Tag Archives: Robert Half

123rf.com: Waldemar Milz

Dress like a pro for summer heat

It’s summertime. Workplace dress codes everywhere start to relax to prevent people from roasting on the job.

But how casual is too casual? Is it possible to dress for the weather and still maintain your professionalism at work?

“Summer months can be difficult navigate though, when there is ambiguity and when dress codes are relaxed,” says Tami Ballis, vice president and branch manager of professional staffing services for Robert Half.

Just because there may be a more casual dress code doesn’t mean there is now no dress code.

It’s important to maintain your professionalism above all else, it’s always best to lean towards a more conservative choice when you are unsure.

Ballis’ tips for remaining professional:

-Never wear flip flops

-Avoid see through material (linen)

-T-shirts are rarely appropriate, especially ones with political messages

-Never show skin wear low riding pants

-No strapless dresses

“If you work in a professional environment, try wearing light dresses, or a skirts with blouses. Sundresses can seem out of place in more professional environments,” says Ballis.

For men she suggests casual collared shirts and slacks with loafers.

Sometimes the best way to gauge whether your outfit is appropriate is to look towards your neighbor. “They best yardstick to measure yourself is typically the person next to you, if everyone is wearing suits, than so should you,” says Ballis.

It’s more crucial than ever to remain professional in today’s market, according to a study conducted by Robert Half. They found that 80% of executives interviewed said that clothing choice affected an employee’s chance at promotion. So it’s probably best to avoid more revealing yet comfortable clothing and sweat it out this summer if you’ve got you’re eyes on that corner office.


5 Tips to Prepare for Annual Review

For some professionals, it’s that time of year again: annual review season. While some may think of it as a chore, others choose to view the performance review as an important event worthy of significant thought and preparation. Guess which approach is better for your career?

Here are five tips from the experts at Robert Half International for making the most of your annual review:

1. Highlight your most notable accomplishments. Don’t assume that your boss has kept track of all your achievements. Compile a list of key contributions you’ve made in the past year and bring them with you to the meeting.

2. Quantify your contributions. Don’t just cite your successes; link them to the positive effects they’ve had on your company. Did you identify a new solution that saved your employer money? Did you increase your output despite taking on the duties of a colleague out on leave? Reflect upon your biggest accomplishments ­– and document them in detail.

3. Be optimistic yet realistic. Your hope is that your hard work will lead to a bonus and salary increase. It might. But don’t focus solely on your compensation. If a salary boost isn’t in the cards, remember that flexible work options or changes in responsibilities can boost your job satisfaction too.

4. Explore training options. This is an opportunity to pinpoint potential career growth. Consider asking if your employer will pay for some training opportunities. Have ready a list of conferences or classes that will help you build the skills you need to advance your career.

5. Don’t fear feedback. Rare is the employee who receives a perfect review. Be prepared to hear about areas in which you can improve.


Survey: Quality Trumps Quantity When Networking

The more business acquaintances you have, the merrier you might be. But the quality of those contacts has a bigger impact on your career success, a new Robert Half Technology survey of information technology (IT) professionals suggests. Sixty-three percent of IT workers polled recently rated the quality of their professional network as “very important” to their overall career success, compared to 46 percent who felt the same way about the size of their network. When it comes to making new connections, (44 percent) of IT professionals surveyed prefer to network online and 22 percent favor doing it in person.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. The responses are from over 7,500 IT workers to a Web survey conducted by Robert Half Technology in February 2013.
IT professionals were asked, “How important is the quality of your professional network to your overall career success?” Their responses:

Very important: 63%
Somewhat important: 33%
Not important: 4%

IT professionals also were asked, “How important is the size of your professional network to your overall career success?” Their responses:

Very important: 46%
Somewhat important: 47%
Not important: 7%

“Knowing someone professionally and being willing to go to bat for that person are two different things,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “You may have hundreds of LinkedIn connections, but if the relationships are superficial, your contacts may not be very helpful when you’re seeking professional advice or assistance with a job search.”

Reed added, “Quality connections take time to establish, but they are a valuable career safety net, whether someone is just starting out or has many years of experience.”

Robert Half Technology provides five pitfalls to avoid when networking:

1. Losing touch. Keep the lines of communication open by offering a note of congratulations to a contact who was recently promoted or asking to meet for lunch. Set aside time each week for these types of networking activities.

2. Exhausting your resources. Most people are happy to help on occasion, but avoid overburdening one contact with repeated requests. Broaden your efforts and tap others in your network if you have trouble overcoming a particular career challenge.

3. Forgetting your p’s and q’s. A little gratitude can go a long way toward maintaining positive relationships. Always show appreciation to those who act on your behalf, even if their efforts don’t result in the desired outcome.

4. Taking a generalist approach. Instead of sending a mass email to everyone in your network asking for assistance, try customized, targeted messages to specific contacts.

5. Failing to return the favor. Networking is a two-way street: Look for opportunities to help your contacts whenever possible, and you’ll find that others are happy to do the same for you.