Friday, May 29, 2009

Update on my job search

I fell victim to the economy a few weeks ago getting laid off from my job. As a Recruiter, if companies are not hiring, they do not need the people like me that do the recruiting. Until the economy shows signs of recovering, companies remain in a holding pattern. But I was pleasantly surprised at how many companies are still talking to candidates like me, and how much people are generally willing to help in any way they can. Networking remains the best way to find a job as the best opportunities are typically not advertised. And with today's technology and tools, there are more ways than ever to start and increase your networking activity to find job leads. Probably too many options to be honest.

I've found in recent weeks that people consistently ask how they can use Twitter to either recruit, or to network to find a job. I'm still at level one in the Twitter world, but here are a few individuals that can help you dive into using Twitter for your job search. Here is How to Find a Job on Twitter, including proactive and reactive activities. Here is a list of suggested Twitter users to follow as part of your job search, and companies hiring on Twitter. There's always Tweet My Resume and Tweet My Jobs where you can blast your resume out to hiring managers and Recruiters, or have new jobs sent to you once they are posted. You can find various companies and recruiters on Twitter that post individual jobs by searching "jobs" with your preferred location, skill set, or whatever (jobs, Michigan, recruiter). Once you start following these people or companies, your network increases. I don't recommend using any one resource for job hunting, just like as a Recruiter I never relied on a single source. But Twitter can be one part of your overall approach and certainly help you learn either who is hiring, or who to network with that can help you along the way.

Image Crisis - What do employer’s expect?

Article Title: Image Crisis - What do employer’s expect?
Author Byline: Robin Ogden - FiredUP Careers
Author Website: http://www.firedupcareers.com/Interview-lunch-tips.html

In today’s competitive employment world most people are interested in “standing out” from the crowd. But, think again when it comes to the image you present to your prospective employer. What are they looking for? What does their culture support? Will the image you present blend in – or standout, and which is best?

The answer is really “both”. Yet, how can you possibly standout and blend at the same time? And what does that mean when it comes to your “image” anyway? Simple… research! From the employers point of view the fact that you have taken time to research your fit and taken steps to be sure you blend with the culture is what will help you standout. So, how do you make this trick happen?

“How can you possibly standout and blend at the same time?”

Research is the single most important thing you can do before gracing the doorway of your prospective employer. Check their website – what’s the look? Formal, casual or somewhere in-between? Be sure to view the online photos of the top executives- what’s their look? Are they all in suits and ties – or polo shirts and khakis? And if casual, what area? Is it Engineering, IT, Finance? What area will you be interviewing in? Many employer websites these days have a specific area with information to help candidates get to know the environment before they arrive.

But, don’t end your research there. Check the newswire and read articles, view photos. Network and find out what others know about the culture. If local, take a drive to the company and park near the door. See what the people who are coming and going are wearing. If you’ve got a recruiter by all means “ask”. But, also ask if the recruiter has ever met personally with the individuals you’ll be meeting with. Keep in mind that often recruiters have never set foot on the premises, let alone met with the client personally. They may have done all their work via phone conversations.

“The idea behind all this research is – you want to give the employer the “feel” that you already work there.”

Also, if you’re in communication with the Human Resources Professional check on what they believe is appropriate attire and if there are any expectations you should be aware of in advance. What’s the impression this will leave with them? You prepare in advance and pay attention to details. And please, the question is not “What should I wear”? This will sound insecure and nervous nelly. Instead, simply say, “Are there any specifics that you’d like me to plan for in advance? Any particular attire you would suggest or will there be any presentations expected? This will allow for a free-flow of conversation.

The idea behind all this research is – you want give the employer the “feel” that you already work there. If it is a casual organization and people are in jeans and polo’s, you are going to be uncomfortable in a three-piece suit, shiny shoes and tie included. Impressive yes; but remember you want them talking about how well you will fit in and not “He was fine, but the suits got to go”. In other words, don’t leave them talking more about what you wore to the interview than about what a great fit you’ll be. Don’t balk at this – I bet you can probably bring back a memory right now about someone you remember who walked into an interview clearly out of sync with the company.

“This can end your interview before it even gets started.”

Women should remember what would take away a good “blend” too. Low cut shirts, high thin heels, anything extreme or loud (patterns, colors, jewelry). And here is a piece of advice that stands for both men and women; don’t wear any fragrance the day of your interview. You never know whether the person interviewing you has allergies or may just be repelled by the scent. This can end your interview before it even gets started.

So, with all that said – whether you’re interviewing in high tech, or vogue fashion – research, research, research and remember, blend so that who you are will standout.


About the author: Robin Ogden is co-founder of FiredUP Careers (http://www.firedupcareers.com), a career coaching company focused on providing career products and services for professionals who wish to stay aligned with their careers, achieve success and truly dig what they do.

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Best Companies to Work For - Vol XII

Article Title: The Best Companies to Work For - Vol XII
Author Byline: CareerAlley
Author Website: http://careeralley.com

We continue to work our way through the 2nd half of Fortune's "the 100 Best Companies to Work for", looking for job opportunities. Yes, the unemployment rate continues to rise and we read about new job losses every day. That being said, there are plenty of jobs out there, you just need to be persistent and continue to look.

  • KPMG - Number 56 on the list, KPMG is a audit, tax and advisory firm. With over 161,000 employees globally, they hired over 1,400 people last year. The main page of their career site is split between Experienced Hires and Campus Hires. Clicking on the Experienced Hires link leads to a career page which includes an overview of the company, how to build a career at the company and job opportunities. Click on "search current openings" to link to the search page. You can add a profile, post your resume and search for jobs. There were thousands of job opportunities when I checked the site.

  • Novo Nordisk - You may not have heard of this company, which placed 57 on the list (and was not on the list last year). They are a Danish diabetes-treatment company with over 26,000 employees globally. They hired 293 people last year. Their main career page offers information on the company and a number of job search resources, including Career Paths, Culture, Opportunities and Search Jobs. Click on Search Jobs to link to the page where you can search for job openings, log on or add your profile (and upload your resume). You can also paste your resume and have the search function check for opportunities against your resume. There were 107 opportunities when I checked.

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers - Seems like all of the major accounting firms are in the top 100. PwC ranked 58 (up from 90 last year). They employ approximately 29,500 people and added 583 jobs last year. Their career page is similar to KPMG's, offering Campus Candidates and Experienced Hires links. The Experienced Hire link provides background on the company (the culture, advancing your career and "the profession). Clicking on "find your position" links to the job search functio. There were 198 job opportunities when I checked.

  • Scripps Health - Number 59 on the list, Scripps has over 10,000 employees and hired over 500 people last year. Their career site offers information on the company as well as specific information on a number of health care related fields. Click search jobs to link to the log on page, where you can register and post your resume. The bottom left hand side of the page has a "search openings" link. There were over 500 job openings when I checked the site.

  • Top Ten Career Tips - This page, from PwC's career page, offers quite a few tips, resources, videos, job search worksheets and so much more. This is definitly worth a look.


Good luck in your search.

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

An interesting look at our recession spending habits

As the economy remains stalled, sales have increased in condoms, wine, chocolate, laxatives,  and Spam.  No, I'm not going there.  The point is that consumers are still spending money, but they are being much more frugal as you would expect in any recession.  We're all downgrading and looking for good deals.  

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fewer Job Losses a Good Sign

Well we learned that only 620,000 people lost their jobs last month, down from the 663,000 that lost jobs in March.  Hopefully that number will continue to decrease, but it's still a large number.  It remains that more people are losing jobs than are finding jobs.  Although the mass layoffs seem to be over for the most part, unemployment will continue to rise because of this.  Some analysts think we can hit 10% unemployment this year, and that full employment (5%) won't be back until 2013.  Right now we just need to stop the unemployment bleeding as that is the root of our diminished consumer confidence and spending.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Recession Causing Hospital IT Funding to Drop

We've been talking about the struggling economy for a long time now.  Every industry is being affected -- automotive, finance, banking, airlines, retail, blah, blah, blah.  Healthcare was initially thought to be somewhat immune, but as we see here in Michigan, as people lose their jobs, hence lose their health insurance, there is less money coming into hospitals just like every thing else.  This report from the AHA discusses not only how IT has been cut, but that 90% of hospitals are making cutbacks overall.