How to Decline a Job Offer (So That They Won’t Hate You)

Let’s say you’ve been offered a job but it’s lacking.   In something.  The pay isn’t enough. It’s too far to commute. (“91 freeway westbound in the morning? Are you KIDDING me!?”) Your ex-boyfriend just announced on InstaStories that he got a job there. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that the job isn’t what you thought it would be and so you’ve decided to turn it down.

But in order to get a job offer, one usually must say right out loud while shaking a hiring manager’s hand goodbye: “Thank you for this interview(s). I think I’d be a great addition to your team and I hope you will offer me the job.” Or you said as much on the phone. Or probably in your thank you letter after your interviews.

So. Turning down the job after you baldly and repeatedly said you wanted it? This is embarrassing.

No, it’s not.

People decline job offers all the time. What’s more, job offers get rescinded all the time. So, minor embarrassment aside, it’s perfectly normal to say no thank you after an offer’s been extended.

Los Angeles jobs

But. You never know: you may want to work at this company someday in the future. So be careful how you the job down: you want to do so with grace, professionally and in a way that makes the hiring manager think well of you.

Take a look below for how to do this.

  1. Don’t not show up on your first day.

Sure, you’re nervous about saying no. You also may be worried that you might be making a mistake by turning it down and so you postpone making a decision until the day you’re supposed to start. And so you don’t show up. And you don’t answer texts or calls or emails from your (could have been) new boss.

Instead, be a professional and as soon as you’re certain the job’s not for you, let the hiring manager know, preferably no later than a week before your start date. (Even better, turn it down before you even set a start date!)The absolute latest you can tell someone you’re not coming in: the day before your first day and even that is cutting it way too close.

Not showing up just shows extreme immaturity and massive inconsideration. Man- or woman-up and tell the hiring manager with days to spare.

  1. It’s best to call the hiring manager. Second best is an e-mail. Never text.

Yes, it could be a hard call to make. But the hiring manager deserves this courtesy. And you’re a professional: you definitely can do this.

Whether you call or email, follow these guidelines:

  • Thank the hiring manager for the offer. Tell her how much you appreciate her consideration of your skills and background.
  • Give a brief reason why you’re not accepting the offer/changed your mind. You don’t have to go into great detail: you’ve accepted a position at another company. After much thought, you’ve decided to stay put. You and your spouse discussed and the longer commute will just cut too much into critical family time, etc. You don’t even have to give a reason, you can just say “As wonderful as this opportunity is, unfortunately I am going to decline.” (If you say this in a phone conversation, understand the hiring manager probably ask for a reason. Have a good one handy. Again, you don’t have to go into details.)
  1. Offer a solution.

You’re not going to say “give me 20 percent more than you offered and I’m your gal!” Instead what we mean by a solution is to say you have several connections in your network who may be great for the position and you offer to talk to them about it and send their information to the hiring manager

You see, by turning the offer down, you’ve created a huge problem for your hiring manager: he has work to be done that no one’s going to do and he to go through the interview process all over again! By offering a solution you show that you understand you’ve created a problem and you want to help fix it.

This shows empathy and professionalism.

  1. Say you want to stay in touch.

The world of work is small one. Particularly within industries. There may come a time when you will want to work for this company. Or you may see the hiring manager at conferences, seminars and other professional events. If you aren’t yet connected on LinkedIn, say you will send a connection request soon (and then do so that day). Even a simple “Thank you for your time and offer and I hope we meet again,” will be enough.

Say yes to your next job offer by contacting Helpmates. We have many great job and career opportunities in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Good luck with your job search!

Top 6 Skills Employers Are Seeking in 2017

Thinking about a job change in the New Year? Here at Helpmates and across the country, dynamic, innovative companies are looking for talent to help them reach new heights in 2017.

But do you have the skills they’re seeking?

Los Angeles Jobs

With more options than ever, today’s employers are looking for certain skill sets in talent, regardless of position. The following list includes 5 of the top skills employers are seeking in the New Year:

  • Customer service. Strong customer service skills will never go out of style. And in today’s businesses, every role is essentially a customer service role. PRO TIP: Be prepared to answer questions about delivering exceptional service in your next job interview. Even better? Step it up a notch and be proactive about your focus and abilities on delivering exceptional service (to customers, or even other employees!).
  • Have a knack for building websites or helping your family through their technical challenges? It could be time to put those skills to use in your career! Many employers are now looking for tech-savvy employees in a variety of non-technical roles.
  • From inter-office memos to emails and other internal documents, you might not realize just how much writing you do in a work day! The ability to clearly and concisely convey meaning and drive action is highly desirable in just about every role — bring samples or be prepared to discuss why your business communications are effective to make a positive impression on interviewers.
  • Problem-solving. We all hit the occasional road block at work. But how we work through those challenges helps determine our strength and success as an employee. Many employers request employees who have strong problem-solving skills, for a variety of roles. To help prepare for your next interview, start thinking now about times where you were presented with a challenge and worked your way through it (and lessons you learned along the way).
  • Sure, most of us have to, well, talk, during the work day, but have you thought about your verbal skills from the perspective of an employer? Probably not, but it’s likely time to start working on your verbal skills. One of the most critical times you’ll need those skills is when you’re in an interview! Practice answering interview questions so you can accurately convey your message during interviews. But also think about how your verbal interactions affect your colleagues and bosses once you’ve landed the job. Are you accurately and clearly conveying the right message? Are you getting great results when you ask for assistance or when you deliver feedback? These are critical components of a successful career, and employers will be listening carefully to see whether your skills measure up.
  • Okay, this isn’t a skill per se, but it’s still extremely important to employers today. If you walk into an interview brimming with enthusiasm for the role and company, you will make a positive impression on interviewers. Keep the enthusiasm going in your thank you notes, second interviews and when you start the job — your new career adventure will most definitely be off to a great start!

Here at Helpmates, we work with a wide range of top employers across Southern California. We connect you with great jobs to help you advance your career and reach your goals! Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to find YOUR next great career opportunity.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

5 Career Tips to Increase Your Value at Work

Thinking about your career goals for the rest of 2016 and beyond? A helpful perspective to take as you work to impress your employer and climb the corporate ladder is continuously improve and increase your value in the workplace.career tips

Standing out to your boss for the right reasons can put you ahead of the pack when it comes to raises, promotions and recognition. But knowing just how to stand out for those reasons can be a challenge. Here are six career tips to help you increase your value at work and make a positive impact on your career:

1. Ask thoughtful questions. Knowing where your organization would like to improve or how to make your clients or customers happier can help you chart a course for improvement to impress your boss. The best way to get these details is simply by asking! In meetings and one on ones, ask insightful questions of leadership to understand the larger problems facing your organization and challenges or issues facing your customers. This is a great way to demonstrate to leadership that you are invested in the long-term success of your organization >> something many employers consider when granting promotions.

2. Think about how to make things better. Now that you’re armed with critical business information, it’s time to get to work. Take your unique perspective within your current role and use the information you’ve gained to think of ways to either solve the challenges noted above or improve upon things as they currently stand.

3. Avoid complaints (focus on solutions). To build on the second point, building a positive reputation and brainstorming ideas to help your organization are key. But conversely, complaining can help you stand out for the wrong reasons. If you are aware of new challenges or problems within your organization, share them constructively with leadership; however (and this is a big “however”), follow up your observation with a potential solution. At a minimum, share any insight you have into why the issue may be occurring and offer something to help solve the problem. Rather than succumbing to workplace gossip and complaints, you’ll be seen as a problem solver. 

4. Ask for more responsibility. Few things more directly showcase your ambition and increase your value at work than asking for more work! Now, it’s important to note that you’re not necessarily asking for a promotion. Instead, you’re asking for increased responsibility, which will of course demonstrate your ambition and increase your literal value at work. But, it will also help you learn more about your company and can also “test” out new roles with increased responsibility, in essence, testing out possible promotions down the line.

5. Help your coworkers. Be the person who is constantly offering to join committees or help out on a project. You’ll gain valuable experience, but you’ll also demonstrate that you’re a team player and are invested in your organization’s success >> not just your own.

Showing employers how much value you bring can elevate your career, but you have to find the right job before you become invested. The Talent Relationship Specialists here at Helpmates are experts at matching your background and goals with career opportunities at top employers across Southern California. Search our open jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the first step.

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Going the Extra Mile: 5 Things You Can Do at Home to Boost Your Career 

Although we may leave jobs after our shift is over, our ability to boost our careers and get to the next level continues once we get home. Spending your time going the extra mile can help you whether you’re looking to get ahead at your current job or find a new, better career opportunity.stencil-facebook-post

Are you going the extra mile to take your career to the next level? 

It doesn’t take a herculean effort to go the extra mile. Here are five things you can do at home right now to boost your career:

  1. Refresh your resume. You should update your resume at least once or twice a year. Set a reminder in your cell phone calendar if you need to – this one can make a big difference on your long-term career success. If you’re able to update it more often, even better – your most recent accomplishments will be top of mind. Get specific in your accomplishments, include numbers and details about your successes to ensure you make the best possible impression on employers. Email your updated resume to one of our Helpmates Talent Relationships Specialists for targeted feedback and input to help you ensure your resume is at its most impactful.
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in the past six months, it’s time for an update. Now you may have just updated your resume, but your LinkedIn profile should NOT simply regurgitate your resume. Instead, take those key accomplishments and updates and include them, but weave them into your personal story. Taking a personal approach to your LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the pack. And while you’re at it, ask a friend or relative to take a new headshot for your social media profiles. If your headshot is outdated, cropped from a casual picture — or if you don’t have a headshot — a simple but professional picture can help strengthen your personal brand.
  3. Get out there. Networking is an essential component of successful careers. Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, attending networking events can open up doors at new organizations and at the very least, can help you boost your speaking and presentation skills. You’ll also get more comfortable talking about your strengths and differentiators >> a skill that will come in handy the next time you’re looking for a job! Not sure what networking events are scheduled nearby? Meetup.com is an excellent resource to find networking events in most cities. Your local chamber of commerce is also a great place to call. You can always call one of the Helpmates Talent Relationship Specialists for networking event recommendations as well.
  4. Curate your social media presence. LinkedIn is just one piece of the social recruiting puzzle. Recruiters are visiting ALL your social media profiles >> are they telling the story you want them to tell? We recently posted our top 10 social media tips for job seekers, which offers a great place for you to start. Be sure to focus initially on updating your privacy settings and completing your profiles. Also, scan your past posts and any posts you’ve been “tagged” in to remove anything that could be considered unprofessional or that could make a negative impression on recruiters.
  5. Build a new skill. The internet today is buzzing with free resources to help you boost your career skills. Want a job creating websites or apps?  Codecademy offers free HTML lessons. Always wanted to be a designer? Adobe offers free Photoshop classes. Udemy is another resource that offers free career classes – not all courses here are free, but you can often find many free courses (and others that are $20 or less) to boost your skills.

Putting in some extra time at home can pay off in the long run of your career. And when you’re looking for your next great job opportunity, call Helpmates. We work with some of Southern California’s top employers in a range of industries. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

3 Signs Your Interview Isn’t Going Well (And How to Turn it Around)

You only get one shot to make a great first impression. Often times, that “one shot” with an employer is at a job interview. It’s a pretty simple formula, right? Prepare for the interview and put your best foot forward and you’re much more likely to land the job.september-blog-1

But it’s not always that easy. 

Many of us have left job interviews feeling like a million dollars, certain that we are going to receive a job offer…only to get turned down (or never hear back at all). Sometimes the reasons are out of your control; however, a strong interview is critical to increasing your chances of getting the call.

Look out for these signs your interview isn’t going well

Keeping your eyes and ears open during your job interviews can help you identify trouble and steer clear of it – potentially saving your opportunity at the job. These three signs can most often signal that an interview isn’t going well >>

  1. No one tries to sell you on the job. Today’s job market is incredibly competitive. Employers know they have to effectively sell you on their opportunity and company as much as you’re selling your skills and background! If you’re doing a solid job highlighting key parts of your background but the interviewer isn’t trying hard in return, it could mean trouble. Not sure what to look for? When interviewers start to take about company culture, growth opportunities, office technology and other job perks, it’s a good sign they’re interested.
  2. The interviewer doesn’t mention “next steps.” If you’ve ever applied for a job before, you’ve probably heard about “next steps” frequently during interviews. Those next steps could be signaled by anything from salary requirements/history, references or even scheduling follow-up interviews. Some interviewers will give you a timeline to expect follow up >> these are all good signs. If you don’t hear a peep out of your interviewer, it could mean things aren’t going well.
  3. You’re in and out of the interview quickly. Hiring for the right fit puts a huge burden on interviewers – make the wrong choice and it costs an organization significant time and money. That’s why many job interviews can take 20 to 30 minutes or more. Today’s interviewers are asking more detailed, behavioral questions than ever to gauge things like culture fit, ability to navigate challenging situations and emotional intelligence. Job interviews should rarely (if ever) be quick and easy. If you haven’t been asked any difficult or detailed questions, the interviewer might not be interested.

How to turn around a bad job interview

All’s not lost if you recognize some of the above signs that an interview isn’t going well. Keep these tips in mind to try and turn it around:

  • Be upbeat. Nerves can get the best of all of us. If an interviewer picks up on negativity or stress, it could send the wrong message and result in an interview that feels like it’s going downhill. A cheery disposition and genuine enthusiasm for a company and role go a long way toward impressing interviewers. Skills can be taught, enthusiasm and drive cannot – employers know this, so show them that you are excited for the opportunity.
  • Ask thoughtful questions. Don’t just wait until the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. This usually comes at the end of the interview and there isn’t much you can do about it at that point. Listen to what the interviewer is saying and explaining, think about questions before you answer them, then ask thoughtful follow up or probing questions yourself. Prepare some questions ahead of time, but also try to think on your feet and ask questions that demonstrate genuine interest and knowledge of the company and role.
  • Watch your body language. Nervousness really can make a big impact on the message you convey to interviewers. It’s natural to have some nerves, but be sure you’re overriding them and avoiding body language miscues like slouching, which can convey disinterest. A few other body languages “musts” include the basics like smiling, nodding and making eye contact.

Before you can ace your interview, you have to land one! Here at Helpmates, we work with top employers across Southern California. Search our available jobs or contact your nearest office to take the next step in your career.

5 Ways to Build Career Skills in Your Spare Time 

In today’s competitive landscape, you should look for every opportunity to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. Have you devoted time recently to honing your career skills to stay ahead of the competition? jobs in Los Angeles

Believe it or not, your hobbies and interests can help you boost your career and increase your chances of standing out with recruiters. In fact, these 5 hobbies can make a major impact:

  1. Indulging your creative side. Are you always creating funny memes or other images and sharing them with your friends and family? Your creative endeavors — both online and off — can help you build important critical and software skills. Even if the specific software you’re using doesn’t relate directly to a specific job, your ability to quickly learn and adapt to new software is extremely marketable to employers.
  2. Volunteering. Giving back to the community is great for your neighborhood and can even be good for your health, but it also offers benefits to your career. Many nonprofit organizations lack funding to hire full-time staff. They depend on volunteers for things like donor solicitation, administrative tasks and other mission-critical responsibilities. These types of tasks can provide excellent opportunities for you to learn new computer skills, grant writing skills and more >> earning hands-on experience with real results.
  3. Starting a Meetup. Meetup.com has become an excellent resource for clubs, professional networking groups and more to connect and unite over shared passions and interests. When you start a new group on a site like Meetup, you are not only nurturing your passion, you are demonstrating and building strong leadership skills. Promoting your group and expanding its reach will help you develop strong marketing skills. And when you present at your Meetups, you’ll hone important presentation and speaking skills that can help you in a range of industries and roles.
  4. Reading. One of the first hobbies many of us develop is also one of the most beneficial. Not only can you read books that help you learn new skills and aid in your personal development, reading any book helps improve communication skills. Focusing on business or personal development books can also give you some important leverage in job interviews. Many interviewers like to make small talk – this is partially to put you at ease, and it’s also often an assessment tool. Rather than talking about the latest TV shows you watched, talk about the latest important business book you read. That is MUCH more likely to get the attention of your recruiter and increase your chances of landing the job.
  5. Yoga. Yoga can help you avoid muscle injuries and stay flexible, but its effects can also help you at work. The focused breathing and mindfulness associated with yoga can help you better handle the daily stresses that happen at work. Most employers today are looking for a strong cultural fit. Employees who can keep their cool during stressful moments are highly desirable for employers. The next time an interviewer asks you about a time where you faced a difficult situation at work, mentioning your yoga hobby and the benefits it affords you in the office can show interviewers that you take your career seriously, inside and outside the office.

Today’s employers are looking for well-rounded individuals. Embrace your hobbies and their ability to impact your career! Here at Helpmates, we help professionals across Southern California match their skills and goals to job opportunities with some of the area’s top employers. Search our current job openings or contact your nearest Helpmates office to learn more.

Image courtesy of samarttiw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Why Career Mentors Are Essential (And How to Find One)

Research shows that professionals with mentors are happier and more successful in their careers. In fact, research shows that employees who received mentoring were promoted five times more often than people who didn’t have mentors.

In an increasingly digital world, the importance of fostering and nurturing real-world relationships cannot be underestimated. When one (or more) of those relationships centers specifically around your career and personal development, the impact can be much more profound.workplace-1245776_640

The connection between mentors and success

From billionaire entrepreneurs to celebrities and athletes, the world’s most successful people have one thing in common: they have felt the profound impact of a mentor. Why does mentoring have such a big impact on success?

  1. They help you learn from their mistakes. Mistakes will happen to most people at some stage in their careers. Successful professionals accept their mistakes, dust off and learn from them to avoid more mistakes in the future. Mentees can fast track that process and learn from the mistakes of their mentors.
  2. They provide more than any book. In today’s information age, there are plenty of career books, blogs and other resources out there (including this one). While there is plenty of value within these resources, strong mentors can help you fill in the gaps to determine how the advice or tips you’re reading fit into your specific career and goals.
  3. They help you take action. Sometimes fear of the unknown can hold you back from taking new steps and journeys in your career. It’s in those times that you need an extra kick to actually take action. Your mentor can be the accountability partner needed to keep you on track and working toward your goals (rather than just talking about them).

Finding the right mentors is key

Reaping the benefits of mentorship requires the right relationship. Finding the right mentors, though, can seem like a daunting challenge to some professionals. Although you may be tempted, don’t ask a stranger to fill that role for you. Perhaps you’ve identified a successful individual in your field who you believe could teach you a significant amount. That’s great! But if you haven’t previously established a relationship with that person, now is not the time to ask. Try these tips instead:

  • Partner with a nonprofit. There are organizations across the country dedicated to helping professionals find mentors. Depending on your specific industry, you may even be able to find an organization that works solely within your specialty. Google “[your city] + mentors” to see what opportunities might exist in your specific area.
  • Get involved. Local chambers of commerce and other professional networking groups offer an excellent opportunity to meet new people. The relationships you build can naturally evolve into mentorship relationships down the road.
  • Don’t be too narrow. Careers are not limited to just one mentor. You may find mentors who help you grow in a variety of capacities (eg. leadership, sales, communication). There are a range of individuals who have skills that can help you, don’t rest on your laurels after you’ve identified one person who can help you.

Here at Helpmates, our recruiters serve as a career partner to help you reach your goals. We can help you find your next great job. Search our jobs in Southern California now or contact your nearest Helpmates office to get started.

All the News That’s Fit to Know

Industry news can give your career a boost115020861

Keeping up with the news in your profession can be complicated and overwhelming, especially in a specialized industry. In fact, monitoring the latest trends and big names may seem like more work than it’s worth—but it could be the key to spotting and securing your next position. By staying on top of your game, and everyone else’s, you’ll prove yourself as the most in-the-know candidate.

Be prepared for interviews

Interviews are an opportunity for recruiters and hiring managers to get to know potential new hires, and to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses to determine whether they’ll be assets to the company. Questions about current industry trends can clue in an interviewer to how dedicated you are to your field—whether you’re truly involved, or just skating by. By answering with knowledge and insight, you’ll portray yourself as a noteworthy candidate and put yourself ahead of the competition.

Capitalize on opportunities

By keeping up with trends and company activities, you’ll be among the first to learn about new opportunities in your field. A regular follower of industry news knows the signs of emerging trends, and is often one of the first to discover job openings and niche areas for expansion. It pays off throughout your career, as well—you’ll be better connected to customer needs and industry changes. Not only will you reflect this in an interview, but you’ll also bring the knowledge into your everyday work.

Stay socially connected

Most savvy job seekers have professional social profiles. Just having the social media presence isn’t enough. To be truly plugged in—and really know your stuff and impress employers—take it a step further and use your profiles to comment on industry news, share your work-related accomplishments, and network with others in your profession. Hiring managers will notice your involvement and, more importantly, will notice if it’s lacking.

How to get there

Keeping up with industry news isn’t helpful unless you can parse through all the information to glean the important pieces. Gather the big-name blogs and useful websites together in an RSS feed for clean, convenient access. Social networks provide an easy way to follow thought leaders and industry bigwigs, keeping you aware of industry trends as well as business practices and attitudes in general. Offline, attend networking events and build contacts with fellow professionals. What you learn face-to-face can be just as valuable as online info, and connections are still very vital to success.

The more you know

From quickly picking up on career opportunities to winning over interviewers to advancing your career, industry news can be your ticket to a thriving work life. Read, post, and network your way to the top of your field.

Helpmates has been ranked among the top 1% of staffing companies nationwide by our candidates and employees.  Contact Helpmates Certified Staffing Professionals today, to learn how they can help develop your job search strategy.

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