How To Ask For A Reference Or Letter Of Recommendation

November 21st, 2014

Asking for a reference or a letter of recommendation can be a stressful situation for a job seeker, especially if he or she has never done so in the past. You might not know the etiquette involved in such a request, which is why we will tackle the issue in this post. Make sure you follow the tips outlined in this article if you want to receive a glowing reference or letter of recommendation for a job application.

Put the Request in Writing

Many people who have written hundreds of letters like to receive the request in writing. The reason for this is that they are more likely to remember they were asked and have a reference guide for the letter’s information. The written request can be submitted via email or as a letter itself. In the request, make sure you include all the pertinent information about the company and the job for which you are applying so they can tie your experience and skills altogether.

Ask Early and Personally

When you know that you will be applying for a job, ask for the letter of recommendation early and personally. By early, we mean before the company even requests one. This is a good idea because you will be able to hand it in as soon as the company requests the recommendation. You should also ask personally. When you ask someone who knows you well, it makes the writing process much easier. Also try to ask them personally, which includes using a phone call or the next time you see them in person.

Ask Nicely and Professionally

One of the most important things you need to do when asking for a reference is that you must ask the person nicely. Do not talk about them owing you a favor for something you did for them years ago and never back them into a corner.

When you ask, you need to provide the person with a graceful way to bow out of the request if they so chose to do so. If they do decide to bow out of the request, never become offended or ask the person why they came to this decision.

Make it Easy

When asking someone to be a reference on your resume, you need to make it as easy as possible for them. Tell them what type of job you are looking for, and if you apply, give them a heads up so they are not surprised when they receive a phone call from a hiring manager asking about you.

Also, to make it easier on your reference, you should email them a copy of your resume. They can familiarize themselves with your resume and be able to look at it when on the phone with a hiring manager.

How To Turn Temporary Hires Into Permanent Ones

November 14th, 2014

Even though your company brings in Temp to Perm Hires every so often, it does not mean they must absolutely be let go once their contract comes to an end. You have a couple of options; renew their temporary contract for another set period or hire the employee to the full-time staff. It is very easy to turn temporary hires into permanent ones and we will show you how.

Use a Staffing Firm

The first step you need to take in the process is partnering with a staffing firm to find the right Temp to Perm Hires for your open jobs. The staffing firm will handle the application process, the interviews and the paperwork. You will only need to introduce yourself and train the new temp worker when the time comes for them to start the job.

Watch the Temp Worker

The second step is to watch how the temp worker performs. Never make it known that the worker has been chosen to be hired full-time, or has the possibility of being hired full-time because it might cause them to change their work ethic. You want to see how well the temp worker will perform without any expectations.

If they come to work each day knowing their contract will be up in two weeks or two months, yet still work their hardest, complete projects on-time, provide leadership in the office, then you know you have an excellent employee on your books.

Determine the Need for Another Full-Time Employee

Your next step in using Temp to Perm Hires is to determine if your company truly needs another full-time employee. You will need to crunch numbers and determine a budget for another full-time position, which will include salary, benefits and a possible signing bonus.

You also need to take a look at the workload of your current full-time staff. Will adding another full-time employee help them complete work quicker, of higher quality and prevent burnout? If even one of these answers is yes, then you need to begin the onboarding process right now.

Offer the Full-time Spot

Now that you have determined that a temporary worker should be added to your full-time staff, you need to begin the process of onboarding the employee. This includes offering the job permanently to the employee, having them sign the paperwork, putting them through any additional training or introductory meetings required.

Reap the Rewards

Now it is time to sit back and reap the rewards of hiring your temp worker full-time. You were able to analyze how they performed, determine if it is worth it to bring them on permanently and now you can watch how they respond to having a full-time, permanent job with your company.

Watch What You Say On Social Media as an Employee or Job Seeker

November 6th, 2014

Social media has become ingrained in our daily lives over the last 10 years. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can all be accessed on our mobile devices via applications. Whether you use a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop/laptop computer, we can always access social media networks. We post our thoughts, our fears, our comments, our opinions, our schedules and much more on these sites. As a working professional, you need to watch what you say on these sites or it can doom your career.

Never, EVER Talk About Your Employer

Unless you are raving about your employer on social media, be sure never to mention their name. Making inappropriate posts about your employer or constantly complaining about them could lead to you receiving a pink slip from the boss. To make things easy on you, refrain from saying anything about your employer on social media, even if it is good. The reason for this is that you might think it is innocent, but you could be breaking a non-disclosure agreement you signed with the company when hired.

Refrain from Inappropriate Content

All of your posts on social media need to be clean and free of inappropriate content. Inappropriate content includes foul language, derogatory remarks about other people, pictures or videos that contain you consuming alcohol or drugs and much more. Even if you already have a job, you need to spend time cleaning up your social media profiles of any and all inappropriate content. You could possibly lose a job over inappropriate posts because even though you might not be at work when the posts are made, you still represent the company to the public.

Never Lie or Tell Stories

One of the biggest issues people come across on social media these days, specifically LinkedIn, is that they have lied about their past. Even though you might think you are telling a little white lie, it will come back to bite you. Employers can perform a simple background check to find out which degrees you have earned, from which schools and for which companies you have worked during your career.

Avoid Posting about Crimes

We have all seen those television specials about the dumbest criminals out there. Well, make sure you do not become featured on one of those shows by posting about a crime you have committed on your social media profiles. Even if it is a petty crime, you should never discuss it with friends or acquaintances on social media. This will only hurt your chances of holding a job and it could even lead to your arrest.

Avoid Talking abouts Risk-Taking

If you enjoy going hang gliding, or love to smoke one cigar per day, refrain from posting these hobbies on your social media accounts. Why? Insurers are beginning to research those they insure on social media sites, much like employers do so with job candidates and current employees. So, if you lied about being a smoker on an insurance policy, do not broadcast it on your social media site that you enjoyed a cigar today.
The bottom line here is that you need to be very careful when crafting your statuses on social media or else you could find yourself in a heap of trouble.

Should You Hire On Experience Or Potential?

October 29th, 2014

Working as a hiring manager is challenging and rewarding all at the same time. Each time you make an excellent hire, you get to watch first-hand how well the employee performs on the job. A hot topic within the industry right now is if you should hire on experience or potential when bringing in new employees. We will discuss why the answer should be potential and not hire based on experience.

Is the Candidate Fresh?

One of the first things you need to look at during the job interview is if the candidate is fresh or stale. When we compare fresh versus stale we are talking about right out of school and working the same job for 20 years. Sometimes, a candidate who is a recent college graduate will offer more to the company than someone who has been working the job for 20 or more years.

Does the Candidate Have Staying Power?

The next question you need to ask yourself when analyzing a candidate is if they have staying power at your organization. Is the candidate a flash in the pan? Did they accomplish one major thing during their career? If so, he or she might not be able to replicate the success when working at your company. A candidate with staying power will be able to work under the radar while being successful during the length of their career.

Is the Candidate Open to New Things?

A candidate who is stuck in their ways will fall into the experience category and you should stay away from hiring such a person. You want someone who is open to new things, especially as technology keeps evolving. You will need to determine if the candidate tries new things by asking questions that tell you if he or she is a risk-taker.

Is the Candidate Still Learning?

If the job candidate is on cruise control, then he or she might not be a good hire for your company. If the candidate is still furthering their education, is attending training courses, or asks about tuition reimbursement, he or she is the right fit for your company. This type of employee fits into the category of hire for potential.

Traits of Potential-Based Candidates

What are some of the traits of a potential-based hire? The traits you want to look for the most include insight, curiosity, determination and engagement. When you hire based on potential, the candidate you choose should have at least two of these traits. If you come across a candidate who has three or more of the traits, you need to make the best offer possible to secure a signature on the employment contract.

The bottom line here is that you should always hire based on potential and not experience because potential will bring more success to your company than someone who is stuck in their ways.

We Have Moved To A Temporary Location

October 21st, 2014

Our Oak Lawn office has moved to a new temporary location!

We are back at 4054 Southwest Highway in Hometown, IL 60456.  We are there from 8am to 5pm Monday – Friday and are hiring now!  Of course you can view and apply to any of our open jobs right here.

Our number hasn’t changed – 708-857-7511. Give us a call or stop in to see us!

How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

October 21st, 2014

Professionals use social media today on a daily basis so they can connect with other professionals, find jobs and become trusted members of their industry. For those who use LinkedIn, you need to make sure the profile is complete and stands out from all the rest. With millions of users on this social network, your profile is your lifeline between finding a new job and being stuck in unemployment or a dead-end career.

Professional Picture

LinkedIn is not Facebook. We say this because you should not use any pictures with alcohol, drugs or inappropriate clothing in them. Your profile picture should always be professional. This means that you should be wearing business attire and be freshly groomed.

Have a Targeted Job Description

You need to create a job description that is targeted. Look at profiles of other professionals who work the same job as yours. Make sure the description has the correct wording and utilizes keywords related to the industry in which you work.

Have a Clear Headline

The headline of your LinkedIn profile must be clear and concise in describing what you do on the job today. You also need to discuss the value that you bring to potential employers in your headline.

Use a Short Summary

The summary of your LinkedIn profile should remain short. LinkedIn profiles will be reviewed quickly by hiring managers and recruiters. The summary should be no longer than three to five paragraphs and always use bullet points for your skills.

Make Your Achievements Shine

You have been piling up the achievements throughout your career, which you are proud of, so make sure you focus on them in your LinkedIn profile. This is one of the most undervalued aspects of the LinkedIn profile and that should not be the case. Adding achievements is incredibly easy using this social network so make sure you take advantage of it.

Use Uncommon Buzzwords

With millions of profiles on LinkedIn, you are bound to come across the same profile buzzwords quite often. This is why you need to use uncommon buzzwords in your profile. It will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

Always Have a Current Position

Even if you are unemployed, your LinkedIn profile should always have a current position listed (HINT: this can be a volunteer or freelance role). You need to show that you are constantly working in your niche. Potential employers want to see what you are up to right now, so find something to do and put it in the profile.

Post Content

LinkedIn has this great feature where it allows you to post content to your profile. Write and publish articles about your job or your industry. This will help you build a personal brand and become an expert within your field.

Ask for Recommendations

As you build a larger network on LinkedIn, you need to begin asking your most trusted connections for recommendations. These are just as valuable as the ones you submit with a job application or to a company during the interview process.

As you browse your LinkedIn profile tonight, see if any of these items need to be worked on. If so, make the changes necessary so your profile stands out from the rest of the crowd.

What To Look For In A Candidate Fresh Out Of School?

October 14th, 2014

As an employer, you need to do everything possible to find the right candidate for the open jobs at your company. This means that you will need to know what to look for in the candidates who interview for the open jobs. The student’s GPA and major are not the only thing you need to take into consideration when hiring recent college graduates.

We have compiled a list of the most important things to look for in a candidate fresh out of school here.

A Team Player

The candidate must be a team player. You will want an employee who not only can work well in a team setting, but also who wants to work as part of a team, not just go through the motions. A telling sign is how well the candidate can work with others who are very different from them. This will help you get a glimpse of how the candidate will work with your current employees.

Strong Writing and Communication Skills

You also should look for recent college graduates who can write well and have strong communication skills. No matter what type of job is open, the need to write and speak publicly will arise at some point. This means that your candidate must be able to put together a strong presentation that includes written material and requires them to speak in front of others.

Ability to Analyze and Solve Problems

A very important aspect of business today is the ability for employees to analyze and solve problems when they arise. Recent college graduates need to have this ability if they want to obtain employment. You need to make sure that any recent college graduates you interview can perform such a task. You can determine this by having the candidate provide an example of how they performed this task while working an internship.

Creative Out of the Box Thinker

Creativity is very important in the business world today because it separates the most successful companies from the least successful companies. As you interview recent college graduates for open positions, you need to determine if they can be creative and innovative when on the job. This will increase the success of your company because the candidate will bring their new ideas to the table each day they are on the job.

Strong Work Ethics

No matter which industry your company operates in, you will want to hire someone with strong ethics. When you bring in people who live by their ethical decisions, you will notice a difference in the office and your corporate culture.

Understanding of Numbers and Statistics

You also need to find candidates fresh out of college who understand statistics and numbers. This ability is necessary in today’s business world because it helps the company move forward with deals, projects and contracts.

How To Explain That You Were Fired

October 7th, 2014

It is very unlikely that you will go through your entire career without being fired at least once or twice. When this happens, you will run into the problem of answering questions about your termination when going on job interviews. But, don’t sweat it! Read on for some expert advice on how to explain you were fired, in a tactful way.

Provide a Brief Answer

One of the first things you need to do is stay brief in your answer. Some people see this negative question as a reason to provide the interviewer with a monologue that lasts five minutes. You need to prepare your answer ahead of time and practice it so you stay as brief as possible during the interview. Get right to the point with the answer so you do not begin talking negatively about your previous employer.

Be Honest in Your Answer

When you are asked about being fired, you need to be honest with the interviewer. You should not try to spin termination as being laid-off or that it was a mutual split. This will only make matters worse for you during the interview. Even though you should be honest with the interviewer, you do not need to provide him or her with every single detail of why you were fired either. This could only turn into an ugly situation for you as a candidate.

Refrain from Speaking Negatively About Your Former Employer

Another important tip here when explaining you were fired is to refrain from speaking negatively about your former employer. Interviewers will ask about being fired in order to find out why the termination occurred and how you react to your former employer. An interviewer will want to see how you handle the situation when talking about them. It will make the difference between being offered a position with the company and not receiving a second interview.

Remove Bitterness

When answering the question about being fired, you need to refrain from sounding bitter. Employers do not want to hire bitter employees, which is why you need to refrain from using language that makes you sound like a sore loser.

Do Not Blame Anyone

You were fired for a reason. This means that you cannot blame anyone else for losing your job but yourself. Since you should not talk poorly about your former employer, you also need to refrain from bad mouthing any former supervisors or co-workers at the same time.

Explain What You Have Learned

The next thing you can do when answering a question about being fired is to explain what you have learned from the situation. Part of your answer, which should still be brief, is to explain what you learned from being fired and how you can apply it to your next job.

Back To School! Why It Is Important To Let Employees Have Time To Continue Education

September 24th, 2014

As the rest of the country heads back to school, companies are still in session and employees are trying to find ways to beat the workday blues. Employees need to be able to continue their education these days for multiple reasons. We will discuss these reasons here so you, as a company, understands the benefits to allowing employees to return to school to further their education and career.

Employees Know They are Valued

When you allow your employees to return to school, it lets them know they are valued by the company. There are many reasons for this; the company not only lets the employee take time out of their schedule to go to school, but it also might reimburse the employee for the courses taken and the materials purchased for those courses.

Company Benefits in the Long-Run

Anytime a company sends its employees back to school, it is putting itself into an excellent position to succeed within its industry. As employees continue their education and earn higher degrees, they are bringing what they learn back with them to the office. This information can be presented to co-workers at the office during meetings or taught to others on an individual basis when necessary. This will only provide the company a stronger presence within their industry.

Builds Confidence in the Employee

When a company sends its employee back to school, it helps the employee build confidence in themselves and where their career is headed. The confidence will show when dealing with clients, completing high-quality work, offering suggestions at meetings and much more when at the office each day. This is a boost to your leadership development programs and employee succession planning efforts.

Work Becomes More Meaningful

When an employee is sent back to school by his or her employer, the work they perform when on the job becomes more meaningful to them. Going back to school can help the employee understand what he or she is doing at work much better. This will lead the employee to have more meaning in their career and what they do at the office.

Employees Become Eligible for Promotions

Companies that send their employees back to school will be helping their own cause when it comes to improving their management ranks. Employees who go back to school to earn advanced degrees will then become eligible to earn promotions at their place of employment. This helps the company promote from within and not have to look elsewhere when higher-level management positions become available.

It is important for companies to have some form of continuing education program in place in order to help employees further their career. The benefits will be present for both the company and the employees who return to school. Success will come for both parties when employees are allowed to go back to school when working.

Update: Location Change

September 22nd, 2014

On 9/11/14, our Oak Lawn office, located at 5450 W 95th Street, had a fire. It is closed for now and we are planning on moving to a new temporary location soon.

We are currently taking applications next door to us at BJ McMahon’s, located at 5432 W 95th Street. You may enter through the rear of the building and find our temporary location in the party room. Walk-ins are welcome from 9-to-11am Monday-Thursday. As always, you can apply for jobs through our website, and we can still be reached by phone at 708-857-7511.

We will be sure to update you when we have found a new location. Thank you so much for your understanding in this challenging time and we look forward to continuing to help serve you and your staffing needs!

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