Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7 Things You're Doing Wrong on LinkedIn

Most professionals use the social networking site in some capacity--but one expert says they're making a lot of mistakes.

Today, LinkedIn is the No. 1 social media platform for professionals. Estimates of professional participation in LinkedIn are as high as 83%.
But when I talked to one of my friends--social media expert Alexandra Gibson from OttoPilot Media--she told me that she sees too many professionals making a lot of mistakes. Here are the seven she sees most often.

1. You only use it if you need a job. I can usually tell when my friends are on the job prowl because all of a sudden, a barely existent LinkedIn profile is revived. The truth is that you'll be much better served by keeping your profile and connections current, rather than just reaching out to people when you need something.

2. You have an incomplete profile. A bare-bones profile does not do you (or your company) any favors. Add all important companies and a description of the results you achieved in the past. Don't forget to optimize your profile for search--creating a keyword rich profile will help people find you and your company.

3. You don't belong to the right groups. There are more groups out there than there are seconds in a day, so it can be difficult to decide which are most important. If you join no other groups, join your alumni groups (college, prep school, grad school, fraternity or sorority). Industry groups--both for your own company and your major customer market segments--are a clear next step.

4. You're not sharing valuable content. When you publish a great blog post or your company creates a valuable white paper, share it on your LinkedIn feed. Also, share content in your feed from other sources besides your own. Post in your groups to judiciously share articles and links if you feel that it would be of interest to that audience. This will help show you as a thought leader--and, if the content is on your site, can generate quality leads directly from LinkedIn.

50 Hottest Twitter Hashtags For Job Seekers

Twitter is like a window into the soul of America. It shows us faster and more accurately what is on our collective minds than any other medium currently in use. So it was only a matter of time, in a bad economy and a worse job market, that Twitter would be flooded with both job seekers and job offerers. The way they find each other is through certain key hashtags, the best of which we have laid out for you to help you in your quest for employment. Some of these will give you broad search results and take a while to sift through, but let’s face it — you have lots of free time.

Hashtags to Use on Twitter To Find an Employer

These are the tags to plug into Twitter’s search engine to connect you with companies with opening.

  • #hiring: Here it is, your No. 1 word to find a hiring company is … hiring.
  • #tweetmyjobs: It’s a pretty clunky phrase, but #tweetmyjobs has been tagged nearly a million times, so include it in your search.
  • #HR: The folks handling the headhunting for the company will be from human resources, so go straight to the source.
  • #jobopening: Now we’re talking. This tag is almost exclusively used by people offering people work. Easy.
  • #jobposting: “Jobposting” is another efficient tag to search, only it’s used a bit less than #jobopening.
  • #employment: Often listed along with #jobs at the end of a tweet, #employment is a major keyword used by businesses in the market for talent.
  • #opportunity: There will be some quotes and other tweets that don’t help you, but there will be plenty of hookups to employment opportunities.
  • #recruiting: Search this hashtag to find not only employers that are hiring, but inside info on the recruiting techniques they’ll be using.
  • #rtjobs: Many Twitter users are there helping you out by retweeting job openings they come across.
  • #jobangels: The JobAngels are a volunteer group working to help unemployed people find jobs, and they have a strong presence on Twitter.

  • #jobsearchadvice: Advice on searching for a job

  • Hashtags 11 - 50 and complete article
  • Monday, July 30, 2012

    Proof That Social Media Sells


    The biggest complaint I hear about using social media, is that people don’t think they can actually sell through social media platforms. And while I always suggest that you “sell without selling”, directly selling is not the only way to gain business or sales.

    Just having a presence online and openly showcasing your ability can more often than not lead to a sale.

    The other day, a Facebook friend of mine, Terry Daniel, posted:
    This is not uncommon these days. In fact, me personally, I get most of my work off of LinkedIn & Twitter. And with the newest addition of Messaging to Facebook Page’s, now it’s even easier to get work off of Facebook!

    The actual platforms themselves don’t sell; the people using the platform to the fullest of its ability makes the sale.

    That means engaging with people, selling without selling and giving value to all that you do.
    Businesses are still so afraid to get involved in social media because they just don’t see how they can make money from, essentially, free platforms.
    All they see are the big businesses using social media just for exposure purposes and allowing their community to thrive online.

    But small and medium businesses can actually thrive a lot better online and gain a lot more sales through social media.

    Here’s Why

    When you’re a small business, people feel more comfortable talking to you. You seem more accessible and transparent, so they feel as if they can ask you anything and actually get a response back.

    People feel as if they’re getting a better product or service through small businesses (which they usually are).

    If you’re making a true effort to connect with your peeps online, then they will return the favor by getting to know who you are as a person and a business.

    I don’t want to say that small businesses are usually more creative, but they do tend to think of more creative ways to reach their audience and get their product/service out there because they have to stand out and get noticed, which means being creative about how they showcase themselves. This can draw in the target market needed to make the appropriate sales.

    Should I put this on my résumé?

    By Debra Auerbach

    Are you a 5-foot-7 woman who has three dogs, loves skydiving and makes a killer margarita? Unless you're applying for a job as a dog walker, skydiving instructor or bartender, these details do not belong on your résumé.
    Résumés should only include information that is relevant to the position for which you're applying, was requested by the employer or makes it easy for them to contact you. Anything superfluous -- hobbies and personal attributes for example -- should not be shared.

    Yet it's not always easy to decide what should stay and what should go. While every situation is unique, and it's important to take the job and employer requirements into account, there are some general rules for what does and doesn't have a place on your résumé. Here is some advice on seven common résumé question marks:

    1. Home address: While not everyone is comfortable with sharing such private information, career coach Lavie Margolin recommends including your address. "Not listing your address on your résumé will make things more challenging for you," Margolin says. "It will be an immediate question mark for employers as to why there is no address listed. They may even perceive it as you not living near the position you are applying for." Margolin says that while you can still get a job without sharing your address, you're also more likely to be eliminated for not including it. Just make sure that you've done your research on the company to ensure its legitimacy before sharing any contact information.

    2. Reference information: "Never include reference information; you don't want your references being bothered by employers, especially if you don't know that you want the job," says Bruce Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. "Once there is mutual interest, then provide the references." And remember: Always speak to your references first before sharing their details with prospective companies.

    3. A disability: "There is a common and not unfounded fear that revealing a disability on the résumé may lead to not being selected for a position, which makes the disclosure choice a difficult one," says Barbara Otto, executive director of Think Beyond the Label, a national collaborative aimed at increasing employment among people with disabilities. "A résumé is a springboard for you to give details about your skills, experience and the unique perspectives you bring to the table. You should not explicitly state your disability, but you can weave in your professional experience and hobbies that may be disability-related, such as volunteer work or awards received. Then in the interview you can use these achievements to break the ice about your disability if you choose to."

    4. Grade point average: It's great if you graduated from college with a 4.0, but if you did so 10 years ago, it's probably time to remove your GPA from your résumé. "A person's GPA would normally only be listed on the résumé if [he] recently graduated from college," Margolin says. "If the GPA is below a 3.0, it is usually best to leave it off. Feel free to keep on any special academic status or awards you may have achieved such as magna cum laude." The exception? Some companies may request a GPA, so read the application before removing it. "In certain circumstances, a GPA would remain on longer ... some job listings require a certain GPA minimum."

    Tips 5 - 7 and complete article

    The Job Search Never Ends


    For the many job seekers who have recently landed a job…CONGRATULATIONS- it isn’t over though. The economy is unstable still. Employer loyalty is dead. You never want to be caught flat footed again. In order for you to feel like you have control over your career, you need to constantly keep your eyes open for you next great gig!
    I realize most of you do not want to hear this, nor will you probably read this. Denial is dangerous and hope is not a strategy. One of the most sought-after job qualities issecurity. I am afraid to tell you this, but…most jobs no longer offer this benefit. However, you can take control by implementing some or all of these suggestions.

    Monitor Job Postings on Job Boards

    The easiest method of monitoring job postings to create alerts via the job boards. Do this. However, before you invest time applying for that job, contact someone you know inside the company and ask for an update on the status of the job.

    Keep In Contact with People You Met

    While you were active in your job search, you undoubtedly met many new people. Set up a system to keep in contact with the most influential folks.  You can invite key people for coffee to catch up, shoot them an email, invite them to an event, forward them an interesting article or book review, congratulate them on their success or their company’s success. Look for ways to keep in touch and do this regularly. Does it take time? Absolutely. But keeping your network alive is crucial in developing career insurance.
    Hopefully you added them to LinkedIn because this can make it easier to implement your system. Remember, not everyone uses LinkedIn regularly or is as competent as you are in using it. It may not be a primary source for their communication.
    Don’t forget to include:
    • The people you interviewed with who turned you down
    • Recruiters
    • Past colleagues
    Whatever you do, continue to network!

    Join a Professional Association

    Now that you are employed, you have more money. Invest in yourself and your professional development by joining a professional association in your field. Your new employer may even offer to cover that membership. Let them know you are joining and ask if they may be willing to pay for your membership. (You will never know unless you ask.) Be sure to put your request in terms that would benefit your employer such as: it will provide good PR for the company, you’ll be able to bring back new ideas and information, you’ll understand what the competition is doing, etc.

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Choosing A LinkedIn Photo

    Vivian Giang

    They say not to judge a book by its cover, but before hiring managers actually meet you, your picture is going to play a big role in how they view you. 
    So, what's a "good" photo and what's deemed inappropriate?
    We contacted Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's Connection Director, who told us you should always post a picture — the site's own research finds that profiles are "seven times more likely to be viewed" if a photo is included. 

    To help us get a better idea of what's appropriate, Williams shares 11 of the worst photo blunders you can make on your professional profile: 
    1. A photo with a four-legged friend. Unless you’re a veterinarian, don’t post a photo with your pet – as cute as (s)he might be.
    2. A group shot. You need to post a solo shot. Otherwise how will people know who you are? Also, are your sure your friends want to be represented on your professional profile?
    3. A photo of your baby. You’re growing your family and we’re all thrilled, but that doesn’t belong on LinkedIn.
    4. An old photo. It’s easy to choose a photo of ourselves at our best so it makes sense that a person might use a photo of themselves from ten years ago. However, once they call you in for an interview, the jig is up. An interviewee might feel slighted due to your bait and switch campaign.
    5. An unprofessional photo. Are you at the beach, a night club or running a marathon? While you don’t need to be in your "Sunday’s best," you do need to keep it professional. No bikinis, sports jerseys or cleavage.
    6. A wedding photo. We all know you paid thousands of dollars on hair, makeup and photographers for your big day. We know you’d like to make these photos last. However, unless you’re a wedding dress designer, you need to keep it professional when it comes time for a professional picture. Save the wedding ones for your personal album.

    Tips 7 - 11 and complete Business Insider Article

    5 Job Hunting Tips from Batman

    By Josh Tolan
    If there’s one thing the caped crusader knows, it’s how to get a job done. So why not turn to Batman for some helpful job hunting tips? After all, if he can clean up the streets of Gotham, cleaning up a resume should be no problem.

    He’s certainly been cleaning up at the box office. The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in his Batman trilogy, earned a staggering 160 million over its opening weekend. The film already beat the impressive 158 million record its predecessor The Dark Knight set back in 2008.

    It might seem silly, but superheroes can tell us a lot about perseverance in the face of tough obstacles. With unemployment holding steady at 8.2 percent and more job seekers flooding the applicant pool for every open position, some superheroics might be necessary. Here are some job hunting tips we can take from the Batman himself courtesy of The Dark Knight Rises (non-spoilery of course!):

    Never Give Up

    As The Dark Knight Rises begins, it’s eight years since Batman has gone out of commission after the events of The Dark Knight. After a truly terrible run of luck with Harvey Dent and the Joker, millionaire Bruce Wayne hung up his bat cowl for good to become a recluse.

    With the high rate of unemployment and the dismal June jobs report, it would be easy to do the same when it comes to your job search. It might seem like hope is lost and you’re sending out resumes into a void. Just because you’re disheartened, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t a perfect job out there for you. Just like Bruce Wayne never gave up on the city of Gotham, you can’t give up on your job search.

    Don’t Turn Your Back On Your Network
    Once Bruce Wayne hung up his superhero suit, he also disconnected from his friends. Commissioner Gordon and his colleagues at Wayne Enterprises hadn’t seen the millionaire in ages. Even trusty butler Alfred was tested to the limits of his patience by Bruce.

    As a job seeker, your network is vitally important. These are the people who can point you to great opportunities and help you find hidden gems. You want to cultivate these individuals by keeping in contact and lending them assistance. After all, networking is a two-way street. If you help them, when the time comes they might help you by letting you know of an unposted position at their company you would be perfect for. Just like Batman’s friends were there for him when he needed them, your network can’t be ignored.

    Watch Your Online Presence
    Catwoman Selina Kyle knows a thing or two about the importance of your online breadtrail. After a life of petty crime and theft, Selina wants a clean slate. That’s easier said than done, however, especially with the Internet cataloging your every move.

    You don’t need to be a cat burglar to worry about your online presence. A whopping 92 percent of all employers will check out your online footprint during the hiring process. This means it’s time to take down those kegstand pictures from college and put up a nice professional headshot. Social media can be an important tool in the job hunt when used correctly. Since you can’t wipe the slate clean, put out your own online messages. Upload an impressive video resume or start an industry-specific blog. Use the online space to show employers why they should hire you, instead of why they shouldn’t.

    Tips 4 - 5 and complete article

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    How to Apply for Jobs Safely

           By Miriam Salpeter

    The majority of job seekers are turning to the Internet to apply for positions, but have you thought about the security risks of entering your personal information—including your full name, Social Security number, address, and work details—online or on paper, and placing it in the hands of a stranger? What can you do to protect your identity?

    The first thing you can do to protect yourself is avoid applying for bogus jobs. How? Don't apply to blind ads and unnamed companies or recruiters. If there is no company listed and you cannot confirm there is a real job, consider moving on to another position description.

    Be sure you only use reputable job boards. Job-Hunt.org offers a list of criteria to help you evaluate boards. Top tips include making sure you know who owns the job site, Googling the site's name, and identifying who has access to the information you include. There should be a comprehensive privacy policy detailed on the site. If there isn't a policy, assume your information might not be in good hands.
    Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of Experian's ProtectMyID, has the following suggestions to keep in mind when you file your online applications:

    1. Never provide a Social Security number, or personal information such as date of birth, gender, or race when you apply for a position. Pam Dixon, founder and executive director of the World Privacy Forum, suggests you don't include any personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or your mother's maiden name when filling out an online application. (A company that asks for birth date, gender, race, and credit card numbers is probably not legitimate, as reputable employers would not ask for those details.)

    If you decide to apply anyway, politely indicate that you'll be happy to provide your Social Security number upon being offered the job. This information is required for payroll and tax purposes, but doesn't need to be in the hands of dozens of potential employers.

    One caveat: It's possible an employer may request a Social Security number to conduct credit and background checks before hiring you. Only provide this information once you know the company is legitimate, you have interviewed, and only if you're genuinely interested in working there.

    2. If you drop your application off in person, don't just hand your information over to the first employee you see. Make sure you're giving your material to the manager or someone in human resources. It is easy to have your information and resume get lost in the shuffle or fall into the wrong hands.

    Tips 3-4 and complete US News Article

    To Effectively Use LinkedIn, Know Your Goals

    Recently while visiting some friends that I hadn’t seen for a while, one of them asked me to show her how to use LinkedIn since she considered me an expert. I was surprised by the request; I certainly don’t consider myself an expert. I have been using LinkedIn for many years and have helped others get started, so I felt I could offer her some advice and was happy to help.
    When I sat down to look at her profile and connect with her, I was surprised to find out she hadn’t yet created a LinkedIn profile. Obviously, this was my first tip: create a profile. Once she set up the basics, I asked what her reason for creating a LinkedIn profile was, what was her goal? That might seem like an odd question, but really, it’s an important one because the answer is different for everyone, so my advice isn’t necessarily going to be the same as I would give to someone else.
    In her particular situation, she had a great job that she loved, and wasn’t planning on leaving. However, she and her spouse had opened a small business within the last year, and she wanted to use LinkedIn as a way to help build and promote the business. I thought it was a great idea and made some suggestions.
    Here are a few tips I gave her:
    • Show both her current job as well as her small business. By doing this, you are clear on where you are at in your current situation. If you suddenly connect with someone who you might not in your daily job, but you would for your business that will help them to decide if they want to connect.
    • Add a picture. In her case, I thought her business logo was fine, since she is trying to build her business, but if you are using LinkedIn to network for your career, keep it personalized with a picture of yourself.
    • Add your history. People like to know where you worked before and it will help to identify those that you may be connected to through others. LinkedIn is all about connections, the more job history you have, the more likely you’ll be able to connect with those you know.
    • Build your network. Start reaching out to who you know and have worked with in the past. LinkedIn makes this pretty easy now with suggestions of people you know. When you send a request, be sure to send a short note, especially if you haven’t spoken to the person in some time, it will help to strengthen your network by creating a warm connection. If you don’t know the person, you can ask someone to introduce you, and explain why you want to connect. If you ask me to connect to someone in my network, I want to be sure I’m not going to regret it later!
    • Join groups that are relevant to your business or career. It’s easy to join a ton of groups, there are so many that look interesting! This can be difficult to keep up with all of them, especially if you can’t be on LinkedIn every day. Join the ones that make sense to your goals, and contribute where you can. Groups can be an excellent way to network, share ideas and learn. Definitely be careful not spam, you might be tempted to post anything and everything, but sometimes, less is more!

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Are You Committing Career Suicide on LinkedIn?

    Posted by:  Loraine Antrim

    Is your LinkedIn profile killing your career? It might be, if it doesn’t help you stand out. With over 150 million users, it’s very easy to have a LinkedIn profile that mimics many of the same words and ideas as others.  Results? You look and sound boring.
    If you use LinkedIn for career connections and job search, listen up: the key is to differentiate.Here are five tips to guide you in creating a profile that will advance your personal brand, not sink it.
    First. Grab Them With a Headline If your opening line is, ”GM of Sales” or “Account Executive,” you sound pretty dull. You’re not differentiating in the most critical part of your profile: the first thing the reader sees. Your job title and company are NOT good headlines; unfortunately, that ‘s pretty much the default for so many LinkedIn users. Place your title farther down on your page; not first thing. Grab eyeballs. How? Follow the guidelines journalists use for news headlines: be short, get creative, use catchy language and draw the reader in. For example, “Hiring People Who Aspire to Cure Cancer,” is a real grabber. You WANT to read on.
    2nd. Kill Common Titles. There are many many directors, consultants, engineers, sales professionals, and lawyers. Why would you want to list a title everyone else has? Telling the world you’re a director might give you a big ego boost, but it’s not boosting your career. Find an unusual way to say who you are. “Architect of Drop Dead Designs” is a catchier headline than “Senior Graphics Designer.” For example, my headline says I’m a Butterfly Killer.”  Butterflies, you know, that feeling in your gut before you have to speak in public. As a presentation coach, I’ll get rid of that fluttering in your stomach. It’s a very unusual way to say I’m in executive coaching. Spend some time and get thoughtful…ask friends and colleagues for some suggestions. A unique title will make you memorable and readers will WANT to read on.
    3rd. DO Think About SEO. No keywords means bottom of the barrel search results. Search engines will pick up your LinkedIn headline, so the right key word is critical for both LinkedIn search AND general search. How to choose the right keywords? Think like a recruiter!  Hire yourself! What keywords might a headhunter put in a LinkedIn people search to find you?  Don’t just keyword your profile. Judiciously pepper keywords throughout your entire page. Remember, the right keyword will help you rise to the top of search or help sink you down.

    The 20 Best-Paying Jobs For Women In 2012

    Jenna Goudreau

    Over the past three decades women’s median income has increased 63%, and now more than a third of working wives earn more than their husbands. It’s no surprise when, although they were once discouraged from pursuing higher education, women now surpass men in achievement of bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

    Across sectors, women continue earning only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, but more and more they are landing high-paying professional jobs and narrowing the gap. An analysis of the median weekly earnings of full-time American workers in 2011 by occupation and gender, as tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows the top 20 jobs where women are earning the most. All require some college and most are concentrated in health care, science and technology, and business fields.

    At No. 1, pharmacist is the best-paying job for women, where they earn a median of $1,898 a week or approximately $99,000 a year. Women comprise more than half (56%) of all pharmacists and earn nearly as a much as men in the job. Moreover, the field offers more than 10,000 annual openings and is expected to grow 25% by 2020.

    “Pharmacy is known for paying very well straight out of school and all the way through your career,” says Katie Bardaro, lead economist at compensation research firm PayScale. “It’s a very good return on investment in terms of money and time spent on education.”

    While pharmacists must achieve a four-year professional degree and pass licensing exams, physicians and surgeons attend four years of medical school and complete three to eight years of internship and residency. Yet, for women, doctor comes in as the fourth highest paying job—behind pharmacists, lawyers (No. 2) and computer and information systems managers (No. 3)—with median weekly earnings of $1,527 or about $79,000 a year. They also earn 21% less than male doctors.

    Bardaro explains that physicians face a much wider range of specialty and practice type. Men trend toward high-risk, high-paying areas like plastic and brain surgery, she says, while women are more likely to move into lower-paying specialties like general practice and pediatrics.

    See all 20 jobs and complete Forbes article

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    10 LinkedIn Shortcuts For A Post-Twitter World


    By now, we’ve all heard about Twitter’s little break-up with LinkedIn – and discovered the consequence in our now tweet-free LinkedIn timelines.
    As social media marketers, this adds a new wrinkle to our already hectic days of trying to juggle multiple social media channels.
    LinkedIn may not be the sexiest social network, but it’s still an important one. It’s part of the Big Three (behind only Facebook and Twitter in popularity) and used by 73 percent of marketers, according to a recent study.
    So while we wait on LinkedIn’s new update, life goes on — as do social media updates. What do we do now that our handiest shortcut to keeping our LinkedIn presence active has been taken away?
    I dug around a little to uncover 10 ways to stay active on LinkedIn that are nearly as simple and painless as our gone-but-not-forgotten-Twitter connection. Check them out and then share your favorite shortcuts in the comments (seriously, I want to steal hear them.)

    1. Share Your Blog

    Frequent blogger on a professional topic? Tap into a targeted audience for your blog posts and connect your blog to your LinkedIn account. A widget will appear on your profile and new posts will generate a news item in your timeline.linkedin-wordpress-appTwo different apps from LinkedIn’s Applications Directory make this process seamless for any blog platform. The WordPress app takes care of the most popular blogging software, or useBloglink for any other platform.

    2. Add Presentations

    Sharing presentation slides is a great way to build authority in your industry, and LinkedIn makes this simple. Activate their Slideshare app to pull presentations into your profile. Slideshare allows you to customize the look of this widget and even offers LinkedIn-specific analytics about your contents’ views, comments and favorites.

    3. Comment On Articles

    One of LinkedIn’s newest points of pride, LinkedIn Today aggregates top news for a variety of industries and categories of your choosing. What’s brand new is the ability to like, comment on and share specific stories. It’s a quick and easy way to keep your stream lively and catch up on industry news.

    4. Curate Content

    Build a reputation for sharing great stuff with your professional network. Using the wonder toolIFTTT.com (If This, Then That) it’s a cinch to activate a trigger that sends items from your Google Reader stockpile to LinkedIn. Even shorter: use this already-created recipe.

    5. Join Groups

    Did you know LinkedIn lets you join up to 50 groups? Choose wisely and you’ll be hooked into great resources, conversations and new relationships.
    Check out the full Groups Directory or choose “Groups You May Like” from the drop-down menu to get plugged in. Just make sure you customize your settings (Settings > Groups, Companies and Applications) to make sure you aren’t getting more emails than you bargained for.

    Olympic Tips You Can Apply to Your Job Search

    As I’ve been watching the Olympic trials these last few weeks, I can’t help but notice how these athletes operate.  For years they train hard to make the trials in hopes of landing a coveted spot on their country’s team.  From their multiple-day training sessions down to their performance uniform, these athletes can teach job seekers a few important tips on how to be the best.
    Go for the gold and apply these three champion lessons to your every day job search.

    Don Your Uniform
    No matter how great you are in scrimmage, there’s just something about putting on that snazzy looking uniform that gives you the extra muscle to clench first. Your head is suddenly fully in the game and you’re ready to play like a star. So when you roll out of bed in the morning to start your job search, shed the flannel PJs and fuzzy slippers. Change into something nice, and you will feel better about yourself and will find it much easier to put your best foot forward. There’s certainly no need to dress up in a manner befitting an interview, but if you avoid lounging around in your sweats all day while you search for jobs, you’ll get out of that lazy mindset and tackle your day with confidence.

    Get To Know the Course
    Olympic athletes don’t compete without first getting to know the terrain. If they did, they’d be likely to make mistakes that could have easily been purged from their systems had they taken a few practice runs. So when you’re applying to jobs, make sure that you fully research every company you’re interested in – brush up on company history, news mentions, key figures in the firm, etc. – so that if you’re asked about any of these things in an interview you don’t draw a blank. You’ll be a better conversationalist in the interview, and a company will be far more excited to hire someone who knows his or her stuff.

    More Tips and Complete Article

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Ten Interviewing Rules

    By Carole Martin
    Monster Contributing Writer

    In the current job market, you'd better have your act together, or you won't stand a chance against the competition. Check yourself on these 10 basic points before you go on that all-important interview.

    1. Do Your Research

    Researching the company before the interview and learning as much as possible about its services, products, customers and competition will give you an edge in understanding and addressing the company's needs. The more you know about the company and what it stands for, the better chance you have of selling yourself in the interview. You also should find out about the company's culture to gain insight into your potential happiness on the job.

    2. Look Sharp

    Select what to wear to the interview. Depending on the industry and position, get out your best interview clothes and check them over for spots and wrinkles. Even if the company has a casual environment, you don't want to look like you slept in your outfit. Above all, dress for confidence. If you feel good, others will respond to you accordingly.

    3. Be Prepared

    Bring along a folder containing extra copies of your resume, a copy of your references and paper to take notes. You should also have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview. For extra assurance, print a copy of Monster's handy interview take-along checklist.

    4. Be on Time

    Never arrive late to an interview. Allow extra time to arrive early in the vicinity, allowing for factors like getting lost. Enter the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview.

    5. Show Enthusiasm

    A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Speak distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky.

    Tips 6 - 10 and complete Monster article

    4 Tips for Luring in Recruiters With Your Linkedin Profile

    By Arnie Fertig

    Recruiters are often called "headhunters" because they constantly seek out passive job candidates for their highly selective corporate clients. LinkedIn has become the prime hunting ground recruiters frequent because it's target rich in quality people who are there for purposes other than getting a new job.

    By understanding the methods recruiters utilize in their hunt, you can position yourself as the talented passive candidate they covet rather than a desperate job seeker who craves their attention.
    Here are four tactics recruiters use on LinkedIn and how you can take advantage of them:

    1. Recruiters look for people who use the same vocabulary as their clients. The easiest way to do this is by conducting extensive keyword searches on LinkedIn profiles.
    Tip: Utilize the same keywords you would expect to see in relevant job postings in the narrative you build about yourself. Weave them into the Summary and Experience sections of your profile, rather then presenting them grouped together. Today's sophisticated searching technologies make bunching keywords together in a long list or paragraph obsolete.

    2. Recruiters hunt for people who command the respect of their peers and supervisors. One way they do this is to search LinkedIn recommendations for a specific mention of skills, activities, and accomplishments. They especially like it when your supervisor relates how you have gone above and beyond what was expected, or how you have contributed to your company's bottom line.
    Tip: Get people who know your work to recommend you, and make it easy for them to do so. For example, you might say, "Dear ABC, could you write a recommendation for me that talks about how long we've known each other, when we worked together, and my involvement in the XYZ project?" Explain to your reference writer what facets of the nature, quality, and results of your work you would like highlighted. Shun generalized messages that really say nothing, such as, "So-and-so is a great person who works hard and will be successful at any job!"

    Tips 3-4 and complete US News Article

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile

    Websites are always changing and when it comes to the leading Social Networks such as FacebookTwitter andLinkedIn they are constantly tweaking their sites to generate the best financial results, drive visitors and increase engagement.
    As a small business myself, one of the most important tools for generating new business, finding contacts and industry discussion is done on LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn on a daily basis.
    Today I wanted to touch base on some SEO tips you can use on your own LinkedIn profile. Before you do anything – run a web search and find your LinkedIn profile (eg, I typed David Cowling LinkedIn” into Google and Bing). It’s important we analyse how the search engines interpret your LinkedIn profile data.


    Here is how my profile looks on the Google search results page:
    David Cowling LinkedIn Google 5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile
    Note the following:
    1. You name is obviously the title of the page
    2. Your Location is pulled and displayed in the search results
    3. Your “Professional Headline” is displayed in the search results


    Here is how my profile looks on the Bing search results page:
    David Cowling LinkedIn Bing 5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile
    Note the following:
    1. Again your name is the title of the page
    2. Bing will show your Job Title and One of your current companies (not necessarily your “Professional Headline”.
    3. Bing will show how many connections you have in the search results
    4. Bing will show how many recommendations you have
    5. Your Location is also displayed in the search results page

    LinkedIn Profile SEO Tips

    Now that we understand how the search engines display your LinkedIn profile data. Here are some tips to make the most of your profile:
    1. Your Professional Headline is displayed in the search results, particularly Google. Many people simply put in one of their Job Titles, however you can use this field to pick up Keyword rich job titles and phrases such as SEO Consultant, PHP Developer, PR Consultant etc.
    LinkedIn Headline 5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile

    2. Website Fields - many people simply display their company websites like this:
    LinkedIn website Field 5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile
    LinkedIn only lets you add 3 websites to your profile, but describing each website as ‘Company Website’ really isn’t making full use of this field.
    You are able to edit the display name to match your website name. This will give people who visit your profile a much clearer understanding of your websites!
    This is how I edited mine:
    Edit your LinkedIn website fields 5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile
    And when you view my profile this is how it displays:
    LinkedIn optmised Websites 5 SEO Tips for your LinkedIn Profile
    Much better!
    But how does this improve your website SEO? All of these links are NOT nofollow. They are actually 302 redirects (LinkedIn generally uses 302 redirects for external links). Now technically a 302 redirect many not pass any pagerank, but if the 302 redirect has been there for a long time I think Google may pass a little pagerank through to your site. It’s certainly worth having.

    7 Things You Can Do After A Really Bad Job Interview

    Jacquelyn Smith

    Have you ever left a job interview knowing you completely bombed it? Chances are you have—and you probably dealt with it by beating yourself up and abandoning that opportunity.  But walking away from the job or employer with a negative attitude won’t benefit anyone.

    “Bad interviews can be very discouraging and cause feelings of inadequacy, shame, frustration, and even depression,” says Dr. Katharine Brooks, director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin and author of You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career. “We all like to think of ourselves as successful and when we have an experience that contradicts that image, it can be difficult to recover.  Particularly when the interview involves a lot of pressure—the person desperately needs the job—this just makes the bad job interview worse.”

    Sylvie Stewart, an assistant director of career services at the University of Dayton, adds, “People tend to spend time wishing they could rewind and do it over. It is very normal to feel negative after a bad interview. As an unemployed job seeker, you are naturally very emotionally raw and vulnerable.”
    A ‘bad interview’ can mean a lot of things; the candidate believes retrospectively that he or she flopped on a majority of the questions, he or she didn’t adequately prepare for the interview, the candidate is dressed inappropriately, says something offensive or arrives late, or a personal issue—like a family death or a break-up—distracts the candidate during the interview, among other things.

    Brooks says if your talents are extremely valuable to the organization and they really want you, the employer might overlook small mistakes. However, if they’re on the fence about you, or you aren’t in the strongest position vis-à-vis the other candidates, the mistakes might not be fixable.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

    “If the candidate believes the interview went poorly, absent any direct feedback from the employer, he or she could look for redemption,” say Jay Canchola, an HR business partner for Raytheon. It’s always better to make an effort to redeem yourself than to leave the interviewer with a bad taste in their mouth.
    “The expression ‘never burn your bridges’ can apply to interviews as well,” Canchola adds. “Because people and circumstances are constantly changing, and if the prospective employer is one that aligns with your individual goals, you should continue to make the best impression possible.” You never know if another great opportunity at that company will present itself in the future.

    You can’t rewind and redo the interview—nor can you change the employer’s decision to offer you a job. But there are a few things you can do after a bad job interview to help you avoid such mistakes in the future, to mend the employers impression of you, and, if you’re really lucky, to help them understand and overlook your mistakes.

    1. Reflect on the experience.
    “I talk to many students who believe they have bombed the interview,” Brooks says. “The first thing I do is ask them what went well.  It’s important to discover what went well first so that you’re able to look at the negative aspects with a less defeated attitude.  I then ask what one thing they would change.” If you have a bad feeling about the way things panned out, identify exactly what went wrong.

    2. Learn from it.
    Make a list of the mistakes you made during the interview, learn from them, and do better next time, Stewart says.
    “The best thing to do with a bad interview is learn from it,” Brooks adds. Don’t wallow in self-pity or allow the bad interview to be an excuse for not following-up or not interviewing for a while.  Instead, ask yourself what you would do differently to prepare next time; figure out what information you should have had that you didn’t; and think about how you would handle a difficult question next time.

    3. Learn to forgive yourself.
    “This will help you to play better in the game in the future,” Stewart says.
    Nothing good ever comes from beating yourself up. It’s natural to feel uneasy for a little while—but don’t let the feeling linger and don’t let it discourage you from reaching out to the employer to make things better. Accept your mistakes and move forward.

    Tips 4 - 7 and complete Forbes article

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    The #in Hashtag On Twitter To LinkedIn CAN Still Work…If You Do It Like this

    by ,

    On Friday Twitter announced that it had ended its syndication deal with LinkedIn, which previously allowed people on Twitter to link their tweets with LinkedIn’s news stream.
    The addition of an #in hashtag was an easy and effective way to edit tweets into LinkedIn to a more ‘professional’ social network without alienating that network with every tweet, er, ‘tweeted’. But with Twitter’s recently added features such as threaded conversations and expandable tweets not showing up on users’ LinkedIn pages, Twitter decided to pull the plug.
    However, you can still link your tweets to LinkedIn using the same #in hashtag if you do this…
    … Go to the San Francisco-based (and wonderful) IFTTT where you can sync to all types of networks by setting up ‘recipes’, one of which links TWitter to LinkedIn.
    It’s simple, click on the Twitter-LI link, -- Get the rest of the instructions..

    ( I don't want to poach their whole article )

    How You Can Beat Computerized Applicant Screenings to Land the Job You Really Want

    By Dylan Alford

    I stared at the screen for what seemed like an hour.

    “Do you have experience marketing software in a business-to-business environment?” the computer asked me.

    I knew if I answered “No” to this question, which was the truth, I would probably be automatically excluded as a candidate for this job. No chance of anyone at this company that I desperately wanted to work for even looking at my resume. Forget about getting an interview. And it was a shame, because I knew I could not only do the job they were advertising, but I could excel at it.
    But I wasn’t willing to lie. That would be a deal-breaker if I ended up being considered for the position. So, I clicked “No” and completed the rest of the online application.

    Five minutes later I opened my email to find an automatically generated rejection message. I was not being considered for the position. And nobody — no human being — had even looked at my application or resume. The software the company used to manage the online application process automatically eliminated me because I answered “No” to that one screening question. Game over.

    When Software Replaces Recruiters

    I understand why companies use this kind of software to screen out “unqualified” applicants. About 13 million people in the U.S. are officially looking for work. And a lot of people apply for jobs willy-nilly, regardless of their experience or skill set. The HR department simply can’t sort through all of the applications.

    But software simply can’t do the job as well as a human. It can’t apply judgement and pass along an application from someone who meets nearly all the requirements. Or maybe the problem is whoever creates the screening requirements for these positions sets the bar unreasonably high, with the hopes of narrowing the pool.

    A recent article in The Wall Street Journal says hiring managers now pile up so many requirements for jobs that it’s almost impossible to find someone who meets them all. The owner of a temporary staffing company quoted in the article calls it “looking for a unicorn.” He tells of a business he worked with that received 25,000 applicants for an open engineering position only to hear from HR that none were qualified. None! Nobody, out of 25,000?

    Connections are Key

    But here’s the thing. If you really want a particular position, getting weeded out by the screening software should never stop you from going after it. I don’t advocate lying. I don’t advocate spending a lot of time trying to game the system.

    What I do advocate is building personal connections inside a limited number of target employers. Organizations that are a good fit for you. You need to meet people — either in person, on the phone or online — who work at those companies so if you run into a situation where your application gets weeded out, you know someone who will help you go around the software and reach the hiring manager.

    How I Beat The Software - find out how and read the rest of the BrazenCareerist article

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    How to Showcase Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn: 8 Tips

    Lindsey Pollak

    Like professional athletes, we now live in a time of career free agency, where we must regularly prove our unique value in a competitive and frequently changing marketplace.  This means that it’s no longer enough to have a good reputation in one’s current position. We need to think about how we’re perceived in the broader marketplace by potential future employers.
    Even if you intend to stay in your current job forever, clarifying your unique value is something you need to attend to. Clients, conference planners, awards committees and other professionals may be checking you out — primarily online — and you want to make sure that they find the best representation of you.
    We’re talking about personal branding, a key element of success in the Internet Age.
    A term first coined by Tom Peters in 1997, personal branding includes your professional reputation, online image and personal characteristics such as your work style, community engagement and worldview. It incorporates the particular skills, talents and areas of expertise you’ve cultivated. When I host workshops on personal branding, I ask participants the following questions to help determine the elements of their personal brands:
    • How would your colleagues describe your strengths?
    • On what issues are you the go-to person in your organization?
    • What do you know more about (web design, compensation plans, marketing to baby boomers) than most people?
    Once you’ve defined your personal brand, it’s time to showcase it to recruiters, bosses, customers and others who may be assessing you. Here’s how LinkedIn can help:
    1. Be authentic. The best personal brands are genuine and honest both in person and online. It can be tricky to showcase your personality on the web (you might love puns, but those don’t go over well on a professional profile), but it’s possible with a bit of effort. For instance, if your personal brand includes a balance between your detailed accounting skills and your friendly personality, your LinkedIn profile can include both your technical credentials and the fact that you belong to several networking groups. You can also ask former and current colleagues to write LinkedIn recommendations highlighting this combination.
    1. Create a distinctive LinkedIn profile headline. Your headline is your brand’s tag line. It’s the first — and possibly only — description of you that many people will see, so make it count. Go back to the words and phrases your friends and colleagues used to describe your uniqueness: “IT support manager and trusted Mac expert” or “Experienced admin assistant who never misses a deadline.”
    1. Be consistent. Make sure your LinkedIn profile, resume and all other elements of your personal brand are consistent. While you can go into more extensive detail on LinkedIn and perhaps be a bit more personal on Facebook or Twitter, all of your job titles, dates of employment and specific accomplishments need to match up everywhere they appear. Consistency is important so as not to confuse people or send mixed messages about who you are and what you want in your career.
    1. Increase your visibility. If you have a great personal brand but no one knows about it, then you won’t benefit much. Increase your exposure to people in your network by including your LinkedIn profile URL on your business cards, your resume, other social media sites and anyplace else people are interacting with you online or offline. You can also build exposure by consistently updating your LinkedIn status. Tell people what projects you’re working on, what conferences you’re attending and what books and articles you’re reading. Remember that your brand is not just who you are; it’s what you do.