4 Emails That Can Help Advance Your Career

Oh, the dreaded email inbox. Or can it be a career booster? It depends on how you look at it.

If you move beyond the transactional function of email and shift to a more mindful approach, you can use it to help fuel your success. Here are a few simple emails you can send each week that isn’t a time suck but can help you stay top of mind for opportunities, strengthen connections, and act as a motivational tool.

An email to yourself.  

Even after a long week, the last email you send on a Friday should be to yourself. In the subject header, write in capital letters one of your core values or your power word. Now when you open that baby up first thing Monday morning and see the word “INNOVATIVE” or “STRONG” staring back at you, it can set the tone for the week ahead.

Or write down a weekly rundown. List off your wins, what you learned, and the goals you met.

The Thank You email.

This tip may be our favorite. Take the time each week to email one person who deserves your unsolicited praise and appreciation. We all love to feel appreciated. Think about the last time someone went out of their way to show that you are valued.

“I’m so glad we get to work together. Thanks for being my sounding board” is all you need to say to make a lasting impact.

The Mentor email

Is there somebody that you admire and is where you want to be a few years? Send them a message and let them know how their work has impacted you. You never know those emails can lead to great phone calls and mentoring opportunities, which leads to your personal growth.

Don’t be a burden on others; make the requests small and easily doable. But don’t underestimate the potential here; establishing a steady cadence of micro-learning is an easy investment you can make in yourself.

The Stranger Email

Just met someone at a conference or a training session? Send them an email. Expanding your network enables you to have diverse conversations and get new viewpoints. According to Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit, when it comes to learning about new opportunities, “weak ties” trump “strong ties”. We tend to have similar discussions with the people we see regularly. By striking up a chat with someone you just met may lead to new learning opportunities and open yourself up to different ideas.

Give these emails a try and let us know your results!












The Return to Office – What Will That look Like for Tech Companies?

It’s been about a year since tech companies sent their employees home for remote work as a mysterious flu-like disease made its way through the world.

It marked the beginning of a radically altered how and where people do their jobs. As some tech companies have embraced this change and other employees can’t wait to return to an office setting with physically present co-workers, employers are wrestling with when and how they will return.

Big-Tech companies are taking varying approaches. Amazon is monitoring the situation as the vaccine continues to roll-out and is keeping an eye on case-numbers. The tech-giant told employees they can choose to do remote work until the end of June.

Meanwhile, Facebook is taking a measured strategy and opening offices with a limited capacity (10%) to provide an alternative to workers struggling with remote work. Voluntary work from home is scheduled to continue globally until July 2.

Google’s 132,121 full-time employees will work from home until September. CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google and Alphabet will require employees to return to the office at least three days a week, starting this fall.

In the fall of last year, Microsoft unveiled a “hybrid workplace” model laying out how employees can have a more flexible remote work schedule and even relocate elsewhere in the country.

In addition, Microsoft launched a research initiative, ‘The New Future of Work,’ at the start of the pandemic – a cross-company initiative to coordinate their efforts to better understand the impact of remote work and identify opportunities to support new work practice. Here are some of the key findings.

Remote Meetings

The idea of meeting fatigue rose to prominence during the pandemic. The research supports the assumption that video conferencing technology constraints, combined with an increased cadence in meetings, contribute to fatigue perceptions.

The lack of physical cues, body language, and ability to gauge emotions was significant hurdles to productive disagreement and decision making. At the same time, some found online meetings more inclusive. Another challenge, ‘reading the room’ – knowing what people are attending to, what activities are taking place, and perceiving non-verbal interaction – is difficult in remote sessions, especially as group size increases.


Workers with little prior experience with remote work, a shorter tenure at the company, and fewer pre-pandemic collaborations reported a decrease in productivity. At the same time, the average workday started earlier and ran later.

Physical Environments

The sudden shift to remote work left little to no time to consider the implications of home workspaces. Two key factors deeply impacted a person’s ability to be productive: the size and layout of their living space and their living situation’s social makeup.

Remote work provided flexibility during the pandemic while also blurring the work-life boundary in problematic ways.

There is still a lot we do not yet know about what this last year will have on society. Yet, companies have to decide now about their work practices, workforces, and workspaces that will have implications for years to come. There is work to be done to develop a complete picture of how things have changed and find the best ways to help create meaningful positive outcomes regardless of what ‘return to the office’ approach is adopted.


How Many People Applied to this Job?

You see a job posting and can’t help but start to wonder about the number of applicants, who your competition is, and how your skills stack up against them.  Are there great high-paying jobs out there that don’t get flooded with a mountain of applicants? Have you chosen a highly competitive path?


Well, we’ve got some research for you—the Highest-Paying Job with the Most and Least Competition. The report used data from PayScale and identified roles with an average base salary of $75,000 or higher. To assess which positions tend to be more or less competitive, they used LinkedIn data to calculate the average number of applicants per opening. 


The report found overall, the highest paying job with the least competition is an Assistant City Attorney (average wage: $76,028), with an average of 1.2 people applying for each position. The most competitive highest-paying job in the US is a Senior Vice President of Operations ($170,674), with 159 applicants per opening. 


While the study is slightly flawed, it didn’t consider applicants outside of LinkedIn; it does offer a general sense of which roles might fall into that coveted sweet spot of “high-paying” and “least competitive”. 


Working with an INNOVA recruiter, we can help position you for the right job with the right company. You can search for all of our openings here! 


We pulled out some roles that seem to fall into that sweet spot from the report in healthcare, IT, and human resources. 



  • Acute Care Nurse Practioner (Average salary: $103,010; Average applicants: 4.2)
  • Family Nurse Practioner (Average salary: $96,092; Average applicants: 9.8)
  • Pharmacist (Average salary: $115,311; Average applicants: 5.1)



  • Technical Services Manager (Average salary: $78,820; Average applicants: 4.9)
  • IT Consultant (Average salary: $118,563; Average applicants: 5.9)
  • Lead Software Engineer (Average salary: $118,322; Average applicants: 7.2) 


Human Resources:

  • Compensation & Benefits Manager (Average salary: $88,056; Average applicants: 19)
  • Compensation Director (Average salary: $88,321; Average applicants: 16.7)
  • Human Resources Information Systems Manager (Average salary: $90,342; Average applicants: 18.4)


How to Use your Employer Brand to Attract Top Tech Talent

Whether cultivated purposely or not, your organization has an employer brand, and it’s narrating the impression your past, current, and future employees have about working for your organization.

According to LinkedIn’s Employer Branding Playbook, more than 80% of leaders feel that having a strong employer branding strategy is necessary for this competitive market. Since companies today face unique challenges in attracting technologists, many of whom are in high demand, employer branding is an increasingly crucial differentiating factor in a candidate’s decision to join an organization or leave it for a competitor.

Here’s the bottom-line impact of having a strong employer brand:

How to Shape Your Employer Brand Strategy

Start with your existing employees. Characteristics like purpose, culture, leadership, working environment, opportunities, and benefits strongly influence your current and incoming employees, their focus, the work they do – and how they do it. A strong employer brand works hard inside and outside of the company to get the best from the people you have – and attract top talent.

  • Ask your team basic questions to develop your brand story:
  • What do you do?
  • What makes your company unique?
  • How do you differ from your competitors?
  • Define your ‘why.’

Who are you trying to hire? 

Develop a candidate persona. Who is your ideal candidate? Identify the characteristics of the perfect tech hire.

  • What are their pain points?
  • What stage are they at in their career?
  • What do they value? Business-sponsored training? Or benefits that enrich their lives outside of the office?

Get the word out

To build a strong employer brand, you must craft a comprehensive, multi-channel content strategy to engage your target candidates. You have to know your target audience to compete. Know where they hang out, serve them compelling content that highlights your unique culture, empower your employees to do the same, and show them why they should want to work for you.

The number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. Let Innova People help you develop an employer branding strategy and shine a light on why you’re a great organization to work at, and ultimately attracting top tech talent.

How to Stay on Track with Your Goals: Keep it Visual

How are you doing on your goals for 2021? Typically, this time of year, those goals and resolutions you made in earnest in January start to fade away. Think about how the gym typically looks (when you could go to the gym) in January and how it looks in February.

But we’re here to help you stick with those goals, whether they are personal or career-focused. The key strategy is simple: keep them visible.

Have a visual cue.

You want a visual reminder every day of what your goals are. When something is in our field of view, you unconsciously stay connected to them, and this can help you make micro-decisions to keep you on track. For example, if you are trying to save up for a vacation home, put up a photo on your bulletin board. If you want to become a Chief Technology Officer, write it down and display it somewhere.

Set up recurring reminders to keep your resolutions front of mind.

Use your task manager, a calendar, or an alarm to remind you of your goals regularly. The task could be to review them or use it to block out time in your day to work towards achieving them.

Use a whiteboard.

The whiteboard can be used as a mind map to plot out ways to achieve those goals or use it as a visual reminder. Write down all the action steps needed, break them up by short term or long term goals, or use it to write down motivational quotes to keep you motivated.

Turn your device into your goal board. 

We know that photo of your kids or pet is a lovely welcome to start your day when you open your laptop. But what about creating a background with your goals on it? By doing so, you’re making a constant reminder of what it is you’ve set out to achieve. You don’t have to be a graphic designer or use photoshop to put it together. Use Canva or PicMonkey, which are free drag-and-drop design tools.

Install Momentum for your browser. Replace a new tab with a personal dashboard featuring to-do, weather, and inspiration. It starts with the questions: “What’s your main focus today?” It’s a great reminder for when you may begin to lose focus to draw you back in.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Repetition can solidify your goals in your mind and in your life. Rewrite your goals or read them as a part of your morning routine. You become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down regularly. This exercise allows you to reflect on where you are and what action steps are needed to move closer to where you want to be.

Now it’s time to take action. Start by choosing one of these visual tips and implement it as a part of your daily routine. The results will keep you on track not just for January but throughout the year.



Hiring Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

While there are a lot of unknowns in the economy and the pandemic the job market is bouncing back and 2021 is going to be a big year for a lot of us.  Here are some hiring trends to look out for as we slowly enter a vaccinated world.

Remote Work is the New Norm 

At the height of the pandemic’s initial surge, Gallup found that 51 percent of employees said they had been entirely remote since the start of the pandemic. While some people gradually returned to worksites as new health and safety protocols emerged, a large number of U.S. workers remained fully remote. By October, 33 percent reported that they always work remotely. The 67 percent who aren’t regularly remote are likely working in hybrid models with time split between the office and home. Expect this model to become the new norm, even post-pandemic.

That’s because both employers and employees discovered key advantages to remote work, and it’s emerging as a must-offer benefit for employers that wish to remain competitive. Two-thirds of those who worked remotely during the pandemic want to continue doing so. By offering candidates a remote option, employers not only have an edge for attracting top talent, but they also gain the ability to increase diversity and inclusion. With the ability to attract great talent from anywhere, employers can source from a talent pool vastly more extensive than their local markets.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Are you ready for Gen Z? The oldest members of Gen Z will turn 24 this year, and members of the most diverse and most educated generation in U.S. history are flooding the workforce. When its 66 million members are looking for work, a recent Monster.com survey found that 83 percent say a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential when selecting an employer. For those looking to hire in 2021 and beyond, that’s a hard number to ignore.

To hire top talent from this generation, employers will have to put their efforts to be diverse and inclusive as a top priority — and those efforts will have to go beyond mere lip service. With so much at stake — and with many employers now having the opportunity to hire talent from literally anywhere — low progress on the DEI front will make hiring harder than ever.

Expect a Surge in Hiring in Healthcare & IT

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) these jobs in the IT and healthcare sectors are expected to grow at a faster (or much faster) rate than average and their 2019 median pay.

  • Specialized Engineers – Hiring for these engineering roles grew nearly 25% between 2019 and 2020.
    • Top job titles: Full Stack Engineer, Frontend Developer, Game Developer, Web Developer
  • Registered Nurses – Demand for nurses grew nearly 30% year-over-year in 2020.
    • Top job titles: Registered Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Intensive Care Nurse
  • User Experience (UX) Professionals – Hiring for these specialists grew 20% between 2019 and 2020.
    • Top job titles: User Experience Designer, Product Design Consultant, User Interface Designer, User Experience Researcher
  • Data Science Specialists – Hiring for these roles grew nearly 46% since 2019.
    • Top job titles: Data Scientist, Data Science Specialist, Data Management Analyst

We may not know what the future holds, but we do know that these trends are expected to dominate today’s hiring market. Of course, with all the other obstacles businesses face today, attracting the top-talent is easier said than done. It’s also why so many of them turn to INNOVA People for help.

We use our nationwide network of qualified talent, a comprehensive talent acquisition, and human resources solution that leverages data without losing sight of the human side of the business. Our tenured recruiters are specialists in tough-to-fill positions even in the toughest hiring market on record. Contact us today to get started.