5 Inspirational Stories of Career Changes

March 19th, 2014 No comments

The most exciting and honestly, scary part of a career is not knowing where it can take you. We all start off our careers having a sense of certain interests we hold and fields we’d consider going into, but availability of opportunities, who we meet, how we connect to employers within the companies, and an array of many factors influence the actual result of the career we choose.

For many, the path is never a clear cut one to the job that makes us truly happy. Instead, as we grow and change, we’ll discover new career passions and new opportunities.

Here are 5 stories from people who experienced the same winding road that eventually led to their perfect career. The moral is: It’s okay to take the time to figure out what you love because each job opportunity is one that can bring you closer to the right one.

Read their stories here: 5 Crazy Career Changes That Will Inspire You Not To Settle.



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Common Job Search Questions Answered

January 30th, 2014 No comments


What’s the best way to apply to a company? When should I follow-up after an interview?

If you’re job searching, you probably have a lot of unanswered questions. Job search can be a confusing process to navigate and find your way through, but feeling this way is a common emotion of job seeking. While a job search is never easy, it can be made better with the right resources.

Let’s start by answering some fundamental job search questions. Lars Schmidt, Founder of Amplify Talent, provides tips from the hiring side of the process.

Find his answers to the following questions here: “Tips from the Hiring Side of the Office“.

1. What’s the best way to apply to a company?

2. What’s the best résumé format?

3. How damaging are grammatical errors?

4. Do keywords matter?

5. What’s the best cover letter format?

6. When should I follow up after an interview?

7. What’s the best way to learn about a company’s culture?

8. I was perfect for the job but didn’t get it. Why?

9. What’s a personal brand, and do I need to worry about it?


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Top 25 Most Responsive Employers

January 10th, 2014 No comments

It’s a new year and whether you’re looking to start on your job search or improve your current search, today we’re sharing a helpful list of employers that can make gI_79591_MRE award imageyour search better.

Are you tired of submitting an application for a job, only to hear nothing back? If you’re like me, I would rather find out that the company picked another candidate, rather than waiting in the dark. A simple, Thanks for applying, but we’ve decided to move on with another candidate, would help me move on to find other positions instead of waiting on a dead end.

StartWire, a company that gives status updates on your job applications from 8,000+ companies, took it a step further and found the Top 25 Most Responsive Employers:

Rank    Company
1            AT&T
2            Pepsi Beverages Company
3            Rochester General Health System
4            Boehringer Ingelheim
5            Spirit AeroSystems
6            Sears
7            Yale University
8            DeVry
9            Sodexo
10         Northrop Grumman
11         Adventist Health System
12         HCA
13         Amerigroup
14         Baker Hughes
15         JPMorgan Chase
16         Pearson
17         UnitedHealth Group
18         SAIC
19         Capital One
20         SunTrust
21         Staples
22         CROSSMARK
23         Sutter Health
24         Medtronic
25         Auction.com

These employers gave candidates detailed feedback on the status of their applications and show that they understand how important it is to respond to their applicants. How do you feel about employers who respond to their applicants?

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Dress For Success At Any Professional Setting

October 17th, 2013 No comments

It’s October and the weather sure is getting colder, but interviews, first days of work, and networking events still loom around the corner. How do you dress to achieve success in these professional settings?

Your attire can speak numbers of your professionalism. Wearing the right attire can improve the impressions you make during an interview or in the office with your boss and coworkers. Furthermore, the right attire can help boost your own self-perception and confidence, allowing you to be at the top of your game.

Let’s take a look at how we can dress for success and be prepared for any professional occasion.


How to Dress to Impress During a Job Interview

During an interview, first impressions can make or break the interview.  A well-dressed candidate immediately gets placed into higher consideration compared to the candidate who overlooks this area.

Men’s Interview Attire

  • Wear a solid two-piece suit. Think neutral colors, such as black, navy, grey, or cream.
  • Pair it with a long sleeve dress shirt in either white, solid light blue, or conservative stripes.
  • Color coordinate with a solid or neutral colored tie. Some designs are acceptable, but keep them minimal.
  • Wear dark socks that are mid-calf length to prevent skin from showing when sitting down.
  • Wear comfortable business shoes, preferably black (Tip: Invest in a quality pair because good shoes can be worn for years.).
  • Double check that your nails are neat and trimmed.
  • Carry a portfolio or briefcase with paper and pen prepared to jot down notes.
  • Pay attention to any strong scents, such as aftershave or cologne. Overpowering scents can make a negative impression.

Women’s Interview Attire

  • Wear a solid two-piece suit. Think neutral colors, such as black, navy, grey, or cream.
  • Pair it with a blouse in either white, solid light blue, or conservative stripes.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, preferably those that have been worn for a couple of times so you’re not distracted by pain some new shoes cause.
  • If wearing a skirt, always make sure to wear tan or light stocking.
  • Avoid flashy jewelry and instead opt for conservative ones. You don’t want your jewelry to distract the employer from what you’re saying.
  • Don’t over do any fragrances because everyone has different tastes and what smells pleasant to you may be overwhelming for the interviewer.
  • Double check that your nails are neatly trimmed or manicured.
  • Pair your outfit with a conservative bag or portfolio and make sure to slip in a pen and paper for any note-taking!
business attire

Examples of proper interview attire for men and women.

How to Dress to Impress During Your First Day of Work

If you can’t ask ahead for the right dress code, try to recall how your coworkers and interviewers were dressed during the interview. For the first day, it’s always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed. So a safe bet for men is wearing a two piece suit in neutral colors, such as black, navy or grey and pairing it off with a long sleeved dress shirt. Match your outfit with a conservative tie. If you feel overdressed, you can always lose the suit and tie. For women, wear a neutral colored two-piece suit with a dress shirt and some comfortable shoes. You never know how many people you might meet on the first day, so looking well-dressed and wearing comfortable shoes are both important elements to a first day.

How to Dress to Impress During a Networking Event

The great thing about networking events is that they usually have a dress code you can find out in advance. These can range from business formal, business casual, and smart casual.

Business Formal

For men:

  • two-piece suit
  • dress shirt
  • conservative tie
  • leather shoes and dark socks

For women:

  • two-piece suit with dress shirt or business-style dress with a suit jacket
  • heels or conservative flats
  • stockings when wearing a dress

Business Casual

For men:

  • seasonal sport coat or blazer
  • dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, or polo shirt
  • slacks or khakis
  • loafers or loafer-style shoes and socks
  • ties are optional

For women:

  • open-collar shirt, dress shirt, sweater, or knit shirt
  • skirt, khakis or pants
  • casual-style dress
  • heels or conservative flats

Smart Casual

For men:

  • seasonal sport coat or blazer
  • button-down shirt or polo
  • slacks
  • ties are optional

For women:

  • dressy top with skirt
  • dressy top with nice jeans or pants
  • flats or heels

StartWire Brings Job Seekers New Tool to Improve Job Search

October 2nd, 2013 No comments

Here at StartWire, we’re always trying to come up with cool tools for our job seekers. We ask ourselves, how can we make their job search easier? What kinds of unique tools can we bring to the table to improve the job search experience?

The result of that brainstorm? A one-of-a-kind tool that automates job application tracking!

Imagine a job search that is organized and efficient… all without any effort from the job seeker! Imagine browsing for jobs with the help of a nifty browser plugin, Tracker that works in the background to save your job search history for future viewing.


See a job you like, but don’t have time to apply? No problem… because Tracker saves it for you. Come back at any time to view jobs you’ve bookmarked and apply whenever you’re ready. Tracker also saves the original job listing link, so all you do is click “view original job listing” and you’re brought back to that page.

Saw a job you like and applied for it? Tracker also saves this job and any other job listings you’ve applied to, giving you the ability to gauge your job search progress. Connect to your submitted applications and StartWire can even send you status updates via. email or text (from over 8,300+ companies).

Need job recommendations? Get smart job recommendations from Tracker. Tracker will interpret your job search history and give job recommendations similar to the jobs you are viewing or have applied to.

We know job searching is tough, but now with Tracker, this process becomes efficient and easier. Tracker takes away the need to manually organize your job search and instead saves job seekers precious time to be used on the more important aspect of job search — getting hired.


Download Tracker over at www.startwire.com/plugin/download

To read the full story, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11185209.htm


Before You Accept Your Job Offer

September 19th, 2013 No comments

1So you’ve just gotten a job offer – Congratulations! But there must be a reason why you’re reading this article. If there are some doubts on your mind and you want to figure out what to do before you possibly accept this job offer, worry not… let’s take a look at all the things you should consider before making a decision on a job offer.

The Written Offer

Do you have the offer in writing? If not, ask for a formal offer in writing. This way you can review the job title, salary, and benefits. If details on the offer look different from what was agreed upon in person or over the phone, do not hesitate to let the employer know and get it fixed.

Salary & Benefits

Perform a salary research using GlassDoor or PayScale to figure out if your salary is competitive. If you feel that you are being under-compensated, remember that the time you receive an offer is the time you have the most leverage in negotiating your offer. They want to hire you, so the ball is in your court to shape the offer in some way.

Benefits are just as important as your paycheck, so consider what benefits you’re being offered and how long it’d take before you will be eligible for these benefits.

Commuting & Environment

Factor in how the commute might be and keep in mind that rush hour traffic can lengthen the time it would take to get to work. Can you see yourself commuting to and from work with that length of commute time?

Furthermore, consider how you’d get along with your supervisor or boss. Did you feel comfortable and compatible? Many times, a supervisor can make or break a work experience, so if you hear stories of a strict management style, consider whether this is something you’d be willing to work with long-term. The people you work with can also determine how happy you are in this position. It might be hard to get a sense of how co-workers are during a short interview, but there are resources out there that exemplify the kind of company culture that exists. Reach out to a current employee via. LinkedIn and ask for their insider viewpoint of the company. Study how long employees stay within that company to figure out turnover rates.

It might also help to read the company’s social media channels, such as Facebook to get a vibe of their company culture.

The Long Run

Think about whether this position will help you advance your professional goals. Will it teach you new skills? Does it strengthen your strongest skills?

Furthermore, investigate the future of the industry and the job outlook. There are resources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics that give employment projections on fastest growing industries, along with industries that can expect to see decline. Imagine your life in this company and whether you can picture yourself in it.

Make sure you take the time to thoroughly figure out if you want this position. If you’re having doubts, then address all of them before rushing into accepting an offer because of time constraints.

Best of luck in your decision!


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Career Change: When’s the Right Time?

September 5th, 2013 No comments



Making a career change is a big decision and when you do make that decision, you want to make it at the right time. There are many factors than can go into this decision and although no one can really tell you when that right time is, here are some common signs to help you figure out when to make that change.


1- You feel burnt out or stressed constantly.

Not everyone is lucky enough to do what they absolutely love, but at the same time, you want a career that you can appreciate and one that doesn’t deteriorate your health. If it’s one that’s giving you constant stress and causing you to burn out, you need to ask yourself, how many more years can I tolerate this?

2- The job outlook in your field is worsening.

Your field showed promise when you entered it, but due to changes in the economy and advancements in technology, the growth of different sectors have changed. If your career is in a field that is showing declining growth, this may be a sign for a career change. To find out the growth outlook for your career, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows great statistics.

3- Your skills aren’t being used or developed.

People remain static in their current career because they get comfortable and fear change. However, you need to keep in mind that your skill sets are what help you remain valuable in a job market. If your current skill sets are not being used or developed, your opening yourself to the danger of entering a constantly changing job market and competing with others who’ve spent their time strengthening their current skill sets and fleshing out new ones. If your skills are stagnant, this may be a sign to make a career change.


About StartWire: StartWire is America’s #1 job search organizer here to help job seekers close the resume black hole. Get automatic status updates on your job applications from 8300+ companies and receive powerful job recommendations – all for free.

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3 Job Search Techniques

August 28th, 2013 No comments

Applying for jobs is a two-way street: Just as employers pick who they want to hire, you get to pick where and who you want to work with. Throughout the search process, remember you also have the right to choose your employer. If you don’t like the way you are treated as a candidate, you still have the option to withdraw your application — or turn down a job if you don’t feel that the culture is a fit. Regardless of what happens in the process, don’t forget that you have the power in this part of the hiring process.

If you experience roadblocks as you apply for a job — but still remain interested in the job — here are three easy action steps.

1. Take a personal approach. yawning at 942Whenever possible, apply for positions as early as possible and address your application to a real person. (If the job description doesn’t include a name, use LinkedIn or Google to find the name of the person that has the same title mentioned in the job description as the Supervisor. Then address your cover letter and email to this person.)


2. Know where you stand in the applicant pool. Many companies provide applicants with status updates on their application, but — traditionally — you can only see this data if you log back into the website where you applied for the job.

StartWire provides you with a free way to get these updates on the status of your applications at 8,000+ companies. Just sign up for an account, tell us where you’ve applied and track your application — and we’ll tell you if we can send you updates.

If you should be able to get updates on your application, and if there’s no record of your application — check back with the company and confirm that your application was received.


3. Enlist the help of friends and colleagues for an “in.” As we’ve discussed, getting a referral and word-of-mouth shout-out that you’d be great for a job is one of the best ways to get hired. Here’s how to get a referral even if you don’t know someone.


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3 Highest Growth Jobs

August 22nd, 2013 No comments

Interested in exploring a career that’s shown high growth? Explore these three jobs with the largest estimated job growth between 2010 and 2020.


Registered Nurses83609683_5f769d49c7_n

What the Job is like: Registered Nurses care for patients and help restore their health through collaboration with physicians and team members. They also offer emotional support to patients and their family members.

Job Growth Potential: High growth for registered nurses is due to technological advancements, which increases our ability to treat more diseases. The aging population will also lead to an increase in demand for nurses.

How to Become One: Obtain a degree from an approved nursing program (bachelor’s, associate’s or diploma). Then become licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). For those with a degree in a non-related field, they can obtain a master’s degree program in nursing to qualify for nursing roles.


Retail Salesperson

What the Job is like: Retail Salespersons work on selling retail merchandise to customers. They help customers locate products they need and explain the type of products they carry, along with answering general questions related to their merchandise. Once merchandise is selected, retail salespersons help carry out financial transactions.

Job Growth Potential: Growth for retail salesperson is attributed to high growth in general merchandise stores, such as warehouse clubs and supercenters, thereby, increasing employment opportunities for retail salespersons. Population growth also increases retail sales.

How to Become One: Most employers prefer a high school diploma or its equivalent. Generally employers look for candidates who exhibit strong customer service skills and salesmanship. On-the-job training is usually given.


Home Health Aides

What the Job is like: Home health aides help those who are physically and cognitively disabled, chronically ill and older adults. They provides services such as bathing and dressing, light house keeping, and planning their medical appointments.

Job Growth Potential: High growth for home health aides is due to the aging baby boom population. Reliance on home health aides will increase as a more affordable alternative to nursing homes. Furthermore, some people prefer being cared for in the familiarity of their homes.

How to Become One: No educational requirements are needed, but most home health aides have a high school diploma. Those working in certified home health agencies require formal training and passing a standardized test.



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5 Highest Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

July 30th, 2013 No comments

Interested in some high paying positions, but don’t have a college degree? Explore these five high paying jobs that don’t have any college degree requirements.


Air Traffic Controllersas

Median Salary: 122,530

What the Job is like: Air Traffic Controllers guide planes on the runway to keep them safe distances apart. They coordinate arrival and departure times, instruct pilots when to take off and land, give weather updates to pilots, and monitor airplanes during their flight.

How to Become One: Be 30 or under (if you have no previous experience as an air traffic controller) and a US citizen. Complete an air traffic management degree from a FAA certified school, pass the FAA pre-employment test, and complete a 2 month training course at the FAA Academy.


General and Operations Manager

Median Salary: 95,440

What the Job is like: General and Operations Managers are responsible for managing daily operations, carrying out organizational goals and policies, and performing day to day supervisory duties. Depending on the size of the company and the industry, responsibilities will vary.

How to Become One: Significant experience within the organization can lead to promotion to this position. Strong skills to have for this role include decisiveness and the ability to communicate effectively.


Construction Managers

Median Salary: 82,790

What the Job is like: Construction managers oversee construction projects from their development to completion. They plan the budget for the construction project, handle the legal requirements to ensure building and safety codes are being followed, and manage laborers working on the project.

How to Become One: Demonstrating years of experience in the construction trade can allow you to become a construction manager even if you only hold a high school diploma. Getting a certification can boost those chances. Certification is offered by the Construction Management Association of America (CCM) and the American Institute of Constructors (AC).

Radiation Therapists

Median Salary: 77,560

What the Job is like: Radiation therapists treat patients with cancer or other diseases by giving them radiation treatments. They give x-rays to determine the area requiring treatment, explain treatment plans to patients, and record treatment details.

How to Become One: Some states require a license that can be acquired through an accredited radiation therapy program. Apply for an American Registration of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification if required in your state.


Commercial Pilots

Median Salary: 73,280

What the Job is like: Commercial Pilots fly airplanes or helicopters to transport people and cargo. Some commercial pilots also fly for charter flights, firefighting, or rescue operations.

How to Become One: Take lessons from a flight school or an instructor from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most companies require at least 2 years of college and candidates who pass psychological and aptitude exams.


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Job Search Advice