Interview Mistakes to Avoid

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We are all human and are all prone to making mistakes, right? However, mistakes in an interview can cost you the position and can be fairly easy to avoid.  Since I am feeling extra special nice today, I have put together a list of things to avoid in an interview.

  • Be prepared: Start out on the right foot and be prepared for the interview. Know where you are going, how long it is going to take for you to get there, who you are interviewing with, position details and a few follow up questions. Print out your resume and wipe off your hands of sweat before you shake the interviewers hand (alright… I just threw that one in there for the heck of it. But you get the point, right?)
  • Dress appropriately: Dress to impress! If you want the interviewer to take you seriously, make sure you dress for the part. I am not telling you to bring out your prom dress or dust off your tuxedo from 1992, however, you should look presentable and well put together.
  • Let the interviewer lead: Nothing says, “I don’t take direction very well,” like not taking direction from the interviewer. If you plop down in the chair and just start talking without any purpose or direction, this could make your interviewer question if you are going to be able to take direction on the job. That may not be the case at all; you may just have the nervous chattys. Don’t give your potential employer the wrong idea.
  • Don’t talk too much or too little: There is a fine line between talking way too much and not talking enough. Just remember to keep your answers to the point and relevant to the question that was asked. If I am asking you about your education, I want to hear about your education not about how bad your boss was at your last position.
  • Don’t bad mouth your previous employer: Nice segue! There is no need to inform your potential employer about your previous boss that was a jerk. It is not relevant, it doesn’t help the situation, and it makes your interviewer question if it is all the boss or if you can be a difficult employee.
  • Be present: After interviewing so many people over the last couple of years, I am completely aware that not everyone is going to be skipping into the interview room with rainbows and butterfly’s following them. But come on! Give me something! If you are not interested in being in the interview, I am not going to think you are very interested in the position. Be present and engaged.
  • Over the overly overconfident: Make sure the check your ego at the door. There is a balance between sharing your accomplishments and bragging.
  • Hey Millennials! Restrain from posting on Social Media: Those Social Media sites are readily available for almost anyone to be snooping. Don’t you think your potential employer will want to take a peek? In case you weren’t sure of the answer… it is “Yes!” According to Forbes.com, “An overwhelming majority (70%) of hiring managers said millennials make the mistake of posting potentially compromising content on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.” Don’t let this be you and don’t miss out on an opportunity because you had to share with your entire social network how your interviewer must have walked straight out of the 80’s.

Most of interviewing is a balancing act. You don’t want to share too much, but you want to share enough for them to know you would be a good fit for the position. Overall, just remember to be prepared and let them lead! You know the answers to all of the questions they are going to ask you – after all, they are questions about you. Happy interviewing!

Elizabeth Lasanen – Staffing Specialist –  Vision Staffing

October 30, 2012

Signs of a Good Networker

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A large portion of job seeking involves networking. Below are signs a good networking, and although they are business-oriented, they can easily be implicated into your job search methods.

A good networker:

  • Has a firm handshake and makes eye contact upon introduction.
  • Remembers names and businesses, or at least tries hard to remember!
  • Has great attendance and is punctual – late people get noticed, but not in a good way.
  • Hangs out with everyone in a group – no clicks.
  • Is confident and social.
  • Has high energy and enjoys networking events.
  • Listens more than talks – doesn’t just talk about themselves, but asks questions and is interested to learn more about others’ businesses.
  • Has a clear, consistent message and a designated target market.
  • Tells stories instead of lists services – engages the audiences rather than bores them!
  • Strategically hands out contact information – doesn’t give business card to everyone that breaths.
  • Is as diligent about giving help to other businesses as he/she is diligent about receiving help.

Are you a good networker? Point out your faults and fix them one at a time, each networking event you will improve and so will your job search.

Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

Sept. 21, 2012

How Common is Temporary Staffing?

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The staffing industry was at an all-time high in 2006. At that time the staffing industry was employing nearly 2.7 million workers throughout the United States. Like everyone else, the recession hit the industry hard, knocking out nearly 1/3 of U.S. temporary jobs. Recently, the staffing industry has gained back 87 percent of the workers lost and is maintaining steady growth. Today temporary staffing makes up about 2.3 percent of all employment.

The staffing industry should continue to experience growth as employers hesitate hiring individuals permanently during this unstable economy. Economists feel that steady growth in the temporary industry is a positive indication that the economy is strengthening. For employees, temporary or contract work is an option to get a foot in the door with companies during the economic recovery. Through temporary work, employees have the opportunity to prove themselves to prospective employers and eventually be taken onto their staff once the company is confident to hire a full time worker. Read more in depth…

Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

September 17, 2012

Source: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/08/24/temp-workers-make-huge-comeback_print.html

The End of the Interview

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Once the questioning is over, you can continue to make a great impression on the interviewer.

  • Offer a handshake and thank the interviewer for his or her time.
  • Express your interest in the position and company. Say something like “I would like to contribute to [company name].”
  • Express follow-up concern. You could simply say, “I hope to hear from you soon,” or you could determine the preferred method of follow-up before you leave. Hiring managers will happily tell you if you should wait for their phone call, or if you should make a follow-up call in a week.
  • Follow the instructions the manager gives you; don’t call the next day if you are supposed to contact him/her in one week.
  • Send a “Thank You” note. Yes an email will work, but dropping off a hand written note at the front desk is more personal and effective.
  • Be proactive and continue learning about the company researching their web or talking with internal employees. This will prepare you for any questions during the follow-up call or for a second interview.

Natalie Swanson – Vision Staffing Solutions – View our Job Openings

August 06, 2012

What do I wear to an interview?

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You should wear business attire to most interviews. This means the following:

Men: Blazers, suits, or sport coats / dress slacks / ties / dress shirts with buttons and collars / dress shoes

Women: Dresses 2-3″ above the knee max / skirts or skorts 2-3″ above the knee max / dress slacks / blouses / dress shirts with buttons and collars / dress shoes / sweaters / nylons or stockings

Dress for the job you want! It can be appropriate at companies to follow the dress code that will expected of you as an employee. Remember it is always better to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed!

No matter what you wear, always attend an interview with the highest standards of personal cleanliness and present a neat, professional appearance.

If you are unsure of the dress policy of the company you are interviewing with, then call the receptionist and ask!

Most importantly. Wear something that makes you feel great! If you feel confident and good about yourself it will shine through to the interviewer.

Natalie SwansonVision Staffing SolutionsView Our Job Openings

August 30, 2012

Before the Interview

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Prepare for the interview by researching the company. Find out the company’s history, business values, employee culture, and financial statements (if public). This information will allow you to impress the interviewer with your knowledge, as well as help you determine if this is the right workplace for you.

How do you find this information? The internet is your best friend. Extensively search the company’s website, social media sites, and use Google to find reviews on it. From these, you can often determine all of the aforementioned info. It is important; however, to also meet with an individual who has first hand experience with the desired company. Use your LinkedIn account to determine who you have connections with at the company. Even if someone is a third connection, you can ask for an introduction to that person through LinkedIn. Take this person out to lunch and ask prepared questions regarding the company’s values and cultures.

Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing SolutionsView our Job Openings

August 28

Application Follow-Up

Did you apply to your dream job and it’s been a week with no response? Don’t panic yet. The hiring process can be slow for some companies and often times can be put on the back burner, or there is always the chance that the company is still accepting applications and has not begun call backs just yet. Even if this is the case, do not hesitate to follow-up! The saying, “Good things happen to those who wait,” does not necessarily apply to job openings. Take the initiative and contact the workplace directly via phone, approximately one week after the submission of your application or resume. If you know who the hiring manager is, ask to speak with that person directly, otherwise ask to have your message forwarded on to the appropriate person.

Make your call short and sweet, whether you get through to the hiring manager or leave a message, simply introduce yourself and say something along the lines of “I am following-up to determine if you successfully received my application that I submitted for the vacant Account Executive position in your company. I am available to answer any questions that you may have regarding my application.” Or you could also ask if there is anything you can do to further yourself in the application process.

Remember to always leave your full name, contact information, and the position that you are applying for in the follow-up message.

Try something different. If you are able to keep the message brief, drop a line about yourself and why you should fill the position. For example, “I’m following-up because I have 6 years of experience as an Account Executive and recently applied for the vacant Account Executive position at your company…”

Natalie Swanson – Vision Staffing Solutions – View our Job Openings

August 23, 2012

How to: List multiple positions with one company on your resume.

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If you have gained experience through different roles within the same company, it is important to state this holistic experience on your resume when applying for new jobs. Below are a few different options you can use as templates for listing multiple jobs within one company.

1)

Company ABC, city, state, zip

Manager (2009-2012)

Assistant Manager (2006-2009)

Sales Representative (2004-2006)

  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments

2)

January 2004 to August 2012

Company ABC, city, state, zip

Manager (2009-2012)

Assistant Manager (2006-2009)

Sales Representative (2004-2006)

  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments

3)

Manager, Company ABC (2009-2012)

Assistant Manager, Company ABC (2006-2009)

Sales Representative, Company ABC (2004-2006)

  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments

4)

Manager, Company ABC (2009-2012)

  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments

Assistant Manager, Company ABC (2006-2009)

  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments

Sales Representative, Company ABC (2004-2006)

  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments
  • Responsibilities & Accomplishments

Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions – View our Job Openings

August 14, 2012

How To Get Recommendations on LinkedIn

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When looking for a new job, expect hiring managers to view your LinkedIn profile and read your recommendations. See below for advice on how to get recommendations on LinkedIn:

  1. Ask first. Ask someone who has done face to face work with you so he/she can answer honestly about your workability. Do not ask someone you have never had an actual conversation with.
  2. When asking, provide the person with suggestions of what he/she can commend you on. For example, if you managed or executed a successful project, then ask the reference to write about that.
  3. If is it taking a while for your reference to follow through: Send a “friendly reminder” email; we are all busy so no one should ever get mad for being reminded!
  4. Thank the reference after he/she has completed the recommendation. Send a “thank you” card, email, or pick up the phone and call.

Easy, huh! Having recommendations is a great way for you to display your hard work and achievements to prospective hiring managers, but don’t overload your profile with them. Only have a few for each job you have had in the past.

Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions – View our Job Openings

August 08, 2012

Who Can Be My Reference?

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In order to verify the skill sets and workability you have claimed about yourself, hiring managers must contact someone who knows you on a professional level. These individuals are your references.

First off, the references you list should have known you for six months or longer in order to assure hiring managers they are a legitimate judge of character.

Next, “professional” is referring to someone that you are not related to and that you have worked with in the past. Typically, a supervisor or someone in a superior role is preferred for a reference.

If you have no past work experience, you can utilize other people in your life. Take a few minutes to think of people who have seen you in a skill building situation. People you could consider include teachers, coaches, neighbors you have done odd jobs for, a person you have babysat for, someone you helped plan an event, or an individual you volunteered for/with.

Have you been self-employed for some time? Ask loyal clients to be references for you.

Whenever you are applying for a job you should prepare and supply three professional references to your interviewer. Prior to this, you should contact each and ask him or her for permission to use as your reference. If you have already received permission, you should notify them to be expecting contact from someone in regards to you in the near future.

View our Job Openings

Miranda Heald – Administrative Assistant – Vision Staffing Solutions

August 01, 2012