December 3rd, 2013
Whether you are using your Social Media to job seek or to increase your knowledge about an industry, consider what impression your profile says about you. Companies and recruiters (studies show up to 86% of recruiters DO look at social media sites) can view your site to review your interests and history to find out additional details about you. There can be red flags on your site that are working against you such as:
1. Profanity ( foul language or inappropriate slang)
2. Adult content (in both pictures and comments, either by you or your contacts)
3. Alcohol (or drugs)
4. Racism or Sexism (this can include speech, racial slurs, or misogyny)
5. Violence (posts, threats or images)
It is important to consistently monitor your sites for comments or photo tags that others send to you or post on your account. If you are in the market to find a new job, review your site from an outsiders perspective and monitor the information. Don’t let this possible first impression work against you with recruiters and potential companies that are hiring.
November 26th, 2013
There are several ways to celebrate Thanksgiving together as colleagues in an office or any type of work environment. A “pot luck” lunch is a great way to incorporate participation for all employees, letting them choose from a list of needed items. It is important to remember that some employees could be vegetarian or have allergies (or other dietary requirements) so they need to be considered during the planning process as well. Planning some short games could also add to the festivities; such as Pin the Tail on the Turkey, Thanksgiving trivia or a scavenger hunt could entice employees to work together as team members. Small gifts or incentives add to the fun and increase participation among employees.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to thank your employees and boost morale and productivity. It is also a good time for employees to thank managers, supervisors and owners. Gratitude can help co-workers feel value and can strengthen relationships within the office. Employees who feel valued tend to work harder, longer and achieve higher performance and productivity. Receiving thanks can also increase self-esteem and confidence.
One way that managers and supervisors can express their thanks is through a short written note, depending on the size of the workforce. Not an email, but a handwritten note, shows a personal effort and a gracious gesture. Never underestimate the power of a simple “thank you“, especially at the start of the holiday season when things are hectic and busy.
November 19th, 2013
As the holidays approach many job seekers make the mistake of slowing or stopping their job search assuming that companies aren’t making hiring decisions. Making these types of assumptions can be detrimental to finding the right job! The reality is that the holidays are an excellent time to develop and create new contacts for your job seeking opportunities. Here are some tips to continuing your job search during the holiday season:
1. Build relationships- business is al about relationships and relationships are developed in social settings. During the holidays there are several options to socialize with all levels of management in companies. Parties are a great networking opportunity! Most associations have holiday parties and are usually well attended.
2. Volunteer – the holidays are the best time to volunteer, help other people, feel good and meet other dedicated professionals. Volunteering looks good on your resume and is a great way to start a conversation with strangers and have a talking point during an interview.
3. Send holiday cards – to everyone on your “career list” including search firms, staffing companies, and Human Resource departments. Include anyone you have interviewed with during the year to stay in contact, you never know when the position you applied for might be available again.
During the holiday season jobseekers tend to become overly negative – don’t fall into this trap! Get positive and get active.
November 13th, 2013
There are several steps to take when looking for a new job including where to look for jobs, the top job online sites, how to use your connections, how to have a successful interview, and how to follow up after the interview. Here are some specific steps to consider when starting your search:
Step 1: Create an effective resume and cover letter. Build your own brand by using social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and VisualCV. A strong personal brand will entice recruiters to look closer at your job experience and create a better professional image. You never know what contacts may be able to help with y0ur job search.
Step 2: Focus your job search. Use search engines that provide niche services for your occupation including job boards, job search engine sites, company websites, niche job websites, social media, professional associations etc. Use specific keywords that match your qualifications and job history. This will help you find job listings that match your experience and less non-relevant listings to go through.
Step 3: Create a list of companies you would like to work for and watch their websites for job listings. Research those companies and what they require for applicants, it could be you need just one additional training or skill to apply for jobs. Researching information about the company will also assist you if and when you get an interview.
Step 4: Ace the interview. Dress appropriately, practice answering interview questions, research the company. Remind the interviewer why you are a great candidate for the position.
Step 5: Follow up. Remember to thank everyone involved in the process. Carefully review any job offers before accepting or rejecting.
Use your down time wisely by contacting potential recommendations to use on your resume, do some volunteer work to broaden your networking, find opportunities to add a new skill to your resume. Most of all…be patient and be diligent.
November 5th, 2013
The interviewing process is a critical aspect of the hiring process. It is the time to show the employer your personality and how you handle yourself in a professional environment. Here are some tips to prepare for the interview…before, during and after the interview:
1. Get a good night’s rest and eat a good breakfast- you will look better and feel better.
2. Do your research- get to know the company. It will provide you with some talking points during the interview and let them know you are interested in the organization.
3. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free.
4. The MOST important thing….be able to answer the following question “What value will you add to our organization?”
1. Answer the question that was asked and take a minute to think about your answer – it will show you are putting some thought in your answer.
2. Keep eye contact and be yourself.
3. Ask questions, including a full description of the job you will be doing.
4. DON’T…talk about your personal life, talk too quickly, use slang, act nervous, fidget or get defensive.
1. WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE!
2. Make notes about your performance during the interview. This will help you improve your interview skills.
3. Follow up appropriately.
Good interview tips are mostly common sense.
October 29th, 2013
Many workers feel they don’t have time for lunch and end up eating at their desks. One study shows that only 19% of office workers actually take lunch breaks away from their desks. These bad habits might be making workers more stressed and making them more unproductive than they think. Here are some things super successful people do at during lunch:
1. THEY LEAVE THEIR DESKS!
2. They grab lunch with other professionals and use the time to recharge ideas.
3. They go outside or exercise- both of which can rejuvenate the mind. Researchers even show this helps memory and attention.
4. They eat healthy and don’t over-eat. Over-eating can release insulin which can leave you tired.
5. They read or listen to music. These create a mental distraction that can reduce muscle tension and decrease stress levels.
Lunch breaks can be an opportunity to recharge, find creative inspiration and make business connections.
October 22nd, 2013
There is a difference in simply being a “hamster on a wheel” and using time to be more focused and productive. How you manage your time directly affects your productivity. Good time management can lead to career satisfaction, leadership strength, good relationships within the office and is the pivotal point of everything else you do. Here are some time management tips:
1. Work on one thing at a time – focus on the most important thing that needs to get done and then work down your list.
2. Know your most productive time – whether that be first thing in the morning, after lunch or making lists at the end of the workday.
3. Fend off the time wasters – these can range from email notifications, text messages or in the office gossip sessions. It takes up to 25 minutes to return to your original task after an interruption.
4.Create a zen workplace – you will work more productively if you enjoy your workspace.
5. Take breaks – it’s tempting to ignore breaks and eat lunch at your desk when you are busy, but a 10-15 minute break will clear your mind and bring you back refreshed.
6. Delegate – send tasks to the ones who can best complete them.
7. Let go of what doesn’t matter – when it comes down to it, done is better than perfect. Stay focused on your big-picture goal.
8. Schedule downtime – make time to focus on other things that are important to you.
October 15th, 2013
Networking is nothing more than getting to know people. Whether or not you realize it, we all network almost every day and every where we go. It might be that you talk to someone at the coffee shop, getting gas at a convenience store, talk to someone in an elevator, at school or at work. You can network on social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Some question why social networking is important. There are several good reasons such as marketing, sales, education and access to information. Almost everyone who holds a title in large corporations, such as the Fortune 500 companies, have a Twitter handle. This is a great way to find out more about a company you might be interested in. Networking is always a great way to find a job. Adopting a networking lifestyle – a lifestyle of helping others in good times and bad – will help you find the right job, make valuable connections in your chosen field, and stay focused and motivated during your job search.
Networking is the best way to find a job because:
1. People do business primarily with people they know and like.
2. Job listings tend to draw piles of applicants.
3. The job you want may not be advertised at all.
Effective networking is not something that should be rushed. The doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be efficient and focused, but hurried, emergency networking is not conducive to building relationships for mutual support and benefit. Take some time to think about your networks strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Tips for strengthening your network:
1. Tap into your strong ties.
2. Think about where you want to go.
3. Make the process of connecting a priority.
Always remember that successful networking is a two-way street. Your ultimate goal is to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships.
October 8th, 2013
Wellness Programs can have a 26% reduction in sick leave, 26% reduction in health care costs and 32% reduction in workers compensation claims (per the American Journal of Health Promotion). Wellness programs are defined as programs designed to maintain or improve employee health before problems occur. Tips for effective wellness program for any size company can include:
1. Removing vending machines and replacing with fruit.
2. Onsite flu shots and health screenings.
3. Develop a walk club for before or after work, or during lunch.
4. Host a Weight Watchers meeting at the work place.
5. Give bonuses for stopping smoking.
6. Have a contest for highest pedometer steps (walking or running).
Wellness Programs need to focus on (1) increasing awareness of wellness issues (2) supporting health management and (3) promoting healthy work climates.
October 1st, 2013
An elevator speech is an important networking tool that can be used to market yourself, meet people, or connect with opportunities. This speech memorably introduces you and your uniqueness and highlights the benefits you provide. It’s almost like a personal movie trailer. An elevator speech can be ten seconds or two minutes but should be concise, clear, informative, and engaging. The goal is to start a conversation and generate interest in getting someone to want to get to know you better. It’s important to have your speech prepared so that you can make the most of opportunities that arise. You never know who you might meet getting coffee in the morning, walking your dog, or pumping gas. EVERYONE you meet is a potential networking contact. In some cases up to 80% of jobs are not posted, and networking is the way to hear about them.
Developing and practicing your elevator speech will also help you prepare for job interviews. By describing your career goals with passion, precision and persuasiveness you will make a lasting impression. Here are some questions that you should consider when developing your speech:
1. Who am I and what do I offer?
2. What can I contribute?
3. What is my purpose?
4. What am I trying to accomplish?
5. What do I want people to remember?
After you determine your elevator speech, put your plan into action. (1) Write out a script (2) practice in front of a mirror, with friends or family and (3) ask for feedback.