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Top 10 Interview Questions

Business executive discussing with her client

Review the top 10 interview questions you'll most likely be asked at a job interview, plus the best answers.

Job Searching Spotlight10

Top 10 LinkedIn Tips for Job Seekers

Friday April 18, 2014

LinkedInAre you using LinkedIn to job search? Would you like to get your career on the fast track? LinkedIn is the top site for professional networking, and it's full of tools to help you make connections and find your next job.

When you're using LinkedIn, the details matter. Your profile needs to be perfect, you need to be well connected with people who can help your job search and refer you for employment. It works both ways though. The best way to use LinkedIn is to give to get. Write a recommendation, endorse a colleague or forward an introduction. The more you help your connections, the more likely they will be to help you.

If you're currently employed, it's important to be careful on LinkedIn. If you don't want your boss to know that you're seeking employment, you can hide your activity. You should also be cautious about who you let know that you're job searching.

Even if you're using LinkedIn already, it's a good idea to give your profile a makeover every now and then. It also makes sense to keep connecting, even if you're not actively job searching. The stronger your presence on LinkedIn, the better shape you'll be in for your next job search.

Here are the top 10 tips for using LinkedIn for job searching, including step by step instructions for using LinkedIn's features and tools.

Related Articles: What to Include in Your LinkedIn Profile | How to Use LinkedIn Endorsements | Should You Get a LinkedIn Premium Account? | Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time?

Thank You Note Friday

Friday April 18, 2014

Thank You NoteFriday is always "thank you note Friday" for me. I try to take a few minutes each week to say thank you to those who have been especially helpful to me, both professionally and personally.

I like to show my appreciation and people like knowing they are appreciated - especially when they receive a real, old-fashioned, thank you note in the mail. It means that the sender actually took the time to write, in ink, to address an envelope, stick on a stamp, and mail the note.

Of course, email, LinkedIn messages, Facebook messages, and tweets work, too. However you say thank you it doesn't much time to send a thank you note or thank you email message.

It's really important to say thank you after a job interview. Sending a thank you letter is a good way to reiterate your interest in the job and to remind the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the position.

It's also a good idea to thank everyone who helped with your job search, as well as to thank those who help you at work. Thank you notes, in addition to showing your appreciation, are great networking tools. Here's information on thank you letters including who to thank and how to say thank you.

If you're not sure what to say, review sample thank you letters to get ideas and suggestions for your own letters and email messages.

Read More: Top 10 Thank You Letter Tips | Email Thank You Letters | Employee Thank You Letters | Send Handwritten Thank You Cards The Easy Way with Postable

Image Copyright Carlos Arranz

Unemployment Extension 2014

Friday April 18, 2014

Update April 18, 2014: Congress will be back in session on April 28. Hopefully, there will be action to renew federal unemployment benefits when they return.

Update April 14, 2014: The Senate has passed legislation (HR 3979) to renew federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28, 2013. The agreement would provide for a 5 month extension of federal jobless benefits retroactive to December 28.

In addition, Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) introduced a House companion bill (H.R.4415) which is identical to the Senate legislation in the hopes of expediting a vote.  there are also reports of tying the extension to a jobs bill, which would help in getting it passed. However, the House has adjourned until Monday April 28, 2014, so there will be no action on renewing EUC until after recess.

Please note that the legislation simply extends the federal EUC benefits that were in place last year through May 31, 2014. Unemployed workers whose EUC benefits were cut off on December 28 and those who have lost state benefits since then will be eligible if it's passed. It does not provide any extra tiers of benefits or provide benefits for those who had already run out of unemployment. If passed, it would end EUC on May 31.

Check back frequently for updates. I will post as soon as there is more news and details of the legislation.

Resources for Unemployed Workers

Important: Some states have advised claimants to continue filing, others say they will file for you if EUC is extended, and others won't let you file. Your state unemployment office may provide notification saying no further extension benefits can be paid. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a chance of benefits being continued for 2014. Check your State Unemployment Office for details.

More News & Information: I will post updates as soon as there is more news on what will be happening with unemployment. Also, follow me on Twitter, add me to your Google+ Circles and like About Job Search on Facebook for more news and information.

Update March 29, 2014: The Senate voted (65 - 34) on Thursday to move legislation to restore federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28, 2013 forward. The agreement would provide for a 5 month extension retroactive to December 28 and has bipartisan support - 10 Republican Senators voted for the legislation.

Update March 12, 2014: Democrats have filed a discharge petition in the House of Representatives. If a majority of the Representatives sign it, the House will be forced to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote. However, in order to get enough signatures the petition would need Republican support. An absolute majority (218 signatures) is required for a vote. Here's a current tally of the signatures.

There is pending legislation in the Senate to continue federal extended unemployment compensation benefits for the more than 2 million workers who have run out of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28, 2013.

Update March 21, 2104: The Senate will be working on legislation to renew unemployment next week. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) said this week "Since December, Senator Reed and I have been working to get these vital benefits to the millions of unemployed Americans who need them. It is extremely disappointing that, no matter what solution is reached, there is some excuse to deny these much-needed benefits. I look forward to passing this proposal out of the Senate next week, and stand ready to help the Speaker, as well as any organization or any individual necessary, in order to make this extension a reality."

Update March 17, 2014: Both the Senate and the House are recessed until Monday, March 24th. So, there will be no Congressional action on renewing unemployment benefits until they return.

Update March 13, 2014: Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has announced a bipartisan agreement to renew federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28, 2013. The agreement would provide for a 5 month extension retroactive to December 28. The proposal is fully funded. It would eliminate unemployment benefits to individuals earning more than $1 million in the preceding year. It also includes provisions that would provided enhanced, personalized assessments and referral to unemployment services.

Update March 7, 2014: Republican Senators have introduced legislation (S. 2097) that would extend unemployment insurance benefits for the more than 2 million workers who have run out of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired in December. If passed, the legislation would extend federal unemployment insurance benefits for five months, allowing for retroactive benefits.

Update March 4, 2014: Legislation which would extend federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits which expired at the end of December, 2013 for six months was filed today. The legislation (S. 2077, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014) is for a 6 month retroactive extension that would restore unemployment benefits for the 2 million unemployed workers who have run out. News reports indicate there may be a vote next week.

Important: Unemployment benefits vary from state to state, so check your State Unemployment Office website for details on who qualifies for extended benefits and when and how benefits will be paid or check this list of state unemployment extension websites to go directly to the information for your location.

Read More: How to File for Unemployment | How to Calculate Unemployment | Unemployment Extension | Job Search Tips for Unemployed Job Seekers

How to Resign Gracefully

Thursday April 17, 2014

QuitOnce you have decided to resign from your job, there's no point in criticizing your company, your boss, your co-workers, the job or anything else. Even if you hated your boss, hated the job, and can't wait to get out of there, don't burn your bridges. You might need a reference in the future and you don't want to give anyone any ammunition to use against you. Save your parting shots and keep your feelings to yourself.

Instead, write a formal resignation letter, so it can be placed in your employment file. Keep your resignation letter simple and short. Don't go into too much detail about why you are quitting and what you are doing next. Your letter shouldn't be negative or nasty - it honestly isn't worth venting.

When you're not sure what to write, review sample resignation letters to get some ideas. You can use them to create your own personalized resignation letter. On a related note, email isn't really the best way to resign, but if you're working remotely or you don't have the courage to resign in person, here's how to send an email resignation message.

Here's more advice on how to resign gracefully and how to resign on good terms.

Read More: Resignation Letters| Resignation Letter Examples

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