Friday, October 30, 2009

Make your job search different

We know that after some time searching for jobs, things can feel a little overwhelming. When you start to feel like that, there are some things you can do to change your game a little bit. This article from MSN Careers provides great information on this subject.

Feel like Giving Up on Your Job Search?
5 ways to shake things up

By Rachel Zupek, writer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 38 percent of full-time workers were unemployed for 27 weeks or more in September 2009. That's equivalent to more than 5.4 million people.

Whether you're out of work for five days, five weeks, five months or five years, any period of unexpected unemployment can be frustrating -- especially when it seems to go on forever. Although the economy seems to be showing signs of recovery, any job seeker who has been out of work for a long period of time will tell you: It's still not easy to find a job.

"Even though there are positive indicators, companies aren't adding jobs now at the rate they cut jobs over the last year," says Noah Blumenthal, bestselling author of "Be the Hero: Three Powerful Ways to Overcome Challenges in Work and Life." Despite that, Blumenthal reminds us that economic activities are cyclical. "Every boom feels like it will last forever and so does every bust. But none of them do. Know that things will turn around. The jobs will come back."

Laura Torres, a 28 year old development associate in Boston, knows first-hand about being frustrated with a job search. She was laid off in December 2008 and didn't find a job for about nine months.

"The most frustrating aspect was not feeling totally in control of the process -- particularly once you started interviewing at a job," she recalls. "Obviously you can play the game and even play it well, but your fate is still up to a small group of people. The agonizing wait between the interview and the follow-up is eerily reminiscent of trying to date someone who 'just isn't that into you.'"

Elena Sokolow-Kaufman, 30, who works at small nonprofit in Massachusetts, also had a frustrating job search. After being unemployed for a little more than two months, she reached a breaking point.

"I had sent out a lot of résumés and had a few interviews for specific job opportunities, but nothing seemed like it was moving forward. At the time I was going on a lot of informational interviews and at that point I started to feel very burned out," she recalls.

If you do reach a breaking point like Sokolow-Kaufman, Blumenthal says it's important to switch things up and try something new in your job search. Doing so will reinvigorate you and help you stay motivated.

"When you've been searching [for a job] for a long time, it can wear you out. You need to do things to keep you excited about your job search so that you keep going," he says. "The most important thing you can do is keep yourself eager, motivated and energized to continue the search."

To revitalize her efforts, Sokolow-Kaufman says she started a blog, in addition to working on her search in coffee shops with friends who were in the same position.

"It helped me a lot to feel less isolated and was a good reminder that many other people were in the same boat I was in," she says.

Torres also took different measures to revive her job search. In addition to narrowing her focus in order to find a job she really wanted, Torres challenged herself by applying for jobs outside of her interests or background.

"I never got interviews for these jobs, but it helped me think outside the box a little," she says. "I also sometimes just had informational interviews with people whose careers were markedly different from mine. Again, this was to broaden my horizons a big and give me more perspective."

If you (and your job search) are stuck in a rut, here are five ways Blumenthal suggests to rejuvenate your job search and mix things up a bit:

1. Go online
"You've sent out more résumés than you can count. But have you Tweeted? It's a social networking world. Build your online connections on services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Then use that platform to make value-added observations about your line of work and job searching. You never know where your electronic connections can lead," he says.

2. Separate yourself
"Hiring managers and recruiters receive tons of résumés. Some are better than others, but frankly, none of them stand out. You need something else," he says. "Try writing an article or two about your field. Print them up on glossy paper with a nice graphic design. Add a professional bio, and put it all together in a nice folder. Now, instead of sending a résumé, you're sending a press kit on you. That stands out."

3. Have fun
"I know a woman who once sent her résumé folded up and stuffed inside of a baby sneaker. Her note said she was sure to be a shoe-in for the job," he recalls. "If you are bored with your job search, it will show in your materials, your applications and your interviews. So have some fun." (And yes, the shoe-in did get the job.)

4. Set a big goal
"You've already met 100, 200, 500 people? Set a goal to meet and have one-on-one conversations with 100 new people this month. Is it possible? Can you do it? Use Facebook. Go to professional meetings. Ask 10 friends to introduce you to 10 new people. It doesn't matter if they are in your field. This is the "Six Degrees of Separation" game. Meet up and let the new connections take you where they will," he says.

5. Go to work
"Volunteer at a local charity or political organization. You have the time and this helps you in so many ways," he says. How? It feels good to help; you're using your skills; you're meeting new people; you're getting off the couch and out of the house; and you will build your stockpile of stories. "When you meet people or interview, the connections you make are through your stories. What better story to tell than something that happened while you were helping make the world a better place?"

Ultimately, Blumenthal reminds job seekers to treat your job search like a job, and like a project that has a long-term objective.

"Do what you would do if this were such a project. Celebrate milestones and accomplishments along the way. Appreciate what you love about this job. After all, you can work in your pajamas, set your own hours, work from Starbucks and pick your kids up from school."

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. Follow her on Twitter:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Clean Room

DISCOVER STAFFING is currently recruiting for candidates with Clean Room experience in a medical manufacturing environment. Assembly and packaging of the product - preparing for shipping. Must be able to keep up with paperwork. 2nd shift position. $10.

Candidates must be local to the Alpharetta area and have reliable transportation. Please submit resumes to for consideration.

Plastic Injection Molding

DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking candidates for 1st and 2nd shift positions in Alpharetta. Must have plastic injection molding experience including the ability to set up the machine, make necessary adjustments between products, and knowledge of the mechanical aspects.

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Local Career Resources

I recently discovered this website dedicated to providing all levels of resources for the Atlanta area job seeker. Lists of area service providers including career counselors, career schools, colleges and universities, job boards, associations, resume services, and support groups are all collected in one easy to navigate location.

Check out Atlanta Career Resources for more information.

And continue to check the DISCOVER STAFFING Career Resource Center for more information on open positions and helpful articles to assist you in your job search.

Monday, October 26, 2009

2nd Shift Prodcution Supervisor

Thank you for your interest in this position. Our client has removed this opportunity at this time. Please continue to check back for our most up to date job postings.

DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking candidates for a 2nd Shift Production Supervisor position in Alpharetta. Must have 3+ years of production supervisor experience, medical manufacturing or FDA experience required. Must be familiar with ISO. Experience supervising 25+ employees. Must have a BS degree or equivalent experience. Display good leadership skills. $40,000 to $50,000 annual salary, temporary to hire or direct hire.

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

Your Attitude

In our industry, we meet unemployed candidates every day. We understand that it is difficult to maintain a positive attitude while looking for a job in this very tough market. However, it is true that your attitude can make all the difference when looking for a position. Coming across as desperate or depressed can have dire consequences. The following article from MSN Careers provides some great advice for job seekers.

Your Bad Attitude Could Be Hurting Your Job Search
By Robert Half International

Imagine you're a hiring manager, and you receive a cover letter from a job seeker that begins: "I am tired of writing cover letters." Rather than pick up the phone and call the person in for an interview, you're likely to discard the application.

You may be surprised to learn that the example above is real, and this applicant isn't the only one to inappropriately complain to a prospective employer. Here are some additional examples:

  • "Argh! I hate job hunting!"
  • "Life isn't fair. I should get paid for looking for a job."
  • "I have received zero replies from my résumé. It's not me, though. I know that for sure."

    While nearly everyone can understand the frustration of a prolonged job search, it's a big mistake to let your negative feelings show. Indeed, remaining positive can help you get hired. Employers want to hire people who are passionate about their work, relate well to others and aren't easily deflated by setbacks.

    Here are some guidelines for conveying the right attitude to hiring managers:

    When in doubt, leave it out
    One individual who applied for a job wrote: "I'm not lazy, but given a choice between working for someone else, following orders and waking up to that awful sound of an alarm clock or doing what I want to do -- wouldn't any intelligent human being choose the latter?" Although few would be as blatant as this person, any amount of venting is likely to turn off a hiring manager. Make sure the focus of your résumé or cover letter remains on your qualifications. Specifically, what needs does the firm have, and how can you help fill them?

    Be a team player
    Another candidate had this to say: "I have a problem with dress codes. It will be difficult for me if I need to wear a formal button-down shirt for work because I don't have many of those types of clothes since I dress cool." Such candor didn't do him any favors because he was perceived as someone who has trouble following rules and interacting with colleagues who may have different opinions than his own.

    The simple truth is that people want to hire -- and work with -- people who are easy to get along with and low-maintenance. Don't appear difficult by outlining your pet peeves. This extends to the interview as well, especially if it's over lunch: Don't give an overly complicated order; instead, make your requests simple.

    Show your enthusiasm for the position
    One company received a résumé from a job seeker who said simply, "I've never been all that excited about working." With an attitude like that, you can bet the business wasn't too excited about the candidate, either. Employers want to hire professionals with a true desire to work for their firms. Demonstrate your passion for the position by researching the employer before submitting your application and noting how your skills can meet the company's unique needs. For example, you may learn that the company is opening a new office in your area. Your experience helping to launch start-up operations could be valuable to the organization.

    Impress in person
    If you're called in for an interview, remember your enthusiasm -- or lack thereof -- will show during the meeting. Simple steps, like offering a firm handshake, sitting up straight, smiling and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer, will showcase your positive attitude. Small shifts in body language, like tapping your foot impatiently, or tone, such as sighing under your breath, can undermine your efforts to make a good impression.

    Check in with others
    If you've hit a roadblock in your job search, it might be worthwhile to get an outside perspective about how you're presenting yourself. Ask someone whose opinion you trust to review your résumé, cover letter and any other materials you will be submitting to hiring managers. A subtle negative tone can sometimes seep into your application materials without you noticing.

    A job search can be challenging even in a good employment market. If you're feeling discouraged and having trouble getting motivated, share your frustration with close friends and family. Not only can they provide a good shoulder to lean on, those you know may have faced similar challenges themselves and be able to provide valuable advice for keeping your head high.

    Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Current Open Positions

    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking candidates for the following positions:

  • Senior Internal Auditor - must have Sarbanes Oxley and ERP Experience. CPA required. 50% travel (national and international). Alpharetta area.
  • Senior Accountant/Financial Analyst - must have 2-3 years public accounting experience with one of the "Big 4". Alpharetta area.
  • Document Processor - expert proficiency with MS Word, Excel, Outlook and photoshop. Sandy Springs area. Thank you for your interest in this position. Our client has filled this opening at this time.
  • Auditor - Journalism/English background. Available evenings and weekends. Norcross Area.
  • Scheduler - customer service. Available evenings and weekends. Norcross area.
  • Electro Mechanical Technician - familiarity with FDA procedures, medical manufacturing. Alpharetta area.
  • Soldering - 1st or 2nd shift. Alpharetta area.
  • Injection Molding - 1st or 2nd shift. Alpharetta area

    Please submit your resume for consideration to Please include an email indicating which position you are applying for and how you are best qualified. No phone calls please.
  • Monday, October 19, 2009


    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently working with a client in Alpharetta that is looking for candidates with Soldering experience. Must have 1-3 years previous experience. Temp to hire opportunity. $10/hour.

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

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Senior Accountant/Financial Analyst

    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking candidates for a client in Alpharetta. Must have experience with one of the "Big 4" Public Accounting Firms (such as KPMG and Ernst & Young), a BS in Accounting, and 2+ years public accounting experience. Must have experience with Sarbanes Oxley Compliance. Will be handling the general accounting, public company reporting and financial analysis. $55,000-$65,000 depending on experience.

    Please send your resume to for consideration.

    Electro Mechanical Technician

    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking candidates for a client in Alpharetta. Must have 3-4 years experience in manufacture or production of medical devices and a high school diploma. Experience with FDA Procedures is helpful. Must be able to effectively troubleshoot. Must have experience with MS Office. Position is temporary to hire and pays $12.

    Candidates must be local to the Alpharetta area and have reliable transportation. Only qualified candidates will be considered. Please submit your resume to

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Common Sense Dress Code

    With the mingling of baby boomers, and generations X and Y in the work force, dress codes have taken on a new meaning. The crisp suits of the boomers and the eyebrow piercing of Gen Y are coming head to head in many offices. The following is an article from MSN Careers that gives some common sense tips on how to approach fashion in the workplace.

    Piercings, Tattoos and Mohawks at Work
    By Anthony Balderrama, writer

    Today's workplace doesn't look much like it did 20 or 30 years ago. Typewriters gave way to clunky PCs which are now paper-thin laptops. Perhaps more noticeably, the workers look different now that shoulder pads are gone and they took teased bangs with them.

    Over the past few decades, fashion statements that belonged to rebels became part of mainstream attire. Piercings in your eyebrow, nose and tongue started showing up on your Average Joe and Jane. Tattoos no longer belonged to bikers -- your typical college student might be sporting ink somewhere on his or her body. Even Mohawks and brightly dyed hair worked their way into suburbia. As a result, younger generations entering the work force have brought their sense of style with them and are complicating the old dress codes.

    Know your audience
    Now that business casual is the new suit-and-tie, how much liberty can you take with your appearance before you're not seen as professional? Depends on the industry, says Brad Penman, chief operating officer at The Marketing Arm, a promotions agency.

    "Obviously the dress code and the acceptable 'look' should match your organization's culture," Penman says. "What's OK for a creative agency like ours may not be right for a bank, investment firm or attorney's office."

    Workers should keep in mind that the company culture has two components: the boss and the client.

    "[The company's dress code] should match the expectations of your clients. Your clients pay the bills, so it's important to respect what makes them comfortable," Penman explains. "And, by the way, it's OK to ask your clients that question. If [they] expect you to be creative and understand that a little irreverence can spur exceptional ideas, they're likely to be OK with a different look around the office."

    Etiquette consultant Mary Harris agrees that context is everything.

    "Your judgment really does have to come into play here. If you're a software developer or graphic designer, most likely the atmosphere is more relaxed in your work environment and an outward creative expression of your personality would not be frowned upon," Harris says. "If you are in investment banking or work in the sales department of a large firm then pink hair, visible tattoos and tongue piercings would not be recommended if you are hoping to land or keep a job. Even subtle piercings like nose rings, which younger workers feel are very tame, are considered inappropriate to their older superiors."

    When you're already employed, you probably know what's acceptable and what's forbidden in terms of personal style. At least you're already employed, so if you have a question you can ask your boss or refer to the handbook. When you're looking for a job, though, how do you deal with your unique appearance?

    The interview dilemma
    Janet Flewelling, director of human resource operations at HR-services company Administaff, suggests job seekers exercise caution during the interview.

    "One of the primary goals of an interview is to leave a lasting and positive impression," Flewelling says. "When interviewing for any position, most employers are seeking candidates who display professionalism. In many cases, the first impression a prospective employee will make on an employer is often based on appearance."

    If a cautious presentation isn't in your best interest, at least recognize what you're risking with 11-inch hair spikes or a tattoo of your daughter's name on your forearm.

    "If a candidate were to arrive at an interview with an uncovered tattoo and the organization is one that prohibits its employees from having exposed tattoos, the chances of that individual landing the job can be reduced," she says.

    Of course, you could be your own tattooed Trojan horse and play it safe for the interview, only to arrive for your first day with your pink hair and inked arms exposed to the world. But that could be just as bad. Flewelling cautions job seekers that the company could have an explicit policy about visible body modifications, and if you do an about-face, the boss might perceive your conservative interview appearance as dishonesty.

    One way to prevent the awkwardness of revealing your true, expressive fashionista is to discuss the matter prior to accepting the job -- just don't sound presumptuous with your questions. The last thing you want is to sound like you know you're getting the job, thereby turning off the hiring manger.

    "One way to approach the subject of the company dress code, without potentially sending a red flag, is to ask about the policy as part of a list of general questions. Try asking the question in an open-ended manner," Flewelling suggests. "For example, instead of saying 'Do you have a dress code?' or 'Can I wear a nose ring?' phrase questions in a manner that leads to a discussion. 'Are there any dress code specifications relevant to this position I should be aware of?' or 'Are there any particular types of dress required for the job?'"

    The ongoing debate
    Even after you're hired and have established yourself as part of the company, you can find yourself grappling with work-appropriate appearances as your style changes or career advances. Maybe one morning you wake up and think the Dorothy Hamill haircut you've been sporting since 1976 isn't contemporary enough. Or maybe you get promoted and worry that an edgy look doesn't belong in a senior position.

    In both cases, Flewelling puts the responsibility to personal judgment.

    "The best way to proceed in this regard is to look and learn. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all or right and wrong in these matters," she says. Your best bet is to take cues from the people around you to see how they dress and are perceived, she says.

    Ultimately you need your work environment to suit you, and Penman thinks this is something everyone needs to recognize.

    "I'd say that company owners and top management need to change their thinking about how people should 'look' in the workplace and instead think about how people 'can look.' One of the most important benefits to staff is freedom of appearance at work. It's a benefit to feel comfortable," Penman says. When you're looking at potential employers, ask yourself if you'll be comfortable going to work every day dressed how they want you to look.

    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. Follow him on Twitter at

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009


    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently seeking candidates for an Auditing position. Must have a degree in English or a related field and experience as an editor, writer, journalist or similar. Must be proficient in MS Word, Excel and Outlook as well as have excellent grammar, vocabulary and spelling skills. Must be available to work evening and weekend hours. Some of the work will be completed at home so must have a home phone line and reliable Internet access. $13 per hour. Candidates who speak French Canadian also encouraged to apply.

    Please send your resume to for consideration.

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Alternative Job Hunting Techniques - Do They Work?

    Do Out-of-the-Box Tactics Really Work?
    Hiring managers weigh in
    By Rachel Zupek, writer

    From résumés accompanied by shoes to get candidates' "feet in the door," to candidates sending cakes designed as business cards, hiring managers have seen it all when it comes to memorable job-seeker tactics.

    Facing the most difficult job market in decades, job seekers are often advised to stand out among the competition by using creative and unconventional tactics to grab an employer's attention. While that advice is sound and good, it raises the question of whether or not these avant-garde approaches actually work.

    Well -- it depends.

    "I personally like those candidates that think outside of the box. As an HR professional, nothing makes me happier than knowing a candidate for a marketing position has, for example, created a brochure that is actually his or her résumé," says Vani Colombo, HR director for VIPdesk, a customer and concierge service. "I'm always amazed when candidates break the rules with class to stand out. It shows they are resourceful and willing to go the extra mile."

    Tactics that worked
    Vinh Nguyen, 30, is a great example of someone didn't want to fall prey to the same fate as other unsuccessful applicants -- but who stood out in a good way. Career Tiger, a service that helps people find a job through unique and unconventional methods, helped Nguyen come up with this tactic:

    When asked a question during an interview with a health-care IT company, he surprised his interviewers by pulling out a whiteboard, writing down his thought process and taking control of the interview.

    "Differentiating yourself from your competition makes sense. The idea is to show that you are a thought leader in your area and that your knowledge is valuable," Nguyen says. "It was awkward at first, but breaking away from the norm will pay off as long as you put in the work beforehand researching."

    He got the job, and he is still working at the company as a project manager.

    Dave Bowman, founder and chairman of TTG Consultants, a consulting firm, recalls a client who was a designer and really wanted to make an impression in an upcoming interview.

    "As the interview began, he would wheel in a model of a previous theme-park exhibit he'd designed. He'd bring in with him three clowns who would be playing musical instruments. They would walk around the room for a minute or so, playing a song, and then exit, leaving the model for the interviewer to view in more detail," Bowman says. "The idea worked. His out-of-the-box tactics got him the job offer and at more money than he'd expected."

    While both of these unconventional methods worked in these instances, many hiring managers say that alternative tactics often walk a fine line between admirable and creative and just plain inappropriate.

    "I would consider a candidate who used a tactic if it was ethical and demonstrated a behavior that would be relevant to the job they were interested in," says Kim Lockhart, regional vice president for Spherion Corp., a recruiting and staffing provider. "For example, if someone was trying to get their name in consideration for a sales position and was using techniques to obtain an interview similar to the way they would approach securing a sale, I would consider it."

    Tactics that didn't
    Though many job seekers have successfully used creative job-search tactics, there seem to be an equal number of unsuccessful applicants, according to some hiring managers.

    A few months ago, Carolyn Turner, a business coach in Portland, Ore., was helping a client hire an office manager.

    "We had one applicant arrive unannounced at the office with a cherry pie she had baked that morning. She explained that she wanted to stand out from all the other applicants -- which she did, but just in a scary, stalkerish kind of way," Turner says. "I got a call from the business owner that day wondering what to do; no one wanted to eat the pie, but she left it in her own pie plate, which meant they had to get it back to her somehow. It was all just very awkward."

    Turner says that having gone through hundreds of résumés for that position, it became clear that good candidates stand out just by how they present themselves in their cover letters and résumés.

    "There's really no need to go over the top to get noticed," she says. "For the majority of businesses and positions, a really well-written cover letter is more than enough. You'd be surprised at how many badly written cover letters and résumés there are."

    Don't try this at home
    Christine Bolzan, CEO of Graduate Career Coaching, agrees with Turner and strongly advises against extreme tactics in the job search. She says many applicants who use these methods end up with a permanent "Do Not Hire" label in their company file.

    Bolzan recalls two examples of what not to try in your job-search efforts, one of which includes gift giving.

    "I've received flowers, wine, perfume and the most memorable of all -- a pair of Ferragamo shoes, which was a generous attempt at a ping following our brief conversation of great things to buy at Heathrow Duty Free," Bolzan says. "This is never appropriate. In fact, many companies have a policy against accepting gifts of any sort."

    Another job search no-no? Stalking the interviewer, which Bolzan says she's encountered on several different levels, including people who have waited in career fair parking lots and others who've waited outside the office building.

    "The worst of all stalkers I've encountered followed me into the pool at my hotel at 10 p.m. when I was trying to get a break from a long day at a large-scale recruiting event," Bolzan says. "The same event where I found over 100 different résumés secured by the wipers on my rental car windshield, and woke in the morning to even more résumés slipped under my hotel room door."

    Remember the rules
    Barring stalker behavior and lavish gifts, out-of-the-box tactics can work if you play your cards right. Greg Masiewich, manager of marketing and online communications for IQ Partners Inc., offers these tips:

    1. Make it relevant

    "Whatever tactic you choose to use, make sure it's relevant to the position you're applying for," Masiewich says. "If you choose a tactic that you think will grab a hiring manager's attention but doesn't tie into the job, the industry, or what you're about, then it can come off as just seeming strange and weird instead of creative and clever."

    2. Don't go too far

    "It's important to walk that fine line between different, yet not going too far with trying to stand out. If you do something that's too overly crazy, you can come off seeming a little creepy and weird instead of like a star applicant with a sense of determination," Masiewich says. "Remember, you want to grab their attention, not become a joke in the office."

    3. A good idea can get you an interview, but not a job

    "Remember that no matter the tactic you use to try and gain the attention of a hiring manager, at the end of the day they're still going to hire the person who they feel can do the job best," Masiewich says. "An out-of-the-box tactic might get you an interview, but it's still up to you to show you're not only determined, but also the best person for the job."

    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. Follow her on Twitter:

    Friday, October 9, 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!

    We staff in the Gwinnett County, North Fulton County and Cobb County areas. Please submit your resume for consideration:
  • Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    First Impression Quiz

    MSN Careers has posted an interactive article on First Impressions for job seekers. Click here to take the quiz.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Accomplishments...or not

    The featured article on Yahoo! Hotjobs today is great advice for putting together a resume.

    "Accomplishments" to Leave off Your Resume
    by Doug White, Robert Half International

    In today's competitive job market, you need to show hiring managers that you can make an immediate contribution to a new employer. Including your biggest professional successes in the "Accomplishments" section of your resume is an effective way to do just that.

    But keep in mind that any achievement you cite should be a) truly noteworthy, b) relevant to your current career goals and c) relatively recent. Far too often, job seekers miss the mark. For instance, you're unlikely to impress prospective employers by highlighting the fact that you were a finalist in a local pageant held in 1982 -- as one real-life job candidate did.

    Following are more examples from resumes collected by Robert Half International that feature "accomplishments" that aren't worth mentioning in your resume, as well as advice for crafting statements that will catch a hiring manager's attention:

    The Unquantifiable Accomplishment

  • "I am the most talented employee my company has ever had."
  • "I am the best and most awesome employee in New York City."
  • "My last client called me a god."

    Whenever possible, quantify your achievements by noting how you helped previous employers increase revenue, cut expenses, or improve productivity. (Example: "Increased territory sales by 150 percent within one year of being named district sales director.") Boldly heralding vague, unverifiable accomplishments is less compelling and often comes across as arrogant.

    The Not-So-Notable Accomplishment

  • "Maintained a 2.0 GPA."
  • "I get along with coworkers."
  • "Overcame procrastination."

  • Make sure any accomplishments you place on your resume will impress a potential employer. Your ability to do average work or fulfill the most basic requirements of a job does not warrant special mention.

    The Offbeat Accomplishment

  • "Set record for eating 45 eggs in two minutes."
  • "Raised over $6,000 for an organization by sitting on a commode."
  • "To be honest, the only thing I have ever won was a Cabbage Patch Kid. This doll was the result of a school raffle, and I was hated by many children for it."

    Honors and awards received from professional associations, industry publications and educational institutions hold weight. But being overly playful and mentioning odd accolades as a vehicle to showcase your wacky sense of humor could cause employers to question your professionalism.

    The Mistake-Ridden Accomplishment

  • "I have successed in all my endeavors."
  • "Dum major with my high school band."
  • "I continually receive complaints on the high quality of work I perform."

    Finally, as with every other section of your resume, remember to carefully proofread the descriptions of your accomplishments. Don't undermine your achievements by misspelling them. Hiring managers are looking for applicants who demonstrate attention to detail. Research by Robert Half International indicates that just one resume error can sink a job seeker's chances of landing a job interview.

    Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit For additional workplace articles and podcasts, visit
  • Friday, October 2, 2009

    CAD Technicians

    Thank you for your interest in this position. At this time, our client has placed this position on hold. Please continue to check back for our most up to date job postings.

    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently working with a company in Sandy Springs looking for experienced CAD Technicians. Must have a CAD Degree, Certificate or equivelant mapping experience with AutoCAD, MicroStation, ESRI or MapInfo. Telephone or Utility background is helpful. This is a long term project with the possibility of becoming temp to permanent. $13-$16 per hour depending on experience.

    Please send resumes to for consideration. Only qualified applicants will be considered.

    Inside Sales Representative

    DISCOVER STAFFING is currently recruiting for an Inside Sales position with a client in Alpharetta. This will be a direct hire position starting at $45,000 base + incentive. Will be making outbound calls to generate new business as well as current customer care. Leads will be provided. 2-5+ years of experience in inside sales required. Experience in sales for software or technical preferred.

    Please send your resume to for consideration.