Friday, September 21, 2018

Ranks of Women in Tech Show Slight Growth

by Steve Rosenbush of the Wall Street Journal

Good day, CIOs. Diversity is at the top of the corporate tech agenda, but scant progress is being made when it comes to expanding the ranks of women and minorities within the U.S. divisions of large companies, CIO Journal’s Sara Castellanos reports. Women were represented in 24% of technical roles this year, a slight gain over 2017, according to a survey of more than 628,000 technologists across 80 large companies. The study was conducted by AnitaB.org, a nonprofit organization aimed at increasing the representation of women technologists. 
A broader view of diversity. Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander and multiracial women accounted for about 13% of the technical roles, according to the report, which did not measure racial diversity last year.
The business case. “Diversity in experience and diversity in thought is going to produce much better solutions for our customers,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, chief technology officer at Blackbaud Inc., a cloud software company for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Blackbaud was among the 80 companies surveyed for the study, which included American Express Co., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and SAP SE.

Monday, September 17, 2018

3 Qualities that make you an Effective Team Player


The term "team player" is so often used as an essential professional attribute that it’s become a well-worn cliché — but that doesn’t make it any less of a valuable skill to have if you want to be successful at work, regardless of your occupation or industry.

Being able to work well with others and being regarded by your colleagues as an effective team player can lead to a wealth of promising career opportunities. People will tend to seek you out when assembling teams for projects (which are more likely to be successful when the members of your team work well together), peers and superiors will turn to you for collaborations that can enhance your visibility and profile, you’ll increase your chances of impressing your colleagues and others will want to support you and celebrate your success as you climb your personal career ladder.

Although some folks seem to be able to work well with others no matter what the situation or mix of personalities they find themselves in, for others it’s not quite that simple. Not everyone is a natural team player, but everyone can become one with a little effort.

Yes, your work environment and the nature of the work you do will go a long way toward dictating what makes an effective team player in your world, but there are some fundamental personal qualities that most! effective team players seem to possess — and use — to their advantage when opportunities to collaborate arise. If you have the following three qualities, be sure to use them to your advantage at work and keep them polished and sharp.

If not, consider building these skills to maximize your chances of achieving success: 

Patience

Great team players typically have an abundance of patience in their reserves, which comes in really handy when juggling the diverse personalities and work styles of team members.

It can be easy to get frustrated in collaborative work settings, especially when one (or more than one) team member is tough to work with or tries to exert unwanted control over the group, or when the project doesn’t go as well as initially planned.

However, those who are known to be effective team members have the patience and self-control to keep themselves and others calm, cool and collected, which helps to keep colleagues and work projects on track.

Flexibility

A close relative of patience, flexibility allows team players to roll with the punches when things get volatile or tumultuous during a group effort at work and can pivot effectively when a project takes an unexpected turn or requires a course correction.

While some folks lose control when things don’t go according to plan during the life cycle of a project, those who are good team players are flexible enough to swerve when change is needed — without putting added stress or strain on their team members.

Reliability

Reliability is where the "rubber meets the road" on a project, and effective team members consistently deliver in this area.

When collaborating on a project, they are well aware of what they are responsible for and make sure that they deliver as planned and on schedule, allowing their team members to focus on their tasks without having to worry about weak links, with the end result being that the collaborative effort becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

If you set your sights on strengthening your skills in the areas mentioned here, you will improve your ability to work with others and gain a reputation as someone people can count on in any collaborative situation, big or small.

Eric Titner has been an editor and content creator for more than a decade. His primary professional focus has been on education- and career-related topics. He currently lives in New York City.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Surging Business Sales Make Staff Retention a Must!

I came across this relevant article by Joyce M. Rosenberg of the Associated Press:


NEW YORK – Offers of training and stock in their new employer weren’t enough to keep four out of his five staffers when Dennis Chow sold his information technology firm in 2016.

Chow and the buyers learned one of the hard lessons of a business sale – despite their best efforts, some employees will leave. People departed from both companies when SCIS Security acquired Chow’s Houston-based Xtec Systems, most of them workers who didn’t like their new assignments.
"We lost maybe 25 percent of the overall workforce," Chow says.

As the number of small-business sales keeps rising, staff retention is a priority – especially since low unemployment makes it easy for many workers to find new jobs. Transactions tallied by online marketplace BizBuySell.com show more than 2,700 small businesses changed hands during the second quarter, the most since the count began in 2007. The trend is being driven in large part by retiring baby boomer owners.

One big problem can be a culture clash – staffers whose company is sold may be uncomfortable with their new bosses and how the business is now being run. A new owner may be more rigid about schedules or more of a micromanager. Staffers who worked with just a handful of people before might find themselves with dozens of co-workers, and miss the old camaraderie.

Bosses should focus on the quality of employees’ work life, says Mike Astringer, owner of Human Capital Consultants, a human resources provider. Money, whether it’s in the form or a raise or a bonus, may not work in the long run.

"The new acquirer and the seller need to really collaborate in the transition to make sure the culture not going to change, that the reason people work there is going to continue," he says. Critical to keeping staffers is not springing the ownership change on them at the last minute. That will only anger them and add to their anxiety and temptation to flee, Astringer says.

A new boss should acknowledge and validate staffers’ feelings, and not try pep talks to ease anxiety, says John Proctor, CEO of Ottawa, Ontario-based Martello Technologies. The information and communications technology company has made two acquisitions in recent years, giving Proctor experience with persuading reluctant staffers to stay.

"People aren’t praying at the altar of Martello. It doesn’t work like that," he says.
Proctor’s approach is to meet with staffers individually or in small groups, spell out his ideas for the company’s direction and ask employees about the roles they see themselves playing. He recommends listening rather than dictating.

"You’re giving them a sense of ownership instead of, ‘You’re going to be doing this, and you’re going to be doing that,’ " he says.

Still, Proctor warns owners to expect some friction. "You also need to be realistic that there will be issues and disputes and you must deal with those with an open and frank dialogue with all involved," he says.

It can be more difficult to retain staffers in some industries than others. David Crais, chief executive of CMG Carelytics, a health technology development company that has done several acquisitions, has found software engineers reluctant to be part of a company that’s growing by buying others.

"Many times, they’re driven by wanting to be part of a building process," says Crais, The more an owner can align a staffer’s needs with the company’s culture, the greater the chances of retaining employees, Crais says. He considers an acquisition a success if 70 percent to 75 percent of the staff is still there 18 months later.

John Ahlberg, whose technology support and management company has made several acquisitions in recent years, has been able to retain about a third of the staffers who joined his firm, Chicago-based Waident Technology Solutions. Those who left tended to be uncomfortable with the culture at their new company; for example, they were used to working on their own and had a hard time adapting to team work.

"With each person, we sit down and talk to them, and ask, ‘What are you doing now, and what skills do you have?’ " Ahlberg says. "But most of the conversation revolves around, ‘What are your hopes and dreams. What do you want to be doing?’ "Those conversations must be ongoing, Ahlberg says: "We sit with everyone regularly to make sure they are heard; we discuss the company expectations and define what is expected of them. We try to leave nothing vague."

Sometimes there isn’t much an owner can do. Steve Sargent hoped for an easy transition when he bought an automotive repair shop in Car y, North Carolina, in March and turned it into a Mr. Transmission/Milex franchise. He told the three staffers they could keep their jobs, but changes he made, including new technology to handle transactions and accounting, were troubling for the shop manager. Sargent provided training and tried to talk to the man, but couldn’t get him to open up about his frustration.

"He always said he wasn’t going to leave," Sargent says. But nearly three months after Sargent arrived, "he called me and said, I can’t do this anymore," Sargent recalls.  Sargent advises other owners to keep communicating, but be ready for people to quit.

"Not everyone will make it through the transition, so be proactive about looking for replacements before a person leaves," he says.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Perceptive Chosen as Fastest Growing in SC!


Perceptive Recruiting has been named one of the 40 fastest-growing companies in South Carolina for 2018 by SC Biz News!

Twenty large companies and 20 small companies have been named to the statewide Roaring Twenties list presented annually by SC Biz News. This honor recognizes the state’s fastest-growing companies based on both dollar and percentage increases in revenue from 2016-2017.

In order to qualify for the Roaring Twenties designation, companies must have a physical presence in South Carolina and be a for-profit entity or a nonprofit organization (EXCEPT FOR: government entities and charitable organizations, including 501(c)3 organizations.  These types of nonprofits are not eligible).

Company size was determined by gross revenue: A small company was considered as having $10 million and under in revenue. Large companies were classified as having over $10 million in revenue. Small companies must have had revenues of at least $500,000 each year for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Profiles of the winning companies will be published in the winter issue of SCBIZ magazine. The winners will be honored at an event on Oct. 25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia.



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Six Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency

Hiring a new employee is a time consuming yet a vitally important process. We take a look at some of the true benefits of using a trusted recruitment partner in the search for new employees.

BENEFIT #1: TIME SAVED

In business, time is money and using a Recruitment Agency is a time saver. They will save you time because they take care of the beginning steps of the hiring process. If you post a job opening on traditional job boards, there is a strong chance you will receive hundreds of resumes and applications for any single position. Out of the hundreds of applicants, a significant amount will not be qualified or will simply not be right for the job. Finding the right applicants to interview will take a great amount of time and effort.

BENEFIT #2: ACCESS TO THE BEST

In addition to sorting through submitted applications, a Recruitment Agency will also have access to the best talent available. This includes access to talent that is currently employed elsewhere. These qualified individuals can work discreetly with a recruitment agency when they are looking for a new challenge and opportunity. Recruitment Agencies have their own database of qualified applicants that they can pull directly from.

BENEFIT #3: COST

It is often assumed that bringing recruitment in-house will result in a saving of cost to the business. Cost needs to proportioned to advertising your vacancy, which can prove expensive if posting single one-off jobs. Recruitment Agencies will often have allocations on the all the top job boards, so you can ensure that your job is advertised in all the correct places. Administrative costs also need to be taken in consideration of facilitating the process, sifting through the CVs, initial conversations, the list goes on – these all take time, and as we all know time is money. A Recruitment Agency is also there to help negotiate the best salary, giving you guidance and advice on what is fair and appropriate, but also what you might need to do to guarantee that top candidate that everyone else is after too!

BENEFIT #4: THE SCREENING PROCESS

The screening process when hiring has several layers. You need to run background checks on potential employees, follow up with references and conduct preliminary interviews to make sure the candidate matches the promises they make on their resumes. Again, these are vital steps that just take up time when you are conducting them on your own. A Recruitment Agency will see to it that these steps are taken care of before you meet anyone for your own interviews. You will feel assured that anyone you meet has already passed these tests.

BENEFIT #5: PEACE OF MIND

A good Recruitment Agency is going to have a proven track record of finding the right employees for the job. When you meet with their narrowed down choices, you can feel more confident with your final hiring decision. Working with a Recruitment Agency will help you make a more assured decision.

BENEFIT #6: RELATIONSHIP

Once you have developed a relationship with a Recruitment Agency that you trust, your future hirings will go even more smoothly. The Agency will be aware of the qualities that it takes to make the right fit within your company and what you expect from them. The next time you have an available position, you can fill it quickly and satisfactorily.
Article compliments of BlueSkies.

Monday, July 16, 2018

How to use time in between jobs effectively


By Eric Titner

For most people, filling the time in between jobs can be a real challenge. We want to make sure that we’re using this time to our advantage, but figuring out how to do so effectively — especially if it’s a longer time period than we’d like it to be — can be difficult. It’s really in your best interest to try to structure and make the most of this down time, both for your long-term health and happiness as well as to help set you up for your next job.

Build and maintain your network

In today’s job market, cold calling and responding to general job ads is far less effective than it used to be. These days, a significant percentage of new jobs are obtained by leveraging your network, which includes your personal and professional contacts. Building and maintaining your contacts is an invaluable use of your time, and who knows — it may not be long before one of your 
connections comes up with a job opening that perfectly fits what you need and can offer.

Look for contract/ freelance work

Just because you’re be tween full-time jobs doesn’t mean your time has to be completely work free. Many companies utilize contract and freelance staff for a wide range of projects.

Consider seeking out opportunities in your field or in an area that fits your background and skill set; not only will it provide you with some income, it will also help fill in any lengthy time gaps on your resume.

Plus, if you do a particularly good job on a project, you might be considered for a longer-term position when one becomes available.

Take a class

Keep your mind and skills sharp by continuing your education.

You can pursue a subject in your professional field — which may help you during your job hunt — or you can take a class in a completely unrelated subject area that interests you. Either way, your time will be well spent.

Volunteer

Another good use of your time and energy in between jobs is to volunteer. Not only will you be helping to support a worthy cause, you’ll also be keeping active and could even acquire some new skills. You may even discover some completely new interests, which may help reshape your! career aspirations.

Create a backup plan

If things just don’t seem to be going your way and the amount of time that you’re unemployed is becoming a problem, then you may need to invest some time in coming up with a backup plan.
Take some time to research alternate fields that interest you, industries where your existing background and skills may be easily transferable, and jobs that seem hot right now and have an abundance of openings. It may turn out that your backup plan pans out and leaves you happier and more fulfilled than your previous goals.

Just because you’re in between jobs doesn’t mean that your time can’t be well spent. Use the strategies and advice presented here to make sure you’re using this time to your advantage.

Eric Titner has been an editor and content creator for more! than a decade. His primary professional focus has been on education- and career-related topics. He currently lives in New York City.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How long should you stay at a job you hate?


Everyone goes into a new job with a sense of optimism. New place, new coworkers, new responsibilities — what’s not to be optimistic about? After that initial buzz, however, you suddenly realize: I hate my job. It’s rarely in your interest to quit on the spot when you have that revelation, so how long should you stay? Let’s look at a few of different scenarios:

When seriously bad things are happening.
If you’ve discovered that there are illegal or harmful things going on at work, or your work is causing you serious physical issues, then you should definitely consider getting out now. It’s a safety issue.

When you hate your boss, and your work is starting to suffer.

If your work is making you miserable and you just can’t seem to get along with your boss, then it’s time to start thinking hard about your exit strategy.

But if you can hold on for a few weeks or months while you start putting out feelers about a new job, then you should delay handing in that resignation letter.

When you’re bored or mildly unhappy.

If your job isn’t challenging you like it should or you have a general diagnosis of Over It-itis, then definitely start thinking about your next steps. Don’t quit just yet.! Because this isn’t an emergency, you have time to do some soul searching about why you’re unhappy at work and what you can do to fix that. You may find that adjusting your workload or taking on different projects could make you happier and more fulfilled.

Before you quit, talk with your boss (without issuing any ultimatums) and let him know you’re interested in taking on more opportunities, or changing up your role. If he’s receptive, then give these new responsibilities a try. If he’s not, or you’ve tried out this new regime and you’re still unhappy, then step up your efforts to find another job before you quit this one. Remember that fairly or not, it’s almost always easier to find a job while you already have one.

Here’s what you need to consider before you quit, under an! y of these scenarios:

What is my financial situation? Do I have enough savings to cover a potentially months-long job search?

Do I have some good potential job leads lined up, or an interim plan (like freelancing or consulting)?

Are there any skills I will need to build before I try to get a comparable job (or a step-up job)?

Is there anything that I could do or ask of my boss that would make my job bearable again?

It’s best to have a plan here; the last thing you want to do is quit your job in a huff, and then realize that you’ve made a mistake. Sometimes leaving is the right thing to do, and quitting ! can push you to move your career forward. But if you take that step before you’re ready, you could be opening yourself up to a period of stress and career upheaval unnecessarily.

Kate Lopaze is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com where this article was originally published. She investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.


Monday, June 4, 2018

The best way to answer, ‘Why should I hire you?’

BY ERIC TITNER
THEJOBNETWORK.COM

It’s the moment of truth: You’re on the job hunt, have landed an interview and it’s going well. You’re making a great impression on the person you’re meeting with, and it really feels as if you have this locked up. Then all of a sudden, you’re hit with the big question: "Why should I hire you?"

On its face, it may seem like an easy question, but that can be deceptive. There’s a lot riding on your answer (namely a new job), and the way in which you answer the question may reveal a great deal to the person who’s making the hiring decision.

Don’t worry — there are some effective strategies for how to handle this question that can help turn a good interview into a great one, ensure that you leave a positive, lasting impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of getting hired. The Balance, a personal finance website, published an article highlighting proven strategies for handling the, "Why should I hire you?" question. Consider taking advantage of the following tips: Build your pitch

Your answer to the question should reflect a deep awareness of the requirements of the position that you’re interviewing for, the needs of the company and the personality traits, skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate.

This means that you should always do your homework before getting to the interview, and you should be ready to confidently connect the dots between you, the employer and their needs. It never hurts to take a look at the keywords in the job posting and incorporate some of them into your answer. Still, you should always be ready to tweak your answer to reflect any new information you get during the interview.

Keep it brief

A good answer to the question should not be an endless soliloquy. Keep it short, simple and to the point.

Your one goal is to succinctly encapsulate why you bridge the gap between the position you’re vying for and the needs of the company.

Think a minute or two, tops.

Anything longer may exhaust the listener.

What makes you stand out?

It’s always smart to keep in mind that for every good answer you have for every interview question that arises, there’ll be a pack of other qualified candidates who are prepared with good answers, too. Make sure your response separates you from the crowd. Anything that makes you unique and could be viewed as a potential check mark in the "pro" column when hiring personnel are deciding about you is fair game.

Perhaps the interviewer mentioned that the company is seeking to expand its business internationally and you speak the language of a country that they may be looking to do business in — that could be a potential game changer.

Try to have your own game changer in mind when facing this question. Not only will you seem well-suited for the job, but it will also show that you’ve done your homework and know what the company is all about.

"Why should I hire you?" is a question that has the potential to leave you rambling while not saying much of anything.

Don’t waste your opportunity to create a powerful, pointed answer. Your interviewer will be impressed with your ability to summarize all you have to offer in a focused soundbite — you’ll look prepared, confident and responsible, all traits that are key to getting the job.

Eric Titner has been an editor and content creator for more than a decade. His primary professional focus has been on education- and career-related topics. He currently lives in New York City.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Candidate Q&A - Can I refuse to share my personal information?

Question: We are a small company. The owners want us to include personal information on their social media pages and be part of a monthly newsletter to clients. For example, information about what we’ve been doing with our families or favorite recipes. This makes me uncomfortable, as I want to keep my personal and professional lives separate. The owners are making this mandatory. Can I say no? — Michele L.

A: Yes, you can say no. But let me suggest another approach that involves conversation and compromise.  How about asking the owners to talk more about what they hope to accomplish by sharing such information?

Many businesses are eager to take advantage of the personal engagement that can be developed through social media or newsletters. However, sometimes they haven’t thought about the risks associated with putting such information out there.  Listen to their thoughts about why and how they want to use the information. Then share your concerns.

You might mention that publishing employee photographs or personal family information could potentially expose an employee or her family to security risks. Remind them that once photos and info are public, the company has little control over where they may end up.

You could suggest your company prepare an employee authorization/release to help owners understand they really should get your permission before sharing any personal information.
Now comes the compromise part. If your employer insists all employees participate, consider a middle ground. You could agree to post a favorite recipe, a photo of the family pet or other information that has less risk of revealing personal information than your picture.This could help your company meet its digital engagement goals and still keep most of your personal business offline.

Q: A recruiter requested that we FaceTime or Google Hangout as part of the interview process. This request made me uncomfortable. I pushed to meet in person, but the recruiter opted for a phone call. It didn’t go well. I feel the use of video is a way to potentially discriminate. (I’m in my 50s and African-American.) When I declined the video chat, it seemed as if the recruiter felt I was hiding something. What do you think about video interviews? Should I have said yes? — David L.

A: If you are unfamiliar with a new technology, it is understandable that it may feel uncomfortable, especially in the high-stakes context of a job search. But inevitably, the hiring process will reveal the candidate’s gender, race and age, so video interviewing doesn’t really present a significant additional risk.

Video interviewing is a growing technology used by employers in recruiting and hiring, and it is not going away. Not only can video help job seekers make a connection with a company earlier in the process without the added expense and disruption of an on-site interview, it allows recruiters to interview more candidates face to face earlier in the process.

Don’t let your discomfort with the technology be a barrier to using it. The secret to successful video interviewing is practice.  Try out different systems and setups. Watch how-to videos on YouTube for guidance on lighting and camera angle. Get comfortable chatting with friends on free video platforms such as Zoom and Skype.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human-resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

9 things young job seekers say that wanna make me scream!

Just came across this fantastic, biting piece from Ted Williams of CharlotteAgenda:

Recently, I’ve been talking to more and more college students and recent graduates looking for jobs in advertising, marketing, media and communications. When I give job search advice, they look at me like I’ve got three eyes. Ugh.

Somebody is giving creative students awful job seeking advice. It’s likely somebody who’s never actually hired a young creative.
The stuff I hear from creative students drives me insane.
It makes me so mad that I want to join a university and develop programs that spit out highly employable, skill-rich graduates ready to dominate — instead of deer-in-headlight creatives unprepared and $120,000 poorer.

If you’re a creative employer, please join me in trying to rid these 9 things that young creative job seekers say.

Keep in mind that these thoughts are only for 20-something job seekers looking for creative careers. It’s different for people beginning careers in industries like finance and engineering, which have much more established career tracks.
uptown skyline sunset from wework

“I just applied for the social media manager position on the website, but I haven’t heard anything back. Weird, right?”

If a creative job has been posted online, you’re too late.
Job postings on creative roles from companies you’ve heard of receive anywhere from 300-500 applicants on average. If you’re just randomly sending your resume into an online job posting, you’re screwed. Stop it.

“I’m definitely not interested in a sales role, I’m looking for something in digital strategy.”

If you think sales is just for Michael Scott types, you’re wrong.
If you can’t sell, you’re limiting your creative career. Go sell something.
Some of the best experience you can get as a young person is software sales. Look at growing software startups like Passport, MapAnything and AvidXchange.

“There are no open job postings, so I didn’t reach out.”

Creative companies are ALWAYS hiring smart people that can solve problems.
Hiring you just isn’t that expensive. You likely cost between $30k-$50k. That’s just not material to most employers IF they’ve got a shot at landing their next superstar employee.
If a company has under 200 employees, go directly to the owner/CEO and tell them how you’re going to solve their problems and grow their business. “But that’s hard to do,” you say. Exactly.

“I don’t want to meet with the CEO and pitch ideas on how I’d grow her business.”

Let me guess, you want to grab coffee and “pick her brain on the industry.”
It’s exhausting for a creative leader to spend 60 minutes in small talk at the Starbucks on East Blvd in a brain picking session — all the time knowing that you’re just thinking, “Can you hand me a perfect job without me doing anything?”
Don’t put them through this torture. Don’t take, give. Add value by pitching solutions to the CEO’s problems.

“I’m not looking for a freelance, contract or internship position — I’m only looking for a full-time job.”

And I’m looking to only fly private.
Whether you like it or not, without a track record, many top tier employers will test you with project work. Always get paid (don’t do unpaid stuff), but take it seriously — creative leaders are always watching everything.

“I think my resume is perfectly polished”

Oh cool, you have your 3.5 GPA, college involvement and industry-specific internship showcased on your resume. Guess what? So does EVERYBODY.
The best way to get hired is to have a reputation, not a resume. And the best way to develop a reputation as a young person is to go launch stuff.
There’s just no excuse for creatives who haven’t brought an idea to market. Go launch an Instagram handle dedicated to local fashion and grow it to 10,000 followers. Go run an ad campaign for your favorite pizza joint that drove 50 customers on a Monday night. Go shoot 15-second Facebook food videos that never get under 5,000 views on Facebook. Go sell social media services to 5 small businesses.

“Haha, no I didn’t put Snapchat on my resume, but of course I know how to snap.”

But let me guess, you put “Proficient in Microsoft Office” on the bottom of your resume?
Keep in mind, you’re a subject matter experience on how communication works in the 18-25 demo. Act like one. It’s valuable.

“I don’t want to keep reaching out with good ideas because I’m scared of being annoying.”

Deleting emails is easy. It’s really not annoying. Management at creative companies and high-growth startups probably delete 200 emails each day from somebody pitching something.
“I’m not interested in this candidate because they send too many good ideas and they’re too ambitious,” said no employer, ever.
Be persistent.

“I’m just really eager to learn.”

Wait, that’s your pitch?
Your pitch is that you want an employer to pay you so that you can learn from them? I give up.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Older Workers Should Watch for these Trends

by Eric Titner

Attention baby boomers — not all trends are created equal. Each year, we see a variety of new workplace trends take hold, which often vary by industry, geography and even individual demographics. One of these factors is age — simply put, there are factors in the job world that affect older individuals differently, based on their level of experience, personal needs, comfort level in a rapidly changing work environment and longevity in the job market.

Baby boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964), face some unique issues and challenges in the work world. This aging population possesses a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise, but is growing older in a workplace that increasingly prizes youth and vitality, and many are approaching the age where retirement is a consideration. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, approximately 29 percent of the workforce in the United States — which represents approximately 45 million workers — is part of the baby boomer generation. Although this number continues to shrink each year, it’s still a significant amount of people. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at the trends these older workers can expect to encounter in today’s workplace.

More flexible work arrangements

Although this may not seem like much of a departure from the norm for younger workers, older workers who are typica! lly more used to the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-to-5 office arrangement may need some time to get used to the changing notion of what it means to be "at work." Advances in technology have made it easier than ever before to work remotely and telecommute — and older workers will get the opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility this allows.

Baby boomers who work in fields in which telecommuting is a viable option and possess the technical knowhow can expect to encounter more flexible work arrangements. This is often a good thing, allowing for a faster, easier and less expensive commute to the office — which might just mean walking into another room in your house.

Rise in contract employment

Another trend that may hit baby boomers harder than their younger counterparts is the change in how employers are hiring individuals to meet their needs. Many companies are embracing leaner approaches to staffing by using technology to get more work done with less people on their payrolls.
Companies are also increasingly relying on unorthodox work arrangements, relying more on contract, freelance and part-time workers to get things done.

These new workplace arrangements typically don’t include benefits like medical and dental insurance, which usually become more essential as workers get older, so workers are going to have to get creative and seek out alternative means for coverage. Another element missing from most forms of contract employment is retirement benefits, which will impact how workers prepare and save for retirement in the future.

Delaying retirement

A growing trend that many older workers are facing is the notion of having to delay exiting the workforce for as long as possible.

According to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report, this can be attributable to a wide range of factors, including older workers not having enough money saved, needing health insurance, desiring to stay active and productive and simply enjoying working and passing on their knowledge and skills to a new generation of employees.

These are the biggest trends older workers can expect to encounter in 2018. Those employees who will prove most successful in coping with a rapidly evolving workplace will stay one step ahead of these shifts and strategize accordingly.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Greenville Receives Top Honors from National Geographic!

National Geographic Travel is the latest to honor Greenville.

The travel magazine released its list of the best small cities in the U.S. this week, naming 29 "Cities on the Rise.

The list was sorted into 10 categories that the magazine said influence both residents and visitors.
Those categories are:

Most Hipster Friendly (coffee shops, tattoo parlors, record shops, vintage stores)
Musically Grooviest (music venues, live music, instrument stores)
Most Instagrammed (hashtags) 
Most Artsy (art galleries, art supply stores, art schools)
Best Groomed (barber shops, hair salons, hair removal services, cosmetic dentists)
Meatiest (butchers, delis, steakhouses) 
Sudsiest (breweries)
Most Dog Friendly (pet sitting, pet stores, pet groomers, dog friendly restaurants) (breweries)
Most Caffeinated (coffee shops) 
Greenest (parks) Greenville earned its spot as! one of the "meatiest" locales.

The city’s feature in the magazine notes Greenville’s number of butchers, delis and steakhouses, with a shout-out to Halls Chophouse.

Naturally, the feature also highlights Greenville’s Falls Park, the downtown spot that has become the face of the city.

See the full list at nationalgeographic.com 

What NOT to include on your Resume...


We’re not telling you anything you don’t know when we say that today’s job market is intense, across industries and professions, every job opening is met with a rush of talented and qualified applicants from around the country, all vying for the same spot.

With hundreds of people applying for open positions, you’d better be sure that every aspect of your job-hunting game is razor sharp, including your resume.

If you’re sending out resumes with any of the following things on them, stop what you’re doing and make some changes — fast.

Salary requirements
Unless you’re responding to a job ad that specifically asks for your salary history and requirements (and if it does, include it in your cover letter), save the salary talk for the negotiation once you’re offered the job. Your first impression and your resume should be all about what you can offer a prospective employer, not what you require from them.

Personal social media links
Save your limited resume real estate for professional accomplishments and experience, not your social media activities. In fact, it’s much more likely that there are things on your social media pages that could dissuade potential employers from hiring you than convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job.

"Creative" fonts and images
Sure, it makes sense that you want to stand out from the job-hunting crowd and make a lasting impression on prospective employers, but using a magenta-colored font or embedding photos of you and your dog won’t bring you the kind of attention you’re looking for.

Hiring managers are busy people with limited time, and won’t sift through a maze of creative flourishes to get to the heart of your resume and figure out whether you have what it takes to handle the job. Help them by making your resume as professional and easy-to-follow as possible.

A boilerplate objective statement
A generic, objective statement is typically a waste of space on your resume, as it likely just repeats the messaging you have in your cover letter, and often is full of tired clichés (more on that later).
Besides, hiring personnel know that your primary objective is to get this particular job, or you wouldn’t be applying for it.

Outdated skills
Are you proud of your Word-Perfect wizardry or your ability to operate a fax machine?
That’s great, but keep it to yourself — shining a light on your mastery of outdated office technology will not only fail to impress potential employers, it will make you seem out of date.

Also, don’t bother talking about your skills with obvious office tools like Microsoft Word, telephones or email.

In today’s job market, your ability to navigate basic office technology is a given, not a bonus.

Resume clichés
Are you a "team player," your office’s "go-to person," or a "passionate self-starter"?

While these may all be true, these tired and worn phrases come off as weak and meaningless on resumes — they’re simply overused, generic clichés that have long since lost their ability to impress hiring personnel and make you stand out from the crowd.

Save your bullet points for targeted, measurable, results driven facts that drive home your perceived value as a prospective employee.

Typos
This one seems obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many people think that too, and then send out resumes with glaring typos on them. A nationwide survey released by CareerBuilder found that 58 percent of resumes received by those polled had typos. Sloppiness is not a good way to introduce yourself! to prospective employers!

After crafting your resume until it’s just right, be sure to check it carefully for errors — and then check it again.

Better still, have someone you trust review it as well. Only when you’re absolutely, positively sure that your resume is free from typos and mistakes should you even think about sending it out.

Along with your cover letter, your resume is going to serve as your first impression, so there’s simply no room for error. Make sure that the things mentioned here are as far from your resume as possible, and you’ll be sure to make a better impression on hiring managers and prospective employers.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

Monday, January 8, 2018

How to Best Answer the top 4 Phone Interview Questions

BY ERIC TITNER
THEJOBNETWORK.COM

You’ve submitted your resume for a job opening, and now you’ve got your first bite — a phone interview. You might encounter the phone interview for two reasons: You’re currently far away from the hiring company, or the company wants to do a preliminary screening.

Either way, it’s likely a precursor to some kind of physical meeting. The main goal is usually to see if you meet certain requirements and would likely be a good fit for the job. If a company has a lot of great-on-paper applicants for a single position, phone interviews are a way to narrow the candidate pool.

How do phone and sitdown interviews differ?

There’s the obvious format difference, for starters. Instead of physically sitting face-to-face and being able to read body language cues, you’re sitting by yourself. That can be a benefit, but also a drawback. You’re in a bit of a void, counting on your conversational skills to get you through to the next round.

Also, while an in-person interview is usually with the hiring manager, you may be talking to a human resources representative or a recruiter for a phone interview. It’s important to know who the interviewer is upfront. If it’s a recruiter or HR person, you can be a little more general.
If it’s the hiring manager, you should be more detailed about your qualifications.

How to prepare

Make sure your voice is calm, confident and conversational. It may help to to dress up in your normal interview clothes and call a friend or family member right before the interview to get into a conversational mode.

You want to come across as friendly and competent. Make sure you’re allowing the person to finish speaking before you answer, and don’t feel like you need to fill in any brief silences with nervous chatter.

Do your homework on the company, the job and the interviewer. The beauty of the phone interview is that you can have notes right in front of you, without the interviewer knowing you’ve got a crib sheet, or the talking points about your resume that you want to emphasize.

Lastly, make sure you’re settled in a quiet spot where you can conduct your interview in peace.
Here are some common phone interview questions, and how to approach them:

"Tell me about yourself."

Limit your answer to a few highlights about your career, especially those relevant to the job for which you’re interviewing. An elevator pitch comes in very handy here.
"What interested you about this job?"

This is where your preinterview research comes in handy. Talk about one of your goals that this job would help you achieve or mention something you like about the company.
Make it clear that this job is an opportunity you didn’t want to miss. The more specific and authentic your answer, the better.

"Tell me about your current/most recent job."

The interviewer isn’t necessarily interested in every one of your daily tasks, thoughts and opinions about the work.

Instead, focus on the parts of your job that relate most directly to the job you want, and highlight the accomplishments.

"Why are you leaving your job?"

Part of the phone interview process is weeding out people who aren’t a good fit. They want to know you’re not a flight risk or unable to work as a member of a team. The answer shouldn’t focus too much on what dissatisfies you about your current job. Instead, emphasize your goals and this new job.

A phone interview may not be the main interview in your hiring process, but it’s such an important first step that it should be treated every bit as seriously as any other kind of interview. Being prepared will help you be read! y to answer any question that comes your way.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.