Posts

Three TED Talks to Inspire Your Job Search

Looking for a job is a trying time. Your patience and your resourcefulness can be tested, to say nothing of your perseverance and your morale. At times you’re going to need different ways to motivate yourself. Most people turn to their friends and family during those times but there are going to be instances where you need to find different ways to light a fire under yourself. TED Talks are a great way to get started on that process. The talks started in 2006 as a way of offering brief lectures on content of varying topics, given by experts and experienced practitioners within different fields. Here are some of our favorite TED Talks related to the job search process.

Jason Shen’s “Looking for a job? Highlight your ability, not your experience”

Many people in the job hunt are not just looking to find a new opportunity – they’re looking to find a different opportunity. This becomes especially relevant if you are interested in changing fields. If you’re transitioning from one industry to another then your actual experience might not be the most relevant part of your job seeker profile. Instead, you need to rebrand yourself and pitch yourself based off of your ability to perform work in the new field rather than your track record in the old field. Shen’s talk touches on all of these points while also noting how the job applicant evaluation process needs to change to incorporate this level of thinking about a person’s potential.

Scott Dinsmore’s “How to find work you love”

Scott Dinsmore’s talk is a humorous foray through his past experience, including some of the worst advice he’s ever gotten, as he discusses how to find a career that has meaning and potential for you. He emphasizes the fact that the vast majority of people don’t enjoy their work, and how you can set yourself apart from the pack. He is a big believer that personal relationships can influence what we do and the paths our careers take, so it’s crucial to be mindful of who you associate with. Dinsmore is a thoughtful and engaging speaker, and his talk can be a real boost.

Carol Fishman Cohen’s “How to get back to work after a career break”

We all know that life is not a straight path or a straight line. Your career can be disrupted or paused for any number of reasons – maybe you need to take care of an ill relative, or you need to go back to school for a while. No matter the reason, your career has hit a delay or a detour. This is completely fine, and Cohen is ready to talk “relaunchers” into how they can hit the ground running if and when they choose to enter the workforce again.

Working on finding a new job is really a job unto itself a lot of the time. The stress and strain are very real, so make sure that you’re taking the time to use resources like these videos if you ever feel the need to recharge your batteries as you hunt your next great opportunity.

Looking for the right position? Let Award Staffing help when you reach out to us today.

How To Maneuvering Job Searching Through COVID-19

Right now times are very uncertain, very stressful and even a bit frightening. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only caused a health crisis but an economic crisis, as well. In a matter of days, millions of people found themselves suddenly out of work. Millions more are weeks or even days away from losing their jobs, and millions more still are left uncertain about whether their companies will last through this crisis.

While the numbers are bleak and you are probably anxious, there is good news. Companies all across the country are hiring right now and many companies still have long-term plans to hire throughout the year. That means that the best thing for you to do right now is to continue your job search, despite your anxiety. Follow these tips to keep your job search on track through COVID-19.

Remember, This is Temporary

While no one can say for sure how long all of this will last, the one thing they can say for certain is that this is all temporary. It will end one day and the economy will open back up. It will be the people who kept their nose to the grindstone and kept looking throughout the downtimes who will rise up the fastest and go the farthest when things get back to something resembling normalcy.

Search Every Day

If you have already lost your job or you are in danger of losing your job, make sure you are doing search-related activities for a few hours every single day. You don’t have to do them for eight hours a day which can be daunting, but you should do a few hours, at least. Then, spend time decompressing with your family, taking a walk outside and looking for silver linings where you can find them.

Be Smart, Be Safe

Many employers are making use of video chats for interviews, but some are still holding in-person interviews. If you do go to an employer, make sure to stay 3-6 feet away from other people, do not shake hands, try to avoid touching metal or glass surfaces, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

Be Reachable

Now is not the time to screen calls. If an employer can’t reach you, they will move on to someone else. Make sure to check your email multiple times a day and respond to any potential employer’s outreach in less than 24 hours. Keep your phone on you at all times and answer any calls from unknown numbers.

Be Reliable

Even being a few seconds late to a phone or video interview can cost you a job right now. Make sure that you have the date and time correct and test links to video chats at least an hour before the meeting so you can notify the employer if there is a problem. Finally, just as you would arrive early to an interview, sign in or dial in at least 10 minutes early – unless you are instructed otherwise.

Insist on Quiet

If you have a family sharing one space, it can be difficult to find quiet for an interview. Luckily, everyone is in the same boat and employers will certainly understand if a baby cries or a child comes bursting in the room during an interview, but try to find a quiet place to hold the interview so that you can concentrate and put your best foot forward. Send your family on a walk or bike ride, or if you can’t find quiet, sit in your car.

Use Your Downtime Wisely

If you have lost your job, it’s important to keep busy. Being in isolation in addition to being unemployed can be a recipe for depression. Just as you block off time every day to search for jobs, block off time to learn a new skill or hone an existing one. There are myriad free resources online and many formerly-paid programs are being offered for free to help people struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19. Learning something new will not only pass the time in a constructive way, but it will also help you enhance your resume.

Be Visible On Social Media

Social distancing is a great excuse to forego in-person networking for social networking. So get visible on LinkedIn by participating in groups and getting in touch with contacts you haven’t spoken with in a while. This is also a great time to make professional Facebook and Twitter profiles to share industry-related posts and information.

Work With A Staffing Firm

A job search can be incredibly overwhelming at any time, let alone in these uncertain and stressful times. Working with a staffing firm can help ease your stress while also increasing the chances of finding a good job. If you are looking for a job, please browse Award Staffing’s open jobs and apply online today or contact our team to learn more about the ways we can help you get working.

3 Ways Job Seekers Can Create Their Own Luck

We hear from a lot of job seekers that it seems as though dream jobs just fall into other people’s laps. A recruiter reaches out at the right time for an amazing opportunity, or someone’s uncle has connections at an awesome company. Some of our job seekers feel like it was simple luck that helped them find their previous job as well.

Here’s what we’ve learned helping thousands of “lucky” people find their future: it wasn’t just luck. In order to accept a killer new job opportunity, you need to be prepared first. Hard work won’t bring you a well-connected uncle or magically open a role, but you can make sure you’re in the best position possible for the next opportunity.

Here are three ways that you can generate some luck for your job search.

Put yourself in the right place at the right time

This isn’t about being in the right place physically, but the right place mentally and emotionally. If you have a vision of what you want your next job to be, you need to get yourself to a place where you will be an ideal candidate. Take an online class or volunteer after work to build skills you may be lacking. Tackle anything in your personal life that may make it difficult to relocate or start new hours. Once you’ve put yourself in a better position to accept a new job, the perfect opportunity will arrive seemingly out of nowhere.

While you’re creating your own luck, you also need to demonstrate that you’re ready for new opportunities. Sharing your information with a staffing agency can make it even easier for “luck” to find you.

Find the magic words

Standing outside of your dream employer’s building yelling, “Open sesame!” definitely won’t get you a job. Instead, you need to find the words that will help you get past the tougher barrier: the hiring manager. Read the job posting closely and use words from the posting in your resume and cover letter to demonstrate how you’re a good fit for the job. Look at the language the company uses on their website. Present yourself in a way that makes it easy for the recruiter or hiring manager to see how you’re a good fit.

The other magic words you need to use are the ones your mother taught you: ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Good old-fashioned manners are becoming a lost art. Whomever you speak to during the process will appreciate a kind, polite candidate.

Create your own good luck charm or magical ritual

Rituals are important for helping you feel comfortable before a job interview. On interview day, perform your usual morning routine, allowing plenty of time to eat and prepare for the day. If you have a lucky tie or a lucky bracelet, be sure to wear it to help you feel more confident. Develop a mantra to help you through the job-seeking process, such as, “I’m ready to share my value.” Repeat it to yourself whenever you feel nervous.

Award Staffing is eager to help you find your luck and more importantly, your future. Call us or visit one of our branches today.

5 Books to Prepare You for Your Job Search

At Award Staffing, we’re always reading up on the latest information to help our job seekers perform their best. We’re thrilled when job seekers ask us for resources that they can use to help them in their job search.

Below is a list of some of our favorite books that we’re currently reading – plus some a few books we’ve been recommending for years.

1. “What Color is Your Parachute? 2019: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers” by Richard N. Bolles

Every career center and list of books for job seekers includes this classic work. Author Richard N. Bolles helps you determine what color your parachute is – or rather what type of person you are – and which types of careers and work environments would be best for you. Whether you’re a new graduate or are making a mid-career change, this book contains practical tips to help you determine and then get your dream job.

2. “Knock ‘em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide” by Martin Yate, CPC

Martin Yate’s Knock ‘em Dead series has helped millions of people find new jobs. For more than 30 years the advice in this book has helped readers develop their resumes, network and crush it at job interviews. The latest edition, updated in 2017, includes new ways to help with your job search, such as using social media.

3. “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy

If you’ve wanted to know how to improve your body language during an interview, you may have seen Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk about “power poses.” Cuddy talks about how sitting or standing a certain way can help you to both have more confidence and to appear more confident. In her book “Presence,” she talks more about how you can approach challenges like a job interview with excitement instead of anxiety.

4. “Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service” by The Disney Institute

The Disney brand is known for going above and beyond to give their customers a magical experience. The Disney Institute has put the knowledge from their business training programs into this book to help others learn more about providing excellent service. If you’re looking for a career in hospitality or customer service, Disney is an excellent model for how to treat every interaction.

5. “Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

One of the best ways to grow your career is through your network. The most successful people know how to build relationships that they can use to get ahead in business and in life. The book includes tips on how to connect with people both in-person and online to help you grow your network.

If you’re looking to boost your knowledge about your industry, the job search process or even yourself, consider buying or checking out one of these books from the local library.

Want more reading suggestions? We’re happy to share! Give us a call or visit us at one of our Award Staffing locations in the Twin Cities.

Getting Back into Job Hunting When It’s Been A While

Job and career changes can happen for any number of reasons. Whether it be a geographic move, a change in interests or turnover in leadership at your current position, people change roles and career paths all the time. However, if you leave a job that you’ve been in for a number of years it can be overwhelming to find yourself back on the job market.

We’ve helped plenty of workers make job and career changes successfully. Here are some of the ways we advise our job seekers to find their next dream job.

Start strategizing

Job hunting needs to be an organized task that gives you a clear path to success. One way to start is by forming a list of your ideal employers. This helps you prioritize your interests and your search. Speaking to anyone you know at these places is more effective than sending applications online. You will be more likely to get your resume in front of the right person via a networking connection than an online application, so be strategic about where you look and who you know.

Mine your network and use technology

Now is not the time to be embarrassed about getting back in touch with old colleagues, friends, and family. You need to reestablish connections and reactivate your network. Job seekers are often pleasantly surprised at the willingness of others, even people they haven’t spoken to in a while, to help someone meet the right person or apply to the right position.

You especially want to make contacts at your desired employers to learn more about organizational culture, job responsibilities and other folks you should be meeting. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should start one immediately. Networking in this era is done in large part on social media and it can be a powerful tool when used properly.

Informational interviews benefit all

Informational interviews seem daunting but are well worth your while. A lot of these can be done via cold calls, which many people find intimidating. If you can overcome this reluctance to connect with someone at a desirable company, you will almost certainly be pleased with the results.

Use the opportunity to ask questions about the company’s culture, challenges, expectations, and other traits. Most importantly, you must resist the temptation to sell yourself at these meetings. You are there to learn about the company and if you oversell yourself it can be off-putting to your contact. Your contact is also there to learn, and they will quickly think of any roles that could be a fit for you if your skills are applicable. There is no need to be too upfront about describing your value.

People who have been off the market for some time can have a hard time getting back into “job hunting mode,” but this doesn’t need to be the case. If you are strategic and willing to put yourself out there, you can quickly land your next dream job.

Let Award Staffing help you with this transition time in your life. Browse our job opportunities today 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.

Tips for Finding Seasonal Work During Minnesota Winters

It feels like summer just ended, but companies are already hiring seasonal employees to help out during the busy winter months. While we all want to bundle up during the cold Minnesota winters, there are plenty of opportunities to earn extra cash through seasonal jobs that will help get you through the holidays and beyond.

Whether you’re looking for a part-time side hustle or something to get you in-between jobs, there are plenty of benefits of getting a seasonal job for the winter. Below are a few tips to help you find seasonal work in Minnesota.

Think outside of retail

Most people think of hectic mall lines and crying children waiting for Santa when they think of winter seasonal employment. Seasonal employment during winter months can include a wide variety of jobs beyond retail, such as:

  • • Postal and delivery services
  • • Hotels, restaurants, and resorts
  • • Special events
  • • Outdoor recreation
  • • Recreational vehicle repair and maintenance
  • • Snow removal and winter-proofing

Consider your favorite seasonal activities

What are some of the places that are busier during the winter months? Minnesota has plenty of opportunities for winter recreation and hospitality jobs. Think of all the skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding and other fun we have to take advantage of the winter months. Lodges need hospitality employees to ensure guests have a warm welcome after enjoying the snow. Our favorite teams, the Timberwolves, and the Wild need someone to pour the beers while they work towards playoff season. Think about where you like to go during winter, and whether you’d enjoy helping out there.

Start applying early

Many other job seekers enjoy the idea of seasonal work, especially if there’s a great employee discount. Don’t wait until the snow is falling to start your search. Keep an eye on job boards to see who’s hiring for seasonal jobs a couple of months before the season arrives.

Make a good first impression

Companies hiring seasonal employees will receive stacks of applications from candidates with a wide variety of experience. Help yourself stand out by finding opportunities to meet your manager. Dress to impress and hand in your application in person, making sure to introduce yourself politely. Even better, attend a hiring event where the hiring staff is eager to meet employees like yourself (psst – have you seen our Walk-In Wednesdays?).

Have a flexible schedule

Employers are eager for seasonal employees, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always get the hours you want. If you’re flexible about your availability on nights, weekends and holidays, you’ll have a better chance of getting hired and earning more hours. Remember that seasonal work is just that – seasonal – and you’ll be able to enjoy your free time later with a little more dough in your pocket.

Treat your seasonal job like any other opportunity

Your job may have an end date, but that doesn’t mean you should act like you just gave your two weeks’ notice. Some companies may hire temporary workers to become full-time or long-term staff, so you want to do your best. If you want to be hired again next season, leave your manager with a good impression so you’ll be at the top of the callback list.

If you’re looking for a seasonal job for the upcoming winter, Award Staffing is here to match you with the best employers. Explore our job postings for the latest seasonal job opportunities in the Twin Cities.

Why Now is the Perfect Time for an Apprenticeship in Minnesota

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to advance your career and get paid to learn. They help employers create a strong talent pool for finding new employees and help workers gain experience in highly skilled work. It’s no surprise that apprenticeships are on the rise, especially in Minnesota.

According to the Minnesota Institute of Economic Policy, apprenticeships are up 27 percent in the state from 2014 to 2017. In 2017, more than 11,500 people were enrolled in an apprenticeship. The rise in apprenticeships is a big boost for the Minnesota economy.

Apprenticeships are available in a wide variety of career fields, including:

  • • Construction
  • • Skilled manufacturing
  • • Automotive repair
  • • Healthcare
  • • Hospitality

In Minnesota, construction is by far the most popular field for apprenticeships, with construction accounting for 96 percent of state enrollment. The construction industry has embraced the idea and eagerly encourages apprenticeships. The state is currently experiencing a labor shortage for skilled craft workers and wants to attract more people to the industry.

What makes apprenticeships so attractive to employers and workers? There are many benefits you can gain from enrolling in an apprenticeship.

Hands-on training

The best way to learn how to do something isn’t necessarily from reading a book and taking a test – it’s from doing the thing yourself. With apprenticeships, you’re placed in a real, working business. You perform many hours of work doing the kind of work you’d perform when your program is complete, all under the supervision of an expert.

Learn from the best

While you can certainly pick up new skills at any job, the great thing about an apprenticeship is it’s designed to connect you with an expert or experts who will share their wisdom. You can be sure you’re learning what you’ll need in order to do the job on your own. You’ll have access to people who have been through the process you’re currently in and can offer career advice on advancing in the field.

Earn while you learn

Unlike paying for a class or getting an internship with the reward of “course credit,” you get paid for the work you do during your apprenticeship. Apprenticeships require about the same amount of hours as a bachelor’s degree, without all the student loan debt. Employers recognize the skill level of their apprentices and appreciate the work they’re completing. While finishing your apprenticeship will open up your earning potential, you will still be rewarded for your work while you’re learning.

Increase your job potential

Apprenticeships are for highly skilled jobs, meaning once you’ve mastered the techniques you’ll be in high demand because not many people can do what you do. You’ll have a higher salary and better job security thanks to your newfound expertise. The company where you complete your apprenticeship may offer you a full-time position, or you can see where else your new skills will take you.

If you’re considering an apprenticeship, are currently completing one or have recently finished, Award Staffing is here to help you find your future. Learn more about the exciting opportunities we share daily for highly skilled jobs in the Twin Cities.

Job Searching While at Work? Here is Why You Shouldn’t

Most employers are not oblivious to the fact that some of their employees are to seeking out other job opportunities. Still, that doesn’t mean searching for a new job while at work is a smart decision.

When you’re at your current job, you’re being paid to perform tasks that are associated with your position, and searching for a new job usually isn’t one of them. Here are three reasons you shouldn’t look for a new job while at work.

Company’s Monitor Your Digital Activity-

Do you have a business computer or even just a company email? If so they are guaranteed to be monitored by a technology security team. This means what you are doing with company items isn’t a secret. All your activity can even be seen as mistreating company tools by conducting your job search. If your actions are revealed, you could face severe punishment or also fired – hurting your chances of getting a new job.

Getting Paid to do a Job-

When at work are being paid to perform specific duties that require you to be available at particular times during a day. A job search is a personal pursuit, so it should never be done on company time. Just as using company computers or email to seek out a new job can come with repercussions, so can performing personal business while at work.

It is recommended that you avoid checking your email unless you are on some sort of break while at work. Make that if you have any upcoming job interviews that they are scheduled before or after your work hours. If you must schedule an interview for a different time during regular work hours, it is best practice to use vacation time.

Your Boss May Find Out-

When searching for a new job most employees don’t inform their bosses. Employees often do this because they are fearful of being treated differently if their boss knows that you are planning on leaving. This can be particularly true if don’t know how long your job search will take.

If you a performing your job search while you are at work, but using personal devices and only handle activities when you aren’t on the clock, there’s still a high likeliness that your boss could discover your actions. This can make your job difficult because it could lead to them firing you because you don’t appear to be dedicated to your job.

A good rule of thumb is to handle your job search outside of work. If you are looking for a new job opportunity, the hiring team at Award Staffing can help you with your search while still have a job. Contact our team today to see how we can help you find a new job without affecting your current one.

The Pros of Changing Jobs Frequently in The Twin Cities

Have you been stuck in the same job for more than a few years? Do you want to get a new job or field of work? Some people change jobs every few years, which can be a good thing. Here are the pros of changing jobs frequently:

Get More Experience-

Any time you start a new job, you will develop more experience because you will be handling different tasks and skills. Even if your day-to-day operations are virtually the same at your new job, you will still have to figure out how to achieve the results in a different environment, working with different people, or using different equipment. The diversity in these new workplace environments will help you gain more experience, which in turn will make you more employable and adaptable to any new situations that are thrown your way.

Learn About Your Strengths and Weaknesses-

When changing jobs, you will likely be exposed to many different tasks or skills that you previously never had to think about or deal with in any other job. This is great because you can easily find out what your strengths and weaknesses are at work and apply them directly to working environment situations. By this same method, you may find out that you don’t like doing a specific task that you’re good at, but you like doing a particular task that you’re not necessarily good at yet. Use all this information as a barometer for where your career should go, and where you should focus your educational efforts for the future.

You’re Exposed to More Company Cultures-

Every company behaves and works differently. Whether it’s a change in the HR policy or a change in workplace communication style, you will soon see that every company has its way of working that is most conducive to achieving the results it wants. By changing jobs frequently, you’re being exposed to more company cultures on a regular basis. This is a good thing because it will allow you to compare and contrast different aspects of the various cultures that are appealing to you and not appealing to you as you figure out what your next career move should be.

If you’ve determined that it’s time to get a new job, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you figure out what is the best type of job to transition into and help place you in that job opportunity. We can also help you determine what’s the best step for your career.