header blog

Point of View

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Blog posts tagged in Tips

Posted on
Getting a seat on a corporate board is a prestigious accomplishment, and, as such, requires a lot of careful planning and preparation.  This is especially true for women, who only hold approximately 20.2 percent of corporate board seats among Fortune 500 companies.  One of the key functions of an effective Board of Directors is representing company stakeholders, including customers, employees, and shareholders, therefore a diverse, inclusive Board that combines a variety of skills and viewpoints is crucial.  With that in mind, we’ve compiled some tips and advice on how women can prepare to sit on a corporate board. One: Develop your Personal Brand All Board candidates must have a strong personal brand and value proposition that differentiates them from the pack, and you must be able to articulate this both in person and through your board-specific résumé.  Identify your strengths and correlate them with the experience you have gained during your...

Posted on
Last week we wrote about six ways to bomb a phone interview, so, as promised, this week we’re going to provide some tips for acing a phone interview!  Phone interviews are becoming more and more common as companies and recruiters try to weed out poor applicants before spending the time and resources to bring in candidates for an in-person interview.  They have become an inescapable part of the modern job application process, so all candidates need to be familiar with the do’s and don’ts of a successful call. One: Use an Appropriate Greeting As we mentioned in last week’s article, answering the phone in an inappropriate manner can set the interview off on the wrong foot before it’s even officially begun.  When you answer the phone, make sure to use your own name so that the interviewer knows they have reached the right person, and, if possible, reference the interviewer’s name...

Posted on
Congratulations: you applied for a position, your résumé and cover letter were well put together, and you have been asked to do a phone interview!  This phone interview is the crucial first test you will have to pass before you are taken seriously as an applicant, and, as such, requires a lot of preparation and forethought.  Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that many otherwise excellent candidates often do not take phone interviews very seriously, or don’t think they carry the same weight as an in-person interview.  In the hope of inspiring these job seekers, we asked our experts to put together a list of six common ways potential candidates can bomb a phone interview.  Next week, we’ll take a look at some ways to avoid these errors and ace a phone interview! One: Answering the Phone at an Inappropriate Place If you’re dealing with a recruiter or busy hiring manager, they may call...

Posted on
Social media has become a recruiting buzzword; these days, it seems everyone is sourcing candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There’s just one problem: there are millions of people on these social networks, and finding the right candidate among the crowd can be difficult – if not impossible – leaving many recruiters and hiring managers wondering how, exactly, they are supposed to leverage this technology to improve their candidate searches.  We’ve put together some tips designed to help you get started and effectively utilize social media sites to identify and reach out to qualified candidates. Tip 1: Take Advantage of Niche Groups So you’re on Facebook and LinkedIn and you want to find a specific kind of person to fill an open position – say a Java developer.  Where do you start?  By searching for relevant groups!  LinkedIn, for example, has hundreds of thousands of Groups professionals can join to connect...

Posted on
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, to help...

Posted on
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 connections...
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 become...

Posted on
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 employer might be interested...

Posted on
Making sure they’re hiring the perfect candidate for the job is paramount for hiring managers, but job seekers also need to make sure that they're accepting the perfect position.  When you’ve been searching for months on end and are starting to feel a bit desperate it can be tempting to take the first job offer you receive, but you should always reflect on whether or not you actually want that job before accepting the position.  Otherwise you’ll end up right back where you started, and everyone’s time will have been wasted.  Frictional unemployment – when individuals are unemployed because they are searching for a job that is the right fit – can actually be beneficial for everyone: job seekers, employers, and the economy as a whole.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some questions to consider before accepting a job offer. Question One: Do your career goals align with the company...

Posted on
Last week we took a look at some common missteps managers make when trying to encourage their teams to work together and perform well, and outlined why these issues can be detrimental to a team environment.  As promised, this week we’re flipping things around and offering a guide on things to do to build an effective team that is cohesive, high-performing, and communicative. One: Evaluate Yourself A strong team needs a strong leader, so step one in building an effective team is evaluating your own leadership skills.  It’s important to be honest with yourself at this stage: what are your strengths and weaknesses?  How does your team perceive these strengths and weaknesses?  What can you do to improve and be a more effective leader?  These are all important questions.  And remember, everyone (and every team) functions differently!  If you successfully managed a strong team at one organization and now are struggling...

Posted on
Building a talent pipeline is a crucial way to ensure your company doesn’t get caught in a lurch by a sudden departure or a new project that requires additional manpower, as an effective talent pipeline will contain highly qualified individuals who are ready to quickly assume a position.  Creating a solid pipeline requires a lot of effort, though, as candidates are not available indefinitely – they will find new jobs, move across the country (or globe), or do something to demonstrate that they would not be a good employee after all – and therefore you will need to constantly review and update your pipeline.  Doing so doesn’t have to be tedious, though!  We’ve put together a list of some unique, creative ways to make sure there is a steady stream of candidates expressing interest in jobs with your firm, and who you can add to your talent pipeline. Tip 1: Publish...

Posted on
Hiring the right talent is not an exact science: it takes finesse, experience, and a little bit of luck, and at some point everyone is going to make a mistake and hire the wrong person.  Company culture and the type of position being filled also play a role in hiring practices, which adds to the difficulty of creating a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring the perfect candidate every time.  Our hiring experts have, however, noticed a couple of common mistakes companies make during the hiring process, so this week they’ve put together a list of some of the more prominent errors and some simple fixes. Mistake 1: Not knowing what you want It’s impossible to fill an open position with a talented individual who will succeed and help the organization if you don’t know what specific skills, experience, and attributes a qualified candidate will need.  Developing a list of job responsibilities, as...

Posted on
Hiring new employees is never going to be an easy process: identifying, interviewing, vetting, and on-boarding the right candidate takes time and effort, which pays off in the end, when you are rewarded with a competent and loyal employee.  There’s no need to struggle with an arduous hiring process if it’s leading to difficulties in attracting qualified candidates, though.   Take a look at these tips for simplifying your talent acquisition process, and see how many you can apply to your business! Tip 1: Shorten your application As an employer, you naturally want to have as much information about each candidate as possible before deciding whether or not to spend the time and effort to bring them in for an interview.  If your job application is too long and requires too many steps, though, it can negatively impact your hiring process.  Highly qualified candidates are turned off by lengthy applications that require...

Posted on
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...

Posted on
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 due...

Posted on
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 the...

Posted on
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” is...

Posted on
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 the...

Posted on
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, from...

Posted on
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 you...

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%.  

Copyright © 2016 Potomac Recruiting LLC.   All Rights Reserved.   Designed by Pinix Design Studio