Friday, June 26, 2009

Staying Motivated

Six Ways to Stay Positive During Your Job Search
By Jon Gordon, author "Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else"

The days following those fateful words, "We have to let you go," are dismal ones indeed.

Some mornings, it's tough to even get out of bed. As you scour the skimpy classifieds and job boards, grim scenarios play in your head on a repeating loop: "We'll lose the house" ... "We'll have to move in with my parents" ... "I'll never find work in this economy." You also wonder, "Are things really as hopeless as they seem? And if they're not, how can I clear away the dark clouds and see the light on the other side?"

I have been where you are right now, and I have some good news: The layoff you think is bad today will actually lead to great events in the future with the right approach and action plan.

It doesn't mean that you shouldn't allow yourself to get down. Rather, it's all about implementing the strategies that will help you focus, make changes and turn things around.

Getting fired
During the dot-com crash, I lost my job. I was two months away from being bankrupt. I had a mortgage, two kids, no insurance and very little savings. I was a paycheck away from losing it all. I thought it was the worst event of my life. But one day I decided that I wasn't going to let this challenge take me down; that's when I knew I had to change what I was thinking and doing.

I saw that what I was viewing as so terrible didn't have to be that way. It was what I chose to make of it. So I made some decisions that changed everything and led me to do the work I do now as a writer, consultant and speaker. I often joke that I went from fired to fired up. My layoff led to my life's mission and purpose.

The moral of my story is that what you think is a terrible event can actually be a good thing. There is a myth that most people embark on a quest to find their destiny. But more often than not, through adversity and challenges, our destiny finds us. It is during these times that we ask the important questions and make decisions that change the course of our life.

If depression, anger and fear are your motivating factors during your layoff, you will be making a tough journey even tougher for yourself and your family. Worse, you'll hinder your own progress. Negative beliefs lead to negative actions, making bad choices and shutting out friends and family. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Positive beliefs lead to positive actions.

Getting fired up
You may not find the positive energy switch right away. But keep looking and you will find it. Here are a few life-changing tips that can help you change your outlook and go from fired to fired up:

1. Jettison your anger
Allow yourself to be angry, sad, bitter and upset for a few days and then let it go. Release the bitterness. Recognize that you can't create your future by focusing on the past. After I was laid off, I made a conscious decision to forgive my company for letting me go and for giving me only two weeks of severance pay.

Making the decision to let that bitterness go helped me to think more clearly and have more energy to take positive action. Recently I spoke with a gentleman who told me that he wished he had made the same decision after losing his job. He said that it took him a year to finally move on and that his negative energy caused him to waste a lot of valuable time.

2. Say to yourself, "I have a dream" -- then start working to achieve it
Having studied many successful people, I've found that they all can pinpoint the moment when they decided what they truly wanted to achieve in life. It's a practice that should be required for all of us. After all, if you know what you truly want out of life, then you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Obvious as this may sound, many people never take the time to discover what they want.

When I lost my job, I realized that though I was initially sad to lose it, I hadn't been truly happy. I asked myself what I truly wanted to do with my life. "What was I born to do?" I asked. "Why am I here?" I realized I could open a franchise restaurant, which I hoped would allow me time to write. And off I went toward achieving my dream.

3. Choose to have faith in what you want, rather than what you don't want
Solve this riddle: What do fear and faith have in common? The answer: a future that hasn't happened yet. So why would you choose to paint that future bleak and empty, when you could paint it vibrant and fulfilling and fun?

Fear believes in a negative future while faith believes in a positive future. Even if you're not a spiritual person, why would you choose to believe the worst is going to happen? It just feels better to look to the positive future.

4. Start each day with one question
Ask yourself this one question every day: "What are the three things I need to do today that will help me find the job and create the success that I desire?" Then, take action on those three things every day until you've achieved them.

You may not get there in two days, a week or even a month. But each day you'll be one step closer to your goal. And you will get there eventually ... or maybe even find yourself somewhere better.

5. Take on a "glass is 92 percent full" approach
Today's employment-related statistics can be hard to get out of your head when you're searching for a job. But unlike the pundits on TV who seem all too pleased to focus on the most negative numbers available, you can choose to focus on the flip side. Rather than fixating on 8 percent unemployment, focus on 92 percent employment.

6. Choose to be humble and hungry.
Be humble. Know that you don't have all the answers and can learn something from everyone. Realize that there are always new ways to learn and improve. Be open to advice, to learning a new skill and trying a job you haven't thought of before.

Also, be hungry. Seek out a mentor, take him to lunch and model his success. Think of his life as a blueprint you can follow. Continuously improve and seek out new ideas and new strategies.

By remaining humble and hungry after my job loss, I was able to focus on and learn the things that made it possible for me to run a restaurant, write, speak and achieve another great "H" word: happiness!

Of course, maybe you're not the one who's been laid off. We all know someone who's lost his or her job. If you're wondering, "What can I do for that person?" the answer is to encourage, uplift and support. It will not only bolster your loved one's spirits, it will make you feel good, too. Leadership, after all, is a transfer of belief.

Jon Gordon is a speaker, consultant, and author of the international bestseller "The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy" and "The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work." Jon's next book, "Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else," was released in May 2009. Visit his Web site at

For information about how DISCOVER STAFFING may be able to help you in your job search, contact your nearest branch.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Inventory Control

DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking an Inventory Control specialist. Must have 3-5+ years experience with inventory control. Will be responsible for monthly counts, supplying parts to production, assisting procurement, receiving, and other general warehouse functions as needed. Computer experience required, MAS90 experience helpful. Must have forklift experience. Experience with international shipping and receiving is a plus. Salary range is $35,000 to $40,000 per year. Position is located in Smyrna.

Please send your resume to for consideration.

The Resume Process

Is My Résumé Being Read?
By Anthony Balderrama, writer

If you've watched the news lately, you've seen a reporter standing at a job fair and a line of job seekers winding out the door. Inevitably the reporter interviews an employer who says that for a few open positions, hundreds of applicants have submitted résumés.

You immediately wonder: How many of those applications actually get read?

In a perfect world, hiring managers would have plenty of time to thoroughly read every single résumé that comes across their desks and contact each person to explain why the company is choosing someone else. In reality, the job seekers outnumber available positions in today's job market, and hiring managers are too busy to hold your hand through every step of the process.

In fact, you're lucky if you hear back at all. Many companies contact you only if they want more information or to schedule an interview. You never know if you didn't qualify for the job or if your résumé was ever even looked at.

Résumé neverland
"I'm pretty sure that résumé neverland exists -- especially in a completely flooded job-hunting climate due to the poor economy," says Kristen Fischer, the author of "Ramen Noodles, Rent and Résumés: An After-College Guide to Life." "With so many people applying for jobs, it's easy to discard a résumé based simply on a typo or unpleasant formatting."

Of course, job seekers can (and should) avoid typos with proofreading. But the bigger fear is that powers out of their control could sabotage their job prospects.

"Résumés submitted online can also disappear into the cyber black hole," Fischer says. She says these online abysses are often the result of generic e-mail addresses, which can mean all applications funnel into one account even if they're for separate positions. Or worse, applications and general business questions go to the same destination.

Even if you can't prevent the black hole from existing, you can do your best to get your application out of there.

Be proactive
Rather than take your chances with the proverbial résumé black hole, you should be proactive when you apply for work, says Justin Honaman, author of "Make It Happen! Live Out Your Personal Brand."

"There is no doubt that hitting the 'submit' button and hoping [or] praying is probably not the only way to approach an opportunity," he says. "When positions are posted on a company's Web site, my experience has been that I receive a huge number of submissions, and at times, more than 80 percent of the applicants are not even qualified for the position. Most recruiters follow a multistep evaluation approach."

According to Honaman, recruiters and hiring managers ask three questions when they receive applications from job seekers:

· Does candidate meet the minimum criteria for the position?
The minimum criteria might include a certain level of education, years of experience or certification.

· Is the candidate still in the running even after she has stated her requirements or wishes for the position?
If an applicant's salary requirements or unwillingness to relocate conflicts with the needs of the job, then the employer might remove him or her from consideration.

· Does the candidate bring more to the table than the defined position requirements?
Employers are happy to have someone who fulfills the requirements of the position, but they're even happier to hire someone who brings additional assets.

Why do you care about this? Because once you submit your application and it passes these hurdles, it doesn't mean you're out of résumé neverland. You're still just one of many applicants who can get lost in the shuffle, even in the most efficient hiring department.

According to Honaman, a multiprong method of attack is the best way to guarantee you're not overlooked:

1. Online résumé submission
"Most companies require this to ensure internal company recruiting processes are followed," Honaman says. Plus, it's the easiest way to get your name in the hands of someone at the company.

2. Make a personal connection
Honaman suggests networking with someone in the company to get an edge over other applicants. If you can speak with a knowledgeable source who can offer information about the hiring manager, the team or the position, you'll have more insight on what the employer's looking for.

3. Appropriate follow-up
Once you've submitted your application, Honaman recommends contacting the company again, as long as you're respectful and professional. Don't hound anyone about the job, just check in to see where the process stands.

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Keeping Your Resume Up to Date

DISCOVER STAFFING works with a lot of individuals who are just entering the job market. Whether it is due to a lay off situation, a change in career path, or years of staying at home to raise a family; many people have not taken the time to update their resumes. MSN Careers offers these suggestions for making sure you area always prepared.

Rock Your Résumé in Any Situation
By Rachel Zupek, writer

Whether you're currently employed, facing a layoff or looking for a job, keeping your résumé up-to-date is always important. In today's economy, however, it's even more vital to have a current copy of your résumé on hand. After all, you never know when an amazing job opportunity -- or pink slip -- might fall into your hands.

"You have to be ready to submit your résumé on short notice," says Dustin DeVries, senior director of Lead Dawg, a job search consulting firm. "Candidates who have taken time to update their résumé may be passed over for another candidate of similar caliber that is ready to go now. You just never know when that opportunity may land in your lap and you have to be ready to act."

Updating one's résumé today, however, may not be as easy as it once was. As job losses and layoffs continue to swell, people have to do more with less to enhance their résumés. Job seekers are unsure how to deal with lack of employment, gaps between work, title demotions, fewer duties and shortened job spans when updating their résumés.

Here are some ways to beef up your résumé if it is lacking in any of the following areas:

You have a gap between jobs
Depending on the length of the gap, Miriam Salpeter of Keppie Careers says you should fill in the gap with something you've been doing in your time off. This will show employers you've taken initiative during this period rather than waiting for something to fall into your lap.

"Consider getting actively involved in volunteer projects and/or consulting opportunities, even if you do the work for free," Salpeter says. "This will allow you to use your skills in a way that is worth describing on your résumé."

You've been laid off
No employer will be surprised see an applicant who's been laid off. Be honest about your departure, DeVries says. "In this economy, it's going to happen. Don't misrepresent that you're still employed by dating your last position as 'to present' if you're not currently with that company. [It's a] red flag if a recruiter sees [you] as currently employed when in fact you've been laid off."

You were hired recently but laid off right away due to the economy
Don't leave any employment off your résumé, no matter how short a period you may have held a job. Just don't explain the details on your résumé.

"In today's economy, most people will give you the benefit of the doubt that your departure was not a result of your performance," Salpeter says. "Be prepared to discuss it if it comes up in a conversation or interview."

You were demoted or had a title change
Titles are just that -- titles. They say nothing about your specific accomplishments and your track record of meeting or exceeding expectations for your organization, DeVries says.

"State your title, but focus [on] your achievements for the organization. Any good recruiter or potential employer is going to be most interested in your track record of meeting objectives no matter what your role," DeVries says. "A 'director' of marketing for one company may require something completely different from a 'director' role at another company. Focus on your measurable accomplishments."

You went from a senior-level position to a "filler" position at lower level
In this situation, it's critical to include an objective that outlines what type of position you're looking for at the company where you're applying, DeVries says.

"If you have to take a 'filler' position between professional positions, you need to include the role but place your focus on the activities you have maintained during that time to remain current in your professional field," he says. Volunteering, professional networking and taking classes are all things that will help keep you current.

You're a recent college graduate with little experience
Most people have skills that they don't realize are important résumé builders, Salpeter says. DeVries agrees, saying that experience occurs any time you're gaining insight and perspective in your chosen field. Classes, volunteer experience, internships, leadership activities and professional networking groups are all examples of experience you can incorporate in your résumé.

Now that you know how to correct any potentially sketchy parts of your résumé, here are five tips for keeping it up-to-date.

1. Keep up with trends
"Keep up-to-date with current trends for résumés and online profiles. Be sure that you are highlighting how you stand out and emphasizing what makes you special," Salpeter says.

2. Keep a brag book
DeVries suggests keeping a log of your performance reviews, coaching reports from managers, sales reports, goal assessments and the like to use as content for your résumé.

"You're going to be measured against someone else in most any position you may hold," he says. "Update this list each time you receive an e-mail from your manager or a report from your company. Include achievements applicable to the position to which you're submitting your résumé."

Additionally, Salpeter suggests keeping a file of any nice things that supervisors, clients and colleagues say about you, and asking for recommendations on social networking sites like LinkedIn.

3. List more than job duties
"Listing job duties on your résumé is OK, but include the metrics you were held accountable for and your performance to those goals," DeVries says. "Many people just list the duty but don't include the scale of their accountability and how they performed."

4. Always ask for feedback
Never stop asking for feedback or critique from colleagues, friends and experts. "You never know what someone may see in your résumé that needs further enhancement or may just need to be eliminated," DeVries says.

5. Keep lists
In order to keep your résumé up-to-date, you need to keep a running list of your accomplishments and things you've done in the workplace, and add to it regularly, Salpeter says. Keep track of your digital profile, too, and recognize that your digital footprint is an important part of your professional presentation and job search.

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Please contact your nearest DISCOVER STAFFING branch to see how we may be able to help you in your job search.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Other Career Blog Resources

In my search to bring the most up to date and useful job seeking advice to the readers of the DISCOVER STAFFING Blog and Job Board, I have discovered for myself several great blogs on the subject. There are three in particular that I thought I would share. These are all current, up to date boards with frequent posts to keep you best informed.

Monster is probably the most well known job board available on the Internet. The Monster Blog has recently started a new series written by guest blogger, Jane Allerton. What makes this particularly insightful is that Allerton herself has been recently laid off as well. Readers can follow along with her own story and relate to it step by step as they to are searching for a new job.

Today's Workplace, a workplace fairness blog, provides insight on timely political issues that affect employees. Subjects such as "Green Collar Jobs", health care reform and the current state of America's auto industry are featured in several of the most recent postings. Individual politics aside, keeping ourselves informed these issues will make us more conscious of their effects on the economy. is a website that began back in 1995 and is continuing today to provide career advice of all types to job seekers. It is still a great resource of information today. Recent post include motivation quotes, links to resources for career education, and resume advice.

Continue to check out the DISCOVER STAFFING blog and job board for the most up to date information on jobs we have available as well as resources from all around the web to help you in your own job search.

Contacted your nearest DISCOVER STAFFING branch to see how we can help you.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Questions and Answers

From MSN Careers.

Why Doesn't a Company Call Back as Promised?
Correspondence from readers including am I too old to start a new career?

By Eve Tahmincioglu, MSNBC contributor

The questions I've been getting from readers lately have a lot to do with workers' perceptions of themselves, and how the job market is supposed to work.

Well, many of those perceptions are often wrong.

Some of you think you're too old to change careers. Others are worried that getting a job is all about having the perfect look. And still others think companies should have some set structure when hiring.

Well, time for a little "Your Career" reality check.

Here are some of your questions:

I began my job search last summer. As a recent graduate, I went to a college fair in February figuring it was my greatest hope. I talked to about 20 different companies and submitted my resume. Many of the companies that had indicated open positions didn't have any. There were about five still with hope. Of these, I have only had contact with two. One of them I spoke to verbally. The person I spoke to asked me to call back in two weeks if I hadn't heard anything from them. I did, and I haven't heard back.

What I am most frustrated with is the fact that they promised a certain time and failed to meet it. Why do companies make timeline promises and then fail to even keep the candidates in the loop? Is there a guideline as to when and how often candidates can follow up?
-- L.B., St. Louis, Mo.

If only there were some hiring playbook that all job seekers could get a copy of. IT DOES NOT EXIST, especially in this economic environment.

The hiring managers I talk to don't know what they are doing from one day to the next, and many are even wondering if their own jobs are secure. They are inundated with resumes and are walking a tightrope of needing to hire more workers but not having the money to do so.

You should follow up with e-mails and phone calls, but try to think logically about what's acceptable. Try not to become a pest.

Stop worrying about how they do what they do and concentrate on your job search. Are you choosing the right companies to apply to? Do you need more experience or extra training to make you stand out?

I was recently laid off from a job as an engineer due to a downturn in the electronics industry. I am around 50 with excellent career credentials and a passion for my work. My problem is that I broke two front teeth, which will need dentures to correct. I do need to be careful about speaking, as the missing teeth affect my speech mildly when I don't concentrate. I had the dental work scheduled, but the layoff came just before I was to get the work done. Now, I don't feel that I have the financial resources to pay for the dental work until I am working again. What can I do to minimize this fault?
-- C.T., Binghamton, N.Y.

Trying to hide the broken teeth and not treating them could end up doing more harm than good. If the teeth are broken on the gum line, you could end up with an infection, warns Carol A. Wooden, an Atlanta-based dentist and spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry.

Many dentists realize the economic hardships today, says Wooden, so you should contact your dentist and discuss working out a payment plan or trying some less expensive, temporary alternative.

Also, dental schools often offer low-cost treatment since dental students are providing the care, she adds. But it can take a while to get an appointment.

Another option is a dental clinic in your area, she says. The best way to find those is by contacting your state dental association or society.

If a quick solution doesn't materialize, you need to be confident when you go into an interview despite the broken teeth because hiring managers will pick up on your self-consciousness.

"The first sale is to sell yourself, if you really believe in yourself," says Ann Latham, president of consulting firm Uncommon Clarity Inc. "A lot of people have permanent defects worse than that. Don't be preoccupied with it."

You can bring up the teeth issue during the interview, she adds, but only if an opportunity arises. Don't force it.

My daughter graduated last spring with a B.S. in anthropology/archaeology from the University of New Mexico. She has recently moved back in with me and has not been able to find any job in her field, even though she applies online almost every day on archaeology job sites or USAJobs.
-- Susan Lachica, Phoenix, Ariz.

When your daughter applies for a job online it's like sending your resume into a big black hole. She needs to start networking, networking, networking.

She should connect with alumni at her school, talk to classmates and join groups in the industry online. In this economy, having an "in" is key with any job.

"Just having a BS in anthropology/archaeology isn't enough," says Joel Irish, a professor of anthropology at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

He offers some more targeted advice:

If she was trained in archaeological field methods while at school, "then it's harder to understand why she can't get hired. There are numerous Cultural Resource Management companies all over New Mexico, Arizona, and other southwest locations that are always hiring people to do fieldwork. However, she should also be aware that she may not get a year-round job, but rather be hired on a job-to-job basis."

She may also want to pursue a master's degree in archaeology if she's looking for a full-time supervisory job and does not want to be just a field worker, he adds.

I just turned 46, and for the past 17 years I've been a flight attendant for one of the United States legacy carriers. As you know, my job has changed very dramatically in the past 5 years, especially when it comes to job security and my paychecks.

I've been interested in the fields of network administration, network security and computer forensics. However, due to the years wasted as a flight attendant, I now see that my age might be an issue if I decide to pursue a change of careers. Of course, training will take two to four years, although I would easily be able to afford the financial commitment for the formal IT education.

I am very unsure as to the possibility of finding a job opportunity so close to the age of 50. Do you think it would be impossible to find another job at that point?
-- Lucia Bruce, Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

OK, maybe I'm getting older, but 50 doesn't seem that old to me.

The fields you are interested in are considered growth areas, so you'd been making a great choice by pursuing education in these areas.

A good option for job changers, says Uncommon Clarity's Latham, is to take what you know and build on it. That means a networking job in the aviation sector would be a natural for you when you finish school.

If you can go to school at night or take online classes to expedite the process, that's an option, but the key is looking at what you can do starting today to change your career.

"There are more questions to ask about your career than just 'Do I keep working here, or do I quit?'" Latham says.

I'm not naïve here. I know there can definitely be age discrimination in the workplace, but most hiring managers are looking for the most competent candidates, bottom line.

Seriously folks, when are we going to stop letting our advancing years paralyze us?

Eve Tahmincioglu writes the weekly "Your Career" column for and chronicles workplace issues in her blog,

For more information on opportunities with DISCOVER STAFFING please contact your nearest branch:

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Unadvertised Jobs and how to find them

Yahoo! Finace has this great article on how to tap into jobs that aren't being advertised.

Tapping into the network of unadvertised job openings
Jessica Dickler, staff writer

Can't seem to find a job? Maybe you're just not looking in the right places.

Because of the overwhelming number of job seekers ready to pounce on new openings, employers often bypass the big online job boards and even placement agencies, and try to fill job openings directly.

Over 80% of today's jobs aren't advertised, according to Howard Poplinger, owner of human-resource company Epic Development and Evaluation.

Companies are relying more heavily on their current employee networks, or on local or specialized job pools, to avoid the flood of unqualified candidates that comes with high unemployment.

"Businesses go to employees first and ask if they know anybody," Poplinger said. That way, managers don't have to go through the time-consuming process of placing an ad and sorting through applicants, he explained.

With nearly 14 million people unemployed, there are more than five job seekers per opening, according to the Labor Department's most recent data.

"Employers are definitely leaning on their employee population to get referrals for people that their employees trust," said Kathy Robinson, the founder of TurningPoint, a career consulting firm in greater Boston. "Otherwise they have to screen thousands of applicants."

According to Robinson, open positions may eventually make it onto big job sites, but only after employers reach out to their employees or a select group of recruiters first.

"The first couple of weeks is the quiet period, which is mostly word of mouth," she explained.

For example, one company recently reached out to Robinson, looking for qualified candidates to fill an opening for a human resources associate, which was neither posted on the company's Web site nor listed on any job boards.

When employers do advertise, they are much more selective in where they post by utilizing smaller, free sites that are unique to a skill set or a specific market, according to Tig Gilliam, CEO of Adecco Group North America, a unit of the world's largest employment staffing firm.

Small or mid-sized business owners, in particular, generally have more luck finding a qualified resource through a site specific to engineers in Pittsburgh, for example, rather than a major job board that caters to all types of job seekers nationwide.

"Big job boards are of limited help for them because so many of the users aren't in the area they are recruiting," he said.

Uncovering hidden jobs

Gilliam recommends that job seekers expand their search tools and reduce their dependency on the major job sites that have become so popular over the last decade.

Remember the help wanted ads in your local paper? Gilliam suggests adding them to your search repertoire, in addition to smaller online job boards that specialize in a certain skill set, community or region.

A Google search can usually bring up any job boards specific to your home town. More targeted industry listings can be found on the Web sites for professional associations and societies, such as the Software Contractors' Guild or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Even the local listings on Craigslist can be an asset for some job seekers.

Vanchinathan Chandrasekaran found his new job on a Florida Craigslist site.

When Chandrasekaran, 25, was looking for a job he said the response rate from Craigslist far exceeded that from the more popular job search sites.

"Though the companies were small, I was happy that someone was looking into my résumé," he said.

Soon, Chandrasekaran found a position as a software developer with a firm in Boca Raton through a Craigslist ad and started his new job in January.

According to career experts, there are also ways to tap into a company's network to find out about openings, even if the positions are never advertised publicly.

Robinson suggests that job seekers "dig deeper when thinking of connections" at choice companies.

Joining local networking groups for your profession or LinkedIn may uncover a connection to an employee at the company -- such as sharing the same alma mater -- which could be the foot in the door you need, she said.

Joining a company's community online, through sites like Facebook and Twitter may also provide access to openings before the general public.

Without an "in" at the employer of choice, job seekers can still gain an advantage by contacting the company directly, even if there are no open positions posted.

When it comes to finding out about jobs that are unadvertised, it often boils down to "knocking on doors," Poplinger said. Have you found a job recently? We want to hear from you. Send us an email and attach a photo. Tell us where you got hired and how you landed the job and you could be profiled in an upcoming story on For the Comment Policy, click here.

Executive Administrative Assistant

DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking qualified candidates for an Executive Assistant position in Alpharetta. Must have 5+ years experience supporting an outgoing, high energy executive. Must have a proactive personality, a can do attitude, be able to multi task and be detail oriented. Will be organizing the calendar, setting appointments, coordinating meetings and conference calls, making travel arrangements. Will be doing presentations and reports and must have advanced proficiency in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. $40,000 to $50,000 annual salary. Must have a college degree. Must be local to the Alpharetta area and have reliable transportation.

Please send your resume to for consideration.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why is it not working?

It is very frustrating to be looking for a job and feel like you're just running in place. Don't let your job search go stale. Here is a great article from, of course, MSN Careers on what might be going wrong.

Top 10 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Working
By Rachel Zupek, writer

You don't get it: You've scoured the Internet for jobs. You've blanketed the market with your résumé. You've sent a basic cover letter with every application. Why isn't anything happening?

While simply submitting your application materials and waiting for an opportunity to fall in your lap might have been enough to land a job at one time, the frustrating reality of today's job market makes that type of job search impossible. Instead, today's job seekers must go above and beyond if they want to stand a chance at landing a great opportunity.

Competing for work requires full engagement but generates significant momentum, says Jim Villwock, author of "Whacked Again! Secrets to Getting Back on the Executive Saddle." But many job seekers get distracted in their searches and get frustrated when they don't see results right away.

"Initially, it is overconfidence that the process will be easy and [that] time should be carved out for family, sports and other activities that were neglected when working. The opposite is true. Getting a job is usually more work than being employed," Villwock says. "The core mistake is not procrastination, not working on a résumé or not going to a networking meeting. It is not knowing the process and working the plan to get the job that you deserve."

Here are 10 reasons your job search might not be succeeding:

1. You aren't networking
No one can help you find a job if you they don't know you need it. Your friends, family and previous employers all know someone who knows someone, so utilize their knowledge and connections as you look for work.

Additionally, make yourself (and your job search) visible on social and professional networking sites like BrightFuse, Facebook or LinkedIn. According to a survey by Robert Half International, 62 percent of executives think professional networking sites will be useful while searching for candidates in the next few years. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they would use social networking sites as a recruitment resource.

2. You're skipping the cover letter online
For some reason, people can't get used to the idea of submitting a cover letter online, so they just skip the step altogether. Wrong move, people. Your cover letter is your chance to make a good first impression or address any inconsistencies on your résumé. When sending your application via e-mail, your cover letter serves as the body of the e-mail and your résumé is attached.

3. Your cover letter is generic
Now that we know you have to send a cover letter, the next step is making sure that it's not generic. You need to tailor each letter to a specific job and person, while clearly identifying the aspects of your background that meet the employer's needs, says Ane Powers, managing partner at The White Hawk Group, a career management firm.

"Your cover letter is your ticket to the interview. The ticket is voided and placed in the 'thanks, but no thanks' pile if it doesn't scream, 'I am a perfect fit for this position,'" she says.

4. You're procrastinating
Oftentimes, when we don't see the results we want, we get frustrated and worried. After applying to so many jobs without hearing anything, you just don't have the energy to update your résumé, write a targeted cover letter or follow up with a hiring manager, so you put it off until tomorrow, then the next day and the next day. But why put off until tomorrow what can be done today? Your dream job is not going to fall from the sky, so continue to endure and be proactive in your search.

5. You're searching for jobs only on the Internet
While job boards and company Web sites are a great starting place to find a job, the majority of open positions are never advertised, Powers says. Communicate with people who can help you: Human resource managers, recruiters and successful professionals will all be key in discovering new opportunities.

6. You're not doing your research
This might be the most basic piece of job advice out there, yet some people still choose not to follow it. Executives polled by Robert Half said 25 percent of candidates didn't have any knowledge of the company or industry to which they're applying.

Things change every day in business, especially in today's market. It's important to know of any changes going on at the company where you're applying. If you are applying for work in a new industry, do some research to prove that you can be a valuable addition to that field.

7. You're blanketing the market with your résumé
"Attractive candidates demonstrate strategic marketing. Blanketing the market with your résumé demonstrates desperation and lack of strategic thinking," Powers says. Don't send résumés to every single job opening out there. Identify the organizations that meet your requirements and go from there.

8. You're not following up
Too many job seekers assume that if they haven't heard back from an employer, it's because they've been shot down for the position. While that may be true, there is also every possibility that your résumé never made it to its final destination or it got lost in the flood of submissions. Eighty-two percent of executives say candidates should contact hiring managers via e-mail, phone or personalized letter within two weeks of submitting their résumés, according to Robert Half. Just contact the hiring manager to say that you wanted to confirm your application was received and ask if he or she needs anything else from you.

9. You have too many distractions
Try to focus on only your job search for a couple of hours each day -- don't check your personal e-mail, make phone calls or surf the Internet (unless it's for jobs).

"Conducting a job campaign is a full-time job. As with any job, to achieve results, one needs to set goals and develop an action plan to achieve the goals," Powers says.

10. You don't ask for the job
Many candidates are shy about being too outspoken or upfront about their desire for the job, but many hiring managers will be impressed with your candor.

"Employers are looking for candidates who are excited about the position," Powers says. Be forward and ask for the position by telling the interviewer why it is a good fit for you and the organization.

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Contact DISCOVER STAFFING to find out how we can help you with your job search.

North Fulton:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Receptionist/Office Assistant

DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking a candidate for an office assistant/front desk receptionist position in Alpharetta. Will be answering and directing calls, filing for all departments, checking mail, tracking sales, processing reports, stuffing checks and invoices for mailing and other office duties as needed. Must have knowledge of MS Word, Excel and Outlook. Experience with an AS400 system helpful but not required. Must be reliable and dependable. Temp to Hire opportunity starting at $12/hour.

Candidates must be local to the Alpharetta area and have reliable transportation. Please email your resume to for consideration.

New Job Hunting Techniques

MSN Careers offers great advice on the job search for the 21st Century.

4 New Ways to Job Hunt
By Anthony Balderrama, writer

You've probably had one or several bosses who told you to "think outside the box" and "come to me with solutions, not problems."

So if you're unemployed and competing with a record number of job seekers in today's economy, you can't help but think that flashy and outrageous is the way to get noticed. And maybe it is for some people, but not everyone is willing to stand at a busy intersection wearing a sandwich-board sign that says, "Hire me!"

Where does that leave you, a job seeker who needs some way to make your résumé look more attractive than the 50 other ones in the stack?

Fear not: The rules of job seeking are in constant flux, and employers are looking for an impressive candidate, even if his or her credentials are unorthodox. The following are some examples of what other job seekers are doing to get an edge over other applicants.

1. Start a blog
Doesn't it seem as if everyone and their mother has a blog these days? Except you, that is.

Find a subject you're knowledgeable about and start writing. Compose articles that illustrate your command of the topic and that can serve as resources for someone. Over time you'll accumulate an impressive collection of work, says Lauren Milligan of ResuMAYDAY, a company that helps job seekers craft résumés.

"It doesn't really matter what type of job you are seeking; there is always an angle that will interest people," Milligan says. "If you are a financial manager, write about how a family's investment strategy should change during a recession, or how to research an investment opportunity to avoid the next Bernie Madoff. If you are an administrative professional, write about time-management strategies or online tools that help you through your day."

She stresses that you don't have to be looking for a writing job to get an employer's attention.

"Doing this will let potential employers know that you are engaged at an expert level and will gain insights into you as an employee that won't be available to other candidates," Milligan says. "It will also let employers know that you are comfortable with online tools. In other words, this is a great way to gain a competitive edge."

2. Facebook / LinkedIn / BrightFuse
Even though social networking isn't the technology fledgling it once was, it's still new on the scene in terms of job seeking. We hear about people who get caught lying on their Facebook profiles, but people are getting hired via networking sites, too. You can use your education and work history fields to create a new form of résumé. Search your friends list for valuable contacts or join professional networks that can help you find a job or at least get the word out that you're looking.

"Technology doesn't replace the networking step of the job search, but it can certainly make it easier and faster," says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career at Northeastern University's College of Business Administration. "Social networking sites can help you identify appropriate contacts for networking."

3. Twitter
On Twitter, which is a different kind of networking site, you can leverage contacts in the same way, only you can Tweet about your job hunt and people can stumble upon your profile more easily.

Your profile or Tweets can link to your personal site, whether it's an online portfolio or blog. Not only will you make new contacts, but you'll also have a larger audience viewing the hard work you put into your site, which can impress a potential employer.

4. Virtual career fairs
If you dislike the idea of taking your suit to the cleaners and finding a sitter for the kids just to head out to a job fair, then stay at home and go online.

"[Virtual career fairs are part of] a growing trend among employers looking for a new, cost-effective way to recruit high-quality talent as well as tech-savvy job seekers," says Jennefer Traeger, who works with Unisfair, a virtual job-fair provider. The global aspect of virtual fairs removes geographic obstacles that otherwise complicate job searches.

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Monday, June 8, 2009


MSN Careers doesn't disappoint. In today's job market, there are lots of seekers looking for jobs that may not reflect exactly what they were doing before they lost their most recent job. Here are suggestions on how to handle the situation when it comes up in the interview process.

What to Do When You're Labeled 'Overqualified'
By Rachel Zupek, writer

Sherry Shealy Martschink, 57, is a former state legislator, state senator and workers' compensation commissioner for South Carolina. She's a recent law school graduate and has experience in journalism, marketing and education. For the past few years during her job search, she's been told -- in not so many words -- that she's overqualified.

"Sometimes the opposition is in the tone of voice rather than the actual wording of the questions and comments," Martschink says. "An employer may say something like, 'We are hoping to find someone who will make a career here' or 'Why would you want this job after doing such-and-such?' Another type of question has to do with whether I could be a team player after being in such leadership positions."

How does Martschink respond to such opposition? Plain and simple:

"If I weren't willing to do the work, I wouldn't be applying for the job," she says.

Geoff Tucker, who has a college degree and six years of experience in his field, has faced opposition more than once during his job search. In one interview, the hiring manager started with, "We both know you're overqualified," but went on to say she wanted to do a "gut check " to determine if Tucker would be OK with the tasks he'd be handling.

"In other words, she wanted to see if I was OK with being versatile to the point of helping clean around the office and refilling the toilet paper in the bathroom," Tucker says. "I affirmed that I do not have an issue with doing tasks that maybe I haven't had to do in awhile. I am not that egocentric and I don't regard these tasks as 'below me.'"

Many job seekers wonder how being qualified can be a bad thing, but it's a Catch-22 that many job seekers face today. They can't get hired for positions relevant to their experience so they apply for jobs at lower levels. The problem is that they can't get hired for those positions, either, because they're overqualified.

"Employers are in the catbird seat," says Kathryn Sollmann, co-founder and managing partner of the Women@Work Network. "The high volume of job seekers makes it possible for employers to hold out for their ideal candidates. You're not an ideal candidate if you have held a more senior position in the past; employers assume you will leave as soon as you find something at your normal level."

What's the deal?
Assuming you'll jump ship when the economy turns around is only one of the many objections employers have to hiring overqualified candidates. For one thing, many job seekers assume that their high credentials automatically mean they are skilled for a more junior job. But, Sollmann says, just because a position is less senior than the one you previously held does not mean that you have the appropriate skills to succeed in that role.

"Take an administrative position, for example. Many mid- to senior-level job seekers haven't done anything remotely administrative for years," she says.

Right or wrong, other assumptions hiring managers might have about hiring overqualified candidates include:

  • You'll be bored and unmotivated
  • The salary will be too low for you
  • You'll be unhappy
  • You'll leave the minute something better comes along
  • You could possibly steal his/her job
  • You won't be able to step down from a leadership role

    Hiring managers take overqualified candidates seriously only if they are convincing about a valid reason they want to take a more junior-level job, Sollmann says.

    The best reason is saying you have decided that you don't want to work crazy schedules and are interested in a better work/life balance, she says. If that's the truth and you're truly not looking over your shoulder for a senior-level job, employers will consider you for a more junior job.

    Tucker says the doubt he gets from hiring managers regarding his experience is unfair.

    "They should consider my above-par qualifications as a way to gain additional capabilities on their staff and team. I will bring just as much passion to this role as I would any other," he says. "I would not apply for a job if it weren't a fit for me. It's about the work I'm doing and the contributions I'm making that matter."

    If you're being told you're overqualified during your job search, here are seven ways to convince your interviewer otherwise:

    1. Admit that you're worried, too
    Tell the hiring manager that you are also concerned that it might not be a fit, suggests Duncan Mathison, co-author of "The Truth about the Hidden Job Market." Promise that if at any point during the hiring process you think the job appears too low or not one where you will bring the full engagement needed to excel in the position, you will withdraw your candidacy. Your willingness to walk away tells them you are motivated if you stay in the game.

    2. Take salary off the table
    Make it clear that you're flexible about salary and that your previous earnings are not relevant to your current job search.

    "Tell the hiring manager that you work for both green dollars and personal satisfaction dollars," Sollmann says. "Lately you've had a deficit in personal satisfaction dollars and you want a chance to try something new."

    3. Put the issue out there
    Ask the interviewer if he or she sees any positives or negatives to your candidacy based on your higher qualifications. Get the issue on the table so it can be addressed, Mathison suggests.

    4. Use your accomplishments
    "Tell the hiring manager that you're proud of your accomplishments and you have proven to yourself that you can perform at a more senior level," Sollmann says. "Now you're not interested in chasing titles and promotions. You want to make a contribution at a compelling company."

    5. Distance yourself from your higher qualifications
    Be empathetic to those parts of the hiring manager's job -- indicate that you have a clearer understanding of what a manager needs from his people.

    "For example, say you were a manager and are applying to an individual contributor job," Mathison says. "Tell the hiring manager that you are looking for a job that would give you more hands-on technical work and give you a break from the people management and corporate politics."

    6. You want to learn
    If you've held more senior positions at a different kind of company or in a different industry, tell the hiring manager that the best way to really learn about a new industry is from the bottom up, Sollmann says.

    7. Make a commitment
    "Tell the employer that you know that job hopping is a major don't in the business world. Say that barring unforeseen circumstances, you are ready to make at least a two-year commitment to the company," Sollmann suggests.

    Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
  • Pet Peeves from Recruiters

    The front page of Yahoo! today featured a link to Hotjobs and an article recently posted about the mistakes that job seekers can make in the presence of recruiters. Recruiters are often the key to new opportunities as many companies are using temporary and temp-to-hire staffing to help them find the best talent in a market that is saturated with job seekers. You never know if or when a recruiter is able to find a match for you, so it never hurts to maintain a good relationships with all the companies that you work with.

    Recruiters Reveal Pet Peeves About Job Seekers
    Recruiter Roundtable Looks at Flaws to Avoid

    by Yahoo! HotJobs

    The Recruiter Roundtable is a recurring feature that collects career and job-seeking advice from a group of recruiting experts throughout the United States. The question we put before our panel this month is:

    What is your biggest pet peeve about job seekers today?

    The Price of 'Perfection'

    My biggest pet peeve is perfect candidates. They only had successes, are perfect and can't see any improvement to make on themselves -- except maybe to "work a little less." People who are too insecure to admit their shortcomings or even their mistakes make me feel that they lack good emotional intelligence. In all the reference checks we reviewed at Checkster, none were 100% positive, so be realistic. If not, you will be seen as either not daring enough to perform difficult things, or stuck in a myopic belief that you are perfect.
    -- Yves Lermusi, CEO, Checkster

    Clueless Candidates

    As a recruiter, there have been countless times when job seekers have asked, "What position is this for?" Job seekers shouldn't just apply to any job. They need to spend their time effectively finding jobs that are a match for their skills and interest.
    -- Nga Nguyen, Technology & Operations Group Recruiter at Wells Fargo

    Short-Cut Introductions

    With more people looking for work in today's economy, I've been seeing an increase in what I call "lazy introductions" come across my desk. It goes something like this: "I'm writing you to introduce myself. I live in New York and I'm looking for a job," and in the signature is a link to a LinkedIn profile or possibly a resume. A brief introduction should come with a background, highlights, and reason for connecting. A job search is a job in itself and requires some personalization and effort for each and every introduction.
    -- Lindsay Olson, partner, Paradigm Staffing

    Can't Connect the Dots?

    My biggest pet peeve is receiving resumes or applications that describe background and work experience wholly unrelated to the position being applied for. Also there is either no supporting material or a generic cover letter that fails to connect the dots between what's on the application and what's in the posted job listing.
    -- Noah Apodaca, lead recruiter for staff at the University of California, Irvine

    Don't Go Generic

    Job seekers hurt their own cause when they don't focus on specific ways they can help potential employers and instead simply mass distribute their resume. Individuals need to show hiring managers what they can do for the organization, not the reverse. Thoroughly research companies where you want to apply, customize your resume and cover letter for each opportunity, and in your communications with employers highlight your accomplishments and skills that demonstrate how you can positively impact the firm's bottom line.
    -- DeLynn Senna, executive director of North American permanent placement services, Robert Half International

    Please cantat your nearest DISCOVER STAFFING branch to see how we may be able to help you:
    North Fulton:

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Positions We Fill

    DISCOVER STAFFING is always seeking qualified individuals for the following positions:

  • Administrative Assistants
  • Receptionists
  • General Office Support
  • Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Assembly
  • General Warehouse

    And More!

    Please contact your nearest DISCOVER STAFFING Branch office for more information on how to apply with our company. - serving North and South Gwinnett and Peachtree Corners - serving Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Marietta
  • Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    More Advice About Cover Letters

    In today's job search climate of instant resumes through the Internet, many people are neglecting the cover letter. MSN Careers, one of my favorite places for good career advice, has posted this article on cover letters.

    7 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out
    By Selena Dehne, Jist Publishing

    Let's face it: There's only so much your résumé can do. In fact, it can be jam-packed with impressive stats, industry lingo and design elements that rival those showcased in job-search books and still end up in an employer's stack of rejections.

    To avoid this fate, it's essential to show employers that you're more than the bullet points and clipped phrases listed on your résumé. You've got a personality, passions, goals and career experiences that make you unlike any other candidate for the job. It's up to you to share this information in your cover letter in a way that dazzles employers and strengthens your résumé.

    Cover letters provide opportunities that résumés don't to inject your personality, says Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., author of "Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get Jobs and Propel Your Career." "You can engage the employer, make an emotional connection, show results and become instantly memorable by writing at least one paragraph in the form of a powerful story," Hansen says.

    She suggests that job seekers use their cover letter to tell stories about their interests or passions for a career field or to detail successful projects, accomplishments, solutions, results and more. In her book, Hansen outlines the following do's and don'ts for cover letters that tell such stories:

    Do make the letter as concise as possible.
    Employers are spending less time reading cover letters than they used to. Ideally, your letter should be about four paragraphs, and one of those should tell a story.

    Don't neglect the "story line" in the rest of the letter.
    Even if only one paragraph in your letter is in story form, try to integrate the story's theme throughout your letter and tie it together by briefly referring to the story in your final paragraph.

    Do make your stories specific and quantify results whenever possible.
    It's always easier for the reader to picture you succeeding on the job when you describe a specific situation. In addition, employers are attracted to numbers that indicate results.

    Don't write your autobiography.
    Telling a story doesn't mean describing your entire career; that's what your résumé is for.

    Do tell relevant stories.
    Tell only the stories that are relevant to the employer's requirements, the problems you can solve, and the results you can achieve. If the relevance isn't immediately obvious from your story, help the reader make the connection by pointing out the skills and qualifications the story illustrates.

    Don't overlook story cues in want ads.
    Study the want ad that describes the position that interests you. When writing your cover letter, strive to ensure that it responds to the ad's intent. To do this, incorporate the job posting's keywords and the tasks or responsibilities that are mentioned into your cover letter.

    Do use some of the employer's messages and language.
    Go to the employer's Web site or pick up print publications about the organization. Pick out buzzwords and phrases. Play these back to the employer in your story. Employers who read language-mirroring stories conclude that the job seeker "gets it."

    Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog (

    For more information on DISCOVER STAFFING and how we may be able to assist you in your job search, please contact your nearest DISCOVER STAFFING branch:

    North Fulton -
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