6 Tips For How to Job Search During The Coronavirus

May 14, 2020

6 Tips For How to Job Search During The Coronavirus

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Whether you’re just graduating or have years of experience in your industry, job hunting during coronavirus probably wasn’t in your plans. Everything has changed for everyone and that includes how we find work when everyone else is also looking. We have the 6 best job hunting tips during the coronavirus.

The pandemic forced local and federal officials to shut down the American economy, causing an shockwave through the labor market and causing over 20 million of Americans to go on unemployment in a matter of months. Experts say that getting the economy to the same level of unemployment before the virus hit may take several years. While some jobs may reopen once the state approves it, others may disappear due to bankruptcy. The facts are that if you want a job, you’ll need to beat out the competition.

Apply Strategically

Applying to everything isn’t helpful when everyone else is also applying. The key is to apply to openings strategically, in a way that makes sense with your background and skills. Focus on quality, not quantity, or you’re just spinning your wheels.

Craft Your Elevator Pitch

What you have to offer doesn’t change with the number of the job market. The reality is that you’re going to need to “sell” yourself as the best candidate and the majority of people are really terrible at talking about themselves. Figure out what you really bring to the table, and then decide on the best and clearest way you could tell someone that – and then practice. Practice in front of a mirror for a while, and get to know which phrases really seem to clearly convey who you are and why you’re the best candidate. The mirror is a crucial step, because you’ll then want to video yourself giving your pitch. The video step will show you where to make improvements. If you’re applying to a lot of different types of positions, you’ll need to create an elevator pitch that can be adapted to all of them.

Send a Thank You Video Instead of an Email

After an interview is a great chance stand out from other competitors. Don’t do the old standby of sending an email to say thank you . Everyone else is already doing that! Instead of either applying to everything, use your time to create several videos: an introductory one and a thank you. Sending a video instead of the usual phone call or email will help you stand out from the competition, so make sure to spend some time on it.

Master Video Conferencing

According to a March 2020 survey by Handshake, an online career community for college students, 89% of employers are now adopting virtual interviews given the COVID-19 situation and that will go up until there is a vaccine. Make sure that you are ready for when that important interview request comes. Much like showing up late or dressing inappropriately, your ability to adapt to video conferencing is one of the new markers of whether or not your interview will go well.

Boost Your Skills

It’s the perfect time to conquer the skills you need to stay ahead of the rest. Analyze the skill section of job descriptions and assess your own familiarity. Do you already have that skill, but could use a refresher? Do you lack it entirely? Now is the time!

Be Flexible

This is new to all of us, so there may be hiccups you didn’t expect or prepare for. Common ones are companies that may have had a round of layoffs or reduced staff may not be able to meet your pre-Covid pay, or may require a flexible start date, or won’t have a date when you’ll be allowed on-site. Due to many people’s increased urgency to get a new position, recruiters are now reporting that many candidates are coming across as pushy or desperate. Patience makes a great deal of difference in this situation. Above all, remember that this is new to everyone. To insist on the exact same situation as before the global pandemic comes across as not only tone-deaf, but also extremely insulting to anyone who may have gotten sick or lost a family member during this global pandemic. You can do this! Our tips for job hunting during the coronavirus will help you stand out from the crowd and get hired! Be sure to check out USPRO’s Job Board for openings!

7 Ways You Can Help During The Coronavirus Crisis

April 1, 2020

7 Ways You Can Help During The Coronavirus Crisis

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Just because you’re not an “essential” employee doesn’t mean you can’t help. Here are seven ways for you to make a big difference during this time of crisis:

  1. Keep Yourself Safe First make sure that you keep yourself healthy! Each time you wash your hands, make sure it’s at least for 20 seconds. Stay home to flatten the curve and use social distancing to keep yourself healthy. You can’t help anyone if you’re already sick, so be sure to take care of yourself!

2. Donate Blood According to the Red Cross, there’s a critical blood shortage. As more people become infected with the coronavirus, there’s less people to donate blood. Find out where you can donate blood at their website here.

3. Help Healthcare Workers There is no CDC approved way to make homemade masks, so we can’t recommend donating them. There is Mask Match, a 100% volunteer-run project designed to get medical supplies to verified healthcare workers. If you do have N95 masks at your house (used for household projects, so check your garage, your basement, closets, etc.), Mask Match will arrange for them to be sent to hospitals without you having to leave your house and they will match your donation. Don’t have any masks or gowns or gloves? You can donate money to the Mask Match as well, and help cover the cost of shipping these vital resources to those who need them most!

4. Help Food Banks and Restaurants Everyone needs food. Donate time, food, or money to your local food bank. With school closures, non-essential businesses closing, and rising unemployment claims, food banks are expecting a giant surge in demand and need your help. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your house, you can donate to Feeding America, and help senior citizens, the disabled, and children in poverty without any risk. Help support your local restaurants by ordering takeout and buying gift cards. Buying gift cards allows the restaurant to use the money now while still getting you food later, letting them stay open.

5. Help The Elderly Stuck At Home DOROT, a New York City based organization whose mission is to alleviate loneliness among the elderly and housebound, are looking for volunteers to make phone calls. After a short webinar and two personal references, you’ll be matched with a senior and talk on the phone once or twice a week, for four weeks. The phone calls take place between 10:30 am to 7:30 pm EST and at the phone volunteer’s convenience. If you’re not a fan of phone calls, try writing a letter for Love For The Elderly and send someone anonymous good wishes without requiring money or making a phone call.

6. Become A Crisis Counselor If you’re a night owl or early riser with reliable internet and your own computer, you can become a crisis counselor. Crisis Text Line is looking for night volunteers who can commit to 30 hour training and then contribute 4 hours a week. This international organization is a free hotline, open 24/7 for people in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. If you’re unable to make such a commitment, they also accept donations. Check out their United States website here.

7. Join Your Local Mutual-Aid Network All over the world, communities are coming together to help out. They’re using Google Sheets, of all things. It’s a mutual-aid tool, where neighbors can post their needs, such as groceries, pharmacy runs, translation services, etc., and others can choose to answer the call. Join yours or start one in your area here. In this invisible war, we’re all in this together. Join us in doing your part to help stop the virus! We can do it!

Share this: Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Here Are the 3 Things You Need To Make Excellent Career Choices Jan 30, 2018 In “Job Search Advice” How To Make Your Networking Even More Effective Feb 21, 2018 In “Job Search Advice” Expert Career Advice From Recruiters Who’ve Seen It All Dec 28, 2017 In “Job Search Advice” Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, help, remote Categories: HR Advice, Job Search Advice, News

The Different Types of Engineering Fields

February 10, 2020

The Different Types of Engineering Fields

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If you’re new to engineering, trying to figure out which engineering major is for you, or trying to explain what you do to someone who isn’t an engineer, it can be tricky to sum up all the different fields. Here we break down the six major branches, but under each branch there are literally hundreds of different subcategories.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is the application of chemical, physical, and biological sciences to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful forms. This includes fields like biomolecular, materials, molecular, process, or corrosion engineering. This field requires studying sciences, such as chemistry, biology, physics, and math. Most work in offices or laboratories.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is about the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and natural built environment. It’s about solving infrastructure problems. This includes environmental, geotechnical, structural, mining, transport, utility, and water resources engineering. Working in this field can mean splitting time between the office and the worksite.

Electrical Engineering

Just as it sounds, electrical engineering is about the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This includes computer engineers, power engineers, and optical engineers. Similar occupations include electricians, biomedical engineers, and architectural and engineering managers.

Mechanical Engineering

This field includes the design and study of the heat and power needed for operating machines and mechanical systems. This includes acoustical, manufacturing, optomechanical, thermal, sports (testing sports equipment), vehicle engineering, power plants, and energy engineering. Related occupations include petroleum engineers, mechanical engineering technicians, and materials engineers.

Interdisciplinary Engineering

This is the ultimate combination field and the largest of all six. Plenty of the previous fields could easily cross over into others, which is where this category comes in. Consider that aerospace engineering has both the design and development of the aircraft and air traffic control systems, but also has to consider the spacecraft itself, including the spacecraft systems, ground control, and orbital mechanics. Interdisciplinary engineering has multiple fields along these lines, with everything from aerospace to farming to systems to software. This is the technical title for a vast and varied landscape of studies.

If you’re looking for an engineering opening, we have multiple on our career opening page.

https://jobs.uspro.net/#/jobs

Top Tips on How to Prepare for a Software Engineer Interview

February 4, 2020

Top Tips on How to Prepare for a Software Engineer Interview

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You’ve finally landed the interview with the company you’d love to work for, so what do you do next?

Brush up on Skills the Company Wants

Read the job description carefully and prepare yourself to be able to give the definitions and speak about the major benefits of the operating systems, and programming used. Be prepared to take coding tests in everything, even if it’s been a while. If the employer comes across as arrogant or competitive, it’s best not to take the position. Be sure to ask any questions before you start answering.

Soft Skills Matter

Interviewers will be watching to see if you can work with others, so be sure not to show signs of ego or arrogance during the interview. While what you can do is important, you’re not the only person interviewing for this position, so keep your ego in check while talking with the interviewer. They will be noticing how open you are to new ideas, if you’re flexible in your solutions, and your approach to how you optimize the solution.

Freshen Up on Old Skills

It’s normal to include skills on your resume that you haven’t used in awhile. If you’ve done that, be sure to give at least the basics a review before heading into your interview.

Prepare for Coding Test

Think about what technology the company uses and then focus on studying the languages and concepts that might be on the test. Search online for a free coding test that covers these technologies. Find sites like Leetcode or HackerRank are good places to start for common technical and algorithmic interview questions.

This article from Medium recommends preparing for a tech interview at least 4-6 weeks ahead of time, with 3 months being preferred, simply to brush up on all the different kinds of questions asked. If you haven’t been in the industry consistently, you may want to consider following their lead.

3 Job Searching Steps When Transitioning from Military Life to Civilian

January 14, 2020

3 Job Searching Steps When Transitioning from Military Life to Civilian

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Getting a job can be one of the returning veteran’s hardest challenges. Translating military skills and experience into civilian terminology is hard, but it can be done.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Ideally, you would be able to prepare for civilian life while you’re still in the service. Make sure to enroll in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which gives armed forces members access to employment information and training within 180 days of separation. Ask about VA benefits, request letters of recommendation, and try to get all your paperwork taken care of ahead of time. Work on your resume and LinkedIn profile and keep in mind that military slang won’t track in civilian life. Update your resume to match the job requirements.

Skill Up

Do you have the skills for the kind of civilian career that you want? Does your competition have more education? Consider taking classes, getting a certificate, or getting a degree. Now is the time to figure out what would work best for you in the long term. Make sure that any college or certification you choose comes from a well-respected school that’s accredited. Consider taking CLEP or DANTES exams for skills you already have, but might not be able to prove on paper.

Don’t Be Afraid to Network

While the armed forces discourage socializing to complete a task, you need to recognize that civilian life often requires socializing. Extend your network through LinkedIn to attract new professional contacts, and make sure to add a professional profile picture to your page. Don’t focus only on people at the top, because other people can also influence your career. Engage with all types of people at all types of levels in the career path of your choice.

Final Thought

You could feel a sense of culture shock when you return, but it will get better with enough patience and effort. Don’t expect everything to come together at once. Think of this as the long term strategic plan to accomplish your mission, with many pieces in play.

5 Most Common Engineering Interview Questions

December 9, 2019

5 Most Common Engineering Interview Questions

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Forewarned is forearmed, so before you step into that interview, be sure you know how you’ll answer the most likely questions:

Tell me about a time when a project or assignment didn’t go as planned.

This is a behavioral interview question and your interviewer is trying to assess your problem solving skills. Give an example that demonstrates your ability to recover when things go wrong, not just when things fell apart.

What do you enjoy most/enjoy least about engineering?

Your hiring manager wants to know the honest answer, but make sure that the part you most dislike isn’t something that is within the core responsibility of the job. Highlight the main part of the position that appeals to you as your most enjoyable aspect.

Why do you want to work at this company?

Your interviewer wants to know if you’re really serious about getting this position and passionate about contributing to the next generation of innovation. To prepare, be sure to thoroughly research the company, including past achievements. Your answer should have a combination of details about the company’s work and your interests, tying them together to show how your own experience works in their best interest.

Describe the most challenging written technical report/project that you’ve had to complete.

Describe why it was challenging and why it was necessary. This is to see what you consider challenging and why. Assuming that they ask further questions, your response will show why it stretched your skills, how you navigated through the challenge, and what the outcome was.

What personal characteristics do you think are necessary to be successful in this field?

This is a question about your values. They are trying to get a feel for your character. Choose three or four and explain why they’re important.

5 Job Seeking Tips for Military Spouses

October 24, 2019

5 Job Seeking Tips for Military Spouses

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Revamp Your Resume

Milspouses should consider using a resume format that isn’t chronological. While free templates seem like a good idea, they can be very basic and hard to individualize. Try using a functional resume or a combination resume instead of a chronological format, since you’re promoting your skills first. If you’ve had lapses in employment, a functional resume is your best best because it focuses on your skills and experience first, de-emphasizing the dates in which you have worked. Be sure to include any volunteer work you may have done, as that also counts as experience.

Don’t Use Military Acronyms

Spell all the words all the way out at least once, since you might be interviewed by a civilian. Be prepared to translate anything you don’t spell out.

Filling In The Gaps

If your struggle is in the frequent moves and job changes, it’s best to be up front with your employer if they ask. You can avoid looking like a short-timer by not listing the months on your work history and this can keep you from being tempted not to stretch the truth.

Consider Online School or Training

If you can’t find anything that might be helpful around your area, consider going back to school online or taking some in-person training for an extra certificate. Today’s tech environment means that you can start, continue, and finish a college degree without having to set foot in a classroom. Many state and private colleges offer entirely online degrees.

Consider Contract Work

Contract work can be long-term temporary or go permanent, depending on what you and the company are looking for, and it’s a great way to try a new position out without having to commit to anything long-term. We have a wide variety of positions open across country, are military friendly, and open to having a discussion. Preview our openings at https://jobs.uspro.net/#/jobs

Get Your Resume Past the ATS

September 30, 2019

Get Your Resume Past the ATS

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As technology has advanced, so has it’s involvement in the hiring process. Hiring managers no longer have to pick through hundreds of resumes by hand. The applicant tracking system (ATS) has taken care of that.

Many job seekers are unaware exactly how many companies use an ATS to screen resumes before they’re ever read by a human. As the technology becomes cheaper to use, the number of companies will increase every year.

What ATS do with Your Resume?

Applicant Tracking Systems are designed to screen resumes for what are considered the requirements for the position, including education, experience, and other factors, such as security clearance. These systems routinely reject 75 percent of the resumes submitted on average. Most of those resume are rejected because they’re not optimized for an ATS scan.

Tips To Ensure Your Resume Gets Past An ATS

Use a standard resume format so that the ATS can read your resume. Stick to the traditional chronological, functional, or hybrid resume format. Be sure to avoid using headers or footers, as those tend to be cut off.

Avoid Fancy Designs and Images

This is an extremely common mistake because people tend to think only of impressing the hiring manager, the person, at the end of the resume search. Using fancy colors, designs, and fonts are a problem for resumes to get past the ATS, so be sure to impress the hiring manager with your resume content instead of it’s design.

Send the Correct File Format

While some systems are getting more sophisticated, the majority of ATS still require either a Microsoft Word Document or a .pdf format. Avoid sending anything else unless you’re certain that the company’s ATS is able to read it. Be sure to check the job description to see if there’s any instructions as to format.

Spellcheck and Spell Out Your Abbreviations

Besides making sure that the basics like spellcheck aren’t replacing words with what you intend (thank you, autocorrect) but also be sure to spell out any acronyms. While a human understands that R.N. stands for “registered nurse”, you can’t guarantee that the ATS does. Make sure your resume is seen by writing out what each acronym stands for at least once on your resume, even if it’s under the Skills section or in a bullet point list.

Work That Job Title

This tip only applies to those staying in the same field. If possible, included the job title on your resume to match as closely as the position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re experienced in business development and you’re applying for a senior business position, writing “Senior Business Developer” will get you further through the ATS than simply “Business Developer” or “Experienced Business Developer”.

Utilize Your File Name to the Fullest

Before saving your resume, be sure to include your entire name in the file name and the word “resume”. For example, instead of saving your resume as: “Resume.Final.2020“, save it with your name instead: Jane.Doe.Resume.Aerospace.Engineer. Hiring managers receive far too many resumes under the title “resume” and yours can get lost in the shuffle. Include your first and last name, what document it is, and what position you’re applying for. Make sure they find your resume!

Check Before Applying

Before you click ‘send’, you can compare your resume to the job openings you’d like to apply to, and get the feedback you need. This impersonal feedback is coming from a computer, but that’s the system you’re trying to get past. Make sure to compare and contrast and your resume will make it past the 70% removal rate in no time.

How To Gain A Security Clearance For Employment

May 1, 2019

How To Gain A Security Clearance For Employment

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How To Get a Security Clearance

You can’t just apply for a security clearance. Applying for a clearance requires that you’re working for a government approved contractor, holding political office, or working with some kind of government approved entity. To even apply requires that organization to sponsor you. There are no individual applications for a security clearance.

  • Only U.S. citizens are eligible for a security clearance, unless there are special circumstances.

Investigation Process

All applicants go under a thorough evaluation to determine if they’re loyal to the U.S. government and free from foreign influence, are honest, trustworthy, morally upright, and mentally and psychologically sound, and have no criminal history.

The process starts with the Personnel Security Questionnaire through the e-QIP website. Next is an investigation by  the government’s Office of Personnel Management, the Defense Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence or another investigation service provider (ISP), depending on the position.

Agent investigating your application will interview your contacts, including current and past employers, neighbors, business associates, former classmates, college club members, and others that you have known.  You will be interviewed and re-interviewed as the information is gathered to clarify any potential issues that could affect it.  Any discrepancies uncovered in the investigation may be grounds for disqualification. The average length of the entire investigation can vary based on the position and clearance requested, but is approximately 120 days.

Statuses in the Review Process

Received: The Investigative service provider has acknowledged receipt of the investigation and will be reviewing it

Unacceptable- The ISP decided that the investigation request is deficient. You will receive a message with the reason why your clearance was rejected. If you still need one, a new investigation will have to be submitted.

Scheduled: The ISP has determined that your investigation request to be acceptable and the investigation is ongoing.

Closed: The ISP has completed the investigation and it has been sent for adjudication.

Kinds of Clearance

Top Secret is applied to information that if it was disclosed to unauthorized sources, could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security. This level is re-investigated every five years.

Secret clearance is applied to any information that could cause serious damage to national security if disclosed to the unauthorized sources. This level is investigated every 10 years.

Confidential is the least damaging, with just “could cause damage to national security” and is investigated every 15 years.

Clearance re-investigations are more important than the original investigation because those people who  have had those clearances longer are more likely to be working with increasingly critical information.

For military security clearance, it’s depends on your job and your assignment. In some cases, the job itself might not require a security clearance, but the location or the unit does.

The DoD (Department of Defense) operates it’s security program separate from other government agencies, with it’s own procedures. This means that security clearances from other government agencies would not necessarily transfer to the DoD.

Are you looking for your next job?

For more advice on how to get clearances and skills you need to succeed as a contractor, connect with the team at USPRO and explore the available opportunities.

Resume Tips for Engineers

April 9, 2019

Resume Tips for Engineers

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Be Concise

While your line of work may imply that giving all the details is a good idea, keep in mind that resumes – including yours – will be rejected or accepted into a working pile within 30 seconds. Giving the manager an information overload is a great way to get rid of them.  Keep it crisp and to the point.

Be Precise

Failing to spellcheck, proofread, and correct errors will sink any candidate. It’s essential that your resume is professional without any errors whatsoever, as it will be a reflection on your future work – or lack thereof.

Tailor the Resume to the Job Opening

If your resume isn’t tailored with the keywords used in the job posting, it can look like you have been mass posting your resume everywhere and will most likely be thrown out. Customize it as much as possible without giving too much information.

Bullet Points

Instead of writing entire paragraphs for each of your past positions, it’s best to keep it short and sweet with bullet points. You will be able to tell the key points and quantify the results so employers understand the significance of your work.

Objective Not Necessary

Unless the job posting specifically asks for an objective, it’s not necessary. Keep it to a brief summary instead, explaining how your skills and experience meet the requirements of the open position.

Prioritize

Put the important information first, with your most recent job at the top and the essential skills you used at that position. Keep in mind that the reader will only skim your resume.

Highlight Accomplishments Over Responsibilities

Selling yourself based on what you were able to accomplish previously will show the amount of growth you’re capable of and the amount of potential you could bring going forward.

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