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Curtis Bush

Curtis Bush, Polk County Arkansas, was unemployed when he went through truck driving school at members to know, "You can do it. Stay focused on your goals and to accept help where you need it."

Cossatot Community College. After a month of training and a few weeks of job searching, Curtis found employment with CR England. He faced a few obstacles along the way from tuition costs, to the fear of the unknown, to having to believe in himself. Curtis overcame those obstacles and is now in a satisfying career. He wants other tribal

members to know, "You can do it. Stay focused on your goals and to accept help where you need it."

Why Can't I Seem to Follow My Budget?

By Miriam Caldwell, Guide


If your budget isn't working for you, you need to carefully consider a few things. Your budget may not be working for a variety of reasons, and until you figure out what they are you can't fix the problem. These simple questions can help you to address the issues that stop you from managing your money effectively.


1. Is Your Budget Realistic?


Often people sit down and arbitrarily decide which categories can be cut down when making up a budget. They may not realize at first that the numbers they have won't work. You may need to increase certain categories (such as gas or food) and decrease the ones that are not as essential to covering your basic needs. You should make sure that you always have food to eat, a place to live and power. After that everything else is negotiable.


2. Did You Cut Out All the Fun?

If you have slashed all of your spending categories or entertainment options, you may have set yourself up for failure. Everyone needs a little bit of money to spend each month. You may have to limit it to twenty dollars a month if your budget is really tight, but that twenty dollars can help stop you from blowing a hundred at the store each weekend. This extra little bit of money can prevent you from feeling deprived, which can lead to over spending.  More.


Top 7 Trends for Job References in 2012

Managing References Key for Those Searching For a New Job in the New Year  


A popular resolution for many in the New Year is to find a job that's the perfect fit; if you are one of them, creating a flawless employment profile has become even more crucial in 2012. Resumes and interview skills are always of critical importance, but making an investment in your job references is paramount in creating the "perfect employment candidate" impression that employers are looking for today.

The response a potential employer gets from a reference

can make the difference between an applicant getting a job....or losing it. Professional reference checking company Allison & Taylor says that individuals looking for employment need to be aware of the following employment trends to succeed in their quest for that new, perfect job:  


1. Your references will become even more valuable


Although the job market is poised to grow, hiring managers want to know how well you performed and only your references will be able to give the inside story.

Make sure that your references are an asset, not a hindrance.

2. What your peers & subordinates have to say about you counts


You may have been able to hide your lack of production from your boss, but seldom are you able to hide it from those that report to you and your colleagues.

Your coworkers can be, and often are, brutally honest. The simplest solution? Do your best work, every day, and let those around you know they're appreciated. More.


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Career Connection Newsletter

April 2012                    

2012 Career Expo   



The 5th Annual Career Expo 
draws the largest crowd to date! 


This year's Career Expo, held on April 4th in McAlester, OK, drew individuals from local high schools, colleges, technology centers, and the community. With over 2,000 in attendance, participants were inspired during the opening ceremony by motivational speaker, Mr. Aric Bostick.  After being encouraged on how to be "awesome for life", the audience had the opportunity to meet with employers, colleges and training facilities from across Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. 
New to this year's event was the Networking Zone.  This area was designated for individuals to meet with school representatives, employers, and each other.  Participants were also able to use the Career Expo mobile phone app, take an on-line survey, and stay connected through Facebook through out the event.
Thanks to all the volunteers, exhibitors, and attendees for helping make this year's Career Expo the best to date!





New job board now available!
 - search jobs in your area
- post resumes
- set up a job agent
- post jobs

hire choctaws replaces our email job listings.  All of the jobs previously on the lists will be posted to the job board.

  Check it has a new look!


Career Development's website has undergone a face-lift that includes these new added features:


  • Find out what Career Development is doing NOW with a live Twitter feed.
  • Sign up for the monthly Career Connection newsletter.
  • Get more information on our new Native American Business Business Resource Center! 
  • Read client success stories that will inspire you to persue your dreams!
  • Look for jobs in your area through
  • and much, much more!




Choctaw Nation Native American Business Resource Center has been established!
The Choctaw Native American Business Resource Center (NABRC) is focused on helping create and expand Native American owned businesses through technical assistance.  Services offered include:  assistance with business taxes, website development, marketing strategy, preparation of financial statements, writing a business plan and procuring financing.  We offer one-on-one counseling, as well as, small and large group sessions to achieve the goals of owning a business. 
Jill Reyna is the coordinator for the program.  She brings a diverse background to the arena, including experience in not only running several successful busineses, but knowledge in sales, marketing, and advertising, as well.
Statistics show that one in three businesses fail by their second year, mainly ecause of poor planning in the beginning.  With a solid business plan in hand, our intent is to help businesses beat these odds and succeed!
For more information, visit the NABRC webpage here.  

The Top 10 Skills Employers Want


What skills are employers looking for? Their top 10 list may surprise you. All of the skills and qualities on employers' most-wanted list are the transferable "soft" skills workers use in every position, every industry and on every job, temporary and permanent. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has surveyed employers on this question for nearly a decade, and their list of skills and qualities remains virtually the same.


The Top 10:

  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Motivation and initiative
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Computer skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Organizational skills

Marshal Your Resources
Now that you know what employers are looking for, it's time for some self-assessment. Start by making a list of the main tasks you perform in your current and/or most recent position. Then, identify the skills from the employers' Top 10 that you used to accomplish each task. Finally, evaluate these skills. Which skills are your strongest, and do you need to improve on any skills? The good news is that you can practice and build these transferable skills at work, at home, in hobbies, sports and everyday life experiences.


Showcase Your Skills
Look for ways to demonstrate you have the skills employers want at every point of contact in the job search: your resume , your cover letter , in interviews , in your follow up , and on social networking sites. Once you find that job, continue to improve on them. And, be sure your manager knows you have what it takes to succeed .


Earn your CRC+

The OK Career Readiness Certification "+" can help you document your soft skills.  Learn how to earn the CRC+ here.


9 Cover Letter Secrets That Can Get You Hired


by Skip Freeman, "Headhunter Hiring Secrets"


If you have been in the job hunt any time at all you already know that, if you go through "normal" channels today during your job hunt, e.g., online postings, applications sent directly to Human Resources, etc., chances are, your application will end up in some "black hole" and your efforts will largely be in vain. There is a reason for that, of course. What worked just a few years ago in finding a new job no longer works at all! All the "rules" have changed!

As I point out in "'Headhunter' Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! (as well as in numerous other places), first and foremost, you must understand that hiring is a game, and like every game, it has its own unique set of rules. To be a winner at this particular "game," then, you must first learn these rules-many of which have changed dramatically in the last several years!-and then learn how to effectively play by them. You must develop tactics and strategies that will get you where you want to go - to a new job!

One such tactic that can work quite well in today's job market is the direct mail campaign targeted at decision-makers, i.e., the actual person "feeling the pain" because a critical position is not filled, rather than, say, at the HR department.

Integral to the direct mail campaign targeted at decision-makers is the cover letter used. Let me begin this article by first giving you an example of a cover letter that my executive recruiting firm has used quite effectively with some of our candidates. Then, I'll examine the NINE essential secrets that went into making this cover letter effective. (You can of course use these same NINE essential secrets to create your own effective cover letter to use in your direct mail campaign to decision-makers.) More. 


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