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The One-Day Job Search Marathon

The Muse featured a piece this week on “The 10-Hour Plan Guaranteed to Kick-Start Your Job Search“. Now before you start whining ‘where on earth am I going to find 10 hours in one day??”, you should know that this plan does require you to take a personal day off from your current job.

Don’t cry. One personal day is nothing compared to the joy you will feel when you find that dream job.

The 10-hour plan includes an hour by hour breakdown of your day. It provides everything you need to forge through that job search to-do list.

Starting at 9am – no sleeping in! – where you will reflect on exactly what is you’re looking for in a new job. Moving on, you will update your resume. The schedule only allows you 1 hour for this and that should be all you need.

Now part of this plan requires you scheduling a networking lunch, either with a mentor or old colleague. The hour before your lunch (11am), brush up on some important info – browse your lunch date’s LinkedIn page or social media accounts and make sure you have some questions and your elevator pitch ready.

Speaking of social media accounts, after lunch you will clean up yours. You will also create a list of about 10 to 15 companies that you’d want to work for, and then research each. This will help you narrow things down a bit, making the job search process less overwhelming.

To end your day, you’ll want to send some emails – either to another former contact to reconnect or to someone who works for one of your targeted companies.

We’d also like to add that at some point during your job search marathon, you should touch base with the staffing or recruiting agency you’re working with. It’s always best to keep them in the loop of your progress and vice versa.

Apps For Your Job Search

There are two types of people looking for a job – those who are serious and treat the search like a job itself, and those who are employed, but just checking to see what else is out there.

For both of those job seekers, a staffing or recruiting agency is the best resource. But if you’d like to add some fun to your job hunt while the agency is finding you something, here are some apps you can play around with.

Poacht

For Android and iOS, Poacht is perfect if you’re ‘sort of’ looking for a new job or if you don’t want to put too much effort into it.  It actually advertises itself as “covert job search for the currently employed”.

Simply link it to your LinkedIn profile, pick your salary level, benefits and the app’s algorithm will help you find a job match for you. There are currently 70 companies using Poacht to find quality employees.

What Color is Your Parachute?

Based on the popular job hunting guide, this app will help you discover job related details about yourself. Including skills, values, goals, working conditions, salary levels and more. The app also features a diagram to help you track your job search progress, sticky note reminders and a salary calculator. What Color is Your Parachute is only available for iOS.

Job Search by Indeed.com

Also available in both iTunes and Google Play, the Indeed job search on-the-go app is very similar to the website. With over 1 billion job searches happening on Indeed per month, you’re sure to find the perfect job. You can save your favorite postings and the app will store your searches for your next visit.

While these apps are a good job-hunting source, remember that a live human being – especially one of our team members from Maxsys Solutions – is always a better avenue to explore when looking for a job.

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Why Interviewers May Give You a Personality Test

Employers don’t only want to find a smart, hard-worker to sit at that desk. They want to find someone who is a good fit for the position AND the company.

Many companies have learned that just because a job candidate may have the best resume and skill set, making sure they can mesh well into the company’s culture is just as important.

This is where the personality test comes into play during the hiring process. And it’s important to remember that taking a personality test not only benefits the company, but it also benefits you as a perspective employee.

Here are some tips to use a personality test to your advantage:

Learn More about the Company’s Environment

If you take personality test and they ask many questions relating to team-building seminars and outings, but you’re an introvert, perhaps it’s not the right company for you. Just like you wouldn’t apply for a sales position if you’re not outgoing and competitive, try to think more about the position than just the pay or job duties.

Keep an Open Mind

So you went to school to become a journalist, but that doesn’t mean that you should only focus on that career path. By taking a personality test during the interview process, you may discover that your skills may be just as valuable as a social media manager or in marketing. The results of a personality test may open up more options for you in your job search.

Learn More About Yourself

Personality tests can teach you new things about yourself or they can give you better ways to communicate your strengths. After taking one, you may be able to explain exactly why you would be a good fit for the company, “…because of my strong leadership skills…”. This sounds much better than saying simply saying “I’m think I’m the best candidate for the job”.

It’s important to remember that when taking a personality test to be honest. If a position or company is not a good match for you, you may be searching for a another new job before you know it. To find the perfect career and company for you (for good), let Maxsys Solutions help you.

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Should You Keep Your Job Search a Secret?

Searching for a new job while you’re employed can be a tricky situation. Should you tell your current boss that you’re looking? Should you use anyone you work with as aprofessional reference? Would a perspective employer find it suspicious if you asked them not to call your current job?

While we would love to give you a yes or no answer, it’s simply not that black and white. There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to advertise your job search:

How Supportive is Your Boss?

If you are looking for more responsibilities or a new challenge, perhaps your boss can help you find something within your current company. It depends on your relationship with him or her. It also depends on how you’ve witnessed your boss reacting to others leaving. Many supervisors know that they cannot retain employees forever and that people will eventually want to climb the ladder of success.

Will You Check-Out Early?

Will you be one of those employees who starts to let the quality of their work slip just because they’re looking for another job? You may want to consider the fact that it may take you a while to find a new position and you don’t want to be passed over for any new projects, or worse – a raise. Keep your head in the game and continue to do good work at your current position.

Be Consistent

If you decide to remain discreet about your job search, you probably should not tell any fellow employees. Also, keep your news off of any social media websites. For two reasons – you boss may see them and a perspective employer may no appreciate your lack of discretion.

Remember that if you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth and looking for a new IT position, callMaxsys Solutions to help you.

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Salaries Increasing in DFW

If that headline doesn’t get you all excited, then you’re probably already rich and don’t really need our help. If however you are not independently wealthy, read on to learn about how you may be making more money very soon.

According to the federal index of employment costs, salaries in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex have increased 4.4 percent in the past year. This increase is double the national average and the largest for DFW since 2006.

A regional economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently told the Dallas Morning News that while our area has been a leader in job creation, the salaries haven’t always matched. But now that is changing.

And there is even more good news for those of you in the tech industry – DFW salaries are on par with those in the San Franciso-San Jose area. And if you factor in the cost of living difference between those two areas, tech workers in DFW come out ahead.

Local recruiters, like Maxsys Solutions, have noted the strong demand for IT workers, as well as energy, construction, and engineering. One recruiter had a client who hired 40 high-tech employees for a one-year project without conducting interviews.

The tech demand is not exactly equivalent to the dot-com bubble of 1999, but it’s close. So it’s a good time to live in Dallas-Fort Worth and work in technology. And if you’re in the market for a new position, contact Maxsys Solutions to help you today.

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Tell a Story at Your Next Job Interview

People love a good story – especially if it’s funny or has a happy ending. And most people have plenty of stories that fall into one of those two categories, so why not use them to your advantage during your next job interview?

No, we’re not talking about telling that hilarious story that involves your friend Bob and the police from your spring break trip last year. You want to tell a story that shows off your skills as they relate to your employment. For example, instead of simply stating how awesome you are at your job, tell a story about a time where you saved the day at work. Or about that time you volunteered and learned something valuable.

Liz Ryan of Human Workplace came up with this cool infographic to help you get prepared and mentally gather those stories. Her article on LinkedIn explains how to use your stories to brand yourself, which will make you stand out from the crowd.

“Personal brands stuffed with praising adjectives like Savvy, Seasoned and Strategic tell us “I don’t know you, but I have to let you know that I’m awesome, right off the bat.” Robot language like “Bottom-line-focused professional” tells us that a person doesn’t know what to say about himself, and so reverts to the done-to-death standard script…We can brand ourselves like humans, just by telling our stories.”

If you live in North Texas, we are here to help you during your employment search and land that perfect job. Contact Maxsys Solutions today.

Is This Job Offer a Scam?

If you’re a decent person – and of course you are! – you always want to think the best of people. But believe it or not, there are plenty of job scams out there and they’re not always the ‘make thousands of dollars from home, stuffing envelopes’ type scams.

Job scams are typically on the rise in a tough job market and scammers are smarter than you think. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “to trick people looking for honest work, scammers advertise where real employers and job placement firms do. They also make upbeat promises about your chances of employment…”

If you’re thinking “wow, how can I tell if a job offer is a scam or not?”, you’re in luck because we’re about to tell you:

Online Presence

Does the company have a professional website? Do they list details of their company and key employees? If not, it may be a sign that they’re not legitimate. Or that they’re stuck in the 90′s.

Interviewer Tries to Sell You

If the person interviewing you does most of the talking and seems like they’re trying too hard to get you to accept the position, this may be a red flag. Also, if they seem like it’s more of “an amazing opportunity” than a job, you may want to run.

Salary is Too Good to be True

If the salary seems way too high for the job description OR the interviewer is very vague about the salary, then you should probably think twice before accepting an offer. Many companies will supply a contract, so if you can get the details in writing, that will show you that the job offer is serious.

You are Asked to Pay Money Upfront

Not all job scammers will ask for this, but if they do, run. Fast! Even if they ask you to pay for certifications or training materials, this is a sign of a scam. Don’t fall for it.

The easiest way to avoid job scams is to use a reputable staffing and recruiting agency to find a job. If you live in or are moving to North Texas, Maxsys Solutions is here to help you in your job search.

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Job Search Advice for College Grads

You’ve moved out of the dorm, you’ve officially received your degree from that fancy university, and you’ve bid farewell to your college friends. Now all you need is a full-time job.

Job advice is everywhere, but we wanted to share some non-traditional tips for helping recent college grads find their new career:

Find Someone You Admire

It may be someone you met during an internship or a family friend, but it’s important to reach out to a person of influence in your field. Simply email or call them to touch base and ask for some advice. I couldn’t hurt to stroke their ego a bit. At the very least it could lead to a potential mentorship.

Network…Away from Your Computer

LinkedIn is a great way to network, but unfortunately you still have to leave the house and meet people occasionally. Websites like Meetup.com are a great way to find events, volunteer work, and other professionals in your industry.

Create a Professional Email Address

If your email is FendiPrincess@aol.com, there are two problems – you’re an adult now, your email needs to convey that and an AOL email address is for your 85 year old grandfather. Set up a custom email address through your personal website or simply get a Gmail account. You don’t want to use your “.edu” email from college either.

Build Something

Whether its a mobile app, a YouTube channel or a website, you want something to show exactly what you’re capable of. It will also prove that you are passionate about your work. You also may want to consider participating in hackathons.

Have some advice to add? Or if you’re interested in speaking with someone on our team in regard to an IT job in North Texas, contact Maxsys Solutions.

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Top 5 Reasons Your Resume Was Ignored

Have you ever wanted to contact a company that received your resume, but never called you in for an interview? Maybe you were just curious as to why they were not interested in you. Or maybe you wanted to say a few choice words to them.

Since neither of these is a good reason to place that phone call, we decided to bring you some explanation as to why your resume was ignored:

You Have No Presence on Google

To further check you out, the least a hiring manager will do is a quick Google search of your name. If there is not so much as a LinkedIn profile, this will negatively affect you. Potential employers want to see some sort of professional social media presence.

Your Social Media Accounts are too Personal

Is your LinkedIn profile picture a shirtless selfie from your last beach vacation? Or do you have a drink in your hand in ALL of your Facebook photos? Let’s clean up those social media accounts.

You’re Not Highlighting Your Accomplishments

Be sure to market yourself effectively by listing all of your business accomplishments. Be clear and concise and make sure to detail how what you did helped your previous company grow and succeed.

You Applied to Several Jobs in One Company

If there is a company that you really want to work for and they have a few different positions open, do not apply to all of them. If you’re not sure which specific job is right for you, apply to the one that you think fits best, but also explain in your cover letter that you would consider another position.

Your Cover Letter is Addressed to the Wrong Company

Sure, it’s difficult when applying to several different jobs each day. But it’s important to double check your cover letter for the right company information before hitting “send”.

We understand that searching for a job is hard work. That’s why we are here to help – call Maxsys Solutions for all of your IT job needs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Questions to Ask at Your Next Job Interview

We may not know exactly what questions will be asked of you at your next job interview, but we do know that you will eventually be asked “do you have any questions?” And when this question is asked, it is always best to have a few questions handy to show your interest in the job.

Asking questions will also show your potential employer that you’re a forward thinker who is detailed oriented.

It’s also important to remember that by asking certain questions, you are making sure this is the right job for you. So here are some questions you may want to consider asking at your next job interview:

What are some of the expectations in the first 2-3 months?

This will help you know exactly what to expect and show your new boss that you’re ready to hit the ground running.

What does it take to be a top performer?

Different companies have different ideas on what it takes to be the best employee. For some it means long hours, for others it’s intense problem-solving. Or maybe they want you to bring in new business.

What can I do to truly make a difference in the company?

This is a great question because it shows that you are a true professional and it also helps you to know if you can succeed in this position.

What is the future of the company?

With any industry, there are factors that affect the future of any company. If you keep on top of industry news, you can ask a specific question, like “how do you plan to deal with the decline in PC sales and use?”.

For more information about searching for a job – or if you’re looking for an IT job in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – contact one of our team members at Maxsys Solutions.

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