Tips for Using a Personal Blog to Snag a Job

May 25th, 2012

It’s more important today than ever before to think outside the box to find a job. One great way to showcase your talents and industry knowledge, while also getting your name established as an authority in your field, is to create a personal blog. Here are a few great tips that will help you get the most bang for your buck from your blog.

1)   Avoid getting too personal. The more professional you make your blog the better it will serve you in your job search efforts. Your personal blog doesn’t have to be strictly professional, but you don’t want it to be a blow by blow of your personal life in all its gory details either. Remember that the goal is for potential employers to read your blog and decide that you’re an employable individual they’d love to have on their teams.

2)   Let your skill, talent, technique, and enthusiasm in your field show in your blog posts. This is an opportunity to let any and every potential employer see what you have to offer his or her company, before you even send in a resume. Let them have it.

3)   Keep things positive. This isn’t the place to air out dirty laundry or spill secrets about your former employers. You want your blog to be as positive as possible. People don’t want to employ those who carry grudges, and they don’t want to work with people who are always negative. If you don’t have a sunny disposition by nature, fake it on your blog until you find, quite by accident, that you’ve suddenly adopted one of your very own.

4)   Let your life shine through too. Oddly enough, companies today want to hire real people who have real lives and who aren’t going to be all-work-and-no- play individuals. Mention your family. Talk about hobbies and interests. Let your blog chronicle not only what you have to offer on a professional level to potential employers, but on a personal level as well.

5)   Build networks with your blog. Your blog is not only a chance to show your stuff to potential employers, but also to network with other leaders in your industry. There are quite a few benefits you can enjoy by using your personal blog to get a job. One of those benefits is the research you’ll do for the sake of your blog and the knowledge you’ll gain as a result. Share this knowledge with your audience and they’ll remember your name when new jobs come up.

You don’t have to move heaven and earth to use your personal blog to help you get the job you’ve always wanted. But you do have to follow a few simple rules, like the rules mentioned here, to make it happen.  To propel your job search forward, be sure to consider the advantages of working directly with Venteon’s team of recruiters to land a job sooner.

Management Tips: How to Have Negotiating Power – Even With Hard-to-Fill Jobs

April 14th, 2012

When it comes to filling jobs, some positions are harder to fill than others. Unfortunately, it’s even more important to get the right person for these “harder to fill” jobs than for more common positions where candidates and applicants abound. Even in a challenging job market, there are some jobs where it seems nearly impossible to find the perfect candidate.

You should never settle for an unacceptable candidate just because you need to fill a seat. That being said, what do you do when you really can’t afford to offer the moon to someone who is highly qualified for the job? How do you maintain a negotiating edge when you know the job is going to be difficult to fill?

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes, it’s better to look at the set of skills a candidate has rather than the specific job titles, degree, or experience the candidate has in a particular position. Shift your thinking just a little bit and seek out candidates that have a complementary set of skills that would fit within the scope of the job you’re trying to fill.

Consult a Professional Recruiter

Believe it or not, there are recruiters who specialize in the engineering and high-tech industries. If you have a hard to fill engineering position, chances are that this is a position that other businesses have a hard time filling as well.

A good recruiting agency or firm is going to know what these harder to fill positions are, and they will know if anyone in their system would be a good match for your company. More importantly, the recruiter is likely to be able to send you a selection of names you may have never found on your own. Now you’ve gone from an occasional candidate to a list of names that give you a little more bargaining room.

Be Creative with Benefits

Benefits packages are all the rage today. One of the most popular benefits you can offer is flexibility with work hours. It doesn’t even have to be offering additional days off. Today’s engineers are more diverse than ever before.

It could be that the engineer in question would like the option of working later or earlier in the day. It could be that the idea of working four, 10-hour days is more appealing to them than the traditional 8-hours a day, five days per week.

A little creativity in the offer can make a world of difference to many candidates – even over higher paying offers in the market. Another popular benefit is casual attire. While that’s not appropriate for all businesses, more and more workplaces are beginning to offer that as a major perk.

The bottom line is that you’re only as limited as you allow yourself to be when hiring new recruits. Some positions are harder to fill than others, but if you start thinking creatively instead, you could have more than your fill of candidates.

5 Advantages of Partnering with a Staffing Agency to Land a Job

March 30th, 2012

Today’s job search can feel like a full-time job in and of itself. In many circles it’s suggested that you treat it as if it were exactly that. That being said, there are wise and not-so-wise ways to handle your job search. Handling your job search right from the start can mean the difference between weeks of unemployment and months of unemployment. In today’s job market; that difference can feel like a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to have someone on your side, such as a staffing agency, to act as an advocate for you in your job search.

Here are five reasons why it’s advantageous to partner with a staffing agency in order to land your next job.

1)    Resources. Staffing agencies have access to job listings that aren’t widely known. In fact, many companies don’t advertise in traditional methods at all. They simply turn to staffing agencies in order to pre-screen potential candidates.
2)    Relationships. Staffing agencies don’t advertise all of the jobs they have available either. Some of them are new and some of them they hold close to the vest and only share with highly-qualified job seekers. In other words, you must have a relationship with the staffing agency to even hear about these positions. Not only can you develop a relationship with the staffing agency but they also often establish relationships with the companies they actively recruit for. This means that even if you’ve been turned down for a position with this company before they can help you get another opportunity to interview with the company and help you prepare for the interview for a better shot at success this time around.
3)    Industry Specific. Not all staffing agencies are industry specific but there are many that are. This is helpful to you because you’re dealing with people who understand the industry they are recruiting for and aren’t simple human resource employees that are “guessing” you’ll be a good fit for the company.
4)    Cost. It generally costs you nothing to use these services. Most of the time the fee is a percentage of your first year’s salary that is paid by the employer – provided that you remain employed for a specified amount of time.
5)    Negotiating power. You can enjoy a little additional negotiating power with potential employers with the staffing agency acting as your advocate. Make no mistake. Their salaries are paid by the companies doing the hiring so they aren’t often going to go above and beyond but they can negotiate a little more aggressively, especially if they are convinced that you would be an ideal fit for a particular company, than you would be able to do on your own.

Staffing agencies aren’t always the perfect answer but most of the time they are a good solution for people looking for a new job in today’s highly competitive job market. The odds are good that you would enjoy many benefits from this particular partnership.

Using LinkedIn to Find a Job: Avoid these Mistakes

February 28th, 2012

There’s no denying that social networking sites like LinkedIn can prove extremely beneficial to job searches today. The problem is that few people are actually utilizing this incredible resource in a way that can have a positive impact on their job searches. There is a right and a wrong way to use LinkedIn and any social networking sites to further your job search efforts. Here are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid as you make the most of the tools technology has to offer today.

Don’t Dive Headfirst into the Job Search

You shouldn’t just dive right in and start spamming the site with requests to help you in your job search. It might seem like your most desperate hour but that’s not the face you want to present to potential allies in your efforts to land a new job. Social networking is all about developing relationships and making connections. Take the time to get to know people or to reconnect with the people you already know.

You’ll gain a lot more respect by showing a little restraint and have much better results. LinkedIn, at its heart, is still a social network. While it is one that has a more professional and business-like atmosphere there is still a certain protocol or system of etiquette that is expected.

Do Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups

Becoming an active and contributing member of the right groups can help you share your knowledge and gain a reputation as a leader in your field. However, joining the wrong groups or using the groups for blatant self-promotion is likely to backfire. It’s a fine balance and one that needs to be carefully walked.

You’ll gain a much better reputation and build more good will by acting as your own good will ambassador and using your knowledge, skills, and talents to help others than by trying to promote yourself or asking for jobs.

You should also make an effort to join groups that reflect well on you and your intentions to gain employment and not those they may not show you in a favorable light to potential employers.

Do Venture Off the World Wide Web

LinkedIn is a great tool for making contacts. But, you’re going to need to take those contacts off line in order to build stronger relationships. The “Know, Like, Trust” ideology is one that is heavily promoted at LinkedIn and many groups host events offline in their communities in order to connect with people who work in specific employment fields, live in certain communities, and/or who share common interests.

It’s attendance at these meetings that makes all the difference in the world. Join. Contribute. Attend.  Get to know the people in your network and who may have job openings you qualify for or be connected with someone who does. It’s the “five handshake” rule in action.

It’s easy to feel all alone when you’re in the market for a new job. It’s definitely hard to be patient. But, if you take your time and go about networking with sites like LinkedIn the right way from the beginning you’ll enjoy a much greater reward for your efforts in the end.

Be sure to consider Venteon for your job search needs, and get a head start on finding a great career.

Top 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in the IT and Engineering Sectors

February 7th, 2012

Could we still be in an environment where so many are desperate for jobs that there are some fields still struggling to find employees? That is exactly what is happening in some specific fields. In IT and engineering, there are certain positions that command a certain level of experience and training that are in short supply in the general market. As such, those companies hiring in these fields are likely to find themselves struggling to make ends meet. If you are a recruiter, you will likely find it hard to find well-qualified applicants.

Hard to Fill Positions

There are numerous positions that could become hard to fill in the short term. In the fields of IT and engineering, though, the following are the most difficult to find qualified prospective for right now.

  1. Software engineers and web developers – demand is up and skills are not there in many instances. There is a growing demand in this field that education has not kept up with, though in the coming years, more applicants may become available as more students turn to these industries.
  2. Creative design and user experience – a lack of talent in this very rapidly growing field will likely continue to hold back those companies in need of professionals. It, too, may see improvement as more candidates graduate school.
  3. Analytics – always a challenging subject area, it is growing in intensity. A demand for qualified professionals is present in most areas and yet there are few candidates to fill key positions here.
  4. Product management – it sounds like it would be easy to fill but chances are good recruiters will find a lack of talent and experience present.
  5. Marketing – the ever-changing face of marketing is making it one of the most demanding fields right now. The scope of marketing continues to change at a rapid pace making filling these positions difficult to do at best.

What is making these positions so hard to fill? A number of aspects are contributing. First, there is the demand for more Internet-based focus in many of these fields. Everyone from individuals to small businesses, from large corporations to government entities needs websites and management of them. That demand is making it hard to fill positions. Over the next eight years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the fastest growing job category will be computer application software specialists. A 32 percent increase in professionals from the period of 2008 to 2018 is likely. That’s explosive.

Also contributing is the fact that technology is moving at such a rapid pace. It is hard to find professionals with not only knowledge, but also working experience in areas such as tablets and mobile devices – key applications for many of today’s biggest businesses. Without this knowledge base, many people cannot perform in the job. Yet, there are candidates working to enter these fields in the next years. The gap for the short term may be difficult for many employers to manage, though. Recruiters may find IT and engineering difficult to staff overall for these reasons.

Still Having Trouble Finding a Job? 5 Ways a Venteon Recruiter Can Help You Get a Job Over Your Competition

December 21st, 2011

If you’ve been searching for work for any length of time, then you know how frustrating it can become. With all the career portals, resume and job websites, and an ever growing number of unemployed candidates vying for the same few assignments. This is especially true when it comes to industry specialties and careers in growing fields, where the competition is fierce. It’s not easy to find a job today, and so you have to have the right strategy to find the best assignments – they are out there if you know how to find them.

One of the best ways to find a top level assignment is to work with a professional staffing agency or recruiter. Not only do you have the insight and guidance of a qualified employment specialist, but you have the support you need to find a good job faster. Read on to learn more how a recruiter or staffing agency can help you make your career dreams a reality.

  • Recruiters know what companies are looking for. Have you ever wondered if you have the skills that area employers are actually looking for, and this may be why you have not found the right job? It’s very possible that you have not been presenting your skills in the best light, or have not been targeting jobs that are worthy of your skills. Stop spinning your wheels and take the time to get a recruiter to evaluate your skill set and get you in front of employers who will offer you the best opportunities to use your talent.
  • Staffing agencies have access to unadvertised jobs. It has been said that only about 20% of the actual available jobs out there are advertised, even in this day and age with online career websites. Oftentimes, employers rely on referrals from existing employees, or a trusted staffing agency/recruiter to find suitable candidates for open assignments. Without being registered to work through an agency, you are likely missing out on a huge number of jobs that are never advertised.
  • Recruiters can “sell” you to potential employers. A big part of finding a great job is being able to promote yourself in a positive and proactive way. This can seem a little demeaning, especially if you are a seasoned professional and have never had to do this before, But take heart, as it is your recruiter’s job to do this for you in a big way, so you are hyped up to candidates before you even walk in the door for an interview.
  • Staffing agencies offer additional career services. Outside of general job placement, did you know that many staffing agencies and recruiters offer additional services to help you be more successful with your job search? Staffing agencies often offer classes on resume writing, personal skills development and even interview preparation. Ask your recruiter at Venteon for more information on how you can best utilize your experience with our agency.
  • Recruiters provide helpful feedback. Perhaps one of the most helpful aspects of working with a recruiter or staffing agency is the ability to find out how you are doing in your efforts to find a job. Whether you need to brush up your resume, interview skills or personal appearance, you can count on your recruiter to give you honest and constructive feedback, because he or she wants you to be successful.

Want to be a more successful job hunter? Look to the staffing and recruitment professionals at Venteon today for support with your career search.

Happy Holidays from Venteon!

December 1st, 2011

Venteon would like to wish all of our clients and associates a warm Holiday Season! It has been a great year, with many new companies that have decided to allow us the privilege of placing high quality candidates into brand new part time, full time and contract assignments. This has created hundreds of new jobs for deserving candidates. We could not do this without all of you!

We know that at this time of year, many folks are making plans to spend time with friends and family, while some are using this time to conduct a job search. This is also a great time for hiring managers to start making plans to bring on new people in 2012. For these reasons, we decided we wanted to take a moment to give candidates some tips for a successful job search during the holiday break.

Re-vamp your resume. While everyone else is enjoying fruit cake and singing Christmas carols, why not take the time in quiet moments to carefully update your resume? Look for things that may be missing since the last time you reviewed it, give it a new format, and freshen up your accomplishments so that it will stand out as you start distributing it to employment opportunities.

Get yourself out there. Oftentimes at this time of year, people tend to withdraw from the world, especially those who are down about being unemployed. Don’t let the holiday blues get you in a funk – instead get yourself out there and start networking with as many people as possible. You never know who may know someone who is hiring for the New Year, so put yourself in the best possible position to be in the right place at the right time.

Consider part time. There may not be as many full time jobs right now, but during the holidays there are plenty of part time assignments. This is because companies need temps to fill in for full timers who take time off, or to replace workers who have decided to move onto to new jobs for the upcoming season. There are also more jobs in retail and customer service this time of year than at any other time of the year. Part time often leads to full time.

Choose contract work. Another great option for boosting your job search during the holiday season is to get registered to work on exciting assignments with a staffing agency like Venteon. There are many ways to fill in for people who are on vacation, or to supplement staff at upcoming assignments with companies ready to hire.

Take advantage of this time of year and get signed up for great part time, full time, temporary and contract assignments with Venteon!

How a Staffing Company Leverages New Technology to Find You the Best Financial Candidates

November 21st, 2011

Recruiting today is an exciting field to be in, particularly because of modern hiring technology that has made it more effective than ever before to find great candidates. In the past, good candidates only came by way of referrals and exhausting hours of searching through networks. Now, staffing agencies have millions of candidates accessible through a wider array of channels. The best staffing agencies use these technologies to find great finance and accounting candidates for the benefit of their clients.

Let’s review just how professional staffing companies leverage new technology to find you the best finance and accounting candidates today.

Resume Directories and Scanners – Once viewed as a negative thing by some, resume directories and scanning software have evolved into being the tools of the trade for many recruiters. Resume directories and scanners help recruiters focus on the right candidates who have certain skill sets and backgrounds suitable for specific finance and accounting assignments. This makes it easier to match the right candidate to the right job.

Niche Career Websites – Job seekers today are everywhere on career websites hoping to land the right opportunity, which presents a challenge for recruiters trying to narrow down their list to specific skillsets. To get around this issue, recruiters searching for finance and accounting candidates can use niche career websites and online applications to screen candidates in advance.

Online Networks and Social Media – There has been a rapid growth of social activity online in the form of online networks and social media in the past several years. This has become a major tool for recruiters, especially with the addition of new recruiting and applications found on LinkedIn. Recruiters today use online networks to gather referrals for accounting and finance candidates, browse through social networking profiles, and invite candidates to apply for jobs online.

Applicant Testing and Screening Tools – Since many recruiting firms are under tight time and budget constraints, the task of testing and screening candidates can be handled by online applications. Most of the time, this is either done on the recruiting website or the contract company’s employment website. This separates the serious finance and accounting candidates from the casual job seeker, producing a higher caliber of candidate.

When looking for the best candidates for fill finance and accounting roles, your best bet is to work with a professional staffing agency like Venteon. We have the resources and networks available to help you find the right person for the job, all by use of the latest hiring technology.

Photo Credit: sippakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Make Your Performance Evaluation Process for Engineering Employees as Painless as Possible

November 7th, 2011

In most technology firms, every year, comes the standard performance review for all engineering employees. While this can be a somewhat nerve-wracking process, filled with dread on both sides of the fence, it doesn’t have to be. Annual reviews for engineers, while more technical in scope, can be a good time to identify strengths and abilities in core personnel to take on bigger projects.

First, realize that there is no one perfect way to conduct a performance evaluation for engineers or other employees, nor is there one perfect software. However, there are some performance evaluations that are more geared towards the nature of the work that engineers do. Look for a performance evaluation solution that is geared towards the project results and team efforts that most engineers engage in at work, rather than systems that have to do with sales numbers.

Secondly, consider that engineers have a wide range of project goals to meet throughout the year, so this is difficult to measure in terms of success. Rather than focus on actual goals in the performance evaluation, consider focusing on other valid skills such as ability to organize, lead teams and time management. These are the most critical aspects of being a successful engineer, and so an employee evaluation system can be better utilized by narrowing down the skills and traits in successful technology professionals in order to be meaningful.

Also, try to consider that time is a precious aspect of being an engineer; therefore the employee evaluation process should be as efficient as possible. Use an online employee evaluation system, with a brief meeting to go over results and goals for the coming year. Instead of having engineers fill out multiple forms, narrow down the questions to a set of three main areas that are pertinent to the job. Include at least one workable goal for the upcoming annual period to keep it simple.

Remember to keep all employee evaluations confidential and fair for all engineers as well as other employees. Never give one person special treatment due to past project performance, but rather look for ways to measure this performance as fairly as possible. Set reachable goals for all employees and make sure that support is put in place to make this feasible.

Consider the advantages of using Venteon to provide all your top engineering staff and conducting employee evaluations, to streamline this process and produce better long term project results.

What do the Top Accounting Employers Have in Common? How Can You Be More Like Them?

October 29th, 2011

CNN put out it’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” report for 2010, which reveals some interesting reasons why the top 10 accounting and finance firm are the best places to work in the world. From superior compensation plans to posh work environments, this year’s top 10 have several things in common—something your company can emulate if you want to attract the best candidates.

Here’s a rundown of the similarities among the best finance and accounting firms this year:

Employee Wellness Programs – It’s becoming clearer to the best financial and accounting firms, that employee wellness is a huge factor for productivity in the workplace. Today’s workplaces are about finding ways to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, by adding fitness centers (like SAS’s state-of-the-art, 66,000-square-foot gym) and USAA’s 31-acre campus that features walking trails, jogging trails, and three fitness centers to choose from.

Diversity Initiatives – While the financial and accounting companies of the past promoted the typical white male professional, today’s best firms look for ways to encourage a great deal of diversity among staff. Edward Jones has actively made diversity a priority with new recruitment programs, as well as Deloitte that boasts a third of its employees as nonwhite, the highest percentage of the “Big Four”.

Work-Life Balance – Another outstanding feature of the best finance and accounting companies includes a priority of creating better work-life balance for employees. For example, Pricewaterhouse Coopers that gets thumbs up from employees for being flexible, and family-friendly Johnson Financial Group that gives new fathers (as well as mothers) up to six weeks of paid paternity leave.

Casual Work Environments – Being able to work in a less stuffy environment certainly gives the biggest financial and accounting companies a great rep too. Quicken Loans gives team members Razor scooters to travel around the office, which is adorned with scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, custom graffiti by a local artist and Foosball tables.

On-site Employee Perks – The best accounting companies would not be complete without other forms of on-site employee perks, such as onsite daycare centers, beauty salons and car cleaning services at SAS, as well as Goldman Sachs’ new $2.1 billion steel-and-glass tower that has a reading room, sky lobby, and 54,000-square-foot gym.

When trying to attract the brightest and best financial and accounting professionals for your company, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on the above perks. However, you can easily make your workplace a more pleasant place to work by instituting employee wellness programs, and a friendly work environment in which your employee’s can flourish. For ideas on how to attract a better breed of finance and accounting staff, consult with the career professionals at Venteon.