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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Going to college with your grandparents?

Forget famous professors, bulging course catalogs, and ivy-cloaked campuses. It's extras like on-campus child care, evening office hours, and commuter lounges that count most with a growing breed of undergraduates: the independent or ''nontraditional" student.

Public universities and private ones, many of which did little for these students in the past, are scrambling to accommodate them because their numbers have become far too large to ignore. Broadly defined as financially independent, working adults, nontraditional students age 25 and up now make up 38 percent of postsecondary enrollment, compared with 28 percent in 1970, according to US Department of Education estimates. On many campuses, they have become the majority. Only about a quarter of the nation's 14.9 million undergraduates fit the ''traditional" mold of enrolling right out of high school, attending full time, and relying on their parents' purse strings.

''We have this island of mature adults in a sea of kids," said Bradley Keith, 41, who just completed his bachelor's degree at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, which gives nontraditional students preferential placement in classes to accommodate work schedules. ''It's the little things like that that really make a big difference."

Keith, who starts working on an MBA this fall, just stepped down as secretary of UNH's nontraditional student organization. One of the group's main purposes is to combat the isolation older students often feel.

READ: Colleges offer extras to lure older students

Guess who didn't make the list?

Forbes wrote an article recommending the best career blogs on the net. Guess who was not on it. (Boo-hoo!) READ: Career blogs

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'll get you, you young whipper-snapper!!!

Now this is interesting! I wonder how long it will be before this crosses the pond onto American businesses?

UNITED KINGDOM - Recruiters will be among the groups most vulnerable to age discrimination claims under new legislation coming into effect in October next year.

Sam Mercer, director of the Employers’ Forum on Age, a charity promoting age diversity, warns that most ageism claims are most likely to arise during the recruitment process.She urged recruiters to ensure their processes are as fair as possible because age discrimination will be considered as serious as sexism or racism under the new laws. In Ireland, where age discrimination has been outlawed for seven years, ageism now accounts for almost a quarter (22%) of all discrimination claims.

“If you look at Ireland, which is quite similar to the UK in terms of culture, most of the claims have been at the recruitment end of the process,” said Mercer.

Employers discriminating on the grounds of age must find valid business reasons for doing so. But Mercer warned: “There may be temptation for people to think they can drive a coach and horses through the legislation because of the exemption clause.

“But it is going to be extremely difficult and costly for employers to justify age discrimination and then provide evidence to back it up.”

Recruiters and employers must start looking at their processes now to ensure they comply with the new laws.

READ: Recruiters in firing line on ageism

Monday, July 25, 2005

Just say no (to your boss)!

The employment gods are against you if you say no. If you do not sacrifice, then massive suffering will result.

But you understand the reality. There's a lot of work to be done. You want to be responsible and dependable, yet you want a life outside of work, too.

"I think this is more of a problem than most people realize," said Ed Turi, an instructor of leadership and organizational behavior at Indiana Wesleyan University. "You have to come from a mindset that you have a right to say no to your boss."

But how do you even begin to do this?

READ: How to Say No to Your Boss and Not Ruin Your Career

Friday, July 22, 2005

How is this possible?

India faces huge shortage of software product developers who can think 'out-of-the-box' ideas and concepts but the educational institutes are churning out engineers suited mainly for the IT services market, industry officials say.'India faces IT R&D shortage':

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Never too young to work for Microsoft

A Pakistani girl has qualified as a Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9.

Arfa Karim of Multan has officially become the youngest MCP in Pakistan, and one of the youngest in the world. Karim, now 10, met with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates last week--an experience she later described as second only to visiting Disneyland.

To attain the credential--at any age--a person has to display technical proficiency in areas such as .Net, Visual Studio 6.0 and Windows Server 2003.

Karim got excited about technology, when her father bought her a computer--primarily to use for e-mail, according to S. "Soma" Somasegar, a corporate vice president in Microsoft's tools division.

"What she wants to do as she grows up--she would love to study at Harvard, work in a company like Microsoft and go back to Pakistan to do technology innovations in the field of satellite engineering," Somasegar wrote in his blog last week.

Somasegar describes her as the youngest MCP in the world, but according to a Channel News Asia report, the youngest ever to attain that qualification is India's Mridul Seth, who is said to have gained it at age 8 in November 2004.

According to Microsoft, Karim is part of a select group, as one of only a few certified professionals in the world to qualify below the age of 10.

READ: 9-year-old earns accolade as Microsoft pro

Also hear Arfa in her own words by clicking here!

Job-Seeking Strategy for Differently-abled Candidates

The single biggest barrier to full employment for the differently abled is the "fear of the unknown" of hiring/working with someone different. Employers know and generally comply with the law, but little is being done to educate co-workers in effective strategies for coping with their apprehension. I believe that hiring committees composed of co-workers/superiors/subordinates may often be the derailing factor in a differently-abled person's job search process. Peer committees may simply not know how working with a differently-abled individual will work. I've often heard comments from potential co-workers that range from "well, how can she talk to us if she's deaf?" to "well, there's not enough room in here for a wheelchair.”

As differently-abled job searchers go through the process of interviewing, a good strategy may be to address potential concerns directly. This strategy is not required on the searcher's part, but in my professional opinion, it is a technique to counterbalance the prejudice that people may feel -- whether or not they express it. Remember, technically, employers are limited by law to asking if the candidate can accomplish the job (and in some cases, ask the candidate for an illustration of how). What I would argue, however, is that the real questions are the ones that a coworker would be afraid to ask. I think that the best defense, if you will, is an effective offense -- putting people at ease.

For example, I recently had a deaf person as a client. She was concerned that the company where she was interviewing would be afraid she could not communicate with co-workers. As an excellent lip reader who also is verbally articulate, this client brought this issue up at the interview in the following way: "I want to let you know that I'm able to read lips, so understanding what is being said should not be a problem as long as I can see everyone's face. If you need to get my attention, just wave or give me a tap on the arm. Likewise, if you don't understand something I say, please ask me to repeat myself -- no need to be embarrassed -- communication is the key."

READ: Job-Seeking Strategy for Differently-abled Candidates: Address Employers’ Fears Head-On

Monday, July 18, 2005

I Want You! (Before you graduate highschool...)

EL MONTE, Calif. - Flora Ortiz slides into a seat in the darkened auditorium. It's the last day of school, and the choir is practicing solos. Onstage, a girl with long dark hair hurries through Scarlatti's Le Violette.

Flora sits chin in hand, pink flip-flops twitching silently in time to the music. She sang in the choir all four years, wore the prescribed evening gown in the group photo, trilled the same high notes . But most days this spring, her school ID hung from a U.S. Navy lanyard around her neck, a quiet declaration of her independence.

Or was it a sign of indecision?

One day short of graduation, Flora is a walking conflict zone: a girl with pink plastic butterflies in her hair who's contemplating boot camp, who cries at antiwar protests yet dreams of wearing a uniform.

"I just want to do something different," she says. "Something exciting."

At El Monte High School in a working class, mainly Hispanic suburb of Los Angeles, the debate over military recruitment in schools hijacked Flora's senior year. Recruiters wooed her and antiwar activists dissuaded her. She chose the military, changed her mind, changed it back.

READ: The tug of war on campus

Friday, July 15, 2005

Is Your Resume Recruiter Friendly?

If you are in the middle of a job search, recruiters can be either your friend—or your foe. They have the power to keep you out of the hiring process or to introduce you to corporate hiring decision makers. The quality of your resume plays a key role in determining how recruiters will treat you in the job market. It pays to make sure your resume is recruiter friendly.

There are three elements to a recruiter-friendly resume:

· Focus
· Core competencies or transferable skills
· Accomplishments

If your resume lacks any of these crucial elements, then you are probably not capturing the attention you deserve, and you are missing out on important interview opportunities.

1. Focus

Since recruiters’ time is at a premium, they must know your career focus within seconds of opening your resume. If your career focus isn’t clearly stated, you can’t assume the reader will take the time to search through your resume for clues. Most recruiters consider “Career Objective” statements worthless if they contain no real information about the specific position you are looking for and the industry expertise you offer. The best objective statements are concise and to the point.

2. Core competencies or transferable skills

Once a recruiter understands your focus, he/she will want to know if you have the required core competencies or transferable skills to accomplish the job. A thorough research of employer job descriptions will help you identify the core competencies your resume must feature.

You’ll capture and hold recruiter attention by including only those core competencies relating specifically to your focus. Be careful not to muddy up your personal marketing message by including extraneous skills. If you remember the all-important rule of relevancy, you’ll go a long way toward keeping the reader’s attention on your key skills.

3. Accomplishments

Once your resume has made it through the initial screening for focus and skills, the recruiter will want to know how you stack up against other candidates. Remember, with record-high resume response to job openings, recruiters need good, solid reasons to recommend you for consideration over the mountain of other candidates. Clear, concisely stated accomplishments are the best way to distinguish yourself from your competition.

Whether the recruiter works for one corporation or represents many corporate clients as a third-party recruiting consultant, he or she must be able to give valid reasons for promoting you as a viable candidate. You can make their job infinitely easier by including the information they need—and bring your resume to the top of the candidate pile. When your resume sells itself, you gain advantage points, and make the recruiter look good as well.

For optimum impact, write accomplishments that illustrate the strength of your core competencies, transferable skills and focus. An accomplishment is only valuable to your resume if it promotes the skills your target employers are looking for. Remember the rule of relevancy as you craft each of your accomplishment statements.

In today’s extremely competitive job market, employers rely heavily on recruiters to screen out all but the top few applicants. With a recruiter-friendly resume you’ll beat out your competition as the employer’s first choice to interview.

Deborah Walker, CCMC
Career Coach ~ Resume Writer
www.AlphaAdvantage.com
Deb@AlphaAdvantage.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Maybe being unemployed is not so bad?

Maybe being unemployed is not so bad?

A job worse than yours - Professional Target Mover

I think I can, I think I can...

With unemployment at its lowest level in nearly four years but job growth falling slightly below expectations, the nation's labor market in June created questions but not overwhelming concerns for economists.

"A lean, mean jobs machine this economy is not," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. "But jobs are being created and the unemployment rate is falling, so you really cannot complain too much."

Bill Sirakos, chief economist for Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., said the June numbers -- which featured a drop in unemployment to 5 percent and 146,000 new jobs -- are indicative of an economy that is growing but not "ram-charging ahead at breakneck speed."

He called it "good, solid growth" that has so far avoided the runaway wages and inflation that the Federal Reserve has worked to avoid.

READ: Jobs Data Show Pace a Bit Slow

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Jim Stroud in the news...

My article, "Why Social Networks don't work" was featured in the July edition of Online Recruitment Magazine. Visit the website to download a free copy: www.onrec.com

Here is a snippet...

Unless you are new to the internet or, are a novice to its mysteries, you are no doubt familiar with social networks. For the uninitiated, social networks are online communities where people meet and exchange business information with one another. In the most perfect of scenarios, someone you meet in a social network will connect you to one of their trusted contacts and business will be consummated. There are several such networks in operation (among them Ecademy, Spoke and Ryze), but the most popular is Linked In of which I am an avid subscriber. To be fair, I have met quite a few people with Linked In and can sing some of its praises. However, there is a downside to using social networks of any kind. I suspect that it is this singular reason why many forsake social networks and dismiss them as a fad of the age. What is the leading detriment of social networks? Ironically, the issue is that many people do not know how to network offline and those habits are simply transferred to the online arenas of social networks.

Click here for the rest of the story

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Pimp My Job: The title says it all...

How can "Pimp My Job" help you?
Today's Guest: William Tse, Managing Partner

this is an audio post - click to play

Hey, I thought this was turning around?

U.S. firms planned the highest number of layoffs in June since January 2004, led by the automotive and retail industries, employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. (search) said on Wednesday.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas said employers announced 110,996 job cuts last month, up from 82,283 in May, and 73 percent higher than June 2004.

"The cuts are not necessarily an indication of economic weakness, but rather the by-product of numerous trends, including changing consumer demand, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions, automation and consolidation," said John A. Challenger (search), chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a report.

READ: June Planned Layoffs Highest Since Jan '04

How can Talenthire help you?

How can Talenthire help you?
Today's Guest: Mike Veronesi , Managing Partner

this is an audio post - click to play

Preparing the frustrated jobseeker for the market's inevitable return.

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Job seekers (and Recruiters), show your support for "The Job Seeker Manifesto"

Frustrated with your job search? Do something different! Read: The Job Search Strategist

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