Getting a job in hard times

The Ticker

December 10, 1990|By Julius Westheimer

In the wake of Friday's dismal report showing November unemployment at 5.9 percent -- with layoffs heaviest since the 1982 recession -- we list some "job-hunting techniques in hard times," prepared by Robert Half and listed in National Business Employment Weekly, Dec. 2 issue.

"Conceding to a boss's power may sound mealy-mouthed and wimpy," says Half, "but it's a good job-hunting strategy in a recession. Job applicants who want to gain an edge over other candidates should demonstrate that they understand a potential boss's needs and are willing to meet them."

The story adds that job-hunters should indicate in interviews that they're willing to do the following to please a prospective manager:

(1) Follow directions. ("A boss wants to hire employees who are willing to be bossed. Indicate that you can follow instructions.") (2) Volunteer for work. ("Make sure the interviewer knows you'll gladly volunteer, not simply wait for work to come your way.") (3) Learn. ("Bosses look for people who want to learn more about the business. Tell how you educated yourself in previous jobs.")

(4) Conform. ("Managers want employees who won't clash with work hour policies, dress codes, etc. Explain that you can work with various personality types.") (5) Ask for the job with enthusiasm. ("I really want to work here!")

CEO CORNER (cont'd.): William Fox, president, Michael Fox Auctioneers, shares his success principles: "We're Baltimore-based but we grew to be one of the country's largest commercial and industrial auctioneers by a combination of professionalism, service, integrity and results. Basically, our function is to 'turn metal into money,' and we do that successfully by selling customers' equipment for top dollar, then paying special attention to fast reporting, thorough follow-through and wrapping up the job completely. We thrive in a 'down' economy, such as this one, by paying meticulous attention to detail and providing a high degree of customer service."

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "If you operate a business out of your home and are considering incorporating, be aware of a possible tax trap. Normally, if your home is the principal place of your business, you may claim a home-office deduction for expenses with respect to the business use of the home, but the tax code specifically bars a home-office deduction where the owner is an employee of the business using the residence." (Harry B. Gorfine Tax Report, 800 Mercantile Bank Building, 2 Hopkins Plaza, Balto. 21201; write or phone 539-5474 for full letter) . . . Corporations must pay fourth installment of 1990 estimated tax by Dec. 17, individuals have until Jan. 15 . . . Ticker Hint: Although your fourth state income tax installment is not due until Jan. 15, you'll accelerate the deduction into 1990 by paying it this month. It's perfectly legal.

BALTIMORE BEAT: With "average city, U.S.A.," listed at 100.0, Baltimore's cost-of-living index stands at 112.2, according to recent American Chamber of Commerce Research Association Inner-City Cost of Living figures. (Philadelphia ia 127.8, Washington not listed) . . . Ranked according to number of local stores (in parentheses), here are the largest department stores in the Baltimore area: McCrory's (23), Ames (21), K Mart (17), Hecht's (8), Epstein's (8), Caldor (7), Montgomery Ward (6), Sears (6). Data from Baltimore Business Journal, Dec. 10-18 .

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