Monthly Archives: July 2013

Top Cities Express Jobs are Looking for People

JobsLookingforPeople_webJob seekers often ask about how Express Employment Professionals finds jobs. Express is a network of locally owned staffing franchises that helps job seekers find jobs with good, local companies.

When you work for Express as an employee, you’ll be placed on assignment at one of our client companies, but you’re employed by Express. So, our jobs are a reflection of the talent demand in the local market.

In 2012, Express Employment Professionals put more than 330,000 people to work across North America. It’s our mission to help people find good jobs at great local companies, and right now, Express has more than 16,500 jobs looking for people.

The top 10 cities in which jobs are looking for people:
1. Nashville, TN – 559 jobs
2. Napa Valley, CA – 235 jobs
3. Dallas, TX – 222 jobs
4. Eau Claire, WI  – 220 jobs
5. Oklahoma City, OK – 197 jobs
6. Portland, OR – 175 jobs
7. Austin, TX  – 168 jobs
8. Indianapolis, IN – 162 jobs
9. Tacoma, WA – 153 jobs
10. Terre Haute, IN – 143 jobs

If you’ve applied for work at Express through our online application process, you should know your application was only submitted to the locations you requested. It’s important to take a look in the job search function on to see which location is hiring for the position you’re interested in and make sure to apply to that location. Express franchises work with clients in their local market, so if you’re looking to work in a certain part of town, apply at the location in that area.

If you’ve already applied at Express, make sure to check in with your staffing consultant to see if there are open positions right now that match with your skills.

4 Tips for a Successful Interview Follow-Up Call

FollowUpCall_July2013_webPhew!  You made it through the interview. But, if you thought the pressure would let up, think again. Now the waiting game begins, and you’re tasked with finding the perfect balance between disinterested, not following up at all, and pushy, calling twice a day to see if a decision has been made. Once the critical thank-you note is in the mail, the next big milestone is the follow-up call.

Because it’s sometimes difficult to gauge where a decision maker is in the interview process, you never know how much is riding on the short follow-up telephone conversation. Approach that important call with care by keeping these four tips in mind.

Ask the Right Questions
It’s critical that your last two questions during an interview are, “What are the next steps in the hiring process?” and “When can I expect to hear from you?” And, it is even more critical that you listen and take note of the answers. The interviewer’s response will provide the basis for crafting your follow-up call.

Do What They Said
While it might seem obvious, following the employer’s instructions is key at this stage of the game. If the interviewer tells you to call the HR manager in three days, then do it. This is another opportunity for you to prove that you are paying attention and can follow instructions.

Give It Time
Calling too soon can be just as bad as calling too late, so be strategic and purposeful about your timing. If you were told a decision would be made by a specific date, give it a few extra days before you make the call. Remember, the person who interviewed you probably has many other responsibilities, and filling the open position may not always take top priority.

Keep It Fresh
Before you make the phone call, consider a new nugget of information you can include in the conversation. Perhaps you can mention that you hope to see the interviewer at the next meeting for an association you both belong to. Or weave in an additional reason you think you’d be a good fit for the job. You want to continue to pique the employer’s curiosity so you remain top of mind.

Do you have additional tips on how to handle the follow-up call after an interview? Share them below in the comments section.

What To Do When You’re In Over Your Head

InOverHead_July2013_WebHave you ever felt like you were drowning, even though there’s no water in sight? Maybe the feeling snuck up on you slowly over the course of the day as more and more things were added to your plate. Or perhaps it hit you like a semi-truck when you were given a brand new responsibility. The realization that you are in over your head at work is a horrible feeling, and once you reach that point, it’s easy to sink down into frustration and fear.
You don’t have to give up, though. The next time you get that drowning feeling, follow these five tips to help you move past the panic stage and regain control.

Take a Break
A few deep breaths of air and a change of scenery can do wonders for an overwhelmed mind. Even if it’s just a trip to the water fountain or a walk around the building, try and get away from your desk or work station for moment if allowed. If you have to wait until a lunch break, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to step away from work rather than letting your stress tie you down.

Review the Situation
Once you return from your break, think through your problem. Try to uncover specifically why you’re feeling this way. Is it an unrealistic deadline, disorganization on your part, or just a lack of knowledge? Once you have a clear picture of what’s wrong, you’ll be better equipped to move toward a solution.

Ask for Advice
Everyone feels overwhelmed once in a while, so most likely, your co-workers can sympathize and give you some pointers. Someone might be able to jump in and help you stay on schedule, or maybe take on another one of your projects so you can stay focused on the task at hand.

Google It
If the root of your problem is a lack of knowledge or understanding, you can always take it to the web. Chances are, there are others out there who have had the same issue and have posted their experiences online. A quick search can quickly bring up resources ranging from forum conversations to YouTube videos.

Talk With Your Manager
You can always go to your boss. Good leaders want to see their people succeed, and chances are they will help you find a solution. Just make sure you communicate everything you’ve done up to this point so they know that you have taken initiative and are only coming to them to prioritize and find a solution.

When have you felt overwhelmed and completely in over your head? What did you do? Fill us in on your real-life experiences below in the comment section.

Are Cover Letters Extinct?

CoverLetter_July_2013_WebFinding the job of your dreams isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a continual cycle of searching for openings, tweaking your resume, customizing your cover letter, and following up. It’s natural to get worn down and look for short-cuts in this process, and the most common step to get cut is the cover letter. After all, it takes some serious thought to express in a few short paragraphs why you’re a good fit for the job and how you can benefit the employer, all while weaving in your personality and credentials. The rise in technology has made cutting cover letters short even more widespread over the past few years, leaving many job seekers to wonder – “are cover letters extinct?”

An Ongoing Argument
Unfortunately, employers have not reached a unified answer. Some, like Phil Rosenberg, president of reCareered, an online hub for job search advice, think cover letters have gone the way of the dinosaur. In a 2009 study his company conducted a survey of hiring managers, Rosenburg found “90% ignored them and 97% made a decision whether to interview or not based only on the resume.” While others, such as Don Charlton, founder and CEO of The Resumator, an online hiring software firm, strongly disagrees. Charlton explained in a CNN article, “The cover letter is the only thing you have that separates the person from being a candidate and being a human being.”

Technological Oversight
One of the primary reasons that cover letters get a bad rap is due to an oversight in applicant tracking systems. With the influx of workers looking for jobs over the past five years, companies and recruiting firms have been overwhelmed with candidates. As they’ve turned to automated systems to manage and sift through job seekers, many have left off the option to attach a cover letter or failed to set up a keyword search for cover letters. Often times, recruiters and hiring managers only select candidates by the results of keyword searches of resumes.

A Dilemma
So, what’s a job seeker to do? Unless an employer has specifically said not to include a cover letter, it’s better to be safe than sorry and go the extra mile of providing one. If you’re dealing with an online system, just attach both your resume and cover letter when you’re prompted to upload documents. When sending an email with your resume attached, use your cover letter as the email message. Your message might help the employer decide to go the next step and view your attachment. If you’re worried that not attaching your cover letter could mean it will be overlooked, or if you’re worried about printability, Beyond, a professional networking and job search site, suggests attaching it as a text file as well.

You never know which side of the debate an employer might stand on, so don’t take a chance. Extra work up front is worth it if it helps you land an interview and find the job you’ve been looking for.

In your job search, what’s been your experience – cover letter or no cover letter? Join in the conversation by sharing your thoughts below.

3 Ways to Build Influence

Influence_July2013_webWhen considering change and development in your career, it’s important to factor in your sphere of influence. Before you can impact a decision or bring forth an idea, you’ll need to establish a respected and involved in the process. To help define your place, it’s important to take proactive steps to develop your relationships, skills, and knowledge. Your sphere of influence is your ability to impact decisions and actions. It’s about being trusted, respected, and having a say in the decision making process.  So, here are three ways you can build influence.

Be Reliable
Your ability to influence a conversation or decision begins with trust. One of the best ways to build trust is to be reliable. This includes being on time, avoiding gossip, being honest, and being consistent. Respect is earned over time and you can gain that by consistently taking care of your workplace tasks well.

Be Knowledgeable
This can be the most fun and interesting part of building your influence. Staying on top of industry trends, changes in market conditions, and technology developments in your field can lead to some great opportunities to build your influence. Make sure you’re aware of current events, legal changes that may impact your business, and your company’s current progress on its goals. By sharing what you’ve learned with your manager or applying your knowledge to your projects, you’ll demonstrate your desire to add value to the business and develop your skills.

Be Connected
Your relationships at work with your vendors, and in your professional community not only create opportunities for you, but are an asset in your sphere of influence. Make sure you’re building a network within your company. If your manager can rely on you to complete a requisition form in a short deadline or process a large shipping order because you’ve built relationships outside of your department, your ability to connect and collaborate will no doubt be an asset to the company. Additionally, by having relationships in your community, you may be able to contribute to sales development for your company. The value of connections with others is not to be underestimated.

In regards to the ideas here, how do you work to demonstrate reliability, and stay knowledgeable and connected? Share in the comments section below your personal tips for developing influence.

What is your biggest frustration as a job seeker?

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollFrom pay to location to skill set, finding a job involves many factors. As a job seeker, what has been your biggest obstacle in finding the right match?

Poll closed July 18, 2013.