Personal Productivity

April 3rd, 2018

How’s your productivity? Notice, please, that we did not ask how busy you are? Being busy, busy, busy is often a sign of unproductivity – yes, it is! Reality: taking care of self, including getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, healthy meals, and taking time for unconnected quietness helps us get more done in less time, with less stress. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Let’s begin with sleep

Since this is often the first place that people try to carve out an extra hour for their day. In fact, for many, sleep deprivation has become their way of life.  Unfortunately, payback is coming, so do yourself a favor and take back control of your bedtime.

  • Studies show that our bodies operate best on consistency. As adults, we need 7-8 hours a sleep per night and . . . We need it close to the same schedule. So choose the time that fits you (10-6, 11-7, whatever) and stick to it.
  • Turn off all screens 30 minutes before sleep time. (60 is better, but we’re dealing with real life here). Our brains need time to get away from the screen and let our body’s melatonin kick in to increase the restfulness of our sleep.
  • Use the 30 minutes to organize for the morning – from choosing an outfit to packing your briefcase, your kid’s lunch, etc. to mentally organizing and jotting down the next day’s agenda.
  • Finally, make your room as dark as possible and if you can, position your bed so that natural light awakens you in the morning. The darkness and the light will give your body a break and then a boost.

Establish a morning routine

  • Our brains need time to reach full function – by having a consistent routine of personal and household “chores” we can slide quickly through the list and save brain function for the more critical decisions in the day ahead.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast – choose protein over empty carbs. It will provide fuel for several hours.

Schedule Tips

  • Learn to set realistic deadlines (Studies reveal that only 15-20% of people at predicting how long a task will take). Give yourself enough time to do the job, but not too much – a little (notice we said little) pressure can be a great motivator.
  • Schedule your difficult or mind-consuming tasks during your peak times. For some people it’s mid-morning, but for others, it’s early – or late afternoon.
  • Group like tasks together.
  • Set a specified window of time for email and other social media, and then stick to it. Connection is an essential part of business and personal life but left unchecked it can also be a time waster.
  • Skip multi-tasking – switching from task to task sabotages schedules in short order.
  • Go for excellence, not perfection – it’s a great motivator and an obtainable goal.

Plan a vacation

Time off from work and chores restores the whole person – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It rejuvenates creativity and gives our energy a boost. People who choose to take time off consistently, tend to be more productive when on the job.   

Now that you’re rip-roaring to go, stop in and see us at Olympic Staffing. We can help you put all that energy and productivity into a new and better position. We do it by building relationships.   We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

Proofreading Your Resume

March 20th, 2018

Last week we discussed how to create a winning resume.  The final step, polishing your resume via a thorough proofing is so critical that we decided to focus an entire blog on it.

Begin with a break. Yes, you finally finished creating this oh-so-important document. Now put it down for a couple of days. If you read it immediately, your eyes will “read” what your brain knows you meant and can easily miss errors.

The break is over. Print your resume out – seeing it in different format helps your eyes to see mistakes, and then read it out loud. Hearing what you wrote is a great way to catch those common mistakes – like writing “you’re” instead of “your.” Read it slowly – line by line, word by word. You’ll be more apt to catch an error. Reading it backward is another trick.

Be on the lookout for these common resume mistakes.

  • Grammatical and spelling errors – the #1 way to kill your resume. This includes:
  • Homophones, such as two, to, too
  • Using and for an
  • Apostrophe errors
  • Subject and verb agreement
  • Using the wrong tense
  • Inconsistent formatting. Follow the same pattern of indents, bullets, highlights, etc. throughout your document.
  • Information overload – limit your content to what’s relevant.
  • Wordiness – if a section is too long, try to reduce it 10% and then reduce again – concise content with power words pack a powerful punch.
  • An objective or summary that fails to match the job description.
  • Telling (presenting a list) rather than showing (documenting with specifics).

Don’t depend on your eyes alone – have a colleague check it too. Consider using a reliable online program, or better yet, a professional service.

Finally, your resume is finished, proofed, and ready to go. There’s one more crucial step.

Follow directions on where/when/how to submit your resume for a specific position.

Your resume shows how much your road to professional success matters to you – or doesn’t. It reveals your more than your skills and experience. It also indicates essential character traits, such as diligence and commitment to detail.  Following the resume-building steps in last week’s blog and taking time to proofread will help you create a winning resume every time.

Don’t forget – bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.


 

Winning Resumes

March 13th, 2018

Creating a winning resume isn’t easy – in fact, it’s downright challenging. On the other hand, the payback is terrific. Taking time to perfect our resume may very well be the boost your job search needs. These tips will help you get it accomplished.

Getting Started

There’s more than one way around the mountain – so choose the best way for your education, skill set, and work history.

  • Chronological: A fact-based resume listing your employment history (and corresponding accomplishments) in order from most recent to past.
  • Functional: Highlights abilities (with corresponding positions) instead of work history. Present your skills by category – in order of relevance, rather than by a timeline of accomplishments.
  • Combination: This combines functional and chronological by first highlighting your most pertinent skills/experience, followed by a chronological work history.
  • Targeted: Tailors any of the above types to a specific position. Customizing resume’s bullet points and skills to the job position, using keywords from the job description and rearranging resume’s sections to highlight your most relevant experience. Targeted resumes take time, but it pays off – especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

Choose a font that is easy to read – this is not the place to get creative and quirky – unless you’re applying for a position where creative and quirky are crucial aspects, such as graphic design.

Make contacting you simple. Include all – yes all – of your contact information.

  • Full name, street address, city, state, and zip.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
  • LinkedIn profile or professional website or blog – if you have them.

Getting Your Point Across

Don’t think of your resume as a “list” your skills, experience, and education. Think of it as an advertisement – you are convincing a company to choose your product – YOU.

  • Back up your skills with specific accomplishments that demonstrate those skills. Use power verbs to describe those accomplishments -quantify whenever possible – numbers talk!
  • Provide specific examples that highlight your leadership skills and present evidence that you’re a team player.
  • Include any awards or recognitions you have received for accomplishments directly and loosely related to your industry – or to skills that are pertinent to the position.
  • Show how you have continued to learn and grow. In addition to certifications you’ve earned, include industry-related seminars, conferences, etc. that you have attended – anything that contributed to your professional development.
  • Include a bulleted list of core competencies – customize it to keywords and phrases from a general job description for your industry or, better yet, to a specific job description when targeting your resume.

Polish Before Submitting

Don’t skip the final step – Proofread. Proofread. Proofread.  We’ll show you how in next week’s blog.

Bring your resume to Olympic Staffing. Together, we create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  We take the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications to place you in the best career opportunity.  We maintain ongoing communication with you even after you start your new position. Contact us today.

 

 

Online Courses Fuel Career Success

March 6th, 2018

Online courses have proven to be an excellent way to boost your resume and increase your opportunities. Many of them are free if you are taking the class online for personal satisfaction, but if you want your work graded and an official certificate that documents you completed the course, then expect to pay a fee.  Many colleges and universities offer online courses from small junior colleges to the giants, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, Standard, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to name a few.

There are multiple advantages of taking an online course. You can:

  • Choose the course of study you want without having to move – an especially important perk if you are working or have family responsibilities.
  • Take the course at your pace and timing. If it works best to listen to a lecture on Tuesday one week, but on Wednesday another week, that’s your option. If you have extra study time one week, but a work obligation the nest – adjust your study times.
  • Forgo paying for a parking pass. No wardrobe needed. No sorority/fraternity dues either.
  • Earn your degree at greatly reduced rates.

Of course, with the professors across the state – or country – rather than the classroom, you might run into difficulties when you have questions or need a little assistance, right? Not so. Many online programs offer online support groups and most courses include a portal for asking questions. Some include peer-based coaching.

Bottom line: Online courses/certifications build your confidence, skills and career tools, enhance your portfolio, give you a foot in new doors and increase your professional value. Any way you look at it, it’s a win/win.

Looking for a new job to match your new skills? Connect with Olympic Staffing: Together, we’ll create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  Helping you achieve your career goals is Olympic’s priority. Contact us today.

 

Are You Mentally Engaged?

February 27th, 2018

In our fast-paced society, where everybody wants it all – right now, staying mentally engaged or mindful on the job is often a challenge.  On the plus side, staying mentally engaged is vital to productivity, as well as career growth, and job fulfillment. So, how do you strengthen your ability to be focused on your task, mindful, engaged? With the right fuel. You can buy a new car right off the line, but if you don’t fill the tank, you won’t make it off the lot. It’s the same way with your ability to be a driving force on the job. If you don’t fill your tank – in both body and spirit – you won’t get far on the job.

Fueling the Body

It begins with understanding the difference between time and energy. Every day has 24 hours for everybody – the quantity of time never changes. Energy, on the other hand, is both renewable and expandable. We must have enough energy to stay mentally engaged.

  1. Get sufficient rest. This means 7-8 hours at night, of course, but don’t forget to take breaks during the day.
  2. Get regular exercise. A consistent daily routine – even just a brisk 15-minute walk, can increase your In fact, many people say they get more done in less time if they maintain an exercise program.
  3. Make healthy eating choices. Proteins help energy, while refined carbs drain it.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drinking sufficient glasses of water helps people keep a clearer mind, and stay less susceptible to illness.
  5. Take time for vacation – put the mundane tasks of work and home aside. It might be “waiting for you” when you return, but you will have more energy fo tackling it.

Fueling the Mind & Spirit

Everyone needs to feel that they have purpose, as well as a sense of belong. When our mind and emotions are sufficiently taken care of; our ability to connect to the tasks at hand increases.

  1. Be creative. Take time to discover your “gift” and use it. If you can craft a masterpiece, by all means, do so, but it can be much simpler. Perhaps you are an organizer who likes everything in its Creating a home/office that is organized and runs smoothly is as creative as painting a beautiful landscape.
  2. Take time to disengage – and yes, that includes your electronics. Pausing, taking a deep breath and just being for a while refreshes the mind and spirit.
  3. Fill your mind with good things. Develop a grateful attitude. Take time to express appreciation to others. Avoid gossip and negative self-talk. Read an enlightening book. Listen to your kind of music.
  4. Separate yourself from work when you’re home and from home when you’re at work. It’s easier to give both the mindfulness needed if you aren’t distracted by the other.

Giving yourself the right fuel – for your body, as well as your mind and spirit will have a significant impact on your ability to be mentally engaged on the task of the moment. Staying mentally engaged will help you be more productive, which will give your career a boost and build your sense of purpose.

Olympic Staffing is always on the lookout for jobseekers who stay mentally engaged. We match their skills and experience with top companies in our region – in fact, we’ve been doing it for more than 30 years. We know and understand the requirements of the positions we fill, ensuring that every job we suggest for you is a precise fit for your skills and career goals. Contact us today.

 

 

 

 

 

Win the Job Search  

February 13th, 2018

It might be a talent-driven market, but the job search road can still be full of bumps and potholes. If you want to smooth out the ride and win the race (there are other seekers who want that same job), then you have to prepare, work hard, and never give up. Here are some Olympic tips for you – after all, we’re on your team.

Build a support network: You need people – to offer help, connections, and accountability. Attend events. Connect with old friends, while building new connections. Don’t forget, genuine networking is as much about helping and giving as it is about receiving.

Conduct a self-evaluation: Make a list of your strengths and identify your skillsets. Find ways to hone them. Take a class, volunteer, attend a seminar. There are multiple ways to build your value.

Clean up your digital image: It’s easy to post a pic in the moment of enthusiasm with your friends or spout off a hot response to a situation or comment from the security of your home, but unfiltered postings can come back to haunt you. Pay attention. Pause and ponder before posting.

Tackle your LinkedIn profile: Update. Update. Update. Have you won any awards, completed any classes, scored any special achievements? Include them in your profile. Pay attention to keywords and phrases that pertain to your industry and include them in your headline, summary, and experience sections – in appropriate ways, of course.

Refresh your resume: Keeping your resume updated and ready to go gives you one up on the candidate who is scrambling to add all their latest achievements, correct their contact info, etc. Of course, being ready to go means having your resume ready to customize to a specific position – a must-do if you want to get the best position for you.

Sign up for automatic job alerts: You can do this on LinkedIn, as well as various job boards.  Choose selected job titles and keywords to narrow your alerts to pertinent openings.

Prepare for Interviews: Research. Rehearse answers to typical questions. Arrive on time. Dress appropriately. Be courteous and respectful – to everyone. Have a few questions ready for the interviewer. End with a verbal thank-you and follow-up with a written one.

Partner with Olympic Staffing: Together, we’ll create a strategy that leverages your career goals, education, and work experience.  We work with a variety of companies and industries to maximize your exposure and opportunities.  Helping you achieve your career goals is Olympic’s priority. Contact us today.

Research the companies who have openings. Read the reviews, news articles, history, etc.  Get a glimpse of their culture. It will be easier to prepare for an interview.

 

 

 

Revitalizing your Resume in 3 Steps

December 19th, 2017

If you want to keep growing professionally, keeping your resume cleaned up, on target, and ready to go at a moment’s notice is oh-so-crucial. Here are tips from Olympic Staffing to pull your resume together and be noticed. It’s a simple as 1 – 2 – 3.

  1. Know your career goals and ensure that your resume objective shouts it.
  2. Compose a tight, descriptive summary that covers the education, training, skills, and experience that supports your ability to reach that career goal. This is your chance to grab HR’s attention and keep them reading.
  • Cover the essentials – the information that rocks – and slash out all the fluff that everyone can do. Focus on what makes you the #1 choice for the type of position you’re seeking.
  • Give specifics – rather than say you can do such and such, give an example of how that talent made an impact in a past position.
  • Tailor your skills to align both with your goals and with the job description of the position you’re seeking. (All within the realm of honesty, of course)
  • Use power words and be unique. A little buzz is good, but too much sends your resume to the slush pile.
  1. Share your vision. It’s not just about education, skills, and experience. Share your life philosophy.
  • What’s your global view?
  • Where do you volunteer?
  • Share your thoughts in a way that expresses your personality and ideal work culture.

When you have that resume ready to go – contact Olympic Staffing.   We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals. Our network is deep and wide – let us help you.

Why You Should Have Two or Three Resumes

November 21st, 2017

If you’re looking for a new job and are like most employees, you have one resume that you update as you need to. This is fine, but you should take into consideration having two or three resumes if you don’t already. Why? Well, the reasons to have more than one resume are numerous:

You Will Be More Versatile.

No matter what type of job is on the docket, you will always be prepared. It helps to have multiple resumes go for this very reason, and so that you can showcase certain parts of your career path or education depending on the type of job or position that is being offered.

You Will Always Be Prepared.

Don’t get caught off-guard by not having a resume ready to go when a new job/position comes to fruition. When you have two or three resumes and keep each one current and updated, you can always be ready to go – increasing your chances of having a resumes directly correlated to finding and obtaining the position you want.

You Can Highlight Different Aspects About Yourself.

No person can fit into a box, and for this reason, you should have different resumes to help you highlight the various aspects about yourself. For example, you may have one resume that plays up the managerial side of your career, another one that plays up the administrative angle of your career, and finally, one that builds on your technical skills. It can be advantageous to highlight specific aspects if you’re applying for a particular job.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find a job that is a good fit for you both professionally and personally that is a good match for your current career skill set and future career goals.

The Etiquette of Following Up

November 7th, 2017

When you’re applying for jobs, you will need to have a good sense of following up to make sure that your application doesn’t fall through the cracks. It’s essential to abide by simple rules of etiquette, so you don’t annoy your hiring manager. Here are some tips from Olympic Staffing.

There’s a Fine Line Between Persistence and Annoyance.

It’s okay to be persistent; it’s not okay to be annoying. There is a fine line, and you will quickly learn what that line entails when you cross over it. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to follow-up, though, so you should aim to follow up no more than once – maybe twice/per week, depending on the circumstances.

Keep Diligent Notes.

You don’t want to accidentally follow up with someone with whom you’ve already corresponded with more than once this week. This is why it’s imperative for you to keep notes diligently on your end about who you talk to, when, and what they say. This will help you from getting confused and will ensure your interactions are positive as opposed to a negative, no matter what the outcome is.

Be Courteous about Times.

If you are going to follow up via phone or e-mail, you need to be courteous about the times in which you do so. As a general rule of thumb, don’t send any e-mails or make any calls before 9 A.M. or after 7 P.M.  If you do so, you run the risk of annoying whomever you want to follow up with, which will not bode well for you at all.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will be able to help you find a job that is a good fit for you both professionally and personally; a job that matches your current career skill set and future career goals.

10 Ways to Boost Your Career

October 31st, 2017

Everybody says they want to succeed in their job but are you willing to “do the work” Do you know what “the work” is to ensure success? Here are 10 tips that will help you boost your career to a new level.

Stimulate your mind: Learn something new and then learn something new again. In other words, be a perennial learner and do it with a broad brush. Don’t limit yourself to a narrow range of skills.

Be risky: Step out of your comfort zone and take a new challenge.

Stay on top of industry news and trends: Know what’s happening in your arena, and you won’t get hit by a surprise punch.

Follow your passion: If you know what you believe in, what excites you, what gives you more energy than it takes; that’s where you should focus your career.

Stay connected: Connect with people at work – don’t skip the team lunches. Connect with people in the industry. Connect with family and friends. Connections pay off in the immediate – you will be happier and in the long run – they may lead to your dream job.

Accept criticism: Whether it was meant well or was an intended jab, take time to consider the criticism. Even if there’s only a small element of truth, you can always learn something.

Let go of what isn’t yours: So you don’t like what your coworker is doing? If it doesn’t directly affect you, let it go – it’s not yours to worry about or fix. Put your mental and emotional energy on what counts – your career.

Adjust your attitude: Having a positive, appreciative, bend-with-the-wind attitude will add power to your career. Don’t forget the little details that make for a happier person – courtesy, punctuality, professionalism, etc.

Take care of yourself: If you don’t eat right, sleep well, and get exercise, your mental and physical self will lead your career to a very stagnate place – on the couch.

Take a vacation: If you learn the art of relaxing and take time for fun, you will build your energy and zest for life – which makes you a more attractive choice for employers.

Sometimes boosting your career means looking for a new job. Contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find a new job that is a good fit for your skills, education level, and current job goals.