Posts Tagged ‘job’

5 You May Have Missed – Looking Forward 2011 is HERE!

January 5th, 2011

What a difference a week makes.

Last week we were looking back and here it is 2011.

Time to get our act in gear.

Here’s 5 blog articles you may have missed to help hit the ground running in 2011

Making Great Goals for 2011 via My Footpath

A recent poll by Manpower revealed that 84% of Workers Plan to Look for a New Job in 2011 this is reported by CNN.

Avoid these 10 Resume Blunders and Land That Job in 2011 via CareerCopilot.com

3 Bold and Creative Resume Strategies to Implement in the New Year by Great Resumes Fast

6 New Year’s Resolutions for Job Seekers via USNews Money

Get your year off to a good start!  Join Hire Friday Chat on Twitter this Friday from Noon to 1pm EST.  Sign into your Tweetchat using your twitter ID and enter the hashtag #hfchat.  It will be a great opportunity to learn about Resume writing and Resume writers.

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Video Friday – Sometimes Dreams Do Come True

December 24th, 2010

Sometimes you may not be what people may think is the perfect candidate for the job.

Despite what often seems to be overwhelming odds, there are those who persevere.  They study, train and overcome insurmountable odds.

Group interviews are difficult at the best of times, but sometimes it pays to just be yourself.

What have you done this week to get your job search to move forward?

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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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Why Aren’t I Working?

December 12th, 2010

It’s December, so it’s the time of year that people look back over the past year and judge what they have achieved or not achieved.

I suppose we’re getting ready to line up our New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve accomplished a lot over the past year. With others, I started a non-profit to heighten awareness for retired racing greyhound adoption.

I started my own blog and website for unemployment and job searching here in the triangle.

I picked up a gig writing the Job Tech Review column for Cubicle to Classroom, an online magazine.

I “intern” (read unpaid) as the community facilitator for Hire Friday.

I attended numerous networking functions – met people, made friends, expanded my LinkedIn connections.

I’ve taken advantage of the free training available to job seekers through the local community colleges, as well as seminars and workshops to keep my certifications current.

I ended up an SME in social media for job search, to the point I’m giving talks and workshops on it.

I’ve volunteered – a lot.

What I haven’t done is found a job.

It’s at this point that I recognize the plight and frustration of the unemployed, myself included.

We’ve done everything we are told to do to find a job – networked, volunteered, gotten education, kept current.  We’ve filled out numerous applications online, met for gallons of coffee with folks, attended workshops, spent time and effort and nothing seems to work.

If I’m doing everything we’re being told to do, why aren’t I working?

Well, I’m here to say there’s no magic bullet.

Before this devolves into what could easily become a pity party and whine-fest — really, I’m not playing the victim here — I’d like to suggest that this time of year is as good as any to take stock of what you are doing.

If what you are it isn’t working, change it up.  Set aside time for yourself – figure out a way to rejuvenate yourself.  Treat yourself to something you’ve done without for a while.  Add some different exercise into your daily routine — actually change your exercise routine.  Drive a different route to the grocery store. Trade out the groups and meetings you attend for new ones.   Use the library instead of the home office to construct your project plan for being employed.   Get out there and hustle.

I recently discovered Gary Vaynerchuk, of Wine Library TV.  I must admit I came a bit late to the table on this one.  Gary Vaynerchuk has been out there talking about work and entrepreneurial endeavors for a while now.  But much of what he is talking about is applicable to a job search.  Pardon the rough language, but this is someone who is truly passionate about what he does – in every incarnation.  In the age of motivational speakers who don’t motivate me at all, he is a rarity.  Enjoy – but you might want to close the door before tuning up the sound.

On the bright side, three women who I’ve met through my job search networking have all landed jobs in the past few weeks.  I take this as a good sign.

What are you going to do to change what isn’t working for you?

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5 You May Have Missed – I’ll Take Potpourri for $300, Alex

November 24th, 2010

Jeopardy calls it Potpourri, a mixed assortment of items that don’t easily fall into one category or another.  This week I found a few articles of interest, that don’t really have much to do with one another, but provided some grist for the thought mill, or at the very least some amusement for the short work week.

The first two articles come from a place I normally am not too enthused about – CareerBuilder.  I am usually put off by the amount of roadblocks that CareerBuilder puts up between you and the job listing or application.  But I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of hurdles to pass to get to their blog.

‘Overqualified’ Workers Struggle to Find Work, Employers Fear They’ll Flee via CareerBuilder‘s The Work Buzz

Normally, I’d run screaming in the opposite direction when faced with an article such as What Your Pet Says About Your Career.  I generally would categorize such writing in the same bucket at your astrology forecast.  But there’s something about a basket full of cute kittens that will draw you in every time.  And really, who wouldn’t want to know what snakes say about their owners potential earnings?

What Your Pet Says About Your Career via CareerBuilder‘s The Work Buzz

In August of this year, Wired magazine announced the Web is Dead, this next blog entry offers a similar thought on IT careers – is it time to start thinking about a new career path?:

Big IT is Broken via Baselinemag.com

If you’ve started to use Twitter as a job search tool, you may want to brush up on your Twitter etiquette.  Here’s some insight into why folks may choose to unfollow you, as well as some general hints on how to behave:

Five Reasons We’re Going to Unfollow You on Twitter via Social Meteor

And finally, if you are using your iPhone, Android, Blackberry, whatever to send and receive email, text messages and tweets, beware the auto correct:

Damn You, Autocorrect – this website actually underscores the need to review before hitting send.  Many of the auto-corrections turn simple text into messages not appropriate for an office environment.

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