Technology

Get Your Dream Job with These Online Resources

We’re living in a technological age. These days if you can think it, there’s probably a website for it.

So why not embrace that technology and employ these tools in your job search journey? A recent Forbes article listed several of these online job-search power boosters. Here are our favorites, as well as a suggestion of our own.

Resume Help

Ever felt like your resume lacked a certain something? Resumake and Resume.io exist to make that a non-issue. The sites are full of templates that come pre-arranged, so you don’t have to worry about typefaces or whether to bold or underline something.

Both sites offer free and paid options. All you have to do is select a template and then input your information. The app will do the rest, and you’ll end up with a resume you’re proud of.

And if you’re looking for great words to use in your resume, check out one of the blogs in our resume writing series:

Keep Track of Where You Applied

When you’re job search efforts are on fire, the number of positions you’ve applied to can really pile up. Multiple applications can make it difficult to remember what you’ve applied for and who you’ve applied with. And nothing’s more awkward than a phone interview where you don’t even remember what you applied for.

Get rid of those issues with Rake, what Forbes describes as a “personal job tracker.” It’s available both as an app for your phone and as a chrome extension (for use with the Google Chrome web browser). All you have to do is click and the job description gets saved to the app. And you don’t have to pay a dime.

And applying with Express solves this problem as well. One application with us gets sent out to multiple local businesses. And it’s free.

Interview Prep

We all dread getting an interview question we don’t know the answer to.

It could be anything from “what are your top five strengths and weaknesses?” to “what about our company interests you?”

Sure, you could make flashcards and study them before the interview. But what if you lose one, don’t prepare for it, and that’s the question you end up being asked in an interview?

Cram is a site that allows you to do just what it states: cram information as fast as possible.

You can create online flashcards or use others already prepared by savvy jobseekers.

And it’s free!

Job Genius

Job Genius is Express Employment Professionals’ educational job program and web series. We cover everything from the job market forecast and job opportunities, to the resumes, the interview process, and more. It’s stuff we learned from jobseekers just like you. And since we put nearly 550,000 people to work each year, we know what works and what doesn’t. And it’s free, too!

Do you have any favorite online job resources? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

 

Do Millennials Spend Too Much Time on Screens?

Being a Team PlayerTV screens, computer screens, phone screens, and more. It’s practically impossible to escape them. Technology is everywhere, including the office. Which isn’t a problem, until it’s abused.

Millennials are often seen as the worst offenders. They’re constantly on their phone scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. This isn’t a problem with older generations!

Or is it?

As noted by Forbes, Ralph Jacobson, a global retail industry marketing analyst at IBM, said in an online discussion that “people of all ages are constantly distracted by phone alerts for social media, texting, promotional emails, etc. Ensuring that employees have daily work assignments with short-term, tangible goals that have deadlines, is a way to keep people focused on their work. If there is too much uncertainty in project deadlines without defined daily milestones, peoples’ attention will wander.”

So if it’s a problem we all suffer from, what can we do to fix it? Not all employees know what proper screen etiquette in the office looks like. Although it varies depending on your manager and place of business, below are a few tips to keep in mind.

Life is a Series of First Impressions

“You only get one first impression.” Odds are you’ve heard that, or some variation of it, more than a few times. And it’s true. Especially in the workplace, where, depending on your position, you might have multiple first impressions with new clients or customers every day. When talking to someone, talk to them. Actively participate in the conversation.

You don’t want to ruin those impressions because of something as silly as your phone. So don’t keep your eyes glued to it! It was rude in school and it’s rude now. Especially during a meeting or presentation. And steer clear of attempting to hide your phone under the desk—the boss knows what that blue screen glow means.

Of course, depending on the position, it’s possible you might need to check your phone during meetings. Maybe there’s a client that won’t stop calling, or a minor emergency that needs to be taken care of. In those cases, discreetly access your phone and take care of the matter quickly. If the issue requires all of your attention, ask to step out to take care of it.

Keep Off of Social Media

This next one will vary depending on where you work and what the position entails, but it’s usually a good idea to stay off social media until you get a better idea of what the workplace culture looks like.

If you’re liking Aunt Gertrude’s garden pics, you aren’t being productive. Although it might just be a quick break for you, others could think it represents some sort of trend. You don’t want to be seen as the office slacker, so avoid it.

It’s important to note that there are plenty of valid reasons to be on social media—checking the company’s social media page, connecting with potential clients, etc. You’ll need to make some of your own judgment calls on what is and is not acceptable for your workplace.

Get Your Work Done

In the end, what really matters is that you’re doing what you’re paid to do.

As mentioned by Professor Gene Detroyer in the same online discussion referenced earlier, “How about instead of looking at the hours, we look at the accomplishment? I am all for, ‘If you get the job done, take the rest of the day off.’”

Obviously, not all employers are going to be as lax as Professor Detroyer, but you know if you’re getting the work done and meeting deadlines. Don’t do anything, on screens or otherwise, that jeopardizes your work ethic.

But does your job end at deadlines? Nope. So instead of spending time on screens, brainstorm new projects ideas or create new responsibilities that go above and beyond your job description.

Are there any issues with technology useage in your office? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Workplace Wearables: Smart Tips for Your Smart Devices

Modern businessman focused on his phone and smart watch

Do you own a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or other technological device known as a “wearable?” If so, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Forbes, just under 50 million wearable devices were shipped in 2015. And in 2019, 125 million more are expected to be purchased.

Millennials, the newest generation to enter the workforce, are known as technology-savvy. So, it’s no surprise that the majority of people (48%) who use wearable technology are part of this generation. And, 71% of younger workers want to own wearable tech if they don’t already.

The technology behind these devices has been around for decades, but the greater availability of internet access has made them significantly more useful in recent years. If you’re considering investing in the trend, make sure you know when and how it’s appropriate to use your smart devices.

A Growing Trend

Today, one in six consumers owns and uses wearable technology, which means these devices are becoming increasingly prevalent in the workspace. To take advantage of this growing trend, many companies have begun testing wearables for workplace security, time management, and communication purposes.

Luckily for employers, early studies have proven the trend may pay off. According to the University of London, employees who own wearable technology reported an 8.5% increase in workplace productivity. Additionally, they experienced a 3.5% increase in job satisfaction.

Be Aware of What You Share

As the workplace shifts toward the future, many companies will begin integrating their internal systems with wearables. This means, they may use your wearable (or provide you with a company-owned device) to track your productivity and health. If you have a fitness tracker that records your workout and sleep patterns, your employer may be able to locate that information.

This information could then be used to make changes in the workplace that improve your work experience and productivity. While there are benefits to this information sharing, it’s important to understand what information you may be giving your boss.

Study Your Habits

If you’re going to wear your fitness tracker or smartwatch to work, take advantage of the data these devices provide by tracking your habits. Doing so may help you increase productivity and implement changes that will have a positive effect on your work.

For example, if you notice you’re significantly less active between 2 and 4 p.m. every day, set a reminder to get up and walk around for a few minutes during this time period. You’ll be more active, alert, and healthy.

Pay Attention

During an important meeting, interview, or event, you wouldn’t look at your phone, right? The same applies to wearable devices. If you own a smartwatch and receive phone calls, emails, or text messages on your wrist, avoid the temptation to look when it’s not appropriate. Recruiters and potential employers will notice if you spend the majority of the interview checking your watch, and it may look like you’re in a hurry to leave. Don’t make the mistake of sending the wrong signals.

Remember to Take a Break

According to a Workplace Options survey, 84% of workers age 18-29 report working two or more hours per day after their work day ends. They’re spending time on their mobile devices, checking email and making calls. As the rise of wearable technology continues, it’s easier than ever to stay connected to your workplace when you’re at home. Now, just a simple glance at your wrist could reveal emails or phone calls that prevent you from truly disconnecting.

In fact, Ernst & Young reports that 24% of U.S. employees find it difficult to maintain work-life balance. Since work-life balance is essential to your overall health and happiness, don’t let your wearables upset that equilibrium.

Do you own a wearable device? How do you stay productive in the workplace? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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

Top Rated Job Search Tools

job_search_tools_webFinding a job and scouring the job boards can often be a time-consuming, frustrating, and confusing ordeal. With hundreds of job boards online and even more want ads in the newspapers, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Where do you even start? How do you know where to look? How do you avoid scam sites or “pay” sites?

We’ve compiled a list of helpful sites we think are the best places for job seekers to use their time wisely. While every job seeker is different and has different needs and priorities, these tools are a great place to start if you’re looking for a job.

1. Job Boards
General job boards can be a great place to kick off your search. We’ve included such popular sites as Monster.com, and CareerBuilder because they allow you to search jobs quickly and easily.

There’s also more niche-oriented sites. For example, Idealist.org is a job board dedicated to non-profit jobs. USAJobs is a job board with a huge list of federal job openings. Both are quality tools to help you if you want a job with the government or in the nonprofit realm. Be sure to check and see if there’s a nice specific job board for your industry.

2. LinkedIn
If you are actively looking for a job, you should already be on LinkedIn.

Why? For one, it is the largest professional social networking site in the world, boasting more than 175 million members in more than 200 countries.

Every second, two new members sign up, and more and more hiring managers are looking at LinkedIn profiles for potential candidates. According to Forbes.com, recruiters use LinkedIn more than any other website to connect with job candidates.

Even better is that it is free to use and a great place to show off your work history and qualifications!

3. Facebook and Twitter
Another way to use social media to get your foot in the door is to follow, like, or start conversations online with the companies where you’d like to work for. Commenting or “retweeting” comments from a potential employer on Twitter shows engagement, as does leaving comments or “liking” a post on that company’s Facebook page.

Other social media sites, like Instagram or Pinterest, also allow you to start engagement and conversations with potential employers. Just be careful of what you post – what you say online could stay there forever.

4. Professional Organizations

It’s been said a professional organization exists for every field, and the benefits of joining such organizations are many. Participating in a professional organization allows job seekers to learn from the experience of others, but also allows for top-notch networking opportunities.

By joining a professional group, you have the chance to connect with decision-makers in your industry and hear about job leads. Many of these groups, like the Public Relations Society of America or the Society for Human Resource Management, have extensive job boards that are open to members.

An added benefit of joining these groups is the potential to expand upon skills necessary to your particular field.

5. Recruiters and Staffing Firms
Recruiters and staffing firms like Express Employment Professionals work to bring the right employee and the right employers together. Whether you’re looking for a temporary or a professional position, working with a staffing firm is an easy way to improve your job search.

Staffing companies help match thousands of job seekers to jobs every day. And, the assistance doesn’t stop there. These firms also provide tools like resume writing help, job seeking tips, and job search tools.

And, if you’re new to Movin’ On Up, the Express Employment Professionals job blog, take advantage of the numerous articles and topics designed to help you in your quest for a perfect fit. Articles range from Top Interview Traits Your Future Boss Wants to See to How to Say Yes to a Summer Wardrobe and all topics in between.

Do you have some favorite job search tools that you use? Share with us in the comments section below.

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

Low-Tech Tips for Your Job Search

low-tech_tips_webWe live in a technological world. Our phones are smart, our cars are more efficient, and our job listings are online. However, some job seekers tend to forget that the Internet is not the only place they can do their job searching. So, if you’re a tech savvy person who’s in pursuit of a job, but still haven’t had much success, this article is for you. We’ve assembled a list of a few different approaches to use when hunting for a job in addition to using technology.

Low-Tech Tip #1: Drive, Drive, Drive!
This approach is an oldie but a goodie. If you’re searching for a job, get in your car and drive around your city. Using a map, you can strategically plan out what parts of the town you want to visit on certain days, which can save you money on gas. When you see a place of business you are interested in, stop in and ask if they are hiring. If so, fill out an application or take one home with you to fill out and bring back later. Many employers find this tactic to be an impressive show of fortitude. Be sure to dress professionally and make a good first impression. The people you meet are your potential new co-workers and bosses.

Low-Tech Tip #2: Pull out the Yellow Pages
We get them dropped on our doorsteps all the time. These days, the Yellow Pages usually get thrown away or shoved into the bottom of a drawer somewhere. If you’re hunting for a job, though, save that book and keep it out. Look around and search for places that interest you. Then, give them a call and ask if they are hiring. If so, set up an appointment or ask to stop by to pick up an application.

Low-Tech Tip #3: Ask Around
Networking is one of the most important things a person pursuing a career can do. It’s all in who you know. If you’re looking for a job, ask your friends, family, and previous co-workers. Any one of these people could connect you directly to a job or to another person who might know of something. Never take your connections for granted.

Low-Tech Tip #4: Check the Classifieds
Many job listings are still advertised in the classified section of your local paper. So, checking the newspaper is something that could be to your advantage. Read through the list, highlight or circle ones you feel qualified for, and give the listed contact a call.

We sometimes become too dependent upon technology. Job searching is an activity that doesn’t necessarily have to be conducted online. Using these tips can open just as many doors, and in some cases, even more.

Have you had success in job searching without the use of technology? Do you have any other tips on hunting for jobs without it? Let us know in the comments below!

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