December 29, 2008

ASK the Recruiter. . . Is BACK!

ASK the Recruiter

Ever had a job search or networking question that you were dying to ask the experts? Now's your chance. Send me your job search, networking, or human resource question and if your question is selected, I will post my response via the blog under the ASK the Recruiter heading.
Feel free to contact me at with your question. Please reference Blogging4Jobs in the subject line.

Best Wishes in 2009 in Your Job Search!


December 28, 2008

Poking Fun at Layoffs

cartoon archive at

Surviving Unemployment

It seems that most days the news is filled with stories about our declining economy and the increasing number of layoffs by businesses looking to cut costs as their own sales decline. If you are one of the millions that has been restructured or laid off, here are a few tips to help survive unemployment and job loss.

  • Think Positive. As my dad would say, "Don't let the man keep you down." Staying positive allows you to work through the grieving process of being let go or downsized allowing for acceptance and possibilities. There's nothing wrong with being upset and even angry, but there comes a time when it's healthy to let go and move on. Hiring Manager's often base their hiring decisions on a candidate's kind or ill words towards their previous company. Sure, they let you go but realize that over 2 million people across the U.S. are also in the exact same situation. Don't let your ill feelings keep you from landing a new opportunity.

  • Volunteer. Use this time off from work to fine tune your skills, develop yourself, and network by volunteering. If you are an accountant or aspire to be one, offer your services in the form of a sweat equity donation. Most non-profits are happy to accept your generosity and will sing your praises to those in their network allowing for increased exposure to job opportunities.

  • Find Yourself. Spend time with family, friends, or enjoy a hobby. Relax, try to enjoy yourself and just let go even if only for a half hour each day. Hobbies and family time don't have to be expensive. If you enjoy reading, frequent the library or the used bookstore to save cash.

  • Control Your Expenses. Cut back on latte factor expenses while unemployed like subscriptions-movie, magazines, internet, eating out, and other non-essentials. I recommend keeping a log of how you spend your money each day and make the necessary cuts from there. Small things add up over the course of days and months. Take a cup of coffee for example. My favorite, a Venti Carmel Mocchiato costs roughly $4.50 which I enjoy 4 times a week. By eliminating this expense, I saved myself almost $100 a month. Know that this can be done. My husband and I have evaluated our own expenses saving us over $450 a month. A word of caution, do your best to not fund your time while unemployed using your credit card. Interest rates can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. I recommend having at least 6 months of savings available for emergencies such as these.

  • Stay Focused & Healthy. Take care of yourself by eating right and getting enough exercise. Do your best to develop a normal routine that includes a scheduled time to focus on job hunting as well as other activities. Having a schedule keeps your goal of finding a job organized and positive allowing you to feel more in control.

December 27, 2008

Dec. Unemployment Highest Since '82

Number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits rises to a 26-year high of 586,000, according to Labor Department.

NEW YORK ( -- The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose to a 26-year high last week, according to a government report released Wednesday.

The Labor Department said that initial filings for state jobless benefits rose to 586,000 for the week ended Dec. 20. That was an increase of 30,000 from the 556,000 revised figure for the prior week, and up from a recent high of 575,000 claims reported earlier this month. Wednesday's report revealed the highest number of jobless claims since Nov. 27, 1982 when initial filings hit 612,000. Economists were expecting jobless claims to rise to only 558,000, according to a poll by

This week, the report was released a day early due to the Christmas holiday on Thursday.
The weekly jobless claims report can give economists one of the most up-to-the moment reads on the state of the U.S. economy. And the increasing number has some worried that consumers may further tighten their wallets.

"It's likely to get worse before it gets better," said Carl Riccadonna, senior U.S. economist with Deutsche Bank.

In fact, consumer spending fell for the fifth straight month in November, according to the Commerce Department.

"Without consumers turning around, the economy's not going to turn around," Riccadonna said.
Over the past four weeks, new unemployment claims have risen to an average of 558,000 a week, up 13,750 from the revised moving average of 544,250 reported last week.
The four-week moving average is designed to smooth out some of the week-by-week fluctuations in initial claims statistics, and give a broader view of the U.S. job market.
The number of people continuing to collect unemployment declined to 4.37 million in the week ended Dec. 13, the most recent data available. The measure was a decrease of 17,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4.39 million.

Over the previous four weeks the number of people on unemployment averaged 4.32 million a week, the government said.

The number of new jobless claims rose the most in Oklahoma, rising by 1,590, the Labor Department said.

North Carolina saw jobless claims fall the most, by 20,526, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, manufacturing and materials industries.

A weak economy causes companies to layoff workers, which causes people to tighten their spending, which weakens the economy even further.

It's a "negative feedback loop," said Riccadonna, and one of the only things that can get us out of it would be a "'shock and awe' fiscal stimulus package" from the federal government.

President-elect Barack Obama said last week his administration would try to generate 3 million jobs over the next two years as part of an economic stimulus plan that some economists estimate could cost as much as $800 billion.

December 21, 2008

Introducing Mini B4J

It's been quite a few days since I last posted to my blog and with good reason. My wonderful husband and I brought a baby girl into the world on December 13, 2008 at 2:01 am. Ryleigh is more beautiful and precious than we ever could have imagined.

So between late nights, diaper changes, and feedings the blog will continue to go on. I have lots of great articles and topics to share with you. With the current economic state, this blog and other information regarding tips for the job search are more important than ever! So sit back and thanks for your support of Blogging4jobs!



December 11, 2008

Top Twitters to Follow as a Job Seeker

Twitter is described as social network where members posts "micro-blogs" in 140 characters or less. It's a great way to connect with all different types of people both personally and professionally. "Tweets" which are the actual micro-blog posts can be viewed by your entire network. Your personal tweets and bio can be viewed by Twitter members and by anyone with a direct link (Visit mine at from your profile. Twitter is like a ever-evolving chat room that you as a Twitter member can control expanding and adding to as you find members and members find you that want to connect.

For those new to Twitter, understanding and navigating its landscape like any new Web 2.0 service can take some time, but with a couple google searches you can find some great blog resources that make navigating the "Twitter Nation" much easier.

Twitter is a great service that allows you to stay connected with old friends, business prospects, recruiters, and persons of interest can be used to get you a leg up in the job search.

There has been much discussion on the blogs and other internet sites about using Twitter in your job search. A google search can provide you with countless blogs posts and comments from job seekers and recruiters who have used Twitter with great success. The key to using Twitter in this way like any social networking site is to build your network, make relationships and post often and in a meaningful way. Twitter is not a social networkig tool where you can create a large following overnight leading you to multiple job opportunities. Like any type of social networking traditional or non-traditional, these things take time.

So while you are building your Twitter network, here are a few of my favorite Twitters to follow. These Twitterers are experts in the areas of the job search, career strategies, personal branding and networking. Not only are they very active with their posts on Twitter but most have a great website or blog that can provide job seekers additional information about the job search.

Listed in no particular order:
  • @ChrisRussell Chris has roughly 165 followers. He has a great website called Secrets of the Job Hunt. His site serves as a social networking site, job board, and resource for job seekers all in one. Recruiters and job searches can engage and network in multiple ways. His newest project is that provides podcasts all about the job search.
  • @Keppie_Careers Miriam Salpeter is a career coach and resume writer that has an excellent blog at She has 351 followers on Twitter.
  • @DailyCareerTips has over 600 followers. Author Susan Strayer provides a daily career tip on her Twitter. Her blog, Kaleidioblog and website provide more quick tips.
  • @ResearchGoddess Amybeth Hale has over 1,329 followers. Her blog Research Goddess discusses social media and how it is used in the recruiting process.
  • @JasonAlba Jason Alba is the founder of Jibber Jobber, a career management internet site that allows the candidate to track every aspect of their job search. His site includes an excellent blog and jibber jobber library. Jason has 1,417 followers.

If you are new to Twitter and trying to navigate the Twitter Nation, check out a couple blog posts and articles that I, myself have found helpful.

  • Twit Tips The site SolidMentor has a segment called Twit Tips that provides information and updates regarding Twitter and its applications.
  • Site Masher Great post explaining the Twitter shorthand (similar to texting) and applications that compliment Twitter.

As always, don't forget to follow @Blogging4jobs on Twitter. Happy Tweeting!

December 5, 2008

Lost: 1.9 Million Jobs

NEW YORK ( -- The economy shed 533,000 jobs in November, according to a government report Friday - bringing the year's total job losses to 1.9 million.

November had the largest monthly job loss total since December 1974.

"This is a dismal jobs report," said Keith Hall, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at a congressional hearing. "There's very little in this report that's positive. This is maybe one of the worst jobs reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (founded in 1884) has ever produced."

The just-under 1.9 million jobs lost in the current recession, which began in December 2007, surpasses the 1.6 million jobs lost in the 2001 recession. That's noteworthy, because jobs were cut in droves in 2001 during the bust, which followed a white-hot employment market during the tech boom of the late 1990s.

But the job market expansion leading out of the previous recession was drawn out and tepid, so the jobs lost now are more at the core of the nation's economy - a perilous sign.

According to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the unemployment rate rose to 6.7% from 6.5% in October. Though lower than economists' forecast of 6.8%, it was the highest unemployment rate since October 1993. The rate is compiled in a separate survey from the payroll number.


Economists surveyed by had forecast a loss of 325,000 jobs in the month.
Revisions to the two prior months brought more dismal news. October's job loss was revised up to 320,000 from 240,000, and September was revised up to 403,000.

The revisions brought the 3-month job loss total to 1.3 million. That's equal to two-thirds of this year's total job losses and the third highest, three-month job loss total since World War II.
November's report provided the first glimpse at employers' reaction after the peak of the credit crisis, reached in mid-October. With credit largely unavailable and expensive, consumers scaled back their spending, dragging down manufacturing and construction businesses.

Travel has also been trimmed, with would-be vacationers opting to stay close to home.
Job losses were spread across a wide variety of industries: manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, construction and even, in the midst of the holiday shopping season, retail.
Also seeing sharp declines were professional and business services, a category seen by some economists as a proxy for overall economic activity, and financial services, at the heart of the current crisis.

Deeper cuts likely to come

With the economy in a recession and most economic indicators signaling even more difficult times ahead, economists say job losses will likely deepen and continue through at least the first half of 2009.

Citing weak economic conditions, a slew of large-scale job-cut announcements came this week. On Thursday alone, AT&T (T, Fortune 500), DuPont (DD, Fortune 500), Viacom (VIA), Credit Suisse (CS) and Avis (CAR, Fortune 500) announced cuts that totaled nearly 23,000 jobs lost, most of which will take place over the next several months.

According to a report by the outsourcing agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas, planned job cut announcements by U.S. employers soared to 181,671 last month, the second-highest total on record.

Temporary employment, including workers employed by temp agencies, fell by 100,700 jobs last month, the highest on records that go back to 1985. That could mean even more full-time payroll reductions to come, as employers often cut temporary workers before they begin cutting permanent staff.

Tig Gilliam, chief executive of placement agency Adecco, the nation's third-largest employment agency, said employers are trying to position their companies to weather the ever intensifying economic storm.

"CEOs are trying to get their businesses better positioned for the start of the year so they're not constantly chasing the slowdown" he said. "December will be another very tough month."

In another sign of weakness, a growing number of workers were unable to find jobs with the amount of hours they want to work. Those working part-time jobs - because they couldn't find full-time work, or their hours had been cut back due to slack conditions - jumped by 621,000 people to 7.3 million, the highest ever on records that date back to 1955.

Underemployment at 12.5%

The so-called under-employment rate, which counts those part-time workers, as well as those without jobs who have become discouraged and stopped looking for work, soared to 12.5% from from 11.8%, setting the all-time high for that measure since calculations for it began in January 1994.

But there was hiring in some economic sectors last month. Government hiring has stayed strong throughout the downturn, adding another 7,000 jobs in November. Education and health services also grew payrolls, which grew by 52,000 employees.

The average hourly work week fell to 33.5 hours last month. Economists expected the workweek to hold at October's level of 33.6 hours. But with a modest 7-cent gain in the average hourly salary, the average weekly paycheck rose by 52 cents to $613.05.

Obama: Time for stimulus

With 2008 already the worst year for jobs since 1982 and on pace to become the worst since 1945 - and second worst on records that date back to 1939 - support for a second stimulus package to boost the job market has grown among economists and lawmakers.

The prior stimulus package, in the spring, sent tax rebate checks to millions of tax filers. It helped the economy grow in the second quarter, but it did little to stem the tide of job loss in the country.

But the proposed stimulus package, supported by President-elect Barack Obama, would focus on aid states and municipalities as well as consumers, adding millions of infrastructure jobs for Americans.

"Our economy has already lost nearly 2 million jobs during this recession, which is why we need an Economic Recovery Plan that will save or create at least 2.5 million more jobs over two years," said Obama in a statement. "There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better."

Experts say a two-part stimulus package is the right way to stem the tide of mounting job losses.
"First, you have to get consumers to spend, since 70% of the GDP is tied to consumer spending, and then you need job stimulus like highway projects to maintain economic job growth," said Gilliam. "This number is so bad that Obama will have to do something drastic soon."
In the meantime, Bush administration officials say the priority remains restoring liquidity to the financial system.

"We have to get the job done that we can while we have time left in office, and that is restoring credit," Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez told "This is the key first step to restoring growth and restoring jobs."

The White House echoed the Commerce secretary. "We need to focus on the causes of the economic downturn in order to reverse this trend in job creation, said Dana Perino, White House press secretary. "We intend to continue our aggressive efforts to restore health to our credit and housing markets."

November 29, 2008

7 Ways to Network for the Holidays

No matter who you are or where you work, networking is the key to a successful career and future! According to 60% of all jobs are found as a result of networking. It's never too early to start or too late. And the holidays should be no exception. Here are 7 ways to network during the busy holiday season with low cost and minimal effort.

  1. E cards. Send out free internet Holiday cards to your network. has a large variety of interesting and work appropriate cards to engage your network.
  2. Host a Holiday Open House. Either at work or at your home. Clients, friends, and colleagues can visit and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or cider while building new relationships or catching up with old friends.
  3. Hit the Holiday Party Scene. Make the rounds to all the holiday events and bring a stack of business cards. Never miss an opportunity to make a lasting impression.
  4. Demand Attention! Drop by personalized and homemade holiday gifts to your network. Mix your favorite blend of coffees and package in a custom bag with label. Don't forget to include your contact information and business card. Schedule and afternoon or two to make the rounds and let the job offers pour in!
  5. Coffee Talk. Invite a colleague for coffee and let your job intentions be known.
  6. 12 Days of Christmas. Create a marketing event highlighting yourself using the 12 days of Christmas. Ask for 12 referrals or new contacts from your network for 12 days or create 12 signature marketing materials to distribute to your network.
  7. Say it with Snail Mail. Take part in the traditional method of distributing holiday cards using snail mail. Select marketing materials to make a lasting impression.

Send me your networking success stories and comments to!

Happy Hunting!!

November 25, 2008

For the Jobless, Web Sites Offer More Options

**Article courtesy of

Unemployment in the U.S. has hit a 14-year high as companies cut back. That has sent masses of laid-off workers flocking to the Web in search of opportunities -- and job sites have been stepping up to meet the challenge.

New job sites with names like have sprung up to take advantage of growing user interest amid the economic downturn. Established sites, such as, have also started rolling out new features to improve the relevance of job listings for candidates and make their résumés stand out, among other things. And some sites, such as, are providing career counseling and other new services.

Ryan SnookBusiness-networking site LinkedIn last month began offering online outplacement services to companies so that laid-off workers can more easily find their next gigs. It also has introduced technology that better matches its members with appropriate jobs. Using an algorithm, the site searches words within a job posting and then matches up members who list skills that fit the job. In January, the company plans to debut a feature that makes it easier for users to notify members in their online network that they're searching for a job.

Meanwhile,, a salary-review and employee-review Web site, this month retooled its home page so that jobs listed near the users' hometown and relevant job categories immediately pop up when an individual logs on. has created a $999 service for job seekers to get two 45-minute career-coaching sessions over the phone to help them land a new job.

But some consumers may be overwhelmed by the number of job-search sites and all their new features. Scores of career sites are competing for clicks, so users must master multiple search tools -- only to discover that sometimes there is redundancy in the listings. Career counselors advise job seekers to learn advanced search strategies on several sites so that only relevant results are displayed. They're also told to find niche sites that focus on an industry or region to further narrow their search.

Alice Ziroli, 46, began looking for new jobs online earlier this year when the pharmaceutical company she worked for shut down its local sales division. But when she trolled sites such as and, she says she found their offerings too vast.

"I didn't find them user-friendly," says Ms. Ziroli. She eventually found a job-search engine called, which has a simple Google-like home page and allowed her to narrowly specify her job-search criteria. Last month, Ms. Ziroli started a new $65,000-a-year job -- slightly more than what she made before -- as a sales representative for a hospice-and-health-care company just 18 miles from her Diamond Bar, Calif., home.

Adding New Features

A spokesman says that, in this environment, the more features that a site offers the better for a job candidate. Monster says it is rolling out improvements to its site early next year with features that will make it easier to upload résumés and apply for a job online. and other sites are adding features to improve the relevance of online job searches. Still, job-search sites are experiencing a dramatic spike in usage. The total number of minutes that Internet users spent on such Web sites jumped 13% in October from a year earlier, while the total number of job-site pages viewed rose 20% in the same period, according to comScore Inc., a market-research company based in Reston, Va. Overall, the number of unique visitors to job-search sites is up 12% in the past year, more than the 5% increase for the Internet as a whole.

"Engagement with these job sites is a lot higher now," says Andrew Lipsman, a comScore spokesman. "It's not just how many people are on these sites but how much time overall they're spending on them."

Job-oriented sites are capitalizing -- literally -- on the newfound interest. late last month got $6.5 million in new venture-capital funding, just four months after its June launch. LinkedIn also announced last month that it had received $22.7 million in new funding from strategic investors such as Goldman Sachs Inc. and McGraw-Hill Co.

Niche Job Sites

Some job-search sites cater to certain industries., for instance, is targeted at technology professionals. Its sister Web site,, is tailored for finance-industry workers -- an area that has been particularly hard hit. In September, launched an emergency toolkit that bundles tips and articles on how finance workers can network, customize their résumés and interview better in order to land
a new job.

Other sites try to stand out by providing more career-improvement data and features apart from just job listings. With numbers submitted by users, offers salary data for positions at numerous companies. So based on nine submissions, individuals searching for engineering-manager positions at Google Inc. would see that total compensation for such a job might add up to $241,000, including salary and bonuses.

And some sites are now emulating features found on social-networking sites: in February launched, where professionals can network and interact with one another. A spokesman says will add new features next year to highlight each member's skills, such as allowing writers to upload samples of their work.

One thing career sites haven't been able to perk up for job seekers is the total number of job listings. As of earlier this month, the number of job listings on was down 9% for the year so far, compared with the same period in 2007, says a spokeswoman, who declined to reveal underlying numbers. At, the number of open positions has stayed flat at about five million jobs over the past year, says Chief Executive Paul Forster.

'A Mixed Picture'
"It's very much a mixed picture" out there jobwise, says Mr. Forster. "There's a lot of weakness in certain areas, such as in the mortgage, retail, financial, construction and hospitality industries. But some areas like defense and health care are strong."

Marc Hirsch, who started looking for a new job six months ago, says many features on the job sites helped him. The Roanoke, Va., resident, who has a background as a chemist, used LinkedIn, and to get job alerts sent to him and liked how many of the listings came with salary information and estimates. "There was a lot of garbage that came back" through the online searches "but some quality opportunities too," says the 52-year-old.

Ultimately, though, the job sites proved to be just a starting point for him. Through one job listing he found on a career Web site earlier this year, Mr. Hirsch got his résumé sent to General Electric Co. While the company didn't have anything suitable at the time, GE kept his name on file.

When a position as an applications engineer came open, GE contacted him and he got the post, he says.

November 23, 2008

I'm Number Eight!!

Check it out. Bloggingforjobs is listed as Number 8 on the Career 100 Risesmart site. The site is a global ranking of top english language career blogs. (Yup, I said GLOBAL!)

I want to say thank you for your continued support and feedback. I created this blog almost a year and a half ago with the job seeker in mind. So enjoy and keep fighting the good fight!

Happy Hunting!


P.S. Check it out at

November 21, 2008

Maximum Unemployment Benefits By State

A look at the maximum weekly unemployment benefits available in each state.

Alabama — $235
Alaska — $320
Arizona — $240
Arkansas — $409
California — $450
Colorado — $455
Connecticut — $576
Delaware — $330
District of Columbia — $359
Florida — $275
Georgia — $320
Hawaii — $523
Idaho — $364
Illinois — $511
Indiana — $390
Iowa — $426
Kansas — $407
Kentucky — $415
Louisiana — $258
Maine — $496
Maryland — $380
Massachusetts — $900
Michigan — $362
Minnesota — $538
Mississippi — $210
Missouri — $320
Montana — $386
Nebraska — $298
Nevada — $362
New Hampshire — $427
New Jersey — $560
New Mexico — $455
New York — $405
North Carolina — $476
North Dakota — $385
Ohio — $493
Oklahoma — $392
Oregon — $463
Pennsylvania — $547
Puerto Rico — $133
Rhode Island — $641
South Carolina — $326
South Dakota — $285
Tennessee — $275
Texas — $378
Utah — $427
Vermont — $409
Virginia _$363
Virgin Islands — $454
Washington — $515
West Virginia — $408
Wisconsin — $355
Wyoming — $387

All figures are as of Jan. 1, 2008, and may have since changed.

Senate Extends Unemployment

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Senate approved a House bill to extend unemployment benefits by at least seven weeks on Thursday, sending the measure to President Bush on the same day the Labor Department reported continuing claims for jobless benefits hit a 26-year high.

The Senate bill extends benefits by seven weeks. It would extend them for 13 weeks in states with unemployment rates higher than 6%.

President Bush will sign the bill, his spokeswoman said Thursday.

"Because of the tight job market, the president believes it would be appropriate to further extend unemployment benefits and he would sign legislation that is now in front of Congress," said spokeswoman Dana Perino at the daily White House briefing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wants Bush to sign the bill "as soon as possible."

"Extending unemployment insurance will help many struggling to afford the rising costs of living," Reid said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The House approved the measure on Oct. 3. The current U.S. jobless rate is 6.5%.
U.S. workers are facing a gloomy job market. Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department reported that first-time jobless claims rose to a 16-year high of 542,000 in the latest week. The number of people receiving benefits rose to 4.01 million in the week ending Nov. 8, the highest level in 26 years.

**For more visit

November 20, 2008

Twitter: Business Tool or Time Drain

5 Tips to Layoff Proof Your Job

from written by DebtKid

Are you vital to your employer?

If your answer is, "absolutely!" then congratulations, your job is probably safe. If you hesitated, it may be time to look at how to layoff-proof your position. With companies laying off workers across a broad spectrum of industries, if you're not vital you just might be expendable. Make yourself absolutely vital to the success of your company… or, at least their survival during these difficult economic times.

1. Be a Da Vinci
Leonardo wasn't just a great painter. He could sculpt, sketch, and if you're a ninja turtle fan, clean up with swords as well. The point is that knowing how to just do your job isn't enough. To truly layoff-proof yourself you need to know how to do other positions within your company. Take the initiative and start learning the daily tasks you would handle if you had other job titles.

2. Take on a new project
If you have to create a new project to take on one, do it. If a new project needs volunteers, volunteer. Heck, volunteer to lead the search for volunteers. If there is anything new happening at your company, you want to make sure you are an important part of it. This may mean taking on responsibilities beyond your normal routine or job description.

3. Generate revenue
Often when a company is looking at cutting jobs, the absolute last cuts happen to the sales department. Why? Because without them, the company wouldn't bring in any money!
If you're a secretary, find a salesperson to help out. Can you help manage or optimize their leads? If you can't be generating revenue directly, become absolutely essential to someone who is!

4. Embrace change
Instead of complaining of the "good ole days", embrace any change that your workplace is going through. Not only will it be good for your mental health, you'll be seen as a good team player as well. Note: This does not mean be a suck-up. This just means roll with the punches. Change happens. You might as well go with it.

5. Share your 100% commitment
Have a serious conversation with your boss (or higher up if possible) about your commitment to your company. Don't do this in an email or over the phone. Even if it's just stopping their office for a few minutes one afternoon, have this conversation in person. When it comes to making cuts, they will remember the personal conversation that you initiated. It may not sound like much, but little details like this can make all the difference.

November 18, 2008

Check out my quote. . .

Follow the link to check out my quote in an article titled, "The Right and Wrong Way to Job Hop" featured on the site

Happy Hunting!


Gambling with Speed Networking

Early this morning I attended a Speed Networking event. The one hour event was held at a Oklahoma City Metro Chamber of Commerce. Roughly 30 networkers attended. Each networker was assigned to a table and had 5 minutes to speak to their table about themselves and the companies and businesses they represent. I made 6 new connections in an hour and with a little bit of luck one of those connections will help me directly or indirectly in my business or professional endeavors.

One of the great things about this particular event is that it is held monthly, but like any type of event, the likelihood of a great connection is a game of chance. Networking is a lot like a deck of cards with face cards being promising connections and number cards be less than desirable connections. You might come across 5 consecutive number cards before you find a face card and so on. The point is that, you never know when your luck will turn and when a connection even one that on the surface appears to be a number card can be wild and turn into something special. That something special might be a possible job lead or an introduction to someone of interest.

One of the reasons as a recruiter I look forward to the holiday season is that there is no lack of networking events during this time of year. I can honestly say that between now and Christmas, I could realistically fill each day with a networking event whether it's lunch with an old friend, a Chamber Breakfast, or holiday celebration for a professional organization I am a member of. The key is to get the most mileage out of the events you attend. Don't overbook yourself. Take a step back and look at "the marketing potential" each event allows yourself with those that can assist you in your goal of finding a career or the job you seek.

By keeping your goal in mind and a handy stack of marketing materials in your car and briefcase, your job search is sure to prosper during these current economic times and historically slow holiday job season.

Happy Hunting!


November 17, 2008

Creative Networking Ideas

Have you been victim to recent layoffs or corporate cutbacks? Looking for creative ways to make an impression while in the job hunt? See below for ideas that can make a difference and are light on the budget.

  • That Personal Touch. Send an handwritten note to each and every networking connection you meet. Follow up with each connection within a week either by email or phone. Keep a list of your contacts, notes, and when you plan to follow up.

  • Your Monthly e-zine. Part of your marketing toolkit should include a monthly email or other electronic update sent to those within your network. Things to include in your email can be information about upcoming webinars or other events you frequent along with professional updates regarding yourself. Make a note to personally contact those within your network as often as you feel necessary.

  • Take Control . Host your own personal networking event in your own living room. Invite friends in your network to your home for a Martini Networking Night with your job search in mind. Ask each guest to bring someone from their own personal network. Provide light snacks, wine, martinis, or other beverages and an opportunity for those attending to network in a casual and relaxing setting that is light on the budget and sure to impress. Top it off with a drawing for a door prize like a gift basket from Bath and Bodyworks or a bottle of wine and you have everyone's business cards and contact information easy as pie.

November 11, 2008

Who's Who In Recruiting

Who's Who in Recruiting? Learn the job search lingo. See below.


A Headhunter is an independent recruiter whose client is a company that’s searching for candidates for a certain job. Some Headhunters specialize in searches for high-level executives, while others specialize in specific professions or industries.
A Headhunter working for a “contingency fee” only gets paid by the client company when the search is completed and the candidate is hired by the company. There may be many Headhunters involved in the search for a candidate to fill that position, but only the Headhunter who finds the candidate that’s hired will be paid. A Headhunter working on “retainer” is usually the only Headhunter involved in the search and gets part of their payment from the client company at the beginning of the search. Contingency or retained fees may range from 25–50% of the hired candidate’s first annual salary. A Headhunter may recruit at job fairs but usually relies on other methods. It’s important to remember that the Headhunter is working for the company—not for the candidate.


A Recruiter works for the company that’s hiring, usually in the Human Resources office. He or she is responsible for identifying and recruiting candidates for certain positions within that company and receives a regular salary—though they may receive bonuses for filling positions, that’s not their only compensation. Recruiters often work at career/job fairs. Many Headhunters call themselves Recruiters, so it’s important to ask who they work for and how they’re compensated.

Career Counselor

A Career Counselor helps their Client to assess their professional abilities, identify their career goals, and explore their career options. Counseling usually requires face-to-face interaction, and the work is directed internally at the Client. Counseling often involves several sessions, with the cost ranging from $50–$150 per hour. The Counselor may encourage and support the Client during his job search, but the Counselor doesn’t aid in the actual search.

Career Coach

A Career Coach helps their Client attain their career goals. Like a mentor, the Coach motivates and challenges the Client, urging them to action. Coaching focuses on the Client’s external goals and may require more time than counseling. The Coach helps the Client create an action plan to achieve their goals. Sometimes coaching doesn’t require personal interaction between the Coach and the Client and can be done by telephone or e-mail. While a Coach may ask their Client to sign a contract, they’re usually paid hourly, and may charge from $100 to $200 per hour.
The Coach may teach résumé writing and interview techniques, as well as other job search skills, but the Coach doesn’t usually aid in the actual search.

Why Use Twitter?

Ever heard of Twitter? Twitter is a online microblogging community where members post in 140 characters or less. Over the next several weeks, you'll see posts based on my recent experiences with twitter. Check out the slideshow below.

Cheers! Jessica

Why Use Twitter
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November 5, 2008

LinkedIn Experiement: 2 week update

So it's been roughly two weeks since I began my LinkedIn Experiment. Not really scientific but the point is to prove the power of LinkedIn. I had 317 contacts at the time when this journey first began. My contact now has now grown to 735 at last count, yes 735. My network is now over 9 millon linking me to recruiters, professionals, job seekers, and everyone in between. All for FREE!!

To recap, first I joined a group called Toplinked and used their new contact list to send invites to over 100 people. About 4-5 days later, someone in my network sent me a message recommending I join another open network group called All Invites Accepted. This group sends out a monthly member list using a csv file and this is where my network really took off. In just one day, my contacts grew by over 150. The awesome thing about this group is that they send a new member list monthly allowing for you to continue to grow your network by 150-200 contacts each month. Amazing!

A couple things:
  • My blog traffic to this site (Bloggingforjobs) increased as a result of LinkedIn. I'm noticing on average 5-7 more visitors a day who link to my site as a result of LinkedIn.
  • Direct messages and requests to be linked have increased to 1-2 per day. Either someone has read my blog, met someone at the place of business where I work, or is interested in reaching out.
  • My profile views have increased to 25 per day increasing the probability of someone reaching out to me. And I've noticed that my profile views are not limited to one geographic area. Just yesterday, I had someone from Italy view my profile.

As you can see I'm not only increasing my online visibility but developing my personal brand as well. And once again, it was completely free except for about 20 minutes of my time each day to down the member lists and answer any invitation requests or messages. I highly recommend this method for anyone who is looking at increasing their online presence or those in the job hunt.

November 3, 2008

GREAT READ-Brand Yourself to Fight the Bad Economy

Check out the great article below courtesy of Business Week!

Cheers! Jessica


Brand Yourself to Fight the Bad Economy

By Marshall Goldsmith

My friend Dan Schawbel is a leading voice in the area of personal branding, focusing on helping individuals gain self-confidence, discover their passion, and develop a brand by using social media tools.

I invited Dan to discuss how personal branding can be used to fight the economic downturn and protect people from future layoffs. In his new book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, he provides a detailed four-step strategy for success. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow:

Marshall Goldsmith: Dan, what exactly is personal branding, and why is it so important in today's challenging workplace?

Dan Schawbel: Personal branding is how we market ourselves to others. Each and every one of us has a brand because we are constantly being judged based on first impressions. Also, we are forced to sell our ideas and unique abilities to all stakeholders inside a company or as an entrepreneur.

Ten years ago, in a Web 1.0 world, your brand was hidden unless you were an executive at a leading company or a Hollywood celebrity. Now, with the evolution of the Internet into a Web 2.0 environment, every single person has a voice that can build or destroy their reputation and that of their company in an instant. Another major difference is that you needed a lot of mainstream press years ago to make a name for yourself. Today you can start a blog and join social networks for free.

Everyone from hiring managers to admissions officers and even talent agencies is scrubbing the Internet, either in search of their next hire or as a background check. According to, 22% of managers screen their staff using social networks like Facebook, and Kaplan says that 10% of admissions officers verify potential students using social networks. There is a massive opportunity for you to position yourself as an extraordinary brand and be recruited based on your passion.

What led you to get involved with personal branding?

I graduated from Bentley College in 2006, after accumulating eight internships and seven leadership positions. During my interviews, hiring managers had noticed my "personal branding toolkit," which contained a custom portfolio, résumé, cover letter, and Web site. This made me stand out. After several interviews, I landed the marketing job I wanted at EMC Corp (EMC).

One year later, I started experimenting with social media outside of work. I launched my own blog, after reading Tom Peters' famous "Brand Called You" article. I soon realized that my passion was in fact personal branding, as I love marketing, mentoring, and all things social media. What started as a blog became awards, an online TV show, and my own magazine. I was profiled in Fast Company, and the article was read by EMC PR and sent to a vice-president, who then hired me to be the first social media specialist. Long story short, I was hired without even applying for the job.

What is your four-step process for building a powerful brand?

•Discover: In order to really understand who you are and carve out a career path moving forward, investing in self-discovery is critical. In fact, if you don't spend time learning about yourself, your values, personal mission, and unique attributes, you will be at a disadvantage when marketing your brand to others. Start by removing yourself from distractions and ask yourself, "Who am I?" and, "If I could do anything, what would it be?"

•Create: Your personal branding toolkit may consist of a blog, Web site, business card, résumé, reference document, cover letter, portfolio, or even a LinkedIn profile. Each piece has to be consistent with the next and reflect the brand you discovered in Step 1.

•Communicate: Now it's time to use everything you've created to let people know you exist. By attending professional networking events, writing articles for Web sites, and putting on your "personal PR hat," pitch bloggers and traditional journalists to start gaining attention and recognition for the brand you created in Step 2.

•Maintain: As you grow, mature, and accelerate in your career, everything you've created has to be updated and accurately represent the current "brand you." Also, you need to monitor your brand online to ensure all conversations about you are positive and factual. You can do this by using a combination of tools, including a Google Alert for your name.

Can you explain how social media tools can protect workers?

You need to build your brand equity outside of your current job because there is no such thing as job security anymore. To do this, you should become a blogger, reserve your name on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and take ownership of your Google (GOOG) results by constantly monitoring what shows up for your name over time. Each of these social media tools rank high in Google, therefore they can give you the necessary visibility you need to seize opportunities.

Thank you! I love to give my readers new techniques to adapt and succeed, especially in today's turbulent business environment. How can we reach you?

I can be reached at or

Readers, I would love comments from you. Please send your advice for developing a personal brand.

Goldsmith's new book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, was recently listed as America's best-selling business book in The Wall Street Journal. He can be reached at, and he provides his articles and videos online at

November 1, 2008

How to use LinkedIn and Kick As*

Check out this great slide show LinkedIn.

Happy Hunting!


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October 28, 2008

ASK The Recruiter. . .

Here is a recent answer that I provided to someone on LikedIn regarding the changing job market.

Question: With newspapers in a quick decline, where should my students look for internships and jobs?

Free-falling revenues and major cutbacks at many newspapers are a cause for concern for my students at the University of Oklahoma College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Granted, they are learning all types of reporting/editing styles so as to keep up with changing media but some are still looking for that paper clipping to add to their portfolios. I also starting approaching freshman and prospective students with the ideas of getting internships as soon as they could. How should I, as a Career/Internship Coordinator, change my teaching tactics to fit these changes while still providing the 1,700+ students with traditional and changing resources? I'm a firm believer in networking (personal and online social) as well as being connected to various organizations and daily email news feeds to stay current on industry trends.

Answer: I would focus my efforts on networking for not only you but your students as well. They should be attending meetings for professional organizations throughout college and building their contact base. Social networking is also a great route to direct them to as they are already very savy in this department.

Here are some sites that might interest you in the local OKC area: You might want to consider students having internships with smaller magazines like the Gazette or Norman Living here locally. This would allow them the opportunity to learn about all areas of journalism-ads, sales, editing, reporting, instead of one. I would love to come and speak to your students more about using social networking both traditional and online to their advantage.

Kind Regards, Jessica

October 26, 2008

Blog Series-Moms Re-entering the Workforce

Being a soon to be first time mom, (Only 7 weeks to go!!) I have taken a recent interest in how mom's balance work/life demands. Because of this, I plan on featuring several upcoming blog posts dedicated to mom's in the workforce. I am a firm believer you can have it all--a great paying flexible job with a balanced work and family life. With a little planning, preparation, and research, moms and even dads can make it happen.

These posts are inspired by a friend of mine who is currently developing a great website just for moms who are looking to re-enter the workforce. Amie is also pregnant and clearly very driven and creative. Thanks for the inspiration!!

These featured posts for moms can also double for many others who are faced with the possibility and reality of altering their work schedules and career goals as our parents begin to age and we become dual caregivers. It is very common for families to have to balance caring for children, a career, and a parent or other family member.

Consider the possibility that as companies look to cut expenses, contract, part time and flexible positions may be an option. Here are some things to consider.

  • Update your skills. Take a local course at a community college, vo-tech, and even your local chamber of commerce.
  • Find a mentor. Do your research and leverage the resources you have. It is always helpful to get advice from someone who has been there.
  • Consider alternatives. Temporary jobs, part time jobs, contract, and freelance are all options to consider.
  • Network. Use your contacts to search for unadvertised positions. Having a recommendation from a contact can set you apart from the rest.
  • Don't undercut yourself. There is a high demand for qualified accountants, financial consultants, and those that can multi-task. Research the market rate and be prepared to negotiate.
  • Market yourself! Get your marketing plan and resume in place with professional business cards and a goal in mind. Be ready to make cold calls and call on family friends and contacts for leads. You need to be prepared to sell yourself. Don't feel uncomfortable. You are your best asset.

Happy Hunting!


October 24, 2008

LinkedIn Experiment: 48 Hour Update

It's been a little over 48 hours since my LinkedIn Experiment began. My current contact count is now at 432. My contact count has increased over 100 in just two days. I've also had 2 group invites as a result of my experiment. Additionally, yesterday I got a call from a headhunter inquiring as to my interest in entertaining a new position as a result of her finding me from my LinkedIn Account.

On another note, 25 people have viewed my LinkedIn profile in the last three days further increasing my marketability.

I'll keep you abreast of any interesting changes or updates as a result of my LinkedIn Experiment.

Happy Hunting!


October 22, 2008

LinkedIn Update

So it's been 24 hours since I first downloaded the contacts and added to my profile headline as directed by the Toplinked website. As of 8:00 pm, I have 98 contacts more than I did yesterday. I've also been invited to two separate LinkedIn groups as well. Groups are great. They increase your exposure and your ability to network with others.

Currently, my contact total is 414. I'll keep you tomorrow as to how my contact total progresses.

October 21, 2008

Follow me on Twitter

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Check me out on twitter and follow my updates!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Look over here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

More fun and exciting updates to come. . . . or search me on twitter at blogging4jobs!!!


Job Fairs for Military Personnel & Families

Check out the link below with information regarding military jobs fairs that job seekers can attend free of charge.


A LinkedIn Experiment

If you have read my blog, you will know that I am a huge fan of LinkedIn! In my opinion, it's the most powerful networking tool someone can have in their online networking toolkit. To prove my point, I have embarked upon a little experiment.

I have been a member of many LinkedIn groups since joining LinkedIn. One such open networking group is TopLinked. TopLinked has their own website in addition to their LinkedIn group where you can use their group member list to increase your LinkedIn network base. They offer several different options either the free service where you can join the group, promote the group by including them in your headline name, and then upload their top member list and export it to LinkedIn to send invites or you can also purchase a monthly or year membership where you have access to all TopLinked members information for a low monthly fee of $9.95 or $49.95 for a year.

Open networkers accept all LinkedIn invitations even if they do not know the requestor. This increases their network size which allows for better and more in depth searches. Better searches equal greater access to contacts and their contact's contacts.

So, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, I logged onto TopLinked and downloaded their top member list, exported the file, and sent 134 invitations to other TopLinked open networkers. At that time I had 317 connections. To prove the power of this free service, I plan on providing daily updates on my blog as to the success of this experiment.

Stay tuned. . . More to come.

B4J Inspiration

Every Tuesday morning, I try to attend my local Distinguished Toastmasters Meeting and this week I was particularly inspired by two of our speakers. They spoke with great passion and energy. I left the meeting with a good feeling and ready to face the day!

One of the reasons that I love TM is the ability to get out there and focus on your own personal development. The ability to effectively publicly speak is an important part of not only being successful in your field of business but in all parts of your professional and personal life. TM also provides its members with great opportunities to network.

Periodically, I like to invite guests to our meetings. It gives me another opportunity to build a stronger connections with my contacts and assist them in their own networking goals. Having a network=great opportunities to secure a new job or increase your own contacts for greater professional interests like sales leads, candidates, or increased opportunities--whatever your reason.

Happy Hunting!!


October 19, 2008

B4J Tip of the Week. . .

Check out the link below that includes 97 great tips from a professional executive level recruiter and Career Advice for the Desperate Job Seeker.

Happy Hunting!


Employers and MySpace

I have discussed this topic briefly a time or two on this blog and it appears the topic has resurfaced again by the look of some of the comments and emails I'm receiving. It seems that with companies looking to cut costs with the downturn in the economy, they are replacing the background process with google and online social networking searches like MySpace.

First and foremost, let it be known that my opinion is that a google or myspace search should not and does not replace a proper background check. Background checks search for prior felonies and misdemeanors on the candidate's record. Online searches on social networking pages only provide the candidate's page content and not their past criminal history. Personally, I think that this practice is a waste of time. Understand, however, that many companies use this practice as part of the background check process.

I attended a legal seminar over three years ago where one of the topics discussed was how to use social networking search as part of the background check process and what companies and candidates legal rights are. Understand that anything that is posted on the Internet falls under "Public Domain" which means basically that anyone can view the information posted on the Internet for any purpose without your permission. Basically, you can't get your panties in a bunch because a company viewed your page content and comments. Anyone has the right to do this once you post your dirty laundry on the world wide web. So what can you do?

  1. Mark your page as private. This keeps people from viewing your page content but it does not keep me from searching your page content on the Internet. I can use a site like to enter in your name and keyword search. Although I can't see your page with the keywords on it, I can see that your page contained the keyword I search. For example say, I searched John Smith and devil worshipper and something popped up on your facebook page. Although I can't see the content or if you or a friend posted this information, I know now that it is contained on your page. From an employer's perspective this could be a cause for concern.
  2. Clean up your page. This is what I highly recommend. Since we have established the companies can and do view your page for whatever reason at any time, it makes since to clean up your page. Monitor your friend's comments and pictures they post in addition to cleaning up your own information. Although companies, should not discriminate based on certain information contained within your page, the reality is that they can and do. Change your age to a ridiculous number like 299, remove your salary information, and do not post racy photos or other potentially eyebrow raising content like references to drugs, alcohol, or criminal activities.
  3. Keep your blog in mind. If you are going to have a blog, I recommend keeping your blog titles PG and block only friends on your page to view your blog.
  4. Be weary of your friend's pages. If someone is listed as a friend on your page, they are also fair game and can influence a company's perception of you. Consider removing a top friends list on your page so that people can't click from one friend to another especially if a company is looking to gain more information.

By using these tips, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job without unintentionally disqualifying yourself for the position.

October 16, 2008

Dealing with Job Loss

The times we live today are changing and unstable all around us, but for many we have things we can count on--our family, friends, and our job. With the changing economic climate and culture, the latter is not as certain as it was before.

It occurred to me a couple weeks ago when a friend of mine was let go from his job that "Bob" was experiencing the psychological stages of mourning much like we would do for a loved one but for a job. Bob had worked at his job for more than a couple years, and he considered himself an company staple and had surfed the corporate waves of change and survived.

In the bereavement or mourning process, there is no magic amount of time we spend in each stage of grief or the amount of time before we accept the change and learn to move forward. Because of our own financial obligations, often times we do not allow ourselves the appropriate amount of time to grieve.

  • Denial and Isolation. The first reaction to learning about job loss or change is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts and say things like, "I never saw this coming, " or adding to the company grapevine. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

  • Anger. As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at the person's previous place of employment which is often the case. Depending on the situation and if the the job loss was progressive and based on our lack of performance as an employee, rationally, we know the company is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent it for causing us pain. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry. The manager who brought our attention to the lack of performance or who delivered the message, might become a convenient target. I recommend arranging a special appointment to speak to someone in Human Resource. Ask for clear answers to your questions. Understand the options available to you like severance or unemployment. Take your time.

  • Bargaining. The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control. If only we had sought attention sooner from our manager, our friends, or family. If we got a second chance. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

  • Depression. Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret are common. We worry about the financial loss associated with being unemployed. This phase may be eased by simple clarification and reassurance. The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. It is our quiet preparation where we remove ourselves from those that we love. Sometimes all we really need is a hug or big fat job offer.

  • Acceptance. Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. However, I urge you to make your peace with caution. Burning bridges and making poor choices during mourning can and will have long term professional consequences. This phase is marked by withdrawal and calm. This is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression.
Bob took a couple weeks off to clear his head. Just this week he gave me a call and dusted off his resume wanting my professional opinion which I was happy to provide. It seems these days most everyone has been affected by a layoff or involuntary termination. It's in these moments that I believe we really learn the most about ourselves.

October 15, 2008

What's Your BRAND?

Companies spend millions and billions of dollars developing their BRAND. According to Wikipedia, Brand is defined as a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company,product or service. A brand serves to create associations and expectations among products made by a producer. A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols and sound which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality. The key objective is to create a relationship of trust.

Just last month, Best Global Brands announced their top 100 Best Global Brands with Coca Cola being named number 1 for the eighth consecutive year in a row. Their estimated brand value in 2008 was roughly $66,667,000,000 based on their brand alone. Conversely, the 100th listed brand suprisingly was Visa with an estimated brand value of $3,338,000,000. Both companies have went to extreme lengths in developing their brand with expensive and strategically placed marketing campaigns. Visa's most recent advertising campaign dubbed "Priceless" is a great case in point.

The importance of building brand is everywhere. In doing a MSN Search, the word BRAND had 311,000,000 web hits. So what's your brand????

October 3, 2008

Economic Job Report: Worst in 5 Years

Jobs: Worst in 5 years

Payrolls shrink by 159,000, the 9th straight month that employers shed jobs, bringing losses to 760,000.

NEW YORK ( -- Employers made deeper cuts in their payrolls in September, according to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, as the economy experienced the biggest drop in jobs in more than five years.

There was a net loss of 159,000 jobs in September, the ninth straight month the U.S. economy has lost jobs. The August job loss was revised to 73,000 jobs, taking year-to-date job losses to 760,000.

Economists surveyed by had forecast the loss of 105,000 jobs in the month.
The unemployment rate remained at 6.1%, the same level as August and in line with economists' forecast.

The report is based on surveys of employers and households conducted in the week of Sept. 8 to 12, a period before the worst of the current financial crisis hit Wall Street. That crisis caused banks to hoard cash and cut back on credit extended to businesses.

Fears that the credit crunch will cause widespread job losses and a severe downturn in the already struggling economy prompted Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to push for a $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

The measure, which passed the Senate Wednesday night, was voted down in the House on Monday. But the House is set to vote on the measure again Friday.

October 2, 2008

B4J Thought for the Week. . .

While I was in Chicago last week, I heard an interesting quote that I believe those in the job hunt need to take heart and is what this blog is all about.

Planning without execution is a hallucination.

-Thomas Edison

Without proper planning in the job hunt, we are hallucinating that opportunities will fall into our laps. Good things don't come easy but with proper preparation, we can be prepared to face challenges with more confidence. I believe that generally speaking luck is nothing but a four letter word. Preparation and planning lead to luck or what I'd like to call desired opportunity.

Happy Hunting!


Holiday Staffing as a Resume Builder

The beginning of October signals the beginning of the holiday staffing season for retailers. A temporary holiday position can add some much needed cash to your bank account while gaining some valuable work experience.
A temporary position usually lasts anywhere between 30-120 days allowing for an increased customer service presence to account for the additional customer traffic and increased sales during the holiday. Some big box retailers like Target and Wal-Mart will add anywhere between 75-150 temporary associates each to account for the increase sales during the busy season.

If you decide to broaden your horizons and experience the retail industry during the holidays, consider the following:
  1. Flexibility. The schedule you work and the numbers of hours you work will fluctuate each week depending on the retail locations projected sales and peak sales times. If you are working as a customer service associate, expect to work evenings and weekends when customer and sales volume is the highest.
  2. Temporary Gig. The holiday season doesn't last forever and neither will your newly found position. However, companies will keep a select few top performers if sales budgets permit. Make managers aware of your interest or ask for a referral or store transfer.
  3. Resume Builder. Retail affords a wide variety of experiences including inventory and budget management, cash control, and customer service. These are all skills you can use in most industries and are great skills to highlight in your resume.
  4. Store Discounts. Not only can you make a little green but you can save some green too. Retails companies like Target and Lowe's offer a 10% associate discount while higher margin retail clothing stores like Old Navy offer a 40% discount in addition to the fact that you have first pick of clearance and discontinued items.

Lastly, do not forget other seasonal industries. Companies like Williams Sonoma hires seasonal help for their catalogue call center. This company offers flexible scheduling and a substantial employee discount.

Seasonal work can not only be a great opportunity to expand your skill toolkit but it can lead to a great long-term career as well.

September 22, 2008

B4J Tip of the Week

Job fair season is upon us, and it's a great opportunity to network with companies and recruiters. Print off multiple resume copies, have your personal and professional business cards handy, and look your best!

Approach each recruiter at your top companies and introduce yourself. Don't forget to have your handshake ready! Inquire about opportunities at their company or any openings they are aware of. Make sure to get a copy of their business card and follow up with an email or handwritten note.

Recruiters, in general are a very networked bunch. This is a great way to find "unadvertised" openings that so many of the experts talk about while rapidly increasing your networking circle. Focus on building several solid and meaningful relationships with a handful of these recruiters. I recommend you offer to meet for lunch or inquire to set up an informational interview.

You'll be amazed at your success!!

Happy Hunting!


September 20, 2008

September 18, 2008

Recession Proof Jobs & Industries

Take a look at a few industries below that experts believe are recession proof. If you are unemployed because of a business closure or restructure, you might want to consider a new career in one of these 6 different areas.

* Education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has historically shown teaching to be relatively recession-proof. But demographics are important: High-growth areas like the Sun Belt offer much better prospects than the Rust Belt.

* Energy. "This is a major issue for the global economy, and jobs related to oil and gas, alternative energy and even nuclear are likely to see strong growth," Challenger said.

* Health care. Almost half the 30 fastest growing occupations are concentrated in health services -- including medical assistants, physical therapists, physician assistants, home health aides, and medical records and health information technicians -- according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

* International business. "If you have a strong knowledge of other cultures, and an ability to work in another country, you'll find plenty of opportunities," according to John Challenger. "If you're first generation Chinese, with business skills and Chinese language skills, you're in good shape.

* Environmental sector. There is a huge and growing industry geared to combat global warming. "Not only will professionals with skills in sustainability issues be in demand through the end of the decade, we are likely to shortages of professionals with 'green' skills," said Rona Fried, president of, a networking service for sustainable businesses.

* Security. "Crime doesn't stop during a recession, and police officers, port security specialists and international security experts will continue to be in demand," Challenger emphasized.

--Information & Statistics provided by Yahoo Hot Jobs

B4J Update

Hey all!

I'm in Chicago this week and working on some great posts for you. It appears that the recession and the financial crisis is at the forefront of everyone minds these days and those visiting my site also feel this way. I'll be featuring more posts about your job search in the current economic climate along with some new and exciting tools you can use to get a leg up.

Have a great week and Happy Hunting!

Cheers! Jessica

September 11, 2008

Seeking Interview Feedback

Interview feedback is one of the most important parts of the interview process. If you are interviewing internally for a promotion or position within your current company, receiving interview feedback is relatively easy. Feedback from an external interview is hard to come by especially when managers and companies are frighten by horror stories and threats of lawsuits.

Regardless of where you interview or with whom, I recommend asking for feedback. If interviewing internally, interview feedback is a must. Ask to receive your feedback in writing in the form of an IDP or Individual Development Plan or other document. Even if you don't get offered a position, show them you mean business and have some follow through.

Don't limit your development to company specific activities. If you are in need of leadership or management experience and your company doesn't offer an official program, think outside the box. Join a club or lead a team of volunteers at a local nonprofit. This opportunity does double duty providing you leadership experience also with valuable networking at the same time.

Sign up for mock interviews. Most often when we interview and are under the gun, we tend to ramble and lose focus. I recommend attending a class at your local vo-tech for a nominal fee allowing a professional to give you real life feedback.

Speak publicly every chance you get. When interviewing, it's essential to be able to speak on your feet. Hiring managers love to throw wild interview questions the candidate's way shaking them off balance. Join a public speaking group like toastmasters to give you valuable public speaking experience.

Get a mentor. Find a seasoned professional in your field either at your current company or another and plan to meet with them formally at least quarterly to discuss your professional development. A lunch meeting or quick conference call is a great way to get refreshed, refocused, and back on track.

September 7, 2008

A Little Interview Humor For Thought. . .

Check out the video below. While corny, I have heard each and every one of these answers while conducting an interview.

Latest Trend: Video Interviewing

Think of it as DVR for interviewing. And speaking of my DVR come the new fall television schedule, I can't live without it. Companies are using video interviewing as a way to engage the candidate without all the time and commitment. I will admit I've been in a few interviews where I wish for nothing more than the good ole fast forward button, and as a candidate I'm sure you have as well.

Video interviewing is used to screen candidates more efficiently while saving time and money. Some managers conduct their screening interviews via video. HireVue has video technology that allows hiring managers to screen candidates anywhere across the globe allowing for the consistency of interview questions and the ability to replay, review, or fast forward an interview multiple times and compare notes.

The actual video interviewing process for the most part is no different than a company's current interviewing process. Candidate resumes and applications are screened and those that meet the requirements are invited to participate in the video interview. Normally, a webcam is set up in an office or other location to record your interview. You will be provided a tutorial to explain the video interview process. Like any interview, you will be asked 10-15 questions and will have a certain amount of time to respond to each question.

How does a candidate leverage video interviewing?

  • Engage your audience! Look into the camera. The camera is your audience. Don't stare blankly into space or another corner of the room when answering questions. Make sure to smile and appear calm even if you are not.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice. Video interviewing is no different from a face to face interview. Practice answering common interview questions and role play with a trusted friend. Don't be afraid to tape your interview and look for use of body language or a nervous twitch.

  • Do your research. This blog is a good place to start. Be prepared and understand how companies use video interviewing and what the actual interview will entail. Visit to learn more about the video interview process.

  • Dress the part. Treat a video interview like any other interview. Dress professional, well-groomed, and ready to impress.

Like any type of prescreen interview whether it's face to face, video interviewing, or over the phone, your interview is your one and only chance to make that great impression! Proper prepartion and education will give you a chance to shine!!

Happy Hunting!! Jessica

September 3, 2008

Join Me at the OKC Employer Council Sept. 9th

Please join me at the OKC Employer Council next Tuesday, September 9th! I will be one of the expert panelist discussing the topic LinkedIn or Locked Out: The Dangers & Delights of Social Networking. Thanks for your support!!

Cheers! Jessica
Join the OKC Employer Metro Council for
A Panel Discussion
See Attached Program for Topics and Speakers
“Linked In or Locked Out:
The Dangers and Delights of
Social Networking in the Workplace”
TUESDAY * September 9, 2008
8:30am – 10:00am
Oklahoma History Center
2401 N. Laird Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Any questions or comments may be directed to:
Larry Musslewhite at 405.470.3213 or email:
Rick Bedlion, Chairperson - INTEGRIS Health, Inc. / Steve Puckett, Vice-Chairman - The Oklahoman, The OKC Employer Council is a cooperative educational effort of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission,
Workforce Oklahoma partners and Oklahoma City area human resources professionals.
Guests are welcome and no charge is involved.

Our September 9th meeting will feature a panel discussion regarding:
Linked In or Locked Out: The Dangers and Delights of Social Networking in the Workplace

This program takes a strategic view on the dangers and delights of using social networking sites in the workplace. Both employees and employers stand to gain or lose using social networking sites such as You-Tube, Face Book, LinkedIn, My Space, Second Life, blogger-spheres and more. A panel of leaders in Human Resources, Training and Development and the Law will discuss the possibilities and the nightmares of using social networking sites for recruiting, training, communicating and other business related issues. This panel discussion will share varying viewpoints on the issues and look at not only the possibilities, but the barriers (real and perceived), success stories and flops related to social networks in the workplace.

About the panel:
RICK D. BEDLION, SPHR (Moderator for the session)
Rick leads the Human Resources Consulting and People Development departments for the INTEGRIS Health system. Rick has built a solid background in Organizational Development, Strategic Development, Employee Relations, Performance Consulting and Human Performance Improvement. He is an active
member of the Employer Council, member of SHRM and a member and past president of Central Oklahoma Chapter of ASTD. Among other duties, Rick oversees Leadership programs for INTEGRIS Leadership Institute. Rick taught HR Management classes for OCU, Cameron University and Central Texas College.

Tony Puckett is a labor and employment law attorney with the Oklahoma City law firm of McAfee & Taft. His practice involves counseling and representing employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Puckett is a 1988 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Law School and is admitted to practice before state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. Tony is a frequent speaker at seminars and institutes on employment law issues and is the author of numerous articles in professional journals. He is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Jessica is the HR Manager for the Office Max Sales Center in Norman and has a passion for recruiting. Jessica’s blog has been named one of the industries leading blogs. Jessica has prior experience as a regional HR Manager for Homeland Stores as well as both Home Depot and Lowe’s. Jessica’s favorite specialty is innovative recruiting and also has strong competencies in union avoidance, affirmative action, and financial management.

As a learning consultant for INTEGRIS Health, Pam Kennedy develops and delivers training throughout the INTEGRIS system. Her duties include training and working with departments to develop state of the art learning processes. She develops e-learning programs and also facilitates a variety of leadership programs for the INTEGRIS Leadership Institute. Pam holds a Master’s degree in Human Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in General Engineering. She is a licensed pilot and a member of SHRM, Employer Council and ASTD.