Let’s Take a Moment to Celebrate You

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December is a month of celebration, but it’s also a month for reflection. Take a moment to think back on your professional accomplishments over the year. We know, the year went by in a blur and it may feel like you didn’t accomplish anything, but dig deeper. Whether you exceeded your quota, delivered a key project or, for those between jobs, connected with a number of possible employers, you do have accomplishments and there are a number of great reasons to remind yourself of that.

It Keeps You Motivated

You’ve accomplished a lot this year, and taking stock of your specific achievements will help you stay hungry and motivated for the next 12 months. You may have been given challenging projects that took you out of your comfort zone, and while there were some bumps along the way, you need to celebrate the fact that you persevered and came out a stronger professional. By identifying what you’ve accomplished, you can look at the next set of challenges with the knowledge that you’ll conquer them and come out more focused and experienced in the end!

Zero-In On Your Strengths for Interviews or Annual Reviews

Whether your January will include job interviews or annual reviews, reflecting on your recent accomplishments will help you excel in these interactions. Managers want to hear specific instances of when you excelled, so being able to answer a question with a specific example carries a lot of weight. Your accomplishments will help you make a case for hiring or promotion.

It Reminds You that You Are Continuously Improving

Nobody is ever going to have a “perfect” year; but you can strive to always grow and improve. Progress can be hard to gauge while it is happening, and you may not realize just how far you’ve come until you take a moment to look back at where you started. When you feel stagnant, it’s important to focus on where you have improved. It’s amazing what a change in focus will do to your psyche moving into the next year.

Rock Your Job Search Like a Superstar

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Celebrities have learned that social media is the best way to advance their career, and while you may not be looking to land a role in the next blockbuster or keep your $50 million fashion line afloat, your favorite stars can teach you a lot about how to succeed in your own career goals. Here are three simple rules that will help you craft and utilize your social media footprint to land your next starring role:

Rule #1: Image Is Everything (And You Have the Power to Tailor It)

Examples: Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres                      

We all create versions of ourselves for social media, and celebrities (and their teams of assistants) have this down to a science. For example, Taylor Swift, shares posts that make her seem “approachable.” Her fans don’t just feel like they have a connection to her, they feel like she could be one of their friends. Ellen DeGeneres shares posts that are goofy, yet wholesome. This  matches the image that is presented on her show. You have the power to craft your own image on Social Media, and when it comes to getting a job, nothing will sell you more than looking both professional, yet approachable, meaning that you’ll get the work done, and fit in well with the office.

Rule #2: Looking Professional Will You Seem Professional

Example: Justin Timberlake

People judge you by how you look, and celebrities learned long ago that they can use that to turn themselves into whoever they need to be. Take Justin Timberlake for example. When he first burst on the scene with *N SYNC, his fashion sense left a certain “something” to be desired (a denim suit is never appropriate!). As his career matured and he went solo, JT updated his fashion sense, trading his old boy-band look for those of a fashionable crooner. Now, you can’t solely credit his suit and tie (sorry, had to) for his new image, but it definitely helped. Of course you’d wear a suit to an interview because you want to be seen as professional, but if the first time a potential employer sees you is on Instagram or LinkedIn, you need to craft a similarly professional image there, too. You don’t have to be formal all the time, but if you’re looking for a job, select profile photos and share pictures that will leave employers wanting to meet you.

Rule #3: Use Your Fan Base to Get Yourself Opportunities

Examples: Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen

In the music industry, your online fan base can be as important  as your record sales. In fact, some of today’s biggest artists got their big break because of their social media fan base. Both Justin Bieber and professional earworm Carly Rae Jepsen were signed to major labels because their posts got so many likes from their followers. Musicians, artists, and actors are now using their social media followers as a tool in advancing their careers. Unless you’re in PR, Social Media, or entertainment, you may not get a job due to the number of followers you have, but you can still use your own social media “fan base” to get career opportunities. Follow people at companies you’re targeting or tap your network for introductions and job advice. Share your professional achievements, and don’t be afraid to inquire about work. It used to be that you had to go out of your way to network. Now, thanks to social media, you can meet new people and share your skills in a matter of seconds.

Don’t Let Halloween Photos Come Back to Haunt You

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Halloween gives us a chance to try on alternate identities and let our inner wild-child out to play. It can be a lot of fun, but with the internet being the place where nothing ever dies, those photos can come back to haunt you in your job search. Even if you think it shouldn’t matter and you wouldn’t want to work for the kind of employer who would care, it’s always best to leave yourself as many options as possible. You can still have fun if you follow a few simple rules about how you share the fun via social media.

Give Some Thought to What You Post Publicly

While it’s okay to wear a funny or potentially controversial political Halloween costume, you should avoid posting pictures of it. Your future hiring manager may not share your sense of humor or political leanings, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to broadcasting your costume to the world.

Remember That Friends’ Pictures Can Haunt You Too

Sometimes the scariest photos can be the ones that you didn’t even know existed. While you may have done the smart thing and not post the photos from that crazy Halloween party you went to, it’s safe to assume that someone else did, and they may have tagged you in some of the pictures. Heck, you may not even be in a picture for it to be tagged. With this in mind, make a sweep of your social media platforms to make sure you aren’t attached to anything scary. If you aren’t able to manually untag yourself from a photo, contact the poster to have them do it for you.

Be Ghoulishly Aware Of Who Is Around You in a Group Picture

Maybe the most terrifying of all party photos when it comes to your future job prospects are those that involve a large group. As the saying goes “You will be judged by the company you keep,” and even if you don’t know the people who you are posing with in a photo, you’ll be lumped in with whatever they may be doing in the photo. Even if you are over 21, stay away from photos with people with alcohol, and always be aware of what is going on in the background of a picture. You may be thinking that you are taking an innocent photo with a couple of friends, but the background may make it seem otherwise.

The #1 Key To Ensuring Happiness in a New Job

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The joy you feel when offered a new job can quickly turn to dread when you have to spend another day at a workplace you can’t stand. It can happen to the best of us, but there is something you can do to avoid a bad match.

Most people realize that finding a company that is a good match to their preferred workstyle is important. Roughly 2/3 of all workers (and 80% of millennials) state that company culture is one of the biggest considerations they weigh before accepting a job offer. But, how can you really know if a company is fast paced and energetic or a place where you can feel comfortable working at your own pace? Review sites like Glassdoor can help, but they can’t possibly tell the whole story. You need to dig deeper.

Before You Start, Rank What Is Actually Important To You

Make a list of everything that you are looking for in terms of company culture, and then rank them from most important to least important. Finding a place that has flexible work schedules so that you can pick your children up from school may be very important to you, so much so that you may be able to live without extra vacation or work-from-home opportunities. Making this list will help you weigh different opportunities to see which one best matches your specific cultural needs.

Seek Out the Voices Of Current Employees

One of the best ways to get an idea of company culture is to seek out the voices of current employees who work at a company you are targeting. If you already identified connections to this company to help you when applying, they may also be able to give you a good idea of what the workplace is like or was like when they worked there. During your interview you can also ask for a tour or to meet a few people in the department. That can give you a good idea of things like dress code and you may even be able to get some cards to follow-up to see if you can drill deeper into what working there is like. As a final resort, you can also check for connections or reach out to current employees on LinkedIn.

Let The Company’s Online Presence Paint A Picture

One social post may not give you a clear view of a company’s culture, but looking at a company’s online presence as a whole will. This starts at the official company website, where you can gain valuable information from the “About Us” section, and expands towards social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Ask Questions During Your Initial Phone Screen Or Interview

Take advantage of opportunities to ask questions directly to hiring managers. Whether you are having an initial phone screening or an in person interview, have several pre-determined company culture questions ready to ask. Companies want to hire good cultural fits, so asking questions will show hiring managers that you are interested in making sure that you will thrive in your new job. Make sure the questions are job-specific, and that they reflect well on your drive and potential.

 

 

 

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.

President Appoints Janice Bryant Howroyd, ACT-1 Group CEO, to Key Administration Post

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TORRANCE, CA – May 9, 2016 – The White House announced President Barack Obama has appointed ACT-1 Group Founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd to serve on the Board of Advisors for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “As a product of an HBCU, I know the value to our society and economy from these institutions,” says Bryant Howroyd.  “The need and privilege of working to support the collective and expanded missions of these schools are tremendous. It is an honor to bring my professional and personal expertise to this appointment.”

The Board advises the President and the Secretary of Education on methods, programs, and strategies to strengthen these valued institutions, including making recommendations in reports to the President on how to increase the private sector role in strengthening HBCUs, with particular emphasis on planning, development, and the use of new technologies to ensure the long-term viability and enhancement of these institutions. “These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to their new roles and I am proud to have them serve in this Administration. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Obama said in a statement on Thursday.

About Janice Bryant Howroyd: Bryant Howroyd is the CEO of the ACT-1 Group. Founded by Bryant Howroyd in 1978, the ACT-1 Group is the largest privately-held, woman, and minority owned workforce management company in the U.S., and currently operates in 19 countries worldwide. The company provides flexible, comprehensive solutions under three distinct business verticals: Staffing via AppleOne, Workforce Solutions through Agile•1, and Business Services including background checks and screening through A-Check Global. Beyond her success in business, Bryant Howroyd carries a dedicated enthusiasm and passion for civic affairs and community development. She is an Ambassador of the Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy Initiativ, a Board Member of the Department of Labor’s Workforce Initiative Board, and a Member of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance Industries of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce. She has also served on the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Board of Directors for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

 

 

AppleOne Wins Inavero’s 2016 Best of Staffing® Award

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TORRANCE, CA – FEBRUARY 19, 2016 – AppleOne Employment Services, a global innovator committed to delivering “Hiring Made Human” results in staffing and career placement, announced today that they have won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award. Less than two percent of all staffing providers earn this recognition for service excellence. Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and talent. On average, those working with winning agencies are nearly three times more likely to be completely satisfied with the services provided compared to those working with non-winning agencies.

To learn more about AppleOne, please visit http://www.appleone.com.

About AppleOne

Nobody hires a resume. People hire people, and that’s why AppleOne developed its Hiring Made Human approach to staffing. Since 1964, AppleOne has connected the best people, their talents, skills, career goals, and aspirations with the best companies. By taking the time to truly understand the needs and goals of the talent and employers that partner with us, we come together as a team to help you achieve your full potential. With exclusive 5-year guarantees and services ranging from Direct Hire to Temp-to-Hire and Temporary staffing and 200 US and global locations, AppleOne specializes in staffing for Accounting and Finance, IT, Engineering, Healthcare, Legal, Administrative and Clerical, and Customer Service.

About Inavero

Inavero administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner.

About Inavero’s Best of Staffing

Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on BestofStaffing.com – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.