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Do you feel you’ve hit a plateau at your job? Do you want a new position at a prestigious company? Do you want a different career altogether? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, a career coach might be the key to your success.
Hiring a career coach is a growing trend among professionals, and it’s not just for executives, either. People from all different points in their career are actively looking to career coaching for help. From providing basic insight into best practices for resumes and cover letters, to offering complex job strategy and guidance on changing industries, career coaching can be a worthwhile investment.
But just like any investment you make, it’s not something that should be done without conducting adequate research. After all, anyone can deem himself or herself a “career coach,” but that doesn’t mean they’ll be effective at helping you achieve your goals. These five steps will help guide you to a coach that can really help make a difference.
Step 1: Define your objective
Write down what you want to get out of your partnership with a career coach. Knowing your goals and expectations helps direct you toward the right coach. Sharing this information with coaches also helps them vet you to ensure that what you want is indeed something they can actually help you achieve.
Step 2: Seek out coaches who match your needs
Just because a coach comes with accolades galore doesn’t mean he’s a good match for you. If his expertise doesn’t align with your needs, you’ll be disappointed. Someone who specializes in job searches would not necessarily be good at advising you on becoming a business owner.
Step 3: Research candidates
Reach out to your network for referrals, but don’t limit your options to only those others have used. Explore a variety of coaches and research their credentials. A good coach will have a stellar online presence, remain active in the industry by writing articles or giving presentations at events, have several years experience and plenty of recommendations.
Step 4: Leverage services and research pricing
Specialized services like Coach Connect from Muse can save you time and money, helping you find the right coach for your needs at the right price, too.
“Working with a career coach to plan your job search or do a resume review can really accelerate the process and get results. In launching Coach Connect, we selected the best coaches at different price points to help our users take that next step or get that dream job,” says Alex Cavoulacos, founder, COO and head of product at The Muse.
Step 5: Discuss your coach’s expectations
You’ve already communicated your objectives to your coach; now it’s time for your coach to discuss her expectations. A successful partnership goes both ways, and a coach can’t help you if you’re not an active participant. They may have expectations about communication and activity requirements, so discuss everything up-front to prevent surprises.
With the Fed’s entirely appropriate decision to hold tight on rates coming out of their October meeting, attention is now focused intently on the December meeting and debates are raging as to what the Fed should do and what the Fed will do. Unfortunately, due to mounting pressure from some increasingly vocal pockets on Wall Street, inflation chicken-littles, and the crazies in the Hell-No caucus, among others, the risk is growing that what the Fed should do isn’t what they will do. What a shame that would be.
As Steven Rattner wrote in a great op-ed piece in the Times, economic growth is anemic, inflation is non-existent, job growth is tepid at best, and wages have been stuck in neutral, seemingly forever. Specifically on the jobs front, the last two jobs reports from the Labor Department were a disappointing shock to all but a few economists on Wall Street, and average monthly job gains this year have dropped 24% from last year.
Admittedly, discerning a clear signal in the cacophony of noisy data these days is exceedingly difficult, as we’ve pointed out numerous times over the past few months, but if nothing else, the pea-soup fog that has descended over economic data these days should give further ammunition to those who are wisely advocating for no action until evidence is clear that action needs to be taken.
Luckily, October’s jobs report which comes out on Friday will put yet another nail (hopefully the last) in the coffin of the idea that the Fed should raise rates this year. Based on the continued declines we have seen in new and total job openings in LinkUp’s job search engine (which indexes 3.3 million jobs from 50,000 companies every day) since July, we are forecasting that only 75,000 jobs were created last month.
As the chart below indicates, new and total job openings have declined steadily since July, averaging -8.4% over that period.
The drop in new job listings in our search engine in Q3 was particularly dramatic, with an average decline of 12.4%.
Given the assumption that the best indicator of a new job being added to the U.S. economy is when an employer posts a job opening on their corporate website (real job, real company, no scams or fraud, no job board pollution, updated daily, no duplicates, no headhunters, etc.), it is not surprising that the declines we’ve seen in new and total job openings over the past few months have shown up in weak jobs reports for August and September. In fact, it is more than likely that both those reports will be revised downward further on Friday.
But because nothing of substance is ever easy, especially as it relates to predicting the future, and even more specifically as it relates to the current economic environment, October’s jobs data from LinkUp stands as a bit of a curveball. In October, new job openings by state rose 9% and total job openings rose 2% from September. It is important to note, however, that for every month in our forecasting model, we use a paired-month methodology which allows us to account for the fact that we are always adding new companies to our index. As a result, we always get 2 data points for every month, which is why the numbers below do not match the LinkUp data in the 2nd chart above.
Looking at jobs by category, our data for October shows similar gains in new and total job openings.
The other curveball for October’s non-farm payroll report is seasonality which obviously has a major impact on hiring as the chart below clearly indicates. Looking at the percentage change in new job openings from month to month in our job search engine between 2010 and 2015, labor demand is strongest in Q1 and Q2 and tapers off dramatically in Q3 and Q4. But over the past 5 years, October has been the one bright month in an otherwise bleak stretch of months with declines in new job openings.
Drilling into the retail sector, the primary driver of seasonal hiring, this year’s data paints a pretty horrific picture. New retail job openings on LinkUp shot up dramatically in June, continuing a 3-year trend of stronger retail labor demand occurring earlier in the year (October in 2012, June-September in 2013, May in 2014). But as economic conditions started to weaken substantially as the summer progressed, new retail job openings declined precipitously and have stayed rather subdued for the past few months.
The decline in new retail job openings mirrors what has happened across the entire U.S. economy over the past few months, as shown below in LinkUp’s Jobs Duration report. Every month, we analyze all the job openings that have rolled off our site over the past 6 months (presumably because they were filled with a hire) to determine hiring velocity as indicated by the length of time that those jobs were on our site.
Between October of last year and June of this year, the average job duration rose from 40 to 49 days as employers found it harder to fill openings in a tightening labor market. In July and especially in August, however, job duration fell back down to 42 days as employers quickly removed job listings they no longer intended to fill as the economy slowed dramatically. Since then, hiring velocity has slowed considerably, with job duration jumping to 55 days in October.
So just like virtually every data point one might look at for glimpses of clarity, the ‘truth’ is entirely dependent on one’s perspective and the timeframe one applies to the analysis. Should we be encouraged by the long-term growth trend of new and total job openings on LinkUp, or alarmed at the precipitous decline since June?
We’re going with the glass half-empty position with a forecast of a net gain of only 75,000 jobs in October.
Of course we’ll be cheering for a much higher number, but if Friday’s report turns out to be as grim as we think it is likely to be, perhaps the only positive outcome would be the silencing of those calling for a December rate hike.
Long gone are the days of hanging a help wanted sign in a window to secure a hire. Today recruiters and HR professionals live in a technology and data-driven world. Employers want to find candidates fast and at a low cost, and are demanding data and intelligence on their recruiting efforts.
One of the biggest game-changer in the digital recruiting space in recent years has been programmatic recruitment advertising.
Programmatic recruitment ad buying encompasses an array of technologies to automate the buying and placement of job openings on a predetermined network of job-related websites on a Price-Per-Click (PPC) or Price-Per-Apply basis (PPA). Programmatic ad buying maximizes targeting efficiency by continually optimizing placements for the highest conversion rate at the job level.
It is designed to streamline the recruitment advertising placement process, and bring down the cost per hire. In our latest white paper we provide an introduction to programmatic advertising, best practices and explore the future of this recruiting revolution. Download our white paper today!
Has your once dreamy job search turned into a nightmare reminiscent of a classic Halloween flick? If you feel like you’re running around more than a werewolf during a full moon, it’s time to stop the madness. These 10 job search tricks are guaranteed to provide only treats by refreshing your job search fast.
1. Beware of burnout
A job search is a lot of work and if you’re feeling burnt out, carve out time for a break. Most people check job postings and apply daily, but that can be overwhelming. Consider designating one day a week to take it easy.
2. Have fang-tastic focus
If you’re applying a lot and never hearing back, it’s time to refocus. You may be applying for the wrong jobs. Are you qualified for the position? Is your resume compelling? Are you using eye-catching verbs and phrases?
3. Avoid a hauntingly disorganized schedule
If you’re searching for a job full-time, it’s easy for days to blend together. Keep on top of the job hunt by scheduling time for your search on your calendar. A few hours a day is a great way to maintain focus.
4. Don’t be the invisible man (or woman)
If you’re looking for a job, you need to maintain a compelling LinkedIn profile. It’s virtually a given that employers will look to see if you have one these days. If not, you may as well be a ghost. For a stalled job search, refresh your intro and put up a fresh head shot.
5. Forget fright and follow-up
If you just apply and cross your fingers, you’ll be waiting for a long time. Proper etiquette is to send an original thank you (yes, email is OK!). Then, if you haven’t heard back after the designated time has passed, show initiative and follow up.
6. Cackle with your network
Cast a spell on your professional network by boosting your engagement on LinkedIn and by attending industry events in your city. If you’re as invisible as a ghost, so too will be your network’s ability to help you find a job.
7. Conjure keywords
Even if you dislike recruitment software as much as you do the boogeyman, it’s reality. To get past filters and eventually capture the eye of someone in HR, inject industry keywords into your resume and cover letter where they fit naturally.
8. Avoid the moonlight
While it may be mere hocus pocus, some claim that submitting applications and interviewing early in the morning helps candidates stand out. The rationale is that people are bright eyed and bushy tailed earlier in the day so you can more easily make a lasting impression.
9. Mystify with personality
Being polished and prepared does not mean being boring. Many candidates memorize answers, know all the correct terms and have every skill listed on the job app, but they play it too safe and come off as staged and insincere. Be confident and let your personality shine a bit.
10. Howl less, listen more
It’s easy to get so focused on conveying the right message and giving the correct impression that you forget to listen. And one-sided conversations are a red flag to employers. For more effective interviews, remember conversation is an art and being a good listener is just as important as being a good speaker.
In a time when women are openly encouraged to “lean in” and glass ceilings are shattered more frequently than ever before, it might seem that having it all has never been more achievable. Yet having a happy family and a thriving career is no easy task, and female executives are struggling to reach what society deems the holy grail of success.
As any parent knows, raising a child is a full-time job. Being a primary parent means managing schedules, tracking homework and attending countless lessons, games and PTO meetings. Add to that the responsibilities of a job in the C-suite, where a 40-hour week would be considered light, and you’ll understand why female executives with kiddos are feeling stretched so thin.
Yes, I’d argue that having it all is downright impossible.
It’s a given that each parent must dedicate a certain amount of their time in order to raise their children. If a mother decides to stay home, perhaps she takes on 80 percent of those child-raising tasks. If both parents work, however, maybe they try to split the responsibilities evenly. Moms have historically focused their efforts on homemaking instead of on their careers, and the growing population of stay-at-home fathers is a game changer.
The number of fathers who are at home with their children has nearly doubled since 1989, according to the Pew Research Center. Fathers represent a growing share of all at-home parents — 16 percent in 2012. As more women strive for executive positions, will this number increase? I hope so, because 16 percent is still astonishingly low, especially when you consider that, of this group, 35 percent of stay-at-home dads are home due to illness or disability rather than to specifically to care for their home or family.
One thing that most successful men and women can agree on is that they wouldn’t be where they are today without incredible support. Whether it’s dad staying home or working part-time in order to take on the primary parenting role, or grandparents, friends and nannies stepping in to make complex schedules work, it truly takes a village to raise children and be a successful female executive today.
It’s important to note that while these leading ladies are handing off some parental responsibilities, they don’t love their children any less. Some people may quickly assume they value their job over their family, but if we would never think that of a man in a leading role, why are we tempted to think it about woman?
It’s OK to be career focused, to let your partner handle the majority of parental duties, and still be emotionally connected to your kids. Men have been doing this for decades! In fact, children provide a great reason for female execs to work even harder to break stereotypes and prove you can do whatever you put your mind to. They’re watching everything we do, after all.
Bottom line: no one can have it all, but there are ways to make it all work. The sooner we accept that each family has its own approach to success, the better our communities will be and the more female executives we’ll see in the board room.
Exactly 2 years ago to the day, amidst my Breaking Bad binge-fest, I wrote the following as the lead-in to our September jobs forecast…
Like Walter White’s descent into apocalyptic madness, it is hard to imagine that things could get any more lunatic, dysfunctional, or destructive in Washington these days. The crazies in the House, under the leadership of Ted Cruz, aka Heisenberg, have taken over the asylum and are hell-bent on dragging the country along on their suicidal death wish. And the worst part of the insanity that characterizes the Republican party these days is the fact that their utterly anti-democratic, anarchic obstinance could not only destroy an already fragile economic recovery in the U.S., but also stop dead in its tracks a nascent global recovery.
Given the events of the past few months, and particularly in the past few weeks, it turns out that things in the asylum have, in fact, gotten much, much worse. Ted Cruz is now running for President, the crazies have eliminated John Boehner (the least demented among the deranged), and once again, the inmates in the psych ward are threatening to shut down the government despite the fact that 60% of Americans insist that any budget deal must include funding for Planned Parenthood.
Far worse than Christopher Walken in Annie Hall, who confesses to Woody Allen that he often has an impulse while driving at night to turn the car into the oncoming traffic – “I can anticipate the explosion, the shattering glass, the flames, rising out of the flowing gasoline…” – the terrifying lunatics that today constitute the Republican party are determined, one way or another, to decimate the U.S. economy by holding it hostage for their own political agenda.
And just like October of 2013, we are teetering once again on the brink of recession as a weakening U.S. economy is increasingly unable to remain immune to a seriously sick global economy. Over the past few months, economic indicators have turned from decent to perfectly mixed to slightly negative. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s jobs numbers are going to be far worse than expected, pushing things even further into the decidedly negative category.
Based on steep declines in new and total job openings in LinkUp’s job search engine in August, we are forecasting that the U.S. economy added a net gain of only 75,000 jobs in September.
Just as troubling is the fact that our initial data for September isn’t much better. With new and total jobs declining at a blended rate of -3.4% during the month, it’s likely that job growth in October is likely to be equally as anemic as September.
LinkUp’s state by state data paints a similarly bleak picture.
And while total jobs by category rose slightly during the month, new job listings fell 2%.
While one could rightly argue that larger global forces such as China, the dollar, and Europe are far more responsible for potentially expediting a recession than the G.O.P., there is no doubt that Republicans have obstinately refused, at every turn, to strengthen and extend the recovery, invest in our future, or help sensibly manage the nation’s affairs. As Krugman so eloquently points out, it says everything you need to know about The G.O.P. these days that Donald Trump is more sensible on economics than any Republican candidate for President. How terrifying.
Were it only possible to get up and walk out of the room like Woody Allen, who says to Christopher Walken after the latter’s confession about his suicidal tendencies, “Right. Well I have to go now Duane, because I’m due back on the planet Earth.”
It’s said that silence is golden, but job seekers overwhelmingly disagree. That’s because few things are more frustrating than spending time and effort applying for an open position only to sit around and get zero response.
Did the application not go through? Are you no longer being considered? Was there a technical glitch? These are the questions that can test even the most patient of job seekers.
If you’re sick of the radio silence, we can help. Here are the top 7 reasons job seekers don’t hear back after applying for a job and tips for how you can avoid them.
1. The job is filled: Tons of job listings online are old, expired or filled. This frustrating occurrence is often due to pay-to-post job listings which remain online until they expire and are not actively pulled when a position fills.
How to avoid this: Pay close attention to the date a job was posted. The longer the job has been opened, the more likely it has been filled. Call the company directly to verify if it’s a dated position.
2. The job is a scam: Scam job listings are everywhere and tough to spot. No only a waste of time, job scams are also dangerous. Scammers use online job applications to phish unsuspecting candidates’ personal information. Some staffing agencies will host job listings that look as though they are the actual company. They gather applicant information to bring to these employers for payment, while the job seeker has no idea they didn’t apply with the actual company. Note: there are plenty of great staffing companies, but beware of the bad ones.
How to avoid this: Apply directly on the company’s website which can be verified by the URL. If you use LinkUp to search for jobs, you can apply confidently because all the listings come from employers’ websites and the job listings lead you directly to the employer’s website to apply.
3. You’re not qualified: Many recruiters note upwards of half of resumes submitted for a given job do not meet the minimum requirements. If you’re not qualified for a position, it’s likely ATS computer algorithms will weed out your application before someone ever spends time looking at it.
How to avoid this: Save time and your sanity by only applying to jobs for which you’re qualified.
4. You don’t strategically use keywords: A job description should be your guide when creating a resume and cover letter. If you use different keywords than what is in the description, you may be dismissed. Even if you are saying essentially the same thing, using different terminology can confuse recruiters and ATS software.
How to avoid this: Use industry standard terminology and sprinkle words in the job listing throughout your application.
5. You didn’t stand out: Up to 80 percent of jobs are landed via networking; you can’t just simply apply and anticipate a reply anymore. You have to go the extra mile these days.
How to avoid this: Leverage your professional network and use it to your advantage. Connect with existing employees and take special care to ensure your resume and cover letter make you shine.
6. Your resume contradicts your online profiles: Social media is a powerful tool for job seekers and recruiters. In fact, 97 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, according to a Bullhorn survey. If your resume doesn’t match what your social media profiles state, you’ll be instantly dismissed. The best case is recruiters will think you lack attention to detail; worst case is they’ll think you’re a liar … both reasons for no response.
How to avoid this: Check all social media accounts to ensure your information matches perfectly.
7. You’re not the best candidate: Though the job market has improved remarkably over the past year, there is still fierce competition in many industries. Sometimes you haven’t heard back because you’re simply not the best match for the position.
How to avoid this: Whether you’re currently employed or not, always strive to improve your skills, experience and portfolio of professional work.
Adios, Suburbs! Although it’s been fun, it’s time for a new adventure in the big city. Yep, after 15 years on the outskirts of Minneapolis, LinkUp and parent company JobDig moved downtown, and the entire crew couldn’t be more excited.
After carefully considering various real estate hot spots, our team decided the vibrant Warehouse District was the perfect fit for us. Its one-of-a-kind buildings, central location and many awesome eateries within walking distance are just a few of the reasons we love the area.
This fall we are settling into our 7,000 square feet home on the top floor of the Kickernick Building. Located at First Avenue and Fifth Street, the location is easy to access and central to all that makes the Twin Cities great. Overlooking the amazing skyline, the new space is incredible and the feeling of the city is simply electric.
The office size is a big step up from the previous 4,500-sq. ft. location in St. Louis Park. A necessary size upgrade thanks to the tremendous growth we’ve experienced in the past few years. What’s more, we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, as we anticipate plenty more growth in the future. Stay tuned for LinkUp to aggressively hire in 2016 and beyond!
“We are really excited to be moving downtown. It’s been a phenomenal period of growth for our business, and moving into a new location in the Warehouse District represents a great next chapter for the company,” said LinkUp President and CEO Toby Dayton.
As a company that promotes a very collaborative work environment, the space has been designed with employees in mind. The new office features an open floor plan with beautiful high ceilings, ergonomic stand-up desks and large windows with breathtaking views of downtown Minneapolis. Of course, the new espresso machine is also an employee favorite. The Sherman Group, which owns the building, recently started lobby renovations to reclaim the structure’s historic brick-and-timber construction, giving the entire building a unique personality.
“As we considered what kind of space we wanted, a central location with the right feel was key. Our new office space has tons of character and is a fun and open space that will greatly support our culture,” said Chief Financial Officer Dianne Austgen.
The office construction and move were both an all hands on deck effort. Anyone who has moved a business to a new location knows it’s a lot of work. In the end, however, it’s been worth it because the dynamic new space aligns perfectly with LinkUp’s personality and future ambitions.
And while the move has been a little hectic, we can always rely on our new motorized scooter to blow off some steam. Watch out!
Photos by Katie Mueller Photography.