Infographic: Job Jumps and Career Changes

The millennial generation was born, raised, and influenced by technology.

Just as quickly as technology changes and evolves, the focus of millennials also changes as new information and opportunities are continually made available to them.  And, according to Forbes, they’re the same way in their careers.

Check out this infographic from Notre Dame Online outlining the millennial mindset of the workplace and the nature of their work ethic. This information can help millennials research their next career move before making costly career leaps. And even if you’re not from Generation Y, you can learn how they think and what’s important to them so you can learn to build better working relationships with your millennial co-workers.

Do you agree with the infographic’s depiction of the millennial generation? Let us know in the comment section below.

Millennial Job Hoppers

5 Ways to Get Ahead of the Competition

Getting ahead of CompetitionWriting your resume for the first time – or for the first time in a long time – can be a daunting task for anyone. How you write up your credentials can make or break your chance to get your foot in the door for an interview, so it’s important to have your resume nearly perfect every time you apply for a job. Here are five big things to do every time you sit down to update your resume.

Tailor it.
The best way to write a perfect resume is tailoring it to a specific job description. Clearly list each skill you possess that the position requires. If you’re a perfect match for the job, a tailored resume will help potential employers see at a glance how your skills and talents match the position perfectly.

List unique skills.
After you review a job description, you may notice that a skill you possess wasn’t included in the posting. If that skill relates to the job and would benefit your employer, include this skill on your resume. Employers will take notice when you list unique skills, which can put you ahead of your competition, especially if no one else possesses those skills. If you have a skill that doesn’t relate to the job, don’t include it on your resume. For example, if you’re applying for a data processing job, don’t list your cooking skills.

Writing a perfect resume doesn’t happen in an instance, and if you’re learning new skills and gaining new experiences, what you can put on your resume will constantly grow. The more practice you have writing your resume, the better you’ll be at tailoring it to each job description and including just what employers are looking for. Try drafting your resume in different formats, such as chronological and functional formats. This will help you figure out which style works best for each of the positions you’re applying for.

When you make careless mistakes and they end up in a potential employer’s hands, your chances of landing an interview may disappear. So, carefully read and reread your resume, checking for misspelled words, incorrect grammar, and misuse of similar sounding words that have a different meaning. Ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume, too. They’re more likely to catch a mistake that you’ve overlooked. Taking the time to make sure your resume is error-free keeps you from missing out on an opportunity because of an easily avoidable mistake.

Keep it short.
Most hiring managers receive many resumes and cover letters for every job opening they post and don’t have time to read every resume word for word. So, limit your resume to two pages or less. This provides enough space to detail your education, skills, and talents to employers without overwhelming them with too much information. And because they’re often in a hurry when looking through a stack of resumes, use bulleted lists to facilitate quick and easy reading instead of writing in long paragraphs. It’s great to highlight your achievements and include your work history, but only describe your more current employment.

Resumes play a big role in whether or not you’ll land an interview, so take your time putting yours together before you apply for each job. You can write a stand-out resume by practicing, proofreading, and tailoring it to each position. A near-perfect resume will help your accomplishments stand out and sell you as a great candidate for the job.

5 Ways to Find a Company Culture That Fits You

Company CultureLanding a great job is about more than a paycheck, benefits package, or good location.  There’s another aspect of your job that is important enough to make or break your experience – company culture. All the money in the world won’t make up for a job you don’t like at a company where you don’t feel comfortable. You spend too much time at work to be unhappy in it.

Company culture is the unique personality or character of an organization, which can be seen in everything from dress code to workplace behavior to company values. Working at a company with conflicting values can be stressful, unfulfilling, and even discouraging at times. No matter how great the position and salary, if it’s not a culture match, you may be unfulfilled.

Now, even more employers are trying to figure out whether candidates will be a good fit for the company’s environment and with fellow co-workers. According to a study published in the American Sociological Review, determining whether or not potential new hires would enjoy working in the company’s cultural environment can play a greater role in the decision making process or the hiring process than your skills or background.

So, how do you go about uncovering a company’s culture and deciding whether or not it’s a good fit for you? Here are five ways you can find out if a company’s culture is right for you.

Assess Your Most Important Values
Think about the last time you felt like a job was a bad fit for you. What was it in paticular that made a poor fit? Asking yourself questions like this while reviewing your work history will help you get a better sense of what you’re looking for in an employer.

Discovering what is important to you about a company’s culture is a personal process, and you need to find what works best for you.

Keep a realistic expectation when listing your important values. It’s rare to find a work environment that is completely aligned with your values, but you should find employers that have a culture that allows your values to co-exist.

Apply Some Research
A simple action you can take to find out about a company’s culture is to visit their website. Most employers will have mission statements, annual reports, and media sources that can give insight into their beliefs and ethics. Looking into an employer’s social networking profiles can help you see if a company is more casual, expressive, and flexible or more professional, straight forward, and structured.

You can also research independent websites like or where former employees offer honest opinions of companies they’ve worked for.  The more you know before interacting with a potential employer, the better prepared you’ll be to ask the right questions to see if the job would be a good cultural fit.

Ask For Help
You can get a lot of information externally, but to get unique insight into what a company’s culture is really like, consider talking to people on the inside. Current employees and managers can give many details about the average work day and what is expected from the employer. Another bonus of talking to employees is that you’re networking with people who may improve your chances of getting hired if called for an interview.

Also, consider talking to recruiters from within a company or at a staffing agency. They can provide extensive experience from working for a certain employer. It’s their job to ensure job candidates understand what a company is like.

Arrive Early For an Interview
If possible, arrive early for an interview to observe the surroundings. Pay attention to how employees react to their work. Are they bored? Stressed? Excited? Note how managers or co-workers interact with each other, how they dress, or the layout and design of the workspaces.  These kinds of clues can help you determine whether you’d mesh well with the work environment.

Acquire Information During an Interview
Before you’ve even been invited for an interview, you might consider doing an informational interview with the company. An informational interview involves talking with people who are currently working in the field to gain a better understanding of a job. You aren’t interviewing for a job, just meeting to gain experience and information.

While an interviewer may not be an ideal source for insight about negatives in an employer’s culture, asking questions that are specific to your values can help. Questions like, “Do you stress teamwork or independence?;” “What attracts employees to the company and why do they move on?;” or “What will be the greatest expectations and challenges of working for this company?” can help you determine if your values and a potential employer’s culture are a good match.

Not every job is meant for you, even if you are qualified for the position. If it turns out it’s time to go back to the drawing board, there are opportunities out there for you. By doing your research, enlisting the help of a recruiter, and building relationships with others – you may find the job that fits.

What will Resumes of the Future Look Like? Take Our Poll!

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollA recent article in The Seattle Times suggests that the future of job seeking won’t just be resumes and portfolios, but might include badges too. The nonprofit group Mozilla is leading this emerging trend with the website OpenBadges, which allows job seekers to display and share digital badges that represent skills and qualifications they possess. Major organizations like Disney-Pixar and NASA have already partnered with OpenBadges to create and design custom badges for job seekers to use.

With emerging trends in the job market like OpenBadges, we’d like to know what you think future resumes will look like. Let us know by taking our poll or sounding off with your own ideas about future resumes in the comments section below.

Being Right Doesn’t Always Get You Ahead in Your Career

Being RightWhen starting a new job, we all want to impress our co-workers and supervisors. That desire and initiative can be a good thing, but if you’re not careful, your need to impress could be seen as selfish energy. One way new employees try to impress their co-workers is by proving that they are right on a project.

New workers can get that incessant inner voice that screams, “People must agree with me! I must convert them to my point of view.” It could go as far as giving advice on a project, and then you secretly hope the project fails so you can flaunt the warning emails to managers. At this point, it’s no longer about the work – it’s about being right.

“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.” ― Albert Ellis

Give up the need to be right. The need to be proven right is usually not in the best interest of company goals. It’s good to share your knowledge and advice when there’s an opportunity, but it’s important to listen, too. Sometimes that means coming to a compromise. Learning to work with your co-workers and not against them will help you get ahead faster than by just “being right.”

How do you provide value to your co-workers and managers instead of always being right? Let us know in the comment section below.

Are You Looking For a Job in All The Wrong Places?

jobs in wrong placesWhen embarking on the journey that is your job search, many job seekers only look for jobs online.  While online tools are becoming more prevalent than ever, many employers still have open job positions that are never posted online. Offline measures, like employee referral programs, are increasing in popularity because they prove to be more efficient than flooded online job boards.

The problem with looking for jobs in all the wrong places is sticking to one tactic. Too many job seekers put all their eggs in one basket. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of both online and offline job search tactics.

Depending on your industry, location, and personality, you’ll be able to find the venues that work best for you. To diversify your job search for success, here are some job search tactics to consider focusing on.

Tap Into Your Networks
There is great value in having a strong network of peers, industry leaders, and influencers during your job search. Tapping into your network can help you stay informed of the latest going on in your field, learn about job openings not posted publicly, and get a foot in the door with a prospective employer.

Go Local
Online job boards and classified ads are great resources to find organizations that are advertising open positions, but don’t lose sight of local resources. Your town or city could have several employers that could be looking to hire people with your skill set. These local organizations might not be advertising their open positions through large online job boards. Search local news sites for their job boards and local classified ads online.

Your community likely has several resources that can help you learn about potential local employers. You can get a list of companies and organizations from your local Chamber of Commerce or visit the library to get information about employers that might not be associated with the chamber. Check company sites directly for open positions. Staffing companies are also well-connected with local employers and could be a free resource to help connect you with those organizations.

Leverage Your Social Networks
Just like your face-to-face network, there is great value in building and strengthening your social networks. Successfully using sites like LinkedIn can help you make connections with key decision makers at prime employers. You can also expand your network to learn from industry experts from all over the world who you normally wouldn’t interact with. Join local networking groups on LinkedIn for access to job openings.

There are several other methods to find a job, and you should consider trying as many as you can think of until you figure out what works best for you. As you look for a job, spread your efforts around so you’re not focusing on one tactic. What are some job search ideas you’ve come up with when trying to expand your job seeking arsenal? Let us know in the comments section below.

3 Ways to Improve Your Job Search

Improve Your Job SearchIf you’ve been looking for a job for a while but haven’t found one yet, you might feel frustrated and defeated. But don’t give up hope. Even if you feel like jobs are harder to find and employers are pickier than ever, you can put yourself ahead of the competition by focusing on your job search. You have the power to take control of your job search, so start by using these three tips.

Develop a Strategy
Before you apply for another job, sit down and think about the outcome you want from your job search by determining what type of position you want, what your qualifications are, and what industry you want to work in. This will help you focus your search on the jobs you really want and are qualified for. When you discover a position that you want to apply for, give it your all. If you can’t give 100% to all the jobs you’re curious about, evaluate the job descriptions and see which ones match your goals best. If it doesn’t match your goals, move on to another opportunity. Don’t waste your time applying for a job you don’t want. Instead, put your efforts toward the job you really want. Affirm to yourself that you truly want the job, and give your résumé, cover letter, and interview preparation the time and attention each new job opportunity deserves.

Think Beyond Your Usual Job
If you’re out of work and need to find employment quickly or are having a hard time entering your field of choice, consider part-time positions, internships, or tempor-ary employment through your local staffing agency. These positions can help you get your foot in the door and provide valuable experience that you can use elsewhere. These situations also have the potential to turn into full-time jobs, which can be just the break you’ve been looking for.

Visit a Career Coach
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a career coach who can provide you with an honest, unbiased opinion and give you guidance to improve your job search. They can help pinpoint what’s been holding you back and give you the boost of confidence you need. If you don’t seek outside help, you might not realize you’re leaving off an important qualification from your résumé or saying the wrong things in an interview. Coaches can identify what employers are looking for and help you update your résumé and cover letter, as well as help you practice your interview techniques.

Making a few changes to your job search can give you hope, new leads, and potentially a job offer. So, if you’re still struggling to find the right opportunity, improve your job search by using these techniques. You might just find a better job opportunity than you imagined.