This summer, I was granted the fantastic opportunity to be paired with a formal mentor for the duration of my 10-week internship. To my surprise, my mentor was a UW-Madison alum (the college I currently attend) and had a bunch of things in common with me right off the bat. I was so excited to dive into our mentorship experience together and felt even more prepared as a result of prior research I had conducted on the meaning of a “mentor” and how to extract the most out of our time together. So, how did it turn out? Keep reading to find out…

Having a Formal Mentor…

  • Honest Communication: My favorite part about having a mentor was that it gave me a weekly opportunity to be completely open and honest about my experience, questions I had, or regarding projects or responsibilities that I did not feel were “important” enough to take to higher leadership. My mentor was a constant source of guidance, free from judgment, and a fantastic voice of wisdom for any and all inquiries. While I had a phenomenal overall experience, she absolutely provided me with meaningful advice regarding my future, my hesitations, and how to navigate my “likes and dislikes” about the role I was placed in.
  • Lessons of Other Internal Roles and Opportunities: While I was situated in the business risk office, my mentor was a member of the consumer insights team. Coincidentally, she had the role that I had always hoped to explore and was highly interested in! Through her, I was able to gauge what it would actually be like to possess consumer insights-related responsibilities on a daily basis, what career acceleration could look like from that standpoint, and how each of the 5 consumer insights roles complements and differs from one another. It was absolutely fantastic and all the more valuable to hear candidly from someone not so far from my age and career standpoint about her own experience. As an employee, she also had fantastic insight (no pun intended) into a plethora of different roles possessed by colleagues, past mentors, managers, or other alum.
  • Connections! Another awesome component of having a mentorship program is in its ability to set you up with a list of connections stemming from colleagues, other alum, friends, or even past mentors in different roles across the entire company. Having my mentor point out roles she thought I may be interested in ended up allowing me to explore entirely different responsibilities and positions that I had not previously been aware of!

Mentorship is an essential part of business and its evolution. So, having mentors in various roles, of all ages, and all backgrounds will allow you to learn from a variety of perspectives about your self, your interests, and future opportunities. However, not all companies provide interns with direct, formal mentors. So, how do you go about finding an informal role model? Check back in Thursday to find out!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Interested in my experience? Keep reading to find out about my role as an intern here!

In our last article, we pointed out some interesting cautions to take when thinking about hiring friends and family. However, just as many endeavors come with pros and cons, so does this one! So, if you’re in the position of expanding your business and taking on new employees, make sure to keep reading about why it may benefit you to consider close friends or family…

Keeping Family on Board…

  1. You Know Them Best: We hope this does not come as a surprise that whether we’re talking about your spouse, partner, friend, family member, sibling, past coworker, or any other close relationship you have, you likely know more about them than most other people in the world! Knowing all of the strengths of the person you hire before even placing them in a position is an enormous benefit for your business model. We encourage you to, again, evaluate the responsibilities of your open role in detail to be able to fully consider if this person would take over in a positive way.
  2. Surpassing Onboarding: Especially for those of you in a time crunch, on a start-up timeline, or crammed for expansion, hiring someone that you know, love, and trust will allow you to diminish the time it takes to run background checks, tests, and a whole bunch of time-consuming onboarding tasks. Time, as we know it, is the most scarce resource in the world! So lack of it may prove one of the best moments to ask a favor of a loved one.
    • Extra Tip: Look out for opportunities where you may require a temporary, informal favor! While this by no means should encourage you to ask for hours of volunteer work from your friends or family, bringing someone on to nail out a quick business problem, solidify the launch of a new role or opportunity, or to take some of the burdens off of your shoulders could prove enormously useful and beneficial to your entire company.
  3. Pre-Established Trust: In the same way that you will most likely be well aware of this person’s strengths to use to both their and your own advantage, it is more likely than not that you will be taking someone on with an already solidified level of trust. When this comes to delegating tasks and giving up certain responsibilities that you are used to mandating on your own, it is crucial to be able to hand off your duties to someone you know will prove their worth!
  4. They Care About You! While your business will always be your own “baby,” the people closest to you will also feel a personal investment in your success. Hiring someone who already feels an attachment to your company and its initiatives is someone who will stand by your side through thick and thin.

Now that you know the pros and cons of including those that you love in your business, you are ready to take on the hiring process!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Missed Monday? Find out why NOT to hire people you “cannot” fire here!

Attention all business owners and start-up entrepreneurs! Are you battling the task of expanding your team, hiring new members, or deciding whether to add on new roles within your company? Well, we’re sure that during the time between the start of your company and today, you’ve been faced with the opportunity (or favor) to hire a family member or close friend. While there are pros to doing so, we definitely want to make you aware of some cautions to look out for in your business model.

To Hire Close Family and Friends…?

  1. Emotional Involvement: Most likely the first thought to cross your mind when you think about walking into an office alongside your spouse, sibling, college roommate, best friend, cousin, or any other person of a close relationship is the emotional attachment. After all, these people aren’t just strangers that you met during an interview, they are some of the most important people in your life! We hope that the relationships you hold most closely to you are those that will last a lifetime. However, having the emotional capacity to leave your thoughts and feelings out of business decisions is no easy feat. Make sure to weigh the concrete, measurable value each of these people brings to your business model. Are they going to act as resources or are you going to hire additional work obligations?
  2. Superiority and Business Hierarchy: You must remember that you are, in fact, the boss of this organization. The blood, sweat, and tears implored into this operation are those of your own, and there is no one else in this world who values the success of this company in the same way that you do! For that reason, you must remain capable of implementing orders, providing direction, and ultimately offering critique to each of your employees. If you are someone who will be more uncomfortable than confident in this type of setting, think twice before adding someone you feel close to to your team.
  3. Others will Assume Favoritism: There is no doubt about it… the moment that you add a family member or friend to your team, they will immediately become the perceived favorite amongst all of your employees. Battling this assumption will not prove easy, and in some instances may lead you to feel as if you must treat this person unfavorably just to prove a point. Be cautious of this when determining which role to place your friend/family member into so as to maintain a fairly perceived environment as a collective team and company.
  4. Unequal Expectations: This point relates most closely to the employee that you are actually hiring. This person may come in with preconceived notions about how you run your business. Whether this benefits or hinders your ability to set expectations of this person’s responsibilities, it is crucial to both your and their success to set measurable and clear goals for the month and/or year. This way, there will be no room left for debate as to whether this person is performing well based off of their perception, or below the belt.

We hope that you each find yourselves in the position of hiring others at one point in your professional lives! What an accomplishment to be had, and also one that comes with a massive responsibility. Follow these guidelines and you are set to make clear cut and beneficial decisions for both yourself and your corporation.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list! 

Read our recent blog to find out the benefits of exploring different internships during your college career!

Entering the business world can seem daunting! However, one of the best parts of pursuing a career after graduation is your ability to relocate anywhere in the world that interests you. Today, we’re here to introduce you to and point out some of the best places to do so in the United States. So, if you’re looking to gauge some pros and cons of certain cities in the US today is the perfect day to keep reading!

Best Places to Start a Career…

  1. Denver, Colorado
  2. Boston, Massachusets
  3. Seattle, Washington
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Nashville, Tennesse

Each of the cities presented in the list above proves a fantastic place to move to after college for a plethora of different reasons! For example, if you are someone who highly values the importance of a work-life balance, we encourage you to pursue a new opportunity in Denver. As a city with some of the best resources for nature exploration, restaurants, a young environment, and many other pros, Denver is an up and coming location that students are flocking to! Additionally, Boston and Seattle are home to so many headquartered companies that you are nearly guaranteed to be able to explore a vast array of business leading companies in a short period. While this cities are large and bustling, they are great locations to explore if you are someone still looking for a community feel and ability to find a small-town group in a large place! Finally, Austin and Nashville hold several similarities. While they are both some of the fastest-growing cities in the country, they each behold phenomenal weather year-round and a young, unique vibe. Especially for those of you country-lovers, check out these cities post-graduation! They each possess fantastic social opportunities, restaurant and bar scenes, and fast-growing companies providing a young, enjoyable culture.

Special Reference to…

  1. Chicago, Illinois
  2. New York City, New York
  3. San Francisco, California

We chose to group these 3 and add a special reference to their opportunity as we view them more as “OG’s” (in millennial terms). They are each, and constant, fantastic locations to choose from no matter which industry you may be pursuing. We want to pay special attention to encouraging those of you technologically interested individuals towards San Francisco (of course, for Silicon Valley!), the makeup and fashion-oriented young professionals towards New York, and a mix of the two towards Chicago! Although the cost of living in these cities often superceeds the vast majority of the United States, they provide opportunities that you simply will not find elsewhere!

We hope that just from this read you can understand that no matter where you end up, each city possesses a fantastic list of reasons why it proves beneficial to move to and spend a few years building a professional presence within! If you have any subsequent questions, feel free to direct them to [email protected]!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs!

Check out our recent blog to find out what you should look out for before accepting a full-time position!

Last Thursday, we introduced you to some key benefits of sticking with an internship for a second year around. However, we wouldn’t be doing you justice if we didn’t show you the other side of this perspective! Keep reading to find out some reasons that may lead to you explore a different opportunity for your second internship before pursuing a full-time career!

Benefits of Exploring…

  1. Gaining New Perspectives: By pursuing an internship at a new company, you are guaranteeing yourself a new opportunity to experience your career interest from a different perspective. We can guarantee that no matter the company, every organization runs operations differently from one another, and there is no perfect formula for success. If you are interested in what Marketing Management, Digital Experience, Website Development, Social Media Marketing, or hundreds of other different responsibilities looks like from a different team and company altogether, transitioning out of your current role may likely prove beneficial.
  2. More Diverse Network: If you worked in a large corporation this summer, you will still be able to expand your network across diverse backgrounds, experiences, and career desires. However, smaller companies, and therefore a lower number of employees, will not allow you to do so as efficiently. If you are finding yourself in this position, exploring a new opportunity will help you to expand your network across companies, potentially industries, and most definitely from a new variety of experiences and perspectives!
  3. Relocation Opportunity: Working for the same company may require you to work within the exact same location and environment. If you are interested in testing the waters in a different area of your state, region, or country altogether than this is the time to do so! Internships are temporary and only last a few months, so there is no greater time in your life to explore a completely new environment than now.
  4. Alternative Company Culture: Just as no two companies operate identically, no two companies provide the exact same culture and atmosphere. Especially if you are someone who did not 100% “vibe” with your companies social environment, highest values, or beliefs, then we encourage you to gauge a different perspective by trying an entirely new environment at a different organization. While different industries often mean different cultures, you can still find a large and wide variety within your own industry (ex: Marketing).

We hope that these new perspectives help you weigh the pros and cons of sticking or straying from your first internship! We trust that with this newfound knowledge, each of you will make fantastic decisions and continue to accelerate your professional development and respective careers. So… happy searching!

Looking for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Missed some benefits of staying at your internship? Find them out here!

In the heat of career fair season, we understand that many of you are faced with the decision to either return to the company you worked for this summer or pursue a new opportunity. Today, as part 1 of our 2 part saga, we’re hoping to teach you about some of the benefits of following a second-year internship at the same company.

Benefits of Returning . . .

  1. Sense of Role-ownership: One great aspect of returning to the same company you’ve worked at before is the relationships you’ve already built. Utilizing those connections, especially with hiring managers or internal recruiters, may allow you to gain some freedom in choosing which role you pursue in your second year. Whether this means transitioning to another team, project, or an entirely new subset of a company, taking advantage of internal resources will prove highly valuable.
  2. New Mentors: Another way to make use of your experience is by beginning to envision the type of mentor, or mentors you can pursue upon your return. Building additional connections to expand your internal, and potentially external, network is a great way to continue to gauge your own career interests and desires.
  3. Even Larger Network: While you have likely already built a sturdy network within the company you worked for, returning will allow you to build an even larger number of connections by surrounding yourself with employees of all different backgrounds, job functions, and teams. While this is especially useful for interns or graduates returning to larger companies which offer a greater and larger variety of employees, deepening connections will always prove useful. You never know if the connection you built may find themselves in a leadership role and in need of a new employee on their team. Better yet, mentors often transition into higher roles where they may then recommend you to take their previous spot!
  4. Opportunity to Relocate: If you work for an organization which houses several locations across the United States, returning to your previous position as an intern may allow you to internally “build your roots” within the company and, later on, have a greater say in where you are placed permanently. This is a huge component of your future and definitely important to continue to keep in mind! If you are happy where you live, you are much more likely to enjoy what you do!

Now that you’ve seen some leading factors in the benefits of returning to a company for a second-year internship, we’ll introduce you to a few reasons that may lead you to decide to explore elsewhere. While we don’t have the right answer for you, we’re hoping that you can lead feeling educated, well-versed, and with multiple different perspectives!

Missed our last blog? Check out what to look for before accepting a position here!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs!

If you’re a college student or recent graduate applying to a full-time position or internship, I want you to take a moment to acknowledge your value in today’s workforce! You are among the top talent entering each industry and bring with you a plethora of unfounded knowledge based on a new digital age. In understanding the intelligence and talent you behold, I hope that you weigh the aspects of a job offer than I present to you today. Keep reading to find out…

What to Consider In a Job Offer:

  1. Salary and/or Hourly Wage: Although it may feel daunting to discuss money as a student or hopeful intern, it is important to be aware of the typical pay of an employee of your age, major, experience, commitment, geographical location, etc. We encourage you to utilize online job resources such as Glassdoor.com to try to gauge what a typical salary of someone in your same position should be expecting. Additionally, if you are under the impression that you may be shorted (potentially through conversations with an advisor, mentor, or colleagues), it is crucial to understand the pay you are foregoing for the offer at hand. Pay may not be your highest priority, but if it is, this is super important to look out for!
  2. Benefits: Evaluating the benefits associated with your offer is undeniably one of the most vital aspects of your offer (especially if you are searching for a full-time role). However, I am directing this more towards interns because… believe it or not, there are several benefits to think about (even if not monetarily based!). Some of the most valuable include:
    1. Networking Events, Ability and Encouragement to Connect with Company Leaders
    2. Intern Events to Stimulate Relationship Building Among Your Co-workers
    3. Mentorship Opportunities
    4. Autonomy in Choosing Your Role … Depending on your industry of choice, this one may waiver. However, if you are focused on an area of business that provides diverse roles (such as Marketing), we encourage you to inquire about your ability to voice your hopes and desires for your role and what you hope to take away at the end of summer.
    5. Volunteer Work
    6. Internal Networking and/or Coffee Chats with Employees
  3. Full-Time Role: Especially for those of you entering your senior year after next summer, it is key to begin thinking about what your life may look like if you choose to work for the company you are accepting a role within. Can you see yourself working here after graduation if given an offer? Is this organization part of a loose “5-year plan”? Will this company help you achieve career goals or aspirations?
  4. Lateral Movement: We encourage you to begin your career within an organization that will allow you to pursue a variety of goals within its own walls. The last thing we hope is for you to accept a role and have second thoughts after a few months. For that reason, we hope that you try and visualize all of the opportunities that come with every company. Is there room for you to move around and try some different roles before committing to a long-term position?

These are only some of the many components of a job offer to think about before accepting! We hope you are beginning to create a mental list of everything valuable that you hope for in your new role.

Missed last weeks article? Find out the Top 4 Difference Between Large and Small Companies here!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

As I mentioned in our most recent article (if you missed it… go check it out from Monday!), I worked for an extremely large corporate office this summer. In reflecting on my experience, I recognized that there truly is a large difference between working for a large company versus a smaller one. While I am not here to tell you which is better (because that is truly up to your own personality type and preferences) I am excited to share and offer a few perspectives to assist you in your own future job search.

Top 4 Differences…

  1. Daily Interactions: If you work for a small company, it is almost guaranteed that you will be able to build strong, deep-rooted connections with each of the employees that you interact with each day and in every project. You’ll come to quickly understand “who does what” and where to go to reach out for help in any instance. However, working for a large company means that you will be working alongside many people who specialize in an array of different roles. For that reason, you will likely find yourself reaching out to many different people for each different need. Doing so will help you to immerse yourself in different types of positions and establish a collective understanding of how your company operates and achieves success.
  2. Lateral Movements: Are you ready to settle down in a position and dig your roots deep? If so, I would encourage you to check out a smaller organization. Doing so will help you to solidify your role and gain deep, intellectual knowledge in your newfound specialty. However, if you are someone who is still unsure of what you want to do in the end game (which is also totally okay – and is more like me!), then you may want to think about working for a larger corporation that will provide you with the ability to make lateral movements often, sometimes even yearly. Lateral movement will help you to explore new opportunities without having to conduct a whole new job search.
  3. Relationship Building: As it relates to daily interactions, communicating to a smaller group of people will allow you to cultivate meaningful relationships, potentially helping you to see a “home” in your role for many years to come. On the other hand, as working for a large organization will require many hands on deck across several teams, meeting many people will assist you in creating a larger network and building various connections that you never know when you may need!
  4. Mentorship Opportunities: If you work in an office that requires people to work in all types of roles in order to continue to operate (ie: Google, Apple, Sephora, etc.), your mentorship opportunities will range across several different “sub-industries” of business. However, if you are someone who is confident that you want to stay in your position and become a specialist, working for a small company may help you to find that person to act as a mention and vision of who you hope to be farther on in your career. In my personal experience, not knowing exactly what I want to do, I enjoyed finding a mentor in a Marketing role while I was housed in Risk, as it helped me envision a future outside of the office I was currently a team member within.

 

Hopefully, this helped you to visualize yourself in a bunch of different offices! So… which was your favorite? Keep trying to weigh your values and desires as you begin your full-time job or internship search in these upcoming months.

Stay tuned for our upcoming article on “What to Look Out For” when you’re evaluating your position! Missed our article on Monday? Check it out here!

Looking for a new position? Check out our open jobs!

Hello everyone – I am so excited to announce that I will be returning to Esquire Recruiting as their Social Media and Marketing Intern (and also blog-creator) for the fall semester! For those of you who may not know me, my name is Hannah McDermott and I am an incoming junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am majoring in Business, specifically in Marketing and Risk Management, and for that reason had pursued my first internship in a corporate setting this summer. Keep reading to find out more about my experience…

Life as an Intern…

So, is life as an intern in a corporate office all it’s cracked up to be? My answer in short for you is… yes! I am elated to be able to recount the incredible experience I had during my internship in Risk Management for you all. In all honesty, walking into my first day came with nerves, jitters, and moments of intimidation. However, walking out on my last day, I felt rejoiced and confident both in my newfound knowledge gained from my responsibilities and also as a business professional. I thought the best way I could convey my experience for you was by taking note of some of my favorite components of this summer!

  • Intern Events: Working as one of about 150 interns hired came with some major perks. One to keep in mind when weighing your own interest in working for a large company is the advantage of coordinated events that many organizations put on for their intern groups. Due to the magnitude of our group, I was able to attend a Chicago boat cruise, networking events, an ice cream social, and even an off-campus volunteering event! I truly looked forward to these special days, as they not only helped me to feel immersed in the company’s culture but amongst each of my intern peers who quickly became some of my great friends.
  • Mentorship Opportunities: Working around hundreds of other employees also posed the opportunity for one to pursue mentors, both formal and informal, across several, differing job functions. I’ll combine mentorship with networking, as the two were super intertwined and each intern was not only supported but encouraged to explore each area of the company and identify our own interests outside of our immediate job functions. In doing so, I was able to identify certain areas of Marketing and job roles that I would love to pursue in the future!
  • Autonomy and Freedom: One thing that I hadn’t expected of an internship prior to this summer was the true freedom I was granted in leading each project I was assigned, and achieving the goals I had set for myself during the first week of my summer. I was astonished and felt incredibly valued in the idea that even at such a large organization, my thoughts and actions were heard at such a high level; I was truly treated as a regular full-time member of our team.

Keep tuning in throughout this week and month to hear more about what I loved about my summer, what I would have changed, and what types of thoughts and ideas to look out for as you start applying to your next internship! Thanks for listening 🙂

The job search process can be scary and long at times. Finding a job you love and that you are qualified for should be everyone’s goal! Today we are going to talk about the key strategies that will help you find success throughout the job search process. Continue reading below to find out!

  • Perseverance: This can be a tricky strategy. You might find yourself feeling hopeless after a few months filled with rejection and no luck. There are many long and hard stages of the job search process, but perseverance will keep you going. It will help you stay positive and realize that this search will be over soon and at the end of it, you will have a great job! Those who persevere will feel more rewarded!
  • Timing: Timing can be everything! If you find that perfect job, perfect location, but you think the time isn’t right, this is where you make a mistake. Good jobs aren’t open for a long time. They fill up pretty fast usually, so jump on something when you see it!
  • Skill: Your skills are your greatest asset. Prepare yourself on how to sell people on your skills and talk about the great things you can do. Use your downtime to improve on your current skills or even learn new ones. Online certifications are a great way to improve and update your skillset.
  • Customization: Take the time to tailor your resume to each job you are applying for. This may seem extremely time consuming, but it can be worth it. Make a few different versions of your resume that are specific to certain job titles you apply for.

We know how frustrating the job search process is for some people. Try to apply these strategies to your job search and remember to stay positive!

Do you have a job offer coming your way? Read here to find out what questions you should be asking!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Recruiters at Esquire Recruiting, LLC and recruiters everywhere look at many resumes each day. They can spot the difference between the good and the bad. Today we are going to discuss the top 5 reasons that recruiters will pass your resume up or even throw it in the no pile. Continue reading below to find out why!

  1. It’s way too long! Resumes are generally 1 page, sometimes 2. When recruiters receive resumes that are 4 pages or 6 pages, they simply cannot read through it without getting bored or annoyed. Keep it short and to the point.
  2. It’s overstyled! Resumes should be clean and simple, for the most part. If your resume has multiple different fonts, includes broken hyperlinks, uses buzzwords or overly formal speech, or is too long-winded- then you need to fix it up! Those four are examples of some of the biggest mistakes you can make on a resume. Style issues like those make it difficult to read the resume, which is exactly what you don’t want happening.
  3. It doesn’t include keywords! Make it easy to connect the dots! Include words or short phrases that relate to the particular job requirements you are applying for. This will help catch the hiring managers eye when they are looking over your resume. Recruiters will also benefit from this because they are looking over hundreds of resumes a day, and the keywords will help them narrow their search.
  4. It’s not ordered correctly! The order of everything on your resume matters. It needs to be in the order of relevance or impact. You don’t want to add your current job in at the bottom, everything that is the most current should be placed at the top. Make sure your resume highlights your accomplishments and relevant information at the top.
  5. It doesn’t tell a story! We talked about telling your career story in last weeks blog regarding job interviews. The same goes for your resume! Tell your story through the words on the paper. When a recruiter looks at your resume, they need to be able to tell what your career story is and where you are hoping to go in your career.

Resumes are very tricky! A resume is something you want to take your time on completing because it is the first thing a hiring manager and recruiter will see. It is basically your first impression that you are giving. Follow the dos and don’ts above to help make sure your resumes do not end up in the trash pile!

Missed last weeks blog? Catch up here!

Searching for a new position? Submit your resume to any of our open jobs!

Read some resume tips from our very own recruiters here!

At Esquire Recruiting, LLC we know that interviews are an integral part of the job search. We want your job interviews to go well so you can land that dream job! Today we are going to discuss some different tips and methods for making your job interview a success. Continue reading below to find out what those are!

  1. The recruiter or hiring manager wants to hire you. Your resume was picked out of a stack of hundreds of other resumes and you were selected for the interview. This means they think of you as a serious candidate. Have confidence going into the interview and keep your spirits high, the hiring manager wants you to be the one so they can move forward with their job.
  2. Be confident. Confidence is key for an interview. The hiring manager wants to know that you gracefully carry yourself. Your body language is a good indicator of whether or not you are confident. Make sure you do not slouch when sitting and don’t lean to the side or back in the chair. Sit properly and maintain good posture!
  3. Instead of humble bragging, simply brag. Brag about yourself! Get straight to it in the interview. Be assertive when you are talking about your best qualities and sell yourself! An interview is a perfect place to toot your own horn. The hiring manager wants to know how you see yourself and what our best qualities are.
  4. Tell your story. Everyone loves a story and it will be easier for the hiring manager to remember you. Practice the story of your career and make sure it has a clear beginning, middle, and end. This will help so it doesn’t become confusing for the hiring manager to follow. If you tell your career story well, they will remember you and they will think of you in a positive light.
  5. Unleash your personality. While you want to remain professional during an interview, let loose a little bit! A hiring manager is most likely conducting a ton of interviews each day. They may get bored or tired because of mundaneness and repetition. By letting your personality shine through you are giving them a glimpse of who you truly are.

You are guaranteed to improve your interviews with these strategies! Click here to learn more about successful interviews and tricky questions!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

 

Meetings are usually an inevitable part of any job. They can happen in big conference rooms or they can happen over conference calls. There isn’t one specific way to hold a meeting, but there are many ways to dominate them.  Continue reading below to find out our 4 tips on being the best in meetings!

Be Respectful of Time: Tip number 1 is to always respect your colleagues and their time. Meetings aren’t everyone’s favorite and there’s definitely no time to be wasted! Thank your colleagues for taking time out of their schedule to meet and save the small talk for later.

Don’t Over Chat: Don’t talk to the point where no one else can get a word in, and also don’t let anybody do that either. If someone loves to talk and tries to dominate the conversation, just remind everyone that you need to stick to an agenda. Thank them for their comment, and move onto the next topic.

Minimize Distractions: It may be tempting to sit in a meeting and reply to your emails or scroll on social media, but these are all very distracting tasks. If possible, put technology away for the meeting. Paying attention to your colleagues is something that they will notice and appreciate. Try to keep the distractions to a minimum.

Prepare: If you have the meeting agenda, go over it before the meeting. Prepare yourself and any documents you may need to bring. Gather your thoughts and speaking points before so you know what you are walking into. This will help you feel more confident about going into the meeting and you will be very prepared.

These tips will help you feel better about meetings and dominate them! There are so many things you can do to make meetings successful and productive… check out some other ones here!

Looking for a job? Here are our open ones!

Missed our article about mentors? Read it here! 

As the summer is coming to a close and internships are winding down, we want to talk about questions you should be asking your mentor! Mentors are full of useful information, stories, and connections! Maybe you spent the whole summer avoiding asking them anything- but now is your last chance! Continue reading below for some great questions!

Stories: People love to tell stories. Stories can help you get to know someone and learn about their career! Your mentor probably has a lot of stories if they have been in their career for a long time!

  1. How did you land your current role?
  2. Did you envision this is where you would be?
  3. Can you tell me about a difficult boss? How did you handle it?
  4. What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable?
  5. Can you tell me about a setback and how you recovered?

Situations: Talking about real-life situations that have happened is a great way to learn. You can ask your mentor specific questions regarding the situations they have been through. Use this time to ask them about a situation you are going through, so they can help you navigate through it.

  1. I’m considering a career transition. What do you see as the pros and cons?
  2. What advice can you offer on how to progress in my career?
  3. How can I bring up difficult conversations with my boss?
  4. Who are the people in this organization I need to align with so I can achieve success?
  5. How do you successfully stay connected with key people who do not work in the same office or area?

Self-Awareness: Having self-awareness can help you improve your work performance. This can provide you with some insight into how others see you in the work place. Your mentor is a great person to talk about this topic with because they will tell you what you need to hear, but also give you advice on how to improve.

  1. Where do you see my strengths and what should I focus on to improve?
  2. How do you think others perceive me?
  3. How am I viewed by leadership?
  4. How could I have communicated my ideas more clearly?
  5. What do you see as some of my blind spots?

Skill-Building: Everyone has room to improve, even mentors! You mentor has most likely spent their whole career improving and mastering their skillsets. They are the perfect person to ask for specific examples and strategies to build your skills!

  1. How do you approach risktaking?
  2. What new skills do I need to move ahead?
  3. How can I become a more assertive negotiator?
  4. How can I become better at managing people who do not report to me?
  5. How can I enhance my public speaking skills?

Mentors can provide you with so many advantages. If you have a mentor, take advantage of it! Use this list of questions (and add in your own too!) to get as much information as you can. Soak it all up and take notes! The best way to learn is to learn through others.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Read our article here to learn why mentors are a must-have!

Are you ever stressed out at the lack of manners and etiquette that goes on in your office? Respect goes a long way in an office space, and it can be hard to know what the boundaries are. Find out below what our tips are for office etiquette and what you should/should not be doing in the office!

  1. Respect The Workspace: Respect that the whole office is not yours. A shared space means that you need to respect others and not get too comfortable. Don’t take your shoes off at your desk, clip your nails, floss your teeth, or spray perfume. The office is not your home, so use the restroom if you need to do something that seems a bit questionable.
  2. Be Mindful of What You Eat: Leftovers are a great lunch to pack for your work day! As long as those leftovers aren’t smelly fish. Like we just talked about, respect the space you are in. Don’t reheat last night’s fish for today’s lunch. Stinking up the office isn’t the best idea. Lunch can still be good though! Bring in something that isn’t super strong and smelly.
  3. Don’t Work While You Are Sick: Coming into work while you are sick as a dog can be alarming for your coworkers. No one wants to catch a sickness from using the same copier or phone as you. They don’t want to sit in the same place as someone who is coughing and sniffling. If you are sick enough to the point of making others worry, work from home. Your coworkers will appreciate you for that.
  4. Different Work Styles: Everyone has a different way that they like to work. Someone may love to blast some music to get their work done, while others might love the silence. Acknowledge and observe the way your coworkers like to do their work. If you can’t go without your music, close your office door or wear headphones. If you respect your coworkers, they will most likely do the same for you.
  5. Be Kind: Kindness is key! One person’s mood can affect the whole office. Make sure to always treat everyone around you with good manners, understanding, and consideration. Don’t pass judgment on your coworkers and be willing to help if someone needs it. Take and give constructive criticism and feedback without making it insulting. 

A positive work environment is so important to productivity and enjoying your job! Office etiquette and manners help contribute to a positive workplace. These tips should remind you to always be respectful at work and treat everyone with kindness.

Are you on a work team with coworkers? Read here about successful qualities your team should have!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

 

In any job, you are most likely working with or beside other people. Work teams are common in organizations and they help functions to run effectively. Continue reading below for some tips on how to be a better team player at work!

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Let Others Help You: Letting your coworkers help you with tasks opens the door for more communication. It takes some of the weight off of your shoulders and makes the task at hand way easier to accomplish. Your coworkers will see you as approachable and great to collaborate with.

Listen Well: This one is important when you are on a team. You need to be an active listener when your coworkers are speaking. This will make them feel heard and valuable. And they will probably return the favor when you are speaking too.

Lead With Good Intentions: You can accomplish this by leading authentically. Your team needs to be cohesive in order to collaborate, and your intention should be to achieve that cohesion. Utilize everyone on your team and engage with them. This will help strengthen everyone’s relationships on the team.

Share Your Gifts: Bring your A-game to the team. Use your best qualities and strengths to help your team advance and get your projects done. There may be tasks that take you minutes to complete, but for someone else, it might take the whole day. Your team will appreciate you for giving it your all and saving them the hassle of spending too much time on a task.

Volunteer to Do the Dirty Work: Team members will like you if you volunteer to do the hard tasks. This doesn’t mean you need to volunteer every time when a difficult task is presented, don’t let yourself get taken advantage of. With that being said, if you’re the only person who never takes on the dirty work, your teammates might start to build up some animosity towards you. Find a healthy balance and rotation.

Spread Positivity: Be the positive light in your group when things get hard. When a group is under pressure to get something done, tensions can get really high. Take off some of the pressure by keeping things light. If someone makes a mistake, don’t dwell and judge them, acknowledge it and move on.

Observe Others Work Styles: This is an important part of being a cohesive team. You might notice that your teammate hates emailing and prefers phone calls. Or that someone would rather have meetings in the morning than afternoons. Take notice of how your teammates work best, and be flexible towards them.

These are just a few ways you can be a great team player. Collaborating with your team will help your job run smoother and make for a better work experience. Be open to feedback from teammates, don’t gossip, and don’t judge. If you give your best work and the best attitude to your team, you will become a better team player.

Read here about successful qualities a team should have!

Searching for a new position? Read through our open jobs!

Last week, we discussed things you can do over the weekend to stay productive and be successful. This week, we are going to be talking about things you should be doing early in the work week to have success. It’s important to start your week on a good note, because it sets the tone for how productive you will be throughout the week.

  1. Meditate: Meditation helps you achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm stable state. It is an awesome way to relax before a busy week starts. It can help you arrange your thoughts and get organized in order for your week to go well. Meditation can be done by deep breathing, yoga, listening to music, etc. Any activity that is relaxing to you can be considered meditation. As long as it brings you down to a calm level, it will work.
  2. Eat Breakfast: As it’s said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Eat a healthy breakfast that is energizing. Try not to reach for the donut in the breakroom, but instead eat some fruit or oatmeal. Eating something that is going to fuel your day is important. It will help you focus in the morning and stay productive until lunchtime.
  3. Make a To-Do List: Make a to-do list as the week is starting. A list is a great place to have all your thoughts, tasks, and projects in one place. After you make your list, prioritize it. Prioritizing your list helps you so you can make sure you’re doing the most important tasks first and saving the other ones for later in the week.
  4. Isolate Yourself: After you’ve caught up with everyone in the office, isolating yourself to get your work done is something many successful people do. This can be as simple as shutting your office door for a few hours so no one stops by or not attending any Tuesday meetings so you can get ahead/catch up on your work for the week.
  5. Tackle the Biggest Priority: Starting with the small stuff may seem easier, but tackling the biggest priority first will be effective. You can get it out of the way by Tuesday and have the rest of the week to work on your smaller tasks. This will make for an easier, less stressful work week. This is a smart way to work and can help you feel less anxious about important projects or tasks that are on a strict time limit.

Using Monday and Tuesday to your advantage is so helpful in the long run. The course of the week goes by fast sometimes and deadlines come up sooner than you think. Use these tips to be the most successful and productive you can be at the beginning of the work week rather than an overload of work later in the week!

Searching for a new position? Read through our open jobs list!

Missed our article last week on productive weekends? Check it out here!

As the work week is coming to a close and the weekend is nearing, today we are going to talk about things that unproductive people do over their weekend. While you may just want to relax after a long week of work, it’s important to still be productive. Continue reading below to find out what unproductive people do and why you should avoid these behaviors!

Forget to Schedule/Use Their Planner: Just because it is the weekend doesn’t mean you should neglect a routine! You don’t need to have every single second planned out, but use your schedule so you have an idea of what your weekend will look like. In fact, even schedule in your downtime or when you plan on binge-watching your favorite shows.

Don’t Spend Time with Loved Ones: During the busy work week, it’s easy to ignore a phone call from your family or a friend. Make sure you are taking the time over the weekend to catch up with friends and family. Those relationships are important and help remind you that work isn’t everything.

Let Technology Take Over: While there is way more time over the weekend to catch up on your social media, make sure that’s not all you’re doing with your free time. Turn off your phone for a while and relax, and more importantly shut off your work email. Take the time that you would normally spend on your phone and read a book or go for a walk. Technology can be addicting and our mind needs a cleanse from it occasionally.

Sleeping Too Much: It’s nice to sleep in every once in awhile, but try to give yourself only one day over the weekend to do that. If you are sleeping for most of the time you will mess up your sleep cycle, which won’t be fun once Monday hits.

Stressed Out: If you are consistently feeling stressed out over the weekend, then you have too much on your plate! Don’t pack too many activities or projects into the two days you have off. Make sure that you still keep a schedule, but give yourself time to rest and unwind!

Too Comfortable with Time off: While we all need to rest and recharge, it’s important that we don’t just laze around the whole weekend. By Sunday night, you should start planning your upcoming week so you are prepared and can be productive!

These are all unproductive habits to avoid. Use your weekend to rest and feel refreshed, but don’t go overboard. Too much of sleep, relaxation, and downtime can make someone feel restless. Try to learn your limits and find ways that help you feel recharged and rested.

looking for a new job? Check out our open jobs list!

Feeling stressed out even after a restful weekend? Find out how to relieve stress here!

 

Interviews are sometimes a breeze, but do you ever leave an interview feeling like you messed up? A good interview can be a make or break it factor on whether or not you receive a job offer. Often times, interviewers/hiring managers ask tricky open-ended questions that require a creative response. Today, we are going to talk about some of those tricky interview questions so you can prepare your best.

  1. Can you tell me about yourself? This question seems pretty self-explanatory. Except it is often used for the interviewer/hiring manager to get a good idea of how you see yourself. When this question is asked, they are most likely looking for a strong response. Try to stray away from answering this question with details about your personal life. Use this question to talk about your past achievements or accolades. Focusing on work-related answers will give the interviewers a sense of what you are like in the workplace setting.
  2. Can you name three of your strengths and weaknesses? This question is asked so the interviewer can look for red flags. That shouldn’t stop you from being honest, though. Talk about your weaknesses, but also address ways that you are learning and improving on your weaknesses. This will show that your weaknesses are not a deal-breaker.
  3. Why do you want to work here? Do your research! Never go into an interview, or even apply for a job, without researching the company itself. Read up on their values, mission statements, company culture, etc. By researching, you will be able to effectively answer this question. Hiring managers want to know that you care about this job and that you did your research on the company.
  4. Why do you want to leave your current job? Hiring managers/interviewers are also using this question as an opportunity to look for red flags. You simply may be looking for another job because you don’t like the commute, the pay isn’t great, and you don’t like your boss, etc. These are not sufficient answers to this question. The best answer is to say something along the lines of- you want to be more challenged in your career,  find a position better fit for your skillset, or you’re really passionate about what their company does, so you were inclined to apply. Keep your answer lighthearted and be confident.
  5. What’s a difficult situation that you turned around? Use this question to talk about a time where you had to problem-solve. Don’t use this question as an opportunity to talk about your successes. Stay focused and discuss how you handled a stressful situation and what course of action you took. Hiring managers are looking to get an idea of how you problem solve under pressure and how you overcome professional challenges.
  6. Can you give us a reason someone may not like working with you? This question is designed to give the hiring manager an idea as to what your personality is like, especially when working with others. They want to know if you’re a team player. A bad response to this question would be saying that you can’t think of a reason anyone wouldn’t like working with you. We are all human and sometimes have friction with other people, especially in a workplace setting. They want to know why people have not liked working with you in the past. Tell them about a time that maybe you pushed your team to be more challenged in order to meet a deadline- this is the kind of answer they want to hear.

There are a lot of interview questions that can be tricky, these are just a few. Do your best to prepare for an interview by reading up on potential questions, don’t stress too much and just be yourself.

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Prepare for your interview questions by checking our article here!

Recommendation letters aren’t usually necessary when applying for a job, but it will sure help your chances of landing an interview or making a great impression. They provide another information outlet for the interviewer or hiring manager. It helps them see you, the candidate, through someone else’s eyes. Follow the tips below regarding recommendation letters!

Who To Ask

When reaching out to people in your network about writing you a recommendation letter, it’s important that you’re asking the right people. You will want to ask someone who is going to give you a strong endorsement and that you have/had a good working relationship with. This might be your former boss, a fellow colleague, vendors, business acquaintances, etc. Make sure it is someone that can attest to your abilities and that has worked with you or beside you. This person is going to be writing all about you including your strengths, qualifications, and why they think you would be a good employee.

How to Ask

Asking for a letter of recommendation can feel awkward to some people. Make sure you communicate clearly what you need and ask if they feel like they know you well enough to write the letter. That way, if someone wants to say no, they will be able to say they aren’t comfortable and it will be an easy out. Don’t put pressure on anyone or make them feel like they have to write you a recommendation letter. If they say yes, provide your updated resume and your qualifications so the writer has something to reference when they are writing your letter.

What to Include

In the recommendation letter, make sure you make it clear that you need certain criteria. The letter should have the following things: dates of employment, the position held, the company name, job responsibilities, qualifications, strengths and abilities, and contact information. The writer can add their own personal touch and discuss their own positive feedback as well. If you have those 7 things in the letter, you are ready to go.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

Just like following up interviews with a thank you note, the same goes for letters of recommendation. Extend a thank you note/email/phone call to the person who wrote you a recommendation letter. It shows that you appreciate them for their time and energy they put into the letter and it makes a big impression.

A letter of recommendation is a great way to vouch for your job knowledge, skills, and overall performance. It can give the hiring manager insight into who you are and how you work. Keep in mind that recommendation letters aren’t everything- the most important part of the job search process is to have a great resume and cover letter!

Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!

Are you worried that your cover letter isn’t up to par? Learn how to write a great one here!