Nov 132012

Are you currently using Twitter to find job leads? If not there is a whole universe for you to discover…

Twitter took the world by storm a few years ago when it became a novel way to broadcast your thoughts and interact with organizations, celebrities and other professionals. For many, the idea of using Twitter just doesn’t seem to make sense. People use a funny language, poor grammar, shorten words (i.e. “you” = “u”) and having just 140 characters seems to limit what you can broadcast. Other people just don’t feel like broadcasting information about themselves in a public forum.

GigSpire is here to tell you that there are jobs on Twitter. If you aren’t participating in the space you are behind the curve and missing the boat on many opportunities that may be a fit for your job search.

We aren’t going to teach you all of the in’s and out’s of using this valuable platform. We are going to make a case that if you have been resistant to using Twitter, you should re-think your position. For those beginners (and even for those who have used Twitter a little) this link on Mashable (a very popular news site for social media) is a great “how to” on the basics of the platform. Take a look and read through it to get started.

Once you get registered and begin using Twitter, search for jobs. Simply put the job title you are seeking in the search box and see what comes up. You will find people who broadcast jobs (i.e. recruiters and head hunters) as well as companies and staffing agencies that are looking for people just like you.

The really exciting thing is that Twitter allows you to have direct interaction with people and organizations about these jobs. You can ask questions, discuss specifics and make yourself known beyond sending a resume. As a matter of fact if you are using Twitter correctly (the way we teach it’s use in the GigSpire Program’s workshop) you will begin “tweeting” about your area of speciality. If you have a series of “tweets” that discuss your knowledge of your industry and profession, you will help to establish yourself as a knowledgeable candidate. As a matter of fact, the more you tweet the more people will begin finding and following you. You may even find yourself being contacted by a potential employer about a new position…Just sayin…

Good luck and get tweeting!


Sep 202012
Layoff Notice

Lots of ugly news as thousands of people across the country are being pounded by layoffs. Here is a list of the top layoff actions in the news this week.




The Wall Street Journal reports that Bank of America will fire 16,000 people this year.


Siemens announced Tuesday it will layoff 407 of its 660 employees at its Fort Madison wind blade plant according to


American Airlines sent out more than 11,000 layoff warning notices, including more than 1,500 in Florida according to CBS Miami


According to Bloomsbert Businessweek, on Tuesday, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources announced it was immediately closing eight mines — four in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania — and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide by early 2013.


Around 150 jobs will be affected as the Faurecia plant in Dexter, MO reorganizes some of its production activities per ABC affiliate KAIT8.COM


In Washington state almost 290 at the Hanford cleanup site will get layoff notices this week according to the Tri-City Herald

So to review the industries that are being hit from the above layoffs:

  • Financial – Bank of America
  • Green Technology – Siemens
  • Transportation – American Airlines
  • Mining / Industrial / Energy – Alpha Natural Resources
  • Manufacturing / Automotive – Faurecia
  • Government – Hanford Cleanup Site

All of these industries are supposed to be in the rebound in today’s economy… Seems to us that these notices are just another reason to get yourself prepared.

Learn the skill of job search, might be you next time.

Sep 142012

The GigSpire team is constantly scanning the news for information about the employment market to provide to our readership. Although we shy away from taking any sides or aligning with politically oriented writers or organizations, sometimes an article comes along that needs to be highlighted.

In an article written by Andre Damon titled “Cuts in US jobless pay, government layoffs throw 1.5 million more people into poverty” there are some pretty staggering facts that should not be ignored about American workers and the challenges facing the unemployed. You can read the entire article here, but our summary of the important bits are below.

  • Only 96,000 net new jobs were created in August, according to the Labor Department, and 368,000 more unemployed people gave up looking for work.
  • The CBPP study, based on data for the first 11 months of 2011, found that 900,000 people dropped below the official poverty line over that period due to cuts in the duration and level of unemployment benefits, and another 666,000 fell into poverty due to lost family earnings resulting from state and local government layoffs.
  • The CBPP concluded that jobless pay cuts and government layoffs combined raised the average monthly poverty rate by 0.5 percent.
  • In 2010, 9.8 million people received state or federal unemployment benefits. In 2011, this figure dropped to 7.7 million, a 21 percent decline. The total amount of benefits paid out fell by 25 percent, or $36 billion.
  • According to the CBPP the figures indicate that for every one person who became ineligible for unemployment benefits because he or she found a job, three more were cut off of benefits without finding work.
  • Over 500,000 people have lost extended unemployment benefits through August, and another 500,000 are expected to lose benefits by the end of the year, according to the National Employment Law Project.
  • State, local and federal governments slashed 386,000 jobs between 2010 and 2011.

Things aren’t pretty, no matter how the situation may be spun by political parties or anyone else. Be aware that the numbers also do not reflect the nearly 14 Million People who are able to work but are not looking for work because they do not believe there are jobs available, known as the “Discouraged Worker.”

Now more than ever it is imperative for each person to learn the SKILL OF JOB SEARCH! Get yourself into a training session or enter the GigSpire Program and get educated for the job search. You never know when it is going to be you looking for work and being prepared with the skills necessary will help you avoid becoming one of these unfortunate statistics.

Sep 022012

Just saw an article published by ABCNews about 8 of the biggest layoffs for the Labor Day weekend. You can find the whole article here but the recap is below.

  1. Hewlett Packard Co. – Expecting to purge over 27,000 people from it’s payroll by 2014.
  2. American Airlines – Tracking to lose 10,000 people by the end of the year.
  3. PepsiCo – Cutting 8,700 employees in 2012.
  4. Food Lion – Closing over 100 stores and cutting headcount by roughly 4,900 people
  5. Procter & Gamble – Already has cut nearly 3,000 positions this year and expects to about another 2,700 in the next 18 months.
  6. Old Country Buffet, Inc.  – Over 3,000 workers will be hit with the closure of 81 restaurants.
  7. Albertsons – Reductions will be affecting nearly 2,500 people in California and Nevada.
  8. Best Buy Co. Inc. – 2,400 people are expected to be let go.

All big companies and all that you would expect would be a “safe” employment opportunity. Remember, corporations are in existence to stay alive and remain profitable. Cutting employees is not a personal issue, it is a “Business Decision.”

Constantly prepare yourself to be ready for a job search. Your next one might be right around the corner.

Sep 012012

Greensboro’s “One Job” idea!

We just came across a fantastic idea that is being used by one town in the US to give the economy a shot in the arm. If you don’t know about it, don’t be surprised, Greensboro only has about 270,000 people so not a bit place by any means but they are showing some exciting vision about addressing unemployment in their community. Spread the word to your community!

Here is the quick take on the idea. The Chamber of Commerce got together and each business pledged to add one job to the payroll. From our viewpoint, this is exactly the type of community support that is needed to get the economy moving overall. Small business is the life-blood of the US economy and by adding one good worker, those businesses can become more productive, increase sales and efficiency, and then move forward to hire the next good worker.

There are several links out there discussing the topic so we will let you do your own research but some of the stats we have seen so far:

  • The project has added over 1,500 jobs so far
  • The effort has been sponsored by grant monies from the state
  • People are coming off of unemployment and being able to contribute to the economy once again!

GigSpire applauds Greensboro’s vision and hopes that others will model this fantastic idea to help those who need work, find it quickly!

Aug 292012

In a state that could use help in creating jobs, Michigan may be seeing an uptick in opportunity with LED lights. According to an article we found on RedOrbit located here:

“The LED industry in Michigan is vibrant, growing with the technology, and a source of job growth.”

Driven by private investors, Michigan’s Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act and initiatives from the Department of Energy:

“The expansion of the solid-state lighting market is also helping to stimulate job creation within the state. The Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association is comprised of 29 companies and organizations, representing manufacturers, distributors, and partners based in the state and poised to take the lead in American LED manufacturing.”

Job growth is good, keep your eyes open for other industries that are adding jobs!

Aug 282012

We just came across a very interesting article on CNNMoney that list the top 25 counties in the US that have grown jobs over the last decade. You can find the article located here, and it is certainly worth a read through but for those who are into lists, here are the rankings.

  1. Loudoun County, VA – Job growth (2000-2011): 83.6%
  2. Fort Bend County, TX – Job growth (2000-2011): 78.1%
  3. Williamson County, TX – Job growth (2000-2011): 73.8%
  4. Montgomery County, TX – Job growth (2000-2011): 63.5%
  5. Douglas County, CO – Job growth (2000-2011): 58.6%
  6. Collin County, TX – Job growth (2000-2011): 55.9%
  7. Denton County, TX – Job growth (2000-2011): 53.4%
  8. Prince William County, VA – Job growth (2000-2011): 48.6%
  9. Suffolk County, VA – Job growth (2000-2011): 43.0%
  10. Williamson County, TN – Job growth (2000-2011): 40.3%
  11. Sarpy County, NE – Job growth (2000-2011): 39.4%
  12. Wake County, NC – Job growth (2000-2011): 36.5%
  13. Faulkner County, AR – Job growth (2000-2011): 35.0%
  14. Houston County, GA – Job growth (2000-2011): 29.9%
  15. Bonneville County, ID – Job growth (2000-2011): 28.1%
  16. Cass County, ND – Job growth (2000-2011): 27.7%
  17. Lafayette County, LA – Job growth (2000-2011): 27.2%
  18. Burleigh County, ND – Job growth (2000-2011): 22.9%
  19. Leon County, FL – Job growth (2000-2011): 19.1%
  20. Johnson County, IA – Job growth (2000-2011): 19.0%
  21. Anchorage County, AK – Job growth (2000-2011): 18.2%
  22. Pennington County, SD – Job growth (2000-2011): 16.0%
  23. Minnehaha County, SD – Job growth (2000-2011): 10.8%
  24. Washington County, TN – Job growth (2000-2011): 10.5%
  25. Garfield County, OK – Job growth (2000-2011): 10.2%

Although these are the tops over the last decade, realize that there are jobs almost everywhere. Do your best to research places and companies that hire people like you. Build a solid resume, learn about the people in the companies and start introducing yourself with Informational Interviews.

Aug 272012

In order to keep a positive mindset, sometimes it is important to see where things are going well. In the world of job search we are specifically talking about job growth. As you consider your next move, we recommend noticing a trend of growth in the private sector. Here is a graphic we came across from the Business Insider that caught our eye.

Although we do not affiliate with any political party, the graphic demonstrates the steady growth in the private sector during the last few years.








If you are unsure what is meant by the Private Sector, here is the definition per Wikipedia:

“In economics the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state. By contrast, enterprises that are part of the state are part of the public sector; private, non-profit organizations are regarded as part of the voluntary sector. “

History has shown that in times of economic recession/depression, privately owned, smaller businesses tend to grow. Keep this in mind as you seek out your next opportunity.

Aug 182012

We recently came across an article on Mashable about LinkedIn and resumes that we thought we should share. You can find the whole article here, written by Gerrit Hall.

Gerrit identified a few things that are typically on a person’s LinkedIn profile that should not be included in the resume. Although we agree with some of this recommendations, we have a few of ideas that conflict. Below find a recap of his article and our thoughts on Gerrit’s take.

1. Listing all of your jobs

Many people list their entire work history on LinkedIn from graduation to present. Gerrit recommends that on the resume not all positions should be listed on the resume. Specifically he says:

“That job you held in high school is likely not applicable to your career path five years post-graduation, so don’t include it on your resume. The jobs you display on your resume should be relevant to the position you’re applying for, so show potential employers your pertinent accomplishments and results at each position in the bullet points.”

GigSpire’s Take: Although we agree that each experience should point to the job a person is seeking, excluding experience can create gaps in activity that will need to be explained in an interview. Our take is to list your experience on your resume and help the people reading your resume understand the timeline of your professional experience. For positions that are not relevant to the job you are pursuing, avoid putting bullets discussing the tasks of the job. Simply identify the employer, your title and the timeline associated with the employment experience.

2. Publications

LinkedIn profiles allow the user to list any publications that a person has been involved in producing. Gerrit’s thoughts are to keep these off your resume and use the LinkedIn profile as a point of reference to provide the employer should they be interested in reviewing them.

GigSpire’s Take: Although we agree that a listing of publications does not need to be present on the resume in all cases, pertinent ones relating to a person’s job search should be notated in an Activities and Accomplishments section. For example if a person had been published on a topic such as Education and they are seeking a teaching position, this is a good bullet point to include. On the flip side if a person has written a fiction book and he or she is attempting to get a job in a field other than writing or publishing then this accomplishment may not be relevant to include on the resume.

Have your publications listed in a separate document or contained in a portfolio that you can hand a potential employer if requested. Referring a curious interviewer to a LinkedIn profile and asking them to follow the links is one more step in the process and unnecessary. Provide requested materials in as easy a format to access as possible. The more steps you make someone go through to get information, the less likely they are to go through the steps.

3. Recommendations

Recommendations on LinkedIn act in much the same way as a “mini” professional reference. We strongly recommend asking former colleagues and managers a person to to write up something positive to be included on a LinkedIn profile. Gerrit recommends to not include these on the resume.

GigSpire’s Take: Gerrit is right on in his recommendations. References are important but not for the resume. Even the line “References available upon request” is a waste of space on the resume. Think about it, if you want my job and I want your references in all likelihood you will provide them.

LinkedIn recommendations are very limited in what they can provide an employer. Most recommendations on LinkedIn are short, provide no contact information to follow up with the person making the recommendation and can be written by almost anyone. They are a great “starter” towards someone speaking highly of a candidate’s performance at work but nothing replaces an actual conversation.

References should be gathered and prepared ahead of time, prior to interviewing. Have your reference list available if requested but make no mention of them until the interviewer requests them.

4. Interests

LinkedIn also gives the user a place to include personal interests on a profile. Gerrit’s take is to avoid mentioning interests on the resume entirely.

GigSpire’s Take: Once again we believe that Gerrit is offering good advice but there are a few times when we would recommend going against his suggestion in this case.

Should a person be involved in an activity that is a demand on his or her time and may conflict his or her work availability, it should be in the Activities & Accomplishments section of the resume. The reason is it must be discussed during the interview. Here is an example.

If Jane is the Den Mother for her son’s Cub Scout troop and they meet every Thursday from 6-9 PM, Jane is not available to work during those times. Depending on the job, her lack of availability at for that time period could be a “dealbreaker” and should be discussed prior to any hiring decision or offer acceptance. Including such an activity on the resume in the appropriate section creates a talking point during the interview.

5. Birthday

LinkedIn allows the user to list her or his birthday and Gerrit recommends against listing a birthdate on the resume.

GigSpire’s Take: We 100% agree.

Remember that what you represent on your LinkedIn profile should be as close to your resume as possible, especially when you are on job search.

Aug 162012

In today’s world of connectivity there is no doubt that social media has taken the world by storm. Millions of people are interacting with others via social media every minute of the day. And social media is only growing stronger.

Social media is also a dominant force in today’s recruiting world. According to recent surveys, over 50% of all recruiters use social media in their work everyday. Many recruiters have made the switch to social media entirely…

So what does that mean to you?

If you have been resistant to join the social media revolution, many recruiters will never find you when searching for candidates.

So which social media website do you join? There are dozens to choose from and there are more variations to the concept being developed everyday. Here is an idea to help you choose which social media platform might be best for you.

Recently I was introduced to a fascinating website The Conversation Prism. The people who run this website regularly publish a listing of the various social media platforms, categorizing them in many helpful ways. I found The Conversation Prism to be a very helpful tool and one I would recommend you check out.

Now keep in mind that you can’t be everywhere and I do not recommend you rush out and join every social media website out there. In order to be effective on a social media platform you have to be involved in using the tool and we only have so much time in our day.

I recommend exploring a few of these and find some that you like.

Get involved in social media, if you don’t you are going to find yourself behind the times. You must become proficient in the ways of today’s society.

How many jobs are out there for a typewriter repair person these days?