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Are packaging jobs secure?

Looking for a packaging job? These Web sites could provide some help.

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While always a critical concern, jobs—or more precisely the lack of them--have become a political hot button issue during this election year. A survey asked packaging professionals about job security for a special report that was published in the February 2002 issue of Packaging World magazine.

At that time, 73% of survey respondents expressed confidence that they were secure or very secure in their current packaging position. Those numbers were fairly reassuring considering the employment pressure from recession, consolidation from mergers and acquisitions, and the war against terrorism. Those same pressures still exist today, albeit to different degrees. Jobs in general, and outsourcing in particular, have become a key political issue, see Outsourcing, the ‘dirty’ word of ’04?.

How hard have layoffs and unemployment hit the packaging community? That’s not easy to pinpoint. For those packaging professionals who have lost jobs, the Internet can be an important tool in regaining employment. A quick Web search revealed several helpful job-search sites, some of which are packaging-specific. They are the following: Currently a free service, this easy-to-use site includes a starting point for applicants on the left side of the home page, for employers on the right. Visitors can post or view resumes, search for or post a job, and view or post jobs and company profiles. A search agent allows the site management to monitor job postings that meet applicant specifications and will notify them via e-mail when a match is found. site of packaging jobs focuses on plastics packaging, associations, distributors, equipment, schools, trade shows, and related topics. It also provides bulleted tips for job hunters. These include recruiters and consultants emphasizing corrugated and folding cartons, packaging and plastics executive search consultants, Web sites, and other employment resources. A Packaging Career Hotline is touted for online recruiting and job searching. The site sells a resume service with insider tips or a full resume critique. Also available for purchase are "Finding a Recruiter," "Fired/Laid Off/Unemployed/Or About to Lose Your Job," a specialized tutorial for packaging professionals called "Be a Hunter and Capture the Perfect Packaging Job," and "Package Yourself to Be Found in Today’s Jungle of Job Candidates." This site lists current job openings by engineering, sales, management, R&D, and manufacturing and operations titles. It also provides company contact information and a description of the available job. A hyperlink allows employers to post position openings. Another easy-to-navigate site with a separate log-in area for applicants and employers. In-between is a "view all jobs" link. A large "news and views" section accounts for the bulk of information on the home page. There’s also a "featured company" option that provides insights into that company’s growth, future plans, job openings, and in the case of Concord Litho Group, a tour of the printer’s facilities. Though not packaging-specific, the Wall Street Journal Executive Career Site provides a list of intriguing headlines pertaining to the job market. A header across the top of the home page lets viewers click on headings such as "Salary & Hiring Info," "Job-Hunting Advice, and "Career Columnists." A vertical column at the left side of the home page is broken into clearly delineated categories such as "Job Search," "Article Search," and "Job-Hunting Advice." The last category provides details on resumes and cover letters, interviewing, changing careers, networking, search strategies, using the Net, negotiation tips, and so on.

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