Soft skills – you may have heard how important they can be to your career. But when was the last time you focused on mastering some new ones? There are many soft skills that technical and non-technical candidates can benefit from when it comes to landing a new job. Communication is obviously high on the list, but also think about emotional intelligence, team building, organizational, and leadership skills. Here’s how they can help you take your career to the next level.
Communication is complicated in our new world of work. Email, instant messaging, mobile phones, and other modern communication methods have really changed the way in which work is done. But, communication is still a critically important skill for job applicants to have and promote to employers.
Work is rarely done in a vacuum or on an individual level, so those speaking and writing skills are in constant demand. A candidate’s ability to discuss issues with coworkers and other stakeholders in a way that results in positive action is invaluable. In order to describe real situations where your communication skills were an asset to an employer or on a project, focus on developing those skills. Practice makes perfect and the more opportunities you get, the better you will become. Public speaking and collaborative efforts are both good examples to showcase employers in an interview. If you don’t have some case studies in your back pocket, go out there and get them.
Working in a team can be tricky, especially with the diversity of experiences and personalities that come along in the tech industry. If you’re not confident in your abilities, this is an area you should work on building strength in. Employers depend on their team to collaborate and motivate each other. If you can showcase your leadership in that regard, you will make a big impression with hiring managers.
Work requires some hard conversations, and if you are not skilled at navigating those types of situations, you are doing yourself a disservice in your career. Communicating (or even defending) your value to your manager and corporate leadership is critical. Understanding how to work well cross-functionally within your organization is key. If you shy away from the difficult situations that can lead to positive change, then you will only ever be as well off as you are now. And that’s unlikely to last for long considering how fast corporations and organizations are changing to keep up with a rapidly evolving market.
To help you understand how some of these soft skills can really help you achieve more at work and in life, reach out to speak with a recruiter at USPRO today. We can help you bring your A-game to any interview or opportunity, and will support you along the way.
Recruiters are an excellent source of information for candidates and mid-career professionals. That’s because they have literally seen it all. They know what career success looks like, and the path that applicants need to take in order to get from point A to point B. Here are 3 of the very best pieces of career advice from those who know the landscape better than anyone else.
The shift to digital talent sourcing has been both a blessing and a burden for companies and candidates alike. If you know how to work the system, you can do so much more when it comes to finding the right job. But first, you need to know how to get past the bots. Automated resume reviewing programs are quick to discard any resumes that don’t use special keywords that identify a candidate as relevant. And as employers are quick to receive hundreds upon hundreds of resumes, all in varying states of relevance for the position they are seeking to fill, you can see why it’s important to have a process in place to weed out those candidates who are not qualified.
That said, because of this automated gate keeping, you need to be sure you are using the right keywords for the job. Use the job description as your guide, and make sure you customize every resume you send to make sure it’s as relevant and readable as possible, even if the reader is a bot.
Quantified successes are important to position yourself for success in the job search because it helps measure you against other candidates. If you say you made all your sales goals, but fail to define the actual amount, that’s not something that can be measured against. By putting a number to your achievements, be they sales goals, clients earned, budgets managed, etc., you are helping employers to really see how valuable you are to an employer. And this also makes it easier to imagine you succeeding in their new role. So, don’t be afraid to get specific with your accomplishments. It will show employers that you mean businesses and you know how to measure your own success.
Roles and opportunities come and go. Some times of year, such as in January or at the beginning of the fiscal year, job openings are more plentiful because budgets are available. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to find a new job at other times of year. In fact, those are often the secret opportunities to network and make connections with recruiters and employers before they even know they want to hire someone. That way, once that opportunity does come up, they already have someone in mind for the job—you!
So if you didn’t find the job of your dreams this week, don’t give up. Persistence is rewarded when it comes to job hunting. Just remember to keep learning, try new things, and always market yourself so that when that opportunity does present itself, you’re ready.
Resumes can be a challenge for even the most skilled engineers on the market, but to impress your next employer, it’s important to present yourself to the best of your ability, even before you meet face to face. These 5 tips will help you craft the kind of resume that gets you the attention you deserve.
Resumes need to be short and sweet to show readers exactly what they want to know in less than 10 seconds. If your resume is too long, you run the risk of losing the reader’s attention. Instead of simply listing all your skills and experience that you have garnered over the past decade or two, focus on the most relevant information that will help win you the job. If a chronological format isn’t cutting it for you, try a skills-based format. Bring those real-world chemist experiences front and center so employers know what you bring to the table.
The first line of defense for recruiters is often simple search engine optimization. Many applicants are put through a software program that searches for the key words, skills, and abilities that an employer is looking for. Pay attention to those key words. When putting together your engineering resume, remember to include computer languages you know, the types of projects you’ve been involved in and the kinds of solutions you helped to innovate throughout your career. Think about what your hiring manager is looking for from your resume, and be sure you put it front and center.
Rather than creating one resume and blasting employers with a document that is a poor representation of what you and only you can bring to a specific position, take the time to fine-tune your resume for the engineering job that you have your eyes on. Highlight the specific qualifications and skills that matter for that job and make sure you are highly relevant to the hiring manager who is reading the doc.
At the end of the day, your resume should be a good representation of the great engineering work you have done and what you can bring to a new job. Try out a couple different resume formats to see which one presents your career in a more compelling (and concise) light. Remember that the average employer looks at a resume for just a few seconds before deciding whether to follow up with a candidate. So, whatever you choose, make sure that it gets the point across quickly and effectively.
Especially for more experienced engineers, that education section can get pushed to the side. If you have the type of academic career that will impress a future employer, put it at the top of your resume. List your degrees, your specialization, and show how proud you are of that accomplishment. When it comes to the field of engineering, those accolades can really make a difference for hiring managers.
Interviews can be a challenge for even the most experienced candidates. But with these top tips, you’ll be ready to impress at your next interview.
Before you walk through the door to your interview, you should not only know the job description forward and backward, but you should also be prepared to eloquently and succinctly explain how your previous work experiences have prepared you for the requirements and duties of the job. You should also read up on the company you are interviewing with.
Just about the worst thing you can do in an interview is be late. Make every effort to arrive on time, if not early, to your appointment. This may require planning your commute more effectively and even familiarizing yourself with the meeting location beforehand.
First and foremost, look to how you present yourself in an interview. People evaluate your professionalism based on how you are dressed. Interview attire should be more formal than what you likely would wear to work in the job you are applying for. In most cases this means a suit and tie for men, and equally formal attire for women. Keep accessories and perfumes to a minimum, and do what you can to model the culture of the company in your attire.
Body language plays a big part in how you are perceived in an interview setting as well. To give yourself a boost of confidence before meeting with your interviewer, try out a few power poses and stretch your face muscles so you are less stiff on the onset of your meeting. Do what you can to calm your nerves and remind yourself that you are a great fit for the job.
Do you have a connection in your professional network that can give you a few pointers on the job you are applying to? A little insider information can go a long way toward preparing yourself for the interview. If you know someone who works for the company you are applying to, or who knows the hiring manager, it can be very helpful to ask for advice or more information about the position prior to the big day.
Make sure you have all the materials and information you need well ahead of your interview day. If you are bringing any examples of past work or copies of your resume along to the meeting, make sure you have what you need well before you are asked to present them. Also, double check meeting locations and directions to make sure you are able to arrive on time and well prepared.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, make sure you practice your interview skills. You can do this with a friend or family member, or even just in front of a mirror. That practice will help you hit your key points when you are put on the spot.
For more helpful advice on how to ace your next interview, contact a career advisor at USPRO today.
Working with a staffing agency provides several benefits beyond simply helping candidates find a job. They can provide employment benefits, such as healthcare, 401k plans, group insurance, and vacation or sick leave. But most importantly, they can help you build your career up to new heights. Here are 4 key benefits to working with a staffing agency that you should definitely take into account as you look for your next big opportunity.
Staffing firms are constantly receiving requests from companies who need help finding the right person for a new opportunity. It’s in their interest to find high quality candidates to quickly fill those roles. This is true to the point that recruiters are actively looking for good workers within an industry even before the right opportunity comes along. The ability to match top industry talent with great job opportunities is what makes staffing firms able to meet the needs of their clients and their candidates so well. That gives you the chance to find your next role before it hits the job boards.
Another great thing about working with a staffing firm is that you can earn their loyalty by doing a great job. If you work on a contract and show yourself to be a committed and capable employee, at the end of your contract the staffing agency will work hard to continue to employ you with the same company or with another company quickly. They do this to keep you on their payroll, but it also benefits you as a job seeker. It means less down-time between gigs and the dedicated support that can mean the difference in your job search.
If you are looking to move into a market you are not particularly familiar with, recruiters are your greatest resource. Their industry knowledge is a critical resource. Staffing firms know all about the job market, and if you are working with a specialized staffing agency, they know what companies are hiring for your niche position. Recruiters can also help you better understand the value of your skills, the going rate for positions, and whether an offer is reasonable or not. If you lack that industry knowledge, you could end up regretting your decision to settle with one company rather than another.
A robust professional network is essential to quickly discovering and landing new jobs. If your network is lacking when you begin your job search, you’ll find yourself inevitably fighting an uphill battle. Recruiters are known for their excellent connections with hiring managers and employers who are looking for candidates. After years of working with a wide variety of employers, your recruiter knows who’s hiring, what they’re looking for, and what’s coming down the pipe. That network is a huge bonus when you start working with a recruiter because you know that you’ll be connected with the right companies at the right time.
For more reasons why you should work with a staffing agency to land your next gig, reach out to talk with a career counselor at USPRO today or search for a job here.
The modern job search can feel like a never-ending battle if you are not able to take advantage of certain new technologies and processes. Many talented individuals who haven’t been looking for a job recently are caught unawares and left wondering why they are sending out resume after resume but never hearing back from hiring managers. The truth is that job hunting has changed. Employers are hiring differently. Everyone is optimizing for time and cost, but with these 3 tips, you can work toward getting a good job faster and more effectively.
From an employer’s perspective, one of the most attractive aspects of the modern recruiting process is the automation and the ability to reach out to a wider field of candidates quicker and easier than ever before. But that results in some interesting challenges for professionals in the market for a new job. A common mistake that job hunters make is to send out a generalized template style resume to several different employers and waiting to see what sticks. In the present day of search engines and automated application forms, that’s a great way to get completely ignored by recruiters and hiring managers.
Instead, lean into the technology and let it work for you. Highlight keywords that you know employers are looking for in resumes that read. Reach out to employers on social media. Connect with them in forums. Differentiate yourself using the latest and greatest technologies to show that you mean business and would be able to bring that knowledge and experience to help them grow their business.
Goal setting is probably the most important thing you can do to ensure a positive job search experience. You should know what it is you are looking to achieve right from the beginning. What sort of job do you want to get? Who do you want to work for? How much do you want to get paid? Answering these questions on the front end of a job search is important so that you ensure that you don’t settle for whatever falls into your lap. This is your job search, your career. Take ownership of it and be prepared to say no to an offer that simply doesn’t meet your standards or fails to help you reach your goals.
Networking can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of a job search. Asking former colleagues and connections for leads or recommendations can be tough. It opens you up to rejection and it reveals a certain vulnerability that most professionals like to keep hidden away. But talking to your family, your friends, and your colleagues for referrals can be a cathartic experience. They can help you see how valuable you are, and how much promise your career holds. They can inspire and motivate you to do better than you would do otherwise, and above all, they can provide the support that will give your career a boost with little to no leg work from you. So, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Temporary work is not what it used to be. Where once they were looked on as the kind of work that would hold candidates over until their real job came through, now temp work can help distinguish a career. Contracts are sometimes even extended based on project length, business need, and proof of a skilled and committed worker. If you are looking for ways to build out your resume and position yourself for your dream job, here are 4 reasons why temp work might be the right choice for you.
One of the most valuable parts of working on a contract job is the people you meet and the connections you make. Expanding your professional network is difficult when you are not working, but in temporary positions you are more likely to make many new acquaintances and hopefully leave them all with a good impression. Think of it as an opportunity to meet your next employer, even if it’s not with your current company. Your coworkers are also very good resources within your professional network. You never know where your next gig will come from, so take the time to make connections and make a name for yourself within the professional community.
Every new job you take provides the opportunity to learn new things. By taking on a temporary job, it really offers the chance to build new skills in a short amount of time. If you know what type of work you are looking to build a career on, it’s important to do research and figure out if you have the skills and qualifications that will get you there. With temporary work, you can expand your skills set quickly on a wide variety of projects that will each add value to your resume and your work history.
If you are new to your industry, or professional work in general, a lack of experience can be a challenge when it comes to landing a job. Temp work allows candidates to gain lots of experience very quickly, and as such can help land those future dream jobs. Worth considering as well is that many employers look to hire from their temporary rosters once employees have had a chance to prove their value. After about 3 to 6 months, both employee and employer will have a better idea of whether they are each a good fit for the other.
For those professionals looking to make a change in their careers, temp work is an ideal way to test out a new industry or new role with minimal commitment. If you are looking for a change, consider short-term contracts that can give you the opportunity to use your skills in a new way and provide that inside view from a new company or industry that will help you make your move.
Get started on the next phase of your career today by giving the team at USPRO a call or search for a job here. For more advice on how temp work can help grow your career, connect with the recruiters at USPro today.Contact us today!
You may have finished your interview, but don’t think that the ball is no longer in your court. It is crucial to follow through once you have stepped out of the office to make sure you leave a positive impression. Here are three essential steps to take to ensure success after your interview.
Sending a thoughtful, but brief thank-you note shows your interviewer how much you appreciated their time. Showing your appreciation for their willingness to talk with you is a crucial element of the interview process. In our modern age of digital communication, a handwritten note carries some extra weight.
If you are unable to send a note, an email is effective as well. Keep it brief and to the point. Don’t come across as desperate or demanding. Simply thank them for their time, reiterate your interest in the position and perhaps even reflect on a topic you connected over in conversation. The email serves as a nice reminder of who you are and what you talked about in the interview that will help you stand out a little from the prospective crowd of candidates.
If you are working with a staffing agency, this step is often best done through the intermediary of your recruiter. Send them a brief paragraph saying thanks and allow your recruiter to include it as part of their outreach to the client.
If you discussed a timeline with the hiring manager during the interview, follow up on the status of your application at the appropriate time. While you don’t want to be annoying, it makes sense to check on the decision to show you are still very much invested in the opportunity. Many employers get overloaded when trying to balance project work and hiring responsibilities so it’s perfectly reasonable to email or even call to check on the process after a week or two.
Again, if you are working with a staffing agency, this follow up is best done through the intermediary of your recruiter. It might even seem outright inappropriate to contact the client directly, so be sure to check with your organization before reaching out.
Sometimes during an interview, a client will request some additional samples, or you may have some questions after the interview has taken place. Don’t be afraid to continue the conversation. In many cases, the hiring process can go on for several interviews and several reviews of your qualifications and work product. Don’t forget to provide your interviewer with the materials they need to make a good decision. And as always, work through your recruiter as necessary.
The interview stage of your job search can be stressful. You have the job in sight, but you don’t have them convinced until you get past the interview. Luckily, there are things you can do to set yourself up for interview success. Here are the seven steps to a successful interview.
When preparing for an interview, you need a full understanding of the job description, the organization, the team, the manager, the corporate culture and the industry. Only then will you be capable of selling yourself as the solution to the hiring manager’s pain points.
Equally important is a strategic positioning of your work history, experience, and skill set so you are prepared to talk (at length) about why you are right for the job.
Good communication, promptness and a polite attitude are all hallmarks of a professional employee. If you fail to bring professionalism to the interview processes, there is little chance you will make it to the hiring stage.
They say to dress for the job you want. This is true for an interview. While it is good to dress in a way that will help you fit in with your co-workers, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed for an interview.
Interview confidence involves a firm handshake, good eye contact, strong posture and an engaging smile. Employers are looking for a candidate who knows they will bring value to the job, so be confident in your worth and pleasant in your interactions.
The interview stage is as much an opportunity for you to ask questions as it is for the hiring manager. In fact, many interviewers fully expect candidates to come prepared with questions that spark good conversations. They show the hiring manager that you’re not only interested in the work, but are thinking critically about your role within the team and how you will best be able to meet their needs.
A strong follow-up is critical to a successful interview. If you are able, leave a handwritten thank-you note with reception as you leave. If not, a thoughtfully written email with a simple thank you is also effective. If you are working with a recruiter, be sure to connect with them before contacting the client directly. If they would rather you send your note through them, that works equally well.
Get started on the next phase of your career today by giving the team at USPRO a call or search for a job here. Our recruiters will help you find and prep for your next big interview. Contact us today!
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