Content Strategy

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Have you ever been in the middle of an online application and thought why am I even filling this out? Will a person even read it? Or this is so tedious and I probably won’t even hear back! Filling out the hundreds of bubbles, retyping your resume, and wondering if you correctly demonstrated your abilities could make the process very frustrating.

What is important in these online applications is content, content, content!

Content, the words and descriptions in your resume, allows for search engine optimization. The company your applying to knows what they want or need in a candidate. If you fit the description-make sure you show it in your application, but also on your LinkedIn profile and About Me! The words one uses should be consistent across the board.

For example, if the job description reads, “Must have: the ability to develop an administrative staff by creating and providing educational and growth opportunities.”

If you have had experience performing these duties as an Administrative Assistant, you should write “implemented several education and growth opportunity plans for an administrative team.” If you have had measurable results- share them! Include “… that led to 15 in company promotions and saved 15% of our annual budget for the human resource team.”

Having the first three bullets mirror the job description, a company sees clearly that you would fit for the job! Although the applications are long and tedious, if filled out correctly, a company will pin point you as a serious candidate.

Here at Black Oak, we suggest you take the time to research the company- see the content they provide. This will help you when it comes time to filling out that application. What are the multiple choice questions being asked? What are the bubbles you need to fill in really looking for? While it seems mundane, the company is trying to find the candidate that fits! Tip: Take a break after completing, but before submitting. Make sure to re-review the whole application!

-K. O’Leary

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Holiday Time In The Office

Burnt out from shopping for your family and friends?

But still need gifts for your coworkers and boss?

No fret we have awesome- and affordable- ideas!

BOSS Top 5 Office Gifts

1. Cell Phone Accessories- an extra cell phone charger or cell phone case can always come in handy for those office “techies!”

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Not to mention– they can be found at a reasonable price at Walgreens!

2. Coffee Mug- have the one coworker always borrowing your mug or using ones left in the break room? This could be the perfect “hint” gift!

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3. Gift card to favorite lunch spot- you know they will use it, maybe even with you!

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4. Business card case- perfect work related gift that can make a great first impression with clients!

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5. All occasions card set- how often are you searching for the perfect card? This makes for a great gift that could make your coworkers life a bit easier!

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 Quick Tips: Before buying gifts for coworkers and your boss, make sure to check out company policies on gift exchanges! Also: be mindful of your coworkers- if someone has been sticking away from sweets, don’t bring in baked goods! If someone constantly passes on wine or beer at work dinners, a bottle of wine wouldn’t be the best gift! If someone is of a different religion, check to see if they have different practices on gift giving! In most cases, a simple yet thoughtful holiday well wishes card could go a long way!

What are your suggestions for this year? Tweet @BlackOakBoss to let us know!

-K. O’Leary

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Thanksgiving: Many Thanks!

thankful-printableAs Thanksgiving is quickly approach (8 days… but who is counting?), it is a great time to remember what we are thankful for!  Here at Black Oak Staffing Solutions, we are thankful for our:

Health 
Nature
Military
Family
Laughter
Love
Faith
Friends
Clients

One more thing that we are thankful for are our JOBS!

For all of those who are thankful for their jobs, what are they MOST thankful for? Medixteam penned a great blog that tells us the5 Things Your Employees are Thankful For!

1. Coworkers: A Second Family
2. Company Culture: Relaxed, Supportive, Respectful, Challenging
3. Company Image: Proud, Great Reputation
4. The Job Itself: Dynamic, Fun, Interesting, Mentally Stimulating
5. Perks: Time Off, Tuition Reimbursement, 401k, Flexibility

What are you most thankful for this Holiday season?

Post Your Response To Our Facebook Page or Tweet @BlackOakBoss! 

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Email Life of A Recruiter

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 Are you feeling anxious, it’s end of October and you do not have a new job yet? Or are you asking yourself why haven’t any of the recruiters I met called me? Or why have the HR Managers not replied to the resumes I emailed?

The INSIDE Scoop: Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes daily! On top of just resumes our office receives hundreds of ‘other’ emails daily too!

You may be thinking- what? how? what else could people be emailing recruiters for?

 We receive emails ranging from- what do you have for job opportunities to I can’t pay rent and I need work and everything in between! For example-  when I opened my inbox this morning I had a large volume of  different kinds of emails:

I need a job- Where do I start?
I interviewed with you 2 weeks ago- Why haven’t I heard back?
Why haven’t you gotten me a job yet?
Invitation to a new Networking Group
How many references do you need for me to apply?
Are you a confidential service? (Yes We Are!)
I want to refer a friend- How do I do this?
IMPORTANT- My Facebook Was Hacked- Do Not Open Previous Message

Often it is difficult in between meetings, setting up interviews, and talking with clients to answer every email! Think- How many times do doctors get emails? From healthy patients- once a year! How many cars does a car dealer want to sell? This number is different from the number he actually does sell! We would love to HELP all of you – trust us, we would but in reality we can only place so many of you!!

Should recruiters start texting more often? Should we have an account that allows us to “chat” in order to answer quick emails? How do you think we could serve you better? Comment with your suggestions!

-Kaitlynn O’Leary

 

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LinkedIn Profile Pictures

While we focus on content quite often, another major part of presenting yourself as a job seeker or networking professional is visual importance. TheLadders eye tracking study found that 19% of a recruiters’ time is spent looking at your LinkedIn profile picture. What does this mean? If one doesn’t have a profile picture, it could work against you!

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What should your profile picture look like you might ask?

It is a picture that links who you are with your professional career!

The picture should not be blurry – think clear!

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It should feature you alone—not with other friends or family!

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VS.
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Be inviting and smile—while not an area to come across as crazy, show some of your personality!

This: images

Not:

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Last, but not least, there should be no excuse to not knowing how to upload a photo! When you login to your LinkedIn account, go to the top bar that says profile – while your mouse is scrolled over it a drop down area will appear – click on edit profile! The square area on the left hand side is where your profile picture should be—click on the camera icon. Upload a photo from your gallery. Then drag the yellow square to crop your photo. On the right hand side of your screen should have previews of how your picture will look in other areas! Make sure your face is fully visible and then click save!

This easily can translate over to your Facebook or Twitter Profile account as well. Any social media account that portrays an image of who you are should be a professional one!

-K O’Leary

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Are you prepping to continue your education?

Are YOU prepping to continue your education? Do you know where you want to go? Do you need to take the GRE or LSAT? Do you need to submit different applications? B.O.S.S has a few key tips on how to be best prepared!

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Explore your options! Make sure to be researching all prospective graduate programs. What will the school offer you? Besides earning an advanced degree, it is vital to understand what graduate schools can do to help you! From helping to find work experience in a co-op setting, allowing you to conduct research, or to having a thriving network of alumni, these are things to be considered when applying to different graduate schools!

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Make an application checklist for yourself! It is important to write down all the steps you need to complete- such as registering for the exams, asking for letter of recommendations, assembling all application materials, and looking at financials – and the dates they need to be done by. Having it all on a calendar will help you keep organized and not feel overwhelmed. The application process requires concentration and time.

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Speaking about the exams: make sure you understand what test your program is looking for whether it be the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or the MCAT, and start studying ahead of time. The BEST way to prepare for these exams is through practice tests! Whether it is on your own via preparation books found at Barnes and Nobles or sitting down for an official practice test- practice, practice, practice!

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Understand how your life may change: If you plan on working while being a full time student, realize the time commitment you are making. If you are planning on being a full-time student, it’s important to recognize all the financial considerations during and post graduation. Going directly from undergraduate work to graduate work, be prepared for the changes whether it is less of a campus life or more autonomy in your studies.

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Whether you are thinking about grad school for next spring or for in a couple years, we are here to support YOU with tailoring your resume or discussing choosing your references. Let us know how B.O.S.S. can help!

-K O’Leary

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Public Viewing Samples

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Ever wonder when reading your resume or viewing your LinkedIn profile how a hiring manager perceives it? When a job seeker includes “writes content”, “handles social media”, “updates Facebook”, or “responsible for Twitter” on their resume, the first thing a hiring manager will want to do is look up this content. Recall when back in the day companies “tested on skills” -ie typing skills or math exams, today’s equivalent is “public viewing samples!”

What does this mean for you? When writing these skills on your public profile or resume, make sure to also review your public social media work- is it professional? does it portray your skills accurately? Also if you are stating this as a part of your job, it is key for a hiring manager to be able to find the material easily! One way to do this is to hyperlink examples of your work to your profile!

For Example:

Intern at Black Oak Staffing Solutions

  • Writes content for weekly blog posts via a WordPress account

  • Updates Facebook daily with available jobs and relevant articles to the staffing industry

  • Responsible for Twitter Content including retweets of similar material

Comments? Concerns? Questions? Thoughts? Let B.O.S.S. Know!

-K. O’Leary

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Fluff Words

Hook, line and sinker- Kinzy Janssen caught my attention in a recent Staffing Talk article entitled “Oh, Great. I’ve Been Endorsed for Microsoft Office.” What made me stop scrolling?  Her line: “To me, being endorsed for Microsoft Word is as embarrassing as a carpenter being endorsed for hammer skills.” Janssen is talking about the automated endorsement function on LinkedIn. Anyone on LinkedIn has the ability to endorse any of their connections with skills vital to their industry– BUT one can be endorsed for some “skills” that they do not necessarily want. We are not programmers or technical experts, and to be honest, these endorsements have little, if any true meaning to Recruiter.

As an employment agency, B.O.S.S. sees hundreds of resumes and LinkedIn profiles weekly! We decided to provide you with a list of 5-resume fluff words that most recruiters may glance over and 5-resume words that may stand out!

Fluff Words

  1. Experienced: In What? Provide certificates or examples instead!
  2. Results-driven: Avoid this cliché word by showing your results instead!
  3. Duties: Has a slight negative connotation– switch it out with achievements!
  4. Hard Working: Your resume should explain this without you having to say it!
  5. I: Don’t include the personal tense- instead focus on what you can bring to the company or your new team!

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Stand Outs

  1. Initiated: Use if you have created something new!
  2. Expedited: Shows you don’t just keep your projects on task but finish them early!
  3. Spearheaded: If you led a project!
  4. Profits (or revenue): Numbers are great ways to highlight your success!
  5. Negotiated: Paints a picture for the reader to see you have key communication skills!

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Remember: your “trophies in the trophy case” should shine on your resume and in the interview. These are two times when Hiring Managers want YOU show them off!

Don’t forget: Your LinkedIn profile should match-up to these wins!

What do you think? Are these words to keep or toss out? Did we miss any important words? Comment below to share your opinion!

 

-K O’Leary

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Be The B.O.S.S. of Your Job Search

 Complaints we always here in the recruiting world is…

I applied to an agency and never heard from anyone?
I referred my co-worker to an agency and they never followed-up?
I went on an interview through an agency and never heard back?

Our question back is: Why do job-seekers hesitate to FOLLOW-UP?

We often find ourselves saying “You’re in charge of your own destiny, CALL!” Let’s think about it together:

When you want haircut, do you wait for the hairdresser to call you?
When you need an oil change, do you wait for the garage to call you?
When you need a mammogram, do you wait for the Radiologist to call?
When you want a ride, do you wait for Uber to request to pick you up?
When you need legal advice, do you wait for the Lawyer to call you?
When it’s tax season, do you wait for the Accountant to call you?
When you need a vacation, do you want for VRBO to call you?

When you need or want a new job, do you wait for the Recruiter to call you?

Get in the driver’s seat! Often we can can wrapped up in the chaos of life and coast through our careers without being proactive or looking for that next step. Your career is very important- and recruiters understand that- it is our job to help you find a job.

Yet just like other professionals, such as mechanics, lawyers, and accountants, we see many customers all day long. Our advice- be remembered: the only way to get singled out and hired is by being present! Please get rid of that “doom and gloom” outlook– instead call or email the recruiter to remind them how you are the best candidate for the job! And remember….

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-K O’Leary

 

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Got Questions About Your Future Career?

Whether you have just stepped onto your college campus for the first time as a freshman or have been an alumnus for over twenty years, one office that will always be of use to you will be the on campus Career Services Center.

Why you may ask? Check out our FAQ’s!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Career Services Center?

A career services center is a one-stop shop- it is a comprehensive resource for all things career related. Whether it is preparing for an interview, helping to navigate job boards, or guiding a student through graduate applications, a career services center helps with all aspects of furthering yourself in the professional world. Interested to see if your college ranks? Check out this “Best College Career Services” list!

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 2. What are major benefits of a Career Services Center?

Benefit 1: They are free! Most career services center are a free resource for students to be able to get ahead of the game through editing their resumes, conducting mock interviews, or helping write cover letters.

Benefit 2: They have connections! Many alumnus stay in touch with career services- it is common for them to reach out to current students with career advice OR potential job opportunities! Often major companies reach out to schools career centers to look for motivated students for internships.

Benefit 3: They are professionals! The employees who work in the office do this work for a living. They know what they are talking about and their advice is better than the first option on a Google search.

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3. How soon should you start using the Center?

Freshman year! Do not think you need to wait till you are about to graduate to visit. Starting freshman year a career center can help you navigate career opportunities depending on your major and suggest different clubs to join to bolster your resume.

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4. How often should you use the Center?

As often as you need! The centers are there for you to go to- it is the job of the employees there to help you find a job or graduate school! Go in any time you have a question- for more specific needs that may take longer call or email ahead to make an appointment.

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5.  Do Career Centers host events I can attend?

Why yes they do! Events range for all different centers, but the most popular events include career fairs and networking events. Leading up to these major events are often drop in resume and cover letter editing as well as tips to ‘work the room.’ If you can collect business cards from the people you network with and save them to cool apps on your smartphone like CamCard or ScanBizCards.

Ricky, a friend from college, said the best advice he received from his career center was making a great first impression.  This includes being well dressed and presenting yourself in a professional manner.  Small but simple changes can make you stick out from the crowd such as using a padfolio as opposed to a manila folder to hold your resumes at networking events.

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As a college student, do you utilize your career center? As an alumnus do you stay in touch? Let B.O.S.S. know!

-K. OLeary

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