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Negotiate a Raise for 2017

November 17th, 2016

show-me-the-moneyOver the years as a job seeker you have probably learned how to write a killer resume or knock an interview out of the park. At the same time, you may not have paid much attention to salary negotiations. It’s an equally important skill that is often overlooked. This can prove true for even the initial negotiation when accepting a job, which may have been a one-sided conversation. Now that you’ve been established, it is time to move forward with the next phase of your long-term career goals. You deserve a raise in 2017, so here is how to ask for one.

1. Create a plan.

Before you approach your manager, you need to know exactly how to present your case. You also need to create a plan that can give you the tools you need to ask for more money. In order to earn more money, you must position yourself as a top performer for your team. If you haven’t been doing that yet, it is time to start working on the ways you can improve your performance.

2. Prepare to over-deliver.

In the original Star Trek series, the engineer Montgomery Scott used the tactic of underpromising and over delivering whenever Captain Kirk would need extra power in the Enterprise. While you may not want to get in the bad habit of underpromising, over-delivering will put you in an excellent position to be considered invaluable to the organization. Find ways you go above and beyond in your job functions.

3. Demonstrate value.

The next step is to demonstrate this value. Before you meet with your manager, put together a list of the things you’ve done to enhance the office environment and production for the company. What do you bring to the table? What have you added since you started with the company? Put all of this together in a package or presentation that will help you sell your cause.

4. Set a meeting.

The final step is to set a meeting. Whether you’re ready right now or need another six months to get the tools together, you shouldn’t approach your manager blindly. Let them know you want to talk with them about your performance and contribution. Set up a time so you both can be ready for the conversation. This will demonstrate to your supervisor that you’re serious and prepared.

Do you want to make more money in 2017? We can help you take the next step in your career. Contact CornerStone Staffing to get started on working with a leader in Texas staffing!

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What’s the Most Effective Way to Communicate in a Job Process?

September 18th, 2015

How to Communicate

While you’re searching for a job, there are plenty of instances when the communication needs to be initiated by the hiring company. But there are other times when it is up to you to communicate to the hiring manager. You need to be in control of your job search as much as possible. How do you know the right times and how much contact you should be having throughout this process? Here are three things to consider when communicating with a potential employer.

How often should you connect?

This largely depends on where you are in the process. If you have submitted a resume then it is fine to follow up once to make sure that your resume was received. If you have been contacted for a phone interview, make sure you ask what the next step is after the phone interview and when they expect to schedule face-to-face interviews. Finally, for a traditional interview follow up once within a week of the meeting or by the time the interviewer specified that they would be making a decision.

What is the best method?

The key here is to determine the best way to communicate with the specific hiring manager. Some people prefer phone calls and others prefer emails. Try to determine the best method for each individual. However, if it is unclear then an email is usually a good fallback plan. It gives them the time to review your message and respond when they are available. If you do use the phone, don’t call first thing in the morning, lunchtime, or right before the close of business. Around 10 a.m. is a good time because they’ve caught up from the previous night.

How to avoid being a nuisance.

The final piece of the communications puzzle for job seekers is to ensure that they don’t inadvertently sabotage their chances of being offered the job. Hiring managers have a big job to do. Not only do they have to fill this open position (and possibly other positions) but they also have to handle their own day-to-day tasks. If you follow up too often or become an inconvenience, they may become frustrated and place your application in the “No” pile. If a company doesn’t contact you after you’ve followed up once after the interview then it is time to move on and continue your search.

It’s personal service from our tenured recruiters that makes CornerStone Staffing stand out from the rest and allows us to offer you clear, objective job search assistance that gets results. CornerStone Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Arlington TX, can help so call today!

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Fired For A Past Job? How To Spin That In Your Favor In An Interview

December 19th, 2014

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No one wants to be fired from a job, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of a promising career. You’ll be faced with plenty of opportunities to recover from your mistakes. However, don’t let the issue compound itself by mishandling it in an interview. It is your job to sell your background, mistakes and all, to the potential new employer. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Focus on growth and development. Don’t dwell on the things that went wrong. Specifically focus on the things that you can apply to your career long term. Discuss how this was a learning experience for you. For example, if you were let go due to an issue with performance such as not meeting deadlines on time, discuss how you used that information to learn about time management and desk organizational improvements to give you a better understanding of why these aspects of the job were important.
  • Avoid negativity towards others. Even if you feel animosity toward a former boss or a co-worker in regards to your termination, never say these words to a potential new employer. This will be an immediate red flag. They will have a major concern about your ability to work with others, take direction, and treat people with respect. If you’re negative, this concern will be well founded. Take all of the responsibility for the situation on yourself. Don’t even mention other people’s roles in your termination. Remain positive about your experience and the job for which you’re interviewing.
  • Translate that experience to the new opportunity. When you are interviewing for a new job, you always want to focus on what you can do for the company. If they ask you about your termination, relate the experience to a problem they need solved in their own company. For example, if you found that your work style wasn’t conducive to the conservative and procedural business environment of your former employer, stress that you understand that they are looking for someone who is an out-of-the-box thinker which is more your speed.

Are you ready for your next interview opportunity? CornerStone Staffing is hiring for jobs in Arlington, TX and can help today!

Factors To Consider When Debating Between Jobs

October 10th, 2014

You have two employment opportunities to consider. How do you know which will be a better fit for you? There is power in having a choice like this but that also means significant responsibility in choosing the right one. How do you know you’re making the right decision? Here are some factors to consider when you’re debating between jobs and how to make the best choice for your career.

  • Consider the insider information. While you likely researched the company before interviewing there are some additional things you can look into to help you make a final decision. The company conducted references checks for you so you may want to do the same. Message former employees through LinkedIn to get a feel for their experience and why they left the company. Talk to people in the community who have done business with the organization.
  • Weigh the long term prospects. Before you decide which company to work with, you need to know how the experience will fit into your long term career goals. What do you know about the company culture? Are the executives of the company people who worked their way up from the ground floor? What is the possibility of you accomplishing your ultimate goals with this company?
  • Analyze your goals with the companies in mind. A helpful exercise is to create a pros and cons list using all of the information you know about both companies. Start with your list of long term goals. Create lists for each company about what they can offer and their downsides. Then compare the lists to your goals. This will give you a better comparison than if you didn’t complete this exercise.
  • How do they both make you feel? Finally, don’t disregard your gut feelings. Do you feel particularly draw to one office over the other. Was there one individual that made you feel more welcome? When you think about working for the company how does it make you feel?

Are you in the market for a new opportunity? CornerStone Staffing is hiring for jobs in Arlington TX today!

Be Flexible – Negotiating Salary for Your New Position

September 5th, 2014

There is a lot of advice for job seekers regarding resumes and interviews but what happens when the interview is over and you’ve received a job offer? Salary negotiations may be the most important conversation you have with your new employer so it is essential that you are prepared. Here are some tips to successfully prepare for a salary negotiation along with both how and why you should be flexible.

  1. Do your homework. If you are unprepared for a negotiation you may end up in a position that makes you supremely unhappy. Start by researching rates in your area on Salary.com. Use this information, your salary history, and your expenses to create a “Walk-Away” number. This is the number just below the very lowest that you are willing to accept. If a potential employer is unwilling to go above this number, it is time to walk away.
  2. Be flexible. Sometimes employers can’t offer much more money due to a number of reasons so it is up to you to decide what is most important to you. They could make up for it in additional benefits such as a flexible schedule or performance bonuses. You can stand firm on your Walk-Away number, but be open to more creative solutions to the problem.
  3. Point out your value. There is no sense in being stubborn for the sake of it. Instead, when discussing the salary, be sure to point out the value you bring to the table. Let them know that you’ve done your research and that you believe that what you’re asking for is worth their investment. However, be sure to only include information that is important to the company in this conversation. Leave out personal information such as your student loans or mortgage.

Are you ready to start your salary negotiations for your perfect job? CornerStone Staffing, hiring for jobs in Arlington TX, can help today!

Top 10 Words to Use on Your Resume

July 25th, 2014

Your resume is the doorway to your next job opportunity. It is your responsibility to convey your experience in a way that is effective and interesting to the resume reviewer. Often this is done by including accomplishments rather than job duties. You also want to make sure the resume is well formatted and easy to read. There are specific words that may draw the reviewer’s attention to your experience. These action words demonstrate that you know how to do your job and you’ve been successful. Be sure to use these words with some caution. Don’t use words that have no relevance to your career and don’t over use them. Here are the top 10 words you may want to think about including.

  1. Trained. This shows that you have experience working with others and passing on your knowledge. However, only use this if training was essential to your role and would be an asset to the new employer.
  2. Built. This word can have many meanings. Built could refer to physical buildings, infrastructure, or even technology. It can emphasize that you were specifically responsible for the development of something important.
  3. Promoted. If your experience has led you through several positions and levels of responsibility in your company, this is a great way to demonstrate on a resume that your career has continued to grow.
  4. Improved. Skills that allow you to take an existing idea or procedure and improve upon it are highly sought after by companies looking for innovators.
  5. Solved. Typically, a company looking for a new employee has a problem they need solved. If you can showcase problems you have solved in your career you may attract their attention.
  6. Initiated. This demonstrates that you can take on a leadership role and spearhead a project. It also shows that you aren’t afraid to get something started.
  7. Planned. Some jobs thrive on excellent organizational skills. If you planned something that was successful in your last position, this may be just the word a reviewer needs to see on a resume.
  8. Managed. Whether or not you are in an official management position your ability to use these skills in your career are valuable to new employers. You may manage time or assets as well.
  9. Increased. When writing a resume it is good to include accomplishments with as much data as possible. If you increased revenue, sales or even team morale this is a great action word to include.
  10. Introduced. This positions you as an innovator and a potential leader for a future company. Make sure you share how this benefited your employer.

Are you looking for your next career opportunity? CornerStone Staffing is currently hiring for jobs in Fort Worth TX and beyond!

Dated Resume Advice: How Not To Write a Resume

July 4th, 2014

You can ask 10 people for advice on how to write a resume and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Unfortunately, there is no specific manual on resume writing so many job seekers are left to wing it on their own or ask friends and relatives for advice. However, the nature of the resume has changed dramatically in just the last 5 years so some advice can be outdated and, if used today, inappropriate for a resume. Here is some outdated resume advice you should avoid:

  • Keep it to one page. Many people tell you that a resume should only be one page – and there was a time when this was true, but not anymore. It is becoming increasingly difficult for professionals to include enough detail on one page, so it is acceptable to have two. Anything more than that starts to cross a line – and certainly never write a 10 page resume. However, also be sure to include the most important information on the first page so it can be spotted quickly by a resume reviewer.
  • Include an objective statement. Objective statements cause more trouble than they’re worth. If you are diligent about making sure you change it with every resume you send out, then you may be okay. However, recruiters will disregard a resume submitted for an administrative position that has an accounting objective. It isn’t necessary at all, so if you’re in doubt leave it off altogether.
  • References available upon request. In years passed, no one submitted a resume that didn’t include this line at the bottom. Today it is generally accepted that job seekers will provide references when they are asked during the interviewing process. Just keep the information with you when you go to interviews. Also, never include names and phone numbers of references on your resume.
  • Keep your resume traditional. Some resume reviewers really prefer the traditional, chronological resume. They like to see the names and dates of all your jobs and the duties in bullet point form. However, if you really want to stand out, you need to include additional information that differentiates you from your competition. Don’t get too fancy with fonts or colors but include accomplishments, data, and numbers that will showcase what you’ve really done.

Do you want more job search advice? Contact CornerStone Staffing, offering jobs in Fort Worth TX and beyond, to learn more!

How Hiring Managers View Your Resume: What to Include

June 20th, 2014

Recruiters and hiring managers spend approximately six seconds glancing at a resume before deciding if they want to review it further or toss it aside. Recently, experts have used science and technology to better understand what a reader is really looking at when they view a resume for the first time. Studies using heat maps to see where a reviewer looks on a computer screen have shown that they first glance at your name, your current company and job title, the dates of employment, and your education. This shows that you need to spend most of your time on these areas of your resume to encourage them to want to know more. Here are a few things for you to include when drafting your resume.

  • Easy to read formatting.
    Too much text in long paragraphs is difficult to skim. Make the reviewer’s job easier by formatting your resume with short, bold statements using bullet points. Never use fancy fonts or colors other than black print on a white background. Keep things simple and as easy to read as possible.
  • Bullet points of your job experience.
    When you are creating your job history, be sure to point out the details of your experience by using examples, data, and numbers. The more details you can provide in these short, informational blurbs the more likely a reviewer’s eyes will focus on these sections.
  • Never leave off dates of employment.
    Many job seekers are concerned about including dates of employment, especially if they’ve been on the job market for quite some time. However, recruiters and hiring managers are looking for this information. Include at least the month and year for each job and if you have a significant gap, think of creative ways to fill it. For instance, if you’ve volunteered in your community you can include that in your list of jobs.
  • How to share education.
    Education can be trickier because in many ways it can date you and allow recruiters to make unintended assumptions about your background. You do not need to include dates for your education. You only need to provide basic details of your most advanced degree. Leave off your high school education. If you are a recent college graduate you may want to include some highlights from your university experience.

Do you want to know more ways to create a killer resume for your job search? Contact CornerStone Staffing, offering jobs in Arlington TX and the entire DFW area to learn more!

Risk Manager Jobs in Dallas | Salary Breakdown

June 6th, 2014

Risk management is an essential role for a number of industries. Without the available talent to understand and assess risk, it may be difficult for some organizations to avoid it. If you’re looking for a risk management position in the Dallas area, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to your salary negotiations:

  • Job duties for risk manager.
    A risk manager is responsible for developing and administrating risk management and loss prevention programs within a company. They may establish policies that comply with safety laws as well as industry best practices. They also create a budget that allows a company to institute these plans without spending a lot of money. They may also interact with legal representatives, insurance companies, and individuals involved in incidents, and take the lead on investigations within their company.
  • Median salary.
    In the Dallas area, the median annual salary for a risk manager is around $102,000 depending on the location of the job and the additional benefits offered. Before negotiating a salary, research the information about risk management and develop your walk away number. This number should be based on your previous salaries, benefits, and what the lowest amount you would accept.
  • Bonuses.
    Most companies will offer additional performance bonuses for their risk management staff. Because the role is intended to mitigate risk and save the company money, risk managers are typically rewarded for their work. A typical bonus structure for risk managers can raise the salary in Dallas up to around $110,000.
  • Experience and education.
    A typical risk manager will need a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as financial management, and at least seven years’ experience. This may mean developing a career in accounting or as an assistant risk manager. Risk managers must also have strong management skills as they are required to interact with individuals at all levels of the organization.

Are you looking for an opportunity in Risk Management right here in the Dallas area? Contact CornerStone Staffing, offering jobs in Fort Worth TX and the entire DFW area, to learn more.

Email and Text Rules for Temp Employees

May 23rd, 2014

Temporary employees are not exempt from general employment rules of conduct. Some situations that may be considered common sense suddenly become complicated due to the short-term nature of the job. While on a temp assignment how are you supposed to handle phone use, texts, and emails? Here are a few professional tips for your next temporary job.

  1. The time to accept. A good rule of thumb for employees is to never take time away from your workday to answer or to send a text. While you are clocked in on the job you should be devoting your time to your duties, not to personal matters. Save your texting for lunch hours or your break and try to answer texts while you’re away from your desk.
  2. Never in a meeting. It is also a generally accepted practice that phones should never be answered in any way during a meeting. This is extremely unprofessional. Leave it at your desk or in another secure location. Many people feel like this does not apply to texts, but it does.
  3. Navigating emergencies. In spite of these rules, emergencies do happen and companies are understanding. If you are expecting an important phone call or text let your supervisor know so you can step away and answer it when it comes in. Their awareness will counter any violation of policies and procedures. Of course it is equally as important not to take advantage of this.
  4. Internet and email. Company computers should never be used to access your personal email or social media. You may be allowed to access these things while on a break but be sure to follow the rules. To be safe you may want to wait to access your personal media until you get home.
  5. Company emails. Especially on a short-term assignment you should never use a company email address for personal purposes. Emails through the company network belong to the company and you have no control of the use. Companies will also monitor the use. If you have access to corporate email keep it limited to business purposes.

Do you have additional questions about proper behavior on a temp job? Contact Cornerstone Staffing, offering jobs in Fort Worth TX, to learn more!