Biz Bits: How job hunters can fight the growing stigma of unemployment


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Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2012, 7:50 pm
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Forty percent, or 5 million, of unemployed Americans are considered "long-term unemployed," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning they have been jobless for at least 27 weeks. With so many people facing long-term unemployment it's inevitable that the topic is raised as they seek and interview for jobs.

The 2012 Job Preparedness Indicator, an annual research initiative of DeVry University's Career Advisory Board, found these unemployed job seekers are often already up against a challenge as they try to re-enter the workplace: 56 percent of hiring managers often refuse to consider an unemployed candidate, a 9 percent increase from 2011.

The survey revealed that 74 percent of employers rely heavily on their own instincts and experiences to decide what skills are critical to fill open positions within their companies.

In fact, of the 516 hiring managers at Fortune 1000-equivalent companies surveyed, only 17 percent use benchmarking or tracking to help sort through the applicant pool.

"This begs the question - how can the unemployed gain more job experience if no one will hire them due to lack of experience?" says Jessica Rau, communications manager for McDonald's Greater Chicago Region, and a Career Advisory Board member.

"Job seekers should utilize these findings to modify the way they present themselves to potential employers."

For those unemployed workers looking to get around the bias, the Career Advisory Board recommends the following:

1. Showcase your situation in a positive light. Be confident, concise and non-emotional in interviews. Employers are likely to ask about the gap, but answer questions in a constructive way by mentioning how you've sharpened your skills in the meantime.

2. Keep learning and growing. Fill the gaps on your resume by taking a temporary or volunteer position so that you are working while looking for a new job.

3. Be active in your industry community - online and off. Strengthen your personal brand by engaging with your industry experts on social channels. Attend a networking event, which will put you in touch with new contacts and will enable you to practice telling your story.

-- Brandpoint

Better Business Buruea Watch
Even if you're cautious about which ATMs you use or stores you shop at, you could still become a victim of identity theft. ATM skimming is a growing problem, and the Better Business Bureau recommends consumers take steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim.

The BBB recommends the following ways to fight identity thieves when using a debit or credit card:

- Protect your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to prevent any cameras from catching your digits. False keypads placed over the real keypad are also a way scammers get PIN numbers so if the keypad looks different, move on.

- Keep an eye on your statements. The most vigilant person can still fall victim to ATM skimmers, and it's important to always keep a close eye on your accounts, particularly the itemized breakdown of charges and debits-so that you can quickly report any suspicious activity on your account.

- Report fraud immediately. Report any fraudulent activity to your bank as soon as you discover it. Consumer protections for debit cards vary but depend largely on when you report the fraudulent activity and sooner is always better. If you wait too long to report the fraud, your bank account could be cleaned out and your bank may not reimburse you.

For more advice on fighting identity theft and preventing fraud, visit bbb.org.

The List
According to The Street, here are the 10 best gift cards for holiday shopping:
American Express Gift Card
Costco
GiftCardMall.com Visa
Amazon
The Gap
Home Depot
Whole Foods Market Gift Card
Marriott
Bass Pro Shops
Nordstrom

Tech Talk
Netflix now accounts for one-third of peak period download traffic on the Internet. When you add all time periods, Netflix commands 29 percent of all North American Internet bandwidth. -- The Street
GateHouse News Service














 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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