2020 Job Seeker Nation: Before & During COVID-19

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - ©2020 Reprinted with permission

Jobvite's 2020 Job Seeker Nation study was just released and here are the highlights to help you understand how job seekers find jobs during COVID-19 (and before COVID-19) and apply for them. There's a reason I love sharing Jobvite's Job Seeker Nation report. It helps you understand what your competition is doing. I hope you use this data to help develop a new job search strategy or alter what you are doing. The 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report has two data sets. Pre-COVID-19 (February 2020) and Early COVID-19 (April 2020). The first survey of 1,515 workers (part time, full time and unemployed) was conducted in February 2020. The second survey was run in April 2020... Read More

Veterans group continues legal battle over discharge records

By BEN FINLEY | APnews.com - ©2020 All Rights Reserved

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A veterans group is continuing to sue the Pentagon over access to military discharge records despite a federal judge's recent dismissal of the case. The National Veterans Legal Services Program said Tuesday that it filed its intent to bring the case to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The group represents former service members who want to upgrade a less-than-honorable discharge. Such a status can sometimes result in a loss of veterans benefits. Advocates often prepare a veteran's discharge appeal by studying past decisions made by military review boards, which grant or deny an upgrade. The legal services group says it lacks access to more... Read More

In online Memorial Day ceremonies, Americans in Europe honor service above self

By CHAD GARLAND | Stars and Stripes - Reprinted with permission ©2020 All Rights Reserved

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription. KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Few people gathered at the Luxembourg American Cemetery for this year's Memorial Day service due to coronavirus precautions. But the livestreamed event highlighted the difference just one person can make — the only woman buried among the more than 5,000 service members at the World War II cemetery... Read More

Stop Wondering When You Should Follow Up

By Hannah Morgan - careersherpa.net - Reprinted with Permission

Have you ever wondered when you should follow up after an interview or submitting an application? "When should I follow up" is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from job seekers. I don't want you to wonder. I want you to feel in control and so I put together some concrete guidelines to help make this a no-brainer for you and give you back some of the power and control! Most of us want to follow the rules yet at the same time, we want to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes these seem to be contradictory concepts. Stand out and be remembered for the right things! Put a System In Place, Be Politely and Patiently Persistent, Close the Loop... Read More

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2020 Job Seeker Nation: Before & During COVID-19

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - ©2020 Reprinted with permission

Jobvite's 2020 Job Seeker Nation study was just released and here are the highlights to help you understand how job seekers find jobs during COVID-19 (and before COVID-19) and apply for them.

There's a reason I love sharing Jobvite's Job Seeker Nation report. It helps you understand what your competition is doing. I hope you use this data to help develop a new job search strategy or alter what you are doing.

The 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report has two data sets. Pre-COVID-19 (February 2020) and Early COVID-19 (April 2020).

The first survey of 1,515 workers (part time, full time and unemployed) was conducted in February 2020. The second survey was run in April 2020.

The job market has drastically changed in just a few short months. But it doesn't mean companies have stopped hiring. They may have slowed down in some industries or sectors, but there are many companies who are ramping up their staff.

Check out the who's hiring resources listed here.

Selected Highlights From Jobvite's Study
  • 73% of respondents believe finding a job this year is harder, compared to 48% who felt this way just two months ago
  • 54% of respondents are concerned about losing a job, compared to 30% two months ago.
  • Most workers find out about job openings through online job boards, friends, social media (LinkedIn), professional connections
  • 33% of workers today are likely to share job openings at their companies via social media, compared to 26% two months ago
  • Nearly half of workers are planning to have a second source of income outside of their 9-5 jobs
  • 81% of workers think company culture is important in their decision to apply for a job

Here's the full table of contents from Jobvite's 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report:

Jobvite 2020 Table of Contents

Let's take a look at what's going on in the minds of job seekers.

Where Job Seekers Find Jobs

Job seekers hear or learn about jobs through a variety of sources.

The secret to your job search success is to diversify how and where you are looking for opportunities. And while it isn't specifically mentioned in this report, there is a hidden job market comprised of jobs that aren't publicly advertised.

Social media continues to be a rising star when it comes to seeking new opportunities — 42% of survey respondents say they find out about job openings there, a 10% jump from the previous year.
Jobvite 2020 Job Seeker Nation

Online job boards (69%) are still most popular for posting job openings, but modern methods are gaining ground.

  • 31% Professional connections
  • 42% Social media such as LinkedIn
  • 45% Friends
  • 69% Online job boards

Take note, this is just how job seekers "learn about" or find jobs.

2020 job seeker nation the job hunt

How Job Seekers Apply For Jobs

Once a job has been uncovered, job seekers take different steps to submit their application.

  • 28% — Job boards
  • 23% — Friends or former colleagues
  • 21% — Employers' career sites

A majority of workers (54%) apply for jobs even if they don't have all the skills listed as required by the job description.

Jobvite 2020 Job Seeker Nation

Employee Referral Programs

65% of surveyed workers have never participated in a company's referral program. In all fairness, 60% worked for a company that didn't have a program.

Pre-COVID-19 65% of workers never or rarely check their company's internal postings. Employees said they prefer to learn about jobs these ways:

  • Their manager (37%)
  • Company's internal communication system (26%)
  • Personal communication from HR (22%)

However, during April at the beginning of COVID-19 there was an up swing in employees activity with internal jobs.

  • 25% of job seekers today are likely to check their company's internal job postings at least once a week or every day, compared to 19% who were doing so in February.
  • 33% of workers today are 'very likely' or 'pretty likely' to share job openings at their companies via social media, compared to 26% two months ago.
  • 38% of workers today are 'pretty likely' or 'very likely' to click on a job opportunity they saw someone in their network post on social media, compared to 31% in February.

Jobvite 2020 Job Seeker Nation Referrals

Perks Job Seekers Look For

Job seekers were interested in jobs that offered remote work options even before COVID-19.

65% of job seekers say remote work is 'very important' or 'somewhat important' in their decision to accept a job offer.
Jobvite 2020 Job Seeker Nation

There was a small drop in job seekers' expectation to receive healthcare during the April survey. This surprises me. I would think now, more than ever, healthcare would be a key criteria when evaluating job opportunities.

  • Expect Healthcare benefits: 64% in April vs. 67% in February
Preferred Interview Formats

It's clear that job seekers prefer in-person interviews, even during COVID-19 (though that's not realistic).

  • In-person interviews: (77%)
  • Videos: (45%)
  • Phone calls: (67%)
  • Email: (32%)
  • Text Messaging: (31%)
Job Seekers Welcome Texting

Employers are using text messages to communicate with job seekers. This has been a growing trend and one job seekers seem to appreciate.

  • 60% of workers who received a text message after applying for a job preferred this type of communication over email or phone call.
  • And 42% of candidates are open to receiving text messages from recruiters.
Negotiate, Everyone Else Is

Negotiating a job offer is your best chance for getting what you want. If you don't try to negotiate, someone else will. Don't miss out.

  • 61% of respondents are "very" or "somewhat" comfortable negotiating.
Salaries Seem To Be Rising

One of the main reason's job seekers look for a new job is to get paid more. Pre-COVID-19, this seemed to be working at least some of the time.

Over one-quarter (27%) of workers say the initial salary offer from their current or most recent job was slightly or significantly more than expected compared to 21% in 2019 and 17% in 2018.
Jobvite 2020 Job Seeker Nation

Workers Still Need More Money

Now and before COVID-19, job seekers said they need more money.

  • 46% of workers surveyed in April say they plan to have a second source of income outside of their regular 9-5 jobs, compared to 36% in February. (The top reason...56% said a need for more money.)
  • The number of workers doing freelance work for extra income increased

to 51% (up 13%) from last year's 38%.

Do you have extra sources of income? Consider starting a side business or "passion project" you can turn on or off based on your financial needs.

Company Culture Matters

While compensation is important, but company culture is too. Ranking second in April's survey, a company's values and culture was an important factor in evaluating a job offer. 52% of job seeker's listed this as important in April compared to 38% February.

Leaving Within First 90 Days

The hiring process (from posting the job through onboarding new employees) needs your attention. You don't want to be going through this again too soon. To help you understand why employees left their job during the first 90 days, make sure you have all your questions answered.

Here are the top 3 reasons employees left within the first 90 days:

  • Day-to-day role not what was expected: 46%
  • Incident or bad experience: 39%
  • Company Culture: 35%
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Veterans group continues legal battle over discharge records

By BEN FINLEY | APnews.com - ©2020 All Rights Reserved

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A veterans group is continuing to sue the Pentagon over access to military discharge records despite a federal judge's recent dismissal of the case.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program said Tuesday that it filed its intent to bring the case to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The group represents former service members who want to upgrade a less-than-honorable discharge. Such a status can sometimes result in a loss of veterans benefits.

Advocates often prepare a veteran's discharge appeal by studying past decisions made by military review boards, which grant or deny an upgrade. The legal services group says it lacks access to more than half of about 245,000 decisions going back several years.

Bart Stichman, the group's executive director, said advocates depend on those decisions to help veterans "seek vital benefits for themselves and their families that have been unjustly denied."

The military had said it blocked access to a public database last year after discovering that some of the decisions contained personal information that should have been redacted.

In January, the veterans group sued the Defense Department in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, alleging that federal law was being broken.

The military said in court documents that it had begun to re-post decisions after they were checked for personal information. Decisions that hadn't been re-posted yet were still available upon request. About 25,000 decisions had been re-posted by early March, the military said.

On April 2, U.S. District Court Judge Rossie Alston Jr. dismissed the veteran group's lawsuit. Alston wrote that the group failed to show a "specific instance" in which it was unable to fulfill its mission because of a lack of information.

The judge also wrote that the court lacks jurisdiction over a matter that is essentially about improving the military's performance. He said the group's main contention is that the military is "not working fast enough" or with enough "fervor."

The legal battle is playing out at a time of growing recognition that a less-than-honorable discharge can stem from behaviors brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries.

Veterans with combat-related mental health conditions and those who were sexually assaulted while in the military are supposed to be given liberal consideration when requesting a discharge upgrade.

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In online Memorial Day ceremonies, Americans in Europe honor service above self

By CHAD GARLAND | Stars and Stripes - Reprinted with permission ©2020 All Rights Reserved

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Few people gathered at the Luxembourg American Cemetery for this year's Memorial Day service due to coronavirus precautions. But the livestreamed event highlighted the difference just one person can make — the only woman buried among the more than 5,000 service members at the World War II cemetery.

Second Lt. Nancy J. Leo, of Cumberland, Md., served as a nurse for 16 months in Scotland, England and France during the tail end of the war. Her service with the 206th General Hospital was an example of humanity and caring amid the inhumanity of war, Rev. Jean Ehret said during the invocation.

"For how many soldiers was 2nd Lt. Nancy J. Leo the presence of a loving mother, of a caring wife, especially when they were close to death?" Ehret asked. "With her, we honor all those women who served during World War II in the Army and at home and we honor all those who fight today in the front line against coronavirus."

The Saturday event was one of several streamed online in Europe as organizations sought to continue a long tradition of honoring the war dead each May, despite the restrictions imposed to prevent the virus' spread.

Prerecorded Memorial Day events from St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Lorraine American Cemetery were slated to be streamed on Monday at https://www.facebook.com/usabmc/live/. They were scheduled to begin, respectively, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Europe (8 a.m. and noon Eastern time).

U.S. EMBASSY LUXEMBOURG/FACEBOOK

The American Legion's Paris Post 1, which began decorating American World War I graves on the first Memorial Day after the war in 1920, also planned to stream a service Sunday from its mausoleum outside the French capital for the first time. Completed in 1939, the site is the final resting place of some 300 U.S. veterans and their families.

"We're still trying to make the best of it," Bryan Schell, the post commander, said of the situation during a phone interview Saturday.

During the pandemic, technology also has helped the post reach its members, some of whom are spread out throughout France. The post has seen an uptick in attendance at virtual meetings, Schell said, including older members excited by the opportunity to participate in online streaming for the first time.

But despite the increased use of technology, Schell said, the livestreamed Memorial Day event came together somewhat unexpectedly after a call from Souvenir Francais, an organization responsible for caring for war memorials and grave sites in France.

The American Legion coordinated with the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Paris and the American Overseas Memorial Day Association, which decorates service members' graves at remote cemeteries in Europe.

Participants at the service in Luxembourg sat in chairs spread wide apart. Though they were few, they were united with many more at other events honoring the legacy of the war dead, as well as those online, said Ehret, a professor of religious studies at Luxembourg's Sacred Heart University.

As a nurse, Leo represented the medical professionals who risk their own health to fight "known enemies and invisible viruses," said Cecile Jimenez, lead medical officer for the U.S. Embassy, who also offered remarks at the ceremony.

"We do these jobs because we are passionate about our work and we care deeply about our patients," Jimenez said. "Above all, we want to help others and do our part to keep the world safe."

Like Gen. George S. Patton, who also is buried in Luxembourg, Leo's life was cut short as the result of a vehicle accident. Upon arriving in France, Leo had called her older sister, also an Army nurse, to tell her she would be visiting her in Paris. But she never arrived — she was killed in a Jeep accident on the way there.

"Nancy never got to visit her sister in Paris or see her mother or her little sister and brother again," Jimenez said. "She did not get to grow old or have a family of her own, but she gave her life in the line of doing what she loved and what was important to her."

In the fight against the pandemic, Leo and other fallen service members can be honored by following their example of making sacrifices for others' sake, Jimenez said.

garland.chad@stripes.com
Twitter: @chadgarland

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Stop Wondering When You Should Follow Up

By Hannah Morgan - careersherpa.net - Reprinted with Permission

Have you ever wondered when you should follow up after an interview or submitting an application?

"When should I follow up" is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from job seekers.

I don't want you to wonder.

I want you to feel in control and so I put together some concrete guidelines to help make this a no-brainer for you and give you back some of the power and control!

Stand Out in the Right Way

Most of us want to follow the rules yet at the same time, we want to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes these seem to be contradictory concepts. Stand out and be remembered for the right things!

  • Put a System In Place
  • Be Politely and Patiently Persistent
  • Close the Loop
Put a System In Place

First things first. Now is the perfect time to put a system for tracking in place for when and who you should be following up with! It could be an Excel spreadsheet, a software program, or it might be a calendaring system (paper or electronic). That is up to you.

As you create your system, consider starting off by minimally capturing this data:

  • Name, company name, phone and email of the person to contact.
  • Name, phone and email of the person referring you.
  • How and what the referring person said about a job lead or contact they are providing.
  • "Take Action" date.
  • Action method (phone, email, other).
  • Date of last action.
Eliminate Guessing

You don't want to seem like a pest but you don't want to miss out on an opportunity either, so when do you follow-up?

The answer depends.

You can take the guesswork out of the equation by taking control. In your message or during your conversation, state when you will be following up. If the issue is urgent (such as you have an upcoming interview and you want to ask a current employee questions before the interview), let them know what your deadline is and that you will be following up within a day.

During the interview, always ask the interviewer when you should follow up. This will eliminate one of the most commonly asked questions people have — "when should I follow up after an interview?"

If you remember to ask this during the interview, you won't be wondering later.

Be Politely and Patiently Persistent

People have good intentions, however, sometimes they just don't do things with the same sense of urgency you might.

Set the expectation that you will be following up within a certain timeframe just in case they get sidetracked or perhaps even forget to do what they said they would do for you. This way, when you do try to follow up, you have their permission.

Don't give up! As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If someone has given you permission to follow up, you are within your rights to systematically and politely do so.

Understand why you aren't hearing back.

Turning Gray Into Black and White

It is difficult to give specific recommendations for follow up, but for the sake of those who want some specific guidelines, these generally work. I realize this may sound extreme to some. But it's a guideline.

Situation Method Timeframe Message/Logic
Applied for job online Phone Same day Ask what their time frame is and if they received your application/ information
Given the name of someone to call/contact Phone or email Same day Request meeting and use the name of referral source
Met with someone for informational meeting Email or US Mail Same day Thank them for their time and reference specific details from the conversation. Explain next steps you plan on taking
Job Interview Email or US Mail 24 hours Sending a thank you message will show interest and can help them remember you
Follow up after no response Phone/email alternately Weekly if no response Politely tell them you are interested and ask where they are in the process
Close The Loop

Providing thanks or following up to remind someone of their commitment is your responsibility.

When someone gives you a referral of any kind, let them know what the outcome was, or — at the very least — let them know that you've done what they've suggested.

Providing this feedback makes them feel good and makes them much more likely to help you (and others) in the future.

Here's more help on following up

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