Blog

Job Seekers

VIDEO: How to Quit Your Job

how-to-quit-video-BL
This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Video by .

Quitting is part of life. Whether new opportunities come knocking or external forces pull you out, you will have to quit and end your time at an employer. However, quitting is not the end of your relationship. You will need their support in your future endeavors, and how you quit will affect your career.

Watch and learn more about the right way to quit your job.

How to Quit: The Right Way

how-to-quit-BL
This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Whitepapers by .

Quitting is part of life. Whether new opportunities come knocking or external forces pull you out, you will have to quit and end your time at an employer. However, quitting is not the end of your relationship. You will need their support in your future endeavors, and how you quit will affect your career.

There is a right way and lots of wrong ways. Here’s the right way:

Before you Quit…

1. Make sure you’re quitting for the right reasons.

You’re ready for a change, but quitting may not be the wisest decision. Proceed with quitting if:

  • The pros outweigh the cons
  • You have another job lined up
  • The stress is affecting your health
  • You are underpaid or the job is unstable
  • Internal growth is unattainable or undesirable
  • You are going through a major life change (moving, completing education, etc.)
  • You have put in at least 2 years at the organization
  • You are facing problems that cannot be solved

You should quit to advance your career and meet your needs, not out of malicious intent.

2. Line up employment

Before you even think about quitting, it is essential to have your next job ready to go. Not just for security, but to prevent gaps in your resume.

3. Double check your employment agreement

The employment agreement you signed when you got hired might have certain guidelines around quitting and the quitting process, be sure to adhere to it.

4. Consider your timing

You know your workplace and your work-life schedule. Try not to quit during the busy times or when your team needs you the most. Finish major projects and make sure you don’t leave any of your clients or contacts hanging.

When you Quit…

1. Write up your two weeks’ notice/Letter of resignation

A written letter of resignation is absolutely a requirement. Having written documentation can protect you should things go awry, and can help the organization better plan for your replacement.

You must type it, date it, sign it, and deliver a copy to your boss, your HR department, and anyone else who will need it.

Notify your employer a minimum of two weeks prior to your last day. This is both professional and a common courtesy.

Here is a template to help get you started:

[Date]To Whom It May Concern:Thank you for the opportunity to serve [organization]. Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from my position as [position title]. My last day will be [date of last day].I have truly enjoyed my work with [organization], and am grateful for the valuable experience and opportunities extended to me.

As we approach my final weeks, I am dedicated to wrapping up my duties and training my replacement. Please let me know what I can do to aid the transition.

I am honored to have worked for this organization, and hope to stay in touch in the future.

Sincerely,

Super Ambassador

Super Ambassador

Keep it short, sweet, and professional.

This is not your chance to tell off your boss, or point out flaws in the company. If your separation is not exactly amicable, you can reduce it into a single sentence:

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from my position as [position title], effective [last day].

2. Set up a meeting with your boss

This is where you will deliver your first letter of resignation. Your boss should be the very first person you notify, even before your work BFF.

Schedule a proper meeting, just the two of you. It’s up to you to take lead of the conversation. Notify your boss of your intent, without giving away too much information. Be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Why?
  • Where are you going?
  • Is there anything we can do to make you reconsider?

Keep your answers professional and avoid getting too sad or too angry. You can keep them as vague as you’d like.

This is also your chance to develop a transition plan and ask to use that person as a future reference.

3. Notify your team

Depending on your relationship, you can notify your team in an email. If you’re closer, you can coordinate a meeting. No matter how you do it, emphasize the positive aspects of your experience and express your gratitude to them – your exit will mean a little extra stress on them.

4. Finish strong

No slacking off. During your last two weeks, work as hard as you ever did. Notify any customers you may work with and finish up any major projects. Make it as simple as possible for someone to pick up where you left off.

5. Be gracious in your exit interview

An exit interview is your organization’s opportunity to find out what they can do better – but this still is not your opportunity to start listing off why you hated your job. Especially if you want to continue to use them as a reference, keep this interview professional. Here are a few questions you might be asked:

  • Why are you leaving this position?
  • What could we have done better?
  • What did you like most about your job?
  • How was your relationship with your boss?
  • Did you have the right tools and resources to do your job well?
  • Would you recommend working here to a friend?

It can feel tempting to air out all your grievances, but your reputation as an employee is more important. Offer patient and constructive criticism, and practice graciousness throughout.

After you Quit…

1. Prepare your replacement

If you and your replacement overlap, patiently train them on all of your job functions. Don’t be grumpy and don’t tell them what you hate about the company. Give them your full attention and energy as they take over your position.

2. Keep in touch

You will need previous workplace relationships to build your career. Keep in touch with your former boss and references, you never know if you will need their help in the future.

3. Update your LinkedIn and Resume

Once you leave one job and start another, make sure your LinkedIn and resume reflect that. If this new job doesn’t work out, you need to be ready.

4. Never speak negatively about your employer

This is never a good look. Don’t bash your employer on social media or bad-mouth them at industry events. Continue your gracious nature and you will build your reputation as a good employee to have around.

Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s just part of work-life. It is up to you to keep up professionalism and build your career properly and effectively.

VIDEO: 10 Biggest Resume No-No’s

vidfographic-resume-BL
This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Video by .

Your resume is intended to serve as both a snapshot and an invitation. It’s a snapshot that shows how your past will indicate your future potential, and it’s an invitation to find out more.  Watch along as we explore the top 10 resume blunders and learn how to avoid them.  Happy job hunting!

Resume Tips [Graphic]

resume-tips-IG-BL
This entry was posted in Infographics, Job Seekers by .

Your resume is intended to serve as both a snapshot and an invitation. It’s a snapshot that shows how your past will indicate your future potential, and it’s an invitation to find out more. Check out this Infographic for some tips!

Print

Your Guide to a Rock Star Resume + Cover Letter

Tips to get your resume and cover letter dream-job-ready.

resume-BL
This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Whitepapers by .

You never get a second chance at a first impression. In the job seeking process, your first impression (usually) relies on your resume and cover letter. While you may think these are ready to go, your dream job chances can be dashed before you get the opportunity to show them who you truly are: 1 out of 5 recruiters will reject a candidate before reading to the end of their resume (New College of Humanities).

We’re one of the largest staffing companies in the nation, so we see thousands of resumes and cover letters every week. Here are our tips to create the most professional and effective resume and cover letter.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Informational Interviews

informational-vid-BL-full
This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Video by .

An informational interview is an educational conversation between two people. Typically, someone will pursue an informational interview with someone who has a career that they’d like, works at a company they’d like to work at, or in an industry they are interested in.

Watch and learn more about this quick and easy way to network and make connections for the life you want!

VIDEO: How To: LinkedIn Open Candidates

how-to-linkedin-BL
This entry was posted in Infographics, Job Seekers, Video by .

How to let recruiters know you are available on LinkedIn – without your boss knowing.  LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your job search.  But what happens when you like your job and your open to new opportunities?  Watch our video to learn how to privately signal to recruiters on LinkedIn that you are looking for a new job – without anyone at your organization knowing.

Informational Interviews – what is it and how do I get one?

Get a roadmap to the life you want

information-interview-BL
This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

So, what exactly is an informational interview? It’s kind of like a job interview, where your pursuit is not a job, but advice. It’s an educational conversation between two people. Typically, someone will pursue an informational interview with someone who has a career that they’d like, works at a company they’d like to work at, or in an industry they are interested in.

Informational interviews are like cheat codes for your career. They’re an inside look at what it takes and what it’s really like to work like that person. How they got to this point, what life looks like in that role, where they are going next – all act as a roadmap to get what you want in your career.

Nothing can match experience. And people are more than happy to share it. While you may think that an executive wouldn’t want to spend an hour talking with just anybody, you’d be surprised. People love to talk about themselves. And it’s actually a new trend in entrepreneurship. Watch enough YouTube videos and soon enough an ad from Tai Lopez or the Laptop Entrepreneurs will pop up offering you a free class in how to be like them. They worked hard to get where they are and they are eager to share what they have learned.

Informational interviews can give you more than just a roadmap. They are a vital source of connections. They’re not just a resource for you, you are a resource for them! In 2015, 75% of workers with new jobs hadn’t actively applied for the position, they were “poached” or referred (FRBSF Economic Research). When you set up an informational interview, you learn about them and they learn about you. They can act as a referral or they can connect you with opportunity within their own company.

But you have to ask them in the right way. Here are a few tips to secure an informational interview and make the most of it:

Selection Process

Think of anyone you admire and reach out to them. Start by looking to your initial network – maybe it’s someone in your professional network or a friend of a friend. You can also reach out to total strangers. Social media has eliminated traditional social boundaries and has increased accessibility. Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to search by name and organization, making a once random process streamlined. LinkedIn can be your ultimate tool, giving you access to their entire career timeline. Search for potential contacts based on everything from their alma mater, to company they work for, or positions they hold.

Don’t be afraid to dig…

Once you’ve picked someone, do your research – just don’t stop at LinkedIn. When researching someone for an informational interview, follow the Google rabbit hole to find everything you can. A knowledge of the articles they’ve written, organizations they’ve volunteered for, or events they’ve spoken at can help you really stand out when asking to set up an interview.

Approach respectfully

How you reach out to a contact will depend on how you know them. If you share a mutual connection, that connection will get you in contact with them. If they are strangers, LinkedIn might be your best approach. However, with the right Google technique, you can likely access their email. If it’s not listed on the company website, you can try common iterations of emails. For example, if someone is named Mickey Mouse, these can include:

  • MickeyMouse@company.com
  • Mickey.Mouse@company.com
  • MMouse@company.com
  • Mouse@company.com
  • MouseMickey@company.com

Infiltrating a space like email, especially unexpectedly, requires a respectful approach. The research you did earlier can help this feel like less of an ambush. Here is an example of an email approach:

 

Hello Mickey,

My name is Super Ambassador, and I have been working in cartoons for 5 years now. I have been following your career on LinkedIn, and I am in awe. Your career seems to be the perfect combination of science and art. Your work in Alice in Wonderland contrasts so beautifully with your work in Steamboat Willie, while your article on your new Star Wars campus in Anaheim had such an in-depth analysis of qualitative data that could truly change Southern California tourism. Inspiring.

I’d love to learn more about your career journey and position within the Disney organization. With so much happening, I imagine you are busy. A 15-minute phone call, or even a quick cup of coffee, would be so appreciated.

Thank you,

Super Ambassador

 

Starting with a compliment and following it up with evidence to support that you know who they are, is flattering and demonstrates your intent and investment. Doing your research can go really far. Throw in commonalities, like companies you’ve worked for, schools you went to, or events you attended – anything that can strengthen the connection. We like people who are like us.

Be gracious and humble, and most importantly, patient. Their schedule may be packed, so be patient in scheduling and accommodate their schedule. Not everyone will be able to meet you in person, or they may schedule a call for 5 AM. Take every opportunity.

Be prepared

When you do schedule an appointment with your contact, research and have your questions ready. Remember, this isn’t a job interview, it’s not so much about selling yourself. It’s about learning from them.

Physically write down your questions so you can keep the conversation on track and more effectively utilize their time. Here are a few examples of questions you might ask:

How did you get into the field?
What do you think made you so successful? (ie characteristics, connections, education, etc)
What do you see happening in this field over the next few years?
How would you describe the culture at your organization?
What advice would you have for someone starting out in this field?
What are some next steps I should take if I want to enter the field?
Is there anyone else you recommend I talk to on this topic?
Are there any questions I should have asked you, but didn’t?

Then write down their answers so you can reference them in the future. Also, be prepared to answer questions about what it is you’re looking for. This is your chance to talk about your own career goals.

The dreaded elevator pitch

While this conversation is about them and not you, they will want to know who you are and what you want. This is where your elevator pitch comes in.

If you are unfamiliar with the elevator pitch, it’s a succinct and concise introduction, intended to capture your audience in the time it takes to ride in an elevator. In so many words, you have less than 30 seconds to introduce yourself and establish your value, making your audience want to continue the conversation.

This is where you sell yourself. These can feel dreadful, but they shouldn’t! You have a lot to offer, but you must be prepared. When they ask, “So what do you do?” Be ready.

Your pitch will capture their attention and make them say, “Interesting. Tell me more.”

To craft your pitch, start with a paper and pen. List 5-10 of the accomplishments or traits you’re most proud of, emphasizing what you can do for your audience. They should answer these questions: Who are you? What do you do? How much or how many (quantitative points support your statements)? What are you looking for?

Then continue to shave them down into a more concise conversation. It should be very natural, yet professional. It should feel like an average conversation:

I’m Super Ambassador, and I am the world’s greatest temporary employee. Most people don’t brag about that, but in the past year, I’ve rescued 7 businesses when talent got short. My most recent assignment, I came in as an administrative assistant where I coordinated a 3-day gathering of the organization’s top leaders from across 10 states, on top of my basic duties. Now I’m hoping to expand my work into a permanent role in the HR space, helping to build culture and maintain compliance.

In the pitch above, the speaker drew their audience in with a hook, provided quantitative support for their top accomplishments, and concluded with what they are looking for next. It’s quick, succinct, and natural.

Continuously update and practice your pitch so you are always ready, in and out of informational interviews.

Once you deliver your pitch, it will be up to your contact to respond. Hopefully, they will offer to aid in your next step.

Follow-Up

After your meeting has ended, always always always send a thank you card. Send a real, handwritten card thanking them for their time. When they feel appreciated, they are more likely to help out even more in the future.

If they connected you with others in their network, promptly follow-up with your next informational interviews. Don’t allow too much time to pass.

Be Fearless & Act Accordingly

Do not feel daunted, reach out to who you really want to learn from. Some may be harder to get in contact with than others, but do not underestimate who will be willing to spend a moment with you.

This includes being persistent in contact and scheduling. If they say they are too busy, check in with them monthly and regularly. If they decline, politely thank them and move on to the next person on your list.

Once you have that advice, put it in action! Take their tips to heart and immediately act them out.

Two very different and very successful people know the value asking: business magnate and billionaire, Warren Buffet, and Canadian DJ & Journalist, Nardwuar. Nardwuar has interviewed everyone from Kurt Cobain to major political figures. In his TED Talk, he insists the reason he got those interviews was because he asked for them. That’s it. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, Warren Buffet said, “You can really learn a lot just by asking—that sounds like a Yogi Berra quote or something—but it is literally true.”

Informational interviews hold advice and insight you cannot get anywhere else. If you want to interview the most famous and influential, or become a billionaire, the solution lies within the ask. You can get the roadmap to the career – and life – you want.