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Networking over the Holidays

Last time we wrote an article confirming that the holidays are not a death sentence for job hunting , and outlining a few ways to use the festive season to your advantage when searching for a new position.  This week, we decided to take a deeper look at one area in particular: networking.  As we mentioned last week, the holidays can be an excellent time for networking, as there are a seemingly endless stream of parties and events to attend along with countless old friends, family members, and former colleagues.  These events are the perfect forum for you to announce that you are in the job market.  Networking over the holidays is a delicate balance, though: people want to have fun, catch up, and chat about their holiday plans, not spend the entire evening talking about career opportunities.  So, this week we’ve put together some tips for savvy holiday networking,...
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Do’s and Don’ts of Making a Good Impression at Networking Events

Does anything strike terror into the heart of a potential job seeker more than the idea of a networking event?  If you live in (or near) a city, chances are you could attend a networking event every single night, but there seems to be a tendency to build these events up in our heads until the idea of actually going to one of them and doing something other than standing in the corner drinking free wine and eating free hors d’oeuvres seems nearly impossible.  Unfortunately, networking is probably the best way to meet your career objectives, whether those are to get a new job, to build relationships within your field, or to attract new clientele.  Fortunately, however, there are some easy things you can do to make a good impression and achieve your goals.  Our experts have put together some do’s and don’t’s for networking events that will help you...
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Items Not to Include on your Résumé

In  previous   blog posts we have helped you figure out how to put your best face forward and make your résumé truly shine, so this week we’ve asked our experts to think about the biggest résumé gaffes they’ve seen over the years and put together a list of items you should avoid if you want to be taken as a serious candidate.  Of course there’s no “one size fits all” résumé, so having one or two of these items isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker – especially if you’re applying for a non-traditional position.  However, if you’ve been struggling to land even an introductory phone interview, we hope this post will help you shape up your résumé and land that dream job! One: Social Media Links Including a link to your LinkedIn or Facebook account is becoming “trendy” among job seekers, but unless you’re applying for a creative position where your...
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Building an Effective Team Part One: What Not to Do

Much of a manager’s time is spent making sure their team or department is performing well and functioning as smoothly as possible, so we’ve decided to devote the next couple of weeks to our two-part series on how to build an effective team.  In Part One we’ll take a look at some common mistakes managers make – usually with the best intentions – in an effort to show you what not to do when trying to foster team development.  Then next week we’ll turn around and look at things to do, and provide some advice on techniques you can implement to help build trust and create a high-performing team. One: Don’t Provide Empty Praise As we’ve mentioned numerous times, recognizing achievement and publically praising employees who have gone above and beyond in their efforts or successfully completed a major project is an excellent way to boost morale and create a...
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How to Recover from a Bad Job Interview

There are a myriad of reasons why even the most well prepared job seeker can crash and burn during an interview: maybe your personality clashed with that of the interviewer, maybe you were running late and got flustered, maybe the job description changed, or maybe you just had an off day.  No matter the cause, though, there are a few things you can do to help recover from a poor interview.  Our experts have put together a list of five key steps you can take to improve the interviewer’s perception and make sure your hat stays in the ring! Step 1: Stay calm The first thing to do following a bad job interview is to stay calm.  Panicking is a natural response, but it won’t get you anywhere.  When your adrenaline is up and your mind is racing, you will be more likely to blow things out of proportion and...
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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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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 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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Steps to Build Brand Awareness

Increasing brand awareness is crucial for growth, but unfortunately there is no cookie-cutter, tried-and-true path to success.  The steps you will have to take to increase brand awareness for your business will vary based on your market, your target audience, where you are looking to grow, and your current position, among many other factors.  That said, this week our experts have put together some general steps for building brand awareness using social media that we hope you will all find useful, and we are available to discuss any questions or concerns about increasing brand awareness within your specific niche! 1. Research your Social Media Platforms These days, everyone knows the power of social media to make or break a brand.  The key to successfully improving brand awareness through social media, though, is to research the market you would like to expand and chose platforms that will allow you to publish...
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How to Turn Networking Meetings into a Job Offer

         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...
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The Importance of a Lead Director

The Lead Director role is a relatively new one, having only been established by the New York Stock Exchange about six years ago, but is quickly becoming a crucial position on corporate Boards of Directors. A Lead Director is responsible for acting as an independent chief among Board members and ensuring that the Board functions smoothly, among a myriad of other crucial tasks, including directing CEO succession planning and acting as a liaison between the CEO and the Board.  Increasingly, Lead Directors are taking on active roles during corporate crises, doing everything from calling and presiding over emergency sessions to dealing with underperforming directors.  Though the position is still evolving at this point, Potomac Recruiting has provided a sample list of duties a Lead Director can help fulfill: 1.        Chair Board and Independent Directors meetings, set agendas, and collaborate with the Chairman and CEO to do so 2.       ...
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The Path Towards Sustainable Growth: The Main “Ingredients” of an Effective Board of Directors

Establishing a Board of Directors is an important step towards business development and growth.  Not only do board members give integral advice and support to the CEO, but they also help to create strategy based on their extensive knowledge in various fields. Another notable feature is that these Boards act as a check against executive power, in order to ensure accountability. To have a strong and effective Board there are two main “ingredients”: Choosing the Right Model of Governance, and Selecting the Right People. Choosing the Appropriate Governance Model: First, when setting up a Board of Directors, one must decide on a particular Governance Model, which establishes the structure and responsibilities of the Board. Governance Models are divided into specific categories like the managerial, representative (geographic), and proactivity models. However, upon implementation, most businesses customize their board’s functionality to meet their own needs.   Mel Gill, President at Synergy Management and...
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Do’s and Don’ts of Job Searching While Still Employed

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....
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Hiring the Résumé, not the Candidate, and Other Common Mistakes Government Contractors Can Make

The hiring process is difficult and stressful, whether you’re an experienced HR professional with years of experience or you’re interviewing your very first candidate, and there are numerous financial and legal pitfalls to navigate.            We’ve listed a few common mistakes interviewers make and some easy solutions to assist you in your search for the right employee as well as to help ensure your hiring process is running as smoothly, and effectively, as possible.  Taking the time to do things right might seem more costly up-front, particularly when you have limited resources, but the benefit of slowing down and thinking critically will be evident when you hire the perfect candidate and don’t have to repeat the process again in 3 months’ time.  Mistake 1: Hiring based on the résumé rather than on who is the best fit           Hiring based on the...
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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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