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Archives: May 2013

Department of Labor Reports Drop in New Unemployment Claims

Good news as it relates to the job market!

According to Reuters, the number of Americans filing brand new unemployment claims dropped more than expected last week. Today the Labor Department announced initial claims dropped by 23,000 for a total of 340,000. Typically, 350,000 is the benchmark economists reference for a strengthening job market.

As for the drop itself, the implication is the result of the previous week’s jump since employers weren’t laying off workers so readily after hearing about the $85 billion government spending cuts.

The piece pointed out the tighter fiscal policy may have tightened the belt on economic activity but the slow pace may just be temporary as job opportunities grow stronger and home prices increase to boost consumer spending.

Economic activity appears to have cooled somewhat early in the second quarter on the back of tighter fiscal policy, but the slowdown could prove to be temporary as the steady job gains combine with rising share and home prices to support consumer spending.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 112,000 to 2.91 million in the week ended May 11. That was the first time in five years so-called continuing claims were below the three million mark.

Five Quirky Things to Boost Your Productivity

Stuck in a rut right before Memorial Day weekend? You’re not alone. If you’re looking for a little productivity pick-me-up, look no further.

Inspired by a post we read on, Marla Tabaka writes, “The goal is to break your current, negative state by disrupting it with something that will ‘shock’ your internal chemist into action. Here are a few things I suggest you try to jump-start your productivity by adding some positivity. I admit a lot of them might make you look like a crazy person, but, in the pursuit of productivity, I’m willing to try anything.”

1. Smile at strangers. Of course, this entails unattaching yourself from your laptop or mobile device. Get out of that office, coffee shop or home! Tabaka suggests going for a 20 minute walk outside. Her advice? “Smile at the people you meet along the way. You will more than make up for the time with your increased productivity levels when you return.”

2. Bust a move. Want to funk it up? Move your body and groove into a make-shift dance party. Dance like no one is watching! Read more

New Survey Introduces Tool to Measure Employers’ Social Media Reach

Have you ever followed a potential employer on Facebook or Twitter and engaged in conversations? According to Maximum Employment Marketing Group, their new survey introduced an objective and fact-based tool to measure effectiveness of employers’ reach to candidates on social media, better known as the Social Recruitment Monitor. The survey revealed top companies utilizing social media and in turn, explained how the monitor works.

Taco Bell and Northrop Grumman topped the list out of 109 U.S. companies because they were most effective in generating likes/follows, engagement and community interaction with their audiences. The SRM is currently free to use whereby employers can determine the impact of their social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Read more

Arianna Huffington, Maria Shriver, Jon Steinberg & More Media Folks Bestow Advice in Commencement Speeches

This time of year is full of such aspiration and hope, isn’t it? Thanks to college graduations there’s a little more magic and excitement in the air. And oh yeah, commencement speeches, too.

Well, as part of their influencer series, LinkedIn compiled excerpts from successful people (okay, more like moguls) this spring and we extracted relevant media professionals because every now and then it helps to get a boost of advice.

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief at The Huffington Post Media Group stated:

“Commencement speakers are traditionally expected to tell graduates how to go out there and climb the ladder of success, but I want to ask you, instead, to redefine success. Because the world you are headed into desperately needs it. And because you are up to it…what I urge you to do is not just take your place at the top of the world, but to change the world. Read more

Score That Job: Hachette Book Group

Do you have the New York Times Best Seller list memorized? Do you have a passion for books and want to get into the publishing business?

In this episode of “Score That Job,” career expert, author and mediabistro editor Vicki Salemi sat down with Andrea Weinzimer of Hachette Book Group to get the inside dirt on what they’re looking for in a candidate.

Here a few tips — know the industry and know which authors they publish (hint: rhymes with James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, David Sedaris…). Or just watch the video.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

ESPN Announces Lay Offs

ESPN is cutting its staff for the first time since 2009, reports Deadspin. One tipster indicated more than 400 staffers were going to be impacted but a source at the sports network indicated that number’s on the high side but it seems to be in the hundreds.

Per Deadspin, their official statement reads:

“We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.” Read more

Revising Your Resume? Check Out Where Recruiters Spend Their Six Seconds of Review

Instead of agonizing over the fonts on your resume or other visuals like how big to make the margins, keep this statistic in mind.

According to a survey conducted by TheLadders, most recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing your resume. That’s worth repeating — six tiny seconds! One thousand one, one thousand two, see we’re almost there ourselves…

They’re not alone with their results. As pointed out by ERE, BeHiring mentioned the average time is five to seven seconds. Although the time is certainly succinct, each second counts. Read more

Get This: Some Companies Offer Unlimited Personal Time Off! Here’s the Catch: Survey Says Perk is Among Minority of Employers

Want more vacation time? As PTO (paid time off or personal time off) requests kick into high gear at your employer, chances are several employees may be counting their days to ensure every moment is spent. Even if they need a mental health day for a staycation, time is typically tracked and accounted for, and prudently used.

Well, this piece in today’s New York Post got us thinking. How sweet would it be to have unlimited PTO? For instance, ZocDoc, the NYC-based online medical appointment Web site, offers unlimited PTO. This includes vacation, personal and sick days without an old-fashioned accrual system.

Don’t get too excited. The piece pointed out last year’s survey by the Society of Human Resources indicated only one percent of businesses across the country actually offer this perk to its employees. Read more

Management Said What? ‘Let’s Not Focus on the Money’ & Nine More Silly Salary Review Remarks

Have you ever wanted to be on the inside of salary review talks to hear what goes on behind closed doors? Okay, even if you haven’t we have to admit the following comments will make you chuckle.

Geoffrey James, Sales Source columnist on, managed to provide some fodder with his post that compiled some of the best listener call-ins from a radio show he co-hosted on WRKO in Boston. Apparently these comments were real and made during salary review talks. Seriously.

10. “Yes, I know you are my best employee and you train all our new employees. However, I don’t see how that qualifies you for a raise.”

9. “That’s right, no raise this year. Maybe next year when you come off that high horse, you’ll get my coffee when I ask you to.” Read more

Need Inspiration? Here’s a Blast From the Past With Amy Poehler’s Harvard Speech

It’s that time of year again! As various commencement speeches circulate online from graduation ceremonies, one speech in particular resonates with us from two years ago.

Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler dished some advice to Harvard students:

“All I can tell you today is what I have learned. What I have discovered as a person in this world. And that is this: You can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own.

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own. Okay, maybe Josh, but he’s just a straight up weirdo. You’re all here today because someone gave you strength. Helped you. Held you in the palm of their hand. God, Allah, Buddha, Gaga.”