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Jobless Claims Rise During Holiday Week

job searchAccording to a story on Bloomberg, more Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week than originally anticipated. Apparently the Easter holiday break made it difficult to ascertain data for seasonal deviations.

For the week ending April 29, jobless claims increased by 24,000 for a total of 329,000. As per 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, they predicted a number of 315,000. A Labor Department spokesperson indicated to the press that it’s hard to quantify numbers from year to year during spring holidays. Read more

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The Office Cubicle Turns the Big 5-0!

cubicleOn #tbt, better known as “Throwback Thursday,” we’re paying homage to the office cubicle. Every now and then we wonder how people worked without modern technology. Like when faxes arrived at the machine in shiny paper that was easily bendable.

That’s why this story about the fiftieth anniversary of the cubicle is so significant! Per a CBS piece, the majority of us work in cubicle-clad offices and yet 93 percent hate it. Like it or loathe it, there’s certainly no doubt the cubicle is here to stay. Read more

Survey Reveals Majority of Employers Covet Soft Skills in Candidates

judgeIf you want to stand out from the pack (and by that we mean other candidates), then let your soft skills shine!

That’s because a new survey by CareerBuilder indicates that 77 percent of employers say soft skills are just important as hard skills.

We would argue in some cases they’re actually more important. After all, you can always teach someone Drupal or WordPress but you can’t always send them to charm school. And actually, 16 percent of employers in the survey said the skills associated with your personality and attitude trumps technical skills. Read more

Want to Boost Your Productivity? Go Tech-Free & Embrace Stillness

no emailHave you ever felt busy but not productive? Like you’re sitting at your desk for several consecutive hours and yet nothing is getting accomplished?

Per a piece on Fast Company, there’s a strong case for sitting still. Being over doing, silence over noise.

For instance, the writer spent a month at an artist residency in Wyoming. In addition to living off a dirt road without cell phone service and spotty internet connection, she writes, “It was also a dream.”

The New Yorker initially looked at her phone and after a moment of panic she quickly realized that her phone was going to take on a new identity. Yes, it had morphed into a paperweight. Read more

Four Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand & Look Like a Million Bucks

millionaireWant to boost your personal brand with the notion that you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression?

It’s all about executive presence, baby. Thanks to a Business Insider piece, several pointers can help create a sense of power and confidence.

1. Invest wisely. Go for it and invest in at least one good suit. Don’t skimp on quality and then complete your closet with less expensive, less important clothing. Per Vicky Oliver’s book, The Millionaire’s Handbook, buy “one-third as many clothes as you do now, but spend three times as much on each item.” Read more

Nashville Company Incorporates Ping-Pong into Job Interviews

ping pongYes, you read that right! The Nashville-based company, TechnologyAdvice, incorporates a friendly game of ping-pong into their hiring process.

And per a piece on Inc., it sounds like it’s not such a bad idea after all. Per their CEO, Rob Bellenfant, this hiring technique has been incorporated to the final step of the job interview.

After all of the interviews have been finished, a company executive asks each candidate if they are willing to play a game of table tennis because the company is participating in a study. Prior to playing, the candidate completes a questionnaire addressing questions like rating their aggressiveness.

Next, the candidate plays three 11-point games against the company’s data strategy director. As each game proceeds, the director ups his own game and makes it more and more challenging for the job candidate.

Are they looking to assess how well they play? Not exactly.

Bellenfant explains in the piece,

“We’re not looking at people’s ability to play but at their approach. Are they open to trying something new if they haven’t played before, or not in a long time? If they win, how do they celebrate? If they lose, do they take it in a difficult way? How seriously do they take it? Do they take it as a joke, or do they put in a lot of effort? As the games get more difficult, do they adapt? Those are the types of things we’re looking at.”

Interestingly enough, games are recorded on video and then the CEO evaluates each one, along with a statistician and psychologist from Vanderbilt, along with the president of the Nashville Table Tennis Club in an effort to make it “as objective as possible.”

After the three games have been finished, candidates complete yet another questionnaire asking them to rate the experience. Bellenfant says this set of questions could reveal self-introspection. If a candidate rates him or herself a seven prior to playing and then after gives a self-rating of three, perhaps they learned from something. And maybe they originally rated him or herself as a three and then a seven — that shows harsh self-judgment.

He adds, “For a position in sales, we’re looking for someone a little more aggressive. For a job in data or research, we want someone who can think things through.”

Check Out Our Google+ Lunch Chat Hangout Tomorrow: Media Pros Talk Advancement

mb logoWe’re excited to announce tomorrow’s career lunch hangout at 1 p.m. EST and hope you will join us on Google+!

Join your MediaJobsDaily editor Vicki Salemi and Mediabistro’s managing editor Valerie Berrios as they talk to Geoffrey Colon, marketing manager at Microsoft. He is also a subject matter expert on social business and disruptive innovation.

We’ll find out how you can leverage social media skills with innovative digital strategies in order to catapult your career to the next level.

Oh, did we mention that it’s free? Looking forward to having you join us!

LinkedIn Launches New Feature to Foster Internal Transfers

linkedinRecruiters typically search LinkedIn to find passive candidates to fill their jobs and of course, professionals usually leverage it to connect with each other, build their online profile and to pursue external job opportunities.

Well, according to a piece in The Wall Street Journal, the social media site has a new feature to tell people about available jobs at their current employers. Apparently this will help recruiters identify internal candidates so they can fill their requisitions and simultaneously reduce turnover. Read more

What the #%*>? How to Handle Cursing at the Office

swear jarAh, we’ve seen this situation one too many times.

You work in a small office and there’s certainly no one from human resources to be found.

An F-bomb here, another swear there. If you’re constantly hearing profanity at the office and yearning to rinse your colleagues’ mouths out with soap, listen up. Your options are slim but you do have a few of them. Read more

Productivity Coach Advises Making Goals ‘Laughable’ & Easy

visionIf you’ve ever set challenging goals and set the bar too high, listen up.

According to a Business Insider piece, productivity consultant and coach Tiago Forte, says high achievers typically create a situation where failure is likely and it’s “terribly, terribly devastating.” Read more

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