Monthly Archives: July 2015

Reviews are in for “Champion Your Career”

“I found Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work by Halimah Bellows to be a very useful book. I also think it is very relevant in today’s dynamic world where so many job opportunities and career paths are available, some of which are little known. Halimah Bellows has a unique, personal style of writing that instantly made me feel connected. Her advice, tips, and techniques are spot on and I am sure will be a huge help to anyone looking to switch careers or just anyone looking to improve their networking, job search, resume writing, and interview skills. I loved learning about the Holland Code model among other things and the detailed categories and related work fields were extremely useful to know. A very helpful read that I would recommend to anyone!
  

 — Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite

 

Champion Your Career by Halimah Bellows is aimed at helping one find out what works. One can make one’s own life and can champion one’s career, becoming successful at whatever the vocation chosen. Beginning with theories of career development, Halimah introduces the Holland code – defining one’s interests, aims and ambitions to reduce the complex problem of selecting and managing one’s career by correctly identifying the value of the code. The importance of a few parameters like ‘passion’ and ‘purpose’ in one’s choice of career also finds mention in this. Helpful questionnaires, forms, charts and step wise procedures to make easy identification of one’s inventory of strengths enable application of tools like SMART and SWOT analysis to career management. The five stages of retirement, tips for a good resume, and chapters on internet resources for jobs make this book a complete guide.

Champion Your Career by Halimah Bellows is, in fact, an eye opener. It taught me many new facets of things I knew, as well as a few I did not, with reference to selection of one’s career and the tools available for that. The book follows a logical flow and each new idea is introduced with ample assistance from charts and lists to make comprehension easy. I found one suggestion contained in it quite apt; why not replace the word ‘retirement’ with ‘renaissance’ or ‘graduation’ or (say) ‘job-re-searcher’? An excellent book as far as selecting, nurturing or managing a career goes.”                                                                                                              

– Roy T. James for Readers’ Favorite

Job interview process takes 10 days longer than it did five years ago

By Quentin Fottrell

Job interviews are getting weirder — and the interview process is getting longer.

The job interview process took an average of 22.9 days last year, up from 12.6 days five years ago, as employment shifts to higher skilled jobs and employers screen potential employees’ skills, characters and personalities and conduct background checks, according to careers website Glassdoor, based on a sample of 344,250 interviews spanning six countries.

One-on-one interviews (68%) and telephone interviews (56%) are still the most popular kinds, and that has changed little since 2010. However, the percentage of job seekers reporting background checks has grown from 25% in 2010 to 42% in 2014. Other interview methods that have grown recently include skills tests (16% to 23%), drug tests (13% to 23%), and personality tests (12% to 18%).

The interview process also varies dramatically by industry: Police officers reported the longest average interview duration (127.6 days), followed by patent examiners (87.6 days), assistant professors (58.7 days), senior vice-presidents (55.5 days) and program analysts (51.8 days), managing directors (51.1 days) and information technology specialists (48.1 days).

In contrast, the shortest job interview processes are typically found among job titles requiring less formal training, such as entry-level marketing jobs (3.9 days), followed by entry-level sales positions (5.4 days), servers and bartenders (5.7 days), entry-level account managers (5.9 days) and dishwashers (6.9 days).

“Personal characteristics of job seekers—including gender, age and highest level of education—have zero statistical effect on interview lengths,” the Glassdoor study found. “All of the recent growth in hiring processes appears to be driven entirely by economywide shifts in the composition of employers, job titles, hiring industries, and company HR policies.”

Companies have more job openings than they did in 2010. “Five years ago, you put a job posting online and, within hours, there would be hundreds of applicants,” says Tim Sackett, president of HRU Technical Resources, an information technology and engineering staffing firm in Lansing, Mich. “People were begging to work. The retirements of baby boomers are also making it very difficult on companies.”

“In a regular economy, organizations would have had succession plans in place to replace our aging workforce,” he says. “The recession didn’t allow us the resources to do this planning, and organizations are paying the price right now. Almost no one did a good job planning for this during the recession. It’s hitting every industry, in every market.”

Employers are also looking for more intangible qualities such as loyalty, says Piera Palazzolo, senior vice president for marketing at Dale Carnegie Training. “It’s wise for employers to take their time and make sure that prospective employees not only have the talent to perform their job, but also have the character traits that fit in with the company’s culture.”

Quentin Fottrell is a personal finance reporter and The Moneyologist columnist http://www.marketwatch.com/column/the-moneyologist  for MarketWatch, http://www.marketwatch.com/Journalists/Quentin_Fottrell. You can follow him on Twitter @quantanamo.