Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

February 17, 2012

LinkedIn Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Social Network for Professionals

Filed under: Social Media — Larry @ 2:46 pm


Job Seekers: Get HR on Your Side

Filed under: Interviewing — Larry @ 2:43 pm

February 16, 2012

Tutorial: LDS Account Registration

Filed under: Using — Larry @ 9:43 pm

Developing the 3 Tools you need to get your next better job

Filed under: Resume Writing — Larry @ 9:38 pm

An excellent tutorial at

January 25, 2012

10 Common Sense Interview Tips Too Many People Flub

Filed under: Interviewing — Larry @ 1:19 pm

When we refer to something as being "common sense," we usually mean that it is something we think everyone should know. Often, though, it turns out that what may seem like common sense to one person isn’t always so to someone else. For example: Veterinarians spend their days around animals, so they might consider it common knowledge that cats sleep about 18 hours per day; hence the reason your vet seems so amused when you bring Muffin in for a checkup, concerned about her inability to stay awake.

Similarly, because human-resources professionals constantly screen and interview candidates, what may seem like a common-sense interview tip to them might not have crossed a job seeker’s mind. Following are "common-sense" interview tips straight from the experts’ mouths.

1. Be presentable
Wear a suit that fits, and don’t cut corners when it comes to ironing or dry-cleaning. I knew one guy who was in such a rush the day of his interview that he only ironed the front of his shirt. Later, during the course of his interview day, it was hot and he was encouraged to remove his jacket and get more comfortable and it was clear that he had cut corners and only ironed the front! He was very embarrassed. Also,
while you should always wear deodorant, try to avoid perfumes and colognes. You never know who will be allergic or just downright averse to your scent. A hiring manager once told me a story of how he didn’t select an incredibly well-qualified candidate for a role because she wore the same perfume as his ex-wife. He said she walked in the room and his only thought was how to get her out of his office as
quickly as possible.

2. Don’t be too early
While you should always arrive at your interview a few minutes early, try not to get there more than 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Arriving early will lead to anxiety on the candidate’s part because they have to sit and wait for an extended period of time, and it will lead to frustration on the hiring manager’s part because they will feel rushed with the project that they are trying to accomplish
prior to the interview. If you find yourself getting to the building earlier than you thought, wait in your car or take a walk around the block until it’s closer to your interview time.

3. Know whom you’re meeting with
Know the name of the interviewer so that you can ask for that person at the receptionist’s desk. It’s embarrassing when the receptionist asks, ‘Who are you here to see?’ and you can’t remember. Have this information either in your head or write yourself a note that you refer to prior to arriving in the waiting area.

4. Remember: You are being interviewed as soon as you walk in the door
Most people would never think of the receptionist as being an interviewer, but it’s true. It’s fairly common that the receptionist will report back to the hiring manager how candidates behaved in the waiting area. Don’t be remembered as the one who ate all the candy out of the candy dish or spoke disrespectfully to the receptionist.

5. Make proper eye contact
One of the most obvious mistakes interviewees make is with eye contact, and it costs a lot of people a lot of jobs. Eye contact is simple. Any given eye contact should last about five seconds at a time. And if there’s one interviewer, make eye contact with him or her about 40 to 60 percent of the time. More than 60 percent is intimidating. Less than 40 percent comes off as shifty and perhaps insincere, even dishonest.

6. Eat before the interview, not during it
Duh? Some have experienced interview-snacking firsthand. I was in an interview, no more than 10 minutes into it, and I got called out for two minutes to answer a question. When I returned, the applicant was eating some sort of granola or other snack bar. Needless to say that individual did not get a job with my company. No matter what the candy bar ads have to say, your hunger can wait.

7. Make sure that what you do eat beforehand does not involve onion or garlic
You want to be remembered for your professionalism and outstanding skills, not for what you ate for lunch. Don’t eat anything that has a strong odor before the interview.

8. Don’t look at your watch
Block at least two hours of time for the interview. It is also advised to keep your schedule relatively clear on the day of the interview, to avoid feeling the need to rush. Don’t create distractions to your interview.

9. Tell the interviewer you are interested
Don’t forget to tell the recruiter you want the job. If you truly feel the position is a fit, let them know and tell them you would like to get to the next round of interviews, and be prepared to tell them why.

10. Get business cards from your interviewers — and use them
Ask for the business cards of all of the interviewers that you have met and make sure you take a second or two to read their card. This will not only be helpful in remembering each person you met with, but will make it easier to send proper thank-you notes and follow up e-mails, which should always be done within 24 hours of leaving the interview.

• MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin December 19, 2011

Tips for Temps

Filed under: Temporary/Contract Employment — Larry @ 1:13 pm

If you’ve been thinking about temporary or contract work while you sort out your career choices or gain experience, you’re certainly not alone. An increasing number of professionals are choosing project work, and there are numerous opportunities available. In fact, a recent survey of executives by Robert Half International shows that two-thirds (66 percent) of companies are using as many or more temporary
professionals today versus five years ago.

It’s not hard to see why job seekers are attracted to this arrangement. Temporary professionals are often able to arrange their work schedules so they can effectively balance professional and personal priorities, and many — especially those with hardto-find skill sets — earn more than their full-time counterparts.

But success in the role requires more than just responding to the first "temporary help wanted" sign you see. Here are some tips for getting the most out of interim work:

Find the right staffing service
If you decide that becoming a temporary professional is the right choice for you, how do you get started? First, find the right staffing firm. Many staffing services have Web sites that describe the level of service they provide as well as the types of companies and industries they focus on.

Your best bet is to identify a staffing firm that specializes in the field in which you have experience or interest. For example, if you’re an accountant, you want a staffing firm that specializes in placing accounting and finance professionals. These firms typically have the knowledge to understand your needs and the contacts to find you the job you’re looking for.

It’s also wise to check with friends or family members who have worked with staffing firms in the past for recommendations. And call a handful of staffing firms in your area to ask the following questions:

– How long have you been in business?
– What is the market for someone with my skills?
– How many openings do you currently have for the position I seek?
– What makes your firm superior to others?

Also, pay attention to the details, like how promptly your inquiry is addressed and how you are treated over the phone. If your skills are a match for the types of jobs the staffing firm has available, you will be asked to schedule an interview with a representative from the firm. Bring a copy of your current resume as well as a list of references to the meeting.

Understand your responsibilities
Once you’re offered an interim position, not only should you review the basic job duties and objectives with your staffing manager but also clarify all aspects of the job with your on-site supervisor upon your arrival. You’ll avoid misunderstandings and be more productive if you seek clarification up front. The more you can do to obtain a big-picture view of your assignment, the better you’ll be able to perform.

Ask for help and request feedback
Employers expect interim professionals to hit the ground running, but don’t be afraid to ask for specific information that may be necessary for you to do the best job. This may include, for example, instruction on proprietary systems, unique business practices or customized features of a software application. Throughout the assignment, seek feedback on your performance from your supervisors and those with whom you work closely. Requesting feedback and remaining open to guidance and constructive criticism will enable you to be more effective.

Take temporary assignments seriously
The biggest mistake interim workers can make is being shortsighted. While the position may be temporary, the impression you make is not. Remember that even brief assignments can offer many professional benefits, including opportunities to make valuable industry contacts and enhance your skills. Give your all from the first to the last day you’re on the job. Some temporary assignments will be more enjoyable and challenging than others. Nonetheless, bring the same level of energy, enthusiasm and professionalism to each job. In a recent survey by Robert Half International, 87 percent of executives said it is valuable to hire someone on a temporary basis as a means of evaluating him or her for a full-time position. The more professionally you approach a temporary assignment and the greater value you add to the project, the more likely managers will be to comment favorably on your performance to your staffing firm or even make you an offer for a full-time role.

• MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin December 5, 2011

How to get a non-profit job

Filed under: Job Search Preparation, The Job Search Process — Larry @ 1:09 pm

by Miriam Salpeter

Summary of article (full article at

Have you considered transitioning to a non-profit career?

Think about Your Skills and How to Use Them

Non-profits are looking for people who:
• have a strong track record of leadership and the ability to influence their constituencies.
• are able to keep people motivated and engaged.
• demonstrate ability to manage across a broad portfolio of responsibility.
• are able to show an impressive record of delivering a solid return on investment.
• bring a passionate interest in their work and mission.
• is committed long-term, even when the finish line is out of sight.

Think about where you want to work by answering these questions:
• What issues do you care about?
• What are the appropriate skills you have to help transition into the sector? (E.g., legal, sales, financial management). What’s missing from your skills? Consider taking a course to fill in any gaps in your background.
• What type of organization will help you thrive? Do you prefer working for an organization that’s slow and steady? A fast-growing group? Maybe you’d love working with a startup, or working directly for a founder?

Once you’ve identified your skills and made a match, you’ll be ready to approach the non-profit market from a position of strength.

Career Advice

Filed under: The Job Search Process — Larry @ 1:04 pm
gives a concise summary of career advice information. Included are:’
– Career Advice (158)
– Career Change (20)
– Career Networking
– Career Tests (50)
– Career Videos (17)
– Career Management (10)
– Job Descriptions (51)
– Job Promotions (12)
– Labor Law
– Professional Branding (9)
– Social Networking
– Relocation (10)

It also includes a link to an employment guide as well as links to such articles as:
– 10 Steps to a Successful Career Change
– Building Your Professional Brand
– Career Aptitude Tests
– Passive Job Search Tips
– Personality Tests, Career Tests and Inventories
– Career Help
– Career Opportunities
– How to Find a Career Mentor
– How to Manage Your Career
– Balancing Act: Work and Life Options
– Career Building Books
– Caught in the Act!
– Paradigm Shifting: Job Search vs. Career Management
– What Can I Do?
– Job Descriptions
– Tips for C-Level Executives
– High School Graduate Resume Example

Well worth checking out if you are just starting your job search or are looking to ideas to rev up your current search.

Top 25 Unique Interview Questions

Filed under: Interviewing — Larry @ 1:02 pm

By Alison Doyle, Guide December 27, 2011

( has gone through the thousands of interview questions shared by interviewees this year to come up with a list of the Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions. Some are definitely strange, most of them are unique, and some of them are a challenge to answer because there is no right or wrong response to questions like "What do you think of garden gnomes?" or "Entertain me for five minutes". Check out this article for other questions and the companies which asked the questions.

10 Buzzwords to Take Off Your LinkedIn Profile Now

Filed under: Social Media — Larry @ 1:01 pm

By KATY STEINMETZ December 13, 2011

Summary (for full article and the ‘why’ each word should be removed, see )

LinkedIn, the social-networking site for people with business cards, has released its list of the year’s most overused professional buzzwords, culled from the profiles of its 135 million members. As one might expect, they’re terms that sound awfully nice but say almost nothing specific about a person. They’re the type of terms that are roughly the equivalent of listing “showing up to work” in your skills section.

#10 = dynamic
#9 = communication skills
#8 = problem solving
#7 = Innovative
#6 = motivated
#5 = Track record
#4 = extensive experience
#3 = effective
#2 = organizational

And the No. one most overused professional buzzword is creative. This attribute, like many of the others, is one that is better shown than told. As LinkedIn’s connection director put it in a release, “Use language that illustrates your unique professional accomplishments and experiences. Give concrete examples of results you’ve achieved whenever possible and reference attributes that are specific to you.” And please, never use the word synergy without your tongue firmly pressed into your cheek.

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