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How to Improve a Negative Employer Brand

It can happen to any company.  A few negative reviews on Glassdoor, one discontented employee spreading rumors, or a piece of negative press, and all of a sudden your company is suffering from an unattractive brand image.  Happily, however, there are a number of ways employers can turn the situation around and improve a negative brand image problem.  We’ve put together some easy steps that can help you rebuild your company’s image, or even just help you turn your company’s brand from average to excellent. Tip 1: Do your Research Making assumptions about the root cause of your company’s negative brand issue will not help you improve the situation, as you may end up targeting the wrong item and wasting time and money trying to fix something that isn’t broken.  If you’re afraid a branding problem is affecting your company culture and your ability to hire, start by doing some...
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Tips for Avoiding Job Posting Scams

Many recruiting scams are easy to spot: offers to make thousands of dollars a month working from home and blatant Ponzi schemes typically get sent to spam folders anyway, making them very easy to ignore, and fake ads on recruiting boards generally offer high salary ranges with vague descriptions of the position and responsibilities.  Some are much more subtle, though, and falling for them can have consequences that range from the mild annoyance of wasted time to devastating identity theft.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you avoid some of the more sophisticated recruiting scams, which tend to attract first-time job seekers, those who have been in the market for an extended period of time and have become increasingly frustrated, and mothers or recently retired seniors looking to make some additional income by working from home. Tip 1: Always Research the Company and...
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How to Write a Cover Letter

While a résumé is an incredibly useful tool (and one which we have devoted a number of articles to), it’s only half of the package when you are applying for a position: your cover letter is equally important.  Your cover letter allows you to tell your prospective employer a story about how your past experience has prepared you for this position, as well as what interested you in the position in the first place, and its value should not be underestimated.  We’ve seen too many great candidates who focus only on their résumé and recycle the same form cover letter for every job application, so we’ve put together a list of easy-to-follow tips for writing a compelling cover letter that truly makes you stand out among the pool of applicants. Tip 1: Personalize Your Cover Letter Starting your cover letter off with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom it may Concern”...
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How to Expand your Career Network

Networking is a vital aspect of doing business: whether you are the CEO of a company or a recent graduate trying to find a first job, connections are important for achieving almost all business goals! While many people realize the importance of networking, they do not understand the impact an extended network can have on their future careers. By the time an individual is 40 he or she will have met tens of thousands of people, but very few people take full advantage of this network.  So how does one leverage these numerous long lost friends? The first step is to make a list, and make it now before you forget! This seems simple, but it will go a long way toward helping you remember people that you would have otherwise forgotten two years earlier. Making a list is a pretty simple task, but the organizational structure of this list...
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Creating a High Performance Culture

As a manager, you are responsible for setting the tone in the office.  Naturally, not every manager will have the same style: some may prefer to hold weekly staff meetings and provide structured feedback, for example, while others would rather hold staff meetings as necessary and provide feedback on a more ad hoc basis.  Whatever your managerial style, though, almost everyone can agree that it’s best to have a high performance culture where all employees strive to provide the best possible work product.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you build a just such a culture in the workplace. Tip 1: Increase Transparency It’s hard for anyone to perform well if they don’t understand how the work product they produce will be used and how it contributes to the overall goals of the company.  When assigning new tasks, make sure everyone involved knows exactly what...
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How to Simplify Your Job Search

We’ve been focusing quite a bit on résumé writing over the last few weeks, but there’s a lot more to job searching than just your résumé.  Networking and researching, for example, take up a significant chunk of every job seeker’s time, as does hunting for job openings.  So, we’ve put together some tips for those looking to simplify their job search and make the most of every day spent searching.  Tip 1: Get Organized The best way to simplify your job search is to spend some time organizing everything you will need.  This initial time investment will save you a lot of time down the road!  Set up dedicated folders for various versions of your résumé and cover letter, create a calendar system to help you manage your time, and identify the companies or roles you will target during your search.  Keep notes of your top criteria for a job,...
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Quick Fixes to Boost Your Résumé

If you read last week’s article about résumé myths and were motivated to update your information but were not quite sure where to start, we at Potomac Recruiting are here to help!  This week our experts decided to take a look at some quick and easy ways to boost your professional experience and make your résumé stand out.  Naturally, a stellar résumé format will vary from industry to industry, but going through some of these simple tips is an excellent place to start re-vamping your professional image, no matter your field or experience level. Tip 1: Ditch the “Objective” Many people include an “Objective” section at the top of their résumé, without realizing that this may be hindering their search.  An “Objective” statement shows what you are looking for in a job – not how your skills may benefit the company!  Shift the focus back on the position for which...
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Top Résumé Writing Myths Debunked

A few weeks ago we asked our recruiting experts to help job seekers out by debunking some common interview myths , and this week we’ve decided to revisit that topic by debunking some of common résumé writing myths we have come across over the years.  Résumé writing is not an exact science with hard and fast rules, so breaking one or two of these guidelines will not necessarily automatically disqualify you from an interview.  In general, however, avoiding these résumé myths will make your résumé more engaging and attract more attention from recruiters and hiring managers. Myth 1: My résumé can only be 1 to 2 pages Résumé length is one of the most common résumé myths floating around, and we’ve seen it all, from senior executives trying condense decades of qualifications into one page using tiny fonts and no margins, to entry-level professionals trying to pad their résumés with...
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How to Build a “Talent Pool” for your Company

One of your primary jobs as a hiring manager is building an effective talent pool for your company, which can then be tapped to help you fill any open positions.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some simple tips and tricks to help you create, or improve, an effective pool of candidates.  A truly exceptional talent pipeline will help you simplify your hiring process by providing quick access to pre-screened internal and external candidates who are known to be good fits with your company culture and who are interested in opportunities with your business, and we are happy to assist you with your candidate pool, regardless of where you are in the process! Tip 1: Take advantage of your online presence Last week we discussed some of the key ways to optimize your mobile recruiting process , and this will be very important as you seek to build an...
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Why your Company Should Utilize Mobile Recruiting Apps

Everywhere you look there is someone engrossed in their phone: tapping a message, scrolling through an article, watching a video – everything can be done on mobile devices.  Additionally, Google has recently changed their search algorithm to ensure that mobile search results favor sites that look good on smartphone and tablet screens.  So why not bring your recruiting efforts into the mobile world and take advantage of the opportunities mobile-optimized websites provide?  To help you figure out what you need to do to optimize your mobile presence, our recruiting experts have put together a list of six key things candidates are looking for in a modern, mobile recruiting page. 1 – Mobile-Optimized Website Not surprisingly, we’ve found that one of the top things candidates would like is a recruiting website that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices.  This goes for hiring managers posting job listings on their company website,...
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Tips for Successfully Navigating a Mid-Career Change

The average age of retirement has been edging upwards over the last few decades, for a variety of reasons.  People are living longer, pensions are no longer a given, and many are looking for ways to remain mentally sharp and connected to the community as they move into their 60s and 70s.  It’s no surprise, then, that mid-career changes are also becoming more popular!  As workers move into their late 40s and 50s without plans to retire any time soon, they often start to reconsider their careers and decide they are ready for something different, whether that is finally pursuing their childhood passion or moving to a new field that has recently become of interest.  If this describes you, read on for some tips on how to successfully navigate the difficult waters of a mid-life career shift. Tip 1: Write an autobiography If you’re itching to move into a new...
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Making the Most of a Phone Interview Part 2 – As a Hiring Manager

Last week we took a look at some of the things candidates can do to ace a phone interview , so this week we are decided to flip the focus and offer some advice for hiring managers!  Phone interviews can be a valuable tool, particularly if you have a lot of candidates who have applied for the position and not enough time to meet with all of them in person, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure you are getting the most out of each phone interview. Tip 1: Develop a Checklist Phone interviews are typically used to pre-screen candidates to determine whether or not they should be brought in for a full, face-to-face interview, so before you begin interviewing you should sit down and develop a checklist of immediate disqualifiers.  By going through this checklist during each interview you will be able to quickly...
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Making the Most of a Phone Interview Part 1 – As a Candidate

Phone interviews have a number of advantages over in-person interviews, particularly because phone interviews allow candidates to pull up information about the company and the position during the interview, and refer to notes on accomplishments and strengths.  There are challenges to phone interviews as well, though, as it is harder to build a rapport without the facial cues that separate a light-hearted, joking comment from a verbal barb.  To help you maximize the value of your phone interview, we’ve put together some tips and tricks for acing the call and setting yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. Tip 1: Double-Check the Time Zone Even if the person you are calling lives just down the street from you, remember to confirm the time zone prior to the interview – you don’t want to miss the interview because you are in Central time and your interviewer is in Pacific!  Plus,...
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Key Questions to Ask in an Interview

One of the myths we debunked last week was related to asking questions during an interview, and highlighted the importance of bringing up questions throughout an interview in order to keep conversation flowing, build a rapport, and demonstrate your curiosity and interest.  This week, then, we asked our recruiting experts to come up with a list of some of the best questions to ask in an interview, to help those of you who might be looking for ideas on what is appropriate to ask or what you need to keep in mind. 1.         How Do You Evaluate Performance?   Companies and managers have different ways of providing feedback, and it is important to know how you will be assessed.  If you prefer regular performance reviews, for example, you may not be the best fit at a company that does not have a formal review process. 2.        ...
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Six Interview Myths Debunked

We’ve been in the recruiting industry for a while, but every now and then even we still get thrown for a loop by some of the interview myths our clients believe.  So, we’ve built a list of common (and not-so-common) interview myths that seem to be lingering, with the hopes of dispelling them once and for all!  If you’re worried that you may have any additional misapprehensions about job interviews that we have not covered, feel free to shoot us an e-mail or give us a call , and we’ll be happy to speak with you! Myth 1: Withhold your Questions until the End of the Interview While you certainly don’t want to be left mute when your interviewer wraps up the discussion by asking if you have any questions, don’t save all of your points until the end!  Interviews are meant to be a dialogue, not an interrogation, and...
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How to Attract Millennial Workers

Millennial workers, or those born between about 1980 and 2000, have been trickling into the workforce over the past few years, and will continue to do so over the next decade, leading many business owners and hiring managers wondering how to attract this new generation of employees to their particular company.  Dozens of studies and articles come out every year on millennial traits, millennial goals, and millennial sensibilities as members of older generations try to understand what drives millennials and how to motivate them to succeed in the workplace.  With that in mind, our experts have put down some of their thoughts on how to attract—and retain—millennial workers and build a modern workforce. Tip 1: Build a Strong Web Presence Many companies focus purely on the business aspects of their organization on their website, providing detailed information about service offerings, customer feedback, and past projects, while ignoring cultural aspects.  If...
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Tips for your First Day on the Job

If you’ve been hunting for jobs and recently decided to accept a new offer , you undoubtedly are enjoying the relief that comes with no longer competing in the difficult employment market or weighing the pros and cons of different opportunities.  You may, however, find yourself dealing with a different kind of stress: the stress that comes before your first day in a new office, with the pressure to impress your new boss and colleagues and hit the ground running.  With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some tips to make your first day a bit more manageable!  Tip 1: Pre-Plan your First Day       Take advantage of the time you have before you start at your new position – whether that is a day or several weeks – to prepare and plan for your first day.  Figure out what outfit you are going to wear, make sure...
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Top Five Factors to Consider When Deciding to Accept a Job Offer

Congratulations – you’ve made it through the toughest part of the job hunt and finally have some offers! But now it’s time to consider those opportunities. This can pose its own set of challenges, as every company will have unique qualities to it that are hard to compare to others. What may be apples in one business can appear to be oranges in another, and trying to weigh the pros and cons can become as overwhelming as the search itself. Through our experience in finding the best fit for a wide-variety of talented people, Potomac Recruiting has narrowed down a list of the top five most important items you need to consider before signing that contract. The Environment: Are you looking for a fast-paced environment like a corporation, the rewards of working for a non-profit, the stability and focus of a government agency, or do you want the challenge and long hours of a start-up? These...
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Tips for Reducing Workplace Stress

       We all suffer from workplace stress from time to time, especially in today’s fast-paced environment where you are expected to take on a lot of responsibilities and have constant access to your phone and e-mail.  Here is a simple list of quick steps you can take to help you change the way you approach your work—and your coworkers—and lower your stress levels, making you more relaxed, positive, and productive around the office. Tip 1: Take a Breather – It may sound too simple or too “New Agey,” but next time you find your tension levels rising in the office, give yourself a break and focus on taking deep breaths for 10 minutes.  Even 1 minute can help, if that’s all the time you have!  When e-mails are flowing into your inbox and you feel yourself starting to panic because you have too many tasks to accomplish, taking...
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How to Minimize Workplace Negativity

Negativity in the workplace is, unfortunately, a fairly common problem managers face, regardless of industry or location.  Though every office environment is unique, we’ve put together a list with some straightforward tips for reducing negativity and ill feelings that, hopefully, every manager can implement as part of a strategy to build a positive atmosphere. Tip 1: Provide adequate monetary compensation As an employer, you certainly hope that your workers are coming into the office every day for more than just a paycheck.  You want your employees to find meaning in their work, believe in the company, and get a sense of personal fulfillment from their efforts.  At the end of the day, though, your employees all have to pay their bills, and no matter how much they love their job or the office environment, they will leave eventually if they aren’t making enough to support their families, especially if they’re...
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About Us

Potomac Recruiting consultants are specialists in talent. Our experienced consultants are passionate about finding the right people for your business—that’s the Potomac Recruiting advantage. We specialize in finding the people who will help your business exceed its goals, and our success is measurable: in today’s fast-moving world Potomac Recruiting is proud that our retention rate is 93%.  

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