Friday, July 15, 2011
The old days of finding a job right out of school and sticking with it until retirement are certainly in the past. In these modern times, people have become more adept at locating new job opportunities. But some of the more traditional tactics have started to fade in popularity; no longer are people looking solely at the newspaper want-ads to find their dream jobs. Job seekers are becoming more creative and utilizing new strategies in moving their careers forward.
It is said that the majority of job vacancies are never advertised, often referred to as the "hidden job market." To land these jobs, seekers will need to find a way to get a foot in the door. Networking can go a long way in locating job opportunities; even if no one you know directly has knowledge of a job opening, there's a chance they know someone who does.
Networking can be done both in person and online. You can join professional associations, attend events for graduates of your school, or aim to connect with professionals who work in your field. Various online tools also exist, such as LinkedIn, which allow you to network with other professionals and learn out about possible job openings. You may also be able to meet other professionals through social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Referrals also come from individuals you know, however, this method may get you an invitation to apply for a position without actually searching for a new a job. Some employers offer incentives to their employees for referring a successful candidate to their company - a win-win situation for everyone. You get a new job, and your contact gets a finder's fee for attracting a top-notch employee.
3. Job Boards and Career Websites
Job boards were traditionally just that - boards posting vacancies and employment opportunities. Though some of these boards may still exist in a literal sense, many job boards have moved toward a virtual format. Often federal or state governments will provide job boards and job banks that job seekers can access. You can also use job search engines on the internet or the vast number of career-related websites that post job openings, such as Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. These websites function in a similar way to the traditional want-ads, however, they have a much quicker turnaround time and allow you to search a much larger number of jobs over a large area.
4. Job Fairs
Job fairs are typically targeted toward specific industries, though some job or recruitment fairs are more generalized. These ads will usually come with a list of the organizations that will be present. Investigate any companies that interest you, bring a number of resumes and be ready to sell yourself. Consider any conversations with recruiters as mini interviews that can set you apart from other applicants. Some organizations may even offer on-site interviews to candidates that match their requirements. (Weren't successful? Find out why. See 5 Reasons You Didn't Get The Job.)
5. Company Websites
If you already have your dream employer in mind, why not go directly to the career section of their website? If you watch for openings on their site, there's a chance you'll find just the opportunity that you've been waiting for. Create a list of employers that you'd like to work for and visit their websites often. If you're really set on working for a specific company it may take some time to find just the opportunity that fits your skill set. But if you've got the luxury of time, this might be the optimal method for finding your dream job.
6. Cold Calling
If you don't see any job listings posted for a company you're particularly interested in, you might consider making a cold call. You can use the telephone or email to contact individuals within an organization by finding their contact details on the company website or by inquiring with a receptionist. Contact individuals directly to find out if they foresee any upcoming vacancies, and be sure to attach a copy of your resume to any emails you send. You can also ask for information about types of jobs, or what kind of skills or qualities the organization looks for in a candidate. Keep in mind that this kind of contact may not always be well received, but there is always a chance it'll give you the inside track on upcoming vacancies.
7. Head Hunters and Recruitment Agencies
If you're looking for some professional help in your job search, head huntersand recruitment agencies can definitely lend a hand (though in some cases it may come at a price). There are a number of organizations that hire through recruitment agencies because it helps to streamline the lengthy process of locating and interviewing candidates. Head hunters locate individuals to fill a specific vacancy within an organization or find a position for a job seeker who has hired their services. Payment is often based upon commission. Keep in mind that many high schools, colleges and universities have job placement services that can help new graduates to develop their resumes and assist both current students and alumni with their job searches.
8. Temping or Internships
Sometimes temporary employment can lead to permanent positions. If you're without work, finding a temporary position with a great company is a great way to get a foot in the door, or provide you with useful business contacts to call upon in the future. Many recruitment agencies can assist with locating temporary or casual positions and contract work. Internships are a great choice for students who are just graduating from college and many schools' job placement services can connect students with opportunities. Volunteering can also be a great method for gaining valuable industry contacts. (For more advice, check out 6 Ways To Find Your Dream Job.)
9. Creative or Outlandish Tactics
In a competitive job market, some job seekers have moved toward more creative methods for drawing attention to themselves. Billboards, chain letters with a copy of your resume attached, or even pasting your resume to yourself and walking around the city as a human billboard are just some of the methods individuals have used to get noticed by potential employers. Though these methods can actually work, be cautious. You may get the attention of recruiters, but you may also be sending the wrong message. If you're going to resort to creative techniques, be sure that it's appropriate for the industry in which you're attempting to find employment. (Stand out from the rest of the applicants. Don't miss 6 Extreme Ways To Land Your Dream Job.)
The Bottom Line
In the modern job market, finding the very best job opportunities often requires a combination of methods. Always keep in mind that there are a variety of methods available for finding job opportunities, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, so don't be shy to experiment with a variety of techniques. (The internet may be the best tool for job hunters; check out 5 Tips For Finding Your Perfect Job Online.)
It has been said that it is not just inflation that is damaging, but unexpected inflation. After all, if inflation could be accurately predicted, there would not be the subtle transfer of wealth between parties to agreement (ex-lender and borrower). In the U.S., unexpected inflation helped spawn the creation of government issued inflation protected securities, called Treasury inflation protected securities (TIPS).
Because inflation can be so damaging - and so unexpected - investors should have some portion of their fixed income portfolios in TIPS to ensure a "real return", but they are only part of the solution. This article will review the history and mechanics of TIPS, explore a few underlying components of TIPS operations that may leave the investor with a TIPS letdown and look briefly at an economic controversy that may help the investor think differently about protecting the real return of his or her portfolio.
History and Mechanics of TIPS
In the late 1990s, the U.S. Treasury followed the lead of several other governments in creating a real return, or inflation-adjusted, bond. Bond holders have always faced many risks to the return of their principal and interest, and the creation of TIPS sought to reduce inflation risks for Treasury investors.
It is important to realize that the adjustment mechanism that is used by TIPS is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) headline inflation figure. As such, it includes the historically volatile components of food and energy prices. According to "Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management" (2002), a book by Frank Reilly and Keith Brown, because inflation is generally not known until several months after the fact, the index value used has a three-month lag built in. For example, for a bond issued on June 30, 2003, the beginning base index value used would be the CPI value as of March 30, 2003. Following the issuance of a TIPS bond, its principal value is adjusted every six months to reflect the inflation since the base period. In turn, the interest payment is computed based on this adjusted principal, that is, the interest payments equal the original coupon times the adjusted principal.
With a better background into the indexing system used in the payment of TIPS interest, the investor needs to shift focus to how CPI-U is calculated; after all, its calculation determines whether your TIPS payment truly matches the increase in prices that may occur as a result of inflation. (more)
Bob Haber and David Madani are foreigners who have spent a lot of time studying Canada. Haber, an American, was chief investment officer at fund giant Fidelity Canada for 12 years and tracked Canadian stocks from his base in Boston. Meanwhile, Madani, a New Zealander, spent a decade with the Bank of Canada as a forecaster and policy analyst. Both are outsiders with an acute understanding of the inner workings of the Canadian economy. That is where the similarity ends.
Last December, Haber’s new book, Go Canada: The Coming Boom in the Toronto Stock Market and How to Profit From It, hit bookstores. Haber, who now runs his own investment firm in Boston and manages a series of Go Canada funds for Toronto-based Canoe Financial, has emerged as one of the most enthusiastic proponents of Canadian investments at a time when the world can’t seem to get enough of us. With Canada’s strong economy and wealth of resources, Haber predicts the S&P/TSX Composite Index could double to 30,000 points within 10 years. “Global growth and all the free money out there are coming together and investors are realizing the best place in the G7 for them to put their money is Canada,” he says. “Things are in gear for Canada to really outperform.”
Madani’s outlook couldn’t be more different, though it tends to get drowned out amid the Canuck euphoria. Last fall, he joined Capital Economics, a prominent U.K. investment research firm, to cover the Canadian market from Toronto. He says the boom in commodities is due for a reversal. More importantly, Canada’s red-hot housing market has soared into the danger zone. By his estimates, house prices are set to plunge at least 25 per cent, and will drag the economy down with them. “Housing has gotten crazy, it’s a bubble,” he says. “These things always have an unhappy ending, and Canada is not going to be any different.”
So there you have it. Canada is either primed to be a world beater, or we’re about to go down the tubes. There’s arguably never been a time when forecasters have been so divided in their views of Canada’s economy. That’s partly due to the seemingly Herculean way we shrugged off the global recession while almost every other developed nation tanked and continues to struggle—a feat that can’t help but arouse a bit of too-good-to-be-true anxiety.
But the division of opinion has to do mostly with the two particular engines that have driven our success—resources and real estate. Both are cyclical. Prices rise and fall as supply and demand shift. Only that’s no longer seen to be the case in Canada. Never mind that some experts now say the surge in commodities exceeds anything we’ve seen in two centuries, or that by many measures the housing market sits at multi-decade highs. Those who see good times ahead are convinced the phenomenal gains reflect a fundamental shift in the global economy. In short, it requires one to ascribe to the four most dangerous words in the world of investing: this time it’s different. (more)
So much for the market "completely ignoring" the total chaos and complete cacophony out of the tragicomic DC soap opera which is transitioning into less of a comedy and into more of a tragedy with each passing day. For everyone still wearing rose-colored glasses here's a refresher: stocks dropped, the S&P expressed in dollar terms, or adjusted for loss in dollar purchasing power is now negative for the year, bonds tumbled despite a "strong" auction driven almost entirely by Direct Bidders on the margin, and, the kicker, US CDS is now at 56 bps: US default risk is now the highest since February 2010.
The S&P priced in dollars:
Here is one attempt at an explanation from the media, always so eager to assign plotlines to an otherwise irrational market:
Vigorous bidding for this week's entire $66 billion worth of government debt supply was expected to rekindle a bond market rally that had sent benchmark yields to their lowest more than seven months on Tuesday.
Instead the afternoon market sell-off left traders and analysts scratching heads, looking for answers.
"We were surprised by the resilience of the market going into this week's supply. It's quite ironic that we ended up lower after a strong auction," said Rich Bryant, head of Treasury trading at MF Global in New York.
Traders and analysts blamed the day's perplexing market action on a combination of factors.
Those included Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks that the U.S. central bank is "not prepared at this point" to take action on more stimulus, competition from a $1.75 billion 30-year bond deal from J.P. Morgan, and a news report Washington has reached a budget deal but the size of cuts was smaller-than-expected.
Shortly after the 30-year auction that briefly helped pare losses, Dow Jones Newswires reported the White House and Congressional leaders could agree to about $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts and might be able to agree to an additional $200 billion in cuts.
"The market is telling you that the cuts are not deep enough," said Mark Pawlak, market strategist with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in New York.
Here's another: the ponzi is starting to unravel, as evidenced by the unprecedented amount of micromanagement in every single aspect of the market - in the US (the Chairman's every word, out of context, can now move the market up and down by 20 S&P points), in Europe (the ECB - nuff said), in China (Japan 's BOJ JPY intervention last night, China's interbank markets locked up for a third week in a row needing PBOC intervention at each step), and virtually everywhere else where non-centrally planned money still flows.