Networking

Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Your Adult Child or Grandchild Get a Job

Are you doing just enough or just too much?

At Express Employment Professionals, we hear from plenty of parents looking to find their child or grandchild a job. And that’s totally fine! Whether it’s a quick summer job for a high school or college student or something more long-term, we’re here to help.

We get it. Finding a job is hard. And the more people helping your son, daughter, or grandchild look for a job, the better.

However, there are right and not-so-right ways to help these budding employees find a job. Let’s dig in.

DO: Mentor and Guide Them

The job search can be discouraging, both for you and your progeny. Maybe they graduated from college excited for employment, and quickly became disillusioned after multiple interviews that didn’t result in job offers.

Encourage your kid to apply to several jobs. Introduce them to online job search websites they might not be aware of, like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, or the job search sections of social media websites.

If your child can’t find anything to apply for, ask them to consider other work experience options. Community service, professional organizations, and even part-time work can still look great on a resume.

The key here is to do a bit of research and inspire your child to do the rest. Sometimes all they need is a jumpstart to realize what more is out there.

DON’T: Do All the Work

Make sure not to go off the deep end with research. This is for two main reasons. First, if you do everything, your kid isn’t learning what the job search is like. Young people job hop these days, and their first job is hardly ever the one they stay with long-term. If you do all of the hard work now, your child is going to have a rough go of it when it comes time to find the next job.

Second, too much information can be daunting for a young job seeker to go through. If you’ve gotten to the point where you have an entire folder packed with information for your son or daughter to go through, it might be time to stop. A huge amount of information can be scarier than one piece at a time. Again, just add a bit of spark to their job search fire and let them do the heavy lifting.

DO: Leverage Your Own Network

Getting a job can frequently come down to who you know, due to the simple fact that it’s easier to trust and work with someone you have some sort of connection with. Feel free to ask your friends and family if they know of any openings. If they do, ask if they’d like to see your child’s resume. Just avoid turning into the crazy aunt that contacts family members she hasn’t spoken to in years about cousin Timmy’s desire to be an entry-level CEO. All things in moderation.

DON’T: Apply to Jobs for Them

This is something that happens more than you might think. It can be as innocent as calling a hiring manager to ask about a job, or as bold as attending interviews with your child. Although you’re only trying to help, it can look unprofessional when a job seeker’s parent monopolizes the interview process.

For instance, one of our recruiters was once contacted by a woman inquiring about interview opportunities. The paperwork was submitted, and she was interviewed by phone. When she showed up for the in-person interview, she was accompanied by a young man. When asked who this was, she responded by saying it was her son, and he was there to interview. This was confusing for the recruiter, as he had been interviewing the woman up until this point. The son was not the one who was called in to interview.

You can recommend certain jobs to your child, but never fill out forms or make calls for them. The more companies hear from them directly, the better they’ll know your child. And that will help immensely in the interview.

DO: Contact Express Employment Professionals

Like we said before, we hear from plenty of parents looking to help their children or grandchildren find work. We’re happy to help! With more than 35 years of experience, we know what we’re doing. We’ve placed plenty of parents and children alike, and you’ll never pay a fee for our services.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S and Canada. Contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.

Also, encourage your young job seeker to sign up for the Movin’ On Up Newsletter. We have plenty of job search tips waiting to be discovered.

Still not sure where to start? Check out our ParentGuide, part of our Job Genius educational program.

Do you have a child or grandchild looking for a job? How have you helped them in their job search? Let us know in the comments below!

 

What’s Your Go-To Social Network for Finding a Job?

Finding a job is hard. Finding a job without any connections is even harder. You can only spend so many hours online sending out resumes before the entire process makes you batty.

You should pair any online job search efforts with networking in the real world. Go to industry events and meet people. If there are any professional organizations that match your career interests, join them!

However, even after all that work, finding a job can still seem impossible. That’s when you turn to the major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These platforms allow you to link your online and offline job search pursuits. Find people you have connected with in person and make them part of your online professional network. Now, you’ve laid the foundation to connect with them when a job opportunity pops up at their company.

Recruiters are also on social media. If you have professional profiles on each major network, you improve your chances of being contacted by recruiters.

However, many job searchers prioritize one social network over another. Are you a Facebook fan? A LinkedIn loyalist? A Twitter tweeter?

Let us know by voting in our poll!

Poll Results: How Do You Build Your Network Outside of Social Media

Group of people sitting on chairs in park, holding hands, high angle viewAlthough many take to the web to make connections, traditional networking is still incredibly important. Meeting someone in person leaves an impression that no amount of words on a screen can match.

But there are many ways to do that. Toward the end of May we asked Movin’ On Up readers how they build their networks outside of social media.

Results

Thirty-seven percent of respondents chose professional organizations as their networking hub of choice, while 23% selected community involvement. Seventeen percent go to their friends and family for job opportunities, while just 3% look to their religious organization. Twenty percent chose “Other,” with responses ranging from chamber meetings and conferences to hobbies and networking events.

What Now?

The perfect networking plan will vary depending on who you are. If you have your sights set on a professional position, join a professional organization or travel to conferences. If you’re looking for a good job in your area, you might want to ask your friends and family.

Every interaction you have with another human being is a networking opportunity. So always be prepared. Be the best possible version of yourself at all times, and steer clear of complaining or droning on about yourself. Be attentive, interesting, and memorable.

Anything else you want to tell us about how you network? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll: How Do You Build Your Network Outside of Social Media?

On a planet full of tweets and status updates, how do you meet people face-to-face?

MOV_POLL-ICONWhether it’s a night on the town with friends or meeting with a monthly professional group, networking has always been part of the employment scene. When it comes to pretty much any job, “who you know” really does matter. Which makes sense, given that an employer is more likely to trust a new hire that they know personally or was referred rather than an impressive resume from an unknown applicant.

How do you keep it real in a digital world? Let us know by voting in our poll! 

Kick-Start Your Resume with Community Service

Serve others and boost your resume at the same time

BrandItBlueDay2014On Saturday, June 10, Express Employment Professionals offices across North America will gather together for Brand It Blue Day to help fill community food banks and pantries. The event is a day of service aimed to help in the fight against hunger, and you’re invited to join in.

Wondering why you might want to participate in something like this? Apart from the obvious reason of helping those who really need it, there are professional advantages as well.

1. Help Others

As noted by Feeding America®, 43.1 million people (13.5% of the U.S. population) were in poverty in 2015.  About 42.2 million lived in food-insecure households. That means over 13 million children went to bed hungry at some point that year.

Summer is the worst time for child hunger, as the school meal program ends for most kids. In 2013, more than 21.5 million children received free or reduced-price meals through their school programs and only 2.5 million of those children took part in summer food service programs. Volunteering allows you to make a real difference and help those kids get three meals a day.

2. Enhance Your Resume

Being involved in the community also shows potential employers that you have interests and goals outside of work. In other words, volunteering could help you land your next job.

As noted by Fortune, a 2016 Deloitte study of 2,506 U.S. hiring managers found that 82% of interviewers held a preference for applicants with volunteer experience. 92% said such activities built leadership skills. This was in sharp contrast to the mere 32% of applicants that mentioned unpaid volunteer work on their resumes. So, at the very least, add volunteer experience to your resume to help make you stand out above other applicants.

But why do employers find volunteer work so attractive? 85% of the interviewers found that skills-based activities, including those used during volunteer work, increased candidate communication skills, while 88% felt it built “strong character.” For those whose volunteer work didn’t use their professional skills, those numbers decreased slightly to 77% and 84%, respectively.

What else can volunteer work do for your resume? It provides an opportunity to master more skills. Take lessons learned in the workplace or college and develop those skills in rea-life situations. Maybe you’ve written mock strategic plans for a promotions management class, but never had a chance to put them into action. Or perhaps you film weddings for a living, but want to expand to other events.

3. Network

Networking can be challenging, especially when you’re at an event where everybody else is there to network as well. These events can be helpful, but they can be tiring.

Community service allows you to network in a much more organic way. Everyone is serving the same cause—nobody expects the newbie to walk in with a killer smile and an even more killer resume. If you work hard and make a good impression on others, they may pass on future job opportunities or serve as reference contacts.

In addition, continued nonprofit work for a particular cause lets you build a reputation in that area, allowing for future networking opportunities further down the road. You can also see how an organization functions and interact with people from all levels of the organization. If you’re interested in a nonprofit career, even better—these could be future co-workers after all.

Brand It Blue Day

If you’re looking for a cause to work with, consider Express’ Brand it Blue Day on Saturday, June 10! Check out the nearest participating Express office today.

In 2016, more than 235 Express offices and 1,000 volunteers from California to North Carolina to Canada came together at local food banks and pantries across North America to help fight hunger. Over the past four years, Express offices donated 300,000 meals to nonprofit organizations across North America through their efforts on Brand It Blue Day.

Has community service helped your career? Let us know how in the comments below!

Survey Results Reveal More Businesses Plan To Hire

america2017 is shaping up to be a great time to land a job. A recent survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals, found that 76% of businesses plan to hire new workers in the first quarter. Job openings are expected to be most significant in general labor positions with 32% of respondents planning to hire in that sector. Twenty-six percent plan to hire skilled labor, while another 20% plan to hire administrative and office clerical staff. Before you apply for that new position, we’ve come up with five things to do right now to gain a competitive advantage.

Clean Up Your Social Media

There’s a good chance that any prospective employer is going to check you out on social media. You will likely be out of the running before you get a foot in the door if a hiring manager sees unflattering or unprofessional photos on your social sites. Posts that show inappropriate behavior, references to drinking or drugs, and mean or negative posts can all be instant deal breakers. Google yourself and see what comes up. Then do your best to delete photos and posts that paint you in a negative light. If you’re tagged in unflattering posts on someone else’s social media, ask politely that they be deleted. Be persistent. Then consider changing your privacy settings to prevent being tagged without your permission.

Expand Your Online Presence

Think beyond Facebook. The goal is to create an online presence that is professional, gets the attention of potential employers, and reflects who you are and what you value. A good start is to create an effective LinkedIn account. Also, create a professional Twitter account and follow companies and business people that you admire. One key thing to remember about Twitter is to focus on others. It’s more about building relationships and having conversations. There are some good tips for first time Twitter users here. Photo-driven social media platform Instagram isn’t just for selfies and pictures of your lunch. It’s a great avenue to develop your personal brand and share what you’re passionate about in a more artistic and creative way. On whichever platforms you choose, remember that every post should have a purpose. Like tiles in a mosaic, they all combine to create an image of you.

Spread the Word

Now is the time to let people know you’re ready to go to work. Don’t limit yourself to social media and online searching. Many open positions are never posted online. That’s why it pays to contact former co-workers, teachers, friends, classmates, relatives, anyone and everyone who may be able to help you.

When networking, how you communicate your needs can make all the difference. People are more likely to lend a hand when they feel like they’re helping. So instead of asking, “Do you know anyone who’s hiring?” preface it with, “I need help finding a job. Can you think of anyone who’s hiring?” If you’re apprehensive, try these tips on asking for help that may make it easier.

Rework Your Resume

You may have heard this a dozen times, but tweaking your resume should be an on-going, work in progress. There are hundreds of posts online that offer resume advice. Here are a few key tips we gleaned. First, ditch the opening “goals and objectives” paragraph and replace it with a summary statement that focuses on what you have to offer, not the kind of job you want. Be sure to lead with the most relevant information according to the job you’re seeking. Add any new skills you attained and classes or workshops you attended. Be sure to include keywords featured in posts of the jobs you’re applying for. Then it’s time to edit. If your resume is more than one page, it’s too long. Get it down to one page with an 11 or 12 point font size. Next, proofread diligently. Ask friends to read your resume and offer honest, constructive feedback.

Sharpen Your Interview Skills

Take a cue from the Scouts and be prepared. Learn all you can about the prospective employer before your interview. Be ready when the interviewer asks, “So, tell me a little about yourself.” They’re not looking for your life story, as much as how the events of your life lead you to apply for the job and why you’re a good fit. Craft your story in a compelling way, that can be told in about a minute. Another common question that torments people is “What’s your weakness?” In answering this question, it’s OK to admit a flaw, but be ready to explain the steps you take to overcome it. Again, the internet is awash with ways to strengthen your interview skills. Here are a few interview tips that may just help you get a job offer.

How do you plan to prepare to be hired? Share your knowledge and experience in the comments section below.

Resolve to Land a Job This Year

ThinkstockPhotos-609804644Resolutions can be great for personal and professional growth, but only if they are commitments that you truly want to see accomplished. You’ve probably heard the statistics, but it’s worth repeating: according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, just 8% of people achieve their resolutions and less than half make it past the first six months of the year.

Of all the New Year’s resolutions you can make this year, landing a new job could be at the top of your list. With the economy recovering and employers becoming more and more optimistic about their prospects for the future, 2017 has the potential to be the year for job seekers.

But which resolutions can you make to help you get a new job this year?

1. Grow Your Network

Whether you are currently working and looking for a new opportunity, just getting out school and looking for your first full-time job, or have been on the job hunt for a while, you have access to a bigger network than you may realize.

If you sat down and wrote out a list of all the people you know—friends, family, former and current co-workers, teachers—you might be surprised at the number of connections you have. The key to networking though, is not to stop with the people you already know; it’s working with those people to grow your network and be introduced to more and more people.

Those connections will either lead to your next job or connect you to the person who can help you land your next job. Resolve to spend more time in 2017 growing your network of connections so you find yourself closing out the year celebrating the great job you’ve earned.

2. Expand Your Skills

If you haven’t noticed, the workforce has changed. More and more jobs that didn’t before, now require technical skills or education, which means it’s important that you make 2017 the year you learn at least one new skill.

If you have an interest in technology, why not check out the many free online resources that provide training on everything from building your own app, to learning how to code and build websites? Having this type of knowledge is a great way to set yourself apart from other job candidates while showing your commitment to ongoing learning.

Maybe you prefer working with your hands. Taking the time to research the various classes offered through the career techs in your area could lead to an exciting career in industries like welding, dentistry, nursing, cosmetology, or culinary arts.

3. Clean Up Your Social Footprint

Do you remember what you said to your friend last Thursday? What about the conversation with your brother last month, what did you say to him?

If you’re having trouble remembering what you said in those conversations, try remembering what you posted on Facebook five years ago, or on Twitter two years ago.

In 2017, more and more employers are doing an online search of your name to see what they find, and if you haven’t taken the time to clean up your social footprint, you may not like what the search results turn up.

4. Make Your Resume Stand Out

If your biggest resolution of 2017 is to land a job, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t take the appropriate steps to make sure your resume stands out from the crowded inboxes of hiring managers.

Set time aside to focus solely on the effectiveness of each section of your resume. Go through it while thinking like someone who’s making the decision to hire, and then ask for someone you trust to do the same thing and give you honest feedback.

Also, consider the way you deliver your resume to a potential employer. Is there a creative way to make sure your resume gets in front of the person making the decision on new hires and piques their interest in you?

In a survey of businesses conducted by Express, respondents gave several interesting ways candidates delivered their resume, including a YouTube video, folded into a paper airplane, and even a gift package containing the resume.

Based on the early indications, 2017 is shaping up to be a great year for the job market, and starting a new career can be accomplished as long as you’re willing to set some resolutions and commit to seeing them through.

What other resolutions would you recommend for someone looking for a job in 2017? Let us know in the comments section belo