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Avoid These Red Flags During Your Job Search

Avoid These Red Flags During Your Job Search

When it comes to looking for a job, Americans are working it, working it hard and doing a lot of both preliminary research and direct applying online: Fifty-four percent of Americans are going online seeking job information, and nearly half of job applicants have applied for work online. On average, every corporate job attracts 250 resumes, and four to six of those job seekers will get the call for an interview. Fifteen percent of millennials ages 18 to 24 are employment scam victims, and 30% of those ages 25 to 34 have fallen prey to these scams.

With so much on the line, whether it’s your first job or latest big career move, the era of the paper application and long periods of time required for background checks and verification is changing. Hiring decisions come faster, based on precise information from applicants. Here are eight job search red flags for applicants as they read through the want ads and go to interviews:

  • Personal information pitfalls

Is the job ad more interested in your looks than your job skills? Asking for your height, weight, or measurements? Is the employer specifically asking for “attractive” or “young” people to apply? This is possibly a front for a less-than-legitimate business, or a lonely owner looking for an employee competent in something besides standard office procedures.

  • Age discrimination

Certain government positions require applicants fall into particular age ranges (special agent positions with the U.S. Marshalls and the FBI) because of the jobs’ physical requirements. But most potential employers cannot even ask about your age on the application. If the ad specifies an age range, especially a young range, it’s possibly less than legitimate work or an owner looking for arm candy. 

  • The business does not provide a name in the ad

Sometimes “blind” ads are blind for a reason: it’s a means to control excess direct contact from recruiters or vendors. But without a human contact person, address or phone number, there’s no way to find out if anyone who matters sees your resume or application.

  • What’s it all about?

Little or no job information in the ad, or during the interview. It makes you wonder what the employer is hiding from you and why. This is a major job search red flag and you’ll want to do your best to avoid applying for a job such as this. 

  • It’s an unhappy workplace

You notice it right away during the interview: You don’t walk in expecting people dancing on the desks and quaffing adult beverages midday. But sad faces, angry and loud voices, swearing and shouting, slamming doors and people giving you the stink eye as you walk in and out of the interview room are not a good sign.

  • They like you so much, they want to hire you NOW

Without a background check or reference calls. And they put pressure on you to accept NOW. Again, what’s going on here? How many people accepted the job under the same pressure before you, only to walk out a week (or less) later? And once you accept, what else will the boss pressure you to do?

  • Online reviews are one-star worthy

People are mean online when it comes to companies they’ve left or employers who have done them wrong, especially when they can get away with it anonymously. But a pattern of poor reviews, referencing specific on-the-job incidents, is worth a look. You can find reviews of companies and more information about them through sites such as Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com. 

  • The employer needs financial information from you before hiring

A credit report check is a common part of pre-employment screening. A prospective employer is looking at your past insurance, legal, credit and employment history when they pull this report. They do not need your bank information to retrieve it. This is a big job search red flag you want to avoid at all cost. 

Korey Howell Photography helps you look your best for your first job or biggest career move. A professional headshot, combined with a sharp resume, is the difference between an application hitting the rejection pile and hearing the words, “You’re hired!”

5 Professional Development Resources to Further Your Career

5 Professional Development Resources to Further Your Career

Enhancing your professional development shouldn’t be just a priority for you, it should be a priority for women of all ages at any career stage. Not only does professional development stimulate the mind, it also boosts your confidence and marketability by learning new skills you can apply to the world around you. The competition in the workplace is stiff for women, so expanding your resume with a wealth of knowledge and skills can make you a more attractive professional employee. However, many businesses don’t provide continuing professional development opportunities. What then? In today’s world of abundant online resources, you can further your professional development even if your employer doesn’t offer it. Here are our top 5 professional development resources to further your career.

Hubspot Academy

Hubspot is a well-known developer of customer relationship management (CRM) software. To connect with their customers and audiences, Hubspot began to offer free online video courses complete with quizzes and certifications in the areas of marketing and sales. You simply create an account and then select the courses you want to take. Classes include video modules, followed by a quiz to make sure you understood the video. At the end of the course, you take a final exam and if you pass, you receive a certificate. A few of the many certifications they offer include:

  • Inbound Certification
  • Content Marketing Certification
  • Email Marketing Certification
  • Inbound Sales Certification

Saylor Academy

From business to communication to professional development, there is a wealth of courses to choose from within Saylor Academy. Within the main courses are sub-categories of specific classes you can take. For example, under the heading “Business Administration”, you may select a course entitled, “Corporate Communication.” This course includes fifteen units, course syllabus, and downloadable textbook. The course takes about 120 hours to complete. At the end of the class, you take a free final exam and receive a certificate. You can even earn college credits with this class for a proctoring fee of $25.

Harvard Academics Extension School

Need more training in computer science? Harvard offers a free course entitled, “Intensive Introduction to Computer Science.” This series of video lectures doesn’t just teach you about computer science but helps you develop your reasoning and problem-solving skills. The video lectures coincide with the actual course of the semester. So, you can do it along with the rest of the students. The teacher for this semester is a dynamic speaker that makes learning this topic interesting.

TED Talks

Rather enrich your mind than gain skills right away? If you don’t want a full-blown academic-style course but still want to advance professionally, you can always create a playlist of TED Talks. This website offers a vast library of videos on just about every subject out there. Browse by topic or select from the most popular TED talks. TED Talks can range from just a few minutes to a half-hour or more, depending on the depth of the topic, so get prepared when you find one you’d like to watch. Some of the information is academic but there are plenty of personal-growth talks, as well.

Udemy

Udemy is unique in that any professional person can create a course and promote it on the Udemy platform. Instructors may charge a fee or offer it free. The website currently boasts of over 55,000 courses with topics ranging from personal development to web development to office productivity. When you arrive at the website, create an account and then explore by category or type your own topic in the search box. Many of the classes are free or as low as ten dollars. When you select the course in which you’re interested, you’ll be taken to a page that explains what you will get with the class. For example, a class called, “How to Build an Online Business” says it will take 11.5 hours, includes two articles, certification, and lifetime access to the course.

Whether you choose to enhance your technical skills or enrich your mind with knowledge, furthering your professional development is important and necessary in any career stage. Choose something that interests you, or go outside your comfort zone and try something new. While you’re at it, you may want to update your professional photo – you know, to reflect all that developing you’ve been doing! Plus, with new skills, you might be looking for new opportunities that arise. Contact our studio today to book your professional headshot!

 

Fall Networking Events for Women in the Austin Area

Fall Networking Events for Women in the Austin Area

Austin is a city full of successful women professionals, and one of the best ways to advance your career is to network with other businesswomen. This autumn is buzzing with exciting opportunities to get to know like-minded accomplished professional women. Attend these upcoming fall networking events for women professionals in the Austin area to connect with women in various professional industries.

WE17: The World’s Largest Conference for Women Engineers

  • October 26 – 28th

WE17 is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers and the largest conference in the world for women in the engineering and tech sectors. Women of all ages and career stages come to this event to listen to groundbreaking presentations from women around the world. There are many opportunities to develop friendships and professional connections with other women, as well as to find career support and mentorship. If you’re looking for a job or internship, don’t miss the huge career fair.

Texas Women in Business: Coffee Connection

  • October 27th, November 3rd & November 17th

The Coffee Connection events are A great place for busy professional women to meet other women over a cup of coffee. Texas Women in Business hosts regular morning coffee gatherings in cafes around Austin to connect professional women to one another. The morning get-togethers are a relaxed and low key environment to network, share advice, referrals and get to know each other.

Women Helping Women 2 Network: Luncheon 

  • November 14th 

Women Helping Women 2 Network holds an empowering and supportive monthly networking luncheon for businesswomen in all sectors to build and deepen their relationships. Women are encouraged to bring business cards and get to know other each other to strengthen the community’s referral network. Every month there is a monthly drawing with an opportunity to enter and win products and services from women-owned businesses.

Women in Tech Dinner 

  • November 15th 

The Austin Technology Council is sponsoring a special evening that includes networking, industry discussion, and dinner at Z’Tejas for women who work in the technology sector. The evening starts off with networking over cocktails, segues into a professional panel discussion with an opportunity to ask questions, share experiences, and discuss ideas.

4th Annual Black Women in Business Extravaganza 

  • November 17th 

Women and men of all backgrounds are invited to attend this huge event (they’re expecting this year to the biggest yet) with a number of opportunities to meet and greet, network, and buy from black women-owned businesses. Events include a huge vendor exhibit where you can meet and learn about black women businesses throughout Texas and get an opportunity to network, listen to guest speakers and win prizes. Additional fun events to see here include a brunch and fashion show!

One of the best ways to shine when you’re building connections and growing a business network is having a great professional headshot. The team at Korey Howell Photography specializes in creating beautiful, professional headshots that help successful professional women take their careers to the next level. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

12 Pieces of Life Advice Young Professional Women Need to Know

12 Pieces of Life Advice Young Professional Women Need to Know

A letter to the young and budding woman professional or entrepreneur, 

This is your “mature” and wiser-self speaking. I know you consider yourself sufficiently educated and energetic to take on whatever the world hurls at you, but you have a long way to go before you learn what I know. Here are 12 tips to save you from the missteps and misadventures you may come across during your early years. Here are 12 pieces of life advice young professional women should know early in their career and life. 

1. Start young and save early

Retirement comes sooner than you think (and so you’ll wish). Years and decades pass quickly, and what happens if you decide to trade in the work week early for a life of leisure, or part-time work, or days spent volunteering? Stash cash now, avoid digging money pits like bar crawls, expensive cars and a new smartphone every year.

2. Never depend on a man for love or money

Take care of yourself, and forget the classic Prince Charming galloping in on the white horse. Chances are the “prince” is a financial pauper with student loan debt, a beater car and a better habit of spending rather than saving. When you have your own money, you pick the man because you love him, not because you need his bank account. 

3. Mentoring is an equal opportunity effort

 Seek advice from men and women you like, trust and admire. Take them out for lunch or coffee and ask a lot of questions about their business success and failures because you want to learn from them, not steal ideas to make your own. And return the favor: mentor newcomers in your business.

4. Find work you love

You’d do it for free: You may get lucky and find that perfect job and stay with it for life. Be willing to do something else if you don’t, and work at what you love as a side hustle. That part-time position could be full-time someday.

5. Connect with people

On a personal and business level: Networking is work, and it pays off. The friends and associates you establish now are often helpful in later life as well.

6. Make time to travel

Whether it’s cross-country or foreign travel, plan and save for trips to anywhere else. Eat differently, discover hidden destinations and come home with a different outlook.

7. Give of yourself to others who have less

Volunteering for charity builds confidence and self-esteem, offers a sense of your place in a bigger world and provides the opportunity to build new skills and expand your contacts. 

8. Dreaming, thinking and planning is part of living

Before you can take the big step, whether it’s buying a house, starting your own business or having a child, you have to plan for these major life changes. Don’t let circumstances just happen to you and then blame outside forces or people for the results. Move life forward on your own terms.

9. When you face rejection, just know it’s going to be okay

You might get fired or lose something important. It’s not OK to accept that negative result as the end of the journey. See roadblocks as a challenge to move in another direction. Or just leap over them and keep going as if nothing happened.

10. Keep that resume honest and updated

Never lie on a resume; it represents your personal history. And keep it up-to-date, because even the best jobs go away very suddenly.

11. I would present my best self to the world

To go along with the standout resume and cover letter, a professional headshot from Korey Howell adds another level of polish to your performance history.

12. Mostly, live life without fear

Live without fear of impact from the things that happen around you and around the world.

By following these crucial pieces of life advice, young professional women can navigate the early years of their professional and personal lives while also developing their careers. Starting off on the right foot is important, which is why you should make a great first impression before you even meet potential employers and other professionals. The key to a great first impression? A great professional headshot. At Korey Howell Photography, we aim to help you look your best while making picture day the BEST day of your week. Contact our studio or book online with us today to schedule your headshot session!

 

11 Ways to Display Bad Photoshoot Etiquette

11 Ways to Display Bad Photoshoot Etiquette

The beauty of the truly professional headshot is the story it tells. The picture explains who you are, what you expect and how you feel about yourself and the successful, confident image the world sees is the honest image you’ve created and cultivated.

Leave it to some folks who want to bring the “go big or go home” attitude to the photoshoot session and turn a career-building experience into the picture of disappointment with bad photoshoot etiquette. 

Here are 11 surefire ways to wreak havoc during your professional photo session and display bad photoshoot etiquette.

1. Arrive late without calling ahead

Always keep the photographer’s contact information on hand in case an emergency arises. It’s common courtesy to call ahead when you’re late to meetings or appointments and a booked photography session just for you is no exception to that courtesy. Find out driving directions and plan ahead for unpredictable factors such as traffic, wardrobe malfunctions, etc. Don’t make a photographer wait – it only cuts into your own photoshoot time!

2. Bring at least a half-dozen changes of clothes

A professional headshot is not a fashion runway shoot. Choose one outfit, bring one extra shirt or blouse and jacket, and an additional tie or scarf. The photographer has other bookings and cannot wait for your half-dozen wardrobe changes. Depending on which package you choose, you may be able to bring more than one outfit. If you’ve selected the photo package with only one outfit, make sure you decide on the outfit you’ll wear before your photoshoot begins. Bringing more than one and expecting others to wait while you change is indicative of bad photoshoot etiquette.

3. Wear all your jewelry at once

A professional photo session is not the time or place to see if you can wear every piece of jewelry you own. The appearance of all that bling does nothing for the final photo product and can leave you looking less than professional. Speaking of body bling, depending on your employer’s rules about body tattoos and piercings, it might be best to cover your tattoos and jewelry in places other than your ears for the professional headshot. Be proud of your ink, but unless your employer embraces body art, it might be best to stick to conservative appearances for now.

4. Insist on extra shots (without the extra fee)

At our studio, we offer the option to add additional images for a certain fee – which you let us know you want at the time you book. Don’t expect any photographer to include additional photos at no extra cost. Learn about our add-on options like additional photos and adding a stylist to your session.

5. Turn it into a “Glamour Shots” session

Chill out on the duck face poses and cheeky facial expressions during your professional photoshoot. Unless you’re really off-the-wall and you own your own brand, your “fun” facial expressions won’t be appreciated by many. Keep your appearance tight and neat and ensure your image appears as professional as it needs to be.

6. Paint your nails to include them in the photos

No matter how expensive the weekly mani-pedi, it does not belong in a professional headshot unless it so happens to land in the photo that looks best. Don’t count on including them – poses and positions where you’re purposefully showing off your newly manicured hands and feet will most likely turn out to be awkward-looking photos in the end. The best advice for this situation is to keep your shoes on and your hands to yourself.

7. Eat, drink or chew gum

Food and drink mishaps cause stains on your work clothes, spills in the studio and make everyone else hungry and thirsty if you are the only one indulging. Chewing gum during the shoot is unsightly, is incredibly bad photoshoot etiquette, and losing it on the floors or furniture is beyond embarrassing. 

8. Use your phone excessively

Photographer’s time is money, too. Don’t waste the professional’s time playing games or gabbing on your phone. Turn it off, or at least turn the ringer down or put it on vibrate. Business and personal calls need attention, but this photoshoot complements and completes your resume, and the time spent in the studio is an important investment.

9. Touch the studio equipment or photographer’s cameras

Unless you brought your own equipment, refrain from touching any of the studio equipment unless exclusively asked to. None of it belongs to you, and it’s expensive, sometimes fragile equipment. Don’t play around and move any of the lights or camera to get the “better” shot. That’s why you hired the photographer in the first place.

10. Bring your small children

Children are wonderful, but in a studio setting, they become curious. They touch things, interrupt, ask questions. And with none of their toys to keep them interested, they become a distraction. Leave them home with a friend, relative or sitter, and do not consider turning your professional headshot sitting into a family portrait.

11. Talking and texting during your photoshoot 

We’re all busy, so we get it, but to ensure we help you get that fabulous shot, we insist you put the phone away while we’re shooting in the studio. Plus, if you’re distracted from your photo session, chances are you won’t get the best shot!

Capturing you at your professional best is what we at Korey Howell Photography does best. Contact us today to book a photoshoot session at our studio!

6 Things You Should Never Do Before Your Photoshoot

6 Things You Should Never Do Before Your Photoshoot

For professionals in every stage of their career, headshots are completely necessary to market yourself in a way that people will remember. As long as you get them right, they can help to enhance your brand and your career in the long-run. 

But, if you’re not careful professional photos can bring out the worst in you. Take that literally: the camera will accentuate flaws you didn’t even think possible. While this is obviously stress-inducing, there’s no cause for panic just yet. Instead, we recommend you try to avoid the following six things. They are, quite distinctly, some pretty risky things that you should never do before your photoshoot.

1) Try out a new hairstyle

You’ve always wanted to try a new hair color. So why not finally take that step before you get your headshots taken? 

Do. Not. Do. It. 

The answer is almost too obvious. What if you don’t like it? Suddenly, those new pink highlights stick with you everywhere you try to present yourself. And by the way, the same is true for a new hairstyle. When it comes to your photoshoot, stick with a color and style that you know works well for you.

2) Experiment with new skin products

You want to look your best, so you try out new skin care products to make your face glow even more than it already does. Or perhaps you’ve heard about this new makeup brand for a while, and consider your photo shoot the perfect opportunity to try it.

Resist the temptation. If you try out any type of new skin product, you have no idea how your skin will react. What if it breaks out and you come to your appointment with a rash? Even redness can be difficult to deal with for professional photographers.

3) Spend too much time in the sun

Tanning is great, whether you have a chance to do it naturally or in a tanning studio. For professional photos, though, it might not look as good as you envision. Headshots tend to accentuate and emphasize tans, making them look more unnatural than they do in person.

Unless your tan is part of your year-round look, try to stay away from it for your photoshoot. Instead, go with your natural skin color to make sure that your headshots don’t just look good, but also authentic to how you want to present yourself.

4) Eat food or a meal that’s sure to make a mess

It almost seems too obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning: stay away from eating anything messy before your photoshoot. A seemingly simple and tasty pasta will leave an oil stain on your collar or shirt and is definitely not something you want to be associated with your professional image for the foreseeable future.

Everyone has to eat. But what you can do is control exactly what you eat to stay away from the potential of stains. That means avoiding sauces and oily foods in particular.

5) Stay up all night 

You don’t hear enough about just how important beauty rest is before your photoshoot or professional headshot session. Without it, you don’t just get those rings under your eyes, but your entire skin also looks less healthy. It’s a surefire way to make your photos look less flawless than you would like them to be.

Fortunately, there’s an easy remedy: make sure you get your rest. Postpone that crucial project or night out with your friends until the next evening. The more well-rested you are, the better your photos will look.

6) Get worked up about your photoshoot

Finally, try to avoid stress if at all possible. You might not know it, but stress can actually dry out your skin, and enhance even small wrinkles on your face. In other words, it can be the largest contributor to a photoshoot gone wrong because you’ll carry the stress on you when your photo is being taken. The best thing to do is avoid stress or getting worked up before your photoshoot. 

Of course, even mentioning all of the above possibilities may have given your blood pressure a little rise. But here’s the good news: all of the above are bad, but none are fatal mistakes. Our photographers can still work with you to make your headshots look professional, beautiful, and flawless – no matter what new tricks you try to master right before your photoshoot!

All you need to do, then, is find that magical photographer. So what if we told you it could be us? We’d love to work with you on making sure that by the time the camera clicks, you’re prepared and ready to take the best possible photos! Contact us at Korey Howell Photography to schedule your appointment today!

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