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On Providing a Job Reference

July 14th, 2016

You have been asked to provide a reference for someone. The problem is that you really do not feel comfortable giving one for this person. But you have conflicting emotions – you also feel bad about having to refuse to give one. Although you don’t feel the person’s work merits a reference, he or she may be someone you have known for some time or someone you worked closely with or even tried to mentor.

But in considering whether to give the reference or not, here are a few things to think about.

1. Your reputation is at stake.
If you give a glowing recommendation, but the person fails at the job, it doesn’t really put the best light on you, especially if you do it knowing the person may not be right for the job to begin with. You have to consider your reputation as well.

2. Are you helping to set the person up to fail?
If you know the person is not suited for the job, or does not have the qualities needed to be successful in it, it may only be a matter of time before they are out job searching again. You are not doing them any favors recommending them for a job that you know the person is not suited for.

3. Not giving the reference can actually be helpful
By not giving the recommendation, you may be alerting the job candidate to issues he or she may not be aware of, things they may need to address before moving on. You will be helping them to confront their shortcomings, which can only help them in their job search.

Saying no is hard, but you can do it in such a way that you don’t create animosity or hurt feelings.
One reason you may not want to give a reference is that you just don’t have enough information about the person to provide one that would be useful. You should then explain this to the person. Let him or her know that to really help him, the reference should include specific and concrete details about past performance, as well as a solid knowledge of the person’s character and personality. Explain that you just don’t have that detailed knowledge.

On the other hand, if you feel the person’s work was subpar, begin by telling him that you want the person to succeed, that you want to support them, but that you don’t feel you are the best person to give a reference for him or her. Tell the person that they should find someone who can really talk in detail about his or her performance and good qualities. If pressed, you can give him specific examples of where you felt his work needed improvement, doing it in a polite and factual way.

You will only get glowing references if you ask people about their experience with Trinity Staffing. Trinity is one of the best in Texas, with the knowledge and experience to help find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Tone Down Self Criticism

July 30th, 2015

Often, we are our own worst critics. We can be pretty hard on ourselves, more so than on others. And, while self criticism is good, too much of it, or if it is too severe, can damage our self esteem and self image. It can hurt our productivity and satisfaction with our work as well.

That is why it is important to recognize when we get into bad habits with self criticism. We have to know when it is too much, because if we don’t get a handle on it, we risk harm to our quality of life. Here are a few things to pay attention to with self criticism.

1. Pay attention to your internal conversation.
We have a running commentary going on with ourselves.  Just as we form opinions about others, we are forming opinions about ourselves and our actions. We can choose to see ourselves in a positive or negative light. We can choose to see our mistakes as inevitable or as aberrations. It all lies in our mindset.

But we need to pay attention to how we see ourselves so that we can catch ourselves when the dialogue turns consistently negative.

2. How true is your internal critic?
Don’t just blindly accept the judgement of your inner critic. Assess the truth of what it tells you. Often what you tell yourself is not reasonable or sensible.

Sometimes our imagination runs away from us and we only see worst case scenarios, without considering all the other possibilities. We tend to see things as all good or all bad, when we need to remember that most things in life are not either/or. They are mixtures of good and bad. Other bad habits of thinking are when we imagine that others are thinking bad things about us, or when we let our emotions get the better of us.

3. Think it through.
Again, don’t just accept the first negative thought that pops into your head. How well does it match with reality? What proof is there that it is true? What other possibilities could there be for why you made a mistake? And then ask yourself what mistake in thinking led to your first self-critical thoughts.

If you are looking for work in the San Antonio area, give Trinity Staffing a call. Trinity has the experience and unmatched expertise to help find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

5 Dangerous Resume Rules

January 30th, 2014

Resumes can be only one page long. You should never have gaps in your employment on your resume. Volunteer experience isn’t “good enough” for a resume.

When it comes to your resume, all of the rules mentioned above are meant to broken. They’re dangerous myths and can actually hurt your chances to land a job.

Read below for the reasons why the rules above and others are wrong and why they’re dangerous.

  1. Your resume should be as long as it needs to be. A big myth states that a resume should be just one page long. Or, if you’re an executive, it should be at least two pages, possibly three. After all, how can you possibly show an employer what you bring to the table? Actually, your resume should be as long as it needs to be to make sure you include the most important and relevant information for the job to which you’re applying. If that means you need to have several resumes to send for different types of positions, so be it. (Do note, however, that no resume should be more than four pages, and that’s stretching it.)
  2. It’s not about you, it’s about them. And when we talk about “them,” we mean the employer. Companies hire people to solve problems. Your resume needs to highlight the skills, attributes, educational background, etc. that will help a particular employer solve the problems it needs solved. For one thing, you need to get rid of the objective statement; it’s too much focused on you : “Seeking administrative assistant position in a challenging environment.” Blah! Plus, it’s all about your needs (you want to work in a challenging environment). Instead, use an “attributes” statement at the top of your resume: “Administrative assistant with 10-plus years’ experience within the financial services sector.”
  3. Gaps in employment aren’t the big red flags they used to be. The Great Recession took care of that. If you haven’t worked in a while, you will need to have a valid reason (being laid off, taking time to take care of a sick relative, time to raise children), but you needn’t fear “the gap” as much as in previous years. However, working with temporary staffing services such as Trinity Staffing Services will help you fill the employment gap, especially if the reason for it was due to a layoff. Never doubt: working temporary assignments is considered to be real work.
  4.  Sorry, but you may need to have more than one resume. Chances are that you’ll be applying for jobs that are slightly different. They could be in different business sectors, for example (you could apply for administrative work in both the financial sector as well as in the legal field). So you’ll need to have different resumes that highlight how your particular skills, etc. solve that employer’s particular needs.
  5.  Volunteer experience does count. If looking for work, especially if you’ve been out of the workforce for more than three months, volunteering for non-profit organizations can be a great way to network and grow your skills. So if you helped spearhead a fundraising campaign, if you revamped an organization’s library, if you redid an organization’s filing system, this counts on your resume. As does continuing education classes and certificates.

If you’re looking for work in San Antonio, you owe it to yourself to contact the recruiters at Trinity Staffing Services. We can help you find terrific temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities with some of our city’s top employers. Contact us today.

The Liars Among Us: Spotting the Untrustworthy Candidate

January 16th, 2014

When hiring workers, how many times have you come across – or even hired – someone who turned out to be, well, a liar?

Probably several times.

Don’t fret; it’s happened to all of us. Still, you want to avoid the lying liars and the lies they tell as much as possible. Read below for some tips on spotting untrustworthy candidates.

  • Trust your gut. If you feel something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. You’ll want to verify, of course, but if your intuition is telling you something, heed it.
  • Many people with something to hide don’t give a lot of information. That is, they keep basic information from you. What types of information? Their current salary, name of last or current employer, where they live, etc.
  • Does the candidate give a vague answer regarding why he or she is looking for work or where else he or she is interviewing, etc.? This could be a sign of someone who’s just fishing for an offer, hoping to use your offer of a position as leverage to get more money out of a current employer (bad move on more than one level).
  • How easy is it to get a hold of the candidate? Does he or she provide a phone number and e-mail address that works and/or which the candidate answers/replies from?
  • How many “mistakes” do you find on a candidate’s resume?  Many people will inflate a job title, but as you do your due diligence/reference checking/background checks do you find that a salary really is lower than you were told, that a bachelor’s degree was, in fact, never earned or that the candidate never actually worked at a listed company? Stay clear!
  • People who lie sometimes actually bring the Almighty into the equation. A candidate may say something along the lines of “I swear to God I worked at XYX Company,” when he actually didn’t.
  • If a person licks his or her lips, pulls on his or her ears, or touches his face could be an indication of lying.

Need some help in finding trustworthy workers for your San Antonio-area firm’s temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities? Then contact the recruiters at Trinity Staffing Services. We look forward to helping you in 2014.

Showing Your Age as an Asset to Employers

December 19th, 2013

If you’re over the age of 50 (or even 45), you may find yourself having to “prove” to employers that you still “have what it takes,” with “it” being any number of things, such as vibrancy, up-to-date skills, energy, a willingness to try and learn new things, and never the attitude of  “but we’ve always done it this way.”

Read below for some strategies to follow to show potential employers why your age is an asset.

  • First, never focus on your age. Never apologize for it; don’t bring it up. Instead, focus on the skills you possess that match exactly what the hiring manager seeks. Show how your background and skills support a company’s strategic goals and challenges.
  • Show from the get-go how your experience is a benefit to the employer. Take action words from the position’s description (“inspect,” “create,” “supervise,” “analyze,” etc.) and match them to your career/job history. You can also use your experience from your personal/family/volunteer experience. Use the exact action keyword and relate it to your own experience, all the while providing specific examples of your results.
  • Embrace your age/experience. As an older job seeker you definitely do bring more to the table than a recent college graduate. You bring qualities such as attention to deadlines, leadership, loyalty, teamwork, and more. Provide clear examples of how these qualities of yours helped a previous/current employer.
  • If you’re told that your skills are a bit – or  considerably – behind the times, it’s appropriate – and even necessary – to do what needs to be done: take some classes/get some training. Make it as easy as possible for an employer to hire you and get the training you need before asking for a job.
  • If your age does come up, rather than screaming “you’re breaking the law in asking me these things!” gently steer the conversation in a different direction. Emphasize that at this stage in your life your family obligations are fewer, thus making you able to focus even more on the job.
  • You also can highlight (gently) that you know exactly who you are, and what you offer, and where you want to go, something a younger worker may lack.
  • Make sure you’re going after jobs that are appropriate for your skill level. Hiring managers truly do want to hire people who can do the job. If you’re applying for positions that are below your skill level because you think they’ll be easier to get, but you’re not having much luck, seriously consider applying jobs for which you’re truly qualified.

No matter your experience level, if you’re looking for work in the San Antonio area, be sure to send your resume to the recruiters at Trinity Staffing Services. We look forward to hearing how we may help you in your job search.

Improve Your Speaking Skills, Grow Your Career

November 14th, 2013

Mastering the art of the speech or presentation can take your career to levels you never before thought possible.

“But,” you may be saying to yourself, “speaking before people is too scary. I can’t do it. I won’t do it! Can’t I still become a manager or CEO?”

Answer? No!

If you want a shot at the corner office. If you want to be seen as the go-to gal when it comes time for promotions, you’re going to have to get over this fear, gird yourself and get up there and speak!

It needn’t be a full-blown speech in front of hundreds. It could very well be the fact that you give presentations exceptionally well. Presentations before small groups – especially if they’re groups of people you know – can be relatively easy to do as a first step.

Once you get the hang of a good presentation, you can volunteer for presenting before larger groups and perhaps – gulp! – eventually becoming a speaker at a seminar or even – double gulp!! – a conference of a few hundred people.

Read below for some tips on how to improve your speaking/presentation skills.

  1. First, as we sort of hinted at above, change your outlook! Look at the chance to present something as the great opportunity it is – the chance to show how well you know something, to show “your stuff,” as it were. Yes, you’ll be in the spotlight, but when it comes to getting noticed for promotion, being in the spotlight definitely is the place to be.
  2. Prepare. Then prepare some more. There’s a fine line between preparing well and over-preparing, of course. But when it comes to making a presentation, especially when you’re nervous, over preparation is far better than underpreparing. For one thing, preparing well helps you keep nerves calm: “I know this stuff. I got this.”
  3. Make sure your presentation/speech is no longer than 20 minutes. People have very short attention spans today and you’ll lose your audience if you ramble on for more than 20 minutes. In addition, make sure your presentation is engaging and enjoyable. Talking in a monotone? Stop it.
  4. Look directly into the eyes of some of your audience members. We’re not kidding. Direct eye contact can help you remember that you’re not talking to a “crowd,” you’re talking to individuals who happen to make up your audience. Direct eye contact also helps an audience member connect with you on an individual basis.
  5.  Do it once and then do it again. And again. It’s an old saw, but it’s still around because it’s true: practice does make perfect. Make presentations again and again and they’ll get easier for you. You’ll also be able to watch as you’re noticed more by those who can help you in your career.

Speaking of helping you in your career, if you’re looking for work in the San Antonio area, contact the recruiters at Trinity Staffing Services. We know who the good companies are and we can help you find work with them. Contact us today.

How Handwritten Letters Can Help You Stand Out Among Applicants

October 13th, 2011

In this digital age, much of our communication is electronic, both in text and video form. Job applications and other job-search correspondence are no exception.

People contact companies by e-mail, apply for jobs through company websites, use Facebook and LinkedIn to network and get information. It has become the norm, just the usual way of doing business.

In the face of this electronic blizzard, one person is championing a more traditional approach – the old fashioned handwritten letter. He contends that at a time when electronic communications dominate the job search world, sending a personalized letter is a good way of getting yourself noticed.

“There is no denying the power of the hand-held pen,” says Robert Graber, the founder of online recruiting site WallStJobs.com.

People seldom see anything on paper these days, he says. Resumes, cover letters, job notices are all online. It certainly makes things easier and makes things run more smoothly. But a handwritten note can be a real opportunity to set yourself apart from other job candidates.

Hiring managers, Graber says, expect to get a lot of job related correspondence online. But a really savvy candidate will use any information or details about the company he or she has picked up during research in a brief, handwritten letter, in addition to all of the other application materials.

Graber advises to look for things that are unique to the company when you go for an interview. Then, write a short, handwritten note related to what you have seen. For example, he says you might have noticed an award from a trade association given to the company, an association of which you are also a member, which you can mention in a note. Or if you see a diploma, your note can connect to that in some way – through a friend who might have gone there, for example.

Be sure, however, that you use high-quality materials in your correspondence.

Graber advises using neutral colors. Practice writing the note a few times first to firm up your penmanship and also to refine what you are going to say. Don’t overlook writing and revising your letter just because it’s a brief note. Graber also says not to write more than two or three sentences. Also, use the person’s title in the note and sign your first and last name. Keep the note short and professional. Also, avoid using a postage machine or computer generated logos. “Use a real stamp,” Graber says. “It’s the little things that mean a lot.”

When you’re looking for a new position, let the experienced recruiters at Trinity Staffing Services help you find a new job in the San Antonio area. We have connections with many of San Antonio’s best employers and we can help you find great direct-hire, temporary, or temp-to-hire opportunities with them. Contact us today!

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