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5 Tips to Nail Your Next Phone Interview

July 27th, 2016

Westchester NY Temporary Staffing

The hiring process has gotten longer over the years. It’s rare to have just one interview anymore. Instead, companies are taking advantage of technology by having preliminary, although just as important, interviews over the phone or using a video call service.

In this post we’ll talk about ways to feel confident in your phone interview, allowing you to make a lasting impression – without even meeting your interviewers face-to-face.

1. Be Prepared.

You might be able to hold the interview in the comfort of your own home, but that does not mean that you should split any focus. Be just as prepared for this interview as you would be for an in-person interview. The people on the other end will be able to tell if you came prepared or slacked off before you got on the call. Have a notebook ready with talking points or for taking notes, and have your resume out to reference. Good preparation is the start of a great phone interview!

2. Find a Quiet Location.

Nothing is worse in a phone interview than having a lot of noise in the background distracting from your conversation. Phones are sensitive to noise, a public space will probably give away your location to your interviewers on the other end.  They should not hear friends or family members having a good time, nor should they hear a coffee drink being artfully prepared.

3. Dress the Part.

Of course, this is optional. You could do a phone interview in your pajamas if you’ve nailed all the other points. However, many job candidates find that dressing to impress actually helps them feel put together and in a professional mindset for the interview.

4. Walk Around and Project Your Voice.

Having a phone interview gives you the option to walk around and talk with your hands in a judgment-free zone. Go for it! You need to be able to communicate your enthusiasm and expertise over the phone, so if you keep yourself lively, people will be able to hear your passion on the other end.

5. Smile!

Next time you’re on the phone, listen for the difference in your voice inflection when you smile versus other times. It changes, and people want to hire happy people. Plus, smiling, even to yourself, keeps you engaged in the phone interview and helps communicate the enthusiasm and drive you have for the job position.

For more helpful insight on finding a job and navigating the job market, contact Concorde Personnel. As a leader in staffing in Westchester, we have a number of great career opportunities that match your skill set!



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.



Is Your Cover Letter Ready for a Job Search in 2016?

April 27th, 2016

June 3

Your resume and cover letter are equally important but completely opposite kinds of documents. Your resume is basically an outline of your skills and experiences. It gives hiring managers an easy way to scan your credentials. Your cover letter is where you make the case for why you’re fit for the job and better than any other candidate. It frames your credentials in the most relevant and enticing way possible. That’s why it’s so important to craft and revise the document carefully. Watch out for these common mistakes:

  • Bad Writing. Your cover letter must be impeccable. Typos, grammar mistakes, and awkward phrasing all make you look unprofessional. If you don’t consider yourself a strong writer, have a friend or family member help you edit.
  • Too Long. The goal is to make the biggest impression in the least amount of time. You cover letter should not be longer than one page, and should ideally be only three paragraphs. Make sure every sentence communicates something important.
  • Too General. It’s never a good idea to rely on a stock cover letter. Start each one from scratch, and be sure that the language and details you include relate directly to the company and available job. Show them your the best fit for this
  • Being Humble. Your cover letter is not a place to qualify your credentials, downplay your accomplishments, or be brutally honest about your strengths and weaknessses. In the short window of time you have, make yourself look as good as possible, just make sure you don’t lie.
  • Being Arrogant. The opposite is just as big a problem. If you were a totally perfect, one-of-a-kind professional, you would either have a job or have recruiters beating down your door. Don’t make it sound like you deserve a job without being fully vetted.
  • Over Explaining. You may be tempted to describe why you quit or were laid off from your past job. In most cases, this information is irrelevant and will only hurt your case. Focus on the positives and focus on the future.
  • Bad Formatting. Something that looks great on a printed piece of paper may not look great in an email, inside a form, or posted on a social network. Make sure that you format your cover letter so that it makes an equal impact across platforms.
  • Stopping Short. Most cover letters end with a pledge to follow up with the employer. End yours the right way, and then actually follow up. This helps demonstrate your interest in the position and keeps your name fresh in the hiring manager’s mind.

A great cover letter is important, but remember that it’s only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to have a polished resume, and turn in a great interview performance. Find resources to help you through every step in the process by working with The Concorde Group, a top staffing agency in Westchester.



Is Your Online Job Presence Ready for Your Job Search?

February 24th, 2016

As a job seeker, you need to put your very best face forward at all times. That means submitting carefully crafted and edited employment documents, acing your job interview, and acting professionally at all networking events. It also means you need to clean up your online presence.

The simple fact is that many of us have information that is “less than professional” floating around online. And while it may not be embarrassing, it’s not the kind of thing you want a potential employer to see as they evaluate your credentials and character. Here a few tips to help you clean up your online image:

Search for Your Name

It’s now standard practice for any employer to do a basic internet search of a candidate. Visit the major search engines and do the same – you might be surprised at what comes up. Information that you thought was lost in your past or buried deep in the list of search rankings might show up in the top few spots. Look at both sites and images.

Check Your Social Media

This is an area that trips up a lot of job seekers. You might not like the idea of an employer going onto your Facebook profile, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. If they are able to view photos of you getting wild on a vacation or acting in a way that calls your character into question, it’s going to reduce your standing as a candidate.  The first step is to remove any embarrassing photos and information. The second step is to set all but the most basic information to private viewing. Make sure you don’t overlook any old profiles that may have sat dormant for years.

Watch Out for Your Friends

You may not have posted anything embarrassing online, but that doesn’t mean your friends and family haven’t. Don’t make the shortsighted mistake of only cleaning up your own profile. Scrutinize your entire presence on social media, even if it takes some digging. Get rid of the content you have control over, and politely ask friends and family to remove anything you don’t have control over.

Turn Negatives into Positives

There is some information that it’s simply impossible to scrub off of the internet. If you find embarrassing information that’s permanently imbedded, the solution is to bury it. You can do this by establishing profiles on additional social media sites, starting a blog or personal website, and getting active on message boards and professional sites. Over time the embarrassing content will fall in the rankings and eventually become invisible to all but the most determined searchers.

Cleaning up your online presence is not something you should do, it’s something you MUST do. To learn about other job search essentials, connect with the team at The Concorde Group to work with a top staffing agency in Connecticut and Westchester.

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Stay Connected to Your Job Networks Without Being a Pest

February 15th, 2016


Networking is a crucial component to getting a job. Hands down, who you know is going to make a difference in if you get the job, or not. Sometimes, even the most determined HR executive is going to choose someone they know over someone with a stellar resume. However, there is a fine line to cross. Asking friends and family, or other connections, for a job on a regular basis gets annoying. How can you stay in the back of their mind without pushing yourself on them?

Use the Right Networking Tools the Right Way

When networking, stay connected using the right tools and methods. You can do so without overwhelming your network. Here are a few key ways to keep the connection without burning the bridge.

  • Take a few minutes out of your day to use social media. Using websites like Facebook and Twitter keep your name and information in from of those you want it to be in front of. However, you are not pushing yourself on that recruiter. He or she keeps your name in mind but your message does not have to be an asking-for-a-job message.
  • Be social without just throwing your name around. Sometimes you will need to put yourself out there. You will want to schedule a meeting with a top recruiter or HR manager to discuss options and let them know you are looking for a position. What you do not want to do is to push the envelope too often.  Going out to lunch once every few months is enough.
  • Talk to those who like you. There is no benefit to talking, working with or trying to network with people who do not like you for some reason. They are unlikely to hand over your name in a discussion with an employer. Rather, spend your time building networks with those who do like you.
  • Become a resource for the other person. In other words, you will want to ensure you are offering them something. You may become their go-to person for industry news, for example. They learn something or better themselves by talking to you. You become valuable and they keep you in mind because of it.
  • Do ensure you are not overdoing it by watching the way the person reacts to you. If you notice, he or she stops responding to you or is not willing to meet your eye-to-eye, take the cue.

Networking is a critical component to building a successful career. Those who are looking for a job may easily overdo it, though. This happens when people get into positions where they simply need a job. However, pull it back and use networking effectively. It will make a significant difference in how successful you are with finding a job as well. Get your name out there and keep it in the back of the mind of the right person and you will land the right job if it is out there.

For more support with your job search, be sure to check out the resources at Concorde Personnel today! We welcome your comments below.


Small Business Web Design Tips That Appeal to Customers and Attract Job Seekers

February 8th, 2016

July 21st HR Managers

Designing a website for your company is more than just creating one that attracts the right customers. It also has to take into consideration the job seekers you are hoping will apply. Candidates should benefit from visiting the site to learn about your corporate culture and any career opportunities available as well. It is possible to create a website that serves the needs of all of these potential visitors, but doing so requires more than just putting up your average three-page website.

Attracting Customers with a Website 

Most businesses need to use their website as a tool for attracting customers – this could be your first and primary tool. If this is important, use these tips:

  • Stand out with your design. Ensure your site is different from everyone else’s.
  • Use images and lots of them. You do not want the website to load slowly, but you do want to use images to attract customers.
  • Make sure the site is easy to navigate. One of the biggest drawbacks of a website can be making it hard to find products or services.

If your website has personality and properly markets your brand, it will do well with customers. This makes it easy to meet your business goals.

A Website Focusing on Job Seekers

A business website can also appeal to those who are looking for a job. If you are hiring and are seeking employees to fit key roles, or just want to make sure you are accessible when the very best applicant is looking, design your site with job seeker benefits. Here are some tips.

  • Do not just say you are hiring. Most applicants will not apply unless there is potential in getting hired. If your site does nothing more than say you are hiring, it is not doing enough.
  • Provide information about the positions available. You should list information about the skills, experience and even the pay for the potential employee.
  • Ensure there is a way for candidates to apply to you. Provide a specific email address. Some companies allow applicants to apply for positions on the site by submitting resumes.
  • Use a hiring page to convey your needs, but also to encourage those with skills to apply. You will want to ensure the best apply, not just anyone. A hiring page can provide all of the information an applicant needs to answer the question, “Should I apply?”
  • Use your company blog to discuss working aspects of your job. This is the ideal place to discuss what it is like to work with your company. It is also a good way to get traffic to your hiring page if you are looking for candidates.

For applicants, finding a hiring page that lists positions and hiring requirements is like getting all of the information they need to know if they should apply. Hands down, this is one of the most effective ways to ensuring you get the best applicants.

Your business website needs to meet the goals and needs of any person visiting it. Just as you do not want to lose that value customer who stops by, you also don’t want to lose the top notch employee who is looking for a position. Make it work for all.



4 Skills to Showcase to Stand Out to Hiring Managers

January 26th, 2016

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. You’ve listed a vacancy, and the resumes have begun to pour in. As you read through the stack, you notice that the majority of the candidates have degrees from solid colleges, skills that are relevant to the position, and experience working in the industry. Basically, everyone is equally qualified. When this dilemma presents itself (and it often does) hiring managers have to look past hard credentials and evaluate candidates based on character and personality – soft skills. There are the four soft skills that you will want to showcase in order to stand out from all the other candidates:


You might be a top performer, but if you are hard to manage, you will only be a disruption to a team. Hiring managers want to know that the person they hire can take direction, respond to criticism and feedback, accept assigned roles, and defer to the decision of superiors. Candidates can demonstrate this skill by highlighting instances when they met goals and earned extra responsibilities.


You can have tons of great ideas, but if you can’t communicate them, they don’t do anyone any good. Conversely, if you can’t hear and digest the ideas of others, then you will cause a lot more problems than you solve. Hiring managers will hesitate to hire anyone who can’t communicate clearly in all formats and all settings. Candidates can demonstrate this skill by submitting a polished resume/cover letter and turning in a great interview performance.


You don’t get hired to work on your own; you get hired to work as part of a team. That is true regardless of the position or setting. If you can’t be a team player, you will hold everyone else around you back and put the biggest and most important plans in jeopardy. For obvious reasons, hiring managers don’t want to hire people who can’t work with those around them. Candidates can demonstrate this skill by highlighting team accomplishments and describing their individual contribution.


You might do great when things are going smoothly, but if you fall apart in stressful situations you’re not much of an asset to a company. In business, the unexpected is inevitable and stress is unavoidable. Hiring managers only want to bring someone onboard who can perform during the good times and the bad. Candidates can highlight this skill by describing moments of adversity and how they overcame them.

Rather than explicitly stating that you have these skills, prove that you have them using anecdotes, metrics, and demonstrations. Those carry a lot more weight with hiring managers. Find more resources to help you catch attention by contacting the Concorde Group.

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What Does “We’ll Keep Your Resume on File” Actually Mean?

December 28th, 2015

All job seekers have heard it before – “We’ll keep your resume on file.” Most of us interpret this as a polite way to say “Thanks but no thanks,” but there is always the tantalizing possibility that someone will reference your resume in the future and offer you a job out of the blue. So what does this overused phrase actually mean? Should you look elsewhere or hold out hope? It all depends on the job and the company, but usually this phrase means one of three things:

“We Like You as a Candidate, but Not for This Job”

There are some job seekers who have a lot of impressive credentials and interpersonal skills but simply aren’t the best fit for the job they’ve applied for. In this case the hiring manager may be legitimately interested in keeping you in the recruiting orbit, but doesn’t have a job to offer right now. You should only come to this conclusion if you have had at least one interview that you felt went well and received warm sentiments when you reached out to the hiring manager subsequently.

“There Was Never Really a Job Available”

Too often recruiting is more about optics than efficiency. Companies will often initiate a perfunctory recruiting process knowing the entire time that an internal candidate will be tapped to fill the role. That means you likely haven’t been vetted very closely and the offer to keep the resume on file is simply a polite sentiment. The good news, however, is that while you didn’t dazzle, you didn’t make a bad impression either. You should feel welcome to apply for future opportunities and can use your previous experience to demonstrate a longstanding interest in the company.

“Please Do Not Contact Us Again”

After an interview, it’s appropriate to follow up once but not more than that. There are a number of professionals, unfortunately, who haven’t learned this lesson and incessantly reach out to hiring managers post-interview. They will often get the resume on file line simply as a way to sever the string of contact. If you proved yourself to be a bit too eager (be honest with yourself), you should give up on this opportunity and look elsewhere. Use the experience as a learning opportunity and find a better way to demonstrate your enthusiasm.

No matter which of these responses applies to you, one thing is clear – you’re going to need to continue your job search. Don’t be deflated, just do things better. Access resources from The Concorde Group to help you find superior job opportunities in Westchester NY and get your foot in the door faster.

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Will Competitive Salaries Lead to Better Job Candidates?

November 18th, 2015

As a hiring manager your ultimate goal is to attract the best and the brightest. Unfortunately, competition for top talent is fierce, and the best available professionals essentially have their pick of employer. If you have struggled to attract these elite workers the problem may be simple – you’re not offering high enough salaries. Money is a powerful motivator, and investment in talent is one that pays dividends down the road. Learn what kind of impact competitive salaries can have on your recruiting efforts and decide for yourself if it might be time to loosen the purse strings.

Eliminate the Negotiation Process

In a perfect world, a top candidate would accept your very first offer and get to work immediately. But when you offer them less salary than they expect, it’s only natural for them to hesitate, look for other offers, and eventually initiate a bidding war. This is good for the candidate but bad for you because heated salary negotiations can push compensation levels higher than you ever intended to offer. By offering a fair and generous salary at the start, you show the candidate that you value their expertise and are eager to bring them on board. Once that respect is established the candidate is a lot less likely to go looking elsewhere.

Establish Yourself as a Top Employer

When you’re trying to attract top talent, you need to sell your company to them as much as they need to sell their credentials to you. Companies that are able to offer competitive salaries project an image of success and confidence. By contrast, companies that low ball candidates appear middling, back of the pack, and manipulative. No one wants to go to work for a company that seems to be struggling to stay afloat.

Gain a Bargaining Chip over the Competition

In the conversation around recruiting today, people like to talk about alternative perks, the work/life balance, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. All of these are nice to have in a job, but the simple fact is that compensation remains the single most important reason for going to work. Your competition may be trying to steal your candidates away by offering abstract benefits, but you can easily re-establish yourself as the top contender simply by offering more money. When asked to choose between a higher salary and flexible scheduling, most smart professionals will opt for the salary.

Competitive salaries are an important part of your recruiting efforts, but they shouldn’t be the only part. Learn about other effective, low-cost ways to attract talent into your orbit by contacting The Concorde Group, the premier boutique staffing agency in Westchester County.

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5 Smart Ways to Boost Your Earnings Potential

October 30th, 2015

Westchester Staffing Company

Everybody can use a little extra cash in their pocket. If you want to make more money or feel that you should be making more there are ways to achieve this goal. People can take advantage of self- improvement and making the most out of their positions to increase their earnings potential. Workers can position themselves for better pay and increase their value to their employer. Here are some ways to start boosting your income.

Recognize Your Worth 

One way to explore earnings potential is to see how much room you have to improve in this area. Research similar positions to the one you hold with other companies. See what they make in comparison to you.  The key is to quantify your worth in dollars and cents that your employer can understand.  A company’s first concern is bringing in revenue. The second is saving money. Show tour employer how you can contribute to this with accomplishments for the benefit of the organization. .

Be Open to Learning

Due to the tough economy, many companies are being forced to do more with less.  They need people who can multi-task with different skill sets.  Education is one way to increase your skills and command more income. Areas of training should be where companies have the most need.  There are also specialized areas that employers have problems filling positions on a regular basis. By mastering these fields, employees can enhance their  position with the company.

Develop Skills

Another method to increase your earning potential is to work part-time in a new trade, otherwise known as “moonlighting”. This can enhance your present work skills or give you the opportunity to learn a new career. You could start by finding a position similar to what you work in now, giving you more experience. There is also the option of working in a completely different area and learning something new. You can also easily work remotely doing flexible freelance work .

Develop a Career Track

If you feel you have not been given the right opportunities to advance in your organization, discuss this with superiors. Try to determine if there are certain skills holding you back. Always be open to improving skills and experience. Take advantage of in-house training. Volunteering to improve some areas is also an option.  Many companies work with outside community agencies sponsoring additional learning programs. Work with these relationships to enhance skills.

Start a Blog

There are now millions of blogs out in cyberspace. Free blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress make it easy to start one. This helps to create an online presence that future employers can review. It also provides the opportunity to make extra money. People can monetize a blog by placing ads and affiliate banners on them. Certain restrictions may apply depending on the platform used.

Taking advantage of ways to increasing earning potential can be a learning process. Identifying what an organization needs and being in a position to provide it can bring in a better salary.


Want to learn how to fully maximize all your career skills, and become a highly sought after professional (and well paid) in your field? Consider all the advantages of working with a staffing company like Concorde Personnel today!

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