2001 Conference Proceedings

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JOB DEVELOPMENT AND CAREER ADVANCEMENT FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Manny Ziegler
Southern California Project with Industry
E-mail: SCPWIMANNY@aol.com 

Dolores Kollmer
Southern California Project with Industry
E-mail: DKollmer4@aol.com

WHO WE ARE

We are both job developers/employment specialists with Southern California Project With Industry (SCPWI). SCPWI is part of Southern California Rehabilitation Services which encompasses not only the PWI component but also the SouthEastern Center for Independent Living based in Downey. SCPWI has been helping individuals with disabilities find employment since 1983. We are funded by a grant from the Department of Education and contracted by the State of California Department of Rehabilitation, this state's Vocational Rehabilitation Department.

Our offices cover the Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Manny Ziegler works in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and Dolores works on the Westside of Los Angeles.

While the number of phone calls we would receive would be too many to handle, we would be happy to respond to emails from anyone with questions or wanting more information in the future.

DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO JOB SEARCHING

The Internet

Advertisements

Cold-calling

THE INTERNET

Why the Internet?

Resumes for the Internet

The Basics

Almost every company on the web also lists their jobs on the web. If you are interested in a particular company or industry, all you have to do is find them on the web. There are three main ways of doing this.

1) Guess their website.

Example: Boeing is at www.boeing.com

Example: UCLA is at www.ucla.edu

Extensions are as follows:

companies are at .com

schools are at .edu

non-profits are at .org

government is at .gov (this gets tricky though because of additional state and county extensions)

2) Find them through a search engine.

Search engines:

www.yahoo.com 

www.lycos.com 

www.metacrawler.com 

there are many others.

3) Find them through an industry specific list

Example: Hollywood Creative Directory for entertainment companies.

Example: ISP List for Internet Service Providers.

Applying for jobs listed as available

If you find a job listed as available on a website, follow the instructions on how to apply.

Some websites have you enter your information into their database and then paste your resume. Example: www.boeing.com.

Some websites ask you to email your resume. Some may want the resume in the body of the text (most) while some may allow you to attach your resume in a particular format.

Follow directions and then wait for a response. If an email address is given for personnel, you may want to follow up with an email a few days later.

Applying for jobs not listed as available

If you are interested in a particular company, you may send them an unsolicited resume.

If it is a small company, you may send it to their general email address.

Example: www.hcdonline.com

If it is a large company and you can do some research to get the email of particular people in the company (managers of certain departments, etc...) do so. It is unnecessary to do research to find the email address of someone in personnel, all resumes and applications will be forwarded to them anyway).

Example: www.arthurandersen.com

Many companies have a site that lists the email addresses of their employees or at least of particular departments. If you know how their email system works, you can guess at someone's email address. For instance. If all email is soandso@arthurandersen.com, then it is safe to guess that Tom Smith's email address there will be one of the following:

TomSmith@arthurandersen.com

SmithTom@arthurandersen.com

Tsmith@arthurandersen.com

Tom.Smith@arthurandersen.com

Smith.Tom@arthurandersen.com

You get the idea. It takes some trial and error, but once you've got the address, you'll be glad you did the research.

ADVERTISEMENTS

Search through newspapers, job magazines, and especially industry-specific publications. Do not limit yourself by particular job titles as companies use different titles for the same position. Also, a position with a different name may involve some of the work you are looking for and some that you may not have even thought of. Most importantly, be open. Follow instructions carefully. If they tell you to call, call. If they tell you to fax, fax. If they ask that you don't call, don't call. This approach often times becomes a numbers game. Many times you don't have a phone number to follow up and all you can do is wait for a call from them. But, as with any numbers game, the more you play, the more you win. Set a regular schedule of looking through publications and faxing or sending your resume in response. Set aside a few hours a week to do this and you'll begin to get responses. We'll discuss later how to handle these responses.

COLD CALLING

Cold calling by phone is very similar to approaching companies cold via the Internet. The only difference? The receptionist. If the receptionist doesn't like you, he or she won't give you any information or put your call through to the proper person. The receptionist is often under a lot of stress. Be nice to them. Do not call when you are in a bad mood. Here are some tips:

Always introduce yourself by name and explain what you do and why you are calling. Ex: Hi, my name is Henry and I'm a computer programmer. I was wondering if you have any positions available.

Never give up. If they don't have positions open now, ask if they might in the future. Ask who handles that type of thing. If it is HR, ask to be transferred and speak to someone there. Make sure that you do not insult the receptionist by asking to speak to someone else. Explain that you just want to find out more about the types of positions that sometimes come open.

Ask if you can forward a resume anyways for future consideration. Ask who to forward it to. A day or so after faxing your resume to that person, call back and ask to speak to him/her.

Always get the receptionists' name. This will help if you have to speak to her in the future. Also, you can tell the HR person that so-and-so suggested you speak to them. It gives the impression that you know people and have clout.

Always ask if they know of any other companies that may be hiring or other companies in the industry/area.

Take notes on everything you talk about. Write down names and dates so you can refer back to this information when speaking with others later.

You don't know this person. They don't know you. It's okay to embarrass yourself by continuing to ask questions until they are sick of you. The idea is that you never want to have wasted your time on a phone call. Always make sure you got something out of it.

HOW TO DISCUSS YOUR DISABILITY

We will discuss various ways to discuss various disabilities. We welcome your questions about how to discuss your particular disability.

QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

We will leave the last 15 minutes open for questions.


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