Archive for the ‘Careers & Interviewing’ Category

Should you put your extracurricular activities and interests on your resume?

November 1, 2017

More than you think, they may impact your chances of getting an interview.

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Interesting study reported in HBR

The study investigated whether applicants got invited to interview at highly prestigious law firms (though the findings are probably generalizable to other top-notch professional firms).

Here’s the drill:

Imagine four applicants, all of whom attend the same, selective second-tier law school.

They all have phenomenal grade point averages, are on law review, and have identical, highly relevant work experiences.

The only differences are whether they are male or female and if their extracurricular activities suggest they come from a higher-class or lower-class background.

Who gets invited to interview?

More specifically, the researchers used a technique — known as the resume audit method — randomly assigning different items to the resumes and sending applications to real employers to see how they affect the probability of being called back for a job interview.

All applicants were from 2nd tier schools (where top firms don’t typically do on campus interviewing).

All educational, academic, and work-related achievements were identical between the fictitious candidates.

To test gender effects, the applicants were first-named James or Julia.

To “signal” social status, last names were either prestigious sounding “Cabot” or more common “Clark” … and commonly used and and often required portions of resumes were varied: awards and extracurricular activities:

clip_image002

The experiment confirmed some expectations, but there were also surprises …

(more…)

What’s the most common job in the majority of states?

October 17, 2017

Hint #1: 40 years ago, it was “secretary”.

Hint#2: It’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

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Census data was crunched by NPR analysts.

Don’t squint for the labels … just glance at the states’ color coding and make your guess.

 

image

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And, the answer is ….

(more…)

Should you put your extracurricular activities and interests on your resume?

February 3, 2017

More than you think, they may impact your chances of getting an interview.

=======

Interesting study reported in HBR

The study investigated whether applicants got invited to interview at highly prestigious law firms (though the findings are probably generalizable to other top-notch professional firms).

Here’s the drill:

Imagine four applicants, all of whom attend the same, selective second-tier law school.

They all have phenomenal grade point averages, are on law review, and have identical, highly relevant work experiences.

The only differences are whether they are male or female and if their extracurricular activities suggest they come from a higher-class or lower-class background.

Who gets invited to interview?

More specifically, the researchers used a technique — known as the resume audit method — randomly assigning different items to the resumes and sending applications to real employers to see how they affect the probability of being called back for a job interview.

All applicants were from 2nd tier schools (where top firms don’t typically do on campus interviewing).

All educational, academic, and work-related achievements were identical between the fictitious candidates.

To test gender effects, the applicants were first-named James or Julia.

To “signal” social status, last names were either prestigious sounding “Cabot” or more common “Clark” … and commonly used and and often required portions of resumes were varied: awards and extracurricular activities:

clip_image002

The experiment confirmed some expectations, but there were also surprises …

(more…)

What the most common job in the majority of states?

August 25, 2016

Hint #1: 40 years ago, it was “secretary”.

Hint#2: It’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

=======

Census data was crunched by NPR analysts.

Don’t squint for the labels … just glance at the states’ color coding and make your guess.

 

image

=======

And, the answer is ….

(more…)

Survey: Over 2/3’s of employees are motivated and satisfied with their jobs …

April 12, 2016

Yesterday, we posted a survey that reported half of all employees would tell friends and family not to come work from their employer.

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I got curious and dug a little deeper …

(more…)

Warning: The gentleman’s C is dead … long live the gentleman’s A

April 7, 2016

Yep, grade inflation is alive and well.

The Washington Post reported findings from a 70-year retrospective analysis of college grades.

The central conclusion:

“Across the country, wherever and whatever they study, mediocre students are increasingly likely to receive supposedly superlative grades.”

In other words, these days, A is the new “average”.

Now, almost half of all grades given are A’s … triple the percentage from a few decades ago.

C’s – the old “average” – is dying a slow, steady death … and, there’s a higher likelihood of a student being struck by lightning than getting hit with an F.

 

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Here are some explanatory snippets and my take …

(more…)

$$$: How much do MBA interns get paid?

November 16, 2015

According to Business Week, top school MBAs haul in an average of about $1,750 per week for their summer internships.

At HBS, the median is $7,000 per month … that’s about $1,650 per week … which annualizes to about $90k.

Of course, there’s wide variation based on the school and the industry.

Note that Kellogg –- a general management and marketing school – tops the list

image

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Nums: Which professions contribute the most (and least) to society?

November 6, 2015

According to a recent Pew poll, folks perceive that …

Military and teachers contribute the most to society … with doctors, scientists & engineers in the hunt.

Lawyers and business execs contribute the least … with less than 1 in 5 people perceiving that lawyers contribute to society’s well-being.

 

image

Here are some of the details that caught my eye …

(more…)

Hiring: Don’t trust your gut……

October 15, 2015

According to an HBR article “In Hiring, Algorithms Beat Instinct” …

Studies of applicant evaluations shows that a simple equation outperforms human decisions by at least 25%.

And, the effect holds in any situation with a large number of candidates, regardless of whether the job is on the front line, in middle management, or (yes) inthe C~suite.

 

clip_image001

 

Why is that?

(more…)

Dear Sir or Madam: I’m the perfect candidate for the job … oh no, you’re not.

October 2, 2015

US News & World Report says to keep these 10 catch phrases off your cover letter:

1. “I meet the requirements for the position.”Explain why you’re an excellent candidate, not just an adequate one.

2. “I’m hard-working and a great communicator.” These are cliches that cause hiring managers’ eyes to glaze over …and don’t convey anything of substance.

image

3. “I’m a visionary leader.”  Proclaiming this about yourself comes across as, well, weird. Show accomplishments.

4. “You won’t find a candidate better qualified than me.”  This comes off as needlessly cocky hyperbole — and it’s generally inaccurate..

5. “Dear sir or madam.” In most industries, this will come across as an antiquated, stuffy salutation. If you know the hiring manager’s name, use it … if not, simply writing “dear hiring manager” is fine.

Read on for the rest of the top 10 …

(more…)

Are you your worst enemy?

September 18, 2015

Interesting recap article in Business Insider

Basic premise: People fall for predictable psychological traps that can  sabotage their own career success.

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Here are 7 of these potentially limiting psychological traps …

(more…)

What do companies look for in new hires?

May 11, 2015

Her are the top %, according to the National Center for Education Studies

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Since my courses center on problem solving, I’m glad to see that it tops the list.

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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$$$: How much do MBA interns get paid?

April 29, 2015

According to Business Week, top school MBAs haul in an average of about $1,750 per week for their summer internships.

At HBS, the median is $7,000 per month … that’s about $1,650 per week … which annualizes to about $90k.

Of course, there’s wide variation based on the school and the industry.

Note that Kellogg –- a general management and marketing school – tops the list

image

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Dear Sir or Madam: I’m the perfect candidate for the job … oh no, you’re not.

February 13, 2015

US News & World Report says to keep these 10 catch phrases off your cover letter:

1. “I meet the requirements for the position.”Explain why you’re an excellent candidate, not just an adequate one.

2. “I’m hard-working and a great communicator.” These are cliches that cause hiring managers’ eyes to glaze over …and don’t convey anything of substance.

image

3. “I’m a visionary leader.”  Proclaiming this about yourself comes across as, well, weird. Show accomplishments.

4. “You won’t find a candidate better qualified than me.”  This comes off as needlessly cocky hyperbole — and it’s generally inaccurate..

5. “Dear sir or madam.” In most industries, this will come across as an antiquated, stuffy salutation. If you know the hiring manager’s name, use it … if not, simply writing “dear hiring manager” is fine.

(more…)

Bias: How you do depends on who interviewed before you …

January 30, 2015

According to the HBR Daily Stat …

MBA applicants may be at a disadvantage if they interview on a day when several others have already received positive evaluations

Specifically, the 4th Great MBA applicant interviewed on a given day Is less likely to get a high interview score

image

Study results and what to do about them …

(more…)

Morning bias: To get ahead, set your alarm earlier.

January 22, 2015

Excerpted from Quartz: “No matter what the boss says about flextime, get to work early”

Being a “morning person” may be more than virtuous. It may literally be a criteria for career success.

Managers rate workers who get an early start higher than those who get in and stay late, no matter how many hours they work in total or how well they do their jobs.

Apparently, managers have a “morning bias” … that confuses starting time with conscientiousness and productivity.

image

 

Managers perceive employees who start later as less conscientious, and consequently less hard-working and disciplined, and that carries through to performance ratings.

Here’s the proof …

(more…)

$$$: How much do MBA interns get paid?

January 19, 2015

According to Business Week, top school MBAs haul in an average of about $1,750 per week for their summer internships.

At HBS, the median is $7,000 per month … that’s about $1,650 per week … which annualizes to about $90k.

Of course, there’s wide variation based on the school and the industry.

Note that Kellogg –- a general management and marketing school – tops the list

image

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

MBA: Career-switching is back in fashion …

October 20, 2014

According to Business Week: “More MBA grads are switching careers as the job market improves.”

image

Here are the details …

(more…)

Dear Sir or Madam: I’m the perfect candidate for the job … oh no, you’re not.

August 22, 2014

US News & World Report says to keep these 10 catch phrases off your cover letter:

1. “I meet the requirements for the position.”Explain why you’re an excellent candidate, not just an adequate one.

2. “I’m hard-working and a great communicator.” These are cliches that cause hiring managers’ eyes to glaze over …and don’t convey anything of substance.

image

3. “I’m a visionary leader.”  Proclaiming this about yourself comes across as, well, weird. Show accomplishments.

4. “You won’t find a candidate better qualified than me.”  This comes off as needlessly cocky hyperbole — and it’s generally inaccurate..

5. “Dear sir or madam.” In most industries, this will come across as an antiquated, stuffy salutation. If you know the hiring manager’s name, use it … if not, simply writing “dear hiring manager” is fine.

(more…)

Hiring: Don’t trust your gut……

June 26, 2014

According to an HBR article “In Hiring, Algorithms Beat Instinct” …

Studies of applicant evaluations shows that a simple equation outperforms human decisions by at least 25%.

And, the effect holds in any situation with a large number of candidates, regardless of whether the job is on the front line, in middle management, or (yes) inthe C~suite.

 

clip_image001

 

Why is that?

(more…)

Morning bias: To get ahead, set your alarm earlier.

May 19, 2014

Excerpted from Quartz: “No matter what the boss says about flextime, get to work early”

Being a “morning person” may be more than virtuous. It may literally be a criteria for career success.

Managers rate workers who get an early start higher than those who get in and stay late, no matter how many hours they work in total or how well they do their jobs.

Apparently, managers have a “morning bias” … that confuses starting time with conscientiousness and productivity.

image

 

Managers perceive employees who start later as less conscientious, and consequently less hard-working and disciplined, and that carries through to performance ratings.

Here’s the proof …

(more…)

$$$: How much do MBA interns get paid?

May 1, 2014

According to Business Week, top school MBAs haul in an average of about $1,750 per week for their summer internships.

At HBS, the median is $7,000 per month … that’s about $1,650 per week … which annualizes to about $90k.

Of course, there’s wide variation based on the school and the industry.

Note that Kellogg –- a general management and marketing school – tops the list

image

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Nums: Are women still at a disadvantage in the workplace?

February 27, 2014

According to a  WSJ poll

“Women in large numbers believe they face more discrimination in the workplace than in other situations.”

image

= = = = =
The “disadvantages” include lower pay than men …

(more…)

$$$: How much do MBA interns get paid?

February 26, 2014

According to Business Week, top school MBAs haul in an average of about $1,750 per week for their summer internships.

At HBS, the median is $7,000 per month … that’s about $1,650 per week … which annualizes to about $90k.

Of course, there’s wide variation based on the school and the industry.

Note that Kellogg –- a general management and marketing school – tops the list

image

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

MBA: Career-switching is back in fashion …

February 25, 2014

According to Business Week: “More MBA grads are switching careers as the job market improves.”

image

Here are the details …

(more…)

Bias: How you do depends on who interviewed before you …

February 13, 2014

According to the HBR Daily Stat …

MBA applicants may be at a disadvantage if they interview on a day when several others have already received positive evaluations

Specifically, the 4th Great MBA applicant interviewed on a given day Is less likely to get a high interview score

image

Study results and what to do about them …

(more…)

Nums: Which professions contribute the most (and least) to society?

July 12, 2013

According to a recent Pew poll, folks perceive that …

Military and teachers contribute the most to society … with doctors, scientists & engineers in the hunt.

Lawyers and business execs contribute the least … with less than 1 in 5 people perceiving that lawyers contribute to society’s well-being.

 

image

Here are some of the details that caught my eye …

(more…)

MBA: Career-switching is back in fashion …

April 23, 2013

According to Business Week: “More MBA grads are switching careers as the job market improves.”

image

Here are the details …

(more…)

$$$: How much do MBA interns get paid?

April 22, 2013

According to Business Week, top school MBAs haul in an average of about $1,750 per week for their summer internships.

At HBS, the median is $7,000 per month … that’s about $1,650 per week … which annualizes to about $90k.

Of course, there’s wide variation based on the school and the industry.

Note that Kellogg –- a general management and marketing school – tops the list

image

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Nums: Are women still at a disadvantage in the workplace?

April 12, 2013

According to a recently released WSJ poll

“Women in large numbers believe they face more discrimination in the workplace than in other situations.”

image

= = = = =
The “disadvantages” include lower pay than men …

(more…)

Careers: Another reason to get an MBA.

February 5, 2013

Based on BLS reporting, Business and Finance jobs are among the least deadliest professions … except for paper cuts and missed deadline coronaries, there’s not much risk of work-related deaths.

At the other end of the spectrum, “The Deadliest Catch” is on target …  fishermen really do have the greatest risk of dying on-the-job.

According to PlanetMoney

In 2011, fishermen died on-the-job at a rate of 121 per 100,000 fishermen … mostly drowning after boats capsized.

Logging was 2nd … mostly falls from trees and chainsaw accidents.

The pilots who dies were mostly small plane pilots … e.g. crop-dusters and bush-pilots.

image

* * * * *
Bar bet: Note that firemen death rate for firemen is below the national average … you can win some money on that one.

* * * * *
If you’re curious, here’s the BLS’s complete list

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma         >> Latest Posts

Dear Sir or Madam: I’m the perfect candidate for the job … oh no, you’re not.

February 1, 2013

US US News & World Report says to keep these 10 catch phrases off your cover letter:

1. “I meet the requirements for the position.”Explain why you’re an excellent candidate, not just an adequate one.

2. “I’m hard-working and a great communicator.” These are cliches that cause hiring managers’ eyes to glaze over …and don’t convey anything of substance.

image

3. “I’m a visionary leader.”  Proclaiming this about yourself comes across as, well, weird. Show accomplishments.

4. “You won’t find a candidate better qualified than me.”  This comes off as needlessly cocky hyperbole — and it’s generally inaccurate..

5. “Dear sir or madam.” In most industries, this will come across as an antiquated, stuffy salutation. If you know the hiring manager’s name, use it … if not, simply writing “dear hiring manager” is fine.

(more…)

Bias: How you do depends on who interviewed before you …

January 29, 2013

According to the HBR Daily Stat …

MBA applicants may be at a disadvantage if they interview on a day when several others have already received positive evaluations

Specifically, the 4th Great MBA applicant interviewed on a given day Is less likely to get a high interview score

 

image

Study results and what to do about them …

(more…)

Jobs: Get the %$#&@ off your resume…

January 23, 2013

Punch line: We can all agree that every word of your resume should be relevant, well-stated and interesting.

Leaving a few key things off will allow recruiters to easily check off their list of qualifications and get a sense of who you are.

 

cc_red_pen_edit

Here’s what to leave off …

(more…)

Uh-oh: Do female MBAs get paid the same as male counterparts?

December 30, 2012

Answer: The pay gap among graduates of elite business schools is widening, according to new research from Bloomberg Businessweek’s biennial survey of MBA graduates.

Female grads of top MBA programs command only 93 percent of the starting pay of their male classmates. The gap gets bigger as years go by.

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Here are some specific findings …

(more…)

How much are you worth?

December 4, 2012

Punch line: What goes into determining pay?  Here are 8 tips to discover the salary you deserve.

* * * * *
Excerpted from Forbes, “How To Figure Out What You Really Should Be Paid”

Not sure if your salary is commensurate with your skills and accomplishments?

Curious how your pay measures up to others’ in your field? Want to know what you’re really worth?

Capture

Here’s how to determine your value in the labor market:

(more…)

WSJ: M.B.A.s Rethink Wall Street

October 31, 2012

According to the WSJ

Repeated cutbacks have dulled Wall Street’s luster for some prospective Masters of the Universe, in the latest reflection of the gloom overhanging the finance industry.

A Wall Street gig “isn’t as prestigious as it used to be” because the future—promotion opportunities, salary gains, even basic job security— is so unclear.

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“Students’ interest and appetite has become much, much more diverse” over the past decade, says Julie Morton, associate dean of career services and corporate relations at University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Students are increasingly lured by start-ups and stable jobs at consumer-products firms and industrial conglomerates.

>> Latest Posts

Make ‘you’ your favorite brand …

October 29, 2012

Punch line: In today’s competitive job market, professionals must create a personal brand to stand out in the crown.  Using the traditional 4 P’s as a framework can help you develop a killer personal brand.

* * * * *
Excerpted from mashable.com’s, “How to Create a Killer Personal Branding Campaign”

Call it self-marketing, personal branding, professional development, or any other buzzword you’d like. In any case, both finding a job and climbing the career ladder are all about investing in the business of you.

personal-branding

As a professional, you are a brand unto yourself.

The target market for the unique value you provide are employers who are constantly bombarded with messages from your competitors and always on the lookout for innovation.

Though the boundaries of traditional marketing no longer exist due to online media and new digital technologies, its core tactics can be reworked to guide your self-marketing strategy online.

  • Product: Be Consistent and Recognizable.  You must determine who you are as a professional and build a personal brand around your core strengths, skills and experience. What do you bring to the table that others in your industry do not?
  • Price: Know Your Value.  In addition to accounting for the value you add to an organization, you must decide what you are worth and what your bottom line is.
  • Place: Recognize Your Niche.  As a professional, you are only one person. Thus, it’s critical that you select a sphere of influence and stick with it, though it could be based on industry or knowledge base as much as geography.
  • Promotion: Communicate Your Brand.  How will you communicate your messages to the market you’ve targeted? Selecting the appropriate mediums means the difference between being heard loud and clear or getting lost in the clutter.

Whether you’re looking for a job or desire to be considered an expert in your industry, you can meet your objectives by building a brand around yourself — effectively leaving a memorable first impression and making people want to learn more about you.

Edit by BJP

>> Latest Posts

Where do MBA’s want to work?

October 1, 2012

Punch line: Google, KPMG, P&G, Microsoft and Deloitte top the list of MBA’s most sought after jobs.

* * * * *
Excerpted from businessweek.com’s “Hot Jobs, Google, KPMG, P&G, Top 2012 Rankings”

The world’s college business students have spoken: The single, most coveted job in the world isn’t with some big-name consulting firm or high-flying investment bank.

For the fourth consecutive year, it’s with Google, whose incomparable perks and startup-like culture have catapulted the search giant to a seemingly permanent place atop Universum‘s annual list of the most highly desired employers.

Capture

Top 10 Desired Employers for MBA Students:

  1. Google
  2. KPMG
  3. Procter & Gamble
  4. Microsoft
  5. Deloitte
  6. Ernst & Young
  7. Pricewaterhouse Cooper
  8. JPMorgan Chase
  9. Coca-Cola
  10. Goldman Sachs

What separates the winners from the losers is innovative products and services, a relaxed and creative work environment, global opportunities, benefits and perks, and the ability to advance one’s career and personal brand by working for a company.

Millennials are interested in the ‘me brand,’ and they are more concerned about their employ-ability.  They want a company with a good reputation. They want to say they work for a ‘cool’ company.  Each of the companies at the top of the list has different characteristics that make it cool.

Whole industries can benefit from the perception that that they can serve to advance careers, which is what seems to have happened with management consulting.  Consulting as a career is really interesting for people leaving college to develop a set of skills that are transferable to different industries. 

Nowadays, the hunt for talent revolves around understanding the unique needs of millennials.  At P&G, the company tries to give new college graduates a chance to try on different hats.  To increase brand awareness among young people, P&G has undertaken targeted marketing efforts such as the “Thanks, Mom” ad campaign, which aired during the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Microsoft, the other company on the rise with job hunters, hires several thousand undergraduates from around the world each year. Mostly discovered through the internship pipeline and on-campus recruiting, these young people are drawn to the company’s willingness to give them real responsibility from the start.

Edit by BJP

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Ask less, get more … keep your mouth shut when conducting interviews

September 25, 2012

Punch line: The more questions you ask, the more you learn about a job candidate, right?

Wrong.

Here is a better strategy.

image

* * * * *

Excerpted from Inc.com , “Best Interview Technique You Never Use”

Sometimes, instead of asking questions, the best interviewing technique is to listen slowly.

In Change-Friendly Leadership, management coach Rodger Dean Duncan describes how he learned about listening slowly from PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer:

“He urged me to ask a good question, listen attentively to the answer, and then count silently to five before asking another question … Giving other people sufficient psychological breathing room seemed to work wonders.”

Once you give candidates a silent hole to fill, they’ll fill it, often in unexpected and surprising ways.

A shy candidate may fill the silence by sharing positive information she wouldn’t have otherwise shared. A candidate who came prepared with “perfect” answers to typical interview questions may fill the silence with not-so-positive information he never intended to disclose.

Edit by JDC

>> Latest Posts

10 qualities of successful entrepreneurs

September 19, 2012

Punch line: Not enough people understand who entrepreneurs are or how to develop them. Jim Clifton, Gallup Chairman and CEO, uncovers what propels these exceptional businesspeople.

Pensive businessman - Image by flickr user s_falkow

* * * * *

Excerpted fro Gallup Business Journal, “What Drives Entrepreneurs to Win”

In his book The Coming Jobs War, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton calls entrepreneurship the “scarcest, rarest, hardest energy and talent in the world to find.”

So how do you rise above the challenges that entrepreneurship poses? Clifton offers some sage advice.

  1. Know your personal brand. Successful entrepreneurs know themselves well and can perceive others accurately.
  2. Take on challenges. Entrepreneurs [should] stretch themselves, raise the bar, face their fears, and [be] willing to experiment.
  3. Think through possibilities and practicalities. Entrepreneurs must be creative and think beyond the boundaries of what exists.
  4. Promote the business. Successful entrepreneurs are their own best spokespeople.
  5. Focus on business outcomes. Highly successful entrepreneurs judge decisions … based on their observed or anticipated effect on profit … [and they] set goals and live by their commitment to them.
  6. Be a perpetual student of the business. Continually gaining input and acquiring the knowledge and skills required to grow the business are essential to an entrepreneur’s success.
  7. Be self-reliant. Successful entrepreneurs are prepared to do whatever must be done to see the business succeed.
  8. Be a self-starter. Successful entrepreneurs are passionate doers who push to make things happen.
  9. Multiply yourself through delegation. Entrepreneurs who are successful … are willing and able to contemplate a shift in style and control.
  10. Build relationships. The ability to build strong relationships is crucial for survival and growth. Successful entrepreneurs are adept at building relationships, have strong social awareness and can attract and maintain a constituency.

Edit by JDC

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MBA applicants declining … more $$$ for top students and minorities.

September 14, 2012

Punch line: Top US business schools are reporting single and double digit applicant decline, making admission easier for candidates.  After years of applicant increases, admissions offices explain the trend by tough competition – with cheaper and more convenient programs, and ramped up efforts from 2nd tier schools. 

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* * * * *

Excerpted from businessweek.com’s, “At Top Business Schools, an MBA Application Drought.”

In the last few weeks, a handful of top business schools have reported single-digit, and in some cases double-digit, declines in applications for their full-time MBA classes, including most recently Columbia Business School and New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Full-time MBA applications have sunk at at least a dozen of the top 30 B-schools.

Among the schools that have reported declines are the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the Yale School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (down 3.5 percent, 9.5 percent, and 7 percent, respectively).

A handful of schools reported even steeper drops, including Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, where applications fell 18 percent, and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, with a significant dip of nearly 21 percent.

The decline in applications is attributed to increased competition from rival business schools and a plethora of available choices, including part-time and online programs.

Second-tier schools are working more aggressively to recruit top MBA candidates and entice them with hefty financial aid packages.  “…employer sponsorship for full-time MBA programs is almost nonexistent, and doing an MBA part-time or online can be an attractive offer for some students, especially when there is funding available.

With a smaller pool of MBA applicants, getting an offer to a top business school has become slightly easier … To meet their target enrollment for this year’s incoming MBA class, schools had to work harder to ensure admitted students accepted their offers. For many of those schools, that extra push paid off. Yield was up at nine of the 13 schools on which information was available.

This year, competition was especially stiff for women, underrepresented minorities, and students from nontraditional work backgrounds, says Liz Riley Hargrove at Fuqua. “It was just a really competitive environment, and I think it impacted everybody’s yield this year,” she says.

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The toughest 25 companies to interview with …

August 23, 2012

image

According to the Business Insider, these are the 25 companies that throw the toughest interviews …

  1. McKinsey
  2. BCG
  3. Oliver Wyman
  4. A.T. Kearney
  5. ZS Associates
  6. ThoughtWorks
  7. Bain
  8. Shell
  9. Google
  10. Unisys
  11. Rackspace Hosting
  12. Cypress Semiconductor
  13. Susqueanna Int’l Group
  14. Bazaarvoice
  15. P&G
  16. Teach for America
  17. LEK Consulting
  18. Juniper
  19. Sapient
  20. Stryker
  21. General Mills
  22. Progressive
  23. Headstrong
  24. Facebook
  25. Amazon

Note: the high proportion of consulting and tech companies …

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What qualities are coveted by employers?

March 20, 2012

According to Jenn Folsom of Momentum Resources (MSB MBA ‘02):

Nothing beats A+ communication skills, both verbal and written.

Our clients also love to see creative problem solvers and “get it done” types of people.

They need those who can strike the balance of being able to work successfully in a team and without direction.

It’s all about results

Jenn’s full interview in ForbesWoman is worth reading

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Timing is everything …

January 18, 2012

Interesting op-ed in the WSJ over the weekend: The Truth About Bain and Jobs

The article’s punch line: Job creation and destruction are both relentless. The small difference between the two is what we call prosperity.

Painstaking research by economists Steven J. Davis and John Haltiwanger revealed a side of America’s dynamism that isn’t always pretty.

Between 1977 and 2005, years roughly overlapping Mr. Romney’s business career, some 15% of all jobs were destroyed every year, even as total jobs grew by an average of 2% a year.

Job creation and destruction are both relentless, the authors showed in paper after paper.

The small difference between the two is what we call prosperity.

Good point !

For me, a second point hit very close to home:

Nobody—not even those whose billions were earned in private equity  —envisioned the astounding rise in business values in the gilded ’80s and ’90s.

When Mr. Romney was asked by his boss to start Bain Capital in 1983, the Dow was at 1086.50.

When he left on Feb. 11, 1999 to run the Olympics, it was 9363.46.

His is not the only recent fortune owed partly to this accident of timing (Warren Buffett’s and many others come to mind).

Indeed, if we’re being honest, Mitt here is representative of a generation of professionals whose serendipity it was to have spent the 1970s on our education and then to be spit into the job market just as one of history’s great economic liftoffs was taking place.

But, when private-equity investors sniff a profit opportunity, they are probabusually one step ahead of everybody else.

Of course, I like the swipe at Warren Buffett who, in my opinion, is way over-rated.

But, the author reminds me that I owe a lot to timing, too.

As Grandma Homa used to say: “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be smart.”

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Moneyball gone wild … companies getting creative searching for talent

November 19, 2011

Interesting read in Biz Week re: how companies are using creative methods recruiting to land talent.

Think next generation “Moneyball”.

A new era of talent hunting has begun.

It’s happening not only at high-tech companies such as Facebook, but also at Army bases, ad agencies, investment banks, Hollywood studies, corporate boardrooms, college admissions offices, and even at nanny agencies.

In all these fields, experts don’t just sort résumés. They pick people and build teams in a profoundly different way.

Traditional measures of past achievement, such as test scores and academic degrees, are losing power, and companies are getting better at looking for those future superstars who deliver many times the value of someone who is merely good.

Business Week, The Rare Find: Reinventing Recruiting

 

Some examples:

 

Facebook publishes gnarly programming challenges and invites engineers anywhere to solve them.

Not the superficial brainteasers that some companies used, like estimating the number of piano tuners in Chicago.

Instead, Facebook’s website issues multi-hour tests of coding prowess.

 

Google concluded that it had been looking at résumés far too narrowly.

The company had started out by focusing inordinately on candidates’ education, grade-point averages, and even SAT scores. 

They were missing candidates:

  • Whose grades had faltered because they were working 30 hours a week to pay for college
  • Highly competitive people who had chased an athletic dream when they were younger — and now were applying that same relentless energy to professional goals
  • People who weren’t great students but had been running businesses, tutoring, volunteering, and otherwise being civic leaders from their teenage days onward.

Now at Google, several dozen factors — including tidbits like the age when a recruit got into computers — are used to help predict candidates’ chances.

And, they spend time looking at  resumes “upside down.”  … Now, they start with “interest” to if some special, rare attribute could point the way to greatness.

 

Corporate directors are also taking fresh looks at the process of picking chief executive officers.

Recent academic studies show that charisma and affability may be overrated as traits that lead to CEO success.

Efficiency, problem-solving, and hard-nosed accountability appear to be more valuable.

 

 Full article is worth browsing.

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Aiming for the 1%, MBAs still flock to Wall Street…

October 26, 2011

So what if Wall Street firms almost caused the world economy to implode.

So what if a couple of the biggest firms cratered and bonuses have been slashed.

So, what is the Feds and protesters have the evil bankers in their sites.

Sill, according to the WSJ, MBA grads are heading to Wall Street – if they can land offers.

Financial-services industry hiring at the big Master of Business Administration programs hit a post financial-crisis high this year.

Employers such as banks, hedge funds, investment managers, private equity and venture capital firms hired 39% of job-seeking 2011 graduates at Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management, 36% at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and 51% at Columbia Business School.

Even in an age of heavy layoffs, shrinking bonus pools and noisy antibank protests, it is no mystery why M.B.A. students keep entering the revolving door that is Wall Street. It pays well and carries considerable prestige.

But those getting jobs in finance will be entering an industry undergoing a massive belt-tightening, as investors flee banks hammered by a weak economy, tumultuous markets and tightening regulation.

“You’re vulnerable if you’re in that five-, seven- or nine-year range. You’re expensive and you don’t have clients.”

Investment bankers with about five years of experience can command compensation of close to $400,000.

New hires from business schools can expect about one-third as much.

Have to admit that I’m surprised that interest in finance careers hasn’t slowed a bit.

I guess there’s nothing like the smell of money.

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The bleak job market for 2010 grads …

August 31, 2010

Some factoids from USA Today …

  • About 2.4 million students graduated with bachelor’s and associates degrees as part of the Class of 2010
  • Fewer than half of employers plan to hire recent college grads in 2010 … 79% in 2007
  • Two-thirds of those graduating with a bachelor’s degree are saddled with an average of $23,186 in federal and private loans
  • Among 2009 U.S. college graduates, 80% moved back home with their parents after graduation up from 67% in 2006.
  • Those with computer-related degrees led their class with an average job offer of $58,746.

Source: USA Today;Toughest test comes after graduation: Getting a job, 5/21/2010
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2010-05-19-jobs19_CV_N.htm?csp=obnetwork

More education means more work … so who’s the smart one ?

August 5, 2010

People tend to assume that education opens doors.

That may be true in a lot of cases, but for some American men in the past 20 years, more education has meant less leisure time.

But since 1985, a leisure-time gap has developed among men: Less educated men have devoted more time to leisure, while more educated guys have kept their shoulders to the wheel.

What’s the main explanation?

It could be that as men get more education — and thus more earning power — it becomes more rewarding for them to spend time working.

After all, they’re making more money.

Sourced from US News: Why Relax When You Can Work?, April 9, 2008
http://money.usnews.com/money/business-economy/articles/2008/04/09/why-relax-when-you-can-work.html

Job candidates behaving badly … 8 bonehead moves.

June 30, 2010

From the WSJ:  eight bone-headed moves job hunters commonly make. …

1. Entitlement syndrome.

One company received an unsolicited résumé full of grammatical and spelling errors with a note asking to have someone on the company’s staff correct them. “I’m sure you have people there that could fix them before they put it into your online database on my behalf,” the applicant wrote.

2. Behaving rudely.

A candidate for an administrative position showed up to an interview with a preschooler in tow.

A candidate for an entry-level outsourcing job at Accenture Ltd. unwrapped a sandwich during an interview and asked the hiring manager if he could eat it since it was lunchtime.

Job hunters have also acted rudely by showing up more than an hour early for interviews, interrupting interviewers in mid-sentence and refusing to fill out a job application, referring hiring managers to their résumés instead, say hiring managers and recruiters.

3. Acting arrogantly.

In the middle of the meeting, the interviewer suddenly heard Madonna singing — it was the ring tone for the candidate’s cell phone … and the person took the call.

Other candidates show arrogance by demanding to bypass human resources, inquiring about salary and job benefits at the start of an interview and insulting former employers.

4. Lies, lies, lies.

Job hunters also commonly lie by taking credit for work they didn’t do, inflating their salaries and saying they don’t smoke when seeking positions at companies with no-smoking policies.

5. Dressing down.

“She was wearing a t-shirt three sizes too small with bright red letters across her chest … I couldn’t help but pay more attention to her breasts than her résumé.”

While it might be acceptable to skip a suit and tie in some office environments, it’s never appropriate to wear jeans, cleavage-revealing tops, flip-flops or skin-tight pants.

“You should also take out all your funky piercings and hide your tattoos.” 

6. Oversharing.

After learning that a position involved a great deal of travel, a candidate for a senior sales job at a midsize manufacturer told the interviewer he was worried about how his saltwater fish would get fed while he was away.

Other things employers say that job hunters reveal — but shouldn’t — include comments about their health problems, details about their love lives and tales of their financial hardships.

7. Saying thanks with gifts.

A finalist sent a pricey fruit bowl from Tiffany & Co. to a hiring manager following a third interview. The candidate was instantly knocked out of the running. “That was a real big faux pas … It’s trying to buy yourself a job..”

A thank-you note is really the only appropriate way to show appreciation. But even so, hiring managers say they’ve received everything from pricey tickets to sporting events to bottles of alcohol —a ll big no-no’s.

8. Sporting a mom-and-dad complex.

One recruiter reports has receiving emails from parents of applicants asking why the company hasn’t extended their adult children job interviews.

“There’s a significant lack of judgment when you have your parents intercede with a potential employer … We expect individuals to be able to represent themselves and sell themselves.”

Hiring managers say they’ve also seen moms and dads accompany their offspring to job interviews and try to intervene in salary negotiations.

WSJ, Big Blunders Job Hunters Make,JUNE 25, 2010
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615104575328641186507512.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLESixthNews