Archive for May 2010

Happy Memorial Day

May 31, 2010

NCAC wishes everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day.

Remember our Tuesday events:

  • Rutherford County – Resume Hints/Job Search and Interview Skills – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Wilson County – Resume and Interview Information Session – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Davidson County, Workforce Campus – Career Connections – 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Davidson County, Nashville South – Resume Writing 101 – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Davidson County, Metro Center – Resume Writing Workshop – 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Davidson County, Workforce Campus – Networking Workshop – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Please visit our calendars link on the right for more information about events and locations.

TN gets $4.6M flood grant for jobs, Catholic Charities calls for more aid – Nashville Business Journal

May 28, 2010

Nashville Business Journal – by Dan Hieb Staff Writer

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $4.67 million to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development in order to create temporary jobs in the wake of this month’s devastating flooding.

“The images of Nashville under water have been heart-breaking,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This grant will support ongoing recovery efforts and provide temporary employment to Tennesseans as they clean-up flood-impacted areas and return their lives to normalcy.”

The announcement comes the same day that Catholic Charities USA announced that it has not seen the same level of giving in response to Nashville’s flooding that it saw in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. The huge human services and disaster response organizer also said that giving in the wake of the Gulf oil spill has also been disappointing.

“While our local Catholic Charities’ agencies in New Orleans and Nashville are fully engaged and receiving strong local and institutional support, we are not seeing the generosity of individual Americans across-the-board,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, in a news release. “Frankly, Nashville’s flood devastation has been somewhat overshadowed by the oil spill, and the entire Gulf Coast situation has been more of a business story and technology remediation story than anything that truly portrays the human impact. The good hearts of our country have not been touched in a way to feel a need to contribute.”

via TN gets $4.6M flood grant for jobs, Catholic Charities calls for more aid – Nashville Business Journal.

Jobless rate falls in Middle Tennessee

May 28, 2010

Nashville Business Journal – by Dan Hieb Staff Writer

Unemployment rates dropped in April in Middle Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The improvement wasn’t universal. In Davidson, for instance, the jobless rate drops a tenth of a percent, from 9.1 to 9 percent. But Williamson County was one of three counties statewide to see joblessness increase, from 8 to 8.1 percent.

Rutherford County’s rate dropped from 9.9 percent to 9.6, Sumner County’s rate went from 10 to 9.7, Wilson County went from 9.5 to 9.1, Cheatham County went from 10 to 9, Robertson County went from 10 to 9.7, and Maury County went from 16 to 15.3.

Statewide, the unemployment rate fell from a seasonally-adjusted rate of 10.6 percent to 10.5 percent.

The two counties besides Williamson that saw unemployment grow were Coffee (from 10.7 to 11), and Scott (from 19.8 to 20.3).

Scott County had the state’s highest unemployment rate in April, while Knox County has the lowest, at 8.2 percent.

via Jobless rate falls in Middle Tennessee – Nashville Business Journal.

Step 5: Accepting the job

May 28, 2010

The final step is determining whether the job that is offered is right for you. Many factors contribute to the total value of the offer–salary, benefits, working hours, job description and travel to name a few. Some things you may want to consider before accepting the offer include:

  • Knowing your market worth. This can be accomplished by doing research on the Internet, talking to others in that field, and reading market surveys.
  • Knowing how to negotiate, because it is hard to do after the job is accepted.
  • Understanding the offer that is being made

Deciding if the job is right for you and fits into your plans for the future.

Step 4: Interviewing and follow-up

May 27, 2010

Go into each interview with the goal of getting an offer. The impression you create will ultimately determine your search success. It is important to know that employers use different styles of interviewing that may include interviewing you individually, by phone, or using a panel.

Use this checklist as a guide for preparing for an interview:

  • Research the company.
  • Prepare your image. (proper dress, demeanor)
  • Practice answering typical interview questions. (see next page)
  • Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
  • Respond succinctly to questions asked.
  • Listen well.
  • Be enthusiastic, interested and confident.
  • Avoid discussing details of your personal life.
  • Avoid salary discussions early in the interview process.
  • Establish next steps at the end of the interview.
  • Send a thank-you letter.
  • Follow-up by phone.

Post Interview:

Take an objective look at how you performed in the interview. Identify areas of where you performed well and areas to improve, and follow up with a thank-you card immediately and a phone call within a week or two.

The 12 Most Common Tough Questions Job Interviews Ask

1. Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: Respond in a way that assures the interviewer that you are well adjusted, stable, and positive.

2. Q: What can you do for us?

A: Stick to facts and figures if at all possible. Point to past accomplishments or forecast future capabilities.

3. Q: What are your strengths?

A: Tailor your answer to meet the needs of the employer.

4. Q: What are your limitations?

A: Think about transforming your answer and the question into a strength (examples given in our workshop).

5. Q: What do you want?

A: Be prepared to respond with answers that reveal a desire to do the kind of work the position requires.

6. Q: What do you see yourself doing in five years?

A: Focus on your skills as they would relate to the company.

7. Q: What is your reason for seeking this position? What was wrong with your last job/present job?

A: NEVER criticize your last boss or any previous employer, it WILL cost you.

8. Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Think ACTION! Don™t establish a perception of passiveness.

9. Q: How would you handle [some realistic problem situation]?

A: Emphasize that you would seek out facts, look at precedents, use your knowledge and experience, etc. to make a decision and act.

10. Q: What would you like to know about us?

A: Always ask some intelligent questions. This may be what makes the final impression.

11. Q: Why have you been unemployed for so long?

A: Long periods of unemployment are suspect. Be prepared with an answer that focuses on the present and what you have to offer.

12. Q: Do you think you are overqualified for this job?

A: Suggest that this firm is a better opportunity¦that you have potential to become even more valuable to them, etc. Reassure them that you are not planning to leave prematurely.

Nissan Breaks Ground On New Plant

May 26, 2010

1.3 Million Square Foot Facility In Smyrna Set To Be Largest Of Its Kind

By Tiffany Sawyer

SMYRNA, Tenn. — Nissan North America, Inc., was breaking ground Wednesday for a lithium-ion battery plant as part of its plan to start building electric cars and eventually create up to 1,300 jobs in Tennessee.

The Smyrna plant is part of a $1.7 billion investment to start production of Nissan’s all-electric Leaf starting in 2012. The investment includes a federal energy loan.

The 1.3 million-square-foot battery plant will also create about 250 construction jobs at Smyrna, where Nissan currently has about 3,800 employees at the first foreign auto assembly plant located in the South.

Gov. Phil Bredesen, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd President and CEO Carlos Ghosn and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman were scheduled to attend the Wednesday ceremony.

Nissan has said the production hiring will coincide with its scheduled opening of the battery plant in 2012 and there will be up to 1,300 new jobs when Leaf assembly starts operating at full capacity.

The $1.4 billion federal loan to Nissan is part of a $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program authorized by Congress as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Nissan’s five-passenger Leaf sedan will be sold in the U.S. starting in December 2010. The Japanese automaker is taking advance orders to sell the cars in markets that include Tennessee, Oregon, California, Arizona and Washington.

Nissan has said it will start making the Leaf in Japan later this year, in the United States in 2012 and in England starting in early 2013.

Ghosn, who also heads France’s Renault, has been a vocal proponent of electric vehicles .

The Leaf — designed to cover about 100 miles between each charge — will have a base price of $32,780, which after a $7,500 federal tax credit would mean a net cost of about $25,000.

Buyers of the first 1,000 Leafs in Tennessee will also receive chargers, said Jeanine L’Ecuyer, a spokeswoman for Ecotality Inc., a Phoenix, Ariz.-based company that is handling development of an electric car charging infrastructure. She said a federal grant will pay for the buyers’ 240-volt chargers, which take about six to eight hours, and also cover most of the installation cost.

L’Ecuyer also said there are also plans to provide about 1,200 charge units that are publicly available in Tennessee. Another 60 “fast chargers,” or 440-volt circuits, will be located along “transportation corridors” between Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, she said. Those devices recharge an electric car in less than 30 minutes.

She said the charging equipment should be compatible with any electric vehicle made in the U.S.

Nissan’s North America headquarters is at Franklin. In 2008, 25 years after opening the assembly plant at Smyrna, Nissan moved into a new $100 million North America headquarters south of Nashville. The company also has a power train plant at Decherd.

Step 3: Filling out job applications, composing resumes and cover letters

May 26, 2010

Step three involves how to appropriately apply for a position. This step includes completing a job application, composing a resume and writing a cover letter.

How to Complete a Job Application:
Fill in all the blanks! If an item doesn’t apply to you, enter N/A (not applicable) or put dashes (—) in the space.

  • Read each item carefully and be sure you provide all information requested.
  • Notice terminology: Location means city and state; address means full address, with street or P.O. Box and zip code.
  • Be prepared to provide details about past work. It is best to take a list with you. You will need full addresses and phone numbers, dates of employment, your supervisor’s name and title, your starting and ending salary.
  • You will have very little space to write in your duties from previous jobs, so think of several brief phrases starting with action verbs that describe your main duties. Unpaid work can be included!
  • Never underestimate the importance of neatness. A messy application is often canned immediately.
  • Always write “Negotiable” for desired salary. Salary should be discussed at the time of the job offer.
  • Complete education and experience sections using your most recent experiences first, then list your previous jobs.
  • Many applications request 2-3 references. Be sure to have the current titles, addresses, and phone numbers of 2-3 persons who have agreed to serve as references for you. Professional references (former or current supervisors, co-workers, or others who know you in the work setting) are best unless personal references are specifically asked for on the application.
  • If you are mailing your application, type a brief cover letter and put both in a large manila envelope to avoid folding. Your application will stand out from the crowd because most will be folded and mailed in small business envelopes.
  • You should include a Resume with your application unless “no Resume” has been specified by the employing organization. Your Resume can give a much stronger and clearer picture of you than an application can.
  • Always remember to sign your application!

How to Write a Cover Letter:

The cover letter complements your resume and encourages an employer to read your resume. The elements of the cover letter include:

  • An introduction that mentions the position for which you are applying and how you found out about it.
  • Information that shows you understand the employer’s needs and how you have the skills and knowledge to meet those needs.
  • An invitation to the employer to read your resume and suggestion for further action like contacting them.
How to Write a Resume:

A resume is a document that includes your job objective, skills, education and other information related to the job for which you are applying. There are three basic types of resumes; chronological, functional and combination. You will need to choose the type that fits your particular situation.

1. Choose your type of Resume

  • The Chronological Resume – This format lists your work history with your most recent job first and then your previous work history.
  • The Functional Resume – This format focuses on your skills and abilities without regard to when, where or how you acquired them. In this format, you can also include part-time and volunteer work. Your work history is listed at the bottom without descriptions of job duties.
  • Combination Resume – This format “combines” the best features of the Chronological and the Functional Resume. The top portion of the Resume is a list of your skills and abilities and the bottom portion is like a Chronological Resume listing your work history.

2. Production Tips

  • Use quality paper
  • Use adequate white space (don’t cover the paper with print)
  • Be consistent in spacing
  • Make margins consistent and no less than one inch
  • Use bullets to highlight activities and accomplishments
  • Use spell check
  • Highlight your best-selling features near the top

3. Choose your References

  • Choose at least three references, but no more than six.
  • Get permission from your references and make sure they will say something good about you.
  • Have a correct daytime phone number where the reference can be reached.
  • References may be people that you have worked with and people that you know outside of work.

4. E-mail a Resume

  • You must first have an e-mail account of your own. It might be a free system such as Hotmail or Yahoo or a subscription service such as America On-Line, Prodigy, Bellsouth, or any of thousands of other services.
  • You can either send your resume as an attachment or a text document according to the specifications of the employer.