Changing Course in Mid-Stream: Navigating the Job Market in 2016 - posted on 04/21/2016
We all had parents, grandparents, etc., who got a job out of high school and stayed with that same company until they retired, right? Forty years, day in day out. The same.
Welcome to the new millennium where Casual Friday lasts all week and the up-and-comers have job ADD so bad, your HR Department has installed a revolving door. Not that loyalty is totally dead, it’s just been damaged a bit by a thirst for new experiences, rapid ladder climbing, and global thinking – the world is their oyster!
Well, if they can do it, what’s stopping you, the more… ahem… experienced professional? During your typical work day do you feel as if you’ve “been there – done that – was bored last time?” Knowing the retirement age continues to increase, do you really want to do the same thing, for the same company for the next however many years? It’s OK to look around, feel your skillset oats, and see if something better could be awaiting you.
Once you’ve embraced the possibility, there are some things you should know and be prepared for, if you’ve been stationary for a bit, things have changed out here. The days of face to face resume drop offs, pop-ins asking if they’re hiring and fancy paper monuments to your past accomplishments are long over.
The biggest thing you’ll notice but probably not be surprised by is that everything is online; the listings, the applications, resume submission, interview scheduling and the ever-dreaded “thanks but no thanks” obligatory response. Oh, and forget about the pop in to “put a face to the name on the resume.” Due to the ever looming threat of hiring discrimination, the less contact they have with you, the better for them. However, make sure you receive an emailed application submission confirmation; technology is great…when it works. Some smaller companies may not have automated confirmation emails so a short polite emailed inquiry regarding the status of your application is permissible.
Speaking of that resume, has it been 2016ed? Gone are the days of listing every accomplishment and position held. Those doing the hiring will pour through hundreds of resumes to find 3 or 4 actually qualified candidates. They don’t have time or the patience to read every word. Your goals should be clearly stated at the beginning and be specific to the position for which you are applying. Same with your education, work and volunteer experience; if it doesn’t pertain to that particular job, skip it. You can fill in the blanks during the interview process. When listing your accomplishments, focus on what you can do for the company rather than simply rehashing your past job duties. They have to be able to answer, “What’s in it for me if I hire you” after reading your resume.
What once was referred to as a “Headhunter” is now a “Staffing Agency.” Servicing both sides of the employment coin, modern day staffing agencies have access to nationwide databases and platforms for job postees and resume posters. Recruiters know their area businesses inside and out and can be your best friend once you decide to make the leap.
Hopefully, these words have not discouraged the aforementioned leap. The world is your oyster too; the water just may seem a bit murkier than you remember. Doesn’t mean it’s unnavigable. Best advice alert – do your research. Everything you could ever want to know about the job, the company, interview tips, resume writing, is literally at your fingertips. Let your fingers do the walking and best of luck to you!
How Millennials and Baby Boomers Can Coexist in the Workforce - posted on 02/18/2016
For the first time in our lives, the baby boomers aren’t the largest workforce population. The millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, now outnumber the boomers. The old adage, “the times they are a changing” has never been more evident than in the workplace today as baby boomers find themselves as the hiring entities attempting to find common ground and an appreciation for what the millennials can add to their work environment.
While boomers were groomed in a work force that respected loyalty, self-starters, independent workers, high overtime expectations and office formality, the millennials tend to have job ADD, a need for a hands on approach from their superiors, hold sacred their out of work time and function better in a more open, jeans wearing work environment. So, how can those two seemingly opposite generations function harmoniously and productively at work?
Start by acknowledging what the millennials can bring to the table. While boomers are still playing catchup with technology, millennials teethed on it. They can seamlessly upgrade versions, learn a new device and figure out code in their sleep. This is an invaluable resource for the entire office. Millennials have a strong desire for self-betterment and social responsibility. Whether it’s recycling, starting an office charity fund, self-improvement workshops or creating a communal garden, they want to do better, be better. This non-egocentric mindset is refreshing and soul enlightening. Embrace it. It’s great PR and if it makes them happy, why not?
To satisfy their need for a communal atmosphere, conduct roundtables when new technology or procedures enter your realm. Regular staff meetings promote cohesiveness and a chance for clarification. Be open to an interactive, open door work day. Hiding behind blanket memos, gopher hole cubicles and closed doors creates isolation and isn’t healthy anyway. An open office layout and communication procedure promotes transparency, human interaction and, ultimately, more loyalty and job satisfaction.
Have your staffing agency on speed dial! Raised on 24 hour news channels, video games and a disposable society, millennials just can’t help their ADD nature. They may love working for you but their soul yearns to wander, explore and always seek out new challenges. The idea of someone retiring from a company after 40 years with them is a distant memory. You’ll be lucky to get ten out of younger generations. So, be prepared to be in what can seem like a state of constant hiring. While this causes a slight back tracking as you bring the newbie up to speed, embrace the opportunity to be able to mold a new mind, appreciate the new spirit, talent and ideas. These days society applauds change, reform, and a company’s self-awareness. Remember, they have ADD too!
While the workforce leaders and incoming talent come from two very different experiences and societies, they complement each other perfectly. Millennials help boomers with technology and bring with them a more global mindset while the boomers provide the much needed and appreciated guidance and industry specific experience. A truly symbiotic dynamic that can sustain and grow your company…until the next generation!
Write the Perfect Resume - posted on 01/20/2016
Your resume is the impression potential employers will have of you. As HR Departments and, yes, even Staffing agencies, such as QSS, become busier and busier, it is imperative that your resume be concise and to the point. Has your resume had a over haul to suit the fast paced 2016 business world?
Here are some tips to ensure your resume gets seen and considered….
Despite the rise of social media and online job applications, the cover letter and resume combination is still the cornerstone of a successful job search. Because of that, one of the questions we hear most often from job seekers is “What should I put on my resume?” In fact, we hear it so often that we decided to look at our data to help job seekers create the perfect cover letter and resume.
To determine which resume strategies were the most effective, we looked at our resume database, where hiring managers can rate candidates on a scale of 1 to 5 Stars. We analyzed our database of over 3,000,000 resumes to see why some got the highest rating – and a chance at landing the candidate a new job – and why some got the lowest rating, and ended up in the virtual trash.
By looking at keywords, length, and sections, we were able to create a profile of the perfect cover letter and resume: what you should include, what you shouldn’t include, and plenty of tips to help your resume and cover letter stand out from the crowd.
The Perfect Cover Letter
First, let’s answer a question that we hear all the time: Should you use a cover letter?
Yes! Cover letters increase a resume’s chance of receiving a Five Star rating by 29%.
Our findings also give clues as to what you should include in a cover letter:
Your Mother Was Right… Politeness Matters
A cover letter is the first chance you have to impress an employer – or to turn them off permanently. Wondering how to impress? We found that the phrase “Thank you for your consideration” was included in 10% more Five Star resumes than One Star, which means that your mother was right: politeness is important. Definitely thank the reader for taking the time to read your cover letter.
Display Confidence That You’ll Get The Job Done
Also, be aware that an employer has posted the job you’re applying for because they have a problem. Whether a long-time employee recently retired, or the company is growing quickly because of strong sales, the employer has a need that must be filled. We found that it’s important to present yourself as a solution to that problem, and not as work in progress focused only on your own career trajectory. Words like “learning”, “develop”, and “myself” have a strong correlation with One Star resumes, meaning that employers want a team player who is ready to start contributing to the business on Day One.
The Perfect Resume
Keep it Relevant
When you sit down to write your resume, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what to sections to include. We found that resumes containing the following sections are 1.7 times more likely to receive a Five Star rating:
- Work History
Which makes sense – employers want to know everything about you that may be relevant to your ability to perform the job they’ve posted.
What Not to Include on Your Resume
Sections that employers find irrelevant are Languages (somewhat surprisingly) and Personal Interests and Accomplishments (not surprisingly):
- Languages Spoken: Mention any additional languages spoken if the job calls for bilingual candidates, but otherwise save space and leave it out.
- Personal Interests and Accomplishments: Leave out your hobbies and keep the fact that you won a spelling bee in 5th grade to yourself – employers don’t care.
Including these sections can make it 24% less likely for a resume to receive a Five Star rating.
Use Power Keywords
When we looked at how certain keywords affect the Star Rating of resumes, we found that words that implied management skills (not necessarily as a manager: time management is an example of a management skill everyone needs to have), a proactive stance towards working (“responsible”, “support”, and “client” speak to that) and problem solving skills (“data”, “analysis”, and “operation”) were the most highly rated.
Additionally, using these Power Keywords in your resume can increase your chance of a Five Star rating by up to 70%:
Remember, though, that keyword stuffing will more than likely lead to your resume being discarded. Make sure you only include words that are relevant to your skills.
Keywords to Absolutely, In All Cases, Avoid
You’ll also want to avoid keywords which may give employers the impression that you’re inexperienced, require a great deal of training, or are put off by hard work. These negative keywords have a strong correlation with One Star reviews, with up to a 79% greater likelihood of receiving the lowest rating:
Find the Goldilocks Length
Resumes between 600 and 700 words in length were rated much higher than resumes that were less that 500 words long, and anything over 700 words began to trend towards lower Star Ratings. Keep your resume in the 600-700 word Goldilocks length (not too long, not too short).
Our data also shows that your Summary should be between 90 and 100 words in length, and that your Objective should be approximately 30 words long. Following these length guidelines results in a 30% boost in the chances of receiving a Five Star rating.
Full article and source: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/how-to-write-the-perfect-resume/
Great Resources To Help You Begin Your Journey - posted on 01/07/2016
The Md Workforce Exchange’s Ultimate Employment Guide is helpful, regardless of where you live, for entry-level jobseekers, seasoned jobseekers between jobs, those who have been away from the workforce for a period of time, and individuals making a career change. Brush up on the basics to prepare for that big step.
If you have access to a computer, you have access to the world! Don’t neglect all the free resources online. Each state has its own workforce engagement agencies and they all offer services like resume building, interview skills, job listings and free access to those computers! These links will take you to each state’s official workforce agency site. From there, you can narrow down to more regional employment centers, search job and training listings and find helpful information to assist you in getting that job.