Sunday, March 30, 2008

Going Back to Work? Employers Use Job Application Kiosks

More retailers are moving online to hire hourly workers. Hiring managers are not only collecting job applications from their company websites, they are collecting them from job application kiosks set up at the work place.

Here are some stats on the growth of job application kiosks at the workplace and online.

- 70% of major retailers are now accepting hourly applications on their corporate websites.
- 41% more retailers are accepting applications on their website than in 2004.
- 16% or employers are only accepting applications online.
- In 2006, 37% of the top 100 retailers had a kiosk or computer station set up at their location to accept applications compared to 22% in 2004.
Source - Inside Recruiting

Here are just some of the retailers that have added kiosks for job applications:
Source - World Privacy Forum

- Blockbuster deployed an estimated 4,000 employment kiosks in 2000.
- By February 2003, Albertsons had deployed an estimated 2,300 kiosks.
- Sports Authority has deployed kiosks in its retail stores nationwide.
- Sears has employment kiosks in its retail stores.

Although the kiosk technology is intimidating for lots of people, for example older job seekers who are not as comfortable with computers, kiosks have become a solution for hiring managers.

The fact is, turnover is very high in hourly jobs and hiring managers are trying to find ways to reduce the costs of hiring. Read more at the Kiosk Marketplace.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hot Careers - Help Wanted in the Trades

More and more people in the state of Washington are asking, "Why aren't more young people attracted to these hot careers in the trades?"

Learn what trades professionals expect to make as an apprentice or journeyman in Washington State. If you are exploring vocational training, consider a program leading to one of these hot careers.

Sample College Interview Questions

It is not too late to explore college for this fall if you are graduating this Spring. JobBox has a great sample list of college interview questions to help you prepare for the big interview.

-Why do you want to attend our university?

-What are your strengths and weaknesses?

-What have you done to prepare for college?

-What has been your greatest experience in high school?

-What do you want to do in the future?

-Tell me about yourself.

-Tell me about your interests.

-Tell me about your involvement in extracurricular activities.

-Tell me about your family.

-What do you think about (insert a current event of the past week)?

-What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author?

-Which of your accomplishments are you the most proud of?

-If you could meet any important figure in the past or present, who would it be and what would you talk about?

Here are some additional college prep information sites:
Princeton Review
College View

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Delta Airlines Offers Buyouts To Employees!

It's no surprise the airline industry continues to experience challenges.

In an effort to reduce their workforce by 2000 employees, Delta Airlines is offering 30,000 managers, flight attendants, ticket agents, mechanics, and other frontline and administrative employees a buyout opportunity.

Of the 2000 employees who will choose these severance packages, Delta anticipates that about 65% of them will be front line employees.

Delta, like other domestic airlines are not expecting growth or profitability this year with oil prices hovering at or over $100 per barrel.

If you are a displaced airline employee, start doing an inventory of the great transferable skills you developed.

Here are some of the in-demand skills you might have developed during your time in the hospitality industry:

-Good customer service for diverse clients
-Strong verbal communication skills
-Critical thinking and problem solving
-Multitasking in a fast paced environment
-Making improvements and take corrective action
-Time Management
-Exercising judgment and decision making skills

Even though Delta Airlines is planning to reduce staff there are still opportunities for hourly/skilled employees posted on their website.

-Reservations Reps for sales and service
-Airport Customer Service (Full-Time/Part-Time)
-Flight Attendants
-Technical operations

Saturday, March 22, 2008

8 Major Hiring Trends for 2008

Every year Career Builder surveys thousands of employers to get a sense of hiring trends.

The 2008 survey was completed in November through December 2007.

Here are the 8 major hiring trends from the survey results: (Keep in mind that some of these general trends might be affected to some extent in our changing economy)

1. 56% of employers expect to increase salaries on initial offers to new hires and 80% of employers plan to increase salaries for existing employees in 2008.

2. Employers are looking more favorably at flexible schedules for workers. Sixty percent of employers currently offer flexible schedules and almost 40% plan to provide more such flexible work arrangements in 2008.

3. More employers are using the internet to screen candidates. Currently about 45% of employers use online tools like search engines and social networks to find information about candidates.

4. Older workers are postponing retirement and staying in the workplace longer. As new college grads, you will have to be prepared to be in the workplace with multiple generations at the same time.

5. Employers are expressing greater need for bilingual candidates. 48% state that in addition to English, Spanish is the most in demand language. Consider options for bilingual training early in your career.

6. 31% of employers surveyed expect to be working with more freelancers and contractors in 2008. This may actually increase if employees are reluctant to make full time hiring decisions in an uneasy economy.

7. One of every ten employers expect to offer more special perks and bonuses such as company cars, stock options and free childcare in 2008.

8. 26% of employers are likely to provide more promotions and career advancement opportunities in 2008. This is important since more than half of workers state that a company's ability to offer career advancement is a major asset when they look evaluate job offers.

Read more about the 2008 hiring trends from Career Builder!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bear Stearns Employees Lose Jobs and Savings

Imagine losing your job and your savings all at the same time?

It's hard to imagine that massive layoffs won't follow the Bear Stearns meltdown last week. Many Bear Stearns employees not only worked for the company, but also had significant dollars invested in the company's stock. Imagine the stress of not only worrying about losing your job but losing your savings as well - all at the same time.

As people evaluate a company for employment, many will look for companies that have performed well over time and place great value on what they perceive as stability.

Bear Stearns, at 85 years old, appeared to be such a company - up until a week ago when they collapsed and was rescued by JP Morgan for about $2 per share. The dust is still settling on that number, by the way.

This corporate instability is one paradigm that job seekers and employees today must acknowledge and learn how to deal with. Scanning the internal and external business environment is a must. There is no guarantee that we will see it coming, but we need to be vigilant to recognize when things are trending against us. It is no longer acceptable, to think just about our careers and not think about the industry in which we work.

For example, even though the financial sector has lost jobs, not all financial analysts are in vulnerable industries.
Be courageous and do not be afraid to ask questions.

Here are some resources to poll your values:
Career Paths Online
Work Values Checklist
Career Values Connection
Why Do Career Values Matter

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Scoring Points in the Second Interview

If you have not yet secured your job after graduation this May, you may be in your second and third round of interviews right now.

If you are, here are some tips to ace that second or third interview:

- Know your schedule and what will be expected of you in terms of the day's timeline.

- If you are traveling out of town, try to arrive well ahead of schedule. Some companies are cutting costs by having you come in, interview and fly out the same day. Prepare yourself for possibly a long day.

- Dress professionally and stay conservative.

- Research not just the company, but the industry. You might want to go a little broader with your knowledge.

- Have questions you might have prepared about not necessarily just the job, but also about the industry or career path.

- Be more prepared to discuss your salary and benefits. You should have researched the position and know at least a range of potential offers. This way you will be able to have an intelligent decision about compensation.

- Be sure to collect business cards for everyone you meet at this second or third interview. Follow-up with each person is important.

- One of your interviews on site will probably be over a meal. Brush up on your meal etiquette before your interview.

- Be sure to ask for the job while you are at the second or third interview. Be sure to summarize your qualifications and deliberately express your interest in the job.

- Be cautious about how you interact with other recent hires who might have graduated from your alma mater as well. Stay professional.

The second or third interview gives you a chance to really showcase your skills and competencies to the employer and gives you another opportunity to express your interest in the job.

Read more about Interview FAQs by college students at BullsEyeResumes.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Teen Unemployment Rate is 15.2%

Did you know that the unemployment rate for teenagers (15.2%) is 3 times larger than the overall unemployment rate (4.7%)?

You probably hear the 4.7% all the time, but rarely hear about the 15.2%.

As the economy closes in on a recession, high school students should pay closer attention to the unemployment rate, since it might have an impact on your summer job search.

The "Unemployment Rate" is the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is unemployed.

Here is how you find it:

It is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by labor force. The labor force is the sum of the number of people who are unemployed and the number of people who are employed.

Here are the latest unemployment numbers for February 2008.

Include all of the Labor Force 4.7%
Adult Men - 4.2%
Adult Women - 4.1%
Whites - 4.2%
Blacks/African Americans - 7.4%
Hispanics - 6.1%
Teenagers - 15.2%

Source - EconedLink

If You Run a Business in College; Did You Enter This Contest?, one of my favorite sources for information on entrepreneurship or successfully starting a business, ran a competition to identify America's top 20 college-based businesses of 2008.

The founders at StartupNation wanted to know about and acknowledge entrepreneurs on college campuses who balance classes, commerce and customers.

There is no shortage of well known, successful entrepreneurs who started and built businesses while in college. "Think Michael Dell, Bill Gates and more recent high-fliers like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Brian Taylor of Kernel Seasons," say the writers at StartupNation.

-Extensive national promotion via all kinds of media
-Dorm-Based 20 Winner's Emblem to showcase on marketing collateral including website or email

To be considered:
-Businesses must have developed a business website and completed an online form.
-Business owners did NOT need to live in a dorm.

Winners will be judged on:
-Innovativeness of business concept
-Potential for growth
-Cutting-edge business practices
-Potential for overall impact
-Financial performance

Winners will be announced on in the national media on April 10, 2008.

Returning to Work After a Disability

The reasons people reenter the workforce are as diverse as the careers they pursue. I found a great article at offering advice for job seekers going back to work after a disability.

The article is particularly helpful if trying to transition from Social Security disability payments to a paycheck.

A wonderful resource to bookmark for more information is the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Are Vocational Students Paying Attention to Business Etiquette?

In addition to resume writing and interview preparation, if you are graduating from a vocational program, you need to brush up on your business etiquette skills.

Imagine a classroom transformed into a classy restaurant with the tables adorned with fancy white linens and flowers. Well this happened at Pekin Community High School's Culinary Arts classroom, in Illinois.

Students in work seminar classes were treated by a fun presentation by Jennifer Hunt who told them that, “Knowing good table manners can help you get along with other people and make a good impression on others around you.” Hunt also explained the differences between formal, informal and casual work and dinner attire.

Some tips from the session:
1. Keep elbows off the table
2. Wait until everyone is seated before you begin to eat
3. Turn off cell phones
4. Place your napkin on the table when you are finished eating
5. Sit up straight and be attentive

Read more about the business etiquette session for these students.

BullsEyeResumes Career Blog Rated #49

Our career blogs at BullsEyeResumes have made it into the Top 50 of Success-In-HR's list of HR blogs offering career advice to professionals.

We are excited about the recognition and thank the folks at for the work they do.

The BullsEyeResumes Team

Saturday, March 8, 2008

College Degrees in Demand

Top 10 Bachelor Degree in demand
-Mechanical Engineering
-Electrical Engineering
-Computer Science
-Business Administration/Management
-Economics/Finance (incl. banking)
-Information Sciences & Systems
-Marketing/Marketing Management
-Computer Engineering
-Management Information Systems/ Business Data Processing

Top Masters Degrees in demand
-Electrical Engineering
-Mechanical Engineering
-Computer Science

Top Doctoral Degrees in demand
-Computer Engineering
-Electrical Engineering
-Computer Science
-Mechanical Engineering
-Business Administration/Management

Source - Jobweb

US Economy Loses 63000 Jobs in February

Some experts continue to say that the US economy is not yet in a recession, but may be approaching one. The 63,000 workers whose jobs were shed in February 2008, might disagree and think the recession is already here.

Some sectors already hard hit with layoffs include real estate, automotive, construction and banking.

This latest report on job losses for February reflects the largest drop in the last five years since May and June 2003.

As you take in this news of a tightening economy, your stress level might be increasing a bit. Your goal at this time should be to keep being productive at work and continue to scan your work environment for how you can help your company maintain a healthy bottom line:

Here are some suggestions:
1. Keep thinking about creative solutions to possibly lower costs
2. Explore ways to help your company find new clients
3. Go the extra mile with existing customers to keep them happy
4. Be responsive to your vendors
5. Look for collaborative opportunities inside your company

As you think about ways to help your company, think also about ways to help yourself:
1. Plan and evaluate your plans periodically
2. Look around the internet for free online resume help to prepare your marketing documents.
3. Rejuvenate your networks and keep in touch with others. Offer help where you can.
4. Keep an eye on employers in your industry or related industries that are growing or hiring despite the slowdown.
5. Start updating your Kudos Folder.

Additional resources:
Staying Up and Productive in Down Times
3 Surefire Ways to Recession Proof Your Career - Part 1
3 Surefire Ways to Recession Proof Your Career - Part 2
30-Days to Career Satisfaction - Read the 30 blog entries for November 2007 starting here.

Consider a Career in the Government

Although many people are still choosing to delay retirement, here is what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says about future federal government employment:

In spite of legislative budget cuts, there still will be numerous employment opportunities in many agencies from the need to replace workers who leave the workforce, retire, or accept employment elsewhere...The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) estimates that among all full-time permanent employees in the Federal workforce as of October 2004, 58 percent of supervisory and 42 percent of nonsupervisory workers will be eligible to retire by the end of 2010.

Here are some resources for you if you are considering workforce reentry and want to explore jobs with the government.

Office of Personnel Management
USA Jobs - Official job site for the US Federal Government
Government Jobs
Work for America

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good News on the Job Front for the Class 2008

Despite talk of recession, the employment prospects for the graduating Class of 2008 are still looking good. The fact is, it is hard to predict how widespread the downturn will be. In the mean time college career centers are still seeing high involvement in their college recruiting programs and the Class of 2008 have many opportunities available to them.

Here are some reputable resources for the Class of 2008 to stay current on the latest job information:

- The Top Entry Level Employers list represents more than 165,000 jobs for the class of 2008, and is available online at College Grad.

- College seniors fretting about finding jobs amid an ailing economy may want to come in off the ledge. The economy, it seems, is not deterring employers from recruiting college graduates.

-Your chances of having a job at graduation—maybe even the perfect entry-level job—are great. This is the healthiest job market in three years, according to many of the employers who are recruiting members of the Class of 2008. Overall, according to Job Outlook 2008, an annual survey of college recruiters, employers plan to hire 16 percent more new college graduates in 2007-08 than they did in 2006-07.

Revamping Your Resume

When was the last time you looked at your resume?

Twice per year, I conduct a resume writing workshop titled "Looking Good on Paper" for professionals working in higher education. Invariably, workshop participants express concerns about what to write in a resume.

Many people, in fact, avoid making changes all together and delay updating their resumes to include current data.

If you are thinking about a resume makeover, use these online resume resources to help you:

- 20 Point checklist to make sure resume contact information is error free
- Writing a targeted resume objective to focus your resume
- How to showcase education on your resume

Look for free online resume help from professional resume services.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Scholarships for Working Moms Going Back to College

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that of single mothers, only 16% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and only 22% earn more than $30,000 a year.

Here is a great scholarship resource for single mothers returning to work. I learned about the program at LifeTrends. in collaboration with other online colleges and universities including American Intercontinental University, DeVry University and Walden University are planning to grant at least $2 million for scholarships to working mothers. These scholarships will offer full rides to qualified candidates who apply.

These scholarships are only a part of what eLearners call the "Project Working Mom - Putting Education to Work".

Another feature of the program is to create an online database or a repository of information on support resources, scholarships and career advice.

The long term goal is to get more schools to participate. Rutgers University's Center for Women and Work is one of the newest program partners.

"Project Working Mom is the long-awaited answer for many women struggling to make ends meet without a college degree," says Terrence Thomas, CMO

Here are two additional resources for mothers who are going back to school and will have to balance work and family.

Moms Refuge
Working Mom

Job Corps FAQ's

Job Corps, created in 1964, is administered by the Department of Labor and offers training to youth between 16 and 24 years old. Job Corps success relies on successful relationships between, students, their parents, Job Corps staff and partner employers.

Here is the mission statement for Job Corps:
As a national, primarily residential training program, Job Corps' mission is to attract eligible young adults, teach them the skills they need to become employable and independent, and place them in meaningful jobs or further education.

Job Corps vocational training is designed to help enrolled students learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED and then find meaningful employment. Career counseling and job placement support will last for up to 12 months after students graduate.

Answers to the following questions you might have about Job Corps can be found on the Department of Labor website.

How does Job Corps work?
What kind of training is available through Job Corps?
What else does Job Corps have to offer?
Who is eligible for Job Corps?
Does it cost anything?
What are the rules at Job Corps?
Do I get paid while I am at Job Corps?
Do I have to live at the center?
Can I bring my child with me to Job Corps?
Who do I have to live with?
Can I choose the center I would like to attend?
What do I have to wear?
Can I take personal belongings to Job Corps?
When can I go home to visit?
Can my family visit me on center?
How long do I have to stay at Job Corps?
What happens after I graduate from Job Corps?
Can Job Corps help me get into college after I graduate from the program?
What if I don't like it? Can I leave Job Corps?
What do I bring to my interview with Job Corps?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Top 25 Careers to Pursue in a Recession

The number of Americans who filed jobless claims increased by almost 20,000 over the projected amount this last week ending 2/23.

Coupled with layoffs in the homebuilding and automotive sectors, this is futher indication of a softening US economy.

HR World has identified the Top 25 careers they think will continue "go on like clockwork" or see growth even when disposable incomes shrink.

The Top 10 from the list are:

-Health Care
-International Business
-Public Safety
-Federal Government

Check out the entire list here and add others that you think are also good in a recession.