Tag Archives: success

Best Colors to Wear for an Interview

Best_Colors_Interview_Jan2014_webWhen it comes to dressing for an interview, conservative is always the best way to go. With today’s ever-changing trends, it’s important to wear proper attire and appropriate colors to allow your interviewer to see you in a good light. Making a positive first impression is vital to getting the job you’ve been waiting for, so keep your attire simple.

What do the colors you wear say about you? Harris Interactive, one of the world’s leading market research firms, recently performed a national study with 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals from various industries and company sizes. These professionals were asked to advise job seekers on the best colors to wear to an interview and here are their recommendations provide valuable insight for job seekers.

Dress for Interview Success
Responses show the most recommended colors to wear to an interview are black or blue because these colors show leadership and professionalism. You don’t have to stick to a plain color of blouse and it’s okay to wear small prints, but keep in mind you don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by your wardrobe.

What Not to Wear
Bright orange topped the charts for being the worst color to wear to an interview, because it is the color that is mostly associated with unprofessionalism.

On the other hand, gray portrays a logical and analytical attitude. White shows organization, brown shows dependability, red shows power, and green, yellow, and purple show a creative side.

CareerBuilder offers these tips on dressing for success when preparing your interview wardrobe:

Don’t ever go to an interview too casual, be sure to dress for the environment, and always look polished. Before your interview, do your research on businesses that are interviewing you so you’ll know what their environments are like. For instance, you wouldn’t want to wear shorts and flip flops to a strictly professional business and you wouldn’t want to interview in slacks and a dress coat at a business that is laid back and less professional or you may not come across as the right fit for the job.

Have you been job searching and recently been asked to come in for an interview? Keep these interview wardrobe tips in mind as you’re preparing for your next job interview.

For more advice on interview wardrobes check out these blogs:

Men’s Work Attire That Never Goes Out of Style
Women’s Work Attire That Never Goes Out of Style
Dress For Success: What to Wear for an Interview
Putting Together a Work Wardrobe

Ditch the Title and Get the Job You Really Want

Guest_Post_Ditch_the-Title_and_Get_the_Job_You_Really_Want_Jan2014Appearances mean a lot to most of us, from the labels we wear and where we live to our job titles. It’s the social norm when meeting a new person to ask, “What do you do for a living?” And although some of us may not be completely conscious of it, we place a lot of stock in our answer. We grow up with the mantra “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but in all reality, we are all guilty of judging others, no matter how hard we try not to.

We are often judged by what we do when it comes to first impressions, and the bigger the title, the more respect we deserve in the eyes of others. It can be hard to give up a title like “lead manager,” “editor in chief,” or even “CEO,” for a job that makes you happier. But, I speak from experience when I say that sticking with a job because of it’s title is like paying $2,000 for a Puggle – when it comes down to it, it’s really just a mutt.

I learned this firsthand when after just a few weeks as an intern, I was promoted to the coveted editor position of one of San Diego’s largest travel and tourism websites. My boss chalked it up to my “can-do” attitude and ability to conquer any challenge. It came with a menial raise (barely noticeable) and a few new business cards, but none of that mattered because I was an editor. I didn’t know what I was doing or how I was going to tackle this task, all I knew was that I was given the title and it was time to fill the shoes. Over the next few months, I fumbled around learning the ins and outs of travel sites through trial and error and somehow ended up transforming the failing website into one that actually made a profit.

I was also taking full advantage of editor perks, flashing my business cards around town and reaping the benefits of it with free cruises, comped concerts and dinners, and a sudden flurry of social activities on my calendar. It was fun, exciting, and definitely felt good to meet a stranger and tell them what I did, but in reality, it wasn’t what I wanted. Sure the perks were great, but I was being worked to the bone, paid pennies, and constantly struggling to keep my head above water. I thought I’d run with it for a while, learn everything I could, and use it as a major stepping stone for my resume, but when it was time to move on, I had a hard time letting go of the title.

What’s in a title anyway?
Absolutely nothing. You can slap a big title on anything and make it sound better than it is. We get attached to titles and personas. Being called “editor” felt good and gave me some additional unearned respect among my peers, but really I was doing the same work everyone else was with a little more clout.

When I finally made the real decision to move on and job hunt, I quickly realized just how little that editor title was doing for me. Other companies had a starting salary that was higher than what I was making, better benefits, and a friendlier environment. I ditched the title and took a new job without the glitz and glam, but that made me a lot happier and put some money in my pocket. I may not be attending the biggest parties and rubbing elbows with the who’s who of San Diego any longer, but I have a job that makes me happy. I work for an awesome company and most importantly, I’m doing work that I’m proud of.

So, what can job seekers learn from this?
Basically, don’t jump at a job because it has a great title. Take a closer look at the jobs you are applying for and open your mind to the less high-profile positions, because they may be exactly what you’re looking for. Sure a big title can feel good, but just like any relationship, eventually the butterflies wear off and you’re left with what’s in front of you. Don’t let yourself be romanced by the title, choose your next professional position based upon the work, environment, and how much the employers respect their employees. There are many more important aspects to a job than what’s on your business card and if it means that much to you, you can always call yourself something fancy like a mobile sustenance facilitator instead of a pizza delivery guy – no one will know the difference.

About the Author
This article was written by Carli Leavitt. Carli currently handles outreach and public relations for a number of attorneys and is an SEO Consultant with Highrank Websites.

Determining Your Own Success

determine own successMany people make their way through life going through the motions day in and day out. But, others seem to embrace the potential of each day and appear happier, more financially sound, and even more successful, whether they run their own restaurant or deliver the Sunday paper.

Success is simply gratification – knowing you accomplished something to be proud of. That’s why goals are a critical component of every success story. When you have goals in place, you’re more likely to push yourself harder, achieve more, and reach your definition of success. For one person, success may be graduating high school, for another it’s winning the Pulitzer Prize. No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or where you’re headed, you can be successful, too! Start by asking yourself these three questions to develop your goals and define success for yourself.

What would make me feel successful?
To start setting your goals, you need to take a look at the big picture and figure out what you want to achieve in life. What career achievements would make you proud of yourself? Is it owning your own business, earning lots of money, or holding a steady job that will allow you to retire when you want? For this first question, go ahead and dream big. Jot down everything you think would give you gratification, and then ask yourself the next question.

How much do I want this?
Look at your list, and determine if the goals you wrote down are desirable and if you’re willing to put forth the time and energy to work toward them. If you don’t believe in your goals 100%, you’ll be less likely to focus your efforts on them, and possibly fall short of accomplishing your goals. But if you’re willing to work hard and strive for what you want, you’re likely to reach your goals and find your definition of success. Put the goals that you believe in the most at the top of your list and concentrate on those.

How am I going to reach my goals?
Now that you’re focused on achieving your goals, it’s time to plan your next steps. Take each goal individually and determine how you’re going to reach each one. Include short-term and long-term steps you need to take to get closer to your goal. Keep your list of goals and your plan available so you can look back at it any time you need direction or motivation. This will help you remain focused on your ultimate goals and help you decide what you need to do today to be successful.

You have the power to be successful, so start by taking the opportunity to sit down and answer these three questions. After determining what gives you gratification, writing down your goals, and figuring out how you’re going to reach them, you’ll be well on your way to a happy, fulfilled, and successful future.

Associate Spotlight: Lonnie Cain

Associate SportlightExpress Employment Professionals is often placed in the business of building hope. When news and world events seem to spread sad and gloomy stories, it’s refreshing to read something positive. There are a lot of inspiring stories going on within Express, and we’d like to share.

We are always looking to showcase exceptional associates on Movin’ On Up. It’s important to give credit where credit is due, and Express loves to share the stories of our associates as an inspiration to you while you strive to achieve professional success.

What makes this associate so special isn’t what he did for himself or how he overcame obstacles. Rather, it’s what he brings with him and shares with co-workers that makes him unique. Our spotlighted associate, Lonnie Cain, has an amazing ability to spread cheer and happiness to not only his Express office, but also to the companies to which he is assigned.

Lonnie Cain

After years of working as a route manager, Lonnie Cain retired from Aramark. Even though he was retired, Lonnie still wanted a flexible job that allowed him time to travel. One day, he noticed a classified ad for a medical supply driver posted by the Express office in Springfield, IL. After applying and interviewing, he was quickly hired for the job and became an example of the Express values to everyone at work.

Lonnie has proven to be dependable and skilled in his job as a driver for several doctors in the Springfield community. Since 2006, Lonnie has worked more than 7,500 hours and has only called in unavailable once. His sheer commitment and contagious smile have made Lonnie an outstanding worker and a valuable associate to Express.

“He represents Express with a professional and cheerful attitude,” said Julie Hamilton, Staffing Consultant for the Springfield Express office. “He’s the most requested driver by the physicians.”

As a medical driver, Lonnie transports medical files to different hospitals. He relates well with the doctors and medical staff at the hospitals. The Springfield office continuously receives high praise for Lonnie. The secretary of a client, Dr. Raghu Kolluri, called Express just to say, “Lonnie is a great driver, very personable and reliable.”

If you’re looking for the same success that Lonnie is experiencing, find the the Express office closest to you for more information and help with your job search. Express is always looking for associates who would be a great candidate for our associate spotlight. If you have an Express associate you’d like to feature on Movin’ On Up, let us know in the comments below.

Your Hobbies Could Help You Get Hired

Using Hobbies to Find a JobFinding a job is serious work. Most job seekers wouldn’t dream of listing their favorite free time activities on their resume or job application. Employers want to know how your job experience will benefit their organization. While that’s true, that experience doesn’t always have to come from time on the clock or in the office.

Life is full of lessons to be learned that don’t happen between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Your personality has an effect on the hiring process and makes a difference when it comes to being a fit for a potential employer’s culture. The character you can put into your job search can help make it easier to grab a hiring manager’s attention and connect with those decision makers.

There are plenty of things you can do during your free time that can help you get a job offer. Here are some ways you can list your hobbies and free time activities to grab employers’ attention and make you a more desirable candidate.

Stand Out
When an employer announces an open position, keep in mind that hundreds of resumes and applications are being delivered. These applicants will have similar experiences, education, and training. What better way to stand out than to have some of your activities that can show a little personality while demonstrating the skills needed to do the job.

Tailor Fit
Just because you may be an avid reader, it doesn’t mean you should put it on your resume. However, if you’re an avid reader of medical reports and breakthroughs in medicine technology, that might place you in a position to be seen as someone who is forward thinking and willing to lead change in a hospital. Your hobbies have to be seen in a way that relates to the job duties of the position you’re applying for.

Take some time to think about your pastimes and see if you can’t use them in a way that applies to a job description. Are you an officer for a club? That means you probably have managed groups of people, helped grow an organization, or aided in raising large funds for the community or charity.  Use your imagination, but keep it slim. You will want to include your most important skills and experience first. If your resume is getting long, your hobbies will have be the first to go. They could be woven into your cover letter as a way to demonstrate your skills and add personality.

Connect In
There are several ways you can connect with others who share the same passions as you. If you haven’t already, consider finding, joining, or even forming groups based on your hobbies. Not only will you have fun and learn new things about your hobby, you will also have a chance to network with like-minded individuals.  In today’s job market, people are more likely to hire someone they know or trust. You never know who you might meet and build relationships with, or who could give you an opportunity to put your foot in the door with an employer or job opening.

Talk Up
Your hobbies can be great conversation topics during an interview. You have a small amount of time to convey your skills and build a rapport when being interviewed. Sometimes your pastimes can help establish a connection with your interviewer, which can help you feel more relaxed and confident, and support you stand out better in the interviewer’s mind. If you notice a lull in your conversation, try to use your experience with your hobbies to explain your passions and see if you can relate to the person asking questions.

If you don’t have any hobbies or impressive interests, don’t try to pick one up overnight. Interviewers can pick up on your lack of passion and it can make them wonder what else in your resume might be inflated. Now is the time to pick up a hobby and explore your interests. With fall and winter around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities in various ways to volunteer during the holiday season.

You don’t have to hide the fact that you live an active lifestyle when looking for work. In fact, the things you do in your spare time can make you a more desirable candidate. How can you use your hobbies to make your resume stand out and make yourself a better applicant? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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Associate Spotlight: Jimmy Maher

When most people think of staffing agencies, they think of strictly temporary work. The truth is many people have found life-long careers thanks to companies like Express. More and more workers are enjoying the flexibility in their schedule from working with staffing agencies. Employers are also relying more on staffing agencies to fill their open positions before hiring full-time for openings.

Our most recent associate spotlight showcases one of those individuals who finds pride in working with Express as a career for many years. Associates like the ones we showcase are a testament to how work ethic and positive attitude can go a long way in your profession, even in the roughest of economic conditions.

Jimmy Maher

Jimmy Maher started working for the Greensboro, NC Express office in 1992 as a lawn and building maintenance technician.  During his time with Express, Jimmy worked with five different clients.  Throughout Jimmy’s nearly 20-year career with Express, he worked for a single client for 14 years.  In that time, Jimmy’s commitment and enthusiasm were apparent because he didn’t own a car and had to take the bus to work from one side of town to the other. 

Over the years, Jimmy was given many raises due to his integrity and dependability.  When he celebrated his ten year anniversary with Express, he was given a cash bonus for his loyalty to Express, its clients, and his job. 

“Jimmy is a man who believes in hard work, doing the right thing, and being responsible.  He was a shining example to others on the job,” said Hope Daniel, Front Office Coordinator of the Greensboro Express office.   

When Jimmy decided to retire, the client did not want him to leave. They knew they would be losing a cherished employee.  The client wanted him so badly, Jimmy decided to extend his retirement date three times and keep working to aid the client.  He is now happily retired and settling down after a fulfilled career. 

We are very grateful for having Jimmy as a part of the Express family for so many years.  The Greensboro office will miss him, and everyone at Express wishes him the very best in his retirement and future achievements.

When looking for a job, don’t discount what staffing agencies like Express can provide. You may find a long, fulfilling career like Jimmy did through the experience and opportunities that can come from working with Express. If you’re interested, check it out.