How Remote Work Actually Works

The general concept of remote work, or telecommuting, has been around for many years now. However, for many business owners and managers the concept still feels risky. Learning about how remote work actually works (both for employees and for employers) can help alleviate those concerns and unlock a powerful asset.

When it comes down to it, remote work is about giving employees the freedom to work wherever they are and providing quality work to the client at the same time. The model can work successfully for many businesses from software companies to service and consulting and everything in between.

It’s all about cost-optimization and making sure that you’re taking advantage of decentralized talent. Here are 5 tips in making remote working work better for your company –

1. Create a Routine

A routine for your employees with checks and balances installed means you’ll experience fewer communication issues.

When a project is assigned or a certain task has deadlines, set a routine so employees don’t slack off.

It’s important to know whether the work will be done on time. Then you can view your teams as an asset instead of a liability.

2. Schedule Communication

The organization must create regular scheduled communication between members and remote workers. This creates a constant flow of work and energy. You don’t want the remote worker to feel out of place or touch because they work in a different location.

When you schedule communication in a positive and supportive way, it forges a deeper connection with remote employees.

3. Use Online Tools

Software like Slack, Skype and Asana make project management and remote working an efficient working style. A combination of these online tools can ease your mind, increase communication and cultivate rapport.

This provides the opportunity to accomplish milestones instead of wasting time on clunky, outdated communication and project management.

4. Provide Autonomy

Remote workers don’t need a micromanager. Too much communication can actually cause inefficiencies. Avoid the temptation to over-communicate.

Personal insecurities about remote employees damages the productivity. More importantly,  it’s a sign of weak leadership and can lead to company-wide failure.

Remote workers are hired for a reason and you must empower them to do their best.

Trust empowers them to naturally produce the best results possible. Overbearing micromanagement leads to annoyed, stifled and unhappy employees. Avoid being the latter at all cost.

5. Present Clear Expectations

Companies may expect remote workers to do a job the way they envision it. But this isn’t always possible, especially if they are a contractor instead of an employee.

Plus, it leads to a lot of strife when the worker doesn’t receive any written documentation of expectations.

Document all the information, systems and milestones remote employees need to shine. It eliminates the frustration of miscommunication and disappointments — from both parties.

Six Stand Out Questions To Ask An Interviewer

When trying to land a position at your dream company, you make every effort to prepare for your defining moment: the interview. From picking out the perfect outfit that screams “capable professional,” to researching the company through and through, when you really want a position, you’ll do whatever it takes to stand out.

The questions at the end of an interview provide the perfect opportunity for you to show your genuine interest in the position. The quality of the questions you prepare for the interviewer demonstrate just how much time you took to prepare.

Use this time to show the interviewer what you’re made of! Take a look at these six stand out questions to ask an interviewer.

Six Stand Out Questions To Ask An Interviewer

How does the company celebrate everyone’s uniqueness?

The answer to this question will give you an idea of how the company incorporates teamwork and diversity into the company culture.

How would you describe the culture here?

This is a great questions to ask for so many reasons. The interviewers response will give you a sense of what it’s like to work at the company. From company events, to fun perks, to office friendships, you’ll learn a lot of valuable information that will help you decide whether the company culture is something you’d like to be a part of.

What does growth and training look like in this position?

When you ask this question, you’ll learn about how your role fits into a greater career plan at the company. This can be especially valuable with entry level positions. By learning about what training you’ll receive and where you’ll be able to grow, you can get an idea of whether you could design a long term career at the company.

What is the general management style of the company?

Will you need to go through multiple levels of approval regularly? Will you be expected to take the lead and be a self-starter? Ask the interviewer this question to see if the management style aligns with your preferred work style.

Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?

This questions may seem forward. It is! But, it has the potential spark a worthwhile conversation. Asking this questions will give you an idea of where the hiring manager’s head is at. It can also give you an idea of what skills you can improve upon or work experience you can gain to be a stronger candidate.

What qualities make someone successful in this role?

Enthusiasm? Flexibility? Strong customer service skills? Get an idea of what skills great candidates for the role have in common. The interviewer’s answer may give you valuable insight into what qualities he or she may be looking that lie outside of the formal job description.

What does a normal day in the office look like?

This question is a classic. It’s always wise to ask this question to learn how the job’s responsibilities translate into a day on the job. Listen to the answer. Ask yourself, does that sound like a day I would enjoy?

Have you asked any questions during an interview you’d recommend to other job hopefuls? Let us know! Reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Women’s Interactive Network at Schwab (WINS) is Where I Find My Umbrella of Strength

Story provided by Christine Costello, Portfolio Consultant for Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory

As I sit here watching “The Mortified Guide” on Netflix I can’t help but reflect back on what my younger self might have written had I the patience for a diary. This morphs into what kind of diary entries I would like for my future daughter. Will she know she is loved every day? Will she stand up for herself and others? Will she appreciate the 529 plan I am about to open before she even exists? She better!

I am afraid for her journey. How do I raise an empowered girl? While the answer is not black and white I do know where I get clarity. I am humbled and grateful to experience the people (mostly women) that makeup WINS – Women’s Interactive Network at Schwab. It is here I find an umbrella of strength.

From book club discussion on redefining success to hearing Suzanne Peters talking about leadership, WINS has been a great resource for navigating life’s choices. I wish I could tell you my own life story is one of triumph and overcoming, however this is a work in progress. The struggle is real.

I say this because it is with WINS that I gain insight into who I am and what my wants and wishes are. Here that I find out how to make myself a better person, however I define what better means. I discovered my personality traits and how these change in stressful situations. What perceptions my coworkers have in relation to these traits. The things I discovered explained a lot of experiences I have had. I even now know some of my unconscious biases. This rough-edged rock is getting some polish! All thanks to WINS.

WINS is the network that supports me for me. No one criticizes each other. They listen to understand. It is a place where I can sit back, be quiet and soak in a speaker’s conversation. Or speak up about my thoughts from a panel event. I like to ask questions of those who have navigated this whole work-life balance thing a lot longer than I have. I find others who have experienced raw life, the loss and heartache, laughter and joy. I find woman in the workplace trailblazing it to the top and others with goals outside of their careers also trailblazing to the top.

It is my hope for my future daughter to have a network like this. A place she can talk about her family, her job, her life experiences and gather insight. There are plenty of paths and life experiences that come together in WINS. Not just within Schwab, but the community. Empowerment is a process. With WINS I get a handbook on the process. You can go at it the hard way and stubbornly learn or you can take the notes of the ones that have gone before. Practice smarter and harder not just often.

Learn more about Charles Schwab’s career opportunities and culture by clicking here.


I Can Be Myself At Charles Schwab

Story provided by Stacey Stevenson, Managing Director, Contact Center Experience

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” This quote by Audre Lorde (a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement) has significant meaning to me for two reasons: It resonates deeply with who I am and how I choose to live my life. Growing up, I was often misunderstood. Being a young African American girl living in South Texas, I was expected to act a certain “proper” way. My approach to the world around me and my unorthodox thinking was quite unpopular, and rarely were my thoughts appreciated. The unpopularity bothered me somewhat, but I was determined to be me. Another reason Lorde’s quote has significant meaning to me is that it describes the culture that has been fostered at the Charles Schwab Corporation.

When Chuck started Charles Schwab over 40 years ago, he did not allow anyone to define him. He pushed the envelope; he questioned the status quo and made unpopular decisions. As a result, he not only built a successful company but a culture that is created on constant evolution and evaluation of who we are and continuous improvement and refinement. This has resulted in a company that values and celebrates a spectrum of diversity (thoughts, race, religion, sexual orientation, and disability) which is the type of company that I want to work for.

When I started my career in Corporate America, I found it difficult to integrate into the corporate culture. Companies were often focused on creating a culture of people who thought and looked the same and where uniformity of thought was honored more than out of the box thinking and, adherence to the status quo was something that was encouraged. Often times people who looked like me were nowhere to be found, and once again (as what happened when I was growing up), my unconventional thinking and approach was met with “we don’t do it that way here”.

Being a member of the LGBTQ community added another layer of complexity to my assimilation and acceptance in Corporate America. This sort of culture never appealed to me, and I did not feel like I could bring my entire self to work. It took me 20 years of feeling I had to hide “me” before I was selected to work for such an accepting company as Charles Schwab. Not only do I not have to hide anymore, but I am appreciated and honored for being who I am.

For me, Black History month is not only a celebration of my African American heritage, but it is also a time to celebrate all facets of my diversity. So this Black History Month lets’s not only celebrate African American culture but also let’s celebrate diversity within the culture as well as those companies like Schwab who have created a culture of acceptance for people who look like me.

I am proud.  I am welcomed.  I am a black woman.  I am Charles Schwab.

Click here to learn more about Charles Schwab’s career opportunities and culture.


Why I Stay At Schwab

Story provided by Ricky Alexander, Managing Director at Schwab’s Westlake Campus

Working at SchwabI am often asked what brought me to Schwab by friends, candidates, and colleagues. While I am always happy to tell that story, it is generally not as compelling as when I flip the script and instead say: “Let me tell you why I stay at Schwab.”

What if I told you that you can make a decision today that in 10 years you will reflect back and know unequivocally that you had just made one of the best decisions of your life? How often have you bought something only to find that item is missing a key functionality you really wanted? Or started a new relationship that proved the ‘chase’ was the exciting part and the euphoria eventually fades? I look back on my decision nearly 11 years ago as a recent college grad, who just seeking a job, but wound up adding new functionality daily and remain continuously euphoric that Schwab chose me!

Let me share a bit about how we have grown together and grown to know one another, an empowering story of why I stay. Our slogan at Schwab that is repeated, displayed all over for clients to view remains: “Own Your Tomorrow.”  These aren’t simply words in which we inspire others, these are words intended to empower others. Most impressive, these words are instilled as the commitment Schwab also fulfills every day for employees like me.

I can point to any number of reasons to illustrate how wonderful this journey has been. Rather, I would like to take you along to three (of many) pivotal moments in my career, in my life that truly define why I am proud of who I am today and the firm that continues to allow me the honor to serve it every day.

First, after not really knowing who Schwab was when I joined and really unsure about who I was when I joined, it did not take all that long until I was completely hooked on the impact of what I asked to do on a daily basis. Six months into my career, a personal tragedy shook my entire being after my father passed away at the age of 52. This was the first time I had lost someone so close to me in my life, someone who would never meet his daughter-in-law or his grandchildren. Little did I know just how meaningful this sad event would play out in such a positive manner for my career. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows this pain, but that pain can be exasperating when you think of the financial affairs and estate of that loved one. About two weeks after my dad passed away, I was working on my first shift which ended at 2:00am. I received a call one night from a widow whose husband had just passed away and was distraught, they had been married for years and if the loss was not enough, he handled all of their finances and she had no idea on what to do next. Would her money last? Could she afford the funeral? Was it even her place to make these decisions? That’s when it hit me — I am here to be a part of something powerful. I am here to help others feel empowered and comfortable to make decisions that will impact their lives forever. My response to that client: “Ma’am, I know exactly what you are going through. My name is Ricky, I work for Charles Schwab, and I am here to make this the easiest part of a difficult time.”

Secondly, Schwab has simply placed a priority on my growth and development. I am challenged every day to step outside of my comfort zone, while always able to utilize what I do best every day. Think of a trapeze artist, the high risk and adrenaline rush as you perform your best maneuvers on the grandest of stages, all while having the safety net to support you in the event you fall. I cannot think of a better illustration of the trust this firm places upon its employees to leave others in awe and wanting more. I was recently promoted to Managing Director, where my impact on the business continues to increase, as I have moved from a Financial Service professional, to people leader, now to a leader among leaders. As I reflect back on how I reached this point, I cannot stop before crediting all those leaders who have provided me the encouragement and safety net along the way. Now I am in a position to help shape our current leaders to ‘pay it forward’ and be a personal influencer that I am proud to say I have always had at Schwab. Why do I do what I do?  It is not a title, it is not an office. Rather, I am in a position to do what I love, to do what I do best: Helping our leaders, our employees be afforded the same opportunity that was provided to me. I am providing a belief in others that they too can have an impact on the lives of others that will last a lifetime.

Finally, I am proud to say the investment in me only continues and now impacts the future of my family. In July of 2016, I was honored with the opportunity to move from Indianapolis to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to help launch our Texas site expansion. Leaving the only place I have ever called home to move my young family to a new state was not a light decision. Yet I reflect back on this experience as the best decision I have ever made both professionally and personally. To know I was entrusted to be a ‘culture carrier’ for Schwab in a new location, empowered to bring my knowledge and strengths to help create something special, has been the ultimate vote of confidence this firm has ever provided me. One word: opportunity. Schwab continues to provide me with the opportunity to forever pave my own path in this career journey while affording me the opportunity to provide the best life and experience for my family.

Schwab has not simply been my career, my only profession since entering the workforce, rather this firm has become family. So, you may be wondering: What did bring you to Schwab? For the record, I was referred by a family member. While I am forever indebted to him for introducing us, I can safely say Schwab has provided more for me than I ever feel I will be able to repay. But you will forget that piece soon after reading this blog, but you won’t forget this: Why do I stay at Schwab? Easy! I am encouraged to be myself, challenged to be my best, encouraged to grow, stretched to be bold, supported when I fail, and believe once all of that is done: We will ALL be better off for the journey we have taken together! Now I challenge you: Find your reason to stay!

Click here to learn more about Charles Schwab’s career opportunities and culture.



Texas Cities Top The List Of The Best Places To Find A Job In 2018

Curious about where to make your next career move? You might want to pack your bags and head to the Lone Star State. Sixteen cities in Texas earned a spot on the WalletHub list of Best Places To Find A Job In 2018. One of the cities, Plano, even earned a spot in the Top 10.

California has emerged as a top state for outbound moves (rather than people relocating there) — and Texas (69,945) was the No.1 recipient of the mass exodus of California residents in 2016, followed by Arizona (64,756), Washington (51,485), Nevada (45,482) and Oregon (43,804). It therefore comes as no surprise that so many Texas cities made the cut for the Best Places To Find A Job In 2018.

Take a look at the best places to find a job in Texas.

Texas’s largest metropolitan areas all made the list, with Austin ranking the highest at 11.

Plano (#6)

Plano, 25 miles north of Dallas, has a low unemployment rate (3.5%), with booming sectors of finance, education, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. One of the best companies to work for in Texas, USAA, has a location in Plano — and, much like many other booming areas of the state, they’re actively hiring for IT roles.

Austin (#11)

Two of the Best Companies in Texas, Charles Schwab and Ryan, are award-winning employers with locations in Austin. Like Plano, Austin has a low unemployment rate and attracts young professionals and recent college grads. Traffic and affordability are two issues the city faces, but the booming tech sector there has contributed to Austin’s growth.

Dallas (#49) & Fort Worth (#87)

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex attributes much of its economic growth to the Manufacturing/Construction and Mining sectors. However, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and financial activities also were huge sources of the DFW economic boom in recent years. One of Texas’s best companies to work for, Ryan, has its global headquarters in Dallas. Charles Schwab, another top finance-industry employer in Texas, has a campus located in Westlake (just north of the DFW area), and they are growing rapidly, with a new campus under construction. Hyatt, a perfect example of the bustling hospitality sector in Texas and an award-winning employer there, has several hotels in the area, including the Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport and the Grand Hyatt DFW.

San Antonio (#59)

Manufacturing, healthcare, educational services and finance make up the top-performing economic sectors in San Antonio. With more than 18,000 employees, USAA’s headquarters are also located in San Antonio — nicknamed Military City, USA.

Houston (#120)

The energy sector — and oil in particular — drives a huge portion of the Houston economy. The city is expecting to create 45,500 jobs in 2018, marking a healthy growth path. One of the Best Companies in Texas, Ryan, is the largest firm in the world dedicated exclusively to business taxes with a location in Houston.

The remaining 10 Texas cities that also made the list are as follows:

#23 – Irving

#38 – Grand Prairie

#39 – Amarillo

#48 – Garland

#79 – Lubbock

#83 – Arlington

#107 – El Paso

#139 – Corpus Christi

#146 – Laredo

#171 – Brownsville

Learn more about the best employers in Texas and consider making a move to one of the top places to work!

How To Shorten Your Resume

No matter how much work experience and skills you’ve accumulated, your resume should typically remain one or two pages in length. Typically, recent college grads and professionals without a lengthy repertoire of work experience should keep it to one page, whereas those with more to showcase can set their resume limit to two pages. The following tips for how to shorten your resume will help you get all the important info on a single 8.5×11″ document, or at most, two pages. You won’t need a scroll, and the hiring manager won’t need a magnifying glass!

So, how do you accomplish a shorter resume without resorting to an 8.5 font size? Keep reading to find out.

How To Shorten Your Resume: Top Tips

Decrease the margin size

Your default page margins are typically an inch. But when it comes to fashioning a solid, successful resume, this is a waste of space. Try setting up a half-inch margin all around. This will give you more room but still allow for enough white space.

Mesh relevant sections

Separating your experiences into different sections takes up space. Try to pare it down to just three or four sections on your resume. And, you can combine two similar areas — such as “Skills & Interests.” However, if you feel like your achievements are much too varied, you might consider placing items that wouldn’t fit under your experience or education into an “Additional Information” section.

Combine lines

When it comes to how to shorten your resume, it’s critical to also figure out where you can combine lines of info into the same space. For instance, instead of giving your GPA its own line, place it on the same row as your degree and your graduation year. Example formatting:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Journalism  ||  3.96 GPA  ||  Arizona State University, 2012-2016

The same applies to your company and job title; keep them on the same line. At the top of your resume, you can even place your street address, phone number and email address on the same row (perhaps using the same double-line separators as shown above). Technically, you don’t even really need to include your street address anymore. City and ZIP code usually suffice.

Alter your line spacing settings

In Microsoft Word, you can adjust the spacing between lines and new sections (within the Format – Paragraph tab). In the meantime, set your resume to 10-point font (except your name, which should be slightly larger — 12-point or 14-point font size).

Shorten your bullet point content

Your bullet points make up the bulk of a resume. To make sure people actually read about your experience, never let them extend to a third line. Two lines max (and preferably just one line). If your bullet point takes up one line, plus a tiny bit that dangles onto the next, parse down your language. It’s an aesthetically pleasing format and ultimately saves you space.

Cut down the extras!

Is every item on your resume relevant to the job you’re applying for? Be objective, and cut what may not be interesting to a hiring manager. Keep the items you know will make you stand out. Of course, it’s not easy to go line-by-line and delete aspects of your work history. But when it comes to how to shorten your resume, keep it generally shorter and sweeter.

If you’re really struggling to cut down your CV, try to approach this often arduous process as a puzzle. It needs solving before you snag that dream job — so use these formatting tips to tighten it up!

What other tips for how to shorten your resume would you add? Let us know on our social channels — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram!

Job Interview Talking Points: Tips For Job Seekers

From brief coffee meetings to conference room panels, presenting yourself as an engaging, friendly, conversational person will serve you well in all facets of your professional life. It’s totally normal to feel nervous going into interviews. However, if you master the art of conversation, you’ll surely stand out from other applicants. Read on to discover five excellent job interview talking points to help you ace it.

Best Job Interview Talking Points To Break The Ice

Current Events

Staying well-read and familiar with the news is a great way to set you apart from others, even in casual settings with peers. Take the time to educate yourself about common subject areas like sports and pop culture, and try to remember some interesting facts you can later repeat. Avoid discussing anything too controversial (especially politics — avoid bringing it up). Overall, the ability to intelligently speak about current events is a surefire way to avoid talking about the weather.

Family or Hobby-Related Activities

Does your interviewer have pictures of their family, inspirational quotes, or general memorabilia of something that looks like a hobby of theirs in the office? Strike up a conversation about one of these items. Just make sure you sound friendly and genuinely interested. If you get the interviewer chatting about a topic of importance, then they’ll get excited about talking to you. You don’t want to sound like a brown-noser, but they’ll most likely appreciate the fact that you come off as both cordial and inquisitive.


We’re not suggesting you blurt out cheesy jokes to kick off the interview — but it’s okay to casually, conversationally, and appropriately joke with your interviewer at times. Comedy can set a tone of positivity and ease for the entire conversation. You can toss out casual, funny questions and statements to keep the mood light. (But while using this as one of your job interview talking points, make sure it’s not so excessive it wastes the interviewer’s time.)

The Company

It’s always a wise idea to keep your conversation relevant to the matter at hand: the position and company for which you are interviewing. The interviewer may open the floor to questions you have prior to the interview. It’s a great way for you to jump in with creative versions of “What is your favorite part about working here?” — such as “What is the most pleasantly surprising thing about working here?” or “What brings you back to work every day?” or “Do you think your life would be different if you were working elsewhere?” Always come prepared with questions to ask an interviewer!

The Industry

Go beyond the specific company and your interviewer’s personal experience. Chatting about the general industry in which you’re interviewing is also a good practice. If you want to keep it focused on the interviewer, you can ask questions like, “How long have you been working in X industry?” or “What inspired you to pursue a job in X field?” Remember, people love to talk about themselves. Your interviewer will likely light up and provide a few anecdotes in response to these questions.

With regard to general tips, remember not to overly dominate the conversation, and remember to read your interviewer’s body language, too. If they don’t seem interested in whatever topic you brought up, drop it and move on. The subject matter of the conversation isn’t the important part; rather, what’s vital is showing them you’re friendly, proactive, alert, hard-working and genuine.

Don’t stress too much about executing the perfect icebreaker — and keep these general ideas handy so you can ace the interview.

What other job interview talking points have you tested out? Let us know, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

LinkedIn Optimization Tips For Success

Everyone can agree that the first step in any job search is polishing your resume. But these days, that step also includes your online CV — a.k.a., LinkedIn. Hiring managers and recruiters use keywords from your profile to find you in their searches for new hires. That’s why it’s important to keep it up-to-date, providing a complete picture of your professional persona. The following LinkedIn optimization tips will help you ensure your profile remains in tip-top shape.

LinkedIn Optimization Tips For Success

Build your network

When making connection requests, consider including a personalized message for the recipient. Instead of just sending the request, say something along the lines of “Hi James, I see we both attended ___ University and work in similar fields. May I extend an invitation to connect?”

Get recommendations and endorsements

Adding recommendations from LinkedIn connections you’ve worked with in the past is a great way to ramp up your profile. To request a recommendation, scroll down to the “Recommendations” section on your profile and click “Ask to be recommended.” Enter the name of the connection you’d like to contact, and enter a personalized message to request it. After a connection writes you a recommendation, you’ll get a LinkedIn message with instructions on how to add it to your profile. This is a great way to display glowing “props” from former coworkers, bosses or clients.

When it comes to the best LinkedIn optimization tips, it’s also important to add skills to your profile (and get endorsements for them). Scroll down to “Featured Skills & Endorsements,” and click “Add a new skill.” List as many applicable skills as you can, and endorsements can begin to roll in. You might also consider personally messaging connections and requesting endorsements for specific skills. Remember that reciprocation is always appreciated on LinkedIn; try endorsing your connections first. Sometimes, that in itself can get you endorsements for your own profile, eliminating the need for you to message connections.

Add a professional photo (and header image)

If you can, get a professional LinkedIn profile picture taken of you. Hiring managers typically don’t want to see a Facebook-style photo pasted on your LinkedIn page; make sure it’s not a casual selfie of you in a tank top or a photo with other people in it. It should be a clear picture of you in professional attire — an image that showcases who you are in the business world. For your profile header image, you can add something that either relates to your field or geographical region (e.g., if you’re in Dallas, consider using a Dallas skyline photo), or just a simple background that contrasts well with your photo. For instance, you could find a colorful photo of a wall or landscape.

Add links to your work

Under each past or current role you’ve listed on your profile, you can also add media showcasing some projects or published work. To do this, click the pencil icon next to the position you’d like to edit. Under the “Media” section, you can either “Upload” (documents, photos, etc.) or “Link” to the work you’d like to display.

You can also add a “Projects” section, if you wish to display certain elements of your work separately. Remember — you can always add sections. Honors & Awards, Certifications, Languages, Publications, and Organizations are some of the additional LinkedIn categories you can populate.  

Join relevant groups

Whether you’re a journalist, consultant, marketing expert, small business owner, photographer, accountant or salesperson, there are groups on LinkedIn that mesh well with your interests and career. Within these circles, you can meet similar professionals, exchange ideas and maybe even forge some solid business relationships.

Use bullet points

When listing out the details of each position you’ve held in your career, it’s often best to organize them in bulleted form. Instead of lengthy paragraphs, arrange your work experience in shorter snippets, much like a resume — making sure the verb tense of each bullet point aligns with the next. For instance, this parallel sentence structure works:

  • Created Facebook ads based on client’s $200 monthly budget
  • Designed a monthly social media strategy and schedule for each client

And this one doesn’t:

  • Creating Facebook ads…
  • Designed a monthly…

Write a great summary

Just to the right of your LinkedIn profile photo, you’ll see a pencil icon. When you click it, you can edit your “Summary” section. In crafting this short blurb (ideally just a few sentences long), include keywords that showcase your career experience and expertise. You don’t want an extremely lengthy summary section, since your accomplishments will already be explained beneath each role.

What other LinkedIn optimization tips for success would you add? Let us know on our social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Holiday Job Search Tips To Make Your Season Bright

Do you find yourself browsing online job postings, or adding “Find a career I love” to your New Year’s Resolutions list? Whether you’re on the job hunt now or planning to be at the start of 2018, your timing is great. December and January are both ideal months for job hunting, for different reasons.

Ever heard of the “holiday hiring slowdown”? Au contraire! Don’t feel like you need to pause your search during the winter holidays. It’s actually a myth that nobody hires during those months; businesses still have plenty of openings. And it’s unlikely that the overworked, short-staffed hiring managers are taking three weeks off for vacation. Decision-makers are still in the office, equipped to accommodate any job applications rolling in.

Holiday Job Search Tips

Of course, that’s not to say the hiring managers aren’t distracted from their daily tasks. In December, many managers clean out their emails, organize their files, plan, and review resumes they don’t usually have time to deal with. With fewer resumes rolling in, and hiring managers possibly more accessible, you may get a head start against other candidates. Yes, hiring does slow down in December, but applications slow down even more. That gives you an advantage if you don’t halt your search.

You’re not the only one considering a change. Every year, a number of workers give their two weeks’ notice over the holidays, accepting offers for new positions that begin in early January. Maybe somebody just vacated your dream job at a great company, and recruiters love to fill those openings over the holidays. So, what are you waiting for?

That said, it’s true that in some companies, hiring does slow in December and picks up again in January. If you’re thinking of looking for a new job to start 2018 off on the right foot, it’s time to get started right now.

‘Tis the season for an exciting new career. Here are four holiday job search tips you can follow to get ahead of the pack on January 1:

Refresh your resume.

If your resume hasn’t been updated in the past year, it’s time for a refresh. Resumes are trending shorter and more concise, so polishing your resume means deleting older information as well as adding recent, more relevant accomplishments. Update the font and format while you’re at it — and consider sprinkling in some unique skills, too.

Clean up your social brand.

Does your LinkedIn profile glow? Is it time to update your photo, edit your summary, or add any skills or qualifications to your profile? One of the top holiday job search tips is to refine your online presence. Take some time to type up a few endorsements for people you respect. If you need endorsements, ask a few people who have worked with you closely. They may have more time to help you now than they will in January. Join a couple of groups and post comments. Take a look at your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to be sure they’re job-search ready.

Do your research.

Spend some time “shopping” for your next place of employment. Check out award-winning companies, since they are already recognized as great places to work. Are you looking for a professional setting with formal career development programs like Charles Schwab? Or is flexibility a must-have? Ryan offers a unique program called myRyan in which professionals are given the freedom to do their best work in the way they work best. Perhaps you’re looking for an incredible office space to carry out your best work yet with a great team — check out USAA’s location offerings.

Draft your cover letter.

Write a snappy intro, and a few solid paragraphs you can interchange and modify according to the job opportunity. Cover letters can be surprisingly hard to write, especially at the last minute when everything else is ready to submit — so it’s best to prep it ahead of time.

Whether you’re already searching or plan to start your search soon, December and January are ideal months for a job hunt. Your timing is impeccable for finding a dream job with a top company!

About the Author

Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi

A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.