• Why Tracking Software Programs Yield Different Results

    June 30, 2008 by

    I’ve heard from a number of insiders at big general job boards like Monster, Careerbuilder, and HotJobs that 90 percent or more of their revenues are derived from the sale of job posting ads and resume searching. If that’s true, it is no wonder that they are reluctant to follow our lead by eliminating resume searching in order to help the candidates using our sites obtain the security and privacy they deserve. But that’s another topic for another day. Well, almost.
    Unlike the big general boards, our niche board has for years generated most of its revenue from non-traditional job board products such as targeted email campaigns and targeted cell phone text messaging (SMS) campaigns. I know that we do a great job for the vast majority of our clients and occasionally fall flat on our faces. But as frustrating as it can be when we can’t drive the right traffic to our client’s web site, it is even more frustrating when we’ve driven the right traffic yet they’re not seeing it. More often than not, the problem is with the web traffic tracking software they’re using or how they’re using it.

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  • You or Boss: Who’s at Fault?

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    Here’s how the story usually goes:
    “I HAD to leave. My boss was determined to make my life miserable.”
    In my experience, both personal and secondary, I have discovered that in the majority of cases, the failure of the relationship lies on the employee, not the boss or the organization.
    People who tend to get ‘unlucky’ and experience this misfortune over and over again, usually can use a little self-reflection. Start with these questions:
    – Have you had more than one ‘horrific’ boss who ‘drove you crazy?’
    – Do you find yourself thinking very bad thoughts (not in a good way) about a current or former boss?
    – Do you feel these ‘evil’ bosses not only held you back but went out of their way to keep you down or make you miserable?
    – Were you or are you so desperate to find a new job that you’re willing to work anywhere, earning just about anything?
    If you answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions for more than one job, there is a good chance that you will need to adjust your mindset in order to achieve career success. As someone who once suffered from this dreadful illness, I’ll let you know what worked for me.
    BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. Like any addiction, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
    THEY ARE HUMAN. It’s important to remember that your boss does not transcend humanity. They breathe the same air and have plenty of their own problems to deal with. So don’t be sensitive.
    YOU’RE NOT A VICTIM. When you feel yourself falling into a ‘Negative Boss Pattern’ (NBP) remind yourself that you’ve had this problem before and that the issue might be with you.
    ARE YOU SURE? I keep these three words taped on my computer monitor. Every time I feel myself reacting strongly towards a boss’s action, I ask myself, ‘Am I sure?’ More often that not, I am NOT sure. So I take a deep breath, regain my clarity and try to take things in stride.
    I’M IN CONTROL. You might feel overwhelmed with a feeling or a sentiment towards your boss – but you have the power to change. It’ll be difficult at first because there’s a good chance you’ve been repeating this thought over and over in your head. But with enough practice you can stop that negative thought and replace it with something positive – or at least neutral. You can’t control your boss, but you can control your thoughts and the way you react.
    The boss from hell DOES exist. I’m not implying that the onus for a sour work experience is all on you. I’m merely suggesting you look inward and identify a pattern before you find yourself making the same work mistake again and again.
    It’s also important to spot subordinates and colleagues who suffer from NBP. It’ll help you carve out an approach to deal with them, keeping in mind, of course, that they probably don’t know they have a problem. Unless they read this blog.
    Take out that mirror, take a good hard look and share the blame – I’m willing to bet there’s enough to go around.
    Article by Andrew G.R. and courtesy of jobacle.com – your cure for carbon copy career advice!

  • Dealing with Resume Writer’s Block

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    Entry level job seekers may not always find writing their resumes as an easy task. It takes some thought to organize your information in a way that’s clear and concise, as well as marketable to your readers. There is nothing wrong with asking for help with your resume; as a matter of fact, you should. I certainly did. One problem you may encounter when creating your resume is writer’s block. Check out these tips from Wellness and Writing Coach, Rochelle Melander.

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  • Morgan Technical Ceramics

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    Morgan Technical Ceramics is “one of the world’s leading advanced materials companies, specializing in the design, manufacture, and marketing of ceramic and carbon products,” with plant locations around the world.
    According to their Web site, they “stand alone as the most strategically placed company to meet the demands of industry today and on into the future.” Morgan Technical Ceramics offers a unique product that’s obviously in demand, so if you’re a recent college graduate looking for an entry-level job in process engineering, you’ll want to give Morgan Technical Ceramics a try. Chances are your job will be secure for at least the next five years, though nothing is guaranteed. What’s more, if you’re someone who enjoys travel, Morgan is the place to be. During your training process, you could find yourself not only going to other parts of the United States, but to other parts of the world.
    Morgan Technical Ceramics is a customer oriented company with long-term relationships already established with many of their customers, which contributes to their continued success. Naturally, they are looking for highly motivated people who share their passion for customer satisfaction and high quality job performance.

  • Changing Careers: Which Career Path Should You Take — Consultant or Corporate Executive?

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    Every time the economy expands or dips, executives who are tired, bored, displaced, or in search of above-market earnings come out of the barn in droves looking for “greener pastures”. They frequently assume that their experiences running a “real” company qualify them to provide insight and expertise as a consultant to other companies.
    Meanwhile, consultants looking for financial stability have thoughts of going corporate. Consultants are often confident of their abilities to lead organizations. Who could be better qualified than them to run a company from the inside? After all, they have been the guiding hand for many companies strategic, financial and technology direction. They have been trusted counsel for their top executives.
    Unfortunately, grazing in the other “greener” pasture is more complicated that it seems on the surface.
    What Life as a Consultant is Like
    The defining characteristics of the consulting environment are remarkably similar from firm to firm, regardless of whether it is a large global firm or a small local firm. First and foremost, at a senior level, success is based on the generation of sales revenue. Dollars equal power.
    As a consultant, engagements are driven by thought leadership and strategy. Your clients typically have a list of problems that need to be solved — and the list changes frequently. Corporate decision-makers assure that consultants have special access to people and resources. After all, they have already or will shortly write a very large check for their services.
    From a delivery perspective, work is often standardized and methodology-based. Engagements have a beginning, an end, and a defined scope. Often little or no responsibility for implementation or outcomes is specified.
    But, there are some exceptions. Certain contractual arrangements have shared responsibility for results and that is reflected in the fee. Secondly, the consultant handles implementation of a system or process. However, once it is “done,” the consultant still leaves and doesn’t have to live with the consequences. Supervision and personnel responsibility is usually limited to performance on the project by the team members.
    Should You Be a Consultant?

    • Are you energized by smart people doing interesting work?
    • Do you enjoy a continuously shifting landscape of new problems to solve?
    • Are you easily bored?
    • Do you like providing “advice and counsel” with little responsibility for operational activities or outcomes?
    • Is selling fun? Do you like the thrill of the chase?
    • Do you enjoy socializing and building a network of contacts?
    • What Life as a Corporate Executive is Like

    In corporations, whether public or private, profitability and shareholder value are the bottom line. For most executives, success is based on contribution to operating results.
    Organizational leadership, from vision to planning through execution, drives performance. Decision-making and risk taking, with accountability for choices, is fundamental. Outcomes are everything. Activities are heavily implementation and results driven. Few projects are intellectually stimulating.
    Most of the work of the organization is continuous and predominantly operational. Much is policy and procedurally based. There is a broad distribution of people in a corporation, with a tendency to gather around the mean in intelligence, motivation and interest in their work. Comprehensive personnel management is required by line and most staff executives to maximize the contribution of all employees in the company.
    Should You Become a Corporate Executive?

    • Do you like being on the front lines, directing others, making choices?
    • Do you like to see things through to the end?
    • Do you gain personal satisfaction from positive, measurable results that you had a significant role in delivering?
    • Can you keep focus on the long-term while dealing with tactical and operational concerns?
    • Are you willing to stand behind your decisions and be accountable for and part of outcomes with continuing consequences?
    • As an insider, can you gain the respect of others for your business acumen?
    • Are you energized by motivating and leading groups of people to successful achievement of common goals?
    • Do others follow you and support you?
    • How to Align Yourself with the Career Choice You Make

    If you are a consultant and still think you are a candidate for a change to a corporation, consider whether you are most suited for a consulting-like role or for an operating leadership position. Your business acumen, facilitation ability, and communication skills are key skills that will be valuable in a corporate role.
    If you are an executive and still want to try your hand at consulting, consider whether you are most suited for a partner (translate that sales) role or for delivery management (translate that project or multiple projects). Your experience of making things work in the real world and your ability to negotiate complex organizations will be helpful in a consulting role.
    Remember, both consulting and executive roles have challenges and rewards. Neither is as easy as it looks from the outside, looking in. As long as you find the one that works for you, you will be where the grass is greenest.
    Article by, Paula Asinof, Career Management Expert and Founder of Yellow Brick Path,accelerates the careers of successful executives and professionals who wantto move up or move on to their next career opportunities. Throughout hercareer, she has helped clients, subordinates, and peers recognize theirunique capabilities and position themselves as “A” players.
    Article courtesy of WorkBloom, an employment blog incorporating a comprehensive career resources section, including the largest database of professionally written resume and cover letter samples on the Web.

  • Qualities of Good Presidents and Good Employees

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    I love this post from Michael McKinney at Leading Blog. It’s based on a new book from Alvin Felzenberg, The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn’t): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game. Felzenberg devised six criteria to best describe various U.S. presidents’ contribution to history. Based on this exercise, he presents a list of what we should look for in presidential candidates.
    Sense of Purpose. Nearly all presidents who earned a rating of great or near great articulated specific goals that they wanted to achieve as president.
    Adversity. All of the great and near great presidents emerged from conflicts and disappointments they encountered stronger and more resilient than they had been before. This is what made their previous ordeals transformative. All regarded these adversities as learning experiences, however painful. None emerged from such setbacks regarding themselves as victims. None were known to complain or whine–at least out loud or in public–about their private misfortunes.
    Broad Life Experiences. Most great and near great presidents had multiple occupations, not all of them in politics, before becoming president. Through the depth and breadth of their experiences, successful presidents learned how to relate to people in all walks of life.
    Natural Curiosity. Great of near great presidents remained curious all their lives about the world around them and about the cause of the problems they were called upon to solve.
    Well-Developed Sense of Integrity. Look for honesty (doing what one said he would do, or explaining why unforeseen circumstances necessitated a different course), courage (meeting adversity head-on, often at political or personal risk), and integrity (placing the interests of one’s office and one’s country ahead of personal convenience or interests, or those of one’s associates).
    Humility. Although confident in their abilities, successful presidents held their egos in check. All great and near great presidents understood that they would receive the credit for the achievements of their subordinates. For this reason they strove to find outstanding ones…including on occasion, former rivals and members of the opposition party.
    I’m including this on Water Cooler Wisdom because I think these characteristics are appropriate for good leaders in all types of organizations, and, for that matter, employees at all levels.
    alexandra levit.jpgArticle by Alexandra Levit and courtesy of Water Cooler Wisdom blog.

  • Just Attended the AiA Classic Workshop for Empowering People and Organizations

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    Hi All,
    Well I just had an exhaustive 3 days! I spent it with 12 amazing people (all consultants, scholars, speakers, etc.) and we went through the AiA Classic Workshop on “empowerment” together (8 hours each day for 3 days). A mutual friend, and consulting company from Japan, arranged for us to attend this (and paid our fee!) so I figured why not check it out?? I’ll explain how the Japanese consulting company fits into this in a minute.
    At first we were all pretty disgruntled as the content is very “Self-help 101‚Ä≥ and many of my co-attendees are people who coach/train at the senior executive level and go WAY deeper into this stuff than this program does. But we all decided to “change our attitudes” (which is one of the main points of the workshop!!) and make of it what we wanted. Pretty smart, huh?
    The whole experience created some amazing conversations, awareness, and bonds between many people. I only knew 2 other people going into this. After the first day I really thought this was a waste of time (as did most everyone), but I decided to continue the other 2 days for (if nothing else) to really get to know the other people and network.
    But by the time I left last night, I knew it had not been a waste of time. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say this is THE program you should use at your company for empowering and building self awareness among your employees.
    A few things I learned was that: Most of all of us share the same insecurities; I need to work on reducing the amount of negative “self talk” I allow to run around my head; there are great people with great insights that want to help me so I need to be better about asking for it; and one “ah-a” I came up with while I was there (we all had to write “a-has” to share) is: “It’s Not Failure; It’s Feedback from the Universe”. Take the feedback and use it to do better next time! So, it was THAT kind of workshop. It was pretty cool. But I KNOW, FOR SURE, it was only good because of the group who was there with me.
    The other reason I attended was to meet a senior exec from ALC, a consulting firm in Japan who helps Japanese corporations grow and expand. BUT, they use American, English speaking consultants to conduct the programs for their Japanese-based clients and I am considering joining their team to (several times a year) go to Japan and work on a client’s “program” (where our team will teach each client best practices in leadership, management, marketing, sales, finance, etc.).
    That explains the Japanese tie-in to this 3-day workshop.
    Well, I’m pretty spent after that workshop, so I’ll write more later. I have lots more to share and new generation relations news to tell you about!
    Bye for now.
    Article by Lisa Orrell, Millennial & Generation Relations Expert and courtesy of Lisa’s Generation Relations Blog

  • Talent Management — Roles of Lawyers & HR Pros

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    I originally wrote this a few years ago, but never published it. It seems as timely today as then. It’s a reflection on the differing perspectives and roles of management, HR, and legal counsel as businesses focus more intently on “talent management.”
    Introduction
    Several recent trends are combining to create both greater legal risks and increased opportunities for employers seeking to improve their strategies for attracting, hiring, promoting, and retaining the best employees.
    Businesses driven by an emerging consciousness of the need for overall talent management strategies are making changes in employment practices. Simultaneously, broad-based legal challenges to such practices are on the rise.
    The holistic approach favored by wise talent management advocates suggests substantial talent management roles for legal counsel and human resources (“HR”), in addition to a larger role for upper management in what have traditionally been HR functions.
    Yet upper management’s and legal counsel’s lack of appreciation for the HR knowledge base, negative stereotyping of HR, and HR outsourcing may all serve to limit involvement of HR. Legal counsel also may be given only a secondary role in planning and strategy, as talent management becomes seen as a central business function, and legal counsel a costly resource to be used only once trouble strikes.

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  • Community Colleges’ Growing Role in Helping People Get High Skilled Jobs

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    With all the talk about needed 21st century job skills, who is on cutting edge of helping people get them – and doing it in a cost effective way? Community colleges. If the idea of community college does not fire you up, consider your opinion outdated (and elitist) as the cost of 4 year colleges skyrocket and financial aid programs tighten. Consider these statistics from the American Association of Community Colleges:

    • Health care: 59% of new nurses and the majority of other new health-care workers are educated at community colleges.
    • Homeland security: Close to 80% of firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMTs are credentialed at community colleges.
    • Average Annual Tuition and Fees:
    • Community colleges (public): $2,361

    • 4-year colleges (public): $6,185
    • Nearly 12 million students (half of all U.S. undergraduates) attend community colleges.

    Ben Bernanke, chief of the Federal Reserve who plays perhaps the biggest role in managing the U.S. economy, observed in a November 2007 speech in North Carolina:
    “…improving the skills of local workers–especially those displaced by industries in decline–remains critical for both urban and rural areas in the state. Four-year institutions play an important role in meeting that challenge, but they are not the sole means for developing workforce skills. For example, in the 2004-05 school year, the North Carolina Community College System served nearly 780,000 students in fifty-eight institutions. The average community college student in the state is thirty years old and likely working while attending school (North Carolina Community College System, 2006). Because they offer education closely tailored to employer demands in the local workplace, community colleges in North Carolina, as elsewhere, play an essential role in training and retraining workers. Moreover, they do so at a relatively low cost. In general, we must move beyond the view that education is something that takes place only in K-through-12 schools and four-year colleges, as important as those are. Education and skills must be provided flexibly and to people of any age.” [emphasis added]
    The Career Key’s author, Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, was the first person in his family to go to college and he began his education path at a community college; as you talk to people, their connections to these colleges appear. Consider how you can build new job skills using this resource. We offer tips on how to find the right college.
    If you’re worried about prestige, an Ivy League degree certainly helps but for the vast majority of people, their networking, informational interviewing, and acquired job skills get them the best job, not the name on the diploma. If you don’t believe me, just talk to the people you consider successful.
    Article by, Juliet Wehr Jones, M.D. and courtesy of Career Key, striving to help all people make the best career choices, worldwide.

  • Make Connections With a Washington DC Internship

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    Do you know who Huma Abedin is? You probably do or you might. You just don’t know you do.
    Huma Abedin is that person you might catch a glimpse of, if you watched the presidential primaries, more specifically, watched Senator Hillary Clinton. Essentially, Huma Abedin is getting a lot of attention as Senator Clinton’s “body person” as she manages the Senator’s schedule from one event to the next. Here is what New York Magazine says about Abedin. “Huma Abedin, Hillary’s beautiful, enigmatic “body person,” spends nearly every waking minute with Hillary and so has the best sense of her daily rhythms and routines.”
    Abedin is known for her extraordinary ability to multitask and juggle several assignments without breaking a sweat.
    Huma Abedin was born in Michigan, to an Indian father and Pakastani mother. She was raised in Saudia Arabia and attended George Washington University. Abedin became an intern in the White House in 1996 and impressed Hillary Clinton once she landed a role in the First Lady’s office. Her role has evolved into that of the personal “body person” of Hillary Clinton, available to meet the candidate’s every need from water bottles to schedules to keeping the press at bay.
    College students who are interested in Washington DC internships, here are a couple to consider:
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    Internships are open to college juniors and seniors as well as new college graduates within 24 months after graduation. Interns must be interested in careers in performing arts, management and/or arts education. Interns will work 37.5 to 40 hours weekly for a twelve to fourteen week rotation. About 20 college students are selected each semester for these prestigious internships.
    Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    Psychology majors in approved APA and counseling psychology programs are eligible to apply for internships at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington DC. The deadline to apply for these internships is November 1. College applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, submit an application, 3 letters of recommendation a formal statement from the program director supporting eligibility for the internship.
    Every year thousands of college interns spend time in Washington DC working and learning in a variety of roles. Not only do these internships get valuable work experience, they get to build a network of contacts and mentors who could be invaluable later as your career progresses.
    Huma Abedin is one such internship success story.
    Article by, Marcia Robinson of BullseyeResumeBlogs. Robinson has been coaching, training, and writing on career, workplace, employment and education issues for students and career professionals for 10 years.
    And courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.