Tips on how to compete for a job

LOS ANGELES When the unemployment numbers go up you know the economy is not getting any better.

Numbers now show America has lost 240,000 jobs in October, and that's the tenth straight month of rising pink slips.

Across the country most of the job losses have been in manufacturing with car sales hitting the skids, construction as housing sales have crumbled, and leisure and hospitality as consumers are staying home.

And as you might suspect the unemployment numbers are just as bad right here in the Southland.

"And when they come to see us they have already applied for 10 to 15 jobs. They haven't gotten a job interview. So they are looking to us to help them get their foot in the door," said Judith Sernas.

Judith runs the Verdugo Jobs Center in Glendale, a place that offers all sorts of job search help for free.

Maria Hernandez is one of their clients and she's desperate for a job.

Consumer Specialist Ric Romero: "How important is it for you to find a job?

"Oh very important. I'm very broke right now," said Hernandez.

Greg Torrence is another who's finding this job market to be one of the toughest.

"They're not hiring," said Torrence.

"Many times our career counselors tell me they see people living out of cars, people who need basic, essential needs such as food, and they need bus tokens to get to their job interview," said Sernas.

In the Southland, mortgage and finance jobs have been the toughest to get, with construction and the service industry near the top of the list too.

"When I go into places there are four or five people already filling out an application, so it's very hard," said Miranda King, who is looking for a job.

With all that competition a job seeker has to be prepared.

"They need very high levels of customer service, they need to be prepared for the interview and we offer excellent workshops to make that great first impression," said Sernas.

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