Leisure and Hospitality Industry Bounces Back

Hotel Reception

While the healthcare industry still holds the crown for most jobs created for the 2008-2018 projections decade, the leisure and hospitality industry is showing strong signs of bouncing back from the recession.

Buffalo Business First analysis of new federal data indicates that 30 states and the District of Columbia have experienced increases in leisure and hospitality employment during the past year. Buffalo Business First is a sister newspaper of the Birmingham Business Journal.

Florida registered the biggest gain, adding 21,400 jobs in the sector. Alabama came in 12th, adding 4,800 jobs over the previous year. Alabama ranks seventh for its 10-year change of 16 percent or addition of 24,500 jobs since 2000.

The nation lost 505,000 leisure and hospitality jobs between November 2007 and the same month in 2009 as the recession drastically reduced discretionary spending. But the sector has rebounded during the past year, regaining 150,000 of those jobs.

Other large increases belong to Texas (up 19,100 jobs), California (up 13,400), Pennsylvania (up 11,000) and Minnesota (up 10,400).

The leisure and hospitality industry includes arts organizations, bars, entertainment services, hotels, motels, recreation services, and restaurants.

Online Job Databases: Do They Really Deliver?

Find a Job_Computer

When searching for a position using an online job database, job hunters can quickly and easily submit a resume with just one click. While online job databases have made it easier for applicants to submit resumes, the only confirmation you will receive after submitting it is an auto generated “thank you for applying” message. Chances are, you will never really know if your application made it to the right person, if at all.

“I’ve heard stories of hiring managers [meeting applicants after the fact] and saying ‘You’re perfect! How come I never got your resume?’” said Liz Lynch, career expert and author of “Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

According to Lynch, online applicants may feel like they’re at the mercy of the database, but there are steps they can take to increase their odds of being noticed. The best option is to find a friend, acquaintance or even a friend of a friend who works at the company and can physically walk your resume to human resources (HR) department.

If you do not have a connection to the company you are applying with, there are tactics you can use to help increase your chances of making it through the databases’ prescreening process. Databases prescreen applicants based on keywords, so you should always customize your application and resume. Forget cutting and pasting. You should incorporate keywords into your application and resume that match what the position is looking for. For example,

“If your resume lists ‘social networking’ under your skills but the job posting says ‘social media’, change it.”

If you change even a few words, this could increase the chances of your application reaching a real, live person.

There are other ways to make your web search work for you. Consider using every online tool you possibly can, such as LinkedIn and Google Alerts. Make sure your LinkedIn profile or others are up-to-date, professional, and set up to receive emails. With Google alerts, you should choose several companies you are interested in working for and stay current with what’s happening within the company and which jobs are available. If you hear of an opening, apply right away. If you hear that the company plans to hire, don’t hesitate—submit your resume. And remember, it’s perfectly ok to send a follow-up letter in a week or so after clicking “submit.” This small gesture just might attract a significant amount of positive attention to your resume.

Older Workers Get a Facelift, Literally

Cosmetic Surgery_24655996

In a recent Tribune news report, several workers ages 50 or better discussed a trend that seems to be catching on in the career world. Older workers, both men and women, are opting for cosmetic procedures more often in order to make themselves more marketable and even in an attempt to hold onto their jobs. One Evergreen Park, Il. woman (a 64-year-old receptionist in a doctor’s office) discussed an ultimatum she received from her boss—do something about your hair or be transferred to a job with less patient contact. Another Illinois resident discussed how working out at the gym for two hours a day, embracing the latest fashions, and coloring her grays was not enough. The resident, Charlotte Doyle age 61, decided to get her teeth straightened after losing her position as a pharmaceutical salesperson after 29 years on the job. “I would do it all—botox, lasers, everything—if I could afford it. If it meant getting hired, I would do whatever I could to stop time,” Doyle said.

Some older workers and even older business owners have decided to take even more drastic measures to shave years from their appearance. Hair salon owner Linda Stanojevic got a midface lift because she thought, “How am I going to make someone else look attractive if it seems that I don’t care about my looks.” And Michael Krause, age 65, decided to get an eyelift  to be a more competitive job candidate. Krause, who thought his eyes made him look old and tired states, “I’m glad I did it because it has given me more confidence. And considering the rejection, that’s something you really need.”

It’s true, looks do count when it comes to increasing your chances of getting (and keeping) a job, according to several research studies on the subject. In one research study, Screening job applicants: The impact of physical attractiveness and application, L.M. Watkins & L. Johnston wrote: “There is considerable empirical evidence that physical attractiveness impacts employment decision making, with the result that the more attractive an individual, the greater the likelihood that that person will be hired.” And in another study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, K. Dion (and colleagues) wrote: “This generalization is known as the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype.”

A review of the literature supports the notion that being physically attractive is an advantage when applying for a job. There is little support for the “beauty is beastly” effect. The “what is beautiful is good” bias seems fairly universal and has been found in a variety of different cultures. Since it is not fair to base hiring decisions on non-job-related factors like attractiveness, training hiring managers to avoid this bias is one way to reduce such inequity.

In the meantime, the Evergreen Park receptionist, who wanted to remain anonymous, has this advice for older workers that may be experiencing a change in appearance (and treatment) due to aging, “No matter where you work, do something before everyone starts to notice.”

Can Working Overseas Help You Get a Job Back Home?

Downtown Hong Kong 

There’s no doubt about it – even with solid job growth in dozens of career fields for the 2008-2018 projections decade, the competition for high-paying positions is still intense. Employers are always on the look out for the cream of the crop, so today’s young job seeker must accumulate admirable list of accomplishments in order to have a leg up on everyone else.

Besides having an impressive list of accomplishments at the academic level, employers such as Ernst & Young are also interested in applicants who have worked overseas in an internship or other job, or served with an organization such as the Peace Corps. Ernst & Young’s director of campus recruiting for the Americas, Dan Black, says that as far as he is concerned, young applicants with this background have a leg up on everyone else.

“We definitely see overseas experience as an advantage,” he says. He directs campus hiring for the London-based accounting and consulting giant, which has 140,000 employees worldwide. “Our clients are demanding more of us these days,” he explains. “They want diversity of thought and diversity of values, and many of our clients are multinationals.”

Employers feel the advantages do not stop here.

Dawn Chandler, a management professor at California Polytechnic State University, notes that spending time abroad can teach workers to deal with very different leadership styles. In Scandinavian countries, for instance, leadership is more egalitarian and participatory and less authoritarian. In Asia, on the other hand, the gulf in power between junior employees and leaders is much deeper. The U.S. falls somewhere in between.

Another advantage, notes Chandler: Time overseas familiarizes you with international legislation and standards. “If your firm wants to open a plant in China, it helps if you know how to get through the bureaucracy there,” she says.

Finding yourself a member of a minority group in a foreign country can be character building, both professionally and personally, notes Gary Baker, the U.S. global mobility leader for the consulting and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has offices in 154 countries. “It gives you a greater respect for other cultures, and you learn to be better at managing teams that are diverse.”

According to Mary Ann Walsh, a New York career and executive coach specializing in global talent management, climbing the ladder overseas is much faster than climbing the career ladder in the U.S.

Walsh has a number of American clients who moved overseas shortly after college and graduate school. They advanced much more quickly than if they had tried to climb the career ladder in the U.S. One young woman who works in financial services is already doing deals with senior Chinese executives even though she doesn’t speak Mandarin.

Another client of Walsh’s headed to London for a financial services job straight from college. Then he went to Hong Kong. He lost that job, but he was quickly snatched up by a boutique firm. Now 30 years old, he was recently hired by Goldman Sachs ( GS – news – people ) in Asia. “Over there, the recession was just a blip on the radar screen,” Walsh notes.

Working overseas is not just for fresh graduates. Mid-career professionals tend to move up faster with their current company after returning from a stint overseas as well. If you are interested in working overseas, opportunities for Americans are abundant in China, Brazil, and Russia.

To learn more about getting a job overseas, pick up a copy of International Jobs: Where They Are and How to Get Them by Nina Segal. Segal is an international career development consultant in New York.

Fastest Growing Careers: Top Thirty for 2008-2018

Retail Sales

People from all educational backgrounds and varying skill sets might discover that what they’re good at (or could be good at) is probably one of the fastest growing careers for the 2008-2018 projections decade. Published by the U.S. Department of Labor, the top thirty careers for 2008-2018 list includes jobs that require as little as short-term on-the-job training to as much as a doctoral degree. So, if you are a recent (or not-so-recent) graduate looking for a job, and your preferred career field is slow-growing, you might want to consider a sure thing while you wait for your first choice to bounce back.

The thirty occupations with the largest employment growth for 2008-18, (In Thousands)

1. Occupation: Network systems and data communications analysts
Employment 2008: 292
Employment 2018: 448
Change: 53.4%
Source of Education: Bachelor’s degree

2. Occupation: Home health aides
Employment 2008: 922
Employment 2018: 1,383
Change: 50%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job

3. Occupation: Personal and home care aides
Employment 2008: 817
Employment 2018: 1,193
Change: 46%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job

4. Occupation: Computer software engineers
Employment 2008: 515
Employment 2018: 690
Change: 34%
Source of Education: Bachelor’s degree

5. Occupation: Medical assistants
Employment 2008: 484
Employment 2018: 648
Change: 33.9%
Source of Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training

6. Occupation: Management analysts
Employment 2008: 747
Employment 2018: 925
Change: 23.9%
Source of Education: Bachelor’s degree or higher

7. Occupation: Registered nurses
Employment 2008: 2,619
Employment 2018: 3,200 
Change: 22 %
Source of Education: Associate degree

8. Occupation: Physicians and surgeons
Employment 2008: 661
Employment 2018: 806
Change: 21.8%
Source of Education: First professional degree

9. Occupation: Accountants and auditors
Employment 2008: 1,291
Employment 2018: 1,570
Change: 21.7%
Source of Education: Bachelor’s degree

10. Occupation: Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Employment 2008: 754
Employment 2018: 909
Change: 20.7%
Source of Education: Postsecondary vocational

11. Occupation: Construction laborers
Employment 2008: 1,249
Employment 2018: 1,505
Change: 20.5%
Source of Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training

12. Occupation: Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
Employment 2008: 1,470
Employment 2018: 1,746
Change: 18.8%
Source of Education: Postsecondary vocational

13. Occupation: Landscaping and grounds-keeping workers
Employment 2008: 1,206
Employment 2018: 1,423
Change: 18%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training
14. Occupation: Customer service representatives
Employment 2008: 2,252
Employment 2018: 2,652
Change: 17.7%
Source of Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training

15. Occupation: Elementary school teachers, except special education.
Employment 2008: 1,550
Employment 2018: 1,794
Change: 15.8%
Source of Education: Bachelor’s degree

16. Occupation: Receptionists and information clerks
Employment 2008: 1,139
Employment 2018: 1,312
Change: 15.2%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training

17. Occupation: Postsecondary teachers
Employment 2008: 1,699
Employment 2018: 1,956
Change: 15.1%
Source of Education: Doctoral degree

18. Occupation: Food preparation and servers
Employment 2008: 2,702
Employment 2018: 3,096
Change: 14.6%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job

19. Occupation: Security guards
Employment 2008: 1,077
Employment 2018: 1,229
Change: 14.2%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training

20. Occupation: Truck drivers
Employment 2008: 1,798
Employment 2018: 2,031
Change: 13%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training

21. Occupation: Carpenters
Employment 2008: 1,285
Employment 2018: 1,450
Change: 12.9%
Source of Education: Long-term on-the-job

22. Occupation: Executive secretaries and administrative assistants
Employment 2008: 1,594
Employment 2018: 1,799
Change: 12.8%
Source of Education: work experience n a related occupation

23. Occupation: General office clerks
Employment 2008: 3,024
Employment 2018: 3,383
Change: 11.9%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job

24. Occupation: First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support
Employment 2008: 1,457
Employment 2018: 1,618
Change: 11%
Source of Education: Work experience in a related occupation

25. Occupation: General maintenance and repair workers
Employment 2008: 1,361
Employment 2018: 1,509
Change: 10.9%
Source of Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training

26. Occupation: Child care workers
Employment 2008: 1,302
Employment 2018: 1,444
Change: 10.9%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training

27. Occupation: Teacher assistants
Employment 2008: 1,313
Employment 2018: 1,448
Change: 10.3%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training

28. Occupation: Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing
Employment 2008: 2,064
Employment 2018: 2,276
Change: 10.3%
Source of Education: Moderate-term on-the-job training

29. Occupation: Retail salespersons
Employment 2008: 4,489
Employment 2018: 4,864
Change: 8.4%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job

30. Occupation: Waiters and waitresses
Employment 2008: 2,382
Employment 2018: 2,533
Change: 6.4%
Source of Education: Short-term on-the-job training

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