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How to be an Effective Leader During Times of Crisis

With news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) ever evolving and changing, now more than ever it’s important for business leaders to assume their roles as managers and lead their teams. Below are some suggestions for how to be an effective leader during these uncertain times.

Be understanding
At a time like this, it’s important to realize that your team members, not your company, come first. Understand their work life balance might be more skewed to focusing on home life at the moment and some business may need to be put on the back burner for now and that’s ok. It’s important to make sure your employees feel safe and secure right now and to focus on the needs of your employees first and be flexible and understanding that right now their attention might be elsewhere.

Use facts and communicate a plan with your team
It’s also important not to speculate or share your personal beliefs or emotions with your team. Instead, share credible information and guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). There are times when your views and opinion matter, but on this subject it’s important to only present and rely on credible information from government authorities. Once you have gathered your credible information, share with your team what actions you are going to take and how their work life will look like for the immediate future.

Be accessible
You and your team may have been directed to work remotely, so it’s important that they know the best way reach you if they have any updates or questions. Reach out to your teams frequently and be easily accessible during this time. Working from home can feel isolating so it’s important to be constantly checking-in and communicating with your entire team.

This is a time when leaders can be a calm, reassuring voice and show their humanity and compassion. It’s important to lead by example and remain committed to work priorities but also to focus on what really matters which is the health, safety, and wellbeing of your team.

How to be an Effective Leader During Times of Crisis

How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

If you, like many across the country right now, are being asked or encouraged to work from home due to COVID-19 but are having a hard time getting in the grove of working remotely we have some tips for you.

Keep your regular morning routine
Before you begin your workday, try and keep a routine of the morning things you would normally do before heading to the office; perhaps that’s washing your hair, getting an early workout in (which may need to be at home now), or taking your dog for a walk in the neighborhood. By doing these events before you log on to work you’ll feel more ready to begin your workday. For some, getting dressed in the morning like you are headed to the office can help put you in the right mindset as well.

Have a designated workspace
It helps to have an area of your home dedicated to work. If you’re working off of a laptop, it can be tempting to work from bed or the couch but if you have a desk and can truly set up a workstation you’ll find it much easier to focus. It will also help you establish clearer boundaries between your work life and your home life.

Stay in touch
With the adjustment to working from home, especially if you are social distancing as most are, it can feel very isolating. Stay in touch with your coworkers throughout the day through email, calls, and video conferencing. We are in uncharted territory right now so it’s important to not only check in on them with work, but how they are coping with all that is going on.

Create a daily to do list
When adjusting to working from home it can be easy to get distracted, especially with all of the current news events unfolding, so creating a checklist in the morning of what you need to accomplish can help you stay on track.

Have clearly defined hours and a transition plan
It’s important to keep the same work hours you would normally and treat yourself like an employee. You need to hold yourself accountable to work your normal hours and at the same time be able to let work go when it’s the end of your work day. One way to help yourself maintain this mindset is to have a transition in the morning and at the end of your workday. In the morning perhaps it’s having a cup of coffee as you log on and creating your to-do list for the day; in the evening maybe it’s stepping away from work, logging off and taking your dog for a walk which can help you decompress and let the day go.

It’s a challenging time for many with a lot of uncertainty of what lies ahead. It’s important to remain committed to your work and you may find having that constant in your life might also provide a welcome distraction and some normalcy.

How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

How To Write Your Resume When You Have Limited Experience

When you are just starting off in the professional world it can be hard to know what to put on your resume. Seeking that first job out of college, or changing into a completely different career path, can feel overwhelming when preparing your resume. Many people worry that lack of experience will be one of the biggest obstacles when job hunting. If you’re in this scenario or know someone who is, we are here to help. In today’s blog we will look at ways to improve your resume when you have limited experience and how to land your first role in a new career field.

Consider Volunteering or Interning
Depending on what career you will be entering, some prior experience may be necessary. That’s where an internship or volunteering can be extremely beneficial.  Not only will it be something to add to your resume, but working unpaid will show hiring managers your work ethic and character. 

Think About Transferable Skills
If you’re a recent college graduate, consider what projects you completed in school and how that would benefit you in the business world. While you might not have experience in the actual career field, you do have experience both from your personal life and jobs or classes you’ve taken.

Do Your Homework
When applying for roles it’s important to tailor your resume to the job and not adopt a one-size-fits-all mentality. Research the company’s history, ethos, and goals and think about how your values line up with theirs and adjust your resume accordingly.

Add References
If possible have a good list of references to include on your resume (at least 3). Perhaps a teacher, a previous coworker, or anyone else that can positively and professionally speak to your ability.

Our final bit of advice is to be honest and proofread. Give your resume to a friend or family member who can review it before you send it out. They may even have advice for some transferable skills you can add to your resume. Indeed also has a great article for how to format your experience and education on your resume that may be an additional helpful resource.

How To Write Your Resume When You Have Limited Experience

Remote Interviewing Tips

With many non-essential companies transitioning their employees to working from home, the interviewing process for such companies has also changed. Instead of face-to-face interviews, companies are relying on technology to conduct remote interviews. For today’s blog, we thought we’d revisit the topic of video interviews and how you can best prepare.

Do Your Research
This goes for all interviews, but make sure you are well prepared and have thoroughly researched the company and the role you are applying for. Keep important notes about the company nearby you during the interview that you can quickly reference.

Finalize Details
Make sure you know who will be placing the call, what online video conferencing tool you will be using, and if there will be anyone else joining the interview (so you aren’t caught off guard). Once you know what video platform you’ll be using for the interview, make sure you’re comfortable with the application. If it’s not a tool you’ve used before, do a practice run with a friend or family member the day before the interview to get comfortable with the tool and troubleshoot any issues.

Visually Prepare
Make sure the area at least behind you (that the interviewer will see) is clean and well lit and have your notes and pen and paper nearby. Dress as you would for an in-person interview and wear a contrasting color to the background behind you. Some other dressing tips for the camera are to not wear anything with a busy pattern or super bright colors. One final tip is to make sure to close the door to the room you are conducting the interview in so you can avoid unwanted distractions. If your family is at home, make sure they know not to interrupt you during this time.

Body Language
As with any interview, be aware of your body language and try not to speak too fast or use filler words. With video conferencing there may be a slight pause between what the interviewer is saying and when you hear it, so wait a second before responding to the question to make sure you don’t talk over the interviewer.

Have a Back Up Plan
With technology, there is always the chance that things could go wrong so make sure to have a backup plan in case the video interview suddenly drops. It’s smart to have an alternative phone number and email of the interviewer so you are able to contact them right away if the video stops.

We hope these tips are helpful for your next video interview. By practicing ahead of time and working out any technical kinks you can go into your next video interview confident and prepared.

Remote Interviewing Tips