Magazine article Working Mother

Help Wanted!

Magazine article Working Mother

Help Wanted!

Article excerpt

while no one would call the economy red hot, it is warming a bit. U.S. job growth is expected to rise by 2 percent this year, continuing a gradual recovery that began in mid-2010. For many women, it's simply time to start looking again. too many talented women spent the recession doing the work of three people, mired in jobs they'd outgrown or stuck on the sidelines, hoping for a reentry opportunity. (in a Working Mother reader survey, nearly a third of you said you're already looking.)

"it's an ideal time to be looking around and assessing your skills," says Paul kurth, director of talent acquisition for Dell, which after achieving record earnings in fiscal 2011 is in growth mode this year. "nearly every industry is beginning to lift its head and consider adding talent at every level." According to execunet, which surveys executive recruiters on their hiring plans for the next six months, nearly 40 percent of companies surveyed said they planned to add new management jobs. this "signals that a real shift is under way and that business growth and leadership reinvestment is the focus" for many employers, says Lauryn Franzoni, executive director of the norwalk, ct-based online research and networking firm.

Last year, the working mother 100 best companies hired more than 346,000 people, of whom 49 percent were women. the great news? the qualities many of these companies seek-grace under pressure, an ability to juggle conflicting priorities, high energy, an ability to lead a group- are built into the daily role of motherhood. here's how to kick off your search.

The Network

it's who, not what, you know. Yes, you've heard this one before. but it's so crucial it bears repeating. "Don't just apply for a job online. everyone does that," says Steven canale, general electric's corporate human resources manager for global recruiting and staffing. "reach out first to everyone you know who could help you make a connection." ideally, you want to come recommended before your resume hits a hiring executive's in-box, says career consultant kaplan mobray, author of The 10Ks of Personal Branding. "You want someone who steps up to champion you as someone this company needs to talk to."

companies welcome this tactic, because they know an endorsement by someone who is already part of the company or knows it well means the candidate will likely be a good fit for the culture. "it's crucial to identify someone internally who can advocate for you," says Jillian Snavley, senior recruiting manager for the Pnc Financial Services group. the Pittsburghbased firm gets roughly 100 resumes for each available position, but your odds go way up if you're referred by a current employee: referrals make up more than 25 percent of external hires. the higher the position, the more clout a referral carries. Deloitte hires 43 percent of experienced hires from referrals, and chicagobased professional services firm grant thornton grabs 50 percent of its job candidates that way.

if you've mined your network and still don't have an "in" to a company, you may be able to use social media ( judiciously) to make one.

After taking nearly ten years off to raise daughters Samara, 13, and Avery, 9, Julie white, 46, was researching developments in health care, her former field, when she came across a white paper authored by kristine martin Anderson, 42, a senior vice president in booz Allen hamilton's health-care practice.

through Linkedin, Julie crafted a short email summarizing her background, explaining what interested her in kristine's report and asking for a chance to meet. "it was a great email," recalls kristine, herself a mom to daughters kasey, 8, and Jamie, 6. "She'd done her homework. She knew what booz Allen did and what i did individually." impressed, kristine ultimately arranged several interviews, which lead to Julie joining the firm's Dc health-care practice as an associate in 2010.

"i've always liked working, and i missed being part of an organization," says Julie. …

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