Old Friends, New Friends, Work Friends

You may ask, how does this topic relate to work? Well, it does.

Think of how you interact with “old friends” and ask yourself, is that the same way you interact with “work friends” or “new friends”?

We should all be so lucky to a) have friends, but b) have good friends. BE GRATEFUL.

Someone once said to me “you are the architect of your relationships” and this has stuck with me. I think the way you interact with any friend defines who you are as a person. I’m often told that some people are different at work than at home, but why? Why, do some people feel the need to “be different”?  I think those friendships we have where we can just be ourselves are the healthiest. That being said, wouldn’t it be nice to be yourself at work! I encourage candidates to often “be yourself during the interview” and this helps to ground them. However, I also believe being yourself at work is just as important. We spend many hours at work, so best to be yourself around your “work friends” too. This may lead to a more productive day, agree?

You are the architect of your relationships. What does this mean? It means you choose your:

Foundation = Old Friends

Building Materials = Work Friends

Roof = New Friends

So if you visualize your friendships, it’s very obvious those of us who have many old friends, several work friends and solid new friends are a stronger structure. You can have a few old friends, but without new friends you’re not complete, or you can have a few new friends and very few work friends and feel empty.

I observe my pre-teen being this Architect and it astonishes me how young this behavior starts. How we try to separate old from new and always seeking to find new friends. In the end, what’s important is that we make good choices in friends and that we be ourselves. Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t like you for who you are? Who wants to be on a team with a leader who has a weak foundation? Who wants to support a Boss who has no time to take care of his/her roof? See where I’m going……..

We all need to make the time to be a well-rounded Architect and a good friend. So get out there and ask that other working Mom to lunch today or ask the new neighbor to lunch. Better yet, see if you can have lunch with your Boss or invite your old friend to the beach. That’s where I am going today.


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Minor Errors are NO JOKE in the Career Game!

Minor or Major? Okay, I am not the athletic type, but I do understand the difference between a major penalty and minor penalty in hockey. I’m married to a hockey player! That being said, in the “career rule book” when applying for a job it’s only the first reader who gets to make the call if your typo is “minor” or “major”. However, the difference here is not just a few minutes in the penalty box, but the loss of gaining that corner office. Penalties are almost encouraged in sports, but definitely not in your career game! It takes minutes to proof your resume and cover letter. Use your minutes wisely.

Candidates, Job-Seekers, Students……..TAKE YOUR TIME AND PROOF YOUR RESUME AND COVER LETTER with every application.  Here’s a summary of what may be viewed as Minor or Major; Agree or Disagree? Each Hiring Manager will have a different threshold and I’m no English major, but I can decipher common errors vs. lazy errors.

To Whom It May Concern or To whom it may concern? – Minor! (Tip: Don’t use this! Go with ‘Dear Hiring Manager:’

Dear [Name] – You forget to change template – Major! (Tip: SLOW DOWN)

I am interested in this job I hope to be considered. – You forgot the . (period) – Major!  (Tip: Read it over 3 times)

Deirdre vs. Deidre – You spelled my name wrong – Minor!  (Tip: Check your work!)

I am in interested in working for ABC Staffing vs. Black Oak Staffing Solutions – You do not have the RIGHT company name. If this is your ONLY typo we’ll let it slide because it’s very common, but it does show you do not have an eye for detail. Minor & Major (Tip: SLOW DOWN, Check your work and make sure it’s addressed properly)

You decide which box you prefer. These simply simple errors can make a huge difference in your future! Auto-correct is not an acceptable excuse and your application decisions 100% reflect on what a future employer may see you doing on the job. If you can’t get your own resume and cover letter done correctly, how can you type an email to a future client?

There are repercussions, not concussions,  in this game. 

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What do you want to do when you grow up?

Grow Up?”…..It’s funny how common this question was when we were kids, right? This was a conversation today with some colleagues which has stuck with me and prompted me to write some thoughts.

So who gets decide at what age one is grown up? I’ve witnessed my own Father pouting at a holiday event, a CEO cry in the office and a Manager abruptly stomp out of a meeting.  Do we really ever “grow up”? Does our age define our business maturity or is it our life experiences that allow us to cope? My friend turned 44 today and said #Ifeelsoold (yes using a hashtag in a text), yet my Mother died when she was 49 and we say “Wow, she was so young”. I think everything is relative, yet I also believe I have another 42 years to live and can do anything that I put my mind to. I do not want to be the President of United States like many of used to answer,  or as another colleague said “Maybe today’s kids say I want to be an Entrepreneur when I grow up or a Business Owner”.

When it comes to our CAREER, we don’t have to “grow up”, but we have to learn how can we articulate the real life experience(s) we have encountered that make us the best hire for a specific role. Each and everyone one us should hope our “inner kid” does shine itself every so often because kids have NO FEAR and the adults in their lives are so patient, kind, caring and want to show them how to succeed. As a job-seeker try to find those types of employers and as employers, remember sometimes it’s those hires who are still growing up that are your most attentive, loyal and grateful.

I’m not sure what I want to do when I do “officially” grow up, but I am embracing how employers are offering more perks, toys, fun events, creative outings, different foods and team collaboration. It is all because they want “the kids” to enjoy their day working together. The office is the new playground. #nevergrowup. Play nice and have fun thinking about all the different ways you can answer the question now.  Be who you want to be.grow up

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Pajamas and Jobs – Get out of your comfort zone!

Do you have a favorite pair of pajamas you’ve had for years? Or a favorite pair of sweats you’ve had since college and you refuse to throw them out?

Don’t we all?

pjs w holes

I think this is what happens to us with our careers. We get so comfortable “in it” that we can’t imagine a new one “feeling” as good or being as comfortable as the one you are currently in. Make sense?

Even though these sweats and pajamas are too small or have massive holes we continue to wear them every night, every weekend and we just don’t see the need for a new set, right?

We get in an automatic mindset that we convince ourselves that there is no better job than the one I have. Well, you may be WRONG.

We recommend go see the new brands of pajamas out there! Things have changed since college and they now make Lululemon, for instance. Once you try those on, your old pajamas quickly find the donation pile or maybe the attic for memorabilia. It can be that easy to find a new job that you simply fall in love with at the first interview. It happens every day.lulupjs4

As a Recruiter, we advise browse the market and see what your potential options are. There could be a better fit out there and you do not know it because you have your blinders on. Change is healthy and sometimes for the better.

It’s okay to put your resume out there because you deserve that “new pair of sweats”. The way you feel when you put those new sweats on is the way you could feel every day on the job.  I think many of us have learned you can’t wear the same pajamas your entire life or….wait,….. you can try,  but in the end there may be nothing left to them.  When you retire, you want to feel whole, comfortable and know if it wasn’t for having confidence to try new things you may not be as happy in your bathing suit, sipping your cocktail,  enjoying your retirement home in Florida.

…………And in today’s flexible work schedule world you may even be able to –

a) Wear those pajamas while working from home!!!!

b) Wear them on pajama day at work!!!

Things have changed………and for those of you who may not own or wear pajamas, that is a story for another day! sleep

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Resume Fear?

Almost 20 years in the staffing industry and I still find many job-seekers exceptionally fearful of “The Resume”. It’s almost like “stage fright” – seriously! Why? What makes us so nervous about this little 8X11 piece of white paper? Image result for 8 x 11 piece of paper

A few of my professional opinions and general advice on how to overcome these simple fears.

1. Getting started tends to be the initial hesitation. Advice – Start with just typing Your Name, Address, Phone#, Email, LinkedIn link or Website Address, Company Names, Title of Jobs, and Dates. This is 50% of the resume!

2. We overthink. Advice – Start with literally typing what do you do? You should be able to do this quickly. Treat it like someone just asked you “What do you do for a living?”. Baby steps.

3.  We run out of ways of saying the same thing. Advice – Use this resource of action words and your content will just come together. http://bit.ly/19E209D

4.  The resume looks boring. Advice – Fluff it up with statistics, numbers, successes and skills. i.e. You can say “Answer phone” or “Juggle  5 phones lines, direct customers to appropriate party and take over 50 messages a day using customized database”.


5. It does not stand out. Advice – Your first few bullets or sentences are essential. We often say to stand out you must take your trophies out of the case. Yes, you’re on a winning team, but how do YOU contribute. Be specific. BRAG.

Image result for trophy

6. I think my resume looks good, but not ready to email it. Advice – Ask your friend, roommate, spouse or parent the following “Does this 8×11 piece of paper summarize me the way you know me?”. You hope they come away surprised. Focus on the heart of the resume.  Look at this image – The HEART captures most of the page and that is how, if you draw a heart on your piece of paper, it’s the content on the inside that matters most.

Image result for resume heart

Deirdre Parlon, CEO, August 2015 “Back to the Basics”

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Made the Touchdown? Now What?


The Patriots are Super Bowl Champions! They clutched the big win! Did you recently get a chance to do a victory dance? Did you get offered a new job? Just like the Patriots, you need to plan your next steps! As they get ready for the off season training, what are you doing to prepare for your first day?

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile! It is a huge accomplishment and it is time to show it off!
  • Leave your old company on a good note! Thank and get reference letters from superiors! Update personal contact information from colleagues to be able to stay in touch after you start your new job!
  • We know you have the suit! But the small things matter too! Do you need new socks? Do you have enough ties? Or need a new blouse or accessories to dress up you favorite blazer? Is it a new season? Make sure you lay out all your clothes ahead of time (and knowing they are clean) will be a weight off your shoulders!
  • Attend all trainings at your new company! This is important as it shows you are interested in the company as whole, not just your small part.
  • Does your new company have monthly social events? Go to them! It is important to try to assimilate into the company culture and meet people from all departments! This is a fun and easy after you start your new job!

-K O’Leary


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Your Career Playbook!

Have you been following the Patriot’s season? I am sure we are all still in awe of the trick play a couple games ago! Edelman’s past of being a quarterback at Kent State sure came in handy! If you missed it, check out this short clip!

We do not often enough “think outside the cubicle”, but B.O.S.S. can help! You to deserve a touchdown of a career! Are you going to try something new or remain complacent in your job? Are you ready to go into a new industry? It is time to surprise your “team!” We can help you write your career playbook!


B.O.S.S’s Playbook for Both Employees and Employers

1. Interview Prep- How to get remembered in an interview? This is a burning question for most who are looking for a career move. What do we think you should do? Be the one who tries something new! Instead of just providing your resume, bring a small presentation to SHOW how you can thrive in the position. What are you going to wear? A traditional Black Suit vs. the stand out Red Suit? Small (yet very different) moves can make you stand out to the interviewer. Think- what would you want to see someone do if you were hiring for the company?

2. New Hires- Did your company just complete a hiring process? In this competitive day it is important as a company to stand out. Go above and beyond with your new hires– they will definitely fall in love (quicker) with their work! How may you ask can you win over your new hires? Forget the traditional first day office lunch! Instead bring in an omelet chef to the office or an array of a local restaurants appetizers and drinks for 5:00PM!

3. Benefits- As an employee happy in your company, how can you get more out of your career? Well, know the benefits in your company “policy handbook” and take advantage of those discounts! Yes, many companies offer gym discounts, but they also may offer 10% off at Ann Taylor! Benefits such as these are useful. If you have questions, do not be afraid to talk to someone in your Human Resource Department.

You to can throw “a memorable touchdown”! Do you have any “plays” you’re willing to share? Tweet or write on our Facebook group!



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Thoughts About the Innovative Tools to Learn More About Company Culture

Picture this… the web browser open: http//www… dot what? What is the candidate typing in? Is it Glassdoor? The Daily Muse? Is it Facebook? Yelp? If I am in search of a new job that will be the perfect fit for not only me, but the company as well, where do I go to learn more about company culture?

When looking for a job, one needs to find a company that is not only faultless for them on the surface, but underneath as well. Being employed is not a one way road. For the new job-seekers there is a slow evolution occurring. Future employees can find an abundance of information online about a company’s culture from dress code to monetary support for furthering education to monthly company outings!

Through the years websites have evolved to now create a chat function in which one can ask all sorts of questions to a representative. Before to find out about a company, it was person to person, then over the phone, then computers and a Google search… Now what?  Chat boxes and texts with Q & A’s?  Or is it a combination of all of them? Researching a company can only go so far, it is still very important to talk with those who work there!! Whether it is a walk through the office during the interview to feel the vibe or asking about different company policies, interacting with those within in the company reveals a lot. For a machine to work well, the gears need to match up – just like utilizing these resources do!

Comany Culture

Should Human Resource departments have a chat box like Customer Service Departments do? Do you think companies should start to have their Social Media Manager comment on comments made by employees? What are your thoughts? Where do you find your information? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter #BOSS!


-K. O’Leary

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Take Care of Your “DIGITAL HEALTH”

Clean Up Your Digital-Self Prior to Applying to a New Job in 2015!


Did that red (1) just pop up on your Facebook app? Did your family tag you in holiday photos? Friends from high school or college at the local holiday reunion? Even if you’re happily employed, best to BE PREPARED… Clean up your online image. Save the pictures to your home desktop and delete from the internet!

A New Year can mean a New You! How? Refresh your professional photos, your website content, your resume, your cover letter! Go and get your suit pressed and clean out your contact list! Set this as your New Year’s resolution goal! (For more resolution ideas, check out our Pinterest Board!) A healthy online presence is almost as important as your overall health. Take care of YOU and take care of YOUR “digital-self” to! Here at BOSS, confidentially browsing is something we highly recommend! It is good for your ego, good for bench-marking, and negotiations!

New Year New Start


-K. O’Leary

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The Ever-Changing Job Applications


In our last blog, we talked about the importance of a content strategy in order to stand out in online applications. Well what about companies who only source using resumes, cover letters, or LinkedIn?

The key is still content! Today Human Resources departments are often now called Talent Acquisition offices. Although the words changed, the people who work in the offices are still looking to staff their company with the most qualified candidate. To stand out when seeking a job, what you provide about your self (the content!) is crucial.

The simpler, but more detailed, examples is the best! You are probably shaking your head saying Black Oak– that is a contradicting statement! How am I supposed to be simple, yet provide details?

Well we are here to help you navigate that! For example: if a job description is seeking someone who knows Excel, include it in your resume and LinkedIn! BUT do not just list it as a skill– also include an example of when you utilized Excel in the work place. This is key!

If a company is seeking an Intern who can boost their social media presence, they will choose the candidate who did not just list it social media platforms in their skills, but included examples such as: “increased Twitter followers two fold; utilized Facebook to drive ‘friends’ to other platforms such as Pinterest.”


For a job seeker to exceed, one needs to understand the importance of content! By using “buzz words” to attract the employers, then locking in their interest by portraying your experiences with your skills.

Quick tips to update your “content”: check out our Pinterest Resume Writing and Cover Letter Help boards! Have more time and really want to tailor your resume to perfection? Call BOSS today to set up an appointment!

-K. O’Leary

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