Webinar 'takes the fear' out of job searching

Students learned the steps to determine the right job for them at a webinar sponsored by the Career Development Center.

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, Mercyhurst College students attended “Take the Fear out of Your Job Search Webinar,” one of the five workshops hosted by ResumeEdge.

“We’ve never done anything like this before, so we are pleased with the turnout,” Executive Director of Experiential Learning Kyle Foust said.

The webinar focused on the acronym SAVI, which stands for skills, accomplishments, values and interests. SAVI creates a unique fingerprint that separates one job seeker from another, and students who inventory themselves can find careers that better match their needs.

Skills are actions learned on the job that a person enjoys and excels in. Skills should be listed on the resume as action words, such as fundraising, problem solving or writing.

Accomplishments are the notable outcomes resulting from the use of skills. They should be stated on a resume as how a person completes a task better than others.

Employers look for accomplishments such as improving productivity, increasing sales and saving money. Accomplishments are usually noted with quantities such as numbers, percents and money, so students should keep track of their career accomplishments while working at their current jobs.

Values include extrinsic values such as benefits and salary as well as intrinsic values, such as helping others and being challenged. Job seekers should identify a few values that they require in a job.

Interests are work and leisure activities that promote satisfaction. Interests might point out unlikely career paths to a job seeker, but like values, interests might not be appropriate to list on a resume.

In addition to introducing SAVI, the program discouraged people from shuttling resumes off to any available job. The numbers game approach does not match workers with jobs that are right for them, and recruiters waste their time examining the resumes of unqualified applicants.

A panel of experts advised students not to create a one-size-fits-all resume but to view each resume as an individualized sales brochure aimed toward a prospective employer. They said that a resume should accentuate a person’s positive aspects and any personal weaknesses can be explained at an interview.

“I’ve got a niche career goal, so I’m concerned about it,” Scott Kahler, a second-year graduate student in special education, said. “A lot of the information [at the webinar] I’d heard before, but there was some new stuff too. It was helpful.”

Students who attended the webinar will receive an e-mail including a takeaway survey, audio link and PDF of the presentation. They will also receive links to upcoming ResumeEdge workshops highlighting five steps to finding the right job.

For additional help in finding the right job, students can access links from the Career Development Center on the Mercyhurst Portal.