We have all heard time and time again specifics do’s and don’ts for a job interview. Do be polite and talk to the receptionist. Don’t slouch. Do mimic the interviewers body language. Don’t text or take calls during your interview. Do ask questions. These pieces of advice are incredibly useful to anyone, but what about the lesser known details that truly affect your chances of getting the job.
We’ve revealed six seemingly minor details that could change the future of your career path and whether you land your next job interview.
Drum roll please…Here are the things you should never overlook when interviewing (and that are in your complete and utter control).
Did you make a personal New Year’s Resolution for 2019? How about one for your career growth? This year, setting firm, measurable career goals can improve your quality of life and work/life balance.
Here are some suggested workplace goals:
1) Get Healthy - Getting healthy is the most common New Year’s resolution made among people of all ages. Because you spend a lot of time at work, incorporating a healthy lifestyle while you are there is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. It doesn't have to be complicated either. For example: pack a lunch 2-3 times a week filled with fruits and vegetables. Take the stairs. Drink an extra glass of water each day. Get up and stretch every hour. Use a standing desk or sit on an exercise ball. Think small, and you’ll find that those little things add up to big results.
2) Learn a new skill - No matter what your title is at work, there are hundreds of new skills to be learned that will benefit your performance and ultimately your career. Pick one skill that you want to learn and use tutorials to aid you. You can find these on sites like Lynda.com and even for free on YouTube. Pick just one skill and set it as one of your work goals for the year. Then get it done. Once you do, don't forget to add it to your resume.
3) Read a career-related book - Reading is great for your mental health and does wonders for your body. Instead of reading a fictional book, find one that aligns with your work goals -- maybe one focused on boosting your performance, your outlook, or even focused on your personal habits. Reading a great book on professional development can give you a new perspective, increase your energy and motivate you during the year.
4) Review and improve your LinkedIn profile - Set a calendar reminder every quarter to assess your LinkedIn profile. Your profile is more or less your online resume so make sure it is up-to-date. You might be surprised when a dream job comes your way or a recruiter reaches out. If you don't know where to begin, assess other profiles of people with similar titles or at similar companies. See what you like or dislike from their profiles and make changes to your accordingly.
Career resolutions aren't required but can set you on a path to success for the entire year. Even if you only choose one of these, it is well worth the effort because you are sure to see results. Best of luck to you in 2019.
OpTech is committed to providing its customers with exceptional talent to fit their business needs. We also believe strongly in helping and giving back to the communities in which we work and reside. As a result, a few years ago, we developed a dedicated program for veterans returning to the workforce after completing their active duty. The program not only places a veteran in a new position, but allows him/her to transition into civilian life seamlessly.
The Value of Hiring a Veteran
Veterans generally bring the core values of discipline & commitment to all aspects of their work. They are trained to think and react logically and be a valuable team player in the workplace.
OpTech works directly with a number of organizations and partner companies to place Veterans. Some of these groups include: Hiring our Heroes, Inforum's Next4Vets and MI Virtual Career Fairs, which help Veterans find civilian jobs. OpTech's program is multi-faceted and has been established to accomplish several objectives, including identifying, recruiting, training and assisting veterans in finding jobs and advancing their careers after their military service.
Our success in employing veterans has earned us a Silver Level Employer certification status by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
OpTech's President and CEO, Ronia Kruse was recently featured in the Detroiter Magazine, alongside other industry experts. The article posed a question to each visionary about the role talent played on Detroit's failed bid to host Amazon's second world headquarters. Amazon cited several reasons why Detroit was not a contender, but the main reason was that our city lacks existing talent. So the question is this: What comes first, talent or business?
Ronia said the following:
“Certainly some talent follows companies but more often, companies will follow talent. In fact, studies by renowned economists have proven this theory. The unemployment rate is under 4%, which is extremely low; IT and Engineering positions are below 2%. Clearly the talent pool in the U.S. is in a crisis. Michigan has some of the finest universities in the country but is being challenged with retaining talent in Michigan, as it is losing about 36% of its students to other states. Michigan is making strides to change this paradigm via the Marshall Plan for Talent and ChooseMichigan.org initiative – programs that are building talent pipelines, retaining students and upskilling talent.”
The world of interviewing has changed so much over the past 10 years. Not only has the cover letter died but the phone interview has become a true first step to getting a foot in the door, literally. Most companies require you to pass their phone screening process before you can step foot into the office and meet with someone face-to-face. For some of you, this is an easy step to get past, but for many of us, we are much better at meeting someone one-on-one. Unfortunately, your voice and your words must sell you and that can be nerve-wracking and daunting all at once.
If you find you are struggling during your phone interviews, here are a few suggestions that could make all the difference in the world:
Similar to any interview, be sure to ask questions and thank the interviewer for their time. Be sure to ask for the interviewer's email address, if you don't already have it, and send out an email thank you note immediately, reiterating your interest in the job. Finally, take a deep breath, and remember, like most things: practice makes perfect.
When was the last time you submitted a cover letter with a resume? If you can’t remember, you aren’t alone. Cover letters are quickly becoming a thing of the past with the advent of speed, technology and the sheer volume of resumes submitted for any particular job post, but it wasn’t always this way. Years ago, the cover letter was a tool that recruiters or hiring managers used to get the bigger picture about you and what you had to offer an organization.
Today, however, the average recruiter spends 5-7 seconds reviewing any single resume. In that amount of time, the last thing they are going to do is read a cover letter. In addition, most companies today use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that allow talent to upload their resume which in turn, strips the information, only leaving the most important data for quicker perusing.
Regardless of all of this, the end of the cover letter also signals the end of personalizing your pitch and highlighting information that doesn’t shine on a bulleted job history. To stand out now, applicants need to get creative and change the traditional resume format to serve their needs. Here is what we suggest:
There is one caveat to the death of the cover letter. Sometimes it is used as a test to see how interested and committed you are to the position. So if a company asks for a cover letter, be sure to include one. It may not even be reviewed but those resumes received without a cover letter may be a weeding factor and could automatically be dismissed.
Beyond everything else, focus on the elements of the application process – a strong resume, a professional online presence, and skillful networking – elements that will separate you from the crowd each and every time.
Top 10 reasons why OpTech truly is one of the Best and Brightest companies to work for in Metro Detroit
Next week, OpTech will be recognized for the 9th year in a row as one of Metro Detroit's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®. The competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in their human resource practices and employee enrichment. To earn this title, companies are assessed on everything from communication, work-life balance, employee education, to diversity, recognition, retention and more.
OpTech is proud of this achievement because it is a direct response of how our employees feel about the firm. Here are the top 10 reasons why OpTech truly is one of the Best and Brightest companies to work for in Metro Detroit:
The United States is facing a shortage of workers in science, technology, engineering and math. In a recent survey conducted by Emerson, a St. Louis-based firm that manufactures products and provides engineering services, they found that this shortage is reaching crisis levels. Emerson surveyed of 2,000 Americans and found that less than 50% of parents say their daughters are encouraged to pursue a STEM Career; 62% say manufacturers should do more to train and prepare their STEM workforce; and only 33% believe teachers currently have the resources they need to provide a quality STEM education.
These findings also point to research by the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte that found the US will need to fill 3.5 million STEM jobs by 2025, but as many as 2 million will go unfilled because of difficulty finding people with the skills in demand. In addition, TechServe Alliance reported that lack of available skills is constraining the growth of IT jobs.
OpTech has partnered with Michigan's Department of Talent and Economic Development as champions of the Marshall Plan for Talent. It is a revolutionary partnership between educators, employers and other stakeholders to transform Michigan’s talent pipeline and redesign the ways we invest, develop and attract talent in our state. Employers look for a talented workforce when they consider places to grow and locate, creating more and better jobs. Our State is facing a talent shortage across multiple industries and this shortage is the single greatest threat to the state’s continued economic recovery.
Learn more today about OpTech's program that will help fill these talent gaps and shortages.
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