I started working for USAA in my early twenties and have been here for nearly eight years. I essentially grew up during my career, and it has made me appreciate the different opportunities that USAA provides. I see myself working here for many years.
What I most appreciate about working here is the belief in the mission and commitment to core values. My career has provided me a fulfilling path of serving those who serve our country, while working in a safe environment that promotes honesty and integrity.
Career events like the BestCompaniesAZ Millennial Career Mixer can help you launch a dream career by directly connecting you with some incredible employers.
But how do you make sure you are ready to make a great impression? Here are 10 ways to rock a career event.
After college graduation I wasn’t just looking for a job, I was looking for a career. Previous employment opportunities had led me to organizations that I felt didn’t value innovation or creativity. It was difficult for me to use my degree in a way that made a difference.
It was important to me that I work in a collaborative, rather than competitive, work environment. I wanted to work for a company that I could take care of, and a company that took care of me. USAA is that company.
Millennial job seekers - despite how it may feel at times, employers really do want to hire you. They just need some reassurance because your resumes are a little skinny, even though you yourselves are full of awesomeness.
Many employers fall into the “2-5 year experience trap”. By looking only for candidates with 2-5 years of experience, they severely limit their pool of available candidates. We feel the pain of both hiring managers who can’t fill their openings and millennial job seekers with skinny resumes. Hiring managers can overlook a skinny resume, if you bulk up your personal brand on social media.
In my post A Career… Without College ? I shared how I landed in human resources without a formal education in my field. After that post was published I received quite a few positive emails from readers sharing their own stories of overcoming challenges on the path to their dream job, as well as some from readers that were given a push in the right direction after reading my story. I was thrilled to hear that my intended message was received loud and clear: YOU control your career destiny. A positive mindset is a major part of guiding your career towards your ultimate dream job, but positivity alone will not get you there.
Here are five things you can start doing today to help clear the path to the role of your dreams:
It’s official, millennials are now the largest segment of our workforce. Your future business success depends on them, and your employer brand needs to draw them in.
Relax. It’s not a huge mystery. Millennials are really not that different from other age groups. Despite all of the stories emphasizing the differences between generations, at the core, people all have similar needs from their workplaces. Here’s the BestCompaniesAZ quick-start guide to making your company appeal to millennials.
When I started at Yelp, I was ecstatic to embark on a new career path. Recruiting had been in my sights for several years and when the job was offered to me, I knew this company was where I needed to be. My role in the Sales Recruiting Team was like a breath of fresh air. Fast-paced, rewarding and fun. Life at Yelp was everything that I had hoped. Work hard, play hard!
Four short months after I started with the company, my husband and I were over-the-moon to discover we were expecting our first child. My peers, managers, and directors were nothing but supportive from the very beginning. It was clear that the health and well-being of me and my child were a priority. I experienced unlimited support throughout my pregnancy.
Romeo joined Yelp’s Scottsdale office as an account manager 9 months ago. During his time at Yelp, he has seen firsthand many reasons why a company committed to the principles of promoting diversity and inclusion improve the quality of life of employees.
The two primary diversity groups that Romeo identifies with are his ethnic identity as a person of color – an Asian-Pacific Islander; and his religion - a practicing Muslim. A third group that he is also active with in the workplace is the Parents Group, as a new parent of a six-week old child, in addition to becoming a stepparent last year.
According to Romeo, “Everybody is so supportive of everyone else. Within the groups with which I am active, we celebrate differences.” One of the activities my group engaged in was preparing a potluck with dishes from around the world. At the Yelp Parents Group, parents have an opportunity to enjoy exchanging ideas about any number of parenting topics.
Being one of the only (if not THE only) pregnant women on the sales floor was daunting at first. I had been with Yelp for almost 3 years when I found out I was pregnant and we were still a fairly small office so, looking around, I stuck out like a sore thumb. It was a huge relief to me when everyone embraced the news with open arms, support and excitement. Our Human Resources Department was great with walking me through the steps that we would take in the upcoming months to ensure a smooth transition into maternity leave, and it helped alleviate a lot of the anxiety that I had as I continued growing both my career and my family simultaneously. The Facilities team was amazing as well, making sure that I had everything that I needed to be comfortable as I grew at my desk!
Two companies made big news recently for all the wrong reasons; Subway and Amazon. Both scenarios involve damage to well-respected brands, but while the Subway crisis was black and white, the Amazon culture controversy has generated many different points of view. In case you just got back from a wilderness media-fast, here’s the story.
New York Times writers Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld stand by the report and its accuracy, defending the use of copious anecdotal evidence to tell the story. Not everyone agrees with their dystopian view. Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman supports Amazon’s work ethic, stating that tech firms that are “cosseting” tech employees have turned them into “well-fed farm animals”.
Every job seeker wants to find the perfect job, almost as much as every corporation wants to find the perfect candidate. At BestCompaniesAZ, our goal is to make that process easier by helping the BEST employers find the BEST candidates. We’ve conducted a great deal of research in this field, and have some tips and pointers to give job seekers every advantage for a successful outcome.
- Know Your Strengths and Transferable Skills
What makes YOU unique within the context of the job you are seeking? Are you creative? Systematic? Visionary? Organized? Flexible? Perfectionist?
- Research the Hiring Companies
Interestingly, while technical skills and experience certainly count high on the list of any employer, companies often place an even higher value on hiring candidates with the right personality to blend well with their corporate culture. Start by reviewing the company profile online – just click on the company logo on our Arizona’s Best Companies page. If you like what you see, we have additional resources on our website to help you identify companies that best align with your values and interests.
- Review the Career Openings in Advance and Build Your Resume
Know the types of jobs that fit your skills, abilities and interests. Apply online prior to the event if you find a potential match. Although most hiring companies will not be able to collect resumes on site, we still encourage you to bring a supply with you to the event, and come prepared to collect business cards and take notes.
- Develop your “personal pitch” - Share your stories
With limited time at a career event you only have just a few minutes to “wow” the recruiter with your personal story and why you’d be a great fit for them. When employers ask about you, deliver a personal pitch that tells the employer in 30 – 60 seconds the following points:
- Manage Your Online Brand
Google yourself to see what comes up on the first few pages. Be aware of your online presence, because hiring companies are checking you out before they meet you in person. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully developed and expand your contacts through groups that connect to your field. Recruiters and employers are using social media sites to fill their positions. Make it easy for them to find you.
- Expand Your Network – Talk to friends and family
Award-winning companies receive thousands of resumes, but if someone comes referred by a friend or family member, they often go to the top of the list.
- Prepare and Practice
Practice telling your personal story to your family and friends. Create mock interview questions and review scenarios for each company of interest. From company websites you can explore company culture by watching videos, reviewing Facebook and Twitter channels, learning more about the leadership team and current press releases.
We wish you much success when you attend any of our Career Events throughout the year!
One employee’s story
Being born with Muscular Dystrophy has provided me with some challenges in my life, many coming in the form of the inability to help myself with simple day-to-day tasks. From getting out of bed, to getting dressed, to even eating a meal -- I've always required assistance from someone when it comes to most physical activities. Fortunately, I was blessed with a sharp mind, a positive attitude, and a feverish desire to overcome obstacles and not allow my physical disability serve as an excuse for me not accomplishing my goals and seeing myself succeed.
Great companies are made up of great people. Even though talent has become scarce, great companies still look for great people and don't settle for less.
One example of a top company that hires for a service mindset: Fry’s Food Stores. BestCompaniesAZ’s founder and CEO, Denise Gredler, recently experienced some above-and-beyond service at Fry’s - her engagement diamond fell out while shopping in her local store. Fry’s employee, Buddy Augustin, swept the store keeping an eye out for the stone, and was quite surprised when he spotted it in his regular cleaning. Denise was even more surprised that it was found. Watch their story on this Pay it Forward segment on Channel 5.
Let’s face it: social media and the internet have taken over our lives! Perceptions and desires that once were driven by “traditional” media such as television and print are now controlled by the almighty mobile device. Many have tried to resist the impact of social media on our daily lives, scoffing at the “poor etiquette” or “lack of real conversation” that technology has created. Love it or hate it, this new way of obtaining information is here to stay. So, will you allow social and online media to enhance or inhibit your online brand?
Diversity and inclusion programs make companies more innovative. Research proves that. Yet many organizations struggle with building a diverse and inclusive team, especially at the leadership level. Best companies don’t give up, and they get results. Here are six proven ways to improve diversity in your organization.
Are you “diverse”? Diversity isn't just about gender, cultural or ethnic background, it’s also about bringing a different perspective or point of view to an organization. How can you find a great job when you see yourself as “different” and are not sure you’ll fit in?
Here are five tips for diverse job seekers to find the job of your dreams.
Are you a multicultural job seeker, a military veteran or have some type of disability? While the answer is more likely to be “yes” than ever before, and more employers have strong commitments to diversity and inclusion in their workforce, there can still be some challenges in the interview process for candidates who may feel “different”.
Here are ten tips for interview success:
I love hearing job applicants’ theories about what happens once they submit resumes to an applicant tracking system, the program most companies use to manage candidate information. One of my favorites involves evil robots scanning resumes and destroying with their laser beam eyes any resumes submitted that are not a perfect match.
I always get a good laugh from these stories, but the truth is there is an art and science behind an applicant tracking system, and I thought I’d put to rest any further ideas about evil robots determining a candidate’s fate. While every company has its own process, here’s a common path your application takes once you hit “apply.”