Job Hunting Hints
The Christian Science Monitor recently published five tips for looking for work in the age of the Internet. Tip One: Keep your resume format simple. “It’s OK to use bold or centering, but don’t worry about fancy fonts,” which often cannot be scanned. Note: Beware the resume format provided in many versions of Microsoft Word. Tip Two: Match your resume to the job. You need to go beyond keywords by providing the context of how your experience applies to the job. Tip Three: Consider an end run. Contact the company directly by phone. On the upside, you may win an interview. Be forewarned, however, you may alienate key managers for trying to manipulate the system. Tip Four: Network. Even in this age of technology, there’s nothing like making a connection with someone who works for a company you want to work for. Tip Five: Always be honest. Don’t go too far in customizing your resume. Once you become a serious candidate for a job, you can expect a company to have your background checked.
Summer Job Search Starts Now
Teenagers hoping to land a temporary job this summer need to start their campaign right now, according to Teens4Hire.org. Although jobs may be more plentiful than a few years ago, teens may still have a tough time finding what they want, warns Renee Ward, founder of the teen employment site. While teens most often target fast food and retail outlets, these companies are increasingly hiring applicants who are at least 18 years old. Some other sources of employment include city recreation departments, summer resorts, YMCAs, country clubs or self- employment (babysitting). In addition, companies that have greater activity during the spring and summer months (such as hospitality, tourism, amusement/entertainment parks, retail and construction) have once again announced increased hiring plans. On the downside, teens can also expect growing competition from older applicants and immigrant workers.
On the Job Front
NATIONWIDE – Activity at the online website Monster.com continued at a robust pace in March, another indication that companies are hiring across the country. Demand for business and financial workers rose as corporate staffs ramp up. Public-sector hiring was up for the third straight month . . . Struggling Delta Airlines has reached a tentative agreement with its pilots on long-term pay and benefit cuts. No details were released on the pact, which has to be ratified by a majority of the airline’s 5930 pilots and then approved by a bankruptcy court . . . To help make its case that it does treat women and minorities fairly, Wal-Mart has turned over records to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the first time. The company hopes to counter criticism that its workforce could be more diverse.
BAY AREA – What are the five best giant companies to work for in this region? According to a survey conducted by the SF Business Times and its sister papers, they are: Genentech (biotech), Kaiser Permanente (healthcare), Catholic Healthcare West, California Pacific Medical Center, and Wells Fargo. The five best big companies are Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Intuit (maker of Turbo Tax), Lam Research, Barclays Global Investors, and PMI Group (mortgage insurers). For more listings, get a copy of the April 7-13 print edition of the SF, East Bay or San Jose business weeklies.
OAKLAND – Teachers have scheduled a one-day strike for April 20. The district hopes to keep classes going by using emergency substitutes. Teachers hope the action prompts the district to reach a pay settlement.
PITTSBURG – The Mechanics Bank has opened its first office at the corner of Seventh Street and Railroad Avenue. The bank, which is headquartered in Richmond, has 21 other retail offices in Northern California.
SAN FRANCISCO – A tentative contract agreement has averted a potential teacher strike in the city. Teachers will receive an 8.5 percent pay hike over two years, as well as about $1000 in back pay . . . Is a college degree worth getting? SF researchers would definitely say ’yes’. A recent city study found that residents with four-year college degrees earned $72,850 on average in 2004. Residents with some college were paid $39,965 on average, while those with and without high school diplomas earned $29,955 and $18,897 respectively.
SANTA CLARA – Sun Microsystems has fired 200 workers who helped configure the company’s most powerful computers. The company has suffered more than four years of losses.
Sick Building – or Sick of Stress?
Sick building syndrome is a phrase typically used to describe a cluster of symptoms affecting the eyes, head, upper respiratory tract and skin. London researchers who interviewed 4000 civil servants in 44 buildings now believe the symptoms are more likely linked to workplace stress. The study found that high job demands and low levels of support were linked to the symptoms, especially for those workers with little decision-making power. “We are not making claims that buildings don’t matter,” explains Dr. Mai Stafford at London University. “But for the general workforce, job stress and job demands seem to have a bigger impact.”
Doggone Friendly Companies
Here’s the latest perk some companies are considering – letting employees bring their dogs to work. Providing such permission can make solid economic sense since dog owners work longer hours for less money, according to a survey by SimplyHired.com, a job-search engine, and pooch portal Dogster.com. For example, if allowed to bring their dogs to work, 66 percent of dog owners who participated in the survey said they would work longer hours. Fifty-five percent said they would commute a greater distance, 32 percent would take a 5 percent salary cut and 11 percent would take a 10 percent pay cut. Furthermore, dog lovers argue that their pets lower stress levels and build camaraderie among workers. While most companies that adopt this policy tend to have 50 or fewer employees, the growing list does include such big names as Apple, Amazon and Google. “Companies with dog-friendly policies just get it,” insists Ted Rheingold, CEO and resident wag of Dogster. “They’re breeding a class of happy and loyal employees.”
Lawyers Latest to be Outsourced
American lawyers will see competition from India in the coming years, according to a report by Research and Markets, a firm that specializes in international data. India has a legal system similar to the United States and other English-speaking countries, which translates into large numbers of highly educated graduates ready to work for lower salaries than their rivals overseas. Currently, over 50 US companies are outsourcing legal services to India. Research and Markets estimates that at least 1800 jobs in the legal profession have been outsourced in this way. They expect the number to reach 24,000 by 2010.