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The Recession Is Over!

The National Bureau of Economic Research has determined that the recession is over. At least, according to a story today in the LA Times.

Man, feels great, doesn’t it? Supposedly, the turning point came in June of 2009. That’s about when I started to feel better. How about you?

I guess we can start ignoring all the news about 10% unemployment and record levels of people living below the poverty line. The folks publishing those stories must just not be up-to-date, right?

I mean, I only personally know about 100 people who have been out of work over six months. I’m talking about personal relationships – people I address by first name and that are in my email directory and my blackberry phone list. These are people for whom I have their cell phone and home land-line number. Folks with college degrees and years of valuable professional experience. I can’t wait to call them and let them know!

If you know someone that’s been complaining lately about the job market, please call them and let them know it’s over. The recession has been officially ruled dead, done, extinct, over!

So, if you’re still messing with cover letters, resumes, job interviews, networking, and pink slip parties, that’s old news.

Time to move on. Don’t be a downer.

Get a job.

Do You Look Like A Desperate Job Seeker?

Okay, think about this for a moment… pretend that you are a recruiter, or maybe even a hiring manager…

You do a search on LinkedIn or one of the other social networks for potential candidates to contact regarding a key opening for which you are recruiting. You find three individuals: one individual describes himself as an experienced professional in the targeted area, one indicates that she has a similar title but is working for another company in the same market, and the third one’s title says “Looking for a new opportunity…” Which of these candidates is most likely going to be the first one you attempt to contact, and which one is going to be the last?

Life’s not fair. I’m sorry, it’s not. If you are the unemployed expert, you may be the most qualified candidate out there, but if you lead with that, you are putting yourself at the end of the line. It’s like choosing which milk to put on your cereal in the breakfast buffet line: the decanter in the ice bucket or the one sitting on the counter. The one on the counter may be just as cold (or colder) and was just put there, but I choose the one in the ice bucket. It’s human nature… we make unconscious or semi-conscious choices that are not based on a full assessment of the facts. We naturally narrow our choices, especially when in a hurry, based on a very rapid (and not always valid) read of what we see in front of us.

The same criteria that guide how you write an effective cover letter should be used in building your social network presence. You have just a few seconds of the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s attention to either stand out positively, or (at a minimum) avoid being culled for negative reasons.

Be honest; be crisp and factual; speak to the bottom-line; but don’t stand there holding a sign that says, “Don’t choose me!”

The 2-Step Cover Letter That’s a Little Brazen

Write your cover letter as if you’ve already done the job!

Okay, so here’s a tip to writing a great cover letter for a specific job. First, write a summary of yourself as if you’ve already done the job. Think of yourself two years in the future putting this job on your resume… What did you accomplish? What new market approaches did you introduce? What processes did you improve driving bottom-line results?

Move your perspective into the future, and look back and imagine yourself as having been successful in this role. Then write up just a few key statements that you think would be resume-worthy. Now, write the cover letter you are going to send. Talk about the skills you will bring to the position and the accomplishments you hope to help bring about with the first summary you wrote as a frame of mind.

Half of accomplishing something is being able to see it, to be able to articulate it. Speak the language of success. Help the hiring manager envision you as the candidate that is going to help the company get the job done.

Most cover letters are either drab of past-focused. Make yours aspirational and future-focused. You might surprise even yourself at the difference it makes!

Monster Acquires Yahoo HotJobs – Good or Bad?

Yahoo has announced that it is spinning off its HotJobs business to Monster for $225m. Is this one less choice for job seekers or just less noise in the crowded job market where everyone wants to get a piece of revenue off the back of the unemployed or discontented?

Are job seekers getting the same value from these mega-sites as they did 5-10 years ago? How about you… have you recently changed jobs (or even gotten an interview) with the help of a major job board?

I’ve Been Out of Work Since…

How long have you been looking for a job? Do you feel like you are going through the motions, like it doesn’t really matter what you do – it doesn’t make a difference?

How do you get off this treadmill? How can you channel your efforts so they make a difference? Join the Career Progression Team and get noticed.


Check out the short video below from CNNMoney.com. This sentiment is shared across racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups today.

Is Anyone Reading Your Resume on Monster?

Are the monsters following the dinosaurs into extinction? If there’s a number one frustration out there amongst job seekers today, it’s about how to get noticed. Really talented people are sitting around waiting for the phone to ring or for their email to chime, and it’s not happening.

Why?

It’s just not the way business is getting done anymore.

Social sites like LinkedIn and Twitter are being used much more by recruiters looking for talent today.  Everyone seems unhappy with sites like Monster.com, though many corporate HR departments are still using them (but not the top-notch headhunters!).

So, should you bother having your resume on Monster.com? Probably, but I wouldn’t rely on it to get you a job.

So, if the answer is social networking… do you have to be a web 2.0 guru and be “tweeting” all the time to get noticed? For most people that just isn’t a comfortable space. And, there’s so much noise about social networking, how are you supposed to know what to do or whom to trust?

Well, it’s not really all that complicated (but it’s not necessarily easy, either).

Join the Career Progression team on MyExecutiveCompass.com and start getting noticed.

Looking for a job… where do you live?


Check out the latest statistics from the US Department of Labor… right now you probably don’t want to be in Nevada, Michigan, or California if you are looking for a job, but the Dakotas don’t look too bad! You can modify the timeframe or select different states on this map by clicking on “Explore data” in the lower right hand corner – go ahead, try it!

How bad is it where you live (or where you are looking)? There are some neighboring states that have significantly different unemployment rates due to economic policies, incumbent industries, and other reasons.

If you are out of work and still looking, you might want to seriously consider your options…

Companies are buying solutions… what are you selling?

Companies aren’t hiring employees; they’re buying solutions. What are you selling?

10-15 years ago “bottom-line” was a good thing. MBAs from the top business schools across the country carried that as their tagline. Turnaround specialists could get by with little more than catch-phrases as long as they mentioned the “bottom-line” somewhere in their mantra.

Today, the “bottom-line” may be the ruler by which you are hired or fired. Business is a numbers game. The financials were always important, but they weren’t always the only call in the playbook. Unfortunately, a couple of decades of outsourcing, reengineering, rightsizing, off-shoring, and virtualizing have left many previously valued employees in the wake of an employment vortex that they can’t comprehend, much less master.

Unfortunately, you can’t stop the world and just get off. If you want to be in the game, you have to know the playbook.

So, what are two key plays in the playbook? Job search is a numbers game, and you’ve got to think “bottom-line”.

The landscape of job search and recruiting are completely different because of automation and the Internet. The process begins with exposure… can you get your credentials in front of the right hiring manager or recruiter at the right time? This is especially critical in a downsized job market; there is less churn among impact jobs. Supply and demand dictate the economics of the number of candidates vying for a given position.

When you get your 15 seconds of visibility, you better have a message that speaks to the “bottom-line”. What key skills will you bring to the game? What problem will you help solve? What key client can you bring to the table? Why you and not the next guy? This is the type of concise message that had better be in your resume and cover letter if you even want to get on first base.

If you thought job search was hard work before, think again. Now it’s a mission.


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Career Progression Team