Author Archives: Jason Van Steenwyk

Using Mobile Devices to Become a More Effective Job Seeker

Used to be job seekers seeking information were stuck until the Sunday paper came out, or there were a new batch of help wanted ads on just a few specialized websites such as Monster.com. But the smarter, more forward-thinking companies … Continue reading

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Thinking Beyond the Traditional Resume

It wasn’t long ago that job seekers would sink huge amounts of time and effort into polishing a resume. If they didn’t have the time or energy themselves, or if they didn’t have the verbal skills, they would spend hundreds … Continue reading

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Job Hunting During the Holidays

Job hunting during the holidays is tough. First of all, if you’re out of work, you already know the pressure’s on. Christmas is a psychologically tough holiday to endure when you’re out of work. Meanwhile, once you get past the … Continue reading

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47% Of Employers Check Applicant Credit Reports – Here’s What You Can Do

Rightly or wrongly, your credit history is becoming an increasingly important factor in your life. It’s not just about applying for credit anymore; now even your car insurance company may be looking at your credit report when underwriting your application. … Continue reading

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Studies Prove: Networking Increasingly Key to Job-Hunt Success

With reporting by Emily K. Fuller In an increasingly competitive job-market, standing out amongst the masses is key. A stellar resume serves as a great example of your accomplishments and capabilities, of course. All things being equal, the resume can … Continue reading

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Hope for the Long-Term Unemployed

If you’ve been out of work for 6 months or more, and you’ve gotten discouraged by the constant rejections, and have all but given up, take heart: The economy is showing signs of improvement. First, the overall unemployment rate has … Continue reading

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Getting Health Insurance after Open Enrollment Period

If you were planning on using the federal exchanges (or your state’s equivalent) to get health insurance coverage, it’s now too late to get in under the open enrollment period. That deadline came and went at the end of March, … Continue reading

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Half of States Don’t Offer “Work-Sharing” Benefit to Ease Underemployment and Prevent Layoffs

According to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, some 7.4 million people are stuck involuntarily working part-time for economic reasons. That is, they simply cannot find full-time employment. Meanwhile, the federal government is trying to give away $100 million in grants … Continue reading

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Battle Heats Up Once Again Over Extension of Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits expired at the end of 2013 for about 1.3 million workers, and thus far Congress hasn’t taken action to extend them. While normally unemployment benefits a function of state legislature appropriations, they became a Washington, D.C. issue when … Continue reading

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Feds Probe Florida Over Troubled Unemployment Benefits Website

It seems pretty rich after the spectacular crash and burn of the HealthCare.gov rollout. But federal investigators recently announced they are looking into a problem with the Florida unemployment benefits website. Specifically, the feds would like to know why the … Continue reading

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Why Aren’t Corporations Investing and Expanding?

By a variety of measures, America’s corporations are experiencing record profits over the last couple of years. Indeed, profits to corporations amounted to 11 percent of the economy in the 3rd quarter of 2012, compared to 8 percent during the … Continue reading

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Despite “End” to Recession, Hard Times Persist

A recession, goes an old Wall Street proverb, is simply a period of time in which wealth and capital returns to its rightful owners. E.g., the Rockefellers. Well, the recession – according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which … Continue reading

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Employment Scammers and How to Spot Them

Times are tough out there. Which means a lot of workers are getting less picky about what they apply for – and many of them have let down their guard to trust someone – only to be disappointed. Increasingly desperate … Continue reading

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Regulatory Changes Mean It’s Time to Update Your Employee Handbook

It’s important for any employer to put together a detailed employee handbook. Putting your workplace policies on paper not only heads off problems before they occur – but they are also invaluable defenses in case of an employee lawsuit down … Continue reading

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Veterans Struggle to Enter Tight Job Market

While there has been some good news for job seekers in recent months as the economy sputters along in a halting “recovery,” one group has still been largely left behind: Younger veterans. According to this NPR report, the unemployment rate … Continue reading

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Will Temp-Worker Surge Translate to Lasting Employment Gains?

The good news is there’s been a surge in hiring. The bad news is that they’re temp jobs. Recent employment surveys indicate that America’s retailers went into the holiday season expecting Santa to bring some brisk business. Analysts estimated about … Continue reading

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The Union Assault on Freedom of Association

The State of Michigan – the Ground Zero of America’s union-strangled zombie legacy car manufacturing industry and the modern-day Mordor of union orcs – turned against its oppressors this month. The lame-duck legislature passed a “right-to-work” law. In a nutshell, … Continue reading

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Flex-Time: Why Your Company Should Offer It

A couple of generations ago, you could have a “Father-Knows-Best,” 9 to 5 schedule at an office or factory job, complete with a two-martini happy hour and still attract the best talent. Those days are no more – due to … Continue reading

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Big Data: We’re Looking for a Few Good Nerds (And When We Say “Few,” We Mean 4.4 Million of Them)

10 or 15 years ago, it was all about bandwidth. ‘Rich, golden fields of bandwidth, waving in the wind,’ went one well-known technology company. Back then, the major difficulty for the IT industry was preparing an infrastructure that would support … Continue reading

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Florida Workers to Lose Substantial Unemployment Benefits

The good news is the unemployment rate has finally fallen in Florida. The bad news is that while it hasn’t fallen all that much, even that modest improvement in unemployment rates will result in a massive decrease in unemployment insurance … Continue reading

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Can You Make Money Programming Mobile Apps?

A century ago, some idiot said “everything that can be invented has been invented. That was before the Airplane and the atom bomb. Well, now the slogan goes “there’s an app for that.” But apparently that’s not true either, because … Continue reading

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Reality-Checking the Jobs Report

The October jobs report was a doozy: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy actually added some 114,000 nonfarm payroll jobs. Which actually isn’t much. But somehow, it was enough to cause the official unemployment number – the … Continue reading

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Obesity Discrimination Becoming a Fact of Life

Someone once wrote a joke news story headlined “Unemployment Rating Among Young, Hot Women Holding at Zero Percent.” It’s funny because there’s a ring of truth to it. Attractive people are far more likely to get hired in positions that … Continue reading

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Partisan Wrangling Veterans Jobs Program

The Veterans Job Corps Act (S. 3457), is a bill sponsored by Bill Nelson, a Democratic Senator from Florida. It is currently being considered in the Senate, though has yet to pass the House. The bill is a priority for … Continue reading

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Will Smoking Cost You Your Job?

It’s simple economics. It costs employers more to keep a smoker on board than a non-smoker. And ObamaCare doesn’t change that. Indeed, it may make it even easier for employers to calculate what employees who smoke cost them – not … Continue reading

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Study – Veterans Struggling to Transition to Civilian Work Force

Over six out of ten veterans report their post-discharge transition to civilian life as “difficult,” according to the Veterans Employment Challenge Survey. This study, conducted by Prudential Financial, surveyed some 1,845 veterans of all services. According to the survey, 69 … Continue reading

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Unemployment in Florida – A Case Study

Florida has the world going for it: A warm climate that makes it a popular retirement destination for “snowbirds” from the northeast, beautiful, sandy beaches, an abundance of beautiful women, and Burn Notice, filmed in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, that … Continue reading

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Self-Employment’s Hidden Costs

With unemployment stubbornly sticking north of 8 percent, the prospect of self-employment becomes more and more tempting. A significant number of the unemployed or under-employed are forced into unemployment out of economic necessity. Some of you will jump at the … Continue reading

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So ObamaCare is Constitutional. Now What?

And so it has come to pass that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or “ObamaCare,” constitutional, albeit by the thinnest of margins. The Justices ruled, 5-4, that justifying the so-called “mandate” under … Continue reading

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Unemployment Takes Physical Toll on Workers

In my last post, we took a look at the psychological toll that extended periods of unemployment can have on those who are out-of work. So the last post concentrated on the mind. This one concentrates on the body: Research … Continue reading

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Unemployment Takes Mental Health Toll

Most people are reasonably resilient. And most of us try to put a positive spin on life. But the fact remains that long-term unemployment is taking a severe mental toll on many Americans. It’s one thing to withstand the short-term … Continue reading

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Mood Tracker Survey: Workers Will Move To Where They Are Recognized

“Doing a good deed is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling, but nobody notices.” I got that line from a Peanuts cartoon when I was 8 years old. I haven’t seen the … Continue reading

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ObamaCare: Job-Killer?

When Congressional Democrats were selling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – “ObamaCare,” in 2010, they ballyhooed it as a great job creator. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D – CA), then the Speaker of the House, even as she was … Continue reading

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Looking for Work When You Have Small Children

Unemployment and job searching are hard enough. Adding small children to the mix makes things even more stressful. But the problem is getting increasingly common. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the number of children with an unemployed parent doubled … Continue reading

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Job Hunting for Older Workers

A lot gets written about how much harder it is to find gainful employment once you’ve got some gray hairs. And it’s true – it’s probably tougher to get work through the want ads when you’re over age 50 or … Continue reading

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Part 2: America’s Unique Value Proposition: Freedom

Things are tough in America, these days. There’s no doubt about it. The American work force is struggling to adapt to a changing global economy. The competition from foreign workers – especially in manufacturing – is growing increasingly intense. And … Continue reading

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Part 1: It’s 2012. Do You Know Where Your Job Is?

If you’re out of work, and you usually worked in a company tied to the manufacturing industry or related to customer service and call centers, chances are good your job was permanently exported abroad – to Asia to be specific. … Continue reading

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Under the Gun: Avoiding Joining the Ranks of the Chronically Unemployed

Not too long ago, unemployment was a temporary inconvenience – a short-to-medium-term waystation between career adventures. When times were good, you could even congratulate people on their recent layoff. You had every reason to suspect that the next opportunity would … Continue reading

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Long Term Unemployment and Resume Gaps

The good news for job seekers is that the unemployment rate – at least as published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, is gradually trending down. According to the January 2012 Employment Situation Report, the official … Continue reading

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IT Trends – Where the Jobs Are in 2012

The information technology sector is no stranger to rapid change. The immediate obsolescence of my high school advanced placement Pascal programming class taught me that right out of the gate, and that was over 25 years ago. The pace of … Continue reading

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