Category Archives: 1. The Scoop

Scams Target Millennial Job Searchers… Music Exec Offers Pitch-Perfect Job Advice… Networking No-Nos

Scams Target Millennial Job Searchers

The lure of an entry-level position that requires little experience can be attractive to new job seekers, and scammers are taking advantage of that weakness. Millennials, who have been especially hard hit by a rash of cons, have reported thousands of incidents in which they have applied for fake jobs and provided sensitive data to scammers while doing so.

These incidents are tied to online employment procedures. Because so much of the employment application process is digital—everything from applications to psychological tests to interviews are frequently administered online—vetting a potential employer can be difficult. To make things worse, the scammers are sophisticated. The Federal Trade Commission reports job seekers have been approached by phony hiring managers at companies that look legitimate online but that are entirely unreal. The trickery extends to hackers, who create fictional LinkedIn profiles to help them appear legitimate.

From the Wall Street Journal

Music Exec Offers Pitch-Perfect Job Advice

Mike O’Neill, CEO of music rights management company BMI, has advice for people starting their careers. His first tip is to treat everyone with respect. His second is to remember that a career is not a race. No one’s first job is being the CEO of a multinational music company, he notes.

O’Neill also advises job seekers to be assertive rather than aggressive. Being pushy can backfire, he says. In his own career, he has landed jobs he pushed his way into only to discover he was not ready to handle the position. Rather, he says, be open to opportunities that present themselves that may not be on your radar. He adds that some of the best jobs he’s had were ones he had never considered.

From The New York Times

Networking No-Nos

Networking has become an integral part of anyone’s career. However, experts warn that knowing what not to say is as important as knowing what to say. Maureen Harrington from Glassdoor offers advice about what not to do while making contacts for work.

Harrington advises not to:


  • blurtInstead, listen, observe, be aware, and be prepared. Ask questions rather than say something that can be misunderstood or that sounds inane.
  • complain. Even if your current company is going bankrupt or your boss is unbearable, stifle your impulse to grouse.
  • drop names. You may be justifiably proud that you went to Stanford, but there’s no need to squeeze your alma mater into the first sentence you utter.
  • mention politics or religion. Unless the job you’re going after is in politics or religion, stay away from those topics.
  • use clichés. Hackneyed sayings will elicit eye rolls. Lose clichés such as “think outside the box” and “push the envelope.”

From FastCompany

Coming to Your Classroom–Gen Z! … Remote Workers Being Recalled… Top Hiring Criteria-Writing!… Easy Focus Fix

Coming to Your Classroom Soon–Gen Z!

They’re 60 million strong, and those who are native-born Americans have never known the world without social media.

Generation Z—those born around 1996 and after—outnumber millennials by a million and look more multicultural than their predecessors. The eldest members of this demographic are already beginning to show up on college campuses, and they are a different breed. Between the September 11 attacks, war on terror, and Great Recession, Gen Z has always lived amid a world in crisis. Their parents are worry-warts, and so are they. In fact, they are acutely aware of the new world order and how it affects their future.

These native users of smartphones eschew Facebook entirely and have an even shorter attention span than millennials; marketers claim that the only way to grab Gen Z’s attention is to create a message in fewer than five words and include a large picture.

Gen Z people are hyper aware of their Internet presence and prefer platforms such as Secret, Snapchat, or Whisper, all of which remove content almost instantly. Pragmatic rather than optimistic, the members of this group are anticipated to act more like their grandparents and great-grandparents than their closest demographic cohort.

From The New York Times

Remote Workers Are Being Recalled

While some jobs can be completed effectively at home, others cannot, and that conclusion is leading many employers to rethink remote work.

Research suggests that personal productivity hits a peak when workers are allowed to work where and when they like. Likewise, in jobs that require on-site relationships or little interaction, working remotely can be the best bet.

However, companies such as IBM and Yahoo! have decided that jobs depending on collaboration require people to be in the same place at the same time for maximum efficiency, and that place, they say, is in the office.

The return to the office makes sense to anyone who has waited to get feedback from others on a project—the back and forth of remote communication leaves a lot to be desired. Because today’s workplace is filled with time sensitive situations in which a problem must be diagnosed and a solution delivered almost in real time, it’s simply more efficient for teams to be physically together, researchers say.


Top Hiring Criteria? Writing Skills!

Although employment ads for Basecamp don’t say “Only good writers need apply,” they may as well.

Even if a position at the company that markets a web-based project management tool does not specifically call for writing, only competent writers are considered for several reasons. Foremost, the employees work from remote locations, so the primary way workers communicate is by writing. Next, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried says writing well demands clear thinking.

The process of evaluating an applicant’s writing begins when a cover letter is received. (Anyone sending a résumé without a cover letter is not even considered.) In the letter, candidates have been asked to describe who they are and why they want the job, and their responses show the Basecamp team how well the individuals express themselves.

Finalists for a position are then paid to do a job for the organization and afterward are asked write up their thought process for completing the project.  Fried doesn’t hesitate to challenge the document; it’s another way to evaluate the applicant’s ability to think and “handle disagreement,” he says.

From The New York Times

Lost Your Focus? Mac Users, Here’s an Easy Fix

The answer to knocking out that report on deadline is right in front of our noses in Microsoft Word, and it’s called Focus mode.

Appearing as a function in Word for Mac since the 2011 version, Focus mode blocks out everything on your screen except the Word document you’re working on. It hides the toolbar, social media, and e-mail, leaving nothing between the writer and the words. By removing distractions, the barriers to hunkering down to the work of writing are effectively gone.

While other writing tools may be gaining popularity, Word is still the preferred digital app for composing, even for millennials, especially when writing solo.



The Scoop

Networking 101 for Introverts

Career advice about the importance of networking is everywhere, but for the shy or introverted, the idea of charging into a social situation and making small talk can be overwhelming. However, the following tips can help even the most reticent person become a competent networker.

Find small events. Avoid large settings with big crowds and instead opt for a more intimate gathering. For the most reluctant networkers, reach out first on social media just to practice “meeting” new people.

Bring a buddy. Having a friend as back up can lessen the initial nervousness that comes with attending a new social situation.

Initiate a conversation. Rather than wait for someone to approach you, take the initiative to begin a conversation. One-on-one chats are easier than jumping into a group discussion.

Be yourself. Often introverts have the perfect set of qualifications to be excellent networkers—good listening skills and the ability to develop close relationships.

Ask questions. Asking about someone’s career trajectory or industry knowledge is a great way to break the ice. Additionally, consider memorizing several questions to have as conversation starters before the event.

–From Washington Post Jobs

The New Etiquette of Phone Calls

In a galaxy far, far away… well, not quite, but in the recent past, making a phone call simply meant picking up a phone and punching in numbers. Not anymore.

The preponderance of communication channels has changed the way to approach speaking on a phone. Below are the new rules of making a phone call.

  • Text before you call. Check with the individual you want to speak with to determine the best time to make the call. Unexpected phone calls can trigger a host of worries about emergencies or bad news. The before-call text is good business etiquette, too; it shows respect for the recipient’s schedule.
  • Use apps that enhance phone call quality. Some phone carriers provide an HD option to improve reception, but users must ask their carrier to have that feature enabled. Using Wi-Fi is another way to improve the reception quality of cell phone calls and has the added bonus of avoiding data usage.
  • Talk on speakers. Between Siri and Alexa, making a hands-free phone call is easy. However, remember to stay close to the speaker so you can be heard.

Phone calls are the best way to make a connection more human. Texting alone simply cannot communicate nuance and tone.

–From The Wall Street Journal

 Start a Great Career in Your 20s

Fortune 500 top executives such as Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft offer advice to those just starting their careers. Below is a sampling of their suggestions.

  • Have an incredible work ethic and be persistent—John Scully, Apple, Pepsi
  • Figure out what you want to be doing five years from now; be systematic about learning—Drew Houston, Dropbox
  • Dream big, especially women, and commit to things and make them a regular habit—Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook
  • Find something you’re passionate about. Work hard, have good ideas, and put yourself in a position to get lucky—Steve Ballmer, Clippers
  • There’s no substitute for hard work. You’ll be more successful if you put coworkers first—Dan Schulman, PayPal