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Press Release

Youth Unemployment More Than Double National Rate

Canada NewsWire

- YES Launches New Social Media Program Designed to Help Youth Find Work -

TORONTO, June 27, 2011 /CNW/ - The latest youth unemployment rates paint a bleak picture. In May, it was 13.9 per cent, double the national average of 7.4 per cent. Compounding this, the period of time spent out of work is getting longer making it even harder to find a job or rebound from unemployment. According to Youth Employment Services YES in Toronto, in 2009, 363 of their young clients remained out of work or school for 12 months or more. In 2010, that number jumped to 1,096. In response, YES has come up with new ways to help young people break through in the challenging job market.

Networking has always been an important strategy to find a job. Today, networking has a new definition. Social media is fast becoming an essential job-hunting tool for the younger generation even those with a high school diploma or less. Many employers are also using social media as an affordable way to recruit staff. To meet this growing need, YES is developing a program on how to find a job using social media and online tools.

"The traditional approach of developing a resume, writing a cover letter, dropping off or submitting your resume to companies and job banks is still very important for a job search," said Nancy Schaefer, President of Youth Employment Services YES. "But in the digital era we need to find new ways to complement the search. Social media is just one more tool to help young people network, learn about employers and find a job."

The program covers various topics including how to use social media to network and search out hidden jobs as well as tips on how to create an online resume.

YES offers the following advice on how to use social media to find work:

Increase Online Presence: Being active online can generate visibility and attract the attention of potential employers but it's important to consistently brand yourself. Subscribe to blogs related to the field of interest and find out if potential employers have a blog. Leave comments on relevant posts and be sure to post your name and blog link so others can find you.

Watch What You Say Online: Employers may look online to learn about a potential hire. Inappropriate comments or photos could put a job opportunity at risk. Review your privacy settings to protect yourself.

Create an Online Resume: A digital/online resume goes beyond telling what a person has done and shows their skills and talents. The online portfolio can display work such as a series of articles, graphics or websites that demonstrate the applicant's work. This can easily be shared through social networking tools. Ensure that the online resume has searchable keywords that include job titles, qualifications, professional associations, etc.

Network: Conduct a people search instead of a job search. Use tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pipl, LinkedIn, PeekYou or Google to find people who work for, or used to work for, the desired companies/organizations. Join online communities and groups to connect with like-minded people and potential employers. Many youth are using such sites as LinkedIn to post resumes, join groups, ask for recommendations from previous employers and search job listings in the area.

Download Job-finding Apps: There are many job search engines that have smart phone applications which can help to quickly locate jobs within a set radius and allow the job searcher to read about the job, call the hiring manager and apply for the job right from the Smart Phone.

Meet In Person: Social media is a great introduction but take advantage of opportunities to meet face-to-face.

While social media is a popular tool, it is important to remember that not all employers are using social media to recruit staff so it is wise to combine both traditional and non-traditional job search methods. Be sure to apply in the manner that is requested or that suits the job or industry. To learn more about finding a job using social media, contact Youth Employment Services YES or visit www.yes.on.ca.

Founded by The Rotary Club of Toronto in 1968, Youth Employment Services YES is Canada's very first youth employment organization. Internationally recognized as a Centre of Excellence in Youth Employment, YES leads the sector by providing programs designed to address the most critical issues facing today's youth- unemployment. Modelled on the three themes of Employment, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship, YES helps young people to change their lives and believe in a future filled with hope and opportunity. For more information on YES visit www.yes.on.ca