Biz Bits: Job-hunting skills transfer to on-the-job success

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

For those who are looking for employment right now, it doesn't help to know that in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14.8 million job seekers across the nation were doing the same thing. A job search can become overwhelming in the face of rising competition. Before your confidence begins to wane, it can help to remember that the skills applied to a search for employment can strengthen performance on the job. "With a thoughtful approach to finding employment, you can take steps to make yourself stand out from the crowd, plus hone skills that will help you succeed on the job," says Robert Gray, director of Career Services at Brown Mackie College - Northern Kentucky.

- Persistence is key: Rarely does anyone secure a position on the first attempt. "Looking for a job takes persistence. Candidates must look at job opportunities every day. They need to use multiple resources, such as networking, online job boards, professional organizations and social media sites," Gray says. As a skill, persistence applies to success on the job. "People often do not get desired results from the first attempt to solve a problem. They must try again and look for the answer in different places," Gray continues. "Just like using multiple resources for a job search, employees must learn to use multiple resources to solve problems on the job."

- Clear, focused communication is a must: When interviewing, effective oral and written communication skills are a must. "Different companies recruit and interview in different ways. The process often varies from company to company, and can include phone screening, Internet screening, e-mail communications and face-to-face interaction," says Gray." He advises candidates to speak or write clearly and stay focused on the topic. At every step in the process, prospective employers evaluate each candidate's ability to communicate. Once employed, effective communication skills can prove invaluable. "On the job, different employees prefer different forms of communication," Gray says. "It is important to communicate effectively and convey the necessary information whether communicating face to face, over the phone or in writing." 

- There is no substitute for professionalism: Whether an employee or a prospect, it is important to remember that the way people conduct themselves outside of the workplace is a personal reflection on them. "During a job search, most candidates take great care to ensure that they are dressing, communicating and representing themselves professionally," Gray says. "On the job, however, employees sometimes get comfortable in the work environment and become less professional over time. This can lead to a less than professional reputation and hinder future opportunities." Social media Web sites present a new forum to be considered with an eye toward professionalism. Gray advises job candidates and employees alike to remove personal information and never post questionable images or negative information about a coworker, boss or the company. "We've all heard the story about the employee that called in sick and then later the same day posted a smiling photo of him while sitting at a sporting event," Gray says. 


BBB Watch

The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses to beware of a new malicious e-mail that pretends to be from the Better Business Bureau about a complaint filed against the company. The e-mail first came to the BBB's attention on April 12. "This is not the first time that the Better Business Bureau name and logo identification have been used in an attempt to impersonate our organization and legitimize a message, which in fact is a phishing attempt to have people disclose personal information or transmit a potentially harmful virus," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau.

The bogus e-mail that the BBB is warning businesses about claims that the receiving company did not respond to a complaint filed by a Kathleen Hicks (however, other names may be used) and includes links to pages at and where the business can supposedly review the complaint. Because the message is fraudulent, the BBB advises any business that receives this e-mail to take the following steps:

- Do not click on any links or reply to the message

- Forward the message to

- Completely delete the message from your inbox

- Run a full virus scan on your computer if you did click on any links

The List

Here are the world’s richest fictional characters, according to Forbes’ annual list.

1. Carlisle Cullen

2. Scrooge McDuck

3. Richie Rich

4. Tony Stark

5. Jed Clampett

6. Adrian Veidt

7. Bruce Wayne

8. Tooth Fairy

9. Thurston Howell III

10. Sir Topham Hatt

11. Artemis Fowl

12. Montgomery Burns

13. Chuck Bass

14. Jay Gatsby

15. Lucille Bluth

To see the full details, go to

Number to Know

$4.4 billion: Citigroup Inc. recently reported earnings of $4.4 billion in the first-quarter. Last year’s first quarter saw losses of $696 million.

Tech Talk

Video game sales are back up, with March sales seeing an increase of 6 percent. Analysts say sales were helped by the release of “God of War III” and new “Pokemon” games.

GateHouse News Service