Posts Tagged ‘job seekers’

Video Friday – New Year’s Wish

December 31st, 2010

Here’s hoping you get picked in the New Year!

Tell us what you are going to do to stand out from the crowd…

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5 You May Have Missed – Looking Back at 2010

December 29th, 2010

December is a month for reflection on the past year – what went wrong, what went right.  Advancements and achievements, disappointments and disasters.

In this final week of the year, let’s look at some of the round ups of 2010 offered out there, and how we may be able to squeeze in just a few more days of productive job searching.

I must say that some of the best of the year was my discovery of the MyFootpath blog and it is examples like this that bear out why:

Tips for End of Year Productivity

The Human Race Horses gives a round up of great HR professionals and recruiters in his “My HR Top 10 for 2010 (and some personal faves)”.

WindMillNetworking.com offers the Top 20 Most Useful LinkedIn Blog Posts of 2010.

Also, for job hunting here are Top 10 Job Hunting Tips for 2010 via My Path.

And finally, a list of great articles, The Top 10 HBR Blog Posts of 2010 brought to you by the Harvard Business Review.

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Help Wanted

December 27th, 2010

Do you feel like you are having trouble keeping a clear chart of your job search – where you applied and when.  If you’ve followed up or not?  Do you try to keep track of thing in an Excel spreadsheet or maybe in file folders in your email?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool that you could use that would help you in your search – where you could make notes, plan events, meetings?

A local software developer has created an online Job Tracking and Organizing tool for job seekers – JobKatch.com.

JobKatch.com is in its early Beta stage.  The developer is looking for folks who would provide feedback on their experience using the tool to help him understand how this tool would best benefit job seekers.

It is very straight forward to use, and you may use it immediately – for current job prospects and new leads you may find.

If you are interested, all you need to do is follow these 5 short steps:

1)    Go to JobKatch.com

2)    Watch the short video about how JobKatch works. This step is really important – the video is key to understanding how JobKatch works, and it will get you up and running faster.

3)    Sign up for an account – FREE!

4)    Add the Bookmark-let to your toolbar on your browser of choice.

5)    Start adding job leads.

You may add contacts AFTER you have started adding job leads.

You may add contacts from your email address books, and from your LinkedIn account.

Please note: There is a known bug with the bulk loading LinkedIn contacts – the contacts do load, but the screen is not updated.  This is currently being addressed.  In the meanwhile, you may still add individual LinkedIn contacts to your JobKatch job leads, however, you will need to open a separate tab or browser window to get back to JobKatch.com and the job lead window.

Please use the contact form on the Contact Us page (http://jobkatch.com/contact_us) to ask questions, report any issues or make suggestions for improvement on workflow for this tool.  There is a “contact” link on the bottom of each page that will link you to the form.

Thank you for your help in advance.  Hopefully, you will find JobKatch a valuable tool in organizing your search.

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5 You May Have Missed – Older Workers

December 22nd, 2010

Unemployed older workers face more challenges their younger counterparts.  So this week, we’re going to give you a bonus with the weekly 5 blogs and articles you may have missed.

The first article comes from USA Today on the subject of the aging workforce – American Workforce Growing Grayer.

AOL gives you 10 Tips on Resumes for Older Workers and even better, Better Jobs Advice provides Approaches and Tactics for Older Workers Who Can’t Find a Job with helpful links to organizations and volunteer opportunities for older workers.

About.com provides Job Search Tips and Strategies for Older Workers

Wharton, the Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia explores the myths and realities of work for those over 55 in The ‘Silver Tsunami’: Why Older Workders Offer Better Value than Younger Ones.

And your added bonus comes from The Career Advice blog, which hints at some good news ahead for workers Over 55 and Unemployed.

Have a blog entry that WE may have missed?  please feel free to add it to our comments!

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All I Want for Christmas is a Job

December 20th, 2010

All I want for Christmas is job – seems like an easy enough wish, right?  Unfortunately, I was greeted this morning by the news that unemployment in NC was up to 9.7% in November.  The forecast for the unemployed, in particular the long-term unemployed, is about as cold  as the winter weather. Christmas Tree w/ business card

Last week’s article in the New York Times“Unemployed and Likely to Stay That Way” – heralds in the new age of unemployment.  Whether we like it or not, whether it is fair or not, being unemployed means you are less likely to get an interview, let alone a job.

When CNN ran a story earlier this year – “Unemployed Need Not Apply” – there was a swift backlash against of the companies in the report for their discrimination towards those out of work.  But in hindsight, I have to admire them for at least being up front that they weren’t looking at applicants who were out of work (even though closer scrutiny by the press made Latro Consulting and Sony Erricson cease running the comment in their advertising).

The grim fact is that HR departments and recruiters, whether they are telling you or not, are using unemployment status to filter out candidates for the positions they have open.  What is worse, the press is arguing that companies are justified in using such practices.

Here’s the harsh reality of unemployment today:

You aren’t going to get the interview – unless you can network your way in to the hiring manager and get them to talk to you, you aren’t going to get the interview.  Companies today are informing their staff that they aren’t to interview the unemployed.

No amount of training or retraining is going to get you the job, let alone the interview – the belief that unemployed workers are not current on their skills is often used as justification why not to interview a candidate.  However, even if you go back to school to get current training, or retrain for a new career, because you don’t have applicable experience – and that is experience where you are earning a wage, not volunteering, not unpaid work – you are going to be screened out of the interview process.

Don’t get sucked into paying for schooling that will leave you in debt and still without a job.  Do your research and look at the placement figures before going back to school.  There is a flood of people with advance degrees in the job market today, many of whom  have to “dumb down” their resume to get a recruiter to look at them.

Companies don’t care about transferable skills – for many workers who are laid off, they are told to make an inventory of transferable skills that carry from one job to another, from one career path to another.  Companies don’t care – they are not going to spend the time to train you for the job they want to fill.  They want people with the exact match of skills and experience to fill the few openings they have – and in this market they can find them.

You aren’t going to get paid anywhere near what you made before – I think this might be the hardest medicine to swallow, especially for older workers.  Early on in my search I asked what was a realistic cut in pay to take when pursuing a job in this market.  The professionals I asked hemmed and hawed and no one gave me a straight answer (I should have taken that as a sign).  It is very rare that you will get the same rate of pay and benefits you had previously.

So amongst this doom and gloom, in this week of hope, is there any bright light?

Not really, but I have some advice.

Take a job – any job. Do your best to get the best job you can, but get out there and work – you are far more likely to get an interview if you are already working.  A recent blog entry identified 10 companies that pay benefits to part time workers – at least there’s a place to start. You may be underemployed, but it’s one less nail in the coffin and one less excuse not to interview you.

Hang out your shingle. If you have a profession where you can set yourself up as a consultant, do so.  All that uncompensated work you do as an unpaid intern/volunteer/good egg?  Put that under your umbrella of being an independent consultant.  And start charging for your time – others need to learn and see your value.

Lie -  well, okay, maybe don’t lie. But approach the process of pursing a job like being cross-examined on Law & Order.  Give only the minimum amount of information necessary.  Don’t provide the opportunity to lead to questioning that might put you in a poor light.  Your judge and jury – your potential employers – need to see you as a reliable witness, uh, candidate.

Take charge of your career and stop allowing people blame you for being unemployed.  I think the most frustrating thing I hear over and over again is that there must be something wrong with the people who are unemployed otherwise they wouldn’t be unemployed.  That’s a crock.  There are good people and there are bad people in every situation, but when there are 5 times as many qualified people for every job the blame shouldn’t be on the people who are seeking to work.

The most damaging thing I read and hear reported is that it is inevitable that people who are unemployed today will never return to work.  The Press continue to perpetuate this idea as acceptable.  It isn’t.

A lot has been made of the recent deal between the White House and Republicans.  There are people in both the Democratic and Republican camps that grumble for different reasons.  But the underlying issue of the unemployment problem is something both sides can agree upon – there aren’t enough jobs and jobs are not being created at a fast enough pace to offset the number of people seeking employment.

Regardless of which side of the fence you are on – Democrat or Republican, recruiter or candidate – I’m here to tell you that not interviewing someone because they are out of work is bad business.  In fact, not hiring someone who is unemployed is bad for the economy.

Now I’m not a renowned economist, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if the only people being hired are people are already employed the unemployment numbers aren’t going to decrease.  And, if there is any true hope for recovery, people who are unemployed are going to have to go back to work or they will continue to be a drain on the federal budget and the economy will continue to stagnate.

If just one brave soul were actually to hire someone who was unemployed – and I think I’ve been clear there are plenty of smart, qualified people eager to work out there – then we all would reap the benefits.

By employing the unemployed you reduce the number of people collecting unemployment benefits – that makes sense, right?  But more than that, and especially for the long-term unemployed, there is associated reduction of burden on federal and state programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and welfare.  There is a reduction of people defaulting on loans, having homes go into foreclosure, and the associated spiraling effects on financial markets and institutions.  Cashing out 401ks and IRAs drains investments in stocks and bonds and tightens the funds available to make improvements to city, state and federal infrastructure and spur new business growth – all of which means there is less happening to create new jobs.

When the unemployed become employed once again, they become part of the economy.  They are paying taxes; they are buying goods.  They start consuming things from basics like clothing and gas and cars to cable tv and phone service.  They go to the doctor more regularly and take preventative care measures to make themselves more healthy. They are putting money back in their 401ks and saving for retirement.  All those things people give up when they don’t have a job and disposable income.  Well, Americans like their creature comforts, and they want them back.

All I want for Christmas is job?  All I really want for Christmas is for people who are unemployed to be treated like people who are employed.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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