News / USA

Unemployed Grapple With New Job-Hunting Techniques

Vanessa Bridges - job hunter
Vanessa Bridges - job hunter

Multimedia

Jeff Swicord

President Obama signed a bill last week extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks.  The extension will affect 1.4 million unemployed Americans and help ease the longest bout of joblessness since the great Depression.  Our reporter visited a career counseling center outside Washington D.C. to get a feel for what job seekers are going through.

Vanessa Bridges is one of 14.6 million unemployed Americans:

When the economy hit its recent downturn, she was laid off from her job as the Director of Business development for an architectural firm in Washington D.C.

Now, she is trying to reinvent herself as an events planner.  But the recession has touched every segment of the economy.

"It's just has had an enormous impact on everybody on all levels," said Vanessa Bridges. "So it is not just one person losing their job out there, it is entire companies that don't exist any more."

Vanessa told us searching for a job in today's market is tricky.  She sought help from the Maryland State Professional Outplacement Assistance Center, or POAC, which is funded by the state Department of Labor.

POAC offers seminars in everything from resume writing and online job searches, to how to market yourself.

Vanessa says one of the most important things is learning how to apply for jobs on the internet.

"If you haven't looked for a job in the last two or three years, it is radically different than anything you could imagine," she said. "It is not just going and writing your little resume and mailing it, even looking in the newspaper.  Everything is online."

Nancy Fink is the Assistant Director of POAC.  She says today's job searches must be conducted on multiple fronts.  Things that might have been optional in the past for job seekers are now mandatory.

"Obviously they need to do the resume piece, but they have to be well versed in social media," said Nancy Fink. "They should be on Linkedin, they should be on Facebook.  They need to be doing face to face networking.  They need to be active with their alumni associations."

The odds are not in the job seeker's favor.  According to the U.S. Department of labor, there are five unemployed people for every job opening in the country.

We sat down with six unemployed people.  All are highly-educated management-level professionals who previously earned six-figure salaries.  We asked them to talk about the obstacles they are facing.  Milly Probst, a former call center manager, told us her experience and salary history are scaring off potential employers.

"It actually happened to me yesterday, I was at a job fair, that was the first thing out of the recruiter's mouth: 'oh, you have such an impressive resume,'" said Milly Probst. "And I don't want to dummy myself down [make myself seem less intelligent] so I put exactly what I have done and what I have achieved and what my titles were.  But I am starting to think I need to change that."

All the participants felt that job security is a thing of the past because companies and corporations are cutting expenses by shedding high-salary employees.  They told us the future is in entrepreneurship and private consulting.  Pamela Robb was a management professional in the non-profit field.

"I think that where we are going is to the 'gig' kind of thing," said Pamela Robb. "What am I doing today?  With whom am I doing it with today?  And half way through, who am I going to be doing it with in six months when this contract is up."

Nancy Fink says most of the people who go through her organization's programs will eventually find a job.  But they may have to lower their expectations, take on multiple duties, and work for less pay until the economy fully recovers.  

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid