Focus Focus Focus

July 28th, 2016


There is this one company you have always wanted to work for. They are doing well. They are in your field of interest. One problem: they are not hiring. Good news: it doesn’t matter. Do not be deterred. Persevere. Here are some tips to land the job you have been waiting for.

Focus on one company

Rather than ensuring your resume is mailed out to every single job opening you may or may not want, direct your focus to the one company you truly wish to work for. Your chances of landing a job are higher, and your efforts will not be wasted. On the contrary, any time you spend acquiring the position will actually benefit you once you get the job because you will have learnt more about the company.

Research the company

There is nothing more flattering than being well versed in the company and its goals. It shows that their interests are your interests. This is an extremely valuable trait for any employee, and specifically to any employer, because it displays a motivation directly beneficial to the company. Offer your opinion and suggestions for improvement. You may hit on something that did not occur to them, that could not have occurred to them without your fresh approach.

Develop relationships

Establishing contact with various employees within the company, like marking familiar

territory, can be extremely helpful, even though it requires persistent work, sometimes years of it. Building that rapport by sharing your story can evoke a willingness to help you fulfill your mission. They get to know you, they see how they can help you, and in turn, how you can help them. And should you develop a solid relationship with one or more individuals, they become prime candidates for getting you a referral, which as we all know, is one of the more effective ways of getting your foot in the door. Plus, if they refer you through ChumBonus and you land the job, they get a bonus! Sounds like a win win doesn’t it?

As Derek Sivers puts it: Eventually they will be hiring, and they’d be foolish not to hire you.

Going Green: The New Industrial Revolution

June 25th, 2010


Last week we posted about green jobs and the general excitement and interest this sector is experiencing and we thought we’d follow up with some further discussion about the state of green.

Overall the unemployment rate is continuing to creep downward and currently standing at around 9.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Oddly enough, manufacturing is seeing a surge in its numbers, although the industry-wide rate of unemployment is about 10.3%, compared to that of the Info/Tech Industry which is around 9.8%, about the same as the overall national average. BLS is planning to release unemployment numbers on the green industry in September of this year to help solidify our look at the state of things.

In the meantime it looks like, while there may be an increase in green job training, the opportunities do not extend equally across the industry. According to a recent article in the Dallas Morning News, the wind power industry is experiencing a nationwide slowdown due to the escalating cost of wind farm construction and components. The reasons are various but in Texas it appears to be heavily linked with the recent performance of natural gas on the market, which has seen consistently low prices. However, over in West Virginia it may be a different story: a recent report suggests that West Virginia’s coal mining industry, which accounts 9% of the state’s workforce may actually be costing the state money. Some groups have campaigned for constructing wind farms on the tops of W. VA.’s mountains instead of the environmentally harsh mountaintop removal.


Solar power, though struggling in the United

States, is seeing an increased interest as well. In Europe, already well ahead of the U.S. in terms of solar energy production, a massive solar farm project was recently announced (read about it here, and here) that would entail the construction of vast numbers of panels and piping the produced electricity north. Solar panels have come a long way since their first boom in the 70’s and 80’s, they’re much more efficient and more readily available now, making it easier for small businesses and households to obtain at least some of their energy needs from the sun.

Given the recent Gulf tragedy and the increased scrutiny of the oil industry perhaps we are beginning to see the shift in thinking that United States so desperately needs in order to address its present and future energy needs. What are your thoughts on the green energy industry and its prospects here in the U.S.?

If you know an environmentally conscious company that’s hiring, use our client registration link to let us know!

Pursuing The Career Of Your Dreams

June 23rd, 2010


As children we all probably had dreams of growing up to become doctors, or lawyers, or astronauts but as we grow older and begin to learn a bit about ourselves and the world, our careers dreams can and often change. Sometimes that’s good, because we come to realize that some of the hopes and dreams of our childhood were just fanciful dreamings, and that growing older has given us the time and wisdom to discover new, more fitting dreams for ourselves. But it must be said that sometimes we hold on to those childhood dreams throughout life only to find that somehow they keep eluding us. Some people give up

and settle for less.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. No one should really have to settle for less in life, and the same applies to work. Many people, if asked, would probably say that they really don’t enjoy their jobs and often wish they could do something else. There is nothing more satisfying that working in a field you truly enjoy, but many people either despair of ever getting a chance to do such a thing, or they just don’t take the time to truly learn about themselves and what they really want out of life and work.


Our education system, whatever its present flaws, does a pretty good job of preparing us, perhaps, for college or a trade. We fill our minds with facts and figures and processes so we can pass the tests and get the grades, but it seems all too rare that someone sets us down and tells us that life is more than just getting a huge paycheck, or heaps of accolades and status. All too rare it is that someone—a teacher, a parent, a mentor—cautions us to look into our hearts to find that which truly excites us. Many of us do not even see a career assesment until college, nor do we seriously consider what work we could approach with passion and sustaining interest.

Of course it not one of life’s requirements, or even possibilities that each of us can figure these things out early. Many people, well into adulthood continue to struggle with the question of what to do with their lives. These people are not failures, anymore than someone who perhaps chose the wrong career. It is a cliche perhaps, but life is a journey, not a destination, and it’s meant to be enjoyed along the way. Some argue that as humans, we need work to help give life meaning, and if so, we owe it to ourselves to choose that work wisely.

There are many options for exploring one’s internal landscape, for identifying our true needs and wants, and learning what, in the end, we truly want out of life. There are professional career coaches, such as CareerOyster, but there are also tons of free online career assessment tests to be found. If you’ve never taken one, or if you’re just curious and have been thinking about finally finding your dream job, we’ve provided a few links for you below.

Good luck!

Where Are Green Jobs

June 16th, 2010

Everybody’s talking about the green movement today; the trend toward more sustainable industrial and energy production practices and technology that we’re seeing continues to grow, although slowly, despite the continued economic downturn. According to an article that appeared earlier this month in the Boston Herald, government watchdogs are concerned that economic stimulus money might be going to projects which may be totally unrelated to the environment and the main reason for that may be that the government still doesn’t have a firm definition of what qualifies as ‘green’.


Last year there was a marked increase in green job training programs offered at many community colleges and the trend no doubt continues. Many people are under the impression, because of all the green hype no doubt, that the market is flush with potential green positions, but some folks who have received such training still struggle to find jobs as the economy takes its toll, even on sustainability. That, of course, does not mean there aren’t any green jobs out there, just that the competition is stiff. But then that’s nothing new either is it?

Some of the most visible green-collar jobs are in the wind and solar energy industries as these low environmental impact methods of energy production are garnering much more attention than they ever have. Solar panel installers and wind turbine operators are in demand as well as biofuel technicians and line workers. Building retrofitting is a growing market as home and business owners seek, not only to have less environmental impact, but also to save money with increased heating efficiency, reduced energy usage with green appliances, and improved insulation to prevent heating/cooling losses.


Green careers are also available in the public utility sphere: water treatment, and recycling. And since the resurgence of discussion on more and better mass transportation in America, this industry is expected to pick up as well. According to this article, a recent survey indicated that 82% of Americans feel that the country would benefit from improved public transportation. Increased mass transit usage in the U.S. might go a long way toward reduction in greenhouse gas emmissions, further improving our efforts at a lower environmental impact.

For more information on the green movement and green careers try checking out the following links:

Green For All

Green Career Guide

If you’ve had success in finding a green career we’d love to hear about it! And if you

have any tips for others looking to go green feel free to post them in the comments section.

Landing an Internship

June 14th, 2010

A few weeks ago we published a post on how to find summer interns for your business, written, of course, from the employer’s perspective. Just a couple of days ago, the Wall Street Journal put out an article with

advice for those looking to land one of those sought after internships.


Most of us know that an internship is a great way for students nearing the end of their college careers, or the recently graduated to not only obtain valuable exprience in their field of choice, but many times it gets their foot in the door, so to speak, of a potential long-term employer. Many unpaid, or slightly paid internships result in full blown employment opportunities for the interns as they are much more familiar with the business, and the culture, requiring little or no additional training. When compared to bringing someone totally new in off the street, most employers chose to bring their interns on board permanently.

Unfortunately, according to the WSJ article, the number of internships available from employers in the public sector has decreased significantly in recent years, and especially in the last two. This is making it difficult for students and young workers to find good internships that could help move their careers along. However, according to a recent survey, government internship opportunities have increased by about 40%, which experts say is no doubt due to the recent economic legislation aimed at creating job opportunities and aiding the ailing economy, which would of course increase the staffing requirement of government agencies involved.


This is understandably leading many students and young workers to consider the government as a potential source of internship opportunities. The experience obtained will still be valuable and add polish to any resume, and there is a chance, as always, that the intern may find even more rewarding work than they expected.

With the generally decreased availability of internships floating around, it has the effect of also increasing the competiveness in landing one. Many students are finding that older, once reliable methods of finding these positions, such as college placement services, are no longer sufficient to the task. Just like in any job search in today’s world, networking has often proven invaluable in uncovering opportunities that might have been overlooked, and the same applies to finding internships. Not only that, but interning can be a great way to add to your network.

Some students are approaching employers directly, whether there is an advertised need for an intern or not. Many have met with success in ‘creating’ a tailor made intern position for themselves and even gone on to land more permanent employment.

Have any of you had success in finding an internship, and if so, did you find that you had to be more creative in your approach? Was there stiffer competition for these positions? If you have any tips to share when hunting intern opportunities please share them with us in the comments section!

Turning T-shirts to Money

June 8th, 2010


Most dream jobs probably entail doing about as little work as one can get away with, maybe even doing nothing more than getting dressed in the morning. Maybe yours simply entails surfing the web and going about your business on your own schedule and on your own terms. Jason Sadler had such a dream.

“I was laying bed at 3am racking my brain for a way to make some extra money without actually “working” and it came to me… I wear shirts every day of my life, no matter what, and should let people choose what shirts I wear,” says the 28-year-old Entrepreneur.

Not only did his dream came true, but he made over $80 thousand last year doing it! All he has to do is just put on a different a t-shirt every day, with his sponsor’s logos on them, and then use various forms of social media, including Twitter and vlogs, to advertise himself and Voilà; money in the bank. Talk about telecommuting! His dream has gotten so big, that he now employs another man, Evan White, his West coast partner to wear a different t-shirt each day as well.

Although he’s expanding, there may not be enough of a market for all of us to copy Mr. Adler’s idea, but t-shirts aren’t just a way to advertise a company. They could also advertise you! One company designed a line of t-shirts that advertise your personal cover letter or

resume. They suggest that you have several hard copies of your resume on hand when you wear your shirt in public. If you’re the crafty type, you can design your own shirt at Custom Ink.

To all of those web entrepreneurs out there, Jason said to T-shirt Magazine Online that, “the first and most important thing is that nothing is an overnight success.”

Long-Term Unemployment: You Are Not Alone

June 8th, 2010

Last week we wrote about the apparent trend of avoiding hiring unemployed applicants, which has been trickling through the blogosphere and sparking quite a discussion. According to this article on a blog at, however, the original source of the ad has removed the requirement. The article goes on to make several good points, both for the reasoning behind why companies might make such a move, and for not overreacting to such a seemingly extreme measure.


The economy is no doubt improving—although slowly—but unemployment numbers are still high and those in the ranks of the out of work are likely to have been in a state of unemployment for a longer than usual period of time. On June 2, the Wall Street Journal published an article on chronic joblessness and the effects it can have on the workforce, and the individual. Along with the psychological implications of increased anxiety, loss of self esteem and depression, long term unemployment can be damaging to one’s potential for finding work. Everyone who has ever changed jobs or been laid off knows that gaps in employment history can raise eyebrows, but today’s job market is seeing more people with this problem than in times past. According to the WSJ article, unemployment rates, and duration have not been this bad since the 1980’s.

The news is not all bad of course, and it’s important to stay positive. There are things you can do to minimize the damage that an extended period of joblessness can exact. Writer, and journalist Anita Bruzzese wrote a great blog post on what one can learn in an economic climate like today’s. Networking remains as one of the best ways to maintain working relationships and get back into the game when between jobs. The days of pouring over the want ads section when looking for new employment opportunities seems to be behind us, although it is still a viable tool in the belt of the job seeker.

Both Bruzzese’s and the article also mention that it’s important to stay busy during longer bouts of unemployment, whether that means doing some volunteer work, or staying up to date on your skill set by taking classes or attending seminars. Many people, of course take on part time work not only in order to help pay the bills, but to simply stay active in the work force.

Though we are seeing signs of

improvement in the economy and the job market, we also know that it will simply take some time to iron out these wrinkles. What are some of your strategies for dealing with the longer periods of unemployment that we’re seeing today? Have you been negatively affected by being out of work for an extended period, and how have you dealt with the setback?

[Hire Me image via Ms. Career Girl]

Don’t Even THINK About Applying to This Job

June 4th, 2010

It’s bad enough to find oneself unemployed in good times—and everyone knows these are not such good times—and even worse to be out of work in an economy that’s taken a nose dive. We came across an article so outrageous we simply had to put up a post about it. Can you imagine an employment ad claiming unemployed applicants will not be considered?


This article posted on Tuesday, June 1st details the shock of an Atlanta resident upon finding a hiring ad posted by Sony Ericsson for a position at their new headquarters which is moving to an area just outside of Atlanta. The shock came from the rather bold—and capitalized—statement in the ad that the company would not consider any applicants who were not already employed.

According to Labor Buzz, Jill Spoffard, a recruitment manager for Pitney Bowes, hiring managers may see the presently unemployed applicant as having some inherent flaw, and wonder why, exactly, that they’re unemployed. Gaps in employment history and long stints of unemployment have always been a thorn in the side of any job seeker, but considering the current economic climate, can this type of hard-nosed stance be justified?

Job applicants who have never been laid off and/or still have a job while looking elsewhere are often viewed as superior to someone with large gaps in work history, but considering the present economic downturn, how many currently unemployed applicants are unemployed due to circumstances beyond their control? To automatically rule these workers out when considering new positions seems a bit short sighted when this is considered.


This whole talk about unemployed people need not apply flies in the face of the HIRE Act, a new benefit to employers that gives a tax incentive for hiring those that were unemployed. An avoidance of long-term, or chronically unemployed job applicants could possibly be justified in a less hostile job market, but one

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has to wonder if these companies are not, in the end, hurting themselves in the current economic climate.

What are your thoughts on this potentially frightening trend? Are companies which take this attitude ultimately hurting the economy by keeping employment rates high?

5 Bad Work Excuses

June 2nd, 2010

Yeah, everyone’s done it:  called in to work on some day when you weren’t really sick.  For whatever reason, you just didn’t feel like going to work that day.  Maybe your kid had a soccer tournament, or your wife was near-death’s-door-sick, or maybe you just couldn’t put off getting those extra five levels in World of Warcraft.  We have all had days that we just couldn’t bear to face going into the office and we found some, more or less, creative way to explain our way out of it.  Work excuses are a dime a dozen, and managers have no doubt heard them all so this is by no means a comprehensive list, this small collection might be enough to whet the appetite of any potential taker of random sick days, provide some future inspiration, or perhaps key you in on what not to say when you call your boss.


The Vague Family Emergency

We’ve all probably used this one at one time or another.  Your Uncle Pete has just been rushed to the hospital and you’re the only one who can be there for him, or your mother fell, breaking her hip…again.  Questionable family emergencies are an all time favorite excuse for missing work because they ring with just enough potential truth that coworkers and bosses are hesitant to question it, at least for very long.

If you’re fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on your world view) to have children then you’re practically assured a lifetime of potential family disasters any of which could get you at least one get-out-of-jail-free card.  Everyone knows kids are always getting sick, falling and breaking something, or inadvertently puncturing their bodies with foreign objects so wary bosses can’t be too incredulous and even better if they have kids themselves.

The House Catastrophe

Another commonly used excuse.  Some terrible event has caused some damage  or a major malfunction for your home and your presence is required to right the wrong.  Solid explanations here are flooding or fire damage, it’s hard to argue with water or flame.  Anything involving electricity is also relatively dependable because everyone knows that electricians simply cannot be aloud access to your home and all your possessions without proper supervision, and that means someone has to be there to keep an eye on them, all day.  Who can argue with logic this solid?

The Pet Death

Well, Fluffy unfortunately met his/her end unexpectedly and you have to take care of things, not to mention it left a little furry hole in you heart.  Pets have an uncanny knack for worming their way into our hearts and our families, no joke.  Most of us have experienced the loss of a four-legged friend and we all know it can be every bit as traumatic as losing a human loved one.  Bosses and managers who also happen to be human will no doubt understand tragic losses like this, but many may be cold, heartless automatons with the emotional capacity of gravel dust.  It’s a 50-50 shot here really.  If you truly have just lost a furry loved one then it might be wise to provide some photographic evidence even though this seems harsh and insensitive.  What we must realize is that not everyone values animal companionship on the same level.


Disgusting Ailments No One Wants to Hear About

Probably one of the most common work excuses in the history of human work experience.  The sickness no one really wants details on:  it usually involves the forced exit of formerly digested material from the body in one or two most unpleasant ways.  Depression and mental torment have been described as the worst possible form of human suffering by Dr. David Burns, author of the popular book, Feeling Good:  The New Mood Therapy, but from the very short term outlook of several hours of a few days of your life, nothing really tops intestinal trouble for some of the more horrific experiences of life as we know it.  It’s often enough to claim stomach problems when using this excuse to get out of work, but sometimes you might feel the need to provide some detail in what exactly your issue is.  Don’t go overboard is the rule of thumb here.  And honestly, you probably won’t have to if you start explaining, in detail, what exactly you’re dealing with for the day.  Let imagination do most of it’s work for you in this case and you’ll be better off.

Doubtful Car Trouble

Here in America, if you don’t live in a major city you probably have a car which you use to get, well, anywhere, including work.  And cars, being the complex machines that they are, have a tendency to malfunction from time to time and this can affect our lives in unexpected ways.  If not used too often, meaning maybe once or twice, car trouble can serve as a viable excuse for missing work.  If you can’t get there, or you have to spend your afternoon sitting in the mechanic’s waiting room, how can you be expected to go to work?  In terms of stress inducement, car trouble ranks only slightly lower than moving on the scale of hair pulling, blood pressure increasing human travails so it’s no wonder this modern day malady is so often resorted to in times of dire work-dodging need.

Go ahead and share some of your great excuses for missing work, or, if you’re a manager-type feel free to tell us about the best or most unusual work excuses you’ve encountered.

Chaordix: Harnessing the Wisdom of the Crowds

May 27th, 2010

As you know, crowdsourcing is at the heart of what we do here at ChumBonus, leveraging your pool of friends, family, and acquaintances and their knowledge of you and your capabilities to aid you in finding great jobs, but we’re certainly not the only ones harnessing the power of this concept. Our friends over at Chaordix are leading the way in tapping into the wellspring of knowledge and potential innovation that comes when a business turns to a ‘global pool of consumers, citizens, and partners’ for ideas and feedback.

Traditional market research relies on small focus groups or advisers for input into new company products, concepts, or bold new strategies for innovative companies

who have a true desire to remain successful. Chaordix knows that large groups of people can actually be more effective problem solvers, innovators and decision makers than smaller, more specialized groups. Taking inspiration from James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, Chaordix can put the hand of your business on the pulse of the masses, which in all likelihood consist of many of your customers but also free roaming problem solvers, researchers, and idea generators that lurk in everyday people like you and me.

Tapping into the mind of the crowd allows businesses to find out directly what the consumer wants and how they want it. What better source of information and feedback than the very people who use or have an interest in your product or services?

Chaordix is not just about enlisting the help of the public for idea generation or problem solving though. They can help your business turn inward to get a better feel for directions, strategies and improvements from the very people you depend on to make things happen: your employees and partners. It’s a great way to build trust and a sense of community and involvement for all involved.

Turning to the power of the crowd for ideas, feedback and solutions to potentially unsolvable problems is a smart way to move your business forward in the 21st century and our friends at Chaordix can help you get started. Check out their website at