Hackers target jobseekers

In this day and age many applications, interviews, etc. are being filled out and exchanged electronically. The issue this poses in the workforce sector is hackers pretending to be interested employers.

The Wall Street Journal published an article called Hackers Target Millennial Jobseekers that highlights personal experiences as well as tips on things to be wary of in the job search process. The article calls out fake recruiters that send legitimate looking applications which actually contain malware.

If a hacker successfully places malware on your computer personal identification numbers or details, bank or credit card numbers, and passwords are subject to be tampered with or stolen.

Rather than worrying about the validity of a job prospect, you can register for a free SC Works Online Service account at jobs.scworks.gov. The SC Works system pulls job offers from all the major job databases such as Government sites, business sites like hospitals and manufacturers, and major career sites like Indeed. In addition, businesses who register in the SC Works system go through a verification process to help ensure that they are a valid employer, and the system is set up for data scrubbing to help filter out duplicates and job offers that are suspect.

With your account you can not only apply for jobs through the system, you can:

  • Upload your resume,
  • Keep track of certifications that you receive,
  • Enjoy education tools at your fingertips,
  • Use labor market information to refine your job search,
  • And much more.

If you are having trouble navigating the site, there are workforce consultants at SC Works centers around the state to assist you. To find your local center, click here.

While a job offer that advertises “no experience needed” or “hiring entry level today” might be enticing and seem convincing, if you receive information about a job through your email or an online search that you want to explore, there are a few things to look for:

  • The biggest identifier is that they ask for personal details—more information than you would put on your cover letter. Information like your date of birth, bank details, etc. may be asked by an employer, but only after a formal offer has been given, and by this time you should be informed about who will be contacting you about this information.
  • Bad grammar is often in scam emails. If your email has a lot of exclamation marks or too many capital letters it may be spam.
  • Your skills don’t matter. If they give you details about the role, but care very little about the skills you will be bringing to the table, it is likely that it is a scam.
  • Instant job offer. Imagine looking for a job for months and then suddenly a job offer hits your email inbox, it’s like it is too good to be true—well it probably is. If they haven’t taken the time to reach out to you prior to this email then they are most likely scamming you.

You can access an additional tips to protect you email from credit.com.

Claim Week versus File Week

Your new bridge to benefits is almost here and we want to help make this transition as easy as possible. In the new system, just like in the old system, claim weeks and file weeks begin on Sunday and end on Saturday. When you file for unemployment insurance, you should be filing for previous weeks’ benefits.

So for example, if you did not work Monday, August 21-Friday, August 25, this would be known as your CLAIM WEEK because this is the week you were unemployed and for which you are filing to receive benefits. You cannot file a claim until the week has passed, so you would file this claim the week beginning August 27, this is your FILE WEEK.

Get the ‘Work Search Log’ widget on your My Dashboard in SC Works Online Services

Work search requirements recently changed and in order to claim benefits you must complete two work searches each week through SC Works Online Services (SCWOS).

In order to assist you with you weekly work searches, SCWOS has a widget that you can place on your dashboard to verify the work searches that you complete each week.

To place the widget on your customizable dashboard there are a few simple steps to follow:work search widget guide 2_Page_1

work search widget guide 2_Page_2

Was that job fair or hiring event a waste of time?


Have you ever gone to a job fair or a hiring event thinking that you were going to walk out with a job, but instead a representative told you to go home and fill out the application?

We are here to tell you that you didn’t just waste your time.

Oftentimes, HR representatives are not allowed to even touch people’s resumes or hire on the spot.

If you met with an employer at the job fair and you felt it went well and know that you were qualified for the position they were looking to fill, they probably told you to go home to fill out an application to encourage you to take the next step of the process.

If you walked away discouraged, realize there is a part of this procedure you may not have seen.

They probably wrote your name down as a qualified candidate for the position and once back in the office might look for your name in the stack of applications.

Diana Goldwire, DEW’s SC Works Area Director, says, “Do both. Apply online and come to the job fair because the job fair really gives you a foot in the door.” She continued, “At the end of each job fair we get a verbal count of people that each HR Representative saw and the number that are qualified for the position they are looking to fill.”

So the next time you are hesitant about attending the next job fair or hiring event in your area, take the plunge and go. You might just receive a call about a new job waiting for you.

Are your unemployment benefits at risk?

Did you know that when you file for unemployment benefits you must be actively searching for suitable work?

And you may need to verify your searches if the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce audits your claims. The agency can do so at any point and will request documentation of your weekly search for work. If your searches cannot be verified, you could be disqualified from future benefits and required to repay benefits you have already received.

One way to ensure your searches are verifiable is to perform all your job searches through the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) website at jobs.scworks.org. By registering with SCWOS, your searches can be easily verified and counted toward your weekly work searches. Once you have completed your searches keep track of them for your records with the work search form available here.

Don’t jeopardize your benefits, go to jobs.scworks.org today!

It’s Tax Season: How to File a 1099-G

DEW wants you to be prepared this tax season so we have gathered all the information, tips and documents to help you successfully submit your taxes with a 1099-G form.

What is the 1099-G you may ask? The most common use of the form is to report unemployment compensation as well as any state or local income tax refunds you received that year. It also shows the amount of refund, credit or interest issued to you in the calendar year filing from your individual income tax returns. If at any point during 2016 you received unemployment benefits, you will need to document this with the IRS when filing taxes with the 1099-G.

To access your 1099-G, you will need to login to your MyBenefits portal. On the homepage, select view your 1099-G. You will then need to choose what year you need and click View My 1099-G. You can then view and print your 1099-G.

The IRS has specific instructions regarding the form. You can view them here.

Below is what the 1099-G looks like. The instructions that the IRS provides shows you exactly what you need to fill out all of the fields.


Can you contest your tax rate?

Can you contest your tax rate?

Having recently received your 2017 tax rate notice, you may have questions about how they are determined or disagree with the rate given to your business. So what do you do?

Unfortunately, South Carolina laws governing the tax rate assignment do not provide for an appeals process. However, if you disagree with the historical information contained in your notice of contribution rate you can submit a written request for a review within 30 days from the date on the notice. You must submit your request, along with any documentation of errors either by email at rateinfo@dew.sc.gov, fax 803-737-2862 or by mail at:

S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
Experience Rate Section
P.O. Box 995
Columbia, SC 29202

The tax rates, according to state law, adjust automatically each year based on a formula that considers the following:

  • Projected benefit costs for the year (“base rate”)
  • Projected amount required to return the Trust Fund to an adequate balance by 2020 (“solvency surcharge”)

Tax rates are set each year to fund these components. Each employer is also responsible for a Departmental Administrative Contingency Assessment (DACA) surcharge of 0.06 percent which is added to the base rate and interest surcharge:

Total Tax Rate = Base Rate + Solvency Surcharge + DACA

If you have additional questions, you can contact the employer tax services line at 803-737-3080. To view the 2017 Tax Rate Chart click here.

What Not to Wear: Interview Edition




Job interviews are a big deal. Knowing what to wear to one is an even bigger deal. Many employers create a perception about you the minute that you walk through the door, so dressing for career success is very important. While something might be fine to wear once you already have a job, it might not be the first impression statement you want to make on a potential employer.

When it comes to dressing for an interview there are many obvious and not-so-obvious clothing choices, but some statements to steer clear of might be pretty subtle. So DEW staff went to their closets to help distinguish what trends, fashion statements and outfits you should stray away from when going to a job interview.


Even if you are applying for a position within a workplace that is considered laid-back, overly casual clothes can be ill-perceived as lazy. Shorts, shirts or other pieces of clothing with name brands written across the chest, hats, etc. are all things that you should choose not to wear to your interview.

Upon first glance, this outfit might actually seem okay, and for the most part it is. She has closed-toe shoes, black slacks and a black blazer on, which are all great articles of clothing tshirtto wear to an interview. What doesn’t work for this outfit is the green t-shirt. Even by trying to dress it up, it is too casual. Instead pair the great outfit with a nice blouse.





Have you ever heard the saying, “too mpearlsuch of a good thing?” This outfit would be a great choice for an interview if she had chosen to wear just one strand of pearls. While layering pieces is a big trend right now, an overabundance of any kind of jewelry makes for a distracting statement. Your potential employer may be inclined to pay more attention to your accessories than what you are saying in your interview. Also be careful not to choose jewelry that is too flashy. A good rule of thumb is to choose a simple stud earring. If adding more jewelry is appropriate with the outfit you have chosen to wear, pair the simple earrings with an equally simple necklace OR bracelet, not both.


Novelty clothing is fun, and can be a way that you like to show your personality. Ties that have Fourth of July fireworks or Santa Claus, or shirts that designed with camo or have fun designs on them might be something that you refrain from wearing in an interview.

What you should choose to wear instead is a solid button-up dress shirt. Great colors to pick are white or a light blue camodepending on the suit color, which includes dress pants, a jacket and button-up shirt. If you do decide to go with a tie that has design on it, make sure that it is subtle like stripes or even something that looks like the tie pictured. Just remember that not every tie goes with every shirt. The color of your tie should also complement the other colors of your outfit.

shoesLike clothing, shoes have to be carefully chosen for an interview. Great examples of a too casual shoe are tennis shoes and even Sperry’s.

For men, a nice business shoe that goes with the color of your suit is the most appropriate choice.

As a woman, refrain from wearing shoes that are more appropriate for the weekend or evening than they are for the office. You may have some interview jitters, and the last thing you should worry about is whether or not you are going to trip in shoes like the ones pictured. Some tips when choosing shoes for your interview outfit are:

  • your shoes should be closed-toe.
  • nude and black colored shoes are the two best colors.
  • you can wear flats or heels, but if you choose heels, find a pair that is only about two inches tall.



What about pants? Trends come and go, leggingsbut leggings have stuck around for a while. Some people try to make them interview appropriate by pairing them with a nice blouse or shirt, but that doesn’t mean they work. If you are going to wear pants, wear a nice pair of slacks.





For men and women alike, colored pants are something you should not choose to wear to an interview. Like many other pieces of clothing in this article, they are a bit too flashy. You should choose pants that are blue, black or grey because these colors convey confidence and are not distracting.


Women’s fashion is ever dressy-pantsevolving because – who wants to wear dull clothing? Certainly not these ladies in the pants that DEW refers to as ‘fancy pants’. While they are a bit dressier than jeans, they aren’t dressy enough for an interview. Any kind of designed pants should be left at home on the hanger, at least while you are in your interview.


These are just a few of the more common of the items shouldn’t be worn to an interview. Some things to think about when you are trying to pick out your outfit are:

  • Blues, black and greys are the best colors because they are conservative in what should be a conservative environment. The website Style Caster wrote an article about what the colors that you wear to an interview can mean to an employer. Check it out here.
  • Now that you know what not to wear, you are probably wondering what you should wear. Go to The Balance where they have written Interview outfits for Women and Interview outfits for Men and offer even more advice about style tips for your next interview.
  • If you have to ask yourself, “Is this appropriate?” just go ahead and change clothes so that your attention isn’t anywhere but the interview.

If you are in need of business attire there are plenty of places that you can go to find great deals. Most times you can find great business casual clothing at local consignment shops, and this includes Goodwill. If you do choose to shop with Goodwill, every purchase goes toward providing workforce programs and services to those in need. You can learn more about those programs and services here.

Ultimately our goal is to get all South Carolinians back to work, and that starts with the first impression. Make it a great one.


The 10 most important things you can do to stand out at a job fair


Get ready for job fair

Attending a job fair is a great way to have several mini-interviews and expose yourself and your capabilities to several companies in a few hours’ time. However, not properly preparing could result in wasting your day and networking opportunities, or even worse, making a bad impression on potential employers.

Here are 10 things you can do to ensure you are prepared for success:

  1. Make sure that your resume and cover letter are up to date.

You never want to get to a job fair and realize that you left off key information, like a volunteering experience or your last job. Take the time to sit down and go over your resume and cover letter thoroughly so that when it comes time to hand it to the recruiting manager, you feel confident. If you need assistance writing your resume and/or cover letter, all of our SC Works centers provide one-on-one assistance and many provide a free resume workshop. To find the nearest SC Works office and view their workshop calendar, click here.

  1. Find out what companies are going to be at the event.

You want to know who will be at the event for a couple of reasons. First, you should check out their mission statement and their values to see if they correspond with your own set of beliefs. Second, take a look at the company’s portfolio and figure out what kind of business they do. If it doesn’t interest you then don’t go to their table so that you can maximize your time with the companies that do interest you.

If there is a company in which you have a particular interest, take another look at your resume. Are there skills or experience that you might want to highlight or discuss in more detail which the company would find interesting? Think about ways that you resume might be customized to align with the company’s mission. Have these versions of your resume in a separate file and take a minute before you visit their booth to locate the personalized resume so you aren’t fumbling for it when are with the recruiter.

  1. Have a couple of questions ready for the recruiter.

Don’t ask the questions that are easily available to you online like when the company was founded, where the corporate office is or the name of the CEO. Instead ask about a project or initiative that the company is working on or ask the recruiting manager about the company climate and their favorite thing about working there. Being engaged with what is going on with the company is a great way to stand out.

  1. Dress to impress.

Did you know that dressing up improves your confidence according to a Forbes article written by clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner? Take the ten extra minutes to iron your pants, find a great tie or pair of shoes; it’s a sure-fire way to impress the recruiter.

  1. Remember the key successes to a great interview.

Because a job fair is like a job interview on a speed date, the recruiter is probably going to meet more people than they can remember, so don’t forget your interview essentials so you can stay on the recruiter’s radar. A firm handshake, a friendly smile and being aware of your body language are a few helpful tips, but certainly not all of the things of which you should be mindful. For a list that details other tips, check out the Undercover Recruiter’s article Eight Essential Interview Tips by a Recruiter.

  1. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself.

Why do you want to work for our company? What is one of your major accomplishments? Tell me about a time where you had to work in a team setting? These generic questions could go on forever, and you should know the answers, but take the extra time to think a little bit more. Instead of just answering what you consider your biggest accomplishment, think about your second and third. Having more than one may shed some insight on your work ethic and your goals.

  1. Be enthusiastic.

Nothing is worse than a job candidate that is distracted and doesn’t seem as if they are excited to be speaking with the recruiter. Smile, and show the recruiter that the position really interests you and why you would be a great fit for the company. As long as you’ve done your research about the company this should be an easy answer.

  1. Remember that this is a networking opportunity.

When you meet with the different recruiters make sure to grab their business card. Ask for it if there are not cards available on the table – this shows interest. The card not only allows you to be able to reference your meeting in a cover letter, it also gives you the contact information you need to connect on LinkedIn, should you choose. (To read more about creating a LinkedIn page or making a current page more robust, check out our post How to Use LinkedIn. Additionally, if you don’t get a job with the company, you may still be able to use your connection to see if they know of anyone else hiring in the industry.

  1. Come with an elevator pitch.

What is an elevator pitch? It’s a brief thirty-second pitch about you and your skill sets. The name says it all – if you got on an elevator and someone asked you to tell them about yourself before they got off on their floor, what would you say? This statement should be unique to you because you are trying to sell yourself to a recruiter. If you want to learn more about the elevator pitch and need help trying to craft one, click here.

  1. Get your bearings.

Get to a job fair about 10 minutes early. When you get there, stop and take a couple minutes on a bench outside or in the restroom to compose yourself. Check the job fair map, if they provide one, to see where the companies you want visit are located, make sure you have everything that you need and practice your elevator speech one more time.

Job fairs and hiring events are a fantastic opportunity to make an impression on several businesses in a short amount of time and perhaps see the recruiters of companies that may be hard to get to with just a cold call, but they can be a waste of your time as well as the employers if you don’t prepare for it as thoroughly as you would a job interview. Remember – that just what it is – several job interviews in a short amount of time. Make the most of it!

A look into textiles in South Carolina

textiles in sc

Don’t tell Matt Shannon that the textile industry in South Carolina is dead or dying.

“We are here, we are strong,” said Shannon, head of Greenwood Mills weaving department. The mill is a private, family-owned textile plant that has been a fixture in the town of Greenwood for the past 127 years.

pan greenwood mills

While the industry doesn’t employ nearly the numbers it did even as recent as 2001, where the textile mills industry employed more than 52,000 people, there are still nearly 15,000 employed in mills around the state.

The textile industry is considered a legacy industry, meaning that the projected job growth of the industry is declining, but it still has a competitive advantage because of its location. Textiles place well above the national average in the Upstate region for their location quotient, the number that is determined by how influential an industry is in a certain region. You can find the report here.

However, Shannon and Greenwood Mills Human Resources Director Lisa McMillan agree that there won’t be any significant amount of change in the industry’s job growth, but it can be assumed that there will be a slight and steady increase over the coming years due to the number of companies coming back to the states coupled with the number of people expected to retire in the coming years.

“This isn’t just at our plant, but industry everywhere,” McMillan said.

As the textile industry evolved from labor intensive machinery, to water powered equipment and now to a more technology driven plant, the kinds of employees needed have evolved too. Both Shannon and McMillan said the types of people Greenwood Mills is looking to hire are people who want a career, and who are willing to start at the bottom.

“The biggest problem we face is finding qualified labor that is willing to work. A lot of people want a job, but when it comes down to actually working, they don’t want to do it,” Shannon said. “A lot of times it’s the simple things like showing up on time and doing what you’re supposed to.”

What you can expect as a new hire at Greenwood Mills are not desk jobs, but a place where everyone works on the floor in a fast-paced environment. Training for many of the positions is done in-house and the only qualifications you need are basic math and communication skills.

Shift work is a big part of the efficiency of the plant, and while everyone works on average 40 to 50 hours a week, new hires usually work the off-shift hours and gradually work up to the day shift. There are more technical positions that are needed.textile machinery

“Every new machine is more mechanized than the last, and if technology interests you, there is a job for you in the textile industry,” Shannon said.