Bad Advice Job Seekers Should Stop Taking

When you’re looking for employment, everyone close to you will weigh in on the best way to do it. Our job seekers have told us all kinds of advice they’ve heard from well-meaning people about networking, resumes, interviews and more. Your friends, family, and colleagues are all trying to help, but there are certainly some recommendations that you are better off avoiding.

Here are some of the advice we wish our job seekers would stop taking – and what we’ve found works instead.

“Networking is ineffective and fake – avoid it.”

Networking is a difficult and uncomfortable process for many people. It can be awkward talking about yourself, especially when you are trying to market your skills and your experience. Some people dismiss this as being “fake.” However, this could not be further from the truth. You are presenting yourself as a potential asset to a company or a future colleague. When you sit down at a networking meeting, flexible icebreakers such as, “I’d love to hear about your professional journey, would you mind taking me through it?” can ease the pressure and open the conversation.

“Add buzzwords/more skills/more info on your resume.”

Your resume will catch a recruiter’s eye and give them a broad picture of your background, skills and experience. However, it’s just a small bit of the process. Endlessly tinkering with your resume can leave you feeling disconnected from the process. Your job search should encompass more than staring at your resume and looking for holes. Strategizing, reading job postings, networking, keeping up on trade news and keeping tabs on LinkedIn are just a few of the other tasks to which you should be devoting time.

“End your cover letter with follow-up time.”

A lack of feedback on applications can be frustrating. However, ending a cover letter with, “I will call you next week,” is not the way to break out of this rut. Rather than showing initiative and spark, it can make hiring managers think that you are entitled and inconsiderate of their process. Recruiters are professionals, and they know who is and is not a good fit for roles. Badgering them with unwarranted follow-ups is not the right way to get on their radar.

“Stick to your training/education.”

This is one of the most destructive pieces of advice that acquaintances can give. Just because you studied HVAC doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for that customer support position. Your career is just that: yours. What you were originally interested in is not a blueprint for the rest of your career. Your skills and interests will evolve, and you should always feel empowered to pursue a route that is right for you at that time.

Avoiding bad advice is a key part of any job search. When you trust yourself, you will be far more likely to wind up in a career path that is agreeable and fulfilling.

Looking for some helpful career advice? We can help you at Award Staffing! Visit one of our upcoming hiring events so that you can find your future.

4 Reasons You Can Be Thankful During Your Job Search

It can be hard to stay grateful when you’re on the job hunt, especially if you’ve been searching for a while. You’re not feeling very thankful, and that’s understandable. With some reflection, you may find you actually have many reasons to be thankful. Taking time each day to focus on the things you’re grateful for will help you tackle your job search with energy and positivity.

You’re gaining experience

Even if it doesn’t feel like it, every cover letter and resume you write is helping you develop your professional skills. You’re learning how to interpret a job posting, how to talk about your experience and how to be a better communicator.

If you make it to the interview but aren’t hired, don’t take it personally. Use it as a chance to consider how you can improve next time. Before you even hear back, write a few notes about how you think the interview went and how you can better prepare for certain questions.

You may not have gotten the job, or even a rejection email, but you definitely got a great experience. Viewing each opportunity as a learning experience will keep you positive during your search.

You have perspective

When you’re faced with the stress of finding a job, you’re forced to focus on what’s important. As you search through job postings and send applications, you’re learning more about what you want to do, what you’re capable of doing and what you’re willing to do.

Perhaps you just fell into your old or current job and it isn’t really what you want to do. Maybe you were unhappy in your workplace and wanted to find a company with a healthier work culture. As you research potential new employers, you’re wiser about what makes for a good job and a good workplace.

You have time

A sudden job loss can be devastating and puts a lot of financial stress on you and your family. While you’re likely anxious to return to the workforce, it’s ok to take a moment to appreciate your time. While you’re in-between jobs, return to that hobby you were always too tired to do. Take you kids for a fun day at the park or the lake. Volunteer for a cause you care about. Taking time to do things you enjoy will help you stay positive and learn more about yourself.

Even if you have a job, knowing that you’re taking control of your future may be the boost you need to get through the workday. You have time to be pickier about which jobs you’ll apply to and interview for while still collecting a paycheck.

You have support

If you’re currently employed but looking for something new, there are resources to help you transition to a new employer or a new career field. A staffing agency can guide you through the process, from creating resumes to finding jobs. No matter your situation, you don’t have to search for a new job on your own.

Award Staffing is here to help you with a successful job search so you can find your future. Follow us to find your next job opportunity today.

How to Find a Job as a Veteran in Minnesota

Your military experience makes you an excellent candidate for a wide variety of civilian jobs. It’s frustrating when you know you have a lot of training and skills but can’t find the right job. Qualified veterans sometimes struggle to find employment, but there are many programs working to correct this and encouraging employers to hire vets. Making a few changes to your search can help you find the right job.

Whether you’re looking to land your first civilian job or are a veteran of civilian and military employment, here are a few tips to help you in your search.

Find your passion

In the military, you completed whatever was asked of you with efficiency and accuracy. Now, you get to choose from a wide variety of jobs where you think you’d fit best. Consider the jobs that you enjoyed during military service. Maybe you felt comfortable conducting trainings, or you liked making repairs. Think about the kinds of activities you like doing both professionally and personally to find a career path that’s right for you.

Translate your military work

Civilians won’t understand the titles and acronyms for the different jobs you performed. You’ll need to translate the work you did and the responsibilities you had. Instead of using military jargon, list your accomplishments with strong verbs like “managed,” “coordinated,” and “communicated.” If you’ve had other civilian jobs, describe how your military experience helped you in those roles. Ask a civilian to look over your resume to ensure it makes sense (in fact, you should always have someone look over your resume just in case).

Find positions using military skills

Instead of translating your military skills into civilian jobs, look for jobs where you can use those skills. Security firms are eager to hire employees with military expertise. Government contractors would rather hire veterans than train civilians to understand how military life works. If you have a security clearance, that can give you the edge over other candidates for certain positions.

Use your network

There are thousands of fellow servicemen and women who share your experience. Use your military network to let others know you’re on the job hunt. Participating in social groups will keep you connected during your search and help you find opportunities. You may not always want to talk about it, but letting people know you’re a veteran can open doors for your future.

Research government and nonprofit programs

There are many resources available for veterans seeking employment. Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development has a page where Minnesota veterans can find resources and services to help them find employment.

Connect with a staffing agency

Staffing agencies are excellent resources for connecting you with the best employers in the area. Even if the positions are only temporary, you’ll earn a steady paycheck and sharpen your skills while you make the career transition. Instead of finding a job on your own, the staffing agency will be your partner in connecting you with the right fit.

Award Staffing thanks you for your service to our country. We’re here to help you find fulfilling and meaningful work. Check out our job opportunities today to get started.

The 5 Best Ways to Stand Out to Minnesota Employers

Getting a job interview is a big deal in a crowded job market, but you have to take the next step to seal the deal. You need to stand out to a prospective employer to get the job offer you deserve. Here are 5 ways to help take your move from job seeker to employee:

1. Make a Great First Impression-

You don’t want to be hot sweaty and breathing hard from running across a parking lot during the interview. Get there with enough time to look relaxed and happy to be there when you meet. It should go without saying that you want to be dressed well and have your grooming spot on for the interview.

2. Know Your Company-

Research them online. You can check traditional sources like their website or Wikipedia (for larger firms) but use the search features on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and LinkedIn to get more up to date and insider type info. Knowing a lot about the company can make all the difference when it comes time to answer questions in an interview.

3. No Distractions-

A prospective employer won’t be impressed with your new ringtone. Turn the phone off and keep it in your pocket or purse, or better yet in the car. Same with gum, candy, or a drink. Looking more interested in your texts than what a prospective employer has to say is not the right way to stand out!

4. Know What a Prospective Employer Wants-

Companies will tell you what they are looking for in their job post. Read it carefully. Make sure you understand every sentence on it regarding what they want from a new employee. Be prepared to demonstrate that you have all the skills and experience they are seeking. Showing a prospective employer how well you fit the bill with specific examples is a great way to stand out in an interview.

5. Follow Up-

An e-mail thanking them for their time and making yourself available for any follow-up questions can make all the difference.

If you are looking for a new job opportunity, whether it a short-term or long-term opportunity, contact Award Staffing. Our team of hiring professional located in Bloomington, Chaska, Crystal, Delano, Maplewood, and Ramsey Minnesota are here to help you find you your next new job!

Looking For a Job in The Twin Cities? Here’s How to

Where you decide to work is an important decision. You will spend one-third or more of your life at your job, and it will grow with you as you grow in your career. Of course, you want to find the best-fitting job, but this is often easier said than done. Here’s how you can find the perfect job for you today:

Perfect your Resume-

Your resume essentially will serve as the template on which your job search is based. Before you can successfully find your ideal job, you need to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. Polishing your resume will make you stand out amongst others.

Contact a Staffing Agency-

Contacting a staffing agency is a great option if you want to find the perfect job for you. Staffing agencies often know of many job opportunities you may not have even considered. Also, a staffing agency will be able to help you determine what is available as well as when the timing is right for your unique career goals.

Make a List of Your Wants and Needs-

To find the perfect job, you have to know what you want and need out of a job. Take some time to make a list of what you want out of a job regarding goals, the skillsets you would like to use, and location. Now, compare that with what you need out of a job such as your minimum acceptable pay, experience/training opportunities, or type of work. Once you compare both of these lists, you will have a much better idea of what kind of job is perfect for you.

Prepare for Interviews-

Once you have figured out what type of job is perfect for you, you will need to prepare for your interviews to ensure your chances of job offers. The easiest way to do this is to do your research about your company of interest. When you do this, you will have information to talk about during your interview, and you will be able to reference points of excitement about the company.

If you’ve determined what the perfect job for you is but you’re having a hard time finding available positions, contact Award Staffing. We will take your job requirements as well as your unique skills and talents into consideration so we can help you find that perfect job opportunity in the Twin Cities.

How to Start Your Job Search in Minneapolis

Have you ever has a job but felt that you desperately wanted a new one? Coincidently the time wasn’t right to make the job switch because your schedule needs wouldn’t allow for you to interview with another company easily. In the end, you decided to stay put until something changes on in your life.

Regardless of your rationale, there are still plenty of things that you can do immediately to prepare you for job searching in the future. Here are some tips for helping you with your future job search:

Take Time to Update Your Resume-

Have you reviewed your resume since you started your current job? If so then it is time to update it and get everything in order. By taking the time to update your resume now, you won’t have to do it later when it comes time to apply for jobs. When updating, have a basic resume format that is ready to go but allows you to tailor your resume based on individual postings, speeding up the application process.

Make Sure Your Online Presence is Positive-

Professional social media profiles are common amongst job seekers, so it is best to make sure your profiles are as polished as your resume. Make sure all of the information is correct and up to date. If your profiles contain items that you would want your grandmother to see, odds are a prospective employer won’t appreciate them as well.

Start Reaching Out to Your Network-

Since you are not readily searching for a new job, you have time to start reconnecting with other professionals you may have lost touch with. The best and easiest way to rekindle these relationships is by sending a message asking them how the holidays treated them. The key is to keep the conversation light and not to overwhelm them. From here let the conversation progress naturally and wait to ask about job opportunities until you have rebuilt the relationship.

The critical thing to consider is not to force a job conversation too soon. Take time to catch up before diving into the job-related questions since you have time before your job search really begins.

Try Working with Recruiters-

If you haven’t ever worked with a staffing company or recruiter, this is a great place to start before you are ready to begin job searching. Recruiters can help you refine your resume while getting other job searching items in order.

Interested in working with a recruiter to find a new job opportunity in Minneapolis? Award Staffing has the experience you need to help you with your job search. Contact us today, so we can connect with some of the best companies to work for in Minnesota. Want to learn more career tips and tricks – check our When Work Works blog.