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Archives: August 2012

Husband Rents Billboard & Pleads “Please Hire My Wife”

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

As we head out to enjoy the long holiday weekend, here’s a similar tale to the one we mentioned last week whereby a New Yorker stood on city streets to distribute his resume.

Well, one husband in Toledo, OH took it one step further. He hired a billboard with a message that read: “Please Hire My Wife” along with her picture and an e-mail address. Read more

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As Many Newspapers Downsize Staff, ‘Orange County Register’ Expands

There’s good news to report this Friday morning!

As many newsrooms across the country make various announcements regarding downsizing their newspaper staff, the Orange County Register has indicated they’re adding 23 positions! Plus, they’re adding a weekly magazine and daily business section.

Aaron Kushner, the publisher, distributed a memo after an all-hands meeting. Here’s an excerpt (as per JimRomenesko):

“We already have 23 new positions approved for hiring in our Content group, in addition to a significantly expanded internship program. Ken Brusic is leading our recruiting efforts with our strong deputy editors and team leaders. We are the Orange County Register and are looking for talent with our level of skill, commitment and teamwork. If you have friends and colleagues who you believe can help us grow please share the opportunity with them.

We have a number of areas we have not yet finished evaluating for growth but among those already approved for hiring are the business section, investigative team, auto, restaurant and movie criticism, sports, copy editing, graphics, data reporting and Sacramento reporting.”

The Workforce Could Be Up To Half Temp

By 2020, half of the workforce at Fortune 100 companies could be temporary/contractors/freelancers, according to a University of Minnesota professor.

And the temp industry has regained 87 percent of the jobs it lost during the recession, says U.S. News & World Report. Private employers as a whole have only recovered half the jobs shed in the recession.

Temporary hiring is supposed to precede full-time hiring, as cautious employers get back into hiring with employees who are easy to let go in case of another sudden downturn. But so far what we’ve seen during this “recovery” has not followed the usual pattern.

“The current economic situation is also one of unusual uncertainty. Temporary staffing may continue to see steady growth as employers put off hiring in the face of weak global demand and fiscal uncertainty at home,” as U.S. News put it.

Overall, temp workers make up 2.3 percent of the nation’s workforce, up from half a percent 30 years ago.

Professor of sociology Arne Kalleberg told U.S. News that the change was significant, despite the small numbers. (That is, after all, a more than 400 percent increase.) “I can’t see the end of it,” he said.

There are about 2.5 million temporary and contract workers in the U.S.

Three Top Interview Questions To Prep For

Sure, when you head into an interview you’re primped and ready for the hard-hitting questions like where you see yourself five years from now, however you may be asked three important questions that may be weighed heavily by the hiring manager.

According to a post on Inc., Jeff Haden says the interviewers who adhere to the following technique will get the most out of the interview. In turn, assuming you’re the job seeker in this situation, there are three questions to be prepared for. (And if you’re the hiring manager, it seems like the following three questions will pave the way to get a comprehensive picture of the candidate.)

For starters, Haden recommends the job interviewer start at the very top, asking the candidate’s work history from then until now. In the piece he writes, “Move quickly, and don’t ask for detail. And don’t ask follow-up questions, at least not yet.”

As the candidate explains each job, he suggests interviewers ask the following questions… Read more

Celebrating the Origins of Labor Day

If you’re excited for Labor Day, raise your hand!

Okay, along with most Americans we’ll celebrate the day off but we figure as media professionals we should take a moment to dive into the back story.

According to the Department of Labor, the very first Labor Day was celebrated in NYC in 1882 in accordance with plans made by the Central Labor Union. Known as a “workingman’s holiday” (ahem, that should be working people, thank you very much), it spread with growth of labor organizations and the following year it was feted in other locations, too.

As for the back story itself, it’s a bit unclear. As per the government site, some records point to Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Apparently he was the first person to suggest a day to honor people who “from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

Others believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, founded the holiday instead. In 1882 he allegedly proposed the holiday during his tenure as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

Regardless of McGuire or Maguire, the labor union created the Labor Day proposal and the rest is history.

LeVar Burton on Finding Career Success: ‘You’ve gotta make it happen’

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Want to achieve longevity in your career? Look no further than LeVar Burton. The actor has starred in three iconic TV shows (Roots, Star Trek The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow, in case you’re wondering), directed films, written books, and he recently dove head-first into Silicon Valley by releasing the Reading Rainbow app.

So, how has he managed to re-invent his career so many times? By being a “self-starter,” he says.

“I found early on in my acting career that I didn’t do well just sitting around and waiting around for the phone to ring, for somebody to give me a job,” Burton explained in our Media Beat interview. “I’ve always been out there more pro-active than anybody else on my own behalf, because I just know that you’ve gotta make it happen. Nobody’s gonna make it happen for you.”

Part 1: LeVar Burton on Bringing the ‘Reading Rainbow’ App to Silicon Valley
Part 2: LeVar Burton on the Future of Reading Rainbow & Printed Books

New Study Shows Millennials Leave Jobs Every Two Years

Recruiters refer to candidates who jump ship from job to job within two years as job hoppers but according to a recent report, millennials are just the new normal.

That is, according to a study conducted by PayScale and Millennial Branding, 18 to 30-year olds in the job market switch employers every two years. In comparison, baby boomers typically spend about seven years with an employer whereas Gen X-ers typically spend around five.

And it sounds like millennials prefer to work at shops with less than 100 colleagues since 47 percent of this population is employed by small companies. In fact, less than twenty-five percent are employed by companies where head count exceeds 1,500. Read more

Productivity Tip: Create Daily & Weekly Lists While Maintaining a Timelog

As we try to figure out how to be more productive with our technology and of course our time, writer Scott Young recommends creating two lists to boost productivity.

Essentially, one list focuses on what you must accomplish today and the other list focuses on weekly to do items.

In a Lifehacker post, he recommended moving items from the weekly list to the daily list as the week progresses. Here’s the kicker: As you’re working, only focus on the daily items. When the day is done, so is your list but he indicated if your daily list always has items leftover that trickle into the next day, you’re biting more than you can chew.

He wrote, “Set fewer goals and actually finish them. Easy, right? Unfortunately, almost nobody takes my advice! They claim that they have to get that work done, so they can’t possibly set a smaller to-do list. Instead, of setting smaller goals, they continue creating to-do lists they can’t possibly finish.” Read more

4 Career Tips for the Online World

The transition from print to digital has brought layoffs, budget cuts and general woes to newsrooms across the country. But the flurry of change also brings new opportunity.

In Mediabistro’s latest AvantGuild feature, seasoned journo Ben Goldstein recapped his own resume and shared some valuable tips for writers in the online world. For example…

If you’re not fending off job offers, you’re doing something wrong.

To give yourself some leverage, start networking and learning new skills while you’re still employed. ”Classes and workshops related to your profession are great places to meet people,” said Charles Purdy, senior editor of “The teachers are often experts who are still working in the field, and the other students and attendees will be professionals like you. And, of course, there’s the side benefit of learning something new.”

Read more in 4 Lessons for Writing in the Digital Age. [subscription required]

Digital Marketing Guy Creates Fake Kickstarter To Get A Job

Sander Saar wants a job, so he’s created a campaign that, he says, takes the best elements of a Kickstarter campaign and transforms them into a job campaign.

Saar says that within a day of launching, he had made the front page of Hacker News (which tends to provide a boost of between 3,000 and 30,000 visitors, we’ve read) and his video had been viewed more than 2,000 times.

What makes it a Kickstarter-esque project besides the site design? Well, potential employers can “pledge” to meet with or temporarily hire Saar. The lowest-level “pledge” is to meet the guy for coffee. Higher levels include giving him a two-week tryout (he says he’ll work for free) or even a full-time job.

Our unsolicited take, in which we use Saar as an example to educate others: Ok, we smiled when we saw the layout. Pretty much everyone in the Western world has probably seen at least one Kickstarter (and it’s possible we’ve all backed at least one failed project). And Saar’s interactive videos aren’t bad.

However, judging from the response so far, Saar could change his approach. For one thing, he doesn’t present very well in video, and looks like he’s looking at the ceiling for a good chunk of one of them. (Yes, it’s rough when English is not your first language. The fact remains…) For another, while an interactive CV is clever, Sander really should have his actual resume on the site somewhere obvious (we had to go to his LinkedIn page). And finally, this is just a nitpick but shouldn’t there be more than one opportunity to take Saar to coffee? Maybe open the campaign up to 10 backers or so at that lowest level?

We felt like this tactic was creative enough that we had to call it out on MJD, but the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the backing, and no backers means that maybe Saar was just a little too creative for most employers. Don’t give up, dude–tweak and try again.