All posts in: Career Advice

On October 10, 2018, Bristol’s President Benjamin Farber moderated the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) panel, Taking Charge of Your Career to Achieve Your Preferred Future. Joining Ben on the panel were Bellagio’s Human Resources Director Brenda Dysinger and Affinity Gaming’s Director of Human Resources Greg Kite. The three executives discussed two major areas of development to provide professionals with the necessary tools to prepare for their future: Effective Networking and Nailing the Interview Process.

Effective Networking

Effective networking can be done internally within the company and externally through conferences, leadership groups, and events. Professionals should have the proper knowledge to avoid burning bridges with networks, especially when working with a small industry.

Below are a few tips for internal and external networking:

Nailing the Interview Process

There are three main steps to nailing the interview process: Prepare, Present, and Close. By following the advice for each step, you’ll be well on your way to making yourself the obvious choice when the right opportunity comes along.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

Letter of Recommendation [Image]

A strong letter of recommendation can distinguish a candidate’s application from the rest. Taking the time to obtain a letter of recommendation will leave a positive impact with the employer or recruiter reviewing the application. On the other hand, writing a letter of recommendation is a great way to pay it forward and contribute to the success of the candidate’s career.

Whether you are the candidate requesting the letter, or the employer responsible for writing the recommendation, it is essential to understand how to write a letter of recommendation that will leave a lasting impression.

What makes a compelling letter of recommendation?

Here are some helpful guidelines to write a strong letter of recommendation:

  • Print the letter on company letterhead
  • Personalization and sincerity is key – avoid using letter of recommendation templates
  • Explain the professional relationship and the duration spent working with the candidate
  • Give specific examples of the value and impact that the candidate has made in the company
  • Highlight the candidate’s hard and soft skills that greatly benefitted the company
  • When signing off the letter, include a handwritten signature along with the employer’s typed name, job title, and contact information
  • Proofread to avoid typos or grammatical errors

 

Candidates: How to Approach Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

As a candidate, reach out to professionals who have had a previous working relationship with you. Ideally, the letter of recommendation should be requested before actively seeking a job. The employers’ expectation is that references can be checked prior to the offer. When asking a professional to write a letter of recommendation, keep these tips in mind:

  • Do not be intimidated; just ask for the letter of recommendation. Employers are used to this request.
  • Do not pressure the employer to write a letter of recommendation.
  • If possible, request a letter of recommendation to the employer in person. If that is not feasible, then reach out by phone and as a last resort, by email.
  • If the employer is unsure of how to approach the letter, provide a list of points to cover that is relevant to the opportunity.
  • If the employer accepts writing the recommendation, express gratitude for taking the time to fulfill your request.
  • Be prepared to write the recommendation yourself. Many people want to help, but do not have time to write a recommendation. It is quite common for an employer to ask candidates to write the letter themselves that the employer will sign off.

 

Employers: Don’t Want to Write a Letter of Recommendation? Consider This.

It can be intimidating for candidates to personally ask for a letter of recommendation, so it is important to have a good reason for declining in the first place (e.g. against company policy, unable to realistically meet the deadline, etc.). Before declining all together, however, consider the benefits to writing a letter of recommendation:

  • Having the letter of recommendation distributed among industry leaders can result in the growth of the recommender’s professional network
  • Professionals will recognize the recommender as a positive leader who is willing to support their colleague’s career goals
  • The recommender may need a letter of recommendation of their own from the candidate in the future

Alternatively, referring the candidate to another colleague within the company that can better vouch for the candidate’s work is a proactive way to assist the candidate in attaining a letter of recommendation.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with a 50-year history of excellence. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

[Image] Master the Art of the Follow Up

Candidates can get anxious when they have to wait for the status of a job that they really want. As ideal as it would be to receive an immediate response from the recruiter or hiring manager, it is not always feasible, and response time may depend on the amount of applicants applying for a given opportunity. However, keeping in mind simple follow-up tactics can benefit the candidate in the end – as long as it is done tactfully.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Before deciding to follow up on a position, it is important to keep in mind possible reasons as to why feedback has not been received. Here are a few reasons to consider:

• The recruiter or hiring manager has not received feedback from their client or hiring authority, thus they have nothing to share.

• The recruiter or hiring manager may currently be out of the office on business travel or vacation. Even in this day and age of technology, it is not always easy to respond in a timely manner. We still believe in being present when meeting with others, driving, etc.

• No news is rarely good news. If you have not been asked to schedule an interview in over a month, chances are the position has been filled or the search is no longer a priority.

We asked President, Ben Farber to share a few of his favorite tips on how to follow up effectively when seeking a status update.

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Interviewer rejecting applicant after an interview. Oops! Common Interview Mistakes Candidates Make

A job interview is a two-way street – it’s a conversation that helps assess if the candidate is the right fit for the employer and vice versa. However, if the candidate has a poor interview, it can ruin their chance of receiving the job offer. By recognizing and avoiding potential interview mistakes, candidates can prevent themselves from giving a negative impression on the employer.

Our executive recruiters share interview mistakes that candidates have made and ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Interview Mistake #1: No Preparation

Insufficient preparation can make the candidate look unprofessional and will be evident to their potential employer through their lack of serious, pertinent questions and answers regarding the job and the organization.

The candidate should research the company and the position thoroughly before an interview. That way, they can come to the interview armed with information that will enable them to sound well-informed.

Read More: How to Answer Difficult Interview Questions

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businessman with question marks over head thinking about executive recruitment questions
For potential candidates unfamiliar with the executive recruitment process, it’s common to have questions before feeling comfortable submitting a resume or participating in the hiring process of a career opportunity. At Bristol Associates, our executive recruiters do their best to give helpful and candid guidance that is beneficial to both the candidates and clients of our business.

We asked three of our recruiters to give their insight on commonly asked questions they received while working with candidates during the executive recruitment process.

Q: Can I call you to discuss the position I saw advertised on your website?

David Alford, Director

A: As recruiters, we are on the phone much of the day. To save us time and not waste your time, we like to get your resume prior to scheduling a conversation to ensure that the position you saw advertised is a good fit for both you and our client. Click here to submit your resume through our website.
 

 

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Business person climbing mountain toward flag that writes goal

Taking the time to set professional goals is crucial when striving to have a productive and effective year in the workplace. Establishing realistic deadlines is great, but also understanding your resources to help achieve your goals can put you at an advantage.

Bristol’s Executive Recruiters shares their recommended goals for job seekers and employers to kick off 2018.

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Based on their client’s needs and preferences, executive recruiters use LinkedIn as a key source to find their client’s ideal candidate. As a LinkedIn user who is actively job seeking, it’s important to understand the features that LinkedIn provides while delivering your profile to an extensive audience.

The challenge of a successful LinkedIn profile is a mix of showcasing one’s skillsets and conveying one’s unique personality in a way that leaves a lasting impression.  Bristol Associates asked Kristina Paudler, Director of Recruitment in Healthcare, for key points she looks for when browsing LinkedIn profiles.

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When preparing for a job interview, you should realize that the questions you ask the interviewer are equally important as the questions you will have to answer.

At the conclusion of most interviews, the interviewer or hiring manager will ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” Insightful questions demonstrate that you are interested and prepared. Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to judge if the company is the right fit. Get ready for the interview by visiting the company’s website to learn about the goods or services it provides, reading any online reviews, researching key employees and checking out the competition.

Bristol’s longtime Senior Vice President Peter Stern shares his perspective on the best questions candidates should ask an employer during the interview.

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Written by Fatemah Mirza, CareerTuners

Businessman on top of a mountain with a flag
Most people aren’t bad writers, but nearly everyone has a difficult time writing about themselves.

Our clients often get so caught up in their day-to-day tasks that they may lose track of the bigger picture. They’re not sure how to communicate their accomplishments on paper, especially when restricted to a mere two pages.

In this article, I will share with you our secret sauce for asking questions. By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be able to brainstorm powerful accomplishments to showcase in your resume.

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Myth vs. Facts Executive Recruiters

Not all search firms are created equally. From how executive recruiters operate to what industries they serve or job titles they target, jobseekers need to understand the differences. Armed with that knowledge, candidates and recruiters can work together to achieve the most successful outcome.

Bristol Associates asked three of their recruiters for input on what they felt were the most common misconceptions about those working in their field.

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