Poll Summary Results: How would you prepare for a highly skilled job?

poll_results_highly_skilled_work_webWith the evolution of technology, the skills gap, or the lack of qualified workers to fill highly skilled jobs, has become a very hot topic. In fact, according to a survey by Express Employment Professionals, 53% of  employers reported difficulty filling jobs. Since many of these jobs require higher education or experience, we asked how you would prepare for a highly skilled job.

What the Survey Revealed
With 160 votes, the survey revealed that more than 60% of readers are willing to learn new skills or take courses to prepare for a highly skilled job. The results of their answers break down as follows:

  • Learn new skills through work or volunteering – 30.63%
  • Pursue higher education (college or career tech) – 30.00%
  • Find a mentor – 18.13%
  • Join an industry organization – 11.88%
  • Change careers – 5.63%
  • Other – 3.75%

Of the 3.75% who selected “Other,” responses included:

  • Network
  • Research the job and its industry
  • Short-term occupational training

Doing What It Takes
Results of the poll indicate that readers will do what it takes to help them get a highly skilled and sought-after job—exactly the type of quality that employers look for in their highly skilled workforce. To become the right candidate for these jobs, job seekers may need to explore higher education or training to sharpen their skills. Think outside the box and get that job you’ve always dreamed about. For more insight on job training, check out these articles:

Have you taken steps to prepare for a highly skilled job? Do you have any tips for others who want to take that step?  Let us know in the comments section below!

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

How To Tie a Simple Knot

windsor_knotLooking professional both in interviews and on the job is an important element of your professional life. To help add a professional look to your wardrobe, we want to share easy how-to instructions for wearing common tie knots.

Recently, we shared instructions for completing the Windsor knotKelvin knot, and bow tie. This month, check out how to tie a Simple knot below.

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Step One: Start with the wide end of the tie on your right side and the narrow end on your left.

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Step Two: Cross the wide end over the narrow end.

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Step Three: Bring the wide end under the narrow end.

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Step Four: Cross the wide end over the narrow end again.

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Step Five: Bring the wide end through the loop you’ve created.

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Step Six: Pull the wide end through.

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Step Seven: Making sure the wide end is on top, begin to straighten out the tie.

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Step Eight: Before you head out the door, check out your new tie in the mirror and make sure it’s ready to go!

Were you able to conquer the Simple knot? Share these how-to instructions with friends or on social media by sending them this article or by using the image below. Keep watching Movin’ On Up for more tie tricks!

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

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Poll: Do You Plan on Looking for Seasonal Work this Year?

MOV_POLL-ICONThe holiday season is the busiest time of year for many businesses. With shopping at its peak, some employers look to staffing companies to help handle the extra workload. While the holiday season is still a few months away, many businesses are already starting to hire seasonal workers. So, we want to know: are you planning to take a seasonal job this year?

http://poll.fm/5cvrg]

When it’s Okay to Ask About Pay

ask_about_pay_webIf the world were perfect, hunger would be eradicated, chocolate wouldn’t have calories, and you could go in to every job knowing exactly how much you’re going to get offered. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. So, how do you find out a job’s salary when you’re in an interview?

Depending on the company, the salary range might be posted in the ad. However, these numbers are usually “commensurate to experience,” meaning companies want to evaluate candidates’ work history before offering a hard number. This is not uncommon. Don’t go into an interview expecting the exact number that is listed, because nine times out of 10 you won’t be offered that.

If the job description doesn’t include a salary range, you’ll want to research what a typical salary for that position might be before the interview. This will give you an idea of how much the employer might be willing to offer.  There are several websites available out there that can help you accomplish this.  What range you fall into is determined by your education and experience, the size of the company, as well as where you live. Pay for a job can vary widely depending on location. Companies want to make sure they are getting the most qualified individual and are willing to pay for that experience.

At some point in the hiring process, you might be asked about your salary expectations. If this happens in the early stages of the interview process, try to deflect. Show the people you are interviewing with that money isn’t your first priority—because when it comes down to it, you are working with people on projects. Focus on finding out more about the job itself, because there will be plenty of time to discuss dollars and cents down the road.

In general, it’s best to let the employer bring up salary. In many circles, it’s considered gauche to ask about salary upfront. Sure, you could work it in to the conversation, but you may risk putting them off in the process. According to experts, it’s best to wait for the potential employer to bring up the topic of salary—and it will be brought up. We all work to make money, so whenever the salary discussion comes up, figure out what salary you want, and then ask for a little more to allow room for compromise.

This is where your salary research will pay off—by having a competitive wage ready, you’ll not only feel prepared and confident, but they will appreciate that you did your research. If you aren’t comfortable with naming a number, use key words and phrases like the following:

  • “I’m very excited to work with you, and trust you will offer a fair and competitive salary.”
  • “I would like a salary comparable to my experience and value.”
  • “Money is important, but there are other topics that are relevant that we should discuss. Could we revisit this question later, after we discuss the company and the position more?”
  • “Until I know more about the position and benefits, it’s difficult to give you a hard number.”

If you can, avoid naming an exact figure.  You might be short-changing yourself.

Remember, it isn’t just the salary that counts. There are other perks and benefits to working with an organization that should be considered—such as 401(k), insurance, vacation, and health benefits. Remember to get the big picture from whomever you’re interviewing with—it isn’t always about the salary.

Do you have any tips for asking about pay? If so, leave your tips in the comments below!

 

It’s Time to Enhance Your Resume

JobGenius_webThe Job Genius program from Express Employment Professionals is an educational video series that offers insights on the job market and how to get a job. The video series includes information on writing your resume, finding job opportunities, interviewing, and more.

No matter how long you’ve been searching, you know the important role your resume plays in helping you land interviews and get noticed by employers. Your resume and job applications can make or break your chances of standing out from the competition, so it’s important to know how to display your experience, education, and skills effectively.

To help perfect your resume, check out the Job Genius video below for more information on documenting the skills employers want to see, using keywords that get you noticed, and more.

To check out other videos in this educational series, visit ExpressPros.com/JobGenius.

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

What to do When You Have Too Many Interviews

too_many_interviews_webWhen you’re on the job hunt, having a ton of interviews can get exhausting—especially if they don’t lead to an actual job. Roughly 60% of all job hunters undergo three or more interviews before receiving an offer.

However, according to a recent survey by Right Management, only 3% have one interview before landing a job.  After all, most employers consider four to five candidates for a job opening. If you’re in that pool, you have a 75-80% chance of not getting the job. And if you don’t find yourself in any second round interviews, you might want to re-evaluate how you present yourself.

Here are some tips that may help you stand out from the pack.

  1. Double check your resume and cover letter for typos. Since you’ve made it to the first interview, there is something about you that they like. But perhaps you didn’t proof your resume To have a typo is human, but it may be what makes the difference between you and the people they call in for a second interview. Have a friend go through it with a fine-toothed comb—there may be a small error you haven’t seen.
  2. Find the best references. You may sail through the interview and have the perfect resume, but if you don’t have the right references, your goose could be cooked. Find someone that you have a good relationship with, that you trust, and that will give you a glowing reference. And, don’t make the mistake of putting a person down as a reference without checking with them first. Consider what Dr. Cynthia Nichols, a professor at Oklahoma State University, has to say on the topic, “You’d be surprised how often college students don’t even ask me for a reference and just put my contact information down. I’ll get a phone call and have to wrack my brain to remember who, exactly, this person is referring to. I’m sure it doesn’t help the job candidate when my answer has a very pregnant pause to it. I’d love to help, but when a student doesn’t talk to me about it, I can’t always remember who they are. Don’t be a face in a crowd if you want a reference. Make sure you connect with me before you want a reference.” Remember, not all job references are going to say good things about you. If you find any problems there, here’s some advice on how to try to mitigate that.
  3. Practice & Prepare. Before you go in for the actual interview, conduct a mock interview with a friend. This will help you get through the jitters and allow you to think through some of the questions. Have your friend record you so that you can see if you have any odd habits. Research information about the company beforehand, and prepare some questions that might be asked during the interview. Practicing your answers ahead of time can help when you’re trying to demonstrate why you would excel at the job.
  4. Get some feedback. Before you go on the interview, reach out to people who you have worked for in the past. Pick their brain for 20 minutes and find out how you can improve your interview skills. Not everyone is comfortable with giving criticism to people, but if you reach out to enough people, you’ll be able to find someone who will give you honest (and helpful) feedback. You may not like to hear honest feedback, but it might help you get yourself to the next level.
  5. Figure out who has been hired before. The beauty of the internet is that everyone has a footprint. So go online and do your research. First, look at the jobs you interviewed for and didn’t get. Who did they hire? What about their background is different? You might learn that the people who are beating you out have more experience or a different type of background, and that information can help inform your thinking about what types of jobs to pursue. Next, look at the company where you’re about to interview. Who works there now and how do they present themselves? You can learn a lot with a little searching on LinkedIn.
  6. Present the best you possible. Your appearance during the interview indicates your seriousness about the job. As soon as you walk into the building, you are being evaluated. So, put your best foot forward and present yourself well. Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert and best-selling author, agrees. “On a job interview, your attire makes a statement about yourself before you even open your mouth,” she says. “A scuffed shoe, a messy bag, or a low cut shirt can speak volumes. You need to wear your ‘power outfit.’ Have a favorite skirt that always makes you feel great when you wear it? Why not pair that with a blazer? It’s okay to show off your personality through your clothes, as long as you aren’t wearing a lime green mini skirt. Stick to business-professional looks.”  When it comes down to it, you want to dress for success.
  7. Breathe. Perhaps you’re just stressed out during the interview. If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, you may feel frustrated. Although that’s normal, it is also something and interviewers pick up on. Take a deep breath, and sell yourself. There is a job out there for you, so don’t stress out so much that it kills the interview. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude. Just read the room, breathe, and show enthusiasm, presence and passion for the job. You can do this. Remember, there’s a reason you’re there.

Do you have any tips about how to get to the second interview or land the job? Share your examples in the comments section below!

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

Make a Cool Impression at Your Summer Job

cool_impression_summer_job_webEvery summer, many students look for temporary work while they take a break from school. Summer jobs are a great way to make money, meet new people, and enhance your resume. They’re also an important stepping stone in your career path, whether the job you choose is part of your overall career goals or not. According to Nicole Williams, a business owner in New York City, “You want to impress your boss. You want to do everything in your power to make this job a great opportunity for you.”

So, how do you impress your boss and make sure your summer job leads to bigger and better opportunities? Check out the tips below to stand out from the competition this summer.

Adjust your routine.
Staying healthy and rested makes you a better employee. Instead of staying up late or spending hours watching television before the lights go out, create a bedtime routine that will allow you to get the sleep you need for better job performance. If you like to unwind before bed, consider reading a book instead of spending time in front of the screen. According to Reuters, using a technological device before bed dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll need more than 60 minutes to fall asleep. Getting better sleep can make you less drowsy, which in turn can up your creativity and efficiency. Plus, walking in the door on time or a few minutes early helps show your boss that you take the job seriously.

Go above and beyond.
While your current role may be perfect for you, if you have plans to move up in the company, you may want to consider taking on additional projects to show your initiative. According to career author Dan Schawbel, “If all you do is what is listed in your job description, it’s impossible to get ahead.” So, keep an open mind when you’re asked to take on additional projects or roles and see if your can-do attitude helps you get noticed.

Learn from your mistakes.
It’s impossible to be perfect all the time. Once you accept this fact, you can learn to embrace any mistakes or failures you experience on the job. If you receive a performance review or other feedback that is less than perfect, try to recognize the constructive criticism as a way to improve. Look for the lessons in your mistakes and use them as a chance to grow both personally and professionally. “If you aren’t afraid to learn, then you’re going to be in a position for more success in your second, third, and fourth jobs,” Williams said.

Network, network, network.
We talk a lot about networking on this blog, and for good reason. Networking is an important way to connect with people who can help you land a job, find a new opportunity, or expand your list of references. Even if you only plan to work at your summer job for a few months, you can use the opportunity to meet as many people as possible. You never know what connections they may have or how they can help you with your future career goals.

Pay attention to your wardrobe.
If your summer job requires a professional wardrobe, don’t skimp on quality. Looking professional is important in the workplace and can make a positive impression on your boss, co-workers, and customers. Luckily, there are cost-effective ways to achieve a professional look. Check out clearance sections at department stores, or consider looking at local second-hand stores for professional attire without breaking the bank. If your job requires a uniform, always keep yours clean, ironed if necessary, and professional. Showing up to the job with a uniform that isn’t up to par can make you seem uninterested or unmotivated–two qualities you don’t want a potential reference to mention with your name.

Whether your summer job is part of your career path or just a way to work while taking a break from classes, your workplace performance matters. Make connections, learn new skills, and use learning opportunities as a chance to grow and be better prepared for your next job.

How do you plan to make a great impression at your summer job? Let us know in the comments section below!

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