Gigats: Whatever It Takes

Low Performers Receive Bonuses


According to a new study, most workers who receive workplace bonuses as rewards are not considered top performers. In fact, nearly 25% of North American managers will give some financial reward to their lowest performers- those who “fail to meet performance expectations.” The study that was conducted by Towers Watson Talent Management and Rewards Pulse Survey, also determined that 18% fail to set differences in target payouts based on an employee’s performance. 

The study also found that even workers who are doing their best may not be receiving the rewards that they deserve. American companies will only have 87% of the money they earmarked for bonuses available for employees. Many employers may not even have the money to hand out as bonuses this year.

The recent study have many people asking why managers are rewarding bad behavior. Many speculate that it is easier for managers to give a bonus than to critique a poor performer, an action that is bad for business. Firms that reward all staff equally grow more slowly, make less money, and are worth less when publicly quoted. On the other hand, overly harsh performance-based bonus systems are hard on management and can also do a number on employee morale.

Studies also suggest that with or without a bonus, worker productivity may not change. Less than 50% of employees who participated in last year’s survey said that there is a clear link between their job performance and bonus pay. Studies have shown that high-performing employees are 2.5 times less likely than average employees to leave for a pay increase. This is because employees’ relationships with their managers, their pride in the company and their belief in senior leadership as as important, or more important, than money. 

Median Household Income Increases

Within the past three years, the median household income has been on the rise, climbing 3.8% to $53,891 in June, according to newly released data by Sentier Research. The rise in median household income is another indication that the economic recovery is taking hold.

Despite the rise in the median household income, many Americans have yet to fully heal from the Great Recession that ended five years ago. Since then, the median income remains 3.1% below its June 2009 level of $55,589. It is in large part due to unemployment remaining high in the early years of recovery.

According to Gordon Green, a partner at Sentier, “Even though technically the recovery began in June 2009… the broad measures of unemployment were still high.” Green goes on to state, “As people found jobs, their incomes went up and then we started to see incomes turn around.”

Although the rise indicates a rise overall for households, the gains are not spread evenly. Black households have seen their median income rise by 3.5% over the past three years. Additionally, the income among Hispanics has remained essentially flat since 2011.

The median income for Americans’ is still 4.8% lower than it was at the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and 5.9% below its January 2000 level. 

Writing a Summary Statement

In the world of resumes, the good old-fashioned objective statement has seemed to disappear. Depending on who you ask and how you are using it, the objective statement’s replacement, the summary statement, can either be a game changer or a complete waste of space. A summary statement consists of a few concise and strong statements at the beginning of your resume that helps to summarize your skills and experience, providing employers with a quick way to get a sense of who you are and what you have to offer. 

The biggest problem with a summary statement is that you must give up valuable space on your resume, leaving many to question whether or not it is worth having one. The answer to the question will depend on who you are and what you have done. Summary statements are great resume tools for more experienced professionals with years of varying experience. However, if you have a more linear or straightforward path, the space is better used for additional bullet points on your past roles rather than a summary statement.

If you determine that a summary statement is ideal for your resume, then it is important that you determine exactly what you want to say and why. Your summary statement should be about 4 to 6 brief bullets, so you only have a limited amount of space to convey your message.

The first step to creating a summary statement is to determine where you are going. You want to outline where you want to go in your career and how your skills and experiences will get you there. Start by asking yourself what skills you most enjoy using, which accomplishments you are most proud of and what issues, topics or areas you are most passionate about. Use the answers to envision an ideal position that will value you for the main characteristics and experiences you want to be hired for.

The next step in writing a summary statement is to analyze your target industry. Identify where you want to be in terms of industry, city and companies. Research your industry and the various trends that are affecting it now in order to learn about companies and analyze different job descriptions that interest you.

Finally, find your fit and condense the summary statement so that it quickly demonstrate who you are to the hiring manager. With your new knowledge of your target industry, describe why you are a good fit. Identify, summarize and refine your key selling points with your end goal in mind. Craft 4-6 bullets that are vivid and that clearly illustrate why you are the most ideal candidate.

A summary statement is a powerful branding tool that helps to quickly deliver the message to the hiring manager that you are the most ideal candidate for the job. It provides hiring managers with a clear sense of what  you have to offer and what you are able to bring to the table. 

Dressing for Success Without a Dress Code

Younger generations, fashion changes and technology have made way for adaptations to the official office dress code in many different offices. While some industries, such as law, finance and construction have hard set rules about what to wear to work, other industries lack a universal uniform. 

As a new professional starting in an office, it can be difficult to decipher what you should wear when there isn’t an explicit dress code. While some offices are fine with a t-shirt and jeans, others may think that being too casual is a big no-no. In order to figure out your company’s dress code when it doesn’t actually have one, follow the tips provided

1. Just Ask

The quickest way to determine what to wear is to ask someone who already works there. If you have already been hired, then ask your interviewer, new supervisor, or human resources representative. It can save you from the embarrassment of arriving to your first day under- or overdressed. Since there isn’t a formal dress code, ask what someone in your department at your levels typically wears.

2. Take cues from your boss

Chances are the CEO of the company has stricter expectations to follow than everyone else. Because of this, you can base what you should wear off of your department head or supervisors’ outfits. If your boss comes in wearing a suit everyday, then you shouldn’t come in wearing anything less than a collared shirt, slacks and a decent pair of shoes.

3. Make sure you’re comfortable

You should be comfortable presenting yourself a certain way when you walk in to the office. Avoid alienating anyone by dressing too formally for your job.  “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is safe enough, but going overboard can make it seem like you actually don’t want the job you have.

4. Think of the company culture

A company culture can be difficult to find out, but if you can gather a sense of it then picking outfits can be easier. If you are about to start working for a company, gauging the creativity, collaboration, and other elements of the company can give you a better indication of how formal or casual the attire should be.

5. Do some scouting

For your interview, it is best to stay safe. However, after the interview, look around the office to see what other employees are wearing.

Determining what to wear at a company that doesn’t have a dress code can be difficult. Follow the guidelines above to gauge what is appropriate to wear to work. 

Nutritional Diet Boosts Productivity

For optimal performance in both our daily lives and our work lives, proper nutrition is essential. Despite the knowledge that nutritional foods can boost productivity, many office lunches consist of greasy foods, tons of carbs and over-loaded sandwiches. While the foods are certainly comforting to an extent and everyone is deserving of a good old-fashioned cheese burger every now and then, we can actually enhance focus and increase energy during the day by carefully choosing what we eat while at work. Start by making some simple, but highly-impacting changes that can boost your mood and productivity:

Eat those veggies

Leafy green vegetables go down on the list as some of the healthiest foods that you can eat. According to Clyde Wilson and Prevention magazine, non-starchy green vegetables help slow the digestion of starchy carbohydrates. When carbohydrate digestion is slowed, it means that your brain and muscles can begin to use them more readily for energy, and your body won’t release as much insulin to store the excess glucose circulating in your bloodstream. 

Be an IronMan

Iron is an essential part of energy. It is the primary component of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen within the body’s red blood cells to different parts of the body. There is no need to take supplements in order to get the proper amount of iron, instead try adding more iron-rich foods into your diet. Lean beef, dark meat chicken, tofu, legumes and dark green vegetables all provide iron.

Be a (healthy) fatty

Elizabeth Somers, a registered dietitian explains in her book, “Eat Your Way to Happiness” that omega 3-fatty acids are essential to proper brain function and mood regulation. Additionally, Health magazine has mentioned that deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to the prevalence of depression in America. In order to get a regular dose of these fatty acids, try eating fish, flax seeds or walnuts or take fish oil supplements. 

Too much caffeine is a bad thing

A morning cup of coffee can help boost your alertness and metabolism, but it can also make you more aggressive, according to Travis Bradberry of Forbes. Additionally, a recent study by Johns Hopkins Medical School found that increased cognitive performance experienced after consuming caffeine is generally an illusion. The “boost” is really the caffeine bringing you to a baseline level of performance. In other words, don’t over do it when it comes to caffeine. Missing a cup after being hooked on caffeine can cause you to perform below your normal productivity.

Eating healthy and maintaining a nutritional balance can help boost your work productivity. Follow the tips above to maintain a balanced diet and to keep pushing through your busy work day. 

Eight Companies That Are Cutting Jobs

Despite the stronger economy, there are some companies that are facing tougher times. Businesses such as Microsoft and Intel have been cutting thousands of jobs this year. View a list of the eight job killing companies that are facing tougher times: 

1. Barclays

Ever since the financial crisis hit, pink sheets have been given out at Barclays. Recently the British bank revealed plans to ax another 19,000 jobs over the next three years. The most recent waves of cuts resulted in the elimination of as many as 7,000 positions at its investment bank, which has a large presence in New York. Barclays states that the moves are aimed at making the bank “leaner, stronger” and better balanced.

2. Microsoft

Despite being on an upswing, Microsoft’s new CEO Saya Nadella recently unleashed the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history. Earlier this summer it was announced that Microsoft would be cutting 18,000 positions in the next year, representing about 14% of the company’s employees. The majority of the cuts are planned at the devices and services business that Microsoft acquired from Nokia.

3. Hewlett-Packard

In May, HP announced that it would cut another 11,000 to 16,000 jobs on top of the initial 34,000 layoffs it had previously disclosed. The latest layoffs are projected to save about $1 billon a year. Despite the cuts, HP is still one of the largest employers in the tech world with some 300,000 workers.

4. Cisco Systems

Due to shrinking sales, Cisco Systems has disclosed plans to cut 6,000 workers in the coming months. The cuts will amount to about 8% of its global workforce. Presently, the company has declined to reveal which specific businesses will be hit by the layoffs, stating that it will “vary depending on the business need. 

5. JPMorgan Chase

Earlier this year, the largest U.S. bank by assets announced plans to slim down. In February, JP Morgan Chase announced that it would be cutting about 8,000 jobs in its consumer and community banking division in 2014. However, the bank also announced that it would add 3,000 positions in other parts of the company, lowering the total amount of job cuts to 5,000.

6. Intel

Intel announced that it would trim about 5% of its 107,500 workforce by the end of 2014. The percentage amounts to just over 5,300 job cuts. Intel cited “evolving market trends” as their reasoning for the downsizing.

7. Sony

Within the year, Sony has issued thousands of pink sheets due to low profits. In February, the company told investors that it would be cutting 5,000 jobs as part of a broader restructuring that included separating its PC and TV arms.

8. Macy’s

Since the increase in popularity of online shopping, department stores such as Macy’s have taken a financial hit. In January, Macy’s revealed plans to lay off 2,500 workers and shut down five stores. The store estimated that the cuts and other restructuring moves could save $100 million a year.

Although the eight companies listed above aren’t performing fantastically, there are plenty of other great businesses to work for. Visit to see opportunities with other top name companies and to find your perfect job match today. 

3 Distractions That Boost Productivity

Everyone suggests cutting out distractions during the work day in order to improve in your career and get work done. But when it comes to eliminating distractions, it’s important that you pick the right ones. For a successful career, everyone needs a little brain break during the day. Carefully working minor breaks into your day can help you tackle tasks more effectively.

While certain distractions can certainly get you off track at work, some can actually make you more creative and lead to problem solving. According to Harvard University scientist Shelly H. Carson, distractions can force an “incubation period” in which the brain continues to work away on the problem subconsciously. Providing your brain with a break allows you to reboot and get creative. Take a look at some ideas on how to amp up your productivity with these must-have distractions:

Look at Baby Animals

As silly as it sounds, cat gifs and panda cams do a little more than just improve your mood during the work day. They actually trigger a positive emotion associated with motivation and processing. According to Japanese researcher, Hiroshi Nittono, looking at cute animal pictures at work has a positive effect on productivity. Still skeptical? Participants in his study performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after viewing cute images. Next time you get a break during the day, pull up some cute photos of animals in order to boost your productivity.


A regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter and more energetic. Additionally, it is a habit that can make you mentally sharper. According to Robert Pozen, author of Extreme Productivity, as we age, our bodies generate fewer and fewer brain cells, but early research in mice has found that exercise can help prevent the slowdown. This means, that people who exercise daily have a bigger advantage in the work place. Start a daily exercise routine in order to feel more energized and excel in the office. 


Stress often accompanies hard work, which can in turn hurt productivity and concentration. Meditating can help alleviate the issues associated with stress. In fact, in a recent study from the University of Washington, meditation was found to help workers concentrate better, remember more work details, stay energized, and experience less negative moods. If you feel yourself getting stressed, find a quiet place to relax and reflect.

The correct disctrations throughout the day can help workers reboot creativity and enjoy a much needed break from the workday. Boost your productivity by doing the three things listed above in order to improve your work and career. 

Fixing WorkPlace Fashion Faux Pas

So there you are, walking down the hall with toilet paper stuck to your shoe, spinach hanging for dear life like a snaggletooth, or even a bit of accidental cleavage. But then someone tells you just as you’re leaving the bathroom or just as you walk in the door. And wow! You’re forever grateful to that co-worker or stranger who bothered to fill you in.

After the initial dread of what could have been drains away, a feeling of relief washes over you. And we all know that feeling; we’ve all been there. So why is it so hard to be the one who tells someone else that the price tag is still sticking to the back of their shirt?

Of course it’s awkward, especially when that someone is an executive or vice president or a more senior co-worker. Will they be embarrassed and take it out on me professionally? Will they associate this negative situation with me every time my name comes up?

But it can be odd as well, to tell someone who falls lower on the corporate ladder. Will they think I’m making fun of them? Will they think I’m being condescending?

The Reverse Side also has a Reverse Side

The flip side of this is not telling someone that their zipper is down. Sure it’s uncomfortable, but think about the way you feel when someone tells you of your faux pas. At first you may feel a tad self-conscious. But then that feeling gives way to being elated that you didn’t actually walk into the meeting with a glob of hair gel sticking out on the side of your head.

And if you’re worried about telling someone of the opposite sex that their slip is showing, then quietly ask a female employee to fill her in. It can be hard to know what is considered appropriate for your particular office and co-workers, but this solution should work for anyone.

Just Do It

The bottom line is that no matter how uneasy you feel speaking up about a fashion faux pas at work, you really just have to do it. And the sooner the better. Imagine that your supervisor is talking to your whole team and as he turns to face you, you see that stubborn spinach sitting there. Say something immediately! He will truly appreciate the fact that someone said something before letting him talk for twenty minutes and once that initial moment has passed, it’s passed. You can’t very well wait until the 7th time he looks in your direction.

He’ll probably even regard you differently, respecting the fact that while what you did was hard and unpopular, you did it anyway to help him out. Sure, he’ll be embarrassed in that instant, but it’s better than him finding out in the bathroom and feeling stupid for the rest of the day. Plus, it will show your fellow workers that it’s okay and even encouraged to let others know when potentially mortifying moments are about to happen.

Together we can do this. We can exile mismatched socks, untucked shirts, and snaggle-spinach-teeth from the office. And we can get through our days without the mishaps and social misfortunes that plague offices everywhere. 

Finding Career Satisfaction

Most working professionals dream of a career in which they have a job that they like, excel at what they do and earn a rewarding income at the same time. While it is easy to find a job that may meet some of those criteria, finding one that achieves all of those things is much more difficult. Due to the difficulty of finding all of the elements of a dream career, many workers are left questioning whether or not is important to focus on what they are good at versus what they like to do. In order to find career satisfaction, career coaches suggest that you must first determine what a good job means to you:

Finding job satisfaction:

Job satisfaction is dependent upon your ability to understand the factors that go into your job and are most important for you at every career stage. Begin by studying the decisions that are affecting your job choice or the potential to change jobs. Laurie Berenson, president of Sterling Career Concepts LLC, points out that in an ideal world, career satisfaction would be an important factor in your job search. In reality, many workers will make short-term sacrifices in order to ensure long-term career satisfaction, or on the opposite spectrum, they may make a decision based on immediate career satisfaction that is short-sighted when it comes to long-term career goals. Berenson states, “It’s important to balance both perspectives- be satisfied with what you are doing today, and be satisfied with where you are heading tomorrow.” In order to find your satisfaction, determine what you like to do and what you are good at. Understanding the elements of a career that you’d like can help you make it a reality in your current job and provide a clear outline for jobs to consider moving forward.

Dealing with dissatisfaction:

If you have found yourself in a situation in which there is a disconnect between your satisfaction and your work, then the first step to improving your situation is to understand why. Dr. Paula Thompson suggests, “If you are unhappy at your current job or career, begin by reflecting on the reasons behind your dissatisfaction.” Thompson suggests focusing on three areas in order to determine the kind of work that might be more satisfying: your strengths, your skills and your experiences.

Everyone varies in his or her definition of the perfect job. In order to find job satisfaction and a happy work/life balance, determine what is most important to you and how you should implement it into your career. 

Men’s Facial Width Provides Indicator for Success

While most people are aware of the correlation between good looks and success in life, new research has recently found that a man’s face shape can play a large part in their career success. A new study from researchers at the University of California, Riverside, London Business School and Columbia University found that men with wider faces negotiated signing bonuses that were approximately $2,200 larger than their narrow-faced peers.

The study paired 60 male students and had them negotiate for a hypothetical signing bonus, with one student acting as a mock recruiter and the other as the newly signed employee. The study, published online in The Leadership Quarterly found that wide-faced men negotiated bonuses that were $2,200 larger on average. Additionally, researchers had 46 MBA students negotiate the sale of a hypothetical piece of real estate. During the second experiment, those with wider faces negotiated significantly higher sale prices when on the seller’s side and significantly lower prices when acting as the buyer.

The study isn’t the first time that researchers have studied the correlation between success and the width of a person’s face. In 2011, the UC Riverside researchers looked at the width-to-height ratio of the faces of Fortune 500 CEOs and determined that CEOs with wider faces generally oversaw stronger financial performance at companies.

According to Michael Haselhuhn, an assistant professor of management at UC Riverside and a coauthor of the facial-width studies, larger facial width-to-height ratios are generally associated with increased levels of testosterone in men. He goes on to point out that higher testosterone levels can make men feel more powerful and dominant.

The researchers also found that men with wider faces performed worse than narrow-faced men when collaborating with others or compromise were key to closing a deal. 

Recovering from Workplace Missteps

Mistakes are made by everyone, with no exceptions for any level of superiority. Unfortunately, even if you have a higher status or greater responsibilities, you aren’t exempt from making a mistake. Additionally, when you are in a managerial position, your missteps may reap more attention and have higher consequences than if a junior employee did something similar. It’s important to know how to recover from a mistake quickly and move on. Below are a few examples of managerial errors and some tips for making a comeback:

You’re a micromanager

A good leader knows the difference between managing and micromanaging. Employees want supervisors to trust them to make decisions and work independently. When you watch over your employees’ every move like a vulture, they feel as if you’re just waiting for them to make a mistake. This time of environment can actually experience lower productivity, morale and job satisfaction.

If your own boss has asked you to stop micromanaging, what do you do next? It may be difficult, but the first step in recovering from this mistake and regaining workers’ trust is to acknowledge your shortcomings. Tell your peers you’ve been squandering their time and talents with your micromanagement and that things will be different from now on.

Follow through with your word. Give the decision making power and let it go. Most important, ask them to hold you accountable just in case you slip back into old habits.

You didn’t give good instructions

When employees receive little direction or the wrong information, they can take the project down an unexpected path. Nobody wants to have to redo a project because they were given vague or confusing guidelines. And misdirection may make the employees feel like they’re being set up for failure.

If you’re guilty of giving out bad directions, you owe your team an apology. Express remorse for not explaining the assignment better, and then make sure that they’re clear on exactly everything that needs to be done in the near future. Avoid situations like this by giving detailed and clear instructions, asking for questions and comments, and checking in periodically to make sure nobody is heading into the deep end.

You really stepped on it

The press loves writing about exclusive blunders. Whether it’s an unfortunate slip of the tongue, getting caught in a lie or using millions of company dollars, a public mistake is embarrassing and gut wrenching – and you think you’ll never get over it. While some executives are fired or asked to resign over a misstep or poor judgments, most will survive the fallout.

But how do you fully recover from a mistake, especially when it damaged the company’s reputation or cost money to fix? For one, there’s no need to fall on the sword, although one in three managers said they’ve accepted blame for something that wasn’t their fault. However, if you were the one who erred, here’s how to get back on your feet and put the mistake behind you. It won’t be easy, but it is crucial.

  1. Say you’re sorry. Apologize to your boss, shareholders, the board, the public, people who work for you – Anyone who experienced the aftermaths of your mistake.  Leave your ego aside and try not to get defensive or dodge the situation. Accept full responsibility for your actions.
  2. Fix the problem. Is there any way to undo the damage or recover the situation? If not, do whatever it takes to mitigate the impact of your mistake. For example, if you’ve made a bad hire, accept the obligation for firing the person and recruiting a replacement.
  3. Live and learn. Yes, you just made a mistake, but it’s an even larger mistake failing to learn from it. We are the sum of our experiences. Additionally, don’t let your mistake hold you back and make you afraid to take risks in the future.

Nobody wants to drop the ball on the job, but it happens. Use the experience as an opportunity for growth for yourself, your team and your organization. Knowing how to recover from a mistake means the difference between regaining people’s trust and losing their respect – or even your job. 

Brutally Honest Cover Letter Lands the Job

For new college graduates, landing a first-time job is anything but easy. Standing out from a sea of ambitious job seekers is incredibly difficult, but Matthew Ross did just that. In January 2013, fresh out of college, Ross wrote an email cover letter to a managing director at the Wall Street firm Duff & Phelps asking for an internship. His unique letter and brutally honest wording ultimately landed him the job.

In the letter, Ross informed the managing director that he “won’t waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crap about how my past experience and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking internship.” He continued by stating that he had “no qualms about fetching coffee, shining shoes, or picking up laundry.”

After sending the email, it quickly made its rounds through offices and across trading desks from New York to London, and within just a half an hour Ross was receiving calls from reporters and multiple employers who were interested in interviewing him.

A year and a half later, Ross now has the job he wanted. Currently he is a banking analyst at Duff & Phelps in Los Angeles.

When asked to provide advice for others, Ross states that you should continue to remain resilient in your job search. Though he admits he “probably got lucky that the cover letter exploded the way it did,” he continues to help others attempt to get noticed. When graduates from his alma-mater reach out to him for advice, he kindly passes their resumes along to the human resources department at Duff & Phelps. From there he hopes that they can interview and get their foot in the door, but moving on he says “It’s up to them at that point.” 

8 Cliches to Help Your Job Search

It’s easy to overlook any quote that sounds like something a relative would say or you’d see on a motivational business poster. As much as we may hate clichés, they have earned that label for a reason and chances are there is some actual truth behind those little phrases. Why else would these phrases be continuously repeated? Before you dismiss these eight overused sayings, consider how they might help and your job search. 

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side.

Can you think of anyone who seemingly has the perfect career? Remember that it’s easy to have job-envy when all you see is the social media version of someone’s work and life. Before you decide to start your job search, make sure you have a full understanding of the pros and cons of the positions that you’re preparing to apply for.

How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time. 

Whatever reasons you may have for conducting a job search, at some point you will probably become overwhelmed. It’s okay – that feeling is normal, and it can be overcome. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, and you’re not going to magically find a job overnight, no matter how feverishly you’re applying for positions. Break it down into manageable chunks and take it from there. 

You Can’t Learn to Swim Without Getting in the Water.  

It’s also difficult to land a job in a new field without knowing some people in that industry.Realistically, you can apply for jobs online all day but it won’t be nearly as effective as meeting people who know the ins and outs of the companies you want to work for. Chances are, they may know the hiring managers as well. Point is, get out there and start networking. Find industry events or conferences that need some extra hands, and get to it. 

Don’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket. 

It’s not a bad thing to know exactly what you want to be doing and where you want to be, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by limiting your job search to one or two jobs or companies. Do your research but don’t be afraid to expand your search a bit by finding other opportunities that appeal to you. Try following a few companies on LinkedIn then checking out the “People Also Viewed” section to find similar organizations you may have not considered.

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy. 

It’s easy to completely consume yourself in your job search. To maintain motivation and avoid burnout, make sure you make time for other things important to you. See your friends, keep up with your hobbies, and do things that are completely unrelated to your job search. To hiring managers, you’ll come off as a pleasant, well-rounded person rather than an exhausted strung-out job seeker. 

Opportunity Doesn’t Knock Twice. 

There are many prospects that just simply don’t respond to interview invitations by hiring managers. Don’t let this be you. Because, as they also say – you never get a second chance to make a first impression. 

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait. 

The job search process can be demanding, so mentally preparing yourself to be patient during this process from the beginning will prevent stress. If you’re really putting yourself out there the right way, your patience and persistence will pay off in time.

It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose, It’s How You Play the Game.

In going through the job search process, you learn a lot about your career goals, what’s important to you in a job and company, and how to position your goals and accomplishments in the market. In the end, no matter where your job search takes you, you’ll have more than just a new job. You will have a new perspective on yourself, your goals, and your future.

Although the cliches listed above may be overused and somewhat annoying, they can be applied to our job search and give us a new prospective on how to approach the process. Remind yourself that finding a job will take time, effort and patience, but in the end your hard work will pay off in the form of an ideal job match.

11 Power Keywords to Boost Your Resume

Recently, the job site ZipRecruiter searched through its database of over 3 million resumes to determine what recruiters like to see most in a resume. The website allows job seekers to upload their resumes, and small businesses, employers and recruiters looking for candidates to rate those resumes on a scale of one to five stars. Based on what the search uncovered, there are a list of specific “power words,” that increase the likelihood of receiving a top rating by 70%.

11 Power Keywords to Include on Your Resume:

  1. Experience
  2. Management
  3. Project
  4. Development
  5. Business
  6. Skill
  7. Professional
  8. Knowledge
  9. Year
  10. Team
  11. Leadership

Based on the report, keyword hacking has developed many uses beyond just tailoring resumes to recruiting and resume robots, that quickly skim resumes for specific words in a fast elimination process. The ZipRecruiter data suggests that humans also gravitate towards a certain set of vocabulary.

ZipRecruiter also determined that three main themes emerged from the data:

“… we found that words that implied management skills, a proactive stance towards working and problem solving skills were the most highly rated.”

Although the words listed are certainly resume boosters, avoid cramming your page full of the keywords. Recruiters are able to spot “keyword stuffing” and may be likely to believe that the layered keywords don’t actually fit your experience. Avoid having your resume discarded by using an effective balance of the power words and accurately reflecting your qualifications.

10 Ways to Boost Brain Power

Most people believe that intelligence is a fixed quantity set. In reality, how we approach situations and how to exercise our brain can help to improve our intelligence. Add these 10 habits to your daily routine in order to boost your brain power:

1. Be Smart About Time Online

You don’t have to spend every online break that you have checking your Facebook page and looking at funny memes. Instead, take advantage of the many great learning resources on the web, including online courses, TED talks, and vocabulary-building tools. Replace a few minutes of your social media time, with some time to mentally nourish your brain.

2. Write it Down

You don’t have to draft a novel, but taking a couple minutes each day to reflect in writing what you learned during the day can help to boost brainpower. Yoga teacher Caludia Azula Altucher recommends writing 400 words a day on the things that you learned.

3. Make a “Did” List

Intelligence is often related to confidence and happiness. Boost both by listing the things that you have to do, in addition to the things that you have already done. Famed VC Marc Andreessen recommends completing a “done list.” Create a list of times that you have completed that make you feel accomplished.

4. Play some scrabble

Board games and puzzles are also a great way to work out your brain. Playing games can help give your brain a necessary boost.

5. Have Smart Friends

One of the fastest ways to learn is to spend time with others who are more clever than you are. “Keep a smart company. Remember your IQ is the average of the five closest people you hang out with,” Saurabh Shah, an account manager at Symphony Teleca, writes.

6. Read a Lot

While opinions vary on what the best type of brain-boosting reading material is, everyone can agree that reading helps intelligence. Some experts suggest reading a daily newspaper, while others say a variety of fiction and nonfiction is best. In reality, quantity is what is important, so find something that you like and read a lot.

7. Explain it to Others

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough,” Albert Einstein said. To determine if you have really learned something, try teaching it to others. Student Jon Packles elaborates on this idea: “For everything you learn—big or small—stick with it for at least as long as it takes you to be able to explain it to a friend. It’s fairly easy to learn new information. Being able to retain that information and teach others is far more valuable.”

8. Do Random New Things

Even if something doesn’t seem immediately useful or productive, take the time to try brand new things. Whether it is an art class or a new sport, spend time developing your random skills and apply it in your professional life.

9. Learn a New Language

You don’t need to become a language expert, but learning the basic mechanics of a new language can help to boost intelligence. No need to jet off to a foreign country, instead practice at the comfort of your desk. There are several great, free online sites such as Livemocha or Busuu that can help teach the fundamentals.

10. Take Some Downtime

Whether it is running, reading or simply meditating, take some time for yourself each day to quietly reflect and do the things that you want to do. Investing time in yourself can help you feel more refreshed and ready to learn more moving forward. 

Adding the 10 habits listed above to your daily routine can help to boost your intelligence and improve your professional career. Invest time in exercising your brain and trying new things.