Monthly Archives: October 2012

New Research Affirms Claims Made in Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0

In my multiple-award-winning book, Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev 2.0 (Second Edition), I mention the trend toward getting qualified individuals out of school and into the job market quicker with the necessary skills to be productive immediately. That puts a premium on community colleges, trade and business schools, online universities, and short-term certification programs that provide core skills and knowledge that people need to hit the ground running with employers.

Tom Pauken writes in the Second Quarter 2012 issue of Texas Business Today, a publication of the Texas Workforce Commission,  that:

…Young people who have completed an industry-certified skills training program have a better opportunity to get a good-paying job than many graduates of four-year universities….Young adults with a skilled trade can get hired at entry-level positions with starting pay that is higher than that garnered by many university graduates.

Here are several examples cited by Commissioner Pauken:

  • A Texas State Technical College graduate with an associate’s degree in instrumentation in the engineering-technology field has been hired in the petrochemical industry at a starting salary of $68,000.
  • A licensed master plumber with just three years’ experience can make $75,000
  • A high-school student at the Craft Training Center in Corpus Christi received his industry certification in welding. After graduating from high school, he is now making $6,800 a month as a welder.

As one friend told me recently, who went from engineering to teaching high school: “Thank God I got laid off last year. It made me rethink my skill set and forced me to do something else–something I’ve always wanted to do, and it sure wasn’t about the money. It was about making a contribution to something more important to me and to my community. And I was able to begin teaching while I worked on my teaching certification.”

Stop Throwing Bricks on LinkedIn

Every now and then I get a brick tossed my way and it ends up in my LinkedIn inbox. It reads something like this:

There’s only one slight problem: I don’t know anyone named “I.M. Clueless.” If I don’t know Mr./Ms. Clueless, why on earth would I endorse or recommend this person or his or her work? I.M. Cluless may be a hacker or embezzler for all I know, and by endorsing an individual with whom I am not familiar, I stand to tarnish my own professional reputation. Guilt by association. I know many other professionals have been exposed to such mindless desperation through LinkedIn and other professional networking sites, so what’s the best way to work an endorsement or recommendation?

Here’s what New York Times best-selling author Michael Port suggests in Book Yourself Solid:

  1. Clueless could have started by giving me a recommendation first, if Clueless thought I deserved one. It’s always better to offer something before asking for something.
  2. If it was important to Clueless that we connect, Clueless could have attempted to meet me first, if it was convenient.
  3. Clueless could have commented on my blog posts (hint, hint) or notes on my LinkedIn profile. This would have been noticed and appreciated.
  4. Clueless could have sent me an email expressing appreciation for my work or find some other way of making a personal connection first through any number of activities that don’t ask for anything in return and don’t make any assumptions.

It’s not just a matter of knowing who you are; I need to know something about your work–maybe even your brand–before I can consider offering an endorsement.

And use those bricks instead to build your platform of expertise, knowledge, and professional brand.