College Graduates: Minimize Work History Gaps on Your Resume with Temporary Assignments

Many people fresh out of college looking for their dream job can simultaneously look for temporary work in their industry in an effort to keep employment history current, especially if they have worked for a staffing company in the past.

These days we see a lot of college students not wanting to take a temporary job while they are hoping to get hired straight out of school into their field under their dream conditions. This may not be a solid plan since one of the worst things a job seeker can do is have a big gap in their work history. It is a hard job market out there. You can have a degree and not get a call back from your resume, let alone an in-person interview. Working with a staffing company can help. Most companies you wish to get your foot in the door with are going to want to see your work experience. They want to know you are motivated and see that you are a hard worker. All Star Labor & Staffing can help you take on temporary assignments that will get you experience in aspects of your dream job while still searching for it. In that scenario, you could structure your resume like this:

All Star Labor & Staffing, Portland, Oregon 3/2017 – Present

Job Title, Current Company/Client Name (7/2017 – Present)
Job duties
Accomplishments

Job Title, Former Company/Client Name (3/2017 – 7/2017)
Job duties
Accomplishments

In this example, it may not be your forever job, but more importantly, it shows that the staffing company wanted you to work and liked you enough to put you with yet another client. It is a testament that the staffing company appreciates your work, work ethic and personality, so other companies can extrapolate that they would probably like you too. This strategy also speaks to the fact that many employers are bias towards hiring employed people – the thought is, if someone else loves you enough to employ you, they probably will love you too.

The more short term temp jobs can be grouped together, under a common company or staffing company name, the more it appears that your work history is stable and that you are not a job-hopper. I can tell you as the owner/director of All Star and American Admin, a PEO company – I look for three main traits in everyone I hire: Honesty, Hardworking and Integrity.

All Star Labor & Staffing is here to help everyone find success. We are just happy to be a part of your journey.

Happy Valentines Day

Ten Tips For A Great Interview

1. Preparation
Do your research! On both the company and the role you are applying for before you enter the interview. If you are coming into our office for an interview but have not yet been assigned to a client, then simply put together a resume that lists your qualifications, skills and past work experience that might be relevant.
2. Dress for Success
If you are the best person for the job, then do your best to look your best. If you don’t feel like you have the right clothes, there are organizations that would love to help. You can go to your local Dress for Success chapter https://oregon.dressforsuccess.org/ or MercyCorps NW https://www.mercycorpsnw.org/ for free interview clothing.
3. Be on-time (meaning early)
If you show up on time – great. If you show up early, that shows the interviewer that you are responsible and really want the job.
4. Turn your cell off
You want to make sure that your interviewer knows that you can give them your full attention. Turn off your phone before you enter the interview. If you receive a call or text during the interview it will look extremely unprofessional.
5. Smile
A warm smile and eye contact can make the situation feel instantly comfortable and will help you relax for the interview.
6. Firm handshake
A firm handshake can show confidence. Just don’t overdo it! Injuring your interviewer usually does not go over well.
7. Body Language
Body language is essential during an interview. Sit up straight, nod while they’re talking and always keep eye contact. As soon as the interviewer recognizes you aren’t interested it is difficult to win them back over.
8. Take Notes
Write notes during the interview that you think might be useful. It also demonstrates you are fully focused on what they are saying.
9. Polished Resume
Making sure your resume is up to date is a must but don’t forget that you want to always bring extra copies. You may have emailed the resume in advance but that doesn’t mean that they will have brought copies to the room for others that may be included. You will also want to be able to refer to what you have written when asked a question. Take care to keep it clean and presentable as it shows that you take pride in your work.
10. Ask Questions
Don’t forget that you are interviewing them for this position too. You want to make sure it is a good fit for yourself as well by asking on average 3, no more than 5 well thought out questions. You can ask about benefits, hours, where the company is headed in the next year to five years, retention rate or anything else that might impact you as their employee.

Good Luck!

Life Is a Marathon

Yesterday I had a rare mom moment where a piece of advice came out of my mouth and it actually sounded wise and true. I even looked at my eldest son after I said these pearls of wisdom and said, “oh, that was good, right?” I am not totally sure if he meant this but he seemed to whole heartedly agree. So maybe wisdom does come with age and experience and maybe sometimes parenting isn’t just shooting in the dark hoping to hit the right path to turn your children into fantastic, caring, successful members of society.

So, this was my advice, and It applies to everyone, including me. “Life is a marathon, it is a solid pace of steady work running towards your goals. You can’t sprint every time you get behind or you will never win the race.” Ok – it’s not genius but it really worked. In my son’s case, he was stressing over finals and I was taking him in early so he could start his chemistry test. If he would have been more prepared and took that steady working pace throughout the semester, he wouldn’t have had to sprint this entire week to prepare. In the end, he did NOT do well on the test and it was a major lesson for him. It will be his first C in high school and he feels like he not only let us down but more importantly, he let himself down.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about tips for Time Management in The New Year and the conclusion of that post was simply: time management IS life management. As Ramona Mathany always says, “Just keep on doing the next right thing. Making bad choices in life only makes your life harder – so why be the cause of your own stress?”

I completely agree! We have all made the wrong choices in life, especially by not putting in the work every day, at a steady pace. Why do we continue to get in our own way? Hopefully my pearls of wisdom can help you, I know I need to take my own advice. Let’s just keep on doing the next right thing!

– Erin, Marketing Manager, All Star Labor & Staffing

Top 5 Tips For Professional Success

Even if you’re not in the customer service business, there are 5 easy ways to please your customers, your fellow co-workers and your boss: act like serving them is your first priority. Below we have compiled tips and pointers for pleasing your most valuable customers. Why did we do this? Because serving others really is serving yourself. If you can serve in the best interest of your job without putting your own personal issues before the task at hand, you can only succeed.

1. Be accessible
It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with your smallest or biggest client. If you always make the time to give them your full attention, no matter what – they will always bring you their business. With excellent customer service comes loyalty and referrals. When companies build relationships with their clients and suppliers, it’s a huge competitive edge. This rule also applies to your co-workers. Be a helping hand, everyone needs someone or something and when it is your turn you will want to be treated with the same attention and care.

2. Take care to really listen
People aren’t impressed by what you know or what you can offer until they see that you care. And you can’t possibly care in any meaningful way unless you have some insight into what people are feeling and why. While you’re paying attention to your customers and co-workers, make sure you take note of their mood as well. Sometimes serving others means taking into account what might be happening outside the work world.

3. Be experts in your field
Aside from being flexible to changing needs, the most important thing a small business can do to differentiate itself is having deep expertise and knowledge about a particular customer segment or industry. If you can quickly help a customer because you simply know the answer to their problem, then they know you are the company they can look to for direction.

4. Everyone is in customer service
Your customer-service team is your WHOLE team. Everyone who works in your company is on the frontline because they reflect the kind of business you want your customers to see. Your workers need to make sure customers are not just satisfied – but are genuinely happy to work with you. The most critical person to hire to serve with everyone’s best interests at heart is your manager, since employee turnover is directly driven by manager turnover. You want someone who’ll stick around and truly believe in your company’s mission, because otherwise, it will be almost impossible to keep up with the hiring challenge.

5. Serve better than the competition
A huge downfall is not knowing our competition. You need to know what your competition does well and what they don’t do well. You need to be able to differentiate yourself by compensating for what similar companies are not doing and what you do well. Become an expert in all areas of service including those that are gaps in the industry you serve. After you know the competition, you simply have to do better for your customer than the competition would.

Millennials and the “Silver Tsunami”

apprentice
According to Oregon Business Magazine, millennials are working in health care, retail and customer service. Kim Moore, a Research Editor at Oregon Business Magazine reported that many industry sectors – manufacturing, utilities – are facing a “silver tsunami”: an abundance of aging workers.

While Oregon Employment Department data has shown an increase over the past decade in workers between the ages of 22 and 34 in the sectors like customer service and retail – they are not seeing any growth in construction, finance, real estate and information services.

Millennials don’t seem to always follow the trend of going where the jobs are. For example, construction is currently the fastest growing sector in Oregon but it tops the list of the industries where the millennials are NOT working.

Working in staffing we see that there are a lot of opportunities for millennials with the right skills to find work in construction but we just aren’t seeing any growth there.

Nick Beleiciks, economist for the Oregon Employment Department suggests it’s probably because they came of age at the wrong time. “The construction industry was cutting jobs and then not growing at all from 2007 through 2013, a period when many millennials were starting their careers,” he says. “There wasn’t a lot of job opportunities for new workers in construction at the time, so young people went into other industries that were hiring.”

The Construction industry rebounded throughout 2014 but there’s still a deficit of millennial workers. New data from the state employment department shows a slight increase in millennial hiring in the manufacturing sector, which has hired more young workers than construction in the past few years.

You would think that millennials would be dominating the tech world but the data is not supporting the stereotype that comes with that generation. “Although tech is engrained in the daily lives and jobs of most millennials, they aren’t really over-represented in what is typically considered high-tech industries,” Beleiciks says. “The 35-to-54-year-old actually group holds the largest portion of jobs in the tech sector.”

We also know the stereotype that they are looking to work somewhere that will “make a difference,” and they are constantly looking for approval and instant gratification. With the Oregon unemployment rate at historic lows, millennials have more choices than ever but that should put more attention on the “silver tsunami.”

We encourage all ages, including millennials to learn new skills. We see this issue a lot in the staffing industry. There are incredibly skilled people out there wishing they could retire if only they could bring on more people that have the necessary skills, but they are incredibly hard to find. There are so many great and fulfilling jobs in construction and manufacturing and we are looking to do our part in helping to fill the age gap but the construction and manufacturing industries are going to have to step up its game to compete for millennial talent.

All Star Labor & Staffing has a talented group of recruiters that anticipate these kinds of trends in staffing. We will work hand in hand with you to mine a skilled, eager to learn group of millennials to help keep your business running strong.

Time Management in The New Year

This is the time where we all make new year’s resolutions. Every year the average American makes similar goals, often they go unfulfilled within a couple of months. According to ABC News, the top 5 New Year’s resolutions for 2016 were:

5. Save more, spend less
4. Spend more time with family
3. Lose weight
2. Live a healthier lifestyle
1. Enjoy life to the fullest

These are all the usual suspects. All good but not great. What we really need to succeed with any goal and in every part of our life is Time Management. Without planning out your day and making every moment count for something, you are simply wasting the time that is given to us here on earth. It’s not a sexy or fun topic to talk about but we ignore it at our own peril.

Learning how to make every day count for something is the objective. But it takes ridding your life of procrastination and a great deal of self-discipline. If you are thinking what I’m thinking, then the thought of getting procrastination out of your life completely is kind of ridiculous. I will offer this advice – there are just some days that we can’t push past the lack of motivation and there are others where we are at the top of our game. So, realize when you need a little time to relax and step away from the project at hand. That way when you are on a roll, you can give that project 1,000%.

Mastering time management does more than just increase productivity. It can yield important health benefits as well. When time is managed wisely, it minimizes stress and improves the overall quality of your life. Nothing great ever comes from haste so cutting corners will eventually catch up to you, and as with anything, quality ALWAYS beats quantity. Here is a small guide to improving your life overall with time management skills:

Decluter

Clear your surroundings and you will clear your mind. This includes everything from organizing your budget, your closet and your desk. If everything has a place, your mind will wander less and you will be more efficient.
Plan, lay the foundations for effective time management. Delegating the appropriate amount of time to get adequate sleep, maintain a healthy diet and exercising regularly are all essential elements to improve both focus and concentration. Making the time to create a healthy lifestyle will help improve your efficiency throughout the day, allowing for more time to complete other tasks.

Identify wasted time

If you drive to work, how do you pass the time during your commute? If you take a bus or train, how do you spend all those hours a week? The sky is the limit on how many audiobooks or language tapes could be completed while in traffic. Just think – how many books could you read on the bus while getting to and from work the next few weeks?

These are the best times throughout your day to incorporate all those little things that you “wished” you had time for. Over time, these habits become a lifestyle, and you will find yourself well ahead of the pack.

Stop procrastinating on the small tasks by focusing on the most important one

Consider your goals and consult your schedule before agreeing to take on more work. If a task is time consuming but not necessarily important to the main goal, rearrange and add it to the bottom of the list.

Focus and limit distractions

Everyone has a place where they work the most effectively. Some people like to listen to music, while others need complete silence. Some people can work just as efficiently from their dining table (if allowed) as they can in a cubicle. Wherever that place is, utilize it. Turn the television off, silence the cell phone and dedicate complete focus to the task at hand. No responding to texts, no surfing the web.

When you operate your life in an organized fashion, and are able to execute daily tasks efficiently, stress is reduced, productivity increases and overall satisfaction will be established.

Take a break

This goes back to what I said about procrastinating is inevitable. Everyone gets worn out from time to time and piling on more and more tasks leads to stress that will simply derail you from the mission at hand. Procrastinate in a healthy way that serves both your mind and body. Take a walk, go to the gym, get some fresh air or take that sick day you have banked away. Sometimes all we need is a moment of clarity and solitude to clear our overworked minds and recharge our bodies to give us that next big push.

After all, time management is really life management.
time management

You can be an All Star

Friday inspiration from Karen Cain, Salem Branch Manager

So many ways that YOU can be an All Star!

Each and every day you can do your part in following the Golden Rule of treating others the way you would like to be treated. This has never been more important than it is TODAY. Go into this year knowing and believing that You CAN make a difference. It is so rewarding to Give Back, Pay Things Forward and DO Good. Spend some of your time and energy on good causes. Sign up and Show up. Make the world a better place because of your contributions. You won’t know unless you try. You may even find yourself smiling throughout the day, because it DOES feel good to help others. What you do for others will be your legacy.

How beautiful is that?! #BeAnAllStar #MakeItBetter #HappyNewYear

Happy New Year – A Positive Look Back on 2016

one-year
Happy New Year!

As we move forward into another new year, I think it is only natural to reflect on the year we are leaving behind. Now, none of us look back through the same lenses, we all have different outlooks on experiences, loves, losses, wins and moments that turn into history. Here at All Star we decided we should reflect on some of the undeniably good global things that happened in 2016.

10) Veteran Homelessness Has Dropped 50% Since 2010.
9) After a century of decline, tiger numbers are now rising – 22% growth since 2010.
8) The United States Treasury Department is making some refreshing changes to show a diversity of new faces including Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony.
7) 24 different countries united to create the world’s largest marine reserve in Antarctica.
6) Even though we have had some memorable losses this year, 2016 was one of the safest years in aviation history for over 3 billion people who boarded planes.
5) The American teen graduation rate reached a historic high – 83.2%!
4) A 50-year war finally ended with a peace treaty in Colombia.
3) India planted 50 million trees in one day, smashing the world record.
2) The Americas are finally entirely declared measles-free (after 22 year effort).
1) Monumental breakthrough: gravitational waves finally detected, proving Einstein was right.

On less of a global note, here at All Star Labor & Staffing, we are extremely thankful when we look back and see that we were able to assign 3,300 employees to jobs in 2016. For that we are truly blessed.

We wish you love, laughter, health and great employment in 2017!

-All Star Labor & Staffing

First Annual Holiday Giveaway

Owner/Director Ramona Mathany gives amazing gifts to each of the 30+ employees she has each year during the holidays and truly enjoys it. This year, she not only gave physical and monetary gifts to her employees but she also wanted to give the gift of giving. Each branch received $500 to distribute to people in need anyway they wanted. Some branches adopted families for Christmas, others bought gifts that were needed in their community and delivered them. The Portland office decided to head down to the area where one of our co-workers homeless cousin lives to give people what they really want/need during this cold holiday season.

The experience was overwhelmingly rewarding. Giving is truly receiving. This will become an annual tradition here at All Star Labor & Staffing. We put together a video so we could share it internally but decided to share it publicly as well because the day brought such joy!

An amazing side note – that co-worker who has a homeless cousin paid $100 out of her own pocket to by a homeless veteran a new cell phone so he could keep in contact with his family.

#PureJoy #GivingIsReceiving #BestDayEver #BeAnAllStar

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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