4 Tips to Nail a Virtual Job Interview

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recruiter holding cv having online virtual job interview meeting with black male candidate on video call

by Ben Laker, Will Godley, Selin Kudret and Rita Trehan

If you’re job hunting right now, chances are you’re also interviewing remotely. There are some serious upsides to this. You can avoid tardiness (no traffic snarls), reference notes without being too obvious and if you’re located in a rural area, you now have access to the same opportunities as city dwellers, saving you money.

There are also downsides. Combined with technical problems — like forgetting you’re unmuted or having a cat filter stuck on your face — virtual interviews can go horribly wrong.

Through our latest research on remote hiring, we wanted to know, given these pros and cons, how can job candidates really stand out during the virtual interview process?

Here are four practices you can use to turn your next virtual interview into a job offer.

1) Set up your space.

  • Have a clean, uncluttered background: Our advice here is not for you to start rearranging your entire room. Just find a spot that is simple and free of distractions. You can even choose a simple virtual background instead of propping yourself in front of a messy bookshelf. Contrary to previous research, we found that unconscious biases were less likely to creep into the decision-making process when candidates had a clean backdrop. 97 percent of the recruiters we spoke to preferred virtual backgrounds of office settings over beaches, mountains or outer space.

2) Prepare for the unexpected.

  • Keep notes handy, but don’t refer to them too often: During job interviews, it’s standard for recruiters to ask candidates for examples of their most impactful work. Don’t let this unnerve you in the moment. Create a printout or Word document of notes with crisp bullet points highlighting a few projects you want to share. Sort your projects under two or three headers: accomplishments, research and volunteer work.

We suggest no more than one page of notes. The goal is to refer to your notes minimally.

3) Rehearse.

  • Use hand gestures: In our study, 89 percent of successful candidates used wide hand gestures for big and exciting points, while moving their hands closer to their heart when sharing personal reflections. Your body language can impact what you’re saying and how you come across. Our research also found that you can connect to your interviewer just by keeping an open posture and remembering not to cross your arms. Look into your webcam, not at your reflection. We recommend framing yourself in a way where you’re not too far from the camera (we suggest no more than two feet). Make sure your head and top of your shoulders dominate the screen, and as you’ve heard before, look into the camera when you speak.

4) Don’t perform a monologue; spark conversations.

  • Ask questions: There’s always an opportunity to ask questions about the office and the culture in an interview, but when you interview remotely, you’re going to be left with more questions than usual. Whatever you want to know, ask. Don’t worry about looking silly. The recruiter will appreciate your curiosity.

We suggest asking questions about the kind of technology you’ll have access to when working remotely, if you’d be working in a hybrid team or how success is measured at the organization. 85 percent of successful candidates asked these kinds of questions to demonstrate their values and priorities, while revealing vital bits of information about their personality. For example, you could ask, “Do you have a flexible work policy?” Then bookend your question with, “I’ve been volunteering as an English teacher for marginalized communities twice a week, and it would be great to be able to continue doing that.”

For better or worse, remote hiring is here to stay. While there are many unrivaled benefits to this, you need to do your bit to ace this relatively new process. Remember, trousers are optional, outstanding delivery is not.

Source: Harvard Business Review

11 Great Jobs That Offer Student Loan Forgiveness

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smiling black woman nurse with arms folded with stethoscope draped around neck area

By Kat Castagnoli

Did you know that 7 in 10 college students take out loans to pay for school? While it can take a long time to pay back student loan debt, there is a way to get your balance wiped out: by qualifying for a student loan forgiveness job.

If you work for a certain amount of time in a job with this option, you could get your student loan debt completely cancelled. While these types of jobs aren’t always the most high-paying, there’s often plenty of opportunity due to a shortage of workers to fill them. And what you might sacrifice in income, you could potentially make back with loan forgiveness after a few years.

Below is a list of 11 jobs that offer student loan forgiveness so you can decide if any would be a great fit for you:

  1. Federal agency employee

Here’s a little-known fact that applies to federal agencies: If they are having a hard time finding new employees to fill open slots, they are allowed to offer student loan repayment assistance. To qualify, the new employee must sign a contract to work for the federal agency for a minimum of three years. The agency is allowed to pay up to $10,000 per year per employee for federally insured loans, but the total assistance given cannot exceed $60,000 per person.

  1. Public service worker

If you work in a qualifying organization, such as a government agency or nonprofit, you could qualify for loan forgiveness. Full-time public service employees with Perkins loans can get full cancellation of their loans, as long as they haven’t consolidated them. Potentially eligible workers include family and child services employees, law enforcement and correctional officers and public defenders. Public servants with Direct loans (also known as Stafford loans) could pursue loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. PSLF is available to any worker in a government organization at any level, as well as tax-exempt organizations or for-profit organizations with a qualifying service.

  1. Doctor/physician

There are several options for doctors in need of student loan repayment help. The Association of American Medical Colleges maintains a list of loan assistance programs for doctors by state. Additionally, medical professionals who serve in the military have access to forgiveness programs as well. For example, through the Navy Financial Assistance Program (FAP), medical residents receive an annual grant of $45,000 on top of residency income, which can be put toward medical school debt.

  1. Lawyer

In addition to public service forgiveness options targeted specifically at graduates working in law, there are some other sources of loan repayment help for lawyers. For instance, every spring, the Department of Justice opens up its Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) to help recruit and retain new talent. Justice Department employees must have at least $10,000 in federal student loans to qualify. For those who want to work as public defenders, the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program provides loan assistance of varying amounts, depending on where you live. In addition, there are dozens of programs for borrowers with law school debt.

  1. Automotive professionals

Any automotive aftermarket industry manufacturer who is an employee of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) can apply for the SEMA Loan Forgiveness Program. The SEMA program awarded $272,000 to 97 winners in 2019 in scholarships and loan forgiveness. To be eligible, you must have been a SEMA employee for at least a year, hold a degree or certificate of completion from a college or technical school and have graduated with at least a 2.5 GPA.

  1. Nurse

If you are a registered nurse, an “advanced practice registered nurse” (such as a nurse practitioner) or a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) facility nurse, you may be eligible for student loan repayment assistance through the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. The nurses chosen to receive assistance through this program will get 60 percent of their qualifying student loan balance forgiven, in exchange for a minimum two-year service commitment. Also, qualifying participants may receive an additional 25 percent off their original loan balance if they complete a third year of service. Please note that in this program, the full loan award amount is taxable.

  1. Teacher

If you’re a special education teacher, teach in a low-income school district or work in an underemployed subject area or a teacher shortage area, you may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. If you qualify, you could receive up to $5,000 or $17,500 in loan forgiveness, depending upon what subject matter you teach and your number of years of service. Note that to qualify, your student loan debt must be from federal direct loans or Stafford loans.

However, if you have Perkins student loans, you could be eligible for the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program, where you could potentially receive cancellation of up to 100 percent of your loans.

  1. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and other qualifying volunteer organizations

Did you know that certain volunteer organizations offer student loan forgiveness opportunities? Don’t let high student loan debt deter you from taking the opportunity to help others. Certain volunteer organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) all have student loan awards or repayment options. You can apply for these after you have completed your term of service with the organization.

  1. Dentist

Although dentists tend to make a high income — a median of $156,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — they also accrue a huge amount of debt before they start working. The American Dental Education Association found that the average dentist with student loans in the Class of 2019 left school owing a whopping $292,169. Luckily, there are some loan repayment assistance programs, or LRAPs, for dentists, such as the Ohio Dentist Loan Repayment Program and Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program. Programs such as these offer significant loan assistance to dentists who work in qualifying areas or workplaces.

  1. Pharmacist

Like dentists, pharmacists take on a lot of education debt to earn their degrees. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, pharmacists in the Class of 2019 who borrowed student loans took on an average of $172,329 to finance their education. Here, too, assistance is available: Several national LRAPs provide financial help to health care providers, including pharmacists. Plus, some state programs, such as the California State Loan Repayment Program, will pay back all or a portion of your loans if you establish residency and practice in a qualifying area.

  1. Veterinarian

Not only could working with animals be a fulfilling career, but it could also help you get forgiveness for your student loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers $25,000 per year for three years in student loan repayment assistance to vets who work in underserved areas. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 44 percent of veterinarians in the Class of 2018 left school owing more than $200,000 in student loans, while the average debt for all graduates was $143,111.

Should you pursue jobs that offer student loan forgiveness?

Most student loan forgiveness jobs have strict requirements, contracts and a minimum term of employment to qualify for loan cancellation. Also, you have to be current on your student loan payments — your loans can’t be in default. But once you meet the requirements, you will receive debt repayment, cancellation or forgiveness. Giving just two or three years of your professional life to a qualifying job may be the answer to your student loan problems and the key to your financial freedom.

How to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

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Young woman using laptop computer at office. Student girl working at home. Work or study from home

Let’s be honest — if you’re applying for a job, you’re probably not the only person qualified for the position. How can you stand out among the competition before an employer even gets to meet you?

One technique you can use to your advantage is to write an attention-grabbing cover letter. Today’s blog post offers some advice and a few tips to get you started.

What is a cover letter? 

A cover letter is a one-page document that introduces you to a potential employer. Your resume describes the facts of your work experience (either paid or volunteer work), while your cover letter gives the hiring manager some insight into your personality. While your resume tells what you did, the cover letter gives you the opportunity to describe how you did it.

Tip: For example, rather than stating that you have strong communication skills, provide the details of a particular problem you were key in solving and how exactly you used your communication skills to solve it.

Do I need to send a cover letter? 

Yes, you should include a cover letter with your job application whether the company requires it or not. It can help you catch the hiring manager’s attention!

What should be in my cover letter? There are 3 basic elements you need to be sure to include: 1) how your experience meets the job requirements; 2) how your skills match the job requirements; and 3) why you want to work for this specific employer.

Tip: Every cover letter needs to be unique to the particular job. There are templates online that can guide you, but there is no one size fits all. You have to do the work to research the company and understand the job requirements. Remember, your cover letter should be customized for each job application. Be sure to adapt it for each particular company and include keywords from each job description.

Should I disclose my disability in a cover letter? 

Disclosing your disability in a cover letter is up to you. If you decide to do so, employers may ask you to fill out a job application that includes a formal opportunity to discuss your disability and accommodations you may need on the job. Whether or not you disclose your disability, focus your cover letter on the skills you have that make you a great fit for the job.

How do I organize my cover letter? 

Below is a simple structure you can follow:

Heading — includes your full name, phone number, email and the date

Tip: Add your social media profile (e.g., LinkedIn) if relevant to the job.

Addressee — the name of the hiring manager, company and business address

Tip: Researching online (e.g., Google, LinkedIn, company website) to find the name of the hiring manager shows you’ve done your homework.

Greeting — specific to the person you determined was the hiring manager

Opening paragraph — briefly talk about 2 or 3 of your accomplishments that are specifically relevant to the job. Tell your story.

Tip: If you have results that can be quantified, e.g., I increased production by 10 percent, this is the place for those.

Second paragraph — identify the key elements of the job requirements and explain why you’re the best person for the job. Where do your skills and the job requirements overlap?

Third paragraph — explain why you want to work for this particular company. What is it about this one company that you admire? Their product? Their inclusive culture? Be specific about why this is meaningful to you.

Conclusion — thank them for reading your letter and put the ball in their court. For example, you could end by saying you’d love to discuss your experience with them.

Closing — use a formal sign off such as Best Regards, Kind Regards, Sincerely or Thank you.

Now what? 

You’re almost done! Just a few final tips:

Edit your letter to be sure that it is only one page.

Proofread your letter. Make sure there are no typos or errors in spelling or grammar. Better yet, ask someone else to read it over for you.

If you’re sending your resume and cover letter by email, consider including the cover letter in the body of the email message itself. That way, you save the reader an extra step and your letter is more likely to be read.

Source: Choosework.ssa.gov

The number of Black women mayors leading major cities to reach historic high. Here is why they are winning

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Kim Janey and Tishaura Jones giving speeches while looking off camera

By Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN

A new wave of Black women are breaking barriers as they ascend to mayoral seats in cities with deeply rooted histories of racism and inequality.

On Tuesday, Tishaura Jones will be sworn in as the first Black female mayor of St. Louis after winning the election earlier this month.

Her victory came just two weeks after Kim Janey was appointed Boston’s first Black female mayor following the resignation of Marty Walsh, who is now the US Labor Secretary. Janey recently announced she would run for a full term in this year’s mayoral election.

With the ascension of Jones and Janey, there will be a historic high of nine Black women serving as mayors of the nation’s 100 largest cities. Other major cities led by Black women include Atlanta, San Francisco; Chicago; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans; Washington, DC; and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Political observers say the growing number of Black female mayors signals they are gaining electoral strength and appealing to voters in races that have been historically won by White men. They say Black women have proven they are relatable with an ability to lead, organize and engage new voters. Black women are also speaking out against the racial disparities in their communities at a time when the nation is having to reckon with systemic racism and police violence against Black people.
Kimberly Peeler-Allen, a visiting practitioner at the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, said as more Black women rise to political power, the electorate is seeing the importance of having diverse voices making decisions.

“Black and brown women are running with a message that is a totality of their life experiences, which transcends race or gender,” Peeler-Allen said. “And there are people who are saying ‘she may not look like me but I know we share the same experience, because she is wrestling with credit card debt, or she has a family member with addiction or she’s a small business owner, she’s a veteran.'”
Peeler-Allen said she believes the advancement of Black women in all levels of government could also be inspiring more to run for office.
In the last few years, Kamala Harris became the first Black female vice president, Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first Black woman elected to Congress, and Tish James was elected New York’s first Black female attorney general.

Stacey Abrams narrowly lost her bid to become the nation’s first Black woman governor in 2018, but is now a powerful advocate for voting rights for people of color. Some political analysts view Abrams as a viable candidate for Georgia’s gubernatorial election in 2022.

Creating equity in St. Louis

Both Jones and Janey have vowed to make racial equity a priority while reflecting on their own lived experiences as Black women.

Jones said during her victory speech that she would not stay silent or ignore the racism that has held St. Louis back.
She told CNN she wants to address the exodus of Black residents in recent years and why they don’t feel welcome in St. Louis. The city’s Black population dropped from 51% to 45% in the last 10 years.

Jones said she wants to revitalize the northern part of the city where she grew up because the neighborhoods have been neglected.

“I am ready for St. Louis to thrive instead of just survive,” Jones said on CNN “New Day” earlier this month. “We need to provide opportunities for everyone to succeed, no matter their zip code, the color of their skin, who they love or how they worship.”

Kayla Reed, executive director of the grassroots racial justice group St. Louis Action, said she believes Jones can relate to the plight of Black people in St. Louis because of her lived experience as a single mother from a marginalized neighborhood.
The city, Reed said, struggles with segregation, disparities in education, employment and housing, overpolicing and violence in the Black community.

Reed said Jones has embraced the demands of a racial justice movement that started in 2014 when unrest broke out in nearby Ferguson following the police killing of Michael Brown. Ferguson elected its first Black woman mayor Ella Jones last year.

Jones is listening to the concerns of organizers and giving them a seat at the table, Reed said.
“She understands the unique inequality that our communities face,” said Reed, who campaigned for Jones and sits on her transition team. “And it gives her an advantage to think through creative, innovative solutions to shift outcomes and conditions.”

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Two Black women will be head coaches in the same NCAA women’s Final Four for the first time

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South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley celebrates after cutting the last piece of the net during the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

By Matias Grez and Jill Martin

This year’s March Madness might have exposed gaps in gender equity in college sports, but for two Black women, the 2021 NCAA women’s tournament will always represent a moment when history was made.

For the first time in NCAA women’s tournament history, two Black women will be head coaches in the same Final Four.
South Carolina’s Dawn Staley will be appearing in her third Final Four, winning the title back in 2017, while Adia Barnes and her Arizona team will make their debut appearance.
March Madness is the pinnacle of college basketball, where 64 teams — full of the next generation of WNBA and NBA players — duke it out in a single-elimination tournament over two weeks to crown the best team. The event is known for big moments, upsets and great action.
Photo: CNN
Speaking to reporters about the historic feat following South Carolina’s win over Texas, Staley said she was “super proud of Adia” and was “cheering for her to get it done.”
“It was not for any other reason besides us being represented at the biggest stage of women’s college basketball,” she said.
“And that’s because there are so many Black coaches out there that don’t get opportunity because when ADs [Athletics Directors] don’t see it, they don’t see it — and they’re going to see it on the biggest stage of a Friday night, that two Black women are representing two programs in the Final Four, something that has never been done before.
“You know, our history here in women’s basketball is so filled with so many Black bodies that for this to be happening in 2021, to me, is long overdue, but we’re proud. We’re happy.
“I know my phone is probably full of text messages of Black coaches all across the country, just congratulating us on doing that, on being present, being in the moment, being able to take our programs to this place.”
Both Staley and Barnes are former WNBA players — the latter winning a title with the Seattle Storm in 2004 — and Barnes revealed she has been inundated with messages from former teammates.
On Friday, South Carolina will face Stanford, while Arizona will meet UConn.
The two women have guided their respective teams to the Final Four in impressive fashion, with Staley’s South Carolina comfortably swatting Texas aside in a 62-34 win, while Barnes’ Arizona powered past Indiana in a bruising 66-53 victory.
It also means Staley and Barnes are the only former WNBA players to have led teams to the Final Four as head coaches.
“I know Adia utilizes all of her basketball knowledge as a player and she’s been a coach long enough that she’s not just a suit,” Staley said.
“It’s always going to be part player in us and that’s why our players … we are so relatable to them. They understand it because it’s coming from a place of ‘we’ve done that. We’re trying to help you get to that place where we can have longevity in our league.’
“Representation matters. It’s nothing against anybody else that lost to us, but when you see two Black women representing in this way, I hope the decision makers who — because there are a lot of jobs out there that you give Black women an opportunity — not just give them the job.
Read the full article at CNN. 

‘We Don’t Have The Luxury To Fall Apart’: Black Businesses Get Creative To Survive

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Keitra Bates stands outside of the original location of Marddy's in Atlanta. It's a shared kitchen where home cooks can prepare their goods, and collectively market them.

By Debbie Elliott

Entrepreneur Keitra Bates stands in a gleaming glass-front retail shop in a new development on the south side of Atlanta.

“We’re looking at almost 2,000-sq-ft. of raw space,” she says, pointing out the floor-to-ceiling windows that face onto Atlanta’s popular Beltline, railways converted to trails and parks encircling the city.

Photo Lynsey Weatherspoon for NPR

This will soon be the second location for a business she started called Marddy’s — short for Market Buddies, a shared kitchen where home cooks can prepare their goods, and collectively market them.

Her dream began at a far less glamorous spot in a long-neglected neighborhood west of downtown.

“When I was first standing outside with no keys on Fair Street and a boarded-up door, I would not have guessed this,” Bates says.

“This place is proof that you can save yourself,” she says.

Like many Black-owned businesses, the pandemic had the Atlanta food entrepreneur wondering if her fledgling shared commercial kitchen would survive. Looking back a year later, she says it meant getting creative and doubling-down on her mission of connecting with other Black entrepreneurs in order to thrive, and grow her business.

Creating affordable environment for Black businesses

She acknowledges it’s a big step opening this second location at the new Pittsburgh Yards development.

“There’s no hiding,” she says. “Everything that we say that we are, people can kind of peek in and see, like, are they really making those pies? Yeah, we’re really making the pies.”

Black-owned small businesses have long faced difficult odds whether it’s access to financial capital, or discrimination in contracting. Now, the pandemic has hit them the hardest, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which found that Black businesses closed at more than twice the rate of white-owned businesses in early 2020.

Pittsburgh Yards is specifically designed to address the obstacles facing Black entrepreneurs. The public-private project converted an old transportation hub into shared working space.

The idea is to create an affordable environment for African American businesses to nurture one another, says Erika Smith with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, (which also sponsors NPR). Smith says Atlanta’s Beltline is an economic generator, but has also fueled gentrification.

“We are realizing in communities where the Beltline is developed, it’s increased the cost of rents for residents and commercial businesses,” Smith says. “So part of the strategy is how can we leverage a physical space like Pittsburgh Yards to also satisfy that business displacement issue.”

“They have a right to survive”

That’s Keitra Bates story. She ran a pizzeria in west Atlanta until revitalization attracted a new landlord who raised her rent. She couldn’t afford to stay open. And she saw other Black-owned businesses priced out as well, closing what had been venues where local home cooks could sell their breads, sauces and pies. She calls them hidden entrepreneurs in danger of being ghosted, along with the traditional flavors of the neighborhood.

Bates is one of the Americans NPR has been following as part of our Kitchen Table Conversations, which started four years ago.

“These people have created a business with their talent and they have a right to survive,” Bates told NPR in 2019 after she got Marddy’s up and running. “Just because there’s new money coming in doesn’t mean that their business should get snuffed out.”

Bates, who is 47, has worked to grow a catering business, aggregating the products her vendors make. About a dozen now use Marddy’s shared kitchen, making products including spices, flavored nuts, and vegan cheese sauce.

Read the full article at NPR.

Precious Lee Is The First Plus-Sized Model To Walk The Versace Runway

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Precious Lee plus-sized model at a marver premier wearing a black bodycon dress

Precious Lee, a Black fashion icon from Atlanta, Georgia, sat down with Good Morning America to reflect on her historic achievement as one of the first plus-sized models on the Versace runway. The trailblazer, who was one of three plus-sized models to make history at the runway show in Italy last year, said she was overcome with emotion before her interview last week.

“I’ve always imagined myself on that runway,” Lee said. “I’ve always adored Versace. I grew up in a Versace home. We always loved Versace as a family.”

When she took the stage in Milan, Italy, the 31-year-old said she was thinking of her sister, who was also a model, according to Allure.

“The show was the day before her birthday,” Lee said. “Anytime I have a really big moment or just when I’m feeling the need for the energy of my sister — I felt her right before I was about to go out.”

As she relied on the energy of her sister while waiting for her turn to walk, Lee heard another comforting voice.

“I’m so focused and all of a sudden I was about to cry and then someone backstage was like ‘you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Go!'” the Georgia native said. “I turned the corner and I zoned out and I started to float.”

In the midst of the momentous occasion, Lee became more grateful for all the support she received during her journey.

“It was an acknowledgment of how supported I’ve been,” she said. “It was such a proud moment of arriving at an actual dream.”

Lee has also made history as the first Black curvy model to appear on the cover of Vogue, according to her biography. Additionally, she’s appeared at New York Fashion Week for designers Christian Siriano, Tommy Hilfiger and Matthew Adams Nolan. Lee has also been featured in other magazines such as Glamour, Paper Magazine, V Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and M Le Monde. 

Read the full article at Blavity.

Top CEOs vow to hire 1 million Black Americans

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confident young black man

A group including some of the biggest U.S. companies is launching a nationwide campaign to hire 1 million Black Americans over the next decade, with a goal of economically uplifting communities of color.

The OneTen coalition — which has 37 members and which includes corporate giants such as AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast, Delta, General Motors, IBM, Nike, Merck, Verizon, and Walmart — said they’re specifically interested in Black workers who don’t have a college degree.

“Many times companies require four-year degrees for the kinds of jobs that really do not require a four-year degree,” Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier told CBS This Morning. “We’re trying to urge companies to take a skills-first approach rather than a credentials approach.”

Ginni Rometty, IBM’s executive chairwoman and one of the founders of the group, said companies involved in OneTen are banding together because “we all need talent, and there’s a large talent pool in America we’re not tapping into.”

Continue to the full article at CBS News.

LeBron James, Naomi Osaka and Patrick Mahomes among 5 “activist athletes” honored as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, U.S. Open tennis champ Naomi Osaka, Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart and Kansas City Chiefs teammates Patrick Mahomes and Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff are being honored as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year for their athletic achievements and activism.

The five athlete-activists were honored in a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, racial tensions, and presidential election. In a Sports Illustrated video narrated by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he described the athletes as “champions in their sport and of causes that seek to level society’s playing field.”

“In a year seemingly designed to divide physically, emotionally, politically, they found ways to unite, to inspire, to rebuild the shared experience sports usually provides, even in the most unusual circumstances,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “They are athletes, they are activists.”

Following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, James led a group of Black athletes and entertainers to form More Than A Vote, a nonprofit focusing on fighting voter suppression. The organization helped recruit more than 42,000 poll workers for the presidential election and helped nearly 300,000 people vote at arenas. The group is (Image Credit: CBS NEWS)                                                            currently involved with the Georgia Senate runoffs.

On Monday, James also won the 2020 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in honor of his social activism, which in addition to More Than a Vote also includes opening up a school in his hometown. “It’s an honor that I will never ever forget to be linked with such a great human being in Muhammad,” James told SI. “Hopefully he’s looking down on me and saying that I’m continuing his legacy,” he added.

Read the full article at NBC NEWS.

These Are The Most At-Risk Jobs Post-Pandemic

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Career fair attendees walking to event

While many jobs were put on hold during the pandemic, there are a few that may not come back—ever.

Glassdoor’s Workplace Trends 2021 report finds that job postings for discretionary health services—or those that are elective and can be postponed during a pandemic—are down dramatically. The most at-risk job is that of audiologist, for which job listings on Glassdoor declined 70% during the pandemic.

Angela Shoup, president of the American Academy of Audiology, says she’s heard reports of audiologists being placed on long furloughs, as well as some who’ve closed their private practices and retired early this year. Many recent graduates looking for jobs in audiology have been told that larger practices are not hiring, she says.

Job postings for opticians and physical therapists saw a similar fate, down 61% and 40%, respectively. There’s also been a shortage of administrative and lower-skilled office roles. Jobs for event coordinators are down 69%, making it the second most at-risk job post-pandemic. Similarly, openings for executive assistants are down 55%, human resources generalists are down 37% and receptionists are down 35%, as most offices have been closed.

Unsurprisingly, positions for personal services workers have also plummeted. Beauty consultants took the hardest hit, with jobs down 53%. Jobs for valets were down 51%.

“[These are jobs] where Covid-19 is in the driver’s seat,” says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist. “People are not going to return to their nail salons or get discretionary LASIK eye surgeries or go to in-person events until the virus is under control.”

Discretionary healthcare, event and personal-service jobs won’t disappear altogether after the pandemic, but they will certainly be slow to come back, he says. However, he thinks it’s possible some jobs may be lost forever.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Said Yes to the Following Questions? – You’re more successful than you think

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Confident Businessman. Happy african guy smiling at camera working at office. Panorama, free space

By Jeff Haden

Sometimes comparisons can be useful, but where your sense of satisfaction and fulfillment are concerned, they’re definitely not.

Like if you constantly you compare yourself to other people. Do that and it’s easy to feel unsuccessful. If you’re an entrepreneur and you compare yourself to Richard Branson, you won’t win. If you’re a musician and you compare yourself to Taylor Swift (especially if the point of comparison is earnings), you won’t win. If your goal is to change the world and you compare yourself to Steve…

That’s the problem with comparisons. No matter how successful you feel, there is always someone who seems more successful. There is always someone better, or smarter, or wealthier, or (seemingly) happier.

So, stop comparing. Just focus on you. Then look for these signs that show you’re more successful than you might think – and, in all likelihood, that you’re happier than you think, too.

  1. “Do I have close friends?”

Close friendships are increasingly rare; one study found that the number of friends who respondents felt they could discuss important matters with has dropped from an average of 2.94 to 2.08 in the last 20 years.

If you have more than two or three close friends, be glad, not only for the social connection but also because the positive effect of relationships on your life span is double what you get from exercising and just as powerful as quitting smoking.

And where professional relationships are concerned…

  1. “Can I choose the people around me?”

Some people have employees who drive them nuts. Some people have customers who are obnoxious. Some people have casual acquaintances who are selfish, all-about-me jerks.

Guess what: They chose those people. Those people are in their professional or personal lives because they let them remain.

Successful people attract successful people. Hardworking people attract hardworking people. Kind people associate with kind people. Great employees want to work for great bosses.

If the people around you are the people you want to be around you, you’re successful.

And if they’re not, it’s time to start making some changes.

  1. “Do I have enough money to make positive choices?”

Many people live paycheck to paycheck. Worse, many have to decide between necessities. (I can remember having to choose between filling a prescription for an antibiotic and putting gas in my car.)

If you make enough money, and don’t spend so much money, that you can make positive choices about what to do with some of it – whether it’s investing, or taking a vacation, or taking classes… anything you want to do instead of have to do – then you’re successful, both because you’ve escaped the paycheck-to-paycheck grind and because you can leverage that extra money to become even more successful.

  1. “Do I see failure as just training?”

Failure sucks, but failure is also the best way to learn and grow. There will always be trials, challenges, and obstacles – but perseverance always wins in the end.

Every successful person has failed, numerous times. (Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That’s why they’re so successful now.)

If you embrace every failure – if you own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time things will turn out differently – then you’re already successful.

And in time, you’ll be even more successful, because you’ll never stop trying to be better than you are today.

  1. “Am I a giver?”

We’ve all experienced this moment: We’re having a great conversation, we’re finding things in common…and then, boom: The other person plays the “I need something” card.

And everything about the interaction changes.

What once appeared friendly now feels needy, almost grasping…and, if you’re like me, you feel guilty if you can’t help. (And especially if you decide you don’t want to help.)

As my buddy Adam Grant shows, people tend to fall into rough categories: Some takers, some are matchers, and some are givers.

And it should come as no surprise that people who feel successful tend to not be takers. They accept help if offered, but they don’t feel the need to ask. In fact, they focus on what they can do for other people.

  1. “Do I put other people in the spotlight?”

OK, maybe you did do all the work. Maybe you did move mountains. Maybe you did kick ass and take names.

If you aren’t looking for praise or accolades, that means you’re successful. That means you feel proud on the inside, where it counts. That means your happiness comes from the success of others. You don’t need the glory; you know what you’ve achieved.

If you enjoy the validation of others but don’t need the validation of others, you’re successful.

  1. “Do I feel a real sense of purpose?”

Successful people have a purpose. As a result, they’re excited, dedicated, passionate, and fearless.

And they share their passions with others.

If you’re found a purpose – if you’ve found something that inspires you, fuels you, makes you excited to get up, get out, and achieve – then you’re successful, regardless of how much money you make or what other people think.

Why?

Because you’re living life your way – and that’s the best sign of success there is.

Jeff Haden is a speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, author of THE MOTIVATION MYTH, and ghostwriter.

The New Interview: How to Hire the Best Candidate in Our New Normal

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By Vicki Chabot & Abbey Szentes, netlogx

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned business operations upside down, but as businesses work toward a new normal and hire new staff, virtual interviews have become standard.

Gauging how an interviewee will fit into an organization’s workplace culture without sitting across from one another in-person can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

When we’re not meeting people in-person, we miss cues that are necessary to fully comprehend communication. Research consistently shows candidates who align with an organization’s culture and values are critical for successful, strategic hiring.

Here are some of the best ways to foster a connection with candidates and how to weigh a candidate’s potential — both in work experience and their ability to align with organizational culture:

Create a Plan for Virtual Interviews

As policies and procedures change throughout the pandemic, make sure everyone is on the same page about how interviews will be conducted and what software will be used. There are many free options available like Google Meet or UberConference that are easy to use and don’t require added investments.

To minimize technical difficulties, choose a preferred software and practice using it. Perform test runs 10–15 minutes before a scheduled interview to make sure the microphone is operable, screen share options are easily accessible, and there is a strong web connection available. Ensure all candidates know what the interview process looks like and what they can expect throughout the interview. Create an agenda that can be shared with candidates and other team members and be clear about the organization’s expectations for the role. If candidates are showcasing some of their work, ask for the work ahead of time in case there are poor connections. Not everyone will have the same internet bandwidth, and it’s crucial to plan for that ahead of time.

Start with a Preliminary Phone Interview

Hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of applications when hiring for a new position. Conducting preliminary phone interviews with candidates who have the desired set of skills and work experience can help organize the pool of candidates and prevent lost time for those who aren’t a fit at all. It is common during in-person interviews to develop rapport with candidates, but in a completely virtual world those connections are more important than ever before. While a phone call is great for screening candidates, video conferencing should be used for any other interviews. Hiring managers should ask more questions so they can get to know candidates on a personal level.

Ask Personal and Professional Questions

A virtual interview should be treated the same as those that take place in-person, but there are benefits to meeting candidates virtually. Remind hiring managers and team members to be a bit more compassionate than they would normally be when sitting across the table from a candidate. Life frequently gets in the way with barking dogs, a phone ringing, or spouses, partners and children all working and playing under the same roof. These are perfect opportunities to learn more about candidates and their day-to-day lives as opposed to only pointed questions about work skills. Yes, those questions are important, too, but in a virtual environment, there is much that can be learned about a candidate’s lifestyle and ability to handle distractions. Take notes and ask questions about the person’s hobbies, interests, and volunteer work.

Create a Process to Gather Feedback From Candidates

It’s commonplace for potential candidates to send thank you notes after an interview, but it is helpful for interviewers to do the same as they adapt to remote-only interviews. Thank the candidate for being flexible and adaptable, and ask for feedback about the process. How did candidates feel it went? Are there things that could be improved or adjusted? These questions help hiring managers and teams to refine the interview process for future candidates and provide a glimpse of how a new hire would handle communicating information internally.

Use Work Style and Personality Assessments

If hiring managers want to know how candidates will perform and communicate, a business management assessment tool, such as the Taylor Protocols Core Values Index™ (CVI) or Myers Briggs Personality Assessment, are fantastic ways to understand an interviewee on a deeper level. Too often, employees are tasked with roles and responsibilities that can make them feel like a round peg forced into a square hole. This is something a hiring manager wants to identify before training and onboarding a new hire. As a last step, these kinds of assessments can help one candidate stand out more than another and help solidify your choice to hire them.

Business leaders should anticipate changes for interviewing practices and as the pandemic continues, remote interviewing remains the best and most viable way to understand a candidate’s potential as a new hire for the organization. Having a standardized process in place for virtual interviews and establishing a cadence of questions that demonstrate candidates’ ability to react in the moment gives hiring managers and recruiters better insight. The final step should always be a short work and personality assessment, so leaders can determine the most productive place for candidates or if different candidates may be better suited for the position at hand.

How to Talk About Race with Employees

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Collage image of many diverse business people

This article is not entitled “How to Talk About Race TO Employees.” It’s never a voice from on high disseminating information. Like anything important, it’s a two-way conversation; you have to say something, and you have to listen.

But it can be daunting to broach any sensitive subject in the workplace. This article is a jumping off point, including some steps leaders can take, plus a framework for providing smart, thoughtful internal communication to their employees around the subject of race and racism in the workplace.

The recent incidents affecting Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper and George Floyd make the subject of race impossible to ignore. And while these acts of racism and violence did not happen in the workplace, it’s a reminder that racism still happens in the workplace, too. In spite of employers increasing investment in diversity and inclusion, a Glassdoor survey reveals that 61 percent, or about three in five U.S. employees have witnessed or experienced discrimination based on age, race, gender or LGBTQ identity in the workplace. The 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study was conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 1,100 U.S. employees and revealed the prevalence of discrimination at work. Forty-two percent of employed adults in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed racism in the workplace; the highest percentage of the four countries surveyed.

Given that discrimination and racism still happen in the workplace, here are some tips to consider to be a great ally to combat racism.

Set an example. Demonstrate your support and solidarity by speaking up and acting up when you hear insensitive, derogatory remarks or when you see racist, bigoted behavior. Acting ethically and in a morally sound fashion includes a responsibility to speak up and act up when we see injustice.

  • Make connections. Reach out to your black friends and colleagues. Show them that you are aware of what’s going on.
  • Listen more, talk less. You don’t have to say something all the time or post something on social media to prove how aware you are about these issues.
  • Be informed. Remember that being an ally requires you to educate yourself about the experiences of others differently situated. Try following people of color on social media to learn about their perspectives and experiences.

Here are some things you may want to consider avoiding:

Don’t sensationalize. If you do post about a racial incident on social media, don’t use pictures or videos of the incident. This risks desensitizing us to violence against black people, and can traumatize those who see it on your feed.

  • Face reality. Be sensitive and aware that Black people have been aware of systemic oppression and violence for hundreds of years; do not be surprised if your expressing surprise at these horrible events makes others feel belittled.
  • Honor differences. A person’s skin color is part of who they are and carries with it a long history and a particular experience in today’s world. Be sensitive and aware of this basic fact in all relevant contexts. These are just some of the tips you can leverage to help be an ally at work, as well as someone to help stop any racism that may be going on in your workplace.

We encourage you to read employee reviews when assessing the external perception of your company’s culture, how you are showcasing your investments in diversity and inclusion efforts, and how you’re highlighting other workplace attributes relevant to your company.

Source: Glassdoor

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