You are a self-starter.
Employers aren't looking for a team member with a constant need to be directed in their daily tasks. Bring a sense of urgency to your daily workload and be the one to initiate your own progress. Try to think several steps ahead, and keep things moving along the pipeline without demanding any time or too much direction from your superior.

You can collaborate.
You know how the sayings go: "Teamwork makes the dream work." and "There's no 'I' in 'Team.'" Professionals might easily forget that their job does not stand alone. A close network of collaborators requires freedom of discussion, an openness to all ideas, and a hefty dose of humility. Egos need to be left at the door, and hiring managers will be on high alert for any hint of self-centeredness. 

You can manage your time.
With an increasing number of companies entertaining the possibility of a remote team (80% plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic), trust to manage your workload will be of the utmost importance. While hours in an office are automatically considered working hours, time spent working from home often lacks boundaries. Knowing how to separate personal life and professional life will be the key to success, and juggling projects without any in-person prompting from a manager will require strong work ethic.

You can adapt.
The speed at which technology moves these days, you have to start learning an updated program as soon as you've finished learned the previous version. It's changing nonstop, and the only way to keep up is to change with it. In addition to programs, change can also be expected within your role, based on your company's strategy moving forward. You acquire skills as your job evolves, and it's best to be open to new job titles that reflect your expanding skill set. 

You're organized.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but organizational skills apply to all areas of a career - if you're organized, you can multitask, you can be trusted with management responsibilities, and you're likely to be a reliable, punctual colleague. You also probably have a perfectly executed digital file organization system (cue the cry-laughing emoji face).

You're enjoyable to work with.
Bring a great attitude (or at the very least, leave all negative vibes at the door), and not only will you be a valued member of the team, but you might even inject some motivation into your workplace. Positivity breeds more positivity. Avoid getting defensive or remaining unengaged with your coworkers, and instead try to be friendly and curious. And let's be clear: we aren't suggesting you accommodate every request with a "yes," or that you hold your tongue when it comes to difficult feedback, but understanding the power of a pleasant response or constructive criticism can go a long way.

You are a clear communicator.
Straightforward communication is essential to a smoothly running workflow. Is something taking longer than anticipated? Say so. Unclear on the status of a project? Just ask. No need to hide your thoughts or hesitate to inquire about something for the sake of politeness or lack of responsibility. Plus, staying in close contact with your colleagues and management keeps you all on the same page.

Posted: 4/23/2021 11:12:54 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

March is Women's History Month, a time to acknowledge the impact women have made on society and the vital role they play in history. In the world of business, there are many outspoken women who have pushed boundaries, broken glass ceilings and had great success in their endeavors. With so many wise words spoken, these women are the ultimate resource from which to pull inspiration for the future of your career.

“No matter how good you are at self-evaluating, asking your peers for help and criticism is incredibly important. Setting up a good productivity-enabling support network around you will motivate you more than you could ever imagine, and constructive criticism along with self-awareness is the pathway to personal growth.” 
- Jessica Hische

It's not just about you. 
It's said that "no man is an island," and neither is a woman. Success can come without a supportive network, but it'll come a bit easier and be much more sustainable if you're surrounded by others who understand your path. 

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.-Estee Lauder

Take action. 
Wanting something is the first step. Doing something should be the step to immediately follow. Even small movements will approach an end goal with consistency, regularity, and ultimately, success. Don't spend more time than necessary planning and anticipating obstacles – get out of your own head so real life progress can actually be made. 

“You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”―Sheryl Sandberg

Don't be afraid to fail.
Smooth sailing may get you where you need to go, but real strength and perseverance is developed from wading through the weeds. Your navigation through conflict and obstacles directs your professional career path, and it's important to face these issues in order to grow.

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” ― Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo

No hesitation. 
Continue to push the envelope, stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing a challenge when one arises. When there is an ounce of uncertainty, you often find yourself recalibrating your default strategies and growing in the process.

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” ―Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx

Keep learning.
You don't have to know everything, be 100% qualified, or claim to have all the answers. Continue expanding your knowledge base, and never treat your skillset as a finite set of capabilities. The world continues to change, and your career needs change with it. Ignore the threat of the unknown, and rather than admitting defeat and settling in complacency, ask questions, learn more, and further your career development. 

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” - Maya Angelou

Embrace the metamorphosis.
Your professional path will take many twists and turns over the course of its life. You may have begun with one goal in mind, only to discover a different direction demanded pursuing. When looking at industry professionals and mentors, acknowledge that their careers were also far from perfect. Change is inevitable, and just because the final product is making it look easy doesn't mean they didn't experience a lot of difficulties along the way. How you begin isn't always how you end.

"Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don't just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles." -Tina Fey

Be proactive.
In life, and in jobs, there's respect in being the one who's not just the flag raiser. Pointing out problems is helpful, but proposing solutions demonstrates a dedication to the business and an ability to take action. Before directing attention to the issues at hand, prepare some ideas for resolution and your superiors will take notice. 

The most important thing one woman can do for another is expand her sense of actual possibilities. - Adrienne Rich

Open doors for each other
Historically, women have been limited in their presence in professional settings, and while the tide is turning, there is still much work to be done. The camaraderie among professional women needs to be that of support and allyship until true workplace equality exists. Opening doors to promotions and encouraging the professional growth of other women is a great way for career women to push forward.

Happy Women's History Month!

Posted: 3/11/2021 9:48:05 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

Along with the pandemic came a huge shift in the job industry, forcing many companies to make cuts and reevaluate their needs to survive the year ahead. Most noticeably, the hospitality industry lost millions in revenue and suffered a 23% drop in employment, but the massive dip in economic spending affected businesses in every sector. The tech industry lost thousands of jobs as well. 

The lockdowns, social distancing, and overall decrease of in-person interactions has forced us all to come to terms with the truth: life is getting more and more digital. With that in mind, there may be good news: according to a survey by industry association CompTIA, even as the US as a whole lost 140,000 jobs in December 2020, the tech industry showed a growth of 391,000 positions, about 44% of which were IT staff, software developers, and IT project managers. (link) Seeing a strong increase in remote working and digital communication can only mean one thing: IT and tech jobs will see stronger growth than almost any other industry in 2021. 

So what tech industry jobs will be in high demand this year?

Software Developer

Ranked #2 in U.S. News Best 100 Jobs for 2021, a software developer will have their pick from an estimated 316,000 new positions this year. Whether it's creating an app to program your home, fixing bugs in existing software, or perfecting the operating systems of the future, their analytical thinking and problem solving skills will be in high demand.

Information Security Analyst

With digital information needs on the rise, cybersecurity becomes more of a concern. Information Security Analysts establish effective protection systems for company networks and sensitive user data.

Data Scientist

Companies are collecting vast amounts of information every day, utilizing data to shape their product offerings, goals, and businesses. A data scientist is critical in gathering, refining, and analyzing this information to determine actionable insights with which decisions can be made. 

Web Developer

It's no surprise that global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $5 trillion in 2021, and with brands forced to adapt to a shift in shopping and browsing habits, companies will be scrambling to polish up their digital presence. Enter: the web developer. Responsible for building and maintaining websites, and as part of a rich network of creative tech freelancers, web developers will be called on by all sorts of companies to improve their digital presence, from small businesses lacking the infrastructure to sell online, to larger brands that need to reach new customers. 

Posted: 1/27/2021 4:45:30 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

For most people, the resume is the gate-opener to a new position. Hiring managers filter through piles of applicants, selecting resumes with key terms and applicants with certain credentials. Most often, a gap on a resume is an obvious indicator of job loss, but if the time period is longer than a couple months, it can raise more of a red flag to a potential employer. 

In a normal year, a gap on a resume demands some sort of explanation that suggests an investment in personal or professional growth, or a dedication to a job search (a full time job in itself, right?). But what about the year of Absolute Unpredictability and Unforeseen Circumstances? 
Our answer: employers will be more forgiving, but you'll still need some reasonable explanations. We have some ideas on how best to deal with it.

1) Address it in a cover letter.

Don't focus too much on the minutia of the situation, but a quick acknowledgement of a gap can leave an impression of transparency and honesty, qualities both highly valued in an employee. Layed off due to COVID-19? The timing alone will likely indicate the reason your employment ended, but you can provide a simple mention so a hiring manager clearly understands. "Company downsized," or "position was eliminated" are great phrases to explain that your job loss was unrelated to your performance.

2) Put an end date on your employment.

You might think leaving a "-to present" as an end date for the latest position on your resume is the easiest way to avoid addressing a resume gap, but as they say, "(dis)honesty is (not) the best policy" (They say that, right?). References, googling, etc might reveal your untruth and leave you in a less than favorable light with an employer. 

3) Be honest.

If your children now require homeschooling, say so. If you were caring for a sick relative, say so. If you were navigating an overloaded job search market, while balancing child care, home schooling, COVID testing, grocery shopping, all while being masked and without hardly leaving your home ever? ... Still say so, but maybe in a somewhat condensed version. 

Employers understand the merging of personal and professional selves in today's climate and are much more interested in hearing that you've been volunteering to sew masks or drop off food for front line workers, or mastering 4th grade math with your daughter than trying to believe you've only been applying for jobs 8 hours a day for the last two months.

You can be playful with how you mention this on a resume, giving yourself an important title and indicating actual professional skills that apply. Say something like "Homeschool Teacher. Managed educational projects and food intake for small internal team of two. Collaborated with educators, analyzed results and strategized on future endeavors." Find a way to see the applications for professional growth in this phase, even if seems very distant from your career.

4) Say SOMEthing about professional development.

Even if you're balancing the world on your shoulders during this pandemic, attend a handful of free webinars so you can claim to be working on your career in some capacity. Taking an online course even one hour a week allows you to say you haven't been neglecting your professional self (and also, allows you to actually not neglect your professional self). 

Spending some time reframing your time away from a job can be a challenge, but investing some thought into its relevance in your professional life can be beneficial for your future. Including an explanation of a gap on your resume is a valuable action to take when applying for a new job. Trust us, employers are understanding during this time. 

Posted: 1/4/2021 9:18:41 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

Aaaah, the virtual interview. In the past? An honor held for cross-country hires and early round interviews. Currently? The norm.

Job seekers are brushing up on their onscreen conversational skills and perfecting their Zoom smiles, but hiring managers should also prepare to utilize this potentially unfamiliar format. For employers, it can be difficult to recalibrate your in-person evaluation skills for a socially distant format, sans handshakes and body language.

Virtual Interview Tips for Attracting and Identifying Top Candidates

With increased efforts to keep workplaces safe and healthy, it doesn't look like in-person interviews will be returning anytime soon. Polish up your interrogat– erm, interview skills, and prepare to shift your thinking a bit to adjust to this increasingly common platform.

Your Appearance Matters Too

The focus is usually on candidates professional appearance and chosen background, but don't forget: you're trying to sell them on your company at the same time! Without the ability to walk around and see your workplace, there's an incentive to differentiate yourself from the handful of other white-walled interviews your favorite candidate may have lined up. Choose a location with decent lighting and don't be afraid to stray from a blank wall.

Test Your Tech

Make sure your platform is working properly and camera and video quality is decent. Even if you've used them recently, be sure all connections are solid as unexpected problems can arise without notice. Also, have the candidate's contact information handy in case of a delay or a break in your meeting.

Lighten the Mood

Many people find a video chat to be more awkward than an in-person meeting. Staring at a screen isn't always the easiest way to warm up to someone, so do you both a favor and try to get your interviewee to loosen up a bit. Whether it's asking about their weekend or talking about your own day a little bit, some small talk will get things on a more comfortable path.

Convey Your Company Culture

Without an in-office visit, a candidate has no way of knowing what it's like to work with you, or who they'll be working with. A great way to convey this via vide chat is to either have a member of your team jump on the call or arrange a separate one. You can also make a point to describe how a typical workday goes, what your team is like, or if you're in your office (socially-distanced, of course) and on a laptop, take them on a tour.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Limiting your view of a candidate to a screen can help highlight revealing mannerisms. If the candidate isn't maintaining eye contact or is shifting in their seat, they may be nervous. Good posture indicates self confidence and leaning into the camera means they are engaged in the conversation. Body language will inform your overall impression of a candidate, so be alert.

The virtual interview will likely be an important skill for your toolbox in the future. Make sure your company stays ahead of the game and masters the skills needed to identify and attract top candidates with these tips for a great virtual interview.

Posted: 10/28/2020 1:12:35 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments