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You Have a Gap in Your Resume – Why It’s OK!

June 30th, 2016

August 4th

Traditional job search wisdom says that a gap in your resume is a deal breaker for hiring managers. The gap is viewed as a period when you were either unemployable or too disengaged to look for work in a meaningful way. The reality of that gap period, of course, is often much different, but resumes are not great storytellers. Luckily, you can overcome this obstacle to employment and possibly even use it to your advantage. Take advantage of these strategies to bridge your resume gap.

Switch to a Skills-Based Resume

Most resumes are organized as a chronological timeline of your employment history. In this configuration, gaps are glaring. Instead, switch to a skills-based resume that emphasizes what you can do rather than when and where you have done it. Focus on the hard and soft skills that you possess that are most relevant to the position you’re trying to secure, and mention how those skills have produced positive results for past employers. When a hiring manager sees your resume they will be more focused on your future than your past.

Create a Positive Spin

A gap in your employment doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you used the time productively. Maybe you dedicated yourself to picking up new skills or to volunteering with a worthy cause in a meaningful way. In that context, your gap was more about personal and professional development than laziness. Even if you took the time off to do things irrelevant to your career, you can stress that now that you’ve fulfilled your lifelong dream of traveling through Asia or writing a screenplay, you’re ready to throw yourself back into the world of work. A potential employer will be more willing to accept a gap in your past than a gap looming in your future.

Be Open and Honest

A gap in your employment is likely to come up during the job interview. When answering, be honest about why the gap happened and what you did with your time. A dishonest answer will raise red flags at best, and expose you as a liar at worst. In anticipation of this question, prepare your answer in advance so that you don’t get flustered in your interview. As much as possible, try to frame your gap as a positive, or at least as unavoidable. Finally, deliver your response with confidence. If you don’t view your gap as a negative trait, your interviewer might not also.

We’ve shown you one way to frame yourself as a candidate who is not unqualified. But you need to make an equal or greater effort to frame yourself as a candidate who is uniquely qualified. Learn how to do that by working with The Concorde Group, a leading staffing agency in Westchester.

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How Onboarding Will Lead to More Retained Talent

June 15th, 2016

August 31st

You have dedicated a lot of time, effort, and money to recruit essential talent. That’s why you need to put just as much effort into retaining that talent. One of the best ways to do that is to take the onboarding process seriously. Develop a plan in advance, dedicate the time and resources necessary, and be willing to adapt your strategy to the new hire. This approach helps to eliminate early exits and could add years to the employee’s tenure. Use the following advice to retain your top talent.

Introduce New Hires to Culture and Co-Workers

It’s easy to feel lost in the first days and weeks at a new job. New hires are suddenly surrounded by unfamiliar co-workers and asked to work in offices that abide by dozens of subtle and unspoken rules, traditions, and processes. Onboarding helps to eliminate the feeling of being the odd man out by addressing the issue head on. The new person in the office is introduced both formally and informally to people from every department and every spot on the corporate ladder. They are educated about formal office policies, as well as the less-explicit guidelines that impact where you park, how you eat lunch, when you socialize with co-workers, and how you ask for vacation/sick leave. All of this helps the new hire to feel welcome in the office and comfortable in their new role.

Outline Responsibilities and Expectations

Even the lengthiest job description does a poor job of describing the day-to-day reality of working a job. In the same way that a new hire can feel lost and confused in a new office, they can be uncertain about exactly what, when, where and how they are supposed to perform a new job. A thorough onboarding is a way of showing that person exactly what you expect them to do and how you expect them to do it. It also introduces them to resources and processes they can draw on to work more effectively. This helps to eliminate the kinds of mistakes, frustrations, and points of friction that can cause a professional to wonder if they’re working for the wrong company.

Address Questions and Concerns

The onboarding process is really about providing the right information in the right setting. But no matter how thoroughly you plan it out, there are sure to be details that get overlooked. Pairing a new hire up with an office partner and emphasizing that superiors are always available to answer questions no matter how small or silly is just another way to clear up confusion. This approach also helps the new hire to feel supported, respected, and valued in their new role. They will be much more likely to continue working for an employer that seems glad to have them on the team.

The onboarding process is much easier for all involved if you first make the right hire. Find talent that is eager to integrate into your office and impact your bottom line by working with the Westchester NY staffing experts at The Concorde Group.

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Advice on Attracting and Retaining Generation Y Employees

June 7th, 2016

August 8th

Businesses today are beginning to understand just how important it is to attract Generation Y employees. These are the employees of the future. Companies that have an aging employee pool may be missing out on staff who are qualified to make the most of the latest technology. Many are struggling with coming up with ideas that will to appeal to the buying public – the Gen Y crowd.

Attracting Generation Y Workers

What makes the Generation Y so different, and hard to attract as career candidates? First off, Generation Y is a little different than the generations past. They are uniquely tied to technology in an intricate and live their lives out loud for the world to see on Facebook, Twitter, and the likes. If you want to get their attention and attract them to the jobs available, you have to introduce your company to them where they spend all their time.

Where, you ask, might that be? On the Internet, of course. Positions announced online are much more likely to be noticed by Gen Y than other generations  and more likely to get a response as well. Online and social network announcements of openings let them know that your company is technologically savvy, forward-thinking, and committed to the future rather than dwelling in the past. It makes a good impression with this up and coming group of talent and with them, first impressions are very important.

In addition to announcing the positions you have available online, you must make it a point to develop and maintain a significant web presence. Create a company blog, consider dedicating one or more members of your staff to social media and/or social networking. Start a Facebook account, and maintain a Twitter feed in order to start things off right when it comes to tech-savvy job seekers. These things, when done well, will create a web presence that attracts the top-tier candidates among the Gen Y pool of potential employees and that should be your ultimate goal.

Retaining Gen Y Employees

Once you’ve attracted Gen Y candidates enough to get their resumes and hire them, the next goal for you to work toward is keeping them. There are several things you can do, but one of the most important is by keeping them engaged in what’s going on in your business. Offer contests or competitions among the employees to keep them on task and on target. More importantly, it keeps them engaged in the work they’re doing. Offer incentives for reaching production goals rather than bonuses for simply being employed. Make the incentives attainable, but ambitious so they don’t become bored or frustrated with the process.

Give all employees, especially your Gen Y folks, a stake and a voice in the future of the company. Don’t patronize them. This will get under their skin in a really big way. Let them know that they are valuable members of the team and take what they have to offer to heart rather than giving it the slightest hint of “ear” service. Help them find the path to advancement, learn new skills, and cross over into other compatible tasks and assignments whenever possible. This is definitely a multi-tasking generation if ever there was one.

Most importantly of all, Generation Y workers grew up with parents who worked 80 or more hours per week and sacrificed a lot for a retirement that’s proving to be far less comfortable than anticipated. They place a high value on time away from the office. They want personal lives rather than to be tied to work 24/7. Give them the time off they want and need in order to recharge, in addition to the other things mentioned above and they are sure to be long-term and loyal employees for your company.

For help in recruiting and retaining Generation Y employees, or those with specialized skills in all generational groups, be sure to work with the experts at Concorde Personnel.

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