(Originally published on Sunday, June 13, 2010)
Tell employers you are the right candidate, with a certificate
by PATRICK GLENN O. ACORIN
Looking for a job and have finally decided where to apply? You’re probably getting ready for the interview. But remember that more important than being prepared for the interview is being prepared for the job itself.
Are you really qualified for the position you are applying for? How qualified are you? For a single position in the company, there could be tens or hundreds of applicants. How do you stand out from the crowd?
If you’re just applying for a job to have a job, then nothing you do will truly qualify you for the job, and that’s what will work against you. What really matters to employers when hiring people is that they find the right applicants – applicants who have, aside from the knowledge, the right skills to survive and succeed in the workplace. This has been a problem for many companies in the country – there is a need for a credible indicator of a person’s job skills.
Now, two organizations have partnered to solve the problem of providing people the credentials and certifications that are reliable indicators of their skills. Servicio Filipino, Inc. (SFI) CareerCenter, provider of innovative solutions aimed at enhancing the skills of the Filipino workforce, and ACT, an internationally recognized assessment and research company, launched recently the International Career Readiness Certificate (ICRC) program.
The main purpose of the ICRC is to create a common language for workforce development. This program serves as a common language that helps educators and employers communicate in terms of skills.
For jobseekers, this program helps them to know what exactly their skills are, what jobs they are qualified for, and how they can improve their own skills to qualify for better jobs.
For employers, this program is helpful in screening employees. This has also been proven to help increase a company’s efficiency in training – allowing the company to train people on more specific job-related tasks and not on foundational skills. Basically, this program helps the company increase the overall bottom line: helps improve overall productivity, reduce turnover, overtime, and waste, and reduce training time. This program can also help employers to assess their current employees’ skills – to determine what skills they have so far and what additional training they would need in the future.
For educators, the ICRC serves as a tool in better aligning curricula through increased and improved communication between the education and industry sectors, making each of the graduate fit for work anywhere in the world.
ICRC is a work-related skills credentials developed by ACT that complements traditional credentials such as the diploma. This certificate serves as a proof that a job candidate has the skills critical in the workplace and demonstrates the person’s level in each of those skills. This program is powered by WorkKeys Foundational Skills Assessments (or WorkKeys).
WorkKeys is a battery of ten skill assessments that are related to work. These ten skills that are associated with the WorkKeys test are Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, Applied Technology, Locating Information, Listening, Observation, Writing, Business Writing, Workplace Observation, and Teamwork.
The ICRC is based on three WorkKeys skill assessments. According to ACT’s database of 17,000 jobs profiled in the US on key workplace skills, three workplace skills stood out as the most important, and therefore most required in jobs:
Reading for Information – This assessment measures a person’s ability to understand workplace documents in performing his or her job. These documents include memos, manuals, letters, notices, and bulletins. This skill is important regardless of profession because in any workplace, documents are a way of life, whether electronic or printed. Many critical errors stem from miscommunication. Mistakes cost companies, and the fewer made, the better.
Applied Mathematics – This measures a person’s mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Employees need to go beyond basic mathematical operations and be able to analyze situations to create solutions when needed.
Locating Information – This test measures how well a person can work with workplace graphics. In an era of information overload, employees (and job applicants, for that matter) should have the ability to glean information and process it in a way that helps a company do its work better and more profitably.
ICRC certification tells employers that you have the necessary skills critical to workplace success. The certificate has four levels (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum) which also help employers determine which jobs you are qualified for. For example, a Bronze certificate signifies that you scored at least level 3 in each of the three core areas and are qualified for 35% of the jobs in the ACT database. A Platinum certificate is the highest of its kind, given to highly skilled individuals who scored at least Level 6 in the three core areas and signifies that the holder is qualified for virtually all of the jobs in the ACT database.
For inquiries on the International Career Readiness Certificate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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