- Monday, August 27, 2018

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Why Mastering Writing Skills Can Help Future-Proof Your Career

Greta Solomon

 

The future belongs to those who can really connect and communicate.

Having excellent writing skills can make you an indispensable member of your team or company. And it’s one of the best ways to remain consistently employable – no matter your profession. Especially when you consider that workers can spend a third of their time reading and writing emails alone (according to a Carleton University study). Then, depending on your role, it’s likely that you’ll also write reports and memos and, perhaps, proposals, PowerPoint presentations and social media updates.

Granted, there is an array of software to make sure that your writing is accurate and polished. So that with the click of a button, you can have perfect grammar and spelling.

But these apps can only work with what’s already on the page. They don’t know what was said at last month’s management meeting. Or, that a client is close to canceling a contract. Or, that another needs reassurance that service delivery will be swift and hassle-free. They simply cannot read between the lines.

A recent report by management consultancy firm, McKinsey, called “Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation”  stated that there will be challenging transitions ahead at work. And that in about 60% of jobs, at least one-third of activities could be automated.

However, as Bernard Marr writes: there are key skills that robots simply cannot master. These include empathy, critical thinking, creativity, strategy, imagination, and vision. To stay ahead of the curve, your writing needs to demonstrate these qualities. So, it’s essential to plan and strategize so that you effectively straddle the line between what is said and unsaid. This is where many people slip up. And according to a Conference Board survey of 431 human resources professionals, writing is one of the biggest employee skill gaps.

Unless they’re suffering a nasty case of writer’s block, most people are able to physically get their words onto the page. However, the writing skills needed to truly support their business, or professional goals are often missing. These take time to master and involve a lot of a shift in mindset. For instance, the best-written communicators do lots of leg-work before sending emails or typing reports. And they’ll spend considerable time planning how and what to write. It takes time to learn effective writing tools, techniques, tips, and tricks. But once learned, they can fast-track your success.

To get you started, here are three things you can do right now to improve your writing skills and help future-proof your career in the process.

  1. Focus on your readers

In between deadlines, meetings and a packed schedule – it’s easy to just fire off documents without really thinking through what’s needed. But in a world of canned messages and auto-responders, truly thoughtful writing makes you memorable.

So, spend a few minutes thinking about the needs of your readers. Ask yourself: Who exactly are they? How much do they know about the subject/issues you’re writing about? How important is what you’re writing to them? What will they look for first? What is the most important thing to include? What types of data or supporting evidence do they value? What do you want them to do, say, feel and think after they’ve read your document?

Don’t underestimate the power of these questions. For example, I once worked with a group of engineers who wrote regular reports for their clients but weren’t getting much response. So, they had no idea whether they were doing a good job, or whether their clients were happy. The problem was that they wrote reports for people “out-in-the-field”, some of whom didn’t speak English fluently, in difficult to understand, academic language. As they shifted their thinking to the needs of their readers, they realized the need for a very different writing style.

  1. Ask for feedback (and really listen to it)

What results or feedback (spoken or unspoken) are you experiencing with your documents? What are you doing that you could do differently? And what signs are there that your writing may need improving?

Start by considering some recent documents you have written. What kinds of frustrations might your readers have when they read these? How much of what you write do your readers instantly understand? Is there a call to action or a direct request? Have you let your readers know what you’d like them to do, feel, think or say?

In addition, don’t be afraid to directly ask people what they think about your written materials. The answers may surprise you.

  1. Forget the flounces and frills

At work, it’s essential to keep writing simple. So avoid using flowery sentences, and too much insider jargon. People tend to overestimate how much their readers know about topics that they’re very familiar with. And even if your readers DO understand you, there are no extra points for making them work hard to decipher your writing. In fact, a survey by Harvard professor D.H. Menzel found that the human brain struggles to properly process sentences longer than 34 words. Keep yours at around 20 and keep them simple.

Finally, remember that writing is a muscle and that consistent training will improve it. However, if you always focus on your readers and have a service mentality – you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the crowd. Because the future belongs to those who can really connect and communicate.

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to: optionstaff@gmail.com
or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

 

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What Your Cover Letter Should Look Like in 2018 - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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What Your Cover Letter Should Look Like in 2018

By Kristen Bahler

 

It’s a good time to be a job seeker: U.S. job growth is strong, unemployment is on a steady decline, and openings are at an all-time high.

That doesn’t make the search any less daunting. Differentiating yourself from every other job seeker on the market is no small feat, and the monotony of filling out online applications can make the task downright exhausting. That’s where a killer cover letter comes in.

Done right, a great cover letter is like a secret weapon for catching a hiring manager’s attention. Next, to your resume, it’s one of the most important, underutilized tools at your disposal.

Here are some cover letter writing tips, and a free, downloadable template, to make yours stand out.

  1. Personalize

Every cover letter you write should be tailored to the job you’re applying for — just like your resume.  Study the job posting carefully, and make a quick list of any essential qualifications.

“Job seekers really struggle with what to say on a cover letter,” says Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, President, and CEO of Great Resumes Fast. “Taking a second to think about why you’re applying, and why you’re a good fit for the company, makes the process a lot easier.”

If you’re adding a cover letter to an online application, use a business letter format with a header and contact information. If you’re sending an email, it’s OK to leave out the header, but be sure to provide a phone number (and an attached resume, of course). Make sure you’re clear about the position you’re applying for.

Avoid nameless salutations — it might take a little Google research, and some LinkedIn outreach, but finding the actual name of the position’s hiring manager will score you major brownie points. “Do not start a cover letter with, ‘to whom it may concern,’” Holbrook Hernandez says. “It concerns no one.”

  1. Tell a Story

To grab a recruiter’s attention, a good narrative—with a killer opening line—is everything.

“The cover letter is a story,” says Satjot Sawhney, a resume and career strategist with Loft Resumes. “What is the most interesting thing you’re doing that’s relevant to this job?” Use that to guide your letter.

Ideally, the story that drives your resume will focus on a need at the company you’re applying for. If you’re a PR professional, maybe you have a list of clients in an industry the team wants to break into. If you’re in marketing, a successful promotional campaign might be the ticket in. “A hiring manager wants to see results-driven accomplishments with a past employer,” says Holbrook Hernandez. “If you’ve done it before, you can deliver it again.”

If you have a career gap or are switching industries, address it up front. “If there’s anything unique in your career history, call that out in the beginning,” says professional resume writer Brooke Shipbaugh.

  1. Use Bullet Points to Show Impact

Hiring managers are usually slammed with applications, so short, quick cover letters are preferable to bloated ones, says Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of human resources at job site Indeed.

“Make your cover letter a brief, bright reference tool,” he says. The easier you can make it on the recruiter the better.”

Bullet points are a good tool for pulling out numbers-driven results. Job seekers in creative fields like art and design can use bullets to break down their most successful project. Those in more traditional roles (like the one in the template), can hammer off two or three of their most impressive accomplishments.

  1. Highlight Culture Fit

It’s often overlooked, but a major function of the cover letter is to show a company how well you’d mesh with the culture.

As you research a potential employer, look for culture cues on the company website, social media, and review sites like Glassdoor. Oftentimes, employers will nod to culture in a job posting. If the ad mentions a “team environment,” it might be good to play up a recent, successful collaboration. If the company wants a “self-starter,” consider including an achievement that proves you don’t need to be micromanaged.

The tone of your letter can also play to culture. “The cover letter is a great place to show [an employer] how you fit into their world,” Shipbaugh says. “Show some personality.”

  1. End with an Ask

The goal of a cover letter is to convince the person reading it to make the next move in the hiring process — with a phone call, interview, or otherwise. Ending on a question opens that door without groveling for it.

“You have to approach this with a non-beggar mentality,” Sawhney says. “Having an ‘ask’ levels the playing field.”

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.    
Google Reviews  – Click on the link and check out our reviews
4.9★★★★★     57 Reviews
Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific candidate and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

 

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

- Monday, August 6, 2018

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Tips for Getting a Job: How to Create Your Own Luck

By Natalia Autenrieth

 

Forget luck of the draw. Draw your own luck!

Kids use lucky talismans and rituals all the time, trusting that a particular red shirt or a spell repeated three times to grant a good grade on the next exam. As adults, most of us have stopped believing that crossed fingers will land us the next perfect job, instead relying on tried and true job-seeking tips and techniques. Even psychologists say that athletes who wear their “lucky socks” for the big game aren’t wrong! There may be some advantages to following superstitions – even if they look silly. While rituals alone may not be enough, combining some good-luck charms with strategy tweaks might just create a job search success! Here are seven lucky tips for getting a job.

Use the right words

OK, so maybe these are not magic words found in spellbooks, but you must be sure that you are using keywords intentionally and strategically when it comes to describing your skills and qualifications. Before you get to a real person, your resume may have to clear electronic gatekeepers like the ATS (applicant tracking system). A junior HR specialist may be scanning your resume instead of the ATS or in addition to it, so make sure your resume includes keywords that matter.

How do you know which keywords matter? Experts recommend starting with the job description for the position you are applying for. You might print it out and highlight frequently used or emphasized skills and requirements. Word-cloud-generating software can help spot the patterns, as well. Once you have your list of top five to ten keywords, use them wisely (in other words, don’t make them too obvious: your resume will be read by a real human at some point).

Use the right numbers

What is your lucky number when it comes to a job search? Some experts argue it’s 72. That is the number of hours within which you should apply for a newly posted job. Surveys have shown that 60 percent of applicants will submit their applications within the first week of the new job posting. If you wait much longer, you risk having your resume stuck in the middle of the pile as the hiring manager’s focus is captured by the earlier applicants.

Best day to apply for a job? Some experts think it’s Tuesday. Research by Glassdoor says Tuesday is also the best day to schedule an interview. Whether or not you choose to stick to Tuesday as a lucky day, the bottom line of these job seeking tips and techniques is that procrastinating on job applications and returning interview scheduling calls will hurt you in the long run. You may have the best of intentions (like wanting to polish off your resume until it is absolutely perfect), but sometimes it is better to get a good resume out there timely than have a perfect resume land two weeks too late.

Include a personalized cover letter

Personalizing your cover letter may seem like a time-consuming extra step and not a great job-seeking tip and technique. Many candidates struggle with composing it, so there is a temptation to simply skip it – especially if the job posting does not specifically require you to submit one.

My advice? When in doubt, include a cover letter anyway. As a past hiring manager, I know that cover letters can set candidates apart by conveying their professional polish, a sense of personality and a little extra color on why they are a great fit for the position.

Is there a time when you should not include a cover letter? Opinions on this vary, but I believe the only cover letter you should leave out is a poorly-written one. And, of course, if the job posting specifically states that you should not send a cover letter, it is best to follow the instructions.

Make yourself easy to reach

A job search is a time-consuming and emotionally draining affair. I do not blame you for wanting to turn off the faucet of constant communication and hide under a blanket for a while. Unfortunately, that impulse is more likely to hurt your efforts than help you land a great next job opportunity. One of the best tips for getting a job is to be available and quick to respond.

Be sure you are responsive to recruiters and prospective employers. In most cases, they are reaching out to multiple candidates at once. Those who take the longest to reply (or make the mistake of ignoring the messages altogether) will likely not get a second chance, especially in the beginning of the hiring process. If you are not interested in an opportunity, it is best to communicate that politely and clearly. No one likes professional “ghosting”! An honest approach will showcase your professionalism and allow everyone to focus on their mission.

A quick pro job-seeking tip: be sure to include your contact information within your LinkedIn profile, especially when you are in active job search mode. Your goal is to encourage a flow of opportunities – not create extra hurdles for other professionals to overcome.

Send out a well-timed thank-you note

Are thank-you letters is a thing of the past? I don’t believe so — in fact, it’s one of my best tips for getting a job. A quick hand-written card to acknowledge that the other professional has dedicated valuable time to meet with you can only help your candidacy. If you mention a key point or two that you have enjoyed during the conversation, or that can highlight your perfect fit for the position, include them for best results. And, just as with job applications, don’t sit on your thank-you notes: get them out within 24-hours while the memory of the conversation is still fresh.

Learn more about the people with whom you are interviewing

No need to engage in cyber-stalking, but you might find that the job-seeking tips and techniques of a little strategic recon before the interview can do wonders to calm your nerves. LinkedIn allows you to read through other professionals’ profiles and pick up on key details. Perhaps you find some unexpected commonalities (like having attended the same school or being fans of the same sports team) that will help you feel more comfortable heading into a meeting with the hiring manager you have never met before.

Create your own rituals and lucky charms

Science tells us that lucky charms work – if you believe they work! This may well be a placebo effect in action, but if it gets you great results, who cares? Maybe you eat the same meal for breakfast before interviews (make it a balanced one by adding some protein so that science is really on your side) or wear the same “lucky” tie clip. Creating habits and rituals that help alleviate pre-interview jitters makes all the sense in the world, so do try this at home!

Managing a job search requires a blend of art and science. As you look for your personal mix of solid qualifications, a well-written resume and a dash of luck, my advice is to bet on good relationships. Networking is key when it comes to creating opportunities and advancing your career. By taking a genuine interest in other professionals, you are likely to make amazing things happen in the long run.

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.    

Google Reviews  – Click on the link and check out our reviews

4.9★★★★★     57 Reviews

Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific candidate and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

  

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

10 Steps for Finding Your New Job - Thursday, June 21, 2018

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10 Steps for Finding Your New Job

BY ALISON DOYLE

Are you looking for a new job? What’s the best way to start a job search, find companies who want to interview you, and get hired?

Here are ten steps you can take to find a new job, including where to look for jobs, the top job sites to use, how to use your connections to boost your job hunt, how to ace the interview, how to follow up, and more advice on how to get hired for your next job.

  1. Find the Best Job Listings

What are the best sites to use to find job openings fast? Check out the best job search engine sites, job banks, company websites, networking sites, niche job sites, and sites listed by type of job. Also, consider working with a recruiter your opportunities.

  1. Keep Your Job Search Focused

Use the job search engines to find jobs by using keywords that match your interests and the location where you want to work. Narrowing your search criteria will help you focus your job search and will give you more relevant job listings to review and fewer non-relevant job listings to weed through. Use advanced search options to drill down to the location where you want to work and the specific positions you’re interested in. 

  1. Build Your Professional Brand

Create profiles on LinkedIn and other networking sites. A strong personal brand portrays you in a professional light will provide recruiters, employers, and contacts with a strong positive impression of you as a candidate they should be interested in.

  1. Connect With Your Contacts

Now that you’ve created profiles on networking sites, start using them. Connect with everyone you know, because you never know which contact may be able to help you with your job search or put you in touch with someone who can. If you’re a college graduate, check out the networking opportunities available for alumni from your university. Do you belong to a professional association?  It will be another good source for networking leads. 

  1. Use Job Search Apps and Tools

There are a variety of apps, widgets, gadgets, and tools that will help you to expedite your job search and manage your career. Use them to organize your job search and save valuable job searching time. You’ll be able to do many of your job search activities from your smartphone or tablet. 

  1. Create A List of Companies Where You’d Love to Work

Do you have a list of companies you would like to work for? If not, it’s a good idea to research company information and create a list of companies to target in your job search. All the information you need is available on the web, and it’s easy to find detailed information about potential employers online. Once you have a list of dream employers you’d love to work for, you can do some special outreach to get your application noticed. You may even be able to sign up to get email notifications for new job openings immediately after they are posted. 

  1. Take the Time to Target Your Resume and Cover Letter

How do employers know that you’ve got the skills they are looking for? You’ll need to show them. It’s important to take the time to write-targeted resumes and cover letters that specifically link your qualifications to the hiring criteria for the jobs you are applying for.

The hiring manager will be able to see, at a glance, why and how you are qualified for the job. You’ll have a much better chance of getting an interview than if you merely sent a generic letter and resume. 

  1. Prepare to Ace the Interview

Taking the time, in advance, to prepare for an interview will help you succeed. The more prepared you are, the less stressful it will be. Research the company before you go for the interview, dress appropriately, practice answering and asking interview questions, and make a concerted effort to impress the interviewer with your skills, experience, confidence, and expertise. 

  1. Don’t Forget to Follow Up

It’s important to follow up after an interview by thanking everyone you met with. Also, reiterate your interest in the position and remind the hiring manager why you’re an excellent candidate for the job.

Everyone likes to be appreciated, and a quick email or note thanking the interviewer for his or her time will give you another opportunity to make a good impression. 

      10.  Accept or Decline a Job Offer

When you receive a job offer, it’s important to take the time to carefully evaluate the offer so you are making an educated decision to accept, or to reject, it.

You don’t have to accept a job just because it was offered to you, but do carefully evaluate it and if you decline, do so politely. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a “yes” or “no” decision. You may be able to negotiate the terms by making a counteroffer. Or, you may be able to negotiate some extra perks that would make the job more enticing.

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.    

Google Reviews  – Click on the link and check out our reviews

4.9★★★★★     57 Reviews

Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific candidate and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

  

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

 

 

Here’s How to Translate Your Skills From One Industry to Another - Monday, June 11, 2018

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Here’s How to Translate Your Skills From One Industry to Another

 

You’ve decided you want to make a career change, and you know that you’re going to need a polished resume to do so.

You sit down to make the updates, and it isn’t long before you feel stuck. The blinking cursor on that blank page has been taunting you for at least a half hour now. You have no idea how to translate your existing experience and skills in a way that will grab the attention of a hiring manager in this entirely new industry.

The job search is always a little intimidating, especially so when you’re aiming to make a switch. But rest assured, you absolutely can transfer your existing expertise and competencies to a brand new field—whether it feels that way or not.

Here’s what you need to know to prove you’re the perfect fit.

  1. Identify Your Qualifications

The best place to start is reading the description for the position that you want and asking yourself: What boxes do I already check?

We’re assuming that you aren’t a former software developer applying for a role as a neurosurgeon or an airline pilot. So, even if this career change feels like a bit of a stretch, chances are good that you already possess at least a couple of straightforward qualifications that this role requires.

Pull out the requirements that you meet without a doubt—the ones where there’s no need for you to draw any parallels or offer any explanations for the hiring manager, because you satisfy those qualifications without any questions asked.

Maybe you have those 10 years of leadership experience under your belt. Or, maybe you’re a skilled public speaker as the job description requests. Put those things on your list.

This step is important, as it will arm you with the things that you want to draw the most attention to within your resume. Zoning in on those qualities that make you an obvious fit will help you present yourself as a seamless hire—even with your less traditional experience.

  1. Emphasize Results

Employers everywhere—regardless of specific industry—appreciate an employee who’s able to get things done and produce results. That’s universal.

For that reason, it’s smart to highlight the results you achieved in your past positions—rather than simply listing the duties that you were responsible for. Particularly when you’re changing industries, prospective employers will care more about what you actually accomplished, and less about how you specifically did it.

Let’s look at an example for some added clarity. Kate previously worked in administration for a regional hospital, and is now aiming to make a change by applying for a sales position with a healthcare software company. She knows that her experience in the medical field will benefit her. But considering she’s never worked in sales before, she’s nervous about her perceived lack of qualifications.

Here’s a bullet point from Kate’s existing resume:

Responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the annual hospital black tie gala.

To emphasize results, Kate should quantify that point with some numbers while also tying it back to a larger, company-wide objective. In doing so, that bullet point could look like this:

Strengthened the hospital’s relationship with 500+ donors, board members, and other external stakeholders by coordinating and executing the annual black tie gala.

Not only is that second option far more impressive, it also touches on some qualities that would also be important in a sales career—including relationship-building and organization.

  1. Connect the Dots

When applying for a role in a different industry, your duty as the job seeker is to make your previous experience appear as relevant as possible. Often, this means that you need to quite literally connect the dots for the hiring manager and bridge the gap between what you possess and what that position requires.

In some cases, this means cutting out things that won’t be applicable in your new industry—such as highly technical skills or specific pieces of software.

Then, challenge yourself to relate your existing experiences to this other field. Let’s look back again at Kate. Based on her research, she knows that meeting quotas are a key part of success in sales. While she didn’t need to meet specific sales goals in her previous role, she does have experience hitting fundraising goals. She could emphasize that in a bullet point like this one:

Consistently achieved the hospital’s yearly fundraising goal of $100,000 through successful relationship building, grant requests, and community events.

This statement proves a few important things about Kate that make her a fit for a sales role: She’s inspired by difficult-to-reach objectives, she recognizes the importance of relationships, and she’s comfortable making requests.

  1. Don’t Neglect Your Soft Skills

It’s easy to think of soft skills those non-important requirements that your eyes glaze over, especially since they aren’t as easy to quantify as more technical capabilities. However, they really do carry weight in your job search. Think about it this way: Would a company want to hire a customer service representative who wasn’t a skilled communicator? Probably not.

The fact that soft skills matter is good news for you, as they are the easiest skills to transfer from role to role and industry to industry. Things like time management, problem solving, or critical thinking will be desirable in a wide variety of fields.

While your resume can’t be filled with only these softer proficiencies, calling attention to those solid qualities can help to fill in some gaps and present you as a well-rounded and qualified candidate—even if the rest of your experience is a little out of the box.

Making the switch to a new industry an inspire some sweaty palms and shaky knees. But, don’t beat yourself up over the fact that you don’t fit perfectly into the mold of people who normally fill those positions.

Instead, place your emphasis on your passion for this new field as well as the valuable things that you do bring to the table. Do that, and you’re sure to eventually catch the eye of a hiring manager who understands that you don’t need to be predictable to be qualified.

 

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.    

Google Reviews  – Click on the link and check out our reviews

4.9★★★★★     57 Reviews

Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific candidate and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

  

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

 

Average pay for new entrants age 24 and under rose 5.2% in March compared with their predecessors a year earlier, according to the latest figures from payroll processor ADP. Wage growth for new entrants was just 2.5% in March of 2016 and 2017. - Friday, May 18, 2018

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Salaries for graduates seeking first jobs rose 5.2% from last year

By Paul Davidson

 

With high school and college graduations underway, it’s a great time to start working.

Average pay for new entrants age 24 and under rose 5.2% in March compared with their predecessors a year earlier, according to the latest figures from payroll processor ADP. Wage growth for new entrants was just 2.5% in March of 2016 and 2017.

Overall, new entrants to the labor force are seeing the biggest wage increases in high-skill fields, with a 7.6% jump in information — which includes computer workers — 6.8% in construction and 6.5% in manufacturing. Starting wages ranged from $9.41 in leisure and hospitality — which includes restaurants, bars and hotels — to $16.79 in information, according to ADP.

The typical gain for new workers is also bigger than that of existing ones. Pay was up 4.9% in March for workers who held the same job for at least a year and 4.4% for workers who had recently switched jobs.

 “This is the time to jump into the workforce,” says Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute.

ADP’s data is based on the 20% of the labor force the firm can track because it provides payroll services to the workers’ employers.

One reason graduates may be benefiting from larger overall salary increases is the historically low 3.9% unemployment rate that’s making it tougher to find job candidates. Rather than pay a premium for experienced workers, some employers would prefer to bring on fresh-faced grads and train them, Yildirmaz says. That’s increasing the competition and pushing their earnings higher.

New entrants are still a bargain, earning an average $11.96 an hour, compared with $29.86 for people holding jobs and $27.91 for job switchers, ADP figures show.

Another reason entrants are seeing larger pay hikes is that many may have recently picked up cutting-edge skills and knowledge in the classroom, particularly in fields such as digital technology, Yildirmaz says.

The West — which houses technology hubs such as Silicon Valley, Seattle and Denver — led the nation as newly-minted workers there saw pay increases of 7.4%, compared with 5.1% in the Northeast, 4.9% in the Midwest and 3.8% in the South.

The average hourly wage growth reported by the Labor Department, which includes workers who switch jobs frequently, was 2.6% in April, down from 2.8%. But it’s expected to accelerate as the labor market tightens further.

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.    

Google Reviews  – Click on the link and check out our reviews

4.9★★★★★     57 Reviews

Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific candidate and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

  

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

- Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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How to Avoid the 4 Biggest Career Mistakes

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make as they climb the ladder, and how you can avoid them.  By Olivia Gamber

We all make some mistakes in our career. They may be big picture (like being in the completely wrong field) or more every day (like just phoning it in).

I’ve worked with professionals in every age group as a career acceleration expert, organizational psychologist, and career coach. I can tell you that these mistakes all have two things in common: They’re rooted in beliefs that keep you from going after what you really want in your professional life–and they’re avoidable.

No matter how old you are now, you can learn from the common moves people tend to make as they move along their career path. Because, the truth is, while I’ve put these issues in order by decade, everyone encounters them at different points.

1. Choosing Your Job Based on Limited Information

For those just starting out, there are a massive number of jobs and companies to choose from. Few degrees translate–or limit you to–a specific role. However, many recent grads act off assumptions about what the options are (and end up limiting themselves anyhow). For example, they might assume they have to take a low-level administrative job instead of learning how to become more valuable in the market.

The truth is, they’re not really in a position to determine what they are (or aren’t) qualified for, because they don’t even know all the options that exist. There are new job titles that didn’t exist five years ago. And that’s why this lesson applies to everyone–the world’s constantly growing and changing and making your next move (whether it’s your first or 20th) based on “what you know” only limits you.

Fix It

Instead of assuming you have to stick with one career path because of your background, spend time exploring what your strengths are and what you enjoy doing. Moreover, don’t keep your questions or hesitations to yourself. Reach out to friends, mentors, your network, or even a career coach and learn from others what’s out there.

2. Putting Your Career on Auto-Pilot

There’s that saying that we overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but underestimate what can be accomplished in five years. The thirties are often the decade when many people fall into complacency. They stop hustling and stop gunning for future promotions and breakthroughs.

At this point, many people get into a routine of working really hard at their job and don’t spend enough time pausing to network or thinking ahead. If they’re thinking ahead it’s about starting a family or buying a house, but not about what fulfills them professionally.

Fix It

Think strategically about your life at work as well as your life outside of it. Focused on work, but still feeling a bit stuck in a rut? Take proactive steps that would qualify you for advancement like taking classes, learning new skills, or exploring side projects to build out your abilities.

3. Thinking It’s Too Late to Make a Change

According to Kevin Kermes, who has experience conducting over 1,000 executive searches, people in their forties can be hesitant to branch out.

They view their time in their current position as a restriction and fear they could never make a decent income doing something different. But since they’ve mastered their craft, they’re no longer feeling challenged or inspired. It’s a catch-22–and for some people, it happens far earlier in their careers.

Fix It

Don’t just give into your fears. Instead map out what’s feasible, maybe changing fields will mean a pay cut, but you decide to save for several months to make it work. Maybe you can shift your duties within your company. Maybe you want to volunteer, take on a side gig, or pursue an encore career. Remind yourself that you have options.

4. Coming Across as a Jack of All Trades, Master of None

By the time people enter their fifties, they’ve likely accomplished a lot in many different areas. The biggest mistake professionals make at this point is they do not properly leverage their greatest strength: experience. They tend to attempt to detail everything they’ve accomplished and in the process, they dilute their message.

Fix It

Focus on telling a specific career story. Highlight your highly specialized set of accomplishments. It’ll allow you to stand out from the competition and get the opportunity to do work you’re excited about. With your vast experience, you can lead a conversation that no one else can!

The recurring theme of the career mistakes that people make at every age in their life is that think they’re stuck, and let fear hold them back from growing and changing. The first step is to recognize these thoughts and challenge them with real information in the market. Take the time to get the facts. Finding advisors who can serve as a sounding board is the best way to avoid making these mistakes now–and in the future.

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.    

Google Reviews  – Click on the link and check out our reviews

4.9★★★★★     57 Reviews

Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific candidate and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

  

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

            

- Wednesday, April 4, 2018

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10 Guaranteed Ways to Move Up in Your Career –

By Chad Halvorson

 

Want to get more out of your career?

Here are 10 guaranteed ways to move up the ladder.

Career advancement–much less even finding a job–is no longer guaranteed, as we navigate an era in which there is no true job security. While some people are still stuck on the idea of the way things “should” be, others are taking the opportunity to run their careers like their own personal businesses. There’s no going back to the days of 30-year career trajectories at the same company, complete with pensions and a cushy retirement. Instead, learn to view your career path as an opportunity to make it exactly what you want it to be.

Figuring out how to advance your career on your own not only accelerates your progress, but builds in a layer of personal security. Once you know how to move up and get ahead, you’ll never want to go back to the traditional method of ‘Show up, work, and wait for someone to notice’ again. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 guaranteed ways to move up.

  1. Find a Mentor

Having a mentor to help you rise through the ranks in your career is an invaluable asset. A mentor can help you refine your career approach, land new promotions, and find unadvertised positions. Spend time fostering your business relationships and identify someone you would like to approach about being a mentor.

As you work on getting to know each other, ask specific questions that show you’ve done your homework and respect their time. And remember, finding a mentor doesn’t have to be a fit for the life of your career.

  1. Ask for More Responsibilities

There are few people who would say sitting around at their desk idly pushing papers is their dream career. But you also can’t expect to land thrilling new responsibilities without first going above and beyond with your current position. Thoroughly tackle each task and brainstorm what else can be done to make it better.

Offer to help a colleague wrap up their own project, or take on a task at work that no one wants, like organizing inventory. Once you’ve established that not only are you an asset in your current role, but you’re wasting your valuable talents, ask for more work.

  1. Work at a Startup

There are few experiences in life that can rapidly accelerate your career more than working at a startup. Whether you’re interested in digital marketing or learning how to navigate the funding process, startups are hungry for new and ambitious talent, and will throw you more responsibilities than you’ll know what to do with.

Identify goals you want to accomplish while working at a startup, but stay flexible. It’s likely you’ll wear many different hats and be pulled in numerous directions as you figure out how to land on your feet. As your responsibilities and career start accelerating, keep notes on the new skills you’re learning and projects you’re exploring to update your resume and portfolio. Chances are you’ll miss something if you try to recreate the experience in hindsight and will fail to pull out relevant details that can impact your next career step.

  1. Make Friends with VIPs

Seeking out the top players in your industry, whether seasoned executives or rising stars, can take your career far. But know the difference between blatant stalking and brown-nosing, and offer genuine feedback on a project you enjoyed or ask thought-provoking questions. It’s relatively easy to become memorable and well-liked the more you can show you’re an interesting, proactive worker who respects his superior’s opinion.

  1. Stay Agile

Look up the meaning of agile, and you’ll find definitions ranging from “The ability to move quickly and easily” to “Dividing business tasks into short phases of work and reassessment.” Both are relevant to moving up in your career, whether you’re looking to quickly adapt to new challenges and pick up new skills, or to approach your career path as a series of different phases that push you towards your end goals.

  1. Solve Problems

Being seen as the go-to problem solver around the company can make you irresistible, and a candidate ripe for quick advancement. Start with something small like streamlining work orders and creating a more efficient system, and graduate to training sessions for the staff or tackling a complicated project.

  1. Take Accountability

Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and own up to your mistakes, shortcomings, and involvement in conflicts. By being transparent and staying accountable, you’re sending a message that you’re a trustworthy and competent employee who can handle big responsibilities. Meanwhile, taking the opposite approach and pointing fingers at everyone else when a project goes sour just pigeonholes you as the backstabber in the office.

  1. Creatively Self-Promote

Promoting yourself doesn’t have to be completely shameless. Offer to organize an upcoming company meeting or write up notes from a morning meeting to send out by email. Make sure your job title is updated in your email signature before you hit send. Soon everyone in the office will know your name, title, and that you’re an engaged team member working in everyone’s best interest.

  1. Be Helpful

Nothing makes you stand out faster in your career than being helpful. Prove you’re dedicated to your career and job by being helpful to those around you. But don’t wait for opportunities to fall in your lap. Regularly attend networking events and trade advice, offer to mentor a junior person in your industry, or volunteer your skills to help your community. Not only will you feel great being helpful, but you’ll also develop a lifelong habit of being generous that makes you irresistible to clients, bosses, and investors alike.

  1. Keep Learning

No one is going to just hand you the reigns of a superstar career. Go after the position you want with passion and vigor, and above all else, keep learning. Whether you need a business coach or to take a leadership course or pursue an MBA, take the initiative to push yourself forward.

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

 

I had the opportunity to work with Option 1 Staffing Services this past year. I feel that the employees (not just the one I worked with regularly, but all of them) really made an effort to get to know me as a person, resulting in a better fit position for work. I would stop in to drop my time sheets off from time to time, just to see their faces, because that’s how truly great they were at their jobs. This has been an incredible experience from start to finish, and I recommend it to all of my friends who need help finding their passion.

Thank you for the review, Kay.  We are happy that you had a great experience with us.

 

 

Option 1 Staffing recruiters specialize in placing talent in some of the most desirable areas on the Peninsula including Silicon Valley, San Francisco, San Jose and the East Bay. All our recruiters are experts in their field and have years of experience. Working with us is easy!  Whether you’re looking for a job or looking for top talent we can help.  Contact us today to learn more about our technical and professional staffing services and beyond.

IF YOUR NOT CUSTOMIZING YOUR RESUME FOR EACH JOB YOU ARE APPLYING FOR…YOUR MISSING OUT - Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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Words of Wisdom: The Right Language on Your Resume Is Critical

by LIVECAREER

This is great job hunting advice!  If you’re not doing it…start!  It will make a difference.

Listing the proper skills on a resume is a significant factor in whether and how quickly job seekers get the jobs they want, according to LiveCareer’s recently released “2018 Skills Gap Report”. Moreover, the report also found that job seekers are articulating far too few skills on their resumes: Whereas the average job ad lists 21.8 skills, the average resume lists only 13 skills. (These figures include both hard and soft skills.)

The deficit of skills on job seekers’ resumes presents a major problem. Employers just aren’t seeing the types of skills they are looking for on resumes,which has led some to believe there is a skills gap, or a shortage of skilled workers in the job market.

While the report found that these divergences between job ads and resumes don’t necessarily translate into a “skill gap,” the findings do indicate that job seekers could benefit from beefing up their resumes with more – and better articulated – skills.

When writing resumes, job seekers should keep the following facts in mind:

  1. Recruiters spend an average of only about six seconds on a resume before deciding whether to interview a candidate.
  2. The first 15-20 words of your resume are the most important. That’s how many words the average person can read in six seconds, so it’s critical to put your most relevant skills at the top of your resume.
  3. Your personal summary is the section of your resume a recruiter is most likely to read. Include in this summary the critical skills requested in the job ad.
  4. Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to weed out unqualified candidates. These rely on keywords pulled directly from job descriptions.

The last point is critical to remember, especially for the 54 percent of job seeker who do not customize their resumes for each job. On the flip side, those job seekers who do customize their resumes have an edge over the competition, as it is more likely their resumes will make it through the ATS.

Writing a Customized, Skill-Centric Resume

First, read the job ad carefully. Pull out all of the skills the ad mentions.

Next, make a list of the skills that you possess. Use the exact same language as the job ad, wherever possible.

Since most ATSs can’t interpret nuance in language, changing how you word your skills even slightly could cause you to be eliminated. For example, an ATS looking for “project management experience” won’t recognize that “experienced project manager” means the same thing. That’s why it is important to mimic exactly the job ad’s language.

Find the overlap between the skills listed in the ad and the skills you have. List these skills prominently in the “skills” section of your resume and throughout your work experience.

Be sure to list soft skills on your resume, even if the job ad doesn’t call for them specifically. LiveCareer’s report found that soft skills like “communication” and “customer service” rank highly with employers, even in roles that aren’t typically associated with these skills.

Finally, use the same language in your accompanying cover letter. Though ATSs often do not scan these documents, recruiters do. Make that precious real estate count.

Good luck and happy job hunting!

 

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

 

 

I had the opportunity to work with Option 1 Staffing Services this past year. I feel that the employees (not just the one I worked with regularly, but all of them) really made an effort to get to know me as a person, resulting in a better fit position for work. I would stop in to drop my time sheets off from time to time, just to see their faces, because that’s how truly great they were at their jobs. This has been an incredible experience from start to finish, and I recommend it to all of my friends who need help finding their passion.

Thank you for the review, Kay.  We are happy that you had a great experience with us.

 

- Thursday, January 25, 2018

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The Best Strategies for Writing an Effective Resume Summary

By Robin Reshwan 

Create a unique and relevant introduction into your professional qualifications.

Match your top skills and attributes to the job postings that interest you. 

How do you describe years of work history in three to four sentences in your resume and LinkedIn profile? It is a daunting task that many professionals dread – with good reason. It is a challenge to summarize who you are as a business professional. It is even more daunting when you factor in that the best summaries are written with a specific job in mind so that it is relevant to a future hiring manager. The good news is that there are strategies you can use to simplify the process and increase the effectiveness of your summary. Here are some tips to help.

Ask at least three managers and co-workers what they think is the top way you make an impact at work. This is the best place to start because most of us do not have a clear sense of how others view us. An additional benefit is that this strategy helps with writer’s block. It also aids the modest employee who struggles with talking about his best traits (or is too hard on himself to recognize his value). It also benefits newer-to-career professionals who may not have a developed understanding of how to assess their value at work. A younger employee may think she is best known for being the smartest in the room, but her team and manager may appreciate her willingness to research and suggest innovative ideas that break with convention.

It is also important to ask at least three people. One viewpoint is great – but it may be isolated or limited. Your summary will be viewed by many people when you are job seeking, so having a well-rounded perspective is more likely to best represent you and perform better with a larger audience.

Ask a few of your long-term friends and family members what they think are your best traits or what you are known for.These could be things like you are the glue that holds people together. Or, you could be the calm in a storm, or the voice of reason. These observations are likely to show soft skills that have been developed over time and are likely to come most naturally to you. Again, the answers may surprise you – but be open to the observations and think about how they apply in a work setting. In other words, how does your ability to be “the calm in a storm” add value to a future employer? How have you used that strength professionally to accomplish more, exceed standards, create a motivating environment, et cetera?

Your third step is to find at least three job descriptions of roles in which you are both qualified and interested. Note commonalities among the positions – what traits, skills, experience or accomplishments are requested? This is called “target role deconstruction.” You are analyzing the requested components and descriptions to determine what in your background is relevant and desired. Make a list of requirements in priority order and highlight the top three to four.

Now, compare your list of what is requested to what has been said about you. Use your judgment to decide what truly reflects your impact and value and is also in demand for your future target role. The best summaries marry what the market demands with what you uniquely do best. If you excel in something that is not in demand, that experience or qualification should not take up space in your summary.

Required technical skills versus bigger picture impact. It is also helpful to distinguish between more sophisticated skills that make an impact versus technical requirements. For example, an accountant job description may require a CPA, knowledge of Excel, analytical ability, superior communication skills, detail orientation and industry knowledge in the tech sector. The technical requirements (the CPA certification and Excel knowledge) are likely to be seen in your title, education or a list of skills. There is no need to use up lines in your summary to restate these things – unless you have none of the other requirements. Instead, illustrate your superior communication skills detail orientation by providing the specifics, such as you frequently compiled reports and presented detailed recommendations to senior executives and earned the highest marks in your performance review. These accomplishments are both unique to you and in demand. Great summary statements show strengths and often can be validated, as in a performance review. This level of detail and evidence is superior to simply writing that you are “Analytical and detail-oriented with superior communication skills.”

A final note about the voice of a summary: It is not written in the first person on a resume. Resumes are considered formal documents and should not use I, me, my. Instead, your summary is written as if someone was introducing you before a speech – without ever saying your name. For example, “Marketing executive is known   for innovative and effective digital strategies poised to grow a startup team.” Be sure to keep it in the same verb tense and watch for overused buzzwords that may minimize its value. Keep it to three to four sentences, as anything longer waters down its impact and may cause it to not be read at all.

Summary writing is a challenge. After all, how can a few sentences truly do justice to  years of work experience? Keep in mind that the purpose of a summary is to truthfully entice a reader to stop to look at your resume in more depth. It is an attention management tool. Unique, relevant, concise and easy to understand summaries are the most effective introductions into a resume.

At Option 1 Staffing we exist to improve the lives of others.

Looking for a new career in 2018?  Need to work to earn some extra money?  We can help!  Send in your updated resume to:
toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650.941.5115 or 408.292.7117

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend, and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.

 

Option 1 Staffing is an incredible company that centralizes their staffing approach to each specific client and works with them directly to find them a job most suitable for them. The employees are awesome and make you feel absolutely comfortable with their genuine personalities establishing a friend-like relationship of trust between the employee and client. They helped find me a fabulous job that is definitely my style in every way. They get to know you and in doing so they match the correct position with the right kind of person. THANK YOUUUU!!!! I am so happy with your work and where I am working today!

THANK YOU, COURTNEY FOR THE KUDOS!!

 



toptalent@option1staffing.com or call us at 650 941-5115

Earn a Referral Bonus Do you know someone else that might be interested in a rewarding job opportunity? If so, simply refer a friend and you could be eligible for a referral bonus if we place this person on assignment.