Bellevue College Workforce Education offered several free career boot camps over two days and started on Monday, June 20. In several workshops focusing on topics such as job interviews, participants learned the essentials needed to successfully start a career. “The boot camp was designed to get people ready to go back to work as soon as possible,” stated Employment Program Research Coordinator Chinazom Oleru.
Throughout the boot camps participants got involved in workshops for three hours per day, either in the morning or in the afternoon. According to Oleru, the boot camps were attended by nine participants who came for a variety of reasons. “We have students that came here because they were looking for a job and were referred by someone from the department or saw a flyer on campus,” Oleru explained. According to her, other participants “had just graduated or were getting ready to do so.” Apart from Bellevue College students, the career boot camps were also open to community members looking for other resources to get active in their job search.
Workshops covered topics such as resume writing, cover letters, interview techniques as well as social media and were aimed at a broad audience possibly interested in diverse job fields. “It’s not restricted to a certain industry, but designed to be the first point in the job search,” said Oleru. Resume writing, for example, is a skill necessary for any kind of job application she explained and added that many participants had never written a resume before. Others haven’t written one for longer periods of time. In their case, “the rules have changed,” Oleru said. “The workshops are really just designed to get them comfortable.” In the resume workshop, the group first discussed different types of resumes, what they are used for and who they would appeal to. “Then, we talk about different pieces of the resume, like your contact information and your work experience,” described Oleru. Together, the group then came up with the best ways to create a convincing resume.
To find out whether the workshops are helpful to participants, everyone had to take a quiz which tested their existing knowledge before the workshop started. At the end, they will then take another quiz to determine if and what they learned. “I think that they definitely did very well,” Oleru stated when asked for an estimate about the success of the boot camps.
The Bellevue College Workforce Education has been offering similar workshops for students since October 2015. In order to suit people’s various needs and time schedules they will be offering another career boot camp consisting of two weekly sessions over three weeks starting on July 19. “We will have some of the same topics like interviewing but also include social media and networking,” stated Oleru.