Friday, January 28, 2011

Job Hiring Improves for Some

Job Market Improves for Some by Barbara LaBier

Improvement  in employment is occurring for groups of college and skilled workers specifically --- IT, technical workers, lawyers, finance and accountants, according to Jonas Prising of Jobs America.
“There are 50 million unemployed and 3 million job openings. While over all employment is 9.4 %, there is a bifurcation. College and skilled worker unemployment is 5% while youth and non-skilled is 18%. The level of skills and devotion to life long learning is vital,” added Prising in a CNBC interview.

Even recent graduates with superior skills are having problems getting their foot in the door,

" I talk with my friends and most of them are having a difficult time getting hired. Everyone has a great resume and it seems as though many have had an internship on the Hill and worked for a Congressman, " according to Eric White, a recent graduate of George Washington University with experience working at a law firm and  the Hill, with a background in Japanese.
Right now, employers are cautious about who they hire, making it tough for the average person. They are waiting for job seekers with the right skill set. Jobs in sales for example, are filled internally while other jobs which require credentials and education are recruited externally.
Employers complain that often they can’t find skilled labor. And consequently, they are willing to wait until this person appears.
You can enhance your chances of being found by writing bogs and creating your own brand. Of course, writing information or creating negative videos can hurt you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jump-start Your Career in 2011

Take charge of your future and jump-start your career in 2011 with the right training.

By Yahoo! Education Staff

Was 2010 a rough year for you - professionally?

Good news: a new year is upon us and now is the perfect time to start training for a new career.
Keep reading to learn about eight exciting jobs you can jump-start in 2011.

Career #1 - Medical Assistant
If you want to start training for a rewarding career as a medical assistant you have two quick options. You can earn an associate's degree in medical assisting in two years, or a certificate or diploma in medical assisting in just one year.

[Search for Medical Assisting programs now]

About the job: As a medical assistant, your days will likely be spent working closely with patients, preparing them for exams, and explaining treatment procedures. You might also handle a variety of administrative and clinical tasks, like taking care of bookkeeping or recording vital signs.

Average salary: Medical assistants have an average annual salary of $28,300. The top 10 percent of medical assistants average at more than $39,570 per year.
[Jump-start your career. Find Medical Assisting training programs now.]

Career #2 - Dental Assistant

Start your dental assistant training now and you might soon be stepping into one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, according to the Department of Labor. Consider a one-year dental assisting certificate/diploma program or an associate's degree in dental assisting, which should take about two years to complete.

[Search for Dental Assisting training programs]
About the job: As a dental assistant, you'll interact with patients, keep the office clean and sterilized, and work alongside a dentist during procedures. Duties vary: You might make casts of teeth for temporary crowns, help with fillings, or keep patients comfortable during their time in the office.

Average salary: The average annual salary of dental assistants is $32,380, though top earners can make more than $46,150. More than half of dental assistants receive health benefits, according to a 2008 survey by the Dental Assisting National Board. In a time when health care costs are soaring, that's a huge benefit.

[Jump-start your Dental Assistant career. Find training programs now.]

Career #3 - Graphic Designer

Are you a creative person looking for the right career? If so, make 2011 the year you start training for your graphic design career. Most entry-level positions will require a bachelor's degree, but you can get started by earning your associate's degree in graphic design. This should qualify you to become an assistant to a graphic designer where you can gain hands-on experience in a graphic design firm.
[Search for Graphic Design schools near you]
About the job: Being a graphic designer is all about getting your message across in print and electronic media. As a graphic designer, you might work on layouts for magazines and web sites, make promotional materials for businesses, or even create the title sequences for movies or TV shows.
Average salary: Salaries will vary by job and experience. On average, graphic designers make $42,400 per year. According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, entry-level designers earn an average of $35,000 while senior designers earn an average of $60,000.
[Start training for your Graphic Design career. Find schools now!]

Career #4 - Paralegal

If you want to work in law, but don't have the time or money to go to law school, you can train for a paralegal career in as little as one to two years. Consider earning either a two-year associate's degree or - if you already have a bachelor's degree - a paralegal certificate. Certificate programs can sometimes be completed in about a year.
[Search for Paralegal schools now]

About the job: As a paralegal you'll assist lawyers with their cases and help them prepare for hearings, closings, and trials. You might even prepare legal arguments and motions that need to be filed with the court. This is a savvy choice for job-seekers: According to the Department of Labor, paralegal jobs will grow by 28 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Average salary: Paralegal salaries vary depending on education, experience, location, and other factors. The average annual salary for paralegals is $46,120, with the top 10 percent averaging at more than $73,450.
[Prepare for this in-demand career. Search for Paralegal schools near you now!]
Career #5 - PR Specialist
If you want to start training to become a PR specialist, look into earning your bachelor's degree in PR/marketing/communications. Public relations is another field with much higher than average growth anticipated - 24 percent from 2008 to 2018 according to the Department of labor.

[Jump-start your career in Public Relations...Find the right school now!]

About the job: As a PR specialist, you may focus on generating buzz for your employer or motivating the public. If you're well versed with social media tools, this might be a great job for you, as more public relations firms are taking advantage of new technologies.
Average salary: Public relations specialists have an average annual salary of $51,280. The top 10 percent averaged at more than $97,910 in 2008.
[Search for Public Relations degree programs now]

Career #6 - Bookkeeping Clerk

If you're looking to switch to a job with long-term stability, bookkeeping might be just the ticket. According to the Department of Labor, over 212,000 new bookkeeping jobs are expected to be added during the next decade. An associate's degree in business or accounting is required for some positions.
[Search for Accounting and Business schools now]
About the job: As a bookkeeper, you may spend your days updating and maintaining all kinds of financial records. You might even handle payroll and keep track of overdue accounts.
Average salary: The average annual salary of bookkeepers is $32,510, while the top 10 percent earn more than $49,260.
[Search for Accounting associate's degree programs now]

Career #7 - Medical Biller and Coder
Health care jobs are on the rise industry wide, and the Department of Labor anticipates employment of health information technicians - like billers and coders - to grow by 20 percent through 2018. You can start training for this career in as little as one year by earning a diploma or certificate. Another option is to earn an associate's degree, which takes about two years to complete.

[Search for Medical Billing and Coding training programs]
About the job: As a medical biller and coder you'll be a crucial part of the health care industry, helping doctor's offices manage patient billing by assigning the correct codes to patients' medical tests. While you'll likely be working in a hospital or a doctor's office, you might not interact with patients directly.
Average salary: According to, medical billers earn $24,986-$35,023 per year while medical coders earn $25,072-$32,483. The Department of Labor reports the average annual salary of health information technicians as $30,610.
[Jump-start your Medical Billing and Coding career!]

Career #8 - Teacher

If you feel the calling to become a teacher, now is a great time to start training. To get started, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in education. If you want to be a secondary school teacher, major in the subject you plan to teach while you take a program of study in teacher preparation. If you want to advance your career in the classroom, earn a master's degree in education.
[Search for Education and Teaching schools now]

About the job: As a teacher, you'll play an important role in the lives of children by planning lessons, grading tests, and working with kids in a classroom setting. You may use games, technology, or other hands-on techniques to help develop critical thinking skills.
Average salary: The average annual salary of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranges from $47,100 to $51,180. According to the American Federation of Teachers, beginning teachers with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $33,227.
[Search for Teaching degree programs now]
Unless otherwise noted, all salary information is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Opportunity in Professional Career Program

by Barbara LaBier

Although Victor made a six figure income on Wall Street in the past as an analyst, the reality of the expiration of unemployment benefits made him ready to compromise and apply for a lower level job government job. He left New York and moved in with his mother in Baltimore. Instead of targeting a GS-14 position, he applied for jobs as the GS-11 level to hopefully get his foot in the door. He needed help with his resume and guidance about the Washington job scene.

Another client Robert, in his mid thirties decided he was willing to trade large bonuses as a contractor that he’d received in the banking industry for stability and security at Homeland Security. Robert had worked as a loan officer for 7 years and was recently laid off. Applying for a government job was not his first choice but gradually after confronting the lack of jobs in this economy, security and working for the government became more important.

Luckily, he discovered e a small number of Contract Specialist positions available in selected component regional offices. However, no regional field offices were accepting applications. It was not any government job that he was seeking but one as a Contract Specialist with a starting salary of $42,209. If accepted into the Acquisition Professional Career program (APCP), he would become a full-time employee at a GS-7 level. He would then be appointed to three one-year rotational assignments in DC. After completing the program, his salary and responsibilities would rocket up a GS-13, $89,033-$115,742 per year. He would have the chance to become a sought-after expert in the field of Acquisition and a potential leader in the government.

The Professional Career Program (APCP) gives participants the opportunity to work in one of six career fields within in the Department of Acquisition. During a three year period, there is training available as a Contract Specialist Program Manager, Systems Engineer, Industrial Engineer, Logistician or Information Technology Specialist. Robert decided to apply for a job as a Contract Specialist which had duties similar to a system or requirement analyst.. I tailored his resume translating his excellent financial and real estate experience into skills that he could use to apply for many jobs along with a cover letter that highlighted his skills as s Contract Specialist. The application for this job requires a corporate style resume or US Jobs completed form that could be filled out on line. The candidates who are part of this program receive certifications within their career field that are recognized across the Federal government, as well as leadership and management training. Here are the nine agencies that have the same type of program

• Federal Emergency Management Agency • Transportation Security Administration
• U.S. Coast Guard • U.S Custom and Boarder Protection
• Immigration and Customs Enforcement
• U.S. Secret Service
• Federal Law Enforcement Training Center • Office of Procurement Operations
• Office of Selective Acquisitions

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Job Interviewing Tips

100 Potential Interview Questions excerpted from

While there are as many different possible interview questions as there are interviewers, it always helps to be ready for anything. So here are a list of 100 potential interview questions.

Will you face them all? No interviewer would be that cruel. Will you face a few? Probably. Will you be well-served by being ready even if you’re not asked these exact questions? Absolutely.

1. Tell me about yourself.

2. What are your strengths?

3. What are your weaknesses?

4. Who was your favorite manager and why?

5. What kind of personality do you work best with and why?

6. Why do you want this job?

7. Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

8. Tell me about your proudest achievement.

9. If you were at a business lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do?

10. If I were to give you this salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?

11. Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?

12. How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?

13. There’s no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

14. How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?

15. Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?

16. What’s your ideal company?

17. What attracted you to this company?

18. What are you most proud of?

19. What are you looking for in terms of career development?

20. What do you look for in terms of culture — structured or entrepreneurial?

21. What do you like to do?

22. Give examples of ideas you’ve had or implemented.

23. What are your lifelong dreams?

24. What do you ultimately want to become?

25. How would you describe your work style?

26. What kind of car do you drive?

27. Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job.

28. What’s the last book you read?

29. What magazines do you subscribe to?

30. What would be your ideal working situation?

31. Why should we hire you?

32. What did you like least about your last job?

33. What do you think of your previous boss?

34. How do you think I rate as an interviewer?

35. Do you have any questions for me?

36. When were you most satisfied in your job?

37. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

38. What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?

39. What negative thing would your last boss say about you?

40. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?

41. What salary are you seeking?

42. What’s your salary history?

43. Do you have plans to have children in the near future?

44. What were the responsibilities of your last position?

45. What do you know about this industry?

46. What do you know about our company?

47. How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?

48. Are you willing to relocate?

49. What was the last project you headed up, and what was its outcome?

50. What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?

51. Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.

52. What would you do if you won the lottery?

53. Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?

54. Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?

55. What is your personal mission statement?

56. Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

57. What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?

58. What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?

59. What is your greatest fear?

60. Who has impacted you most in your career, and how?

61. What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this job?

62. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in school?

63. What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?

64. What will you miss about your present/last job?

65. If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?

66. List five words that describe your character.

67. What is your greatest achievement outside of work?

68. Sell me this pencil.

69. If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?

70. Do you think a leader should be feared or liked?

71. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years?

72. What do you like to do for fun?

73. Why are you leaving your present job?

74. What do you do in your spare time?

75. How do you feel about taking no for an answer?

76. What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?

77. What is your favorite memory from childhood?

78. Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?

79. Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn’t want me to know.

80. Tell me the difference between good and exceptional.

81. Why did your choose your major?

82. What are the qualities of a good leader? A bad leader?

83. What is your biggest regret, and why?

84. What are three positive character traits you don’t have?

85. What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?

86. If you found out your company was doing something against the law, like fraud, what would you do?

87. How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?

88. How would you weigh a plane without scales?

89. What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue?

90. If I were to ask your last supervisor to provide you additional training or exposure, what would she suggest?

91. If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?

92. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?

93. Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.

94. What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?

95. If you could get rid of any one of the US states, which one would you get rid of, and why?

96. With your eyes closed, tell me step-by-step how to tie my shoes.

97. if you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big picture person or a detail oriented person?

98. If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 dayss

99. Who are your heroes?

100.Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.

Interview Questions

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What’s Wrong with My Resume?

By Barbara LaBier

Making a good first impression with your resume is the first door to open when applying for a job. If you’ve got technical issues such as misspellings, typos and grammatical errors and formatting problems you will never get your foot in the door. Many of us couldn't survive with out Spell Check and are eternally grateful to Bill Gates---but it  Spell Check doesn't correct for the improper use of words that are spelled correctly.

Beyond these problems there is another list of more complicated issues to work on if you want to get an interviews and be considered as a serious candidate. Here are some typical mistakes found on resumes.
Lack of focus – Frequently, a resume contains a great deal of information about a candidate but there is no real focus on the key themes presented in the job description or developing a sales pitch. The resume may be too general. Through lack of skill or laziness, the applicant has avoided tailoring the resume to fit the job description and tweak their resume to match the job criteria for each job they apply for.

Too much detail- Some times people who have not applied for a job in 20 years find they have a very long, detailed, dated resume. The resume like an ancient scroll has been added to over the years. The product is a detailed mess that does not target the job they are applying for. They require the help of a good editor or resume writer to perform the magic of a facelift to their resume. This entails deleing dated information that does not highlight relevant skills & accomplishments or removing old software and updating antiquated formats.

Too much personal info- People often include too much personal information on their resume such as their marital status, children and hobbies. The writer may also mention that they were Captain of the basketball team in college 20 years ago. At one time, this fact may have indicated leadership skills. However, at this juncture, it seems like they have failed to move on. Since your resume is not meant to be like your Facebook account, this information should be deleted.

Failure to properly highlight accomplishments: Some job candidates have not captured the value they’ve provided at work or assessed the impact they have made through their accomplishments. For example, they could mention how much money they’ve brought in or saved the company or how the projects they initiated benefited their clientele.

Visually boring presentation: The formats of many resumes lack creativity. Most resume formats are changing or have changed. For example, Objectives are out and the Summary is in. It would take an hour or so to search the internet for new formats or view the latest resume books at your local Borders or Barn & Noble bookstore or the library.

Fix Resume Problems