How to Make a Graceful Exit Without Burning Bridges

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Whether you’re actively seeking change or an unexpected offer comes your way, a new job is an exciting opportunity. Of course, you still have to take care in the way you handle your departure from your current position, as this can determine the nature of your relationship with your current manager, coworkers, and the company going forward.

The fact is, you never know when you may need to call upon those from your past. That’s why it’s always wise to make a graceful exit, whenever possible. Remember, your current position will become a part of your work history, which will likely be taken into consideration for any future career opportunities that come up. So, how can you ensure you keep strong relations going? Here are some tips for making a professional, respected exit:  

  • Give Proper Notice – While two weeks’ notice is generally considered the standard, it’s best to give one month for those in professional fields. This allows for plenty of time to hire a replacement, get them up to speed, and allow for a smooth transition for all. You don’t want to leave managers and coworkers in a difficult position, struggling. 

  • Offer Training – Don’t waste your final days. Be professional, and let managers and coworkers know that you’re willing to help train others. Employees willing to assist with their transition out leave a positive, lasting impression, which may prove valuable in the future should you ever need assistance, like a recommendation. 

  • Serve as a Resource – If possible, offer to remain a resource for a brief period of time after your transition out. A willingness to help even after you’re off the payroll will go a long way toward showing former employers that you’re still a team player. 

  • Keep in Contact – Make an effort to stay in touch with former coworkers. Should there ever come a time when you need a coworker’s referral, business lead, advice, etc., they’ll be more inclined to help if you’ve remained in touch.  

Remember, don’t neglect your past. You never know when your career may come full circle, so don’t burn those bridges. 

Steps to Writing a Targeted Resume

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If you want to increase your chances of landing a job in today’s highly competitive landscape, it’s not enough to just write a single broad-based resume. You have to have multiple, targeted resumes ready to go for each field, industry, position, etc. Targeted resumes increase your chances of making it to the interview, as they speak to specific job requirements and highlight skills and experiences relevant to each opportunity.

While writing multiple targeted resumes does require a bit more effort, the process is actually quite simple. Once you have the steps down, it’s just a matter of editing, proofing, and repeating. Here’s what you need to do:    

  • Review – Carefully review a job posting before you exert the effort and time tailoring a resume. After all, if the job isn’t really something you’re interested in or doesn’t line up with your experience, then you’re just wasting valuable time that could be spent on crafting a resume for a position you’re actually qualified for and might even love.

  • Focus – Focus on emphasizing your qualifications as you edit each resume. Make sure you highlight the specific skills and qualities requested on each job posting.

  • Tailor – A major part of tailoring each resume is editing for specific keywords. Each resume crafted for a specific position should include the same keywords that are listed in the posting’s job description, as well as the desired skills and experiences.

  • Proof – Proofread, proofread, proofread! With each edit, go back and double check for accuracy as well as any careless grammatical and spelling errors.  Also, make sure all of your listed skills, experiences, credentials, etc. match up with the position you’re applying for.

It’s important to take the extra time and make the effort to target your resumes. The closer your resume matches a specific job posting, the better your chances of landing an interview and ultimately the job.

Best Practices for Using Job Search Engines

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Search engines are an excellent resource available to job seekers everywhere. With today’s modern technologies, finding open positions has never been easier. A single search can lead to thousands of opportunities, all delivered directly to you in a matter of seconds. But, in order to achieve real results (i.e. land a job), you have to learn a few strategies to make the most of these tools. Here are some of our best practice recommendations:     

  • Have a targeted strategy – Don’t simply apply to every job that pops up in your search. Target your responses, and tailor your resumes to each specific position for best results.

  • Be proactive – Landing a job isn’t as simple as posting your resume and leaving it. Don’t just assume job offers will find you. You must be proactive, and get in the habit of regularly checking job postings and applying.

  • Include keywords – Companies search for potential employees using narrowly-defined keywords. This means that you need to make sure your resume uses current, targeted terminology. Otherwise, you may be looked over for a great opportunity.

  • Check the format – Sometimes, uploaded documents don’t fully translate when converted to various digital formats. So, make sure that all uploads and attachments appear correctly formatted when clicked. Check everything from spacing, to bullet points, to graphics, to links, etc.

  • Stay organized – As you’re likely going to be sending out multiple applications at a time, make sure you keep track of each application. All of those positions and companies can get confusing, so track everything in a spreadsheet with dates sent. This will not only help you keep incoming responses and potential interviews straight but help you track appropriate follow-up times as well.   

Job search engines bring opportunities right to your fingertips, anywhere, anytime. They’re a wonderful resource and asset for those who know how to employ best practices.

How to Negotiate a Better Salary

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Celebrations are definitely in order after you’ve gone through the long process of landing a job. But, there’s still one crucial step to consider before you accept the position and all of its terms – salary negotiations.

Your research isn’t quite done until you’ve taken the time to determine how much the job you’re taking on is worth, and how much your skills, experience and expertise are worth to your prospective employer. This will give you power and confidence to professionally negotiate an informed and fair end salary. So, how do you make this happen? Here are some tips:

  • Timing – Money is always a touchy subject, so it’s best to wait for the appropriate time to bring it up. You must be patient. As a general starting point, let your prospective employer be the first to bring it up once they make the job offer.

  • Patience – Wait for them to make the first move when it comes to throwing out numbers. Even if you’re asked about salary requirements, simply say that they’re open, and that they’ll be based on the proposed position and all that it entails, as well as the overall compensation package being offered. This leaves you room to negotiate once a real offer is on the table.

  • Research – If and when you do put a number on the table, make sure it’s well-searched and backed by industry data.

  • Wait – Salary negotiations should be allowed a little breathing room. Any number that a prospective employer brings to the table, take your time to consider it, and don’t respond right away. It’s perfectly alright to say that you need time to consider their offer.

Salary negotiations can be intimidating at times, but don’t let it get to you. You know your worth, and with the right research and information in-hand, you’ll have all the confidence that you need to negotiate an appropriate salary that you deserve.

Tips for Maintaining Employer - Friendly Social Media Profiles

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When it comes time to search for a new job, you have to keep in mind that any prospective employer will be looking at your public profile, and that includes through social media. These days, it’s pretty much a guarantee, actually. They’ll be looking at things like your listed professional background, your personal social and political commentary, your photos, even your tone of voice and “friend” associations.

All of this means that you need to maintain awareness and employer-proof your profiles, now, before you send out the first application. So, to help ensure your social media pages don’t raise any red flags, here’s what you should do:  

  • Make your Instagram profile private if you do not wish an employer to see.

  • Make your timelines “employer-friendly” by making posts private.

  • Make sure “timeline review” is enabled on Facebook.

  • Make sure all of your photos are set to “Friends Only” or “Only Me.”  

  • Delete any and all controversial posts from your pages, even those that are dated.

  • Delete and untag yourself from any photos that could be seen as unprofessional, and ask others to untag you from those that may be questionable.

  • Make only relevant, thoughtful content available for public viewing on your profiles. Things like industry news and other interesting, related articles are most appropriate for any potential employer to see.

  • Update your work history on all social sites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.

If you want to find and keep your job, always remember that what you share on social media has the power to make or break your position. So, keep your reputation safe by taking appropriate measures, now, and reevaluate how you use your social platforms.

Key Elements Every Employee Needs to Know to Successfully Fill Their Open Positions

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The importance of the on-boarding process can’t be stressed enough. All employees must be equipped with not only the information necessary to carry out their own duties but also the most up-to-date company news and objectives. Sometimes, however, this information can get lost through the various channels of communication.

That’s why it’s so important for those in charge of internal communications to focus on promoting a communicative work culture that not only lends a positive environment but ensures that all of its employees are well-equipped with the information that they need in order to successfully fill their positions. After all, how can you expect workers to be engaged and productive if they don’t understand the fundamental purpose of their job? Successful performance is entirely reliant upon this understanding. So, make sure every employee is able to answer the following questions once they step into a new position:    

  • What is the company’s purpose?  What do they offer, and how does this positively impact the consumer?  

  • How do we implement the company’s overall vision?   

  • How does my position specifically contribute to the company’s overall success?

  • What are the responsibilities of my team and manager?

  • Are the necessary tools and channels available for me to successfully carry out my job?  

  • Does the company provide opportunity for involvement (e.g. events, initiatives, volunteer programs, etc.)?

  • How does the company stand out from its competitors?  

  • Are there opportunities for me to learn and grow with the company?  

The best employers maintain open channels of communication to ensure that their employees are able to align their efforts with their shared business objectives by providing clear information to help each and every person more effectively carry out their duties and feel valued. So, make sure your employees fully understand their positions for a more fulfilling and positive work life.  


Top Qualities Found in Every Successful Team

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When it comes to running a thriving, profitable business, there is no greater asset than a high-performing team. They are the foundation and lifeblood of your business, so when things are going well among team members, you can be sure that your operations will be running just as smoothly. So, what is it exactly that defines a high-performing team? Let’s take a look at some of the key characteristics they all have in common:

  • They communicate clearly with one another. There is no guesswork involved when it comes to expectations or the status of operations. Successful teams communicate proactively whenever possible and they respond quickly to open concerns.

  • Everyone pulls their weight. Sure, everyone has “off days”, but it shouldn’t be the norm. On any given day, everyone on your team should be contributing his or her fair share to the overall team objectives.

  • They all have something different to bring to the table. The most successful teams are made up of professionals with a diverse educational and professional work history. With the right mix, you’ll never run out of great ideas or fresh perspective.

  • They understand the importance of balance. Everyone can appreciate the extra effort offered by an overachiever, but in almost all cases, that well will eventually run dry. When teams don’t have enough personal time (and even enough fun in the workplace), they can burn out quite easily.

Team leaders and human resources professionals certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to building a highly effective team of workers. It’s certainly not impossible, however, so keep these key characteristics in mind throughout your recruiting journey!


Why Spring is Such a HOT Time to Find (and Land) Your Dream Job

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Are you planning to start your job hunt this spring? If so, then you definitely have the right idea! As the weather begins to warm up across the United States, business begins to pick up right along with it. This is true for a wide variety of industries, but in particular, hospitality, tourism, food service, and retail. That stimulates the economy, in general, creating a very search-friendly environment for job seekers.

On those same lines, though, it’s important that you strike while the iron is hot. Many job seekers who would have found success in the spring find that they hit a dead end when applying for positions in May, June, and July. That is largely due to the fact that hiring managers and other upper-level executives tend to take vacations of their own around that time.

It goes without saying that Fall and Winter tend to bring a bit of a lull in nearly all industries, aside from the usual seasonal positions in such fields as marketing, advertising, design, and all things retail. When those come to an end, however, many members of the workforce find themselves caught in a sort of limbo - most companies are prepping their annual budget around that time, which means they’ll probably wait until after the new year to bring new team members into the organization.

Year after year, we see this same cycle, and every time, we encourage job seekers to seize the moment. As they say, “get it while the getting is good!” This spring, you should find yourself with plenty of opportunities to choose from, so be sure not to let any of them pass you by!


Is It Time to Leave Your Job?

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As anyone who’s ever had a job knows, there are inevitably ups and downs. You’ll experience rewarding days, but you’ll also experience tougher days that come with stress, frustration, even boredom. Of course, some of us also experience days that are absolutely unbearable where we start to reconsider why we’re even there in the first place. And, this is a tough position to be in. After all, how do you really know when it’s time for you to leave a position?

It may be time to reevaluate your work situation if you find you’re experiencing more miserable days than good, or if you start to experience the following:   

  • There’s no room to grow: If you’re not continually challenged, you’ll inevitably lose interest in your work. So, if there’s no room for advancement or growth, you might consider looking for new opportunities.  

  • You’ve lost interest in your work: Whether due to a lack of growth or total boredom, you may find that you’ve lost all motivation to do your job. Creativity and innovation have flown out the window, and you’ve completely checked out. When this happens, it may be time to move on.

  • Job security is no longer guaranteed: While no position is 100% guaranteed, if you find that your company is now operating on uncertainty (e.g. they’re downsizing, the company’s been sold, work culture has taken a turn for the worse, etc.), it may be time to update your resume.

  • You’re experiencing extreme stress: Ultimately, when the stress of a job starts to affect your health and well-being, it’s time to walk away.

No matter how bad your work situation may be, the decision of whether or not to stay is entirely up to you. It’s all a matter of evaluating your path, your priorities, and what will ultimately be in your best interest.

Emerging Trends in Human Resources and the Millennial Workforce

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As we’re in the age of the Millennial workforce, human resource managers have been asking themselves how best to leverage the strengths of this group of workers. It’s all in effort to figure out what this generation ultimately needs to be successful and motivated at work. So, what do you need to know about the newest generation taking over the workforce? Here’s what they’re looking for:

  • Technology is Key: When it comes to overall communication, Millennials want companies to incorporate new technologies that ultimately promote increased collaboration amongst employees. This applies to everything from email, texting and chat forums, to social media, and beyond into other emerging technologies.

  • Collaboration: Millennials want to be heard by leadership and are looking for more opportunities to collaborate with leadership. Their goal is to establish relationships through frequent interaction and conversation.

  • Engagement: Millennials want to be and feel valued. So, listen, and engage in the exchange of opinions and ideas. They feed off of constructive feedback and seek mentorship-like relationships for guidance and growth.

  • Team-Driven Environment: More than any other generation, Millennials truly enjoy working in and being a part of a team. They want to meet new people, make friends with their co-workers, and work with a diverse group of people. With this, Millennials typically look forward to the work that they’re doing and bring a positive attitude and drive to the table.  

  • Financial Incentive: For Millennials, it’s all about work-life balance. But, achieving that balance still requires adequate financial incentive and job security.  

Like all other generations, Millennials just want to have a sense of purpose in the workforce. They want to know where their career is going and what they need to do to get there. Employers who recognize these needs will be able to leverage emerging employee trends, and use them to benefit both the organization and their millennial workforce.

Why Your Business is Struggling to Keep Its Employees

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For any business, talent is your biggest asset. But, when good employees leave, productivity within your organization can sink, and morale may suffer. High turnover rates also lead to increased recruitment costs and more time spent on-boarding new hires, which can make for an extended and stressful transition.

So, what is it that drives employees to leave? If your business is struggling to keep employees around, here’s what may be going wrong:  

  • Poor Management: When you lose top talent, the first place you should look is at management. Great management requires individually invested time. You must discover each team member’s assets as well as their needs. So, take the time to listen to their concerns, communicate, and take actionable measures to correct.

  • Unprepared Managers: It’s not enough to simply promote top talent. Management requires a different skillset altogether. So, you must provide the necessary training and guidance to chosen leaders for the sake of their team and the company overall.  

  • No Advancement: Top talent often leave when they feel there’s no room for career advancement. They have to know that there’s ultimately something in it for them, otherwise they’ll be tempted to look elsewhere. So, help build a career path for them through things like educational advancement opportunities that can be used later in their career.

  • No Feedback: Managers need to regularly check in with employees and provide constructive feedback. This shows that you’re invested in their position within the company, that they’re valued, and shows respect for them as a person.

  • Rigid Policies: Flexible scheduling and telecommuting are more common and important than ever before. In fact, these days, flexible work time is expected. So, consider updating your policies.

Above all else, make sure that employees have a clear understanding of the company’s mission and their position within it. After all, if they’re not working toward something of value, then chances are they won’t stick around.