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Job Seeker Advice
Helpful employment information and advice for job seekers. View our archive of advice articles here.
Job Seeker Advice
If you're looking for relevant articles with helpful resources, we've got you covered. With everything from career advice to interviewing tips to trends in the job market, these articles will help you effectively manage your job search.

About our contributors
Becky Cole

Becky Cole has been a contributing columnist for the Employment News since 2008, where she shares her experience and expertise on a variety of career and job-search issues.

A strong believer in volunteerism, Becky has worked with Job Corps students for over 18 years with job search and other employment-related services. Another strength of Becky’s is her work with non-profit organizations and how to help them succeed both operationally and in the obtaining of grants and other funding sources.

Becky Cole has worked as a technical writer, software testing within the IT field for 15 years. In addition, she has received a variety of local and national awards for her volunteer work.

Becky’s educational background includes:

  • BS Counseling from Crossroads College in Rochester, MN
  • MS Instructional Design from Purdue U, Hammond, IN
  • Ed.S Instructional Design from Indiana U, Bloomington, IN
  • Mini MBA in Faith-based management from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN
  • Community Leadership Institute, University of St. Thomas/City of Minneapolis
Julie Desmond

Julie Desmond leads Job Search Strategy training for Help Wanted! Workshop. Julie's approach to the job search has evolved over fifteen years of helping candidates at every career level find work in accounting, finance, engineering, administrative, medical device manufacturing and more. Julie knows there is work out there; her unique insights and strategies will help you find it.

  • Recruiting and career consultation experience including temporary and permanent staffing with Pro Staff Personnel, Hunter Hamilton Executive Search and the Walstrom Group.
  • Plan Your Career column appears weekly in Minneapolis newspaper Insight News, and online at www.insightnews.com
  • Career planning advice also featured in Employment News Minnesota, EmploymentDigest.com and JobsForSeniors.net
  • Guest on TV and radio programs, at MN Workforce Center, and with local networking groups, sharing innovative techniques for finding employment during challenging times.
  • Resume Reviewer for Career Transitions Connections networking group in Woodbury, MN.

Help Wanted! Workshop offers the updated career planning and job search information hiring managers want you to know about now. If your job search is stalled – or never got going in the first place – attend a Help Wanted! Workshop in Minneapolis, St Paul or Edina, MN. In one half-day session participants learn to streamline the job search, update their resumes, regroup on networking and capitalize on interview time.

To view workshops offered or to register for one, visit: www.helpwantedworkshop.com

Getting Your Next Job
Finding a job is challenging enough, but if you have mastered the art of
“winging it”, you are probably creating additional obstacles for yourself.

Job Searching for Seniors: All you need is energy, technology and confidence
Reliability, experience and a broad view are assets to any organization, and experienced workers have it all.

Commute Counts: Focus on a Five Mile Job Search
Job seekers tend to forget that the biggest obstacle between any one person and success is often a few miles and a few inches of snow.

Resume 2011: Communicate your value
Kim met with a recruiter the other day and was told me to make her resume shorter. Writes Kim, “She said that the first part should summarize where I can add value. Can you help me think about language around that?”

Job Shopping
It’s that time of year again. Americans are spending millions, even this year, on the pursuit of holiday happiness. I know, right?

Job Offer Jitters: Accept the risks, the rewards and the job
You saw something in this position that you wanted. You applied. You interviewed. You got the offer. And then you got cold feet.

Job Hunting During the Holidays
I once heard a job seeker talk about how frustrating it is to have to “wait until the new year to start job searching again.”

Please, No Photos.
Job Seeker Cyndi asks, “I have heard that it's important to have something about your resume that stands out from the rest. Should I put my picture on my resume?” The short answer is, No.

Are You Ready to Work? Hiring is Happening Now
Do you hear that? Sounds like cheering to me. Assuming those shouts of joy are not aimed at any of our local professional sports teams, there must be something else to cheer about. And so there is. People are getting hired.

Lining Up the Resume
There is as much advice out there on writing a resume, as there are people willing to offer it. Everyone has something different on format, content, and even font size and margins. What they all have in common, though, is that the resume should be specific to the job for which you are applying.

Back to Work: You Might Be Surprised
People returning to work after a year or more off, brace yourselves. The only thing certain in the workplace today is change, and yesterday’s work environment has seen a lot of it.

You Can Find a Job at a Job Fair
The best way to get hired is to talk to people who are hiring, right? So how do you get dozens of employers together so you can meet them all at once?

The Interview
If you have been job hunting lately, chances are you have run into these situations...

Resume Review: Better Applications Bring Better Results
Resumes are here to stay. Most job postings instruct applicants to send a resume and cover letter as a first step in the hiring process. What most people don’t realize, however, is that a resume is a marketing tool, an advertisement for what you can do, not a procedural manual on how you will do it.

Tune In To Your Interview Style
Does anyone whistle while they work anymore? Probably not, but tuning into who you are at work and in your career can help you prepare more effectively for interviews and maybe get you performing (or, hired) sooner.

Rumor Has It: The Ups and Downs of Social Networking
A single comment or errant connection on a social networking site can have an effect on a hiring manager.

Free Training
Interested in learning some new skills or updating your current ones? Following are some free websites that can help you do that.

Plan Ahead to Maximize Interview Time
With fierce competition for every open job, being called for an interview feels like winning the lottery. Unfortunately, getting into an interview does not guarantee anyone a job offer.

Position Yourself Now to Transition Later
The optimists among us view a layoff as an opportunity to transition into a new career or different industry, and for many years, they were right on.

You Aren't Losing Your Mind
Have you tried to make sense of the process of finding a job lately, but felt like the more you tried to do it, the dizzier you got? You are not alone.

Reasons for Leaving: Answering the question every employer has to ask
Quick! Why did you leave? Every interviewer wants to know, and if the answer to this question is longer than 8-10 seconds, it is too long.

Things to Avoid When Writing Your Resume
With increasing competition for every opening that comes available, it is important to have your resume stand out – in a good way.

Are You Easy to Hire? Or a Tough Customer? Why Employers Pass on Good Applicants
Skills, experience, initiative. You have everything an employer wants. Why is it so hard to get hired? Stop blaming the economy and take a realistic look at what you are doing to block your own path. Are you easy to hire? Or are you a tough customer?

Be Honest: How Companies Use Lie Detectors to Hire and Fire
According to the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), with few exceptions, private employers are not allowed to use lie detector tests either for pre-employment screening or on current employees, and employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees and applicants who refuse a lie detector test.

Finding the Best and the Brightest: Skill Building at the Ramsey County WorkForce Centers
A great resource, especially good for people who have been out of work for a while, or have a spotty work history, but will help enhance any resume, regardless of your work history or educational background.

The Craziness in the Job Hunt
Some hiring practices may seem bizarre, but don’t take it personally. Here are a few things you can do to help make sure your resume is seen as well as the best way to move forward after rejection.

Performance Review: How Hard Is Your Resume Working for You?
If you are applying for positions and getting called for interviews, your resume is doing exactly what you want it to. On the other hand, if you send resumes regularly, on positions that make sense for you, and you never hear back from employers, your resume is either slacking off or completely out to lunch.

Managers: Strategic Approach to Interviewing Brings Better Offers, Sooner
As the economy starts to rebuild itself, companies are moving from tentative temporary hiring to bringing on the upper level professionals who can take them back to profitability.

Degree in Progress: Finding Work is Possible, Even if You Didn’t Finish School
When the economy finally turns around, more people than ever will have finished some level of education. Be one of them.

Looking for a Job When You Have a Criminal History
Finding a job can be a tough thing when you have a criminal history, but it is not impossible to do. With persistence, you can make it happen.

Been Around the Block? Getting Mom, Dad and Grandpa Back to Work
You who have survived the working world for ten years or more already know you are capable, talented, and flexible.

A Different Way to Write a Resume
What if, on your resume, you told the employer the answers to many of the questions you would be asked during the interview?

Another Idea for Writing Your Resume
There is lots of advice out there for writing a resume. Some of it is better than others, but they all agree on a few of the same points.

Online Applications
The next wave that is to come is the way you will apply for jobs. More and more employers are going toward online applications.

Beyond Classified Ads
While reading through classified ads is a good thing to do, it should not be used as your only strategy for finding a job.

Closing the Wage Gap
With employment assistance, women without college degrees can close wage gap and get jobs, even in this tough economy.

For Job Seekers: How to do an Interview Better
According to labor statistics, there are about seven people available for each job opening. As challenging as that is, you want to make the best of every chance you get for an interview.

Mixed Up Job Market
The economy has flipped everything upside down for both job seekers and employers.

Relocating to Minnesota
Tips for reworking your resume when relocating to another state.

Job Hunting Over 50
The down turn of the economy has made job hunting even more challenging lately, especially for those who are over 50 years old.

What is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit?
Have you ever been told, "you have excellent skills, but we hired someone else?" The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a great way to leverage yourself as being the one who gets hired.

Wondering What to Do After Losing Your Job?
Why Not become a Published Author?

Moving to a New Industry
Larger numbers of qualified and experience people are looking for work in a new, unfamiliar field.

Making Out-of-State Experience Work For You
What do you do when you have a lot of work experience, but it is in another state?

Using a JIST Card
Have you ever been in a situation where you hear somebody talking about a job opening you’d really be interested in, but didn’t have your resume with you?

A Place Where Creative Souls Can Find Nurturing in These Tough Economic Times
According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate is at its highest level since 1983. In May 2009 alone, American employers slashed 345,000 jobs...

Recruiters and Headhunters
After trying for a while to find a job on your own, you might be considering working with a recruiter or a headhunter...

Plan for Achieving Self-Support
What Is A Plan For Achieving Self-Support (PASS)? A plan lets you use your income or other things you own to help you reach your work goals.

Applying at a Staffing Company can be a Wise Career Move
Whether you want a temporary job or a permanent position, working for a staffing company is a great career move...

Job Hunting Over 50
The down turn of the economy has made job hunting even more challenging lately, especially for those who are over 50 years old...

Create a Work Portfolio
Regardless of the type of work you have done or want to do, a work portfolio will help you to show you are the right person for your next job...

Senior Community Service Employment Program
The Senior Community Service Employment Program is a program that benefits both the job-seeker and community organizations...

Navigating Job Fairs
Going to job fairs is a good thing to do, if you are unemployed or are looking for a new job...

Rethink Your Resume
To be successful in finding a job in the current economy, take a second look at your resume, and learn to re-think what you are saying in it...

Job Networking Groups
With competition for jobs becoming greater, it is a good idea to join a networking group or a job club...

Filing for Unemployment
If you happen to find yourself filing for unemployment, here’s a few things you should do...

Keeping Your Skills Up-to-Date During Challenging Times
With all of the twists and turns in the job market lately, chances are good that your next job won’t be like your last job...

Why Should I Hire You?
Whether you have 20 years of job experience or are looking for your first job, it’s the question employers are asking every time the post an ad for a job opening. If you had only 60 seconds to answer that question, what would you say?