Administrative Assistant Skills That Make You Stand Out

Administrative Assistant Skills That Make You Stand Out

Clients of Brelsford Personnel are always looking for the best administrative assistants. Our agency seeks out quality administrative talent to place with top East Texas employers. But what exactly does it mean to be the best? Take a look at these key skills to find out if you’re a good fit for one of our administrative assistant jobs.

Communication

Administrative assistants tend to be one of the first faces a client will see. All communication – whether it is on the phone, over email, or in person – should be clear, concise, and direct. Administrators rely on their assistants to communicate with company employees at every level, so a friendly and professional communication style can keep things running smoothly.

Another essential part of communication is body language. For example, maintaining an open stance by not crossing your arms demonstrates you are approachable. Keeping eye contact and wearing a friendly expression are also indispensable parts of this skill.

When you understand and manage your own emotions and positively influence those of others, you show strong emotional intelligence. Your strength enables quick decision-making and simplifies conflict resolution.

Effective Time Management

Would people who know you describe you as someone who sets goals, prioritizes, and plans ahead? Many recruiters are searching for a candidate with exceptional time-management skills. Time management is a vital attribute for any employee, but especially for administrative assistants.

The key is to start every day with a clear idea of what needs to be done. That means planning. Make a to-do list or outline a plan to make the most of your day. Anticipating solutions to common hiccups helps work move more efficiently. A good administrative assistant instinctively looks for problems and addresses them before they are noticed.

Strong candidates also have a laser-like focus. They know how to filter out distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. Their time management skills lead to higher productivity and job satisfaction. For more on time management, see our article 3 Time-Wasting Habits to Break Now.

Attention to Detail

Paying attention to the little things can mean the difference between an average employee and an amazing one. It’s the details that count. When you spot even the minor mistakes, your work is dependably accurate.

This skill requires good listening, meticulous observation, and exceptional patience. Even small mistakes can have major consequences, but detail-oriented administrative assistants thrive.

Confidentiality

Administrative assistants should handle all information with extreme confidentiality. One of the most important parts of your job is safeguarding the information you receive about clients, the company and other employees.

Sharing this information can lead to a loss of revenue. It can ruin relationships and cause big accounts to go to the competition. A confidentiality breach can turn into a media nightmare and ruin a company’s good name forever. If an administrative assistant leaks information their company doesn’t just lose business, they break trust.

Most companies have regulations explaining what you can and can’t discuss outside of work. These are often outlined in the employee handbook, so if you get the job make learning them a high priority. No matter where you apply for an administrative assistant job, recruiters are looking for employees that know how to be prudent with their words.

Organization

Organization and adaptability are must-have skills for administrative assistants. It’s not just about who has the cleanest desk or powers through a to-do list fastest. These are the skills you’ll need to promote a positive working environment:

  • Problem-solving – This goes back to effective communication. A strong administrative assistant can work with others to solve tough problems in an organized fashion.
  • Physical Work Space – Having stacks of loose papers or personal items piled all over your desk sends a bad message to an employer.
  • Professional attire — A person’s physical appearance indicates to employers the care and attention to detail with which they approach their work. Clean, professional clothing can go a long way.
  • Planning and Scheduling – Your ability to juggle deadlines and appointments makes you an asset. When you take the initiative to complete tasks, it shows employers that you’re looking out for their interests. In the long run, your organization signals you’re ready for more responsibility.
  • Prioritization – A strong administrative assistant knows the difference between a high-priority task and a low-priority task. He or she always responds accordingly.

For an administrative assistant, these traits are key ingredients of a productive and fulfilling job experience. When you apply and when you go through the interview process, employers are evaluating your organization skills. Once you get the job, you won’t last long if you don’t show adaptability and oversight.

Problem Solving

How do you respond to the unexpected? For administrative assistants, new situations arise quickly that may require rapid-fire decisions and clear knowledge of the workplace.

Sometimes events derail your day and ruin your plans. Getting off-track can be difficult, but the best administrative assistants know how to quickly alter course and minimize disruptions after new problems arise. Recruiters are searching for employees who can adapt to change quickly and efficiently.

Being adaptable makes the workplace more cohesive. It’s a must-have skill for your position, and one that will make you stand out as a driven and exemplary employee.

The Importance of Experience

Being an administrative assistant requires diverse talents, but your company needs those skills to run smoothly. If you are self-motivated and a team player who is comfortable using a phone or computer, this might be the job for you. Administrative assistant jobs may include responsibilities like handling phone calls, answering mail, managing filing systems, and maintaining office supply inventories. You’ll probably also be required to type, enter data, and manage schedules and appointments.

Always check the job posting to see what is the minimum amount of experience required. It’s also good to be upfront about proficiency in programs you will interface with like Word, Excel, and QuickBooks.

If this article describes you, you may be perfect for the job of administrative assistant. Feel free to check out our online job postings for your next career opportunity.

Should You Take a Temp Job When You Need a Career?

Should You Take a Temp Job When You Need a Career

Holiday hiring is starting, and some East Texans are wondering if they should take a short-term gig or hold out for something more permanent. Temp positions might last only a short time and sometimes can go longer. They also may be like an extended job interview that results in a career.

If you’re offered a short-term position should you take it? Everyone’s situation is different, so we encourage job-seekers to weigh the benefits against the risks.

A Temp Job Means Income

With a temp job, you don’t have the long-term security that comes with a permanent role. You may not be eligible for benefits or vacation time. However, you know for a set time frame what you can count on earning.

When deciding whether to accept a temp job or wait for another potential employer to call, temping pays the immediate bills.

Short-Term Can be a Good Thing

You’ve heard it said that people don’t quit their job, they quit the boss. Last year CBS News reported 51 percent of America’s workers feel disengaged because of their job responsibilities or their supervisor. Hopefully your temporary job will be a positive experience but if it isn’t, you’re not stuck.

You’ll Add Experience to Your Resume

When you have a long gap between jobs, it can look bad. A temporary position fills that gap. (Put it on your resume and indicate that it was temporary.) If you’re a college student or recent graduate, sometimes short-term employment gives you the experience you need to find something more permanent.

You Have the Opportunity to Shine

To have the best chance at making a temp job permanent, treat it like a long-term commitment. Learn as much as you can about the company and your responsibilities. Build relationships with co-workers. Show up early every day dressed for success.

One of the benefits of temping is the ability to gain experience and expose yourself to a variety of personality types and processes. Soak up as much information as you can. Whether your position leads to something more permanent or not, your new skills make you more valuable.

Be on the lookout for ways you can make an impact. If a supervisor asks you to take something on that isn’t one of your assigned tasks, show a willingness to contribute.

If you found your temporary position through Brelsford Personnel or another employment agency, we have a strong relationship with the East Texas company you’re working for. Let us know if you’re interested in a full-time position and if one is available, we can inquire on your behalf.

Should You Change Careers? Ask Yourself These Hard Questions

Should You Change Careers? Ask Yourself These Hard Questions

All jobs have difficult days, but if you feel like work is sucking the joy out of every other part of your life, it may be time for a change. For some people it’s hard to know when to tough it out and when to head for the nearest exit. If you’re not sure which way to go, look inward to evaluate what’s best for you.

How do I feel about doing this for five more years?

Really picture your future. Can you see a way things might get better if you stick it out? If so, maybe you don’t want to abandon your current time investment. However, if the thought of sitting in that same chair day in and day out for five more years makes you feel panic, maybe it’s time to go.

What exactly is making me so unhappy?

If you’re not using your skills or doing something you’re passionate about, a career change might mean a better fit. If you hate your job because your boss has grumpy days and your co-workers are selfish, you’ll probably run into the same problems wherever you go.

Is fear what’s keeping me here?

Are there days you still enjoy what you do or is the only reason you show up that you don’t know what you would do otherwise? Do you stay in your current role because you’re afraid of ridicule or criticism if you decided to change? Do you long to do something else, but you’re afraid it wouldn’t work out?

Can I afford to quit?

In a perfect world everyone could follow their heart and achieve their dreams, but in this reality we all have to buy groceries and pay bills. Do you have the money to take time off or change careers? If you think you might, actually sit down with your budget and make sure it works as well on paper as it does in your head.

If you can’t afford to make a change, plan to save. Cut spending, do without or work overtime now so one day you won’t be stuck in a job you hate.

Is a career in my target field attainable?

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to be a ninja, an astronaut or a billionaire? Some goals are harder to reach. If you don’t have the skills, education or background for the job you really want, be honest with yourself. What’s an entry-level position that might get you where you want to be? If you need more education, how can you fit that in?

Are there opportunities for growth here?

Maybe you can’t see yourself staying at the same desk, but your current employer might have opportunities that are more aligned with your goals, interests and values. They already know what you bring to the table, so they might be willing to train you for another department or position. Talk to someone you trust to find out your options. When you know something better is in the future you’re not just marking time, you’re getting closer to a better tomorrow.

Does Brelsford Personnel have my dream job already posted?

That one’s not actually a hard question. The job you’re looking for might already be available. Click here to browse our online postings.

Sources:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140806165720-15454-the-right-and-wrong-reasons-for-changing-jobs
https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/5-tough-questions-to-ask-before-a-career-change
https://www.careerattraction.com/should-you-stay-or-should-you-go-how-to-decide-if-its-time-to-switch-jobs/

Simple Ways You Can Improve Employee Motivation Today

Simple Ways You Can Improve Employee Motivation Today

If you manage East Texas employees, there’s a tough season ahead. This time of year parents struggle to get into a fresh back-to-school routine. Almost everyone starts thinking toward the holidays. Distractions and fatigue make motivation start to wane.

You’ve seen your team at their best, and you want to minimize disengagement. Try these simple strategies to reignite a spark that’s beginning to flicker.

Launch a Monthly Recognition Plan

A paycheck is a good motivation for showing up, but what you want is for employees to give their very best. To do so every day takes a tremendous amount of energy and dedication.

The ones who give the most do it from the heart. They often feel an emotional connection to their work. They get personal satisfaction from a job well done and feel like they are a part of your company’s mission. Acknowledge them to point out those traits to others.

Make it a public recognition to affirm to those employees they’re doing the right thing, that they’re the best of the best. Point out specifics so other staff members know what you’re looking for. Recognize them on social media so their family and friends know they’re great at what they do.

Survey employees to find out what type of recognition means the most to them. Would your employee of the month most value a certificate they can hang on their wall, a designated parking space, extra flexible minutes or other awards?

Write Thank You Notes

Go to a Tyler or Longview office supply store and get a box of blank notes with envelopes. Use them to create hand-written thank you notes. Sure, it’s the digital age and email is easier, but that’s what will make your statement of appreciation into a keepsake for the recipients. They don’t have to be long or complex.

There probably are already a few people you need to thank. Sit down and give yourself a head start as soon as you have your stationery.

Notes can be as simple as “Dear April, I don’t know if you realize how much you bring to our business. The way you smile and greet everyone who walks through the door makes this a warm and inviting place. Thank you so much for always being incredibly positive.”

Chunk Big Projects

No, we don’t mean chunk them out the window. One solution could be the Agile Method. It was developed in the software design industry, but it is effective for almost all teams responsible for completing large or complex projects.

The way it works: Instead of giving groups the whole elephant to eat at once, break assignments down into smaller portions and complete them in timed sections called “sprints.” Plan a small amount of the work to be done and set a time limit during which everyone works as hard as possible. Then take a break, reevaluate and move on to the next phase.

You may find teams accomplish more in a shorter time frame than they would plodding along at a steady pace with no definite deadline. It is also motivating to frequently point out how much ground the teams have covered.

Micro-Manage Less

Give your teams autonomy while they’re working toward each goal. People want to feel they’re in charge of their work, their time and their accomplishments. If you’re constantly telling them how to do what you hired them for, it’s an energy sucker. A true sense of ownership is motivating.

Sometimes hiring managers say they would turn over tasks to their employees, but they don’t have people they can trust to take charge. At Brelsford Personnel we screen candidates to find those who don’t just have the skills, they’re passionate about what they do. Get in touch, we’ll help you find the staff that meets your needs and budget.

Sources:
https://www.naturalhr.com/blog/its-not-all-about-bonuses-how-to-motivate-employees-for-free
https://hiring.workopolis.com/article/5-ways-inspire-motivate-employees/
https://www.snacknation.com/blog/how-to-motivate-employees/

Why Someone Else Got the East Texas Job You Wanted

Why Someone Else Got the East Texas Job You Wanted

You thought it was a sure thing. You had all the qualifications and felt like your background and experience made you a perfect fit. You felt a connection with the interviewer. They may even have indicated you could expect to hear good things soon.

That’s why you felt stunned and confused when you heard they gave the job, your job, to someone else. Everyone’s situation is different, but if it happened to you, identifying what went wrong might lead to a better result next time.

The Other Candidate Was an Exact Match

The person interviewing you might have genuinely felt you would probably be their next hire. You already had most of the skills they were looking for and your personality seemed like it would fit well with their existing team.

Then the next person they interviewed seemed like they were tailor-made for the position. You were a good fit, but they were perfect.

They Hired the Most Prepared Interviewee

Think back through your interview. Did some of the questions catch you off guard? Employers hire candidates who have done their research and ask questions like the following:

  • What do you most value about our company’s mission?
  • What about the job description caught your eye?
  • What can you bring to our company?

The candidate they hired may have spent time before the interview in intense study. If they researched the company and had a firm grasp of how their background and skills related to the job description and you didn’t, you may have been outshined.

Employers are looking for specifics. Before your next interview, be sure you can articulate what you bring to the table. Pay special attention to the job description. Think of several specific examples where you have displayed the job characteristics they’re looking for.

The Other Candidate Had These Characteristics

CareerBuilder interviewed 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals in a number of industries. They asked if they were evaluating two candidates and both had the same skills, educational background and work history, how they would decide who to pick. Here are the top three most influential characteristics:

  • 27 percent of hiring managers said they would pick the candidate with a better sense of humor.
  • 26 percent showed preference for people who are involved in the community.
  • 22 percent of interviewers said they would choose the candidate who was better dressed.

If you’ve been passed over for a position, next time show how you have those characteristics. Interviews are stressful, but don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and show your good nature.

When questions involve your hobbies and interests, mention how you work with your son’s little league team and volunteer unloading cars at the elementary school. Dress for success with the guidelines on our resources page.

Find a Job in East Texas

At Brelsford Personnel, we help East Texans reach their career goals. Submit your resume to us and become one of our registered candidates today.

Sources:
https://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=8%2F28%2F2013&id=pr778&ed=12%2F31%2F2013
https://www.warnersearchgroup.com/news/20-reasons-someone-else-got-the-job-instead-of-you-26503

Succeeding At Work Even When You Have a Difficult Boss

Succeeding At Work Even When You Have a Difficult Boss

Last year Gallup’s World Poll released staggering statistics. They surveyed employees from 160 countries and found only 15 percent of them said they felt engaged at work. Of other 85 percent, many were okay with their company or organization; they just said they don’t like their boss. If you’re in that 85 percent, maintain your focus and keep a tough boss from ruining your week with these tips.

Step Back and Evaluate

Sometimes employees get stuck in a loop of working hard hoping to gain approval, praise or promotion and receiving the opposite. They get angry, resentment grows and conflict may occur. After a while, the employee might decide to do better, work harder or put in more hours and the cycle starts over again.

If that’s you, it’s time to break the cycle. Take some time to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What motivates your boss to exhibit the behavior that causes problems? Do they have higher-ups applying the same pressure? Are there factors or requirements making them feel out of control, so they take it out on those nearby? Understanding motivation might help you be patient with them.

 

  • How do you react when you feel opposition? Do you resentfully take longer to do a task or hide until things blow over? Are there other more positive ways you could respond?

 

  • Are there pet peeves you could be extra diligent to avoid? If dress code violations set him or her off, don’t see how close to the line you can skate before you get an email rant. If deadlines make her nervous, don’t wait until the last minute to turn in your part of the project.

Dealing with a difficult boss is like many other relationships. Sometimes finding an acceptable compromise or putting in extra effort isn’t about giving in to unreasonable demands; it’s about preserving your sanity.

Communicate More Effectively

If you feel like you need more feedback or direction, ask your boss if you can schedule a meeting to help improve your job performance. Have a frank discussion about what your boss feels are your most important duties and why.

Listen for the goals behind the words. If you feel your boss is willing, explore ways to prevent future misunderstanding and frustration without placing blame.

Further improve communication by repeating back the message. For example, if your boss says, “Get me that now,” compliance might not be possible in the next 60 seconds, but don’t panic. Repeat back something like, “Sure, I will before lunchtime be okay?”

Enlist Support

Find a trustworthy person who is thriving in the workplace and learn from them. Don’t choose the group that gossips or gripes, look for someone who can listen and support from a position of positivity and understanding.

If your job is making your life miserable and nothing you do seems to help, it may be time to change positions. Watch for openings within your company and see if there’s the possibility of a transfer or start researching employment at another organization.

Brelsford Personnel places qualified candidates with top East Texas employers. Browse our online postings or get in touch today.

 

Resources You’ll Need When Your Job Brings You to Tyler

Resources You’ll Need When Your Job Brings You to Tyler

If your new job is bringing you to East Texas, congratulations! You’re relocating to one of the most beautiful parts of the state, maybe even the nation. When individuals move for employment, it’s like a fresh start, but there are many unknowns. Here Brelsford Personnel provides links and information to help make the transition a little easier.

Connecting Utilities When Moving to Tyler

Inside the city limits Tyler Water Utilities provides water, sewer and trash pickup. If you don’t currently have service with them, you’ll have to stop by their office at 511 W. Locust Street or fill out an online application. They’ll ask for your picture ID, a lease or contract for the address you want service and your social security card.

If you’re moving from out of town you can upload your documentation. Tyler Water Utilities charges a non-refundable $50 connection fee and usually connects service within a business day.

Centerpoint Energy is the gas provider for the area. It’s possible to connect service by filling out their online form or contacting a representative.
Deposits range between $55 and $100 depending on your credit. They usually take a few days to turn on service and require someone be present when they do. They provide a window for their arrival that can stretch over several hours.

There are several choices when it comes to electricity, so it helps to shop online for what best fits your family’s needs. Choose Energy and Power2Switch allow you to compare plans from TriEagle, Frontier, Bounce Energy and other providers.

TXU Energy is the most widely used electricity supplier. They have several billing plans available, and people can order service online or over the phone. TXU runs your credit to evaluate the deposit, and if your credit is good they may waive it altogether. People with credit problems might have to pay up to $250.

Moving to Tyler and School Enrollment

Tyler Independent School District (TISD) provides education for students from kindergarten through 12th grade and offers an online registration process. If your child hasn’t ever attended a TISD school, they ask once you’ve completed online enrollment you bring these documents to your child’s campus:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Current immunization records
  • Proof of residency like a utility bill or lease agreement in your name
  • Evidence of withdrawal from previous school if your child attended somewhere else
  • Your photo ID

If you’re not sure what school your child should attend, check out the Tyler ISD attendance zone map for the current year, as geographic areas for attending specific schools are in the process of changing.

Resources You’ll Need When Your Job Brings You to Tyler

Smartphone Apps for Moving

Reduce stress during your move by staying organized. Technology can help you take a systematic approach to everything you need to accomplish. Download one of these apps to keep your to-do list handy at all times.

  • Moving Organizer Lite is a free download for Android and iPhone. It comes with checklists for common tasks and helps you keep track of what’s in boxes.
  • MoveAdvisor is basically a calendar app that tells what you need to accomplish week by week when you put in your intended move date.
  • Moving Tips is also free, and offers ideas for expert packing, long-distance moving, protecting your furniture and unpacking at your destination.

If you’re still looking for a job that will allow you to move to Tyler, Brelsford Personnel can help. Check out our online job postings or contact us today.

Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/11/20/8-tips-for-a-successful-job-relocation/
https://www.tylerisd.org/
http://www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/TylerWaterUtilities/WaterServiceCenter.aspx
https://www.txu.com/view-plans.aspx?customerclassification=residential&cint=4&dwel=01&prom=ONGMINITPS&zip=75703&tdsp=ER_ONCOR&eLease=false
https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/

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.

 

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.

Are You Making These 5 Common Phone Interview Mistakes?

[Courtesy of MurrayResources.com]

Gone are the days of the initial interview being a face-to-face one. Most employers today first conduct a phone screen. These are usually shorter and less in-depth than a full in-person interview. But they give the employer enough to go on to decide whether a candidate should move forward in the hiring process. We see some candidates make the same common mistakes in phone interviews, which impact their job search success. What are they – and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look:

Are You Making These 5 Common Phone Interview Mistakes

1. Not setting aside a quiet, private time to talk.

When it comes to successful phone interviews, it’s important to schedule them at a time when you can focus and will have total privacy. That means doing phone screens while you’re driving, or while your kids are all at home isn’t a good idea. Nor is it wise to schedule one while you’re at work, sitting at your desk. Keep in mind, if the environment isn’t quiet and distraction-free, you’re not going to be able to focus and provide the best answers.

2. Not preparing.

Just as you would for an in-person interview, it’s important to prepare for a phone screen. That means researching the company ahead of time and developing a list of questions you’d like to ask. That also means reviewing the job postings again ahead of time so it’s fresh in your mind and thinking through how your background and skills are a good fit for the position.

3. Eating and drinking during the interview.

It’s ok to keep a glass of water next to you in case your throat gets dry. But other than that, don’t eat or drink during the interview. Nothing makes a worse impression in a phone screen than the sound of chewing or slurping.

4. Using call waiting during the interview.

If another call comes in during your phone screen, ignore it unless it’s an emergency. You should never put a hiring manager on hold, unless you want to send the message that you don’t really want the job.

5. Talking too much or too little.

It’s up to you to persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the job. That means providing persuasive answers that showcase your strengths and proven record of success. That does not mean droning on, or giving one-word answers to interview questions. If there’s a pause in the conversation, don’t jump to fill it with mindless chatter. Let the hiring manager take control.

Phone screens are the new interview. So, avoid the mistakes above so you can ace yours – and move onto the next step in the hiring process.