at Durham Tech
|This brochure is also available in an Adobe
Acrobat file (best for printing).
Today’s employers have fewer spots to fill and more prospective
employees available. Being workplace-ready can help you get and
keep the job you want.
This pamphlet was made possible by a grant from the Carl D. Perkins
Vocational and Technological Act of 1998.
are what make the difference between a good employee and
a great employee."
Public Information Director,
Wake County Government
|What does it mean to be "workplace-ready?"
|When you start a new job, you can’t be expected
to know everything right away. Employers expect to orient new
hires to the specific rules and procedures they will use in their
new positions and to help build their knowledge of job-specific
information. However, employers also expect new hires to possess
an underlying foundation of basic skills and qualities on which
to build new knowledge. Being “workplace-ready” means that you,
as a prospective employee, possess the basic skills and qualities
that employers are looking for — the skills and qualities that
will make you both highly trainable and highly productive. Workplace-ready
employees are a good investment for employers.
|What skills and qualities are employers looking
Studies and surveys conducted over the last decade show that
employers are looking for the following basic skills and qualities
in their new hires:
- Oral Communication Skills – Employers expect entry-level
employees to speak clearly and politely on the telephone, in
dealing with customers, and in dealing with other employees.
They also expect employees to present verbal information and
ideas in a logical, concise, and accurate fashion.
- Written Communication Skills – Employers expect entry-level
employees to be able to write coherent email messages, memoranda,
instructions, evaluations, incident reports, and even proposals.
They expect accurate grammar and spelling, as well as logical
ordering and clear transmission of information.
- Interpersonal Skills – Employers expect their new hires to
work well in teams by being cooperative, supportive, and communicative.
- Personal Qualities – Employers desire entry-level employees
who demonstrate promptness, respect, responsibility, honesty,
sociability, self-management, self-esteem, and basic etiquette.
- Other Basic Skills – Entry-level employees need to be able
to read and think critically, interpret oral and written instructions
accurately, and use basic technology effectively (word processing
software, email, and the Internet).
|Why do YOU need to be workplace-ready?
|Being workplace-ready enhances your chances of getting, keeping,
and advancing in a job that you want. It shows that you are willing
to put effort into your work, eager to learn, and ready to represent
your new employer well.
|What can you do to improve your workplace-readiness?
- Enhance your oral communication skills by taking a public
- Improve your written communication skills, as well as basic
math and computer skills, by taking classes and working closely
- Practice positive personal qualities such as promptness,
basic etiquette, making eye contact, speaking clearly, and following
directions — in class and in every life situation.
- Obtain assistance with résumé preparation and practice interviews.
- Conduct general research on the company for which you are
interviewing so that you are knowledgeable and appear interested.
- Put your “best foot forward” during your interview.
“Sloppy looks mean sloppy
William Scudder, Owner,
Blue Door Designs
“On time every day shows
they’re willing to try.”
Bryant Durham Electric
|What resources are available at Durham Tech?
Durham Tech offers a number of services to help students, alumni,
and community members obtain the jobs they want — and advance
in their new workplaces. The following are a few of the key services
available through Durham Tech:
- Career Services – Students and alumni can obtain free assistance
with job searches, résumé preparation, and interviewing skills.
Contact Career Services for an appointment at 919-536-7207.
- Human Resources Development Program – Members of the community
can take advantage of job-seeking workshops, assistance with
résumé preparation, practice interviews with area employers,
and workshops to improve basic skills. Contact the HRD Program
at 919-536-7222, ext. 4000. HRD services are available at a nominal cost;
some community members may qualify for subsidized participation.
- Campus Learning Center – Students can obtain free assistance
with their writing, reading, and math skills on the lower level
of the Educational Resources Center (library). Contact the CLC
- Durham Tech Classes and Instructors – Instruction and faculty
at Durham Tech are the most important resources available to
help you succeed in the job market. Call 919-536-7205 for details
about career programs.
The Teaching-Learning Center at Durham Tech
would like to thank Dr. Nancy Martin-Young from Wake Technical
Community College for sharing her research on what area employers
expect from entry-level employees. The skills and qualities listed
here are culled from her research results.