Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lessons of a job search

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

A very important lesson in your job search is to remain positive. It’s easy to get discouraged when things do not go as planned- perhaps you don’t get the job offer, or if you do get it, it’s not what you would have hoped it to be. Remember, misery loves company but a positive attitude attracts positive results.

Here are some additional lessons of a job search: 

  1. Be open to all opportunities, even when you least expect them.
  2. Make a plan and laser focus on your goals.
  3. Nobody is a professional interviewee; the only way to get better is to practice.
  4. Seek out feedback on how you can improve as a job seeker- on your resume, interview skills, etc.
  5. Be more prepared for your next interview. Use the questions that stumped you in your prior interviews in preparation for the upcoming ones.
  6. Learn as much as you can and ask more questions during your interview.
  7. Do not get caught up on titles or salaries, but rather consider the big picture of your career growth.
  8. Expand your job search beyond sending your resume to the black holes of ads posted on job boards.
  9. Consider what problems of an organization you can solve and offer the solutions rather than only looking for a job.
  10. Be confident in your skills and do not get discouraged based on the ad – go for it!
  11. You will end up spending more time at work than you do at home. Don’t pick a job where you can’t stand your boss or the people you would work with.
  12. Don’t be someone you are not throughout the interview, as it will become exhausting to not be yourself once you get the job.
  13. Do not settle or over-compromise. Focus on making a smart long-term career move rather than simply obtaining another job.
  14. Never stop networking and do not underestimate anyone you meet or who they may know.
  15. You can always expand your expertise. Consider furthering your education, obtaining additional certifications, or seeking out mentorship.
  16. Stay humble and grateful for any assistance. Appreciate the time someone may take out of his or her schedule to interview you or to hear you out.
  17. Do not give up on finding the perfect next move!

Have more questions about your job search? Comment below! You can also reach out to one of our expert recruiters. See a full list of CFS locations here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Career development beyond office walls

One could argue that when it comes to advancing your career, it’s not only what you know, but who you know. While networking is very beneficial, there are other ways to develop professionally and help take your career to the next level:

Take a class:
Whether you sign up for an online course or decide to enroll in a certification program, you can never go wrong with continuing your education. Educational development shows a desire to continuously better yourself and illustrates that you are taking steps towards your future career. By expanding your knowledge base, you enhance your skills and give your resume a boost.

If you feel that you don’t have the time or the extra cash to enroll in a course for credit, there are many websites that offer free classes specializing in a variety of topics. The length of each program varies- some programs only require one class a week! Committing 1-2 hours a week towards something you are genuinely interested in is not a bad deal.

Dedicating yourself to a cause you are passionate about not only feels great, but it also makes a difference. Whether you have time to volunteer once a week, once a month, or a few times a year, you can always have an impact. You will meet other people who share the same beliefs as you, which is a great way to add to your network as well. In addition, hiring managers agree that volunteer work makes a candidate stand out. It illustrates dedication, philanthropic goals, and passion.

Join a Club:
As life gets chaotic, it can be difficult to do the things we love. Once you carve out the time to join a club though, you become more committed to it since other people are involved- they can hold you accountable. Don’t misinterpret because this commitment should not be seen as a chore. Rather, it’s a chance to escape your hectic life for a little bit and do something you truly enjoy. Employers will see this as you being a well-rounded person with impeccable time management skills. They will even applaud you further if you take on leadership roles within the club. Everything is an opportunity to hone your skill set, whether you are in the office or spending a day on the tennis courts.

As many of us already know, it’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. What does this have to do with your work life? When you maintain a healthy mind/body, the benefits include lower stress levels, deeper focus, higher energy levels, etc. As you begin to feel these effects, your work will reap the rewards as well. As you become less stressed and more focused on the job, you will get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time, something that managers and colleagues will notice.

What else do you do to develop your career? 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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity at the Office

Article written by Lori Lynn Smith for Lifehack

You stagger into the office five minutes before your are suppose to start, you have a coffee in your hand. You do like your job, but it is hard to hit the floor peppy and productive every single day. It feels even harder when you find yourself sitting for so long at one time. That is the nature of the job, but how can you change things up a little to create an environment that is more productive and more enjoyable?Here are ten strategies that can set the tone and keep you motivated to be productive:
1. Plan
Get to your desk about 15 minutes early and write out a daily list of tasks and plan out your day before it begins. This will help to keep you focused and on track throughout the day. Set out your top three most important tasks to do first.
2. Power hour
Commit! Dedicate the first hour to getting as much done as you can. Avoid your email inbox, favorite blogs, and voicemails, and get right to work. This sets the tone for the day and gives you a great sense of accomplishment that can follow you through to home time. 
3. Recess
When we were kids we probably loved recess more than school, but our teacher knew that we needed small breaks to help us learn better. The same is true for working. Allocating specific time periods when it’s okay to become distracted can help make the rest of your day more productive. Just keep them short and then get back to it.
4. Time chunking
By shifting your focus between tedious and repetitive tasks and those that are more engaging, you can keep yourself more happily involved in your work throughout the day. Give each task category a time frame and alternate back and forth between them for best results.
5. Rock the clock
Rather than working on a project until it’s completed, resolve to work on a project for a set period of time, then change your focus. This will keep you productive and eliminate some of the tedium associated with working on the same project for long periods of time.
6. Organize your email
You can increase sanity by keeping your inbox organized, especially if you get a lot of correspondence on a daily basis. Use folders and filters to keep your email inbox organized and it will be as beneficial as having a tidy desk or cubicle. I personally like to strive for Inbox Zero: daily is great, but definitely by Friday afternoon.
7. Listen to music
Music can help you settle into your work routine. Low-volume music can drown out noises in the office without interrupting other people around you. Choose music that helps you focus without distracting you. It has been shown that while listening to Classical music your IQ actually increases—you might want to give it a try!
8. Drink up
Hydration is important for a variety of health reasons. Fill up a personal water bottle and keep it with you all day. Keeping a water bottle by your side will prevent you from having to get up over and over to get more water and ensures that you stay hydrated throughout the day. I love to use a 1 liter bottle, and drink one before lunch and one after lunch.
9. Leave your desk for lunch
Having a lunch break away from your desk can disrupt your productivity routine, but it does provide some much-needed relaxation and respite from your work. Enjoy your lunch break and return to your work with renewed energy and focus. Exercising during lunch, even if it is just a quick walk around the park, will also help to keep your energy up.
10. Keep it professional
Respond to personal emails and deal with personal phone calls on your own time. By clearly separating work and home, you can focus yourself better during the day to get more done. If you have important personal tasks that need to be done, use your break or lunch, but walk away from your desk.
Hit your stride
You can stay productive during work hours if you plan out your day and really think about what you’re doing at work. It doesn’t take much forethought to have a good workday, but the time you put into planning can pay off big time!

Read the original article posted on Lifehack.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Did you know: 5 tips when updating your resume

What other easy tips do you have for updating your resume? We'd love to hear them in the 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.

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.

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