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Join us in supporting Casa de Amparo!

April 18th, 2013
By Kim Hart, Marketing Specialist

Casa

Established in 1978, Casa de Amparo has been a leading force in child abuse prevention in San Diego County for over 30 years. “Our founders were a small group of local women concerned about domestic violence and the welfare of children. Led by an official of the Women’s Resource Center, and supported by local police, this small team pushed for a crisis nursery for children affected by or at risk of child abuse…and Casa de Amparo was born.”

We at Suna are all about community outreach and helping others in any way that we can. For several of our past events, we’ve partnered with Casa de Amparo to generate awareness and fundraising for abused and neglected children. We adore the people at Casa de Amparo and the cause that they stand for, and we are currently supporting two events to benefit their organization. We encourage all of our friends to participate – who doesn’t like having fun and helping kids, right?

 Upcoming events:

BUILD-A-BAR DROPOFF PARTY

Thursday, May 16 | 6 to 8 p.m.

Please join us for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and let’s Build-A-Bar! Donations of liquor & spirits are needed for our FORE the Casa Kids Golf Tournament Build-A-Bar Opportunity Drawing.

Admission: One bottle of premium liquor or spirits for the drawing, and one bottle of your favorite liquor to share.

 

 

14th ANNUAL FORE THE CASA KIDS GOLF TOURNAMENT

Friday, July 19, 2013 at Twin Oaks Golf Course, San Marcos, CA

Shotgun at 12:30 p.m. | Cocktails, Auction & Dinner at 5:00 p.m.

Now in it’s 14th year, the FORE the Casa Kids Golf Tournament is a popular event attracting over 100 avid golfers throughout San Diego County. The tournament plays a critical role in raising funds neede each year to contnue the many therapeutic and supportive programs and services Cas de Amparo provides to help heal abused, neglected and at-risk children in the San Diego community.

If you would like to participate in our events, email Casa de Amparo’s Director of Development, Kathy Karpe, at kkarpe@casadeamparo.org for more information.

The Art (and Importance) of Personal Branding

April 16th, 2013
By Kim Hart, Marketing Specialist

The job search in today’s economy, especially as a young professional, can be a lengthy and daunting process. With so many resumes flooding recruiter’s inboxes, how do we distinguish between the truly special candidates? Nowadays, it’s common knowledge that even a Bachelor’s Degree doesn’t go as far as it used to in the professional arena. Due to the fierce competition between job-seekers, and the exponential importance of the internet in all aspects of hiring, it is essential to create a positive personal brand. Unlike the pre-digital age, personal branding no longer refers to just the first impression in the interview. Although the first face-to-face meeting with your potential employer is crucial, it is important to begin planning your personal brand long before that first meeting.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Because it has such an overwhelming influence on society (especially the younger generation of jobseekers), let’s start with our social networks.

First, let me begin by asserting that very few aspects of the internet are confidential. “But my Facebook is set to private!” Sure, it’s great that you’re taking precautions, but sites like Facebook contain several loop holes in the fine print that ensure that everything you post exists in the public domain. Ever notice how they frequently change privacy settings without notifying you? Bingo. Not to say that the engineers behind Facebook are evil-doers, set out to foil your personal brand. However, it is safe to assume that anything that you post can be found by anyone. Forty percent of recruiters and employers do search for their candidates online as part of the screening process. In other words, a photo of you doing tequila shooters in Cabo last summer, or your profane and overtly political tweets, are unfavorable in the mind of your potential employer. If you are in the process of applying for positions, clean up your profile and untag inappropriate photos. If you can, you may want to make your newly-appropriate social media profiles readily available to search. This can make you appear approachable, genuine, and infer that you have nothing to hide.

PERSONAL WEBSITE

If you’re a digital or creative professional, or simply want to establish yourself as an expert in your field, creating a website dedicated to you and your accomplishments is the way to go. Even if you don’t know a thing about website coding, you can set up a free account with WordPress, About.me or similar blogging sites that make it easy for you. Create a few landing pages that are easy to navigate, such as an About page, Resume, Work Samples, and Contact Information. This is where you include your picture (NEVER on your resume!) This makes it convenient for employers to visually digest who you are and the work that you do, and the scrolling pages allow you to add details and work samples that you can’t fit on one printed resume page. This instant portfolio helps you control your personal brand by allowing you to show, not tell, your strengths. Plus, it takes the guesswork out of finding you online, and indicates that you take pride in crafting your professional identity.

Click here to view my portfolio as a formatting example.

OWN IT

When you do finally meet face-to-face, even if you feel like the least-experienced person in the room, broadcast yourself confidently. You want to come across as honest, so boasting experience that you don’t have will get you into trouble. However, avoid shying away from networking opportunities or discussions that can make you shine. Include experience on your website and resume that you can actually have a conversation about. There’s nothing worse than getting asked about your experience, only to find that you can’t expand on it in the actual interview. Choose to include topics that you can confidently discuss, and your personal brand will be that much more impressive.

 

 

Administrative Professionals Day is Coming Up on 4/24

April 9th, 2013
 By Kim Hart, Marketing Support Specialist

Administrative Professionals Day

We at Suna Solutions, along with several other employers, believe it is important to recognize Administrative Professionals Day, and the employees that make our organizations great.  The holiday takes place on Wednesday of Adminstrative Professionals Week, which occurs in the last full week of April.

“Many employers and supervisors arrange events to show their appreciation of the work carried out by administrative professionals, to highlight their importance to the organization and to enhance their work-related skills,” according to timeanddate.com.  “During World War II, there was an increased need for skilled administrative personnel, particularly in the United States. The National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions of secretaries and other administrative personnel to the economy, to support their personal development and to help attract people to administrative careers in the field. The association’s name was changed to Professional Secretaries International in 1981 and, finally, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) in 1998.”

We want to shout out to all of our Administrative Professionals for all of your hard work and dedication! Thank you all, and keep being rock stars!

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

April 8th, 2013
By Kim Hart, Marketing Support Specialist

Often, there are several outside-of-work factors that affect our at-work disposition, and no one is ever completely free of that. In addition to the pressures of life outside of work, sometimes, we can’t help but to feel like we’re going to explode when our computer crashes after working on a 3-day project, or feel hurt when a coworker lets us down. Regardless of the cause, the ability to control our own emotions and to evaluate and perceive them in others is an invaluable skill to possess, especially in the workplace.

This awareness is commonly known as emotional intelligence, or EQ, and is a key factor in working cooperatively and harmoniously with others. Having a high level of emotional intelligence is just as important as intellectual ability, and it actually often trumps it. For example, a candidate’s resume, test scores and alma mater may be extremely impressive. However, when placed in a challenging situation with others in the workplace, they easily get upset, irritated and take out their frustrations negatively on others.  In some cases, some of the ”smartest” people can often be the least in tune with their own emotions, and especially unaware of those of the people around them.  In this regard, having a high emotional intelligence would trump a stellar college GPA.

There are two keys to being an all-star in the field of emotional intelligence. The first is being able to understand one’s emotions, sense when they may become outwardly inappropriate, and decide how long they will last. Very few people can completely suppress their emotions, especially when they are passionate (either positive or negative). However, it is important to recognize when to self-regulate and put on a professional face. Knowing when to harness an inappropriate emotion can make all the difference in a professional situation, and affect the outcome in the long term.

The other key to emotional intelligence is the ability to empathize with others. Being able to understand and harness your own emotions allow you to understand, interpret and even predict them in others. Ok, so you’re not a mind reader. But being able to empathize, or understand how others feel, will help you recognize and control the signals you send back to them. An emotionally intelligent worker is therefore able to better communicate with others and understand the social complexities of the business, including problem-solving and adapting to change. In many circumstances, companies interpret a candidate’s potential based on emotional intelligence, often referred to as “soft skills”. I’ve heard it said that, “Employees can always be trained to develop technical skills, but excellent soft skills are the natural foundation for a solid candidate.”

Where do you stand on the emotional intelligence scale? If you’re curious, you can test your “EQ” online.

Evergent Group Press Release featured in San Francisco Chronicle!

April 1st, 2013

We recently announced the refined name of our parent company, the Evergent Group. The press release was later published by the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate). Take a look!

San Francisco Chronicle

Print

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Four Leading Industry Companies Unite Under

Evergent Group Brand

Walnut Creek, Calif. (April 1, 2013) – Industry leaders, Amerit Consulting, IC Advisor, Suna Solutions and Zempleo, announced today their union in service offerings under their new parent brand, Evergent Group.

 

By optimizing the workforce processes of today’s fast-paced businesses, Evergent Group’s companies create custom strategies that meet the needs of the ever-changing world of work.

 

“The creation of Evergent Group is the final step in aligning our operating companies under one, focused vision in terms of value proposition and marketplace awareness,” said Michael Larkins, President of Evergent Group.

 

“Evergent Group is uniquely positioned to leverage the infrastructure and experience required to be competitive in today’s dynamic business environment. Evergent Group is a seamless integration of four successful, independent operating companies under one parent brand.”

 

Evergent Group’s combined specializations include staffing, recruiting, payrolling, managed service programs, independent contractor compliance assessments, and business process optimization.

 

For more information on Evergent Group and its companies, visit www.evergentgroup.com.

 

About the Evergent Group: The Evergent Group (Amerit Consulting, Suna Solutions and Zempleo) are a united group of individual service companies joined together, not only by shared leadership, but by our common purpose of enabling our clients’ success and focus on exceeding customer’s expectations.

 

The Evergent Group is proud to be a certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) and a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). The Evergent Group celebrates diversity and supports our military heroes and their families.

 

Media contact:

Karen Vinton, Director of Marketing, Evergent Group

kvinton@evergentgroup.com | O: 925.482.3147 | C: 415.755.3302

We couldn’t fit all of our pictures in one post…

April 1st, 2013

So here we go!  We have some more awesome shots from our Dress for Success drive. Pictured below are two of our team members, Dane and Brenda, with ALL of our fabulous donations! Thank you, again, to all of our friends who participated. Also, here’s an inside look at the Dress for Success Boutique in downtown San Diego. Suna is so proud to have supported such a great organization!

DFS Boutique 2 DFS Boutique 3  DFS Boutique  The Loot

Dress For Success

March 29th, 2013
 By Kim Hart, Marketing Specialist

Viasat 2

Viasat Tandem Diabetes

Prescott Companies

 

As mentioned last month, Suna is thrilled to be a driving force in the Dress for Success Women’s Accessory Drive.  Our team sent out about 35 empty bins to various locations to gather career-appropriate jewelry, scarves, handbags and belts for deserving women in need.

Our friends and colleagues not only filled our bins to the brim, but several of them loaded up extra bags and boxes of women’s accessories for this great cause.

Dress for Success is known for collecting donated women’s suits and providing career guidance to underprivileged women who are seeking a job. Dress for Success is a worldwide program that helps thousands of women find the appropriate attire and the confidence to nail the interview, and land the position.

Don’t see your picture? All of our photos can be viewed on our Facebook page. We’d like to especially thank Boston Scientific, Greatcall, Prescott Companies, Shire, CA Center for Sustainable Energy, Tandem Diabetes Care, Viasat, Websense, Hunter Industries, Kyowa Kirin, LAZ Parking and Ardea BioSciences for their generous participation.

Suna couldn’t be happier to donate to Dress for Success, and we couldn’t have done it without your help! Thanks to all who donated, and if you missed it, keep an eye out for our other drives and fundraisers coming up in 2013!

 

Heart Your Heart: Suna at the 9th Annual GO RED FOR WOMEN

March 26th, 2013

By Brenda Casey, VP of Sales, Suna Solutions

I didn’t know that every 60 seconds we lose a mother, sister, or a best friend to the #1 (YES #1!) killer of women – heart disease.  My friends from 007Boston Scientific asked me to join them at the 9th Annual American Heart Association GO RED FOR WOMEN Luncheon on March 22nd  in Newport Beach California and I am so glad I did!  The Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national campaign to increase awareness and educate women about heart health.  I learned that one in three women will die from cardiovascular disease!  Through this national campaign the American Heart Association’s mission is to empower women to make heart healthy lifestyle changes and encourages us to learn how our family history plays a role in our overall health.  The luncheon was filled to capacity with 500 men and women wearing our red and bidding on our favorite silent Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 10.04.18 AMauction item to raise money and awareness for GO RED FOR WOMEN!  Unfortunately my personal silent auction bids were not the big winners but we knew that each of our donations were going to be matched by a generous attendee up to $50,000 so we were all winners that afternoon.   For more information about this event or the campaign please visit www.OCGoRed.org.

 

I want to again give a big thank you to my friends at Boston Scientific.  Thank you for treating Suna not just as a vendor and partner but as a true friend.  Remember HEART YOUR HEART.

Imagine Dragons Concert!

March 20th, 2013

By Kim Hart

Imagine Dragons

The folks here at Suna are big on maintaining one of the best work environments possible, ensuring that we do our best in the office and have a great time outside the office, too!

Monday night, our team was able to take the night to enjoy an Imagine Dragons concert at the House of Blues.  The Las Vegas- based indie rockers, with a synth-based, brit-pop style, have an dynamic sound that mimicks artists like Muse and Mumford and Sons. The show was energetic and heavy on percussion (seriously, pretty much every band member played the drums at some point), and the band’s stage presence was high-powered and animated.

It’s always nice to see a sold-out show for a talented new band! We’re all excited to see how they progress now that we’ve seen them in such a small venue. By the way, if you’re looking for a new Pandora station to get you through your commute, I highly suggest Imagine Dragons!

An Insider’s Advice for Job Seekers

March 15th, 2013
By Kim Hart, Marketing Support Specialist

Job-Seeker-01

As part of the marketing team at Suna Solutions, I am rarely directly involved in the recruiting aspect of staffing. Truth be told, I went in to my interview knowing very little about how staffing agencies work. Like most job-seekers, I knew that there were positions that needed to be filled, and that recruiters were there to fill them. What I didn’t know was the most important: How do they find their candidates? What resources do they use? What draws the line between a perfect candidate and a resume that gets passed over?

While I may not BE a recruiter, after spending a few months in the bull pen listening to the folks at Suna, I can confidently share two pieces of insight for job seekers, especially for those who are new to the corporate world.

1) Specificity, numbers, key words

  • Your resume is your golden egg. You may be an awesome interviewee, but many recruiters and employers may never see this if they are less than impressed with your resume. When you are crafting your skills and experience, BE SPECIFIC. You did not “assist in marketing needs,” you “created a sweepstakes-based Twitter campaign that increased followers by 60%.” Avoid mentioning that you performed day-to-day tasks, and instead focus on accomplishments. Be sure to utilize quantities to describe these accomplishments (i.e. “Personally managed over 60 volunteers at an event catering to over 10,000 participants”). Numbers demonstrate specificity, as well as help you show (not tell) that you can handle a large responsibility.
  • In addition, utilize key words that will catch a search engine’s eye. Recruiters often specialize in Boolean searching, which helps them source for the best candidates for the roles they are filling. Search engines operate based on text. As a professor of mine once said, “Google eats words for breakfast.” Therefore, if your resume does not contain key words that a recruiter would include in a search string, your resume is likely to hide in the recesses of the internet forever. If you were trying to hire someone like yourself, how would you search for that person? Include those types of descriptive words in your resume, and avoid italicizing. Italicizing your font can hide your keywords from certain search engines.

2) Once your resume is sparkling, face-to-face is EVERYTHING

When that interview is finally lined up, whether it’s with a potential employer or a preliminary meeting with your recruiter, there are some guidelines I recommend following. Though they may seem cliche, I’ve observed several candidates who simply missed the mark.  My fly-on-the-wall expertise can offer these suggestions:

  • Don’t wear leopard print to your interview. Women, stick to a classic suit and a MODEST heel. If your heels went to the club the night before, don’t wear them to your interview.
  • Steer clear of denim, no matter what cut, wash or style. Even your nicest, darkest jeans have a stigma against them in the interview world.
  • Be yourself, be comfortable, and let your personality shine. However, no matter how friendly the interviewer, don’t discuss partying habits or over-share details about your personal life. Your interviewer may seem very casual, but unlike you, they already have this job. Employers need to know if you are a good culture fit, but first and foremost need to know that you will be a solid employee.
  • Invest some time in your LinkedIn profile. Choose a picture that showcases your face, close-up and free of any awkward poses. Avoid choosing a picture of yourself at a bar, where your friend’s cropped arm can be seen around your shoulder. Choose a well-lit photo that represents the real you, so your interviewers know who to expect when you walk in the door.
  • Interviews are nerve-racking, but do your best to smile, engage and demonstrate your interest in the position. Doing research on the company ahead of time and going into the interview with a plan of action can provide a memorable edge for you as a candidate.
  • Above all, be yourself! Your resume may shine, but that face-to-face interaction can make all the difference in the employer’s ultimate decision.

Breathe, use your best judgment, and good luck out there!