29 November 2017
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Daphride Exume; you can find our past testimonials here. When Daphride, a legal professional, lost her job due to company lay-offs in April, she viewed the situation as an opportunity to move forward in her career. After connecting with Melissa Haber, a Senior Director of Legal Services at The Execu|Search Group, Daphride was given the opportunity to interview for a position in the legal department of a well-known consumer products company. After landing the position on a temporary basis, Daphride impressed her supervisors and quickly received a full-time offer! Enjoying her new role as a paralegal, Daphride was happy to speak with us about her job search: On her background… After graduating from The College of New Jersey, I started working part-time at a law firm thinking that this would help me get my foot in the industry for a future career in law. While I came to the realization that becoming a lawyer was no longer the right path for me, I still wanted to work in the legal industry and gain new responsibilities. To build my career in this field, I sought work as a legal assistant. On what she was looking for… When I partnered with Execu|Search, I had recently been laid off from a small firm where I loved the work, the interaction I had with clients, and the impact I was able to make. However, I wanted to work for an established firm for greater job security. On how TESG worked to meet her needs… My initial meeting with Melissa was very in-depth. We discussed everything from my salary expectations to the kind of work I was interested in. I felt that my candor was important in helping her understand the best potential opportunities for me. From then on, I was in constant contact with Melissa. Between all of our emails and phone calls, I always felt confident that things would work out in my favor and that Melissa would place me in the right employer. On preparing for the interview… Melissa helped give me the confidence I needed to speak about my successes and present an authentic version of myself. She reminded me that, while I needed to show the employer that I was the best candidate for the position, the company had to put the same amount of effort into impressing me. On her overall experience… This opportunity has been such a great fit for me. In fact, I was recently hired as a permanent member of the company! The department welcomed me with open arms from the moment I started, and I truly feel at home in my new role. “After witnessing Daphride’s sparkling personality and strong work ethic, I immediately knew where I wanted to place her,” says Melissa. “Having worked closely with the General Counsel, I knew she would mesh well with Daphride and would want to make her part of the legal team. Both the company’s General Counsel and Senior Counsel have thanked me for finding the perfect candidate. Seeing Daphride thriving in her new role is exactly why I love what I do!”
28 November 2017
As we approach the end of 2017, for many professionals, this also means approaching a year-end performance review. As you get closer to your review, it can be nerve-racking to be unsure of where you stand, and it may feel like there’s nothing for you to do except wait. However, there are steps you can take to prepare for your review and get a better understanding of what may happen. When you walk into your meeting ready to discuss your performance, you’ll be less likely to forget something you wanted to say, and it’ll probably help ease your nerves as well. As a result, start by following this performance review checklist: Reflect on your major accomplishments When you think back on the previous year, you can probably easily point out your big wins. While it may be difficult to remember what happened in January, your biggest accomplishments will stand out. Whether this means that you closed a big sale, or you took on a large project, you’ll know which of your achievements matter the most. Keep these big wins in mind as a reminder to your supervisor of everything you’ve helped the company accomplish this year. Even better, if you have data behind your big wins, be sure to present this to your supervisor during your review. List your increased responsibilities In addition to your biggest wins, be prepared to discuss any increased responsibilities you’ve had within the year in case you feel that your manager hasn’t taken those into account during your review. When you think about the type of work you were doing this time last year, hopefully you can see how your role has evolved in the last 12 months. For example, you could have started managing another employee, taken responsibility for more clients, or led a new initiative at the organization. When you present your supervisor with your increased workload, you can give them a clearer picture of why you may deserve a promotion or a raise. Consider your major weaknesses While considering your major successes is an important part of your performance review, equally important is assessing your weaknesses as an employee. While it can be difficult to do, analyzing your potential weaknesses ahead of time can help you address them in the moment. As a result, think about some of the mistakes you’ve made throughout the year as well (nobody’s perfect—you have made some mistakes). This could include failing to communicate something properly to a coworker, missing a key detail on a project, or not using your time at work efficiently. Be prepared to discuss these mistakes during your review, as they will likely come up. Make a plan to improve Now that you’ve thought about your mistakes over the year, think about how you may go about correcting or improving upon your errors. If you had a communication issue, you may want to take a class, or if you had a time management issue, you may want to block social media on your computer. When you present your supervisor with actionable items to help you improve your weaknesses, they’ll be impressed with your initiative. Think about your career track Another key element of a performance review is that this is the time to discuss a raise or a promotion. If you’re unsure of where you stand on a promotion track, now is the time to bring it up. Consider where you’d like to be next year or in 5 years, as well as what steps you may need to get there. For example, if you’d like to move into a management role, gaining responsibility managing others on projects may be a key step to getting the right experience for that position. Additionally, be sure that you remain open to other possibilities, as your manager may have a different idea of where you fit into the organization in the long-term. Do your research As your role and responsibilities evolve over the course of your tenure at a company, it can be easy to forget how your value in the job market may also evolve. Even if you’re perfectly content with your position, it’s important to know just how marketable your skills and experience are. This can help you understand if you’re being compensated fairly, and perhaps if it’s worth exploring other options. If you feel that you’re not getting a fair deal at your current organization, you can bring up some of your research during your review to prove that you deserve more.
27 November 2017
As a healthcare professional, you’ve been privy to how quickly the field has grown over the past decade. Factors such as an aging population, an increase in the number of insured Americans, and advances in technology have created an unprecedented number of new healthcare opportunities for clinical and non-clinical professionals. Fortunately, this momentum shows no signs of slowing down! According to new projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector is expected to create about 2.3 million new jobs by 2026. At a 10-year growth rate of 18%, the healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs than any other sector. The only challenge for employers? Finding qualified candidates to fill these open positions. “The supply of qualified candidates cannot keep up with the demand for care,” explains Amanda Cruse, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “Since healthcare facilities will not compromise on quality when bringing on new talent, many of these newly created positions remain unfilled. As a result, the competition between employers for qualified professionals is stronger than ever before. Those wishing to take advantage of these healthcare opportunities, however, first need to prove their worth.” To position yourself as one of these top candidates, Amanda recommends taking the following steps: Improve your computer skills: It was just a few short years ago when clinical and non-clinical professionals did not need to possess an aptitude for certain computer programs and systems. Today, however, these tech skills are almost critical for long-term success. If you want to be marketable for future healthcare opportunities, improve your proficiency in an EMR system as well as Microsoft Office. If you aren’t already, ensure you feel comfortable using a computer and a tablet device. Get active on LinkedIn: In a similar vein, all clinical and non-clinical professionals should establish and maintain an active LinkedIn presence. This site is not only great for exploring new healthcare opportunities, but it is also a powerful personal branding tool that can help you network, establish yourself as a thought leader, and stay current on industry news and trends. Update your resume: Employers want to see that your skills are up-to-date. Make sure the beginning of your resume highlights all your renewed certifications and any continuing education classes you have taken. On a related note, you’ll want to omit any outdated skills or certifications. Ensure you have all your credentials: When applying to clinical jobs, you must be prepared with copies of your registration, your license, diploma, and CPR certification. If you are a registered nurse with an associate’s degree, Amanda suggests going back to school to attain your BSN. “An increasing number of employers will only consider nursing candidates with this degree, so enrolling in a BSN program will make you more marketable for new healthcare opportunities,” says Amanda. Be flexible: If you are looking to increase your marketability, it’s important to be open to a variety of healthcare opportunities. “While you might have your sights set on a full-time job, temporary roles and travel assignments are two alternatives you should consider,” explains Amanda. “Since these assignments are shorter-term in nature, they can help you gain experience with different specialties and technologies. Not only does this give you the opportunity to find the best fit for you, but it also allows you to keep your skills sharp in an ever-evolving industry.”
27 November 2017
When preparing for an interview, your main concern is probably focused on how you will present yourself. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that the job interview is also your opportunity to evaluate whether this role is the right fit for you. This includes the company culture, the responsibilities of the job, and if your potential manager is a good fit. As a result, it is crucial that you ask questions during the interview that can allow you to properly assess these merits. To spot a good manager, start by asking these questions at the end of your interview in the video below:
21 November 2017
At some point in your job search, you might need to answer the question, “Why did you leave your last job?” If you’re changing careers or simply looking to start fresh with a different company, this answer should be relatively straightforward. However, if you were terminated from your last job, answering this question can be a bit challenging without the proper preparation. No one enjoys talking about getting fired from a job, but the only way to truly get over such an episode, is to own up to it as best as you can. While there can be a variety of reasons for getting fired from a job from corporate downsizing, poor performance, merger and acquisition, it doesn’t make answering this question feel any less daunting. Regardless of the reason, be sure to follow these four easy steps to know how to better prepare for it: Come to terms with getting fired It can be tough to bounce back after you’ve been fired from a job, however, the best way to make sure it won’t happen again is to first be honest about the situation. Take a few days or weeks to think critically (and objectively) about why you were fired and be sure that you first acknowledge how you have played a role in the end result. Without accepting what has happened, you run the risk of your emotions getting the best of you during interviews. To avoid this, think about what you could have done differently to prevent that situation from happening. Don’t lie It can be tempting to bend the truth in order to come off as a better candidate, however, this always has a way of catching up with you. If an employer is truly considering hiring you, they will run a background check (including your professional references), to ensure everything you’ve detailed during your interviews add up. When prompted to answer, “Why did you leave your last job,” be as honest and succinct as possible in your response. Long-winded responses tend to raise red flags for a hiring manager as it may indicate you have something to hide or you aren’t telling the truth. What have you learned After every great defeat, you should be able to pinpoint something that you learned as a result of going through that experience. In the case of getting fired from a job, that lesson could come in a number of ways depending on why you were fired. Whether you’ve changed certain processes to catch last-minute errors, or figured out the best way to deal with difficult employees or managers, hiring managers want to be convinced that you won’t make the same mistakes again. As a result, don’t settle for simply explaining the problem to your interviewer; instead, provide them with a thorough solution of how you will apply the improvements you’ve made to your new role. Don’t bad mouth your previous employer While it can be easy to place the blame on your employer, an interview for another role is not the appropriate time to vent about it. Once you begin to bad mouth a former employer/employee, most of your credibility will go out of the window. Therefore, try your best to turn a negative into a positive by holding yourself accountable for anything that could have been done differently on your behalf.
20 November 2017
With artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more sophisticated, now is the time to start taking it seriously as a career path. This is especially true now that the technology is advancing and increasing in accessibility. In fact, tech giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce are all making their AI and machine learning technologies more affordable and readily available for B2B and B2C companies to integrate into their existing infrastructures. For example, Salesforce’s release of myEinstein enables admins and developers to build custom AI apps across Salesforce without any coding necessary. These trends will ultimately create 2.3 million new jobs in artificial intelligence by 2020, according to a recent report by Gartner. “AI-led automation will allow businesses across all industries—ranging from financial services to retail— to become more efficient,” explains Mandy Hills, a Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Information Technology division. “While there is concern that this may lead to some job cuts, all it really means is that the jobs are changing. That’s why it’s important to stay informed of these trends and ensure you are keeping your skills up-to-date with evolving technology.” Since these jobs in artificial intelligence are so new, employers are open to transferable skills when hiring. Here are three in-demand roles and the skills required of them: Machine Learning Engineer: A strong candidate will not only have experience with programming languages such as Python, C++, and Java, but will also understand a broad set of algorithms and be proficient in probability and statistics. Strong analytical and problem solving skills can also set you apart from other candidates. Data Scientist: Since data scientists are generally responsible for collecting, cleaning, and interpreting the data, an IT professional with a background in statistics and applied mathematics (distributions, statistical testing, regression, etc.) is typically a good fit for this role. In addition to some of the programming languages listed above, it’s also helpful to be proficient in an analytical tool such as R or SAS. Business Intelligence Developer: Since this role involves designing, developing and deploying AI solutions as well as presenting the data, it requires both a development and business analyst background. Since you’ll need to articulate how these solutions impact the bottom line, strong business knowledge and communications skills are a must. Beyond proving you have the technical skills needed to transition into an AI role, here are a few other ways to get more acquainted with this field: Online Tutorials + Training Courses: Learning a new skill takes time and effort, and online tutorials and training courses can serve as a great resource. Doing so, also shows prospective employers that you took the initiative to learn a new skill on your own—something that will give them confidence in your ability to adapt to quickly changing business needs and ensure the company stays up-to-date with evolving tech trends. Your Local Tech Community: One of the advantages of working in a major tech hub like New York City or Boston, for example, is that you have access to a wide network of like-minded professionals. “One of the best ways to learn about emerging trends and connect with industry-related leaders is to get active in your local tech community,” advises Mandy. “For example, you can search for user groups that are relevant to artificial intelligence on a site like meetup.com to learn about any upcoming events or networking opportunities.” Project-based work: For IT professionals hoping to make the leap into AI, there are plenty of opportunities to gain experience through short-term assignments or projects. Since these jobs in artificial intelligence are available across different industries and employers, you can gain exposure to a diverse range of AI software. Not only can this work help you keep your skills sharp in an evolving field, but it also provides you with the flexibility to determine the best long term fit for you.
20 November 2017
As an administrative professional, you know the value of a good resume during your job search. In a field where presentation is just about everything, having a polished and perfect resume can be a major factor in landing an interview. “An employer may receive upwards of a hundred resumes for any given role,” says Lindsay Hildebrandt, an Associate in the Execu|Search Group’s Office Support and Human Resources division, “If your resume is poorly formatted or full of glaring errors, this will land your application in the ‘no’ pile. As a result, you’ll want to ensure your resume is in perfect shape before you start applying to jobs.” Before you start sending out your resume to potential employers, be sure you are avoiding these common resume faux pas! Ensure your grammar and verb tenses match “The top resume faux pas I see is when a candidate submits their resume without proper grammar and verb tenses,” Lindsay says. “In a field that requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, this can be a deal breaker for a hiring manager who may have been interested in you.” To avoid this, read your resume out loud after you have written it. If you find you are using the past tense with a word like ‘collaborated,’ be sure that all of your verbs are using that same tense throughout your resume. It’s also a good idea to ask a friend to go over your resume for you. A second pair of eyes to catch any mistakes you may have missed can be what places you in the contender pile. Don’t overdo it on design Unless you’re applying for an administrative job in the design industry, you’re better off being less creative when it comes to the design of your resume. While it may be tempting to send something that will immediately catch the eye of a hiring manager, doing so can actually hurt your prospects of landing the job. Instead, you’ll want to use a template that’s linear and easy for a hiring manager to read, while only bolding text to emphasize your headlines such as past experience and in-demand technical skills. Remember to include a cover letter A hiring manager can get a good sense of your technical skills based on the experience you list on your resume. However, your cover letter is a great place to show you possess the soft skills that makes you a valuable candidate for the role. “Regardless of what people say about the value of cover letters, you should always send one unless instructed otherwise,” Lindsay stresses. “The cover letter is a perfect place to show your personality, work ethic, and other qualities that would make you a perfect fit for the role.” Have multiple versions of your resume on hand As the number of hybrid administrative roles continues to grow, Lindsay encourages administrative professionals to have multiple copies of their resume and cover letter to use. “Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon to see a company look for someone to act as both an Executive Assistant and Office Manager,” Lindsay says. “While there is plenty of overlap for desired skills, they can vary based on position. When you’re preparing multiple copies of your resume, be sure that you tailor them based on the experience and skills the job listing is calling for.” Keep your resume concise Depending on your level of experience, try and limit your resume to one page. While it can be hard to choose what experience and skills you want to highlight most, a resume that is too long can set you at the bottom of the pile early on. A best practice to follow in this scenario is to select the roles and skills most relevant to the position you are applying for. However, if you’re someone with more than a decade’s worth of experience and you’re applying for a high-level role, don’t be hesitant to use an extra page!
17 November 2017
As we get ready to pin up our 2018 calendars, public accounting firms are preparing for busy season. To tackle the influx of work and added responsibilities, many of them are turning to accounting consultants who can hit the ground running. “Without the right staff in place, accounting firms risk falling behind during busy season,” says Alex Wright, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “However, the seasonal nature of this work has led employers to explore hiring on a temporary/consulting and temp-to-full-time basis. Not only do these tactics allow employers to save on overhead costs and be more strategic when hiring, but they also provide a lot of benefits for the accounting consultant.” As we near the end of the year and employers start thinking about hiring for busy season, these opportunities will be easier to find than ever. Here are 3 reasons why you’ll want to take advantage of this trend, now, before the start of the new year: You have the control When you take on consulting or project-based work, you have more control over the companies you work for. Because of this, you can make a change if your assignment isn’t right for you, and you can find opportunities that allow you to diversify your experience, gain new skills, and try out different industries. For example, if you’ve primarily worked with individual tax clients, pursuing a path as an accounting consultant could present the opportunity to work with high-net worth clientele on a much larger scale. This could provide you with a more challenging experience—helping you develop new skills throughout each new assignment. Access to new technology As a public accountant working with the same client or industry, it can be easy to become complacent with the technology and/or software you are using. As technology continues to evolve, however, the demand for tech-savvy accountants will only grow stronger. “Today, accounting involves much more than number crunching,” explains Alex. “Top accounting talent has the technical skills necessary for not only generating the data, but also understanding and manipulating the reports to analyze the information from various viewpoints and objectives.” By giving you exposure to different tools and software, working as an accounting consultant can help you become a more marketable candidate for future opportunities. The opportunity to get your foot in the door Additionally, a great temporary experience has the potential to transition into a full-time position. “In some cases, these consulting opportunities can serve as a working interview where the employer can extend you a longer-term or full-time offer based on your performance,” explains Alex. “This also gives you the opportunity to evaluate the fit before making a long-term commitment.”
15 November 2017
Making the decision to mentor a young professional can be a rewarding experience. However, if you’ve only recently begun mentoring someone, it can be slightly awkward to step into this kind of role. Not only can it be strange to be seen as a person of authority in your field, but it can be challenging to find exactly the right advice for your mentee. With pressure to guide this person in the right direction and help them achieve success in their career, you may be unsure of the best approach in order to be an effective and positive mentor. To improve in your role as a professional mentor, start with these tips: Talk less, listen more As a mentor, you know that giving advice is important, and as a result, you may feel inclined to offer as much advice as possible. However, you want to be sure that you aren’t simply talking at your mentee. While you may want to offer as much insight as you can, it’s important to first understand your mentee and their situation. As a result, be sure that you ask a lot of questions and listen to your mentee. Before you tell them what they should be doing, you should first understand their: Current work situation Career goals Working style Other interests Remain objective When listening to your mentee’s challenges, be sure that you remain objective. While a mentor should ultimately be an advocate for their mentee, it’s also important that you guide them with feedback. When your mentee brings up an issue with their manager, for example, you should also think about the situation from the manager’s perspective. When you can offer your mentee another viewpoint, this can help your mentee improve their ability to resolve conflicts on their own in the future. Give them some space One of the biggest challenges of being a professional mentor is that sometimes your mentee will make decisions that you wouldn’t have made. However, it’s important to remember that you aren’t mentoring a mini-you; your mentee is their own person, and they must be allowed to make their own mistakes. While you may want to tell them exactly what to do in a given situation, exercise patience and try to offer them space to figure it out. While you can nudge them in the right direction, be sure that they can come to the decision on their own, and allow them to learn from their failures. Give constructive criticism when necessary While a professional mentor’s main role may be to encourage, that doesn’t mean that you should gloss over mistakes. It is very likely that your mentee will make several errors throughout their career, and it is crucial to call them out and offer support. When offering constructive criticism, be sure that you thoroughly explain your point of view, and offer suggestions on how they can improve. As a result, your mentee will appreciate your honestly and ultimately achieve more growth in their career. Don’t be shy with your perspective Especially if you’re a new mentor, it can feel awkward to give career advice to a younger professional, and it may feel strange that someone looks up to you so much. However, it’s important to remember that they look up to you for a reason. Additionally, like most professionals, you probably know more than you think you do. As a result, be sure that you offer your honest perspective on how your mentee should approach their challenges. Help them set achievable goals While the general objective of a professional mentor is to offer advice, you’re also there to help your mentee achieve their goals. These goals might include earning a promotion, searching for a new job, or even entering a new career field. While your mentee may have lofty goals, the key to achieving those is setting smaller, actionable goals. As a result, help your mentee create a plan and establish steps that they can take. For example, if they want to search for a new job, you might suggest that they set a goal of revising their resume within the next week.