Times are tough for many North Carolinians. Thousands of people are out of work across the state and the competition for jobs can be significant.  The unemployment rate now is hovering at 7% statewide and some county agencies report more dismal numbers for certain areas.  What can you do if you need to find employment and you’re having a difficult time? Here are some tips:


1.  If you are out of work, ask questions about government programs that can help get you back on your feet and finding employment. Inquire about advice from the N.C. Employment Security Commission or go to a Joblink Center for help. Besides receiving benefits, your local ESC office or Joblink Center can sometimes help you toward vocational training programs or help in other capacities that you may not have even considered before.


2.  Contemplate employment that is outside of your field of expertise.  It may seem difficult to explore performing work that you are not accustom to doing, but you’re earning wages, paying your bills, protecting your credit and maybe even learning a new skill. You may find a new career path by following a different course than what you’ve been on.


3.  Make sure your resume, cover letter and application are perfect. This can never be stressed enough. Take each job offer seriously. If you are uncertain if your information you submit is up-to-date, have a friend or family member look it over and offer suggestions, especially if you are not having much success.


4.  Apply in person. Often times, employers prefer to interview in order to better evaluation you as a potential new employee. You’ll be more likely to be considered for a position if you are dressed neatly, properly groomed and polite. The person willing to bother with a face-to-face interview is more likely to be a sign of eagerness, confidence and dedication. Be careful not to express desperation or become too easygoing at a job interview. Each interview is your chance to prove your worthiness to the company.


5.Some types of jobs, such as newspaper delivery can be a good source of supplemental income. Take the time to weigh your needs and consider perhaps one or two part-time jobs during the day that are dependable. Give the employer mutual dependability on the job, and you’ll likely be there as long as you desire to be.


6.  Look into getting onboard with temp agencies.  Being able to work as a temporary employee can get your foot in the door for a company’s next available permanent position. Impress a supervisor with your work ethic and he or she may see you as an asset too valuable to lose to another company and you may find your ideal job.


7. Ask family, friends or acquaintances.  Who can you rely on in tough times if it isn’t your family or friends?  If you make known your need for a job and are reliable, a family member or friend may know someone that is hiring or may come across a job they think you might be interested in and may put in a good word for you. They may at least call you and let you know before the job is advertised.   


8. Move. It may sound drastic, but sometimes we must consider difficult financial times call for drastic measures. If you feel that you have a better chance of job security with good pay, relocating may be in your best interest.  You might have to consider moving where there are more opportunities for employment. 


The ESC’s August county-by-county report reveals some rebound much of North Carolina. Metropolitan areas seem to be improving, while some rural county offices are still showing a slight rise in unemployment.  The state’s unemployment for September will be available October 17, 2008.