June 3, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Transforming Hiring

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has highly transformed the hiring process through helping HR professionals recruit and attract talent more effectively! As professionals in Talent Acquisition with a combined 40+ years in the industry, we have experienced the benefits and shortfalls of working with AI. The biggest impact we have seen with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the hiring process is the automated identification of candidates who match position requirements. We have also seen a shift towards skills based analysis and development of talent profiles. Below is an overview the benefits of AI in the hiring process: Automated Screening- AI can assess a large volume of candidates fit based on predefined requirements. This saves time for Recruiters & HR professionals by limiting the time it takes to review resumes with unmatched criteria. As an applicant be cognizant of key words in job descriptions and take the time to embed those into your documents.   Chatbots- Some AI platforms can communicate with candidates in real-time and can ask preliminary questions such as interview availability or certifications.   Reduced Bias- AI can help promote Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) by eliminating personal biases and contributes to a diverse hiring process. The technology is selecting matches based on qualifications, key words, and education.   Efficiency- Certain platforms can also note if a candidate has applied previously to

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January 24, 2024

Combat Ghosting through Effective Communication

We have all experienced it or have done it ourselves- “Ghosting”.  Suddenly and without explanation avoiding all communication with colleagues, employers, and/or employees.  As individuals, we tend to stop engaging in phone calls, emails, or messages while leaving the other person uncertain as to what happened. According to research in an article in the Washington Post conducted by Professor Royette T. Dubar at Wesleyan University, “Ghosting occurs as a result of lacking effective communication skills.”  From my own personal experience in recruitment, many candidates have ghosted companies by not communicating why they did not want to continue in the interviewing process. This happens frequently to the candidate as well. In a digital era, it becomes easy to hide behind technology and lack effective communication. How can we improve our communication skills and avoid the act of “ghosting”? Check out the strategies below that can be applied to any situation. Timely Responses: Whether you are a colleague, employee, or employer- practice providing timely responses for others. Set a rule of thumb that aligns with your schedule. For example, you may want to set a goal to follow up with others within 24 hours.   Active Listening: By listening to others, we can understand their needs and identify the importance of effective communication in any relationship.   Be accessible: If we are

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December 18, 2023

Unlocking Your Voice: Breaking the Chain of Command

In a world where conformity often reigns supreme, it can be tempting to follow the established hierarchy without question. But what if there are times when breaking the chain of command is not only acceptable but necessary? Let us explore the moments that call for a departure from the norm, and how doing so can create an exceptional and transformative workplace experience. Championing Safety First The well-being of yourself and your colleagues should always take precedence over any organizational structure. If you encounter unaddressed safety concerns, escalate the issue. Whether it is a life-threatening situation or a potential hazard, your voice matters. Upholding Integrity: Reporting Violations Every employee is entrusted with upholding the company’s values and complying with laws and policies. However, if you uncover serious violations and fear retaliation from your immediate supervisor, it might be time to seek a higher authority. Keep in mind that it is crucial to reserve this step for the most severe offenses, ensuring that your actions align with your values. Bridging Communication Gaps Communication breakdowns can hinder productivity and leave you feeling disconnected. When your boss fails to provide essential information or address your concerns, it may be necessary to seek support from colleagues or higher-ups. Before doing so, attempt to resolve the issue with your immediate manager. Suggest bringing in mediator to

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December 1, 2023

Strategies for a Positive Performance Review

As humans, our shared aspiration is to excel in what we do and be duly recognized for our contributions. To boost career satisfaction and ensure a positive performance review, a pivotal strategy is aligning personal values with the organization’s vision and mission. By fully grasping and embracing the core principles guiding the company, individuals can demonstrate unwavering commitment and actively contribute to overall success. To prepare yourself for performance reviews, follow these five steps: Understand the Organization’s Vision and Mission: Start by thoroughly grasping your organization’s vision and mission. Invest time in understanding the company’s long-term goals, values, and purpose. Given that these goals may evolve, stay updated by reading company newsletters, announcements, and actively engaging in town halls. This knowledge forms the foundation for aligning your values with those of the organization. Reflect on Your Values: Evaluate your values and beliefs. Recognize the intersections between your values and the organization’s objectives. Assess how your skills, experiences, and passions contribute to the company’s vision and mission. Through this self-reflection, pinpoint areas where you can add significant value and make a positive impact, fostering a mutually beneficial outcome for both you and the organization. Seek Opportunities for Growth and Development: To align your values with the organization’s vision, actively pursue opportunities for growth and development. While taking on “extra” tasks may

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October 9, 2023

Beyond Compensation-Total Rewards

The total rewards offered by an employer play a significant role in a company’s ability to retain top talent. Employers are dealing with the volatility of the pandemic and finding ways to balance total rewards that align to the current climate. In a study conducted by Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace reports, “only 21% of employees were engaged, and low engagement costs the global economy $7.8M in lost productivity.” As we are moving into a post pandemic era, 2023 has been a turning point and employers are identifying rewards that correlate with workplace satisfaction. Total rewards go beyond compensation and include hybrid flexibility, wellness programs, employee development, benefits, and recognition. Employees can consider these 5 rewards when deciding whether to pursue a new opportunity. Flexibility: Covid19 helped accelerate work from home models and has contributed to employees achieving a healthier work life balance as a result of reducing time spent commuting. More companies have transitioned to either a fully remote model or with the opportunity to work remotely 2-3 days per week. Wellness Programs:  To help avoid employee burnout and foster wellness, companies are offering gym memberships, on-site fitness instruction, and providing healthy snacks for employees during their breaks. Employers who help to encourage habits can reduce stress and help employees to achieve optimal wellness. Benefits: According to

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August 2, 2023

Overcome Self-Doubt and Anxiety in Your Job Search

Searching for a new job can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. It’s a time filled with opportunities for growth and new beginnings. However, it’s not uncommon to experience self-doubt and anxiety along the way. In this newsletter, we’ll explore some simple yet effective strategies to help you overcome self-doubt and anxiety to navigate your job search journey with confidence. Celebrate your achievements: Take a moment to reflect on your past accomplishments and acknowledge the skills and strengths that got you there. Remembering your successes will boost your self-confidence and remind you of your capabilities. Maintain a positive mindset and focus on your unique value as you embark on your search. Set realistic goals: Define your job search goals and break them down into manageable steps. Create a list of achievable objectives, such as updating your resume, networking with people in your desired field, or attending relevant events. By focusing on small wins, you’ll build momentum and stay motivated. Enhance your skills and knowledge: Invest in your personal and professional development. Identify areas for improvement and opportunities to expand your skill set. Consider online courses, workshops, or certifications that align with your career goals. Acquiring new knowledge, will help you gain confidence, making you a stronger candidate. Practice self-care: Job searching can be emotionally demanding, so it’s essential to take

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June 8, 2023

Marketing Yourself & Building Your Own Brand

Building Your Brand “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Tom Peters As a college professor, each year I speak to my students on the importance of “building your own brand”. Through resume writing and coaching, we speak to our clients about building and marketing one’s brand. How can candidates in the early stages of their career build their own brand and market it? Here are 5 steps to help you market your own brand: Define your messaging and values: Who are you and what is important to you? For example, many of my students are passionate about sustainability. Their messaging is curated around the importance of sustainable products and demonstrate this through listing these values.   Communicate your story: Showcase your story using a portfolio, website, and/or social media platforms. Utilize content that helps others visualize your mission and values and how this was developed.   Be Consistent: As we all have experienced with our favorite restaurants and clothing, consistency is what leads others to come back and want to follow the brand or business. For my students who design sustainable clothing, if they decide to design clothing

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April 12, 2023

Working Through Organizational Change

Working through organizational change – How to keep focused during layoffs. Organizational change can create a feeling of uncertainty for employees. Employees who are working for a company that is currently undergoing layoffs can utilize techniques and strategies to remain positive and motivated during times of change. Many times, we believe that only the directed employees feel the impact of a round of layoffs, however the data shows there is a ripple effect. Employees have every right to feel anxious during these periods, however they should also remember that they can use this time to showcase their BEST work. Prior to exercising the strategies below, it is important to understand the cause of the layoffs. Is it due to financial challenges or are the layoffs a result of employee performance? Understanding the cause of mass layoffs can help you employ the best strategies to decrease your anxiety. Strategies to stay focused during layoffs: Reach out to management to see how you can support the business during this time of transition. Make yourself “irreplaceable”. Set new goals, make sure they are attainable and model confidence. Stay confident and remind yourself that you are still working with the company because of your skills and expertise. Facilitate increased communication with management and subordinates. Keep track of updates, accomplishments, and KPI’s to clearly demonstrate

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March 23, 2023

The Importance of Taking Time Off to Recharge

The importance of taking time off to recharge your batteries Taking time-off is considered essential for employee growth and development based on various studies. As committed employees, we sometimes forget the importance of work life balance and how healthy it is to “recharge our batteries”. Do you ever return to work after a long weekend or holiday break and find yourself calm, focused, and refreshed?  Often, employees table their vacation days and wait until it is the “right time.”  We think about who will cover our workload or whether management will frown upon our request to utilize our days off. We need to reshape our thoughts into thinking “what better time than now”? The benefits of taking time off include: Further motivation upon returning from a vacation, which in turn, leads to higher productivity. Reduced chance of burnout. Improvement in physical and mental well-being. Reduction in stress and enhanced creative stimulation. What does the data say? Studies from the Society of Human Resource Management “Illustrate the importance of vacation time and its impact on efficiency and productivity” Findings of 481 participants demonstrated that employees who took vacation were more productive than those who did not and improved job satisfaction. Another study conducted by SHRM showed that “61% of American employees have 3 or more vacation days left over at the

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February 21, 2023

Leadership Takes Place at all Levels

Building leadership capabilities at any level – what makes a good leader Every workplace needs effective leaders. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. Successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes as well as at all levels. Leaders can be people managers or individual contributors. All successful leaders see the big picture and can get the needed results. The things that make a good leader are mostly soft skills. Four of the key attributes of an effective leader in the workplace are below. Confidence Effective leaders have the confidence to act swiftly in stressful and often time sensitive situations. Keeping calm, cool and collected rather than panicky or stressed. Your attitude sets the tone for the team and needs to project stability and capability. Communication Leaders excel at keeping an open line of communication with their team or peers to identify any issues that may impact their performance. Great leaders often customize their interactions and communication styles to suit each situation and team member. Building a connection with your teammates, peers or direct reports is one of the most important skills of a leader. The ability to connect to your people fosters trust, accountability and a positive workplace. This will lead to a happy team, fulfilled manager and in turn a

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November 18, 2022

Don’t Match All of The Qualifications: Apply Anyway!

You may not meet every skill on a job description, so what, apply anyway!  Many of us have been in the scenario were we are checking out job descriptions and find one that seems perfect. You read the posting and have an interest in the role, but you lack some of the stated requirements. Do you apply? I am here to tell you yes! Apply anyway. Do not count yourself out. There is no perfect science when creating a job description. In many cases, these descriptions are describing the “dream candidate”. Often times the unintended consequence becomes that people who are largely qualified for a position, do not apply. Now that you have made the decision to apply to this perfect position, how do you get your resume noticed. Below is a list of strategies you can use to apply to that role. Highlight Transferable Skills Make sure your resume demonstrates when you have learned new skills which led to positive business outcomes. Give evidence that you have used the required skills, even if its not executing the same tasks as what is on the job description.   Submit a Cover Letter Write an amazing cover letter where you paint a picture of what you have done well and highlight that you have learned what the company wants and can

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October 10, 2022

Career Coaching: What is it? Can I benefit from it?

Service Spotlight – Career Coaching This month we are going to dive into our services we offer. Our Career Coaching service puts the focus on you! Our coaching service assists our clients in assessing their skills and strengths to create focused goals. We then create alignment between the two to help you secure your desired position. What kind of applications does Career Coaching have? It is a great service that can be used for many reasons. Here are some of the reasons that you may choose to get coaching. You are just entering the workforce and are not sure what direction you want to take your career. You have decided that you no longer get satisfaction from the industry you work in and would like to make a transition. Your career has been stagnant and you need to figure out the best approach to achieve long overdue upward mobility, You just received a performance review and have some areas of opportunity listed but do not know how to improve on them.   There is a myriad of reasons why someone may need coaching. The important thing is that it is customized to your needs. Our service consists of 5 sessions, starting with 3 in depth sessions over 2-weeks and 2 follow up sessions within the next 30 days. Check out

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August 23, 2022

Strategies for Dealing with Job Market Uncertainty

Dealing with Market Uncertainty As individuals living through a time of job market uncertainty and change, we have many questions that come to mind. Will I get promoted? Will I have a job in six months? Is my company going to remain remote or go back to in-person work? Uncertainty in the workplace is one of the most common causes of stress especially during a pandemic. This past year, employees have faced inflation, a tight labor market, increases in housing costs and continuous change in work models. The pressure to maintain employment or to move up in one’s career has caused a tremendous amount of job market uncertainty and anxiety. When it comes to organizational change and uncertainty, we may not know the outcome, but we can control how we handle the stress that comes along with it. Check out the top 5 ways to deal with uncertainty during a time of change: Face your fears: Think about your causes of concern. Eliminate irrational thoughts and follow the additional tips below. Acknowledge what you can’t control: You may not be able to control layoffs or going back to work in-person, but you can control your backup plan. Always have a “Plan B- What is your backup plan if you were to get laid off? Start applying to jobs and be

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July 26, 2022

The Importance of Maintaining an Updated Resume

Keeping your Resume up to date Writing a resume can be easy to put off, especially for candidates who are satisfied with their current position. Keeping your Resume up to date can help keep track of growth, significant accomplishments, and development. It also allows candidates to explore new opportunities at any time. We never know when opportunity will knock. It can come in many forms and from various channels. We could get a message on LinkedIn from a Recruiter. It can come from an old co-worker that feels you are perfect for a role at their new company. It might be a position you come across on LinkedIn or Indeed that just checks all of the boxes. Another reason for keeping a Resume up to date is to be ready for layoffs especially during a time of economic hardship. Recently, companies such as Netflix, Coinbase, and Notarize have laid off a significant number of employees. Coinbase has “laid off 1,000 employees to cut expenses” while Notarize has “laid off 25% of its workforce.”  Having an updated resume will allow immediate career exploration and can minimize the panic of unemployment. Check out these 5 easy tips below on how to remain vigilant in keeping your resume updated: Have a notebook or document saved and continuously add the following information: Each month,

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June 13, 2022

Understanding the Well-Being Movement

A major focus in the world today is well-being. We have seen many posts and articles that dive into physical, mental and emotional well-being. What we have also seen is a myriad of solutions to address the issues associated with these topics. Let’s dissect a few of these. Work from Home (WFH) – WFH has been a major topic of discussion since the pandemic first started in early 2020. At the time, roughly 10% of the workforce was remote, now we sit at ~40% of workers at home exclusively or part-time. Remote workers that were surveyed reported that they were 22% happier than workers who always work onsite. On the flipside those that WFH tend to work more hours which can contribute to burnout. Finding the right balance is key and a hybrid role may be the sweet spot for most people. The 4 Day Work Week – At this time, it has not yet been broadly adopted and we certainly remain skeptical about this approach. We believe it’s only a band-aid for solving some of the workplace issues that adversely impact our well-being. According to 4-day week, a global a non-profit, 78% of employees with 4-day work weeks are happier and less stressed. The concern with this is that salaried employees may see no impact on stress, if needing

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May 12, 2022

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Cover Letter

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “Do I need to have a Cover Letter?” Our answer is “If it’s a good one, yes.”. The Cover Letter’s purpose is to accompany your Resume. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your accomplishments and showcase your soft skills and passions. The Cover Letter format allows more flexibility and creativity then a Resume. On the flipside, a Cover Letter that is rushed, contains errors or is disjointed can work against you. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages, can help you determine if it is necessary to include with your next job application. Advantages of Cover Letters: It can be an attention grabber. The Cover Letter will enhance your application package. It should entice the reader to pick up your Resume or reinforce their decision that you are a good fit. The information in your Resume and Cover Letter should complement each other. Use it to highlight your achievements. You can showcase your personality. This is a place to show and create interest about yourself.  The goal of the Cover Letter is to make the person reading it want to meet you. Demonstrate your talents and skills in a way that shows your unique style and ideas. It gives you a chance to show your interest in a position. It is

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April 12, 2022

Best Tactics to ask for a Raise

The thought of asking for a raise is intimidating to most, but it does not have to be. Those of us that work for a company with a structured pay scale or annual performance evaluations linked to compensation reviews may feel reduced stress. If you are looking for an off cycle raise or for some reason don’t have this structure, asking for a raise might be the only way to get it. The process can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be. Before you have the conversation with the higher-ups, make sure to do your homework. The preparation you do before the conversation will be evident. Below are ways you should prepare: Know why you want a raise. Ensure that you give reasons that are based on performance, merit, market conditions and cost of living (inflation as an example). Determine how much you are willing to accept, make sure to go in asking for more than that number as a starting point. Note that the average raise is about 3% internally. Timing is everything! It is best to ask for something when people are in a good mood or after you recently got praise or completed a tough project. Set the occasion by considering all variables and people needed in the discussion. Don’t have this conversation out of the blue, schedule

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March 22, 2022

Strategies for Quantifying your Achievements

The strongest resumes are those that demonstrate the impact of a candidate’s achievements. When an employer reviews a resume that showcases metrics, they are noting specific results executed by the candidate. Often, we have many accomplishments throughout our careers that we may have difficulty recalling or quantifying. The key to quantification is tracking and documenting our achievements on a regular basis. For example, if a sales Manager has a goal of selling $100K in Q1 but exceeds his or her sales goal by 20%, this is an achievement that can be included on a candidates resume as it presents specific metrics. Most importantly, it shows that the candidate exceeded their goal. If the Sales Manager tracks performance quarterly, it will be easy to include on his or her resume. Showcasing metrics can also demonstrate to employers the type of outcomes you can achieve for their company. If your resume includes metrics that show you exceeded goals year over year, this is an indicator of your future job performance. Strategies for quantifying your achievements: Keep track of your goals on a quarterly basis: At the beginning of each quarter, write down 3 goals that you set out to achieve. At the end of the quarter, note your progress by including metrics. For example: If a Social Media Manager wants to engage

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March 2, 2022

Find Fulfillment in Your Career

What contributes to finding fulfillment in your career? Finding fulfillment in life is the ultimate goal. As adults, most of us spend the majority of our time working, so it makes sense that one would want to get fulfillment from their job. Most of us strive to have careers that bring financial security and personal engagement. When one finds value in their career it makes the workplace a more enjoyable place to be. Below are 3 examples where fulfillment can be found from a job. Mission– Decide what you want to stand for and keep that in mind when conducting business. By putting your personal mission at the forefront of your mind, you will act in accordance with who you are and what you want in your profession. This will keep your personal integrity intact and in turn help you feel fulfilled by not compromising your values. When you have a clearer understanding of your values, it makes it easy to see if the organization shares them. Learning– Use your job to level up. Find the aspects of your profession that challenge you and lean into them. This is where you will grow and learn. When you are exposed to challenges, figure out a solution to overcome it to gain that new skill. This feeling of accomplishment is a key

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February 7, 2022

It’s a Job Seekers Market: Build Your Career Strategy

It’s a candidate’s market: What does it mean and how to take advantage.   The labor market has gone through a major transition since the start of 2020. Since the third quarter of 2021, we have entered a candidate driven market. What does this term mean? A candidate driven job market is one in which the job seekers have the upper hand and the number of open positions are outweighing the number of job seekers. It is an ideal time to work on your career strategy. In a candidate favoring market the individual has greater bargaining power.  With talent being in high demand, it allows the job seekers to be less flexible in terms of salary, work-life-balance and benefits. This shift is giving candidates an advantage to: Highlight your transferable skills to make the change to a different career. Negotiate salary, with in many cases having multiple competing offers in hand. Secure a role that is the at the next level. Many employees that previously found it difficult to secure that higher title may no longer face that barrier. Working from home has diminished the role that geography plays in our search. This allows for candidates to source jobs that they would have not had previous access to.   Now with less bargaining chips, companies are dealing with this power

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January 7, 2022

New Year: Take Your Career to the Next Level

Let’s ring in the New Year and take a moment to assess our career! Each year, we have resolutions that we make or break. With 2022 approaching, let’s review where we are now and what’s next. Check out these 5 resolutions below that you won’t want to break: Self-reflect- Think about where you are now and where you want to be. Are you seeking a promotion, career change, or interested in refreshing your skills? Make a list of your accomplishments and assess the next steps.   Create a timeline for success- Create a list of your actions and define designated due dates on your calendar. This will help you stay accountable throughout the year. Check out apps such as Vervo and Strides to help keep you on track!   Network- Attending virtual or live career fairs is a keyway to expand your contact list of professionals who you can collaborate with. LinkedIn, Meetup, and social media groups are also ways to meet professionals with common goals. Expanding your network can also keep you abreast of opportunities that may interest you.   Take a class- Aim to sharpen your skills and learn something new. Is there a technology or software you want to become proficient in? Or perhaps you need to update a license or certification. Taking a class will help

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December 7, 2021

Skill Series: The Importance of Adaptability

Are you flexible? Willing to learn? Accepting of change? Eager to try new things? Great news, if you answered yes to these questions, you most likely are adaptable. Adaptability, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is the ability to change or be changed to fit or work better in some situation or for some purpose. Being adaptable is one of the most desirable leadership skills. Why is it important to be adaptable?   The ability to handle changes and setbacks while maintaining your composure is a soft skill that can benefit you in every facet of life, especially in the workplace. Adaptability shows your ability to be resourceful, think critically, prioritize tasks and step up as a leader. Adaptability is especially important in the post COVID-19 world. With today’s uncertainty and the many changes in our daily lives, adaptability is given a boost in importance. By demonstrating adaptability, you can make seamless transitions, show alternative solutions, learn new skills easily, while remaining positive. In my personal life, by living and working on the road while traveling cross country, this is the most critical skill I had developed. Things more often than not go differently than planned. The ability to “roll with the punches” as well as maintain goals and composure while the world around you is constantly changing is a skill that I

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October 22, 2021

Goal Setting and its Importance!

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream it becomes a goal!” Stephen Kellogg We all know goal setting is important but sometimes, we overlook the importance of setting goals that are mapped out. Have you ever set a goal and months later recognize that it was not achieved? Or do you recall a time when you achieved a goal and felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment?  When identifying the differences in what helps us achieve our goals, it often is found that a planning phase can make it or break it! Employees who set and achieve their goals are likely to gain a promotion or increase in compensation. Personal goals also help us stay energized and motivated. All around, goal setting is important for everyday growth. Below are 5 goal setting principals that can help you plan & achieve! Set a specific goal that is clear and concise: Setting clear goals will provide you with direction. Goals should also be concrete rather than generalized. For example, one of my colleagues had a goal of “increasing social media engagement.” After revisiting her goal, she developed a more concrete goal of “Increasing social media engagement by 10% at the end of Q3.”   Find a way to measure your goal: Measuring goals will help keep track of your progress. For

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September 14, 2021

Pay cut for Work From Home (WFH). Is it worth it?

When it comes to salary, we each seek to receive compensation that is comparable to the amount of experience we have. Often, we aim high, negotiate, and try to achieve our worth. However, in some cases, can less really mean “more”? During the pandemic, millions of employees have strived to work from home, even if it means taking a pay cut. Google recently approved 85% of employee requests to work from home while cutting their yearly salary. In a survey conducted by the Business Journal, Americans voted that they would take up to a 7% pay cut to WFH, part time. Other studies conducted by Pollfish demonstrated that some employees would shave off up to 25% of their salaries! Top reasons why employees have taken a pay cut to work from home: Health and Safety – Due to the pandemic, employees may want to have less exposure in the office and throughout their commutes. Working remotely creates a sense of ease for many. Cost Savings when it come to commuting expense. We also save on lunch, and that extra cup of coffee we all tend to need. Tax breaks – Remote work may allow us to write off internet, Wi-Fi, and phone services, leading to a better tax return. Work life balance – Saving commuting time allows employees the flexibility

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July 29, 2021

Interviewing Skills: Asking Questions

Candidates often stumble at the end of an interview when employers ask “Do you have any questions?  Part of preparing for an interview is remembering that thought provoking questions will benefit both the candidate and the employer. An employer’s response to the questions can allow candidates to understand if the company is the right fit. On the other hand, a candidate’s questions will demonstrate their interest in the company. Keep in mind that how an employer responds to these questions can be a key component of your decision-making process.  Make it common practice to take notes and reflect on the answers given, before making a decision. Below are 5 questions that may come in handy at the end of an interview:   How would you describe a typical day for a candidate in this position? Understanding a “day in the life” will help you determine if this opportunity is aligns to your career goals. Make sure that the description excites you and would motivate you to come to work.   What are the attributes that someone needs to have success in this position? Think about the required qualifications and how they match up with your skills. Do you have what it takes to be successful in this role?   What are some of the challenges that someone in this position

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July 1, 2021

 Salary Negotiation: Negotiate with Confidence!

Salary negotiation is a crucial part of the journey throughout career development. As dedicated employees, we want to ensure our hard work is recognized. As individuals pursuing entry level or executive level roles, we each have a “value.” Remember, the goal is to earn as much as we deserve-without running ourselves out of the pipeline! Although negotiating salary can cause hesitation, nerves, and the desire to back down from an awkward conversation- we should remember the following: “The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.” This quote by Howard Baker says it all! To negotiate with confidence and ease, have your facts ready to go! Check out my 4 principles below: Know your worth! Be realistic! Conduct a compensation analysis of your industry. Remember to ensure the years of experience and education are comparable. Document your research. You can use resources such as salary.com or glassdoor.com to check what the industry standards are. Show your value! Answer the following questions and prepare your answers. Have you saved a company cost? By what percentage? Have you increased revenue? What were the key contributions of your recent position?  How will you remain an asset for the company you are applying to? Show employers that you are interested in

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April 29, 2021

In-Person or Remote Working- What’s Your Vote?!

The Advantages & Disadvantages of In-Person & Remote Work Settings Over the past several years, one of the hottest topics of conversation includes the Pros and Cons of working remote versus in-person.  Pre-pandemic, companies were starting to “experiment” with the virtual workspace while allowing employees the flexibility to work remotely. Now, this is our “societal norm.” Since March 2020, the pandemic provided myself with the opportunity to work remote while comparing my experience to my previous “in-person” life. For 8 years, I worked in a corporate office in Talent Acquisition and Operations while teaching courses at LIM College. Although commuting over two hours to New York City was not the most enticing part of my day, I genuinely enjoyed getting dressed up and engaging with a team. Teaching students in person also created the opportunity for developing personal connections with them and coworkers alike. Flash forward to March 2020 up until the present date, zoom is my best friend and student discussion boards are part of my daily routine. As a working mom, I am able to continue my career while watching my son go through the many milestones of learning and development. As you can see, I have an internal dilemma regarding which setting offers the most perks and productivity. I have come to the conclusion that “the answer

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March 31, 2021

Resilience: What is it and why is it important?

In this blog we are going to discuss the importance of resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from difficult life events. Resilient people make the most out of bad situations and bounce back quickly. Individuals who possess a high level of resilience are less vulnerable to getting knocked down by obstacles and tend to find solutions to problems. Often times resilience is seen as other traits like adaptability, calm personality and optimism. These traits are a part of the whole, resilience allows a positive approach to work and outlook on life. This enables both better problem-solving and supports maintained motivation. Some ways to enhance and build resilience are managing emotions, developing personal drive, focusing on goals, creating supportive relationships and making physical wellbeing a priority. An individual that leverages these five linked personal elements, is on his/her way to becoming more resilient. This trait is not only beneficial in life, it has ties to performance in the workplace as well. The importance of becoming resilient cannot be understated, a study by BetterUp Labs found that “Employee resilience is associated with decreased stress and that people low on resilience are 4 times more likely to burnout”. Two examples of demonstrating resilience in the workplace are: After a poor performance review, making note of the critiques provided by your

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March 4, 2021

Online Learning Opportunities: Skill building from home

Do you want to learn a new marketable skill or dive into a topic of interest just for fun? Online learning platforms are a great resource and an accessible way to accomplish your goals. There are several online platforms that offer a great option to keep you busy and productive while in the comfort of your own home. We will dive into six of the more popular platforms below. LinkedIn Learning- linkedin.com/learning/ LinkedIn Learning has big emphasis on technical and web development topics to dive into. With over 600 coding courses and more then 3,000 other courses from business, design, photography or web development you are sure to find something that peaks your interest. Skillshare- https://www.skillshare.com/ Skillshare is considered one of the most popular learning platforms with courses divided into 3 categories: Thrive, focusing on lifestyle and productivity Build, focusing on business analytics, leadership & management, marketing and freelance & entrepreneurship Create, with a focus on film & video, animation, graphic design, music, creative writing, photography and web development.   Skillshare takes a project-based approach to learning. The courses are structured in two parts: a video presentation and then a class project. The classes follow an open model platform which makes it community based and usually ahead of trends. Masterclass- https://www.masterclass.com/ Masterclass offerings are taught by world-famous experts and celebrities.

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January 29, 2021

Reinventing your professional self for 2021

What does reinventing your professional self look like? As we continue to face many obstacles throughout the pandemic, many of us have used 2020 as an opportunity for “reinvention”.  Brands have used this period of change to “rebrand” or implement intriguing new services. Did you know Southwest Airlines now has their own wine subscription service? Or you can now drive thru a “Chipotlane” to pick up food at Chipotle instead of the traditional counter pickup? Small businesses are also pivoting. According to a survey from Small Business Trends, “92% of businesses have pivoted their business in at least one way.” As individuals, we are our own brand. We have a mission, core values, and of course- strengths. Taking the time to use 2021 as a period of change and reinvention is an exciting opportunity to exercise our strengths in this virtually focused era. Just as businesses are experimenting with different offerings during this global crisis, let’s think about what we can offer ourselves in terms of our career. First, let’s think about why we may want to “rebrand” or “reinvent ourselves.” Is it because different industries are booming while others remain stagnant? Environments are changing, the world is becoming more and more digitally focused.  Maybe you want to explore a new passion, acquire a position that is permanently remote, or

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October 29, 2020

Those Pesky Applicant Tracking Systems!

We have all heard of the dreaded ATS. The system that scans Resume’s and decides our fate before any human can look at our document. I want to talk a little bit about why they exist first, because many people voice their displeasure about the lack of human attention to the initial part of the hiring process. In many cases, technological advances arise from a need and usually come with both benefits and negatives. This is no different for the ATS. Let’s discuss the why first and move onto the what after. Why do they exist? One of the main reasons they exist is because of how easy the application process has become due to technology. We no longer have to fill out paper applications or find out about positions through the help wanted pages in newspapers. This has driven the average reply rate to approximately 250 applicants for every open position and only 25% of which meet the qualifications of the role. Pressed for time and with limited resources both Agency and Corporate Recruiters could not possibly assess all submissions. This led to the development of software that can scan and weed out unqualified applicants. Of course, this process has some obvious issues, including the exclusion of some very qualified candidates from the talent pool. What are we to

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October 1, 2020

Addressing a skills gap to build career success

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. As someone that studied I/O Psychology and spent 6 years as a Learning & Development Manager, I find this to be an important topic. Let’s start with what is a skills gap. When applying this to your career we can simply define it as the space between your existing skills and the skills that you need to secure your intended career choice. These gaps can occur for several reason, including changes in technology, industry or workforce trends that we are unaware of. It can also occur because we simply choose to change our career path. The next question is how do we fill these in? Well the first step is identifying them. Our time is finite, so it is extremely important that we determine what we want to do going forward first. Understanding where we want to go will allow us to come up with a plan on how to get there. Our recommendations are the following: Start reaching out to your network to get a sense of the market and what opportunities are out there. Conduct a job search. See what positions look most interesting to you and what the skills required are. Then assess your skills and see where the disconnect is (if any). Connect with

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September 2, 2020

Sometimes Less is More_Crafting a Concise Resume

What is the key to writing a strong Resume? How do we possibly express ourselves and speak to our professional experience in 1 page or less! Well the good news is that in some circumstances we don’t have to. Even though it is now more acceptable to have a longer Resume, there is still a struggle to find balance between telling your story and finding the space to do so. Two factors that are driving this struggle include the average time we stay at a position in the United States (average is between 2 – 3 years) and the diverse expectations of us while we are in that position. How do we combat the natural inclination to include all of our accomplishments and tasks across each role we have held? The first step is to decide what you want next by deciding what skill you want to continue to develop and the responsibilities you have that do not fit into what motivates you as an employee. After we self-assess, it is important to do something that may not seem natural, we should look for jobs before working to update the Resume. It is important to not only self-assess, but to see what the jobs we are prioritizing are asking of us. This provides us with the opportunity to create alignment

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July 16, 2020

The importance of Mindfulness

I know that we are getting fatigued by the constant reminder of “Covid-19” dubbed also as the “Coronavirus”, but I felt it was important to the cover the topic on mindfulness. This should always be a practice embedded in our daily lives, but I do think it is more crucial now that we practice it. I would like to share my personal story. My wife and I both work full time, I with this business and my wife full time in the corporate world. We have two children 4 and under, and thus far have been lucky to have full time care for them through a combination of our parents and daycares. This set up changed for us in an instant and for long stretches we have both been trying to work and watch the children and I am not sure if we are doing either effectively, but we are doing our best. We know of others that are having a much more difficult time then we are. We have family members that own small businesses and can’t open, we have friends that are furloughed and we have colleagues that are just getting by. The point of this story is that the virus has impacted us all in different ways, so be mindful of what is going on with your

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June 29, 2020

Mental Health Matters

As I write this, we are entering nearly 100 days into the COVID-19 pandemic. I can speak personally to the mental battle it has been to stay grounded and sane during this time. We have all been impacted by this in different ways, whether it’s the strain of having children at home, or an immunocompromised family member or even just the anguish of not being able to participate in the social activities we are used to. In my opinion, I do feel that this is why social media, although sometimes beneficial, is wreaking havoc on our society. Its creating a false sense of connection and a social platform that is anything but social, however that is an article for a different day. Let’s jump right into what we feel are some of the keys to boosting your mental health. Leave the house! Do it safely and keep others in mind when doing so, but this is number 1 by far. This can be in the form of taking a drive, finding a more secluded park to go to or even just walking around your neighborhood.   Avoid the working more trap. This is crucial. Now that everyone is working from home, vacations are being cancelled and people are limiting their social interactions, it is easier than ever to shift the

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May 28, 2020

Job Seeking During the Pandemic

Hello to all job seekers out there who are trying to navigate the job search while getting through the challenges of the pandemic. Although interviewing alone can be “intense”, utilize this time to find your niche in an environment you can call home One of my biggest tips to anyone on the job hunt is to showcase your personality and let your natural energy shine through. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and find an organization that fits YOU. While beginning the hunt, consider the following questions and tips below: Have you updated your resume? Tailor your professional profile and objective to each position you are applying to. Does your resume fit on one page? If not, is it longer for good reason? How many buzz words are included?   Do you have a LinkedIn profile and does it shout that you are an A+ candidate? If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, you can create a free account on www.linkedin.com Update your experience, photo, and skills. Add a fun headline! Showcase your personality in the bio. I love profiles that include quotes, activity, and pinned articles. Perhaps request a recommendation from a former coworker or colleague. Employers enjoy reviewing positive references. Now is the time for outreach :).   Who can you network with? Brainstorm 5-10 contacts that are in your network.  Send a friendly hello & attach

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April 30, 2020

The future of work

Well, we are right in the middle of this pandemic and the hope is that we have reached the peak and will return to some level of normalcy soon. I stress some level of normalcy, because we all know that we will not be returning to the “normal” we knew before this health crisis and truth be told, we may never get back there. The million-dollar question is, where do we go from here? Here are some of the areas that we believe will change Working from home will increase. This is going to happen to obviously stop the spread of the pandemic. However, we feel like the main reason that will drive this is that many companies that were resistant to this model, will see that productivity does not fall off when employees are working from home. Here is a CNBC article that reinforces that there can be more productivity when working from home CNBC Working from Home. Companies are going to need to redesign their workspaces. Over the years we have transitioned to more of an open workspace model and in my opinion this update has mixed reviews. People like the open concept premise because it creates team unity, however there is a loss of privacy which many of us still value. With this pandemic companies will need

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April 8, 2020

How you can help!

I think everyone at this juncture knows that we are in the midst of a pandemic that has brought our economy almost to a grinding halt. This virus has come at us rapidly and has definitely instilled a level of fear for our own and our loved one’s safety. Now before I get onto the main topic of this writing, I just want to take the time to truly thank all of those on the front lines, including some of our amazing clients. Thank you to the First Responders, Doctors, Nurses, Factory Workers, Cashiers, Delivery Drivers and all the others that are far too many to mention. I know at this time our instinct is self-preservation and rightfully so, we need to make sure we remain healthy so that we can help those around us that are not as fortunate. The way we help each other during this time can come in many forms, so what are some of the things we can be doing. Stop the spread. Make sure to follow the social distancing guidelines. Try to be as careful as possible when needing to go out, but make sure to do the things that help with your personal mental health as well.   Help those on the front line. This can come in the form of monetary or

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March 11, 2020

Effectively Working from Home

Technology has been creeping into all facets of our lives and this is truer of our work than any other area. Part of this technological revolution is our newfound ability to work from wherever we choose. This to me is both a blessing and a curse, but that rant is for another article. In this piece we are going to cover working from home and how to do it effectively. This topic really hits home to me (pun intended), as I worked for a global IT company in which I was almost exclusively a remote employee. When I first made this transition, it was a real struggle, as I needed to adapt to an environment in which I had no direct oversight and many distractions. Looking around I would see home projects that needed to be done, kids that were being taken care of and the next blockbuster movie calling me to watch it. It took some time, but I was finally able to master the idea of working from home. Here are some of the keys that helped me achieve this objective. Treat everyday as if you are going into the office. Set an alarm, accounting for some travel time. Shower first thing in the morning and get dressed and no, not in sweats. Walking around in your pajamas,

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August 20, 2018

Digital Communications_Maintaining Professionalism

Let me start this blog by saying I am not a communication professional, nor did I major in it in College. I am writing this blog from an experience stand point. I believe that strong communications are the backbone to many things: having good relationships, acing an interview, demonstrating knowledge and effective networking just to name a few. This specific blog entry is going to mainly cover electronic communications. I have always been of the train of thought that picking up the phone was the most time efficient and effective way to communicate, however it seems that there will continue to be a radical shift towards electronic communications. This trend does not bother me, and I understand the shift as technology rapidly increases the ability to communicate instantaneously with each other. What does worry me is that we have become so lightning quick in our communications that we are not truly communicating effectively. Here are my tips for maintaining a strong form of communication in all that you do. First and foremost, make sure you are regularly checking the email that you are using as your point of contact for career correspondence. Keep your communications formal across all platforms. If you worry about grammar in texts and tweets it will translate into appropriate writing when you are professionally networking or

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January 16, 2018

Networking & Communications

What is networking? Well in the IT sense it means having “linked machines, especially computers to operate interactively”. In the human sense we can take Merriam-Webster’s definition of “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business” If we think about movies, we can remember the movie Boiler Room and the clever acronym of “ABC”, (Always Be Closing). I would go in a different direction and use the acronym “ABN”, (Always Be Networking). Now, that may not sound as smooth as ABC, however it is just as important, if not more important.   I think where I see a shortfall in networking, is that people only think it should take place when they need something (a job, a recommendation, help with something, etc.), however networking should be part of your daily life. Leaving a positive impression with anyone and everyone you meet is a big part of networking. Ensuring that people have a clear idea of your character and the way you treat others will help them make the decision of whether or not they want to help you. The message being, don’t just worry about how you communicate or interact with others at networking events, make sure that filters into any communication you have. An example can

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January 1, 2018

New Year = New Career 2018

Well it’s that time of the year again and we are all making our New Year’s Resolutions. Some of us plan on working out more, some plan on spending more time doing charity and a lot of us are planning on taking that next step in our careers. This might mean finally garnering the courage to ask your boss for that long overdue promotion or for most people it means testing the waters in the job market. The reality of the current job market is that you will be rewarded more handsomely for switching companies. On average when switching organizations, the typical raise ranges between 10 – 20%, compare that to the 3 – 5% you would get if you stay at your job. That is why today on average a person changes jobs every 2.5 years. So, the big questions are, what do I need to know and do, so that I can advance my career to the next level in 2018. The first step is to look at the trends and explore what industries are seeing growth and what industries will be impacted by outside forces. Look at new governmental policies and see what industries they may influence both in a positive and negative manner. Here are some current trends we identified at Five Star Resume: The Financial

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December 6, 2017

Making a Career Transition?

Over the years, I have worked with many clients who have needed help making a career transition. Sometimes this transition has been incremental and other times they have been huge leaps. The approach is typically the same, however the follow up and job search execution may be more intensive. The Career Transition is a common theme today, so if you think you are alone in this endeavor, think again! There are several reasons why this is occurring. The first being that when we first start our careers we are young and naïve. Most of us; including myself, leave college not fully knowing what we want to do for the next 40 years. It’s a big decision and as we learn more about our initial path that we chose, we may discover that it is not the right one. Another reason is that we see more people making a Career Transition due to a shift in mindset. We now value fulfillment and work life balance over a steady paycheck at a job that offers no intrinsic reward. This shift in values has been good for the workforce, but we should be careful when pursuing these values. There are roles that will align with these values, but it will never fully be 100% and that search for perfection, will keep you searching

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August 14, 2017

Invest in Yourself!

While gaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, many of my closest friends studied Finance, so they may disagree with the main principles of this blog. In writing this, I am making the claim that you can invest in the Stock Market and/or other alternative investments but your wisest choice would be to invest in yourself. This can take many forms, such as securing a degree, obtaining a new certification, attending training sessions on a topic and/or working with a Career Counselor (Shameless Plug!). However, like any other investment it must be the right investment, in Finance you can lose on a stock and in enhancing your career you can lose money on your investment. Let’s take going to school to get a Master’s Degree, if you decide to pursue this route, many private schools can cost you north of $100k. As the investor, you want to make sure that there is a substantial difference between having a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in your field. Also, if you are looking to return to school full time, you will need to factor in lost wages, lost increases and missed career progression. Sometimes a mix of certifications and continuing education training courses can produce the same result and can make for better increases. There is a wealth of information out there on

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February 27, 2017

Every Interaction Matters

This is a topic that I have wanted to cover for a long time and now more than ever it is important to address. This is a topic that is very important in the professional world but also draws many parallels to everyday life. Our business is based on the premise of guiding you in your career and this is just what we aim to do, however if you want to practice this in your everyday life, that is 100% up to you. As someone who has worked in various areas of Human Resources, including Corporate Recruitment, I understand fully how developing and maintaining relationships is crucial to one’s success. It is crucial in doing your job well, building relationships that can help further your career and aiding you in developing a good reputation across an organization. I want to start by stressing how important it is to understand how every interaction matters and how it shapes and guides your career.  There is significance in what you take away from these experiences and what others take away from the experiences they have with you. Whether it is a brief hello or a long-winded conversation about a topic that doesn’t seem to make much sense for the context of the situation, it is always significant. You never know what can come

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November 29, 2016

Do the Job Search First!

There are many times that I interact with clients and part of what we need to do is refocus or completely redesign their resume. Why does this happen? Why isn’t it just a quick fix or a few minor changes to the content and the job is done. In my experience the reason this happens is because we are developing the resume before we know what we want to do or understand the scope of the jobs that we are pursuing. Therefore, our recommendation is to do the job search first! Take this crucial step prior to writing or hiring someone to write your resume professionally. Analyzing the jobs that catch your eye will provide you with the tools you need to develop a targeted resume to secure these positions. When assessing these descriptions, it is key to look at the following: Competencies needed for the role. Key words that can be inserted into your resume. Key tasks that they need you to perform that align to your experience. This approach is not only crucial to making your resume more targeted, it will allow you to address that age-old problem of knowing what to cut from the resume so it’s not too long. Lastly, I want to directly address how this helps in ensuring that you are beating the Applicant

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January 14, 2016

Be SMART in your career search: Setting SMART Goals

What are SMART goals?  What does this acronym mean?  SMART goals are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.  The purpose of setting SMART goals is to make objectives easier to understand and achieve.  This theory has been applied to various business objectives including employee training, performance management and project management.  For our purposes I believe that you can use SMART goals for job seeking as well.  So what does the SMART acronym mean and why is it applicable to us? The answer is as follows: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time bound How does this play into the world of job seeking?  Why should I follow these criteria? Let’s answer these questions by addressing each piece of the SMART objective setting model and how it relates to your resume and the job search. Specific When writing a resume or even applying to jobs we need to have a direction, we need to narrow down our field of search and make it targeted. Resume: If we are scattered in our resume this will be seen by recruiters and they will begin to ask the question why are you applying to this job specifically, a question we would rather not be asked. Job Search: If we are scattered in our job search we may attract jobs that don’t fit us and will

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June 30, 2015

Interviewing 101: Practice Makes Perfect

I once had a professor that told me, interviewing is like any other skill that you possess in life, if you don’t practice it you will get rusty. So the question is, how do we practice it? How do we develop this skill? Well for one we can go on interviews. How many times have you gotten a call or were reached out to by a recruiter for a position that you felt may not be the right fit? I say take the interview, first you may be surprised by the opportunity and secondly you want to get used to talking about your experience as well as get used to seeing what types of questions that interviewers ask. Secondly, why not video tape ourselves while using a mirror or role play with a family member or friend. I spent much of my career in front of people and felt I was an excellent presenter that was very well versed and needed little improvement. That was until I was videotaped in one of my grad school courses and noticed my penchant for filling dead air with um’s and uh’s. This opened my eyes to any issue that I had and I have since actively corrected that. Lastly, I say to just network. Attend professional events, build a contact list and get

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January 6, 2015

New Year = New Career: Putting in the Effort

For many of us, our new year’s resolution is to move out of that dead end job that offers no advancement and to get away from that manager that under appreciates you. It is time to start that dreaded career search, and that means 20 page applications, hours searching through job boards, not knowing which positions are actually open and submitting resumes into the applicant tracking system abyss. I wish I could sit here and write about an easier way to get that new career but unfortunately finding a new career is a job in itself. Although there will be a lot of effort on your part, there are some ways of making it easier on you.   One of those ways is to spend the time creating profiles on corporate websites, companies out there that have systems that will alert you when a position matches the key words in your profile and although this requires a lot of up front effort, it eventually lets the employer come to you. A second way to make the career search easier is to leverage your contacts, we all know about the six degrees of separation, so it is very possible that someone you know may have a contact at the company you will be applying to. Of course you will also have to

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September 16, 2014

On the Job Hunt: Staying Organized is Key!

Staying organized during the job hunt is very important to successfully securing your dream job. It is no longer good enough to simply apply to a job and try your best to remember what company you applied to, the title of the job and what was on the job description. The internet allows us job seekers to apply to a variety of jobs in a matter of minutes and in most cases these jobs don’t have the same title or responsibilities. Countless times I have called candidates that have applied to a position in the company I was recruiting with and they had no clue who I was, what the company did and what position they applied to. This immediately left a bad taste in my mouth as to whether I would want to hire this person. A few tips to stay organized and not get caught off guard are as follows: 1) Keep an excel spreadsheet or some other list of the positions that you apply to as a reference point. Track the company, position title and the date you applied to the position at minimum. 2) Maintain a separate email that is solely used for your job hunt and as always make sure it is professional (First.Lastname@gmail.com) 3) Keep a folder on your computers desktop with copies of

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