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 – Do This Every Day

Create Your Best Job – Do This Every Day

The best way to create your best job is to make your job search your full-time job. When we tell people that, they often ask how they can spend 40 hours a week actively seeking employment.

The 5 Stages of a Job Search

Finding a job is a process that involves these stages:

Stage 1 – Identifying target employers and finding out how to contact them

Stage 2 – Submitting a tailored cover letter and resume

Stage 3 – Following up

Stage 4 – Scheduling, preparing for and attending interviews

Stage 5 – Following up on interviews

You might be at the beginning stage with some employers while you go through later stages with others.

What to Do Every Day

Monday through Friday set your alarm and get up like you have to be at work during regular business hours. Get dressed and get started like you have to clock in. Re-read the insight you gained from your review of your previous jobs. Every day accomplish the following:

  • Identify five new targets and how to contact them.
  • Edit your resume and cover letter for each of the five prospective employers. Mail or submit them electronically according to job posting requirements.
  • Follow up on previously sent resumes.
  • If you have an interview scheduled, research the company with which you’re interviewing and practice answering common interview questions.
  • Follow up on previous interviews.

Your main objective is to get face-to-face interviews with the decision maker who can hire you for your target role. Continue the process until you have multiple interviews scheduled and the possibility of job offers.

It’s also helpful to schedule informational interviews. Contact people currently working in the position you want. Ask them to share what they do and how they landed the job in the first place. You’ll receive valuable insight, and they might have contacts in your desired field.

Keeping Track of It All

If you’re sending five resumes a day, things could start to run together. Document your efforts so you don’t lose track or miss a follow-up. If you’re a paper and pencil person, grab your spiral and sketch out grids. If you prefer virtual records, create a spreadsheet. Here’s an example setup.

Stage 1 – Identifying Target Employers and Key Contacts

Create Your Best Job – Do This Every Day

Stage 2 – Cover Letter and Resume Tracking

Create Your Best Job – Do This Every Day

Stage 3 – Follow Up

Create Your Best Job – Do This Every Day

Stage 4 – Scheduled Interview

Create Your Best Job – Do This Every Day

Stage 5 – Follow-Up

Create Your Best Job – Do This Every Day

Brelsford Personnel specializes in helping people find work mostly in these areas of specialization:

  • Accounting and Financial Services
  • Administrative Office Support
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Business Development
  • Oil and Gas Staff
  • Human Resources
  • Legal Support
  • Customer Service
  • Information Technology
  • Operations
  • Healthcare Administration

If you’re looking for work in those areas, experience our fresh approach when you get in touch.

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.

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

Video interviews used to be just one tool in a hiring manager or recruiter’s toolbox. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, they might have become one of the most important ones. That isn’t going to change any time soon. If you’re looking for a job, give yourself the best chance of success by preparing for your online interview ahead of time.

The most common type of online interview is the video call, where the interviewer uses Zoom, Facetime, Skype or a similar platform to interact with you just like they would during an in-person interview. Some companies also might ask you to make a recorded video of yourself answering a series of questions.

Either way, candidates are sometimes caught off guard by how their stress level skyrockets during a video interview. Something about a camera makes you feel under intense scrutiny, even more “on the spot” than you would be during an in-person interview. Like with any other type of interview, preparation is the key to minimizing nerves and showing yourself at your best.

Preparing Your Video Interview Background

Choose a quiet spot you can completely close off from noise and distractions. Make the background as plain as possible.

With an in-person interview, the person you’re talking to is familiar with the surroundings so they’re not a distraction. However, through video you expose your interviewer to a completely new environment. You don’t want them to be distracted by what’s in the background. Instead, you want them to focus on you and what you bring to the table.

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

If there’s a lot to look at in the background, their eyes are going to roam all over the screen instead of looking at you. It’s harder to make a strong first impression and harder to keep their attention. Your décor could prevent them from recognizing your skills.

To keep that from happening, seat yourself against a blank wall or other monochromatic backdrop. Then, let in as much natural light as possible and turn on the other lights in the room to ensure your face is brightly lit. Consider placing a lamp on either side of your monitor to minimize dark shadows and harsh lines.

Avoid sitting in front of a window, or you’ll just be a dark silhouette on the screen. Sit in a chair with a straight back, not on the couch or in a recliner. Put your computer or phone with camera on a desk or table instead of holding it on your lap. It’s hard to look enthusiastic while lounging, hunched shoulders or a double chin.

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

Remove These Distractions

Ask someone else to watch young children during your interview and turn off everything that makes noise. Silence notifications on your phone and computer.

Make sure your cat or dog can’t wander through. Even your goldfish shouldn’t be on camera, he or she is guaranteed to do something to try to steal the limelight. Turn off your overhead fan so shadows won’t flicker and your hair doesn’t blow. Make sure the dishwasher and coffee pot don’t kick in on delay start.

Don’t sit in front of anything with text. You might think your library makes you appear well-read, but it could also have your interviewer trying to read all those titles sideways instead of focus on your answers. Family photos or dishes in the background are visual clutter you can do without.

Take mirrors down temporarily so you don’t have to worry about what they might reflect during your interview. Then pre-adjust your camera so only your face, torso and a small amount of plain background are visible.

What to Wear for a Video Interview

Dress for a video interview in the same type of professional attire as you would for an in-person interview. During your company research, watch for images of employees at work and wear something similar or slightly more formal.

Just like with regular interviews, avoid loud colors and prints. If you wear jewelry, stick to just a few simple pieces. And, just like with in-person interviews, wear pants or a skirt. If you just dress from the waist up, you’re sending yourself the message it isn’t a “real” interview. You also might end up showing your interviewer more of yourself than you intend.

Best Colors to Wear for Online Interviews

Black and navy are almost always a safe bet. It’s also flattering to wear a soft, light colored shirt. White, cream and soft blues and greens can be flattering, but red, yellow and orange don’t always look good on camera.

Video Interview Makeup Tips

If you are interviewing on Zoom, Bluejeans, FaceTime or any other platform, your goal is to highlight what is best about you. If you wear makeup, aim for a natural, healthy look. Evening skin tone and darkening lashes are fine but avoid heavy or dramatic shades in your eye shadow and lipstick.

How to Prep Your Technology

If you haven’t used the meeting client, you may need to download it. Here are links for accessing some of the most frequently used video interview tools:

Google Meet doesn’t require a download, just click on the link and follow the prompts to start a meeting. GoToMeeting has a 14 day free trial, but there are a few steps to signing up. Facetime is a feature on iPhones.

Your interviewer will send you a link to find your meeting room when it is time for your actual interview, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the software before you get to that point. Ask a friend or family member if they’ll pose as your interviewer and schedule a practice session with them over the technology you’ll use when it’s time for your real online interview.

Testing 1-2

Use a desktop or laptop computer if possible, not a cell phone or tablet. A computer is more stable and will likely have a more reliable internet connection.

Video uses significantly more bandwidth than web browsing. For video conferencing, you need a stable connection of 1-4 Megabits per second. Google will run a free speed test on yours here. During your interview, ask other family members to stay off the Wi-Fi so they’re not using your bandwidth.

If you won’t be connected to power, make sure your device is fully charged. Access your camera, first and make sure you are centered in the middle of the screen.

Content Preparation

Get your mind ready using the interview tips on our resources page. Then schedule that practice video interview with your friend or family member.

Once you’ve established your connection with them, ask them how the background looks on their end, whether or not the sound is clear and how and if you appear on the monitor. Make adjustments as needed.

Provide them with these seven common interview questions and have them pose as the hiring manager. Treat it like the real deal and you’ll uncover areas you can improve and build confidence for your actual interview.

Acing Your Online Interview

If you completed the above steps, you’re ready to make a good impression during your video interview, but there are still challenges ahead. When you meet with someone face to face, it’s often easier to establish rapport than it is when talking through a screen. Before you connect, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and connect with your most positive, confident self.

Establishing Rapport

Start with a friendly greeting and by thanking them for the opportunity. Sit up straight or lean slightly forward to express attention and interest. Mirror their talking speed, volume and energy levels. If appropriate, nod when they do, and occasionally repeat back to them or paraphrase what they say.

Eye contact matters, and it’s a little tricky to maintain it during a video interview. Because your interviewer appears on your screen, that’s where your eyes go. However, for most people, the camera is located at the top of their screen. If you focus in the middle of the monitor, you appear to be looking down.

Put a sticker behind your camera as a reminder to frequently look at the lens, essentially making eye contact with your interviewer. Don’t be put off if they don’t do the same.

If You Make a Mistake

Sometimes the unexpected happens, and if it was caught on camera mistakes can seem insurmountable. If it happens to you, don’t over-analyze while your interview is still going on or you’ll have a hard time concentrating on the remainder of the meeting. If you made a simple mistake and you can correct it, just explain you may have miscommunicated and you’d like to provide additional information.

If you’ve finished your interview and you fear it’s a make or break blunder, include a concise statement providing correct or omitted information in your follow-up email. If the problem relates to a technology malfunction, follow up with an email request to reschedule.

Wrapping Things Up

It’s common for managers near the close of an interview to ask if you have any questions. Prepare a few that show you’ve been listening during the interview, you did your research and you’re excited about the possibility of a job offer. It’s also a good idea to ask about the next steps in the process.

When it’s clear the interview is over, express your appreciation and sign off. Follow up with a thank you email and any additional information they requested.

Jobs Near Tyler Texas

Your next job might already be posted on our job board. Browse openings or submit your resume online today.

The Benefits of Utilizing Outplacement Services

The Benefits of Utilizing Outplacement Services

These are unprecedented times. When you drive through East Texas, it’s like a ghost town, with empty parking lots and dark businesses everywhere. We don’t know when it will end and how far the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will reach, but companies are already floundering, and unemployment numbers are shockingly high.

If you own or run a business, you’re facing hard choices. It’s heartbreaking to have to let staff go, especially when things are already difficult, but you don’t have to just walk them to the door and hope for the best. As a business owner, you can partner with Brelsford Personnel to help them navigate this environment and locate new work with outplacement services.

Replace Fear With Hope

You and your employees have a lot of legitimate worries. Where will you find the money to pay the bills? How much worse will things get before they improve?

If you have to lay off staff members, the anxiety only gets worse for you and them unless, at the same time, you also offer hope. Outplacement services give them tools and resources so they can put processes in place to get back to work as soon as possible. Instead of floundering alone in what feels like a sea of other job searchers, they have the advantage of being supported by a firm with outplacement experience, as well as years of experience helping people find the right employment match.

As an employer, you can’t answer all their questions about what steps they should take next, but you can give them tools to find the answers and the processes to help them get there. The resume and cover letter development skills, interview preparation, and career coaching that employees receive through outplacement services aren’t just temporary help. They gain abilities that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Encourage Your Remaining Workforce

The people who still have a job are thankful, but they are also weighed down by the knowledge this pandemic is far from over. It helps when they know your company will support them whatever may happen.

Managers making tough decisions are disheartened when they have to let people go. It may be the only way to keep the company afloat and keep on at least some of the staff, but it still makes you sick inside. It helps when you know Brelsford Personnel has worked with laid-off employees in the past—one-on-one or in groups—to provide them with the tools, knowledge, and a roadmap to direct them down the path to new opportunities.

Show You Care

Offering your employees outplacement services demonstrates that your company cares about them and their future. Importantly, it also demonstrates your commitment to your community. Another way to show support is by offering a severance package to the degree possible. It shows not only your concern for their well-being but also your appreciation for their loyal service through the years.

Partner for the Future

Things are going to get better. Your business will thrive again. When it does, you’ll need qualified staff to fill those empty desks. In between now and then, your staffing needs might fluctuate.

When you use Brelsford Personnel for outplacement services, you have a strategic partnership. The structure and cost of their outplacement services can be tailored to your objectives, scope, and budget.

Find out what outplacement services we offer when you contact us today.

What Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Mean for Your Job Search?

What Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Mean for Your Job Search?

How hard will it be to find work in the days and weeks ahead? Is anyone even hiring during the Coronavirus pandemic? Should you bother sending out resumes or just file for unemployment and wait until things improve? Here’s what you need to know about what COVID-19 means for your job search.

Job Searching IS Your Job Right Now

At Brelsford Personnel, we’re seeing a surprising trend. For some reason, people out of work aren’t being proactive in looking for a new position. That means opportunity for you.

If you need a job, make finding one your full-time focus. The unemployment numbers are staggering, and fewer employers are hiring. However, if newly laid-off workers are staying home to guard their toilet paper and repost COVID-19 memes on Facebook, that means they’re not applying for the jobs that are available. You could get there first.

Get up every day and work toward finding a new job. Make your resume and cover letter engaging, compelling and grammatically perfect. Reach out to your contacts to find openings, then apply. Follow up on every single lead. Do that Monday through Friday until you have a new paying position.

It’s Going to Be Tough

East Texas businesses are shut down or under serious restrictions. It’s going to be harder to get in touch with the people in charge of hiring. It might take longer to hear back from them. They might have to wait and see how things go before they can officially offer you a position.

Expect delays and setbacks, but know the work you’re doing matters. You are building relationships, and you don’t know which of them could open doors. Plus, sooner or later someone is going to notice the tenacity you display, and it will make you stand out.

Employers Are Still Figuring Things Out

East Texas businesses are busy working out the bumps with their current workforce, and that will impact your job search. Employees are still adjusting to remote work. Recruiters are just beginning to use video hiring. Managers are crunching numbers to try and predict staffing needs for the future.

All that means your job hunt will not follow the usual process. If employers seem distracted or unresponsive, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not interested. Both patience and polite persistence will be appreciated.

Interviews Are More Important than Ever

With fewer available jobs and employers facing new challenges, interviews are more important than ever, but they are not likely to happen face to face. The candidates who will be successful are the ones who can present themselves virtually and sell their skills over the phone.

Practice video and phone interviews with a friend or family member until you are comfortable with the results. Make sure you have a quiet place for conducting phone and video interviews. Even if your interview takes place at home, keep things formal.

Dress for interview success, position yourself in front of an uncluttered background and provide adequate lighting. Test your computer and the technology you will be using (Zoom, Skype, Teams etc.) before you’re actually live with the interviewer.

Also, recognize your interviewer might not have the same ability to communicate using technology you have developed, and don’t get put off by conversation that feels more scripted. You may have to work harder to make a connection, so be prepared.

You May Need Outside Help

Submitting your application online through the big, global employment websites is going to feel like putting a message in a bottle, tossing it into a very big, turbulent ocean and never seeing it again. Instead of letting that get you down, why not reach out to the Tyler Texas staffing agency that is been making a positive difference in East Texas for decades? Search our online job postings or email your job search questions to employ@brelsfordpersonnel.com today.

4 Indispensable Skills for a Customer Service Representative

4 Indispensable Skills for a Customer Service Representative

Customer service can make or break a business. Dimensional Research found consumers rank customer service the number one factor impacting whether or not they trust a business. When Microsoft surveyed consumers around the globe, 96 percent of them said customer service was the deciding factor in brand loyalty.

Good customer service wins trust and loyalty, but poor customer service loses business. Eighty-nine percent of consumers report they’ve switched to a competitor because they had a bad customer service experience. That’s what makes the right customer service representative indispensable to East Texas employers.

At Brelsford Personnel, those employers sometimes ask us to send them workers who will be an asset to their customer service department. Here’s what we’re looking for when we evaluate customer service representatives.

Professionalism

People don’t typically chat with, call or visit customer service because they’re having a nice day and they have positive things to say about what the company offers. They call because they have a problem and they need help. Problems make people feel confused, frustrated, angry and impatient. Often they wear those negative emotions on their sleeves.

A strong customer service representative can act professionally even in emotionally charged situations. They remain polite and friendly, even if the customer is rude. If they can’t resolve the issue or the customer’s emotions get out of control, they know when to transfer the situation to a supervisor.

Empathy

A good customer service representative can turn problems into positive interactions because they empathize with the customer. They can identify the emotions that person is feeling and remember a time they felt that way. It helps them form a connection with the person they’re helping. That connection helps the customer feel heard and eases their frustration.

Strong customer service representatives realize just having to contact support is a headache most people would rather avoid. They’re sensitive to the feelings that come from having to navigate a long phone menu or wait on hold. They make things a little better when they sincerely thank the customer for their patience and loyalty.

Good Listening

Great customer service representatives have strong listening skills that allow them to answer questions quickly. They’re attentive and engaged, even when they’ve been on the clock for hours. Customers know they’re listening because they note small details. They never sound bored or like they’re reading canned responses from a script.

Problem Solving

Sometimes there’s not an easy solution to a customer’s request. It’s not just a matter of issuing a refund or providing an exchange. That’s when a good customer service representative’s problem-solving skills become invaluable.

Consumers appreciate when support representatives take personal responsibility for their care. When you stay positive and don’t give up, customer loyalty often results.

Workers who come with all those traits are so hard to find, employers sometimes wonder if they’re unicorns. Brelsford Personnel has an extensive database with highly qualified customer service representative candidates. Learn more about what we offer employers or get in touch today.

6 Surprising Facts About Commuting in East Texas

6 Surprising Facts About Commuting in East Texas

The drive to and from to work cuts into your personal time five days a week. If you have a long commute that means you have to get up earlier, spend more on gas and stay away from home longer. Unfortunately, commute time has been increasing for Americans and Texans for more than a decade. So how does yours stack up? Let’s compare.

Most East Texans Have a Shorter than Average Commute

Across the nation, the average time for the drive to work is 27.1 minutes. That means in a Monday through Friday work week, people who take two weeks of vacation and work the rest of the time spend an annual 225.8 hours getting back and forth to the office.

In Texas, the average commute time is 26.7 minutes. That’s just slightly less than average, but still eats up almost an hour of every workday for the round trip.

Some States Have Speedier Drives

An American Community Study from the U.S. Census Bureau found people in South Dakota get to work fastest, averaging 16.6 minutes for their morning drive. Wyoming and Montana aren’t far behind, with around 17 minutes one way. Alaska comes in third at 18.5 minutes.

It Could Be Worse

If you work in Washington D.C., the average time it takes to get to the office is a whopping 43.6 minutes. New Yorkers have about a 35-minute commute.

Commute Time Varies Widely Within Texas Counties

Several East Texas counties have one city that acts as a hub for area workers, with communities clustered at varying distances from that hub. For example, Tyler acts as the major employment center for Smith County, Longview employs many Gregg County residents and people from all over Bowie County travel to Texarkana. Those larger cities are also where most of the population clusters, shortening their commute.

That means averages don’t tell the whole story. In Smith County, while the average is 23.8 minutes, 13.1 percent of workers take less than 10 minutes to get to work. However, almost a quarter of employees drive up to an hour to get to their workplace. Both groups are far from the average.

Smith County Workers Come From All Over

The Tyler area provides jobs for people from all over the region. As of 2017, of the 103,344 people working in Smith County, almost half of them (46,989 people) lived in another adjacent county. About 54 percent live in Smith County, the rest drive from Van Zandt, Henderson, Anderson, Cherokee, Wood, Upshur, Gregg and Rusk Counties.

Commuting is Safer in Texas

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) compiled data from 2012 and 2016 to analyze when and where people had fatal traffic accidents while driving back and forth to work. Texas was in the bottom 10. New Hampshire, South Dakota and Oklahoma topped the list of states where fatal crashes occurred during commuting hours.

Job Search Emotions – Surviving the Roller Coaster

Job Search Emotions - Surviving the Roller Coaster

Looking for a new job is exhilarating and exhausting, electrifying and draining. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit. Every time you fill out an application or submit your resume, your emotions yo-yo from hope to nervousness to frustration to excitement.

If you know what’s normal, it can help you survive the bumps and curves. Let’s look at common job search emotions, and then talk about how to make the ups and downs a little less extreme.

Normal Emotions During a Job Hunt

Whether you’re a 16-year-old applying for your very first job or a seasoned member of the East Texas workforce, these emotions are all completely normal.

  • Excitement – You’re energized by the possibility of change and ready to go find that great new job.
  • Overwhelmed – When you start to realize how many choices there are and all the work you face finding a new employer, it can feel like too much.
  • Fixation – You apply at one company that seems like a perfect fit, and suddenly all you can think about is working there. You feel like you can’t wait to hear from them and your life just might be over if they don’t offer you the job.
  • Hope – The employer calls you for more information or to request an interview. You see a potential light at the end of the job search tunnel.
  • Frustration – Time goes by and you’re tired of knocking on doors, tired of waiting to hear something, just fed up with the whole process.
  • Impatience – You’ve lost track of how many times you checked your email, voicemail and text messages. It feels like you should have heard something by now.
  • Deliriously happy and relieved – You finally hear you got the job.

Tips for Staying Focused

Just recognizing what you’re feeling is normal will go a long way toward making things easier. Most people connect what they do for work with who they are as an individual, so it’s understandable if you feel unsettled when things are up in the air.

If you’re out of work, treat job hunting as an actual job. Make sure your resume is mistake-proof and accurately showcases your skills. Use your contacts to find openings that might not yet be posted. Apply for more than one position at a time so you have a chance of hearing back from multiple employers.

Recognize when you don’t get the response you hope for, most of the time it isn’t because you aren’t likeable or skilled at what you do. Sometimes organizations promote from within. Other times they’re looking for something specific that wasn’t on your resume. When you stay positive and keep moving forward, eventually you’ll find the right fit.

Work With a Staffing Agency

At Brelsford Personnel, you’re not just a list of qualifications on a piece of paper. Our primary mission is to provide truly personal staffing services. We love what we do for work, and we thrive on helping others find ways to do the same. Search our open positions and see if we can help you find the job of your dreams.

Virus Proof Your Workplace in 4 Steps

Virus Proof Your Workplace in 4 Steps

The news is full of unsettling information about Coronavirus spread, and that’s likely to escalate in the next few weeks. But the truth is, there are almost always germs floating around, and no one wants to risk getting sick.

Bosses and managers can emphasize good habits and show workers they care about their overall well-being by prioritizing good health. Protect against both bacterial infections and viruses in the workplace when you follow these steps.

Educate Everyone

It’s okay for them to think of you as the company germophobe if it leads to better health. At your next meeting, spend a few minutes giving a refresher course on how microscopic organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa spread. Then explain how regular, thorough hand washing kills them.

Most germs, including Coronavirus, spread through moisture droplets that pass from person to person. Sneezes, coughs, saliva, even breath can transfer infection. Since with many illnesses, hosts can be asymptomatic and still contagious, employees should be proactive about guarding themselves and their co-workers from the risk of infection.

Supply Germ Fighting Products

It doesn’t do any good to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze if after you do, you touch doorknobs, light switches and shared computers. It’s better to catch those germs in a tissue, but employees don’t always have much warning before a coughing or sneezing fit. Help them out when you stock up on tissues and place them where they’re easy to reach.

Place hand sanitizer right next to the tissues. Grab a squirt now and then yourself to subtly encourage others to do the same.

Pass out packets of sanitizing wipes so staff can disinfect their personal workspaces. If employees eat lunch in a breakroom or other shared area, leave a tub of wipes there as well.

Encourage Sick Staff to Stay Home

Some employees don’t call in when they aren’t feeling well because they’re afraid it will reflect negatively on their performance. Others feel like they need to “tough it up” and power through, so they take medication to mask symptoms and report to work as usual.

However, it’s better for everyone if sick employees stay home. They’ll get well faster and won’t risk infecting their co-workers. Make sure your team knows you encourage them to take time off if they get sick.

Make Disinfecting Easier

Virus and bacteria-laden droplets can stay infectious for hours, even sometimes days after they land on surfaces. Disinfectant kills them, but if your workplace is cluttered, they have plenty of places to lurk in the mess.

Consider requiring employees to clear their desks at the end of the day and to not leave personal items in shared work areas. That will make it easier for your cleaning crew to thoroughly disinfect.

When everyone works together, germs don’t have a chance to spread. You significantly reduce everyone’s risk of getting sick at the office.