29 April 2016
While you might have impressed the hiring manager during the interview process, once you’re hired you still need to prove your worth—especially when you think that you deserve a promotion. Although some organizations have certain criteria that an employee must meet in order to be eligible for a promotion, there are other areas of your performance you can draw on to justify the advancement. For example, highlighting some of your intangible strengths and personal attributes that allow you to excel in your role can show a manager that you’re prepared for a promotion. However, if you’re unsure of what else you can do to stand out as a strong performer, here are some proactive steps you should start taking now to ensure you aren’t overlooked for the next round of promotions: Do more than your job description Every once in a while it can be helpful to take a step back from your regular responsibilities to think about the ‘big picture’ and how your role fits into the team’s goals. For instance, volunteering to help in areas outside of your core responsibilities can be one of the best ways to show your manager that you care about the team’s accomplishments rather than just your own individual contributions. For example, if a team member unexpectedly resigns, this would be a perfect opportunity to personally ask your manager what you could do to ease the load for the rest of the team. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should go out of your way for the sole purpose of impressing your manager. Instead, make sure you are strategic about the types of additional projects you take on to ensure the quality of your work—for both your normal and voluntary tasks—doesn’t suffer. Helping coworkers you normally wouldn’t may encourage your manager to rethink the type of influence you bring to the team and organization. Ultimately, you want to show your manager that you’re not only willing to go above and beyond your job description, but you are also a team player who cares about helping others. Think for yourself & openly test your ideas How often do you find yourself presenting problems without suggesting solutions? Managers deal with these types of issues on a regular basis, but having an employee who is able to think for themselves can be extremely helpful. Therefore, proactively try to find new ways of solving problems or improving processes without being instructed to do so. Your manager should see this as a sign that you’re constantly trying to find ways to help the organization grow and stay competitive; a key quality that every star employee should possess! Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to speak up! If you disagree with something and can present a better alternative solution/explanation, make an effort to offer your feedback. However, you always want to come across as respectful, so keep an open mind about the types of suggestions you choose to make. Speaking up more often will show your manager that you’re confident in your skills and ability to add value. Showcase strong emotional intelligence & interpersonal skills Does your stress level ever tend to have a negative effect on how well you work? If so, you’re not alone. While this may be a common occurrence in the workplace, one of the biggest skills employers are looking for these days is emotional intelligence, which is also a great indicator of whether or not someone can excel in a leadership role. Demonstrating how well you manage stressful situations in a productive manner can show your manager you possess the mental strength to take on additional responsibilities that may come with a promotion. Similarly, exercising strong interpersonal skills on a regular basis can go a long way in highlighting certain leadership qualities that would go along with a promotion. For example, exuding genuine enthusiasm about the work you produce, or the energy you bring to business meetings and conversations, can prove to your manager that you’re motivated and passionate about the work you do.
28 April 2016
The recent morning show drama involving Michael Strahan’s departure from LIVE! With Kelly & Michael for Good Morning America has created a controversial conversation about Kelly Ripa’s reaction to the news. Regardless of how you think she handled the situation, most of us can agree that since we do not star in a TV show, taking several days off after a workplace conflict is hardly ever an option. At some point in your career, however, you could be blindsided just as Ms. Ripa was. If you feel the decision directly impacts you, it is vital that you address the situation carefully. On one hand, you don’t want your anger to get the best of you, but on the other, you don’t want to stay silent. To resolve this issue in a respectful manner, here are four steps you should take: Take a breather The initial anger you feel will not lead you to the right decision, so take some time to calm down and collect your thoughts. Whether you do this by talking through the situation with a friend, watching TV, or doing some yoga, distracting yourself from the problem and venting your frustrations to a third party will help you see the situation more clearly. Analyze the situation In issues like this, there is often a lot of complexity and emotion involved. Be sure to carefully analyze the specific reasons why this decision upset you and why you feel it was handled incorrectly. To help you get on the right track, ask yourself these self-reflective questions: Are multiple people involved, and if so, who? Do you feel blindsided because of the decision itself, the timing, or how you received the news? How could they have avoided upsetting you? How did this decision affect your work or your environment? Once you’ve answered these questions, try to view the problem from the other person’s perspective. Ask yourself what could have caused this person to act in such a disrespectful manner. Perhaps they had a good reason, or perhaps it wasn’t even their decision. Address the appropriate parties Once you’ve decided where the error lies and how it could have been avoided, schedule a meeting with the appropriate parties. This might be one supervisor or a few different people, depending on the situation. Make sure everyone is on the same page about why you feel you were wronged, and do your best to explain your reasoning in a calm, articulate, and respectful manner. Come up with a solution One of the main objectives of addressing a workplace conflict is to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. That’s why you shouldn’t leave the meeting without feeling like you are on the path to reaching a solution. Make sure that you’ve come prepared with ideas, as your coworkers will most likely welcome your input.
27 April 2016
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Kimmy Warner; you can find our past testimonials here. When accounting professional Kimmy Warner decided to take the next step in her career, she had a strong idea of what she was looking for in a new position and employer. She turned to The Execu|Search Group for help and partnered with Kyle Wilkinson, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, who is a CPA himself. Kimmy had a positive experience and was happy to speak with us about it: On her background… After graduating from Yeshiva University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting, I enrolled in the school’s graduate program. After obtaining my Master’s, I joined the audit division of a Big 4 in January of 2014 where I focused on financial services. On what she was looking for… When I partnered with Kyle and The Execu|Search Group, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to transition from an audit position to a general accounting role. Company culture was equally important to me, so I wasn’t going to make a change unless I felt that the work environment was the right fit for me. This is something that Kyle understood from the get-go, and he worked with me to identify roles that met all of my needs. On how TESG worked to meet her needs… Kyle and his team continuously sought out my feedback before submitting me for opportunities. Taking my opinion into account, I never felt pushed to apply to or interview with companies that were clearly not aligned with my goals. After every interview, I always walked away thinking that these roles were tailor-made for me. On preparing for the interview… I knew that Kyle was the right partner for my search from the moment I began working with him. He always made himself available to discuss various opportunities, prepare me for upcoming interviews, and provide me with feedback. This armed me with the information I needed to improve my performance and put my best foot forward – ultimately, allowing me to land my current job. Kyle was truly instrumental to my success, and I would recommend him to anyone who is interested in making a career transition. “Kimmy took the entire process seriously and always had a positive attitude,” says Kyle. “Because she was very honest and realistic with me about what she was looking for, we were able to build and maintain an open dialogue throughout the search. This enabled us to find her a position that was aligned with all of her goals. I know she will succeed in this new chapter of her career, and I’m excited to see where this takes her!”
26 April 2016
After weeks of job searching, you’re finally nearing the end of the process! You’ve made a strong impression with your resume, developed a good rapport with your interviewer, and now they want to check your references. You basically have the job, right? Don’t think so fast. This nonchalant attitude towards references can cost you the job. “Many finance and accounting professionals make the mistake of treating the reference checking part of the hiring process as a formality,” says Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “You can do everything right in the interview, but if you wait until the last minute to secure references, you risk losing the position to another candidate who has taken the time to ensure their references have been properly prepared.” To ensure your references position you for success, consider these best practices from Paul: Be selective: It’s best to have at least two references for each role you apply to, and who you select can make all the difference. To put you on the right track, it’s perfectly acceptable for more entry-level candidates (0-2 years) to ask a college professor or an internship coordinator you had while you were at school. If you’re more seasoned though, it’s best to choose a colleague or someone who collaborated with you on a project, as well as someone who has worked in a supervisory role with you. In any case, all of these references should have a strong understanding of your skills and work process. It also couldn’t hurt to select someone from an industry-related organization, like Hedge Funds Care, who can speak about your personal attributes. These contacts may have an established connection with the prospective employer, which could ultimately work in your favor! Keep your options organized: As you brainstorm who you’d like to have as your references, draft a spreadsheet dedicated to the people who you would consider as references and think about what would make them a good resource for different types of roles. You may find that you have multiple people who you could choose, but may not be sure as to who your best bet is. To narrow this list down, go a bit further with your spreadsheet and create columns for who the person is, their current job title, how you know them, what kind of work you have done with or for them, and their contact information. From there, you can analyze who the best people for the task will be. Based on what position you are a candidate for, your references could change. When to reach out: As you begin to progress throughout the interview process, you may want to get a head start on reaching out to your references. And while we don’t discourage being proactive, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve gotten to at least the first interview for a role before you initially make contact with a reference. “The best time to reach out is once you get to the second round of interviews, since the discussion you have with your reference about the role will still be fresh in their head, and they’ll be ready to receive a call over the next couple of weeks,” Paul says. “It will also be a good time to gauge whether or not your desired reference will be on-hand once your potential employer calls. In the past, I’ve seen candidates miss out on opportunities because a hiring manager was unable to reach a reference in time.” Be transparent during the discussion: When you speak to your references, be sure to start the conversation by reminding them who you are, how you worked together, and what you’ve been up to since you last spoke. Once you send them the job description, talk with them about the role and specifically ask them whether they feel comfortable being your reference. If they aren’t sure, it’s better to go with someone else who is better equipped to provide you with a positive reference. Should they agree to be your reference, talk to them about how this role fits in with your long-term goals and what you can bring to the company should they hire you. Most importantly, discuss what you want them to highlight once your prospective employer contacts them. “Your reference needs to be able to confidently discuss how your skills, experience, and personal attributes make you a fit for the position at hand,” explains Paul. “That’s why this conversation is key. It will help them anticipate what to say.”
25 April 2016
Since employers can receive hundreds of applications for a single job posting, they only have a few short seconds to review resumes during the initial screening stage of the hiring process. With so little time to spare, inconsistent formatting, careless mistakes, or poor organization can automatically land your resume in the trash bin—regardless of your strong qualifications. In other words, your resume needs to quickly capture the attention of a hiring manager. This is where small edits to your resume’s content and design can make all the difference. For these key elements, here are a few ways you can create space, grab attention, and land an interview: Content Phrasing Large paragraphs not only make your resume difficult to read, but also contain more information than what’s actually necessary. When reviewing your work history, employers prefer to see the actions you’ve taken and the results you’ve achieved. With this in mind, stick to phrasing that allows those key words to stand out, and remove filler words like “my” or “and” whenever possible. For example, “increased sales by 20% in 6 months” communicates the result more succinctly than, “after 6 months, my efforts had increased sales by 20%.” Relevance If you’ve held many different positions over the years, it can be difficult to decide where to make cuts—especially when trying to ensure there aren’t any employment gaps on your resume. To start, keep the position and industry of the employer in mind, and remove descriptions of any irrelevant jobs you’ve held in the past. This will give you more room to talk about more applicable roles and accomplishments. If you are concerned about any periods of unemployment, be sure to include any volunteer experience you acquired or any continuing education classes you took during this time. These entries will do a better job of conveying your commitment and value than irrelevant jobs will. Typos While this may seem like a given, it’s always worth repeating since a simple typo or grammatical error could cost you the job. It can be easy to overlook an error—especially when you’re so familiar with the content—so having a peer read through the document is a good tactic. While you may subconsciously skim over a section, a fresh pair of eyes can help you identify any potential issues that could raise some red flags. Design Organization How you organize the sections of your resume will depend on your level of experience and your industry. For example, a recent graduate may want to place their education closer to the top of their resume, while a more experienced professional will want to place more relevant experience in that spot. Additionally, job seekers in an industry that requires certifications or other special skills may want to ensure this information is more visible to hiring managers. In any case, you want to display your work history in chronological order. Doing so will allow employers to see how your skills and responsibilities have progressed throughout your career. Font While a size 12 Times New Roman is standard, there are opportunities to create more space with your font choices. For starters, reducing the font size down to 10, especially for information under your headlines, can free up several lines as well as help employers identify key information more quickly. Additionally, typeface choice can affect not only the resume’s spacing, but also its readability. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of Times New Roman or Helvetica, as long as the choice remains professional. For example, a font like Comic Sans is one that you would want to avoid, as it conveys a less serious tone that is ultimately very distracting from the information you are trying to communicate. Layout Your resume’s layout can have a major impact on whether you move onto the interview process. To clean up your resume in a Word document, edit your margins, add columns, and create dividers. For more creative roles, using free tools like Canva will allow you to easily spruce up your resume with a clean, fresh design.
25 April 2016
The Execu|Search Group is proud to announce that we are one of four staffing firms awarded a major contract with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Orlando, FL, one of the nation’s largest school districts. The Execu|Search Group will be staffing OCPS with occupational therapists as well as physical therapists for their health departments. This achievement comes at the heels of our recent expansion into Florida, which has allowed us to provide staffing solutions for a growing healthcare population. Jason Niad, Senior Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Health Services division, is excited to take the first step towards making an imprint in the Florida healthcare market. “Signing such a major contract will go a long way in further demonstrating how The Execu|Search Group’s resources and industry expertise can support large-scale projects within the state of Florida,” says Jason. “As our recruitment teams continue to expand, this partnership will also create more opportunities for job seekers in this area.” The Execu|Search Group currently has offices located in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with a focus on health services as well as general staffing solutions.
22 April 2016
As the world becomes increasingly digitalized, employers are integrating new forms of technology into their interview process. As a result, video interviews are more common than ever before. Not only does this allow you to interview from the comfort of your own home, but it eliminates travelling, which saves you time and money. While a video interview may seem simple, there are a lot of factors that tend to get overlooked by job seekers when preparing. Unlike a traditional in-person interview, you’re in control of your environment, so it’s important to ensure that your surroundings allow you to make the best first impression by keeping the focus on the job and your qualifications. Here are seven important steps to take when preparing for your video interview: Confirm details A miscommunication or lack of clarification on the exact interview details can have detrimental effects on the outcome of your interview. For example, if you live in a different time zone than the company’s office, make sure the time zone in which the interview will take place is clearly stated, and schedule accordingly. Additionally, make sure that you are clear on who will be initiating the video conference. If the interviewer thinks that you are supposed to call them, and you thought the opposite, this simple faux pas could cost you the job. Dress up While it’s true that the interviewer might only see you from the waist up, that doesn’t mean you should wear pajama pants. Research suggests that dressing up can boost confidence, resulting in a better performance. This could mean subconsciously listening more carefully, answering questions more thoroughly, speaking more clearly, or asking more thoughtful questions. Plus, you never know if you will have to stand up unexpectedly, and an unprofessional outfit may imply you aren’t taking the interview seriously. Check your surroundings Before your interview, turn on the camera to see what is in the background of the shot. Remove anything that could be deemed as distracting, whether it’s messy clothes or an over-the-top picture. To keep the focus on yourself, it’s best to find a place where there is a blank, white wall behind you. Test your equipment Our technology can fail us at the most crucial moment, so give yourself enough time before your interview to ensure everything is in working order. First, check that your software is up to date. Whether you are using Google Hangout or Skype, an outdated version could cause an unexpected problem for the call. Then, make a test call to check that the webcam, audio, and internet connection are all performing well. And lastly, make sure the computer has enough battery to handle an hour-long video call (or just make sure to plug it in). Test the lighting This issue can often get overlooked and cause a last-minute complication. If the room is too dark or too bright, the interviewer will not be able to see your face. Test the lighting on a different day around the same time as the interview to ascertain how the sun will affect the camera, and adjust accordingly. Find a quiet place Unwanted and uncontrollable noise will not go over well with your interviewer. To limit these distractions, make sure that roommates or pets will not be bothersome during your interview. Additionally, be mindful of any location where there might be noise that you can’t control. If home isn’t an option for you, a library might be the best bet for a quiet space, as coffee shops can get noisy with loud machines and foot traffic. Prepare a cheat sheet The benefit of a video interview is that the hiring manager won’t be able to see what else is on your desk. Therefore, don’t be afraid to have any documents that you may need within arm’s reach. This includes a copy of your resume, as well as the job description, information about the company, and a list of questions you may want to ask.
21 April 2016
As the employment rate continues to improve across many industries, weak performance by hedge funds and other financial institutions over the last year has forced many to readjust their hiring strategies. With less available positions than there are candidates, these organizations have had to become more selective throughout the interviewing and hiring processes. As a result, now has never been a more critical time to ensure you are standing out amongst your fellow job seekers within this field. “In today’s competitive job market, your performance on an interview holds more weight than ever,” notes Mitchell Peskin, Executive Vice President of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “Failing to make a good first impression or present yourself as a well-rounded candidate could cost you the job.” In order to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward throughout the interview process, focus on the following three tips: Diversify your knowledge base to construct a strong resume Your resume is the first glimpse a prospective employer gets of your professional experience, so failing to compose a strong resume can almost guarantee you won’t be invited in for an interview. “A strong resume goes beyond a simple list of all of your accomplishments,” highlights Mitch. “Job seekers should focus on being strategic about the information they choose to include and ensure it speaks to their professional strengths and product knowledge.” Today’s financial institutions are in search of strong candidates who possess diverse product knowledge and can provide concrete examples that highlight their professional development. For example, if you work at a hedge fund or brokerage firm, but have only focused on working with one product (i.e., equities, fixed income, derivatives, etc.) it can be more challenging to transition (or stand out) to different employers that focus on a variety of products. “I encourage finance professionals to look for opportunities internally with their current employer to support different products,” advises Mitch. “This will not only diversify your product knowledge and make you a more marketable candidate, but it may also give you greater flexibility to make a career transition in the future.” Be honest and fully prepared to prove your proficiencies A key part of the interview process that many professionals seem to overlook is the proficiency test that employers may give you to verify your specific skill set. To avoid running into issues before a decision is made, it’s important that all of the information you provide on your resume or the information you disclose during interviews is accurate and honest. Some of today’s job seekers make the mistake of lying about their skill set in hopes of standing out, but ultimately get passed on for the opportunity because they failed a proficiency test. “If it’s difficult for you to confidently speak about a particular skill or a job you’ve held in the past, remove it from your resume altogether,” says Mitch. The inability to speak in detail about everything on your resume will undoubtedly raise red flags for the employer. For example, if you list that you possess ‘Advanced Excel skills’ on your resume, expect employers to ask questions that are aimed at getting a better sense of your skill level (i.e., pivot tables, formulas, formatting, etc.). Keep in mind, employers can verify your educational background and licenses, or run background reports before offering you the job, so it’s important that all of the information you provide throughout the interview process is truthful. Overall presentation is crucial “If you intend on making a lasting impression with prospective employers, it’s important to consider how other aspects of your professional demeanor can affect how you’re perceived throughout the interview process,” advises Mitch. “Pay attention to your body language as it has the potential to raise some red flags for hiring managers if your nonverbal cues don’t align with your intended message.” For example, slouching in your chair or a lack of eye contact are just two ways you could negatively impact a hiring manager’s perception of you. Additionally, it’s important that you speak confidently about your professional strengths as well as illustrate your ability to think on your feet. For more analytical roles, for instance, some employers may use brain teaser questions to gauge if you possess the right computational skills needed in the role. Keep in mind, hiring mangers tend to be more focused on how you reach certain answers as opposed to whether the actual response is right or wrong. In sum, this competitive job market requires you to approach the interview process with a lot of tact and preparation. These three tips can help point you in the right direction!
20 April 2016
As the Affordable Care Act continues to transform the healthcare industry, we’ve seen an uptick in the demand for locum tenens physicians in recent years. For Dr. Zoe Lewis, MD, a career as a locum tenens physician wasn’t always exactly what she imagined doing. However, it only took a few years in the healthcare industry for her to realize that a career as a locum tenens physician gave her the flexibility she needed to build her technical skills, while focusing on her personal development. We asked Dr. Lewis about her experiences in the field, and here’s what she had to say… What made you pursue a career as a locum tenens physician? After 10 years of working in full-time, longer-term positions, I wanted to be in greater control of my schedule, income, and creativity. To help spur this change, I left two prestigious positions in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Miami Beach, Florida, to take a year off. During that period before I became a locum physician, I took art classes at Florida International University, traveled to four different continents, started practicing yoga, published three books, and started an internet radio show. While I was able to focus on certain aspects of my personal life, these activities also kept my clinical knowledge fresh through the relationships I built working on various projects. Once I felt I had a better idea of the type of career I wanted for myself—one that gave me greater flexibility to take control of my career goals—I partnered with a locum tenens staffing firm. In 2006, I became a full-time independent locum tenens hospitalist and never looked back. Today, I earn the income I choose, and have more free time to do the things I love. What are some things you look forward to on a daily basis? As an independent locum tenens hospitalist, I look forward to using my strong clinical and interpersonal skills to help my patients and colleagues in every way I can. The beauty of locum life as a doctor is that we have the ability to take a step back to regroup—something that is key to consistently performing at a high level. Although 12-hour long shifts can be demanding, it’s reassuring to know that after about a week of that schedule, I can rest and recharge. For example, after spending long periods of time with a particular client, I can ensure my schedule permits me to do the things I love like sleeping in late, practicing yoga, watching sunrises and sunsets, or riding my bicycle. What is the most enjoyable part of your career as a locum tenens physician? I love having the ability to set my own income goal(s) and work to achieve them at my own pace. For example, if I know I want to take an extended trip I can create my own plan for achieving this goal. Based on the number of shifts I need to complete in a specific year or month, I can assess how much income and time it will take to make that trip happen. What would be your advice to someone considering a career in the locum tenens field? My first bit of advice for aspiring independent contractors would be to start gathering your documents to be credentialed as early as possible. Since certain state licensing processes can take as long as four months, you risk being out of work if your documents aren’t up-to-date. Aside from this, I encourage people to speak with other locum professionals to get a better sense of their experiences and what it is like to work with different organizations. In addition, I recommend asking for an orientation prior to your start date. It can be challenging to balance the needs of your patients and colleagues while learning new policies and procedures, so it’s important to ensure you have everything you need to hit the ground running. Finally, it’s important to consider the best work schedule for your needs as every contractor seeks a different work/life balance. How is success measured in your role? Success in any area of life is measured by your personal sense of worth and happiness. As a locum tenens physician, the overall health and safety of my patients is one of the best measures of success. Helping a patient through a very difficult point in their life and seeing the direct impact I have on their health makes me feel accomplished in my role. Before you choose to pursue a career as a locum physician, think about what you are hoping to get out of this type of work and if it will be the best fit for your needs. If independent contracting as a locum tenens physician gives you the income and work/life balance you want while building your network and providing a high level of care, locum tenens can be a very rewarding career! To learn more about Dr. Zoe Lewis, visit her website @ zoealewis.com.