• Don’t Be Side-Swiped by a Buyout

    January 30, 2009 by

    With various sectors of our economy falling apart left and right, many businesses are closing, or cutting back at the very least. As a result, thousands of employees each month are being let go.
    Some of the businesses that have been around longer are handling the need to let employees go by asking them to take a voluntary buyout package, which usually involves a hefty compensation package. Depending on the person, this could be good or bad. If you have been, or are about to be, offered a voluntary buyout package, take some time to learn the pros and cons. This way, you won’t feel side-swiped by the request.
    Are They Offering Enough Money?
    Not that you’re setting out to be greedy, but they are asking you to leave the company, right? This means you need to make sure that you and your family will be well taken care of until you can find another job. Some companies offer employees two week’s pay for each year of service. For some, this adds up quite nicely. But does it measure up to the amount you could receive if you just stuck around and retired (that is, if your job will last that long)?
    If you really think that leaving might be the best option, but you’re not sure if you like the buyout amount they’re offering, you may want to inquire about additional money owed. This might include making sure that you have money equivalents for unused vacation and sick days thrown into the package. Depending on what you have leftover, this could beef up your package quite nicely.
    Will You Lose Your Seniority?
    Another question to ask yourself when contemplating whether to take the buyout package is will you lose your seniority? Some companies will offer a large sum to employees they would like to buyout. But the downside to that is that when the employee tries to acquire another job, they will have to start at ground zero. For someone who has put in over 25 years at one establishment, this prospect can be very disheartening. This is especially true when taking into consideration that your job downsizing may mean the rest of the industry may be doing the very same thing. You want to make sure that the money you receive will be worth losing your seniority at best, and eliminating your prospect of a new job at worst.

    Is It Worth Sticking Around?

    Finally, before you turn down a buyout package flat, think about whether it’s worth sticking around. If the company is going out of business soon, and stock prices are falling, you may want to snatch the amount they offer before you lose your chance at such a high amount in the future. Determining the fate of the company will take some research on your part. But it will be well worth it to gather the insight you’ll need to make the best decision for your financial well-being.
    Before you agree to accept any type of voluntary buyout package, you will want to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether leaving is worth it. And also show whether the numbers that the company is offering (which may seem impressive) are really enough.
    Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Need a resume writing service? Compare the top ones in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com.

  • Job Search for Graduation

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    As a College student, planning and job search should really start very early in your college career. Internships, Co-Op programs, volunteering and College Career Fairs require months and sometimes years of planning. Unfortunately, many College students don’t begin to plan until their Junior (and sometimes Senior) year. The good news is that
    there are excellent resources available to help you plan your job search, even if you start late (see Winter Break – Do You Have a Job Search Plan Yet? ).
    Nuresume – Thanks to a reader for pointing out this site. Nuresume.com is a network for college students which allows them to build an online resume portfolio. They can include photos, blogs, videos, chat, groups, forums, instant messaging and social networking. The site is jam packed with resources and options. There are links at the top of the page which provide access to the main areas (including Join and Invite links). The site integrates students, recruiters and employers and provides the tools you need to launch your online marketing campaign. The site is very impressive and well thought out. There is not enough space in this review to give justice to the site, so check it out today.
    How to Find an Internship – Not Just Any Internship–One That Fits Your Needs – This article, by Collegeboard.com, provides a guide to planning your College Internship process. The article provides a number of links to resources (one of which is covered below) and is a good place to start your planning for internship programs.
    InternAbroad – Thinking about an internship abroad? This is a good place to start. The site provides a large number of links at the top of the page (including intern abroad, study abroad, jobs abroad, volunteer abroad and much more).
    Use Facebook to Help You in Your Job Hunt! – This article, posted by Miriam Salpeter on Secrets of the Job Hunt, reviews an interesting experiment which used Facebook as a career marketing tool (there is a link to the full text in the article). The article also covers other tips regarding the use of your websites &/or blogs as part of your marketing campaign.
    On the lighter side . . .
    7 Funny Newspaper Job Wanted Ads You’ve Never Seen – Some funny newspaper ads, from JobMob.
    Article by, CareerAlley
    Article 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 seeking entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.

    Good luck in your search.

  • Help! My son’s a college senior and hasn’t started job searching

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    “My son is a senior in college and he hasn’t started his job search yet. I can’t seem to get him to get in high gear. I’m tempted to write his resume for him and just start sending it around but I’m pretty sure that’s a bad idea.Any suggestions?”
    First of all, let me say that your son is fortunate to have a parent who is so invested in his future. You are right, however, that it would NOT be a good idea for you to write his resume for him, or to conduct his job search on his behalf.
    There may be a number of factors contributing to your son’s apparent disinterest in starting his job search.
    Workload:
    As a senior, your son may be feeling overwhelmed, or at least, consumed with the task of graduating. Many seniors can get bogged down with research projects, term papers, presentations, honors theses, etc. That “bogged down” feeling may be exacerbated if he is also working part time, involved in extra-curricular activities, athletics, volunteering, or is committed to other duties. Since conducting an effective job search can be a full time job, in and of itself, your son may not feel like he has the time, energy or resources to start his job search.

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  • How to Handle Criticism

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    As if it isn’t bad enough that you are out of work, or needing to make a change, when you are job hunting you also often find yourself on the receiving end of tons of advice, suggestions, ideas, opinions, and comments.
    And even criticism.
    Criticism can be deflating, but it can also be inspiring. The trick is to learn how to tell which comments are worth taking to heart and which are just off-the-wall fault-finding that has more to do with the critiquer than with you or your work.
    With no further ado, here is the trick to sort through the criticism maze:
    Helpful criticisms are ones that, when you hear them, seem familiar to you. You will feel a flash of recognition. Maybe a little voice in the back of your head says, “That’s what I’ve been trying to say all along!” Helpful criticisms feel “right.” Helpful criticisms spur you to do more of what you do, and to do it better.

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  • Back to Basics: Creating Value and Solidifying Your Edge

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    A guest post by Anne-Marie Fink, Author “The Moneymakers”
    For too many years, complexity and cleverness were used to seemingly create value out of thin air. Risky no-doc, no-money-down loans were sliced and diced, wrapped and repackaged to emerge as safe triple-A investments and enable minimum wage earners to buy half-million-dollar homes. The Detroit 3 auto manufacturers sold the cars that few wanted by giving them away with no interest loans and huge rebates. For anyone who asked for an explanation of his uncannily consistent returns, Bernie Madoff and the feeder funds that resold his product protested that the strategy too complex to explain. Retailers grew by incessantly adding new locations, and tapped into consumers’ bottomless home equity lines, car loans, and new credit cards, with little thought for how or when bills would be paid.
    Now that cheap credit has dried up for everyone, complexity and cleverness will no longer carry the day. Businesses can only succeed by returning to fundamentals and delivering real, basic value to customers. Yet, delivering value won’t be enough, with competition more brutal than ever; customers’ budgets have shrunk and every firm is fighting for survival. To do more than scrape by, you have to establish an edge that differentiates you and your offerings from your rivals’. This challenge, never easy in our competitive world, can seem especially overwhelming now when most company’s budgets have been slashed, and fewer resources are available with which to build your edge.

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  • Recruiting via Social Networks Best Way to Reach Gen Y Job Prospects

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    A December survey by the Pew Internet Project reveals that 75% of adults ages 18 to 24 in the U.S. use social networks. Understanding the reach of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc., smart companies are using such sites to tap into a veritable gold mine of young talent to attract candidates with interests and skills that mirror jobs they are seeking to fill.
    Through innovative third party applications that bridge data-based applications like Salesforce CRM to Facebook, savvy recruiters locate prospects through keyword searches. Viral recruiting also encourages current employees to recommend friends in their network for job openings. Those leads are often considered the highest quality, as they are pinpointing candidates that are most likely to be interested in job openings.The data used to make the match with the open job position lives within the social network. But personal privacy is not invaded as the most widely used social networks give consumers control over their personal information.
    If you’re not using social networks to gain an alliance with young prospects, you’re missing the boat.
    Eric Chester.jpg By Eric Chester and courtesy of Generation Why? Whysblog

  • Get That Feedback and Get it Now

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    Thanks to WCW reader Amy for turning me on to the cool new service Rypple, which seems to be a direct response to Gen Y’s need for constant feedback at work.
    The premise of Rypple is that successful people have friends, mentors, managers, and clients they view as trusted advisers. These people can give real, useful feedback, but often the process is awkward and time-consuming. And annual performance reviews are loaded because they are linked to your pay and/or advancement in the organization.
    Rypple is especially relevant now because it’s a way to curb your anxiety if you think your job might be in jeopardy as so many are these days. Instead of wringing your hands worrying about what your boss really thinks of your performance of late, you can just ask.
    How does it work? After you sign up (which is free), you go to “get feedback” to ask your mentors, co-workers, managers, friends, or clients a single question. Rypple lets them know you’re looking for feedback or advice, and gives them a quick way to tell you what they really think (since their identity is kept secret). It only takes them a minute to respond and they don’t even need a Rypple account. Then, you head to “review results” to see the responses as they come in.
    The positive applications of Rypple are endless. I might even start using it to solicit recommendations from clients and audience members in real time, immediately after a project or an event. I wish the founders best of luck with this first class idea!
    alexandra levit.jpgArticle by Alexandra Levit and courtesy of Water Cooler Wisdom blog.

  • Have IT Hiring Challenges Changed with the Economy?

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    Recent research reveals that although staffing plans have changed, temporary-to-permanent hiring and demand for specialized skills remains high. Overall anticipated IT hiring decreased significantly between Q2 and Q4 of 2008, while finding qualified IT candidates still remains a top staffing challenge. This is according to a new research report, 2009 IT Hiring Outlook, by Veritude, a staffing services provider.
    In early 2008, Veritude conducted primary research by polling HR and IT professionals involved with hiring IT staff to identify and understand IT staffing trends. In Q4 of 2008, Veritude conducted the same survey with the same methodology to discover how these trends have fared considering the dramatic economic changes through the year and to understand the IT hiring outlook for 2009.
    In contrast to the bullish Q2 results, by the end of 2008, 38% of respondents said IT staff decreases were planned. Reflecting the current economic downturn, budget restraints and corporate layoffs were the most cited reasons for these decreases in IT hiring. Most notably, diminished need for IT personnel was not cited as a reason; in fact, while IT hiring is decreasing, the need remains the same. As a result, fewer permanent hires and diminishing budgets are driving increased reliance on contract or temporary workers, as well as temp-to-perm staff.

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  • 11 Rules for Best Personal Branding Results with Avatars

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    Here are the best practices to using avatars in reinforcing your personal brand online:
    What is the goal of your personal avatar?
    If your avatar is meant to help people recognize you online only, the choice of image isn’t as important as the necessity to use the same image wherever you can.
    However, if your avatar is meant to help people recognize you on AND offline, you should use a portrait photo of yourself for the avatar image, and that’s the case I’ll focus on here.
    11 Rules for success
    1. Use a picture of yourself, not a logo
    Considering that we’re discussing “personal branding”, the avatar image should be a person – you. Most people say they never forget a face; help them by showing your face.
    2. Use the same picture everywhere
    This is key. An avatar is your personal logo online, and every appearance should reinforce your personal brand’s identity. If repetition is reinforcement, this single concept may have the most impact on your personal brand’s success. The best part of this is that reusing the same picture everywhere is just simpler to manage too.
    3. Full head shot only
    A consequence of using the same picture everywhere is that the image will appear in different sizes. If people are to recognize you, your face should appear as prominently as possible wherever it will be displayed. Considering that avatars can be seen as small as 16 x 16 pixels, only a full face image will give you any chance of being recognized universally.

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  • New jobs

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    I just read an interesting article on Forbes.com. Jobs That Obama’s Stimulus Program Will Create offers good insight into what jobs may be created in the near future. The advice from Tara Weiss is sound and it jives perfectly with our research on the hardest jobs to fill. Companies tell us that they have trouble finding:

    • Engineers
    • Machinists and Machine Operators
    • Skilled Trades (Welders, Carpenters, Joiners)
    • Technicians
    • Sales Reps
    • Accounting and Finance Staff
    • Mechanics
    • Laborers
    • IT Staff
    • Production Operators

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