Monday, March 24, 2008

Taking Advantage of Your Time During Unemployment

Whether it is an unexpected bombshell or a planned transition period, unemployment can be a tumultuous in a person's life. Dean LaTourette, co-author of "Time Off! The Upside to Downtime," observes, "While it can be a scary time, most people who allow themselves a break find that getting laid off or quitting their job ends up being one of the best career moves they ever made." Katherine Tom, author of "Five Ways to Make Unemployment Work for You," suggests the following activities during an employment break.

1. Get an internship or Volunteer. If making a complete career change, unpaid work may give you the experience in a new field.

2. Go back to school. Training courses or continuing education classes are available year round through a variety of programs.

3. Explore your hobbies. Tom makes this assertion, "At worst, you'll get to enjoy yourself, and at best you may find a way to make money doing what you love."

4. Travel. While working, few receive enough vacation time to enjoy extended periods of travel. Take advantage of your free time during this stage of your life.

To read Katherine Tom's article visit:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can be extremely costly for a business. Dr. Rick Johnson in his article, "The Time to Fire is BEFORE You Hire," estimates turnover costs are, "averaging over 1 1/2 times the annual salary of the individual that must be replaced." To calculate your business' turnover rate use these formulas provided by retention specialist Colin Brown.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Homebuyer "101" Workshop

Housing and Credit Counseling presents a workshop for those who dream of owning their first home. Find out what you can afford to buy. Qualified instructors will take you throught the homebuying process, from loan application to closing and everything in between. This FREE workshop will be offered Saturday, March 22, 2008 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (10th & Washburn).

To register please call 785-234-0217, 800-383-0217 or email

Friday, February 29, 2008

Careers with Growing Salaries

Look at some of the careers identified as having the fastest growing salaries in America:

1. Business Operations Specialists-- Salary growth rate of 7.4% (Average Salary $38,648)

2. Survey Researchers-- Growth 6.5% (Avg. $31,734)

3. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists-- Growth 6.4% (Avg. $106,844)

4. Protective Service Managers-- Growth 6.4% (Avg. $75,848)

5. Agents & Business Managers-- Growth 5.8% (Avg. $113,771)

6. Agricultural Inspectors-- Growth 5.6% (Avg. $37,001)

7. Music Directors & Composers-- Growth 5.6% (Avg. $51,910)

8. Film & Video Editors-- Growth 5.4% (Avg. $62,958)

9. Aircraft Assemblers-- Growth 5.3% (Avg. $49,824)

10. Protective Service Workers-- Growth 5.3% (Avg. $25,727)

Read the entire list of careers and their descriptions at:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Staffing Company Statistics

Check out these statistics from the American Staffing Association:

* 3 million people per day are employed by staffing companies.

* 12 million temporary and contract employees are hired by U.S. staffing firms over the course of a year.

* 79% of staffing employees work full time, virtually the same as the rest of the work force.

* 90% of client businesses say staffing companies give them flexibility to keep fully staffed during busy times.

* 88% of staffing employees say that temporary or contract work made them more employable.

* 77% of staffing employees say it’s a good way to obtain a permanent job.

* 80% of staffing clients say staffing firms offer a good way to find people who can become permanent employees.

For more statistics visit the American Staffing Association website at:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Improve Response to Your Resume

Feel as if your resume is not attracting the attention it should? It is possible that even though you are qualified for the position, something in your resume is keeping you from an interview. Dan Brockman, a professional recruiter, makes these suggestions to improve the responses to your resume:

1. The name of your resume document should be in the form: Last, First. All resumes should be in Microsoft Word format, not PDF or WordPerfect.

2. The cover letter is basically wasted material. This does not mean a cover letter should not be included, but keep it short and to the point. Only basic details should be stated in the cover letter including position you are looking for, salary needs, and possibly willingness to relocate.

3. Your resume should contain many ways that a potential employer can reach you. At the top of the resume should be all pertinent phone numbers—home, cell, work, and alternate. Home email and postal addresses are also essential. Make sure personal email addresses are professional, for instance,

4. Pick a standard typeface. Do not use bullets, arrows, or pointers in your text. Eliminate photos, graphs, or long lists of two or three words on each line. Run the document through a virus checker, spell checker, and grammar checker before sending it.

5. The previous four items are imperative. The following suggestions are icing on the cake.

6. Results are numbers, ratios, percentages, and dollar signs of accomplishments and achievements. Put these numbers first. Companies care what prospective employees have done for others and can do for their business.

7. Your educational accomplishments are essential. Make sure the degree format is exactly what you received. The format should be type of degree, field of degree, year received, final GPA, name of institution, city, and state.

8. Your employer’s names are not enough for readers to understand who you worked for. Add at least one sentence after the name of each employer with a description of the business they are in. You could state the size of the company, number of plants, employee union status, multiple state operations, and world wide customer base.

9. Describe your actual job duties, not a list of duties lifted from your job description.

10. Put a few keywords into your resume. Keywords like HPLC or SHA or MBA or CFA or GIPS will be essential to a counterpart who you want to work for in a new company.

To read Brockman's full article visit:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Researching Prospective Employers

One of the first orders of business to prepare for an interview is to research the company. A candidate’s initial stop may be the company website which can be a great source of company history and product information. Unfortunately, the company website will probably not describe the work environment or publish any unfavorable reports. The following sites can help give candidates a clear picture on prospective employers:

Industry News

Association Sources

Government Reports

Business News

Company Information

National Rankings