IMPACTdmv kicked off the new year by assisting 50 Suitland High School students with job hunting, resume building, and interviewing.
On January 12, 2018, IMPACTdmv held its first Career Prep Workshop at Suitland High School in Suitland, MD.
Youth in Maryland are having a hard time joining the workforce. The youth unemployment rate in Maryland (16%) is three times worse than the adult unemployment rate (4%).* For those young people who are seeking employment, skill disparities, an inadequate educational background, and personal barriers are all factors that prevent young people from obtaining employment. In an effort to help young people prepare to join the workforce, IMPACTdmv developed the IMPACTdmv Career Prep Workshop—a program that gives students a clear view of the hiring process to ensure they are well prepared to secure their desired job.
Knowledgeable IMPACT Coaches from various professions gathered with students to engage their questions and concerns about career readiness. The group was split into two sessions, one covered writing presentation and the other interview preparation. The workshop provided them with practical steps to reaching their workforce goals.
Volunteers advised students about the “do’s and don’ts” of professional writing. The resume writing portion explained topics such as image control on social media and protocols for building a resume and cover letter. Students constructed their resume using a short description of their work history and relevant coursework. The cover letter exercise also encouraged students to write objectively about their work and school experiences. Volunteers helped students through frustration and provided their professional expertise.
The interview preparation portion described the process from phone to in-person interviews. The teenagers listened in on best practices when on a phone interview such as being in a quiet place and answering questions effectively. For the in-person interview stage, students discovered what to wear, inviting body language, negotiation strategies, and personal discretion. IMPACT volunteers answered questions and walked students through their personal examples. Towards the end, students participated in mock interviews with career coaches.
Volunteers for this workshop are from various backgrounds. Each person has a unique story that complements IMPACTdmv’s mission to improve the lives of youth in their transition to adulthood. If you are interested in hosting an IMPACT Career Prep workshop at your school, becoming a Career Prep Coach, or partnering/sponsoring with us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary 2016 estimates.