Tips for Job Searching During the Holidays



Based on past trends, December is historically a slow hiring month. You can still find a short-term gig, holding a position that is limited to just the winter and year-end holidays. However, if you're not interested in such jobs, use your time productively when demand is not so high, and prepare for the upcoming job hiring season ahead.

Here are some tips to help you with job hunting for 2016:

Refresh your profile, experiences and skills.

You may have been busy the few months prior, so this is a great time for you to update your Harri profile. Add any new work experience and include any extra skills you have learned. Did you take any photos or videos of your work? If yes, showcase it on your Harri gallery.

Reconnect with contacts and references.

Reach out to the people you have met and connected with throughout the year. Whether you are contacting them because you want to say a simple hello or thank you, aim to email them a few days to a week after the new year. For one, they will most likely be occupied with urgent priorities during the holidays. You certainly do not want your message to be lost in a sea of other emails. If you want a reference, have a draft email prepared and ready to send out.

Clean up your social media.

Like how you do research on companies, employers may do a background check on you. They could possibly see your social activity on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to clear off anything that could hurt your chances of earning a job. To be safe, make changes to your privacy settings.

Look through job boards and career pages.

Even though you don't see the job you want listed just yet, you can get a head start by skimming through the job boards. Go through the jobs and read the descriptions that seem similar to your dream job; keep note of such job titles. This will be really helpful when you do another job search in the future. Also, you should sign up for notifications for the types of jobs you want to apply for. On Harri, we make it easy for you, since you receive automatic alerts on certain jobs, including front-of-house or back-of-house specific positions, and more.

Best of luck to you and your job search in the new year!

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How You'll Search for a Job in 2016



Many people take the New Year as an opportunity to start fresh in a new job. The good news is that there will be plenty of openings to suit a wide range of seekers as CareerBuilder reports that over 100 occupations in the U.S. have more job posting activity than hiring month to month and a recent report from a record 78% of hiring managers anticipate more hiring in the first half of 2016 compared to the second half of 2015.

For those looking to hire, Dice found that companies are taking a greater interest in candidates with less experience. More than a quarter (27%) of hiring managers said they plan to hire entry-level candidates and 62% said they’re looking for those with two to five years' experience.

Finding and applying for those open positions may be taking on a different look in 2016. For example, the Boston Consulting Group and Recruit Works Institute surveyed 13,000 individuals from 13 countries and found that 55% of searches globally happened through Internet job sites. The survey also revealed that 35% used a smartphone to look for jobs. Here are some other ways the job search process is shifting.



In a study of hiring trends in the U.S., iCIMS discovered that approximately 1.1 million (almost 10% of all applications) were submitted with social media profiles. The computer services industry had the highest percentage of applications submitted via social networking tools, the study found.

Tom Gimbel, founder & CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago, says that social media has also become a more popular way to search for a job. "Facebook and Twitter are great, they give insight into the culture and give background knowledge that’s not on the company’s website," he says. Gimbel believes LinkedIn is still the biggest tool job seekers use. "In 2016, I think we will see more and more companies posting their open positions to LinkedIn, so it will be a strong job board."


Jim Hemmer, CEO at employee recognition software company WorkStride, believes that social media and job platforms will become a necessary part of applying for any position. "Employees today are no longer looking at only what the company ‘advertises’ the job or company environment to be," he says, they will conduct their own research, a "reverse reference check," before applying or accepting a position. "Sites such as GlassDoor, LinkedIn, and Facebook are popular ones that can provide a more "authentic" view of true company culture," Hemmer says.


Don’t discount the power of a cup of coffee when you are looking for a new job. "Job seekers should take advantage of every opportunity to get face-to-face with potential employers, whether at a full networking event or simply chatting over a cup of coffee," says Sara McManigal, vice president of talent at Emma, an email marketing firm.

Informal conversations at various local meet-ups inspired McManigal to host their own event called the "Leave Your Suits at Home Job Fair" to recruit for the sales team. "It allowed us to have a series of short, informal discussions with prospective candidates, which can be more revealing than even the best resume," she says.


McManigal believes that candidates should be looking beyond the actual nuts and bolts qualifications required for a role. "Yes, experience is important, but we also want to know who you are and what drives you," she says. "Not every applicant will have all the skills listed in the job posting, but an experienced candidate with the drive to learn and succeed has a real shot," she explains, and when the values of the candidate and company align, it works to everyone’s advantage.

This approach might also help narrow skills gaps in high-demand professions. But Vivek Ravisankar, co-founder and CEO of HackerRank argues that despite the prevailing wisdom, there is no engineering skills gap. "There are millions of skilled computer programmers in the world, but companies aren't looking for them in the right way." Thanks to narrow job descriptions, some people aren’t even aware that they might be a good fit for a position. Ravisankar believes that in the coming year, more candidates will turn to platforms like HackerRank to showcase their skills before ever filling out a job application. "Skill will become more important than where you went to college, where you worked, and your age or gender," he says, "Companies, too, will be forced to adjust their hiring processes to optimize for talent."


Anthony Smith, CEO and founder of Insightly, a customer relationship and project management platform, believes that candidates’ flexibility will be key in the coming year when applying to companies with multiple locations because one may have the right position. Smith also notes, "Don't discount a company based outside your current location as many companies these days offer remote work opportunities."


Video platforms such as CareerSushi and ClincHR are providing a platform for candidates to set up video profiles for themselves for recruiters to get a more realistic picture of their interpersonal skills than a traditional resume can provide.

Chris Brown, vice president of human resources at West Corporation, InterCall’s parent company, believes video interviews are also here to stay as hiring resources are limited.

For recruiters, platforms such as HireVue can accelerate the interview process. For example, Jim Oddo, the senior vice president of HR at Frontier is in charge of hiring over 1,000 new employees and took the "video-first" approach to vetting talent. So far, it’s given Frontier access to talent pools that are marginalized by traditional hiring methods, such as veterans. Frontier increased veteran hiring from 7% to 10.4% using digital interviewing.

"Being comfortable with these tools and presenting a concise picture of your profile is going to be just as important as time spent on resume building," Brown says, adding "Candidates who are able to master the video interview process are going to be ahead of the curve in the hiring process."


Alon Zouaretz, founder and CEO of Talsona, a technology company that helps with team building, says it's less and less effective for candidates to apply for jobs (and companies to post them) as an unfocused mass, on the big sites and job search engines. "We see a big trend in candidates being very focused around specific industries, driven by their specific interests in finding and making their career moves," he explains.

One way he sees them doing this by building relationships with companies and people within companies first, rather than just applying for a specific position on a job board.

In addition to learning about the company and its culture and getting a referral, it will help the resume process. "By the time the referred resume hits an inbox, it’s tailored to something specific between the company and the candidate—seeding the groundwork for positions based on the person’s interests and skills, as well as where the company is at directionally and in the position they are trying to fill," he says.

(via Fast Company)


How to Answer the Most Common Hotel Job Interview Questions



We previously went over how to answer the most common restaurant job interview questions. To continue on with the series, today we will be reviewing how to approach the questions typically asked in a hotel job interview. Do keep in mind that there can be some overlap between restaurants and hotels, since after all, both are part of in the hospitality industry.

What do you know about our company?

Again, research is a must when preparing for an interview. There are a lot of people that work in the hospitality field, and they are proud of what they do. Hotel hiring managers are aware of that, so when they are looking to recruit, they want to find someone who is also as passionate about the job they are applying for and the company that they will be working for. Things that you may want to know in advance include, names of senior staff members or decision makers, big accomplishments that the hotel has achieved, and such.

Why do you want to work for our hotel?

Most likely this will be a follow-up to the prior question. HR wants to see if you will be a good fit with the company, and whether your values align with the organization's culture and vision. Be genuine when replying, and mention key items that you look for in a workplace, for example, the hotel's management style, treatment and service towards customers, reputation in the industry, amongst other responses. You can possibly talk about how the company is known to thoroughly train and guide employees to become successful hospitality professional.

How would you handle guest problems/complaints?

This question is designed to test your customer service skills, and how well you can handle difficult situations. This is a great opportunity for you to share a story of a time when you were able to calmly deal with an unhappy customer. You can also say that it was a valuable learning experience.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

As mentioned before, the hospitality industry is a really tight knit community, where everybody knows everybody. So oftentimes, people will leave positions for jobs that friends or family have suggested to them. That's why hiring managers prefer to take in individuals that are stable and are willing to stay with the company for a greater period of time. Let your interviewer know that you are interested in working in long-term position, and how you are not one to jump from job to job.

Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

This is a very good question, but also somewhat challenging to answer, since it really depends. If you say 'leader,' it might mean that you are not a team player. But if you say 'follower,' it can suggest that you are not very independent, and will have to constantly rely on directions. There is no one, set-in-stone, correct answer for this, so just be honest. Explain why you chose that label, and back up your answer with some convincing and supporting words.

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Avoid These Job Interview Mistakes



Going into a job interview is always nerve-wracking. Even before you enter and meet the hiring manager, you have to physically and mentally prepare. Previously, we have given you some tips for the question and answering portion of interview, but here are some other common practices you must steer clear of:

#1: Do not state how nervous you are.

No matter how much your nerves get to you, do not let your interviewer know. They know that everybody gets nervous, so admitting to it makes you look unprofessional and unqualified. In addition, it gives off an impression that you will not be able to handle the work environment and stressful situations.

#2: Do not go into your interview without doing research.

Make sure you do your homework prior to going into any interview. Find out everything you can about the business, its leaders and even who you will be interviewing with. Knowing such information will be only advantageous for you when being asked questions. It also proves that you are invested in working for the company.

#3: Avoid replying with one-word answers.

Hiring managers want to hear stories about your experiences and skills. You need to elaborate and expand on your responses. For example, when asked about your past position as a server, describe your role and what you learned on the job.

#4: Do not go in question-less.

At the end of the interview, you will most likely be asked 'So, do you have any questions for me?' You definitely do not want to end the interview with just a 'No'. Prepare at least three meaningful questions in advance to ask. Do not ask obvious or overused questions. Instead, try 'What do you most enjoy about your job?' or 'What makes the company different from its competitor?' to create a personable conversation.

It's relatively easy to fix these bad habits, as long as you prepare beforehand. Take these pieces of advice with you when go on your next job interview, and good luck.

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Effective Body Language for Job Interviews



Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words. - Deborah Bull

Job interviews are comprised of two parts—the verbal and the non-verbal. Not only do you have to speak well, you also have to present yourself in a proper manner.

Oftentimes, interviewers pay more attention to the way you are expressing yourself through body language than to your actual words.

So here are some tips to effectively use body language for your next job interview:

#1: Make a strong first impression.

It has been said that hiring managers already have a hiring decision in their minds within the first 10 seconds of meeting you, so project confidence from the start. When entering the interview room, walk in with a steady stride, with a straightened out neck and back.

#2: Greet your interviewer with a firm, handshake.

Handshakes are extremely crucial. They can neither be weak, nor overly aggressive. Try and practice with a partner to get a sense of what is an ideal grip.

#3: Monitor your gestures and eye contact.

Limit yourself to a small amount of gesturing. Nodding in approval and quick hand gestures to demonstrate are fine, but don't over do it. Eye contact is also important to maintain an on-going conversation, but you do not want to stare down your interviewer.

#4: Avoid excessive movements.

Similar to gesturing and eye contact, keep movements to a minimum. Fidgeting and swaying in your seat are definitely not professional-looking.

#5: React to your interviewer’s body language.

If you notice that your interviewer shows a reaction, try to respond to it. For example, if you see that he/she has a puzzled look or facial expression, may be that signifies that you should repeat or explain further to clearly convey your message.

Take these tips into consideration for your next job interview, and you'll be sure to impress your interviewer.

 Looking to work in Hospitality?

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