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Balance: How Work-Life Balance is Crucial to Your Career’s Success

When it comes to your work-life balance it’s about juggling all your responsibilities in just 24 hours, every day. And it can be difficult trying to manage your time between family, work, friends, and of course, you. But balancing your work and life is a crucial part of you having a successful career.

Ways to instill work-life balance effectively

Something that is super important in becoming successful with your career and at home, is balancing your responsibilities. You can do this by making sure you’re doing things you enjoy. Whether that means enjoying your job or having fun outside of work. It can help balance you out when one of those two things are stressful or vice-versa.

Also, make sure you’re with a good company that respects you and your home life. This is key to any working relationship. When you feel appreciated and cared for, you come into work knowing what you have to do that day, as well as knowing it will not be coming home with you.

When you interview for a job, you’re also interviewing the employer to see if they are the right fit for you! You get to choose who you share your talents with (especially, with the candidate-driven market we are in). And you want to make sure it’s a company that respects and knows the difference between your family time and work time.

By taking initiative upfront, it will be easier to focus on your work-life balance and help you understand the importance of it. Without that balance, your work production and health could suffer due to unnecessary stress. Which no one wants to deal with when you’re just trying to enjoy your life and career.

How to ensure you have a good Work-Life Balance

With these simple steps, you can make sure you’re taking steps to de-stress and unplug from work and life stresses.

Workout and eat healthily – whether that is going for a walk 3-4 times a week or going to the gym. Make sure you’re taking care of your physical health. Giving yourself that time to work on improving your health will only help you feel better about yourself and accomplish more in your day to day duties.

Hobbies – Reminding yourself of the importance of doing things other than work and house chores keeps you happy and excited for what the next day brings. Having different hobbies helps you relax and take that time you need to debrief from life and work. Because de-stressing and doing the things you love to do ‘just because’ will help you stay healthy and happy. Which only keeps you more productive in the office and life.

Un-Plug from work and technology – With work and technology being so hand-in-hand nowadays, it makes it hard to truly leave work… at work. But it’s important to remember that work will always be there tomorrow. Your loved ones, friends, that age your child is today, is and will always be changing. Make sure you’re spending that time with them. Enjoying every stage of life, because one day you won’t be able to.

Your work-life balance will determine your career and life successes, so make sure you take the time to focus on each role and balance them accordingly.

“As far as I know, you only get one shot at this life. It only goes around once and time is precious. When (your) not working, you’d better spend that time with someone important.”Benjamin Bratt

 

social media

How Your Social Media is Hurting Your Job Search

social media

It’s 2018, and almost everyone has at least one social media account. 81 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile. And employers are aware of this. In fact, 93% of recruiters and human resource professionals check out candidates’ social media profiles before extending a job offer.

Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the content you publish on these sites can prevent you from landing your next job. Here are some things to avoid to ensure your social media doesn’t ruin your chances of being hired.

Bad mouthing your employer, job, or clients

We’ve all been frustrated with our job or employer at times. And if you work in a customer service-oriented industry, you’ve probably been irritated with a customer/client as well. However, social media isn’t the appropriate place to vent about your feelings towards your co-workers or clients.

Don’t complain or bad mouth anyone you work with. If a prospective employer sees any post like this, it will surely leave a bad taste in their mouth. If you have any old posts bashing someone you work with, please do yourself a favor and delete these posts.

Inappropriate content

I do not have to go into great detail here; everyone knows what they should and shouldn’t be posting on social media. And if you even have to question whether it’s appropriate to post, it’s probably best to not post it.

Use your common sense and avoid posting/sharing/retweeting/liking something that could offend or scare off a potential employer. Avoid posting anything extremely political, offensive, or controversial.

If you have any old pictures that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, remove them. I would advise you to go through all of your old photos and ensure there is nothing incriminating or embarrassing on there. It may seem like a hassle but it is totally worth the time to ensure your social media doesn’t affect your job search!

Delete old profiles you no longer use

Have any old profiles you maybe forgot about? Is there an old Myspace profile handing out there with tons of embarrassing posts? Have duplicate LinkedIn profiles with one having out-of-date working information? Get these cleaned up before you even submit your application, so you don’t hurt your chances of some old or inaccurate information about you being discovered.

Do a quick Google search with your full name and your city. For example, search “John Smith Dallas, TX” and see what pops up. You may be surprised with what will generate in search results when you search your name and location. If you find an old social media account, recover it and either clean it up or take it down entirely.

Update your social media privacy settings

At the very least, update your privacy settings on your social media accounts so others cannot see your content without your permission. You can easily make your Instagram and Twitter accounts private. This will require people to request permission before they can see your content. Additionally, you can update your Facebook so other users cannot see your content on your newsfeed unless you accept them as a friend.

Just be sure to update your profile and cover photos! Almost anyone will be able to see them (regardless of your privacy settings) as they check out your profiles during the recruiting process.

Yes, A Company CAN Create Your Dream Job Just For You

Yes, A Company CAN Create Your Dream Job Just For You!

Yes, A Company CAN Create Your Dream Job Just For You

How awesome would it be if you could paint a picture for your prospective employer and tell them exactly what type of position you want? Would you believe me if I told you it was totally possible to create your own dream job?

There are so many organizations out there with different structures from one another, even if they’re in the same industry. Some are more siloed, and some require their employees to wear many different hats. Larger companies that have a larger headcount will naturally be more siloed than smaller companies, which require their employees to cover a wide-range of roles.

Recently, I submitted a candidate over to a bank that was a larger than the one she was currently working at. In her current role, she has a wider range of responsibility than what the interviewing bank required for the role. However, in the world of lending, the more products you can sell, the better! The hiring manager ended up loving the candidate. The candidate didn’t want to limit herself on her scope of responsibilities, so the interviewing bank ended up asking her to write up a plan, detailing information on what her “dream position” looked like if she were to come work for them. This gave her the opportunity for her to sell them on why they should create her dream position for her. It’s a win-win for both sides!

Now we know, this won’t always happen, however it is possible!

Here are some ways you can make it happen:

1. Get a clear understanding of what you want.

If your background includes a wide range of responsibility, use this to your advantage! Especially if you know the company can use your skills.

2. Apply or reach out to a recruiter, even if your dream job isn’t listed.

Recruiters usually have direct communication with the hiring manager and can get an idea of what exactly they’re looking for. If they could use someone on their team that possesses the skills that you have, you and your recruiter may be able to come with a plan to leverage this.

3. Pitch it and sell it!

Most institutions can’t afford to let a great candidate go. Especially if you’re able to add value! Create a strong value statement before approaching a recruiter and understand what your expertise would add to a brand new position. You have to make it enticing for the company to want to create a whole new role just for you!

5 things you must do before applying for jobs

5 Things You Must Do Before You Start Applying For Jobs

5 things you must do before applying for jobs

So, you’re ready to put yourself out there. You’ve decided that you are fed up with your current employment situation and you start looking for greener pastures. But WAIT – before you get too deep into your job search, there are a few things you should do first to ensure a painless and successful process that will end with you landing your dream job.

Decide What You REALLY Want

Before you start applying for jobs, it’s helpful to understand what your future goals are. What do you want out of your next position… an opportunity for growth? Something challenging that pushes your limits? Whatever it is that you want, narrowing it down before you submit applications will help guide you to apply for the right positions.

Update Your Resume

I know, I know, updating your resume is the worst! But it is so much easier to do this before you start searching for jobs. That way, when an exciting opportunity comes along, you can make a couple final tweaks to fit that specific position and submit it within a matter of hours. Pro tip: if your qualifications allow you to apply within a couple different specialty areas, create multiple resume templates.

Create a Cover Letter Template

Cover letters should always be customized to the position you are applying for, no exception. However, it’s helpful to develop a template with a general outline that you can follow every time you need to craft a cover letter. And remember, even if the job description says a cover letter is optional, submit one anyway! It may just be the one thing that sets you apart from your competition. (For more cover letter tips, check out “How To Write A Killer Cover Letter.”)

Put Together a Portfolio

This may or may not be relevant for all careers. If your previous positions or volunteer work has been at all visual, you’ll want to include a portfolio. Examples of your most impressive work can be a huge benefit when it comes to outshining your competition. To go the extra mile, create a free website on Wix or WordPress and include links to any press releases, social media examples, or writing samples. The more accessible you can make it in the digital age, the better!

Sign Up For Job Alerts

Visit your favorite job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and JSG’s Talent Network and subscribe to receive relevant job updates. That way, you’ll be the first to know when a job in your field pops up and you can submit your application right away.

What To Do If A Recruiter Won't Call You Back

What To Do If Your Recruiter Won’t Call You Back

What To Do If A Recruiter Won't Call You Back

As a recruiter, I talk to hundreds of candidates on a weekly basis. Some of them have had great experiences and some not so great. One of the biggest complaints I get from candidates is that after they talk with a recruiter once or twice, they never get another call. A candidate is excited about the opportunity, important details have been hashed out, the resume was submitted, the recruiter has built up a relationship of trust (and sometimes even a friendship is beginning to form). All of a sudden 3 days go by, then 4 days with no word. Now the candidate calls to get an update or feedback and the recruiter won’t answer the phone.  Sound familiar? If your recruiter has gone dark, here are the steps you should take:

  1. Understand why it’s happening

There are a few different reasons that recruiters stop communicating with candidates. Sometimes, there’s a glitch in tracking or technology and it just slips through the cracks. This is usually an honest mistake. Unfortunately, it’s often because the recruiter gets too caught up in championing a more qualified candidate, or the deal with their client falls through, or they just decide they “don’t have time” to follow up.

  1. Know your value

I don’t know about you, but putting my career in the hands of someone is not something I do lightly, and neither should you. Once you understand that you deserve open and honest communication, it will be much easier to relay that attitude to the recruiter you’re working with.

  1. Communicate your frustrations

If a recruiter won’t communicate, respectfully share with them your frustration. Let them know that good or bad news is better than no news at all.  You may be the catalyst that changes a bad recruiter into a great recruiter.  It is all about the realization that we are affecting people’s lives every time we talk with them.

  1. Don’t assume all recruiters are the same

Just like with any profession, there are good and bad recruiters. It’s important for recruiters to see candidates as more than a means to an end.  Great recruiters not only understand how much a candidate is worth to them at the moment, but that more than a onetime payday, the relationship has value that is not always able to be quantified in numbers.  Great recruiters know that each phone call is how they survive and beyond professionalism, common courtesy sets them above the rest.

How do you know if you’re working with a great recruiter? Set communication standards upfront. Ask, “when should I expect to hear back from you?” “When is the best time to contact you?” “Do you prefer communicating by phone or email?”

Just remember great recruiters will expect the same courtesy and professionalism – relationships are built not entitled

Should You Include Your Address On Your Resume Or Not?

Should You Include Your Address On Your Resume Or Not?

Should You Include Your Address On Your Resume Or Not?

It seems that since the dawn of time, resumes haven’t changed that much. You start with your name gracing the top, front and center, then right below you include your address, phone number, and email in the header. Lately, however, we’ve been reading a lot of recommendations that say you should remove that address from your resume. So, today we’re diving into the pros and cons of having your address listed on your resume so that next time you do a refresh, you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you.

YES include it!
The pros for leaving your address on your resume are largely situational. If you are applying to a job that is local to your area, it can be a bonus to leave it on there. Companies like to know that you could easily make it in for an in-person interview and they wouldn’t have to pay to relocate you.
If you’re submitting an application along with your resume that specifies address as a required field, you must fill it out, fully and truthfully. Having your resume match this information can provide cohesiveness.

Nah, leave it off…
As mentioned before, privacy is becoming an increasing concern in today’s day and age. It is perfectly acceptable to leave your address off of your resume if you are concerned about privacy.
If you are applying to a job that is not local, we recommend leaving your address off. The employer may or may not offer relocation, however, oftentimes local candidates can get first preference. This eliminates any location-related bias and lets your qualifications shine!

For the most part, we recommend leaving your address off. People don’t correspond via “snail mail” anymore regarding jobs, so it’s not as essential as it once was! One popular compromise you can make is to include just the city and state. That way, you can still protect your privacy while still being transparent. However, always be sure to include your phone number and email and triple-check to make sure you typed them correctly!

The Holidays Are The Best Time To Find a New Job – Here’s Why

The Holidays Are The Best Time To Find a New Job – Here’s Why

The Holidays Are The Best Time To Find a New Job – Here’s Why

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s Christmas music wafting through the shops, tons of yummy comfort food crossing family tables, and busier schedules than most people can manage. It can be tempting to push your job search off until the new year, but trust us when we say that is a huge mistake! There are so many reasons November and December are actually the perfect time to find a new job, so read on to get a jump start and land that next step in your career.

  1. Companies are hiring.

Many departments have annual budgets that they need to use before the end of the year. That means they may be making a push to hire during November and December. For many companies and industries, this is also a slow time in production, allowing them to focus on the year ahead and growth.

  1. Competition is less intense.

Other job seekers who don’t follow JSG or read our awesome blogs lay off the job search this time. Lucky for you, because in this candidate-driven market, the competition for top positions can be fierce. Keeping up with your search during this busy time will give you a leg up when it comes to landing that dream job.

  1. Who wants to be unhappy during the holidays?

Why are you open to a new position in the first place? For most candidates, it’s because they’re unhappy in their current role. Maybe you’re overloaded with tasks, or you don’t get along with your boss, or you’re not feeling challenged enough. No matter the reason, you know that there are better opportunities out there, so go after them! If you land a new position during the holidays that is more closely aligned with your vision or values, it will be easier to actually relax and enjoy the season.

  1. It can be easier to take time off.

As mentioned before, for many industries, things slow down a bit this time of year. Many companies take a few extra days off to celebrate, and even if yours doesn’t, it’s a great time to use a couple personal days to hit the job search (and the Christmas cookies) extra hard.

  1. It’s the best way to start the new year off on the right foot.

“New year, new me!” Around 40% of Americans make New Years Resolutions, but only 8% of those people follow through on them. So instead of waiting until the new year to do something good for yourself, start now. That way, you can check off three resolutions: find a new job, be more productive, AND be happier all in one fell swoop, all before Christmas!

3 Resume Essentials That Will Be The Ticket To Your Next Job

3 Resume Essentials That Will Be The Ticket To Your Next Job

3 Resume Essentials That Will Be The Ticket To Your Next Job

I’m guessing that if you’re submitting your resume, you’d like to get hired, right? Many people spend hours honing their resume to perfection, only to forget the last-minute details that make a significant impact when actually submitting it to the hiring manager. There are three important things to keep in mind when you are submitting that all-important document that just may be the ticket to your dream job:

  1. Format

In almost* all situations, it’s best to submit your resume in PDF format. It attaches well, it’s usually not a large file size, and most importantly, the formatting will remain the same. Most resumes contain some sort of goofy formatting whether it’s precise margins, unique fonts, or creative spacing. If you leave your resume in a Word (or any other editable) format, these will end up looking completely different on the hiring manager’s end.

*There is an exception to this rule – if you are working with a third-party recruiter (like us!), ask your contact which format you should send. We prefer to receive resumes in Word. It is our policy to never edit or alter the content in any way, we simply add our logo to fast-track your resume to our contact within the company. Because we work hard to establish a trusted relationship with our clients, our logo signals a pre-qualified and outstanding candidate.

  1. Title

Naming your resume is more important than you may think. So many candidates simply name their resume “Resume” or “Resume 2017”. Think for a moment about how many resumes that recruiter or hiring manager is receiving. If they save your resume to a folder, it will be impossible to find you among the thousands of other “Resume”s. Instead, title your document “First Name Last Name Resume” (ex: Patrice Sutton Resume). Then, title all accompanying documents similarly (cover letter, portfolio, references, etc.)

  1. Message

This one depends on how you’re submitting, but if you’re given the opportunity to add a note (either through email or through an online submittal system), ALWAYS do it! Even just a brief, “Thank you for taking the time to review my application, I look forward to discussing this opportunity further” will make a significant impact compared to blank space. This can also be a good opportunity for you to reiterate your qualifications, highlight your personality, or add on any last-minute details. Just remember to keep it brief!

The Most Obvious Job Search Tip That (Almost) No One Follows

The Most Obvious Job Search Tip That (Almost) No One Follows

The Most Obvious Job Search Tip That (Almost) No One Follows

When you were in elementary school, did your teachers ever have you do the “following directions” test? Here’s an example of a few. They were tricky and designed to make kids who were over eager and didn’t follow instructions look and feel foolish in order to teach them to take their time and not rush through assignments. Well if you took one of those tests and it actually taught you something, you probably didn’t apply to my Marketing Specialist job.

In the last paragraph of my job ad, I requested that candidates send their resume AND A COVER LETTER to me directly and I included my email address. Out of the 16 applications I have received, I have only received one cover letter. Presumably, most candidates probably skimmed the ad to make sure it was a decent fit, hit the apply button, and off zoomed their resume. If this sounds like something you’ve done before – you are making a huge mistake for a few reasons:

  1. You are showing that you’re not detail-oriented and that you rush through things

Just like the kids in the “following directions” test, you’ve made a fool of yourself. Sure, you have a bullet point on your resume that says you are “detail-oriented,” but you just completely disproved that.

  1. You’re missing an opportunity to sell yourself

Whether the job ad is asking for a cover letter, references, a portfolio, a writing sample, you’re missing out if you don’t include it. When a recruiter or hiring manager can only judge you based on what you provide, why wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward? Additional documents are the perfect opportunity to expand on your strengths, explain any weaknesses, and showcase your personality.

  1. You’re not customizing your application to the job

Your resume and other application documents should be tailored to every. single. job. you apply for! So if you’re not customizing your resume and cover letter to each job, you could potentially be handing the job to your competitor. Comb through the job description and tweak your resume to reflect the same verbiage used in the ad. Prioritize your skills under each position based on what is most important to this particular job.

  1. You don’t know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for

When I asked for a cover letter, it wasn’t because I want to torture any potential employees (I promise!). For my Marketing Specialist, I was specifically looking for someone who was detail-oriented and had great writing skills. So while cover letters may seem outdated on the surface, keep in mind that the hiring manager may be looking for more than further explanation of your skills.

So next time you go to apply for a job, be sure to thoroughly read the job description and follow all of the application steps. It may seem like a lot of work, but that’s why they say job searching is a full time job!

5 Things You Should Never Say In An Interview

5 Things You Should Never Say In An Interview

5 Things You Should Never Say In An Interview

It’s no secret that interviews are nerve-wracking and there will always be an occasional slip-up that makes you writhe in agony when you think about it later that night. In an attempt to avoid those regrettable moments, we’ve come up with 5 of the most common things you should never say in an interview.

  1. What are the benefits?

It is understandable that you’re curious about the benefits of a potential job, but the interview is not the time or place to broach the subject. Instead, do your own research on their website or Glassdoor.

  1. My salary is ______ … but negotiable

By throwing in the “negotiable” part, you’re selling yourself short. Make sure to do your research before the interview about the cost of living, along with average salaries for your title and experience. That way, when the salary question comes up, you can give a firm and consistent answer.

  1. Dissing your current or previous employer

It can be difficult to dodge this, especially when asked why you’re looking for a new position. Keep the focus on the future that you want to create for your career, and how this company you’re interviewing with can help contribute to those goals.

  1. Politics or religion

Steer clear of politics and religion or any other polarizing topics, even if they relate to your work history. You don’t want to be judged based on things that won’t affect your job performance. You don’t have control over your interviewer’s political or religious affiliations.

  1. “That commute really sucked!”

One of the first things that the interviewer will probably ask is “did you find us okay?” You would be surprised at how many candidates launch into complaints about the commute or the office.

In the end, if you even think it might be inappropriate, steer clear! During interviews, it pays to be the best version of yourself and tread lightly.