All posts by David White

Leadership Defined In A Pandemic

Leadership

The question is, how is leadership defined in a pandemic? With influence! That is how leadership is defined during a pandemic. At least that’s what you are supposed to say. But in an upside-down world featuring a global pandemic, is that still true? I believe the answer is YES! and ‘more better’ YES! (I know it’s not proper grammar).

A leader recently said this in a Skype meeting,

“You’re not just working remotely. You are working remotely during a worldwide pandemic. You’re dealing with anxiety that you’ve never felt before and, to top it off, many of you are now responsible for homeschooling your children. Cut yourself some slack. I know I will.”

  • What was she saying? I GET YOU; I get what you’re going through and I acknowledge it and finally, I am on your side!
  • What was she doing? GIVING US PERMISSION TO BE HUMAN. She was letting us know that it’s okay to take care of ourselves and our kids and not feel guilty in doing so.

And, an amazing thing happened during that meeting of 40 or so employees – people began to open up about their struggles of working remotely. They felt heard, but just as importantly, they didn’t feel alone.

Influence in Leadership during a Pandemic

Influence in leadership is needed now, more than ever. But influence for the bottom line’s sake or for productivity’s sake cannot be the driving factors behind this influence. People should be. People should always be. This is ‘more better’ influence.More better’ influence is simply, using your platform to blow your employees away with empathy and action. It’s using your platform as a leader to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks (the Cambridge def of Influence) – for their own good! If we don’t care about our employees first as unique, individual human beings with real needs and emotions, then we’ve lost our influence. So, how do we lead people with ‘more better’ influence, in and through this pandemic?

Leadership Defined by Expressing Empathy

An important factor during this time is for leaders to meet employees where they are: Emotionally, Physically, and Mentally. Some of your employees are really struggling with this pandemic. Whether it’s juggling working from home and homeschooling kids, or fear and panic about getting COVID-19, the struggle is real. Maybe they’ve lost a loved one or had an older relative quarantined in a nursing home. Or maybe they’re struggling to put food on the table because their children are now eating two extra meals at home a day (with just one child, that’s 10 extra meals a day). Their struggles are real.

How Leadership Can Meet Employees Where they Are

  1. Don’t assume you know how they are feeling. Ask them. Some of your employees are struggling, but others are not. We do a disservice to our employees by lumping everyone into one pot.
  2. Offer professional counseling sessions. You may not be able to offer this but, if you can, do it!
  3. Create employee listening posts where they can talk about their struggles. Whether or not leadership is a part of these or you just create a time that allows employees to just vent, these can be very valuable. If you participate, listen, really listen, and take notes of what you are hearing. Are there things you can assist with? Are they even asking for assistance or just needing to vent? Listen.
  4. Give out grocery gift cards. According to the Brookings Institute, “two in five households with mothers with children 12 and under, are food insecure.” If you have employees struggling to provide essentials for their families, a grocery gift card can go a long way to helping your employees and building faith and loyalty in the company.
  5. Organize a social-distancing canned good drive for your employees. What a great way to build community among your employees! Poll your employees on what food items would be helpful instead of just guessing (I’ve seen 5-year old canned yams in a rust-covered can make it into a canned food drive- yuck!). And it doesn’t just have to be canned goods. Be creative.
  6. Extend grace to your employees when it comes to completing tasks and assignments. This is pretty self-explanatory but suffice it to say that at times like these, grace wins!
  7. If you’re working remotely, assemble a diverse team to discuss what getting back to ‘normal’ would look like. Talk about the possible date(s) and protocol. Let your employees be part of the process.
  8. Poll your employees to find out what would make them feel safe in returning back to a face-to-face workplace. Maybe you need to purchase masks and gloves or plexiglass partitions. Maybe it’s rearranging the office for social distancing or staggering shifts. Ask your employees for their input.
  9. Recruit volunteer employees to be part of wellness check-ins. This is a great way to find out how your co-workers are coping. Also, use this time to communicate about the mental-health resources your company offers. These employee lead check-ins are really beneficial for large companies with a lot of employees making it difficult for one person to contact every employee.
  10. Online meetings are great but suck the life out of your employees. Meetings may be necessary (and a great way to check-in with your team) but poorly run meetings, especially via Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc. can be a waste of time and drain the life out of your employees. There are days when I have as many as six online meetings. This can be draining! Ask yourself, can what we’re meeting about be handled via email or on Teams? Are these meetings helping or hindering my employees from doing their jobs?

Finally, cut yourself some slack. You’re trying to manage a company or a team of employees and trying to come up with ways to keep everyone on the payroll and the business afloat. Plus, you, the leader, are also dealing with a global pandemic and possibly homeschooling your kids. This makes it even more difficult to decide how leadership is defined during a pandemic. So, breathe. Take time for yourself. Take time for your family. Not only will you benefit from this, so will your employees!

Hey, so give me some feedback. Let me know your thoughts on how you believe leadership is defined during a pandemic.

What is something that has helped you or your employees during this time?

Aligning Your Major and Career

Professional African American Woman

Understanding the symbiotic relationship between a college degree, a professional career, and soft skills are important factors when employers consider candidates. But before we answer the question, ‘What employers are looking for,’ we need to answer the question, ‘What are you looking for?’ Everyone knows that there is value in earning a college degree, but the question every college student should be asking is, “What do I want to do with my degree?” Another way to word the question would be, “What kind of career am I looking for?

To answer this, some students might simply say, “I want to get a job in my field.” What field? What job? What career? While you may be in college to earn a specific degree, what career field you land in may be quite different than you’d imagine it to be.

Rebecca Koenig addresses this in an article for US News and World Report1, “No one is employed as an "English major." Nor, for that matter, as a "biology major" or "business major." Although a few fields correspond with professions, such as engineering and nursing, most liberal arts degrees don't point to specific employment routes. Rather, they provide a set of skills that help job seekers navigate the professional landscape.”

1 “Your College Major Does Not Define Your Career” Rebecca Koenig, US News and World Report, September 24, 2018

WHAT ARE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR EXACTLY?

This skill set that you are developing is the basis for getting hired. You see, many employers are steering away from looking at a potential candidate’s specific degree and instead focusing on what overall competencies that candidate brings with them. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) CAREER READINESS is defined as “the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.”

NACE has outlined the following eight competencies employers consider essential:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving
  2. Teamwork and collaboration
  3. Professionalism and work ethic
  4. Communication
  5. Leadership
  6. Digital technology
  7. Career management
  8. Multicultural fluency
WHILE EARNING YOUR DEGREE, WORK ON YOUR CAREER
Professional Standing Against the Wall

So, while you may not know exactly what your career will look like, you can start working on it right NOW! How do you do that? By working on the eight-core competencies above. If you are serious about developing these skills, then here’s a project you can work on: Take each individual competency and consider how you will begin to implement it into your college career. Attack each one like a research paper, where you define each skill and come up with ways to implement them.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE:

For the professionalism competency you may consider learning this skill through campus jobs and internships, but what about the importance of managing personal brands both online and in-person? Or seeing the classroom as a professional environment and consider dressing up for classroom presentations — your own or otherwise.

The work world is ever-changing, and we must be able to adapt to those changes if we are to be successful. Understanding the symbiotic relationship between a college degree, a professional career, and soft skills is a great place to start.

If you’re a student or alumni currently looking for an internship or employment opportunity, join SPC’s online platform Handshake, for direct career and internship opportunities.

Transfer Fair Coming to St. Pete/Gibbs Campus

A building is shown with a sign across it that says University.

Are you considering transferring to another college, university or a program within SPC? Then join us for the Fall 2019 Transfer Fair:

  • Thursday, October 10, 2019, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
  • St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus (6605 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg), SS-Lobby
  • FREE and open to the public

During the fair, students will have the opportunity to interact with college and university reps from across Florida and even a few from outside of the state. These schools represent a cross-section of higher education institutions from public and private to schools with certain specializations.

What to Expect

Each student will be given a passport and encouraged to speak to at least seven college recruiters. This is a great time for students to ask the recruiters specific questions. Here are a few to consider:

  • “Do you offer the degree I am seeking?”
  • “What are the requirements for getting into your school/ program?”
  • “What is the cost per semester for tuition? For food and housing?”
  • “Do you offer scholarships specific to my major?”
  • “When do I need to apply to start for the Fall 2020 term?”

Once a student fills out their passport, they can turn it in for a free wrap! Some of the schools expected to attend the Transfer Fair:

  • University of Florida
  • Florida State University
  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • University of South Florida
  • Eckerd College
  • Stetson University
  • New College of Florida
  • Springfield College
  • Florida Southern
  • University of Tampa
  • Providence College
  • Disney College Program
  • SPC Health Sciences
  • SPC CCIT
  • SPC School of Education
  • SPC School of Business
  • SPC School of Public Safety

Have a Career Conversation with Amazon

Amazon

The Career Services Team will be hosting an All Access Career Conversation with Amazon’s Human Resources/Recruiting Specialist on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 12:30 – 2 pm in the SS lobby at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for Amazon? How do you get your foot in the door? What are they looking for in the ideal candidate? What are they looking for in a resume?

Career conversation with Amazon experts

Following the presentation, we will have a question and answer session with our guest speakers about working for Amazon. This is the perfect opportunity for Business and Supply Chain Management students to learn about working for the company. Don’t miss your chance to get an insider’s view of one of the most innovative and fastest-growing businesses in the country.

Amazon is growing

With its recent purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon is looking to revolutionize the grocery delivery market. Along with that effort, they are looking to beef up their employee base. The will are opportunities for full-time, part-time, and flex part-time employment. Flex part-time is a great option for students and others who need a more flexible schedule. Full-time and regular part-time employees are eligible for benefits.

Post-presentation pizza

That’s right, lunch is on us!  This is a great time to hang out and network with students, faculty, and staff. Bring a friend and join us!

Have questions? Contact a career professional on your campus or online. Keep up with the latest from Career Services. Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern, and #workforcespc.

 

Bulletproof Your Resume

Bullet Proof Your Resume

How can you bulletproof your resume? Did you know that recruiters only spend an average of six seconds on each resume they review? Go ahead right now and time out six seconds. Not much time, huh?

How do you keep recruiters reading longer than six seconds? How do you make your resume stand out? You include the most important information in the most important places.

HR Fluff N’ Stuff

Most of the time when I review a resume, it’s full of fluff instead of substance. And any HR department worth their salt will sniff out fluff in a heartbeat! What does fluff look like?

  • Wasted Words: You use words, too many words, to get your point across which is very wordy.
  • Irrelevant Information: Review everything from your high school education to objective statements and ask yourself, “Does this have anything to do with the job I am applying for?” and, if not, “Let it go, Let it go…
  • Careless Composition: Garmamr adn seplilng aer ipmotarnt. Vrey ipmotarnt.

One of the main areas of fluff that I see while reviewing resumes are in the bullet points that define your employment history. What’s a bullet point? It’s a carefully written, concise information containing relevant information pertaining to your experience (work, volunteer, military, etc.). Below are five keys to bullet proof your resume.

Five Keys To Bulletproof Your Resume

 1) Each experience that you include in your resume – work, volunteer, military, etc. – should include three to five bullet points. No more, no less.

 2) Each bullet point should begin with an action verb in the proper tense. If it’s a job you are currently working at, you would use the present tense.  If it’s a former job, you guessed it, use the past tense.

Examples:  

  • Administered, advised, balanced, created, compiled, designed, organized, planned, supervised, taught, etc.

 3) Use concrete information, such as money and numbers, when possible. Don’t just say that you managed a lot of employees. What does that mean? Is five a lot of employees or is 500 a lot? Give it a number!

Examples: 

  • “Managed 10 employees.”
  • “Facilitated four Safety and Security employee trainings per year with a staff of 75 and a training budget of $10,000.”
  • “Served 100 plus customers per week bringing in more than $2,500 in sales each week.”

 4) Use complete sentences. Sentences use proper punctuation including adding a period at the end.

Example: 

  • “Reviewed 50+ physician referrals and patient medical records per week to formulate an accurate diagnosis.”

5) Look at the job description bullet points for the job that you are applying for and, if applicable, work those bullet points into your bullet points. We call this “reading the company mail.” It’s like you were sitting around the table when the job description was being written and you have the inside scoop!

As you work on your resume, remember that it is a professional snapshot that highlights you, your abilities, and your skills. Work at it to make it the best it can be!

Need help to bulletproof your resume?  Contact a career professional on your campus or online. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at #careerspc, #spcintern, and #workforcespc.

 

Ultimate Resume: Why Keywords Matter

Resume Workshop art

Did you know that most companies today send resumes through an application tracking system or ATS? It is a resume screening software tool that searches resumes for keywords. Using these keywords in your resume is the first step to securing an in-person interview.

According to Rebecca Mumford, Regional Northeast Recruiter for the USA Today Network, “Our software(s) will weed through resumes and tell me that someone is disqualified because they didn’t put these words on a resume. I may have a database of 1,000 resumes but only five come through as meeting our requirements based on these key word searches.”

How to find keywords

Scan through the job description and look for the keywords. For example, if a job description says that you need to have a “working knowledge of Microsoft Excel”, you would want to make sure to include a bullet point about your knowledge of Microsoft Excel. Besides including these keywords within your bullet points, you can even add a skills section at the top of your resume that lists these keywords in bullet format. For example:

TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe In-Design
  • Dreamweaver
  • SEO

Ms. Mumford goes on to say, “Flood your resume with keywords.” This means that you have to do your research. Really spend time working on your bullet points to make them a succinct and concrete as possible filled with these keywords! It also means that you have cater each resume to the specific job you are applying for. It may take a little more time and effort but the end result will be worth it!

Get help creating a resume

St. Petersburg College offers an online tool called “Optimal Resume” which will walk you through how to create a resume. This tool is available to students and alumni of St. Petersburg College. Once you’ve created your resume in Optimal Resume, you can submit it for review right in the tool. Just choose an SPC career professional listed there. Look for  the link to Optimal Resume in the bottom right hand side of your “MyCourses” homepage under Additional  Resources or by clicking here.

Follow Career Services on Twitter #careerspc, #spcintern and #workforcespc

 

Make Employer Connections at the Spring Job Fair March 20

Spring Job Fair flier

The Spring Job Fair at SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus on March 20 offers an opportunity to network and establish important employer connections that can help in your job search.

Want to connect with employers from your field? The campus is hosting the fair from 12 – 2 pm. Attendees will have a chance to interact with more than 20 employers from around the Tampa Bay area. The event is open to the public as well as SPC students. 

Visual List of Job Fair Vendors and Future Employer ConnectionsEmployers attending the fair come from a wide array of fields such as information technology, nonprofits, retail, and law enforcement – to name a few.

These employers will be recruiting for part-time, full-time, and seasonal workers. Even if you’re not in the market for a new job, this is a great event for networking with potential employers.

Make your mark

Are you ready to meet your new boss? Here are a few tips for a successful job fair and to establish employer connections:

  • Dress for success.
    • Guys: Slacks, button down shirt, and tie.
    • Ladies:  A conservative business suit or a dress.
  • Make sure to use proper hygiene.
    • Guys: Wear deodorant and shave. No overpowering scents.
  • Have multiple copies of your resume ready to hand out.
  • Practice your elevator speech.
  • Make sure to give a firm handshake and make eye contact.
Community involvement

Do you know someone looking for a job who is not enrolled at SPC? Feel free to invite them to the job fair. The St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus Spring Job Fair is open not only to SPC students but to the community as well.

Network – employer connections

Some of the employers expected to attend include –

  • WellCare
  • Goodwill
  • Starbucks
  • Suncoast Credit Union
  • Home Depot
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • R’ Club
  • YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Marine Corps
  • Salvation Army
  • SSL Store
  • Bank of America
  • Chase Bank
  • Culvers
  • Mathnasium

Starbucks and Charter/Spectrum On-Campus Interviews

Photo of job interview

Looking for a job with good pay and benefits? Are you needing part-time or full-time work? The St. Pete Gibbs Campus Career Team is bringing two different employers on campus for two separate recruiting events. On April 25th and April 27th from 12-2pm recruiters from Charter Communications and Starbucks will be on campus to recruit St. Petersburg College Students.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS

Charter/ Spectrum Communications, parent company of Spectrum Cable, will be on campus on Tuesday, April 25th from 12-2pm in SA-135, conducting one on one interviews. Charter is looking to hire for full time shifts with full benefits. They will be bringing a team of recruiters to accommodate as many students as possible. Charter is especially interested in students in the I.T. field but anyone can sit for an interview. Check out the Charter/ Spectrum website for more career information:  https://jobs.spectrum.com/

STARBUCKS

Always wanted to be a barista? Starbucks will be on campus on Thursday, April 27th from 12-2pm in the SS-Lobby conducting interviews. Not only do you work in a fun, fast paced environment, but Starbucks also offers educational incentives for its employees. This is an awesome opportunity for someone looking to earn money and work for a company that’s the leader in caffeinating the world. Want more info on Starbucks careers, check out their website: https://www.starbucks.com/careers

 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Know someone who’s not a student of the college but needs a job? These recruiting events are open to the public so encourage them to attend!

Shiftgig Hiring Event

Are you looking for a flexible job? One that fits into your schedule? The St. Pete Gibbs Campus Career Team is bringing Shiftgig on campus for a recruiting event. On April 5, 2017, from 12-2pm a recruiter will be in the SS Lobby educating students about the company and who they are looking to hire.

Shiftgig

What is Shiftgig?

Shiftgig’s motto is, “Work when you want, where you want, for who you want.” This motto sums up the flexibility of working for the company, as they help supply staffing for local sports arenas, hotels, and country clubs. When a person is hired by Shiftgig, a list of available jobs appear on the company’s app that detail the time frame, location, and hourly pay they’d receive if they pick up that shift. The employee is able to choose whether or not they want to work a shift. Cramming for finals and you can’t work that week? No problem. Have some free time in your schedule open up and you want to earn more money? Great! Pull out the app and click on a shift that interests you. The Shiftgig recruiter will be here on April 5th to answer any additional questions you might have.

Are You Ready to Apply?

Congratulations, you’ve heard the Shiftgig pitch and you’re interested in joining their team! We’re making it extremely easy to not only apply, but actually interview with the company. On Wednesday, April 12th, Shiftgig will be hosting group interviews. There will be 3 different time slots for students to attend: 11:00am, 12:30pm and 2:00pm. These group interviews will be held in the Career Services Hub- SA 135. Students are encouraged to dress appropriately for the interview and have a copy of their resume ready to go.

 Want more info?

Check out the Shiftgig website.