July 2011 Archives

Thursday July 28, 2011

Unemployment Claimes Drop to Below 400,000

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CNN Money reports that inally, some better news about the job market: the number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 for the first time since early April.

There were 398,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended July 23, the Labor Department said Thursday.

July-unemployment-claims.gif That marks the first time since April 2, that the weekly initial claims number has fallen below 400,000, a level typically associated with payroll growth and a lower unemployment rate.

It also beats the 415,000 claims economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected, and was 24,000 lower than the previous week.

Earlier this year, it appeared initial claims were on a downward track. But they then hit a speedbump in April, as high oil prices, bad weather and Japan's tsunami started to weigh on businesses.

Read the full story and leave a comment.

Tuesday July 19, 2011

New Resume Tips for Older Workers

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Dear Joan:

I have recently been laid off and I find myself having to write a resume for the first time in many years. I have a solid background and good performance but I'm paralyzed by the prospect of having to look for a job.

Resume Tips.jpg I have always gotten my jobs from a connection to someone, or someone approached me. Now I have to go looking. So my question is what do I need to know about doing a resume? I know times have changed (I last did a resume in the early '80's) but I'm clueless about how to do one now.

Could you give me some tips?


A two-page resume is okay.

You have plenty of experience, and trying to shrink it down into one page is going to squeeze all the juicy bits out of it. Instead, devote at least half-to two-thirds-of your resume to more recent experience. The rest of your experience can be abbreviated. You can go to three pages but that should be the limit.

Start with a summary of what you have to offer the company.

In the past, candidates used "job objectives" but that is geared more toward what the candidate wants from the employer. Instead, reverse this and show them what you can offer them.

You can also do a bullet list of your top skills and abilities in this "Summary of Experience" section. But be careful about listing too many details about how many years of experience you have. For instance, why not say, "More than twenty years" experience in X" rather than "thirty years" experience in X" Twenty years establishes you have the experience and credentials, without hitting them over the head with "thirty".

Use results-oriented language.

Because resumes are usually scanned electronically, words such as "team-player," "enthusiastic" and "self-motivated" don't mean much, and just take up space. Instead, use words that site specific, quantifiable accomplishments that are tied to the actual job posting. For instance, the size of your budget, the amount of sales you had, the customer satisfaction scores you raised, the market share you increased, etc. Even if you don't have an obvious way to measure results, find ways to quantify your results. For instance, "95 percent of my assignments were referrals from satisfied customers."

Don't list every job you ever had.

Employers will instantly label you "too old" if you go back to the first job you had forty years ago. A twenty-something recruiter could be put off by jobs you held before she was born. Fifteen years is a good amount of history to talk about. If there is something really critical to mention before that, you may be able to list it at the top of the resume in the Summary section. And don't feel that you must list every single job...if you only worked somewhere a year, or nine months, skip it, unless the experience is important.

Be careful about dates. Don't list the dates you graduated from school. It doesn't really matter. Don't list the exact months you worked somewhere (such as "Ten years, two months"). Years are fine.

Be careful listing your skills if they aren't special.

For example, if you say, "Proficient in Word" or "Familiar with Outlook" you will look like a dinosaur. Everyone is familiar with the standard business software. And interests and hobbies run the risk of dating, or stereotyping you, too.

Volunteer work and self-employment count, even if they aren't paid.

For example, if you've been making and selling jewelry from a small home business, it may be the perfect thing to showcase--it can show your enterprising, creative and business skills. So what if you didn't make a lot of money doing it? If your customers went from 30 to 60, you can say "Increased customers by 100% in one year."

-Joan Lloyd

Joan Lloyd has a solid track record of excellent results. Her firm, Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding. This includes executive coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, customized leadership training, conflict resolution between teams or individuals, internal consulting skills training for HR professionals and retreat facilitation. Clients report results such as: behavior change in leaders, improved team performance and a more committed workforce.

Joan Lloyd has earned her C.S.P. (certified speaking professional) designation from the National Speakers Association and speaks to corporate audiences, as well as trade & professional associations across the country. Reach her at (800) 348-1944, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com

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Wednesday July 13, 2011

Location. Location. Location

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My father always emphasized that "90% of success is just showing up." It reflects his dual beliefs about the genius of Woody Allen, and of importance of putting yourself "out there for something to happen".


In the game of finding a job, being at the right place at the right time can be invaluable -- to both the job seeker and potential employer. Every opportunity lost by employers to engage a potential star worker when they're on your turf consuming and enjoying your brand is a tragedy, and unfortunately all too common. Every day good candidates pass through top brands store fronts and street scapes, and never know they're passing like ships in the night.

Location-based services for the enterprise may be slow in coming, but consumer-facing successes in the realm of retail marketing -- like the recent Foursquare and AmEx partnership -- point to a growing opportunity in audience engagement through mobile phones. Which is exactly why location is so important for enterprise employers, government agencies responsible for workforce development, and high volume staffing firms that serve as the lifeblood of our national labor market to "get" location-based services and the power of mobile.

For companies in sectors like retail, logistics, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing, where turnover and time matter most to their bottom line, Job Rooster can help recruit and retain top workers both on-premise and online, bringing a truly "anytime, anywhere" recruitment platform that runs 24/7/365 to connect employers to the worldwide workforce. Brands like these see the interconnection between customer loyalty, employee engagement, and financial performance -- and how being able to engage any customer (or candidate) anytime, anywhere on their mobile phone is a huge advantage for firms like American Express. For the most profitable, savvy brands, mobile is fast becoming a de rigeur part of their hiring toolkit.

As location-based services evolve for the corporate environment, expect to see savvy employers capitalize on the power of mobile to compete and win for the best talent. Indeed, as we've seen and learned over the past few months, recruitment marketing platforms like Job Rooster can help employers everywhere extend their recruitment brand proactively and respectfully to their customers in real-time to make sure you identify and capture the best talent no matter where it's standing (but particularly when that talent's right in your store and enjoying your brand!).

Tuesday July 5, 2011

Executives Predict Hiring and Growth

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Business optimism is rising, according to a report by ASA member company Robert Half International.

When asked to rate how confident they are in their companies' prospects for business growth in the third quarter of 2011, 48% of the executives surveyed for the firm's Professional Employment Report said they are somewhat confident. Another 44% said they are very confident.

"Business confidence continues to grow," says Max Messmer of Robert Half. "Although some companies remain reluctant to commit to full-time hires, others are actively looking for professionals to help them take advantage of new growth opportunities and enhance client service."

Human resource professionals expressed the greatest business confidence among all executives interviewed, with 49% reporting they feel somewhat confident and 45% saying they are very confident.

Legal hiring managers have high expectations for hiring in the next three months, according to the report. "Demand is strong for legal professionals in law firms that aggressively laid off employees during the downturn," says Messmer. "Firms are focusing on senior- and partner-level lawyers with strong client relationships, solid business skills, and management experience."

Of the lawyers at law firms and corporations surveyed, 35% said they are likely to increase hiring in the third quarter of 2011. Lawyers, paralegals, and legal support staff are the positions in greatest demand. Lawyers cited bankruptcy and foreclosure, litigation, and general business and commercial law as the areas that will experience the most growth in the next three months.

Another area where executives anticipate hiring is the marketing field. Among hiring managers in advertising and marketing positions, 22% said they plan to increase staffing levels in the third quarter of 2011. The positions most in demand include Web designers and developers, mobile application designers and developers, and interactive marketing mangers.