Planet Group Acquire’s R121 IT Consulting Services


The Planet Group is excited to announce our acquisition of R121, an international IT staffing firm!

You can read the full press release here: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/06/prweb15551224.htm

About R121
R121 provides IT consulting services specializing in SAP, Big Data, and Cloud Technologies. Committed to innovation and customer service, R121 has a unique validation process that connects the right people to the right assignment. Servicing over 500 clients since inception, R121 primarily supports projects for; Life Science, Aerospace & Defense, Media, Technology, and Retail sectors. For more information, please visit R121’s website (R121.com).

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

Planet Interactive/Planet Group – #1 Global Supplier with PRO Unlimited for 2016


Planet Interactive has been recognized by PRO Unlimited as the #1 global supplier for 2016 and has been given the Platinum Global Supplier Award. Planet Interactive has out performed the competition and will continue to provide excellent service in the years to come. Each year, PRO recognizes a select group of suppliers who have done an outstanding job in supporting their programs throughout the previous year.

Read the full press release here.

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That’ll Get You Noticed


Did you know that 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to identify potential candidates? Based on that statistic, if you’re a current job seeker, it can be helpful to upgrade and heighten your LinkedIn profile so a recruiter is enticed to represent you. But how does one create a profile so attractive it stands out amongst the heavily saturated market? Here at Planet Interactive, we’ve put our heads together to develop some suggestions on how to create an eye-catching LinkedIn profile that will get you noticed.

Upgrade your photo. This may seem obvious, but the having a professional picture is incredibly important. Your LinkedIn photo could be the first impression you make to your future employer. Picking a clean, professional, and approachable photo is the key.

Specialize your headline. Did you know that LinkedIn creates your headline by default based on what you list as your current job? Your current headline is your job title and the current company in which you’re employed, right? Well, that doesn’t have to be the case! Now, you can keep the default or you can use LinkedIn to your advantage and create a headline that’ll elevate your brand and make you searchable. It’s best to have a concise, compelling headline that’s intriguing so recruiters will want to take a closer look at you.

Create the summary. After the headline, this is the first thing that people will read about you, so you want this to grab their attention. Your LinkedIn summary should be different and more unique than your resume summary. Think of the summary as an elevator pitch, that creatively and concisely shows how you are the right person to hire. The best part of the summary is that you can add a media file (i.e. PowerPoint presentation, video, blog, etc.) that elaborates on who you are.

Use keywords. You should include keywords in many areas on your LinkedIn profile, which will make it easier for recruiters to find you. When a recruiter searches LinkedIn they will usually use industry-specific words to find the right candidate, so you want to make sure that you are using the right words to target the right audience. To figure out the right keywords to use find different job descriptions that you’re interested in and find common words that are used.

Check out your experience. Think of this as the body of your profile. Don’t make this a carbon copy of your resume, highlight how you’re a well-rounded candidate. List your past jobs with a more detailed description of what you did there, your skills, expertise, education, volunteer associations and more. A resume tends to only be 1-2 pages and is kept in a shorter format. There is no length requirement for LinkedIn so the more descriptive you are the better. Unbeknownst to most, the profile that the public sees will often have outdated information on it, so every now and again double check your profile in Public View to see what the people you have yet to connect with sees.

Relevant samples. The keyword here is relevant. Think about what you want your future employer to see. If you have an online portfolio, blog or samples of past works that’ll benefit you, then add them! But, make sure to use discretion; don’t include links to your social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) if it is not professional and industry relevant.

Recommendations. This is always a valuable tool to use when you’re searching for a new job. Keep in mind that it really doesn’t matter who writes your recommendation if the recommendation in genuinely glowing. You want the recommendations to be unique and highlight your skillsets in such a way that you are irresistible to recruiters and future employers.

Be proactive. Your profile may now be completed which makes it easier for recruiters to find you, but you should be actively using LinkedIn as well! Connect with people in your industry, post industry-related articles and blogs that show that you are focused, and follow companies and groups that you are interested in. By being an active member of LinkedIn, you are promoting yourself and showing recruiters that you’re valuable in your industry.

And voilà – you are all set! By following these tips, you now have a killer LinkedIn profile that’ll stand out and be recognized by your peers, industry leaders, and recruiters alike.

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

How to Create an Elevator Pitch to Get You through the Door


Imagine you get into an elevator and an influential member of a company you’ve always wanted to work for is standing right beside you. It has been your dream to work for this person and you cannot let this opportunity slip away. You need to sell yourself to this very important person. But what do you say? Are you prepared at all?

Well, what is an elevator pitch? The concept was adapted to reflect the time sensitivity of business men’s (and women’s!) busy schedules. If you’re in an elevator with a V.I.P., you should be able to provide a persuasive pitch about yourself in the time it takes to go from the main floor of a building to the top – which is usually about 60 seconds. Now, these types of conversations aren’t always going to happen IN an elevator, but wherever you are when that certain someone crosses your path, you want to grab hold of their attention in one minute or less.

In an elevator pitch, all you’re doing is talking about yourself, it should be a piece of cake! But in reality, it can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. Here are some tips from our recruiters here at Planet Interactive on how you can create an elevator pitch that will help you stand out.

  • Be passionate. This is your time to shine, so don’t hold back!  Make sure your pitch shows that you are passionate, enthusiastic and you will fight for what you want.
  • Express how you’re different. This is your chance to show who YOU are – so try not to make your pitch generic. Have you won any awards? Volunteered within the community? Written a book? Focusing on your differentiating factors is key to helping you stand out among hundreds of others. You want this pitch to be unique to YOU!
  • Be concise. Keep it simple. Highlight your most relevant skills, notable areas of your background, and what sets you apart as a candidate. If you’re unsure whether or not to mention something, don’t! Remember, you only have 60 second, so don’t go overboard – keep it short and sweet.
  • Watch your audience. You want to make sure that you are piquing their interest, not boring them to death. If it seems like they want to ask you something, then let them! The whole point of the pitch is to grab their attention and make them want to get to know you; so give them the opportunity when it comes.
  • Practice, practice, practice. I do understand that talking about yourself can be awkward. So, you should make sure that you can tell your pitch in such a way that it is flawless, regardless if you must make some last-minute tweaks to it. The only way you will get there is if you practice!

60 seconds can fly right by. So, I ask you, if you’re in an elevator with someone who you want to work for, what will your elevator pitch sound like?

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

New Year, New You: Be the Ideal Candidate in 2017


January is the perfect time to pen your New Year’s resolutions. If one of these “new year, new you” ideas centers around your career, you’re in luck! 2017 is going to be a job seeker’s market, so there’s no better time than now to take your job-based aspirations and turn them into a reality.  To start this process, we at Planet Interactive have developed a general plan that will help push your professional career forward while making you the best candidate you can be in 2017.

Set Goals: Before you can dive right into the job hunt, you need to set professional goals. Employers love candidates who know what they want out of a job and what they are looking for. But make sure not to overwhelm employers with too many goals and skills. You could present yourself to a future employer as jack of all trades, but that will do one of two things; confuse them about what it is that you want or you may come off as arrogant or overqualified. Think about what your strengths are and use that to your advantage. Employers like to hire candidates who specialize in a particular skill or field, rather than dabble in a bit of everything.

Stand Out: The best way to stand out is to make sure that an employer’s first impression of you is stellar, which is why we suggest you look at your resume and LinkedIn. Not only should your resume be up to date, but you should make sure to have the most relevant job at the top of your resume, highlighting how you were an asset. Stand out to future employers by including your accomplishments along with your responsibilities. After seeing your resume, an employer will look you up on LinkedIn. In fact, your LinkedIn profile is the perfect platform to elaborate on what you can’t always include in a resume. You’re able to highlight your positive skills, accomplishments, and your professional passions. Your LinkedIn page should be a story of who you are professionally. If you’re able to master that, you’ll stand out!

Act: Candidates who put in the time and effort into a job search will be the ones who will succeed. This starts by using your connections to get ahead. Do not be afraid to network. Reach out to previous employers, connections you have made in the past, and recruiters to help you! You’ll find that having connections throughout your job search can be exceedingly valuable. Have your elevator pitch ready to prove to future employers why they can’t last another day without you! Promoting yourself can be awkward, but if you’re willing to put on your sales cap and promote your skills and experiences, you might just edge out the competition. 

There’s no better time than the present to turn your career goals into a reality. If you know what you’re looking for, find a way to stand out and take action, then you will succeed!

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

To Network, or not to Network? That is the Question


The holiday season is upon us, which means that hiring slows down quite a bit. When you’re on the prowl for a job this can be a frustrating time. However, don’t forget that once the new year hits, companies will jump right back into hiring mode, as it’s the beginning of their fiscal season. For the time being, there are plenty of ways to use other various weapons in your arsenal such as networking! If you practice these skills today, some good tidings may be headed your way in no time.

Now, networking is a powerful tool, but it is a tool that you need to know how to use properly. Here are some thoughts we had at Planet Interactive to help you get the most out of networking this holiday season!

  • Set Goals. You should make sure before you start networking that you know what you want and what you are looking for. If you don’t know what you want to get out of building a connection with someone, then why should they connect with you? As long as you know what you are passionate about, others will be more willing to connect with you and help you land your dream job!
  • Send out Greeting Cards. This is such an easy first step to take. Sending a holiday greeting card is a simple way to stay in contact with old friends, neighbors, family members. It’s also a great way to reconnect with key players. When it comes time for you to approach them about work, it will make an easier introduction.
  • Attend Holiday Events. Whether you’re going to an office party, a networking holiday event, a friend’s cocktail party or a family holiday dinner, you should attend as many events as you can. It’s often daunting to put your face on, work the room and schmooze, but the outcome only gets you ahead of the crowd.
  • Make it Personal. It’s best to not immediately dive into a pitch about yourself and your work ethic. Rather, try and connect with them on a personal level, maybe mention grabbing coffee or lunch one day. This’ll make it more likely that they’ll get back to you in the future because they’ll see you as more than just a job seeker, but a human being.
  • Listen. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time! Have some questions up your sleeve and find out who they are. It is always better to listen more than talk too much, and you never know what you might learn.
  • Follow-Up. After a holiday event, follow-up with the people you have connected with. Shoot them a quick email or call to let them know that you’re interested in working with them. Make it clear that as soon as the holidays are over, you would love to meet up to talk!
  • Have fun! It is the holidays, so relax! Networking can be stressful, but it is the holidays. Don’t get sloppy and become the life of the party, be open and charming, and enjoy yourself!

Remember that networking isn’t a formal job interview that you have to prep and practice for. Networking is a great way to jump-start your job search for 2017 and get ahead of the curve.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Planet Interactive!

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

Why Working with a Recruiter Will Help YOU!


When applying for job, do you feel like your resume goes into an HR black hole? Have you ever heard that you are overqualified for a job? When you interview, are there times that you never hear back? Or, are you just not finding roles that have made you excited about taking a career leap? Believe me, I understand that a job hunt can be an overwhelming process, not to mention the fact that it can feel like a full time job just to find one. That’s why you should consider using a recruiter!

Working for a company like Planet Interactive, I know first-hand the meaningful work that our recruiting team does every day and the advantages that a candidate will have when incorporating a recruitment firm into your job search… But what are they?

  1. You will not have to spend a dime! 
    • If you want to use a Planet Interactive recruiter and take advantage of all of the services they can provide you, you don’t have to worry about cost because it’s free! Speaking of the services a recruiter can provide…
  2. Your recruiter has a direct relationship to the employer.
    • Recruiters have often spent years working with their clients and have insights on the culture, team structure and role that would be impossible to glean from an online job description.
  3. Your recruiter can help you stand out from the crowd!
    • Recruiters closely review your resume and portfolio, and make suggestions that will help you appeal to the hiring manager. They’ll know whether you’d fit in with their company culture, ensuring that you’re making the right move. Your recruiter will also know your true value and will be an effective advocate for you.
  4. Your recruiter will help you with your interview.
    • If you partner with one of our recruiters, you’ll be better prepared for job interviews, as well as consistently advance farther in the process than someone who applies from an online job ad. Our recruiters take time to prepare you before your interview, running through the questions we know they’ll ask you and helping you craft responses that position you in a favorable light. Think of it like knowing the exam questions prior to taking the test 🙂
  5. Your recruiter will keep you in the loop.
    • Ever had one of those moments when you’ve applied to a job, or even had an interview, and you never hear back? Well, a recruiter will make sure that does NOT happen to you. They will check on where things stand and consistently coordinate for follow-up and feedback with the hiring manager.
  6. Your recruiter has access to multiple different types of jobs.
    • Many times, the job you were initially interested in may not be the best fit. If that’s the case, our recruiters will have access to other types of jobs that could be an even better opportunity for you – ones you may not have thought to pursue. And last, but not least…
  7. Your recruiter only gets paid when you get hired!
    • So you KNOW that we will be on your side and help set you up for success.

In the end, working with a recruiter can only benefit YOU. Recruiters offer you guidance and assistance in advancing your job search, which will help you to land your ideal position! We want to be a partner in the process and hope that the tools we provide will benefit you for years to come.

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

Thinking About Accepting a Counter Offer? Think Again.


Congratulations!! Not only did you receive an offer from a new company, but you’ve also gotten your current company to say “Hey, wait? We don’t want you to go! We need you. Let’s work this out!” Despite the urge to run back to your old fling who promises things are going to be different this time, here are some insights into the negative repercussions of this decision.

  1. Your employer is now aware you were ready to jump ship. You even went so far as to interview with other companies, most likely on your current company’s dime (i.e. lunch-break or PTO). While of course it’s acceptable to use your allotted break and time-off to do as you please, will you be able to take another day off without your boss being suspicious? Your loyalty will always be in question.
  1. Did it really take you almost leaving for your company to realize your worth? Your new company has already realized your potential, and is welcoming you with open arms. Go to them! Out of all the candidates they interviewed for the position (statistically, 5-8), they thought YOU were #1. Did your current manager already know how fantastic you are, or did they panic when they realized how much work you’d be leaving them with?
  1. If they throw extra money at you, think about where it’s coming from. All companies have salary guidelines that must be followed. Is this your next raise early? Typically, candidates who accept a counteroffer don’t receive another raise or merit increase again for nearly two years. And, when promotion season hits, managers are more likely to allocate extra funds to staff they perceive as loyal. Or worse, they could start looking for someone at a cheaper salary.
  1. It’s probable that salary isn’t the only issue with your current position. According to USNEWS.com, 70%-80% of people who accept counter offers leave within a year. The phrase money can’t buy you happiness is in its truest form in this scenario. Think about what else was causing you to have a wandering eye – Did they refuse to promote you? Did they hem and haw about giving you management responsibilities? Were you stuck with a limited career potential? Whatever the reasoning is for originally wanting to leave, just because you can now afford those new shoes or you have a shiny new title, doesn’t mean you’ll be happy.
by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

What Recruiters Want You To Know


By Morgan Manock

I’m a new recruiter. Tier 1, bottom of the barrel, the new kid on the block. I never knew this would become my career calling until I was introduced to the recruiting team at Planet Interactive. Recruiters have the chance to play a meaningful role in someone’s career – we don’t just share your resume with our clients or coordinate interviews. We find out what makes you tick and what your real goals are – and then, we’re able to give counsel and advice based on our experience and insights from doing this day in and out.   What most people don’t realize is not all recruiters are out to solely make money for themselves.  Most of us actually care about you – our candidates. Our main objective here at Planet Interactive is to enable you to make the best decision possible when it comes to your career.

Here are some things I’ve learned in my first year as a recruiter.

1) I will never force a job onto a candidate. If what I am describing to you over the phone doesn’t seem like the direction you’d like to move forward with, that’s ok! It doesn’t do either side any good to reluctantly present your resume to a client when in the back of your mind you already know you wouldn’t accept the job if an offer came through. It’s fine to simply tell the recruiter thanks but no thanks and explain what you’re truly looking for to make a move.

2) In the same token, sometimes the recruiter knows better than you. Arrogance aside, we would only call someone about an opportunity if we felt like their skills were a good match. Not everything about an opportunity is laid out in the job description. Based on our calls with the client and hearing first-hand what they are looking for, we usually have a better understanding of the responsibilities, team structure, and career trajectory that you just don’t find on the job boards. Trust us when we say we wouldn’t be calling unless we felt you could make an impact in this next role.

3) Salary is not everything when it comes to finding a new job. Yes it is a large component, everyone needs to pay their bills and put food on the table, but sometimes you have to think big picture. Is this a step up as far as company is concerned? Is there more room to grow within the business than at your last position? Would you expand your skills while also adding value based on what you already know? These are questions everyone should ask themselves first before immediately declining an opportunity based on monetary issues. Don’t forget to factor in the overall benefits package that can add to your paycheck overall. More vacation days and a larger coverage cost on health insurance can put money straight into your pocket without adding any extra hours to your day.

4) The timeline for setting up interviews and receiving offers is unpredictable. Some companies are immediate with feedback while others sit on resumes for weeks. We can usually pick up on patterns if clients are more often than not faster than others, but, truthfully, each job is different. Recruiters never intentionally withhold information from a candidate. If we haven’t reached out with feedback in a week or two its 99.9% due to the client not providing any. We are just as anxious as you are in keeping the process moving and sometimes it’s unfortunately just a waiting game. Feel free to check in (as we should be doing regardless) but we usually know just as much as you do…nada.

5) Interviews are not the end all be all of why you did or did not get the job. So many candidates have wonderful interviews and still don’t receive an offer. There are plenty of factors that play into who the company hires that are simply not in anyone’s control. Whether it’s promoting from within, cancelling the job, somebody’s Uncle recommended someone last minute, the list goes on. Trust who you are and what you’d bring to the table. There are always new opportunities on the horizon and it’s our job to find you the perfect fit.

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

Recruiters Guide to Fine-Tuning Your Resume


As a recruiter, I look at hundreds of resume each week. And having graduated with a degree in journalism, I love editing resumes, ensuring they really sing when hiring managers review them. Below are some suggestions to help you land that interview with your dream company.

Customization: One of the best pieces of advice is to tailor your resume to align with job you want, while keeping in mind that formatting, organization and readability are important as well. Take a long look at the job description for the role you have in mind. What key words and ideas jump out at you? What have you accomplished in your career that makes you an awesome fit for the position? Do you have the software/technical skills reflected in your resume that are required? Your resume should reflect all of these things.

The closer your resume matches up with the job description, the more compelling it will be for a Recruiter or Hiring Manager to follow up with you. It may be easy to assume that having a certain job title means you have a specific kind of experience, but you need to spell things out for someone like a recruiter who is quickly scanning for key words that jump out.

Length: Typically, you’re better off sticking to one page if you have less than five years of experience, and expand into two+ pages if you’re more seasoned.

Formatting:

  • Stick with standard fonts like Arial, Garamond, Times New Roman or Calibri. They’re easy on the eyes
  • Choose size 11 or 12 font – making the font smaller to fit everything on one page is not ideal – it needs to be readable
  • Avoid script fonts. Use italics, bolding and caps sparingly.
  • “Creative” formatting like using heavy graphics or running text diagonally across the page is never a good idea – it needs to be quickly scannable.

Things to Leave Off:

  • “References available upon request.” This is assumed.
  • Personal interests can be appealing to potential hiring managers, but avoid anything that is polarizing such as religious affiliations or sorority/fraternity membership.

Structure:

Header: Your name, email address, phone number, city, state and zip code should be clearly listed at the top of the page. No need to share your street address.

Summary: A well-written Summary sets the stage for the rest of your resume. It’s a much stronger opener than an Objective statement. Five to seven sentences are ideal. Speak to your years of experience, area of specialization, and industries in which you’ve worked.  Do you have an advanced degree? Do you have staff management experience? Are you a strong project manager? Have you worked for a big name company or client? What are your technical or software skills?  Look at that job description again. What can you call attention to on a high-level to matches the things that the description calls for?

Tools/Skills: After your summary, make a quick list of the programs and skills you have in your toolkit – leading with those called for in the job description. Whether you’re a marketing analyst well-versed in Adobe Analytics, SQL, Excel and VBA or a designer skilled at using Adobe Creative Cloud and Sketch and Axure, call attention to your familiarity with the required and nice-to-have tools.

Professional Experience:

  • List your experience chronologically, with your most recent job listed first.
  • If you have been working for an agency or freelancing, include the names/industries of your top clients.
  • Lead with your company, title, start and end dates including months, not just the year.
  • Unless your company is a house-hold name, include a one line description about your company. Are they national or global? What industry are they in?  This helps put your experience into context.
  • When describing your role, think about the job description again. Lead with information that ties back to the job you’re applying to. More than just a list of tasks, speak to your measurable accomplishments. How have you impacted the bottom line?
  • Format these points in a bulleted list, rather than a big block of text.

Education: If you are very early in your career (less than three years out of school), you might consider floating your Education as the first item on your resume. If not, the Education section should be toward the end. Include the name of your school, the degree earned, and your graduation date.

by David Scalise | | Tags : Planet Forward Planet Forward

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