Career News for April 2007
Earning a Halo
AUTHOR: Gayle Oliver & Laura Avalos
PUBLISHED: July 7, 2007
Bless You! (I thought I heard a Sneeze.) Sneezing is a part of Spring in Atlanta, and it has undoubtedly arrived, along with record-breaking pollen counts, to remind us that the flowers and trees in Atlanta are in full bloom. My hope is that your career is in full bloom too. Just as often as the seasons change, so must we as professionals. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1 out of every 4 workers has been with his or her employer under 1 year, and 1 out of every 2 workers has been with the same employer for only 5 years or fewer. Employees just entering today's job market can expect to hold between 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.
That's a hefty amount of change, even for those of you who consider yourselves change advocates! For any of you who are a bit change-resistant, prepare yourself by learning how to job hunt effectively and manage all the seasons of your career. Two imperative strategies for any successful job search are to get a great resume and to work with a great recruiter. We can help with both.
First step, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and request that we add you to our seminar mailing list. We will notify you of all our upcoming job search seminars. Later this month, you can learn how to write a great resume at our new seminar series. Second step, send your resume to email@example.com and we will contact you with opportunities that match your credentials.
Season of Growth: Please take a look at our Execume team: http://www.execume.com/_bio/default.php, which is in a season of growth. Thank you to all of you who have made each season, over the past 17 years, full of positive reward and professional enhancement for each of us who have had the pleasure of serving you. We look forward to helping you continue to succeed and grow.
Gayle Oliver, President and CEO
EARNING A HALO
The sophisticated resume of a fellow alum appears on a hiring manager's desk introducing what seems to be the 'perfect' candidate for the job. In his readiness to fill the position, the hiring manager unwittingly places a 'halo' around the candidate during the interview and makes an offer on the spot. What he fails to notice are various factors during the interview that could easily derail the candidate's chance for success. For the moment, the manager is just happy to have the position filled. Within the first week on the job, however, these overlooked factors become unmistakable. Had the manager taken his time to interview the candidate thoroughly instead of looking through the haze of the 'halo effect,' he might have chosen the most appropriate person for the job--and saved both himself and the candidate some wasted time.
The 'halo effect' is a concept that was introduced by Robert Thorndike in the 1920s to explain how a single attribute can distort our overall perception of another person. As in the example above, people in hiring positions can be especially vulnerable to the 'halo effect' and make the wrong decision for the company. And unfortunately for jobseekers pursuing a solid job opportunity, the 'halo effect' can also be a factor when accepting a position.
Sharing an alma mater or hometown with your interviewer can make conversation come easily and can further your chances with a company, but it can also prevent you from getting the vital information you need in order to make your decision. Make sure you're getting along for the right reasons. Whether you're in danger of being swept off your feet by their approval or you're eager for a certain perk or promotion, you should evaluate the opportunity while you're trying to impress. To avoid the eventual disappointment of being hired for the wrong job, keep the following in mind:
1. Make friendly conversation, but don't let it be the reason you advance to the next round of interviews. Be articulate and know your resume.
2. Ask appropriate questions about both the short- and long-term job expectations in order to get a full understanding of your prospective new role.
3. Ask to meet with someone currently in the role so you can gain an additional perspective (if you feel it may be appropriate).
Everyone wants to perform to their highest potential, so make sure that the company you choose is truly compatible with your skills, interests, and goals. Instead of being easily lured in by the first flush of the 'halo effect,' make your career decisions according to the realities of the job and what it means to your career. Be sure to properly assess compensation, company size, commute, job title, functional accountabilities, and the long-term impact of this decision on your career. This way your well-founded career decisions will ensure a mutual job fit that will allow you and your employer to truly earn your respective halos.
By: LAURA AVALOS
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