Monthly Archives: September 2013

Millenials and the Job Search

MillenialsJobSearch_Sept2013_webOut of all the generations in the workplace, the Millennial generation seems to be the most talked about and researched today. Those born between 1980 and the late 1990s have shocked and awed the professional world, earning themselves a variety of titles, including “the most innovative generation” and  “the most entitled generation.” But, love ‘em or hate ‘em, Millennials are changing the workplace and causing business leaders to question just about everything. What do they want in a job? How do they approach the job? How do millennial employees want to be managed?

Turnover and Retention
Last month,, a career network for advancing professionals, and Millennial Branding, a research and consulting firm, provided new data that could help answer these questions. Their national survey, “The Cost of Millennial Retention,” specifically looked at Millennials, also known as Gen Y, turnover and retention from the employer’s view. Here are a few conclusions about Millennials, based on their findings:

•    Millennial workers are on the move – 30% of companies surveyed reported losing 15% or more of their Millennial employees in the past year.

•    They aren’t afraid to change jobs if they aren’t getting what they want – companies are implementing programs to entice Millennials to stay, including workplace flexibility (48%), mentoring (40%), and internal hiring (37%).

•    Millennials will do what’s best for their career – the top reasons for Gen Y employees to leave their jobs were that they had received a better job offer, their career goals didn’t match with their employer, and the company didn’t offer career growth opportunities.

•    Millennial professionals use a variety of tools for their job search – recruiters connect with Millennial candidates on job boards and corporate websites (62%), as well as LinkedIn (9%).

Share Your Thoughts
These stats provide some good insight into how Millennials approach their career, which affects everything from their job hunt to what they need to stay with an employer. With these findings in mind, share your opinion on how Millennial workers want to be managed in our monthly poll.
If you’re a Millennial, do you think these statistics accurately portray you? How do you think any job seeker, no matter their age, could use this information to help them in their job search? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

3 Times When a Functional Resume is Your Best Bet

Let’s face it, if everyone could get a foot in the door and personally introduce themselves to the employer they want to work for, then everyone would have the job of their dreams. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. So what can we rely on to incite interest from hiring managers and get ahead of the competition?

The answer is – a resume. This document has been known to make or break your chances at landing that job you desire. It’s often your first impression and the emissary that chronicles your work history and skills. But there is more than just one style of resume. The key to finding the right one is to figure out what compliments your work history and skill set. If you want to really flex the skills you have acquired then a functional resume is the right format for you. Below are three reasons to choose function over form.

  1. When You’re New to the Job Market
    College grads typically have little to no experience in the field of their studies. A functional resume allows you to show off what you know, what you’ve learned, and show that you have the know-how to get the job done. Remember to tailor the skills on your resume for each employer. Different aspects of your diversity or knowledge may be beneficial to some and not to others.
  2. When You Have Gaps in Your Work History
    Sometimes gaps in our work history are out of our control, and without an explanation they may give the wrong impression of your work ethic, or the appearance of a “job hopper.” Many companies may see the value in your experience but may not want to invest time and money to train you only to have you leave months later. A functional resume takes the focus off of when and where, and places it on the value you received from your time there.
  3. When You Don’t Have Relevant Work Experience
    Not all past experience will relate to the job you want. If you’re looking at beginning an advertising career, your accounting experience is probably not going to sell your creative side. A functional resume allows you to focus on the soft and hard skills that are more related to the position you want.

A functional resume may not be for everyone. If you don’t know what is best for you, look at your work history and put yourself in employers’ shoes. If your skills are valuable to the position but your years of unrelated employment aren’t, a functional resume is the way to go. Have any tips on how the functional format helped you land a job? Tell us in the comments section below.

Work Ethic/Integrity Most Important Atribute in Hiring

ACO13_250X300_JobSeeker-PollResults_Sept (2)
Express Employment Professionals recently asked leaders and job seekers about the most important attributes in hiring a new employee, and both parties agreed that work ethic/integrity are at the top of the list. College degrees ranked the lowest, continuing the debate about the value of a college education. Since work ethic and integrity rank so high on this poll, check out this post on ways to improve your integrity on your cover letter.

Number two on the list was work experience, proving that taking temporary assignments can really pay off. There is a variety of part-time and full-time work available that can utilize the skills you’ve obtained. According to the American Staffing Association, 40% of staffing employees use temporary work to obtain employment experience or job training.

A popular discussion point in the “Other” category by leaders was attitude.

This poll is part of a larger conversation by Express within America Employed, a series of reports on the state of employment and unemployment in America and who gets hired and why.

Hot Fields Hiring Non-College Grads

HotFieldsHiring_Sept2013Matching personal skills and abilities with open jobs can be a frustrating task for job seekers. But if you’re curious about what your top options might be without a college degree, read on.

A recent survey of Express Employment Professional’s franchises uncovered the top hiring fields for workers without college degrees. The industrial job category topped the list, followed closely by office services. This aligns with an announcement in July citing the top 10 hardest jobs to find people for that included CNC programmers, welders, machinists, and administrative roles. The survey is part of a series of reports titled America Employed, a look into who is currently getting hired and why.

Before you make a job switch to a field with current open positions, do some investigating into your career options. With 1/3 of your time spent at work, and your work determining your income and lifestyle factors, how are you investigating and planning your career? One tool you may consider is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which allows you to search job projections and growth rates by education level, training, and pay.

There are many paths toward your career future, and they don’t all include college. Experience in the workplace and your attitude can make a huge impact. So look for ways to get your foot in the door and become a trusted team member.  It’s not just your degree – or lack thereof – that determines your job prospects!

Let us know what your biggest asset is in your job search in the comments section below.

Reading and Your Career

reading_Sept2013_WebWhether you consider yourself a bookworm or prefer to stick to comic strips and movies, your ability to read is a privilege – a privilege that more than 780 million adults across the globe lack. Nearly two-thirds of those illiterate adults are women, and an additional 94 to 115 million children won’t receive an education at all. In light of this worldwide need, International Literacy Day will be held on Sunday, Sept. 8, to help draw attention to the literacy needs of people everywhere.  The power to read can unlock doors and change lives. Check out this video.

For 2013, the theme of the day is “Invent Your Future.” The specific goal of this slogan is to “shine a light on the crucial literacy skills that prime students for success in school, work, and life,” as stated by the International Reading Association.  Beyond simply being a required skill for most jobs, reading has some major benefits for your career path, especially if you read the right stuff.

The Benefits
Ultimately, you are in control of your future. Where you end up professionally is largely based on your abilities to learn, grow, adapt, and communicate, all of which can be gained through reading. There are many benefits that come from reading, but there are a few that directly correlate to your career growth.

Reading can:

  • Expand your knowledge and understanding.
  • Provide good conversation starters.
  • Make you look intelligent.
  • Increase your vocabulary.
  • Improve your written and verbal communication skills.

And the list goes on.

Finding the Best Reading Materials
Depending on your industry and career goals, what you read will probably vary from what your friends and even your co-workers read. But, there are some books and resources that can help just about anyone in their career. Here are some great resources to help you know where to start:

  • Forbes Best Books to Boost Your Career in 2013
  • 15 Books That Will Help You Prosper and Be Happy in Your Career from BrazenCareerist
  • CareerBuilder 5 Books That Will Help Your Career
  • The Top 75 Websites for Your Career from Forbes

Even if you don’t consider yourself a great reader, why not make it a goal to read at least one career- focused book in September? Do it in observance of Literacy Day. Do it in honor of all those who can’t. Do it to take control and advance your career. You’ll be a better employee, and person, because of it.
What are some specific books or blogs that you’ve found to be helpful to your career? Are there other benefits of reading that you’ve discovered in your professional life? Please share below!

3 Tips for Finding a Holiday Job

SeasonalWork_Sept2013_webWith a little more than a hundred days until Christmas, CNBC reports that retailers are already gearing up for the holiday season. To some, this may seem too early – after all, school just started back and most people probably haven’t even started planning their Halloween costumes. But, the end of the third quarter is when businesses begin implementing their holiday season game plan, and if you want to get a holiday job, this is your time to starting planning too.

Whether you want a seasonal position to supplement your current job or just need a job, period, there are some ways you can help your search along. Check out these three tips to ensure you make the most of this year’s holiday hiring season.

Start Now
If businesses are already thinking about the holidays, then so should you. Right now is when you should brainstorm places to apply and get your application turned in. Don’t wait until November. Most employers want their seasonal staff trained and in place before the shopping rush begins. By applying at the beginning of the holiday season, you are also more likely to get the type of position and schedule you want.

Think Beyond the Big Names
As you make your list of places to apply, don’t just focus on the big name retailers. The super stores aren’t the only ones who need holiday help. Local retail shops and boutiques also normally increase their staff for the Christmas shopping season. Shipping companies, restaurants, customer service centers, flower shops, caterers, and event centers usually hire additional workers as well.

Another place to apply for holiday work is with a staffing company. Filing out a single application with a staffing company will actually put you in the running for many different positions with a variety of businesses. Often, when companies hire multiple new employees for holiday seasons, they work with staffing providers who are better equipped to find, screen, and hire large numbers of workers. Just make sure you do your homework and only apply with a reputable staffing company.

View It As a Springboard
While it’s always a good idea to try and find a job that you’ll enjoy, you may need to take the best seasonal position available and view it as a springboard. You can learn something new and take away at least one or two valuable skills from any job, so keep a positive attitude. Being dependable, communicating with customers, and multi-tasking are just a few examples of good qualities you can take away from a holiday job. So don’t overlook or turn down a position just because it’s not the perfect job for you.

At the same time, once you get the job, don’t over step your bounds just because you think you’re underemployed. For instance, if your background is in marketing, don’t presume you can take a cashier position and immediately start giving input into the company’s marketing practices. Show your new employer that you can excel at the job they gave you by effectively and efficiently completing your duties. There is always the chance that your employer will like what they see and your seasonal job could turn into the professional, full-time position you were hoping for.

A holiday job is a great way to earn some extra cash, add more experience to your resume, or even make your debut into the workforce. This is the perfect time to start your search and land a good seasonal position, so don’t delay. What experiences have you had with holiday jobs? Has one of your seasonal positions ever turned into a good, full-time career? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Congratulations Employee of the Year Winners!

EOYLogo150x150Every year, Express Employment Professionals searches North America for the best of the best associates. Across the U.S. and Canada, stories submitted by Express offices and their clients are judged and selected through three rounds of committees. Awarding Express associates at a state, regional, and national level, these employees exude many characteristics that earned them this prestigious award. This year, 43 winners were named and on Wednesday, Sept. 4, their stories will be shared with the world.

Our 2013 winners were judged on multiple factors, including skills development, reliability, honesty, and many more traits that define a “Character of Excellence.” Their stories are just a small insight into what it means to be an exemplary Express associate. Visit to read the bios of Express 2013 Employees of the Year.