Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Don't You Have a Job Yet? - Help Wanted Help

by Brad Tuttle

Hoepfully, you'll be on the way to finding answers—not to mention actual paying employment—by asking some of these questions.

What's Wrong with your Resume?
Probably one or more of the issues addressed in gallery of 10 resume mistakes that turn off employers from the Boston Globe. (Not to be confused with all of those resume mistakes that get employers all excited so that they just have to hire you.) The mistakes include vague descriptions of prior responsibilities, a lack of direction in your career path, and oh yeah, lies.
Bargaineering's 10 Resume Mistakes You Must Avoid gets right to the point, with a hit list of pitfalls, such as a lack of keywords (play up the ones that are key), a dense mass of text (your resume should be easily scannable), and the untailored resume (customize it for the job you're trying to get and the company you're trying to impress).

Have You Gotten Creative with your Job Search?
Like, for instance, by turning to the church? Not to pray—though that may be a good idea as well—but to network, as this CNN piece suggests.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that more and more of people with college degrees are turning away from the cubicle-office scene and looking instead to manual skilled labor positions, such as a plumber or electrician.

Should You Train for a New Career?
That's a perfectly logical approach. Unfortunately, according to
USA Today, many, many unemployed have been retrained to become welders or nursing assistants or green technology workers—only to discover that even in these supposedly growing fields, jobs are hard to come by, and competition among job hunters is fierce.

So Who is Hiring Right Now?
A WSJ story lists 17 positions with the most openings, and the list is heavy on health care, engineering, and IT.

What's Up with all of these Seemingly Random Questions in Job Interviews?
When a hiring managers asks you about your favorite book or movie, it's a way of breaking the ice, but "the question isn't always as simple or innocent as it sounds and can be a minefield," says this Psychology Today story. Your answer will reveal something about you and your interests—both of which may give an impression as to what may interest you about certain careers and job responsibilities. Also, your answer will reveal whether you can formulate ideas and speak coherently about everyday topics. So these seemingly random questions can hurt as much as they can help you.

Is Any Job Better than No Job?
That was the debate recently at the NY Times' Room for Debate blog. The answer I agree with most is this one: Yes, so long as whatever work you take on—even if it's unpaid or worse, really annoying—puts you in a better position down the line to get the job you actually want.

Why Is It Easier to Get a New Job When You Already Have a Job?
Some companies, when looking for new hires, are just ignoring the unemployed, with some ads stating plainly "NO UNEMPLOYED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONSIDERED AT ALL" or "Must be currently employed."

Are We All Joyless Working Machines?
That's what author Mary Pipher is asking. And having no job is better than being a joyless working machine—though admittedly, the joyless job pays better.

Will We Continue to Need College Degrees?
Though there's been a lot of discussion as to whether a college degree is worth the money let alone necessary for many lines of work, the NY Times says, the number of jobs that requires at least a two-year degree is increasing—and is expected to continue to increase in the years to come.

Aren't Employment Rates Bound to Improve at some Point?
Not necessarily, according to Fortune. In the past, unemployment rates have always returned to normal levels after even the most severe downturns. But automation is rapidly eliminating certain kinds of jobs for good, and economists aren't sure how the jobs market will play out. The hope is that technology can create at least as many jobs as it eliminates.

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