Job Searching

Monthly Sales Award Winner, Patricia Wisniewski

The winner of the Monthly Sales Award is Patricia Wisniewski.  Patricia knows how to match candidates with the perfect career opportunity and really shows that she cares by doing whatever she can to make those matches.  Her teaching background has really helped her coach candidates through the interview process, during their contract assignments, and securing full-time roles with great companies. Her positive attitude and willingness to jump on any requisition at a moment’s notice is highly appreciated! Go Patricia!

If you would like to hear more about Patricia and some of her great tips on how recruiters help you land the job, check out this #PodcastFromThePast: Recruiters are Your Friends

6 Reasons to Work (and Stay) at Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is hiring and here are just a few (of many) reasons to head on over to their job listings to apply to your next dream job!

I had the distinct pleasure to have Harold Stankard, the Senior Vice President, General Manager and Regional Leader of the Fidelity Investments Regional Center in Jacksonville, FL as a recent guest on Hard Workah with Pete the Job Guy. He shared great information based on his 21 years at Fidelity Investments (that’s a LOOOOOONG time).

To listen to the full conversation (or read, if you’re a reader), click here.

Before I dive into the reasons to consider working at Fidelity Investments, I’m going give important background information.

Fidelity Investments is one of the largest and most diversified financial services firm in the United States with over $7 trillion in customer assets. Fidelity Investments serves over 27 million Americans by helping them build a strong financial future. One in five American investors has an account with Fidelity Investments (and they actually handle our 401k at GEE Group Inc. NYSE: JOB). For more information on Fidelity, click here.

All in all, Fidelity Investments is a hot destination employer nationally. Specifically, in Jacksonville, Fidelity is planning to hire 70 to 100 people by the end of the calendar year of 2018. If you’re already convinced that you or a friend should work for Fidelity Investments, (then great!) click here to view the current job openings. If not, keep reading for my 6 reasons to work (and stay) at Fidelity Investments.

  1. Two words: “Mom room.”

So, if you’re like my co-host Arren and you’re a working mom, this is going to be something VERY appealing. They have a whole room dedicated to moms. And get this, IT WAS DESIGNED BY MOMS. So, it has everything you need if you have just had your child and you’re ready to enter the workforce again. The room concept is so thoughtful and cool itself, but this is just one of the many things that prove Fidelity Investments will go the extra mile for YOUR comfort – again, the word “comfort” is not even on the radar for most companies, just remember that!   

  1. Central Location = Shorter Commute

At the beginning of the show, I shared a couple stats on how long commutes can affect your work day, ultimately wasting your time and making you more stressed. You’d be happy to know that Fidelity Investments is in the center of Jacksonville, off Gate Parkway, on Touchton Rd. This not only means lunch at some of the best places in Jax (I may be biased) but also a shorter commute for many of you!

See how far it is from you:

4601 Touchton Rd Jacksonville, FL 32256

  1. Open Concept

“I just LOVE going to work and sitting in a boxed cubicle for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, not interacting with people around me,” SAID NO ONE EVER.

One thing that Harold mentioned that is VERY rare in Jacksonville is that the office has an open floor plan. There is nothing traditional about walking into their office – the cube walls are down, which ultimately drives flexibility and work ethic up. They have a new 50,000 square foot facility here in Jacksonville!

Harold Stankard: We wanted to do things in a new, modern manner that created a really collaborative work environment for our people. So, when thinking about this new 50,000 square foot facility, most people would visualize a traditional call center setup. Where is there is this big room with lots of cubicles and everybody has a headset and they are tied to their computer all day, and also tied to their phone.

Let me tell you, this is not that.

Every one of our associates works off a laptop and a wireless headset. There are no cubicles. It’s all flat desks with open areas. There are standing stations all over the place where, if you want to get up, you could even mid-conversation, detach your laptop and walk around the building and go to a couch to finish the call or a standing station to finish the call.

We’ve been in this space for about six months and the results are just awesome. Most people feel much more free while at work, they collaborate with their peers better. We tore down the walls. We tore down the traditions and we’ve created this new, really cool work environment.

  1. No Dress Code

Fidelity Investments allows you to dress comfortably (of course, if it’s appropriate) so that you can save your brainpower to focus on more important issues and feel good!

Now, I will say there is a difference in dressing appropriately for interviews, but once you land the job and prove that you’re a ‘hard workah’, then enough spending hours on thinking about what to wear or moving to adjust your pants or socks that ride up or down throughout the day – just dress for comfort and work hard! I like that, I mean Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg did/do it.

  1. Student Loan Forgiveness + Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Pete: Harold, maybe you can help me out with this. I see a lot of folks that graduate college and they’re wrestling with so much student loan debt and people make life decisions based on that debt, or perhaps maybe they decide not even go to college just to stay out of debt. Do you have any kind of programs or something that Fidelity Investments offers for people carrying substantial student loan debt.

Harold Stankard: Yes! It’s a legitimate concern for people today and on one side, we’re constantly advising parents, grandparents and others on how to best save for future college, so debt isn’t required, but there are a lot of us, myself included, who leave school with debt on the books. And, about a year and a half ago, Fidelity Investments unveiled a pretty awesome benefit.  In addition to tuition reimbursement programs that most companies have, we now have a Student Loan Debt Repayment Benefit where we will help you pay back your student loans if you’re a Fidelity employee. We’ll help you pay back up to $10,000 worth over five years.

So, I took away two things when Harold told me this: (1) Free money and (2) Fidelity will support your educational endeavors! Which leads me to the number one reason on why you should work at Fidelity Investments:

  1. They Offer World Class Training

When making hiring decisions, Fidelity Investments looks for hard working individuals that have a passion to serve others.  Fidelity Investments has a phenomenal and innovative training program to help you to be successful no matter what previous experience you bring to the table.

Harold Stankard: If there are people in this industry that are interested in Fidelity Investments, we’d love to talk to them, but the majority of people we hire, believe it or not, don’t have financial services experience. We teach those skills… It’s really important for us to find people who are learners, who thrive on learning…  we’ll help you get licensed. We’ll teach you the dynamics of our firm and how we serve customers. Just getting licensed in this industry is not easy. In the past, the historic pass rates for the Series 7 license have always hovered in the high 60 percentages nationally. We hover around 90%. So, we make sure we prepare people for that examination.

*BONUS: They Treat their Customers like People* 

Harold Stankard: When it comes down to talking to customers who are real people with real problems, they’re worried about their finances, because finances empower so many of the other things that you care about in life: family, retirement, vacations, college, etc. So, we try and create a learning experience that’s as real as possible. In fact, one of the things that we’ve been piloting this year is a virtual reality learning experience. Imagine being new to the industry, new to Fidelity, and we’re trying to teach you our systems, products, services, and how we communicate with customers. It’s one thing to learn it with role-playing or in a book or in video, but it’s quite another if you can put on a virtual reality helmet and we can place you right in the kitchen of an investor who happens to be juggling two kids and calling us with their statements on the counter, pen in hand, feeling the stress that they’re feeling when they call…

Fidelity will train you so that you can be the best in your field. Whether you are already familiar with the finance industry and just don’t have certifications OR even if you are new to the industry, it will definitely bump up your personal development!

Additionally, they are aware of the human condition. I firmly believe that businesses who recognize that customers are people and not numbers will create a highly valued experience for their customers and gain even MORE business. Fidelity Investments uses technology (virtual reality) to teach their employees, firsthand, this concept that ‘people are people and they have real problems’. You don’t get this type of training just anywhere, it only comes from successful businesses who have a genuine relationship with their customers rather than simply a transactional relationship. This is truly invaluable.

There you are! These are the reasons you should consider working for this hot destination employer, Fidelity Investments, provided to you by me – a staffing expert who has been in the field for over 20 years. So catch this opportunity and apply now, before it’s too late!

If you have your resume ready, apply here, today!

Ready to listen to the full conversation, click here.

Four Do’s and Don’ts from Recruiters gathered from Embarrassing Stories

This past Sunday morning on “Hard Workah,” we spoke with professional recruiters about some funny stories. I’ve gathered some Do’s and Don’ts from those embarrassing situations (you know, just in case you were thinking about committing the listed offenses) and here they are!

Before I continue: Yes, these are real stories. And yes, these are real tips. These kinds of stories remind of #dogshaming pictures like the one below, so join me in envisioning them like this.

1 – “I turned my Interview into a Tinder Date”

Don’t flirt with your recruiter

Kumi: …I don’t know, but he essentially —  I would redirect my questions, I would say like, “so where do you want to be in five years?” And he’d like take my hand, legitimately, and give me really intense eye contact and that’s too much. And he’s like, “well, I want to know more about you. What do you want? Is this what you’ve always wanted to be here? I mean, and also where did you get that dress? Because you look amazing in it, but also what are you doing after this?’”

Do act professional in the interview/professional space

Kumi: Oh yeah. No, absolutely. And I basically say these are “ no-no’s” in the interview process and I would say please don’t like grab your recruiters hand or the hiring manager’s hands and ask them out for coffee later.

Patricia: Yes, correct. That’s actually way more common than you think. We get a lot of people trying to pick us up on LinkedIn, too. LinkedIn is strictly a professional website. Folks, do not use LinkedIn for trying to get to know me better personally.

Unfortunately, dating is hard these days BUT it does not mean you should start practicing your “moves” on recruiters. K.I.P.P. Keep it Professional, People. Keep your space; speak only about the job and your qualifications. If the recruiters say, “tell me about yourself,” then speak about your professional experience(s) with a light hint of your personality. Avoid speaking about your deep personal life, especially as it relates to “finding the one.”

2 – “I bad-mouthed my previous employer”

Don’t speak negatively about your past employers

Alex: So, that seems to be a common theme that we hear every day. Right? They come in for the interview and for some ungodly reason they believe ‘if I bashed the last person I worked for, my prior manager or a prior company, this is going to make me look really good in front of my new prospective employer.’

Kumi: No, wrong way to think for sure.

Alex: But this happens every day, right?

Kumi: Does it happens very often and I always find myself having to have that discussion with the candidate and [retrain]. Like, do not talk negatively about your previous employers. If they pry and continue asking you the same question over and over about why you left a position, you just give them a blanket statement, “not the right fit moving forward with something else.”

Do redirect and make it positive.

Kumi: If they pry and continue asking you the same question over and over about why you left a position, you just give them a blanket statement, “not the right fit moving forward with something else.”

Patricia: …if it’s starting to go in that direction, the right thing to do is always say not what wasn’t good, but what you’re looking for versus what you’re not looking for

Speaking negatively about your previous employer DOES NOT make you sound trustworthy or loyal. Therefore, prevent all negativity and focus on moving forward in a positive light. Let’s look over Patricia’s example:

Employer: “why did you go? why did you leave?”

You: “Because I’m looking for a larger company with more opportunities.”


Employer: “Do you have experience in this?”

You: “Oh, I’m familiar with that and I can do this AND this and this as well.”

These tactics keep your value and your skills the focus of the interview.

3 – “I posted a ‘good’ picture of myself on Facebook”

Don’t post things you wouldn’t want other professionals to see

Alex: That’s another piece – a “Pete-ism,” he said make sure you’re congruent, too right? So, you can’t have in your professional life to the suit and tie picture and then have your Facebook with big rants on them, going off on that the companies that you’re looking to go to work for. And that’s kind of part of the interviewing process now, right? Not only do you look at their professional site, but you’re also going in and looking at people’s personal sites as well to determine, you know, a little bit more about the person before you actually do the interview.

Patricia: It’s actually great that you bring that up because we had somebody — I mean she was great over the phone. It was for a recruiting job that we were working for and this person, she’s had great experience, very personable, loved her, but her Facebook had some risqué photos;  a little too much to show. So, she made it through an interview, and then that company, themselves, rejected her because of that. So you know, make them private, make them professional because we will find out.

“There’s a difference between a good picture of you and a professional picture of you.” – Pete

Do make all your sites (personal or professional) congruent

LinkedIn should only be used for professional purposes. LinkedIn is a professional website, so ensure everything is up to date and correct. It should be an online version of your resume.

Since recruiters conduct a thorough search on their candidates for the companies, make sure your social profiles are either private/unsearchable or that you simply don’t post controversial or private matters. This could cost you your job.


4 – “I ‘Catfished’ my Recruiter” and “I used a picture from Google as my excuse”

Don’t falsify information


Patricia: Super interesting. I had a person come into the office. I interviewed we went over their resume. She was — great. She had the experience I was looking for this particular position, which was one of those direct starts where we would send them right to the company to start. So I was really excited. I called her a couple days later to offer her the job and when this person picked up the phone, [it was] very clearly a different person over the phone. I mean probably say that they were [older], then they were like, ‘oh yeah, I was in your office the other day. Yeah, the interview went so well. I’m so excited to get started’. I’m like, [you] just clearly sound 30 years older…

Google Photo:

Kumi: I had a candidate that reached out to us actually and was like, ‘oh, I’m going to be late. I was in a car accident, had to go to the ER and was in this car accident with my sister’… She ends up reaching out to us via email and saying like, ‘Hey, just so you know, here’s a picture of the car accident. And luckily, my cousin is going to be fine.’

Forgot that it was her sister in this car accident with her. This was supposedly a picture of her car and the damage that had occurred. And so my coworker, she is kind of like P.I (Personal Investigator) on her own accord, something like clicks off in her mind and she says, ‘That looks super familiar. Let’s put this into Google images.’

So we do and it’s the first picture that pops up on Google. So, I call her out and I say, ‘Hey there. So, how’s everything going with your family member?’

And she’s like, ‘Oh. So… my aunt’s fine.’ But did you get that picture I sent?’

And I was like, ‘Yeah, I got it from you and Google crazy, right?’ 

She goes, ‘ah, so, um,’ and she hung up on me. So I was thought, ‘cool, you’re fired though.’

Do have open communication with your employer and be transparent

Employers are looking for loyal employees, more specifically, employees who can communicate. Don’t start off with the wrong foot by giving false information. Whether that is sending a different person into interview for you or simply entering inaccurate data on your resume, just refrain from doing it. Instead, focus on your value by understanding the company’s goals and problems and effectively communicate how you are able to fill that gap.

And if you do land the job, keep that job by showing up and driving up results. If you cannot make it in due to an emergency, then again, use that open line of communication and let them know. Most employers know that emergencies happen, but cannot help if you do not tell them. Do avoid lying about an emergency. It cannot be stress enough: simply, do not lie.



And there you are, my friends! May your interviews be less awkward and may you bounce back quickly, if theya are!

To listen to the full conversation, go to the Pete the job Guy Podcast

Why IT Professionals Quit Their Jobs – And Ways to Keep Them From Leaving

IT employees leave their jobs for various reasons, some are personal but many are a result from workplace culture. As the latter is ultimately under the control of the company, the employer has the opportunity to shift this mass exodus into a positive situation by listening to the complaints of their team. Per assorted surveys that were distributed and completed by IT specialists, here are the top 3 reasons they leave their jobs and a few tactics employers can use to keep them happy:


While compensation is not always the smartest reason to leave a position, it is often the most common motivation behind someone switching roles. The employee’s feeling of being overworked and undervalued by their employer usually drives this decision – they may not always be seeking higher compensation, rather positive recognition to show their talent is appreciated. 

A way for employers to remedy this is starting by listening to their employees when they are requesting a raise and simply ask “why”. If increasing the salary amount is out of reach from a budgetary standpoint, then possibly propose a little something extra like additional PTO days – Anything to make them feel heard and rewarded.

Career Advancement

No one likes to feel bored day in and day out at their job, especially IT professionals – They are used to being challenged with problems that only they know how to solve. Once a lack of interest takes over, subpar work and constant job searching on LinkedIn will be the results. Room for advancement is huge in this industry; so employers need to offer this in order to successfully retain their talent. If the company isn’t in a place to offer promotions, then there are other ways to help employees grow in the field that will also be of benefit to the employer. Offering to pay and send teams to workshops and / or leadership courses is one great way to boost their motivation and take new techniques learned back their everyday role.

Company Culture

In this generation, company culture is everything. Millennials are persistently looking for other opportunities the moment they feel low morale in the work place and this all starts with the management. IT specialists are known to work during unconventional times, in very different environments – The last thing they desire at the office is set hours and micromanagement. Companies can work towards a solution here by offering accessible management, who are understanding of the way the “9-5” mindset is shifting and willingly adapt to that change. Offering an office environment that is transparent and appealing to the age group in today’s work force will, not only keep great current employees, but will also attract likeminded talent.

While this article is tailored to those in the IT profession, these strategies can also be successfully used for other industries. Utilizing these recommended approaches will hopefully help reduce turnover, while keeping valued and hard-working employees satisfied with their current employer!

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