Posts Tagged 'Human Resources'

America Gets Back To Work

Last night President Obama outlined his plan to get America back to work with various infrastructure projects, tax breaks for businesses that hire and other incentives to get businesses back to hiring.  That’s great news for those of us looking for a job or a career change!  I think it is important that the President not only wants to get people working again, but also ensuring those who are working are getting a fair wage.  The economy won’t improve until we all have money in our pockets that we can spend on things other than reducing our debt or buying necessities.  We can only hope that the jobs bill is approved and implemented quickly because as the President indicated – we don’t have 14 months to wait for things to improve.

NightOwlStaffing is standing by to match workers of all shifts with employers who need those workers.  We encourage businesses of all types to post their free job ads on NightOwlStaffing.com.  Your membership is totally free and so are your job postings – including links, logos and media.

Internet – Foe and Friend

Anything you say can and will be used against you.

Are those Miranda Rights?  Well yes, but it also applies to your job search.  The Internet is a wonderful tool to help you in your job search, but it can also be your biggest enemy.  You may think things you post on FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, and all those other social media sites are private but you would be very wrong.  You would also be wrong if you don’t think people that are hiring don’t do a search on your Internet profiles.  I have several friends that are executives in major corporations and they assure me that they do indeed search on every employee they intend to hire.  OMG!

Some people who are in the job market are aware of this and have started being more “well behaved” on their social media pages.  Don’t forget – the Internet has a history!  Things you posted years ago can still be out there waiting to pop up next to your resume.  But don’t panic – there are a few things you can do to help improve your online image.

  • Google yourself.  Don’t stop with just your name, do a search on any information that is in your resume.  Search your phone number, email address or even your home address.  Remember Google street view can even show them where you live.   Maybe you will want to leave your address off your resume and just post your phone number and email.
  • If the Google search you just did brought up any skeletons in your computer you may have some work to do.  See if you can delete offending accounts or remove inappropriate pictures.  You may have to make some calls – perhaps even to Google to get some really damaging stuff removed.  In most cases though just deleting the accounts will be sufficient.
  • Read through your wall in FaceBook or your Twitter posts and other social media sites.  Delete inappropriate items keeping in mind that a very religious or political comment can sometimes have adverse affects on your job search.
  • Set up a separate email account with a name that is not easily associated with your own name for adult sites or other sites you would rather your employer not find associated with you.
  • Or set up an email account that you will only use on your resume – preferably one that has your whole name in it like firstname.lastname@gmail.com
  • After you have cleaned up your act as much as you can – Google yourself again and see if it worked.  Keep in mind that it may take days for the search results to update properly.

Now you have done all you can to clear up your dark history – how about making your future brighter?

  • Start being more positive in your online posts.
  • Join some good job related social media sites like Linked In and see if you can get some former employers or co-workers to recommend you.  If you get contacted by a recruiter you can mention your LinkedIn account and they will be able to get a better picture of who you are.  This has helped me in the recent past.  Add the recruiter as a friend – that way they will know the status of your job search.
  • Use FaceBook, Twitter and other similar sites to mention you are seeking employment and what type of work you are interested in – but don’t overdo it.  Your friends and family will be more than willing to help as long as you don’t keep hammering them with requests.  Every once in a while a reminder is OK.

The Internet can be both a blessing and a curse in your job search.  A little effort on your part will help you look much better on the computer screen of your next HR director.  And now if you will excuse me, I think perhaps I should Google myself.  :)

When Is a Picture Not Worth a Thousand Words

I wondered if a person should include a picture on their resume so I did a quick Google search and I found my answer very quickly.  The short answer is “no”.  In fact including your picture could disqualify you immediately because of the potential of lawsuits that could arise if it can be proven that one candidate was chosen simply on their appearance.  However it may be relevant to include a picture with your resume if you are applying for a job that requires a certain type of person – like a modeling  job or entertainer.

This got me thinking about whether it is appropriate to include your picture on an online job board such as NightOwlStaffing.com.  In fact we provide the ability to load your personal picture and many candidates choose to do so.  I can only speak on my personal opinion, but in most cases I think it would be OK.  An online job site is a little different than submitting your resume for a particular job.  With Job boards such as ours, if you apply for the job online – the resume goes to the employer but the picture stays on the site.  Only those employers who are on our site looking at employee profiles will see those pictures and I believe they intend to do so.  Anything you can include in your online profile that might help you get the interview should be there.  But, you should realize that including a picture is a 50/50 deal.  Your picture might sell you or sell you out.  If the employer likes what they see you have an added advantage.  If not you may be unduly disqualified despite your accomplishments.

My advice is that if you choose to include a picture in your on-line profile, make sure it is a good one.  You should be appropriately dressed in business attire (appropriate for the job you are seeking) and appear as if you are ready for your interview.  Your profile should indicate that you are ready for the job – not the beach, a ball game, or a night on the town.  There is a saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  With that in mind, make sure your picture is recent and that the person that shows up for the interview isn’t someone 20 years older and 20 lbs heavier.  That might be interpreted as a misrepresentation or dishonesty.

Let me just reiterate that these are my personal opinions.  A professional job counselor may have a different opinion on the topic .  Do your own research and use your best judgment.  Don’t forget to smile!

The Real VIP

Every organization has a very important person that you should find favor with – can you guess who it is?  Some might say the CEO, others might think the HR Director.  Another good guess is your immediate supervisor or department head.  Those are all good answers and of course it is important that you impress all of them with your talents and style.  In my opinion, however, the most important person you should have on your side is the Executive Assistant – sometimes referred to as the Executive Secretary.

You will find that Executive Assistants are typically over worked, over stressed and under paid.  They can sometimes be grumpy and short.  Still it is important to treat them with the utmost respect.  If you are like me – this isn’t a terribly difficult task.  I try to treat everyone from the CEO to the cleaning crew with the same level of respect and dignity.  It’s not an act for me because I truly believe that every organization is a team of people who without each other would not be successful.  If you view the workplace in this way it is easy to gain the respect of everyone  from the cleaning crew to the CEO – including the all important Executive Assistant.

If you work 2nd or 3rd shift, your mission to find favor with this VIP is not only more difficult but also more important.  The difficult part comes from not having the time every day to foster a good relationship with the Executive staff.  But if you play your cards right you can turn your disadvantage into an advantage.  As a 2nd or 3rd shift employee, you will see these people at the very beginning or very end of their workday.  A smile and pleasant exchange of conversation during those prime times can go a long way.  Plus, your limited exposure reduces your chances of getting too personal or saying something inappropriate.  Just be sure that every encounter is a good one and when they see your smiling face at 4pm they will unconsciously associate you with the fact they they are about to go home!

The reason your shift makes this connection more important is because you will have limited times when you will be able to speak with an executive if needed.  You will only have perhaps an hour at the beginning or the end of the day to have a meeting.  That’s when it’s important that the person with the schedule will gladly move some appointments to get your meeting set at those critical times.  Executives are typically very busy with tight schedules.  If you fall on the bad side of an E.A. – you can bet you will have a more difficult time scheduling that meeting.

So always remember – those people sitting just outside the big office might be more important than those sitting inside the office.  Be genuine, be nice, and be scheduled.

Holiday Wishes

NightOwlStaffing.com  wishes everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

All the best in 2011 – including the best new job!

Hiring During Holiday Season

There is a perception in the job market that companies typically don’t hire during the Holiday season.  So should you wait until the new year to continue your job search?  Absolutely not – and here is why:

  • Not all companies stop hiring during this end of year season – many others actually do.  I was hired for my current tech job in mid November of last year.
  • Many companies hire temporary workers for the busy shopping season.  Not only will a temporary job provide needed  income or some extra spending money – if you prove yourself as an exceptional employee, you might be kept on after the season and possibly land a permanent job.
  • There are fewer people applying for jobs during this busy time – that means you have a better chance of getting noticed!
  • After the first of the year you will be competing with all the other people who waited to start their job search.  Now is the time to get a head start.
  • Executives have a hard time being idle.  Visiting with family might be a tad boring for them – so they just might sift through a few resumes to entertain themselves.
  • Now is a great time to do something a little extra that will get you noticed in a big way.  When you go in to apply for a job – bring a small gift with you to give to the HR person.  Some candy (not homemade) or just a card will be accepted as a thoughtful gift and not a bribe.  Even just a cheerful “Happy Holidays!” will show you in a positive light.

So while you are out and about shopping – drop off a resume on your way.  Spend some extra time on-line applying for that perfect job.  Tis the season!

Here come the jobs!

The election is over and both sides are claiming they can provide more jobs.  Let’s hope they are right!  We welcome employers to post all those new jobs for free right here on NightOwlStaffing.com!

If you are not tired of voting yet – be sure to vote on the new poll in the sidebar and let our new politicians know what you think.  We also welcome any comments on how this election will affect the job market.

Meet the creator of NightOwlStaffing.com

Here is a short video introducing NightOwlStaffing.com where you will meet Dennis – aka 2ndShifter!

Don’t Take It Personally

You left the job interview certain that you had landed the position.  They like you, you liked them, there was an agreement on pay range, and you are totally qualified for the position.   So why haven’t they called?  Let’s assume for this article that you did everything right – including a thank you note (at least by email) and a follow up call several days later stating your continued interest in the job.  You did do those – right?  Right.  So what’s the problem?

One of the biggest hurdles we deal with in the job market is the Human Factor.  That’s right folks, we are humans dealing with other humans and as such there is a myriad of factors that can contribute to the decision made by the employer.  Maybe there was someone equally qualified and thorough in their interview and the employer had a tough decision to make.  Many times there are more than one perfect candidate for the job.  One will get the job – and unfortunately the rest won’t.  It’s not that you did anything wrong – you just didn’t get picked – this time.   Maybe the employer just didn’t get a good vibe from you even though everything went well.  Human interactions are complicated and based on much more than just what you wore, how you presented yourself or even if you had a common interest.  Just like personal relationships, professional relationships are somewhat chemical in nature and even though you did everything right – you just were not what they were looking for.  The point is – its not personal – it’s just business.

On the other hand if you have had several great interviews – especially a great 2nd or 3rd interview and you haven’t been offered any jobs, you might want to take a closer look at your approach.  It might help to talk to a friend in detail about what happens in your interviews and what topics you discussed and how you answered those questions.  A good friend will need to be necessarily judgmental in order to be effective so again, don’t take it personally but learn from their comments.  Talk to more than one friend if you can and see if you notice a common response.

There is one thing you definitely should take personally.  If you have sent out many resumes but haven’t received even one call – there may be a problem with how you present your information.  We live in an electronic society and most resumes don’t reach a human eye until they first get singled out by a computer.  Your resume should be targeted specifically for the job you are applying for and be formatted in such a way that it will get singled out in an electronic scan against hundreds of other resumes.  It might be time for you to get some professional advice on your resume.  There are many resources available to help you – from personal consultants to electronic programs to help you build your resume.  I’m including a link to such a program in this post but there are many to choose from varying in price range and features.  Do a careful search and get the help you need to have your resume get noticed.

Resume Companion

Who Works the Night Shift?

Who works the night shift?  It’s a good question and the answer is lots of people do!  On any given night look towards your city skyline and notice all the lights from the cars, buildings, boats, and airplanes.  Those lights are either from people who are working the night shift or people who are being entertained, fed, healed, protected or educated by those who work the night shift.  That’s a lot of folks working after hours!

Another question we might ask is why do people work the night shift.  There are a few good answers to this question.  Some folks are doing it as a second job – to help meet their ever increasing bills.  Some do it because they go to school in the daytime and the evening or night shift is the only time they can work.  Still others work the night shift because they are not morning people and find it difficult to get up at 6am and stay alert all day.  Others, like me, may suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) where lack of sunlight may cause depression – especially in the winter.

I spent many winters depressed and unhappy until I moved to a warm climate and started working at night.  Now I spend my daytime hours outside riding my bicycle, kayaking, or doing yard work.  I work when I would normally be “vegging” on the couch for 4 – 6 hours watching TV.  I haven’t been depressed since and I’ve also never been in better shape!  SAD can’t get ahold of me now because my days are all the same.  I wake up when it’s light (9:30 – 10am),  I go to work when it’s light (3:30pm) and I come home when it’s dark (midnight).  It’s the same every day – all year long.  The only time I notice the time change or shorter days is on weekends.  That really works great for me.

NightOwlStaffing hopes to educate employers that their night shift jobs are not unusual and there are many employees willing and able to work those jobs.  We provide a specific centralized place where all your after hours jobs can be posted and viewed for free.