Tag Archives: Career

What Skills Are Employers Looking For In 2019?

What exactly are employers looking for in 2019? There are many factors that go beyond just a college degree that can qualify you for a position. Essentially, things like a knowledge base and hard skills play a large role in the employee selection process. However, companies shift their search to soft skills and individual traits that can contribute to a certain position. Employers are shifting to more skills-oriented models, based on particular abilities, talents, traits, and experience rather than on formal characteristics.

Each year, LinkedIn does a number of surveys about job market trends. They’ve investigated various job applications and defined a few key soft skills that employers are looking for in 2019. We’ve added a few additional traits as well:

Problem Solving

With more automation invading our everyday routine, it seems like the need for human efforts is gradually decreasing. However, logic and effective decision making is not going anywhere. With more people and technology involved in the working process, quick and efficient decisions will be in-demand. The ability to deal with stressful situations and solve problems was always crucial to employers, and now it’s even more important.

Creativity

Start-ups and e-commerce businesses keep entering the market. Obviously, each company tries to stand out of the crowd with the unique products, services, or marketing approach. With such a big number of players, it gets really complicated to do something special. That’s why employers are hunting creative minds to get those ‘out-of-box’ ideas into work.

Persuasion

Mostly regarding sales, marketing, and management-related positions, the ability to persuade is one of the most attractive traits for employers in 2019. The marketplace is overcrowded with products and marketing messages, and having a good strategy and catching employees attention is how businesses can stand out among the rest. People who know how to click with the customer and sell will be in extreme demand this year and in the future.

Collaboration

More and more companies pay attention to your communication skills. If you can’t work in a team, it’s questionable whether your hard skills will save you. The new rules of the labor market tell us that capability to efficiently collaborate within the company is no longer optional. Communication and collaboration increase your reputation and helps benefit the entire working process.

Adaptability

Obviously, the trend for flexibility will continue to grow since today’s world is changing every day. People no longer stick to rigid business models, they change jobs more often. The range of responsibilities within one job may change according to market needs. Ultimately, being adaptable and always willing to learn plays a substantial role in your overall image.

Time Management

Time management stays at the top of required skills. Multitasking and cross-responsibilities demand high organizational skills. The ability to manage your tasks and time properly results in better productivity and makes you a valuable asset to the company. Although it’s hard to completely beat procrastination, candidates who demonstrate good time-management skills will be ahead.

Ultimately, landing a job in 2019 is not as challenging as it may seem to be. The tight labor market requires just a little effort to push yourself above the average and stand out among others. If you already have a good knowledge base, training soft skills will be a significant benefit.

What Is Career Development and Why It Is Important?

The beginning of your career is often filled with many new and exciting opportunities that allow you to try out various different industries. You are young, bold, smart, and full of ambitions. While it’s obvious that starting your career is an exciting time, sometimes it can be overwhelming to draw the big picture for the future. Recent graduates easily become distracted by all of their new experiences that they often forget to think about career development.  

It is important to plan your career. Your first job may not be the job you see yourself in 10 years from now, and that’s okay. To grow within the desired company or career field, you should create a plan of action to see how to achieve the desired position you want. Training and developing your skills will stretch your abilities, and will greatly contribute to your expertise.

Why is career development important?

Career development is very important to someone just starting out their career. It means taking action to enhance your performance. Career development involves training different skills to make you a competitive candidate in a changing, fast-paced career field.

Today, jobs are more flexible than ever. People no longer have one job their whole life. Studies have reported that Millenials are hopping their jobs more often than Baby Boomers, and this trend will only grow when the next generation will enter the workforce. It is important for companies to adjust to this new normal, and for employees to consider all of their options before accepting a position. A first job is a great time for someone to gain real-life experience and test out an industry that may or may not interest them.

How can you efficiently develop your career?

To stay on top of your career, you have to possess a number of various skills and knowledge. Nowadays, merging your personal qualities, activities, and achievements becomes a common practice to strengthen your career image. With career development, you can take action to upgrade yourself or to grow within a certain company. If you’ve found a company you want to work for and move up within, what’s stopping you? Overall, there are numerous ways to add value to your career apart from self-development and skills.

If you desire recognition or a promotion, take charge of your own growth. Think about ideas and initiatives that can be useful for the company, and present them to your management. Try to be proactive whenever possible since it can help enhance your career growth.

For successful career development, you should create an action plan, including goals and a timeline to help you stay organized throughout your journey. You never know when all of your hard work will pay off!

Learn more in our Career Blog!

5 Mistakes To Avoid At Your First Job

Landing your first job is thrilling and exciting, but can also be a little scary. We have all been there, and getting a bit nervous before starting your first job is normal. Young employees can often make common first job mistakes while pursuing their careers. Some of these mistakes happen because of the lack of confidence and experience, while others occur due to overestimating yourself.

The last thing you want to do at your first job is to present yourself as a messy or unorganized person. That’s why it’s important to keep yourself together, at least for the first few weeks.

Here are the most common first job mistakes you should avoid:

Being late

It may seem obvious, but a large number of new employees are have trouble showing up on time. While you think that few extra minutes don’t matter, it tells your manager a lot about your job attitude. At the end of the day, we all know about long commutes and unpredictable circumstances. Try to leave earlier just in case something happens that you cannot control. Nobody will be upset if you come earlier and kick-start your working day.

Being too shy

When entering a new environment, you may feel uncomfortable and feel pressure to try and fit in. What if I say something wrong? What if I screw up? Will I get along with the team? All of these questions are buzzing around in your head, and that’s okay. Some people become extra shy when they are nervous, and this may cause difficulties. It is perfectly normal to ask people around the office for help if you need it. Young employees are often afraid to look clueless, so they decide to figure everything out on their own. The fear to ask for help can often lead to unfavorable consequences. Even if you are shy, it’s better to raise a hand than to hinder an entire process.

Being upset with your initial responsibilities

The beginning days of your job may not have been as exciting as you planned on it being, and that’s okay. Nobody will expect any major ideas or decisions from you at the very start of your career. Normally, in many entry level positions, you will either begin training or you will execute the side responsibilities of your supervisor. This is a great opportunity to present yourself as a trustworthy and reliable employee. Keep an open mind and be enthusiastic about your work, and your manager will appreciate your efforts.

Constantly being on your phone

In today’s society, smartphones can act as an extensions of ourselves. We unconsciously check our messengers and social networks every minute we can. Cell phone usage at work should be limited, especially when it is your first job. Make sure you mute your phone, so you avoid unnecessary distractions and keep yourself focused.

Avoiding social events

While it may be hard to smoothly adjust to the corporate environment and get acquainted with coworkers, there are special events and occurrences that help make it much easier. No matter the company’s size, workplace social activities are held everywhere. Participating in team-building events can help you connect with other employees and strengthen your personal image. Avoiding social activities is one of the common first job mistakes. Even if attendance is not mandatory, attending social events at work helps break the ice with new coworkers and helps you feel more comfortable around them. 

Final thoughts

the main goal at your first job is to create a positive impression and present yourself as a reliable employee. Try to be organized, responsible, enthusiastic, and observe what’s going on. You got this!

first sales job

How To Be Successful At Your First Sales Job

If you are reading this, chances are you just got your first sales job (or are at least trying to get one). If so, congratulations! Being a salesperson is an extremely rewarding job where you can gain valuable experience and tons of useful connections. However, there are many difficulties that people run into in their first sales position.

They say if you can sell, you can do anything. New sales reps can often get caught up in the experience and focus more on selling and less on the customers’ wants and needs. The point of a sales position is not selling – it’s about building relationships and gaining credibility to set yourself up to be successful.

If you want to succeed in your first sales job, consider some of these practical tips from skilled professionals:

Be prepared

It is good to visualize a game plan and prepare yourself before facing any prospect. Try to think of any possible questions and concerns that can pop up, and be ready with compelling answers. Make sure to do your research and be confident in what you are talking about. Being armed with a well-prepared agenda and deep client research can help pave the way to success.

Sell to yourself

Customers don’t trust boring and unexciting people, especially in sales.  The thing is, whether your product is or isn’t amazing, you have to believe in it and be passionate about it. Learn about your product or service as much as you can, try to look at it from different angles and think about which way would sell it to yourself. Show genuine interest in the product, and your customers will become interested in it too.

Read 5 Reasons You Should Consider a Career in Sales

Ask questions and listen

One of the biggest mistakes made in selling is trying to convince people to buy from you no matter what. Sometimes, even skilled sales managers oversell and push their agenda instead of trying to understand the true needs of the prospects. Selling to real people is unpredictable and doesn’t always go as you want. Ask questions and actively listen to the people you are selling to help guide the conversation and make the sale.

Don’t give up

Even with the best strategy, research and plan, you will face rejections. At first, it may be hard to move on with confidence after receiving many “no’s.” Although rejection can be defeating, it is an essential part of the sales job and is something that all sales reps deal with. Don’t give up and keep pushing to make those sales!

After all, the sales field requires practice. With time you will improve your skills and become more comfortable in the industry. 

Read more at our Career Blog!

5 Reasons You Should Consider a Career in Sales

Imagine yourself as a child being asked who you want to be when you grow up. Chances your answer would be “salesperson” are certainly lower than chances of choosing to be an artist, teacher, or even a President. People rarely feel an innate desire to devote their life to a sales career. College graduates often neglect considering a career in sales due to outdated stereotypes about annoying agents from 70’s.

However, we’re not in the 70’s anymore, and trading has changed in many ways, just like the rest of the industries. The fact is, our world is more dependent on selling something than ever before. Almost every business is spinning around selling to customers in different ways. If you think about everything we’re surrounded with, you’ll notice that every product or service you’re using was sold to you. When you apply for a job, you sell your skills. When you’re searching for a partner, you sell your best side. Selling is literally everywhere, so why avoid it?

Pursuing a career in sales may change your life, giving you helpful communication skills, business connections, above-the-average salary, and career growth. Maybe sales are just right for you? If you’re doubting, here are 5 most compelling reasons to consider a career in sales:

Earning potential

Let’s be honest: money is one of the most significant factors when choosing a job, especially for young people. The thing about sales-related jobs is that your performance directly correlates with income level. Sales people are extremely important to businesses since companies hire them to increase revenue. To put it roughly, no sales – no money for the business. That’s why successful deals are generously rewarded with commissions, bonuses, and other prizes. While for some people a fully performance-based income may seem frightening, for others it means a gold rush. Depending on the company, position, and location, the annual median salesperson salary in the US is ranging between $50,000 and $70,000.  Very successful salespeople make six-figure annual wages.

Diversity of industries

As we’ve figured out, selling is everywhere. If you have selling skills and the desire to grow, you have an unlimited variety of industries to choose from, because everything sells. Such a variety of opportunities also ensures you’ll never get bored at your job. Even if one field does not seem suitable for you, you can always proceed with your sales skills in a completely different area you’re more passionate about.

Job security

Another wonderful thing about selling is that you’ll never be left unemployed. While some industries may experience lack workforce and hire any feasible applicants, sales are stable. Despite the high competition, there’s always a workplace for a thriving salesperson. What’s more, the value of outstanding and profit-generating employees is so high that companies hunt for them.

Connections

Obviously, being a salesperson suggests constant communication with people. For some, it may sound intimidating, but having useful business connections is extremely valuable. Just imagine how many new people you can meet while thriving at your sales job. With time, even when switching companies, you’ll fully understand the value of connections.

Sense of accomplishment

The sales job is definitely not an easy one. It’s hard work, where you will go through a lot of rejections. However, such joy and satisfaction of closing a successful deal can be experienced only at the sales-related job. You get a huge sense of accomplishment, which also has a lot to do with self-esteem and financial reward.

Ultimately, sales may be the viable option to consider if you haven’t decided on your career path yet. It gives endless opportunities for growth and ensures financial security, which is probably the most comprehensive job attribute for candidates. If you can make it in selling, most likely, you’ll make it anywhere.

How to Successfully Pass a Job Interview

An interview is a crucial part of landing a job and is normally the part that makes most candidates worry. Unlike your resume, a conversation will not only show your professional achievements, but will also reveal your personal traits, erudition and self-presentation skills. The main goal of the job interview is successfully selling yourself.

First impressions matter, especially in the hiring process. You’ll need to practice to thoroughly prepare for the conversation and show your best. Although the interview requires preparation, it’s not as difficult as many think it is. Here are some useful tips that will help you nail the interview and get the job:

Research the company

Although getting familiar with a company you want to work in seems essential and obvious, many candidates still neglect this step. It will take 5 minutes of your time to read some general things about the company, their corporate culture, and the latest news to show your interest. Asking questions about the company will show the interviewer that you care and did your research, and will likely increase the chances of you getting the job.

Review your resume and CV

Make sure to go through information on your resume – it will act as a script for the conversation. Everything you tell the interviewer must match with what you’ve stated in your resume and cover letter.

Go through the most common interview questions

Even if you’ve never been to a job interview, you probably heard about some of the essential interview questions. Getting familiar with popular questions and thinking about how you should answer them is a good place to start. The most common interview questions include:

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
  • Tell us about your previous job experience
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • How do you deal with challenges at work?
  • Why did you quit your last job?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Preparing to answer these question will present you as a confident candidate. Just answer honestly and don’t overthink your answers.

Define your weaknesses as well as your strengths

A very common mistake made by many candidates is talking only about your strengths without addressing weaknesses. Be honest with yourself, and write down a few things you have hard times with. When talking about your weaknesses, mention how you work on overcoming them or what you have done so far to address and work on building them up.

Never talk negatively about your previous jobs

Some people try to be overly honest when talking about prior employment. Try to avoid any negativity and criticism about your past managers, colleagues or boss. These statements will only provoke new questions to appear and make the interviewer question you and your experiences. When the interviewer asks why you want to change a job, you can say:

  • I have reached a certain level of experience, and I am ready for new challenges
  • You’re looking for another size of the company or another product/service
  • Your company’s direction or specialization changed, so you’ve decided to join a new organization

Show an interest in the job

The job interview is not a proper time for doubts and overthinking. Even if you’ve suddenly realized that you may not want this position, don’t let it show. You will have time to digest the conversation and make conclusions with a fresh head after the interview takes place. While you’re at the interview, focus on presenting your best self.

Prepare your own questions

While some questions may arise during the interview process, it’s better to have a couple prepared in advance. Researching the company’s website can help you figure out what additional information you would like to know. Lining up some reasonable questions would prove your serious intentions and real interest in the position.

Dress the part

If it’s not a phone or Skype interview, your appearance is very important. Of course, these days fewer companies require a strict dress code and become more tolerant of casual style. However, dressing up for an interview can help frame the positive impression about you. Make sure your clothes are cleaned, ironed, and work-appropriate. Don’t forget to take care of the haircut, and check for fresh breath as well.

Arrive on time

The last thing you want to do is create a bad impression before even stepping in the interview room. Obviously, if your resume talks about your excellent time-management skills and responsibility, you cannot be late to the interview. Schedule the date in your calendar and plan your commute in advance to avoid such gimmicks.

After all, passing a job interview is not that difficult. Be motivated, confident, honest, and well-armed, and you’ll do great!

How to Choose a Career Field

If you are graduating soon, there’s a good chance you’re overwhelmed by choosing your future career path. Often it seems to be an impossible thing to do, with all the pressure and wide range of options available in the world. You are not alone – almost everyone has struggles on which path to choose right out of college.

Choosing a career path is not as hard as it seems. Here are some useful tips to help you define which area will fit you best.

Step 1: Assess yourself

One of the best things you can do is to try to accurately define your abilities, talents, skills, experiences, and preferences. Do your preferences match your real skills? What are you really good at? What brings you joy? Ask your friends and family what they think would be good for you and write all it down for reference during your job search.

Step 2: Don’t be dramatic

Many students assume they have to choose their final career right after graduation and feel very pressured. Statistics show that 91 percent of Millennials are expected to change their job every three years. Understanding that career choice won’t handcuff you to a certain job will make the decision phase a little bit easier.

Step 3: Go through an advanced assessment

After you have thought out possible options and have written down your experience and best features, try taking a more serious approach. There are numerous tests and career quizzes with different questions and tasks available to help you. They will help you define your personality type, and more accurate career areas to enter after graduation.

Step 4: Create a short-list

It’s time to analyze all of the options and highlight a few that seem to be the best fit for you to pursue. Determine 2-3 career options and start doing deeper research on each of them, such as read blogs, talk with insiders, review LinkedIn, etc.

Step 5: Consider all the factors

Once you have laid out all of your options, it is time to see which options you can really see yourself pursuing. You should consider factors such as your personality type, salary, and lifestyle you’ll have with any job that you decide to pursue. For instance, having your own business seems attractive, but if you have troubles with abstract thinking, and are afraid of taking risks, a well-paid and stable job at a corporation may be a better fit for you.

Step 6: Choose and proceed with the final research

Once you have decided on a field you would like to look for a position in, it is time to begin your research. There are multiple online job board websites to help you search for open positions across the country.

And remember, your choice is not a do-or-die decision. You can always change your mind and decide on other option. Just make sure your dreams match the reality – and do your best!

Interview Tips

Do you have an interview coming up and are looking for advice on how best to prepare? We asked our recruiters to give us the things that they look for when interviewing a potential candidate.

  1. Do your research: It almost goes without saying, but having more than a cursory knowledge of the industry as well as the company you are interviewing with will serve you well. It never hurts to go above and beyond what the employer might be expecting. The more knowledgeable and intelligent you sound, the more qualified you will be to land the job over someone else.
  2. Relax: Another huge key is to stay relaxed both before and during the interview. Don’t psyche yourself out; chances are if you’ve already landed an interview, the company already thinks highly enough of you to consider you as a candidate. Remaining relaxed and confident will make you appear more professional than someone constantly pausing and second-guessing every answer they give.
  3. Eye contact: Employers value this highly during the interview process. Proper eye contact, along with a firm handshake, lets the person conducting the interview know that you mean business. Making eye-contact during the discussion is both a way to show respect to the person interviewing you, as well as a good way to project confidence in yourself.
  4. Ask questions: Always have a few questions prepared beforehand. Even if the same questions were answered during the interview, saying things like “could you go over…” or “just to reiterate…” helps you become dually engaged in the process.
  5. Dress for success: Look the part. If the attire is listed as business casual, go business casual. If it’s a formal interview, wear a full suit. It never hurts to overdress. If you’re unsure, ere on the side of caution. Wearing a tie will never hurt your chances.

 

Whether you are an experienced professional or a recent college graduate, check out all of our open positions by visiting the PLS Career Opportunities page.

Topics: CareersInterview

How to Turn an Internship into a Full-time Job

An internship is an opportunity to test out a job or career path, as well as a chance for an employer to test out a prospective employee. Once you find an internship that you like, the question remains: How can I turn it into a job?

There are countless things an intern can do to get hired. It all depends on where you work and the people you work with. However, there are three areas of basic job functions where any intern can excel and improve the chances of being offered a full-time position.

  1. Initial Duties

Choose the Right InternshipThe first and most important duty of an intern is to pick the right internship. Coworkers want to work with somebody who is interested in learning about the job and will take pleasure in producing quality work. It is no fun to teach someone who doesn’t want to learn.

Do Research

You will want to do as much research on your company and industry as possible. The more you learn about industry terminology and trends, the more you can help your team or organization. Coworkers may not have time to slow down to explain things to you. Keeping up-to-date on industry trends will allow you to perform your job to the best of your abilities.

Ask Questions and Seek Feedback

Take advantage of your status as a student and ask lots of questions. It is very important. Most people see someone who asks questions as motivated and excited to learn. Internships are supposed to be a learning experience, and if you aren’t asking questions you’re missing an opportunity to show you’re a good candidate for future open positions.

Seeking feedback is just as important. Ask for feedback from your supervisor or mentor. They can help you make the necessary changes to improve the quality of your work. Many problems will be avoided if everybody is on the same page. This is the only way you can improve and be the best job applicant you can be.

Identify Issues Not Being Addressed

There will not always be an opportunity to do this, but if you see something that your mentor or other coworkers don’t see, tell them. If you can improve some type of communication, business function, or current project as an intern, you will prove to be very valuable to the company. An intern is hired to learn about a certain position, but is also there to contribute to the company. You will show a unique importance to the team, which will be huge if a full-time position opens up.

  1. Develop Professional Relationships

Network

Once your internship begins, meet as many people in different departments as you can, including other interns. Attend all business activities, especially those designed to help interns network. Having a strong network of contacts can be critical to finding a job. All of these people could potentially recommend you for a position, serve as a reference, or even direct you to other job openings.

Find a Good Mentor

A mentor was likely decided for you before the internship began. Usually this person is the most qualified to be your mentor, but not always, so find someone who is willing to provide feedback and advice. Keep your mentor updated about the work you have done and completed so they can see your motivation to do well and also help improve your work. It is also always helpful to have a contact that has been in your position before and also has the power to hire.

Express Interest and Appreciation

Always show interest in the work that you are doing, and appreciation for those who provide instruction and feedback on your work. Showing interest in your work and the company will keep your name in mind if a position opens up, and showing appreciation for those who help you will make a stronger case for your application. This is one of the more important things when trying to get a job offer from an internship.

  1. Work Ethic and Attitude

Be Enthusiastic

It’s extremely important to tackle every assignment with enthusiasm. It will make superiors think you are more capable of consistently doing the job well. Ask to be in meetings and be involved in projects. You only have a short time to make a good impression, so every day is important.

Be Ready to do Grunt Work

Many times an intern will be assigned boring or menial work that others don’t like to do. This is especially true at the beginning of an internship. As an intern, this is your opportunity to show your boss that you are capable of more responsibility. If you can tackle more responsibility, you will be much more important to the company, and more likely to be offered a job.

Show Initiative and Ask for More Work

Some of the most important things to do at an internship are to take initiative and ask for more work. Showing initiative in your work demonstrates the personal responsibility you take to each task. This will reassure employers that you want to do good work. This will go a long way when a position opens up.

Asking for more work is just as important. You want to show that you can do stellar work, but you also want to show that you can do a lot of it. Asking for more work shows your dedication and commitment to the company. Employers want to hire someone who will tackle massive amounts of work and take personal responsibility for the finished product.

Topics: CareersJob Search

Tips for Landing a Job in 2019

The US and its economy are showing strong growth for job opportunities and wages are rising.

Because of the pick-up in the economy, employers expect to hire more in 2019.

How to Land a Job this Year:

Build Qualifications

  • Know your skill set and expose it
  • Work on projects in all industries
  • Educate yourself on different job functions and interests

Review and Update Your Resume

  • Fill your resume with the most current information available
  • Analyze your skills, knowledge and work experience to prepare for potential questions

Apply, Apply, Apply

  • Find positions that are a good fit for you
  • Write a cover letter that sets you apart

Research and Prepare

  • Study the position and the company you are interviewing for
  • Consider questions you might have about the position or company
  • Be confident and show how you can add value during the interview

Communicate Effectively

  • Be professional in how you dress and speak during the interview
  • Keep your social media profiles clean
  • Have a positive attitude and be personable
  • Follow up with a thank-you note

Network, Volunteer

  • Gain more experience any way you can
  • Join online groups to learn more about an industry, job position or job opportunities
  • Join local professional groups to spark your professional interests
  • Volunteer and network with people as much as possible

Topics: RecruitingInterviewJob Search