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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted July 15, 2019 by

Can I Text You?

Can I Text You? (Is it okay to use text messages during a job search?)

Scrolling though job listings and even applying for jobs on your phone’s web browser is becoming more commonplace. But, is it okay to communicate via text with prospective employers?

According to Jackie Ducci, CEO and founder of Ducci & Associates, a talent acquisition agency in Washington, D.C., the answer is “no.” “It is rarely, if ever, a good idea for a candidate to text a potential employer during the job search process,” says Ducci.

Unless you’re specifically asked to send a text by an employer, you should skip texting for several reasons:

1. It’s too informal. Texting is convenient and used more than calling or emailing these days. However, while its perfectly fine for friends, partners and even co-workers in some cases, it’s still considered too informal by most employers. Remember, you’re trying to be professional and create a good impression.

According to some recruiting experts, an inappropriate thank-you note after a job interview is worse than sending no thank-you note! For instance, handwriting a note on casual stationery would be considered too informal, as would a text. This is especially true if it’s a conservative industry/business.

2. It’s a missed opportunity. Even though it’s more intimidating to call and talk to an employer, it gives you an opportunity to really communicate with that person and make a human connection. Talking conveys tone of voice and inflection, which are lost or often misconstrued in texts. It also allows you to answer questions and expand on subjects. In other words, talking is better for two-way communication, which helps build relationships.

If you’re writing a thank you letter (and most experts agree that you should), it gives you an opportunity to reinforce your qualifications, express your enthusiasm for the positions and the company, and demonstrate your communication skills.

3. You don’t know how the person feels about texting. According to a Gallup poll, sending and receiving text messages is the most common form of communication for many Americans under 50. However, while you and your friends may use texts as your primary means of communication, others might take offense to receiving a text. Text messages can seem “flippant” or dismissive, which may cause the employer to feel that you’re not taking the job seriously, even if that’s not the case.

Of course, the exception to this is if the person has already texted you first. For example, if the employer texts you first to ask for more information or schedule a follow-up interview, then it’s fine to text back. In general, however, save the texting for keeping in touch with friends or urgent messages with already-established business contacts.

Now, having said all that, don’t be surprised if texting becomes more accepted in the future. TopResume’s career expert Amanda Augustine says she wouldn’t be surprised, at least for newer professionals, if texting becomes a commonplace thing. After all, everyone is looking for ways to save time and be more efficient. So, don’t be shocked if the recruiter or hiring manager from your next interview follows up via text. If that happens, feel free to text back!

Sources:

“Can I text a thank you after a job interview?” by Rose Mathews, Chron.com, 2019.

“Forget the phone – your next employer wants to interview you over text messages, by Courtney Connley, CNBC, March 2018.

“This is one thing you should never do during a job search,” by Jennifer Parris, The Ladders, May 22, 2018

Posted July 11, 2019 by

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

5 Things to Consider Besides Salary

Of course, it’s important to earn a living wage. And, while a great salary may top your “wish list” when job hunting, there are other important factors to consider. In fact, some aspects of a potential job can have a much greater impact on your overall satisfaction and long-term happiness than a paycheck. For instance, if you have children or crave work-life balance, flexible hours may be a significant benefit. If you love to travel, more vacation days can help you pursue your dreams.

Surveys show that employees rate the following factors as “extremely to very important” when deciding on a position.          

1. Interesting and/or challenging work, with room to grow.

In a 2018 poll by Korn Ferry of nearly 5,000 professionals, the top reason people were looking for a new job was boredom. That’s right they were bored! If you think about how many hours you spend at work, you can see how continually doing mundane tasks can take its toll over time. Most people want to be engaged in their job and challenged by new experiences. Based on interviews with employees at companies that have been designated as the Best Places to Work, “Doing things that I enjoy and am good at” ranked as the number one reason for loving their job. Having “learning or growth opportunities” was also rated highly. In addition, the Society for Human Resource Management found that 59% of employees think that opportunity for personal growth and advancement was a very important job aspect.

Furthermore, nearly 60% of Americans would take a job they love over a job they hate, even if the preferred position paid half the amount of salary they would earn at the job they dislike! (Lexington Law)

So, as you consider prospective positions, be sure the job responsibilities include tasks that truly interest you. Not every aspect of a job can be exciting, or even interesting, but overall, the position should entail something you enjoy doing and excel at. Also, be sure to ask about opportunities for continued training and growth, which will not only challenge you, but may result in a bigger paycheck down the road.

2. Organizational culture.

It goes without saying that a company with a toxic or dysfunctional culture is not going to be a great place to work. Not surprisingly, research shows that a negative atmosphere can reduce productivity and increase turnover, while a positive culture can improve performance, attract and retain employees and make a company more competitive.

While there has been a great deal of momentum around changing the face of corporate cultures over the past 10 years, Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report reveals that only 33% of employees in the U.S. rated their workplace culture as positive or engaging. There is obviously room for improvement.

Start by looking for a company that has taken the time to develop a mission statement and a set of values and that actually puts them into practice. In short, a mission outlines what a company stands for and defines its purpose. According to Forbes, mission-driven employees are 54% more likely to stay for five or more years at a company and 30% are more likely to become high performers. In summary, a great work environment can boost morale, motivate you, and enhance your quality of life.

“Culture” shouldn’t just be a buzzword for the company. And, it doesn’t always mean that the company has ping-pong tables and meditation rooms! A positive company culture is one that encourages teamwork and collaboration; offers opportunities for growth; and places a high value on its employees. They may also serve the community and encourage employee participation in that outreach. In short, there is no single rubric for company culture. However, you can get a sense of whether that culture is a good fit for you by researching the company, asking questions in the interview process, looking for comments on social media and, if possible, talking to other employees.

3. Accessible leadership.

Although this often goes along with a positive culture, having access to leaders and developing good working relationships with them is key to employee satisfaction. According to the Harvard Business Review, 60% of employees surveyed said their relationships with their supervisor or manager positively impacts their focus and productivity at work and 44% said it impacts their stress levels, leading to higher productivity and satisfaction overall.

Accessible leadership makes employees feel valued. It involves listening to employees and making them feel heard, acknowledging their feedback and doing something about it, recognizing employees for a job well done and giving credit where credit is due.

It can be difficult to get a feel for the leadership of a company prior to working there, but you can ask questions about reviews and feedback opportunities during an interview. In these days of social media, you can also often find comments from employees. Other indicators: Has the company been named as one of the best companies to work for? Have the company’s leaders received recognition for their direction?

4. Open communication/transparency.

Transparency and open communication fosters trust, and employees who trust organizations are more likely to be engaged in their everyday work life (TalMetrix). This makes sense when you consider that we are all more likely to trust someone when we feel they will share necessary information with us. Again, open communication is a big component of a positive company culture, but it’s important enough to be considered separately.

Some aspects that contribute to open communication and transparency are annual performance reviews, keeping employees informed about company performance on a regular basis, clearly communicating the company’s mission and values, creating an atmosphere where employees can voice concerns or make suggestions without fear of repercussions, and holding team-building activities.

Again, you can get a feel for a company’s communication style by asking questions during an interview about how often reviews are done and whether there is a forum for employee feedback. Companies that value open communication will also typically communicate this well on their website.

5. Employee health and work-life balance.

The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer revealed that a large number of employees value flexible schedules more than salary. Flexibility was more important for parents, with 84% naming it the number one factor to consider in a job. Meanwhile 80% of surveyed employees said work-life balance was the most significant factor. Of course, the two are closely related.

In today’s digital world, it’s much easier for companies to allow flexible work schedules as many jobs can be accomplished anywhere via computer. Remote workers are, in fact, a growing population.

In addition to flex hours and respect for work-life balance, employees who are most satisfied with their job site “wellness initiatives” as important. Companies that promote and encourage healthy habits show that they care about employees as people. The Global Talent Trends study found that 50% of employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company, including physical, psychological and financial wellness.

Companies that are committed to the health and wellbeing of their employees often offer a variety of wellness programs, such as on-site health screenings, lunch and learn sessions, on-site gyms, mental health days, standing desks, and more. Typically, these programs are featured on their websites or other recruiting materials.

What do you value? This is the question you need to ask before embarking on your job search. While there is no guarantee, finding a company that shares those values is more likely to lead to long-term job satisfaction. 

Posted July 01, 2019 by

8 Interview Questions Job Seekers Should Ask

You’ve landed the interview and spent hours researching the company and preparing your responses to the most common interview questions. You’ve got this, right? Not so fast.

An often-overlooked part of the interview process comes near the end when the interviewer turns the tables and asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Believe it or not, most employers are expecting you to have insightful queries ready. You can impress employers by being prepared with a few insightful questions that show you’re an attentive listener and truly engaged in the process. The answers can also give you additional insight as to whether this position and company are a good fit.

Consider the following:

1. What particular areas of my background or experience interest you?

The company selected you from the pile of resumes or applications they received for a reason. You may have “checked all the boxes” when it comes to the job requirements, such as having the right degree, skill set or related experience, but typically there is something “extra” that caught their attention and set you apart. Were they impressed with your internships? Did they find your leadership skills in past roles important to this position? Or, was it the way you demonstrated your ability to work well on a team? Asking this question not only shows that you’re interested in the position and what it entails, but it will give you a clue as to what to emphasize in your follow-up letter.

2. What are the most challenging aspects of the job for which I’m being considered?

Again, this question demonstrates your interest in the position-both the exciting, interesting aspects and the difficult, challenging parts. You may find from the answer they provide that the challenges associated with this position are not something you’re willing to accept (e.g., long hours, tight deadlines, or a lack of teamwork between departments). In this case, you may not want to pursue the position. On the other hand, by addressing the fact that you’ve successfully navigated similar situations in the past, you’re demonstrating your ability to handle this position and that you’re not afraid of the challenges that may come your way.

3. What are the most important characteristics needed to succeed in this position?

There are job requirements and then there are the “other” skills that may not be listed that are necessary for success. Job postings often list generic proficiencies such as good communication skills or the ability to work in teams, but what are the real qualities they’re looking for? This question can sometimes tease out those underlying characteristics so you can respond to them either in the interview or in your follow-up communication. For example, if the interviewer says they need someone who is good with details or very organized, you can provide a specific example related to those characteristics.

4. Where do you see this position going in the next few years?

Asking about the future shows that you’re interested in the long term. These days, with so many employees hopping from one job to another, it can be reassuring to an employer that you want to stay with them and pursue a career versus just taking a job as a step toward something else. The answer may also help you decide whether this job is the right fit for you. If the answer you receive is vague, it may indicate that there is no room for growth, or the direction may not be where you want to go.

5. What does a typical day look like?

It’s one thing to describe a job and its responsibilities, but how that position plays out day to day is quite another. Learning about a “day in the life” of someone in this position can help you decide whether you’re really a good fit. Asking the question shows that you’re interested in more than the basic responsibilities-you want to know more about the culture, the interaction with other employees, etc. As a bonus, employees who love their jobs and the company they work for will be enthusiastic about describing a typical day around the office, so you’ll get a sense of the culture. If they aren’t enthusiastic, it may indicate internal dysfunction. If you’ve developed a good rapport with the interviewer, you may want to follow up with a more personal question, such as “What do you like most about working here?”

6. Is this a new position or are you replacing someone?

If the position is new, it may indicate that the company is growing. On the flip side, because it’s a new position, it may not be well defined, which presents its own challenges. If it’s an existing position, it’s fair to ask why the person who previously filled this role left. Does the company have an issue with turnover? Does the position report to a difficult manager? While it’s highly unlikely that the interviewer will provide this type of negative information, the answers you receive could raise a few red flags.

7. Does your company have a mission, vision and set of values? What are they?

If the company lists these things on their website, there is obviously no need to ask. You should already be aware of them from your research. In that case, you may want to mention that you were impressed by the company’s mission or values and feel that you are a good fit with those values because… (insert example here). If there is no mission, vision or values on the website, then it’s okay to ask the interviewer if the company has them and what they are. It may give you a sense as to what’s important to the company, as well as some insight into their culture.

8. Where are you in the hiring process and what’s the next step?

If this information hasn’t already been covered, it’s a good way to wrap up the interview. Again, this reinforces your interest in the position and indicates that you are ready to take the next step. Just as importantly, it lets you know what to expect and how to follow up.

Research shows that as many as 42% of job seekers do not come prepared with questions for the interviewer. Therefore, having some insightful questions at the ready can set you apart from other candidates. It also conveys your interest in the company and helps you decide if it’s where you want to work. Remember, interviews are a two-way street.

Posted November 29, 2010 by

Tips on Taking Advantage of the Holidays When Searching for a New Job

With unemployment at double digits throughout much of the country and with serious concerns about joblessness weighing on the nation, “job” shopping is a holiday priority for many. Even though a layoff or job change can put a real damper on one’s Holiday spirit, now is not the time to slow your networking and job search efforts.

Total Career Success, a career transition firm specializing in helping individuals transition to better jobs for better pay and advance their careers, encourages job seekers to use the holiday spirit to their advantage. Ken Dawson, CEO, shared, “A common misconception about the Holiday season is that business ceases when the festivities begin. The holidays are a social time, with parties, association functions and increased travel. Smart job seekers use these holiday events to reconnect with old friends as well as develop their professional and personal contacts. Networking during the holidays more than any other activity will further their job hunt and position them to be ahead of their competition come January.” He recommends the following tips to ensure success in holiday job searches:

  • Attend holiday parties and join the festivities. You can make excellent contacts, which may otherwise take weeks to uncover. Given that the number one reason people find new positions is a positive attitude, be sure your holiday spirits include being positive and upbeat about your future.
  • Be open about your job search and share information not only about what you are seeking, but exchange information you have gained which can benefit others. Remember giving is better than receiving, and in this situation it will create better results for you!
  • Use your holiday cards, hardcopy or electronic, to update your friends, associates and family on your current status. A note on a card is an upbeat way to get the word out. Then follow-up to personally exchange greetings and contacts.
  • If you’re going to be traveling, plan ahead, notify potential employers, and let them know you’ll be in town and would like to drop by. The out-of-towner has the psychological advantage over someone locally.
  • Don’t hesitate to network with potential employers during the holiday season. With many companies in the midst of budget planning, managers may have tips on positions opening after the first of the year. And with company activities slowing during the holiday, it can be an ideal time to call a manager who may be catching up in his or her office.
  • Don’t fall into the temptation to wait the holidays out by surfing the internet. Online job leads are most productive when integrated with your networking. And be careful when posting your resume on the internet – many online resume services are not secure. Be sure the internet sites on which you post your resume have a posted privacy policy.
  • Use the holidays to organize your job search. Do your homework, research companies, and be prepared for increased activity after the first of the year.

Sheryl Dawson, co-author of Job Search: The Total System, said, “Whether out of a job or anticipating the ‘axe’, you shouldn’t use the holidays as an excuse not to pursue new opportunities. Many job searchers make the false assumption that the holidays are a bad time to search. Rather than slowing down job search activity, step up the pace.” Following the techniques of Job Search: The Total System, job seekers can use the holiday season to organize their job search campaign, target companies, formulate strategy, establish their goals and develop an action plan. Dawson went on to share, “The holidays can actually be an ideal time to prepare your job strategy so you can enter the New Year confident of your ability to sell yourself. The goal is not to simply get a job, but to advance your career and get a better job for better pay and a better life!”

Dawson added, “Of course the holidays are a perfect time to make contacts. Job seekers shouldn’t think they’d spoil the fun by letting people know they’re looking for work. With a cheerful attitude and a professional approach, a holiday job seeker has a definite edge over those who wait until after the New Year. Most of all, constructive activity helps eliminate the temptation for the job seeker to get down in the dumps during the holidays. No one likes a party pooper! Stay positive, flexible and proactive. Remember, you only need ONE job so do not focus on the unemployment statistics. Rather, focus on what you have to offer an employer – your skills, competencies and value. If your industry is down and you must consider alternative careers or industries, concentrate on your transferable skills. There is a job or opportunity that is right for you.”

Posted November 23, 2010 by

Business, Engineering, and Computer Science 2011 Grads Most Sought After by Employers

Marilyn Mackes of the National Association of Colleges and EmployersEmployers are most interested in hiring new college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the business, engineering, and computer science fields, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Nearly 62 percent of the organizations taking part in NACE’s Job Outlook 2011 survey cited plans to hire accounting graduates. Other popular degrees at the bachelor’s degree level included:

  • Finance degree (57 percent of respondents);
  • Electrical engineering degree (53.5 percent );
  • Computer science degree (53 percent);
  • Mechanical engineering degree (53 percent); and
  • Business administration degree with a specialization in accounting, finance, and management (52 percent).

(more…)

Posted November 01, 2010 by

On Job Action Day 2010, Focus on Your Competencies, Interests, and Values

Thanks to the good folks at QuintCareers.com, today is Job Action Day and that means that dozens of career bloggers are contributing content to help job seekers worldwide find their next great job.

I’ve known Randall and Kathy Hansen of QuintCareers.com for a decade and they’re two of the smartest, thoughtful, and caring leaders you’ll ever meet. The creation and promotion of this event is a perfect example. They could create the same content that the contributing bloggers do, but the Hansens know that they can make a bigger impact by getting more people involved as many and probably most users of CollegeRecruiter.com do not overlap with the users of QuintCareers.com and the same goes for the other Job Action Day contributors. So by galvanizing dozens, they reach tens of thousands and perhaps even hundreds of thousands of additional job seekers.

But enough hugs and kisses. What content am I contributing to Job Action Day 2010? I’m going to focus on what I believe to be the three primary factors that job seekers should use when deciding what type of job to go after. Many, many job seekers — especially less experienced ones like many of those using CollegeRecruiter.com — don’t fully appreciate that their choice of a career path or a job within that career path should not be determined by how much money they can make or even what they’re good at. Rather, their decision should be driven by three factors:

  1. Competencies – What are you good at?
  2. Interests – What do you like to do?
  3. Values – What is important to you?

Too many job seekers look for work in an area that lines up well with one or perhaps even two of the above but not all three. When that happens, the result tends to be failure.

The job seeker may end up failing on the job because their skills don’t line up well with the work. In short, they just aren’t competent at what they’re trying to do. I’m taller than the average guy, but at a shade below six feet one inch and not terribly well coordinated, I’m in no danger of playing in the National Basketball Association. So even if I really love playing basketball and playing at the highest possible level is important to me, I’m not going to succeed if I were to try out for an NBA team.

Having a strong interest in your career path is equally as important. Someone who has immense talent (competencies) and values the contributions they can make on the basketball court may make an NBA team and perhaps even play well, but they’ll likely be frustrated and quickly disillusioned by their chosen career path if they don’t like the game.

Similarly, it is also important to value your career path. You may be highly competent and interested in playing in the NBA but if you don’t value the contributions that you make to the game or that the game makes to you then you’re going to be bored and quickly looking for the next best thing. You sometimes see this in young athletes that quit their game far too early. Many fans scratch their heads and wonder how someone with so much talent and who performs at such a high level can just walk away from all that fame and money. The reason is they don’t value that fame or money. Other things in life are more important to them and they should be given credit for recognizing that life is too short to spend years working at something that just doesn’t matter.

So when you’re looking at a job opportunity or even a career path, don’t just focus on your skills or what you like or what you care about. Focus on all three. It is often said that three’s a crowd but when you’re talking about competencies, interests, and values, three is a necessity.

Please check out these blog posts that are joining mine in supporting Job Action Day 2010:

You can also find Job Action Day 2010 posts on these blogs:

Posted October 29, 2010 by

Leading Businesses Launch Training Initiative to Prepare U.S. College Students and Young Professionals for the Workforce

Today, Business Roundtable and HR Policy Association announced the release of JobSTART101: Smart Tips and Real-World Training, an online course for college students and recent graduates that introduces the professional skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. Even in a time of soaring unemployment, a survey revealed that 61 percent of U.S. employers report difficulty in finding qualified workers to fill vacancies at their companies. JobSTART101 addresses the gap between employers’ needs and workers’ skills by helping students understand the real-life challenges and expectations of the workplace.

The United States needs a well-equipped workforce that is prepared for the challenges of today’s job market. However, many college graduates do not have an opportunity to learn what employers expect and have not developed the professional skills that will help them succeed after they are hired.

“While our nation remains focused on job creation, it’s equally important to focus on ensuring that our workforce has the skills and training needed to succeed in today’s economy. Business leaders are concerned that many entry-level employees lack the communication and analytical skills that are necessary for sustained job success,” said William D. Green, Chairman and CEO of Accenture and Chairman of Business Roundtable’s Education, Innovation and Workforce Initiative. “JobSTART101 helps prepare new employees meet the challenges of the job market which is essential to building a competitive workforce.”

JobSTART101 is a first-of-its-kind course that’s free and available to college students and recent graduates nationwide. The course includes interactive components such as videos and course workbooks that cover topics ranging from how to communicate and solve problems to how to develop a professional persona that helps drive a career for long-term success. It is designed to be engaging and fast-paced, with the option for students to complete the entire course in approximately 90 minutes or tackle the six topical modules one at a time.

“A student or young professional who spends 90 minutes with this course will be a more productive employee and experience greater satisfaction in his/her first job without having to undergo extensive – and expensive – coursework or training,” says Alexandra Levit, an expert on business and workplace issues and the online instructor for JobSTART101.

Prior to today’s release, a group of college students provided feedback on the course. Six institutions participated in the pilot evaluation: California State University at East Bay, Coppin State University, DeVry University, Duke University, Northern Virginia Community College and University of Michigan. The majority of students reported that the course engaged their interest and included useful information and relevant examples that would help prepare them for situations they would face at work.

The need for JobSTART101 was identified by The Springboard Project – an independent commission of thought leaders convened by Business Roundtable – who recommended specific actions that would help Americans get the education and training they need to succeed in the evolving economy. The experts urged employers to better communicate workforce needs and expectations to students and increase American’s workplace readiness and competitiveness.

Posted October 19, 2010 by

Career Experts And Bloggers Unite To Help Job-Seekers In Third Annual Job Action Day

Job Action Day 2010 LogoAs the unemployment crisis slogs on, it’s clear that the new world of work involves far fewer full-time, permanent jobs with benefits than in the past. Job Action Day 2010, the third-annual initiative spearheaded by Quintessential Careers and being held this year on Nov. 1, addresses this new world of work by exhorting job-seekers to look at innovative ways to create opportunity. A cadre of career experts and bloggers are joining QuintCareers in helping job-seekers confront the new realities of the workforce on Job Action Day, held annually on the first Monday in November.

Some key indicators of this new world of work include:

  • Fifty percent of the workforce added in 2010 will be made up of one form or another of contingent workers, says the report The Emerging New Workforce by Littler Mendelson, P.C., which provides employment and labor-law solutions. “As a result,” the report states, “approximately 25 percent to as high as 35
    percent of the workforce will be made up of temporary workers, contractors, or other project-based labor. The numbers of professionals working in temporary or alternative work arrangements will continue to rise. Flexible work schedules and telecommuting will increase as companies turn towards practical solutions to efficiently complete tasks while retaining talented individuals.” [Similar sources: Freelance Nation: Why Permanent Jobs May Not Come Back by Charles Hugh Smith, DailyFinance; Need a job? Contract work could be new normal by Eve Tahmincioglu, MSNBC; One-in-Five employers to hire full-time, permanent staff in Q4: survey by International Business Times]
  • A looming skills mismatch is preventing some workers from obtaining jobs even as employers increase hiring. During the recession, employers had to make do with fewer workers, and those workers took on more functions. “Now, someone who hopes to get those jobs must meet the new requirements,” reports Christopher S. Rugaber in an Associated Press article. Technology has also added to the skills mismatch. [Similar source: The Stagnating Labor Market by Arjun Jayadev and Mike Konczal, The Roosevelt Institute]

“The workforce as we’ve come to know it will probably never be the same,” said Dr. Randall S. Hansen, founder and publisher of QuintCareers. “Job-seekers must develop a whole new mind-set to thrive in this new world of work. That’s why our 2010 Job Action Day theme is ‘Create Opportunity,'” Hansen said. “The theme has a double meaning; not only must job-seekers create opportunity, but we encourage employers and the government to find ways to create opportunity, as well.”

Adds author Jay Block in an article published on QuintCareers.com that sets the tone for Job Action Day 2010: “A finite number of jobs may be available, but an infinite number of opportunities are waiting for people to tap into.”

On Job Action Day 2010, Quint Careers will disseminate information from experts on how to create opportunity*:

  • The Proteus Solution: Surviving and Thriving in a Transformational Workplace, by Jay Block, executive career coach and author, West Palm Beach, FL.
  • Create Opportunity by Targeting Companies, Not Jobs, by Laura Levine Labovich, chief career strategist, Aspire! Empower! Career Strategy Group, Bethesda, MD.
  • How Temp Workers Can Creating Opportunity for Full-Time Hire, by Maureen Crawford Hentz, U.S. manager of talent acquisition, development and compliance at OSRAM Sylvania, Danvers, MA.
  • Creating Opportunity in the Nonprofit Sector, by Heather Krasna, speaker and author of Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service, Seattle.
  • Breakthrough Belief Strategies to Bust Up Limiting Beliefs, Bolster Confidence, and Bring Opportunity to Your Doorstep! by Susan Whitcomb, author, as well as founder and president of The Academies, including Career Coach Academy, Job Search Academy, and Leadership Coach Academy, Fresno, CA.
  • Creating Opportunity by Financing and Budgeting for a Career Reinvention, by Randi Bussin, founder and president, Aspire!, Boston.
  • Career Myopia: A National Epidemic, by Kristin Cardinale, PhD, author of The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms & Reinvent Your Life, Milwaukee, WI.
  • Getting Paid What You Are Worth — Especially in Today’s Recession, by Don Orlando, career coach and owner, The McLean Group, Montgomery, AL.
  • Are You a S.M.A.R.T. Worker? Five Compelling Career Strategies to Make You More Valuable, by Billie Sucher, Billie Sucher Career Transition Services, Urbandale, IA.
  • Accelerate Executive Job Search With Personal Branding: A Personal Branding Worksheet, by Meg Guiseppi, “the C-level executive job coach,” Andover, NJ.
  • Outsiders On The Inside: Creating A Winning Career … Even When You Don’t Fit In, by David Couper, author of a book of the same title, Los Angeles.
  • Creating Opportunity with Your Entrepreneurial Mindset, by Nancy Miller, LifeWork coach and director of the Center for LifeWork Design, Sacramento, CA.
  • Career Assessments: Tools for Lifetime Career Management, by Susan Guarneri, “the assessment goddess,” Three Lakes, WI.

Bloggers who plan to support Job Action Day 2010 with posts on or around Nov. 1 include*:

*subject to change

In addition, the Quintessential Careers family of blogs, including the Quintessential Careers Blog, Career Doctor Blog, Quintessential Resume and Cover Letter Tips Blog, and A Storied Career, will feature Job Action Day entries.

Posted October 14, 2010 by

36% of College Grads Wish They Had Picked a Different Major

A tight job market may have some workers pondering their educational paths and heading back to the classroom. According to a new survey, 36 percent of workers with college degrees said they wish they had chosen a different major in college. More than one-in-four (26 percent) said the market for jobs in their chosen field worsened from the time they entered college and when they graduated. This survey was conducted among more than 2,000 workers with college degrees between August 17 and September 2, 2010.

While more than half (56 percent) of all workers with college degrees reported they found a job in their desired career path within one year of graduation, others’ pursuits still haven’t come to fruition. Nearly one-in-five (19 percent) of all workers with a college degree still have not found a job in their desired field.

More than one-in-four workers (27 percent) who graduated from college ten years ago or longer reported they still haven’t found a job related to their college major. Twenty-one percent said it took them three years or longer to find an opportunity in their desired career path while one-in-ten (12 percent) said it took five years or longer.

“The job market has been challenging for all workers, regardless of degree level, and has prompted many to think about learning skills for high demand and emerging jobs,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Many employers, particular in areas such as healthcare, engineering, IT and communications have open positions and can’t find skilled candidates to fill them. College students and workers considering going back to school should take note of areas with growth opportunities and more abundant hiring.”

Building new skill sets is a priority for more than one-in-ten (13 percent) workers who said they have plans to go back to school this year to make themselves more marketable.

Haefner offers the following tips for workers who want to pursue more education:

  • Talk to HR – If you’re currently employed, many organizations offer some type of learning program. Whether it’s classes taught on-site at your company, courses and seminars across the country or reimbursement for graduate school programs, your HR department can help you decide what is the best fit for your goals.
  • Leverage the Web – Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your home to hone your skills. Many sites offer a wide variety of learning opportunities, such as CBInstitute.com, or consider applying to an online university.
  • Take advantage of local resources – Many local libraries and community centers offer classes in everything from basic Internet skills to foreign languages. Ask around your community to see what opportunities exist.
Posted October 13, 2010 by

5 Tips for Millennials Who Are Looking for Work Or Recently Hired

Alexandra Levit Alexandra Levit posted a great list of tips for Gen Y / Millennials at her Water Cooler Wisdom blog, along with a good description of each for those who want more:
  1. Focus on acquiring transferable skills.
  2. Use your initiative one small contribution at a time.
  3. Take charge of your own career path.
  4. Make your boss look good.
  5. Look for a mentor with a generosity of spirit who is just a few years ahead of you on the ladder, ideally in another department.