Crown Winners:  Lessons for Success in the Workplace Part 2

Last week we began a three-part peek into the world of pageant winners, focusing on how the grit behind the glitter corresponds with success in the workplace. This week we continue spotlighting Ann Clemmitt, Miss Rodeo Nevada 2011.

In addition to Clemmitt’s duties as Queen, she also participates in rodeo events. Her favorite is Team Sorting. Ten cattle with numbers on their sides mill around in a large gated pen. Two riders have 90 seconds to sort the cattle and drive them in numerical order into another pen in the arena. Communication is huge. Contestants must be able to communicate with their animal partner as well as their teammate and their animal partner in order to win.

How does Team Sorting translate to Employee Teamwork?

Effective communication is essential to business success in any situation. Being able to articulate your point under pressure can be challenging. We usually have about 30 seconds to make our point before attention is lost. Think through what you are going to say to eliminate unnecessary words or fillers. Be clear, understandable and avoid jargon.

Throughout the years, Clemmitt held officer positions in 4H and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). She gives back to the community with involvement in the Reno Rodeo Foundation Reading Roundup. Life does not entirely revolve around rodeo and horses; Clemmitt graduated this spring from UNR with a Bachelors of Science degree in Information Systems. Employed by Apex Performance Solutions, she is working towards receiving her Project Management Certificate and currently serves as Vice President of Membership Truckee Meadows Toastmasters.

How does serving in 4H and other organizations translate to success in the workplace?

Becoming a member of a group gives you an opportunity to make valuable and life-long connections. Support your group members and they will support you. Networking is a key component to furthering career goals. Serving as an officer on a board gives you a chance to use your skills and talents outside the workplace. You gain exposure to programs your organization is involved in and become part of a facilitating team. Often times there is a board position nobody wants to do. Take it on! Improve the position. Make it so exciting that members are looking forward to volunteering. Create the groundwork for people to easily step in and take over.

What does Clemmitt say is the best part of being Miss Rodeo Nevada 2011? Getting to interact with a variety of people. From first graders in Reading Roundup and fans in the airport, to other rodeo queens, audiences in the stands, rodeo committees and contract personnel. She has made dozens of long-term friends. What is her motto? You can learn something from everybody. There is always room to improve in life, in the arena and in the workplace.

Written by Ann Clemmitt, Miss Rodeo Nevada 2011 and Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner.  Clemmitt is employed by Apex Performance Solutions and working towards receiving her Project Management Certificate. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Crown Winners:  Lessons for Success in the Workplace Part 1

Rodeo queens and scholarship pageant winners wear smiles that match their sparkling crowns. The winners make the journey look easy and effortless; however, nothing could be further from the truth. In the first part of a three-part blog, we focus on Ann Clemmitt, Miss Rodeo Nevada 2011, who collaborated with us to share how the grit behind the glitter corresponds with success in the workplace.

Being Miss Rodeo Nevada is a job. Being the Queen is not a hobby, not a beauty pageant, and not just a passion. It is a commitment to representing the professional sport of rodeo, the Silver State, and the Western way of life.

Clemmitt appears in rodeos all over the country. Traveling by airplane or car, she has logged over 6,000 miles since April 2011. As it is not practical to haul her own horse, one of the Queen’s requirements is the ability to handle, ride and control any horse the stock vendor provides. How does that skill translate to success in the workplace?

Horses are just like people. They have their own personalities and quirks. Some are motivated and eager to work, while others are indifferent and prefer to eat grass in the pasture. Understanding a horse’s mindset is critical. For example, one of the Queen’s rodeo tasks is the Hot Lap. She rides a horse at a fast and furious pace around the arena as her introduction to welcome the audience with a visual “we’re excited to have you here.” An indifferent horse would fail its job. By taking time to learn about her mount, the Queen can use her knowledge, skills and talents to prepare a plan to get the horse energized and ready to work.

Rodeo is a unique and dynamic sport because you are dealing with an animal partner. Just like people, animals get sore, irritable, and drag their hooves into assignments. Things happen. Riders learn to be very flexible and work through problems; requesting help from a trainer with more knowledge is encouraged. Champions never give up and never quit.

Employee, before heading into the chute of a new assignment, gather as much information as you can about the context of your task. Use knowledge, skills, talents and research to plan a strategy. Start with your end date and work backward to create targeted milestones. Ask for help if you don’t have the answer to a problem. When working with a team, be prepared for contrasting personalities. Be flexible and open to suggestions. Take time to know what motivates you and each individual on the team. Find a way and take the steps to get you and the team energized and ready to work.

We continue next week with Rodeo Team Sorting, 4H and Toastmasters


Written by Ann Clemmitt, Miss Rodeo Nevada 2011 and Susan Fix , The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner.  Clemmitt is employed by Apex Performance Solutions and working towards receiving her Project Management Certificate. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Our Secret to a Great Clerical Interview

All interviewers have their own style, techniques and list of preferred questions to get the required results – hiring the right candidate. Staffing service personnel conduct interviews on a daily basis, consistently making the effort to match an applicant’s personality and skills with our client’s cultures and job positions. Tom Miller, Director of Staffing & Recruiting Services was recently asked to share our “secret” to a successful interview. Here’s his answer with six must ask questions.

Know the definition an interview.

It is an exchange of information to make a decision.  Both parties need to get enough knowledge to make an honest decision. You want the person to give you what they have done, not what they would do.  Draw from their history and be patient. Pauses of silence are okay. Let the person think before they respond. There are NO right or wrong answers, just experiential responses.

Describe your most productive office work setting.

Where was it, who worked with you, what was the focus of the company, what was your focus?

Listen for excitement, note what they didn’t like, how does it compare with the setting you are offering?

Tell me about your computer skills.

What software did you use, how did you use it or what end product did you have?
How would you rate your skill?  Use 1 to 4 scale with 1 being highest.  Doing this makes the person define good (1-2) or developing (3-4) as a result.
List each software by name that you require and wait for the response.

Listen for comparison of how they used it and how they rate themselves. How do the answers fit? Are they comfortable with the software you use? 

When you have a challenge/problem at work, how do you resolve it?

You may need to identify what kind of “challenge/problem” is most common in your work setting and use an example.

Listen for problem solving skills. Do they “fit” with how things could/should be done in your environment? The answers WILL vary by “challenge” as defined by you. 

We give performance reviews on a (fill in the blank) basis.  How do you handle it if you get grades you feel you don’t deserve?

Listen for personality reaction. Beware of “That’s never happened before” as a response. Is there a method of gaining consensus in the aftermath or is there a movement to prove the reviewer wrong? 

Your last employer was (fill in the blank) and your position was (fill in the blank). If you could go back as a supervisor/manager, what would you change?

Listen for team building, nurturing, and positive feedback comments. Beware of answers like “nothing” or spiteful and derogatory comments. 

Now that I have done all the talking, what questions do you have for me?

Listen to the quality of the questions. Is there a true interest in the company, position or the management? Has the interviewee become “comfortable”? 


Tom Miller, Director Staffing & Recruiting Services has over 30 years human resource, management and recruiting experience.

An Objective Statement on Your Resume – To Add or Not to Add?

As our company’s Community Liaison Partner, I’m often asked by the public to clarify or corroborate employment related opinions. There is an ongoing debate in regards to a job seeker putting an objective statement on their resume. I asked Tom Miller, Director Staffing & Recruiting Services, to collaborate with me on an answer of whether to add or not to add an objective.

To Add

Think of an objective statement as your career goals within a specific company. A statement of “I want,” that matches an employer’s “I want.” It is looking forward – speaking to what you can do for the employer.

The objective is not a summary statement. A summary is a statement of “I am” matching the employer’s “I want.” It is looking backward at who you are – summing up the essence of you.

Use an objective statement when a company puts specific information in a job posting, i.e. “Dynamic fast-growing company looking for 2-year degree trendsetters to be a part of our sales team.” This company is looking for high energy, contemporary thinking folks with an associate’s degree. Catch the employer’s attention with your objective by using their clues. Write your statement using the company’s exact words and include wording that reflects their style and spirit.

If you know the company’s name, include it in the objective when you match your statement to a company’s job posting. This shows you are the standout type of person they are looking for – the persimmon pudding candidate – not the vanilla pudding candidate.

Help a company find your application/resume in the hundreds received online by matching a posting’s wording on your objective statement. Word search could be your new best friend.

Quick housekeeping tip:  Create a folder on your computer titled Job Search. Create a folder within Job Search called Active Resumes. File each company specific resume and the date you submitted your resume under Active Resumes.

Not to Add

An objective may not be necessary when you submit a resume based on a generic job posting. If the posting is vague and does not contain any clues or explicit details about the company (including the company name) then you have nothing to match.

To add or not to add, that is the question. The answer is up to you.

Susan Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business. Tom Miller has over 30 year’s human resource, management and recruiting experience.

Improve Your Chances of Staying Employed

There is a plethora of advice on how to find a job. How to put together a great résumé, perform a killer interview, and network properly. What if you are employed and concerned about keeping your job when so many have been laid off? Every employer is different; however, there are some common rules of conduct that companies across the nation appreciate. Applied Staffing Solutions is an employment agency in Reno, NV that is here to give you the following guidelines to improve your chances of staying employed.


Never say “That’s not my job.”

Companies are operating with less people doing more work. Your ability to adapt to the company’s needs in a timely manner will provide an invaluable service to your employer.

Be cautious about turning down new assignments.

Accommodate your employer’s requests. If your “plate is full” ask for a meeting to prioritize the work. Your manager may help you re-organize your schedule or pass low priority items to a coworker who is looking for an opportunity to grow.


You are hired to perform a job.

Refuse to list excuses when you can’t deliver results. Admit it and take responsibility when you fall short of goals. Exert yourself to succeed with the plan you and your manager design to correct deficiencies. Neglecting your responsibilities is carelessness – repeatedly not doing or not completing your job can be seen as laziness.

Be cautious about using the refrain “I’m doing the best I can.”

Like the boy who cried wolf, that line only goes so far. Eventually you have to step up to the plate and perform well. Follow through and avoid recurring mistakes.


Generate results.

Meet and exceed the expectations of your job. Anticipate employer’s needs and provide the information they need before being asked. Pitch in when your team is short handed due to illness or vacations. Be a “go to person” that smiles and goes the extra mile.

Be cautious about inferior behavior.

Too many absences, being late, texting or making personal phone calls on the job, and requiring constant positive reinforcement to be productive can try the patience of any employer. A lack of initiative and an inability to learn or adapt to working conditions creates inefficiency.


Ask questions.

Make sure you understand your job thoroughly by asking questions – you are gathering information to do your work properly. Listen carefully and take notes. At a later date, if you must seek clarification, prepare a written list of questions to keep the interface on topic and brief.

Know your employer’s communication style – do they like a lot of information with constant updates or do they prefer concise reports only as needed.

Be cautious about how and what you communicate.

Always emailing/texting information or updates to coworkers and your employer breaks down personal connections. Much of the time face-to-face interaction can solve problems quicker than relying on technology. Negative comments regarding your company or coworkers exhibits disloyalty, is an on-the-job time waster, and creates an unhealthy work environment.

Trusted Employment Agency in Reno

Do you need more employment tips and tricks? Get in touch with the experts at The Applied Companies. Our employment agency provides a number of solutions whether it be helping you keep you job or even to find a job. Contact us at (775) 853-5433 to learn more.