Listening in to the orientation session at a ‘Becoming a Mentor’ program, the organizer repeatedly reminded us that we, the mentors, get more out of mentoring than that what we put in. That mentoring is a two way process and apart from the satisfaction of being able to guide and help someone in their path to a good life, the mentor greatly benefits.
I sat there thinking that it was quite true. After each mentoring session I could go home feeling all warmed up inside, much like the feeling after a tot of brandy in a coffee, satisfied that my previous hour changed a life. That the ‘life’ was going to someday look back on the mentoring sessions and say that ‘yours truly’ made a difference. Yes, that story has a ‘happily ever after’ kind of ending.
All this is true. Mentoring in the traditional sense of the term is a relationship between mentor and mentee where the mentor provides guidance and direction to the mentee, who is usually younger. Areas like clarity on life and career, different perspectives and cultural values, opportunities to develop new networks, access to new resources that lead to greater likelihood of career success are part of the mentoring ‘syllabus’. Organizations that have a structured mentoring program benefit a great deal by developing the pipeline of talent and setting up a structure to transfer formal leadership skills. Employee retention, improved communication and a demonstrable commitment by the employer to the employee are the up-sides to mentoring.
All this sounds perfect in the world today, right? Not entirely so. The work force today has demographics quite different from those of 15 years ago. The channels of communication are changing and on an almost daily basis - new social networks, new technologies are stressing the efficiencies of the ‘old experienced hands’. Experience is no longer the only teacher.
With a growing generational gap and shifting expectations, leaders are faced with new challenges. If these senior leaders want to stay relevant and ahead in an age where digital natives will soon represent half the global workforce and will soon be a force to contend with, they will need to stay on the cutting ‘digital’ edge.
Reverse mentoring is not entirely a new concept. In 2014, Microsoft came out with a reverse mentoring program. Realizing that millennials consume services quite differently and understanding that this is key to business strategy and execution, senior executives are engaged in this program where they turn to their younger colleagues for insights into what they value, insights into more information and for guidance through the millennial maze.
I can almost hear you dear reader saying, but this is what analytics does. It collects millions of data points and with clever computing spews forth information that understands the behavior of the consumer and drives business decisions. Yes, it does. But analytics is used mostly for the external customer not the internal customer, your employee.
Reverse mentoring is a win win program.The older manager mentoring a younger colleague switch roles where the younger colleague becomes the mentor. It goes beyond getting an insight ONLY for business decisions. Senior leaders get to know and appreciate the need for new ways of communicating and newer trends and the younger ones get invaluable insights into the larger picture and leadership. Exposed to new behaviors and motivations, senior leaders can better understand what drives the younger workforce and how one can attract the best of talent. This way companies can stay relevant as employers and can engage with an important customer segment. Understanding what makes them ‘tick’ will make companies explore newer marketing ideas.
My own experience with engaging in informal reverse mentoring has helped me learn better collaboration and the ability to leverage the strengths of those I manage. As is managing and motivating a younger workforce is challenging. Reverse mentoring helps bridge this divide. One finds, very often, that we are leading people who are doing jobs that we have never done and probably didn't exist before this time. Gone are the days when a 40+ year old dictating what should be happening without listening to opinions and experts, exists.
When all is said and done it isn't only about learning new tools and technologies and behaviors. It challenges one to move out of their comfort zones and at some point becomes an introspective tool to reflect on managing styles. More power to reverse mentoring!
The author is CDO with Investronaut - Vishwakarma Group & a Mentor withKatalyst an organization that provides an enabling environment to enhance the employability of girl students pursuing professional degrees or courses.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Ramona Parsani
I work with University students as an Academic Development Specialist - I coach them toward improved academic performance using a variety of tools, techniques and assessments. In 2014 I underwent professional coach training to expand my toolkit, and one of the most powerful learnings in coach training, was the Observer-Action-Result (OAR) model, and the art of powerful questioning. In this article I take you through an explanation of this technique in a student scenario.
Disclaimer: The content, views and opinions expressed in this article are those of myself, the author, and do not reflect the official policies or position of the University of Calgary or International Coach Federation.
I am trained as an ontological coach. What does that mean?
My specialty lies in helping people see and access the unlimited potential that they have. We all are walking around in human bodies and to varying degrees, we have choice in what we decide to do with our lives. We are all making choices daily that lead to a desired future or outcome.
We are all capable of anything, but we all go different ways.
Why? We all have different ways of interpreting reality.
We are all different observers of life.
We can experience the same reality. For example, a group of students at a workshop are enjoying pepperoni pizza. Their senses pick up the reality of cheese, tomato, layers of pepperoni, the crunch of the crust.
But we experience different interpretations of that same reality.
One student may think "mmm this crust is delicious." Another may think "Ewww it's hurting my teeth!"
One student may think "holy sh*t this is delicious, what a treat!." Another may think "Ugh, I have no self control, there goes my entire week's nutrition. I am disgusting."
We view life through different lenses. What colours those lenses? Many things.
Our bodies, our minds, our personalities, our history, our culture, our families, the people in our lives, media, our mood or current levels of fatigue or hunger, all influence how we interpret things. There are many contributing factors to the way we tend to see things. Some of those factors may lead to an overarching story we have about the world, what we call a master assessment or a grand assessment. The student that ate the pizza and was caught in a cycle of self-loathing? There is something deeper there.
That is what is fun (and challenging) about coaching. Coaches work together with clients to uncover the way that the client sees and interprets their lives.
Armed with new awareness of the lenses that we view life through, and the stories that we carry around with us, we have greater choice in how we decide to interpret life. This opens up new possibilities, and greater motivation to take different actions.
There are many things to discover through conversation. Inner narratives, self-limiting beliefs, habitual thinking patterns and more. You don't need a coach to come to these realizations. When you experience a fundamental shift in the way you see things, you have undertaken this very process. There is no doubt Einstein had experienced a shift in his observer when he said the following:
"The way we see the problem, is the problem."
With this background, I'll jump into why this distinction is so important in working with University students, and how this model (expanded into what we call the Observer-Action-Result or OAR model) is so useful.
We all know that we want to create a great future, improve and do better, right?
We can google to our hearts' content and access all of the information we need to do this. Students are among the most adept at seeking information.
Yet, we don't, do we? We don't change our actions to get better results.
The key to powerful and lasting change lies in shifting the observer that we are.
Here's a great example of a common student scenario in academic performance coaching.
A student came n complaining of poor grades in all of their classes. They had already googled how to study better, what techniques to employ and what was missing in their habits. They explained that they had attended three different workshops on how to study better to improve grades, but complained that they already knew all of the advice ("same old advice") and found the powerpoint slides boring. The student was understandably frustrated.
If we look at the Observer-Action-Result model above, the student was definitely following the Action-Result part. Take different actions and get different results (better grades.)
The real results in this appointment came from a focus on a different part of the model. The Observer part. In the appointment, I spent the first thirty minutes asking open-ended, clarifying questions. My goal was to get an understanding of the way they saw their situation, and some of their perspectives on academic performance. During the 15 minute conversation that followed, we uncovered some interesting observer insights together.
How the student perceived the reality of their bad grades:
-The professors had a clear bias against them and were not willing to meet with them to discuss midterm results.
-Claimed they knew all of the right techniques (questioning uncovered inconsistent use and a lack of motivation.)
-Large amount of time spent on discussing other students; studies as much as other students but they were unfairly getting better grades with less work.(Dominated 20 minutes of the conversation.)
- The exam questions were poorly written and confusing – set up for a poor performance.
The student had a very strong story and through body language and amount of time spent discussing these issues above, I could see they were very attached to the belief that external forces were stacked against them. Their performance was mostly others’ fault.
With this type of world-view, do you think the student was motivated to take ownership over study habits? Even if they went to workshops and already knew the techniques?
We talk about motivation so much in studying, yet, how motivated would you be to study, if everything was someone else’s fault and out of your control? How would your actions be influenced? How would this student be in a meeting with their professor on a midterm, how empowered would this student feel going into final exams?
The conversation offered some opportunities to dig deeper, and herein lies the added value of one-on-one conversations outside of a workshop or lecture format.
There were a variety of contributing factors to the students' mindset – both ungrounded assessments but also legitimate life experiences. The student had repeatedly experienced bad events in their life that were unfair and legitimately out of their control. After years of believing it was their fault, they had developed a coping mechanism by flipping to the opposite, thinking "nothing bad is my fault, it's everyone else's fault."
They spent time focusing on the unfairness of everyone else’s performance and we talked about where this came from. They remembered developing this habit very early on in schooling, and it was deeply ingrained. The result of an unhealthily competitive primary schooling experience. Through conversation, a small window of awareness was opened for the student. They could see that their lens was shaped by a variety of experiences in life. They realied that some were influencing them in an unhelpful way and robbing them of the motivation to study properly and use the techniques they knew would help them.
The student also realized that this way of interpreting reality did not just occur in academics. It extended to other events in their life. They could see that this was a way of perceiving the situation, rather than the truth of the situation.
There were many long moments of silence towards the end of that conversation, where the student just sat with these new realizations and a shifting reality.
The student began to realize how these ways of seeing and interpreting their academic performance was disempowering, and would not contribute to better actions and better results.
To generate new ways of observing, and new possibilities would be for another meeting, but the progress for this student in one hour was profound. I simply asked questions, and the student did the rest of the work. We all have within us the tools to profoundly change our lives. The coach is simply there to be a catalyst.
In working with students, do not be afraid to explore, to dive, to ask open-ended and powerful questions to understand a person’s perspective. It is the human connection and deep conversations that students so desperately want in a time of massive lectures and group workshops.
You do not need a coaching certification to ask powerful questions and have the courage to engage in thought-provoking conversation. A student appreciates that you care, and want to understand them, and get to know them. Beyond a lasting impression and the human connection so many students are missing on large campuses, you may help them uncover a new level of awareness of themselves, which will complement the learning and study skills we teach and lead to lasting change in their lives.
Originally Posted on Linked IN by: Carina Huggins
I have hosted two employment-based talk radio shows in my career and have appeared as a guest on countless shows across the country. Quite frankly radio hosts (including myself) are not usually all that excited to have another “job search expert” on the air. The waters have been muddied time and again when a “job search expert” (quotes intended) comes on that air to warn job seekers of the same old mistakes.
The radio show
I was once ‘set up’ by a syndicated radio host who, just 5 minutes prior to our going on air, had his producer email me his resume and then proceeded to ambush me live by having me critique it.
The opening exchange went something like this:
Host: “I had that resume professionally written two years ago and I haven’t had a single call to interview.” (He was not a happy camper and was prepared to take it out on me.)
Me: “I’m not surprised. I see all kinds of things wrong with it. I know who wrote it.”
Host: “I paid $550 for that.”
Me: “No. You paid $750 for this.”
Host: (Getting really flustered with me) “I had that done by one of the national job sites.”
Me: “I know—and I’m not going to mention them on air…”
Host: He mentioned them on air.
Me: “I know!”
So what did I know the 'experts' didn't?
You write your resume not for yourself but for your audience. While my radio host was rightly proud of several of his major personal accomplishments, to the reader of his resume—the employer—he had missed the mark badly and the nationally-recognized website reshaping his resume had missed the point altogether.
The truth? Many times those “experts” writing your resume are actually people seeking fulltime employment themselves who are working part-time for said job board or outplacement organization. They have gone through the company process and, after writing 2 or 3 resumes for their own use, are deemed worthy of representing themselves as "official resume writers" by and for the organization. (This is not to say there may not be some genuinely talented people providing the service.)
I hired a locally “famous” home builder
Early in my (previous) commercial real estate career I was in need of a facilities manager and placed an ad. In response I received a number of resumes but only one from a person who was truly qualified. For the sake of this discussion I will call this person Mike—since that was his real name. However Mike also happened to be a well-known local home builder. I had seen his name on billboards around town for years.
Not having any other qualified candidates to pursue I somewhat reluctantly set up an interview feeling the time spent would be wasted.
Mike arrived and after we got past the pleasantries I asked him point blank why would I want to hire him? He had a great reputation for building homes over the past several years; he was well known in the community—why should I hire him?
At this point you might be wondering why I wouldn’t want to hire Mike. And if so, you are, like so many job seekers, NOT thinking from the point of view of your potential employer. At the top of my mind was the idea that Mike wanted to go into the office-development and leasing business. I was not particularly interested in training my future competition. Remember now—that was MY mindset.
The lesson? Keep your audience in mind.
Still thinking Mike and I would be potentially competing in the next 2 or 3 years he gave me what was probably the only answer I could accept at that moment in time. He told me that he was tired of making payroll every week and then taking nothing home for his own family. In short Mike wanted a steady paycheck.
4 words that will kill your resume
So what are those 4 words that were on the radio host’s resume and by default on Mike’s resume as well– and on countless resumes? Founder, CEO, Entrepreneur and (Business) Owner. My radio host/interviewer had started a trucking company and been hugely successful generating some $800,000 in sales his first year! HE, was rightfully proud of this accomplishment but he couldn’t get a call back from a potential hiring manager/business owner because who, in their right mind, is going to hire a CEO? Think about that. The reasoning goes that you can't manage someone who has been the boss. That and CEO is a very broad term in the spectrum of small business to big business. CEO of Johnson & Johnson or CEO of Joe’s Auto Supply? Get my drift?
Radio host and I reworked his resume to indicate he was the General Manager of his trucking company (along with several other similar changes I made throughout his resume) and I returned to his show a couple of months later to learn how his ‘new and improved’ resume had been received. He had gotten 11 calls to interview within the first week of sending it out. His skills were in demand—just not as the boss.
You have to have a reason why I should hire you
I have a hard and fast rule that you do not lie or misrepresent on your resume. During the course of the interview my clients declare (come clean?) re: their actual position with the(their) company. The difference now is they must be prepared to express to their interviewer the reason they told this little ‘white lie’ during the application process. PS It would also be important to make certain that any other media (LinkedIn, company website, etc.) be changed to reflect your ‘general manager’ title. And if they Google, you? Well, you better be prepared to explain to them along the lines of what Mike did for me above.
BTW, I hired Mike. He was a great hire who eventually followed me into the GM position when I moved on.
Rick Gillis is a nationally recognized careers expert who specializes in personal promotion on the job. A onetime workplace radio and TV host, Rick is a speaker and the author of five books including PROMOTE! Your work does not speak for itself. You do. Visit rickgillis.com.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Rick Gillis
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
Once upon a time, those who fell behind relied on tutors, coaches, or advisers to help them get back up to speed. External assistance came with a blight to one's reputation because getting help was a sign of weakness. However, somewhere in the early part of this century things changed. Coaches were no longer for remedial performers; instead, they began to be used by superstars who sought a competitive edge. Now it is vogue for those who occupy the 'C-suite' to have their very own executive coach -- and often more than one. This same wisdom applies to today's job seeker. Career coaches, search firm consultants, resume writers, outplacement counselors, and a host of other purveyors are now providing insight, advice, and assistance to those who are wise enough to use their services.
The athletic world is filled with famous duos -- champions and the coaches who propelled them to greatness. Their names are usually mentioned in tandem. Ali and Dundee, Jordan and Jackson, Brady and Belichick, and Com?neci and Retton both with Károlyi are some easy examples. The doubters have largely been silenced. Roger Federer, considered the best men's tennis player of all time, initially rejected this conventional wisdom and went without a coach for about a year at two different career intervals. Yet, after noticing his subpar performance during those periods, he got religion and now is a champion -- pun intended -- for the virtue and value of having a coach. On occasion he has even touted the virtue of having two coaches at the same time.
Good coaches can give great players an advantage over their peers. Unlike in some sports, the hiring practice offers no consolation awards, silver medals, or prize money for runners-up. Only one person gets the job. This should be an imperative, for anyone who is smart enough, to not go at it alone. There is value in getting external assistance, regardless of one's inherent ability or performance. Coaches can help one get ahead of the pack.
In all walks of life from SAT preparation tutors, to pop stars with vocal coaches, to award-winning actors with audition coaches, the best of the best appreciate the advantage of getting a different look, second opinion, critical review, or just a sounding board. I have witnessed many capable candidates undermine themselves in interviews by making rookie mistakes that could have been avoided if they had only known some basics about interview etiquette. As an HR manager, I have wanted to whisper a few key words to numerous candidates, and some I have wanted to advise to stop talking after they had already answered questions. Now, as a career coach, I get to say, "Here are some do's and don'ts that you must heed if you are to be successful."
In a resume or CV a typo, grammatical error, or missing word is often used against otherwise qualified applicants. Good editors can do wonders on the most basic level, but they might also provide the clarity of style and purpose that conveys the right message about one's background. In all cases, a second set of eyes and an extra brain can make the difference between good and great, or competitive and outstanding. For those who have been out of the job market for a while, a resume writer might provide a more contemporary look to one's application materials. While headhunters are not usually found in higher education, executive search consultants usually play a similar role and can teach a candidate how to polish their presence and interview performance. How does one learn to network if they have never practiced this indispensable art before?
Career coaches provide a variety of services. They include general information about how to efficiently and effectively canvass the marketplace for positions of interest. Networking know-how is an essential skill for every job seeker. Of course, coaches help applicants develop good application materials -- cover letters, resumes/CVs, statements of teaching philosophy, portfolios, and other documents. Interviewing preparation, mock interviews, establishing rapport with committee members, and how to research a position or organization are a few of the other services typically offered. One of the biggest advantages seasoned career coaches offer is assistance with compensation negotiations. They provide data on labor markets and assistance with contract details. This alone can provide the job-seeking client with a return on investment that is two-, five-, or even 10-fold if a better salary is secured because of good advice. Coaches can also help professionals after the job search has ended, for a successful probationary year, and beyond.
The era of executive coaches in higher education has only just begun. Like athletic performers or thespians on the big stage, a big interview day is in your future and the most successful candidates prepare, and prepare, and prepare. Coveted positions as tenure-track faculty, endowed chairs, directors, deans, vice presidents, provosts, or presidents are highly competitive, and there are always other equally qualified, smart, experienced, and exceptional finalists. The job is more likely awarded to the candidate who performs the best during the interview. The selected candidate might have had the advantage of looking, in their mind's eye, to the sideline coach who had prepped them for the day's challenges. In the ultra-competitive, zero-sum game of job searches and interviewing, smart candidates get assistance.
by Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D., SPHR
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
Originally Posted on HigherEdJobs
American higher education has been seen for generations as an engine of opportunity to spur social mobility. But now social class is increasingly a roadblock to graduating from college.
Whether students drop out of school is almost entirely dependent on one factor: their parents’ income. Children from families who earn more than $90,000 a year have a 1 in 2 chance of getting a bachelor’s degree by age 24, but that falls to a 1 in 17 chance for those earning less than $35,000.
Now evidence from a new study finds that social class also plays a role in the job market after college.
Overall, 316 applications generated 22 interview invitations. All but nine of them went to the high-income men.Although the academic and professional qualifications were the same, male applicants who appeared to be from privileged backgrounds received significantly more callbacks for interviews than low-income students, and even similarly well-off women.
“The female applicants from privileged backgrounds faced a penalty because they were perceived as less committed to full-time, demanding careers,” Rivera told me.
The researchers concentrated their research on summer associates because nearly all new hires at law firms come through those programs. They also looked at students from second-tier law schools to ensure that elite educational credentials didn’t skew perceptions of the applicant.
Applicants from privileged backgrounds were given the last name Cabot, and their résumés were sprinkled with markers of an upper-class upbringing: an athletic award, a member of the sailing team, and an interest in polo and classical music. Meanwhile, low-income students carried the name Clark and their résumés has such signals as a financial-aid award, member of the track and field team, and an interest in country music.
Overall, 316 applications generated 22 interview invitations. All but nine of them went to the high-income men.
In follow-up discussions with the law firms, the researchers found that the attorneys reviewing the résumés were looking for what they described as “fit.” They wanted to hire people like themselves, applicants with whom they shared a certain chemistry, in the same way you might evaluate someone you’re on a date with, or someone you would want to be stuck next to in an airport during a lengthy delay. That’s why extracurricular activities mattered. Rapport with an applicant often came through shared activities, such as travel or sports.
Many of the hiring attorneys interviewed for the study considered the lower-class applicants to be better suited for public-service and government positions and said they wouldn’t do well in the corporate legal world. Privileged male applicants were commended for their extracurricular activities and were seen as a great fit for the culture of a law firm.
Rivera is not new to research on how social class impacts the job search. Last year, she wrote a book, Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs, that found the affiliations of applicants — where they went to school, where they interned or worked previously, or the power of their network — heavily influenced whether they made it into the interview room in the first place. That book focused on law firms, investment banks, and consulting firms. At one hiring committee meeting Rivera attended, she watched as a law partner who was a Red Sox fan reject a candidate because he was a Yankees fan.
At one hiring committee meeting, a law partner who was a Red Sox fan rejected a candidate because he was a Yankees fan.Over and over again, hiring managers told Rivera they were looking for a certain “polish,” candidates who would “show well,” though the managers often had difficulty defining what they meant. Despite lack of agreement on what those terms mean, employers regularly dismissed applicants who had insufficient polish and who might stand out in a negative way with clients who were older and had more experience.
Many of the extra-curricular activities Rivera found made a difference with employers in both her study and book — such as lacrosse, skiing, and golf — required significant investment by students and parents starting at a young age. “So these activities are impossible for students to easily pick up in college just to get ready for the job market, and in most cases they can’t afford them anyway,” she said.
Rivera told me that the only way to reduce class bias in hiring is for employers to ban extra-curricular activities from résumés or at least conceal them in the hiring process.
This year’s presidential campaign featured plenty of discussion about the rising cost of college for low-income and middle-income families. But as this study and Rivera’s book shows, unless some employers change how they hire, social class will continue to shape a person’s career — even those who fight the odds and get a degree.
Jeffrey Selingo is author of the new book, There Is Life After College. You can follow his writing here, on Twitter @jselingo, on Facebook, and sign up for free newsletters about the future of higher education at jeffselingo.com.
He is a regular contributor to the Washington Post’s Grade Point blog, a professor of practice at Arizona State University, and a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech's Center for 21st Century Universities.
Cross-posted from The Washington Post
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Jeff Selingo
It continues to be tough for veterans to build a career in the civilian workplace. Here's why some employers are missing the mark in attracting talented candidates with military service experience.
On this Election Day our sights turn to country, duty, and of course, voting. But we wouldn’t have what we do, and live under the protections that we have, if it wasn’t for our military service men and women.
To that end, military service is probably the greatest honor that any American we can bestow on the nation, but it is also a sacrifice. The trouble comes for some veterans when they try to rejoin the civilian work world. A recent report looked at the topic and arrived at a discouraging statistic: 85 percent of employed post-9/11 veterans are not completely satisfied with their current job. And, according to the iCIMS report, titled ‘America’s Heroes at Work: The Veteran Hiring Report,’ 86 percent of post-9/11 veterans spend time each week looking for a new job.
In collaboration with RecruitMilitary, the nation’s leading veteran hiring firm, the study was conducted to gain a better understanding of post-9/11 veterans’ experience and expectations while job hunting and at work, following their military experience.
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans has declined 1.4 percentage points from 2014 to 2015 to 5.8 percent. While the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is on the decline, the iCIMS survey reveals just how tough it continues to be for veterans to build a career in the civilian workplace – and why some employers fail to attract talented candidates with military service experience.
“The results from our survey are eye-opening, and reinforces the need for employers to focus on nurturing their veteran employees and enhance their recruitment efforts to attract veteran job seekers,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS. “Although it is encouraging to see the unemployment rates for post-9/11 veterans on the decline, our survey reveals just how tough the transition continues to be for those who are trying to build a career in the civilian workforce and why some employers are missing the mark in attracting talented candidates with experience in the military.”
Job Hunt Challenges
When looking for a job, post-9/11 veterans might not be finding the right opportunities. In fact, 86 percent of post-9/11 veterans decided not to apply for or accept a job after leaving the military. Disappointment with the salary or benefits offered (56 percent) was the top reason, followed by believing they didn’t have enough education or training to do the job (41 percent), and reading negative reviews about the company’s culture or work environment (30 percent).
Corporate veteran hiring initiatives and programs make a difference, but here’s some discouraging news from post-9/11 veterans: 74 percent believe it would take them longer to find a job than a non-veteran with the same level of work experience.
Many veterans expressed the fears and challenges they face during the job search process, including a perceived bias and skills gap. In fact, 41 percent of post-9/11 veterans believe hiring managers do not understand their military experience, 37 percent believe hiring managers devalue their military experience, and 36 percent believe job postings require more specialized experience than they have.
In the face of a perceived anti-military bias, veterans in the civilian job market may downplay their military experience. In fact, 47 percent of post-9/11 veterans have understated or excluded their military service on their resume or online job application. Among those who have understated or hidden their military experience, 44 percent were concerned their military service would negatively impact the hiring decision.
Even after being hired, veterans can still experience a career slump. Among those who have been employed post-discharge, 59 percent of post-9/11 veterans believe they have fewer advancement opportunities than expected and 58 percent feel their work was less meaningful than their military service, and 54 percent feel overqualified for their position.
According to a recent survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), leadership, strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, and ability to work in a team were among the top six skills employers seek on a candidate’s resume.
Leadership is something that comes naturally for many veterans – and companies can tap into this if they have a strong mentorship program says the ICIMS study. In fact, 93 percent of post-9/11 veterans would be willing to serve as a mentor to a civilian employee, for example, teaching skills they learned in the military and how they can be applied to the workplace.
Forty four percent of veterans feel they have a strong work ethic, 35 percent say they have good problem-solving skills, 28 percent report they have great adaptability, 26 percent said they work well in a team environment and 24 percent report they excel in organization and discipline.
If you’re looking for the best and the brightest veterans to join your team, keep in mind the job qualities post-9/11 veterans say would most attract them to a company: salary or employee benefits (67 percent), advancement or promotion opportunities (58 percent) and on-the-job training opportunities (32 percent).
Where to Find Job-Seeking Veterans
General job boards such as Indeed or CareerBuilder are the most popular among job-seeking post-9/11 veterans with 61 percent looking for jobs on them, followed by government websites (45 percent) and career websites of specific companies (42 percent). While our research has shown that many jobs seekers now use social media to search for and apply to jobs, surprisingly only two percent of veterans said they use these sites to look for open jobs.
“Executive recruiters can also help military personnel transition out to the civilian business community to land jobs, especially in an era of tightening labor supplies,” reports Greenwich, Conn-based talent tracking firm Hunt Scanlon Media. The U.S. military is a workforce similar to any other major corporation that goes through an expansion or contraction. Leveraging their human assets during times of contraction, such as now, is a strategic business move for companies looking to bolster talent reserves in areas as diverse as supply chain, cyber security and logistics to name just a few.
What Employers Can Do to Improve
Even when companies recruit and hire veterans, they may be failing to make the most of their talents and experience. Disappointingly, 63 percent of employed post-9/11 veterans believe they use 50 percent or less of the job skills they learned in the military. This could be causing frustration and even boredom for veterans transitioning to civilian jobs. By gaining an understanding of the top skills veterans hold, employers can tap into this talent and ensure they are providing a challenging and rewarding career path.
Employers are still missing the mark when it comes to building out great veteran hiring programs and continuing to improve them. In fact, 89 percent of post-9/11 veterans who have been employed post-discharge have never been asked by an employer or prospective employer for their feedback regarding its veteran hiring program. In order to recruit and retain veteran top talent, employers need to be asking for feedback about the application, interview, and employee onboarding processes to make sure they are not missing the mark.
Below are three tips on how to put these insights into action with technology:
1. Monitor and Adjust Sourcing Strategies – In order to make an organization more visible, employers should regularly use multiple channels to discover which sources are most effective. Employers can make open positions easy to discover by advertising where candidates are looking, such as government websites or veteran job boards. Dedicated talent acquisition technology helps companies more effectively build candidate pipelines with automation and ease. Companies of all sizes can explore and test candidate outreach channels to attract more candidates and reduce their time to fill. Employers should partner with a technology provider that allows for a seamless flow of information from multiple vendors into a single talent acquisition system of record.
2. Encourage Employee Referrals – Leverage your existing veteran employees’ networks and encourage them to refer others to your open positions. Part of the reason employee referrals are considered so successful by employers is because they are effective at attracting talent that easily fits into a company’s existing culture. By capitalizing on employee networks, companies can enhance their ability to compete for veteran talent.
3. Promote Your Employment Brand – In order to market your organization as an employer of choice for veterans, companies need to build their employment brand in the military community. Allow candidates to sign up for email communications and automate the process with a recruitment marketing tool. Produce veteran facing recruitment marketing email campaigns that highlight the veterans who work in your organization and what they have accomplished while working for you. Address why your company is interested in recruiting veterans and clearly outline how a military background is a good fit for your open positions.
“It is evident that there is a disconnect and a lack of understanding between veterans and employers,” Ms. Vitale concluded. “Our servicemen and women, who have received some of the most sophisticated training and experience and have made extreme sacrifices for our country, are having trouble gaining job security, stability, and a sense of purpose as civilian workers. By gaining more awareness of the top skills veterans hold, employers will be more equipped to tap into this talent and create mutually beneficial relationships with candidates who have served.”
Employers That Are Doing It Right
According to MilitaryTimes, the top five employers for veterans in 2016 were Verizon, Union Pacific Railroad, USAA, PwC, and BAE Systems.
Scott A. Scanlon is founding chairman and CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media. Based in Greenwich, Conn., Scott serves as Editor-in-Chief of Hunt Scanlon's daily newswires, its recruiting industry reports and Executive Search Review.
This blog first appeared at http://huntscanlon.com/
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
A few months ago I had the opportunity to assist a number of students at the Indian School of Business in reviewing their resumes. In the process I noted some good-practices in writing a resume, which I shared with the entire class by way of an email. I thought that email could also benefit some others in a wider audience. So sharing those points below, with my LinkedIn network.
--start of email--
These are some things that came up when conducting the 1-to-1 reviews with the students I met. I thought I’ll write that which could be written down to circulate to all of you. Consider them as a few rules of thumb about your resume. Entertain the points below, chew on them, use them if you like, and reject them if you think differently.
1. First seek to be understood, then seek to impress. Frame every sentence and phrase in the resume with this in mind especially if your work is technical in nature. Because the work you have done needs to be understood by the person shortlisting the resume (perhaps a HR person) and also the hiring manager (the person who interviews you), and neither of them may be highly familiar with your past work domain.
2. What is the feeling about you that you want the recruiter to have after reading you resume for 60 seconds? Write down the words and sentences that describe that feeling. Write this answer down repeatedly for a few weeks, refining it and evolving it until you begin to identify closely and intensely with what you write here. Once done, consider this to be your crisp, chiseled Executive Summary/Profile.
3. The content of each of your various work experience sections must answer these three questions
A. What did I do?
B. Who did I work with?
C. Why was it important?
That's it. While it is easier to write on A and B above, C is a challenge for some students.
4. ‘Why was it important’ can be highlighted by mentioning one or more of the following about your work:
6. Ultimately the purpose of your Resume is to be a conversation starter. You can't have a conversation with someone you can't understand. And people like people who they can talk to and can understand. This holds true for recruiters and hiring managers as well. So your resume needs to have a few phrases and words that act as hooks that will stay in the mind of the recruiter for when s/he first speaks to you. These words could also be emboldened. Another way to look at it is this: The words and phrases you embolden are the reasons you want to be shortlisted for.
7. To the extent possible, complete a bullet point in one line or if the sentence rolls over to the second line then use the second line well. Don't leave an orphan word or two in the second line. You waste an entire line for one or two words if you do that. Don't use too many font variations. Stick to 1 or 2 font styles. Use italics sparingly. Prefer circular and square bullets over ticks and stars.
8. Company name, Designation, Location and Duration of employment need to be clearly and unambiguously presented. They should have enough space/line break in between them to make each of them stand out distinctly.
9. Keep healthy gaps between different sections of the resume. Mind the spacing before and after all the headings and bullet points in the resume. Make sure the line spacings and paragraph spacings are consistent and elegant. There is such a thing as good white space and bad white space. Just like the right pauses and silences enhance a piece of music, the right kind of spacings between the lines embellish and enhance your resume.
10. As a concluding point, write only what you can back up and justify. Write about the work you are proud of, or found interesting to be a part of...something that you can tell a story about. To get a shortlist is not the goal. What you want to ensure is that once you do get shortlisted, then you speak about your work with such conviction and ownership that it leaves the recruiter richer for having spoken to you.
Hope this helps.
Originally posted on Linked IN by Nishant Pandey
Find ONE thing you love to do–and do it! That's the secret to a successful career.
But what if you can't decide? You love to do two or three things?
You do what Sarah Feingold did.
Instead of choosing between the two things she loved, she found her niche at the intersection of her creative passion— jewelry-making—and her expertise as an attorney. I recently spoke with Sarah for an episode of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, where she offered some great insight into this process of personal discovery.
Insight #1: Sometimes love is not enough. Though Feingold loved making jewelry she recognized that she did not want to pursue it professionally. It was physically grueling, involving lots of burns and backaches; not an auspicious option for a long-term day job. She also couldn’t figure out how she would make a living: “I became really emotionally involved in my pieces and couldn’t bring myself to sell them…which apparently you need to do if you want to be a professional artist—put a price tag on it and let them go, but I like to keep everything.”
Having set aside the possibility of a career in jewelry creation, Feingold began mulling a different question, “What aspects of jewelry could be protected by intellectual property? And so that’s what led me to law school, because I wanted to be able to answer those questions for other people.” She picked Syracuse University College of Law—“The University has a fantastic arts program and that was one of the reasons why I chose the law school.” In an unconventional move, requiring special permission from the law school, Feingold concurrently enrolled in metal-smithing while working on her JD.
Insight #2: Bold vision coupled with equally bold pursuit can create opportunity where none appears to exist. Finished with law school and busily practicing law in Rochester, New York, Feingold discovered Etsy, the peer-to-peer marketplace providing space for craftspeople to sell their wares online, and began featuring some of her creations for sale. What followed may become legendary in the annals of personal disruption. “I realized that they were launching some new policies and I had some ideas so I wrote to the Customer Service team and I offered some insights from my legal background.” The response was lackluster, so Feingold followed up, “You know what? Why don’t I just speak with your Founder?”
After an initial phone conversation Feingold, on her own reconnaissance, booked a flight and called the Founder again. “I said, ‘Hey, I’m coming down for an interview. You need in-house counsel and you need it to be me.”
Etsy was an infant start-up at the time, less than two years old. Feingold was hired on the spot as the business’ 17th employee. When she left earlier this year there were over 800 employees. But the growth is not just a number’s game to Feingold. “Helping the company grow in a mission and values aligned way makes me so proud; to see, to read or even to hear people tell me how Etsy has impacted their lives in a positive way”—these things fulfill her dream of helping individual craftspeople succeed in their art.
Feingold has recently taken her talent, expertise and experience on the road again; as the new General Counsel for Vroom, she is working hard to help them disrupt the way we all buy our next car. Our conversation produced many additional insights into a dynamically unfolding career that doubtless holds surprises yet to come, insights that many of us could adopt or adapt to the advantage of our own.
Art and law may not, on the surface, appear to be natural traveling companions but such intersections of talent and training can bring us to career crossroads that launch us down an entirely unexpected path. Sometimes, that road may not have been paved for us; we might, like Sarah Feingold, blaze a trail where none exists.
Hear more of Sarah's fascinating story and subscribe to the Disrupt Yourself podcast on iTunes.
Whitney Johnson is one of the world's leading management thinkers (Thinkers50), author of the critically acclaimed Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work and host of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast. You can sign up for her newsletter here.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Whitney Johnson
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
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