On Saturday June 8, 2013, KRA Business Services Representatives, Charles Botts, III and Myrna Fienman, KRA/CTWorks One-Stop Centers, North Central Connecticut Region, facilitated two seminars for a group of adult students in the town of Vernon, about 15 miles east of Hartford. The Vernon Regional Adult Based Education (VRABE) Department hosted a Job-Search Skills Development Seminar, the first event of its kind in the Region, for any area residents willing to come in on a Saturday morning. The 12 attendees participated in three training sessions, two of which were presented by Botts and Fienman.
Fienman, whose topics focused on Professional Attire and Interviewing Techniques, facilitated a session during which the students worked in small groups going through a series of commonly asked questions, practicing their responses, and discussing the do’s and dont’s of dressing for interviews. Following the group work, she provided information on the types of interviews they could possibly experience, and shared her thoughts on how the students could best respond to some of the more challenging questions they might encounter. Fienman commented, “The group was very engaged and interacted throughout the entire morning. They asked really good, focused questions of the facilitators and were taking a lot of notes.”
Botts, who is credentialed as a Certified Workforce Development Professional and a Certified Professional Resume Writer, presented the latest Tools and Techniques for Writing a First-Class Resume. Through a highly effective PowerPoint Presentation, he stressed the five essential sections of an effective résumé, and what information should be contained in each section. Botts also led an interactive discussion on the value and importance of including accomplishments in résumés, and ended the workshop with an engaging overview of LinkedIn and how it can be used as a tool to develop a “virtual” résumé.
Fienman and Botts provided information on KRA/CTWorks and the many additional job-search and work-readiness services offered through the One Stops, and Botts commented, “To date, we know of at least one student who has been visiting the Manchester KRA/CTWorks office a couple of days a week to take advantage of the resources available in the Online Learning Center.”
VRABE Seminar organizers, Jim Sendrak and Christine Vincent, who had invited Botts and Fienman to participate, had this to say about their workshops, “Participant feedback was extremely positive! Your presentations were right on and professional. It appeared that the class paid close attention to everything you had to say. Everyone was so pleased with the turnout and the way it all came together. We look forward to repeating the event in the near future.”
The Seminar ended with Sendrak, Vincent, and the students thanking the presenters for their great insight and knowledge, and a number of students remarked that they were not aware of some of the tips and techniques Botts and Fienman had shared, and how they planned to revise their job-search strategies based on this new information.