SHRM Report: Recruiting Difficulty on the Rise

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s recent report (Leading Indicators of National Employment, October 2016 Overview), “Recruiting Difficulty” in the services sectors rose 9.8% compared to the same period a year ago.

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The “Recruiting Difficulty” index measures how difficult it is for firms to recruit candidates of greatest strategic importance to their companies. The 9.8% increase represents a four year high in the services sector!

In addition, more than two-thirds of HR professionals (68 percent) reported challenging recruiting conditions in the current talent market.

What does this mean for job seekers?

According to Brian Howard, President of The Howard Group and author of The Motivated Job Search, “an obvious conclusion is if you are a well-qualified job seeker in your field, there are likely open positions available to you. The key is to network and proactively make it known that you are open to discussions about a job move.”

Brian Howard, J.D. is a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), a Certified Job Search Strategist (CJSS), a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and an actively practicing executive recruiter. He has helped thousands of job seekers over his 24 year recruiting career. It is from this experience and knowledge that he wrote The Motivated Job Search and The Motivated Networker. (Both available through Amazon)

Podcast Interview of Brian Howard on CareerCloud – Discussing Networking During a Job Search

Brian Howard was recently interviewed by Chris Russell of CareerCloud discussing the importance and nuances of networking during a job search.

To listen to the podcast interview, click this link: How to embrace a networking mentality .

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The interview discusses important networking topics such as: The definition of networking, networking mentality, effectiveness, your networking “Cabinet,” your networking “Sales Company,” the power of networking, among others.

The interview is based on Brian’s recently released book The Motivated Networker, a practical guide on how to network for a job. (Amazon)

CareerCloud is a career advice company that helps build better job seekers through articles, advice, job leads and more. Visit them at CareerCloud.com.

A Story of Inspiration

I received a wonderful story of inspiration last week that I want to share with you.

A Story of Inspiration

For nearly 40 years I have worked in the employee benefits industry in various capacities. It has been a wonderful and fulfilling career. For the past five years I was in sales with a company which ironically was the most stressful position that I have ever had. So much has changed in business today and I’m not referring to advancements in technology. There is simply a lack of business-honor unlike the past.

In March I turned 60 and having another good year in sales. Then, in July I was unexpectedly fired. It came from out of the blue!  My employer’s justification was weak since my sales numbers were good. It was tough going home that night telling my wife that I had been fired. There were some tears.

Now, who is going to hire a 60-year-old man? That was the question swirling around in my mind. I was referred to a book, The Motivated Job Search.  Two take a-ways from the book that changed everything for me.

  • One, don’t waste time brooding! Clear your head, put all bitterness aside, and get on with your life and a new search for employment. “Don’t be bitter, be better” was my mantra!
  • Two, think about reinventing yourself, think outside the box, find a new angle

With these concepts in mind, I started making calls to my close colleagues and contacts in the industry. I sought their advice on ideas of what I may be suited for in their view. Ideas started to flow as I considered everything that they said. I opened myself up to anything and everything.

After one week, I made a decision to explore a certain service sector of the employee benefits industry. I identified several companies in this new sector based on company names I gathered during my networking calls and simple Internet research.

I decided to contact these companies directly by phone. I created a simple presentation of about myself so I had something to say and started calling the companies. I spoke with anyone who would listen and got transferred around several times. Eventually, I spoke with those that could make or influence the hiring decision. In this new industry sector, it was common to hire independent contractors, which was what I wanted.

The plan worked! Two weeks and a day after being fired, I was offered a job! And, my first work assignment was just a few weeks away. Mission accomplished!

While not at the same pay or potential income annually I was free of corporate shenanigans and all that goes with it. I am so excited that I have a new career direction still in the employee benefit space with companies that actually love my experience! That to me is worth its weight in gold!…to be appreciated and valued.

I know it’s a challenge for those of us over 50 to conduct a job search especially when we find ourselves suddenly unemployed. The emotions of doubt, fear, and uncertainty can easily get to you quickly. It’s hard. I know because I lived it! But you can’t let this new reality beat you down and in particular stress you to the point of causing illness or death.

My advice…Take heart! Get up and dust yourself off! Seek guidance in the counsel of others and in reading. Plot a course of action and get on with it! Just like me, you CAN write a new chapter in your career. You CAN continue your career until you want it to end…and, not the other way around.

A.R.

Age 60

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Know what your value proposition is

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the development and use of an elevator speech as used in a job search.

Know what your Value Proposition is.

This is where your branding comes into full play. Identify as precisely as possible what you offer, what problems you can solve, and what benefits you bring to an employer.

If you are a tenured job seeker, think of achievements and statements that could be woven into your elevator speech that could attack an age bias, such as instituting a new technology or taking on a project that required extra effort or extra hours of work.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” — Albert Einstein

Please comment, share and follow for more of The Motivated Series!

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Purpose

The elevator speech is a critical component to your job search. By definition, an elevator speech is a 30-second speech that summarizes who you are, what you do, and why you’d be a perfect candidate.  In essence, it is your personal commercial.

In this multi-part posting, we will discuss the critical elements of a elevator speech as used in a job search.

The purpose of your elevator speech is to grab the listener’s attention, quickly provide relevant information, and initiate conversation. A crisply delivered elevator speech is a differentiator from other job seekers. While others may struggle and stumble, you will be able to concisely inform the listener about your professional value proposition (brand).

Develop a handful of variations for different situations, including all forms of networking, interviews, association and industry conferences, and strictly social gatherings. This will be easy to do once you get your talking-points memorized.

Please comment.

For daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Infographic Resumes – Some Additional Considerations – Continued

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the considerations and use of an infographic resume as a tool in your job search. Let’s continue by discussing some additional considerations of using an infographic resume in your job search.

It must look great! Not just good, but great! If you pursue this differentiation tactic, the final product must have a “wow” factor…a “holy cow this is really cool” factor. Otherwise, it will not have the persuasive and differentiating effect you are looking for. It is highly recommended that, should you pursue this job search tactic, you hire a professional to create it. Creating the document on your own can take countless hours. Time better spent pursuing other job search activities – networking, marketing your professional credentials, and so on.

A few final thoughts. One interesting concept you could explore is creating an infographic section to your traditional resume. This would be a form of a showcase resume using color and graphics as your showcase section. Then, traditional resume information would follow.

If you create an infographic resume, get it out there! Use it! One easy thing to do is attach it to your LinkedIn profile. Obviously you want to have it and hand it out during networking events and as a supplement to interviews. Since you put in the time, effort, thought, and money into this tactic, look for ways to leverage it in your job search activities.

Caution. Creating an infographic resume can be a distraction. Its creation can easily become busy-work that distracts you from the real tasks of moving your job search forward. Be aware of your time and use it wisely. An Infographic resume is a differentiator, but it will not by itself get you a job.

Discovering examples of infographic resumes and professionals (vendors) that create them is as simple as a Google search for “infographic resumes.”

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Infographic Resumes – The Advantages – Continued

infographic resume sampleThis is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the considerations and use of an infographic resume as a tool in your job search. Let’s continue the discussion regarding the advantages of using an infographic resume in your job search.

Insight into Your Thinking and Presentation Skills. One interesting advantage to an infographic resume is it reveals how you present information. It opens the door of insight into how you think and creatively present ideas and concepts. This can be very persuasive if the positions you are pursuing require presentation skills.

Vividly Presents Your Professional Background. Infographic resumes are colorful, high resolution documents. Unlike your LinkedIn profile (which is an online template) and your resume (which has expected and accepted sections), an infographic resume is a blank canvass. It is a platform to creatively present your professional background and accomplishments. You can present yourself in any way you choose using color and graphics.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

 

Infographic Resumes – The Advantages

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the considerations and use of an infographic resume as a tool in your job search.

There are advantages, disadvantages, and considerations for using an infographic resume in a job search. Let’s start with some advantages.

Differentiation. Infographic resume is clearly a differentiation tactic. Although the idea of a infographic resume has been around for a while, they are not widely used and therefore seldom seen by hiring executives in most industries. A well-thought, well-prepared, and well-presented infographic resume can make you stand out compared to other job seekers.

A Networking Tool. A infographic resume can be a very impactful networking tool. Instead of, or used in conjunction with, your traditional resume and business cards, an infographic resume can be shared at networking functions.

One unique approach would be selecting your most persuasive achievements and create an infographic “hand bill.” Create a 4×6 infographic hand bill and put it on thicker paper or as a large business card. This is truly unique and seldom seen. It will create conversation.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.