Are You Looking For A Job?

by: Coauthors: Sue Evans and Rhonda Fannin  

Excerpts from “Your Place” for the Adult Learner  


This is a way for the employer to quickly spot your strengths ………and weaknesses Read the entire application first to make sure you fill it out correctly. Use a blue or black pen, preferably erasable. Don’t leave any blank areas. Enter your information, mark as N/A for non-applicable or simply put a line through the space; this shows the employer that you have addressed this item. Don’t list your criminal record, simply write “Please see me.”  Be honest with your education, training, and work experience. Employers will verify your education and work experience. Don’t be embarrassed with job loss as a result of lay-off, down-sizing, company mergers and other situations that happen. Do not list the reason for leaving a job as “fired.” Simply write “Please see me” or “Job ended” for explaining short employment dates. Be prepared to explain your reasoning for not staying at previous jobs for a long period of time.

Employers want acceptable reasons for short employment histories such as a layoff, personal problems, relocation, health, career exploration, or job stagnation.  

If you have unemployment gaps or no work history: List the skills you have gained during these time periods. Include any volunteer, charitable, labor or self-employment jobs you’ve had, also include being a childcare provider/homemaker. Topics that cannot be addressed by the employer until you are hired: Age, arrest record, race or ethnicity, citizenship, ancestry, birthplace, native language, religion or religious customs or holidays, height and weight, names and addresses of relatives, whether or not you own or rent your own home and who lives with you, credit history or financial situation, education or training that is not required to perform the job, sex or gender.  

As a side note, these questions may be adapted in the way they are worded if the topic will in anyway influence your ability to do the job.  

For additional information on these legalities, please refer to the Equal Employment Opportunity website at  

The Supportive Elements of a Resume are:   

1.      Cover Letter:  

a  Address it to the Interviewer

a  Be brief, clear and direct –

this is their first glance at


a  Get their attention. 

a  Explain what you can do for the company.

a  Sell your skills and abilities.

a  Show enthusiasm, wrap it up with a way to contact you to set up an interview.


2.      References:


a  Someone who can verify the

kind of worker you are professionally and personally,

include coworkers, supervisors, teachers, coaches, committee

or organization acquaintances

a  Make sure the person you

list as a reference has approved

this and will give you a good recommendation

a  Make sure contact information

is correct

a  Make sure the reference

has good communication


a  Use a responsible reference

who will follow through

a  Use reference’s business

address and phone numbers

unless they cannot be reached

at work.


As a side note when using written

references, have reference use

company letterhead.

3.      Thank You Letter


ü  Address it to the Interviewer

ü  Thank them for taking time to interview with you

ü  Include specific information about the interview 

ü  Do not bring up anything negative

ü  Show interest in the job and state that you are looking forward to hearing from them.  

As a side note, if you have decided that you are no longer interested in the job, then be sure to thank them for their time, but let them know that you are no longer interested.  


ü  Limit the resume to one page.  Employers are short on time.

ü  List most recent jobs first.  Only go back ten years with work experience.

ü  Be consistent.  If you do it for one, you should do it for all.  Example: If you give your high school’s zip code, then you must give all zip codes.

ü  Avoid using slang words.

ü  Use simple words that say what you want to say.

ü  Use action words.

ü  Show accomplishments and problem-solving skills, not just duties.  Show that you can do the work required for the job.

ü  Be honest!

ü  Make it perfect.  Check for spelling and other mistakes.  Use a good copier or have the resume printed.

ü  State information in a positive way.  List strong skills.

ü  Do not include personal information such as date of birth, height, or weight.

ü  Include a cover letter when sending the resume.

ü  Balance your resume on the page.

ü  Do not fold or staple resume.

ü  Include volunteer work, hobbies, and awards if it applies or shows experience or skills.

ü  Use action words ending with “ed” for past jobs.  Use action words ending with “ing” for present jobs.  Keep resume in the same tense, based on employment dates.  



Address your cover letter to the person listed as the contact and make sure the name is spelled correctly.  

Make your cover letter specific to the job you are applying for.  

State the position you are interested in applying for and list any pertinent related experience that they may want to review on your enclosed resume.  

Use the following checklist to narrow your top strengths down to two or three that you could use to list in your cover letter, such as:


My personal qualities and work values include:


Ø  Honesty – The cash drawer was never short on any of my cashier jobs.


Ø  Reliable I was always on time and only missed work if it was absolutely necessary.





Place a check next to the strength you believe you have:


     Able to give orders

     Able to take orders

     Able to take care of self

     Accepts advice

     Admires others













     Can be firm when needed




     Common sense

     Communicates well











     Do what needs to be done

     Do not give up

     Eager to get along with





     Encourages others

     Enjoys taking care of





     Frank and honest




     Gets along with others

     Gets things done

     Gives a lot

     Goal setter

     Good cook

     Good dancer

     Good friend

     Good leader

     Good listener

     Good manners

     Good neighbor

     Good parent

     Good singer

     Good with details

     Good with words

     Good with hands




     Hard worker









     Keep agreements

     Kind and reassuring


     Likes responsibility

     Lots of friends



     Makes a difference

     Makes a good impression



     Motivates others


     Never gives up


     Often admired



     On time




     Physically fit


     Positive attitude

     Quick learner



     Respectful of authority

     Respected by others


     Risk taker



     Sense of humor


     Speak several languages



     Stand up for myself



     Team player








     Well dressed








Looking our best makes us feel better and function better.  The way we look also affects what other people think about us.  How sharp and well-groomed you appear to others does make a difference in how well people listen and respond to what you have to say.  Our appearance affects not only how others perceive us, but also how we feel about ourselves.  Just as positive feelings about our appearance can trigger great benefits, negative feelings about our appearance can start a chain of self-doubt.  Let’s take a look at the positive benefits of dressing properly for the job.

*Good grooming, exercise, nutrition, hygiene and other practices which contribute to good appearance do more than improve psychological well-being and boost confidence. 

*First impressions are important and can often be made very quickly, often in as little as 30 seconds. 

*Be confident – Be organized.

*Well-groomed job applicants are chosen more often and offered higher salaries than less well-groomed rivals. 

*Good appearance can be the deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates.

*Well-groomed employees are more likely to be promoted and have their salary increased.   

*Remember the old saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

*What should you wear to the interview?  Dress one step up from on-the-job clothing.  Keep it simple, clean, and neat.  Don’t wear too much jewelry or cologne.


Hint:  If you’re not sure what clothing is appropriate for the job you’re interviewing for, ask someone, job shadow, or observe employees. 


Good appearance can be the deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates.  Being well groomed makes the most of your features.  Being attractive is not about having ‘perfect’ features of models you may see in magazines.  It is about how you present yourself and how you ‘groom’ your outside appearance.


Once you have established the dress code, you should plan to dress one step up from what is worn in the position.  For instance, if people wear t-shirts, jeans and tennis shoes to work, you will want to wear ‘nice casual.’ 


*Dress conservatively.  You can adjust your wardrobe to the work atmosphere once hired.

*Make sure clothing is clean, free of stains and wrinkles, and in good repair.

*Size is important.  Make sure clothing is neither too tight nor too loose.

*Length is important if a skirt is appropriate.  Make sure when you sit, your skirt or dress does not ride up.

*Do not use too many accessories.

*Jewelry should be understated and simple.

*Makeup should be conservative.

*Stockings should work with skirts or dresses and should be in a neutral skin tone.

*Shoes should be polished, in good repair and have a low to mid heel.  Any heel above 1½ to 2” is too high.  Black, brown and navy are always appropriate colors.

*Choose a hairstyle that flatters your face.  Spray lightly and don’t overuse.

*Short, clean nails that are well manicured are a must.

*Having a clean, healthy mouth is important.  It gives you fresh breath and a nicer-looking smile, making you feel more confident.

*You need to be well rested to be your best.


Body Language


What you say physically with your body is as important as what you say verbally.  Learning to control negative body movements and have positive ones will heighten your chances for success during the interview.


*Smile.  Your natural smile is one of your best assets – it shows confidence and enthusiasm.

*Have a friendly, upbeat tone of voice.

*Give a firm handshake and look at the interviewer when you shake hands; not a limp handshake nor a crushing handshake.

*Maintain eye contact.  Your gaze should be steady, calm and non-threatening.  Eye contact shows that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying and that you have nothing to hide. 

Be careful of ‘body-signal barriers.’  When nervous, many people fold or cross their arms over their chest or hold things in front of their body. This sends a message that you’re closed off.  Keep your hands folded in your lap or resting on the arms of the chair.

*Do not fidget, including biting your lip or nails, swiveling in your chair, twirling your hair, bouncing or tapping your feet or hands.

*Do not slouch while sitting or standing.  Always stand and sit up straight.


Prepare for Possible Interviewing Questions


-What interests you most about this job?

 -What applicable attributes/ experience do you have?

-Why are you the best person for the job?

-What do you know about this company?

-Why do you want to work for this organization?

-What challenges are you looking for in a position?

-What can you contribute to this company?

-Are you willing to travel?

-What are you looking for in your next job?  What is important to you?

-What are your goals for the next five/ten years?

-How do you plan to achieve those goals?

-What are your salary requirements – both short-term and long-term?

-Tell me about when and where you have done this type of work in the past.

-If you have one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?

-How do you take advantage of your strengths?  How do you compensate for your weaknesses?

-What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people?

-Tell me about a work incident in which you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downsize.

-When you make an important business decision and someone challenges it, how do you handle the situation?

-Describe a time when you were asked to do something you weren’t trained to do.  How did you handle it?

-What is your greatest fear about this opportunity?                                            

-What qualities in your coworkers bother you the most?  What about them do you appreciate the most?

-Tell me about one accomplishment of which you are most proud?

-What is one thing that you would like to do better?  What is your plan for improving?

-What kind of grant writing experience do you have?                            

--What sets you apart from others?

-What part of your current job are you the most comfortable with?

-What are your strong points and how have they helped you succeed?

-What about yourself would you like to improve?

-How does your experience qualify you for this job?

-Why do you want to leave your current job?

-In areas where your experience falls short for this job, what steps will you take to make up for this shortfall? 

-How do you decide what assignments to delegate to your staff?

-Under what circumstances may a person decide to delegate upward to their supervisor?

-Cost reduction is often associated with budget reductions.  What are some positive means of reducing costs?

-A subordinate supervisor directs an employee to correct a potentially unsafe action.  The employee refuses.  What is your direction to the supervisor?

-Another supervisor has told you that one of your subordinate supervisors made a sexually-oriented comment to a new employee.  What course of action will you take?

-Two employees come to you about a verbal disagreement.  One says the incident happened one way, and the other employee has a different story.  There are no other witnesses.  What will you do?   


Remember….Asking a question after the interview could be important enough to land the job!   Deciding factors are very important. Do your homework and be prepared!  Following are possible questions you can ask the interviewer:


-Could you please describe a typical day on the job?

-Which duties are the most important for this job?

-How will I be trained and introduced to this job?

-Can you provide me with a complete job description?

-How is this job important to the company and how does it contribute?

-How many people will I be working with in my area?

-Who are the people I would be working with and what do they do?

-What is the most important thing for a new employee to learn?

-How will I get feedback on my job performance?

-Who will I directly report to?

-Has the company had any layoffs in the past few years? And how long did they last?

-Are the annual sales for this company increasing?

-What could I say to you to offer me this job?

-Why is this position vacant?


***Last, but certainly not least, pray and ask for God’s intervention in what you do and say. Ask God to  lead you by His Holy Spirit.  He is always there and cares for you.   For help with writing a resume, contact Sue Evans at

Sample Resume:    



City OH Zip Code

(937) 900-9000


JOB OBJECTIVE: Seeking an entry-level position where my abilities and work experience can be utilized to enhance the growth of your company and where growth and promotion are encouraged.




TURNING POINT APPLIED TRAINING CENTER, INC.                              Hillsboro, OH

ASSEMBLER                                                                                             00/00 to Present

Ø  Assemble bobbins with clips for local companies

Ø  Package product for shipping on another line

Ø  Send to inspection before shipping


SELF-EMPLOYED                                                                                   West Union, OH

HOMEMAKER/CHILDCARE PROVIDER                                                  00/00 to Present

Ø  Provide a positive environment for children; prepare and serve nutritious meals

Ø  Assist children in daily activities such as dressing and bathing; accompany children on walks and other outings; monitor play activities; assist with conflict resolution when needed; participate in enrichment activities such as reading or playing games

Ø  Purchase food and household supplies; maintain neat and clean home environment including wash and fold clothing, dust furniture, sweep and mop floors, clean and disinfect bathrooms, mow lawn and maintain landscaping

Ø  Plan social activities with other families and friends; schedule appointments; provide transportation for family to and from appointments

Ø  Maintain budget of household income


WAL*MART SUPERCENTER                                                                      Hillsboro, OH

CASHIER                                                                                                       00/00 to 00/00

Ø  Operated cash register to itemize and total purchases; reviewed price sheets to note price changes in sale items

Ø  Collected money and made change; collected cash, checks, WIC vouchers, and food stamps; bagged merchandise; handled customers’ complaints

Ø  Assisted customers in exchanges, made refunds, and issued receipts




SOUTHERN STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE                                              Hillsboro, OH

Educational Goal:  Associate of Arts and Science Degree                               00/00 to 00/00


Your Place” for the Adult Learner Certificate of Completion:

*      Psychology 115 - Career Development & Employability

*     Sociology 210 - Personal Development


NORTH ADAMS HIGH SCHOOL; Diploma                                                    Seaman, OH 



-Have a great attitude!

-Do your job!

-Have personal job performance goals!

-Be on time!

-Don’t miss work!

-Call if you will be late or absent!

-Have a positive support system!

-Be dependable!

-Be responsible!

-Look for new challenges!

-Get over past job experiences that were negative!

-Don’t gossip!

-Stay away from trouble employees!

-Dress for the job, if not better!

-No workplace romances!

-Stay off the telephone, cell phones, personal e-mails, IPod, and Internet sites not related to business!

-Take appointed breaks and lunches!

-Find a mentor to show you the ropes!

-Keep your personal problems at home!

-Be thankful for your job, and do not take it for granted!


Career Pathways:


Job Future:




National Center for Educational Statistics:




Occupational Handbook:


Ohio Board of Regents:


Ohio Learning Network:


US Department of Labor:



*      Basic Skills such as reading, math, and writing


*      Problem Solving Skills


*      Personal Qualities


BIOS OF COAUTHORS of "Your Place" for the Adult Learner and the Your Place” Facilitator’s Manual. 


Rhonda Fannin, Consultant/Instructor/ Coauthor, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Ohio University and a Master Degree in Educational Leadership.  She has taught over 15 years and is certified in the Career Pathways, Framework for Understanding Poverty, and E4me, a free on-line class. 


Sue Evans, Director/ Instructor/ Coauthor, has a Bachelor of Science Degree, with a major in Organizational Manage-ment.  Sue has worked with single parents and displaced homemakers for over 20 years.  She is qualified to administer Myers Briggs Type Indicator and uses it with the career assessments to identify career paths for the participants.  She also compiled Broken Wings Fly and Broken Wings Fly Again, filled with poems, short stories, and successes from past participants during the last 20 years.


The mother-daughter team have presented the “Your Place” for the Adult Learner curriculum in 8 states, and 131 programs have purchased the books.


They have both attended a Sabbath-keeping Church of God since August of 1968.  If you are interested in having them present a seminar in your area, please contact Rhonda Fannin or Sue Evans at (937) 393-3431 or e-mail them at or