"Job Squad" Set To Spring Into Action

The impact of the recession-decimated jobs market is all around us: Hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs every month, others living in fear they'll be next on the unemployment line, and the jobless facing job searches much more daunting than have been seen in decades.

Enter The Early Show's "Job Squad"!

On Monday, we begin a weeklong series with consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen called "Early Show Job Squad." It will feature people just like you who are out of work, and follow them as they pursue their next position, and cope with changes in the world of job-hunting.

They get big assists from "job coaches" -- experts in various aspects of seeking employment, from interviewing and resume-writing to personal finances, body language and dressing and grooming for success.

"The (jobs) news lately has been grim," says series producer Audrey Gruber, "and it seemed, at least to those of us at The Early Show, that the advice many people were getting was one-size-fits-all.

"The truth is that, if you're just out of college, you need a different job-seeking strategy than someone who has a family or someone over 65. We highlight four individuals at four different stages of their lives -- giving a face to the record number of those who are unemployed.

"Instead taking the traditional route of walking away after we have shared some unemployed individuals' stories, we take it the next level and follow them, and try to help."

Gruber explains that the show is "sharing the stories of four unique individuals we believe many of our viewers can see in themselves in, or someone they know or love in. They represent the loyal employee with kids who was downsized, the just-out-of-college grad looking for her first real job, the stay-at-home mom suddenly forced to try to return to the workforce to help the family, and a 60-plus job-seeker who took a beating in the stock market, making retirement a distant dream.

"We brought four tailored teams of professionals to work with. We dubbed them, 'The Job Squad." '

Gruber adds, "We will share the stories and struggles of our four job seekers, and let you in on their personal moments via video diaries they kept over the three months we followed them. You can see close-up their before-and-after resumes, makeovers, expert advice and video resumes.

"If you see a little of yourself in these individuals or you want to know more from their team of experts, all of that will be just a click away."

That includes prospective employers who want to contact any of the four through The Early Show.

"Our hope," Gruber says, "is that we put a face on what is going on in the economy, that we can give a little hope to others in similar situations as our job seekers, through the advice of our 'Job Squad' experts. But, most importantly, we hope these individuals and our viewers are all able to make it through this economic crisis through sharing our stories, our experience, and the advice we all get from our own personal 'job squads." '

On Monday, we'll have a look at the latest on the job hunt front, and introduce you to our job-seekers and experts.

Each day for the rest of the week, we'll have one of our job hunters on, with updates and tales of their pursuits, and wisdom shared by our experts who served as their personal "job squad."

On Thursday, a body language expert will cue us in on the little cues we give off without even knowing it during interviews.

And on Friday -- you've heard of speed-dating? Well -- how about -- speed-interviewing?! -- as real people sit, in rapid-fire fashion and one-after-another, with representatives of real companies that are really hiring! The interviewees rotate, getting to speak with all the interviewers.

It's truly a week you won't want to miss. Surely, it can help you or someone you know.

Tune in!
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