Vault's Careers Blog

Career advice and job search strategies for the modern careerist

Posts Tagged ‘jobs

Did Goldman Break Its Diversity Policy?

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For the 11th straight year, industry insiders named Goldman Sachs the most prestigious bank in North America in Vault’s latest ranking. In hindsight then, all the public mudslinging of recent years has done little to upset the bank whether it’s in attracting the biggest deals or the best talent. And according to our survey, bankers continue to want Goldman on their resume.

Ironically, a day after the rankings debuted, the bank’s prestige is under attack by three former female employees who charge, according to The Wall Street Journal, that “The investment bank practices a system in which women are paid less, promoted less and ‘systematically circumvented and excluded.'”

Jobs, Careers and Reviews at Goldman SachsWhat’s astounding about the allegation is the repeated emphasis on intent, i.e., that the bank has a system that almost formulaically excludes women from getting promoted and compensated on par with their male counterparts. While the bank has called the suit without merit, stating that, “People are critical to our business, and we make extraordinary efforts to recruit, develop and retain outstanding women professionals,” it seems it is yet again in the red with the public.

Comments from our Banking 50 survey—culled from responses submitted by over 1,300 banking professionals earlier this year—provide further perspective:

“Supportive and respectful management”

“They could do a better job of promotion as well as placement into areas that are a good fit and utilize skill sets…”

“Having come up through the ranks, from a junior trader to now an experienced one in fixed income products, I must say that I’ve been very pleased with the level of training, support and guidance that I’ve received over the years from the firm…”

“I’m a firm believer in the culture at Goldman Sachs. The firm is team-focused, emphasizing integrity and personal development within the industry.”

“I think we do a good job at getting women and diversity candidates in the door, but for real success we need to work on better retention.”

And, finally a snippet of their Diversity Mission Statement from Vault’s Annual Diversity Survey:

“The firm’s commitment to diversity is evident at the most senior levels and is driven down through the firm by way of our seventh business principle: “We offer our people the opportunity to move ahead more rapidly than is possible at most other places. Advancement depends on merit and we have yet to find the limits to the responsibility our best people are able to assume. For us to be successful, our men and women must reflect the diversity of the communities and cultures in which we operate. That means we must attract, retain and motivate people from many backgrounds and perspectives. Being diverse is not optional; it is what we must be.”

So where does this leave the banking king: A chauvinistic boys club, truly diverse with a few unintentional victims, or the victim of a ploy to take advantage of its current poor reputation? Weigh in by leaving a comment, emailing In Good Company or connecting on Twitter @VaultCSR.

More reading: The complete WSJ report.

What other banks made the Top 10 most prestigious banks in North America this year?

What’s Keeping You From Getting Hired?

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If there was one thing that stood out from Vault’s recent Job Hunting in CSR series, it was the disconnect between candidates and employers. A recent survey by Towers Watson further indicates that this disconnect might be much more widespread because of a difference in priorities for employers and employees.

Job Skills

A survey released by TalentDrive, the team behind online resume aggregation search engine TalentFilter, now adds yet another layer to the troubling scenario. The report suggests a widening gap between current employers’ expectations and job seekers’ actual skill sets.

In a month-long survey, 79,000 job seekers (86 percent actively seeking employment) were asked to assess their personal skill set and attitude toward the current job market. Additionally, 20,000 hiring managers from Fortune 1000 companies were asked if they had noticed a change in the quality of candidates since the recession’s start.

The results of the survey are unnerving:

Almost three-quarters of the job seekers surveyed were pessimistic about their career search: that’s the number of respondents who indicated that they possessed the required skill set for positions, but were not getting hired. Little wonder, then, that 37 percent of respondents expressed no hope that things would improve.

However, 42 percent of the employers surveyed indicated that the recession had not only increased the quantity of candidates, but that they were finding more qualified candidates than in years past.

So where is the disconnect? When candidates believe they possess the required skill sets, why are they not getting hired? Take into account that 67 percent of those surveyed reported having between one and five interviews per month since the beginning of their job search, and that 75 percent of those had not received a single job offer.

Specialization or general business skills?

Since your company started hiring, how many interviewed candidates on average would you consider

Could the disconnect come down to a question of specialized vs. general business skills? According to the report, 71% percent of HR representatives reported that more than half of their open positions were specialized.

Comparatively, 61% of the job seekers’ group considered themselves to be “professionals with broad skill sets.”

Interestingly, my interviews with MBA graduates Ashley Jablow and Geet Singh reveal a flipside to the specialization picture. Having focused on CSR and sustainability at business school, both Jablow and Singh confessed that their job hunts weren’t exactly working out to be walks in the park. However, in their case, partial blame goes to a lack of demand for CSR work. For the respondents of the TalentDrive survey, specialized skills leaned toward more traditional fields like IT and technology.

Job Search Destinations

What source has recently delivered/uncovered the most quality candidates?

If there is one area where the TalentDrive survey shows job seekers and employers in agreement, it is where they are finding each other. The winner: Social Media.

An overwhelming 74% of job seekers said the most beneficial job search method was posting a resume on job boards followed by 27% picking social media, for the first time surpassing traditional methods like classified ads, professional recruiters and networking events.

Agreement was mutual with 27% of employers saying the highest response for most effective search method was social networks, followed by resume sourcing technologies.

Other highlights:

For the types of positions your company fills, what skills/activities make an applicant stand out?

Differs for each position: 55%
Longevity with past employers: 21%
Certification: 16%
Advanced degrees/MBA: 5%
Extracurricular work/Volunteer work: 3%

What category would the majority of your open positions fall under?

Mid level/management positions: 67%
Entry level: 16%
Director/Executive positions: 14%

Since beginning your active job search, how many interviews have resulted in an offer?

No offers: 75%
Less than half: 21%
More than half: 3%
All interviews resulted in an offer: 1%

Given the current job market, how willing are you to transfer fields or change your skill set to adapt to a new work environment or industry?

Not willing or interested: 11%
Somewhat willing, depending on the opportunity: 44%
Very willing: 45%

Does your experience relate to these results? Do you have a story to add to these numbers? Leave a comment, email us In Good Company or connect on Twitter @VaultCSR!

The Week’s Best Hiring News: Week of June 21, 2010

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Another strange week on the hiring front: while there’s definitely a pulse in the hiring market, it remains a faint one. Thus, the best news that’s coming out still tends to be of the “we’ll start hiring soon…we promise” variety. While that bodes well for the second half of the year, it means that many of the announcements below are thin in terms of numbers. Still, the spectrum of industries the open positions cover suggests another reason to be quietly optimistic.

  • The University of Kansas is hiring an auditor. In response to a ticket-scalping scandal. Prepare to be scrutinized.
  • Several banks are hiring in their mortgage divisions as they begin ramping up for an anticipated increase in home loans. While we’ve reported many of those openings in previous weeks, CNNMoney does a nice job of drawing them together, so if you’re interested in the field the article is worth reading.
  • CEOs are more upbeat about hiring. How upbeat? Well, some 39 percent expect to increase hiring in the next six months, the highest level since 2007. Whether that means they’ll actually get round to doing anything is another question entirely, of course.
  • Two high-profile ex-politicos not looking for work anymore: former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer.
  • There’s all kinds of government-related hiring on the horizon as 2011 budget requests go under the microscope. To get the full scoop, you’ll need to read this article from the Washington Post, but here are a couple of highlights: the DOJ is looking to hire for 708 positions to help it cope with economic crimes, while the FBI would like an additional 812 employees, including 276 special agents. For more info, why not check out the Vault Guide to Government and Nonprofit Employers.
  • Hella Electronics is predicting a 20 percent increase in business. Which means it’s got some hiring to do.
  • Raytheon is hiring 4,500 engineers. Provided they can find enough qualified candidates, that is.
  • SAP Labs is hiring up to 300. Specifically, the tech company is looking for ” xperienced application developers, project managers, cloud computing experts, mobile developers and those with deep partner experience for its laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif.”
  • Detroit Medical Center is hiring 200 people. Per month.

Written by Phil Stott

June 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Posted in hiring

Tagged with , ,

A Non-Profit Career – Not a Bad Idea

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Everyone has dreams of either saving the world or making lots of money; and many of those people believe that there is no way to accomplish one task without forsaking the other.  This belief has led many people to shy away from a career at a non-profit…until now.

Vault Guide to Nonprofit Careers coverIn addition to President Barack Obama’s call to public service, the need for skilled job seekers in this sector has grown as individuals coping with a tough economy turn to nonprofits for unemployment assistance, workforce development, healthcare, housing, and food distribution.  As a result, Black Enterprise noted that wage and salary jobs in this growing sector are projected to increase 14% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Black Enterprise Magazine, which interviewed Vault.com for their latest article on Nonprofit Careers, also adds that there are currently about 1.4 million nonprofit organizations registered with the Internal Revenue Service, mostly as 501( c ) (3) tax exempt “public charities,” under the following categories: charities, foundations, social welfare, or advocacy organizations; community-based organizations; professional and trade associations; and religious organizations.  Nonprofits are out there, but are they worth pursuing?

While attending Baruch College, I had to take a mandatory internship class and while others in my field were taking internships at Sports Illustrated, I felt I could get more experience working at a nonprofit community newspaper.  On my first day on the job, I was given a story about a pharmacy that had burned down and immediately relocated to a bigger location across the street.  Within a month, I had my first front page story about the Bronx River cleanup.  And before my internship was over, I was attending City Hall hearings on the controversial water filtration project that resulted in a renaissance for New York City parks.

I chose experience over name recognition.  As Carolyn C. Wise, Vault’s senior education editor, noted in a recent Business Insider story on the perfect internship program, “The prestige of a program is the obvious resume gold star, but if you’re making copies and coffee all summer the name won’t matter.”  The experience I gathered at the nonprofit helped me become an expert in various fields when I became an editor for another for-profit paper.

Later, when I decided to leave the paper, after eight years on the job, numerous raises, and a sale to a prestigious media empire, I took a position as an associate manager for public relations at a major nonprofit and ended up making more money with better health benefits, clearly debunking the myth that nonprofit means low pay.  Vault’s career experts point out in the Black Enterprise piece that senior management and mid-level positions at nonprofits are competitive with salaries at major corporations.

With that settled – what kind of jobs are out there in the nonprofit sector?  If you are a writer of any kind, there are a number of great opportunities available, especially when you consider how important grant writing is to obtain the funding necessary to keep nonprofits afloat.  If you have management skills, nonprofits will need your decision-making abilities.  For every field in the for-profit sector, there is a potential job in nonprofits.

The Black Enterprise piece is a very helpful resource.  If you know a particular nonprofit company, check their website.  Also, Vault has released its first Guide to Nonprofit Careers, offering a realistic look at what to expect from nonprofit jobs, the types of nonprofit jobs available and what companies are leading the pack, along with the usual cover letter, resume and interview tips many come to expect from Vault guides.  There are plenty of resources at your fingertips.  Let your preconceptions go.  There is a new path to career success waiting for you.

Four Tips to Get Your First Job Ever

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Hopefully if you’re graduating from college, you have at least one internship stint under your belt. But what if you don’t have any work experience at all? You spent your summers on an anthropological dig in Boudreaux, for example. It’s unlikely that your skills dusting ancient bones will translate easily to the corporate world. So I’m not going to lie: it’s going to be an uphill battle convincing employers that you have what it takes to hack it at their organization. But it’s not impossible.

College student applying for first job with student resume I asked Connie Thanasoulis, former recruiter, co-founder of SixFigureStart and esteemed Vault blogger about how to find a new job if you don’t already have one–in fact, have never had one. “Recruiters and hiring managers always feel that a person with a job has more posture,” Thanasoulis says. “With that said, you could learn to have more posture. I once coached an employment lawyer who had never had to look for a job before. His wife did well in her job so income was not a problem. But he said that he lost all his posture and confidence. I had to talk him down from the ledge!”

While the job search of an employment lawyer is quite different from someone straight out of college, the same “posture and confidence”-building techniques are the same. Here are four tips recent grads and other inexperienced job searchers need to understand:

Four Tips to Get Your First Job Ever

  1. “You have skills that are necessary in the marketplace,” says Thanasoulis. No matter where you are in your career. “Make a list of your top 10 skills and quantify them–give an example of each skill in five or six bullet points.”
  2. “You have significant and measureable accomplishments” as a college graduate. Think of your academic experience in terms of accomplishments and make a list of your top five: Did you start a new club? Did you volunteer in an interesting way? Were you a research assistant on a professor’s project? These are real, quantifiable accomplishments that will look good on your resume.
  3. “You will find a job.” Even if it’s not your ideal job, it’s a valuable step in your career. Says Thanasoulis: “The first job is so key because you learn so much. Then you can take your skills to the next level.”
  4. “It’s just going to take some time…but you will get there!”

So chin up. Figure out exactly what your accomplishments and skills are–you probably have more than you think. Good luck!

–Posted by Carolyn C. Wise Admit One,

CSR Job Posting: Knowledge Manager with Edelman

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For those who read MBA graduate Ashley Jablow’s appeal earlier this week, where she discussed her skills and her job search for a company that focuses on corporate responsibility, this is point on. Edelman, the global public relations company is looking for a candidate who will work on CSR, branding and business strategy.

The job posting is below:

Description: Corporate and brand citizenship research associate: this person will have a passion for and experience with: social issues, branding, business strategy, consumer behavior, qualitative and quantitative research. S/he must be self-starter and able to work effectively with a variety of multiple assignments. S/he must have demonstrated research skills, solid knowledge of MS Office Suite (especially PPT) and superior verbal and written communication skills. The ability to quickly assess a topic related to social issues, find, review and aggregate pertinent information and create compelling written analysis in a variety of formats,is a core responsibility of the position.

Qualifications: This individual will be a critical part of the Edelman Citizenship team, working closely with firm leadership to develop future oriented points of view and processes/products and services related to the intersection of citizenship, corporate reputation, issues management, and CSR. The ideal candidate has an advanced degree in business/experience in cause branding/ corporate citizenship consulting. Exceptional written skills required. Experience working with NGOs and public private partnerships also important.

Work attributes include: self starter, curiosity, broad consumer of information from multiple sources around the globe, superior writer, ability to create powerful PP presentations and other communications and facility to analyze and develop diverse information into strong added value for the team, firm and field.

Responsibilities: The Research Associate is responsible for implementing and monitoring research projects for the practice area and within a specific set of accounts primarily under the direction of Kristian Darigan Merenda, SVP, and Carol Cone, EVP in specialty areas focused on brand and corporate citizenship. The position will be supplemented by interns, and account executives from client engagement teams. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Research and Development:

  • Using Edelman paid subscription resources and publicly available data, regularly perform secondary research, track trends and compile briefs focused on topics including, but not limited to: green marketing, cause related marketing, social marketing, cause branding, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, fund raising, and nonprofit marketing, etc.
  • Help supply content for an internal, global knowledge management system to support Edelman’s work in the brand and corporate citizenship arena.
  • Participate in the development, analysis and execution of Good Purpose and other pioneering research/ thought leadership strategies.

Marketing Communications:

  • Develop insights to share externally via goodpurposecommunity.com, social networking sites, blog content, and white papers.
  • Develop cutting edge presentations, in conjunction with managers for: Internal training, Client education, New business, and Speeches.

To read the complete the job listing for “PR: Corporate Citizenship – Knowledge Manager” as well as to apply, visit Edelman’s Careers page.

Got some tips for candidates looking for jobs that include an expected corporate responsibility? Or want to share your job search experience? Contribute to the discussion! Write in by leaving a comment, emailing In Good Company or connecting with me on Twitter @VaultCSR.

Five Upcoming Green Career Events You Can’t Miss

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Getting a job in the green economy means networking. After all people hire people, not resumes. When it comes to green conferences there are several upcoming events that I can’t wait to check out. If you want a green job, these are the events you should be attending. Not only will you learn a lot about going green, but you’ll make some great contacts to grow your green network.

1. Good Jobs Green Jobs

When: May 4-6, 2010
Where: Washington D.C.
Website

This event is expected to attract almost 4,000 people and features several speakers from the federal government including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. The conference takes place over three days and feature several workshops and tracks centered on growing green jobs. Registration is $165 for two-and-a-half days of more than 100 workshops, the Green Innovation Expo (with dozens of companies) on May 5th, and Green Jobs Advocacy Day on May 6th. Click here to hear a podcast about this event.

2. Windpower 2010

When: May 23-26, 2010
Where: Dallas
Website

Green Jobs

This is perhaps the biggest event to be held all year. According to their website, last year’s event drew 23,000 attendees and 1,280 exhibitors. Former President Bush is the featured speaker. After looking at the speaker and exhibitor list, anybody who is anyone is going to be there. Texas is the wind power capital of the U.S. (about 20 percent of the state’s power comes from wind). If you want to work in wind this is the conference for you.

3. The National Solar Conference

When: May 17-22, 2010
Where: Phoenix
Website

Arizona is mad for solar so it’s no surprise this event takes place in Phoenix, organized by the American Solar Energy Society. According to the website the show is now in its 39th year, the SOLAR 2010 program will be developed by solar energy experts in all topical areas—technology, buildings, policy, professional education, workforce development and consumer education. Many sessions will offer continuing education credits for architects, installers, engineers, and more.

4. Alternative Fuels & Vehicles National Conference + Expo

When: May 9-12, 2010
Where: Las Vegas
Website

We all know that electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars are coming and this conference is the preview to that world. AF&V 2010 showcases natural gas, ethanol, biodiesel, propane, electricity, and hydrogen, and their companion vehicles. The Conference embraces advanced technologies that result in fuel efficiency, petroleum displacement and emissions improvements. Included are hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid technologies; blends, including hydrogen; fuel cells; and, idle-reduction devices. All of these are featured as part of the diverse program, Expo Hall and Ride-n-Drive.

5. Green Buildings NY

When: June 16-17, 2010
Where: New York, NY
Website

Serving the world’s largest real estate market, GreenBuildingsNY educates building and design professionals on the latest innovations around green products, services and regulations. Over 500 vendors will be in the exhibit hall at the Javits center.

Visit the event section of GreenJobSpider.com for a complete list of 2010 green conferences.

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—Chris Russell is a ten year veteran of the online job search business. His latest project is GreenJobSpider.com: the search engine for green jobs.

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