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Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

May 21st, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, Resume Writing

How to Deal with Unemployment on a ResumeFor a while there at the beginning of this year, it was starting to look like we were entering a new period of job growth that would drastically slash the unemployment rate and herald the rebirth of prosperity.

And then it stopped. Or at least it slowed down dramatically. The most recent jobs report showed that tens of thousands fewer jobs were created than expected, leaving unemployment hovering over 8 percent.

Doesn’t sound like good news, does it? But at least in one way, it can be beneficial for you if you currently find yourself hunting for a job. How? Because being unemployed isn’t as big of a stigma right now as it has been in the past.

Still, that doesn’t mean that you should call attention to gaps in your employment if you don’t have to. For small gaps in your job history, try only listing the years that you were employed at a company on your resume and omitting the months. Unless you’re expressly asked to do otherwise, it’s generally considered okay to do this, and it can be great if you’ve been unemployed for less than a year, because a prospective employer might not ever know there was a gap in your employment.

Unfortunately, recent reports show that unemployed Americans are searching for an average of 28 weeks before they finally find work, and you probably know lots of people who have been looking for far longer. What do you put on your resume if you have this kind of hole?
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April 9th, 2012 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, Unemployment

Handling the Ups and Downs of a Job SearchThe New Year’s gloss is off the year: the resolutions are broken (or mostly) and the time is zipping by. When you are job hunting, it’s hard to look at a blank slate and fill it with promising dreams. If you are feeling beat up by the job search and thinking that blank slate is a bad thing, read on.

Keeping yourself motivated during any job search can be difficult. But this is especially true during a very long, protracted job search in a bad economy. The ups and downs can be as difficult to handle as finding the jobs to apply for. You’re buoyed by each new call for an interview, apprehensive when called for second interviews, and crushed when the call comes that you were one of two finalists - and it didn’t go your way. If you feel as though you are marked with a big red L on your forehead, or you are frustrated by jumping through all the hoops only to be told no, you are not alone. What you need are a few coping strategies, and a little dose of reality.

Don’t bank on one opportunity

Even if it’s the job of your dreams - especially if it’s the job of your dreams - do not stop applying for other jobs. Keep your foot in the game and continue to be responsive and enthusiastic about other opportunities. We all know not to count our chickens before they’re hatched, but it’s so tempting when things seem to be lining up. Remember, you don’t have the job until an offer has been made, and sometimes, not even then.
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March 6th, 2012 by Linda White   Posted in Unemployment

Three things you need to know about unemployment benefitsThere are many different rules that apply to unemployment benefits. The laws vary state by state, and the interpretation of the laws is open to human prejudices and opinion. Before you do anything, you should check the laws where you live, based on your own situation. And if you have an open case, talk to your case worker. They are there to help you.

Having worked for the office that ran the unemployment program in Minnesota, I facilitated the processing of hundreds of claims. Literally. This was during 2002, when the economy was bad. But not as bad as it seems to be for the unemployed right now. I did what was called “adjudicating” claims: making decisions about a claimant’s eligibility based on unemployment law and the evidence provided.

There were many common misperceptions that I saw, and many mistakes that I watched people make over and over again.

First of all, in most states and in most cases, if you are laid off, you are eligible for unemployment benefits. Pretty cut and dry. You are out of work through no fault of your own. But many people don’t know that if you are fired due to incompetence, you are also considered out of work through no fault of your own. That is, if you were trying to do the job and simply couldn’t cut it, you are eligible.

Most people take this as a point of pride. Don’t. You may have had an incredibly unreasonable boss. Communication may have been abysmal. You may have gotten mixed signals, or had one of those bosses who expected you to read his or her mind. Whatever the reason, even if you know that you are a good worker and that you were capable of doing the job, if the employer states that you were incompetent, take it. They know the laws too. They are fixing it so that you can collect unemployment benefits. I can’t tell you how many people argued against that, potentially hurting their own case, simply to save their own pride.
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November 29th, 2011 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Resumark News

Quick Tips to Personalize Your Cover LetterEvery single cover letter should be personalized. If you’ve been out in the world looking for a job for any length of time, you know this. You’ve been told over and over. And it makes sense - if you’re an employer, are you going to give precedence to the cover letter that says something unique and interesting and shows that the jobseeker took their time and cares about getting a job at your company… or the one that reads like a form letter?

Here’s the problem, though: really and truly making each letter personal by rewriting it from the ground up each time to fit the needs of every single job you apply for - that just isn’t feasible for most of us. Nor is it practical. You should be spending your time looking for more jobs rather than agonizing over perfecting a cover letter that - let’s face it - most likely isn’t going to get you hired.

So what’s the answer, then? Too generic and you get ignored. Too specific and personal and you’re likely wasting time. What you need is a middle ground. A way to make each letter feel personal without actually needing to start from scratch each time. Check out the tips below and you’ll be ready to do just that - employers will be beating down your door in no time!

Name the person you’re emailing. I know it’s difficult - and sometimes impossible these days with internet postings that can even withhold the name of the company - but do whatever you can to get the name of the person to whom the email is going. Call the company. Go to their website. When all else fails, don’t do the generic “To Whom It May Concern,” Instead, address your application to the “Hiring Manager”, “College Recruiter”, or “Selection Committee.”
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What to Do If You’ve Been Wrongfully TerminatedAlmost everyone, at some point in his or her life, will be fired or “let go” from a job. Oftentimes, we share in the blame for this, but not always. In fact, experts estimate that a quarter of a million people suffer wrongful termination each year.

That number may seem high, but keep in mind that wrongful termination includes firing for any kind of discrimination, loss of employment due to complaining or whistle blowing, or for refusing to do something illegal for your employer.

In any of these cases, you may be able to sue your former company and - if you win - receive back pay, damages, attorneys’ fees, and even reinstatement at the company. But before you take that big, difficult step, there are some ways to look into whether or not you really have a case without emptying your bank account.

U.S. Department of Labor - Not only can they give you information on every law that regulates employment, you can learn where and how to file a claim.
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