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Archives: February 2010

Total Recruiting Symposium Coming Soon!

Recruiters and HR, take note: Shally Steckrl and colleagues are presenting the Total Recruiting Symposium 2010 National Tour, and if you want in, you may want to register by NEXT FRIDAY (eek!).

The Symposium will stop in four different cities: New York, Seattle, Boston, and Portland Maine, and cover tricks and sourcing strategies for recruiters who want to find top talent using the latest Web 2.0 tools.

Presenters include Don Ramer, Conni LaDouceur, and Shally Steckrl, who bills himself as the “world’s #1 Internet sourcing expert”—except with this guy, his dubious claim may actually be entirely correct. I mean, have you seen this guy’s stuff?

Disclaimer: We have no financial involvement with this conference or any of the speakers, but we really thought you’d be interested. The glowing praise is honest.

Full agenda after the jump…or if you’re interested in learning more, check out Steckrl’s blog.

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Associated Content Isn’t For Sale…But If It Was, Here’s Who To Call

associatedcontent_logo.pngAssociated Content has hired media bankers Allen & Company to perhaps help sell the low-cost content site, Allthingsd’s Peter Kafka reports. (Actually, he goes as far as calling it a “content mill”—quotes his, not ours.

This is because Associated Content was “left at the altar” by AOL, which looked set to buy the company for $90 million over the summer until AOL’s then-parent company nixed the deal, saying that AOL should spend its own money, not Time Warner’s. Now that AOL is separate, it doesn’t have the budget to buy Associated Content.

Allen & Co. is known more for oldschool media deals: it’s the company that connected Sony and Columbia Pictures, and counts Walt Disney and Viacom among its past clients. But it was also Allen and Company that took public in 1998.

So…who wants to buy a content mill?

Finding Your Career Niche

To really succeed, says Cindy Kraft, a career coach who works with CFOs, you need to go niche.

This doesn’t mean clamping down on outside-the-job-description opportunities; in fact, quite the opposite, Kraft told SmartBrief in a recent interview. Rather, when looking for a promotion or seeking a new job, “position yourself from your individual strengths, passions, and values and being very clear about what you have.”

And keep track of your own contributions and benefits, because your bosses won’t do it for you: if you’re seeking an internal promotion, Kraft says, you have to sell yourself three times more than an external hire has to.

The three most important ways to carve out your own niche:

* Build your network, internally and externally. The new definition of networking is not who you know — but who knows about you.

* Find a mentor. It’s an opportunity to learn from a seasoned executive and get introductions to his or her cone of influence.

* Track bottom line impacts diligently, and use them at yearly performance evaluations. Numbers make all the difference. Do you make a company more than it costs them to keep you? If so, you have much more leverage.

Nobody’s Getting Digital Training As Budgets Slide

Editors of business-to-business magazines have been “left largely to their own devices” to learn the digital skills they need to run their publications, the American Society of Business Publication Editors reports.

Out of 273 editors surveyed—of which 88 percent were senior-level editors—four out of five participated in one day or fewer of digital media training last year.

Two thirds of the editors ranked training as inadequate for a variety of digital skills, and twenty-seven percent admitted that the online components of their magazines had surpassed the editors’ personal knowledge. In fact, one in three have never blogged and one in five never worked with any form of social media.

The associate director of ASBPE, Robin Sherman, is appropriately appalled: “The lack of company-sponsored training, let alone adequate training, is a major concern. Apparently, what skills most senior-level editors do have were learned and paid for on their own…Why would organizations place editors and publications at risk as a result of so little training?”

But we’re not surprised. Budgets are tight, and training is usually one of the first things to go. But on the other hand, offering training can be a relatively cheap way to retain key employees, so let’s bring training back into the workplace, please?

By the way, not to toot our own horn so much, but offers so many digital courses…
Blogging and Social Media Essentials, Advanced Blogging, Flash for Journalists, and more…

Why Recruiting, And The Job Market, Is Going To Get Harder: Trust

time spiral endless

Recruiting is going to get more difficult as talented people negotiate new ways of working, argues Kevin Wheeler at When once a company could hire John Q. Smith, now maybe John says “Yeah, I’ll work for you, but I don’t want to quit my freelance business either.” Or “…but I want flextime.” Or “…but I’m on the board of Startup X and I want to help that company grow too.”

Wheeler writes:

Negotiating the conditions of employment, hedging one job with another, being wary of accepting full-time jobs that put at risk other work or that compromise skills—those are becoming the normal patterns for accomplished professionals.

This requires companies to be flexible and recruiters to be persuasive. (“Yes, he only agreed to twenty hours a week, but look how much he can get done!”) And this is all Gen Y’s fault.

Okay, Wheeler doesn’t go that far, but since the piece is written from the perspective of a recruiter who’s job has become more difficult (for whatever reason), we thought we’d take this and spin it the other way: Jobseekers moonlight because they don’t trust their employers, often rightly. They ask for flexible scheduling because they know if they don’t ask, they’ll be at the office until 8 every night and never see their kids. They hedge their bets, in essence, because they believe their employer isn’t looking out for them.

A worker takes on a second income.
Employers see most of their workers have side jobs, so they feel less worried about initiating layoffs.
More workers pick up second jobs out of fear that they’ll be laid off.

Can’t we just go back to the time—even if it was an imagined golden age—where you put in 40 years of service and left with a pension and a gold watch?

photo: gadl

Weekly Jobless Claims Jump Once More

The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to 496,000, the highest level in three months.

In fact, this feels like a return to earlier this year, where from January to mid-November, claims hovered above 500,000.

An economist at the Department of Labor told the Wall Street Journal that the increases in claims were due to states processing a backlog of claims in the states that were hit by snowstorms earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming emergency extended unemployment benefits in the first week of February fell by 318,000, but there are still nearly five and a half million people who have been out of work long enough to exhaust their regular unemployment benefits.

Michael Wolf and Anil Dash Team Up To Launch Media Consulting Venture

activate_logo.pngThe former president of MTV Networks and a high-profile blogger are launching Activate, a consulting firm that will advise media, entertainment, communications, Internet and tech companies.

PaidContent calls the pairing—between Michael Wolf, who has old-school experience at big established brands (like MTVN) and at places like Booz Allen Hamilton and McKinsey & Co., and Anil Dash, who once served as the chief evangelist at Six Apart, which makes Movable Type and TypePad—one that “is sure to set off a round of ‘say what’s’.” But apparently both principals know entrepreneur Jack Hidary, who played matchmaker when he heard what Wolf was seeking.

Activate is based in New York but the duo plans to open a Silicon Valley location within the next year.

More: Media vets Wolf and Dash launch Activate (Hollywood Reporter)

Ex-MTVN, Six Apart Execs Wolf And Dash Pair Up (paidContent)

Jobs Of The Day: Work At Shecky’s, More

sheckys_logo.pngWe hear y’all are big fans of Shecky’s up in NY, so if you’re one of them, you should know the company is seeking a content manager.

As always, more jobs:

The Buffalo (Wyo.) Bulletin is looking for a writer/photographer.
Tikkun is looking for an editorial intern.
NCPSSM is looking for a writer/new media associate.
Citysearch is seeking a visual designer.
Newsday has an open position: a multimedia producer.
PEI Media wants a financial reporter. has an open position: a PPC specialist.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has an open position: an advertising business analyst.
Money-Media wants a reporter/editor.
Interbrand seeks a PR coordinator.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is looking for a senior public relations specialist and web writer. is looking for a senior writer.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has an open position: a senior writer.
Guest of a Guest seeks an editor/content manager.
Cengage Learning seeks a marketing manager.
Grist is hiring a general manager.
Capital Broadcasting has an open position: a sports web editor.
WebMD is hiring a writer.
Cengage Learning is seeking a digital licensing manager.

Every day we scour major job boards, including, but not limited to’s listings, to find the best media jobs out there. We screen out duplicates and scams so you know you’re only receiving the top choices.

Making The Most Of Informational Interviews

We love informational interviews. To death. But if you’re not sure how to navigate ‘em, check out Joe Grimm‘s (of Ask The Recruiter fame) ten-minute segment on WNYC.

Highlights from the reel include what to expect from an informational interview (“Rather than coming prepared to answer questions you should be coming prepared to ask questions”) and what good stock questions to ask. Hint: “Don’t ask me when the company was formed.”

Do you treat an informational interview the same as a job interview? In the sense that you dress up, show up on time, etc., yes; otherwise, no.

And don’t, Grimm says, be intimidated by asking for an interview. “What bigger compliment,” he asks, “is it to tell someone, I want to pick your brain, tell me about your industry’?”

Near the end of the show a commenter asked how to tell when such things were legit—she said she was a graphic designer on informational interviews that turned into “steal my portfolio” interviews. Grimm’s response was, essentially, “That’s terrible.” Which is true. We’d add, though, that thanks to the infinite communication potential of the Internet, you can avoid many (though probably not all) such scams by just doing a little research…ask around and see what looks good. Also, usually, but not always, in an informational interview, you’re the one doing the approaching.

Another Plea For News Orgs To Stop Laying Off Copy Editors

Not a typo, but a headline that, had an overworked copyeditor had more time to think about it, probably wouldn’t have been written:

bode miller

That’s Bode Miller, the Olympic skier, and the little girl in question is his daughter. But you’re not going to expect people to not jump to conclusions (if even for a couple seconds), especially after this story hit the Interwebs earlier this month.