Archive for May, 2009

Is casual dress at work going out of style?

scruffy worker

Clipart.com

We had a good, spirited discussion on BlogBreak recently about the Jonesboro police chief who was fired for wearing jeans instead of a traditional uniform to work. A recent article suggests that casual days at the workplace are becoming a thing of the past.

It seems that employees are stepping up their wardrobe as they try to find any edge they can to make themselves valuable in the workplace and avoid layoffs. As the article states, companies are stepping up their dress codes to show clients that “we are serious and that we are paying attention to details.” At many Atlanta companies, even the tradition of “casual Fridays” has become a casualty of the recession.

But not all are jumping on the dressy work wardrobe bandwagon. In fact, UPS, which had a notorious conservative dress policy for its office workers, has recently made permanent a more relaxed dress code. The staff has responded in a positive manner, and so far, UPS office workers are not abusing the more …

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Serious missteps in a resume

BlogBreak contributor and vice-president of e-resume.net Chandra Fox has some good advice for avoiding costly errors on your resume:

Resume is void of results-focused information
If your resume reads like anyone that has had a similar background to yours, then it is not good. That means your immediate competitors’ resumes read just like yours. You must differentiate yourself. Tell about the project you had that saved the day and your role.

A whole lot about nothing
If your resume is more than two pages, re-evaluate your resume. There is a time when a three-page resume is appropriate, but be sure that means you. If your resume discusses things that are not vital to the particular job for which you are applying, eliminate them.

One style doesn’t fit all
After reading what the company wants for a particular position in the job posting, be sure your resume reflects your experience that is mentioned in the description. Do not lie but make sure any experience you’ve had throughout …

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Have you been a victim of a job scam?

Recently the AJC reported that a growing number of metro Atlanta residents were becoming victims of job scams. One woman paid $1.97 in shipping and handling charges for a “free” CD that was supposed to offer a program for job seekers. She ended up being charged $72.21. Another job scam involves rebate processing, where companies are charging upfront fees of $40 to $500 for a starter kit to process rebates from home.

And while many of these scams are online in nature, you can also be swindled in person. As noted in the article, a scam busted up by Gwinnett police in April asked job candidates who applied in person to pay $260 for bartender training before they could work at a phony nightclub in Duluth.

Have you come across any shady companies offering help to job seekers as you look for employment? Have you ever become a victim of a job scam?

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Is Georgia’s labor market stabilizing?

While the latest state unemployment numbers show a slight rise in unemployment in April, Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said that the overall picture suggests that the labor market may be starting to stabilize, but that the verdict is still out.

What do you think? Have layoffs slowed down at your company? If you are currently unemployed, are you seeing more job openings?

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Google can now predict which employees will quit?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google has created an algorithm that can determine which of its employees are most likely to quit. The formula is based upon information from employee reviews, surveys, peer reviews and promotion history. While the formula is still being tested, Google claims they have already been able to determine a segment of their 20,000-strong workforce who feel “underused,” which is a common reason why people leave their jobs.

While some employees might find this algorithm to be like a “Big Brother” tool, Google officials claim it’s really for benign reasons, and will help them improve employee engagement and retain the talent currently working for them.

What do you think about this Google formula? Does it give you bad vibes or is it yet another innovative tool that Google has created?

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Does it pay to be tall in the workplace?

measuring man

iStockphoto.com

Recently, we had a good discussion about the impact being overweight had on promotions. Men with a few extra pounds fared better than their female counterparts.

A recent Australian study suggests that being tall, especially if you are male, can boost your earnings, with each additional four inches of height adding three percent to hourly wages. Researchers have not been able to determine why height would impact one’s salary, except to suggest that taller people can do more physical tasks. What’s most interesting is that in the Australian study, overweight men earned 5% more than their thinner colleagues. An expert weighed in, suggesting that being overweight was so common that it no longer was a detriment in the workplace.

Certainly, America is no different when it comes to the growth of our overweight population. But are we as accepting to body size differences? Do you think a person’s physical appearance can impact their earning power in the …

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When are jeans appropriate attire for work?

Update: The Jonesboro mayor has fired Jonesboro Police Chief Brad Johnson. Why? See below:

Recently, there was a story about Brad Johnson, the Jonesboro police chief, who was suspended because he refused to wear a traditional police uniform. Instead, he chose to wear jeans while on the job. Mayor Luther Maddox was not amused and considered Chief Johnson’s choice of work attire as insubordination. He suspended him for five days. The suspension was appealed and cut in half.

Chief Johnson has relented and now says he will wear a uniform to work.

When do you think it is appropriate to wear jeans or other casual attire to work? As the summer season approaches, this becomes more of an issue in the office, as not everyone agrees on the amount of skin one should show while in the workplace, or just how casual one’s attire should be on the job. For someone in an official city position like the police chief, do you think they should be required to wear a uniform?

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Graduates, are you worried about finding a job?

GSU college graduates

Leita Cowart/AJC Special

This week’s ajcjobs cover story was about the tough job market college graduates are facing as they enter the workforce. While all of the usual advice applies, such as networking, preparing for job interviews and being dedicated to the job search process, experts also recommend that new graduates really focus on their specific job market and where their particular skill set will be most in demand. This is not the time to wait for the perfect job to come to you – experts recommend that new job seekers focus and take action.

If you are a new graduate, how do you feel about your current job prospects? Has the tough economy forced you to rethink your career plans?

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Would you consider a career in nursing?

nurses with baby noor

CURTIS COMPTON / ccompton@ajc.com

Today, ajcjobs is honoring Georgia’s outstanding nurses at the Celebrating Nurses of Excellence awards. It’s an annual event that honors nurses throughout the state for their dedicated and caring service.

As this article indicates, while there is a nursing shortage, not everyone is capable of being a good nurse. The long hours, the stress, seeing patients die despite your best efforts – these are all things that can easily break a recent nursing school graduate. The turnover rate is high, especially within the first year of a nurse’s career. For those that have the mettle to make nursing their lifelong profession, it can offer rewards far greater than a salary.

Would you ever consider a career in nursing? Do you think nurses are paid enough? In honor of Celebrating Nurses, let us know about nurses that have touched your life in a positive way.

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How did you get laid off?

pink slip

iStockphoto.com

Sometimes, just talking about something helps one move on from a negative situation. There’s a Web site called How I Got Laid Off that allows people to vent to the world about their experience of losing their job. There’s some pretty eye-opening stories on there, including a person who was fired after having open-heart surgery and lost their health insurance benefits.

So we’re asking those in metro Atlanta and beyond: How did you end up unemployed? Did the experience make you sad, angry or just baffled? Do you think your employer handled the situation correctly, considering the circumstances? (We do ask that you refrain from naming specific companies and people in your account. We reserve the right to edit or remove posts that violate these guidelines.)

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