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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning issued a disappointing jobs report: only 80,000 new jobs added in June, with the unemployment rate stagnant at 8.2 percent. But while the widely-watched monthly unemployment report is our nation’s most popular measure of jobs, a trio of other reports came out yesterday – and they predict the job market is looking up…
- Employment consulting group Challenger, Gray, and Christmas shows planned layoffs fell to the lowest in more than a year and dropped 39 percent just from May to June – from 61,887 to 37,551. Many companies are keeping more employees. Looking at the year so far, the report shows education, computers, and transportation are the sectors dropping the most people – and California, New York, and Texas are the biggest states for layoffs.
- The June ADP employment report shows private employers hired 176,000 workers last month, also an improvement from May. Most of the hires (93,000) came from small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses with 50 to 500 employees also added 72,000 jobs.
- CareerBuilder’s mid-year jobs forecast looks forward instead of backward – by surveying thousands of hiring managers. In the next six months, 44 percent plan to hire full-time employees, while 21 percent will hire part-time and another 21 percent will sign contract or temporary workers. The forecast also breaks down hiring by region and field, showing that the West is adding the most full-time work and customer service is the most in-demand field.
Taken together, this is good news for those who are unemployed, have been laid off, or are just trying to climb the career ladder. But if you’ve been out of work for a while, here are a few basic tips…
1. On resumes, less is more
First off: Don’t lie. Remember how Yahoo’s CEO just got caught doing that and had to resign? Next, skip the objective – these are usually vague or lame space-wasters. If you went to college, there’s no need to mention high school. What deserves a little space: references, which are like celebrity endorsements. And skills are worth breaking into two categories, what you’re expert at and what you can work with.
2. Write a terrific cover letter
A cover letter can net you an interview or knock you out of the running, but most are terrible and bland. Do your research and know who you’re writing to and what they actually want in a candidate. Then prove you have it by offering interesting anecdotes from your work history, instead of regurgitating your resume.
3. Nail the interview
There are plenty of things you should and shouldn’t do in interviews. Most of them should be common sense, but hiring managers shake their heads at the same mistakes over and over. Don’t: be late, be dull, make stuff up. Do: shower and dress appropriately, pay attention to detail, and research the company.