A new U.S. Department of Labor report indicates that Americans presently are spending more time looking for jobs than in previous years.
The study reveals that jobless individuals spent an average of about 20 weeks searching for a job in 2010 before giving up, compared to only 8.5 weeks in 2007. This figure suggests that the sluggish economy has made it more difficult for Americans to land a job.
However, on the bright side, the trend also suggests that many people are gaining valuable experience while job hunting. Searching for job openings, sending resumes and interviewing can help people gain confidence and polish their communication skills.
Michael Reagen, the president and CEO of Greater Naples Chamber in Commerce in Florida, recently shared some job hunting tips with the Naples Times. For example, he said that it is important to do research before applying to companies. He said that a good library or bookstore - and, of course, many websites - provide helpful tools for job seekers.
Furthermore, he recommended that candidates should not be intimidated or uncomfortable if they are not familiar with every aspect of a profession or industry. Reagan added that many employers do not expect new hires to be experts in their particular field. In some cases, having a strong work ethic and being able to collaborate with others is just as important as experience in a particular field.
However, Reagan advises job seekers to learn as much as they can about a company before the interview. By studying a business' website and gaining an understanding of its operations, candidates show initiative as well as an interest in the company's line of work - both of which are coveted characteristics among hiring managers.
A recent article on Forbes.com says that the job-hunting process has dramatically changed over the last decade. Instead of sifting through the "help wanted" section of a newspaper, individuals can search websites such as Craigslist, Monster.com and LinkedIn to view job openings.
The media outlet suggests that unemployed Americans do their best to keep up with the times and take advantage of the web-based offerings. By bolstering one's online profile and by keeping active on social networking sites, job seekers not only increase their chances of being recognized by recruiters.
As for those individuals who cannot find work, President Barack Obama recently indicated that help may be on the way. During a speech on Tuesday, Obama said that he will attempt to persuade federal lawmakers to extend unemployment benefits for jobless Americans.