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Dressing for success

Job seekers get head-to-toe makeovers and job-hunting tips

VISTA — A regional workshop at North County Lifeline May 20, provided job seekers with an interview suit, and job-hunting tips.

Half a dozen employment assistance organizations joined in the effort. Each organization provides services for clients in their area. They also collaborate under the umbrella of North County Works Collaborating Agency to provide clients additional opportunities.

One hundred job seekers were invited to attend the workshop, and all of them showed up.

Participants had a range of work backgrounds, some were seeking entry-level jobs, and others were looking for advanced positions in their field of expertise.

Job seeker Colleen Cockrell attended the workshop. She recently relocated to the area and has been looking for work for nine months.

Cockrell has 15 years experience as a warehouse worker, but is unfamiliar with local employers.

She has taken the initiative to seek job search assistance from the Community Resource Center, Manpower, and CalWORKS.

She said “A Fresh New Look” workshop fueled her to continue her search and renewed her motivation.

The workshop divided participants into three groups. Each group rotated through the make over, mock interview, and job fair tips sessions.

The make over session allowed men and women to choose an interview suit from racks of gently used garments. Feedback was provided from fit experts.

Women also had a hair and makeup session with Bellus Academy Beauty School stylists.

Cockrell said she appreciated the one-on-one help provided by the stylist.

“He was all about hair, and all about helping you,” Cockrell said. “It felt good to know someone who doesn’t know you, and doesn’t have to help you, really wants to.”

The mock interview session provided real life practice.

Cockrell said interview tips she gleaned were to research a company and find out its key values prior to the interview, and follow up after the interview with a thank you letter.

“Their website tells you exactly what they’re looking for,” Cockrell said.

Job fair tips included creating a one-minute elevator speech, which spells out who you are, the job you are seeking, and your qualifications.

Cockrell said networking happens everywhere, and her chain of personal connections might lead her to a job.

She added her plans are to continue to hunt for a job, look into work with temporary services, and begin business management classes in August.

Jennifer Conte, Community Resource Center employment support coordinator, said the overall feedback from participants was very positive, and plans are to hold the workshop again next year.


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