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  • 4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Next Job Fair

    03/23/15 10:10 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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    Dreading that job fair?

    We get it. A job fair is uncomfortable, stressful and a lot of hard work. But if you leverage it correctly, a career fair can help you broaden your network and may even lead to job interviews.

    So don’t dread that job fair; embrace it – and prepare to succeed. Before you attend your next job fair, use Exact Staff’s tips to make the most out of it:

    Create a strategy.

    • Research potential employers. Employers are most impressed with candidates who have clearly done their homework. Before the event, spend some time researching target companies, so you can speak intelligently about them at the job fair.
    • Set clear goals. What do you hope to achieve by attending the career fair? Set goals for yourself – whether it’s talking to an HR manager at a target company, learning more about a job function or landing an interview – and use them to guide your activity.
    • Work your way up. Determine which employers you will visit and prioritize them. Plan to approach your top prospects after you’ve had a chance to “warm up” – but before you’re completely drained.

    Assemble your arsenal.

    • Develop multiple versions of your resume. What kind of employers will be at the job fair? What types of positions are you interested in? Consider the scope of target companies and jobs, and develop a few versions of your resume to accommodate the range.
    • Gather supporting documents. Be ready for any situation – including an impromptu job interview – by bringing along: business cards (with links to your professional website and social media profiles); transcripts (for recent graduates); copies of your resume, cover letter, letters of recommendation, and references (provide these only upon request); and work samples, if applicable.
    • Pack a light snack and drink. Job fairs sap you mentally and physically. Bring a small, portable snack (skip the sugar and caffeine) to keep your energy and enthusiasm going.

    Force yourself outside of your comfort zone. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed “social butterfly,” a career fair can be an intimidating experience. To make the most of the event:

    • Expect discomfort. Realize that you’ll be approaching strangers and “in the hot seat.” Prepare yourself for the added stress.
    • Dive in. Once there, don’t just stand in the corner. Remember your goals, and force yourself to start conversations with target employers. To help, plan a few conversation starters so you make a great first impression:
      • “I saw on your company website that your organization recently (insert current company event/accomplishment)…”
      • “What types of positions are you finding the most challenging to fill these days?”
      • “What is your most essential requirement when hiring (insert type of position you want)?”

    Follow up. While at the career fair, gather business cards from hiring managers and ask for the best way to follow up with them. Make a list of promising job contacts and jot down next steps while they’re fresh in your mind. After the fair, send “thank you” notes to key contacts and apply online to relevant jobs.

    Find a job you love through Exact Staff.

    Trust Exact Staff to make your search simpler and more effective. Throughout California – and across the country – our staffing agency has opportunities at every employment level and in a wide variety of fields:

    • Search administrative jobs
    • Search accounting / financial jobs
    • Search legal jobs
    • Search medical/dental jobs
    • Search technical jobs
    • Search sales jobs
    • Search engineering jobs

If it Takes 10,000 Hours to Master a Topic, Where Do You Stand in Your Career?

03/20/15 10:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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10,000 hours?

That’s nearly five years of work!

Few of us have that much time to devote to mastering a new skill. Still, continuing to educate yourself is essential to advancing your career and staying relevant.

No matter what industry you’re in, technology is rapidly evolving. The rate of change is increasing. The value of old knowledge is decaying. So if you’re not continually building skills and re-educating yourself, you’re becoming obsolete.

On the flip side? Learning new job skills is one of the best ways to increase your pay, enhance your job security or even earn a promotion.

So take charge of your career and renew your commitment to educating yourself while on the job. Use these practical tips from Exact Staff to build your existing skills, learn new ones and continually educate yourself – without taking a five-year hiatus:

  • Choose the right skills to learn. Do some research within your industry to determine which skills are most valuable to employers – and which command the greatest pay increases. Focus your learning efforts in one of these areas.
  • Get over your learning anxiety. When you try something new, your incompetence and lack of knowledge may make you uncomfortable. Realize that this feeling is perfectly natural and push through it. After all, everybody has to start somewhere! With a little persistence, you’ll start seeing improvement and get past the initial anxiety.
  • Forget mastery. “Mastery” of a skill may take 10,000 hours, but proficiency is often enough to get you where you need to be. Instead of trying to become an expert, focus on becoming good enough at something to get the outcome you want – whether it’s a raise, a promotion or a job interview.
  • Find learning opportunities on the job. Share your desire for learning and growth with your employer. Ask for “stretch” projects, cross-training or a mentor to help you acquire new skills in your focus area.
  • Leverage the value of informal education. Participating in professional association events and attending industry conferences may be less structured than traditional classroom learning, but they can be just as effective in helping you learn. Create educational goals for yourself before attending an event and participate fully while you’re there to learn everything you can.

Another great way to learn new job skills?

Consider the value of temporary jobs with Exact Staff. If you’re interested in changing fields, temporary assignments enable you to learn new skills quickly (often faster than you would if you worked in a direct position).

When you meet with your recruiter, explain your learning goals and the specific skills you want to develop. Your recruiter can help you select assignments based on the learning opportunities they offer, allowing you to tackle fresh challenges, experience new work environments and acquire new skills with each assignment.

Search jobs in your area or contact an Exact Staff recruiter to get started.

Looking Towards Seasonal Hiring | Preparing for the Summer

03/17/15 2:15 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Summer is just around the corner.

And you know what that means…

  • Vacations. Kids are out of school and July is typically the peak month for family travel.
  • Unplanned absences. Mysterious, spontaneous employee “illnesses” increase during the summer months. (In other words, employees are likely to take impromptu “mental health” days.)
  • Surges in business. For some industries, it’s also the busiest time of year.

Time off is essential for keeping your employees motivated, focused and productive. At the same time, it’s critical for your business to operate seamlessly, despite employee absences and changes in workload

What’s the best way to prepare your business for the summer months? Create a sound seasonal staffing plan. Here’s why:

  • Unemployment has been on a steady decline, meaning that fewer qualified candidates are available for seasonal positions. To compound the situation, technical, skilled labor and creative skills gaps are making recruiting for these jobs even more difficult.
  • Recruiting, onboarding and training require substantial time and resources. Even if you find the people you need, you still have to process their paperwork, orient them properly and provide adequate training.
  • Seasonal hiring often leads to increased layoffs. If you hire direct staff, you may need to let them go once your peak season is over. Ultimately, this can negatively impact your unemployment insurance rates.
  • Overtime isn’t a panacea. If you try to meet seasonal needs by requiring more of your direct workers, it could backfire. Long hours can eventually lead to burnout, diminished productivity, increased absenteeism and, you guessed it, higher turnover.

Prepare your business now for a successful summer season, using these tips from Exact Staff:

  • Start planning now! Meet with your Exact Staff representative to analyze your upcoming business needs, vacation coverage requirements and other potential challenges the summer may bring. We can get to work immediately recruiting the best people for your needs – before other seasonal employers get the jump.
  • Notify your direct staff. Pave the way for success by making sure your own employees know exactly why and how you’ll be using supplemental employees (so core employees won’t feel threatened). Provide guidance on how your direct staff can welcome and support seasonal employees.
  • Provide the resources seasonal workers will need. Before they arrive, make sure workspaces, equipment, supplies and instructions are ready to go. Once seasonal employees have been properly oriented, clearly explain: to whom they report; how to get questions answered; what to do if they finish their work. Providing the resources and information they need up-front eliminates confusion and maximizes productivity.

Creating a seasonal staffing plan is smart business. It:

  • ensures adequate temporary support for your busiest time;
  • reduces or eliminates your need for layoffs;
  • alleviates turnover, burnout and productivity problems; and
  • frees you to focus on your top business priorities.

Prepare for a great summer – contact our California employment agency to create your seasonal staffing plan today.

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