Author Archives: Erika Boswell

About Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

The MPA: Your Candidate’s Management Skills, Explained

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Growing and developing a successful team not only takes time, it takes key players with great management style. Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out for a supervisory role or is looking for career growth. How do you know if someone is coachable? A micromanager? A perfectionist? A strong resume and a great interview are good indicators for identifying qualified candidates, but they can’t assess work-related areas and personality traits that affect a person’s overall potential for a higher-level position. This is why we’re pleased to offer our Management Potential Assessment (MPA) Test, a psychological assessment designed to evaluate employees’ work style preference.

The MPA is a simple and secure online test is geared to any business wanting to add or replace key positions, hire managers or supervisors, and gain insight on employees’ work behavior. It identifies five important “behavior clusters” that analyze an individual’s work style, management styling, problem solving skills, mental stamina and how they interact with others. Employers receive an organized report that provides professional characteristics and key strengths – evaluating everything from how someone plans projects to delegate to how he reacts to stress. The report also comes with customized coaching suggestions to help develop employee performance and an action plan for an employee’s career growth.

The MPA is easy to take, applies to a broad range of industries, and results are delivered immediately. The 45-minute test was developed by Kurt G. Helm, Ph.D, a licensed and certified psychologist who has been developing effective and trusted employment tests for decades. Contact us if you’d like more information about our screening and testing services, and visit the Testing page of our website to download more information about the MPA.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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What To Know About Your Credit Report Before Looking For a Job

N4_testingFinding a job in today’s current market can be tough. Most job seekers know that they need an awesome resume and a well-crafted cover letter. What few of them consider is their credit report and how it might impact their job offers. Many employers conduct credit checks for their job candidates. A bad credit report can keep you from landing that dream job you’re eyeing.

Before you begin your job search, take the time to learn check your credit report and educate yourself about what’s in it. There are several online sites available – but watch out; not all of them are reputable!  I recommend AnnualCreditReport.com. The website entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. You want to check the report for errors or erroneous information. If there are any, address and dispute the information with the agency reporting it.

Once completed, you want to check the reports for items employers may see as red flags and be prepared to talk about them. There are three areas you need to review.

First, if your revolving credit total (credit cards) is higher than 30% (amount owed versus limit) in total, then you are considered to have a high credit balances. The potential employer might think that you are “over your head” in credit card debt and can’t stick to a budget. Calculate what it will take for you to get the total amount owed on credit card debt under 30%, then make a plan and follow it.

Second, look at how often you are requesting new credit. If you apply for multiple credit cards during a short period of time, you will reduce your credit score by as much as three points per inquiry. This can drastically reduce your score, and it sends the message to potential employers that you are desperate for access to extra cash.

Third, if you have significant delinquent debt, bankruptcies or foreclosures, your potential employer will be concerned whether or not your salary will cover your obligations. Even though they are not supposed to discriminate against you, they might see this as an indicator of how well you manage your finances.

The main thing to do is once you correct any erroneous errors on your credit report is develop a plan to start prioritizing paying off your current debt. Make sure you are prepared to talk about your credit report with your potential employer about why the report looks the way it does and what your plans are to improve it. If you have legitimate reasons (i.e., divorce or illness) then the employer might be sympathetic to your situation. But first and foremost, be proactive and honest.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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Why Texas Is Where You Want to Work

texas

Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com.

When it comes to getting ahead in your career, it’s important to make a change – whether it’s moving to a slightly different field of work or transferring to a new city. Moving to another city to advance yourself professionally – especially if you plan on moving without lining up a job –can be intimidating and stressful. But if you find a job in a city that is thriving economically, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.

Right now the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Austin are prime areas for motivated professionals to relocate because of state’s fiscal health. Texas is one of the fastest growing state in the nation. Every day, approximately 158 people are moving to Austin and about 198 people are moving to DFW. Thanks to the energy boom, growing tech scene, low cost of doing business and growth in population, the Lone Star State is the nation’s second largest state economy. Better yet, the best part about living in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding cities is the cost of living is more affordable than other cosmopolitan cities in the United States.

We’re excited to be recruiting in the DFW area and Austin right now because there are plenty of job opportunities. Our employers in these cities and the surrounding areas are looking for qualified employees to fill a variety of financial positions. If you’re ready to make the jump to a new career working in banking, accounting or finance, take a look at our job postings and reach out to us today.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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Networking for the Job: What a Tech-Savvy New Schooler Should Know

Think of how much easier it is to find the “prime connection” for your dream job. It probably takes less than 5 seconds to search on Linkedin for the “Loan Operations Manager” of XYZ Bank, learn about whom you would be interviewing with, then craft your perfect sales pitch. However, it wasn’t always that way – at one point all you had was a telephone, a phone book, and maybe a lunch spot in mind to meet. You definitely had to try harder. But there were some key things that still carry through the generations.

Knowledge of the Industry. Nothing breaks the ice better than a passion for the job. Show the employer you’re an encyclopedia of knowledge and not afraid to share it. This makes people confident to spend their time hearing you out.

Personal persistence. Back in the day, people got on the phone and called their job leads to touch base and follow up. Today, you can email or message anywhere in the world, but it’s not as personal as a one-on-one conversation. Even our agency, Financial Professionals, encourages a phone call.

People make the decision. The bottom line is that there’s a real human being that will make the decision. Know when to be personable, but also know how to express your wish to be hired and leave it at that. As long as you respect others’ time, you will come out on top.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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Anonymity and Workplace Attitude

Recall the trust fall bonding exercise where a person falls backwards from a platform, expecting to be caught by peers? Now imagine if pent-up hostility meant a person dropped dead-weight to the floor. With the relative anonymity of tech gadgets, internal chat programs, and company portals, companies are experiencing similar incivility with astonishing frequency. Problems arise with:

  1. Inability to fit meaning in too few characters for appropriate context.

  2. Tech gadget multitasking during meetings or discussions.

  3. Unwillingness to engage in phone or face to face interaction.

  4. Calls and texts cluttering workplace with chatter and alerts.

Employees are unable to decipher cues when they cannot put a message into context. They in turn can feel ignored by another employee’s electronic gadget use, feel isolated with lack of interpersonal contact, or get irritated by all the devices alerts. This confusion can result in built-up resentment and the resulting hostility may be displaced on peers or worse yet on customers. Over-reliance on technology can result in difficulty building personal relationships, but proper training and well defined expectations and boundaries can be a key to mitigation:

  1. Publish policies in your workplace on conflict resolution and social networking.

  2. Help employees learn to identify subjective interpretation.

  3. Use pre-employment testing to identify potential problem candidates.

  4. Promote desired company culture and lead by example.

Adding workplace hostility training will outline a company’s expectations and define acceptable employee behavior. Encourage employees to inquire and ask non-confrontational questions to gain better insight when they are unsure of context. When management leads by example and provides tools to foster a culture of respect, employees can improve those skills. Weeding out potential behavior problems in the hiring phase can also help companies build better teams. Probably the best reminder to ensure common courtesy remains a priority on the job is to follow the golden rule: treat others as we wish to be treated.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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Are Cover Letters Still Necessary?

Cover Letter

Do you recall the viral cover letter sent to Wall Street by a recent college grad? It was an unremarkable letter sent to the head of his dream intern program asking for an opportunity, even though he was a self-proclaimed ‘hopelessly average student’ with ‘no special skills’. The casualness of it made you stop and wonder if spending time writing cover letters was really worth the effort.  Believe it or not, his cover letter was carefully crafted for his particular task.

I read some articles recently that claim there is no need for a cover letter. From a professional recruiting perspective, I couldn’t disagree more. There are several crucial aspects of a well-crafted cover letter. It should:

  • Show you did your research on the company
  • Highlight a particular voice you want to convey
  • Lack information overload
  • Ask for an interview

You don’t have to be an English major to craft a well-written cover letter either. A well-researched letter offers a good chance at getting noticed over someone who merely sends their cover letter, “To whom it may concern.” There is credibility to writing with a clear voice, and without information overload. A painfully lengthy letter containing awkward details will probably hit the trash, so think offensively rather than defensively. You have one final chance to grab their attention as you close your letter so choose carefully.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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