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Felicia Pride

What are the Happiest Jobs?

If you had to rate whether or not a job was happy, what factors would you include?

Forbes highlighted a study conducted by CareerBliss that attempts to identify the 20 happiest jobs in America using ten factors that range from boss/co-worker relationships, resources, salary, and environment, to corporate culture, day-to-day tasks, and growth path. From February 2011 to January 202, CareerBliss analyzed more than 100,400 reviews from employees that rated these factors.

The happiest job in America? Software quality assurance engineer.

Jobs that made the top five are executive chef, property manager, bank teller, and warehouse manager. Others included in the top 10 are customer service reps, administrative assistants, and accountants, jobs that aren’t typically associated with happiness.  Interestingly enough, human resources manager is ranked number nine. No media-specific jobs made the list. The study excluded executive-level positions.

“Many of the happiest jobs have some component with working with people,” CareerBliss’ chief executive, Heidi Golledge told Forbes. “Folks who work with others tend to rate their happiness higher on our site.”

Golledge added, “We have also noticed that happiness definitely does not align with pay, and once someone’s basic needs are met, the additional money on the job is a nice perk but is not what drives employee happiness.”

See the entire list.

Some Employers are Discriminating Against the Unemployed

Ken Hawkins

It becomes a catch-22. You’re looking for a job because you’re out of work, but you’re not being hired because you’re out of work and have been for a long time.

NPR recently looked at a growing trend of employers who discriminate against the long-term unemployed, despite the fact that the recession has spurred a number of people who have been out of work for longer than usual. Some companies are mentioning in hiring ads that the unemployed need not apply.

One HR professional said that his employer doesn’t consider candidates who have been out of work for more than six months.

To help combat this, several states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee — are considering legislation that would prevent companies from discrimination against the unemployed. Fines would most likely be assessed.

But this is easier said than done. This type of discrimination could be hard to prove, save for the blatant kind found in hiring ads.

And as we know, there are many factors that go into a hiring decision.  As NPR points out, some employers want to see that applicants performed some sort of work during stretches of unemployment, even volunteering.

What’s the unemployed to do in all of this? HR professionals encourage the unemployed to remain active.

Dear Job Applicants: You Only Have 6 Seconds


Six seconds. According to a new study from TheLadders, that is how much time recruiters spend reviewing a resume for fit.

Remember when it was four to five minutes?

The study used a scientific technique called  “eye tracking” that assesses eye movement then records and analyzes where and how long a person focuses when digesting information or completing activities. The study gauged the behavior of thirty recruiters as they reviewed online resumes and candidate profiles over a 10-week period.

What does this mean for job applicants? Keep it simple.

“If you have a photo online they are going to fixate on that photo; same thing with video resumes,” Will Evans, the head of user experience at TheLadders told MSNBC. “It could be problematic.”

Credentials still trump design. “Recruiters are focused on the most important information: what titles you held; the companies you worked at, the fact that you have a degree,” Evans added.

Although, as MSNBC notes, this doesn’t mean you have to discard your  infographic-looking resume. Just keep two — the straightforward resume that you use for applying and the more creative one that you can provide interviewers.

How (Not) To Reject Job Applicants


What’s the proper way to reject job applicants? Canned email? Personal response?

How about a long list of 42 application do’s and dont’s?

That’s what one employer did. According to Gawker, the head of a technology news site decided to send a rather lengthy rejection letter to more than 900 applicants, bcc’d thankfully.

In addition to a thorough explanation of which candidates were and weren’t selected, and why, the letter than provides 42 bulleted application tips, such as “Do be a badass” and “Don’t send Squidoo links.”

One of the rejected job applicants forwarded the email to Gawker and commented, ”I don’t find it helpful. I just find it arrogant.”

Here’s an excerpt from the email:

• Do keep it short and sweet.
Tell me a little bit about yourself— where you’ve written before and a few sentences on why you are awesome. Short and sweet.

• Don’t describe yourself as zany, crazy, or wild.
Zany is not high on the lists of attributes we’re looking for. I don’t imagine it’s high on the list of many companies, this side of birthday clown agencies.

Read more

ESPN Now Allowing Staffers to Wear Hoodies on Twitter

On Friday, according to Journal-isms, ESPN banned employees from posting photos of themselves wearing hoodies as an act of support for Trayvon Martin, the teenager whose murder has received national media attention.

“We completely understand the strong feelings involved,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz originally told Journal-isms. “Our decision is in keeping with our long-standing policy for ESPN content [PDF]. There are other avenues for our people to represent issues outside of sports beyond ESPN Twitter feeds.”

On Sunday, however, ESPN reversed its ban, reports Journal-isms. ”It’s a tragic situation that has led to much thoughtful discussion throughout the company,” Krulewitz told Journal-isms via email. “As a result, in this circumstance, we have decided to allow this particular expression of human sympathy.”

Even the most comprehensive social media policies can’t account for the real world.

Decrease in Compensation for CEOs

It’s hard out here for CEOs. According to preliminary results from a new study by The Wall Street Journal and Hay Group: “Despite fairly significant gains in companies’ profit and revenue, total direct compensation for 65 CEOs in place at least two years rose just 1.4% last year.”

This figure is down from an 11% in 2010. Reasoning for the CEO compensation decline is that pay is being more directly tied to performance. Whereas before, “directors would often overlook missed targets and award big bonuses anyway.” Now, however, investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission aren’t looking the other way.

These preliminary results are drawn from a survey of 75 companies with annual revenue greater than $5.9 billion. A larger report of 300 companies is slated to be conducted this spring.

Here’s an example:

Athletic-gear maker Nike Inc. posted a 10% increase in revenue and a 12% rise in net income in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2011. But the company missed three-year targets for revenue and per-share earnings that had been set in 2008, so CEO Mark Parker received a smaller bonus, driving his total compensation down 5.8%, to $12.7 million.


Tips for Landing an Entry-Level Social Media Job

While some employers discourage the use of social networks through invasive practices, others want prospective employees to maximize their presence on Facebook.

After talks with recruiters, Whitney Parker of Brazen Careerist compiled a list of tips to help those who want to land a job in social media management, especially without prior experience. “It’s probably not enough to tell a hiring manager that you have a Facebook page,” Parker writes, “so where do you start?”

She suggests the following:

1. Test your mettle by committing to an internship
Internships are not just abundant in the general media space, but also in the social media world.

2. Target your potential employer with a social media ad campaign
Social media is part science, part creativity. Parker recommends that applicants set up a website that also includes a video introduction and then promote that page using a social media ad campaign.

Read more

Questionable Hiring Practices | Newsweek’s Financial Losses | NPR versus CNN

Want this Job? Provide your Facebook Login Information

Imagine this. You’re on an interview. It’s going well. Then the interviewer turns to her computer to search for your Facebook profile. When she finds that it’s private, she asks you to provide your Facebook login information.

Sound invasive?

That’s what Justin Bassett, a New York-based statistician thought, reports The Boston Globe. While Bassett withdrew his application because he didn’t care to be employed with a company that inquired about such personal information, the article points out that not everyone has the luxury to do so. Many need employment and may have to provide their Facebook login information to obtain it.

Are you thinking the same thing, is this legal? According to The Boston Globe, there is legislation on the table in Illinois and Maryland that would deem it illegal for public agencies to ask for social network access. Apparently, this practice is much more common among law enforcement positions. As an alternative, some agencies ask for potential employees to login into social networks during the interview.

Either way, it’s sticky territory for companies and employees.

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