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!!!!!

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.

Using Your Smart Phone To Find A Job?

Are You Ready For Smart Phone Recruiting? Ready or not it is coming soon to a smart phone near you. Take a look at 5 apps that will change the way job seekers will interact with recruiters and hiring managers.

Smart Phone Recruiting

Change is ever-present in today’s world of recruitment. First, it was the paperless office, then it was Internet jobs boards, and, just as we got used to that, along came social recruitment. And, while many of us are still catching our breath with social media recruitment, along comes the next big transformational event in recruiting: Mobile Recruitment. And, just in case any of you think that Mobile Recruiting it isn’t officially ‘here’, you should be aware that in  September last year in San Francisco, there occurred the first annual mobile recruiting conference of its kind, sponsored and attended by all the major players, including the big two of Monster and Careerbuilder. Big players are thinking that mobile is, well… big.

 

5 Smart Phone Recruiting Apps

Last week tech expert Dean Wright showcased 5 Smart Phone Recruiting  Apps in his LinkedIn blog. Take a look at what is coming to a Smart Phone near you.

1.) HireVue

This iPhone app allows recruiters to design interview questionnaires on the phone and then send them to candidates. Candidates can then view the questions and then video their answers to the questions at their own convenience and send them back to the employer. The employer can share the video interviews with other managers too. This is great tool which brings interviewing into the modern age of mobile phones and mobile people.

2.) Jobscience

This is a powerful iPhone app from Force.com which gives you applicant tracking capabilities on your mobile phone. Recruiters can invite candidates to submit their resumes digitally and the resumes will be instantly parsed and/or can be searched through to enable you to quickly identify suitable candidates. Resumes can be shared by email, SMS, etc… This is a great tool to take around a job fair or networking event.

3.) BullHorn

Like Jobscience, BullHorn is a mobile phone based applicant tracking system. Bullhorn offers their software on multiple platforms, e.g. iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry. It has solid CRM features that differentiate it from more consumer oriented products.

4.) Tungle

This is a meeting scheduling tool that allows recruiters to quickly and easily schedule interviews with candidates. Its simple; recruiter sends invite, candidates reply and it automatically updates both party’s calendars. The system automatically syncs with all the main Mobile OS calendars.

5.) Google Power Search

This is an app which will make it easier for recruiters to search the web for candidates. The apps present a simple graphical interface which you can use to search the web for candidates, meaning that you do not have to use complicated boolean search strings to perform that task anymore.

The Bottom Line

Surprisingly, even though mobile recruiting is officially ‘here’ and that nearly 70% of jobseekers would like to use their phone for career related purposes, only 3% of employers have a mobile job app. With demand for mobile recruiting being so high and supply being so low the adoption of these technologies is coming ….Fast!!!!  The Smart Job Searcher must stay one step ahead of this revolution in recruiting.  I would recommend  you subscribe to sites like Mashable and by means keep reading my blog The Smart Job Search for updates.

Are You A Facebook Idiot?

No one wants to be an idiot, especially when it comes to Facebook where there’s the chance for thousands of people, including recruiters and potential employers, to see it. As a public service, the Smart Job Blog presents the Top 5 Things That Can Make You Look An Idiot on Facebook.

No one wants to be an idiot, especially when it comes to Facebook where there’s the chance for thousands of people, including recruiters and potential employers, to see it.

I have been on Facebook since 2007 and have made my share of mistakes that have made me look like an idiot.  The social media and email marketing experts at Constant Contact recently compiled a list of mistakes that can make you look like an idiot on Facebook.  And so, as a public service, the Smart Job Blog presents the Top 5 Things That Can Make You Look An Idiot on Facebook.

Are you doing any of these things?

5. Not monitoring your Facebook Page.  When someone visits your page, are they going to find it full of links from Facebook spammers inviting your fans to college night at the local bar of to click to win a free iPad?

4. Liking your own post. Really?  That’s almost a cry for help. Maybe that’s why no one else is liking it.

3. Posting one thing right after another. Your fns may love you, but long post after post after post in the newsfeed can be a bit much.  Be sure to space out your updatesso there’s a better chance people will engage with them rather than pass them by.

2. Spelling errors. As small as they might be, spelling errors can really hurt your Page’s credibility.  A typo is okay, but lots of typos are not.  Watch for some common misspellings such as there/their/they’re; your/you’re/yore.

1. Not filling out necessary information: location, description, picture, etc. Facebook gives you the opportunity to add detailed information about yourself.  Be sure to fill it out fully so recruiters, hiring managers and that long lost friend that has the perfect lead for a job can find you.  Concerned about privacy?  You should be.  You can set the right balance by simply keeping the information you share on Facebook strictly professional.

Your Turn:  What Facebook idiot moves have you seen?

By no means is our list of idiot moves on Facebook complete.  I look forward to sharing with our readers the idiot Facebook moves you have witnessed.  I will post your responses in next week’s blog.

Bottom Line:  You don’t have to be an idiot on Facebook.  Smart Job Searchers are aware of the importance of a good Facebook image.  So be aware of those things that may make you look like an idiot on Facebook. Are you guilty of doing any of the top 5?  Well, as a Smart Job Searcher, now that you know it may be a good time to stop.

Have you Googled yourself lately?

Becoming known for what you know; will increase your profile so your name comes up in that Google search by the headhunter, hiring manager or that long lost boyfriend!!!

Recently I was invited to participate in a Career Day to help prepare students as they entered the workforce. There were recruiters from companies conducting mock interviews, doing résumé reviews, and a wonderful organization, Save a Suit, outfitting students with new professional attire. My role was to check their online identities, and coach them on how to create high visibility and build positive reputations.

Thankfully, and maybe a little surprisingly, nothing that could potentially stall new careers was revealed when Googling the students — no “digital dirt” or “digital deal-breakers.” What I found primarily fell into these categories:

  • Facebook pages where privacy was set to “public” instead of “friends.” Even if there is nothing to hide, it’s a good practice to limit those who can see your wall and pictures.
  • No online references at all. When a recruiter has two good résumés in hand, the candidate who has positive online information has a better chance: mentions or photos that are evidence of community service/volunteer work; contributions to online professional discussions demonstrate your communication skills and knowledge level; official roles in local/business groups indicate leadership ability, etc.
  • Positive results — either accidental or deliberate. One student who proudly showed me all his highly visible mentions and properly keyword-ed profiles caused me to remark that he would be easily found when company recruiters searched for candidates in his specialty. “Recruiters? I’m going to be one of those talking heads on CNN,” he corrected me.

Heed these same guidelines as you engage the online community, either for a job or to grow your business or to connect with friends.   Comment on blogs – (You can start with this post!!)  participate in the discussions on LinkedIn. Becoming known for what you know; will increase your profile so your name comes up in that Google search by the headhunter, hiring manager or that long lost boyfriend!!!

“All business is now personal,” said David Armano, executive vice president of global innovation and integration at Edelman Digital, at the World Business Forum. He calls this ability for people to socially connect via technology the “third revolution,” and it’s a professional imperative to this well. So  Have you Googled yourself lately?

Marben Bland is an accomplished speaker, writer, and thought leader focused on three interconnected areas:

  1. Social Media Branding  increasing sales & awareness by creating lasting impressions
  2. Recruiting  finding world class talent for leading business and non profits
  3. Job Coaching  providing solid solutions for finding a job

Email him at marben@marbenbland.conm