Monthly Archives: May 2011

THREE R’S TO RESUME WRITING

BY: Adam Gavriel

In the 1993 sports movie classic Rookie of the Year, pitching coach Phil Brickma decided to unleash his knowledge on rookie middle-school aged relief pitcher Henry Rowengartner. Brickma’s advice consists of the three R’s of pitching: Readiness, recuperation, and conditioning. The viewer learns quickly into the movie that Brickma isn’t the smartest guy on this fictional Chicago Cubs team as he later goes on to tell Henry that the secret to a post-game ritual for pitchers is “hot ice.”

Unfortunately I’m going to have to put a damper on Brickma’s legacy, by actually offering the three R’s of resume writing to you here today. Here’s a free preview of what Crossroads Consulting can do for your resume through their resume optimization service.

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CAREER KICKOFF

BY: Adam Gavriel

College Graduates Seeing Lower Salaries

If this economic recession and sky-rocketing unemployment rates is affecting one demographic harder than others, its recent college graduates. The stresses placed on current college students (like myself) to find that perfect internship in order to best set ourselves up for that perfect job in the future is very high. From professors to parents they all think they know. Fact of the matter is it’s not that easy. With the inability to get the right experience we need, college students are hurt most when they finally get that job they’re eyeing.

College graduates from the 2009 and 2010 classes currently earn a median salary of $27,000 versus their counterparts from before the recession who earned $30,000 a year (according to a study at Rutgers University). That dip of $3,000 may not seem like much, but it’s a 10% decrease from its previous number.

Although the economic recession and unemployment rates definitely have a part in these decreasing numbers, the best way to change these statistics is to better ourselves. Although as a college student you may not have had the time to lock down three internships like your 4.0 GPA classmate whose graduating as the class valedictorian, there is still something you can do to set yourself apart from the field…

Perfect your resume.

The resume has been stressed almost in every blog here on out of our mind but that’s because of how important it is. Now, just over 2 weeks into my internship with Crossroads Consulting, LLCit has become very aware to me just how important a resume can be. Seeing upwards of 20 resumes a day that I receive via email, some of them I have a hard time forcing myself to hit the forward button through to Mitch Beck at Crossroads Consulting. The resumes that are five or more pages long dating back your work experience all the way to the 70’s are not what employers want to see. While having that experience is there, choosing how to be concise and economical with two pages is important.

Recent college graduates may have never gotten the training they need in optimizing their resume in order to best present themselves to potential employers. This is where Crossroads Consulting can come in handy for college students.

Crossroads Consulting, LLC is an executive search firm, recruiting top level talent for a lot of six-figure jobs, but we are also a full-time and permanent placement only employment agency where we try to help everyone we can in finding the right job opportunity that fits their skill set and background. With the resume optimizationservice we are waiting to help YOU. Although at the UB School of Management we are afforded the privilege of taking a class dedicated to resume and cover letter optimization many colleges do not offer these services. In fact, even at UB if you are not a business major you may not even know that resume services are offered to all students in Capen Hall (the more you know).

College students, you may not be aware of the services we can offer you at Crossroads Consulting. Now you are. Let’s start raising that number from $27,000 to over $30,000. Let’s begin to prove to employers that we’re qualified. Perfect your resume to show you off, and get yourself that interview you’re dying to get.

From people entering the job market to people getting so fed up they want to leave it, Crossroads Consulting can help on every level. Crossroads Consulting is here putting the “human” back into human resources. Do not hesitate to contact us for any of your employment needs.

UNEMPLOYMENT, NOT LOOKING GOOD FOR CT

By: Adam Gavriel

According to graphs on the Connecticut Labor Market Information website the state of CT has now gone back to back months in which its unemployment rate is higher than that of the US average. Although at some of its highest levels since 1981, the unemployment rate in CT has fluctuated from 8.9-9.2 since December 2009.

The last time Connecticut went back to back months having an unemployment rate higher than that of the US average was in October and November of 2007. Before that, it went nearly a year at a higher rate from August 1996 to May 1997 at constant levels above the US average.

From January 1982 through March 2011 Connecticut has often stayed below the average value of American unemployment seeing only 17 months at a higher rate. Connecticut has also stayed on par with the US average, equaling the unemployment rate 12 months since 1982.

The 2008 economic recession hit CT as hard as it hit the general US as unemployment rates skyrocketed to levels only previously seen during the early 1980s recession. However, even during those terrible times for the US, CT wasn’t hit nearly as hard as it is being hit today.

Now today, while the average US unemployment rate begins to fall, falling from 9.8 in November 2010 to 8.8 in March 201, the CT rate has stayed at a stagnant 9-9.1.

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Green = US unemployment / Red = CT unemployment

As of March 2011, Connecticut sits at 30th (1stbeing the lowest, ND’s 3.6) among the 50 US states and District of Colombia in unemployment rates. However the CT rate of 9.1 is not nearly as troubling as Nevada’s 13.2, but also not as beautiful as North Dakota’s 3.6.

Crossroads Consulting will not stand for this. As a Connecticut based employment agency with roots deep into Connecticut soil we are here to help. Of the 57 current job openingslisted on the Crossroads Consulting website, 35 of them have ties to CT.

It’s going to take a full effort from all parties involved to lower this unemployment rate in CT. Connecticut universities could open up programs for potential recruiters to come in and offer jobs in the area to keep the students in CT. HR reps can look in their own neighborhood and find someone looking for a job and help fill the vacancy. Studies show that 8 out of 10 people know someone who at least 1 person who is looking for work. If 80% of the roughly 3.5 million people in Connecticut know someone who is unemployed, it’s time to reach out a helping hand.

As a full scale employment agency, ready to help anyone looking for work from the beginning of the process through to their hiring date, Crossroads Consulting can help in the efforts to decrease this number. Whether you’re unemployed or just looking for that new opportunity with resume optimization, interview preparation, and the 57 current openings we have listed today we’re ready to get you on the path to that new job.

PHONE INTERVIEWS ARE NOT PHONY

By: Amy Schlubach

Sorry that I haven’t been able to post all that much lately. You know how it is wen you’ve got final exams…I’m fortunate that Mitch Beck at Crossroads Consulting has been so incredibly understanding. If he does that for me, imagine what he could do for you.

Around campus, I’m hearing more and more people talking about their phone interviews, rather than in-person interviews. Crossroads Consulting are not only growing in popularity, but they are becoming much like in-person interviews: lengthier and more detailed.

Phone interviews are great because they reduce time and costs for the interviewee and potential employee. Employers can easily screen candidates to find out which employees they like the most, and if they are impressed, they will hopefully call back for an in-person interview.

Although phone interviews have been used as a quick screening in the past, now it isn’t uncommon to have long-lasting in depth phone interviews, so it is important to be very prepared.

Phone interviews are just like regular interviews. The employer wants to hear professionalism, and it is proper to follow-up with a thank-you note. Don’t forget that Crossroads Consulting offers services to prepare you for any type of interview.

Twitter – Where Is the Intimacy?

By: Adam Gavriel

Lady Gaga (@LadyGaga) is currently the most followed account holder on the micro-blogging website Twitter.com. Her followers, numbering 10,121,059 at the time this blog is being written, could mount a huge offensive against a number of countries if organized the correct way. About 15 times the population of North Dakota, you can say Lady Gaga has affected many people in her 38 months on twitter. Or has she?

Further research discovers that at 9:26pm on 5/17/11 @LadyGaga received upwards of 100 mentions. In her 38 months on twitter, Lady Gaga has tweeted just 755 times. If she’s receiving more than 100 tweets a minute, and only tweeting approximately 20 times a month, it’s safe to say that this is a one way street. Now obviously the more followers you can gain on your twitter account the better off you are in terms of how many potential clicks you can manage to direct. However what you’re losing with this is the ability to connect.

As a research method I sent out a tweet from the official Crossroads Consulting twitter account @employmentdepottelling our 690 followers (pales in comparison to 10,121,059) that we are looking for new and interesting accounts to follow. In the 26 minutes following that tweet, @employmentdepot has received 0 mentions from its 690 followers, and 36 new tweets from the 99 accounts we ARE following. Even when a tweet is sent out to put out a white flag, and say we’re ready to follow you gets lost in the mess that is twitter.

On any given moment, twitter is receiving ~3000 tweets per second. Here’s a graph of Sunday 5/1/2011 during the night where the news was all over Osama Bin Laden’s death and the twitter explosion that followed:

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Twitter does offer options to keep things organized and make sure you manage the intimate connections you want to keep. Features like lists come in handy when you want to separate certain categories of twitter users that you’re following. What’s also useful with lists is you can find out how your followers perceive your tweets. For example, @employmentdepot is listed via 29 twitter users ranging from “jobboard” , “NJ-CT” , and “recruiters.” With these lists we can find out what certain followers are interested in. A tweet specific to one of these topics may be better served including a mention to that follower to make sure it breaks through the clutter and reaches the target.

What seems to occur with twitter overload is that good stories may be lost. Learning from an important account you follow can be hard to isolate in the clutter.

Lady Gaga’s now 10,122,111 followers are part of quite a clique, but how great of an experience are they receiving because of it?

Conversation is what we at @employmentdepot are trying to build. Take a look at the twitter page and shoot us a mention, we’ll be happy to respond.

Our goal is to put the “human” back in human resources, and we mean that on every level.

Also remember to keep looking out for the job you’re waiting for on the Crossroads Consulting current openings page.

THE MOVEMENT TO MOBILE BROWSING

By: Adam Gavriel

While sitting at Gate 8 of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport waiting for my flight from BUF to JFK to board I was overwhelmed to see so many of my co-flyers with their faces dug deep into their phones. Any of these people, from what I could only guess were ages 10-60 could have been doing anything. With all the apps out there for Blackberries and iPhones as well as other powerful mobile devices these fliers were dedicated to whatever they were doing. Two adult co-workers who sat across from me were involved in what seemed to be an enthusiastic conversation they were having while walking to their seats. The minute these two sat down was the minute the Blackberries came out of the pockets and into their hands.

With the growing technologies in the mobile field, from 3G to 4G and iPhone to Blackberry to Droid the mobile world is changing. Now throw in the handheld tablets like the iPad, the Motorola Xoom and now the new Blackberry Playbook and we’ve got another device to separate ourselves from the real world. Or better yet, connect ourselves in such an efficient manner.

Social Medias such as Facebook, LinkedIn, as well as micro-blogging tool Twitter have all developed their own mobile applications that are user friendly and very easy to use. A quick launch of Blackberry App World and search for top25 free apps shows Facebook at #3 and Twitter at #5. Not to mention all of these websites have mobile platforms to access from your phone without an app. With mobile technology growing and evolving every day it’s very easy to get, and more importantly, stay connected on the go.

Managing conversations you’re having on Twitter and connections you’ve made on Facebook and LinkedIn all become so simple to do from your 4” X 2” mobile device. All coming back to the point that making connectionsis the name of the game in the process of finding a job. With so many opportunities to stay connected to friends, job connections, and prospective employers it’s almost impossible to avoid these areas. The movement from 3G to 4G will have us all operating at speeds we couldn’t even imagine 10 years ago from a mobile device.

No longer do you have to meet a potential employer in person to hand in that resume Crossroads Consultinghas perfected for you. With a mobile phone and all these apps it’s easy to sit down, select a document and have it emailed away without having to get up off of your chair. It’s simple to make a new connection when you can click a button from your phone and send a tweet or follow someone new. When you can simply click “add as friend” or “like” a page on Facebook from your phone. When you can add connections and manage these professional contacts on LinkedIn. All of this from the comfort of your seat at Gate 8 in the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Starting is easy. Get connected, Join the Conversation, and Connect and Share with the People in your Life.

JOB SECURITY ON THE RISE – HELP MAKING THE NEXT STEP

By: Adam Gavriel

According to a telephone survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports, 72% of Americans believe that when it comes time to move on from their current employment it will be on their terms. The remaining 28% is split 14-14 between those who believe it will be their employer’s choice and those who are undecided.

More numbers show that 25% of workers are currently looking for employment opportunities outside of their current situation – down from 30% in the previous month. Finally, 47% of people believe that maintaining their current job offers the best opportunities for their future. This begs the question of how companies are currently bringing in employees to fill vacant jobs. There’s no doubt that it is both cheaper and more time efficient to promote an employee from within rather than spending outside resources to find a new employee.

A studyconducted by Global management consultancy A.T. Kearney and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, of S&P 500 non-financial firms revealed that the cost of bringing in an outside hire to a chief executive position was 65% higher than promoting from within. With the numbers so telling, it’s difficult to believe that companies only instill 47% of their workers with the knowledge that advancement within the company is possible. It also explains the fact that 25% of employees are currently looking for work outside their own organization. As a new hire it’s likely to receive higher pay – why would you leave your current company to make less money – and possibly a more successful career path.

Coming away from MGI 301 – a class here at the University at Buffalo focusing on human resources – it was hard not to see that many current employees who have been at the same job for years don’t know how to prepare a resume or what to expect in the hiring process. Without the pressures of having to go through the motions of the hiring process many people lose touch with what is really important. Fact is the 47% of people that believe their current firm is best for their career advancement may be behind the curve of what their company is looking for. It’s easy to forget about the hardships of job hunting when your belief in job security is so high. With 72% of people believing that leaving their current job will be their decision, they may not be as prepared as those who always believe their job is on the line. The 14% of surveyed workers who believe that their future will be decided by their employer are probably making sure their resume is always up to date and ready to send out to prospective employers.

When a new job is available within your organization it’s likely that the company will consider both hiring from the outside and promoting from within. To make sure that you have the best chances at getting yourself an interview it’s necessary to have a great cover letter and resume. Crossroads Consulting not only offers resume optimization and if you’ve been keeping up with the blog here at www.outofourmind.net you know how important a cover letter is, but Crossroads Consulting also offers interview preparation.

If you’re looking for a job outside of your organization, Crossroads Consulting is for you. If you need help getting back up to par with your resume and interview skills for that job advancement you’re lined up for, Crossroads Consulting is for you. Deal with the experts when it comes to optimizing your chances at getting the advance you deserve.