Preparing References for Your Job Search

Having the right references can make or break your chances at employment. It is important to find references that are going to be able to tell perspective employers how you can make a positive impact with their company. With that in mind, here are four things to remember when it comes to picking and preparing references for your job search:

Put Together a List of At Least Six References

In today’s employment climate, it is recommended that you have at least six references. While not all may be called, it does give employers a better “sample size” of people they can talk to.

Make Sure All References Are Briefed and Willing To Endorse You

Just because somebody said that they would be your reference a year ago does not mean that they are going to be willing or ready for a call out of the blue from a potential employer. Talk to all of your references, brief them on the job and what you would like them to focus on, and let them know when they can expect a call.

Make Sure That You Have Current Contact Information

Make sure that you have the current information for your contacts. This means having the phone number where they are most likely to pick up, a professional looking e-mail address, and their most current address. Make sure that you double-check every piece of information before you hand it in.

All References Should Be Able To Talk About You on a Professional Level

You want to keep all of the slots on your reference list for those that know you on a professional level. Formers managers and other superiors are great, but so are those that worked beside you or even under you. If you have former co-workers who work in the field that you are looking to either continue in or break into, even better.

For more information on how to make the right choices with references, see page 18 of the AppleOne Navigating the Hiring Process book.


5 Ways To Recover From A Bad Job Interview

We’ve all had them: a bad job interview that leaves you filled with self-doubt. Every job searcher has been through an interview that leaves them shaking their head and second-guessing themselves as they drive home. The thing is, a bad job interview doesn’t have to leave you feeling bad; you can actually learn a lot from them. CAREEREALISM gives you “5 Ways To Recover From A Bad Job Interview” at

AppleOne Parent Company ACT•1 Group Takes Top Spot in Five of Eight ‘Top Business’ Categories


Torrance, CA– May 19, 2015 – AppleOne Employment Services announced today that its parent company, the ACT•1 Group, was recognized by as a Top Businesses for 2015. Led by Founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd, the ACT؍•1 Group ranked #1 in five of the eight categories:

  • Top 500 Women Owned Businesses in the U.S (Ranked #1)
  • Top 100 Diversity Owned Businesses in California (Ranked #1)
  • Top 100 Women Owned Businesses in California (Ranked #1)
  • Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in California (Ranked #1)
  • Top 50 Privately-held Businesses in California (Ranked #1)
  • Top 100 African American Owned Businesses in the U.S (Ranked #2)
  • Top 500 African American Owned Businesses in the U.S (Ranked #2)
  • Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the U.S (Ranked #5)

Over 1,300,000 U.S. businesses participated in the 15th annual “Top Business List” survey. Companies were selected and ranked based upon an extensive set of criteria which includes entrants ‘business profile’, website, and gross revenue.

According to, the ACT•1 Group “represents a growing class of innovators and visionaries that continue to go beyond expectations in producing products and services that transform the way we live.” ACT•1 Group’s contributions also have created an important cycle of reinvigorating our nation’s and global economic vitality. The ACT•1 Group was honored at the ‘15th Annual National Entrepreneurship Summit’ held at the Harvard Club of NY in NYC on April 30, 2015.


9 Job Search Tips for Soon-to-Be Grads Who Need a Job ASAP

Congratulations, new (or soon-to-be) college graduates! You worked hard for four (five, six, seven?) years and now you have your diploma and a lifetime of experiences. Your reward is to now venture out into the real world where you will get a job. The good news is that the job market is better than it has been in years. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you don’t want a little bit of advice when you jump into it. The Muse gives you “9 Job Search Tips for Soon-to-Be Grads Who Need a Job ASAP.” If you are looking to get a job quickly, this is the type of advice you need:

Three Tactical Approaches for Attracting Top Talent

shutterstock_240980851Unemployment is down another one percent this month. While this is good news for the economy as a whole, it does mean that great talent is in even higher demand than ever before. With the employment prospects continually growing brighter, companies need to truly shine to catch the eye of those gems – employees who can jump in feet first to make an immediate, positive impact and then develop into keepers. With that in mind, it is important that you put your best foot forward and make your company attractive to those that you are looking to hire. While there are many factors that determine whether or not a candidate accepts a job offer, these are the three that you might want to look at first:

Compensation Really Counts

When you are determining the salary to offer to a perspective employee it is important that you are competitive in your region. A tool like the 2015 SCALE guide will help you offer a salary that will be attractive to potential candidates. The guide doesn’t just give you the ‘High’, ‘Median’ and ‘Low’ on a specific position, but it will also give you regional variances on them as well.

Competitive, Creative Benefits Matter

In addition to a good salary, candidates – even the younger generation – are now more life-conscious. That is, they have read all about work-life balance, know what good healthcare coverage is (and isn’t), can be savvy investors/savers and can easily look up and compare their options. Vacation days, telecommuting, as well as medical, dental and 401k can be the make-or-break items that decide whether a strong, sought-after candidate goes with you or your competition. While you don’t need to necessarily give them everything they want, your benefits should be in line with other companies in your field (I get our company discount for wireless service, and it’s great!).

Don’t Sell the Role Short

Clarity in job ads is important, but that doesn’t mean your ad needs to sound generic or boring. With more ads, career posts and email job alerts jockeying for fewer available candidates’ attentions, you need to truly stand out to pull ahead. Job seekers are often advised to create an elevator speech – a personal, 30-second commercial that lets them effectively describe who they are and what they have to offer. If roles were reversed and you were to create a 30-second commercial that sells your company as great employer, what would you highlight? Sure, salary, benefits and ‘career mobility’ are usually on there. But in looking at what other companies now offer to entice talent, perks like flex schedules, ping-pong tables in the breakroom, a dog-friendly office, fitness programs, freebies, and so on are on the rise. Of course, once you’ve caught their eye, candidates want to get to the meat of what you are truly looking for. Use bullet points wherever possible and make sure that you clearly tell them about the job, its duties, and the skills that are needed.


Cheap Ways to Network

Networking is vital when you are on a job search. With that said, going to expensive networking events and get-togethers may not be in the cards when you are currently out of a job, or only working part time. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot, or any, money to network. CAREEREALISM gives you “9 Cheap Ways to Network in a New City” that can be used for anyone looking to get a leg up on their job search. You can read all about it at