desired qualifications for the job – you can create a list and fill in your corresponding skills/experience.
  3. Use a resume format that highlights skills and accomplishments – your chronological work history is not necessarily the focus of a promotional resume (unless it shows a progression of responsibility and increase in skill level).
  4. When deciding what accomplishments or examples of skills to use, always start with your employer first. They want to know what you have done for them. If you have a great example from another work history use that, and don’t forget your volunteer activities. Mentoring/coaching or directing a play can showcase leadership skills.
  5. When describing your skills and experience, use language directly from the job listing – don’t make the employer work too hard to find the relevance of your work history.

Preparing for an interviewing:

  1. Google “examples of behavioral based questions” and build/practice some responses to ones that might be relevant to the job you are applying for.
  2. Use “STAR” method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) when building your anecdotal responses to behavior-based questions. This will ensure that you stay on topic while still covering the basics of your example.
  3. Always remain positive in your stories – behavioral questions can focus on a negative scenario. You want to highlight your positive approach to a successful outcome.
  4. Take your resume with you into the interview as a reminder of your transferrable skills, accomplishments, etc. You can even put a few notes/keywords to trigger your memory if your nerves cause short term memory loss.
  5. Preparation and practice are the key to reigning in your nerves. Mock interviews can be a great tool to identify your weak areas so you can work on them.

– The Idaho Department of Labor