Do we, in America (and worldwide), have a people or a talent shortage? This is not a simple question to toss off now that baby boomers are slowly but surely exiting the work force and the fresh faces coming on board seem to only aspire to join the over-served and very crowded service economy. These same job seekers seem to ignore or may even deride the skilled trades sector — which, according to ManpowerGroup, has taken the No. 1 spot for U.S. jobs most in demand, for the fourth straight year. This year’s incoming college freshmen may want to take note of this.What the heck? Why is this even important to bring up? Just consider this. Manufacturing Institute (MI) predicts that 2 million factory jobs will go unfilled because of a shortage of manufacturing engineers and experienced skilled trades and production workers. MI did some math to support their assertion that effort should be made to address why there is a manufacturing skills shortage. They claim that every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy. Every 100 manufacturing jobs creates another 250 jobs in OTHER SECTORS. That, on its face, is an obvious benefit to our economy and our future.
Of course there are a host of related political issues and structural causes for this apparent mismatch of people and skills and this is not the forum for such analysis. But are you at all interested in going a little further in thinking on this subject? Then check out this Ticker Tape to read some more, not as market investment research but, perhaps, for the investment in your own career.
I don’t believe, nor do real-life experiences support, that tossing your cover letter and resume hundreds of times into the online application ring will improve your chances of getting an interview, much less a job. Note that the ‘successful’ applicant in the article seemed to be a perfect match with the job description.
There are hundreds of professional career coaches and pundits who write up lots and lots of ways to ‘effectively’ use social media as a way to provoke some kind of career opportunity. I’ve even promoted some of the ideas here.
But, finally, Lou Adler, CEO of the Adler Group, published an article that re-frames the whole approach for the job-seeker with the intriguing title of ‘10 Ideas for Getting an Interview without Applying‘. Note further that Adler’s last paragraph begins ‘Unless you’re a perfect fit…’. Are you a ‘perfect fit’ for every job you apply to online?
It may be helpful to think about which of the 10 ideas could be blended into your job hunt strategy — or may stimulate some new ones for yourself.
Ok, ok, OK! I’ve been trying to encourage you to get up and get yourself out there to begin, build and bloom new relationships with people that will, at least, become good friends and even better, a great connection for your next career move. I brought up the notion that your most useful connection may be one that you think is your worst and introduced to you The Strength of Weak Ties as a reference point. I have since discovered that this concept has not only proven itself effective but has gained momentum in principle and practice. I have come across a lot of different opinions and ideas about how to improve the quality of ones network thereby cultivating a more valuable cohort of contacts.
So, it seems perfectly reasonable that I continue to share. This is a good one, too, because it’s a short video with the provocative title, Forget Friends: You’re 58% More Likely to Get a Job Through Weaker Ties that discusses how a dormant tie is simply another flavor of a weak tie and equally potent. The speaker is Adam Grant, well-respected Wharton professor and author of the bestseller Give and Take, a book that looks at how human interactions affect outcomes, successful and unsuccessful. Check out what he said and let me know if I’m convincing you yet.
I have met many millennial junior, senior and post-graduate students who are so enthusiastic, capable and eager to throw themselves into the workforce. Juniors are anxious to land that summer internship and seniors and post-grads (as well as new alums) are singularly focused on finding a living-wages job. One expects that with such determination and drive our gatherings would be a lively discussion and sharing of networking experiences and ideas for developing industry mentors or employee referrals. (A recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY reported that candidates who are referred to the hiring manager are twice as likely to get an interview — the holy grail of the job hunt — with 40% more likely to be hired over other applicants — winning!)
Instead, dead air filled the room and the enthusiasm was replaced by tentative silence. What I discovered is that most millenials think that the invitation/acceptance of connecting or friending someone on LinkedIn or Facebook is all there is to ‘networking’. There seemed to be no recognition that the very term ‘networking’ defines exchange of information, in short, communication. What I saw in the room was anxiety and puzzlement.
Networking is fundamental to the art of getting a job. The silence was ultimately replaced with a question that was, apparently, common to the group: ‘But how do you network with someone in your network?’ So, I thought I would share a post I recently stumbled upon that attempts to answer that very question. Keeping in mind that it is one person’s opinion but I think that it is worthwhile to take it in and use it to introduce some self-awareness toward your next networking opportunity. In fact, it may take the anxiety out of networking.
This is Chantal’s first 225AM report of the new year and she has discovered why we give our users the ability to add a single new connection [read: someone hands you their contact information or business card in a meet and greet setting] to her 225AM aggregated, searchable, network. It’s a short little clip wherein you’ll hear how this simple tool has already helped her stay organized and networking.
Here are my 4 top takeaways from a segment of the Leonard Lopate Show, Pro Tips to Grab a New Gig for the New Year, that I was listening to on my car radio a few days ago:
1. Getting a personal referral from someone in the company to which you are applying is worth their weight in gold.
2. Develop mentors and advisers from your network and get feedback from them about your cover letters, resumes and other supporting documents – hiring managers will not help you with improving your resume.
3. Low quality, sloppy grammar and spelling mistakes on a resume is the fastest track to rejection by a hiring manager.
4. Always, always be truthful on your resume and in your interview.
His guest is an HR executive, Victoria Humphrey, author of Clueless Emperors: How to Overcome Problem People and Not Be One Yourself, and the just over 28 minute piece provides job-seekers, from soon to be graduates to nearly retired, a forum to disclose their experiences and listen to real life hiring managers share their advice and cautionary tales.
You might not agree with everything that you hear, or you just might learn some new things, too. Nevertheless, please take a moment to listen, then I invite you to share what your top 4 takeaways are with me.
Our blog has a category titled Work My Network. It is where we collect our thoughts and ideas in support of the fundamental truth — referred candidates are more likely to be successful in getting an interview. This remains true no matter where you are on your career timeline.
But what does matter is when you start to build your network and we, at 225AM.COM, believe that freshman year in college is a great place to start. So when I read a post by Haley Osborne titled WANT A JOB? START NETWORKING IN COLLEGE on theundercoverrecruiter.com, I thought it would be useful to share it here.
Osborne reaffirms our assertion that networking is the first and critical step to winning a job. And she continues to encourage the reader to actively engage with network connections to develop mentors and advisers. The 225AM platform allows users to aggregate their LinkedIn and Facebook networks as well as add their personal contacts into their 225AM account. Our users can search across all three networks at once, using one of our 4 main filters, Industry | Position | Location | Company, to find relevant connections that have the potential to become referrals or advisers. Being able to organize your entire network within these categories provides a new way of ‘seeing’ who you know and insight into relevant relationships for your career development.
Take a minute to learn how Chantal is networking using 225AM:
If you are serious about getting a job or an internship in the Summer of 2015 please take a few minutes to read the article and then get to work on building your network.