Avoiding These Mistakes Could Help You Land the Job!

While it is quite common knowledge that first impressions are the most important (especially during a job hunt) many applicants fail to understand that the most obvious trip-ups in this regard are the small mistakes made in an application or interview. And while many of the following small steps can be considered “obvious,” more applicants make at least one of these mistakes than not.

  • While a minor typo may seem acceptable (or even expected) by job seekers creating their resume, a single typo can potentially be enough to remove you from the job race. In a competition between two similarly qualified individuals, the one with the flawless resume will win. A typo-free resume also shows an attention to detail that any employer wants in an employee. Don’t just write your resume and send out the first draft in the name of expediency. Use a spell checker, proofread the document multiple times, and allow others to examine it for errors.
  • As with typos, many job hunters feel that adding a little resume padding is a perfectly acceptable tactic. After all, it’s not as if you are actually lying, right? The truth of the matter is even a small deception, if discovered, can immediately disqualify your application from further consideration. And with about 97 percent of employers running background and reference checks as part of the hiring process, exaggeration and embellishment can lead to a serious mark on your perceived integrity.
  • While interviews are perhaps the most nerve-wracking part of the application process and it is normal to practice your performance beforehand, it can actually be damaging to your cause to appear as though you are reading from a script. Employers are looking for a glimpse of the person they will see each day at work, not to be presented with an over-rehearsed collection of canned responses. While you do want to emphasize your abilities and value to a company’s bottom line, it is equally important to demonstrate the traits of our personality that make you a great person to work with.
  • In an interview situation, what you say is important, but so is how you say it. Demonstrating your adeptness at speaking rote and robotic responses, or showing off all of your nervous ticks is not the best way to engage a hiring manager. Instead, prepare to exude confidence, smile, stand up straight, and look everyone you meet in the eye. Don’t make the mistake of undervaluing the role of peers and subordinates in the decision making process – be friendly and engaging to everyone!
  • Finding the perfect professional references can play a prominent role in landing you a job offer, but simply identifying your references on a resume is only part of the job. Your references need to be periodically updated about the jobs for which you are applying so that they can prepare to portray you in the best light within the context of specific responsibilities. Keep them informed of resume changes and make sure they understand how your skills will help you in your new job. The more your references know about you the more helpful they can be to you as contacts.

Originally posted by Joshua Bjerke on http://www.recruiter.com

New Recruiter – Sarah Staroba

July 30, 2012, Auburn Hills, Mich. – Reliance One continues to expand as the team welcomes new Technical Recruiter, Sarah Staroba. She admits, “This is a very new position for me and my career, I never would have thought of myself in this role, now I really don’t see anything else for me.” Matt VanNorman, Account Manager and Sarah’s new boss, had only positive things to say, “She has a very strong work ethic and is always willing to do whatever it takes to get things done.” Prior to working at Reliance One, Sarah was employed at Genesys Athletic Club. She continues to stay active by doing her favorite thing…running! Sarah really enjoys what she’s doing now and the group at Reliance One is ready to see her jump start her new career.

3 Things Every College Grad Should Keep In Mind as They Look for a Career

I’m going to go ahead and guess that you’re reading this because you don’t have a job. You might even be reading this at two in the morning because you don’t have to wake up early for work. But I know that many recent graduates are trying hard to get a job and aren’t as lazy as older generations perceive us to be. Therefore, here are a couple of suggestions to keep you focused and away from sitting around in the sun all day without a career. Besides, I doubt you’re wearing sunscreen and at least having an indoor job will save you from looking like a lobster. There’s also a very good chance that there will be air conditioning at your inside job.

Don’t feel limited by your major.

Your major does not define your career choice. Always spin it to your benefit. Inform employers about the skills you learned through your major, not the major itself. I tell people all the time that being an American history major requires me to do a lot of research and writing, and employers completely agree. If your senior thesis or other classes you’ve taken relate to your career, don’t be afraid to mention them. You can even put them on your resume under the “Education” section.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people that can help you.

There are many campus resources and alumni networks that recent grads and students don’t take enough advantage of. If you’re still in school, start as early as possible. My college advisor once told me that the seniors at my school tend to not think seriously about jobs until their last semester, leading them to freak out during their last months in college. While there will always be lackadaisical students roaming around, some do take a ton of time searching for a job but end up with little to nothing. Therefore, make sure you learn how to effectively ask for help, reach out, and network. Many career centers still offer their assistance to graduates and can help you locate other alumni in your field that you can contact.

If you choose to speak to an alumni, realize that they probably won’t give you a job. Still, these alumni are great sources of information on careers you’re interested in, so use them to figure out what you’re really getting into. Some might even set up an interview for you or pass your resume along to someone who has a job opening. Make sure to send a thank you card afterward. They’ll be more willing to contact you if they have something suitable for you in the future and will be motivated to help another struggling student or graduate later on.

Don’t pass up opportunities (but don’t settle for what will make you miserable).

There are so many wonderful opportunities that people pass up because they think they won’t get anything out of them. But there’s a reason why so many people say that you should take advantage of every opportunity you get. While I’m not saying you should take all of them (you don’t want to hate your job and end up jeopardizing your performance and well-being), at least consider all of them. People that seem lucky are really just those that take advantage of what’s placed in front of them, and find a way to make it work for them in the long run. So you might have to start at a company or position that you think won’t help you get your dream job. But trust me; it can if you market it the right way. You can always spin things that you did during one job to make them seem applicable to another one, just like you can with your major.

Realize that veering away your major, talking to people who can’t outrightly give you a job, or taking a position at a place that isn’t where you dreamed you’d be aren’t bad things. In fact, they may benefit you much more in the long run, because you’ll have learned how to maximize what you learned in college for the real world, practiced successful networking and perhaps discovered something that you thought wouldn’t make you happy, but you may eventually come to adore. Heck, I hated American history before I had to take it to fulfill a college requirement.

Orignially posted by Dulce Montoya for http://www.recruiter.com

5 Things You Could Be Doing to Hurt Your Career

There are times in our lives when we feel like things happen to us. But the reality is we happen to those things. In the workplace, as in life, many times we can owe our success—or lack thereof—to our own attitudes and actions.

By shifting our attitudes, we can improve our behaviors; and as a result, perk up our careers. Here are five ways you may be hurting your career, plus suggestions for improving the situation:

1. You’re rude. While it’s easy for most to be gracious when our careers sail along smoothly, rough waters can sink a generous attitude quickly. This is not, however, a good enough excuse for insolence. Whether disappointed by an unresponsive recruiter, angry that your last interview fell short of an offer, or upset you were passed over for a promotion, rein in your ire. Resist venting through rude emails, voice mails, or other irreversible actions. Also, be cognizant of how passive-aggressive action—not showing up for appointments or conveniently forgetting to perform a promised follow-up—can radiate as rude.

Step up during bad times by being gracious for what is going well in your life and paving a new path toward happiness. Weed out the naysayers and Negative Nellies and surround yourself with encouraging, positive people. Take the reins of your life or fake it until you feel it and soon you will cultivate a genuinely renewed sense of optimism.

2. You pawn off the hard work. Whether aspiring to the next level at your current job, or seeking that next big gig at another company, the onus ultimately is on YOU to make it happen. No one else: not your boss, not your co-worker, not the resume writer or career coach you hired and certainly not your husband/wife/best friend can perform your heavy lifting. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek help (you should—none of us lives in a vacuum); what it does mean is that you can’t outsource the hard stuff, especially the thinking, planning, and execution. You may hire someone to perform parts and bits of your career transition strategy, but ultimately you must expect to sweat intellectually to build the career muscle you desire.

3. You don’t track your achievements. If you’re gainfully employed, you’re accomplishing something; otherwise, your company could not justify your salary. When tracking accomplishments, answer the question, “What do you do that affects sales or profits?” Even if you’re a chief bottle washer, you are cleaning a certain number of bottles in a way that efficiently prepares them for the next customer, and without customers, your company wouldn’t generate revenue, which means your company can’t pay you, and you wouldn’t have a job.

You get the drift. If you don’t track your contributions, then you can’t build a good resume that will sell you to a new employer (proving that you EARN your salary). While this example may seem simplistic, the message here is you must make the effort to know how what you do affects the bigger picture. Insisting that you don’t have any real accomplishments is an attitude that will leave your career languishing.

4. Your social media persona is a sad country song. Every tweet is a complaint. Every Facebook post is a tirade or a tear-stained commentary regarding your last breakup. Every LinkedIn update is a solicitation for a job. You don’t interact with others. You neglect commenting on others’ posts or cheering someone else on. You’re not only negative, but you’re all about you. If this describes you, then consider revamping your social networking strategy. Social media is just that: social. You must interact, you must be relatively positive and you must add value. Period.

5. You don’t say, “thank you.” Whether following up on an interview or showing appreciation for the free advice that a friend, family member, mentor, recruiter, career consultant, etc., gave you, always, ALWAYS say, “thank you.” Here’s a little secret, the more appreciative you are, the more likely those helpful people will recall your name when your perfect career match crosses their path. EVERYONE has a Rolodex, but few are willing to crack them open for ungrateful people. If you are currently stuck in an entitlement mentality that prevents you from displaying gratitude, you may want to reconsider your approach. As a result, you may be pleasantly surprised at the uplifting impact on your career.

While there are no magic bullets to career success, one thing is certain, consistently behaving badly is a magic bullet that will disable your career. The likelihood of sailing into your next career port improves greatly by avoiding these five behaviors and turning negativity into positive and forward momentum.

Originally published by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter for http://money.usnews.com

Career Success Tips

It is about taking responsibility for yourself.
Your career is your own and it belongs to no one else. You have within you the power to create it, to live it as an expression of your unique talents and energy. The other choice is to work at the whim of others, not usually a positive place to be since it is difficult to be inspired and enthusiastic when you believe the choice was someone else’s. Instead, be empowered knowing that you are in control! You may not always choose the activities of your day but you do choose the spirit in which you complete each task. Focus on what you are doing and enjoy the process. Spend some time working to understand yourself in order to better communicate that to your personal network, potential employers, clients, project managers, and partners to secure the best-fit opportunities for you at any moment in time.

It is about creating your future.
It involves self-reflection, learning, researching, planning, and/or talking a little everyday about accomplishments, potential, and opportunity. It is not an obsessive thing though. It is more about going with the flow in a productive manner yet always honoring where you are right now in the process so that your day-to-day work is a source of fulfillment and positive energy.

It is about choices.
Career and personal development is an ever evolving process of making more and better distinctions of who you are and what you want during different phases of your life. Career development is influenced by your whole life…your own changing roles as well as personal and economic circumstances. You will be choosing again and again to create the path of your personal career development throughout your lifetime. You will also make choices each day about how you feel about your work and the attitude and energy you will bring to it and take from it.

It is about rapid change.
Today’s world of work is highly competitive and in a constant state of flux. We can no longer expect to stay with the same company for 20 years then retire. The current environment is much more dynamic with many more opportunities for success when an individual properly manages their own career and personal development.

It is about quality of life.
Think about it, what is a career? It is about the work you do over time and involves such ideas as your productivity, the way you contribute, how you are driven to spend your non-leisure time. Some people are driven to accomplish lots, others are interested in a simpler and more independent existence. Your career becomes the work activities (whether that is paid or unpaid work –such as volunteers, students, parents, and homemakers) that you participate in during your lifetime. Because of the current complexity and speed of life, managing your own career development is an important task for having some control of your quality of life.

It is about hard work completed with ease.
People who know themselves well (by understanding their strengths, what they enjoy, what they want, what they have already accomplished, what they can uniquely contribute, where they are going) are so easy to spot in their enthusiasm and confidence. They are like a breath of fresh air so people and opportunities are drawn to them like vacationers to a sunny beach!

 

Originally posted on www.careertipsblog.com

Recruiter – Amish McDonald

July 27th, 2012, Auburn Hills, Mich. – Amish McDonald is on his way to a bright future as a Recruiter with Reliance One. With over 3 years of recruiting experience, Amish had field experience that allowed him to hit the ground running.  A client in Saudi Arabia testified, “In my life I had more than fifty interviews, but I never met somebody with his skills.” Amish’s positive attitude and energy touches everyone he comes in contact with. Chris Cardenas, Account Manager, spoke highly of his experience stating, “He brings a lot to the table”.  What you probably don’t know about Amish is that he is a professional singer and has been pursuing his passion for Christian music since 2002. Reliance One is delighted to have him on board and can’t wait to see where his talents take him!

6 Quick Tips for Transforming a Summer Job Into a Full-Time Gig

If you took a summer job to make a little extra cash but figured once fall began you’d be done with it, consider this: That summer job just might be your ticket to full-time work. Employers take less risk in hiring you for the summer, but can see how reliable you are for more permanent roles. You’ve already learned the ropes at your company, and it’s easier to keep an employee than to train another.

If your summer job is one you’d like to have year-round, here are some tips to ensure you’re the best candidate for that permanent position.

1. Start with a company you like. If you’re handing out prizes to kids at a theme park, but you want to work at a newspaper, this might not be the job you want to make permanent. Instead, aim for part-time summer work at a company you’d ideally love to work for full-time. Even if you’re unable to get the job of your dreams for the summer, you’ve at least got your foot in the door to be considered for that role down the road.

Everyone starts at the bottom. So while you may not be qualified as a senior writer, do apply for an intern or junior writer position, for example.

2. Prove yourself. Many college kids don’t take summer jobs seriously, so it’s fairly easy to stand out in this regard. Show up on time. Do your job well. Ask for additional responsibilities. Talk to your boss about what it would take to stay on past the summer—and do so early so you have the chance to meet (or exceed) his or her expectations.

3. Find out what jobs are available. If you dream of becoming a chef, you might not be ready at the end of the summer to run a kitchen. But a line cook or some other kitchen role might be a good stepping stone. Realize that it might take a few months (or years) trying out different roles before you’ve gained enough experience for that dream role.

4. Keep track of your accomplishments. Don’t just do the bare minimum; go beyond. Whether it’s reorganizing the file system, or coming up with a new, more efficient way of doing things, keep a list of your achievements over the summer. Then, when it’s time to pitch your boss on hiring you through the fall, provide the list and maybe throw in some ideas about how you can continue to help the company with your amazing creativity.

5. Make friends. The more people you know at your summer job, the greater your chances of getting a full-time position internally. Don’t brown nose to do so, but do make an effort to network with people in different departments. When it comes time to apply for that full-time role, ask those who know you best for reference letters.

6. Stick with it. A summer job may be just that—a summer job. If it’s a company you really like working for, don’t give up. Make sure your application is at the top of the list for next summer. And with any luck, your persistence will eventually get you that full-time role.

Summer jobs aren’t just a way to make a quick buck in between semesters. They can be great training tools to help you get the career you want, and can help an employer see the benefit in hiring you permanently. Choose your job carefully, and work to prove that you’re a shining star.

Originally posted by Lindsay Olson for http://www.money.usnews.com

Affordable Care Act: Introduction and Summary of Issues for Staffing Companies

The staffing industry consists of a highly mobile workforce with a high turnover rate.

Most staffing agencies only have a small number of employees who perform services for

the agency itself, rather than being staffed at other employers. As a result, many staffing

companies do not offer health benefits to their employees, and those that do often

require employees to first satisfy a lengthy waiting period before becoming eligible for

benefits. Further, staffing agencies will often offer coverage through “mini-med plans,”

which only cover benefits up to a certain dollar threshold (most mini-med plans usually

cut off benefits at $10,000 or less).

Starting in 2014, all companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees in their

controlled group must either offer affordable coverage to all full-time employees or pay a

penalty. Further, no company offering a group health plan may impose a waiting period

in excess of 90 days. Finally, group health plans will be prohibited from imposing annual

dollar limits in 2014.

Requirement to Offer Coverage or Pay a Penalty

Beginning in 2014, large employers (those employing 50 or more full-time equivalent

employees) will be subject to a penalty if:

(a) the employer doesn’t offer coverage

(b) the coverage offered by the employer is unaffordable to the employee.

Failure to Offer Coverage. A large employer that fails to offer coverage to all full-time

employees must pay an excise tax of $2,000 per full-time employee.

Failure to Offer Affordable Coverage. A large employer that offers “unaffordable”

coverage will be subject to an excise tax of $3,000 per employee who receives a tax

credit through the state-based health insurance exchanges. While this is a larger dollar

amount than the tax for failure to offer coverage, this tax is only multiplied by the number

of employees who receive a tax credit, rather than by all full-time employees. Coverage

is “unaffordable” if the employer’s contribution amounts to less than 60% of the actuarial

value of the coverage or if the employee’s premium for the coverage exceeds 9.5% of

the employee’s W-2 income.

Calculating the 50 Full-Time Equivalent Threshold. The penalty applies to any employer

with an average of at least 50 full-time equivalent employees during the preceding

calendar year, unless the workforce exceeded 50 full-time employees for 120 days or

less. Employers should add the number of full-time employees with the number of fulltime

equivalents to determine whether they exceed the threshold. A full-time employee

is an employee who works, on average, at least 30 hours per week. The number of fulltime

equivalents are determined by dividing the aggregate number of hours of service of

employees who are not full-time by 120.

Please note that in many instances workers will be considered to be employees of

the staffing company rather than employees of the outside employer. This means a

staffing agency that would otherwise be considered a “small employer” for purposes

of the penalty may be pushed over the 50-employee penalty threshold due to the large

number of outside “employees” staffed at other employers.

90-Day Limit on Waiting Period

Previously, federal regulations imposed no limits on the length of group health plan

waiting periods. Starting in 2014, however, no group health plan may impose a waiting

period for health benefit coverage in excess of 90 days (regardless of company size).

No Annual Dollar Limits on Health Benefits

Starting in 2011, the Affordable Care Act required group health plans to either phase out

or eliminate annual dollar limits on health benefits. Between 2011 and 2014, however,

certain mini-med plans could apply for a waiver from this requirement. Starting in 2014,

all such annual limits must be removed.

Staffing Strategies for Dealing with ACA Changes

Drop Coverage. Many employers are considering simply not offering coverage and

instead paying the penalty. The rationale here is that the cost of paying the penalty

is still substantially less than the cost of providing coverage. The government may

increase the penalty if this trend catches on though.

Restructure Workforce. Employers are also considering limiting group health plan

eligibility to full-time employees, and capping employee hours at a level that would

prevent them from attaining full-time status. While part-time employees may still be

aggregated to determine if an employer exceeds the 50 employee threshold, parttime

employees are not required to be offered coverage (and no penalty applies if

they are not offered coverage).

Consider Lower-Cost Benefit Offerings. Studies indicate that high-deductible health

plans (i.e., those plans where employees pay all medical costs until they reach

a certain deductible threshold) can significantly reduce employer medical costs.

Further, the employer-funded portion of most high-deductible health plans is around

65% of the actuarial value of the coverage. As a result, assuming the plan sponsor

sets the employee-only premium at an affordable level, offering a high-deductible

health plan should allow employers to avoid any tax penalty.

Restructure Annual Dollar Limits. While the Affordable Care Act prohibits annual

dollar limits on visits, it does not prohibit visit limits or dollar-per-visit limits (although

the two cannot be combined for any given benefit). Employers may consider

restructuring annual dollar limits into either visit limits or per-visit dollar limits to offset

any upside health cost liabilities.

Supreme Court Update & Key Applications for Staffing Firms

Large Employer Status. The requirement to offer coverage and the requirement for the

coverage to meet certain minimum guidelines both apply only to large employers –

small employers are exempt from these provisions. However, the law does not

distinguish between temporary employees and permanent employees. Therefore, many

staffing firms will be considered to be large employers under the law. Most employees of

all size firms will still be required to be covered under some qualified health insurance or

pay a penalty – this is the Individual Mandate that is the heart of the ACA.

Limited Benefit Medical Plans. There are two types of limited benefit medical plans: “minimed”

plans – those that mimic major medical plans but with annual and lifetime limits and

hospital indemnity plans which pay cash to the insured. Under the law, mini-med plans

will no longer be allowed to exist. Hospital indemnity plans will still be permitted but it is

important to note that they will NOT meet the requirements of the ACA.

Excise Taxes/Penalties. The $2,000 per employee excise tax levied against large

employers that do not offer health coverage to its employees, and the $3,000 excise tax

levied against employers for not offering affordable coverage are both non-deductible

taxes. Thus, the economic impact of these taxes must be grossed up to understand

their P&L implications. Also, these taxes will be calculated monthly based on each

month’s work force counts for the employer. Unfortunately, it is impossible to do any

predictive modeling for budgetary or financial planning purposes regarding which, if

either option is less than providing coverage. However, Assurance can help you project

some health plan costs on an hourly basis for your workforce.

Supreme Court Ruling. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision regarding

the various legal challenges to the ACA. The Court upheld the Individual Mandate as

constitutional and only found it necessary to modify the rules regarding the extension of

Medicaid benefits, which is mainly a state-based issue and not applicable to employers.

Regardless of this outcome, health care continues to be a significant political issue for

the November 2012 elections. To keep abreast of legal developments regarding this

important topic, please visit http://www.assuranceagency.com or click the “University” link at

the bottom of the page for information on scheduled webinars and other Assurance

educational forums.

Originally posted by John Rutledge on www.assuranceagency.com

Jessica Gliozzi – New Recruiter

July 26, 2012, Auburn Hills, Mich. – Jessica Gliozzi joined the emerging Reliance One team as a Recruiter and has had nothing but success. Rob Wicker, Account Manager, reflected on her month with the company, “ When Jessica joined the team she jumped right in on a big project and produced great results, I could tell right away that she was going to be sensational.” When she’s not working Jessica enjoys spending time on the water with her family, friends and dog. Jessica feels, “Working for Reliance One is exciting because the people make it a great place to be.” Reliance One looks forward to seeing Jessica continue to develop in her new position.

Making Lemonade Out of a Lemon of a Job

Couldn’t get your dream job once you graduated? Don’t worry; all is not lost. It’s still possible to find a job—even a part-time, minimum wage one—that serves as a stepping stone to that ideal career you’re daydreaming about.

First, cut yourself some slack. Unemployment is still a huge factor in the United States. You’re competing with people with much more experience, so you can only do so much as a recent grad. But that being said, you can make yourself more hireable once the right job opens up.

Take Off Your Blinders

Sure, you really wanted to be hired by a fancy magazine as a photographer, but it’s just not happening right now. Don’t overlook other amazing opportunities that will train you for that position and help you add new skills to your resume in the meantime.

Think about what types of jobs can help position you as a great job candidate down the road. For example, you could work as an assistant to a photographer, as a cashier in a photography supply store, or even as a photographer at a theme park. It may not seem like glamorous work, but at least you’re working in an industry you love and want to learn inside out.

Choose a Job With Perks

Even if you’re doing grunt work, a particular job may introduce you to big players in your industry, give you access to software or equipment you couldn’t afford to buy on your own, or get you invites to major industry events.

Don’t take unfair advantage of your access, but do use it. Get to know the customers (who may be well connected, or even your next employer) and gradually guide the conversation in the general direction of your career areas of interest.

For example, if you dream of selling your art in a gallery and you work in a frame shop, you’ll likely meet other artists who are doing just that. Ask them for advice about achieving your goal. You might even walk away with a referral to a great gallery.

Keep Pursuing Your Passion

Just because you’re punching a clock somewhere that’s not exactly your dream workplace doesn’t mean you can’t keep honing your craft after hours. Patrick Sweeney, president of Caliper Corporation, suggests: “Actively pursue what makes you feel that ‘wow, I’m being paid to do this’ feeling, while keeping your ‘day job’ if necessary.”

If you’re an artist, keep painting on your own. If you’re a writer, start a blog. Not only will you keep the creative juices flowing, you’ll also amp up your portfolio for when you finally do get called in for a great job interview. Continuing to pursue your passion shows potential employers that you are dedicated to doing what you love.

Stay Positive

We’ve all had jobs we dreaded going to. Sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. But don’t make a bad situation worse by having a negative attitude about it.

“If you are unhappy in your work, don’t let it show,” says Sweeney. “By staying positive in your attitude other people will find it infectious and want to be around you, and one of them may be the next stepping stone in your career.”

Making the most out of a less-than-ideal work situation will help you pass the time more quickly, and it might be your key to finding a better job.

Nothing’s permanent. One day, this job will be a faint memory on your resume, and you’ll be spending every day getting paid for what you love doing. In the meantime, make the most out of the opportunities that come up.

Originally posted by Lindsay Olson on www.money.usnews.com.