The Procom Jobcast

Facts and stats: True or false?

Hiring Stats: True or False?

Resumes, interviews & social recruitment are full of interesting facts and figures. Can you spot the real from the fake? Take our true or false quiz to find out.

The average time spent by recruiters looking at a resume: 5 to 7 seconds.

True

False

20% of Americans have been fired over facebook

True

False

76% of resumes are still considered even with spelling errors

True

False

You face an 88% rejection rate when you include a photo in your resume

True

False

33% of 2000 surveyed bosses said they know within the first 90 seconds if they will hire that candidate.

False

True

8,000,000 applicants found their job on Twitter.

True

False

93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile.

True

False

Half of job applicants are actually qualified for the position they are applying for.

False

True

76% of resumes are discarded for an unprofessional email address.

False

True

Applican't Tracking Software (the robots that read your resume for key words, can be beaten by using graphs on your CV.

False

True

....You may need a refresher

Facts and figures can help you land a job you love, so you may want to brush up on yours!

...On point!

Facts and figures can help you land a job you'll love. You're on your way!


Done

4 Tips to job search time management

tips to time management during your job searchPlease (do not) excuse the interruption. Because interruptions are time wasters. And there’s no time for time wasters when the clock is ticking on your job search. Whether you’re currently employed and seeking a change or dwelling within the realm of the “in-between,” by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. And that type of preparation isn’t conducive to employment. So try these four time management tips instead.

Set up a work station

Ask yourself, where am I most comfortable? Do I work better at the coffee shop, at home or in the library? Sometimes a change in careers requires a change in scenery. So if you’re unemployed and at home all day, shake it up and take your laptop over to Starbucks. The goal is to be comfortable yet focused, so make sure to choose a workspace where you can tune into the job search and still tune out the distractions.

Have a schedule

If you say you’ll be researching for one full hour, clock yourself to be sure you’re meeting that commitment. And that doesn’t include travel time to the library, having that latté in the middle or talking to the person at the table next to you. It’s an hour of work. Hard, focused work. Make sure to stick to your priorities, and tackle the most important things first thing in the morning when you’re fresh and ready to go.

 Only apply to jobs you’re qualified for

A good number to stick to for your job search is between 10-15 applications per week. There’s a stat that states only 35% of applicants are actually qualified for jobs they apply to, and since your resume should be tailored to each job opening, don’t waste your time on an application that will be sent to the wastebasket. Sure, you may have transferable or soft skills that can relate to the position, but if the job requires five years of experience and you’re a recent grad or have only two years under your belt, keep looking.

Get offline

Sometimes going off the grid gets you on track. We have instant communication tools at our fingertips, but they can interrupt the thoughtful work required for your job search. It’s tempting to constantly tap into your email, but only do so no more than three times a day. Most job and career emails require thoughtful consideration, and even though you’re eager to hear back, a hiring manager receives up to 250 resumes per corporate job post. So Instead of waking up and immediately checking your email hopeful there is an interested employer, try starting your job search each day with a good breakfast and some light reading. You might even try meditating or getting a good workout.

Looking for a job is a job, and if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Right?

 

 

3 Simple ways to rekindle the passion in your work

passion in the workplaceRemember when the sparks first flew? The way your heart beat just a little quicker and the hop in your step had nothing to do with your shoes? You smiled for no reason and laughed just a little bit louder. And you cared.

And now, maybe you’re feeling like the initial attraction isn’t there, and the bumps and bends in your work/life relationship have you veering off down the road to greener pastures.

When you love what you do, work isn’t work… so before you detour too far, try these tips to work that passion back into your career.

 Go back to the beginning

When something you love to do becomes your job, it fundamentally, and unavoidably, changes the way you interact with it. So try to remember why you fell for your career in the first place. The menial day-to-day tasks will always be there—no matter what you do to earn your paycheck, so instead of concentrating on the mundane, think about what you want out of your work mentally, physically and spiritually. What initially got you excited about waking up every day? Peter Pan that happy thought and fly with it.

 Get positive by proxy

Nothing can kill your vibe quicker than a Negative Nancy, and misery certainly likes company, so don’t hang out with any Nancies. Instead, surround yourself with positive people- enthusiasm is contagious and it’s a condition you want to catch. Even if you don’t work in the same office, optimism transcends brick and mortar and attracts other people who are passionate too. The best part about positive people is that those very people aren’t just there to cheer you on during good times, they stick around for you to lean on when times are tough.

Take risks

Courage doesn’t always have to roar. Sometimes it’s a little voice in the back of your head at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” And it’s okay to start over again. If you wait until you feel ready to do something, it can be too late. It’s simple to lead an extraordinary life — you just need to be willing to do the things that others aren’t; the things that are a little too hard, take a little too long or are a little too uncertain. Take risks, and do things without worrying about how they might be perceived. Start navigating the paths without knowing where they lead. You may find that work (and life) becomes one of adventure, passion and empowerment.

 This is where the magic happens. And that’s the magic of passion.

Why your job title doesn’t matter, and 6 things that do

why your job title doesn't matterWhen you’re manacled to the man 9-5, how do you measure the merits of success?

Is it the number on your paycheck? The size of your team? The job title on your contract? You may be tempted to impress with a grandiose definition of success, but when life gets down to the nitty gritty of what makes yours a happy one, your job title isn’t vital.  Here’s why it doesn’t matter, and 6 things that do when it comes to the fundamentals of work, life and happiness.

You’ve made an impact

We all have a voice, but when yours is heard loud and clear—whether it’s in your industry as a whole, your office, or simply your team—recognition and making a difference can make a big difference in your working life. If you feel like you’ve made no impact, you may never feel like you’ve achieved much success.

You’re challenged

If you feel like you’re doing nothing but pencil pushing all day– every day, and fantasize about the final 5 o’clock hour as soon as you first sit down, chances are… you’re bored. Out of your mind. And if you’re not feeling challenged, you could be losing your motivation and inspiration for in-office and after work hours. Broker T. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” He was a wise man.

You create

The act of creating–in general–is a beautiful thing. If you’ve created something new, regardless of whether it’s a product, an idea or a new and better way for getting things done, this is a success. And it should feel that way. We all want to feel as though we have an effect in our workplace and this is a definite example of a successful situation.

You’ve formed great relationships

If you’ve cultivated great relationships with clients, customers or co-workers you’d be quite correct in thinking you’re doing something right. When you have a portfolio that also spans a list of happy people, you’ve proven that you’ve provided a great service.

You’re efforts are noticed

This may seem pretty obvious, but you should feel perfectly safe to properly preen when internal fellow co-workers or hire ups as well as external professionals and businesses are speaking highly of you in their respective networks.

You leave the office with a smile

When you wake up every day and can honestly say that you love what you do, you’re a lot ‘richer’ than that of someone with a big paycheck and fancy title. And if you can smile at the end of the workday, you’re one of the lucky ones.

You could have a great paying job with an impressive title – but if you don’t enjoy your day-to-day life due to the stress – it could be argued that you’re not successful at all. What you do to earn a living should not only fill your bank account, it should also fulfill your life in other ways that can’t be defined by monetary compensation or monogrammed business cards.

 

Job hunt talk: Resume language to lose

Job hunt talk: Resume language to lose

Your resume is prime real estate, and it shouldn’t be hoarding the over-used and out-of-date linguistic obvious. Can you spot these 5 cliched statements to delete from your job hunting lexicon? Take our quiz to find out.

Hire me! Because…

I’m detail-oriented and organized

I’ve increased revenue by x amount

I interact effectively with individuals of all levels

Hire me! Because…

I’m capable of handling multiple projects concurrently

I’m proficient with Microsoft Office

I’m quick to adapt to new technologies

Hire me! Because…

I’m passionate and driven

I’ve improved processes to save costs

I’ve launched campaigns with proven results

Hire me! Because…

I volunteered at (related professional event)

I created internal engagement programs, improving employee morale

I have references available upon request

Hire me! Because…

I won new business

I’m a team player

I managed a team across multiple locations

Job Interviews: What you say vs. What they hear

Employment.

Unless your daily sustainability is derived from the proverbial silver spoon- we all need it.

Being manacled to the man 9-5  isn’t so bad if you’ve found out what you like doing best, and then found someone to pay you for it. Yet how does one go about securing such a desirable existence? Well, it’s hard not to be nervous in the hot seat, and it’s pretty easy for hiring managers to hear something that you didn’t actually say during an interview.

Press play to find out the most common “What you say vs. What they hear in a job interview” as posted by FastCompany, and then don’t say what they do…. or say what they don’t.

….Because no one really has time to argue semantics on a Monday.

 

Are you interview ready? Take Friday’s true or false quiz to find out!

Are you ready for your job interview?

It’s true that you rarely get a second shot at making a first impression, and when it comes to job interviews, 33% of hiring managers claim to know whether or not they would hire someone within 90 seconds. Are you interview ready? Take Friday’s true or false quiz to find out!

You should arrive to your interview at least 30 minutes early.

True

False

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The main purpose of an interview is to convince an employer to hire you.

False

True

It’s best to dress in your trendiest corporate clothes.

False

True

Days of the week matter when it comes to scheduling your interview.

True

False

The way you walk through the door can determine the direction of your interview.

True

False

It’s only okay to say something negative about your previous employer if what you’re saying is true.

True

False

It’s okay to request your interviewer as a Facebook friend after the interview.

True

False

Hiring managers will always print your resume off, so don’t worry– you don’t need to bring one.

True

False

You should be overly friendly to show that you’ll fit in with the other employees.

False

True

You should always bring a list of questions with you and take them out when it’s your turn to ask about the company.

True

False

You may want to brush up on your interview skills

It’s natural to feel nervous in the hot seat, but don’t let your nerves be the reason you don’t get the gig. Take some tips from the staffing pros to strengthen your in-person skills.

You’ve got what it takes to get the gig

Congrats! You impressed with your resume and aced the in-person interview. So now that you’ve talked the talk, it’s time to walk the walk.

BYOD: 5 Things to know when you ‘Bring Your Own Device’

bring your own device to work- the metricsWhen one doesn’t do their proper pre-party due diligence and scan for the BYOB clause in the invitation, he or she runs the risk of being a recipient of the “who invited this guy” side-glance when showing up empty handed.

Similarly, when a new employee doesn’t do their pre-prep job offer acceptance and scan their contract for the company’s Electronic Use policy, he or she could unknowingly become the target of Corporate Big Brother.

Which is worse? One may have you breaching your host’s liquor cabinet and the other could have you breaching internal security policies—yet both can result in you being kicked out.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a policy that allows employees to bring personally owned mobile devices to the workplace and use those devices to access privileged company resources like email, file servers and databases as well as their own personal apps and data.

Here are 5 things you didn’t know when you BYOD to the office or when you work from home:

  1. When you set up your company’s email on your personal phone, you could be giving your employer the right to delete all of your personal data

Do you want to check your company email from your mobile? If this is part of your job, your employer may have you sign a “Bring Your Own Device” agreement. If you haven’t read that little piece of paper, do so. Now. Because you’ve probably waived your rights.

Companies need to secure their information systems, and if you want the privilege of accessing those systems on your personal device, you’ve got to essentially waive your right to privacy. BYOD policies ensure that employers will reserve the employer’s right to remote-wipe the device if there is a security risk, for example, if the device is lost or stolen.

You read that right: you’ve given permission for your employer to delete your personal data. If you lose your phone or no longer work there, you could lose those precious photos of your kids, bank records and whatever else you keep on your phone.

Take away– Actually read your employer’s electronic use and BYOD policies—and then back up your mobile.

  1. Emailing company docs to your personal accounts could give the wrong impression

So you still have work to do, but you just want to head out, and remotely accessing your work email could be a hassle (it happens). Forwarding your files from work to your personal email account seems like no big deal, right? Wrong.

The problem is that the act could create the impression that you’re trying to steal the company’s confidential information.

Take Away- Don’t download company information without permission, and do your best to protect the company’s trade secrets, confidential information and data.

  1. Corporate Big Brother can see any email, text and other electronic communications sent on the company’s server

One typically assumes your boss doesn’t have time to monitor every email you send. That’s probably true, but you’re forgetting about the IT department. This doesn’t mean that your company is looking for reasons to spy on employees, but they could hold the content against you if they deem it to be inappropriate or a misuse of personal communication.

Take away- If you don’t want it seen, don’t put it on the screen.

When it comes to Corporate Big Brother, the bottom line is to read your BYOD policy on your contract before you sign on the dotted line.

Applicant Tracking Systems: How we find you

applicant tracking systems and job seekersIt’s an interesting process when you’re looking for job. Because just as you’re seeking a place to work—we’re also actually seeking you.

As a Job Seeker, you use the best tools you can to land a gig you’ll love, and when a recruiter is looking for the best possible candidate for their client, they use tools like Applicant Tracking Systems to find the right fit, and that’s how we find you. Procom uses Bullhorn, a clever little management robot that’s basically a CRM for humans.

How does an ATS work?

 When you submit your resume through an ATS, a CRM like Bullhorn stores it in its database. The recruiters then search for keywords for the particular job opening. If your resume contains the keywords they want, then the ATS will rank you higher in the search results. The keyword searches include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening. Recruiters can even command Bullhorn to search its entire database of resumes to look for Candidates with certain qualifications. This means that even if you submitted your resume a long time ago and never got a response, recruiters can still find it, because it’s stored in Bullhorn—forever.

So when you’re on the hunt for employment, just remember, we’re also on the hunt for you—and so are the robots.

Beat the Monday Blues with these 5 Tunes

There’s just this thing about music. The melody, the rhythm the harmony…

The perfect song can seem just like every living organism: It has a pulse, and sometimes, you can feel like you fit more into lyrics than you do into life. And also just like every living organism, you can find yourself falling victim to the Monday Blues. But don’t despair- music can be the best medicine for such an affliction. Try listening to a few of these tunes to turn down the melancholia and turn up your work week!

Bruno Mars- Uptown Funk

Whether you’ve got your chucks on or Saint Laurent, this song is a straight up masterpiece to lightening the mood:

Walk the Moon- Shut up and Dance

Oh, don’t you dare look back! Just keep your eyes on M(e)onday, don’t go holdin’ back… claim your destiny!

Bob Marly, Three Little Birds

This is our message to you: Don’t worry, about a thing…’Cause every little thing is gunna be alright!

Beyonce, Run the World (Girls)

When Bey looks in the mirror and asks herself, “Who runs the world?” you know she says “I do.” You should too.

Taylor Swift, Shake it off

Baby, sometimes you just gotta shake it off…. so we’re just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off!…

 

Can you think of another song to add to the list?

 

True or False: Could these really be reasons you didn’t get the job?

True or False: Could these really be reasons you didn't get the job?

There are more than two players in the hiring game, and it's one you won't always win. Other than not being qualified--or simply blowing it--Can you spot the reasons real hiring managers have admitted to using for not selecting a Candidate?

The interview was a ruse

True

False

The definition of the job changed

False

True

You have children

False

True

You’re too attractive

False

True

They didn't like the way you spoke about money

True

False

You seemed like you wouldn't fit in

True

False

Credit check determined you declared bankruptcy or have a bad credit score

False

True

3 Tips to regulating life with an irregular income

tips to saving money
“I always wanted an awesome boss, so I started working for myself.”

That’s not a famous quote, but it probably should be. It’s a sentiment likely shared by every entrepreneur or Contractor who lives by paying themselves. But when it comes to life’s money matters, money…well it matters. But it doesn’t have to be feast or famine if you plan your finances. Try these tips to regulate life with an irregular income.

 

  1. Determine your minimum income

If you’ve been a Contractor for at least one year, take a look at your income reports to determine the bare minimum income—which is just that, the absolute minimum you’ve made over those 12 months. You’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of any seasonal fluctuations in your incoming finances. If you have a couple years’ worth to analyze, you can notice the patterns of which months are the most and least profitable and plan accordingly for any potential slumps.

 

  1. Drill down on your monthly expenses

There are four types of expenses a month: set, variable, debt and business. Your set expenses are things that must be paid each month like your mortgage or rent, car payments and utilities. Your variable expenses are ones you must budget for like groceries or entertainment, and debt expenses account for things like your minimum credit card payments. But don’t forget about your business expenses! These are costs related to things like business supplies, travel and dining.

Preferably, your expenses should not be more than your minimum monthly income. If they are, you might want to prioritize your expenses to see which ones are vital and which ones aren’t (like your top tier cable TV subscription).

 

  1. Save the difference

To save yourself some worry, plan to have at least three months’ worth of income in a savings account during a potential famine situation. You may want to also set up a few different bank accounts to keep your money organized:

  • Tax account: You’ve got to face the inconvenient truth that your taxes are higher. But if you’re looking for a pretty solid benchmark plan for the tax man, you should squirrel away 30% of your income into a tax account.
  • Retirement account: Another unavoidable truth about being a contract worker is that if you don’t save for retirement, no one else will. Aim to deposit 10% directly into a retirement account. Your future self will thank you.
  • Personal checking: Here’s where you can pay yourself. Take the monthly budget amount you calculated during tip 1 and use it to give yourself a monthly paycheck—be consistent month over month.
  • Personal savings or Business checking: After you pay yourself, any extra money should stay in your business checking to continue building that three month buffer.

 

Sometimes the best things in life really are free—like peace of mind knowing that you’ve got life (and your expenses) covered.

Would you get the job? Try this interview quiz

Would you get the job?

Job interviews shouldn't feel like interrogations, but it's easy to feel nervous in the hot seat. Find out how cool you can stay under pressure. Would you answer these 8 tough questions correct to get the job?

Question 1: "Tell me about yourself"

Begin by describing what you wanted to be when you grew up, then include your high school aspirations, followed by your college career and details of your first job. End with why you're there today.

Reply with, "Well, what would you like to know?"

Begin with your post-secondary education, work history that relates to the position and most recent career experience. End with why you are currently seeking a new opportunity.

Question 2: "What's your biggest weakness?"

Take a secret strength and disguise it as a weakness. "Oh, I'm SUCH a perfectionist!"

Name an actual weakness you need to improve upon and the steps you've taken to do so.

Demonstrate that you have no weaknesses and reiterate the value of your strengths.

Question 3: "There seems to be a gap in your work history. Why is that?”

Demonstrate how you've honed your skills during your time off. Talk about any freelancing, volunteer work our courses you've taken that relate to the position.

Explain that you wanted to take time off to decide what you really wanted to do with your career, which lead you there today.

Discuss personal issues that required you to take time away.

Question 4: “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker or manager and how it was resolved…”

Explain the issue succinctly and the specific action you took.

Explain how a co-worker didn't hit a deadline, which made you pick up the slack to get the job done. (Demonstrating that you're not afraid to pull more than your own weight.)

Explain that you're a team player, and you don't believe in conflict in the workplace.

Question 5: “Why are you looking for a new position?”

Explain that the current company culture is not in line with your personal beliefs.

Explain how you don't believe in the way your boss or manager runs your department and you need a change.

Reiterate that it’s been a great learning experience but that there isn’t room for anymore growth or advancement within the company, and you want to tackle new challenges and develop your skill sets.

Question 6: “How would you explain a complex database to your 10-year old nephew?”

You wouldn't. What does a 10-year-old need with a CRM?

You would practice your answer in both technical and laymen's terms to become familiar with the jargon and data before beginning your explanation.

You would provide your nephew with graphs or charts detailing the instructions and explain in laymen's terms what they mean.

Question 7: “What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?”

Align your answer with the values of the company and explain the outcome of being pushed out of your comfort zone.

Respond that you don't believe in taking risks unless you are sure of a positive outcome.

You don't take risks.

Question 8: “Why should we hire you?”

Passionately describe the company culture and how you would fit right in.

State that you are the best fit simply because no other candidate will do a better job.

Identify your own experience from your past positions that directly relate and how you demonstrated those skills as value drivers

You may want to brush up on your skills...

Happy April Fools!
To see if you would really pass the interview test, try these tips: http://bit.ly/236p0oK

Congratulations! Your interview skills are awesome!

Happy April Fools!
To see if you would really pass the interview test, try these tips: http://bit.ly/236p0oK

4 Social media mistakes to avoid during your job search

social media mistakes to avoidRecruiters and hiring managers are creeps.

It’s a proven fact.

In fact, there’s probably a very scientific study somewhere showing that among the internet’s most diligent creepers, they would rank higher than an ex when it comes to creeping your social profiles.

A creeper (in the very prestigious urban dictionary) is defined as: “ Someone who uses Facebook but is looking at other peoples’ profiles, going through their pictures, their statuses, their wall posts, their picture comments;  subscribed to random people or their pages.”

They’re online. And they’re everywhere. This study states that 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a Candidate’s social media profile. So when it comes to your job search and social media, avoid these common mistakes if you want to take you and your digital footprint through the front door of your dream job.

  1. Compromising photos

We all have a life outside of work, but posting (what some may deem) inappropriate photos will give off the wrong idea about your extra-curricular activities. During your job search, you may want to take your profile to the next level with your privacy settings. Sure, you may not upload a photo yourself, but ones you’re tagged in by friends will also appear in your timeline. Double check your privacy approval settings to be safe.

2. Appearing over opinionated

Employers tend to see it as a positive if potential employees have a view on a certain topic. However, they can also easily be put off if they perceive those views to be too radical and/or opinionated.

3. Inviting your interviewer to connect with you on Facebook

This is a big no-no and happens a lot more than you think. Interviewers want to see the “true you,” so they’re being friendly and approachable– but they aren’t trying to befriend you. Just because you’ve hit it off with your interviewer, it doesn’t meant that you should feel comfortable enough to invite them to be a friend. More often than not, this will leave an impression that you’ve crossed an unwritten boundary.

4. Avoid remarks about your workplace

You should never make negative remarks about your previous workplace or employer during a job interview; neither should you bad-mouth them online. A future employer will think that if you can write that about another company, then surely you can write the same thing about theirs.

Social media connects us all, but avoid these common mistakes if you want to be connected to the right career opportunity.

4 Non-verbal job interview tips

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine what poor in-person body language can communicate when you’re trying to give the perfect first impression. Job interviews can make anyone feel the heat while in the hot seat—it’s normal to be nervous, but a master’s degree may not help your career chances if you can’t master your mannerisms. Try these non-verbal interview tips that tell the hiring manager you’re the one for the job.

 

Eyes

You get asked a lot of questions in a job interview, but one of them shouldn’t be if you have a staring problem. The goal is to be confident—not creepy. It’s important to look the interviewer in the eye, but know when to break away after a few seconds. Another effective way to ensure you’re looking interested and engaged is “direct face contact.” Try looking at different parts of his or her face every two seconds; rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips, so you’re never just drilling into the interviewer’s eyes.

Ears

When you’re trying to craft a selling response, it’s best to listen before you answer. Aside from keeping eye and face contact, nodding your head occasionally while listening is an additional way to show attentiveness. It shows that you’re enjoying and understand what’s being said. However, you’re a human not a marionette, so avoid fanatical nods that could mistake you for a puppet.

Mouth

Just breathe. Take a (non-noticeable, gulping-for-air-type) deep breath while a question is being asked, and answer on the exhale following the air flow.  Deep breathing engages our parasympathetic reaction, which calms us down. Also, try taking 10 deep, diaphragmatic breaths before the interview. This will reduce your heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone level.

Nose

Aggressive fragrances have a tendency to overpower anyone’s nostrils, which could give the hiring manager the impression that you don’t have any common sense when it comes to office scents. You want to leave the interview with a lingering impression as to why you’re the right fit, not a cloud of perfume or cologne—so leave it off.

Mom was right when she said not to slouch, and a firm handshake is more palatable than a limp fish’d one when serving your candidacy for employment. Remember, body language is one that everyone can understand.

 

4 Mistakes to avoid when choosing an accountant

Knock knock…

That could be the beginning to a heinous knock knock joke… It might be opportunity knocking… or, at this time of year, that double rap tap-tap could be the tax man at your door. You can’t avoid him, and he can be quite persistent when he wants in your bank account. There’s no closing the windows and shutting the drapes when he comes a callin’, so when it’s time to dance to the tax man’s tune, don’t make these common missteps that will have him stepping on your toes and crippling your earnings.

  1. Choosing an accounting firm that won’t quote a fixed fee

First thing’s first—and this is numero uno. Your dedicated accountant should provide a very specific set of services like your tax return, VAT return and so on, but a really good accountant will go beyond. As an Independent Contractor, you need someone who you can pick up the phone to if you need tax advice, or to pick their brain about an aspect of your finances that’s bothering you—and you don’t want to be charged an extra fee for such conversations. A great firm will bundle this into a fixed monthly fee, so you always know where you stand.

  1. Not having a dedicated accountant

We mentioned a dedicated accountant in #1 because that’s what you need. You’re busy all day, every day running your business and its administrative side, so if you don’t have an accountant dedicated to your company, you may find yourself spending more time reminding them who you are rather than dealing with the issues that you need addressed. A dedicated point of contact—who knows you and your business from the beginning—will save you the trouble of groundhog day’ing it every time you pick up the phone.

  1. Choosing the first firm Google tells you to

Despite the world of e-Commerce and online buying being so thoroughly convenient, you may want to deviate from the typical Google search. It’s easy to stay close to home, so typing in what you want along with your hometown seems like a Google-go-to. But closer isn’t always better when it comes to accountancy. As already mentioned above, Independent Contractors need specialized services – so prioritize that, and don’t worry about where the right firm might be based.

  1. Assuming all accounting firms are the same

Just as your business specializes in a certain service, accountancy is the same. As an Independent Contractor, you need an accountant who not only understands the small business environment, but also one who has specific experience in dealing with contractor needs. This is especially important when it comes to giving advice on things like your expenditures and income reporting and other accountancy issues only affecting the contingent workforce.

So when you hear that rap-tap tap, open the door with a smile, because with the right accountant, the tax man’s knock can turn into opportunity knocking (and that may or may not have been a semi-heinous joke).

5 Tips to turn a contract into a permanent consideration

So, you’ve beaten the bots and impressed during your in-person interview, but once you’ve successfully taken on the hiring battle, you still have to win the performance war. Your previous experience may have helped you talk the talk, but when it comes to contract extensions, these tips will help to ensure you’re walking the walk—and demonstrating the qualities that could most likely help you strut into a permanent position.

 

1. Become indispensable

When you demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm and interest in existing projects other than your own and provide actionable insights that result in a successful execution, you’re demonstrating the value you bring to your other team members and the company. Sure, you were hired for a specific task, but your employer may not know what other talents you have to offer unless you reveal them, so take the initiative and look for opportunities to showcase your skills. They may say that no one is indispensable, but if you want to prove your worth as a full-time team member, demonstrate that you’re a worker that the team can’t imagine functioning without.

2. Build relationships

Good communication is great persuasion, so if you’re looking to become a part of a team, voice it with both your thoughts and actions. This doesn’t mean you need to be friends or socialize outside of work, but make an effort to be involved and be friendly at the office. If there’s additional training on offer, you should take it. Going above and beyond shows that you are willing to learn and that you take a keen interest in the company; this may even provide opportunities for networking. The goal is to make your presence known. So instead of sending an email, visit your colleagues or direct managers, volunteer for extra project activities outside your job description, represent your team at meetings or attend meetings so you can be more involved and meet a wider range of teams.

3. Avoid the office politics

The workplace is prime spotting ground for watching different breeds of humans interact outside their natural habitat, so it can prove difficult sometimes not to watch a show. However, you will be more highly regarded if you don’t get involved in the hunting and pecking order of the workplace and avoid office gossip.

4. Document your work

Whether you’re on contract or a permanent employee, it’s your responsibility to fill out your time-sheets, expense forms and any other paperwork in a timely fashion. This illustrates you’re responsible, reliable and organized. Sometimes, as a contract worker, you won’t be a regular part of the staff team and will get left out of what is the normal information flow. By taking the initiative on communications and providing critical updates to projects, you also demonstrate your strong skills in this area.

5. You want something? Ask for it.

If you want to be considered for a full time position, this isn’t the time to act like a wallflower and hope you’re simply picked for the part. If the timing is right, talk to the key decision maker and let your interest in a full time opening known.

If all the world’s a stage, then this performance is your audition. If none of these tactics work and your contract role truly has an inevitable end date, then concentrate on doing the best job possible for the employer. Then, several weeks before the scheduled end-date, set up a time with your manager and discuss your interest in their company and field, you may get a referral to another company if this one simply can’t hire you.

6 Career tips for women in tech from women in tech

According to the latest National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Report Card, women represented 57% of all undergraduates in the United States, yet earned less than 1/5 of all computer and information sciences undergraduate degrees and engineering degrees. In 2013, just 14% of Fortune 500 CEOs were female, and now only 26% of computing occupations are held by women.

 

What do these numbers mean? Well, if you’re a woman looking to break into the tech industry, they should mean absolutely nothing. Because you aren’t just a number, and you can achieve anything you damn well please.

An integral part of success is integrity, and true leaders keep blazing their own trails, keep breaking the barriers and continue to plow towards progress even when the way seems long and out of reach. Little girls who dream can become women with vision—these are some of those woman, and this is what they have to say to you:

1. Be Brave

“A small step is to be brave. It’s intimidating being the only woman in the room and that happens for me weekly, particularly in Asia, so you have to be brave. You may encounter hostility or embarrassment, but you need to be brave, remind yourself why you are there. It’s not personal, it’s about business.” – Helen Adams, vice president of sales, Europe and Asia, ARM Holdings

2. Be confident

“Confidence plays a big part of what you are. If you’re analyzing yourself and what you’re going to say, remember the men in the room are doing the same.” – Jacky Wright, vice president – strategic enterprise services, Microsoft

3. Ask hard questions

“Ask hard questions. This is a really good skill to finely hone in.” – Nicole Vanderbilt, VP international, Etsy

4. Trust your gut

“Don’t always do what you should do, trust your instincts.” Vanderbilt talks about turning away from the traditional industries to work for a company she cared about, and going to business school in Europe, all counterintuitive moves that got her to where she is today. – Nicole Vanderbilt

5. Be memorable

“Be seen, be heard and be memorable in a way you can advance not just your career but the careers of the women around you.” – Erin McSweeney, executive vice president, global HR, EMC

6. Make bold decisions

“Leap and the net will appear, if you make bold decisions. Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness. Look for the quickest way to fail.” – Alex Depledge, former CEO and co-founder, Hassle.com

When you’re chasing your dreams, don’t waste a single second. You may stumble, but stumbling isn’t falling when you stand up taller than before your knees went weak. You got this girl!