MINNEAPOLIS -- Nearly 9% of the American population workforce is unemployed. The fallout goes far beyond financial. Depression, physical illness and marital problems are all collateral damage that can't be measured.
Steven Jackson knows the damage unemployment can cause. He's an accountant with an MBA, 10 years of experience and specialized skills, but he was still laid off in September of 2009.
"It's been tough, I have days where you just feel like throwing in the towel," Steven said.
Steven went from making $105,000 a year to making just $500 a week on unemployment. He filed bankruptcy, his wife left him and his home is going into foreclosure. Steven is no different from the other 13.5 million unemployed Americans, he's down but he's not giving up.
"I'm on the internet looking for jobs, I follow up with recruiters, I try to keep up with my certification do some CPE credits when I can afford to. I've done some pro bono work, I job search, keep up with new IRS regulations," Steven explained.
Steven responded to a message that KARE 11 posted on its Facebook page about an unemployment story. We hooked him up with executive recruiter, Miquel McMoore.
"I remember the day with someone with Steven's resume would be on the market for 20-40 minutes," McMoore said. "It's different today because of three things. One: the way people network, it's different. The way people hire, it's different and it's no longer acceptable to sit in a seat, you really have to add value and you really have to have more skills than just one specialized skill."
McMoore's message is to be flexible and confident. We also connected Steven with a communication coach, Roshini Rajkumar.
"I'm watching you, I'm listening to you, I want to help you take that content and tips and deliver it with you own authentic rock star self," Rajkumar told Steven.
Rajkumar says every word and movement has a subtextual message, and you can control the message if you know your strengths. Being neat and clean are only half the battle, proper posture, good eye contact and confident words are the key to a great interview.
Rajkumar landed Steven an interview with McGladrey in Minneapolis. It's the fifth largest assurance tax and consulting firm in the U.S. It's also the company where Steven interned 11 years ago.
On the day of the interview, he was ready.
"It's exciting, energizing, it's a homecoming," Steven said.
The senior recruiter at McGladrey reminds all job seekers to do their research and to treat recruiters with respect, because they are the gatekeepers to what could be one's next job.
While McGladrey was impressed with Steven, they decided not to hire him. The company believed his skills were too specialized. Steven is not letting the rejection get him down. He already had an interview at another company, just last week. He said it went well and that he is hoping to hear something soon.
The takeaway here is to NOT wait for a job posting. If you know of a company that you want to work for, reach out, talk to a recruiter, make contact on LilnkedIn. Go get that job.
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