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What Do You Need in a Job Search Emergency? How Not to Be a Discouraged Worker

I recently wrote a blog post about the the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s (BLS) reporting on discouraged workers. This article received a fair amount of traffic—I learned from my search statistics that jobseekers are feeling pretty discouraged. Read on: Don’t become just another “discouraged worker” statistic. Instead, start preparing today to searching actively for your next great position.

What Does This Stat Mean to the Job Seeker?

Data on displaced workers are collected from a special supplementary survey conducted every 2 years. Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports of a variety of unemployment data, the number of discouraged workers has risen dramatically over the last 15 years, as the following chart represents (in thousands):

Discouraged Worker Statistics 1994-2009

Discouraged Worker Statistics 1994-2009

This year’s dramatic rise in average number of discouraged workers to about 600,000 greater than its next greatest value is a testament to exactly one thing, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being displaced. It means that you need to get your job search emergency equipment in gear, so that you can feel confident that you are ready, at a moment’s notice, to get your search started if or when your company lays you off.

Why Does This Stat Matter?

For you and me, that means that if you or I lose or left our jobs because of the downsizing that is a manifestation of our economic slowdown, we’re “discouraged workers.” If you’ve already been crushed in the economic avalanche, you are probably already feeling mighty discouraged. And whether you’re digging yourself out or watching the crumbling rocks bearing down on you, you need to have an emergency job search toolkit to minimize your lost work hours and lost salary.

Your job search toolkit should include:

  • Updated resume—with lots of references to your accomplishments.
  • Cover letter—and not the “Please accept this letter in application for” subtype.
  • LinkedIn profiled—up to 80% of hiring managers say they use social media.
  • Post-interview thank you letter—see my blog post on why you can’t forget the post-interview thank you letter.

Need some help assembling your jobsearch toolkit? Don’t get discouraged—just call me. I can help you get the materials you need, so you’re ready to start your job search.

Amy L. Adler is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or .

Resume Color: When in Doubt, Leave It Out

The Question of Resume Color

Time and again I get questions about using color in a resume design. The questions read something like this:

  • Should I use color in a resume?
  • Which resume color will make mine stand out?
  • Do recruiters and hiring managers love or hate resume color?

Some say color is the kiss of death in a resume. Some love it. I say “it depends.”

Before you even think about which shade of green to use in your resume, make sure your resume content is the best it can be. Don’t even think about designing your resume—color or no color—until you’ve written stellar content that highlights your best accomplishments. The design is window dressing for the content of your resume, not the other way around.

multicolored hands

Colors in Your Resume: Help or Hurt?

When you are sure that your resume content markets you in the best way possible, then start to think about the way you want to present it. You can make excellent resume content highly visible with careful use of color. Some good ways to incorporate color include:

  • Using a subtle color shade to call out a text box containing important resume skills.
  • Incorporating rules (lines all the way across your resume page) in a color that highlights section headings in your resume.
  • Drawing attention to your bullet points with a clever use of color in the bullet design.

It should go without saying that the color of the body text in your resume should be black. Only black.

Color in a Resume Depends on What You Want to Telegraph to Your Future Employer

If you are not completely sure that using color in a resume will help you, don’t use any color at all. You definitely won’t go wrong by being ultraconservative in your resume design approach.

For example, if you work in a very conservative industry, such as finance or banking, you’re not likely to win over a hiring manager who wants someone conservative like her. You wouldn’t appear at your interview wearing bright green socks with your navy pinstriped suit, so don’t be flagrantly untraditional in your resume, either.

On the other hand, if you’re a graphic designer, and you want to show off your skills in a concrete way, take advantage of your skills and add a cleverly designed element to your resume. Use color in a way that shows your flair, cleverness, and capability.

The Truth Is Somewhere in the Middle

Most people aren’t corporate bankers or artists: They’re regular people seeking regular jobs. If this sounds more like you, then simply use common sense about color. As a professional resume writer, I like using color. However, I know that “less is more.” The most important part of the resumes I write—and the most important part of your resume—is not the design. Rather, the most important message in your resume is why you are the ONLY person for the job.

Amy L. Adler, MBA, MA, CARW, is president and founder of Inscribe / Express and your partner in your job search. I write exceptional resumes and cover letters that get interviews for savvy job seekers. Contact me at 801-810-JOBS.

How to Drive a CAR through Your Resume

Imagine this scenario: You’re driving in your car. The car is about three years old. It’s in pretty good shape—never needed any major repairs. You realize that your brakes are getting soft. You ask yourself, “Should I repair my own brakes, or should I take it to the car mechanic? Which is a more valuable use of my time?”

Now, maybe some of you out there are weekend grease monkeys. Maybe you have lifts, used auto parts, and skills. But if you’re like me, you probably have no idea what to check, how to think about what parts you need, or what repairs to make (is it the brakes? the shoes? the rotors?). And you have no idea if any of your repair attempts will get your car in working order.

Let’s go out on a limb and suggest that you’re an expert in your field, just not in car repair. Likely you’re not an expert in resume writing, either. Take your car to the mechanic, and take your job search to the next level by hiring a Certified Advanced Resume Writer to get your job search on track.

When you hire a professional resume writer, you get specific one-on-one attention to your personal history. Professional resume writers know the kinds of questions to ask to elicit the best accomplishments that belong on a resume. We work with executives, professionals, and entry-level candidates, tailoring our interviews to the specific needs of each client.

Once a resume professional has the best information about the client’s best expertise, she writes the resume to highlight the ways that the client is the best candidate for the job. She will take advantage of training, certifications, and the best practices the resume industry has to offer to develop a tailored marketing package that gets interviews.

If you’re not a car mechanic, you probably want an expert to slide under your car. If you’re a job seeker, you want an expert professional resume writer to develop career documents that get you the interview you deserve. Contact Inscribe / Express to find out how a professional resume writer can improve your job search success.

For more information about collaborating with a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, visit my site: www.inscribeexpress.com.