Addressing Gaps in Your Employment History

Addressing Gaps in Your Employment History

Expect the Question

If there are gaps in your employment history, the interviewer is going to ask why. It helps to be prepared so you can offer a professional, honest answer no matter what the reason for the gap.

Overall Strategies

In our article on interview tips, we suggest practicing common interview questions before you go. If you have gaps in your resume, it’s going to come up. Here’s how to handle all the tough questions you might face:

  • Be honest. If you feel like the reason for your unemployment doesn’t show you in the best light, you might be tempted to misrepresent the facts. Employers are looking for people with honesty and integrity. It’s better to hear what happened from you than through a background or reference check.

 

  • Focus on the positive. Don’t criticize your old boss or complain about how hard it was to care for your sick family member. Instead state what you learned from the experience and how it relates to the position you’re applying for.

 

  • Keep it brief. Explain the gap, then move on.

Gaps for Personal Reasons

Sometimes you had to take time to care for your family members or for yourself.

Do create a brief statement that tells what happened. Sometimes it helps to put it on paper.

Do identify one way the experience makes you more prepared for the job. For example, if you spent several months caring for your aging family member, explain how it helped you develop soft skills like a positive attitude and problem solving.

Do emphasize how you’re ready to return to work. State how your values and work ethic align with those of the organization.

Don’t talk for more than a few sentences about the situation. The interviewer wants to know the reason for the gap, but they don’t need to know all the details.

If You Were Fired

Even if you feel embarrassed by the reason you were fired, be honest, positive and brief.

Do honestly answer why you were fired. They’re most likely going to check with your previous boss. A simple, straightforward answer is best.

Do tell what you learned from the experience. For example, if you lost your job for repeatedly being late, explain how since then you’ve developed better time management skills.

Don’t trash your former boss or co-workers. Keep the focus on how your experience makes you suited for the new position.

If You Took Time for Education or Travel

These are the easiest gaps to explain. If you went back to school, let your interviewer know what degrees or certifications you gained from that education. If you traveled, explain how it taught you how to interact with a diverse range of people or to appreciate other cultures. Then let them know how you’re now ready to focus on your career.

Search Jobs in East Texas

Brelsford Personnel offers direct hire, temp-to-hire, temporary and contract placement. Search our online job postings to see current jobs in East Texas.

Sources:
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2018-05-23/mind-the-gap-how-to-explain-gaps-on-your-resume
https://www.themuse.com/advice/explain-resume-gap-interview-right-way
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/07/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-explaining-a-resume-gap.html
https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/explaining-unemployment-in-the-job-interview

Content by Missy for Brelsford Personnel

Hot Jobs in East Texas 2018

Hot Jobs in East Texas 2018

Are you a college student who has knocked out the basics, now it’s time to choose a career path? Or maybe you’re getting burned out in your current role and feel ready for a change. KETK recently released a special report on the hottest jobs in East Texas that predicts employment opportunities in the year ahead. Find out what jobs are in the highest demand, common starting salaries and how you can apply for the East Texas jobs available through Brelsford Personnel.

East Texas Retail Jobs

The national economy is doing well, and the Tyler economy is outpacing national averages. Consumers feel confident, and they’re more willing to spend their extra cash when they go shopping.

East Texans have more stores to choose from than ever before. The Village at Cumberland Park continues to open new shops and other retail locations are also expanding. Tyler’s new stores need employees. KETK predicted 2,000 more retail sales people will be needed over the next six years.

Retail positions don’t typically require a degree or certification, but applicants must have a variety of hard and soft skills. Positions average around $26,000 for full-time employment, with management level staff sometimes earning $50,000 and up.

Hot Jobs in East Texas 2018

Tyler Healthcare Jobs

Dr. Ray Perryman of The Perryman Group provides an annual economic forecast for the nation, Texas and the Tyler area. According to his 2018 Economic Overview, Tyler’s largest employment industry is health care and social assistance with 23,165 workers. More than 7,500 medical-related jobs were offered last year. That number should just keep growing.

Some of the most in-demand healthcare jobs are as follows:

  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Cardiovascular Technician
  • Physician Assistant
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Licensed nurses average around $42,000 a year in East Texas, with salaries that vary for other positions depending on qualifications and experience.

Restaurant Jobs in East Texas

People in East Texas love to eat out, and in the last few years their options for doing so have expanded. Texas de Brazil, The Original Pancake House and Cantina Laredo didn’t even exist in Tyler last year.

Restaurant salaries vary widely. Wait staff depend heavily on tips, so what they make depends on where they work and who they serve that day. The KETK report says general managers average around $50,000 a year.

Tyler Construction Jobs

Carpenters, electricians, framers and related experts are in demand as commercial and residential construction continue to boom. Texas electricians average $21.10 an hour and Texas carpenters average $16.63. The construction explosion also requires high numbers of qualified air conditioning contractors and painters.

Oil and Gas Extraction Jobs

Perryman’s Economic Overview predicts the fastest growing sector in East Texas will be mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, with most of that growth in oil and gas. The report predicts a 2.1 percent growth by year end. This sector also has a high average pay per worker with salaries around $90,005. The industry hires mostly highly skilled technical workers.

East Texas Jobs Available Now

Brelsford Personnel has a variety of jobs from administrative to accounting, data entry to sales, in a range of industries. View our online positions, submit your resume or contact us to start your job search today.

Sources:
http://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/local-news/special-report-hot-jobs/1153402117
https://www.zippia.com/advice/fastest-growing-jobs-in-texas/
https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Electrician-Salaries,-Texas
https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Carpenter-Salaries,-Texas

Find a Job in Tyler With These 3 Interview Tips

Find a Job in Tyler With These 3 Interview Tips

Job interviews are stressful. The more you want the position, the more pressure you’re going to feel. Practicing helps settle your nerves, identifies your areas of weakness and helps you be your best when you sit down with a potential employer. Find a job in Tyler when you follow these tips.

Enlist Help

Ask a friend or family member to act as your interviewer. Your spouse or best friend might have trouble remaining objective, so select someone else if possible. If you’re a student, your advisor or career services department might give you an unbiased view.

Set up a time for your practice interview so you can test drive your answers to common interview questions. A mock interview will help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety and help improve your confidence.

Choose someone you can trust to be honest with you. Give them the job posting and any information you’ve gathered about the company. Let them know ahead of time you want their constructive feedback and that their contribution might be the difference between landing your dream job and making mistakes that cost you the position.

Ask them to evaluate not just what you say, but your body language. Do you make eye contact? Do you fidget? Are your answers thorough without being too long? What could you do to more clearly showcase what you’re capable of? When they give you that feedback, really listen.

Find a Job in Tyler With These 3 Interview Tips

Make It As Real As Possible

You may know exactly where your new blouse or your best blazer is hanging in your closet, but that’s not enough. You don’t want to find out your shoe has a broken buckle five minutes before you have to leave for your interview. Get dressed like you’re actually meeting with your interviewer to avoid any surprises and the stress that goes with them.

Print or gather any resources you’ll take to the actual meeting. Refer to them when you practice as you would at your real interview to re-familiarize yourself with their contents.

Start the interview like you will in real life, with a handshake and a greeting. It feels strange to begin that way with someone you already know, but the first few seconds of your real interview can be stressful. It’s easier if you’ve walked through it before.

Practice Common Questions

Some interview questions are common in any industry. Spend some time preparing to answer questions like, “What can you tell me about yourself?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Other questions are industry specific.

Create a list of common interview questions for your industry and give that list to your friend or family member. Even if they aren’t the exact questions your interviewer asks, you’ll gain experience answering similar ones.

Be specific in your answers. Employers don’t just want to hear you’re good at your job, they want to know specific situations where you’ve handled difficult personality types, overcome challenges or developed new solutions that increased profit.

For more on writing your resume, dressing for interview success and communicating effectively, see our resources page. Start looking for your next job when you check our online East Texas job listings today.

Missy Ticer is a blogger and East Texas resident who found her dream job. Content is exclusively for use by Brelsford Personnel.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/job-interview-practice-how-to-rehearse-for-an-interview-2062803

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-do-a-practice-interview-thatll-actually-help-you

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/Practice-Makes-Perfect

8 Characteristics Great Managers Look for in College Grads

8 Characteristics Great Managers Look for in College Grads

Michael Klazema

[Courtesy of Glassdoor.com]

Are college students ready for the challenges of the modern workplace? Many employers say no. A recent survey revealed that only about 50% of managers felt recent graduates were prepared for full-time work. By contrast, 87% of college grads felt they were ready to enter the workforce. These drastically different numbers show that there is a gulf between the expectations of employers and recent graduates. This discrepancy poses challenges for recent grads seeking jobs and for businesses that wish to hire young workers.
No matter which group you fall into, knowing the characteristics that successful managers look for from recent college graduates is beneficial. If you are a hiring manager, keeping an eye on these characteristics can help you identify the cream of the crop. If you are fresh out of college and trying to land your first job, boning up on these hard and soft skills can give you an advantage.

Here are eight characteristics that managers want to see from recent college graduates.

1. Strong writing skills

When PayScale surveyed nearly 64,000 managers for its 2016 survey, 44% of them said recent college graduates lacked proficiency in writing. No other hard skill was mentioned more often. While programming and other tech-related skills are often listed as the most valuable skills a person can have, writing is viewed as a more universal skill. Between emails, proposals, reports, project documents, and memos, even people in non-writing roles need to be able to write. College grads should add a few more writing classes to their schedules if they want to prepare for full-time work. Many managers look at cover letters more to assess writing skills than to learn additional details about a candidate.

2. Public speaking abilities

Written communication skills may be what managers are missing the most in recent college graduates, but verbal communication skills remain important. Just like writing manifests itself in many different fields, public speaking is essential for presentations, meetings with clients and customers, and other professional tasks. These responsibilities are not exclusive to any one industry, making them an important part of every recent grad’s repertoire.

3. Team mentality

Back in school, teachers would occasionally pair students with people they didn’t like much, or at least didn’t ordinarily work with. The justification was, “Someday, you aren’t going to get to choose your co-workers.” Our teachers were right. You don’t get to choose who you work with, and you need to be ready to collaborate with anyone. Most professionals learn this lesson after a few years in the workforce. Managers hiring recent grads are looking for the interpersonal skills and good attitude that indicate a team player. While every company’s culture is different, most are grounded in team values. Recent graduates should expect reference checks and interview questions about teamwork.

4. A high GPA

The further you get out of school, the less your college GPA matters. For recent graduates without a ton of work experience, though, the GPA may be a point of interest during the hiring process. According to USA Today College, 43% of companies have a formal GPA threshold for the people they hire. For most companies, the threshold is a 3.0 GPA. Occasionally, an employer might demand a 3.5. Either way, graduates should know that hiring managers are looking at their GPAs. Furthermore, many managers are using verification background checks to verify college degrees, attendance dates, and GPAs.

5. Relevant work experience

Businesses committed to hiring recent college graduates aren’t expecting to see candidates with ten years of experience. It’s because of the relative lack of work experience that employers pay attention to things like GPA for younger candidates. With that said, no hiring manager is going to ignore work experience altogether. When it comes to screening recent grads, companies are looking for part-time jobs, summer gigs, and relevant internship experience. These resume entries show initiative, commitment, and an ability to hold down a job—all things every manager wants to see in any hire.

6. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

The PayScale survey identified writing as the hard skill that most managers found lacking in recent college grads. For soft skills, critical thinking and problem solving were the problem areas. 60% of managers surveyed said their younger hires lacked these skills. They want to know the people they are hiring know how to identify problems and challenges and solve them. An interview question to gauge this skill area might be something along the lines of, “Tell me about a time you faced a major challenge and how you overcame it.” Answers that indicate innovation, proactivity, or the resilience to rise above failure and adversity are what managers want to hear. No new college grad should go into an interview without a possible answer ready.

7. Attention to detail

Often, hiring managers have the impression that younger, greener professionals don’t have great attention to detail. This snap judgment is typically made in response to resumes, cover letters, and other communications that managers share with candidates in the lead-up to or immediately following an interview. According to the PayScale survey, 56% of managers said recent grads were lacking attention to detail, probably thanks largely to typos, misspellings, missing attachments, or poor grammar. Some of these issues can be chalked up to writing skills. But new graduates also need to be conscious of the fact that every move they make is being recorded and judged. Submitting a resume or cover letter with one or two typos might seem like a small thing, but it can lead to a bad first impression.

8. Leadership experience

“Recent college graduate with extensive leadership skills” may seem like an oxymoron. Someone who doesn’t have a lot of work experience probably hasn’t been promoted to a managerial or executive role. Still, first-time job searchers can prove leadership skills in other ways. Club president or team captain roles might seem superfluous in the professional realm, but they can add another dimension to a sparse resume.

It’s possible that hiring managers expect more from just-out-of-college applicants than they once did. It’s also possible that many graduates simply aren’t as prepared for jobs as they think they are. Either way, the eight characteristics listed above form a rubric for the ideal recent college grad applicant. Whether you are a hiring manager considering younger candidates or a recent graduate looking for your first job, use these characteristics as a roadmap to make your life easier.

It’s ‘Clean Out Your Computer’ day. Here’s how to declutter your computer in 4 steps.

Save your sanity by keeping files straight from the start.

Chris Ambrose

[Courtesy of Monster.com]

It's Clean Out Your Computer day Here's how to declutter your computer in 4 steps

If you’ve ever seen the comedy “Zoolander,” you may remember the hysterical scene where the not-so-bright title character played by Ben Stiller is told to search for some hard drive files “in the computer.” Zoolander goes into a rage when he can’t open the computer and shatters it open instead.

You may have felt like doing the same thing with your own computer at a time when you couldn’t find an important file you knew you had but can’t locate. Today for Clean Out Your Computer Day, I’ve gathered some easy-to-use, expert tips for decluttering your computer files and getting them organized so you can stop computer rage before it starts.

1. Subdivide your folders

One of the most important steps you can take to organizing your computer’s files is creating subdivisions within folders. In her article, “Where Did I Save That Document?” productivity expert Laura Stack suggests using subdivision to help with organization.

“If every folder were labeled ‘My Documents,’ you wouldn’t find anything,” she notes. Instead, consider making more folders based on type of work or the date it was created. “Microsoft automatically sets up a folder titled ‘My Documents,’ where you can save your documents. If you save EVERYTHING under this directory, you will never be able to find what you need,” writes Stack. Make sure you take control of where your files and work go.

2. Remove old files

Do you have a file — whether it be a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation — you use a couple times a week? You should probably keep those around on your Desktop, but almost everything else should go somewhere else.

N2 Publishing CTO Jim Hall advises people delete or move files off their desktop if they’re not in use. “Move files you don’t use often to an external hard drive or cloud storage (whatever you trust and are comfortable with). And don’t be afraid to delete files you won’t ever use again. Clear out your photos and store them on an external drive or cloud, too.”

3. Think about how you want to search

Before you save something new, remember to first ask yourself “how will I search for this in the future?” Take for instance, the example of searching for old insurance files from Stack’s article.

“You can’t remember, ‘Did I call that “automobile” insurance, or “car” insurance, or “Bronco” insurance?’ You would logically want to go to ONE place in your files to find all information related to insurance. So a simple solution is to put the noun first, such as ‘Insurance, Auto;’ ‘Insurance, Homeowners;’ ‘Insurance, Medical.’” By placing the noun first in the file name you reduce time spent searching and stressing.

4. Invent a file-naming system

Perhaps the best way to prevent all future mishaps is create a simple file-naming system that incorporates both a date and a useful description. Your files don’t have to be in a code that would make the pros at NASA proud, just use short, clear names for your files, advises Hall. “And be consistent with the style or format you use.”

Computers are powerful productivity machines, but like anything else, they must be organized from time to time to remain dependable and easy to use. Take these small steps and you can prevent plenty of headaches in the future.

Give your people C.R.A.P. if you want great employee retention

Jeff Kortes

[Courtesy of smartbrief.com]

Early in my career, I worked for an incredible general manager that taught me a lot of C.R.A.P. — caring, respect, appreciation and praise. He also taught me that giving people C.R.A.P. was at the heart of driving employee loyalty and retention.

He never told me it was about caring, respect, appreciation and praise. He just showed me and, as my mentor, I listened and applied the philosophy. As time went on, I added some other key elements to truly be able to solve employee retention problems in organizations that I worked in. The four elements of C.R.A.P. are simple. I said simple, not easy.

Here they are.

Caring.

People know if you care about them or not. They simply do. There is a vibe that is given off if you don’t care. I’m not so sure you can fake it but the good thing is that most leaders do care about their people. They are there for their people when they need them and stand by them when times are tough. They are available to listen and to talk to their people when their people need to talk.

When your people need you, they need you right away. If you put them off in their time of need, the likelihood they will come to you in the future drops off considerably. Make time for them so you can understand their problems and help to solve them. Your people will love you for it.

Respect.

Everyone wants it. Everyone deserves it, at least until they show that they are not worthy of that respect. Micromanaging people is one of the greatest signs of your respect for them. It sends the message you don’t trust them or their ability to get the job done. Micromanaging is one of the biggest reasons people quit their job. It is frustrating and, in your heart, you know your boss does not trust you if you are being micromanaged.

Another element of respect is wanting the best for your people. It means you are in it for them; not just you. The best bosses know that if their people grow that they might ultimately leave but they know that it is the right thing do and that their role is to help you succeed.

Give your people CRAP if you want great employee retention

Appreciation.

I have heard the statistic that 50% of the people in the workforce do not feel appreciated. That is a scary statistic. It’s not hard to thank people for the work they do and the results they deliver. Maybe we didn’t lead that way in the past. It is how we have to lead today and into the future.

However. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that things have changed. You can’t get the most out of your people if they never hear when they do things right. With the mantra of continuous improvement, we certainly hear when we need to do things better or have done things wrong. Without appreciation, people get beaten down and don’t want to come to work. A little appreciation goes a long way towards keeping people fired up and energized about what they do. How hard is to say “nice job” when someone gets you that report on time?

Praise. I like to call praise “positive affirmation on steroids.” Praise takes appreciation to the next level. Growing up, praise was not something I received and, frankly, it stunk not getting any! Unfortunately, we went the other way with the millennial generation and gushed praise every time they did anything right. Some of them became praise addicts. They got praised for simply showing up and finishing — even if it was in 12th place.

Praise

is designed for when people exceed expectations, not just do their jobs. When someone does a good job, they do need appreciation. When they exceed expectations, they need to hear that is was a big deal, they hit it out of the park and that they made a huge difference to the organization. Is that going to offend some of the average performers? Perhaps, it will but that’s just the way it is. We need people to realize that when they do great things, we will take note of those great things and make a big deal out of it.

This is simple stuff but it is not easy to do for some reason. It takes time and hard work on the part of a leader to give people C.R.A.P. But, if you do it, your people will be loyal, follow you anywhere and want to stay working for you. Giving your people C.R.A.P. will also give you a feeling of accomplishment and the impact on the organization will be something that goes beyond the bottom line. Remember, C.R.A.P. works!

Jeff Kortes is an employee-retention speaker, author and expert by accident. His early career spanned 25 years as an HR professional, trainer, and consultant. His no-nonsense approach is reflected in his C.R.A.P. Leadership System, which instills positive supervisory and managerial behavior while driving results in the organization. He shares expert advice on Twitter @JeffKortes and on his website.

 

The Smart Way of Investing in Talent

Courtesy of peoplematter.in

In this dynamic world, it is difficult to find people who can act as the sole resource, and are also the only source of expertise in your organization, hence it is important for any company to identify the right set of people and invest in them.

The Smart Way of Investing in Talent

It is interesting to think about what the professional domain at large would look like if organizations were being run solely by all-powerful, ultra-accomplished, ingenious, multi-talented beings who had an expertise in every possible field and who knew everything there was to know about everything.

Well, for one, it would be a far less diverse landscape. Fortunately, therefore, the human brain, as well as the general human potential, simply does not support such a scenario, leaving us with both a challenge as well as an opportunity.

The challenge here is that in a reality where it is impossible for one single person to be the sole resource and source of expertise that a company needs, there is an always an urgent need to look out for all the right people who would effectively fill those gaps. But the opportunity here is that the process of bringing people and talent onboard has the potential to do so much more for your company than just filling gaps!

Today’s Talent Forecast says

Is there an organization anywhere that does not invest its time and energy in planning for the future? (If there is, my heartiest condolences to them on their inevitable downfall and demise.) Planning ahead lies at the heart of all organizational goals and it is the one process that determines all the individual elements that will be factored into the organization’s framework in the future – including, of course, its talent.

But how do we know when or how to bring the right talent onboard?

Let’s start with getting back to the organizational planning process. Priorities are discussed, goals are set and decisions are made – more often than not within the confines of a closed conference room by the people primarily in power – the senior management. An error made most often in these situations is the exclusion of the individual managers or department heads more closely involved with the specifics of the issues being deliberated upon. The fact that these department heads are left out of the major decision-making process means that the organization misses out on their potential for providing information and advisement; their expertise, after all, is all about gaining a better understanding of the status quo as well as the nitty-gritty of the everyday dealings (which would help better understand the feasibility and impact of the decisions). Most importantly, however, it means missing out on their informed suggestions to bring onboard the talent and expertise that the company currently needs or might possibly need in the future.

As a general rule, including more people in the decision-making process not only helps optimize the talent you already have but helps your company gain foresight and in some cases, an edge when it comes to determining its fate in the future. It is on the basis of the educated guesses, instinct and professional opinions of the internal ‘people in the know’ that some of the most successful companies have been able to make the significant decisions that were not understood at the time but reaped incredible rewards years down the line.

This holds true most prominently in the matter of the what, who and when to bring the right talent onboard.

You see, it works as an incredible, beneficial cycle – if one were to let it run, that is. The talent you already have, bring with them the knowledge and thorough understanding of their department, which in turn makes them the best people to predict the trends in that department and hence identify and bring the talent that would help your department keep up with those trends. What’s more, since they are the in-house talent lending their skills to recruitment, they are better able to recognize the value and culture fit that their company is looking for.

The right talent in a company can achieve so much more than fulfilling job descriptions or playing pre-defined parts in the organizational story. It has the potential to effectively and accurately chart out a map to the future, filling the gaps (and job descriptions) that the company does not even know it needs yet! Previously unexplored perspectives come into view and when this talent becomes a part of the core strategy meetings, rest assured your company will be steered into the right direction and invigorated with new, fresh talent.

5 Things You Need to Remove from Your Resume In 2017

[Courtesy of LinkedIn.com]

Five Things You Need to Remove from Your Resume In 2017

Everyone agonizes over their resumes. We all worry that if it’s not perfect, we may not get a call from a recruiter. However, when you constantly gather feedback from peers and experts, you may end up making the job search too confusing before you even start.

Ultimately, you only want to consider one thing when you write your resume: the reader. The reader isn’t the evil applicant tracking system that throws out your resume according to some algorithm. The reader is a real, live person. Your task is to make it easy for them to understand what you do and what your accomplishment are in 1-2 pages.

Trust me, I’ve read my share of resumes. In the last four years, I’ve averaged between 20-35 open technical jobs that I was responsible for filling. In each, I selected between 5-10 candidates to interview and put forward. This equated to between 200 and 350 people I spoke to – every week. Not to mention every hiring manager I spoke to as well. Over a year, this equals 16,800 resumes. That’s just the ones that I selected, not counting all the others I declined.

Take it from me: Here are the five things you want to cut from your resume, if you haven’t already:

1. Multiple Fonts

For the most part, recruiters aren’t going to read your whole resume. They’ll look at your title, company, and dates of employment for each job, and then move on.

The human eye is a funny thing. If you have several different fonts on the page, it may mess with the reader’s comprehension. They’ll have to reread certain sections of the resume just to make sure they understand – if you’re lucky, that is. If you aren’t lucky, they will just move on to the next candidate.

Plus, all those fonts are making my eyes hurt. Please stop.

2. ‘References Given Upon Request’

We know they are. We will ask you for references if we decide to give you an offer. This is premature in the relationship. All you’ve done so far was send a cover letter and resume.

3. Long, Boring Bullet Points

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If a sixth grader can read your resume and understand what you do for a living, than a non-technical recruiter can, too. The odds that the person reviewing your resume doesn’t fully understand what you do for a living are high. That’s why you want to write punchy bullets with accomplishment statements woven in. Use a simple format to present your tasks and achievements quickly. White space is your friend. I promise.

Five Things You Need to Remove from Your Resume In 2017

4. Funny or Odd Email Addresses – or Worse, Your Company Email Address

It’s a job search. Be professional. I once had a job seeker list “foxylady@gmail.com” as her email address. After 15 years of doing this work, I still remember it. Enough said.

5. Industry or Company Jargon

The reader has no idea what the “Tiger Team” or the “Eagle Project” were. Be safe and drop anything highly technical and industry- or company-specific – especially acronyms. If you must use such language, spell it out. High-tech companies are known for having special languages that don’t translate to anyone outside of the company. Years ago, I read resumes from candidates who were let go from Intel. It was confusing and time-consuming. They were lucky, because I ended up calling them and asking a lot of questions. Most recruiters won’t do that. They’ll just skip over you entirely.

Job seekers often write too much (and never too little) out of fear. They are afraid if they don’t list every little detail on their resume, they won’t get a call to interview. This approach often backfires. If you put your resume “out there” for 30 days and no one responds, stop sending it out. Chances are what you wrote on your resume works just fine, but you should also know when it’s time to pull the document and refresh it.

Interest In Side Gigs Escalates, Survey Finds

Interest In Side Gigs Escalates Survey Finds

Recent survey shows that a large percentage of workers, 85%, work more than one job. Is that true for you?

[COURTESY OF STAFFINGINDUSTRY.COM]

INTEREST IN SIDE GIGS ESCALATES, SURVEY FINDS

A large percentage of workers, 85%, hold at least one side gig or secondary source of employment in addition to their primary job, according to a study commissioned by Spherion Staffing. Of that group, more than half, 54%, hold two or more side gigs, extending their skills across multiple roles and fields of work.

Among workers holding at least one side gig, a desire to supplement their current income and to make money to save for future interests and responsibilities were the most frequently cited reasons for doing so, at 42% and 37% respectively. In particular, 57% of female workers deemed income growth the main inspiration for their side-gig activity, far surpassing the 31% of male workers who said the same.

“The escalating interest in side gigs across the American workforce does not necessarily reflect that workers are unhappy with their job, but rather a desire to pursue new and exciting growth opportunities — be they financial or personal,” said Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president. “Given this growth, side gig flexibility must be taken into account as companies refine their recruitment and retention plans. Employers and employees must find a middle ground that gives workers freedom to explore supplemental opportunities without inhibiting productivity or performance.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly half of workers surveyed, 47%, said that changing societal norms have set the expectation that at least one side gig is necessary.
  • Among workers holding at least one side gig, 18% said they are doing so because it is considered standard in the modern workforce.
  • 25% of workers who have never before held a side gig say they are “extremely” or “very” likely to pick one up in the next year, with millennial workers leading the charge at 43%.
  • 65% of those who have never held a side gig said they have at least given it some thought.

The Spherion survey was conducted online in April 2017 with global market research organization Research Now.

Reasons to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Reasons to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

By Catherine Conlan

[Courtesy of Monster.com]

Using social media is a great way to boost your job search. Taking advantage of social media sites can help you get your name out there and find the job you’re looking for.

Here are four reasons to use social media in your job search.

You Can Become an Expert

Demonstrating a deeper knowledge about the industry you’re in — or would like to be in — through blogging builds your credibility, says Lisa Parkin, CEO of social media consultancy Social Climber. “Whether it’s on a personal website or on a dedicated blog about the industry they’re seeking employment in, job hunters can show potential employers their knowledge and skill sets by writing about a news event or relevant topic once or twice a week.”

It Shows You’re Not Afraid of Technology

You don’t have to be an expert, but having a social media presence shows you care about your professional reputation and you’re comfortable using technology, says Brie Weiler Reynolds, director of online content at FlexJobs.

Pinterest is a good site to try something innovative with your job search, she says. “Create a board for your resume where you pin pictures of your work experience and education such as pictures of the college you attended, the companies you’ve worked for, and so on. Pinterest is especially interesting because it helps you create a visual out of your resume, which is traditionally a text document.”

You Can Blog Your Way to a Job

Commenting on the issues in your industry or field of work can itself be a path to a new job. Michelle Bramer, marketing and PR manager for online advertising firm eZanga.com, says blogs are an excellent resource for job candidates looking for new opportunities. And linking back to your blog while posting on other sites can lead recruiters right to your virtual door.

“Some of my favorite bloggers are small companies, and surprisingly, many of them are always looking for marketing and sales support,” Bramer says. If you’ve blogged about a company before, it can help strengthen your pitch when you apply there. As someone who routinely manages content writers and PR specialists, she says, “some of our best writers have been found by forging a relationship on a social network.”

You Can Learn About a Company’s Culture

Social media can go both ways — you can tell hiring managers about yourself, but you can also use it to learn about companies you’re interested in. Following a company on social media can give you an inside look into a its culture, clients and work, says Lauren Maiman, owner of the Midnight Oil Group.

“Use that info to your advantage when it comes to a cover letter or interview,” she says. “Use this insight to make sure you mesh with and want to be a part of their team. If you’re connecting in a meaningful way with them on social media, by the time you get to the interview, they should feel like they already know you (so careful what info you put out there, too).”