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CCCC and Harnett County Public Library partner to sharpen job-hunting skills

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03.12.2015College & CommunityCollege GeneralStudents/Graduates

LILLINGTON - Sign up now and save your seat for Resume Ready and Stress-Less Interviews, two courses offered through Central Carolina Community College's Human Resources Development (HRD) Program in collaboration with the Harnett County Public Library. Taught at the public library by HRD instructors, the courses are part of CCCC's Job Hunt Series, a program designed to sharpen job-hunting skills and help put people to work. Resume Ready is offered March 16-30 and Stress-Less Interviews is offered April 13-22.

Harnett County Public Library Director Patrick Fitzgerald called the partnership between CCCC and the library "a good fit."

"The college offers the instructional skills we need and the library offers the technical support and space in a place the public often comes first to seek job hunting services," Fitzgerald said.

Launched at the library in fall 2014, the Job Hunt Series focuses on computer technology skills such as Internet awareness, computer basics, and applying for jobs online. A two-week course in resume writing features writing tips and learning how to target the resume to a specific job or industry. Students also learn how to send resumes electronically.

Interview skills are addressed in another two-week course. Focusing on the proper way to present one's self in an interview and successful interview techniques, students enrolled in the course practice these skills in a variety of activities, including a mock interview session held with area employers and industry/community leaders. Participating in past mock interview sessions were BB&T Branch Manager Jonathan Weathers; Pat Fitzgerald of Congresswoman Renee Ellmers' office; Nancy Guy of the Lillington Chamber of Commerce; Nick Dula, director of the Harnett County Economic Development Office; Kay O'Quinn Peebles of O'Quinn-Peebles Funeral Home; Phil Hewitt of Sandhills Mental Health Center; Becky Dixon and Erin Young, of Senior Helpers; and Sean Brennan, of the State Employees Credit Union.

"It's a great idea and a great program," said Pat Fitzgerald, assistant to Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of the Second Congressional District. "We talked interviewing, coming prepared, and how to present yourself to potential employers. Being a 25-year veteran n the Human Resources field, I probably brought a different perspective than some of the other employers at the session."

Nick Dula of the Harnett County Economic Development Office said he learned a lot from the session. "I didn't know it going in, but a lot of people who participated in the mock interview session had worked for 15 or 20 years and were unemployed through no fault of their own. They don't know what it's like to be in the job market again, since things have changed so much. The Job Hunt series is definitely needed."

Dula added that mock interview exercises like those he participated in also gave students networking opportunities with potential employers and put them in touch with other programs at CCCC that might fit their needs such as veterans' and financial assistance programs.

Students who participated in the sessions praised the program on their evaluation sheets. "It opened my eyes to new avenues of opportunity," one said. "Good information," said another.

According to Nicole Brown, coordinator of the Human Resources Development program at CCCC's Harnett County Campus, the relationship between the college and the library is ideal for everyone. "It's a wonderful opportunity to be in partnership with the local community - for the library, the college, local employers, and job seekers," Brown said.

For more information about the Job Hunt Series or pre-registration for upcoming classes, contact the Harnett County Public Library at (910) 893-3446 or visit the Central Carolina Community College website at schedule for course schedule information.