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Job Hunting? There's an App for That!

New York National Guard Volunteer Creates Smart Phone App to Help Soldiers Job Search

New York National Guard members looking for jobs on the National Guard's "Job Zone" web page ( can now use their iPhones, iPods, and iPads and Android smart phones to find employers with jobs to offer Citizen Soldiers and Airmen.

Newly launched Apple smart phone and Android Apps, created by a National Guard officer in his spare time, allow New York's part-time military members to search for jobs anytime or anyplace.

"Our young tech-savvy Guard Soldiers and Airmen use their smartphones and tablets to stay connected to the world and each other. In order to reach them with information on employment opportunities we need to use the technology they use all the time," said Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York.

The new applications, available as a free Apple download from iTunes, or Android download from Google play, allow the user to connect to the job postings the Division of Military and Naval Affairs maintains on its website. The website lists jobs offered by civilian employers who want to hire members of the state's part-time military, as well as National Guard military and civilian jobs.

The New York Job Zone web page was created in November 2011 as part of the Guard's efforts to ensure that Guard members returning from overseas deployments, or serving here at home as Traditional Citizen Soldiers and Airmen, have good well-paying jobs.

"When our Soldiers and Airmen have good civilian jobs, with employers who support their service, it is good for the National Guard, and good for New York, because it strengthens their bond with their communities and their neighbors. It is also good for the employers because they get motivated, disciplined, drug-free employees," Murphy said.

Both Android and Apple National Guard Job Zone Apps connect the user with the database of jobs maintained by the New York National Guard Family Programs Office. When the database is updated the information available to the App user updates automatically.

Currently there are more than 160 civilian job openings being advertised on the Job Zone web page.

The unemployment rate for New York's National Guard members is about 10 percent, according to recent surveys of members from the National Guard Bureau.

The New York National Guard Job Zone App was created by Army National Guard Capt, Alexander Prezioso, the Assistant Personnel Officer for the 53rd Troop Command at Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill. Prezioso, who builds websites and computer programs for fun in his spare time, took on the Job Zone App as part-time project in February.

He taught himself to create smartphone Apps by watching YouTube videos, reading, and fooling around with the systems. It took a lot of nights and weekends but it was worth it, Prezioso said.

As the personnel officer for the 4,000 Soldiers of the 53rd Troop Command it's his job to help troops, Prezioso said. Doing this-- creating a smartphone App that helps Soldiers find jobs--is just another way to do that.

"When it comes down to it, it's all about taking care of our service members and their families," Prezioso said.

Along with maintaining the job site, the New York National Guard Family Programs Office hosts regular job-training seminars for Soldiers leaving active military duty or Guard members returning from deployments, hosts and participates in the US Chamber of Commerce Hire Our Heroes job fairs, and partners with the New York State Department of Labor to help Guard members locate employment.

Legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in July 2012 mandates that the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs also maintain links on their website which help veterans find jobs. The governor also implemented measures which allow Guardsmen and Reservists and veterans who have military experience operating heavy vehicles to waive the road test when they apply for a commercial driver's license. This saves veterans and currently serving Guard members and Reservists time and money.

Additionally, Gov. Cuomo directed the creation of the New York State Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families to explore other ways in which New York state agencies can further recognize and credit military training and experience, especially in licensure and educational credit programs.

Social Media Marketing Just An "Add-On" To Job Description

According to a recent Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions survey, 65% of respondents do social media on top of their other duties. Of the 27% who handle social media exclusively, nearly 83% work on teams of three or fewer.

Additional major findings in key areas are summarized in the report:

*         69% are dissatisfied or only "somewhat satisfied" with how they measure social media

*           31% are satisfied or very satisfied. Many say they lack the time to track data or aren't even sure what to measure

*           28% saw their budgets, excluding salaries and benefits, increase this year

*            69% say budgets stayed the same. Prospects were only slightly better for 2013, with 62% of budgets remaining static  

*            13% describe their social media efforts as advanced. About half say "We keep our heads above water, but not by much."

*              23% describe themselves as "newbies"  

Numerous departments are "involved" in ownership of social media responsibilities. Slightly more than 70% of respondents say marketing is involved, with 69% reporting that public relations played a role. Corporate communications trailed, with 49%.  

Most organizations don't have an employee who focuses exclusively on social media. 65% of respondents do social media on top of their other duties. For those who do social media exclusively, nearly 83% work on teams of three or fewer. 42% say only one person works exclusively on social media, while only 9% report teams of more than six people. 

 68% of respondents didn't expand their social media department in 2012, and 78% don't plan to hire in 2013. 25% of respondents say an intern helps with some aspect of social media, while the remainder responded "No way!" Of those who have interns involved, Facebook is the most popular place for them to help out, with 78% participating. That compares with 69% for Twitter and 29% for YouTube.

Regarding qualifications for hiring for social media responsibilities, 45% say they rely on a combination of degree and experience; 25% weigh experience above all; 18% consider writing skills foremost. Only a few say they rely on degree alone. 47% sought one to three years of experience, 44% required three to five years, 9% wanted more than that.

An education in communications (77%) or public relations (76%) is most highly valued (multiple response OK). Only 20% felt English majors would be better candidates, compared with 42% for journalism.

The report says that 69% are dissatisfied or only "somewhat satisfied" with how they measure social media. Only 26% are satisfied, while 5% are very satisfied.

86% of respondents said they measure social media interaction and engagement, including followers, fans and "likes." 74% track Web traffic, while 58% measure brand reputation. Many respondents felt there is no industry-accepted tool to determine the value of social media efforts. Those say they rely on impressions and general feedback.

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