New Year, New Opportunities:
How to Prepare for a Job Search in 2018

12/18/2017 02.41 EST

Looking for a new job can be a difficult process. The key is to remain positive and focused. Remember that all of your hard work could result in the start of the next chapter in your career, and an exciting beginning to 2018!
New Year, New Opportunities: <br />How to Prepare for a Job Search in 2018

With the end of the year quickly approaching, it is a common time for people to reflect on the past 12 months and start planning for the new year. As a result of this soul searching, many decide it may be time to take the next step in their careers and jump back into the job market.

Focus on networking, connecting with search firms and applying to jobs online. Spend most of your time networking instead of online job applications, where your resume is likely to get lost in the shuffle. Many roles are filled through networks instead of online postings, so building your referral base is critical for a successful job search....

I Call Shotgun!

05/24/2017 10.31 EST

It’s about one aging GenXr trying to find his place in the world as his recall and his knees begin to fail him.

I had a twenty-something professional colleague give me an eye roll the other day that led me to a question of insidious intent, “Is it time to start thinking about hanging it up?”   It’s only been within the last few years that professionals who are my kids’ age started joining the workforce en masse. They are fearless, fun, and frustrating. Fearless in that they haven’t had a chance to experience any true failure yet, so they’re willing to try anything. Fun in that everything is new to them, and they have an enthusiasm that is refreshing and infectious. Frustrating in that while they’re smart, they’re not yet wise, and sometimes don’t understand the difference.   It’s been a challenge for me to adjust, as I am sure it has been for every 51-year-old that has come before me in the past 100 years. How do I treat these people? How do I swallow my own biases and pride enough to learn from them? How do I teach them without appearing condescending? How will I know when I should slide over to the passenger’s side and let one of them drive? How do I accept that they have a different approach to work? These are not rhetorical questions, people! There’s a comments section for a reason!   This is not a piece about Millennials as a group. Rather, it’s about one aging GenXr trying to find his place in the world as his recall and his knees...

How to Get Noticed by Executive Search Firms

05/17/2017 01.45 EST

John Touey shares a few tips to help candidates get noticed by executive search firms and get on a recruiter's radar.

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Vlog – Common Interview Mistakes

04/11/2017 10.15 EST

Sally Stetson, Denise Christman, John Touey and Donna DeHart discuss common interview mistakes and give suggestions on making a good impression and successfully marketing yourself to prospective employers.

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Vlog – Job Searching in 2017

03/10/2017 04.11 EST

In this episode of SSG's ongoing vlog series on topics of interest regarding executive search and recruitment, John Touey gives advice on entering the job market in 2017

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Moving Ahead in the HR Field

10/12/2016 08.53 EST

HR leaders not only need to be insightful in the most progressive HR practices, but they also need to understand the business in order to effectively contribute as a member of the executive team.
Moving Ahead in the HR Field

Success does not come to those who wait. Make sure to volunteer to serve on committees or projects, especially if it involves cross-functional teams. You will continue to learn, build relationships, and get noticed.

Serving as a key member of a human resources team can be a rewarding career path. If you are focused on the business and support its growth or changes, you will be ahead of the curve. ...

Crucial Concepts: Tips for the Emerging Professionals of 2016

05/23/2016 03.32 EST

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I remember spending my mornings after graduation glued to my computer screen, repeatedly clicking refresh with the hope of seeing any sort of positive update. I wasn’t tracking fantasy football stats, nor was I waiting excitedly for a delivery notification from Amazon. Instead, I was compulsively checking my inbox, eager to hear back from potential employers.   While graduating college is an exciting venture, it can also be a confusing and stressful time in our lives. Although Bloomsburg University prepared us to meet the challenges of our respective disciplines head-on, many of us found that establishing our careers can be trickier than we initially thought.   During my own journey navigating the job market for the first time, I learned a few crucial concepts that helped me pave the way to the beginning of my career. Remember these tips when you start your job search:   Call yourself an emerging professional rather than a recent college graduate. This title allows you to highlight your post-graduation status without calling attention to any inexperience. In addition, it engages you to think dynamically about how your accomplishments differentiate yourself from the rest of your competition. It’s crucial to stand out amongst a sea of other applicants, especially when you’re new to the industry.   Be open to different career options. Although you may have studied one specific subject area in school, many of the skills you learned are applicable in a wide variety of industries. For example – just because...

Career Development Tips – The Secret is `F.O.A.M.’

04/14/2016 11.45 EST

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Picture this: you’re sitting among an audience filled with employees of all ages, waiting for a career development seminar to start. The seminar begins with a speaker, who opens his presentation by exclaiming, “The secret to successful career development is … F.O.A.M.,” before spraying an entire can of shaving cream on the podium in front of him. While the reactions from the audience may vary from nervous laughter to frantically finding paper towels, there’s one thing in common: the speaker has their full attention. It’s now time to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget – why the acronym F.O.A.M. is a great key for developing a fruitful career.   Throughout the years, I’ve used this demonstration in many career development presentations to illustrate how F.O.A.M. can help one establish a flourishing career. Whether you’re just joining the workforce or you’re a C-suite executive, these four letters can help you advance in your profession:   F.O.A.M.   Fitness: As evidenced by the many articles and books published on fitness, most of us want to be as healthy and in shape as possible. However, getting to that level of fitness takes dedication and high energy, two qualities that are difficult to maintain on a daily basis. These attributes give people the drive to achieve their goals every day, whether it’s sticking to a diet or reaching a new personal record at the gym.   When it comes to the workplace, mental fitness, or “learning agility,” is just as...

Why Networking Is So Important As We Get Older

12/02/2015 03.07 EST

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They may have more experience, but job seekers over 50 are unemployed 5 to 8 weeks longer than 30 to 49 year olds.  That’s according to a study by Professor Connie Wanberg at the University of Minnesota.  We may immediately think the reason is age discrimination.  Although that may be a factor, it is also true that this group is more selective in maintaining personal and professional networks.  Researchers found that older people on average have smaller social networks than younger people.  I am sure that news is not surprising and it implies we become more discerning about who we associate with as we get older.  On the other hand, the connections we have are critical as we launch a job search. Therein lies the dilemma.   No matter what your age, what can you do to expand your network and boost your chances of landing that job?   Actively seek out new projects to learn something new. It stretches your thinking and enhances your knowledge and experience base, but also introduces you to new people and expands your network. Reach out to former co-workers and college friends. LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media tools make it easy.  Rekindle those friendships now rather than waiting until you need to ask for a favor. Join a professional association. By attending events, you will gain more knowledge and perspective about your profession.  If you actively participate, you will also grow your network and be seen as a leader in...

One Space or Two?

10/01/2015 11.55 EST

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I recently read an article whose subject was how to tell if someone online is over 50. Two of the telltale signs listed include having an AOL email address and putting two spaces at the end of a sentence. Some others include using “thou” in place of “you” or inviting your colleagues for lunch at the automat, although those seem to be coming back! (Eatsa)   The implication of the article is that it’s in your best interest to eliminate these old-timey habits in order to mask your age, particularly when searching for a job. Now, it has been ingrained in all of our heads that age bias exists in the employment market. Many of us believe that, given the explicit choice, a company will hire a younger employee for any number of reasons: cheaper, easier to train, less likely to leave for a better opportunity, etc. While I’m not going to argue that age bias doesn’t exist, I do think its prevalence is overstated in today’s hiring environment.   My rationale relates to the undeniable shift in the way companies and individuals view employment over the past 20 years or so. It has become more and more about the work rather than the social contract that employment has historically entailed. What matters more is that the relationship between the company and the employee is mutually beneficial and works to achieve a common goal. When that mutual benefit dissipates, so does the relationship (as it should). These...