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Get Ready for Your Next Job Interview

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools | No Comments

Interviews can be stressful – but if you prepare well, they can be enjoyable. And when you prepare thoroughly for an interview, you’ll show the hiring manager that you’ll go the extra mile if you’re hired for the job.

Use these three tips to make the best impression at your next job interview:

  • Research the employer – Learn why the company may be a good fit for you before the interview. Use the employer’s website and internet searches to learn about the company, its history, locations, products and services. Look for recent company press releases and news articles.
  • Research your interviewer – Interviewers are more likely to hire someone who has something in common with them. Learn everything you can about the interviewer including their background, interests and mutual connections you may have. Use the power of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other networks to ask people in your network if they have any connections to the interviewer.
  • Practice your opening and close – People tend to remember the beginning and the end of a conversation. Practice what you’ll say at the start and end of your interview – in the mirror, with a friend or with a job coach – so those parts will go smoothly.

Unlock the Power of LinkedIn

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Solutions, Student Lending, Uncategorized | No Comments

Employers make half of their hires through their network. The top networking site is LinkedIn, with over 400 million users. It allows job seekers and employers to quickly research each other and find common network connections who can speak in depth about a job seeker’s character – something a resume can’t do. Fortunately, most of LinkedIn’s key features are free.

Follow these important steps on LinkedIn to open the door to jobs already in your network.

Optimize your profile – To get, on average, 21 times more profile views, detail your experience with keywords, skills and accomplishments that highlight your capabilities; write a sharp, short headline to reflect your brand and upload a professional-looking photo.

Activate your current network– Upload your email or other contact list to quickly expand your network with friends who are already on LinkedIn.

Find jobs and target employers– Search for openings in your area in the “Jobs” feature and find connections who can give you a warm introduction or go directly to the company LinkedIn profile and enter the target employer’s name in the search bar.

Following up with hiring managers– Stay connected on LinkedIn once you have had an interview or contacted someone to network for a job. Consider inviting the hiring manager to connect and/or comment on one of their LinkedIn postings. It will show your interest and keep your name in front of them without being annoying.

Are you using a Job Board Aggregator in your Job Search?

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Student Lending, Uncategorized | No Comments

Did you know you can search for job postings from popular sites like Monster and CareerBuilder and have them sent to your email box automatically through Indeed is the largest job board in the world, and fortunately, it’s free to use.

To find jobs and set up your automated job search:

  • Search– Go to and enter your desired job and location in the “What” and “Where” fields fields. Click “Find Jobs,” then narrow the list, if you like, using the filters on the results screen.
  • Automate– Simply enter your email address in the “Get new jobs for this search by email” field to have new job postings sent to you for that search on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Repeat – You can set up searches for as many jobs and locations as you like and cancel a search at anytime. You can also enter your resume into Indeed to let employers find you.

Rather than spending all your time searching through job postings on various sites, use a job board aggregator and spend more time networking.


The Rule of Three’s

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Student Lending | No Comments

Most job seekers aren’t sure how to follow up after an interview or submitting an application – not knowing when an employer will call or when to follow up if they don’t. Don’t miss this important step. Employers often watch how you work on your job search to assess how you’ll work in the job.

Follow these keys to effective follow up:

  • Follow the “Rule of Three’s”– In the first 5 to 7 days after submitting your resume or application, follow up by phone or in person and express interest in the position. If you don’t receive a response within two weeks, try again by email or send a message through LinkedIn. If you still haven’t received a response after a month, consider sending a handwritten note. Continue following up every few weeks to touch base on the progress of the search until the position is filled.
  • Make the extra effort– Always follow up with a thank you note within 24 hours of any interview. Send an email as well as a handwritten thank you card. The extra effort and the sincere appreciation for their time will speak volumes as to what kind of employee and coworker you will be. Be sure to also let them know you are interested in going to the next step!
  • Be persistent– Don’t get discouraged. If you don’t receive a response, don’t stop making phone calls. Even if it’s uncomfortable, remember to be confident. If you’ve done your research, the employers you’ve picked will be lucky to have you. Even if they’ve chosen another applicant, you may get a job lead for another position with the company by demonstrating your interest and professionalism.

3 Advantages to Holiday Job Search

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Government, Military, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Solutions, Student Lending | No Comments

3 Advantages to Holiday Job Search

Job seekers often slow down their job search during the holidays and assume employers are not hiring or interviewing. But, according to studies, over one-third of employers expect to add employees during the fourth quarter including over the holiday season.

Here are three reasons why ramping up your job search over the holidays will give you an advantage:

  • You’ll have less competition– While other job seekers are taking time off of their job hunt, you should increase your activity. It will demonstrate your commitment to your future employer, and make it easier on the hiring manager.
  • Hiring managers are more available – Although holidays can be busy, hiring managers’ calendars are often unscheduled, allowing them time to attend holiday gatherings, clean out files and plan for the new year. Reach out by phone or preferably in person to follow up on your application or schedule an informational interview.
  • You’ll gain momentum for the New Year – While other candidates will just be trying to rekindle their job search, yours will remain strong and your relationships with employers will be primed for start of the year hiring decisions.

The NextJob Team

P.S. Consider seasonal work or volunteer opportunities during the holidays while you continue your job search. You’ll expand your network and gain new experience, knowledge and connections that may lead to a full-time opportunity.

Helping you land your next great job…faster.

Employers can subscribe to our Reemployment Industry Insights mailing list and job seekers can subscribe to our Job Search News & Tips mailing list.

Sharing the Gift of a Job this Holiday Season

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Government, Military, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Solutions, Student Lending | No Comments

unnamed-2At NextJob we are so thankful for the privilege of working alongside our customers and their employees, helping them back to work. Customers of NextJob, have also helped us with our charitable Job for Job program: for every job search package our customers purchase, we donate a matching gift of our proprietary online job search skills system to someone in need.

To reach those in need, we partner with organizations serving people who are homeless, in poverty, disadvantaged, disabled veterans, victims of domestic violence or chronically underemployed. Our mission is to help our partner organizations give a hand up into employment for our neighbors in need.

echoThis holiday season, we thought we’d share two stories from Emergency Care Help Organization, our NextJob partner in Central Florida. ECHO serves residents in crisis with food and clothing and offers access to life-stabilizing programs and resources including our Job for Job reemployment program.

ECHO Director Eleanor Saunders recounted one of the more inspirational stories. “Mark was homeless. He walked four miles to class each week. We received a donated bike and gave it to Mark. He was faithful. After a few months, he landed a job in HVAC with a local company. He has since passed his 90 day probation period with flying colors!”

Another ECHO job seeker offered her story as well:

“I first came to ECHO for GED classes. Then I got more information on how to help my family by me attending Job for Job classes, where I was able to build my resume, practice for interviews and most important they gave me a confidence that wajss lost somewhere down the line of my life or maybe never really had.

I got to practice different things and started to look at myself in the future with a real JOB and capable of being able to do something in the long term, not just an immediate need to pay a bill right now. I got the feeling of long term success and this was something I never experienced before…I did my interview and got hired with great benefits and most important, now I have the opportunity to help others and give someone else this boost that I much needed in my life.”

– Marlen, Job for Job Client

As we head into a season of giving, we’re thankful for the privilege of partnering with our customers to make a real difference in people’s lives and wish you all a very happy holiday season!

John Courtney, President & CEO

P.S. As always, we welcome suggestions of nonprofits that could use our resources to make a difference in the lives of those they serve and we welcome support in spreading the word. Simply contact Dale at to share your suggestions.


Employers can subscribe to our Reemployment Industry Insights mailing list and job seekers can subscribe to our Job Search News & Tips mailing list.

3 Key Job Interview Questions

By | Coaches Corner, NextJob | No Comments

untitledMany people go through an interview and don’t ask a single question. They are scared or assume that the hiring manager is the only one allowed to lead the conversation. In reality, interviewers appreciate job seekers who know what they are looking for and demonstrate their interest in the position. When you ask great questions you’ll also uncover the priorities and responsibilities of the job so you can effectively sell your experiences and accomplishments back to the employer.

Three key questions you should consider asking in an interview are:

  1. Company Challenges – Ask: “What are some of the key challenges the company is facing right now?” You’ll demonstrate that you’re thinking not only about your own position, but also the well-being of the company. Employers love team players who think about the bigger picture.
  2. Keys to Success – Ask: “What abilities are the most important for success in this position?” This question will show that you are focused on succeeding and you’ll be able prioritize your answers based on what the interviewer tell you is important.
  3. Personal Approach – Ask: “What do you most enjoy about your work here?” You’ll show that you have a genuine interest in your interviewer as well as an interest in enjoying your work. This will demonstrate that the job is not just a paycheck for you.

Asking the right questions gives the interviewer a chance to talk while educating you on what you need to know about the job.

Helping you land your next great job…faster.

Employers can subscribe to our Reemployment Industry Insights mailing list and job seekers can subscribe to our Job Search News & Tips mailing list.

3 Tips to Tap the Power of the Informational Interview – A Priceless Lunch

By | Coaches Corner, NextJob | No Comments

Networking can be hard, but one great trick you can use is the “informational interview.” Simply find someone who works in a company or a job you’re targeting and ask for a conversation to learn more. To save them time and make it casual, ask them to meet for coffee or lunch. You’ll normally learn more about a target company or occupation over lunch than you might in months of researching, and you’ll often discover job openings and gain connections you’d otherwise miss.

informational-interviewUse these three tips to start tapping the power of an informational interview:

  • Use your employer target list – Look for hiring managers or people in your network who work at a target employer by searching for the company on LinkedIn or Google. Narrow your search to your local area, so you can meet in person. If you don’t find anyone that way, ask the receptionist to connect you to someone from the department you’re targeting.
  • Make contact – Be personal and sincere — do not use the default generic messaging options if you are using LinkedIn. Simply ask this question: “I’m really interested in your work and your company. Would you be willing to have a conversation with me over lunch or coffee about your job and how you started in your career?”
  • Ask great questions – Most people are flattered that you would want to know about their life and even more flattered that you might want to be like them. When you meet, ask personal questions such as, why they chose their job, what they like about their current company, and recommendations they have for you to gain experience in their field. Always close by asking if they are aware of any opportunities in their current company or anyone else they’d recommend you talk with next.

Use these tips and you may just find that you’ve taken a big step toward finding your next job.

Employers can subscribe to our Reemployment Industry Insights mailing list and job seekers can subscribe to our Job Search News & Tips mailing list.

The Six Month Question

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Government, Military, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Student Lending | No Comments

Six Month QuestionResearch on landing a job faster

Despite over five million open jobs, the average job seeker remains unemployed over six months and over one third of unemployment insurance claimants are still exhausting all of their benefits, without landing a job.

This is costly for employers and job seekers alike. The average claim against an employer’s unemployment account is over $5,000 and, for job seekers who are parents, a six-month or greater spell of unemployment nearly tripled the rate of poverty.

Read this month’s Reemployment Insight, “The Six Month Questionto learn more about the 5 factors you should ensure are included in your reemployment support model.

Three Ways to Help a Friend

By | Employer, Government, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Student Lending | No Comments

Help a FriendWith 2.2 M people still stuck in long term unemployment and another 6 M hoping to get back into the labor force, we all tend to know someone who’s struggling to land a job.

Many of us, especially those of us in jobs that touch workforce topics, such as HR or unemployment, are expected to know something about landing a job; and we often do. But it’s often difficult to know exactly what we can do to help. Fortunately, with the right approach, job seekers can improve their chances of landing a job by nearly 600%.

Read this month’s Reemployment Insight, Three Ways to Help a Friend Back to Work to learn more about three of the most effective strategies used to help people land jobs.

Breaking Up is Hard

By | Employer, NextJob | No Comments

BreakingUpThe Impact of Layoffs on Employer Branding

At 75 million workers, Millennials are now the largest generation in our workforce. According to studies, they are cause-oriented and more focused on who they work for and why. They’re also socially-driven and highly connected.

For a growing generation of workers, how an employer treats employees at exit matters. In a workforce now dominated by Millennials that are empowered by social media, the implications are stronger than ever, both for the culture of those left behind in a layoff as well as those sizing up an employer’s brand when considering a new job opportunity.

Click here to read this month’s Reemployment Insight, “Breaking Up is Hard” to learn how employers can take matters into their own hands and manage the brand fallout of unemployment over social media.

Free Seminar: Elements of Effective Career Branding for Social Media (New Dates Added)

By | Coaches Corner, NextJob | No Comments

Do you know someone who is searching for that great next job?

Due to popular demand, additional dates and times have been added for a free interactive 45-minute virtual seminar nextJobHeader2where we will explore why every career seeker should have a professional brand, key elements in building a brand and initial steps to showcasing your brand in social networks. Dates, times & registration details below.

After attending this seminar you will understand

    1. The purpose a brand serves as applied to your career.
    2. Key conceptual and functional elements of a well-created professional brand.
    3. First steps in preparing to effectively use social networks for career building.
    4. How to actively build your brand identity in social networks.

Mark Your Calendar:

Elements of Effective Career Branding for Social Networking

Date: December 3, 2015
Time: 12:30pm ET
Where to register:

Date: December 12, 2015
Time: 11:00am ET
Where to register:

Date: December 15, 2015
Time: 9:00pm ET
Where to register:


Visit our Job Coaching Scholarships webpage for free access to our jobseekers toolkit to claim a scholarship to receive help from a professional job coach. (Available for a limited time.)


See the flyer!


Free Seminar: Elements of Effective Career Branding for Social Networking

By | Coaches Corner, NextJob | No Comments

nextJobHeader2Are you or someone you know searching for that great next job?

Join us on 11/17/15 at 12pm EST for a free interactive 45 minute virtual seminar where we will explore why every career seeker should have a professional brand, key elements in building a brand and initial steps to showcasing your brand in social networks.

After attending this seminar you will understand:

  1. The purpose a brand serves as applied to your career.
  2. Key conceptual and functional elements of a well-created professional brand.
  3. First steps in preparing to effectively use social networks for career building.
  4. How to actively build your brand identity in social networks.

Mark Your Calendar:

Elements of Effective Career Branding for Social Networking
Date: Nov. 17, 2015

Time: 12pm ET

Where to register:


We come out of college excited and ambitious yet with little guidance on how to keep building ourselves as professionals for a successful career future.

Having a career coach opened my eyes to what is truly meant by the term ‘job market’, how I fit in and stand out in it, and the simple yet effective steps every person can take to get to where they want to go. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to work with a NextJob coach.
– Gina Harrison


Presented by NextJob Coaches, Tara Orchard and Dixie Bullock0fe32a7a-35f6-4d49-9288-e97ac00393bc

Dixie is a Coach Team Manager at NextJob where she manages a team of job coaches. Dixie’s coaching

and employment-related services experience include over 15 years in staffing, recruiting, training, and job-matching. She has been consistently successful in helping others feel empowered about next steps, outcomes and options.



ab7b2298-5051-47c8-a5cd-3824dea25118Tara is a Career Performance, Branding, Social Networking and LinkedIn Coach and Freelancer Writer. For over 18 years she has advised 1000’s of people on effective Career and Social networking strategies that include taking control of their careers by adapting to constantly changing opportunities.




Visit our Job Coaching Scholarships webpage for free access to our jobseekers toolkit to claim a scholarship to receive help from a professional job coach. (Available for a limited time.)

4 Key Roles of a Good Job Coach

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Government, Military, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools, Student Lending | No Comments

compass-283234_640Over half of college graduates are unemployed six months after graduation and 39% of Unemployment Insurance claimants are considered long-term unemployed having been out of work for more than six months.

Research shows that job seekers receiving the right kind of help can increase their chances of landing a job by six times. What is the right kind of help? Broadly, the right help—according to the research—is teaching a variety of job search skills, providing motivation and encouraging proactivity. In the outplacement world, this can be provided using the right combination of the latest technology and a job coach.

I use the word coach, because a good coach helps people strengthen and sharpen their skills, in this case, job search skills. They fill the job search tool box with important stuff: advice, instructions, motivation, inspiration and direction.

A job coach can be many things to many people, but a good job coach will play the following key roles as part of the team that will help a job seeker land their next job.

  1. Mentor

A good job coach won’t just tell a job seeker how to do something. Instead, they explain why certain processes and actions in their profession are necessary and beneficial to the job seeker’s success. The coach will help identify and provide advice and direction on how best to target professional opportunities. They will also help develop strategies for improving performance in particular areas. This approach helps the job seeker understand not just how to do something, but why they need to do it.

  1. Motivator

For a job seeker to be successful in their job search they need to be motivated about their work history, career direction, skills and ability to move forward. A good job coach will help them identify what they are doing well and assist them in capitalizing on their strengths. At the same time, the coach will point out their weaknesses, or areas in which they need improvement, and help them develop an approach to bettering themselves. The coach needs to build an honest, trusting relationship with each and every job seeker they serve in order to help each job seeker achieve their goals.

  1. Goal-Setter

A good job coach helps chart the course of the job search through goal setting. They help set agendas, develop timetables, plan for the job search, and help the job seeker stay focused and on-track. In addition to meeting with the job seeker on a regular basis to assess progress, the coach will be available on an “as-needed” basis to help evaluate opportunities, plan for interviews and develop networking strategies.

  1. Confidence Builder

A good job coach will recognize and celebrate positive strides and remind the job seeker of the progress they’re making. They will help identify and highlight a job seeker’s strengths in a way that builds confidence.

Everyone has had a great coach in their past. It may have been a parent at home, a sports coach in school, a manager at a summer job who pushed them a bit or a mentor who took them under their wing. These were all coaches in their lives.

A good job coach can help each job seeker learn a critical life skill – job search.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

5 Critical Job Search Networking Truths

By | Coaches Corner, NextJob, Schools | No Comments

networkingHalf of all job openings are “hidden”; that is, they’re not listed anywhere. Instead, they’re filled through networking, word-of-mouth and direct contact with job seekers. This is why building your brand online and putting it to work for you can mean the difference between finding a job and finding your “dream” job.

You’ve heard it said, “It’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s also who you can get to know. There is truth in these statements, especially in finding your next job, and there are some good reasons for it.

It’s the same reason employers ask for professional references. Hiring managers want to know who you are, who you know, and that you share their core values.

If you know someone in their network, it’s as if you have already had an initial interview. The hiring manager can rely on your network contact’s recommendation to go to the next step.

Fortunately, your network may be even bigger than you think and it’s important to connect with the right people, in the right way, so they can connect you with the right jobs.

Here are the 5 critical truths to networking your way to your next job:

  1. Don’t be antisocial: Use all of your networks, both personal and online social networks whenever possible. LinkedIn is especially important for establishing and nurturing business relationships.
  2. Be a job-stalker: Evaluate what you want in an employer, what you value, and the best cultural fit for you and follow companies that interest you. Connect with their recruiters, key players, associates and company websites.
  3. Rub some elbows: Seek out professional opportunities to meet these key players in person whether through mutual connections or local industry events.
  4. It’s who you know: Don’t be afraid to ask existing contacts for introductions to make new contacts. You never know where a new connection will lead. Try out asking insiders for time to share their experiences in an informational interview but don’t be pushy – keep it informational.
  5. Make it snappy: Develop and refine the elevator pitch for your personal brand and build your own personal commercial.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

The Big Unemployment Insurance Write Off

By | Employer, Mortgage, NextJob, Student Lending | No Comments

Just another cost of doing business…or a missed opportunity?bigunempwriteoff_thumb_232

The national unemployment rate has dropped to 5.1%, yet 39% of UI claimants are still “exhausting” their benefits – often at six months which costs employers an average of over $8,000 per claimant.

Some consider these claims a sunk cost, but it doesn’t have to be money down the drain. Research shows that job seekers can improve their likelihood of finding a job by nearly 600% with the right kind of help.

Click here to read this month’s Reemployment Insight, “The Big Unemployment Insurance Write-off” to learn how exhaustee claims and average claims can be reduced by one to two months, saving $1,300 to $2,600 in claimant charges.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.


The “Real” Income Issue Lurking Behind Student Debt and the “Pay As You Earn” Program

By | Employer, NextJob, Schools, Student Lending | No Comments

20121118-student-debtThis past month, the Department of Education proposed expanded eligibility rules for its Pay As You Earn (PAYE) program which is designed to help relieve the debt burden for close to six million students.

The program basically does two things. First, it gives some students the opportunity to have their remaining student debt forgiven after 20 years. Second, it allows student loan payments to be adjusted to better match a borrower’s discretionary income.

The proposed changes are getting mixed reviews with lots of analysis. What’s mostly missing though is a more rigorous focus on the “real” discretionary income issue.

While overall unemployment rates have come down to a seven year low of 5.3% at the end of June 2015 most know that there is much more to the story. Among the most alarming is that for recent college graduates, the statistics have been pretty bleak, with only 52% employed full time 6 months after graduation.[1] Compounding the problem is the fact that 49% of 2013 and 2014 graduates consider themselves underemployed or in a job that does not require a college degree.[2] These are the real income issues in our student debt problem.

At a time when graduates are struggling to find meaningful and lucrative work using their hard earned education, they are also struggling with large student loan balances hanging over their heads. When a student stays unemployed for their first 9 months after graduating, their lost wage opportunity is an average of $33,000,[3] equal to an average graduate’s entire college debt.[4] But what students appear to be more immediately worried about is will they find work that matches their schooling or their passions.

This really hit home for me when, five days before her graduation, I received a frantic call from my niece. Instead of relishing the joy and excitement of finally achieving her goal of graduating from college, she was in tears. She had worked so hard, but was without a job – at least not one that counted. Continuing to work at the local sub shop did not count for her.

Final exams were behind her and the uncertainty of what came next was overwhelming – where she was going to live, how she would learn to effectively look for a job and whether she would be able to land work in her chosen field. Not once did she mention her student loans, which are significant. She did mention that there were no classes on campus on job search and she and most of her classmates had little understanding of what a career center could or would be able to do to help.

Job search is hard – a job all on its own. The job market is tough, but, with more than 50 million hires a year and employers talking talent shortage, jobs are out there. The key is to equip our students with what should be considered a basic life skill – job search readiness. Researching the job market, networking appropriately with confidence, building a personal brand, crafting an accomplishments-based resume, developing the poise and clarity of thought to handle tough interview questions – these are critical skills that will shape a student’s path through an average of 13 jobs in a career and determine the fit and fruitfulness of the bulk of their weekday activities the rest of their working lives.

Adjusting student loan payments may help alleviate some pain, – let’s face it, a lot of pain – but the root cause of the problem and moment of truth for our students as they embark on this next phase of their lives is how they will learn to choose a career path and gain the skills it takes to land a job that’s right for them.

My niece was one of the lucky ones. This fall, she’ll be a music teacher in a school she loves and has signed the lease on her first apartment as a college graduate. She worked hard at her job search and she had job search help. In the process, she developed a critical life skill. Her question to me: “Why don’t they teach this stuff in school???”

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.





* To learn more, employers are invited to subscribe to our Reemployment Industry Insights mailing list and job seekers are welcome to subscribe to our Job Search News & Tips mailing list.

4 Steps to Finding Direction in Your Job Search

By | Coaches Corner, NextJob | No Comments

A friend told me about driving a long open stretch of highway in Idaho and seeing a sign along the roadside: “You Sure Are Lost, But You’re Making Great Time!”

road-4539_640Are you making great time, but wondering if you’re headed in the right direction? It may help you to figure out where you are and where you want to go by stepping back and asking yourself a few questions.

Generally, taking this step back is the first forward step toward building a solid list of jobs that you’ll love and where you’ll thrive.

So what are the 4 steps to finding direction? You may notice that the title of this post did not say 4 “easy” steps. That’s not to say that the work involved is hard, but it does require work and some concentrated thought.

  1. First, you need to study how you’re built. We’re all built uniquely with different combinations of passions, personality, talents, experiences and values. Take some time to dig deep into yours. As you do, you’ll broaden your view beyond simply choosing a career that matches what you’ve done and where you’ve done it. And you also narrow your view to those companies and jobs that truly fit who you are and let thrive by being yourself. Along your path consider some of the free personality assessments available on the internet. Google the topic or visit the for example, the Job Hunter’s Bible site.
  1. Once you have studied how you’re built, build your job criteria. Take what you have learned about yourself and prioritize it to match up with job opportunities. Pick the most important traits how you’re built, put them together and rank them.
  1. Next, identify your options. Explore occupations and Labor Market Information to choose job types that will fit who you are. Try the My Skills My Future ( site, a free tool, from the US Department of Labor, to match your skills and prior jobs to other jobs that will likely fit you well. Also use this tool to develop key words employer use to match your resume to open jobs.
  1. Your last step to finding direction is looking for ways to fill in any skills gaps by gaining knowledge and experience. Job shadowing, volunteering, internships, freelancing or taking temporary jobs may all be a great fit for you. Be creative and have fun.

Once you’ve done the work, don’t forget to create your action plan and follow it. It’s not enough to know the path you also need to map it out and walk it.

Stay strong, stay focused and you will increase your chance of landing that dream job that fits how you’ve been uniquely built.

Visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit and create your own action plan. (Available for a limited time.)

Job seekers are welcome to subscribe to our Job Search News & Tips mailing list.

1.5 Billion Reasons to Retool UI Work Search

By | Employer, Government, NextJob | No Comments

Our unemployment insurance systehowdoweknow_thumb-160m was born in 1935 and, in some respects, little has changed. In particular, the work search requirement in most states has remained largely the same – contact a couple of employers each week and let the state know about it, proactively, or in many states, only if asked. But this approach has two major problems.

First, states rely mostly on claimants policing themselves, kind of like asking drivers to self-report when they break the speed limit. The national overpayment rate to those not complying with work search requirements is 4.5% of annual claims, costing employers over $1.5 billion for the year ending June 30, 2014. For context, that’s more than 15 times the cost of one of the Department of Labor’s more effective job search programs (the Reemployment Eligibility Assessment program).

Worse, the federal measure tends to understate what may really be happening. Evidence suggests 4.5% is a gross understatement and that one third or more of claimants are not willing to comply with work search requirements.

The second problem is that the required level of job search activity is low and can take just one hour to complete – that’s less than 1/4th the time the average person watches TV each day (4 hours). This is a low level of encouragement for someone who is unemployed and suddenly has a lot of time on their hands and needs work. Because the average UI claimant’s benefits are about half of their prior pay level, every week of added unemployment is costly in many ways.

Fortunately, there’s a better way – states can now use 100% verifiable work search activities that are equally or more valuable than contacting a couple of employers each week. For example, some states are requiring claimants to take online job search training because claimants rate their training at a C-/D+. States could require other similar online activities, such as inventorying their skills, building a resume and posting it, using online networking, etc.

How can employers help? UI agencies are sensitive to their Work Search Integrity rates. To see your state’s overpayment rates, click here. Then ask your state agency staff about the rate and whether they’ve considered moving to fully verifiable job search activities? Some would suggest they are about 1.5 billion reasons to do so.

Click here for more on this topic including a by the numbers look at the “Odds of Getting Caught”.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

Coach Spotlight – Meet Tara Orchard

By | Coaches Corner, Employer, Mortgage, NextJob, Schools | No Comments

TaraTara Orchard, MA., is a Career Transition and Performance and Social Networking Coach. For over 20 years she has provided tangible and actionable insights and perspective to individuals and organizations seeking to develop strategies to adapt and grow.

Tara was advising on Social Networking and personal branding a long time before it was in vogue. She is a freelance writer featured in two business magazines and a member of the Advisory Board for the Career Professionals of Canada. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology and is certified in numerous career, personality and psychology assessment tools.

As a career coach Tara brings over 20 years of experience working with thousands of individuals in different industries and careers, from around the world, at different stages of their career. She challenges people to ask themselves questions about who they are and what they want and need. Tara believes in Career Agility and finding an intersection between what is possible and what is realistic today as a part of the process for navigating an ongoing Career Journey. Tara has developed a 4 step career navigation process, “Discover, Prepare, Build, Actualize’ and a 5 step psychologically infused social networking strategy for career and business success ‘Ready, Set, Go, Focus and Flow” and is always looking for new ways to help people build and actualize their personal career journey.

What one piece of core advice would Tara share with job seekers in today’s market?

“Always remain aware and open. A successful career is not built in a day but over time through a series of events, opportunities and decisions requiring smart and proactive navigation. By constantly staying aware, which includes self-awareness, industry, career and economy awareness people can position themselves to be ready when an opportunity presents itself or are capable of creating an opportunity when needed or desired.

Part of the awareness process for career building includes understanding your career brand, a tool useful for both career direction and career marketing. An effective brand is built on awareness and then showcased through your words, content and materials (resumes, social profiles) and actions. All the pieces of the career building and navigation puzzle are more likely to come together when awareness remains on your radar.”

As a career coach Tara helps facilitate the process of gathering information and gaining insight to build awareness, identify new opportunities and help develop tangible and actionable strategies that can help someone move along the next phase of their career journey.

For more career coaching advice from Tara, follow her on twitter at @CareerChatter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.