It’s Been a Great Year!

IT’S BEEN A BUSY YEAR FOR US AT TRUE SOURCE! Here are just some of the highlights:

2013 and 2014 – Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies Awards

May 2014 – Annual DAP (Domestic Abuse Program) Staff Volunteer Clean-Up Day

July 2014 – Annual Company Family Picnic (Minnehaha Falls) – including all office staff, consultants and families

Summer 2014 – Annual Softball League (Minneapolis Parks and Recreation) – GO TEAM CRUSH!! We’re warming up our arms for another fun season.

October 2014 – Annual DAP Luncheon (Fundraising Event)

October 2014 – ProKART Indoor Racing – Office Staff outing

December 2014 – WE MOVED! After 7 years in our old digs at the Calhoun Executive Building, we decided to purchase our own building and move our corporate office into the amazing new space.

February 2015 – OPEN HOUSE! Staff, consultants, clients, families, friends and neighbors turned out for our open house in February. It was a fun evening with great people and delicious food and drinks.

You, Online: It Matters

The words ‘Social Media’ can stir up all sorts of thoughts. For some, it’s that Facebook picture they shouldn’t have posted; for others, it’s that tweet they wish they could take back. For many professionals, though, Social Media or Social Networking is a must have/must do item. And they maintain these types of sites very consciously.

Because there’s a continuing shift in how employers find employees, having a solid and active online presence is essential. Skills and experience are always necessary, but that’s pretty much all an employer sees on a cover letter and resume. For most employers, this just doesn’t cut it anymore.

So employers are turning to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get a more comprehensive view of who you are—what you value, who you know, whether you stay current in your industry, and what you contribute in way of discussions and posts, for example.

And more and more, employers are using the web to find employees they think will fit with their company instead of relying on the traditional application process. Job boards are becoming a thing of the past, and many employers are posting ads directly on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist, Google AdWords and blogs

What to do-

If a simple Google search of your name turns up stuff that you don’t like, or if you’ve created a LinkedIn account, but haven’t maintained it, it’s time to take action. Because even worse than no online presence, is an online presence that is inaccurate, dubious, or outdated.

Let’s face it: staying on top of your online reputation may be the thing that gets you your next job, even if you’re not looking. Let’s say an employer finds you on LinkedIn, sees that you post interesting comments from time to time and put out a fairly popular blog. On top of that, your Facebook and Twitter pages don’t jeopardize you. This is all good.

In fact, one of the nice things about having an online presence it involves stuff most of us are doing anyway. And, even if you like your job at the moment, there may come a time when you’re laid off or find that you’re ready to move on. If you keep everything current and stay involved in your industry, the next job is going to be a heck of a lot easier to get.

If you wait to make connections until you’re looking for work, it’s just a bad way of going about things. You will definitely look desperate (and you kind of will be), as opposed to putting the time into building connections beforehand.

So start connecting now, get involved, and build your presence thoughtfully. Your work will definitely pay off.

True Source Named Finalist at Twin Cities Business Magazine’s Small Business Success Stories Event

The True Source team attended the Twin Cities Business Magazine’s Small Business Success Stories Event. We were extremely proud to be named as one of the finalists and had a great time meeting other owners and employees of small businesses in the area. In addition to meeting many new people, we heard several great speeches made by the owners and CEOs of this year’s honorees. Below are some pictures of the team from the  night’s event.

True Source Makes Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies


True Source is excited to have made the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing companies ranking 9th on the List of Top 100 Minnesota companies with a 3-year growth rate of 744%!

To see how True Source stacked up against other companies on the list click here.

How are the companies ranked?

The 2013 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2009 to 2012. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2012. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2009 is $100,000; the minimum for 2012 is $2 million.


True Source Sponsors – AchieveMPLS; Minneapolis Alumni Connection (MAC) Event

True Source sincerely values the relationships that we continuously foster with local non-profit organizations. In April, we are proud to act as the sponsor for the inaugural Minneapolis Alumni Connection Event, at Borough Restaurant.

AchieveMPLS acts as the nonprofit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), it serves as a bridge between MPS and our broader community – including businesses, foundations, nonprofits, government agencies and individuals – providing information and opportunities to engage as funders, volunteers, employers, advocates and advisers.

AchieveMPLS manages career and college readiness programs, raises financial resources for strategic MPS initiatives, manages scholarship and school funds and engages our community in supporting and advocating for public education.

MAC is an extension of AchieveMPLS that hopes to rejuvenate alumni involvement with volunteer and fiscal commitments. True Source believes that the Minneapolis Public School system plays an essential role in preparing the IT and Digital professionals of our future and is happy to continue offering strong support for its initiatives.

Don’t Do That! – Mistakes to Avoid when Working with Recruiters

When working with headhunters, talent acquisition managers, or whatever name you give to recruiters, it’s important to remember they’re working for companies, not individuals. Does this mean they can’t help you out?  Absolutely not! They have access to a whole network of information and clients that you don’t have, and with their help, you can gain admittance. But there are some rules to follow, and breaking these rules will almost always destroy your job prospects.

Rule 1: Don’t wait to work with recruiters.

It can be tricky, but you should be in contact with recruiters while still employed because there are a number of benefits. One, you’ll have leverage—you know that you’re valuable to a real company, right now. If unemployed, you have no such luck. Two, companies want to hire people who are meaningfully employed. Because of this, recruiters don’t typically work with unemployed people. Three, your job situation could change tomorrow. It’s best to be in touch with recruiters now, in the event you lose your job.

Rule 2: Don’t lie.

It might be tempting to talk up your skills and/or be dishonest about your situation and how it might affect your possibility of getting a job. But if you do lie, and happen to get a job interview based on a recruiter’s recommendation, the truth will eventually come out. You’ll either have to fess up at that employer interview (in which case they will definitely not hire you) or you’ll get the job and fail to do what’s expected of you (in which case you’ll be fired). Recruiters are good judges of character and skills—this is their job—and in order to find the right person, for the right position, with the right employer, they need nothing short of the truth.

Rule 3: Don’t be fuzzy on the details (an offshoot of rule 3).

Be prepared to show specific, measurable accomplishments. Don’t expect the recruiter to do this for you. Remember, they’re working for companies—it’s not their job to coach you and transform your vague mish mash of skills into a concrete and solid looking resume! Come to the table with the straight and detailed facts about what you can do for a company. This includes tailoring your resumé and cover letter for each job you apply for.

If you’re not sure how your skills and jobs translate into a job, seek the advice of a career counselor before you contact a recruiter. You don’t stand a chance if you come to a recruiter with the “I’m ready for anything” type of attitude.

Rule 4: Don’t rely on recruiters to find you a job.

Just because you meet with a recruiter doesn’t mean you’ll be entitled to a job. Remember, recruiters are looking to fill their client’s needs, not yours. If you’re skilled and would fit a job position well, they might call you. But it’s not a given. Make sure you’re diversifying your job hunt, or you’ll be let down.

Rule 5: Don’t waste recruiter’s time. This is a huge turn off.  Only apply for jobs that you’re qualified for, or you’re wasting their time. Be specific about what you want to get paid, or you’re wasting their time. Again, it isn’t the recruiter’s job to coach you. Have this info ready.

Rule 6: Don’t be inflexible about forms of compensation.

A lot of companies like to negotiate contract- to-hire deals. If you can’t compromise, it’s to your detriment.

Rule 6: Don’t let your online presence ruin your reputation.

What shows up on Facebook doesn’t just stay on Facebook. Be aware of what other people can see and read about you. Seems simple, but lots of people have trouble with this one. If a recruiter finds questionable info and photos about you online, don’t expect them to call you.

Tips: Google your name and see what’s out there. You can also create a Google alert for your first and last name.

Rule 7: Don’t harass recruiters.

There’s a difference between following-up with a thank-you call or card and calling back numerous times to ask recruiters about possible job leads. Refrain from being a bully. Don’t ever sound desperate, even if you are. It will ruin your reputation as a viable candidate.

There are other things that matter too, of course. But we hope these seven basic rules will guide you in your relations with recruiters here at True Source, and with any others you happen to work with in the future.

The Domestic Abuse Project Luncheon

We are continuing our tradition of being table captains to the annual Domestic Abuse Project fundraising lunch.  We’re hoping to fill up 4 tables at the event and raise more money than ever for a great cause!

If you’ve never heard of this amazing organization that is literally changing lives, please take a look at their website for more info.


DAP’s Transforming Families Luncheon

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Registration & Socializing – 11:00 AM

Program & Light Lunch – Noon – 1:00 PM

Earle Brown Heritage Center

6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center, MN 56177


We’d love to see you at the event and if you’re interested in attending and bringing friends (there is no requirement to donate, come to learn about the organization!), please reply to this email today and we’ll get you at one of our tables.

Join Us, it will be a great event with a free lunch!

Business Intelligence – It’s Here to Stay

You’ve likely heard of BI (Business Intelligence), but have you stopped to think what the ramifications really are? BI does to companies—that is, those who use it correctly—what the Internet did for research: it opens up a whole new world of capabilities. Companies that use BI will definitely have the upper hand over companies that don’t.

BI isn’t a new idea, IBM researcher Hans Peter Luhn was talking about business intelligence in 1958, and in 1989, Howard Dresner, gave a specific definition to business intelligence.  BI has definitely made a splash recently as current database and reporting tools have advanced.  It’s more of a science and much more commonplace. Some predictions for BI use in 2012 have included “record” spending on BI Solutions, a demand for geographic-intelligent functions within BI solutions, a surge in the use of mobile BI, and an explosion in digital content volume (as more and more companies store more data).

Take UPS for example. The company has always strived to cut fuel use and costs, and through their use of BI a few years back—analyzing their stored data—realized that left hand turns actually use more fuel (imagine waiting for a break in oncoming traffic to turn) So they developed a GPS system for their drivers—one that takes trucks through routes using mostly right hand turns. Not only does it save gas (in 2007, for example, it saved 3 million gallons of gas) but it prevents more accidents! Follow a truck someday and see for yourself.

At the end of the day, optimal use of BI means better service, better products and more cost savings.  Data is the “lifeblood” of the information systems within companies. As an organization, you do something proactive with the data that’s being collected and saved, or in the end you’ll struggle against those who do.

BI use is mounting and aside from giving companies a platform from which they can be even more competitive, BI demand has carved out a niche industry for software developers. And as more companies make BI a priority, there will be a continual increased need for those with a working knowledge of analytics. It’s clear that BI is just hitting puberty; expect several more years of growth!

The 6 Second Resume – Getting another look

An article has been going around the office for a while now about how recruiters look through a resume and it got me thinking about best practices for resumes.  If you haven’t seen the research yet, you should take a look.

The interesting part for me was the amount of time recruiters spent reviewing a resume to determine if you’re good enough for a closer look.  “Most job seekers think recruiters spend 4 to 5 minutes reviewing a resume. The truth: recruiters spend about 6 seconds before they make the initial “fit/no fit” decision.”

Six seconds, that’s all you have to persuade one of us that you may have the skills to do the job.  Whether it’s a recruiter at a firm like ours or HR in an organization, we simply don’t have the time to waste on people that don’t fit.  Fair or not, if you don’t make it past this first hurdle, you won’t be moving on to the phone interview.  It’s worth the time to get it right.

I can’t tell you how many poorly written and poorly laid out resumes we see on a daily basis (seriously, some of them would make you cry instead of laugh).  In the self-interest of helping recruiters and HR everywhere, let me list a few of the things I consider most important to take to heart when reviewing your resume for another round of job hunting:

  • Customize your summary – First off, if you don’t have a summary, create one (short and sweet).  Second, customize it to the position you’re applying for, call out what skills/experience you have that relates to the job you’re going after.
  • Make it easy to read – Don’t use crazy fonts or different colors, use bullet points instead of long paragraphs, and please no distracting pictures.
  • Accomplishments over responsibilities – What have you done in your positions?  What are you most proud of?  Anyone can be responsible for things, only some can successfully deliver results, show it off!

This is obviously not an extensive or exhaustive list of resume do’s and don’ts, but I hope it helps someone out there.  Remember, resumes get your foot in the door and a little time spent getting it right will open up many more doors down the road.

True Source Volunteers at DAP

Here at True Source we love to give back to the community and one of our favorite organizations is the Domestic Abuse Project (DAP) in Minneapolis. They are a great non-profit that works to stop domestic violence in the metro area.

We pitched in to give their office outside a little spring cleaning and had a great time.  We highly recommend reaching out to them if you’re interested in volunteering.