The Death of the Paper Resume
For some employers, paper resumes are hopelessly out of date. Instead, they’re checking Klout scores and asking for resume submissions via Twitter.
When IT company Enterasys decided to hire a social media marketer, one thing stuck out in its job posting: no paper resumes accepted. The application requirements said qualified candidates will be identified using social influence metrics on Klout, Kred and Twitter. Using the hashtag #SocialCV, a marketing professional could apply for the position.
Enterasys develops, manufactures and delivers enterprise networking products in a business-to-business space. The Boston-based company employs approximately 1,000 people and serves clients at universities, banks and hospitals.
“The paper resume is dying,” said Vala Afshar, Enterasys’ chief marketing officer and chief customer officer. “And in the near future talent acquisition will use the Web for an applicant’s CV and social networks as mass references.” Afshar, who also co-authored The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence, isn’t responsible for acquiring talent solely in the marketing department; he’s involved in many integral aspects of the 30-year-old operation.
“If you’re not a social employer, you’re irrelevant over time,” he said. “I don’t have a resume, but I’m highly active. I believe that the very best talent, they are too busy changing the world, they’re not actively looking for work, but they are active on social networks.”
The hiring campaign was launched after Afshar said he found himself spending more time searching for a candidate on the Web than staring at a candidate’s paper resume. To be even considered for Enterasys’ social marketing position, an applicant must have a minimum of 1,000 Twitter followers. Also required to land an interview is a minimum Klout score of 60 and a minimum Kred influence score of 725.
Afshar said there’s going to be a lag until engineering, human resources, finance and other “back office” functions will require an applicant to have a social presence, but he warns that day will come. “I’m certain that we are going to find exceptional talent and whether it was the process or not, I’ll let other people judge. I’m just looking to bring a talented person into the company,” he said.
The use of social media is considered fair game for talent acquisition; a digital footprint can benefit both job candidates and recruiters. However, this hiring practice might also provide false positives.
Dino Baskovic, a digital strategist in Detroit and adjunct professor of technical and professional communication at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich., said it’s important to keep quantity versus quality in mind when looking at these numbers because one’s social profile isn’t the only place to network. Baskovic said Klout, Kred and Twitter followers are good early indicators, and give a manager or recruiter a sense of one’s ability to navigate the space. “It gives me an initial sense that this person more than likely has the competency I want for a social media position, but having said that, it’s an indicator, not the ‘be all, end all’ indicator.
“I’m a big believer in professional recruiters; they live and breathe this stuff every day. They know how to vet candidates more so than hiring managers would and they are going to know a lot of things about one’s background that a typical hiring manager may not,” Baskovic said.
He warns that while a candidate may have a wonderful blog and an abundant supply of followers, the candidate may be just a couple years out of college, or have no experience working within the organization’s industry. This is where a professional recruiter, he adds, can help a hiring manager employ the right prospect.
“I think it’s interesting to see that there’s a willingness to take what was formerly a very private and very trusted infrastructure that’s talent acquisition and shed a little more light on it,” Baskovic said. “We need to tread very carefully there because it’s untested and the waters are so uncharted, and I’d hate for a candidate or a company to get into trouble, inadvertently, over seemingly innocent online discourse.”
This may be a heretical thing for a career counselor to say, but I seem to be one of the few professionals in my field who actually doesn’t believe that “looking for a job is a full-time job.”
Obviously, this cliche is well-intended. It’s used by most career practitioners to motivate people to take the process seriously, get off their butts and work hard at finding their next opportunity. After all, it seems there are still many unemployed people out there who treat job hunting as a bit of an afterthought. One Department of Labor study in 2012 revealed that the average unemployed American spends a mere 18 minutes a day looking for work. And a more recent study, conducted by two university professors, suggests that the real number is more along the lines of 40 minutes per day.
If these statistics can be believed, there’s no question that many job seekers out there need to step it up a notch. But that’s a dead horse, and I’m not going to beat it any further.
Instead, I want to talk about the opposite end of the spectrum. What about those diligent souls who are channeling 40, 50 or 60 hours per week into their re-employment quest? I know several out-of-work professionals who have been hunting at this pace for many months running, and my hat is off to them for their work ethic and persistence.
These are people who truly treat this process as “their next job” until they land a new assignment. In fact, they pride themselves on it. One unemployed manager I know was recently bragging to his former boss (who had also been downsized) that he was diligently putting 40 hours per week into his job-search regimen. His former supervisor’s response: “That’s all?”
But here’s the deal. Is there a point at which you can do too much job hunting? Is there a level at which a dogged job-search regimen becomes counterproductive — and burnout starts to set in?
For most people, I believe there is. I encourage every active job seeker to watch for signs of “hitting the wall” and becoming a bitter, frustrated, burnt-out job-search zombie. If you’re spending your days endlessly worrying about landing your next job — morning, noon and night — you’re not doing yourself, or anybody else around you, any favors. Not only will you alienate a few of your close friends and allies with this all-consuming mindset, but working a double-shift job-search regimen is probably not terribly good for your physical or mental health, as well.
Some things you can do to combat this issue? For starters, despite the fact that money is important, and most of us need to make a living, remind yourself that your life as a whole doesn’t need to come to a complete stop just because you’re between paychecks. Invest some of your available hours tending to other important activities, too.
Build some stress management and professional development outlets into your routine. Get more involved in your community, your church or your hobbies. Go for a hike each day. Catch up with old friends. Read more. And give yourself permission to do all of these things, because they’re important.
As a former colleague of mine used to say: “Very few people are truly unemployable, and once you realize you’re 99 percent likely to work again in the not-so-distant future, what are you going to regret not using this extra time you have to accomplish?”
Another key to time management in a job search is to stop measuring the number of actual hours spent in the process and to start measuring productivity instead. Hands down, the most critical metric in a job hunt is the number of actual people you contact each day in search of opportunities. So if you’re wasting a lot of time on aimless web surfing, constantly tweaking your resume or other unproductive administrivia, cut down and focus on output. Set a goal for how many attempted conversations you’re going to pursue each day, whether this involves responding to want ads or reaching out to your network in search of unpublished openings. And once you’ve hit that goal each day, pat yourself on the back and go do something fun or relaxing.
Age-old cliches and historical career dogma aside, I’d rather see people spending two hours each day doing the right things than eight hours of the wrong things. So try to find the balance that works best for you and keeps you the most focused, productive and energized.
The diehard 40-hour-per-week job hunting approach isn’t the right recipe for everybody
Why Aren’t Companies Hiring?
By Morgan Housel, The Motley Fool
Posted 2:17PM 05/23/12 Posted under: Investing
Why aren’t companies hiring? There are all kinds of theories. Taxes too high. Taxes too low. Too much regulation. Too much speculation. Everyone has an idea.
The best way to find out why businesses aren’t hiring (and they are hiring — just not enough) is to ask them. That’s what the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s Business Outlook Survey does. Here’s what its most recent reading shows:
Source: Philadelphia Fed.
Lots of things are holding businesses back from their potential, but the two largest are:
- Sales are too low.
- Since sales are low, businesses are keeping profits up by keeping expenses (like employment) down. That’s why profit margins are near record highs.
This closely matches other private business surveys like the National Federation of Independent Businesses survey and the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Annual Global CEO Survey. All have told a similar story: Bad regulations and uncertainty from Washington are a problem, but low sales are by far the biggest worry.
That will eventually change. Despite naggingly high unemployment, sales are coming back and consumer spending is holding up. It’s still well below where it should be, but business investment is coming back, too: Capital expenditures among S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) companies hit a new record late last year. Capacity utilization is also springing back close to normal levels.
Another more subtle point holding back hiring: Businesses shook out a lot of redundancies and inefficiencies during the recession — teaching one person to do a job that used to be done by three — and they aren’t likely to go back to the old ways. After describing a friend whose moving business slashed employment, wages, and benefits, Berkshire Hathaway (NYS: BRK.B) Vice Chairman Charlie Munger was asked if his friend would ever revert to the old way of business. He replied: “No, it’s never going back. He squeezed the cost out. That’s one of the main troubles of the economy, that everybody has done what my friend in the moving business has done. It’s perfectly logical.”
“That’s the way capitalism works,” he said.
Embracing Risk in Career Decisions
by Ron Ashkenas | 7:45 AM June 18, 2012
Risk management is critical for business decisions — but may not be healthy for making decisions about your career. In fact, if you want your career to take off, you may need to do the opposite of what risk managers try to do: Instead of focusing on how to reduce risks, you may need to embrace and enhance them.
In organizations, the basic purpose of risk management is to rationally identify and analyze threats that might compromise success, and then recommend steps to mitigate them. Since many risks are invisible until after-the-fact, the risk management function uses its tools and analytical abilities to uncover them early to reduce their impact. Because human judgment is involved, this doesn’t always work — as in the case of JPMorgan Chase’s trading losses — but in many cases the process is effective.
On the surface, career decisions should follow the same process. There are multiple sources of risk in making a decision to change jobs or enter a new field: economic considerations, future potential, family, relationships with co-workers, the need to learn new skills, stability of the employer, and many more. Obviously all of these issues are part of the decision process, and it would be logical to think that reducing the associated risks would be a good thing.
However, for many careers, minimizing these risks is much less important than considering two other major parts of the decision:
1.Happiness criteria: At the end of the day, your career success is determined not just by tangible indicators (compensation, title, reputation) but also by the underlying enjoyment you derive from your work. Though highly subjective, this “happiness” factor often overwhelms all other career issues; to the extent that a person can have an apparently stellar career but still be miserable, or vice versa.
2.The attitude factor: Also driving your career is your ability to learn and adapt over time — to deal with new situations, different personalities, and ongoing surprises — and make the most of them. Although people can paint logical pictures of their career paths in retrospect, in reality most careers are unpredictable — influenced by particular people, seminal moments, or unique opportunities. Having the attitude to grasp these surprises and leverage them is critical.
Because career success depends so heavily on happiness and attitude, you need to treat these factors differently, and not just as two more parts of an overall risk-mitigation model. This means that career decisions need to start not with risks, but creating a prioritized list of “happiness criteria,” or aspects that will critically determine your long-term satisfaction. The second step is to think through which of these criteria are non-negotiable and — if compromised — would force you to make a trade-off that could increase your risk in some other area.
Here’s a quick example: After several years of leading the flagship product of a fast-growing technology firm, Rachel* was asked to lead the company’s largest division. Although this was clearly a pathway to the C-suite, she turned it down because it would have meant relocating away from her extended family and spending too much time away from her children, which were non-negotiable “happiness” criteria. As a result, Rachel took a staff job with less responsibility and status, but that passed the happiness test.
But starting with happiness doesn’t mean that your career needs to be compromised. That’s where “attitude” comes in. As long as you are focused on what is important to your long-term satisfaction, then the challenge is to grab other opportunities that might otherwise seem risky or even crazy. Rachel, for example, used the staff job to reinvent herself as a leader for innovation, and eventually helped the company build a replicable process for starting new businesses. Her success in this area opened up other opportunities that never would have emerged otherwise.
The key point here is that career success is not about reducing risks. Rather it’s about maximizing your happiness in a way that also allows you to find surprises and push yourself into new territory. To do that you may need to maximize your risks rather than manage them.
How do you manage the risks in your career?
Different types of jobs attract different types of people. For instance, introverts might preferbehind-the-scenes positions, while extroverts might be more attracted to client service or communications-related jobs. Demographics can also impact career choices — age, sex, location and other factors may play a role in influencing the types of jobs people pursue.
In his book “150 Best Jobs for a Secure Future,” author Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., shares some of the most secure jobs by demographic — jobs that tend to attract a high volume of certain types of workers. In one such list, Shatkin reveals the best secure jobs with a high percentage of workers age 55 and over.
To create this list, Shatkin first identified the 150 most secure jobs based on various data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Next, he sorted those jobs in order of the list’s primary criterion — workers age 55-plus. He then sorted the list further using earnings, growth rate and number of openings.
Shatkin is not implying that workers in this age range should consider these jobs based solely on their inclusion in this list. It’s just meant to provide a different perspective on the types of jobs that are popular amongst workers in this demographic. Mature workers might be drawn to these positions for different, personal reasons. Certain roles, such as chief executives, often require a significant amount of experience. If this list makes you consider a potential job that you might have otherwise overlooked for any reason, you’ll find yourself in good company.
Here are 14 secure jobs with a high percentage of workers age 55-plus: 1. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists*
- Percent age 55 and over: 41.9
- Median annual salary: $67,880**
2. Psychologists, all other (not listed separately)
- Percent age 55 and over: 41.9
- Median annual salary: $90,010
3. Chief executives
- Percent age 55 and over: 35.5
- Median annual salary: $166,910
- Percent age 55 and over: 33.8
- Median annual salary: $106,360
5. Urban and regional planners
- Percent age 55 and over: 33.8
- Median annual salary: $64,100
6. Management analysts
- Percent age 55 and over: 32.3
- Median annual salary: $78,490
7. Education administrators, all other
- Percent age 55 and over: 32.2
- Median annual salary: $76,730
8. Education administrators, elementary and secondary school
- Percent age 55 and over: 32.2
- Median annual salary: $87,470
9. Education administrators, postsecondary
- Percent age 55 and over: 32.2
- Median annual salary: $84,280
10. Administrative services managers
- Percent age 55 and over: 31.9
- Median annual salary: $79,540
11. Instructional coordinators
- Percent age 55 and over: 31.9
- Median annual salary: $59,280
12. Writers and authors
- Percent age 55 and over: 31.9
- Median annual salary: $55,870
13. Transportation inspectors
- Percent age 55 and over: 31.3
- Median annual salary: $62,230
14. Social and community service managers
- Percent age 55 and over: 30.8
- Median annual salary: $58,660
*Occupations and percentages based on figures from “150 Best Jobs for a Secure Future,” which used figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
**Salary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“It’s all in your perception. If you see your tasks in life as drudgery, then they are drudgery. On the other hand, if you see them as gifts of the Universe manifest through you, then your tasks are done in the spirit of love and generosity. You step out of your ordinary life and make it extraordinary. Little by little, you realize that your life truly makes a difference and you are filled with a wondrous sense of gratitude and abundant flow. A heavenly feeling, indeed!
Yes, it’s all in your perception.”
Not everything you present in the job interview must come directly from your work experience. Sometimes a great story and a great skill springs from your personal life.
The trick is to choose the right attribute – and then present it well, so that it seems relevant to success at the job you’re seeking, said Marc Cenedella, founder & chief executive of The Ladders, an executive job-matching site.
“What one or two things do you do outside work that you can package that demonstrate an attribute for the job you want?” asked Cenedella. “You want things that underline the narrative to show you’re going to do well” in the new position.
First determine what attributes you will need to demonstrate. Take a close look at the job description and the organization. Most jobs really depend on four to six key skills – for managers it might be financial management, analytical skills, leadership, people skills, change management – as the most important ones, Cenedella said.
Sometimes the key skills
are obvious; but in times of great change at the organization or in the economy, it pays to ask the HR manager or recruiter what traits are most prized and sought after in this search, he suggested. Come right out and ask: “What are the three most important things to succeed in this job?”
That list could serve as a map into the new job. If the job requires an ability to win under any circumstances, you may be able to demonstrate that by telling how as captain of the local softball team, you lost two key players and still managed to make it to the finals. If the job requires adaptability and constant learning, your travels to 100 countries, and visiting lesser known cities – then blogging about it – will provide excellent examples, he said.
“What are you showcasing?…. It’s not a social call. It’s not about making new friends. Everything is about getting more offers and getting into the new seat” at a new job. It’s your job to carefully select the stories that match up with that attributes list.
Then you must fit the right personal successes – as a volunteer or board member, a parent or an event planner
– into a compelling, but concise story. Don’t ramble on about the soccer team or the school carnival; focus on what you did and how it developed or showcased your talents. Make sure you frame the story from your personal life into the context of how it will help your future employer, and how it will improve your success.
Even if you have a lot of volunteer or personal experience and expertise, Cenedella suggests that you need to limit yourself to one good story and attribute from that arena. Most of your examples need to come from your professional life, he said.
Whatever stories you tell need to resonate and feel relevant. Consider them illustrations to the main points: I have demonstrated these key skills and I would be a great addition to your team.