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Methods and Strategies for Securing New L&D Job Opportunities in A Difficult Employment Market-July

Monday, July 30, 2012  
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On July 10th, the NUY Higher Education SIG hosted a lively and interactive event, The State of L&D Opportunities for Aspiring L&D Professionals ‰ÛÒ Methods and Strategies in a Difficult Employment Market, presented by Ross Squire, President of KnowledgeStaff, a NYC based staffing and consulting firm dedicated to the Learning and Development marketplace. 

Mr. Ross Squire has over 25 years as a staffing professional, hiring manager and a career counselor and opened the evening's discussion by stressing the importance of "Staying Relevant" and informed about current events in the global landscape that influence the job market. Specifically, he advised the audience to remain well read and informed on variables in the economy that impact the job market, (European financial crisis, terrorism, oil prices, natural disasters), emerging trends in the workplace, hot industries for L&D jobs and resume and job search techniques and strategies.

The audience was extremely engaged, asking questions and sharing their experiences and views on Mr. Squire's research, observations and his experience working with clients (applicants and hiring managers) as a Staffing Professional in the L&D world. Please feel free to view the presentation here. Below are the major themes that were discussed at the event. 

The Economy ‰ÛÒ Forecast for 2012

It is no secret that the job market is highly competitive. The economy is still very sluggish and research indicates that the U.S. economy (GDP) will grow about 2.3% in 2012, a bit faster that the 1.8% pace in 2011. Also, a sustained recovery is still not underway, more than 2 years after the end of the Great Recession.  Not a very positive environment ‰ÛÒ all the more to "Stay Relevant" and understand the impact of external forces on the job market.

Workplace Trends for 2012

Ross cited AOL's recently publish 5 workplace trends for 2012:

  • Continuous employment ‰ÛÒ workers can expect to have 10 different jobs
  • Small business and self employment will drive job creation
  • Working women will continue to impact the marketplace
  • Lifelong learning will be vital to career success
  • Face time will be a precious commodity

The 2012 Workplace

What L&D roles can we expect to see in the workforce as the economy and job market slowly recovers?

Emerging Roles in Technology and E-Learning Space

  • Performance Consultants
  • Community Engagement Managers
  • Talent Management /Human Capital Specialists
  • Content Librarians
  • Project /Program Managers


Social Media and technology has changed the landscape of how we learn and communicate. Look at these sources and numbers.

  • 750 million Facebook users
  • 130 million LinkedIn users
  • 1.3 billion mobile phones
  • Apple is estimated to have sold 40 million iPads in 2011 versus 14 million in all 2010
  • 45% of workplace is contingent
  • Fastest growing app on mobile devices are games (34%)
  • 34 % of mobile phone users under age of 34 "sleep with the mobile phone" 

Hot Industries for L& D Jobs

Where can we expect to see some level of activity for L&D positions?

  • Healthcare
  • Corporations that cut deep and have begun reporting solid financials
  • Some financial service firms
  • Replacement /Back-fill requirements

Some of the challenges we can expect to face in this competitive job market are: increased competition; entry level candidates, experienced candidates willing to accept less money, lower compensation and less leverage when negotiating a compensation package (bonus, vacation, etc.). According to Ross' research, we learned that for the first time in history there will be 5 generations in the workplace ‰ÛÒ talk about competition for jobs!

Resumes Strategies

Ross asked the audience how many resumes each person has? The answers varied however, majority of the attendees had 1-3 resumes. He recommends that we need to customize our resume(s) to the specific position we are targeting. Initially it is a lot of work, but worth it. He suggested doing a data dump and then extract your specific achievements and skills that mirror the job description. Squire said that search engines search for specific words in a resume that are included in the job description, which increases the likelihood of a resume being flagged for review by a Recruiter. 

Remember, that a resume's objective is to get you an interview. Your resume should reflect why you are "Relevant" for the position and your Value Proposition. Be able to speak to this once you get the interview!

The Job Search

Tips to enhance and broaden your job search:

  • Go beyond the boards and if you use boards, by all means sign up for, which is a job search engine
  • Join Professional organizations
  • Volunteer ‰ÛÒ give back to the community, plus it is a great networking opportunity (Join ASTDNY ‰ÛÒ we would love to have you as a member of our community)
  • Join LinkedIn
  • Find Hiring Managers (on LinkedIn/Google) to speak with regarding job opportunities you are targeting‰ÛÒ submit your resume and brief note introducing yourself
  • Find Hidden Job Opportunities (networking events, coffee meetings, etc.) 

Did I mention that Ross is a high energy presenter, generating much buzz on having a vision and plan in creating a job strategy plan?  No need to turn up the volume on his thoughts on this topic.  Ross has a particular affinity for the importance of being strategic with your job search in the 21st century of searching for a job.  As the saying goes‰Û_"you need to know where you are going in order to get there," which is paramount in today's search.

I could not agree more with Ross' sage advice. One needs to get a leg up on the competition, particularly in the NY Metro area, where competition is fierce.  I invite you all to take a look at Ross' template for a strategic job search business plan on his web site, here, which I guarantee you will be very impressed with and may adopt for your own use.

Many thanks to Ross Squire, participants, and the NYU SIG Board for another meaningful and successful event.

Allison Schieli is a Senior HR Professional, Faculty Business Instructor and Career Services Advisor.  Allison has a M.A. from NYU's graduate Workplace Learning Program and is Co-Chair of the NYU SIG.


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