Tyler College Grad Finds Work Through Brelsford Personnel

Tyler College Grad Finds Work Through Brelsford Personnel

When Amanda completed a degree in Business Management, she was ready to enter the workforce, but her job search took longer than expected. She spent a significant amount of time combing through job postings, sending resumes and filling out applications, but started to become discouraged by the lack of response.

She always intended to pursue a Master’s degree, and she started to think she should give up on her job search and return to being a full-time student. “I was on the verge of going back if I didn’t get a call,” she remembers.

How She Found Brelsford Personnel

Amanda saw a job posting on LinkedIn she thought might fit her skills and interests, so she put in an application. She said within a week she got a call from Regina, Brelsford Personnel’s Staffing Assistant. Regina conducted a brief three or four question interview and Amanda let her know she was interested in any openings for which she was qualified.

“I didn’t even realize they were a staffing agency.” Amanda remembers telling her parents about the call, and they were concerned about how they had heard some personnel firms operate. “Some of them are going to have you pay,” she said they told her.

Within a week, Regina called back to set up an in-person interview with Driedra Brelsford. At her interview, Amanda asked if she would be charged for their services.

“Ms. Driedra told me, ‘We don’t take payments from you. We get paid through the company you get hired by.’”

After Her First Interview

Driedra had a possible job opening in mind for Amanda. She asked her to take a skills test, but life got busy and Amanda didn’t get to it right away.

“Regina called to check up on me,” she said. Brelsford Personnel was actively seeking a position for her, and they were eager to verify her skills so they could move things along. Three or four weeks after she applied, she received a job offer for a front desk position at a Tyler area employer.

Reflecting on Her Experience

“It’s just truly been a blessing them coming into my life,” Amanda says. “I just say that Brelsford is really God sent. I really recommend for anyone to go through their staffing agency.”

She’s also thrilled with her new position. “I enjoy going to my job every day! I love a little bit of everything; building relationships with my co-workers, meeting new people and the learning and challenges that come on a day-to-day basis.”

At Brelsford Personnel, we love connecting recent college graduates with area employers. Search our current job openings to see if one might be right for you.

Soft Skills Series – Nurturing Confidence

Soft Skills Series – Nurturing Confidence

Confidence is being assured of one’s judgement and abilities. It’s critical to decision making and problem solving. People with the soft skill of confidence have an accurate view of what they can do. They aren’t held back by fear of failure, because they understand that making mistakes can be part of a process that leads to ultimate success. Because they believe in themselves, they’re empowered to accomplish much of what they set out to do. Sometimes capable employees struggle with confidence, but their insecurity doesn’t have to handicap them permanently.

Reasons Confidence is In Short Supply

There are a number of reasons employees struggle with developing the soft skill of confidence. Those who have trouble trusting their own judgment do so for reasons like these:

  • They don’t have the skills necessary for the task or decision
  • They’re trying to be someone they’re not
  • Past experiences made them question their abilities
  • They have a naturally reserved, cautious temperament
  • Their thinking has been influenced by uncooperative or critical colleagues

When employees lack confidence, they balk at making decisions because they fear the wrong choice will lead to failure. Worry over what might happen wears away at them. Their presentations or sales calls fall flat because their audience picks up on their own self-doubt. They might try to avoid tasks that involve problem solving and force other staff members to take up the slack.

A Harvard Business Review article points out, “insecure people are so concerned with how they look and how they are perceived that they either fail to solicit critical feedback or completely ignore it when it’s given. And this robs them of the opportunity to improve.” Their lack of confidence is bad for business, but the good news is, confidence is a soft skill that can be improved.

Give Timid Employees a Boost

So many managers say the same thing – they see their staff member’s potential and wish they could help that person get past their fears and doubts so they can be more productive and self-assured. Here are techniques leaders can use to nurture confidence one employee at a time.

Connect New Tasks to Existing Skills

Note your staff member’s skills and how those abilities have served them well in the past. Help them draw on the memories of previous successes to give them confidence when approaching new, similar tasks.

For example, if Gina’s research and suggestions were what made your last product launch a success, and you hope she’ll tackle the next project with less hand-holding, help her see what you see. You might say something like, “Gina, you did such a great job with ABC project, both with how you used focus groups and customer surveys and how you accurately summarized your findings. I’d like to use you in the same role again. Go ahead and use the same thorough exploration and groundwork, this time you choose the tools and approach.”

Explicitly Communicate Expectations

Sometimes insecurity happens because employees aren’t sure what you want, so they don’t know if they can deliver. Give them a clear picture of the end result you’re looking for, and tell them if there are tools or methods you expect them to use to get there. Start small, with well-defined tasks or projects and encourage more autonomy and independent decision making over time.

Help Them Reframe Mistakes

If they struggle with confidence, slip ups hit them hard, but time spent beating themselves up isn’t productive. Encourage them to see mistakes as opportunities instead of failures and recognize innovation almost always requires trial and error. When a mistake happens model how to own it, fix it and learn from it.

Give Clear Feedback

Don’t assume employees know how good they are. Help them see the same strengths you see. Instead of just saying, “Nice job,” detail what the staff member did right, and do it as soon as you notice. Spend as much time (or more) on tasks at which they’re gifted at as you do on what they still have to work toward.

Assign a Mentor

Pair employees who lack confidence or need to hone their skills with employees who exhibit the desired traits. A mentor can be extremely effective at sharing career experience and modeling decision-making because they’ve been there. Once they’ve had time to shadow or work with your more accomplished employee, encourage them to make the knowledge and skills they’ve gleaned their own.

Brelsford Personnel is a full service employment agency with the ability to serve you in fulfilling your professional, administrative and temporary staffing needs. When you need new hires with specific skills, we provide qualified, pre-screened candidates. Send us a message if you’d like to know more.

Related articles:

Why Problem-Solving is a Must-Have Soft Skill

Teaching Soft Skills to New Hires

Active Listening – What is it and Do You Have It?

4 Signs Micromanaging is Damaging Your Team

4 Signs Micromanaging is Damaging Your Team

Maybe you’re the perfectionist in charge and you overheard employees describe you as too nitpicky. Or maybe you’re concerned one of your administrators could be creating problems. Micromanaging means trying to control every little detail all the time, and it has a negative impact on morale. The Journal of Experimental Psychology reports when employees feel they’re being micromanaged, they perform at a much lower level.

But how do you differentiate between strong leadership and being too controlling? Employers search far and wide for people who take responsibility and initiative, who go above and beyond, who are extremely detail oriented. How do you know the difference between someone who shows hands-on leadership and a problematic micromanager? Look for these four signs.

These Behaviors Are the Norm

Micromanagers want complete control over everyone on their team and every aspect of the projects with which they’re involved. They do things like the following:

  • Check frequently on what staff members are doing, not always to be supportive, but to make sure employees are on task and doing things the way the manager wants them done. A micromanager might repeatedly stop by offices or cubicles or hyper vigilantly monitor active time within online work environments.
  • Require frequent changes to little details that don’t really have an impact on the outcome.
  • Take over tasks or projects because they feel like they can do it better or faster, and it would take too much time and effort to explain what they want to the staff member originally assigned the task.
  • Demand progress updates and documentation much more frequently than necessary.
  • Almost always express dissatisfaction with or want changes to deliverables.
  • Want all decisions run by them before anything is finalized.
  • Stay stressed and overworked because they have trouble delegating.

Micromanagers have a hard time trusting staff to do their job and do it well. Their actions signal they think for something to be done right, they have to be directly involved with every detail.

Employee Motivation Plummets

Because they’re so controlling, micromanagers squash creativity and diminish engagement. Staff starts to think, “She’s just going to find fault with my work anyway, so why should I do my best,” or “Why should I even bring up that idea when he’s just going to insist we do it his way.”

Employees feel like they can’t do anything right, and that their hard work doesn’t matter. Over time that can start to erode their desire to meet deadlines or to go above and beyond. They start second-guessing their abilities. They may be hesitant to take risks or think outside the box. They don’t feel valued, there’s no room for growth, and every day there’s the potential for more criticism.

Turnover and Sick Days Increase

There’s a growing body of evidence that indicates work-related stress has a huge impact on mental and physical health. It can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, decreased immune response, gastrointestinal disorders and a range of other problems. Plus, some people overeat, smoke or turn to substance abuse to cope. Unhealthy behaviors make them feel even worse, and make it more likely they’ll get sick.

One by one, employees may wake up, realize they don’t want to do it anymore, and decide to take their skills somewhere else. Then their knowledge and abilities become available to your competition and the cycle starts over with your new hires.

If you have a manager who exhibits the behaviors listed above, and you’re seeing an increase in sick days and resignations, that’s a sign micromanaging is becoming a problem.

Teams Fail to Meet Deadlines

Micromanagers cause bottlenecks because they can’t do the work of an entire team. If work can’t proceed until they’ve signed off on every decision, processes bog down. When managers take on tasks they should delegate, everything takes longer. And, the fact that they sweat the small stuff way too much can get in the way of working efficiently.

Sometimes micromanagers aren’t conscious of what they’re doing and how it’s impacting their team. Communication and leadership training can make a huge difference. Other times it stems from compulsive behavioral issues or deep confidence deficits, issues that require more comprehensive interventions.

Good managers communicate clear expectations, then empower employees to do their best work and reach organizational goals. They offer feedback and support while showing trust in employees’ abilities to deliver. They encourage creativity and innovation and foster trust and loyalty within their organization.

When East Texas employers need to hire strong leaders, they call Brelsford Personnel. You can learn more about what we offer on our Employers Page.

Do These 5 Things to Minimize Worker Anxiety

person indoors sitting at computer

Employees feel stressed when bosses ask them to do things outside their knowledge and they don’t feel like resources and support exists to help them succeed. They’re anxious when they don’t feel like they can cope, and that failure is going to hurt.

Anxious employees are less effective. They’re more likely to make mistakes. They have reduced energy for creative thinking. Over time they may come resentful or develop long-term mental health problems.

Top Causes of Anxiety

SHRM cites a study finding 80 percent of American workers are stressed out by at least one thing at work. Top stressors include:

  • Low salaries
  • Few opportunities for professional growth or advancement
  • Too many responsibilities
  • Extremely long hours
  • Unrealistic expectations from management

The shift toward remote work has exacerbated anxiety issues. Schedules became flexible, and lines blurred between work time and personal time. Some employees had a harder time taking a mental break from work and put pressure on themselves to be always available and endlessly productive. Here’s how employers can help.

#1 – Teach Workers to Recognize Anxiety Early

Stress creeps in quietly, settling in like a shadow that eventually becomes a monster. People cope better when they notice anxiety early and refocus their thoughts in a positive direction. Have a frank conversation about how to recognize the symptoms of anxiety, relax in the moment and replace negative self-talk.

First, employees can self-check for physical symptoms. For some, anxiety feels like butterflies in the stomach or jittery hands and feet. Others feel tension in the neck and shoulders, headaches, an elevated pulse or shortness of breath. Sometimes it’s enough to listen to your body, take a few deep breaths and let go of things outside your control.

Next, identify the thoughts lurking in your subconscious that are causing anxiety. You may be telling yourself messages like these:

  • If I don’t get this right, I’ll never have a chance at a promotion.
  • I’m totally out of my depth here, I’m going to fail.
  • I just sounded like a total idiot.
  • I’ll never get everything done.
  • They must think I’m _ (taking too long, not working hard enough, unqualified etc.)
  • My boss will be furious if I let him/her down.

Replace those with statements that are truthful, supportive and kind.

#2 – Review Expectations

This past year, job responsibilities may have shifted so that employees are doing very different tasks from those for which they were hired. Employees might have said yes to new responsibilities, then found they didn’t have the time or the resources to keep up.

If things have changed, clarify how. Document which responsibilities they’ve taken on and ones for which they’re no longer responsible. Define expectations for work hours and communication outside of those times.

Employers and human resource professionals might analyze what changes have taken place to see if the expectations are still reasonable and if pay is fair for the skills and effort required. Adjusting responsibilities or providing a raise could turn stressed out workers into ones who are grateful and engaged.

Adjusting responsibilities or providing a raise could turn stressed out workers into ones who are grateful and engaged.

#3 – Express Appreciation

Send an email or stop staff members in the hall to thank them for their hard work. When projects pile up and you know teams are putting in extra hours to deliver, express recognition and gratitude. Offer an afternoon off or flexible scheduling to say thank you as they reach milestones.

#4 – Request Feedback

Encourage employees to speak up if there’s something they need. It might be training, software, office equipment, or clear pathways for growth. If it isn’t feasible have those conversations one on one, use a survey, email or comment box.

#5 – Hire More Staff

Many hands really do make light work. If there aren’t enough hours in the day to get the job done, and the workload is too heavy for existing staff, the best choice might be hiring additional employees. Tell us what your organization needs and we’ll be glad to help.

Coach vs. Mentor – What’s the Difference?

Coach vs. Mentor – What’s the Difference?

Coaches and mentors both exist to help an individual develop their potential. They come alongside and offer support from a position of greater knowledge and experience. In both professional and personal development, having a coach or mentor is a good thing.

However, if you can only have one, which should you choose? Let’s look at the differences between coaches and mentors in the context of professional development.

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is someone with career experience who is willing to take a person under their wing and share what they know. Mentor and mentee form a relationship that is often mutually beneficial.

Over time, the mentee gathers knowledge and input from someone who has been where they are now. He or she might receive decision-making advice instead of having to rely on trial and error. They might make fewer mistakes and find a more efficient path to achievement.

Mentors get something out of it too. In their role of trusted advisor, they receive respect. They develop their own leadership skills. Communicating their views and thought processes often crystalizes that knowledge. They often report feeling personal satisfaction from knowing they’ve helped someone. They feel pride in the growth they nurtured.

What do Mentors Do?

A mentor might take on the following roles:

  • Teacher – He or she might pass on practical knowledge regarding skills helpful at their company or in their industry.
  • Advisor – A good mentor is a sounding board. He or she doesn’t tell the mentee what to do, but instead helps them refine ideas, explore solutions and become self-reliant. Mentors serve as a trustworthy confidante.
  • Role model – Good mentors show as much as they tell. They embody core organizational values. They walk the talk, are there when it counts, honor their commitments and persevere through challenges.

Mentoring tends to be more long-term and holistic than career coaching. The mentor and mentee might meet on a schedule, but they could also interact on an informal, as-needed basis. Growth happens because of repeated interactions over time.

What is a Career Coach?

Coaching is typically more targeted and structured than mentoring. While a mentor might help with overall professional development, coaches often take a systematic approach to focus on one skill or goal at a time.

Mentors might not have any formal training in mentorship, and they don’t always specialize in what the mentee most needs to learn. Coaches often have training in the areas of desired growth. They can train or up-skill, and they may offer a way to measure results.

Usually the coach is in charge of development. The trainee can have input, but they’re not responsible for driving sessions. Where a mentor might share personal experience to advise on next steps, coaches focus more on reaching the next goal or level than sharing their own background. Career coaches are more likely to charge for their services.

Coach Responsibilities

In the workplace, businesses basically use coaches to help individuals and teams fill in gaps. Coaching develops the skills workers need to solve problems, form and reach long-term goals or develop missing soft skills. A coach might

  • Use survey data to measure current employee behaviors, link them to business outcomes, then recommend appropriate training.
  • Conduct personality and behavior assessments to help decision makers better understand current culture.
  • Help individuals or teams set goals, develop action plans and overcome challenges.
  • Work with executives to improve leadership skills or plan for succession.
  • Help supervisors and managers develop lacking people skills.
  • Assist older and younger workers in eliminating stereotypes.
  • Develop programs that encourage employees to make better health decisions.

Mentoring and coaching both have the goal of helping workers reach their potential. Organizations don’t have to choose one over the other, both will create a ripple effect of learning, support and ongoing development that will make your company stronger and better over time.

Active Listening – What Is It & Do You Have It?

Active Listening – What Is It & Do You Have It?

In almost every industry, if you look for professional career guidance, before long someone will advise you to focus on developing soft skills. Job seekers are wise to highlight soft skills on their resumes. Hiring managers are on the lookout for candidates who have them because those individuals tend to be more successful in the workplace. Active listening is one of the soft skills at the top of almost every recruiter’s list.

So what exactly is active listening? How do you know it’s a soft skill you already possess, and one you should include on your resume? If you don’t have it, how can you develop it?

About Soft Skills

When they say someone has good “people skills,” they’re talking about one of that person’s soft skills. Hard skills are things like your ability to use computer software, your certification to teach high school math or your knowledge of tax laws.

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills because candidates who can’t solve problems or work with a team are much less likely to be successful in the workplace. No matter what your role, active listening is one of the most important soft skills to develop.

Active Listening – What It Is

Active listening means giving people your full attention and focusing all your senses on what they’re trying to communicate. Among other actions, it can also involve repeating back or paraphrasing what they said to encourage more dialogue and to communicate your understanding.

Why It’s Important

Hearing is passive. You can be aware someone is speaking and feel like you’re getting the “gist” of what they’re saying but not be demonstrating active listening. Developing this soft skill will benefit your career for these reasons:

Active listening will earn you trust and respect. People who really listen are rare. Most people appreciate being fully “heard” because it shows their thoughts, input and concerns matter to you. Employees and team members will be more likely to communicate openly when they can trust you to be supportive and understanding.

Active listening helps staff work through conflict. When you listen with all your senses and put all your energy into truly understanding the speaker’s thoughts and feelings, the focus is on them. You aren’t defensive or judgmental. Your neutral stance has the ability to diffuse tension. Because you consistently reflect back what you hear, you avoid missing critical information or allowing misunderstandings to develop.

Active listening achieves organizational goals. People who feel understood are more engaged. Reduced conflict means more energy for innovation. You and your team are better able to talk through challenges and find solutions.

What It Looks Like

How do you know if you already use the active listening soft skill? Next time someone is talking to you, evaluate your actions, attitudes and body language. Active listening looks this way:

  • Making eye contact
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing
  • Leaning slightly toward the speaker with uncrossed arms
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Nodding to demonstrate agreement, encouragement or understanding
  • Offering brief verbal affirmations
  • Mirroring expressions and body language to show empathy
  • Waiting through periods of silence

Bad Listening Habits to Avoid

Bad listeners do the opposite of what’s listed above. They think they’re listening, but they’re really just waiting to talk. They daydream instead of paying attention. They interrupt to “one-up” the speaker. If what the speaker says doesn’t align with their own beliefs or preferences, they argue and get defensive. If the topic doesn’t interest or benefit them, they tune out.

Bad listeners don’t really want to listen at all. They demonstrate impatience with their body language and end conversations as quickly as possible. They always seem too busy to make time for conversation, and they make co-workers feel like they’re wasting too much time.

How to Develop Active Listening

Active listening is a skill you can improve through practice. When a conversation starts, think of yourself as a sounding board instead of a problem solver.

Start by adjusting your body language. Lean forward and maintain eye contact. Nod your head occasionally. Note the speaker’s body language and see what you can infer about their current emotions and goals.

Switch off your own internal dialogue so your thoughts don’t wander. Avoid thinking about the tasks you need to get to or how much time is passing so you don’t demonstrate impatience. Instead of offering opinions or advice, reflect back what they’ve just told you. Say things like, “In other words, what you’re saying is….”.

Suspend judgment and be open to new ideas. Remember you don’t have to agree with everything the speaker says to genuinely seek to understand their point of view.

Recruiting Active Listeners

At Brelsford Personnel, we try to identify candidates with strong active listening skills by practicing that skill ourselves. We’re successful at matching East Texas job seekers with employers because we don’t view open positions as simply a spot to fill. Before we send a worker to an employer, we’ve spent time learning about both the candidate and the company seeking to hire. The right candidates don’t just look good on paper, they are a good fit for that company’s culture.

That’s why comparing us to other staffing firms is like comparing apples to oranges. Contact us for direct-hire, temp-to-hire, temporary and contract staff with the skills your company needs.

Workplace Holiday Celebration Ideas for 2020

Workplace Holiday Celebration Ideas for 2020

What you did for holiday parties in the past probably won’t work for the 2020 season. “Last year we had clients booking huge, extravagant events at places like Maude Cobb Convention Center and Villa di Felicita for hundreds of people,” the owner of a Tyler event planning agency said, shaking her head. “This year no one is doing anything like that. Instead, they’re looking for solutions that allow for social distancing.”

Employers recognize they’ve asked a lot from employees this year, and they want to celebrate milestones and accomplishments. Do so safely with these workplace holiday celebration ideas that will even work in 2020.

Plan a Virtual Office Party

If your staff works remotely, a virtual office party might be the way to go. It’s cost-effective because there’s no need to rent or decorate a venue or provide transportation back and forth. You can choose to celebrate during business hours, which gives staff members a break from the work week. Or you might give them the gift of an after-hours event with zero commute time. Some of the top trending virtual office party ideas include a virtual game night, virtual happy hour or shared experience.

Virtual Game Night

Turn video conferencing into a team or individual challenge to build morale and foster a sense of comradery. Employees can participate from home or at the office to solve puzzles, answer trivia, or get in on game show style entertainment. Companies like Let’s Roam and Outback advertise virtual team-building with challenges companies can tailor to their team’s interests, size and preferred activity level.

Virtual Happy Hour

If your previous office party included libations, consider celebrating the 2020 holidays with a virtual happy hour. Ship them options from local vendors like Kiepersol or Briar Creek Vineyards and schedule a time to enjoy them together.

Or, leave the entertainment to someone else with an online hosted happy hour. Vendors like Cocktails from Home or Sourced allow corporate event planners to send employees mini cocktail or mocktail kits. Then attendees join in on a demonstration video where a mixologist or bartender teaches them to use the ingredients they received and enjoy their creation from wherever they are.

Share an Experience

Hire a local or big name entertainer to perform a live video concert that goes straight from their studio to staff homes and offices. Or send staff members tickets to an online concert and schedule to watch livestream shows together. Websites like Grammy.com maintain a list of free online concerts, while sources like StageIt allow employers to purchase tickets for paid events.

Or, make your office party an escape with virtual corporate travel. Take your group on a video trip to Paris with a free virtual tour of The Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, Egyptian Antiquities and the Galerie d’Apollon. Go on a virtual tour of Yellowstone and explore the park’s main attractions together. Hawaii has severe travel restrictions, but their online tour allows you to virtually fly over an active volcano and click and drag to explore shorelines and landscapes. Or tour Wilson Island in Queensland Australia using Google Maps Street view, then take a virtual plunge to see coral reefs beneath the surface.

If online travel isn’t your thing, plan your virtual holiday party around visiting a virtual escape room or taking a shared painting or cooking lesson.

Send a Gift

In-person holiday parties are expensive. If your company isn’t planning one this year, you might instead splurge on staff holiday gifts. Mail or deliver a wellness box stocked with self-care items from a local spa. Send foodies a carefully curated package of local, artisan foods. Or, keep things simple with gift cards for food delivery or a subscription to a snack box or streaming service.

Give Them Time

If you get the sense the last thing your employees want is another Zoom meeting, give them the gift of time. Let them know in lieu of a holiday party, you’re giving them hours or days off. Share how you hope they’ll spend the time doing whatever makes their life meaningful because you value their contribution to your business and appreciate the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year.

At Brelsford Personnel, we wish you happy holidays and look forward to working with you in the year ahead.

Create Your Best Job – The Truth About Job Security

Create Your Best Job – The Truth About Job Security

Throughout our Create Your Best Job series we’ve focused heavily on identifying your skills, strengths, passions, and career goals because in our decades of helping people find work, we’ve come to accept a difficult truth: There is no job security.

If you’re looking for work now, it likely will not be the last time. Once you find your best job, continue to add to your skillset so your value to employers grows over time.

Average Number of Jobs in a Lifetime

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report in 2019 that tallied the number of jobs people born in the years 1957 to 1964 held from between 18 and 52 years of age. This group, often called the Baby Boomers, held around 12 different jobs in their lifetime.

That number might be significantly more or less, depending on age, ethnicity, education, industry, gender and other factors. For example, data shows that some workers currently between the ages of 25 and 34 stay an average of 2.8 years at each job. Public sector employees have longer median tenure than their private sector counterparts.

Still, whatever way you look at it, gone are the days when people work 40 years for the same employer and retire with a pension. Loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Employers hire and fire based on marketplace changes and demand fluctuation. Employees will readily leave for better pay or more attractive benefits. Local, national and global events change economies without warning.

So actually, there is no job security. The best job security is maintaining a marketable skill set. It’s best to be proactive so the next time you’re looking for work, you’re even more marketable than you are now.

4 Tips for Making Yourself More Marketable

Think of yourself as an actor or actress, currently evaluating scripts to find a job that will enhance your value. Let’s say you land what might be the role of a lifetime, a part that fits you perfectly. You throw yourself into that role and for a season, that character is your reality. However, at the same time, you know eventually the show or play will come to an end, so as much as you love the part, you’re constantly preparing for the future.

As an actor, you hone your skills. You note where you excel, and make a plan for correcting weakness as you see it emerge. And, you keep your ears open for the next opportunity, hoping to find a new job before this one ends.

It’s the same way in the job market. Once you find your current best job, prepare yourself for the future by doing the following.

Constantly Acquire New Skills

Keep track of what skills employers are looking for, and start acquiring the ones that aren’t already in your toolbox. Use online tools to add accreditations and certifications. Take advantage of employer-sponsored education whenever possible.

Learn New Technology

The more you know about computer operations and software applications as they apply to your field, the more valuable you are to employers. Technology influences almost every line of work, and it’s always changing, so it’s always a good idea to keep adding to your knowledge base.

Look the Part

Once you find your best job, don’t give in to the temptation to let things slide in terms of professional attire, grooming, posture and presentation. Maintaining a professional appearance and demeanor helps you look and feel like a winner every day. Both managers and recruiters will take note.

Keep Networking

Stay active in your professional association. Mentor others who currently are where you’ve been. Volunteer in your community. You’ll build satisfying relationships now and have useful connections should you need them in the future.

Why Use Brelsford Personnel

Even if you change jobs every two or three years, there’s still a period of searching and waiting between jobs. At Brelsford Personnel, helping East Texas candidates and employers connect is something we live every day. So perhaps we can help.

The job market can change drastically. But we’ve been a part of area employment for long enough that we’re uniquely qualified to help you know what to expect and how to navigate the waters. If you are ready to pursue a new career or have been caught in a lay-off, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!

Create Your Best Job – Your Two Minute Commercial

Create Your Best Job – Your Two Minute Commercial

To land your best job, you need to sell yourself. We advise job seekers to come up with a two-minute commercial, a quick summary of why they’re a perfect fit. It’s also sometimes called an elevator pitch because you can deliver it anywhere, in the amount of time it takes to go up a few floors in an elevator.

Why a Commercial?

“But I’m not in sales,” you might be saying. “I don’t want to sound like a salesperson.” When you craft a strong elevator pitch, you’re not trying to put pressure on hiring managers or make promises you can’t deliver. You’re delivering a quick presentation that positions you as invaluable to their company.

You’ll use a variation of your two-minute commercial in your cover letter, during interviews and when you’re networking. It should take between 30 seconds and two minutes to deliver and show how you can solve their organization’s problems or create more success.

When you give them a memorable snapshot or sound bite that summarizes your professional self, they’re more likely to retain your message. You stand out, you show you respect their time, and you’re more likely to get an interview.

What’s In a Good Elevator Pitch?

Create your two-minute commercial around your unique selling proposition. Identify what makes you better and more qualified for the job than all the other humans on the planet, and lead with that.

Many people feel uncomfortable talking about themselves, but you can motivate hiring managers to listen by focusing on how your unique skills can help them. Explain how what you do can solve a pain point and back that up with examples from your past work experience.

Make it clear you want a job. You’re not just having a conversation; you have a goal. Offer them a way to follow up by leaving a business card or following up through email.

How to Write Your 2 Minute Commercial

Your brief speech should explain who you are, what you do, what makes you stand out, what you want and include a call to action. It might go something like this:

  • Introduce yourself – First 5 seconds
  • Briefly state what you do – 5 to 10 seconds
  • Grab attention by asking a question or stating a problem – 5 to 10 seconds
  • Deliver your unique value proposition and connect it to their pain points – 10 to 15 seconds
  • Share achievements – 10 to 15 seconds
  • State your goal and call them to take action – 15 seconds

Use the above as a basic framework for getting started but make it your own. You may need to spend more time on one aspect and less on others.

Two Minute Commercial Examples

If you’re currently out of work and looking for a job at a networking event, an appropriate two-minute commercial might be:

“I am currently looking for a new opportunity in B2B sales. I have ten years of successful sales experience with a technology firm and a marketing degree from UT Austin. If you know someone who is looking for a sales rep with my experience, I would certainly appreciate a referral. May I give you my card? I am ready to work and excited to find a new career home!”

Or, if you’re sitting in front of a hiring agent, you might say something like:

“I have spent the last five years as the top sales representative out of twenty-five reps for a leading technology company. I will bring my ability to generate revenue and profits to your company. I’m extremely confident in my sales abilities and have a very high level of interest in working for you and your company.”

Use your elevator speech to highlight what you’re good at and illustrate what you can do for them. For example:

“I’ve been the Office Manager at ABC Organization for the past five years. Some of my main responsibilities were planning and overseeing corporate meetings and events, sticking within budgetary constraints by finding the most cost-effective venues and vendors, making sure the office ran like clockwork and serving as the central point of contact for the entire office. I’d like to bring my experience to your company. May I give you my business card?”

Don’t Stop At One Elevator Pitch

Once you’ve created your basic two-minute commercial, develop variations for different situations. You might create one version for career fairs, a second for networking events and a third for use during interviews. The written version you use for online profiles and in your cover letter will most likely be different from the ones you deliver in person.

Delivering Your Two Minute Commercial

A carefully crafted two-minute commercial grabs attention, makes you stand out and helps you sell yourself, but it’s also useful because it helps you relax. Memorize your speech, then use it in response to questions like these:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What kind of job are you looking for?
  • What are you doing these days?
  • What kind of job are you looking for?

Practice giving your speech in front of a mirror. Rehearse until you can deliver it naturally, with confidence and positivity. Practice more with friends and family members so the first time you present it to a person isn’t during a high-stress interview. Soon you’ll be ready to sell yourself in a variety of situations, giving you the best chance to land your best job.

Create Your Best Job – Expert Advice on Resumes

Create Your Best Job – Expert Advice on Resumes

Your job search is your job right now, and your first official duty is to prepare your resume. Don’t just open the file and add your most recent work history, then start blasting it out to every prospective employer you can find. If you read our post on developing the right mindset, you put some serious thought into the type of job you really want. Now it’s time to give yourself the best chance at landing that job by creating a resume that shows you’re qualified for the best job that fits.

The Absolute Most Important Part of Your Resume

This next statement might shock you, especially coming from a staffing agency. Nobody reads resumes. Not the whole thing, anyway.

Every word is important, and mistakes could disqualify you from the chance at an interview, but recognize prospective employers aren’t going to read every line of what you send. They don’t dig to find out if you’re the one.

They skim.

So if you want a chance at the job, you need to hook their attention, to sell yourself in as few words as possible. The most important resume component is a brief summary placed near the top, right under your name and contact information.

In the past, the job seeker’s objective went in this space, but that didn’t add anything the hiring manager didn’t already know, it just took up space. Replace that with a two to three sentence summary that explains:

  • What skills you have that apply to the job
  • Your relevant work experience and accomplishments
  • How you would add unique value to their company

Hiring managers and screening software tools look for keywords. Where applicable, use words from the job description you’re applying for. Make your summary as precise and engaging as possible to get noticed, get interviewed and get hired.

What Else a Winning Resume Contains

The hiring manager might not read every single word of your resume, but they’re going to look for this:

  • Contact Info – List your name, address, the best number to reach you and an email address. Don’t use your old work email address or one that doesn’t sound professional.
  • Work Experience – Start with your most recent job experience and work backward. Provide work history for at least the last 10 years. Include the name of the company and its location, your job title and a summary of your duties. Use data if possible to convey how your work benefitted your company. Especially focus on experience that matches the job description for which you’re applying.
  • Education – Start from your highest degree and work backwards. Include the name of your school and the degree you received. Also include any honors or special recognition.
  • Skills – List hard and soft skills, again referring to the job description and including all the words that apply to you. Soft skills are things like problem solving, critical thinking and flexibility while hard skills are more concrete like ability with computer software or a degree or certification.

It’s okay to state that references are available on request, but go ahead and compile your reference list so it’s ready to go.

Now Remove These

Read back through your resume and take out industry jargon that isn’t common knowledge. Avoid using acronyms or military terms. Use familiar language.

Examine your verb tenses and change any that are inconsistent. You shouldn’t have statements like “Managing big data effectively for a large marketing agency. Crafted digital experiences for clients in multiple industries.” If you did the work in the past, both verbs should be in past tense.

Use a proofreading tool like Grammarly or Typely to check for errors in spelling or grammar and remove them. Then go to that friend who is a stickler for being grammatically correct and ask him or her to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.

Resume Formatting and Length

Unless you’re a professor or a doctor, your resume should be two pages or less. When you finish crafting your resume, go back through and see how many words you can take out and still maintain the meaning. The more concise you are, the better chance you have of getting your message across.

Use clean, easy to read fonts. Some of the best choices are

  • Calibri – Good for anyone
  • Times New Roman – Excellent choice when applying for legal, financial and corporate roles
  • Arial – This font is a good choice for creative or marketing jobs
  • Verdana – Verdana is clean and appealing for any type of role
  • Book Antiqua – If you’re applying for a job in education, the arts or humanities, this font has a traditional feel
  • Trebuchet MS – This cheerful font is a positive choice for creatives

Use 12 point font for most of your resume text, with larger bold print in the same font for headings. If you’re sending a paper copy, use white, beige or light gray paper. When you mail it, hand-address the business-sized envelope in blue or black ink and mark it “Personal and Confidential.”

Turn Your Resume Into an Interview Ticket

Start creating multiple versions of your resume. Each time you apply, tailor your resume to highlight your experience and qualifications that match what that employer is looking for.

For example, you might start out by applying for a job as a staff accountant. Your resume summary could mention your experience preparing tax returns, analyzing corporate financial operations and forecasting and budgeting. Your employment history showcases how your duties at previous roles gave you experience relevant to that position.

Then you might see a job posting for a payroll job that also fits your skills and interests. Don’t send the same resume you used for the staff accountant job. Change it to show employers the type of experience you have calculating wages, detailing earnings and streamlining payroll processing. In your job summary, if you have three years of payroll experience, make sure you say so.

Resume Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Chance at an Interview

Your resume could be your ticket to an interview. But if you make these mistakes, it could get dropped in the recycle bin.

  • Resume is generic and doesn’t explain what makes you uniquely suited to the position
  • Your document is too long or is hard to read
  • You use language that identifies your religious beliefs, political affiliations etc.
  • You leave out accomplishments at previous jobs
  • Work history starts with the first job you ever held and proceeds forward
  • Text is copied and pasted from somewhere on the Internet
  • Resume contains spelling and grammar errors

The Next Steps in a Successful Job Search

Each day, plan to send at least five resumes to a hiring authority to keep your job search rolling. If you haven’t already sent yours to Brelsford Personnel, view our open jobs and upload it here.