Friday, April 29, 2016

Time saving tricks for your job search

People tend to exhibit impatient tendencies; we like things to happen quickly. Unfortunately, the job search process is very rarely associated with being a quick or an easy one. Don’t fret though; here are 5 time saving tricks that can help speed up the process.

Get Organized
Organization is essential if you hope to be efficient throughout this process. Tammy Power, Staffing Manger of CFSBakersfield, advises keeping all of your resumes, cover letters, and all other application materials in one place. Create a folder on your desktop dedicated to your job search efforts. Label your resumes by company, date, and anything else that will help you identify them at a later point. In addition, creating an excel file to keep track of all active applications ensures that you don’t miss any deadlines and reminds you when to follow up. It also serves as a great place to store all of the contact information from any hiring managers you have spoken with.

Utilize Job Alerts
It’s time to start using job search boards more efficiently. Shannon Wagner, Director of Staffing at CFS Oakbrook, suggests utilizing websites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc. to enhance your search by signing up for job alerts, saving you the hassle of scrolling through all the job postings on each site. She also recommends creating a separate email that you can use solely for job search purposes. This guarantees that your current inbox won’t be flooded by the daily email alerts. After all, staying organized is key.

Narrow Your Search
In order to best utilize your time, “focus your efforts on applying to jobs that are right for you based on skills, rather than ones that you are interested in but not qualified for,” says Power. Doing so will not only cut down on the time you spend sending out resumes, but it will maximize the number of responses you receive. When it comes to job hunting, the saying “quality over quantity” remains true.

Position Yourself on Social Media
In today’s society, social media is inescapable. In fact, many recruiters and hiring managers will screen your social media accounts before they even meet you. LinkedIn has become an essential part of building this social media presence; if you do not have a professional or highly visible profile, then your application may be rejected. Having a strong online presence will not only help push your current applications to the top of the pile, but it will help potential recruiters find you in the future. If you promote your skills throughout your profile and focus on using key terms from your industry, you will have a greater chance of being discovered.

Network, Network, Network
As you apply for various positions, don’t forget that sometimes the best way to learn about new career opportunities is through your network. Go to networking functions or grab lunch with a former colleague. As you put yourself out there, you will meet new people and continuously expand your network. After all, a strong network is always a great thing to have, but it is especially helpful when searching for a new job opportunity.

What time saving tricks do you use? We want to hear it so please comment below!

Are you on the job hunt for a new career? Our recruiters are here to help! Check out our latest job postings here, or find a CFS office located closest to you here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

7 ways to break the job-hopping streak

Written by: Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

Most recent graduates find themselves with a mountain of student loans and feel obligated to accept the first offer that provides them a decent paycheck. With not much prior experience, they tend to change jobs quickly and often while trying to discover what they are good at, enjoy doing, and need to earn to afford living costs while also paying off student loans.
We have grown to accept the 1-3 years of job-hopping after graduation. However, the job-hopping streak also happens to those who feel pressured to make more money, want to change career paths, are looking to relocate, or simply do not get any satisfaction out of what they are doing. Before you take a new job, consider these steps to break your job-hopping streak:

Determine exactly what you would change about your current situation
Before you seek employment outside of your current organization, speak to your boss. If you’re looking for a higher salary and good at your job, you will get a counteroffer when you put in your resignation, which is tempting to take. However, your loyalty will be questioned and nobody wins in that situation. So, have that conversation before you start applying to other jobs. If you want a promotion but feel that there is no room for growth, voice that you would like to be challenged in your role. You may be surprised to find out that the firm already has a promotion lined up for you or even created a new role.

Identify your ideal situation
This can include: salary range, job title, industry, organization size, culture, benefits, long term incentives, working hours, and anything else you think is important to your long-term success. If you’re currently employed, why would you accept a new job that does not address all the items on your wish list? If you are currently unemployed, you are better off taking on temp gigs or freelance until you find the perfect situation.

Invest back with the company who invests into you
Before you look outside of your organization, ask yourself if the firm has invested in you. Have they provided training, mentorship, and all the tools needed for you to succeed? Most companies have rotation programs, succession plans, and continued development but are only willing to do that if they think their investment will pay off. If your background screams “job-hopper,” it’s unlikely that you will find an outside company to invest into you.

Deepen your experience
If you have held 5 jobs in the last 5 years, realize that you do not have 5 years of experience. Instead, you have 1 year of experience 5 different times. It takes a full year to understand the ins and outs of an organization, and it takes another year to be able to make contributions to the organization. Before you jump ship, ask yourself: “What are my major accomplishments with this organization?” If you’re having a hard time coming up with at least 3 quantified accomplishments (for example: you cut down on cost, increased revenue, or streamlined processes), you haven’t given that job enough time.

Ask the right questions
What do you wish you would have known about your current company before you accepted the job? Was is it the hours? Culture? Personalities? Make a list of the things you wish you would have known, and ask these in your next interview. This will prevent you accepting a role with an organization where you don’t see a long-term career path.

Meet your potential colleagues and peers
Most companies will arrange peer and colleague interviews, but if they don’t, ask to be introduced before accepting the job. Don’t always believe the reviews you read online as most of those come from disgruntled former employees. Speak to those who are currently employed with the organization and ask them about the challenges that they face, how long they have been there, what attracted them to come on board, and what keeps them there. If the company that you are interviewing with prevents these conversations, it should raise a red flag. If you notice that most employees have worked less than a year with the organization, realize that this position will probably not help break your job-hopping streak and consider avoiding it.

Avoid making the same mistakes
If you continue to job hop, you will regress in your career. Some people think that by working in a variety of industries and in diversified roles, they gain additional experience that they otherwise wouldn’t. They try to spin their short-term gigs into a positive, but hiring managers see right through it. Before you accept a new role, make sure you are not repeating the same mistakes that you have made in accepting your previous role(s). Don’t make any rash moves and think things through.

How were you able to break the job-hopping streak? We want to hear it so please comment below!

Are you on the job hunt for a new career? Our recruiters are here to help! Check out our latest job postings here, or find a CFS office located closest to you here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The dos and don'ts of interviewing

Have any questions about interviewing? We'd love to hear them in your comments below!

Are you on the job hunt for a new career? Our recruiters are here to help! Check out our latest job postings here, or find a CFS office located closest to you here.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring clean your resume!

No matter where you are in your job search, it’s always a good time to spruce up your resume. Every job application relies on this one document, and your fate could be decided in a matter of seconds because of it. Make it count!

Start by updating your contact information. There’s nothing more frustrating for a hiring manager than finding a strong resume and not being able to contact the applicant. Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter of CFS New York, says that she can typically track down those applicants but that many hiring managers “don’t have the half hour to try to investigate and will most likely move on to another candidate.” Don’t let this happen to you!

Next you need to delve into the content. As you grow and develop professionally, you are continuously acquiring new skills and your resume needs to reflect that. Add in any new projects that you’ve recently worked on, skills you’ve learned, and promotions that you’ve received. This will bring your experience up to date and allows you to cut anything that is no longer relevant.

Jennifer Greenberg, Executive Recruiter of CFS Baltimore, suggests including 2-3 accomplishments per position. Although difficult to adhere to this rule, it helps you choose your best accomplishments to include. “You need to make the hiring manager excited about you, which means that your bullet points should be strong and illustrate what you can bring to the table,” adds Cure. The interview is where you can elaborate more and discuss anything that you left out.

Now that you have everything up to date, it’s time for the quick fixes. Greenberg recommends printing your resume out so that you can physically look at it and make notes with a pen or a pencil. It’s a lot easier to catch your mistakes on a hard copy version versus on the computer.

As you look over your resume, keep in mind these quick fixes:
  • Scrub it for typos. Nothing is more unprofessional than submitting a resume that has typos. It shows that you didn’t take the extra time to evaluate your work and could lead the hiring manager to question your attention to detail.
  • Check for grammatical errors. When discussing your experience, it’s a common mistake to mix up tenses. Beware of this issue, and make sure you are consistent.
  • Check for formatting consistency. This is the time to “make sure that all of your bullet points are the same size and properly aligned. Double check that things are consistently bolded, italicized, underlined, etc.” says Greenberg.
  • Declutter your points. You do not have a lot of space, so you have to be concise. Avoid being too wordy and cut anything that isn’t necessary.

After the quick fixes have been made, go back to your computer, make the edits, and don’t forget to save! As a rule of thumb, when working on your resume Greenberg advises you to follow the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). Make sure each point is simple, succinct, and easy to understand. If you keep these ideas in mind, then decluttering your resume will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Have any questions about updating your resume? We'd love to hear them in your comments below!

Are you on the job hunt for a new career? Our recruiters are here to help! Check out our latest job postings here, or find a CFS office located closest to you here.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

5 Tips on Changing Careers

It’s time for a change…a career change that is! Your current position is no longer cutting it and you’re in need of something new. Before you make any hasty decisions, evaluate your motives. If you’re simply seeking a higher salary, then consider speaking with your manager about a raise first. However, if you want a more challenging role, a specific company culture, or something different altogether, then a change may truly be best. Follow these tips from our expert recruiters on making your career transition as easy as possible.


As you begin to search for a new position, take a moment to think about what you really want in this next opportunity. John Jameson, Executive Recruiter of CFS Chicago, says to determine what you enjoyed about your previous positions in order to help you find the right fit in your next one. Looking at the people you worked with, the traits of your past supervisors, how you were engaged, and the various projects you worked on will help you realize exactly what you like and dislike.

Having this clarity is essential for you to make the right career move. Utilize resources like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, interviews, etc. to provide you with the best information possible to help you decide whether or not the company would be a good fir for you.

Create a Plan

Knowing what you want is one thing, but putting it into action is another. Start by creating a plan with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed) goals. Jameson urges you to share your goals with someone who will hold you accountable, such as a recruiter. This helps ensure that you don’t slack off at any point and provides you with an additional support system as well.

Determine Your Strengths

Self-assessment is key; you must reflect on the skills you have already developed. Patrick Senn, Managing Director of CFS Minneapolis, says you have to determine how your background and experience applies to the opportunities you’re interested in pursuing. In addition to understanding the skills you have acquired through your work, it is an added bonus if you can identify your true personality strengths as well. Tools such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and “strength finder tests” can help you with this.

Now that you have identified all of your skills and strengths, it is crucial that you incorporate them into your resume. If you are looking to change career paths completely, Senn reminds you to look for parallels between what you’ve done and what you are hoping to do. You need to communicate with potential employers that you have what it takes to succeed.

Engage Your Network

Change isn’t easy, but no one ever said you had to go through this process alone. In fact, you shouldn’t be. You should be talking to people who are currently in the roles that you aspire to be in to gain as much information as possible. Senn suggests attending industry related gatherings, networking events, or conferences and reading industry related articles to gain more knowledge. Jameson adds that conducting informational and mock interviews is another great way to engage your network. These efforts will not only help you gather an immeasurable amount of advice, but support as well.

Be Realistic

It’s important to remember that if you’re planning “to completely change careers, you may have to take a step back before you are able to take a step forward, as you are considered entry level due to lack of hands on experience in this area,” adds Senn. You can’t expect that jumping from one type of career to another to be as easy as changing your clothes- it takes work.

Do you have any additional tips for changing careers? We'd love to hear them in your comments below!
Are you on the job hunt for a new career? Our recruiters are here to help! Check out our latest job postings here, or find a CFS office located closest to you here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

How to Draft a Resume Without Having Any Relevant Experience

Written by: Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

For expected 2016 graduates trying to enter the workforce with no applicable experience, this is becoming a daunting top priority. There is also an overwhelming population of recent graduates within the last 1-3 years who have no relevant work history and are still trying to break into their field. The biggest mistake that they make is thinking, “Any job and the responsibilities held must be good to list on my resume.” This is not true! First and foremost, do not waste valuable space by listing irrelevant education, experience, skills, and additional content. Do not double space or have empty unused space.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If your current resume hasn’t had any success in getting you an interview, it’s time to change it up. Here are some new things you can try:

Header: use a definitive statement
Think of this like a universal business card, or billboardFor example, my header could be:

Tatiyana Cure
(646) 661-7152 |
“Helping companies hire Superstars”

Summary: craft your “elevator pitch”
Your summary should be 3-4 sentences using specific skills and/or measurable accomplishments that would make you stand out among your peers.

For example: Recent graduate with BA in Accounting. Proven ability to take leadership roles and meet aggressive deadlines exhibited through “Mock Audit Project”. Highly motivated and on CPA track.

Objective: keep in mind how each company benefits from hiring you
Many job applicants make the mistake of using the “Objective” section of their resume to be very selfish and use the same vague statement throughout their entire job search process. Instead, make your resume stand out by crafting objectives that are specific for each company.

For example: To utilize my education and leverage the fresh perspective on social media in assisting the growth of Creative Financial Staffing.

Education: keep it relevant
Unfortunately, many recent graduates will waste valuable resume space by listing their high school diploma, additional classes, and unnecessary certifications in this section. Keep it relevant and include your GPA if it makes you stand out among your peers.

For example:
University of Connecticut; Storrs, CT  2012-2016
BA: Political Science
Overall GPA: 3.5/4.0 Major GPA: 3.79/4.0

Experience: don’t be afraid to tackle this section
Get it out of your head that you need to include irrelevant of your work experience. Instead, focus on the skills that you can bring to benefit the department by analyzing the job description.

For example: If you are targeting a Financial Analyst role and the job description states, “Conduct research of market trends and competitors”, you can list “Research Skills” and include your experience you have gained in writing your research paper or final project. You may also list skills such as: time management, leadership, organization, problem solving, communication, multitasking, prioritizing, dependability, and taking initiative. Tailor this section based on each job description and include specific examples. Be prepared to validate each of the skills listed on your resume during an interview.

Work History: the inevitable
As you may have noticed, I did not advise to list any employers, titles, or responsibilities in the “Experience” section. The “Work History” section will satisfy those employers who ultimately would like to see specific dates of employment. This is the short and brief section where you can list your summer jobs, internships, and volunteer work. Since you already described your skills in the section above, you do not need to list anything else other than company, role, and dates.

For example:
Italian Restaurant: Waitress     January, 2016- Present
Office: Receptionist     June 2015- August 2015
Summer Camp: Counselor     June 2014- August 2014
Nonprofit: Volunteer     December 2013

The key to drafting a resume without prior experience is to tailor it to each job based on specific skills with examples. Put yourself in the hiring manger’s shoes: ask yourself if you would hire you and why. 
Do you have a success story or additional tips? We'd love to hear them in your comments below! 
Are you a recent grad looking for a job? Our recruiters are here to help! Check out our latest job postings here, or find a CFS office located closest to you here.

Creative Financial Staffing (CFS) is the nation’s largest, privately-held accounting and financial staffing firm. We provide qualified accounting and finance professionals on a temporary and permanent basis across a broad range of industries.

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