This is How to Stand Out in Your Job Search

This is How to Stand Out in Your Job Search
Photo Credit – Flickr.com

Right now there are a record number of job openings across the U.S. So getting hired should be easy, right?

Well, not so fast. It appears that part of the reason for all these job opening is that employers aren’t finding the skilled employees they need to fill roles, so they’re choosing to leave the jobs open.

At Betterteam, where we help businesses find great hires, we talk to employers all the time who talk about getting bogged down in a sea of low-quality applicants.

This situation does still present a big opportunity for job seekers, but you’ve got to make it easy for potential employers to find you in a haystack of unqualified applicants.

How Not to Get Screened Out

To deal with thick stacks of applicants, most employers have some sort of screening process to help them thin things out.

This usually starts with a quick review of resumes. By quick, I mean that recruiters often spend 6 seconds or less looking at resumes. That’s if they even see them.

Often times, employers use applicant tracking systems that automatically screen resumes for them.

So how do you pass the 6 second test and get past the tracking system?

What employers and tracking systems are almost always looking for is some evidence that you’re qualified for the job – that you have the necessary skills.

Take a close look at what qualifications the employer is asking for in their job posting, and then make sure you use the same wording they do in your resume to describe your skills.

With applicant tracking systems, it’s possible the software will be looking for different keywords than what appears in the job posting. If you need some alternate keyword ideas, search for the position on O*Net and you’ll find different ways of describing the skills you’re supposed to have.

You’ll want to find ways of using both the language in the job posting and on O*Net if you need to be sure to get past both recruiters and tracking systems.

Don’t Get Screened, Part 2

If you get past the resume scan phase, there’s a good chance you’ll have a quick phone interview.

This is another way of screening. In-person interviews are time consuming and costly, so it makes sense for employers to do a short phone interview to check on applicants. Once again, they’re looking to see if you have the qualifications necessary.

There’s really no way to fake that part. Either you have what they want, or you don’t.

But there’s another thing you do have control over.

Most interviewers are on the lookout for red flags – reasons why they shouldn’t hire you. Make sure you don’t raise any doubts with these.

A few red flags employers and recruiters look out for:

  • Bad mouthing previous employers.
  • Being focused on money.
  • Looking for salary well beyond what the company offers.
  • Low energy.
  • Not settled on this role/position.

If you’ve got the basic qualifications and don’t raise any red flags, you should be able to sail through this stage of the process.

From here, you’ll have one or more live interviews between you and the job you want. I’ve written up some tips to help you get through the final state of the process here.

I hope that helps you get noticed the next time you apply for a job! It’s a great time to be looking, and there’s plenty of opportunity out there if you know how to get noticed in this market.

Comments

Love Helping People? 5 Careers That Truly Impact Others

Love Helping People? 5 Careers That Truly Impact Others

As you go through the different experiences life has to offer, you’ll quickly learn that everyone needs a little help at some point. When you’re in a position where you need help, you’re incredibly grateful when someone can come through for you.

For some people, nothing is more gratifying than knowing you can help someone else. This is why there are many people who do help others for a living. There is a variety of careers that truly impact others in such positive ways. If you love helping people, consider the five listed below.

1. Teachers

Teachers literally equip the professionals of tomorrow. When a child receives an education, they simultaneously receive a chance to become virtually anything they want to be. In order to be a successful working professional, you need someone who is willing to teach you and show you the steps to succeed.

Teachers are truly golden because of the heart and soul they put into their work every day.

2. Emergency Professionals

Emergencies happen and there’s no way to avoid this. When they happen, it’s important to make sure that you’re in good hands. Emergency personnel will quickly get to where ever you are, access the situation and do what’s needed to save you. In many cases, this may mean that they’re risking their own lives.

First responders are usually well-equipped with educational training, on-the-job training and volunteer training. Not only that, but there are people who have their masters in emergency management behind the scenes making sure that whatever the situation is that it is properly handled.

3. Social Workers

Being a social worker isn’t for the faint of heart. This job requires a lot of selfless sacrifice and service. Social workers respond to children who are in need of a home, elderly people who live alone and many more requests.

Social workers are found in schools, hospitals and churches as well. In cases of domestic violence, social workers help women to find other options for shelter and safety. They’re the ones who respond to needs when it is time to look for a safe, rehabilitative solutions.

In order to become a licensed social worker, you’ll need to obtain a Master’s Degree in social work.

4. Nurses

While doctors and physician’s assistants serve important roles in the medical field, the nurses are the ones who reinforce the treatment and care. During a stay in the hospital, a patient will normally see the nurse a lot more than the doctor.

The nurse is usually a buzz away when a patient is in pain. Additionally, nurses are well-equipped to administer love and care through taking care of the patient’s needs like bathing, bathroom visits and feedings.

5. Psychologists and Psychiatrists

Psychologists deal directly with the mind. Though it has a certain stigma to it, mental illness is just as serious as an illness affecting the body.

When dealing with mental health, medication can be prescribed by a psychiatrist. The weekly care and evaluations can be done by a psychologist.


These five careers truly impact the livelihood of countless people. If it weren’t for these professions, there would be a lot more craziness in the world. If you’re looking to offer direct help to people, then you just might want to consider pursuing one of these career paths.

Comments

How to Be A Better Project Manager in 2017

How to be a Better Project Manager in 2017
Photo Credit – Pexels.com

Project managers are the heart and soul of any team. They are the caretakers of the group, tasked with leading the others through a minefield of unforeseen delays, uncommunicative contractors, and surprise budget changes. Through their training and experience, they protect their team members from the worst of the blows.

What Makes A Good Project Manager?

A good project manager is hard to find; as with any position of power and authority, project managers who have a tendency to become a little authoritarian in their outlook. “My way or the highway” does not lead to a creative working environment.

An inexperienced project manager can also be far more of a hindrance than a help. It is the times like these that training plays a big part. Something as simple as Prince2 certification – a project management system in extensive use in the UK government – can completely alter how well a project manager performs. So how can project managers look to improve their skills and management style in 2017?

1. Earn PMP Certification

For those project managers seasoned in the field, there is the option of PMP certification. PMP (Project Management Professional) is an internationally recognised professional designation offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMPs lead projects in most countries and business sectors. Being a PMP is not a job title; rather it is a designation gained through extensive project management training and real world application. It involves learning a variety of project management styles and techniques to allow the PMP to analyse a situation and apply the appropriate management style.

Upon receiving PMP certification, a project manager will be able to deliver above industry-standard results from projects. PMP certification is a mark of distinction in project management. It is recognition of large amounts of time spent both studying and practicing project management techniques

Because of this, PMP certification is a difficult thing to acquire. The pre-requisites to apply for the certification are:

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent)
  • Minimum 5 years unique, non-overlapping professional experience during which at least 7,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project.
  • 35 contact hours of project management training

OR

  • Four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent)
  • Minimum 3 years unique, non-overlapping professional experience during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project.
  • 35 contact hours of formal training

Following this, there is a rigorous and repetitive cycle of training and application of knowledge. PMP certification only lasts for three years. During those three years, a PMP must write up reports on their positions of responsibility, as well as attend relevant training modules to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs).

Should a PMP fail to reach their targets within the three years, they have their certification suspended and are given a further year to meet the necessary requirements.

If at the end of the suspension year they have still failed to meet the necessary requirements, they lose their PMP certification entirely. This ensures that all PMPs are constantly up to date with the most recent techniques and practices, and are successful leaders in the industry.

2. Practice Soft Skills
How to be a Better Project Manager in 2017
Photo Credit – Pexels.com

“Soft skills” are personal attributes or characteristics that allow someone to interact in a smooth and effective manner with other people.

For project managers, soft skills play a large part in leadership. Being able to guide and support individuals is a key attribute of any successful project manager. Practising soft skills will help a project manager become more efficient at managing their team.

Some examples of soft skills are:

a) Decision-making skills

Being able to make confident and informed decisions. It stops projects from getting bogged down and allows for momentum to build.

b) Communication skills

Communication skills are often top of any “essential skills” lists employers may have, and for good reason. People with strong communication skills are more adept at building working relationships and avoiding conflict.

c) Time management

An absolute must for any decent project manager. Good time management skills often go hand in hand with the proper allocation of resources and individuals in a project.

Some people naturally have good soft skills. Many others, however, need to work at them and develop over time before they are on the same level as those lucky few. There are no soft skills training courses; soft skills are learned by doing.

Project managers should engage in social activities outside of work as much as possible to improve upon soft skills. Over time there will be a noticeable positive change in soft skill-related tasks.

Combining training and real world experience is key to becoming a successful project manager, as one simply will not work without the other. To achieve a good level of both, it all boils down to one essential rule – always be looking to improve yourself in any way possible.

Comments

How to Increase Your Productivity When Working from Home

The advent of modern technology has allowed millions of people to be very efficient and accomplish many work-oriented tasks from the comfort of their home. Companies are now saving countless thousands of dollars on office spaces and transportation funds, simply because they’ve allowed their employees to work from their households, via an Internet connection.

There are numerous benefits for the employee, as well. They no longer have to get up two hours early in order to get ready for the office, and then spend close to an hour on the commute to work. Essentially, they get an extra two hours every day that they can use as they see fit, be it for leisure or work.

There is a downside to working from home, however. Because of the lack of a real working environment, sometimes it can be pretty hard to motivate yourself and get as much work done as you would in an office. It’s easy to sit back and procrastinate while you’re in the comfort of your own home, hidden from the eyes of your boss and your colleagues.

Fortunately, there are a few highly useful tricks that you can utilize in order to increase your overall productivity when working from home. In fact, with the correct mindset, you’ll be able to achieve the productivity of a regular day in the office with all the benefits of not ever having to leave your room.

1. Don’t Cheat, Start On Time

How to Increase Your Productivity When Working from Home

It’s very tempting to stay an extra fifteen minutes or half an hour slouching around in your bed, and giving yourself the privilege of putting off your work.

However, know right away that this is a bad idea in every possible way. Because the more you put off, the more you’re going to be discouraged about actually starting. If it helps, go through your morning ritual the same way you would when you had to go to the office; have a shower, shave, make some coffee, get dressed, anything you need to put yourself in a working mindset, and then get to work.

Procrastination is hardest to fight before you’ve actually started your work – after that, it gets exponentially easier.

2. Create Deadlines and Enforce Them

One of the most effective ways to make yourself more efficient when working from home is to give yourself a time limit. Too much leniency and flexibility in your work is not a good thing, because it leaves you without a particular goal in mind; and of course, the goal is to finish your daily tasks until a certain moment.

Of course, sometimes you simply don’t have any particular deadlines, so you’ll have to get a bit creative. Grab a stopwatch, or use a countdown timer app on your phone and set it to a certain time. I like to split my work into 10-minute-long bits, and challenge myself to do a certain amount in that time period. For you, 30 minutes might work or maybe an hour.

All that matters is that you give yourself a tangible time limit that you have an intention to beat, and you’ll find that your efficiency will skyrocket. It’s a really effective method if you find yourself constantly slacking off and having your attention diverted.

3. Eliminate Distractions

If you thought that you’d be safe from distractions simply because you’re alone in your room without any coworkers, you’re horribly mistaken. Since you probably have to use the Internet to conduct your business, you’re completely exposed to a whole different world of mental detours.

The Internet is unbelievably effective at stealing and diverting your attention, with the help of countless social media sites, and possibly even worse: constant ads.

Advertisements are what funds websites, and so web developers pretty much have no choice but to place them all over the page any chance they get. These can get quite annoying and distracting, especially if you’re spending a lot of time doing research on the Internet.

Sometimes they even put a huge ad in the middle of a block of text, completely disrupting the flow of your research just so you can look at some big useless banner.  What’s worse, advertising companies are wisening up and now they actually collect your search history via intelligent cookies and use them to serve you personalized ads.

This means that whatever you search for will be advertised to you at a later time on a completely separate website such as Facebook. To prevent this from happening, just grab some kind of ad blocking extension for your browser, as this will make short work of any annoying ads.

If for whatever reason you can’t use an adblocker, a VPN service like Getflix can help you make your connection more private and prevent Google from serving you personalized ads, which are definitely even more annoying and invasive than regular ones.

4. The Hardest Task Gets Done First

How to Increase Your Productivity When Working from Home

This is another cool trick that you can use in order to put yourself in the correct mindset for the rest of the day. By starting on your hardest task the moment you get to work and successfully finishing it, the rest of your obligations will seem trivial to you and you’ll accomplish them with very little effort.

On the contrary, if you start picking off your easiest tasks first, you’ll constantly be thinking about how you “still have to do the hard thing” which will demotivate you significantly.

Not only that, but you’ll lack any real sense of accomplishment from the easier tasks, because after all, they’re nothing compared to what you still have to do. It’s all a matter of perspective, and you should always try to use perspective to your advantage.

Comments

15 Jobs with High Pay and Low Stress

What if we told you that you could have a job that not only involved minimum stress but also paid well?
 
We won’t blame you if you don’t believe us. We didn’t believe it either – until we saw this cool, new infographic from Quantum Binders that listed 15 jobs that pay up to $196,270 a year and also do quite well on the stress tolerance scale.
 
What’s more, if you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institute and some relevant practical experience, you don’t need much more to meet the educational qualifications for most jobs in this list!
 

Comments