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March 2007
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May 2007

Building A Minnesota Nonprofit Volunteer Network Of Technology Professionals

Early in 2005 when I started the MN Headhunter blog I added what has become the MN Headhunter Volunteer page I was not sure what might come from it. My idea was to have a place where community organizations could post their technology needs and hopefully tech visitors to the main page would find the link, see something of interest, and take action on it.


The hard part was knowing if it was working or not. Some of the content that has been posted has come from other volunteer sites without the knowledge of the nonprofit. I have been sure to keep it up to date with the information posted on other pages.


I have written a couple of times in the past that I thought it was working. I was getting an occasional message from an individual or group regarding a successful introduction.


Since the first of the year I have been getting a lot of positive feedback from organizations saying “thank you” for helping them. Turns out some of the groups do monitor where their volunteers are coming from and my blog has been mentioned numerous times.


I have added contract, part time and full time jobs to the page and this too has been a successful effort.


Every new contact I make, be it email or a phone call, is told about the page and I ask them to forward the information to their friends and colleagues. Using Google Analytics I can make an educated guess that about 30% of the visitors are coming from a search engine referral. The volunteer page has a Google Page Rank of 4.


65% are coming directly by using the URL. My guess is that much of that comes from my contact with them. Some would be repeat visitors and it is not known what the original source was.


The interesting thing to me is about 7% of the visitors to the blog make their way to/from the volunteer page. From that and the information I am now getting from community groups is the page is having a much higher success rate than I thought. There may not yet be a high volume of traffic but those that are seeing it are taking action.


Two months ago a link was added to the Augsburg College Human Resources Volunteer Resources page. Not sure who did it but this but I appreciate them doing it.


There is a lot more that can be done with the page and now that I see the improved results coming from it there is much more motivation to continue working on it and to promote it more.


I challenge my blogging friends to do something similar.


At this point it takes maybe 1 or at most 2 hours a week. Most of that is copying, pasting, posting entries. Much of it I do while talking on the phone during the work day so it is not really taking much if any real work time.


If you would like information on what I have been doing, send me an email: 

MN Headhunter Blog Roll Updated

A major update has been done on my blog rolls. I continue to be amazed at the number of quality local business and technology blogs. Every time I think I have found them all, I come across more.


If you know of a good blog that is updated at least once a week and is not listed please send me the link.


The following blogs have been added:


Business Blogs




Science Buzz

Web Market Central

Idea Park

The Scrawl

Direct Contact


On the web:

Tech Startups



Technology Blogs



The Remarketer

Anthony Nemitz

Rail Spikes

Enfranchised Mind

Geek Gather


Ben’s Bits


Rubberband Wound



Recruiting Blogs





On the web:


Medical Sales Recruiter


Brazen Careerist

Director of Recruiting

Evil HR Lady

BioJob Blog

Resume Hell



Minneapolis And St. Paul Blogs



Gopher Nation



What Ale’s Thee

Dork Factor Prime

Supporting The Virginia Tech Hokie Family

Like everyone else I was shocked, saddened, and left wondering after last weeks senseless killings. My thoughts and prayers go out to those that were lost, their families and friends. Also to the students, staff and faculty and those that support Virginia Tech. I was not sure how one would deal with the emotions or what to do next.


I felt better seeing the images of the candle light service. The chant of “Hokies”. Seeing them wear their school colors. Taking care of each other.


On Wednesday I was on my way to a meeting on the University of Minnesota campus and received a call that it was cancelled due to a bomb threat. I was only two blocks from campus and I could see that something was going on. There were police cars everywhere. Officers with weapons. Bomb sniffing dogs. A bomb squad truck. Helicopter flying overhead.


Fortunately it turned out to be a prank by an idiot who seemed to think leaving a note threatening to blow up half a dozen campus building was a good idea. I sure hope they have the SOB on camera and can find them.


Every year around this time I am anxious for the academic year to end. I really enjoy working with the students but it can be very time consuming.


This past week I was reminded of why I do what I do. They stand for principles. They are resilient. They have an intense sense of community. They will stand up for each other. And they will stand up for someone they have never met half a country away.


Many groups have been created on social networking sites like Facebook in the past week. A few of them are “global” and have thousands and thousands of members who are showing their support for the Virginia Tech community. Some are school specific like the Minnesota group, which has 750+.


And I am reminded how good these kids really are.


On Facebook one can find many banners such as these: 







Today was the first day back to class for the students at Virginia Tech and I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been. Today the moment of silence and release of balloons was very touching and hopefully the healing has begun.


Today we are all Hokies.



Click MN Headhunter for the most recent blog posts.

GPA's: Irrelevant to Internship Candidates?

There are many pleasures to running a job board used by college students who are hunting for internships, recent graduates who are looking for entry level jobs and other career opportunities, and the employers who want to hire students and recent graduates. One of the greatest pleasures is being able to talk with both groups and gain a better understanding into the misunderstandings held by both groups.
Let's talk about one of the greatest misunderstandings in either group: candidates who are too tempted to put all employers into one bucket. Many and perhaps most candidates that I speak with ask broad, sweeping questions about what employers want, how to apply, how to network with employers, etc. The short answer is that there is no answer. At a large employer, you have one company but you might have dozens of recruiters and hundreds and sometimes even thousands of hiring managers. Each of those people have moods, needs, and wants that sometimes shift as often as the wind does. To try to generalize how to find an internship or entry level job with even one employer is challenging enough. To try to do it with the 13 million employers in the country...well, that's ridiculous.
Let's use the issue of GPA as an example. Some employers use it as a true litmus test: they won't even talk to you if your GPA does not exceed some number. Call that smart or stupid, but I'll call that reality. Some employers will place great importance on GPA but are willing to consider candidates who exhibit other success characteristics.
An example is that of Jason Alba, President and Founder of the great career management service JibberJobber. When he was looking for a job, his GPA wasn't as high as it could have been yet he still landed the job. Why? Because he had demonstrated through his internship that he could do the work and do it well. Rather than hiring someone with a higher GPA who therefore demonstrated that they took tests really well, the employer chose to hire Jason as he had demonstrated that he could do the work of the employer really well. Wise choice.
-- Steven Rothberg is the President and Founder of at, a leading career site used by college students who are searching for internships and recent graduates who are hunting for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.
This article is courtesy of Recruiting Blogswap a content exchange service sponsored by a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching entry level jobs and other career opportunities, and

Career Blog Swap Gets New Name

I wrote many months ago that Steven Rothberg of revived the recruiting blog swap that was started at last year. It has grown into a successful project and has a new home, Recruiting Blog Swap.


Steven now has 70 authors and publishers.


This is a great opportunity for an author to share his/her thoughts and get a link from a colleague’s blog. If you are looking for good content to add to your site you can be a publisher. It is an easy process and they do all of the work for you. All you have to do is submit an article or post the one that is sent to you.


So easy a cave man (and this blogger) can do it.


Steven, I forgot to send you an email a couple of weeks ago so here goes, Happy Birthday. If you have time in the next couple of weeks I will buy a birthday lunch at the Chiptole in Edina and we can talk about the NHL playoffs.

Ernst & Young Announce 2007 Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalists, Minnesota And Dakotas

18 finalists have been announced for the Minnesota and Dakotas region with the winner to be announced June 19th, 2007. The finalists are:


-Daniel Murphy, Chairman and CEO, Alliant Techsystems, Inc. 

-Dr. Bonnie Lee Baskin, CEO, AppTec 

-Deborah Ann Callahan, Chairman, President and Founder, Corporate Travel Solutions 

-Jack Dalrymple, Chairman, Dakota Growers Pasta Company 

-Michael Lacy, President and CEO, Digineer, Inc. 

-Reid MacDonald, President and CEO, Faribault Foods, Inc. 

-Gregory Gartner, President, Gartner Studios, Inc. 

-Steve Wagenheim, President and CEO, Granite City Food & Brewery 

-Melanie Ann Nelson, Chairman, President and Founder, Learning Zone Express 

-Scott Bakken, President-Partner, MainTrax, LLC 

-Dennis Lee, President and CEO and Tim Porth, Executive Vice President, Octane Fitness 

-John Olson, CEO, OLSON 

-William Jeatran, CEO, RJF Agencies, Inc. 

-William Jurewicz, CEO, space150 

-Archie Black, President and CEO, SPS Commerce 

-Dan Rice, CEO and Founder, Strategic Fundraising, Inc. 

-Gordon Ommen, President, CEO and Chairman, U.S. BioEnergy 

-Dennis Doyle, CEO, Welshco, LLC 


Regional winners are eligible for the national awards, which will be announced November 17, 2007. This is the 21st year Ernst & Young have recognized in areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.


More information can be found by clicking Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) Awards Program.



Click Minnesota Business Scene for more Minnesota business news and MN Headhunter for the latest blog postings.

20 Minnesota Companies On The 2007 Fortune 500

Minnesota has 20 companies on the 2007 Fortune 500 and 34 on the Fortune 1000. That compares to 19 on the 500 and 36 on the 1000 in 2006.


New to the Fortune 500 list this year is Ameriprise Financial, spun off from American Express.


Minnesota ranked 9th by state for number of companies on the list. Neighboring states had the following number of companies in (x) Wisconsin (9), Iowa (1), North Dakota (0), and South Dakota (0).


Company name, 2007 rank, (2006 rank)

UnitedHealth Group #21, (37)

Target #33, (29)

Best Buy #72 (76)
St. Paul Travelers Cos #89 (85)

3M #97 (101)

SuperValu #117 (113)

U.S. Bancorp #123 (131)

CHS #166 (188)

Northwest Airlines #195 (181)

General Mills #213 (206)

Medtronic #222 (235)

Xcel Energy #251 (247)

Ameriprise Financial #297

Land O’Lakes #329 (301)

C.H. Robinson Worldwide #349 (379)

Thrivent for Financial Lutherans #370 (352)

Hormel Foods #403 (401)

Mosaic #427 (470)

Ecolab #457 (459)

Nash Finch #476 (457)


When expanded to the Fortune 1000 you can add these Minnesota companies:

PepsiAmericas #531

St. Jude Medical #605

Alliant Techsystems #617

Pentair #623

Valspar #653

Patterson Dental #719

Minnesota Life Insurance #756

Regis #761

Toro #909

Fastenal #918

Donaldson Company #948

Polaris Industries #962

Deluxe #969

Imation #995



Click Minnesota Business Scene for more Minnesota business news and MN Headhunter for the latest blog postings.

Recruiter Jobs With Minnesota Companies Added

The following new Recruiting jobs have been added on the MN Headhunter Recruiting Gigs Page:


Technical Recruiter (Temporary) with Google - Mountain View, CA

Recruiter, Full Time Job - Ameriprise Financial 

Sr. Recruiter, Full Time Contract - DELUXE CORPORATION 



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If you are using a RSS Feed click Recruiting Gigs.

IT Volunteer Opportunities And Jobs With Minnesota NonProfits Added

The following new volunteer opportunities and technology jobs have been added on the MN Headhunter Volunteer Page:


Technology Speaker for Schools – Volunteer

Job Shadow Volunteer – Volunteer

Computer Assistant – Volunteer

Computer Wizard – Volunteer

Technical Volunteer – Volunteer

Systems Operations Manager – Full Time

Web and Applications Programmer – Full Time

Web Specialist – Part Time

Data Analyst – Full Time



Click weekly newsletter to receive the Wednesday message of nonprofit needs, IT jobs I am recruiting for, recruiting jobs, and most popular blog posts of the week.


If you are using a RSS Feed click Volunteer.

Minnesota Morning

Happy April Fools Day (plus one) and no this is not some cruel joke. I am back blogging. This time unlike the last two is for good (I hope). I appreciate the continued words of encouragement I have received that past couple of months following my dad’s surgery. We are working on getting their house and land up for sale in the next two weeks.


Should you know anyone looking for a house with 2.2 acres and another 9.X + with trees, a slough, and walking paths let me know. The property is 9 miles north of Alexandria on Highway 29 (the main road out of town), between Lake Miltona and Lake Irene, two miles west of Miltona. The property likely has a greater commercial potential or small residential development than just a single-family property.


There has been a lot I have missed commenting about the past two months but rather than try and make it up I am just moving on.


One question I have been asked frequently is what happened to my March Madness predictions. I never got to them. First time since I was in junior high I did not make one up. Maybe that gives you an idea how much I have been distracted by other more important things.


I was really bummed out that we did not have more upsets this year but I guess the flip side is the games in later rounds probably have been better than past years.


For the record I had picked a final with Florida beating Georgetown and even though Ohio State found a way to beat the Hoyas just like in football I am sticking with the Gators. GO GATORS!!!


A couple of weeks ago right after that last snowstorm I received this picture in an email from a reader. I do not know if she was the originator of the photo but I am going with it anyway.







No, I was not notified of the final resting date of this Frosty the Snowman and with all due respect to him and his friends I am very happy that they are gone for the season. They had a good few days though.


March came in snowy and three weeks later we had highs in the upper 70’s as noted by this picture with some of my Deke boys, my fraternity at the University of Minnesota, and I as they had a nice Friday afternoon to lounge outside.






A few of them found it odd that a guy as old as me (36 is old to them) could be a Snoop Dogg fan. I tried to get them to understand that Snoop Dogg first made it big while I was in college and that I am not that old, they are that young. And to put that last thought into perspective their hot water heater failed late last week. The unit was installed around 1987 and at least half of the current members were not born yet.


Much of my posting the next couple of days will focus on the many Minnesota business initiatives going on, some job statistics, and a look at the H1B season that starts today.