Articles
By Louis Altazan
Published: June 10, 2009
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Truly great places of employment may not be abundant, but they do exist. Unfortunately [for interested applicants] great places of employment are often fully staffed and sometimes have a waiting list of job applicants. Such places normally go far above and beyond the norm to attract the best employees. A few of the benefits better companies offer might include:

1.) Wages that are consistent and way above average.

2.) A good benefit package.

3.) Liberal paid time off, holidays and vacation.

4.) Good management that allows a tech to use their skills.

5.) Paid training and payment for time spent training, to keep skills current.

6.) An opportunity to gain training in different fields.

7.) Opportunity for advancement, within the company.

8.) An enjoyable work environment, with a professional staff.

9.) Financial security, a place that can honor itís commitments.

Such places have done their home-work and tend to attract the best applicants. So how might a qualified technician "hedge their bet," or get noticed by such a company? The first step for an employee would be to locate such a company. Great companies rarely run help wanted ads, they normally donít need to. It is always easiest to find a job while still employed. Looking for a great employer should be an ongoing effort, not something to start when unemployed.

Research:

A perspective employee might wish to be aware of the market. Conversations with outside part salesmen and tool salesmen can be a good start. Both of these people interact with shops daily and often have a good perspective. Being an outgoing person is a big plus. In casual conversations, mentioning that you are an automotive technician can bring a great deal of information. Clients of the best shops are often some of its best sales people. A shop with such clients is likely to be a desirable work place.

Keeping a list of prospective shops in an area is also helpful. Driving by a perspective shop can be very revealing.

A successful shop is normally pretty obvious. Listening to a shopís advertising can also tell a lot about the organization. Does their message match your feelings about the trade? Do they have a message at all? Is the company in a growth mode or static with regard to growth?

Visiting the website of a prospective shop might provide insight. Reading what is written, as well as the way it is written provides a view into the thinking of the business philosophy. If the perspective of the shop matches your own, chances are good you will be happy with the company.

Speaking with current employees of a company is also quite revealing. When looking for a great employer, attending training classes is quite valuable. Not only does current training look very good on a resume, it provides an opportunity to speak with other techs about their employers.

Making yourself known:

I have been an employer since 1974. I receive a good deal of job applications annually. Many never make it past the application stage. A person that seems interested in my business gets my attention. Stopping in with a professional resume helps, but calling and asking for an appointment puts an applicant ahead of the rest, in my mind.

After setting an appointment being there ahead of time and prepared [pen and notebook for notes] makes an excellent impression. A well mannered applicant is also very impressive. Employers realize that clients will interact with their employees. A person who is courteous and speaks well is a huge plus.

Answering questions completely and honestly is a must, any decent employer will verify an application. Being prepared with answers for any negatives can greatly minimize their effect. Good managers are always looking out for their companies. They ask open ended questions and listen to what is said and the way it is said.

As an employer I am look strongly at past employment history. Several jobs in a short time alerts me to a possible problem. I am also looking for skills, not only technical, but problem solving skills. Attitude and outlook are also of major importance to me as an employer. I think a person trying to find a superior position is admirable, but speaking badly about past employers is not attractive. I listen for phrases like "us" and "we" when speaking about a current job. To me this indicates the person feels they fit in or are part of a team. Terms like "they" or "them" indicate the opposite to me.

Persistence:

Persistence is possibly the best trait an employee may have. Good employers often give consideration to someone that really wants the job, all things being equal. I may not have an opening at the time, but a persistent person is for more likely to get a call when I do. Staying in touch and keeping the perspective employer advised of changes can be very beneficial. Additional certifications and training classes completed, show an employer the applicant is progressing in their career.

Job openings do not come available everyday in the best companies, it may take time. Being patient, and keeping your name in front of perspective employers can pay off.



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