Tag Archives: jobgenius

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.

How to Recognize Your Champion Mentors

Young architect taking direction from senior colleagueDid you know that January was National Mentoring Month? If you missed the celebration, it’s not too late to thank the mentors in your life who’ve helped you achieve personal or professional success.

Return the favor

Mentors usually take time out of their own schedules to help you accomplish a task or learn a new skill. To recognize and appreciate their sacrifice, find ways you can return the favor. If you don’t think you have anything to offer your mentor, think again. While it’s true you may not possess the same depth of knowledge or experience, your time can be just as valuable. Many mentors offer their help and guidance without expecting anything in return, but even little examples of appreciation can go a long way.

Make a list of things you can do to help your mentor in his or her everyday life. For example, if you’re really good at planning, offer to help plan their upcoming vacation. Or if you’re great with animals, offer to watch their dogs while they’re away. Think about the industry your mentor is in, and where he or she is in their career. If your mentor is in a leadership role, consider sending them relevant, insightful articles about leadership. Or, forward articles about the trends in their particular industry, so they don’t have to spend time searching on their own.

Pass it on

Do you have skills, experience, or knowledge in a particular industry or craft? Perhaps you’re a really great writer, you excel in math, or you know the ins and outs of a popular computer program. If so, have you considered becoming a mentor?

As a thank you to those who have helped you along your path, you may be able to pass the favor on to someone else. If you’ve never considered becoming a mentor, take a few minutes to list all of the things you excel in or the skills that help you stand out. Can you teach those skills to others? Do you have a hobby people want to learn? Did your mentor do such a great job guiding you that you now feel capable of doing the same for someone else? Whatever your unique skills are, explore how you may be able to pass them on to others.

Endorse your mentor

If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably noticed the endorsement capabilities of the social network. Endorsing allows you to publicly praise someone you’ve worked with so others know they excel in those areas. For example, you might endorse a co-worker with a knack for creating spreadsheets. Or, your boss may endorse you for your organizational skills. To thank your mentors, consider finding them on LinkedIn, connecting, and endorsing their skill sets.

You can provide endorsements in various areas, but ensure that you’re being honest about the ones you choose. While providing endorsements is a wonderful gesture, it’s important to make sure your mentor promotes the skills you select. You can also write your mentor a reference for others to view on LinkedIn. Remember to keep it positive, specific, and encouraging.

Thank your mentor

It goes without saying that you should be thankful for your mentor. It’s an essential part of maintaining a great relationship and showing appreciation. Even if you don’t have the ability to mentor someone else, return the favor, or provide LinkedIn endorsements, and you can always send a thank-you note.

Take a moment to write a nice letter, send a simple handwritten card, or draft an email. Your words of appreciation will go a long way with your mentor, and may even encourage them to mentor someone else. Let your mentor know how they’ve changed you for the better, inspired you, or helped you succeed. Share your wins and accomplishments, and explain how they’ve helped you get there. Your success is just as important to your mentor, and chances are, they want to celebrate with you.

Find a mentor today
If you don’t have a mentor, it’s not too late to find one. No matter what stage of life you’re in, or where you are at on your career path, you can always benefit from the knowledge and experience of others. You may find a mentor in a local industry organization, through networking events, or at your school. There are plenty of opportunities, so remember to keep your eyes open for those who can guide you and help you succeed.

Do you have a mentor? How do you recognize and appreciate their support? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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

Calling Cupid: How to Love Your Job

ThinkstockPhotos-153429186For many employees, much of their time is spent in the workplace. So, being happy in your job is a very important part of your overall health and satisfaction. But, finding that happiness isn’t always easy.

If you don’t enjoy your work life as much as you could, take some time this Valentine’s Day to fall in love with your job. To help you channel your inner Cupid, we’ve outlined eight tips below!

Set boundaries

When you want to stand out in the workplace or make a great impression on your supervisor, it’s easy to let your work bleed over into your personal life. Answering a few emails at night, or working on a timely presentation during the weekend is fine, right? Not always. In fact, setting boundaries that encourage a strong work/life balance can help you better recognize the value in your job and increase your performance. According to the Huffington Post, setting boundaries “does require that you make your work hours more productive, but by not working outside of work, you’ll get the rest you need to be energized, and get more done while you’re there!”

Recognize your value

It’s easy to think your work is lackluster if you don’t understand the benefit you provide your company, or its customers. Take some time to evaluate the positive impact your workplace has on others, and determine where you fit into that experience. For example, if you work in customer service, explore the ways in which you help customers solve problems or offer solutions. If you work in a manufacturing company, think about the end use of the products you help build. Chances are, those products add ease, entertainment, or benefit to the lives of your customers. When you can recognize the value you add to your company, or even your community, you may discover a stronger sense of purpose in your work.

 

Focus on the perks

Even if you’re truly dissatisfied with your job, there’s bound to be at least one thing you do enjoy about your work. Take a moment to list all of the things you like about your job, as well as the benefits your company offers. This may include health insurance, opportunities to volunteer, paid time off, holiday time, or other benefits. What about the company dress code? Is there coffee in the break room? Does your workplace offer a cafeteria, gym, or park? Maybe it’s your co-workers who make your day enjoyable. Whatever the perks may be, write them down and put them into perspective.

 

Eliminate boredom

If you’re bored at work, you’re probably not going to enjoy it. Instead of dwelling on repetitive tasks or projects that bring you down, challenge yourself to look for things that may bring you more joy. For example, if you’re required to perform the same series of tasks every day, try to liven up your routine. This may be as simple as getting up and walking around the office after you complete a task, or competing with a co-worker to see who can be more productive. You may also consider volunteering for new assignments and projects, if your schedule allows. This way, you can try new things and show your supervisor that you’re willing to step in when needed.

 

Grow your skills

When you allow yourself to learn a new skill, you open up a world of possibilities. Plus, you may find renewed enjoyment out of your work. Consider signing up for an educational program, joining a group in your industry, or researching trends that are relevant to your business. You could even start a group among your co-workers to read new books, present findings, or learn from each other. Chances are, the skills you learn will help you in your role, as well as reignite your passion for the work you do.

 

Find your happy place

We’ve all heard the advice to “find your happy place.” But, what does that actually mean? In short, it’s just a reminder to find a mental state that encourages you to relax, recharge, and calm down. When your workday gets stressful or you feel overwhelmed, find your happy place. It could be the beach where you last vacationed, the recliner in your living room, or the kitchen of a family member. Wherever your happy place is, create a strong mental picture and explore that image when you become bogged down. According to a Forbes article, “The very action of directing your attention away from your work opens up the door in your day for a respite, a restart, and a new view. It’s reviving and centering at the same time.”

 

Respect your clock
If you’re not prioritizing your tasks, you may sacrifice both productivity and happiness. Instead of working around the clock on the wall, learn to work around your biological clock. When you wake up and start your day, your energy levels are typically pretty high. You haven’t exerted much energy yet, and your body isn’t as tired as it may be later in the day. Use that time to tackle difficult tasks on your to-do list, and save easier tasks for the afternoon slump. This may help you prioritize your work, increase productivity, and eliminate burnout.

 

Take a break
Ask yourself this question: Do you take breaks at work? Not bathroom breaks or trips to the water fountain, but actual breaks that allow your mind and body to recharge? If you’re not taking small breaks throughout your day, you may overwork yourself, which can lead to dissatisfaction in the workplace. When your schedule allows, take a few minutes to stop what you’re doing and recharge your batteries. Simply standing up and stretching can help you refocus on your work and eliminate stress. Consider adding a reminder to your calendar that will alert you every few hours to stand up, get a drink, or take a look outside. When you find ways to relax and reconnect with your work, you may learn to love it.

 

What do you love about your job? Share your stories in the comments section below!

 

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

Super Bowl Leadership Lessons

footballWith the biggest game of the year upon us, many this weekend with focus on the matchup between the two teams, the legacy of the players who end up on the winning side, the commercials that will win the day, or the number of Buffalo wings they’ll consume.

But the Super Bowl also offers many lessons for people pursuing success in their professional lives. Throughout the years, many players who have shined on the biggest stage of professional football have gone on to lengthy and successful careers.

Troy Aikman

In 1990, if you asked any football fan or expert about the prospect of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman becoming a Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl champion, it’s unlikely you’d find any who would think there was a chance of that happening. The Cowboys didn’t win a game with Aikman as the starting quarterback, and he threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns.

So what happened over the next two years that would lead to the Cowboys winning Super Bowl XXVII and Aikman being named the MVP?

Over those two years, Aikman grew and matured while the Cowboys organization surrounded him with a talented offensive line and future hall of famers in Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith.

If you’re just starting your career and gaining experience in your work, don’t give up. Understand that success takes time and that as you learn more about your career field, you will experience more wins.

The other lesson to remember is that nothing is accomplished on your own. A successful career is often the result of teamwork, so make sure to learn from those around you and thank them along the way.

Hines Ward

Known for his toughness, resiliency, and big smile, Hines Ward’s story is one of perseverance through tough circumstances.

Ward was a highly regarded wide receiver coming out of college in 1998, with many expecting him to be one of the top five receivers selected in the pro draft. But before the draft, it was discovered that Ward was missing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee from a bicycle accident during his childhood.

This news made many teams wary of his health, and Ward fell from being one of the top receivers in the draft to being the 12th receiver taken when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the third round.

Over the next seven seasons, Ward and the Steelers found success but came up short of their ultimate goal, a Super Bowl trophy. Then, in 2005, the Steelers won Super Bowl XL and Ward was named the MVP.

Throughout his career, Ward was known for his willingness to block for teammates and make the catches that would leave him vulnerable to big hits. This sacrifice for the good of the team towards a common goal is a lesson we can all take to heart in our professional lives.

Von Miller

The most recent Super Bowl MVP, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has played the majority of his young career with a spotlight on his efforts and an expectation of success.

Drafted second overall in 2011 by the Broncos, Miller was anticipated to be a highly successful player who could lead the rebuilding of the team’s defense. While he saw success early on and the Broncos became a contender, toward the end of the 2013 season, Miller tore his ACL and watched as his team made it to Super Bowl XLVIII. From the sidelines, he watched the Broncos suffer one of the worst losses in Super Bowl history, falling to the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8.

Two years later, Miller helped lead his team to another chance for a championship as the Broncos made another appearance in the Super Bowl. Instead of standing on the sidelines, Miller was instrumental in the Broncos victory, forcing two fumbles and winning Super Bowl MVP.

Just like Von Miller, many of us have expectations set on us for success, whether from leaders at work or friends and family members at home. Those expectations may put a heavy weight on our shoulders, but they can also move us to work harder knowing that others have confidence in our abilities.

And when setbacks happen, we know from the stories of each of these Super Bowl MVPs, they don’t have to define us. We can grow, learn, and reach new heights if we’re willing to put in the effort and fight to see success.

What other prime-time performers from past Super Bowls can teach us career lessons? Let us know in the comments section.

Be A Teamwork Champion

teamworkIn a few days, the top two teams in professional football take the field to determine who will become Super Bowl champions. It’s the ultimate team endeavor. Each side consists of as many as 200 people: players, coaching staff, and support personnel, each with a specific duty. All play a part in determining whether the game will end in victory or defeat, from the star quarterback who leads the players on the field, to the equipment manager who decides what type of cleats to attach to the player’s shoes. The pressure and level of scrutiny is beyond intense, with millions of people judging every play, every action, and every decision made both on the field and on the sidelines.

You’ve probably been part of a team at some point in your work career. And while your team may not be as widely analyzed as a pro sports team, the outcome can be every bit as important. How you execute your role and how you interact with your team will affect your success and your future. It’s no small task to navigate the complexities of diverse personalities, each with unique skills and different levels of commitment to the goal. Whether or not you’re a sports fan, there are lessons from the gridiron on being a great team player that you can adapt to the workplace.

Know Your Role

It’s important to understand your role on the team, so you know what is expected of you. It’s also important to know the responsibilities of the other team members and how you will interact with them to meet your goal. Once you understand your role, commit to it. If you’re unsure of your role or responsibility, ask your team leader for clarification. As you undertake your responsibilities, don’t assume everyone knows what you know. One of the keys to team success is communication. So share your knowledge and expertise, but at the same time be receptive to the ideas and experience of others.

Be Ready to Step Up

You may be called upon to assume more responsibility if the team dynamic changes, for example, if someone leaves or gets promoted. You’ll set yourself up for failure if you just sit on the sidelines, not paying attention or staying up to date on the project. If you’re unprepared, and the need arises for someone to step in and assume greater responsibilities, you’ll either be passed over for a colleague who’s more prepared or you’ll step in the new role and be quickly betrayed by your lack of preparation. So stay informed and be ready. You don’t have to know everything, just enough to hit the ground running when your number is called.

Don’t Expect Equal Participation

Participation and effort in a team situation will never be equally balanced between all members.  Some will be called on to contribute more due to their experience and knowledge. If you feel someone isn’t pulling their weight, it may be due to a lack of experience or knowledge about the objective. They may lack confidence in their ability. Or a team member may not be engaged in the effort. Don’t waste energy worrying about who’s not doing their fair share of the work. Focus on your responsibilities first. If you believe you can take on additional duties, or help someone who seems to be struggling, approach your team leader and offer to help.

Respect is Earned

You may feel qualified to take on greater responsibility, but don’t get the opportunity or recognition you deserve. If you’re a new or untested employee, you have to demonstrate that you have both the ability and the disposition to lead. And that takes time. You’ll earn respect by being reliable, eager, positive, and encouraging. One of the most effective ways to gain respect is to give it. Show respect to people and their opinions.

Put the Team Ahead of Personality Issues

You don’t have to be best friends with everyone on the team. But you do have to work together amicably. In the event of a personality clash, do your best to separate the person from their perspective. Don’t be quick to dismiss an idea just because you don’t see eye to eye with someone. If you believe a teammate is sabotaging the effort, don’t call them out. Bring up the matter with your team leader in private. Be aware that how you present your concerns will say a lot to your leader about how you deal with conflict. Focus on the issue, not the personality.

What qualities come to mind when you imagine a great team member? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

Poll: How Do You Track Your Goals?

MOV_POLL-ICONAt the beginning of the new year, you may have made resolutions to improve your professional and personal life in 2017, and hopefully, you are well on your way to success! It’s important to mark milestones along the way and celebrate the little victories as motivation to reach the finish line. So we want to know how you track your goals. Share your thoughts by voting in our poll!

How To Use Your Influence to Achieve Success

ThinkstockPhotos-539453722As the new year begins, many people will reassess their goals for success. To do that, most will lean toward using their influence to achieve success and realize their dreams and goals.

One powerful way to build success in life, both professionally and personally, is through influence. Influence is power, and gaining more influence in the workplace is critical in moving your career forward.

But how can you achieve quantifiable influence? Several strategies can be used to harness this skill and use influence to create success.

Create Trust

Trust creates and carries influence, and gaining the trust of co-workers is one of the fastest ways to use that impact to help cultivate success. Regardless of your position in the company or the position of your co-workers, being open and honest, no matter what the situation, builds a sense of trust.

Leaders who share their concerns, don’t keep secrets, give credit where credit is due, and admit mistakes build influence by being regarded as trustworthy workers.

Learn to Be Assertive

Being assertive enough to speak up during meetings or sharing ideas is another way to build influence and achieve success. However, being assertive and being aggressive are two different things.

To be assertive, present your thoughts and ideas with conviction and confidence. When you go too far with confidence, however, it can be taken as arrogance. When speaking with an unfamiliar group or on areas outside your expertise, be careful to temper your assertiveness with some humility.

Don’t be afraid to apply assertiveness to all areas of life, not just work. As long as conviction and knowledge are present, being assertive can create a reputation of authority, which builds your influence with peers, employees, and customers.

Consistency is Key

Those with influence generally also have the reputation of being consistent as well. Consistency translates to being reliable, and inconsistency is a sure way to ruin a reputation. This means you are known for executing tasks effectively and on time, every day, developing a reputation of reliability.

Consistency is invaluable when it comes to building influence. People flock to those who are known for a good work ethic, while unpredictability can scare and worry those in decision-making positions.

Stay Flexible

Although being assertive is vital to using influence to achieve success, have an open mind to other people’s ideas and be willing to change your opinion when presented with new or different evidence.

Being too stringent or stubborn can create a reputation of being immovable or hard to work with. Others want their opinions and ideas heard as well, and those who are not flexible or open to others’ thoughts lose their overall influence and the respect of co-workers.

Show flexibility while still holding on to core beliefs through calm negotiation or compromise. Work with others to find a mutually acceptable solution. This increases influence because if others perceive someone as being open and flexible to new ideas, they, too, become more open and flexible.

Get a Little Personal

For those in a leadership role, being perceived as easy to get along with and personable goes a long way. Those who isolate themselves or who do not share personal ideas can be perceived as stand-offish or as unapproachable.

Influence, at its heart, is based on others’ reactions and opinions. Influence based on fear or loathing creates a toxic atmosphere, but influence based on likeability and trust is conducive to a successful and collaborative environment.

Personal exchanges with employees and coworkers will help them relate better and feel more comfortable when discussing a new idea. This does not mean building lifelong friendships or betraying secrets, but if other people see an influencer as an approachable person on the team with a real personality, they are likely to be more receptive to constructive criticism.

To be successful this year—whether it’s raising capital, convincing others to support a cause or having more responsibility—influence will be at the center to achieving success. Influence based on trust, consistency, assertiveness, flexibility, and personality will positively steer relationships, careers or resources in the right direction.

Gain influence, and people will follow.