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.

Hire Now!