School your way back to the job you deserve
Get an edge with these skill-sharpening classes.
Recharge your job hunt
While you’re biding your time at that ho-hum job, give yourself an edge by secretly stockpiling a cache of skills and polishing off that dusty cover letter. There’s a class out there for everything—from Web design and résumé writing to proofreading and career mapping. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to jump ship—and armed with a skill set that helps you land on two feet.
Untangle the Web
Sure, you’re on Facebook and Twitter every second your boss steps away, but to really make an online impression with potential employers, you’ve got to give them a one-stop shop for your résumé, portfolio and other accolades—not your latest beer-bong exploits. Digital Bootcamp Inc. shows you how to build your own website with classes in Web design, Photoshop, Flash and just about any other digital program you could possibly need. 1400 W Hubbard St, suite 210, 312-633-3000, digitalbootcamp.com, most six-hour courses run about $325.
Put your best face forward
You have only one page—your résumé—to show a potential employer how amazing you are, so make it count. The Center on Halsted’s OUTsource program, a recurring four-part career-advancement series, takes you through the process of landing the job you want, including a session on résumé writing and self-marketing. Other session topics run the gamut from transitioning into a new career to overcoming liabilities. The courses tackle issues LGBT applicants commonly face in the workplace, but the sessions are open to all. 3656 N Halsted St, 773-472-6469, $5.
Learn to write right
We’ve all heard the old tale of HR folks immediately discarding any cover letter or résumé with a typo, regardless of qualifications. The Discovery Center’s proofreading class will show you how to properly dot your i’s and cross your t’s so your application won’t end up in the circular file. Medill instructor Susan Figliulo, a former Chicago Sun-Times copy editor, will train your eye to quickly spot mistakes, give you editing practice and teach you proofreaders’ marks. Classes are forming soon. 2940 N Lincoln Ave, 773-348-8120, $109.
Get a game plan
Dozens of senior HR reps, career managers, retired business leaders and other helpful volunteers are waiting to take you under their wings at nonprofit org Career Transitions Center of Chicago. Get paired up with an experienced person in your field for one-on-one advice on getting back in the game—you may even end up with a new contact or two. The center’s offerings, geared mostly toward professionals, also include core skills workshops such as networking, interviewing and salary negotiation. 703 W Monroe St, 312-906-9908; ctcchicago.org, joining the group requires an initial quarterly service fee of $150, each subsequent quarter is $100.
“If there’s a skill that could add to your cachet, that’s truly necessary for the job or even one that most people in your field don’t have that would make you really impressive—take a class.”—Camille Helkowski, associate director of the Career Development Center at Loyola University Chicago