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Blog posts tagged in Career

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It’s easy to get overwhelmed when in the midst of a candidate search, especially if you work at a small company that may not have a dedicated recruiter who’s been well trained and can manage every aspect of the search.  You may find yourself sending out brusque form e-mails to candidates who didn’t make the cut, or calling people in for interviews without really having a plan in place for what to do with them when they get to the office.  Spending some time thinking about the process of applying for a position at your company from the candidate’s perspective, though, can be very beneficial in the long run – applicants who had an overall positive experience, even if they didn’t get the job, will be more likely to keep in touch with the company and apply for future opportunities, and to recommend your company to their friends.  So, here are...
Tagged in: Career Hiring how to

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Coaching or mentoring employees is an important skill for a manager – or anyone responsible for supervising a team – and a large industry has popped up around the process of teaching people how to become good coaches.  Training seminars, workbooks, and online courses are all available for those seeking to hone their abilities, often at a substantial cost, but becoming an effective coach does not have to be difficult!  We’ve put together some simple tips that anyone looking to brush up on their coaching skills can follow. Tip 1: Delegate Tasks Meaningfully It’s hard to coach someone without first giving them something on which to be coached, so the best place to start is by delegating work.  It isn’t enough to just randomly assign tasks, though.  When delegating work with the goal of coaching an employee, pick a task that fits well with their interests, has concrete milestones, and has...

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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 makes...
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 career...

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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.       What role will I be filling? ...

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Unless you run in the recruiting or HR circles, it’s unlikely you’ve heard of “middle skills” jobs before.  This term refers to  jobs that fall outside the realm of traditional “blue collar” jobs like factory work or manufacturing, but which do not typically require a four-year degree.  Dental technicians, radiation therapists, electrical engineering technicians, and computer network support specialists all fall under the umbrella of “middle skills” workers, and the salaries they receive can be surprisingly high.  Dental technicians and radiation therapists, for example, receive upwards of $30 an hour, on average, with electrical engineering technicians and computer network support specialists following close behind.  This job market is expected to continue to grow, so we've put together some general information about the middle skills sector for those of you who are interested in either hiring middle skills workers or finding a job in one of these industries!

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         If you followed our advice from last week on getting an interview, perhaps you’ve been able to secure a couple networking meetings with contacts in your target industry.  You may be wondering, then, how you can turn a simple networking meeting, often also called an “informational interview,” into a solid job offer.  Potomac Recruiting’s expert career advisors have come up with some simple Do’s and Don’ts to help you navigate the tricky channel between “coffee with a colleague” and “you’re hired!” 1.  DO Come Prepared         Once you’ve secured an informational interview with a connection in a company you hope one day to join, start doing your homework and jotting down ideas and questions.  The meeting may be informal, but if you want to show that you are eager to be a part of their company, you need to demonstrate that you are aware of...

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         Perhaps you’ve read the last few articles on our blog and realized that you aren’t happy in your current position: you aren’t engaged in your work, you don’t like the environment, and you’re worried about being left full of regrets.  Maybe you’ve already started applying for new jobs, but haven’t had much luck getting to the interview stage, let alone getting a job offer.  To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the key reasons why people have difficulty getting interviews, along with some tips for remedying these issues. 1. You are Not Targeting Your Résumé          Having a targeted résumé is one of the top ways to open the door to an interview.  Too many people are expecting HR to connect the dots themselves and see why you are the best person for the job, when in reality your résumé...

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Last week we covered the topic of improving job satisfaction, and avoiding job regrets is an important element of overall satisfaction.  No one wants to look back on a career full of regrets!  To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some common career complaints, and provided some steps you can take to address these issues before it’s too late. 1.  Taking a Job for the Money                 It may sound counterintuitive—especially if you’re currently struggling to pay the bills or feeling very overworked—but taking a job purely because of the salary can leave you with later regrets.  Money is important, certainly, but it’s also important to consider the work environment and the daily tasks you will face.  You’re going to be spending a good portion of your life in the office, after all, so make sure to consider other factors, including hours, corporate culture, opportunities for growth, and interest in...

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         Over the last few weeks we’ve been focusing our articles on non-monetary incentives employers can provide to attract and retain talented workers during a budget crunch, so it’s time to turn the tables and focus on employees and the things they can do to increase career satisfaction.  The difficult job market might make you feel like you need to pounce on the first opportunity that comes along, regardless of whether or not you have any interest in the field or the job itself.  While this may be the case, at least temporarily, there are definitely some steps you can take to increase your career satisfaction in the long run! Tip 1: Figure out Your Career “Non-Negotiables”          Most people have some idea of what their dream career would be, if they had the opportunity to pursue it, but all too often these careers...

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Last week we focused on the importance of CEO succession planning and some steps you can take to make sure you’re prepared for expected—and unexpected—CEO departures, but CEOs are not the only senior executives whose departure would negatively impact your company.  Every business should have a solid plan for the entire senior executive team.  All senior executives are important for the strategic direction of the company, and often have niche knowledge or specialties.  Losing a CFO or COO can be just as devastating for the business as being without a qualified CEO.  Plus, if part of your CEO succession plan involves moving a CIO or COO into the role of CEO, you’ll have to find a way to fill that senior executive vacancy you just created!  With that in mind, Potomac Recruiting has crafted a list of four tips to help you create a comprehensive C-suite succession plan: Tip 1: Conduct...

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Talent management is a broad way of stating “having the right people in the right place at the right time,” and this complex process requires a good deal of strategic planning and critical thinking.  We’ve developed a list of five tips we hope will prove useful to help you make sure you’re effectively managing your talent or if you’re not sure where to start! Tip One: Talent Management Starts Before RecruitingA sound talent management plan is firmly rooted in overall business goals and strategies, so step one should be to sit down—either by yourself or with your team—and outline your company’s organizational goals.  Once this is done, you will be in a position to develop individual and team goals that align with these overall corporate goals, which is helpful for several reasons: 1) It provides a set of performance benchmarks that can be used to evaluate whether or not your talent...

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A Board of Directors résumé is a showcase of your executive and strategic experience that should highlight the ways you can add value at the highest level of an organization, and so must follow a different format from a traditional résumé to be effective. An effective Board résumé will show what you can do for that specific Board, not just where you have been in the past, and should highlight leadership skills and build a business case for how you can contribute to the Board’s oversight functions.  Potomac Recruiting has put together a short list of tips to help you draft a winning Board résumé, and our experienced résumé professionals are available for all of your questions! Tip 1: Start with a Blank Slate                 Don’t try to base your Board résumé on your existing résumé—start from scratch and take a fresh approach, as cutting and pasting from your existing résumé...

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The most important step in getting a job is getting an interview; a résumé that stands out from others is the best thing you can have to get an opportunity for an interview.

       Your résumé is a selling tool and the most vital document in your job search, as it is often your first impression to a prospective employer. It is an advertisement of your skills and capabilities, and assures perspective employers that you have what it takes and would be a perfect fit in this new position or career.Job placement still comes down to what you have to offer (e.g. skills, experience, accomplishments), but presenting yourself in the best light possible is strategic and requires careful editing and polishing.

       As you search for a new job you will quickly find that in a highly competitive global job market, the quality of your résumé makes all the difference between getting an interview and getting overlooked. The goal of a résumé is to have you advance to the next phase of the recruitment process, whether that is an informal dialogue, telephone interview, or a face-to-face meeting. If you are looking to change jobs, up for a promotion, or concerned about the instability of today’s job market, having a professionally-written résumé is invaluable and essential! It can help distinguish you from others and ensure that not only do you get seen, but you stand out from the pack.

       Many job seekers ask why they should pay to have a professional write their résumé when they can do it on their own by going online and using pre-made formats. Additionally, many are concerned that a professionally written résumé is too expensive. We understand these concerns, but too often we encounter résumés that do nothing to help the individual!  A solid résumé is an investment in your future, and in today’s competitive job market a professionally written résumé is not an extravagance, but a much-needed leg up on the competition. Assume that there will be 100, 500, or even 1000 résumés for any given job, and imagine how an employer or a HR professional will sort through them all—to get noticed, your résumé will have to immediately catch their eye!  To stand out, your resume should be ideally tailored for each job, addressing every requirement of the job description and selling your background and skills as the best fit for the job and company.  

       What do we offer? As part of our career consulting practice, Potomac Recruiting has coached and advised C.E.O.s, mid- and early-career professionals, transitioning military and Federal employees, recent college graduates with limited work experience, and others in nearly every field of industry. Our professional résumé writers can help you develop your best general résumé, which can be tailored for the jobs you are applying for, or help target your résumé for a specific job.  We can make you stand out in a sea of job applicants!  We know that one size does not fit all, and as your experience level changes, so should your résumé. Potomac Recruiting career services has a variety of options to fit your experience level in order to give you that competitive edge. We provide you with personalized service – one where you can have direct communication with the résumé writer. To schedule an appointment, you can contact us through the information intake form under “Connect” on the website. We look forward to hearing from you!

In the age of globalization and technology boom, social media tools have made career progression easier and allow for fast and efficient communication with potential employers. LinkedIn is the most essential tool for job seekers and best for facilitating and growing your professional network.           In order to succeed in this fast paced and internet driven society, it is crucial that your LinkedIn page is regularly maintained and up to date; it allows employers and recruiters alike to remain updated on your professional progress and experience. Your page should be neat and easy to read. While you should elaborate on your job experiences, avoid going into detail on insignificancies. You should only elaborate on jobs, internships, academic qualifications, or other details that you believe capture your best qualities and achievements. Remember that this is a tool that should be used to promote yourself and more is not...

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Part 2 of our two-part series “What About Your Career Keeps You Up at Night” discusses two additional worries, not covered in Part 1 (available here), that could be causing you to toss and turn all night.            It may seem like finding a job will solve all of your problems when you’re unemployed, but at Potomac Recruiting we understand that there are a myriad of things that come up over the course of your career that can cause just as much stress as job hunting or looming bill payments.  If you’re facing one of the issues below, one of the issues we covered last week, or something entirely different, don’t hesitate to reach out! 1. My Company Might be/is about to be Sold—what do I do?           Whether you’ve heard rumors that your company is about to be bought out or you’ve...

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In the midst of a stressful job hunt it may feel as if finding a position will be the answer to all of your prayers, and once you finally land that perfect job your worries will disappear. Finding a job is not always a panacea, though.           Once you do secure a job you may find that the worries that once kept you up at night, like looming bills or the fear that you will never work again, have simply been replaced by new worries, which leave you just as stressed—and sleep deprived—as you were before. To help you move forward, Potomac Recruiting has highlighted several common stresses you may face and outlined some strategies to help you tackle them. Three worries will be addressed in Part 1 of this two-part series, and the remaining two will be discussed next week in Part 2! 1. Taking Your...
Looking to make a change? Feel you've gone as far as you can in your current company? If you're lucky enough to have a job in these turbulent economic times but feeling ready to move on – or are just curious about what other opportunities may be out there – job searching while still employed carries a lot of benefits.          There's less pressure, for one. If you don't get the job you've been eyeing you don't have to worry – at least you'll still have an income, even if your boss is a tyrant or you feel you're stuck in a dead end job. Plus, having a job puts you in a better position for negotiating salary and gives you the confidence to make demands and walk away if they aren't met. Additionally, employers, for a variety of reasons, are not fond of gaps in resumes. Holding...
Small businesses struggle with growth for many reasons, including, perhaps ironically, failing to plan for growth and the necessary hiring that will entail. Large companies have the resources to hire on an ad hoc basis and the ability to move existing employees to new positions as necessary, but small businesses must run more leanly in order to survive and typically don't have the access to the same amount of liquid funds.           Operating within these narrower margins means that small companies often lack wiggle room in the budget to bring on an extra employee to deal with a new client or to create a new role for a current employee, and this can damage growth: small organizations may find themselves failing to win new business, or even losing old business, because when the critical time comes around they don't have the right people in place.    ...

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If you’re looking for a competitive edge in today’s challenging labor market, you may be considering working with a professional résumé writer to polish your résumé and really make it stand out against the competition.            Crafting a stellar résumé can take a lot of practice, and advice from a professional with years of experience can go a long way towards making a good first impression with potential employers. If this is indeed something you are considering, you may be pleased to learn that the fee for such services can be tax deductible in certain circumstances!  According to IRS Publication 529, the expenses associated with professional résumé writing and mailing to prospective employers qualify as a job search expense if you are looking for a new job in your ‘present occupation.’  The cost of having your résumé professionally written may then be itemized on Schedule A.           ...

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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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