Monthly Archives: July 2014

One Item on your Résumé that Cuts Your Job Prospects by Nearly 25% (and other job news)

I’m always cautioning candidates to mention only those things on a résumé that highlight their complete and total brand as a professional. Leave the personal stuff, the hobbies, the social causes, the kids, etc. to the coffee pot conversations after you’re hired because some information can be detrimental to your career or job aspirations no matter how socially conscious you think they may be.

A study from the Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work found that job candidates who listed LGBT-related interests, such as gay rights activism, on their résumés were 23 percent less likely to get a callback from potential employers than their non-LGBT counterparts, even when the LGBT applicants had a better skill set. (
While 58 percent of employers offer pay for maternity leave, one in four mothers who work during pregnancy either quit their jobs or are let go soon after a new child arrives. (Los Angeles Times)


In its annual time use survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that on average Americans spend 8.74 hours per day sleeping, 5.26 hours per day engaging in leisure activities, and just 3.46 hours per day doing “work and work-related activities.” (


In a recent Gallup poll, more than half of Americans said the economy, particularly unemployment, is the country’s top challenge today. (


The price of a college education keeps climbing, but it still may be worth the cost for most people. According to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the average U.S. college graduate can expect to earn some $800,000 more over a lifetime than the average high school graduate. (


In 2013, Americans with four-year college degrees earned 98 percent more per hour than workers without degrees. That figure has been climbing sharply since the 1980s, when college graduates earned an average of 64 percent more per hour than non-college workers. (The New York Times)


According to numbers released by Uber, full-time drivers of the smartphone-summoned UberX taxis in New York City earn a median annual income of $90,766. That’s three times the estimated yearly wage of a traditional cabbie. (

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Align Your Expertise with What Hiring Managers are Looking For

As I’ve said repeatedly on this blog, hiring managers are more interested in what you accomplished than what your duties and responsibilities were in your career. Too many folks still confuse task completion with accomplishments; a task completion is part of your duties and responsibilities. An accomplishment yields results that impact the higher strategic vision or objective of the organization beyond the normal day-to-day duties and responsibilities.

The graphic below summarizes how hiring managers view expertise in a job candidate, and how candidates can express that expertise to better align with what hiring managers are looking for. Such methods help promote your professional brand in the job marketplace.

Common ground graphic

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Job Seekers: When Are You Going to See the Bigger Picture of Your Expertise?

When are job seekers going to stop seeing their expertise as merely the bait for the next job? When will people start looking at how their expertise contributes to something far bigger than their own self interests?

In my Career and Job Strategy Workshops, I show participants how position their expertise beyond the nose on their face. I still see far too many résumés full of bullet lists containing “duties and responsibilities” that only tell me what you did (or had a part in doing)–what I as a hiring manager what to know specifically is what was it that you accomplished in the normal performance of your “duties and responsibilities”? How did what you did contribute to the higher strategic objective of the organization? Did it generate revenue? Did it reduce costs? Did it avoid costs? Did it result in some kind of efficiency improvement?

Figure 1 graphically represents how core competencies are created–by a series of related duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, most candidate résumés are loaded with duties and responsibilities. When you have more than a few related core competencies, they contribute to a “functional expertise” and that’s what hiring managers want to see (accomplishments speak to functional expertise too).

functional expertise 1

FIGURE 1. Show hiring managers your core competencies, not just your duties and responsibilities, which do not separate you from the competition who also have duties and responsibilities. (© 2014 Donn LeVie Jr. from The Career and Job Strategy Workshop)

Candidates need to realize that a company is on the road to having a competitive advantage in the marketplace when they hire people who know how to showcase their core competencies and NOT just everyday duties and responsibilities. Companies that enjoy market dominance tend to employ people who know how to showcase their talent through related areas of functional expertise, as Figure 2 shows.

FIGURE 2. How core competencies contribute to a company's competitive advantage and how functional expertise contributes to a company's market dominance.

FIGURE 2. How core competencies contribute to a company’s competitive advantage and how functional expertise contributes to a company’s market dominance. (© 2014 Donn LeVie Jr. From the Career and Job Strategy Workshop)

Demonstrate to hiring managers that you understand the business, the issues, and the challenges by listing achievements/ accomplishments, core competencies, and functional expertise on your résumé–more than likely, you’ll be on that hiring manager’s short list for a job offer.





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Job and Career News

Almost half of small business owners surveyed said they don’t support raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, while 44 percent said they endorse the idea. More than a quarter said hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 would force them to cut back on employees or hours, but 95 percent agreed that the current rate is not a living wage (

Nearly three-fourths of job seekers say they would relocate for new work, according to data from But managers are still less likely to hire out-of-towners whom they’ve never met in person. (

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students who worked as unpaid interns last year received full-time job offers at almost the same rate as those who had no internships at all–about 37 percent, compared with 62 percent for students with paid internships. (The Wall Street Journal)

When adjusted for inflation, the average graduate student’s debt load rose 43 percent between 2004 and 2012 to a median of $57,600. Debt for students pursuing advanced degrees in the humanities and social sciences grew more sharply compared with professional degrees–in, say, business or medicine–which also yield greater long-term returns. (The Wall Street Journal)

U.S. employers are giving workers more flexibility, with two thirds now allowing staffers to occasionally work from home, up from 50 percent in 2008 and 38 percent allowing employees to work from home regularly, up from 23 percent just six years ago. (

According to a new Gallup poll, workers who remain unemployed for a year or longer suffer from higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and excessive cholesterol. While workers who have been unemployed for two weeks or less have an obesity rate around 23 percent, some 33 percent of long-term unemployed people are considered obese. (