Gift Giving at Work: Don’t Stress It!

Career & Workplace

While the holiday season is supposed to be full of “good tidings and cheer”, we all know that this is not something that comes easily to many of us. Between long lines in stores, wallets that grow empty as the season goes on, and angst over what to get the person who isn’t happy with anything, the “cheer” part of the holiday season sometimes goes by the wayside, especially in the workplace.  However, there are things you can do to make the holiday season less stressful and more enjoyable, even during the workday.

 

Know your staff and their holidays:

  • If you are a department head, you should have an awareness of what customs/traditions your employees follow during the holidays. Saying “Merry Christmas” to the Account Manager who celebrates Hanukkah can be offensive, even if you don’t mean for it to be. If you take your staff to lunch as a holiday gift, try to organize the luncheon on a day when they are all present. Some staff may take days to celebrate holidays in their own cultures/religions, rather than the customary Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dates that most companies observe.

 

Gifts for coworkers:

  • Many of us already have too many people on our shopping list during the holiday season, and adding coworkers to that list sometimes puts us over the financial edge. Don’t sweat it and don’t spend money that you don’t have just because somebody asked you to. If you have a group of co-workers you feel you need to buy a little something for, suggest drawing names and doing a gift exchange. Set a strict price limit, and encourage the co-workers to give gift ideas (within the price range) to help the buyer find something appropriate for that person. If you decide to buy for someone outside of the gift exchange, make sure you set up a special time away from the workplace to exchange gifts. Or, forgo the gift-giving completely and instead do a cookie exchange or potluck with your coworkers to keep the mood festive. Both options cost less and still give you the holiday social time to enjoy with your coworkers.
  • Doing a Secret Santa gift exchange? While this isn’t always a favorite and can be very awkward, consider suggesting a theme to keep gifts from getting weird. A “coffee” theme, or “Star Wars” theme or whatever your office is into keeps the mood light. Be clear on whether the gifts are supposed to be “nice” or “gag”. Set a dollar amount so everyone’s gift is the same value. If one person gets a whole full basket of goodies but another person gets a pair of Dollar Store socks, resentment may replace the tone of the festivities.

 

Gifts for the boss:

  • This is a tough one. If you are the person who has been assigned the task of organizing the gift for the boss, there are a few things to remember. First, salaries are not the same. Find a gift where everybody can chip in and not have their wallets cleaned out. Set a limit (maybe $10/person) and if people want to give more they can. Have a card at your desk ready to go so when your coworkers bring you their donation, they can sign the card before they leave. Be prepared for those who may not want to donate and don’t badger them. Finally, when you are ready to present the gift to your boss, gather everyone together and give the gift to your boss as a group.

 

Gifts for Clients:

  • Before you even think of giving a gift to a client, make sure you are very clear on the gift-giving/receiving policies for your company, as well as your client’s company. Many companies have established strict guidelines regarding what types of “gifts” can be exchanged between clients/customers and suppliers, buyers and sales associates, etc. While some companies have a zero-tolerance policy on receiving any type of gift, they are not opposed to business luncheons. If this is the case, take your client out for a nice lunch and express your gratitude in words instead of a gift that could get you, or them, fired.

 

By following some of these simple guidelines, you will make your holiday celebrations in the workplace light on the stress and heavy on the cheer! Happy Holidays!

I Was The Perfect Fit! Why Wasn’t I Hired?

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How many times have you felt you were PERFECT for that role, but still didn’t get it? You went over the interview in your mind a hundred times, noted how easily the conversation flowed, how they interviewer would nod enthusiastically when you described a certain experience or skill. They seemed excited when they said they would get back to you soon.

Then you got the email that you weren’t chosen.

Safe to say, I think we’ve all been there.

I’m a firm believer in if you didn’t get the job, something better will come along. Through the years, some of our clients have come back to us to tell us about interviews they nailed and were sure they got the job. But didn’t.

However, there are various reasons companies may choose a different route:

They decided to hire internally. As unfair as it sounds, they may have already had a front runner in mind but posted it anyway to see if there is someone better.  Some companies HAVE to post externally due to contract constraints or affirmative action plans. Federal contractors or government agencies may have to post externally as well.

You were overqualified.  Perhaps they think you won’t do tasks you deem “beneath you”. While it’s unfair for them to assume what you will or won’t do, it is a common concern. They may also fear that you will be bored at the job—especially if you’ve been on an impressive career track. Or, that after a while, you will leave and they’ll be back to square one.

You were underqualified. Thinking you’d be great in a role and actually having the experience to master the role are two different things. Read the job description thoroughly and make sure you have the experience to apply for the role.

They already had another candidate in mind. It’s possible they already found their choice but they had to have a certain amount of candidates to interview to fill their candidate roster. It might be company policy that X number of people need to be interviewed before a choice can be made.

Your online presence wasn’t professional or up-to-date. Hiring managers check your social media profiles to learn more about you. Turn on your privacy settings if you have personal pictures or information on there. Also, if you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in a while (or years!), now is the time to do it. Lack of LI presence can hurt you as well. Get it up to date.

You shared too much. I’ve talked with recruiters who said the candidate told them their life story—the good, bad, and ugly—and in the process turned off the recruiter. Keep the conversation on the company, their pain points, how you can help them, and that’s it. Don’t talk about your jerk boss, your sick parent, or a personal health problem. They really don’t want to or need to hear it. Keep it professional.

You didn’t know enough about the company. Be very prepared when you go to the interview. Research the company, its mission, what they do, what they sell, or what they are about. Research the role, figure out their pain points. Have questions ready to interview the interviewer, questions like, “What should I know about the role I am seeking? Do you have any other insight?” Be both knowledgeable and inquisitive.

Whatever the answer, you may never know. You might have done everything right and still did not get the job. It might have been narrowed down to you and someone else, but they went with the other person because they had more strategy experience.

Either way, you gave it your all.

About two months ago, an operations exec said to me, “You know, after three rounds of interviews, they finally told me I wasn’t chosen. So, I reached out to a few old colleagues that resulted in a round of interviews with a company I was never interested in and an industry I wasn’t very familiar with. But they liked me and saw what my vision was for their company–and hired me. It has been the best job I’ve ever had.”

If you are struggling with job search, hang tight. The right job will come along.

Do You Have the Spark to Advance Your Executive Career?

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We all hit points throughout our career where we hit a stall or things become stale. This could be due to getting comfortable with your current position or simply not knowing what direction you want to go. Using your LinkedIn profile for networking purposes can help you find some direction and potentially lead to other opportunities. It’s natural to hit a stall in your career, but it’s also possible to move forward when you’re ready. If you know you’re ready to advance your executive career, but can’t seem to find a spark to get you going, we’ve got some tips to help you out.

Let Career Detours Be Inspirational

If your career path isn’t headed exactly how you planned it to, don’t get discouraged. Everyone will have detours in their career. Instead of looking at those detours negatively, view them as inspirational and work harder to get back on track. Revisit your executive resume biography as a reminder of where you are now and where you want to be in the future. When your path changes, look for ways to grow from it and make any adjustments you deem necessary.

Always Look For Ways To Grow

One of the biggest sparks executives experience in their career is learning a new skill. Being able to add a new skill to your executive resume biography is motivating, so consider taking an advanced course or work on projects of your own in your free time. The top resume writing services encourage people to step out of their comfort zone occasionally because it will lead to growth no matter what. Learning experiences are valuable for career growth, but you won’t experience any of them if you don’t take the first step forward.

Network With Like-Minded Experts

Networking can lead to many different opportunities and can be a big spark for your career. You don’t even have to attend a networking event with the intention of finding a new job. Simply talking with like-minded experts can give you new ideas on how to approach your career or certain projects to help you move forward. Be sure to have your LinkedIn profile updated, though, since you’ll likely want to reconnect with people you’ve met through the platform.

At Professional Resume Services, nothing is more satisfying to us than seeing executives get exactly what they want in their career. We are considered to be one of the top resume writing services because we have a wide range of expertise designed to help people advance in their careers. We understand everyone goes through a stall in their career, and we are here to help you get out of it when you’re ready. Never hesitate to contact us if you’re ready to spark your career and take it to the next level.

You can take your job search or career to the next level by using all of the features LinkedIn offers to your advantage. The truth is, though, many executives aren’t proactive enough in this regard. A key aspect of your LinkedIn profile development is joining various groups related to your industry. These groups allow you to network with professionals who aren’t currently a part of your network. Whether you’re actively searching for a job or just looking to build credibility, joining groups with your LinkedIn profile is valuable. Here are a few of the most important aspects of LinkedIn groups.

Build Your Credibility

An executive LinkedIn profile writer can help you build your actual profile, but it’s up to you to continue building your credibility. This means posting original articles, commenting on other original articles, participating in meaningful discussions and more. You can build your credibility by offering expertise and not expecting anything back in return. The more your name shows up in these groups in a positive manner, the better the reputation you’ll have.

Learn From Other Experts

When you’re in a LinkedIn group with other experts in your industry, you will almost definitely learn something new. Use this knowledge to your advantage in your current job or use it as a springboard to land your next job. When you approach LinkedIn groups with an open mind, you may come across great opportunities you never expected going in.

Expand Your Network

When you engage in conversations with other group members, they will surely visit your LinkedIn profile. And more often than not, the visit will turn into a new connection to expand your network. At this point, you will be able to see any updates they post to their profile and vice versa. Keeping in touch with your connections is valuable in many ways, even if you’ve never even met them in person.

Create Networking Opportunities

Sometimes you’ll come across people who are close to your home or office and can easily meet up with them for coffee or lunch. Conversations in LinkedIn groups can lead to direct message conversations from your LinkedIn profile. And if there is mutual interest, you can both attend a formal networking event or simply meet up to exchange ideas. Simply being conversational is the first step to creating valuable networking opportunities that can lead to much greater things.

Professional Resume Services focuses on crafting perfect resumes as well as helping clients with their LinkedIn profile development. Many executives overlook important aspects of LinkedIn and we are here to help them take advantage of them. You don’t have to be actively searching for a job to participate in LinkedIn groups, so contact us at any time to see how valuable they can be for you.

What’s the Best Way to Land Your Dream Executive Job?

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Plenty of myths and misconceptions are out there when it comes to the best methods for conducting a job search today. If it’s been a while since you’ve had to search for a job, you may think the new trend is posting your resume to online job boards rather than visiting companies in person. However, you could be wasting a lot of time by making that your strategy. A professional resume writing service can help you create the best resume possible, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the first job you apply to. Here are some tips and strategies to help you land your dream executive job in today’s digital age.

Why Networking is an Effective Job Search Strategy

Networking has been around since the beginning of time, and it’s still one of the most effective job search methods. However, the landscape has changed slightly and professionals are using their executive LinkedIn profile to lead their efforts. You can build a large list of connections via LinkedIn in many ways, including joining LinkedIn groups. If you have a targeted company you want to work for, you can search the platform to find employees there to connect with. You never know whom you may cross paths with, so networking is always worth the effort.

Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles

You have to expect recruiters and hiring managers to search for your name and check every social media profile you have. Be sure to clean these up so they reflect the personality you want others to see. There could still be some lingering posts from several years ago that aren’t appropriate, and you definitely don’t want a hiring manager to discover them. Once all the negative aspects have been cleaned up, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile and other platforms to enhance your personal brand.

Brush Up Your Resume

A professional resume writing service may need to check your resume for common mistakes. The same resume format you used to get your current job several years ago may not be attractive today. You also want to use more targeted language throughout your resume instead of just creating a general one to apply to multiple jobs with. With Applicant Tracking Systems and other technology employers have available, one minor mistake in your resume can ruin your job search. It’s better to have a professional look it over to be sure you aren’t sabotaging your job search before it even begins.

Professional Resume Services is a professional resume writing service that does much more than simply write and revise resumes. We understand the importance of a quality executive LinkedIn profile and work with our clients to ensure their image is consistent across all platforms. Landing your executive dream job today requires more effort than it did a decade ago, so feel free to reach out to us at any time for more tips to help you out.

How Commenting on Blogs can Help Your Online Executive Brand

Career & Workplace

Developing and implementing strategies to enhance your c-level personal branding is essential. One of the strategies you may have adopted is writing blog articles and posting them to your own website or LinkedIn profile. This is a great way to get your name out there and show what value and skills you have to offer. Another thing you can do to drive traffic to your own website, boost your credibility and expand your online presence is to comment on blogs other people write. Here’s how your c-level personal branding can be impacted for the better when you do so.

Enhance Your Credibility And Visibility

When you write comments on blogs, you’re enhancing your visibility by putting your name on more websites. The trickiest part is finding credible blogs to comment on. Find established and reputable websites and take a look at past comments from other people to see what the general tone of the blog or website is. When it comes to personal branding for senior level managers, you want t7demonstrate your knowledge and expertise without overstepping any boundaries. Doing so will make you seem like a credible person and improve your online brand as a result.

Write Substantive Comments

When we say write comments on blogs, we don’t mean simply telling the author you liked their work. Pick out a certain section of the article you liked and tell them why you agree with it and add an insightful touch of your own knowledge to it. And don’t be afraid to bring up another point you think the writer should have mentioned in the article. As long as you don’t present your comment in a way that demeans the writer’s intelligence, it can lead to engaging conversations

Always Include A Link To Your Online Profile

While you may enjoy commenting on blog articles in general, remember the main objective is to enhance your c-level personal branding. So when you make a comment, sign the end of it with your name that includes a hyperlink to your online profile. This could be your own website or even your LinkedIn profile. You never know who will be reading the comments, find your views insightful and want to learn more about you.

Professional Resume Services prides itself on being much more than simply executive resume services. We want to be a part of every aspect of your job search, which includes personal branding for senior level managers. A job search requires many different parts other than just a resume, so feel free to reach out to us at any time if you need assistance at any stage.

Is it the Right Time to Ask for a Raise?

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Going to your boss and asking for a raise is always a sensitive topic of discussion. But if you ask at the right time and do a little homework beforehand, then you can at least minimize some of the awkwardness. The point of asking for a raise is to tell your boss you believe you’ve gone above and beyond in your current role and believe you should be compensated accordingly. Or you may simply think you’re underpaid to do your day-to-day duties. Any executive resume writing service will tell you to proceed with caution when asking for a raise, and to consider waiting to do so until you’ve come across these situations.

When You’ve Added On Responsibilities

If your job responsibilities continue increasing, but your salary remains the same, there will probably come a time when you think you aren’t getting compensated fairly. Don’t ask for the raise upfront though. Wait until you’ve had some time to show the ability to handle these additional responsibilities. That way you have some backbone to your claims in asking for more money since you’ve proven to be able to handle them all.

Look At Your Company’s Recent Performance

When writing resumes and cover letters during the job searching process, you likely researched the performance of the company you currently work for. That research may have helped you land the job, just like the research could help you land a raise as well. No matter how many accomplishments you’ve had at your job, it’s never appropriate to ask for a raise if the company as a whole is performing poorly. On the other hand, if the company is performing well and you believe you contributed to the positive performance, talk it over with your boss and see if your performance merits getting a raise.

Consider Waiting Until Your Performance Review

Your executive resume writing service may suggest waiting until your annual performance review is approaching before bringing up the idea of a raise. So a few weeks ahead of your anticipated review, talk to your boss about a potential salary increase so they will take it into consideration while performing their assessment. Then you can wait for the answer during the actual review and can discuss further as needed.
At Professional Resume Services, we help executives create quality resumes and cover letters, enhance their LinkedIn profile and even provide tips on the best ways to handle sensitive subjects with your current employer. The hope is your employer will recognize great work when they see it and reward employees accordingly. However, there are different reasons and circumstances why that’s not always true. If you’re put in a spot where you think you need a raise and don’t know how to approach your boss, contact us for some helpful advice.

Do You Have the One Skill Every Executive Should Possess?

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Executives often have a similar skill set, background and education. So how can you set yourself apart from the rest? There are plenty of ways to do so, but there’s one overlooked skill you must possess: listening. In the world we live in today, too many people want to talk about themselves, which leads to one-sided conversations no one really listens to. Your executive resume biography is designed to talk about your achievements, but when you’re networking, let someone else do the talking while you listen attentively. Here’s why listening skills are so valuable for executives.

Build Your Personal Brand By Listening

The best resume writing service builds their reputation by listening to what their clients have to say and acting on what they’ve heard. On the same hand, you can build your personal brand by simply listening to others when they talk, asking questions in return and acting on anything you hear. Always be listening for things people say where you could fulfill their needs, or where they could fulfill your needs. In many situations, you will leave a conversation with people thinking highly of you even when you don’t say much.

Ask Insightful Questions

When writing resumes and cover letters, you have to ask yourself important questions about your past experiences in order to determine how well they fit with the company you’re interested in working for. When talking to someone, the only way to know whether your experiences are beneficial to them is by asking insightful questions. And the only way to know what questions to ask is by listening closely to what they are saying. When you ask the right questions, the other person will do most of the talking so all you have to do is listen.

Good Listeners Stand Out Among A Crowd

When you combine listening skills with asking insightful questions in return, people will take notice. You likely talk to many different people at networking events, but the ones who stand out most often are the ones who listen and respond accordingly. People are experts on themselves, so that’s usually what they talk about the most. Instead of returning the favor and talking about yourself, focus on the other person and you’ll earn a lot more respect in return.
Professional Resume Services has earned the reputation of being the best resume writing service, but we do much more than simply write resumes and cover letters. It’s easy to indicate on your resume that you’re a good listener, and it’s even better to put those skills into action. If you aren’t sure about what type of insightful questions you can ask or how to respond to people during networking events, feel free to contact us for tips and advice.