Feature: Stay Ever Prepared
This is the fourth in a four-part series that describes the new Darwinian world of job volatility and three of the key skills required for survival in this difficult employment environment. To read the first three parts, click on the Newsletter archive at WEDDLE’s and look for the issues dated September 1, 2003, September 15, 2003 and October 1, 2003.
Good jobs come and go quickly these days. Great jobs come and go at warp speed. Recruiters are under intense pressure to find the talented people their organizations need and get them hired. Fast. Therefore, one of the most important strategies you can use for dealing with today’s Darwinian world of job volatility is to be “interview ready” all of the time.
What does that mean? It means that you are always prepared for that first contact with an employer, whether it is a telephone call from one of its recruiters or the chance to apply for an opening you’ve just seen advertised or just heard about from a friend. There’s no delay while you throw together a resume. There’s no hemming and hawing while you try to remember what’s going on in your industry. And, there’s no embarrassed silence while you try to cover up the gaps you’ve let emerge in your professional knowledge.
Look at it this way: recruiters have thousands of applicants sending in their resumes every day for openings with their employers. From their perspective, they have the pick of the crop, and human nature being what it is, they believe they can now be more selective than ever. From your perspective, this situation guarantees that the competition for any job will be intense, and the competition for the best jobs will be off the charts.
How will recruiters sort winners from losers? They’ll look for candidates who have state-of-the-art skills in their career field and are up-to-date in their industry and the business world, in general. In addition, they will expect you to demonstrate that professional knowledge and business awareness from the very first minute of their very first contact with you and continuously thereafter. That’s what I mean when I say it’s important that you stay ever prepared.
I know that’s a big challenge; sure, you have other things to do. But, continuous preparation is a critical key to success in this demanding new job market. So, how can you get it done? That’s where the Internet comes in. As the “information superhighway,” it offers a myriad of ways to help you get ready and stay ready for whatever opportunities may come along. Conveniently. With the minimum investment of time and effort. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Dream jobs don’t stay open for long, so it’s important that you are always “interview ready.” That’s tough to do in today’s busy world, but the Internet can help. It brings news, information and important developmental opportunities right to your desktop at home. Take advantage of them, and you’ll ensure that every first impression you make with a recruiter is a good one.
Section Two: Site News You Can Use
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and Perry-Martel International, an executive search firm, have released the results of a survey of high tech employers in North America. Among its findings: 97% of the respondents who described themselves as executives felt that the best way to land a job in today’s economy was by identifying select firms, approaching an executive there directly, and emphasizing your potential strategic contribution. In contrast, 73% of the respondents who described themselves as non-executives felt that the best strategy for landing a job was networking (which was identified by only 1% of executives), where you lead with the skills and experience you can bring to the job. What does it all mean? Networking is undoubtedly still important in reaching hiring managers, but if the position you want is senior enough to warrant an interview with the hiring manager’s boss, make sure you also know how to present yourself effectively as a strategic contributor when you meet with the executive.
Catalyst, a research and lobbying group focusing on women’s issues, has reported that the pay differential between men and women in industry is largely caused by women’s lack of line management experience. A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University, however, points to another factor that may also be at work. A researcher found that male Masters degree graduates earned $4,000 more than their female peers. When probing for the source of this difference, she discovered that only 7% of the women negotiated for a higher salary, while 57% of the men tried to wring more cash out of the employers. How well did they do? The difference between the original offer and the final salary achieved by the male workers’ negotiations was almost exactly … $4,000.
SoftwareJobLink.com has launched its portal site for software-related jobs with large and small employers across the country. Basically, the search engine on the site enables you to identify positions posted at the Web-sites of companies such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Siebel, Borland, Business Objects, Symantec and Open Text. Among the kinds of openings you can expect to find are those for help desk and software sales, consulting and development as well as human resources, marketing and other fields.
WEDDLE’s has announced additional results from its recruitment site research conducted for its upcoming 2004 Guides and Directories. The following sites are no longer in operation: FashionJobs.net, Jobs in Fashion (under never-ending construction), CADDjobs.com, Careers.com (now a part of CareerBuilder.com), and EmployUs.com. In addition JobSpectrum.org, the job board of the American Chemical Society, has been re-named cen-chemjobs.org.
Section Three: Site Profiles
Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?
1. If you were a bilingual sales representative looking for a better job, which of the following sites might translate into success?
2. Where might you look to find an information management position with a major healthcare system in your hometown?
3. If you were a graphic artist with Web experience, where could you portray your credentials so that an established employer might see them?
Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2003 Guides and Directories
Post full time jobs: Yes
Post part time/consulting jobs: Yes
Distribution of jobs: National: USA
Number of jobs: 235
Salary levels of jobs: $51-75K, $76-100K
Offer a job agent: No
Resume database: Yes
How long are resumes stored: 760 days
Restrictions on who can post: Those in a certain industry
Other services for job seekers: None
Answers to Site Insite
1. All of the sites.
2. All of the sites, but Achoo.com, a site for general healthcare information
3. 3D Café