Are You Active on LinkedIn? Here’s How the Right Action Can Help Your Career

January 9th, 2019

You might be busy. But if you’re interested in making a career move in the New Year, then you need to get active on LinkedIn. Not sure where to start? Here are a few quick actions from the LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice you can easily take in the days and weeks ahead that can have a big impact on your career in 2019:

 

Keep your profile current.

 

It sounds like a no-brainer. And yet, many professionals have stagnant profiles that sit there year after year without so much as a word change. But if you want to stand out and make the best impression possible on recruiters and hiring managers, you need to ensure your profile is current and compelling.

 

Keep in mind, too, your profile doesn’t need to read like a resume. It should offer more unique insight into who you are and what you do in order to get your audience engaged. You can do that in any number of ways, from telling a story to promoting your portfolio to sharing a video of an important career highlight.

 

Post status updates.

 

Status updates help your connections learn about your skills and experience; they also keep you on their radar. Not only that, but according to LinkedIn, job seekers who updated their status weekly were 10 times more likely to be contacted by recruiters. Some different update ideas include asking questions, sharing quotes and information, talking about industry trends, or offering your take on a hot career-related topic.

 

Stay social.

 

If you want to make the most of LinkedIn, it’s important to stay social on it. That means regularly engaging with your contacts by liking, sharing and commenting on their activities. It also means taking the time to research and seek out new connections. When you do, though, don’t send a generic connection message. Take the time to craft a custom invitation to connect.

 

Join a group.

 

Being active in a Group on LinkedIn can offer many different benefits. It can help you expand your network within your field beyond those in your immediate circle. It can also help you increase your visibility among other industry professionals, as well as recruiters and hiring managers looking for professionals like you. Finally, it can give you a forum for posting your own questions and engaging in discussions that can enhance your knowledge base.

 

Search jobs.

 

At any given time, there are millions of different job opportunities being promoted on LinkedIn. So if you’re looking to make a career move, spend some time searching these and setting up email alerts so you’re notified when new opportunities get posted.

 

Interested in a new job in the New Year?

 

Connect with the LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice for help with yours. We can help you build a powerful presence online, all so you can achieve your career goals. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

Invest in Your Personal Brand: Why Career Marketing is So Crucial to Professional Advancement

January 3rd, 2019

Just 10 years ago, all you needed to apply for a new job was a cover letter and a resume. Things have changed dramatically since then. In today’s world, a personal brand is a must. But what exactly does that mean, and how can you create one to advance your career in 2019?

 

A personal brand is simply a way to differentiate yourself. It defines the unique value and experience you offer. It showcases your personality so you come across as authentic. And it positions you as a leading professional that employers want to hire. At its essence, it’s how people remember you.

 

That’s critically important in a competitive job market. For instance, when you have a polished and professional personal brand, you’ll benefit in many valuable ways, including:

 

Improving visibility in your industry.

 

This is vital, particularly when it comes to looking for a new job. The better known you are, the more recruiters and hiring managers you’ll get in front of. Not only that, but realistic or not, visibility equates to more familiarity. Companies want to hire people they know because they feel more comfortable with them.

 

Broadcasting more authority.

 

When you have a strong personal brand, it shows that you’re a trusted authority. Your opinion is, therefore, going to matter to more people. Recruiters and other professionals will seek you out and connect with you on an emotional level. This will help to build more trust among you and your network, which can play an invaluable part in your career.

 

Showcasing special skills.

 

You have a specialized combination of work and life experience that can set you apart from other candidates. When it comes to what makes you unique as a professional, a personal brand will help you show it off, whether it’s through your own website, blog posts, articles you author on LinkedIn, or speaking engagements.

 

Setting yourself apart from the competition.

 

At the end of the day, whether you’re looking for a new job, to expand your network, or the chance to take your career to a whole new level, a personal brand can play a key role. It will help to make you more memorable as you strive to achieve your career goals.

 

Ready for professional help creating a personal brand?

 

Turn to the team at ResumeSpice. We offer a variety of services, from professional bio writing to LinkedIn profile writing and more, we’ll help you develop your own compelling personal brand. To get started, call us today at 832.930.7378.

Posted in: & Advice Columns

Breaking Resume Myths: Limiting to One Page May Limit Your Potential

December 26th, 2018

Writing a resume is a delicate balance. When it comes to how long yours should actually be, you’ve probably heard the “one-page” rule. However, it’s not necessarily true and can actually wind up hurting your job search if you stick to it. Here’s why:

 

You cram too much information in.

If you’re desperately trying to stick to one-page during the resume writing process, chances are, your margins are going to be too narrow and fonts too small. As a result, hiring managers aren’t going to read your resume. They’re busy and need to be able to quickly and easily scan each one. If they require a magnifying glass to read yours, they’re likely going to skip it.

 

You leave out vital information.

In an effort to pare down your resume to a page, you could be leaving out critical information; the kinds of details that would distinguish you from other candidates. That’s why you shouldn’t be solely focused on length. Instead, concentrate on highlighting what’s important and most relevant for the hiring manager to know about you. You might still need to edit; however, you have a lot more flexibility with two pages instead of one.

 

It makes you look inexperienced.

Hiring managers expect experienced professionals to have a resume that’s more than one page. They also expect it to be polished and professional, with plenty of white space and proper formatting. So if your resume is jam-packed and messy-looking on a single page, it’s not going to reflect well on you or your background.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For instance, if you just launched your career or only have a couple of years of experience, your resume should be one-page long. Anything more than that will make you look presumptuous, or like you’re unwilling or unable to edit. Stick to a single page and use appropriate margins and a font size that’s reasonably easy to read. That means one-inch margins and at least an 11-point font. Hiring managers will notice and thank you for it.

 

Writing a compelling resume takes a lot of work. On top of content, you need to think about other details, like length. If you’d like professional help and advice with the process, turn to the experienced resume writers at ResumeSpice. Whether you need some quick feedback or a total overhaul, we can help. To learn more, call us today at 832.930.7378.

Posted in: & Advice Columns

4 Tips for Accepting a Job Offer

June 14th, 2016

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows when you get a job offer, you probably want to shout about it from the rooftops. After all, you’ve probably spent the last few months polishing your resume, searching, interviewing and searching some more. So it feels great when someone says “we want you.”

But before you say yes, you need to take a step back and analyze the opportunity. Even if you’re sure you want the job, it’s never a good idea to agree immediately. You want to give yourself enough time to think through position, the compensation and all the perks through before you agree.

So rather than offering an immediate acceptance of the job, here’s what to do next:

Tip #1: Say thanks.

Your first step should be to express appreciation for the job offer. Whether you plan to accept the offer “as is,” or you’re going to negotiate, it’s important to demonstrate your excitement and appreciation for the opportunity. It sets a positive tone for conversations going forward.

Tip #2: Ask for the offer in writing.

You don’t want to be making major life decisions based on a conversation. Ask them for the job offer in writing, which should include the job title, start date and salary at the very least. This makes the offer official.

Tip #3: Take some time to think about it.

Ask when they want a decision by. If they say immediately, then this should be a red flag. Pressuring doesn’t leave a great impression. Most companies expect you to take at least a couple days to think about it.

That said, you don’t want to put them off for too long. If they don’t give you a deadline, promise to get back to them within a couple of business days. However, if you want to negotiate the terms, ask to set up a meeting in person to talk over the details.

Tip #4: Say yes.

If you do negotiate with the company and they agree to your terms, then make sure you ask for the revised offer in writing, as well. You want to ensure everyone’s on the same page and there aren’t any unwelcome surprises down the road.

Are you ready to negotiate yourself into a new job opportunity? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

5 Job Search Mistakes That Will Cost You the Job

May 24th, 2016

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows the job market can be fierce. One false move and you could knock yourself out of the running for a great opportunity. What are some mistakes even the best job seekers have made in the past? Here’s a look:

Mistake #1: Not following instructions when applying.

You may not want to give a list of referrals or your salary history. However, if you don’t follow the instructions of the job postings, don’t be surprised when you’re not called in for an interview.

Mistake #2: Submitting a five-page resume when you have three years of experience.

Even for those with 10+ years of experience, two pages typically suffice when it comes to submitting a resume. If you do send in an excessively long resume, then the hiring manager will view you as self important or think you can’t edit and focus on your strengths.

Mistake #3: Following up…in person.

You had an interview with the hiring manager and they told you to expect to hear back in a week. It’s now been two. It’s perfectly acceptable to send a quick email asking about the status of the position. However, if you just applied for the job and show up on the company’s door step two days later inquiring about the position, you’re going to look unprofessional.

Mistake #4: Arriving to an interview too early.

Sure, you want to show the hiring manager you’re eager for the job. However, showing up 30 minutes early – or more – for an interview will simply make you look desperate. Ten minutes early is fine. If you arrive sooner than that, then wait in your car or go to the coffee shop around the corner.

Mistake #5: Asking about perks and benefits too soon.

Of course, you want to know about benefits and perks of a particular opportunity. But ask too early – for instance,  your first question during the phone screen – and it could look like that’s all you’re after. Instead, you want to show the hiring manager that you’re interested in the opportunity and that you’re a good fit for it. Ask about the benefits once you’re deeper into the hiring process.

Would you like more advice and help finding your next Houston job? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Can You Over-prepare for a Job Interview?

May 10th, 2016

You’re searching for a new job. So you know how important it is for you to prepare for an upcoming interview. But can you prepare too much? To the point where you actually hurt your chances of landing the offer?

In a word: Yes.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows if you’re spending days researching interview questions, studying your “lines” before an interview, and practicing your answers in front of the mirror again and again, then you’re preparing too much. Rather than coming off like an authentic human being, you’re going to sound like a robot full of canned answers. And great companies don’t hire robots.

Instead, next time you need to get ready for a big interview, follow these tips:

  • Don’t write a script. It’s tempting to research “top interview questions” on Google and then write out and practice your answers to every single one. But this is how you end up sounding rehearsed. Instead, look up common questions and simply jot down a few bullet points you’d like to get across about each one. That way, you can deliver a great answer without sounded scripted.
  • Know what makes you different. Rather than simply trying to rehearse the right answers to questions, spend time thinking about your experience and background – and what unique strengths you bring to the table. Really think through the job and why you’re a great fit for it. Have relevant accomplishments in mind that you’re ready to talk about that showcase your skills and abilities. Be ready to demonstrate what makes you different or unique and what lessons you’ve learned along the way.
  • Show some personality. Sure, you might look great on paper. But if the hiring manager sees a nervous candidate giving canned answers, you’re not going to get hired. Employers want to hire people who have positive attitudes and are enthusiastic about the job. So don’t focus on delivering stiff answers, even if you think they’re the “right” ones. Instead, let your personality shine through and show the hiring manager why you’re interested in the job.

Remember, there’s a line between being well prepared and sounding rehearsed. You need to think about why you’re a great fit for the job and be ready to get specific with examples. But you don’t need to script exactly what you’re going to say ahead of time.

Do you need more help finding great jobs and preparing for interviews? Call the team at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Don’t Make These 4 Common Mistakes After the Job Interview

April 26th, 2016

You applied for a job you know is perfect for you. You aced the interview and left feeling great. The hiring manager said he’d get back to you soon. But it’s been a few days and you haven’t heard a thing. What do you do? To start, avoid making these costly mistakes that could you impact your chances of landing a second interview – or the job:

Mistake #1: Stopping your job search.

Just because one interview went well doesn’t mean you should call off the rest of your search and wait in hopeful anticipation for an offer. It’s ok to be optimistic. But you need to be practical too. That means continuing with your search – and applying and interviewing for other jobs – no matter how enthusiastic you are about a particular position. You don’t want to miss out on another potentially terrific opportunity just because you stopped looking. Only quit your job search once you have an offer you plan to accept.

Mistake #2: Following up with the hiring manager before the deadline.

If a hiring manager said they’d get back to you in a week and it’s only been three days, don’t check in. It’s stressful waiting to hear, but you don’t want to undermine the positive impression that you made by coming off as desperate. Even if the deadline has passed and you still haven’t heard anything, it’s not ok to email or call the hiring manager repeatedly. Once is enough. The reality is that for most companies, the hiring process can take longer than anticipated. So sit tight and keep busy with your job search.

Mistake #3: Tell the hiring manager you have another job offer, though you don’t.

You want a decision made so you can accept or move on. How can you make the process move faster? You can’t – even if you call the hiring manager and bluff by saying you have another offer. This can end up ugly for you. Most hiring managers will tell you there’s nothing they can do to speed up the hiring process on their end, so they’ll remove you from consideration. That said, if you truly do have another job offer, then you should reach out to the hiring manager to communicate your time restraints.

Mistake #4: Becoming inaccessible.

Don’t put your life on hold while you’re waiting to hear back about a job. But don’t become totally inaccessible either. If you have a vacation planned, or will be out of town for a while, still check your email and voicemail once a day. If a hiring manager can’t get a hold of you, they’ll assume you’re no longer interested in the job.

Waiting to hear about a job you really want can be agonizing. But don’t obsess over the situation. Instead, stay busy and optimistic and know that if you truly are the best fit, then you’ll likely receive an offer.

Do you need more help finding a new job in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Why People Lie on Their Resume (and Why You Should Never Be One of Them!)

February 9th, 2016

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows most people are tempted to stretch the truth on their resume at one time or another. In fact, estimates report that over half of all resumes contain some fibs. However, if you lie on your resume and get caught, two scenarios could play out:

1) If the untruth is uncovered during hiring, you will be quickly dismissed from the hiring process, which would be truly unfortunate if you were a great fit for the job.

2) If you’re hired and then the lie is discovered, you could get fired. You also might forfeit certain legal rights because you lied during the application process.

Either way, it’s not a pretty picture. So it’s best to avoid lying altogether. But what are some areas that candidates commonly exaggerate, invent, and flat out lie about altogether on their resumes? Here’s a look:

1. Employment dates.

If you were at a company for 11.5 months and say you worked there for a year, that’s close enough. However, if you worked somewhere for six months, don’t try to stretch your employment dates to make it look longer…or worse, lie about gaps in employment. It’s easy enough for hiring managers to verify this information.

2. Job titles.

Job titles are one of the most common areas candidates lie about. They might exaggerate their title by adding a “senior” in front of it, or invent a position they never held. In any case, most hiring managers will verify your work history before they offer you the job. So your lie will likely be uncovered.

3. Education.

If you don’t have the educational requirements to get the job, don’t lie about it on your resume. All it takes is one quick phone call or email to your “alma mater” for a hiring manager to verify your educational background.

4. References.

Reference checking is one of the last steps in the hiring process. So if you’ve made it to this point, don’t sabotage all your efforts by providing the potential employer with fake references (for instance, by coaching family and friends to lie on your behalf).

5. Skill level.

When you lie about your skill level on your resume, you could really be setting yourself up for failure. Should you get hired, you may not have the knowledge and experience to actually perform on the job.

Hiring managers typically don’t expect perfection. What they do expect, though, is for candidates to be honest about their background and experience. If you’re not, and you do get hired, you’ll constantly be looking over your shoulder. It’s just not worth it.

Are you trying to create a clear, compelling, and accurate resume, but need some help? Call the employment experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Create a Great Resume for Your 2016 Job Search

January 12th, 2016

Is one of your 2016 career resolutions to find a new job? Then, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows your resume is a critical tool in the process. But if you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, then it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you create a great resume so you can land your dream job in 2016, here are 5 tips to help:

Tip #1: Brainstorm about your background.

When you’re first starting out, don’t filter yourself. Instead, write down everything you can think of regarding your career, including past jobs, accomplishments, awards, new skills, certifications earned, continuing education, and any other relevant facts. You can edit all this information and tailor it later.

Tip #2: Concentrate on the wins.

For each position you’ve held, don’t just define your tasks and responsibilities. Hiring managers want to know more than you just “Ordered office supplies.” Instead focus on the positive impact your work had on the company, as well as any important accomplishments. For example, state that you “managed the office budget and office supply contracts, re-negotiating with vendors and saving 15% on supplies in the process.” Hiring managers want to see a track record of success backed up by facts and figures.

Tip #3: Look for help from other sources.

Writing a great resume isn’t easy. Instead, look for inspiration from other sources around the web to jumpstart your thought process. For instance, a site like LinkedIn could be helpful when you look for other professionals with a background similar to yours to see how they market themselves. That’s not to say you should be copying and pasting from the web; but it’s a great place to go as a guide.

Tip #4: Take a look at past evaluations.

You can also look at your past performance evaluations as another source of inspiration when you’re writing your resume. If you have copies of yours, look for your areas of strengths and positive comments from your past bosses. It will also help ensure you don’t overlook any important areas in your background.

Tip #5: Tailor your resume every time you apply.

Don’t send the same resume to every job you’re applying to. Instead, tailor and tweak it for each unique position. For one position, knowing a certain computer program could be critically important. If that’s the case – and you’re literate in that program – then tout that detail at the top of your resume in a “Summary of Expertise” section. Remember, you’re trying to not only give hiring managers an overview of your background, but also stand out in a sea of other candidates.

Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. By following the tips above, you can ensure you create a great one that gets results.

If you’d like more help creating your resume, or finding job leads, call Murray Resources. As one of the top recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Are You Making These Career Resolutions for 2016?

December 22nd, 2015

When it comes to resolutions, everyone who makes them has the best of intentions. Unfortunately, they typically fall by the wayside just a few weeks into the New Year. So whether you’re happy in your current job, or are looking to make a leap in 2016, what are some realistic career resolutions you can make for the New Year – ones you’ll actually keep? Here’s a look:

#1: Evaluate where you are.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows it’s important to take a step back and think about where you are in your career – and where you want to go. Ask yourself: What do you like about your job? What don’t you like? How can you improve those areas? Is it time to make a move to a new job? If so, what does the ideal position look like? Based on your answers to these questions, set career goals and create a timeline for achieving them.

#2: Strengthen your resume.

You never know when the ideal job opportunity is going to come along. When it does, you want to be ready for it. Also, it’s much easier to keep your resume updated regularly, when important accomplishments are fresh in your mind.

#3: Increase your visibility.

Yes, you need to refine your paper resume. But it’s also important to have a solid online presence, as well. So don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile – as well as any other social media profiles you may have – with accomplishments and skills you’ve acquired in 2015.

#4: Expand your network.

Network whether you’re looking for a new job or not. Having a solid network in place will not only help you when you’re looking for a new opportunity, but it’s a great source to tap into when you need career advice or inspiration.

Despite what you might think, networking doesn’t simply involve going to events and handing out business cards. It can be reaching out to old colleagues to set up a lunch date or go for drinks after work.

#5: Enhance your skill set.

Whether you’re content in your current job, or looking for something new, you should be regularly investing in yourself and your skills. For example, sign up for a class to learn about new technology impacting your field or industry. If you don’t have the time to take a class, read books and magazines about your industry and issues pertaining to it so you can stay in the know.

If one of your career resolutions for 2016 is to find a new job, Murray Resources can help. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

How Can I Improve My Odds of Finding a Job on LinkedIn?

December 8th, 2015

While LinkedIn may still seem new to the employment marketplace, it’s actually more than a decade old. Over the years, it’s evolved from a niche social networking website to an essential tool for every kind of professional.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that today, it’s also one of the go-to sites hiring managers use when researching a candidate. As a result, it’s important that you a) have a profile on LinkedIn and b) make sure it’s as effective, up-to-date and polished as possible.

To help you, here are some tips:

Post a professional photo.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be a professional headshot from a pricey photographer. But it shouldn’t be a blurry photo of you on vacation either. You need to make sure whatever image you do post looks professional and appropriate for the LinkedIn environment. While you may think you can skip over this step, it’s critical that you do have a photo because you will get far more page views from recruiters with one than without.

Polish your content.

If you are actively searching for a job, then research relevant job opportunities on LinkedIn. You’re looking for keywords and phrases that are used in the postings you’re interested in. Once you have a list, be sure to incorporate them into your own profile so there’s a higher chance of recruiters finding you when they’re searching.

Follow companies you’re interested in.

If there are certain organizations you’d like to get your foot in the door at, then follow them on LinkedIn. You’ll learn about what’s going on there, as well as potential job opportunities. You can also share and comment on their posts, and get on the radar of the hiring manager.

Focus on your connections.

Connections are the mainstay of your LinkedIn profile – and you can leverage them in your job search. For instance, if there’s a certain company you want to work for, then use LinkedIn to search and see if you know any of their current employees. If you do, reach out and ask whether there are any openings on the horizon, as well as for advice on getting hired at the company.

Also, when you send a new request via LinkedIn, don’t use the canned “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message. Rather, write a personal note inviting someone to your network. It will make a much more positive impression.

Join groups.

Recruiters look for strong candidates via LinkedIn groups. They search for those with the skills and expertise they need within a particular skill set. So make sure you join relevant industry groups and get involved in the conversations going on there. You’ll increase your visibility and your chances of landing on the radar of a hiring manager.

Would you like more help finding your next great job? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Get Job Search Help From Your Network

October 27th, 2015

You likely know that networking is an important component to any job search. After all, most jobs are filled through referrals and by word of mouth. But reaching out to those you know can sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable. What you can do to properly approach the situation – and leverage your network to find a new job in Houston? Here are some tips to help you:

Contact people one at a time.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources certainly understands it can be tempting to save time by sending out a mass email. However, don’t do it. Instead, reach out to people in your network on an individual basis. When you do, they’ll be far more likely to respond than they would to a mass email.

Get specific.

When you talk to those in your network, be as specific as possible with what you’re looking for in terms of a job. Otherwise, they won’t be able to guide you to opportunities that are the best fit for you. So rather than saying you’re looking for a job as a project manager, let them know you’re looking for an IT project manager position at a medium or large company.

Get outside of your comfort zone.

You may work within a certain industry, but your next ideal job could be in a different industry altogether. So when networking, don’t limit your contact to only those who work in a certain field or industry. Reach out to those outside your comfort zone; they may be able to tell you about opportunities at companies you may never have considered.

Be mindful.

If you try to connect with someone and they don’t get back to you, don’t get offended or pester them. Let it go. You never know what could be going on at work or in their personal life. So if you called twice and haven’t heard back, simply cross that person off your list and move onto to someone else.

Say thank you.

When someone assists you or provides you with a lead, don’t forget to thank them. Also, make sure to keep them posted about your job search progress, especially if their tip or information helped in your search. And, of course, it never hurts to return the favor to those in your network when they’re searching for a job.

Looking for a new job in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Have to Take a Personality Test for a Job? Here’s How to Approach It

September 22nd, 2015

The hiring process used to consist of the application, the interview, and the decision about whether or not you got the job. Today, however, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows the process is a bit more complex and can oftentimes include a personality test.

You might wonder what implication your personality has on your ability to do the job. But employers know that personality makes a difference in whether or not a particular employee can deliver on the job or flounders and fails. In fact, personality can oftentimes have a bigger impact vs. hard skills on whether a person is successful in the company.

And, as a candidate, you actually stand to benefit too from these personality tests since they help an employer better assess whether you’re a good fit for their culture. So if you do get offered the job, then you have peace of mind knowing that your personality will likely blend within your new employer.

As a result, don’t approach a personality test with a sense of dread. Instead, view it as a tool that can help match you with the right opportunity.

So if you’re asked to complete a personality test, how should you approach it? Here are some tips to help you:

  • Don’t lie. Always be honest when answering questions on a personality test. You might be tempted to exaggerate the truth, but you’ll only be doing yourself a disservice. Why? Because you don’t want to wind up in a position or at a company that isn’t right for you. So answer each question as candidly as possible.
  • Take a sample test. There are plenty of free tests online you can use to practice taking a personality test. While the actual questions probably won’t be the same, you’ll familiarize yourself with the process and the kinds of questions you’ll be asked. As a result, when the time comes for you to take the real test, you’ll be more comfortable and confident.
  • Change what you can for the better. Your personality is your personality – and you can’t change much of it. What you can change, though, is how you present yourself via your resume and the interview. So make sure you always strive to put your best foot forward in those areas.

Are you looking for a new opportunity in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

What Happens To Your Resume After You Submit It?

September 8th, 2015

Did you ever wonder what happens to your resume after you hit the “submit” button? Does the hiring manager automatically review your application, or do they hold off until they’ve received all submissions? And does an applicant tracking system filter your resume based on certain keywords, or does a human handle the resume screening process?

To answer your most pressing questions, here’s a look at what happens to your resume after you submit it:

It’s true that many companies, particularly larger ones, will use some sort of software application to screen your resume before a human lays eyes on it. The software uses different types of criteria, such as keywords, to target the individuals who seem like the best fit for the position. For that reason, when you are applying for a certain position, take a look at the job posting first and highlight any keywords in it. Then, before submitting your cover letter and resume, make sure some of those keywords and phrases are incorporated into both.

After your resume gets filtered – and if yours makes the cut – it then goes to the hiring manager. The manager will begin the process of screening each one so they can hone in on those who are the strongest fit for the job. Most hiring managers will only spend a few seconds scanning each resume; after all, there are typically a lot to get through. That’s why it’s vital to ensure your resume is in an easy-to-read format, with generous margins, a font size of at least 10.5, bullet points, and bolded job titles. Skip the tiny font size and dense paragraphs. It’s far better to submit a two-page resume that is clear and easy to read, then a resume on one page that’s crammed and cluttered with information.

If a hiring manager thinks you could be a fit for the job, then they’ll call you to schedule a phone screen. More and more, employers are conducting these because they take less time than a face-to-face interview and enable them to create a strong short list of candidates to bring in for interviews. A phone screen may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. The end goal, though, is to make a decision about whether or not to invite you in for an interview. So don’t just wing it; prepare for a phone screen just as you would for an in-person interview.

The interview is the next step in the process; although if the employer requires multiple rounds of interviews, skills testing and background checks, it certainly won’t be the last. However, if you’ve made it to this step, then you’re likely on the short list of candidates to hire. So again, make sure you’re well prepared for the interview and present a polished, professional image.

If you don’t get a call or hear back after the interview, but just get a standard “thank you for applying” letter or email, then the hiring manager may have decided you weren’t the best fit for the job. However, most will keep your resume on file for at least a year should another similar opportunity arise.

Do you need more help polishing your resume and finding great job opportunities? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Keep Job Search Perspective

July 14th, 2015

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that starting a search for a new job can be exciting. Who knows what will come your way. But when the third and fourth weeks pass – and you still haven’t gotten a call for an interview, it can be discouraging. But if you have the right perspective to start with, then it’s a lot easier to deal with a stressful and uncertain hiring process. To help you, here are a few thoughts to consider:

You must customize your cover letter and resume.

One reason you may not have gotten any interviews is because your resume is too generic. It’s critically important to customize every cover letter and resume for each opening you apply to. That doesn’t mean you need to rewrite these documents from scratch; but it does mean you need to invest the time and effort to showcase why you’re the best person for a particular position.

You probably won’t get a response right away.

You submit your cover letter and resume…then you wait and wait. What gives? This is actually a pretty normal occurrence during the job search. Most hiring managers are so busy reviewing responses to the job opening that it may take a while for them to get back to you. Don’t take it personally; it’s not necessarily a bad sign.

You might not get a response at all.

In some cases, you might respond to a job opening and never hear back. This can certainly be disheartening, but it’s the reality of the situation when searching for a new job. If this happens, shrug it off and move on. The position probably wasn’t a good fit for you in the first place.

Keep searching until you’ve been offered the job.

Don’t stop your search just because you think you’re going to get the job. So many issues can get in the way of a job offer – and the last thing you want is to quit your search before an offer is concrete. So keep looking until you sign on the dotted line.

Don’t compare yourself to other candidates.

If you find out your neighbor found a new job in two weeks – and you’ve been looking for two months – don’t get upset. They may work in a field that has a shortage of job candidates, or they may have known someone at the company they were hired at. Whatever the case; don’t compare yourself to others.

If you’d like more help with your job search, call the professionals at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Didn’t Get the Job Offer? Here’s Why

June 23rd, 2015

Job searches are frustrating and stressful, plain and simple. But one of the most difficult parts is when you land the interview – think you aced it – and then don’t get the job offer. A different candidate secured the position. It can certainly be a bitter pill to swallow; however, it can also be one that you learn from. So what kinds of reasons could there be that you didn’t get the job? Here’s a look:

Reason #1: You didn’t have any rapport with the hiring manager.

Managers are fearful of making mistakes when it comes to hiring new employees. As a result, factors such as personality and soft skills have become almost as important as the hard skills. So if you had all the right abilities and experience, but you simply didn’t click with the hiring manager, that could be a reason you didn’t get the offer. They may be afraid you won’t mesh well within the company culture once hired. That doesn’t mean you’re not a great candidate, it simply means you weren’t the right one for this particular job.

Reason #2: Your online identity could use some editing.

You may have done a great job in your interview. But if, after the fact, the hiring manager Googled you and didn’t like what they saw, then that could have hurt your chances for landing the position. In the future, make sure your online profiles are professional or at least set to private. You don’t want something like social media to have a negative impact on your job search efforts.

Reason #3: You seem negative or disinterested.

Did you bash a former employer or colleagues during the interview? Did you not have any questions about the company and position for the hiring manager? When you’re interviewing for a job, it’s important to be positive and enthusiastic. That means no talking about past jobs – unless it’s in a positive way, such as what you learned from an experience – and demonstrating your eagerness to land the job through asking meaningful questions. Otherwise, the hiring manager will think you’re not taking the job seriously.

Reason #4: You really weren’t qualified.

In some cases, another candidate may have had more experiences or a background that was a better fit. In other cases, the hiring manager may not have thought you were truly qualified for the position. For instance, if you exaggerated on your resume, but couldn’t back up your claims in the interview, that’s one warning sign to hiring managers.

So you didn’t get the job. The good news is that there are still plenty out there. And with the right approach, next time you’ll be the one getting the offer.

If you’d like job search help from the experts, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

What Are the Best Questions to Ask in an Interview?

May 26th, 2015

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that most candidates are so focused on the questions they’re going to be asked, that they forget to prepare any questions to ask the hiring manager. But asking questions during an interview is very important. Not only can it confirm to the hiring manager that you have the right abilities for the job, but it can also help decide whether or not you want the job.

So what kinds of questions are most helpful to ask during an interview?

What kinds of challenges will the person in this job face?

Sure you want to know about all the benefits and perks. But knowing about the challenges is just as – if not more – important. If you walk into the position with no idea what challenges you’ll be facing, you’ll likely be blind-sided. Instead, you want all the information – the good, the bad and the ugly – when it comes time to make a decision about an offer. In addition, asking this question shows the hiring manager that you recognize that there are difficult elements to every job.

What constitutes success in this position?

This question not only shows that you’re interested in being successful, but also helps you discern whether or not you the position is right for you – and you can, in fact, achieve success in the role.

How would you describe the culture here?

If you’re not a good fit for a company’s culture, you’re not going to thrive in your job. That’s why it’s so important to ask questions about culture and what it’s really like to work at a potential employer. If, for instance, the culture is laid back and you like a more structured culture, then the job likely isn’t an ideal fit for you. It’s important to know this before you accept an offer.

Who previously held this position?

The answer to this question will also help you dig into the culture at the company. It will tell you whether the person left or was promoted, which will give you an indication as to what kinds of advancements opportunities there are there.

What are the next steps in the hiring process?

This last question is essential to ask. It not only shows your interest in the position, but it also gives you access to important information, such as when a final decision will be made about the job.

Do you need more help finding great job leads or preparing for interviews? Call Murray Resources. As one of the top recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure a job opportunity that is a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

 

Should I Be Asking for the Interview in My Cover Letter?

April 28th, 2015

It’s up to you. But, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that by applying for the position, you’ve already indicated your interest in an interview. However, some experts believe that you increase your odds of landing an interview by asking for one in the cover letter.

If you choose to do so, you can say something like:

“I’m excited about the Operations Manager position with your company and would appreciate an opportunity to speak further with you about my qualifications. Please call me at 123.456.789 to schedule an interview at your convenience.”

What you shouldn’t say is something really forceful, such as “I’ll be contacting you within the next few days to set up an interview.” It’s the job of the hiring manager to contact you to set up an interview – if, that is, they want to interview you. Stating otherwise is crossing a line.

What are some other tips for a successful cover letter? Here’s a look:

Don’t repeat your resume.

So many candidates make the mistake of regurgitating all the details already offered on their resume. But this simply wastes space – and the hiring manager’s time. Instead, your cover letter should show employers why you want the job and what unique value you can offer them.

Keep it short.

There’s nothing worse than a three-page cover letter. No hiring manager has time to read all this. Plus they’ll question your ability to organize your thoughts and communicate in a concise matter. Instead, keep your cover letter down to one page or less.

Customize it.

You shouldn’t be sending the same letter for every position. You need to customize it depending on the unique requirements of each company.

Personalize it.

If you can, address it to the manager responsible for making the decision. If need be, research online or make a phone call to find out who that person is.

Proofread it.

Before you click the “send” button, make sure you review your cover letter and also ask someone else to proofread it with fresh eyes.

Your cover letter is an important component of the job search process. Make sure yours is in great shape by following the tips above.

Do you need more help with your job search? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong cover letter to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

Can I Provide Only Co-Workers as References?

April 14th, 2015

If you’re searching for a new job, then you know you’re likely going to need to supply some references to a potential employer at some point. But did you also know that some references are better than others? In fact, employers oftentimes will request you to submit at least two former managers as references. Why does it matter? After all, don’t the people you work alongside each day have a better sense of your work ethic, diligence, and abilities?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows employers generally ask for managers as references for a variety of reasons. For instance:

  • It’s up to a manager to evaluate your job performance. As a result, they are going to have a stronger sense of where you’ve been…and where you’re going. They’ll be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and areas where you’ve made significant strides – more so than a co-worker would.
  • In addition, a manager is going to have a much better sense of the results you’ve delivered and whether you’re performing to expectation. A co-worker, on the other hand, likely isn’t going to know the specific performance goals that have been set for you. So even though they see you working hard, they won’t know whether you’re doing what you were hired to do.
  • You’ve probably had a lot of co-workers over the years, but only a few managers. If you’re only submitting peers as references, you can easily pick and choose only those who you know will offer positive remarks. It’s not so easy do that with managers.

If you submit a list of references to a potential employer, and you don’t include a single manager on it, it’s going to be a red flag to a hiring manager. They’re going to automatically wonder why you don’t want them calling those who have supervised you in the past. However, if you provide a list of references that includes both peers and past managers, then hiring managers won’t think twice.

A final note: Don’t submit people as references that you’re related to or friends with. When a hiring manager asks for references, they are looking for ones from those you’ve worked alongside or under in the past.

Do you need more help finding a new job? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

 

Why Employers Don’t Tell You the Reason You Weren’t Hired

March 24th, 2015

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows getting a rejection letter or email is never fun, especially if you really wanted a particular job. But what can make matters worse is when a hiring manager doesn’t let you know the reason you weren’t chosen and sends out a letter chock full of vague statements. So why don’t employers want to just tell you the real reason you weren’t hired?

Because that’s what their lawyers told them to do.

In many cases, lawyers advise their clients not to share the reason a person didn’t get hired in case the candidate decides it’s discriminatory. Consider this example:

What if an employer tells you they didn’t hire you because you didn’t have enough Microsoft Office skills. Then four months later, after still not being able to find someone with the right skill set, the employer decides to hire someone they can train. That person happens to be a different gender, race or age than you are. So you decide you weren’t hired because you are white, or black, or male or female, or pregnant or disabled…and the list goes on.

Because there’s not enough time in the day.

A hiring manager’s job is to find the right candidate for the position. It’s not to write personalized rejection letters to every single candidate. It may not seem fair, but remember: You’re not the only candidate who applied. In fact, when you consider that hundreds of people oftentimes apply to a single job, you’ll realize that writing personalized letters to that many people simply isn’t reasonable.

Because they don’t want to give negative feedback.

No one likes to give negative feedback, including hiring managers. So if the reason you weren’t hired is an awkward one – your social skills weren’t up to par, or you didn’t act professionally or communicate clearly – then don’t expect a letter detailing your weaknesses from the hiring manager. Keep in mind, the hiring manager is not a professional career coach. If they give you some feedback, take it to heart. If they don’t, realize it’s not their obligation to do so.

With that said, if a hiring manager doesn’t offer any specifics, you can certainly reach out to them and ask the reason you weren’t hired. Just make sure you do so in a polite and professional manner.

If you need more help finding a job that’s right for you, contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure a job opportunity that is a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

How to Boost Your Career in 2015 – and Beyond

January 13th, 2015

Is one of your resolutions for 2015 to boost your career? If it is, then it’s going to require a lot of hard work. Where do you begin? Start by following these tips:

Tip #1: Take some risks.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows it’s easy to play it safe, but that won’t get you promoted. Instead, you need to take a risk or two in order to advance your career. Suggest a new idea, ask for a stretch assignment or tell your boss you’re ready for some bigger challenges. Whatever the case, if you want 2015 to be “your year” in terms of career advancement, you need to take some initiative, even if it means getting shot down.

Tip #2: Be positive.

A positive attitude can do wonders for difficult situations. If you’re not happy at work, rather than grumbling, look for the good in your situation. First, you have a job. Second, you have options – namely to begin job searching. Remember, storms will pass; but the lessons they impart can be invaluable.

Tip #3: Take a class.

Is there a new skill that’s becoming more important in your industry? Do you want to enhance your existing knowledge base about a particular topic? Then enroll in a class or seminar, whether on site or online. Expanding your horizons and learning new things is critical for on-the-job success, whether it’s in your current position or a future one.

Tip #4: Toot your own horn.

It’s up to you to promote yourself and get noticed. So while hard work is important, you also need to communicate your successes to your boss. You also need to let him or her know when you’re ready for more challenging assignments. Otherwise, they might assume you’re happy where you are.

Tip #5: Look and feel your best.

Image is everything – even in the workplace – and the way you present yourself will impact how people perceive you. If you’re overweight, exhausted, or just plain unhealthy, it’s going to have a negative effect on your career. It’s a new year, and a great time to start making healthier choices. Eat right, exercise, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.

Tip #6: Focus on yourself.

If a co-worker is 10 minutes late every day, it might drive you nuts. But ignore it. Their behavior shouldn’t be of concern to you unless it’s impacting you directly. Instead, focus on yourself and what you can do to make a favorable impression. Get to work on time each day. Present yourself in a polished manner. Always be prepared at meetings. And strive to deliver the best results.

When you follow the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your career and achieving your goals in 2015 – and beyond!

Is one of your career resolutions to find a new job? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

How to Keep Your Career Resolutions in 2015

December 23rd, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows making career resolutions is the easy part. Keeping them, on the other hand, can be quite a challenge. To help you stay on track – and achieve your goals in 2015 – here are 7 tips to follow:

Tip #1: Prioritize Your Goals

If you have too many goals, it’s easy to lose focus and get unmotivated toward achieving them. Instead, rank your goals in order of importance and focus on two or three key ones you’d like to achieve in the coming year.

Tip #2: Create a Plan of Action

Whether you want to find a new job, get promoted, or switch fields entirely, you need a plan of action to help you achieve your goals. While your end destination might be your ultimate goal, make sure you’re setting small goals along the way that will help you get there.

For instance, if you want to find a new job, set a goal of “creating a new resume within two weeks.” When you have smaller, bite-size objectives – with timelines attached – your goals are far easier to achieve.

Tip #3: Be Realistic About Your Goals

One of the biggest ways people sabotage themselves when it comes to goal setting is that they’re not realistic. When you create goals that are simply too big or too lofty for anyone to achieve in a short amount of time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. For instance, having a goal of going back to school and completing a degree in a year when you work full time and have three small children may not be attainable. However, perhaps taking one class per semester is.

Tip #4: Challenge Yourself

That said, don’t wimp out on the goals you do set. If they’re not challenging enough, you’re going to grow bored and never accomplish them. To stay committed, make sure the goals you do set inspire and motivate you to achieve more.

Tip #5: Check Yourself

In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to regularly monitor your progress. So take the time to take a step back and assess where you are on your way to meeting your goals and what additional steps you need to take to achieve them.

Tip #6: Talk About Your Goals

While it sounds scary, when you make it known you’re striving toward a certain goal, you’ll be far more likely to achieve it. No one likes to fail in front of others, so when you publicize your goals, it will be easier to hold yourself accountable.

Tip #7: Reward Yourself

When you achieve an important milestone, or complete a goal, reward yourself. It will help you stay motivated toward achieving your ultimate end goal or other goals in the future.

Is one of your goals for 2015 to find a new job in Houston? If it is, Murray Resources can help. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

How to Ask for a Reference

November 11th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to asking for a job reference, there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to do it. Considering that most employers require you to submit a list of references, it’s critically important you follow proper etiquette when asking for one. Otherwise, you’ll burn bridges and potentially lose out on job opportunities.

To ask for references in a professional way, follow these tips:

Select Relevant References

Sure, your past co-workers might have a lot of nice things to say about you. But employers are generally looking for references from past bosses. It’s ok to submit a reference from one colleague, but make sure at least two are from those who have supervised you in the past. Also, don’t ever submit a friend or a family member as a reference. You want those people who can talk up your strengths, value and accomplishments.

Get Permission

Don’t just submit someone’s name as a reference before you ask them for permission. First, you don’t want to irritate or offend them by not asking them if they would be willing to serve as a reference. Second, you don’t want them to be caught off guard by a potential employer who contacts them about you. When asking someone to serve as a reference, you don’t have to send them a long-winded email. Just ask: “Would you be willing to be a reference for me?”

Describe the Job

Give your references some information about the position and why you’re a good fit for it. You’ll also want to send them a copy of your resume, as well as the job listing you’re applying to. If you have any sense about the kinds of questions the employer will ask, then give your reference a heads up. You want to give your references as much information as possible so they can offer you the strongest recommendation.

Be Polite

Even if someone declines to serve as a reference, be polite and thank them for their time. Don’t get upset and offended. When someone does give you a good reference, be sure to thank them, regardless of whether you get the job or not. Send a quick email note to let them know you appreciate their effort.

Need more help finding a job that’s a great fit for you? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Informational Interviews: How They Can Help Your Career

October 28th, 2014

If you’re looking to make a move in your career – to a completely different field – conducting informational interviews is a great first step. So what are informational interviews…and how can they help you? Here’s a look.

Informational interviews are simply interviews that you conduct with those who work in a field you’re interested in. Your purpose in conducting them isn’t to secure a job (though that may be a byproduct); it’s to learn more about an industry, a field or a certain kind of position. Conducting these types of interviews are helpful for a variety of reasons, including you can:

  • Learn valuable information and details about what it’s really like to work in a particular career field, industry or company.
  • Get advice and tips, and find out about lessons and obstacles, from people in the know.
  • Hone your interviewing skills, which you will need regardless of the field you decide to pursue.

Clearly, if you’re happy in the field you work in and just want to switch companies, you don’t need to conduct informational interviews. However, if you’re looking to break into a new career field or industry, or you just graduated from school and are searching for your first job, then informational interviews are a great way to gain the insight you need. Here’s how to schedule one:

Determine the people you’d like to connect with. Perhaps you already know someone who has your dream job, or an individual who works at a company you’re dying to break into. Those are the kinds of people you will want to connect with. If not, though, ask family, friends and your alumni network for referrals. Also, look online to social networking sites like LinkedIn to find individuals with jobs you’re interested in.

Once you have a list of individuals, send each an email inquiring about whether they’d be willing to help you gain some insight into their career field through an interview. Highlight your background, where you’d like to go in your career, and what you hope to gain from them. Let them know it will only take about 30 minutes and that you’ll meet with them at their convenience.

When you do schedule an interview, make sure you prepare your questions ahead of time. If you just wing it, you won’t wind up getting the information you need. Some idea starters for questions include:

  • Why did you choose this field to work in?
  • How did you get your first job in the field?
  • What do you like best about working in it?
  • What do you like least?
  • What surprised you most about it?
  • What have been your biggest career obstacles?
  • What advice would you give someone trying to break into the field?
  • What skills and education are most important for securing a job in the field?

Finally, once you’ve completed your informational interview, be sure to send a thank you note within a few days to the person you interviewed. Let them know how much you appreciate their time and perspective.

And if you need more help finding a job that’s the right match for you, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Why Your Resume Isn’t Getting Noticed

October 14th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources understands there’s nothing more frustrating than sending out scores of resumes and getting the silent treatment in return. Whoever said “no news is good news” was dead wrong when it comes to your resume. It would be better to get a “thank you, but no thank you” reply so that you could at least move on from the hopes of a potential opportunity working out.

If you’re looking for a new job and your resume just doesn’t seem to be cutting it, what can you do to refine it? Here are some tips to help you:

  • Adjust expectations. Don’t expect to hear back from every employer you apply to. If you hear back from half of them, then you’re doing well. That said, if you’re applying to dozens of jobs you know you’re qualified for, and not hearing anything back at all, then your resume isn’t doing its job.
  • Talk results. It can be hard to convey what you do and the value you bring in a resume. However, it’s also essential if you want to land an interview. You need to show your track record of achieving success in past and current positions. Employers should be enthusiastic about bringing you in for an interview. If you don’t give them a reason to get excited over your candidacy, then they’re not going to call you for an interview.
  • Edit yourself. Your resume should not include every job you’ve held since high school. Nor should it go into exquisite detail about the tasks you were responsible for on a daily basis. Carefully assess whether your early career experience is relevant to the position you’re applying for now. If it’s not, then don’t include it. Also, while it’s ok to talk about everyday duties a bit, you should be more focused on what you achieved in each position. So if your resume is longer than two pages, you need to break out the red pen and start editing it down with that in mind.
  • Proofread. All it takes is one glaring error to undermine your credibility. So before you hit the “submit” button, make sure you proofread your resume, proof it again and then ask a family member or friend to proofread it for you.

Need more help with your resume? Read this blog post about crafting a resume that gets results. And if you’d like professional help with your job search, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

4 Factors That Impact How People Perceive You at Work

September 9th, 2014

While you might think your skills speak for themselves, you could be sending other – less positive – signals without knowing it. What are some factors that impact how people perceive you at work? Here’s a look at 4:

Your Behavior During Meetings

Do you arrive late and spend meetings looking at your laptop or cell phone? Are you quiet and disengaged, even when you’re one of the key project stakeholders? Do you roll your eyes and sigh loudly when meetings run too long?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you if this sounds familiar, then you’re sending the signal that you don’t care. Nobody likes meetings. But if you want to be perceived as professional, you need to show up on time, prepared and ready to offer your opinion or assessment when necessary. If a meeting is running long and you really do need to leave, then apologize and excuse yourself.

The Way You Treat Others

Do you say “good morning”each day to the receptionist and admin staff, or barely acknowledge them? Do you kiss up to your boss, or act out in a hostile way toward him or her? How you treat others makes a difference at work. If you come across as intimidated by authority, or as rude to subordinates, you’ll send the wrong message. Always treat people with respect – and that means everyone, whether it’s your boss or the mailroom clerk.

The Work Hours You Keep

Fair or not, your arrival and departure time at work still matters. If you arrive at 9 and leave at 5 on the dot, while everyone else slugs it out until 5:30, you may be perceived as a slacker – even if you’ve gotten all your work done for the day. On the flip side, if you’re the first one at the office and last to leave, you’re probably viewed as more effective and harder working.

Who Your Work Friends Are

Do you hang around with those who are constantly complaining, gossiping or acting like divas? Even if you don’t emulate their behavior, by spending time with those who are toxic to the workplace, you can risk being seen the same way. People will assume if your best workplace buddy is a gossip, then you are too, even if that’s not really the case. Likewise, if you are friends with those who are known to work hard and produce great results, then you’re going to be perceived in a similar light.

Are you ready to send great signals in a new job – with a new company? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

How to Answer the Most Dreaded Interview Question

August 26th, 2014

What are your weaknesses?

When asked this question – or any variation of it (i.e. tell me about a time you failed on the job; if we talked with a past boss, what blind spots would he or she mention?; or what are your problem areas?) – it can make you feel like you’re in the interrogation room. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources understands that no one wants to reveal their weaknesses in a job interview, let alone talk about them at any length.

But the question often comes up, nonetheless. When it does, how do you deal? Here are a few tips to help you:

Be Aware of Your Weaknesses

“I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist” are not good answers to this interview question. Hiring managers know everyone makes mistakes and has weaknesses. Trying to disguise a strength as a weakness won’t fool them. Instead, know what your weaknesses are (your real ones) ahead of time so you’re prepared to talk about them.

Be Honest…But Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot Either

Hiring managers can spot a phony answer a mile away. But while you want to be honest and authentic, you don’t want to offer a weakness that can hurt your chances of getting the job. For instance, if you’re a bookkeeper, saying you’re bad at spelling likely won’t hurt your chances of getting the job. The employer is looking for someone who’s good with numbers, after all. Before your interview, take a look at the job description to ensure you don’t bring up a weakness that will take you out of the running for the job.

Put Your Weakness Into Context & Talk About How You’ve Overcome It

Rather than saying you’re impatient – and making it sound like you get annoyed and exasperated easily and all the time – put your weakness into a certain context. For instance: “I get impatient during meetings. But over the years, I’ve realized that they’re essential to ensuring projects stay on target. To make sure we don’t get off track during them, I’ve since started keeping them to 45-minutes or less and I always have an agenda prepared.”

The above example shows how you can explain how you’ve conquered your weakness – i.e. impatience during meetings. Don’t bring up areas you’re still working on or in the process of fixing.

Hiring managers don’t expect any candidate to be perfect. They simply want to take as much risk out of the hiring equation as possible. Knowing about weaknesses ahead of time helps them do that.

Need more help landing your next great job? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog, Interviewing, Tips

Don’t Let These Networking Mistakes Sabotage Your Job Search

June 24th, 2014

You know how important networking is to your job search. But did you also know you can really hurt your efforts of finding a new opportunity if you take the wrong approach?

Don’t let networking mistakes impact your ability to land your dream job. Make sure you avoid the following 5 blunders:

Mistake #1: Thinking Only About Yourself

Networking is like a conversation; it’s a two-way street. And if the only thing you’re thinking about is yourself when you’re networking, then it’s going to come through loud and clear.

Instead, approach networking not as a way just for you to find a job or achieve your career goals. Approach it as a way to form relationships, make new connections and even help someone else out in their job search. Remember, offering to help is often the best way to get it in return.

Mistake #2: Not Following Through

Someone asks you to introduce them to one of their contacts, or pass along their resume. You promise to, but never actually follow through.

Keep in mind that the other person is expecting you to do what you said you would. When you don’t, not only do you look bad, but it could come back to haunt you in the future.

Mistake #3: Not Networking

You have the skills and experience to get a job, so why network? Because you could be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Sure, you might be able to get a job. But many times, openings aren’t advertised – which means you’ll never hear about them or have access to them if you’re not putting yourself out there.

Mistake #4: Focusing on Quantity, Not Quality

Good networking isn’t about amassing hundreds of contacts. It’s about forming real relationships with real people.

When you go to a networking event, or are just out and about, don’t focus on the number of people you’re connecting with. Instead, focus on making quality contacts with people you’d genuinely like to build a relationship with.

Mistake #5: Acting Ungrateful or Offended

When someone offers to connect you, don’t act entitled to their circle of contacts. They’re doing you a favor and it’s important to be grateful for it.

Likewise, if you ask a contact for a favor and they do turn you down, don’t get offended or upset. There are plenty of other people out there who are willing to offer help.

A final note: Whatever comes of your networking efforts, always say “thank you” to those who have helped you along the way. Even if nothing pans out from a lead, it’s still important to let your connections know how much you value their efforts.

Looking to network your way to a new job? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

 

6 Do’s & Don’ts for Job Hunting While Still Employed

June 17th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that searching for a new job while still employed is simply part of the process for many candidates. But considering that you don’t want your current boss to know you’re looking for greener pastures, you have to be careful.

To help you, here are some tips to follow to find your next great opportunity without risking your current one:

1. Don’t Tell Your Colleagues

No matter how tempting it can be, don’t tell your co-workers that you’re looking for a new job. You never know whom they may tell or who may overhear you. That means staying quiet on social media too if you have work buddies in your network. The last thing you need is your boss finding out about your search before it’s even begun.

2. Do Schedule Interviews Before or After Work

Some employers will allow you to come in for an interview early in the morning or toward the end of the day. If that’s the case, take advantage of it. It’s far better to come in a bit late then to leave halfway through the day for a few hours. There are only so many “doctor’s” and “dentist’s appointments” you can have before your boss starts asking questions.

3. Do Keep Your Job Search Out of the Office

That means not using any company time or equipment (such as email, phone, fax, printers, or copiers) to conduct job hunt activities. If you do, not only is it not ethical, but you’ll be constantly looking over your shoulder and won’t be able to focus on what you’re doing, whether it’s updating your resume or emailing a hiring manager about an interview.

4. Don’t List Your Current Employer as a Reference

Simply let the companies you’re interviewing with know that your present employer isn’t aware of your job hunt. Instead, think about past employers and colleagues you can use as a reference. Also, if you have any recommendations or references on LinkedIn from your current place of business, then direct hiring managers to those.

5. Do Stay Engaged at Work

One of the biggest red flags for employers is a rapid decline in engagement. All of a sudden it doesn’t seem like you care much about getting the work done.

While it’s only natural for your enthusiasm for your job to slip when you’re hunting for a new one, don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. Continue showing up on time each day, working hard, and diligently completing your tasks.

6. Do Tell If You’re Caught

If your boss asks you outright if you’re job hunting, then tell the truth. You’ll jeopardize your credibility and the chance of your boss serving as a reference if you lie once confronted.

Need more help finding a new job? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

When Your Resume Has No Focus

May 27th, 2014

You’ve held a whole smorgasbord of jobs over the years. Now you want to find “the one” that’s just right for you. But you’re having some trouble putting together a resume that makes you sound focused and professional.

Sound familiar? If it does, you’re certainly not alone. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you there are plenty of candidates out there who simply haven’t found their footing in their careers – and their resumes and job searches suffer as a result.

If you’re one of them – and need some help putting together a sharper resume – here are some tips to help you:

Determine what you want to do.

You’re never going to create a polished, focused resume if you’re not really sure what career direction you’re headed in. So think back to the jobs you’ve held over the years and identify the one or ones you’ve really enjoyed and were good at. If there isn’t one in particular that stands out, then think about what specific aspects of past jobs you liked most.

Focus on the jobs most relevant to your chosen path.

Once you have some job leads, it’s time to sit down, roll up your sleeves, and customize your resume for each one. That means focusing on the past experience you have that is most relevant for the position.

For instance, if you really love administrative work and want to pursue a career in that field, then including half a page about your foreign language teaching experience just doesn’t make sense. Instead, focus on the positions you’ve held that have allowed you to put your administrative skills to good use.

Include unique details about your experience.

Rather than including a bullet under a job title about being “proficient in Microsoft Word” (who isn’t these days?), include information that is unique to you. For instance, what tasks did you handle on a daily basis and what were the measurable results of those actions.

Here’s an example of how to get specific:

“Researched new venues for company-wide events that saved 30% in expenses.”

The bottom line is that being generic won’t get you anywhere. If you want to get noticed by a hiring manager, then you need to show that you really want the job and you have the skills and experience to do it.

And if you’d like to pursue multiple career paths, then you can certainly create a resume for each. Just be sure when you apply to a job, that resume is as focused and detailed as possible.

Looking for more resume tips and advice? Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

What Happens To Your Resume After You Send It?

April 1st, 2014

You found the perfect position, polished off a strong resume and cover letter, then hit the “send” button. Now you wait. But did you ever wonder what happens to your resume after that? If you have, here’s a look:

Screening

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that at many companies, your resume will typically be screened through some form of technology before human eyes see it. The software uses different types of criteria, including keywords, to target the candidates that seem the best fit for the position. For that reason, when submitting your application, be sure to check the job posting first and include keywords and phrases directly from it in your cover letter and resume.

Once resumes go through the filtering process, the hiring manager will begin the process of screening every one. Most spend only a few seconds on each resume, which is why it’s so important to ensure yours is in an easy to read format, without tight margins and dense paragraphs. It’s also important to make sure your job titles and past and current employers are clearly called out.

Interviewing

If the hiring manager likes what they see in your resume, they will call you to conduct a phone interview. More and more companies are conducting these today. It may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. But at the end of it, the hiring manager wants to make a decision whether to invite you in for a face-to-face interview. So don’t wing it; treat the phone interview as seriously as if you were going to the employer’s office to meet with your potential boss.

For some employers, the interview is the final step in the process. For others, it’s just the beginning, with multiple interviews, testing and background checks to follow. Again, make sure to prepare, show up on time and dressed professionally, bring copies of your resume, and be ready to sell yourself and your accomplishments.

What if you don’t get a call?

If you don’t get a call or hear back beyond the standard “thank you for applying” email, then the hiring manager probably decided that you weren’t a good match. You’ll likely never know the reason why; however, many companies do keep resumes on file should a better fit position open up.

If you’d like more tips and advice for your job search, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

How to Follow Up After a Job Interview

March 4th, 2014

When it comes to your job search, “no news” certainly isn’t good news. In fact, one of the most frustrating parts of the process is waiting to hear back, especially after an interview. Is there anything you can do to speed things up or stay in the loop?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows there is one important step you can take:

Do yourself a favor at the end of your next job interview and ask the hiring manager about next steps. They may have a target date in mind when they plan to make a hiring decision. Or things could be up in the air. Whatever the case, when you ask the question, at least you’ll know. You won’t be left sitting by your phone wondering when and if you’ll ever get a call back.

If the hiring manager said they would be contacting you within a week and it’s day 10, then it’s absolutely appropriate for you to follow up with them. You want to be diplomatic, not pushy, with an email like:

“Hi Mike, I hope you’re doing well. Last we spoke, you said you and your team would be making a decision about the job opening. I was wondering if you had an update? Please let me know if you need any more information from me. Looking forward to hearing from you.”

What do you do if you forgot to ask about next steps? Can you still follow up? Absolutely, just say something along the lines of:

“Hi Mike, I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to connect with you about the job opening. I’m still very interested in the position. Do you have a timeframe you can share for the next steps in the hiring process?”

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to find out whether you got the job with your follow up (ok, maybe you are, but that’s secondary). You’re simply trying to get a sense of where the decision makers are in the process.

A few more tips when you follow up:

• Don’t send a letter, send a note. In other words, keep it brief. A few quick lines to inquire about progress and that’s all you need.

• Also, be conversational, not stiff and formal. You want the hiring manager to view you as a real person, not just another boilerplate candidate.

• Don’t be pushy. No matter how much you want to scream “Did I get the job?!,” don’t do it. Hiring managers operate under their own time constraints and you’ll hurt your chances of landing the job if you’re too aggressive.

Looking for more expert help with your job search? Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Not Landing Any Interviews? Check Your Cover Letter

February 25th, 2014

For most job candidates, cover letters are the least important part of the job search process. After all, there’s networking, resumes, interviews, and a host of other activities to undertake.

But, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that if you’re not taking the opportunity to put your best foot forward in a great cover letter, then you’re missing out. Your cover letter can actually be the one detail that sets you apart from a sea of other candidates with similar experience. And it could be the reason you get called in for an interview.

Why? Because hiring managers are scanning a vast number of resumes everyday, which can begin to blur together. However, when a candidate showcases a distinct personality, strong motivation and unique experience through their cover letter, it piques the interest of the hiring manager. Simply put: They want to learn more about you. Don’t pass up the opportunity!

To help you put together an engaging cover letter, here are a few tips to follow:

Tell them why you want the job.

What made you apply to the position in the first place? Why are you interested in working for the employer? What grabbed your attention most about the job posting?

Showing a personal interest in the company and the job is your first step in getting noticed by the hiring manager.

Don’t regurgitate your resume.

The cover letter is not another place to simply re-recite all the facts and details available on your resume. It’s your opportunity to let your personality shine through. The hiring manager is perfectly capable of scanning your resume and learning about your background.

Use your cover letter as a way to add something new about you – a fresh angle, a different perspective, dynamic work habits, or personal feedback from a manager.

Don’t make vague or exaggerated statements.

Ever start your cover letter with something like: “I feel I am the best candidate for the job”? Stay away from these kinds of statements! They’re empty, mean nothing to the hiring manager, don’t set you apart, and take up valuable real estate on your cover letter.

Keep the tone conversational.

Your cover letter does not need to be written in the most formal tone possible. Instead, be conversational, engaging, and warm. While you don’t want to use slang words, or be too causal, you do want to sound like a real person, not some robotic candidate.

Write a new cover letter for every job you apply to.

Cue collective groans. But really this is time well spent. Hiring managers have seen enough cover letters to spot a form one or template in a second. So when you take the time to craft a unique letter, you will stand out in a positive way.

Need more help writing a cover letter that gets results? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can help you with your cover letter, along with the entire job search process – from preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a good fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Murray Resources Wins Prestigious Houston West Chamber of Commerce ‘Star Award’

February 7th, 2014

HOUSTON, February 7 , 2014 – Today, Murray Resources, a leading recruiting and staffing firm based in Houston, Texas, was awarded the prestigious Star Award in the Business Services Category (11+ employees), by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce. The Star Awards recognize businesses that have positively impacted the West Houston economy. Entries are evaluated by an independent panel on the basis of their economic growth, contributions to the community, and West Houston impact.

“We’re extremely proud to have won this award, as it’s a testament, not only to our company’s financial performance, but also to the substantial contributions our employees make to the community. That’s something our employees are very passionate about and something in which Murray Resources takes immense pride,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

In addition to the Star Award recognition, Murray Resources’ growth over the past 3 years has earned the company a place on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. Marsha Murray was also recently named to the Houston Business Journal’s Who’s Who in Energy for the 3rd consecutive year.

Ms. Murray accepted the Star Award on behalf of Murray Resources at the 16th annual Star Awards luncheon held at the Houston Omni West on February 7th, 2014. Over 600 members of the West Houston business community were in attendance.

For more information about Murray Resource, please visit: www.murrayresources.com.

About Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. In 2013 the firm was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations, in the areas of administrative, accounting, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, IT, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales. The company has been named a “Best Places to Work” and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.

Posted in: Press Releases

3 Quick Tips for Handling a Panel Interview Like a Pro

February 4th, 2014

If you’re searching for a new job, then you’d probably like to just skip the interviews altogether. They’re stressful, awkward, and can leave you feeling uncertain. But while a face-to-face with one hiring manager can be hard enough to prepare for, how can you possibly handle a panel interview?

First, take a deep breath. It might feel like you’re in the line of fire. But, as one of the top recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows companies have several reasons for conducting panel interviews.

For starters, there are often multiple decision makers involved in the hiring process and it makes sense to get them all in one room at the same time to evaluate a candidate. Secondly, with a panel interview, employers get a variety of perspectives on each candidate, which can often make the hiring decision easier.

Now that you know the reasons companies conduct panel interviews, here are a few tips for helping you handle your next one like a pro:

Tip #1: Find Out Who’s on the Panel

When you’re scheduling the interview, ask who will be on the panel conducting the interview. Once you know the answer, you can then gain a clearer sense of the kinds of questions you’ll be asked. For example, if the panel mainly consists of people from HR, the questions you get asked will be different from thos a potential new manager and colleagues will ask.

In addition, you can do some leg work online to learn more about the backgrounds of each person on the panel (e.g. looking them up on LinkedIn). This will help you feel more in control and confident.

Tip #2: Tell Stories

Rather than walking into a panel interview feeling like you’re about to be interrogated, be prepared to bring your experience to life through different stories of your accomplishments. For example, if someone asks you what your biggest strength is, don’t just say “my positive attitude” or “my strong technical skills.” Illustrate your answer with a real-world example. Doing so will help you stand out in a sea of other candidates.

Tip #3: Engage Everyone

There may be a few people on the panel who seem “safer” than others. It appears they’re on your side. But when answering questions, don’t just make eye contact with them. In fact, it’s the ones who are more aggressive or don’t seem sold on your candidacy that you want to make more of an effort to engage. These are the people who are still on the fence and you need to do all you can to convince them you’re right for the job.

A final note: Don’t forget about the basics when it comes to a panel interview. Dress professionally, arrive ahead of schedule, bring several copies of your resume and smile and make eye contact.

If you need more help preparing for your next interview, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Houston Staffing Agency Murray Resources Releases 2014 Houston Hiring Outlook Report

January 7th, 2014

HOUSTON, January 7, 2014 – Today, Murray Resources, a leading recruiting and staffing firm based in Houston, Texas, released the results of the company’s third annual Houston Growth and Staffing Outlook Report.

Since 2012 Murray Resources has surveyed Houston executives, HR staff, and hiring managers with the objective of gaining visibility into the economic and staffing outlook entering the new year. 60 Houston company leaders and executives, HR staff, and hiring managers – representing 20 different industries – responded to this year’s survey.

“Last year’s survey indicated that Houston companies would be hiring at levels not seen since the before the recession and that turned out to be the case. Almost 80% of last year’s respondents reported that they expected to increase hiring. This year’s report has that number at 53% – significantly lower, but still a healthy rate that indicates another strong year of hiring,” said Marsha Murray, President of Murray Resources.

For the second straight year there appears to be particularly strong demand for sales talent, with companies also reporting high demand for operations and engineering talent going into the new year. The top five areas expecting a moderate to significant increase in hiring are: Sales (38% anticipated increase), Operations (32%), Engineering (23%), Finance / Accounting (18%), Administrative (17%).

Additional key insights from the study:

  • Attracting qualified talent continues to be the most significant human resource challenge facing Houston companies. 57% of respondents anticipate their company’s ability to attract qualified employees to be their biggest staffing challenge in the coming 12 months.
  • Retaining current staff is a growing concern. 27% of respondents expect retaining current staff to be their biggest staffing challenge in the coming 12 months, versus 11% in last year’s survey.
  • Almost half of employers anticipate an increase in hiring full-time employees during 2014. 46% of respondents expect a moderate or significant increase in full-time employees in the coming year.

As with last year’s survey, HR executives, managers, and staff represented the majority of respondents (44%). The largest single group of respondents – HR Managers – comprised 22% of the survey base, while CEO/President/Principal/Partner and C-Level/VP/Director (HR) both represented 18% of respondents.

For information on Murray Resource’s recruiting and staffing services, please visit: www.murrayresources.com/employers.

About Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. In 2013 the firm was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations, in the areas of administrative, accounting, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, IT, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales. The company has been named a “Best Places to Work” and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.

Posted in: Press Releases

New Year, New Resume

January 7th, 2014

If “find a new job” tops your resolution list in 2014, then your first step should be to ensure you have the right resume in place. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows your resume is your ticket into the interviewing process. To help you polish yours, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Consider each position.

It’s easy to just create one resume for every job opening; but when you do, you’re losing out on an opportunity to set yourself apart. Instead, before you apply for a certain position, identify and list the key requirements the employer is looking for. These should be readily available via the job posting.

Consider how your experience matches up.

Once you have a list going of the main requirements for a job opening, consider your career and background – and how it matches up to the requirements.You want to make the hiring manager’s job easy so when they look at your resume, they can quickly see what a great fit you are for the position.

Again, that’s why you must tailor your resume for every opening. What’s important for one employer may be less so for another.

Go beyond job responsibilities.

Sure, it’s important for hiring managers to know what you did in past positions. However, don’t make lines like “Responsible for…” the main focus of your resume.

Instead, you should be promoting past accomplishments that are most relevant to the position. If you earned the highest sales in a month, highlight it. If you won an industry award, talk about it. If you were promoted after only six months on the job, let hiring managers know.

Real world accomplishments speak volumes when compared to day-to-day job duties.

Know that presentation matters.

You can have a resume chock full of accomplishments and awards, but if the font size is tiny, there’s no white space and it’s completely disorganized, you’re not going to impress the hiring manager.

Before submitting your resume, make sure it’s formatted in a clean, concise manner. That means no flowery fonts or dense paragraphs.

In addition, before hitting the “send” button, print out your resume and review what it looks like on paper. Also, take a look at it on a mobile device to make sure it’s readable.

In this day and age, there’s no telling how a hiring manager will review your resume – whether in print, online or via a mobile device. Your resume needs to be ready for all three scenarios.

And if you need more help creating a resume that gets results, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Posted in: Job Search Tips, Tips

Dealing With a Demotion at Work

December 24th, 2013

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that a demotion can feel worse than getting laid off or fired. At least in the latter two scenarios, you get to leave behind the situation and embark on a new path. With a demotion, however, you have to not only deal with office gossip, but also less responsibility along with a potentially lower salary as well.

Talk about a kick in the gut!

But keep in mind: demotions happen for many reasons, some of which may have nothing to do with your skills and abilities, such as downsizing or reorganization.

Regardless, a demotion still hurts. Below are some tips to help you deal:

Don’t Get Emotional (at Least Not at Work)

Getting demoted will stir up a lot of emotions – most of them negative. As a result, you might feel the need to get angry or lash out. But don’t do it. If you play your cards right, and prove yourself, then a demotion can be a temporary situation. You need to focus on staying motivated, producing high quality work, and achieving goals.

Also, remember, even if you do decide to seek employment elsewhere, you’re going to need positive references from your current employer and colleagues and getting angry and emotional is not a way to garner them.

Ask What You Can Do to Improve

Perhaps a demotion wasn’t due to company restructuring, but rather poor performance on your part. If that’s the case, then find out what you need to do to improve.

For instance, if you were promoted into a management role only to find your leadership skills lacking, then do what you can to shore up that skill set – if you want to get promoted again.

Don’t Wallow in the Past

Don’t think about all the “what ifs” and things you should have done differently. The fact is that the higher ups have made their decision and you need to live with it. The question is: what are you going to do about it?

Only you can make the decision whether you should move on or stay put. But whatever you do, don’t look at the past; only look to the present and the future.

Keep Your Job Search Quiet

If you do decide to quit and find something new, don’t make a move until you’ve secured a new position. The reality is that a steady paycheck – even if it’s a job you don’t want – is better than unemployment. So go ahead and start networking under the radar, polish your resume, enhance your LinkedIn profile, and apply for new jobs. But keep it quiet until you find something new.

Need some additional help with your job search? Call Murray Resources.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

When NOT to Accept a Job Offer

November 26th, 2013

If you’ve been searching for a job in Houston for a while, getting an offer is certainly exciting. However, proceed with caution! As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you before you accept it, think about how your potential new boss treated you in the interview.

If he or she showcased any of the following “bad behaviors,” then those are signs of what’s to come – and you could be setting yourself up for job failure should you accept the offer:

They Offer Only Vague Answers

You did your research and came armed with plenty of questions about the position, the company and the culture. Trouble is: the interviewer can’t seem to give you much information.

Many of their answers are vague and leave you wanting to know more. If that’s the case, then they’re likely hiding something. Even if they’re not, it then shows how unprepared they are, which isn’t good either.

They Don’t Give You the Attention You Deserve

You’re giving the interviewer your undivided attention. You just wish they would do the same for you. But they keep checking their emails, answering texts and seem distracted throughout the interview.

There could be an innocent answer – like maybe the interviewer got some bad news dropped on them right before your interview. However, in most cases, it’s simply rude behavior – something you might have to get used to if you take the job.

They Ask Personal Questions

There are certain questions that interviewers are not allowed to ask. These include questions about whether you’re married, have kids, plan to have kids, your religion, etc.

So if you feel like an interviewer is getting too personal with you, it could be a friendly attempt to get to know you…or an attempt to discriminate. Either way, a savvy interviewer will know better than to ask these kinds of questions.

They Criticize You

If, for instance, an interviewer criticizes the way you formatted your resume, or offers some other petty disapproval, it’s going to leave you feeling pretty crummy. And just imagine how you’d feel day in and day out working for someone who treats you that way?

There’s No Opportunity for Growth

The job posting said the company offered advancement opportunities and room for growth. But when you ask for specifics, all you get is a blank stare and some vague statement about how the company strives to support employee growth.

If they can’t give you detailed information – on a mentoring program, tuition reimbursement, stretch assignments, training opportunities, etc. – then all that “room for growth” talk is likely just wishful thinking on their part.

Want Help Finding Your Next Great Boss?

Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find a job and a boss that are a great fit for your background, personality and career goals.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

Phone Interviews: How to Prepare for and Ace Your Next One

September 24th, 2013

You post an opening for a new job. An hour later you’re flooded with dozens of resumes. While many of these candidates are unqualified, many aren’t. And it’s your job to determine the best person for the opening.

Welcome to the life of a hiring manager.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows there’s simply not enough time in the day to bring in every good candidate for a face-to-face interview. As a result, phone interviews have become a standard part of the hiring process. They’re a good way for a hiring manager to evaluate the people behind the resumes that landed in the “yes” and “maybe” pile, without having to spend an extensive amount of time on in-person interviews.

Now you know why phone interviews are so prevalent today. But do you also know how to properly prepare for one?

If not, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Approach it like a face-to-face interview.

Many job candidates make the mistake of thinking of the phone screen as a quick chat or that it’s not a big deal. But the phone interview is a test. And if you pass it, you will move onto the next phase of the hiring process.

So prepare as you would if you were going on location to interview with the hiring manager. Research the company, the position, and the hiring manager. Think about the accomplishments you want to highlight during the interview. And have answers ready to common interview questions.

If you don’t prepare, it will come through loud and clear to the hiring manager.

Set up a time for the phone interview.

If a hiring manager calls without warning, and you’re at home with your three kids and the dog, then simply explain you’re in the middle of something and ask when they are available to re-schedule. You might be tempted to try to accept the call, but you’ll regret it the second your kids starts screaming and the dog begins barking.

Pick a quiet time and place for the interview.

Have a quiet room or area where you can be alone set aside for your scheduled phone interview. Not only do you want to minimize background noise, but you need to concentrate on the conversation, not on what your kids or spouse are doing.

Walk around while you’re talking.

Doing so will make you feel energized. In addition, it will help you stay focused  – rather than drifting off – while the interviewer is talking.

Don’t say too much.

Phone interviews are difficult because you can’t read the non-verbal cues of the other person. Plus, if you’re talking and the other person doesn’t respond with a comment like “tell me more” or a follow up question, it can be easy to just keep talking. But babbling will get you in trouble. So say what you need to say and then keep quiet.

Ask about next steps.

Just as in a face-to-face interview, be sure to ask the interviewer about the next steps in the hiring process. If they say they will get back to you in a week and don’t, then it’s perfectly appropriate to follow up with them.

Want more interviewing tips and advice? Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

What to Do When You Realize During the Interview “This Job’s Not for Me!”

September 17th, 2013

It’s happened to the best of us. You land an interview for what you thought was a great new opportunity. You spend hours researching the company, preparing thoughtful questions, and getting ready for the big day…only to realize a few minutes into the interview:

“This job is NOT for me!”

What do you do? Run screaming? Get up and politely excuse yourself? Sit through the rest of the interview and waste everyone’s time?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows this situation is certainly an unpleasant one. But there are a few things you can do to ease the awkwardness of it. For instance:

Be inquisitive.

Rather than bolting during an interview, dig deeper to try to gain a better sense of whether the job really isn’t for you. Perhaps the interviewer simply isn’t representing it well.

So ask a lot of questions about the tasks, duties, and responsibilities. Ask about the common personality traits of those who have held the position before. And ask about any areas the interviewer brought up that you are unclear or unsure about. For instance, if travel is a requirement and that’s a concern for you, ask just how much travel there will be.

Be diplomatic.

If, after learning all you can about the job, you know it’s not for you, then still be polite. Don’t walk out mid-interview. After all, the interviewer may know of other positions opening up at the company in the near future. So you still want to make a good impression – that means not constantly checking your watch or your phone for the time.

Also, finishing the interview gives you a chance to practice your interviewing skills, which may serve you well next time you sit down with a hiring manager.

Be upfront.

If, at the end of the interview, the interviewer asks if this is a position you’re interested in, be honest about your feelings. Let them know – in as polite a way as possible – that you don’t think the job is the right match for your skill set.

That said, if you really like the company, just not this particular opportunity, express your admiration and that you’re open to future opportunities there. The interviewer will appreciate your honesty.

Be thankful.

Even if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, thank the interviewer for their time. Also, ask them to let you know if any future jobs open up at the company that you think you’d be a better fit for.

In addition, even if the job was completely misrepresented in the job posting and you’re feeling frustrated and annoyed, don’t turn to the likes of Facebook and Twitter to publicly blast the company. It’s best to keep those thoughts offline so that future employers don’t find them.

Need more help getting interviews for jobs that are a good fit for you? Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – including giving you access to job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

Take Your Cover Letter From Dull to Delightful

July 23rd, 2013

Cover letters. Ugh! As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that nobody really likes to write them. But the fact of the matter is your cover could be your ticket into the interview process. So don’t treat it as an afterthought to your resume. Instead, approach your cover letter as if it will make the difference between getting the job – and getting rejected.

To help you take your cover letter from dull to delightful, here are few tips to keep in mind:

Avoid starting your cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madam.”

This automatically sends the message that your letter is generic. Instead, do all you can to find out the name of the person you’re sending your resume to, whether it’s an HR specialist or a department manager.

So, for instance, if the job posting asks for resumes to be sent to “HR Director, XYZ Company,” use the company’s website or social media sites like LinkedIn to find out just who that person is. Or you can call the company to inquire about who holds a particular position.

Don’t make it all about you.

Sure, the hiring manager wants to know about your background to see if you’re a good fit for their needs. But when you focus your entire letter on what you’ve done in the past versus what you can do for the company should you get hired, you’re missing an opportunity to stand out to a hiring manager.

Instead, make a list of the key pains / challenges the hiring manager is facing and then include examples in your cover letter of how you can help them address those issues and what relevant experience you have doing so. That way, the letter becomes less about you and more about what you can do for them.

Don’t regurgitate your resume.

Your cover letter shouldn’t be a direct copy of all the information you include on your resume. Instead, it should have a little more personality. Share a story or unique insight, or write about a goal met and how achieving it has given you the knowledge to do the job you’re applying for. Your aim here is to hook the hiring manager, so they want to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.

If you’re stuck in the writing process, one way to get your creative juices flowing is to “talk out” what you want to say. Pretend you’re speaking directly with the hiring manager. What do you want them to know about you? Thinking out loud is a great launching pad for getting your cover letter written.

And if you’d like some professional help with your cover letter and resume, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

3 Interview Myths That Could Hurt Your Chances of Getting the Job

May 29th, 2013

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to job interviews, there are some commonly held beliefs that aren’t necessarily true. But to ensure you perform well and stand out among other candidates, you need to know the truth.

To help you in your job search, here are a few of those myths debunked:

Myth #1: You can’t show any weaknesses.

Most interviewers ask you about weaknesses or mistakes made. Try to answer these questions honestly, without the typical “I’m a perfectionist” response (which a good interviewer will see right through). When you do, though, keep in mind that you shouldn’t just be talking about a weakness. You should be talking about how you’re working to improve it or lessons learned from a mistake you made.

Everyone has weaknesses and flaws; even the best candidate. But it’s what you learn from them and put into practice that will truly make you stand out in the eyes of an interviewer.

Myth #2: You have to wait “your turn” to ask questions.

It’s true that you should go into a job interview with a list of questions that will help you to learn more about the opportunity. But you don’t necessarily need to wait until the end of the interview to ask them. Instead, if the interviewer brings up a topic related to one of your questions, ask it then.

Remember, a job interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. Both you and the interviewer are trying to determine whether you’re a good match for the position.

Myth #3: You need to be ready to talk about a litany of skills.

When the interviewer undoubtedly asks why they should hire you, don’t respond with a list of skills and strengths, like “I’m a hard worker, I’m a team player, I work well independently, etc.”

Instead, before the interview, think about the one or two skills or strengths you have that are most important for the position and then expand upon them with specific examples.

For instance, “I’m a team player. In my last position, I was an integral member of a team tasked with launching the company’s new website by an ambitious target date. Not only did we beat expectations, but we were also able to begin on Phase II of the project earlier than anticipated as a result.”

Need More Help Nailing Interviews?

If you do, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can help you with the entire job search process – from preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a good fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

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