Arm yourself with knowledge and avoid these handshaking techniques that leave everyone feeling awkward.
Source: Fast Company
Arm yourself with knowledge and avoid these handshaking techniques that leave everyone feeling awkward.
Source: Fast Company
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Allied placed Dawn Anderson in a temporary, entry-level assignment at Orasure back in 2004. Fast forward to 2016 and Dawn is now a full-time Senior Manufacturing Technician at Orasure.
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.
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.
Attending a job fair can be an excellent way to get your job search started, or to re-energize a search that may feel stalled. It’s a great chance to get in front of many employers in a single day and see what companies are hiring. But in order to make the most of a job fair, it’s important to be prepared.
1) Research. Find out what companies will be there. Most job fairs include a list of employers in advertisements for the event. Visit the websites of those companies to check out current job openings. If there are opportunities you are interested in, take a minute to learn more about the company. Then when you speak with a recruiter at the job fair, you are able to talk about a specific opening or about their company’s business and really stand out from the crowd.
2) Prepare. This is the one time you won’t be able to customize your resume. Since you will be presenting it to multiple employers for various opportunities, make your objective specific to the way you’d like your skills to be used and to the type of work environment you prefer. For this occasion, this is better than trying to specify a position or an industry.
3) Practice. Do you have your 30-second commercial ready? This is one tool you absolutely must have ready for a job fair. Prepare it and practice it. A job fair is a great opportunity to end your commercial with a question; this will help you start a dialogue with the recruiter.
4) Attire. Going to a job fair is a lot like going to a bunch of mini-interviews, so dress as you would for an interview. Often the setting for a job fair is casual, but don’t dress for the venue. Dress to make a great first impression.
5) Prioritize. Rather than start at one end of the job fair and visit every single booth, determine your game plan before you arrive. Because you’ve done your research, you will know the employers you are most interested in visiting. Start with those. If the recruiters are tied up with a line of people waiting, it may be best to stop back. For some very popular employers, there may be no down time for the recruiters and waiting in line may be your only option.
6) Respect. At a busy job fair, you need to be respectful of the recruiter’s time. If there are a large number of job seekers, you may not get a chance to do much more than introduce yourself and drop off your resume. Don’t monopolize a recruiter’s time with excessive explanations about your work history or with multiple questions about their openings. You want to be remembered but not as the person who talked excessively.
7) Follow-up. Get business cards and contact information for the companies you are interested in and follow-up with them. A short, hand-written thank you note reconfirming your interest in the company or in a particular opening is a simple way to give a recruiter a reason to pull your resume out of the stack they have from the job fair.
Don’t be intimidated by long lines at job fairs or by the volume of resumes you see stacked on a recruiter’s table. If you play your cards right, you’ll be on the “first call back pile” and a new employment opportunity may find its way to you.
The job market in the Greater Lehigh Valley has steadily grown since the Great Recession of 2008.
More employers are hiring, and the unemployment rate has been dropping, which are building a stronger local economy.
There are agencies throughout the region designed to help employers find staff and to help jobseekers find positions in the workforce relevant to their experience and needs.
Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Susan Larkin, vice president of Allied Personnel Services Inc. in Allentown.
Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Allied Personnel Services Inc. been operating in the Greater Lehigh Valley and what are its primary services?
Susan Larkin: Allied opened in 1984. Our client companies look to us for innovative workforce solutions to allow them to achieve their business objectives, and employees look to us for career opportunities, flexible work schedules or the chance to gain new skills.
We have three staffing divisions — office and professional, technical and light industrial. This business diversity and our partnerships with the top Lehigh Valley companies position our employees for success and are key factors in Allied’s long-term growth and achievement.
LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that you’ve encountered throughout your years in business?
Larkin: Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed the evolution of the Lehigh Valley’s workforce from a blue-collar, industrial driven economy to a more diverse marketplace, where entry-level workers may work beside skilled tradespeople as well as degreed professionals.
As the face of the workforce changed, it became a challenge to convince all of these groups that staffing companies represented a viable and strong resource for their careers. Additionally, companies viewed contingent workers simply as a commodity.
By sharing our expertise, we have been able to show job-seekers the value a staffing firm can bring to their career, and teach companies that temporary employees are a critical asset and can be an integral part of their business strategy.
Most recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a big challenge but also a tremendous opportunity. With the mandate for large employers to offer affordable health insurance that meets minimum value, it was a challenge to build a complete benefits package for all of our full-time temporary employees.
By making the welfare of our temporary employees a top priority, we were able to create a comprehensive and competitive plan. Offering fully-compliant benefits has created opportunities as well, allowing us to create unique staffing programs for our clients and to contribute to their business goals.
LVB: Have you seen steady growth in job placements since the economy starting bouncing back?
Larkin: The staffing industry is unique because our business is a leading indicator for the state of the overall economy. We generally feel the impact of a recession earlier than other industries, but we also see recovery sooner.
This most recent recession differed from previous ones because companies cut staff more drastically than typical and also were slower to respond as there was much uncertainty about the recovery.
Now that confidence in the economy has been restored, the demand for talent is huge. We are seeing growth across all sectors and have increased our internal staff in order to effectively meet the growing demands for our services.
We expect the labor market to continue to tighten as the unemployment rate drops and job seekers receive multiple offers.
LVB: How does Allied Personnel Services Inc. directly stimulate the local economy?
Larkin: As one of the 50 largest employers in the Lehigh Valley, Allied provides employment opportunities for thousands of people each year.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the staffing business is seeing our employees succeed and move into career roles with our clients.
We are experts in the local labor market, and the long-term partnerships we have with our client companies help them achieve business success and contribute to the overall economy.
LVB: What does the future look like for Allied Personnel Services Inc. on a local level?
Larkin: The future of employment will continue to evolve as both employees and companies seek increased flexibility and innovation in the contingent work arena. As we have done in the past, Allied will adapt to meet those demands, adding programs and services that enhance the employment experience for all of our customers.
Strong community involvement is a long-standing, core value of Allied, and we will continue this commitment through leadership roles and corporate support for organizations such as Communities in Schools, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, Valley Youth House, Third Street Alliance for Women and Children, Humble Hearts for Hope, Musikfest, Lilly’s Hope, March of Dimes, Boys & Girls Club of Allentown and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Our passionate staff is committed to maintaining our position as the leading staffing resource in the Lehigh Valley, and we are looking forward to an even brighter future.
752 Union Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18109
Phone: (610) 821-0220
91 Larry Holmes Drive,
Easton, PA 18042
Phone: (610) 253-9779