Monthly Archives: May 2014

Poll: Is Business Ownership for You?

MOV_POLL-ICONRecently, the Creative Job Report found that 55% of employed U.S. adults would choose to be self-employed if they could still pay their bills. The numbers were even higher for the Millennial generation, age 20 to 34-years old, with 67% saying they want to start a business. But taking the leap from wanting to start a business to actually being a business owner can be an overwhelming and thrilling process. With more than 500,000 businesses created monthly, we want to know if our Movin’ On Up readers are planning an entrepreneurial rung on their career ladder. Let us know by voting in our poll!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

5 Great Apps To Help You Prepare For An Interview

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“There’s an app for that!” is an iconic Apple Inc. slogan, one of several companies capitalizing off of the trend of desktops being replaced by mobile devices. According to a five year report by “Flurry,” a leading producer of app analytics, consumers now spend two hours and 42 minutes a day on their phone, with 80% of that being used for apps and only 20% for internet search.

This increase in phone usage means the need for apps continually increases as well. From documenting every second of your life to maximizing your next selfie, there truly is an app for everything. Among those millions of apps are actually some very useful tools for job seekers. So which of them can help you land that next job? Below you’ll find five apps that are sure to make an impact on your interview preparation.

Glassdoor
Knowing your audience is very important in many facets of life, and it can definitely be a winning factor in an interview. Glassdoor calls themselves the world’s most transparent career community. It is a largely crowd sourced online resource that connects you with company information, employee reviews, salary information, and job descriptions. This knowledge can be helpful in giving you a deeper understanding of the companies that you are applying with.

Interview Prep Questions
Once you get in the door of an employer, it’s not always smooth sailing. Some hiring managers will ask you tough questions that could rock your boat if you aren’t prepared. This quick-flip app displays questions similar to flash cards and lets you get familiar with frequently asked questions so you can give solid, confident answers.

MonsterInterviews
A simple app by career search company Monster. This app has multiple tools to help you prepare with sample interview questions, company research tools, and last minute tips to keep you calm and collected on the interview big day. Another unique function it provides is a post-interview calendar option. With this you can set reminders for follow up calls and save important notes that you can reference if you get called in for a second interview.

Google Maps
Although not directly related to the actual interview, knowing where to go for your interview can relieve one more stressor and help keep you focused on the task at hand. I speak from experience – getting lost and calling the employer for directions doesn’t help put your best foot forward.

How-to-tie-a-tie
An integral part of getting your next job is dressing the part. And, anyone who wears ties in their day-to-day lives will tell you the knot in your tie is very important in how you present yourself. So if you aren’t familiar with tying a tie, this app can definitely help top off your appearance with a top-notch knot.

Not everything can be solved with your digital companion, but when job hunting you can never have too much support. Regardless of how you prepare, be sure to research and prepare for the tough questions. Most importantly, be sure to stand tall, stay confident, and present yourself like you are their next most valuable employee. If you know of other apps that are complementary to the interview preparation be sure, to let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Is Your Resume Holding You Back?

3 ways to get to the top of the stack.

Resume_HoldBack_May2014_webNow that you’ve graduated it’s time to put that knowledge to use and get a job. But, with a degree and little to no real world work experience, you’re just a blip on a radar that is full of blips. So, how do you distinguish yourself from the rest of the graduates flooding the job market? Aside from picking out appropriate interview attire, having a strong resume is a must. Use these three quick tips to get your resume bumped to the top of the stack.

Googling isn’t just for cute cat videos.
Google and other search engines are great resources that can give you a massive advantage over the playing field. A little research will give you valuable insight into what you are applying for. Find out what you can about the company and the work they do. Look also for descriptions of the job you’re applying for. With a little knowledge on what you’re jumping into, you can tailor your resume to reflect the qualities you have that make you the best fit for the job.

Appealing or appalling?
According to Careerbuilder, 38% of hiring managers spend less than two minutes looking at a resume. That time may be even less if your resume is unpleasant to look at. A good place to start is to research best practices and find examples to emulate.  With a clean and well formatted resume, you’re professionalism and talents will shine through your lack of experience or skills.

Be discovered by your cover letter.
The dispute on whether or not cover letters are important anymore has been long fought. Regardless of its usefulness, having one isn’t detrimental to your efforts. Writing a good cover letter is a great way to get ahead of the competition. But, be sure you don’t write a letter that is generic and blast it all over the place as it’ll be a dead giveaway to a seasoned hiring manager. Be precise and write a cover letter with each specific company and position in mind.

There are no absolute fool-proof ways to guarantee an interview, but a little effort can go a long way when trying to convince an employer to take a chance and consider you. Always put your best foot forward and remember to brush up on your interview skills before rushing to meet with the face of your potential employer. If you have some tips to keep your resume from holding you back, let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Volunteering Could Help You Find Your Next Job

BrandItBlue_May2014_webWhether you’re a job seeker who just graduated, or someone who’s been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, the experience section of your resume may be what’s holding you back from your next job. But don’t worry. There’s something you can do to not only add to your work history, but to separate you from the crowd of people applying for the same jobs.

A 2013 report by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that “volunteering was associated with 27% higher odds of employment.” This same report also found that volunteering is most likely to help the jobless who do not have a high school diploma and those who live in rural areas. Just how can spending time working for a local nonprofit or charity for free help in your job search? Here are three ways it can help lead to a new job.

  1. Volunteering helps you make connections and build a network.
    If it’s truly all about who you know for your job search, then spending time serving in your community is a great way to meet new people from different industries and companies around your area. And, you won’t have the sometimes awkward pressures that come along with a pre-planned networking event. Enjoy your time sorting donated food or cleaning up a park, or think about striking up a casual conversation to get to know people. You might meet the person who helps you land your next job. Remember this is also a time to demonstrate your work ethic so while you get to know people, don’t forget to focus on the task at hand.
  2. You can learn new skills that can be added to your resume.
    Never been in a leadership or management role? Struggled with finding creative solutions to a problem? The next time you volunteer, there’s a good possibility that you’ll have the opportunity to lead a team in completion of a project, or help find an answer to a problem the nonprofit or charity is facing. And if you’re missing some recent activities in the experience section of your resume, volunteering is a great addition that can make an impact on a hiring manager. Which leads to point number three…
  3. Employers want people who like to serve others.
    Going through the numerous job applications, resumes, and cover letters a hiring manager sees each day, they are looking for a job seeker to stand out. When your resume includes your history of volunteering, and your cover letter describes your passion for serving others, you’re more likely to see an increase in the number of job interviews on your schedule.

If you’re not sure about volunteer opportunities in your community, or what type of work you’d like to be involved in, check out what’s happening on Saturday, June 14 at Express offices across North America. Brand It Blue Day is a day of service to help in the fight against hunger, and you can be a part of it. Summer is an especially difficult time of year as most of the school meal programs for children end, leaving millions of children at risk of going hungry.

To find out how you can be involved with your local Express office, visit ExpressPros.com/BrandItBlue.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Secure Your Social Media

Password_May2014_webSocial media now plays a role in your job search and in the HR world. It’s important to protect your information. Social media security issues often arise as a result of weak passwords. Hackers can easily access your account and hijack your information if you’re not careful about how you choose your passwords.

In 2012, the top three most common passwords were “password,” “123456,” and “12345678.” No matter how many precautions you take to protect your social media networks, if you don’t take the time to protect your password, you may be easy prey for savvy hackers looking to gain access to your accounts.

Passwords and Account Settings

One way to start securing up your social media accounts is by updating your passwords and account settings. It’s important for your safety and online identity to protect yourself by making a few easy changes to your password and account settings.

When it comes to passwords, you’ve got to create sequences of words and letter that are very unique. It’s also important to change up your passwords frequently.

How to Keep Track of all Your Passwords
I know it seems like a daunting task to re-create a unique password every month, not to mention keep track of it, but it could pay off in the future to have safe and protected social media networks.

Having trouble remembering all those different passwords? Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites.

Worth the Investment
With graduation around the corner, you’ll be glad your sites are secured. A recent CareerBuilder study of 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals found that nearly two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. And one in five hiring managers said they found something that has caused them not to hire a candidate. By keeping your accounts secure you lower your risk of fraudulent posts that could be damaging to your reputation. So remember, during your job searching process, the importance of keeping your social media accounts secure and cleaned up.

What have you done to secure your social media accounts? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Poor Leadership Top Workplace Stress

StressPollResults_May2014_webApril was stress awareness month, so we checked in with our readers on the top workplace stress triggers in our monthly poll. Topping the list with 21% of the results was “lack of/poor leadership,” followed by 15% responding that “long hours/increasing workloads” are the biggest trigger of stress. Tied for the third spot with 10% of the votes were “inadequate pay/benefits” and “poor working environment/company culture.”

Here is how the remaining responses ranked:

  • Concerns about job security: 9%
  • Poor work-life balance: 9%
  • Work is uninteresting/not your chosen career: 7%
  • Poor relationships with co-workers: 7%
  • Inadequate job training: 5%
  • Lack of opportunities for advancement: 4%
  • Other: 3%

Top Causes of Stress for Leaders and Managers
Leadership challenges plague both employees and those charged with leading a company. Express Employment Professionals also asked the same questions about workplace stress to the readers of Refresh Leadership, a blog for managers and leaders, and “lack of/poor leadership” topped their list with 17% of the votes. “Long hours/increasing workloads” came in second place with 15% of the votes, ranking the same spot on the list as top causes of stress for the Movin’ On Up readers.

If you’ve thought being the boss would solve all your stress at work, this may crush your hopes of an easier life when you move up the corporate ladder. However, it can be comforting to know that you’re not alone in facing challenges with leadership. A search for leadership books on Amazon returns over 20,000 results, a testament to the true struggle leading a team and working with others can be. As a point of reference, there were only 10,000 weight-loss books on Amazon, even with the constant diet fads.

Leadership is often about communication, and your manager may be better served in helping you if you find an effective and efficient way to share your challenges and successes. It may not solve all your workplace worry, but it could be the start of less stress.

Ways to Cope
Check out these related blog posts with suggestions on managing workplace stress and improving relationships at work:

What have you found to be the most efficient way to manage workplace stress? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

It’s Heating Up – Summer Safety

SummerSafety_May2014_webIt’s heating up outside, and some regions are already experiencing heat waves. As we get closer to the summer months it’s important that everyone understands the signs of heat illness and practices prevention.

3 Degrees of Heat Illness
Although there are many types of heat illness, here are three basic types to be aware of:

  1. Heat stress often involves confusion and heat cramps. If you are experiencing muscle cramps due to heat, tell someone, move to a cool shaded area, and drink lots of fluids like water, a light juice, or sports drinks. You can return to work if the cramps subside and you are feeling better, but you should not return to strenuous duty. If you’re not better in an hour, discuss taking the rest of the day off with your supervisor.
  2. Heat exhaustion is more severe. Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness or confusion, nausea, clammy skin, pale complexion, cramps, high body temperature, and shallow breathing. The treatment is the same for heat exhaustion and heat stress, but the focus should be on drinking cool water.  It is also a good idea to cool the body with a cool shower or wet cloth. If you experience heat exhaustion, you should not return to work that day.
  3. Heat stroke is very serious and can even be life threatening. Signs include profuse sweating or the extreme – sweat suddenly stopping. You may also suffer from hallucinations, chills, a throbbing headache, high body temperature, and slurred speech. Contact a supervisor and seek medical treatment immediately if you think you or someone you work with is experiencing heat stroke. The body must be cooled immediately during heat stroke. Soaking or dousing the body in cool water is recommended.

Preventing Heat Illness
To prevent heat illness, it is best to begin drinking fluids before your shift begins and to drink water at least every 15 minutes. Preparing in advance of heat exposure is the best way to avoid heat illness.  Water helps the body stay cool internally and prepares you for losing moisture through sweating. Sweat cools us by evaporating into the air, releasing heat. Remember to include regular breaks in shaded areas as well.

As the temperature outside continue to increase, it’s important to remember these heat safety tips to protect yourself and those around you. How do you avoid heat illness when it’s warm outside? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.