ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

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 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.