A Wall Street Journal review of about 3,000 financial-disclosure forms found that about 250 congressional staffers earned a total of $13 million in 2009 from former employers, companies they run or other side jobs. The outside income ranged from the trivial — one aide made $2,700 competing in bass-fishing contests — to hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation, bonus payments or stock grants.
“In some cases, staffers collected money from companies with a direct interest in their congressional work. While that isn’t prohibited as long as it is disclosed, it poses a potential conflict of interest between their public duties and their personal financial interests.”
“Public employees are retiring at a quickening pace around the U.S., providing a mixed blessing for state and local governments seeking to save money,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The retirements mean employers can shelve some planned layoffs. And some of the departing workers, generally more senior and higher paid, are being replaced by lower-paid employees with less-generous retirement benefits, government officials say. But the loss of veterans threatens to erode the quality of public services that make communities attractive, they say.”
“A surge of lobbyists has left K Street this year to fill jobs as high-ranking staffers on Capitol Hill, focusing new attention on the dearth of rules governing what paid advocates can do after moving into the legislative world,” the Washington Post reports.
“Ethics rules sharply limit the activities of former lobbyists who join the executive branch and former lawmakers who move to lobbying firms. But experts say there are no limits on lawmakers hiring K street employees and letting them write legislation in sync with the policies they advocated for hire.”
A fair number of email correspondents have been telling me recently that before they even get to speak to a hiring manager, they’re being put through a screening interview, usually conducted by someone in the organization’s HR department and often over the phone. With all the competition out there and with companies taking care with each precious opening these days, screening interviews give the company a chance to weed out those who may not have the necessary qualifications, and to focus hiring managers’ attention on those who likely will be the best candidates.
Yet a screening interview also offers an opportunity for the job candidate – not only is this a chance to win over the first interviewer and get to the next round, but you may also be able to throw your hat in the ring for other openings in the company. So treat this as seriously as you would any other interview and make the most of it, rather than viewing it as a hassle.
Here are some tips on how to handle screening interviews: Read more »
Just as April is a perfect time for some spring cleaning, the end of the summer — when things are slower and most of us start looking ahead to the busy fall — is a great time to dust off the cobwebs from your resume. Hiring experts say that even those not involved in an active job hunt should have an updated and polished resume — because sometimes when you’re not looking, that’s just when someone gets interested in you, right?
And for those on a job hunt, it’s important to continually update your resume. Use the hard-won knowledge you’re gaining about what works and doesn’t in a job search to ensure that you are using your resume to its best advantage — and that all parts of it are working for you rather than against you. Also, you want your resume to scream relevance — and the best way to do this is to highlight what you’ve been doing lately, such as freelance or consulting work.
Here are some tips for polishing your resume whether you’re actively job hunting or not: Read more »
Hiring managers say they want job candidates to stay in touch. Yet surveys of recruiters and hiring managers also show that their No. 1 pet peeve — ahead even of job seekers who are late to an interview or misspell words on their cover letter — is “stalker” candidates who just won’t leave them alone. Clearly, there is a fine line between what I advocate as polite persistence and becoming a pest who the manager wants to avoid at all costs.
How do you stay on the good side of that line? First, you need to do some research so that you can put yourself in the manager’s shoes. How do they want you to stay in touch? Most, these days, abhor phone calls and prefer email that they can check when they’re not slammed. Most NEVER even open their snail mail, so don’t bother (except with a thank-you note after an interview). Some don’t mind Facebook or LinkedIn messages from candidates, but for many, that’s a bit weird and some don’t regularly check their social-network messages (though some do, so it’s smart to figure it out). It’s usually best to stick with regular email and not to “friend” or “connect” with hiring managers, unless they specifically suggest you do so or you’re already in their online network. And many won’t respond to an open-ended “Am I still in the running?” type of query but will look much more kindly on a candidate who attaches a recent article or blog post of interest — especially if it’s one they wrote.
Here are some other tips for staying in touch with an organization without becoming a pest: Read more »
For those Democratic staffers whose bosses lost in the midterm elections, Fox News says “the options in Washington politics will be somewhat limited because there’s unlikely to be more than one Democratic presidential campaign in 2012.”
“Lobbying won’t offer much more relief either, insiders say, because K Street is looking to beef up its staffs with Republicans to ensure it has influence with the new political order in Washington.”
The National Journal reports back-of-the-envelope calculations from Democratic insiders suggest between 5,000 and 6,000 Democrats — from the Hill to their home districts — will lose their jobs as a result of their Election Day debacle.
Another good reason to take a look at our ever-expanding job board.
The Hill: “More than 100 freshman Republicans will join the House come January, and it’s safe to say that every one of them will need to hire staffers. So will the handful of soon-to-be-chosen committee chairs, and the new leadership offices, and committees that may shift their priorities now that their agendas are governed by Republicans.”
“In short, there are a lot of jobs about to become available on Capitol Hill.”
The post-Labor Day hiring season seemed like a good time to check in with a few recruiting Web sites and blogs, and with some hiring managers and recruiters about what makes them crazy about job hunters. And while they each have their own pet peeves, the most-mentioned sins fell into these categories: arrogance, ignorance, sloppiness and a catchall that I’ll call bad attitude and bad form.
We all make missteps in managing our careers and a few mistakes won’t take you off course too much. Yet over time, if you regularly fall into one of these categories, you’ll likely have trouble getting ahead in your career. Here are some tips on the job hunting sins, why hiring managers worry about them and what you can do to avoid them: Read more »