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3 Career Resolutions for 2017

It’s a new year and you’re likely looking ahead at a blank canvas and thinking about the things you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. While you may have set resolutions for your personal life, January is also a good time to consider your professional goals and think about the things you want to achieve in your career. Whether you are currently in a position or are still searching for the right opportunity, there are always chances to improve and prepare. Take a look at these three simple and attainable career resolutions to follow in 2017.

Learn new skills.

Whether it’s a free webinar, an industry conference or a multi-week training course, take every opportunity you can to continue learning. This not only allows you to add continuing education to your resume, but also exposes you to situational examples and case studies that activate creative thinking functions that may be helpful in your own line of business. There are countless online resources like Coursera, CodeAcadamy and Lynda that can help polish your current skills or add a new area of knowledge to your resume.

Update your resume.

Regardless of whether you are searching for a job or not, it’s a good idea to keep your resume updated with your most current positions, job responsibilities, skills, achievements and any certifications you may have received. After all, your resume acts as an overview of your career and professional brand – you never know when someone may ask to see it or when a job opportunity may become available that you are interested in. Be sure to update your resume on LinkedIn, as well!

Network, network, network.

Even if you aren’t actively searching for a job, it never hurts to establish connections. There’s always the chance you may meet someone who can assist you with your current job or who may know of an ideal opportunity for you–even if it is a year from now! Make a plan to network with other professionals in your industry throughout the coming year and stick to it. Research relevant industry associations and find a local chapter to join, attend learning luncheons and grab business cards of the people you meet, and expand your LinkedIn connections. It’s all about who you know!

Think you don’t have time for professional development? It doesn’t have to be difficult! Having small, simple goals is a great way to put your best foot forward in your career or in the job search. There’s no time to waste, so let’s start the year off right!

From Basic to Tailored: How to Make Your Skills Shine

Employers are looking for you, but you have to go the extra mile to make your resume shine. Check out how to modify your basic resume and skills to match the position you’re applying for with tips from seasoned John Deere Recruiter Bev Curtis.

For additional resources and job seeker advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook.

Seasonal Jobs: To Apply or Not To Apply?

It’s that time of year again. The busy, holiday season where companies hire an abundance of seasonal workers to handle extended hours and a heightened demand for help. If you are unemployed, you are likely holding out hope for a long-term position, and rightly so, but a seasonal job may be something you should consider. Take a look at some of the reasons why seasonal employment may actually be a good thing for your career, aside from the extra cash in your pocket.

It’s no longer just for the retail.

The idea that seasonal work solely equates to “big box sales clerk” is no longer true. Think of all the industries affected during the holiday season, and the careers that are associated with each – retail, e-commerce, travel and hospitality, event management, restaurants and catering, etc. Seasonal help in one of these areas may not fall into your industry of choice, but may allow you to try a career not previously considered. Think of it as a test run in a field you may end up enjoying.

It’s a resume builder.

Regardless of what type of work the job entails, a seasonal position provides you with additional experience to add to your resume and also portrays motivation and good faith efforts in the eyes of a potential employer during a future job search. In addition, you’ll learn new skills, which could be applied to another job later on. For example, if you are interested in a full-time customer service position, consider a seasonal job at a store like Nordstrom where customer service is a priority. This will go a long way in the eyes of a recruiter looking to hire a customer service representative! You may also use this as an opportunity to network with the higher-ups at the company, which leads to the next reason why you should consider a seasonal job…

It may turn into a full-time offer.

Through a job well done and positive interactions with managers and corporate executives, you may find that your seasonal position turns in to a full-time job offer, whether for your current position or for another within the company. At the very least, your networking activities may give you some leads to follow up on after your seasonal position has ended. After all, it’s not just about your connections, but the connections of those you know.

While seasonal employment may not be the opportunity you had in mind, it can be a learning experience in the very least and if you’re open to it, a stepping-stone for your career! Ready to get started? Find temporary and full-time work online by searching open positions on My.jobs.

Traditional Job Seeker Advice Applicable Today

Traditional job seeker advice stills applies–tailor your resume, focus on networking, don’t oversell your skills and do your research. Follow these tips and when it comes time to interview, it will be like you’re already a part of the team. Learn more tips on improving your job search from Holland’s Jason Schenkel!

For additional resources and job seeker advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook!

Make Yourself Available & Be Seen

We can’t even begin to tell you how important networking is for job seekers. Whether your touching base with a potential employer on social media or interacting with employers at job fairs or networking events, its important to exude confidence and be able to speak on the fly. If you’re uncomfortable, check out local Toastmasters organizations who can help develop your public speaking skills.

For additional resources and job seeker advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook.

The College Student’s Guide To Making It In The Workforce

First and foremost, congratulations! You made it through the grueling years of formal schooling and are on the road to graduation. Many college seniors are now going to be faced with the equally stressful task of successfully transitioning from campus to workforce. *gulp* As daunting as that sounds, it can be done. Things will be undeniably different, however, following the three guidelines below can allow for a much easier transition.

Prepare To Be Humbled In The Job Hunt.

It’s no surprise that the job market is very competitive. You may apply for a position, get an interview and still not land the job on the first try. As tempting as it may be, do not get discouraged. You have a fresh perspective and highly sought-after skills that are bound to land you something. When you do accept your first position, know that it may not be the most glamorous. Be prepared to stick it out and gain experience that will make you more marketable, so you can earn that reputable position you have always dreamed of. 

Learn To Be Responsible And Accountable.

We’ve all been there – that 8:00 am class you decide to skip after a late night. Reality check – you can’t hit “snooze” on the real world. When you land your first job, you are expected to be both responsible and accountable. This means being reliable and showing that you are dedicated to your new job. Always be prepared to take on new tasks and challenges! Similarly, if you make a mistake, speak up and accept responsibility. After all, you are the wonderful, qualified worker that your new boss spent time and resources to hire. Starting off on the right foot is vital and will help you establish rapport with your new employer – this can go a long way!

Always Be Open To New Opportunities.

While loyalty is an admirable trait, your first job won’t likely be your last job. At each step in your career, you will learn valuable skills that are building blocks for your personal brand. With that said, your first job is your first chance to gain valuable experience to make you a better, well-rounded employee. While we all dream of being the top tier employee, everyone starts at the bottom. Enjoy the ride and take on each job with the idea that you are one step closer to where you want to be.

All transitions are hard, but with the right work ethic and desire to do more than what is expected, you will set yourself up for great opportunities from the start. While your schooling may be complete, understand that there is still so much to learn! Now go forth, polish up that resume, and prepare for success!

5 Characteristics of a Top Employee

In a highly competitive job market, it’s hard to know exactly what employers are looking for in a star employee. Of course, becoming a desirable asset to a company is what everyone strives for. It sounds relatively easy right? Do well in the interview, land the job of your dreams and live in employed bliss forever. Unfortunately, the real struggle often begins after the interview when you begin your new role. Molding to the preferences of your new employer, therefore enabling you to do well and advance in your career, isn’t always as simple as it seems.

So how do you stand out as a new employee? Below are five key characteristics that employers look for, not only in the hiring process, but also in a long-term employee.

  1. Good work ethic

Don’t get hung up on the idea that you are new to the company. Everyone is new at some point (yes, even that super successful CEO). Employers take notice and value someone that is willing to learn new things and work hard at doing so. In the end, having a willingness to work hard will overcompensate for your lack of experience. Just remember, skills can be taught but a work ethic cannot.

  1. Ambition

Having that “can-do” attitude is not only what employers look for in the interview, but also what they look for on the job. Employers want someone that is willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities, without the fear of making a mistake. On your downtime, look for ways to improve, read industry blogs and continue to be innovative. The employees that do are the ones who end up making great strides for the company – and landing those highly sought after promotions.

  1. Leadership

Despite your “newbie” status, displaying confidence and a willingness to help others can get you far in the eyes of your new employer. Make the decision to get involved in your company, make suggestions and share your ideas, even if you are uncertain. These qualities are the formula for a great leader!

  1. Honesty and integrity

Honesty and integrity are vital in establishing trust with your employer. Your demeanor, interactions with co-workers and clients, as well as your performance all play a role in establishing yourself as trustworthy. Just remember that you now represent your company and poor choices can ultimately make or break your time there.

  1. Team Player

Whether you work from home or in a large office, it’s inevitable that you will have to work with others and is therefore important to be a team player. When making the decision on whether or not to hire, the employer must consider how you will fit with the existing team so it is important to come into the company ready and willing to work cohesively with others. After all, there is no “I” in team!

Regardless of where you are in your career, possessing these five traits can be a step in the right direction for not only the job you have now, but also any position you may hold in the future. Remember, anything about a product or service can be learned, but having a good work ethic cannot.

Job Search Resources for Veterans

Veterans.jobs offers military and transitioning service members more than just a skills translator. See what additional resources are provided to veteran job seekers by visiting Veterans.jobs, and learn how you can put those resources to work for you!

For more job seekers tips and advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook!

Treat Your Job Search Like a 9-5 Job

Great employment opportunities are available, but you have to be willing to do the work to find them. Listen to Mike Bazinet, Grifols’ Director of Recruiting, as he shares tips for staying constantly engaged on job boards.

For more job seekers tips and advice, visit the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook!

From Military to Civilian Career: Tips for a Successful Transition

Basic training teaches you how to walk and talk like a member of the military, and instills values such as discipline, loyalty and comradery. Exiting the military and entering the civilian workforce doesn’t provide the same transitional training. Prepare yourself and learn tips from retired U.S. Army First Sergeant Jason Schenkel of USF Holland on how you can make the transition from servicemember to civilian an easier process.

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