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.

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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!

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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.

Your Job Search Could Be Maligned By Your Resume

Your Job Search Could Be Maligned By Your Resume

Written by Nick Curtin

In today’s job search, people seeking employment are judged by their digital presence. This presence covers a myriad of areas, but is mainly encompassed by your resume. Whether it is posted in a job aggregator, job board, or emailed into human resources – that digital piece of paper will be scanned, scrutinized, and settled in 60 seconds. The resume is a double-edged sword – it can be the key or the obstruction to the doors of opportunity. In 2014, there are some key aspects to keep in mind before sending out a resume: location, key wording, grammatical errors, technology, achievements, and formatting.

 

Location

Every open space on a resume is a valuable piece of real estate. Take advantage of it! Do not bother with your address or the address’s of your places of work. These are often only negating factor, as it will be ASSUMED that certain job sites are too far of a commute for the individual. In my experience, I expect that when a candidate applies for a position, they know where the job site is located and are prepared for the commute. Therefore, do not give a recruiter a chance to deny you based on your location. If you are a qualified candidate, the unknown location will only fuel them to follow up with you.

Key Wording

Before you hit the ‘Apply’ button be sure that you have incorporated the job description within your resume. Not only should you have read the job description you are applying to, but  other company’s descriptions of similar positions as well. Then use their key words against them and immerse them within your resume.  This tactic is especially important when you are posting the resume on a job board. The more industry related keywords you use in your resume/profile, the more traffic that will be driven to it.

Grammatical Errors

How can you say you are ‘detail oriented’ if your resume is abound with grammatical errors and nonsensical phrases. I have worked with many hiring managers that will throw out your resume on the first error.  Your resume is an extension of yourself.  Have it reviewed by your family, peers, colleagues, etc. Opinions are like butts elbows we all have them. You do not have to heed everyone’s opinion, but the important part is that you are now cognizant of many points of view dealing with your resume. Thereby allowing you to make informed decisions on the content.

Technology 

As technology goes, so does the world. We are obligated to be familiar with certain softwares as a foundation block for most position. Upon which, we build and familiarize ourselves with the specified technology that is incorporated within our given fields.  Be sure to list any all and technology that you were exposed to, along with your level of expertise. (You can gain degrees of competency for many software programs if you watch YouTube Tutorials on them – food for thought).

Achievements

As important as listing your duties for each job may be, writing out your achievements for each position is just as important. No matter how small, if you are proud of a contribution at your past employment, list it! Preferably, with data/numbers aligned with your achievements to reinforce it.. Recruiters/Hiring managers love numbers!

Formatting

Unless you are applying for a Graphic Designer position, we would recommend sticking with the traditional black typeface on a light sheet of paper. Furthermore, you should only use one size typeface throughout the whole resume (except for your name), emphasize your job titles – not the companies you worked at, and align everything to the left. Many, but not all, are taught to read left to right, thereby streamlining your resume to those natural tendencies will only aid your resume review.

 

There  may be different opinions on the key aspects of building a resume, but these 6 should provide a solid foundation for you to build upon. If you would like to debate any said points, please feel free to tweet at us or post on our Facebook. We would be more than happy to hear your opinions!

 

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for next week! For more help on your job search go to our contact page. 

Contracting and How to Avoid Co-employment

Contracting and How to Avoid Co-employment

Written by Lilly Segura

Contracting can be confusing. A number of different issues can arise in the workplace and it is often difficult to make a decision about whom you should consult with for a solution.  In all cases your employer is your staffing agency. Co-employment refers to an employee-employer relationship with two distinct entities. In short, Apollo is your sole employer. You are placed on assignment at a facility where you will be working with and taking direction from associates who are a Supervisor or Hiring Manager for your client. Co-employment should ultimately be avoided. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of co-employment.

Who should I go to if there is an issue with a co-worker or project?

There are a number of things that can go wrong in the workplace. Perhaps your project is being hindered because of a tardy associate.  Perhaps you are in between two co-workers who have negative things to say to one another. Perhaps you think it is about time some one approaches a co-worker about an offensive perfume. These are all problems that can be taken care of on-site. These kinds of issues can certainly be brought up to your supervisor. Together you can both reach solutions that are hopefully constructive! Similar issues can include a late arrival, switching shifts, or taking time off. Project related issues should also be discussed with your supervisor. Basically, any time you have an issue or question that would be taken care of on site, you should go ahead and have that resolved by your supervisor.

Who should I go to if there is a problem with my payroll or benefits?

HR related issues should always be brought up to your employer. When it comes to any problems with pay, insurance, or if you are unclear on certain HR related protocols you should seek the help of your recruiter. Asking your fellow co-workers on site for advice or information can be helpful as long as they are also with the same staffing company. It is generally a good idea not to ask contractors from other staffing agencies, as they would not provide you with the correct information. Policies and procedures vary from company to company.

Lastly in the case of an absolute emergency, please try and contact everyone you would report to including those on site and at the staffing agency. That can mean having to contact anywhere from 3-5 people, but it is always a good idea to keep everyone in the loop! When in doubt about anything at all do not hesitate to call your recruiter. We are here to help!

 

Thank you for stopping by, if this article interested you please be sure to check out two of our “Unwritten Rules” articles about thank you letters and professionalism in the workplace. For more content, feel free to stop by our Facebook and Twitter.

As always, if you would like to reach out to a recruiter or sales person in a particular office, visit our contact list here!

Health Tips #3: How Not Taking Breaks Make You a Rookie

Written by Nick Curtin

Apollo’s past workplace health tips have targeted proper posture throughout the workday and unhealthy consumables, substituting them with nutritious and beneficial replacements. This week we are focusing on your mind. The key to a sharp and refreshed mind is taking breaks! When you work for prolonged periods of time you can exhaust your cognitive capacity, impeding the creativity and innovative parts of your brain.  Here are six ways to spend your breaks like a pro:

Meditation

It is important to remember that meditation is not about closing your eyes and drifting off on a daydream or specific thoughts. It is about being aware of all that is around you and the experiences that are occurring in that moment. You want to create a broad focus on your environment as you count the steady flow of your breaths. Ideally, these are best done in 10-15 minute intervals twice a day.

Exercise

Get away from your desk. Whether that is a walk outside, doing dips on your office chair, squats, or jumping jacks – just do something! Exercise helps reduce stress, improve self-esteem, modify moods, and even make you feel better about your body even though there is no physical change.

Games

On a break challenge yourself to a crossword puzzle, word find, riddle, or websites like Lumosity that engage and develop our mental capacity.  Competing within these games can help ease stress and harness your focus for the rest of the day. Not too mention, it is also fun!

Be Social

Take a short break and reach out to another co-worker – focus the discussion on them as a person not as their title or job responsibilities. In this route, you are recharging your brain by stepping away from your work and you just might brighten someone’s day.

Nap

If your work place allows it, close your office door or go out to your car – take a 20-minute nap. Napping improves learning, memory, creativity, and mental alertness.

Literature 

Go online and read through a few articles. The words of another can be a nice distraction allowing you to recalibrate your focus. You never know, you may learn a thing or two from articles online!

 

Performing any one of the six while taking breaks and you will gain that mental clarity to tackle the rest of your day! Apollo appreciates you stopping by, stay tuned for health tips #4! For more content please check out our Facebook and Twitter. Also if you would like to reach out to one of our offices contact us here.

The Unwritten Rules: Entry Level Positions and Your Professional Self

Written by Lilly Segura

So you are fresh out of college and you have just landed your entry level position. Congrats! A whole new world lies right before you, as well as a whole new set of unwritten rules. Below I have provided 5 rules to aid your first expedition into the professional world.  Some of the rules may prompt you to crown me Captain Obvious, others may even seem silly, but nonetheless these are key factors that people have been prone to forget.  

1. Learn to assess your environment

Sometimes being a rookie can stink – the maverick associates may crack a joke or the previous newbie may give you the stink eye. Do not take these things to heart. Getting to know everyone can take time and its important to be patient as you adjust to the new work environment. Part of learning your new surroundings is assessing what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. So be sure to keep this in mind as adapting to your new company is just as important as your initial tasks and training!

2. Some words are better left unsaid

On Monday morning you may want to share your weekend and retell the events that transpired while you were standing in line at the Funky Soul Club and that is okay! A personable approach and building camaraderie within the work setting are always great. However, there are moments when these tales can be a wee bit inappropriate. Sometimes, people have the propensity to say or share a little more than they should in the work place. It is also important to keep in mind that in cases where your sentences starts with, “I don’t want to be a jerk but,” or, “I don’t mean to sound blankety blank but…” you may not want to finish that sentence. Remember that no matter where you are – be it at a business conference in Miami, on a lunch meeting with a client, or chatting with a coworker in the bathroom – you are an extension of your employer and should do your best to represent your company’s name to the best of your abilities with courtesy and poise.

3. Follow proper protocol

Familiarize yourself with the employer’s policies and procedures. One of the easiest ways to make a newbie mistake is being ignorant of these rules! To contractors – when you are working with a staffing company, it is not only important to know your place of work’s rules, but the staffing company’s policies as well. When in doubt about a particular situation, it is always helpful to keep both your supervisor and your staffing company in the loop; as the immediate supervisor or manager may not be familiar with contractor protocols. The safest bet for everyone is to learn all rules about operating as a professional within the new company.

4. Hygiene & dress code

I know what you are thinking – you do not need me to tell you to shower or that certain shirts (low, low cut) are inappropriate, but oh yes, I do! I have heard a few stories in my day that would (hopefully!) be shocking to professionals of every industry. Keeping your body clean and dressing appropriately are self-evident truths that we all can and should agree upon. This is so basic and imperative, it is akin to forgetting to bring your resume on a first interview, but worse since odors can be much more offensive. Big no no!

5. Have fun!

Get involved! Whether that is a company’s Fantasy Football League, walk-a-thon, or volunteering – just do it! It may sound a little dorky, but you never know what you might miss by standing on the sideline.  Your job does not have to be all work. Get in there and have fun!

No excuses, you have been informed! Stay tuned for next month’s Unwritten Rules! For more content check out our Facebook and Twitter! Also, if you would like to reach out to one of our offices the contact information is here.

The Unwritten Rules: The Thank you Letter

How and Why to Write a Thank You Letter

By Lilly Segura

Congratulations! If you are writing a thank you letter, or are thinking about writing one you have recently gone on an interview. Thank you letters are a great way to follow up post-interview and show the Hiring Manager that you are still interested in the position after meeting. If you stick to these five general rules your thank you letter will surely make you stand out among the competition:

Appreciation towards the Hiring Manager

Be sure to thank the hiring manager for their time. This is the main purpose of a thank you letter and a thoughtful gesture on your part. Be sure to both open and close the letter with a thank you.

Maintain Professional Vernacular

Your language should always be professional. When writing your letter be sure to leave out any slang or relaxed language. I recently received a thank you letter that read, “Thank you for taking the time out of your crazy busy schedule…”         

Although the language is not inappropriate the word crazy is used as a slang term. Try to avoid words like ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, or (my personal favorite) ‘tight’. In this case the words: highly, very, or extremely would have worked beautifully.

Exhibit your Passion for the Job

Show your enthusiasm for the position. Be sure to reiterate—because I am sure you have already mentioned at your face to face interview—that you are excited about the possibility of working at the company. Write something along the lines of, “I saw many great things when looking around and I think I would be a great asset to the group!”

Punctual Delivery

Do not wait too long to send the letter. Generally you should send the thank you letter between 1-2 days post interview when you are still fresh in the Hiring Manager’s mind. Hopefully you dressed professionally too!

Grammar

Finally, please, please, please be sure to check your grammar and spelling. Do not rely on autocorrect. You can even have a fresh pair of eyes look for your mistakes by asking a friend or colleague to proof read it.

 

Now go make a great impression and get that job! Happy writing!

Stay tuned for more unwritten rules to separate you from the pack. (Hint, Hint…start by contacting us – Click Here)

Health Tips – 2. Consumable Substitution within the Office

By Nick Curtin

Apollo’s first health tip article focused on physiological awareness – putting your body in the correct positions to avoid possible associated health risks with poor work posture. This week we are focusing on substituting consumables with healthier options.

We all like to snack. There are usually a few co-workers that have a few delectable morsels on their desk; however, if you are snacking throughout the day you risk adding a few hundred calories to your daily diet. As the days compound so do those calories into unwanted pounds. Having said that, I am still a pro-snacker. All I am saying is snack wiser. Substitute the hard candy and chocolate for fruits, nuts, veggies with light dip, and a personal favorite/nearly guilt free – Air popped organic popcorn. Although, if you are not able to control yourself with those substitutions, then perhaps its best to take the snacks out of the office – “out of site, out of mind.”

Many people drink soda throughout the day whether for the taste, caffeine, or both. However most sodas contain at least 12 grams of sugar and even artificial sweeteners in diet soda can be haphazard to your health. Therefore, try to instead to drink a good amount of water – eight to 10 glasses every day — can help keep you hydrated and be more alert. Many foods are also good sources of water; fruits like oranges, grapefruit, grapes, watermelon, and apples can help keep you healthy and hydrated. Other options to maintain alertness during the lolls of the day are stretching, green tea, ginseng, vitamin B pills, or even black tea/coffee.

So if you are going to snack, feeling a little tired, or are just thirsty keep the substituted consumables I have mentioned in this article in mind. We hope you have enjoyed the easy health tips from Apollo, where you are not just a number, but a person. If you need to get in contact with us, click here!

 

 

 

Become Your Own Super Hero

Become Your Own Super Hero

Written By Nick Curtin

Too often we are waiting to be rescued. Whether that’s being rescued from a negative person, a situation, a job, or a way of life. This presetting can stem from a sense of entitlement, a fear of change, an apathetic mindset, or any other misconstrued reasons built into our brains. This mindset creates a world of consistency where the occupants never rock the boat, no matter how far off course. Where the singular benefit is being able to anticipate all the negative and positive things as they drift along in a world of consistency. Nevertheless, that is a dangerous world because you are not satisfying your inner desires. This “waiting for help” will not only take a toll your physical health, but your mental health as well.

We all have a responsibility to manifest our personal greatness. You have to be your own super hero. The only person that is responsible for your health, happiness, and success is you. I am not equating a successful life to being rich. For some people that may be the case, but I prefer to think of it as a level of satisfaction acquired through purposeful living. What is required for purposeful living as your own super hero? It implores you to maintain an open mind, embrace the unknown – being lost is not as scary as it seems, cutting away the negative cancer in your life, implementing short and long-range goals, a positive attitude, and either searching or living out your passions.

Every super hero holds one commonality; they have a super powers.  Human beings are incredible creatures of nature, but are there super powers within each and every one of us? I am telling you right now it is not about your level of intelligence or the talent you possess, all humans have the capability of utilizing the super power of perseverance.  It is a mindset that you are going to go for what is yours in this world. To become your own super hero you have to make a declaration of what you stand for, you know what you want and you are going to go all out to have it, take leaps of faith, and to make the daily commitment to develop yourself in an image you deem necessary.

Being your own super hero is not going to be easy. You will be going against the tide and life may try and push back with adversity – there will be challenges, critics, and even low periods in your life. These are the most important moments of your life; do not run from them, embrace them. This is where the personal growth takes place and the hard work begins. Anybody can be a super hero when they feel good, when they have their health, happy relationships, anybody can be a super hero in a positive state. The real challenge of growth mentally, emotionally, and physically is when we rise up to adversity. As a moment can be defined as either an exact point in time or signifying importance, then I say declare these chapters in your life as your momentous moment. Wherein you beat back the challenges with your superpowers of perseverance and determination, as both are omnipotent in the face of adversity.

More importantly, when you begin to commit to positive daily action as your own super hero, you become a beacon for others and allow for the transference of empowerment. Helping others by helping yourself. A funny notion…yes, but look at the classic character traits of a leader – vision, commitment, and integrity. The authentic personality generated by self-confidence of being your own super hero displays integrity, the decisive and goal-oriented thought pattern exemplifies vision, and the super power of perseverance embodies commitment. People are naturally drawn to individuals that exhibit these qualities and are willing to support you and your goals along the way.

Now swell with this knowledge gained, emit energy and passion in all directions, be like the Sun gazing from the center of the universe, reach out to the stars, where our true self exists, your cosmic purpose discovered and destiny remolded in your hands. So harness your will, in spite of all opposing forces, know that you are in control and nothing will let get you down.