Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tips Looking for a New Job

When looking for a new job, the majority of professionals need to conduct their job search without their current employer knowing. And with the advent of social media, and the importance of using LinkedIn in your search, it can be difficult to know how to conduct a job search effectively, yet discreetly.

First, take heart knowing you are not alone. According to LinkedIn’s 2015 Talent Trends report, nearly one in three employees are actively searching for a new job – a lot of professionals. So how can you go about looking for a new job, including utilizing LinkedIn and networking within your industry, without everyone finding out? Here are a few pointers:

Consider an internal change. When job searching, many people don’t fully consider whether there is an opportunity for them in their own backyard. Before you send your resume to other companies, ask yourself if you are unhappy with your role and the organization you work for, or if it is just about your current job. Evaluate all options before you launch into a search.

Consider if there would be an opportunity for you within your current organization that would provide more job satisfaction. If there is, take the time to find out more before you make your final decision. You never know. When people are unsatisfied with their jobs, they tend to feel like they have to make a dramatic change. And nine times out of 10, they don’t need to; they only need to make a course correction.

Don’t search during work hours. It is unprofessional to search for a new job while on the clock at your current position. It may be tempting to do so if you are having a slow day or are incredibly unhappy in your job, but there is another thing to keep in mind besides professionalism. Most companies have a transparency policy with their computers and other devices, so keep in mind nothing you do is necessarily private on their devices.

 Although not all companies spy on their employees, you never know when they might schedule a random check of websites you visit or emails you send. If you decide you really need to check on organizations currently hiring or make an urgent call about a job interview while on a work break, don’t do so on your office computer, phone or tablet. And do it on your lunch hour. Keep your searches on your personal devices and on your own time.

Enable stealth mode online. LinkedIn and other job-search applications have settings to let you job search discreetly. These settings are always evolving, so make sure you understand how these features work in each application and that they haven’t been changed before uploading a resume and cover letter. For example, on LinkedIn you can disable the feature where other users are notified if you make updates or changes to your profile. Check out your applications’ privacy features thoroughly prior to launching your search.

And keep in mind that on LinkedIn, even though users may not be notified that you are making changes, you may want to make your updates slowly over time so they attract less attention, especially with a public profile.

Be careful who you tell. If you have decided that you need to make a change to a new organization or career path, you will want to share your news with your network andpeople who can assist you with your search. But before you tell everyone, consider the possible implications with each person.

If your uncle is close friends with your boss’s boss, will the news accidentally be shared over a game of golf, for example? If you tell your close work buddies, could the news accidentally slip out at work when your boss can overhear? And if your industry is small and close-knit, does that mean that news could travel quickly? Whoever you decide to share your news with while you are still job searching, ask them to be discreet as well.

Construction of Manufacturing

The labor market capped off 2016 on a strong note as domestic hiring hit a four-month high, driven by solid performance from goods producers.

Total hires in December climbed north of 5.2 million as American businesses brought on more workers than they had in any month since August, according to a report published Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And although mining and logging, construction and manufacturing outfits accounted for just 694,000 monthly hires – or 13 percent of all those hired in the final month of 2016 – the industries managed to pull their weight after months of sluggishness.

Construction outfits brought on 388,000 workers in December for their best showing in two years. Manufacturing companies, meanwhile, brought on roughly 283,000 new employees for the second month in a row. November and December are tied for the best monthly hiring totals the manufacturing sector has seen since November 2010.

And although logging and mining hires took a step back in December, dropping to 23,000 for the industry’s softest showing since July, their job openings climbed to 19,000. That’s the highest level seen since September and the second-highest number of postings registered in 2016.

Overall job openings in the U.S. labor market clocked in at 5.5 million – relatively unchanged from November’s performance. Layoffs, meanwhile, ticked up to a four-month high of 1.6 million.

It’s not uncommon for layoffs to climb at the end of calendar years, and December’s total was ultimately up less than 1 percent from what was seen in November. And on the whole, layoffs in 2016 didn’t reach particularly worrying levels as companies continued to hire and create jobs.

A separate discharges report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed layoff announcements in 2016 were down 12 percent over the year – though December’s announcements were up 25 percent from what was seen in November.

Layoffs in the energy sector dominated, as more than 20 percent of all cuts announced last year were conducted by energy outfits. Oil prices, in particular, dropped dramatically at the beginning of 2016 and forced companies to slash payrolls. But with oil now solidifying, energy optimism has taken hold as the country moves further into 2017.

“The new administration … could further benefit the industry by relaxing regulations and drilling restrictions. Oil companies may once again start to expand in 2017,” John Challenger, the company’s CEO, said in a statement accompanying the report. “Ironically, the only obstacle in their way may be a shortage of skilled workers.”

Challenger’s numbers run a month ahead of releases published by the BLS, so January Challenger data is already available. Those numbers show Job-cut announcements were up 37 percent in January from what was seen in December, which doesn’t bode particularly well for the economy going forward. But cuts were largely concentrated in the retail sector, and January’s total layoff announcements were ultimately down 39 percent from January 2016.

“A January surge in retail layoffs has become the standard. Most retailers ramp up hiring in the final three months of the year to handle the holiday rush,” Challenger said in the January report. “However, as consumers increasingly go online to shop, retailers are not only dismissing temporary seasonal workers, but also increasingly closing stores and laying off permanent staff.”

Here Worst Questions to Ask at Your Job Interview

At the end of a job interview, the hiring manager is likely to ask you what questions you have. This is the time for you to ask all the things that you need to know to help you decide if the job and the company are right for you. But you’re still being evaluated, so it’s important to think about what you’re asking and how you’re framing your questions.

Here are eight of the worst questions to ask your interviewer (and yet job candidates ask every single one of these, most of them multiple times).

1. “What exactly does the company do?” If you ask for information that you could have easily found on your own with a quick internet search, you’re signaling to your interviewer that you’re not very resourceful (and that you’ll likely be the co-worker who asks colleagues basic questions rather than seeking out the answer yourself).

2. “What was it about my application that caught your eye?” Whether you intend it this way or not, this comes across as fishing for compliments. It’s also not really what you’re there to discuss; the interview time is for each side to figure out if you’d be the right fit for each other. It’s safe to assume that if you were invited for an interview, your qualifications are what caught the hiring manager’s eye.

3. “How long does it usually take to get promoted?” Your interviewer wants to hear that you’re excited about the job you’re interviewing for, not that you’re already thinking about your next move after that. You can certainly ask about professional development opportunities, but don’t imply that you see this job as a quick stop on the way to something better.

4. “Can my mom wait in your lobby while we do the interview?” It’s not a big deal if someone else drove you to the interview, but that person should entertain herself somewhere else while you’re interviewing.

5. “How financially stable is the company?” It’s not that it’s unreasonable for you to want to investigate this. It’s smart to get a handle on how stable the company is. But your interviewer isn’t likely to tell you that they’re going to slash positions in the department you’re interviewing for, even if they are. And asking the question puts your interviewer on the spot, since she may not be able to share this kind of information even if she wants to. Instead, do your due diligence on this question outside of the interview.

6. “Why are your Glassdoor reviews so terrible?” If a company has awful reviews on Glassdoor (or other careers site), you can ask about it – but you shouldn’t word it like this! You’re less likely to make your interviewer feel defensive if you don’t frame it as an accusation. Instead, say something like, “I noticed that the company has some critical reviews on Glassdoor. I’m curious about your take on that and whether it’s something the company is trying to address.”

7. “Would you be open to me working half time?” If an employer is advertising a full-time position, that’s generally because they have full-time work that needs to be done. If you spring a request on them for half-time work, you’re not solving the problem that they’re hiring to solve since it means they’d have to hire two people instead of just one. If you’re only interested in half-time work, you’re better off seeking positions that are explicitly advertised as part time. (The exception to this is if you have highly in-demand skills for your field, in which case you’re better positioned to negotiate this type of thing.)

8. “Can I have the job?” There’s a piece of old-school job-search advice that says you should always end an interview by asking for the job. Otherwise the interviewer won’t know if you really want the job, the theory goes. Maybe this went over well at some point in the past, but it’s likely to make most modern interviewers uncomfortable. They’re highly unlikely to offer you the job on the spot. They’re going to think it over, possibly interview other candidates, talk to references and probably discuss it with colleagues. Asking for the job on the spot will come across as naive about how hiring works and end the interview on an awkward note.

The Six Steps Manage Your Online Reputation

When you are looking to do or purchase something these days, chances are you’ll check out a company’s website to see what they say about themselves, and other sites to learn about their reputation. Sites like OpenTable for dining and Edmunds for cars are only two of the numerous examples that provide reviews for all kinds of things. Amazon and eBay afford consumers the opportunity to comment and read about goods, services and the sellers who provide them. The list is endless.

In this social environment, it is easy to ding a company’s or product’s online reputation. A single disgruntled comment, even when it isn’t deserved, can inflict long-term damage on the product or its seller.

When you are seeking a new job, a search of your online reputation and activity is part of today’s standard corporate hiring due diligence. More than just checking out your LinkedIn profile, companies are likely to peruse your Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as Googling to learn everything else they can about you. Things totally extraneous to the level of your skills or the quality of your work can sway a company away from hiring you.

It is critically important for you to manage what background checkers and hiring authorities can learn about you when they investigate your online presence. There are numerous reputation managing apps, programs and companies to which you can turn for help. But even without them, you should think about taking the following steps to enhance and protect your reputation.

Make sure you have a solid online presence. Your LinkedIn profile should be complete, with a strong summary section and accomplishments associated with each of your jobs. Accumulate blog posts of interest to professionals like yourself, or those who work in your kind of business or industry. Pose intellectually interesting questions, or respond to queriesfrom others to build up a body of material that will testify to your professional expertise and willingness to add value to the work of others.

Carefully scrub your social media sites for anything that might shed a negative light on you. Get rid of pictures of yourself getting rowdy at bars, smoking marijuana (even if it is legal in your state), or doing anything that could be misinterpreted as malicious or socially unacceptable. Your posted activities and pictures can work against you, even if they are from your “off” hours or vacation time.

Consider deleting your posts on Facebook bashing either President Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. You never know the political leanings of the people who will be judging your fitness for a job, and how they might subvert your chances of success if they disagree with your political statements.

Keep your LinkedIn posts professional. Some people are starting to put personal or nonbusiness-related posts or images on LinkedIn. These belong on Facebook or someplace other than here! LinkedIn is all about business networking, and failure to distinguish between the different sides of your life reflects on your judgment.

Check yourself out on Google and Bing. Make sure to check different ways you might be found online. For example, the same person might be: Jo, Joe or Joseph. Don’t forget to also include your nicknames. See the places you are found online, and also what other people are saying about you. And if there is anything questionable or negative, do your best to track it down and get it removed.

 Use Google Alerts to track yourself. Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you wish for different versions of your name, articles or blogs you author, or whatever else you want for free. As Google continually crawls the internet, it will alert you whenever any of your search items are found in a new posting or site, and give you the URL to check it out.

When you employ these tactics, you are well on your way to presenting a positive,professional persona to the world.

Happy hunting!