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.

2014: A Year In Review

2014: A Year in Review

Written by Nick Curtin

In the 30 year history of Apollo Professional Solutions, there has never been a year that has brought more change and enthusiasm than happenings that transpired in the year 2014. Three key highlights from our year:

  1. Our newly formed marketing division (spearheaded by David Barrios – Director of Marketing) has put forth a huge effort to increase our visibility and exposure in so many different ways – Apollo Blog, Twitter, Website Content, and Facebook. Also, we saw a company-wide training endeavor to provide more targeted based education in areas of sales, recruiting, and compliance.
  2. Computer Deployment: The holiday season brought new computers and software to the Apollo offices. We enter the New Year with faster equipment, updated browsers and Windows 8.1.
  3. ACA: It was a challenge, but Kristen Madzarac – HR Director, did an excellent job securing a totally compliant product that provides the essential coverage for our awesome contractors.

We look to the New Year with both eagerness and determination at the challenges that lay in wait for Apollo. We appreciate all those that helped contribute to Apollo’s success in 2014 and we hope that those contractors have  contributed a solid chapter in their personal success story as well. Also, for those that have yet to jump on the Apollo Bandwagon, there is plenty of room. Check out our current openings or reach out to one of our regional offices for more information.

That’s our year in review!

Keep an eye on our twitter for the latest Apollo News and Hot Job Openings!

Happy New Year!

 

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

Success Story: Loyalty Pays Off

Loyalty in the contracting world is not as prevalent as it should be. There are many companies that solely focus on the bottom line, just like there are many contractors job-hopping to next highest paying job. Both sides cannot really be blamed because the system we currently operate in encourages them to do so. At Apollo we recognize that we have the ability to impact a person’s career path from a couple months to a couple years, and we maintain a service edge when it comes to interacting with our clients and contractors. Loyalty is exemplified by our success story today;  on this rare occasion we celebrate the success story of a man who has been with us these past seven years. Robert Asher has certainly committed a large bulk of his success story to Apollo and for that we are grateful.

Interview

1. Prior to working with Apollo, what were you looking for in a career?   

I was looking for a long term contract and a pleasant work environment.  This assignment has lasted over 7 years and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with.

2. How did you find about Apollo? 

I learned about Apollo from Bruce Thomason, Regional Vice President for Apollo.  I had worked for Bruce on a previous assignment and knew from that good experience I could trust him and Apollo.

3. How did your experience with Apollo compare to what you expected or experienced with other staffing firms? 

I have worked for over six different staffing firms and Apollo has been the best of the group.  Bruce Thomason hand delivers my pay stub in person every week which allows us to chat face to face which I appreciate. If I ever have any questions Bruce generally has the answer or if not he quickly gets back to me with an answer.  I have never had a mistake on my paycheck or had a direct deposit that was late.

 4. What excites you most about your current job? 

One of the interesting things about my job is working on new programs such as the X47-B.  This unmanned aircraft that can take off and land from an aircraft carrier without human intervention.  Working on new programs like the X47-B is always more interesting that working on old existing programs.

5. In there anyone specifically at Apollo that you would like to thank?

Bruce Thomason.  He got me this job and has done everything possible to keep me happy here.

6. What else would you like us to know? 

I first went contracting over 30 years ago and have never looked back.  I have seen parts of the U.S. and the world that I never would have seen if I had continued to work as a direct these past 30 years.  I have worked with many interesting people on interesting programs which keeps the job interesting.

Robert Asher’s journey is special tale and one we are proud to share with the world today. Truly, he has contributed to Apollo’s success story as much as we have contributed to his story. There are so few words in the English language that could fully encapsulate our gratitude towards Robert Asher, so we will leave him with a simple message;

“Thank you, Robert for all of the hard work and loyalty that you have shown us these past seven years. As we say in Apollo, may your journey continue onward and upward. All the best.”

Also, a big thank you to all the reader’s loyalty to our blog and if you would like to see more content please check out our Facebook and Twitter.

 

Success Stories – Excelling in Customer Service

Apollo’s Success Stories – A Champion of Customer Service

For the month of July, Apollo extends our warmest regards to Christina Captain! We all may fry in July, but Christina has certainly not fried in her latest position. She has kept her cool and been performing admirably at our client’s facility. Here is a chapter from her success story: 

Prior to working with Apollo, what were you looking for in a career?

Prior to working with Apollo, I was seeking a career in customer service/relations, management, or operations within any industry.

How did you find about Apollo?

I found out about Apollo online through the job search site, Indeed.com as far as I can recall.

How did your experience with Apollo compare to what you expected or experienced with other staffing firms? If no experience with other staffing firms, perhaps preconceived notions going into it?

I did not have any prior experience with any other staffing firms in the past. I have always sought direct hire employment. Apollo has met my expectations, in terms of staffing and support.

What excites you most about your current job?

My current job gives me the responsibility and ownership to make decisions on behalf of the company to support our mutual customers. I am grateful for the experience and to learn about the automotive industry from a corporate standpoint.

In there anyone specifically at Apollo that you would like to thank?

I would like to thank Linda Flynn for noticing my skills and experience and extending the opportunity to me. I would like to thank Lilly Segura for her continued support as well.

What else would you like us to know? 

I would recommend Apollo to friends and family seeking employment who have not been successful finding employment the traditional route.

Christina is one of the many candidates who have found success through Apollo. She has several Customer Service Awards, added more responsibilities, and has even trained new Customer Service Representatives. We are proud to have contractors such as Christina who represent Apollo with such professionalism. All of us at Apollo strive to show the same ethic and dedication towards both of our contractors and customers. We are the service edge, We are YOUR staffing firm, We are Apollo.

Health Tips – 1. Proper Posture

By Nick Curtin

Good Health is the ultimate goal, here are a fews tips to keep in mind at work

Sitting behind a desk for work may not be as hazardous for your health as some positions like working out in the field or within a manufacturing environment; however, there are still health risks associated with desk work. In some cases, these health risks are worse because we barely notice them, they slowly eat away at us and hurt our health. One way to put you in a good position with health, is having correct work posture (Do you see what I did there?).

United Healthcare sent out the following advice about dealing with posture, take heed this might just help.

“Proper posture is about more than keeping up appearances. When you stand, sit or lie down properly, you take pressure off your muscles and ligaments. This means less wear and tear on your spine and joints — and a shot at keeping joint and back pains and injuries at bay. Whether you’re standing, sitting or going to sleep, consider your body position and have a better health.

Stand tall

1. Place your feet about shoulder-width apart — and point them forward. Bend your knees slightly. Put most of your weight on the balls of your feet.

2. Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward. Tuck in your stomach.

3. Keep your ears, shoulders and hips in line.

Sit pretty

1. Keep your feet on the floor or a footrest — with your ankles in front of your knees. Don’t cross your legs. Knees and hips should be level. Leave a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of the seat.

2. Adjust your chair to support your low and middle back. Or, use a back-support cushion or rolled towel. Relax your shoulders.

3. Keep your ears, shoulders and hips in line. Try to avoid sitting for long periods.

Rest easy

1. Sleep on your side or back — not on your stomach.

2. Are you a side sleeper? If so, put an extra pillow between your legs.

3. Are you a back sleeper? If so, put an extra pillow under your knees.”

 

Its great there is a company like United Health Care looking out for all of us. Thanks for visiting Apollo Professional Solutions, where you’re not just a number, you’re a person. Stay tuned for next week’s article and if you ever need to contact us click here.

Success Stories – First Time Using a Staffing Firm

For the month of May, Apollo would like to extend our warmest welcome to our latest success story, Samuel Capouch. Sam was a recent graduate looking for work after school, below is his story.

 

1. How did you experience with Apollo compare to what you expected or experienced with other staffing firms? If you had no experience with other staffing firms, perhaps preconceived notions going into it?  

I sent my resume to several staffing firms in regards to the junior scientist position. Apollo Professional Solutions was extremely prompt with their reply, and quickly did everything that they could to get me placed into the position and offered whatever assistance they possibly could throughout the entire process. I have not had experience with a staffing firm in the past, but I have had friends who have utilized staffing firms in the past in order to obtain employment. I was pleasantly surprised with the effort and continual support that Apollo provided me with throughout the entire hiring process, as well as the resources that were provided to me in order to assist with preparation for interviews and what to expect when I began my job.

2. How did you hear about Apollo?  If you had not heard of Apollo prior to us establishing contact with you, what were you looking for in a career and how did Apollo assist that pursuit?   

I discovered Apollo when exploring career websites in my pursuit for an entry level position. Apollo, when compared to the other staffing firms that I had researched and made contact with through the web, provided the greatest amount of clarity and most in depth explanation in regards to the position that I was applying for. This put me at a distinct advantage when going through the application process, as I knew what to expect throughout the whole process and how to better prepare myself for each step along the way.

3. Is there anyone specifically at Apollo that you would like to thank?

I would like to thank Nicholas Curtin specifically for continually providing me with support throughout the application process, for always being forthcoming with what to expect during the interview process, for providing me with resources in order to better prepare myself, and for keeping in contact with me throughout the entire process.

4. What else would you like us to know?

Overall, I had a great experience with Apollo and their help to place me in my current career. I could not have obtained this job without the diligent help of Nick Curtin and Gloria Beach, as well as the other staff members at Apollo Professional Solutions. Finding entry level positions right out of college is always a challenging task and the fact that I gained employment immediately after graduation speaks volumes about the abilities of Nicholas Curtin and the other employees of Apollo. Professional Solutions.

 

Samuel is one of the hundreds of success stories for Apollo Professional Solutions. As a company, we consider customer service as one of our core values, we pride ourselves on being both prompt and efficient in the way we assist  contractors and clients, alike. We are very glad to hear Samuel echo that same sentiment. We are the service edge, We are YOUR staffing firm, We are Apollo. Click here to contact us.

Incorporating a Staffing Firm in Your Job Search

By Nick Curtin

To all those people who are searching for a job and have not contacted a staffing firm, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Staffing firms may be known for their contract/temporary labor, but  many handle permanent positions as well. Did you know there are  over 27 million companies[1] in this country? Trying to find the best fit by yourself can be an arduous task.  Here are 6 reasons to work with a staffing company, like Apollo:

Geographical Reach

US Map We work with organizations across the nation from small businesses to fortune 100 companies. We take a vested interested to help them find the most qualified candidates when they have new roles to fill. So we take the utmost importance is finding the right fit for both candidate and the client for optimum placement.

Intel

Binoculars

It is literally a staffing firm’s job to find out which companies are hiring and assisting them their search for qualified talent. We can find and bring you opportunities that you wouldn’t have discovered on your own – like positions not posted on job boards or announced publicly – without spending any time searching for them.

Talent Pool

Stand OutThe first place we look to find candidates for our clients is our Talent Pool—a database community of professionals who have signed up to find jobs better suited to their experience and background. When you become apart of our Talent Pool you stay in the loop about the most exciting impact jobs without searching online for hours each week. When we receive a job that matches your profile, we’ll send you an email to see if you might be interested.

The Tailor Fit

TailorIf you apply through us, you’ll have someone to talk to on our team who’s got the inside scoop on the job and organization, and know that experts in hiring are handling your application with care. We build a profile for you within our database and populate it with your requirements on company culture and position details.

Money

It’s Free

Joining the talent pool is totally free. You’re not obligated to pay in any way by finding jobs through Apollo.

 

 

Passive SearchPassive Searching is the best kind of search

Already have a great job? No problem. By joining a Talent Pool, you can passively explore new opportunities just by checking your email with tailored job openings. Who knows, you just might discover a new dream job that you didn’t even know existed.

 

 

Nota Bene – patience is paramount. We are not able to predict how long it will take for you to hear about relevant jobs through Apollo. The openings we are able to bring to the talent pool are entirely dependent on our client’s hiring phases. Think of having your resume with a staffing firm as a passive way to conveniently find out about jobs over time, rather than for finding one right this instant.

Click here to have your resume sent into our database.

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[1] United States Census 2012

Interview Tips: 8 Ways to Nail your Interview

By Nick Curtin

Last week we delved into the nine mistakes to avoid during the interview process, now we are going to over the eight ways you can nail your interview. As you read the following, you may notice there are similarities between tips between each list.

Research the Company Beforehand 

It is of the utmost importance that you research the company you are interviewing with for your future position. Visit their website, memorize the leadership of the company, go to their products, and media page. Not only are you showing that you are a proactive candidate, but you are also able to speak to the company’s business interests, leadership, and current events.

Be Prepared – You Only Get One First Impression 

So make it count! Be sure to dress to impress. Have an organized interview kit that consists of several copies of your professional resumes, notepad, pen, water, and a list of questions for the interviewer. Also, be sure to give a firm hand shake and kind smile when you greet your interviewer.

Body Language 

90% of what you are saying is not coming out of your mouth. At all times be sure to maintain proper posture, good eye contact (do not grill your interviewer, but when they engage with you make sure to look directly back at them), and try your best not to fidget. Helpful hint to fellow fidgeters: Flex your calf muscles if you feel a temptation to start fidgeting. I do not know why, but it works.

Be Yourself 

The company that you are interviewing with are going to hire the person that is in the interview room. Pretending to be someone else could not only come off as  unauthentic, but if you are hired, you are only setting yourself up for failure because they did not actually hire you. On that note, do not lie on your resume. If you are being hired on the fact that you are an expert with JAVA and C++ and the only experience you actually have with that is watching a couple YouTube videos prior to the interview, you are wasting the company’s time and your time because you will not last. At the end of the day if you are not a good match, then you are not a good match.

Be Confident 

Confidence plays a direct role in being yourself and presenting good body language. You have an interview, your foot is in the door! Clearly, they liked what your resume/cover letter had to offer and the interviewer is willing to clear part of their day to meet with you. Now that you have that door open, do not let them shut it. Recognize that you are a valuable commodity and be sure when you leave that room that you have proved how beneficial your addition will be to their team.

Interview the Interviewer 

It is important to realize that the hiring process is a symbiotic relationship – the company acquires talent and the candidate gains employment. This should put a fair amount of power in the candidate’s hands, you should be interviewing interviewer just as much. Inquire about the direction of the company, the team dynamic, overarching strategy, how can they improve their market position, possible future changes, how much they made last year before taxes, etc. Okay, clearly that last question is a bad idea, but you get my point. Within your interview kit should be a list of applicable questions that pertain to the job and the company itself.

Read Last Week’s Article – Interview Tips: Nine Mistakes to Avoid 

Knowing what not to do is almost as important as knowing what to do. Click here to find out the mistakes to avoid.

Follow Up 

When you leave the interview, provide another firm handshake, reaffirm your desire for the position, thank the interviewer for their time, and ask for the business card. When you get home, promptly write and mail a hand written letter reiterating your thankfulness, desire for the position, and your eagerness to hear from them soon. Sending this note via email will get the same point across, but the personal touch is often amiss in today’s world and may separate you from the pack.

There you have it. The eight ways to nail your interview: researching the company, be prepared, use good body language, be yourself, be confident, interview the interviewer, read the mistakes to avoid article, and be sure to follow up. Apollo Professional Solutions passes along these same techniques to the contractors we staff throughout the United States, perhaps that’s why we have such a great interview to offer ratio. Care to find out more? Click here to contacts us.

 

 

 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFT SKILLS

 Written by Lilly Segura

When searching for candidates, be it for entry-level or executive positions there are always underlying characteristics that we, the recruiters, seek out. These characteristics fall under the term soft skills. Soft skills are rarely found on resumes. For instance, as a job seeker comes across a job description, they might find the employers stating a need for individuals who will, “posses the ability to make independent decisions,” or, “the ability to interact with all team members across the company.”  Qualities of this nature are defined as soft skills. These are often times skipped over by candidates and not included on resumes. It is hard for a recruiter to assess those skills by simply reading a resume since they are more personality based as opposed to a technical skill such as autoclaving a laboratory instrument. How are such skills assessed?

While screening prospective candidates recruiters look for enthusiasm, excitement, and professionalism. The best way for you to show a recruiter or employer your interest is by remaining on the phone with them and take the time to engage and ask questions which show you are interested not only in the type of work but also interested in becoming a part of their team.  This can be accomplished by demonstrating your social habits and expressing that you enjoy team work (if the position calls for a team work environment) or by telling the recruiter about the most recent team project you took part in.

Company culture is also a key indicator. Once you head to your face to face interview you want to show the hiring manager that you took the time to research what the company and their products are all about. Go on the company website, see if they have a blog or news section, or a section where your interviewing managers, supervisors, or peers, are highlighted. Perhaps you can even Google them to see if you can find information that exists outside of theirs. It is also imperative to remember if you go through an agency, you are representing their name. We send over candidates when we believe that they will all around get the position, and will represent the star work ethic which Apollo stands for. When you succeed, we also succeed.

Demonstrating your soft skills both through your resume and demeanor is an easier task than you might think! For example, the perfect Entry Level Manufacturing Technician with a leading Biotechnology company is a person with a BS in Biochemistry with only Hot Dog on A Stick experience! These intangibles are definitely qualities that should not be ignored.

 

Happy Hunting!