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Cheektowaga career coach shares how to get back into workforce after pandemic unemployment

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Posted at 8:58 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 21:09:04-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Millions of Americans are now wondering what to do next, after several federal unemployment programs ended Monday.

Roughly nine million Americans will lose out on hundreds of extra dollars a week, as the United States unemployment rate hovers around 5.2 percent.

Families who lost their jobs during the pandemic still face some uncertainty, according to The Century Foundation. More than 7 million American workers are expected to lose their pandemic unemployment benefits, this month.

However, a Cheektowaga career coach may have the tools western New Yorkers need to get back into the workforce.

For those who are still unemployed, there are programs in place to help out.

First, traditional unemployment through your state. If you still have weeks left on your claim, you can continue receiving payments from New York, minus the $300 boost from the federal government.

If you have exhausted your pandemic benefits, you may be eligible for reduced extended benefits from New York.

New York's Office of Unemployment suggests visiting labor.ny.gov to find out what you may be eligible for and for how long.

In addition to unemployment payments, programs like food stamps, eviction moratoriums and a pause in student loan payments are still available to help people struggling financially.

"The resume is the entry point for job applications," Inspire Careers CEO, Cathy Lanzalaco said.

Cathy Lanzalaco is one source in western New York who can teach you the dos and don't for your resume.

"It's not one size fits all anymore. You can't just have one resume that you've been using the past 20 years and expect that to get you the job you want. The complexities now of applying for jobs online have completely changed the game. So, targeting your resume towards that job you want is the first thing," Lanzalaco said.

She added that another resume due is practice how to interview.

"But the biggest tip for the interviews I will say is if you've never done a virtual interview-- practice-- because everybody is doing virtual interviews right now and that can be a real game changer to whether you get the job or not," Lanzalaco said.

However, as for a resume don't get rid of that objective statement.

They know your objective is to get the job. So, instead, tell a little bit about yourself and why you're a great candidate for the job.

"How can people make themselves marketable? Lanzalaco said becoming versatile will help you standout.

"You can get skills assessments and skill building online for free in many cases, or you can certainly contact a nearby career center," Lanzalaco said. "If you say to yourself, okay what has changed in my industry since last time I worked. What else has happened? Is there training I meant to take and never got around to it?"

How do you answer that looming question of why you've been out of work so long?

"If you've lost your job because of COVID-19 and because of the economic shut down, just tell them that," she said. "People understand there has been a lot of issues with childcare. It's hard to get back to work if your kids aren't in school. Without going into every detail, I would still be honest with people but always end it on a high note and say, but this is the right time for me now and now I'm anxious to get back into the job market and this is why."

Those interested in receiving job advice as they head back out into the workforce, can click on the tab at the top of the page that says "Hiring 716". From there, click on "Hiring How-To's" at the to find information.