ACT•1 Group Ranked Among 2016’s Largest Staffing Firms in the U.S.

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We are proud to announce that AppleOne parent company, ACT•1 Group, was recognized recently as one of the leading staffing firms in 2016 by Staffing Industry Analysts.  In fact, we were named the 16th largest staffing firm in the United States and are one of the largest privately-held firms.

This recognition demonstrates to the marketplace that the ACT•1 Group’s staffing affiliates (AppleOne, ACT•1 Personnel ServicesALL’S WELL Health Care StaffingAT-Tech Technical Staffing) are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to providing high quality staffing solutions throughout the United States.

To qualify for the list, which highlights 134 companies, a firm must have generated at least $100 million in U.S. staffing revenue in 2015. Altogether, the companies on this list generated $75.7 billion in revenue, making up nearly 57% of the market by SIA’s estimates.

In addition, so far this year, the ACT•1 Group was also recognized with the following SIA rankings:

  • #6 on the list of Largest US Office/Clerical Staffing Firms
  • #32 on the list of Largest US IT Staffing Firms

We would like to congratulate the entire ACT•1 Group family on this honor and thank them for their continuing hard work.

Four Insider Tips On How To Maintain Your Mentor Relationship

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When someone agrees to be your mentor, they are excited to use their experience and expertise to help you progress through your career. They believe in you and are willing to put in the time to help you succeed. Because you want to keep the mentor/mentee relationship as mutually beneficial as possible, it is important that you take steps to maintain your relationship. Here are four items that you should do to help keep the relationship fresh and running smoothly.

Align Your Goals with Your Mentor’s Abilities So You Know Where to Focus

Because of the limited time you’ll have with  your mentor each week/monthly, focus on how they can best help you. No mentor can meet all of your needs, so go back to why you wanted them as a mentor and how their knowledge and experience aligns with your goals. Create a plan for what you’re hoping to accomplish so you can shape the relationship towards those objectives.

Work with Your Mentor to Articulate Goals You Are Looking To Accomplish

Once you have your initial plan, schedule a meeting or phone call with your mentor to discuss what you’re hoping to accomplish. There should be a lot of give and take in this initial meeting. You’ve come with a plan, but you don’t know what you don’t know, and the reality is that no plan is set in stone. Every relationship will go in unexpected directions and that can be a good thing, so stay flexible and roll with it. Coming out of this meeting you will ideally have a set of long and short term goals and a rough timeframe for working on them.

Establish Norms

Most professionals have very full calendars, so in the same goals meeting, you need to establish how you can best communicate with your mentor and how they would prefer to work with you. Some may just want to meet in person once a month, while exchanging e-mails as needed, while others may want to have a 15 minute phone call on Saturday morning to talk about your progress. This schedule will also establish what their expectations are in terms of communication. Some mentors might want you to call or e-mail them whenever you have a question, while others may want to keep any questions until specific meeting times.

Show Your Appreciation

Most mentors will be working with you out of a genuine desire to be helpful. This means that one of the best ways to thank your mentor is to make sure they understand how and to what extent they are actually helping you. Share what you’ve learned. Share the impact they have had on your life. Share your wins. And, don’t forget the little things. A classic thank you card can do wonders, and so can a simple thank you at the end of each meeting. They may not be looking for praise and appreciation, but they will still like to hear it.

3 Things You Must Say To Someone You Want To Be Your Mentor

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People who have climbed the corporate ladder understand the value of having a mentor, and are usually willing to help young professionals gain the upper hand in their career. While most people are open to the idea of being a mentor, you want to ask them in the right way. Here are three important things to say to someone who you want to be your mentor.

“I’ve admired your career path, and it is something that I would like to emulate.”

Even if a potential mentor knows you well, it’s still important to let them know why you want their mentorship. When asking them, give reasons why you think they would make a great mentor, and what in their career path you want to emulate. This isn’t just important in terms of giving them a reason to accept your request, but it also lets them know what you are looking to get from them long-term. You don’t need to go into too much detail, but give them reasons to say yes.

“I am looking for advice and guidance, if I have a question is it ok if I reach out to you for a brief 10 minute conversation, at your convenience?”

It’s safe to assume that your potential mentor is very busy. Whether they are still working or retired, taking on a protégé means that they have to devote time to you and your questions. It’s not that they don’t want to do it; it’s a matter of whether they have the time. With this in mind, explain that you will look for advice at their convenience. Maybe that means a 10-minute phone call on a Friday morning, or a quick text or email. Let them know that you are working on their schedule and that you don’t expect them to drop everything to answer a question. Even if your potential mentor seems eager to help, remind them that this won’t take much of their time.

 “Thank you very much.”

It is important that your potential mentor knows how appreciative you are of their time. While they may like the idea of mentoring someone rising through the ranks, they are also investing their time, so reminding them that you appreciate what they are doing is important. Mentors aren’t looking for gifts or accolades; a simple “thank you” will do wonders.

Why You Need a Mentor (and how to find one)

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Everyone needs a little help climbing the career ladder, which is why having the right mentor so important. No matter where you are in your career, having someone to give you advice is always a welcome thing. A mentor won’t just help you weigh the pros and cons of big career moves, they can advise you on the little things that matter on your path.

Who Makes A Good Mentor?

You are looking to your mentor to help you become more successful, so it stands to reason that you should look for people who have already achieved success themselves. The mentor/protégé relationship is built on great communication, so your mentor should be somebody with whom you can communicate easily. Your mentor should be somebody who will listen to you so that they can fully hear and understand your goals and challenges so the advice they dispense is relevant. It can also help to find somebody with similar values, so think about what’s important to you and find people who have demonstrated that is important to them as well. Most important, your mentor must be somebody who wants to help. They will be investing time into your success, and so you need to find somebody who cares about you enough to make that investment.

Finding Mentors within Your Current Company

There are likely people at your own company that you admire and respect, and whether it’s a manager, a higher-up in another department, or even the company owner, they are typically happy to dispense advice. Even if you never gave them the tag of “mentor,” they may already be guiding you on your career path. The great thing about having a mentor at your office is that they work with you regularly, so they have experience with your strength and weaknesses. They also know the company and can give you actionable advice on how to move up the ladder. While they  may not be the right person to talk to if you are looking to make a move outside of the company, when it comes to getting the most out of your current job, they can be a great asset. It’s also worth noting that many companies have a formal mentorship program, meaning that they can set you up with a senior employee within the company who can help guide you.

When Looking Outside Of The Company, Consider Your Options

Social media sites like LinkedIn are great for finding mentors. If you have a connection in mind that you would like to talk to about your career path, all you have to do is send them a brief message asking for their input. While some may be too busy to become a full-time mentor, many will be happy to expand the conversation to e-mail or phone. Networking groups are also great places to find mentors, as are conferences and career seminars. Hiring Advisors from staffing companies like AppleOne can also be a great source of mentorship, as they are experts at guiding people on their career path on a daily basis. Remember, it’s fine to have multiple mentors, especially if they can give you different experiences to pull from.

Look for the next article in our series on how to approach a mentor and develop the relationship.

Declare Your Independence: Tips For Finding A New Job Without Setting Off Fireworks with Your Current Employer

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We hold these truths to be self-evident that all people deserve a rewarding and fulfilling job. If yours is starting to feel like a grind, it’s time to stand up and get the job you deserve. To ensure that you leave the fireworks for the 4th of July and don’t burn any bridges, here are four tips to help you keep things from detonating:

Keep Your Job Hunt Hush-Hush, Even to Your Work Friends (They’ll Understand)

Your work friends might mean well, but telling them about your new job search could backfire. Things have a tendency to get out in an office environment, and all it takes is a slip of the tongue for everyone from HR to the mailroom to know your intentions. While it might be hard, keep your search to yourself. Your friends will understand as there is a good chance that many of your work friends are dabbling in the idea of new finding a new job themselves.

Keep Your Job Search Separate from Your Current Job

Ignore the temptation to bring your job search with you to work. This means there should be no looking for a new job on a work computer. Do your searching at home on your personal computer. You have plenty of time to search for a new job without bringing it to work.

Keep Interviews Outside Of Your Normal Work Time, Or Aim for Your Lunch Hour

Hiring managers are used to interviewing employed candidates, and they will try work around your schedule, when needed. They may be able to interview you during your lunch period, or before or after normal work hours so you don’t need to call in sick or come in late. Just be upfront about your schedule and see what they are willing to accommodate.

When The Time Comes To Leave, Give Your Current Employer Plenty of Notice and Make Sure Things Are Set Up for Your Successor

One sure way to burn bridges with your current employer is to bail on them unannounced when you get a new job. Most companies understand that employees’ needs change, and that changing jobs is a part of business. What they don’t understand is someone not helping them properly transition. While two weeks is standard, give more time, if possible. Make sure that the company is in a good place when you leave. They may have you train your replacement, which you should tackle with gusto. If they do let you go the day you give notice, don’t take it personally. The best way to celebrate your own Independence is to go with the flow and let your soon-to-be ex-employers figure out the best way to transition.

What Your Dating Style Says About Your Professional Persona

Whether or not we admit it, we all have habits that follow us through our romantic endeavors. Some of us have a “type,” while others’ relationships always seem to fall apart for the same reasons. While these coupling patterns don’t always serve us in our search for “The One,” they can be surprisingly useful in our search for “The Job.” Which dater-turned-jobseeker are you?

The Serial Monogamist

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Who we’re talking about: We all know one. He falls in love every couple of months. His favorite line? “It’s different this time. This time it’s real.” You double-tap his “me & bae” pics on Instagram, but it’s always over after a few weeks. When it comes to his career, he moves around a lot.

Making this pattern work for you in your career: Job hopping can be a smart strategy, particularly when you’re starting out and can use it to ramp up skills and salary. Just be sure to commit for at least one year. Staying for two years is even better if you can make it. Go in with specific goals such as gaining experience in a particular industry or with a well-connected manager. Make sure each job gives you accomplishments you can use to prove your value, and references who will recommend you. Understand what you will have after one or two years with the company and how that will position you for your next step.

The Player

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Who we’re talking about: She’s the one you love to hate. Her phone is always going off, her lock screen filling up with texts from Sam, Jesse, Brad… You couldn’t count the number of heart-eyes emojis in her Contacts if you tried. She can’t hold onto a partner, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. She’s not looking for that kind of commitment.

Making this pattern work for you in your career:  Freelancing or temporary work is the perfect choice for somebody who likes to keep their options open and is willing to trade security for variety and flexibility. Develop core skills that are always in demand and can be used for short-term projects. Always be on the lookout for your next opportunity. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you will need to hustle to feed yourself, but you’ll never be bored.

The Perpetually Single

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Who we’re talking about: He’s holding out for The One, which means he’s letting a lot of great people who could be good matches pass him by. As time goes on, his list of requirements gets longer and his desirability gets lower. Hopefully he is able to find the one, but it’s a high-risk strategy.

Making this pattern work for you in your career: Everyone has a dream, but understand that there are no perfect jobs. You’ll have to make some compromises. If you recognize that you are passing opportunities by because they don’t seem exactly right, sit down and take a good hard look at what you expect. Then, figure out where and how much you can compromise. If you do want to hold out for the perfect job, find a “for-now” job that will help you earn a salary and develop skills. While using somebody like that would be cold in a romantic situation, it’s much more defensible when it comes to work. Just be sure to put in a good day’s work so your employer gets something in return for the money and experience they’re giving you.

The Happily-Ever-After

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Who we’re talking about: She got it right. She found “the one,” and even though you want to hate her and her longtime partner (how can they be so perfect together?!), you just can’t do it. Everyone wants what she has, but she never flaunts her happiness.

Making this pattern work for you in your career: If you find a great company and you want to stay with them for the long haul, you will need to continuously challenge yourself to grow and develop. Even the best job in the world can start to feel like a chore if you aren’t pushing yourself to develop new skills and to try new things. Work with your supervisor to develop a career path within the company, but be sure that through all of this you are able to hold onto the aspects of the job that make you love it.

 

Want to Get Your Resume Seen? Know How to Beat the ATS

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Because companies can get hundreds of applications for one job, roughly 75% of them have introduced an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to their screening process. An ATS searches resumes for keywords and information, meaning that it can quickly scan a resume for specifics, which can save hiring managers countless hours during the hiring process. If you have a resume full of highly attractive skills and experience, yet find that you aren’t hearing back from employers, it may be that your resume is not ATS-friendly. To ensure that hiring managers are actually seeing your resume, here are four tips for getting past an ATS’s electronic eyes:

Include Relevant Keywords throughout Your Resume

An ATS system will check to see if you have included keywords from the job ad throughout your resume. These keywords can include everything from required skills and experience, to the specific job title, and they should be included within the natural flow of the resume (and cover letter) in full and complete sentences. If you used a skill in multiple positions list the skill in all of those positions so the scanner can get an accurate years of experience with each skill. It’s also worth noting that modern ATS systems can tell when a keyword seems out of place, meaning that you should never just add keywords randomly to your resume. Even if you somehow slip through the ATS process, a hiring manager will eventually read your resume, and they will notice that your keywords are not in context.

Stick to Fonts the System Will Recognize

While there are new fonts being introduced all the time, you want to play it safe and stick to the classics when it comes to your resume. ATS systems best recognize fonts like Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and Verdana, all of which are traditionally used for resumes. Be aware that larger fonts can also confuse the system, meaning that you should stick to 10 or 12 point throughout.

Avoid Graphs, Tables, and Overly Fancy Designs

While you may think that adding a chart, graph, or table to your resume will add some clarity, most Applicant Tracking Systems are not good at reading them. In fact, they tend to read them as stray words or symbols, which can cause the system to automatically reject it. Stick with “standard” resume designs with simple formatting to ensure it is machine readable.

Don’t Get Fancy with Bullet Points or Abbreviations

Bullet points are common in resumes, as they help break up the text to highlight specific key skills and experiences. While you want to use them, you want to avoid using special characters or accents for bullets. The Applicant Training System may have problems reading a special character or accent, so stick to common bullet points that are offered to you on your word processing program. Avoid uncommon abbreviations, and if something is commonly abbreviated list both the full word and the abbreviation. For instance: Certified Public Accountant (CPA).