Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Awesome People, Here’s Why You NEED to Fill Out Your LinkedIn Profile

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 27.9 million small businesses and 18,500 firms with more than 500 employees. Due to such a large number of employers, there is sure to be overlap in the meaning of job titles causing the titles to be completely ambiguous. They lack clarity, true meaning and concrete value.

Essentially, your job title does not matter. Sure, some titles are universally recognized, but that does not mean that each person with that title does the same thing. As an example, let us examine the title “sales manager.”

Just looking at three different LinkedIn profiles of people with the current title “sales manager,” you can find three very different jobs. The first profile has no direct reports and manages a sales territory including only two cities. The next profile manages four to six sales associates in a territory covering three states. The last profile manages a sales force of 21 and is in charge of all their training. These three people have very different backgrounds, but they all have the same title. Each person has an excellent profile with details of each of their past positions, so you can tell what each of them really did.

When a recruiter or hiring manager is looking to fill a position, it is crucial that they be able to easily view past history in order to find you. You are awesome. Companies will want to hire you, but if you are not giving them the right information, they cannot even find you. Do yourself a huge favor, and complete as much of your LinkedIn profile as possible. Your dream job could be out there just waiting for you to fill in the details.

If you have questions about how to best fill out your LinkedIn profile, contact us at info@connorcaitlin.com.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Who moved my cheese? Who cares - I'm moving on to wine!

Change is always on the horizon.  It’s necessary and inevitable. Often times, we really want the change but then are confused by our own response to the reality of it. It may be a change in your environment, career move or physical move. Whatever the circumstance, change prompts a powerful response from your emotions – often known as stress!  Identifying whether it’s positive or negative is really determined by your attitude. Instead of trying to fight it or merely cope (all of which will leave you frustrated, isolated and exhausted) try adjusting your mindset altogether! 

Before you say, “Easier said than done!” ponder these thoughts:

Ø  Denial is not a river in Egypt. Acknowledge change is happening. Burying your head in the sand won’t stop it. By the time you pull it out, you’ll be behind the curve or perhaps worse, have missed the boat entirely. "When you're finished changing, you're finished." It may be an old adage, but damn if Ben Franklin isn’t right.

Ø  Think of change as a process. Change usually doesn’t happen overnight, nor do you adjust overnight. There are many steps which must be taken to get to the other side of the mountain. Fortunately, all you have to do is focus on one step at a time.

Ø  Rise to the positive. If you choose to perceive anything as positive, it can be! You will thrive in positivity. Keeping your chin up will help you feel better and bring you closer to those around you, which will probably help your transition.

Ø  Redefine routines and success. The definition of success varies for every individual, every relationship and in every career. It is likely that success in your last career doesn’t look the same as your new one. In the beginning set short term goals & define success on a daily basis. As you start to achieve this many days in a row, define success on a weekly basis, then monthly. From here you will be able to identify long term goals without getting overwhelmed at how much work it will take to get there.

Ø  Have an attitude of gratitude. Change is an opportunity. It opens a door that you couldn’t even see existed from where you stood before! Find things to be excited about and look forward too.
Don’t forget to engage your support network. Communicating is key during this time! Not tapping into support from a leader, mentor, family or friends will only serve to help you feel more isolated. Remember the positive!

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. - Socrates

Please contact a Practice Leader at  Connor|Caitlin for more information. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Stay Positive

            “Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard

Negative thoughts and doubts are often times easier to believe than positive thoughts simply because it’s more difficult to be optimistic. However, there are a few things you can do to have a more positive outlook. Positivity can have a huge impact on your life, business and personal!

First, try and become more conscience of what goes through your mind. This way when once you realize you are thinking negatively about something you can let it go easier and avoid talking about it out loud. The most challenging part is changing the way you feel about a situation. This is a time where being optimistic is a great advantage; start visualizing and coming up with more desirable outcomes regarding the condition. After you visualize, begin to take action towards your new goals. Go about your normal day, learn new things, and if an opportunity comes about, then take it!

This is a no brainer… Make sure you surround yourself with positive people. Their attitudes and perspectives will soon wear off on you; this is also a way to get feedback.

Lastly, it could never hurt to take some time out of your routine to look up some positive or inspirational quotes. Or if the situation calls for it, a funny cat picture! Whenever you feel like giving up or are feeling down about something, try adjusting how you perceive things with these easy yet very helpful tips. 

Get more out of your positive lifestyle.  Contact one of the positive people at Connor | Caitlin for more tips and tricks.  


Friday, November 20, 2015

What your Resume Says About You

A resume is an ideal tool used to exemplify you.  Many times, recruiters will not even look at your cover letter until they have gone over your resume. There would be no point in going further than viewing the resume if you don’t have the correct qualifications and background for the position right? This is why its critical to provide as much information and accomplishments as possible. One thing is certain; you never want recruiters assuming anything. For example, if there is a gap in your resume somewhere when you were out of work then make sure you give an explanation as to why. Your timeline regarding different jobs is one of the key components of your resume. This way recruiters will be able to decipher whether you are more committed or a job jumper.

Now, when listing your previous jobs and current job, it’s essential to provide a decent description for each one. On the other hand, don’t be too lengthy about it and make it easy to read by using bullet points for instance. Recruiters want to see that you have had multiple job titles throughout your career; this indicates you are well rounded and more experienced. With that being said, recruiters want to know if you are getting results in your area of expertise. This would be where you talk about your accomplishments and throw in some numbers that give weight to your achievements.

Continuously promote your quality as a person and employee, your skills, and of course your education. At the end of your resume it is strongly suggested to provide a couple references for the recruiter to contact if needed. Bottom line is, always be critical of your work. Your resume is your first impression so make sure it’s a memorable one because your resume speaks for you.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information regarding resumes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Make Time your Partner, Not your Opponent

Time is the most precious resource we have as human beings.  When it comes to your job, time management is definitely something you need to master sooner rather than later to avoid being swamped. There are a few key tips to keep in mind when managing your time during work.

Always be a good listener. It’s critical to listen to your colleagues in order to learn, receive some advice, or come up with new ideas. Often times this helps get tasks done faster.
Deadlines are also very important, so the more successful employees tend to be more organized and productive by keeping track of time. Planning ahead is a tactic that is needed in order to meet deadlines and will benefit you in the sense of keeping your day on track.

In today’s society, technology and social media are becoming large aspects in the business world. Technology should be used as a resource, but a lot of times it can be a distraction. It’s vital to be in control of technology so it doesn’t control you and affect your work ethics. Take initiative and handle these circumstances and diversions that are best for you.

Another tip is knowing your limit, so never bite off more than you can chew because in the long run that will end up slowing you down.  Going back to planning out your work day; it’s a clever idea to set a time for yourself that you want to work until and a time you don’t want to work past. By choosing a time to leave work by will help you be more proficient during the day, as well as keeping up with plans outside of work. 

The real and utmost trick to time management is organization. Being organized helps you stay at the top of your game, so go ahead and make a to-do list and organize your information. You will find yourself moving at a faster pace and work will seem that much easier with a little bit of organization skills.

Manage your time; don’t let it get ahead of you.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why it’s Okay to Have an Off Day

Let’s get real. Everyone has off days. Sometimes it’s the weather, sometimes it’s morning traffic, and sometimes you just can’t find your motivation. In case no one else has told you this, I will: it’s okay.

Today is an off day for me. I have not accomplished nearly as much as I would like to. I have not been proactive in asking for tasks or seeing if I could help anyone with what they’re working on. However, I am still writing a blog and I did accomplish what was asked of me. Still, today is an off day.

It’s okay to have off days because you cannot give 100 percent all the time. You can try, but you will fail and you will just disappoint yourself. This is not to say that it is okay to give 50 percent all the time, just to say that you do not need to beat yourself up over a crappy day.

Today could have been better and maybe it should have been, but because today was like it was I know tomorrow will be better. I let myself have an off day because if I had tried to force myself into an exceptional day I would have produced mediocre work that I would have to fix tomorrow. I stayed on top of all my required tasks and made sure I did not fall behind. I did not get ahead either, but that’s okay.

Everyone has off days. It’s okay to let yourself have one and not feel guilty. No one is perfect and your bosses do not expect you to be either. Give 100 percent as much as you can, go above and beyond when you need to, and give yourself a break when you need it. Ultimately being honest with yourself about your capabilities each day is going to lead to long-term higher productivity. So really, it is okay to have an off day!

Contact Connor | Caitlin with your questions about workplace productivity!   


Friday, October 16, 2015

What Our Intern Had to Say

One of my mentors favorite expression is “Plans are fluid.” This could not be truer for my life, or my internship.

Each day is a new experience. I really never know what is going to happen when I walk into the office in the morning. There is always something new to be learned and a new task to complete every single day, and I love it!

I really get to be a part of the team and help with major projects. I am pushed past my limits and forced to learn new things. I get to work with people who genuinely care about my experience and want to help me improve my skills. Not only that, but they truly value the skills that I do have. Nearly everyday, someone asks for my opinion on something because they really want to know what I think about it.

The best part is being a part of such a wonderful company culture. We talk about the “three I’s” a lot, which are intensity, integrity, and intelligence. Connor | Caitlin has all three of them. We work intelligently with intensity and integrity to solve our partners’ problems. I firmly believe Connor | Caitlin is so successful because we also employ the intensity “I” in our fun as well. When we have fun, we HAVE FUN, and we have fun all the time.

The entire environment in the office has taught me the kind of culture to look for in a company. I am exponentially more productive and happier because of Connor | Caitlin’s dedication to creating such a great place to work.

If you have questions about how to create excellent internships in your business, contact Connor | Caitlin!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Tell Them What They Need to Know

Nearly all studies and surveys about what companies are looking for in their next hire result in the same top answer: communication. Employers need to know that a person can effectively communicate with others in order to complete tasks, make improvements, develop culture, create change, and many other things.

The first way employers will begin determining communication skills occurs in the interview. More and more interviewers are asking candidates vague questions. This is not because the hiring authorities do not know what they want to ask, it is because they want to know if a candidate can provide them the information they need.

In the past, many interviewers would ask something like “Tell me about a time you managed people and if it went well.” Now they will say something more like “Have you managed people?” While these questions may seem very different, it is more than likely that they are looking for the same kind of answer. The employer still needs to know if a candidate can manage people and how they did it, but they are also using the question to gauge the candidate’s communication skills.

This is the time for a candidate to show the employer that they are not only qualified for the job, but they bring excellent communications skills to the table as well. If a candidate answers “Yes” to the second version of the question, they are technically answering what was asked of them. However, a candidate could answer, “Yes, I have. At my current position I manage a team of 6 individuals who each have at least three reports. I have had to resolve conflicts and help make group changes. It is an environment I have really enjoyed and have also learned a lot from.” This answer gives the hiring authority detail that a simple “yes” did not. It shows that the candidate has real applicable skills and can communicate that clearly.

In your next interview, be sure to listen for opportunities like the one described here and showcase your communication skills when you can.

Contact us at info@connorcaitlin.com for more information. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Put Your Best Foot Forward-In Your Resume!

Creating a good resume is one of the most important parts of finding a job. Your resume is the first thing a potential employer will get to see about you, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Avoiding these common mistakes can help you get more calls from employers and a better chance of landing a job.

  1. Make sure your resume is free of grammatical errors. Typos in your resume can lead a potential employer to believe you can’t write well or you lack attention to detail.  Proof read your resume a few times through to ensure your resume doesn’t have any errors.
  2. Be specific! Often people write about their previous positions and the duties associated with those positions. Employers want to know about your accomplishments and projects you completed at your jobs, not the fact that you had to attend daily meetings. Doing this can give your employer a better idea of your skills and proficiencies.
  3. Job seekers often also send the exact same resume to all employers. It is important to tailor resume to the job you are applying for. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul of your resume for each job, but highlighting skills you have that complement each job you are seeking will make it look like you are a great fit for each position.

If you have any questions, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Don’t Live a Life of “What Ifs”

As you know, and probably have felt before, most of the time people don’t like stepping out of their comfort zones, especially when it comes to the business world. However, if you have an opportunity in your life that will benefit you in the long run, then take the risk. If not now, when? If you don’t take chances that require a leap of faith, you may end up regretting it later on.

For example, let’s say you find something that you are extremely passionate about, but it doesn’t have anything to do with your current job. Go for it. Try something new, because if it will benefit you in some way then it’s worth it.

When taking chances you may not have all of the answers, but there are always lessons to learn about determination, leadership and courage. You are responsible for creating the life you want and the career that will satisfy you. Fear is the main factor that holds us back from reaching our greatest potential; therefore we won’t know what is achievable until we try.

People are inspired by the idea that they can own their life and meet their own ideal success. Next time there is a promotion at work or an opportunity that you wouldn’t normally take simply because of fear, just remember that life is about risks. Don’t let the “what ifs” in life stop you, because they might end up being the best decisions you ever made.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information, or for help to reach your next goal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Powder Coatings Market Expected to Grow

A new study released by Transparency Market Research reveals that the powder coatings industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. 

In 2011, the powder coatings market was worth $6.5 billion, in 2018 it is expected to reach $10.5 billion. This growth is largely due to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (AKA the BRICS countries). These countries have some of the fastest developing economies in the world, and demand for goods such as automobiles and household appliances has rapidly increased.

Powder coatings are solvent free and are used to provide a dry finish. They are high quality and have a very durable finish. Cooking and household appliances alone accounted for 20% of the powder coatings market. Automobiles also take up a significant share of the powder coatings market, and with the rising demand for automobiles in the BRICS means an increase in demand for powder coatings.

If you have any questions, or would like more industry insights, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Secret to Getting a Promotion

When a topic regarding promotion is brought up, it often leaves people quite perplexed. In many situations people complain about the unfairness of how promotions are chosen. So, what is the secret to getting a promotion?

For one, start associating yourself with other people who have been promoted and those who are highly respected within your company. Habits rub off; therefore it is important that you gain the right ones. Along with the correct skills for the job, you should also strive to have the best attitude you can.
Communicating is one of the most important characteristics you need to maintain in the business world. Know how to effectively and appropriately discuss your accomplishments and strengths with your boss. Also, try giving your boss a weekly update so they are aware of what’s going on in your department; this displays your attention to the company. With that being said, “don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk”. While communication is vital, so is participation. It’s always noble to get involved, particularly when it comes to meetings and business socials.

You have to be willing to show your boss you can handle responsibility and be more involved than the average Joe. One thing yo
u never want to do is obsess over getting a promotion, just go with the flow. If you ask your boss over and over again then you will end up seeming desperate and that is not a quality they are looking for. Don’t stress too much over whether you do or don’t get a promotion, its nothing personal, so all you can do is strive to be the best employee you can be.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Average Hiring Times Getting Longer

The Interview and Hiring process is taking much longer than in previous years. Average hiring times have increased from around 12 days in 2010 to around 23 days in 2014. This is due largely to the more in-depth screening process being used by employers today. Studies show that panel interviews can add almost a week to the hiring process and things like IQ tests and personality tests can add as many as 4 days.

While it is important for an employer to make sure they are making the right decision, taking too much time can actually lead to weaker hire. This seems counter intuitive, wouldn’t taking more time allow the employer to find a better candidate? However, if you take too long with the hiring process, you give the strong candidates time to accept other offers, leaving you with a weaker pool of prospective hires. Taking too much time can also result in loss of productivity. The more time the hiring process takes, the more time the empty position goes unfilled.

It is important to balance the time it takes to effectively screen potential candidates with how much time it will take. If you leave out key steps in the hiring process, you won’t be sure exactly who you are hiring. If you take too long with the hiring process, you could lose strong candidates to other companies and lose productivity.

If you have any questions about hiring practices, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

Don’t just Think it; Speak it. (Appropriately)

As time prevails, social media is becoming more than just a form of advertisement and source of information. Social media can actually be a smart way to voice your opinion about certain issues or topics. However, speaking up does not mean being vulgar about the matter, but simply expressing your thoughts in an appropriate way. When a popular subject comes up, especially in the business world, many people tend to keep their thoughts to themselves and agree with the majority.  Instead, speak up.

Recently in the news, Taylor Swift voiced her outlook about Apple’s new streaming service on Tumblr. She claimed that she spoke up about the issue not for herself, but for other fellow musicians who were not getting paid by Apple. Taylor Swift’s post was seen by Apple and it did make a difference. Apple replied to her post and agreed to pay the artists for streaming even during the free trial period. Even though Taylor Swift is a celebrity, this is still a good example of just how influential social media can be.

Use social media to your advantage, but always make sure your posts don’t personally offend anyone. If you have a personal issue with a colleague or your boss at work, this would be the type of problem to solve in person. There are certain situations when it’s appropriate to use social media, and other situations when it’s not. Social media can be a very powerful tool; know how to use it, don’t abuse it.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tips and Tricks for Skype Interviews

Skype interviews are becoming more and more prevalent as of recently. They are halfway between a face to face interview and a phone interview, so it’s understandable to have questions about them. Many often wonder how they should dress or if they should look at the interviewer on the screen or the camera that is recording them to give the impression of eye contact.

Don’t try to get too comfortable just because you are in your own home. Since the Interviewer can actually see you during the interview, you should dress as you would for a face to face interview. You still want to present yourself as professionally as possible.

Make sure you are mindful of your background. The focus of the interview should be on you, so having things like a television on or children running around can be distracting for the interview. Remember to also make sure the interviewer can see you, if you have a bright light or a window in the background, you end up looking like a dark blob.

In a normal interview, eye contact is very important, so it is important to give the interviewer the impression of eye contact. This means looking at the camera rather than the screen. It may seem awkward, but the interviewer won’t be able to tell the difference.

Electronic interviews are rapidly becoming the standard for first time interviews.  Polishing up your presence on camera not only helps you land that job, but also gives you confidence in making presentations.  These skills are highly desirable, regardless of if you are working in a lab or customer facing. 

If you have any questions, or want more information regarding electronic interviews, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Curious about Culture

Lately, there has been a plethora of information on company culture, and why it is important to attracting that so desired top talent.  Company culture would best be described as the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees interact and handle business communications.

There are several different ways you can learn about a company’s culture, even just by observing. When you take a tour of a company, look around; listen to conversations between employees, glance at the accessories in peoples’ offices, and make sure to ask questions.

It’s a smart idea to ask about your starting role in the company and how you will be evaluated. It’s very significant that the company understands your needs. Also, ask about how the company got started and what their personal values are all together.

There is no better insight than talking to the employees about their role in the company and the social aspect of it. Does everyone tend to get along?  Do you enjoy the working environment?  A new job is also a learning experience, which is why you should also discuss new skills you might learn or knowledge you’ll be acquiring.

Aside from asking questions and observing, make sure you do your research on the company. You can find reviews on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more information. Culture is a vital part of a company, which is why it’s smart to take the time to learn about it before you take the next step. 

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information on company culture, and the importance of attracting top talent.

Friday, August 7, 2015

What to ask the Newbie

Effectively hiring a new employee is important for any company. How is this successfully achieved? The faster you get your new hire up-to-speed with things the more productive they can be.

It’s vital to get to know your new employee personally so they feel more comfortable at work. For example, take them out to lunch one day or to get a cup of coffee. Be sure to ask them questions in order to gauge how they are adjusting to their new job and work environment. See if their job has been what they expected so far and if it meets all of their standards. Make it very clear that honesty is critical with your new employee and they should be open with you. In order to get them more involved make sure they aren’t confused about their role in the company and that nothing is unclear.

As the manager, offer your new employee actions that could possibly make their transition easier. This will prove your commitment to them when it comes to improving their performance. Discuss what they are enjoying the most about their role, this way you are bringing up a positive topic. This is a clever way to bring up their strengths if you haven’t already.

Teamwork is one of the most important aspects in today’s business world. Make an effort to introduce your new employee to their colleagues. Start by inviting them to a group discussion or even set up lunches with people you think they would get along with.

The first few months at a new job can be quite difficult and sometimes uncomfortable to adjust to. By having occasional meetings with your new hire and asking them these questions, you will see them adapt much quicker to their new job.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information on successful on-boarding practices. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What’s your best practice?

The phrase “best practice” is tossed around all the time, especially in human resources and recruiting. What does it really mean though?

A company begins to call a procedure a “best practice” after it is proven to provide results. Companies love hearing about “best practices,” sharing theirs with others, and learning new “best practices” from others. When just thinking about it on the surface, that makes a lot of sense. However, if the surface of the idea is scraped just a tiny bit, the idea begins to fall apart.

If there is one thing that is constant in the world it is change. Change is necessary for progress and progress is vital to continual success. If these ideas are held true, then the idea of “best practices” is almost a laughable one. How can one expect to change and progress while using the same procedures over and over again?

The other vital piece to consider is that all businesses and people are different. What works best for one may be a catastrophic failure to another. Learning from others is a great practice and can lead to miraculous innovation, but only if done while still considering differences. 

All of this is not to say that you should throw all procedures and practices out the window. Some consistency and much organization are both also key factors of success. However, it is important to regularly examine everything being done to insure no updates or improvements can be made.

Contact Connor | Caitlin to talk about “best practices” and continuous improvement by emailing info@connorcaitlin.com 

Friday, July 31, 2015

NFL Chooses Eco TempLine Field Paints for 2015-2016 Season

The National Football league has selected Eco TempLine Celebration Colors to honor Super Bowl 50 during the season. Every team will exhibit the specified markings every game leading up to Super Bowl 50.

The TempLine Celebration Colors were specially designed for Super Bowl Promotion. The colors include Celebration Gold, Celebration Charcoal, and Celebration White. They are made to be used on both real grass and artificial turf, without hampering field conditions.

Eco Chemical is also offering discounts to individual NFL teams who wish to purchase these colors.

Just one great example of how coatings interact with our everyday lives, without us even really knowing!  

If you have any questions, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beating Procrastination

We’ve all procrastinated. When you’re feeling tired or bogged down by your work, it seems so tempting to put off your responsibilities until later, hoping they will get easier. However, this is never the case, you just end up giving yourself less time to complete your work. This causes your work to be sloppy and you end up feeling more stressed out because of the limited amount of time you have to complete it.

To beat procrastination try to start off doing the easy work first. It is easier to start and it will give you enough momentum to start your more difficult tasks. Often, the hardest part about doing your work is simply starting it, so once you complete an easy task, your brain will be warmed up for the next one.

Try breaking your work into smaller pieces if you are feeling overwhelmed by a large project. This will make it seem much more manageable, making it easier to start. Also try to remember why you are doing your work. If you remember you’re doing it to make money for your family, to advance in your career, or to put yourself through school it will be much easier to get the work done.

If you have any questions, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Power of the Card

A business card is often times underestimated in the workforce, which it shouldn’t be, considering it can be used as such a powerful tool. A successful business card should have a legible font that captures one’s attention, and enough information on it to make them memorable. Make sure your card has a good tagline that helps the recipient understand your role and business. It’s critical to always keep your card as up-to-date as possible.

 Aside from creating a professional looking business card, it’s a smart idea to carry a couple with you wherever you go just in case. Now, you don’t want them to be all wrinkled and smudged, so keep them in a place with good protection. There is an elusive power to promptly pull out a spotless card and hand it to your new connection.
When giving out your business card during an interview, it’s key to be polite and respectful about it. Possibly set your card on their chair before they come in, or on the desk in front of them so it seems subtle. Giving out your business card before a meeting or interview not only shows that you are professional, but it also helps others remember your name. On the other hand, when offered someone else’s card, take a second to look at it so they know you appreciate it. After that, place it on your desk so you can refer back to it during the meeting if needed.

Once you exchange business cards with someone, you might want to send them a LinkedIn connection request or a follow-up email in order to portray your mutual interests. A business card serves as a memory jogger after an introduction so new connections can remember why they should contact you.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life as an Intern

All interns have to do is get coffee for their boss and copy papers right? Wrong. Here at Connor | Caitlin,
an internship, in my opinion, is comparable to having a permanent job with the company. We are required to do a valuable amount of work and the work we do is used to benefit the other employees as well.

As an intern, my goal is to help out my colleagues with any extra work they need done to make their prestigious jobs a little bit easier. We are trained to use certain programs and websites for research, such as: LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Lead Ferret, Base Camp, PCRecruiter, etc. These are all tools I had barely even heard of before coming to intern at Connor | Caitlin.

Along with participating in the Internet research aspect, I also have the opportunity to write some of the blogs for our website. This gives me a break from the research portion and allows me to practice my writing skills. This internship has also been a huge learning experience not only in coatings and recruitment, but business in general. I have had the chance to sit in on conference calls, go to other businesses similar to ours, and even give my respective opinion on improvements for the company based on what I’ve learned.

Unlike most internships, I was asked to make a presentation on how we could advance the Connor | Caitlin website. This permitted me to explore other companies in the coatings and recruiting industry, and then branch out with suggestions for our company. This was especially an effective experience because all businesses will most likely expect at least one presentation from you sometime in your career. One of my suggestions for the website was video marketing. The other interns and myself will be creating an introductory video for Connor | Caitlin, this will hopefully boost our advertising and growth. See, this goes to show that not all internships are just catering to the needs of your boss.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nailed the interview… What’s next?

Often times after an interview you might be asking yourself “what’s next?” It’s always important to be proactive instead of just sitting around waiting for that phone call. The first thing you should do, no matter what, is send out a follow up email or letter to the hiring manager. This shows that you are serious about the job and considerate of the time spent with the company you interviewed with. 

Prior to your potential second interview, make sure you research salary. This way when the hiring manager puts an offer on the table you won’t be unprepared. Preparing for that next step is vital.
You might consider working on a sample project or assignment for the company to impress them with your work ethics. In other cases, employers deliver a scenario and ask the candidates to create a proposition or solution for it. This usually helps the company make their final hiring decision. Before the final step you should contact your references and keep them updated with your progress. Remember, you can also ask the employer for references from people who currently work or have previously worked as well. 

The next time you meet with the employer you could even suggest an offer yourself, however this is only in certain circumstances. You could create a proposal that states a need they have, your services, the time you would dedicate, and the results they can expect. Next time you have an interview, remember to
be proactive in order to set yourself apart from the other candidates.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Who’s Interviewing Who?

As the interviewer, you should always be aware that your potential employee could have several other offers. You are doing more than just interviewing your candidate; think of it as you are selling them the job. During the interview process your candidate is likely (hopefully) taking mental notes about you as well, and the company overall. Therefore, it’s important to not only ask questions, but also inform them about yourself and your position within the company.
When it comes to the interview process, always be respectful towards your candidate and attentive when they are speaking. This will make your candidate feel more comfortable and important. Let them know about your company’s culture and how your executives make an effort to get to know their employees on a personal level.

Your candidate should also be informed that their opinions matter and their feedback would always be considered. Also, knowing that there are competitors, it’s critical to make a better offer. This way your candidate can compare salaries, healthcare insurance, benefits, and hours. If your candidate brings up a counter-offer they received from another company, always counter the counter-offer.

Aside from being the interviewer, always be prepared for your candidate to ask you some questions of his or her own. They will often ask about their career path, which you should always answer in a long-term perspective in order for them to feel secure at your company. Make sure you are also well informed about your co-workers and what they do because your candidate may ask what they are like to see if they will fit in.

This is a candidate-driven job market, which means top candidates can afford to be particular about which offer to accept, so always make a good case because they are interviewing you too.

For more information please contact Connor|Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com

Friday, July 10, 2015

It's Not What You Know, it's Who You Know.

We’re all familiar with the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” When you are making new connections and expanding your network, it is important to take time to think through how you can make your network work for you to get the most out of your connections.

Each new person you meet can be a new point in your network, but planning ahead and having a strategy can exponentially increase the value of networking. By thinking through how you will network and coming up with your plan of attack, you not only will be more prepared to make better connections, but will refine your networking abilities and become a networking genius.

Begin with figuring out what kind of people you need to add to your network. This can be anyone from lateral employees at companies within your industry to higher ups in a field you are interested in penetrating into. Once you have determined what kind of people to add you can begin to look for specific people and events. After you have found events to attend, try to obtain a copy of the list of attendees to strategize whom to meet. When you are at the event ma
king connections, be sure to have meaningful interactions. It does you no good to meet someone if they will not remember you afterwards. Finally, after you have made your connection, be sure to follow-up quickly. Your follow up could be a quick note in an email, an invitation to coffee or lunch, or even a connect on LinkedIn.

Networking will never be an exact science, but with careful consideration and planning it can become a nearly perfected art. Do not be afraid to try different techniques and figure out what works best for you. Inevitably mistakes will be made, that is okay. Learn from the mistakes and do better the next time. With planning, networking prowess will soon be in your wheelhouse.

Contact Connor | Caitlin to talk more about networking and how you can improve your skills.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Diving into Uncertainty

            No one can predict the future; therefore every day comes with uncertainties. However, uncertainty will not stop a successful individual from achieving their goals. To be able to predict and able to understand are two important concepts when it comes to overcoming uncertainty. It’s always critical to determine the possible outcome of events and prepare for them. Once you are able to make rational assumptions, you will not be as anxious about future. 

When it comes to being successful in your career, taking risks is an instinct everyone should have, seeing as human beings are naturally curious. Taking risks is driven by the desire to understand. Nobody likes an unresolved situation, thus if you don’t fix the problem you will never be satisfied. How will you know how to resolve the situation? Well, that’s where predicting and understanding the situation comes to mind.

            It’s always an individual’s first instinct to control a problem when it arises, or even before it does. Since people attempt to predict the future when they are uncertain, it gives them a sense of control so they feel more powerful in their position. Uncertainty is our reaction to external factors, so when that factor can be controlled the feeling of uncertainty disappears. In the time of doubt, if you don’t have sufficient information, it is always a smart idea to rely on your gut feeling. Trusting your subconscious can be very helpful considering your intuition about a person or situation is usually correct. 

Even when given no insight on a situation, successful people never let uncertainty stand in their way because they use their first instinct. Stressing about uncertainty is just a waste of time and energy, which is why it’s always important to use your instincts so nothing can hold you back in your career and everyday life.

For more information please contact Connor Caitlin Talent Solutions at www.connorcaitlin.com

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Is professionalism dying?

As I was going through LinkedIn Pulse recently reading various articles, I came across this 
little gem. If you do not have time to read the whole thing, the gist is that a gentleman (we’ll call him Fred) was basically trying to make a sale via direct message on Twitter. I was pretty shocked to say the least.

Most of the time I think millennials get a bad rap for no reason. This though, this guy… even I said to myself, “stupid millennial.” (Disclaimer: I am a millennial.) As millennials, we are trying to convince employers that we are all that and a box of chocolates. We need employers to know that we are the best things to ever happen to them! Hey Fred, news flash, you’re not helping! We don’t like you! 

Twitter is an excellent tool for business and when used correctly, it can significantly help build your online presence and increase brand recognition. However, it should not be used for selling. Selling is an art. It is not something to be tossed around like a tattered old baseball in the backyard. It should be prepared for and done professionally.

People are possibly busier than they have ever been and Fred barely even acknowledges that fact, let alone respects it. Sales is all about treating the customer the way they want to be treated. It is all about solving a problem for your customer, not creating another for them to deal with.

Remember to always maintain professionalism on social media and everywhere! You never know when your conversation might become the inspiration for an online post.

Contact Connor | Caitlin at info@connorcaitlin.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

There Is Power in a Smile

George Eliot said, “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.” Smiling is a very simple way to make a good impression; it can immediately change your outward appearance and therefore how people perceive you. Perception is in the details and no matter how much you care about your employees and their well being, if do not make an effort to show you care, they may never know. 

A simple smile and hello in the morning to your fellow employees can change the course of an entire day. Perhaps Susie in the corner was running late and thought the day was going to be awful and your smile will turn her morning around. Maybe George from down the hall is having trouble getting through an assignment and your smile gives him the push he needs to finish it up.

A smile says, “Hi, I’m happy to be here and I’m glad you are too.” Communications experts estimate that 80 percent of communication is non-verbal, so even if you are saying the right things, you still need to show it as well. Research also shows that even fake smiles will work, so fake it till you make it, folks.

Smiling can improve your mood, improve the mood of those around you, encourage creativity, increase brain activity, decrease stress, make your more approachable, increase your perceived trustworthiness, and a host of other things. Even all these benefits are something to smile about!

In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie said, “A smile costs nothing, but creates so much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory sometimes lasts forever.”

As you go about your day, make an effort to smile a few extra times.  Eventually, smiling more will become a habit and you will find yourself much better for it.

Contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Managing Stress to Achieve Your Goals

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by work or school, unable to unwind after a demanding day? Often, this is due to an unhealthy level of stress, making you feel trapped and unable to complete any of your tasks. These levels of stress can cause things like obesity, depression, and decreased cognitive ability.

While too much stress can make you feel overwhelmed, too little stress causes you to feel bored and uninterested. A healthy level of stress motivates you to work productively, allowing you to reach your full potential. The key to being successful is being able to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level.

There are many ways to help manage stress. Exercise is a great way to beat stress. It is proven to reduce stress hormones and calm your mind. Meditating is also known to relax your mind and body, reducing stress. Eating and sleeping well are also important when it comes to managing stress. Foods rich in vitamin C are known to reduce stress hormones, while a good night’s sleep can help energize you the next day, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

If you have any questions, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions at www.connorcaitlin.com.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Talent of a Lifetime

Talent is essential to everything a business does. Talent needs nurtured, tended to, and at times even created. Each member of the team brings something different to the table with their individual talents and abilities. When complacency is allowed, the talent plateaus and can even decrease.

Expecting excellence from employees and creating an environment where their talents are valued and sincerely appreciated develops exceptional employees. Having exceptional employees leads to higher output and greater results.

The question then becomes how to insure talent is truly being tended to. A lot of companies have created superior leadership and training programs. These programs allow companies to teach employees company standards and specific operating procedures.

All of this is wonderful, however it is important to consider the negative effects as well. When companies rely too heavily on these programs, they effectively toss talent management to the side. This is the exact opposite thing the programs were intended for, but it is what is happening.

Successful talent management happens daily and involves all levels of employees! When employees are directed to foster talent in each other it creates stronger teams and individuals. Talent management cannot be a once a year, or worse, once a career thing. It is a continuous process of self-improvement and awareness.

Contact Connor | Caitlin with any questions about developing talent in your business at info@connorcaitlin.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

Expansion With The Help of Social Media

Social media is rapidly changing the ways we do business. It is a great way to expand your business and increase name recognition. A study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK found that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that has a big social media presence.
The key to using social media as a means of expansion is to understand your target audience and what social media sites they use. For example, if your audience is younger, you might consider using Twitter, while you might use Facebook if they are older.

Remember that it takes time to build up a large follower base that will make a difference in your business. Don’t expect instant results and stay with it! Also, respond to feedback. No one wants to follow a page that doesn’t interact with them. This will help you keep your existing followers as you try to gain more.

Most importantly, remember that social media is simply a tool to increase exposure and to connect with your customers, so don’t spend too much time focusing on it! You still need develop products, grow your mailing list and sell your products. Social media shouldn’t replace marketing activities, it should complement them.

If you want more information, please contact Connor|Caitlin Talent Solutions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BASF, Making a Difference

In a world where we hear far more about the bad than the good, it is vital to recognize exceptional actions when taken. BASF continues their partnership with the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum to provide a hands-on learning experience for children ages 6 to 12.

BASF The Chemical Company started the partnership four years ago in the company’s continual effort to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the region.  

“BASF encourages an interest in science at an early age,” said Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and Manager of the Geismar BASF site. “Our goal is to have kids interact with the basics of chemistry and the products that surround them daily so that they can explore the connections to chemistry in their world. Through Kids’ Lab we provide hands-on learning that helps today’s students become the innovators and leaders of the future.”

More than 10,300 people have participated in the program at the museum since its induction. This has allowed children and adults alike to explore chemistry in safe, supervised experiments as well as demonstrations. By exposing young children to science, BASF truly opens the door for new explorations and interests for the children. Additionally, the company is giving back to the community around them in a very positive way.

This is just one example of coatings companies getting involved in their communities to make the world a better place.

Contact Connor | Caitlin at info@connorcaitlin.com to talk about how your company can give back.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Be a Learner!

Whenever a person is recognized as being successful, people always want to know how they did it. One thing that nearly every successful person will contribute his or her success to, is lifelong learning.

Successful people never stop learning; they learn from every opportunity they can. They’re continuously looking for new opportunities to grow and develop. This allows them to constantly be at the top of their game and know what is going on in their market.

There are tons of ways you can develop lifelong learning habits. Read a book a month, an article a day, or a newspaper every weekend. Go to a conference. Set up a training program at work. Sign up for something you have never done before. The important thing is to set goals for yourself and make sure you are making progress towards them.

Once you have your goals set, decide how you will use your new knowledge and make the most of it. Talk about what you are learning with others. Write about it in a journal, or keep notes in the margins of the book you are reading. Teach others what you have learned. Surround yourself with other lifelong learners that will challenge your ideas and push you to try new things.

If you dedicate yourself to being a lifelong learner, it will impact far more than just your professional life. Lifelong learning can create new friendships, develop new skills and hone existing skills, keep your mind sharp, help you adapt to change, lead to higher levels of self-fulfillment and it can even help make the world a better place. 

If you have any questions about lifelong learning or how you can promote it in your workplace, please contact Connor | Caitlin at www.connorcaitlin.com.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Living in a Fish Bowl

Today if you want to know something about a person, or a company, you simply grab your smartphone and open the web browser along with various social networking sites. Nearly everyone has instant access to information when they want it, how they want it. It really is like being the goldfish inside of the fish bowl.

When I chose this topic to write on I decided to Google myself. While nothing unprofessional came up, there were definitely quite a few embarrassing high school photos with glasses and braces. It is amazing how everything that is put out on the Internet is accessible. EVERYTHING you put out there can be accessed!

What happens when you Google yourself, or your company? Do you like what you see? When people Google your company, is it easy for them to find what they are looking for and what you really want them to see? Can you make improvements to your personal social networking profiles?

When individuals and business live with integrity, they do not have to worry about living in the fish bowl. With everything being transparent, it is nearly impossible to hide anything. Maybe the answer to this is to stop trying to hide things. As an individual or company, if you live beyond reproach then you create for yourself the ability to be constantly transparent.

Anybody can see right into your fish bowl whenever they want to, so ask yourself, what is in my fishbowl?

Contact Connor | Caitlin with any questions about integrity or transparency.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Happiness is the Ultimate Key to Success

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

If you want successful employees, you need happy employees. This begs the question, how do you get happy employees?

Hiring people who really want to work for your company is key to employee happiness. By creating a friendly work environment and being great at what you do, your company will attract excellent candidates. 

The best thing to do is simply open the dialogue with employees. If you do not really know what your employees need to be happy,
you cannot provide it. Every workplace is different and every employee is different, but having a common understanding of employees in your workplace will allow you to cater to them, which will create success. Additionally, simply making sure that your employees know that their happiness is important to you will contribute to higher employee morale and better company culture.

There are a lot of great articles about research done by Shawn Achor on happiness contributing to success. A great place to start making employee happiness a priority is checking out this research and sharing it with your employees.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin to talk about the happiness and success of your business.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Being a Good Employer: Culture

At Connor | Caitlin, we frequently discuss company culture and how candidates can fit into a company. We know that if a candidate is not a good culture fit, it will never work out in the long run for the candidate or the business.

Merriam-Webster defines culture as “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).” In our blog about recruiting we discussed being known as a great employer; company culture can make or break the appeal of your company.

When thinking about the culture of your company, there are a few key points to keep in mind. The first of these is defining and living out the company vision and mission. It is important to be clear about what your company expects inside and outside of the work place. Your employees represent your company whether they are on the clock or not. However, if you do not articulate the expectations you cannot hold employees up to them.

Secondly, communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is vital to success in anything, but if you want to create a great company culture it is definitely essential. It is important to include all levels of employees in conversations about culture and create an open, friendly environment for conversations to take place.

Lastly, team building. When a company takes time to create teams out of its employees, the company shows that it truly cares about the employees and their work environment. Team building also allows employees to come together and communicate expectations and goals.

If you have any questions about company culture, please contact Connor | Caitlin.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Prim and Proper, Being Polite in the Workplace

Many people would be surprised at just how far being polite can further you in your career. If you are able to obtain characteristics such as being charismatic, able to share intuitive ideas, and being generous, then you will stand out in the superlative way. Aside from having those traits, there are several gestures you can make to express courtesy toward your colleagues.

Next time you’re at a work party or benefit, begin introducing people you know as if you were privileged to do so. This will show the utmost respect to your co-workers. In another sense, when someone is being introduced to you it’s important to address them by the name they told you. This means that you should not shorten their name or call them by a nickname seeing as that would be considered unprofessional and too friendly. 

Also, when first meeting someone, a polite individual will wait until the other person determines the nonsexual touch guidelines, unless it’s a handshake. It’s critical to make sure the person you are being introduced to feels comfortable at all times.

Social media has become quite a significant tool in today’s society, which sometimes can turn out to be negative.  It’s extremely significant to always keep your personal social media sites objective and professional. In addition to social media, one should never gossip over the Internet or in person. It’s often difficult to resist the inside scoop about a particular person or event, but the civil way to go about this would be to simply ignore it.

However, something a polite individual should never ignore is the elephant in the room. For instance, if a colleague’s family member passed away it would be considerate to briefly express your condolences. Most prominently, when being polite you should never push your opinions or judge someone. 

Always try to keep an open mind when it comes to specific subject matters or people. Remember, polite people never stop being polite, and once you are you will begin to see that your colleagues will think more highly of you.

Contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions at www.connorcaitlin.com for more information. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Finding a purple squirrel, part 2.

In the first installment  of this post,which can be read here, the top five things a company should know about recruiting were discussed. Today we will tell you the next five.

1.)    Be known as a great employer! If you want candidates to want to work for your company, you need to give them a reason to work for you. By creating a great work environment and company culture, you will establish your company as one that people want to work for. It is impossible to attract the highest quality candidates if no one wants to work for you.

2.)    Check references. This one should really go without saying, but many employers do not consistently check references. When you contact the references a candidate provides, you get to hear about the candidate from another perspective and learn more about them. The more you know about a candidate before you hire them, the better prepared you can be to meet their needs and create success for both parties.

3.)    Write GREAT job descriptions. The more information you can give about a job, the better-prepared candidates can be to tell you about experiences relevant to what you are looking for. If the job description is vague, you end up with applications from people who are not qualified and not at all what you are looking for. While poor applicants will never be fully eliminated, having specific job descriptions can help decrease the number you will have to go through. 

4.)    Quality > Quantity. In the last post, we told you to improve your candidate pool. That does not mean expand your pool. It is perfectly okay to only have a handful of candidates rather than an entire stack. You are looking to hire the best person for the job, so you need quality candidates instead of a large quantity. That being said, if you have a large number of qualified candidates, you should certainly look at them all.

5.)    Remember, they’re looking too. A lot of attention is focused on what you should look for in a candidate, but it is vital to remember that candidates are looking at the company as well. In the technological era we live in, access to information is at an all time high. Your company needs to make sure that potential candidates can find good, reliable information on the business.

Connor|Caitlin would be thrilled to help you with your recruiting needs. Contact us with any questions or items you need assistance with.