Ask Yvonne: Striking Out on Job Search. [Is there something I can do to] help me find out if there is something that comes up on a background check that is causing me to strike out over and over in my job search?
November 27, 2013
August 23, 2013
I talked about the issues impacting Detroit in an earlier post. The city and 101 notable businesses that are based there made news in 2012. Now the city is delisted for 2013. Rather than dwell on the negative – and the past – let’s look at the present (okay, not this month’s present, but this year’s).
The name of the company that makes these selections (and the criteria they use for tapping their honorees) is 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For[.com]. Their evaluations and honors are not just focused on the Midwest nor just the East. Their regions cover all 50 states and include Washington, D.C. It’s impressive that they not only have classifications of competition in Human Resources, Sustainability, and Wellness.
This is not some late-breaking phenomenon. It’s possible to search for winners in these categories as far back as 2011. The searchable regions by way of their drop-down menu are Atlanta, Chicago, Metro Detroit, Houston, West Michigan, and National.
Another eye-catching feature of these honorees are the distinguished status in their specialty area. There is the best overall category (for which Capital One was honored for Chicago this year). There is also a category for best small business; Communication and Shared Vision; Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; and Community Initiatives. Did someone say something about Diversity and Inclusion? Well, 101 Best did. They also talk about even more special categories such and Work-Life Balance; Employee Education and Development; Employee Enrichment, Engagement & Retention; Recruitment, Selection adn (sic) Orientation; and Strategic Company Performance.
Then there are the plain ole vanilla Winners. Each company has a short headnote that describes what they do or what they’re about along with the company URL so that it’s possible to visit their website to get more information about them.
How does this Winners List compare with the Fortune or Forbes “Best” lists? Well, these winners focus more on practice and policy and not on financials. But this is the type of information that a job seeker or someone who is interested in strategic business alignments will want to know about. There’s more involved in the pulse than just the dollars, cents, and locations. How they go about getting the wheels to turn and keeping the functions humming is of significant importance to a company’s longevity and reputation.
Maybe you want to put 101 Best and Brightest on your research list in order to determine whether the company you have in mind even made it onto their radar.
August 17, 2013
I have this news item that talks about the 101 Best and Brightest Companies To Work For. I’ve been sitting on it since June, or so. It’s major focus when it hit The Desk was the Chicago area for 2013. But it covers more than just Chicago. I’ll talk about those places in another post.
However, they do have a page about the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in Metro Detroit during 2012. The list of businesses based in Detroit is impressive. Under current circumstances, it’s surprising that Detroit is in the throes of its financial undoing. Who’s in Detroit? Try Domino’s Pizza, Enterprise Car Rental, AutoDesk, Easter Seals, Credit Acceptance, and Credential Check are just a few. With those names on the list, it would seem the business tax revenues would have formed a good cushion for the city to survive.
Unfortunately, those names were not sufficient to help the City with its wranglings over pension plans and other matters. So the City of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18, 2013. Why am I creating a blog post about this event? Because people who are willing to relocate for the sake of getting a better job want to know where things are clicking and future possibilities for their lives. How much competition is going on in their industry and what are the education foundations that will help build good lives for their kids? They want to know just how solid the future location is. And if they’re as astute as they should be, they’ve already researched the company(ies) they’re considering to get an idea of whether that’s a good choice.
I usually put in time to research the subject I’m blogging about and then summarize for your sake. And I usually include links to my sources so that you can read for yourself rather than rely on hearsay. But for this post, you’ll get the list of resources and headnotes. It’s simply too stunning for me to summarize. And it appears each story (each from very reliable news media that lean both left and right) has a unique slant that sees just about the same thing: Don’t go to Detroit; someone put poison in the finances well.
- What Is Chapter 9 Bankruptcy?, David Haynes, former About.com Guide
- Detroit files for bankruptcy – Jul. 18, 2013 -
Protestors in Detroit last month objected to plans to cut pension benefits of city workers and retirees. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Detroit filed for bankruptcy …
- Detroit files for bankruptcy protection – USA TODAY: Latest
DETROIT — The city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court Thursday, laying the groundwork for a historic effort to bail out …
- Detroit Files for Bankruptcy – Businessweek
Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy this afternoon, making it the largest city in the U.S. to seek court protection. The city’s woes have been long …
- Detroit files for largest municipal bankruptcy in US history
Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history Thursday after steep population and tax base declines sent it tumbling toward insolvency …
- Historic Day: Detroit Files For Bankruptcy « CBS Detroit
Detroit has filed for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection — the biggest municipal filing in history.
- Detroit Files for Bankruptcy – Mashable
The city of Detroit, Mich., has filed for bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in the history of the United States to do so. City officials filed for …
- Detroit Files For bankruptcy – Business Insider
Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, the AP’s Ken Thomas reports. The full filing can be found below. “Right now, the City cannot meet its basic obligations …
- Detroit files for bankruptcy protection – Business – CBC News
Once the very symbol of American industrial might, Detroit became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy Thursday, its finances ravaged and its neighbourhoods …
- Detroit: How the Motor City went bust – USA TODAY: Latest …
DETROIT: Files bankruptcy. … July 18, 2013, the day that Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. (Photo: Brian Kaufman, Detroit Free Press) …
- Detroit files for bankruptcy, stage set for court fight | Reuters
[Jul 19, 2013] The bankruptcy, if approved by a federal judge, would force Detroit’s thousands of creditors into negotiations with the city’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr …
April 8, 2013
ITWorld tells us about 8 websites for researching your next employer. At the top of their list is Glass Doors. That site and I have some history that doesn’t need to be made public. However, I will take into consideration what others have to say about it and their impressions of it.
The most attention-grabbing comment on Facebook about Glass Doors was a recent one voice by Jason Buss, a recruiter in the Minneapolis area and diversity specialist, who complained that their algorithms are off by a significant amount for job search purposes.
Glass Doors sent him some job leads: “The results include a truck driver for TMC, a sales associate for PETCO, and a PeopleSoft systems administrator.” I gently teased him about the results by saying, “Well, I told them those were just the types of things for which you’re best suited, Jason. You mean we didn’t hit the nail on the head? You said you like to travel for work. You love animals. You’re good at talking to people and public speaking. And talk about analytical! You’re constantly poring over reports.”
Jason backed up his protest about using the site for job search by commenting on the positive. He said, “It may have info on researching employers but the algorithm for matching jobs really sucks.”
[Recruiter Tip embedded in this post.] It’s good for recruiters to kick the tires at some of these job boards and job sites. You need to know what they’re doing, what they’re dispensing in the way of industry intelligence, and how well they’re doing at pointing applicants in the right direction.
That being said, it appears Glass Doors is a good competitor with Vault as far as shedding light on business environment and such. And in that regard, it seems the other six sites named are also excellent for researching your next employer.
March 28, 2013
Some people seem to have all the luck. They toss their presentation materials (resume, cover letter, work samples, portfolio, profile statement and URL, and so on) into the social stream (not to be confused with the jet stream of all the others zooming past in order to gain attention) and get snatched up in short order. “Well just how did that happen?” some will pout. “I’m just as qualified; maybe even more so. And I definitely got my materials delivered before that Johnny-Come-Lately!” Maybe you did. In fact, the time stamp says you were a full two days ahead of your competitor yet they got the tap for coming in to do a face-to-face meeting. Drat!
Patrick McFadden writes the Indispensable Marketing blog and indirectly explains this phenomenon. He calls it using power words or words that enrich. Patrick provides 50 power words in his enrichment post and then tells a reader that the 50 is not the exhaustive representation. Good point, too, I might add. While the list is fantastic, it doesn’t include the word “open” as one example of what could be included. Some other synonyms not in his list are words such as “alluring”, “receptive”, and “ready” but that doesn’t prevent them from being just as effective when it comes to delivering consistent results.
Actually, Patrick’s words are intended for those who are marketing their business – whether a service or a product. His intent was not to provide advice for job seekers. When you stop to consider the process that’s occurring, however, it becomes obvious that the principles are essentially the same because what’s being marketed, in the case of job seekers, is a basket of talents and skills they possess. Even freelancers and consultants need to pay attention to these power words and integrate them into their daily vocabulary (to get into the habit of using the words; to get into the mindset of those adjectives).
A word of caution would serve all of us well at this juncture. Marketo is a partner of About.com’s Marketing Channel. Marketo is offering a free ebook called 10 Tips for Successful Email Campaigns. Once you have that download on your screen, you’ll discover Marketo discourages use of some of Patrick’s 50 because when used in email, they become spam magnets and will prevent your message from being delivered.
One word in particular is guaranteed to be counterproductive when seeking new opportunities and contracts – “free.” We’re not in the business of surviving off the land and being charitable to a fault. In the early days of The Net, tons (literally) and scads of stuff was free. We got really accustomed to that. But the IT bubble that burst back in 2000 taught us that exorbitant salaries countered with no price tag will eventually be the death of all things we like and admire. (I wonder if that works on weeds?) There’ll be a lot of people walking away with all that free advice and examples. You’ll be standing there watching the backs of those who received. They’ll be headed to the place where they can get the model made, the services delivered (on time), and getting paid for all that knowledge of yours that you so generously allowed them to convert to cash. And they’ll have paid someone else for the reaping of those benefits.
Don’t be too liberal with use the word “free.” Think “freely expand” or “generous benefits.” Do be free with use of the Indispensable Marketing words in your writing, in your networking, and in your normal vocabulary so that you convey the rich rewards of being associated with you.
March 12, 2013
The resignation of Benedict raises some additional issues that most corporations and businesses include in their officers and directors plans – in the bylaws. Provisions for an annuity, a retirement fund, protocols for how to treat the outgoing Pope compared with the inductee.
March 11, 2013
So this is how a CEO looks, right?
This is a male version of a CEO and he’s doing what you’d expect of a 21st Century CEO. Definitely. You notice the crisp t-shirt, the roughly tossled hair, the hands in both jeans pockets that creates body language screaming with confidence, the wistful look and eyes looking at something aside as though focusing on a distraction rather than the line that leads to a purposeful destination.
Actually, the image is of former (as of February 28, 2013) Groupon CEO Andrew Mason. He served at the helm for 4.5 years. Things for Groupon went as poorly as they did for Facebook and its IPO. Changes needed to be made – drastic changes. Andrew admitted his leadership was flawed. Not many people will make that type of admission, even to their own self. Some will thrash about and make excuses about the dumb others who were at fault. Because the sting is still fresh and is affecting many parts of one’s persona, a lot of people resort to thrashing and bashing those other people.
A lot of people deal with terminations (getting fired) in different ways. After exploding people in your mind as though you’re playing a video game, there’s the next step – developing and executing a plan of recovery. As you do so, your self esteem seems to pull itself back into your body. You feel as though there’s purposefulness in you and your life. You start wondering why you didn’t allow yourself some of the indulgences you’re finding and actualized them long ago. No matter.
The next step is getting to that frame of mind that Andrew reached. It allowed him to write that public proclamation of having been fired. It afforded him the time to take a stroll down the avenue rather than a cab across town. It allowed him to wear his t-shirt and jeans instead of going through all the ramifications of making certain to keep the business suit dry cleaning costs in check. He put things into perspective and prioritized what’s really important.
That proclamation helped him be proactive and positive. It gave him the opportunity to face the world on his own terms and to open his networks so that they start working for him. Just by publishing that brief memo, Andrew started searching for his next position and his hat is not in his hands.
February 27, 2013
We talked about legal job search tips that deserve to be preserved. Here are some additional points that are important to interviewing, job search, and strategies for the sake of understanding the terminology and concepts that are being discussed and for the sake of just getting ahead of the game.
So you’re just starting out and trying to figure out what needs to be done to stand out when your classmates are more stellar than you. FindLaw’s Hot Job Talk talks about the various aspects of getting started. One of the difficult areas is should you pursue a position in a firm when your GPA and class standing isn’t as stellar as that of your classmates.
HOW TO LAND A LEGAL JOB WHEN YOU’RE AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR CLASS
(FindLaw’s Greedy Associates) – In this sluggish economy, it can be hard to land a job, even if you graduate in the top 10 percent of your class. So what legal job-search tips can possibly help someone who’s ranked at or near the bottom?
So let’s say you opt for contract work or a less than stellar first year position and they tell you your first project is “document review”. That’s a loaded term. It could mean one thing in litigation and have a completely different context when it comes to transactional law. And then there are other areas of law such as environmental advocacy. Maybe you should be asking more questions in the moment that those terms arise.
JUST WHAT IS DOCUMENT REVIEW?
(FindLaw’s Greedy Associates) – If you ask 10 different attorneys what document review is, you’ll probably get 10 different answers.
One solution to this ticklish situation is to have a trusted senior in your corner and explaining things to you as you go. Make certain you respect their position. Don’t start thinking you know more than the “teacher.” And take to heart these tips on how to find a mentor.
NEW LAWYERS NEED MENTORS: 3 WAYS TO FIND ONE
(FindLaw’s Strategist) – If you’re starting your own law practice, one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll receive is to get a mentor.
So let’s say you decide to strike out on your own. You may think you can just go and hang your shingle and life will be good; clients will flock to your office; you’ll have to beat them back with a 2×4 as you bill $500 per hour for your time. Really? You need to plan your business just as carefully as you did your education. Here are some things that need to be taken into consideration by a solo practitioner. Just remember that the advice morphs when it comes to practicing with others in some type of collaborative.
WHAT INCORPORATION STRUCTURE IS BEST FOR A SOLO PRACTICE?
(FindLaw’s Strategist)- Not all solo firms advise clients about how to incorporate, but all solo attorneys have to figure out what kind of business entity is best for them.
And now that you’ve set up shop, you need to start networking in order to gain potential business and clients. Since we just had the Winter holidays, you may have been frequenting some of the holiday parties. Since we’re in the midst of the Awards and athletics playoffs seasons, some of those celebrations may call you into those venues to rub elbows and hobnob. Now you’re starting to ask yourself the next pivotal question about building business relationships and client base.
HOW TO GET NEW CLIENTS AT A HOLIDAY PARTY WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
(FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)- So you’ve been invited to the big holiday party. Congratulations. All the bigwigs will be there. Now you just got to close the deal. But how do you go about picking up clients at the holiday party?
February 17, 2013
This blog is devoted to sharing various types of information relating to job search and recruiting in various industries. It occasionally talks about tools. But today some information will be shared in a rather unconventional manner.
Some of the emails that contain legal job posts that appear in the Career Opportunities folder of the Bulletins also have short blurbs and tips that are worth sharing. Rather than completely deleting that content, it seems a wiser move to simply share the blurbs with you and allow you to visit FindLaw in order to learn more. Today’s post has information about trends for women in law, things to consider for equity partnership, and cities that aren’t very lucrative for young lawyers. Good luck.
HOT JOB TALK:
IS EQUITY PARTNERSHIP THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR EVERY ASSOCIATE?
(FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)- Equity partnership used to be the only top position an associate could aspire to. Now, as more firms try to restructure and create a new partnership model, some are offering a nonequity partnership track that is separate from the equity track.
BEST LAW FIRMS FOR WOMEN: 5 TRENDS TO LOOK FOR
(FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)- Law has certainly become a more welcoming field for women in recent years, but when looking at your options, do you know the best law firms for women?
THE 10 WORST CITIES FOR YOUNG ATTORNEYS
(FindLaw’s Greedy Associates)- No one ever accused young attorneys of having it easy — especially if you choose to live in one of the worst cities for the job.Most attorneys are strong Type A personalities, and there’s nothing we love more than ranking ourselves against… ourselves. To help in that endeavor, the National Jurist recently determined the best and worst cities for young attorneys to live in.
January 12, 2013
Homonyms are such tricksters. They sound like their sib[ling]s and cousins but they mean entirely different things. Those who are familiar with the family of homonyms find it difficult to have anything profound to say about them. Each one has a different meaning associated with a different matter but they’re spelled differently while they all sound the same. Unfortunately for the one who isn’t familiar with the family, Word will tell them they’ve spelled the word properly but won’t tell them that it’s the wrong word in relation to the concept they’re attempting to relate. Use of the wrong homonym tells the reader who is being enticed (and is familiar with the family) that the speaker still has a lot to learn.
The good part of having a lot to learn and misuse is that the speaker is open to learning. That is a definite saving grace. Another that accompanies that is learning the differences quickly and applying use of the correct word in the correct situation – no subsequent misuse of that family of terms.
So let’s take a look at today’s group of homonyms.
We sometimes “peek” at or into something. What we’re doing is peering into a thing that’s being kept secret for some reason. Maybe it’s a gift. In the alternative, there may be a keyhole opening through a lock or some other aperture and we’re attempting to find out what’s on the other side. Having that knowledge would definitely help us know whether what’s on the other side is worth pursuing or not.
Then we reach a “peak” and wonder where to go next. In this instance, we’ve reached the top of something, be it a mountain or hill, a performance level, or even something that’s stacked so high that it can no longer support additions.
Which brings us to “pique.” As you can tell from the spelling, it comes to us from France and means raising an interest in something. It also means being stung with insult or irritation about something. Interesting word that “pique.” These days, it’s mostly used in reference to having one’s interest aroused. If we look at it from the Latin and relate it to Spanish, we realize it’s closely related to the term “picador” which is the word used for the person who jabs a bull with barbed picks that stir the animal to action and make it angry enough to charge in order to defend itself. So let’s pique someone’s interest but not their ire.
The other thing we should do is be mindful of what words have homonyms and make certain the correct word is being used lest we expose how new it is to our vocabulary.
Sponsored Link: Dictionary of Homonyms (Wordsworth Reference)