Blaine and Associates

Blaine and Associates

Monday, November 3, 2014

Interview Skills: What's your greatest weakness?

How to answer, “What’s your greatest weakness?” during a job interview

Posted by Amanda Augustine
This dreaded, seemingly trick question will no longer be difficult to answer in job interviews.
Most job candidates are familiar with the “What’s your biggest weakness?” interview question, but few feel equipped to answer the it with confidence.
The next time you’re asked the stress-inducing question in an interview, use these tips to provide a powerful response. [TWEET]

Avoid faux weaknesses.

Recruiters and employers don’t want to hear that you’re a perfectionist or any of those other faux weaknesses that can be turned into strengths. They actually want to know about an area you’ve struggled with, and most importantly, what you’ve done to overcome that limitation. Steer clear of the “positive” weaknesses and stick to sharing something that’s genuine.

Choose something work-related.

This is not the time to discuss your fear of commitment or that you get awful road rage during rush hour. Focus on an area that’s relevant to your professional life. For example, perhaps you struggled with multi-tasking earlier in your career but have become a master at it in recent years.

Don’t mention essential skills.

Remember, the goal is to share a shortcoming that you’ve already taken steps to improve. This demonstrates to the hiring manager that you’re not only self-aware, but you’re dedicated to self-improvement.  If your greatest weakness is a critical requirement for the job and you’re still struggling in this area, then you may want to reconsider whether it’s the right role for you.

Use the STAR method to explain.

The STAR method is typically used to respond to behavioral interview questions; however, it can also be a great way to explain how you’ve overcome a weakness in a succinct, thoughtful manner. Here’s what to do:
  • Think of a Situation or Task that you’ve struggled with in the past. This could be anything from having difficulty remaining cool under pressure, being afraid of public speaking, or getting too caught up in the little details of a project and missing deadlines.
  • Identify what Actions you’ve taken to improve your skill-set or overcome this shortcoming at the office. For instance, if you’ve been too efficient for your own good in the past and ended up cutting corners, you can explain what measures you’ve taken to ensure you produce a high-quality, error-free product now.
  • Discuss the Results of your actions. Are you no longer struggling with this skill at the office? Have your customer scores or employee assessments improved? Are you performing better at your organization? Prove you’re an accomplished professional by explaining the final success.
Use this question as an opportunity to demonstrate to prospective employers your commitment to excellence and professional development. Remember, it’s not always about the strengths you possess, but the results you can achieve when the odds are against you.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Job Listing!

Accounting Supervisor - Woodland Hills, CA
$55 - 70,000

Growing food and beverage distributor is looking for the  perfect Accounting Supervisor to fit in with their entrepreneurial culture.  

  • Maintaining books and records, recording or supervising all transactions based on vendor invoices, customer sales, checks processed, hours worked
  • Preparing monthly financial statements
  • Preparation and filing of various tax reporting returns such as sales tax and property tax
  • Payroll processing and preparation of quarterly and annual payroll reporting
  • Supervising accounting staff
  • Supervision of customer invoicing
  • Supervision of payables and receivables management
  • Supervision of the reconciliation of bank statements
The successful candidate will have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance
  • At least five years experience accounting supervision experience
  • Solid understanding of generally accepted accounting principles
  • Proficiency in QuickBooks
  • Accountability for consistently positive results 
  • Strong references from relevant positions

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How Successful People Stay Calm

How Successful People Stay Calm
by Dr. Travis Bradberry

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. These successful people earn an average of $28,000 more annually than their low EQ peers, get promoted more often, and receive higher marks on performance evaluations. The link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary.

If you follow our newsletter, you’ve read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health (such as the Yale study, which found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.

Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.

“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” Kirby says. For animals, intermittent stress is the bulk of what they experience, in the form of physical threats in their immediate environment. Long ago, this was also the case for humans. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we’ve developed the ability to worry and perseverate on events, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress.

Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance. Fortunately, though, unless a lion is chasing you, the bulk of your stress is subjective and under your control. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.

They Appreciate What They Have - Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

They Avoid Asking “What If?” - “What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go.

They Stay Positive - Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can't think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you're ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.

They Disconnect - Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.

Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.

They Limit Their Caffeine Intake - Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.

They Sleep - I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.

They Squash Negative Self-Talk - A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things, your inner voice says, “It's time to stop and write them down.” Literally stop what you're doing and write down what you're thinking. Once you've taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity. You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

They Reframe Their Perspective - Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.

They Breathe - The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.

This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.

They Use Their Support System - It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.

Tattoos and Job Interviews

Survey: Tattoos Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Job

Find Out How Tattoos/Piercings Can Limit Your Career

By , contributing writer.

Ink Can Be a Career Stain

Maybe it’s a tribal arm band, the orchids on your lower back playing peek-a-boo with your coworkers, or -- gulp -- you’re wearing it on your face a la Mike Tyson. But even if it’s that cute little leprechaun on your ankle, our latest survey results show visible tattoos at work could have a negative effect on your pot of gold.
A recent study from the Pew Research Center found nearly 40% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo, and body piercings are also a growing means of self-expression among people in this age group. In a perfect world we would all be judged solely on the merit of our work. But if the 2,675 people we surveyed are any indication, there is a lot more going on when it comes to performance evaluations, raises, promotions, and making character assumptions about people based on their appearance.
But who has the tattoos, what do people find objectionable about them, and to what extent? The results might surprise you.

Tattoos, Piercings & Credibility

Of the nearly 2,700 people we surveyed, 12% reported having a visible tattoo that can be seen by managers and coworkers during the workday. Only 3% reported having a visible body piercing (other than an earring).
The biggest takeaways from our survey include a whopping 76% of respondents feel tattoos and piercings hurt an applicant’s chances of being hired during a job interview. And more than one-third – 39% of those surveyed – believe employees with tattoos and piercings reflect poorly on their employers. Furthermore, 42% feel visible tattoos are always inappropriate at work, with 55% reporting the same thing about body piercings.
Fortunately, only 4% of those with tattoos and piercings report having faced actual discrimination because of their ink and body art.

Age Plays a Factor

Overall, 42% of those surveyed feel any and all visible tattoos are inappropriate at work. That number climbs to 55% for body piercings. And as you might guess, age plays a huge role in how tattoos and piercings are perceived at work.
The younger generation was most likely to have tattoos, as people age 26-32 edged out the 18-25 demographic by a 22% to 21% margin. That number drops steadily with age, bottoming out at less than 1% for people age 60 and older. For body piercings, the 18-25 age group topped the charts at 11%, compared to a combined 3% of people older than 40. Although respondents in each age group seemed to recognize tattoos and piercings hurt an applicant’s job search chances, there was a very clear difference of opinion regarding the appropriateness of tattoos in the workplace.
In a nutshell, the older you are the less tolerant you become regarding tattoos. Not surprisingly, people 18-25 were the most accepting of tattoos in the office with only 22% claiming they are inappropriate. That percentage jumps in each age group, maxing out at 63% of people age 60 and older finding tattoos objectionable at work.

Education & Tattoos

Basically, the more educated you are the less likely you are to have or condone tattoos or piercings.
Twenty percent of people with tattoos are high school graduates. That number drops slightly to 19% for those with associates degrees, but falls to 10% for recipients of bachelor’s degrees. People with advanced degrees are even less likely to have tattoos, as 8% of those with master’s and just 3% of PhD recipients have ink.
Those with high school diplomas were also the least likely to find tattoos inappropriate at 38%, compared to 55% of respondents with a PhD. However, when it comes to body piercings, there was no significant statistical difference between education levels as an average of 56% found them objectionable.

Gender, Marital Status & Location

According to our survey, you’re more likely to have tattoos and piercings if you’re a woman who is single or divorced.
The number of women with tattoos more than doubled men by a 15% to 7% margin. Also, 5% of women have body piercings compared to a mere 1% of men. Interestingly, single and divorced people were far more likely to have ink and piercings as only 9% of married people have tattoos, compared to 16% of respondents who are married and divorced.
And if you’re wondering what part of the country has the most people with tattoos; that would be the Mountain region (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico) with 16%. The area of the US least likely to have people with tattoos is the West South Central (Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana) with 8%.
As for which parts of the country think tattoos are inappropriate, here’s the breakdown:
  • Mountain (ID, MT, WY, NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM): 35%
  • West North Central (MO, ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA): 36%
  • Pacific (AK, WA, OR, CA, HI): 36%
  • New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT): 36%
  • Outside the US: 38%
  • Mid-Atlantic (NY, PA, NJ): 38%
  • East South Central (KY, TN, MS, AL): 41%
  • East North Central (WI, MI, IL, IN, OH): 46%
  • South Atlantic (DE, MD, VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL): 48%
  • West South Central (OK, TX, AR, LA): 55%

Tattoos by Industry

Wondering which industry is most likely to include tattooed workers? That would be the people working in agriculture and ranching. Twenty-two percent of respondents who said they work in agriculture and ranching reported having tattoos. But in an ironic twist, 67% of those workers found tattoos inappropriate in the workplace -- by far the highest percentage of any industry surveyed.
Workers in the hospitality, tourism and recreation industry were second with 20% of workers tattooed, followed by 16% of people in the arts, media and entertainment industry. Government workers are least likely to be tattooed with only 8% of respondents stating they’re inked. Here's the full breakdown of tattooed workers by industry:
  • Agriculture/ranching: 22%
  • Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation: 20%
  • Arts, Media, Entertainment: 16%
  • Retail: 14%
  • Finance & Banking: 13%
  • Healthcare: 13%
  • Professional Services: 13%
  • Other: 13%
  • Education, Child Development, Family Services: 12%
  • Manufacturing: 9%
  • Energy & Utilities: 9%
  • Engineering, Design & Construction: 9%
  • Information Technology: 9%
  • Government: 8%

Corporate Attitudes Play a Part

Most people interviewing for new jobs worry about base pay, bonus potential and benefits. But nearly one-quarter of survey respondents said they take a company’s stance about things like tattoos and piercings into account when making their decision.
Twenty-three percent of all those surveyed said they specifically examine a company’s permissiveness regarding tattoos and piercings when deciding whether or not to accept the job offer. Workers age 60 and older are the age group most influenced by corporate attitudes towards body art, with 31 percent reporting they are affected by company policy regarding tattoos.

Think of the Children...

Just because adults have tattoos, doesn’t necessarily mean they think that’s a good idea for future generations.
Nearly half – 49% of all respondents – said they don’t want their children (or future hypothetical children for survey-takers who plan to have kids) to have tattoos or piercings. That could be because of of surveys such as one by, which found that 37% of HR managers cite tattoos as the third most likely physical attribute that limits career potential.
People age 26-32 are the least likely to object to tattoos and piercings for their kids, with only 26% against it. That’s compared to the 31% of people age 18-25 who are against tattoos for their progeny. Not surprisingly, 70% of people age 60 and older don’t want body art for their kids, which tops the list.

Use Common Sense

Getting tattoos and/or piercings is a personal decision, but you should take future earnings into account when making it. Whether it’s a career-ender or no big deal at all will vary from person to person, and the easiest way to figure it out is a hefty dose of common sense.
Meredith Haberfeld, an executive career coach who appeared in a 2012 NPR article about tattoos at work, said there are many sectors in which tattoos are absolutely fine, and even encouraged. The key is feeling out the culture of your workplace ahead of time and adjusting accordingly.
"Each employer is going to vary from conservative to liberal when it comes to tolerance for their body art, so a good rule is to keep it covered in your interviews and even during your first few weeks in your job until you get a sense for the culture of the workplace," Haberfeld said.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Best Practices For Your Job Search

Follow these best practices to ensure your job application bypasses the job-search black hole.

TheLadders Scout Job Applications
There’s nothing worse than submitting an application and never hearing back. Below are ten tips to help you avoid that job-search black hole.
Make Sure You’re a Match
Read the responsibilities and requirements sections of the job description carefully – what skill sets, education level and years of experience do they require? While the employer likely doesn’t expect you to have every single desired skill, they will expect you to meet all the core “must-have” requirements. Only apply to jobs where you possess these must-haves.
Apply Within 72 Hours
A recent study by TheLadders found that your chances of getting a call back plummet 72 hours after the job is published online, even if you were considered a good fit for the job. If you find a job that you’re truly interested in and a fit for, buckle down and get that application out as soon as possible!
Tailor Your Application
Before your resume is reviewed by a recruiter or hiring manager, it first has to get past an electronic gatekeeper called Applicant Tracking Software (called ATS for short). Before you submit your application, review the job description for key terms and requirements and make sure they are incorporated into your resume (assuming you possess those skills).
Customize Your Cover Letter
A good cover letter fits on one page and is broken down into three main sections: an introductory paragraph that explains why you’re interested in the job, a middle section that explains your qualifications and a closing paragraph that ends with a call to action. I recommend using a t-format for your cover letter to quickly show the reader how you meet the core requirements for the role. If the application doesn’t allow you to use columns, try bullets instead.
Remember, It’s Not About You
When you’re a job seeker, your mission is to show organizations how you can provide value tothem. A hiring manager doesn’t care that you’re applying for your dream job with your dream company. Rather, they want to know why you’re interested in and passionate about working there. Focus on the skills and passions that are required to do the job.
Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s
If 54 percent of recruiters have reacted negatively to spelling and grammatical errors found in candidates’ tweets and Facebook posts, imagine how they’ll react to mistakes in your application! Beyond proper etiquette, poor punctuation and capitalization can confuse the ATS software and scramble your application in the system. Chances are, the recruiter will ditch your application rather than taking the time to manually re-enter the information properly.
Work the System to Your Advantage
You’re ten times more likely to get a call back if your application includes an employee referral. If you’re being referred by an employee, make sure the ATS knows it; the software is smart enough to care. Choose to upload your resume instead of cutting and pasting it if this option exists in the application process. This feature often parses information and saves it in the optimal format, ensuring the cleanest presentation.
Use a Professional Subject Line and Email Address
If you’re emailing an application, use effective subject lines that reference the position you’re applying for, rather than “hello” or “intro”. Use an email address that incorporates the name you use professionally on your resume and cover letter. Cutesy, offensive, flirtatious or sexual addresses send hiring managers the wrong message.
Be Prepared for the Call
Record a professional voicemail message for the number listed on your resume. If your resume is strong enough to convince the recruiter or hiring manager to reach for the telephone, be sure the greeting on the other end of the line represents you in the best light – this includes recorded messages and whoever might answer the phone in your place.
Read the Fine Print for Follow-ups
Read the job description carefully. If an application deadline is listed, then follow up one week after that date. If you can’t find a deadline, send your follow-up note one week after your initial application. Remember, if the job listing states “no calls,” do not call to follow up. The employer will assume you can’t follow directions.
Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at@JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Job Listings!!!

We are working with one of the fastest growing Entertainment Business Management firms in West Los Angeles. We are looking for someone with 6 months of experience with an accounting firm or a good internship in the financial/accounting industries
You need a 4-year degree in accounting, finance or economics, from a reputable school, solid MS Office skills, Datafaction is a plus. We represent clients in entertainment, music, sports, and corporate sectors. We look for forward thinking people who think outside the box, leaders and game changers. We like "different."
Please submit your resume for consideration today.  We have positions available immediately - ideal for  recent college grads.

Entry Level Human Resources Assistant needed for entertainment management company located in Century City. We are looking for a recent college grad with a degree in HR or a strong interest in making Human Resources your career. We are considering candidates with internships, p/t positions during school, and up to 1-3 years current administrative experience.
We would like a 4-year college degree from an upstanding school, work experience whether in a p/t job or internships, 1 - 2 years work experience is ideal, MSW, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook needed.
You will learn all about Human Resources in an a "mentorship" environment. You will learn about recruiting, best practices in the field, software specific to the industry, benefits oversight and administration, policies, procedures, reviews, EDD, workplace safety, background checking, etc. You will learn from the best and can go to the moon from here.
We are very particular about this position - we want someone eager, someone smart, someone exceptional.
We are looking in the $35 - $45,000 depending on experience. We do offer the best benefits, including medical, dental, vision, 401(k), profit sharing, bonuses, and some other perks not typical.
Please submit a cover letter with salary history and your resume. A background check will be conducted so make sure your dates are accurate.

The candidate will be responsible for all aspects of day-to-day accounting for multiple Capital Market and Private Equity Funds. Major responsibilities include, addressing client requests, preparing valuations, statement of cash flows and IRR returns, reviewing management fee calculations, reviewing financial statements, and planning and executing capital calls and distributions. The candidate will serve as a liaison between Accounting team, Portfolio teams, Custodians, Administrators, Auditors, and Third-party vendors.

§ Prepare valuations, statements of cash flows and IRR returns for all Funds
§ Review financial statements
§ Plan and execute capital calls and distributions (prepare and review of letters and schedules, tracking, confirmations)
§ Weekly update for the Portfolio team on cash balances
§ Manage audit and tax engagements / addressing audit and tax requests
§ Address client requests
§ Clear items from the asset reconciliation
§ Address requests from the Portfolio team
§ Processprivate transaction closes (funding of new investments)
§ Commence portfolio accounting for new Funds
§ Collect underlying K-1s and provide to Tax auditors
§ Update back-office team on investment activity
§ Manage and serviceaccount credit facilities
§ Prepare portfolio review materials
§ Work on special projects
§ Assist with coverage of other funds and projects as needed
§ Liaise between the back-office, custodian, and portfolio groups

  • Minimum of 3-5+ years of related experience in asset management/ fund accounting
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting
  • Strong MS Office skills
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to synthesize multiple sources of information
  • Strong analysis and decision-making skills
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong ability to prioritize, organize, and manage time
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and work well under pressure
  • Independent, self-starter with strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with all levels of employees and management

We are having a shortage of talented temporaries to fill long and short term assignments. The majority of our positions are in West Los Angeles (from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles). We need typing of at least 55 wpm, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Most of our positions require business attire, great client servicing skills, proper grammar, organizational skills and the ability to change hats at any moment.
Temping is a great way to find your next full-time position, make some extra money or just keep busy and learn about new industries and meet new people. The recession may not be over but there is plenty of work available now. This is a great way to build your resume back up if you have gaps in it.
Call us today and work tomorrow.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

6 Key Rituals of Successful People

6 Key Rituals of Successful People


We ultimately become what we repeatedly do.

Over the years Marc and I have studied the lives of numerous successful people. We’ve read their books, watched their interviews, interviewed them ourselves, worked with them, and researched them extensively. We’ve truly learned a lot from their stories. But above all, we’ve learned that most of these people were not born into success. They simply did, and continue to do, things that help them realize their full potential. In other words, they follow a set of prolific rituals.

1. Do the work… practice, practice, practice your craft! Sure you can be good with a little effort. You can be really good with a little more effort. But you can’t be great, at anything, unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort for a set amount of time every day. It’s as simple as that. Scratch the surface of any successful person with incredible skills and you’ll find someone who has put thousands of hours of effort into developing those skills. There are no shortcuts in life. There are no overnight successes. Almost everyone has heard about the 10,000 hours principle, which states that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to completely master a complex skill, yet despite sound evidence, so few follow it… except extremely successful people of course.

Whatever you decide to do, do it well. Do it so well that when others see you do it, they enjoy it so much that they want to come back and see you do it again… and they also want to bring their friends along so they can show them how incredible you are at doing what you do.

2. Build trust by standing behind every one of your promises. If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE! If you say you feel something, MEAN IT! If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE. It’s always better to tell people the truth up front. Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.

Regardless of the business you’re in – selling products to consumers, or selling hours for dollars – the only question you have to ask yourself is: “Do they trust me enough to believe what I’m promising to deliver?” Without this trust, you have zero, zilch, nada. If your target market knows you and they’re still not buying what you’re offering, they simply don’t trust you as much as you would hope. Earn their trust, and the rest of the puzzle pieces will be easy to arrange. (Read The Impact Equation.)

3. Focus more on less. Having too many choices interferes with decision-making. Here in the 21st century, where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless, we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers. But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to indecision, confusion, and inaction.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the less products they typically buy. After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred. If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.

So if you’re selling a product line, keep it simple. And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option. Choose something you think will work and give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, choose something else and keep pressing forward. Focus more on less, and do your very best.

4. Only use quality tools. While we’re on the topic of focusing more on less, make sure the only tools you’re using are the only ones you truly need. There’s no point in keeping low quality tools around. For instance, trying to cut through a thick piece of fresh lumber with an old, dull handsaw would be a pretty foolish endeavor. You would have to work extremely hard to make the even the slightest impact. This very same principle applies to everything in life.

Don’t let inefficiency defeat you. If the tools in your toolbox don’t fit the requirements of the job, find someone who has the right tools and barter with them, hire them, invite them into the process of what you’re trying to achieve. Possessing the right tools (and skills) can easily shrink a mountainous task into a miniscule molehill. With a good idea, determination, and the right tools, almost anything is possible.

5. Spend quality time with quality people. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. And that’s why it’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters most. Some people drain you and others provide soul food. So be sure to get in the company of those who feed your spirit, and give the gift of your absence to those who do not appreciate your presence. There’s no need to rush into a relationship you are unsure of, or socialize with those who hold you back.

Spend more time with nice people who are smart, driven and open-minded about personal growth and opportunity. Use websites like to search for local community groups of people with similar passions and goals. These people are out there. The bottom line is that relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, people who care about you and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the energy and hope out of you. (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

6. Study, rehearse, and get super comfortable with the art of selling. About a year ago Marc and I interviewed ten extremely successful business owners and CEOs for a side-project we were working on. We asked them to name the one skill they felt contributed the most to their success. Every one of them, in there own words, said: the ability to sell themselves, their ideas, and what they had to offer.

Keep in mind “selling” in its truest sense isn’t an act of manipulating, pressuring, or being deceitful. Selling is explaining the logic and benefits of a decision or point of view. Selling is convincing other people to work directly with YOU. Selling is overcoming concerns and roadblocks, and calming other people’s unwarranted fears. Selling is one of the principal foundations of both business and personal success. It’s about knowing how to negotiate, how to deal with a “no” when you receive one, how to maintain confidence and self-esteem in the face of rejection, and how to communicate openly, honestly, and effectively with a wide range of people so that you can build long-term relationships that garner long-term trust.

When you truly believe in your idea, or your business, or yourself, then you don’t need to have an enormous ego or an overly extroverted personality. You don’t need to “sell” in the traditional sense. You just need to communicate your point of view clearly, cordially, and confidently.

The floor is yours… So there you have it, six rituals we’ve seen repeated over and over in the lives of some of the most successful people we’ve studied and interacted with over the years.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Most Common Resume Mistakes

The 8 Most Common Resume Mistakes

These Resume Blunders Should be Avoided No Matter Where You're Applying

By , contributing writer.

Avoid the Following Resume Goofs at All Costs

Companies don't hire resumes, they hire people. But your resume is often what gets you in the door, so if you can't get the interview it's nearly impossible to win someone over.
The strength of each resume is dependent on many factors, including the type of job to which you're applying. Hiring managers at Google will probably appreciate a well-crafted online video resume, whereas if your goal is to land a job as a CPA you might want to stick with something a little more traditional. But there are some things that are mistakes no matter what.
Here are eight resume blunders you NEVER want to make...

8. The 1-Page Resume

One page resumes are long gone unless you are a new graduate without much experience.
Having said that, we still see plenty of one page resumes for more senior job seekers come in for critiques -- and it does surprise me! When a job seeker tries to limit the content of the resume to fit into one page, he/she is cutting vital information to adhere to a "rule" that is not valid for most resumes. Many resumes (including mid-level) are two pages in length and three pages are acceptable for some senior level candidates.

7. Including Personal Information

The fact that you are an avid skeeball player, or that you collect old world coins has no relevance to whether or not you are qualified for the position. So why include information on hobbies, sports, or interests?
If it comes up in conversation during the interview, fine. If not -- skip it entirely.

6. Using a Functional Format

Using the functional format (also called a skills resume) is probably the most deadly error you can commit in terms of the resume’s effectiveness.
Recruiters and employers literally detest the functional format. It does not give them the information they need in the format they want. Additionally, it generally indicates the job seeker is trying to hide something since the functional format is used to cover up problems such as date gaps, job hopping, or lack of experience.
Just the mere appearance of the functional format is a huge turnoff to decision-makers.

5. Too Much Information

Job seekers often forget for whom they are writing.
The recruiter or hiring manager is going to be skim-reading the resume and will be looking for the main points. The job seeker, on the other hand, feels it's necessary to put every bit of information possible in the resume, right down to including that Eagle Scout designation from 1984.
Having too much information, or irrelevant information, is a common resume error that often ends with said resume in the trash bin.

4. Not Enough Information

The opposite of TMI is TLI -- too little information.
Being too general in the resume is just as bad as being too wordy. Usually too little information takes the form of no details on achievements. Most people can get their job duties or role descriptions down, but falter when it's time to detail their successes in some sort of quantitative or qualitative way. As a result, the content is thin or bland and doesn't inspire the reader to make contact with the job seeker.

3. Using Fluff Phrases

The profile or summary is often the most difficult section of the resume to create. As a result, job seekers fall back on soft-skill phrases or fluff phrases such as "good communicator" or "hard-working." These sound good but they tell the reader nothing. These are subjective traits that are opinion-based.
You may think you are a good communicator but your peers might say otherwise. These traits will be judged in the interview so don't load the resume down with these. Remember, 99.9 percent of all the other candidates will also be claiming these skills. Have you ever heard of anyone putting "bad communicator" or "lazy with sloppy attention to detail" on the resume?

2. Mechanical Mistakes

Misspellings are the most common mechanical mistake.
People rely on spell-check too much. Spell-check might be able to save you from spelling mistakes, but it cannot tell the difference when it comes to meaning. For instance, if you write "manger" instead of "manager." spell-check won't flag it. Other mechanical problems include verb tense shift and capitalization. It seems like when in doubt, job seekers will capitalize something just "to be on the safe side" but that just creates an error.

1. Email Errors

One of the most common (and costly) goofs we see is an incorrect email address.
Since most job search efforts are centered around email communications, having an email address that is wrong or difficult to interpret can be a major pothole in the road to success. Double-check your email address to make sure it is correct. Don't use your work email address on your resume, and try to avoid having an email that has the number 1 in it as it can be difficult to tell if it's a letter or a numeral. Avoid goofy or cutesy email monikers such as "vanhalenlvr83" or similar. Email systems that use automated spam authenticators are loathed by recruiters and line managers alike, so stay away from them during your job search.  Remember, you can set up an email address that you use JUST for job search.

Recommended Reading

Thank you for reading. As an added bonus, the editorial staff has compiled a recommended reading list on this topic. Enjoy: