Tag Archives: job seekers

Best Methods for Job Seekers to Interact with Companies

In the past, the job search was simple. You would physically visit the company you wanted to interview with, grab a job application, fill it out, and wait for them to get in touch with you.

Nowadays, however, there are a variety of ways for job seekers to get in touch with potential employers. From hiring sites and email to telephone, scheduled in-person interviews, walk-ins, staffing services, online job portals and more.

Express Employment Professionals surveyed readers of Refresh Leadership, our blog for business leaders, to discover the methods companies prefer to communicate with hiring candidates. We also asked readers of Job Journey, our job seeker focused blog, to see if their preferences were in line with those of employers.

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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.

Portraits of Hope

gI_96155_Portraits Book CoverAs the American economy continues to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, released a book titled “Portraits of Hope,” a compilation of inspirational stories from people who have found success despite the shaky economy.  In this book you’ll hear about how Express Employment Professionals has helped people find work and how having a job has made a positive impact in their lives and the lives of others. These encouraging stories are sure to inspire you, highlighting people who seized opportunities to build a better life. Some people were helped by friends and neighbors, while others were guided by faith and determination. Each person persevered through struggle and was able to pick themselves up, find work, and press on.

Some of the individuals featured in “Portraits of Hope” include:

Janice Andrick – Rossville, KS

Janice, born with cerebral palsy, was brought into a society that offered few opportunities for quadriplegics like her, but found hope in the support and therapy provided by the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children in Topeka, KS. There, she also found her first job. The 1990s brought the Americans with Disabilities Act and new technologies that made it possible for Janice to do a wider range of work. Through Express, she found a position doing clerical work with the State of Kansas Department of Disability Services.

Garrett Fairbanks – Kenosha, WI

A native of Kenosha, WI, Garret Fairbanks lost his job during the Great Recession. He found himself homeless, carrying a bag on his back, and selling aluminum scrap just to put money in his pocket. After finding a church program that offered him a place to sleep, Garrett found Express, and within a week after filling out an application, he was hired as a machinist. Today, he’s proud to be financially stable and living in his own apartment. In 2012, he was recognized by Express as the Wisconsin Employee of the Year.

Inder Narang – Northridge, CA

Born and raised in New Delhi, Inder Narang graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in India, but the only work he could find paid little, and there was no room for advancement. He decided to follow his brother to the United States in hopes of finding a job. But, he soon realized he lacked the necessary experience for the engineering jobs he applied for. He took a job as a department store sales associate. Before moving to L.A., Inder and finding an engineering job through Express — one that he enjoys and allows him to pay the bills.

“Read these stories and you understand why we do what we do,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Finding people a job so often means giving people hope and a chance at a better future. I’ve seen it over and over: a life can be drastically changed by just one job.

“We feel privileged at Express to have played even a small part in the lives of these remarkable individuals, whose determination to succeed allowed them to overcome tremendous challenges and to make it in America. I’m inspired by them, and I’m sure they’ll inspire others.”

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

Administrative Professionals’ Day

admins day_April2014Today is Administrative Professionals’ Day, a day set aside to let administrative workers know how much they are appreciated for everything they do in their workplaces.

It takes a special person to fill the role of administrative professional. The job title doesn’t do justice to the huge contribution those people provide their companies with daily.  Administrative professionals do a lot of behind the scenes work that many people don’t realize and they deserve to be celebrated.

Ways to Show Your Appreciation
How can you acknowledge the hard work of the administrative professionals at your company? Depending on where you work and how well you know the administrative assistants, you may offer to take them out for lunch, buy them their favorite chocolate or coffee, or write them a note to let them know how grateful you are for their hard work. Taking the time to show your appreciation will brighten their day.

I don’t know about you, but the administrative professionals at my workplace are some of the greatest people I know. They’re incredibly hard working and choosing one day out of the year to let them know they are appreciated is a good start. So, remember to acknowledge your administrative professionals and let them know you appreciate them for all they do.

How do you recognize the administrative professionals at your workplace and celebrate their hard work? Let us know in the comments section below!

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

What You Don’t Know About Career Technical Education

CTEwhitepaperAs the first college graduate in my family, I realized college really isn’t a good fit for everyone. There are other, more affordable options, and in today’s economy, affordability is key. Throughout the four years I spent in college, many of my peers chose to further their education through Career Technical Education (CTE).

What is Career Technical Education
According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, “Career and technical education (CTE) prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities.” CTE offers certifications, licenses and degrees in various trades and industries. “A stable career doesn’t always require a four-year degree. Career Technical Education can deliver what so many Americans want – a promising career at an affordable price,” said, Bob Funk, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Express Employment Professionals. CTE, previously known as vocational-technological education, provides skills and training needed for a variety of careers.

CTE offers industry-specific training in highly skilled trades, including:

• Mechanical Drafter
• Welder
• IT Technician
• Physical Therapist Assistant
• Biomedical Equipment Technician
• Legal Secretary
• Aircraft Mechanic
• Real Estate Appraiser

CTE also offers students the opportunity to earn a variety of credentials, including:

• Post-secondary certificates
• Certifications
• Licenses
• Associate degree

Another great benefit of CTE is that it doesn’t require tens or hundreds or thousands of dollars in student loans. “Many students find their passion in CTE programs and, in turn, develop substantially better academic performance that results in more life options for them,” said Robert D. Sommers, Ph.D., Oklahoma Secretary of Education and Workforce Development State Director, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

CTE Workers Are in Demand
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 14 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in America require an associate’s degree or less. These are exactly the types of careers that CTE provides training and credentials for. This is great news for high school students wanting to further their education somewhere other than a university. It is also encouraging for those who want to change their career path.

For more information on this hot topic, check out Express Employment Professionals latest white paper, The Hard Truth About Higher Education.

 

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

Prepare Before You Perspire: Seasonal Landscaping Safety

landscaping_March2014Now that spring has arrived, landscaping jobs are likely to increase in demand. With that in mind, now is the time to review landscaping safety before the season kicks into high gear.

Check the Location
The first thing to do when reaching a worksite is to look over the area for hazards. Rocks, cables, broken tree limbs, uneven ground, exposed roots, and anything of concern should be noted and shared with everyone at the site before work begins. If a hazard can be removed, that should be the first job of the day.

The next consideration should be equipment. Is the right equipment available for the job?  Are the tools in good condition, and are safety guards required by the manufacturer in place? Also, any chutes to help direct debris should be in place. These chutes help prevent injuries and property damage from flying objects.

Stay Hydrated
After checking the environment and equipment, it’s time to focus a little more closely on yourself. Staying hydrated is important when working outdoors, so you should drink water before you reach the site. Even at moderate temperatures, we need more water to get through a day of hard work. Once you feel thirsty, you are already becoming dehydrated.  Begin the habit of drinking plenty of water early in the season and throughout the day.

Protect Yourself
Personal protective equipment is an important step for any manual labor jobs. Safety glasses will protect against both small and large debris, while ear protection can keep your hearing intact while running noisy landscaping equipment. Proper footwear will help prevent cuts and scratches, give good support, and protect you if you do come in contact with a moving part of a machine. And, don’t forget gloves, which will help protect against cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Remember; check the environment, equipment, and yourself before starting work at each landscaping site and you will have a safer, more productive and enjoyable day.

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

Cheer Up Your LinkedIn Profile

cheer_up_March2014We all spend time reading other peoples’ posts and updates on social media, but when is the last time you skimmed over your own profile and updated your information? Do you need to refresh your profile by adding new skills and work history, or do you need to delete some old things from your profile? Here are a few quick tips to cheer up your LinkedIn Profile.

What is Your LinkedIn Profile Saying About You?
Is your LinkedIn profile leaving an accurate and good impression on those who view it? A CareerBuilder study shows hiring managers are using social media to evaluate candidates’ character and personality traits outside the confines of the traditional interview process. When asked why they use social networks to conduct background research, hiring managers stated the following: 65% wanted to see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally, 51% wanted to see if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture, 45% wanted to learn more about the candidate’s qualifications, 35% wanted to see if the candidate is well-rounded, and 12% wanted to look for reasons not to hire the candidate.

LinkedIn is a great social media tool for letting people in the professional arena learn more about you, your skills, and your work experience. So, where do you start?

Update Your Profile Picture
First things first, start with updating your profile picture. If your picture is more than five years old, it’s time for a new one. Make sure your photo is a head shot of you in business attire, not a picture of you with other people. Don’t forget to smile!

Freshen Up Your Summary
If you don’t have a professional summary, you need to write one. Don’t ever leave your summary blank. In fact, don’t leave any field blank on your profile. Your summary is one of the first things an employer sees when they look at your profile, which is a great way to introduce and present yourself. Take a quick look through your profile and professional summary to make sure you’re showcasing yourself and your abilities. Your summary doesn’t need to be long or in-depth, but it does need to point employers in the right direction. Keep in mind, your skills and information are searchable so you’ll want to use key words and descriptions that align with your industry.

Clean Up Your Group Lists
Joining groups on LinkedIn is a great way to grow your network. If your interests have changed since you first joined LinkedIn and you’d like to learn more about a different industry or company don’t hesitate to join their LinkedIn group. Cleaning up your old groups and add new ones can help you cheer up your LinkedIn profile.

Follow New People
Do you have professional role models that you look up to? See if those people have LinkedIn accounts and request to follow them. Following those you look up to and seeing their updates on your LinkedIn feed can help encourage you in your job search and keep you motivated during your career journey.

Cheering up your LinkedIn and other social media profiles might be just what you need to get noticed. These edits and updates can be done in a short amount of time, so cheer up your LinkedIn profile today. Have you landed a job by using LinkedIn? Let us know in the comments section below!