Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

Feature: WEDDLE’s Research Factoid

WEDDLE’s continuously conducts both primary and secondary research on Best Practices in job search and career self-management. Among the issues we’ve regularly probed is the nature of the experience that job seekers have in an employer’s recruiting process. While our investigation is broadly based, one of the questions we are seeking to answer is what employer actions and inactions bother candidates the most.

The responses below were posted between March 1 and April 15, 2007 for the following question: “What is the single worst thing that has happened to you in a job search?.

  • 4.5% said the hiring manager, recruiter or an employee was rude or hostile during the process;
  • 5.7% said the hiring manager who interviewed them was poorly prepared;
  • 22.1% said they received no information or feedback from the employer during the process;
  • 32.4% said they had no negative experiences; and
  • 35.3% said they submitted a resume and heard nothing back from the employer.
  • What the Findings Mean

    The most successful job seekers are good consumers. They look for the best opportunities and, just as they do when purchasing a car or a new television set, they test the organization’s value proposition as an employer before they buy in. How do they do that? How do they test drive an employer? By evaluating their treatment during the organization’s recruiting process. That experience is a good surrogate for the treatment you are likely to get as an employee. So, what does this survey tell us?

  • Silence is lead in the job market. At least half (57.4%) of the respondents said they received no communication from the employers with which they interacted, either when they submitted their resume or later, during the recruitment process. What does that mean for you? Look for the other half. There are plenty of organizations that are open and forthcoming with candidates, and the information they provide is critical to your making the right employment decision. Said another way, communication is golden in the job market, so look for employers that share information freely.
  • Bad behavior need not be endured. Just one-in-ten (10.2%) of the respondents experienced rude or incompetent behavior by an employer’s representatives. In other words, nine-out-of-ten didn’t have to endure such treatment. And neither do you. If you are interviewed by impolite or unprepared managers or treated disrespectfully by an organization’s employees, vote with your feet. You have plenty of choices. An organization that tolerates misbehavior during the recruiting process will also likely tolerate it in the workplace. It’s a sure fire sign of a sick organization.
  • Some employers get it, and they’re the ones you want to get. Almost a third (32.4%) of the respondents didn’t have a negative experience. They received the information they needed about prospective employers, and they were treated courteously when they interacted with those organizations’ representatives. While it’s appropriate to call out problematic employers, it’s also important to acknowledge the many wonderful organizations that provide meaningful and rewarding employment opportunities. Your success in the job market, therefore, depends upon your making good choices. Evaluate employers carefully and pick those that treat you as a valued individual, even before you work for them.
  • Please Note: As a part of our ongoing research, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web since 1996. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:

  • what they do and what they don’t do,
  • what they like and what they don’t like,
  • and most importantly,

  • what they think works best.
  • To add your insights and opinions to our research, please visit the Polling Station at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    Section Two: For Your Consideration

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2007. You can also find many of Peter’s tips and techniques in our book WEDDLE’s WizNotes: Finding a Job on the Web and in his forthcoming book, Career Fitness: How to Keep Employers From Kicking Sand in Your Face.

    Feature: The World Is Flat

    That’s the name of a 2006 book by The New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. As Friedman sees it, the earth lost its globular quality because the advanced technology developed over the past twenty-five years has “leveled the playing field” among the nations of the world. Now, engineers in New Delhi and programmers in Poland can shoot information back and forth to Boise and Brooklyn as fast as engineers and programmers located right here in the good old U.S. of A..

    It’s an interesting perspective, but it misses a key point: When people last thought the world was flat-you know, back when sailing ships plied the oceans-the information they accepted as truth was way off the mark. People were told and believed that the Atlantic Ocean was inhabited by sea monsters and that, at its farthest most limits, it just rolled over and off the face of the earth. Today, of course, we know better. Yet, that experience, it seems to me, offers a cautionary tale for those of us who now navigate the information rich depths of the Internet.

    There’s an almost limitless range of content online and a growing segment of it has to do with finding a job and managing your career. You can access information on:

  • resume writing,
  • career planning,
  • negotiating your salary,
  • conducting an interview,
  • networking online and off,
  • dealing with a problem boss,
  • dressing for success when visiting an employer, and
  • just about any other topic related to job search and career self-management.
  • The Internet is flat, and that characteristic means there is no barrier to accessing more information than you could ever read. It’s that very accessibility, however, that creates a potential problem. In a flat world, you can find lousy information just as easy as you can find information that is helpful. You can connect with opinions and ideas and suggestions and comments that will serve your interests, and you can connect with other content that won’t. Worse, you can connect with information that can actually harm your job search and undermine your chances of achieving your career goals.

    For example, I’ve seen:

  • guidelines for managing your career written by summer interns who’ve yet to graduate from college (and have a career),
  • resume writing tips that are a thinly veiled come-on for a resume writing company,
  • a set of do’s and don’ts for finding a job online that was written back in 1994 when there were fewer than 25 job boards, and
  • an article that purported to reveal the secrets of networking online that was just plain wrong.
  • To succeed in a flat world, therefore, we have to be more discriminating in our use of what we find online. To navigate the Internet effectively-to gain helpful knowledge from the time and effort we invest there-we have to focus on the best information that’s available. In other words, the trick to surviving in a flat world is a well rounded dose of caution. You must be careful to use only the information that will serve you best.

    How do you do that? Here are three tips that can help:

    First, be careful about who creates the information you use. Find out who the author is, by name. An organization, a Web-site or a job board is not an author. Somebody wrote the content you’ve found online, and that person’s name should be available. If it’s not, move on to other information. There’s plenty for you to pick from on the Web.

    Second, be careful about which authors you rely on. Assess their credentials and their track record. Do a browser search and see what else they’ve written and where their articles, papers or comments have appeared. There’s a reason why some authors are widely published and others are not (if they’re published at all); some are simply much better-they’re more insightful, more discerning, more rigorous in their thinking-than others.

    Third, be careful about how much information you acquire from the GAP-the Great American Public. I know this is the era of blogging and free-for-all commentary at newsgroups and other online forums, but such content has its limitations. Some of the information you acquire this way is definitely worth your investment of time, but not all of it is. The danger of blogs and newsgroups is not only that you can access incorrect or marginally useful information about job search and career self-management, but that you can spend so much time doing so that you miss out on the truly helpful information that is available elsewhere.

    A flat world can be a dangerous place, whether it’s on the high seas or in cyberspace. There may not be sea monsters on the Web, but there are definitely mammoths of misinformation and misguided opinion. You need to protect yourself, therefore, and the best way to do that is to be circumspect about the sources you use to acquire information online. Use only those with proven credibility because they, alone, are your sure heading-your true north-to success.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    Section 3: News You Can Use

    BestLife magazine published a story on setting priorities at work. We’re all too busy with too many #1 priorities, so how can we better organize our days? The article cites the following tenets of good time management (with our annotations):

  • Ask yourself what will happen. If a particular task doesn’t get done, will there be any significant consequences? Will, for example, your boss care? Or, even notice? If not, its priority is too low to worry about. Move on to something else.
  • Balance what’s important with what’s urgent. Obviously, it’s important to deal with hot issues, but you won’t succeed if you spend all of your time putting out fires. Make sure you devote sufficient time to long term priorities as well as short term crises.
  • Be personal rather than in person. Face-to-face interactions are the best way to build good working relationships, but they are also time sinks. If a task can be accomplished effectively by e-mail or telephone, do so, but only if you’ve already invested the time to get to know your coworkers.
  • Send a sub if it’s not substantial. Some meetings are important in and of themselves and others are important because your boss says they are. All others are perfect opportunities for you to send someone else. That way, you can focus your time and talent where they will provide the greatest benefit both to your employer and to you.
  • TheLadders.com released its tips for using e-mail communications effectively during a job search. Although directed at senior-level individuals, the guidelines are appropriate for anyone in transition. With our annotations, the tips are:

  • The subject line of your message should clearly state why you are sending it
  • Get to the point early in your message
  • Delete excess verbiage; keep it short and hard hitting
  • When emphasizing a point, use the bold feature sparingly and never use all capital letters
  • Use bullets or numbers when listing more than three related facts
  • Avoid attachments wherever possible
  • Conclude your message with a clear call to action
  • Read George Orwell’s essay, Politics and the English Language.
  • Corporate and staffing firm recruiters get a lot of e-mail every day. Much of it comes from candidates who are trying to get noticed and considered for specific openings. The sheer volume of this communication can cause you to be overlooked-even if you are the perfect person for the job-unless you ensure your e-mail stands out and stands up for you. These tips will help that to happen.

    Market10 introduced its new name-JobFox-and tagline-Be the hunted. In addition, the site announced its plans to expand its service area beyond Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, GA. It will begin operations in the San Francisco Bay area in May and in Boston in June. According to the site, its growth is being fueled by its Job Fit Compatibility System which uses technology to match job seekers and employers. It avoids the subjectivity and potential inaccuracy of reviewing resumes and focuses employers on the specific candidates who best fit their job specifications.

    WEDDLE’s published additional copies of its books about the online job market. Now, you can own the 2007/8 editions of these highly regarded reference books. Completely revised and updated, they are the gold standard of research aids for job seekers and career activists. The publications are:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the occupational fields, industries and geographic locations on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden talent market” online, it details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 U.S. and international associations and societies.
  • These books are a smart investment for the smart professional. They provide a real and important return every time you use them. So, don’t delay! Click on the appropriate link to your left or call WEDDLE’s today. Our telephone number is 317.916.9424.

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