industry and employment
This page presents a variety of information about the computer and electronics industries, and provides hints and suggestions on finding employment. Success in finding the right job includes being prepared personally as well as having a good technical background. Here are some ideas to consider when job-hunting.
Complete your certificate or Associate in Arts/Science degree.
Completion of a certificate or degree indicates that you have what it takes to finish what you have started. It says to the prospective employer that you can be given a task, can follow through on accomplishing that task, and that you can bring the task to a proper and complete end. It also indicates that you have taken and completed a recommended course of study in a particular subject.
Our advisors tell us that in addition to being technically sound, prospective employees need certain personal qualifications to be considered. Most jobs require that you work alone a lot of the time with a minimum of supervision. Your employer relies on you to do your assigned tasks with as much skill as you can, and to complete the work with excellence. Accordingly, the advisors say that prospective employees need to be honest in dealings with people and the company; to have integrity in what they do, and in dealing with people; to have "people skills" including the ability to communicate well both orally and in writing; and to represent the company to its customers and clients in an professional, honest, and appropriate manner.Do your homework about the company to which you apply and the job you wish to have.
Before you go for an interview, get to know about the company to which you are applying. What products do they make? What services do they offer? How big are they? There is nothing worse than an interview that starts off with the question "What type of job are you looking for?" that is answered with "I don' t know, what do you have?". Familiarize yourself with the products the company makes, and be up to date - if they have always built PC's but have recently brought out a line of printers, be aware of this and indicate that you know what the company is doing. If they offer services, what kind are they? Who are their customers?
Ask yourself, "How do I fit in at ABC company?". What are my strengths technically and personally? What type of job can I do well that they would want me to do for them?
When you apply for the job or appear for an interview, have an up-to-date resume ready. See our "How to Prepare a Resume" link for details. This should be attached to any application or paperwork you submit.
Look good at the interview.
Interviews provide the employer with a lot of information about you in a hurry. Your appearance, manner of speaking, oral communication, and overall impression will be closely observed. Dress appropriately to the nature of the job. Have any paperwork or resume immediately available with you. Show up on time. Be prepared to tell them about yourself, your strengths, the type of job in which you are interested, etc. Be honest - if they ask you about something technically about which you have little knowledge, admit this but follow it up with "...but I'm willing to learn all about it". Show interest in the moment, the job, and the company. Be positive and sell yourself.
Follow up after the interview.
Unless you have been rejected by the interviewer immediately, follow up with a letter, email, or telephone call to show that you are still interested and that you feel you would be an asset to the company. Something this simple can confirm that you are really the person for the job, and get you an offer.
A resume is a document that lists in a short form all of your educational and professional qualifications for a particular position. It includes a list of all the schools above high school that you have attended and a list of all the jobs you have held or at which you are currently working. Here are a few items to consider when preparing a resume.
Name and Address Information
Start with a listing of your name and current address, plus telephone number and a reliable e-mail address that you check frequently. If they can't find you, they won't hire you.
Educational History, Most Recent First
List all the schools you have attended starting with the most recent. List the degrees you have received, plus any awards, certificates, or other recognition that confirms your expertise. Indicate your major, and explain this briefly if it isn't commont. Don't include high school. Make sure you include LACC.
Work History, Most Recent First
List all the jobs you have had that would be applicable to the job for which you are applying. If you have not yet worked in the industry, list all the jobs where you have performed regular assigned duties or done any sort of managment. Elaborate briefly on your job duties and responsbilities, particularly if they were significant or important. Even if you haven't worked in the industry yet, you want the employer to feel that you are a mature, responsible worker that can be given responsiblity and on which they can rely for excellent work.
You can list references here that are willing to vouch for your technical skills or how they think you will get along with people in the work environment. Include their name, title, and email or telephone number. Or, you can simply state "References available on request". If you get a request for these, send a list very quickly to the employer. You should ask the people if they are willing to be reference first before listing them. If they say "No", don't be offended. Some people are not comfortable having their name in a place with which they are not familiar.
Other Personal Data
In the old days, it was customary for a resume to include personal information such as marital status, state of your health, number of kids, hobbies and outside interests, etc. This is no longer needed, and you should not list anything like these on the document. Further, the prospective employer by law should not ask you these kinds of questions - his/her decision of whether to hire you must be based on technical skill and workplace personal skills that can be determined from the interview (such as grooming, sense of duty, etc.).
Format for the Document
The approach these days is to keep the document short, one or two pages unless you have an extensive school or work background. The document should be neatly typed with no grammatical or spelling errors. Don't get fancy with fonts, boldface, or other artsy embellishments - just good clean typing on quality paper. Submit it in a clean envelope. Bring a copy with to the interview even if you have already sent one in with an application. Keep the document updated so that you don't have to try to remember all that stuff all at once.
What is cooperative education and how does it work?
Cooperative Education is a program in which you can receive college credit for working in a job that is related to your field of study. Examples are things like Computer Technology student working at a computer store or in the computer department at Good Guys. The student earns units for a number of hours worked. The student must attend two or three class meetings throughout the semester, typically offered on Saturday.
How do I find out more and get enrolled?
Contact Devon Werble at (323) 953-4000, extension 2236.
This area is intended to keep you up to date on what's happening in the industry, both big picture and local. We will post anything that might assist you in seeking employment, and any rumors from good sources that will give a hint of where to look and what part of the industry is in need of help.
If we get word of any hot job openings, we will list them here.