Finding a job is not always easy. It can be extremely difficult for people who are applying for their first jobs, those who have been unemployed for a long time, and those looking to re-enter the job market. Job readiness training gives people the skills they need to find job opportunities, interview successfully and secure a job offer. Effective training classes use activities to help participants practice what they have learned.
Give each participant a job title such as registered nurse, computer engineer, receptionist, or truck driver. Allow them 20 minutes to find current job opportunities from three different sources that match each job title and a specific location. This will help them develop quick search skills and familiarize them with different job search websites and how they work.
Many people find the interview process daunting. The more a job seeker practices his skills, the more confident he will be during an actual interview. Get one participant to act as the interviewer and another to be the interviewee, and have them conduct an interview. The rest of the participants can observe, take notes, pick up tips and give suggestions. Repeat this exercise until everyone gets a chance to be the interviewer and the interviewee. Practice is key to honing interview skills.
It is important to build the communication skills of participants so that they can best sell themselves during job interviews. Divide the group into pairs and describe a job vacancy. Have one person in the pair tell her partner what attributes she has that makes her the best candidate for that job. The partner then tells the group what he heard the other person say, and whether or not he thinks she is a good match for the job. This helps participants understand that what they say may or may not be perceived in the manner they had hoped for.
Sitting for an interview in front of a panel can be daunting, and participants should practice speaking in front of the group to build their confidence. Give each person a different object, such as a paperclip or a coffee mug. Ask each of them to talk about the item in front of the class for a time period of, say, two minutes.
Cut pictures of a wide variety of clothing styles from magazines. These should include clothes suitable for work, as well as clothes that are not suitable for the workplace. Stick these to sheets of paper and mark each style with a different number. Give the participants a list of job titles and have them match what they consider to be the best style of work wear for each specific job. This helps to teach people about dress code in a fun way. You can also discuss the importance of health and safety and business image in clothing choices. Young people, for example, may have difficulty in differentiating between what they look "cool" in and what is suitable apparel for the workplace.
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