#GivingTuesday the JVS Way

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s shopping madness, came the now global phenomenon, #GivingTuesday. Last Tuesday, everyone was encouraged to take a break from shopping, and think about the good that giving can do. Early results reveal that this year Americans donated $45 million as part of this event – an increase of 53% compared to 2013 and appearance of the hashtag #GivingTuesday on Twitter increased by 169%.

Your donations are critical to our ability to help job seekers, but they are certainly not the only way to help. On this #GivingTuesday, we offered you a different way to give back. Not by making donations to JVS – but by giving simple, but powerful gifts of time and action to help unemployed people get back on their feet.

We know that the holiday season can be an extra challenging time of year for job seekers. Many people searching for a job full-time are also struggling to pay their rent or put food on the table – let alone buy gifts for everyone in their life. There are so many ways to help, especially at this time of year.

Many of you joined the conversation on social media, and produced great ideas for helping job seekers on #GivingTuesday and through the holiday season. Here’s our top 10 favorite ideas for how to help the unemployed in our community:

1. Offer to give an informational interview

2. Connect a job seeker to an expert in their field for an informational interview

3. Offer to review the resume of a family member

4. Update your LinkedIn profile and make a connection for a friend

5. Write a LinkedIn recommendation or endorse the skills of a former colleague

6. Pass along a job opening at your company to JVS

7. Treat a job seeker to lunch with some of your colleagues – a fantastic networking opportunity

8. Gather a group of friends to volunteer at JVS, where you can review the resumes of job seekers or help them practice for interviews

9. Invite a job seeker to holiday parties – a great chance to beat the holiday season blues and practice conversational skills, network and connect in LinkedIn later

10. And last, but not least, tell a friend or family member about JVS!

One former JVS job seeker shared from experience, “Everyone can help someone who’s unemployed with time, caring, food, skills and yes, money!” It’s not always apparent what the job seeker in your life needs. When in doubt, simply ask your friend what he or she needs. It could be that the suit you no longer wear would make a great new interview outfit for them, that your expert eye on their cover letter might help them catch an employer’s interest, and it might just be something as easy as a home cooked meal and emotional support from a friend.

If you’ve ever been unemployed, you know that finding work is hardly a straight path. It takes a community – all of us – to help people build the connections and skills they need. The holiday season is a great time to give back and pay it forward – we hope these ideas inspire you to reach out to someone looking for work today!

Have you ever received help from a friend while unemployed? Tell us your story or share your recommendations for how to help job seekers this holiday season in the comments below.

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