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Professionalism and LinkedIn Profiles: Presentation Still Matters

LinkedIn was launched in the early 2000’s as a networking site where business people could connect and make new contacts, and, while it did retain that professional edge for quite some time, it’s difficult to log in to LinkedIn now and see that same level of decorum.  As more users sign up (LinkedIn has over 400 million users around the world), people are seeking new ways to distinguish themselves from the crowd, and, as a result, some of the professionalism around the platform has deteriorated.  Headshots of people on vacation or at a party are not uncommon, taglines are often aimed at being clever or funny rather than describing an individual’s profession, and there has been a rising trend of people treating LinkedIn’s messaging service as a dating app.  If you’re using LinkedIn to look for a job, though, you need to make sure that your own LinkedIn page demonstrates...
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Job Hunting during the Holidays

The holiday season is officially upon us, and for many job seekers that means their focus tends to wane as they shift to gift-buying, decorating, and attending holiday parties and events.  Plus, we’ve noticed that job seekers often think that the holidays are a bad time to be in the market, since they assume everyone is equally distracted by the festivities and is not interested in setting up interviews or filling out paperwork.  While it may be true that you are less likely to get a formal interview or be hired during this time, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to keep yourself in the market and use the holiday season to your advantage. Tip 1: Use the Holidays to Reconnect with your Network The holidays are a time for merrymaking and reconnecting with friends and family, therefore they provide the perfect excuse to contact old...
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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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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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The Market for Middle Skills

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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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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Why You Aren’t Getting Interviews

         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...
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Guide to Crafting a Successful Board of Directors Résumé

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...
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Why Hire A Professional Résumé Writer?

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!

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How to Advance Your Career during this Global Age with Social Media Tools

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...
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How to Maximize your Time During an Unemployed Job Hunting Period

It’s no secret that job hunting while unemployed is stressful and scary, especially if you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time.  Being unemployed during your job hunt does come with some advantages, though.           You have more time to devote to your search, for one, as well as time to take a class or get a professional certification.  To help you make the most of your time as you search, Potomac Recruiting offers these tips for maximizing your productivity during an unemployed job hunting period: 1.  Create a Schedule           During stretches of unemployment it can be tempting to spend the day binging on old episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix rather than spend that time editing your resume and drafting cover letters, but to be productive it is essential to map out your goals and create a...
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Your Job Search Expenses Can Be Tax Deductible!

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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How to Dress for Success for a Federal Interview!

If you’re trying to leave the private sector or are a recent graduate who’s been wearing PJs to class the last four years, how to dress for a federal interview may not be overly obvious!        After you’ve done all of the leg work and research to finally land an interview, it would be a shame to cause a bad impression during it just because of how you dressed. There are several, simple solutions to guarantee that the interviewer will focus on the great qualities that got you there in the first place, not how you look! Working in the federal or intelligence sector means that you will be working for your country, and it is important to show your respect for this through how you dress. While wearing bright colors or bold patterns may make you think you’re standing out from the crowd, it could be for...
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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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