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Looking for Growth? Check out these Companies…

Recently, Yahoo! posted an article highlighting  companies with significant job growth, even in these tight economic times.  For the full article, go here.

Best Companies like the Scooter Store and DreamWorks notched some impressive job growth last year and are showing no signs of slowing down.

1. Scooter Store

The Scooter Store

Job growth: 51%
U.S. employees: 2,173
2010 Best Companies rank:38

Not to be confused with those zippy little rides for kids, the Scooter Store specializes in medical power chairs for seniors — and is no fad. The company notched some impressive job growth last year thanks to the aging baby boomer population and a strategic marketing shift.

Instead of relying on television advertisements, the Scooter Store bulked up its sales force to court doctors and assisted living facilities directly, with much success. New positions have also opened up for those who provide delivery, service and administrative support across the country.

Although Executive Vice President Mike Pfister doesn’t anticipate the same level of growth that the company experienced last year, he estimates it will remain in the double digits. “We try to provide an alternative for going to a nursing home,” he said, and “people believe in our ideology.”

2. Brocade Communications Systems

Brocade Communications

Job growth: 39%
U.S. employees: 2,873
2010 Best Companies rank: 61

After the acquisition of Foundry Networks at the end of 2008, the Silicon Valley equipment supplier focused its energy on hardware and software development, which meant adding more technical jobs, mostly overseas.

This year, the company is focusing its hiring primarily on sales and customer support positions worldwide. “We’ll probably grow about 20% to 30%,” estimates Lisa McGill, vice president of human resources. Many new opportunities will be concentrated at the company’s offices in Plymouth Minnesota and Broomfield Colorado as well as the research and development center in Bangalore, India.

3. Scottrade


Job growth: 22%
U.S. employees: 2,409
2010 Best Companies rank: 27

Last year the online investing firm opened 58 branch offices across the country and has plans to open a little more than 60 in the year ahead, which means more staff in the offices and at the company’s corporate headquarters in St Louis.

Plans are also in the works for a new business operations center in Denver, which will fuel more job growth going forward. “We currently have 230 job openings, not including the Denver openings which have not been posted yet,” according to Kelly Doria, a spokeswoman for the company.

Available positions are mostly concentrated in information technology, including developers, network engineers, infrastructure specialists and computer operations specialists but there are also openings for managers and stock brokers at the new office sites.



Job growth: 21%
U.S. employees: 2,361
2010 Best Companies rank: 43, which makes software to help companies manage customer relations, has thrived thanks to two hot sellers: Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. The latter, geared for call centers, is the company’s core product and its fastest growing. A key selling point is that Salesforce’s software integrates with Twitter and other social media channels, “taking the old service model and bringing it into the 21st century,” said a company spokesman.

CEO Marc Benioff says the company is hiring more sales people worldwide to meet increased demand and is expecting growth to continue in the year ahead because of overall improvement in the information technology environment.

5. Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy

Job growth: 20%
U.S. employees: 7,720
2010 Best Companies rank: 34

Increased activity at one of the company’s most promising projects, the Marcellus Shale, has uncovered new job opportunities for engineers, superintendants, foremen and field laborers as well as supporting positions in human resources, accounting and information technology. Currently there are over 420 positions still open companywide, which means hiring is showing no signs of slowing.

“We expect job growth to exceed last year,” said Kip Welch, the director of recruiting. “We could as much as double the job growth from last year if we continue hiring people at the rate we are today,” he added.

6. Scripps Health


Job growth: 15%
U.S. employees: 11,444
2010 Best Companies rank: 40

The San Diego-based hospital system has been growing its workforce consistently over the last few years as the industry overall has flourished along with Scripps itself, thanks to cutting edge programs like robotics surgery and human genetics research.

Scripps currently has about 400 positions open for registered nurses, imaging techs, laboratory and pharmacy staff as well as clerical and support staff. As a large corporation with expanding businesses, Scripps is also recruiting managers and professionals in accounting, finance, information technology, human resources, compliance, biomedical and quality assurance.

More Employers Screening Candidates via Social Networking Sites

Aug. 24, 2009 – Rosemary Haefner,

Gone are the days when all job seekers had to worry about was their résumés and cover letters. Today, those documents remain a staple of the job-search process, but they are joined by a growing phenomenon: social networking.

Forty-five percent of employers reported in a June 2009 CareerBuilder survey that they use social networking sites to screen potential employees, compared to only 22 percent of employers last year. Eleven percent of employers plan to start using social networking sites for the screening process. More than 2,600 hiring managers participated in the survey.

Of those who conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates, 29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace. One-in-ten (11 percent) search blogs while 7 percent follow candidates on Twitter.

Additionally, 16 percent of workers have used similar social networking sites as part of their job search.

“In this difficult job market, online networking is an important piece of the puzzle for workers wishing to build professional relationships, and ultimately, connect with their next great job,” said Liz Harvey, senior director of online products for CareerBuilder, which just launched its own online community BrightFuse. “With more than 1.6 million users, has become a thriving professional community. Workers of all levels can use to have that important open dialogue — while promoting themselves and recommending others.”

While social networking is a great way to make connections with potential job opportunities and promote one’s personal brand, job seekers must ensure they are using these sites to their advantage by conveying a professional image and underscoring their qualifications.

Many job seekers seem to be doing this, as 18 percent of employers said they found content on social networking sites that encouraged them to hire the candidate. Some examples include:

  • Profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit within the organization — 50 percent
  • Profile supported candidate’s professional qualifications — 39 percent
  • Candidate was creative — 38 percent
  • Candidate showed solid communication skills — 35 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded — 33 percent
  • Other people posted good references about the candidate — 19 percent
  • Candidate received awards and accolades — 15 percent

Many job seekers, however, are doing the opposite and not being mindful at all of the content they’re posting online.

Why employers disregard candidates after screening online

Thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate, including:

  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information — 53 percent
  • Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs — 44 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients — 35 percent
  • Candidate showed poor communication skills — 29 percent
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments — 26 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications — 24 percent
  • Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer — 20 percent

Here are five tips for job seekers to keep a positive image online:

1. Clean up digital dirt before you begin your job search. Remove any photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer’s eyes.

2. Consider creating your own professional group on sites like Facebook or It’s a great way to establish relationships with leaders, recruiters and potential referrals.

3. Keep gripes offline. Keep the content you post focused on positive things, whether it’s related to professional or personal information. Make sure to highlight specific accomplishments inside and outside of work.

4. Be selective about whom you accept as friends. Don’t forget others can see your friends when they search for you. Monitor comments made by others and consider using the “block comments” feature. Even better, set your profile to “private” so only designated friends can view it.

5. If you’re still employed, don’t mention your job search in your Tweets or status updates. There are multiple examples of people who have gotten fired as a result of doing this. In addition, a potential employer might assume that if you’re willing to search for a new job on your current company’s time, why wouldn’t you do so on theirs?

Standing Apart in the Crowd

We all know that times are tough in this job market.  Positions are being filled quickly and with a highly qualified pool of candidates.   Recruiters are seeing more applications than ever in the thousands.  How does a job hunter set themselves apart from other seekers?  This can be an intimidating concept for recent or new college graduates  especially those who have never had a job hunt in a good economy.

Recently CareerBuilder launched the results of a survey highlighting interesting tactics job seekers have tried in order to gain attention of recruiters.  These are some pretty non-traditional methods of job hunting (to say the very least).

Some of the examples listed in the survey….

    • Candidate sent a shoe with a resume to “get my foot in the door.”
    • Candidate staged a sit-in in the lobby to get a meeting with a director.
    • Candidate washed cars in the parking lot.
    • Candidate sent a resume wrapped as a present and said his skills were a “gift to the company.”
    • Candidate handed out resumes at stoplights.
    • Candidate sent a cake designed as a business card with the candidate’s picture.
    • Candidate went to the same barber as the Chairman of the Board and had the barber speak on his behalf.
    • Candidate handed out personalized coffee cups.
    • Candidate came dressed in a bunny suit because it was near Easter.
    • Candidate told the receptionist he had an interview with the manager. When he met the manager, he confessed that he was driving by and decided to stop in on a chance.


Do I recommend any of these in catching the eye of hiring managers?  Probably not.

In the survey, one recruiter was quoted as saying, “While unusual job search antics may attract the attention of hiring managers, they need to be done with care and professionalism so that candidates are remembered for the right reasons.”

What then do I recommend for job seekers in this tight economy?  Think like the Boy Scouts. Always be prepared. When you step out of your house to the post office, bank or an interview be ready to potentially meet someone who can help you in your job hunt.  In other words, leave those sweatpants at home! (Along with your pink bunny suit.) I am not telling you wear a three piece suit, but clean and presentable outfits are always a minimal.  You never know who you will run into at the grocery store.

Honey, I Think It’s Time You Admit You Have a Problem


Don’t look away from the screen like I’m not talking to you. Yes you, reader whose face is slightly blue from the screen reflecting from your radiant skin. It’s time to admit that you have a problem along with the rest of the Northwest.

Diagnosis: Caffeine Junkie.

Addiction: Mass amounts of No-Fat Caramel Lattes, and Extra Espresso Shots fed scolding hot directly into your buccal cavity.

I know this may seem like a way to wake yourself up, but a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (click here for the full article) has recently linked coffee, along with several others, as hindrances of your regular sleep patterns. Here are few questions for you.

Do you find yourself sleepy after a long nights rest? This is probably because even though you slept you did not receive adequate REM or deep sleep in the night because you were too busy thinking of that paper due tomorrow, or that assignment at work.

Or, can you find that you can sleep anywhere at anytime? No, you are not just a very talented individual, you are sleep deprived. This can not only make you yawn endlessly throughout the day, leaving your mouth open to catch flies and airborne pathogens along with other things, but sleep deprivation has been proven to decrease college student GPA, your level of work performance, and make you hungrier and feel less full.

So what can you do to help get a better deeper sleep?

1. Reduce noise, light, and disruptive behaviors before bed. That way there’s nothing disturbing you before bed.

2. Have a “power down” hour before bed, removing things like your cell phone, blackberry, e-mail and Internet before bed. This stops your brain and slows it down before bed.

3. Create a “worry Journal” and when you can’t get to sleep write everything that you are stressed about at the time. This way all of your problems are on that paper, and not in your head.

4. Read a book. If you are really trying to get to bed, read a non-exhilarating book, say Fluid Mechanics or Anna Karenina, and it’ll put you right to bed.

So before you pick up that next coffee, think about your sleep and maybe go for a decaf. You’ll think about the wonderful sleep you had, before you started balding or going through menopause because your deep sleep only goes downhill as you get older.

Written by Marvin Dumas, Class of 2011

CareerBuilder’s Annual College Job Forecast: New Grads Must Step it Up

This is an eye-opening article from For the full article, click here.

The class of 2009 will face the most competitive job market in years, as companies continue to proceed with caution amid economic uncertainty, according to CareerBuilder’s newly released annual college job forecast.The percentage of employers planning to hire recent college grads is roughly half of what it was just two years ago. Only 43 percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates in 2009, down from 56 percent in 2008 and 79 percent in 2007.


2009 Salaries

Along with the economy, entry-level salaries have taken a bit of a dive. Among those employers planning to hire recent college graduates, more than one in five (21 percent) said they will decrease starting salaries for recent college graduates in 2009 as compared to 2008. But there’s hope! A whopping 68 percent of employers plan to keep initial salary offers the same as last year, and 11 percent will increase them.

  • Thirty-three percent of employers plan to offer recent college graduates starting salaries ranging between $30,000 and $40,000.
  • An additional 17 percent will offer between $40,000 and $50,000
  • Fourteen percent will offer more than $50,000
  • Thirty-six percent will offer less than $30,000
  • “While recent college graduates are facing a highly competitive job market right now, there are still opportunities out there,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America.

    “The biggest challenge is showing relevant experience, which employers say is one of the most important factors they look for in applications from recent college graduates. This isn’t limited to professional work experience, so don’t get discouraged. Class work, school activities and volunteering also qualify as relevant experience and can be included in your resume as well.”

So how can new graduates differentiate themselves in the current job market, and what are the absolute faux pas that today’s candidates need to be aware of — and steer clear of? Employers who participated in the survey weighed in below.

Relevant work experience?

I’m pretty sure grads (and candidates in general) should leave that week-long stint with a cult or the Britney Fan Club honorary board member award off their credentials. But with that said, what activities qualify as pertinent work experience for recent college grads to include on their resumes?

  • Internships
  • Part-time jobs in another area or field
  • Volunteer work
  • Involvement in school organizations
  • Class work
  • Involvement in managing activities for sororities and fraternities
  • Participation in sports

Hey new grads, don’t do this:

Employers also shared their opinions on the biggest mistakes new grads make when applying and interviewing. Wearers of Spandex unitards and lovers of keg stand Facebook profile pictures, take note:

  • Acting bored or cocky – 63 percent
  • Not dressing appropriately – 61 percent
  • Coming to the interview with no knowledge of the company – 58 percent
  • Not turning off cell phones or electronic devices – 50 percent
  • Not asking good questions during the interview – 49 percent
  • Asking what the pay is before the company considered them for the job – 38 percent
  • Spamming employers with the same resume and/or cover letter – 21 percent
  • Failure to remove unprofessional photos/content on social media such as social networking pages, Web pages, blogs – 19 percent
  • Not sending a thank you note after the interview – 12 percent

CareerBuilder’s Annual College Job Forecast was conducted from February 20 to March 11, 2009 among 2,543 hiring managers and Human Resource professionals. Get the full press release here.

Top 10 Cities for New Grads

Again, many congrats to the Class of 2009.  The weekend was filled was so many wonderful friends and family descending onto Spokane to celebrate graduate’s recent success!  Now that is official, you may be asking yourself, “Now what?”  Maybe, just maybe, relocating to where the opportunities, cheap(er) apartments and variety of young professionals is your next step.

MSN Careers launched this story today entitled, “Top 10 Cities for New Grads“.  The article lists the top ten cities based on the ranking of the top U.S. cities with the highest concentration of young adults (age 20 – 24) from the U.S. Census Bureau (2006), inventory of jobs requiring less than one year of experience from (2009) and the average cost of rent for a one bedroom apartment from (2009).


1.  Indianapolis 
Average rent:*

Popular entry-level categories:** salescustomer servicehealth care

2.  Philadelphia                
Average rent: $1,034
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer servicemanagement

3.  Baltimore      
Average rent: $1,130
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer servicehealth care

4.  Cincinnati      
Average rent:
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer servicehealth care

5.  Cleveland
Average rent: $686

Popular entry-level categories: salesmarketingcustomer service

6.  New York      
Average rent: $1,548
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer serviceadmin-clerical

7.  Phoenix         
Average rent: $747
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer servicemarketing

8.  Denver           
Average rent: $877
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer servicehealth care

9.  Chicago          
Average rent: $1,133
Popular entry-level categories: salesmarketingcustomer service

10.  San Antonio               
Average rent: $696
Popular entry-level categories: salescustomer servicemanagement



Of this list Gonzaga has chapters in a handful of these top ten cities: Phoenix, Indiana, Chicago, New York, Denver.   If you consider relocating to these or any new city, make sure to contact the Alumni Association…they can help you connect to fellow Zags in the area. 


Kate Lorenz is the editor for and its job-seeker blog, She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow her on Twitter

*Average rent of one bedroom apartment

**Using search term “entry level” in that city