From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

October 2013
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Watch-outs. 47. Civility, Email times and New Hire suggestions
Filed under: Position Searching, First Year on Job, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:01 pm

Three topics that may help you respond to interview
behavioral questions, know when to send emails,
and understand significant questions to ask when
first starting a new job are highlighted.  Have you
ever gone into an interview and been asked:
“Describe a situation where you had a conflict with
someone, or your boss.  What did you do?”  Or:
“What do you dislike or wish could be changed at
your current or previous position or situation?”

Did you ever think through the best times and days
we should send emails, if we wish a response?”

What are essential questions to ask when you first
start at a new position?

SOURCE:  R. Feintseig, WSJ 8-28-13, p. B6
When co-workers don’t play nice.”
The article states that uncivil behavior is a
significant factor in unhappiness at work, low productivity,
and people moving on.  Pier Forni has been cited
several times in this blog for his pointing out the critical
nature of civility in human interactions and how we might
behave toward others.  This article adds at least one new
practical rule of thumb: 
the 10/5 rule
:  Within 10 feet acknowledge a person;
                           5 feet, say hello. 
Other thoughts that may help with responding to the
conflict resolution interview questions are suggested
in this article.

SOURCE:  J. Cummings, CareerHub,  10-1-13
Based on “click to open” data, she suggests better
times to send Job Search emails are:  6am-10, noon
-2pm, and 7pm-10 on Thursday and early Monday.
Avoid overnight, lunch and dinner time hours.

Who would have guessed?

SOURCE:  A. Sklover, SkloverWorkingWisdom, 10-1-13
Al Sklover provides something few can match.  This time
he provides professionals sage advice on what to ask for
when you begin a job, including:
- copies of all documents you signed,
- employee handbook and rules, regulations and contacts
 about benefits
- policies and procedures for payroll, expense reporting,
- written plans for employee assistance, severance, bonus,
 401K, and even non-compete agreements if requested to

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Trends in Job Descriptions. Background, Constraints and New Trends
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:10 am

Job descriptions offer insight into keywords, skills desired
for specific positions and organizational culture.  It is
critical to put them in perspective and reveal new trends.

We know that a large fraction of jobs are not advertized.
As we know this is the “hidden job market,”
In addition, outsourcing firms can manage the announcement,
screening and evaluation of candidates in many cases.  The ways
we can contribute and find satisfying careers
requires us to
be proactive, confident and curious.

For those positions or careers that do have postings of job
descriptions, did you ever read through them and say to
yourself:  ‘No one has all the experience listed in this placement
except a few people working for this firm.’

Often submissions in response to the job description posting
are online and we do not know what happens after we press “send.”
A significant fraction of the submissions are interrogated by
ATS Applicant Tracking System software, even before
 a person sees the document.

How do they write these documents and what do they expect?

As background for job descriptions, Allison Doyle does a
creditable job in outlining the US Department of Labor
breakdown of employment clusters and resources.  Wikipedia
gives some hints and link,s as well.

Lauren Weber
described how a good job description conveys
a clear picture of the position and employer’s culture in a
recent WSJ article.  She offered three constraints for job
description writers and new trends she is seeing.

- knowing only what has been written before and what they
see themselves, hiring managers will lump all the “musts”
and “wants” together.  It leads to too many criteria.
 - burdened by too many day-to-day tasks, hiring managers
avoid separating the leading skills a successful new hire
should possess.  This often leads to description by committee.
 - legal and administrative reviews can format and structure
a description like a legal document, often losing its readability
and appeal.  Weber writes it diminishes the attention each
posting might deserve.

Encourage the right talent and experience level people to be
attracted to apply for an opening using necessary and sufficient

NEW TRENDS offers a crafting and posting service that provides
a summary and a well crafted photo, story line and importance
of the role.  [Lauren neatly adds how this is compensated.]

HireArt is a job search firm that services transactional
organizations  using several recent technologies.  While not
the approach of technical firms yet, if very successful it
may be how future job descriptions will appear.