How to Write a Great LinkedIn Elevator Pitch!

February 21st, 2014

Job seekers everywhere are tapping into the power of LinkedIn, the leading social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn provides a great way to connect with colleagues, peers, and recruiters in any industry niche. So, whether you are in the middle of trying to find a new job, make a career change, or just learn more about a new career path – having well-written LinkedIn communications are paramount to success.

Outside of creating a professional image for yourself in LinkedIn, a way to reach out to potential hiring companies is to develop an elevator pitch. This is a quick written, audio or video pitch that tells others in 30-seconds or less the value you bring to the table as a candidate. Here’s how to get started:

#1 – Identify your niche career market.

It has been that the only way to be successful in business is too narrow your vision down to a specific niche. The same is true when it is about your career. To be successful in developing your elevator pitch, start by creating something unique that nobody else can claim as their own. To do this, identify what your niche career market is. It will be this standpoint from which you will present yourself.

#2 – Highlight your top 3 skills that are in demand.

Now it’s time to position yourself from a strong sales point. To do this, you’ll want to take an inventory of the top 3 skills that you have learned, and that are in high demand in your industry. These are the skills that will sell you to potential employers. Use them as a pivotal selling perspective when talking with recruiters and during interviews.

#3 – Introduce yourself and your passions.

Recruiters often notice the candidates who are strongly passionate about their careers and in working hard. Use your LinkedIn elevator pitch to demonstrate this. After you introduce yourself by name, you will then bring up why you are interested in working in the industry. Share how passionate you are about making the industry better.

#4 – Create excitement about your brand.

Every job seeker needs a brand, and a LinkedIn elevator pitch can make yours shine. Consider what you know, what you are good at, and what you want to be known for. This is your brand. Get recruiters excited about possibly getting you as a candidate by boldly putting your brand out there.

#5 – Add a call to action at the end.

The best LinkedIn elevator pitch will include a direct and specific call to action at the very end. First, repeat your name and your brand. Then ask the recruiter to call you to interview in person so they can see why you are the best person for the job. This approach motivates hiring managers to take action in your favor.

Put your elevator pitch all together in either written format or create a video to introduce yourself in a professional way. Add this file to your LinkedIn profile, in the Summary section as a link.

Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few popular posts from Venteon! Learn more about jobs in Michigan by contacting us today.

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Common Accounting Mistakes You May be Making in Your Business

February 13th, 2014

Business bookkeeping is one of the more tedious and frustrating aspects of running a successful organization. From accounts receivables and payables, to payroll management and business taxes, any company can make mistakes from time to time. However, these mistakes can be costly and disruptive to your business, particularly if the Internal Revenue Service decides to come knocking on your door to conduct an audit. No business needs to experience that hassle.

Here are some of the common accounting mistakes that businesses make you will want to avoid at all costs.

Trying to handle all your business accounting in-house

While some accounting administration can and should take place on property, it is never a good idea to hire a part time bookkeeper to be your sole accounting person. A certified business accountant is a better option. This is someone who has been trained to manage the tax and accounting needs of a business.

Neglecting to track reimbursable business expenses

If you think saving receipts is enough, you are wrong. There are many “invisible” expenses that a business needs to be tracking year-round. These can be things like office space and utilities, marketing expenses, client entertainment, office supplies, travel, and training costs that are reimbursable.

Improperly classifying employees and contractors

A big accounting mistake that many business make is thinking they can get out of paying employment taxes by classifying their employees as exempt, when should be paying taxes. Likewise, with more businesses outsourcing tasks, it can be tempting to classify remote employees as independent contractors.

Not having a backup for the accounting system

Relying on a single accounting system for managing business payments, taxes and payroll is a mistake too. What happens if your computer server crashes, taking all your data with it? Or worse yet, if there is a disaster and all your physical business records are destroyed? Have a backup accounting system that’s protected from these events, which are all too common.

Borrowing money from the employee withholding accounts

It can be very tempting to borrow money from the trust fund that’s been established for employee withholding requirements, such as Social Security tax, employee benefit premiums, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Just because you think it’s “your” money, remember that this is a major no-no that can cost in stiff penalties.

Not using a tax diary or inaccurately recording transactions  

As a responsible business owner, one mistake to avoid is choosing to not use a tax diary or recoding accounting transactions in error. You will need a clear record to show to the IRS if you are audited – something that’s on the increase in the USA. Invest in a tax diary and update it regularly.

You can avoid some of the above accounting mistakes by hiring a qualified accounting professional to manage your books. Venteon is a leading accounting staffing firm located in Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. Get in touch with us today!

How to Increase Engineering Diversity Hiring to Boost Productivity and Growth

February 7th, 2014

Increasing diversity at a company should not be a difficult thing to accomplish, especially if the company puts policies into place that help meet this goal. The ability to increase engineering diversity hiring at companies is not always easy because it is very difficult to find qualified talent. This is prevalent in the engineering field. Diversifying the engineering field to include more women and minorities, other cultures and international talent can be challenging for some firms. There are methods firms can put into place in order to expand their employee ranks when it comes to diverse workers.

Demonstrate How Great Your Firm is to Work For

One of the key aspects of increasing engineering diversity hiring at your firm is to prove how great the firm is to work for, no matter the type of employees you wish to hire. Women tend to be hesitant when switching companies because they might have gotten burned in the past. If you can prove to potential employees, including women, why your firm is right for them, you should be able to increase the diversity within your employee ranks.

Speak with Graduate Students in your Region

If your firm is looking to increase diversity each year, you could speak with graduate students at schools in your region. Find out what their interests are, what they plan to do after school, and what they know about the industry. By meeting with various graduate students in the area, you could come across a female or international student who could succeed at your firm. The only way to diversify an engineering firm is to be proactive.

Change the Screening Process

Your firm can change its candidate screening process to find qualified diverse employees. You can send technical worksheets to candidates who do not hold the obvious skills or requirements needed for the position to see if they can succeed before writing them off for the job.

Let the candidate work a full day at the firm with other engineers so they can see what they would be doing on a daily basis. You can have the engineers the candidate works with report back to you about their work ethic and understanding of the material.

The final, and most important point in this section is that the interviewers should be diverse. If you use a committee of employees to interview candidates, make sure it is diverse. It should include a whole host of employees who speak to the diversity of your firm.

Ask Candidates Questions about the Process

When you are working to onboard a candidate, make sure you ask him or her about the various steps. Find out what interested them the most about the company, what he or she liked or disliked about the process, and what stood out about the job. Ask them if there is something the firm is doing that would not attract diverse employees.

We hope you enjoyed this post and share it with your networks! Also, we look forward to your comments and feedback!  Learn more about engineering jobs in Troy Michigan and hiring for a more diverse team by contacting us today.

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The Cost of an Employee in Michigan – Updates for 2014 Recruiting

January 27th, 2014

If you are an employer in and around the Michigan area, you may be wondering what the going rate is for employees in this area currently? With unemployment rates remaining well above pre-recession rates, at 8.4 percent as of the end of 2013, it’s still an employer market. However, some skill sets are getting harder to recruit for in the Michigan job market, mostly due to above average growth in several industry sectors, including transportation, information technology, health care, and finance and retail trades.

Michigan’s Labor Market Looks Promising for 2014 

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan added 64,000 jobs in 2013, nearly twice of the previous year. This means that the cost per hire is expected to rise as employees in certain industries become more difficult to source and recruit. To help you get on track with your recruitment efforts in the coming year, here is a rundown of what the US Department of Labor states is a good salary range for new hires.

Costs of Hiring in Michigan – An Overview

In September 2013, the DOL advised that, “Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that hourly employer costs for employee compensation [was] $28.02 in the Midwest”. This is an average cost per hour of employee for all private sectors in the entire Midwestern USA, including Michigan. Keep in mind that these costs not only include the hourly salary for employees, but also their required benefits which can include Social Security and Medicare tax, workers’ compensation claims, and unemployment insurance coverage. Naturally, paid leave and time off, overtime payment, as well as mandatory health care insurance under Obamacare are factored into these figures.

High Demand Skills in Michigan

In Michigan, there are several careers that have a high demand for workers, meaning their hourly rates are higher than other job types. These can include Engineering and Manufacturing careers in Michigan, which are currently paying $18-36 per hour plus benefits. Accounting and Finance jobs particularly in health care and manufacturing industries are paying between $18-35 per hour, depending on experience level. Information Technology professionals are in very high demand in Michigan, with jobs offered at $40-60 per hour on average.

Controlling the Costs of Hiring in Michigan

One way to reduce these costs is to work closely with a staffing agency in Michigan who can attain highly qualified candidates in any market at current industry rates. Staffing agencies also take care of many of the costly aspects of recruitment, such as pre-screening and onboarding new hires, as well as benefit administration. This gives you more room in your HR budget for other Michigan business building initiatives.

Top 5 Excel Keyboard Short Cuts | Financial Careers Michigan

January 22nd, 2014

For the busy accounting and finance professional, working smarter not harder is often the way to success. That’s why technology and software make it simple to stay on top of financial matters. One of the most often turned to software products for the accounting pro is Microsoft Excel, which has long been regarded as a helpful way to save time and organize tasks.

However, if you’ve ever been in the middle of working on a large and complex spreadsheet in Excel, there are times when you wish you could find some shortcuts other than wearing out your poor mouse. The good news is that there are some tricks to Excel which includes some easy to use Excel keyboard short cuts. Once you learn these, you’ll be whizzing through your accounting tasks with ease!

Here’s the top 5 Excel keyboard short cuts for you to remember.

CTRL+A                       Selects the Entire Excel Worksheet

Once you have a worksheet and you want to either copy and paste it somewhere else, or you want to duplicate your data, you don’t have to hover over fields and drag your pointer all the way down the sheet to do this. You even don’t have to select the top left cell and do a right-click to copy all of the contents. Instead, you just hit the ‘CTRL’ key and the ‘A’ key on your computer keyboard three times and at the same time and your entire worksheet will be highlighted.

CTRL + SHIFT              Enters the Current Time Stamp

Have you ever wanted to timestamp a section of your spreadsheet, but you didn’t know how? Well, now you have the right Excel keyboard short cut to do this. Simply hold down your ‘CTRL’ and your ‘SHIFT’ key together and you’ll see the current time pop into whatever cell your mouse pointer is in. This can be helpful when more than one person is sharing a group spreadsheet, or you need to time stamp a task for payroll purposes.

CTRL + SHIFT + $        Applies the Currency Symbol with 2 Decimal Places

When you are working with financials, it can become annoying trying to go into the formatting menu of Excel to change a field to the correct currency, display the dollar sign and add the standard number of decimal points. Instead of getting flustered, use this handy Excel short cut key to get your numbers lined up the way they are supposed to look in the spreadsheet. You’ll be able to add your financial data down to every penny.

CTRL + H                     Gives You the Find and Replace All Option

Spreadsheets in Excel can be difficult to use when you need to find and replace multiple data cells in, unless you know this little trick. By clicking on ‘CTRL’ and your ‘H’ keys, the command box that allows you to find and replace any type of data, words, or cells with new characters pops up on your screen. So if you wanted to replace all the incidents of a misspelled name, with the correct spelling throughout the entire Excel form, you can do this using this easy short cut.

CTRL + P                     Print Your Excel Spreadsheet

Ready to print out your completed Excel spreadsheet or report and you find yourself short on time? No problem! Just use your keyboard and hold down the ‘CTRL’ key along with your ‘P’ key and the printer dialogue box will automatically enable you to choose how you’d like to print it out. Use this whenever you need to print a spreadsheet, and you also have the option to save it in other formats, or preview it to make sure it looks right before sending it to your office printer.

For more Microsoft Excel short cuts click  here!

Want to learn more? Explore important recruitment and employment topics by reading a few popular posts from Venteon! Share your best Excel tips below and please feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, for financial industry news, finance and accounting job leads and featured updates about the Michigan job market!

 

Candidates In The Spotlight – Engineering, Troy, MI

January 21st, 2014

Entry Level Mechanical Engineer

  • BSME from Michigan State 3.27 GPA
  • Works for family business doing restorations to Mustangs, everything from minor repair to full restorations. Strong knowledge of automotive components.
  • MATLAB, Labview, AutoCAD experience in education
  • Looking for an entry level opportunity to put education and experience to use
  • Motivated and hands on

Catia Designer

  • 4+ years of Catia V5 design
  • Extensive packaging experience including tolerance stacks and strong GD&T skills
  • Processes: castings, forgings, stampings, CNC, extrusions and injected plastic
  • Experience working with suppliers/customer on feasibility, cost and reviews

Lab Manager

  • Environmental testing of both electronic and mechanical components.
  • Calibration of testing equipment. I.E. Strain Gauges, Pressure Transducers, Load Cell.
  • Collect, analyze and report data to our team via Data Collection Status Reports.
  • Launch support of vehicles containing our safety systems (plant support).
  • Work closely with our suppliers in the Design Verification & Product Validation of Occupant Classification System.
  • Research and development of new technologies, defining their function, specifications and future test plans.
  • Environmental, Vibration, and Physical Testing of components.
  • Trouble shooting and repair of both manual and automated production lines by use of blueprints and schematics.

CMM Programmer

  • Twelve years’ experience as CMM programmer
  • Experienced with stamping, welding, and sheet metal
  • Brown & Sharp Certification
  • Responsible for programming and operating Faro Arm, Brown and Sharp, Beta, and Taurus CMMs with PC-DMIS software
  • Training in the fundamentals of GD&T (Effective Training Certification)
  • Handle gage calibration per ISO standards

Senior Product Development Engineer SDRCIdeas – Interior Trim  

  • Responsible for the ‘11MY VW411 New Model Sedan interior trim (soft and hard), ‘12MY Nissan Armada/Frontier and the following production and mid-year refresh. ‘10MY Nissan Mexico Car platforms; Altima, Maxima, Sentra, Versa trim components.  Working knowledge of the Nissan G2B/Team Center Passion system, Data Notes, NDS/NES testing requirements.
  • Development of fit and finish sections and joint checks with manufacturing and
  • suppliers.  Interaction with VW GoB, Nissan Motors, Nissan Mexicana, M-TEK Manufacturing and various tier 2 suppliers
  • Investigate program warranty concerns and propose corrective actions
  • Create, propose and negotiating design specifications, changes, costs and timing
  • Investigation of new suppliers, technology and products.  Benchmark competitive products,
  • vehicle tear down activities for VA/VE opportunities.  Preparation of DVP&R, APQP and DFMEA documents
  • Understanding of testing specifications and methods for VW, Nissan and Japanese Industry Standards

Quality Engineer

  • B. S.  in Mechanical Engineering
  • Over Twenty years of diversified background in quality control
  • Certificate of Internal Auditor ISO/TS16949:2002
  • Six Sigma Black Belt
  • ISO9001:2000, TS16949, Internal Quality System Auditing
  • FMEA ,DFMEA , PFMEA, DVP&R and GD&T

 

5 Android Apps for Engineers

January 17th, 2014

Smartphone and mobile device applications have become the backbone of the mobile industry in just a couple of years. They keep people connected to family, friends, work and colleagues. There are millions of mobile applications available for free or for a fee in thousands of categories. Android has become one of the top smartphone platforms and there are plenty of applications available for engineers. In this post we discuss the top five out there right now.

Heat Transfer Calculator

This application has become very popular within the engineering community because of its features. The Heat Transfer Calculator provides engineers with the ability to analyze heat transfer rates. This application has a convection and conduction calculator that analyzes and outputs the temperature.

Fluid Mechanics Converter

This application is a conversion calculator that translates different units of measure that are related to fluid mechanics. The application has the following features: flow rate converter for mass, a fluid converter, a flow rate converter for volume, a kinematic viscosity converter, a viscosity (dynamic) converter and a viscosity (oil and water) converter.

CAD View 3D MFC

This application is a file viewer with 3-D capabilities for those who use CAD. The application can support STL, DXF, and JT, all of which are popular 3-D CAD formats. The app allows engineers to take all of their 3-D files with them and view them on an Android phone or Android tablet no matter where they are. Users can even edit their files inside the app if they so choose by using their finger.

Engineering Unit Converter

In this app, engineers are able to choose a category. The categories include electric charge, length, entropy, energy and many more. The users can change the category by using the swap button or by going into the yellow field and hitting sort units. All available units within the application appear in two spinning wheels.

Autodesk ForceEffect Motion

This is quite possibly one of the most interesting and exciting applications on Android for engineers. This application allows engineers to design and develop functioning movable systems on their mobile phones or tablets. The application will even perform all of the engineering and simulation calculations. This means that the engineers will be able to simulate all of the design options right on their mobile devices. This even includes everything from the concept phase to being able to see the design.

If you are an engineer, or an engineering student, it might be helpful for your career or for your education to download one or two of these applications onto your Android phone or tablet. They can help you study for tests, design objects, or even make calculations while performing work in a lab or out in the world.

If you are looking for engineering employment in Troy, contact our team today.

NOTE: Venteon does not endorse nor do they receive any benefits from the above products or their developers. This article is for information purposes only.

Top Tech Skills Employers Want in 2014 | Venteon IT Careers

January 10th, 2014

There’s good news on the horizon for thousands of Information Technology (IT) professionals who are seeking employment in 2014. In fact, experts believe that there will be an above average demand for IT candidates who have the right skills and experience.

TechServe Alliance, an industry association of Engineering and Information Technology staffing solutions and firms, reported in their December 2013 Employment Indices report that IT hiring has increased by 3,200 jobs in November (over the previous month), 3,100 in October, and 6,100 new IT jobs in just September 2013 alone. While this could begin to slow down somewhat, companies are focused on new product development and improvements in 2014 that could spur increased hiring in IT.

What are the top tech skills that employers want in candidates? Let’s take a look at what’s trending now.

Software and Web Development – Named as one of the Top Jobs of 2013 in Forbes, Software Developers are still at the top of the list of the most in demand IT candidates in the market. Software developers are skilled in application and software systems design and management. They often work in specialized fields and have industry certifications and dozens of projects under their belt to show their worth. Web developers take their work to the Internet and are focused on end user delivery. Look for high demand for Software Development skills in the health care and insurance markets for 2014.

Project and Product Management – Having the ability to organize and manage the number of resources needed to complete a technology project is highly desired by IT hiring companies. Therefore, experts in both project management and product knowledge are among the most wanted candidates. Get training in project management and pursue PMP certification if possible. Learn a product well enough to become an expert and show your stuff when applying for work in IT.

Quality Assurance and Testing – When it comes to perfecting the products and services offered, IT candidates who are skilled in quality assurance (QA) and product testing rank among some of the most in demand workers in the industry. From entry level assignments as QA testers to testing engineers who work on improving specific features of products, there are a number of skills one needs to be successful in this career path. Learning QA and testing procedures along with methods for debugging issues can be a boon to your career in IT.

Business Analysis, Market Research and Documentation – In any IT business, the ability to communicate well in both written and verbal formats is a skill worth pursuing. Software companies turn to candidates with strong business and sales analysis skills to research and document new developments. Combined with sales and market research skills, this can help propel you to success in IT.

While the above skills are not exclusive, these are among some of the top desired IT skills in the market today. Find temporary jobs in IT to help develop your skills and put you in the right place for career success in the exciting field of IT. If you are looking for technology jobs in Troy MI, contact us today.

What You Need to Do to Secure Financial Career Success

December 20th, 2013

Moving up the ladder of a company is very common, but it is extremely difficult to do no matter where you work. Getting a job as a certified public accountant (CPA) can lead to very lucrative jobs down the road if the employee sticks with it and puts in the effort needed to succeed. Many CPAs find themselves going on to work as chief financial officers (CFOs) and in some circumstances, chief executive officers (if they are lucky and work hard).

Gain as Much Experience as Possible

One of the most important tips for CPAs to follow if they want to eventually become a CFO is to gain as much experience as possible. Whether you are switching companies often to gain experience, or moving up the ladder in one organization, experience all counts the same. CPAs should try to gain their experience working as controllers or in treasury functions in order to move up to the CFO position.

Continue Your Education in the Profession

Another important tip is that all CPAs should further their education within the profession so they can keep up-to-date on anything new. These classes are typically reimbursed by your employer, so you don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket for the courses or the tests. With all of the new regulations released every so often, the importance of continued education is extremely high.

Make Yourself Known as a Team Player

No matter where you are working as a CPA, it is best that you are known within the office as a team player. This will help those around you, especially your superiors, realize that your judgment can be trusted. Anyone wishing to become a company’s CFO must know what all of the business departments do and how to mitigate the risks and options available.

Let the CEO Know You Desire to Become a CFO

Even if you have an excellent work relationship with your company’s CEO, it does not mean that he or she knows your goals are to become the CFO of the company down the line. That is why you should let the CEO know that your main goal is to work as the CFO one day. Once you tell the CEO, begin networking with those sitting on the company’s board of directors so you have contacts in all areas of the organization.

Know the Ins-and-Outs of Technology

Another important tip for becoming a CFO is to know everything you can about technology. Technology plays a major role in finances today, more so than any other time in history, which is why you need to know it from top to bottom. Technology can be the downfall of a major company if not operated properly or it could skyrocket a company into another realm of the business world.

If you are looking for financial jobs in Troy MI, contact us today.

City Life Time Updates – How EV’s Help Smart Cities Become Sustainable

December 19th, 2013

The big topic on every business owner’s mind these days is sustainability in the midst of economic and industry challenges. The solution to this issue is building “smart” cities that encourage the primary use of electric vehicles (EVs). With more than half of the world’s population now residing in cities and suburban sprawl taking over previous small communities, those that update their utility and energy systems will be in a better future position.

In fact, the United Nations estimates that the number of people living in cities like Chicago and Detroit is expected to rise to nearly 70 percent by the year 2050, and by 2100 almost 85 percent of all human beings will live in an urban landscape. Global energy demand is expected to double by 2050, leaving city officials to seek out solutions that are cost-effective for their city growth.

How Cities Affect the Environment

Cities currently emit 80 percent of all greenhouse gasses, which damage the atmosphere and cause extreme weather conditions. Building cities that are smarter and take advantage of natural energy sources like solar and wind power, as well as using advanced communications and networking systems can help make cities better. In addition, replacing all gasoline and diesel powered vehicles with electric vehicles is the way to reduce the damage done.

The issue comes down to the cost of retrofitting established cities with the facilities needed to provide a never ending source of free electricity to consumers and public utility providers who choose EVs. In the last several years, cities around the US alone have taken measures to reduce carbon emissions by investing in EVs for their trash services and other public services. The switch to other forms of energy such as natural gas is on the rise too, for example you can read a previous post about Michigan City using these alternative fuel vehicles here.

Natural Gas Power Now Road Engine

How do EVs help support sustained business growth and job development in Michigan and other regions? There are several ways that EVs can help breathe new life back into Michigan’s biggest cities, and reduce their harmful impact on the environment at the same time.

EVs can revive Michigan’s auto industry.

If the cities of Michigan get behind the primary use of EVs by private citizens and public services, this will encourage their production. Therefore, the automobile industry will get on board and start finding ways to manufacture them again using previous MI facilities once leading the gasoline powered vehicle industry.

Availability of EVs and services makes them affordable.

While electric vehicles are still somewhat more expensive to purchase, they can become more affordable to the average person when the production rate increases. Smart car stations being added to all major intersections or as part of current gas stations will encourage their use too.

Cities who support EVs can attract more businesses.

When the auto industry catches on and produces EVs at the same rate that former fossil fuel vehicles were manufactured and sold, businesses that are focused on eco-friendly initiatives will come. While many younger cities are catching on, older cities are also revitalizing former industrial sectors to include smart technology that caters to EVs.

More businesses using EVs means more careers.  

When new businesses come into the areas that are focused on a better environment through the use of EVs, this is a win-win for everyone. New business means more money to put towards hiring employees and making improvements to the community.

If you are looking for an engineering recruiter in Troy MI, contact us today.