Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Voluntary turnover creating opportunities

The May issue of Business 2.0 features The Next Job Boom. Along with the standard lists of jobs in demand and fast-growing markets, I found a reference to a market indicator I've been looking for since the tech bust: an increase in voluntary turnover.

Help wanted: What the numbers say
Unlike previous job booms, this one isn't being driven primarily by the creation of new jobs. Instead, it is the ever-growing number of people quitting their jobs—to retire, or increasingly, to seek out new opportunities—that has created openings which managers need to fill.

Exactly. People are beginning to see more opportunities in the market and are less motivated to hold on to their current positions at all costs. This is a much better indicator than official unemployment numbers.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Opportunities in interactive advertising

According to a BusinessWeek article, interactive ad agencies are having trouble filling their many openings. Business is up, and the agencies are ready to grow, but the candidates aren't there. Apply a little microeconomics, and you get rising salaries and lowering demands for a perfect match.

Online Ad Jobs Go Begging
Candidates can get tech advertising jobs with backgrounds in technology or advertising -- and sometimes without either.

Technology or advertising. It wasn't long ago that every opening specified a purple squirrel, and the operative conjunction was and.

Monday, May 22, 2006

10 ways to find an inside contact

You can't get very far into a job search without being exposed to the usual advice that networking is the most effective way to get a new job. But how does networking apply to finding a job in a specific, targeted company where you don't know anyone?

Liz Ryan has a list of 10 good ideas on how to use Internet-based resources to how to find a contact inside a target company. Here's a quick summary, but it's worth going to the source for the long version.

  1. The company website, under About Us.
  2. LinkedIn.
  3. WorldWIT email groups (for women).
  4. Google.
  5. Google Blog Search.
  6. Your local business paper's online archive.
  7. The Yahoogroups archives.
  8. The relevant/logical professional association for the person you seek.
  9. Mentions of community involvement and local causes on the company's website.
  10. Your alma mater's alumni database.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Use the right keywords to be found

Marc Cenedella kindly posted a list of the top 100 recruiter keyword searches on TheLadders.com.

Read that title again. He's giving you a list of the words recruiters type into the database when they're looking for candidates. Marc's list is pulled from his company's records, but if you're looking for the types of jobs found at TheLadders ("sales, marketing, finance, HR, operations, IT and general management"), the recruiters are probably using similar searches wherever they look for candidates.

Do the right keywords appear on your résumé? If your company uses unusual job titles, have you worked a more typical job title into the description somehow? Have you mentioned the specifics of your job that set you apart from the crowd?

The conventional wisdom is that everyone gets their jobs through networking, but your résumé needs to be working for you, too.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Popular recruiter blogs

I mentioned recruiter blogs as a good source of insights into the recruiting process and the job market (plus the occasional job listing). For some more ideas on where you might start, take a look at Michael Specht's new web site, HRblogs.org. In particular, he lists popular blogs by category (Via Recruiting.com). Some of my favorites are listed, as well as some that I'm going to have to explore.

The key to discovering blogs that will be useful to you is to explore, and when you find one that you like, find out what that person reads. Follow the links in their posts and blogrolls, and you will find new sources for your personal information environment.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Have you Googled yourself?

When you talk with a recruiter, hiring manager, or anyone these days, you should assume that they're looking you up online. What will they learn about you? Have you looked yourself up to see what information is available?

Jim Durbin wrote up a nice summary of how to get started checking up on yourself in Self-Googling:

Self-Googling
  1. Start with your name in quotes: "Jim Durbin" James Durbin" James M Durbin"
  2. Take the quotes out and repeat. James Durbin, Jim Durbin, James M Durbin jdurbin
  3. Search all of your e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
  4. Search you name and company names. (past and present) use slang and jargon. (Anheuser-Busch becomes both AB and MSG)
  5. Type your name and your zip code. Your name and your home phone. Your name and your city (both St. Louis and your actual town)

Your goal is to find out in advance what someone else might find, in case there's anything out there you need to address. Here are some possible results from the search:

  1. Nothing. You have managed to stay off the radar. At least there's no adverse information for you to deal with, but there's nothing to advance your cause, either.

  2. Noise. You're lost in a sea of people with the same name. Almost the same as being off the radar entirely, except for the possibility of confusion with someone else.

  3. Unfavorable information turns up. Possibly something you did (or wrote) years ago. Be prepared to discuss it—just in case. You might consider a personal web site or blog to position more positive information in the search results. If the information is inaccurate, you may be able to get it removed by the web site, but that can be very difficult.

  4. Favorable information turns up. Your name appears in press releases, articles, conference panels, race results—oh, and your web site or blog—all of which reinforce your image as a great candidate for the position. The results are so good that you want to remind people to look you up.

Any doubt which outcome I prefer?

While you're looking yourself up, don't stop at Google. Check the other search engines, which may give you different results. Remember Technorati, in case your name appears in a blog somewhere. Finally, remember to update your profile at LinkedIn and anywhere else you've posted it. Everything should reinforce the message you're trying to send about yourself, and you have complete control over those profiles.

Above all, never be surprised when an interviewer knows things about you that she found through an online search.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Updating your job search bag of tricks

8 Tips for Landing Your Dream Job in a Web 2.0 World (scroll down for the tips)

I'm working on a presentation for jobseekers on using Internet services in the job search. The basic themes are:

  • Adding RSS to your bag of tricks to get your computer to do more of the work for you
  • Taking advantage of free news clipping services and other sources to keep up with current topics in your industry
  • Using research tools to investigate your target companies
  • Using social networking sites and research tools to find and learn about contacts in your target companies
  • Increasing your visibility to the market with social media

Jason's post makes a lot of the same points in different words. Sometimes hearing the same lesson from different people helps it sink in.

Blogs 'essential' to a good career

From the Boston Globe, April 16, 2006: Blogs 'essential' to a good career.

1. Blogging creates a network.
2. Blogging can get you a job.
3. Blogging is great training.
4. Blogging helps you move up quickly.
5. Blogging makes self-employment easier.
6. Blogging provides more opportunities.
7. Blogging could be your big break.
8. Blogging makes the world a better place.

Blogging ties nicely into some of the ideas in 7 Ways to Find a Job. No, 8! Aaaaah!!. If you're creating white papers or case studies, your blog is a perfect place to publicize it. At first, people will tend to find your blog because they're looking for you. Over time, though, they'll start finding it because they're looking for the topic, which leads them to you. Your blog can promote you while you're asleep—isn't that great?