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steve parke, http://www.steveparke.com

The world of employment has changed. One consequence of near full employment is that most functioning human beings already have a job. They may be underemployed or looking to improve, but the September 2017 rate of 4.2% is lowest since 2001 (US Bureau Labor Statistics)

But when you look how some employers and recruiters recruit, it seems a few have missed the memo. This tight market requires innovative approaches and focus. You need to do more than post a job on your website to reach rock star talent and posting a job advertisement that reads like a list of requirements…


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If your sales career involves renewing clients’ contracts, here are some easy tips to boost your renewal rate. While this is not applicable to every profession, it’s targeted toward those who sell products like media, SaaS, or recruiting packages to businesses. The key is providing great customer service throughout the contracted period and having the grit to ask the hard questions that elicit honest responses.

The model that’s used in many fine restaurants is a good one to keep in mind as an example of good customer service. The waitperson introduces themself and makes it clear that they are your…


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A few weeks ago my manager asked my to tell a few people who were newer to sales what the “secret sauce” was that helped me achieve goal the vast majority of the time. I didn’t have an answer at hand so I reassured them that I had been working at selling advertising of one form or another for over twenty years so they shouldn’t feel badly if things came less naturally to them.

But I think it’s important for top salespeople who want to mentor others to understand what makes them exceptional. …


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Having looked at thousands of job postings during my years working for job boards and media companies, I have a good feel for what works. Recently, I took on the task of rewriting some job advertisements for my newer advertisers. My review of each of their postings and application processes inspired this article.

When posting employment ads, wherever you post it, this is what really matters:

  • Your content
  • Branding
  • The jobseeker’s opinion of your company and the opportunity
  • The external marketing performed on your ad, such as pushing it out to social and other media
  • The total candidate application experience


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Photo credit: Jared Erondu

Conventional wisdom holds that the politically astute in the workplace only bring ideas and issues that they would like to up channel to their direct supervisor. I happen to have a great relationship with my manager who relays my successes to the department, so this is not currently an issue for me, but it has been in past roles. And from what I hear, it can be a political minefield for many in the workplace.

So, what to do? In a hierarchical company, approaching a member of higher management in person, by phone, or by email may result in an…


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The National Institute of Mental Health defines people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as those who are extremely worried about things, even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. But there are many lesser degrees of anxiety that are intrusive and impede sales people in doing their jobs. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of the unknown plague many, even experienced sales people. And of course the fear of not making sales and losing your source of income doesn’t help.

I have seen sales anxiety manifest in a wide variety of forms. I see…


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Photo by Austin Ban

Since I entered the world of professional sales in my early twenties, one common sales theme that I was taught was that I needed an “elevator pitch.”

This idea stemmed from the notion that if a potential client was trapped in an elevator with me, I could vomit out a prepared statement about the value I could provide the potential client. The goal was that by the conclusion of the elevator ride, we would be exchanging business cards and setting up a sales meeting.

The idea is inherently flawed because your “pitch” when used at all, needs to be tailored…


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Our New Orleans dining room post Hurricane Katrina

Having a law degree seemed to be a common credential for my dream job, owning an alternative newsweekly like The Village Voice. And after I left my job at a subsidiary of Tribune, New Mass Media, because newspapers were losing revenue faster than water could run through a sieve, law school seemed like an even better idea.

I had been divorced. I had been in minor car accidents. And even with my small brushes with the law, lawyers seemed to have a secret store of magical knowledge that I thought could protect me from future harm.

I took the LSATs…


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It’s a fact that 67% of Fortune 100 companies are not mobile friendly. [1] The statistics are far worse for smaller companies. Among SMBs, the percent of websites that are mobile friendly is a mere 6%. [2]

If YOUR career site isn’t mobile-enabled, it will hurt you in two significant ways.

More job seekers and employees are using their mobile devices during the job search process, and they’re doing it more frequently. Nine in 10 (89%) of job seekers report they’re likely to use a mobile device during their job search in the next 12 months, up seven percentage points…


In the course of my work, which currently includes selling resume database access and in the past has included recruiting, I’ve seen recruiters and hiring managers exclude candidates for reasons that hurt their own efforts to make a successful hire.

If you are such a recruiter or hiring manager, I’m going to suggest that you do something brave and give certain groups of candidates a second look.

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Often, recruiters and hiring managers think someone who has been in the workforce a long time, is currently working for themselves, or has held a higher level position in the past is not…

Jessica L. Benjamin

Careers • Gender issues • Leadership • Sales jlbmedia@gmail.com

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