Category Archives: 1. The Scoop

Smartphones Are Making Us Dumb… Unpaid Internships Are Baaack… The Selfie That Won’t Die

Smartphones Are Making Us Dumb

People are so attached to their smartphones that over half surveyed in a Gallup poll say they couldn’t imagine their lives without one and psychologists say that’s not good. Research is showing that the phones ferret their way into our psyches so the brain actually becomes dependent on them, in turn weakening our intellect.

Scientists have known for years that just the sound of a smartphone ringing causes distraction, poor concentration, and even a rise in blood pressure and pulse rate. Worse, the anxiety of being unable to answer a call reduces the owner’s ability to solve problems. Some researchers call this “brain drain,” which negatively affects learning, logical reasoning, abstract thought, and creativity.

Social skills suffer from using the devices, too. Even when talking face to face, smartphone users are itching to check their newsfeeds on their phones, making the actual conversations less meaningful and unfocused.

The phones’ appeal—constant availability of information, portability, and entertainment—is the very aspect that makes them what one cognitive psychologist calls a “supernormal stimulus” that can unduly commandeer attention.

From The Wall Street Journal

Unpaid Internships Are Baaack

After years of progress making internships fairer to young people seeking workplace experience, the US Department of Labor has issued new guidelines making it easier for companies that want to hire interns for no pay. The change reverts to rules that favor employers who can once again hire interns as free labor.

Previous rules required internships to meet six criteria that prohibited employers from taking “immediate advantage from the activities of the intern.” The new rules say an internship does not have to meet any threshold; it merely needs to be justified on its own merits.

The updated guidelines allow an employer to argue that even if an intern is completing low-level tasks with no supervision, that individual benefits from learning about how an industry works, thus making the unpaid internship legal. However, many employers are taking precautions and are paying interns minimum wage to avoid possible legal repercussions.

From Los Angeles Times

The Selfie That Won’t Die

Those temporary selfies, the ones that disappear? Not so temporary, it turns out.

The entire purpose of apps such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories is that they only allow viewers to see an image for a few seconds before it disappears. However, researchers are now saying that once those not-so-professional images are seen, they’re hard to unsee.

Because the so-called disappearing selfies are considered safe, people sending them tend to take more risqué snaps or other photos they wouldn’t send if they knew the picture would be more permanent. The researchers explain that viewers of these images can’t seem to forget them, leaving a lasting impression of the sender’s poor judgment.

The addition of screen-capture software compounds the problem, which becomes most dire when potential employers see the photos. At best, says one researcher: “[Prospective employers] might just think if you look uninhibited, you’re an idiot, and they don’t want to hire an idiot.”

From Harvard Business School

 

 

The Business Card Gets Creative… Here’s Why Workers are Unhappy…

The Business Card Gets Creative

Like wearing gloves to a cocktail party, the standard rectangular business card has had its day, at least in some industries. Instead, odd-shaped cards that stand out are breathing new life into the old business convention.

(from oddstuffmagazine.com)

People who want to make a statement with their cards are getting creative. The owner of a business development firm hands out a version of a Rubik’s cube with his name on it. A security-training firm’s card is metal and contains lock-picking tools. From odd sizes such as trapezoids to surprising materials like plastic, these unusual marketing tools have one thing in common: the attempt to make the recipient remember the person handing them out.

Although some are irritated by smaller than usual cards or cards so thick they won’t fit into a wallet, proponents of the oddball leave-behinds claim that most receiving the cards hold onto them, which is, of course, the point.

Cultures outside of the U.S. and some industries such as law and finance show no signs of giving up the traditional rectangle, and experts warn young job seekers to stick to the standard.

From the Wall Street Journal

Here’s Why Workers are Unhappy

Americans are not happy, at least at work, according to a new survey conducted by Mental Health America. The research found that fewer than one-third of U.S. workers say they are happy in their jobs, costing American businesses billions of dollars in productivity.

The results from the survey, which measured attitudes of over 17,000 employees, found that only 25 percent of workers felt they were adequately paid. Seventy percent were actively seeking new employment. Other reasons for worker misery included insufficient recognition, tight deadlines, cranky colleagues, and demanding bosses.

The key factors that influenced happiness were perks and flexible workplaces. Of those employees who reported being happy at work, 52 percent said they had flexible arrangements, and three-fourths noted a relaxed work environment. In a surprising finding, happy employees preferred professional recognition over salary.

The industries with the worst records for having happy employees included manufacturing, retail, and food and beverage. The industries with the best records were healthcare, financial services, and non-profits.

From mentalhealthamerica.net

LinkedIn Profiles à la 2018

With 90 percent of employers using LinkedIn to find and vet new employees, it pays to keep your LinkedIn bio updated. Below are some tips geared to catch an employer’s eye.

Must haves

  • Education details
  • Professional-looking photo
  • Creative headline
  • Compelling 40-word summary statement

Must dos

  • Engage with contacts regularly.
  • Personalize messages to unknown new contacts.
  • Hit the right tone by adding personality to your bio.
  • Avoid rehashing your résumé as a narrative.
  • Update often with examples of work.

    From Business Insider

Submit Job Applications Early in the Morning… No Callback? Fix What Went Wrong… Body Language Speaks Volumes

Submit Job Applications Early in the Morning

You’ve proofread the job application until your eyes are bleary. You’re ready to send. STOP.

Don’t submit unless it’s a Tuesday from 6:00-10:00 a.m. in the hiring company’s time zone.

The timing of when you submit an online job application has a great deal to do with landing an interview, according to research by TalentWorks, a job-search startup. The researchers found that candidates who submitted their applications in the 6-10 a.m. window were five times more likely to score an interview, and those who sent in their applications earlier in that time frame received more offers for interviews than those who waited until closer to 10 o’clock.

The research also showed that after 10 a.m., the likelihood of landing an interview dropped by 10 percent every half hour. By 7:30 p.m., the chances of getting an interview fell to just three percent. Responding quickly was another indicator of success. Applicants who submitted within 96 hours of the original job posting were eight times more likely to be offered an interview.

The bottom line, the researchers found, is that timing may not be everything, but it sure helps.

From Payscale

No Callback? Fix What Went Wrong

That post-interview elation—knowing you nailed every question and had great rapport with the interviewer—can quickly turn sour if you don’t receive a call back and later learn you didn’t get the job.

While the circumstances that lead to not be hired are often beyond your control, you can improve your interviewing skills by following these pointers:

  • Research the organization’s culture. Employers want to hire people who will fit into their organization’s ethos. Investigate the company’s values and culture before the interview so you can convince the interviewer you’d mesh well.
  • Emanate confidence. Discuss your successes and be prepared to discuss specifics that highlight your skills.
  • Ask questions, but only the right kind. Avoid questions about salary and benefits but do ask about the qualities common to successful new hires.
  • Brush up on your video interviewing skills. Many first interviews are conducted through video-chat services. Practice in front of a mirror and choose a setting that makes you appear professional.

Experts also offer advice about what kinds of traps to avoid when interviewing. Using language that is overblown (awesome! incredible!) or lackluster (possibly… I might…), claiming to have no weaknesses, making excuses, or overexplaining can kill your chances of impressing a hiring manager.

From The New York Times

Body Language Speaks Volumes

The way you present yourself to the world—especially as a professional—will affect the way others perceive you. To show yourself in the best possible light, avoid these damaging body language habits:

  • Appearing uninterested or distracted. Not paying attention is insulting. Resist the impulse to check your phone!
  • Fidgeting. Even if you are jittery, stay still. Fidgeting makes you appear nervous and powerless.
  • Frowning or not smiling. A glum face can appear aloof and off-putting. Smiling telegraphs confidence and warmth.
  • Giving aggressive looks. A long stare will make the recipient feel uncomfortable. Instead, meet someone’s eyes for a heartbeat or two. for long glances.
  • Making poor eye contact. Averting your eyes demonstrates disgust or timidity.
  • Playing with hair. This bad habit is distracting and shows you are under stress.
  • Poor posture is not only bad for your health; it can suggest a lack of confidence.

From Business Insider