Sunday Afternoon Skimming


Steve Sabol of NFL Films.


It has been a few days since I last wrote.  With the NCAA basketball tournament being on, and getting a few things squared away before my family visits this afternoon, let’s get caught up on some stuff.

Call it a hybrid of linkage and some thoughts.

Donnelle Eller of the Des Moines Register has an article today on how job seekers need to tailor their resumes and polish up how their skills can be relevant to potential employers.  This comes on the heels of Unemployed in Des Moines‘ blog post on the presentation given by Mark True (aka The Brand Warrior) about personal brands.

It’s becoming evident that people who are searching for work will have to promote their skills, as well as define their professional and/or personal brand.  Will employers be willing to seek out potential employees with the skills that fit the job, or are they going to keep resorting to looking for that “perfect” candidate that may not exist?

Do as I say, not as I do? It sure sounds like it from Evan Bayh.

Cindy Boren of the Washington Post reports that NFL FilmsSteve Sabol will undergo treatment for a brain tumor.  Three weeks ago, Sabol collapsed during a function in Kansas City.  Sabol’s father, Ed, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer for his contributions to the game with his creation of NFL Films.

It would be great to have both Ed and Steve Sabol be on hand in Canton this summer.  For those who are not sports fans in general, the Sabols and NFL Films have transcended pro football into one of the most popular and most-watched sport in America.

Here is one clip of their work on Vince Lombardi.

Credit to Claire Celsi (aka Public Relations Princess) for this eye-opening column by Ezra Klein from the Washington Post on former Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana.  Bayh decided to quit Congress, citing the growing frustration on the lack of bipartisanship and acrimony.  Klein expresses his deep disappointment that Bayh decided not to heed his own advice and doing the very thing that he destests:  lobbying as a Washington insider.

Instead of following in the lead of Jim Leach and a few others, Bayh decided to take the money and influence that he railed against when he left Washington.  Congress, in some ways, makes individuals turn from genuine people who want to do what is best for the nation into power-hungry fiends who want a piece of the pork roast that everyone else is dining on.

That’s all I have for now.  Enjoy the 2nd round games today!


No Handballs Allowed

As Jesse Gavin would say, "Be Orange!", like the Dutch! Click to read how these girls became big news at the World Cup.

Today, I have a couple of things to say about the World Cup, but I have some thank yous to hand out, if you don’t mind.

I want to thank Suzanne Hull a.k.a. “The Get-It Done Girl” and the force behind “Unemployed in Des Moines” for linking my blog to her site and forwarding it to her readers and fans.  Suzanne is passionate about how the unemployed are adapting and finding ways to be gainfully employed again here in Des Moines.  A second thank you to Joe Burkland of “The Learning Curve”, who posted a link in the comment section under Friday’s “Do not pass go…” blog entry.

Finally, to all of the readers out there, including you Charlie, thank you for your continued readership!

Soccer has never been a sport that I follow much, but over the past three years, I’ve started to follow the European leagues and international friendlies.  I’ve watched more World Cup matches than I have in the last three World Cups combined (1998, ’02, and ’06).  Does that make me a rabid fan?  No.  It makes me a casual fan who appreciates good futbol and my willingness to learn the nuances of the sport.

Despite USA losing to Ghana, USA did an admirable job and did not embarrass themselves in the way they did in ’98 and France did in this tournament.  Leave to the French to wave the white flag and say “we surrender.” What an utterly pathetic performance and conduct.  While we’re at it, let’s stop the incessant questions of “will USA’s performance help soccer here become big?” Nothing will push the three most watched and played sports in America out of the way (American football, baseball, basketball).  That’s reality that we have to accept, whether it’s a popular thought or not.

Soccer is a “niche” sport, like hockey.  Fans who love the sport will follow it from start to end.  Casual fans, not so much.  It has to take something monumental, like the World Cup, to get the casual fan’s interest.  Trust me, there are fans who don’t like football, baseball, or hoops, so it goes both ways.

Former Argentine great and World Cup coach Diego Maradona (right) with his protege star, Lionel Messi (left).

If there is one thing that casual fans are in total agreement of, and that is the “flopping” in matches.  I understand that using injury time is a strategic tool in buying extra time to score, or if a player is really injured.  Casual fans “hate” it and would like for soccer players to stop making a mockery of the sport. It’s bad enough one sport, basketball, has a cache of “floppers” crumbling to the floor on a ticky-tack foul.  Must there be two sports that has these posers? Die hard soccer fans will disagree with the casual fan and argue what I said earlier about taking advantage of stoppage time.

Anyway, I’m going to continue watching the World Cup.  I had planned on watching even if the U.S. didn’t advance further.  I love watching the thug-like, mobster-suit wearing “Hand of God” extraordinaire Diego Maradona and his Argentina squad, the fast and quick-to-the-ball Ghanians, and of course the orange mob of the Netherlands.  My fellow alumni from Wartburg might have figured out what I have an affection for the Dutch, besides the lovely women at the top of this blog. (Be Orange!)

Until then, my friends, flip on the telly, and enjoy hearing this…

Do not pass go, do not collect unemployment extension

Extension of unemployment benefits....DENIED

Late last night, the U.S. Senate “failed” to pass a bill extending unemployment benefits to people who are out-of-work.  They approved it 57-41, but as the Iowa Independent put it, “in the strange logic of Congress, that is enough to prevent the motion from moving forward for now.  The cloture vote has failed, likely meaning the dissolution of the jobs bill and the separate passage of its most important provisions.”

A better way of saying it is that the Senate fell 3 votes short of passing it. And now, 1 million unemployed Americans are going to lose the short-term financial help they need to keep a roof over their heads and food on the plate as they struggle to find work.

This is a clear cut reason why promises are always made to be broken, especially when it comes to Congress.  Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts came out with an initial response, of course pointing a partisan finger at Republicans.  He’s better off asking the 12 members of his party who broke rank to go against the “tax extenders” provision in the bill.  If not for those 12 Senators, it would have been more than enough votes to pass it.

And yet, Congress passed a financial overhaul bill that would “straighten” out Wall Street.

Well, that’s just fine and dandy.  Fixing Wall Street is a bigger priority than individuals who are laid-off, being told don’t apply for jobs (unless you’re employed), and are starting to be looked at in disdain because they’re so many of us pounding the pavement, trying to get back in the game.

Wall Street > unemployeds.

Partisanship aside, today may not be the next “Great Depression”, but it’s starting to feel like “The Great Unemployment Depression” for people who lost their jobs during this downturn in the economy.

On lighter news (sort of), Des Moines was ranked as the 8th most recession-proof city in the United States, according to CNN Money.

Like that is going to put a smile on several thousands faces in this town.

Friendly assist in helping unemployeds

Need tips to gain an advantage in the interview and your resume? Below are some tips to help out.

A good friend of mine, Suzanne Hull owns and operates her business, Contemporary Business Solutions, which assist organizations in create efficiencies by offering a variety of services on a virtual, as-needed basis.  She also has a blog called “Unemployed in Des Moines” that has become a popular site and meeting place for unemployed workers in the Des Moines area to go to for support and to refine their skills and job searches.

Suzanne Hull runs Contemporary Business Solutions and "Unemployed in Des Moines."

If you are a fan of hers, you may have noticed that “Unemployed” has been down for the past few days.  Apparently, her host site, for some unexplained reason, has knocked her website out for a loop.

As she works on getting that fixed, I’m going to give her a friendly assist today and post some interesting points and insights about how to get a “leg-up” on the career/job search.

Liz Ryan is one of the leading workplace advisors in the U.S., ‘the voice of the new-millennium workplace.’ Liz works with employers, universities and Human Resources thought leaders on the changing nature of work and employment.  Her column, courtesy of Yahoo HotJobs, lists the 10 phrases or sentences that could sink your resume and your chance to get your foot through the door with hiring managers.

-Mark Riddix, who writes for Investopedia, offers 7 things you should say in an interview to get their interviewer’s attention and interest.

-And finally, Jim Rendon of, finds the skinny on what Human Resources will never say to anyone, but themselves, when it comes to hiring and handling things in the workplace.

Is it better to stay unemployed?

To take a temp job or not to take a temp job, that is the question.

The Christian Science Monitor published a story on Tuesday about the difficult choice for the unemployed to either find work or stay unemployed.  If someone decides to get a part-time job, then they will lose their unemployed benefits based on a recalculating system that is used.  The impression that the unemployed has is that they’re better off being unemployed than pick up part-time work.

An example of how states recalculate the amount of benefits you can receive is displayed here:

Connecticut’s formula for part-time workers is to take two-thirds of their gross salary (in her case $130 a week, which is $87) and subtract that amount from $39, which would be her weekly benefit based on the part-time job. This gives her a negative $48, or no benefit at all.

It has been said in numerous networking circles that if your unemployment benefits is about to expire, you can continue to call in and your benefits will be extended while you are finding full-time work.  So, should you call in your part-time earnings for fear of losing your unemployment benefit all together?

The thought of telling someone who is seeking work that it’s better not to get part-time work and sit at home is a blow to the psyche to those who want to get back on their feet.  Currently, the number of full-time jobs are at a premium, and yet a number of part-time jobs are popping up.  The part-time work may not help cover most things, but mentally, it gives people a self-esteem boost.  It puts them back on their feet and doing something.

You may have to think twice before taking that part-time gig at your nearby coffeehouse.

What do those who are unemployed and seeking work feel about this story?  Do you think it’s unfair that you could lose any or all of your unemployment if you take a 3-hour barista gig at Java Joe’s twice a week?

I’m sure that my friend, Suzanne Hull, who runs Unemployed in Des Moines, will offer her opinion and give some tips on how to deal with this situation if it happens to you.