Mar 312013

Texas Job GrowthJob growth is happening in the United States and Texas is leading the way lately. According to The Texas Workforce Commission, “The state’s employment has grown by 3.3 percent over the year, with 11 major industries showing positive growth over the year.”

You can read the full article here. The good news is job growth is happening, in many pockets around the country. Texas is the big winner adding job particularly in the Construction, Mining and Logging, and Manufacturing industries.

Everywhere people are getting jobs. If you are struggling to get a job, think about your approach. Ask yourself if you know what kind of work you want and why? Do you give a good interview? Are you marketing yourself effectively?

The answer to the job search isn’t about employers, it is about the mindset of a “job seeker.” Become a “job hunter.”

Nov 272012

We have often seen job seekers show up to an interview and one of the most common mistakes people can make is not having enough copies of their resume for the interview. Here are a few suggestions about how to properly prepare for this all important step in getting a job.

Bring 3-5 copies of your resume.

Be sure to have enough copies of your resume. Many job seekers assume that since they have emailed their resume, the employer will have it for the interview. Although this is often the case, don’t leave anything to chance.

We recommend bringing at least 3 copies of your resume. Here is why:

  • You want a copy for the interviewer
  • You want a copy for yourself so you can easily reference any points the interviewer may ask about
  • You want at least one other copy in case additional person is brought in to interview you (meaning the interview is going well!)

The Paper Illusion

Use a decent paper but don’t spend big dollars on special paper. Many people are under the assumption that high dollar, linen paper is needed for resumes. Consider it a “nice to have” but certainly not a must. The answers you provide during the interview will be the difference maker in the experience, not the paper.

Also be certain to spellcheck the resume, especially if you have made edits to the document prior to the interview.

Good luck, go get that job!

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!


Nov 092012

Did you know that if you have certain email addresses you can appear outdated? It’s true.

Certain email addresses can be viewed by the general population as an indicator that you are out of touch. Fair or not, it is a reality. And this information is particular important to be aware of when on job search.

Emails that end in ““, ““, ““, “” and many others from the advent of email can very quickly get you discarded as a candidate. Often I hear people say things like:

  • “This person is clearly out of touch.”
  • “Who still uses this email?”
  • “Clearly this person isn’t in touch with today’s world.”

Discrimination is not only limited to the traditional categories of racism, ageism and sexism. Call it “emailism” if you wish but what ever label you put on it, if you are on job search and using one of these kinds of emails you could be jeopardizing your possibilities of getting a job.

Our recommendation is to get an email address that is more “in touch” with today’s world. Consider using gmail, yahoo (yes it is one of the originals but has maintained relevancy for whatever reason) or even get an email that is personalized. Don’t ruin your chances at an interview due to an incorrect but very real perception from employers and recruiters based on your email address!

Oct 132012

I am a believer that America is one of the greatest countries in the world. From a hiring standpoint though, American values get in the way of successful hires.

America Hires Backwards

The majority of the world begins an interview with the idea that a candidate is 0% qualified for the job when he or she walks in the door. During the interview the candidate earns points towards being qualified with her or his answers, essentially moving closer to being 100% qualified for the job.

America is very different. Because we expect the best right away, a candidate walks in with the expectation of being 100% qualified for the job and loses points during the interview, moving in a negative direction.

A 70% fit for a job is very different in the US vs. the rest of the world…


Americans want the biggest and the best, immediately. We expect things to be top quality, all things. From the television we buy, to the way the dry cleaners treat our clothes to just about everything else…if it isn’t the best Americans feel like we have a right to demand the best. That translates to the hiring process as well.

Because of the American value of the “best should be put forth first,” employers want only the best. Most employers want to hire someone who can “hit the ground running” and become an organizational contributor right away. The idea of developing talent, finding people who are close to a great fit, means risk and dollars invested in the person while he or she comes up to speed.

What Does This Mean to a Job Seeker?

A job seeker must understand the expectation of the interviewer to be successful in “selling” him or herself. Knowing that the expectations of interviewers is very high, it become imperative that job seekers be as polished as possible. Polished means:

  • Looking good on paper (i.e. your resume) communicating value and an ability to accomplish tasks
  • Looking good on the internet or social media, meaning content about a job seeker on the internet should echo the resume and avoid polarizing topics that could alienate an interviewer
  • Providing good answers to interview questions, which means job seekers should think about answers and how to relay experiences effectively and then practice that answer so that it comes out naturally during an interview
  • Present a professional image meaning that personal grooming and clothing is neat, clean and neutral during interviews

Being polished comes through preparation. Professional athletes, military and emergency personnel, entertainers and most professionals practice their profession in order to execute at a high level when it matters the most. The same can be said for the job seeker. Prepare in advance through research, strategic thinking, working with others to refine your message and practicing your answers to job search questions.

Become a “professional” job seeker until you close that job.


Oct 022012

Just a quick note to stress that staying positive and being inspired is important when a person is on job search. You must continue working hard to find employment and believe you will succeed, which isn’t always easy to do. We recommend that students find something personal to motivate them during the tough times. Think of it as an re-charging station.

Be sure to put this re-charger in a place you can see it multiple times per day. The kitchen, your bathroom or the refrigerator are the most popular locations. Look at your re-charger multiple times per day; use it to stay inspired.

This re-charger can be anything of value to the individual. Pictures of family members or vacation spots are common. My personal re-charger is a poem called the Desiderata. I am sharing it with you below because it helps me. Hope you find something that helps you.

“Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
Sep 252012

Discouraged Workers Fall off the Reporting Radar

Finding work is tough these days, and it is even tougher for America’s young workforce. We came across a strong article on the Business Insider about the struggles of the 20-30 year old workforce in the US and thought we would pass it along. You can read the whole article here but below are some of the most powerful points:

  • Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America’s population.
  • If all those so-called discouraged jobseekers had remained in the labor force, August’s jobless rate of 8.1 percent would have been 10.5 percent.
  • The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one has fallen by an unprecedented 2.5 percentage points since December 2007, slumping to a 31-year low of 63.5 percent.
  • The economy lost 8.7 million jobs in the 2007-09 recession and has so far recouped a little more than half of them.
  • Economists say jobs growth of around 125,000 per month is normally needed just to hold the jobless rate steady.
  • A pace twice that strong would be needed over a sustained period to make progress reducing the unemployment rate.
  • Last month, employers created just 96,000 jobs.
  • Last month, the proportion of 20- to 24-year-olds in the labor force was its lowest since 1972.
  • The 25-54 age group has seen a decline of 1.8 percentage points since December 2007.

Get yourself ready to find a job before you need one!

Sep 192012

GigSpire was asked:

“With the rising costs of education and the foggy job outlook,how valuable is a college degree in today’s workforce? In fields where a degree is recommended but not required, does the increased pay a degree brings worth the cost of obtaining it?”

GigSpire’s response:

Today’s job market is clouded with question marks about the value of a college education. For those who are about to enter the professional workforce, nothing is more valuable than experience. For those who are currently investing in an education, make certain to get experience related to your field of study as soon as possible. This means get internships, minor jobs and even volunteer work. That exposure to the workforce will give you an upper hand against those who have the same degree but have never worked.

There are specific careers that absolutely require an advanced education and many of these are rooted in “white collar” professions. For many jobs though, even some that state in a job description that a degree is “required,” this is not necessarily so.

More than a degree, employers want competent people who are skilled and capable to do the job successfully. Professions like sales, administrative, retail, management and many others have no relevant bearing to the attainment of a degree. The degree requirement is often just a screening tool, used by employers to find people who have the ability to finish something once it is started.

Other professions do require an education or formal training of some sort such as mechanics, medical technicians and information technology workers. These positions may not require a 4 year degree but they do have a prerequisite foundation of knowledge to perform the work.

Addressing the perception that the college degree may not have value in the employment market is false. Studies have shown that people who have an advanced degree will earn on average $250,000 more than their non-degreed counterparts. Additionally the connections made and experiences learned in a college environment often are avenues for a person to grow by being exposed to so many different ideas, cultures and personalities.

Making the decision to complete a 4 year degree should not be made lightly. Individuals should evaluate their long-term career goals. For those who are unsure of their career path, we recommend taking some courses which can be done through online classes or through local community colleges at an affordable price.

People should never stop learning, whether in a formalized educational setting or not. If a person does choose to pursue a degree, the best way to maximize an immediate return on investment at graduation is to take steps to gain experience prior to graduation. Prepare by establishing a network of people to contact at least a year before completing the degree so that when you leave school, people know your name and can refer you into opportunities.

Nothing get a job faster than a good network.

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 132012

We were recently asked:

“What do most people mess up in an elevator pitch?”

GigSpire’s response:

Delivering an effective message is important whether you are making a sales presentation or trying to get an interview. Most people fail to do two things:

  1. Form a strategic thought or message to communicate
  2. Practice their elevator pitch

Strategy is important in almost anything we do and most people would agree that planning is a good thing. When it comes to a person’s elevator pitch most times they don’t plan it however, they “wing it” when asked what they do or are presented with a chance to introduce themselves.

The problem with this approach is we can easily be distracted and may not deliver a focused message that accurately relates our capabilities and wants/needs.

A format used in the GigSpire Program is the S.T.A.R. format:

  • Situation – Explain the problem in 15 seconds or less
  • Task – Identify a task or two tasks needed to solve the problem
  • Action – Identify the action you take to resolve the problem and address those tasks
  • Result – Explain the results of the actions you take to solve the problem


The entire pitch should be 90 seconds or less and the person should practice it so that it flows smoothly. We recommend practicing in front of a mirror or with another person to be sure and individual is comfortable delivering his or her elevator pitch.

Be sure to be prepared when asked about what you are looking for, that’s our advice!