Education Career Services

January 19, 2009

Graduating Students Beware: The Least Effective Ways to Find a Job (Part II)

Submitted by Steve Klubock


To counter our last segment, Steve offers recommendations for students and professionals by examining the comprehensive, 360-degree approach to find a better position faster.


1. Networking for Job Leads from Family, Friends, Community Members, and Alumni

This method is 2.5-8 times more effective than job seekers’ best odds when using the first four most ineffective ways of finding a new position. With a soaring 33% success rate in comparison, it proves that proactive methods work!


2. Knocking on Doors of Employers of Interest

Whether they have a known vacancy or not; we should encourage our candidates to pound the pavement. “Old school”, traditional methods work, but most don’t use this approach because they don’t have the gusto to get themselves out there. Yet this technique scores a 47% success rate.


3. Conducting a Career Search in the Un-Advertised Market

Individuals who research companies using commercial research databases, read business newspapers looking for opportunities, and attend networking events are making these resources work for them! And, they’re having a lot of success doing it — 69% of seekers are finding positions by putting in the time to search for the opportunities as well as reading interview strategy and résumé writing books to prepare for professional meetings.  They have the right idea, but it will take them quite a bit of time to execute the process. Learning the in’s and out’s of the market and finding the companies and contacts with whom to network all on their own can turn into a lengthy trial and error process (without professional assistance) but they are definitely on the right track.


4. Consulting with a Team of Career Experts

Working with a team of certified career coaches and certified résumé writers to help professionals establish a career plan and ensure their competitiveness on paper, clients achieve an 84% success rate.


Graduating students must become aware of the inherent obstacles upon entering or promoting within the job market. By understanding what is most (and lest) effective, your time can be channeled more effectively.  This in no exact science, but there are keys to succeed. 


January 13, 2009

The Ever-Unreliable Unemployment Rate

An extremely gifted professional writer (Robert Swanson) jotted a few lines regarding the unemployment rate — take a few minutes to review:

It’s become a figure of terror; misunderstood and wrongly applied, it initiates panic in the populace.  News commentators raise it on a pole and predict the economy is going down for the last time…


That’s a lot of power to give an undifferentiated Unemployment Rate.  As of this writing, the UR is at 7.2% (please, no screaming allowed). 

Always concerned for the unemployed (at least those who want to be employed), a good understanding of the Unemployment Rate is necessary to retain hope and stave off discouragement. urgraph


The US Department of Labor conducts a monthly survey of 60,000 homes, categorizes each person over 16 as part of the Labor Force or the unemployable.  They do so by asking the unemployed if they are looking for work, and if they have, in fact, actively looked for work in the last four months.  Then they add up those in the Labor Force and the portion unemployed and wizard up the UR.


So, assuming .0015 of the population is a good sample (it isn’t) and assuming everyone tells the truth (they don’t), the UR is still a useless number, it doesn’t tell you who is unemployed. What percentage of your demographic is unemployed?  Do executives make up that number or do minimum wage workers?  What age?  Even the Department’s breakdown is vague (two categories for age; 16 to 19 and 20 on up).


The DoL claims to weed out the unemployable, composed of those physically and mentally unable to work.  Unfortunately, the people interviewed in the poll may not classify themselves thus.  Further, people on assistance programs who have no intention of working, claim they are looking for employment to retain eligibility of benefits (which is not to say all those on assistance fall into that camp).  Thus the numbers are skewed by the mentally ill and infirm who simply don’t realize they are unemployable, and those protecting their aid eligibility.


Further, unemployment is fluid, not static.  People transition from job to job; are the 7.2% unemployed the same individuals unemployed during the same time last year?


The simple truth is no statistically miniscule sample is going to be accurate, and even if it was, it is a number of averages, and you are far from average, right?  Do not be discouraged by the UR.  Jobs are out there.  Companies may not be advertising them, but they still need quality people.  Consider the early 80’s when the UR was at an all-time modern high of 10.5%; innovation reigned within the marketplace.  The PC was invented and refined; consumer electronics shrank in size and grew in quality.  CD’s were invented.  Almost every sector innovated new products and channels leading to a giant drop in unemployment, because the market needed people to manage, expand, and improve business.


Do you find it difficult to proceed with hope?  Perhaps you’ve been that rare individual stuck in unemployment despite impressive skills?  Or maybe you think you’re going to be in that small percentage soon as companies restructure to weather the present storm?  Consider that you’re not the problem; it could be your approach! 


Navigating the job market is a full time job.  You may need help to create a winning strategy and there is plenty help out there.  If you have any questions, do contact me and I will be glad to assist in any way possible.  


NEVER give up hope! 


January 3, 2009

Career Management Assistance

Examining the concept of career management help, including resume developing/writing, career coaching such as salary negotiation, direct mail networking, and our ever-changing economy, several have asked for a review of professional companies available.  No doubt about it, dropping a few notes before activating your network for a job search is much more effective than making a referral request as your first contact in years.  Whether proactive or reactive, however, hiring professional career transition help is a good idea, especially as the job market gets ever more competitive.


So let’s begin by learning one fundamental truth; “preparation is a phased approach.”  A clear understanding of these phases makes hiring the right firm much easier.  Here they are:


1)      Strategy: How are you going to go about getting a new position? Networking? Internet? Direct Mail?  Recruiters?

2)      Document creation: Résumé and cover letter – depending on your strategy, you may need different versions.

3)      Personal preparation: How do you handle an interview?  Salary negotiations?

4)      Distribution: Executing your strategy.


As you approach career development firms, be sure you know which phase you’re purchasing.  Not all firms handle all phases, and you’d never know by the price.  Give me a few ideas as to what you are looking for and will begin next weeks segment by looking at different agencies, beginning with recruiters.


Hope your New Year’s was a safe one and the New Year will be one of great success.




December 23, 2008

Welcome to the Career Cafe! (Bring Your Own Java)

cup-coffee-daily1College is a time to prepare for your career…  most colleges do a great job at it, too.  Forget what the press says, our centers of higher education are turning out exceptional graduates, and despite the stereotype, you and your fellow students take career preparation seriously.

Unfortunately, what you may not be taking seriously enough is career management!  If you have, if you’re actively involved with the career center at your school, we applaud you.  While the rest of the university is preparing you for driving on the highway, your career center is going to help you find the on-ramp–an important aspect to all highway driving!

That’s why we’re partnering with career centers to provide curriculum for in-class and take-home instruction, we’re also publishing this interactive “Career Cafe” to:

  • Share our insights (we’re career management professionals as well as academic professionals.  A happy fusion, IOHO.)
  • Gather your questions, feedback, and concerns so we can even more accurately serve your educational needs.
  • Network you with visiting executives and career professionals.

We welcome Students, Executives, Educators, and anyone else interested in contributing to the next generation’s career management development!

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