What To Wear To An Interview

With the new year just around the corner, your job search should be on its way to success! The best way to proceed is to get prepared for your new year interviews. You can do this by researching the company and getting answers ready for some questions about you. For other advice on preparation, look at our first impressions blog. The next best thing is to find an interview outfit. Here are some things to consider when deciding on your look:

Do some research
Look online to see if there are any pictures from an office function to get a look at some possibilities. You can also get a cup of coffee close to the office and check out the attire from there. If you are still lost, you can ask the local professional organization and ask what they would suggest. The best way to ensure you are a good fit at the company is to look like you belong. Dressing similarly to others in the office is a safe and calculated decision.

Choose a solid color
Patterns can be distracting. A better choice is a clean, solid color. This usually looks more flattering on the professional and does not distract. Using a solid color shirt and neutral pants is a very classic look that adds a little personality. Never go too bright with the color choice, but something other than black is preferable.

Try the sit down test
Before going to your interview, try your outfit on the night before. Sit down and make sure everything is tailored appropriately. Make sure the outfit looks modest when sitting or standing. Also, be sure that your accessories add to the outfit. Pick one statement piece and make sure the other jewelry is understated, as not to look too gaudy and distract the interviewer.

We hope these tips help you find your perfect outfit. For more help in finding a position or more tips on job searching and interviewing take a look at our Pinterest boards.

The Value of Honesty in the Job Search

In a tough job market, the temptation to stretch the truth in your application materials can be enormous. This temptation has hit headlines in the form of Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson’s computer science degree from Stonehill College, who confirmed that Thompson only earned an accounting degree during his time there.

It’s true that busy human resources staffers and even busier business owners may not have time to fact-check your resume and chit-chat with your every reference. However, you never know when one might take the time or which piece of information they will check, and that alone is enough reason for most people to stay honest in their resume and professional profiles online.

There is another good reason not to lie on your resume, and that is simply that you may wind up in a situation where you suddenly need to have knowledge that you don’t have. There are wild tales of people who faked being doctors or pilots for years (or both, in the case of con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr.), but these stories are few because most people get caught.

And finally, the best reason to be honest in your job search: a lie may get you in for the short run, but people appreciate honesty in the long run. Rather than pretending to have skills which you don’t have, turn yourself into an eager learner. Many companies would rather have an employee who can and wants to learn five skills than an employee who sticks stubbornly to one.

Honesty, integrity, and reliability are golden values in an employee. Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn how to project these values in your job search!

Networking in the Insurance Industry

It’s not true that everything is about who you know, but knowing people who can vouch for you certainly helps in the world of job searching. Networking isn’t always easy, however, and since we’ve been talking about jobs in the insurance industry we thought we’d spotlight some opportunities to network within that industry. We’re based in Corpus Christi, Texas, so these resources are either local to that area, or based online.

Insurance Professionals group on LinkedIn
With over 63,000 members, you’re sure to find people who can help you on your way to a job in insurance in this group! LinkedIn designates it “Very Active” so be wary about sending auto-updates to your inbox— but there will almost always be someone around to chat with.

Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce
Business owners and workers of all type attend the various events at the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. Be sure to bring your business cards!

Insurance Networking News
In addition to blogs that you can comment on to meet and discuss with others, this site offers information on a variety of online and offline seminars and meetups.

Insurance Campus
This basic social network allows insurance industry professionals to connect easily online. Check it out!

And remember, you can always count on The Wilson Group to keep you in touch with the insurance industry as well. Check out our job listings or contact us directly today!

There’s More to Insurance than Sales

When people think of the insurance industry they often think of insurance sales and claims adjusters. Both of these are important positions, but there’s a great deal more to the insurance industry than these two positions! Here are some examples:

Administration
Like most industries, insurance relies heavily on administrative staff to keep their businesses running smoothly. This can include everything from answering phones to data entry and more. Administrative experience is helpful, especially if it’s an industry that is relevant to the insurance company such as healthcare, auto, etc.

Account Management
Some insurance companies work primarily with consumers, such as auto, homeowners, and some health insurance firms. However, the bulk of insurance companies work with other businesses: employers, law firms, etc. In these cases an account manager serves as the primary contact between their insurance company and a particular client, processing enrollments and generally facilitating communication between the two companies. This position generally requires an undergraduate degree and/or relevant experience.

Underwriter
An underwriter determines risk and reward for each insurance holder. That is to say, they determine how much coverage the holder should receive, and how much they should pay for it. Like account management, an underwriter usually has a bachelor’s degree or significant relevant experience. To advance in the insurance industry ranks, an underwriter will generally acquire a Direct Endorsement (DE) or other certification.

Are you interested in working in the insurance industry? Be sure to contact us today!

Breaking In to the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is seeing a major boom in the United States, and if you’re looking for a new career, you shouldn’t overlook the possibility of breaking into it! With the boom come some very large paychecks, as well as great experience in a career that you can grow in.

There are a lot of jobs out there, and many of them are entry level or can be entered from another field! Here are a few to consider:

Field Workers
If you like getting out and working with your hands, this is the way to go for you. No college degree is required, though it helps to be certified in CPR and industry-related skills such as driving an ATV, confined space entry, drilling, team management, and other abilities. An understanding of heavy equipment is also helpful, so if you’ve worked in construction or other labor-intensive jobs, this might be a great fit for you.

Operators
These jobs involve managing the various equipment involved in oil and gas acquisition. They form the backbone of oil drilling and there are more of these jobs than any other in the industry! As such there are a wide variety of opportunities which you can acquire with or without a college degree (if you’re still picking your major, go with chemical or mechanical engineering). This position may fit someone who’s worked with high-tech machinery before, such as operators from manufacturing fields.

Admin/Clerical
Every business needs administrative staff to help keep things running, and oil is no exception! If you have administrative or clerical experience from another field, consider making a move into this industry for a pay bump. If you’d like to hop above some of your competitor candidates, consider getting certified in skills related to administrator or the petroleum industry specifically.

While many of these jobs don’t require a post-secondary education, it never hurts! If you’re not sure about these careers or want career coaching to evaluate your ability to get into the industry, please come visit us in Corpus Christi, Texas!

 

Image © Ed Schipul

 

Meet the Match-Maker: We Are The Wilson Group

Hiring in the oil and gas industries is complex. There are many fine staffing agencies out there, but if they don’t have experience in the industry, they have a much harder time finding the best candidate for each position. As a result, they may push forward the wrong candidate, or be unwilling to wait for the right one.

At The Wilson Group, we have many years of experience staffing in this particular industry, and we are experts who hire up and down the ladder from executives to engineers to administrative assistants. This is just one of the many advantages that we offer as a company to both candidates interested in oil and gas, and to the employers working in that industry. Here are some of the others:

Our motto is “the perfect match every time,” and we mean it. We are tenacious, award-winning staffing and recruiting professionals who take our work seriously to ensure that our client companies are happy with their candidates and vice-versa, and not just in the short run but in the long term. Our success stories are full of people who found not just a job but a happy employer-employee relationship thanks to our efforts. We don’t take those kinds of relationships lightly!

We know the oil and gas industries. We have been working with them for years and are based right in the heart of Corpus Christi, where the Eagle Ford Shale continues to bring funds and strong, secure jobs. We are an active part of our community as well, both because we love and care about our home here and to ensure that we always know who’s around in town and needs a new job or employee!

If you have an opening, or may have one soon, please contact us at 361.883.3535 or via our website. We can help you build your business with a strong, devoted, and happy workforce. And remember: we provide you the perfect match…every time!

Corpus Christi’s Snail Mail to be Processed in San Antonio – Will It Affect You?

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Last week we learned that the Corpus Christi mail processing facility is going to be consolidated into San Antonio’s, part of a major endeavor on behave of the U.S. Postal Service to cut costs quick. In fact, the CC sorting facility is one of 223 slated for closure throughout the U.S.— of a total 461. Yes, very nearly half of our mail sorting facilities are closing.

It’s unclear what this will mean for Corpus Christi’s businesses. Part of the reason for the post office’s situation is that the sheer volume of mail being sent out, both by individuals and by businesses, has declined steadily as people have adopted email and cloud computing. The change may not affect you or your business at all…but on the other hand, it might, so now would be a good time to start preparing.

First and foremost, if you’re not already using your email for general correspondence, start! We’re not saying to stop penning hand-written notes to your pen-pal, but if you or someone you know is sending event invitations or resumes out by snail mail, now would be a good time to go electronic.

The second step is to start minimizing the number of documents you have to send or receive in the mail. Paperless billing is a great tool offered by many service providers, like your cell phone or cable company, and it saves paper and trees, too. If you find yourself sending a lot of documents or large files by mail, be aware that there are a wide variety of options for sharing these files online now. Consider using a service like DropBox to share large files (such as video or high-resolution images) with clients, coworkers, or family members. For smaller documents, like a resume or a contract, most email services will let you send attachments as large as 10 or 20 megabytes. If yours doesn’t, consider setting up an account with Yahoo!, Gmail, or another service, at least for sending these kinds of files.

The digital world is changing an awful lot of things about the analog world, and in a hurry. It’s no surprise that the U.S. postal service is having to downsize. Expected or not, though, it’s a shame to see people losing their jobs. If you or someone you know is among those, feel free to send them here to upload their resume!

Photo © Jon Parise

Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs’ FBI File

Steve Jobs' FBI File Teaches Job Seekers a Lesson
The FBI’s file about Steve Jobs, compiled in 1991 when he was being considered for George H.W. Bush’s Export Council, offers a great lesson on being prepared for your employer’s scrutiny. In the file, Jobs’ use of recreational drugs during his youth was revealed, and although people who worked with him spoke highly of his intelligence and abilities, he was also called manipulative and stubborn, especially when he didn’t get his way. In this case, the “employer”— the government —hired Jobs anyway, but in many situations that kind of information would leave your resume in the trash can.

Of course most of the people you send applications to won’t be able to conduct such thorough background checks and interviews…but they also don’t need to. They may already have direct access to you and your history, thanks to your participation in social media.

Whether you’re just starting a job search or are in the middle of one, you should take some time as soon as possible to look over all of your social media profiles. Look at every tweet, every status update, every photo, and ask yourself: “Would I have said this in front of or shown this to my toughest boss?” If the answer is no, get rid of it, either by deleting it or marking it private.

This is especially important on Facebook as the company gets ready to roll out Timeline, forcing every user to adopt the new standard. Here are a few tips:

First, check and see what your profile looks like to the general public (people who have no relation to you), how it looks to a friend, and how it looks to a “friend of a friend.” You can do this easily by going to your profile and clicking the “View As…” button in the upper-right corner, below the menu bar. Make sure you know what a potential employer can see— and what they can see if they ask you to friend them. (They might!)

A second helpful tip: if you go into your privacy settings, you can set what your posts default to in terms of privacy. You will probably want them to go “Friends Only” by default, but if you have divided your friends into Lists on the site, you can specify the individuals who you would like to have see every post.

Also on the privacy settings page is an option called “Limit the Audience for Past Posts.” To the right of this option you’ll see a link that says “Manage Past Post Visibility.” By clicking this link, you can automatically set all of your past posts to be viewable only to friends.

In today’s job market, you need to remove every possible disadvantage…and certain kinds of social media posts can be just that.

Above image © Ben Stanfield

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