Join Nelson as We Walk for Wishes

For over 45 years, Nelson has provided innovative workforce solutions to help companies efficiently build and manage their teams. And throughout our history, we’ve been committed to involvement and investment in the communities where we live, work, and play.

This year, Nelson is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the three 2017 Walk for Wishes events benefiting Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area. Through this sponsorship, we’re supporting the important efforts of Make-A-Wish to grant wishes to children facing life-threatening conditions.

Why We Walk

Many of Nelson’s team members have been involved in various Make-A-Wish fundraisers in the past because of personal connections to the cause. Leading the charge for Nelson’s Make-A-Wish support has been Nelson’s Executive Vice President, Joe Madigan.

Joe’s daughter, Chloe, was granted a wish through Make-A-Wish seven years ago, giving the entire Madigan family the opportunity to enjoy time together with Chloe at Disney World – away from doctors, hospitals, and tests. After Chloe passed away, the Madigan family made it their mission to give back to Make-A-Wish and offer other families the priceless experience they shared. They formed Team Chloe; and their combined efforts have raised over $140,000, much with the support of the Nelson team, family, and extended community. That’s a lot of wishes come true for kids fighting serious illnesses!

Watch this short video below from Joe about his family’s experience with Make-A-Wish, and why they’ve led Nelson’s Walk for Wishes efforts for the past seven years. (Special thanks to SocioFabrica and Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area for footage clips, and to bensound.com for the music.

Join Nelson at Walk for Wishes 2017!

This year, Nelson is pleased to share we’ll be supporting the Bay Area Walk for Wishes events as a presenting sponsor, helping even more of our teams and communities get involved in what started as the Madigan family’s efforts to support the tremendous efforts of the incredible Make-A-Wish organization. Please join the Nelson team, including Joe and his family, as we come together to Walk for Wishes this August at the three Bay Area Walks:

Walk for Wishes East Bay
Saturday, August 5 | Bishop Ranch, San Ramon
Join Nelson’s team for this event – Golden State Wish Warriors!

Walk for Wishes North Bay
Saturday, August 12 | Shollenberger Park, Petaluma
Join Nelson’s team for this event – Nelson North Bay Wine Country Winner!

Walk for Wishes South Bay
Saturday, August 19 | Google, Mountain View
Join Nelson’s team for this event – Cirque du Sore Legs!

100% of the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. Whether you choose to walk with us (registration is free!), donate, or spread the word, thank you for your support. We hope you will join Nelson’s efforts to make wishes come true!

About Make-A-Wish
Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fulfills the wishes of children, between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18, battling life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area was founded in 1984. In its first year, a total of 27 wishes were granted. Now one of the largest chapters nationwide, they have granted over 7,800 wishes to date and grant over 378 wishes each year.

Employment and hiring trends are in a constant state of flux. One trend that has taken shape in recent years is the rise of temporary work. As a result of economic uncertainty, businesses need to be more flexible and nimble. Offering temporary positions for an array of jobs is now more the norm than the exception for many employers.

Some workers used to shy away from temp opportunities because they preferred the stability of permanent, full-time employment. But as more people understand that no job is truly permanent and the best way to grow your career and salary prospects may be to switch jobs more often, temping can be a great way to explore new interests or gain new skills.

Temp jobs also offer the opportunity for new college graduates to get some valuable real-world experience before applying for those “entry-level” positions that require two years of experience. Temp jobs can also help seasoned pros maintain their skills, transition to a new line of work, or re-enter the workforce after having children or taking a leave of absence.

There are generally two ways job seekers find temporary jobs. Job seekers can partner with a temp agency to find temp work, or a temporary opportunity might pop up during a standard job search. Sometimes, employers work with a temp agency to offer temporary positions; other times, employers offer temporary positions directly to employees.

Temp Roles Have Become Commonplace in Today’s Job Market

This sort of try-before-you-buy thinking lets both the employer and the job seeker determine whether a person is a good fit for a role, and whether a role and company is a good fit for a person’s career. It is costly for a company to spend a lot of time hiring and training someone only to discover six months into an employment contract that the employee isn’t a good long-term match. The same is true for the employee; temp jobs allow a job seeker to quickly learn if a certain job or company isn’t right and then move on, perhaps even with a new skill to add to his or her resume.

How Do Temp Agencies Work?

Staffing companies, also known as temp agencies, often specialize by industry or nature of work. One temp agency might specialize in administrative or office positions while another specializes in tech or IT jobs. Most legitimate temp agencies charge employers, so job seekers don’t pay a fee.

Before talking with a temp recruiter, it’s a good idea for job seekers to know what they’re looking for in terms of payment rate, benefits, and long-term employment opportunity. This helps recruiters identify opportunities that will be a good fit for each job seeker.

College Grads Can Benefit from Temp Services

Working with a temp agency can allow recent college grads to get a foot in the door for their first real job. Temporary jobs can be more accessible to entry-level professionals or those without sufficient experience to qualify for full-time, regular openings.

Let’s say, for example, that you graduated with your degree in software engineering but lack real-world experience. Most full-time openings require at least two years of experience, and you’re unable to get around this requirement. A temp recruiter can work with you to secure an entry-level role that is accommodating to your level of experience. A good temp recruiter can offer expertise and advice about how to reach both your short and long-term career goals. College grads unsure of direction or next career steps can take advantage of this expertise to help them define and start off on a productive career path.

Temp Agencies Offer Networking Opportunities

In both a formal and informal capacity, temporary jobs can help put job seekers in contact with the right people to help find jobs. Networking is an invaluable tool, and contacts can sometimes lead to job opportunities that job seekers wouldn’t have found elsewhere. If a person can excel in their temporary job, then it’s likely that he or she could excel in a full-time regular role. If you’ve made a good impression in a temp role, spread the word that you’re looking for a more permanent role. Add supervisors, coworkers, and temp recruiters on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in a particular role, ask someone in that role to go out for coffee and pick that person’s brain about how they got started – then ask if they have any tips for you or connections who may be hiring. You never know which conversation could result in an interview!

Working with temp agencies can often lead to full-time employment. Instead of hiring full-time employees directly, employers are now hiring temporary staff then transitioning the top performers into more permanent roles. A temporary position can truly be a time to shine. Also, as short-term staffing and freelance positions become more common across the board, the stigma of being a “temp” has decreased dramatically.

Don’t Dismiss Temp Agencies for Valuable Job Opportunities

Even if you’d prefer a more permanent full-time job, don’t reject temp work outright. Not only will your wallet thank you for working with a temp recruiter, but chances are, your resume and professional confidence will benefit, too. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, temporary positions can offer a way to get back into the swing of a regular schedule while providing a sense of job satisfaction. In addition to gaining some valuable contacts and learning new skills, accepting a temporary position can pay off exponentially down the road and can help you navigate your career path.
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At Nelson, it’s our goal to make sure people are prepared, connected, and successful when taking the next step in their careers. To help do that, we provide interview tips, resume resources, and job search strategies to help people like you find dream jobs.

In this post, we explore one of the more sensitive topics that will be addressed during the job search process: salary negotiation. Many job seekers have questions about how to negotiate salary or when to even bring up the topic of compensation.

Why Negotiate Your Salary

Understanding the future impact of current salary negotiations is important. While a difference of a few thousand dollars may not seem like much, it can be significant because your future raises and pay rates may be based on your starting salary.

For example, let’s imagine you’re a 22-year-old entry-level accountant. Let’s also imagine you accept an associate accountant position making $50,000 and work consistently until you retire at age 65, receiving average yearly raises of 4%. If you had negotiated your starting annual accounting salary to $55,000 – just $5,000 higher – you would’ve made about $577,000 more over the course of your career than if you had accepted your original starting salary offer of $50,000.

Many people don’t understand this significance. According to recent research, only 37% of candidates consistently negotiate salary offers, and as many as 18% never do. If you break down those numbers by gender, it’s even more revealing. A university study concluded that only 7% of female MBA grads negotiated their salary offer while 57% of male grads did. That’s a whopping disparity! Though this gender gap has been reportedly closing in more recent years, a recent study found that men are three times as likely as women to succeed at getting more money when negotiating salary. However, the payoff of negotiating your salary can be huge; 75% of those who asked for a higher wage received some sort of increase.

Even for the most outgoing and confident people, negotiating a salary offer for a potential new job can feel overwhelming. Discussing earnings is uncomfortable and requires careful preparation; you want to secure a competitive offer but you don’t want to offend the hiring manager or appear too aggressive. Read on to learn more about the best ways to negotiate salary.

Tips for Negotiating Your Salary 

  1. Avoid Discussing Salary Specifics (Including Salary History) Until an Offer is Made

In most situations, you should avoid debating salary or compensation during the job interview process. But even if you don’t bring it up, the interviewer sometimes broaches the subject.

If you are asked a question about your salary expectations or requirements in an interview, try to politely deflect it by saying that your specific salary requirements would depend on the total compensation package offered and the specific role details, like supervisory responsibilities, that you may not yet have discussed in the interview process, if appropriate). It’s always ok to share that you expect a salary that is competitive with what others are paying for your level of experience and education.

If you are asked how much you currently make, let the interviewer know that you’d prefer to discuss compensation in relation to the potential new role and company. Feel free to point out differences between your current role and the one you’re interviewing for, especially if the new role would be a step up in responsibilities or position title. Don’t feel pressured to disclose your current salary if you don’t believe it will support your salary negotiation process.

  1. Do Your Salary Research

Before you negotiate, do your research. It will help you feel more comfortable and confident in what you’re asking for and prevent fear and anxiety from standing in the way of negotiating what you deserve.

For most careers, salary information used to be a black hole. It was hard to know who was paid what. Thanks to websites like salary.com, payscale.com, and glassdoor.com, you can determine what someone with your education and experience can expect to make in a similar position, company, and location. These sites have brought transparency to compensation, so there’s really no excuse for not having at least a general idea of expected compensation for a position.

  1. Have a Backup Plan When Negotiating Your Salary Offer

If you’ve done your research, should have a specific number in mind and evidence to back that number up. Before you make a counter offer with that number and evidence, have a plan B in case the counter offer is not accepted. Deciding ahead of time whether you want to make another counter offer or walk away will give you an edge in negotiations.

  1. Be Realistic in Your Expectations

Although most employers expect you to negotiate your salary, you may not make the best impression if you’re asking for an increase that seems unreasonable. Asking for 5 to 10% more might be a good starting point. However, if you’re going to ask for 35% more, then you’d better have good reasons to support your request.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Brag a Little

Though we’re all taught that it’s impolite to brag, negotiating salary offers is a time when it’s okay to chat about your recent accomplishments. What exactly do you bring to the table? How have you helped other companies generate revenue or reduce operating costs, and how will you translate that experience to this new role? Summarize the achievements you covered in your interview, or bring up new ones you didn’t yet have the chance to address.

By filing away your achievements for times like these, you can be ready to answer the question, “Why should we give you more than our offer?” Don’t assume that the person you’re talking to implicitly knows why you should be paid more.

  1. Consider the Whole Compensation Package and Ask for Other Types of Increases

In addition to salary numbers, think of the total compensation package. Make sure you understand the benefits plan options, including out-of-pocket expenses for things like health insurance. If the hiring manager doesn’t point them out, ask about expected bonuses or retirement savings matches.

Not only will this help you understand how much of your salary will need to go to benefits, it will also help you understand what additional compensation package items may be negotiable. If you don’t know if something is negotiable, ask if it is! Negotiations don’t have to stop at salary; you may be able to negotiate time off, working remotely, bringing a pet to work, or performance-based bonuses (especially if you’re in a sales position).

  1. How to Negotiate Your Salary? Practice, Practice, Practice.

From books to blogs, there’s a lot of advice on how to negotiate your salary. Provided that your request is reasonable ­­– and that you’re asking politely – asking for more money in a job offer is just part of the whole hiring process. However, striking a balance between asking to be paid what you’re worth and not sounding greedy can be difficult and must be done tactfully.

After you’ve done your research, practice with a friend to sound polished, composed, and confident. Remember that negotiating your salary is less about using the right phrasing or tactics and more about being brave enough to ask for what you need. So instead of seeing the negotiations as some elaborate shell game with stare downs and face offs, look at them as just another part of the job search.

  1. Work With a Recruiter

If you’re working with a hiring agency or recruiter, you can be more candid and direct when negotiating your salary. Always be open with your recruiter about your salary requirements. It’s possible they may be able to negotiate a better deal for you, but they don’t want to waste your or their clients’ time sending you out on interviews for positions that don’t match your salary expectations.

If you are working with a recruiter, that recruiter is usually responsible for negotiating on your behalf and will handle the discussion of salary and compensation with the hiring company. Reach out to a recruiter to take some pressure off your job search and ensure salary negotiations for your next position result in an increase.

Nelson is here to help. You can start by searching our current job listings and applying today. Love what you do!

 

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Find More Resume, Job Search and Interview Tips:

Bad Resume Examples

Best Resume Template Resources

Working With a Recruiter

Attack of the Killer Resume Buzzwords

San Francisco Job Search Tips

LinkedIn Profile Tips

 

See Nelson Specialties:

Staffing Services

Accounting and Finance Recruiting

IT Recruiting

Engineering Recruiting

Legal Recruiting

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Should you Include Short-Term Jobs on Your Resume?

It happens to just about everyone at some point in their careers. It’s likely happened to you, as well. You conduct research, actively search for jobs, go to multiple interviews, and finally land a job that seems to match your key requirements. Yet several months or even weeks into the gig, you find yourself at odds with your new employment situation.

Maybe you and your new boss don’t see eye to eye on your role at the company. Perhaps the job description and your actual duties are worlds apart. Or maybe the role requires a higher level of skill or experience that you don’t quite have yet. As you decide what to do next, you must consider how to represent this mismatched short-term job on your resume and how to discuss it in future interviews.

What is a Short-Term Job?

What an employer considers to be a short-term job may depend on many factors. There is no standard length of time that qualifies a job as short-term. Companies whose employees are very tenured may seek new hires with a track record of 5+ years at each job and consider a two-year stay short term, while other companies may look for new hires with more variety in their backgrounds and be more forgiving of multiple six-month roles. However, if you’re with a company for less than a year, it is important to address why to maintain a good impression throughout the hiring process with other companies.

There are generally three types of short-term jobs:

  1. Contract or temporary positions. Contract positions or roles found through a temporary staffing agency are not expected to be permanent. Hiring managers and recruiters understand if you’ve had these types of positions and say these types of jobs will not reflect negatively on you as a candidate, so don’t worry about explaining these jobs other than pointing out they were contract roles.
  2. Positions that were short term because you left. It can be a gamble to decide to leave a role after a very short time. On one hand, this action can show decisiveness and an unwillingness to settle for mediocrity. On the other, it can signal an inability to follow through on commitments. This type of position doesn’t have to be detrimental to your hiring potential if you address the situation correctly.
  3. Positions that were short term because the company let you go. More challenging situations occur if the short-term nature of the position wasn’t your decision. Mergers and buyouts can lead to job changes. Businesses may also let good employees go for economic and performance reasons.

Whether or not leaving was your choice, you still need to consider how to best approach short-term jobs on your resume and effectively discuss them with hiring managers. You need to be able to explain what happened, what you learned from it, and why the same thing won’t happen in your next role. Here are a few resume tips and interview tricks to help you navigate this topic with ease.

Leaving a Job off Your Resume

Many career experts and recruiters will advise a job seeker to leave a short-term job off their resume, particularly if that person has a solid work history and the job offers minimal value. If you have 10 to 15+ years of progressive work experience with one not-so-hot, four-month gig that tarnishes your otherwise impeccable career history, then it’s advisable to leave the job off your resume.

Recruiters and hiring managers are human, too. They understand that few people have a perfect career history. Wowing a recruiter with your experience and accomplishments makes it more likely for them to overlook or forgive a three- to six-month gap in employment.

If you do include the short-term gig on your resume, consider offering a brief description of why the position was so transitory – especially if there was an external factor that led to your tenure being brief. Simply list “company restructuring” or “company was sold” in parentheses. Brevity can work in your favor to prevent recruiters from assuming the worst-case scenario.

Including a Short-Term Job on Your Resume

On the other hand, if the short-term gig proved worthwhile, you might consider including it on your resume, after all. Consider what you’ve gained from the larger experience. What new skills did you learn in this short period of time? What did you accomplish or take away from job? Will these add to your viability as a candidate for another position? It’s all about perspective, so try to gather as much useful information as you can to list in your resume. There’s no rule that a short-term job can’t offer value.

Recent college graduates or entry level professionals might also find it better to include positions that lasted less than a year, as gaps in employment history can be more noticeable.

The Interviewing Conundrum for Short-Term Gigs

The above resume tips for addressing short-term jobs on your resume will help you get started with your job search. But when you land a job interview, what’s the best way to address a short-term role? Here are a few interview tips to help.

Be Brief and Move It Along

If an in interviewer brings up a gap in employment or asks why you were in a position for such a short time, then focus on what you learned from the short-term experience to present it in the best light. Though you want to be positive, you still want to be truthful.

For instance, politely and professionally reveal that you and your boss had a different vision of the position and its responsibilities. The two of you were at an impasse, and you left the company with a much better sense of what’s important for you to look for in your next role . If you had another role after the short-term one, share what you learned from your mistake and how you applied that to finding another position – and why the next position was a better fit. This can help you transition away from the negative and back into positive conversation about your work history. Resist the temptation to lambast your former jefe; calling him or her an inept, micromanaging you-know-what will only make you look bad.

Don’t Focus on The Short-Term Role

Though you want to have a concise answer at the ready to explain that short-term gig, it is not necessary or advisable to offer it up unless directly asked. There’s a chance your recruiter might not care enough to bring it up, particularly if the rest of the interview is going swimmingly.

Practice Makes Perfect

Hopefully, you know you should always be prepared when you walk into a job interview. Practicing ahead of time what you’ll say about that short-term job can help you feel prepared to address it in a real interview. Try role playing with a friend to get the feel for explaining it live so you’re not caught off guard if it does come up in an interview.

There’s no need to get overly concerned about short-term jobs on your resume. By using these interview and resume tips, your dream job could still be within reach!

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Find Resume, Job Search and Interview Tips:
Bad Resume Examples
Best Resume Template Resources
Working With a Recruiter
Attack of the Killer Resume Buzzwords
San Francisco Job Search Tips
LinkedIn Profile Tips

See Nelson Jobs Specialties:
Staffing Services
Accounting and Finance Recruiting
IT Recruiting
Engineering Recruiters
Legal Recruiting
HR and Admin Recruiting

Whether you’re actively seeking a new job or just keeping your career options open, it’s essential to have a stand-out LinkedIn profile. From searching for accounting and finance positions to finding roles in sales, engineering, or IT, polishing up your LinkedIn presence is a pre-requisite to embarking on a job search in today’s digital hiring landscape.

Nearly 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as a tool for candidate sourcing. If you’re not on LinkedIn or haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in several years, you’re missing out on networking and career opportunities.  Get the most out of LinkedIn by optimizing your job search with these 8 LinkedIn profile tips.

 

1. Get Your Profile to All-Star Status

To optimize your LinkedIn profile, make sure all sections, including your recommendations and endorsements, are as complete as possible. LinkedIn makes this easy; on your profile, below your summary, you will see if you have what LinkedIn calls an “All-Star Profile.” If you don’t, LinkedIn will guide you through the process of adding to your profile until you do.

LinkedIn shares that people with All-Star Profiles are 40 times more likely to get contacted by recruiters than people without, so be sure to follow the recommendations.

 

2. Leverage Your Headline and Career Summary

Though your resume and LinkedIn profile overlap in several areas – education, work history, and skills – a key differentiator is your headline and summary. These sections are the most searched for and reviewed by recruiters and hiring managers.

On a traditional resume, page space often limits what you can say; however, on your LinkedIn summary, your story-telling space is ample – 2000 characters. Tell your career story by including explanations of your career history, changes, and aspirations. Why did you choose the previous roles or companies? What are you looking for next? For instance, did you move into sales after working as a software engineer? Are you an experienced financial accountant looking to transition into management? To increase how often your profile appears in recruiters’ searches, incorporate relevant keywords common in your line of work.

Unless you change it, your headline defaults to your current job title. This is, however, fully editable. Your headline will appear in recruiters’ search results, so you want to make sure it stands out. You have precisely 120 characters for your headline; make each one count. Unless you are an engineer at Google or Facebook, you don’t need to list your current employer. A better use of this space is to use relevant, descriptive keywords.

For example:
Poor HeadlineAccountant for Nelson Jobs

Strong Headline: Senior-level accountant specializing in finance accounting, cost accounting, auditing, and financial controls

 

3. Loosen Up

Differentiate your resume from your LinkedIn profile by adopting a conversational rather than formal writing tone on LinkedIn. Though you want to avoid being too casual – LinkedIn still isn’t Snapchat, after all – you can lose the stuffiness associated with resumes by writing closer to the way you talk and avoiding overused clichés or buzzwords.

Striking the balance between promoting your skills and presenting yourself in a relaxed, engaging manner can be tricky. Have a professional friend proofread your profile to see if your tone is right. If not, consider hiring a professional resume writer or career coach to assist with this task.

 

4. Build up Your Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations

For the best chance of being found by recruiters, beef up your LinkedIn skills section and request endorsements. A complete skills section can boost your search ranking, so add suggested keywords even if they are similar to skills you already have to appear in as many searches as possible. For example, if you are in sales, add account management, relationship building, lead generation, sales management, outside sales, inside sales, team leadership, management, etc. You are permitted to have up to 50 separate skills in this section, and LinkedIn assists you by suggesting related keywords.

The best way to get others to endorse your skills or to write a recommendation is to ask. Reach out to your colleagues and ask them to help! Be sure to offer endorsements and/or recommendations in return. If you’re uncomfortable asking, start by endorsing their skills. Be selective; only endorse a person for 2-3 skills you know are strengths of the person being endorsed. Endorsements can go an extra long way if a hiring manager or recruiter has a mutual connection that has endorsed your skills.

 

5. Actively Expand Your Network

Your LinkedIn profile is more than just a “LinkedIn resume.” It shows how well-connected you are. An important LinkedIn tip is to reach out and connect with others, including recruiters. LinkedIn prioritizes search results by displaying how people are connected to the person searching. By connecting to more people, you will have more 1st or 2nd connections and appear in more searches, increasing your odds of building a trusted relationship with a prospective hiring manager or recruiter.

Another good way to build rapport and expand your network is to join industry-specific Groups. Whether you’re looking for engineering and tech jobs, accounting and finance jobs, or sales and marketing positions, there are specific LinkedIn Groups you can join to network with others in your field. To get the most out of Groups:

  • Make sure Groups you join are still active. LinkedIn Groups aren’t as popular as they once were, so don’t spend time on groups that don’t have active discussions and members.
  • Focus on the value you can give rather than what you can get. By giving advice or serving as a resource to others looking to make connections, you increase the chances someone else will help you when you need a favor, too!
  • Message Group members directly. If you’re in the same Group as someone, you can message them directly even if they’re not a connection. Use this feature to build your network further.

 

6. Verify Your Settings

If you want your profile to be public and searchable by anyone, adjust your privacy settings accordingly. By using this LinkedIn tip, you allow recruiters and others who aren’t in your network to contact you. You may, however, receive unsolicited offers, so be prepared to handle those graciously. LinkedIn walks you through your settings, privacy, and visibility in their “help” section.

 

7. Claim Your Custom URL

Once you’ve created this custom URL, be sure to link to it wherever possible. Add it to your email signature or portfolio page, or provide it in your bio for events you attend or speak at. This will help your profile become more searchable both within LinkedIn and through Google. When a hiring manager searches for you by name and finds that your LinkedIn profile shows up near the top of Google, it will add to the positive perception of your personal brand.

 

8. Stay Active

The more active and engaged you are on the “professionals’ social media platform,” the better your presence becomes. Like and comment on others’ articles and posts. Share posts that are relevant to your industry or profession. Publish an article to share your knowledge and gain contacts organically while developing your own professional thought leadership brand. Another good way to get more engagement is to ask a thought-provoking, timely question about an article, resource, or trend.

Not only does staying active put your name in front of more people, it also helps LinkedIn and search engines understand that your profile is authoritative. This will help increase how often your profile appears in searches.

Follow these LinkedIn profile tips to make the most of your LinkedIn profile and best position yourself for your job search. While it should not be the only tool you use in your job search, LinkedIn can certainly play a valuable role in increasing your opportunities and helping you make a great impression.

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Do you know the number one reason most Americans leave their jobs? You may have guessed it – employees leave because they don’t feel appreciated. With more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals in the U.S., retention through recognition is what makes Administrative Professionals Day so critical!

We simply can’t afford not to retain these loyal, highly skilled, and dedicated individuals who help make teams and organizations run so smoothly. As a matter of fact, companies with strategic recognition programs reported a mean employee turnover rate 23% lower than companies without any recognition programs.And that’s why Administrative Professionals Week is one of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays.

Administrative Professionals Day (Wednesday, April 26th, 2017) is almost upon us!  To ensure you’re not caught unprepared to recognize your valued team members this year, take advantage of Nelson’s 5 easy ways to recognize your administrative & office support professionals – and extend Admin Professionals Day to Admin Professionals Week by thanking your support teams all week long!

  1. Express yourself in writing. In this era of emails and texts, handwriting a thank-you card almost feels like a lost art. But that’s what makes it special! To make the most impact, identify a few specific contributions that the individual being thanked has made, or point out one or more significant accomplishments. Increase the surprise factor by leaving the card in an unexpected location, such as in front of the employee’s lunch in the fridge or in one of their desk drawers.
  2. Enjoy a celebratory meal. Do your admin and office support professionals scream for sushi? Cheer for Chinese? Pine for pizza? Take them out for a meal! Putting in the time to go offsite, whether time allows to take all your support staff at once or in smaller groups, lunch out will be noticed and appreciated by your team. But, if you just can’t get away, an on-site catered meal is always a crowd pleaser!
  3. Give time off. A low-cost way to recognize team members is to surprise them with a bonus vacation day or afternoon off. To make sure employees are able to honor commitments and complete their work, provide a floating opportunity rather than early dismissal on a specified day.
  4. Recruit others to show recognition. Get the whole crew in on your efforts to recognize your admin professionals and support staff! A card signed by everyone is a wonderful first step, but encouraging even a few people to say thank-you in person goes a long way towards making a team member feel valued. Want to go the extra mile? Assign each team member a day (and small budget) to recognize your support staff, and encourage creativity.
  5. Customize a certificate of appreciation. Download Nelson’s free customizable Certificate of Appreciation PDF, fill in the template with the name of the person you’re honoring, their title, and the name of your business, print, and present to your honoree. Pair this with one of the other ideas listed, and you’ve got a unique way to show your appreciation!

For over 45 years, Nelson has understood the value of placing (and retaining!) the right people in the right roles. From providing an admin assistant to cover an employee’s day off to finding full-time, permanent new additions to your team, Nelson can help. With experts in administration, accounting & finance, HR, IT & tech, engineering, legal, sales and marketing, and more, Nelson has the resources to handle all your staffing needs.

Contact Nelson today to learn more about how Nelson can help you find the best talent to meet your needs!

Since the early days of the gold rush in the 1850s, the city of San Francisco, California, has long been a beacon for individuals seeking opportunity and new beginnings. Today’s aspirational job seekers can find an active hiring market in the City by the Bay – everything from IT and engineering positions to accounting and finance jobs.

Yet today’s job seekers who want to relocate to this West Coast urban center must prepare for their journeys just like last century’s gold seekers. An in-demand city, San Francisco offers a high number of employment opportunities, but also a competitive job market. Job seekers from all over the U.S. flock to the city every year.

If you’re starting a job search in San Francisco, you’ll be facing heavy competition. There are some specific tips you should keep in mind to understand the unique San Francisco job market and help you succeed in finding your next role in the Bay Area.

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San Francisco Cost of Living
Accounting and Finance Jobs in San Francisco
IT or Engineering Jobs in San Francisco
IT Soft Skills Tips
San Francisco Resume Tips
Working With a San Francisco Recruiter

What Does It Cost to Hang Your Hat in San Francisco?

In addition to practicing your interview skills and getting your resume ready, be prepared to open your wallet. San Francisco continually ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. to reside. Though you can reduce some of your living expenses by getting a roommate, renting outside of city limits, and forgoing vehicle ownership for car-sharing services or public transportation, you should be ready for some serious sticker shock.

On the flip side, the city offers some of the most competitive salaries. It has one of the highest minimum wages in the country, and employers in many industries – including nursing, engineering, tech, and finance – do pay more when compared to other areas. With an average one-bedroom apartment costing $3,400 per month (2015), competitive wages for finance jobs, accounting jobs, and engineering jobs in San Francisco are a must.

So now that you know what to expect from Bay Area living, what can you expect from a San Francisco job search for your particular career path?

Searching for Accounting and Finance Jobs in San Francisco?

New York City may be the financial capital of the nation but San Francisco holds that title for West Coast. Though engineering and tech jobs in San Francisco have been in the spotlight lately, the city remains a financial epicenter.

Firms such as Charles Schwab Corp., Visa, and Wells Fargo have deep roots in the area. The city is also home to hundreds of smaller and mid-sized investment and wealth management firms. A quick search for finance jobs in San Francisco on major job boards reveals 6000+ positions available.

Yet blasting out your resume to an array of employers might not be your best job search strategy. A more savvy approach might be to partner with finance and accounting recruiters in San Francisco. These recruiters are familiar with the hiring landscape and can help you find the right position based on your level of experience, area of expertise, and skillset.

Partnering with recruitment or temp agencies is an option that is too often overlooked by job seekers. Yet by working with finance and accounting recruiters, you can best position yourself in the market and target jobs that match your capabilities. The recruiters job is to find the right fit for you, increase your chances of landing that job and negotiate salary and benefits on your behalf. If you haven’t considered this option, you can learn more about what recruiters do here.

Technology and Engineering Jobs in San Francisco

Engineers and tech industry professionals can also find a wide range of job opportunities in the Bay Area. If you’re in technology or IT and considering searching for a new job, there’s a good chance your skillset is in big demand in San Francisco. Whether you are a software developer, programmer, tester, or database administrator, San Francisco companies are always in need of technical talent. Yet with the high cost of living, you want to find the best position and salary while avoiding a case of finding “just another job.”

Likewise, Nelson’s engineering recruiters are finding that positions in civil, electrical, mechanical, or software engineering are consistently available in San Francisco and that there is a strong need for quality candidates.

Salaries and compensation packages can vary widely, so it is best to have a plan and to find an opportunity that meets your salary needs. Again, reaching out to a recruiting agency in San Francisco can be a viable option, particularly in a job market where you might be overwhelmed by choices.

IT and Engineering Job Search Tips

There’s little doubt that technical and engineering skills can take you far in today’s fast-moving world of technology. But one skill that can really set you apart from other job candidates might not be what you expect: the ability to communicate.

Company leaders report lack of communication skills to be a major problem among candidates seeking engineering and tech jobs in San Francisco. Being able to effectively interact with team members, managers, and clients is a skill that can set you apart in a big way.

Managers want to hire high tech professionals and engineers with soft skills, and job seekers who offer both of these competencies have a considerable advantage with a job search in San Francisco. So put down your phone and brush up on your communications basics, such as minding your manners, maintaining eye contact, and building conversational rapport.

When considering your options, also consider how your approach to finding an IT job may need to differ depending on the firm. The hiring process at some companies may depend on networking and reaching out to connections you have made, as they might prefer to hire from the inside. It could also require working through a recruiting agency, like Nelson, that was hired by your potential employer to find the right candidate. Meanwhile, other companies may follow a more traditional hiring process that requires you to fill out an online application and provide your resume. Make sure you understand the process that the potential employer is taking and tailor your approach accordingly.

Show More and Tell Less

The landscape for accounting, finance, engineering, and tech jobs in San Francisco may be ripe with opportunity, but it also draws top talent from around the world; the city has one of the highest populations of college-educated residents in the country. So despite low unemployment and a high number of positions, the job market is still competitive; so it’s important to make sure you stand out as a candidate. One way to do this is to make sure your resume highlights your accomplishments rather than just your abilities.

Avoid overusing buzzwords or falling into the pitfalls of these bad resume examples. Be specific with your accomplishments and their impacts. For instance, instead of writing, “Five years of experience in developing software for clients,” include what software you worked on, what specific role you played (were you a programmer, a project manager, or both?), and how your contributions led to increased efficiencies or other quantifiable results for the project or your client.

A better example might be, “Led programming team to develop client order tracking system with improved functionality, which increased speed of order processing by 20%.”

It isn’t enough to say you know how to code or are a balance sheet guru. You want to show hiring managers what you bring to the table in a meaningful, measurable way. Both on your resume and during job interviews, you need to prove that you have a track record of producing work that is impactful.

Recruiters Accelerate Your Job Search in SF

Whether you’re seeking a position in finance, accounting, or IT or engineering, the City by the Bay offers vast opportunities. In addition to refining your resume and job interview skills, you can get some job search help by partnering with an accounting and finance recruiter or an IT recruiter at Nelson Jobs. We are specialists in helping great candidates land great jobs in San Francisco. Being strategic in your job search can pay off both in terms of overall compensation and greater job satisfaction. If you are looking to accelerate your career or make a move to San Francisco, reach out to Nelson and see how we can help!

Since 2010, Nelson has partnered with Sonoma’s Hanna Boys Center and the Vadasz Family Foundation to match students with summer internships around Sonoma and Napa counties. During the summer of 2016, 28 teens participated in the program and spent their summers gaining valuable life and work experiences.

Along with companies such as Don Sebastiani, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Sonoma Visitors Bureau, Jack London State Park, and more, the Nelson corporate office hosts an intern each summer. One Hanna Boys Center student who worked in the Nelson IT department in the summer of 2016, had the opportunity to explore a field that interests him while gaining experience that will benefit him in the future. He shared about his experience:

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to ‘try on the job’ to see if it was a good fit. I learned many valuable skills that will help me as I continue my education at college – including learning how to take detailed notes. Thank you to everyone at Nelson Staffing for making me feel welcome and part of the team from day 1.”

At Nelson, we’re dedicated to involvement and investment in the communities where we live, work, and play. In our jobs, we match talented, hardworking people with companies who need them; but we’re also building the future world of work by providing opportunities for the next generation like those offered through this internship program.

Thank you to all of the companies throughout the North Bay that support the Hanna Boys Center and participate in this program. We can’t wait to meet the talented group of teens participating in the summer internship program this year!

10 Resume Buzzwords to Avoid at All Costs

Did you know your resume could outline your exceptional experience and significant skills, and still turn off top hiring managers?

That’s right. Your resume can meet all the requirements and still end up in the “no” pile if it includes certain over-used clichés and buzzwords that drive hiring managers nuts.

In a competitive job market, hiring managers often spend only about 30 seconds deciding if an individual’s resume meets their needs for a specific position. Therefore, the words you choose must capture their interest right away.

According to a national survey of 2,200 hiring managers, widely used terms such as “team player” and “go-getter” can be big turn-offs. Why? They lack originality and, as a result, they come off sounding trite and insincere.

To help your resume stay in the “yes” pile, here is a list of the jargon that makes managers yawn – and suggestions for how to focus on the quantifiable results you’ve achieved to convey why you’re the best fit for a role.

  1. Best of breed – This over-used dog show reference should stay with the dogs. If you are great at what you do, demonstrate that with your proven track record. Include promotions or awards, and point these out in your cover letter if they’re
  2. Go-getter – Being highly motivated is fantastic. However, achievements speak louder than empty terms like “go-getter.” Instead, show managers what you are capable of by outlining your achievements using action verbs, such as “achieved,” “improved,” “launched,” or “negotiated.”
  3. Think outside of the box Unfortunately, there is no phrase more “in the box” today than this one. Banish it from your resume and explain the creative solutions you’ve developed in previous roles, and their outcomes. A creative solution means nothing unless it leads to positive results!
  4. Synergy – Loosely summing up the phrase, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” the word “synergy” has been over-used in the business world to the point that it lacks meaning. Leave it off your resume; instead, demonstrate your collaborative accomplishments in clear language.
  5. Go-to person – This term doesn’t tell the hiring manager anything specific. You need to share what happened when others depended on you. For example, someone working with an administrative assistant recruiter might describe how they streamlined a former company’s customer complaint response procedures, saving 15 minutes per complaint. Try “resolved,” “spearheaded,” or “mentored” as strong verbs to state your case.
  6. Thought leadership – By using this term, you run the risk of coming across as pretentious. Instead, explain the leadership positions you’ve had, revealing how you influenced others or why others counted on your advice. If you’re an experienced professional who frequently speaks at industry events or contributes to industry publications, consider adding a “publications and speaking engagements” section to your resume to demonstrate your reputation.
  7. Value add – Instead of this not-too-golden oldie, share specifics about the value you’ve brought to your previous roles and companies. Use statistics and figures whenever possible. For example, if you work in finance and are updating your resume to share with a finance recruiter, provide the ROI of portfolio investments you’ve managed. If you’re in marketing, share the growth in revenue or profits that directly resulted from your marketing campaigns.
  8. Results-driven – Lose the ambiguity. Your resume should be clear and concise. Describe the results you have achieved and how you outperform the average. If you are applying for a sales position, share how often you met sales quotas – or if you exceeded them, by how much.
  9. Team player – Replace this empty phrase with relevant stories of your collaborations on the job. Be specific about the teams you have been a member of, how you contributed to those teams, and the results of those teams’ efforts. Using the term “team player” can draw focus away from your impact and team achievements.
  10. Bottom-line – Are you the best person for this position? That’s the only bottom line hiring managers care about. Use stronger terms such as “won,” “increased,” or “decreased,” supplying all necessary details to state your case clearly. If you are displaying your ability to improve a company’s financial status, use the correct terms. There is no line item on a profit & loss statement called “bottom line.” However “profitability” and “revenue” are hard facts that get your resume the attention you want.

In summary, replace clichés with specific active verbs and phrases that demonstrate your strengths – and always focus on results and outcomes instead of responsibilities and tasks. In addition to the examples above, here are a few more “power” words to add to your resume arsenal:

  • Accomplished
  • Designed
  • Initiated
  • Completed
  • Won
  • Supervised
  • Analyzed
  • Advocated
  • Built
  • Changed
  • Coordinated
  • Developed
  • Established

Replacing tired words and phrases with punchier substitutes is important, but it’s also important to make the most of the limited real estate on your resume. Here are two additional space-waster phrases to delete from your resume altogether.

  • Salary negotiable – Of course it is. This phrase, or any other salary information, has no place on your resume. Wait to discuss salary until the topic is brought up by your recruiter or the employer. If you are working with a recruitment agency, they can help you to negotiate with the employer.
  • References available by request – If potential employers want references, they’ll ask. You should always be ready to provide them.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Now it is time to show it. Don’t derail your career by using weak phrases and stale buzzwords on your resume. Replace them with substantive information that will make you stand out from the rest and land the job you’ve been waiting for!

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In the past few years, the way resumes are used has changed significantly. Gone are the days of printing and mailing resumes to prospective employers; now, most resumes are shared electronically – through email, online job boards, and company websites.

Because of these changes, formatting best practices have also shifted. Your resume needs to not only contain up-to-date information about your experience and skills; it also needs to be formatted in a way that shows you understand how to communicate.

If you have a resume that is poorly formatted or more than a few years old, it’s time to update it with help from one of these resume template resources.

What Makes a Resume Template Good?

The key to finding a great resume template is to consider which factors go into a good resume, and then finding a template that has those same characteristics. Here are some elements of a good resume template to consider:

  • Simple formatting. Quality templates have neat, clean lines and are well organized. They use the same attractive style elements throughout and don’t let fancy formatting or graphics overwhelm the content.
  • A clearly defined information structure. Sought-after resume templates use uniform formatting for all elements, including headers and sub-headers, body copy, bullet points, dates of employment, and more. The header of each section should be visually set apart from the body of the text for easy scanning, and each element should be consistent in capitalization, punctuation, font size, etc.
  • Job type or level-specific formatting. While you can find many one-size-fits-all resume templates, be cautious about using these exactly as they’re provided without adjusting them to fit your needs. A mid-level finance professional may want to focus on the skills they’ve gained across multiple positions, whereas a recent college grad with little experience may want to focus more on their education and volunteer experience; these require different templates – or at least template tweaks.
  • Bulleted information. Within each section of your resume, content should be written in short, pithy bulleted lines. Long, essay-style paragraphs have no place in today’s modern resumes. For hiring managers, time is precious; highlights of your experience should be digestible at a glance. Good templates also feature reasonable, readable font sizes, so avoid reducing the font size to cram in more information. Hiring managers shouldn’t have to squint to read your resume.

Pro recruiter tip: If you are working with a recruiter who specializes in your field or location (for example, a Nelson accounting and finance recruiter or a recruiter who fills positions in the San Francisco Bay Area), that recruiter can let you know if there is a particular format or structure that has helped other similar job seekers find success in finding roles similar to the one you’re seeking.

Now that you know what to look for in a quality resume template, here are some of the top resume template resources to help you find a resume design that will move your resume to the top of a hiring manager’s stack.

Top 6 Resume Template Resources

Whether you’re looking for templates for or examples of accounting resumes, manufacturing resumes, or IT resumes, there are a number of no-cost resume template and example resources for you to choose from. The Nelson recruiting experts have searched the web for you to find the best ones out there.

1. ResumeGenius.com

This site offers reliable resume writing advice as well as no-cost downloadable resume templates, which are categorized by experience level, design style, and situation. That means you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Browse these template libraries to search and download proven and effective templates in basic, classic, advanced, and creative styles. These original resume designs are created by professional resume writers and they have a record of success in today’s competitive job market.

If you’re looking for something new, just-released templates are listed under “Professional Profile Layouts” and have been reviewed and approved by human resources professionals.

If you prefer to search for resume templates by career phase, navigate to “Template Library 5: Career & Life Situations.” Here you can find templates for specific types of job seekers and situations, such as resumes for entry-level, mid-level, and executive-level job seekers, and even resumes for career changers or job hoppers. Best of all, the site gives strategic advice on how to modify each template to match your own individual situation.

To download any of these resume templates, click on the “Download the Template Pack” green button and follow the instructions.

One caveat to consider with ResumeGenius relates to its resume builder. Though it’s promoted as “free,” this isn’t quite the whole story. Technically speaking, using the Builder is free but accessing the final resume product isn’t. So if you opt to go the Resume Builder route, be aware that you’ll have to pay for the final product.

2. Monster.com

This popular job search site is also a trusted resource for resume samples and writing advice. For some people, having a resume sample is just as good as a template since it can be used as guide for both design and content. Under Resume Samples, you can sift through examples of resumes for just about every profession imaginable, including accounting, finance, sales/business development, the trades, IT, customer service, and much more.

For example, the administrative assistant resume here is a good example of a resume that is clearly structured. It includes easily identifiable headings, consistent formatting, and a qualifications profile that highlights administrative and office support skills.

On Monster, you can either view the resume samples on screen or download a Microsoft Word template that includes the sample information. To download the template, find the opening paragraph near the top of the page, and look for the word “download.” The link to the template file will follow. The download link is only located in the body of the text (there is no download button or image), so it can be easy to miss.

In addition to offering these samples, this site provides expert advice on how to customize a resume template to make it your own. This way, your administrative assistant resume won’t look and read just like every other administrative assistant resume out there. By using one of these resume samples as a base and following the expert advice, you can save time and make your resume unique.

3. Hloom.com

This resume template resource offers hundreds of quality, no-cost templates. They’re organized by both type of position and design style, including basic, clean/modern, tabular, creative, and more. From these resume templates, you can choose one appropriately suited for your industry and experience level.

The site provides some guidance with regards to selecting a template. For example, as you sift through the more than 50 basic design templates, you will see descriptions to the right of the template image. The description might say “ideal for finance / banking positions” or “suitable for most any industry.” These little tips can be very helpful in narrowing down your search.

To download one of these templates, click on “Download” to visit that template’s download page. On this page, you may see ads that have large buttons that say “Start Download,” “Download Now,” or similar phrases. Avoid these buttons and look for the the free download link below them. The link to download the template just says “free.” and is located near where file size and file name are listed. Once you download the template, be sure to delete the legal disclaimer notice on the last page.

Use care when using creative resume templates. Templates that use graphics to communicate information may not be compliant with applicant tracking systems (ATSs), the systems recruiters use to collect and search through resumes and track candidates through the recruiting process.

Also, be sure to note that Hloom provides a wide variety of resumes and curriculum vitae (CV) templates for job seekers from all over the world. This means the site does provide resumes in styles that may be popular or common in other countries, but not acceptable in the U.S. For example, many of their resume templates contain a placeholder for your photo. While it is common in some countries to put your photo on a CV, it is almost never recommended or acceptable to put your photo on your resume in the U.S. Recruiters and prospective employers should be first judging you on your experience and skills listed on your resume, not your appearance or other traits apparent in your photo that could lead to (many times unintentional) discrimination.

Lastly, ensure the template you select is standard letter size (8×11”) for the U.S. market. European or international resumes use a larger (A4) paper size. After you download your selected template, you can check this in Word by clicking “Layout,” then “Size.” If you do see that a template is designed for A4 format, just click “US Letter” to switch the size, and review the template to make sure the design structure hasn’t been significantly modified by the change.

4. Behance.net

Behance provides portfolio hosting and sharing for creative professionals like graphic designers, photographers, etc. But did you know that the site also features free resume and cover letter templates?

Designers offer templates through the Behance community to gain exposure to their work. If you are looking for a creative resume template, this site can be a great resource.

You will need to create an account to download templates. Be sure to check the file format before you download; while some templates are available in Microsoft Word format, many were created in design software like Adobe Acrobat/Illustrator/Photoshop and require file-type specific software to edit. Search by file type to make sure you can use the templates you find.

If you’re in a creative field, working with a Nelson creative recruiter can help you understand the best resume advice for your particular role. If you’re in a different type of role, a recruiter who specializes in your line of work can help you understand whether a more creative resume format would be appropriate for your circumstances.

5. MicrosoftOffice.com

Another quality resource for resume templates that many job seekers don’t consider is Microsoft Office’s online template gallery. Here you can filter through basic, elegant, and advanced designs as well as chronological, functional, or CV formats.

Years ago, Microsoft’s templates gained a reputation for being very basic, and sometimes not very user-friendly; but they’ve come a long way since Word hit the market. Here, you’ll find some good basic resume and cover letter templates, but also more graphic templates designed by some of Microsoft’s partners. These templates offer you a good option for putting together a resume quickly and without any advanced design knowledge or software required. You will, however, need access to Microsoft Word to use these templates. If you don’t have access to Word and you are working with a recruiter, be sure to let your recruiter know. It’s possible they can offer you access on a computer at their location or that they know other locations where you may be able to use Word, such as a local public library.

Because of the popularity of Microsoft Office templates, many job seekers turn to these templates when creating their resumes. Feel free to modify font styling (stick to clearly readable font styles and sizes) and design elements to customize your selected template to your specific needs and information and make your resume stand out from others.

6. Google Docs

Lastly, to address the needs of the growing number of non-Microsoft Office users, Google has created its own resume template gallery designed specifically for Google Docs. Though its offerings are limited when compared to other libraries, Google Docs users can find a handful of cleanly formatted resume templates to easily select for use. You’ll need a free Google account to be able to use these templates and Google Docs.

The benefits to using a Google Docs resume are numerous. First, you have access to it from any device, anywhere because your Google Docs files are saved to the cloud and not to your local desktop. You can also download your final file in multiple formats, including pdf, Microsoft Word Doc, txt, or rtf.

Although the process of creating a resume has changed over the years, one thing remains the same: a quality, concise, and well-organized resume will get you noticed by hiring managers. The key is to create a resume that communicates to others the skills, experience, and education that make you the best candidate for the position. Take advantage of one or more of these resume template resources in order to set your resume apart from the others.

Additionally, consider working with a professional recruiter to ensure that you have the best shot at landing the right job. They are available to help you every step of the way, from creating the right resume and finding the right job opening to negotiating salaries and securing the position.

Despite a low unemployment rate across California and a high demand for quality candidates, it can still be difficult to get the best results from your job search and maximize your opportunities if you’re trying to find a job on your own. One way to find the best jobs with top companies, land highly coveted interviews, and negotiate a lucrative salary is to take advantage of job recruiting services.

Some people overlook working with a recruiter in favor of searching online or focusing on their own networking efforts. While these strategies can lead to valuable opportunities, adding a recruiter to your job search can provide many advantages.

Many job seekers don’t take advantage of the benefits of working with a recruiter because of a few common misconceptions. To clear up some of the myths and allow you to better understand how a recruiter can help you launch or elevate your career, here are ten tips to keep in mind when working with professional recruiting companies to find a new job.

Understand who recruiters work for – and how they define success.

Professional recruiters work for the hiring company. When employers use staffing services, they pay recruiters to find the perfect person for their open job. Staffing companies charge hiring companies a flat fee or a percentage of the new hire’s hourly rate or first-year base salary. While some recruiters may have fees for additional job seeker services such as resume review or coaching, many do not require any payment from you, the candidate. For instance, when you work with a Nelson recruiter as a job seeker, there is never a fee.

Many people think that recruiters only care about getting job seekers placed in roles and receiving their placement commissions instead of caring about whether each role is a good long-term fit. The best recruiters, like those at Nelson, understand that good long-term relationships with their client companies are only possible if they make good matches. This requires each role and company to be a good fit for each job seeker as much as it requires each job seeker to be the right fit for the role. When these skilled recruiters make a placement, that placement lasts – and both you as the job seeker and the recruiter’s client company end up satisfied with their service.

Make sure the recruiter you select is a good fit for your career needs.

It’s easy to find names of recruiters who work in your location or field with a quick online search. However, not all recruiters are the same. It’s important to find a recruiter that specializes in the type of role you’re seeking.

If you are a mechanical engineer, for example, look for an industry-specific engineering recruiter who has placed candidates in your industry. If you work in accounting and finance, look for recruiters with expertise in that field.

In fact, if you’re in either of those fields and are reading this, you’ve already found a great recruiting company for your industry – Nelson! Many of Nelson’s professional recruiters have hands-on experience in their respective fields, allowing them to thoroughly understand your skills and role as well as the talent needs of their client companies.

Recruiting specialists may also focus on filling positions in your local area. Although we at Nelson work with clients across the country to offer opportunities to job seekers nationwide, we specialize in helping job seekers in California. We are consistently one of the top recruiting companies helping job seekers find jobs in San Francisco, San Jose, and the Bay Area. Our local offices and teams also work with job seekers across the state – in Sacramento, Modesto, the Central Coast, Southern California (including Los Angeles), and beyond.

In addition, ask your friends and colleagues for referrals and contact several recruiters before you decide who is right for you. A good recruiter should not only try to understand your skills and background; they should listen to what you’re looking for in your next role, and what type of company you’d like to work for. You should always go through your own interview process before selecting the right recruiter for your job search.

Be prepared to answer interview questions for the recruiter.

Recruitment agencies are hired to save employers time and money by finding the best candidates for available positions. To accomplish this task, recruiters examine resumes and schedule interviews just as hiring managers do.

Think of an interview with a recruiter in the same way as you would a regular job interview. Be ready to share your resume and your experience and demonstrate why you are a good fit in the meeting with your recruiter.

Recruiters may ask you tough questions because it’s their job to qualify candidates for employers. Do your research beforehand and take all the steps to prepare for an interview and show that you are knowledgeable about the hiring firm and your industry. A good preparation step is to write down responses to common interview questions and practice delivering your answers with confidence before your meeting. Also, dress professionally and go easy on the cologne or perfume.

Stay personable and get to know your recruiter.

In order to perform their jobs well, many recruiters maintain important connections with top hiring managers. It is definitely in your best interest to establish a friendly working relationship with recruiters in your field.

By creating and maintaining this relationship, you can learn important information such as an employer’s company culture or work environment.

Recruiters may even know about available jobs before they are advertised. If you’ve made a good impression with a recruiter, you could rise to the top of their candidate list and be one of the first they call when a new job opens. In all cases, developing this strong relationship starts with congeniality and respect.

Treat recruiters with respect.

Now that you know a little more about the value of what a recruiter does, you can see how getting on their good side can accelerate your job search.

Treat your recruiter the same as you would treat any hiring manager at a company you’d like to work for. Thank the recruiter for their time and send a follow-up thank-you note in the form of an email or a written letter following your meeting. Demonstrate the level of professionalism that you would show in the boardroom or on the job.

Avoid badgering the recruiter with phone calls and emails for status updates. Instead ask for an expected timeline and respond accordingly. Respect your recruiter and their time and it can pay off in your job search.

Accept constructive criticism.

In an effort to find the best candidates, recruiters will often provide job seekers with advice on how to make themselves or their resumes more attractive to the hiring company. They may help you avoid some of the mistakes made in these bad resume examples and help you to refine your pitch. However, it is important to take their criticism positively and use the advice that they provide. After all, they see firsthand what is effective in getting candidates hired.

Remember, a professional recruiter knows what the employer wants, so it is a good idea to listen to these suggestions carefully and use this information to your best advantage.

Offer referrals.

If a recruiter reaches out to you with a job that isn’t a good fit for you, you can build your relationship with that person or company by passing along names of qualified colleagues.

Time is money for recruiters, just as it is for all busy professionals. By providing names of qualified candidates, you save the recruiter time. This gesture may put you at the top of the list when an opportunity comes along that is a better fit for your skills.

Be straightforward and honest.

We all know that honesty is the best policy. This is no different when working with a recruiter. Tell your recruiter as much as you can about the types of job you’re most interested in, as well as what types of jobs and companies you’re not interested in. Describe the location, workplace environment, industry, and travel requirements. Make sure your recruiter understands your salary and benefits expectations. Tell your recruiter which details are negotiable and non-negotiable (for example, are you willing to consider another location or industry if the salary rises to compensate for the switch?). Misleading answers will waste your recruiter’s time and can work against you in the future.

Is there anything in your work history – such as a termination, unrelated work on your resume, or gaps in employment – that may reflect poorly on you as a candidate? Share these details with the recruiter now and they may help to prepare any needed explanations to the employer ahead of time.

Update your LinkedIn profile.

Recruiters use LinkedIn all the time. Be sure that your profile is up to date and showcases your skills in the best way possible. Use your profile to highlight any special abilities or skills you have; be sure to include assets such as language skills, software training, and industry certifications. Feel free to brag about successes, ask your colleagues for skills votes, and connect with as many people in your immediate field as possible. There is a perceived difference in the candidate that has 25 connections and one with a network of 500+ connections.

In addition, many recruiters will want to contact you via LinkedIn. Make sure that your privacy settings allow recruiters to access your profile and message you. Brush up on modern job search strategies if you haven’t conducted a job search in the past few years.

Be open to possibilities.

Keep in mind that recruiters often look for people to fill short-term staffing projects. You may find that contract or project-based work is a good way for you to get experience as you continue to search for a permanent position. If you land a part-time role, freelance position, or contract job, your recruiter may suggest that you use your extra time to obtain additional training or certification. This new training and experience will make you more attractive to hiring managers. A Temporary staffing role can also result in a permanent job opportunity, allowing you to get your foot in the door at a specific company and showcase your skills directly to people who make hiring decisions.

If you are currently looking for a career change, working with a recruiter can help put you in a more select pool of job candidates. Recruiters want to find the best person for the job; their reputations depend on it. Why not use a recruiter’s knowledge and experience to propel your professional career to the next level?

You can keep searching for positions or sign up for job search alerts on Nelson’s job board or reach out to us directly to see how we can turbo charge your career with additional recruitment services from our job recruiters in California and beyond.

Whether you are actively seeking a new position or are merely open to hearing about new opportunities, you are not alone. In a global survey by LinkedIn last year, a whopping 90 percent of professionals reported being open to new career options.

A smart way to jump start your career is with the services of a professional recruiter. However, many job seekers unknowingly sabotage their relationship with a recruiter – and therefore their chances of landing a great new job – by making some common blunders.

Here are the top mistakes job seekers make with recruiters and steps you can take to avoid them:

Applying for the same position multiple ways.

Working with a recruiter involves building a business relationship. If you have applied for a position through a recruiter, don’t apply for the same position online, through the mail, or in person.

Since the hiring company trusts the recruiter’s judgment, you will be undermining your credibility by duplicating your application through these other channels. Let the recruiter do his or her job. Don’t let that dissuade you from checking available jobs listings; but remember, having two resumes in the same pile can be more detrimental than beneficial to your chances as an applicant.

Going around the recruiter.

Another way to lose the services of a top recruiter is by circumventing them and contacting the hiring employer directly.

One of the reasons a company hires a recruiter is to avoid a barrage of emails and phone calls about an open position. Hiring managers rely on the staffing company they’ve selected and that company’s recruiters to select the top candidates for the job. Be patient with the process and trust that your recruiter is working for you.

Negotiating the terms of your job offer on your own.

Let’s say your recruiter gives you the good news about a job offer. Now, it’s time to take control of the situation, right? Wrong. Allow your recruiter to negotiate your salary and benefits package for you.

Recruiters know the salaries and benefits that are standard for that employer and industry, and they are well prepared to negotiate the best deal for you. Since hiring companies usually pay professional recruiters a commission based on your pay rate or salary, you can be sure that your recruiter has your best interests in mind. Have a discussion about salary with your recruiter and negotiate with them first so that they can go to bat for you.

Acting as if you don’t care.

It is a competitive job market out there, and one sure way to turn off a recruiter is by not taking the job search seriously. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your social media presence sends an appropriate message about you.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile.
  • Clean up your resume and include keywords that pertain to your industry and your desired position.
  • Return your recruiter’s phone calls and emails promptly.
  • Be respectful of your recruiter’s time. Calling to “check in” several times a day will not win you any favors.
  • Avoid resume gimmicks. Sending your resume in the form of an infographic, using your own brand icon, or including personal stories or informal language may be big resume mistakes. These gimmicks may not elicit the response you are hoping for.
  • Be polite and send thank-you notes after interviews.

 

Being dishonest.

It may be tempting to add some extra work history or another degree to your resume, but your recruiter can find out the truth with just a little research.

If a recruiter discovers you have lied about your experience, you will have ended that relationship. Similarly, if a potential employer learns about your choice, you will have lost the opportunity to work at that company. Don’t burn your bridges before they’re built. Honesty is always the best policy when working with a recruiter.

Arriving unprepared for the interview.

You should treat your interview with a recruiter the same as you would any important job interview. Be ready with your updated resume and be prepared to answer some challenging questions about yourself, your experience, and your career goals. Brush up on recent industry news. For example, if you are preparing to meet with an accounting and finance recruiter, make sure you’ve taken a look at the latest stories on Accounting Today. If you’re working with a creative recruiter and are looking for a job in marketing or tech that involves website work, be prepared to talk about responsive website design and the CMS or platform of the prospect employer’s website. Using tools like builtwith.com or ghostery can help to uncover information about the employer’s website and help you prepare.

Research your industry and its current trends then share what you know about the companies for which you would like to work for. Being prepared will help you to avoid awkward interview moments and ace your first impression.

Losing confidence in the process.

Finding the right job takes time. Using a job recruiter is a great step, but it is not a magic formula.

Don’t lose hope if a certain job opportunity does not work out. If you’ve made a good impression, your recruiter will keep you in mind for the next opening. If you have the right skills and the right attitude, a recruiter will want to place you in the perfect job.

As part of this process, be willing to accept your recruiter’s advice on how you present yourself, both online and in person. Remember, a recruiter knows your industry and knows a potential employer’s requirements. Respect your recruiter’s opinion and make any necessary adjustments. When they see that you’re taking their advice to heart, it will win you points as they look for the right fit for your next career move.

Utilizing the services of a top recruiter offers you many professional advantages, including access to “hidden” jobs that have not been advertised. Working with a recruiter, however, is not a one-way street and takes honest effort from all sides. By avoiding these common mistakes, you could be on your way to a new and better position much sooner than you thought.

To maximize your job search opportunities, reach out to Nelson and work with a professional recruiting company. To learn how to best answer the question, “what does a recruiter do?”, keep reading our blog.  For top job prospects in the Bay Area, see our California jobs board.

With unemployment rates remaining low and economic reports and projections for the rest of 2017 still showing strength, the U.S. economy is off to a roaring start in the first quarter of the year. But that doesn’t mean U.S. and California businesses aren’t experiencing significant challenges. When unemployment is low, it becomes more difficult for companies to find and hire qualified employees; and because human resources professionals are on the front lines of hiring, they can often share significant insights on how the economic environment is impacting a company before those trends become apparent in financial reports and other company data.

Nelson surveyed attendees at the recent HR West conference, March 6-8 in Oakland, California, to take a quick pulse check of how the economy is impacting HR professionals and companies in California. We uncovered two key insights:

Insight #1: HR professionals still report experiencing difficulties when trying to fill open positions in 2017.   

HR West 2017: Difficulty HiringNearly 83% of employers experienced at least some difficulty when trying to fill open positions in 2017. This percentage was nearly identical to one reported in a statewide survey Nelson conducted in 2016, revealing that employers are not having an easier time trying to attract talent in 2017.

HR West 2017: Difficulty Hiring (Companies >500 Employees)With unemployment rates continuing to decline, employers face more and more difficulty in finding highly specialized talent – meaning larger companies may experience even more hiring difficulties than smaller ones due to more specialized talent
needs. As companies grow and break out responsibilities into more highly specialized roles, they seek talent with very specific backgrounds and skillsets. Smaller companies may be more likely to look for people who can “wear multiple hats,” reducing the importance of extremely specific experience and skillsets.

This was reflected in our survey, with larger companies more likely than smaller companies to report recent hiring difficulty; over 96% of companies with more than 500 employees reported experiencing at least some difficulty.

Insight #2: Despite strong economic reports, HR professionals are tempered in their economic optimism.

HR West 2017: Economic Confidence LevelOnly 8% of conference attendees surveyed reported having a high level of confidence in the economic outlook for the rest of the year. Even more (14%) reported a low confidence level, while the vast majority of attendees (78%) reported a moderate confidence level.

Uncertainty due to U.S. and international political conditions, rising cost of living (especially housing costs in California), and slow gains in business and wage growth are leveling out the optimism that generally accompanies low unemployment rates and stock market gains.

HR West 2017: Low Economic Confidence LevelEconomic confidence level varied by company size, though; respondents from smaller companies were more likely to report a low economic confidence level (23% at companies with less than 100 employees, vs. just 10% at companies with more than 1,000 employees).

Confidence level also correlated with hiring difficulty experiences. Not one person who reported that hiring has been very difficult in 2017 also reported a high economic confidence level.

Conclusion

While economic data continue to point to growth and progress, optimism is not widespread. Throughout the rest of 2017 and beyond, companies will continue to feel the crunch of talent shortages resulting from low unemployment – especially in industries and specialties where specialized talent is in high demand. Working with a staffing company like Nelson is one strategy for overcoming these talent shortages. If your company is experiencing difficulty finding the talent you need to foster growth and success, contact Nelson to learn how we can help.

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How do I work with the millennial generation? Can they really add value in this enterprise environment? Are they only going to stay for a short time and then leave?

These are questions I hear time and again. My answer is always a resounding “YES!”

We need to hire and embrace the generation that, according to the Harvard Business Review (2012), is going to “make up 50 percent of our workforce in the next four years.”

This means our Gen X management needs to understand how to attract, develop, and retain this new talent. The rules are different this time. This generation looks for jobs through unconventional social media channels; they expect us to text them our offer letters instead of using traditional email.

Being part of the collaborative technology generation, they are well-versed in group texting, group gaming, group projects, and often prefer to work together to solve problems or to meet a deadline.

Continue reading here.

 

With the unemployment rate dropping below 5 percent for the first time in eight years, it’s no surprise that business owners and senior executives are increasingly concerned with driving employee engagement to retain their top talent.

According to the most recent ADP Midsized Business Owners Study, concerns over employee engagement spiked 25 percent in 2015 after being flat since 2012. The study found two out of five employers surveyed (those with 50-999 employees) now express high levels of concern over engaging their employees to be active contributors to their business.

While employee engagement isn’t a new concept, it’s become more of a hot-button issue as the job market improves. After an economic downturn, there’s typically a rise in voluntary turnover in the United States, meaning the number of employees moving to a new job usually increases.

Continue reading here.

 

Think you know what works when hiring a new employee? Experts say: think again. Most managers skimp on time and energy needed to find the best candidates for a job.

You run your own company. You’ve grown it from the ground-up, and things are going so smoothly you’re ready to expand. That should be simple enough: You have a knack for finding the right people to help business thrive. Right?

Wrong, says Mark Clark, an associate professor at American University’s Kosgod School of Business. “Managers say, oh, I know what I’m looking for,” he says. “Fact is that’s the worst way to hire.”

What’s so flawed about that way of thinking, Clark says, is that it doesn’t leave time or space for the best practices of hiring that are proven to be conducive to finding employees who either become great for their company or stay with the company for the desired amount of time.

“Even though we know what works, which is putting more money up front in the form of more time from the managers, and that ends up resulting in better organizations, people don’t do it because that up-front thing is hardest to manage on a time scale,” Clark says.

Continue reading here.

A founder can’t grow a winning enterprise singlehandedly. Some may try, but it is nearly impossible to do so. Every famous entrepreneur has built a flourishing company with great employees by his or her side.

An entrepreneur can invent and even commercialize an idea as an enterprise of one. In time, however, the tasks of running a business become too great for the entrepreneur to manage alone.  At this point, a savvy leader must find and hire the best workers to help achieve the entrepreneurial dream.

In today’s economy, hiring the best people is more critical than ever. Entrepreneurs can’t afford to lose time, money and results from a bad hiring choice (a recent Forbes article by David K. Williams pegs the cost of a single bad hire at anywhere from $25-50,000). The cost of finding, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is high. Employees also require desks, computers, phones and related equipment, let alone the largest costs of being an employer—salaries, benefits and taxes.

Leaders view new employees as an investment and anticipate an excellent financial return over time.

 

Continue reading here.

 

Featuring Drake, Kanye and his G.O.O.D. crew, the women of Haim, and more.

One of 2016’s few redeeming qualities was its music. While we lost a myriad of heroes along the way, rarely has there been a year as stacked with soon-to-be-classic records (especially from black musicians). In 2017, we’ll once again be looking to music to entertain us, unite us, and carry us forward.

Already 2017’s musical forecast looks promising. MGMT has readjusted its comeback plans. Lorde seems confident in her new record. The Gorillaz camp is edging toward a new release as eccentrically as ever. And everyone from Kanye, Arcade Fire, and LCD Soundsystem to the Killers is reportedly in the studio.

But if we learned anything in 2016, it’s that the effects of a rapidly shifting music industry are re-contextualizing how albums are released entirely. In other words, things aren’t nearly as simple as they used to be. It’s grown harder to speak about upcoming albums in definite terms. For all we know, the albums that will excite us the most will arrive late, be leaked early, not come at all, or emerge entirely from left field.

Continue reading here.

Your hunt is over: Best Stuff is GQ’s destination for finding the perfect version of whatever you need. Everything we endorse has been heavily researched and thoroughly tested. You can thank us later.

GQ‘s Favorite: Garmin vivosmart HR+

>$169, buy now at Amazon

Fitness trackers have come a long way since your grandma power-walked hot laps around the local mall and checked her pedometer every time she cruised by Hot Topic. But we’ll say what everyone else in the fitness industry won’t: tracking steps is useless. It’s a meaningless metric. When was the last time you counted steps? The answer is never.

Now fitness trackers will tell you the actual distance you traveled each day with a quantifiable number—miles (or kilometers if you’ve fled this lousy country for our friendly northern border)—which feels far more tangible than hitting the arbitrary 10,000 steps benchmark. And now fitness trackers are practically glorified smartwatches with everything from wrist-based heart rate and GPS to sleep tracking and various exercise modes (swimming! yoga! cycling!). We like the Garmin vivosmart HR+ because it does, well, pretty much everything—only more accurately than other trackers, and with a ridiculously long battery life. Oh, and it’s waterproof to 50 meters for all you dudes who joined your local YMCA after the Olympics to channel your inner Phelps.

 Continue reading here.

 

Sometimes, even on my best days, I just need a little encouragement at work. Other times, I could use a big kick in the butt to get stuff done. With that said, I can’t always rely on a co-worker or my boss to hold me accountable and be my cheerleader.

Luckily, I can get plenty of inspiration and motivation right from my computer—and just by opening a new tab in my browser. And you can too, if you add one of these extensions to your internet homepage. (Who needs a personal trainer or life coach?)

1. To Stay on Track With Your Goals: Don’t Break the Chain

Don’t Break the Chain is a deceptively simple online tool made famous in the ’90s sitcom Seinfeld. All you do is choose the goal you want to track and then mark an X on the calendar every day you achieve it. The trick is that, once you see a few days in a row marked off, your brain will want you to continue “the chain.”

Continue reading here.