Your Skills and Decoding the Job Description

Seeking a new role is always challenging; especially when looking on your own and scouring the internet for job descriptions. Being highly selective and waiting for that perfect role to come along before applying is not always the best strategy. Chances are you’re not going to find a job description that is 100% close to the type of role you are looking for. Typically it is recommended that you possess all skills listed on the job description; or at least it would be recommended you revise your resume to reflect the job description as closely as possible. Do you ever come across a description that is perhaps a 6/10 in terms of what you are looking for? Perhaps you should apply to these roles despite the discrepancies. There are several reasons why should apply to those roles you might be questioning even though you think you can only perform half (or less!) of the duties.

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to have all skills outlined in the job description. Sometimes soft skills are valued over technical skills. Attention to detail, organization, communication, and conflict resolution are all skills that cannot be taught that employers tend to value. When you interview with a company they are looking for professionalism, eagerness, and passion for your work. Excel, PowerPoint, SAP, or Oracle are all systems that can be taught to anyone. Don’t let those bullet points on the job description prevent you from applying.

If the job description is similar to what you are looking for, but you are unsure that it is right you, send your resume in anyway. You might be surprised to find that most job descriptions are not 100% descriptive of the role that will be performed. Request a phone call with the Recruiter/ Hiring Manager and allow yourself enough time on the call to ask any questions you may have. You can learn much more about a role through a phone call. This way you can avoid attending an interview for a job that is not a good match for your search.

When writing your resume make sure you showcase all your soft skills and be sure to demonstrate your willingness to be trained, your ability to absorb information and learn quickly, your passion for the industry/role you will be pursuing, etc. It is always refreshing to see those bullet points in a candidate’s resume because most candidates forget to include those characteristics. Take the time to think about the non-technical skills in your arsenal and include them towards the top of your resume.

You should make it a goal to apply to as many jobs as possible. Looking for work is partially a numbers game. If have not sent your resume to very many employers and think you might be getting a bit too picky try these tips out! You’ll have a new job before you know it.

 

Why Your Job in Customer Service is Valuable to Employers

Written by Lilly Segura

Graduation season is right around the corner! Perhaps the company you’ve been interning at will offer you a position but not everyone is lucky enough to have a job lined up straight out of college. You might have to either remain in or find a position in Customer Service, or Retail, for quite some time before landing that perfect entry level opportunity. Don’t despair! You might not realize it now but there are a number of reasons why employers prefer when you have had a position in Customer Service or retail. The following are reasons why having that Costumer Service experience will benefit you.

There are several skills you will learn in customer service roles which are valuable to employers. When you are in a role that requires you to be on your feet, serving, and meeting demands in a fast paced environment this reflects your sense of urgency. A sense of urgency is valuable in any field and necessary for you to keep up with the pace in a high demand setting. Conflict resolution and face-to-face interaction with customers is also valued; this is because most likely you will have to solve the customer’s problem right away. You also get to interface with customers who are regulars and get to build a professional relationship which is most definitely transferable to professional roles.

When it comes to serving, for example at a coffee shop where you are preparing and handling food yourself, you are most likely following protocol or what is referred to as SOP. Standard Operation Procedures ensure that you abide by steps laid out by corporate so that every drink is made the same by everyone in the company. This transfers into various fields and in many aspects of the work place. This demonstrates your ability to take instruction and direction and take those seriously; much like the policies and procedures within any given company. The ability to follow such instructions also demonstrates your attention to detail.

Accepting a position in retail right after graduating might seem like a waste of time or like it might interfere with your job hunt but you shouldn’t turn down work just because something might happen. Make sure to keep those jobs listed on resume as well as any of the skills mentioned above! Soft skills are definitely just as important as your technical skills. Hang in there during your job search. Hard work always pays off.

 

Are you a Wallflower on LinkedIn?

Stop being a wallflower. Our last blog article we discussed innovative ways to job search in 2015. This article will go into how to have your LinkedIn profile stand out from the whitenoise.

Written by Lilly Segura

By now we are all pretty familiar with social media and the ways it allows us to communicate with one another. Thanks to various websites we can now reach all corners of the earth and share information with the click of a mouse. Social media websites can not only be used for sharing the latest pictures of your cute new puppy but you can also use your profile pages to get noticed by employers. For tips and tricks on revamping your resume click here. There are a great deal of ways in which you can tweak your profile (or profiles) in order to get your name out there as well as get more traffic on your pages. Posting your resume on career builder and or monster are great ways to begin but there are other websites you can also use to your advantage.

 

Your Picture

A professional picture is very important and taken seriously on linked in. Make sure you post a picture from a work function, the latest company conference, or anything where you are dressed professionally (or at least decent). You might want to hold off on posting pictures of you and your silly friends at the local watering hole aka the local bar. Unless of course you are looking to land a bartender position.

Your Profile Page

At first glance your linked in page can seem like a professional online profile– which it is! Treat your page like a second resume and be sure to include as much information as possible. Use your current job description as well as a job description for the type of role you are looking to land as inspiration for your content. Google job descriptions and look at what types of qualifications and skills are required for the job you would like. LinkedIn is also a vast database for employers. Think of the site as a search engine and think about the key terms you use when searching for job postings, chances are employers are putting the same terms in their searches.

Don’t be afraid to be humorous or inject your personality into your profile. When scouring through hundreds of resumes all day it is refreshing to come across a resume in which candidates list their hobbies and or activities outside of work. If you make your own beer and like to go to star trek conventions every year put that on your resume! You never know, your next boss or hiring manager might be an even bigger Trekkie than you are.

Connections

Connections are to Linked in as friends are to Facebook. On Facebook having a great number of friends is a reflection of your popularity; on linked in your network/connections create connections to the people they are linked to as well. Linked in works in degrees. The more people you add the more traffic you will receive on your page because by adding one person you also gain their connections, and in a way their connection’s connection’s as well. Add everybody and build a professional network!

Following groups and companies are also excellent ways to get noticed. You’ll be able to find out about the company culture, as well as the characteristics of individuals whom are already working at the company. You can also get to know all the right people such as Hiring Managers, Supervisors, and HR. All of this information can be useful to you when contacting the right people online.  You can even see how and if your friends are connected to a company that you have perhaps been eying or are interested in applying too. Don’t forget about the way that someone can help you in real life as well. If a friend is connected speak with them about what you can do to get in and perhaps they can also assist you by speaking to the right people. A connection on LinkedIn can be a connection in real life.

Activity

Liking, posting, and sharing things on linked in is also a great way to drive traffic to your page. Not only do your connections see it on their feeds, but when they like or comment, their friends can look at what you post as well. Make sure your comments are positive and professional. Employers are looking for energetic and positive employees. The last thing you want is to come across as a Debbie Downer or a trouble maker.

 

There are endless resources available to you right at your fingertips and it is a shame not to use them. Linked in has replaced the need to walk into a place with your resume or to call places for information on their HR departments. LinkedIn is an online resource but it is also useful as a short cut in real life. Big things can happen for you if you take full advantage of these tools.  Make sure to keep all these points in mind and happy hunting!

Feel free to check our our job openings and social sites as well.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn 
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Social Media Job Hunting

Written by Nick Curtin

You are on the hunt for a job. You have reached out to recruiters, searched through the job boards, and scoured website’s career sections, but have you tried social media job hunting? Each passing day social media platform’s influence not only grows within our personal lives, but the business sector as well. The professional world looks toward social media to increase brand recognition, drive inbound traffic, improve customer insight, increase conversion rates, and most importantly humanizing their company. As such, more and more companies are leveraging their established positions in the social world to post their job openings. So ask yourself, have tried job hunting with any of the platforms below?

LinkedInLinkedin

Numero uno on the list for job hunting through social media – it is a professional networking site after all. LinkedIn doubles as a stage to promote your business acumen and a search engine for job advertisements. Be certain that on your profile that you have listed all of your experience, skills, education, and philanthropic activity. Food for Thought: Search other professional’s profile for a position you want to be in the immediate or near future and then look at their career path. Does it mirror yours? Maybe you have to alter your path.

 

Twitter

Twitter

Tweets, retweets, hashtags, hashtags, and hashtags…over the past few years twitter has been refining and improving their search, such that it has now become a very reliable and easy to use tool. Your job search can start by typing in desirable keywords into the search engine or exploring companies twitter pages. Hint: Many companies favorite their important tweets so their followers can track and advertise their openings without having to constantly repost it. Also, it cannot hurt to tweet out that you are in fact search for the job. Additionally, write a concise and informative description for your profile listing desirable job keywords.

 

 

FacebookFacebook

Facebook is often viewed in a much more personal light; however, having said that, companies have several sections on their ‘Pages,’ many of which include a career section or under their notes they list open positions. Also, while you are on the prospective company page write a complementary post on their wall that includes your desire to one day join their team. Very similar to the other platforms, you can always crowdsource opinions by posting on your wall about your job search.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest

It is the Pinner’s of Pinterest for the pin, I mean win, well fourth place really, but nevertheless has become another avenue for exploring job openings. Companies are creating Career Section Boards where fellow pinners cannot only find out about job openings, but share with their pools as well. There are also aggregate boards that attempt to capture all the job openings and sort them accordingly.

 

 

Instagram

Instagram

Unconventional, yet creative, users can utilize the Instagram search engine for pictures pertaining to open job orders. You may also try taking a picture of your resume/creative picture and post it @companies you would like to work for in the future.

 

 

 

Snapchatsnapchat

Really, really unconventional. Some major corporations have snap chat accounts. Send them your 10 second elevator pitch about why you should work for them and post to the general public so we can all enjoy your brave approach.

 

 

Go forth! Invade all social media platforms with your job hunting strategy – after all you now have the knowhow – turn it into positive action!

 

Good luck on your social media job hunting!

 

For more cool content please check out our Twitter and Facebook. For cooler content in the forms of jobs we are hiring for visit our Job Orders section.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

The Job Hunting 2015 Revision

Written by Nick Curtin

Job hunting 2015 style is a little different than it was 10 years ago. You may have posted your resume online and as the weeks go by your left wondering, “Why don’t I have awesome job offers sitting in my inbox already?” Posting your resume online is no longer enough to get the job you want, only to get the job that pays the bills. In order to avoid merely shouting into the void and to have the job market universe recognize your existence you have to build your brand. Yes, that is right, you are now a brand and you should be marketing yourself accordingly.

 

Platform Consistency

Your presence online occupies more than just the website that has your resume. Think about Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and LinkedIn. While you are job searching you want to use the same profile picture for all of these accounts. Also, it is important that all of the ‘About Me’ and information you are sharing in aligned with all your other platforms. Brand consistency builds brand credibility and allows you to share yourself on another level with an employer.

Professionalism

If a company reaches out to you and you are not interested, let them know. Do not just leave them out in the wind and while you are emailing your appreciation, but lack of interest, invite to connect with them on LinkedIn. Make your professional world a smaller one. In life it is good to have options and the more bridges in your network the better the options.

Resume

Make sure your resume looks great. Do not pay an exuberant amount of money to have someone do it for you, there are plenty of workshops and tools online that can help you create your resume. Another tactic can be to Google “Award Winning Resumes” and copy formats that resonate with you. Your resume will never get you hired, a company hires a person not a paper; however, a resume introduces the features of your brand, it gets your foot in the door, so make it a strong foot.

Keywording

When a recruiter or hiring manager finds your resume or LinkedIn, they got there by keywording. Typing words in the search engine that they feel are important for their potential candidate to have on the profile/resume – these words range from soft skills, specific software, standards, industries, etc. The point being, whatever field of expertise, research the keywords that are often used within it and incorporate that into your resume and social media platforms (platform consistency). The brands with the right words often find the ears and eyes to take them in.

Launching a Website

What better way to aggregate all the information about yourself than a website dedicated to your brand. There are many sites that can help you build them for free. Having a website increases your “searchablilty” via the major search engines, thereby increasing your chances of being found by a prospecting company.

 

Digging

Job boards are becoming increasingly expensive, so many companies have taken to their own websites adding career sections and placing job openings there. You know your brand, therefore you should know what companies can best utilize your brand. So you are going to have to start digging for future company. Google “best companies to work for,” or “strongest performing companies.” You may also utilize sites like Glass Door that act as a Yelp for reviewing a company (although take ratings with a grain of salt, as they are entirely subjective). Also, reach out to your LinkedIn network or look at successful people’s career paths on LinkedIn and implement that into your plans.

Embrace YOU!

Whether that means your hobbies, passions, philanthropic pursuits – make sure that is evident on all of your platforms (I would not advise placing those items on your resume, but that’s just my opinion). You are more than just a worker bee and most companies do not want to just hire a worker bee. They want a real person, so show them what you are all about! A brand with personality is much easier to identify and connect with as a manager/recruiter.

 

The job hunting industry has gone through several revolutions into evolutions over the past 15 years. Hopefully, following these key aspects into building your personal brand will help get you that job! Be sure to check out our openings, along with our Facebook and Twitter.

 Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

NEW YEAR, NEW GOAL, SAME YOU

Written by Lilly Segura

 

2015 is finally here and with the New Year come new goals. This year my goal is to help you with your pursuits! Now is a time for self-improvement in many facets of life be it socially, physically, professionally etc. Although many of us wait for the New Year to begin these various changes in our lives, we have to remember that we have the rest the year to set goals and meet them.  This is particularly true in our careers. We should always strive to improve ourselves professionally throughout the year.

The Importance of Goal Setting & Keeping Motivated

If you are not sure about what your goals should be, ask yourself: is there something that I am not yet doing that perhaps would help me reach what I would like to obtain? Whether that means that you want to get a promotion, make the next step towards performing your duties better, or transition in your career, and keep your eye on the prize. Visualizing your end goal is a great motivator to keep you moving forward and once you achieve your goal, there is no better feeling.

Trial and Error: Learn From Your Misgivings

Sometimes we fall short of our goals, but that is not necessarily a negative thing. Do not despair! All goals are made with one thing in mind: self-improvement. Sometimes things do not go our way and it is up to us to learn every lesson from it. Try to remember the last time you made an error and ask yourself why that happened and what you could have done differently. All you need to do flatten that bump in the road. Make the changes you feel necessary. It is all part of the journey to reaching your goal!

Boosting the Morale of your Environment from Leading by Example

Setting goals is about holding yourself accountable for performance. Performance is relevant no matter what position you are in or what move you are trying to make within your life. People will take notice of your efforts for self-improvement. Your coworkers will also see your positivity and in turn you can be a great motivator to them. Not to mention, your boss will see that you are striving to become better and more complete professional.

May this article help you in your efforts and happy New Year on behalf of the whole Apollo Staff! For more informative articles check out the rest of our blog or visit our Facebook and Twitter!

  Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Navigating the Holiday Party at Work

Written by Lilly Segura

It is that time of the year again, folks! The holly jolly holidays, along with the holiday party at your office. Parties come in many different forms. Perhaps you work at a smaller company or branch office and will be celebrating by having a quaint dinner. Perhaps you work at a larger company with a great campus and the party consists of multiple attendees including family. No matter the kind of a celebration you are attending there are a few ground rules everyone should keep in mind

1. Clothing

Do remain in a professional mind frame

The office get together is definitely a more relaxed environment for you and your coworkers to enjoy each other’s company. Remember that you are still at a work function even if you’ve stepped outside the office. Follow the general rules you normally would for a typical workday.

If the gathering is themed (i.e. ugly Christmas party sweater) partake in the fun! This will show everyone that you are a team player!

Don’t go too casual

If the gathering is a bit more casual you want to make sure your clothing is neat, tidy, and wrinkle free. Your outfit should also be modest. No stilettos or thigh high slits! Even though you might not work at a fashion design company now is the time to think outside the box and maybe even impress the bosses. They always say you should dress for the job you want. Do so by showing everyone that you are refined and polished, yet fun! Your boss might even see you in a different light and give that promotion a second thought!

2. Alcohol – What is a holiday party without a little bubbly?

Do drink in moderation

Make sure you will still be able to remain pleasant and amicable among your coworkers and loved ones. Also keep in mind that you might need to drive home and weather conditions can be harsh around this time of year.

Don’t be the office drunk. You will be made fun of for the rest of the year — or until someone else gains the title.

3. Conversation

Do remain positive and celebrate your free time together.

The office holiday functions to inject the company with unity. Remember that you are celebrating both your and the company’s success – make sure to show everyone how proud you are to be a part of a great staff!

Don’t say anything at all if you don’t have anything nice to say. Everyone is there to have a nice time and no one appreciates a Negative Nancy.

4. Multiple Customs

The holidays are a time to be merry! And a time for us to be conscious of the different holidays which are celebrated at the end of the year.

Do wish everyone “happy holidays” to avoid any stickiness

Don’t take it offensively if someone extends their good wishes for a holiday that you do not celebrate.  It is everyone’s intention to spread good cheer.

Moreover, remember to have fun! Workplace parties do not take place often. Do not be a scrooge and miss out on the yuletide jubilee. Enjoy your time with your fellow coworkers! Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

 

For more office decorum other than Holiday Party, please check out other articles or vist our Facebook and Twitter!

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Work Life Balance: Challenge Yourself

 

Written By Greg Johnson

Anyone familiar with businesses knows one of the first and most important parts of STARTING and MAINTAINING a successful business is creating a business plan / mission statement. Imagine the marketplace is a huge storm with minimal visibility; a mission statement will act as your compass guiding you and your business in the proper direction through that storm.

In the same way, your life needs a mission statement. You need to have your purpose written down and crystal clear. If you start “heading off course” your purpose will be your guide back to the right decisions and actions to put you back on course.

Capturing your purpose will give you the means to capturing that mystical status called “Work-Life Balance.”

The first step in finding your purpose is to sit down and write out YOUR definition. Who are you? I’m not talking about, “I’m Greg and I work at Apollo.” Get deep. Think about not just who you are now, but who you want to become in the future.

Someone whom I respect very much is a man named Ron Reynolds. He worked very closely with Jim Rohn for YEARS. The one activity that brought me more clarity as to who I am now and who I want to become came from this one piece of advice.

“Get a piece of paper. Put a line down the middle of the page. Now write down 10 things you want in your life that you don’t currently have. Then after that, write down 10 things you DO CURRENTLY have in your life that you DON’T want.”

I have never heard anyone talk about creating goals and defining your purpose that way. It radically changed my outlook on many different things. The reason it did is because writing down both sides (especially the 10 things I DIDN’T want) created an emotional connection to my purpose and making sure those things change in my life.

They were things like:

  1. Student Loan Debt
  2. A car that is constantly in the shop
  3. Inability to take my wife and kid on a vacation
  4. etc.

Once I had those things written down and committed to changing them, it did not matter what kind of a day I had, it did not matter if I had to get to work an hour earlier, eat lunch at my desk, and check emails at night. It did not matter if my boss said something that upset me or a client did not call me back. The things that used to bring me down were now just fleeting annoyances. No longer was I stressed or taking things personally, I was a rhinoceros – charging forward and chasing down my purpose. That is the magic that transpires once you have discovered your goals and dedicate your life to live by them everyday.

So I challenge you to do the same. Get a piece of paper and write down your goals. Prepare yourself and commit to change in your daily actions to achieve those goals.

Once you challenge yourself to create that missions statement look for my next post about the importance of getting the family on board. There has never been a Super Bowl champion team that did not have every player on board to win. If you want to win in life, you have to get your “teammates” into champion mindset. Until then!

Check out our FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Taking a Chance on a Contract

Taking a Chance on a Contract Written by Lilly Segura

Contrary to popular belief a contract position can be a great opportunity. Traditionally, most job seekers prefer a position where they can remain with the company permanently. However, there are some instances when a contract position can be beneficial to your career, or simply beneficial in particular places in life. Many companies like to employ temporary work for various reasons such as special projects and peak periods.The following are reasons why you should definitely keep an open mind when conducting your job search.

 

Contract Positions are Excellent for Entry Level

Many clients like to hire fresh young faces out of college with appropriate degrees and extra curricular activities. A contract position that would last around 1-2 years is perfect for entry-level candidates. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door with a company that would get you familiarized with industry terms, techniques, applicable laws, and standards.

When You are In-between Permanent Positions

Job seekers typically hope to find direct and long-term employment. However, there are employers who are looking to hire professionals for special projects. These projects generally call for specialized skills and offer the opportunity to become cross-trained and involved within various departments. This would be an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about the field that you will be working in and will help you understand the work of others. It is important that you do not rule out an opportunity simply because it is short in duration. It is better that you take a position rather than having a six-month gap in employment. You may even end up with a permanent position!

When You are Looking to Make a Transition

A contract position is an excellent way to make a transition from one industry to another. Sometimes companies have an immediate need and if they do not find the right candidate, they begin to look at similar roles in different industries. This could definitely be your shot at landing a role that would help you transition into a different field.

 

When you only consider permanent positions you are limiting your possibilities. Take a chance and apply for contract positions as well! When the right fit comes along, you should definitely take the chance and make that career move. Happy hunting!

 

For more great content about the contract world, check out our Facebook and Twitter.

Greg’s Top 10 Rules For the Job Hunter

Written by Greg Johnson

You see it on the news every day. You hear it on the radio and in conversation at the coffee shops. You do not have to go very far to hear negative news about the world and US economy. But the problem is, everyone is so focused on the millions of Americans that are unemployed that they aren’t looking at the 94% of Americans that DO have jobs.

With over 320 million people living in the US and the unemployment rate just under 6%[1] – what makes you different from the millions of other people looking for work? There are jobs are out there and this article is going to equip you with the arsenal necessary to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.

 

Greg’s Top 10 Rules

 

Rule #1:

Decide TODAY that you are going to get a job and eliminate all other options. While filing for unemployment might seem like the smart thing to do, more often then not it kills your drive to get a job. Once your drive is dead, you will stay unemployed longer, which makes your chances of getting a job decrease dramatically with the passing of time.

Rule #2:

Change the way you look at your situation. You are not unemployed. Your new job is getting a job. Spend as much or more time replacing the lost job than you spent at the job you lost! Have an attitude that if you have to spend 40+ hours a week doing that, you will get a job!

Rule #3:

Even if you have to take a job you consider beneath you, it is better to stay connected in the workforce with less pay than disconnected from the workforce with unemployment benefits (see step #1)

Rule #4:

Do not listen to the hype and gossip that no one is hiring! There are always companies looking for hard working, solutions oriented people that can help their company grow. While there are millions of people without work, most companies have not gone out of business. Keep the attitude that you will find a job and stay away from other negative, unemployed people because they could contaminate your attitude.

Rule #5:

Do not rely solely on your resume. Just because you have your resume on CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, or any other number of job sites, a resume will not get you a job. A resume will never get you a job. Companies hire people, not resumes.

Rule #6:

Do not rely solely on others to get you your next job. Staffing companies are an incredible source to place your resume in front of hiring managers; however, whether or not the recruiter can help you – the task stills falls to you to get your job. Take matters into your own hands and remember Rule #2

Rule # 7:

The fortune is in the follow up. Make sure you are always following up; whether that is with a recruiter or directly with the company. This communication will make you stand out immediately because it shows that you are excited and that you actually want the job. After an interview take 5 minutes to write a thank you email (not a letter because speed is crucial).

Rule #8:

In the interview, do not just talk about what you have done in the past – talk about what you can do to help the company grow and achieve their goals. Sell yourself and your skills.

Rule #9:

Never. Talk. Smack. There is no bigger turn off to a hiring manager than someone who is negative about their past employers or bosses. On that same note, do not tell them a story about how you were let go because your boss or co-worker had it out for you. You do not want to ever mention anything negative about your last position.

Rule #10:

Get Engaged! Check the Apollo website and connect with us through our social media profiles regularly because we are ALWAYS posting new and exciting positions throughout the United States.

To learn more about the job market or see some of our openings please check out our Facebook and Twitter.


[1] http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000