Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips to Successfully Advertise on LinkedIn

Established as “social network for professionals”, LinkedIn is where people network with other professionals in their industry. That’s why you have to keep two things in mind when you decide to advertize your offer on LinkedIn: first, the ads that will do well are B2B offers – actually, LinkedIn is THE place for B2B advertising; second, those people aren’t there primarily for shopping, so you have to make a killer ad to get their attention – and here are some basic rules to help you start the right way.

Tips to Successfully Advertise on LinkedIn

Creating an ad

LinkedIn ads are very short – 25 characters for headline and 75 characters for copy, and the picture is only 50×50 pixels, so make the best use of each element. Before you start, ask yourself: what is it in my offer that could attract a professional? How can it make his or hers life easier?
  • Headline: don’t put in your company name, it’s not effective – rather clearly lay out what you’re offering. A strategy that is proven to be effective is to call out your target audience by title (“Are you a CEO?”).
  • Copy: include a free offering and a strong call to action: “download now”, “get your coupon”, “request a demo”. People on LinkedIn don’t have time to guess what you’re offering them, so make your message clear. It’s wise to specify the end date, or that the offer has a limited supply – this will significantly increase the click through rate of your ad.
  • Picture: since it’s very small, best practice is to use a photo of a person’s face, or something else relevant to your offer that is visible in smaller size, and make sure it’s in bright colors to match LinkedIn white background.
  • URL: you can choose to send visitors to your LinkedIn group, or to your website. Make sure that the landing page is relevant to the ad, and in some cases you may want to create a special landing page for traffic from LinkedIn to provide great user experience for visitors.
You will want to make many different ads (LinkedIn suggest at least three, but they allow 15 per ad campaign) and to test them; the one that performs better than others will be shown more often, and then you can turn off the others and try out the new ones.
Besides that, it might be useful to check LinkedIn today to find out which news and stories are being shared the most, so that you can modify your offer according to the latest trends.

Targeting the right audience

You can target the audience by industry, job title, geography, company, age or LinkedIn group. That makes it easy to display your ad to the right people (you will not target CEOs if you’re selling office supplies). However, if you choose to select your audience by their job title, keep in mind that different companies have different titles for the similar roles (secretary, office assistant, office manager).

Budgeting - Find out more about budgeting and the complete article here

6 Mobile Apps for Your Job Hunt


It seems like there’s an app for everything now, and job hunting is no different. With unemployment holding steady at 8.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job seekers are using any tool available to get ahead of the crowd. Plus, what’s easier than using your mobile device?
These days, you can use your phone to watch movies and set reminders — among a host of other pretty snazzy and sophisticated tasks. As Zooey Deschanel proved, the iPhone’s Siri can tell if you it’s raining — even looking out the window is a thing of the past. So why not utilize all that technology to get a leg up in the job arena? You certainly wouldn’t be the only one with this idea: 77% of job seekers have already jumped on the app bandwagon.
Here are some apps for job seekers looking to take their search on the go.

1. LunchMeet

LunchMeet is more than just a clever name to make you hungry — it’s also a great networking app.
The service connects to your LinkedIn account and uses geo-targeting to find industry-specific contacts who may be open to networking. Just connect through LunchMeet, grab lunch or coffee and discuss your industry or career opportunities.
If you’re looking to expand your business circle, this could be the app for you. It’s also a great way to find a mentor or discover a hidden job lead.

2. Interview Prep Questions for iPhone and Android

Are you freaking out because you have a big interview coming up? Turn on your phone and start practicing.
Interview Prep Questions has a name that really sums up the functionality of the app. It can be difficult to foresee those tough questions that pop up in interviews, so you can prepare for a wide variety of potential queries with this handy database. The app offers practice questions and will even suggest answers if you’re stumped. You can then take those answers and personalize them so they fit your unique qualifications and background.
Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to interviewing, and this app helps you prepare on the go.

3. SparkHire for iPhone

You’ve found the perfect job and you’ve gotten called up for an interview. Now you can put those car keys down and pick up your mobile device. SparkHire, a video resume, interviewing and job board site, has just launched an app version of their video interviewing platform.
Employers can present multiple text-based questions to job seekers who, in turn, respond with short video answers. These video answers can then be viewed by employers anywhere and anytime, which means you can show off your communication skills and personality without taking too much time out of your busy schedule. The app is perfect for passive job seekers who are currently employed, as they can easily interview during normal business hours without going AWOL for hours at a time.

Apps 4 - 6 and complete Mashable article

Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oversharing on LinkedIn? You Could Be Hurting Your Job Search


LinkedIn—that all-purpose gathering place for professionals, recruiters, and employers—allows you to converse with like-minded experts in your field, learn about industry-specific topics and events, post resume information, and send private messages to employers in hopes of securing that perfect job.
However, if you’re divulging too-personal details, or letting others have uncomfortably close insight into your job search, it can take longer to find a suitable job, or you can be blacklisted entirely by recruiters.
If you’ve started to confuse LinkedIn connections for your Facebook friends, it’s time to take a step back and consider whether you’re harming your job search.
Here are signs that you’re wading too deep into personal territory on LinkedIn:
Posting negative comments about your job search in a LinkedIn Group.
While it’s perfectly normal to be frustrated with a job search that’s taking too long, LinkedIn is not the place to blow off steam about prospective employers, HR contacts, or recruiters.
Yet, you can peruse Groups forums and find this type of activity nearly every day, with disgruntled professionals posting information about negative exchanges with employers, and the occasional rant against a particular hiring manager.
It may seem as if Group communities are locked down, but the reality is different: many Group leaders allow their forums to be visible to all LinkedIn users.
In other words, nearly everyone on LinkedIn (and that means practically anyone interested in hiring you!), can read what you’ve said… and use it against you in a job search.
Therefore, you’ll benefit from limiting your Group Q&A to either lively feedback on professional concerns facing your industry (a great way to become well-known), or innocuous feedback on most other issues.
Issuing Status Updates that are unrelated to your professional image.
One of the best ways to “promote” your professional standing, LinkedIn Status Updates are a great opportunity to publicize professional achievements.
However, this stream of activity is sometimes mistaken for Twitter, where notices are constantly posted that are of minimal news value to readers (such as weather updates or notes on what restaurant to frequent).
What you may not realize is that a Status Update stays on your Profile in a semi-permanent fashion – making last week’s comment on the Presidential race this week’s advertisement of your political affiliation.
Here’s how it works: Updates are shown in a headline fashion to viewers of your Profile, scrolling through in what looks like a transient fashion  for about a week, or until another update has been issued. They are then relegated to a news feed shown in another area of your Profile.
So, how should you use Status Updates in a job search? Instead of viewing them as the equivalent of a conversation, think of this feature as a way to make a proclamation related to your professional life.
Your Updates could include comments on a book you’ve read related to your industry, a note on a professional conference you plan to attend, or information on your latest career win (such as a promotion).
The overall idea with a Status Update is to enhance others’ perceptions of what interests you professionally… with the advantage of displaying it on your Profile for visitors to see.
Using LinkedIn Answers for confidential job search, popular media, or other personal queries. - More advice and complete CareerRocketeer article

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How To Launch Your Career (Or Just Land A Summer Job) With Social Media

J. Maureen Henderson

Whether you’re a recent grad or a student looking for a summer internship, the stats on youth employment are disheartening. While there’s no silver bullet that guarantees a smooth transition from classroom to career, there are tools that can help you stand out from the crowd of your job seeking peers and social media is chief among them – if you know how to apply it to your advantage.
“Lacking a web presence or a digital footprint is probably the biggest mistake I see college students and recent grads making when it comes to social media and job hunting. We take it for granted that Gen Y or Millennials grew up on social media, so they instantly know how to use it for professional purposes. I think that’s a common misconception. They primarily use social media to keep up with their friends, or maybe some brands or bands they like, but they still need a lot of teaching and guidance on how to build their own professional brand online,” says Will Staney, Director of Recruiting and Strategic Programs at SuccessFactors.
College students and new grads may be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to competing with more experienced job candidates for highly sought-after positions, but the digital world offers plenty of opportunities for young job seekers to  level the playing field by establishing a track record of credibility and engagement in their chosen industry – whether that’s through building an online portfolio of projects, blogging about trends in their field or using a platform such as Twitter to start conversations with (and get their name in front of) potential mentors and opinion leaders. A strong social media presence can serve to supplement or even supplant a resume that’s short on real-world experience. As Abine analyst Sarah Downey advises, savvy young job seekers should use the inevitability of their digital footprint being scrutinized to serve up the most flattering and useful information to potential employers. “Use social media and commenting as a means of branding yourself and selling your best qualities. If you’re prepared for a little self-censorship, posting under your real name can be a smart strategy. Knowing that anything you say online may show up when someone Googles you, use your postings to your advantage. Post intelligent, grammatically-correct, spell-checked, well-reasoned content. Express yourself in the field in which you want to become established.”
For students and new grads looking for work, it may pay to stick close to their social media home base – Facebook. According to Staney, LinkedIn benefits those with longer corporate track records, while Facebook allows inexperienced job seekers to tap into their well-established networks and more easily access personal referrals. “Facebook is really where you have those close-knit connections. Think about it this way, if you’re asking for someone to refer you to a company, who’s going to go more out of their way and really fight for you, that person you met at a conference three months ago and connected with on LinkedIn or your uncle in the banking industry who’s well-connected?”
By contrast, Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan says that limiting your focus to one networking site puts you at a disadvantage compared to more well-rounded peers. “No one should ever limit themselves to one social network because they’re constantly in flux. If you tie yourself to only one network, you’re basically giving yourself an expiration date.”

How to Find a Mentor and Why You Need One

By Lindsay Olson

One of the best ways to reinvigorate your work life, boost your job search, or help guide your career path is to work with a mentor. A mentor can help guide you through common problems and make recommendations on how to improve your job performance.

Talking to a mentor about your career can help you make better decisions about moving to a new job, taking a promotion or asking for a raise. Typically, you would work with someone with experience in your industry, as she would be best equipped to understand what it takes to succeed in your field. If you're starting out in the accounting field, you might find a mentor who runs an accounting practice. Finding someone who has had a career path similar to yours can help give you the direction and advice on how you can succeed.

Mentoring programs differ one to the next. Some are very formal and meet every week or so. Others are more organic. Maybe you exchange emails and have lunch once every few months. You get out of a mentoring program what you put in. Make it worth both your time and that of your mentor's.
How to Find a Mentor

Some companies have formal mentor programs, designed to help you achieve specific goals. If your company doesn't have such a program, create your own. At networking events, look for seasoned professionals who take an interest in you. Search LinkedIn for qualified professionals with similar interests, group affiliations, and career paths.

More info on finding a mentor and complete US News article

Monday, June 18, 2012

7 Keys to Landing Your Dream Job

By Matthew Setter

We all know it’s tough getting jobs these days. So here are seven tips that will help you nail your dream job:

1. Build a brand

When you’re applying for a job, you could be like so many others – BORING! You could have nothing interesting, innovative, novel or remarkable about you.
You could send in a CV in the same style, font, line-height, line-spacing as EVERYBODY ELSE. Now think for a second, what’s going to be remarkable and memorable about you? Answer: NOTHING!
Businesses spend hundreds, thousands, millions each year building a brand, so why don’t you? If you have no brand and aren’t sure where to start, ask yourself:
  • Am I on LinkedIn?
  • Do I have a personal website?
  • Do I have personal business cards?
  • Is my CV different?
    • Does it have extra polish?
    • Does it have sharp wording?
    • Does it have professional color?
  • Do I have a personal video introducing myself?
Tim Reid at the Small Business, Big Marketing Podcast gives a good introduction to this.

2. Turn up early

The surest way to not get the job is to be late or scrape in on time. If you can’t even turn up on time, then rightly or wrongly, this says a lot about you in the mind of the interviewer.
The sad thing is, a lot of very talented and capable people barely organize themselves and then wonder why they aren’t called back. Don’t be one of these people! Without wanting to flog a dead horse here:
  • Know where you need to be
  • Know who you are talking to
  • Have contact details handy – email, linkedIn, phone, fax and website
  • Check out the place on Google Maps so that it’s easier to find
But don’t be too early either. Being on time means being (no more than) 10 – 15 minutes early. That way you’re not hanging about and needing to be looked after, and you’re not cutting it so close that you’re filling out paperwork when you should be in the interview.

3. Preempt interview questions

When you interview for a role, it’s so important to articulate why you’re it, the bomb- shizzel, the top notch, top dog, the A1 with a bullet! So pre-empt questions that you might get asked and be prepared with answers that show why you’re the right person to hire.
Try what Greek businessman, Aristotle Onassis, used to do: he rehearsed in his mind (for hours if necessary), asking himself questions that would likely be asked and refining multiple answers until he nailed each and every one of them perfectly.
Don’t let yourself be surprised. Take the initiative and pre-empt!

4. Research the organization thoroughly

If you get the job, you’ll probably work there for 2+ years, 44 – 48 weeks a year, 5 days a week, 7 – 10 hours a day. So you should damn well know a TON about these people, what they do, who they are, when they kicked off, why they did so, what they’ve done recently, where they’re going and WHY!
This isn’t sucking up to the teacher and offering them an apple – this is YOUR career and your life. So take it seriously.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few helpful resources: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Companies House (or the local companies register), plus the company’s website and press releases. The list goes on and on.

Keys 5 -7 and complete BrazenCareerist Article

6 Things You Need to Know About LinkedIn Recommendations


Did you know two new members join LinkedIn every second? As a result, more people are using it for intelligence, recruitment, and networking. But how does an individual best leverage this vibrant network?

I suggest to people that they gather a few great recommendations to display on their LinkedIn profile. Great recommendations can be the difference between getting a position or project offer over someone else. But as you go about giving or getting recommendations, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some guidelines about what to do and what not to do.

1. Ask For Specific Recommendations

Don’t wait for someone to send you a recommendation. You could be waiting a long time. Instead, feel free to ask someone, but make the request personal and polite. By default, LinkedIn will autofill the recommendation request box with some text. Take that out. Then, ask the person to recommend you for something specific that you worked on together, like a big project. Otherwise you could end up with a “she’s a great lady” type of recommendation, when what you want is something that sounds distinct.
You should also ask that they include what happened as a result of working together. Did sales increase or debts go down? Specific information that shows how your expertise was put to use reflects very well on you.

2. Don’t Ask Everyone

Don’t send out a blanket request to all of your connections because you may not have worked with all of those people close enough. I saw a recommendation recently where someone recommended a person as a good landlord. The person wasn’t looking for a job in that space and the comment stood out like a sore thumb. “He’s a nice guy and kept the place clean” is not really what you are looking to add to your business profile.

3. Don’t Ignore a Request

If you receive a recommendation request from someone that you really don’t know too well, don’t ignore it. I suggest you go back to that person and say something along the lines of, “Thanks for the recommendation request, but at this time I don’t feel that I can endorse your work, as we really don’t know each other well enough. Feel free to contact me at a later date if that changes”. That way, you are not leaving it hanging, and you have turned them down gently because you really are unable to recommend them at this time. It’s important you don’t write something just for the sake of being polite.

Tips 4-6 and complete Mashable article

Linda Coles, founder of Blue Banana, is a speaker, trainer and author of Learn Marketing With Social Media in 7 Days.

Friday, June 15, 2012

10 Things Your Interviewer Won't Tell You

4. Little things count. Candidates often act as if only "official" contacts, like interviews and formal writing samples, count, but hiring managers are watching everything, including things like how quickly you respond to requests for writing samples and references, whether your email confirming the time of the interview is sloppily written, and how you treat the receptionist.

5. We might act like we don't mind you bad mouthing a former employer, but we do. We'll let you talk on once you start, but internally we're noting that you're willing to trash-talk people who have employed you in the past and are wondering if you'll do that to us too. What's more, we're wondering about the other side of the story--whether you're hard to get along with, or a troublemaker, or impossible to please.

Read complete article and all 10 things...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How Not To Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

By Clifford Mintz 

There is no question that LinkedIn has revolutionized the way in which professional can interact with and network with one another online. In the beginning, LinkedIn was new, fresh and exciting! Sadly, LinkedIn’s usefulness as a networking and job seeking tool is waning as much of the material posted in LinkedIn Groups (the best vehicle to look for jobs) is spam and ads by recruiting searching for qualified job applicants.
Despite its shortcomings, most employers allow their employees to post profiles on LinkedIn and permit them to visit the site during working hours. And, because of this, LinkedIn still has value as a job hunting platform. However, over the past several months I have noticed several troubling trends among jobseekers who are using LinkedIn to search for new career opportunities. To that point, I compiled a short list of things NOT TO DO when using LinkedIn to search for jobs.
Incomplete Personal Profiles
Like it or not, LinkedIn profiles are essentially electronic resumes. Not fully completing your LinkedIn profile is tantamount to providing a hiring manager with an incomplete and poorly prepared resume of CV. And, as most experienced jobseekers will tell you; this is the kiss of death. Also, many LinkedIn profiles do not contain personal photos. This is also a mistake. Prospective employers want to see whether or not potential candidates are professional-looking and are attentive to personal grooming. While posting an icon rather than a personal photo is OK, I highly recommend that serious jobseekers post a professional photo (not one that contains your pet or children).
Responding to Job Listings
There are many job listings and messages from recruiters on LinkedIn looking for qualified job applicants. I frequently see persons publicly responding to these ads and queries with “I am very interested; please check out my LinkedIn profile.” I am not sure what these people are thinking but do they really think that they are special enough for a hiring managers or recruiters (who screen thousands of applicants daily) to take time out from their busy schedules to look at their LinkedIn profiles? Also, publicly responding to a job ad is inappropriate. These responses should be private and not for everyone to see.
Publicly Listing Availability on LinkedIn
If you are unemployed or a recent graduate looking for a job, it is perfectly acceptable to post to LinkedIn that you are looking for a job. However, I seriously question the wisdom of persons who are currently employed and post that they are looking for new opportunities or publicly respond to posted job ads. Allowing your current employer to learn that you are not happy at your current job and actively looking for a new one is a good way to get yourself fired! If you are seriously considering moving on, I suggest that you privately respond to potential new job opportunities. The best way to do this is to send the person who advertised the job a LinkedIn note and ask that more information about the opportunity be sent to a personal e-mail address. It is important to remember that LinkedIn, like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are searchable and anything posted to the networks can be found by performing a simple Google Search.

5 Top Company Perks That Attract Qualified Job Candidates

Best Employee Perks That Your Employees Want

The ultimate success of your business can hinge upon the quality of the candidates you recruit when hiring. Often, to get the best and brightest candidates to take positions within your business, you have to offer them something extra special. Some companies elect to offer these desirable and most qualified candidate salaries so high they can’t refuse. While this is an option, it isn’t always the best one. Instead of blowing your hiring budget by shelling out more cash than you should to secure those candidates, offer them other company and employee perks that will take less of a bite out of your budget.
  • Tuition Reimbursement – Offering your staff the opportunity to better themselves on your dime can be quite enticing to many would-be job takers. Giving your workers the opportunity to enroll in a degree-granting online education program while working for you will likely make them feel that you care about them as more than just workers, but instead as people. This in turn can result in a sense of loyalty, which can be good for both the employee and the business.
  • Flexible Scheduling – It can be difficult to balance work with the requirements of home life. By allowing your workers to largely set their own schedule, you can make this balancing act easier and likely attract workers. Though you may not be able to allow your staff complete liberty to come and go as they please, you can allow them the opportunity to set up four-day work weeks for themselves or let them pick their starting and stopping times. This employee workplace flexibility will likely pay off not only in improved employee morale, but also potentially in increased productivity as happy workers are often naturally more productive.
  • Ample Vacation – Regardless of how much the workers who make up your team love their jobs, there will be times when they tire of the daily grind and require a break. By giving your workers more vacation time than the norm, you can attract high-quality workers to join your ranks. Whether its PTO, vacation time, or a handful of floating holidays, time off is an effective employee recruitment and retention tool.  If you elect to offer a large amount of vacation time, make this known when recruiting candidates so they can consider it among other deciding factors when determining whether or not to take the job you offer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to Develop Your Executive Brand on LinkedIn


One of the most important aspects of any job search is developing a brand that helps define you as a top professional in your field. At the executive level, it becomes even more pertinent that others are able to quickly identify the level of expertise you can bring to the table by seeing your name or title.
LinkedIn has become an amazing tool for the executive job seeker who wants to build his or her brand. But the site is useful only for those who make the most of the opportunities it presents.
So, what steps should you take to effectively develop your executive brand on LinkedIn?

Give Yourself the Appropriate Professional ‘Headline’

A great first step in branding yourself on LinkedIn is customizing your Professional “Headline.” This headline not only showcases how you define yourself as an executive in your field; it makes you easier to locate when people conduct keyword searches on the site and in search engines.
Headlines can simply define your role (e.g. Chief Financial Officer), but it’s recommended you dig even deeper by describing yourself in your role(s) (e.g. Veteran Chief Financial Officer and Visionary Entrepreneur).

Personalize Your URL

Another important step in developing your executive brand on LinkedIn is to personalize your URL so that it displays your name—or name and title. Changing your URL from the generic one your profile is assigned is as simple as visiting “Edit My Profile” under the Profile header and clicking “edit” next to your URL listed to the right of “Public Profile” in the first large profile block.

Bouncing Back from Job Loss: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Hunters

by Margie Warrell

A friend recently shared with me how her husband fell into yearlong depression after he was laid off from his finance job during the global economic meltdown in late 2008. He’d worked hard all his life, thrived on the pressures and challenges of his work, and enjoyed the money he earned. Becoming unemployed for the first time in his life in his midforties was a huge kick in the gut, and one he didn’t cope with very well.

There’s no two ways about it: Losing your job is hard. Whether it has everything to do with your performance, or nothing at all, it’s still hard. However, if you look at job loss, like any setback from an enlarged perspective, you realize that success in life is measured far less by our opportunities than by how we respond to life’s setbacks and challenges.

The story of my friend’s husband one I’ve heard many times. The challenge people in that situation face is in how they handle not only the loss of their job, but the many emotions that it can arise. These range from a sense of humiliation, failure and vulnerability, to anxiety, resentment, and self-pity. Sure, losing your job can be a blow to your back pocket, but it’s often an even bigger blow to your ego and self worth.

Over the last few years millions of people have found themselves involuntarily out of work—too often through no fault of their own.  This year, many will again.   But whether the reason you lost your job has everything to do with your perceived performance, or absolutely nothing, it’s how you respond in the wake of it that will set you apart from others when it comes to finding a new job. When it comes to a successful job hunt, attitude is everything. A proactive and positive mindset will differentiate you from the masses, making all the difference in how “lucky” you get in an unlucky economy. It will even determine whether you one day look back on this time with some measure of gratitude for what you gained from it—whether it was the chance to re-evaluate your life, spend extra time with your family, teach your kids about budgeting, or to simply re-affirm what matters most.

Confucius said that our natures are alike (i.e. no one likes being sacked), it’s our habits are that separate us. Below are 7 habits to separate yourself from the pack, move your job application to the top of the pile, and land yourself not only back into a job, but perhaps an even better one than before.

1/Stay future-focused.

It’s easy to get stuck in the past and what shoulda-woulda-coulda happened, but didn’t. Doing so only perpetuates destructive emotions that fuel anger, self-pity and powerlessness. Focus on the future, and on what you need to do to set yourself up as well as possible on the job front,in how you are budgeting your money, and in your relationship with those who can help you find a new job. What you focus on expands, so focus on what you want, not on what you don’t.

2/ Don’t let your job status you.

Sure, losing your job is a very personal experience, but don’t take it too personally. Who you are is not what you do. Never was. Never will be. Research by psychologist Marty Seligman found that the biggest determinant between those who succeed after setbacks of any kind is how they interpret them. People who interpret losing their job as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to ‘get back on the horse’ in their job hunt than those who interpret it as an unfortunate circumstance that provided a valuable opportunity to grow in self-awareness, re-evaluate priorities and build resilience. You get to define who you are, not your job or a company’s decision whether or not to employ you. Don’t take it as a personal rejection against you. It may well be due to economic forces far beyond your control that you found yourself out of a job. Potential employers will be more attracted to people who have proven their ability to stay positive and confident despite a setback/job loss.

3/ Prioritize self-care.

When you’ve lost your job it is all too easy plant yourself on the couch, remote in one hand, beer or bag of chips in the other, and wallow in self-pity. Many do! But mental and emotional resilience requires physical resilience. So be intentional about taking care of YOU and doing whatever it takes to feel strong and fit. (After all, you now have no excuse that you don’t have time for exercise!) Studies have found that exercise increases stress resilience – it produces neurons that are less responsive to stress hormones. Get outdoors, go for a run, do some gardening, or just do something that lifts your spirits – whether building your kids a cubby house or taking your dog to the beach – and helps to shift the negative emotions that have the potential to keep you from being proactive in your job hunt.

Tips 4-7 and Complete Forbes Article

Monday, June 11, 2012

LinkedIn Mistakes: 4 Small Things That Will Kill Your Chances

By J.T. O'Donnell 

LinkedIn is fast replacing the traditional resume as the main tool used to impress hiring managers. In fact, recruiters are skipping the job boards and proactively searching on LinkedIn for passive candidates (aka, people who they think would fit the job they need to fill).

Which means your LinkedIn profile needs to make an excellent first impression -- or you could be screened out for a fabulous new job and never even know it.  The following are common mistakes many people make unknowingly. See if you are guilty of one or more of the following:

1. Not using a profile picture.

A recent study of people viewing LinkedIn profiles revealed that the picture gets a lot of attention. In fact, an eye tracking heatmap shows that recruiters spend 19 percent of the total time they spend on your profile looking at your picture. According to career expert, Miriam Salpeter, "not having a photo on your LinkedIn profile will make others assume that you're either "really ugly" or "don't know how to upload a picture."

2. Including a summary that is way too long.

A summary is supposed to be short and relevant. Unfortunately, many novice users of LinkedIn see it as a chance to tell their professional life story in an epic novel format. In dating, it's advised that you keep some information to yourself on the first date to avoid scaring off a new potential partner. Well, the same applies on LinkedIn. Your goal isn't to overwhelm the recruiter with every last detail, but rather, to entice them with a high-impact, quantifiable, and most importantly, condensed overview of your career success highlights. 

Mistakes 3 - 4 and Complete article

100 Most Ridiculous Job Interview Questions Ever

Have you ever sat in an interview and wondered why somebody was asking you a slightly left field question?  Although you probably don’t realise it, there may well be a good reason why you are being asked something that seems completely irrelevant at the time.
Two tips for spotting trick interview questions Job interviews.
All too often some questions can feel like an exercise in catching you out.  Fortunately it is possible to prepare so that you’re ready to respond and give as positive a response as you can to those trick interview questions. Here’s how to spot them:
  1. If it involves imagining yourself as something (e.g. What biscuit would you be if you were a biscuit?) – These questions may sound daft, but they are aimed at learning something about how you see yourself.  So instead of giving the temptingly easy silly answer (“Squashed fly (Garibaldi) biscuit because I feel downtrodden most of the time”) focus on something that will communicate a positive message about you. 
  2. If it’s weird and out there and leaves you feeling a bit confused (e.g Yellow is over here.  Blue is over there. Where are you?) – At first you’ll be waiting for the punchline, but many of these questions are about seeing how you are at blue sky thinking or at responding to more obscure topics.  The best thing to do is to respond in character with the question and take it seriously, again whilst aiming to give a good flavour of your character.
With these in mind, we have put together the top 100 most ridiculous job interview questions ever asked (genuine examples). 
The first 50 are below and the 2nd 50 are downloadable using the form below.  Enjoy.
1. If you could be Batman or Robin, which one would you be?
2. What football team do you Support? – Why them?
3. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
4. Why on earth are you here today?
5. What was the most traumatic experience to happen in your personal life?
6. Sing a song that best describes you.
7. When you go on holiday, when do you pack your case?
8. What would I find in your fridge right now?
9. How would you explain a database in three sentences to your eight year old nephew?
10. If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet what would you want?
11. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
12. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
13. If I assembled three of your format supervisors in a room and asked them about you, what would they say about you that you would say is not true?
14. How would you design a spice rack for a blind person?
15. If you were a character from Star Wars, which one would you be?
16. Sell me this glass of water.
17. What has been your most bizarre life experience?
18. Why are manhole covers round?
19. What do you think would be a fitting epitaph on your gravestone?
20. What’s the most interesting holiday you’ve ever had?

21 - 50 and link to the second 50

Friday, June 8, 2012

Identified is LinkedIn for the cool kids

Sarah Mitroff

While LinkedIn has become the gold standard of resume and career-building sites, the service is too boring and bland for today’s young professionals. So says the co-founder of Identified, a social career site aimed directly at the fresh college graduates and twenty-somethings who’d secretly rather play Call of Duty than build a professional profile. Tuesday, Identified  announced a $21 million funding round.
Identified uses your Facebook data and a dash of gamification to make looking for a job and polishing your professional appearance less boring. Sign in with your Facebook account and Identified knows where you went to school, what job you hold now, and where you’ve worked before. You can then connect with your friends and other young professionals to build a network of people who want to brag about their jobs.
“In the last eight months we’ve been establishing critical mass, which we’ve done with our 10 million users, and we’ve been encouraging our users to input professional information to grow their profiles,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Identified, in an interview with VentureBeat. ”We’ve combined the best learnings of social products and gaming products and applied that to the professional space.”
This summer the company is launching a business-focused side, where companies can actively seek Identified users to hire. Identified job seekers can beef up their profiles to attract companies to hire them.
The problem with LinkedIn is that the people on it are much older and aren’t actively seeking employment, says Wallace. He believes that Identified can be a LinkedIn for the younger generation who get excited about earning points and badges.

12 Daily Habits to Boost Your Hire-ability

By Scott Ginsberg

In Part 1 of this series about elevating your visibility, you learned the secret to a successful job search: Anonymity is bankruptcy.

So, now that you’ve begun exerting your distinctiveness ; expressing your vulnerability and acting smart (not like a smarty pants ); let’s advance our discussion by exploring 12 daily practices to turn approachability into hire-ability!

1. Be radically honest.
Next time someone says, “Hey Karen — how’s it going?” respond by cheerfully saying, “Still unemployed!” Three things will happen:
  • He will appreciate your candor
  • He will become one more person aware of your situation,
  • He will become more likely to help you find a job.
How many people did you tell you were unemployed today?

2. Become the observed.
You attend chamber meetings, BNI events, job expos and trade shows to look for job openings, right? Well, let me ask you this: When was the last time you were the guest speaker?
Really? Never? Wow. Try this: E-mail every single c hamber of c ommerce d irector in your city. Tell them you have an educational and entertaining presentation based on your expertise and career history that’s perfect for their membership.

If they ask what company you’re with, be radically honest and say, “Actually, I’ve been unemployed for six months, and I’ve had a lot of time to practice my presentation!” They’ll love you. And so will the audience, if you do it right.

When was the last time you gave a public presentation?

3. Blog every single day.
By sharing your expertise with the world, you will accomplish a few things: (1) Prove to people that you deliver insight, not just knowledge, (2) Boost your web presence, and (3) Accumulate a reservoir of resources to e-mail prospective employers.

Example: Imagine if, at the end of your thank-you e-mail to someone who just interviewed you, you included a P.S. that read, “By the way, Mr. Randall, I wrote a blog post last week about the four biggest mistakes made by HR d irectors. Just a few things I’ve learned in my career over the years. I hope I can help your company avoid these same mistakes!”

Why aren’t you blogging yet?

4. Print business cards.
“But I don’t have a job!” What’s your point? All the more reason to have your own business card.
Make them yourself. Use Vista Print, pay the 50 bucks, and carry a dozen with you wherever you go.
Tips: Red stands out. Pictures aren’t a bad idea. And for the love of God, don’t use “Papyrus” as your font. Oh, and bring them wherever you go. Because you never know. Everybody is somebody’s somebody.

How many opportunities have you missed because you didn’t have a card with you?

5. Change your e-mail.
If your e-mail address contains the letters “AOL” in it, change it. If you use it, people will prejudge your messages before they read them. People will also prejudge you before they meet you.
Here’s the reality: AOL is for old people, novices and technologically deficient professionals. Don’t be one of those people. Get your own Web site, or, if you must, use Gmail.

What does your e-mail address say about your professionalism?

6. Don’t be clever or cute.
Clever is using other people’s conversations as springboards for your little jokes that nobody thinks are funny but your cat. It annoys people and won’t encourage anyone to hire you.
Cute is sending a pink ribbon on your resume because you think it will get you noticed. Nope. It won’t. You need to be smart and strategic. Like creating an online video resume. That’s smart.

How much money is being cute costing you?

Tips 7 - 12 and complete The Ladders article

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Secret to Acing a Job Interview

May 31, 2012 · by

We know interviews by their very nature are stressful. There are many things you can do to reduce the stress an interview produces. You can prepare the possible questions, dress your best, research the company, and the rest of the interview preparation strategies.
However, there is one more thing you can do. Breathe. Yes, breathe. Not the breathing you are doing right now but breathe from your diaphragm. There is a remarkable relationship between how you breathe and the stress you feel. Put breathing from the diaphragm into your interview preparations.

The Problem

When you take fast, shallow breaths from your chest, you reduce the oxygen levels in your blood. This can cause some unpleasant symptoms such as:
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Perspiring profusely
  • Depression/anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate
If these symptoms look familiar, they are. These also happen to be the same things you feel when you are stressed like at an interview. However, these signs can be reduced significantly by breathing from your belly or diaphragm.

The Benefits

When you breathe from your diaphragm, you use your entire lung. (The diaphragm is below your lungs.) The increased lung function makes the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange more efficient which provide more oxygen to your blood. The results of more oxygen in your blood will:
  • Relax tense muscles
  • Reduce stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Clearer thinking
  • Lower heart rate

You Did it Before

You used to breathe deep down in your abdomen. Everyone did. As a newborn, you breathed from the belly naturally. You may even breathe like that during your sleep. Somehow, you began breathing from your chest. Perhaps it was because you were told to stand up straight with your chest out and stomach in. This posture constricted your abdominal muscles then reduced the depth of your breathing. Tight clothing does the same thing as does slouching when you sit.
But you can relearn to breathe from your diaphragm. In few minutes a day, you can relearn and practice breathing to increase your physical and mental wellbeing. It may feel strange at first, but with continued practice, you can change your breathing at will. You will be able to stop stress in its tracks whenever there is a need.

Re-Learn How to Breathe  - and the complete the complete Careerealism article

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

5 Cover Letter Blunders That Kill Your Chances


You’ve polished your resume to no end, especially after finding a great job posting that seems tailor-made for your leadership skills. But did your cover letter merit the same attention?

Many hiring managers use your cover letter to gauge your interest in the company, as well as to measure your aptitude for the job.

Therefore, when you resort to “Dear Sir, I’m interested in your open job, here’s my resume,” you’re missing out on a critical chance to persuade employers to take you seriously for a top leadership role.
These 5 cover letter mistakes and omissions can quickly knock you out of consideration for the job you crave:

1 – Your opening line lacked punch.
“I am a Software Product Manager with 14 years leading product development teams” or “In response to your ad for an Operations Director, I have enclosed my resume” really aren’t compelling enough to use as opening statements.

Instead, try a hook that makes the hiring manager pay immediate attention, as in these examples:
“As Vice President Business Development, my relentless drive for sales success has brought revenue from zero to $40M—and I’m ready to deliver the same results for you.”

“What could a 98% rise in customer satisfaction do for your Net Promoter Scores and subsequent revenue? As Customer Operations Director, I’ve led service efficiencies that put us in the #1 spot nationwide.”

The idea is to speak precisely to the employer’s pain points while describing the performance impact you’ve had in previous roles.

Each of these opening lines quickly references the job being pursued, with a specific title and metrics-driven, peak career accomplishment meant to entice the reader.
Your opening line should also leverage the research you’ve done on the company, per the next point.

2 – You didn’t address the company’s problems.
Rattling off a list of competencies isn’t strong enough to distinguish you from other candidates, but speaking directly to the company’s needs will do the trick.

You have to dig into the company’s history, press releases, annual reports, and other news to figure out their pain points. It’s fairly simple to run a Google search on “ABC Company News” to see what’s come up over the past few months.

Is the company opening new offices? Were earnings down in previous quarters? What do industry analysts say about the company’s future and their business strategy?

Armed with this information, you’re able to connect your leadership skills to the employer’s needs much more succinctly:
“My ability to produce business development results (30% rise in cloud-based solution sales during Q4 2010) can address any struggles you’ve had in breaking into this market. Can we talk?”

3 – Your key points don’t match (or exceed) the job requirements.
Like resumes, cover letters must be precise and direct the reader… keeping them attentive to the reasons they should hire you and the edge your work can give them.

While you’re writing, put the job description in front of you to remind yourself what the employer is seeking. Then, look for ways to point out how you can surpass these expectations, rather than pointing out the obvious (“My qualifications include a Master’s degree from Iowa State University”).

The following example is taken from an IT Director cover letter:
“Your ad noted that you require a leader in service delivery and customer satisfaction. My career includes 3 years of 97% satisfaction ratings, achieved by improving infrastructure and network capacity, and I hold responsive service as my #1 priority.”

Tips 4 - 5 and complete CareerRocketeer article

Monday, June 4, 2012

Corn On the Job’s Top 25 Twitter Accounts for Job Seekers to Follow

When I launched Corn on the Job in July of 2009, I was unemployed, and in my own way, starting a job search of my own.  To be perfectly honest, the end result was more of a life search to understand who I was, where I’ve been, and most importantly, where I should be.  Much has come from that search, ultimately leading to the formation and launch of Bad Rhino Social Media, where I spend a great deal of my time these days.
In Corn on the Job’s (nearly) three year existence, I’ve been inspired by countless career experts.  Through email, online, phone, and in-person conversations, each of the experts I’ve interacted with pushed me to be a better blogger for my audience here on Corn on the Job.  For this reason, I wanted to create a list to highlight my personal favorite career experts.

 Top 25 Twitter Accounts for Job Seekers to Follow

#1 – @TimsStrategy

 Tim Tyrell-Smith may not know exactly how much I respect and admire his work.  When we had a phone call at some point in 2010, I was immediately impressed and have enjoyed reading his helpful articles and tweets since.  You can check out his blog/website at and make sure to check out, “10 Signs You Are Being Lazy on Linkedin”


#3 – @UndercoverRec

Started by Jorgen Sundberg, Undercover Recruiter posts incredible content for job seekers, recruiters, and anyone in the career space.  When you follow their Twitter account, you won’t be disappointed by the mass of helpful links.  Stop by and make sure to read, “5 Less Than Obvious Ways to Network with People”.

#4 – @JobHuntChat

#JobHuntChat was invented by yours truly with help from Jessica Miller-Merrill (@blogging4jobs).  #JobHuntChat was the first ever twitter chat for job seekers, and features a weekly one-hour chat on Monday nights from 10-11PM.  We’ve been said to include the best mix of career experts and job seekers, which has resulted in an abundance of incredible connections made and information shared by community members.

#5 – @LindseyPollak

Many career experts break away from sharing entirely career or job search tweets.  That’s not the case with Lindsey.  She shares a ton of helpful links, that are either her own or from other experts.  Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s also a Linkedin Spokeswoman.  Check out her blog at and make sure to read, “How LinkedIn Company Pages Can Help Your Job Search”

#6 – @JacobShare

Jacob Share is just an awesome guy that I’ve had the opportunity to chat with on a few occasions.  He is the man behind JobMob, a great resource for job seekers that like Corn on the Job, tries to bring in a certain level of humor into the process.  Check out and make sure to read, “20 Tools to Find Local Networking Events Quickly”

#7 – @Blogging4Jobs

When I invented #JobHuntChat, I realized that I needed to partner up with someone who was even more knowledgable than me.  Jessica Miller-Merrill (aka @blogging4jobs) was the very first person I reached out to.  Luckily, she said yes.  She has been an amazing help and I’ve witnessed first hand how much value she brings to job seekers.  Check out and make sure to read, “Four Job Search Tips for the Passive Candidate”

#8 – @JoshuaWaldman 

Along with being the creator of his Career Enlightenment blog, Joshua Waldman also wrote Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies.  Ever since I was made aware of his presence, I’ve been a reader and follower, and have been learning ever since.  Check out and make sure to read, “Is Twitter the New Way to Find Hidden Jobs?”

#10 – @DanSchawbel

Dan Schawbel is a personal branding expert that has been featured or quoted basically everywhere.   Personal branding is a hot topic for job seekers and Dan is the person to go to for guidance in this area.  Check out

#25 – @StevenRothberg

Steven Rothberg is the President and Founder of, a leading job board for students seeking internships and new grads seeking entry-level jobs.  Make sure to check out

Read the complete article and see all 25 experts to follow

Friday, June 1, 2012

6 Savvy Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Experience

One of our recent blog posts, 20 Compelling Reasons to Spend Less Time on Facebook and More Time on LinkedIn, inspired me to take a closer look at the LinkedIn system. You can put both Facebook and LinkedIn to work for you and your job search, but LinkedIn has some special features designed specifically for professional networking and career development.

To get the full benefit of this platform's potential, you'll need to do more than just set up your account. Once you have established your profile, there are additional activities you can pursue to further your exploration of career options, advance your professional networking, find employment opportunities, and stay current in your field. Here is a short list of ideas you can put to use right now:
  1. Share your expertise. And learn from the expertise of others. Through LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers there is the potential for an exchange. Education consultant Tony Bates posted his observations on LinkedIn Groups as communities of practice, which include concerns that discussions could easily turn into marketing platforms. His comments encourage us to find the learning potential: "just linking people together doesn't necessarily lead to a great deal of learning…" however Groups also provide "a chance for new people in the field to test the waters, look for support, and share ideas." LinkedIn Answers provides a forum for users to share knowledge, experience, and opinions in a Q&A format. It's easy to ask and answer in this system. Look for items related to your career field and know that the forums are monitored to remove marketing-focused information.
  2. Expand your network. While you may have started your account by connecting with people you already know through your email contact list, LinkedIn offers additional ways you can search for connections based on your past experience and education. One example is searching by school. Once you have entered your education history into your profile you can search for other users who have attended the same schools. The search capabilities allow you to further filter the results to see where your classmates and fellow alumni live, where they work, and what they do. You may also find that there are alumni LinkedIn Groups for your school. When logged in to your account, use http://www.linkedin/alumni to access the school search dashboard.
  3. Research companies and career fields. LinkedIn's structure and management of all the information users provide in their profiles allow you to do some pretty amazing things. Business Insider presents 13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do on LinkedIn, including searching for your next job based on the skills required. "If you have your eye on a better job or promotion, search for that job title on LinkedIn. You'll get to look at profiles of people who have that position and get a good idea what you need to do to reach that level." You'll also be able to see where they work, and how you may already be connected to them through your existing network.

An Inside Job: More Firms Opt to Recruit From Within


Here's a recruiting riddle: What costs more but often works worse? Outside hires.

Fueled by a conviction that there's plenty of talent in their ranks and backed by research showing that hiring outsiders can lead to costly missteps, firms are ramping up internal hiring efforts and investing in new career sites to boost intra-office movement. So far, those efforts are helping firms cut recruiting costs and retain high performers, companies say.

Cisco Systems Inc. has developed an internal career program, called Talent Connection, that seeks to identify "passive candidates," qualified employees who aren't necessarily looking for a job. The system is designed to help recruiters approach internal candidates the way they do external ones, says Mark Hamberlin, a Cisco vice-president of global staffing.

Since 2010, about half of Cisco's 65,000 employees have created profiles on the website and even more have used it to search for jobs, says Mr. Hamberlin. Talent Connection has saved the company "several million dollars" in search-firm fees and other recruiting costs, while employee surveys show workers' satisfaction with career development has risen by nearly 20 percentage points, he said.

Companies frequently struggle with hiring from within their ranks. Management expert, John Sullivan, on how to improve the process.

Promoting from within—from the chief executive on down—can deliver more benefits for companies than hiring outside talent, a growing body of research suggests.

One recent study from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School found that external hires were paid some 18% more than internal employees in equivalent roles, but fared worse in performance reviews during their first two years on the job.

Hiring managers may be wowed by an outsider's résumé or new perspective, but they "underestimate how hard it is to integrate new people," says Matthew Bidwell, a Wharton assistant professor whose study examined six years of employee data at a financial services company's U.S. investment banking unit, covering nearly 5,300 workers.

No matter how good the software, recruiters and employees need to carefully manage talent-hoarding bosses who fear losing top performers, says John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University.

Internal hiring systems are often useful for companies where work is done on a project basis. At Shaw Group Inc., an engineering and construction services company based in Baton Rouge, La., employees work on assignments that last anywhere from a few months to a decade. With 27,000 employees, management needed a comprehensive database to track workers' skills and experience.

"One of our executives said what we want is a baseball card," or a single page containing an employee's skills, training completed and performance evaluations, said Lacy Kiser, vice president of human resources at Shaw's Power Group in Charlotte, N.C.

The result is an Internet-based system that allows managers to quickly assess what talent is available for an open project and determine whether to begin an external search.

Since the system went live in late 2009, open positions are now staffed in 45 days, down from 60 days two years ago, Mr. Kiser said.

To be sure, companies need to make some external hires, especially in areas that could use a shake-up, or when they're growing rapidly. Prof. Sullivan said that change agents often have to come from outside.

Google Inc. last year replaced - Find out what Google replace and read the complete WSJ article