How to Avoid Bad Career Advice: Part 3

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In our last article, we dove into part 2 of our analysis of J. Maureen Henderson’s Forbes.com article “Bad Career Advice Is Everywhere — Here’s How To Avoid It.”

Today’s article, we take on her final question.

How invested is the person offering advice?

Henderson asks whether the advice you’re receiving is personalized. She notes that the more invested a source is in a your success, the less likely are to give you generic or selfish advice.

Henderson’s question reminds us that this is America and everyone has an agenda. One may give you advice that helps “their own ego, their wallet, their reputation.” It is up to the seeker to search through this bad advice to find useful help.

So, as you solicit and review the advice and feedback for your job search, be mindful of who you ask and whether their motivation is for your success (and not theirs).

Good luck in your search, and let us know how it goes!

 

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Milwaukee Bucks Hold Town Hall for City Workers on Arena Project

Milwaukee Bucks hold town hall meetingPublished by of Milwaukee Business Journal

The Milwaukee Bucks and the city of Milwaukee recently hosted the first in a series of town hall meetings to introduce prospective job seekers to the SkillSmart platform and potential work on the team’s $500 million arena in downtown Milwaukee. Check out the attached slideshow to see photos from the Dec. 15 meeting held at Journey House.

More than 100 city of Milwaukee residents attended the meeting. The NBA team, which is committed to the hiring of Milwaukee city and county residents for arena construction and the new arena district, contracted with SkillSmart of Germantown, Md., to create a pipeline of qualified workers and help prospective employees gain skills they will need for future employment.

As part of the Bucks development agreement with the city, the team’s owners pledged to partner with the city and county on workforce development initiatives. The Bucks also committed to meeting the city’s requirement of hiring 40 percent of trade workers who are city residents for arena construction.

The arena is under construction just north of the BMO Harris Bradley Center near West Juneau Avenue. It is set to be completed in time for the team’s 2018-’19 season.

The SkillSmart site breaks down available positions in terms of necessary skills and prerequisites, while inviting job seekers to build a personal profile based around their work experience, training and qualifications. The tool provides job seekers with scores for each available position based upon how well their skill set and qualifications align with a job.

Locations for additional town hall meetings will become available in the coming weeks.

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How to Avoid Bad Career Advice: Part 2

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Last time we started our review of analyzing J. Maureen Henderson’s Forbes.com article “Bad Career Advice Is Everywhere — Here’s How To Avoid It,” starting with “Does this advice reflect my own priorities?” This time we will look over Henderson’s second question.

Is this a trusted, qualified source?

Within this idea Henderson challenges her audience to examine the credentials of your source. Within the “post factual” era of information it is important to ask one’s self if the information one reads is actually useful, up to date, and correct.

Henderson tries to explain this to the reader by using an entertainment parallel. Would we treat an individual’s Amazon review of a book with the same respect as we would with LA Review of Books, most likely we would not.

Henderson also uses a common family situation to explain how quickly information can become outdated. It is not uncommon for parents to push their children into certain fields. The legal field is not only seen as a field of prestige but one in which an individual can reap huge financial rewards. But after the 2007 recession it has become an oversaturated field with few opportunities for even the most qualified individuals.

So, if one advises you to go into a field and cites guaranteed financial gain you can probably assume that (unless they are an job analyzer) their information is outdated.

Next time we will wrap up our dissection of Henderson’s article by analyzing her final question topic:

How invested is the person offering advice?

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Happy Holidays from the SkillSmart Team

winter-door-decoration-christmasAs 2016 draws to a close it is good to reflect on those things that worked well, and those that didn’t achieve all that you’d hoped in an effort to improve on them in the coming year. We were pleased to to be able to support our clients in their pursuit of hiring a diverse, talented and qualified workforce, and to support thousands of job seekers in their pursuit of new growth opportunities. We saw the results of this effort with the opening of MGM National Harbor on December 8. An amazing new facility bringing economic growth to Prince Georges County, MD and the Washington, DC region and more than 4,000 outstanding new employees meeting the exciting challenges of a new job opportunity.  This is just one example of how SkillSmart’s skills-based hiring platform and community building skills can really make a difference in increasing economic opportunity.

Candidly, as we look at things that haven’t worked as well, we struggle to understand why so many organizations continue to beat their head against the wall by pursuing the same hiring strategies that haven’t worked for decades rather than explore new approaches to build a more qualified workforce. We will be working very hard in 2017 to share the results of our efforts with our growing client base to help organizations overcome their fear of change and minimize their frustration with the skills gap to increase opportunities for growth.

We at SkillSmart want to thank you for your continued support and wish you peace and prosperity during this holiday season and the coming year.

Best wishes,
Mike, Jason and the SkillSmart Team

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How to Avoid Bad Career Advice: Part 1

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In this era of Internet accessibility it is easy for anyone to have a voice. Current events have shown that manipulated information can have an effect on national events, therefore it is no surprise that bias or non factual articles could affect one’s job search.

Within the article “Bad Career Advice Is Everywhere — Here’s How To Avoid It,” J. Maureen Henderson attempts to help job seekers surf through the waste to find relevant job seeking advice.

Within the next few articles, we will delve into the three questions Henderson uses to check the validity of an article, in order to see if the sources we use can be reliable.

Firstly, Henderson asks:

Does this advice reflect my own priorities?

Henderson points out that while a company may be lowly rated in one aspect a seeker should not rule them out if that aspect doesn’t apply to their possible career path. Henderson explains this by saying to the reader that a company who has bad reviews by those who work at home shouldn’t deter one who likes working in an office from applying because those factors do not apply to them. Those who do not thrive in homework will not be affected by the company’s limitations therefore this information is irrelevant.

In short, one shouldn’t let just any bad information be a reflection of the whole.

Next time we will analyze Henderson’s second question:

Is this a trusted, qualified source?

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Skills to Master the Resume: a TEDx talk by SkillSmart co-founder Jason Green

Our talent development process is outdated. We are putting students into programs that have little to no connectivity to the world of work and job seekers are using a 500 year old resume.

SkillSmart co-founder Jason Green talks through how we can decipher real skills and put them to work in his recent TEDx Talk for TEDxTysons.

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Bucks tap SkillSmart job-matching tool for arena workforce development

bucks-coveragePublished by Rich Kirchen of Milwaukee Business Journal

The Milwaukee Bucks, which is committed to the hiring of Milwaukee city and county residents for arena construction and the new arena district, contracted with SkillSmart of Germantown, Md., to create a pipeline of qualified workers and help prospective employees gain skills they will need for future employment.

As part of the Bucks development agreement with the city, the team’s owners pledged to partner with the city and county on workforce development initiatives. The Bucks also committed to meeting the city’s requirement of hiring 40 percent of trade workers who are city residents for arena construction.

The Bucks and the city of Milwaukee will host a series of town hall meetings throughout the city to introduce prospective job seekers to the SkillSmart platform. The first event is slated for Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Journey House, 2110 W. Scott St. Dates and locations for additional town hall meetings will become available in the coming weeks.

The SkillSmart site breaks down available positions in terms of necessary skills and prerequisites, while inviting job seekers to build a personal profile based around their work experience, training and qualifications. The tool provides job seekers with scores for each available position based upon how well their skill set and qualifications align with a job.

SkillSmart also provides resources to potential employees on additional training to become stronger candidates for available positions. SkillSmart’s algorithm can calculate how closely an applicant’s skills align with overall employer need. If job seekers do not have the necessary skills for a job they want, SkillSmart will provide suggestions for training opportunities, according to a November report from JPMorgan Chase.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bucks and SkillSmart Partner on New Workforce Development Platform for Arena District Employment

bucks-arenaSkillSmart creates pipeline of qualified local workers by matching candidates with positions and helping prospective workers gain the skills needed for future employment.

First community town hall meeting scheduled for Dec. 15 at Journey House to introduce local jobseekers to the platform and assist with RPP certification.

The Milwaukee Bucks today launched a new partnership with SkillSmart to create a workforce development platform for family-supporting careers in the new arena district – both during the construction process and for end-use positions in the arena and surrounding development.

The platform can be accessed at www.bucksarenajobs.com or www.wisconsinesc.com/careers and will serve as a valuable resource for both job seekers and employers.

“This project is as much about creating meaningful and long-lasting employment for the citizens of Milwaukee who need it most as it is about creating a world-class venue for the people of Wisconsin to enjoy,” Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry said. “As part of our development agreement we made a commitment to partner with the city and county on workforce development initiatives that will truly make a difference for jobseekers in Wisconsin. The SkillSmart platform will not only align Milwaukee jobseekers with available positions in and around the arena, but create a more qualified pipeline of potential employees that will be mutually beneficial for jobseekers and employers throughout the region. We can’t wait to begin rolling this tool out in communities throughout the city and begin providing meaningful opportunities for local residents interested expanding their skill sets and finding employment within this vibrant new development.”

“Milwaukee County has already placed more than 100 individuals in jobs averaging more than $15 per hour through our UpLift MKE partnership with the Bucks, just since the beginning of the year,” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. “These efforts are targeted directly to workers, particularly those in and near the Sherman Park area, who most need support to successfully climb the ladder of opportunity. The potential to benefit our community here can’t be overstated. The Bucks’ commitment to build the future in Milwaukee will have a profound and lasting impact on our community.”

Construction of the new arena is expected to generate over 3,000 jobs, while an additional $230 million in economic development is already pledged or under construction in the surrounding area that will produce thousands more family-supporting careers in the coming years. The new platform powered by SkillSmart will build a pipeline of qualified applicants for construction and end-use positions throughout the district. The site breaks down available positions in terms of necessary skills and prerequisites, while inviting jobseekers to build a personal profile based around their work experience, training and qualifications. The tool will then provide jobseekers with scores for each available position based upon how well their skillset and qualifications align with the job, while also providing resources to potential employees on additional training available for them to become stronger candidates for available positions.

“We are pleased to partner with the Bucks in implementing SkillSmart,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “We are making the process more efficient by taking the Residence Preference Program (RPP) certification process directly to residents and making it even easier to get certified. I’m hopeful Milwaukee residents will come to the job information meetings scheduled and take advantage of this effort.”

In the coming weeks, the Bucks will be partnering with the City of Milwaukee to host a series of town hall meetings throughout the city to introduce prospective jobseekers to the platform and help them begin building their personal employment profiles. The first event is slated for Thursday, Dec. 15 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Journey House (2110 W. Scott St.). Dates and locations for additional town hall meetings will be available in the coming weeks.

The Bucks have committed to meeting a 40 percent RPP threshold for trade workers on the construction of the new arena. As part of the SkillSmart roll-out, the Bucks and City of Milwaukee officials will work together to assist local job seekers to become RPP certified and ensure that a large percentage of available positions go to local workers who need the opportunities most. City of Milwaukee officials will be on hand at each town hall meeting to assist attendees interested in receiving RPP certification.

Jobseekers at any stage of their search will benefit from the SkillSmart platform, whether they’re searching for a job that matches their current skillset, looking to take a step forward on their personal career track by expanding their qualifications, or simply starting their search and learning about the types of positions that will be available and how to begin preparing for future opportunities. By building a SkillSmart profile, prospective employees will learn how to become better-prepared for future opportunities while developing a stronger and more prepared workforce that will benefit the entire city.

“Both SkillSmart and the Bucks are committed to using local workforce development as an opportunity to drive regional economic growth,” said SkillSmart Co-Founder, SVP & General Counsel Jason Green. “This project is intended to ensure the local Milwaukee community experiences the material benefits, including job creation, of the arena’s construction and operating jobs.”

Read the Full Release from the Milwaukee Bucks >>

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About SkillSmart
SkillSmart is a for-purpose tech company that is reshaping how employers identify and hire talent. Its employer-driven hiring platform helps growing organizations and industries find the talent they need by matching job seekers to employment opportunities based on skills rather than traditional proxies like a degree. We are based in Germantown, Md. and help empower employers and job seekers to make the right match in states across the country. For more information, please visit www.SkillSmart.us or find us on Twitter @SkillSmartUS and Facebook @SkillSmartUS.
For more information, contact:
Kyle Friis,
kfriis@skillsmart.us
(301) 250-1015
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Experts share their advice for your job search

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As job seekers we tend to seek the advice of successful individuals in order to determine where we can improve.

Susannah Snider’s article “10 Experts Share the Best Career Advice They Ever Received” helps job seekers find advice from a who’s who list of successful individuals within various professions.

Though some of the advice pertains to what one must do after they obtain the job four of Snider’s interviewees give relevant seekers advice.

Treat everyone as a potential employer.

Debra Lybyer, director of career and advising services, Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho tells us to treat everyone as a potential employer. Do not close any doors for we do not know where a chance meeting or relationship can lead to.

Research the position and company.

Rob VanDorin, associate director of career services and employer relations, Central Michigan University implores the job seeker to do research about the company and position that you want to fill. This lets the potential employer know how serious you are about the job.

Don’t limit your search.

Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff explains that one should not be limited by the field of one’s college degree. Individuals should actively seek jobs that excite them, or jobs they have skills to succeed in.

Never give up!

And finally, Jude Miller Burke, author of “The Millionaire Mystique: How Working Women Become Wealthy – And How You Can, Too!” has possibly the simplest advice, although at times it can be the most difficult to do, never give up! Burke explains that many have failed on the road to success however your drive will push you in the long run.

The full article is worth a read, a few times over. Good luck in your search, and let us know if you’ve received other tips worth sharing with our SkillSmart community!

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Focus on the after-interview process to help your job search

writing thank you note during after-interview process
While getting your foot in the door for an interview is exciting and gratifying it is usually only the first step to success. The time following the interview is usually filled tension and intrigue while you wait to find out if you were hired.

Thanks to Forbes distinguished writer Liz Ryan we know what you can do to calm your nerves and increase your chances of acquiring the job at the same time.

Ryan suggests writing a thank you letter to the interviewer. Contrary to popular belief a handwritten thank you note is still useful in our technological age. Simply thanking one for the interview can help the employer see how serious you are about getting the job.

Just make sure you remember the name and correct spelling of the interviewer’s name. Here are some other helpful tips provided by Ryan.

What if you only had a phone screen? Yes, you still want to send a message. Even a short note, via email, will help the after-interview process move along. Take a look at the example text she provides. View >>

Here are the steps Ryan provides for after the in-person interview.

1. The minute you get home, write down your notes and questions about the interview before you have a chance to forget them.

Who were the interviewers? Write down each person’s name or as much of their name as you can remember. You’re going to use those person-specific details in your personalized thank-you notes.

2. Write down your own observations and questions.

Recap the interview with a friend or mentor you trust. Make sure you jot down anything you want to cover with your friend who can help you stay grounded.

3. Get some blank notecards and write a handwritten note to each person you met on the interview.

If you think a handwritten note is too formal for today’s job search world, think again! Hiring managers report that a well-written and thoughtful thank-you note was the deciding factor between two capable candidates.

View the full suggestions – and bonus sample text from Ryan. Good luck in your search, and let us know how you do!

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