6 Red Flags to Look Out for in Job Postings

December 4th, 2018

Launching a new job search? When you’re reading through endless postings, it can be hard to tell whether a position is truly a fit for you. Language can be unclear, the requirements list long, and qualifications cumbersome to read through. So how can you evaluate a role to ensure you’re only applying to those that are a good match for you? Murray Resources, one of Houston’s top employment agencies, has the answers you need. Start by looking out for these six red flags:

#1: The position sounds vague.

If you’re reading through a job ad and can’t quite discern what the employer wants, then it’s time to move on. Sometimes, the goal of these kinds of postings is to create a pipeline of candidates for future opportunities. Or it could be that the company hasn’t done a thorough job of defining the role. Whatever the case, you want a job with concrete details not unclear expectations.

#2: The job title doesn’t seem to match the description.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but make sure the job title and the description match up. Inconsistencies are a warning sign. For instance, if the title is managerial in nature, yet the description of the role has nothing to do with management, it could be an indication the company is trying to make an opportunity sound more attractive than it actually is.

#3: The job keeps getting reposted.

A company may be having a hard time filling a role and there’s often a reason why there’s high turnover and a lack of interest. So if you keep seeing the same job over and over, think twice before applying.

#4: It offers an astronomical salary.

If an entry level job is offering to pay $100k per year, then it’s likely not legitimate. Likewise, be wary when a posting lists earning potential and not actual salary.

#5: It asks you to work for free.

When applying to jobs, you might have to perform a small assignment or project so hiring managers can better evaluate your skill set. But if they ask you to work for free or spend hours or days on a task, then look elsewhere for opportunities.

#6: It asks for sensitive information.

Whether it’s a personal photo or a Social Security number, legitimate job postings should not be requesting this kind of information. It’s irrelevant to the job and certain kinds of details can actually be illegal to ask for.

Ready to put your career in the hands of the experts and find the best new job for you?

Call one of Houston’s leading employment agencies: Murray Resources. Our clients are always looking for talented individuals for a wide variety of permanent, temporary, temp-to-hire, and contract positions. Let us help you find the role and company that’s right for you, all so you can achieve your career goals. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

4 Common Interview Questions You’ll Be Asked – and How to Answer Each

September 4th, 2018

When you have a job interview on the horizon, it’s important that you prepare ahead of time. But how can you do that if you don’t know the questions you’ll be asked? As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources has the answers you need. Whatever field you work in and whatever your experience level, there are several questions that most hiring managers ask. Here’s a look at them and how to respond to each one:

Why do you want to leave your current job?

Don’t just say you’re looking for more responsibility or a new challenge. Instead, get specific about what it is you’re seeking out in a new role and with a different employer. Whatever you say, just don’t badmouth your previous employer, even if you’re leaving due to an issue with your boss or company management.

Why are you interested in this job?

Hiring managers ask this question for a few different reasons. They’re wondering if you’re prepared enough to talk in detail about what it is that most interests you about the position and their company. They also want to gain a sense of what’s important to you in a job. When you’re answering this question, focus on the opportunity, not on the short commute or amazing benefits you would have.

What areas does your boss say you need to improve on? Which areas do you get the most praise for?

These are the kinds of questions where you’ll be talking about strengths and weaknesses. In terms of strengths, focus on those that are most relevant to the employer and the opportunity. For weaknesses, answer this question authentically, not with “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist.” Hiring managers have heard these lines before and won’t be impressed by them.

What are your salary expectations?

Candidates dread this question and for good reason: You don’t want to leave money on the table. That’s why it’s up to you to conduct some research before your interview and find out what your skills and experience are worth on Houston’s employment market. That way, you can answer this question intelligently, based on facts and numbers, not just an amount you pull from the sky.

Interested in professional help preparing for interviews or any other aspect of your job search?

Connect with Murray Resources, one of Houston’s top employment agencies. We can help you polish your resume and improve your interview skills, all so you secure the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today to learn more.

What to Do After a Poor Performance Review

June 5th, 2018

Being on the receiving end of a poor performance review can be an upsetting experience. However, that doesn’t mean the situation will totally sabotage your career progression if you take the right approach. Instead, take negative feedback and turn it into a positive for your career with these steps from Murray Resources, one of the leading employment agencies in Houston:

Don’t get defensive.

When you’re being criticized, it’s only natural to feel defensive. But don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Rather than arguing with your boss, instead accept their feedback and take the time to think about it. In the moment, you might feel attacked. After some time, though, you could realize your boss is right and there are areas that need change.

Circle back to your boss.

As one of the top employment agencies in Houston, Murray Resources understands that getting negative feedback about your performance can be devastating, especially if you were expecting a positive review. As a result, you might have felt blind-sided during the experience and unable to process what was being said.

Once you’ve had some time to think the conversation through, get back together with your boss. If you have any questions or are looking for clarification, now’s the time to bring up those concerns. In addition, there may be areas where you feel you need extra training or help, or other issues your boss should know about, all of which you should bring up at this point.

Discuss next steps.

Negative feedback is never fun, but it is a learning experience. To get the most from it, make sure you’re clear on the situation and the expectations your boss has going forward. Also, prioritize goals and discuss the timeline for achieving them. Another area to talk about with your boss involves communication and monitoring the progress of improvements.

Ask for more feedback.

The last thing you want might want to do at this point is to ask for more feedback. But in the future, it’s the best way to ensure you’re staying on track toward your performance goals and making progress where you need to. It will also demonstrate to your boss your desire to improve.

When it comes to negative feedback, whatever you do, don’t get discouraged. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to improve and grow today, all so you can advance your career tomorrow.

Don’t want to wait? Ready to advance your career in a new position right now?

Murray Resources – one of the leading employment agencies in Houston – can help. We are your source for information and advice on career next steps, job leads, and how to get hired at the area’s top employers. Simply contact our team to learn more or search our jobs today.

4 Tips for Dealing with Job Search Fatigue

May 15th, 2018

You’ve been at it for months, sending in resumes, interviewing and following up. And still, you haven’t had any luck with your job search. You’re growing frustrated and more stressed out by the day. Should you just give up and stay where you are?

As one of Houston’s trusted employment agencies, Murray Resources knows if you’re really not happy in your current role, it’s important to keep up your hunt. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to push through job search fatigue and find the right opportunity for you. Here’s a look at 4 of them:

Tip #1: Expand your search.

If you’re simply looking for Houston jobs online, then you need to broaden your horizons. While there are many great opportunities posted every day, you need to search beyond the major job boards if you want to find a position faster. This includes looking to other niche or specialty sites, networking both online and offline, and getting help from professional employment agencies in Houston.

Tip #2: Invest in yourself.

If you’re not finding the job you want because you don’t have the right skills or certifications, then now’s the time to invest in yourself professionally. Take some time out from your search and sign up for the development courses you need. Read books about the skills you’re looking to acquire or get started earning that advanced degree if that’s what you need to take your career to the next level.

Tip #3: Have some fun.

If all you’re doing is working and searching for a new job, you’re going to burn out. Instead, make sure you balance your day. If you’re unemployed, then structure it like you would a work day, where you take breaks, have lunch and end the day at 5. If you’re employed, set aside a certain number of hours each day or week devoted to your job hunt. When time’s up, walk away and focus on something you enjoy.

Tip #4: Take time out.

If you’ve been searching for a new job for months without any success, there’s a reason. Take a step back and evaluate your efforts. Are you applying for jobs in Houston you’re truly well-suited for? Are you getting interviews? Are you interviewing and not hearing back?

Asking these kinds of questions will help you gain a sense of where things are going wrong and also what it is you want out of your next career move. After all, you don’t want to get a new job just to make a switch. You want to find something you truly love that’s a great fit for you.

Ready for professional help with the process?

Call Houston’s leading choice for employment agencies: Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve been working with many of Houston’s top employers, including leaders in the energy industry, Fortune 500 firms, financial services firms, and more. We know who’s hiring and what local employers want from candidates. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact our team today.

Applying for a New Job? Don’t Let These Resume Spelling & Grammar Mistakes Sabotage You

April 3rd, 2018

As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows that your resume is the first impression a hiring manager will have of you. Submit a polished and professional one, and you’ll increase your odds of getting a call for an interview. If, however, your resume is full of spelling and grammar mistakes, you’ll likely get pushed out of the running, even if you have the right experience.

To help ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here’s a look at a few common mistakes candidates make when it comes to spelling and grammar, and how to avoid them:

The wrong word choice.

Called homophones, these words – like “to”, “two” and “too”, and “there,” “they’re” and “their” – sound the same but completely change the meaning of what you’re trying to say. What makes it even harder is that most auto spelling and grammar checks in software programs can miss these words. That’s why it’s so important to carefully proofread your resume multiple time before sending it in to a potential employer.

Some other homophones to be careful of on your resume include:

  • Affected / effected
  • Insure / ensure
  • Than / then
  • Are / our
  • You’re / your

Misusing apostrophes.

The apostrophe is one of the most misused punctuation marks in the English language, with many job seekers mistakenly using the mark whenever they make a word plural. But apostrophes are only for indicating possession or creating a conjunction. For instance, consider the following usage:

Correct: “Authored business plan and initiated company’s new product line.”
Incorrect: “Managed 10 employee’s.”

Using only the past tense.

As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows that tense is another important consideration when it comes to proper grammar on your resume. When you’re talking about past positions you held, then the past tense (“worked,” “spearheaded,” etc.) is the correct tense to use. However, when discussing the current job you hold, switch to present tense to indicate that you’re still employed. Using only the past tense to describe your background will leave hiring managers confused.

Typos.

Sending in a resume with a small typo on it isn’t going to be the end of the world. But if there are several, then it’s going to reflect poorly on you. Instead, invest the time to carefully spell check your resume; even better, ask a trusted family member or friend to do the same. That way, you can cut town considerably on the risk of submitting a resume with embarrassing typos and spelling errors.

Need more help creating a resume that gets results or with your job search in general?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, we can help you craft a polished resume, prepare for interviews and connect you with leading jobs often not advertised – all so you can secure the opportunity you want. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

How Often Should You Update Your LinkedIn Profile?

February 6th, 2018

In today’s world, you know you need a LinkedIn profile to put your best professional foot forward. But do you also know how often you should update it? In other words, should you be polishing it every day, every month or just once a year?

The answer is: all of the above. As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows that if you want the strongest, most compelling LinkedIn profile possible, you should really update it on a regular basis. Don’t leave this all-important task until you’re just about to launch a job search. Instead, when you consistently keep it updated, your profile will be more detailed and persuasive, making a stronger impact on recruiters and hiring managers.

So check in on your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis and plan to spend about 20 minutes reviewing and enhancing it. This can be tough with a busy schedule. To make sure you actually do it, schedule this task into your routine. Whether you decide to do it weekly or monthly is up to you. Just commit to making ongoing changes so you can ensure your LinkedIn profile is as current as possible, as well as easier to find by recruiters and hiring managers.

Some other tips to help your LinkedIn profile get noticed:

  • Post a headshot that’s polished and professional. It doesn’t have to be from a pricey photographer; it can simply be a shot you take at home.
  • Rework your headline. This is one of the first elements of your LinkedIn profile that recruiters will see. So you want to ensure it’s compelling and also clearly explains what you do.
  • Focus on accomplishments and your successful track record. Just as you would on your resume, focus on what you’ve produced in the way of results for past employers. Don’t simply talk about tasks and responsibilities.
  • Customize your LinkedIn profile. So rather than it being Courtneycampbell12349, it’s simply CourtneyCampbell or something similar.
  • Ask for recommendations. Another area recruiters will take a look at is your recommendations. So reach out to those in your network who could provide you with positive ones and ask if they’d be willing to recommend you.

Need more help getting noticed by recruiters and hiring managers?
Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, we can connect you to top employers and rewarding jobs in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Ask a Houston Employment Agency: How Do I Make a Great Impression During an Interview?

November 14th, 2017

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And, as one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows if you ace your opportunity, it could lead to an exciting new job offer. To help you get there, here are some tips to remember:

Show up on time, looking professional.

It sounds like a no-brainer. But too many times, candidates show up a few minutes late, or wearing clothes not appropriate for an interview. Just because the company comes across as more casual than corporate doesn’t mean you should don anything less than a suit for an interview.

Be friendly with everyone you meet.

You may not realize this, but if you’re rude to the receptionist or parking attendant, it could very well get back to the hiring manager. So make sure you’re respectful and friendly with everyone you meet, whether it’s an entry level employee or the chief executive.

Know when to talk and when to listen.

During an interview, you don’t want to drone on endlessly about your skills and experience, talking over the hiring manager as they try to ask follow up questions. Make sure you’re a good listener. That means staying quiet until the interviewer is done talking or asking their question. This will also help to ensure you have the full question before you attempt to answer it.

Ask smart questions.

Go beyond the basics and ask more sophisticated questions that will help you a) better evaluate the opportunity and b) impress the hiring manager with your preparedness. These include questions such as:

  • How will my performance be measured?
  • What are some common traits among the company’s top performer?
  • What do employees like most about working at the company?
  • How does this position fit into larger company-wide goals?

Don’t forget about body language.

Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that has the most impact on a hiring manager. So smile and make eye contact. Offer a firm handshake. And don’t slouch or fidget during the interview. Even if you are anxious, try your hardest not to show it.

Need more help acing your next interview – or getting one?

Call Murray Resources, one of Houston’s top employment agencies. We can connect you with leading jobs often not advertised and help you prepare for your interviews – all so you land the job you want. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

5 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn

October 24th, 2017

Updating your LinkedIn profile is kind of like polishing your resume. Nobody likes to do it, but in today’s world, it’s a must during a job search. So if you’re getting ready to dig into your profile – so your background and experience are more attractive to recruiters and hiring managers – which areas should you focus on? Here are few tips to help you stand out on LinkedIn:

Include a professional profile picture.

As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows that your photo is actually one of the most important elements on your LinkedIn profile page. It instantly sends the message about your level of professionalism. Not only that, but according to LinkedIn, those profiles with photos are seven times more likely to get clicked on than those without them.

Turn your LinkedIn summary into a compelling story.

This section should offer a brief bio that explains what you do and offers a few select career highlights. While it’s always important to be professional in terms of tone, you should infuse some personality into it, too. If it’s dry and dense, no one is going to read it.

While writing or re-writing this section on your LinkedIn profile might take some – and a few drafts – don’t skip it. Both leaving this section blank, or writing information that is too personal in nature, can be a big turn off for recruiters and hiring managers.

Update and polish your Skills & Expertise.

If it’s been a while since you updated this section, then chances are you’ve gained some new skills and experience. You’ll want to reflect that by updating this section. Also, focus on skills that are most relevant to the kinds of job opportunities you want. You don’t need to list every skills you’ve picked up during the extent of your career; just those that will make the best impression on prospective employers.

Skip the clichés and buzzwords.

Too many times, candidates use terms like “detail-oriented,” or “focused,” and “strategic.” But these words are empty for most hiring manager.As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows they want to see hard facts and figures when it comes to your background, along with a proven track record. That’s why you should always skip the fluff and instead focus on quantifying your accomplishments and getting LinkedIn recommendations from reputable sources.

Share content and publish your own.

One of the best ways to stand out on LinkedIn is through sharing and publishing content. Not only will this help to expand your reach, but it will make you more credible and relevant to hiring managers and recruiters.

Following these few simple steps can help you make the most of your LinkedIn profile, so it can work harder for you during your job search. Another way to improve your job search results is by partnering with a local employment agency. For instance, as one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources can offer you helpful advice and tips on finding your next great job, and can even connect you with leading employers – and rewarding opportunities – in and around the area. To get started, contact us today or search our Houston-area jobs now.

 

5 Tips for Staying Sane After a Job Interview

August 22nd, 2017

As one of Houston’s leading employment agencies, Murray Resources knows that one of the worst parts of the job search process is waiting – waiting for a response after you apply for a job, waiting to hear back after a phone screen and waiting for an offer after an interview. You may feel anywhere from mildly stressed to totally agonized. How can you manage such an intense process and stay sane during it? With these tips:

Tip #1: Keep up your search.

Your interview went well, really well. But that doesn’t mean you should stop your search and wait around for an offer. Once you leave your interview, the decision is in the hands of the hiring manager, so mentally move on from it. If you get the offer – in writing – then and only then can you call your search quits.

Tip #2: Manage your stress.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Houston, we know job searches are stressful even for veteran professionals. But if you have healthy coping habits, then it’s going to make the process much easier. So after an interview, rather than sitting around, wondering and waiting, engage in some deep breathing exercises, or hit the gym and work out. If you’d rather socialize, find a friend and go to lunch or grab a drink. Whatever you do, just balance out the stress of your search with something relaxing.

Tip #3: Stay busy.

When you’re not busy, it’s that much easier to check your phone and email 15 times in an hour for any sign of communication from the hiring manager. But this will simply add to your stress level. Instead, stay busy with other activities, whether it’s a hobby or volunteering.

Tip #4: Write about the experience.

When you’re in the middle of a stressful experience – like a job search – it’s easy to let anxiety rule your mind. Instead, put pen to paper and get those thoughts and feelings out. When you do, you can gain some perspective, relieve stress and feel better overall.

Tip #5: Do something fun.

Whether it’s dinner and a movie, or a weekend road trip, do something you’re going to enjoy. Not only will it fill your mind as you’re getting ready for it – replacing thoughts about your interview – but you’ll also feel more relaxed and engaged when you get back to your search.

When you really want a certain job, managing your stress level after an interview – as you’re waiting to hear – can certainly be a challenge. But follow the tips above for staying sane and well balanced throughout the process.

Need more help with your job search?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can assist you with the entire search process – from crafting a strong resume and preparing for interviews to giving you access to job openings that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

5 Myths About Working with Employment Agencies

August 8th, 2017

In our area, more professionals than ever are using employment agencies in Houston to find new job opportunities. However, if you’re not one of them, you might be operating under some misconceptions about agencies and how they work. What are some common ones – and what’s the truth behind them? Here’s a look at 5:

Myth #1: Job postings by employment agencies aren’t real jobs.

The truth is many companies don’t even post their own job openings; they partner with an employment agency to do the work for them. So if you cut out jobs listed by employment agencies in Houston from your search, you can actually wind up missing out on a challenging and rewarding opportunity.

Myth #2: You have to pay to work with an employment agency.

A reputable agency will not charge candidates for job search assistance Rather, the hiring company pays the costs of the process. Not only is the job search help free, but so are many of the resources, such as training opportunities, offered by an employment agency.

Myth #3: Employment agencies only fill administrative or industrial jobs.

This might have been true decades ago. But today’s employment agencies in Houston fill jobs in fields ranging from IT and accounting to sales and marketing. What’s more is that companies ranging from those on the Fortune 500 list to smaller organizations rely on employment agencies for hiring help. So when you work with an agency to find your next job, you’ll have access to a wide variety of opportunities.

Myth #4: Employment agencies only fill temporary jobs.

Yes, it’s true that employment agencies fill temporary assignments. However, they also fill full-time, part-time, contract and temporary-to-hire roles, as well. It simply depends on the needs of the hiring company at any given time.

Myth #5: Employment agencies just want to fill an empty seat.

On the contrary, when you work with an experienced recruiter at an employment agency, they’ll take the time to learn about your background, experience and where you want to take your career. They can also help you polish your resume and interview skills so you make the best impression possible on employers. In the end, they’re focused on making a great match between candidates like you and potential employers.

If you’re just starting a new job search, or been at one for a while, an employment agency can be a valuable source of job leads for you. Not only that, but they can help you with every aspect of your job search, from resumes to interviews and more, start to finish.

If you’d like to learn more about getting started with employment agencies in Houston, put Murray Resources on your list. We can assist you with the entire search process, including crafting a strong resume, preparing for interviews and giving you access to job openings that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

When Your Completely Unreliable BFF Asks for a Job Recommendation

August 21st, 2012

As one of the leading in staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we at Murray Resources know that the economy is still brutal out there for many. As a result, candidates are leveraging every connection they have in order to land jobs.

But what should you do if a friend asks for help in their job search – specifically, for you to recommend them or to serve as a reference – and you know they’re not the most reliable person?

The bottom line is that helping out a friend that you know is “less than dependable” could harm your credibility within your own network. So proceed with caution when it comes this kind of situation and consider the following first:

Do You Have a Copy of Their Resume?

Before committing to doing anything, ask your friend to send along their resume. If it’s filled with employment gaps, poor grammar, and bad spelling, you probably won’t want to send it along to anyone in your network or at your company. That said, you can still offer to lend a hand by helping them to polish their resume.

Are You Willing to Offer a Formal Referral?

Passing along a friend’s name and resume to a hiring manager is different than offering a formal referral. If you’re asked to do the latter, you’re essentially saying that you vouch for your friend, their skill level, and the fact that you believe they’ll do a good job. If you’re not comfortable doing so, then simply give your friend the contact information for the hiring manager and ask them not to bring up your name.

Are You Comfortable Working With Your Friend?

If your friend is asking for a referral or recommendation to a job with your current employer, think long and hard about whether to say “yes.” For instance, they may know your “real feelings” about your boss and if they tend to have loose lips, then offering a recommendation could be a nail in your coffin at the company.

Need Help With Your Own Job Search?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading in staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we’ve partnered with many of the top employers throughout the city for over 24 years. As a result, we can match you with opportunities that are a terrific fit for you! Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.



The Zen Approach to Job Interviews

March 13th, 2012

As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, we know that even the most experienced and skilled people get nervous before job interviews. It’s only natural, after all…especially considering some interviews can feel more like interrogations.

But if you’ve got a lot on the line (as most job candidates do), how can you get over your job interview jitters and knock it out of the park? Here are some tips to consider:

Do your homework.

The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel. So do plenty of homework ahead of time. Research the company. Check out their website. Learn about who they are, what they do, and who their target audience is. Read about their mission and vision and try to evaluate where you could fit in and what unique value you bring to the table. Find out who the key players are at the company and what each one does.

Practice your answers.

As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, we can tell you that you never really know what an interviewer is going to ask you. Questions could range from the boilerplate (“Tell me about yourself”) to the off-the-wall (“If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?”). But there are certain questions, or variations of questions, you will almost always be asked – such as “Why should we hire you?” and “Why do you want to work here?” So prepare your answers to these inevitable questions.

Do a dry run.

One of the easiest ways to lose your cool before a big interview is if you feel rushed or are running late. To avoid this stressful scenario, do a dry run to the location of your interview to ensure you know how to get there and that there aren’t any construction detours along your route. You’ll feel much more calm on your way to the interview as a result.

Take a break.

Once you’ve done all your prep work, then take a break and relax. There’s no use stressing about your interview the night before. So enjoy a quiet dinner or go workout. Also be sure to go to bed early and get a good night sleep.

Think right.

On your way to the interview, don’t think about everything that could possibly go wrong. Just think positively and take deep breaths. The worst thing that could happen is you don’t get the job, which could actually be a good thing if it’s not right for you anyway.

And if you’d like some extra help finding job leads and preparing for interviews, let us know. As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests, whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Tips

Is All You Want For Christmas a New Job in Houston, Texas?

December 27th, 2011

If it is, then don’t stop looking for it during the holiday season. In fact, one of the better times to search for jobs in Houston, Texas is between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Here’s why.

Other job seekers take a break.

Your competition may take a break searching for new jobs in Houston, Texas simply because they’re busy getting ready for the holidays. Many also mistakenly believe that employers are done hiring for the year and that they should wait until after the New Year to continue with their job search.

It’s quieter around most offices.

In many offices, it’s typically quieter around the holidays, as employees, clients, and prospects take some time off. So a hiring manager or decision maker that may not have had time to answer your phone call or email may have some time now to do so.

You can network more.

Holiday parties are a hallmark of the holiday season. This year, though, rather than just attending parties with the goal of having a good time, view them as valuable networking opportunities. So be sure to bring plenty of business cards with you!

Use it or lose it budgets.

Another reason the holidays are a good time to look for new jobs in Houston, Texas is that some companies have a “use it or lose it” budget. That means they have a certain amount of money they have to use up before the end of the year; otherwise, they won’t get the same amount of funding next year.

New projects get launched.

Many organizations use the start of the New Year as a good time to launch new projects. As a result, they may need extra staff immediately in the beginning of the year in order to get projects off the ground and running.

If you’re looking for jobs in Houston, Texas and need some help, let us know. As one of Houston’s leading employment agencies, we work with some of the top employers throughout the area, including leaders in the energy industry, Fortune 500 firms, financial services firms, legal and medical practices, as well as dozens of dynamic small to mid-sized employers. Contact us today if you’re interested in gaining access to exclusive opportunities with these organizations!

Posted in: Blog, Tips

How to Build Better Relationship on the Job – And Reap the Rewards

October 18th, 2011

There are many factors important to success in your Houston job. These include things like competency, knowledge, and hard work.

But what’s really the #1 factor that can help you achieve career success?

The answer is probably less complicated then you think. It’s about building strong relationships with your co-workers.

Think about it. When you’re in a bind at work, you probably don’t turn to your boss for help. You ask a co-worker. Likewise, if you have a question about how to get something done, or want to bounce a new idea for a process or product off someone, whom do you ask? Again, it’s not likely you’re going to schedule a meeting with the company CEO to discuss an undeveloped idea. You’re going to seek feedback from a co-worker.

However if you don’t have strong relationships with your co-workers, then you won’t reap the many rewards that come along with them. To help you get there, here are some ideas to keep in mind:

Be respectful.

This should go without saying, but some people still need it said. Be kind and respectful to everyone you work with. That doesn’t mean you have to be an easy target or a big softie. It just means that you should think before you speak.

Share information.

If a co-worker comes to you with a question, don’t hoard your knowledge. Share what you know with them. If you ever need fast answers or a quick solution, your co-workers will be much more likely to help you when you’ve been generous with knowledge in the past.

Don’t point fingers.

When things go wrong, it can be tempting to point the finger of blame at someone else. But you’ll simply alienate your co-workers. So when errors happen, accept responsibility and work to determine how you can fix the mistake.

Share credit.

When things go right, don’t take all the credit, even if your boss thinks you did it all yourself. Tell him or her that you couldn’t have done it without help from the team. This is probably one of the best ways to strengthen relationships with your co-workers.

Socialize with co-workers.

You may not want to go to lunch or happy hour with co-workers, but make the effort. You’ll get to know your co-workers better in a more casual environment and learn what makes them tick. You’ll therefore be able to develop more productive relationships with them at work.

If you want to build better relationships on the job – just not in your current job – Murray Resources can help. As one of the top employment agencies in Houston, Texas, we can work with you to find a new job that’s a great match for your skills and personality.

Start your job search now.

Posted in: Blog, Tips

6 Tips to Help Improve Your Job Security

August 23rd, 2011

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits rose more than expected in early August – signaling that employers are still tightening their belts and the job market is still highly uncertain.

Obviously, there’s not much that can be done if your company closes its door; but if your employer is still making it work, there are steps you can take to demonstrate your value and help ensure you don’t receive a pink slip. Here’s a look:

1. Be Professional

This might sound like a no-brainer, but now is not the time to be late to work, miss a big deadline, or point the finger of blame if a mistake is made. Keep it professional always.

2. Take On More Work

Volunteer to take on added responsibilities, even if you’re already busy. You could take a big weight off your boss’s shoulders and truly set yourself apart from your peers.

3. Promote Your Accomplishments

Keep a log of your accomplishments that you can use when it comes time for your performance appraisal. But don’t just update your boss on them once a year; if you accomplish an important milestone or get great feedback from a customer, let your boss know. That said, don’t brag about your achievements to anyone who will listen.

4. Learn a New Skill

Being skilled in what you do is important; but it’s also important to broaden your skill set and acquire new knowledge. If your company does experience layoffs, then those with the broadest skill set – who can perform many valuable tasks – will likely be kept on.

5. Stay In-the-Know

Join an industry group and read trade publications. Make sure you’re well versed on current and emerging industry issues. Not only will you be able to offer valuable information and recommendations to your employer, but also you’ll make yourself stand out in the process.

6. Keep a Positive Attitude

Employers want people who are more givers, than takers. They want people who are seriously committed to making a positive impact and who will go the extra mile, without being asked. What they don’t want are people who are obstructionists or who whine about every project or assignment.

With the above tips, hopefully you can improve your job security and hang onto your job. If not, and you’re one of the millions of Americans who has been laid off, Murray Resources can help. As one of Houston’s leading employment agencies, we work with many of the city’s top employers, including Fortune 500 firms, financial services firms, legal and medical practices, as well as dozens of other small to mid-sized employers. And we can help you locate the jobs that best match your skills and interests.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Posted in: Tips

Job Seeker Recon 101: How to Vet a Prospective Employer

May 10th, 2011

There’s been a lot of news out there lately about how employers are using social networking sites to vet candidates. Take, for instance, a poll released by the Society for Human Resource Management in 2011. The poll found that more than half of HR professionals (56%) use social networking websites to find and evaluate potential job candidates, a 34% increase from 2008.

As a Houston, Texas job seeker, you may want to take a cue from those employers and use social networking sites, as well as the Internet in general, to evaluate a prospective employer. After all, if you’re going to accept a position, you want to do whatever it takes to ensure it’s a great fit for you. Here are some questions to ask to get you started:

Who’s running the show?

Most employers will have a section on their website with bios for the management team and other key personnel. This is a great place to start. In addition to reading through their backgrounds, conduct a Google search or use LinkedIn or other business social networks to learn more about the team members. Try to get a sense of whether or not the company has competent leadership and be on the lookout for any red flags, such as news about ethics charges.

Does the company seem financially stable?

In your online research, look for any news articles relating to the financial stability of the company. If they’re publicly traded, you can find out whether they’re reporting profits or losses.

What’s their reputation like?

If you’re uncertain about a company’s reputation, network with others and ask if they’ve heard anything, positive or negative, about the employer. If you can’t garner any information that way, then Google the company. While their website might be the first in the results, look further down the list for more objective reports or valuable reviews about the company.

Also, if you know who your potential supervisor will be, then Google his or her name to see what comes up. They may have a personal blog or social networking profile you can use to learn more about that person.

Has the company recently experienced lay offs, or are they adding jobs?

This is the kind of question you should always ask during job interviews. Another way to learn about lay offs and hiring trends is to look for any news articles online.

Do I know anyone who works, or who has worked, for the company?

Nowadays, many companies have profiles on LinkedIn where you can view a list of those employees who also have LinkedIn profiles. Look to see if you know anyone they employ. If you do, reach out to them and ask about how they like working for the company. This kind of insider insight is invaluable!

If you need help finding an employer who’s a great fit for you, please contact Murray Resources. We’re one of Houston’s leading employment agencies, and as a result, we work with many of the city’s top companies. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you locate the job – and the employer – that’s the best fit for you.

Posted in: Tips

Do You Know Which Houston Jobs Match Your Personality Best?

August 24th, 2010

As a Houston employment agency, we know that people are most productive, motivated, and happiest when they’re in a position that’s a great match for their personality. As a result, they are more successful too.

So what type of personality are you – and which jobs in Houston would you excel in?

Using John Holland’s theory of career choice, we’ve outlined six personality types below, careers that are a good fit for them, and the different work environments in which each one thrives.

Personality type #1: Artistic:
These are the artists of the world – so highly creative, independent, and original. They are also unorganized and take an unstructured approach to work. Examples of jobs that are a fit for the artistic personality are graphic designer, musician, writer, and actor.

Personality type #2: Realistic:
These people generally like hands-on tasks and have a high mechanical aptitude. They are also pragmatic, stable, and logical. They typically excel in jobs that are more tool-oriented, such as IT, engineering, agriculture, and architecture.

Personality type #3: Social:
These people are nurturing and like activities that involve helping others. They have a high level of compassion, and are also cooperative and friendly. Careers that are a good fit for this personality include teacher, customer service representative, doctor, nurse, and therapist.

Personality type #4: Investigative:
These people are both intellectual and analytical. They are thinkers and like working with theories and information. They are also independent and curious. Positions in which this personality thrives include lawyer, professor, economist, mathematician, and pharmacist.

Personality type #5: Enterprising:
These are the people who are not afraid to take a risk. They are also highly competitive. They have strong leadership skills and are good at persuading people. Positions that are a good fit for an enterprising personality are real estate agent, salesperson, marketing executive, management, and public relations.

Personality type #6: Conventional:
These people are detail oriented and highly organized. They also value routine and structure. They are both precise and practical, and operate best when they have clear instructions to follow. Jobs that are a good fit for a conventional personality include proofreader, banker, accountant, and clerk.

Were you able to determine which personality type you are? Whether you have a conventional personality or an investigative one, please contact Murray Resources if you need help finding a job that’s a fit for you. As an experienced Houston employment agency, we can give you access to a variety of rewarding Houston jobs.

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