How to Manage the Work-Life Balance of a Job Search

Work-Life Balance

Looking for a job is a full-time job. A few weeks ago we received an email from a job seeker who took this statement to heart. His feedback on the job search process gives an insider’s perspective on how to manage the “work-life balance” of looking for a job.

Keep reading to learn some of his tips to help you manage your own job search.

David’s Story

“Dear RochesterWorks:

In retrospection, there are definitely some things I would have done a bit differently after knowing what I know now. I am not expert, but I can recall one specific week where I was so busy with interviews and follow ups that I was lucky if I could get in a meal before 5pm. Because of the grueling 4 months of being unemployed that I endured searching for employment and because I know you work with a lot of job seekers, I would like to provide you with some feedback that I would provide to anyone looking for a job:

Phase 1 -Beginning:

1. Take as many classes at RochesterWorks! as possible and as soon as possible.
All of the classes were extremely helpful, but if I had to pick 2 that helped me the most, they would be Right Your Resume and Interviewing: Beyond the Basics. Job Search Management helped especially with the LinkedIn aspect. I also took Negotiating Your Job Offer and Catchy Cover Letters.

2. During this time I would look for jobs and apply, but don’t spend too much time applying for jobs until your resume is completed and has been reviewed by several people.

3. Get on LinkedIn and search for people you know.
Look for family, friends, and colleagues. I would even get out your high school year book and look for former classmates and teachers. Connect with every recruiter you meet or talk to. I took it one step further and connected even with recruiters who asked to connect with me that I did not know. Recruiters are paid to find good talent so this is a great way to try to get jobs to come to you.
I also had my job status set to “Actively Looking” because I was unemployed. I had quite a few people reach out to me asking what I was looking for. All of this will help because you can have conversations with people who are working for a company or doing something you are interested in. (Networking is EXTREMELY important, I had to know someone to get a job and from what I recall most jobs operate off some type of referral).

4. Perfect your resume.


Phase 2 –Kicking it up a notch:

1. Once your resume is perfected and you feel more comfortable with interviewing, get your resume to every single staffing agency you can find.
More and more companies seem to use staffing agencies. I found a lot of Temp-Perm positions. This is great for employers because they get to almost “Try it before you buy it” so to speak. I also found a few direct hire positions through staffing agencies.
Almost all of the interviews I had were because of staffing agencies marketing me to companies. Also, I think that staffing agencies sometimes have a greater understanding of the job market, they can sometimes even market you for positions in which you do not meet certain requirements. For example, one interview I had was for a position in which the job description very clearly mentioned that a bachelor’s degree was required – but I haven’t completed my associates yet.
I also want to include that I applied to the same position at the same company I was hired for when I saw opening a few months prior. I didn’t get an interview until I used the staffing agency.

2. In addition to the staffing agencies, apply to jobs directly.
My favorite sites were the
RochesterWorks! website, Indeed, and CareerBuilder.

3. (Optional) Post your resume on websites like Monster and Career Builder.
Because I did this, I was able to find out that the company I was hired for actually uses 3 different staffing agencies. All were temp to perm, but the salaries differed. You can imagine which one I went with.
The only thing I would warn about doing this is that there are a lot of strange places out there. Make sure you ask questions to anyone who calls you and beware of places that don’t review details (like pay) to you. In my opinion, recruiters should know the pay and some details of the position and when asked should not say things like “Well just come in and talk to the hiring manager”. One company even called me and then emailed me with a gmail account. I was also contacted by a lot of insurance related companies looking for entry level sales people. This is great if you’re interested in sales or insurance, but they don’t tell you that they expect you to actually pay for the training.


Phase 3 – Keeping up with everything:

1. Interviewing tips:
Ask questions, my 2 favorites are:

1)  “In the short amount of time we could get to know each other here today, is there anything that you feel sets me apart from the other candidates that you have already interviewed?”
2) “In the short amount of time we could get to know each other here today, is there any potential weaknesses or concerns you think you might see in me in comparison to the other candidates you have interviewed so far?”
Ask more questions:
Ask for a business card (And then send them a thank you email and a handwritten thank you card)
Ask when to follow up.

2. Keep applying to jobs while interviewing. You don’t have a job offer until you have a job offer.

3. In addition to your work search log, use a calendar like Outlook to keep track of when you have interviews and when you should be following up with employers.
I even used category colors in my outlook so I could easily differentiate what was a phone call I had to make and what was a meeting I needed to go to.

 Thank you so much for all the help you gave me. I really enjoyed meeting you. I hope you have a great summer and good luck!

 Thanks again,


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Top Tips from Verizon Wireless Presentation


Each month RochesterWorks! features a Monroe County employer that is noted for their dedication to recruiting and using RochesterWorks! services. During the month we spotlight their company on our website and give them an opportunity to share tips and information about their business with interested job seekers at our Employer Presentation.

In June we invited Verizon Wireless to be our Employer of the Month. At their presentation representatives from the Human Resources team here in Rochester shared stories, insight, and tips with everyone who attended.

If you missed out on this great event, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered!

Keep reading to find out what we learned.

Top Tips for Your Job Search

  1. Experience is an Advantage
    Don’t negate any of your life experience. Whether it is an internship or volunteer work, experience is experience. Use it to your advantage. If you are transitioning to a new industry explain how it relates to telecommunications and customer service.
  2. Get an Insider’s Perspective
    Research every position you apply for. Get an insider’s perspective on the job and decide if it’s really something you can excel in. Schedule informational interviews, research a company’s website, or connect with someone you know that can help you learn more.
    If you’re interested in working at Verizon Wireless, check us out on social media. We share job previews to give you an idea of why we’re a great company to work for and what it’s like to work for us. Click here to see them now!
  3. Follow Up and Follow Through
    Unless otherwise stated, it’s okay to follow up on your job application after submitting it online. It demonstrates your sincere interest and can help to set you apart as long as you keep in mind that many jobs produce a large volume of applications.
    It’s also very important that you are available. Many times we are unable to contact an applicant due to an inactive phone number or invalid email. Check your voicemail often and reply promptly to invitation and request emails related to your application. It will help us to get you to an interview faster.

Learn about
Verizon Wireless
As the nation’s largest wireless carrier with more than 102 million customers, Verizon Wireless employs 1,300 in the Rochester area through its regional headquarters in Henrietta.

At Verizon Wireless, you will be able to take advantage of in-depth training, excellent benefits, flexible work hours, and work-based incentives. As a global company, the opportunities to learn and grow are endless.

Connecting people and places using state-of-the-art technology, Verizon Wireless is a company of the future. According to one of Verizon’s HR Representatives, “It’s nice to have a company that is ahead of the future. When you work in the future, you have jobs.”

Learn more about why you should work for Verizon Wireless!

How to Apply for Jobs at
Verizon Wireless:

  • Go to to apply for open positions.
    Verizon Wireless is currently hiring for their next training class for Job #360200 starting in August. Visit the website to apply today!
  • Wait for an email invitation to begin the pre-screen process to arrive in 7-10 business days
  • Participate in a pre-screen interview over the phone
  • Schedule and take a computer-based assessment
    Make sure that you note the correct date and time for this test. It’s imperative to your application that you show up.
  • Participate in a follow up phone interview with Human Resource
    This interview is primarily job related. Think about your previous work and relate that to the position you are applying for.
  • Participate in an in-person interview with a supervisor
  • Wait for the final decision from the Human Resources Manager

Do you want to learn more about other local employers?
Click here to sign up for the next Employer Presentation today!

Do you want to participate as one of our “Employers of the Month”?
Click here to learn more and contact our Business Services Team!

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Targeting: the Key to an Efficient Job Search


5 Steps Graduate & Workshop Participant

According to Valerie, the key to a successful job search is targeting—not roles, but organizations where you would be a good fit. Recognizing this fact Valerie came to RochesterWorks! for help. It was here that her job search strategies grew and developed into the efficient methods that landed her an administrative role at the University of Rochester.

How did targeting get her a job? Keep reading to find out.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in being unemployed?
A: My biggest challenge was that I didn’t know how to use my time efficiently to find companies and job openings that would be a good fit for me.

Q: What job search methods did you use?
A: I looked for work using Internet postings, agencies, and networking to target the academic atmosphere. I did not target specific roles, but where I wanted to work. This opened up ideas and new opportunities.

Q: What tips do you have for job seekers to help increase their success and shorten their length of unemployment?
A: Identify companies or organizations where you want to work. Network as much as possible with people in those organizations and check their job postings daily and apply promptly.
Targeting the corporate world is very different from the academic world. Research the companies. Find out where you feel comfortable. Don’t target jobs. Target places where you would be a good fit.
Also, take advantage of one-on-one and group networking with organizations such as PeerNet and The August Group.

Q: How did RochesterWorks! help you in finding your new position?
A: I attended many workshops as well as the 5 Steps to Rapid Employment program. Every time I went to RochesterWorks! I learned at least one new thing that I could apply to my job campaign.
When I first came to RochesterWorks! I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of programs and took everything I could! The staff helped me with my confidence so that I was as prepared as possible to present who and how I can help in the interview. Even if I was not a good fit or get the job I knew I did my best.

Q: How did you find your new position?
A: I had about one month’s notice prior to losing my job at Comforce so I began to target an academic setting where I would be a good fit.

Q: If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently in your job search?
A: I got a slow start with networking, so I would network early and often!

Q: What led to your success?
A: Persistence, along with applying every bit of advice I received along the way, led to my success.

Q: Do you have any other words of advice for job seekers?
A: For your resume, if you are considering looking for work in an academic setting put your education at the top so that they can see that you already have it. Don’t be shy. Be proud of your training!

In general, there are three main things that I learned about job campaigning:
1. Focus! Know where you want to go.
2. Be persistent! Just keep going.
3. Refine! Take every tip and apply it! The last thing may just be something simple to set you apart from the competition.

Click Here For more information about RochesterWorks! and the programs available to you, then visit our Career Center! Our services are free and walk-in’s are welcome. You do not need to be unemployed to participate. You just need to be a RochesterWorks! member.

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Change: A Dead End or a New Opportunity?

Career Change







Technology is society’s most influential catalyst for change.

Hundreds of men and women in our community can attest to the truth of this statement as lay-offs have brought them to a fork in the road where they must choose to either embrace new skills or choose a new direction for their manufacturing career.
If you are at such a fork in the road take heart! The road to learning new skills is not a dead end, but an open door.

Manufacturing is not dead. It has only taken a new form. Specialties in advanced manufacturing such as biomedical, optic, and photonic manufacturing are thriving in our region and in our state.

A recent study analyzing our area’s needs and business climate showed an estimated 26,000 positions in the Rochester area that are unfilled due to a skills gap. Of these positions, CNC Machinists and Manufacturing Technicians ranked among the most common.

To help you bridge this gap, funds have been provided to fuel your education and get you started on the path to a successful career in Advanced Manufacturing.

Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Grant
The Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Grant provides tuition and support services for unemployed adults and recent high school graduates through local community colleges. No experience in manufacturing is required, but an interest in becoming a CNC Machinist, Mechanical Drafter, Electrical Engineer, or Technician is recommended.
For many participants this full-time training opportunity has led to employment even prior to graduation!

Keep reading to learn about one man’s experience with this grant and find out why it’s an opportunity you do not want to miss!

Kirk’s Story
After 20 years of employment Kirk found himself at a fork in the road when he was laid off from his position as a CAD Product Designer. Recognizing that he no longer met the qualifications to continue his career, Kirk decided to finish the degree that he had started many years ago at Monroe Community College in the Advanced Manufacturing program.

We spoke to him about his experience with the grant and the programs. Keep reading to hear what he had to say.

Q: How did you learn about the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Grant?
A: RochesterWorks! Staff members, Bradley Stalker and Ed Taggart, informed me of the opportunity. They were a huge help while I was on the program. They were also flexible and worked with me.

Q: What led you to apply for this grant?
A: The knowledge that I needed an Associate’s degree to gain employment in my profession and the opportunity to achieve that while collecting unemployment benefits.

Q: What were you doing prior to this program?
A: I had been employed by Delphi for almost 20 years before being laid off. Although I had attended college in the past I did not have a degree.

Q: How has the program at Monroe Community College prepared you for your career?
A: It has added technical and theoretical knowledge to my professional experience, making me a more versatile and valuable employee. I also now have the Associates degree in Applied Science in Mechanical Technology that most employers require.

Q: Would you recommend this program to a friend? If so, why?
A: Yes. Jobs are not as plentiful as they once were, and most potential employers are seeking candidates that are well rounded and educated, usually with at least an Associate’s degree being a requirement.

Q: What advice do you have for any one that is considering applying for these programs?
A: If you are unemployed and have the good fortune of qualifying for one of these programs, take advantage of the opportunity right away. It will ultimately lead to more and higher quality employment opportunities, and in many cases can be pursued while collecting unemployment benefits.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: To continue working in the profession that I enjoy and provide for my family.

If you are interested in participating in this program please don’t wait. The deadline for participants is rapidly approaching!

Getting Started!
Register today for a Training Grant Information Session at your nearest Career Center and ask about the Advanced Manufacturing training grant. If you have any questions or need assistance registering please contact RochesterWorks! at (585) 258-3500.

For additional information about the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Grant and the programs that are available please contact Eileen Rucinski at or (315) 789-3131.


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Industry Insights: Professional Office and Business Careers Panel



Whether you are a seasoned professional or a recent graduate this career panel is for you!
A few months ago we invited local professionals to our Career Center for our Professional Office and Business Careers Panel to provide insight and advice for anyone interested getting started or growing in this field.

If you missed out, don’t worry! Click here to watch the video—it is the next best thing!

You Will Learn About:

  • What abilities and qualities make you a good fit for this industry
  • What education or work experience is required
  • How to use transferrable skills to your advantage
  • How to keep your skills up to date
  • Industry trends and hiring patterns
  • Practical job search tips that you can apply today!

Meet Our Panelists
Nathan Williams, Director of Student Accounts, Roberts Wesleyan College
Robert Sihto, SPHR, Manager of Human Resources, Klein Steel Services, Inc.
Sarah Kelch, Controller, ConServe
Tracy Hinkley, Professional Office Careers Instructor, Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES

Check Out Career Opportunities
Click the links below to learn about opportunities at our panelist’s companies.
Roberts Wesleyan College
Klein Steel Services, Inc.
Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES

Click here to watch our Career Panel video now or visit RochesterWorks! on YouTube to check out other video resources to help your job search.

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Top Tips from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Presentation


Each month RochesterWorks! features a Monroe County employer that is noted for their dedication to recruiting and using RochesterWorks! services. During the month we spotlight their company on our website and give them an opportunity to share tips and information about their business with interested job seekers at our Employer Presentation.

In April we invited Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to be our Employer of the Month. At their presentation on April 16th the Talent Acquisition team gave us tips and taught us about Excellus and it’s unique structure as a major nonprofit employer in our area.

Keep reading for some of top tips they shared and register today for more  our next Employer Presentation on May 21st with the University of Rochester!

Top Tips from the Talent Acquisition Team

  1. Do Your Research
    Employers will ask what you know their company. Be prepared and do your research ahead of time. Why would you not know anything about a company you’re applying to? An interview is a two-way conversation. Be prepared to do your share. When it comes time for you to ask questions if they have already answered all of the questions you had prepared, here is a great tip! Re-word your questions to demonstrate clarity, listening skills, and interest. For example, “I had a question about the hours of the position. Earlier you said ____ . Am I understanding that correctly?”
  1. Be Yourself
    In your resume, tell who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and why you should be the top candidate for the job. If you don’t know, think about what set you apart from the people who sat next to you in previous jobs. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and focus on how you can solve their problems with your unique skill set.
  1. Be Consistent
    Make sure that you come across professionally in every area of contact with an employer. If they call you for a phone screen and you are driving or unavailable at that moment, tell them and ask to set up another time to speak. They understand that they are calling out of the blue and appreciate your honesty and initiative to ask.
    Consistency is also important on your resume. For example, if you write “September 2013” for one date, make sure you format it the same for other dates. Always proofread and edit your resume. Your first draft is not going to be perfect so edit, edit, edit, and proofread it carefully.
  1. Communicate Timely
    As you communicate with employers make sure to reiterate your interest in the position and follow up with them in a timely, but realistic manner. Send thank you notes, whether hand written or electronic, no more than 72 hours after your interview and take the time to thank every interviewer individually. Keep in mind that you are dealing with real people. Treat them kindly and be considerate of the fact that many companies today receive dozens of applications for every job opening.
  1. Manage Your Online Presence
    According to April Griffin, Excellus Talent Acquisition Consultant, “The number one way to get a new job is to become a known asset to a company.” One way to do this is through social media. Social media can help you to showcase your value, participate in conversations, associate yourself with new technology, and make yourself accessible to employers. Social media also connects you to job opportunities that you may not see on job boards.

As you make the most of social media here are some tips to help you update your LinkedIn profile:

  • Aim for 100% completion.
  • Include relevant key words that directly relate to your skills.
  • Don’t sterilize your profile! Make it personal and creative.
  • Make sure your photo accurately represents yourself and your personality.
  • Establish your expertise by connecting, participating in groups, and sharing relevant content.

Learn about Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Headquartered in Rochester, NY, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is an affiliate of a parent company that provides health coverage and health care services to the Upstate New York region. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Univera Healthcare, MedAmerica Insurance Company, EBS-RMSCO, Inc., Lifetime Care, Lifetime Health Medical Group, Support Services Alliance, Inc., and The Walker Group are all a part of this large not-for-profit, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies that serves approximately 1.9 million people.

Tips for Applying for Jobs at Excellus:

  • Go to and follow Excellus on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest job opening and career information.
  • Attach a resume to your application and include in the document title your name and the name of the job you are applying for. If you attach a cover letter consider including it in the same document file as your resume. It makes it easier for the Talent Acquisition team to review both at one time.
  • Complete the entire application and apply for each listed job individually.
  • Watch for your confirmation email within 24 hours of applying.

Do you want to learn more about other local employers?
Click here to sign up for the next Employer Presentation today!

Do you want to participate as an Employer?
Click here to learn more and contact our Business Services Team!

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Creativity—the Key to Career Confidence!

Daryl_RochesterWorksDaryl, Job Search Workshop Participant

For working parents, juggling the needs of a family and a career can be complicated. The key to managing this process, as Daryl discovered, is creativity. Taking the time to discover your needs, outline your goals, and proactively prepare to begin your search makes all the difference in the effectiveness and efficiency of your job campaign.

Filling in the gap of self-confidence with workshops and programs, Daryl’s focus and creativity blossomed at RochesterWorks! Today, as a tax preparer at a large accounting firm and an assistant at a local catering company, Daryl manages her life the same way she managed her job search—with creativity and confidence—as she balances the needs of her family with the needs of a career.

Keep Reading to Learn about Daryl’s Experience at RochesterWorks! and Learn Techniques to Inspire Your Own Creativity.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in being unemployed?
A: When I first came to RochesterWorks! it had been nearly 20 years since I had formally looked for work. Knowing that many things have changed since then, I was nervous about the process. I knew that I could do the job. It was a question of getting in the door and being able to sell myself.

Q: What job search methods did you use?
A: Initially, I made a list of about 2 dozen companies to target and scheduled meetings with people to help me better understand my goals. I primarily used the internet and networking for my job search.

Q: What tips do you have for job seekers to help increase their success and shorten their length of unemployment?
A: Network everywhere, but don’t just talk to people in your field. You never know who may know someone that may be able to help. I discovered that a fellow parent at a school open house knew someone at a firm I had applied to. When I followed up, she was happy to forward my resume to her friend, who also talked to me about working there. I did end up working there, and it was an excellent opportunity speaking with her, because my impressions of the people I met at my interview matched her very positive descriptions. Focus on jobs and apply, but be prepared to apply before you send in an application. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Every part of your job search matters. I took the time to make sure that I had answers for any interview questions regarding my resume.

Q: How did RochesterWorks! help you in finding your new position?
A: Where do I start? I can’t believe that there are people who don’t use it or know about RochesterWorks! When I came in I hadn’t conducted a real job search in about 20 years. The staff helped me to fill in the gap of self-confidence that I needed to be prepared for a job search.

I took several workshops including Basic Resume, Resume Review, Right Your Resume, Catchy Cover Letters, Kick Start Your Job Search, and Negotiating Your Job Offer. The resume workshops with Annie Walker were especially invaluable. In every workshop we were asked to give our 45-second commercial. This built my confidence and helped me to practice connecting with people.

The Link Up with LinkedIn workshop at Waring Road was also a big help. Before the workshop I hadn’t started using LinkedIn. Others that had taken it recommended that I familiarize myself with the site and set up a “skeleton” version of my profile before coming to the workshop.

Q: How did you find your new position?
A:  When I first registered as a RochesterWorks! member in September I saw my current position listed on the website. I went right to work attending workshops and when I felt my resume, and myself, were ready, I looked again and was fortunate that it had just been re-posted.

Q: If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently in your job search?
A: Be less nervous! I think I over-prepared for interviews which were actually more welcoming and relaxed than I had expected. I had interviews and offers before I finished my list of target companies. I originally thought that once the resume was done I was ready to go, but applying online and going through the process took time for each company.

Q: What led to your success?
A: The confidence that I developed throughout this process helped me to be successful. I knew that I could do the job, but I needed the confidence to communicate that with employers. With 19 years of experience and my interest in seasonal work turned out to be a rare commodity with 3 interviews landing 3 job offers.

Q: Do you have any other words of advice for job seekers?
A: Use your resume and cover letter to put your best impression out there and network, network, network. Don’t shut doors on yourself and be creative to find what works best for you. Many people assume that you have to work full-time or not at all. If you have special circumstances ask them and see what you get. You may be surprised at their answer.

Click Here For more information about RochesterWorks! and the programs available to you, then visit our Career Center! Our services are free and walk-in’s are welcome. You do not need to be unemployed to participate. You just need to be a RochesterWorks! member.


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