Coppinger: Tips for finding a job

I had a long conversation with a friend who is unable to find employment despite the multitude of jobs available.

She is not the first to seek out some advice in the past couple of weeks so I will put this out there in hopes it helps someone.

When I am looking for candidates and conducting interviews, I am looking for a “good fit” for our office.

First and foremost, I won't hire anyone that is negative. That upsets the current staff and I don't want to deal with it. Do not bad mouth current or past employer or coworkers during the interview. When you do, you are not telling the interviewer anything about your previous employment – you are speaking volumes about yourself though, and it is a deal-breaker.

Also, I view the application as your best effort to sell yourself. If you misspell words, use poor grammar and especially when you even misspell your own name, those are instant rejects for me. Have someone proof it for you.

Take the time to truly document your skills and experience. These are the tools used to get you in for an interview and it is shocking how many times, after a candidate is screened out, they call and explain they had more experience but just didn't include it on the application. Too bad, too late.

I have had multiple candidates that are equally qualified for a position and I always select the one I feel will be a team player, with a positive, “can-do” attitude.

With the many job opportunities available right now, any serious candidate should find a job. I advise people to take what they can to get a foot in the door. If you are good, you will promote quickly. Don't wait to try to start at the very top. I know staff that took entry-level positions to start and worked their way up to management positions within two years.

I hope this can help those that are struggling.

Jan Coppinger is the administrator for Lake County Special Districts, headquartered in Lakeport, California.