Tag Archives: job search

What You Should Know About Negotiating Salaries

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Through working in the recruiting industry, we’ve learned quite a bit about negotiating pay. While pay might be the number one thing that job candidates are concerned about, pay is the last thing recruiters are concerned about. When we consider sending a candidate to our client, we look at a few things: skill-set, ability to execute and do the work, and company fit.

Several factors influence pay ranges, and budgets for positions vary depending on both the client and the candidate. While a candidate might be looking for a certain salary at a company that expects a 50-hour workweek, the pay will be much different for a company that has a 35-hour workweek. Each company has its own budget for salaries, expectations, and benefits. These are components that both the recruiter and the candidate should take into consideration.

Recruiters should be prepared for candidates to come into this process with some knowledge about salary negotiations. It’s the recruiter’s job to work with the client to make a counter offer if a proposed salary is unrealistic. The salary might be too low or too high depending on the market rate for the position. Recruiters can and should work with candidates to negotiate salaries according to market rates. It’s important to note that clients that don’t pay their employees according to market rates inevitably lose employees to companies with more competitive salaries. This reflects poorly on both the recruiter and their clients.

Job seekers, here’s what you should keep in mind when negotiating pay with recruiters:

Never underestimate the value of honesty. If you show you are someone with ethics and integrity—and allow the recruiter to get to know you for your skills, experience, and professional reputation—recruiters will be more likely to place you. It’s all about company fit.

Know the market and competition. Your role in this process is significant. There is often limited flexibility for negotiation, so knowing your value and being able to assert that value is crucial. There are several salary surveys online that can help ensure you’re knowledgeable about salaries in your field. Use this to your advantage, but keep budget restrictions in mind. The way you ask is most important, so reference your employer’s needs, not your own, in justifying more pay.

Don’t draw out the recruitment process. Prompt responses are crucial in developing a professional reputation. The art of negotiation can be very sensitive, so remember that it is the recruiter’s aim is to find the best candidate for the job in a timely manner.

At Financial Professionals, we handle the negotiating. The recruiter acts as a messenger and will hear honest feedback from both the client and the candidate. When a company hires us to find candidates and fill positions, we know what the budget is. It’s our job to determine whether or not someone is the best candidate for the role, and if we don’t get the sense that it’s a good fit we won’t send that person to the company. We take care of your hiring needs on both ends. Visit our Employers page to learn how we can meet your staffing needs and, if you’re looking for a job, our Job Seekers page. We look forward to helping you find the right match.

Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

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9 Interview Tips for Recent College Graduates

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-business-hand-shake-closeup-two-colleagues-image40707292Right now it’s job search season for college graduates, which can be both exciting and stressful. Interviewing for jobs is critical and you don’t want to blow it because you might not get a second chance. We’ve rounded up nine interview tips that are tried and true. Graduates, best of luck!

1. Do your homework.

Dedicate time to research the job, company and industry you’re interested in by arranging informal interviews with alumni who work in your field. Discover what trends you should know about to be successful. Analyze the job you’re applying for by looking at the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required for the role and use that to dictate your interview responses. Also, visit the company’s website, LinkedIn page and social media accounts to learn about its brand, objectives and its history. The more you know about a business the more you can market yourself as a great candidate.

2. Write your questions in advance.

You should show up as prepared as possible to show that you’re good at planning, and show your interest for the job and the company.

The Huffington Post puts it perfectly:

There’s a difference between “Tell me about the culture” and “Tell me about how major decisions are made here and provide an example of a recent decision and the process used.” Or, “I read that the organization is changing its strategic direction. How will that affect this business unit?” Avoid questions where answers are on the website.

3. Show your employer more than just a resume.

Create an online portfolio that showcases your skills. Your portfolio should have samples of your past work from internships, classes and volunteer projects. When candidates show us a link that directs them to samples of their work, not only are we impressed but also we get a sense of the candidate’s creativity and fluency in modern technology. Pro tip: print out a copy of your portfolio and use it as a presentation prop during your interview.

4. Be prepared to tell stories.

Anecdotes that highlight your skills and your ability to apply them are more memorable with recruiters more than just listing your accolades. Anyone can make claims in a job interview, but few can back them up. Make a list of about five to ten key assets you possess that are relevant to the job — such as skills, experience, knowledge, etc. — and connect them with examples or anecdotes that show you used that strength to successfully carry out a work role. When describing the context and the problem, explain what you did to improve the situation and elaborate in quantifiable terms. Recruiters definitely want to see what impact on an organization you have made in the past.

5. Practice, practice, practice.

Anticipate some of the typical questions recruiters ask and have your answers and examples rehearsed so you sound natural. Practice out loud in front of the mirror! Here’s a list of some common questions:

–       Tell me about yourself.

–       What are your strengths and weaknesses.

–       Tell me about your greatest accomplishments.

–       Share a time you failed and how you responded to the situation.

–       Why do you want this job?

–       Why this organization?

You should be able to answer these questions clearly and directly without hesitation. If you happen to still be in school, take advantage of your campus career center and sign up to do a mock interview with a career counselor.

6. Be passionate.

One of the top reasons people do not get job offers is they don’t communicate their excitement about the opportunity. Smile and be enthusiastic or your interviewer will question if you really want the job or will be committed to the company. Remember that it’s okay to show your personality and to be yourself. Employers often opt for the candidate they want to work with on a day-to-day basis.

7. Show your confidence with your body language.

Many candidates worry so much about what they need to say that they forget about body language. Remember to sit up straight, shake hands firmly, make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and listen carefully.

8. Act like a salesperson.

Successful salespeople know how to close meetings with clients by ending with a strong closing statement that reflects their enthusiasm for the position. A closing statement should essentially be a summary of the interview. Make it clear that you are excited and interested in the opportunity, reinforce why you’re a great hire for the job and clarify the next steps. Should you follow up via phone or email? When will you hear back?

9. Follow up with a ‘thank you.’

This may be one of the most critical pieces of advice you should remember; it’s expected. Follow up with a brief and professional thank you email a few hours after the interview, and use it as an opportunity to reiterate your excitement about the company and the position. If you really want to stand out, send a hand-written thank you note the day of the interview!

Looking for more job-seeking advice? Take a look at these blogs!

Priscilla Stricker

Priscilla is the Managing Partner who oversees operations, staffing and business development for Financial Professionals. She has 15+ years' experience in the staffing industry, which has allowed her a successful career of finding the right fit for clients as well as candidates. Specialties have included banking, commercial real estate, title, mortgage, accounting and financial positions at all levels.

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Five Ways to Make Sure Your Resume is Free of Gaps

B4_resume_creativecommons_flazingo copyOver the past three decades working in the recruiting industry, we’ve seen a lot of no-nos during our interview process. Among these are the many times when we’ve find ourselves interviewing candidates for positions that have gaps in their resumes. Sometimes the gaps are for less than a few months, which can be explained if the person was in school or on maternity leave. But significantly long gaps that can’t be explained are red (or sometimes yellow) flags for us because we immediately assume the applicant is irresponsible, and we rarely send prospective employees to people who have a spotty resume. When leaving a job, know that you’ll have to do something to fill the gap on your resume, and be prepared to explain why you took a break from the workplace.

Here are five tips to make sure your resume is free of gaps!

1. Revamp Your Resume

List the years instead of the months and years. Not everyone is a fan of this strategy, but this practice is acceptable and will make you look good on paper. However, if you’re gap is longer than a year, this won’t make help conceal any gaps.

Here’s are some examples we pulled from Susan Ireland’s Resume Site:

11/09 – 4/12, Night Manager, Taco Bell, Woodmont, NY

3/07 – 2/09, Day Manager, Denny’s Restaurant, Milpitas, CA

If you use only years and eliminate the months, there is no apparent gap:

2009-2012, Night Manager, Taco Bell, Woodmont, NY

2007-2009, Day Manager, Denny’s Restaurant, Milpitas, CA

During your interview, you should explain why you have a period of unemployment that spans two calendar years or more. If you were traveling, volunteering or training, include this in your resume if it’s relevant to your job. For example, if you decide to study Spanish abroad for a couple of years, and you’re applying for a job that requires you to speak Spanish, you may want to write.

2010-2013, Spanish student in Madrid, Spain

If the gap in your work history is not relevant, then just explain it honestly during your interview. Stay positive and maintain your integrity. You don’t want to refer to illness, unemployment, rehabilitation or anything that implies you’re a high-risk job seeker. Rather, Susan Ireland suggests using some of these suggested “job titles” (below) and listing them under a “Work History” section, rather than under your “Professional Experience.”

Full-time Student

Independent Study

Full-time Parent

Family Management

Estate Management

2.     Volunteer

It’s always good to show that you’re making an effort to use your professional skill-set. Focus on a volunteer position related to the line of work you’re pursuing.  Donating your financial or business expertise to a charity will add more substance to your resume than stating that you served meals at a soup kitchen.

3.     Seek out additional certifications and training

The more your focus on your professional development, the more valuable you are to your employer, so use the time during your unemployed periods to attend training courses or classes you’ve been meaning to take. Brushing up on your technical skills and learning new software tools related to your field is beneficial, but it’s even better to get certified (such as getting a PMP for project managers) to differentiate your resume from the competition. Several professional associations, local colleges, online courses, etc. offer training opportunities. But before you invest in a certification or degree, scan the job openings you’re looking to see how frequently it’s mentioned as being a requirement.

 4. Be prepared for questions about the gaps

Whatever the reason is, get comfortable telling your story about why you have a break in your work experience by developing a quick and confident elevator speech.

5. Find a temporary job or contract work

Hiring managers loving seeing that you are staying busy and keeping your skills fresh via contract or temporary work. There is definitely a value to showing you’ve been working, even if it’s not full-time, and you get exposure to new tools and industries. Just remember that recruiters are thorough, so make sure that the project you are working on is considered a real project; that it’s not just a gig you have working with your friends. If you’re working for yourself, you should treat the position with the same importance as all of the other positions listed by listing your accomplishments. An additional benefit to temping is you have another company that can act as a reference, and having a good reference will help alleviate recruiters concerns with your ability to stick with a company long-term.

Are you looking for a temporary position? Follow us on LinkedIn for updates on our temporary positions, and visit our Temporary and Contract listings page.

Morgan Lilley

Morgan is the Recruiting Manager for Financial Professionals. She brings over five years of accounting experience to the position and has proven effectual in finding top talent within the financial industry. Her areas of experience include business administration, accounting, payroll, mortgage and title.

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Top 3 Apps For Job Seeking

Everybody’s got an iPhone or an Android, which means everyone should get used to apps. Since they’re available for both phones, be sure to have the right apps that can help you find a job while you’re on the go. Here are three that I hope will lead you to the next interview (and maybe even us).

1. Facebook – See if your friends are talking about new opportunities, and don’t forget to follow the businesses you want to pursue. Financial Professionals is on Facebook for this very reason. Don’t forget to look and act professional.

2. Linkedin – Linkedin has a simple app you should check regularly. It’s no secret Linkedin is taking the lead for networking towards the next step.

3. Job Search by Indeed – Get rich input on any job happening in specific cities and markets. The Job Search app also has an alert function that you will find useful if you want to be first to get your resume in.

Download these apps, and you’re one step closer. Hope to see you in our office soon!

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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