Tips for landing a job, keeping a job, and planning for the future

What can you do to improve your chances of getting a job and maintaining that job in this economy? Weâ??ll have experts to take your calls during our phone bank Thursday from 5 to 6:30pm on NBC 3.

What started out as an internship turned into a temporary job for John Vereen, 61, of Syracuse who has been without a full time job for a few years.

"It's been rough," Vereen said. "Once my unemployment exhausted, that's when it got really rough. I've been trying to hang in there."

He's not just hanging in there; heâ??s also helping other people like himself. He does office work at CNY Works, a local non-profit in Syracuse that connects people who are looking for jobs with employers, training, and other services.

"[It] makes me feel good to help them because I recognize how they really feel, because I am basically in the same position," he said.

CNY Works is busy and it has been for the past five years. There are 18,000 people unemployed in Onondaga County who are actively looking for work.

Here's a look at area unemployment rates for March of 2012:

Onondaga County - 8%

Oswego County - 11.3% (4th highest of the 62 counties in New York State)

Madison County - 9.3%

Cayuga County - 8.6%

Cortland County - 9.3%

The numbers are similar to this time last year.

So what's someone looking for a job to do?

Lenore Seal, Executive Director of CNY Works, says job search time has to be scheduled every day. People should use social media like Facebook to connect with old friends that could lead to new opportunities.

Sometimes you just have to get in the door like Vereem did. He started as an intern and now he has a temporary job. Sealy says you also have to pay attention to what you've done "in terms of your skills," not your job title, and see how those skills could be used in another position.

It's important that people who are looking for a job keep their skills fresh, that's also important for people who already have a job.

Sealy says itâ??s important to make yourself valuable, be a team player, and be willing to do something extra.

"Raise your hand when there's a project or a task that might not be in your job description," Sealy says. "It's an opportunity for you to show your employer how you have other skills."

CNY Central will have experts standing by on Thursday to answer your questions. The phone bank will go from 5 to 6:30pm on NBC 3 on Thursday evening.