Monthly Archives: November 2009

Polls Show Increased Demand for Second Jobs

The results of our third semi-annual poll are in, and our readers continue to report a high demand for second jobs. Over 3,800 people responded to our November web-based, one-question poll, which asked, “Are you looking for a second job?”

A total of 67% of respondents answered yes, while 27% responded they are unemployed. A total of about 6% of respondents stated they were not looking for a second job. Here is the full breakdown of the responses, which totaled 3,824:

  • Yes – I am looking for a second job to generate more income. (2,062 Responses, 54%)
  • Yes – I am looking for a second job to get my foot in the door at a new company. (497 Responses, 13%)
  • I am unemployed and currently looking for a position. (1017 Responses, 27%)
  • No – I don't have time to work a second job. (154 Responses, 4%)
  • No – I don't need a second job because my finances are OK. (94 Responses, 2%)

As the job market continues to struggle, these semi-annual polls show that the number of people searching for a second job continues to increase.

Last November, we ran the same poll, and about 60% of readers said they were looking for a second job, while 27% of 1.428 respondents said they were unemployed and looking for work.

In June, we asked the same question, and about 66% of 1,595 respondents said they were looking for a second job, while 24% said they were unemployed and looking for a job.

Next at 10: How to Make Your Resume Newsworthy

Creating a stand-out résumé isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most people. But, communication is one of the top skills employers are looking for, according to our poll. The first demonstration of just how well you communicate will most likely be the résumé an employer sees as they’re looking for candidates.

So, how can you make sure your résumé is newsworthy enough for you to be the topic of conversation around the water cooler tomorrow? Use these tricks from people who get you talking – reporters, who make the news you watch, read, and talk about every day. Here’s how you can think like a reporter when you write your résumé.

5 Ways to Think like a Resume Reporter

Make it Timely – One of the most important parts of reporting is to have news that’s – well, news. Which means it’s not outdated or something you hear every day. For your résumé, this means highlighting the parts of your professional experience that set you apart from the norm. It may also include adding updated language, terms, and software to demonstrate that you’re in-the-know on what’s going on in your field.

Know your Angle – In the news business, the angle of the story is an important element. Many different news outlets may report on the same event, story, or person, so reporters make sure they have an exclusive angle to ensure their story will be unique, interesting, and valuable to the public. Think about your résumé this same way. Chances are it will be in a stack with lots of other résumés with similar background, education, and experience levels – because everyone in consideration qualifies for the job. So, make your résumé stand out by writing it with a great angle. Are you a qualified accountant who just so happens to also be a really great customer service representative? Are you a salesperson with great local connections? Whatever your angle, highlight it in a way that adds to your appeal to that employer, industry, or niche.

Feature Experts and Eyewitnesses – Your local news station doesn’t just show you footage with reporters talking about what’s going on. To make things more interesting and add credibility to their story, they also interview witnesses and experts to talk about what happened. People often list several references on their résumé or include a seperate document listing references. In the world of digital résumés, professional networking site LinkedIn offers the ability for people who have worked with you to leave recommendations about you. These recommendations add credibility to your work history – because they’re essentially eyewitness reports about you as an employee. So, consider asking a trusted source to write a recommendation for your profile or to share a testimonial you could include on the references list you send to potential employers.

Focus on Action – In every great news story, people want to know more than just who was involved, the timeline that transpired, and where it occurred. The main thing people want to know is simple: What happened? So, make sure your résumé doesn’t just read like a list of who, when, and where. Under every job title, describe what you did using action verbs.

Highlight Results – Every good news story has a great ending. So, make sure each section of your résumé includes the results you accomplished in that job. For example, if you increased sales, tell by what percent. If you developed a new plan or process, how did it help the company. Make your résumé newsworthy by including not just a list of your job duties, but also how your work made a difference – in the life of your boss, your co-workers, your customers, or your clients. This will demonstrate that you’re more than the average hire – you’re someone who makes a positive difference and achieves important results.

In today’s competitive job market, having a standout résumé is more important than ever. With high unemployment rates, more applicants are applying for every open job. So, use these tricks from the reporter’s toolbox to make sure your résumé is one that will make headlines.

Have you used any of these ideas for your résumé? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments.

Giving Thanks this Holiday Season

With the holidays in full swing, it’s time to celebrate and reflect on all we’re thankful for. Although 2009 has been a rollercoaster year, we each have many reasons to be joyful. This holiday season, take time to think about all the things you have in your life, rather than what you don’t. Focus on family, friends, good health, a home, a job, etc. If you look closely, you’ll find you have a lot to be thankful for.

Another thing to be grateful for is the start of a new year. The year 2010 will bring with it a new beginning and a fresh start. Each day is a new opportunity, full of possibilities and hope. So, start dreaming big and reaching for the stars as the new year approaches.

We want to know what you’re grateful for this year. Share your thoughts in the comments section below. From all of us at Express, we wish you a happy thanksgiving. 

The Difference a Day Makes

Today’s my birthday. It’s not a milestone birthday like sweet 16, 21, or the hill surpassing 50. It’s just a regular, somewhere-in-the-middle birthday. In fact, it seems fairly insignificant as far as birthday’s go, but to tell the truth, I’m a little sad to see the additional candle on the cake.

I’m not worried about getting older. I’m old enough to know that aging is a natural part of life, and much preferred to the alternative, as the Curious Case of Benjamin Button so strongly convinced me. I just thought I would be a little further along when I got here. I thought I’d be a little more grown-up for this “somewhere-in-the-middle” grown-up age.

Have you ever gotten somewhere only to find your destination did not meet your expectations?  Maybe the endless opportunities you expected to greet you after college aren’t quite so infinite. Maybe you thought you’d have a different job, a different title, or an entirely different career. Maybe this year, instead of retiring off your 401(k), you’re faced with rebuilding it. Maybe you’ve discovered that being your own boss is more overwhelming than freeing.

Life is rarely everything we expect it to be. It’s unpredictable and changing. It has turns, twists, and forks in the most unexpected places. While we can’t foresee the outcome of our future, or even the outcome of tomorrow, we can take steps and choose paths that shape and change our lives.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.” So, if today you’ve found yourself somewhere unexpected, or a little off course, take it in stride, and start changing your life one day at a time. Don’t wait for the beginning of a new year, or a milestone birthday, start today.

Start small. If you’re looking for a job, send out one more résumé today than you did yesterday, write one more thank-you note to a potential employer, or call one more contact for a possible job opportunity. If you’re rebuilding your savings or 401(k), begin by forgoing your daily Starbucks stop or canceling your cable. If you’re an overwhelmed entrepreneur, use temporary staffing to help lighten your workload, simplify a process, or take a well-deserved day to just clear your head. 

Today’s a new day. Every passing moment your present meets your future. So, make each day count, and it will make all the difference. You may not be able to predict your future, but you can certainly shape it.

Who’s Hiring, Who Isn’t, and How to Get the Job

While some industries continue to see sharp declines in job losses, other industries have remained strong during the recession, and some have even started to bounce back.

According to a recent report released by, Inc., a network of online communities for niche careers, healthcare and information technology are two industries that continue to add jobs at a steady pace. Their third quarter Career Trend Report for 2009 also indicated that sales, sales management, manufacturing, and production industries experienced slight increases in job gains in the third quarter of 2009, while professional services including accounting, finance, engineering, and architecture are experiencing declines in job loss.

For those looking for employment opportunities or looking to change careers, it’s important to market yourself, tailor your résumé to reflect the industry and the job you’re applying for, and research the company before the interview. There are several ways to make sure your résumé is top of mind when decision makers are sifting through piles of applicants.

  1. Identify your transferable skills. It’s important that you look at your skills and evaluate how to translate them on your résumé to reflect the job you’re applying for.
  2. Market your transferable skills in your job search. Once you have identified your transferable skills, tailor your résumé for each specific job.
  3. Network in industry-specific arenas. A key element to finding a job is who you know. By integrating yourself with key players in the industry, you’ll increase your chances of landing an interview or even a job offer. 
  4. Research a potential employer. You don’t want to miss out on the job because you didn’t know anything about the company. Research will also help you when you’re preparing a tailored résumé.

Knowing what industries are hiring is important when looking for a job or making a career change. Once you have an idea of what areas are expanding, tailoring your résumé and making the right decisions on how you prepare can influence the hiring manager’s decision on whether or not you get the job.