5 ways to destroy your new contract job

Don't smash your chance to make a good impression

Don’t smash your chance to make a good impression

Contract work is new norm for many people.  Do you know the traps to avoid when taking a contract job?

It’s quite common for job seekers to accept contract or temporary jobs with the hopes that they will turn into full-time employment.  Even without the potential of a new job, the contract assignment has become a crucial piece to any employment scenario.

However, many people are destroying this opportunity within the first two weeks.  In the contract world, these mistakes may not only cost you the immediate job, but other contract work down the road.

 1. Demanding special payment arrangements

Yes, we know that your finances are tight because you’ve been out of work for a while. However, requesting wire transfer payments before you start to work for an employer can raise eyebrows.  When negotiating a contract assignment, be sure to ask how they normally pay their vendors and try to accommodate their established procedures.

If you need to request payment in advance, do so in a professional manner – and only ask for this consideration once.  Always asking for money early plants a negative seed in the employer’s mind – such as questions about why you can’t manage your finances.

 

2. Unreasonable expenses

Even though you are a contractor, try to stay within the company’s guidelines for employee expenses.  For example, if you have to travel for the company, ask beforehand what the per diem rate is for meals and other expenses.  This shows that you are willing to work within their defined limits.

 

  1. Calling in sick

True, you might really be sick, but anytime you give short notice that you won’t be in to work it will be questioned – especially if you are being evaluated in a temporary position.  Find a way to get the work done, even if it means working from home.

 

  1. Skimpy paperwork trail

The IRS has very specific rules to define an employee from an independent contractor.  Keeping your paperwork straight – submitting your own invoices/ expense reports, signed contracts, completed W-9’s – will help the employer keep this relationship well defined.  Plus, if you are pro-active about the necessary paperwork, it is a positive reflection on your own follow-through skills.

 

  1. Scheduling interviews during your work hours

While you may still be looking for a permanent job elsewhere, make sure you do it on your own time.  This may mean scheduling interviews several days in advance so that you can give your contract company plenty of advance notice.  Saying that you “have an appointment” is a legitimate reason to step out for an hour or two, but don’t let the employer know it is to interview with another company.

 

To avoid all of these problems, show your contract employer that they are priority #1. You will be more likely to get a permanent job offer by being professional, attentive and focused on their needs instead of your own.

Review: The Essentials of Household & Estate Management course

estate management solutions logWhile many people are familiar with the large, long-standing schools for private service certification such as the Charles MacPherson Academy and Starkey International Institute for Household Management, there are challenges of attending such a course: classes demand full-time attendance for 4 – 8 weeks and the tuition is costly. Over the past few years, some independent educators have begun to offer targeted, weekend workshops to help elevate the skills of both new and experienced private service professionals. One of these is Peter Van Ryder, owner of Estate Management Solutions. His 14-hour intensive course is designed to meet the needs of the working professional, either already in the industry or those looking to break into it.

I recently attended the Essentials of Household & Estate Management course in Chicago, IL, in April 2015. These classes, held in conjunction with the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA), are held at various locations throughout the US every couple of months to increase participation and easy access to students. My class included 15 students, with experience ranging from entry level household managers to those with over 10 years of experience.

The first day of class dived deep into some of the personal aspects of service that can be the most challenging, such as tactics for working with the principals, how to avoid being servile while still being attentive, and the importance of communication. In many ways, the ability to handle these personal relationships in a professional manner while ever being cognizant of the employers’ wishes is paramount, and Peter did an excellent job of conveying how important this is.

The second day focused on more of the technical aspects of estate management, such as Human Resources, Accounting, and Vendor Management. In particular, Mr. Van Ryder emphasized the different “compartments” for any estate, using this as a way to break down the daunting task of managing a large property by only focusing on certain key areas at a time. From there, each compartment is then given its own section within the Estate Manual. By relating all the multitude of different moving parts within the household to the Estate Manual, students were given a practical tool that can be easily modified to fit different service environments. These worksheets are Microsoft Word and Excel documents, so they are easy to use, don’t require special training, and don’t require costly software to use them.

Of course, it’s not possible to learn everything about estate management in a weekend course. However, Peter does emphasize the importance of not only personal research, but also how to leverage personal contacts through fellow students or DEMA members. For example, in our class alone, we had experts in the care of fine art and horticulture, both of whom were very willing to serve as a resource to their classmates.

Overall, this class provides practical tools to make the intimidating task of managing any size estate more plausible. Peter Van Ryder is extremely well versed in the industry, and his willingness to share both his successes and failures brings a personal aspect to the training. A lot of information is covered in the two days, which is a lot to absorb in a short time span. However, the book and worksheets for the Estate Manual offer ongoing educational support to implement the lessons learned.

Key take-aways from the class:

  • Practical tools and strategies
  • Usable templates in Word and Excel for Estate Manual
  • Relatable professional experiences
  • Learning sources for additional research
  • Connecting with other private service professionals

Contact for more information: www.vanryder.com or Solutions@VanRyder.com
Look for upcoming classes on the DEMA website: http://www.domesticmanagers.com/

Peter Van Ryder aka Vanna

Peter Van Ryder, owner of Estate Management Solutions

More information about Peter Van Ryder:

Peter Colt Van Ryder of Estate Management Solutions is a certified trainer for the Charles MacPherson Academy headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
Peter started his service career working as a bellman and concierge in a small luxury hotel in Houston, Texas, eventually working his way up to upper management of a Crowne Plaza Hotel. He further refined his skills as an Innkeeper at a four star Country Inn and French Restaurant. He was previously certified as a Cisco Network Administrator and a Microsoft Systems Administrator. Having worked in homes ranging from 9,000 to 30,000 square feet on both coasts and overseas and on estates with 4 to 280 acres with active horse trails, he has honed his skills through continuous education and a drive to improve the industry.
Based in Dallas, Texas, he is working for the positive growth of the Private Service Profession. In 2009, he established Estate Management Solutions, which is dedicated to educating the public and professionals about the high standards of the private service industry in the US and China. In 2010, he established the Dallas Chapter of the Domestic Estate Managers Association, and in 2013 he established the Austin Chapter. He currently serves as Chapter President in Dallas and is actively involved in setting up the DEMA Institute.

Poor LinkedIn practices that kill candidates

Watch out for Linkedin mistakesEveryone knows that posting negative comments on LinkedIn is a sure-fire way to scare off employers and recruiters alike. However, many candidates are killing their chances without even knowing it by making these common mistakes on their profiles.

Improper formatting of their name

It’s shocking to see how many people are making this mistake.  Either their name is listed in ALL CAPITALS or no capitals at all – like ‘bob smith.”  The first thing employers see is your name.  This is especially true for the search results, when only your name, headline, job titles, and picture are visible.

Improper formatting is seen as a lack of detail orientation and writing skills.  As almost every job addresses this in some form, be sure to list your name correctly.

Incomplete or inconsistent profiles

Employers now make it a common practice to check a candidate’s LinkedIn profile before contacting them for an interview.  An incomplete profile is a definite red flag.  This doesn’t mean that it needs to have every single option completed, but the basic are essential: summary, work history, skills / endorsements, and recommendations.

Another problem is when the LinkedIn profile varies greatly from the resume.  It’s understandable that key skills and responsibilities may be different on the resume if the job seeker is changing fields.  Similarly, a candidate may not list the exact sales figures in his or her accomplishments to maintain the company’s confidential information.  However, when the actual work history itself is not reflective of the resume, this is a red mark.

Lacking Recommendations

Unlike Endorsements, Recommendations on LinkedIn carry a lot of weight.  These are the candidate’s verifiable, online letters of reference from actual people in their network.  Many recruiters won’t consider a candidate if they have less than three written Recommendations on their profile.

LinkedIn has changed the Recommendations management pages recently, however, the easiest place to find them is from your profile.  Look for the triangle next to the “View Profile As” button. As you roll over that, the menu option to “ask to be recommended” becomes visible.  Just click on that to manage all of your Recommendations.

link for LinkedIn recomendations

Here’s where the link to your Recommendations is hiding

Funky pictures

Your profile picture is vitally important on LinkedIn.  It needs to be a solid headshot, with a simple background and proper lighting.  Many photographers will do headshots like this for $50 – $100, which is a fair price – just make sure to have the digital rights so you can post the pictures online without paying royalties.

It is possible to take a good picture for yourself.  However, selfies, wedding pictures, or cropping out another person so that a disembodied arm encircles your shoulder should be avoided.  Remember, your picture is your brand.  Consider carefully what image you want to portray: does your industry demand the suit, or are you targeting a business casual environment?  How do you want to be perceived?

The most obvious error

I hate to say it, but some people still leave spelling and grammar errors on their LinkedIn profile.  Unfortunately, this is also a common problem when making posts in Groups or adding comments to a discussion.

I remember one time a LinkedIn member started a discussion in a group to get some feedback on why she was having difficulty landing an executive assistant job.  In the post were a number of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.  Even her profile headline wasn’t formatted correctly.  Being a nice person, I sent her a private message that she should watch out for those errors.  She replied, “Well, I was typing fast.”

Unfortunately, executive assistants are expected to type both quickly and accurately.  By posting sloppy content online, she was broadcasting to employers that she didn’t possess the necessary traits for her target job.

Fair warning

Just because LinkedIn seems like a casual environment, in truth, every word you write is an audition for potential employers and recruiters.

Educator Spotlight: Peak Technical Institute

Peak Technical InstituteIf you are looking to expand your knowledge and training for the Private Service industry, Peak Technical Institute teaches two unique programs. With campuses in both Tennessee and Colorado, Peak offers a variety of classes to cover virtually any topic the busy Private Service professional could possibly need. We had a chance to ask Theresa Stratton a few questions to get the inside scoop on their campuses and would like to share the responses with you:

 

How long have you been in business?

The genesis of Peak Technical Institute’s Professional Household Management (PHM) and Social Decorum Academy (SDA) programs stemmed from the Enlisted Aides PHM Certification program, which has been in operation since 2009.

 

In a nutshell, what do you teach?

Through the PHM program, we teach the fundamentals of management, leadership and responsibility for individuals who wish to administer both private and public estates.

Topics Covered: Professionalism; Sustainability Binder Development; Household Administrative Management; Housekeeping; Laundry; Wardrobe Management; Table Setting & White Glove Service; Global Etiquette & Protocol; Wine 101, Spirits, Mixology & Service Seminar; Event Planning; First Aid; Site Survey, Security Assessment & Protective Detail; Alarm Systems & Surveillance Assessment; Natural, Chemical/Nuclear Disasters & Contingency Plans

Through SDA, we teach the necessary skills and knowledge in business etiquette, international protocol, dining proficiency and leadership skills.

What makes your training unique?

Our trainings go above and beyond the typical courses of their kind to ensure that participants leave with the confidence required to use the skills they learn with exacting precision and care for each situation they are in.

Both programs are unique, providing participants with hands-on instruction and intensive real-world experience. Whether managing dining and social events or household and security situations, we help our students build a strong platform of knowledge, confidence and authority.

 

How long are the courses?

The PHM course is 175 hours over four weeks.

SDA offers three individual courses, each four hours in length. These include Outclass the Competition with Luncheon Tutorial®; How to Succeed in the International Arena with Working Lunch®; and Dine Like a Diplomat with World-Class Reception & Dinner®. Additionally, we offer a discounted package for clients who wish to attend all three seminars, which can be taken over a five-month period.

 

How frequently are the programs run?

Courses are held five times per year.

Do you have an online or correspondence courses?

No.

What are the requirements to attend your school?

We have ten enrollment prerequisites. These are found on our site under the application process.

http://youhavearrived.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/PHM-Application-Packet.pdf

Who is your ideal student?

The ideal PHM student is one who is passionate about the service management field, whether they have little experience or a decade of experience. They must have a desire for excellence in their field.

We encourage anyone with an interest in bettering their dining and etiquette skills to attend an SDA seminar. These classes are essential for the academic, corporate and social communities. Additionally, we are passionate about making this course available to anyone who wishes to join us.

Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates? What is your placement rate?

We facilitate relationships with placement agencies because we believe that building a firm relationship with both students and employers ensures a high rate of job acquisition and satisfaction to help build careers with long-term benefits.
 

Do you belong to any professional associations?

Yes, we are proud members of the Domestic Estate Managers Association, Protocol School of Washington, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Blount County Chamber of Commerce and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

Are you accredited? If so, with what entity…

Yes, PTI is authorized for operation as a post-secondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Colorado Higher Education Commission.

How much does your program cost?

Investment in PHM is $9,500. Room and Board is included in the tuition cost for classes scheduled in April and July.

SDA seminars are $250-$300, depending on the program. All three courses can be purchased for $700.

Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?

We offer a competitive payment plan on a limited-basis for individuals who wish to finance their tuition.

How can people contact you?

Find more information at http://youhavearrived.com/ , call us at 1-855-399-PEAK, or contact our recruiter, Theresa Stratton, through email at tstratton@gopti.com

Private Service Educator Spotlight – The Meyer Suite

meyer suite personal assistant jobs logo

The Meyer Suite offers workshops for Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants

In the world of workshops for Private Service Professionals, The Meyer Suite is a relative newcomer, opening their doors in 2012. However, their commitment to help enlighten potential and current Personal Assistant’s to the industry is a sincere desire to help others decide if this is the right profession for them, without having to make a costly investment.

In today’s Educator Spotlight, owner Elizabeth Meyer tells us more about her focused workshops…

1. How long have you been in business?
The Meyer Suite was founded in 2012.
2. In a nutshell, what do you teach?
“Personal Assistant 101 (The Prerequisite)” is a two-hour workshop and info session facilitated by Elizabeth Meyer, Founder/Principal of The Meyer Suite, who is also a seasoned celebrity/high-profile PA. In the workshop, Elizabeth talks about the profession, what it is and what it is not, and what it takes to make yourself an attractive candidate for this type of position.
3. What makes your training unique?
You will not find this type of workshop elsewhere. If you’re curious about what it means to be a personal assistant, if you’ve wondered how people get these kinds of jobs, if you know you’d be really, really good at it, but can’t seem to land the jobs you apply for, you will find nothing else like this workshop, which is run by someone who has insider knowledge of both the employer and employee side of private service. . . someone who had zero industry connections, landed several high-profile PA positions, and now works with clients who seek top talent for personal service positions.
This workshop is not your ticket to a job as a personal assistant; you will have some work to do on your end. But it will give you an overview of the profession, answer questions you have, provide some advice on how to make yourself an attractive candidate for the role, and allow you to network with someone who works with clients who hire PAs. You will walk away with something you can add to the “education/training” section of your resume that night!

4. How long are the courses?
Each workshop is 2-hours long, held on either a week night or weekend morning, depending on location and time of year.
5. How frequently are the programs run?
In 2014, the workshop was held twice in Seattle (Jan and June), twice in NYC (June and Oct), and once in Chicago (Sept). We plan to bring the workshop to additional markets in 2015.
6. Do you have an online or correspondence courses?
No, not at this time, but stay tuned . . . things are in the works!
7. What are the requirements to attend your school?
The only requirement is a sincere interest in learning more about what it means and takes to be a great personal assistant. That, and the ability to shut off your phone and disconnect from Wi-Fi for two hours, making yourself completely present for the workshop.
8. Who is your ideal student?
Attendees may be recent college grads who want to know more about the personal assistant profession and what it takes to land their first job, or may be working professionals who are interested in making a career transition. No matter the motivator, the ideal attendee is excited to learn from someone who was once in his/her shoes, enjoyed an awesome career within this niche space, and now works with clients who seek top talent. The ideal student recognizes that opportunity, and can’t wait to add this workshop to his/her resume at the end of the workshop!
9. Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates? What is your placement rate?
We’re happy stay in touch with workshop attendees, and would be thrilled to work with them through a specific search (which would be paid by a Meyer Suite client), but at this time, we do not work as candidate agents. And mere attendance at the workshop, will not necessarily guarantee placement. One attendee from a workshop held in Seattle in January 2014 did end up landing a job through The Meyer Suite five months later, but she incorporated what she learned at the workshop, became very specific about the role she was seeking, and landed her ideal position because she put into practice many of the things covered in the workshop.
10. Do you belong to any professional associations?
Elizabeth Meyer, Principal at The Meyer Suite, is a member of DEMA, and active member and founder of the DEMA-Seattle chapter.

11. Are you accredited? If so, with what entity…
No
12. How much does your program cost?
In 2014, each workshop cost $65+tax to attend.
13. Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?
No
14. How can people contact you?
All contact info for The Meyer Suite, along with links to our social networking presence can be found on our website: www.themeyersuite.com

Agency Spotlight: Quintessentially People

Quintessentially people logo agencyWith offices in London, Los Angeles and New York, Quintessentially People serves 80 global locations with regional offices. While known for placing high end private service professionals, they also recruit for the corporate sector with Personal Assistants and office support roles. They have a job board they use for their candidates, placing for positions not just here in the US, but internationally as well.

In today’s Agency Spotlight, Carmen Garcia, the New York Director for Quintessentially people, tells us a little more about her company…

1. How long have you been in business?

Quintessentially People was started in London in 2011, then opened the New York office 2 years ago [2012]. The LA office a year ago [2013] and our newest office in Fort Lauderdale will open this year [2014].

2. What makes your agency unique?

Firstly, we have the advantage of being part of the largest lifestyle business in the world, the Quintessentially Group. The Group has offices in 80 cities globally, with over 30 sister businesses. Secondly-What makes Quintessentially People unique is the people that work for the company. Each of us has had experience working in some of the top agencies in New York City. Each of us specializes in one field of recruiting. This allows our clients to work one on one with a recruiter that can provide the best qualified candidate for their specific need. We look for top candidates that have long term references, these reference checks are completed before we represent any of our candidates to our clients. We meet every single candidate that we are presenting to our clients, as well as run background checks and extensive references checks. We work with families and individuals all over the world providing top notch services. We have an extensive network of applicants to meet the specific needs of our clients.
3. What types of positions do you place?

Our departments at Quintessentially People include:

– PA & Office Support (Corporate and Private)
– Luxury Brand Placements and Executive Search
– Household Staff such as Chauffeurs, House/Estate Managers, Executive Housekeepers and Domestic Couples
-Childcare such as Nannies, Baby nurses, Babysitters and Travel Nannies
– Chefs
– Executive Security and Security Consulting
– Yacht Crew

4. What is your ideal candidate?

Our ideal candidate will have 5 plus years’ experience in their field, process long term verifiable references and conduct themselves in a professional manner.

5. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where?

We place candidates worldwide but our main focus in the US is providing our services nationwide, including, but not limited to, New York, California and Florida. Our UK office focuses on international placements.

6. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc.

We look for special training or certifications depending on the needs of our clients. We require different qualifications specific to each opening.

7. Where do you announce your open jobs?

We announce our open jobs on our website www.quintessentiallypeople.com
We also work closely with candidates that are part of our extensive database.

8. How should a candidate apply for a job? Candidates should apply to us via our website or they can call and email us directly. Do you want an online application, resume or both?
Both.

9. Do you belong to any professional associations? 

Yes, we are a member of BNI the largest business networking group in the world.

10. How can people contact you?

They can contact me through email Carmen@quintessentiallypeople.com / Phone 646-607-5733

 

Agency Spotlight: Hire Society

Hire Society logoA relative newcomer on the luxury recruitment field, Hire Society was founded in 2012. Since then, they have built a reputation for making quality placements for all levels of domestic staff or management roles. What truly makes them unique is offering a mix of both corporate and residential positons.

In today’s Agency Spotlight, Aleth Boisset tells us more about this robust agency…

1. How long have you been in business?

Hire Society is a boutique staffing agency that specializes in the areas of home, administrative and executive job placement. Our clients are comprised of private residences, corporations, and high net-worth individuals, all seeking stellar and superior candidates to bring onto their respective teams.
At present, we have three offices; our flagship on Madison Avenue in New York City, our second office on Main Street in Bridgehampton, NY, and our third in Palm Beach on Worth Avenue. Though each office maintains its own members of leadership and subsequent team, all locals work collectively on many if not all assignments.

2. What makes your agency unique?

Hire Society prides itself on its outstanding and unified team. Unique to our agency is the past hospitality or private home experience brought to the table by each individual employee. Though other agencies serve similar clients, none have the background and level of hands-on understanding that all Hire Society staff possess.

3. What types of positions do you place?

Our position titles fall under one of two categories, “Corporate” and “Domestic.” Each client, company and home is unique. What one may title a “House Manager,” another may title a “Personal Assistant,” “Executive Housekeeper,” or “Estate Manager.” Thus, it is important to always keep in mind the specific needs of each client and what job requirements and specifics they are looking for. Though the title may seem most important at first, it is only a minor detail as compared to the responsibilities noted under each listed job.

4. What is your ideal candidate?

An ideal candidate to Hire Society is one that takes esteem pride in his or her work and loves deeply their specific field of service. He or she will have excellent longevity in all roles, outstanding references from both current and previous employers and an incredibly hands-on attitude where no task is too vast or too small.

5. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where

Hire Society is everywhere our clients both want and need us to be. With three locations across the US as well as recruiters stationed globally, we have the ability to source and place candidates not only in the United States but throughout Europe and worldwide.

6. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc

College degrees, certifications and additional trainings are of priority when speaking to the requirements our clients uphold for their respective positions. Thus, any candidate who brings to the table a robust array of training and education most certainly has an upper hand.

7. Where do you announce your open jobs?

Available positions for apply can be located on our website, www.HireSociety.com, on Estate Jobs, Career Builder, LinkedIn, and an additional assortment of genre-specific posting portals.

8. How should a candidate apply for a job? Do you want an online application, resume or both?

For any candidate interested in applying, best practice is to log onto our website and complete a candidate Profile. Immediately following their submission a skilled recruiter will actively reach out in response and gauge appropriate next steps.

9. Do you belong to any professional associations?
Hire Society employees are all independent members of numerous clubs and professional associations in their respective locales. Inclusive in these memberships are DEMA Tri State, DEMA Hamptons, DEMA Palm Beach, NY Celebrity Assistants, and a host of additional genre-specific groups.

10. How can people contact you?

We look forward to entertaining any strong application via our website, or our direct submission addresses as follows, by location:
New York City: submit@hiresoicety.com
Bridgehampton: hamptons@hiresociety.com
Palm Beach: palmbeach@hiresociety.com

We thank you kindly for your outreach in advance!

 

Agency Spotlight: The Meyer Suite

meyer suite personal assistant jobs logo

The Meyer Suite places Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants

A relatively new agency in the private service industry, The Meyer Suite is highly unique in that it specializes in placing high level Personal Assistants and Executive Personal Assistants. Founded by Elizabeth Meyer, she relies on her 10 years of experience of supporting executives, celebrities, and high-net-worth families as a Personal Assistant, Chief-of-Staff, and Estate Manager to created quality matches between the PA and the Principals.

In today’s Agency Spotlight, Elizabeth gives us more insight into their unique agency model…

1. How long have you been in business?
The Meyer Suite was founded in 2012.

2. What makes your agency unique?
Unique among traditional staffing firms, we are (1) client advocates, empathetic to the particular nature of employing a personal/executive assistant; and (2) client counsel, committed to ensuring positive, professional, long-term assistant/employer relationships. If you’ve seen one of our job descriptions or applied for a position through The Meyer Suite, you may have noticed a difference. If not, keep your eyes peeled for our next posting!

3. What types of positions do you place?
The Meyer Suite places Personal Assistants and Executive assistants, primarily.

4. What is your ideal candidate?
Our ideal candidate is an individual who IS the candidate we profile in one of our open job descriptions. We spend a lot of time with our clients, understanding their needs, who they are, the type of person they see themself working alongside for years to come, and from there put together job descriptions and an ideal candidate profile. We don’t believe that bullet points on a job description plus bullet points on a resume equal a successful outcome. Instead, it starts with understanding clients’ needs, candidates’ career goals, and the professional matchmaking that lies within.

5. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where…
We do have clients across the country, but at this time, our searches are primarily in the Seattle, WA, and New York, NY markets.

6. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc?
Most of our clients do require their employees to have college degrees, so we do look for that. Beyond that, we certainly appreciate candidates who have sought specialized, formal training and professional development, but it is not necessarily required. Often, experience counts for more than anything.

7. Where do you announce your open jobs?
We currently post our positions through The Meyer Suite’s Facebook page, networking groups on LinkedIn, and often through EstateJobs.com. Occasionally, depending on the position, we will post positions elsewhere. In 2014, we hope to have active searches added to www.themeyersuite.com

8. How should a candidate apply for a job? Do you want an online application, resume or both?
We do not ask applicants to fill out an online application, but we will certainly need to see a resume you are proud of! Our application instructions are always very specific, often requiring specific email subject lines, along with answers to a handful of questions, in lieu of formulaic cover letters. Our clients are very busy, very successful individuals and rely on very thorough assistants who are diligent and pay attention to details. For this reason, we want to make sure you fully digest the job description and candidate profile we present, and then take the time to apply the very specific way we’ve asked you to do so. Paying attention to small details is key not only once you’re in a high-level EA/PA position, but before you even landed the job.

9. Do you belong to any professional associations?
Elizabeth Meyer, Principal at The Meyer Suite, is a member of DEMA, and active member and founder of the DEMA-Seattle chapter.

10. How can people contact you?
All contact info for The Meyer Suite, along with links to our social networking presence can be found on our website: www.themeyersuite.com

Agency Spotlight: Mahler Private Staffing

Mahler Private Staffing logo

In the private service industry, one of the more prestigious agencies is Mahler Private Staffing.  With 25 years of experience, this national agency is known for working with some of the most elite families and candidates in the US and abroad.  Their positions vary greatly – from the family office to ranch management and everything in between.  With offices in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Palm Springs, they are conveniently situated to evaluate candidates across the country.

For this Agency Spotlight, Vice President Judith Redd gives us some more insight into the long-standing recruitment firm…

 1. How long have you been in business?

25 years.

 2. What makes your agency unique? 

For twenty five years, Mahler Private Staffing has refined our placement process to meet a single objective – match each client’s unique needs with the right staff.  Widely recognized for our meticulous standards, broad service offerings, personalized approach, and exclusive network of top household, childcare, and office professionals, we are proud to have grown entirely through repeat business and referrals from satisfied clients.

 3. What types of positions do you place? 

All Domestic staff, including Director of Residences, Chief of Staff, Estate Manager, House Manager, Housekeeping staff, Executive Protection, Security/Drivers, Chefs, Nannies, Ranch and  Property Management, Family office and Corporate personnel.

 4. What is your ideal candidate?

We pride ourselves on connecting with remarkable talent and maintaining relationships with our candidates through their placement and beyond.  Our ideal candidates are experienced, skilled, engaged, and professional.  We also require verifiable references from previous employers and conduct thorough background checks

 5. Do you place across the country or locally?  

Nationwide.

 6. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc.

A college education is always preferred  and we appreciate candidates with specialized training in their particular field as it shows commitment and professionalism, however, it is not essential for every position.

7. Where do you announce your open jobs?

Our website: MahlerPrivateStaffing.com, Estate Jobs, LinkedIn, Domestic Herald, specialty sites (ENanny Source, Sitter City, Efinancial careers, etc.)

 8. How should a candidate apply for a job?  Do you want an online application, resume or both?

We  urge all prospective candidate to complete the online application and upload their resume and letters of  reference.

9. Do you belong to any professional associations?

DEMA (Domestic Estate Management Association) and INA (International Nanny Association)

 10. How can people contact you?

Corporate office  : 414-347-1350

West Coast office: 760-537-7690

Email: mahlerprivatestaffing@mahlerent.com

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How to prepare for a job interview

how to prepare for a job interviewCongratulations! You made it through the stacks of resume in the HR department and landed an interview at your dream company.  Now for the next hurdle: how do you make sure that you can turn that interview into a job offer?  Here are some tips to help you prepare…

Research interview questions

Don’t just focus on the most common interview questions, such as “what is your greatest weakness?” Instead, search for questions that are specific to your target employer.  Thanks to free websites like www.Glassdoor.com, many people are creating reviews of the employers’ hiring process, including the actual questions they faced in the interview.

In addition to Glassdoor.com, other sites such as Indeed.com and http://top-interview-questions.com/ list insight into previously-asked questions.  A simple Google search of “interview questions” plus the company name will show you a plethora of resources.

Practice answering questions – especially behavioral questions

Before you sit down with a buddy and lob questions at each other, pull out your pen and paper.  From your list of questions, identify which ones would be hardest for you to answer.  Then write down one or two possible answers.  Don’t shirk on this task.  The more questions you answer, the more prepared you will be.

What you are doing is training your brain in how to answer questions.  One big mistake that candidates make is trying to memorize answers.  If those particular questions aren’t asked, they can be easily thrown off.  Instead, learn how to be flexible by facing a number of questions, from the complex to the simple.

Be sure to do a hefty number of possible questions.  If you sit down and truly write out answers to over 50 questions, you will be amazed at how prepared you will be.

Prepare for common questions

Some employers still rely on the old standard questions, such as “where do you see yourself in 5 years” or “what is your greatest strength.”  Not having an answer for these pat questions definitely will brand a job seeker as unprepared.

In most cases, I favor honest answers to these questions – honest, but not fatal.  For example, a weakness for a salesperson may be completing paperwork.  This is fairly common, and therefore acceptable to some degree.  However, it needs to be backed up with how the candidate handles that weakness.  On the other hand, if a salesperson states that his weakness is not following up with clients in a timely manner, no one would hire him.  That’s a fatal weakness for any sales professional.

Don’t forget the most common question

How about that first question: “tell me about yourself?”  If you have a planned and prepared introduction, it can actually help you calm down for the rest of the interview.  When your very first answer is delivered with confidence, you gain peace of mind for yourself.

Tip: don’t just repeat your resume.  This is very boring for the interviewer, especially since the rest of the interview is discussing your work history.  Instead, consider a variation of your elevator speech, tailored to hit one key point that relates to the job.  And please, keep it to 30 seconds or less.  The whole point is to establish some rapport, not give your life story.

Practice with a human being

Find yourself a job search buddy.  Take turns running mock interviews on each other.  This is not the same as just saying questions back and forth.  Try to make it as real as possible.  Consider even trying different hiring manager personalities, just to stay on your toes.  Remember, not all interviewers are polished, so prepare for that possibility as well.

Take a class

There are a number of resources available for interview training.  The Workforce center in any state has many workshops for job seekers, including interview skills.  In Denver, Donna Shannon offers intensive workshops through the Colorado Free University (www.freeu.com)

Hire a coach

If interviewing is still a mystery, hiring a coach to evaluate your performance and make recommendations can be very valuable.  A professional can identify the true weaknesses as well as your strengths.  Knowing what you will say is only part of the process.  Ideally, you will get a recording of one of your mock interview sessions.  This way, you can see where not only your answers can be improved, but your body language and nonverbal communication as well.

Evaluate actual interviews

When you leave an interview, be sure to take a few moments to write down what you did well and what could have been improved.  Take special note of any question that you wished you answered better, and then write down that answer.  You can’t get a second chance at that opportunity, but you can use it as a learning tool to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

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