Tag Archives: Career Management

Breaking Out Of Long-Term Unemployment | Glassdoor.com

It’s especially difficult when one encounters HR staff and recruiters that are clueless to what happened in 2009.

Breaking Out Of Long-Term Unemployment

Posted by Yahoo! Hot Jobs • April 22nd, 2010

Long-term unemployment can wreak havoc on a person’s sense of self-worth and well-being. Worse, big resume gaps, or current unemployment, may also mark a job seeker as “damaged goods” and make a long job search even longer.

“I wouldn’t say the bias [against hiring the unemployed] is pervasive, but too many hiring managers don’t realize that the world has changed and that people have had a hard time finding jobs through no fault of their own,” says Cheryl Ferguson, president of Recruiter’s Studio and recruiter for Decision Toolbox.

Throw in the towel? Don’t even think about it, career experts say. They suggest these practical steps to help even the most discouraged unemployed job seeker get motivated and beat the odds.

1. Check your mental attitudes.
It’s a vicious circle: the longer you’re out of work, the more anxious, insecure, or depressed you may be–and this can hurt your chances of landing a job. “Attitude is a crucial part of the job search, and unfortunately it’s easy to be caught up in negative mental self-talk, especially with the media telling us how terrible everything is,” says Helaine Z. Harris, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist.

If anxiety or depression is significant, don’t be afraid to seek counseling. If that’s not an option, simple calming breaths and even meditation can be effective, Harris says. “It’s essential to relax and clear the mind, so you’ll know the right actions to take and be able to magnetize the opportunities you want.” Connecting with nurturing friends and sharing your feelings about being unemployed can also help if you’re feeling isolated.

2. Move your body.
There’s documented evidence that physical exercise improves mental health and reduces anxiety. And a gym regimen or even daily walks around the neighborhood can help your job-search efforts by adding structure to your day. “Regular exercise creates more self-discipline and shows that you can do hard things, which makes it easier to handle tasks like making difficult phone calls,” says Penelope Trunk, creator of the social network site Brazen Careerist.

3. Step away from the computer.
Job boards and social networking sites such as Twitter can be helpful, but they are not the only ways to connect. And relying on them can perpetuate the unemployment “hermit” trap. “If you’ve been out of circulation for a while, you have to remind people you’re still around,” Ferguson says. “You’re also likely to be a little rusty in networking, so it’s important to get out once or twice a week, at least, for a face-to-face meeting, lunch, or networking event.”

4. Re-examine employment strategies and tactics.
With a clearer mind, an energized body, and a fuller social calendar, you can better gauge the effectiveness of your search. Career coach and author Dr. Marty Nemko urges unemployed job hunters to not assume they’ve been doing everything right:

“Are you really spending 30 hours a week job searching? Do you have a job-search buddy, so you can be accountable to each other? Are you active in your professional association, in-person and online? After an interview, have you sent a proposal that explains what you’d do for the employer? Have you followed up relentlessly with warm leads? If you’ve done all of those things and still aren’t getting a job, you probably need to change your job target to a more in-demand job title or a lower-level job,” says Nemko.

5. Fill the resume gap.
A resume should be a history of things you’ve accomplished, not necessarily a chronology of things you’ve been paid for, according to Trunk. With that philosophy, there’s no reason to have a gap in your resume. “There are very few professions where you have to be on the payroll in order to do the work,” Trunk says. “If you’re a programmer, write a patch on your own time. If you’re a shoe designer, design your own shoes. Just do it. You’ll have something to show on the resume, and you’ll be taking back your power.” (See all HotJobs articles about resumes.)

6. Don’t be defensive about unemployment.
You’ve been out of work for a while. So what? So have many of the other candidates. “Don’t hide the fact you’ve been unemployed,” says John M. McKee, job coach and founder of BussinessSuccessCoach.net. “People won’t hire others who are prickly.”

McKee adds that you might need to stop saying the word “unemployed” if the word is getting in your way. Trunk agrees: “When someone asks what you’re doing now, don’t say you’re out of work, because you’re not. You’re just not getting paid. Talk about the projects you’ve done and what you’re learning, and then mention, ‘I’m looking for a paid position like this.’”–Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobs

via Breaking Out Of Long-Term Unemployment | Glassdoor.com Blog.

13 Reasons You will Never Get a Job | via “The Job Genius”

Its so easy to ascribe blame to external forces but sometimes it is actually you (me). The author presents 13 points that make for a good self assessment.  Maybe its time to look in the mirror…

13 Reasons You will Never Get a Job

Filed under: Change is Good, Changing Careers, General, Motivation, Networking — Tags: Lack of education, Motivation, Personal Branding, Personal development — admin @ 2:28 pm

Yes I know that 13 is an unlucky number and even that may deter some of you from reading this. Just this once how about being a contrarian? That’s right, go against the grain. Make a difference in your life. Okay let me be perfectly honest with you. Nobody owes you a job. And to make it worse most job seekers are faced with a perfect storm of barriers that never existed in the past. Those barriers include huge competition for a single position, social media, applicant tracking systems, the complete elimination of entire job descriptions and industries, not to mention a totally overwhelmed HR and recruiting department. You have to be prepared to put your best foot forward. Your most prepared foot. And the one that completely differentiates you from the flock.

Although “experts” are skirting the issue and giving you false hope, I don’t have any problem telling you that you are likely going to stay unemployed, unhappy and a complete burden on society if you continue to do the things I’ve outlined below. Consider it a wake up call; consider it an opportunity. Because statistics show that only a very small percentage of you will take any action. Interesting, that’s about the same percentage of people in the world who are independently successful.

Your choice, it’s a new world with new rules so you have to be ready to do new things.

These 13 reasons outline opportunities that most people will never take advantage of. That’s good news for some of you because the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people will do what unsuccessful people will not. Here you go (don’t kill the messenger).

1) You spew facts vs. stories. There’s an old adage in sales and marketing that stories sell and facts tell. People can relate personally to stories and the more you know about the company and person that you are interviewing with the better you can get that person to relate to what you are talking about. Stories evoke emotions and get people connected. And being personally connected is the differentiator you need. Think about the book series, “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. It is just a compilation of short stories about real life. It’s also the best selling book series of all time. But what if instead of telling a heart wrenching story about a paraplegic who learns to walk again and fights all odds to win a dog sled race in the Antarctic all alone, it was just a series of facts like, “Man rides sled across the snow”? One of the most powerful things you can do is call up former employees and employers and just shoot the breeze with them. Write down all the wonderful, “remember when” stories as well as the stories of success and challenge that make you unique. You need other people to jog your memory. If you can give your story personality and feelings, then you will gain instant rapport with anyone you talk to. Instant differentiator, you win.

2) You don’t present solutions. Let’s be real, an employer wants to hire someone to solve a particular problem. Either they don’t have enough of something or they want to fix/change something. And if they had all the solutions then they wouldn’t need you. So after you have thoroughly researched and analyzed the company, its culture, the competition, the industry and the people you are interviewing with then you better know what solutions they need and be able to communicate it. If you don’t, it’s okay because somebody else will. One great tool is to actually perform a S.W.O.T. analysis on the department, industry or company you are interested in. S.W.O.T. stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Just Google it if you need a template to help guide you. And believe me, any employer worth working for will be completely impressed not only by your research but by your diligence.

3) You’re lazy. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Abe Lincoln said that if he had 8 hours to chop down a tree then he would spend the first 6 sharpening his axe. Unfortunately most people don’t want to put forth the time and effort to do what they need to do to secure an interview and a job. The facts are clear that the vast majority of jobs are attained by some sort of active networking practice. And not by posting your resume on-line or applying for job after job. Yet most people are not willing to do what it takes to establish and nurture (you don’t just make a connection and then magic happens) the right networks. When I suggest that people actually call companies and build a rapport with associates in order to seek referrals, they look at me like I’m crazy. But that one additional step can mean the difference between having or not having network contacts, job referrals, insight, interview process feedback and much more.

4) You’re boring. Surveys of recruiters and Human Resource managers show that the number one trait that job seekers lack is high energy. The bottom line is that people want to be around other people who are upbeat, exciting and at the very least, energetic. The perception is that high energy people are on the ball and exude confidence; low energy people are lazy, unmotivated and no fun. Regardless of whether that is true or not, you had better have a gut check about your output. And I’m not just talking about the live interview where your handshake needs to be strong and secure (ladies included) and your voice confident and strong. During your phone interview, your energy is even more important because no one can see the bright expression of excitement that is hidden by technology. The only way to portray confidence and high energy on the phone is to have the proper inflection, tonality and great volume. With blue tooth and other type headsets, it’s more and more important to speak up. And after all, if you’re not excited about what you have to offer, why should anyone else be? And please get some honest feedback from someone about how you sound. True story; I was actually offered a job because of a message I left on an answering machine. It wasn’t the message itself; it was the energy, passion and drive that delivered it.

5) You don’t add up. Have you ever talked to someone and they just make you turn your head and say, “hmm”? Well how do you know if someone isn’t saying that about you? Here’s the best way to tell. If you have anything to hide, have covered something up, or speak in half truths or your resume doesn’t match what you say or what you wrote on your application. If any of those things are true, people will say, “Hmm”
about you. The biggest lies we tell are the one’s we tell ourselves (think of your kids who will honestly say they didn’t get into the cake, all the while covered in chocolate icing). No job, guaranteed. Be honest and be consistent. There are no perfect people in the world. In fact the only people with no problems are well, dead people. What differentiates people is how they handle those problems. So turn your past issues into opportunities. Employers are looking for solution providers so be one.

6) You only speak one language. I’m not talking French or Spanish. I’m talking about the three ways that people communicate and learn. People
learn and disseminate information in one of three ways; auditory,
visual and kinesthetic. Without a full dissertation, this is what I’m talking bout. Auditory learners can grasp information just by you talking to them. Visual learners need some form of pictures or stories to create the picture before they “get it”. Kinesthetic learners need to be an active participant before the information gets through their thick skulls (that’s me). These interviewers would most benefit from a Socratic type interview where they were guided to come up with their own conclusions about why you are the “man” for the job.

Oh and by the way most people are visual. I just happen to be kinesthetic. Which means that I am so dense that you can talk ‘till you
are blue in the face and I won’t get it. I know what you are saying, “So what”? Well let’s say that that there is an even distribution of the population (33.33% each) that prefers to communicate in one of the three styles. And you prefer to communicate in one of the other. So you are visual and the interviewer is auditory. You show graphs and pictures but don’t really “explain” why you are the best candidate (stories are also like pictures). Have you ever wondered why you have a passionate message that just doesn’t produce the results that you are looking for? Well this is the number one reason. Why do you think that Google paid like a gazillion (I’m sure that’s the official term) dollars for YouTube? Because video appealed to the masses in a way that written text never could. So the solution is always to appeal to the interviewers preferred style. How do you do that? We’ll it would be great if you could give them a test to determine their preferred style but the fact is that you just don’t know. So the only solution is to ALWAYS communicate in all three styles. And if you do…..wow you will do what 99% of job seekers not only don’t know how to do but they are also not willing (see lazy above) to do. Hey what’s the big deal anyway…being unemployed is not that bad. I’m sure that Obama will extend your jobless benefits and eating out is so over rated.

7) You’re a quitter. If I hadn’t just had two glasses of wine complements of Delta on my first class upgrade I would have said that you need to have more perseverance. (Disclaimer: I am not condoning the use of alcohol to enhance your creative abilities) But let’s be
real here. Most people quit too soon. Studies show that 81% of professional sales people take 5 calls to close a sale. But a full 90% give up prior to making that critical 5th call (48% quit after the first call and another 24% quit after the 2nd call). I can think of a significant number of hires who scored the position just because they were the one who stayed front and center with me. And not just when I had a position open, no these candidates made regular contact regardless of whether anything was available. And you know the best part is that I really appreciated those candidates staying top of mind with me. Why? Because it kept me from having to weed through hundreds of unqualified candidates.

8) You don’t take advantage of opportunities right in front of your face. Right now I am sitting on a two hour plane ride from Kansas City back to my home in Atlanta. I had an idea pop into my head to write this article after talking to a couple of job seekers who are close to 100% guaranteed not to get employment anytime soon (see reasons 1-13). Oops the battery on my laptop is completely dead and Delta just doesn’t have the foresight like the Virgin Atlantic visionaries to add AC; even in first class (yeah I’m spoiled, so). I am actually writing this entire article on my iPhone because my laptop battery died (I thought about writing a book about writing a book on my phone). I have never understood how someone can spend hours on a plane and not at least have something to read, let alone work on. But in all seriousness, opportunities are all around us every day. Most of the time we are just not prepared to take advantage of them. They say that luck is when preparation and opportunity cross paths and that is so true. Here’s a great example. And this story came from an article in the Atlanta Journal almost a year ago. Yes I was prepared for the opportunity and cut the article out and filed it under, “opportunities”. Anyway the article is about a marketing executive who was a little down on his luck (not enough business) so he decided to create some by actually scheduling flights (mostly first class) to no-where in particular. Why? Because most decision makers were on flights and in first class. The result was that David Topus, marketing and business consultant, landed a 3 year business relationship with former Delta CEO, Leo Mullin, countless contacts and even a 100k deal because of a seat assignment mix up. Now I understand that most people don’t have the means to spend a couple of grand on a first class ticket just on the chance that they will meet someone, but you are missing the point. David just created networking opportunities that exist for all of us, every day. Instead of a first class flight, the opportunity you create could come from a Chamber Networking function or a MeetUp group that you start, or god forbid strike up a conversation with someone in line at the grocery store. The differentiator is that David took an active role in his networking whereas most people think that “showing up” is good enough. Seriously, the whole “90% of life is just showing up” has really screwed up a lot of folks. In the very best of markets maybe that has a hint of truth; with the results only lasting short term. In this market it has no relevance what so ever.

9) Your resume sucks. Alright I’ve reviewed more resumes than I can count. Do you want to know the bottom line? Okay here you go. You know that resume writer that you paid big bucks for? Fire them and hire an editor instead (at a fraction of the price). Your resume won’t get you the job or interview but it can certainly lose it for you. So use this as a rule of thumb. Don’t make it too long, too complicate (go for it if you are a PhD in Neuroscience and are applying for the same but still be careful because a recruiter is likely screening your resume) or too messy. It doesn’t matter how good a candidate you are if your resume shows how poorly you can hire a proof reader or do it yourself. And here’s some very valuable information (you can send me a check if you want) that will completely differentiate you from the rest of the world. Go back and read number 6 above. Take out some words (no fluff in the resume please) and add a few graphs or charts that are easy to read. It will immediately catch someone’s eye and it will resonate with another 33 1/3% of the population who are visual learners (come on, we all like to look at the pictures).

10) You need immediate gratification. An article in The New Yorker highlighted a 1960’s study that showed there is a direct correlation between a child’s ability to delay immediate gratification and success. In fact the 30% of kids who could delay getting a marshmallow for just 15 minutes scored on average 210 points higher on SAT scores. The 70% who could not delay immediate gratification struggled making friends and handling stressful situations. To put this in perspective, the job seeker that needs immediate gratification is the one who posts their resume every day, they do mass mailings of cover letters, and they mindlessly apply for job after job. The job seeker who can delay immediate gratification will do their due diligence by researching companies, individuals, industries and competitors. They will put together a package of solutions and take the time to build relationships as well as practice until their message is clear and value oriented.  So what’s it going to be? One marshmallow now or two in 15 minutes?

11) You’re a taker, not a giver. If you are always looking for what a company is going to do for you and what your benefits will be then you are thinking backwards and you are doomed to fail. Everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM (what’s in it for me) so it’s only natural to be a little selfish. The only problem is that your potential employer listens to the same station and they have the upper hand. So if your mission is not to add value to individuals and organizations then you’ve added one more reason why you may never get a job in this economy. The best way to learn how to add value is to make a list of the common concerns an employer might have about hiring someone and answer them. Employers are really only concerned about 3 things. If you can do the job. If you will do the job. If they like you. Answer the objections before the interviewer has had a chance to ask you about them and you are in baby. Other great ways to add value is by doing a S.W.O.T. Analysis or actually preparing a summary of how you will attack the position in your first 90 days (please include items related to soliciting the help of other people in the company).

12) You’re going it alone. Here’s the bottom line. Two heads are better than one and you only have one (if you do in fact have two, skip this section). Napoleon Hill in his masterpiece, Think and Grow Rich, described it a little more elegantly. He said that a mastermind is “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” And also, “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.” In fact he also stated that nothing of greatness was ever achieved by a single man. Yet so often, especially when we are down and out, we tend to play turtle and hide in our shell. You should be doing just the opposite by joining forces with accountability partners who will challenge you to do things that you would never do on your own. And of course, you should return the favor. If you want to know where to find an accountability partner, don’t worry, they are everywhere and likely looking for you as well. See number 8 above.

13) You aren’t prepared. I had to add this in just to make it an even 13 reasons that you will never get a job (only if you are actually a participant in one or more of them). Brian Tracy, the world famous sales trainer said that for every minute you spend planning, you save 10 minutes in execution. That’s a 1000% return on your energy. To put that in perspective, if you do the proper planning and preparation then you can have one interview and get the job or you can be poorly prepared and continue to interview over and over and over again. Get it? So what should you be preparing? In a word, everything. Interview questions (with your accountability partner), reviewing your resume (with your accountability partner), interviewing other people (because you learn when you teach), researching companies, individuals, industries, trends etc and practice relating the information over and over until you are good at it and you exude confidence (because you will when you know your stuff). I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Everything you do, you should plan and prepare for.

There you have it. 13 reasons why you may not ever get a job in this economy. I hope that is not the case. I hope this has been a wake up call for you because these are also 13 ways that you can differentiate yourself from most every other job seeker. It’s a buyers market and you better have the right product for anyone to be interested. Dents, dings and scratches need not apply.

via The Job Genius.

55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year

I’m using the author’s headline.  The stats are 28% are “unemployed/actively looking” (aka me) + 28% are “Strong Possibility”  = 54%.  Still, that’s a lot of people that may go into play.  We won’t know until confidence picks-up.  It’s easy to say that you’re “out the door” but it’s another thing to actually walk out that door.

[I made the charts as big as I could so that you can read the data, sorry if it doesn’t look pretty]

Orlando, FL – January 8, 2010

55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year
27% of Medical Device Industry Executives Will “Definitely” Pursue New Employment in 2010; 28% Indicate “Strong Possibility.”  Only 22% are committed to staying in current role.

According to a poll of 2000 medical industry professionals randomly surveyed January 4-7, 2010, more than half are looking at 2010 as the year to make a job change.

The study posed the question: “What is the likelihood you will change jobs in 2010?”

Overall, 26% of the respondents polled answered that that were either “unemployed” or “actively looking.” Thirty-one percent answered that they were happy in their current situation bur are keeping their options open.

Most telling may be the final category: only 11% expected no change in their employment under any circumstances in 2010

Paula Rutledge, President of Legacy MedSearch, a retained search firm working exclusively in medical device recruitment, was not surprised by the results.  “For the past eighteen months, professionals in all aspects of the medical industry have had to work harder – many times for less pay and with fewer resources – to make up for reductions in staff.  I’m not certain if this trend is sustainable with the first glimmers of hope in medical starting to become evident.  Many pharmaceutical and large capital equipment companies will continue to contract through 2010, evidenced the Pfizer (400) and Merck (500) layoffs announced January 7. However, with all the ‘fat’ cut away from most companies, there will be a slight increase in hiring, particularly in the customer-facing functions (sales & marketing), and those professions associated with patient-issues (quality, regulatory, compliance, and clinical affairs).”

Bureau of Labor Statistics January Report Shows Mixed Results
Even with a slight edge up in the January 2010 initial jobless claims (up 1,000 from the previous week of 433,000), the 4 week moving average continues a downward trend and jobless claims in twelve states, including California, actually declined. The unemployment rate still hovers at over 10%,1

That said, the medical device industry, with a higher employment pool of college graduates more likely mirrors the overall unemployment rate of 4.6% posted for management, professional and related occupations 2

Medical Device Sales Executives “Most Discontent”
In a breakdown of the poll results by Title, a mere 9% of healthcare sales professionals are completely satisfied with their current position – and this excludes pharmaceutical sales representatives who have seen mass lay-offs for nearly three years.

Age Makes a Difference
One anonymous respondent who had been laid off in 2009 commented: “Over 80% of the people using outplacement services were at least 50. It’s all about companies saving salary & pension dollars and so many of us are not ready or able to retire.”

In terms of the perception of job prospects, the baby boomers are split down the middle, with 51% actively looking or choosing to keep their options open.

Those options include uplifting roots and relocating to the right stable job, says an anonymous Graphics Designer.  “I am a technical designer and was laid off 3 times in 17 months. It is simply getting ridiculous. I finally found a job, but took a huge step back. I’m at the point where I’d relocate to a job (in a desirable area) if it had a stable future and the sky was the limit.”

Legacy MedSearch plans to keep the poll active through January, and the poll results can be seen here.

About Legacy MedSearch
Legacy MedSearch is a retained recruitment firm focused exclusively on Medical Device & Technology with an emphasis on Engineering, QA/RA and Clinical Affairs, Product and Marketing Management, R&D and Sales.

via 55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year « Legacy MedSearch blog.

Practical Job Search Advice: Give up salary history?

I just love Liz.  She is so practical and down to Earth. There are just so many half-baked ideas out there on how to forecast performance of a new hire.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Give up salary history?

Hi Liz,

I learned about a position of interest and I emailed several LinkedIn
connections asking about the co. and if they knew of an appropriate contact, to (tactfully) avoid the HR black hole. Each time I was told to contact their HR. I contacted HR and was told to complete an online app. I completed the app and drafted a very tailored cover/pain letter, customized my resume and submitted both online. I exceeded their experience by more than double and met their ed preference for a grad degree. At the bottom of the app after completing everything as I went to submit it, I was informed that I was subject to a background check and verification of salary/experience. I wasn’t thrilled about it but had invested a lot of time so I submitted the app. I received a call from
HR asking me for my salary requirements – I gave the range and was told it was high and asked would I flex $10K? I wasn’t excited but said depending on their compensation package, I would. Then in spite of the years of direct experience I exceeded vs. their requirements, she
commented that it had been several years since I’d performed the management areas needed by them ( in spite of having documented solid results for 4 companies on my resume), vs. what I’ve done with consulting the past few years.
From her comments, it sounded as if they haven’t found the right person  – now I know why. I was starting to feel like I was getting attacked to bring me down.
While I could commute, it would be 2-3 hours commute each way, so I told her I’d need to relo and wouldn’t commute. Right now I’m honestly ambivalent about this whole situation.

Since I submitted the app acknowledging past salary/employment verification,  if I am contacted re: an interview or additional info, in spite of my favoring your recommendations to not disclose past salaries, do I have to provide company HR contacts for salary verification  or- can I provide an employee reference to verify salary? I won’t lie but I want to avoid HR.
I also don’t want to disclose consulting income – do I say that’s privileged as part of my  tax reporting information?
What else would you recommend addressing with this co. upfront before I commit to more time/meetings with them?

Thanks, Liz,


———————- NOTE FROM LIZ:—————————

Dear Carmen,

You filled out an online application, and in that process you gave the employer permission to contact your past employers. That approval has NOTHING to do with your own disclosure of your past salaries or your consulting income. It is entirely up to you whether to say anything about that, or not.

As you mentioned, I don’t see any reason for an employer to ask about your past salary, and I encourage job-seekers to keep that info to themselves. Here’s a little script for that conversation:

THEM: So Carmen, what did you earn at ABC Plastics?
YOU: I’m focusing on jobs in the $55K range, so if this position is in that
ballpark, it makes sense for us to talk about it.
THEM: But what were you earning at ABC Plastics?
YOU (big smile in your voice): I think it’s important for us to determine
together whether the job opening is in a range that works for me, and whether my skills and background work for you and would command a $55K job in your pay structure. Do you think that is something we could figure out in this phone call?
YOU: Well, that number is in our range — it’s at the high end.
YOU: That’s great, then, if you feel I’ve got the background that you’re looking for, let’s figure out what the next step is.

You are already ambivalent about the job, and who can blame you? Who wants to commute hours every day? Your on-the-fence-ishness is one more reason to keep your past salary info to yourself. Don’t worry about giving the employer ways to verify your past salary. If you’ve already given them permission to get that info from your past employers, it’s up to them to do that spadework. Lots of them won’t bother, if your background fits the job requisition.

As for consulting income, you don’t have to spill the beans on that, either. Why should you?

Before you agree to more meetings, I’d get a straight answer on these questions:

1) Is your desired salary in their target hiring range?
2) Is there an opportunity for relo, or for you to telecommute, at least part of the time?
3) Given the concerns that they expressed about your past management experience, what is about your background that makes you still a candidate for this job? (If they won’t give you a clear answer on this one, RUN!)

Carmen, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to trust your gut. If you’re qualified, you’re qualified. If you’re not, you’re not. Companies who put down their job candidates are not generally companies that anyone enjoys working for.



via Practical Job Search Advice: Give up salary history?.

Rethinking Happiness | PBS Video [free until 21-Jan-2010]

Enjoyed seeing this one. Great timing.  Some interesting tools to cope and some fascinating insight on what does and does not help make us happy.

One segment focused on a Lehman Brothers analyst and how he’s been coping with sudden unemployment and being forced into the Mr. Mom role.  I can relate to this one.

Program: This Emotional Life

Episode: Rethinking Happiness

The last episode explores happiness. It is so critical to our well-being, and, yet, it remains such an elusive goal for many of us.

Positive strategies to help us build resilience and lead fuller, happier lives

Duration: (1:54:33)
Premiere Date: 01/05/2010
Episode Expires: Thu 21 Jan 2010
TV Rating: NR

Rethinking Happiness | This Emotional Life | PBS Video.

11 Twitter Tips – Job Search in 140 Characters | ZDNet.com

11 Twitter Tips – Job Search in 140 Characters
December 31st, 2009
Posted by Jennifer Leggio @ 12:55 pm

Guest editorial by Phil Rosenberg, ReCareered

Twitter is a fast growing tool, now being used for more serious purposes than advertise what you had for lunch.  However, Twitter is a firehose of information, making it overwhelming for both the noobie and experienced user to find relevant information, or encourage relevant people to find your own information.

So how can job seekers make Twitter a part of their search strategy?

Getting found on Twitter: Recruiters and HR reps are now on Twitter looking for talent.  In addition, Tweets are now indexed by Google, giving savvy candidates more visibility with recruiters and HR reps who search Google for candidates.  Here are some ways you can encourage others to find you Twitter:

1.       Tweet your resume: Store your resume online (suggestions: your ResuBlog or Online Portfolio, box.net, Google docs).  Then tweet links along with industry information if you are a stealth candidate, or a statement that you are looking and some key words (ex: Java programmer) if you are active.  Even stealth candidates can use this, since Twitter uses link shorteners, so the link you broadcast won’t contain the word resume or your name.

2.       reTweet industry articles: This is Twitter’s way to “pass it on”.  reTweeting industry articles is especially effective for passive job seekers who want to be found, but not be seen as an active job hunters by a current employer.  As Tweets are now indexed by Google and can’t be erased once Tweeted, a direct statement that you’re “looking for a job” may be risky for stealth candidates.

3.       Tweet your own articles or comments: Even if you don’t blog, if you comment, sending a Twitter link to your blog posts or comments shares the discussion with others, including industry recruiters.

4.       Build a list: Build an industry list (see http://recareered.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-can-twitter-lists-help-job-seekers.html).  If you are a Customer Service Manager, build a list of other customer service people, companies and recruiters.  Tweet that you’ve built an industry list, and offer to share with others.

5.       Use Hashtags: Hashtags allow others to easily find your Tweets.  Use hashtags with industry terms if you are stealth or job search terms (see below) if an active candidate.  Hashtags can also serve as keywords for Google searches.

6.       Engage in discussions: Follow Tweets that spark discussion about your industry and comment.

7.       Twitter Profile: Use key words in your profile (and your Tweets) that allow you to be found by recruiters & hiring managers.  Include a link to your resume and your email address in your profile.

Finding the right information and jobs:

8.       Search – Use Twitter’s search function (I find TweetDeck’s search much easier).  Search for “job finance” and you’ll get a steam of job postings for finance professionals.

9.       Hashtags – Hashtags are a way to search for Twitter topics.  I publish job tips on Twitter under the hashtags #career #job #jobsearch #layoff.  Also try #jobs #jobhunt #employment #hiring #laidoff #careers #hireme.

10.   Lists – Twitter Lists are features that allow you to follow a group of posts.  I’ve assembled Twitter’s largest list of JobTweets at http://twitter.com/philreCareered/JobTweets .  If you follow this list, you’ll see a stream of job postings on twitter, and you can search this stream for job postings in your town, industry or function.  Find other Twitter lists on Listorious (http://listorious.com/tags/jobs) .

11.   Following people on Twitter lists – In addition to following lists, follow individual users on the lists that interest you.

For additional help in using Twitter to find jobs…and have employers find you check out additional resources at http://reCareered.blogspot.com Click on the topic tag Twitter to gain additional ideas.

Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered, an executive career coaching service, helping great people discover new career paths and beat the challenges of modern job searches.  Phil runs the Career Change Central group, recently named one of Linkedin’s top groups that job seekers must join.  An active blogger about career change, Phil’s articles are republished by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, CIO, FastCompany and dozens of job and recruiting sites.  Phil can be contacted at phil.reCareered@gmail.com. You can follow Phil on Twitter @philreCareered.

via 11 Twitter Tips – Job Search in 140 Characters | Social Business | ZDNet.com.

LinkedIn Wants Users to Connect More – WSJ.com

Will the new leadership take Linkedin to the next Level?  The old regime really missed the boat by curtailing LIONS and power users.  They really didn’t get the premise of social networking.  Hope that the new skipper “gets it”.

LinkedIn Wants Users to Connect More

Amid Threat From Rivals, Business-Networking Web Site Takes a Page from Facebook’s Playbook

If LinkedIn Corp. wants to avoid being swamped by social-networking giant Facebook Inc., it will have to convince users like Jackie Nejaime to log in more often they do now.

Ms. Nejaime, a San Francisco real-estate agent, uses LinkedIn to stay in touch with her 183-person network, check out job prospects and see if someone might be interested in one of the homes she’s selling. But she typically logs in only a few times a month because she says the site lacks features.

“I would like to get more use out of it,” said Ms. Nejaime “I just don’t know how.” By contrast, the 47-year-old says she uses Facebook every day to touch base with friends and professional contacts.

It is up to LinkedIn’s chief executive, Jeff Weiner, to give people like Ms. Nejaime reasons to spend more time on LinkedIn, which is mostly used by professionals to post their resumes and by corporate recruiters looking for talent.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wants to give people reasons to spend more time on LinkedIn, which is primarily used by professionals to post resumes.

Mr. Weiner, 39, a former senior executive at Yahoo Inc., took over LinkedIn a year ago with a mandate to reinvigorate the six-year-old business. While LinkedIn’s membership has continued to surge, reaching 53.6 million at the end of November from 31.5 million a year ago, it has been dwarfed by Facebook, which has surpassed 350 million members.

More importantly, the amount of time people devote to LinkedIn is a fraction of the time people spend on some other social sites. Visitors spent about 13 minutes on average at LinkedIn during October, while Facebook users logged about 213 minutes and MySpace users spent 87 minutes, according to research firm comScore, which measured the behavior of global users 15 years and older.

LinkedIn is “not really a community as much as a collection” of names, said Brigantine Advisors analyst Colin Gillis. “They are definitely in danger of losing the business-networking market.”

While Facebook doesn’t specifically target the professional market, hundreds of companies, such as Ernst & Young and EMC Corp., use the site to highlight their firms and recruit new candidates, said a Facebook spokeswoman. Special groups for lawyers, accountants, engineers, sales people and other professionals have cropped up all over Facebook as well.

One of Mr. Weiner’s solutions is to take a page from Facebook’s playbook. He recently opened LinkedIn’s site to third-party developers so they can create applications that will draw professional users to the site when they aren’t looking for work.

For example, software maker SAP AG has written an app that allows certified SAP developers to highlight their credentials by adding a “badge” to their LinkedIn profiles. A recently announced partnership with micro-blogging service Twitter Inc. enables LinkedIn members to link their Twitter accounts to their LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn expects other developers will target specific interest groups. For example, a developer might build an app that enables lawyers to highlight their case histories on their profiles. Unlike Facebook, which includes games, LinkedIn said all apps for its network must be professionally oriented. Submissions will be approved on a case by case basis.

“The more relevant those experiences the more likely our membership will be to engage in those experiences,” said Mr. Weiner, adding that LinkedIn has already received requests from 1,500 developers for access to the site’s programming interfaces.

Some analysts downplay the risk LinkedIn faces from sites like Facebook and highlight the recent growth the company has seen outside the U.S. market. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said the “clear delineation” between social and professional networking affords LinkedIn a fair degree of breathing room.

The privately-held company says it turns a profit from ads and recruitment services, though it won’t disclose its profit or revenue. And while LinkedIn says it made “significant” infrastructure investments over the past year, it still has most of the $100 million it has so far raised from venture capital investors.

LinkedIn is also poised to announce a series of subscription “packages,” specially priced memberships that provide not-yet-disclosed products and services designed for job hunters, small-business owners or other groups. The company didn’t provide details, but suggested that some new third-party apps might only be available to premium subscribers.

Other partnerships are aimed at making LinkedIn more useful when members are working outside the network. For example, Microsoft Corp.’s upcoming version of Outlook will allow users to see people’s LinkedIn profiles when they are sending or receiving. Overlapping users will be able to sync their Outlook and LinkedIn contact lists, as well as use Outlook to expand their LinkedIn networks.

Mr. Weiner acknowledges that driving membership growth, while at the same time increasing the number of apps they can use to communicate with each other, poses significant challenges. Key among them is to develop the right privacy tools so users can control who they share information with. Another challenge is to ensure that users aren’t overwhelmed by a blizzard of irrelevant content.

Write to Scott Morrison at scott.morrison@dowjones.com

via LinkedIn Wants Users to Connect More – WSJ.com.

Career & HR Experts Debate: Is Corporate Recruiting Broken?

The article stands on its own; its a nice exchange of ideas.

Clearview Counterpoint: Is Corporate Recruiting Broken? Career & HR Experts Debate

Posted by Clearview Team • October 22nd, 2009

Moderator: Liz Ryan

Here’s the issue: Observers of the current organizational recruiting-and-selection process, in place at most employers, have noted that it’s a contender for the dubious ‘least functional corporate process’ award.

While Six Sigma and LEAN principles are in place in large and small organizations, governing processes from new-product design to the ordering of paper clips, the recruiting function too often sits in a slow, bureaucratic, talent-unfriendly realm of its own. A few of the symptoms include:

1. Candidates wait for weeks to hear from employers after what seemed like promising job interviews.

2. Candidates are treated like third-class citizens during the selection process as they go through the tedious and even insulting screening steps, also known as the Seven Trials of Hercules routine. (”Here’s our online personality test key, and when that’s done, we’ve got an honesty test, a writing test and a little math test for you to take…”).

3. Employers ask candidates to trust in them (that the company will stay in business, that the managers are ethical) but show less and less trust in candidates (”We’ll be needing W-2s for the last five years of employment … ”)

4. More and more selection processes are ‘front-loaded’ (”Before an interview, we’ll need three references, a credit check, and a ten-page business plan that you’ll write for us…”)

We asked the Clearview Bloggers panel:

What’s your take on this issue:

Is corporate recruiting broken?  If so, how would you fix it?

Here’s what they said:

John Sumser:

Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk up to a potential boyfriend, propose marriage and get an immediate answer? It would be fantastic if you could decide you wanted a new house and then immediately go and buy it. Adoption would be vastly improved if you could see a child on the streets and take her home with you.


Changes in demographics, technology and management create unforeseen opportunities to supplement and improve the process of finding and filling jobs. It is easy to confuse the fact that the process can be improved with the notion that it should be improved. Virtually all of the people who argue that recruiting is defective just happen to have something to sell that improves the process.

Today, employers have amazing levels of instant access to information about every size and stripe of potential employee. Those same potential employees find a wealth of opportunity and information on their desktops. Far from being broken, the hiring process offers plenty of choice for both sides of the equation.

Hank Stringer:

Broken and busted…

The systems that support corporate recruiting, primarily sourcing and applicant tracking systems are not designed to support efficient recruiting. The sourcing solutions today post positions that are aggregated, scraped and spread all over resulting in a talent flow of qualified and unqualified talent that cannot be dealt with effectively.  Ask any candidate who has submitted their resume to a corporate site if they expect to hear ‘anything’…you know the drill, submit, wait, hear nothing. The sourced flow is stored in the ATS – a system built primarily for compliance not for a gracious recruiting relationship. The corporate recruiting department won’t respond – they don’t expect to because they can’t.

The problem is serious and requires new approaches to the way we source, filter, assess and recruit/deliver talent. And I mean new approaches, new technology focused on solving the problem supported by businesses models with the same goal. Increased advertising dollars based on page views and clicks is not the sourcing goal – connecting the right talent with the right opportunity is. And forcing corporate recruiting departments to use technology to comply first VS attracting and hiring the best talent at all costs continues to be the focus of too many HR Departments.

Some companies get it right, they invest and use whatever resources (internal and external) are necessary to work talent through the process efficiently and they reap financial benefits of attracting and retaining better talent than the competition. The truth however is that most don’t. Broken….but a great opportunity to get it right – quality talent will appreciate the companies that get corporate recruiting right.

Jeff Hunter:

As the sole member of the Clearview team with direct responsibility for a corporate recruiting department I feel that I should rise to the defense of my chosen profession. After all, every day I get the privilege of seeing great people working hard to find and hire people. Recruiters usually get into recruiting because their heart is in the right place: helping people find work is a good thing to do. But when I read the list of indictments, I had to agree that we have a long way to go.

Corporate recruiting is broken. This is how we can fix it:

Let’s start by asking ourselves the simplest question: how does the corporate recruiting department think of itself? Most companies treat their recruiting departments like an extension of their purchasing departments. Purchasing departments exist to make multiple vendors bid against each other to ensure that the company gets the best price. When you think about it that is how recruiting usually acts: treating candidates like vendors bidding against each other so that the company can get the lowest price. I think this is at the root of our problem. I propose a different way of thinking about corporate recruiting: A recruiting department should be just as strategic as sales: no customers, no company… no talent, no company.

Let’s keep asking ourselves tough questions: what does a sales department do that a purchasing department doesn’t? Cultivate relationships, even when the buyer isn’t interested. A company brings out new products and they want to know which prospects may be interested in buying. Sales needs to keep every prospect warm for just such an occurrence. Similarly, a recruiting department gets a new opening and needs to know which candidates may be interested in applying.

Purchasing departments wait until they have a need and then let the vendors come to them. Sales departments get as much information as possible so that they are ready when a new opportunity presents itself. Recruiting needs to be like sales.

Next question: how does a sales department treat is prospects? Like gold. No prospects, no sales. No sales, no company. How does a purchasing department treat its vendors? Like cattle – all pushing to get to the trough. No cattle, no big deal – more will be on the way. There are always more cattle. Recruiting needs to treat candidates like gold. No candidates, no talent. No talent, no company.

Rusty Rueff:

It’s hard to say that something is broken that was never built correctly in the first place, so I guess, yes corporate recruiting is broken.

My reasoning on why it is broken, and always has been, is that the process that has been built in most corporations does not align with the way real-life relationships are built.  When was the last time that we acquired a new personal friend by having someone else sit down and write a friend specification, distribute that friend wanted request through a bunch of other people and sources that we have never heard of, then have people apply and use a sorting process or technology to cull through the applications, then have someone that we don’t even know well, sit with these applicants and determine whether or not we will like our new friends?  Nope, we don’t acquire any relationship in our life this way other than those who are going to spend 40-80 hours a week with us on the job. BTW, that’s way more time a week than we spend with our friends and maybe even more waking time than we spend with our family.

Hank and I write in our book, Talent Force, about why we believe that corporate recruiting is broken and that is because of a foundational philosophical problem. That problem being, that most corporations have what we call an “arrogance of supply.”  This is a silly notion that there is always more than enough great talent out there and it causes much of these further sillier process barriers and hurdles that companies put on prospective talent.

I was talking to a person the other day who turned down a job at Facebook because after, in his words, he “endured the five hours of grilling” he didn’t know any more about where Facebook was going than he did before he interviewed with them.  So, he turned down the job.  No one took the time in those five hours to answer his questions about the company’s future or business model.  So, he punted the offer back when it came his way.  He felt he was treated like they believed they were giving him a gift of working at Facebook.  I suspect there is an arrogance of supply at Facebook.

Liz Ryan:

I think that corporate recruiting is broken, and maybe, as Rusty points out, it was never built correctly in the first place. When I think of my own experiences filling jobs in my department, what strikes me is the realization that at some point in every successful selection process the person sitting in front of me could do the job. I believed in him, or her. That belief didn’t arise because of a weighted list of essential requirements for the job, or some point-factor analysis that convinced me Candidate A was stronger than Candidate B. Belief comes from a different place – a terribly important, valid place, let me be quick to say. In each interview round, I talked to six or seven people, and one of them jumped out at me as the person for the job – or sometimes, sadly, two of them did, and in those cases I’d have a hard choice to make.

The corporate recruiting process breaks down job requirements into teeny, discrete parts that somehow don’t add up to a whole. The recruiting process demands that candidates crawl over broken glass to get an interview, or, more likely, wait forever for a friendly note, even a No-Thank-You note, that never arrives. Worst of all, it treats complex and worthy human beings like commodities. That’s unethical.

The only people I know who don’t find the standard recruiting process to be badly broken are the people whose jobs are made easier by its rigor and process: namely, corporate recruiters. Third-party headhunters denounce it. Candidates decry it. Hiring managers write to me every day to tell me how the recruiting process in their shops slows down their ability to hire great people.

I’d like to scrap the job-requisition/essential-requirements/online-job-ad process and start again, building a process that addresses the real need: something in a hiring manager’s domain that isn’t working. If we could start there instead of with the endless list of Essential and Preferred, nitpicky requirements, we’d be way ahead of where we are now.

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via Clearview Counterpoint: Is Corporate Recruiting Broken? Career & HR Experts Debate | Glassdoor.com Blog.

Wordle – Beautiful Word Clouds

Wordle – Beautiful Word Clouds.

I get a little kick out of putting my resume in this cool free tool. Tip: Remove your contact info, employer name/address, and education info.

Kolakowski resume in VigoKolakowski Resume in Coolvetica

Ten Deadliest Resume Phrases | Glassdoor.com

“…Ten Deadliest Resume Phrases:

  1. Results-Oriented Professional
  2. Proven track record of success
  3. Strong work ethic
  4. Team Player
  5. Bottom-line orientation
  6. Excellent (or Superior) communication skills
  7. Best-in-Class Anything
  8. Strong attention to detail
  9. Meets or exceeds expectations
  10. Visionary, Strategic thinker

And, here’s why these deadly resume phrases are so bad…”

via Ten Deadliest Resume Phrases | Glassdoor.com Blog.