How to Nail In Person and Remote Interviews

For two long years we’ve had to conduct all interviews online. Now, in person interviews are certainly coming back, but it doesn’t look like remote interviews are going away any time soon. You may even have to participate in a remote interview and an in person interview in the same hiring process! Understanding how to nail both of them is a skill any interviewee must have in today’s world. In this article, I’ll highlight some of the differences between in person and remote interviews, and discuss how to nail both every time. 

How They’re Different:

Both remote and in person interviews have their pros and cons. A remote interview allows you to be in a more relaxed environment, which can help ease the tension that naturally comes with something as stressful as a job interview. However, a lot of the subtleties of human interaction are lost in video chat. Body language becomes less of a factor and you cannot make direct eye contact with the person you’re speaking to. This can make it harder for the interviewer to gain an understanding of who you are as a person, which can ultimately be the deciding factor in who they choose among a pool of equally qualified candidates. You can still show confidence, personability, and expressiveness in a remote interview — you may just have to work harder at it!

How to Nail Them Both

Regardless of where or how the interview is conducted, the fundamental rules on how to conduct yourself stay the same. They may just need some tweaking for a remote setting. Here are some tips on how to make an impact in any interview:

  • Greeting – First impressions never go away. A warm, enthusiastic greeting is a foolproof way to make sure your interview starts off on the right foot. For an in person interview, you should firmly shake their hand, make eye contact, and smile. In a remote setting, your facial expressions are significantly more important. Look into the camera lens (not their eyes on the screen), and greet them with a genuine smile and a wave.
  • Presenting Yourself – Confidence when speaking during an interview shows you have confidence in your abilities and qualifications. It’s natural to be nervous during an interview, but you can be nervous and confident at the same time! For any interview, in person or remote, make sure to sit with good posture and speak clearly and articulately. Make sure not to say “um” or “like” too often. If you lose your train of thought, simply pausing suggests you are carefully searching for the right words, while filler words make you look unsure and unfocused. In a remote interview, your camera and microphone also play a factor in how you’re presented to your interviewer. Make sure you are in a well lit room, your background is clear of clutter (or just blur it out), and that your microphone produces clear audio. Using a headset or headphones with a microphone built in is generally better than relying on your computer’s microphone, which will likely be several feet away from you. 
  • Following up – While not strictly part of the interview, a proper follow up after the interview gives you a chance to reiterate why you are the best candidate for the job and shows you’re eager to get started. ITS will guide you through this process after the interview to make sure you present yourself in the best way possible.

The differences between remote and in person interviews are subtle, but understanding these differences can drastically improve your interviewing skills in both settings, which brings you that much closer to landing the job!

How to be Ready for Your First Day on the Job

Starting a new job can be an exciting new adventure, but the change can easily become overwhelming as well. It’s not just you — almost everyone is nervous on their first day at a new job. Luckily, ITS is there to help you every step of the way. Here are some tips to make sure you’re ready to start your new job:

  • Dress Professionally – First impressions are important. Make sure you know what is expected of you when it comes to the dress code, and dress accordingly. Don’t ignore the details!
  • Make an effort to get to know your coworkers – You will be seeing these people every day from now on. Do your best to show them that you are open and friendly, and they will likely do the same. Start conversations. Eat lunch with them. Maybe you’ll even make a friend on your first day!
  • See how other people behave in the workplace – Every workplace has its own unique culture, and the best way to gain an understanding of that culture is by observing those around you. Eventually, it should become second nature, but the quicker you acclimate the easier it will be. 
  • Don’t overthink it! – You were hired because our client believes you are a good fit for the job, both professionally and personally. Don’t try to be someone you’re not when starting a new job. Relax, and enjoy yourself. 

It’s perfectly natural to be nervous when starting a new job, but being confident and friendly will make your first day on the job a breeze. Before you know it, your new job will feel like home! 

How to Make Sure Your Resume is ATS Friendly

Most recruiters use an ATS, or Applicant Tracking System, to help them thin out the pile of resumes they receive. An Applicant Tracking System is an AI program that will parse resumes for keywords and phrases, essential qualifications, etc. to provide the employer with the candidates it has determined to be the best fit. However, ATS’s are not perfect, and there are a number of factors that can make your resume less appealing to the software. Ensuring your resume is ATS friendly is vital in today’s job market. You can do this by keeping these things in mind:

  • Use keywords in your resume that are specific to the job you are applying for. Look for keywords used in the job description to find out which ones to use.
  • Upload your resume as a .docx file (it’s the easiest for the ATS to parse)
  • Stick to simple, concise language and formatting in your resume, and avoid graphics or images.
  • Follow a consistent date/naming structure for your education and work experience.
  • Don’t try to “cheat the system” by hiding relevant keywords or the job description with invisible text. Your resume will be converted to plain text by the ATS, and these tricks will be painfully apparent.

Keeping these ideas in mind when submitting your resume could be the deciding factor in whether your resume is selected by our client. Ensuring your resume is ATS compliant will give you the best chance to secure an interview.

What to Expect Working with a Staffing Firm

How do we continue to adjust to a pandemic?  Companies have needed to become increasingly inventive to stay in business.  They have turned to a wide range of traditional, hybrid, and remote positions.  Because of the pandemic, more and more jobs require candidates and new employees to complete recruitment and on-boarding processes virtually.  With all of these changes, what should a prospective candidate of ITS expect?  Job placement requires collaboration between ITS, its client companies, and candidates who want to get hired.

Virtual Onboarding for a New Employee

As you know from ‘Our Process,’ candidates submit a resume for an open position, and after an initial conversation, are invited to participate in a virtual interview process.  He or she is asked to complete an employment application, and our recruiters discuss work history, the job applied for, potential candidacy, and what is necessary to move forward in the process.  

The candidate is asked to complete relevant assessments, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, provide references from former supervisors and managers, and prepare for prospective interviews.  At this point, the candidate should also make sure he or she has reviewed and signed ITS compliance documents.  It is helpful to have references vetted and assessments completed when you are submitted as a candidate for an interview. 

You have done the initial work upfront.  It may seem arduous at first, but if you think about it, the employer has the ‘package’ to make its decision following your interview.  You may ask, how will I stand out from the rest?  ITS assists in your presentation, providing employers a complete picture of your work experience, your work ethic, and your abilities and other qualifications, and helps smooth the hiring process.      

You’re Hired (Temp/Temp to Perm/Direct Hire)  

The transition to virtual onboarding has increased during the pandemic and whether you are working in an office or remotely, remaining engaged and accessible during onboarding is just as important.  Once you have received and accepted a job offer, the next phase begins.   Onboarding documentation is similar throughout most industries.  The completion of various ‘checks’ and identification processes provides accurate and up-to-date information.  Cooperation in completing these tasks helps create a seamless transition from candidate to employee.

ITS is strengthening its ‘virtual processes” and with its client companies, continues to help a new employee understand the expectations of his or her position. Regular check-ins with ITS during the on-boarding process and completion of tasks will lead to a timely start date. Are you ready to land your dream job? Reach out to one of our talented recruiters today.

How to best answer the interview question “Tell us about yourself”

This is one of the most asked interview questions, but it often leaves the person being interviewed feeling stumped as to how to respond. Why do interviewers ask this question?  One reason is to break the ice with some casual conversation, but more often, it’s because they want to learn why you believe you are a good fit for the position.

Do your homework ahead of time to prepare your response! Carefully review the job description and do your research on the company so you can present yourself in a way that makes it clear you are a good fit for the position.

Most experts suggest a “Present, Past, Future” approach to responding to this question:

·  Start by explaining your current employment situation, your responsibilities, and accomplishments.

·  Next, work backwards through your professional journey, highlighting aspects that offer experience that would be applicable and beneficial to the position to which you are applying.

·  Lastly, finish by explaining your professional aspirations and goals at the organization.

If the interviewer asks you to share information about your hobbies and interests, you should focus on items that show you have an interest in personal development, (such as taking a class or volunteering) and/or discipline, (such as training for a marathon). This is not the time to talk about your side business or social club unless it is relevant to the company and the position.

Remember the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”?  Well, this is that chance.  Keep it positive, don’t say anything negative about past employers or jobs you’ve held.  Additionally, keep it straight-forward; this is also an opportunity to demonstrate to the employer how you will present information to clients, or in meetings.  Don’t ramble on aimlessly.

Finally, it’s ok to practice, but don’t memorize what you are going to say. Be confident in what you have to say and create a solid foundation for the remainder of the interview.

Five Tips on Managing Stress During the Holidays 

Everyone feels stress at work at one time or another, but the feeling can become more intense during the holidays. Pressures of end-of-year deadlines along with holiday commitments can sometimes result in a feeling of being burned out.  Managing work and personal responsibilities may become even more difficult if you are switching between working in the office and remotely.  It’s not surprising that 66% of employees who participated in an American Management Association survey reported they felt additional stress during the holidays.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has declared stress as a hazard of the workplace.  Too much stress can have dangerous effects such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.  Long term stress dangers include heart attack, stroke, memory loss, weight gain, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, advanced aging, and may exacerbate digestive and sleep problems. 

Here’s a few ideas to help you manage your own stress levels this holiday season:

1. Get Moving-take small breaks throughout the day to stretch or take a quick walk. These small breaks can help in shifting your mood in a positive way.

2. Prioritize – determine tasks that are due by year end and push off the rest for now.

3. Eat Well – a well-balanced diet can minimize the effects of stress on your physical and emotional health.

4. Turn the screen off – put away all electronic devices one hour before bed and spend that time reading a book, practicing meditation or yoga, or journaling.

5. Take care of your mental health – utilize your employer’s EAP or contact your physician for confidential counselling if the holidays are causing you symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Team Building: a Guide for Successful Office Challenges

Have you recently set a personal wellness goal?  Why not engage your co-workers and help yourself meet your goals by starting an office challenge?  Office challenges are short-term behavior change contests and team activities that can improve wellness and morale. That is why our team is sharing team building: a guide for successful office challenges.

  1. Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge
    The Holidays are here, a good challenge might be a challenge where everyone monitors and records their weight with the goal of maintaining a healthy weight between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.  This simple challenge helps everyone stay focused on mindful eating.  Making it through the holidays without extraneous weight gain almost always guarantees a healthy weight throughout the year.
  1. Fitness Challenge

Office fitness challenges are also a fun way to engage your co-workers.  These challenges can be done as teams or individually, and they can target an unlimited number of health behaviors.  Obviously, participation is voluntary and the challenge should be approved by your employer. Fitness challenges can be as simple as vowing to walk for 15 minutes during your lunch hour, stretching at regular intervals, or using the stairs instead of the elevator.

  1. Mindfulness Challenge

Don’t forget that emotional health is equally as important as physical health. A great challenge could be to practice daily kindness, learning to take deep breaths, reading a book, making time for meditation/prayer, or stopping all electronic device usage for one hour a day.  You could even suggest a financial challenge where you agree not to use credit cards for a set period!

At the end of the day, your office challenge should inspire, challenge, and motivate your office mates.  If your challenge isn’t fun, then it needs to be changed!  See what kind of fun challenges you can create for your own workplace? 

The Benefits of Practicing Gratitude in the Workplace  – November 17

As the Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching, we thought it was an appropriate time to talk about gratitude in the workplace. Gratitude is a key factor for living a life filled with positivity. Unfortunately, gratitude is not often practiced in the workplace.  According to a study by the John Templeton Foundation, people are less likely to express gratitude at work than almost anywhere else, and a startling 60% of people never express thanks at work. 

Gratitude is a key factor for living a life filled with positivity. Although gratitude might sound like a cheesy topic, research has proven that it can truly impact a person’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as their work performance.  Maintaining an attitude of gratitude releases dopamine in the brain, which in turn boosts feelings of wellbeing, increases optimism, and improves physical health.

Practicing gratitude in the workplace brings about many positive effects. Some of the proven benefits of gratitude in the workplace include:

  • Increased Productivity
  • Improved Social Relationships
  • Increased Motivation

Research has found that expressing and feeling gratitude will boost employee health and wellbeing by:

  • Promoting better sleep
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving one’s sense of mindfulness
  • Increasing energy
  • Improving one’s mood and feelings of happiness
  • Decreasing stress

Practicing gratitude can be as simple as writing down 2 or 3 things that you are grateful for each day, keeping a gratitude journal, volunteering, or practicing random acts of kindness.

Gratitude is a key factor for living a life filled with positivity. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t in the habit of expressing gratitude daily. With a little help and practice, being grateful can easily become a part of your life.

Top Technical Skills That Will Impress Any Hiring Manager – October 29

Did you know, the types of computer software you are familiar with can make or break your chances of getting a job offer? If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, most employers will assume you have some knowledge of MS Word and Outlook. However, there are some additional skills that will get you noticed. That is why we are sharing top technical skills that will impress any Hiring Manager and help land the interview.

  1. Elaborate on operating systems and add them to your resume. Be sure to list the operating skills you are familiar with, some jobs require Mac experience, while others prefer PC, or both!
  1. It’s no secret businesses are now operating off of cloud systems. In particular Google Drive, which many offices today are utilizing instead of Microsoft Office.  Be sure to include the applications you are familiar with, such as Google Docs or Google Slides.
  1. Be digital focused and mention any social media experience in previous roles. Businesses world-wide use social media to boost their brand awareness.  Be sure to mention if you have had responsibilities for posting to an employers’ LinkedIn or Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, or other sites.
  1. Make sure to mention all proprietary software you’ve had training on.  If you have skills using proprietary software that is relevant to the position you are applying to, you should mention it even if it is not the same software the employer is using.  

Of course, you should always represent your skills honestly to any employer.  Let them know how your computer skills have helped you throughout your career. What are new skills you’ve had to learn on the job? Leave them in the comments on our Facebook Page and spark a discussion today!

How to Pitch Yourself for any Job -March 25

When interviewing for a job you want to be able to have an intelligent, free-flowing conversation about your skills.  It is not always easy to talk about yourself. Oftentimes, it is difficult to describe your qualifications and put into words your experience. You have to do more than just say, “I think I am a good person for the position” or “I am a hard worker.” You need to back up why you are the best candidate for the job.  

In order to tell an employer “why” you need to take a look at “how”.  How can I describe who I am and what I have to offer? How do I describe my skills and qualifications?

The time to discover the how is not right before the interview. Spending some time preparing these answers can make a big difference in your interview and the conversation you will have with the hiring manager. 

Being able to articulate traits, skills and qualifications will give the employer answers to why they should hire you and if you are the best fit for the position. It will also convey self-awareness, strong communication and analytical skills. When you are able to express clear answers to interview questions the hiring manager will take notice.

We would highly recommend spending time assessing your skills prior to interviews. When selling yourself, you need to be specific. Spend time creating categories and lists of specific skills such as:

-Knowledge-based skills: This is education and experience. For example, computer skills, languages, training, certifications, and technical ability.

-Transferable skills: These are skills that can go from job-to-job. For example, communication and people skills, problem solving, detail-oriented, self-sufficiency, professionalism, and planning skills.

-Personal skills: These are your unique qualities. For example, dependable, reliable, friendly, hard-working, a team player, enjoys challenges, and creative.

When you have completed your list choose a couple of skills that match what the company has listed in the job posting. It is always a good idea to keep your skills and qualifications mutual with the job you are interviewing for.

Also, once you have narrowed those skills be sure you have examples of how you demonstrated them in your last position. Again, another way to be prepared!

How to Write a Resume That Gets You Noticed – March 11

As a staffing firm, we see hundreds of resumes. A great resume can be the first step to landing a dream job. So, what should you include on your resume?  Check out our advice below for creating a stand-out resume!

First, stick to the point. Think about what you did at your previous position and include a list of your responsibilities. State only the facts. There is no reason to add graphics or pictures. You can incorporate a brief career summary or mission statement at the top of your resume. Your employment history should be listed in chronological order.

Secondly, less is more. No one wants to know your hobbies, or clubs you have been a part of. You want to concentrate on your skills and provide your job responsibilities from previous positions. Don’t add too many adjectives as it can create a lengthy resume. Your resume shouldn’t exceed 2 pages; you are trying to provide a snapshot of your skills.

Be sure to choose the right format. You should decrease your margins and enlarge text. Again, keep all employment history in chronological order with your most recent position at the top. It is also a great idea to tailor your resume to different job opportunities. Once you have the format, it should be just a matter of changing out skills or responsibilities.

Lastly, when creating your resume always include:

  • Your name
  • Contact information including phone number and email address
  • A list of your skills
  • Employment history and job duties related to the position you are applying for
  •  Education and credentials including degrees and year(s) of graduation
  •  Technical proficiencies, and certificates if relevant. 

So, what does this look like on paper? Your name is centered and at the very top, next a line sharing your contact information, then your career summary or objective. Next, your most recent employer and dates with a brief description of your skills and job duties listed. Below this should be your previous employer and dates with a brief description of your skills and job duties. The end of your resume should list your education. Add your degree(s), school(s), and graduation date(s). Finally, list your credentials. This should include any relevant certificates and software proficiencies.

We hope this helps you create the best resume you have to offer! We know what our recruiters look for when searching for candidates and resume composition is number 1!

The Seven Personality Traits That Will Get You Hired- March 2

Our team agrees, no matter how much the landscape of the corporate workplace changes, one thing remains the same, there are certain qualities that will never go out of style. Our team has interviewed Candidates for over fifteen years and has noted what traits stand out more than others. These qualities are valuable across the board, whether it be different industries, companies, jobs or bosses.

In no particular order, these are the top qualities ITS likes to see in our candidates.

1. Motivation: Employers love to see someone who is motivated. Motivation permeates energy often leading to a positive work environment. Motivated employees are the ones who get the work done and continue to develop new skills.

2. Teamwork: Employers love to have a great team player. Someone that proves to be cooperative and willing to help with multiple tasks is an employee that any manager would want on their team. A true team player helps to improve productivity.

3. Reliability: Employers love a reliable employee. Being reliable means you are trustworthy. Trust is the foundation to any relationship. A reliable employee exhibits consistency in work performance.

4. Likability: Employers love to have likable employees. Likability means people want to work with you. It also helps spread positivity and creates good company culture. Likability brings cohesiveness to the team, and unity helps increase productivity.

5. Communication: Employers love communicative employees. Good communication is an effective tool in the workplace. Communication helps us to learn, problem-solve, and make decisions. Whether written or verbal, communication is important for the growth and success of any company.

6. Problem-Solving: Employers love problem-solvers. Problem-solving helps companies to identify deficiencies in the workplace environment, thus figuring out what is broken and why. Problem-solving gives us a means to fix issues.

7. Integrity: Employers love employees with integrity. Integrity is the quality of being honest and morally upright. Integrity helps you to build relationships with co-workers. Being ethical is very important in creating trust and confidence.

Although job skills are important and can be taught through proper training, certain character traits are not teachable.  These qualities can help not only land a job, but fulfill the role. 

How to Answer the “Greatest Weaknesses” Interview Question- Feb 16

In our previous blogs we have mentioned time-after-time how important it is to prepare for an interview. We cannot stress enough the value of preparation, including spending time composing answers to common interview questions. One of the most difficult and common questions an employer can ask, is about your weaknesses. It can be hard to find a good answer to this question, but with the right structure you can put a positive spin on this very challenging topic.

The key to answering this question well is to identify weaknesses that still communicate strength. After all, you are interviewing to discuss skills, qualities, and capabilities. You want to show that you are aware of your weaknesses and that you have a plan on how to change them into opportunities for growth.

Here are some of the best answers to the great weaknesses question:

1. I have trouble asking for help. I tend to be self-sufficient and enjoy working quickly. It is difficult for me to ask for help when I need it. However, I have come to realize that my co-workers are knowledgeable and understanding. Asking for help can benefit me and the company. I have been able to produce more high-quality work as a result of getting help from others around me.

2. I can be uncomfortable with ambiguity. I tend to be very detail-oriented and like specific instructions. Having a strong direction gives me confidence in doing my tasks. Although I am still working on this, I have created a structure for times when I feel overwhelmed by an ambiguous task. I have found that researching or asking experts for advice often helps me to bring the task into scale. Doing so has helped me thrive even with tasks that are less specific or goals less defined.

3. I sometimes lack confidence. It has been helpful for me to document the impacts I have had on my team and in the company. Documenting these items have allowed me to better understand what I bring to the table. I have made it a point of voicing my thoughts and ideas during meetings or in emails when I feel it will add value to the conversation. I realize I should be confident in the skills I have and know that I will keep learning new ones.

4. I could use more experience in…certain areas such as, verbal or written communication, team leadership, interpreting analytics, delegating tasks, or providing constructive criticism. Everyone has areas to improve upon in their expertise. No matter what area you would like to refine, by sharing this with the interviewer it shows you have self-awareness, and you want to be challenged.

This is a short list of potential weaknesses. When thinking about how to answer the weakness question, be sure that you present the problem and provide a solution. Also, it would be beneficial if you could describe a specific example when you overcame a weakness or how you improved yourself. For example, if you have participated in a workshop, worked on a project, or creatively managed your weakness. Employers like to see that you are being proactive.

By spending a little time preparing, you can write a beautiful story about who you are and what you are capable of doing for an organization. Remember, weaknesses are obstacles you CAN overcome!

Two Sample Thank-You Notes Post Interview – Feb 1

You just finished an interview with a potential employer. The interview continues to replay in your head. You are feeling pretty good about your answers and the connection you had with the interviewer. You sigh relief and think, “I am glad that is over.” Well, the interview is not “technically” over.  You still need to send that thank you note.

Sending a message of gratitude to the interviewer can be the difference between getting hired or rejected. Interviews are all about standing out. Following up with a great thank you is yet another way that you can stand out in the crowd. Even if the interview didn’t go as well as you had hoped, expressing gratitude is something everyone appreciates. A great thank you note can give you that edge should the employer’s decision come down to you and another candidate.

We want to walk you through how to write the perfect thank you note and get the job! These examples can be used for an email thank you or a handwritten note of thanks.

Every thank you note should contain the following:

·  Show appreciation

·  Mention something specific that was discussed

·  Communicate interest

·  Express confidence

·  Extend an invitation to reach out to you

Both of these examples contain key elements for a great thank you note. The only difference between them is example #1 is more casual and can be used if you are applying for an entry level position or if the company itself has a more casual, laid back environment. Example #2 is more professional and should be used if applying for an upper-level management position or it is a more formal company.

Lastly, proofread your note. Be sure names and words are spelled correctly and all punctuation is correct. It is always helpful to have a second set of eyes review your note before you send it.

Gratitude diminishes with time. It is very important to send a thank you note as soon as possible, preferable within the first 12 hours after the interview. It not only expresses sincerity, but it keeps you in the forefront of the interviewer’s mind. 

Finally, you should always send a thank you to anyone who helps you with a job search or career assistance. This includes sending thank you notes for job interviews, internships, and pre-screen interviews. Yes, this means your ITS recruiter, as well!

Tips from a Top Recruiter on How to Get Noticed – Jan. 18
Have you ever wished you could sit down and pick a recruiters brain on the biggest mistakes made in an interview? 

Our team as ITS has decades of experience interviewing Candidates! Currently there are unprecedented numbers of individuals experiencing joblessness and getting noticed among the crowd can be difficult. Make getting noticed a thing of the past, we interviewed one of our top recruiters on providing a few tips and advice for those navigating the current job market.  Check out our Q&A below!


  1. As a recruiter, what are the top 3 most important items on a resume? 

Recruiters view your resume for a few seconds. Format, job stability, job related accomplishments/quantify achievements (metrics, results, etc) and keywords. You should have multiple resumes and customize for the position you are applying for. 

2. When virtually interviewing, what do you look for in a stand-out candidate?

For any interview, confidence and enthusiasm are key. Specifically for a virtual call I would suggest the following: 

  • Being on time for the call and having competent video technical skills (video and sound working properly)
  • Neat/professional appearance
  • Environment (no messy bedrooms, no animals passing in front of the screen,etc)

3. How important is the video interview over a phone interview for you? 

A phone interview is a screening tool.  The video, as well as an in-person, interview is used to understand an applicant’s skill set and experience in relation to the skills required by our client.

4. Unemployment is high, what advice would you give someone trying to get noticed among the crowd?

Persistence is the key.  Make looking for a job a job itself.  Network when and wherever you have an opportunity. Remember to change your objective statement when applying for each job. When possible, send an email or cover letter with your resume highlighting the specific skills you have making you the best fit for the job. Do NOT use the same generic objective statement, email or cover letter for each job.

5. Are there any tips or tricks you could give someone for a perfect virtual interview? 

Enthusiasm and attitude are #1 for any interview. If a candidate demonstrates this quality, they stand out among the majority. Also, ask GREAT questions. Don’t spend time asking about time-off, benefits, etc. Most candidates do not have any questions prepared. While we interview candidates, they should also interview us.  

We hope you find this information to be helpful, we definitely learned a thing or two! What do you think are some ways you’ve gotten noticed and landed the job in the past? Leave them on our Facebook post and start a conversation today.

Top Reasons You Should Use a Staffing Firm in 2021- January 4

Welcome 2021, we’ve been awaiting your presence! The New Year has never looked so good! It’s a new beginning andI know that is said every year, but it is particularly unique for 2021 because of all the challenges that we have navigated this past year. With new beginnings come new opportunities, fresh starts, and exciting adventures.

We want to help you start your new year off right by helping you find a new job! Why ITS? I will let our candidates speak for us.


“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Ashley and her team at ITS. Ashley worked diligently to find the right career fit for me, with open communication and full transparency during the entire process. I highly recommend ITS for assistance with your career placement.”


“So far working with ITS has been great! Although job searching during a difficult time with a world pandemic at hand, Ashley made time to virtually meet with me. We went over my resume, experience, jobs that I was interested in and my future goals. I appreciated that she had taken that time and is really invested in helping me. She even had a few job opportunities available that we are working together now to see if it is a good fit. I’m looking forward to continue working with ITS!”


“I have had a wonderful experience with ITS. I interviewed at the end at the end of December and was excited at the thought of being able to get hired into a position I was ready for. While my first in person interview did not take place until the end of January, I was ready with the tips I received. I had my second in person interview in February and was offered the position a short time later. I highly recommend working with ITS. They have surpassed all my expectations and work hard to ensure you are not only prepared for your interview but also follow up afterwards to get any feedback.”

At ITS we make it a priority to get to know our candidates. We spend time talking to them and getting to know their skills and expertise. Their resumes and applications are carefully reviewed. Once we have an understanding of what they are looking for we begin to match them to available job openings.

Our processes are simple and effective. Creating a smooth transition for potential candidates, from prescreen, to interviews, to a solid offer from a great employer. Our team continuously communicates with candidates throughout the procedure, guiding them every step of the way. We aren’t satisfied until we have found a wonderful job for you!

Let’s begin 2021 together! Call us or visit our website today to get started on your job search.

What to Wear for the Job Interview- Men’s Edition- December 18

Earlier this month, we wrote about what to wear when interviewing for a job, the women’s edition. Men, we haven’t forgotten you. Welcome to the men’s edition!

Deciding what to wear for a job interview should be thought out and planned prior to the day of the interview. The way you dress tells the manager a little about who you are. This is a great opportunity to communicate nonverbally, a skill not often associated with an interview, but is one which can speak louder than words. Nonverbal communication can increase trust, clarity, and add interest to your presentation when yielded properly. Take advantage of this simple way to show that you are the best candidate for the job.

Successful job interviews depend on both how well you answer questions and how you present yourself. That’s why a clean, pulled-together appearance can help the hiring manager determine you are the right fit for the company.

Please keep in mind our suggestions are for face-to-face interviews, as well as virtual interviews. If you are interviewing from home, it is still very important to follow these simple steps.

1. Color is key
The strongest colors for men are blue, gray, black, burgundy, red, and white. Colors should align with the industry. Bolder colors like red or burgundy, show confidence and are good for positions like sales or law. Blue communicates reliability and trustworthiness and is good when interviewing for an accounting or finance position. If you want to keep it reserved and professional, then go for gray. White portrays organized and efficient.

2. Wear it well
A full suit is suggested, but not always necessary. It depends on the level of position. If going for an entry-level and mid-level position a full suit could be too serious. A buttoned collar in white or light blue are best. Avoid patterns like stripes or plaids. Be sure your outfit is tailored to fit your body. Select a slim and solid color tie. They are more refined and sleeker. The best tie colors are blue, gray or red, depending how you want to communicate your personality. You should allow your personality to come through your attire.

3. Sharp shoes
Your shoes should be timeless black or brown. Avoid wearing tennis shoes. Be sure shoes are comfortable and broken in. You want to be comfortable during an interview. Shine shoes prior to your interview.  

4. Finishing touches
Be sure your hair is clean, neat and out of your face. If you have long or medium length hair pull it back into a ponytail. A clean shaven and fresh appearance is best. It is probably better not to wear cologne since you don’t know if the interviewer has a sensitivity to it. A fresh shower and deodorant will be enough. Also, avoid smoking prior to the interview. You want to look and smell clean and fresh.

Lastly, don’t forget to put on your confidence. You are the best candidate for this position! With the correct preparation and professional appearance, you are letting the hiring manager know you got this!   

What to Wear for a Job Interview- Women’s Attire – December 4

What am I going to wear? It is the proverbial question that we all can relate to, but when it comes to a job interview deciding what to wear can cause as much stress as the interview itself. Successful job interviews depend on both how well you answer questions and how you present yourself. That’s why a clean, pulled-together appearance can help the hiring manager determine you are the right fit for the company.

The way you dress can affect the interview before any questions are asked. For example, managers are looking at nonverbal communication. Fashion is a way to communicate nonverbally. The way you present yourself assists hiring managers to assess this skill. Take advantage of this simple way to show that you are the best candidate for the job.

Please keep in mind our suggestions are for face-to-face interviews, as well as virtual interviews. If you are interviewing from home, it is still very important to follow these simple steps.

1. Colors:
The best colors to wear for an interview are blue, gray, black, muted red and white. You should pick the color that compliments your skin tone. If you are warm toned go for gray. Cool tones should go for black. Solid colors are great selections. Avoid bright colors or patterns, such as animal print.

2. Fit:
You want to wear the correct fit for your body shape. If you are wider in the hips wear something slimming. Black is a great choice for slimming your frame. If you are narrow in the shoulders, consider wearing a blazer or dress that has some details around the shoulder area. You want to create an even silhouette. Be sure your attire fits your frame, not too tight or too loose.

3. Wear it well:
Dresses and skirts should go to the knee, not above. Blazers should not be below hip level. Never wear jeans or leggings. Details like ruffles should be in the right place. They can be worn around the shoulders or wrists. Be sure they are subtle. Neutral colors are always safe and classic. Muted colors are acceptable too.

4. Shoes:
Shoes are the best way to add a little color to your outfit. If you choose to wear heels, be sure you are extremely comfortable walking in them. You wouldn’t want to fall or trip. Flats or a partial heel is the best choice. You want to wear comfortable shoes. Shoes are a great way to show your personality.

5. Accessories: 
Pocket Books should be solid in color and sturdy. Wear delicate jewelry, such as a small watch and earrings. Less is more with jewelry.  If you have facial piercings, please remove before the interview as it might be distracting for the interviewer.

6. Hair and Make-Up:
Be sure hair is out of your face, whether long or medium length. Pulled back is always a great option. A sleek bun or ponytail looks professional. Your make-up should be natural. Avoid bright colored eyeshadow. Use neutrals instead. Your foundation should make you look fresh and glowing. Add light color to your cheeks and lips. Be sure to use a subtle color on your lips. Probably best to not wear perfumes since you don’t know if the interviewer has a sensitivity to it. A light powder or lotion would be preferable.

Dressing the part for an interview can give you a great confidence boost. Bring your confidence and bring your A-game! Keeping it professional is always the way to go, but by adding subtle color it allows your personality to come through! You’ve got this!!  

World Kindness Day- Friday November 13

Happy World Kindness Day! Today we recognize the common thread of our humanity; kindness. Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. These are traits we don’t often see in the workplace.  Think about how our attitudes towards work would change if we were all a little kinder.

Studies have shown that experiencing kindness in the workplace helps us feel happier and in turn helps us to be more productive and creative.  It gives people a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

 ITS would like to inspire change by offering several tips on how to promote kindness in the workplace. 

1. Turn your attention towards helping co-workers.

If you know of a co-worker having a rough time in or out of the office offer to help with their workload or maybe surprise them with lunch. Being a part of a team means taking care of each other.

2. Be sure to listen and reserve judgement.

Listening is a simple way to show someone you care. Whether in an interview, meeting, or during lunch, listening expresses respect. Listening is a quiet action. It doesn’t always mean someone is looking for feedback or needs your opinion. Sometimes just being there and in the moment speaks louder than words.

3. Always say “Thank you.”

Find every opportunity to recognize and thank others. Appreciation shows you care. It is important to follow-up with a thank you after meetings, during phone calls and most importantly, after an interview. This small gesture can be a meaningful exchange between co-workers and managers.

4. Make positive affirmation a part of your daily routine.

It is important to cheer each other on during work hours. That boost of positivity can make such a difference in teamwork and production. Positive affirmation can change the attitudes of employees and in turn change the company culture, making it a better place to work! 

There you have it! Four simple tips to put kindness into practice. What are some ways you practice kindness throughout your day? Leave it in the Facebook comments to spread positivity today.

How to Manage Stress While Seeking Employment.– November 6

The first Wednesday in the month of November is National Stress Awareness Day. This day recognizes ways to identify and reduce stress factors in your life. Feeling stressed while finding a job is very normal. But, knowing how to adapt and respond to these changes is important in alleviating some of the pressure felt when trying to secure employment. 

The key is to remain flexible and open-minded. Since finding employment can be a stressful event, ITS would like to take this time to offer some thoughtful advice on how to manage stress while seeking employment.

1. Take it a Day at a Time
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Make a plan as you start your job search. Set daily goals and checklists to accomplish each day. It is a good idea to prepare mentally and financially for an extended job search period of time. Remain positive!

2. Focus on the End Goal
Take time to update your resume. Think about all the qualifications you have gained over the last few months or years. Make a list of them. Most importantly, know your resume by heart. Also, give some consideration as to what type of job relates to your skills. You have specific gifts, talents and experiences to offer the world!

3. Maintain Perspective
Chances are if you are actively looking for a job you will be called for an interview. This is the time to get prepared. Preparation helps with stress. Practice interviewing by answering questions and asking questions with a friend or family member. Dress in professional attire for an interview. Looking your best for an interview will let the hiring manager know you have good non-verbal communication!

4. Look for the Silver Lining
There is a job out there for you! By preparing your resume, interviewing skills, and professional wardrobe you will be a candidate who stands out. Being proactive is key in helping reduce stress while seeking employment and getting the job!

Life is a journey and it can lead us to unsuspecting paths. As unsettling as it can feel, sometimes “life” actually gets us where we need to be. We hope with these tips you will learn to trust the process. What are some ways you manage your stress while seeking employment? Start a conversation in the comments on our Facebook page!

Proven Tips to Calm Your Nerves Before an Interview- October 23

It is natural to be nervous before or during a job interview. There may be several reasons for the anxiousness. You could be modest and talking about yourself is not something you are comfortable with. It could be you really want this job and feel like a lot is riding on the interview. Whatever the reason, there is no need to worry.

The premise to interview confidence is preparation. For the last couple of weeks, our blog has focused on how to best prepare for an interview. Please take time to look over the strategies we have provided. We believe being prepared will help you feel calm and in control.

There are several steps you can take leading up to the interview that can settle anxiety. ITS has put together some great tips on how to calm those nerves!

1. Be positive.
You have made it to the interview stage. That is great! Something on your resume has caught the eye of the interviewer. You must have the qualifications and experience they are looking for. At the same time, there are other jobs out there. If you don’t get this one, you may get the next one.

2. Research the company.
Visit the company website and find out as much as you can. Look for them on social media. This will show the interviewer you have done your homework and leave a positive impression.

3. Know your resume.
Even though this is your resume, take some time to review it and memorize the timelines, skills, and experience. The interview will go much smoother if you can talk about your resume naturally, instead of having to continually refer to it. It is also a good idea to bring a couple copies of your resume to the interview.

4. Come with questions.
Take the time to ask some of your own questions. This will give you a sense of company culture, knowledge of the position, and show you are prepared.

5. Practice interviewing.
A great way to calm nerves is to go through some dry run interviews. You can do this with a friend or family member. Role playing will help you feel more in control.

6. Breathe. Be sure to slow down and breathe. Anxiety can increase your heart rate which can cause a feeling of panic. If this happens, take a deep breath and slowly release through your nose a couple of times.

7. Take care of yourself. The better you feel, the more confidence you will have about the interview. Get good sleep, exercise, avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, and eat healthy in the days leading up to the interview. Physical optimism will lead to mental positivity.

Asking the Right Questions During an Interview- Oct. 9

At ITS we believe an interview should feel more like a conversation rather than an interrogation. During your interview, there should be a rhythm and fluidity to your employment interview. Both parties should be engaged with comments and questions. When you are able to engage in conversation and ask questions of your interviewer it shows that you have interpersonal skills, are forward thinking, and most importantly, you care.

While it’s true you can never be completely sure about how well you will adjust to a new position and supervisor, team or company, asking the right questions will help you gather important information about potential opportunities. Take advantage of the interview time to ask some questions of your future employer.

ITS has compiled a list of great questions to ask the interviewer. The answers you receive could give you great insight into company culture and goals.

1. What type of employee does well here?
This answer will give you the opportunity to gauge your work style, personality and skills. You want those characteristics to align with the work environment.

2. What do you see as the most challenging aspect of the job?
You want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. This answer will help you recognize the scale of obstacles you will be facing each day.

3. What can you tell me about the team I will be working with?
It’s a good idea to get a sense of the team dynamic since you will be spending a good part of the day with co-workers. The answer will give you a sense of how well you will adapt.

4. How does management measure employee growth and success?
This answer will allow you to assess professional development within the company. It will give you an understanding of how your work performance will be evaluated, and how to set yourself up for success!

5. Do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications?
This shows you are open and not afraid to ask the difficult questions.  Also, addressing concerns sooner rather than later allows you to fix them before you get further into the interviewing process.

6. What was your primary reason for deciding to work here?
This is a great question because it gives you a chance to see a personal side of the interviewer and what their core principles are.  It will also provide insight to the benefits of joining the company.

These are just a few of many questions you can ask during an interview. Whatever questions you choose, make sure to go to the interview with questions prepared. Consider writing your questions down in case you get nervous and forget. Giving thought and preparation to the interview will allow you to portray your skills, knowledge and your drive for success in the new job!

Expert Tips for Common Interview Questions- Sept. 25, 2020

Congratulations! You have been chosen for a job interview! This means your resume must have impressed the hiring manager. That is great news! Give yourself a pat on the back. Now it is time to speak with the hiring manager and your potential team members. 

No reason to panic, even if it does come with a new set of challenges, we are here to help. ITS is providing the questions you are most likely going to be asked in an interview. The way you answer these questions can make all the difference in whether or not you get asked for a second interview, or better yet, get hired for the job. Being prepared with answers to these common questions can give you all the confidence you need to ace the interview!

1. Why are you interested in this role?

Be honest! Prior to the interview think about why you are interested in this role. Write down what sounds exciting about this position, what you would like to get out of it, and where you may be headed if you were to take this role.

2. What do you know about our company?

Do your research! It is always a great idea to find out about the company you may be working for in the future. Visit their website and read the “About Us” page. Check their presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Google the company to see if there is any recent coverage about them.

3. What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement?

Time to talk about yourself! Be sure to make a list of your professional achievements no matter how insignificant you think they are the interviewer may find them interesting. While you are making lists, be sure to jot down two or three weaknesses that you have, and two or three strengths. While thinking about your weaknesses, be sure to follow up with ways you have improved them.

4. Tell me about a challenge at work and how you dealt with it.

Challenge accepted! Think about some of the obstacles you have had to face at work. This is not the time to talk about what your co-workers did to you, or how they made your job difficult. The focus should be on a specific problem and how you created a solution to resolve it.

5. Why are you leaving your current role?

Wow! It just got real! Be careful how you answer this question. You want to be honest, but you don’t want to reveal too much either. The answer to this question could very well be related to the job you are interviewing for. You want an answer that shows the employer you are looking to advance your skills and take on new challenges.

This may feel like a lot to take in, but remember the employer is trying to find the best fit for the position just as you are trying to find your right position. The better prepared you are, the better impression you will make! What are some interview tips that have helped you land the job? Head to our Facebook page now and share them to inspire others interviewing today.

Helpful Tips to Master Your Virtual Interview- Sept 11, 2020

Part 2: Interviewing Tips

Last week we discussed how to better prepare for a virtual interview by setting up equipment, testing technology, and performing practice runs. This week, we would like to share more details on how to master the interview, itself. Whether virtual or face to face, interview basics remain the same. The goal during an interview is to convey your value to the company and build a rapport with the interviewer. 

Spending time composing notes and researching the company will give you an advantage not only to get the job, but to ensure this is the right fit for you.  Preparation shows you are interested and that is exactly what your future employer/recruiter wants to notice. Check out some helpful tips on how to interview well below: 

1. Do your Research:
Prior to your virtual interview be sure to research the company you are interviewing with. It’s a good idea to read the “About Us” page on their website. Make note of their mission statement. Check their presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Pay attention to any new projects they are working on and Google the company to see if there is any recent coverage.

2. Watch the Clock:
Whether you are being prescreened, interviewed over the phone, in person, or virtually, be sure to be on time. This is the most basic first impression, yet so important. It shows you are dependable and responsible. The first step to a trustworthy candidate! If being on time is completely unavoidable, be sure to call your contact, well in advance, and let them know you are running a few minutes late.

3. Dress for Success:
You may be at home, but this is still a job interview. Dress to impress! By dressing the part, you convey thoughtfulness, time management, and responsibility.  All characteristics employers are looking for in a candidate. Also, in addition to dressing well, be sure to make yourself look polished, clean, and neat.

4. Present Well:
Be prepared to speak in depth about yourself, your skills and why you want to join the organization. List practical skills you have and talk about obstacles you have overcome, even during the pandemic. Maybe note some particular projects you worked on or ways you helped your team overcome a challenge. You want to talk about action and result. This shows you were a vital part of the team. It is a good idea for you to have some questions prepared to ask the interviewer. This is the time to address concerns you may be having. Again, you want to be sure this is a good fit for you as well as the company.

5. Be Yourself:
Don’t forget to be yourself. Elaborate about yourself beyond the resume. Try to make a connection with the interviewer. Pay attention to your body language. Be sure to smile, sit up straight, and relax. You are going to do great!

6. Always Say Thank You:
“Never underestimate the power of a well-written thank you. Even a bad interview isn’t always the end.” You can redeem yourself by sending a note of thanks. Along with thanking everyone for their time, reiterate your value and if there are any parts of the interview that you feel didn’t get answered well, you can address it in a thank you note. Explain that after having some time to think it through, you would like to share your thoughts now. This is a small gesture that leaves a lasting impression. Also, gratitude tends to diminish with time. Send a note within 24 hours after the interview.

Stay positive and remember what you have accomplished! Even if you don’t get the job, there are always take-aways from each interview. Learn from them. Make notes on what you want to improve on during the next interview. After taking some time to digest these tips, it is important to remember, you got this! Tips and advice can help. But, having faith and confidence in yourself will be key in your job search success.

Four Expert Virtual Interview Preparation Tips– August 28, 2020

 Part 1: Preparation for a Virtual Interview

   The pandemic has brought about a shift in the career marketplace. It has changed the way we manage our professional lives and the hiring processes. What was once a business community of hand shaking, face to face interaction and working shoulder to shoulder has now become a very different landscape. Although the general principles are the same we have had to adapt to a new approach in the workplace environment. For those of us fortunate enough to have a job, we have settled into working at home and the reality of the uncomfortable, and at times, awkward virtual meetings. But, for those seeking employment it is a whole new world with virtual interviews.

Trying to share your qualifications via Google Hangouts or Zoom, to people you are meeting for the first time, can be intimidating, but it can also pose an advantage. 

If your future employer/recruiter notices that you are prepared, virtually, they will be impressed. It proves that you are willing to deal with challenges and make the most of a, rather, uncomfortable situation. We have Four Expert Virtual Interview Preparation Tips on how to make a great first “virtual” impression when interviewing for a job. 

1. Set the Stage: Be sure the setting is professional. You need a space that is not distracting for you or the interviewer. The background should be clean and well kept. Good lighting is a must. Being near a window captures the best light.  It is important that you are comfortable, but not too comfy. You should be positioned in a seat that allows good posture. Place the computer monitor high enough so you are looking straight ahead.

2. Test the Equipment: “Tech savvy is one of the top 10 traits employers are looking for.” When the computer equipment and microphone are working well, it shows you have technical skills. Be sure to test all equipment. This should be done a few days prior to the interview, just in case you need to make a run to the store.

3. Practice Makes Perfect: Run through a few “virtual practice” rounds with a family member or friend. Not only will this ensure your equipment is working and setting is professional; but it gives you an opportunity to practice answering questions. Don’t over rehearse. Keep it natural.

4. Let’s Do This: Be prepared and ready for your interview 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Make sure everything is on, ready to go and WIFI is working properly. It might be a good idea to have your housemates refrain from using WIFI during the interview to ensure there is no lag time or disconnect.

Preparation is key and will set you apart from the other candidates. If you present well during a virtual interview, it will leave little doubt that you are a top candidate for the position. Please stay tuned, next week, as we discuss Part Two of our Virtual Interviews Blog, when we offer several key tips to help you “during” the interview.

How to Positively Disconnect from your Home Office  – August 14

We have spent a lot of time recently speaking about the pandemic, working from home, and managing stress. One topic we haven’t touched on is disconnecting. For the majority of us, we have found ourselves working at home. With our workstations so close, you could be having difficulties disconnecting after hours. If so, then you aren’t alone. Communication and pressure to succeed are both touchy subjects but understanding your expectations and supporting a healthy work/life balance can make a huge difference in your professional life. 

This week on ITS Talks, we are sharing 3 tips on How to Positively Disconnect from your Home Office. 

  1. Understand your expectations within your role.

Understanding your expectations within your role will help you be successful in and outside of the office. There should be clear discernment of your duties and responsibilities, in addition to the time needed to complete these. If your expectations aren’t clear to you, ask for clarification. Understanding your role will help you in the long run. 

  1. If answering or sending an email after hours is disrupting your personal time, don’t do it. 

Are you taking your phone out to answer any questions during dinner or family time? Could that email wait until regular working hours? Our desires to be successful can often disrupt our work/life balance. Take a moment and analyze the amount of time you spend working out of the office and find a way to refrain from disrupting your personal time.

  1. Be confident in your daily accomplishments.

While working from home can have its own challenges, finding accomplishments throughout the week might also be difficult. These should be as simple as showing up, performing, and producing each day. Trust in the quality of your own work and this will boost your confidence. 

Working longer hours at home isn’t all negative, if that is what you enjoy. But it is important to check in with yourself, analyze and understand your expectations, and be proud of what you produce daily during your actual working hours. Disconnecting from work is OK when you aren’t supposed to be working- your mental health will thank you for this! 

3 Life Changing Tips on How to Manage Stress– August 7, 2020

In today’s reality of managing a pandemic and your life, it can get overwhelming! It can be hard to disconnect and find balance in your day. Perhaps you are stressed over: looking for a more fulfilling job, managing your current workload, managing your personal life with work, or are dealing with a layoff.

We will all have seasons of life where it can feel overwhelming but remember you are never given anything you cannot handle. That is why ITS is sharing 3 Life Changing Tips on How to Manage Stress.

1.      Take it a Day at a Time

Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed. Set daily goals and mental checklists and try to accomplish what you can that day. Formulate plans for even the worst-case scenario so you are mentally prepared. If you can handle and mentally prepare for the worst thing that could happen, then you won’t sweat the small stuff. Make a running checklist and try to complete things daily, not all at once, so you can be more aligned with what’s important in the now.

2. Look for the Silver Lining

Instead of focusing on everything that could go wrong, look for opportunities to find the good in the situation. Every hard task has a reward and outcome that will bring a new perspective or new gratitude. If you’re having trouble trying to get your head above water, just remember your purpose, why you chose this path, and what you’re hoping to get out of it.

3. Focus on the End Goal

Feel like you’re at the end of your rope and defeated? Know that these moments of pushing outside your comfort zone and preparing you for something greater. It is building your mental toughness giving you some grit and character. When you start to feel defeated, focus on the end goal. Why you started this journey and how when you look back on this process 5,10, or 15 years from now how minuscule the time will feel in comparison. 

There you have it, ITS 3 tips on How to Manage Stress. What are some ways you manage stress? Share it on our Facebook page and start a conversation! 

How to Be an Effective Team Player– July 31, 2020

Most of us have heard the term, “There is no I in team!” This small sentiment packs a whole lot of truth. Whether at work, at home, or in school it takes a combination of people working together to be successful. Each one of us brings something different to the table, or in this case, to the workplace. Our individuality helps in serving a greater purpose. But, how you approach your part can be the “make it” or “break it” in your role. Being a better team player will not only cultivate healthier work relationships, but it will also help the business achieve goals.

This week, we are providing our best advice for how professionals can become a better co-worker and team player at the office.

1. Actively Listen

Listening is becoming a lost art. When we truly listen, we learn more about the people we work with. It gives us insight into who they are. This helps us better serve everyone’s needs. Listening is a gift. If you become an effective listener, you are on the path to becoming a better team player.

2. Build Others Up

We often focus on our own success rather than the success of others. Help others realize their potential. We don’t always have to be the one doing great things. Shine a light on what others are doing or can do. This helps us inspire each other. Giving others a boost is being an effective team player.

3. Spread Positivity

Positivity brings energy to the team. It allows for creativity and inspiration. Look for what is good. There is good in every job. Try to stay away from judgement and gossip. Realize there are differences and move forward. Bringing the light and smiles will help you be an inspirational team player.

4. Focus on Collaboration

Collaboration is when individuals work together for a common purpose of achievement. Find ways to help others, and, if you need help don’t be afraid to ask. We all bring a unique set of gifts and we should use those interactively to assist each other. This builds goodwill and reciprocity. This is a powerful way of becoming an effective team player.

 “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

How to Stay Motivated and Healthy with Home Workouts- July 24

Did you know the staff at ITS has a history of running marathons together to benefit local charities? We take pride in empowering our staff to live a healthy lifestyle and giving back to the triangle area. Recently with gyms closed in North Carolina, we have had to get creative with our fitness routines. That is why we are sharing our tips on: How to Stay Motivated and Healthy with Home Workouts!

  1. Create a space for your home gym

Time to dust off those dumbbells and unload the laundry from the treadmill. Look around at what equipment you do have and make the best of it. If you have a mat, kettlebells, or dumbbells we recommend googling “equipment you have workout” and that should provide you with different ideas to put your equipment to use!

  1. Get back to basics with workout DVDs

Online yoga!? How great and such a treat to find some peace during these days. Find an instructor you enjoy and follow their online class daily or whatever works with your schedule. Luckily, workout videos offer all types of fitness classes. They are available online and in video format. Talk yourself off the couch and get moving!

  1. Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air

No equipment? A few of our team members take advantage of every summer day by either walking, hiking, running, or biking. Around Raleigh, there are numerous paved greenway trails which make it a perfect opportunity to grab a buddy and go on a walk, hike, or run! An added benefit to living here are all of our state parks to enjoy and the great views North Carolina has to offer. 

Trust us, we understand it is hard to get motivated and to develop a new routine, but we hope the tips on this week’s post put an extra boost in your step! Remember to: 

  • Start small and start with what you have access to. 
  • Set an obtainable daily or weekly goal.
  • Keep yourself accountable, it will pay off in the long run. 
  • Take advantage of the information on the internet, follow a new workout or video!

We hope our tips help jump start your motivation! Happy exercising! 

Managing Leadership Styles In the Workplace- July 17

We encounter different leaders throughout our lives and each encompasses a distinct style. Recently we came across an article LinkedIn shared, The Best Leaders are Flexible to Switch Between Leadership Styles.

Leadership, defined by the Oxford Language Dictionary, is the “act of leading a group of people or an organization”, and there is more than one way to lead effectively. As we read through LinkedIn’s article, we became curious to find out which style we represented. We’d like to encourage you to do the same, check out the five types of leaders: Participative, Authoritarian, Laissez-Faire, Transformational, and Servant.

This week on ITS talks we are sharing a few tips on Managing Leadership Styles In the Workplace. See below for the five different leadership styles you may encounter and how to navigate them.

  1. Participative leader: 

This leader encourages employee participation and engagement. We recommend being vocal, participating and supporting group or team efforts.

  1. Authoritarian leader:

This leader sets the tone for goals and employee responsibilities. This leader will often set their own guidelines for employees to follow. We recommend following directions, asking clear and concise questions, and completing assigned duties.

  1. Laissez-Faire leader:

This leader typically has a hands off approach and will delegate tasks and responsibilities as they see fit. This is your “let it be” leader. We recommend being a self-starter and keeping yourself motivated to be successful with this leader.

  1. Transformational leader: 

This is the inspirational leader of the group. Transformational leaders focus on bigger picture goals rather than micro-tasks and issues. We recommend being detail oriented and understanding how your work assists in the bigger picture.

  1. Servant leader:

This leader is the true servant to the company, cause, and or mission. Servant leaders will get their hands dirty and prefer to keep themselves invested in daily work to accomplish an overall goal. We recommend participating in groups/teams when needed and being vocal about ideas, opportunities, and issues that arise. 

In order to be successful it is important to be able to identify leadership styles. The better you understand your leader the more equipped you are to meet expectations. It was Mother Teresa who said, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.”

How to Gracefully Resign From a Position- July 10

Resigning from a position? We have previously spent time talking about lay-offs, see our post: How to Stay Positive After a Layoff- June 12, but not about resigning. This week we are taking the time to start a conversation about resigning. 

There are right ways and wrong ways to professionally resign without tarnishing your work history. 

This week we will answer questions such as: 

  • Do I need to give the company notice?
  • Do I owe the company anything?
  • How much notice should I give? 
  • How do I deliver my resignation? 

Let’s get started! See below for our tips on How to Gracefully Resign From a Position:

Do I need to give the company notice of resignation? 

Yes. While no one likes receiving bad news, if it is your time to move on then it is your responsibility to also let your company know. Giving your company notice of resignation is professional, it allows time to tie up loose ends, and could serve you in the future by providing a reference. It is important to follow company policy when providing a resignation. Often, resignation policies are entwined within company policy and may include items such as how much of a notice to give, if they support a forced exit, and/or last day resignation items.

Do I owe the company anything?

Outside of contracts, employees do not need to provide long-term loyalty. Stated above, if it is time to personally or professionally move on then it is in your best interest to do so. 

How much notice should I give?

Generally speaking, a 2-week notice is professional and a typical amount of time. However, this can vary company to company. Again, resignation policies are often entwined within company policy and it is not abnormal for companies to state they require a notice outside of 2-weeks. 

How do I deliver my resignation?

While uncomfortable, it is better to resign in person, one-on-one with your direct supervisor if allowed by the company. Your supervisor will provide you with follow-up instructions such as if you need to type a formal letter, send an email, and or what loose ends need to be finalized before your departure. 

Resigning can take on many different forms. Across the board, it is important to know proving a notice of resignation with 2-weeks notice is typical and professional. Leaving a position without a resignation may tarnish your work history and professional contacts. What are some ways you have professionally resigned from your position gracefully? Share with others on our Facebook page!

How to Take on Bad News Gracefully- July 3

Everyone is subject to receiving some type of bad news at some point in their lives and we cannot avoid it. However, how we react to bad news is something we can control. Sit back and reflect on a time you received bad news; how did you react? Did you argue or snap back? Or, did you accept the bad news and learn from it? 

As professionals, reactions have the power to influence perceptions. Accepting bad news gracefully speaks volumes and can assist in your future endeavors. This week on ITS Talks, we are sharing a few tips on How to Take on Bad News Gracefully by accepting, learning, and being kind to yourself.

  1. Accept the Bad News

Receiving any type of negative or unexpected news may trigger emotions which we may all be subject to, and it is important to acknowledge these emotions, and accept what has happened.

  1. Overcome Adversity

Failing an exam, not getting a job, or arguing with a colleague can all cause feelings of failure. Overcoming these failures builds adversity and to help look at failures as learning opportunities.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself

Recall your previous accomplishments to boost your confidence and keep moving forward. Being mindful of your emotions is a healthy practice as a way of being kind to yourself.  

We know no one enjoys receiving bad news, we for sure don’t! But, learning how to accept bad news gracefully will greatly impact your attitude, profession, and overall outlook. If there was a time you received some bad news, share with us on our Facebook page. How did you react to it? Did you learn from it?

How to Summer Vacation with Social Distancing- June 26

It is indeed summer around here, but how do we celebrate it with social distancing and respecting others’ health? This week, we went around the inbox to see how our team members will be vacationing and or celebrating summer this year. Check out our tips on How to Summer Vacation with Social Distancing. 

Are you traveling this summer? 

I will be doing some local traveling to places such as the beach or the mountains to disconnect in nature and destress during these unique times. I am limiting my travel to only when necessary when it comes to flying for my own safety and others.

My oldest son graduated from high school this year. At the beginning of the school year we were talking about doing a big trip that would require a flight or maybe a cruise ship, but once Covid19 became a reality we decided not to make any plans for the summer. Then just a few weeks ago as the restrictions started to lift we thought we would plan a vacation at the beach, our old stand-by! Our normal family trips involve the mountains, beach or visiting family along the east coast. The kids were disappointed that we wouldn’t be taking a big trip, but we can always plan something similar in the future. We felt it would be safer to stay close to home, go by car and rent a house. With some restrictions still in place and guidelines to follow, we feel pretty good about our decision. And if nothing else, life is better at the beach!! 

We will only be doing some local beach travel with our dog this summer. Under normal circumstances we usually take a week-long, jump on an airplane across an ocean vacation at the beginning of summer. This summer I am going to make the best out of our beach trips. We really enjoy Emerald Isle and Virginia Beach, our dog does too! 

Yes, but for us travel will be local. Travel includes camping trips at the following places this summer; Rodanthe, Currituck Sound, N. Myrtle Beach, Williamsburg, Kerr Lake.

We aren’t doing any travel this summer. Normally we fly locally somewhere, but with COVID, we won’t be going anywhere. We are continuing our long staycation. 

What does a summer vacation look like this year? What about it makes you excited? 

A summer vacation looks like to me this year, one that I can surround myself with family or very close friendships. It makes me excited to share memories with those most dear to my heart and to take time out of my busy schedule for them.

Summer has a great feeling no matter what! Whether we are doing staycations, trips, or lounging by the pool. There is nothing like the lazy days of summer. Summer brings out the best in people. Everyone is in a good mood and more relaxed. You can get outside and enjoy the weather; and we can’t forget about taking time off from school and work. There is just a slower pace to life during the summer. Covid or no Covid, I am excited about summer! 

Summer this year has been much more family time and I am thankful for it. Our vacations this year are to the beach. I am excited about soaking up the sun and breathing in fresh ocean air. 

What does summer mean to you?

Summer means to me, getting outdoors as much as possible and reconnecting to god’s creation. Making time for things I may put off during the holidays and finding that peace to relax and rest. 

Summer means flip flops, gardening, longer daytime hours, time with friends and family, fresh lemonade on the back porch, night time swimming at the pool, lots of grilling out and cold cocktails, staying up late to watch movies on Netflix, fireflies, your toes in the sand and waves in your face, SUNSCREEN and all the ice cream you can eat!!!

I loved growing up in South Carolina. We had the best summers! Aunt Yvonne was a school teacher, and she took care of my brother and I while we were all out of school. She would take us swimming, to the movies, and roller skating (my personal favorite past time back then). If I could turn back the hands of time, I would definitely revisit those humid days full of ice cream, sunscreen, and more love than I’ve experienced since.

Summertime for me is about spending time with family, friends, and my dogs. I love camping, running, cooking out, doggie playdate, going on long walks, and working in my yard. I love that NC has all 4 seasons, and Summer never disappoints. I love the warm summer nights.We hope you enjoyed this little insight into our summers.

What advice would you give to someone this summer?

Do what you can with what you have. Call everybody, family and friends. It speaks volumes to check in and will make yourself feel better. Also, go enjoy the weather, get your vitamin D somehow- grill, hike, or go biking- make it a priority everyday to get outside while we can.

Eat lots of ice cream, visit the beach and spend quality time with your family by playing games!

Continue your routine or build new habits. If you run every morning, keep running, rain or shine.

We hope our responses have given you some creativity to how you approach your summer this year! Bring on the watermelon and share your own responses on our Facebook page, we can’t wait to hear from you!

Must Know Tips for Summer Networking- June 19

This week officially marks the start of summer! While our current summer plans may have changed, it is a great time to take advantage of reconnecting with old contacts and creating new ones! If you like to spend your summers interning, volunteering, or learning a new skill then you may already love networking! Networking can provide future references, new opportunities, and lasting friendships.

Last week we spoke about layoffs, the country has seen record breaking unemployment recently, so this week we are sharing inventive or time-pressed ways to network during COVID-19.

  1. Be Patient and Personable

Everyone is feeling the brunt of our new reality and people have been affected differently. If you are out of work remember it can take, on average, a couple months to land a new position. During this time, sort through your contacts and reach out to multiple people. Remember, responses won’t be immediate. The important thing is that you did your part and attempted to reach out.

  1. Get on Social Media

     Take advantage of social distancing by using social media. E-meeting is now a popular way to meet and also network. Create a profile on Linkedin and connect with who you may know through school, work, and friends. Check out our Linkedin page for updates and job postings. 

  1. Be Direct and Informative

Previously, networking involved a coffee or lunch date, in the world of social distancing those face-to-face meetings are now a thing of the past. While pleasantries and manners are still important, getting your point and needs across are crucial during this time, be direct when reaching out about introductions, job opportunities, and updates.

This summer, many of us can continue to network safely while at home and respecting others’ health. Keep in mind to be patient, get on social media, and be direct. We hope these tips help you in networking this summer.

How to Stay Positive After a Layoff- June 12

Earlier in the year we posted a blog titled: “How to Manage Your Mindset After a Layoff”, that offered some positive tips on how to cope with an unexpected layoff.  Ironically not long after, record national unemployment numbers occurred due to the recent pandemic. As a result, layoffs were imposed in a number of industries, such as: retail, restaurants and manufacturing. This impacted millions of Americans who have been left jobless since COVID-19 made its way into our communities just a few short months ago. 

Being unemployed may leave you feeling inadequate, lost, and scared. These feelings can lead to depression and other mental health concerns. Please know that your emotions are natural and completely normal. It is important to focus and realign yourself by accepting how you feel. Remember, you will get through this by staying positive and taking it one day at a time.

We have provided some advice on How to Stay Positive After a Layoff:

1. Remind Yourself of Your Value

You are an essential part of this community. Recognize self-worth and realize what you have already been contributing. Make a list and think about what you are good at, care about, skills you have and your strengths.  A visual list can be a great reminder and allow you to see your characteristics as assets.

2. Maintain a Perspective of Worthiness

You are job worthy. The loss of recent jobs occurred because of a pandemic, this isn’t personal.  Take it day by day and live in the present moment. When your mind creeps back to worries about finances or your job, gently guide it back to positive thinking. You may not have had any control over losing your job, but you can control your thoughts.

3. Choose Joy and Gratitude

Life is full! It’s exciting, it’s scary, it’s joyful, and it’s disappointing.Choose to do things that give you energy and hope. It will make you feel better about yourself! Be grateful for what you have and what is to come. When you count your blessings, you begin to see how rich life really is.

There is a great quote from a movie that says, “I do know one thing. My life has been full. Not in spite of the disappointments, but because of them.” Life hands us all kinds of situations, some good and some not so good, fortunately, they are all fleeting, lasting just long enough. This is a fleeting moment in your life. Tomorrow will bring something new. Uplift others today and spark a conversation in the comments on how you’ve dealt with an unexpected layoff on our Facebook page!

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Pie to Bake for Your Neighbors– June 5, 2020

June 9th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie day! Our conversations are typically advice filled and while we want to provide top quality tips, advice, and insight, sometimes it is great to steer off the track and provide a little light reading. Let’s take the time to foster community by baking for family, friends or your neighbor’s to bring some solace to these current times. 

This week, we want to honor National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie day and share a recipe from our Operations Manager that she swears by! It is strawberry and rhubarb season and the perfect time to try this recipe. 

Pies are a dessert that not only brings us comfort, but evoke nostalgia that stir feelings and memories from our past. Pies bring smiles and families together. With their easy versatility and wholesomeness, they make baking a fun and unique experience.

We could keep going, but let’s get to this tried and true pie recipe and honor this day!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie


1- large egg

¾- cup white sugar

2-tbsp all purpose flour

1-tsp cornstarch 

1-tsp vanilla extract

¾ pounds of rhubarb cut into ½ pieces OR use 3 cups of frozen rhubarb- thaw and drain

1- pint fresh strawberries, halved

1-pastry shell (frozen or graham cracker of your choice!)

Topping ingredients: 

¾- cup all purpose flour

½- cup brown sugar

½ – cup oats (any kind)

½- cup cubed cold butter


  • In a large bowl, beat egg then add sugar, flour and vanilla until well combined. Gently stir in fruit and cornstarch. Pour into the crust.
  • For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit.
  • Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; for pastry crust 30-35 minutes longer; for graham cracker crust 20 minutes longer.
  •  Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into it.

We hope this recipe inspires you to try something new! Let us know if you try the recipe or if you have your own best versi