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thomaspeace

Productivity Tips

By | Careers | No Comments

We’ve all been there: it’s 5 PM, the office is starting to clear out, and you’re sitting at your desk looking at your To-Do list for the day thinking, “Where did the time go?” and “Why didn’t I get anything accomplished today?” and “Did I really just spend an hour discussing why Pluto should be a planet again?”

Trust me – I get it. Sometimes managing your time at the office and being productive can be difficult between the constant barrage of emails, phone calls, last minute meetings, and discussing last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones.”

While I may not be a *productivity expert* and unofficially majored in Procrastination in college I have discovered some helpful tips and tricks that I find help me focus on my work when I’m in the office.

Stop Multitasking

We’ve all looked at a to-do list and thought “I can definitely knock out this email while I take this important call and eat my lunch at the same time.” Then the next thing you know, you’ve sent the email without the attachment, spilled ketchup on your shirt, and didn’t even realize someone asked you a question. Unfortunately, multitasking simply isn’t possible. Did you know, multitasking can lower your IQ over time and limits your capability to complete a task? So quit trying to be an octopus and do 8 things at a time. Focus on one task at a time and do it well instead of doing 8 things poorly.

Channel your Inner Richard Simmons and “Move your Body!”

You know those people that you see up and running 5 miles at 7 AM? Well, that’s not me. However, exercise is not only good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health as well. Exercise can reduce stress hormones and may even help improve memory. Whether you choose to go for a morning run, hit the gym after work for spin class, or walk the dogs on your lunch break, regular and consistent exercise is the key.

Personally, there’s a great trail by my office that I walk on regularly with a couple of co-workers on our lunch break. Getting others in on the exercise fun is a great way to hold each other accountable, get to know your co-workers outside of the office, and take a break from physical office for a little bit each day. Just be sure to bring some comfy walking shoes and deodorant, because we all know this Georgia heat isn’t going anywhere for a while.

Daily Morning Meetings with your Team

Take 10-15 minutes at the same time each morning to get the team together and go over each person’s focus for the day. This not only helps you take some time to think about what to work on for the day, but also helps let your team members know where your focus is as well. This way everyone is on the same page, efforts aren’t being duplicated, and everyone can see where assistance might be needed. If you find that you can’t dedicate the time to daily meetings, try weekly meetings instead – the earlier in the week the better.

At ARG, the recruiting team has a stand-up meeting every morning where we recap what we did the day before and highlight our goals for the day. We toss around the “orb of discussion” AKA a little rubber basketball to make the meeting a little more fun. But since I lack even the most basic hand-eye coordination skills, I just stick to handing the ball to the next person instead of throwing it.

Want a more productive career?

Listen to the Mellow Sounds of Kenny G.

Ok, so maybe it doesn’t have to be Kenny G, but some studies show a little bit of music in the background can help you focus more by shutting out the daily distractions of the office. If you’re really looking to supercharge your productivity, try listening to music without lyrics as those can be a distraction.

Personally, I love listening to instrumental songs when I feel the need to focus. Some of my go-to playlists on Amazon Music are “Instrumental Covers for Work” or “Coffee Shop Alt Pop.”

Want to take your productivity one step further? Listen to your music through headphones. Not only will this deter your co-workers from disturbing you if they see you have your headphones in, but it will also stop them from questioning your music choices.

Stay Optimistic and Small

It’s hard to not be overwhelmed when you have several big projects or tasks looming over your calendar like Godzilla. If you break these larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks, you’ll not only feel in control of your day, but you’ll also feel accomplished, confident in your abilities, and will, in turn, be productive.

As you complete each mini-task, take a moment or two to celebrate your progress as that can be one of the best ways to stay motivated and productive. So go ahead, eat that piece of chocolate in the break room! Indulge in that PSL from Starbucks! Treat yo’self because you deserve it!

Celebrating the small victories in your day will also help train your brain to be optimistic instead of focusing on the setbacks and will just keep the productivity rolling along!

Implementing one, some, or all of these tips are sure to help boost your workplace productivity. What are some productivity tips that you swear by at work? Share in the comments below!

 

By Angie Berman, Technical Recruiter

Working Remote

Working Remote

By | Careers | No Comments

Nearly 50% of Americans say they spend at least some time working remotely. Sara Sutton Fell, CEO, and founder of FlexJobs, says “In most white-collar jobs, I’d say 99% of people are already working remotely in that they take work home”. Think about it, how often do you go home at 5 pm, and NOT take a work-related phone call or check your work emails? Probably almost never. Without noticing, people are constantly working remote. With the growth of technology, more and more companies are providing employees with the option to work from home on a daily basis. Many employees are attracted to the idea of working from home, and they are targeting companies that only offer these remote options. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part-time. Two to three days a week seems to be the sweet spot that allows for a balance of concentrative work (at home) and collaborative work (at the office).

Around the world, there are many well-known, fast-growing, successful companies, offering remote options for their employees. This list includes Amazon, Apple, Humana, Dell, Glassdoor, Aetna, Kaplan, American Express, GitHub, HD Supply, and so many more! On the flip side, IBM for example, says that they feel that bringing their employees back into the office will be more beneficial and lead to better collaboration and faster output. What do you think?

There are numerous benefits to working remote. Working remote offers flexibility and has shown to result in happier employees. Aside from that, it saves employees time and money. On the opposite side, some feel working remote means an increase in distractions and lack of discipline. See below for additional information on the pros and cons of working remote.

Remote Options: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Create Your Own Hours / Flex Hours:
    Working from home generally means flexibility to create your own schedule. Working flex hours and creating your own schedule tends to results in being more productive, and provides the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends.
  • Employee Happiness- Better Work-Life Balance:
    Working remote allows employees to build a schedule that works best with their individual preferences, as opposed to obeying the rigid work schedule demanded by the workplace, which doesn’t always take into account any personal needs. This creates a better work-life balance, and again, makes us happier
  • Saving Money / No Commute:
    Whether it’s an hour commute or a “simple” 20-minutes to the office, nothing is better than rolling out of bed and just walking downstairs or across the hall to your home office. Working remote also allows you to save money, gas money. Using average commute and gas pricing data, from GasBuddy and Brookings, we were able to estimate how much money you would save from working from home full time. Living in Atlanta, it was estimated that you would save approximately $555 annually, if you worked remote full time. Imagine all the things you could buy with that extra $555 in your pocket!
  • Increasing Productivity:
    From surveying remote workers, it was reported that employees are more productive working from home. This seems to be because they can choose their work environment and the exact hours they work. Not everyone is “a morning person”, so those that are required to go into an office to start work at 7 am, may get less done, than if they were to work remote, and start working at 9 am instead. Working remote allows employees to pick the hours when they’re most productive.When working remote, you don’t have a Manager within walking distance from your desk, having the chance to see that you are actually working. When working remote, the only way to prove this to your Manager is by actually being productive and putting up solid numbers. Employees tend to work “harder” and be “more productive” when working remote, thinking they need to “prove” that they are actually working and can actually be trusted to work outside of an office environment.
  • Creating Employer Trust and Employee Loyalty:
    Working remote creates a lot of trust. While working remote has the perks of flex hours and better work-life balance, you must be loyal to your employer and actually hold yourself accountable and still work just as hard outside of the office, as you would inside of the office. Employer Trust and Employee Loyalty go hand in hand and are both great to have in your job.
  • Cutting Company Costs:
    Offices are expensive. Office equipment is expensive, office bills (electricity, AC, etc.) are expensive, office snacks/drinks are expensive, office games (pool, ping pong, PlayStation) are expensive. Companies don’t need to be spending tons of money on snacks, drinks, and games. Working remote will cut these extra company costs, to allow that money to go elsewhere, to more important parts of the business.

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Cons:

  • Lack of Communication:
    Some employers feel that daily ongoing communication between employees is a “must”.  Working in an office, where all employees are in the same place at the same time, is obviously a much easier way to communicate. Working close to each other in an office allows face-to-face communication. Face-to-face communication is a lot easier to handle than trying to explain yourself in an email or over the phone. Working remote can cause communication to be tough and minimal, especially if everyone has created their own schedules and work hours.
  • Lack of Discipline:
    Being in an office environment can be motivating. People tend to work extra hard when the people around them are working hard. Most people don’t want co-workers to see them slacking off. When you work remotely, this pressure isn’t present. Some people may have a hard time self-disciplining and holding themselves accountable for actually working, especially if other people aren’t around to watch.
  • Distractions:
    When working from home, you are in a comfortable and familiar environment, which can take away from the concentration that you’re supposed to put into your job. These are distractions. Do you want to nap? Your bed is right there. Do you want to watch that episode of The Bachelorette that you missed last night? Just turn on the TV. Your favorite store is having a sale, do you want to go shopping? It’s only a quick 5-minute drive. Overcoming these distractions would be a tough battle, but they are something you could learn to recognize and overcome.
  • Overworking Yourself:
    Some people may not know when to stop. Working from home can result in some people to overwork themselves, which takes away from time with family and friends. This is the opposite of having a good work-life balance. It is important to work hard when working remote, but just as important to know when to walk away from your work for the day.
  • Lack of Tools / Technology- Technology Dependent:
    Technology is wonderful, but it can also be tough to work with at times. Technology is not always going to work as planned. Yes, it can crash whether you’re at home or in an office, but in an office, a technology fail is everyone’s problem at the same time. On your own, if a piece of technology fails, then it’s on YOU. To work from home, you would also need to be sure to have all of the appropriate chat apps, time/numbers tracking, etc, and not every computer can easily access these things.


How to be successful when working from home

Working remotely is becoming increasingly common. People of all ages and professions are becoming more and more drawn to the option to work remote. Working remote clearly has its perks, as well as a couple downfalls, but at the end of the day, the key to being successful while working from home would simply be-

  1. Establish a daily routine
  2. Spend your free time

 

By Sydney Van de Velde, Senior Recruiter

Building your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

By | LinkedIn

Creating an experience on LinkedIn is critical to your career now more than ever. No matter which generation you are a part of, it is always important to put your best foot forward when representing yourself. Today, many first impressions are made on social media platforms. If you are job searching, networking, or growing your personal career, the first step is building your personal brand on LinkedIn. Potential employers, customers, and connections make snap judgments on who you are based on your LinkedIn profile.

It’s important to “wow” the audience you are captivating. That can be done in many ways such as; branding, creating an aesthetic social page, highlighting your achievements, facilitating open discussions, tagging your social network, congratulating companies and friends, and generating unique content.

Following these steps can help you grow your social audience, personal brand, and credibility.

Step 1: Create a Profile People Want to See

Branding

Use the same colors and fonts for everything you post. Your followers should know it’s you by the post colors, content and by your name. Keep your LinkedIn profile picture consistent, professional and brand appropriate. Your background photo should be relevant and consistent with your profile picture and profile brand. If you work for a Pike’s Nursery, showcase the beautiful landscape Pike’s creates generating interest for your outdoor craftsman target audience.

Unique Content

Ultimately, content is key, moreover, relevant content is key. Showing your expertise is vital to creating content and posts that attract your target audience. If you are in sales, demonstrate how your service helps your followers fill a need. If you are selling landscape services, create posts and content about DIY outdoor projects to gain trusted followers, building brand awareness for when bigger landscape project needs to be done and you are top of mind. Eighty percent of your posts should be relevant content for your target audience and the other twenty percent should be selling your services.

Step 2: Attracting Followers 

Networking

Networking is crucial to finding new followers that are interested in your expertise. Relevant events about your business or personal brand are enjoyable because not only you are learning, you’re promoting your services as well, by handing out business cards and shaking hands. It’s always best practice to give out business cards with your name and connect on LinkedIn with the people that you meet at the events. 

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Hashtags

The central theme of your LinkedIn profile is what your posts should be centered around and attaching a popular hashtag to the post will allow LinkedIn to share it with other users who are interested in that topic. If a user searches that hashtag the post will appear attracting more of the right audience to your profile. 

Unlike Instagram, hashtags should be used scarcely. Place 3-5 relevant hashtags within and at the bottom of your posts and blog descriptions. Follow the steps listed below to accurately place hashtags in your LinkedIn posts. 


Hashtag 1: What is the post about?  #Jobpost #Marketing #Technology #DIY 

Hashtag 2: Content? #digitalmedia #Javascript #resumes #bigdata #branding

Hashtag 3: Tie in your personal brand. #socialsharing #Pikeslandscape #StaffingConsultant 

 

Get Involved

You are not the one writing in your space on LinkedIn and that’s okay, join in on the conversation that other influencers are creating. Share their posts and write your own spin on the article for higher reach, awareness, and credibility in your target audience. Tag and congratulate friends, coworkers, and family when they achieve an accomplishment to not only keep you top of mind but also for their audience to see you.

After you have successfully built your brand by using these tips your social followers will start to grow. Just remember that your brand should also match with your companies. Now go out and build your brand!

Resume ARG

3 Guiding Points to Bring you to Resume Nirvana

By | Interviews

As a former recruiter and professional resume reviewer, I’ve seen the gamut of how many different ways a resume can be written. The good, the bad, the wordy, the ambiguous, and the ineffective. With all the misinformation out there and with EVERYONE having an opinion on what makes a resume “POP”, it’s no wonder someone can be left scratching their head with their resume no better off then where they started. Opinions like: “Add a picture, it humanizes you to the hiring manager”, “Keep your resume to one page or it goes straight in the trash”, and “Organize your resume by skill set, not chronologically” are all examples of confusing, and sometimes conflicting opinions. While format is important, content is king, which is what we’ll be focusing on in this post.

One of the most important things to remember when starting off on your resume writing journey is that it is no one else’s resume but yours! YOU will be the one held accountable for what is on that paper, not your Mom’s friend’s daughter who suggested you use comic sans to “set yourself apart”. What follows in this post are the 3 most common pieces of advice I give to candidates when re-doing their resumes, but ultimately, make your resume accurately reflect who you are as a professional. Let’s get started!

  1. Quantify, Quantify, Quantify. Hiring Managers don’t want to see your job responsibilities. They want to see your contributions. Something like, “Automated reporting for A/R” is a good foundation, but a hiring manager would much rather see “Automated reporting for A/R resulting in a 30% decrease in time-to-pay for invoices and over $100k in overdue payments.” Don’t ask yourself what you did, but instead ask how what you did affected the business or team.
  2. Put things in business terms. I see way too many candidates sell themselves short because they didn’t put a bullet point in terms that is relevant to a business. You didn’t just “talk with the business to see what they needed”. You “gathered business requirements from company stakeholders to establish as-is, to-be business processes”. You didn’t just “make a project plan”, you “established a project roadmap”. You get the picture. When in doubt or if you have writer’s block, don’t be afraid to use the job descriptions own vernacular to help you phrase things out. *Caution* – if you write it down, prepare to discuss it. Stay within truthful boundaries when rephrasing.
  3. Add buzzwords/keywords wherever you can! Not every resume goes directly to a hiring manager and not every screener can read between the lines. Someone who looks at your resume should be able to clearly identify what tech stack you utilized, what specific technologies you’ve developed in or leveraged, and how big/complex each environment was. If you utilized cloud technology, specify and put Azure or AWS so someone who is non-technical can see that it matches the job description. Some companies will even utilize a program to scan for a keyword match BEFORE a human even lays eyes on it. If you don’t reach a certain percentage match, your resume gets deleted!

Remember that your resume should be a reflection of YOU, not a frankenstein creation of contradicting opinions and downright silly suggestions. Wherever you are in your career, hopefully, these 3 guiding principles will help block out all the noise and keep you on a steady course toward resume nirvana. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any future content you’d like to see. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Making a Positive First Impression: Interview

By | Interviews

During an interview you can assume you are being evaluated immediately on your appearance alone; this means those first 7 seconds in an interview are crucial. It’s just human nature.

Applied Resource Group is here to help you make the best first impression possible and that starts with your outfit. Have you ever heard of the expression, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” No matter where you interview or what you will do, dressing professionally is one way that you can stand out among your competition.

Below are interview outfit recommendations and photos:    

Women

  1. Dress Business Formal; it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed
    –  Pants suit (Navy Blue, grey or Black) fitted to your body type and a solid color blouse/top
    –  Skirt suit (Navy blue, grey or black), fitted to you and skirt length below the knee paired with a solid blouse/top
  2. Closed-toe shoes with a low heel (1-2 inches)
  3. Subtle jewelry: 2 rings, post earrings, and small necklace
  4. Small to medium purse with portfolio and copies of your resumes printed on resume paper
  5. Natural Makeup
  6. Avoid Perfumes

Men

  1. Two-piece pants suit (Black, navy blue or grey)
  2. White dress shirt with matching white undershirt
  3. Conservative tie (no bright colors or loud patterns and no bowties)
  4. Polished black or brown dress shoes paired with matching socks
  5. Avoid strong Cologne
  6. Make sure your facial hair and hair is groomed
  7. Bring your portfolio, pen and extra copies of your resume on resume paper

You should also consider following these guidelines to make a positive first impression:

  1. Arrive Early: Arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time
    –  Be sure to leave enough time for traffic or any unanticipated circumstances
  2. Smile: Brush your teeth and floss before walking into the interview and smile throughout the interview
  3. Firm Handshake: Firmly shake each interviewers hand and maintain eye contact to show respect
  4. Stand/Sit tall: You want to come off as confident, not nervous, sitting tall is one way to do show confidence
  5. Speak Clearly: Speak loudly and clearly enough for each interviewer to hear you and make sure that you answer the questions that are asked
  6. Show what you Know: Be prepared to answer questions about your experience and general interview questions like why you want to work there
  7. Prepare questions for the interviewer

Following these simple steps to make a great first impression will help ensure that you stand out among the competition and land your dream job.

 

Welcome our New Employees

By | ARG

Welcome, Melanie Franklin, Allison Willis and Jeremy Schwartz to the ARG team! Melanie, Allie and Jeremy graduated from the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business.

Melanie graduated in 2017 with a major in Marketing and minor in Communications. She is a proud dog mom to her rescue, Darby.

Allie graduated in 2018 with a major in Marketing and an emphasis in Digital Marketing and is currently training for a half marathon.

Jeremy graduated in 2018 with a major in Management and emphasis in Human Resource Analytics and has also studied film and photography for 9 years.

 

Get all of the latest news about Applied Resource Group and our latest new highers. We like to share the wins and new talent that is added to our growing team.

 

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