Tag Archive for employment

Four Quick Tips for Job Seekers

wake up(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by and brought to you by our friends at JobTonic, a US job search engine site where you will find listed vacancies from numerous and multiple boards in the USA)

Every person who has decided to start looking for a job must remember that this process usually takes much longer than expected. In order to optimize the search process we’ve prepared several tips that will be useful to anyone who wants, as soon as possible, to find a job that meets all their needs.

For most people the ideal job not only brings enough money but is also enjoyable. In order to combine these two aspects in your new job it’s helpful to follow a few easy steps:

Determine what’s Important

Decide which type of work is right for you (i.e. part-time or full-time) and even consider what you’re willing to do on a volunteer basis. Clearly define for yourself what you would like in your “dream job” as well as what you know you won’t like. Begin your analysis by looking through open vacancies on job boards like JobTonic.com and focusing on jobs that match your skills and interests. Look for information by conducting online research, determine if you need to upskill or pass any necessary courses, and arrange visits with company representatives or colleagues working in your chosen field.

Evaluate your Experience

Be realistic about your abilities and when preparing your CV and other documents remember that your current skills, abilities and experience may be transferable to the duties in a new position. For example, knowledge and experience with project management, customer service, information technology and even sales are often needed in many fields; these transferable skills should be highlighted and clarified on your resume and in your cover letter.

Prepare for the Interview

Be honest with yourself and others and don’t feel you need to embellish the reasons why you’ve started to search for a new job. Tell a potential employer about your past honestly and openly; the biggest mistake that an applicant can ever make is to lie. If you were dismissed don’t hide that; your references can be, and often will be, checked and the truth will emerge.

Take it Step by Step

The only way to truly find out whether ‘this job’ or ‘that job’ suits you is, sometimes, to just try it; it’s certainly OK to try something new if it presents the lowest possible personal risk. But thorough analysis and exploration, as outlined in step 1, will allow you to find out when your expectations are at odds with reality as well as allow you to discover the pros and cons of any job, field, or profession.

Of course there will be times during any job search when you’ll just want to turn off the alarm and sleep in but if you approach your job search in a systematic way you can reap the rewards and ultimately experience moments of elation when you land that “dream job.”

Be clever – be smart – and be rewarded for your efforts.



This post is sponsored by JobTonic; I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

The Realistic Job Preview

jiminy21The eBook for the North American 2013 Candidate Experience Report was released this week by The Talent Board. If you work in HR or Recruiting I encourage you to read it; you can register to receive the eBook here.    The report covers a wide range of topics from candidate attraction to the application process to screen and selection and nearly 50,000 candidates who applied to close to 100 companies shared their insights.

One of the areas I found quite interesting was the information gathered around Type of Interview Events.  Per the report “A small number (5.3 percent) of candidates participated in a realistic job preview (RJP) via a ride along, job shadow or actual workplace experience. Traditionally, the RJP serves two functions – educate the candidate on a range of workplace conditions and demands of the performance environment and inviting candidates to self-select out. RJP research shows candidates that are given a fair and balanced understanding of the job are more likely to increase their commitment and work through rough spots they encounter.”

I was somewhat surprised that the percentage of candidates participating in an in-person RJP was so small.  Granted, this probably has a lot to do with the type of position; it’s highly unlikely that a company will take Joe the Coder Candidate through a RJP and tell him “Hey Joe; we want you to sit with Steve for 4 hours and watch as he knocks out some Python coding!” Paint = drying, am I right?

Why an RJP?

The first step in the interview process, of course, is making sure the right candidates are applying; being ‘realistic’ in recruiting, targeting and acquisition strategies helps at this point.  Accurate, complete and meaningful job descriptions, postings, and messaging means you should be able to successfully limit the number of candidates – resulting in applications from only those who are truly a fit for both the job and the organization.

Being realistic means resisting the urge to market malarkey; not every moment in the job you’re trying to fill or in your organization is filled with sunshine, champagne and jubilant employees. Throughout the recruiting process you need to share a balanced view of what day-to-day life is really like including being brutally honest about the job’s inherent joys and satisfactions as well as the challenges and frustrations.

There is great value for both the employer and the candidate when the candidate truly understands the realities of the job, the work environment, and the dynamics of the team/co-workers. There are one of two outcomes – either the employee makes the decision to remove themselves from consideration (good thing!) or they have a keen sense of what the job and work environment will truly be like and agree to move forward (also a good thing!). I’ve worked with hiring managers to successfully provide RJPs during the hiring process for route sales positions, health care professionals, HR staff, manufacturing jobs and high-volume phone/customer service positions. It makes a difference.

And remember Joe the Coder?  He also wants to learn all he can about the job; from the expectations to the time demands to the type of equipment and technology he’ll have available.  The RJP applies to all positions.

Technology as Friend

It’s important to provide the opportunity for candidates to ‘see’ where they will be working; I’ve always made sure that final candidates check out the physical space (office or cubicle), get a tour of the facility in which they will toil, and observe other employees in action.

Some organizations are successfully using video to share some of this information with job seekers; as an example check out the series of Home Depot’s Behind the Apron videos on their career site. Sure, the videos are snazzily produced and full of corporate-speak but notice that amongst all the talk about passion and pride it’s also mentioned that the job in customer service is “hard work” and “challenging.”

While this may make sense in a high-volume hiring environment, I don’t think a video can replace a deep and heartfelt conversation between hiring manager and candidate nor can it replace time spent on-site by the candidate.  But it’s better than nothing.

Technology as Foe

If an employer opts to hide their head in the sand and not share the ‘real deal’ they can be assured their current and former employees are doing it for them; online reviews at sites like Glassdoor can attest to that.

But technology is not really a foe.  In this case technology is a bit like Jiminy Cricket – serving as a conscience and reminding employers of the importance of telling the truth.

Wishing upon a star is not good enough.

Saying Goodbye: Managing Employee Departures

miss you MGD©The way in which an employee is treated when departing your company is just as important as how you handled the process when they joined you. (It’s also, obviously, a reflection of your organizational culture).  Remember those heady days?  You wooed and courted and promised them the moon with the ardent fervor of a love-struck teenager until you convinced them to come on board.

But now they’ve decided to leave.  The romance has soured or a more attractive suitor has arrived and lured them away. When an employee tells you “It’s not you – it’s me” (even though it may, in fact, be you) there are a few situations to avoid as you work through the break-up:

Asking them to leave immediately – This has always struck me as about the stupidest thing ever. Ever!  Oh sure, this may make sense for a salesperson who’s not going to be filling the pipeline with new leads if he’s walking out the door in 2 weeks but what’s the point of tossing Carol in Accounting out the door the moment she gives notice?  Yet there are companies who apparently assume all resigning employees are going to gather all the corporate intel they can and sell it to the highest bidder.  I’ve joined organizations where this was the norm; so much so that resigning employees who had to work out a 2 week notice were actually offended they weren’t asked to depart forthwith.

The Shunning – Bob tenders his resignation and is immediately a pariah. He’s no longer invited to meetings and his name disappears from email groups.  He can probably live with all of this but it pains him just a bit when his boss, the division director and, so it seems, the entire leadership team don’t even offer greetings in the hallway.  One step removed from Hester Prynne.  Poor Bob.

The Security Guard with a Box – This is the workplace equivalent of placing your beloved’s belonging on the driveway and calling a locksmith to change the locks.  The neighbors will gawk while furtively pretending to avoid eye contact with all involved and you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood for years.  In the office, I implore you, don’t enlist the services of a building security guard who accompanies the departing employee to her cubicle and keeps a stern eye as she packs up the photos of her kids and her collection of shoe figurines.

The Farewell Party – This is nice, right?  Sally gets treated to cake and punch and her manager gives her a gift card to Outback Steakhouse after he makes a speech about all her contributions and how she was an integral part of the team’s success.  Her co-workers sign a card (funny and slightly ribald because Sally has a sense of humor) and wish her the best of luck.  There are hugs all around with promises to stay in touch and get together for the occasional lunch or happy hour. But Sally feels a bit sad as she wonders “why didn’t they say these things and treat me this way during the 4 years I worked here?  If I knew this is how everyone felt I might not have looked for another job…”

When an employee decides to move on and enter a relationship with someone else you may not be ready to say “I’ll always love you” but you can surely tell him “let’s be friends.”

Jobs, Careers and Transitions – Take the #EWS2014 Quiz

I’m a sponsored blog partner with Spherion and participating in the release of findings from this year’s Emerging Workforce Study.  All opinions are mine.

Are you satisfied at work ?  Do you believe you’re on the right track to success in either your job or your career ?  Naturally, if you think about it, a job is quite different from a career and by better understanding the differences you may be able to confirm whether you need to make some transitions to ensure you’re on the right path.

Last week I shared  information from Spherion’s Evolution of the Worker Study and today I’m excited to provide information about Spherion’s new ‘Job or Career’ quiz which may give you insight about your very own Job or Career mindset.  Based on 15 years of research conducted by Spherion, this quiz will provide you with some insight as to whether you’re in a job or career … and what steps you can take to improve your work life.

Whether you’re a job seeker or employee, an employer or HR professional or just someone who wants to gain information about applicable career topics, I encourage you to spend a few minutes completing the quiz.

And.. extra fun!!…by taking the quiz on this site, you’ll entered to win a $100 American Express gift card!   To enter, simply share your results from the quiz as a comment on this post.  And never fear …if you don’t wish to share with other readers if you find yourself in a ‘job or a career” go ahead and take the quiz and share something you’ve learned after taking the quiz.   I’ll chose one entrant by using an online random name generator and you’’ be notified via the email address (which only I see) that you provide when posting your comment.

Taking the quiz will also enter users to win one of three Career Boost Business Packs from Spherion that include an iPad Air and an assortment of other office essentials to help on their path to success! (note…final day to enter is 3/27/2014).  Click on the image to access the quiz. 


Additional Resources

Check out www.boostyourwork.com for additional content where you can also find some tips mapping out a career path, ideas for workplace success, and ways to transition your current job into a career.

Remember to watch for the release of the full findings of the EWS study in April. For updated information follow Spherion on Twitter, join them on Facebook or check out the hashtag #EWS2014.



Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.