Using the Web to Advance Your Career

The Internet has become an invaluable tool for job seekers, and even for people content where they are but curious about other opportunities.  

Let me walk you through several Internet tools to use to your advantage.

Major job boards – These are websites that post job openings across many industries and locations.  Here is a list of the 15 most popular job boards of this kind.

Niche job boards – Then there are websites that specialize in posting openings for specific industries, geographic areas or demographic groups.  Here are some examples:

Social Media – You can find jobs on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Publix uses all three to post openings and offer career advice.

Search Engines – Many employers are using strategies that allow you to find their job postings by using keywords on a search engine.  For example, if you typed “Industrial Maintenance Jobs in Tampa” into Google, you would see our openings on the second page.  You may not have even thought about Publix being a company that needs a lot of people in that field. 

Career advice – There is a wide variety of career advice on the web, helping you with resume preparation, interview tips, and salary negotiation.  This is one of the best sites to visit, but there are many others.

Company Research – Last but not least, the web is a great place to look for companies that might be a good fit for your career. 

  • Every year, FORTUNE magazine lists the 100 Best Places to Work.  Here is this year’s list. 
  • This site provides all kinds of information about employers
  • Use LinkedIn to see if you have any connections at the company you are researching.  Your connections may provide valuable behind-the-scenes information.

Twenty-five years ago, job seekers didn’t have all of this information at their fingertips.  Don’t make a decision as important as where you spend hours of your life (at work) without doing your homework on the web.

Which Publix stores are hiring right now?

This is a question we hear daily, and for good reason.  When people want to work in our stores, they want to know where and what the openings are.

The most critical openings are posted on our Careers website .

They are also posted on our Careers Facebook page .

These are usually positions that require some experience in cake decorating, meat cutting, baking or food preparation.  Right now we have 65 positions on our Critical Openings list.  They include:

  • Bakers
  • Cake Decorators
  • Deli Clerks
  • Grocery Clerks
  • Meat Clerks
  • Meat Cutters
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Wine Specialists

Since we have more than 1,000 stores, there are many more openings than the ones we publish on the Critical Openings list.   Why aren’t all of them listed there?  Here’s why:  They change constantly – too fast for us to capture and publish before they are filled.  When Store Managers need help finding applicants for a certain position, they alert our recruiters and we post the information on our Critical Openings list.  But when Store Managers have a lot of active applications for an opening, they move quickly to interview and hire the best candidates.

So if you’re looking for an opportunity to work at a Publix store, here is my advice:

  • Go to the Job Application Center kiosk in the Publix store where you most want to work.   You will need 30-40 minutes to complete the application process.  The JAC, as we call it, is usually at the front of the store.  If you can’t find it, any store associate can show you where it is.
  • After applying, go to the Customer Service desk and ask to speak with a manager.  Then briefly explain why you would make a great Publix associate.  Ask what openings there are in the store, but please know that not every manager will know about every opening in the store.  If you want to, go speak to the manager in the department where you most want to work.
  • Your application can be seen at other Publix stores in the area.  So feel free to stop by some of those stores to talk with managers there about your interest in working for our company.
  • You will only be called if a manager wants to interview you.  We receive nearly 2 million applications per year for about 50,000 openings, so we unfortunately can’t call everyone.

Yes, it takes some initiative to get noticed.  And even that doesn’t guarantee an interview.  But if you want to work for one of the best companies in the world, I believe you will consider these steps well worth the effort.

36 Telephone Etiquette Tips

Most of us use a telephone in the course of our work. Here is some great advice I picked up at a workforce development conference on how to excel at using this device to communicate with colleagues, clients and customers.

Before you answer, be prepared (this includes knowing how to use the phone/system features):
1. Turn away from your computer, desk or other work.
2. Have pens, pencils and notepaper handy.

Answering the phone:
3. Answer calls promptly, by the second or third ring.
4. Smile as you pick up the phone.
5. Assume your “telephone” voice, controlling your volume and speed.
6. Project a tone that is enthusiastic, natural, attentive and respectful.
7. Greet the caller and identify yourself and your company / department / unit.
8. Ask, “To whom am I speaking?”
9. Ask, “How may I help you?”

In the Course of the Conversation:
10. Focus your entire attention on the caller.
11. Enunciate /articulate clearly. Speak distinctly.
12. Use Plain English and avoid unnecessary jargon and acronyms.
13. Use action specific words and directions.
14. Use the caller’s name during the conversation.
15. Always speak calmly and choose your words naturally.
16. Use all of your listening skills:

a. Focus your full attention on the caller and the conversation.
b. Listen “between” the words.
c. Use reflective/active listening to clarify and check for understanding.

17. If there is a problem, project a tone that is concerned, empathetic, and apologetic.
18. Avoid the Five forbidden Phrases.

a. “I don’t know”. Instead say: “That is a good question; let me find out for you” or offer to connect the caller with someone who could provide the answer. If a call involves some research, assure the person that you will call back by a specific time. If you do not have an answer by the deadline, call back to say, “I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m still researching it.” There is no excuse for not returning calls.
b. “I/we can’t do that.” Instead say: “This is what I/we can do.”
c. “You’ll have to” Instead say: “You will need to” or “I need you to” “Here’s how we can help you.”
d. “Just a second” Instead say: Give a more honest estimate of how long it will take you and/or let them know what you are doing.
e. “No” Instead say: “find a way to state the situation positively.

 19. Use “LEAPS” with the emotional caller to vent.

Listen; allow the caller to vent
Empathize; acknowledge the person’s feeling
Apologize when appropriate, even if the problem is not your fault, you can say, “I am really sorry this has happened” and mean it.
P (Be) Positive
Solve; suggest/generate solutions that you can both agree on and/or ask what you can do to help and, if reasonable, do it! If not, find a compromise.

Concluding the Call:
20. End the conversation with agreement on what is to happen next; if you are to follow-up, do so immediately.
21. Thank the caller for calling; invite the caller to call again.

Transferring Calls:
22. Transfer ONLY when necessary; get the information yourself.
23. If you must transfer, avoid the use of the word “transfer.” Say instead: “I am going to connect you with”.
24. Explain why you are “transferring” the call.
25. Give the caller the person’s name and direct number.
26. Stay on the line and introduce the caller.

Taking Messages:
27. Identify yourself and for whom you are answering the phone.
28. Practice political sensitivity.
29. Indicate the period of time the person will be unavailable.
30. Write down all the important information given.

a. The name of the caller. Ask for spelling if unclear.
b. The (correct) telephone number of the caller.
c. The massage. Ask for clarification if necessary.

31. Read back what you’ve written to be sure you’ve understood the message correctly.
32. Always assure the person that you will deliver the message promptly.
33. Deliver the message in a timely fashion.

Never, Never, NEVER

34. Eat, drink or chew gum while on the phone.
35. Leave an open line:

a. Place the caller on hold
b. check back with the caller frequently: every 30 – 45 seconds.

ALWAYS:
36. Put a smile in your telephone voice and let your personality shine!