4 Ways to Boost Your Job Search During the Holiday Season

If you’re in the job market, either right now or planning to be at the start of 2018 — your timing is impeccable. Contrary to widespread belief, December and January both mark ideal months for job hunting, for various reasons. When it comes to nailing the job search during the holidays, there are some tips to keep in mind.

If you’re looking for a new job now, don’t halt your search over the holidays! It’s actually a myth that nobody hires over the holidays; businesses still have openings. And you can bet overworked, short-staffed hiring managers aren’t taking three weeks off. Decision-makers are still in the office.

That’s not to say hiring managers aren’t distracted from their daily tasks. In December, many managers clean out their emails, organize their files, plan, and review resumes they don’t typically have time to deal with. With fewer resumes rolling in, and hiring managers potentially more accessible, you may get a head start on other candidates. Yes, hiring does face a slow-down in December, but applications slow down even more. That gives you an advantage if you don’t pause your search.

Boost Your Job Search During The Holidays

You’re not the only one considering making a change. Every year, a number of workers give their notice over the holidays. They’re accepting offers for new positions that start in early January. Perhaps somebody just vacated your dream job, and recruiters love to fill those openings during the holidays. So, what are you waiting for?

That being said, it’s true that in some companies, hiring does lag in December and speeds up again in January. If you’re thinking of looking for a new job for the new year, it’s time to get started right now.

Here are four things you can do over the holidays to be ahead of the pack on January 1:

  1. Refresh your resume. If your resume hasn’t been updated in the past year, it needs a refresh. Resumes are trending shorter and more concise, so refreshing your resume means deleting older information as well as adding recent, more relevant accomplishments. Update the font and format while you’re at it.
  2. Polish your social brand. Does your LinkedIn profile glow? Is it time to change your photo, refine your summary, or add anything to your profile? Take some time to write endorsements for people you respect. If you need endorsements, ask a few people who have worked with you closely. They may have more time to help you now than they will in January. Join a few relevant groups and post comments. Take a look at your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to make sure they’re job-search ready.
  3. Do your research. Spend some time “shopping” for your next company. Check out award-winning employers, since they are already recognized as great places to work. Are you looking for a casual, fun culture like GoDaddy; a promising career path in IT at USAA; or do you want a professional setting with formal career development programs like Charles Schwab? If you see a future in managing a team, Direct Energy’s strength lies in developing great managers.
  4. Start your cover letter. Write a killer intro, and a few paragraphs you can interchange and modify according to the opportunity. Cover letters can be surprisingly hard to write, especially at the last minute when everything else is ready to submit — so prepare now.

Whether you’re already searching or plan to start your search soon, December and January are ideal months for a job hunt. Your timing is perfect for finding a dream job with a top company! Follow the above tips to boost your job search during the holidays.

About the Author

Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.

And that’s a wrap! Reflecting on a big year at BestCompaniesAZ

As 2017 draws to a close, we are so grateful for the amazing response to our 100 Best Arizona Companies list and all the corresponding stories we told throughout the year. We first focused on our six main 100 Best categories:

In addition to the six main categories, we looked at the Best Companies for:

With nearly 40,000 page views for the 100 Best content, thousands of people learned about these wonderful organizations who make our state such a great place to live and work. And, to cap it off, we had a wonderful evening on December 5 celebrating and networking with many of the 100 Best and the charities they support. (The images on the right showcase what a great turnout this was — many thanks to all who attended!)

Thank you for engaging with these stories this year! We will have more great company features and career advice coming in 2018. Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

The BestCompaniesAZ Team

Want to catch a glimpse of this year’s successes recognizing great companies? To view our BestCompaniesAZ magazine PDF, click the image below.

Happy Holidays! Here’s to a bright 2018 — stay tuned for more great career content and employer highlights!

Thank you for another successful year! Follow BestCompaniesAZ on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.




The Best Companies For Perks

It’s no wonder 57 percent of job seekers consider a company’s perks and benefits to be among their primary considerations before accepting a job offer. It’s as important for employee happiness as it is for employer branding — and some companies have their perks down.

Although this list could run much longer, we selected the following 15 of the 100 Best Arizona Companies for their unique, helpful and fun perks they provide employees. Charles Schwab, Direct Energy, GoDaddy, Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Infusionsoft, Longboard Asset Management, meltmedia, Progrexion, Protiviti, Quarles & Brady, Ryan, Spear Education, USAA, Vanguard, and Zocdoc. Get to know a few of them below.

Best Companies for Perks

Direct Energy

best companies for perksAlthough paid leave and insurance benefits typically remain fairly standard across the board in medium-large sized companies, Direct Energy benefits stand out and are rated much higher than most top companies.  Most noteworthy? Their 12 weeks paid parental leave for men and women — a benefit virtually unheard of nationwide. Combined with flexible schedules, this benefit supports family life. There is a choice of health plans with strong premium subsidies, overall earning the company a 95% positive rating for benefits* where in even award-winning companies 75% is considered the norm. *According to their employee survey results from the 2017 Top Companies to Work for In Arizona program.

Direct Energy was also included in the 2015 and 2016 Phoenix Business Journal’s “Healthiest Employers in AZ.”  Apropos for an energy company, Direct Energy believes in burning calories and not electricity. Employees are encouraged to be their best, and that includes supporting one’s health and well-being.

From fitness partnerships to nutritional support, and opportunities to incorporate good habits into daily work life, Direct Energy hosts an in-house health and wellness program that expands to every office, with opportunities for all employees. One example: an indoor fitness track that provides an indoor path to walk for exercise on Arizona’s hot summer days. Their Tempe campus came in #1 (of seven Direct Energy sites) in the company’s recent Health & Wellness initiative called “DE in Motion.” With the additional $4,666 raised, they have now raised $19K for Phoenix Children’s Hospital YTD. A company who gives back to their community while encouraging healthy habits. That’s a win-win!


best companies for perksInfusionsoft empowers employees to think big, own outcomes and drive results. So much so that they have a performance focused rewards and recognition program that goes beyond your typical congratulatory certificate. Each month Infusionsoft dishes out cold hard cash to deserving Infusionites for various achievements – innovation, multiplying people, customer success, just to name a few. Recipients are recognized during companywide meetings by various senior leaders and highlighted onstage for their contributions to helping millions of small businesses succeed.

The results-focused company encourages employees to spend time on (and with) the things that are important to them outside of their careers. That’s why Infusionsoft offers a flexible PTO plan and work-from-home policy that makes that a possibility. Need time off for a vacation? A mental health day to recharge? Infusionsoft wants these things to serve as a win for you, your team, their customers, and the company overall.

The #infusionlife includes monthly themed tailgates, a fully stocked cereal bar, a Coke Freestyle machine, ping pong tournaments, an indoor football field meeting area, 24-hour hackathons, Food Truck Fridays, happy hours, even breakfast with one of our execs, just to name a few.


At Protiviti, their time-off program includes 20 days per year for sick, personal and vacation time (after every 3 years, employees receive an extra 3 days, to a maximum of 30 days). They also have a sabbatical program which offers 1-3 months leave with a stipend.

In addition to their Adoption Assistance and Paid Parental Leave benefits, Protiviti also offers Flexible Work Arrangements. That way, team members can temporarily adjust their schedules or workloads to focus on other priorities.  Employees can also leverage the Backup Dependent Care program to provide reliable care for loved ones in a pinch.

Some additional perks that keep employees happy at Protiviti? Their PROPS program was extended to recognize employee achievements; points allow team members to redeem for gifts — from movie tickets to iPads to hot air balloon rides. And Protiviti’s employee referral program includes payouts starting at $5,000 for consultants and increasing based on position level. On occasions when boosting recruitment, they have also offered added incentives; that includes gift cards for people who share referral success stories on the firm’s intranet, and a chance to win a trip for two (up to $2.5k value)!

Quarles & Brady

best companies for perksIn addition to the highly competitive benefits package Quarles & Brady employees enjoy, the team also receives numerous perks that are not only fun, but helpful! Employees enjoy flexible work schedules, a formal mentoring program, professional development opportunities, ongoing training programs, personal day annually above vacation benefits, bereavement leave, attendance awards, employee referral awards, periodic casual days and team building events. An added bonus: free food and drinks, including fresh brewed Starbucks coffee machines, tea and cocoa, along with break rooms with kitchens on all floors.

Quarles & Brady has a commitment to employee wellness, demonstrated by their discounted health club memberships, paid maternity and paternity leave, on-site nursing rooms, monthly fitness challenges, QBLivingWell website with health/nutritional information, Bright Horizons backup child and elder care, flu shots on-site, firm softball team and more!

best companies for perksQuarles also has instituted some great employee traditions including: Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day celebration, summer ice cream socials, Cinco de Mayo lunch, Firm holiday party, annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day” full-day event, and their annual staff appreciation week.


According to a recent survey Zocdoc conducted in partnership with Kelton Global, three out of five employed Americans feel uncomfortable leaving work for preventive care appointments, with the majority citing their employer or company culture for making them feel that way. To remove this barrier between work and health, Zocdoc introduced Unsick Day, a new type of day off from work— without penalty, and with explicit permission and encouragement. It allows employees to take care of the important healthcare appointments that are easy to put off, such as physicals and teeth cleanings.

Zocdoc is also calling on other companies to empower every working American to take the time to go to the doctor before they get sick. Zocdoc is inviting all forward-thinking companies to join the movement at www.unsickday.com, and employees can also visit the site to request an Unsick Day from their company.

Another unique benefit they offer? Zocdoc pays 100% of the healthcare insurance costs for full-time team members as well as their dependents. Their mission is to give power to the patient. That mantra starts with Zocdoc’s employees and also their families.

It’s pretty incredible the amazing ways employers are taking care of their employees in both big and small ways. Are you ready to move on to bigger and better benefits? Browse career paths with these Best Companies for Perks.

Building Best Companies: Reflections of the Workplace Culture Maven

As I look back on the last fifteen years I’m amazed at all that has transpired with workplace culture, employer branding and corporate social responsibility within Arizona. In 2002, the term “employer brand” was not a common phrase in our collective vocabularies. Now, it’s a foundational element in business strategy to attract and retain the best talent.

When I joined forces with Denise Gredler in 2002 to help establish an avenue for creating and recognizing best companies, we truly believed it would have a positive impact across the local economy, our community and the Arizona workforce. Our vision took root and grew exponentially in these fifteen years.

By developing local employer award programs – 4 in total – BestCompaniesAZ has helped to elevate not only the amazing workplace cultures who are receiving these awards, but also showcase the wonderful opportunities that await: for companies to grow here and for individuals to build meaningful careers at these award-winning employers.

Since our 2003 inaugural “best list,” we’ve witnessed striking evidence that creating stronger, trust-based workplace cultures leads to positive business results. Despite the deeply hurtful Great Recession of 2008, most of the original list winners are still going strong, experiencing the financial and intangible benefits of their efforts.

Companies that win awards, whether our local programs or national ones, often become “celebrity employers” and “destination workplaces” that are almost as famous for their corporate cultures as for their products or services. And since awards involve third party due diligence on a company’s practices, winning creates trust in an employer brand and cements credibility.

Great storytelling is critical in employer branding. Winning workplace awards automatically shines a spotlight on the great organizations, providing the perfect platform to share the unique and amazing aspects of what it’s like to work there. This is something I have truly enjoyed doing over the years – sharing the stories of wonderful employers.

It’s truly exciting look back and realize how our vision came true: that better workplaces would create better lives, better communities, and more profitable businesses. What an honor it has been to be a part of this dream and witness the positive impact it has had. Wow, how far we’ve come!

About Lee Vikre

A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies.

Career Transition Tips for Veterans

The job hunt can be challenging for veterans making a career transition. BestCompaniesAZ caught up with Mark Day HR Services Representative, Performance Support Team at State Farm who has made the transition from military to civilian work. Mark hopes his story helps others who are transitioning out soon or have done so recently.

What was the job hunt like for you as a veteran?
It was taxing, to say the least. I started my hunt around 2 ½ months before I left the service. I was reaching out to friends, family, and old network connections in an effort to be able to walk directly into the right career field when I came home.  I had multiple people across many different industries review my resume and even provide interview tips to help me better understand the difference between civilian interviews versus a military style interview. When I came home to Phoenix I began applying to every opportunity I could find ranging from things I was over-qualified to do to careers that I did not have enough experience for. I spent literally every hour I had rewriting my resume for each posting, working on my interview presentation skills, attending career fairs, and applying for jobs.  That lasted for about 20 days.

What were the specific challenges you faced in looking for a civilian job?
Having a family, while a blessing, can be very stressful when dealing with the strains of making a mid-career switch. I needed to find a school for my oldest (who was in Kindergarten) at the time, and my twin boys were still in diapers, so trying to find daycare that was reasonable was difficult when I was living off my savings. While I prepared the best I could, it still was nerve racking every day that I was not working, because I was wondering “When am I going to stop burning through my savings and start bringing income in again?” Aside from the typical stresses that anyone would have with making a life change like that, I had this military mindset that I needed to go and find a job. I had it labeled like a checklist in my head: write a resume, apply to a job, interview for  job, and go to work. I struggled with the concept that I was looking for the right career fit where I would not only be interviewed, I should be asking questions to learn more about the company to determine if I would like working and growing there.

How did you find State Farm? What was the hiring process like for you?
I actually never even thought about applying to State Farm or even joining the insurance industry in general. I attended a career fair hosted by Wounded Warrior that I had heard about on the news that morning. I printed 50 resumes and drove over to the other side of town to attend. The event was only a few hours and there were so many different vendors from every industry. I made a plan to speak to every organization in attendance, but in the end I ran out of time.  I had actually walked into the last room where the Phoenix Police Department was closing up their setup. I asked a few questions and that’s when the State Farm recruiter came back to grab a few more items she needed to pack up for the day. She said hello and I replied back. I asked a few questions, because my assumption was that the only thing to do at an insurance company was work at a call center or be an insurance agent. Both are great opportunities, however, it wasn’t where I wanted to head in my transition. I realized the time was past so I apologized for going over the scheduled time and attempted to excuse myself, because when I was a recruiter in the service I knew what kind of hard work that a career fair takes, in addition to usually having to be someplace else right after the event. So I wanted to be respectful of that. What sparked my true interest in State Farm was that she didn’t flinch when I offered an out. She said not to worry and asked me more questions about my experience and time in the service. She took the time to explain in more detail all of the different opportunities at State Farm.  Her genuine enthusiasm and support of the organization was what drove me to actually apply. I was not even sure I would find a place where the employees had the kind of camaraderie and the pride that I was accustomed to in the service.

Did you experience anything different during the hiring process at State Farm, as compared to other companies? If so, what and/or how?
I had interviewed at multiple companies before interviewing at State Farm, ranging from start-ups to mid-level companies and other fortune 50 organizations. What I found that set State Farm apart was their interest in my actual application of my skill sets. Most organizations seemed to have the check mark mentality when reviewing your resume and even during the interview. There was a large amount of experience-based questions to understand application of my accomplishments. I was able to provide more context on a lot of my military experience that may not have been easily translated had it been left to just a resume. It was great not just explaining what I did in those scenarios but why I did certain actions.

What has it been like for you working at State Farm?
Joining State Farm has been nothing short of one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I, like many veterans before me, struggled initially with transitioning from the service to the corporate environment. I reached out to my manager with my concerns and how things are different in a corporate atmosphere. What was really helpful was that he set me up with a mentor. My mentor was a fellow veteran who understood the challenges I had facing me ahead. He had been with the company for about 10 years, so he essentially was able to help keep me grounded while also being able to help me work on what some would call “rough edges” in my communication style. The most impactful thing he was able to do was help me feel more relaxed in the environment.

How have your military skills and experience transferred to a civilian career?
I worked on explosives and was a recruiter for a few years while I was in the service. I worked my way up to being a senior leader in my division. While I don’t work on explosives anymore, I found that it was my leadership experience and time on recruiting duty that employers found most appealing and transferable.  Things like performance evaluations for employees and leaders alike, coaching to gain positive results, and holding the standards of policies and regulations to yourself and those around you are all skills I use on a daily basis.

How have you felt supported by your employer?
State Farm truly pushes work/life balance for all of their employees.  Our mentorship program allows for the continued development of our employees by connecting newer/junior employees with more tenured/senior employees and managers across the enterprise. We have development time that can be used to job shadow other areas if you are interested in pursuing other facets at State Farm and we also have Employee Resource Groups. When I explained to my manager that I wanted to be involved with the Military Affinity Group, which is an Employee Resource Group at State Farm, he was very supportive of it. Now I am in a position where I am also the Area Leader here in Phoenix of that group where we are helping veterans connect with veterans internally at State Farm along with working with our community.

What advice would you give to those who are about to separate from the military?
To help create a more seamless career transition, start at least six months before separation. Save as much cash in hand to support you and your family while you are finding the right career, which can help mitigate that stress over not working right away. Take time to reflect on a career choice and don’t just go get a job. As a service member, the mindset is to get the mission done, so we go out and get a job. To do that, many of us downplay our accomplishments on our resumes and become underemployed by accepting the first offer we receive. Also, when you are on the job hunt, it is a hunt. Go to every career fair you hear of, reach out to people to review and provide feedback to your resume, and practice interviewing with other people.

What advice would you give employers about hiring veterans?
Veterans bring many talents and skills to the table that employers are willing to pay for. With that talent comes a stigma. Most employers may assume it is some kind of disability such as PTSD, and what will that condition do to the current environment? Yes, some veterans are working through that, but veterans as a whole are going through a very stressful, dynamic, and quick turnaround when adapting to the corporate environment/transition out of the service. The adaptation also includes things as simple as no longer using military jargon or even proper dress standards – they are all a learning curve. Remember these men and women have been wearing a uniform in their last role and putting their life on the line on a regular basis. While there is no need to shy away from that stress, the simple acknowledgement of it helps. Something as simple as setting them up with a mentor enables an employer to have a very highly trained, and skilled employee who is loyal to fault.

Are you in a career transition as a veteran, or will soon be retiring or separating from the military? Then don’t miss BestCompaniesAZ’s 4th Annual Military Career Event on March 7! Meet hiring representatives from State Farm and many more veteran committed employers.  Register today!

Story provided by
Mark Day
HR Services Representative, Performance Support Team
State Farm

Arizona Employer Branding Firm BestCompaniesAZ Expands and Launches BestCompaniesTexas

Regional Branding for Award-Winning Companies

Phoenix, AZ – Nov. 16, 2017 – BestCompaniesAZ, an Arizona-based employer branding firm best known for its localized marketing programs for national employers, is now expanding into Texas. The Phoenix firm announced today the launch of BestCompaniesTexas, which will offer award-winning Texas employers customized regional branding programs designed to bolster the attraction and retention of talented employees within competitive work environments.

BestCompaniesAZ has a 15-year history serving major employers that have included USAA, Charles Schwab, Ryan, Vanguard, Vixxo, Direct Energy, GoDaddy, Progrexion, Hyatt Regency–Phoenix, Habitat for Humanity—Central Arizona, Synchrony Financial, Medtronic, Dignity Health, the Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Arizona, and the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, among many others.

Denise Gredler, founder and CEO, decided the time was right for expansion after receiving requests from BestCompaniesAZ clients, many of whom also have sizeable corporate campuses in Texas. “We’re confident that BestCompaniesTexas will quickly find favor among leading companies who seek to be more competitive in attracting talent and boosting their local presence. Our services have been dubbed ‘PR for HR.’  We create integrated employer branding and marketing programs for award-winning employers and partner with community organizations and local media partners to raise awareness about the many reasons an organization is deemed exceptional among its peers.”

BestCompaniesTexas offers online branding and social media support, hosts “BestCompanies” career events, business networking events, veteran and diversity events, corporate culture tours, educational roundtables, and provides customized solutions for companies looking to leverage and promote their great workplaces.  Specialized services include award consultation & submission assistance for state and national awards, employee survey analysis, action planning, and best practice benchmarking, storytelling through blogs and podcasts, non-traditional recruitment sourcing strategies, to name a few.

To become a client of BestCompaniesTexas, companies must have won at least one major state, national or industry workplace award that demonstrates a high level of employee engagement and a corporate commitment to workplace best practices. Most client companies offer exceptional employee benefits and perks and maintain corporate cultures that are highly supportive to employees. Many clients have been recognized for leadership in the areas of veteran hiring, diversity and inclusion, and gender equality. For more information on programs and client opportunities, please visit BestCompaniesTexas or call 480-545-5151.

About – BestCompaniesAZ & BestCompaniesTexas

BestCompaniesTexas offers regional programs utilizing employer branding publicity and marketing that promote client news about career opportunities, events, recognition, awards and community initiatives.  BestCompaniesTexas specializes in developing, strengthening and marketing employer brands through integrated marketing programs. Specialized services include employee opinion surveys, benchmarking, employment branding, recruitment strategies, award consultation and promotional services.

BestCompaniesAZ was established in 2002 and is proud to sponsor major workplace awards programs in partnership with local media, including AZ Business Magazine’s Arizona’s Most Admired Companies and azcentral.com’s Top Companies to Work for in Arizona.

CEO and founder Denise Gredler is a nationally recognized thought leader in corporate culture development and was honored as one of “Arizona’s Most Influential Women” by AZ Business Magazine.  For more information on programs or client opportunities in Texas, please visit BestCompaniesTexas or call 480-545-5151.

#   #   #

Company Contact:
Denise Gredler
CEO & Founder
BestCompaniesAZ and BestCompaniesTexas
480-545-5151 (O)

Media Contact:
Stephanie Burchfield
Burchfield & Wolin Public Relations
480-460-4111 (O)
602-418-2501 (M)

Become A Talent Magnet With A Strong Employer Brand

By the time the U.S. emerged from the Great Recession, shifting demographics had forever altered the hiring landscape and employer branding emerged as a vital foundation for recruiting. Today’s talent acquisition is just as closely related to marketing and public relations as it is to human resources. With good reason, employer branding is the hottest topic in talent acquisition. Here’s why a solid, strong employer brand is crucial for a company to have.

Cultivating A Strong Employer Brand 

An employer brand is what people think of a company, its reputation as an employer – how they treat their employees and what it’s like to work there. Therefore, every company has an employer brand, whether it’s carefully nurtured or develops on its own, and whether it’s well-known or not.

If you’re adding staff, or just trying to keep the ones you have, your employer brand can set you apart – or not. What makes your company unique and your culture desirable? Having an unknown or lackluster image as an employer is almost as bad as having a poor reputation. One way to strengthen your employer brand, adding credibility and visibility? Gain recognition as a best place to work.

When an organization builds a strong employer brand, the company becomes a talent magnet. Best workplace awards automatically create those magnets. And as unemployment continues to drop, standing out among the crowd is more important than ever. Even people who thought they were happy in their jobs can be enticed by recruiters’ attractive pitches. Having a strong employer brand opens the doors to those conversations.

Here are a few tangible benefits of a strong employer brand:

  • 94% of applicants more likely to apply for a job if the company has a strong employer brand
  • 69% of candidates would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if unemployed
  • 65% lower turnover = increased employee retention
  • 54% increase in the quality of the talent pool
  • 50% reduction in overall recruitment costs
  • Candidates under 40 are 61% more likely to make career decisions based on employer brand

Do you need to strengthen your employer brand? For Arizona employers, start by applying for the 2018 azcentral Top Companies to Work for In Arizona program. Gaining a workplace award will automatically raise your company’s reputation and visibility!

About the author:

Denise Gredler, Founder and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ has been helping identify, develop and promote employer brands in Arizona for 15 years. Contact BestCompaniesAZ to stand out from the crowd and start attracting and retaining the talent your company needs.

USAA to Hire Up to 1,000 Tech Professionals in Phoenix

November 8, 2017 – PHOENIX – USAA announced today plans to hire up to 1,000 technology professionals between now and year-end 2020 at its Phoenix campus. For more information on how to apply or to see available roles, visit www.usaajobs.com.

This growth emphasizes the organization’s longstanding focus on superior member services by bringing innovative products and experiences to market, as technology advancements move at an unprecedented pace.

“Relationships are at the core of USAA member service, and our investment in people and technology enables us to meet our members where they are,” said Michael Pansini, USAA Vice President of Applications Development. “We are constantly working to design, develop and deliver the best possible experiences.”

Growing its technology capabilities is a focus for USAA as it seeks to anticipate changing member needs. Overall, USAA has seen steady growth in its technology-focused workforce at its headquarters in San Antonio, as well as its locations in Austin and Plano, Texas. Expanding technology capabilities in Phoenix is part of a larger strategy to hire the best talent around all of USAA’s campuses.

“As our membership grows and their needs change, our workforce must keep pace and evolve,” said Gay Meyer, USAA Assistant Vice President of HR Operations. “Phoenix is a great market for us, and with the area’s deep pool of tech talent, adding these roles in Phoenix makes sense.”

“Phoenix has been strongly focused on diversifying our high-wage knowledge economy, and now our region is competing with the nation’s top software development markets to win these jobs,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “ASU’s leadership and concierge service in their way of embracing industry played an integral role in bringing these jobs to Phoenix. USAA is one of our top employers, one of our strongest corporate partners and most committed friend to veterans, so we more than welcome this continued investment.”

USAA’s Phoenix campus is located at One Norterra Drive, and the company currently employs approximately 4,500 people in the Phoenix area. USAA was ranked No. 5 on Forbes’ Best Large Employers list this year, and offers a world-class benefits package, including education assistance and recently expanded parental leave benefits.

These new roles will be part of the larger Chief Technology and Digital Office, comprising the technology, data and analytics, innovation, digital experience and design departments.

USAA previously announced growth plans in Plano, Colorado Springs, Colo. and Tampa, Fla.

For a behind-the-scenes look at USAA’s Phoenix office, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdWkGp9nAYU.

About USAA The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.


DID #246993 – 1117

5 Unique Resume Skills To Include

A recent study showed that nearly three out of four employees are so dissatisfied with their current jobs that they’re looking for employment elsewhere. If you’re within that chunk of the workforce, it may be time to spruce up your resume and kick off the job hunt. One facet of the process? Try adding some unique skills and strengths outside of listing your job experience. Weave some flavor into your resume with interesting and attractive skills. Beyond basic bullet points like “MS Excel proficiency” or “foreign language fluency,” keep reading for five unique resume skills to include.

Unique Resume Skills To Include

Conflict Resolution

Even if your field isn’t specific to mediating conflicts, it’s an inevitable part of any job in any workplace. Conflict resolution skills are a job requirement for several different types of positions. Conflict within organizations can reduce productivity and create a difficult or hostile environment. This leads to unwanted turnover in employees or dejected morale. If you are able to mediate and diffuse conflict, it definitely encompasses a marketable skill to include on your resume.   

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking concerns a variety of evaluation techniques among data, facts, ideas and creative proposals. The ability to think critically entails one of the most sought-after qualities that employers look for in job candidates. For instance, employers list this skill as a job qualification in a broad range of job postings. Regardless of the position for which you are applying, critical thinking skills will be an in-demand asset.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills, more casually known as people skills, essentially describe the ways in which you communicate and interact with people. To recruiters, interpersonal skills prove one of the top criteria used to evaluate candidates. Regardless of your field, the majority of careers require consistent, usually constant, interaction with other people. While you may excel at the technical aspects of your job, it’s vital that you display good people skills and are able to communicate well. Emphasizing strong interpersonal strengths is a good way to include unique skills on your resume.


While it may seem obvious, as being a team player is usually part of any position, demonstrating your ability to collaborate and participate in teamwork is important and will paint you as an attractive candidate. Even if you complete the bulk of your job duties alone, you will still need to think of your work in the context of the company’s larger goals and mission. This includes communicating your accomplishments to coworkers at the organization and working alongside them to produce the best results. Highlight teamwork as one of your resume skills to display a unique, coveted asset.

Organizational Proficiency

Organizational skills are some of the most significant and transferable capabilities an employee can acquire. They encompass a set of skills that help a worker to plan, prioritize and achieve his or her goals. The organizational skills you want to market go beyond basic filing and sorting paperwork; rather, how do you approach a long to-do list? Furthermore, how do you ensure your work is completed in a timely, adequate manner? The ability to keep work organized allows employees to focus on different projects without getting disoriented or overwhelmed, overall increasing productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Hiring managers look for employees who not only keep their emails and desk organized, but those who can also adjust quickly to the organizational structure of a company.

What other unique resume skills would you include? Let us know on our social channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

The Best Companies For Veterans

In September 2017 the veteran unemployment rate dropped to 3.0% — its lowest level since 2001. Compared to 4.0% for non-veterans, transitioning out of the military appears to be getting easier for our military service members. This encouraging news may prove partially related to more and more employers pledging to hire veterans. But what do the best companies for veterans stand for?

In looking at the 100 Best Arizona Companies, many of them are great places for veterans to build a thriving second career. So we’ve compiled a list of the Best Companies for Arizona Veterans. These employers demonstrate a commitment to hiring veterans and many have received recognition for it! Congratulations to Aetna, CBRE, Charles Schwab, GoDaddy, Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Quicken Loans, PayPal, Sundt and USAA. Read on to learn what makes them stand out as the best companies for veterans.

The Best Companies for Veterans


best companies for veteransThe world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm has been recognized as a Military Friendly Employer by Victory Media for 6 years in a row. This honor demonstrates the importance they place on hiring veterans. In addition, with 450 offices and 75,000 employees worldwide, a plethora of career opportunities exist.

“At CBRE, we are committed to creating career opportunities for military talent and value the skills and leadership qualities that are deeply ingrained in individuals with current and prior experience in the U.S. military,” said Grayson Gill, CBRE Chief Operating Officer, Asset Services and Co-Executive Sponsor for the CBRE Military network group. CBRE’s track record with veterans demonstrates they are one of the best companies for veterans.

Charles Schwab

best companies for veteransCharles Schwab is the recipient of numerous workplace awards for their commitment to hiring veterans and military spouses. A few of them include: Military Friendly® Employer, Military Spouse Friendly® Employer and Military Times Best for Vets. Schwab also remains aligned with 100,000 Jobs Mission, Joining Forces, and many other organizations supporting our military service men and women. Employees at Schwab can also join their Military Veterans Network Employee Resource Group.

In addition, managers from Schwab’s Phoenix office received recognition from the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for their support of National Guard/Reserve team members. All around, Charles Schwab exemplifies what it means to be a best company for veterans!

Quicken Loans

A unique aspect about Quicken Loans is their dedicated veteran hiring program – a mission to create career opportunities for veterans, service members and their families. Their dedicated military recruiters understand military service and how it prepares veterans for a new career in the business world. In addition to winning numerous best workplace awards, Quicken Loans has landed on the Military Friendly® Employer list and the Military Times Best for Vets list. It is also a member of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership. It’s no wonder Quicken Loans is a best company for veterans!


best companies for veterans

Sundt Construction, Inc invited a group of Wounded Warriors to participate in its 2017 Mike Gaines Charity Golf Tournament to benefit ALS research.

As one of the nation’s largest and most respected general contractors, this 127-year-old firm has been recognized as a top Military Friendly® Employer for two years in a row. Sundt consistently demonstrates its commitment to hiring military talent, working to expand its active-duty, military spouse and veteran employee count. Another interesting fact about Sundt? It’s 100 percent owned by its approximately 2,000 employees.

This Veterans Day, we also want to include wonderful aspects of the remaining Best Companies for Veterans. So, take a look:

  • Aetna has a robust veteran hiring section on their careers site, that includes a military skills translator, testimonials from veteran employees, and a dedicated veteran job search portal.  
  • Check out this new video from GoDaddy that highlights their Employee Resource Group – GD VET, and their dedicated veteran recruiter.
  • Intuit pledged to hire at least 250 veterans and military spouses as part of the Joining Forces initiative. And employees can connect with and support their veteran teammates through the Intuit Military Network Employee Resource Group.
  • JPMorgan Chase is co-founder of the Veteran Jobs Mission and has won numerous workplace awards for their commitment to veterans.
  • Serve is PayPal’s military veterans network, which provides a place for veterans and allies to come together, offers professional and personal development, mentorship and community outreach.
  • USAA not only serves our nation’s military members and their families with insurance, banking and financial services, they also have a hiring goal of 30% military veterans and spouses!

Congratulations to these wonderful organizations making the transition out of the military a smoother one for many of our veterans! Furthermore, if you’re a veteran (or military spouse) searching for a new career, be sure to check out any of the above companies and our Veteran Committed Employers page!

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