Need a Resume Refresh or LinkedIn Look-over? 'Maven Makeover' Has You Covered!

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On November 9th, our latest Admins on the Rise event, Maven Makeover, will offer one-on-one counseling to make your resume more impactful and your LinkedIn profile stand out!

Sit down with recruiters for real-time, individualized resume and profile advice, get camera-ready with a touch up from a professional make-up artist, and then take updated, professional headshots - all while networking with fellow admins and HR professionals and enjoying some fall-friendly treats and refreshments. 

Click HERE for more information. Space is limited, so RSVP TODAY!

The Top 3 Things Hiring Managers Look for in Recent Grads

It’s OK that you didn’t intern at Facebook last summer.

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-By Jaclyn Westlake, Founder of The Job Hop

College was pretty great, right? As a recent grad, we’re sure you’re already looking back on all those marathon study sessions, late-night pizza deliveries, unforgettable nights out, and torturous group projects with some serious nostalgia. You had a great run, but now that graduation has come and gone, new adventures, opportunities, and experiences await, and it’s time to start looking for your first job.

Looking for an entry-level job right out of college may feel a bit daunting, especially if you don’t have much (or any) actual work experience yet. But finding an awesome job won’t be quite as hard as it sounds if you have the right strategy. Sure, internships at flashy companies, a stellar GPA, and a diverse array of extracurricular activities will help, but the one key thing hiring managers are really looking for in recent grads is potential. “Recent graduates can convey their potential by being well-prepared for interviews, researching the company in advance, and showing up to interviews with their act together,” says Maven Recruiting Group Founder and CEO Jessica Vann. “Having great follow-through, taking the process seriously, and showing humility will take you far.”

So how exactly do you go about conveying your unique potential? We’re glad you asked.

#1 Show Your Motivation

Employers want to hire candidates who are genuinely excited about the job they’re applying for and eager to succeed. To prove your potential with a great first impression, spend some time writing a cover letter, application email, LinkedIn message or resume summary that specifically addresses why you want to work for the company you’re applying to and why you want this particular job.

Interviews present another great opportunity for demonstrating your eagerness to succeed. Be sure to show up on time (as in 5 – 10 minutes early), looking sharp, and ready to answer telling questions like, “why do you want to work here?” “What interests you most about this job?” “What are your short and long-term goals?” And be sure to follow-up with a thank you note ASAP!

 #2 Demonstrate Your Resourcefulness

As an entry-level professional with little or no experience, you’re not going to know how to do everything (and no one expects you to!). But what your future boss will expect is that you’ll ask tons of questions and be resourceful in your own search for answers.

Demonstrating your resourcefulness throughout the hiring process is easier than you might think. Start by tracking down the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile and sending her a quick message to introduce yourself, or wow your interviewer with your knowledge about the company, its mission, or recent press. Digging deep and going beyond a basic Google search is sure to impress.

As you create your resume or prepare for an interview, brainstorm examples of your resourcefulness. Were you ever given a project with limited instructions? How did you handle it? Be prepared to share in detail how you have been resourceful with specific examples!

#3 Convey Your Ability (and Desire) to Learn Quickly

Your first year on the job is basically your fifth (or sixth – no judgment) year of college. There’s going to be a lot to learn, and the faster you pick things up, the better.

You learned a lot in college; don’t forget or devalue all you accomplished! Be strategic about what you include on your resume by highlighting any projects or presentations you worked on, new tasks or concepts you learned, or skills you developed. As you prepare for interviews, brainstorm a compelling story about a time you found yourself in a new situation and had to learn quickly. How did you do it? Don’t underestimate the power of confidence in how you convey what you can bring to the job: your interview is the perfect time to brag, with humility, about what you have achieved thus far!  

Asking thoughtful questions is a tried and true way to convey your desire to learn. Even better? Ask questions that imply your interest in longevity, like “What can a person do to be successful in this job?” or “What are some of the metrics for judging success, and how can someone ramp up quickly in this role?”

 

Whether your first job search lands you right here in San Francisco, or on the other side of the world (how cool would that be?), remember your ability to demonstrate your potential will be the secret sauce to your success. Hiring managers will be way more interested in your motivation, resourcefulness, and ability to learn quickly than in your lack of real world experience, so be ready to dazzle your future boss with concrete examples of those very skills.

Cheers to new adventures and the beginning of a long, successful career!

9 Questions to Ask Yourself After Getting Rejected for a Job

We’ll get through this together.

-by Jaclyn Westlake, Founder of The Job Hop

There’s no way around it: getting rejected from a job is the absolute worst. Whether you made it to the final round of interviews or never heard a peep from the recruiter, you’re probably struggling to figure out what the heck went wrong.

Losing out on a job you were really excited about is a total bummer, but it could also be a golden opportunity for growth. Taking time to reflect on where things might have gone wrong will undoubtedly make you a better, more confident job seeker and interviewer.

Ready for a little honest self-reflection? We’ve rounded up seven probing questions that’ll help you get started.

#1 Was I Actually Prepared?

This’ll look different at every stage of an interview process. If you weren’t granted so much as a phone interview, you’ll want to take a long, hard look at your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and networking strategy. Is your resume customized and error-free? Do all your public profiles and portfolios accurately reflect your most relevant qualifications, and are they consistent with each other? There’s nothing more confusing or discouraging to a hiring manager than to see a candidate position themselves differently in a resume and online – what’s the truth, they’ll wonder? Did you take the time to craft an engaging follow-up e-mail when you tracked down the recruiter’s contact information? Did you even find out the name of the hiring manager?

If you were able to score an interview (yay, you!) but didn’t land an offer, you’ll want to reflect on your preparation for any phone calls or in-person meetings you participated in. Did you provide compelling, well-thought-out responses to your interviewer’s questions? Did you prepare thoughtful follow-up questions? Were you 110% ready to chat about how beautifully your skills and experience match up with the opportunity?

#2 Was I Realistic?  

It’s entirely possible that there may have been a gap between your expectations and the reality of the position. Sure, it’s great to apply for jobs that’ll challenge your abilities, and you should absolutely do your homework on competitive salary rates, but is it possible you weren’t totally reasonable?

Did you ask for way too much money? Only want to work from home? Need four weeks of vacation within a month of your start date? Were you actually qualified for this job?

#3 Did I Really Understand the Role?

It’s obviously not possible to know the role you’re interviewing for inside and out (that’s why you interview, duh) but cultivating an in-depth understanding of the job description will help you to ask compelling questions and enable you to highlight your most relevant transferable skills.

Were you able to speak to how you can make a tangible impact? Did you understand what would be required of you? Did you make a point of highlighting your most relevant experience?

#4 Was I Legitimately Excited About the Company?

Recruiters and hiring managers love to find candidates who really get their company. Demonstrating a genuine enthusiasm for the organization or its mission will score you some serious brownie points.

Did you research the company, the CEO, and your future boss? Were you able to articulate why you wanted to work for this particular organization? Did you expand on why the mission resonates so strongly with you?

#5 Did I Present Myself Appropriately?

There’s a reason some anonymous job search genius said that you should dress for the job you want; that trick actually works! Look, we aren’t saying you need to get a blowout and a brand new outfit every time you interview (although if you do, we’re sure you look fierce), but you should take the time to research the dress code prior to every interview. Showing up in an outfit you look and feel great in will give you a serious confidence boost and help your prospective manager envision you in the role. Looking sharp can go a long way.

So, did you take the time to scope out your prospective employer’s typical employee attire? Did you set aside enough time to get yourself ready and show up on time feeling confident and unrushed? If you don’t feel like your interview presentation game is on point, consider treating yourself to a new outfit, shop a friend’s closet for something more appropriate, or ask your bestie to help you figure out what to wear next time.

#6 Did I Even Want This Job?

Be honest: did you phone it in because you didn’t really want this job? Were you wary about the commute? Lukewarm on the hiring manager? Feeling a little meh about the industry? It’s possible that the hiring team picked up on your uncertainty.

If you just weren’t that into the role, it’s pretty likely that your lack of genuine interest hurt your chances of landing an offer. And for good reason! Why would a hiring manager want to bring a lackluster candidate onboard?

#7 Was I Clear About My Intentions?

If you really wanted the job, did you put it out there? Don’t leave your prospective employer guessing when it comes to your interest in an opportunity – tell her in no uncertain terms that you’d love to move forward. It’s as simple as saying, “After learning more about this role and your team, I’m even more interested in this opportunity and would be eager to move forward in the process. What are the next steps?”

If a hiring manager is deciding between two equally awesome candidates, chances are she’s going to go with the one who asked for the job and demonstrated a genuine enthusiasm for the role. Make sure that candidate is you!

#8 Would I Hire Me?

In light of these questions, did you truly feel that you put your best foot forward? If the answer is yes, great! Maybe this one just wasn’t meant to be. But if upon further reflection you know you could do better, that’s OK, too. Now you know what you’d like to do differently and can take steps to prevent the same mistakes moving forward.

#9 Now What?

Getting rejected – regardless of the reason – is the worst, but now that you’ve taken the time to reflect on where things may have gone wrong you can take action on the areas you want to improve. Does your resume need some updating? Get to work! Do you need to get more proactive about researching the company or understanding the role? No sweat – just build in some study time before your next interview. Are you feeling a little shaky about your interview skills? Ask a trusted friend or colleague to run through some commonly asked interview questions with you!

 

No matter what your answers to these questions are, don’t be too hard on yourself. Finding the right job is no easy task – it can be a grueling process, and it’ll probably take some time. We know the right job is out there, waiting for you to find it. But in the meantime, why not leverage the experiences you encounter along the way to become an all-star candidate?

You’ll get ‘em next time. You’ve got this.

How to Keep Cool During a Summer Job Search

Guys, this one involves cocktails.

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-by Jaclyn Westlake, Founder of The Job Hop

Isn’t summer the best? Seriously, what’s not to love about the smell of sunscreen, packed social schedules, frosty beverages, and your boss taking that three-week long vacay? Ah, this season really is the coolest.

Except for that whole summer job search thing. We have to admit, it’s super tempting to put your search on hold until fall rolls in. Plus, no one’s really hiring right now anyway, right?

We know it can be challenging to stay motivated this time of year, but summer is more than just sun tans and BBQs – it’s actually a great time of year to find a new job! (And we happen to know of more than a few awesome companies that are hiring right now). Here are six great ways to heat up your summer job search without breaking a sweat.

#1 Take it Outside

Isn’t everything more fun in the sun? Whether you’re freshening up your resume by the pool or running through interview questions with your besties at the park, there’s no rule that says you can’t stay on top of your job search while enjoying the awesome summer weather. So, grab your laptop and head to your favorite beach for some outdoor job hunting – just don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and a Wi-Fi hotspot!

#2 Network Poolside

Make the most of your jam-packed summer schedule by chatting up fellow BBQ guests or poolside sun worshippers about your career ambitions – you never know who you’ll run into (or who they’re connected to)! Don’t be shy about revealing that you’re in the market for a new job, asking if they know of anybody who is looking for someone with your dazzling skill set, or mentioning that you’d love to get an in at [insert dream employer here].

And of course, all the usual networking rules apply – keep it professional and don’t forget to follow-up with everyone you meet on LinkedIn or via email. Growing your circle at summery social gatherings can be fun, but it’s still work!

#3 Take Advantage of Your Competition’s Out of Office Time

Sure, hiring may slow down a bit over the summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to! While your competition sips piña coladas on some remote beach, you can be making moves. Get proactive about following-up with recruiters or jumping on fresh job postings as soon as they go live. With fewer job seekers actively searching over the summer, your fabulous resume or tailored introductory LinkedIn connection request has even more of a chance to stand out from the crowd.

#4 Use Your Vacay Experience to Stand Out

Did you just get back from a life-changing trip or do a little volunteer work while you were away? Make your resume or cover letter stands out by incorporating your recent experience. You can start your cover letter with something fun or attention-grabbing, like “Backpacking across South America was exciting, but that was nothing compared to the thrill I get every time I finish creating a new spreadsheet!”

Your travel experience and philanthropic endeavors also make great talking points during an interview. These experiences can serve to illustrate a time you overcame a challenge (like being alone in a foreign country where you didn’t speak the language), saw things from a different perspective or adapted to a radically different environment.

#5 Get Super Organized

All of that outdoorsy job searching and poolside networking will inevitably start to pay off – so make sure you’re ready! Get your resume in tip-top shape, practice your answers to challenging interview questions, or work on putting together the perfect interview outfit. Having your act together will make responding to a last-minute meeting request a breeze. Need some extra help getting prepped? Jessica’s got you covered.

If you’re feeling a little unmotivated, try creating a job search schedule for yourself. Carve out a couple of hours a week to browse job boards, draft networking emails, or practice your elevator pitch. Being consistent about your job search and networking strategy will not only help you to be more productive, but it’ll likely generate more results.

#6 Reward Yourself

Summer is supposed to be fun, so don’t get too wrapped up in your job search. It’s OK to take a break and treat yourself, too. Try creating a fun reward system, like granting yourself an hour by the pool for every five applications you submit or networking emails you send. Better yet, whip up a refreshing Maven Mojito to celebrate landing an interview or finally getting your resume up to date.

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The Maven Mojito

(Enjoy responsibly)

Ingredients:
1 large pitcher
1 bunch mint (and a few sprigs for garnish)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 lime, quartered
½ jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 C watermelon, cubed (plus extra for garnish)
1 C white rum
2 cans Lime LaCroix
Plenty of ice!

Strip mint leaves from stems and toss into the bottom of the pitcher. Add 2 Tbsp sugar and the diced jalapeño. Squeeze juice from all lime quarters, then muddle lime quarters, juice, jalapeño, mint, and sugar together in the pitcher. Add 1 C watermelon and continue to muddle until well mixed. Add ice and 1 C watermelon in layers to the top of the pitcher. In a blender, add remaining C of watermelon cubes and ½ can LaCroix; blend until liquid. Pour rum, watermelon liquid, and remaining LaCroix to pitcher in that order. Stir slightly to combine. To serve, pour Maven Mojito over full cup of ice and garnish with mint sprigs and watermelon cubes. Serves up to 8 … or a very happy 4!

 


Just because we’re in the midst of the lazy days of summer doesn’t mean you should slack off on your job search. Summer can actually be a great time of year to land your next job – and have a little fun in the process! All it takes is a little creativity (pool + interview prep + Maven Mojitos = new gig) and a commitment to stay on track, and you’ll cruise into fall with a shiny new job to go along with that tan.

How to Have “The Talk” with Your Boss

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We can't promise it won’t be awkward, but taking these steps should make your exit a lot easier.

-by Jaclyn Westlake, Founder of The Job Hop

Getting a new job is super exciting. Telling your boss about said new job? Not so much. Whether you’re desperately sad at the thought of leaving your awesome manager or can’t wait to never see your nightmare of a supervisor again, chances are, you’re going to have some serious anxiety about giving notice. Being nervous about quitting is totally normal, but if you take the time to prepare in advance, you’ll be just fine.

Since we’re pretty sure you might be feeling overwhelmed by this whole giving notice thing, we’ve broken down the right way to have “the talk” with your boss into six simple steps.

1)      Plan your Talking Points

You can’t just breeze into your manager’s office and blurt out, “I quit.” (Although, if you really can’t stand your job, that might feel pretty cathartic). If you’re serious about making this conversation as comfortable as possible, you’ll need to figure out what you want to say ahead of time.

To start, you may want to thank your boss for the opportunity, express your gratitude for everything she’s taught you, or share how much you’ve enjoyed working with her. If you don’t have a good relationship with your manager, you can breeze over this part with a simple “I’ve really appreciated my time here, but…” Next, think about sharing some insight into why you’ve decided to move on. Were you ready for a new challenge? A shorter commute? A total career pivot? And lastly, your boss will probably be curious about your new role, so you should decide how much (if anything) you’re willing to share.

2)      Prep Your Exit Plan

Finding out that a valued employee is leaving will probably leave your boss feeling a little stressed. Not only will he need to figure out how to cover your workload once you move on, but he’s also going to have to start looking for your replacement. Make your manager’s life (and yours!) easier by preparing an exit plan in advance.

Dedicate some time to thinking about which projects you can wrap up, what needs to be handed off, and when you’d like your last day to be (two weeks from the day you give notice is ideal). Try to be realistic about what you can actually accomplish so that you can effectively manage your boss’s expectations.

3)      Time it Right

When the big day arrives, don’t just pop into your manager’s office to break the news. Request a meeting in advance at a time that’ll work for both of you and follow up with a calendar invite. Getting a meeting request like this may raise your boss’s suspicions, but it’s better than blindsiding her, and she’ll likely appreciate your professionalism.

4)      Drop the Hammer (You Know, in a Nice Way)

In other words, get to the point. Here’s what it looks like.

“Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today. I want to start by telling you how much I’ve enjoyed working with you and that I’ve really appreciated my time here. But, after three great years, I feel ready to move on. It was a hard decision, but I’ve chosen to accept a new position. So, I’d like to formally give you my two weeks’ notice.”

Not so bad, right? Just be prepared for any variety of reactions. Your boss may be incredibly supportive, seem completely indifferent, or totally freak out. And that’s OK. Try to remember that his reaction isn’t about you; everyone responds differently depending on their personality, management style, maturity level, or the amount of stress they’re under. Keep your cool and stick to your talking points.

Only you can decide how honest you really want to be about your reasons for leaving, and providing candid feedback about your role, the company, or your manager’s leadership style can be really helpful in making future employees’ experiences better. That said, it’s a tricky road to navigate. Regardless of what you decide, try to avoid accusatory statements (“you never appreciated how great I was at calendaring!”) or feedback that’s less than constructive (“I hate it here”). The goal is to have a positive, straightforward conversation.

5)      Re-focus the Conversation

Once you’ve delivered the big news, it’s best to steer the conversation toward what comes next. Start by saying something like, “I want to do everything I can to make this transition as seamless as possible. Can we discuss what that would look like? I have some ideas I’d like to share if you’re ready.”

Demonstrating your commitment to a smooth transition should help to ease your manager’s stress – and it’ll make you look super professional, too. It’s a classic win-win.

6)      Breathe a Huge Sigh of Relief

Regardless of how your boss took the news, it’s over! You did it. Now it’s time to get to work on your transition and make the most of your last two weeks on the job.

 

There’s no way around it: giving notice is kind of scary. But, if you take the time to brainstorm an artful plan of action, breaking the news to your boss will be way more bearable.

Admins on the Rise: Palo Alto Happy Hour

Maven Recruiting Group hit the town last night in Palo Alto to enjoy a beautiful evening with our community of administrative and HR professionals in the Peninsula and South Bay.

As a part of our Admins on the Rise event series, we had a blast hanging out with longstanding candidates and met some amazing new talented admin & HR pros, all over yummy wine and snacks on Vino Locale's outdoor patio. (If you haven't checked out this adorable wine bar, head there immediately)!

At Maven, we work with some of the best, brightest, and most innovative administrative and HR professionals (and companies in the Bay Area who happen to also be good people!), and we feel pretty lucky to have them in our Maven community. Stay tuned for information about our next Admins on the Rise event coming this Fall!

Admins on the Rise: Palo Alto Happy Hour!

Maven is hosting a happy hour on Wednesday, June 14th, at Vino Locale in Palo Alto (near Caltrain!) from 6-8pm.

Join us for a #winedownwednesday with apps and wine plus mingling with your favorite recruiters and the Peninsula admin community. Click on the flier below to sign up on Eventbrite (donations optional, benefiting the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI)) - we hope to see you there!

An Ode to Admins

With Appreciation for our Executive Assistants, Admin Assistants, Receptionists, and more!

Dear Admins: you are the best part of our day.
Without missing a beat, you make troubles go away.
From fixing our laptops when they have some sort of bug,
To lending a sympathetic ear or giving a hug.
You are the glue that holds us in place,
And you always do it with a smile on your face!
We walk in the door and you’re the first one we see,
When we need supplies, you know exactly where they’ll be!
(Of course! You ordered them before we ran out, just in time,
Really, it seems like you’re reading our minds!)
You’ve got the hook-ups for all of our vendors,
From cleaners to movers to IT to menders.
You’re a calendar wizard with juggling meetings,
You own social media, from Facebook to Tweet-ings.
When booking travel, you get us right where we’re going,
Plus all the stuff you do without us even knowing!
The office wouldn’t be the same without you at the helm,
You’re the best of the best, the queen/king of our realm.
We hope you know that we see what you do,
From the bottom of our hearts, we really thank you!

* * * *

(And what would this be without mention of Maven:
We’re your recruiting matchmakers, your new-job safe haven.
We believe in you, in all this, and in so much more,
So let us help you find a new job or Bay Area company you adore!)

Maven Events Recap

Admins on the Rise: Changing Industries

For anyone who’s ever tried to break into a new industry or role, you know that change can be hard! Even when you are confident in your ability to ramp up in a new industry, it can be difficult to communicate how your previous experience applies. Plus, is the grass really greener in that other industry?

Seeking to understand how people have successfully approached these transitions, and what they found once they got there, Maven hosted an event on March 29th called Admins on the Rise: Changing Industries. We were honored to have over thirty executive assistants in attendance, including our esteemed panelists:

  • Jill Agnello, Chief of Staff at Viator
  • Mackenzie Allen, Executive Assistant at Founders Fund
  • Leigh-Ann MacMullen, Executive Assistant at Nerd Wallet
  • Maria DeFelice, Executive Assistant at The Information

We traded stories, advice, laughs, and numbers while also raising money for a worthy cause, The Women’s Building in San Francisco.

Here’s what we learned.

Figure out your audience and speak to them directly

Mackenzie: “Ask yourself, who is my audience, and how can I speak their language?” She thinks about what they’re looking for and specifically draws out what she’s done that relates from her experience. Start-ups are looking for someone good with change and willing to get their hands dirty; finance CEOs are focused on someone they can trust to deal with confidential information. “I’m guessing at what my audience wants to hear, but it’s educated spaghetti.”

Maria: Do your homework: reference an article about the industry or research what the CEO is interested in, and it shows that you care. “It pays off ten-fold.”

Leigh-Ann: “You may not have the title, so dig into the experience you do have, and show you have the chops to handle the role.”

 

Your future is in your hands

Jill: Certain aspects of the EA role are the same in all industries, but that’s just the baseline. “You’re in control of your trajectory, and it’s up to you to take it by the reins.”

Mackenzie: “Find the pieces in each industry that pique your interest.” Ask yourself what the gaps are in the company and how can you create value. For Mackenzie, at her previous start-up role, this meant taking on marketing. And now, at the VC firm, she’s working with business development. “That’s how my role starts to shift.”

 

Mad Men or The Office, you decide

Jill: “Finance was fabulous to me.” They compensated her well, paid for tuition reimbursement, and she enjoyed being part of such a polished EA group, but it was much more hierarchical and buttoned-up. She wanted a “change of space” by moving into a more creative environment. With a start-up, it can be a scramble to figure things out, but her new role has “a flexibility and adaptability that finance didn’t.”

Maria: “There is something beautiful in knowing you are going to get an answer to your ten questions” with an established company, but “start-ups have more flexibility with what you can do.” Working in start-ups and finance can be equally fulfilling, but they are completely different roles in many ways.

 

Best piece of advice for those about to take the plunge

Maria: “Create an Excel pie chart of how your executive uses their hours in a week; figure out where they’re spending their time and what they need to do differently to accomplish their goals. Also, knock on the door ten minutes and five minutes before the end of a meeting.”

Leigh-Ann: “Talk to your boss about work styles and the best ways to communicate with one another.”

Mackenzie: “Figure out the bigger level of what they’re working on and what they want to achieve long-term, then help them navigate towards that vision. Surround yourself by people who are the best at what they do.”

Jill: “Find a way to break the ice. These roles can be intimidating and you might feel timid, but have confidence and rib them with a little something that pulls them down to earth.”

 

Thank you again to all who participated and attended!  Admins on the Rise: Changing Industries helped us better understand the ins and outs of industries and, most importantly, gave us tangible tools for navigating our own transitions.

We at Maven are happy to provide a space and programming where admins can continue to learn from and support one another. Stay tuned for details on our next event in June 2017! 

Special thanks to Scott Roeder of Oh Snap! for photos and Eisen Tuazon for videos.