The Right Way to List Job Titles on Your Résumé

When it comes to composing a résumé, we expend a great deal of time and effort carefully wording and arranging our specific employment skills; possibly even more energy than we do on our actual job titles.  While there is certainly no excuse for failing to adequately convey the details of your expertise, remember that your job titles are equally as essential, and likewise, as noticeable as the aspects that follow.


First, job seekers must take into account that the job title assigned to them by their employer may not necessarily coincide with what should be listed on their résumé.  However, this is not to be confused with changing the characteristics of the job itself, or what its title represents.  The fact is that a company will often assign their own (sometimes “extravagant”) title to a specific role within the organization.  Yet, this title may not always coincide with the industry standard.  In an example provided by the article, “Don’t Get Creative With Job Titles in Your Résumé”, it is suggested that if your last employer gave you an innovative-sounding role, such as “Data Janitor II”, for instance, you will want to list your job title as the more typical “Database Analyst” when drafting your résumé. The essence of the job is unchanged, but with a standard title, your résumé has a greater chance of ending up in the right hands. The goal is to assure that your résumé is viewed by as many eyes as possible, and listing your job titles according to the industry-standard is one way to achieve this.

The next question is whether or not to list your intended job title in the beginning of your résumé.  Often, just below the contact information, applicants will include an objective line which often consists of the exact job they are looking for.  In some cases, a clear objective that directly indicates your goals can work to your advantage with hiring managers, but this is only if your proposed job title is an exact match for the open position.  Given the wide range of intricate job titles that seem to fall under a surprisingly fewer number of actual roles available within a given industry, it may be a better idea to omit the objective line altogether, allowing prospective employers to skip right to your skill set and work history.  Thus, hiring managers have to opportunity to gain a more comprehensive perspective of your potential value to their organization, which could potentially lead to even more employment opportunities in the long run.  However, if you wish to keep your résumé’s objective line, consider listing a description of the job you are seeking, rather than one specific title.

Another quandary job hunters sometimes encounter is how to list multiple job titles under the same company.  Perhaps you were promoted once, or even several times, by the same employer and you’re unsure of how to clearly depict your shifting job titles.  We suggest two basic options, depending on the layout of your résumé.

Résumés where work history is organized according to company name:

XYZ Company, Inc.

Executive Director (2014-2017)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Branch Manager (2007-2014)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Supervisor (2002-2007)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Résumés where work experience is organized according to job title:

Executive Director, XYZ Company, Inc. (2014-2017),

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Branch Manager, XYZ Company, Inc. (2007-2014)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments

Supervisor, XYZ Company, Inc. (2002-2007)

  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments
  • Responsibilities, tasks, accomplishments


When drafting your résumé, remember that the correct representation of your prior job titles will offer prospective employers an all-inclusive view of your work history, as well a promising perspective of your value as an employee. Therefore, carefully consider your goals according to the nature of your field, and choose your words wisely.


Fred Coon, CEO


At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.

5 Tips for Staying Organized During Your Job Search

There is little question that an effective, and often successful, job search is an organized one.  Those who have been navigating the job market for any length of time will truly understand the magnitude of what goes into a well-functioning job search.

Furthermore, now that the ability to acquire and track essential information is utterly at our fingertips, employers naturally expect job candidates to display a new level of awareness, knowledge, and reliability.  This, in turn, adds another layer of complexity beyond simply maintaining a list of names, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Order Or Chaos Keys Shows Either Organized Or Unorganized

With this in mind, we will explore some practical ways for hopeful candidates to sustain an organized and successful job search process.

  1. Designate Your Workstation – An organized space is conducive to an organized mind. Creating a specific area where you can peacefully search and apply for jobs online, make phone calls, and check email is an important part of maintaining an orderly job search.  Be sure your workstation is free of unrelated items, such as books, bills, and other random papers which could become mixed up with your job-related materials.  Consider investing in an inexpensive desk organizer to keep your supplies in order and reduce distraction.
  2. Create a Table/Spreadsheet – While this may seem like simple advice, it is very easy to become lost in a sea of barely legible paper scraps during a hectic job search.  Notes jotted down during online searches and important phone calls can be easily misplaced or misfiled.  However, a creating a spreadsheet or table with a suitable software program can eliminate the risk of losing important information. To keep your data separate and organized, Rae Sanders, Team Leader and Principal Staffing Manager at WynterWyman, suggests creating functional columns in your spreadsheet; such as Company, Contact Name, Email/Phone, Application Date, Interview Date/Time, Follow-Up Date(s), and Application Status. We recommend also adding sections for important keywords and – based upon your own research – essential facts about the company that would be useful during an interview.
  3. Use a Multi-Subject Notebook – If perhaps, you are not comfortable with a computerized spreadsheet, there is nothing wrong with keeping written records of your job search the old fashion way, with an organized notebook. To avoid confusion, just remember to make sure the notebook isn’t used for any other purpose.  We suggest opting for a larger multi-subject notebook with built-in tabs to help you stay extra organized.  Anna Runyan, CEO and Founder of the Forbes’ renowned website, Classy Career Girl, also recommends allocating sections of your notebook for drafting cover letters, taking notes during interviews, networking, as well as keeping track of your applications and interview appointments.
  4. Make Your Smartphone Work for You – If you’ve been searching for a new job, chances are you’ve already been habitually checking your Smartphone for important messages.  Why not, then, make use of the myriad of Smartphone applications that can help you, not only stay organized, but never miss an appointment? The simplest of apps – the calendar — should actually have already been loaded on your device when you received it.  Entering all appointments into your calendar, as well as vital alert settings, will ensure that you never double-book, miss, or are late for an interview or meeting.  To take things a step further, research the plethora of job search-related organizational apps that are available, such as the highly recommended, JibberJobber, which acts as a virtual dashboard for your career search.  With this particular app, you can upload and import the entirety of your job search materials, including your resume, notes, and email; managing them all from one convenient location.
  5. Phone Call Preparation – In our mobile world, there is a strong chance that your next important phone call will arrive at a time when you are away from your workstation.  As organized as your job search may have been up until this point, you can still feel quite frenzied when trying to accurately grasp important information while in a public place or crowded area. The best advice is to be prepared by keeping your cell phone fully charged and have writing materials handy at all times.  Consider purchasing a portable phone charger for your car, and most definitely keep a travel-sized notepad and pen in your pocket or handbag, should you need to safely pull over to take a phone call.  If you happen to be in a noisy environment at the time of the call, do your best to move to a quieter space.  If you absolutely cannot leave your location, at least be sure to write down the correct contact information until you reach a destination where you can speak properly with the caller.


Working on laptop


A great portion of staying organized is remaining mindful and alert.  Taking these five guidelines into account will not only keep your own job search on track, but will likely allow you to stand out to hiring managers as a well thought-out, sensible job candidate.

Fred Coon, CEO


Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

How Job Seekers Can Identify Their Best Company Culture

The one aspect of company culture that remains consistent is that it is completely subjective.  An environment that provides an ideal working condition for one employee could possibly send another running to the nearest help-wanted ad.  Considering how many hours per day we spend at our jobs, it is only natural for individuals to actively seek a work culture that fits, at least closely, with their working habits, personality, and lifestyle.

Yet, with this in mind, how can job seekers truly know what type of company is a good cultural fit?

Company Culture - Puzzle Piece_Self

Identifying your comfort zone

The best way to figure out where you belong is to figure out who you are.  Think back to previous positions you’ve held. At what time was your morale at its highest, and when did you find you were searching for some shred of inspiration to get through the day? Perhaps you’ve found that working for a spirited company sparked your enthusiasm.  You looked forward to the luncheons and company picnics, and embraced the family atmosphere. Conversely, you may be the type of employee who preferred a more subdued environment; and while you like your coworkers, you view a litany of company events, not as a perk, but more as a pressure.

Although these are basic examples, consider objectively when and how you perform best.  Chances are these are also the instances when you have been the most content in your place of employment.

Discovering what motivates you

Do you find that your output and quality increase when you know you’re “under fire”, so to speak?  Perhaps you aren’t the most self-directed employee, but since we are being objective, it’s really nothing to be ashamed, especially if you’re aware of it.  If knowing the presence of your superiors is imminent while you work on a project is what keeps you on track, then seeking an organization with a practical, hands-on leadership style may be best for you.  On the contrary, if you are an autonomous worker who finds that constant intervention from superiors actually slows you down and hinders your creativity, you may want to steer clear of a “micromanaging” atmosphere.

Recognizing a company’s culture

If you’ve had a job search that has drawn on just a little bit too long, it’s easy to put company culture at the bottom of your prerequisite list.   However, not taking into account your own needs and how they would ultimately integrate with the company with which you are interviewing, is basically increasing the odds that you will be back where you started, seeking employment.

How can job seekers possibly identify a company’s culture without first accepting the job and actually working for the organization? 

Before you even enter the hiring manager’s office, be sure to check out the organization’s LinkedIn page and company website.  A company’s “personality” can really shine through on their website as well as via their social media presence.  You will likely get a strong idea of whether a company promotes a fun, creative disposition or a dignified, corporate sensibility.

What is the best way for job candidates to discover the more minute details regarding a company’s culture?

Once you have landed in the interview chair, take this opportunity to directly ask the hiring manager about their management style and what qualities the company seeks in its best employees.  You may also want to consider asking your interviewer what they like best about their job. Asking the right questions will help you draw a direct connection between your own preferences and tendencies and what would most likely be expected of you by this particular employer.

Company Culture - Employees_graphic_blue

The Takeway

While we may not automatically give first priority to factors such as company culture when considering a new job, ascertaining how we will ultimately fit within an organization will actually help to increase our overall job stability. After all, whether employee or employer, everyone is on their best behavior at first, but as time wears on, it is often difficult — or even impossible — to hide our true inclinations.

Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

8 Ways to a Stress-Free Job Search

The word “stress”, in and of itself, almost always has a negative connotation.  Our physicians even tell us that the key to a long life is reducing negative stress. It has become part of the paradigm of modern society that stress is bad, and while this is true in many ways, there are certain types of stress which may actually motivate us to do better. Submitting a project on time, reaching a sales goal before a competitor – or in this case, successfully completing a job search — may certainly be prompted by stressful emotions.

Stress-Free Job Search - Stop-stress-stop-sign

While this type of stress may actually help us with our accomplishments, in its extreme, it can actually have the opposite effect, hindering our full potential.

You can’t eliminate stress altogether, but you can certainly put it in perspective.  Here are some tips for job-searching with a calm perspective:

1.  Stop the checking cycle.

It’s normal to anxiously await a response from a hiring manager following an interview or submission of a job application.  Of course, we know that constantly checking and rechecking your email or text messages is not going to affect the speed at which a message will arrive. It will however, lead to a habitual cycle that can significantly boost stress levels. Make sure your notifications and volume settings are active on all your devices, and then just put it out of your mind and go on with your day.  Another option is to designate a specific time – morning and/or afternoon – when you check your email messages, preferably no more than twice a day.

2.  Leave the past behind.

Refrain from becoming consumed with reviewing your prior correspondence, looking for misspellings or grammatical errors.  If that is the reason they’re not calling you back then move on to the next job and resolve to do a better job of proofreading next time.  Also, if you feel you could have responded better to certain questions during previous interviews, learn from your errors, and make your next interview count.

3.  Organization counts.

Staying organized can also help reduce job-search related stress levels.  Keeping either an Excel spreadsheet or a notebook of all the jobs you’ve applied for, along with contact names, numbers, and emails will ensure that you are not left perplexed and stressed when you do receive those call-backs.  This also includes having interview-appropriate clothing ready to go, as well as enough resume copies and a professional looking portfolio to go with you.

4.  Don’t be over-consumed.

An overly stressful outlook may cause you to feel insecure, which can then spill over into your demeanor and decision making processes.  A super-stressed job seeker may find themselves repeatedly calling a prospective employer in hopes of finding out if they’ve got the job; however, this is never a good idea.   If your interviewer said they should have an answer by next week, wait the allotted amount of time. If the full week goes by, and you haven’t heard from them, then it is appropriate to reach out to them with your inquiry.

5.  Be budget-smart.

If you are job-seeking due to the loss of a job, and are currently unemployed, this can certainly translate to an understandable amount of pressure, as well as adding a completely new layer of stress to your job search. If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, be sure you have filed appropriately and in a timely manner.  In either case, your finances may be tight during this time, so creating a reasonable, yet frugal budget may help you feel more in control during times of uncertainty.

6.  Don’t take rejections personally. 

Rejection is part of life; particularly when you’re on the hunt for a new job.  Jobs sometimes disappear because of a corporate policy shift; because the company has been acquired by (or is acquiring) another company; or because it simply became irrelevant.  Most often, though, it is because they found someone who fit into their corporate culture.  It doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough, or that you should take it personally.  They may have been a better fit; but somewhere along the line you’re going to be a better fit than somebody else.

7.  Seek alternatives.

If you want to expend some of that nervous energy, continue looking for new job openings, and use your time to line up more possibilities.  In this case, it is certainly not naïve optimism to just carry on.  There are always new opportunities and alternative strategies when seeking employment.  Consider looking into webinars or online refresher courses to enhance your marketability, or work on building your professional network, which in turn, could lead to even more employment prospects.

8.  Find time for enjoyment.

A frenzied approach to job hunting isn’t necessarily going to help you reach your objective any quicker.  While your job search is most likely taking up a great deal of your free time, there is no reason you still can’t “take time off” now and then.  Enjoying a Friday or Saturday evening with friends; making time for enjoyable and healthy activities, such as exercise, yoga, shows, music, reading, cooking, or whatever it is that you enjoy most in life is crucial to your sanity and your overall stress reduction.  The job boards will still be there when you get back; except this time, you will have a clear mind and an energized spirit.

Stress-Free Job Search - Man working on laptop computer_sunglasses

The Takeaway

Everyone benefits from maintaining a centered approach to life, and job seeking is certainly no exception.  Remember not to get down on yourself; and don’t get into a panic because you didn’t get the first, or second, or the third job you applied for.  It’s a process, and there are resources out there to help you make it work.  Don’t worry… Relax… You’ve got this.

Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

When Should You Make a Lateral Career Move?

Moving upward is certainly not the only option when considering a change in your career.  A lateral (or sideways) career move is classified as a shift to another position of comparable salary and responsibility level.  Individuals who opt for a lateral career move can accept a new, but equivalent, job within either a new company or  their current organization.  While vast differences may not immediately prevail, these types of career shifts can often prove beneficial as time goes on.

Lateral Career Move - Businessmen_paper airplanes

Changing careers, in any capacity, can be a complicated decision. Employees often decide upon a career move because their current job isn’t meeting their needs, whether financially, or in terms of personal and professional growth and fulfillment.

Yet, when considering a lateral career shift, there seem to be an additional group of factors to take into account.

Reasons for and benefits of making a lateral career move

In addition to a sense of monotony within their current position, an employee may seek a lateral change because options for rising advancement are not currently available. Perhaps, however, there is an available position that – while it may offer an equivalent pay and workload – will also offer the employee an opportunity to gain a new skill set and expand upon an area of expertise which will become useful to them once the prospect for an upward promotion arises.

In fact, when the move is made within the same organization, gaining a new skill set through a lateral employment move is not only beneficial to the employee, but also to the employer. The company now has a valued employee with confirmed abilities, newly acquired skills, and a proven dedication to the organization.

Conversely, a new job with a new company means the employee has the opportunity to create new contacts as well as acquire new expertise.  Even a horizontal career move can broaden the employee’s professional network and expand upon their skills and overall aptitude, ultimately enhancing their resume and making them a more marketable job candidate.

While lateral career moves may not come with an immediate pay raise, the general experience may lead to more lucrative opportunities down the road.

Considerations before making a lateral career move

Although there are numerous advantages to making a lateral career change, the decision should only be made following ample research and deliberation.

Does the new position offer a possibility for advancement and growth?  While income may not necessarily be the main consideration in this case, it is wise to research the new job as well as the possibilities and options it may provide in the future. Look to others within the same department or division, and if you find the job is a “dead end” and will never offer any upgrades, it might not be the right decision after all.

Is the career move being made out of sheer boredom or will it prove valuable in the long run?  While it might be fun and exciting to change careers, as with most things, even the new job will come mundane after a while.

How will this move affect your life and career goals?  If the move is one that relates to your current career, it can be considered an extension in your training and experience. If, however, it is too far removed or remote from your current job description, then this would not be a lateral career move, but a complete career overhaul.

Lateral Career Move - Jobs Street signs

The Takeaway

As the advantages to horizontal career shifts become more plentiful, the practice itself is becoming more widespread and desired within the business world.

Yet, before choosing to make a lateral career move, be sure to do your research. Is your current employer stable enough to sustain your planned career changes? Will the move to a new organization benefit your current career goals? Carefully consider your reasons for seeking a lateral move, and decide if it is the best choice for your professional objectives, both now, and in the future.

Fred Coon, CEO


Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.


Career Highlight: Project Management

Defining the Role of a Project Manager

Project Manager is one example of a profession currently in high demand by employers, and for good reason.  Due to the increasing responsibilities and varying roles of business leaders, it is in their best interest to hire an individual who can oversee the details of a project, from conception to completion, relieving other departmental executives and high ranking managers to focus on further important facets of the organization.

project-manager-working-staff-at-table“While a business is a continuous and ongoing operation, a project is a temporary venture aimed at producing a unique product, service or process,” noted small business, finance, and technology writer, Sarita Harbour in the article, “Why Is it Important for Organizations to Use Project Management?”

Project Management, at its core, assures the strength and stability of new initiatives.  For instance, a company who is planning to launch a new product line or marketing strategy, develop a new website or even reboot a department will call upon their Project Manager to devise strategies, assign tasks, and ensure that team members are adhering to predetermined timeline and budget requirements.

Specific Duties of a Project Manager

When a project is assigned, it is the Project Manager’s responsibility to oversee every aspect. First, they must develop an itemized budget for the overall project.

Next, managers will need to assess the strengths and talents of team members in order to properly delegate them to specifically appropriate tasks. While micromanaging is not encouraged, Project Managers will need to be kept informed of all progress and delays and react accordingly to make sure deadlines are met.

While working on the project, Managers will also be monitoring the scope of the workload and making adjustments as needed, while adapting assignments according to any issues or hitches that arise. Budgets may also need to be modified as unforeseen delays, product repairs, or other hindrances develop. It is the Project Manager’s job to adjust and correct any problems while making certain the project continues to run smoothly

How to Enter the Field of Project Management

project-manager-word-collageAccording to Computerworld contributing author, Mary K. Pratt, “Project Management is one of the hottest skills in IT today. In [their] 2015 Forecast survey, Project Management expertise was identified as the second-most sought-after skill, trailing only [behind] programming/application development.” She continued that approximately 35 percent of the 194 participating IT executives noted that their hiring strategies necessitated locating employees with abilities to lead projects.

While training and education are important, employees may begin working toward becoming a Project Manager by participating in projects within their company. This is the best opportunity to observe the routines and practices of other Project Managers, while also learning the skills necessary to successfully obtain and uphold the management of an important company endeavor.

Mangers will need to be detailed-orientated as well as possess the ability to lead other team members. A background in finance is required for the purpose of ascertaining and maintaining budget needs.  A strong technical sense is also recommended since a vast number of Project Management positions currently exist within the IT field.  Regardless of the nature of the organization, a certain amount of training and knowledge in the field is certainly beneficial.


If you are a conscientious professional who appreciates and enjoys continuous learning, working with as well as leading others, and receiving recognition as the one who is responsible for a successfully completed job, then a career in Project Management may just be for you.


Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

The Top Current Jobs in Business

What’s in Your Future?

Five sectors in the U.S. economy are going to drive more than 50 percent of the growth of new jobs in the next four years.  That’s in excess of 10,000,000 of the projected jobs by the end of 2020, and none of them contribute to economic growth.  How is it possible?

top-jobs-in-business-professional-group-pointingThese five sectors showing occupational growth are professional services, business services, social assistance, healthcare, and construction, indicating that service-based jobs are continuing an upward trend.

All five of these areas are noted for being indicators of economic growth in the technical sector.  It is clear that the job market will be calling for employees with Bachelor Degrees, Associates Degrees, Technical Degrees, and other STEM-based degrees, in the near future.

However, as we discover this information, we hope we haven’t missed an important window of opportunity.  Examine this data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  By 2022, it is projected that 25.6 percent of our work force will be aged 55 or older, a point we have never reached in US history to date.  The bulk (63.1 percent) of our work force will consist of people who are in the middle of their careers and not expected to make any significant changes.  The replacement workers, age 16 to 24, comprise only 11 percent of the workforce, which presents a problem.

We are not producing “replacement workers” fast enough to bridge the gap, and we potentially face a shortfall in the number of available workers at a time when businesses are going to be desperate for growth.

If you’re just starting out in your college education, and you’re looking at a business or technical career, that is an immense relief to employers.  You are going to be desperately needed when all those approaching retirement are finally separated from the job market.

Here are some of the areas you should focus on:

  • Advertising
  • Business operations specialists
  • Computer related occupations
  • Engineering
  • Financial occupations
  • Management occupations
  • Marketing
  • Promotion
  • Public relations
  • Sales and support services
  • Sales management and supervisors

top-jobs-in-business-outline-of-peopleComputer-related fields will provide a large portion of jobs (approximately 860,000), and management occupations will provide another approximate 200,000 positions, but none of the above listed categories are predicted to fall below 100,000 positions.

As it stands right now, when looking at all jobs on a city by city basis, hiring requirements are running between the mid-forties and the mid-fifties (percentage wise) where they stipulate a minimum of a Bachelor Degree.  That’s right…half of all the jobs require a college degree nowadays, and this, too, is a new record in our history.

Of course, in a world where babies grow up with a rattle in one hand and a tablet PC or an iPhone in the other hand, more people are technically competent now than at any other time in our history.  So what sort of jobs do we have for them?

  • Analytics Manager STEM & Tech Exp.
  • Audit Manager A.
  • Data Scientist A., Ph.D.
  • Engagement Manager Tech Degree
  • HR Manager A.
  • Mobile Developer A. & Tech Exp. Product Manager Tech Degree
  • Software Engineer C.S./Tech Degree Solutions Architect B.C.S./Tech Degree Tax Manager B.A.

The Takeaway

So, in consideration of this gap, there has never been a more important time to ascertain your plans as a job seeker. If you want to be in the construction trade, there will be plenty of great jobs for you.  The nursing profession is set to offer approximately 400,000 jobs, as well.

If, however, your interest is in business and technology, you need to take the time right now to decide where you are headed.  The biggest, most powerful ship in the world can churn the water into foam, but most assuredly it will never go anywhere important unless it also has a rudder to give it some direction.

Fred Coon, CEO


Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

Exploring Talent Communities and Their Role in Recruitment

While Talent Communities have a great deal to offer the world of recruitment and professional networking, they are neither employment agencies nor job boards.  They are, rather, segmented online groups which encourage the convergence of individuals with similar goals and talent-communities-businessman-holding-globe-of-professionalsinterests to interact and share information for the benefit of all.  Through collaboration of members, Talent Communities can offer a wide range of employment information and resources on an unofficial level.

Although they are beneficial to recruiting, it is not necessarily their sole purpose.  Members often brainstorm problems of various descriptions, very much akin to the phenomenon that prevailed from the 1980s through the early 1990s when the Internet was virtually unknown to the common person.

Group History

Before the World Wide Web was introduced, computers of all makes and varieties communicated through common telephone lines with modems via Bulletin Board Services (BBS).

From approximately 1978 to 1996, computer enthusiasts helped others solve their technical problems in many separate areas called SIGs (Special Interest Groups) covering employment, philosophy, science, creative writing, social phenomenal, or anything else you could imagine.  Essentially, Bulletin Board Services embodied the concept of the World Wide Web before it even existed as a mainstream medium.

Full Circle

Fast forward to the internet-driven 21st century, and we find we have parallel communities that are essentially SIGs.  People with similar interests share information and support each other, while reaping the benefit of available and easily-accessible expertise.

Recruitment Contribution

Although Talent Communities do offer a wide spectrum of service-related advantages, it is not wrong to assume that they are essentially career oriented.  They present a great opportunity to network within your own niche; you can enhance your contacts with connections very specifically tied to your career, rather than more generically as you would on most social media platforms.

Another feature that Talent Communities allow for is social recruiting, where professional recruiters or hiring managers seek top job candidates who are actively seeking employment.  Whether these recruiters are running the communities or not, candidates can advertise their availability simply through their participation.

Why Create a Talent Community?

In terms of time and effort, large companies (greater than 200 employees) spend nearly $5000 for each new hire.  If your company is in the habit of hiring 400 employees per year, that equates to two million dollars annually spent on recruiting.

On average, it can take six weeks to hire a new employee (eight weeks in the medical profession).  Having a critical position unfilled for a month and a half isn’t simply inconvenient; that empty desk may be costing an employer approximately $2000 per day in lost revenue.  Compared to the $5,000 cost of hiring, the loss of $84,000 in revenue is quite significant.  Also, there is often more than one vacancy, so it starts to add up very quickly.

By turning your “Careers” section into an inviting Talent Community you can have an ever-present pool of candidates.  Most of them will be passive candidates (those who are not actively seeking a job, but are curious about your company).  A number of active candidates will be present; some of your own employees must participate to answer questions, supply information, provide articles to show that the Talent Community is active; and in this modern age, when the upcoming crop of replacements for the retiring Baby Boomers is going to be 25 million short, you should invite your retirees and former employees.  Not only do they have the expertise to drive the Talent Community forward but they might be persuaded to return to work and offer their expertise while the employment supply-and-demand formula finds its balance again.

Benefits to Job Seekers

talent-communities-woman-working-at-laptopAn interested visitor can get a very specific idea about a particular employer when they explore that company’s Talent Community.  Understanding the corporate culture makes it much easier to decide if the job is a good fit for them.  Information provided by current and former employees will let them know if the available opportunities match their goals.

As they get to know the company, the company gets to know them.  This familiarity makes it much easier to apply for and obtain a job.

Furthermore, establishing an online rapport or relationship with a current employee opens the possibility of getting a personal referral.  Companies have reported that they grant more weight to a personal referral than they do to any other form of information about a potential hire.

The Takeaway

For employers, it really doesn’t get much better than having your own Talent Community full of potential hires.  It’s going to reduce your hiring costs, significantly speed up the whole hiring process, and save quite a bit of money in terms of lost revenue.

For job seekers, accessing a Talent Community can provide you with clear window into a company of interest, as well as the opportunity to communicate with other employees at the same organization.

Therefore, Talent Communities are a truly a win-win option for all participants.

By Fred Coon, CEO


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Data Analytics and the Recruitment Process

Data-based Decisions

As human beings, we all have our preferences and partialities, and our preconceived leanings often influence our decisions; for better or worse. Yet, preconceptions and favoritism should never play a part when conducting a job interview. However, there are data-and-recruitment-connectors-blue-backgroundoccasions where even one’s subconscious views can contribute to what we call the “Interviewer Effect”.

To limit the “Interviewer Effect”, many organizations are beginning to move closer toward the effective use of data analytics when reviewing a candidate’s qualifications.  This allows employers to make more evidence-based decisions, rather than relying on, or being overly influenced by “gut instinct”.

The assemblage of large conglomerates of data-based information for purposes of analysis, commonly referred to as Big Data, also proposes challenges of its own.  However, data analysis can be a helpful tool when employers are faced with difficult recruitment decisions.

Data Resistance

There are many who resist Big Data due to its expense or apparent complexities, but the availability of BDaaS (Big Data as a Service) has now made the whole process much easier.  Eliminated, is the need to invest in the expensive infrastructure of Data Warehouses, specialized IT staff, Data Lakes, and discrete servers.  Right now it is a quarter of a trillion dollar industry, certainly not some newfangled idea that “won’t last”.

Even if you want to create a private Big Data resource, it is no longer particularly difficult.  With the advent of ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) software, transforming your databases from disparate to self-contained internal files has rendered the use of Big Data almost automatic; and running it at prescheduled intervals keeps it up to date without a great deal of effort.

Private Big Data used in conjunction with BDaaS is a highly effective combination.

People Analytics

BDaaS has innumerable applications, but in the case of recruitment, we’re interested in the portion known as people analytics. There are organizations that have dedicated themselves to analyzing all of the available information from every main social media site, in addition to a plethora of other less obvious information sources.

Hiring companies can provide these organizations with a list of their top 10 prospects and, in turn, be advised as to which one would be the best fit for their company.  Conversely, going in empty-handed with only basic specifications will still result in locating a closely suited prospective candidate.

The Role of Gamification

Even beyond data analytics, a form of strategy analysis, most recently known as Game Theory or gamification, now also has a pivotal role indata-and-recruitment-woman-connecting-profiles-on-screen many forms of problem solving, including hiring.

While reasonably new, the process has some key advantages.  It is intended to help employers move beyond resumé-based information by presenting a candidate with a game scenario, allowing the employer to isolate which individuals are more likely to devise innovative and effective solutions to problems.

The interviewing process of asking questions and interpreting the answers is basically analog in nature, and some believe, can increase the opportunity for biases.  Seeking results through a game which tests externalized thinking and creativity is digital in nature, in that answers are either right or wrong .

The gamification methodology has actually “gone corporate” with big names such as Google™ and Facebook™ offering the “Google Code Jam” and the “Programming Challenge“, respectively.  Winners almost inevitably get interesting, fun, and great paying jobs.

Candidates Don’t Need Big Data

Unless someone works for a Big Data specialist, it is essentially unavailable to private individuals, but ultimately, that is of little concern.  A simple web search will reveal companies matched to the interests of most job seekers, as will the services of a recruitment agency.

In terms of interview preparation, those interested in one of the more innovative companies may encounter tools designed to create scenarios, but essentially the strategy remains the same:

  • Isolate an issue which your potential company is currently experiencing;
  • Craft a solution; and
  • Use it to pitch yourself as the person who is best qualified to implement that solution.

Finding a Balance

The evidence is clear that data technology has not only affected employers and job seekers alike, but has changed the job market drastically. Not only has it created access to once unavailable prospects, it has become a crucial decision-making tool.

Of course, this is not to say that employers must not practice and perfect their own skills of objectivity, good judgment, and proper attention to their company culture when seeking new candidates or conducting a traditional job interview. However, smart employers are also embracing the advantages that data analytics has to offer, and consequently, opening their organizations up to a world of talented and compatible job seekers.

Fred Coon, CEO


Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

Reentering the Workforce After a Long Absence

The reasons why an individual may leave the workforce indefinitely are multi-faceted.  The most common include maternity/paternity, palliative care for a sick or elderly relative, raising children, additional education, starting a business, stress-related leave, or simply taking time for creative endeavors.

reentering-the-workforce-long-corridorA parting can take place in an official capacity, such as a sabbatical, while some workers may choose an early retirement.  Yet, while the reasons for prematurely discontinuing your employment may vary, the rationales which motivate one to return to the workforce also range in basis.

 Voluntary Return

In some cases, it’s simply a matter of daily monotony that attracts the willfully unemployed back into the workforce again.  Children reach adulthood, personal goals were reached, retirement was unfulfilling, or various circumstances may have left you seeking additional purpose in your life.

Obligatory Return

In a situation where there is a compulsory decision to return to work for financial reasons, for instance, your options may be more limited; however a great deal of the same logic applies.  It’s possible that when you planned your sabbatical or early retirement, you didn’t properly anticipate certain life circumstances that may have caused you personal economic strain.  However, don’t despair because this is an obvious and common concern, which can also be met with an additional sense of fulfillment if approached in the correct capacity.

Consider the Climate

Businesses are losing an immense amount of talent in a short span of time due to the large group of baby-boomers who have reached retirement age, and employers are scrambling to find their replacements.  In most cases an early-retiree is welcomed back with open arms, and possibly, a certain sense of relief.  These returned employees have expertise; they already know the ropes, and can work autonomously.  If these experienced employees choose to spend a few extra years training the newer recruits for future leadership roles, then that is also a tremendous bonus for any company.

Therefore, whatever your line of work or reason for leaving, don’t necessarily look upon your absence as a hindrance.  For every company looking to hire the twenty-something college graduate with no actual hands-on experience, there are countless employers who appreciate maturity and a longer range of experience, despite some work history gaps; so it’s important to maintain your confidence, and focus on these types of opportunities.

First Presentation

Chances are, if you have been out of the workforce for a substantial length of time you may not even have an electronic résumé.  If this is the case, focus on converting your hard copy paper resume into a format which modern employers can handle.  Remember that the long gaps in your work history can be addressed during an interview, yet any volunteer experience you may have acquired during your absence should certainly be included; as good employers appreciate a well-rounded job candidate.

If you furthered your education and earned an MBA or any other degree or certification which would be valuable in your chosen field, no further explanation is necessary.  An employer will be happy to speak to somebody who’s interested in expanding upon their education.

Spotlight your accomplishments, your abilities, and how they are relevant to the job you’re seeking.  If your extended absence was due to strictly personal reasons, adding “further details available on request” is more than sufficient, and no added concentration is necessary.  If your initial reason for leaving the workforce was to raise children or care for a family member, it’s important to remember that you are not the first person to make this decision and you certainly won’t be the last.  A modern and sensible employer is aware of this and should be respectful of this fact.

Updated Skills

If your absence only spanned a few years, your job skills are most likely still valid, however, you may find that you need to brush up on certain proficiencies.  Nowadays, five years can seem more like ten due to the speed at which workplaces are evolving, due mostly to technological advancements and changes in communication techniques. Try looking into training webinars, online tutorials, and adult education programs in your area.

If you have been unemployed for close to ten years or longer, then it is well worth your time to investigate many of the free online schools (including some fine ivy-league colleges that would surprise you) to get a new certification, or even a degree.

If you have been out of the workforce for a considerable amount of time, but walk in to an interview with a freshly minted diploma or certificate, you are demonstrating that you are self-directed, well-versed in your field, and ready to work.


What is extremely important for candidates who have been out of the job-seeking world for ten years or longer to remember is that the methods for seeking employment have changed drastically.  While individuals were utilizing online job searching techniques ten years ago, there is a possibility you have never personally experienced these changes, especially if you spent many years working for the same employer before your departure.

There is currently an expansive array of employment websites to register with as well as mobile apps to get you started on your search.  Luckily, they are not difficult to find, and a little extra time searching the internet should direct you toward the right path.

Moreover, don’t forget to set up a LinkedIn profile, since employers in recent years have been relying heavily on LinkedIn as a viable recruitment source.  This will also give you the opportunity to network toward the job you want.  In addition to listing your skills and experience, be sure to display on your profile that you are seeking employment.

Starting Out

In all cases, seeking out a reputable employment agency or career counselor can also help you reenter the work force through proper coaching and correct representation of your talents.  Inform them of your skills, and try out some of their assessments.  Another important part of their job is that they can reveal overlapping areas of interest that can lead to a new career you haven’t even reentering-the-workforce-multi-faceted-candidate-collageconsidered.

Consider accepting a part-time or temporary position through an employment agency to help you acclimate yourself back into the working world, and don’t be afraid to agree to a temporary position that is outside of your original line of work. Temp assignments can be short-term and consecutive, and may even offer you the opportunity to discover a new endeavor you never realized you had a talent for.

If this is the case, the agency can help you focus on acquiring full-time employment in the particular area you are interested in.  You can build credibility with a particular employer, while seeking out the full-time position you want.  You can also attain a reputation as a reliable worker for the employment agency, and they, in turn, will find you better quality opportunities once you have proven yourself as a valuable, dependable worker.

Additionally, a career counselor or recruiter can help you brush up on your interview skills; which will be invaluable when seeking employment after a long break.  Job interviews can be nerve-wracking for the job-seekers who have never left the market, let alone for someone returning from a long absence of non-employment.  This is also something you can do at home by reviewing and answering practice questions, and even video-taping your replies to assist you in smoothing out your verbal (and non-verbal) communication.

In the Meantime

While we may be living in a digital world, especially in terms of job-hunting and employment in general, there is still much to be achieved through the fading art of making in-person connections.  Print up some business cards and keep them handy.  On the occasion you encounter someone with a connection to your field of interest, whether at a dinner party or walking through a shopping mall, don’t hesitate to hand out your card.

The Takeaway

Regardless of the reason you left the workforce to begin with, or your reason for returning, the world is full of opportunities.  Approaching this new stage in your life with a smile and an upbeat attitude will get you there faster. Positivity is a very attractive attitude to employers — and people in general — and quite possibly, one of those people may just lead you to your perfect job after all these years.

By Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200