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4 Ways the Job Search has Changed Post-Recession

May 27th, 2012

The recession threw many people in the market for good jobs into a bit of a tailspin. Things are beginning to somewhat settle down and jobs are just over the horizon. But how is this post-recession reality altering the job search landscape? It’s important to understand the changes that are being made in companies seeking employees and what that means for your job search.

1)   Greater competition for fewer jobs. I bet you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like a post-recession reality. Unfortunately, in many industries, that is the new reality. While jobs have begun the hiring process, many employers are still reluctant to do any wide-scale hiring. New jobs are slow, and there is still a great deal of competition for them. This means that now is not the time to sit back, relax, and wait for the job offers to start rolling in. Now is the time to double down and come up with a few aggressive new moves of your own to aid in your job search efforts.

2)   Networking matters – now more than ever. People are beginning to get jobs. Companies are beginning the hiring process. Knowing people and having contacts in your industry is what will make a difference for you as the job search heats up. It’s all about getting your resume into the hands of the right people. Nine times out of ten you have to know someone on the inside at the company in order to make that happen. Don’t forget to leverage the power of social media and social networks as well. The more your name is known and associated with your industry, (or the industry you’re hoping to find employment in), the better it is for your job search possibilities.

3)   Customize your resumes, applications, and/or cover letters to the job for which you’re applying. It’s not enough to have one standard resume these days. Each job wants something a little unique and different and you need a resume that shows the potential employer that you have what they’re looking for. A one-size-fits-all-jobs type of resume simply isn’t going to showcase you in the proper light. It’s not about giving false or even misleading information on your resume, or omitting information that may not paint you in the best picture. It’s about presenting the best possible picture based on true facts about yourself, your education, and your experience as to how it relates to the job you’re applying for.

4)   Avoid Mistakes. Even the most casual mistakes can cost you the job in today’s highly competitive job market. You need every edge you can get over the competition no matter how poised, polished, and perfect you think you may be for the job. Avoiding mistakes, no matter how small in the resume, interview, and follow-up process can make all the difference in the world.

Believe it or not, the post-recession job search isn’t all that different from the job search during the height of the recession. If you follow this sage advice however, your odds of getting the job will be greatly improved.

Want to have access to a broad range of jobs in the Westchester, New York and the  surrounding region? The Concorde Group provides many part time and full time assignments for multiple specialists. You are welcome to search our job boards today for more information and resources.

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Ways to Select Attitude Over Job Skills During Candidate Interviews

May 20th, 2012

When it comes to crafting an effective set of questions to ask your next interviewee, throw out those that do not provide you with a lot of information about a person’s attitude. Most of the interview questions that people use today contain a great deal of information related to an individual’s past or his or her training. While this is basic information, it does not warrant a question during an interview. That information is gathered from the application and narrowed down during the selection process.

Interview for attitude instead.

Attitude Is Not a Teachable Quality

It is possible to teach others how to act and how to perform a specific set of skills. However, the attitude a person has is far more important and it is not something you can teach within the workplace. That is why it is so important for you to hire with attitude in mind – you will not be able to change a person’s attitude if you bring them in, so they need to come in with the right attitude in the first place. There are various factors to consider when it comes to selecting the right attitude in a candidate.

  • Choose the type of attitude right for your business environment. Note that most business environments require a number of different types of attitude. Creative types are just as important as those who need no motivation.
  • A team player attitude is always important. Individuals brought into the business need to be able to work with existing team members as well as management. They should be willing to work with people that are different from them.

Aside from these factors, it is also important to ensure your interview questions allow for this attitude to present itself. It is important to ask questions that can provide a response about a person’s behavior or attitude, and not just fact-driven questions. Offer unique questions you’ve created that help to uncover the ideas and thoughts of others. Ask questions about difficult situations and how they’ve handled them. Investigate the ways that people interact in various planned scenarios. Ask them how they would handle various problems. A few specific questions might be:

  • Please give me an example of a time you were told to do something that was not correct. What did you do in that instance?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to learn how to do something without any training. What was that like?
  • Have you ever been caught between two employees about a disagreement? What did you do or not do?

By asking questions like these, you allow a person’s attitude and frame of mind to come clear. This can help you to determine if that person is right for the job. Leave out the skills and job history information from the interview. You can verify that yourself. You can train someone to do a task. What you cannot do is change their attitude and make them a team player.

Be sure to read our previous post concerning the choosing of candidates for each assignment of your company, for more information on this process:

Uncover a Candidate’s Ethical Standards from an Interview

 

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Interview Prep for New Grads

May 13th, 2012

As graduation day approaches, students are beginning to set their sights on what lies ahead for them. It’s been a long road to get here, but now your thoughts need to be on the job you’re hoping to dive into following your college graduation ceremony

As exciting as it can be to go out into the world and face the future you’ve prepared so hard for, being properly prepared for the job interview process can make a world of difference when it comes to your job prospects. Take this advice to heart and you should stand head and shoulders above your college graduate competition.

Know Your Audience

Prepare for each and every interview ahead of time by getting to know as much as possible about the company or companies you’re interviewing with. The more you know about the company, the corporate structure, the goods and the services it provides, the better you’ll be able to anticipate the specific skills, talents, and expertise that will be in demand by this company.

By doing your research, you’ll be able to anticipate some of the questions that are likely to come your way during the interview process. Finally, your research can really help you decide whether this company is a good match for your interests and future goals, before going through an interview process for a job that doesn’t really appeal to you.

Come up With Questions of Your Own

One of the most important things companies look for when interviewing candidates is an inquisitive mind. By asking questions, you are also letting the person conducting the interview know that you are interested in the job.

The more intelligent your questions are, the greater they believe your interest to be. Create a list of questions to ask prior to the interview and make note of them as they come to mind during the interview process. Just make sure your questions come across as though you’re well informed, and not as though you’re a little bit lost.

Practice Makes Perfect

Finally, you want to practice answering questions you feel might come up during the interview. Write down potential answers and recite them out loud. See how they sound to your own ears. Ask friends to help by listening and offering their feedback to your answers.

The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel about the entire interview process. This will be a huge asset in the actual interview that will help you to avoid some of the nervous missteps other new grads make during the interview process.

Being more prepared than your competition will give a better shot at landing the job you’re looking for. Competition is fierce for today’s new grads. It’s important to take advantage of every edge you can. Acing the interview is a huge way to secure the job you want after graduation and these tips are sure to help.

Get more tips on successful interviewing by reading our previous posts:

How to Land a New Job in 2012

5 Ways to Give Your Resume New Life

 

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How to Create a Fair and Appropriate Social Media Policy

May 7th, 2012

Having a social media policy is one of the most important things you can do for your business. In today’s everyone’s-connected lifestyle, it is important to consider your business. Not only will your employees talk about your business and management, but your company’s reputation is also on the line. For human resource and staffing needs, as well as your company’s branding goals, it is important to put in place a fair but effective social media policy. Today, it is not really something to put off, either.

What to Keep in Mind

Creating a social medial policy may not be as difficult as you think it is. In fact, there are numerous ways to keep your employees happy without putting your business on the line. Consider the following tips and guidelines for doing just that.

  • Teach employees about being responsible regarding what they include in any type of social media – whether it is published under the company’s name or in their own. Assure them that you expect employees to be responsible in their use of it.
  • If you are implementing a policy for social media used by your staff to help in building your brand or online traffic, be specific about the goals of this process. List the goals as well as what you want social media used for (and what it should not be used for) under the company’s name or on company time.
  • Determine the legal ramifications of implementing a social media policy that addresses the way managers or staff talk about each other or about the company. Laws in this area are changing rapidly but your local laws should be examined to determine if there are any repercussions to putting a policy into place.
  • When social media does become a problem, take steps to fix it. There is a fine line to walk about employee personal time and the relationship of the employer in it, but most employers expect employees to always treat each other with respect, even when not punched in (or even online.) Reintegrate this policy for social media applications.
  • State what could happen if there is a violation of the policy. It is important to establish the groundwork for what could happen to the employee if a violation does occur. Ensure this is in line with any other human resource policies you have.

Social media is not something to ban users from enjoying. Rather, if you establish open communication and ensure that employees are on the same page as your business policies, social media can be a great tool. Like any other social interaction among employees, managers or company associates, ensure that online websites do not deter the goals of your workplace.

For more HR policy tips, be sure to come back to Concorde Personnel for timely HR and career advice.

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