Could You Be A Passive Candidate?

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Could You Be Looking For a Job And Not Know It?

Are you a passive candidate? Take our quiz below to find out!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PassiveCandidate

 

A Passive Candidate is someone who is not actively searching for a job, but who would not be opposed to changing jobs if the right opportunity was to “Come Along”.

Priority Staffing Group gives you the ability to have a personalized confidential career advancement network at your fingertips without submitting multiple resumes or applications.

Top Five Reasons to add Priority Staffing Group to your “Favorites!”

  • Submitting one resume connects you to 100+ companies!
  • Priority has insight on jobs before they hit the Job Boards!
  • Don’t have a resume! No Problem, Priority has you covered with a resume builder on our website. Simply enter your information and generate a resume!
  • You tell us what your ideal career move looks like, we contact you with offers!
  • It’s Totally Free!

So, why wouldn’t you reach out to Priority Staffing Group?

Tell us what you are interested in so we assist with advancing your career!

Let us do the work for you because you never know when your dream job could just “come along!”

 

Take our quiz:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PassiveCandidate

Recruiter Spotlight: Ally Farlow

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Ally Farlow, Account Manager, joined our Murfreesboro, Tennessee team in January 2017.

 

Ally

In your words, what do you do?

“I connect our applicants to our clients, making matches that work well for both parties.”

What’s the best part of your job?

“When I make a placement for someone and they end up staying long term because the client and candidate both love it!”

 

What’s the hardest part of your job?

“It’s hard interviewing people who don’t really want a job. Putting energy into the people who don’t want to put in the effort of their own takes my time away from the candidates who are really here to find a career. I’m here to coach and help whoever wants it – you just have to ask.”

 

What actions do you take to set yourself apart from recruiters at other companies?

Ally (1)

“I ask a lot of questions to the employee about what they want. It matters what they want to do to find a job they love and want to stay at. Our applicants and clients are both happier when we place people who want to be there. Also, I think I do more follow up with employees to update them on the jobs they’ve interviewed for and to let them know if I have a job yet that they’d be good for.”

 

Why do you think candidates connect with you so well?

“I’ve worked in a lot of customer service jobs so I know how our candidates feel in those types of positions and can honestly say “I’ve been there. I know how it is. Then, I’m able to give the advice to make sure they succeed in their placement.”

 

Which of the PSG core values do you relate to most? Why?

“Respect – I believe there’s a job for everyone, so everyone should be treated the same no matter their background and experience level.”

 

Any advice for our applicants?

“Be respectful in your interview. I give respect to everyone and expect our applicants to give that same respect back. Put your phone down and focus on what you’ve come for. Ask questions and be interactive in your interview so we can find a placement you’ll love.”

 

Do you want to schedule an interview with Ally? 

Call our Murfreesboro office at (615) 295-2127 and ask for an appointment!

Write a Winning Resume

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Are you wondering why, after submitting your resume so many times, you don’t get the job? Believe it or not, your resume might be the reason you’re not getting hired.

But where have you gone wrong?

 

The 4 tips below will help you start from scratch to create an easy, professional resume.

 

1. GATHER YOUR INFORMATION

What experience do you have?

Start by taking a piece of paper and writing everything down that you have done. This includes job experience, college organizations, internships, certificate programs and volunteer experience. Write down significant responsibilities on each position and any promotions or awards you may have received. Don’t leave anything out while you are gathering information to put in your resume.

 

2. ORGANIZE IT

So, after you gather all your information, you can start putting your resume together.

 

The header includes your personal information and goes at the top (name, phone number, email address and where you live). Then, write your objective: who you are, your occupation (if you’re a student, put your major), a few goals and how you can benefit the company you are applying for. This should be about one sentence.

 

Next, list your experience. Go back to the paper you drafted all your experience on. Take the most relevant jobs for the position you’re interested in and include a short summary of what you do or did at that company or organization. Use bullet points for a clean look.

 

Education should be a category of its own. Include any completed and in-progress degrees or certificate programs. If currently pursuing a degree, include your estimated completion date.

 

Conclude the resume with your skills in bullet point format. Again, include the ones more relevant to the position you’re applying for.

 

Sometimes, if a resume is uploaded to an employer’s HR database, the system will look for matching words and auto select candidates for interview. That’s why each resume should be personalized to the position you’re applying for.

 

3. SELL YOURSELF

If you have a skill that can help the company you want to work for, brag about it! Let them know what you can do, but be honest about it. Over-embellishing a skill will hurt you in the long-run.

 

4. DON’T FORGET – PROOFREAD IT

You did it! You have a resume. But before sending it to your future employer, make sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes. Always use proper spelling and if formatting is not your strongest skill, ask someone to help you.

 

There you go, fundamental steps to writing a winning resume.

Priority Staffing Group regularly helps put together and proofreads resumes, so don’t hesitate to ask us! We want to see you get the job of your dreams and we’re happy to help get you there.

 

*Bonus tip!

 

CHOOSE A TEMPLATE

If you don’t know exactly how your resume should be formatted, you can find a few templates on Microsoft word or Canva. We also have a free resume builder for your use on our website.

 

Visit our blog now to get more Interview Tips

 

To schedule a resume coaching session, call the office nearest you:

Southern Illinois – (618) 969-8800 | Tennessee – (615) 295-2127

Dress to Impress: What to Wear to an Interview

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An interview is a perfect place to demonstrate to potential employers how talented and valuable you are. But, before you dive into the interview, don’t overlook this important detail. Make sure you have the right attire!

 

I know it doesn’t always seem necessary, but appearance matters, whether we like it or not. What the eye catches for the first time is probably what we’re going to be remembered by.

 

Now, don’t think you have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes. You just need a few staple pieces in your closet, from business casual to business professional.

 

When deciding how dressed up you should be, take a look at the interviewing company’s website or social media pages and check out how formal or informal their employees dress. After you have an idea of what type of clothes you should wear, you can dive into your closet.

 

Remember, dress to impress and, no matter what, try to look clean and tidy. This is your first impression!

 

If you still have no idea how you should dress or if you need a little bit of inspiration, keep reading.

 

Pants

There are so many good reasons to wear pants to an interview. You can never go wrong with them, they’re comfortable and go with a variety of shirts.

Make sure you always have a neutral color pant, like black, beige or grey, in your closet. You can add a colorful sweater or blouse to stand out and you’re on your way to a complete outfit!

 

Button-down Shirt

Do you know the best thing about this type of shirt? They’re almost always office-appropriate. I recommend buying a solid color that you can match several colors of pants and skirts. Extra tip: Light blue looks professional and will match black, brown and grey!

 

If your interview is for a company that is more casual, a light denim shirt with some black dress pants or a high wasted skirt can be appropriate. Add a light sweater and you’re ready to impress – business casual style!

 

Blazers

There is nothing better than having a nice blazer in your closet. They come in different colors, different designs, and can make tons of outfit options. A blazer will automatically give you a business casual look. And if you get to the interview and feel like you overdressed, take it off and throw it over your shoulder.

 

Dresses

Dresses are a great way to easily look professional for an interview. When choosing dresses to keep for interviews, follows these guidelines: Never wear anything that is shorter than 1 or 2 inches above the knee. Do not choose anything that is especially low cut in the front (or the back). It is, however, OK to wear sleeveless dresses in warmer months if the other guidelines are followed.

 

Shoes

When choosing shoes to accompany your outfit, make sure they coordinate well with the other pieces. Close-toed shoes are the most appropriate, but it does not matter if they’re heels or not. Flats, loafers, etc. all look nice as long as they’re clean and professional. Under no circumstances should you ever wear flip-flops or house-shoes to an interview!

 

I hope these tips help you impress any recruiter you meet. Go rock your interview with a great outfit and awesome personality!

 

Read here for more interview attire and interview tips and check out our Instagram page @psg_tennessee for some outfit ideas.

Attracting the Right Talent

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Now is a great time for business! When the sun is shining and consumers venture out to frequent their favorite shops, many of us need to increase our staff to cover the higher demand.

But what do you do if the number of applicants you’re receiving isn’t as great as the number of openings you have?

 

Since unemployment is lower now than it has been in years, it’s increasingly more difficult to find the right candidates for your company.

 

There are a few things you can do to attract the right talent:

 

1) Increase wages

While it’s not feasible for everyone to up their pay scale, if you can manage to bump it up some, it will not only attract more applicants, but more experienced applicants.

 

2) Offer Benefits

Paid time off, health insurance, 401K plans, gym memberships, lunch on Fridays…

While some of these don’t seem like much, if you can offer just a little extra, you’re more likely to get a higher number of applications. If you are a small business and can’t offer health insurance, maybe try paying for annual flu shots for your employees. If you’re making the effort, your employees will notice.

 

3) Get Referrals

One of the best ways to get good candidates is to ask your friends, family and current employees if they know anyone who needs a job or wants to transition to something new. Even if you don’t get any immediate hits, someone might show up later when you’re hiring again. If you don’t ask, you won’t get an answer!

 

Lastly, if you need only temporary employees for a season, or want someone else to attract and hire talent while you run your business, Priority Staffing Group has years of experience placing individuals in both temporary jobs and in long-term careers.

 

We can give you a free consultation if you request a meeting from the location closest to you.

Marion, IL: 618-969-8800 | Vandalia, IL: 618-283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN: 615-295-2127

3 Ways to Wow Your Recruiter

3 WAYS TO WOW YOUR RECRUITER

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This is going to be one of those honest moments for job seekers who ask “Why haven’t I found a job yet?”

Interviewing for an open job, even at a staffing company, does not guarantee you’ll get hired.

 

I know it seems like because we place people in jobs for a living that you should get one just for walking in the door. But we have hundreds of applicants sometimes for each open position and when we call you in for an interview, that’s exactly what you have to do – interview.

 

Your odds can even be better at a staffing agency if you approach the interview correctly. Read why we can help you have Better Odds.

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Our tip: treat every interaction with a staffing agency like you would with a direct hire employer.

 

We would love to give every applicant a position, but our overall goals are to find career placements, meaning we find long-term positions that our candidates want to work at. If we just throw people into the first open position we have, no one would be happy.

 

So, when you go to an interview, start with these three easy tips to wow a recruiter!

 

1. Dress the Part

The biggest mistake we see made at interviews is not dressing the part. Whatever position you’re interviewing for, dress one step up.

 

That’s not to say you can’t wear jeans for a cleaning position, but you should wear a button up shirt or blouse and the jeans should be clean, hole free and well-fitting. Office positions should always be business casual.

Read more about what to wear for your interview below: 

Interview Attire

 

 

2. Be Respectful

Respect has many different aspects. First and foremost, show up to your interview and be on time. If something comes up that causes you to be late or miss the interview, be respectful enough to call and let the recruiter’s office know as soon as you can.

 

Respect extends into the interview as well. Unless you have an emergency, there’s no reason to have your phone out during the interview. Best practice: turn it on silent and put it away.

 

3. Prepare

A frustration for many recruiters is asking any question in the interview process and getting the answer “I don’t know.” To avoid answering that way, prepare for your interview ahead of time. First, bring an updated resume. Make sure all dates of employment are correct and expect to answer questions about the job you did there. It wouldn’t hurt to have bullet points on your resume for each position.

 

Also, prepare to answer questions about WHY you want to do that job and know a few things about the company you’re interviewing for. It shows interest in the job and that alone can signal to a recruiter you might be the best fit.

 

If you need help creating or updating your resume, read our post on Resume Writing.

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These three tips you just read are a great start for interview success, but if you want to really impress your recruiter, read the 5 Most Common Interview Mistakes to avoid.

Interview Mistakes

 

If you have more questions on Interview Techniques, we are happy to do coaching sessions at any of our locations.

Marion, IL: 618-969-8800 | Vandalia, IL: 618-283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN: 615-295-212

Applicant Coaching

Applicant Coaching & Success

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This year we have had things that seem a little off, especially with the weather. Single digit temperatures, lots of rain, and that groundhog… I know I am so ready for springtime and the time change, causing longer days.

 

Now, as far as business goes, things have taken off out of the new year gate! Companies need staff and we are working hard a Priority Staffing Group, Ltd. to work though the qualified applicants.
However, one thing that keeps happening: applicants do not seem to have the desire to clean up and dress for success. Please, if you know anyone looking for work, remind them that they need to present themselves in a clean and neat manner. First impressions still make a difference. We only get one chance to give a first impression.

 

It is important to educated people and remind them what it takes to get an opportunity for employment. Employment is not guaranteed to anyone. You must work to be selected and then work to prove you are the best fit for the position.

 

Let’s work together to educate our applicants. It only takes a minute to give advice on something that can set someone closer to the top of the applicant ladder.

 

Priority Staffing Group has locations in Marion, Illinois; Vandalia, Illinois; and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Please check out our job board that is updated daily to submit an application.

 

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Gail Barger Lannom, President & CEO

 

Read our post on Interview Question Dos & Don’ts for more tips for applicant success

Common Interview Mistakes

5 Common Job Interview Mistakes

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Common Interview Mistakes

It’s a pattern: Apply to a company, go to the job interview, and get your rejection letter. You’re probably asking yourself: “What did I do wrong?”

From a recruiter standpoint, you might have been able to easily avoid that disappointment and start the job of your dreams. Read our five tips on identifying interview mistakes and how you can do better next time.

 

1. Dressing Inappropriately

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Your interview starts before you get there. It’s more than wearing clean clothes; it’s wearing your best clothes. That old saying “Dress for Success,” is about job interviews! As a rule of thumb, you should dress one step up for the job you’ve applied for. You’re going to make an impression to the recruiter, so it might as well be a good one.

Read about Interview Attire if you need more tips on what to wear.

 

2. Arriving Late

stopwatch.pngOne of the biggest pet peeves a recruiter has is waiting for an interview to show up. A lot of job seekers seem to think that the company is lucky to be interviewing you, but really, we don’t have to give you the job or even keep our appointment if you don’t show up on time. We likely have several other appointments that day and if you’re late then the rest of our appointments will have to wait. Don’t be the person that causes frustration because you can’t arrive on time.

When you schedule the appointment, make sure to put the time in your calendar. The day of your interview, set an alarm to wake up on time. Plan enough time to get dressed and be at your interview about ten minutes early. Being punctual will make a great first impression!

*Tip: If you have a legitimate reason for being late, call as soon as you can to let them know and ask if they’d like to reschedule if it’s going to throw off their day. The more flexible you can be for your recruiter, the better impression you’ll give.

 

3. Not paying attention 

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One reason recruiters turn down candidates for employment is because they didn’t pay attention during their interview. That sounds obvious, right? But one of the biggest distractions we see during an interview is cell phones.

One of the biggest interview mistakes is using your phone, and yet, we see this happen all the time. Scrolling Facebook or Instagram and checking your email can wait until you leave. 

Another big mistake we see is not staying focused on the interviewers questions. By zoning out while the recruiter is talking, you’re showing them you can’t focus for even a half hour. Why would they trust you to stay focused when you’re on the job and working? Chances are, they typed your rejection letter when you weren’t listening. 

Do you want to show you were engaged in your interview? Try asking some thoughtful questions that show your interest. Read our Interview Question Dos and Don’ts for tips.

 

4. Being unprepared

list icon.pngNot bringing a resume, not knowing anything about the company, and not preparing answers to standard interview questions are all good ways to get turned down for the job.

Remember, your interview starts before you get there. Plan a day in advance so you can print an updated copy of your resume, research the company website, and plan out what you might say if they ask “What is your biggest weakness?” It doesn’t take much extra time to be prepared, but those who do are much more likely to actually get their dream job. Those who don’t? Well, they’re still looking.

Prepare by reading How to Write a Resume.

 

5. Talking too much/not enough

Both talking too much and not talking enough can be red flags for the positionsilhouette-3146779_1280.png you’re interviewing for. At an interview, you need to show you can interact with people appropriately. This is more important for some positions than others, but all interviews will judge your ability to listen and process information and then respond in a way that tells them what they want to know.

 

You can identify and fix these five common interview mistakes BEFORE you go to an interview. Don’t let someone less qualified get the job you want simply because you didn’t put in the effort.

For resume and interview coaching, call any of our offices. 

Marion, IL – (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia, IL – (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 295-2127

Best Practices: Interview Questions

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For those of us who have been on the candidate side of an interview, it can be difficult to answer the question about, well, questions.

 

So what are interview question dos and don’ts? Read on for some suggestions on what to ask and not to ask in your next job interview.

 

The Dos:

 

The Basics

You probably came into your interview with some questions about hours, expectations of the job, reporting supervisor, etc. Asking questions they didn’t answer is the best place to start. It shows you have genuine interest in the job and what you’ll be doing at the company. Just make sure to focus on aspects that show you care about the right things, rather than how you can cut corners.

 

Business Structure

As you prepared for your interview, you probably spent some time online gathering information about the company. That’s a great start, but what didn’t you find out? Did their website tell you how many locations they have, but not when the company was founded? Ask how long they’ve been in business.

Did you find a detailed history of the company, but nothing about their current staff? Ask how many employees they have locally/regionally/nationally. Show an interest in the company you’re auditioning for and you’ll make a good impression.

 

Company Culture

No one likes to start a job and find out on the first day that everyone there works in shared office space as a team, when you prefer to work independently, away from distractions. It is important to know what culture you’re coming into. Teams who like each other tend to work better together, making everyone’s job a little easier.

Ask what kinds of team building activities they do as a company, but also ask about the business’ mission statement and if they have a set of Core Values. You’ll sound impressive to your interviewer and also get some inside info that other applicants probably didn’t think to ask.

The Don’ts

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Monetary Gain

If this is your first interview at the company, don’t bring up salary or benefits unless the interviewer brings it up first. If they ask, it has opened up a door. But if they don’t, it probably isn’t their biggest concern and shouldn’t be yours either.

Don’t make it seem like you’re only in it for the money, vacation time, insurance or 401K match. Business owners want to see that their employees are engaged in the work and their goals more than their compensation.

 

People

Don’t ask about race, gender, marital status, age, religion, etc. of your interviewer or anyone else who works at that company. Just like you don’t want them to ask you about those things, it is inappropriate to ask that of them.

 

Lifestyle

Do I have to take a drug test? This question is a sure way to get rejected for a position. Even if the company doesn’t require drug testing, you have caused concern for your reliability and responsibility. Always be prepared to take a drug test for work, but never worry your interviewer about whether you’ll pass or not.

 

Overall, be prepared to ask two to three good questions and shy away from asking anything too personal or too specific. If you need help preparing, Priority Staffing Group provides interview coaching and resume writing help to our applicants. We want to see our applicants succeed. Call any of our offices to find out how we can help connect you to your next opportunity.

 

Marion, IL: (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia, IL: (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN: (615) 295-2127

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

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LinkedIn

If you are looking for a new career opportunity, your social media presence, especially your LinkedIn profile, can play a very important role in your success.

In Illinois it is actually illegal for employers to use social media in determining whether or not to hire someone. Employers can, however, use sites like LinkedIn to find qualified applicants and notify them of career opportunities. For this reason, you want to make sure your profile depicts you in an accurate and professional manner.

If you’ve created your profile, but are not getting any attention, think about making a few changes. It could be that your profile does not portray a professional look. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is almost all business. Your profile, posts and comments should keep with that fact. For those of you struggling to gain traction on LinkedIn, here are some simple tips that you can implement today.

1. Add a Professional Headshot

With LinkedIn, it’s all about being professional. Therefore, your photo should depict a professional image, not an inappropriate, blank or casual one. Most phones now have a camera with high enough resolution to capture a good photo – so no excuses! Remember, your photo could be the first impression an employer has of you, so dress accordingly.

2. Use Keywords in your Headline

Your headline should contain keywords that relate to the position you are seeking. Think about some of the most likely terms or phrases a potential employer looking to hire candidates might search for and add them to your profile. It will make you more visible to searchers.

3. Create a Results-Driven Summary

Given that it’s the first section people read after your header and headline, be sure to include any key achievements, career milestones, awards, endorsements and success stories. Instead of focusing on tasks you completed, focus on the results your actions yielded.

4. Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations can help readers understand the types of problems you solve, how you make decisions and how you handle tough situations. Ask supervisors from past jobs and others you have done business with to leave you a recommendation outlining your skills and achievements.

5. Make Regular Updates

Being “top of mind” with potential employers can be very beneficial. Aside from staying in front of them, sharing insights about your career field will show that you are serious about your profession and work to stay current in your field.

6. Become Active in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are a great place to connect with potential employers while demonstrating your knowledge on a particular topic. You should search out groups specific to your profession and actively engage in those groups. You may be unknowingly demonstrating your expertise to a future employer.

7. Turn off LinkedIn Activity Broadcasts

Turn off your account’s activity broadcasts if you don’t want potential employers to know that you are updating your profile. If you are reading this and have just realized your entire profile needs an overhaul, you may want to turn off updates to stay off the radar of potential employers until your profile is ready for action.

While the tips above are pretty simple, making sure your profile is professional, up to date and demonstrates your expertise is more than worthwhile when you are looking to change careers. Take a few moments today to make sure your profile is making the first impression you want it to.

 

If you are looking for professional career opportunities, be sure to apply for positions you are interested in and call any of our offices to schedule an interview.

Marion, IL – (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia, IL – (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 295-2127