Thursday, December 18, 2008

Job seekers fall into three categories. Which one are you?

Article Title: Job seekers fall into three categories. Which one are you?
Author Byline: Tim Tyrell-Smith @ Spin Strategy™ - Tools for Intelligent Job Search
Author Website:

Excuse me, (job seeker), but in which category do you fall?

My experience as a hiring manager, networker and fellow job seeker tells me that there are three categories of job seekers.

So beyond the pure enjoyment of dropping people into neat little boxes, what's the value of this?

First of all, if you are a job seeker, you should know what category you are in so that you can be aware and act accordingly.

Second, others are either already aware of your designation or are getting hints from you that send key signals about your categorization. These signals can also affect your ability to get interviews, and ultimately, get offers.


Here are the three categories:

1. THE KNOW IT ALL This is a good thing. If you are in this group, you have a very clear idea of what you want to do in your career. You may have always known you were built for accounting in a large corporation or for customer service in a non-profit. It's also possible that you figured this out along the way but have no reservations that you found a true calling. If this is you, consider yourself fortunate. You get to pass GO and collect $200. Your challenge in job search is finding the correct fits, networking your way in and proving your case. Simple. Not without challenges, especially in this economy, but simple.

2. THE KNOWLEDGE SEEKER This is also a good thing. Mostly. If you are in this group, you are highly aware that your current career is not a perfect fit for you. You have struggled a bit (perhaps for a while) because you are acutely aware of this gap between what you love and what you are doing to make money. The smart members of this group are not only aware. They are also proactive in looking for help and guidance. A great place to look? Your friendly neighborhood career coach. As I've said before, I am a big fan of career coaches. But, as I've also said: If you are going to spend money on any career resource (coach, web service, etc), do it early in your search to get off to a great (eyes open) start.

3. THE QUIET QUESTIONER This is not a good thing. If you are in this group you have many of the characteristics of THE KNOWLEDGE SEEKER but are missing the most important one - the seeker part. You are unsure about your career choices and, unfortunately, it shows. It's obvious. When someone asks you at a networking event "what are you looking for?" your answers are vague and unsure. If your answer is "something stable" or "I like sales but could also do marketing" then you are in this category. Let me be clear. You are not making yourself open to a wider variety of jobs by being flexible with your job objective. You are telling people that you don't know. And there are three people who do know standing right behind you. If this is you, all is not lost, but plan on a longer, more windy road to your next job. Unless you are a great actor. And that's a whole different story for another day.

So ...

For the job seeker, as always, I hope this is helpful and drives some additional thinking on your part. Let me know if you have questions!

For the recruiter, which category of job seeker would you most like to recommend for a job with one of your clients?

For the career coach, what's your advice for THE QUIET QUESTIONER?

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Auto rescue still not favored

Saw this poll in the Washington Post. Most surprising to me is that 60% of those polled did not feel automotive bankruptcies would hurt the economy, and might even help the economy. It's one thing to oppose Government assistance to big businesses, but another to believe that bankrupting one or more of the country's largest manufacturers will not have an adverse effect on the economy. Like everyone, I wish we were not in this situation. But I still believe we need to do something to keep the auto companies alive, which would include strict oversight. I just wish they would have done the same for the $700 billion they happily provided the insurance companies, which as we can see has done nothing to ease the credit markets.

Friday, December 12, 2008

We're in for a Rough Ride

GM reportedly has hired Bankruptcy advisors and restructuring consultants now that the government loan has failed in the Senate last night. I was really hoping that they would get some assistance, especially in the form of a loan. But this must be for show isn't it? Wouldn't they have done this a long time ago so that they knew what that option would entail? And the result of this is reaching around the globe already as world markets remain skittish. Now the autos are hinging their futures on President Bush using part of the $700 billion in bailout money for them. That should be easy enough as there were no stipulations on that money whatsoever.

And the Fed is paying 0% on short term treasury bonds now? In other words the institutional investment community has absolutely zero confidence that their money is safe anywhere else, and they are willing to basically pay someone to hold their money just so it remains safe. I gotta buy a bigger mattress.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Companies Hiring in Information Technologies

Now this is certainly welcome news. Rafe Needleman is tracking who is hiring in the IT industry. If he can add some geographic parameters to this spreadsheet it would be helpful, we'll probably see that added shortly. Not a bad place to start if you're looking for IT work.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

IT spending will fall in 2009

Predicting the economy is like predicting the weather. We tune in but we always question what the weatherman says. Now here's an article about how IT will struggle in 2009. This seems more realistic than yesterday's report speculating that IT will grow in Detroit in the 1st quarter of 2009.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Detroit area IT jobs to increase in early 2009

Information Technologies hiring in the Detroit area is anticipated to increase in the first quarter of 2009 according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. And networking and infrastructure are leading the way, which makes sense based on the increased demand for virtualization and cloud computing. Not by large amounts, but at least in positive territory. Compare this to recent comments by our leading economists who claim our recently recognized recession will last at least through he first half of 2009, it implies that IT is still seen as a cost-saving investment that can increase operating efficiencies over the long haul. This is good news. I'll be sitting at my desk waiting for the phone to ring with all of those job orders now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Report on the Current Status of the Auto Industry

Saw this new report on the current state of the Automotive Industry. Demand has continued to drop this year, but then it dropped at an even faster rate this last quarter. The Big 3 continue to burn through cash reserves as a result, and soon will be below their minimum cash balance allowed. Here are the scenarios spelled out in this report:

Scenarios with Commitment to Federal Assistance by January 2009
1. Federal bridge loan and a GM-Chrysler merger
2. Federal bridge loan and radical restructuring outside of bankruptcy
3. Federal bridge loan and radical restructuring outside of bankruptcy for GM and Ford; Chrysler assets purchased by competitors.

Scenarios without Commitment to Federal Assistance by January 2009
4. Chrysler files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; GM & Ford restructure outside bankruptcy
5. Both GM & Chrysler file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
6. All Detroit 3 file Chapter 11, along with major suppliers

The report also indicates that one or more of the foreign auto makers will probably go away as well. So there's no other knight in shining armor to save Chrysler at this point. It's either GM or bankruptcy. And option #6 is downright scary. Can you imagine how many suppliers would follow the Big 3 off the cliff into bankruptcy? Check out this report, the specific conclusions at the end are dead on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beaumont Job Cuts are the Latest

As numerous industry sectors continue to struggle (autos, banking, airlines, insurance, steel, retail stores...), I thought healthcare would be somewhat insulated by all of this. But now the credit crunch is taking a toll on the ability of healthcare systems to raise investment money. So less capital investment means not only fewer new jobs, but now we are starting to see healthcare job cuts. I guess funeral homes are the only ones left with consistent business.

Friday, November 21, 2008

4 Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Job Search

Article Title: 4 Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Job Search
Author Byline: Kevin Donlin
Author Website:

If you've been looking for a job for any length of time, you've probably run into roadblocks.

Weeks go by with no job interviews. Employers don't call. And you start to feel … stuck.

Where can you turn for new ideas to get "unstuck" in your job search?

I suggest you try "funnel vision."

As explained to me years ago by marketing master Jay Abraham, funnel vision is the opposite of tunnel vision. It's a way of looking beyond your current situation for new ideas, then adapting them to create breakthroughs.

Funnel vision is how Velcro was invented -- those tiny hooks that hold clothing together were adapted from cockleburr seeds in nature.

Funnel vision is how drive-up windows came to fast-food restaurants -- before McDonald's installed their first one in 1975, drive-up service had
been used at banks since 1928.

To illustrate funnel vision for your job search, I'm going to adapt four ideas from a terrific article on blogging at, called "10 Ways to Find New Blog Topics" (

See? We're already adapting -- from blogging to job hunting.

Here we go ...

1. Read the comments on career blogs for new ideas

Some of the smartest job search ideas come from ... smart job seekers.

Where can you find them? Oftentimes these people share their success stories by posting helpful comments on blogs that deal with career and job-search topics.

So, to generate new ideas for your job search, check out the comments posted on high-traffic blogs. Many of the most popular are found at this link -

2. Review your greatest hits

I'll break this idea down into two parts.

First, look back over your career. How did you find out about every job you've had since you left school? Examples: You networked with a professor
in 1988, networked with a neighbor in 1992, answered a want ad in 1994, called a recruiter in 2001, etc.

Now ask yourself: How could I repeat that or do something similar to it?

You may not find as many jobs listed in the Sunday paper today compared to 1994, for example, but what about the online edition of the newspaper? Or what about looking through an industry newsletter or magazine that serves a
narrow niche? Trade publications can be a terrific source of job leads -- call your local library and ask for help finding them.

Second, what did you do and say to get hired for previous jobs? What's the best cover letter you ever sent? What's the best line in your last resume?
The best answer you ever gave in a job interview?

Now ask yourself: How could I repeat those successes in my current job search?

3. Do something different

To get different ideas, you have to start with different thoughts.

Example: How would you get a "job" on American Idol? Send a resume? No, you'd audition. And before your audition, you'd practice like mad.

So, ask yourself this: Where and how could I "audition" for a job? Whom would I have to contact to get an audition? And what skills would I have to practice beforehand?

Approaching your job search as if it were an audition for "American Idol" is just one way to do something different.

How would you get hired for a job as a bus driver? A tennis coach? A senator? A mountain guide in Tibet?

You may be just one different tactic away from your next job. What is it?

4. Invite a guest author to write for you

Ask three or five of the most-successful people you know to send you their resumes and cover letters. What parts can you adapt and use in your own documents?

Your friends will be flattered that you ask. Plus, you'll be doing some "accidental networking" when you send them your revised resume and cover letter to review, which is a nice secondary benefit.

Do you see how powerful a tool funnel vision can be? And there are plenty of other ways for you to get unstuck -- I've adapted only four ideas from the 10 in that article on blogging.

Now, go out and make your own luck!

Kevin Donlin is Creator of Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. Author of 3 books, Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio and others. His latest product, The Simple Job Search System, is available at

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Information Technologies as a cost saver

Interesting comments from a manager at Dewpoint, that Information Technologies can help us get out of our current, fear-induced, economic slowdown. Most IT projects are known to be a cost saving investment over time, as we have seen more investment in projects such as virtualization, cloud computing, unified communications... But companies need to spend money to save money, and those responsible for approving the funding remain reluctant to pull the trigger. This guy believes that IT will get better and stronger, and I think he's right. I only wish we knew exactly when.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If we can just hang on a few more years

This prediction states that technology spending will increase next year, but at a slower rate than previously anticipated at less than 1% growth. As you might expect, the U.S. will lag behind emerging markets. But I just don't get a good feeling when they start talking about 2012 as our full recovery target date.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wondering what will happen with the Autos

Most of us are just waiting, knowing that something big is going to happen to the automotive industry soon, we just don't know what yet. GM has shelved the Chrysler "merger" talks. Apparently nobody else is in line to but Chrysler either. The question might be who survives long enough to buy the remaining parts of those that fail. Government assistance is inevitable, there are too many precious, remaining U.S. manufacturing jobs at stake. But will it happen this year? Before the Presidential inauguration? Sometime in the first quarter of 2009 before Ford and GM exhaust their remaining billions in capital on hand? And once it finally comes, what (and who) will be left of the auto companies? I saw this article on The Street at the end of last week. Just in the past week we have seen an adverse trickle down affect on non-manufacturing companies making cuts due to the auto industry struggles, including advertising agencies, marketing, and technology companies.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Some Good News Now

I guess it's not all bad right now. Even though the focus in this market remains on the automotive industry and the GM/Chrysler talks, which are on hold now, there are still companies with good stories to tell with bright futures ahead. HealthMedia was sold earlier this week and the result of this acquisition appears to be nothing but positive. When they talk about growing a company from $23 million to $500 million you have to take notice. And they are not the only company expecting to add IT jobs in coming years.

Will it Never End?

With the inevitable eradication of Chrysler as we know it, it seems like the hits keep on coming. Compuware announced new lay-offs two days ago, Chrysler Financial is looking to outsource most of its IT work. These direct hits to IT jobs are still nothing compared to the manufacturing jobs already lost, and those still to come.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Chrysler Cuts Coming

Chrysler to cut 25% of salaried workers, about 5,000 workers. Buyouts will include new vehicle vouchers, I guess that's one way to clear the cars off the lots. And of course the cuts in overhead and discretionary spending implies that something is close. If you're a salaried Chrysler employee and you get offered a package, how do you say no knowing that if you don't you will probably get the boot eventually anyway?

Monday, October 20, 2008

4 Job-Search Tips From The Street

Article Title: 4 Job-Search Tips From The Street
Author Byline: Kevin Donlin
Author Website:

The recent bad news from Wall Street may have you worried about the job market.

If so, you're not alone.

You need to do more things right to find employment these days, especially if you're in banking, finance, or a related field.

So, if you suddenly find yourself looking for work, or if your search is taking longer than planned, the following four tips will help, whether your goal is a job on Wall Street or Main Street ...

1) Know Thy Skills
The first thing to do if you're laid off or let go is to recognize that your skills and smarts haven't changed just because your company is going through tough times. That's according to John Benson, Founder & CEO of

"Losing a job is traumatic, and it's important to step back and make an assessment of your skills and weaknesses, and examine where you are in your career."

Write this all down on paper, because writing clarifies your thinking. After that, "show your list to a friend or colleague who can be objective enough to challenge your assumptions," advises Benson.

Bonus: Every career-related conversation you have is a networking conversation ... which can turn into a job lead. So choose your confidants carefully for this exercise.

2) Consider All Options
After analyzing your professional skills, it can help to take another look at temporary or contract positions.
While it may be tempting to wait for your ideal job to pop up, it can be faster to find an ideal employer first, then prove yourself in a contract position that leads to a permanent role, according to Jennifer Kleven, Practice Director for Accounting & Finance at the Minneapolis office of recruiting and staffing firm Mergis.

"There are temporary and contract positions in all fields, from entry level and up. I have seen a number of people get their foot in the door and later become managers with employers," she says.

To move up from temp to perm in today's job market, you should offer employers relevant skills, a good attitude and an even better work ethic. "Companies tend not to let people like that go," says Kleven.

3) Differentiate or Dole
Perhaps the biggest mistake job seekers make is a failure to differentiate themselves from the crowd, according to Benson. "Employers want to know that you have thought long and hard about wanting to work for them."
In many cases, the first exposure you have to hiring managers is your cover letter. And sending out a formulaic letter won't help your cause.

"Write a personalized cover letter in which you explain why you are a good match for the company and how you will bring value," says Benson.

This is essential -- get the letter wrong, and many employers won't even look at your resume.

4) Network -- Always and Everywhere
In the end, it's a person who will hire you for the job you want. And people are everywhere. Logically, then, job leads are everywhere, too.

That's why your networking radar must be turned on every moment of every day. Even when commuting. "I've seen people network while riding the bus. It was as simple as asking the other person, 'What do you do?'" says Kleven.
So, the next time you're seated next to a successful-looking person on a train, or in a coffee shop, why not strike up a conversation and ask about their profession?
The worst that can happen is ... nothing. But, if you open enough networking dialogues, you're bound to turn one into an interview later, which can lead to a job.

Tip: Need an excuse to start a networking conversation? Use me! Here's how ...

Walk up to someone you'd like to meet (professionally, of course) and say: "I read an article by Kevin Donlin in (INSERT PUBLICATION NAME HERE). He said you can meet almost anyone just by asking what they do. So, do you mind if I ask you what you do for a living?"

Why not try it and see?

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

IT and the Wall Street Meltdown

Although Information Technologies has been fairly stable in recent years, with its low unemployment, decent spending levels, and recent overall economic resilience, it appears that the financial crisis on Wall Street will do the obvious and trickle down to IT. Gartner Group is now warning IT Managers of hiring freezes and staff reductions after a previously optimistic outlook. According to this article, cost saving projects such as virtualization and SaaS will remain hot, which makes sense. Another article here, talks about what Gartner considers the hottest technologies for 2009.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Set Yourself Apart with a Job Interview Thank You Letter

Article Title: Set Yourself Apart with a Job Interview Thank You Letter
Author Byline: Mary White, M.A., SPHR
Author Website:

The best way to distinguish yourself from other job applicants is to follow up your interview with a job interview thank you letter. Employers typically interview a large number of people who have similar qualifications for each open position. After several days of asking people the same questions over and over, interviewers often have a definite case of information overload.

Even though their heads might be spinning after talking to several people about the same job, they still have to face the tough task of deciding which candidate will receive a job offer. It’s pretty easy for most interviews to decide who isn’t qualified for the job. The difficulty comes in when trying to wade through the applications of people who are qualified.

At the conclusion of a long round of interviews, employers usually have two stacks of applications. One of the stacks is full of people they are not interested in for the position. The other stack is full of people who they are interested in considering for the job. Assuming that your application is in the second stack, sending a job interview thank you letter might be just the extra boost that moves you to the top of the callback pile.

Interviewers want to select someone who has the necessary skills, and who really wants the job. If you have the necessary skills and handled the interview well, your application probably made it to the right stack. However, there probably isn’t anything tangible in your application paperwork that lets the employer know how much you really want the job.

Sending a job interview thank you letter is a great way of letting the employer know that you are genuinely interested in the job. Taking the time to sending a job interview thank you letter demonstrates initiative, ambition, and commitment. These are all characteristics that employers desire.

Keep in mind that employers also like to hire people who have effective communication skills. Make sure that the job interview thank you letter you send is well written and attractive in appearance. Proofread your work carefully and have someone else check it for errors too.

You can send a typed job interview thank you or a handwritten one. The best choice depends on many factors about you and about the particular job. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type.

There is a lot to be said for handwritten thank you letters in this age of electronic communication. When an employer receives a handwritten job interview thank you letter, he or she knows that the applicant took the time to write a personalized letter just to them. There is just something special about a handwritten thank you note that people tend to really appreciate.

However, if you have illegible penmanship sending a handwritten job interview thank you letter is not a good choice for you. If you have a severe case of procrastination when it comes to writing thank you letters, you are better of using an electronic version that you can just print and send right away. If your job interview thank you letter gets there too late, the job will probably have already been offered to someone else.

Electronic thank you letters are favored by many applicants because it is easy to update them. You can write your electronic letter once, have it carefully proofed, and use it forever just by making a few minor adjustments each time you print it. You don’t have to worry about a laser printed letter being illegible, assuming you have ink in your printer and use an appropriate font.

However, electronic letters often come across looking and sounding like form letters. Even though most people do not bother to send job interview thank you letters, it is important that the interviewer who receives your letter feels as if it was written just for them.

With a little thought and planning, you can easily create a job interview thank you letter that will help set you apart from the competition. A side effect of interviewing people with similar backgrounds for the same job is that the candidates who have the basic qualifications become hard for the interviewer to distinguish from each other once the interview is over.

The fact that you take the time to send a job interview thank you letter might be just the thing that makes the interviewer pick up the phone and offer the job to you.

About the Author
Mary G. White, M.A., SPHR is the Training Coordinator for for Mobile Technical Institute & MTI Business Solutions, where she specializes in human resources, management, and marketing training. She teaches open enrollment classes for MTI, provides on-site corporate training, and frequently speaks at conferences and association meetings. MTI also provides a variety of consulting services, including IT Training, certification testing, HR consulting, custom database development and website solutions. For career and business development tips, see MTI's blogs, Daily Career Connection and Daily Biz Solutions.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The GM IT Strategy

Saw this article earlier this week on General Motors' IT strategy, with the focus on outsourcing non-core activity, and hiring and empowering technical Project Managers. The article implies that GM only hires managers with a strong technical background and some sort of graduate degree. I don't think that's the case across the board though, based on what I see. And the difficulty for employees in this model is the risk of pigeon-holing their careers to be marketable to GM only. Too often I see candidates with extensive experience at GM, or Ford, and they are so entrenched in their business processes and technologies that they are not marketable elsewhere. Hopefully this article rings true and anyone affected by future GM cutbacks will have the business and technology background necessary to be attractive to companies other than GM.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This is what we need

This is the good stuf that we need more of. Established companies reinvesting in the local market. Caraco is investing in their Detroit facility, adding jobs, and investing in their employees. They recognize that there is a qualified workforce here. I've heard of other companies looking to the Detroit market as the workforce here is available and qualified. Not that these efforts will come close to replacing the automotive manufacturing jobs that have left us, but it is certainly better news than we have had lately.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chrysler at it again

Here we go again, another round of layoffs. Different sources quote anywhere from 250-300 salaried workers, and another 450 contractors will be cut. This stemming for Chrysler's statement back in July that they planned to cut 1,000 jobs. Evidently they did not reach that number through early retirements and attrition, so today the balance of those workers will be involuntarily cut.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's The Economy

It seem like the IT industry today is going through what the manufacturing sector experienced many years ago. A few decades ago the U.S. was the world's leading industrialized nation, and we couldn't make enough cars, machine tools, semiconductors... As other countries developed, much of that manufacturing base was shifted to foreign manufacturers as global competition increased. Now software services within IT seems to be in that cycle as well as the global economy becomes more diverse.

Look at the progression that the semiconductor industry has made with offshoring. In the 1960's assembly and packaging was sent offshore. In the 1980's they started moving fabrication offshore. In the early 2000's they started sending the actual design work to foreign countries. Software services are now done globally with teams spread around the world. All of this creates a lot of uncertainty in the IT job market today. More troubling though is that this is more of an overall economic issue than something specific to IT right now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Michigan Jobs Report and IT Spending Report

Even though technology may be one of the least hard hit sectors in today's economy, that doesn't make it bullet proof either. As other industry sectors suffer, there's a natural fiscal prudence that trickles down to what companies in those suffering industries spend on IT initiatives. As you would expect, IT, like other major expenditures, get scrutinized and scaled back. The projects that are supported are typically those that are proven cost savers for the organizations. Here is an AP article about U.S. and European businesses cutting IT spending in 2008. It states that 43% of large companies in the U.S. and Europe have cut overall IT spending. My cynical mind makes me wonder if that actually means that 57% actually increased spending then. Probably not, as many companies will stand pat I'm sure, but the report did not dive into those details. It did state that they downwardly adjusted IT growth expectations for 2008 overall. Hopefully this means that there is nowhere to go but up for IT spending in 2009.

And this Manpower report talks specifically about Michigan jobs (not just IT). In Michigan, three percent of employers surveyed plan to cut staff in the 4th quarter, while nine percent of employers nationally surveyed plan to add staff. I'm not sure what to make of this as the 4th quarter typically gets slow for many jobs, including IT, at least the latter part of the quarter. But retailers have always added seasonal staff during that time. The bottom line here is that Michigan remains behind in overall jobs growth.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tech Companies and the Jobs Report

This is from the Great Lakes IT Report and Associated Press last Friday after the Labor Department released the latest jobs report. Tech companies are better positioned than non-tech firms as umemployment and wages are actually up for the sector.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Number of IT Jobs Remains Low

That's new jobs, not overall jobs. It's kind of a supply and demand thing, as the volume of IT jobs remains rather stagnant. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people working in IT though. IT is still one of the higher employed job functions right now, but overall unemployment is at a four year high nationally. So if you work in IT and you see the doom and gloom surrounding the jobs reports right now, you probably feel like you should stay put instead of looking at new opportunities. The effect of this is that there are fewer IT jobs coming available as those positions are not turning over. Add that to employers approving fewer jobs overall, including IT, and the result is simply not very many IT jobs to pursue right now. So although the number if IT jobs is down, the number if IT applicants is down as well. As this article mentions, most workers feel this is a bad time to be looking for a good job, and over 90% of workers are still satisfied with their jobs. Reinforcing the theory that the people that are working are not looking to make a change. This will not improve until consumer confidence increases.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Inaccuracy on Resumes is Nothing New

OK, this article barely touches the surface as there is plenty left open to interpretation. "Discrepant information" can mean lying about a felony or accidentally entering a wrong start date for an old job. Two extremes that should be treated differently. But evidently in India right now this is becoming a problem. The article is correct in that this is not a new problem. But the article is wrong by claiming that globalization is the cause. I think people have been lying about their work experience, education, number of past lovers…you get the idea, for as long as man has been communicating. And this article talks about the high paying business of running a Diploma Mill.

But that’s not my point today. This made me realize how different the hiring process is today versus 5-8 years ago, especially regarding background checks. If you could code Cobol during Y2k, or spell Java during the dot com boom, you could get hired. But today, more employers are verifying candidates work experience, dates, and pay rates, along with criminal records, education, credit and social security numbers. All as a contingency to hiring someone. Companies are hiring outside firms to provide this service. So if someone wants to lie on their resume or application, chances are that it will be discovered and they will not get the job. Or they can be terminated later on once the employer discovers the lie. Remember Wipro? I think most people know this already, and some are up front about any issue that might hinder the hiring process, which is the right thing to do. Because trying to hide something from your future employer is not the right way to start a new job.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Social Networking as a Reference?

I've always believed that it's a small world within the circles in which we live. Being in IT, here in the Detroit area, you cannot help but come across former colleagues at some point. As a result, you should never burn a bridge, or assume you will not come across a specific individual at some point in the future. As social networking sites gain popularity, which are occasionally used as a source of referencing, that world just gets a little smaller. Some sites feature references or recommendations as part of your profile, but as this article points out, don't assume that those recommendations suffice as an employment reference. Just because you recommend Joe and he recommends you, that doesn't mean that a potential hiring manager will not dig a lot deeper. The article mentions that hiring managers use common online contacts to backdoor reference candidates. The truth is, that practice has been done for years. The hiring manager knows someone that used to work at the same company as you and they make a phone call to see if you work and play well with the other kids. They're not only calling your formal reference to ask those questions. The social networking sites just make it easier as your contacts are out there for people to see.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Careers That Suite Your Social Style

Article Title: Careers That Suite Your Social Style
Author Byline: Quality Over Quantity
Author Website:

Who you are can, and should, affect your career. That’s right, I said it. Most people can ramble on about what they have done and what they can do but when you ask them who they are, they draw a blank! Now I can’t tell you everything about yourself, but I can help you out with determining your social style and giving you some career choices based on that.

Social Style & Career #1: Analytical

If you are an analytical, you are very organized, rational, precise, and methodical. You break everything down and consider every alternative before making a decision. You are too the point, like facts, prefer choices and don’t enjoy small talk while discussing business.

Best careers for an analytical: Scientists, Financial Analyst, Engineer, Sales

Social Style & Career #2: Amiable

If you are an amiable, you are cooperative, dependable, a good listener and a negotiator. You like to talk and avoid confrontation at all costs. You are a people pleaser.

Best careers for an amiable: Day care, Customer Service Representative, Doctor, Nurse

Social Style & Career #3: Expressive

If you are an expressive, you are enthusiastic, outgoing and creative. You love to talk, like to give advice and tend to be a little dramatic.

Best careers for an expressive: Interior Designer, Marketer, Columnist

Social Style & Career #4: Driver

If you are a driver, you are always in control. You are direct, demanding, and consider yourself superior.

Best careers for a driver: Entrepreneur, CEO, Vice President, Manager, Team Leader

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not a good day

Chrysler cutting another 1,000 employees. Ford is making cuts sooner than previously announced. GM sales get beat down by Toyota in 1st half of 2008 as Toyota increases global sales. We've had better days. But we're not the only ones struggling. Airlines, Banking, Finance, Mortgage... many industries are going thru a correction mode in other cities and states.

Social Network Overload

It was bound to happen. Like anything popular, social networking now has so many variations, it's getting hard to tell which ones are new, established, appropriate, maybe even legal. Some will get you a job, while others will get you on the FBI watch list. It's probably fair to say that I haven't even heard of most of them. And many of the ones I've heard of, I couldn't tell you their purpose or target audience. My teenage daughter probably knows more about some of them, but she's not allowed to have an account on them simply based on what I have seen on their sites. (Of course that doesn't mean she doesn't have an account I don't know about.) I'm on Facebook, but not with a big presence. I don't know what most of those things are on that site, or how it's different from MySpace. Are they all starting to blend together to serve the same purpose? I should probably know this. LinkedIn is still my personal favorite since it's primarily a business networking tool. At least this article shows that I'm not the only one overwhelmed by this trend.
Social Network Overload

Monday, July 14, 2008

An Article on Gen Y Age Discrimination

Article Title: Gen Y Faces Reverse Age Discrimination: A New Diversity Issue Employers Need to Be Aware Of
Author Byline: Lisa Orrell, Millennial & Generation Relations Expert, Author of "Millennials Incorporated"
Author Website:

As you read this, Millennial (aka Gen Y) Professionals are being actively recruited prior to, and upon, college graduation. Some are already busy navigating the waters of their first professional job since being hired a year or so ago.

And as I write this, well-known companies are hiring me to conduct seminars to educate their HR executives and internal recruiters about attracting and recruiting Millennial Professionals, as well as conduct seminars to educate their Gen X and Boomer employees about managing, motivating and retaining them. So, this isn’t just me saying they are a big deal to the future of our professional workforce; companies all over the U.S. and abroad are starting to see it, too.

But aside from companies clamoring to implement, or improve, their rewards and recognition programs, and scrambling to find unique ways to recruit and retain Millennials, they are also dealing with a new dimension to diversity this generation creates. Many Millennial employees are claiming to be victims of reverse age discrimination.

We all know age discrimination has typically referred to older employees feeling bumped out by younger co-workers. And this is still an on-going issue as reflected in recent high profile lawsuits that involve older employees suing companies like FedEx and The Tropicana Casino. In both cases, older employees claim they were laid-off so that the companies could replace them with younger employees who they could be paid less.

But I personally moderated a panel for the Association for Women in Technology, and the panel was made-up of 5 Millennial women, between 22-26, and they each were employed by large, well-known companies. All the women had Master’s degrees and each panelist came from a different ethnic background.

When I asked them if they felt they had the same opportunities as their male colleagues, they all quickly said that they felt that gender discrimination was a non-issue (from what they had experienced thus far). And they said that their race was not an issue at work. But they ALL said they face age discrimination on a regular basis and that it was very frustrating.

The 100+ audience members (mainly women in leadership positions ranging in age from 30-60) found this to be so interesting. Most Boomer and Gen X women in business have been battling gender discrimination for years. And, on top of that, many Boomer and Gen X women of color have had to also deal with race discrimination in the workplace. So it was a surprise to the audience that these Millennial women felt neither of those things affected them (at this point in their careers). To them, it was all about not getting respect from older employees because of their age.

Several of the panelists went on to say that they were thankful they were entering the business world at a time when so much correspondence is done online, and relationships are forged virtually, because it gives them the opportunity to establish their credibility with colleagues before having to meet them in-person. Each of the women did look young and they felt that was a liability. I was quick to say they wouldn’t feel that way when they were older…they’d be praying to look young again! But all joking aside, I understood what they were saying and respected their frustration.

On a positive side note in terms of diversity, we have a strong generation of young women coming up and a generation where gender and race lines are becoming blurred. A majority of Millennial women were raised to believe they could do anything boys could do and they were just as important and as smart as boys. This is also the first generation where boys and girls hangout together as platonic “buddies” starting from a young age through college. This is also a generation where over 80% answered “Yes” when asked if they were okay with marrying, dating, or having a life partner outside of their race (2007 California Dreamers Survey conducted by New America Media).

After moderating that panel, and speaking to many more Millennials about their experiences with age discrimination, I now really emphasize the importance of respecting them as “people” when I talk to Boomer and Gen X executives in my Managing Millennials Seminar. I let them know this generation expects to be respected from Day One, regardless of their age or experience, and that a key strategy for retaining them is respecting their ideas and encouraging them to offer opinions. This may seem like common sense to you, but I talk to many Millennials whose bosses disregard their ideas and/or rarely ask their opinion about anything. Unlike some Boomer and Gen X employees who may tolerate this from their bosses, Millennials will quickly quit.

It is critical for employers to recognize that aside from race, gender and lifestyle diversity, age diversity is now something to be aware of. Younger employees probably won’t sue you based on age discrimination like older ones might, but they can still wreak havoc on your company’s stability. It’s impossible to grow and groom your next generation of leaders if they don’t stay!

For more tips about attracting, recruiting, managing and retaining Millennial talent, and improving your overall Generation Relations, visit this popular blog:

About the Author:
Lisa Orrell is the author of the popular book, “Millennials Incorporated” (on Amazon), and is an in-demand consultant and speaker about Millennials & Generation Relations. She has been a featured expert on MSNBC and in many publications. For more info about Lisa and her speaking topics, visit:

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

IT Employment Still Up

Here's an article showing U.S. IT jobs hitting a record high in recent months. Even more interesting though are the comments after the article. There remains a lot of cynicism regarding IT jobs in this country, but I think some of these folks need to objectively look at themselves in the mirror and ask where the problem lies. Granted there are many IT skill sets where supply by far exceeds demand, like in the management ranks. But if unemployment within your sector is low enough to be considered fully employed, and you have not worked in years, then perhaps you need to adjust your demands. Whether that be in salary, location, responsibilities, or whatever is preventing you from being hired. I still see that good workers are working and in demand. And they are compensated fairly well still. The good workers that are long unemployed are likely asking for something unrealistic to the current market. There will always be conspiracy theorists claiming that this article spins numbers. But we've seen similar numbers from industry sources such as the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB) July 2008 IT Employment Index

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Social Networking at Work

Social Networking in the workplace needs to be treated carefully. I won't claim to know a whole lot about the capabilities of MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, or the many other available sites out there. But more and more the presence of your overall online profile will be coming into play in either your job, or your attempts to obtain a job. I cannot say that I have ever been influenced by someone's online presence enough to stop me from extending an offer of employment, at least not yet. I can see that eventually becoming a regular part of pre-employment due diligence though. Here is an article that offers some boundaries for both employees and employers.
The six commandments of social networking at work

Friday, June 27, 2008

Detroit Auto companies are taking a beating

The Stock market was not kind to many yesterday, and the auto companies were in the middle if it all. GM's stock is down something like 70% year-to-date, at its lowest price in decades. Ford's stock took a hit while they are in the midst of again cutting staff. And Chrysler, although privately held, had to come out to deny bankruptcy rumors. All three are supposedly burning through cash reserves like a teenager burns texting minutes. But it wasn't just the auto companies that were slammed yesterday. Take a look at the banking stocks and you'll be glad for FDIC. And health care is down, even though they keep increasing prices on everything that touches that industry. Hopefully the auto companies have made enough changes already that they can weather this out for some time.

Chrysler Denies Bankruptcy
GM and Ford Stocks Get Slammed
Agency Deathwatch 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Millennial Madness: Tips for Effectively Attracting & Recruiting Gen Y

Article Title: Millennial Madness: Tips for Effectively Attracting & Recruiting Gen Y
Author Byline: Author of "Millennials Incorporated" & Generation Relations Expert
Author Website:

As you read this, Millennials (Gen Y) are being actively recruited prior to, and upon, college graduation. Many are already busy navigating the waters of their first professional job since being hired a year or so ago. But why is this new generation the new darlings of the workforce? And how can you successfully attract and recruit this sought after group of young talent? Keep reading!

Let me start by saying that companies, of all sizes, are spending record-breaking amounts of money on recruiting the Millennials. Companies like Deloitte, Toyota, IBM and other brands you know are taking this very seriously, so this isn’t just me saying they are a big deal to the future of our professional workforce; companies all over the U.S. and abroad are starting to see it, too.

But why has this new generation of young professionals turned into such a hot commodity? One key factor is the looming reality of the Boomer Brain Drain that companies across the country are going to feel over the next 5-15 years (starting now as the oldest Boomers hit retirement age). Here’s one simple statistic from the Office of Employment Projections that will quickly put this into perspective: The average large company in the U.S. will lose 30-40% of its workforce due to retirement over the next 5-10 years. Ouch.

But wait! There’s more. According to the Employment Policy Foundation, based on the current population growth trend that is occurring in the U.S., we could be facing a labor shortage of educated and skilled workers of over 35 million people in the next 3 decades! This is a big deal and critical to our country’s ability to maintain our current level of productivity and competitiveness worldwide.

And we have as many GenXers on the planet as there are going to be, so the replacements for this massive Boomer exodus are the Millennials. That is why M.B.A. students are being offered amazing employment packages, starting salaries are being jacked-up higher than ever, and impressive signing bonuses are being offered. Many of the top young college grads are being pursued and courted like top college draft picks entering the NBA. Basically, recruiting and retaining them has turned into a big, competitive business.

Now that you have a general idea of why companies are clamoring to hire them, I thought it would be a good idea to share 5 key attraction and recruitment tips that your organization may want to consider.

Effective Attraction & Recruitment Tips:

1. Go Where They Are: Running ads on Craig’s List or aren’t enough. This generation has grown-up experiencing life online and congregate on places like MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube and Second Life. You should consider having a company presence in these communities to attract Millennials to your brand and make them aware of you. You can interview/videotape employees about how great it is to work at your company and post it on YouTube. Deloitte has done an amazing job posting fun videos on YouTube to attract Millennial talent, so check out their posts for ideas. Make them funny and/or interesting and you’ll get viewers. And it’s basically free and easy to do!

2. Preach Work-Life Balance: This generation is showing up totally aware of work-life balance. They value time with family and friends, and they value their time doing things they enjoy. Boomers and Gen X employees typically didn’t ask for flextime until they had been in the workforce for 15+ years. Millennials are showing up and requesting it from Day One. And, the smart companies are offering it.

3. Invite the Folks: As a whole, this generation considers their parents part of their social circle. They admire their parents, they like their parents, and they respect their opinion. Perhaps you’ve heard the new term “Helicopter Parents”. It means that even when their kids go off to college (or work!) they don’t stop hovering over them and guiding them (a lot!). Believe it or not, recruiters are now finding themselves taking a top candidate to lunch for a schmooze fest and he/she brings their parents. Recruiters are realizing that convincing the parents it’s the best job for their daughter, Sally, is as important as convincing Sally. Well-known companies are even creating “Parent Days” where job candidates can bring their parents to tour the company’s work environment, meet their potential managers, etc.

4. Preach Mentoring: These young adults want to know you will provide them with plenty of guidance and mentoring! If you don’t have a mentor program in-place, create one and emphasize it during the interview process. I recently conducted a seminar with a well-known company about recruiting and retaining Millennials, and they had been suffering from a high turnover of Millennials. When I spoke to the Millennials who had left, all of them mentioned the company hadn’t provided enough mentoring and training programs.

5. Emphasize They Will Get Plenty of Face Time With Managers: A recent survey of Millennial professionals, conducted by Robert Half International and Yahoo! Hot Jobs, found that 60% of Millennials want to hear from their managers at least once a day. This generation will not do well with just one weekly “check in” session with their managers. They want feedback daily and an opportunity to communicate with their manager(s) for input on their projects.

So are the rumors you’ve heard about them being high maintenance true? Yes. But, they will also be high performing. Our country (and world!) has just begun to feel their impact as they reach their mid-20s. And, as with generations in the past, this generation will create new definitions for: Work environments, success, leadership, communication, management, entrepreneurship, corporate culture, and professional relationships. The successful companies will adjust (and are!) their corporate cultures and recruitment and retention strategies to appeal to this unique generation.

For more free tips on recruiting, managing and retaining Millennial Talent, and for info on improving generation relations in the workforce, be sure to visit:

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

...and more Bad news at Chrysler

How long will Chrysler last? What will this company look like in two years? Five years? Will Tata end up buying a controlling interest? Will they be the strongest U.S. automobile manufacturer once they rebound?
Chrysler Sales fall again

More Good News from GLITR

Some good news in today's GLITR report, as the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) will help a number of companies with capital investment and tax abatements. Although these efforts include only a small number of jobs in technology, it's good news for Michigan as creating or saving any manufacturing jobs helps the State's economy as a whole.

High Tech Jobs Among 3,900 Announced By MEDC

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Michigan Hiring Outlook

From today's Great Lakes IT Report, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows that in the southeast Michigan market, a net five percent of employers plan to add staff in the 3rd quarter of 2008. This is below the net 16% of companies nationwide that plan on hiring for the quarter, which is down from the same period one year ago. Michigan overall is still lagging with 10% planning on additional hiring. Unfortunately we cannot break out the IT industry from those numbers, but it shows the overall employment trends.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tech: A Girl´s Best Friend

Article Title: Tech: A girl´s Best Friend
Author Byline: Entervista
Author Website:´s-best-friend/

Women have been struggling for decades to achieve equal status to men when it comes to the workplace. The statistics are way too familiar. In the US, for full-time, year-round workers, women earn around 33% less than men for the same job. For women of color, the gap is even wider.

Women are also more likely to work in more precarious forms of employment with low earnings, little financial security and few or no social benefits. This results in that women also tend to own fewer assets, as a lack of control over household income constrains their ability to accumulate capital.

A lot is being done today to revert this unfortunate situation: every day, women and men, through companies, international organizations and NGOs are raising awareness about the problem and creating practical solutions to improve the conditions for women in the workplace around the world.

This does not mean that women should ignore the reality of the numbers in making career decisions today. They must be aware that, by entering the workforce, they are most likely embarking in a path of climbing uphill. There is also no reason for them to ignore that tradition, convention and circumstances, more often than not, place the responsibility for children upbringing and household chores on their shoulders.

Working is a necessity for most women. And also, many women have some room to choose what direction to take when it comes to a career or profession. The corporate ladder may be just a bit too steep for women with a life outside work that is just as demanding as during office hours.

Tech has offered many women some comfort, and keeps attracting more and more. A career in technology is intellectually challenging, often solitary, and objective-driven - traits that fit well with the flexibility that women need.

Programming, for instance, provides instant feedback about whether or not a code works. Programmers often get to implement a solution from its inception. The creativity needed for design, as well as the patience and attention to detail required, attract women that are driven and appreciate the tangibility of the achieved results.

Entrepeneurs, freelancers and commercially-oriented women find in the web a friendly platform from which they can develop their activities. Today, professional, tech-savvy women are committed to using technology, resources and connections to advance and succeed, worldwide. Social networking sites are an important tool, and its use is more and more widespread among women.

In Second Life, it is possible to create your own business, design, sell and buy all kinds of products through an avatar that may look like Marilyn Monroe or Edward Scissorhands. The only key to success is to offer something others are willing to pay for.

An added benefit of going into tech is that course fees and studies are considerably lower than the high fees associated with traditional careers such as Law or Medicine.

Every day, women find the idea of reducing the need for outside approval, fixing their own rates, managing their own time, designing and selling their own products and services more and more appealing. And in doing so, they take effective steps towards reducing gender inequality.

The Entervista Team´s-best-friend/

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Industry Definitions

Saw this great article on ERE.Net recently by Matthew Charney, and it reminded me of a number of other Corporate America terms that are humorous. You know, phrases like Right Size, Reverse Engineering, and Market Correction, as fancy ways to say something you don't want to hear. Some of my other favorites include Negative Advancement (demotion), Percussive Maintenance (kick the machine to fix it), Treeware (paper), Efficiency Expert (an outsider that decides who gets fired), Capital Preservation (saving money), Negative Cash Flow (losing money), Structural Constraints (overhead), Delayering (eliminating middle management), Degrowing (your fired), Left to Pursue Other Opportunities (he was fired). Check this article out for some more good ones.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

IT companies go slow on the hiring front

From a couple of articles out of India, here are more signs that the economic pressures on the IT market here in the U.S. are now being felt off-shore. India IT Hiring Slows. Reduced technology spending from U.S. companies, including off-shore investments, has led to companies focusing more on utilizing existing staff rather than hiring. Which in turn adds to the slowing of the Software Technology Park scheme so popular in India, so the IT firms there are not hiring at the pace that they have been in recent years. Even so, they are still growing at a solid pace according to this. India IT Growth Slows.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Three Important Social Networking Tips

Article Title: Three Important Social Networking Tips
Author Byline: Tahjia Chapman is a writer for at, the leading job board for college students searching for internships and recent graduates hunting for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.
Author Website:

Social networking continues to grow as more recruiters find talent on networking sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn, and Xing. These professional networking sites are the breeding grounds for positioning your company as an industry leader. The idealistic plan of most network marketers is to build a reputation within the communities, practice patience, and perform background checks on potential candidates. All recruiters and employers do not practice these three important tips, but implementing them could reward your organization with highly talented job seekers.

Are You A Leader?

Position your organization as a leader in your industry because entry level candidates are curious about organizations with successful track records. If your company exhibits characteristics of success, candidates will want to learn more. Your company’s participation in social networking communities can determine your value to its members. In this ‘atmosphere’, your participation means more than your name, title, or years of experience. Members expect leaders to invest energy in the community through knowledgeable responses on a given topic.

Practice Patience

Patience determines the success of your network marketing campaign. Some inexperienced network marketers become frustrated with their lack of results. The frustration builds until the recruiter decides to leave the sites alone. If you want to find the best candidates, you have to complete thorough research on job seekers or recent grads that participate in the communities. Your patience keeps your plans on schedule in developing readership and responsive candidates. Responsible marketing should place you before the eyes of many qualified candidates interested in successful placement within your organization or organizations. You will not receive the response you wish for the first day so expect a little time to pass before candidates inquire about your company’s capabilities.

Perform Background Checks

If you think social networking is not valuable to background checks, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a survey in 2006 which suggested 11.1% of Recruiters Use MySpace, Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites as Part of Their Background Checking Process. In 2008, more candidates’ information is cross referenced with their information presented in resumes and interviews. Many recruiters will continue to use these sites in background checks to find the best candidates who do not lie about their professional experience. Some recent grads are inexperienced with social networks so contact ones with a professional presence within the communities.

Everyone can not perform these tips effectively. It takes time to create an online brand and identity to the world. Online social networking involves consistency within a given community so your company remains globally competitive. Could you see your company as a part of the 11.1% of recruiters whom use social networks to complete background checks on your candidates? The image of your company is vital to the success of your social networking efforts.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No wait, IT Payrolls are up!

This is priceless. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month, employment at IT Services firms actually went up, indicating that the economy might be finally turning around. But the article also states that although payrolls increased from March to April, March was the first time payrolls dropped in over two years. Notice the comments after the article, they have their own spin on this. So again, salaries are going down, but employment is going up. Indicative that companies are spending money on IT, while cutting costs along the way.
Payroll Gains Suggest an IT Economic Rebound

Friday, May 9, 2008

IT Salaries Down

Here is an article on IT Salaries and speculation about why they have been falling. Different from the post Y2K and 911 economic downturn, this time there are additional factors such as outsourcing, and the higher paid IT workers retiring. And as mentioned previously, although the number of IT jobs continues to rise, it's the lower paying jobs that are increasing in numbers.
IT Salaries Getting Squeezed

Thursday, May 1, 2008

IT Services Firms Post Solid Revenue Again

IT Services Firms Post Double Digit Revenue Growth Third Consecutive Year; Margin Pressure Continues Unabated

This is from the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB). Demand is still strong, revenue is still increasing, and margins are under pressure. That in a nutshell is the IT Services world. I've seen the same formula here as our company increased revenues 35% last year, while customers continue to keep pressure on costs. Although demand seems to be consistent, the typical customer is still very specific in their requirements. So a rifle approach is much more productive than the old shotgun approach when trying to fill customer needs.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Follow Up On The IT Labor Shortage Debate

I liked this article updating the IT Labor Shortage question from earlier. It talks about how IT jobs have evolved from pure technical roles to a blend of Technical and Management. And some of the reasons that it is hard to find enough people that can fill such a role, from unrealistic expectations by employers in their job descriptions to companies upgrading their technologies but not their employees. This is creating a gap between supply and demand.

From the article:
Why Are There Gaps?
As many a veteran IT job searcher will tell you, employers frequently have difficulty finding the right people with the right talents to suit their job openings because they approach the search with unrealistic expectations and insufficient compensation for what they are seeking.

“One hundred percent, the employers are unrealistic,” Miller says. “They want too much—sometimes they’ll ask for Visual Basic, .NET, XML and Java programming experience, a four year degree, certifications, and then they want someone who has a stable job history and not someone who has been a contractor for six months at one place and four months at another.”

It is sometimes difficult to explain to employers that for every skill you add to the list of requirements, the pool of qualified applicants shrinks, she notes.

IT Labor Shortage or Not, Gaps Remain

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Old Counter Offer

It's been written and talked about many times: Accepting a counter-offer is usually a recipe for disaster. But too often people are blinded by money or promises. Now I'm sure there are times when it works out, but if there is something that causes you to seriously consider a different job, chances are those issues are not going away. Maybe this is sour grapes from a recent deal that I lost because of a counter-offer (oh yea, it is), but the point remains the same.
If you are consider changing jobs, check this out before you give your notice so that you are prepared. Counter-Offers

Here's another article that spells it out rather well.
Older Article That Still Applys

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Have You Researched Yourself?

As a job hunter, you should know that some Recruiters will research candidates online. Of course, it seems like everybody researches everything online these days. There are plenty of articles out there about creating and managing your online image or branding. Not just as a company, but as an individual. Like anything, this research needs to be kept in perspective and should not replace tried and true due diligence such as personal meetings, references checks, and customized screening. But knowing that someone might be looking you up on social and professional networking sites, you should at least make sure that simple searches on yourself will not cause alarm for a potential employer (Facebook and MySpace seem to be the greatest source of this.) Check out this poll showing where candidate research is performed most often.

Researching Candidates Online

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Jobs Report Is In

IT jobs are up 12% over a year ago, at their highest numbers ever, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, IT unemployment has risen, but is still relatively low at just 2.6%. Like anything involving statistics, there are various ways to spin numbers. This article breaks some of that down though to better understand where the growth is coming from and where it's not as strong. Information Week

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Website Managers Role

Article Title: Website Managers Role
Author Byline: Affordable Website Design & Maintenance
Author Website:

A website manager is an online content producer and editor. Despite the fact that content is everywhere, the job is not an easy one because so many different areas of an organization have a different vision of what role content should play on the company’s website.

You have senior management who often does not understand web strategy or how social the web has become. Then there is the IT department that may push website features that are unnecessary. The marketing department can expect graphic heavy content and may not understand usability issues.

The Web Manager has a lot of responsibility but may end up feeling like a glorified secretary when he or she is pulled in five different directions by different departments within the organization.

For this reason it is important to hire an adaptable individual as your organization’s Website Manager. You want someone that plays well with others, can accept direction, but can also take the self-initiative to prioritize requests.

A Website Manager must also be able to wear several hats. He or she must be a fluent communicator, and have an excellent grasp of the English language.

Since most websites maintain blogs and community forums, the Web Manager must also have the ability to moderate incoming messages from the user community. This can translate into customer service and relationship management. The Web Manager must also be able to discern when it is appropriate to delete user generated posts, and when it is appropriate to respond.

The Web Manager must also keep abreast in website usability issues and keep up with what is going on in the web industry (such as social networking).

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More News on Chrysler Job Cuts

Here's a new article updating the Chrysler IT job cuts. 400 Chrysler Tech Jobs Go They state that 200 Chrysler employees will be affected, with the remaining layoffs coming in the contractor ranks. Cutting 20% of the IT staff is pretty steep, but I would not be surprised to hear it end up much higher than that. Tata seems to be buying up business everywhere right now. Yet they are implementing pay cuts for employees due to a slowdown in outsourcing business. TCS Pay Cuts And they recently cut 500 employees of their own for "poor performance", supposedly nothing to do with the outsourcing slowdown. This economic struggle is heading to India soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

BlackBerry: Security and Sanity Risk?

Personally, I own a Blackberry and find it quite useful by allowing me to be productive outside of the office. There is always a risk of being tied to the little thing though, and here is an article questioning the dependence on the devices.

Article Title: BlackBerry: Security and Sanity Risk?
Author Byline: Need Job Hunting Advice?
Author Website:

Following the recent Blackberry blackout, I was amazed at the potential security implications that this blackout illustrated. Even a 3 hour glitch in email communications produced some outraged responses from users around the world. A web service that has an uptime of some 99.9999% gets hammered for a tiny outage as addicted users frantically pace back and forth screaming obscenities at RIM’s apparent incompetence.

Recruiters tend to use blackberries more than is probably good for them. I have found in over two years that I don’t need one as my phone is enough. If someone has something urgent to say they can call me or wait till morning. It really is unreasonable to wake up in the middle of the night to email someone or to do it from the ski slopes. Having an actual conversation is more effective recruiting technique then email, especially in urgent situations. There is less room for misunderstandings and more can be said verbally then in writing.

I don’t have a blackberry, and I’m not planning on getting one anytime soon. However, I think it is disturbing that this one company can create such chaos with a tiny outage. If something more significant than a botched software update were to happen to the server rooms at RIM, it is conceivable that the national security of the US could be compromised. This is intolerable.

We have become so used to technology that many people would simply shut down if their “Crackberry” went out of services. It’s pretty ludicrous how much people depend on this sophisticated yet nascent technology. Users should hold the horrific thought of losing their tool at any time and should always have a backup ready. Having a backup will ensure that if something happens to RIM, nothing happens to our business.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Are they a leader or are they a manager?

Article Title: Are they a leader or are they a manager?
Author Byline: Nikki Gordon
Author Website:

We have all managed something at one point in our lives. Maybe it was an entire company or maybe it was just managing to get out of bed that morning.

Saying you manage people does not necessarily mean you lead them.

Here is an easy example. I work for a large multinational retailer. We have “Store Operators” or more commonly known as “Store Managers.” They do manage stores. They manage the ordering, financials, employee schedules, etc. Our most successful store operators have in common that they manage the administrative part of the job and lead their team.

Leading a team means investing in the team’s growth and meeting their needs so they can do the job successfully. Leading others is its own skill set.

When you are interviewing management candidates remember to reach beyond the scope of the administrative list on the resume. Look at the candidate and ask yourself
“Are they a leader or are they a manager?”

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is There Really an IT Labor Shortage?

Here is a different look at the current IT labor situation. IT Labor Shortage? Plenty of political agendas offered, and a lot of talk about the number of H1-B visas that are really necessary. I have seen a number of articles discussing how the majority of H1-B visas actually are granted to foreign companies. So the foreign companies bring their employees here for the U.S. jobs, and the U.S. companies are left without access to as many new H1-B visas as a result, hence the shortage. This has been talked about for years though, it is not a new problem.
Foreign Companies use the most H1-B visas
Most H-1B Visas Are Going to Foreign-Based Companies

Friday, March 7, 2008

If IT demand is so high, why are so many people out of jobs?

An interesting conundrum I've wondered about. There are stories all over the place about demand for IT workers remaining high, IT unemployment being low, and we cannot find the right people for the jobs we have open. The simple answer is that the people I need are not looking for a new job, and the ones that are available are not the ones I need. This article explains it much better than that, especially with this quote, "There are plenty of IT professionals out there. But the truly talented people that clients are seeking -- that's the pool that's shrinking."
Entitled to Nothing

Friday, February 29, 2008

Elements of a Technical Resume

Guest Article by Boston Technical Recruiter

Article Title: Elements of a Technical Resume
Author Byline: Need Resume Help?
Author Website:

I model my resume on the resumes of consultants I work with. But in general a resume should be clear and should give a manager glancing over it a good idea of your technical capabilities. I’ve seen managers raving about 1 page resumes, but I don’t agree that a 1 pager does justice to someone’s experience.

Furthermore, there is always a mixed review on cover letters, I don’t really pay attention to them since they don’t say anything to me. Your resume should spell out what, where, and how. Chances are that if you do not have something in your resume a cover letter will not save you from the trash pile. I have also received quite a few resumes with the cover letter addressed to the wrong company. What do you think happens to that resume?

Font’s should be conservative, Arial 10-12pt, single spaced, regular round bullets, no underlines, bold only the job title, company name and date, and the heading can be a little bigger. Make sure your education is clearly marked on your resume. I noticed many Indian consultants do not put the school name; one consultant did not put that she went to IIT, a school comparable to MIT in the US and a huge advantage at certain firms. Place your most current education first, even it is not yet completed, unless you did not complete the degree at all.

Use action words such as develop, lead, recruited, gathered, analyzed, managed. Do not write prose “I was responsible for blab la bla… “ boring and slow. You want your resume to be crisp and sharp.

Include your numbers! Especially if you do sales where numbers are important.

Feel free to email me for any questions! Comments are welcome. You can take a look at my resume for an example.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Interview Tips Everyone Can Use

There are always some basic interview rules that most people understand and abide by. You know - dress professionally, show up early, give a firm handshake, don’t talk too much, show confidence in your abilities, ask for the job… But sometimes it’s the simplest things preventing candidates from landing the job. Some recent examples I have seen:

1. Show up. Yea I know, it should be included in those basic rules that everyone understands. Yet it amazes me how many times people just don’t bother to show up, or even call to cancel.

2. Act professionally! It’s not enough to doll up, you have to act the part too. Outside of the friendly banter, don’t try to come off as the funny person everyone would love to work with. That won’t get you the job.

3. Don’t smell. Simple enough, but it can range from body odor to strong perfume or cologne, or maybe the breakfast burrito wasn’t a wise choice.

4. Look at me. Lack of eye contact shows a lack of confidence, or that you’re lying about something. I might not know which one it is, but it never tells me something good.

5. At least act interested. Don’t treat your potential employer like a commodity. An interesting turn of the tables I suppose, but if you’re interviewing with a company that treats their workers like a commodity, you should probably move on anyway. Take the high road and act like this is the only job you want.

6. Communicate any change in your terms. Once you tell a Recruiter or HR what you are looking for (salary, location, responsibilities, availability…), it’s OK to change that as the process goes on, but you have to let them know. Otherwise, you might end up interviewing for a job that has no chance of meeting your new terms for employment.

There are many reasons why you may or may not get a job, many of which are out of your control. But sometimes it's the most basic things that we take for granted that actually get noticed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chrysler Hires Tata

Well the rumblings at Chrysler have finally been formalized as TCS signed a contract to manage IT work. Say Ta-Ta to Chrysler IT. This just two weeks after stating that there would be no more job cuts. No More Job Cuts, (until we change our minds.)

And GMAC is cutting over 900 jobs, up to 150 here in the Detroit area. Cerberus has been busy.

I sure hope all of this helps them turn things around, and soon.

Monday, February 18, 2008

How To Tell When You Are Successful

Author Byline: Karen Burns, Working Girl
Author Website:

No one decides to be a failure.

But does that mean we all decide to be successful?

Not truly. Most of us want to be live happy lives and be successes in our work, but few of us take the time to define what success is, to us personally. And if we haven't defined what we want, how can we ever get it?
Now's the time to take pen or keyboard in hand and write out exactly what success means to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Success is doing your job well. Really well. Being good at something is a true and deep pleasure.

2. Success is working in a field you feel good about. When you go to a party and someone asks, So what do you do? pay attention to how you react. Are you quick to respond, happy to share? Or do you hesitate, or become vague, or change the subject?

3. Success is earning the amount of money that makes you happy. No less. And, weirdly, no more. Anything above enough to live on, plus some for playing and some for saving, quickly just becomes all about more stuff. It's a simple fact that more stuff does not make you happy.

4. Success is passion. It's doing what drives you, inspires you, energizes you.

5. Success is making a difference. Everyone wants to "leave a legacy." Some jobs result in a clear product you can point to and say, This is what I did. A lot do not. The key is to do whatever you do well and with love. Add to the sum total of human happiness in the world and you will be leaving a valuable legacy.

6. Success is when you can give from your abundance. You have so much time, money, energy, and love that you are able to give some away! Cool.

As you work to be successful you'll find that success is a process, not a fixed point. It's sort of a moving target. You never "get there." So ít's hugely important that you enjoy the process, that it makes you happy.

Which leads to this important final point: A lot of people say that if you are successful you will be happy. But it's the other way around. If you are happy, you will be successful..

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Friday, February 15, 2008

IT staff still in short supply

Interesting article from today's GLITR report shows that IT workers remain in demand:

IT staff still in short supply, but hiring pace may slow. Amid all this talk of unemployment, IT workers continue to be in short supply, according to a CIO Insight analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. A record 3.76 million workers in the United States held IT jobs last year, a record and up 8.5 percent from 2006, the analysis showed. The rapid growth in employment lowered last year's IT unemployment rate to 2.1 percent, from 2.5 percent in 2006, the lowest level recorded since the government redefined IT occupations in 2000. While those are great numbers for IT jobseekers, they aren't welcomed by CIOs fighting among themselves for limited human resources. More at this link. However, CIOs also say they plan to increase their staffs at a slower pace in 2008 than they did in 2007, according to a survey of 1,400 CIOs from a national IT staffing company. More at this link.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Chimes Fallout

The recent Ensemble Chimes bankruptcy affected a lot of people here in the Detroit area. Beeline ( purchased the Chimes assets earlier this month, and in their press release they made sure to mention that they intend to work hard to get the former Chimes clients back up and running as quickly as possible. Unfortunately there was no mention of helping all of the employees that were affected. Robert Stanke makes some good points about Chimes and VMS in general.

It's about time Chimes took the fall!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Michigan economy continues to struggle

Two reports came out recently showing how bad the economy is in Michigan and Detroit. As you might expect, the automotives are to blame. With seven straight years of job losses, the experts are predicting a challenging 2008.

Report says Michigan lags in creating high-wage jobs

Comerica Report - Detroit Regional Economy Plunges in December

Tips for Job Seekers from Kelly Services

Saw this on the Great Lakes IT Report this morning. There are some interesting findings for people in the job hunt. And one really important one for us Recruiters. According to the survey, the worst part of the job search is waiting for a response about a job. If we as Recruiters are not staying in touch with candidates regarding the status of a job, good or bad, then we are damaging our reputations both individually and as an industry. There are other aspects of the job search with which we can help our candidates, such as searching for jobs and helping word their resumes. The resumes are especially important as most survey participants did not feel that their resumes accurately illustrated their experience. As Recruiters we have some understanding of what customers are looking for and what tools and technologies they want spelled out in their job descriptions.

Not so surprising to me was that word-of-mouth was number one and Recruiter calls were number two, for methods that survey participants used to find jobs.