Archive for Recruiting
The holiday season — while filled with joy and good cheer — can be a landmine in the office if you’re not careful. Here are 10 potential pitfalls you should watch out for this season.
1. Don’t Overdo it at the Office Holiday Party
While you certainly should relax at the company holiday party, do so within reason. Use it as an opportunity to talk to people other than the usual suspects. For some reason, whenever co-workers start drinking together, embarrassing things tend to happen. Pay attention to your alcohol consumption, and avoid the temptation to put that lampshade on your head.
2. Don’t Give an Inappropriate Gift to Your Boss
It’s perfectly acceptable to give the people you work with small tokens of appreciation for Christmas, but don’t give anything — especially to your boss — whose intent could be misunderstood to mean you have romantic interest in him or her, or simply want to get ahead in your career.
3. Don’t Take Vacation at Crunch Time
If you work in an industry that’s bombarded with work this time of year, try to avoid asking for vacation time unless absolutely necessary. You’ll come off more of a team player if you wait to unwind on the beach after the stressful period of work is over.
4. Don’t Flood the Break Room with Fattening Treats
Sure, most people love munching on your gingerbread cookies, but when everyone is worried about packing on the pounds around the holiday season, healthy alternatives are appreciated.
5. Don’t Angle for a Promotion at the Company Party
If you’ve been vying for a promotion or raise, bringing it up to your boss at the party is definitely a no-no. He’s there to relax too, and will be put off if you’re spouting off all your accomplishments as he’s trying to do the Electric Slide.
6. Don’t Hook Up with a Co-Worker
We keep coming back to that office party, don’t we? Inter-office romance is a tricky thing, and one-time hookups at the holiday party definitely make for an awkward and strained work environment. Instead, bring a date (even if it’s just a friend) to the party to avoid being tempted by the new hot intern.
7. Don’t Be Exclusive with the Gift Giving
Okay, you don’t have to get everyone in your office a gift, but unless you can subtly hand off a giant wrapped box to your favorite co-worker, try to get something for everyone, even if it’s just a card. This can help dial down the jealousy and keep cohesion in the office.
8. Don’t Grouse About Your Nonexistent Bonus
Times are hard. If you don’t get a bonus from your boss, don’t complain about it. It’s not personal. Your boss will appreciate it if you take it in stride.
9. Don’t Assume Everyone Celebrates Christmas
When giving cards, stick to “happy holidays” messages to avoid offending anyone. And if you know a co-worker practices another religion, find out if she is comfortable accepting gifts before you give one.
10. Don’t be a Scrooge
If you’re not into the festive vibe, don’t ruin it for everyone else. This is one time of year that people don’t work as hard if they don’t have to, and enjoy general camaraderie with others in the office.
Are you lamenting over not scoring your dream job in 2013? It could be that you were guilty of not doing one or more of the following tips to position yourself as the ideal job candidate.
1. Network more. It’s easy to say you’ll network, but when it comes down to it, did you regularly attend networking meetings and put yourself out there in the scary world of talking to people you don’t know?
2. Read your resume out loud. Simply tweaking a word here or there on your resume won’t help you really see it from an employer’s perspective. Reading it aloud can help you identify errors and awkward sentence structure.
3. Take someone to lunch. That could be a co-worker who’s higher up the ladder or someone else who works in your industry. This is your opportunity to get insider tips for succeeding in your field.
4. Blog. Blogging is especially useful if you don’t have a ton of job experience. Write posts about your take on your industry, interesting projects you’re working on, and other topics that display your intelligence and interest in your field.
5. Open your search parameters. Perhaps you really want to go in-house, and you declined the opportunity to take an interview with an interesting agency. Some agencies have much smaller account loads or you may even work onsite for one client. Opportunities like this could be a perfect bridge with what you are considering to do long term.
6. Invest in interview clothes. Hiring managers judge you the second you walk into an interview. If your clothes are worn down and cheap looking, it doesn’t say that you take yourself seriously as a professional. In 2014, invest in a few key basic pieces you can wear in multiple ways. This is always a good investment and can be used in many situations, not only interviewing.
7. Connect with a recruiter or two. Recruiters have the inside scoop on which companies are hiring, even if they’re not posting on job boards. A key relationship or two could open up a
new pipeline of interesting job prospects in the hidden job market.
8. Learn a new skill. Rather than waste time hating your current job, you could use it as a launchpad to your next career. Take any opportunity to diver deeper in the business or learn a practical skills that will hep with your career advancement.
9. Attend conferences and seminars. Another way you could have made yourself more hireable this year was to attend industry events where you could not only learn new things but also network with others in your field.
10. Read blogs. Read, read, read, and increase your awareness of what’s happening in your industry. You’ll also get ideas for your own blog.
11. Ask questions. Consider yourself a learning sponge and ask smart questions of the people you work with. You’d be surprised how much you can learn just through curiosity.
12. Update LinkedIn. Whether you’re currently looking for a job or not, your LinkedIn profile should accurately reflect your work experience. Continue to connect to people in your industry and follow conversations.
13. Join LinkedIn Groups. Find a few groups that focus on your industry so you can learn from those who have already taken the path you’re on. Also find groups locally so you can network with people at companies you’re interested in.
14. Freelance. Especially if you don’t have the experience to get the job you really want, freelancing can help you fatten up your portfolio and make some extra cash.
15. Volunteer. Another great way to expand your portfolio is to donate your PR skills to a nonprofit or other organization. Volunteering is a good resume builder and a chance to explore new areas of interest.
16. Go Back to School. You may not need a second Bachelor’s degree, but it never hurts to take some continuing education classes or workshops to bone up on new skills.
17. Ask for the Job. If you’ve met someone who makes the hiring decisions at another company, have you truly leveraged that relationship? While you don’t want to take advantage, there’s nothing wrong with expressing interest in working for the company. It can open doors for you.
18. Be Different. The next time you apply for a job, do something different like create a video explaining why you want to work at a company (if that approach fits the company culture). Be memorable in a good way.
19. Look Internally. Rather than seeking a job elsewhere, see what opportunities lie in the company you currently work for. You’ve already proven yourself in your current role, and many companies prefer to hire internal candidates.
20. Be Diligent. You can’t give up after your first 10 resumes don’t net anything. Look for ways to constantly improve yourself, but remember, the search for the right job doesn’t happen overnight. j
You’re trying to do whatever it takes to be promoted or get a raise. But have you taken a look at your speech and communication style? They very well may be keeping you from excelling at work. If any of these describe you, it’s time to nip the behavior in the bud.
1. Uptalking. When you make a statement? If it sounds like a sentence? People don’t take you seriously. Whatever comes out of your mouth should sound confident and leave no question that you know what you’re talking about.
2. Speaking Arrogantly. There’s a fine line between being confident and being arrogant. If your comments come off as arrogant, they’ll drive people away. If you sound confident, people will respect you. Pay attention to people’s behavior and decide which vibes you’re giving off.
3. Apologizing. If you’re constantly saying “sorry” when you walk in someone’s office or interject in a conversation, you belittle yourself. It seems like you think you don’t have the right to be there or to share your opinion. That’s no way to show off your stuff!
4. Putting Yourself Down. If you’re in the habit of saying things like “You’re so much smarter than me,” or “Duh! That was stupid of me,” co-workers — and your boss — will believe you don’t think much of yourself. And if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to?
5. Talking Too Fast. Sometimes this stems out of nervousness, but if you talktoofastforanyonetounderstand, people will stop listening. If you want your ideas to be taken seriously, take a deep breath and go slowly.
6. Gossiping. Talking behind your co-worker’s back is no way to win over friends in the workplace. Find other ways to get people to like you, like complimenting them.
7. Interrupting. No one likes being cut off mid-sentence. Even if you’re eager to share your thoughts on the topic at hand, hold back. Otherwise, you seem impatient, and as if you don’t value the thoughts of those you’re conversing with.
8. Dominating Every Conversation. If you’re like Hermione from Harry Potter and are the first person to speak in a meeting, watch yourself. It’s one thing to be eager to participate in the conversation; it’s another to want to have the spotlight all on you. Remember you’re part of a team, so try to bring in your co-workers to the conversation.
9. Not Listening. If you’re not really paying attention to what your co-workers have to say, they’ll feel it. Be fully in the moment whenever anyone is speaking to you. Pause, then respond when appropriate. Try repeating in your own words what you just heard to reassure the listener you actually understood what she said.
10. Not Acting like Yourself. Men and women communicate differently and just because you work in a mainly male or mainly female environment doesn’t mean you should change your communication style. Acting like someone you’re not is obvious and comes off badly. You’ll get a lot more respect from your colleagues by being aware of the communication styles and sticking with your own.
We’ve all had them or heard of them: The boss who only cares about himself, the boss who is never pleased, the boss who yells constantly, the boss who takes credit for everyone else’s work, the boss who just stresses his whole team out.
You could, of course, quit your job, but there’s no guarantee that your next boss won’t be just as “difficult”. Better to try to benefit from these lessons a bad boss can teach you.
1. There are All Kinds of Bosses
While certainly, you’d prefer to have the kind of boss you want to drink margaritas with after work, this isn’t always going to be your reality. Having a bad boss can teach you that there are many types of managers — and people, for that matter. Knowing how to please, say, a chronically grumpy boss, can help you any time you encounter a person (at work or otherwise) who is hard to please.
2. Smart People Don’t Always Make Good Managers
Just because someone has spent decades in a field doesn’t make that person necessarily adept at managing other people and leading by example. In other words, for some people, experience doesn’t always translate into good management skills.
3. You Could Do His Job
Whether your boss is a rock star or a troll, you can learn a lot by observing. You can see what skills being a manager at your company requires (even if your boss is sorely lacking them), and you can chart your own plan to climb the ladder and become a manager yourself one day.
4. Bad Bosses are People Too
While you’d love to throw darts at a photo of your boss, you have to admit: he’s human. He also has many other pressures on the job that you don’t need to deal with daily. Sometimes it’s good to recognize that and give him a break.
5. You Know What Not to Do
If you’re taking notes about how to be a good manager, your boss is providing an entire list of what not to do. Ask yourself how you would handle a given situation better, and store that information away for future use.
6. You Don’t Have to Take a Bad Boss Home
While nearly all of us are guilty of taking home our work day with us and complaining to friends or family, you don’t have to. You only have to deal with your bad boss for 8 or so hours a day. Don’t let him consume additional space in your brain.
You can’t always get out of a job with a sub-par manager, but if you turn the experience around into a life lesson, you’ll take away nuggets that will make you a better employee.
If graduation looms in the relatively near future, you’re probably already thinking about that amazing job you plan to score when you’re done with college.
In case you haven’t heard, the job market is pretty competitive right now. You’ll be at a disadvantage almost immediately simply because you’re a recent grad with little work experience. Fortunately, there are things you can do right now to make yourself more hireable later.
Internships are one of the best ways to gain industry experience, meet the right people, and make a favorable impression at a company that could end up hiring you full time. Check with both your career center and degree program department to see if there are any local businesses who need someone to help out.
Don’t limit yourself to just interning. Volunteering or getting involved in community service can also help you bone up on skills you can then add to your resume. If you plan to work in PR, offer your services to a nonprofit that can use your press release writing and pitching skills. Be eager to help out, as the more you do, the more you learn.
3. Work at the Right Company
We’ve all heard the tales of the guy who rises up from being the mailroom delivery boy to an executive position at a company. It’s an extreme example, but there’s truth in it. I started my career in recruiting by accident. I had no idea what a recruiter did before I landed a job as a receptionist at a staffing agency. A year later I was working my own recruiting specialty in the firm and became a top producer in the company. I worked my way through college while recruiting and 15 years (ugh, 16) later I’m still at it. Even if you take on a part-time job in administration or in the warehouse at a company you’d like to work at after graduation, you can show your enthusiasm for the company, your willingness to learn, and network with people who can help the company.
4. Participate in College Organizations
In addition to providing you with the opportunity to make new friends, you can dive into an industry by joining industry organizations through your school like PRSSA. If the group regularly invites industry experts to speak, this is your chance to network with people who are out working in the field you want to work in.
5. Meet Alumni
At many universities, the alumni network is strong. Past graduates may attend events at the college, post job listings, or serve as mentors for students like you. Find these alumni and take advantage of them. Having a mentor who’s followed the path you want to take can provide you with shortcuts to success.
You don’t have to be a professional to attend local networking meetings. Find a group or two that caters to professionals in your field, and start attending. Introduce yourself as a college student and let people know you’re looking for advice on breaking into the field once you graduate. You can build relationships that will carry you into your first job.
7. Build a LinkedIn Profile
Even if you’re not ready to start working full time, you should still have a LinkedIn profile. Include your volunteer and internship experience, as well as any other relevant work history you have. Update it as you add new skills.
8. Take on Research Projects
If the head of your department is looking for assistance in a research project, sign up. The more you actively participate in academic pursuits, the more ingrained in your industry you’ll be, even before graduating. Getting a glowing recommendation from the department chair can’t hurt, either!
Sometimes it’s difficult for you to view your resume with an unbiased eye. You can’t see what should stand out, and you might not know what hiring managers are looking for. If that’s the case, consider working with a resume writer.
Professional resume writers know what skills to feature on your resume to get the attention of a hiring manager. They may be able to pick up on points you didn’t even notice, simply because it’s your own resume.
But before you shell out a pretty penny for a professional resume, make sure to ask these questions to ensure you’ve got the right writer for the job.
1. Can you show me examples of your work?
Any resume writer with experience should be able to provide several examples of past work. Better yet to ask for examples not found on her website.
2. Do you have experience writing resumes in my industry?
This isn’t always a necessity for all industries, but PR and Marketing professionals have their own industry lingo and certain skill sets that are important to highlight on a resume. It might be worth paying more for a resume by working with someone who has the relevant industry experience and knows what employers in your industry will want to see and can use the industry keywords appropriately.
3. What are the three biggest issues you see with my resume?
A good resume writer should be able to immediately see areas that could stand to be improved and have a few good suggestions. This question also implies you are speaking with the resume writer. Do yourself a favor and actually speak with the person who will write your resume.
4. Can you also rewrite my LinkedIn profile?
This may or may not be part of her overall service, but since she’s already knee-deep in your work experience, it would make sense to have a look at your LinkedIn profile. Having a LinkedIn profile that accurately portrays who you are professionally may help you more than your resume, since many recruiters are looking for solid job candidates there.
5. How much do you charge?
It’s likely a flat fee depending on your level. Always clear this upfront. Be sure to be clear about how many revisions are included and extra fees whether it be future edits or formatting changes.
Is Hiring a Resume Writer Right for You?
Before you hire a writer, consider whether it’s necessary. Some people feel like you should create your own resume, because it’s such a personal document.
On the other hand, if you haven’t gotten the positive response you think you should be getting from recruiters and hiring managers, based on your job experience, it might be time to bring in a professional who can clear the clutter from your resume and shine the spotlight on the skills that position you as the ideal candidate.
Just make sure to avoid resume mills that churn out nearly identical resumes for multiple clients (you’ll know them because they charge a shockingly low fee, and you won’t be very impressed with the results). Find a writer who can make you stand out against the competition.
P.S. I do not write resumes. While I will happily give some advice to candidates I’m actively working with on a search, recruiters are not resume writers. Resume writing is a career – and it is a time intensive process that a recruiter just doesn’t have the bandwidth to take on in addition to filling client searches.
When you’re looking for a job, there are the obvious components you know you need, like a strong resume and cover letter. But there are other secret weapons that can increase your odds of being considered for a position, as well as help you stay organized through the job search process.
In the United States most career experts will say your resume is no place for your headshot. Your social media profiles though will look empty without it. A nice, professional headshot can help you better connect with hiring managers and should be used on social media sites, especially LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
And remember: even if you don’t plan on showing a hiring manager your Facebook profile, there’s still a good chance she’ll find it when Googling you. Hiring managers are turning to social media profiles to learn more about job candidates, so many sure what you are showing the world is okay for a hiring manager to see.
If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer for your headshot, find a friend to help, choose a neutral background, and take a few so you have some to choose from.
2. Mobile Applications
Many of the job boards these days offer mobile apps so you can track your applications and see where you’ve applied while you’re on the go. CareerBuilder’s mobile app lets you apply for jobs with two taps of a finger, or save jobs to view later. Monster’s app notifies you when new jobs are posted, and also provides interview tips.
3. Professional Email
You may want to consider setting up a different email for your job search activity. While it’s certainly convenient to get correspondence at your personal email address, you may not want to be inundated with those PR job alerts and other automatic emails that most people don’t get around to turning off after your job search. And if you’ve been using a quirky personal email address for years and you don’t want to part with it, hiring managers might not understand the humor in your email address.
4. Job Search Organization Tool
Applying for positions on multiple job boards is enough to make your eyes cross. And since sometimes employers post the same job on several boards, you want to make sure you’re not wasting time reapplying for the same job. Additionally, you’ll be sending your resume to your contacts and directly to companies website or the hiring managers directly.
Find a tool like Jibber Jobber that lets you manage and track jobs you’ve applied for, as well as update your contacts and details on companies you’re interested in working for.
It’s important to track where you’ve applied so you don’t reapply for the same job over and over and if you are approached or working with a recruiter, you’ll need to be able to let them know if you have ever applied to a position at their client and when.
If you don’t have the money to pay for a solution like this, a simple spreadsheet will suffice.
Having a prewritten biography comes in handy when you’re setting up your social media profiles or job board accounts. It doesn’t need to be too detailed: a few paragraphs should suffice. Make sure to highlight your areas of expertise, positions you’ve held, and education.
While these are all small details, they’re ones that stand out. Take the time to focus on these components, and you’ll see more positive results in your job search.
Think only your friends are hanging out on Twitter or Facebook? Think again — especially if you’re hunting for your next job.
Employment recruiters are spending more time looking for qualified job candidates on social media, it seems. Because so many professionals are branding themselves as experts on social sites, recruiters are finding it easier to locate people with the skill set they’re looking for.
Here’s the portion of recruiters that are looking for you on social media (Inc. Magazine):
- LinkedIn: 98%
- Twitter: 42%
- Facebook: 33%
Position Yourself to Be Found Through Social Media
For those of you who haven’t put any attention into making your social media profiles a beacon for recruiters to find, Vinda Rao, Marketing Manager for recruiting software company Bullhorn, offers these tips:
Keep your social media profile clean. It does matter: 98% of recruiters used social media for recruiting in 2012, so make sure what they’re finding out about you online is professional and appealing.
Can’t juggle several social media accounts? Focus on LinkedIn. You’ll find more recruiters on LinkedIn than any other social media network. Nearly 100% of recruiters use it, compared to their less frequent activity on Twitter and Facebook.
Are you aiming big or small? Tailor your social networking use to your goal. U.S. recruiters at small companies are less likely to recruit on LinkedIn than big companies, but are more likely to use Facebook or Twitter.
Have some downtime while lounging by the pool or on a long bus ride? Check job opportunities on the go: 53% of recruiters found mobile recruiting technology extremely important.
Your Alma Mater may not matter as much as you think. Fewer than 4% of recruiters say that the name of the school the applicant attended would truly help differentiate her as a candidate.
Depending on what field you studied, research what social network your industry focuses on. Interested in the restaurant or fashion industries, for example? Twitter is your best bet. Security and legal candidates are best suited to search for opportunities on LinkedIn, and those looking for a job in nursing should be perusing Facebook.
Let Your Beacon Shine
The point here is: social media can expand your horizons when it comes to helping you find a job. The more places you look, the faster you’ll secure the position you really want. Make sure you shine on social media, and share a variety of updates and links to show that you know your stuff:
- Share links to your blog content and promote relevant content of others. Ask questions to get people to click
- Engage in conversations with other industry professionals
- Answer questions people have about your field on LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers, or hop on Quora and get involved in discussions
- Retweet relevant content and share your own two cents
- Share your own insight on a subject, and don’t be afraid to weigh in on topics that matter to a professional in your field.
Wondering if you’re a good fit for a flexible work situation? It’s not for everyone. Being able to work from home requires independence and focus. If those dirty dishes easily lure you away from a morning of slogging away on your laptop, you might not make the best flexible worker, at least in your boss’ eyes.
According to business and workplace expert Alexandra Levit, who has partnered with Flexjobs to talk about flexible work, there are several traits that make for a more successful flexible employee:
Self discipline: Going back to that dirty dishes example; it’s imperative that you be able to ignore all distractions while working from home. And without a micromanaging boss peering over your shoulder, you’ll have to motivate yourself to get the job done.
Confidence: You can’t get the buy-in of your supervisor for every decision you make if you’re working out of your home. You’ll need to be confident in your decisions and not second guess each one.
Resourcefulness: There’s a reason why recent grads don’t often find flexible work situations: it takes experience to be able to run with a task after receiving only minimal direction on it. The longer you’ve been in the workforce, the more able you will be to act resourcefully and find answers yourself.
Comfortable with Self-Imposed Deadlines: If you thrive under the pressure of your boss cracking the whip over your head just before a deadline, you might not succeed if you’re working alone at home. You’ll be responsible for meeting deadlines, and there won’t be anyone yelling in your ear to get it done.
Extroversion: Just because you’re out of sight in the office shouldn’t mean you become out of mind. It’s even more important, says Levit, to stay visible when you’re not in the office every day. This means you’ll have to spend time developing professional relationships and staying in contact with your team, even if it’s just for a little office news.
Can These Skills Be Learned?
If you didn’t identify with any of the traits listed above, don’t despair. You may be able to learn to create laser focus on your work, and to flourish without the watchful eye of your manager. Above all, you can develop solid communication skills that will help you succeed as a flexible worker.
“I think that the most critical trait to be a great flexible worker is to be a proactive communicator,” Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of Flexjobs, surmises, “Although I probably think it’s the most critical trait in almost any job, it’s even more so with telecommuting, freelance, or flexible schedule arrangements, because you can’t fall back on some of the traditional ways to check in with your colleagues.”
Strong communication will also be what sells your boss on the idea of you working remotely. If you want to pitch yourself as a good candidate for telecommuting, start by showing him what a fantastic communicator you can be. Every goal, process, and project you work on should be a part of a conversation. Once you show that you’re on top of it (and he can spend more time worrying about other employees), he may loosen up and let you test out a flexible work situation.
What if It’s Not Right for You?
You may prefer the structure and connection that come with working in an office, and that’s okay. Be honest about your ideal work environment, and if it doesn’t consist of working from your home or elsewhere, hang on to your cubicle!
If you’re new to the workforce or changing fields, you find it hard to get hired. It seems like there are always people out there more qualified and with more experience than you. And while you could take a job out of your area of interest, you’d rather find another way to get the experience you need so that you’re more hireable to employers.
By giving your time to a company or nonprofit that needs your skills, you reap multiple benefits.
1. You Ramp Up Your Skills
If your resume is still a little thin, volunteering is a great way to enhance your current skills to position yourself as an appealing job candidate. Let’s say you have a degree in public relations. Agencies feel you don’t yet have enough experience to interact with clients, but if you volunteer to do PR for a nonprofit, you get the opportunity to write more, interact with the media, plan events, and represent a brand on social media. That already makes your resume look better.
2. You Get to Meet (the Right) People
While your goal in volunteering shouldn’t be to directly get a job with the company you work for pro bono, it can happen. And even if that company doesn’t need you, the people you impress there might be able to refer you to contacts who are looking to hire.
3. You Learn New Skills
In addition to boosting what you already know, volunteering can introduce you to new tools and skills you didn’t already have. Consider it on-the-job training, without the pay. Maybe you’ve been curious about an email marketing platform, but didn’t want to invest in paying for it just to gain the skill. If you volunteer for a company that uses it, you get the opportunity to learn how to use it and add that skill to your resume.
4. You Can Fill in the Resume Gaps
Hiring managers often raise an eyebrow when there’s a noticeable time gap between jobs. If you’re simply trying to find a job during that gap, volunteering can make it look better. It shows that you’ve been proactive in trying to find a job and better yourself professionally.
5. You Can Feel Good
The altruistic purpose of volunteering shouldn’t be overlooked here. By giving your time, you can help organizations or groups that you feel an affinity for. Volunteering about a cause you are passionate about can help you feel like you’re making a difference.
How to Start Volunteering
Convinced that volunteering will help you find a job? Start by being realistic about the amount of time you can commit. It’s better to under commit to, say, once a week, than to promise you’ll help every day and not be able to do so. And keep room in your schedule to continue the job search, and to go on interviews, as that is still your number one focus.
Some places to get started to find volunteer opportunities in your local region.
All for Good