Time is Running Out on Unemployment Benefits. Are You Ready?

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The extra $300 per month unemployment payment to Arkansas residents is going away.

In May, Gov. Asa Hutchison said Arkansas is opting out of the $300-per-month federal unemployment supplement. Arkansas pandemic unemployment payments with the federal supplement will end on June 27.

Here’s what that means for you: the extra unemployment benefits will be drying up by the end of June, and the federal government has not announced any future stimulus payments.

Bottom line: pandemic unemployment payments are going away.

Why? Many employers believe the unemployment payments and stimulus checks are keeping people from looking for jobs, especially folks who were laid off at the beginning of the pandemic.

4 Things You Can Do Now Before Unemployment Runs Out

As a staffing agency, we’re advising all our clients to start looking for jobs now, to beat the rush as unemployment payments end and more people start looking for work.

Here are three things you can do to jump-start your job search:

1. Update Your Resume. Better Yet: Make a New One

How does your resume look? Even if you have a spotty work history, you can still put together a resume that will help you land your next job.

First, write down a list of things you’ve done in your life that demonstrate your willingness to commit to a job. This could include volunteer work, gigs / contract jobs, or even help you’ve offered to friends and family, such as babysitting or dog walking.

Next, write a summary. This is just two or three short sentences that introduce you to a potential employer, and lay out your goals. Make sure to highlight your accomplishments. If you’re coming out of incarceration, don’t be afraid to share that you’re turning your life around and you are eager to prove yourself!

Now you’ll want to put it all together in a resume that is easy to read and showcases you as a great employee. You can make a resume in Google Docs for free. Need help getting started? Check out these free online resume templates.

2. List Your References

If you’re seeking a job when you have a criminal record, it helps to have great references. A former manager or employer is always an excellent choice. Other good resources include former co-workers, spiritual leaders (pastor / priest / rabbi / imam), volunteer organizers, neighbors, or even a parole / probation officer, if you’re on good terms.

Now, contact each of your references and ask if you can use them as a reference. Almost everyone will be happy to do so for you! But it’s very important to ask first, because you don’t want them to be surprised when they get a call from a prospective employer.

Finally, create a written reference list, with each person’s name, phone number, email address, and their relationship to you / how you know them or worked with them.

One resource you should not use for references: family. Most employers frown on seeing a bunch of references with the same last name as you, or who are listed as “uncle” or “grandmother”.

3. Create a LinkedIn Account

The social media website LinkedIn isn’t just for executives and office professionals. In fact, many online job posts now require applying through LinkedIn. Setting up a profile on LinkedIn is free and takes only a few minutes. Be sure to include a recent photo of yourself that presents you in a positive light. Take a moment to make yourself look your best, and ask someone to take a few quick pics with your phone in a well-lit area. Your photo is the first thing employers will see on your LinkedIn page, so make sure you give a good impression!

Here’s a great video to help you get started:


4. Talk to a Staffing Agency

Did you know there are recruiters who will do everything they can to help you land a job – and they’ll do it for free?

Cornbread Hustle is a staffing agency for second chances. We help people with criminal backgrounds, as well as those in recovery from drug and alcohol use, find meaningful employment.

If you or someone you know is looking for a job in central Arkansas, we are here to help.

When you apply for one of our jobs online, one of our caring recruiters will get in touch with you and help place you in a job that can pay even more than you were getting from unemployment, stimulus checks, bumming off of friends, or that tax return. Plus, many of our positions are temp-to-hire. That means after a certain amount of time on the job, you’ll be offered a permanent, full-time position with benefits!

Having a job not only lets you pay the bills, it changes your life for the better. You’ll meet new people, learn new skills, and grow as a person.

We can help you get started, today. We are filling dozens of jobs in Arkansas, and we have one for you. Don’t wait and get left behind when unemployment benefits expire – apply now!

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services
Arkansas Times