If your organization is anything like mine best practices come from books and inspiration comes from life. Right now I have to admit I am pretty inspired by the Celtics (spoiler I know they lost, I blame the refs). I grew up watching the Celtics in a house where my older brother sported the ‘21’ jersey on every team he ever played on and my Dad still bets 21 when playing his luck at roulette (can you tell we love Kevin Garnett?). Recently I read Good to Great by Jim Collins and wanted to share my takeaways on how the C’s are on the road to greatness, and how I apply that to my everyday job.
- 1. First who, then what. The Celtics are a young team and hopefully have many more seasons to develop together. They invested and took a chance on new players and it paid off. Before you can think of winning you have to have the right people in place. Elongating the hiring process to get that next star instead of settling is well worth the wait. It’s important to decide who you can train and what skills the person needs to walk in with.
- Culture of discipline. The team stayed focused throughout the season and had the maturity to maintain their confidence. The consistency allowed them to persevere throughout the season and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The same can be true for work. Success isn’t always a straight line and you have to work through the unexpected bumps to keep moving forward.
- Confront brutal facts, but never lose faith. The C’s were down two starters this season. The rest of the bench had to step up and lead the way. The reality for the team was that it was going to be a tougher season and was going to be a long journey to the finals. Instead of throwing in the towel, they banded together and made the changes needed to be successful. We do this all the time at PSG, we make data driven decision and sometimes that data doesn’t stack up in your favor. If we didn’t look at the facts, we wouldn’t know what we need to fix and move forward.
- The flywheel effect. Would I have loved to watch the Celtics crush LeBron in Game 7? Absolutely. Am I still happy with how the season turned out? You know it. The Celtics had a great season and went farther than expected. They played as a team and rightfully earned a spot as a top team to watch for next year. They will come back ready to win. They started the flywheel that will keep going into next season. Every day I try to build better practices that will build on each other to start my own flywheel.
- Level 5 leadership. What I love most about watching the Celtics this season was watching Tatum become a true force on the team. The Rookie proved you don’t have to be the coach or a returning player to set the tone for the team. Tatum at 20 years old played with determination and humility that lead the team to the finals. Leadership comes in all forms, but I want to take a second to focus (*humble brag*) on the leadership team at PSG. Our CFO and CEO don’t even have an office; in fact, Aaron Green, our CEO, doesn’t really even have a desk! Aaron chooses to sit where he’s needed, to support when he’s needed. To me, that is true leadership.
- The hedgehog concept. Other than being completely adorable, hedgehogs do one thing really well: protect themselves. They may not be the fastest or smartest, but if under attack they curl up and their spikes come out. The idea of being the best at one thing and not average at everything is one that carries from the court to the office. To me, what makes the Celtics fun to watch is their team work. No one player dominates and they work as a group. Their spike is that they are all able to carry their own weight. Being an industry expert and owning a section of the market allows you to focus your resources to truly band together and become great. My personal goal? Be the hedgehog of candidate experience.
- Tech Accelerators. Alright, this one may be a reach. Basketball might not be the most tech savvy, but this is the method from the book I try to implement in all aspects of my life. Collins talks through the concept of pause- think- crawl- walk- run (for the Celtics maybe it’s more crawl before you ball?) and specifically applies this when deciding on new technology. The team has to implement this ideology when strategizing how to match up with a competitor just like any businesses has to do when making a big decision. Your initial reaction isn’t always the best and it’s worth it to take the time needed to be informed.
Inspiration comes in all forms, what’s currently pushing you from good to great? Comment below to help spark inspiration for others!
- It shows general courtesy and social grace. If you ask someone to meet you for dinner at 9:30 and they show up at 10:10, you might be a bit angry or at least annoyed. Turn that around, a Company invites you into their space, their metaphorical home, for a 9:30 interview and you show up at 10:10, they might be a bit turned off as well!
- Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. Interviewers can view you actions at the Interview as practice for when you are with the company. If you show up late on the big day, what’s going to happen 6 months in?
- Showing up too early is a problem too! The ideal time to show up for an interview is 10 minutes early, give a minute or two either way. If you show up to an interview 45 minutes early you might be interrupting someone’s lunch, breakfast, important meeting, or they just simply may not ready for you. That’s never the impression you want to start with.
- People run their days on schedules, by arriving late or too early you could be throwing a wrench into a finely tuned system meant to maximize the day. Again, not something you want to be remembered for.
- 10 Minutes really becomes the “sweet spot” when factoring in balancing between two early or too late. It’s early enough where you are able to show promptness and diligence, but not enough were you are inconveniencing anyone. It allows the perfect amount of time to introduce yourself to the front desk, get offered water, sit down for 5 minutes and then get greeted by your Interviewer to get things underway!
So how do you make this happen?
- Know where you are going! All directions and mapping should be secure and laid out the day before. You should not be Google mapping things that morning or an hour before the interview!
- Do a test run if you can, actually going to the office location or taking the drive will take out a lot of guess work and make for a less stressful day of commute!
- Pick your outfit the night before and have it laid out. Trying to pick out what tie or shoes to wear that morning is just asking for undue stress.
- Account for traffic and delays. Train delays or highway traffic can happen when you least expect it, account for it! Leave 15-20 minutes earlier than needed.
- Ok so you did the above you’re early….but really early. Take a walk, listen to your favorite pump up song in your car, grab a coffee, go over your notes, or browse cute cat photos on Instagram. Anything to occupy your time before you hit the magic 10 minute mark. Showing up 30 minutes early can be just as detrimental as showing up a minute late.
To Summary or Not to Summary, that is the question! Summaries and Objective Statements on a resume can be a flash point for contention and debate. Many are left wondering; “Should I write one? Do I need one? Are they important?”
The short answer is No, and here are the top reasons why!
- Objective statements tend to be too general. If the recruiter has your resume they know your objective, to get the job you applied too.
- Summary Statements tend to written in such a general manner that they lose effectiveness. When they all read the same, they blend together.
- Recruiters only have a limited time to look at your resume, and they will mostly default to looking at your last few positions and educational history. Objectives and Summaries tend to be skipped over.
- Anything in a Summary or Objective statement can be better conveyed in a cover letter if one is required. If the position does not require a cover letter then they are probably not concerned with seeing a brief one on a resume
- They take up valuable Space. Think of your resume as Real Estate, you want to make sure you can maximize value! You also want a clean and crisp presentation. A bulky statement up top takes eyes away from your most immediate and relevant experience.
- Actions speak louder than words. People do not want to see that your “hard working” in a sentence, they want to see you have “exceeded or meet quotas 13 months straight” in a bullet point underneath a job you had.
For more Resume tips, tricks and tactics, email me! Michael Conte at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Green offers his view on the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act and how it will change recruiting. A Recruiter’s View on Hiring
3 step formula for resume ‘bullet-points’
Taking “Best Practices” and making them “How-To’s”
In our effort to continue providing concrete ‘how-to’ content vs. just ‘best-practice’ content, we wanted to further explore tips for writing a resume.
While writing this post, I kept finding myself reaching back to a LinkedIn article from 2014 by Laszlo Bock (former SVP of people operations at Google) and I realized that I’m not going to say this better than Laszlo already has
We all know that ‘bullet-points’ on the resume are really important, but if you’re still listing out responsibilities and using a thesaurus (do they still exist?) to dress it up, please click the link below, it’s worth the 10 minute read.
Laszlo did a terrific job breaking down the resume to a tangible ‘how-to’ using the formula:
Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z] (click to link to the article!!)
If you’ve read the article and still need help taking your resume to the next level applying this formula – please send me an e-mail, I’d be more than happy to walk through this tailored to your specific resume (email@example.com)
Job Search Resources: How Many is Too Many?
Taking “Best Practices” and making them “How-To’s”
Answer: There’s no such thing as too many resources for a job search! (ok, maybe 50+ is too many, but hear me out)
My goal with this post is to help provide a Check-List of Job Search Resources and let you experiment with each one to figure out what works best for you. I’m not here to declare which resource is better than the other because in the real world, it’s completely dependent on the person and their specific situation.
Depending on who you ask, everyone has a different “go-to” resource for the job search (probably on the list below) and each person swears by their method as the only way to find a job. I’m not a believer in a one-resource-fits-all model which is why I strongly recommend trying each resource, even if on a small scale, for the most effective results.
I’ve also included at least 1 quick tip for each resource, but I’d love to do a more thorough action plan if you want to talk more. Shoot me a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give me a call (617 250 1078) and who knows… if people want to see it, I can even write more detailed posts for each of the listed resources below.
Here’s the check-list based on the most popular suggestions I’ve heard from both active and passive job-seekers over the past year:
- Networking – Quick Tip: Make a list of family, friends, classmates, old colleagues, alumni, etc. and send at least 10 e-mails or make 10 phone calls a day working down the list asking for help
- Referral from someone at the company – Quick Tip: Use LinkedIn to target someone you know at the company you want to work for and have them to submit your resume on your behalf
- Referral from someone outside the company – Quick Tip: If you aren’t connected to anyone directly at the company, find someone who works there that is connected to someone in your LinkedIn network and ask for an email introduction
- Job boards (post your resume) – Quick Tip: if you’re worried about unwanted emails, set up an email account specifically for your job search where all resume inquiries can go
- Job boards (apply to ads) – Quick Tip: Don’t just use the major job boards (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, Glassdoor, etc.) Use the specialized sites too like Higheredjobs.com, idealist.org, or Dice.com
- Corporate websites – Quick Tip: Take advantage of instant connection opportunities like Live Chat and Messenger apps for companies on the cutting edge of hiring
- Staffing agencies – Quick Tip: Don’t partner with just one; sign on with multiple recruiters to maximize your exposure to new opportunities.
- Social media – Quick Tip: If you’re interested in start-up’s or Tech-savvy companies, check out classic social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Snap Chat where new jobs are posted.
PS – Have another great way to find a job that didn’t crack our list? I want to hear about it! Leave the suggestion in the comments or contact me directly with the feedback
5 ways to get your resume to 1 page
Taking “Best Practices” and making them “How-To’s”
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times – “your resume should be 1 page!” The problem is; that’s where the advice ends. Everyone seems to agree that a resume should stick to 1 page, but an actual guideline for what to edit is still missing
Here are 5 tips as part of our “1 page resume guideline” that will take you from knowing your resume needs to be shorter to actually making your resume shorter.
- How big is the font? If the answer isn’t 10, make this change now… font size ’10’. If you’re already ahead on this one, take it down to 9.5. It might seem like a small concession but in reality it could save you 2-3 lines of valuable space.
- Do you have an objective or summary at the top? I get it, it can be tough to tell your story through a resume, but using an objective or summary is a DOUBLE NEGATIVE! Not only does it take up prime resume space, but you’re also holding yourself to a specific position or background. It can box you in and land in the dreaded “no” pile
- Save the Personal Interests for Social Media! You’d be shocked how many resumes include a section at the bottom of personal interests. I’m all for building a relationship and getting to know a person, but the bottom of a resume isn’t the time or the place.
- Stop equally dividing bullet points under each job! Your most recent position should have 5-8 accomplishment-based bullet points. That doesn’t mean all the jobs on the resume deserve the same real-estate. The further back the job in your career, the fewer bullet points it should have describing your accomplishments (2-3 tops). The more jobs you have, the less space you’ll have for bullets so make sure to save the majority for your most recent positions.
- Spacing, spacing, spacing. There are so many little ways to save a line here, or a line there on a resume that can really make a difference. Here are a few quick hacks:
- For Contact Info, put your email and phone # on the same line (instead of 2)
- For Skills, list them on one line using commas instead of multiple lines with bullet points
- Instead of double spacing between sections, try single spacing after inserting a “line break”
- Leave off employment from pre-graduation / non-relevant experience to the job
Tried all 5 tips and still over a page? Here are a few more hints…
- Put your best foot forward (lead with your strengths on top)
- If it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying to… leave it off!
- Assess each line of the resume looking for “wasted space”
I’d love to connect about this if you’re still having trouble or want to share feedback. Here are the best ways to get a hold of me and I promise you’ll hear back within 24 hours!!
- Send me an email (email@example.com)
- Give me a call 617-250-1078 (that’s my direct line)
- Or, if you happen to be on our website, chat in and tell the operator you’re looking for me and 1 page resume advice. They will help us connect!
Professional Staffing Group is proud to announce it has earned Inavero’s Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award for providing superior service to clients. Diamond Award winners have won the Best of Staffing Award for at least five years in a row, and this is the eighth consecutive year that PSG has been named a Best of Staffing Award winner for earning industry-leading satisfaction scores.
Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing Client Diamond winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients. On average, clients of winning agencies are 2.6 times more likely to be completely satisfied with the services provided compared to those working with non-winning agencies.
With fewer than 2 percent of all staffing agencies in U.S. and Canada earning the Best of Staffing Award, just 23 percent of the 2017 Best of Staffing winners earned the Diamond Award distinction. The winners of this award truly stand out for exceeding client expectations.
“PSG works hard to make service a priority and we are proud and honored to be recognized for our efforts in this way,” said Aaron Green, founder and president of PSG.
Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year, and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner. Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on BestofStaffing.com – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.
“Staffing firms are giving top companies a competitive advantage as they search for talent in North America,” said Inavero’s CEO Eric Gregg. “The 2017 Best of Staffing winners have achieved exceptionally high levels of satisfaction and I’m proud to feature them on BestofStaffing.com.”
The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped to 2.9 percent in November, falling from 3.3 percent in October and marking the first time it has been below 3 percent since January 2001. Employers added 5,800 jobs in November — 3,800 of which were in government, while more than 1,000 jobs were added in each of the following three industries: construction, financial activities, and professional, scientific and business services.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent.
The tight labor market has created a talent shortage locally and is prompting Massachusetts employers to move quickly through the hiring process. PSG advises employers to stay in touch with what is going on in the market and develop a clear picture of their talent needs. Organizations that begin the recruitment process when they are unsure of the role or unprepared to move quickly risk wasting time and even hurting their employer brand. For more advice on how to operate efficiently in the current job market, reach out to a PSG rep today for a consultation!
The unemployment rate in Massachusetts fell for the fourth consecutive month, from 3.6 percent in September to 3.3 percent in October, the lowest rate since 2001.
With a gain of 1,700 positions, the professional, scientific and business sector added more jobs in October than any other industry tracked by the government. Several of the state’s industries experienced job losses, however, including education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and financial activities.
The job losses could be an indicator that employers are not adding jobs because they cannot find the talent to fill them. Massachusetts is currently at full employment.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent.