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talking about your job history

October 24th, 2010

Since the recent recession, the lack of jobs in the American economy has created a new problem for jobseekers. Losing a job during a recession and spending months or years seeking a new position creates an undesirable gap in your job history. Other factors may complicate your situation. For instance, your work history shows that your most recent jobs included a lower level of responsibility, a lower salary, a part-time position, or working in a different field.

Regardless of the scenario, decide how to discuss a resume that does not show recent job stability, earning power, and experience. Gaps in your employment history are a temporary setback. Here are a few things you can do to discuss these gaps during job interviews:

1. Don’t blame your last employer or the recession for a lack of work. You want to focus the employer’s attention on your desirable characteristics as a prospective employee. Avoiding negative talk means that the conversation stays focused on the positive.

2. Describe non-paid activities completed during unemployment. This is the time to talk about going back to school, volunteering, starting a business, or performing other projects that require a considerable time investment. For instance, some people remodel their whole house by teaching themselves home improvement.

3. Discuss how you’ve sharpened your knowledge in your professional field. Not everyone goes back to school or volunteers when out of work. They continue networking in their field, participating in online communities, attending annual meetings, contributing to publications, reading the latest research, and engaging in other professional development opportunities.

4. Explain how your experience would benefit a prospective employer following a brief response to the question about job history. Change the subject by asking a question or taking your interview response in a different direction. Talk about the time you weren’t working full-time as an opportunity to develop as a person. Skillful treatment of the work history question requires assertive communication.

Your work history is not the only reason an employer will decide to hire you. When you get the interview, you receive a one-time opportunity to sell yourself as a top choice. You can work with a professional job coach to acquire assertive interviewing techniques. You can talk about ways to discuss your work history and qualifications.

If you believe in yourself as a person worthy of the job, your prospective boss can believe it too. Sell yourself as a whole package. Be prepared to live up to the image you’ve created if you get the position.

For job search in the Electrical Power Industry, try PowerJobsDirect!

power plant jobs – find yours today!

October 13th, 2010

Power Plant Operator Jobs – What You Can Expect From This Job

Are you seeking a career change?  You may be looking for a better job that can provide you a greater sense of accomplishment, not to mention a higher paycheck.  If this describes you and your situation, you might want to look into Power Plant Operator jobs.  The energy sector is one of the hottest industries in the job market today.  There are many different kinds of alternative energy jobs and this one may be right for you.  The need for skilled Power Plant Operators is not expected to decline which means now could be the best time to seek a profession in this industry.

The briefest description of what Power Plant Operator jobs entail is a management of everyday operations at a power plant.  The need for this kind of position is obvious when you realize that anything involving machinery could malfunction.  It is up to the Power Plant Operator to fix problems that may arise with malfunctioning equipment.  Maintenance may be required on auxiliary equipment like fans and pumps, compressors and condensers, filters and lubricants.  Minor adjustments are made by Power Plant Operators as well, including tightening pipe joints.  They regularly inspect equipment to ensure that there are no operating problems.

Apart from understanding the how it works, and making any necessary simple repairs, Power Plant Operator jobs require those who fill this position to understand paperwork and charts.  A Power Plant Operator will need to be able to understand charts, meters, and gauges to determine that everything is functioning correctly.  Corrective steps may be necessary.  They will also fill out any necessary paperwork to report the need for any major repairs.  The need to inspect past records and log book entries are called for in this position as well.  Communications with other plant personnel is vital to ensuring a positive operating status across the plant.

There are different kinds of Power Plant Operator jobs because there are different kinds of power plants.  You might find employment at a wind or nuclear power plant or at a different kind that could be constructed in the future.  The expansion of alternative energy means there is not expected to be a shortage of Power Plant Operator jobs any time soon.  If this is something you are interested in, you should get in touch with a potential employer in your area or in a location you would not mind relocating to.  Your new career awaits!

solar power

August 30th, 2010

Solar power involves harnessing the sun’s energy to produce electricity. The main advantage of solar power is that the generation of electricity does not produce any of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change. It is also a renewable energy source and does not rely upon the use of fossil fuels.

Despite the tremendous benefits of solar power, there are also some negative consequences. Construction of solar power infrastructure produces outputs that are not environmentally friendly. Building, operating and maintaining solar power technologies also impact upon local flora, fauna and ecosystems. As with most human activities, there will always be a level of ecological impact or footprint. It is just the degree and type of impact that needs to be considered.

The conversion of solar energy into electricity can involve the use of photovoltaics and the concentration of solar thermal power.

Photovoltaics

The use of solar energy is on the increase. Even in household applications, solar power is being used for the simplest of tasks. From lighting letterboxes to decorative garden lights to powering water features, the use of solar power generation in our daily lives has really taken a turn. We just need to look outside of our homes for all the wonderful ways solar is being used, such as powering road signs and lighting up sea buoys. In the main, photovoltaics are the type of solar power that is most often come across by the average consumer.

Photovoltaics involve the sun being turned directly into electricity. Photovoltaic cells comprise of a semiconductor substance (e.g. silicon). Through a series of processes, electrons are freed and electricity is produced as a result. Although there are problems associated with photovoltaics, such as the small voltages produced, they also have many benefits. The most significant advantage of solar power is that it relies on an abundant resource – one that cannot be depleted. Photovoltaics are also quiet to run and are reliable.

Concentrating Solar Thermal Power

The ability to concentrate solar energy is a simple idea in theory. This form of electricity generation involves using the sun to heat up fluid encased in a receiver. The liquid is heated up to such a high temperature that steam is produced as a result. This steam, in turn, powers a turbine and produces electricity in an attached generator.

There are particular advantages of using concentrated solar thermal power; that is, it is less expensive than other types of solar generation. Perhaps the major advantage to solar thermal technology is that it can be “hybridized”. It can be mixed with fossil fuel technologies and stored. There is much excitement amongst the scientific community over concentrated solar thermal power and its potential.

There are different methods for capturing concentrated solar thermal power, some of which include: Parabolic Troughs; Dishes; and, Solar Tower. Parabolic troughs involve mirrors that are used to concentrate the sun onto receiver tubes. These tubes heat up the fluid and power a turbine to generate electricity. The Dish used in harnessing concentrated solar thermal power also involves mirrors to concentrate the sun onto a position (receiver) on a dish. The heated fluid in the receiver powers a small engine to produce electricity. Solar Towers are also used to concentrate solar thermal power. These towers involve the use of mirrors that track the sun. The receiver is located on the top of the tower and the mirrors concentrate the sun.

Despite humankind employing solar energy technology throughout history, it’s almost as though it had been forgotten – with the more efficient fossil fuels taking its place. Since concern over greenhouse gases and depletion of fossil fuels reserves, however, solar and many of the renewable energy sources have experienced a revival. Scientists are only just beginning to make considerable technological advancements that will help our society transition into using renewable energy as a mainstream energy source.

how to write a cover letter that pops!

August 15th, 2010

When writing a cover letter, the ultimate goal is to grab the attention of your prospective employer and make you stand out over the other candidates.  To do this you will need to use an arsenal of techniques designed to market yourself to employers.  It can be easy to dismiss some of these techniques to save time, but doing so could hurt your chances of landing an interview.

White Space

Employers go through hundreds of resumes and cover letters while hiring.  If they receive a cover letter with little or no white space, their eyes will glaze over and your name will not catch their attention.  Nothing is more boring or dry than staring at a huge chunk of text.  White space is a marketing tactic.  It makes the body of writing easier to read.  You should utilize this marketing tactic when promoting yourself.  With the right amount of white space, your cover letter will look professionally crafted.

Bullet Points

The use of bullet points goes along with white space.  They make your cover letter easier to read.  Your job is to make your employer’s job as easy as possible.  You should use your bullet points to highlight your skills that specifically relate to the position you are applying for.  Most people’s eyes are naturally drawn to the bullet points.  If your bullet points basically sum up the employer’s job description, it will go a long way to landing you an interview.  On the other hand, if your bullet points are unrelated to the position, you will not be considered for your job.  Make sure to take your time when writing your bullet points to ensure you obtain the maximum effect.

Research

It is important to research the company before you write your cover letter.  Doing so will allow you to pick up on company terms and technologies, which you can then incorporate into the body of your cover letter.  Nothing is more powerful than portraying yourself as someone who already invested in the company.

Format

Using a standard professional format on your cover letter is necessary to present yourself as a professional.  If you stray from the format, you cover letter will stand out, but not in a good way.  It will be perceived that you don’t know what you are doing or cannot follow instructions.  Even the most qualified people can be passed over due to a poor format.

Names

If you can find the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter, be sure to include it.  A simple “To Whom It May Concern” can work, but your letter will be much more powerful if you are able to find out the hiring manager’s name.  It will show that you did your research before submitting your cover letter.

Spelling and Grammar

The biggest mistake you can make when submitting a cover letter to a company is neglecting to proofread it.  One spelling mistake or grammar error will turn your cover letter that pops into a cover letter that flops.  Even if you think your grammar is perfect, double check a couple times before you submit it.

Show Enthusiasm

You will need to show that you are excited about this job opportunity, even if you are not.  Enthusiasm can be hard to convey in writing, so you will need to include little tidbits at the end like “I am looking forward to speaking with you” or “you can reach me at”.  Even though these statements might seem pushy, they let everyone know what your intentions are.

Writing a really good cover letter can be time consuming, but it can also be a doorway into a new career.  By crafting a well writing cover letter that pops, potential employers will be more likely to want to sit down and talk with you.  After that happens, it’s time to brush up on those interview skills.

four tips to help you get hired

July 4th, 2010

In this current economic atmosphere of employers downsizing, jobs heading south and overseas, and sky-high unemployment rates, the skill of quality job interviewing is suddenly at a premium.  But sadly, most job seekers–even those perfectly qualified for sometimes highly-technical jobs–are lousy at interviewing.  Oftentimes even the basics:  knowing what to say, how to dress, and the right way to act, are lacking.  Would you like an edge on the competition in this super-competitive employment environment?  Here are four killer tips on how to interview for that job, and get hired!

First of all, show up on time.  Seems to go without saying, but it NEEDS to be said.  Far too many applicants show up at their interview five minutes before it’s scheduled or right at the appointed time, or (gasp) even late.  The reasons why you can’t get there on time don’t matter.  Simply put, if you hope for even a snowball’s chance of getting the gig, arrive ten to fifteen minutes early.  Acclimate yourself to the surroundings, fill out any required paperwork, and focus.

Secondly, although it seems like another no-brainer, dress appropriately.  What you look like conveys so much about who you are, and that is important to an employer.  This does not mean you need to don a tux for a lawn care job, nor should you rock your jeans and polo for that bank teller position.  Dress up or down to the duties required by the job itself.  Also, run a comb through your hair, apply the right amount of makeup (for women only), and a hint of cologne can’t hurt.  Nobody gets hired from a first impression, but you can certainly lose a job based on one.

Third, sell yourself.  Don’t answer the interviewer’s questions in one or two-word responses.  Elaborate as applicable, giving the interviewer a sense of your intelligence, your personality, and your ability to do the job.  Relax, if you appear so nervous you can barely speak, you have no shot.  A desperate job seeker is one who will remain unemployed.

Fourth, and this is key—know the answer to the “magic question.”  In virtually all job interviews the same important question will be asked, and this one answer all by itself can get you hired.  You might even start the next day.  It might be asked in different variations, but here’s the gist:  Why should we hire you for this job?  This is where you talk about your dependability, your reliability, your knowledge and experience, any positive aspects of the total you that tells the employer why you and you alone are the right person for this particular job.  Expect this question going in, and have a reply that will knock out the interviewer.  Even work out a written version, and rehearse it until it’s perfect.

Remember, most job applicants can’t follow these four simple tips.  But now YOU are aware.  You know these keys  to focus on and make yourself unforgettable to an employer.  So get there early, look nice, relax and speak intelligently, and tell them why YOU are the best person in the world for this job.  Now, head out there and get hired!

how to answer the question, “tell me about yourself”

June 29th, 2010

How to Answer the Interview Question “Tell Me About Yourself”

There is no excuse not to be prepared for this question in an interview. And, in fact, rule number one is to always, always be prepared for it. You know this question is coming up, the interviewer knows this question is coming up, and, most importantly, the interviewer knows you know this question is coming up. Therefore, if you’re not prepared, then it’s almost certain that the interview will terminate there and then – at least in the interviewer’s eyes.

What The Question is About

The reason this question is asked at interviews is to help the interviewer assess you as a person. It lets the interviewer see how confidently you can talk about yourself, and how focused you are on your career aspirations. In asking this question, the interviewer wants to see how you can relate certain aspects of your career to the job on offer, how well you know what’s involved in the advertised job, and how much you want it. This question is nearly always posed at the beginning of an interview and largely determines its success: answer well and you have a very good chance of being hired or at least being invited for a second interview; answer it badly, and it will take something akin to a miracle in order to turn the interview around in your favor.

So while you may know that you need to be prepared for this question, how exactly do you prepare for it?

What The Question is Not About

First, this question is not about any aspects of your personal life; it relates entirely to the job on offer. The interviewer doesn’t want to know about your marital status, how many children you have, or where you went on vacation last year. The interviewer wants to know what you did before in your previous job, how it changed you, and how it positioned you for the future, and, most importantly, how you can relate what you’ve done to date in your professional life to the qualities needed for the advertised job.

Make it Short and Snappy

While most people dread this question, it does actually present a candidate with the perfect opportunity to put him- or herself in good light. But to do this you need to be well prepared. When thinking about what to say in your answer, remember that you won’t be expected to talk for very long (nor will the interviewer want you to!). Make your answer short, no longer than one to two minutes. However, you should be prepared to provide more details if requested to. Once you’ve given your answer, ask the interviewer if he or she wants you to elaborate on any points and if so, do so.

What to Say

When preparing your answer, ask yourself what are the skills and expertise required for the position on offer. Once you’ve worked this out you can then tailor your answer to highlight the skills you’ve have gained over the years that make you the ideal candidate for the job. For example, if the job is in sales and you believe the qualities and skills needed include the ability to set goals, stay motivated, and handle rejection well, you can say in your answer that you possess those skills, and then give examples of when and how you’ve brought them into play in your previous professional positions, and what they’ve helped you achieve for your previous employers (remember, this isn’t so much about you as it is about what you can bring to the company!).

The details you should include in your answer are:

–  Your current or last position

–  What you do or did in that role

–  One or two significant achievements in that role that directly relate to the job on offer

–  Why you’re applying for the position

For example: “For the past ten years I’ve worked as a sales manager for XYZ Promotions. During that time I’ve mastered the skills to enable me to train and motivate team members to consistently reach company sales targets. The sales campaign I implemented in the company’s southeast division involved focusing on procuring new contracts as well as nurturing existing ones, and turning around those that were under-performing. Within a six-month period, my team and I were able to achieve a 75 percent sales increase in that region. Given my proven experience in this area, I believe that I can assist your company’s sales team with the current challenges it’s facing.”

Remember to always back up your statements with examples.

From Interrogation to Discussion

At this stage, it’s always a good idea to try to get the interviewer talking as well so that the interview becomes more of a discussion rather than merely an interrogation. Therefore, once you’ve delivered your statement about who you are and what you’ve achieved to date, finish off by saying that you’re interested in delivering something similar for the recruiting company and then let the interviewer tell you how you can do just that.

Being prepared for this question will help enormously when you’re in the hot seat and have to answer it. Don’t refer to notes, or to your CV or résumé. Presenting a polished and professional attitude in response to this question will ensure that the interview gets off to a flying start, and, as a result, your increased confidence will help you to sail through the rest of the interview.

energy jobs, utility jobs, power-plant jobs, powerjobs

Five Ways to Succeed in Your Performance Appraisal

June 6th, 2010

When you are waiting for your performance appraisal interview, you can use the time between when it is scheduled and when you walk into the room to ensure you get the best possible appraisal. There are a number of strategies that you can use when it’s time for a performance appraisal, the best of which is to have performed your job to the best of your ability in the preceding year. Beyond that, however, here are five tips to help you succeed in your performance appraisal.

1. Be rational and not defensive.

While it can be hard to resist jumping out of your chair and protesting when you hear that you aren’t doing a satisfactory job, take a deep breath and try to remain unemotional. Take an outsider’s viewpoint if possible and think about what someone new to the company who didn’t know you or your past sacrifices for the company’s sake would think of what you do in your role now. If necessary, take a few moments to clear your mind before answering when your employer says something that hurts your feelings.

2. Familiarize yourself with the discussion topics.

Before you enter the interview, you should have read the interview forms, your job description, the employee handbook, and anything else you think may be under discussion during the session. Familiarize yourself with your accomplishments and failures over the past twelve months, as it can be hard to remember just what you did right once a few months have passed.

3. Clarify what your manager means.

When you receive any feedback that can be used to improve your performance, clarify or ask for examples. It can be hard to improve based on a generic recommendation to focus on the team goals or pay attention to the policies in the employee handbook, for example. Ask your manager, in a non-confrontational way, to tell you some more specific instances of when you did things wrong and when you did things right. This will give you an idea what to focus on improving over the next year.

4. Don’t focus on the money.

Many employees use the performance appraisal as a chance to get considered for a raise. This makes you seem greedy and uncaring about your performance. While it’s understandable that you hope for a raise, just about everyone does, so focus on improving your performance first and the money will come later.

5. Communicate openly.

The performance appraisal is a chance for you to voice your own concerns and opinions, letting your employer know what you need in order to improve your performance. If you feel there are barriers holding you back from doing the best job you can, don’t let them monopolize the conversation; talk about what they can be doing to help you improve, too.

Some people see the performance appraisal as scary, while others see it as a chore. If you make sure you prepare for it properly, it doesn’t have to be either. Follow these steps to succeed in your next performance appraisal!

google results

April 14th, 2010

I know it jumps around, but pretty cool I found this today.. Weird though, because different browsers, and even versions of windows seem to show a different result. I have most updated version of xp, and use chrome.

google results

get your dream job :: interview do’s & dont’s

April 12th, 2010

So you’ve cleared the first hurdle and got the interview. Now comes the most daunting stage in getting any job. Give yourself the best chances of a good interview by preparing in advance.

Possible Questions and Answers

You should have a good idea at this point of exactly what the job will entail. Take another look at the advert and, if possible, call the company to ask further details. Make a note of any specific tasks or goals, and research similar positions using the internet.

Sit down and think about what questions the employer may ask, then come up with your own answers. Have a few key points for each response – keep them concise and not too specific.

For example, if the job description mentions adhering to deadlines, you might be asked a question about when you have done this. Think along the lines of organizing yourself or a team, what tasks were set and how they were distributed according to difficulty, time taken, and specific skill-sets.

Put yourself in the employer’s place. If you were hiring for the job you are applying for, what questions would you ask a potential employee to judge their working character?

Experience and Examples

Your résumé should have given a history of previous employment that was relevant to this job. Take a copy along in case they don’t have the one that you sent. If there are any gaps in your employment, make sure that you have reasons prepared that don’t seem like excuses – employers will be looking for stability and commitment.

Make sure you don’t bad-mouth any old bosses, or you may come off as arrogant and rash – however bad your previous treatment was. Mention previous jobs that bear the most similarity to the one you are interviewing for and emphasize the most senior roles you have held.

If certain qualities are needed for the job, have good examples of why you have them. You can mention previous punctuality and attendance records, how you managed to change a downturn in sales, or how you were given responsibility for certain important tasks.

Employers nearly always ask for a personal opinion of your bad qualities. Try not to use the cliché of working too hard, as this is looked on as a cop-out. Use an example of where you slipped up, but then turned the situation around and made the best of it. Customer complaints can often be turned into an opportunity to display good service.

Dress for the Occasion

The general rule for dressing to interviews is to go one smarter than the job would normally be. If there is a specific uniform then try to wear something similar. If workers are normally in jeans and t-shirts: wear jeans, a polo, or a good shirt without a tie, and semi-smart shoes or trainers. If the job is smart-casual: wear smart trousers with a shirt and tie. For anything smarter you should always wear a suit.

Give Yourself Plenty of time

Find out how long it takes to get to the building where the interview will take place, and leave with plenty of time. Have a small snack and a cup of coffee – if it doesn’t give make you jittery or sweat – before you leave. Aim to arrive 15 minutes early in order to find exactly where the interview will take place. Punctuality is an easy way to stand out from the crowd. There is no worse way to start off a job interview than having to apologize for being late.

Relax and Think Positively

Before leaving for the interview, make sure you feel relaxed. Listen to a favorite album or read quietly. Relax your shoulders, breathe deeply and keep a smile on your face. Going through your notes and CV a few times before you leave will keep important information at the front of your head.

The Interview

First impressions count for a lot, and the first few seconds of meeting someone last an age. Smile, stand when being introduced, and look people in their eyes. Don’t be too firm with your handshake. This can be seen as a show of aggression, or compensation for nerves. Sit upright, don’t slouch, and keep your hands on your lap.

Looking relaxed and confident is an indicator of competence and honesty. Try not to um and ah when speaking, instead slow yourself down a little and don’t be afraid to think for a few seconds before giving an answer. When the interview is over, thank the interviewers for their time, shake their hands and express that you look forward to hearing from them.

Getting a Reply

With these tips you’ll have a much better chance of getting that Dream Job, and with a little luck you’ll get an offer. If the salary is what you wanted, ask a few more questions and check the contract before saying yes. If something looks too good to be true, it often is.

If you don’t get a reply or are not offered the job, don’t take it badly. You will have at least learnt something from the experience. Now you can go forward with more knowledge of how to handle yourself in an interview situation.

creating a culture of safety at the workplace

April 10th, 2010

Every business organization, whatever the size, must show a commitment to safety at the workplace. Businesses observe safety standards not only to comply with statutory requirements, but also because it is the most logical thing that a management can do. Accidents cost money and destroy employee morale. Creating a culture of safety is the best way human resources managers can prevent costly accidents and injuries.

Observing safety standards builds employee confidence in the work culture and improves the efficiency of the organization. Legal safety requirements vary according to the industry and the processes involved in the work. However, every business can enhance safety at the work place by creating a culture of safety.

Start right at the interview stage
Make sure to incorporate safety oriented questions at the time of the interview. This serves a dual purpose: you are able to make your organization’s stand on safety clear to the candidate and you can assess the importance of focus on safety in the workplace.

Promote a safety oriented culture
Safety is not the responsibility of one single department. Every employee has to be equally involved in observing and promoting safety standards and procedures. The culture has to be handed from the top to the bottom of the organization. Everybody is responsible for maintaining and enhancing safety.

Hold Regular Safety Training
Do not hesitate to hold safety training sessions regularly. Every employee right from the top management to the bottom level should attend these training sessions. In fact, the presence of the top management at such training sessions goes a long way in emphasizing the importance of safety aspects at the workplace.

Maintain the Equipment
Sustain the annual maintenance contracts of all the equipment and the machinery: Make sure that all equipment and machinery maintenance checks are properly recorded. You should maintain a list of agencies to be contacted in case of any emergency or equipment breakdown in more than one place. Ensure that the responsible agencies do come for regular maintenance.

Discourage Risky Behavior
Do not encourage the staff to take risks. Ensure you have fatigue management policies to ensure employees involved in physical work or high risk jobs are well rested and able to work. Discourage the staff members from doing multiple shifts, or working overtime without an adequate break. Employees need to be mentally and physically active to handle work and any exigency.

If you discover employees engaging in risky or unsafe behavior, institute formal warning procedures to reinforce the importance of maintaining a safe work environment all of the time.

Conduct Safety Audits and Mock Drills
Make safety audits a regular feature at your workplace. Mock drills are a necessary exercise and give an insight to the employees what exactly to do in case of emergencies. Conduct trainings and mock drills with respect to different kinds of emergencies.

Safety affects everyone in the workplace and therefore the entire staff should be involved in maintaining safety processes. Employees must see the value of observing safety standards and the safety standards should be enforced for all, including management. You need to educate and train your staff to deal with any situation that can arise at your workplace to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents.