The IRC organized a three month-long Workforce Development & Youth Employability series for young Tunisian job seekers who are looking to hone their soft skills as they enter a competitive job market.
The training was led by American Professor Ethel Hong Badawi of The George Washington University. In addition to teaching, Professor Badawi gives trainings on professionalism and prepares university students for the workplace.
The first workshop covered Email Etiquette & Expectations in the Workplace. After going through the different types of email correspondence, Professor Badawi explained the components of a professional email. Towards the end of the session, participants reviewed sample emails and were able to identify which ones were strong and which ones needed improvement.
The second workshop focused on the Difference between a Cover Letter and a Personal Statement and how to use them in the appropriate context.
The third session was entitled Internet Identity: The Impact of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter on your Professional Profile. Trainees were coached on their digital footprints and online profiles and what impact that might have on their professional standing.
The next workshop revolved around the difference between Resumes and CVs and the components of each. Professor Badawi clarified what the general expectation in the U.S. is for each component and provided tips for best practices.
The fifth session on Interviewing Dos and Don’ts featured video clips showing example job interviews. Participants suggested improvements, and then moved to their own mock interviews, with time for reflection and feedback.
In the last session, Professor Badawi gave various tips for the first 10 months of a job. These tips included timeliness, dress code, attention to detail and taking initiative.
At the end of every session, the discussion and questions were so fruitful, attendees stayed late to continue talking with the trainer and with their peers. This popular and highly successful series was offered again at the Franklin Center in Sfax in July 2017. Participants were from Sfax, Sidi Bouzid and Ben Guerdene.