Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

January 10, 2012

How to get a job in the new year

Filed under: Networking, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 12:08 pm

Job search strategy not working? In her article at, Miriam Salpeter offers some tips that may help you to stand out from the crowd so you can win an interview, and ultimately, the job.

She suggests:

Narrow your list to your highest-priority targets

Get referred in

Do the unexpected.

Research all the people in the organization. Take that list and run it by your entire network to see if they know anyone who might know someone in this organization. Search every name against your LinkedIn database.


December 3, 2011

Holiday Job Searching Tips

Filed under: Networking, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 3:48 pm

The holiday season is just around the corner. To many people, that means bells ringing, carolers singing and job openings waning. However, the holiday season offers some rare career opportunities that are not available the rest of the year. The real problem is that many job seekers cannot identify these opportunities. With a keen eye, you can take advantage of the opportunities that every one else misses by paying attention to the following:

1. Networking at holiday parties

2. Sending holiday cards with a purpose

3. Working around vacation schedules

4. Beating the holiday blues

1. Networking At Holiday Parties

The holidays bring more than a seemingly eternal string of parties. With these social outings come a string of fantastic networking opportunities. You can meet a wide array of people in many diverse fields. Even if you don’t feel like attending a party, the opportunity is too great to pass up. To get the most out of the occasion, keep these points in mind:
• BE CONSERVATIVE. You are trying to impress potential employers and colleagues. The party may not be an interview, but some restraint must be exercised. Avoid revealing or questionable clothing and limit your alcohol consumption.
• BE CASUAL. Being overly aggressive about getting employment information will turn people away. You may be at the party to find a job, but everyone else came to unwind. As you meet new people, the topic of employment will eventually come up,
and you can casually mention your job search.
• BE PREPARED. As a job hunter, you should always have business cards with you. Anyone you might talk to about work will meet a plethora of people over the course of the night. Giving them a business card gives them a reminder of who you are.

2. Sending Holiday Cards With A Purpose

It may seem a bit cheesy, but holiday cards are a fantastic and easy way to get the attention of an employer or recruiter. There is a good chance you will be sending cards to friends and family already, so there is not very much extra work to do. While the process is not complicated, it involves a little more effort than shoving a card into an envelope, there are a few things to keep in mind:
• Avoid holiday specific cards. As a matter of professionally courtesy and respect for religious diversity, use generic cards with messages like "Happy Holidays", "Season’s Greetings" or "Happy New Year".
• Use a simple message inside your card, such as "Looking forward to seeing you in the New Year", "Happy to see you this holiday season" or "Best Wishes".
• Do not send cards to people you have not corresponded with. The real advantage of sending a holiday card is that it serves as an unimposing reminder to people with whom you have interviewed or discussed work. A stranger will toss the card in the trash.

3. Working Around Vacation Schedules

The biggest obstacle that a job hunter will face during the holiday season is timing. People go on vacations, schedules become tight, and open time slots vanish. This does not mean that people have stopped hiring. To have any success, you will have to fight the hands of time. This means leaving yourself available and flexible.

Consider these points:
• The early bird catches the worm. If you contact a recruiter earlier in the holiday season, they will have more available time periods in their schedule.
• Since the holiday schedule is so chaotic, recruiters have time slots appear and disappear all the time. You never know when a recruiter may unexpectedly be available so be prepared for a call at anytime.
• Hold back on a vacation. If other job seekers are not available during the holidays and you are, you stand a much better shot at landing a job.

4. Beating The Holiday Blues

Regardless of financial position, people often get depressed and/or lonely during the holiday season. Being in between jobs cannot help the situation. In such a time, it is very easy to lose site of goals or suffer more serious psychological problems. Tips on how to search for a job during the holidays are probably not going help you fight off clinical depression, but they can help you to kick those holiday blues out the door.

Try to remember:
• Create a holiday schedule. Schedules allow you to allocate time for constructive job hunting activities and set aside time for relaxation or holiday celebrations. This way you can be productive and enjoy yourself.
• ‘Tis the season to give. During the holiday season, a tremendous number of volunteer opportunities appear. Helping others can give you a sense of pride and even put a smile on your face. Furthermore, volunteering gives you more experience to put on your resume and opportunities to network with other people. At the very least, you will be contributing to your community.


Many people fall into the illusion that career opportunities do not exist during the winter holidays, but this simply is not true. Some recruiters have even admitted that December is their busiest time of the year. This does not mean you are guaranteed to land a job, but it also does not mean that you should take a break from your search. With these tips and a bit of luck, you may just get the one thing you want the most this holiday season.

Volunteering and Unemployment Benefits

Filed under: Networking, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 9:43 am

What are the rules for volunteering while receiving unemployment benefits? With a special thanks to Christina Bakewicz, here is the answer directly from deep in the NYS DOL website FAQ Section:
– – –
Q: What if I do volunteer work? 
A: In certain instances, you may collect unemployment benefits while you do volunteer work. You must meet all of these conditions:

The volunteer work is for a charitable, religious or cultural organization 
You do not receive payment in any form for your volunteer work 
(Example: if you "volunteer" at a school in exchange for tuition abatement or scholarship, we do not consider this true volunteer work. This work would affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits.) 
The volunteer work is not a precondition to being hired or rehired into a paid position 
(Example: if you volunteer while on a lay-off from a social services agency that is between budgets or grants, we do not consider this true volunteer work. This work would affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits.) 
Your volunteer duties do not interfere with your ability to search for work 
Do not affect or limit the number of days and hours you are willing to work

October 22, 2011

What to Do if Networking is Not Working

Filed under: Networking — Larry @ 12:27 pm

Sometimes, despite your best efforts at applying for jobs, looking for contacts to network with at companies, and doing everything else within your power to get your candidacy noticed, you’re stuck. What else can you do? It can take thinking outside the typical job search strategies box and being creative to get the attention of a prospective employer. describes some actions you can take to overcome this problem, such as:

– Show up on the doorstep of potential employers

– Ask your most eloquent advocate to call the hiring manager and give you a recommendation

– Ask everyone who likes you for job leads

– Use the call-email-call-call strategy

– Send more than a thank-you note after an interview

Check out this site for more information on these steps and for more information on job search networking.

August 26, 2011

Elevator Pitch: Do’s and Don’ts

Filed under: Interviewing, Networking — Larry @ 9:13 am


Crafting Your 30-Second Elevator Pitch

Filed under: Interviewing, Networking — Larry @ 8:44 am


June 13, 2011

Networking in Professional Organizations

Filed under: Networking — Larry @ 9:22 pm

Professional organization memberships can provide invaluable networking opportunities as well as a discount on professional training. But if you’re unemployed, professional dues that range from dozens to hundreds of dollars may not fit in the budget. Call the organization’s membership office. Many professional organizations like the ASME and IIE are offering reduced membership rates to those who can prove they are unemployed. Some professional organizations are also offering discounts on professional training classes to help those without work keep their skills or certifications up to date.
Tamara W. – The Dollar Stretcher

May 2, 2011

Networking: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Filed under: Networking — Larry @ 9:55 pm

In today’s interconnected society, that rings true more than ever. Your talents, abilities, and experience will never take you anywhere if nobody knows you exist. In order to get what you want out of life, you need to be resourceful.

1) Break your stereotypes about networking: There will always be people who judge others based on image and titles, but there are also people who want to build genuine, mutually beneficial relationships. When you’re networking, you’re going to have to sift through the people you don’t want to know to get to the people you do want to know.

2) Be Bold: Networking does require a degree of boldness, but with the advent of social networking sites, you can get to find others with similar interests and goals without being in a room full of people. Networking takes time and effort.

3) Build your social network: The key is to smile and take a genuine interest in other people’s lives. Strengthen your existing connections. Getting in touch with old friends, distant relatives, and people you went to school with can be a good stepping stone because you’re reaching out, but you’re not approaching complete strangers.

4) Go to work-related conferences: Ask the people you meet for their business card and write any details about them on the back once you have a moment to spare.

5) Find out who knows whom: When you’re talking to people, find out what they do for a living and for fun, as well as what their spouse or significant other, nearby family members, and close friends do for work and recreation, too

6) Find the extroverts: As you continue to network you’ll find that some people are much better at it than you are – they already know everyone! You’ll stand to benefit from getting to know such people first because they can introduce you to others who share your interests or goals

7) Invite people out & be generous: Since you’re looking to create mutually beneficial relationships, a good way to kick start this is by thinking of ways in which you can help others. It’s not all about contacts, job offers, and loans; you can offer compliments, good listening skills, and other less tangible (but valuable) gestures of kindness and generosity

8) Follow up: Don’t get someone’s business card or e-mail address and forget about it. Find a way to stay in touch.

9) Use the Internet: The internet and online networking have essentially reduced distances between people to zero so that we can not only network outside of our hometown, but also from coast to coast and globally. Develop some online contacts whom you might be interested in networking with.

April 16, 2011

12 Networking Mistakes

Filed under: Networking — Larry @ 3:39 pm

From the Job Search Companion, April 2011

1) Waiting: Many people start networking only after they’ve lost their jobs, don’t be one of them, start NOW

2) Being Clueless: If you’re heading to a networking event, make sure you know why you’re going. Do you want a job? If so, are you seeking something specific, or will anything do?

3) Being Unprepared: Thinking you know what you want is not the same as knowing it. Practice your pitch as well as your answers to questions about your career goals that might arise.

4) Forgetting Business Cards: There is nothing more embarrassing than establishing a good relationship with someone, extracting a pledge of help and then searching around for a cocktail napkin to write on. Spend a few extra bucks to print professional-looking cards on good-quality paper

5) Using a Silly-Sounding Email Name: when looking for work, stick to a serious email address, such as your real name.

6) Being Pompous: While you’re networking, you need to listen to what everyone else is saying.

7) Dressing Down: Look sharp at networking events. Mind your manners, shake hands firmly, stand up straight, make eye contact and show respect in any way you can.

8) Being a Wallflower: Men and women with contacts and power meet many people; they remember only those who stand out from the crowd. Be assertive, and act like a leader. But don’t go overboard

9) Being Passive: If someone says, "Sorry, we don’t have anything right now”, don’t walk away… Take a minute or two to ask follow-up questions: "Well, what’s the outlook for future possibilities? Do you know anyone else in the industry who is hiring? Any thoughts on what my next step should be?" Persistence shows true interest on your part and may help the person you’re networking with come up with ideas he might otherwise overlook

10) Lying: It might get you a meeting. But eventually Such-and-Such will learn that So-and-So did not tell you to call. And you’ll have burned not one, but two bridges.

11) Treating Your Networking Relationships as Short-Term Flings: No one likes to be used. Follow up every conversation with a thank-you note, email or call.

12) Forgetting Where You Came From: Anyone who has ever networked, whether successfully or not, owes an obligation to all those who will network in the future. Return the favor and help someone else.

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