Allied is hiring for one of the Lehigh Valley’s leading companies: Orasure Technologies in Bethlehem. OraSure develops, manufactures and markets point-of-care, oral fluid specimen collection devices, diagnostic products, and other medical devices and was named a 2016 Top WorkPlace.
As 2016 winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and gear up for 2017. It is also the perfect time to give your resume a refresh. If it has been a while since you updated it there may be significant changes in your skills and experience that aren’t reflected. Here are a few tips to help guide you through the process.
Review the past year. Have you completed any significant projects? Do you have any added responsibilities? What new skills have you acquired? Looking through your calendar for the past year is an easy way to remember your accomplishments. If you received a performance review take a look at that also, as it should include some details that might need to be added to your resume.
Update your keywords. Strategically using keywords throughout your resume is essential to ensure that employers find you, and also that your resume makes it through the automated resume screening tools that many companies utilize. Your objective or summary statement at the beginning is an easy place to include keywords, and it’s also an easy area to edit when applying for specific positions.
Consider a redesign. While you are editing the content of your resume you should also think about updating the style. A new format might allow you to better highlight some of your recent achievements, or it can help your resume stand out in a crowd of others. Be careful not to overdo, however; keep it professional and remember that sometimes less is more.
Get an objective opinion. Ask a friend or colleague to look at your resume and give you their honest feedback. It can be helpful to seek the opinion of both a person who knows you well and also of someone who doesn’t know you very well. Comparing the feedback of both can help make sure that you’ve crafted a resume that speaks to who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
If you are a current job seeker, chances are you’ve encountered some sort of pre-employment testing. Many employers include evaluations in their hiring process to more fully evaluate your skills. Pre-employment tests may assess specific technical skills to help the employer determine your ability to perform the job or they may assess your personality to determine how you would “fit” into the company’s culture. Preparing for these evaluations ahead of time can increase your chances of receiving a job offer.
Before the Test
Obviously you won’t be able to study for a personality test; however, preparing for tests designed to evaluate your technical skills is easier. Review relevant materials you have from previous jobs or from training courses and class work. Do some simple puzzles or brainteasers to help improve your analytic problem-solving skills.
Reduce your stress.
The more relaxed you are prior to the test, the better you will perform so try to eliminate as many potential stressors as possible. Make sure you know where you are going for the test and allow enough time to arrive early. Get a good night’s sleep. Eat a good breakfast so you aren’t hungry at test time. Studies show that test takers who have recently eaten have improved cognitive ability.
The Day of the Test
Be sure you understand the instructions.
Thoroughly review all written directions, and get clarification on anything that is unclear. Is there a time limit? Are you allowed to use any aids (i.e. calculator)? Can you skip questions and return to them later? If you are unsure of an answer should you guess or leave it blank? Ask these and any other questions before you begin the test.
Manage your time.
Keep in mind the time limit for completing the test and always use your time wisely. Even if the questions seem simple, don’t rush in order to finish quickly. Conversely, if you get stuck on a particularly difficult question don’t spend an excessive amount of time trying to figure it out.
Review your answers.
Some computer-based tests won’t allow it, but if possible, review your answers when you are done.
Pre-employment tests and evaluations don’t have to be unexpected hurdles to cross during the interview process. By following these simple steps, you can meet the challenge head on and with confidence.
Congratulations to the graduates of 2016! You’ve finally completed your studies and all that cramming – now it is on to the “real” world. As many of you are finding, it can often be much more challenging than school was, especially when it comes to finding a job.
Each year, Allied successfully places numerous recent grads in positions at many leading Lehigh Valley companies. These positions can be short term (1 day, 1 week, etc.) or they can be long term (1 month+). Both provide a great advantage to you.
Short-term jobs provide the flexibility to interview for jobs in your field or outside of the area without the commitment of a full-time job. Long-term positions allow you to expand on and build your skills, which in turn enhances your resume.
Additionally, you may find that the position you thought was just a way to make money until you secured your dream job is actually satisfying and provides a challenging opportunity for growth.
Of course, you can’t overlook our temp to hire opportunities either. If you have a clear picture of your interests or career goals, we may be able to help you find a great opening. Companies often don’t post every job they have on their website; they rely on us to recruit for them. Working with a staffing company allows you access to the jobs you’d never find on your own, and can often be the best way to get into a full-time role at a top company.
Graduates often wait until August or September to contact us because they see a staffing company as a last resort. Instead, make Allied one of your first contacts, especially if you want to have an edge on the competition.
Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes with job searching? Sending out dozens of resumes, scouring the internet, going to interview after interview without ever getting a second call. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. Our recruiters meet many candidates who’ve had these experiences before hearing about the opportunities available through Allied. Working with a staffing firm can offer job seekers many benefits, especially when it comes to finding jobs that can’t be found elsewhere. Staffing firms have the unique advantage of offering opportunities job seekers would not be able to find on their own. Here are a few examples why a position might only be available through a staffing company.
Project Needs: Many of our customers contact us for project needs. They could have a permanent employee out on leave, or they have a large order they need extra help with. These can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. These positions can give candidates a great “foot in the door” opportunity. Consider it a working interview – if the position lasts longer or if a permanent job opens up, you’ve already proven you can do the job and are an asset to the company. If your situation allows, be open to project positions through a staffing firm. You never know where they could lead.
Lack of Resources: Some small companies contact Allied when their HR department doesn’t have the capacity to recruit the right candidates. Sometimes they are understaffedor don’t have the time needed to search for and interview candidates
Contracts: Larger companies often sign exclusive contracts for certain positions, meaning the only way to get these jobs with their company is through Allied. Openings won’t be posted on job sites or their website – all candidates must be submitted through the staffing company.
Leave it to the Experts: Staffing firms are staffing experts. Allied has trained and certified recruiters that can search for and interview candidates faster and more thoroughly than most HR departments can. Companies recognize this and utilize staffing firms to find great employees.
Marketing: Recruiters may present a resume to a company where they think the candidate would be a good fit, even if there is not an opening. Allied does this on a weekly basis. If we think you would be perfect for Company XYZ but don’t have an opening for them right now, we’ll still call them about you – with your permission. It’s surprising how often a company that is not hiring will make a position available based on our recommendation.
Confidential Searches: Companies running confidential searches keep their posting off the typical go-to sources. The job won’t be on CareerBuilder, Indeed or the company website. Often a company does this when they are replacing a current employee and they need to be discreet.
Job searching is a full-time job. It’s frustrating at times but with hard work and resourcefulness, you can succeed. Take advantage of every opportunity you can, including applying with a staffing firm. Allied Personnel Services offers job seekers some great advantages: resume and interview tips, foot-in-the-door opportunities and access to jobs you didn’t even know were out there!
While technology and the internet have dramatically changed the way we search for jobs, one thing still remains constant: the resume. Even if you are conducting your job search entirely online, your resume is still a necessary component in the process. You may have updated it to include all of your career accomplishments, training,awards and certifications, but there are also several things you need to make sure that it doesn’t include.
• Leave overly personal information off your resume: no social security numbers, marital status, family blogs, pictures, or information unrelated to your skills and work experience.
• References and salary requirements should not be included on your resume. If an employer requests this information, references should be presented on a separate page and salary requirements can be included in a cover letter.
• Limit the use of jargon or specific industry terms unless they are directly relevant to the position for which you are applying.
• Limit your use of bolding, italics and underlining – too much of these can clutter the content. Use a standard font like Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman and use that font consistently throughout all documents.
• Your resume should be free of all spelling and grammatical errors. Always have someone read your resume before sending it. Attention to detail can very easily put your resume on the top of the pile; failure to fix errors quickly moves you to the bottom.
• Present yourself accurately at all times. Never lie. Companies have the time and resources to verify your background information including education and employment history.
If you haven’t done it recently, ask a friend or colleague review your resume. Get their honest feedback and make improvements. You can also get constructive feedback on your resume from a staffing service. At Allied we always provide our candidates with tips and advice to help them improve their resumes and their chances of landing the job.
One of the best things about what we do at Allied is helping our employees develop the skills and experience that they need in order to have successful, fulfilling careers. Sometimes that means providing them with an opportunity that will lead to full-time hire by our client companies, and sometimes it means giving them a chance to learn new skills and grow into a new career. It’s especially rewarding when our client companies recognize this unique aspect of temporary employment and share feedback with us on the growth of our employees. We just heard great things about one of our employees–he is doing an excellent job on his assignment–but the best thing his supervisor had to say about him was this:
“Brian will be developing his technical and mechanical capabilities as well as logistical skills which will help him for future opportunities within the QA Technician career path.”
Helping our employees succeed over the long term is always our priority, and giving them the opportunities to be successful and progress down a strong career path is one of the best ways we can do that. Temporary assignments can expose you to new companies, new skill sets, and new opportunities you may not have otherwise known existed.
Allied has worked with the best companies in the Lehigh Valley for over 31 years, and we can help you with both short-term (A job! Money!) and long-term (New skills! A career path!) career goals. Visit our Allentown or Easton offices today to see how we can help you.