• Four Tools All Job Seekers Should Use

    Looking for a job? Then, tackle this process similarly to how you would start a home repair project - put together a plan, gather necessary tools, be strategic, set deadlines and tweak the plan as you go. By starting with a plan and applicable tools, you can determine a clear path and achievable benchmarks to reach the goal you want to achieve.

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  • Resume Tips From A Recruiter’s Perspective

    If you’ve been in the job market for any length of time, you may have already heard a variety of resume tips: how your resume should look, how long it should be, etc. Listed below are six resume tips from the point of view of someone who looks at resumes for several hours every day. Hopefully, you will find them helpful!

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  • Working Remotely and How It Could Work for You

    Remote employees are a growing segment in today’s work force.  The Department of Labor released an American Time Use Survey last June that showed 23% of employed persons did some or all of their work at home. To compare, 2003 showed that 19% of employees worked outside of the office.

    The option to “work from home” is a concept that a lot of companies are migrating towards, whether on a full-time basis or to allow flexibility as a perk to their employees. Employers recognize the extensive benefits that result from allowing telecommuting, and the practice is becoming more of the norm, not the exception.

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  • Networking Tips – How to Make the Most of Each Event You Attend and Expand Your Network

    Just the word “networking” can be intimidating to those that have never given it a chance. The thought of striking up conversations with strangers sounds less than enjoyable to most people. Networking can be very beneficial to those that are new to an area, those looking to make new business connections or friends, and especially those seeking employment. Some events involve a speaker and some are simply “meet and greet” events where you make your way around a room talking with businessmen and women and swapping business cards.

    Tips for a successful networking event:

    •    Bring a large stack of business cards with you. If you are a job seeker, bring several copies of your resume.
    •    During the “open networking” portion of the event, be sure to speak with as many people as possible. Engage in each conversation and truly listen instead of thinking about what you want to say next.
    •    Don’t overstay your welcome. When you feel a conversation has run its course, politely excuse yourself – a handshake, smile, and “it was great to meet you” always helps, and move on to speak with someone else.
    •    The next day, follow up with everyone you spoke with at the event. This ensures they have your contact information in their email in case they misplace your business card and helps them remember your conversation, hopefully in a positive light. Follow up with each contact periodically.

    Check out these websites/organizations if you are looking to expand your network:

    LinkedIn –  An excellent resource for those looking to connect with business owners, recruiters, business executives with common interests or educational backgrounds. Set up a profile if you don’t have one already, have previous supervisors and co-workers write you recommendations, and join groups that interest you. Most important: send connection invites to people you know or get to know through networking, and post and comment on discussions in the groups you join. LinkedIn is very user-friendly – don’t be afraid of it!

    The CT Groups – This is a non-profit organization designed for job seekers or those seeking to change jobs.  Most important: if you are a job seeker, sign up to be put on their email distribution list, where they email out job posting frequently, and attend local meetings as your schedule allows.

    Networking Memphis – This is a networking group I manage through the LinkedIn platform. It consists of over 6,500 members, the majority of whom reside or work in the Memphis area. To join this group go to your LinkedIn home page, type “Networking Memphis group” in the search field at the top of the screen, then click on the blue “Join” button. This group has monthly meet and greet events at different local Memphis businesses January through October, and there is no cost to join the group or attend the events.

    Results from networking are frequently realized over time. Speaking with people at multiple events or the same event every month can establish familiarity and eventually lead to a comfort level where a business transaction is discussed or referrals are given. Most people don’t choose to do business with people they just met five minutes ago since they don’t truly “know, like and trust&a

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  • The 3 P's - Professionalism, Personality, Presentation

    Professionalism, personality and presentation

    Do you know how you sound when you are speaking to a hiring manager?   Do you know how your personality comes across?  Do you have a certain suit you wear to job interviews?  First impressions in a job interview are everything.  Many hiring managers can determine within the first 5 minutes if you are a fit for the job.  In this competitive job market it takes more than just the right resume, it takes professionalism, personality and presentation.  

    Professionalism - Communication

    Nothing shows your professionalism more than excellent communication skills.  While methods of communication in the 21st century have changed, speaking face to face with someone has not.  Grammatically incorrect words and mispronunciations can be a red flag for a potential employer, especially if the position you’re applying towards will put you in front of clients as a representative of the company.  

    Personality – Don’t go to extremes

    Mirroring your personality to the hiring manager’s is a good way to gauge how casual or how formal you need to be.  Like people, not all managers are the same, some create a more relaxed and conversational environment.  Others are very much “business” and want to stick to the program of the interview.  It is up to you to monitor your personality and adjust it to the person with whom you are meeting.  If the hiring manager is extremely bubbly and conversational,  then a similar approach will make them more comfortable.  If the hiring manager does not get off topic and only wants to speak about previous work history or the position’s responsibility,  be sure to stay on topic.  

    Presentation – Common Sense

    What do you wear to a job interview?  It is best not to show up to a job interview dressed like you’ve just rolled out of bed.  We have conversation after conversation with candidates about professional interview attire, and, yet, occasionally still receive negative feedback from hiring managers on their impressions.  

    Here is the bottom line:  do not let something you are wearing, something you have tattooed on your body or something you have pierced distract the hiring manager from you and your abilities.  If they are staring at the hoop nose ring or sleeve of tattoos on your arm they are likely not paying attention to what you are saying.  If your nails could be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records it’s probably best to groom them before an interview.  If the clothes you are wearing would be something you wear out to a club on a Saturday night it’s probably not appropriate for an interview.  No one appreciates excessive perfume or cologne on a potential employee especially when in a small office setting.  I certainly cannot concentrate on what you are saying if I feel like I could faint from chemical overload.  And trying to cover up smoke with perfume only makes you smell like a lot of perfume and smoke.  It’s hard enough to get a job these days without sabotaging yourself with your attire and presentation. Common sense will help you obtain the opportunity you are seeking.

    By Christiana Helvie - Senior Sales & Staffing Consultant  

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