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    The Science of Job Interviews

    Mark Gottschalk  April 21 2016 04:36:54 PM
    “We can make a lot of mistakes”: The science of job interviews

    After weeks of trolling the internet for job postings and dashing off cover letters, you’ve finally had a stroke of luck. There’s only one thing standing between you and your dream job: The interview.

    This kind of high-stakes situation is guaranteed to get pulses racing. We all want to know what our interviewers are thinking, and how to make the best impression possible. While neuroscientists and psychologists have yet to peer into people’s brains during live interviews, recent studies can help us understand how to tip the odds in our favor.

    Read on at Quartz...

      AEROJET ROCKETDYNE Contract Award Alert

      Mark Gottschalk  February 26 2016 03:20:49 PM
      According to published reports, Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. announced that it was recently awarded a contract from Hill Air Force Base to complete trade studies and hardware demonstrations for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Demonstration and Validation Post Boost Program. The objective of the ICBM Demonstration and Validation Post Boost Program is to develop technologies that may be used to replace the capabilities of the current Minuteman III Propulsion System Rocket Engine (PSRE) in a new future system.

      The Post Boost Propulsion System is a critical element of the Minuteman III and future missile systems in positioning payloads accurately and supporting the potential deployment of countermeasures. The contract (Study A) is valued at more than $3 million and spans over a 24 month period. This study will evaluate various advanced technology propulsion systems followed by a down selection process. The candidate technologies will be further evaluated with hardware demonstration testing.

        Labor Forecast Predicts Increased Demand for Temp Workers

        Mark Gottschalk  January 13 2016 09:47:47 AM
        G. Palmer & Associates News Release (01/12/16)

        Demand for temporary workers in the U.S. is expected to increase 4.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the 2016 first quarter, when compared with the same period in 2015, according to the Palmer Forecast. The forecast indicated a 2.9% increase in demand for temporary help for the just-ended 2015 fourth quarter. Actual results came in higher than anticipated at 3.5%.

        "Our temporary help forecast for the 2016 first quarter continues to demonstrate improvement, with growth slightly accelerating compared with the previous quarter," says Greg Palmer, founder and managing director of G. Palmer & Associates. "Although this is the 24th consecutive quarter of [year-to-year] increases in demand for temporary workers, the data continue to show that [temporary] help as a percentage of new job growth is tapering off, which historically indicates the likelihood of increases in pricing, wages, gross margins, direct hires, and conversion fees in the staffing industry."

 Top 11 resume tips from 2015

          Mark Gottschalk  December 31 2015 12:39:34 PM
          Over the last year,'s team of resume experts and career consultants have helped numerous IT professionals showcase their extensive knowledge, experience and technical skills, helping them land their dream jobs. From candidates looking to spruce up their plain vanilla resumes with some extra "spice" to one candidate who didn't have a formal resume at all, here are the top 11 resume tips from 2015.

          1. Presentation dictates response
          Even at the executive level, senior IT leaders often struggle to create a resume that reflects their skills, knowledge and experience and grabs a recruiter or hiring manager's attention. Making sure your resume reflects the type of experience and achievements expected of senior technology leaders or CIOs is challenging, says Stephen Van Vreede, personal brand strategist and job search agent for IT, Technical and STEM careers with ITTechExec and job search coach and employment blogger at NoddlePlace.

          Van Vreede is also the co-author of the book, "Uncommon: Common Sense but Uncommon Knowledge from Today's Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals to Help You Lead an Extraordinary Life of Health, Wealth and Success." Here's how Van Vreede helped IT executive John Chavner carefully craft the "right" kind of professional presentation that would dictate the response he wanted -- to land a role as a senior IT executive.

          2. Emphasize your X factor
          After 17 years climbing the IT ladder at a major financial institution, Tatiana Shevchuk's position was eliminated, and she found herself with a mediocre resume that wasn't getting her the desired responses. Resume expert and career consultant Donald Burns of Executive Promotions, LLC streamlined her resume and uncovered that special something -- the 'X' factor -- to highlight her career progression, her extensive accomplishments and her value to potential employees to help her land her dream job.

          3. Let your passion shine through
          Buried beneath myriad details and a few stints in administrative positions was a killer IT resume -- it was up to resume expert Caitlin Sampson of Regal Resumes to help candidate Lori Parks uncover her potential and focus her resume so that recruiters and hiring managers could see her as she was, a diamond in the rough. By identifying Parks' true passion and highlighting her impressive achievements, Sampson was able to polish Parks' professional first impression.

          4. Just the facts (and only the pertinent ones)
          David Thorburn-Gundlach's resume was fantastic -- 10 years ago. By today's standards, though, Thorburn-Gundlach may as well have been invisible, at least to the recruiters and hiring managers whose attention he was trying to attract. Resume expert Stephen Van Vreede of IT Tech Exec helped Thorburn-Gundlach remove the cloak of invisibility surrounding his exceptional IT career and focus on the pertinent facts that would catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager and land him an exceptional IT role.

          5. Add flavor to a bland resume
          Scott Kressner had a lot going for him -- solid resume formatting, a great mix of experience and technical knowledge, as well a lengthy stint at RUSH Enterprises during which he steadily rose through the ranks. But his resume was much too generic -- too plain vanilla -- to get him past an initial screening and on to the interviewing stages. Career expert Donald Burns of Executive Promotions, LLC stepped in to help Kressner whip up some "secret sauce" that helped add some flavor to his resume and spice up his job search.
          6. Don't be afraid to use charts and graphs
          A resume doesn't have to be a solid block of words and phrases -- adding charts and graphs can help demonstrate a candidate's value visually and is especially helpful in IT-adjacent areas like sales, marketing and project management. But if used improperly, they can immediately turn off a recruiter and hiring manager. Here, resume expert Jennifer Hay of IT Resume Services shows how it's done correctly.

          7. Give yourself plenty of space
          While a too-long resume can buy you a one-way ticket to the "rejected" pile, the same is true for a resume that's too short. Expert Caitlin Sampson of Regal Résumes helped Andrew Lomasky expand his resume to better highlight his extensive and impressive experience and help him land his dream job.

          8. How to start from scratch
          Malcolm Greene spent the last 25 years building a career as a successful IT consultant, moving from gig to gig based solely on referrals from satisfied clients and developing a reputation as the go-to guy for "impossible" IT problems. But when Greene decided to make a career change to pursue a role in the corporate C-suite, he faced a problem: He didn't have a resume to match his achievements. Resume expert and career coach Donald Burns helped Greene start from scratch to build a resume that worked.

          9. When all else fails, break the rules
          Aside from her incredible academic credentials from top engineering schools, Marydawn Meeder's resume could have been confused with almost any high-level IT professional. In today's tight IT talent market, that's not enough to get through an initial screening and on to the interview and hiring phase. Here's how resume expert and career consultant Donald Burns helped her stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
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          10. Inject some personality
          Venkat Srivinisan is a data analytics expert with Ph.D. in computer science. He exudes personality, goodwill, energy and humor. His resume, although impressive, didn't match up with his colorful, energetic and entrepreneurial personality. Though filled with impressive accomplishments (he founded T-Cube, a software company that grew to $25 million within eight years; then in 2011 he sold T-Cube and founded a consulting company, which grew to $8 million and 10 employees) his professionally written, "standard" black-and-white resume didn't fully capture his potential. Here's how resume expert and career consultant Donald Burns helped inject some personality into Srivinisan's resume to help him get noticed.

          11. Cut through the technical noise
          Allen Bocian is the kind of guy who likes to let his experience speak for itself. The problem was there was so much to say that the pertinent message about his skills and knowledge was getting lost, and potential employers stopped listening. Bocian is a highly technical guy, but most hiring managers and recruiters aren't; it was hard to "sell" himself, despite his experience and technical know-how. Here's how resume expert Caitlin Sampson helped Bocian cut through the technical noise and craft a winning resume that helped highlight what made him special.

            Successful People Have One Quality in Common

            Two Roads  November 3 2015 04:39:29 PM
            Being successful in both your personal and professional life requires you to overcome adversity, learn from it, and push forward… RESILIENCE. Here are three ways to help develop it, utilize it, and be successful.

            Embrace Your Failures

            Every time you fail it is an opportunity to learn. On the road to success you will find failures. You can allow them paralyze you, or you can receive each one as an opportunity to shift what can you do next time. By viewing a failed interview or presentation as a learning opportunity you will be more confident in the next one.

            No Limits

            In job searching, for example, it’s easy to become discouraged and think, There’s no way I’m going to get this job. This is a limit that you immediately place upon yourself. Keep an open mind and push harder and further than you thought was possible. You’ll never know what you can accomplish until you push yourself and live limitless.

            Know Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing

            Whether your career choice is to have a respectable career and provide for your family, or to be able to travel the world and work, find a sense of purpose for what you’re doing. This will help you in finding your self worth so that you may move forward to obtain your goals.

            Resilience only goes as far as your belief in the purpose for which you are applying it to. In your mission to start your own business, find your dream job, or get the big promotion, find reason in doing so. Believe in your mission, because the failures and discomforts along the way will test you constantly. If you truly embrace it, resilience will come naturally.

              5 Habits to Break to Achieve Success

      September 28 2015 08:34:32 AM
              Great article on the Two Roads Blog today.  You can read the original HERE.

              As important it is to acquire the right information that is specific to your goals, and it’s just as important to move out of automatic behaviors and into conscious understanding, or unlearning. Sometimes success comes from what you learn to stop doing, but it takes hard work. It requires an attentive vision for a different business life, one that is at a deep level of self-love. There are a few behaviors that we all need to unlearn in order to become effective and transformational leaders.

              Striking that balance between doing too much or doing too little is a learning process, but once that middle ground is found it becomes a place of true value for yourself and others. The need to please others comes from fear of being rejected or fear of not being good enough. Unlearning this behavior allows us to build self-confidence and feel worthy of belonging. From there, we can become strong, positive leaders in our companies and the world at large.

              Loose Boundaries
              Communicating healthy boundaries creates clarity, security, and order. Loose boundaries create dysfunctional organizations. An effective leader sets a clear framework for everyone in order to set his or her team up for success.

              Not Speaking Your Mind
              Holding back from saying your truth creates negative emotions inside the withholder, deteriorates relationships, and weakens the health of your organization over time. Speaking up is an important form of honesty. Honesty builds trust and demonstrates commitment to the process and the people involved.

              Avoiding Failure
              Many people have a desire for success but an unwillingness to fail. We want to avoid the painful feelings that can accompany failure. When your mindset is to avoid failure, the strategies you use are ultimately shortcuts, trying to just do the techniques without bothering to understand them. When your strategy is to aim for success, you want to know exactly why you’re doing these things and when the best times are to use the techniques you learned.

              Negative Thinking
              The way you think determines whether the results are positive and beneficial, or negative and harmful. When something bad happens and we attribute negative meaning to it about ourselves, we may be heading for a downward spiral. If a potential client or investor says, “No,” don’t take it personally. This doesn’t mean that your project was bad or that your idea wasn’t good enough. Don’t overanalyze it, instead, plan what your next move will be to achieve your goal.

              We all need to work on our bad habits one at a time and, as we improve, personal growth becomes a self fulfilling prophecy!

                Employment engine keeps humming for IT job seekers

        August 4 2015 04:19:15 PM
                Programmers fare well, but some positions, such as Web developers, see rising unemployment

                Momentum keeps building in tech industry hiring, with unemployment dropping even lower than before. But it's not all good news, as Web developers and others saw increases in joblessness.

                IT jobs site's second-quarter tech employment "snapshot," released Tuesday, saw unemployment drop to 2.1 percent -- the lowest rate recorded since 2008 -- based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. It had been 2.3 percent in the previous quarter and 2.5 percent late last year. The overall U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, stands at 5.5 percent.

                Programmers experienced a significant decline in unemployment, with their numbers dropping from 6.5 percent in the first quarter to 1.8 percent in the second quarter, and software developers saw a slight decline from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent... (read the rest of the article HERE at

                  Three Simple Job Search Tips to Immediately Put Into Practice

                  Two Roads  June 24 2015 12:39:04 PM
                  If only job hunting could still be as simple as seeing a job posting in the classifieds, applying for the position, and starting your new employment endeavor. Job search today is more sophisticated , trickier, and highly competitive. You have to be imaginative, savvy and smart to be successful. Just responding to advertisements in the classifieds probably won’t land you your dream job .Follow these three simple tips to help you land your next dream job.

                  1. Don’t Rely on Just Classified Ads
                  Who is not to say that you can’t find a job from the classifieds ? These days classifieds include not only local newspaper ads, but also online classified ads (found at places such as and entries listed on large, online job search engines (such as but it’s not the only place you should be searching. If your job search were equivalent to an Internet connection, a classifieds only search would be similar to using a dial-up modem; it might help you get where you want to go, but it won’t do so as effectively or quickly as a high-speed connection.

                  2. Update and Customize Your Resume
                  If you aren’t getting results with your current resume consider revising it. When updating and customizing your resume,make sure your descriptions are concise and detailed, focus on just the most relevant, significant and recent information, remove any personal pronouns, and proofread your resume for any typos and/or grammatical errors. Once your resume is updated, customize it for each new potential position you apply for.

                  3. Network
                  When job searching, who you know, and who you get to know, are often times just as important as what you know. When you start looking for a job, contact friends and trusted professionals in your field to let them know you’re on the hunt. Consider giving them your personal business cards or a copy of your résumé in case they run into someone who’s searching for a candidate like you. Also ask them to serve as professional references or to let you know if the companies they work for are hiring.

                  So, unless you want to make job searching your new full-time job, follow these search tips to improve your hunt and land a great new gig in no time.

                    Three Tips for a Great Cover Letter

            June 3 2015 09:16:48 AM
                    When applying for a job, it is sometimes the small things that make a big difference. A great cover letter is a sure-fire way to set yourself apart from the next applicant. The vast majority of cover letters read essentially the same, making it somewhat unbearable for those sifting through the applications. Review these tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume.

                    1. Do Not Repeat Your Resume.
                    Your cover letter will be stapled or attached to your actual resume, so you can make the assumption they will already have your resume information with them. Most people write cover letters as if they are paragraph form resume, making it all very redundant. Instead, use your cover letter to show personality, curiosity, and an interest in the field you are applying to work in. Google the history of your field or the company you are interested in working for, and add some cool facts into your cover letter, thus keeping the reader’s attention and excitement.

                    2. Keep It Short
                    Less is more. Three paragraphs is enough. Half a page, tops. Skip lengthy exposition and jump right into something juicy.

                    3. Showcase your Skills
                    When you know you have the potential to do the job,try focusing on your skills. At the end of the day, what hiring managers care about most is your work experience, and what you can offer the company if they choose to hire you. Stay positive, focus on your strengths, and immediately launch into your transferable skills and infectious enthusiasm for the position.

                    Remember the purpose of writing a cover letter before you sit down to send a resume out. The greatest cover letters are those in which the applicant is memorable, and stands out. Be you!

                    Read the above article on the Two Roads blog -- as well as more more great information about job searching and staffing -- by clicking here

                      Five Tips to Choose the Best Job Reference

                      Two Roads  May 22 2015 09:40:56 AM

                      References serve as a powerful tool during the hiring process. Hiring managers often contact references to find out what a candidate can truly accomplish and what they?re like to work with. Having a great reference to back up your skills is imperative, but not everyone knows how they should go about getting one. Here are five tips to choose the best job reference.

                      1. Create a list of people who you believe will say positive things about you.
                      Former supervisors, coworkers, managers and even clients are typically the best choices. If you do not have any work experience, expand your list to include volunteer assignments, college professors, and internship supervisors.

                      2. Narrow down your reference list to 4 or 5 people.
                      The most effective references are those who?ve had the opportunity to experience your personality and witness your accomplishments first-hand. Senior positions will require 5 to 7 references. Choose work references that will speak highly of you, and will attest to all that you were able to accomplish. Omit potential references who might sound unprofessional, or those with whom you did not have a great working relationship.

                      3. Ask for his or her permission.
                      Never use a reference without asking for his or her permission. Regardless of how you perceive your relationship with the reference, not every person is comfortable giving recommendations for employment opportunities. While in most cases your colleagues will be flattered to serve as references, it?s always respectful to ask for their permission first.

                      4. Make sure your reference?s information is thorough and correct.
                      Once you?ve secured a job reference, collect their contact information. Record their full name, current title, phone number, email, and work address. These details will be required by most employers during the interview process. In the case of work-only references, stay away from listing things like home numbers, personal emails, and cell phones. Privacy is an issue, and the hiring manager may not be aware they are reaching out to a personal account. This looks bad for everyone, and is unprofessional on your part.

                      5.Coach your select references, and keep them updated throughout the process.
                      Give your reference a current resume and update and/or remind them of your achievements, skills, important projects, etc. Preparing your references will ensure they provide a more relevant reference and recommendation.

                      Always be willing to use your references, and remember to say thank you. Saying thank you

                      Read more staffing advice at the Two Roads blog by clicking HERE