The Purple Cow Job Description – Should I Apply?

Purple Cow Job Description?

Purple CowI guarantee you have read a purple cow job description. It’s one of those that, when you finished reading it, you said to yourself:

I am not qualified for this job but…is anyone?

They are looking for the purple cow. The ideal candidate does not exist!

I am going out on a limb to say that most job descriptions are badly written.

In my last corporate job, I had an open position to fill. I had to write a job description.

Did I know how to write a job description? NO!

I went onto Indeed.com and searched for openings with the same job title. When I found one I liked, I copied it!

I was expanding my team for a training and certification program. I wanted a technical trainer who was familiar with the program and was already certified. We had certified less than a thousand people worldwide.

The candidate needed to have five years of technical training experience.

I wanted someone who was already located in Austin, Texas.

The odds of finding someone who was certified in the topic, had five years experience as a technical trainer, AND lived in Austin was close to ZERO!

I was looking for the Purple Cow!

Did I write the job description saying I wanted everything? YES!

Dissecting the Job Description

We will want to look at:

  • High level job description
  • Responsibilities
  • Requirements/Qualifications
  • Education

(More: Is the Resume Still Relevant? )

High Level Job Description

Can you honestly see yourself with this title? One of the problems with high level job descriptions is they have become so vague. Do not write yourself off even if it does not look like a fit just yet.

Responsibilities/Description

Read through this section carefully. Have you actually performed more than half of the responsibilities described?

Requirements/Qualifications

Check out each item in the requirements/qualifications section of the job description:

  • How many of the requirements/qualifications do you have? Make sure you meet at least half of the requirements/qualifications.
  • Do you have equivalent requirements/qualifications? Do you have existing skills that you can map to what is in the job description? How long would it take, given your current experience, to attain what is needed?

Education

  • Do you have all of the required educational credentials?
  • Do you have the preferred educational credentials?
  • Do you have experience that can be substituted for any of the credentials?

One way to get around having all of the educational credentials is to put in your resume a statement like the following:

20 years of experience in xxxxxx…in lieu of an MBA.

This will often get you past the applicant tracking systems and at least get you a phone interview for your to prove your worth.

(More: What Does Your Resume Say About Your Age? )

Do Not Be Afraid of the Purple Cow

Lastly, if you are following a targeted job search strategy, you will have an internal contact within the company. Ask your contact to find out what the hiring manager is really looking for!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Career Reinvention – A Model for Change

Career Reinvention

Career Reinvention

Click to Enlarge

I thought of the term Career Reinvention while listening to a Marshall Goldsmith coaching webinar.  He talked about facilitating organizational change. The principles he discussed are directly transferable to career reinvention.

He used the model to the right to guide organizations through organizational change.

We can apply this same model for career reinvention.

Notice that, in one dimension, we have the positive and negative symbols. Another way to look at this is that one direction is either pushing you toward your goals or taking you away from your goals.

In the other dimension, we have what we want to change and what we want to keep.

Creating

Creating is positive change. What do you want to add to your career? How do you want to positively change your career?

Creating the career you want…what stops you?

  • Fear?
  • Stereotypes? Perhaps you were you told that you were a certain type of person. Maybe the responsible one, the rebel, the quiet one, the pretty one, etc. How does that affect you today?
  • Financial requirements? Do you feel you have to make a certain amount of money?

Can you visualize what you want to become? Can you work backwards to find the steps you need to take?

(More: Career Reflection – A Twice a Year Duty)

Preserving

Preserving is keeping positive things in our career. What current aspects, tasks, or rewards do you want to keep?

You do not need to change everything! What do you want to carry forward or preserve from your current career?

What talents do you have that you want to build skills upon?

There are many characteristics in our careers that have been successful. Even if they have become obsolete, it is important not to discount them.

Marshal spoke about a philosophy or model for change created by  Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts of America. It is called tradition with a future. You never want to put down the past. You cannot move to the future by replicating the past but, on the other hand, we can honor where we have been.

(More: Talents versus Skills: Do You Know the Difference)

Eliminating

What are those negative things in your career that you want eliminate?  This is a two step process:

  • Knowing what to eliminate
  • Knowing when to eliminate them

If you do not eliminate things, you cannot create. There is not enough time.

You may eliminate talking when you are angry, or making destructive comments about others. Another idea is eliminating toxic friends. Do you have toxic friends from your current career who are telling you how hard it will be to change?

Accepting

This letting go of the past. Who do you need to forgive?

What are those negative things in your career that you do not like but are willing to accept? Maybe it is the commute or the bad coffee at work. How about your age? You cannot change how old you are. You cannot go back to being 25.

This is all about making a positive difference and not about proving how smart or right we are.

This is all about letting the things go that you do not like but at this time, are going to move on and not deal with it.

(More: The Key to a Successful Career Shift: Asking for Help)

Career Reinvention

So what is positive in your career? What is negative?

What do you want to keep? What do you want to eliminate?

Let me know what you think of this model. Can it work for you? Are you ready for Career Reinvention?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for July 26

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Career

Job Search

Baby Boomer

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Understanding the Hiring Manager Prior to the Interview

Who is the hiring manager? Who are they really?

hiring managerYou are scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager. Who is this person? What do you have in common?

The more you know about the hiring manager before the interview, the more you can do to work on building a relationship during the interview.

Remember — People hire people they like!

It is time to do some investigative work!

LinkedIn

Check the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile for the following:

  • Education – What schools did they attend and where? Did you attend a same school or a school from the same conference or even the same area? Do you have the same or similar degrees?
  • Work History – Did you work for the same company at any point in the past?
  • Check the LinkedIn groups that the hiring manager belongs to. If you have none in common, join some of the groups and check out their participation. What have they shared? Have they commented on posts?
  • Volunteering – What non-profit organizations are listed and how did the hiring manager participate?
  • Recommendations – Who has the hiring manager recommended and who has recommended the hiring manager? Have they written recommendations for current or former employees who worked for them?

Copy the entire LinkedIn profile, including the recommendations, and paste it into a Word Cloud tool like Wordle.net or TagCrowd.

You can then harvest the profile for keywords. You can read and view a video on how to do this on my Career Pivot blog post called Finding Keywords to Manage Your Career.

Look for keyword phrases that the hiring manager used. Create a list of these phrases and bring that list with you to the interview.

Facebook

Check out their Facebook page. Look for the following:

  • Marital status
  • Children
  • Hobbies
  • Vacation photos

Look for anything that you might have in common.

The more you know about the hiring manager before the interview, the more you can do to work on building a relationship during the interview.

Remember — People hire people they like!

Twitter

Take a look at their Twitter profile. What do they tweet? What do they retweet?

Have they tweeted out any pictures?

Who do they follow and who follows them?

Check out the Twitter lists that they subscribe to. Check out the Twitter lists that they belong to.

Look for patterns.

What do you have in common?

Create a list of items that you have in common, both personally and professionally. From that list, create questions that you can ask to start the conversation.

Remember — People hire people they like!

When you show an interest in the hiring manager and who they are, you are more likely to be perceived as likeable.

Remember — People hire people they like!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Entrepreneur to Employee – Case Study

Entrepreneur to Employee

Last month, I wrote about the difficulties in making the entrepreneur to an employee transition.entrepreneur to employee

I want to tell you the story of Tom, who is making the entrepreneur to employee transition.

Tom was raised by a set of traditional parents. Like most would-be entrepreneurs, Tom was different—in a good way.

  • Tom is cause driven. When he finds something he cares about, he becomes passionate.
  • Tom is a people person. Tom is an introvert, but he is also a very good communicator. He relates to people very well. He is empathetic and really enjoys helping people.
  • Tom is a geek! Tom understands technical issues and loves to solve complex problems.

Tom is a cause driven, people oriented, geek! I told you he was different.

Tom moved to Austin with his family and needed a job. His last entrepreneurial venture was on hold, so he now had a problem most of us can relate to: he needed a paycheck!

I am working with more and more Gen Xers who, for one reason or another, need to abandon their entrepreneurial paths to acquire a paycheck.

Entrepreneur to Employee Transition

He found employment, but it was definitely a J-O-B. Remember, he is cause driven.

Tom came to me we went into full diagnosis mode.

  • We started with a Career Pivot Evaluation. Through the use of the Birkman assessment, he learned about what made him different. There were multiple aha moments.
  • Once the evaluation was complete, we started the personal branding process. One of the first tasks was for Tom to ask three people he trusted to give him a set of words and phrases that described him. He was shocked!

Tom had no idea that people saw him that way. What they told him was true, but he had no idea that people viewed him like that.

Lesson #1 – We do not see ourselves the way other people see us.

We built what his ideal work environment would look like.

Targeted Job Search

Making the leap from entrepreneur to employee is difficult. Tom could now identify what he wanted in his next position and ask for it. The key was that he could clearly articulate what he wanted.

  • The employer’s mission had to be one that Tom identified with
  • The environment had to be team oriented
  • He would get to solve problems and, more importantly, problems that an impact on people’s lives
  • He wanted a flexible work environment

Tom then built an extensive list of companies in the Austin area that could possibly meet these criteria. He started vetting the companies by working through the processes I laid out for him using LinkedIn.

  • He identified who he knew in each company or who he knew that could introduce him to someone within the company
  • Using a one on one approach, he met with employees on his target list (remember he is an introvert). He asked for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations.

After meeting with one contact at Company A, he was able to remove company A from his list. As he met with others, he was able to remove more from the list.

As I expected, out of the blue, one of his contacts told him about an open position at a company based in Austin that met Tom’s criteria. His contact passed his resume to the hiring manager and, within a month, he had an offer in hand.

Lesson #2 – You have no control over the timing and the opportunity will come through a relationship.

I had a contact who had previously worked for the hiring company. He told us how finances and benefits were packaged, which allowed Tom to negotiate a better deal.

Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is incredibly important in the entrepreneur to employee transition. Tom defined the culture he wanted and set out to find it.

Companies are always looking to see if potential hire will be a good cultural fit. You need to do the same. Especially, in the entrepreneur to employee transition.

What do you want and can you articulate it?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

 

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for July 19

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Job Search

Social Media

  • Straight Talk From a Recruiter: LinkedIn is Essential for Your Job Search – Social-Hire http://bit.ly/1tVVMLc

Career

Baby Boomer

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Workplace Communications – Generational Differences

Workplace Communications

workplace communicationsWorkplace communications has changed dramatically in my lifetime.

When I started working as a programmer in Chicago in the mid 1970s, I had a phone on my desk. If I wanted to talk to my boss, I would call him and his secretary would often answer his phone. If he was not there, she would take a message on a little piece of paper and put it on his desk.

In the early 1980s, I used IBM’s mainframe based e-mail system called PROFS. My phone was tied to a message center and, if I did not answer in 4 rings, the center would answer and take a message. A little light would flash on our phone to tell me to call the message center to get the message.

In the mid 1980s, I got an answering machine with those little cassette tapes. That was later replace by voice mail.

In the early 1990s, I had my first Internet based e-mail address. I received my first laptop and a modem to use to dial up to download e-mail.

In the mid 1990s, I got a pager, a cell phone, and I learned to text.

Later came smartphones—first a Crackberry…err…a Blackberry, and then an iPhone. Now, I am constantly connected.

WOW, things have changed!

(More: Gen X and Y – Like Oil and Water?)

Generational Differences

I am a baby boomer (born 1946-1964) and I was born in the mid 1950s. I grew up talking face to face or on the phone. If you want to communicate with me, I would much rather have you talk to me than e-mail or text me. I am typical of my generation, I want a face to face dialog, but if that is not possible, let’s talk on the phone. I want to hear your voice inflection, passion, and desire.

Gen Xers (born 1965-1982) first started entering the workforce in the late 1980′s. E-mail was the norm.  If a Gen Xer needed to communicate to someone it was, typically, through e-mail. Have you or one of your colleagues sent an e-mail to the person in the next cube or office? Come on…you know you have!

Gen Y or Millennials (born 1983-2000) entered the workplace when mobile communications devices were the norm—cellular and smart phones. Google was the preferred way of finding things. Texting and  instant messaging were the most common ways to communicate. This generation created social media and is highly social. However, not in a manner that most baby boomers perceive!

(More: Group Dynamics in the Multi-Generational Workplace)

Workplace Communications in a Multi-Generational Office

When you have multiple generations working side by side not everyone has the same preferred communications mode.

If I, a baby boomer, want to get the attention of a millennial who is on the other side of the building, I will likely text them. If I call them, they probably will not answer the phone AND they probably will not listen to my voicemail.
Notice I say probably because, even within a generation, there are great variations.

Similarly, if a millennial texts a baby boomer, the baby boomer may not read the text.

However, if the baby boomer is a parent to a millennial, they may have learned to text.

The point is that every individual has their preferred communications style. If you want to be heard and be understood, you need to adapt your communications to the listener.

How do I know your preferred communications style? I need to ask!

You can make certain assumptions about an individual’s preferred workplace communications style based on their generation, but you still need to ask them.

Workplace communications should be a give and take where everyone adapts to everyone. If you want to get ahead in your career, you need to be understood. To be understood, you need to understand the listener’s workplace communications style.

What is your preferred communications style? What is your boss’s and team’s preferred communications style?

Has this mixture of workplace communications styles caused friction in your workplace?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

 

Applicant Tracking Systems – The Hidden Peril – Guest Post

Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant Tracking SystemsHow to overcome the most invisible obstacle job seekers face today.

There’s a secret trap that stops great and highly qualified people getting hired. It’s the rise and rise of Applicant Tracking Systems. If you don’t know how these work, you are at serious risk of becoming a victim.

Here’s what you need to know.

You may have an excellent and relevant background, an impressive resume and be completely charged about working for a particular firm.

You may be by a country mile the best qualified person for the job.

But you still won’t get hired. Or even selected for interview.

And increasingly the reason is because an applicant tracking system (ATS) filtered you out.

Some sources quote that as many as 75% of applicants are eliminated by ATS systems, as soon as they submit their resume, despite being qualified for the job!

In this post, I’ll explain all you need to know about ATS and what you can do to not get caught out by one. I’m sure you’ll be happy to leave those traps for your rivals!

(More: Is the resume still relevant)

So what is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Applicant tracking systems are increasingly used by many employers to process job applications and to manage the hiring process. They are also sometimes known as talent management systems or job applicant tracking systems.

Applicant tracking systems automate the way companies manage the recruiting process. They extract key data from resumes and applications and store this in a database.

This information is then used for screening candidates, applicant testing, scheduling interviews, checking references, and documenting the end to end process.

Sounds good so far doesn’t it? Instead of relying on the inconsistency of human screening, a machine will give everyone a fair and equal assessment.

If only that were true…

Why companies use Applicant Tracking Systems

The sheer volume of applications received for most positions today means that human reading of dozens or hundreds of applications and resumes is time consuming, expensive and prone to human error.

Applicant tracking systems are more than just administrative tools though. They are also used to provide a record of regulatory compliance and to track sources of candidates, for example where the candidate found the job posting.

How Applicant Tracking Systems work

Applicants upload their information, including their relevant experience, educational background and resume into the database. This information is transferred from one part of the system to another as the candidates move through the selection process.

(More: What does your resume say about your age?)

So where’s the problem?

The problem with applicant tracking systems, is that they are just that. Systems. They lack human intelligence. And that’s a big problem for candidates.

If your resume isn’t formatted how the system expects it to be and doesn’t contain the right keywords and phrases, the applicant tracking system may well misread it and rank it as a bad match with the job, regardless of your qualifications.

And there’re no fail safe checks. That’s it. You’re out.

This weakness has been proven by research

In a test last year, Bersin & Associates created a resume for an ideal candidate for a clinical scientist position. The research firm perfectly matched the resume to the job description and submitted the resume to an applicant tracking system from Taleo, the leading maker of these systems.

When the researchers then studied how the resume apppeared in the applicant tracking system, they found that one of the candidate’s job positions was ignored completely simply because the resume had the dates of employment typed in before the name of the employer.

The applicant tracking system also failed to pick up several key educational qualifications the candidate held, giving a recruiter the impression that the candidate lacked the educational experience required for the job.

This perfect resume only scored a 43% relevance ranking to the job because the applicant tracking system misread it.

So your only hope for passing through an ATS successfully is to understand exactly how these systems work and to make sure you don’t get caught out.

How Applicant Tracking Systems rank your resume

Many think that applicant tracking systems rely simply on keywords to score the fit between a candidate’s resume and a specific job. So they search to identify keywords in the job description and insert these keywords into their resumes.

In fact, what matters most to an ATS isn’t the number of word matches found. It’s the uniqueness or “rarity” of the keyword or the keyword phrase, i.e. those keywords and phrases specific to that particular job.

The ATS then calculates a ranking based on how closely each applicant’s resume matches each keyword and phrase and only then how many of the keyword phrases each resume contains.

What recruiters see when they look at your resume on an Applicant Tracking System

But scoring shortcomings are not the end of it. An ATS also restricts what recruiters and HR people see when viewing candidates’ information on the system.

When a recruiter views a candidate whom the applicant tracking system has ranked as a good match for the job, the recruiter doesn’t see the resume the candidate submitted. The recruiter sees only the information the applicant tracking system pulled from the candidate’s resume into the database.

The ATS will try to identify this information on a job seeker’s resume, but if a resume isn’t formatted in the way the system expects it to be, it won’t pull this information into the proper fields.

Sometimes, whole sections can be ignored, such as a key skills profile or an executive summary.

(More: Social Media Strategy – My Resume)

How to optimize your resume for an Applicant Tracking System

So if you are job seeking, ATS systems can potentially ruin your chances of getting hired. Fortunately there are some simple tips that can help ensure that the other applicants rather than you get tripped up.

Never send your resume as a PDF

ATS cannot readily structure PDF documents, so they’re easily misread, or worse fail completely.

Don’t include images, tables or graphs

An ATS can’t read graphics and they misread tables. Instead of reading tables left to right, as a person would, applicant tracking systems read them top to bottom and consequently the information can get jumbled or missed altogether. So don’t be tempted to use images, boxes, tables or graphs anywhere in your resume.

You may choose to submit a longer resume

The length of your resume doesn’t matter to an applicant tracking system. It will scan your whole resume regardless of its length. Because a longer resume allows you to include more of your relevant experience this may enable you to improve your ranking in the system.

However do not overdo this. If you get through the ATS screening, real people will still be reading your resume, so you still need to keep it concise and present it in a way which communicates your main strengths as clearly as possible.

Label your work experience, “Work Experience”:

You may have chosen to refer to your work experience on your resume under headings such as “Professional Experience” or “Key Achievements”. Don’t. Some people get very creative with their resumes because they think it will help them stand out, but in fact it damages your prospects once an ATS gets involved. Don’t run the risk of letting the computer miss your work experience just because you didn’t label it as such.

Don’t start your work experience with dates
To ensure applicant tracking systems read and import your work experience properly, always start it with your employer’s name, followed by your title. Finally add the dates you held that title. It’s wise to give each of these pieces of information its own line. Applicant tracking systems look for company names first. By the same token, you should never start an entry about your work experience with the dates you held the position.

Follow these tips and at the very least an ATS should give your resume a fair assessment. And with luck your biggest rivals won’t know how to dodge these traps!

This post originally appeared on the 40PlusCareerGuru Blog!

About the Author:

Neil Patrick is the Editor of 40pluscareerguru, a blog which deals with the career issues facing mature professionals. He is also on Twitter at @NewCareerGuru

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for July 12

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career

Career Pivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Evaluating the Job Offer – What is Missing?

job offerEvaluating the Job Offer

When you get a job offer what the first thing you look at?

The Money!

If all you are looking at is the money in the job offer, you may end up very disappointed a few months down the road.

I wrote about determining what you want in non-financial terms in a previous postI wrote about the need to determine what you really care about before evaluating the job offer.

What is Missing or Hidden in the Job Offer?

There are two areas of compensation that are changing in the workplace—Paid Time Off (PTO) and health insurance.

When I went to work for IBM in 1978, I was given two weeks vacation that was allotted to me at the beginning of the year, and I had virtually an unlimited amount of sick leave. Pretty generous! At five years, I was allotted three weeks of vacation, and we could carry any unused vacation forward.

Most companies have moved to a Paid Time Off (PTO) model where you earn a certain number of hours of PTO with each paycheck. This way, companies do not have to track whether it is sick or vacation time.

What you should be looking for in the job offer as it relates to PTO:

  • Holidays – Some businesses have cut the number of paid holidays back to a minimum and expect the employee to use PTO for the rest.
  • Beginning PTO balance – Is the PTO balance zero when you start? If you have a planned vacation within the next six months, you will probably not have enough PTO time. You can negotiate for PTO time to be added at your hire date.
  • When does the accrual rate of PTO time increase? Do you have to wait one or three or five years to start accumulating PTO at a higher rate? You may be able to negotiate to start at a higher accrual rate.
  • Can you carry the PTO balance over from year to year?
  • Will the business pay out any remaining PTO balance when you leave? This was a huge issue for me when I left my last corporate gig. I had accrued over 5 weeks of PTO and I had to make sure I would get paid before I left.

Time off from work is valuable. You need to look at this carefully.

What you should be looking for in the job offer as it relates to health insurance:

  • Is you spouse covered? Are you planning to put your spouse on the health insurance plan? Check to see if that is allowed. Many businesses are dumping insurance coverage for your spouse.
  • Does the business contribute to coverage for your spouse and children? When I went to teach high school math for a couple of years, the school district allowed me to add my wife and child to the policy, but I had to foot the entire bill for the additional coverage. My out of pocket expense was double my COBRA payment from my last high-tech position. I stayed on COBRA until we could find alternative insurance for my wife and child.
  • If your spouse is covered, but the out of pocket expense is very high, consider going to the Healthcare Market Place. Due to the fact that your spouse is eligible for group healthcare coverage from the job offer, you will NOT be eligible for any tax credits. This can be a balancing act with thousands of dollars dependent on your decision.

Usually, the health insurance issue is not negotiable. What you do want is to be able to evaluate the offer with your eyes wide open.

PTO and health insurance benefits can be a large portion of your compensation. Look at these items in the job offer seriously!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s White Paper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my personal branding white paper –  Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist