The HERO Method: Bringing Powerful Tools to Job Hunters Facing Challenges
By George Valentine
The HERO Method offers vocational counselors or the staff at any non-profit employment agency a proven technique to help job seekers gain greater self-confidence, a better understanding of the culture of work and new tools to find and keep employment.
Individuals facing challenges in the job hunt will find powerful new perspectives building strengths by using the HERO Method. Its lessons provide unique tools for students, the elderly, individuals with disabling conditions and other job hunters facing roadblocks to landing a job. This six sided program was first developed in Oswego County, NY. This upstate area consistently has the second highest unemployment rate in the Empire State, second only to the Bronx. The HERO Method has helped people with a wide variety of challenges to move forward toward their dreams and land that job.
The HERO Method's Six Precepts Include:
1. Job hunters do not understand the real skills that they have gained through work responsibilities and personal experiences. These skills add value to job applicants yet are often overlooked and not noted in cookie-cutter resumes;
2. Job hunters need a more thorough understanding of the employer’s point of view;
3. Each job has four essential aspects (H, E, R and O) the first is Heart then
4. Energy to perform well
5. Re-Learning aspects of the job
6. Owning the work that is done.
HERO Method - Understanding Real Skills
Implementing the HERO Method begins with a thorough review of the skills individuals have developed in work or life experiences. For example, a mother may have developed strong problem solving or social skills in her role as a single parent, or a senior citizen may build the ability to learn and adapt to changes in the work environment. Sometimes it helps to engage the individual is a skills search. An activity called “The Janitor Game” (see http://www.jobhunterstoolkit.com/category/hero-method/) delves into aspects of work responsibilities so they are directly connected to the needs of prospective employers. Job hunters can now express how a job aspect or skill is related to the needs of a prospective employer.
HERO Method - Understanding the Employer’s Point of View
Each position that job hunters apply for is broken down into the four key areas of H, E, R and O. By understanding these aspects from the employer’s point of view, job hunters gaina greater understanding of what successful candidates need to convey in their resume, application and interview. Articles at the Tool Kit blog, (see www.jobhunterstoolkit.com/category/valentinesdiner), give a fresh look at the employer’s decision making process in selecting new employees.
This area focuses on understanding what job seekers offer in terms of having the “heart” for the job. Job seekers show how they can work well with the employer’s clients , with co-workers and with stakeholders (e.g., media, contractors, etc.). The employer’s needs identified in precept #2 are compared to the skills of job seekers in order to prepare a resume, an application, and for an interview to express that connection.
Job seekers’ experiences are reviewed in meeting the physical challenges and responsibilities of work. Single mothers who cared for their children through long nights or students who played on a varsity sports team can show that they have the proven ability to meet the physical challenges that might arise. Again, these examples are incorporated into job search tools showing that job hunters can not only talk about doing the job, but have proof that they can perform well.
R Re-Learning Capability
Job hunters need to show that they can learn things efficiently and effectively and can adapt to meet different challenges. Showing examples of these attributes indicate that applicants can meet the training needs of the job. They do this by expressing what they have learned that meet employer needs effectively, either in their work or in their personal lives. Activities that can help with this capability, such as “Teaching Aliens about Baseball,” are located at http://www.jobhunterstoolkit.com/category/hero-method/
O Owning the Work Done
Do job seekers learn from their mistakes and can they grow from constructive criticism? Have candidates taken responsibility for work done and the victories or defeats that have come from thetheir work? Are they conscientious?
The HERO Method can be used by career counselors in a series of classes or with individual clients. The HERO Method moves step-by-step so job hunters not only better express their capabilities, but also learn ways to build on the skills they already have. Job hunters can move forward with new confidence by having a clearer perspective on their strengths and challenges, and by gaining powerful new job search tools.
George Valentine has been an employment services specialist for more than 20 years with experiences as a counselor, recruiter, interviewer, placement specialist, and coordinator of programs for long-term unemployed adults - each position helping people facing challenges to their job hunt, resolve the problems they face and helping them reach their goals. As author of the Job Hunting HERO Method and the Job Hunting Tool Kit, George has put together the exercises and lessons which have been most effective in helping challenged job hunters move toward their dreams. George and his wife Karen live in their childhood hometown of Oswego, NY where they are active in their community and in the lives of their three adult daughters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org