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."