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Express works with you to help you find that next career. We offer access to our extensive client network, third-party salary negotiation, complete confidentiality, one-on-one consultations, résumé review and assistance, as well as interview enhancement tips.

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Friday
Mar272015

Goal Setting: The Secret of Successful Leaders

The Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast is back, with an exciting new lineup of speakers, including Daymond John, a self-made business mogul who is the founder and CEO of FUBU and Shark Branding, and currently one of the stars of the hit ABC show “Shark Tank.”

During the 2015 Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast, Daymond John will share the exact goal-setting strategies he attributes to his success and how to incorporate them into all your endeavors. He’ll challenge you to exercise your brain in a way that cultivates a positive, goal-setting mindset.

2015 Express RLL Meeting_Speaker Daymond John Photo-CroppedAbout Daymond John
Daymond John is the personification of the American Dream. From his humble beginnings on the streets of New York, to a self-made multimillionaire with over $4 billion in global product sales, and a starring role on the ABC business reality TV show “Shark Tank,” John continues to set standards of excellence while expanding his interests in fashion, branding, marketing, consulting, entertainment, and beyond. An industry leader, best-selling author, and ground breaking entrepreneur, he has evolved into a highly sought after business and motivational speaker.

As Founder and CEO of the FUBU (“For Us, By Us”) clothing line, John took the company from concept to global fashion powerhouse, with annual retail sales in excess of $350 million. Introducing many of the tactics commonly used today, he pioneered the art of integrating fashion, culture and music more than 20 years ago. From his then-unprecedented guerrilla marketing and branding techniques, to the continuously innovative ways in which he uses social media, brand integration, and his expertise in pop culture, Daymond John remains a cutting edge business strategist.

Don’t Miss this Extraordinary Event
Back for its sixth year, the Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast is an opportunity to come together with leaders in business communities across the U.S. and Canada to learn more about the principles of great leadership.

Refresh Leadership Live brings a distinguished lineup of inspirational speakers directly to you. Each specifically chosen for their proven expertise and extraordinary accomplishments, this year’s speakers will share their insight on how to lead your business, inspire your team, and live an influential life.

Joining Daymond John on stage for Refresh Leadership Live will be Dan Aykroyd, actor, comedian, screenwriter, musician, businessman, and Ghostbuster, and Liz Murray, motivational speaker and bestselling author of “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard.”

It’s going to be an extraordinary event you won’t want to miss!

For more information about Refresh Leadership Live, visit RefreshLeadership.com/Live.

If you live in the Chicago area, visit RefreshLeadership.com/Chicagoland.

Refresh Leadership is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals

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Friday
Mar132015

10 Mistakes That Are Standing Between You and Your Dream Job

The process of job hunting is tough. It’s not only hard on your wallet, it’s hard on your self-esteem. When you’ve sent out dozens of resumes and landed multiple interviews, all without success, it’s hard not to get discouraged.

At this point, you may start to rationalize your lack of employment by blaming outside influences:

“It’s a tough market right now.”

“There aren’t currently many opportunities in my field.”

“There’s too much competition for too few jobs.”

But the truth is, there are people getting hired in your field. Even if the market istough right now, it’s very likely there’s something you’re doing—or not doing—to lessen your chances of getting hired.

Here are 10 reasons why you may not be getting the job.

1. You’re Not Being Proactive

Are you sitting around waiting for the perfect job to fall into your lap? Successful job seekers know they need to be proactively pursuing jobs and leads and actively strategizing their job search.

Do you have the necessary skills for your dream job? If not, take an online course to upgrade your skill set. Are you well connected in your field? If the answer is no, attend industry networking groups or events.

Research shows a correlation between having a proactive personality and career success. Researchers have found that this proactivity—the belief that you have the power to change your circumstances—is positively associated with achieving salary and promotion objectives as well as increased career satisfaction.

In other words, if you believe you have the power and ability to achieve your career goals, you’re far more likely to succeed. If you believe the world is conspiring against you and you’re powerless to do anything about it, you’re more likely to stay right where you are now—jobless.

2. Your Lack of Passion Shows

If you find yourself applying for positions that don’t excite you, don’t be surprised if potential employers sense this lack of passion. Employers know that skills can always be taught, but that passion is either there or it’s not.

If you’re truly excited about a job, be sure to convey this in your cover letter and interview. Explain your reasons for wanting the position, and share ideas you’ll be excited to explore should you get the job.

3. You Don’t Sell Yourself

If there’s ever a time to sell yourself, it’s when you’re job hunting. If you don’t clearly convey your skills, knowledge, and education, it’s no one’s fault but your own if you don’t get the job.

There’s a fine line between being cocky and confident, so make sure you’re always tempering your confidence with humility. Sharing past accomplishments conveys pride in your work, while going on and on about how educated you are screams “smug.”

4. Your Resume or CV Doesn’t Showcase Your Value to the Company

Your resume is what’s going to get your foot in the door. If it isn’t accurately showcasing your suitability for the job, you’ll never get the chance to impress in an interview. Some best practices for creating a killer resume include:

  • Keep it short (some experts recommend only 600-700 words)
  • List all relevant skills and work history
  • Tweak your resume for each position you apply for
  • Detail how you can bring value to the company
  • Be specific: If you’ve achieved certain goals in past jobs, don’t be afraid to quantify your accomplishments (e.g., raised $2 million in funding in one year).

5. You Haven’t Researched the Job or Company

Employers want to know you took the time to learn a bit about the company. Not knowing the name of the CEO or where head office is could convey that you’re disinterested or even lazy. Take some time before the interview to research the company online. Employers don’t expect you to know all the company’s inner workings, but you should have a good grasp of publically available information.

6. You Conveyed a Sense of Entitlement at the Interview

It’s never a good idea to go into an interview with a list of demands. Having a general salary expectation is expected, but requiring six weeks of vacation from the get-go? This can be a huge red flag for employers. After all, if you’re this demanding in the interview, how much more demanding will you be once you have the job?

7. You’re Overqualified or Underqualified

This is perhaps one of the biggest issues for chronic job seekers. Are you consistently applying for your dream job even though your experience and education don’t really make you a dream candidate? Or maybe you’re desperate for a job (any job!) and are willing to take something (anything!), even jobs well below your pay grade? Ask yourself honestly whether you’re aiming too high—or too low—and adjust your expectations accordingly.

8. You’re Not Connected in Your Industry

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This has never been truer, especially in today’s competitive job market. According to research compiled by Interview Success Formula, while there were 3.6 million job openings in the U.S. in 2012, 80% of these were never advertised. This indicates that employers were likely looking internally and among their current sphere of connections to find suitable candidates.

If you aren’t already, make sure you’re putting yourself out there by regularly attending conferences, networking groups, and industry events. You never know whom you’ll meet!

9. You’re Just Not That Likable

You can be the most qualified person for the job, but if your interviewer just plain doesn’t like you, you don’t stand a chance. Some tips for making the best first impression possible include:

  • Smiling often (when appropriate)
  • Being a great listener (don’t interrupt!)
  • Asking thoughtful questions
  • Not bragging or being overly confident
  • Being talkative and expressive without dominating the conversation
  • Using open body language

In the book Screw the Zoo, author Sam McRoberts outlines several chapters of insightful hacks that delve into the psychology of body language, eye contact, posture, smiling, and confidence.

10. You’re Sending the Wrong Impression

Your interview is your one chance to impress a potential employer. Are you doing any of the following, which could send the wrong impression?

  • Arriving too early or too late
  • Dressing inappropriately (better to err on the side of being too dressy)
  • Joking around too much or being sarcastic (there’s a time for sarcasm, but that time isn’t during an interview!)
  • Asking about the salary too soon in the interview (leave this until last)
  • Not showing any personality
  • Appearing bored or disinterested during the interview

If you’ve been job hunting for a while, it may be time to take a step back and ask yourself what you could be doing wrong. If you’re brave enough, email a past interviewer and ask why you didn’t get the job—while knowing the truth can be hard, it may help you in the long run.

Source: Jayson Demers of Inc. (https://www.themuse.com/advice/10-mistakes-that-are-standing-between-you-and-your-dream-job)

Tuesday
Mar102015

BE A LEADER IN ANY ROLE

You don’t need a big corner office or a fancy title to be a leader. You just need the qualities that all leaders possess. Whether you’re a young intern or a top manager, you can hone your leadership skills now and make an impact on your company and your career.

Good leadership is not only vital to a company’s success, but to every individual employee as well. Explaining and understanding what leadership is can be easier said than done, but the good news is that everyone–from the youngest intern to the veteran manager–can learn the essential skills.

How to Develop Your Inner Leader
You don’t have to wait until you’re in the modern workforce to become an effective leader. In fact, the best time to start learning those modern management techniques is before you even go to your first job interview.

Don Betz is president of the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), and its Leadership Central initiative is designed to provide, deliver, and support leadership enterprises on UCO’s campus. The leadership initiative enhances education through communication training, ethics, collaboration, and more. According to Don, there are some major factors that play into a new hire’s ability to sink or swim when it comes to leadership.

“The most important reason that new hires fail is that they do not listen, they don’t communicate, they aren’t ‘coachable,’ they can’t critically analyze, and they don’t ask the important questions,” said Betz. “Those are basic leadership qualities, and that’s what employers look for.”

Start Early
To learn how to lead even if you don’t hold an executive position at work, volunteer for a nonprofit organization or join a club. These groups, like churches and school organizations, are full of opportunities to lead on committees, projects, or events. They are great starting places for future leaders.

“There are hundreds of organizations on school campuses that can help hone those skills,” said Betz. “In an organization, especially if that organization has a large event, you have to learn to communicate, collaborate, and take on leadership roles. You will be absolutely astounded at what you can learn to do.”

Look for Opportunities
Train your brain to identify every opportunity to demonstrate your potential as a leader in both your professional and personal life.

“Lead by example. Be the first person in and last person out, and hustle harder than everyone else,” said Kyle Golding, CEO and chief strategic idealist for The Golding Group, a strategic planning and business development firm.

Remember not to get ahead of yourself. Don’t give up on big ambitions, but also focus on excelling in your current position, giving as much effort to the present as to the future.

Study Other Leaders
Find people in your office that you admire and study them. Ask them how they developed their leadership style, how they reached their current position, and any tips they can share.

If you are too shy to approach your co-workers or leaders, study the way they interact with others. Or, pick up one of the many books about leadership and give it a read.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re employed or not, you can find examples of great leaders,” Golding said. “Study the way they act, the way they think, and start implementing their ideas. It doesn’t matter if they are in your field or not. All leaders have a style that makes others want to follow them.”

Know Your Stuff
As an intern or a new hire, you can make an immediate impact as a leader by supporting your bosses and the company in reaching goals. The simplest way an intern or a new hire can flex the leadership muscle is by knowing as much about the company as possible.

“Never go in unprepared,” Betz said. “Know your skills, but also study the company and their ideals, values, and goals. Be approachable, be warm, ask the good questions, and demonstrate a good work ethic.”

Keep Learning
Leaders also take the initiative to grow and learn. A good leader has a curious and open mind, and so should you. Leaders think outside of the box, are open to new and exciting ideas, and listen to what others suggest.

You can share those qualities no matter what position you are in. If you want to move up, volunteer to learn something out of your current job description.

“Ask questions, but ask solid questions,” Golding said. “This shows you have an understanding of your role – no matter how small – in the big picture of the company.”

Offer to Help
Needless to say, offering your help is the quickest way to be noticed and appreciated. If your company is facing a challenge, ask how you can help. No matter your role in the company, you can make a real difference.

“Companies look for that special enthusiasm and spark that goes well beyond the resume,” Betz said.

Practicing important qualities of a leader like taking initiative, offering to help, or learning from your superiors will add value to your career and your company. So, take the time to learn these skills and you’ll shine when opportunities for advancement arise.

How do you display leadership skills in your life? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Tuesday
Mar032015

Secrets from our Admin Pros

They do so much more than fulfill typical administrative duties. They are a bright smile and positive attitude throughout the day; they are “master multi-taskers”; they are the glue that holds an office together; they are the key to keeping an office running smoothly and seamlessly.

With Administrative Professionals Day just around the corner on April 23, we took the opportunity to talk with some of our very own office stars to gain some insight into their office productivity secrets and what makes being an admin so great.

 

Paula Angelone Cohen, Human Resources, and Joan Bundy, Corporate Communications Coordinator, share their top 10 tips for successfully maintaining an operational work environment:

  1. Take the initiative and be proactive
  2. Build relationships of trust and integrity
  3. Develop relationships with other admins in the company
  4. Ask questions, share ideas and be a partner
  5. Use a checklist and take action
  6. Organize—find the method that works for you
  7. Be patient
  8. Laugh—find humor in any situation
  9. Be a master at multi-tasking
  10. Enjoy your day

(Bundy also admits that a love of caffeine could help to get through the day!)

Another important element to being good at office management is that you like what you do.

Cohen says, “I really love my job for many reasons. I get to help my manager and team succeed and make someone’s day.”

Cohen, along with Receptionists, Karen Layug and Stephen Inafuku helped us compile this list the top 5 reasons to love being an Administrative Professional:

  • Face-to-face interaction to both internal and external clientele. Chohen belives that her job “allows you to interact with all departments and learn different things from them and share ideas.” Inafuku says, “As a part of welcoming every guest, I have the opportunity to chat with them and they are the most interesting and eclectic group of people you could imagine with fun stories and good advice.”
  • It’s a fast-paced job—Layug says, “not only does it make the day go by faster, it keeps me on my toes which makes me learn and adapt quickly.”
  • Rewarding work. Cohen says she loves “leaving at the end of the day knowing I made a difference in some way.” She also has the pleasure of laughing and smiling daily (making someone else smile is a bonus!). Layug enjoys “working in many programs, such as Excel, to help become more efficient. Being efficient in my work makes me feel accomplished.”
  • Challenges. According to Inafuku, “Corporate Reception is a blend of technical tasks combined with the unpredictable nature of customer service. This requires a constant balancing act which keeps things exciting and on your toes.”
  • Helping to create a company culture. Inafuku says, “Facilitating the numerous company events, charities, employee appreciations, guest speakers and more is such a direct way of tapping into the amazing culture we have at ProFlowers and reminds me of how lucky I am.”

Office management is not an easy job. It requires skills that most people could use more of in the workplace, and in life in general. It takes a good attitude and willingness to put others’ needs before your own. We appreciate our admins and all that they do

Source: http://www.proflowers.com/blog/admin-pro-tips 
April 22, 2014

Tuesday
Feb032015

Stop Using These Words In Your Emails!

Do you know how you sound in emails?

Without the benefit of being able to hear people’s vocal inflections or see their faces, it can be challenging to interpret how the person on the other end of an email is feeling. Emoticons and exclamation points can only take you so far (especially in a business email), and in fact, sometimes formal business language can start to sound, well, negative without context.

Wall Street Journal article on enigmatic email tells the story of a consultant who sent a detailed project plan to her client by email and received only a one-word response: “Noted."

She feared he was angry or disappointed, when in fact, he was thrilled to be able to clear the issue from his inbox with so little effort.

So how can you ensure you get your message across without seeming negative?

Accentuate the positive.

Overall, the word choices you make add up to the tone of your communications. And when you consistently choose negative words and phrases, your emails will sound terse, condescending, or angry.

Negativity is never good and always sends out negative vibes. Even if you feel negative about a situation, you can still make an effort to turn your emails into more positive messages — which usually get better responses.

Words like cannot, damage, do not, error, fail, impossible, little value, loss, mistake, not, problem, refuse, stop, unable to, unfortunately, escalation, urgent, never, inability and unsound all have a strong negative connotation.

Take this sentence for example:

Unfortunately, it looks impossible to finish the project on time because of the problems some people are causing with submitting their work late.

That’s a lot of negative words for one sentence. But you could easily convey the same information in a more positive way, like this:

Can everyone please turn in their portion of the project by Thursday so that we can complete the work on time and hit the deadline?

As you can see, it’s all about the words you choose that conveys your tone. If the boss in the Wall Street Journal example above had even responded with, “Thank you!” instead of “Noted,” his employee probably would not have worried whether she had done a good job.

Try to phrase your message using more positive terms like benefit, it is best to, issue, matter, progress, success and valuable.

Dos and Don’ts

An easy way to fall into the negativity trap is to start listing out things people shouldn’t do. Don’t leave uneaten food in the office refrigerator. Don’t be late to the meeting. Even saying “don’t forget” is more negative than saying “remember.”

Instead of telling others what not to do, try telling them what they should do instead. Please take your lunches home at the end of the day. Please arrive for the meeting five minutes early.

People are much more likely to comply with a positive request than a negative complaint on their behavior.

When in doubt, spell it out.

If you find that people frequently misinterpret your emails, you might need to be more explicit. There’s no harm in actually saying how you feel when communicating with colleagues, especially those with whom you have a good relationship.

For example, rather than using terse, negative language in an email about project scheduling because you’re sick of the software you have to use to schedule meetings, you might come out and say, “This scheduling system is frustrating to me, but it looks like we can meet on Friday…”

That way, the recipient can understand that you’re feeling negative about something other than him.

Source: Bernard Marr, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Leading Business and Data Expert; 
December 8th, 2014

URL: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141208072941-64875646-stop-using-these-words-in-your-emails?trk=mp-author-card