What’s a Cover Letter and Why’s it Important?

You know you’ve seen it before. You’re reading a job posting and at the end you see the words, “Submit your resume and cover letter.” Many applicants are deterred from this little phrase and they shouldn’t be. This is an opportunity to let yourself stand out from other candidates and tell why you are the better choice in a way that your resume cannot. So next time you see that phrase in your job search, don’t pass on applying, take advantage of it and put together a great cover letter. Here we will explain what a cover letter is, what makes it different from a resume, why it is important, and some great tips to successfully write one.

What’s a Cover Letter and Why’s it Important?

By definition, the term cover letter means, “A letter sent with, and explaining the contents of, another document or a parcel of goods.” A cover letter is a letter of introduction which allows you to tell a little more about yourself in a way that your resume may not be able to. Resumes are designed to simply list your qualification, skills, education and accomplishments. When writing a cover letter you will want to explain why you are the top candidate and why your set of skill, and qualifications included in your resume make you ideal for this position and the company. Here are some simple tips to follow:

  • Tailor each cover letter specific to the job you are applying for.
  • Research the company or organization and explain why you are a good fit.
  • Read the company’s mission statement and explain why you relate to it.
  • Fully read the job description and describe why you are the ideal candidate.
  • Describe what about the job attracted you to apply.
  • Avoid summarizing your resume.
  • Keep it one page.
  • Proofread and proofread again.

Cover letters are also a great opportunity to explain circumstances that a resume does not allow you to. For example, if you have gaps in your employment, reentering the workplace, or changing careers. A cover letter is a great way to explain these in a positive way.

As you can see, cover letters are a very important tool in your job search as they can give you many opportunities in a way that resumes cannot. Many hiring managers or recruiters will read your cover letter first and sometimes may pass on your resume if they are dissatisfied with the quality of your cover letter. So it is important to sit down and take a moment to put together a good quality template for your cover letter that will be sure to catch someone’s eye.

If you or someone you know if looking for employment, please visit our website at www.allstarlabor.com for available jobs and our online application. Which will allow you to upload both your resume and cover letter.

6 Essential Steps to Prepare for an Interview

Congratulations! You’ve completed the application process, the interview has been scheduled, and you’re getting excited for this opportunity, but wait… you must prepare yourself before stepping foot into that interview. Planning ahead for an interview and being organized will make a world of difference in your appearance, your answers, and your confidence. So when it comes to possibly that dream job, don’t you want to be prepared to ace the interview?

6 Essential Steps to Prepare for an Interview

 

Research the organization

Knowledge is power when it comes to being prepared for an interview. Take time beforehand to research the company or organization. It’s important to visit their website and learn as much about the company and their mission as possible. Look at their social media to see if their culture would be a good environmental fit for you. Don’t stop there though, ask friends about the company, read some news releases and of course, look at Google to get multiple sources about the company.

Prepare your responses

Before you set foot into an interview, research common interview questions and practice answering them until you feel confident. Ask a friend to help you do some role play in answering questions, especially the tough ones to help you come prepared. Remember, if there is a certain field you are applying for, plan ahead for those specific those questions.

Plan what to wear

While there is no need to over-stress about what you are wearing for your interview, it is important to have it planned out ahead of time. An expectation on what to wear will be determined by the company you are applying for, so do a little investigating prior to your interview. Does everyone dress in business attire? So should you. Does everyone dress in blue collar work clothes? Come dressed in clean, buttoned up work clothes. As I always tell anyone that calls prior to an interview wondering what to wear, “It never hurts to overdress.” Have your outfit cleaned and laid out ready to go for your interview so you’re not shuffling right before hand to find matching items.

Get directions

Look up the address and figure out how much time is needed for travel and early arrival. Consider busy times and traffic conditions and make adjustments. If you’re getting a ride, confirm with your transportation the evening prior. Punctuality is very important, so don’t hurt your chances before you even get there.

Show up organized

Organize and collect all your items into a nice professional folder the evening before. These items could include:

  • Copies of your resume
  • List of references
  • Note to self of who you are scheduled to interview with
  • Pen and paper
  • I-9 verifying documents. If you’re unsure what document can be used, call ahead to confirm.
  • Information you may need to complete and application.
  • Work clothes ready if needed. Sometimes applicants can go straight from an interview to a worksite, so it never hurts to have work attire in your vehicle ready to go.

Have questions ready

You don’t want to go home after your interview and suddenly remember all the questions you wanted to ask but forgot, so write them down if you need to! Avoid yes or no questions. Try asking questions like:

  • “What qualities does it take to excel in this job?”
  • “Can you tell me more about the day to day responsibilities of this role?”
  • “Describe the culture of the company.”

One of the most important questions you will need to come prepared with are follow up questions. These questions will alleviate uneasy feelings after an interview thinking, “Now what?” Try asking questions like:

  • “When should I expect to hear from you?”
  • “What is the best method to follow up with you? (Be sure to grab their business card.)
  • “What will be the next step if I am selected for this position?”

Always be sure to follow up after an interview! Give an appropriate amount of time after an interview for everyone to be interviewed, as well as going through the decision making process. This will keep you fresh on the interviewers mind and let them know that you are eager.

All Star Labor & Staffing has a wide variety of positions that are always coming available, so even if you are not selected for a certain position, continue to check in to see what other available jobs we have.

If you are ready to start a new career, or just simply find extra income, fill out our application online today at www.allstarlabor.com then call to schedule your interview!

Easy Ways to Show Your Employees Appreciation

It’s probably something that most employers and managers forget about in their day to day, but a top contributor to a productive company is positive employee morale. Showing employee recognition and gratitude such as a thank you or a job well done can result in employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. In fact, employees are most grateful for noticing the small details of their work or accomplishments and being recognized for their contributions. For ten ways to show you employees you appreciate them, keep reading!
Easy Ways to Show Your Employees Appreciation
Simply say, “thank you”
Employees like knowing that their hard work and contribution is recognized and valued, so remember to thank employees for a job well done. A simple please and thank you will go very far in the work place and keep employees happy.
Praise a job well done
Take notice of the accomplishments your employees achieve and praise them no matter how small the job detail is. In your next meeting, maybe congratulate them on a job well done and share your gratitude.
Share good news
In your team meetings, take a moment to share something positive going on in either your work life or personal life. This will start off every meeting on a good note.
Be open to suggestions
Start a suggestions program wherein employees are encouraged to give their input on improvements that could be made to increase the workplace efficiency. This will also help your employees feel heard.
Start a tradition
Depending on budget, start a tradition to which employees can look forward, whether it be ordering and enjoying lunch together weekly or doing a holiday potluck every year. Find something for which everyone can come together and celebrate.
Celebrate milestones
Find out everyone’s birthday or work anniversary and mark it on your calendar. Celebrate the day by ordering a cake or just having everyone sign a card. This will make an employee feel special and remembered.
Food always helps
You can never go wrong with food in the workplace. Consider offering food for many different occasions. Morning doughnuts, buying everyone lunch, or even just having snacks on hand can help employees enjoy their day.

Have a one on one
Do you have a new employee or just someone you really haven’t gotten to know very well yet? Invite them into your office and take a moment to really chat with them. Find out more about them both in their work life and personal life. Showing interest in your employees will show that you care about them as a whole.
Provide opportunity
Employees want chances to grow professionally. Offer opportunities for training or cross training into new departments or higher positions. Allow employees participate in community events in which they are able to network and represent your company. Let your employees know they have room for growth within your company and that you support them.

 

 

What You May Not Know About All Star Labor & Staffing

If you’re unfamiliar with All Star Labor & Staffing, you may think we are just another “temporary agency” but we are so much more than that. We are a local Oregon company dedicated to helping our communities grow through employment. Founded in Portland in 2009, All Star Labor & Staffing is a boutique staffing agency started with one simple strategy: finding the top employees for local businesses in an approach tailored to each client’s needs.

That’s a little bit about us and what we do, but here are some fun facts that you may not know about All Star Labor & Staffing:

  1. We are local

All Star Labor & Staffing is an Oregon based company with five locations in Portland, Salem, Albany, Eugene and Bend. Our teams at all locations are locals just like you and are familiar with the area and have a lot of community ties. We enjoy supporting our community and enjoy being able to provide great jobs to our employees and great employees to local employers.

  1. More than temporary

Our positions available vary anywhere from half days to permanent hire. In fact, most of our positions available are full time, temp-to-hire positions. We listen to our employees needs and find them the right job that fits their preferences. Our three hiring options we offer are temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire.

  1. Employment is free

We do not charge our employees any fees for finding them work, ever. We can hire employees seventeen years of age and older and it is always free to let us help find you the right kind of work. Client quotes are also always free too, there is no charge until after an All Star employee has worked for you.

  1. We believe in second chances

All Star Labor & Staffing was developed with the mission of offering job opportunities to members of our community with past criminal backgrounds that have prevented them from finding work. We pride ourselves on hiring everyone whether they have a background or not. We also partner with many wonderful businesses that also understand and believe in our mission.

  1. We tailor to your businesses needs

We are not one size fits all minded when it comes to our recruiting processes for different companies. All Star Labor & Staffing is committed to understanding the intricacies of your business so we can best serve you. From on-call temporary staffing to high-level direct hires, All Star has the knowledge and experience to meet your employee needs today and well into the future. Our highly effective, targeted recruiting methods attract reliable, hard-working candidates who will fit your position-specific criteria, your departmental needs and the overarching values of your company.

So, if you are looking for work, or are in need of some hard-working employees, contact us today.

Portland: 503.619.0811

Salem: 971.209.7130

Albany: 541.791.7928

Eugene: 541.228.9751

Bend: 541.389.1718

How to Stay Motivated in the Workplace

We’ve all faced those days when we’re not feeling the most motivated at work, and that’s completely normal. In fact, most people feel loss of motivation sometimes, but if you keep in mind that your job and career’s success is up to you and only you, you will find your motivation. We have complied a list of inspirational tricks to help jump-start your work drive. If you practice and commit to them, by focusing on being motivated you may find yourself being more productive and chances are your supervisor will too.

Commit to giving it your best
To start, you need to get into the right mindset. Commit to being motivated and accomplishing your job in an above-and-beyond manner. Every morning try taking a moment to get excited for your work day, look at the positive and how you contribute to the company.

Stop sweating the small stuff
In the workplace there will be things out of your control, but don’t let that ruin your motivation. Learning and understanding that you can’t control every situation or person will help you in being YOUR best self in the workplace. Try to focus on achieving your goals and priorities.

Make a to-do list and check it off
Nothing is more rewarding then checking an item off your to-do list. We suggest physically writing down your goals and as you complete them, begin checking them off. This is both satisfying to do and you can look back on at the end of the day to see how much you were able to accomplish.

Ask for feedback
Feedback can seem a little scary going into it, but it can be very inspirational in finding your motivation. Take any constructive criticism and use that to amp your work drive. If you receive great positive feedback, use it! Let that feed your ego and continue to do great.

Reward yourself
Bribing yourself can be a great incentive to keeping yourself motivated at work. Decide on a goal and establish a reward of your choosing for once it is completed. Knowing that you have a treat waiting for you once it’s completed can help drive you to the finish line much faster.

Set small attainable goals
Start off small and try not to overwhelm yourself with large goals, instead look at your big goals and prioritize how you can break them down into smaller goals. Miniature sized goals are a great way to stay focused and are much easier to manage. Many people find it easier to visually see their goals so you may try writing them down on a post-it note. Try writing out both your short term and long term goals, so you can also keep an eye on the bigger picture.

Hang with productive people
Associating yourself with productive individuals will allow you to observe their practices on how to be productive and efficient. Typically productive people are positive people which will also encourage you to have a positive attitude too.

Take breaks
In your jammed packed day, you may find it impossible to take breaks, but these are essential! Schedule time to take a moment to walk around and stretch, get some water, say hello to a coworker in another area. Something to help clear your head for a moment and keep you from feeling overwhelmed from going non-stop.

Hopefully by following these motivational tips you will find yourself feeling more positive, enjoying being at work, and more productive in the workplace.

4 Qualities to Look For in a Staffing Agency.

We understand there are lot of staffing services out there to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for your company? It is essential to do a little research, ask around and most importantly, request a meeting. Working with an agency can help alleviate the hassle of dealing with recruiting, payroll and human resource – so it is very beneficial to find one that meets your specific needs.

Finding the right agency can make a world of difference. With a well-developed relationship and open communication, you should feel confident in reaching out to your agency with your request and being supplied with qualified talent that meets your requirements within your required time-frame. Unfortunately so many services out there use fowl practices in order just to fill needs without taking the time to properly screen candidates so it is important to choose the right one and only one for you. Here are some qualities to look for when deciding.

  1. They listen.

One of the most important qualities of a good staffing agency is they listen to your needs. They should be actively listening to every detail of your company, the culture, your requirements, job expectations, and job duties. Having good communication throughout the whole processes is beneficial for both you and us to remain on the same page and be as effective as possible.

  1. Understands your business’s needs.

A good staffing agency does their research into your company and industry so they are prepared with the knowledge of what it take for a good employee to thrive. They ask detailed questions of what a company is looking for in a future employee then implement that into their recruiting process.

  1. They follow through.

From the first employee interview all the way to continuingly supplying employees, they are consistent in their vetting processes and do not skips required steps. They communicate and understand your timeline needs and stick to it. Following up with employees progress and your satisfaction is also a great quality to look for.

  1. Demonstrates honesty and integrity.

Honesty and integrity are essential to a successful partnership. You need to feel confident that you are receiving the same qualified candidate that has been advertised to you, and you need to trust that they are educated on the role and ready to accept it.

All Star Labor & Staffing truly believes that your success is our success. We want to help your businesses grow and thrive. Our team of highly trained Business Develop Managers, Branch Managers, and Account Managers are here to listen to your needs, develop a plan specific to your company and help find you the right qualified candidates. We value our relationships with our clients, and would love an opportunity to meet and discuss your needs.

Is your social media hurting your chances of landing a job?

If you’re like most of us these days, you probably have a social media account, or maybe even a couple. Why not, they are a great way to stay connected with friends and family, plus they can sometimes even help you in your job search. Be careful though, in some cases, your social media accounts can actually hurt your chances of landing that job, or even keeping your current one. According to a recent survey done by CareerBuilder.com, screening a candidate based off of their social media prior to hiring is at an all-time high of 70%.

Where are hiring managers looking for information on their future employees, or current employees?  Most hiring managers will be looking at your social media platforms, as well as run your name through popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, so it is important to do a full cleanup of your online footprint. What are they looking for in their search?

Professional persona

Hiring managers are looking for a professional candidate because that person will be representing their company. How you showcase yourself online can be perceived of how you will act in the workplace, so always use your best judgement when it comes to online posting and sharing. Also, check your writing, are you using correct grammar and spelling correctly? Managers will look at that too.

Information to back up qualifications

Share information about yourself that backs up your professional experience and your qualifications. For example, if there is a certain field that you study, share related posts and give your insight into the information, or try writing educational posts. It’s okay to share your graduation photo or certification acknowledgments too. Showing an interest into your line of work will show a future hiring manager that you are serious about your career. If you are currently employed, share information about your company, like their accomplishments, current projects, or community development.

Positive interactions

When someone looks at your social media what are they going to see? Do you have positive, upbeat posts and interactions with your friends or do you share negative information? Believe it or not, many hiring managers relate your online attitude to how you will act in the workplace and may be turned off by that. So as tempting as it may be, avoid getting caught up in sharing negative viral posts and stick to keeping it positive any chance you get. Also, always avoid talking negatively about current or former employers or customers. Almost any hiring manager that sees that will automatically assume that is how you would speak about them if hired.

Reason not to hire you

Initially a hiring manager will be looking for an easy reason not to hire you, so try not to give them that option. Go through your accounts, view all your posts, pictures, likes, friends, grammar, tags etc. Remove anything that could be seen as offensive or negative. Even if your account is set to private, you would be surprised how much information is still available for the public to see.

Here are some more tips of what to avoid doing on online when you are on the job search:

  • Avoid posting or using inappropriate language.
  • Refrain from posting pictures of drug use or alcohol consumption.
  • Ditch the unprofessional screen name or handle.
  • Never use discriminatory language when commenting on public posts.
  • Poor communication skills, avoid using texting language.
  • Don’t badmouth current or previous employers.
  • Delete old, non-professional photos and posts
  • Consider removing friends that tag you in inappropriate content.
  • Try not to overshare.

While all these do’s and don’ts may have you ready to delete your online persona all together, you may want to think twice because this may actually hinder your job search. Studies show that one-quarter of hiring managers expect candidates to have some sort of online presence, and nearly 60% are less likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find them online.

So, continue to stay connected to the online world, but take a moment to look over your profiles, review your content, and clean up anything that you think a future or current employer would find negative. Use your social media to your advantage and let your professional and positive side shine through.

One Family’s Success – A True Community Effort

Recently, our Albany All Star Labor & Staffing office was mentioned in a great article by Family Tree Relief Nursery about one of our own community family success stories. From struggling to find housing and work; to finally being able to find and settle into a full-time, permanent job with a reputable local businesses. This families success story is one to read and be proud of our community coming together to help each other!

Mark and Susan have been sober for a year and moved to Sweet Home in August of 2017 with their son Billy, hoping to make a fresh start. After struggling to find housing and resources, Mark and Susan were forced to live in a tent by the river. As a result, DHS became involved in their lives in October, and Billy was removed from their care. They took a bus once a week to DHS to visit with Billy.

Imagine you are Billy, a 4-year-old boy who loves his parents very much and hates only getting to see them once a week. Billy struggled with seeing his parents so stressed out.

In February of 2018, Mark and Susan were referred to Family Tree Relief Nursery by their DHS Child Welfare caseworker. Within a week of working with a Family Navigator and Visitation Coach, Mark and Susan moved into one of the shelters in Albany and were able to visit Billy twice a week for 4 hours at Family Tree Relief Nursery, where we have therapeutic and welcoming visitation rooms. In their first week in Albany, Mark and Susan were connected to community resources like CHANCE, who assisted them in obtaining their Birth Certificates so they could get their Oregon IDs. Thanks to the kindness of our donors, we were also able to assist Mark in getting steel-toed boots to start work at a job found through connecting him with All-Star Labor and Staffing in Albany. Mark was able to obtain a full-time position with benefits. Susan has also been connected with medical resources to help her deal with a chronic illness. Both Mark and Susan also enrolled in our weekly parent education class.

Since partnering with Family Tree Relief Nursery, Mark and Susan have made huge strides in meeting their goals. After months of hard work, Mark and Susan were able to clear their biggest hurdle: housing. After completing numerous application, Mark and Susan were finally rewarded with their second chance and were approved for an apartment; their first home together. With the help of their Family Navigator and their DHS Child Welfare Caseworker, Mark and Susan were able to move in less than a week after being approved. Staff connected Mark and Susan with Furniture Share in Corvallis and were able to get their new home furnished. Mark and Susan have moved into Community Visits with their Family Tree Visitation Coach, where they are able to take Billy into the community during supervised visits. They enjoy many activities as a family including swimming at the YMCA, going to the arcade and visiting the Albany Carousel.

As a result of their hard work and partnership with Family Tree Relief Nursery, Billy was able to be reunited with his parents in early June of 2018. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to present Billy with a “Welcome Home Basket” full of toys, books, sheets, and more so he could truly celebrate being reunited with his parents (see above picture).

Article by Family Tree Relief Nursery. For more information or to learn more about them, please visit their website at www.familytreern.org.

What it Takes to be a True All Star Employee

All Star Labor & Staffing is just that… All Stars. We pride ourselves on having some of the greatest employees there are. But what does it mean to be a true All Star employee? True All Stars show up early, go above and beyond, have an open mind, a positive attitude, and show gratitude for opportunities. These are the employees that we are proud to provide to the successfully growing businesses we work with.

Be on time.

Punctuality is a must no matter the job. Showing up late looks poorly on an employee and it may appear that an employer’s time is not important. Good rule of thumb is always show up at least fifteen minutes early, this way you get in, get your stuff put away and are ready to start right on time. If you are ever running behind, it is also a good idea to notify your employer.

Be a team player.

Companies our built on team work, so it is essential to be able to work well individually and as a team. Good team work benefits everyone by getting the work done more quickly, combines many great ideas, and can improve employee relations.

Respect your employer.

Always remember you are representing their business so you need to be respectful of the company at all times. Listen to instructions, follow company policies, be courteous, and never talk back or ill of your employer. Showing respect goes a long way.

Be dependable.

Nothing speaks louder than being dependable and keeping your word. Carefully listen to instructions, and follow through with what has been asked of you. If you don’t think you can accomplish something in the required time, speak up. Always keep your word, as trust is vital in the workplace.

Be flexible.

Unfortunately some jobs won’t always go your way, so it is helpful to have an open mind and be adaptable. If you’re against change, it may make it difficult to find a place for you within the company in the long run. Be open to trying new things, working new shifts, and learning new skills as this will also benefit you.

Be productive.

Nothing can replace the value of hard work. There are many people that just view work as a nine to five and only do the bare minimum, but you always need to have productive attitude and look for what more you could be doing. No matter the task, you need to have passion and go the extra mile. For example, if you finish your task ahead of schedule, go find another project you can start working on.

Have a positive attitude.

No matter what you have going on in your home life, you need to shake that off and come into work every day with a positive attitude. Your positive energy will be contagious to those around you which makes for a more positive work place.

There are many other traits to being an outstanding employee, but the most important thing to focus on every day is how you can contribute your best self to this company and job. With that mindset you will succeed and be a True All Star Employee.

Benefits to “Temp” Jobs

While All Star Labor & Staffing is known for our variety in lengths of jobs, one that actually has the most benefits are our short term temporary jobs. What are temporary jobs or “temp” jobs? They are short term assignments that could possibly turn into permanent position. Many of our employees embrace these opportunities to learn a new skill by working on different projects for a variety of companies.

Here are some other benefits from doing temp work:

  • Gain practical work experience and learn a new skill in either your field of interest or a new career.
  • Earn extra money while waiting to land that perfect job.
  • Meet new people that can help you in job networking.
  • Flexible schedule.
  • Fills time gaps in resume.

Another great advantage of working temp jobs is we work around YOUR schedule. You let us know when you’re available and we will work to find jobs that fit around it.

So if you like a variety and a challenge, and are looking to gain new skills, give us a call today! You will sit down with one of our highly trained recruiters who will get to know you and what you are looking for. They will find out what skills you currently have and what you would be interested in. Let us know your schedule and we will get to work for you!