Do You Have the Right Interview Clothes?

We live in a world where first impressions mean a whole lot, no matter how much we wish they didn’t. What you wear to your job interview is actually really important. Many HR reps, managers, and other interviewers pay really close attention to what you wear to your interview.

If you find yourself standing in your closet or in front of a mirror asking “what should I wear to my interview?”, then you should know you aren’t alone. It can be difficult to determine the right clothes for an interview. However, here are some key things to keep in mind when picking out your interview clothes:

Dress for the Job

If you are interviewing for a job as a construction worker, you probably don’t need to wear a full suit. And that works both ways. If you are interviewing for a position in an office, you shouldn’t show up wearing jeans and a t-shirt. No matter the job, make sure your clothes are clean, don’t have holes, and are appropriate.

Wearing Fragrances

On a typical day, you might splash on some aftershave or spritz some perfume on. I mean, who doesn’t like to smell nice? But before you go to an interview, you don’t want to do either of those things. You never know when someone will have an allergy or a sensitive nose, and you certainly don’t want your first impression to be someone to sneezing or getting sick because of your fragrance.

The Key Is In the Details

Are your shoes polished? Does your belt go with your suit? Is your jewelry distracting? Are you wearing matching socks? Are you wearing the right colors?  These are the types of questions to ask yourself while looking in the mirror before your interview. Everything needs to match and not be a distraction. Keep in mind that you want to look professional and like you already belong as an employee.

When In Doubt

If you can’t figure out what you should wear to the interview, then feel free to call the HR department. You don’t want show up to your interview underdressed, so ask what is recommended. If you aren’t brave enough to ask, then overdress slightly because that makes a better first impression than being underdressed.

Do you have any questions about what you should wear to your upcoming interview? Leave your questions in the comments section below!

Leveraging Relationships with Recruiters

If you are an active job seeker, odds are you have recently been contacted by a recruiter. You know the spiel: “Hello, my name is so-and-so. I came across your resume online and was interested to see if you were still looking for a new position?”

It is very natural to put your guard up when you get contacted by a complete stranger about something as important as your job search. I get it. Many candidates want to be in control of their resume. But consider this –if you developed the knowledge required to confidently identify which recruiters were worth utilizing, you could expand your job search and gain valuable contacts that could last for the rest of your career.

Before you jump into another day of job hunting, check out the tips below on how to leverage your recruiter contacts and create new networking opportunities for yourself.

When contacted by a recruiter, ask questions
Initial phone conversations should be a time where you learn as much about them as they learn about you. Find out if they are calling about a specific position or if they have gotten in contact to simply get a better feel for you as a candidate. Make sure to write down the recruiter’s name and contact information, so you can research them later. The more you know about their professional history, the better you can gauge just how much they can help you in your job search.

If you receive unsolicited calls from recruiters, take them. You never know when one phone call could turn into a long-lasting relationship with a legitimately helpful contact. Stay in touch with the recruiters who could line you up with employers in the future. Another great option is to ask friends who have been placed by local recruiters to forward your resume to the person who placed them.

Get to know how recruiters work
In order to effectively utilize recruiters when they reach out to you, it is important to understand the different kinds of recruiters that exist and how they operate.

The two main types of recruiters are contingent and retained. Contingent recruiters are not paid until a candidate they submit is hired for the job. These are the recruiters competing with internal hiring teams, advertising, and direct applicants to fill the opening at hand. Contingent recruiters are likely to work at a faster pace than retained recruiters since their compensation is on the line.

Retained recruiters, on the other hand, are hired to manage the whole hiring process for a client. These recruiters work exclusively with companies to fill their positions, and charge an upfront fee to conduct the entire candidate search. These recruiters are usually able to take more time in finding multiple candidates that meet the needs of the companies for which they are working.

Recruiting firms tend to specialize by industry or function. Understanding this can help you figure out how to form your relationships. Seek out recruiters who specialize in the field you’re in or the field you want to enter.

Position yourself where opportunities are presented
It is imperative that you get out there where you have the chance to meet the right people and hear about the right opportunities. If you don’t have a LinkedIn yet, make one. Creating a LinkedIn profile is the easiest way to increase your visibility with recruiters and hiring managers. Make sure your profile is thorough and always updated, and remember to check your LinkedIn and spam frequently to avoid missing inquiries from people in your network.

4 Apps to Help You Stop Texting While Driving

Take a second to digest this statistic: The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes and about 330,000 injuries each year. That’s one out of every four car accidents.

Despite the alarming data, the heartbreaking stories, and the launch of multiple national campaigns, Americans are still frequently using their cell phones while behind the wheel. In the back of our minds, we all know that texting and driving don’t mix, but for some reason, not all of us can break this bad habit. Luckily, there are a few apps out there that can be used to help you keep your eyes on the road. If you are one of those people whose will power dissolves upon hearing your phone ding from the console, check out these apps before your drive home today.

Drive First – this is an app from Sprint that automatically locks your phone when you start driving. Don’t worry, it does allow you to pick three apps that will remain accessible, things that are handy on the road such as Google Maps or your music, and to select “VIP” contacts to bypass the block. So don’t worry, you can make sure you don’t miss important calls from your boss or spouse when using this app.

Texting and talking while driving

DriveModeDriveMode is different than most apps out there; instead of disabling your phone, it makes it easier to use. This app replaces your phone’s functions and appearance with  simple-to-use features that make engaging with your phone while driving less dangerous. For example, instead of having to press a small button to take an incoming call, DriveMode makes your entire screen into an answer button so you can tap anywhere to take the call.

Focus – this app actually trains you to not use your phone while you’re on the move. It will tell you to pay attention and give your reminders to remain focused. This app also provides reports of your progress and how the app may be improving the unwanted habit of texting while driving.

TextNoMore – TextNoMore is really cool because it offers incentives for successfully reaching your destination without texting. This service has partnered with retailers to provide different coupons that you can unlock and use.

Take advantage of the technology of today – turns out the device we’re all so distracted by could also help us focus on the road.

 

How to Optimize Your Resume for Job Boards

No matter what field you’re in, the challenge to get one’s resume noticed online is a fierce one. The Internet has made the act of applying for jobs pretty painless but the convenience and accessibility of online apps has created a more competitive arena. With the mass number of resumes flooding in to websites, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in the mix (every week, 427,000 resumes are posted on Monster alone). So it is more important than ever to consciously construct your resume in a way that will make it stand out.

The best way to do this is to incorporate popular terms that employers and recruiters often use in their searches within the content of your resume. Including a few carefully chosen keywords can be the difference between your resume getting you an interview and it disappearing into the abyss of other hopefuls, dying in vain, and never coming across a recruiter’s computer screen. Using keywords on your resume will enable search engines to pull it out of the crowd. Next time you tweak your resume, consider how recruiters and employers actually look for qualified candidates. Like so:

Work History: Examine your past roles then scroll through some job boards to see how employers are listing openings similar to what you have done in the past; it is most effective to use terms companies are using in their ads because they are the words recruiters and employers are most likely to search. When in doubt about what job title to use, utilize a slash to include more than one (Senior Administrative Assistant / Executive Assistant). If you have worked for any well-respected or well-known companies, include the names of those past employers.

Skills: In order to get your resume in front of the most people, do some research on what skills employers are listing in their posts. From the list of common skills you find, choose a couple of the most significant and applicable to use on your resume. And always remember: list the skills most in demand for the job you want next.

Location: Employers will often search for candidates based on the location of the job for a number of reasons. While doing this, recruiters could type in a number of city and state combinations to pull up candidates. For example, a recruiter could look up resumes by typing in “Indianapolis” one day, then search a specific zip code the next- be sure to include as many variations of your location as possible in order to be pulled into their searches.

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How to Be a Memorable Job Candidate

When job searching, the challenge to stand out from the competition is constant. And according to a survey conducted by Career Builder this summer, the pressure to be memorable can cause many job seekers to do just about anything.

Career Builder asked over 2,000 employers across the country to name the most unusual ways in which job seekers have tried to stand out from the crowd. Hilarity ensued. Some of the best (worst) submissions included:

  • “Candidate lit a corner of their resume on fire to show their ‘burning desire’ for the job”
  • “Candidate had his daughter call the hiring manager in advance of the interview to thank the hiring manager ‘for giving her dad a job'”
  • “Candidate answered a call during the interview stating that another company was calling to discuss a job offer”
  • “Candidate brought a bag of props into the interview and pulled them out as they were relevant in the questions/answers”

It may be tempting to think out of the box like these folks when trying to get a leg up. However, to find success in your efforts, you must be remembered for the right reasons.

Here are some great ways to (appropriately) grab an employer’s attention.

Leave something behind.
Leaving a physical reminder will help you stick in a hiring manager’s mind. Bring in portfolios and/or a hard copy of your resume to refer to as you interview. After concluding your meeting with the hiring manager, leave at least one of your documents that the employer can remember you by.

Turn your interview into a conversation.
Hiring managers don’t actually want to interview you. Rattling off a list of questions is even less enjoyable than sitting there rattling off a list of dry answers. So don’t be afraid to deviate from “the script”- it’s okay to spend a few minutes going on a tangent if it helps you build a relationship with the employer.

Ask amazing questions.
Candidates who ask strong questions are perceived as interested and driven individuals, so you never want to leave an interview having not inquired about any aspect of the job. Do plenty of research about the company prior to interviewing- the more you know ahead of time, the better constructed and thoughtful your questions will be.

Follow up. Always.
Sure, it’s one of the oldest rules in the book, but it has stuck around for good reason. Before you breathe a sigh of relief that your interview is over, send your interviewer(s) a thoughtful thank-you letter. Reflect on the experience and mention something specific and memorable from the interview. If you are still interested in the position, say so! Reiterate your excitement about the opportunity and be upfront about your desire to continue with the interviewing process.

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Lower Your Risk of Skin Cancer

As the weather begins to warm up, you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. While the weather is nice, the sun can be harsh. It’s important to avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Why? Because skin cancer is actually the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every year, more than 76,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. There are more than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer each year.

What can you do you to lower your risk of skin cancer? There are several safety precautions you can take:

  • Stay in the shade during midday hours
  • Wear clothing to cover your arms and legs when outside
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim that will shade your face, neck, and ears
  • Use sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays.
  • Always use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that provides both UVA and UVB protection.
  • And avoid indoor tanning because the harsh exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.

Don’t forget, if you go on vacation, the sun’s UV rays are more likely to reflect off of the sand and cause more damage than normal.The sun is worst between 10 am and 4 pm DST in the continental U.S. So make sure you use the right protection if you are venturing outside during those hours.

 

 

Avoiding Distractions While Driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and we want to help keep you safe. While it may be tempting to look down at your phone for any number of reasons while driving, it is dangerous and can endanger yourself, other drivers, and bystanders.

According to distraction.gov, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include
• Texting
• Using a cell phone or smartphone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Grooming
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. However, this doesn’t mean you should freely do any of the other distractions mentioned above. In fact, you do any of the above activities you need to practice extreme caution.

If you need to use your smart phone, adjust anything in your car, or use a map, then your best option is to pull the car over. It is better to be a little late than risk anyone’s safety.

Remember to drive safely and practice precaution.

Eating Fruits and Vegetables for Disease Prevention

Did you know that eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits can actually help prevent certain chronic diseases and conditions? Not only do fruits and vegetables help you maintain a healthy weight and general well-being, they can help save your life. Here are some of the diseases and conditions fruits and vegetables can help you avoid:

Cardiovascular Disease

As the world’s leading killer, heart disease is a serious issue for everyone. Fruits and vegetables can help prevent heart disease and stroke, but the best fighters of heart disease (and keeping it away) are green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol

Many workers are faced daily with the challenges and struggles of high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. While it isn’t completed understood how fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol, it is believed that the soluble fiber in them helps block the absorption of cholesterol from other foods.

Cancer

Research and tests suggest that eating more fruit can lower the risk of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, and lungs, and can reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, colon, larynx, kidney, and bladder.

Gastrointestinal Conditions

There are indigestible fibers in certain fruits and vegetables that are important for preventing intestinal ailments. When fiber passes through the digestive system, it soaks up water and expends—this process can calm irritable bowels and decrease pressure inside the intestinal tract.

Cataracts and Macular Degeneration

A cataract, which is usually associated with aging, is the gradual clouding of the eye’s lens. Macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina is damaged. In order to protect your eyes, you should eat dark green leafy vegetables because they contain two pigments that will aid in protecting your eyes. In order to stimulate night vision and to protect that ability, you should eat carrots, cantaloupe, and pumpkin because of the Vitamin A.

Birth Defects

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are defects of a baby’s brain or spine that can be prevented if a woman has enough folate, found in B vitamins in her body before becoming pregnant. The folate or folic acid is used by the body to make new cells and can be found in asparagus, cooked spinach, and certain fortified breakfast cereals.

Fruits and vegetables can also help prevent other diseases and conditions like coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, dental issues, and skin infections. So the next time you get hungry or want a snack, consider a fruit or a vegetable!

Writing An Effective Follow-Up Email

Whether an interview goes well or not, you can still impress a recruiter, human resource representative, or a hiring manager by sending an effective follow-up email. In the past, sending a formal letter to the person you interviewed with was an effective way to give yourself a boost. However, in today’s technology-filled world, writing an effective follow-up email is a great way to get noticed.

Writing a follow-up email needs to go beyond sending one or two sentences saying how it was nice to meet and/or speak with the person you interviewed with. To be effective, the email needs to be in depth and specific about the position for which you applied, your qualifications, and the interview itself. Here are a few tips:

Greetings

When you start your email, be as personable as possible. If you used the person’s first name in the interview or they informed you it was okay to do so, then you should address them that way in the email. If you know their first or last name, then avoid addressing the email with a general greeting such as, “to whom it may concern.”

Be Thankful

One of the first few sentences of your email should include a thank-you to the person who took time out of their schedule to meet with you or speak with you. This does not need to be an elaborate thank-you, but a sentence or two about how you appreciated them taking time to speak with you and how nice it was to meet them.

Be Specific

After thanking the person who interviewed you, talk about what you are specifically excited about in regards to the position and how your specific qualifications and experiences make you a great fit for the position. The more specific you are, the better it will be. By doing this, you not only touch base on the conversation you had, but you also create another opportunity to show the interviewer why you are such a great candidate.

Close With Enthusiasm

As you close out your email, be sure you sound enthusiastic about the interview and the potential job opportunity. This is another great place for you to thank your interviewer. Thank them for their time spent discussing the position with you, but also for taking the time to read your email. Be sure as you close the email to let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

Why Work With A Recruiter

As you begin the job search process, you may find that it can be overwhelming. From filling out multiple applications to undergoing extensive interview processes, searching for a job can easily become a full-time job. Instead of wasting energy, you can work with a recruiter who will help you find a job that fits your needs and your career goals. Whether you work in the manufacturing industry or as an executive, recruiters can make the entire job search process less strenuous.

One Application

When you work with a recruiter, there is only one application to fill out. Because the recruiter will be submitting you to various jobs, they are the only one who needs an application. Instead of spending all your time filling out job applications for various positions at different companies, you can focus on interviewing, preparing a resume, and making sure you actually get the job.

Interview Help

Your recruiter wants you to succeed, which means they will work with you to make sure you are prepared for any interview. From giving detailed job descriptions to helping you come up with great interview responses, your recruiter is there to help. If you have questions about an interview or a job, you only have to ask!

Your Fallback

Worried about a job interview? Cannot decide what to wear? Are things not going well at your new job? Your recruiter is there to help you. Even after you have started your placement, you can rely on your recruiter for help. Aside from frequent check-ins, you can contact your recruiter about any issues you may be experiencing at your placement

Long-Term Relationship

Your recruiter’s job is to help you find a job, which means at any given time, they may have multiple job opportunities for you. Your recruiter will always be on the job hunt for you. This person will use their network of job openings and clients to find the right job fit for you!