3 Golden Truths We Can Learn From The U.S. Women Olympic Team

Female athletes contributed 55% of America’s total medals and 66% of the gold metals. Without women pulling more than their fair share, America would probably have finished a distant second behind China in the medal count.

An Impressive Success!!!

Without question the women of the U.S. Olympic team turned in a specular performance at the 2012 London Olympics.   Their feats were even more remarkable when considering what they were able to collectively accomplish.

  • Of the 5 world records established by the U.S. Olympians during the games all were set by female athletes.  Highlighted by Rebecca Soni who broke her own world record in the 200 meter breaststroke.
  • Female athletes contributed 55% of America’s total medals and 66% of the gold metals. Without women pulling more than their fair share, America would probably have finished a distant second behind China in the medal count.
  • So dominant were the U.S. women that had they seceded to from the men and formed their own team, they would have been third in the medal count.

An impressive success indeed!!!

Our women did more than just kicked butt and took names in London; their extraordinary show of excellence provides three golden truths about gender equality.  These golden truths show the power that gender equality has not only in sports but in every walk of life and what is possible when our nation lives up to the creed; “That all “men and women” are created equal”.

Golden Truth Number One: Leveling the Playing Field Works

There are many reasons why the U.S. women were dominant, but one very clear one is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year: Title IX.   Title IX is a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, mandating equality in college athletic and team sports for women.

Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, gave the legislation full marks in moving America toward dominance in women’s athletics.  “Title IX has fundamentally altered the landscape of what it means to be female and an athlete,” said Kane. “In one generation, we’ve gone from girls hoping there is a team to girls hoping they make the team.”

Golden Truth Number Two: The Distinctive Advantage Women Provide the U.S. Economy  

The United States Olympic Committee sent a total of 539 athletes 261 men 278 women to the Olympics in London to compete in 25 sports.  For the first time in its history, the U.S. was represented by more female than male athletes at an Olympic event.  208 of our athletes won at least one medal and as documented earlier 66% of those metal winners were women

Women comprise 50.9% of the U.S. population.  While countries we compete against like China have a higher number of females in their population the equal access to the tools of economic growth, education, jobs, and capital that the U.S. provides gives our nation a distinctive economic advantage.  Because like our Olympic team when we fully engage our half our population –women, the entire country benefits.   Data from the 2010 census provides strong evidence of the growing power of females in our economy

  • 38% of women 25 and older now hold a bachelor’s degrees a full 10% higher than the corresponding number for men.
  • 28% of all business are owned by women up from 10% from the 2000 census.
  •  7.5 million people are employed by women owned businesses.

 

Golden Truth Number Three: There is More Work to be Done

Despite the splendid performance of the U.S. Women Olympians every athlete knows that there is much more work to do.  Our women will be stiffly challenged in 2014 during the Sochi, Russia Winter Olympic Games.  Nations envious of our female achievements will be gunning for the Americans in 2016 as the games will be staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

There is also more work to be done on the economic stage along with the economic gains by woman sighted in the 2010 census we find these nagging realities:

  • Women earn 77.4 cents for every dollar earned by men
  • Women currently hold 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions
  • The unemployment rate for men dropped more than 1 percent between 2009 and 2011, while women’s unemployment rate rose about half a percent during that same time.

The Bottom Line

While there’s no question that women’s sports lag behind men’s in attendance and funding, the performance of our woman’s Olympic team proves that Title IX has helped transform the landscape of women’s athletics. In the two generations after its passage, it’s no longer considered unusual for a girl to play sports growing up; indeed, it’s become more unusual for girls not to play a sport. With more girls starting sports, more girls have the opportunity to learn that they like them, and the more girls who play sports as kids, the more women who excel at sports as adults.

However, the torch must be passed from success on playing field to equality in the pay envelope, achievement in the board room, and reduction of the female unemployment rate.   If we can achieve this, the golden truth of the 2012 U.S. Woman’s Olympic team’s triumph will be a golden legacy of greatness for our country.

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The Marben Bland Group houses over 60 professional career consultants, business experts and social media strategies with  20  plus years of collective experience offering a wide range of social media, recruiting and job search services worldwide.

5 Guidelines for creating almost perfect email subject lines

Ah subject lines…

Those less than ten-word phrases that can entice your potential reader to actually chose your email out of the long list of email in the inbox.

Ah subject lines… aren’t they a joy to create?

I wish I could tell you that somewhere out there is the perfect subject line, one that could ensure your emails are opened.  However, I can tell you that creating almost perfect subject lines is possible and it starts with understanding certain guidelines about your readers 5 guidelines to be exact.

1. People do NOT like to have their time wasted

I don’t need to tell you how much people value their time. When it comes to your emails, you have at most, only a few minutes to get your message across. When it comes to your subject line, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention. It’s no surprise then that subject lines with less than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more, and click-through rates are 75% higher.

2. People won’t act unless told to do so

Before sending your email, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take?

Keep in mind your subject line will be the first impression you’re email has on your reader.   Making the subject it your first call-to-action will improve the likelihood of your email being opened and that action being taken.

3. People respond to numbers

Numbers help quantify any message and put the content people are receiving into terms they understand. Whether it’s a percentage (Learn how to grow your Facebook fan base by 400%) or a list (10 steps to getting more friends on Facebook) or a monetary value (How one business made $5,000 from marketing on Facebook)—numbers can take a complex problem like getting better results on Facebook and present it in a way people will respond to.

4. People are more likely to act when they feel a sense of urgency

Please do not take this as a call to add “ACT NOW!” or “LIMITED TIME OFFER!” to every one of your subject lines. But do take it as a call to consider using urgency to invigorate your customer base. This is especially true if you’re running a promotion, having a sale, or trying to drive attendance to an upcoming event. In these situations, the difference between using a subject line like: “Our annual end of summer sale is next week” or “Only 5 days until our end of summer sale begins” can be huge. One tells people you’re having a sale and the other tells people you’re having a sale and they better start getting ready.

5. People care more about the sender than the message

While the content of your email and the design of your subject line are important—nothing is more important than the relationship the recipient has with the sender (that’s you!). According to a recent Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what is in the subject line.

Want the best results? Tell people who the email is from in the subject line.

Here are three ways to do that using my fictional business, Pinkham’s Pies:

[Pinkham’s Pies] We’re sharing our secret apple pie recipe

A secret pie recipe from Pinkham’s Pies

Pinkham’s Pies News: Our secret apple pie recipe revealed

The Bottom Line

Your e-mail competes with; other personal e-mails, e-mail marketing communications, work e-mail and those always welcomed joke emails!!!   To be heard above the noise your subject line must set you apart but at the same time you have to establish a connection with your readers that will compel them to open your email just because it is from you.  Ah those subject lines!!!!!

Power Up Your Business Card

I bet you have a stack of other people’s business cards somewhere around your workspace that you kind-of, sort-of, should really, do something with—if only you knew what/where/when/how and/or had the time to do it.

I am going to make a grand assumption…

I bet you have a stack of other people’s business cards somewhere around your workspace that you kind-of, sort-of, should really, do something with—if only you knew what/where/when/how and/or had the time to do it.

Am I right?

We all end up with this business card dilemma for two specific reasons.

  1. We don’t have a system in place to deal with incoming cards.
  2. You’ve been given business cards that are uninspiring and have no clear call to action

So, what do you do?

First: Business Cards = Jobs

So here’s the thing—some of those cards could belong to people who would be great connections for your job search.   AND if their cards end up lying around on your desk, YOUR cards might end up lying around on theirs!

Second: Each Business Card Deserves a Follow-Up Message

For every card you receive, you should make an effort to do some sort of follow-up with that person. This can be as simple as sending an email or give them a call. My idea of a good follow-up message goes something like this:

Hi [put their first name in here],

It was great to meet you at [wherever you met them], and I’d love to keep in touch. I’m going to send you a LinkedIn request, and I hope that you will accept.

[If there was something specific you talked about, refer to it here. Maybe send them a link to an article on the subject they might find interesting]

Take care, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

[Your name]

Third: Make Sure Your Business Cards have a Clear Call to Action

If you’re tired of receiving business cards from other people that are uninspiring and give you no reason to follow-up, then learn from their mistakes.

Make sure your business cards provide a clear call to action so the receiver actually wants to follow-up.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when creating your business cards:

ALWAYS use double sided business cards.

On one side of your card, put your contact information—you don’t know how people will want to connect with you— so that means including your email, mobile phone number, and links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Page, website, etc.

Now, on the BACK of your card, put your call to action (CTA).  A CTA is simply what you are looking for.  The CTA will provide guidance to your new contact making it easier for them to help you.    You can also create a Quick Response Code (QR) that will create a smart phone readable scan connecting to your online resume, Y-Tube video, blog or other online content that will support your job search.

The Bottom Line: Now … get to it!

Now that you know how to use your business cards (and those you collect from others) to power your job search I urge you to put the information to work go from the business card to the job.

 

10 Great Jobs For Older Workers

While older employees are less likely to be laid off than their younger counterparts, it generally takes older job seekers longer to find new employment. The median duration of unemployment for older workers was 35 weeks in 2011, compared with 26 weeks for younger employees. And 55 percent of unemployed older workers spent more than 27 weeks actively seeking a new job in 2011, up from less than a quarter in 2007.

Older worker unemployment has increased dramatically during The Great Recession. The unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older increased from 3.1 percent in December 2007 to a high of 7.6 percent in February 2010, before dropping to 6 percent in December 2011.

While older employees are less likely to be laid off than their younger counterparts, it generally takes older job seekers longer to find new employment. The median duration of unemployment for older workers was 35 weeks in 2011, compared with 26 weeks for younger employees. And 55 percent of unemployed older workers spent more than 27 weeks actively seeking a new job in 2011, up from less than a quarter in 2007.

Why unemployed older workers are having difficulty finding new jobs?

A recent Government Accountability Office report examines the barriers to employment for people who were laid off at age 55 or later.

High salary expectations. Some employers may be reluctant to hire people who earned a high salary at a previous position, according to employment experts, workforce professionals, and focus group participants interviewed by GAO. “Employers may expect that an older worker who accepts a job paying significantly less than the worker had previously earned might continue to search for a higher-paying job and might leave the job if a better offer became available,” according to the report. GAO suggests that older workers “learn how to present their skills and experiences to potential employers in a way that does not draw attention to their age, extensive years of experience, and past high-level positions.”

Younger bosses.

Hiring managers may believe that older employees would be unhappy working for a younger or less experienced supervisor. Workers who previously held a management position could have difficultly adapting to a lower-level job. Older job seekers should develop interview responses that can diffuse employer concerns about hiring older workers. Consider pointing out why you would be a good fit at the company, that you are willing to work for less pay than you received in the past, and that you are comfortable reporting to a younger manager and working collaboratively with people of all ages.

Out of date skills.

Employers are increasingly requiring job seekers to submit applications and resumes online. Older workers who lack computer and other technology skills have a disadvantage in finding work. “Employers are in a position to select from a bounty of highly skilled, well-educated, and most cost-effective applicants,” says Joseph Carbone, president and CEO of The WorkPlace, a workforce development firm in Bridgeport, Conn. “Without ongoing efforts to keep skills current during protracted periods of unemployment, the less marketable a person becomes.”

What to do if you can’t find a job?

If you can’t find a job, consider volunteer work or taking continuing education classes so that you won’t have gaps in your resume and will learn new skills. “Many older unemployed workers simply need help navigating today’s web-based job search landscape,” says Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “For other older workers displaced after many years with a single employer or within a single industry, the key to improving employment prospects may be as straightforward as a course in the latest version of Microsoft Office, or as intensive as getting credentialed in a new occupation.”

10 Hot Jobs For Older Workers

University Jobs

Universities offer plenty of good teaching and administrative options for older workers. Plus, it can be a good way to feel young again. Cornell in particular ranked number 1 on the AARP’s list of best places to work over 50, thanks to its job placement programs that specifically target seniors and a workplace culture that is very comfortable for older employees.  Cornell currently employs close to 4,000 people over 50 years old. Other universities that ranked high on AARP’s list were George Mason, M.I.T., Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma City University. Salaries vary widely by position and university.

Public School Teacher

If you prefer to work with younger kids, or to go where people are really needed, why not try teaching at a public school? There is a large demand for more public school teachers in this country and according to CNN Money, there are now “alternative certification programs aimed at older workers.” These programs “can pay for and speed up the process of becoming a teacher. “Not only would you be doing something incredibly useful, but the majority of public school teachers make $50,000 or more.
Consulting

One of the best options for people looking to retire is to consider doing consulting work part-time. According one study, the number of consultants is expected to increase by more than 20% from now through 2016. This is a great way to continue working in your current profession. Best of all, consultants usually work remotely, so you can at least retire your commute. Salaries vary based on the field for which you’d consult. Sales consultants average about $50,000 while information technologies consultants, for example, earn anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000.

Financial Planner

With the economy still reeling, Americans are in need of qualified financial advisers now more than ever (especially the guy in this picture). Financial advisors help them make crucial investment decisions, and it’s one profession where having some gray hairs may work to your advantage, helping you look more experienced and trustworthy. According to CNN Money, nearly half of all financial advisers are self-employed, meaning you won’t have to take any guff in the workplace for being a little older. If you do choose to work for a larger company, the AARP recommends H&R Block, Robert Half F&A and Accounting Principals. With enough experience, financial advisers can earn more than $100,000.
Volunteer

If you’re not looking to make a lot of money, and just want to do something useful, why not try volunteering? There are plenty of programs tailored specifically for senior citizens. The Senior Corps, a national service program, is always looking for retirees to work as foster grandparents. In this position, your goal would be to serve as a mentor. Volunteers work up to 40 hours a week and some earn a tax-free, hourly stipend.

Religious Leader

It may sound like a strange choice but as CNN Money notes, it’s definitely a job that will give you meaning later in life when you need it. And it pays decently, too. The average religious leader earns more than $40,000 a year.

Health Care Technician

Also known as nurse’s aids or personal support workers, healthcare technicians rank as one of the best jobs for retirees, according to the AARP. These technicians can work in patient care, do research in labs, or help with radiology work, to name a few options. It’s meaningful work that pays well and doesn’t require too much prior experience in field. All you need is one to four years of training beyond high school in a particular health care specialty. Technicians can earn as much as $50,000, depending on their specialty.

Retail Sales

If you’re able to convince customers to buy an item, it doesn’t matter what your age is. Whether you’re looking to work in cosmetics or electronics, there could be an option available to you to work as a retail salesperson. This is an especially good option right now, during the holidays, if you’re looking to make some extra cash. These positions typically pay anywhere from $15 to $30 an hour.

Banks

People may be criticizing banks these days, but they are a good place to work for older Americans. There are opportunities for older people to work in customer service or as tellers and managers. The AARP recommends working at several banks in particular including Wachovia and Bank of America. Managers make at least $50,000 and tellers usually make $10-$15 an hour.

Government Jobs

If you don’t know where else to work, why not try getting a government job. MSN reports that three government sectors in particular frequently hire candidates over 50: the IRS, Peace Corp and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance. Not only are these jobs pretty stable, but they provide excellent health benefits. If you’re interested, check out job listings on this site. Salaries vary based on position.

The Bottom Line

The typical American couple now needs nearly half a million dollars in savings to last through their retirement. As if that burden weren’t enough, The Great Recession has forced many seniors to delay leaving the workforce. Others who were already retired have returned to work at least part-time to make ends meet.
As the economy improves, it seems likely that Americans will work more years as they continue live longer. With that in mind, the Smart Job Searcher has extended their working lives by taking on financially necessary employment that can be some of the rewarding of their professional lives.

 

 

Can you really find a job on Facebook?

Facebook has massive user activity and social data, but is still relegated to personal use and content sharing, so for right now it is not a place to find a job.

Can you really find a job on Facebook?

While LinkedIn represents a pure play on next generation online recruiting, Facebook is instead seeding numerous markets. Facebook has massive user activity and social data, but is still relegated to personal use and content sharing. Everyone knows that Facebook will look to disrupt major online marketplaces (recruiting, auctions, eCommerce, search) etc… but for right now, it seems much more focused on acquiring users and building traffic.

Facebook itself has not focused on recruiting, which leaves a lucrative white space open to technology startups. Recruiting technology companies are fighting to gain market share and traction before either: A. Facebook develops its own recruiting technology or B. Facebook entirely concedes professional networking to LinkedIn.

Technology companies approach recruiting with Facebook in very different ways. Each of these five types of technology have been receiving heavy interest and investment lately:

  • Social distribution: Recruiting technology that focuses on delivering the job through a normal channel, such as a career jobsite or job board, but then enables social distribution through Facebook and other services. These companies use the social graph of the employees at the company recruiting. For example, a job is posted through the company website and then “pushed” out through the company Facebook page and individual employee accounts for magnified and focused distribution.
  • Metadata Layering: Facebook has tons of personal data, but for professional data, it’s about as useful as eharmony. Entire companies are springing up based on the Facebook social graph, which focus on overlaying additional professional data (or metadata) on top of Facebook. These services trust that Facebook will be the de facto standard for user authentication on the web – all that is needed to recruit with Facebook is to add a professional contextual layer.
  • Recruitment Ad Distribution: Facebook is an incredibly efficient advertising platform. Services such as Facebook sponsored stories “socialize” advertisements through the endorsement of friends. These personal ads coming from a user’s own friends seem like an ideal platform for job referrals and recruitment marketing. Some recruiting technology companies have focused on Facebook advertising – delivering efficient ways to measure recruitment metrics, spend, and channel performance.
  • Facebook Page Optimization: Most large companies have begun using their Facebook page as a primary vehicle for branding and company communication. Delivering employment branding and actual jobs through the Facebook page is an obvious strategy – but one that requires expertise that most HR departments don’t have internally. Some recruiting technology companies have focused on the delivery of optimized Facebook pages for recruitment: improving employment brand, measuring engagement, building fans, and efficiently serving geo-specific jobs.
  • Talent Communities: Facebook provides an ideal way to build highly focused and engaged groups of people. However, it’s a bit harder to engage a large group in a systematized way with recruitment campaigns. Additionally, Facebook provides administrators of pages and groups with little user data. Some companies are focused on methods and technology to build large pools of focused talent to meet the recruitment needs of clients.

The potential market for recruitment on the word’s most popular website is obviously staggering. Investment dollars are flocking to support technology startups that promise efficiency of recruiting with Facebook. The incredible success of LinkedIn’s IPO will no doubt increase venture capital interest in social recruitment technology.

The Bottom Line

Unless Facebook itself becomes a job board, the opportunity for startups to leverage its massive social graph for recruiting is clear. Of course, it is not a zero sum game – more than one technological method for recruiting with Facebook may gain traction. Additionally, if any one particular startup emerges as the clear winner, they may include all of these types of services in their products.   Smart Job Searchers should center their social media job finding activities to LinkedIn until a Facebook solution comes online.

Top 10 Reasons for Hiring Veterans

Many employers may not be aware that 80% of all jobs in the private sector have a correlation in the military. The military produces surgeons, scientists, engineers, photographers, technicians and many other skilled workers, along with the significant advantage of cross-cultural experience.

As we take time this Memorial Day Weekend to remember the “last measure of devotion” given by our brave men and women in uniform, I wanted to use this space to urge the many hiring managers and recruiters who read this blog to make a serious effort to hire veterans.

The Business Case for Hiring Veterans

Hiring and transitioning veterans into the workplace strengthens any organization. With only minimal effort and cost, companies can easily become veteran friendly. When hiring a veteran employers will find loyal, dedicated and highly motivated leaders with proven skills and abilities that employers want and need. Many employers may not be aware that 80% of all jobs in the private sector have a correlation in the military.  The military produces surgeons, scientists, engineers, photographers, technicians and many other skilled workers, along with the significant advantage of cross-cultural experience.

Top 10 Reasons for Hiring Veterans

10. Global Perspective: Veterans are tuned in to what’s going on in the world.
9. On time, all the time: Veterans know that every second counts.
8. First-class image: A professional appearance is a must in the military.
7. Calm under pressure: Veterans are trained to handle stress, both off and on the job.
6. Can-do attitude: Veterans always project a positive attitude.
5. Physical conditioning: Veterans are in top physical condition and are drug free.
4. Mission-critical skills:80% of all jobs in the private sector have a military correlation.

3. Responsibility: Veterans know how to make decisions meet deadlines
2. Professionalism: Veterans have an air of self-respect and a sense of honor.
1. Leadership: Veterans are proven leaders and are highly motivated.

The Bottom Line

In today’s challenging economy, employers know they have to get their hiring decisions right. Veterans are a proven source of talent. They can provide an immediate bottom-line benefit because they are already credentialed, and their skills have been shaped and tested under the most challenging circumstances.  The Smart Employer knows that hiring a veteran is good for the country and good for business.  – No finer tribute can be given to does who gave the “last measure of devotion” to hiring a veteran. Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend.