One of the most useful tools in NCWorks Online for both job-seekers and employers is also one of the most neglected: the background section of an individual’s personal profile.
This is the place where you can really set yourself apart from the competition by listing your employment and training; occupational licenses and certificates; employment history; job skills; and the tools and technology in which you’re experienced. Once you’ve keyed in the information, a tool called the Background Wizard will automatically populate any new resumes and online job applications with all of that juicy data.
(Note to job-seekers: When creating a new resume, make sure you click on “Allow employers to view my resume online,” located beneath the Resume Name box. Otherwise, all the time you spent filling in your background information will be for nothing!)
Most importantly, all that data becomes accessible to potential employers searching for qualified candidates.
As with every aspect of NCWorks Online, the background section is very comprehensive. When you select the Job Skills category in the background section of your profile, 14 separate categories, such as Management and Office Services, General Skills, Computers and Mathematics and Skilled Trades, pop up.
Each category contains a lengthy list of proficiencies associated with that area of expertise and most break down even further into sub-categories. For example, clicking on Management and Office Services pulls up skill-sets divided into human resources, managerial and purchasing and operations, to name just a few.
Under the Tools & Technology header in the background section, you can add tools and technology by occupation.
For employers, access to your background information as they’re scanning potential candidates is often the difference between moving you on to the next round of screening or eliminating you entirely.
“We often hear from employers that completed background information is the number-one determining factor in candidate selection,” says Ron Eubanks, manager of the NCWorks Career Center at 5601 Executive Center Drive. “And the most frequent complaint we get from employers is that job-seekers don’t fill in their background information.”
NCWorks Online also gives employers quick, quantitative facts about your suitability by providing the percentage of skills, tools and technology you match for any posted job. An employer can also set a Resume Search by Skills filter that extracts only those individuals who possess the required skills by a pre-determined match ratio (usually 75, 50 or 25 percent).
Conversely, you can use this same feature to determine how suitable you are for any position posted.
Eubanks encourages job-seekers to stay active in NCWorks Online and keep profile and background updated. “Your personal information should always be up-to-date, as should your resume, job skills, tools and technology,” he says. “Whether you change your email address, get a new temp job or learn Microsoft Office – all of that should be included.”
Another reason to stay active in NCWorks Online is that if you don’t log in to your account within a 90-day period, your profile becomes inactive. “That means your resume is no longer accessible to employers searching for candidates and all the background information you provided has been erased,” says Eubanks.
To make the system work for you, you have to work the system: the more you put into your personal profile, the more you’ll get out of it in the form of increased “bites” from employers.
(And employers, searching for resumes based on skills, tools and technology means more targeted results and less time wasted for you.)
Learn how to use NCWorks Online by watching video tutorials! Or register to attend our “Navigating NCWorks Online to Your Advantage” workshop (check the events calendar on NCWorks Online). You can also get assistance from any of our staff in the Resource Centers of the three Charlotte NCWorks Career Centers.
Jean-Chris Miller is the business services programs specialist at Charlotte Works, where she has worked since June 2013. Prior to this role, she served as the Resource Center associate at the NCWorks Career Center at W. Morehead Street, where she assisted job-seeking clients in navigating NCWorks Online and created the precursor to the current NCWorks Online user workshop. Today, she assists employers with training grants and using the tools in NCWorks Online to the fullest advantage. She also serves as coordinator and facilitator for the Governor’s Rapid Response program in Mecklenburg County. Before joining Charlotte Works, Miller spent 20 years as creative director for Art & Ink/Outlaw Biker Publications. She is the author of “The Body Art Book” and the recipient of a lifetime recognition award from the National Tattoo Association.