30 September 2015
When it comes to the hiring process, every company is different. For that reason, there are so many factors that go into getting your resume noticed by a hiring manager, such as how many people have applied for the position and whether the company uses applicant tracking software to find relevant resumes. As a result, if you haven’t had much success, it may feel as though you’re constantly sending your resume into a black hole. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to maximize your chances of landing an interview! Therefore, before you submit your next application, make sure you follow these 3 tips: Tailor your resume Even if the positions you’re applying for have the same title, job descriptions and requirements can vary from company to company. Therefore, it’s important to carefully read the job description to identify keywords that are relevant to you. For example, if a job description mentions that the employer is seeking someone who is proficient in project management, and you are, edit your resume to prominently display your experience with it. This will ensure that your resume will come up when the hiring manager searches for candidates with that skill. That being said, be careful about overusing certain keywords. You still want everything to read naturally and stuffing your resume full of buzzwords can make it read awkwardly. There are no hard-and-fast rules as to how many keywords to use in a resume, so before pressing submit, read yours out loud to ensure everything flows well. Evaluate your formatting Since hiring managers only have a few short minutes to review a resume, the way you format your resume is key. Why? If the employer deems it too difficult to read, the chances of them actually reviewing it are slim. To put yourself in their shoes, glance at your resume quickly—are you able to quickly and clearly discern important information such as your name, education, and past experience? If you have to hunt for these particulars, chances are, your resume might be a bit disorganized. To fix this: Trim multiple lines of texts and re-format them into bullet points. Try using strategically placed columns. Prioritize your content by prominently displaying your achievements. Don’t forget to proofread! You could be the most qualified candidate for the role, but still not hear back if your resume has grammatical errors, typos, or is missing crucial information. Therefore, comb your resume one last time and make sure you’ve included the best telephone number for the employer to reach you at, as well as an appropriate contact email. Once that is complete, look over it once more to search for grammatical errors and typos. While spellcheck is a great tool to help polish your resume, it isn’t always foolproof. As a result, print yours out and read it aloud. While this may seem tedious, it is much easier to catch errors when reviewing on a physical piece of paper rather than on a computer screen.
29 September 2015
Liberal arts majors and graduates, listen up: don’t let anyone tell you that your liberal arts degree lacks direction! There has been many a joke cracked about the value of a liberal arts degree in the working world, but according to a recent study by LinkedIn, liberal arts does have a place in the job market: especially, lately, in tech. In fact, Forbes recently called the liberal arts degree “tech’s hottest ticket.” According to the article, “throughout the major U.S. tech hubs… software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes [candidates] stronger.” This is most likely due to the variety of soft skills liberal arts students learn, which are becoming increasingly important in the tech industry. But to start a career in tech, you’ll be best-equipped with the technical skills earned with a computer science degree, right? Maybe not. Consider this: LinkedIn’s study showed that “between 2010 and 2013, the growth of liberal arts majors entering the technology industry from undergrad outpaced that of computer science and engineering majors by 10%. Internet or software companies are especially popular—38% of all recent liberal arts grads in tech currently work in this space.” Within the technology space, the first two top-held roles by liberal arts majors are perhaps to be expected—salesperson (11.8%) and marketing specialist (5.2%). However, the third-most popular job for liberal arts graduates in the tech space is that of software developer, with 3.5% of these professionals going into that field. Also on LinkedIn’s top 10 are IT support specialist, consultant, and business/corporate strategist. Of course, prior work experience helps, so temporary work is a great way to get your foot in the door both before and after receiving your degree. Companies are more likely to invest in a new grad or someone without prior industry experience for a short-term trial role than for a long-term position—and, in some cases, will take on temporary talent full-time if they feel they are a strong fit for the role. Should you try out temporary work and not land an extension on any of your assignments, this is still great experience to bulk up your resume with and sharpen your skills for future opportunities. Even if you aren’t looking to go into IT specifically, it’s still necessary for liberal arts candidates currently in the job market to keep their tech skills sharp. Not only are technology companies pulling in liberal arts-educated talent for IT-specific positions, employers across industries are looking for more tech-savvy talent in general, from healthcare facilities to financial institutions. Times are changing and companies expect candidates to adapt to these changes. Whatever field you put your degree to use in, it’s important to make a great first impression. For further reading, check out our article on making the most of your orientation period in a new job.
28 September 2015
The Execu|Search Group is excited to announce the opening of our first offices in Florida! The offices, which are located in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, will focus on health services as well as general staffing solutions for companies across a range of industries. The Fort Lauderdale office, located at 600 Corporate Drive, will be led by Florida native Jason Niad, Senior Managing Director of Health Services. Jason and his team will work to connect healthcare organizations with clinical and non-clinical professional staff. Joining Jason in this office will be John Iacovelli, who will serve as Managing Director of Office and Professional Temporary Services. John and his team will focus on placing candidates across the accounting/finance, information technology, and office support sectors. The West Palm Beach office, located at 250 South Australian Ave at One Clearlake Centre, will be led by Julie Ramos and Randy Hurley. They are both Managing Directors of The Execu|Search Group’s Locum Tenens division, focused on connecting physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants with temporary positions at medical facilities across the country. “As the demand for talent continues to grow, we are thrilled to be able to provide on-the-ground support to our clients in Florida, in order to help them meet their hiring needs,” said Edward Fleischman, Chairman and CEO of The Execu|Search Group. “I have great confidence in our Florida management team, and I’m certain that both new offices will be extremely successful.” The opening of the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices is a continuation of The Execu|Search Group’s growth in key markets. Earlier this September, we also opened our first office in downtown Boston. We currently employ 250 people and have opened eight new offices since 2010.
28 September 2015
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Eric Conklin; you can find our past testimonials here. Eric was searching for the right career path when he first graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He had a wide variety of work experience, but nothing that solidly fit into one particular niche. Eventually, Eric set his sights on a career in healthcare: specifically, nursing. He also wanted to travel but had never done so before. After obtaining the necessary education, he turned to Marc Malpeli, a Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Health Services Division, to help him secure a position. Eric had a positive experience with Marc and The Execu|Search Group. He continues to work with us today and was happy to speak with us about it: On his background… I graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Psychology. After holding many different jobs, I decided on a career in healthcare. I got trained as an EMT and began my career as a nurse’s aide. From there, I enrolled in pre-nursing courses and eventually obtained my Associate’s Degree in Nursing. I obtained my BSN from West Liberty University this past July and have been working with Marc at Execu|Search since March of 2015. On what he was looking for… Before I came to Execu|Search, I was looking for a day shift position and a great group of people to work with. Having the support of an entire agency experienced in nurse staffing was an enormous help. In addition, the recruiters were knowledgeable about the work environment of nurses and supported me throughout both my job search and the travel assignment they eventually placed me in. On how TESG worked to meet his needs… Marc is in constant contact with me and easily reachable when any issue arises. The rest of the staff is always prompt in replying to my needs and I have never felt like I wasn’t their most important asset. Having read many blog posts and articles regarding other travel nursing experiences, I feel that my relationship with the firm is extremely unique. I have recommended working with Marc to many of my nursing colleagues who also wish to pursue travel assignments. On preparing for the position… Marc worked hard to secure me this position and ensure that I was fully equipped for the job. He also made sure that the job was a good fit for me and that I was accurately represented to the employer. Because of his focus on quality, I have renewed my contract 3 times. Marc has been instrumental and helpful each time; he is always on my side and is a great asset to my career. “Eric was an amazing candidate to work with,” says Marc. “We speak daily regarding his current positon and possible future roles. Eric was ecstatic we could find a travel role that aligned with his clinical skill set and career goals, and throughout our partnership, it has truly been a pleasure to work with him. He is a motivated professional and a great nurse.”
24 September 2015
Just like resumes, not all cover letters are created equal. There are those that thoroughly impress a hiring manager and those that get tossed to the side with the rest. No candidate wants their application to fall in the latter pile, but unfortunately, cover letters are just as vulnerable to the black hole as resumes are if they aren’t engaging and well-written. First and foremost, there are a certain number of things every cover letter needs to address: What position you’re applying for What skills, experience, and competencies you have to offer Why you’d be a great fit for that particular position and the company in general, to demonstrate that you’ve done research on the company A thank-you for the employer’s time and consideration In addition, be sure to include your name and contact information in the header; however, your contact information is the only part of your cover letter that should replicate your resume. It’s perfectly okay (and encouraged) to expand upon something listed on your resume, such as certain skills and experience, but don’t use up your valuable cover letter space to simply re-state what your resume already says. A cover letter should be kept to one page, so utilize that space wisely to include what may not fit on your limited CV. For example, if the position you’re applying for requires experience with Excel’s Pivot Tables function and you happen to have that, you’d likely list “Advanced Excel skills, including proficiency with Pivot Tables” in your resume’s “Skills” section. So, when writing your cover letter, why repeat yourself when you can expand upon it? Try writing something like “During my time with company X, I worked on a number of projects in Excel that required heavy usage of Pivot Tables.” Going on to briefly explain one of those projects would be a great way to link up different items on your resume, show credibility, and show that you truly know how to utilize that tool; unfortunately, some do lie on their resumes to get interviews, and employers are on their guard for that. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to write, try asking yourself these questions: What does the employer need from the person in this position? How do I fulfill the employer’s needs? How would I fit into this company’s culture? What past work or academic experiences best prepared me for this role? What do I offer differently from anyone else applying for this position? Finally, make sure your writing style is appropriate for your industry. Are you a creative professional? Then feel free to take a more creative approach and tone. Are you in financial services? It may be best to stick with formal, professional writing. Approaching your writing with the most appropriate tone and angle will show you know your industry well.
23 September 2015
Social media is a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family, but it can also be a beacon of networking opportunities. As the world of hiring becomes increasingly technological, employers are taking more of their hiring activities online. That being said, don’t assume you’re “safe” from social networking mistakes because you’re not posting inappropriate content; there is a multitude of subtle mistakes that influence how employers and peers can view you. Here are 3 not so obvious social networking errors to avoid while building your online presence: Being too personal… or not personal enough Incorporating aspects of your personal life such as your creative writing, appropriate photos, and hobbies can add a three dimensional aspect to your social network presence. However, there is a fine line between making your profile accessible and oversharing. Sharing highly personal or possibly controversial ideas and photos may ostracize you from hiring managers. Your personality is unique and a big factor in whether or not you may get a job, so be judicious when deciding what to post. If you wouldn’t want your current supervisor to see it, don’t post it! Engage in the conversation While many people utilize at least one social networking platform that can serve as a professional development tool, many of them don’t actually take the time to be an active participant. Showing an active interest in the events and conversations happening around you demonstrates to future employers that you don’t just have an account because it’s a seemingly ubiquitous part of 21st century life, but because you care about the market and new ideas. It’s essential to show that you’re a participant in your industry by contributing to forums on sites such as LinkedIn, responding to blog posts, and participating in group discussions. Making your interest apparent on social media will demonstrate to future hiring managers that you’re not only knowledgeable, but enjoy contributing and learning about your field. Hunt for spelling and grammar mistakes While this tip may seem obvious, it’s worth mentioning that auto-correct and spellcheck don’t catch everything. In fact, they can confuse something you meant to type for another (such mistaking “dessert” for “desert”, for example). Before posting online, take a moment to read your contribution out loud. Even if you don’t see any red squiggles signifying an error, there may be one hiding in your post as another word. These mistakes can make you look unprofessional and sloppy, so taking a few extra seconds to be 100% sure that your post doesn’t read awkwardly will be appreciated by all.
23 September 2015
As the technological landscape continues to evolve, organizations are in search of IT professionals who possess a strong technical background as well as demonstrate effective communication skills. In today’s highly competitive job market, your ability to illustrate your technical and soft skills while showing you are the best fit for the position, starts with a well-crafted resume. While it can be tricky to find the best way to highlight your experiences and strengths on your resume, before you apply to your next role, be sure to keep the following tips in mind: Less is more Your ability to explain your professional attributes in a concise and well-organized resume is what will separate you from others. Often times, IT professionals highlight their experience in great detail without providing a clear takeaway for the hiring manager. However, most hiring managers will prefer a resume where the candidate communicates their strengths and experiences in an accurate and concise manner. Erica St. Pierre, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division in New York City, stresses the importance of having a concise resume as an IT professional in today’s job market. “A concise resume demonstrates your ability to highlight the most relevant aspects of your career that align with the needs of the role you’re interested in,” notes Erica. “Hiring managers rely on resumes not only to gauge a candidate’s overall technical experience, but also to see how well they can translate their technical knowledge into a concise explanation.” Therefore, to ensure the information you want to be seen stands out, aim to have a resume no longer than two pages in length, using bullet points to list responsibilities/accomplishments. Tailor your skills to each position The most successful IT candidates are those that tailor their resumes specifically to each position they apply to. The goal of having a well-crafted resume is to strategically display your professional background and highlight the main skills and strengths you possess that show a hiring manger how your experience makes you the best fit for the position. Jed Pillion, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division in Waltham, Massachusetts, finds that too many candidates are focused on quantity rather than quality on their resumes. “Many job seekers are making the mistake of listing every project they’ve ever completed, instead of highlighting the skills/accomplishments they’ve gained from particular projects,” says Jed. If the resume doesn’t accurately depict the skills the job requires, it will be difficult for a hiring manager to see the value in moving forward with your resume. For that reason, IT professionals should stray away from using one resume template for every position they apply to, and instead, think strategically about how to tailor your resume to each position before applying. Keep it simple Whether you have two or ten years of experience, hiring managers typically choose to move forward with a candidate’s resume based on how easy it is to find information most relevant to the role they’re trying to fill. Therefore, IT professionals should focus on making your resume as balanced as possible, including the right amount of detail for your skills, experience, and accomplishments at an appropriate length. To grab the attention of a hiring manager, candidates should include certain keywords from the job description that can help your resume stand out more. “Typically, hiring managers will scan a candidate’s resume for relevant keywords to ensure you meet the basic requirements of the position,” says Jed. For example, a hiring manager in search of a network engineer might skim a candidate’s resume for buzzwords such as “design” “develop” “implement” “supervise,” all of which speak to key responsibilities of the role. Ideally, IT professionals should keep your resumes simple, using text styling sparingly and concise language to show hiring managers you are the best fit for the position.
22 September 2015
As an executive assistant, you have an important job! You manage calendars, book travel plans, and do so much more to ensure the person you support has everything they need to keep business operations running efficiently. “The best executive assistants are more than just assistants,” says Shana Cohen, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support and Human Resources divisions. “They know their executive’s work style, understand their expectations, and most importantly, are always willing to go above and beyond their immediate job responsibilities.” In other words, an outstanding executive assistant not only serves as a true ally and extension of the person they support, but also as the glue that holds an organization or department together. In that sense, they are truly an invaluable asset that can’t be easily replaced. Becoming an ally and an outstanding member of the team requires a key set of skills that may not be listed in the job description. Continue reading for 3 key attributes that make up a stellar executive assistant: The ability to anticipate needs An executive is looking for an assistant who is “five steps ahead of the game,” which is why being able to foresee the needs of others is one of the most important skills you can have. The executive needs their assistant to be an extension of themselves, so it may be entirely up to you to prep for an important meeting or schedule time sensitive appointments without your executive explicitly asking you to do so. On that note, an outstanding executive assistant not only has the ability to anticipate their executive’s needs, but also to execute all tasks in a timely manner. This requires a solid understanding of time management as well as the ability to juggle multiple tasks and shift gears at a moment’s notice. “If something urgent comes up, your day-to-day tasks may need to be reprioritized without much notice,” says Shana. “As a result, having the ability to adapt to change, balance multiple responsibilities, and prioritize tasks is crucial.” Strong written and verbal communication skills The need for candidates with strong “communication skills” is listed on most job descriptions, but in the case of an executive assistant, these skills are even more important. Since you’ll not only need to communicate with a variety of different people, but also delegate their messages and requests, knowing how and when to utilize written and verbal communication is key to navigating whatever tasks may come your way. For example, since corresponding on behalf of an executive is a major component of this profession, attention to detail and impeccable writing skills are two qualities that can set you apart from others. “Sending a message that contains incorrect information or is laden with typos not only reflects poorly on you, but on your executive as well,” warns Shana. “Unconditional trust is the foundation of any strong relationship between an executive and their assistant. In order to be considered a true ally, the person you support needs to be confident in your ability to independently represent them in a positive light.” On that note, understanding the tone and level of confidentiality expected from you is a major factor in representing them well. “When communicating with your executive’s clients, family members, and other professional or personal contacts, it’s important to be diplomatic and engaging, but also assertive enough to delegate messages and correspondences. It’s your responsibility to ensure the executive’s limited time is used both effectively and efficiently, which ties into acting as their gatekeeper. To do this, strong interpersonal skills are key.” A high level of comfort with technology “The emphasis on technological skills has grown over time and, as a result, we’re seeing that today’s most in-demand executive assistants have a high level of comfort with various platforms and programs,” notes Shana. “The responsibilities of an executive assistant are constantly changing, and to better assist their executive, they are often required to create spreadsheets, organize presentations, and format documents.” As a result, showing that you are savvy with programs such as Excel and PowerPoint can help position yourself for long-term success as a professional who supports a high-level executive. As the world becomes more web-based, having a working knowledge of other forms of technology is also essential. For example, if a particular executive is a frequent traveler, knowing the latest hotel/airplane booking tools can be extremely helpful. “Utilize your comfort with technology to seek out and master the tools you need to be a better assistant,” advises Shana. “By stepping up and demonstrating your ability to utilize different technologies, you may be granted more responsibilities and opportunities for career growth than someone who isn’t able to navigate these programs.”
21 September 2015
If you’re an information technology professional looking for your next opportunity, you’ve likely spent some time deciding what you want out of your next position. Whether you’re seeking better salary or work-life balance or simply more of a challenge, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding what you need from your next job. But have you considered whether you want to work for a smaller or larger firm? Especially for IT professionals, there’s more to the size of a company than how many colleagues you’ll be working with. “Working for a large financial services firm versus a smaller boutique hedge fund, for example, are two completely different experiences,” says Bryant Vargas, a Technical Recruiter within The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division. “The headcount of the company directly affects how many IT professionals they need and, therefore, how wide each professional’s range of responsibilities reaches.” According to Bryant, this means job seekers should strongly consider how broad their skillset is and how broad they’d like to keep it. Someone with a very specialized skillset, for example, would do well in a larger firm, whereas someone with a wider-cast net would thrive in a smaller company. “Candidates from larger organizations are more compartmentalized into very specific responsibilities,” Bryant says, “whereas those who come out of smaller environments have more exposure to different technologies. This is because larger firms have both the need and the room for more expansive IT teams that smaller firms don’t have. So while a large firm’s IT department may consist of tiered support systems, for example, a smaller firm may have a handful of IT managers and directors who oversee a small team while performing hands-on support as well.” So, depending on where you are in your career, one type of firm may make more sense for you over the other. It’s also important to keep in mind the difference in the types of candidates these firms seek before you embark on your job search; smaller firms typically look for long-term hires to become subject matter experts on the company, while larger firms typically have higher turnover and take on both long- and short-term hires. Therefore, if you have a specialized skillset and are looking for an opportunity to broaden it in order to appeal to smaller firms, it may help to take on a few temporary assignments with larger firms to expand your skills and learn what you can from each position. Likewise, if you want to join a larger firm but feel like a jack of all specialties, try honing in on one of your skills—either by obtaining a certification or otherwise continuing education in that specialty.