Archive for August, 2009

Men: How to dress for interview success


Samy Liechti, Blacksocks’ Swiss founder, entrepreneur, and the ultimate gentleman, shares his career fashion tips to keep you looking smart from head to toe.

With more than one million pairs of socks sold in Europe,, an innovative sock delivery service that saves time-starved business execs wasted hours each year shopping, sorting and searching for socks, is now available in North America. Liechti founded Blacksocks as a young Swiss marketing executive, after attending a meeting with Japanese business associates. When it came time for dinner, following tradition, everyone removed their shoes. Liechti had two different socks on– one with a hole in the big toe. It was then that Blacksocks was born.

Interview DOs and DON’Ts

1. Choose a conservative suit in black, navy or gray in solid or a small pinstripe. Remember—the quality of the fabric speaks as loud as the color. If the fabric could also be used on your grandmother’s sofa, chances are it’s …

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Moms, retirees re-enter work force

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

Men have been hit with the highest employment rates nationally in this recession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, more spouses, moms and retirees are going back to work.

“We’re seeing more applications from nurses who are coming back into the work force,” said Jan Gannon, vice president of patient services at DeKalb Medical. “They tell us that their spouses have been laid off, their investments have tanked, or they need to support children.”

Veda Bush and Cindi Filer

Veda Bush (left), an accountant and mother of three, has worked part-time from home for 10 years. Cindi Filer (right), CEO of Innovative Outsourcing, helps professionals find part-time work. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC

She calls it a timely trend that has helped ease the nursing shortage, at least temporarily, in Georgia. DeKalb Medical requires nurses who have been out more than 3 years to go through a refresher course to bring their skills up to speed with the changes in …

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Behind the ‘he-cession’

Have you heard the term “he-cession” yet? That’s the word being used to describe a recession in which those losing their jobs are mostly men. Why would one gender be harder hit by layoffs than the other?

Well, for one thing, many of the fields shedding jobs — think construction and manufacturing — have ratios of men to women as high as nine to one.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

One also has to wonder if there are differences in re-employment for men and women. My instinct? Of course there are. Here are patterns I have noticed in some of my clients:

● Men are paid more. My experience jives with statistics that show men are paid more than women, even in similar jobs. Some of the gap might be discrimination and some might reflect differences in work patterns — women are more likely to drop out or work part-time, for example, interrupting salary progression.

But here’s something that falls more on the women than on the employers: Many of my female clients hesitate to …

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How long do you plan to work?

elderly worker

The story about the 101-year-old attorney from Texas, who was chosen as America’s Outstanding Oldest Worker for 2009, raises an interesting question. How long do you plan on staying employed full-time?

Sure, there are some milestone ages that people usually retire at, say 62, which is the earliest one can draw social security retirement benefits. The longer you stay employed, the more benefits you will receive. But the world is changing, and with it, the standards around retiring. Currently, there are a growing number of retirees who are stepping back into the workforce at least on a part-time basis. Some do it out of financial necessity; others to alleviate boredom.

Also, as the life expectancy continues to grow, workers may feel like they can stay employed longer and still have a good deal of time to enjoy retirement.

So what about you, when do you plan on retiring?

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Sue college because you can’t find a job?

It sounds unbelievable, but a woman in New York City is suing Monroe College in the Bronx for $70,000, equal to the cost of her tuition, because she now can’t find a job.

The woman earned a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in April, but so far has been unsuccessful in her job search. She claims the school’s career center did nothing to help her find a job. The college states its Office of Career Advancement does assist students in their job search and that the woman’s lawsuit is without merit.

What do you think about this case? Would you sue a school because they didn’t help you enough to secure employment after you earned your degree? How much effort do you think a school should make in helping their students become gainfully employed?

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Working Strategies: Searching for a job? These books can help

The summer festival of career-related books continues. This week we go for the nitty-gritty of the job search. Happy reading!

“The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide,” by Richard Bolles, Ten Speed Press, 2009, $9.99. Here, in a cleanly written 96 pages, you get Bolles, the author of “What Color is Your Parachute?” straight from the shoulder: Do this, don’t do that, get going.
Recommendation: Take a spin through this book and do what it says until you find a job.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

“Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great Job,” by Orville Pierson, Career Press, 2009, $15.99. Well, here’s an interesting thing: A networking book that makes almost no mention of LinkedIn, Twitter or any other social networking tool.
It’s not that he ignores those Web-based tools. It’s that he’s so focused on explaining how to network, when to network, whom to network with and what to say that there isn’t a lot of space left for particular online systems. …

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Think outside the box in your search

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

This is not the Great Depression, when unemployment numbers hit 25 percent. But it’s not your traditional job market either.

“It is important to recognize that traditional methods of searching for a new job rarely work any more,” said Randy Hain, managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, a 39-year-old Atlanta-based firm.

Ron Young, president Trove Inc.

Ron Young, president of the Atlanta-based executive coaching firm Trove Inc., advises people searching for jobs to use non-traditional ways to link up with potential employers. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

You can’t just fax or mail in your resume to a company and hope to get noticed. Applying to the company’s Web site online does nothing to distinguish you from the crowd.

“Going to a networking group to get leads isn’t effective, because everyone there is unemployed and looking for the same thing,” he said. “People get addicted to the easy and non-confrontational ways of doing a job search because they fear …

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