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  • Job recruiters are increasingly relying on technology tools to do their jobs, according to a recent survey from Domain.ME. They are proactively researching whether a job candidate has a personal Website—especially a site that highlights the potential hire's personal side. In fact, an engaging online presence has become a game-changer in the recruitment process, as many survey respondents said they're more inclined to contact an applicant who has an appealing personal Website. However, an online persona can be a double-edged sword, as some types of posts—such as inappropriate photos or language, or negative comments about the current employer—are likely to eliminate candidates from consideration. So it's highly advisable to delete anything that could raise concerns with a potential employer and build a more professional and personable image online. "We are moving beyond the age of 'be careful what you post' and into an era of digital presence and savvy to differentiate yourself in the job market," said Predrag Lesic, CEO of Domain.ME. "While recruiters continue to scan social posts for red flags, they view digital assets as tools to better understand candidates and … make more informed hiring decisions. The candidate who offers that content has an advantage." A total of 300 U.S. human resources professionals who regularly manage staffing and recruiting for their organizations took part in the research.

  • If you and your tech colleagues are frequently downing aspirin, it's understandable: A significant share of IT service management professionals describe their company users as "demanding and unrealistic," according to a recent survey from Unisys. Tech workers spend far too many hours of their workday responding to basic or unnecessary questions from end users, instead of helping to support strategic business objectives. These professionals are also constantly attempting to navigate organizational silos instead of working within a cohesive, enterprise-focused environment. What's needed are more advanced, integrated solutions to replace service management systems that are outdated and inefficient, findings reveal. "[Organizations] today are increasingly connected and driven by digital technology," says Paul Gleeson, global vice president of Edge Services, an integrated service management solution, Unisys. "Their workers need personalized, on-demand, always-on business and IT services to stay productive and keep their organizations competitive. IT organizations that give their support personnel innovative tools for consistently providing services that integrate delivery channels … will be the big winners in the evolving digital economy." As an added bonus, the research reveals which company departments give IT the biggest headaches, and we've included that information here. More than 150 IT service management professionals took part in the research.

  • Too often, we become our own worst enemy at work. We may let a lack of self-confidence sabotage our work efforts. We may spend so much time multitasking that we never finish anything. Or we may lapse into constant expressions of negative sentiments about our company, job and/or co-workers—in the process, developing a reputation as a toxic employee who should be avoided at all costs. In the recent book, Brainblocks: Overcoming the 7 Hidden Barriers to Success (Perigee Paperback/available in August), author Dr. Theo Tsaousides describes these "brainblocks" as enemies of action. "They turn motivation into inertia, productivity into busywork, and dreamers into languishers," he writes. "They cause an array of problems, ranging from diminished productivity and strained relationships to serious clinical problems, like depression and anxiety." The best way to overcome them, Tsaousides explains, is to train your brain to undo them. As guidance, he provides step-by-step tips for overcoming seven brainblocks: self-doubt, procrastination, impatience, multitasking, rigidity, perfectionism and negativity. The following remedies to five of these brainblocks are adapted from the book. Tsaousides is a New York City-based neuropsychologist and founder of The LEAP Center, a counseling company focused on personal and professional growth and successful performance.

  • Growing confidence in business growth, combined with a lack of qualified talent for open positions, is translating to great job opportunities for many technology professionals, according to a recent survey from PwC. The accompanying "Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlook" report examines a broad number of market influencers, including sentiments and projections about the U.S. economy, revenue increases and hiring plans. And executives clearly rank IT spending at the top of their priorities, with respect to both tech solution acquisitions and staffing expansion. At the same time, a significant number of survey participants said that the lack of IT professionals who are qualified for open technology positions presents a formidable barrier to business growth. "While the hiring picture is certainly brighter, companies are still struggling to find the right talent to move their businesses forward," says Margaret Young, a partner in PwC's private company services practice. "Companies need new employees with specific skills in engineering and technology, and they're having difficulty finding them. There are longer-term solutions to be had in education or immigration reform, but that won't help companies that are wrestling with this issue right now." Executives from 225 private companies took part in the research.

  • Because technology has created a world in which we have constant access to information and communications, there really is no safe haven for professionals who would like to detach themselves from work-related tasks during their off-hours, according to a survey from ThinkingPhones. The resulting report, "The Constantly Connected Employee: Does the Workday Ever Really End?" indicates that most employees think it's fine to call or text co-workers and clients outside of business hours. Many check their company emails as soon as they wake up in the morning and shortly before going to bed. They also field office communications on their devices while on vacation or in the bathroom. And an alarming number of them do so while driving, posing a great risk to themselves and others. (Such practices increase the likelihood of an auto accident by 23 times.) "In today's digital world, with so many instant-communications devices at our fingertips, the fact that the majority of employees feel that it's acceptable to text or call co-workers regarding work-related matters outside of work isn't that surprising," according to the report. "However, other stats from the poll reflect a more intense connection to work. From the moment they wake up to the time they go to bed, employees feel they are expected to not just be available, but also be responsive to work-related correspondence." More than 1,000 U.S.-based employees took part in the research.

  • In your wildest dreams, did you ever think you’d have a shot at a career in professional sports? Well, it’s actually possible today, thanks to the booming interest in sports analytics—a market that's expected to reach $4.7 billion by 2021, up from $125 million last year. On a recent search, listed approximately 1,800 postings for sports analytics positions. While stat-loaded box scores are as old as the games, the impact of sports analytics grew significantly about 10 years ago with the concept of “Moneyball,” a popular term used to describe baseball sabermetrics (analyses of baseball statistics). As depicted in Moneyball, the book and Oscar-nominated film, the Oakland Athletics took advantage of advanced statistical analysis to go to the playoffs, despite being confined to a relatively low team payroll. Over the years, Moneyball concepts have spread to other sports, with teams now hiring analysts to gain a competitive edge. Of course, fantasy sports—in which users compete against each other to predict player performance, often with large sums of cash awarded to winners—have further fueled interest in the assessment of game data. Given the numbers, we dug up the following facts about sports analytics, showcasing a wide range of career opportunities and innovative developments within an eclectic sampling of sports. Our facts were compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

  • While it's a good idea to demonstrate initiative when applying for a job, there's a difference between being creative and coming across as, well, a little odd. For real-life examples of some over-the-top approaches, check out the following list, which was compiled from a recent CareerBuilder's survey. The list includes some job candidates who made elaborate use of props, as well as others who resorted to bizarre role-playing in front of hiring managers. One job seeker even offered a meal "bribe" to a decision-maker. The lesson: It's important to distinguish yourself at a job interview, but you should do so within the boundaries of sound professional practices. "Job seekers know they're competing with a lot of other candidates, so they're trying more unusual tactics to stand out from the crowd," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "What ultimately determines if they get the job is having the necessary skills and experience hiring managers are looking for." As an added bonus, CareerBuilder has come up with a few best practices for making a great impression without going overboard, and we've included those here. More than 2,530 hiring and HR managers took part in the research.

  • To deal with the ever-growing number of technology and business demands piling up on their plates, professionals and managers must constantly find better ways to use their time effectively. However, there are a host of workplace distractions to sidetrack employees and managers and keep them from knocking out tasks and finishing projects in an efficient manner. In fact, smartphones and time-wasting Websites cost U.S. companies an estimated $650 billion a year, according to industry research, and 53 percent of workers admit that these distractions negatively affect their productivity. To develop a sharper focus while taking advantage of digital shortcuts to increase your productivity, consider the following 10 apps designed to help you manage your time. One tool will evaluate whether you're spending too much time avoiding work instead of just doing the job. Several others track your progress on to-do lists and projects. And another will help you deal with the dozens or more passwords that you're supposed to keep inside your head, but which you inevitably end up forgetting. This list was compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by Lifehack.

  • There are plenty of ways to get passed over for a promotion that have nothing to do with your job performance, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. For example, having a bad attitude will significantly lower your chances. So will frequently showing up late for work and/or leaving early—even if you get the job done. The findings also show that people who curse a lot are likely to be taken out of the running for advancement. Also, you should take a good look in the mirror before heading to the office, because many employers are reluctant to promote someone whose clothes are provocative, wrinkled or shabby. (Many are not fond of visible tattoos either.) "In addition to on-the-job accomplishments, employers also take attitude, behavior and appearance into consideration when deciding who deserves to move up in the ranks," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "While your work performance may be strong, if you're not presenting yourself in a professional manner, it may be preventing your superiors from taking you seriously." A total of 2,175 hiring and human resources managers took part in the research.