Saturday, December 30, 2006

Not Just Another Downsizing

I thought I'd close out this year with an uplifting story about a company that downsized with dignity. When Cox Media, distributors of the ValuePak blue coupon mailers, decided they needed to close a plant with 440 employees, they employed some real out of the box thinking to show both the employees affected by the downsizing and those remaining just how much they value their people. Rather than delivering the standard restructuring, job redundancy message, the CEO charged a vice president with the task of finding a buyer for the plant. Not only did they find a buyer, IWCO Direct, a direct mail company, to absorb the employees, but the new company plans to invest millions in the plant and add 100 jobs in the coming year. While downsizings are a reality of corporate America and everyone should have a career management strategy that takes this fact into account, it's still wonderful to read about a company that is able to creatively and empathically manage the needs of their employees in the face of a changing business environment. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Scrubbing Digital Dirt

Yesterday I blogged about some new tools for improving your online visbility and removing unwanted entries from your profile. Today I read an article on Dice referencing a recent survey conducted by ExecuNet stating that 75% of 102 executive recruiters perform routine online searches as part of their background checks on prospective hires. Over 25% of these recruiters have rejected candidates based on background information that was discovered via online searches on popular search engines and social networking sites. Read the article here

New Tools for Managing Your Online Identity

U.S.A. Today recently ran an article about managing your online identity that showcases new tools for organizing and clarifying a person's online references, improving search rankings, differentiating people with common names from one another, and cleaning up digital dirt.

ClaimId users can create a directory of links to information about themselves on the Internet, a system much like the one used by, an online bookmarking service. Users can also add descriptions to distinguish their entries from those of someone else with the same name. Naymz users can create a profile and link to other resources that reference them such as a blog, photo or social networking profile. Reputation Defender can search for and legally destroy some information that exists about a person online. Whether you are in a job search or not, everyone can benefit from a career management strategy that incorporates a regular assessment and "spring cleaning" of their online identity.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Jibber Jobber, a personal relationship management tool that allows you to manage a job search and optimize your network relationships, just came out with some significant new features that allow job seekers to search LinkedIn for contacts that are in their target companies and connect with people who are on their contact list via Skype. Read an explanation of these new features here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

For all the job seekers out there that are spending a lot of time applying to companies through their corporate websites, read Gerry Crispin's post, Buying Fertilizer is Like Applying to Your Company. Gerry's thought provoking and humorous post discusses the abysmal statistics surrounding quality response rates to job seekers who apply on-line through company websites. While 67-75% of companies respond to candidates, only 6% of the nation's top companies communicate the status of an applicant's candidacy or offer any follow up if the position is no longer open. With statistics like these, it's no wonder that candidates experience frustration with the on-line posting process. Yet for many there's something mezmorizing, almost addictive about the on-line job search process. It reminds me of the endless TV channel surfer who can access 300 channels, but still can't find anything worth watching. There are an incredible number of jobs posted on-line, but few are realistic opportunities given the number of candidates you are competing against and the overall flaws of the on-line posting process. While there's nothing inherently wrong with looking at job boards (they can provide valuable insights into position responsibilities and salary ranges and help you track growth trends within a company or industry), the boards only offer a passive method of search and one that can rob you of valuable search time that would be better spent trying to penetrate new contacts through direct marketing and networking activities.