Category Archives: Uncategorized

FMLA Tax Credit Clarification

Trucker and Huss released a clarification on the recent tax credit for the Family and Medical Leave.

“Section 13403 of the Act added the paid family and medical leave credit as a new general business credit under Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) section 38. However, the credit is a temporary addition to the tax code because it only applies to paid leave provided January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019. Generally, an eligible employer may claim the tax credit based on wages paid to qualifying employees on leave for any of the purposes listed under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), provided that certain conditions are met.”

To claim the credit, an “eligible employer” must have a written leave policy that:

  1. Provides at least two weeks of paid family and medical leave annually to all full-time qualifying employees (the duration of the paid family and medical leave may be prorated for part-time qualifying employees);
  2. Pays qualifying employees at least 50% of their normal wages; and
  3. Ensures that the employer will not interfere with, restrain, or deny any rights provided under the policy, or discriminate against any individuals.”

For the full article, click here.

Interview-winning resumes

Ellen Steverson is a Resume and Interview professional who has helped people worldwide get the job of their dreams. Periodically we will host one of her posts for those of you either searching for work, or hiring candidates.  She can be reached at

  1. An interview-winning résumé spells out the specific value that you have to offer the prospective employer without including additional, irrelevant experience. To create such a document, it is important to understand the specific needs of that particular role — and, in many cases, tailoring the résumé for the needs of a specific company. With this in mind, it is important for you to identify a specific job title that you are pursuing, and even more helpful to collect 3-5 job postings for this type of position, even if these job postings are no longer active and even if you do not wish to apply to this specific company. Being able to incorporate relevant keywords while describing current and past work experience is one way to demonstrate value to a prospective employer. An analysis of relevant job postings helps make this possible. Contact StartingBlock for more information about resume services and how to target your new resume to job postings that interest you.
  2. How long should my résumé be? Due to ATS software, résumé length is not as important as it used to be, as many résumés are first assessed by a computer, not a human being. Whether one page or two, the most important factor is having the right content to attract the interest of the hiring manager but also including the keywords to be found in a query of the company’s applicant tracking software. Your résumé must be written to appeal to both the computer software and the human reader.
  3. The days of the “generic” résumé are gone. Instead, your résumé must be specifically targeted. A résumé that is not tailored towards a specific type of position is a “career obituary” and tells the story of the past — not the potential you have to offer to a prospective employer and how your specific experience, education, and skills can benefit the company or organization. Send StartingBlock a private message to inquire about resume services and how to target your new resume to the jobs you want to apply to.
  4. Could your email address be negatively impacting your job search? It’s crucial that you demonstrate that you can succeed in a technologically advanced world. That means no AOL, Hotmail, or Yahoo email addresses. Use Gmail … or, better yet, your own name as your domain name with an email address that incorporates it ( If you are going to be applying for positions online, set up a separate email address that you use only for your job search. That way, if you sign up for job alert notifications, you won’t have to unsubscribe from them when you land your new position.

Finding that new opportunity, part 3

Ellen Steverson is a Resume and Interview professional who has helped people worldwide get the job of their dreams. Periodically we will host one of her posts for those of you either searching for work, or hiring candidates.  She can be reached at

  1. How has technology impacted the hiring process in the past 10 years? Technology has made an impact on the hiring process — specifically, the pre-screening interview. The Internet makes it easy to apply for a job anywhere in the world, but the company is not going to incur the expense of an in-person interview unless the candidate is a good fit — and often that is determined through one or more virtual interviews. Contact StartingBlock Career Services for information about virtual interview coaching sessions to give you a competitive edge!
  2. How has the job search process changed over the last 15 years? Not surprisingly, the biggest thing that has changed in the job search is the impact of technology. The ability to apply online for a position has contributed to a substantial increase in the sheer volume of applications that companies receive for open positions. It takes literally seconds — and costs almost nothing — for a jobseeker to apply for a position online. Consequently, companies are inundated with applicants for job openings. Some companies receive more than 20,000 applicants for each advertised position. In response to this deluge of applications, companies are using technology to handle the résumés and help identify candidates to interview. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have changed the application and résumé screening process, particularly in mid-size and large companies. The ATS software allows companies to determine which candidates may be a match for a particular position, based on their résumé. Contact StartingBlock Career Services to write you a resume with keywords that will help to get your resume past the ATS system!

Network to your next opportunity!

Ellen Steverson is a Resume and Interview professional who has helped people worldwide get the job of their dreams. Periodically we will host one of her posts for those of you either searching for work, or hiring candidates.  She can be reached at


  1. Use social media to arrange in-person get-togethers. For example, if you make a new contact on LinkedIn, if they are local, arrange to meet them in person. Technology makes networking easier, but face-to-face interaction is still the best way to network. For more information about effective networking, please contact StartingBlock Career Services.
  2. Networking is actually more important in a modern job search than ever before. It really is “who you know” more than “what you know.” But that doesn’t mean you have to have hundreds of friends on Facebook or attend networking events each week. Instead, you need to be strategic about making connections with people who can help you get the job you want. Whether that means creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with previous co-workers and participating in LinkedIn Groups for those in your industry or letting a close circle of friends know that you’re looking for a new opportunity, it’s not about broadcasting to the world that you’re looking for a job — it’s about identifying the people you already know who can help introduce you to the people you need to get to know in order to move forward with your job search. Not sure what your next move is? Set up a coaching appointment by private messaging StartingBlock Career Services on Facebook!
  3. The people you know can be the best way for you to find your next job. The “tried and true” path of networking is still the most successful way to find your next position. According to a 2012 survey by Right Management, person-to-person networking is the single most effective way to find a new job, with 46% of jobseekers identifying networking as the reason they found their most recent job. Research consistently identifies networking as an important job search tool — anywhere from 40-80% of job placements are attributed to networking. Networking can also be a way to identify unadvertised job opportunities — accessing the “hidden job market.” (The “hidden job market” refers to jobs that are not advertised publicly. These positions may be filled through employee referrals, recruiters, or direct contact with hiring managers through networking.) It happens all the time. Someone in your network says, “You know what? You should talk to John Jones at the XYZ Company. They’re hiring.”

Finding that Opportunity, Part 2

Ellen Steverson is a Resume and Interview professional who has helped people worldwide get the job of their dreams. Periodically we will host one of her posts for those of you either searching for work, or hiring candidates.  She can be reached at

  1. There have been several studies that say that up to 60% of jobs are filled through networking. You can ask people for information and advice, or ask them if they know of any job openings. If you are conducting an open job search (that is, you’re not trying to keep your job search quiet from your current employer), the more people you tell you’re searching, the more likely you are to find your next opportunity.
  2. The most important pieces of your LinkedIn profile are your profile Headline and your LinkedIn Summary. These two things are the first items a prospective employer will review. While the résumé uses third-person language, your LinkedIn Summary should be a first-person narrative that appeals to a prospective employer’s needs by identifying what makes you a good candidate. For more information on LinkedIn, or to have your LinkedIn profile professionally written, feel free to contact StartingBlock Career Services.
  3. One of the best resources for you in a modern job search is your résumé writer. When in doubt about something you’ve heard, or read about, ask! While it can be tempting to ask friends, family members, or others who have recently gone through a job search, a more reliable source of information is a professional résumé writer who is committed to staying on top of the changing world of work, including trends and technology that will impact your ability to successfully secure your dream job by helping you navigate through the modern job search.
  4. Before the interview, do your homework! Review the company’s website and learn more about the key personnel, the work they do, their clients, and potential areas where you might be an asset. Google the company. Look for recent news articles about the company. Review the company’s social media profiles (if they exist). Check out the company on and see what current and former employees have to say. Ask your network for help learning more about the targeted company. If you know your interviewer’s name, Google that too. Check out his or her LinkedIn profile and social media accounts. And prepare a list of targeted questions to ask in the interview — 3-5 questions that demonstrate you’ve done your homework and that, when answered, will give you additional insight into the company.
July 2018
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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA. - SIPC - Brokercheck