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August 16, 2011 Job Fair


Frontline Bible Church, Byron Center, Michigan will have a job fair Tuesday, August 16, 2011.  For more information click on the following link:

Careful: not all gadgets can help you find work


Our friends at LinkedIn have come up with a new plug-in purportedly to help in applying for jobs.  It looks pretty slick, but it's not going to help those seeking work to stand out from the crowd and show to the prospective employer that they are a match to the employer's needs.  Why you say?


For one, even with the ability to "one-click" apply, those applying will not be able to show they match the employer's need...unless you use your "full resume" with cover letter showing your analyze and match the employer's need.  They'll be dependent on the format of LinkedIn's profile structure to craft that communication.  Think of the LinkedIn profile then as merely an "outsourced" applicant tracking system (ATS) that will help HR departments and hiring managers manage your data like a commodity.  (It's also much like a resume posting site.)  How does it feel to be regarded as a "bushel of corn", depersonalized, dehumanized into being a data set?  And applying for jobs on the Internet will continue to be a "picking the low hanging fruit" reactive process where there are 100s if not 1000s apply for each position.  LinkedIn should be used for networking, but not a substitute for truly getting to know others, developing a community-of-friends-and-collaborators, your network for career security.


And two, it perpetuates the myth that a reactive mode of looking for work and sustain your career and staying employable merely that of "just maintain a LinkedIn presence and all will be well."  This in the face of continuing evidence that networking face-to-face and using Internet communication and research methods to make and sustain networking is still the preferred and most effect method of finding work.


Just 'cause LinkedIn can offer a new gadget, be careful that it may be just that and of no real use as a work search tool.  For those companies the elect to use it, LinkedIn will probably make a bunch of $$$, which is the point anyway.  It's not really about helping you find work.


Link to article about this new gadget:

Client companies are 'self-sourcing' contingent labor more frequently


A recent newsletter from the staffing industry, Contingency Workforce News, reported that:


"Client companies are 'self-sourcing' contingent labor more frequently. For various reasons, be it utilizing company alumni, generating referrals from other employees, using previously utilized resources, or to save money on recruiting costs, many client companies are sourcing their own contingent labor. This is an area that is expected to continue to gain momentum."


CTN also went on to indicate that:


"Staffing companies' margins are continuing to be 'squeezed'. It is a highly competitive marketplace for contingent labor and even some large companies have lowered their markups...."


It appears that staffing by organizations continues to be a place where employers want flexibility and value for their investment.  Clearly it appears there is a continued understanding that those who have effective networks may in fact be able to find work assignments without going through an intermediary such as a staffing firm (i.e. recruiting agency, either contingent or retained).


Ergo, the person with a clear sense and ability to communicate what their valued talent and knowledge is will be able to find employment.  Those who cannot articulate those talents and knowledge are stuck with reacting to publically known work assignments, such as are posted on the Internet or given to staffing firms.  That means standing in long lines "in front of" human resource departments, or as seems to be more the case from ongoing reports of 100s applying for one position, elbowing your way up to the "job dispensing booth" to hand in your resume.  Either way, it's a bruising process.


- Ken Soper, MA, MDiv, NCDA recognized Master Career Counselor

Two Years of Economic Recovery: Women Lose Jobs, Men Find Them


The sluggish recovery from the Great Recession has been better for men than for women. From the end of the recession in June 2009 through May 2011, men gained 768,000 jobs and lowered their unemployment rate by 1.1 percentage points to 9.5%. Women, by contrast, lost 218,000 jobs during the same period, and their unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 8.5%, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.


These post-recession employment trends are a sharp turnabout from the gender patterns that prevailed during the recession itself, when men lost more than twice as many jobs as women. Men accounted for 5.4 million, or 71%, of the 7.5 million jobs that disappeared from the U.S. economy from December 2007 through June 2009.


Employment trends during the recovery have favored men over women in all but one of the 16 major sectors of the economy identified in this report. In five sectors, notably in retail trade, men have gained jobs while women have lost them. In five other sectors, including education and health services and professional and business services, men gained jobs at a faster rate than women. And in an additional five sectors, such as construction and local governments, men lost jobs at a slower rate than women. The sole exception to these patterns is state government, a sector of the economy in which women have added jobs during the recovery while men have lost them.


Read the full report, Economic Recovery: Women Lose Jobs, Men Find Them on the Pew Social & Demographic Trends Web site.