Thursday, January 31, 2013
2. Resume appearance malfunction. Is your resume friendly to the beholder who wears bifocals? Non-standard fonts, small text with little to no space between sections, and narrow margins all raise red flags. Beyond the poor aesthetics, they may suggest you are the kind of person who is "bound and determined" to wedge too large a story into too small a space, rather than boiling down the salient aspects of your career achievements into a document which clearly speaks to the job to be filled.
Solution: Remember that your resume is not your unabridged autobiography. You aren't obligated to show everything you have ever done and every place you worked. It's a marketing document onto which you should put the things that are most germane. Use a standard font at a reasonable type size and forget all the lines, graphics, pictures, and colors.
5. Resume evasiveness. There are many things that job hunters typically try to "fudge." Yet, overgeneralizations, squishy language, and omissions are not generally regarded well.
For example, job hunters in their 50s and 60s believe they can avoid age discrimination if they omit dates when degrees were earned. But just the opposite is the case. In attempting to skirt the age issue, you actually bring attention to it with your unstated but very clear message: "I don't want you to figure out how old I am based on when I attended college." Worse, you may potentially also raise the red-flag question: Is this job seeker trying to mask anything else of significance?
6. Key phrase banalities. Some job hunters aren't certain of how to go about the process of writing an effective resume, and so they resort to words and phrases found in resume-writing books and other templates that might be good starting points, but not ending points. By adhering too closely to them, you are likely to sound like everyone else, without conveying any understanding of what you are really trying to convey. Using hackneyed phrases like "hard worker," "out-of-the-box thinker," "team player," "excellent communications skills," etc., offer your own conclusion about your talents and work ethic. But they do nothing to cause the resume reader to believe you or to come to the same conclusion. Instead, show examples of your out-of-the-box solutions and talk about times when your actions really did benefit your team.
If you take the time to lower these red flags, you will raise the likelihood of gaining the respect and positive attention of those who own the resume game.
Read All Six Tips and Complete USNEWS Article
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Lots of us in the recruiting world are very active on LinkedIn, doing what we can to be accessible to jobseekers. We love networking, meeting new people and finding great candidates to fill our openings. Many of us also like to give back to our networks, helping out in any way we can. While we may not be able to help with every jobsearch request that comes our way, many of us help jobseekers by passing along introduction requests, answering questions, sharing jobsearch tips, giving networking advice, volunteering our time to moderate networking groups, etc. LinkedIn is a great tool for helping others and I love to do my part.
That said, there are some requests that cross the line, in my opinion, and I think that jobseekers should be careful to leverage their network without taking advantage of it. Most have the purest intentions in mind and aren’t even aware that their request may not be received in the best light, so this list is written to help jobseekers make the best possible impression when networking with recruiters on LinkedIn. I hope it is helpful to you!
Here are ten of the mistakes I see most often:
1. Can you help me find a job?This is the most common request in my LinkedIn inbox, but one where I’m least able to help. An agency recruiter or headhunter might be able to “shop” your resume around to a few of their clients, but at the end of the day, a recruiter is someone who finds candidates to fill jobs, not someone who finds jobs to employ candidates. This is a key mistake that many people make. Most recruiters are happy to share their advice for jobseekers, but a recruiter is not a professional “job finder”… Those really don’t exist!
2. Do you have any job openings that fit my profile?Agency recruiters or headhunters might be a bit more open to this type of request, but before approaching an in-house / corporate recruiter with such an open-ended question, be sure to do a little legwork ahead of time. First off, remember that recruiters aren’t “job finders” (see #1 above). Secondly, companies often have dozens or even hundreds of openings at any given time. These openings are spread across a team of recruiters who only have real visibility to the openings they are personally handling. Thirdly, you are the best one to pinpoint positions that fit your interests, talents and career path. Be sure to first look online, find positions of interest, apply via the careers page and then approach a recruiter at that company with some specific positions of interest in mind. Most will do what they can to put you in touch with the appropriate decision-makers. Having done some homework on your end will not only speed up the process, it will also put less of a burden on the person you’re asking for help.
3. Can you review my resume and send me your edits / feedback / suggestions?As much as we’d love to help, resume critiques would take up a full 40-hour workweek (or more!) if recruiters complied with every such request. Resume writing is a very time-intensive process that requires two-way discussion, in-depth knowledge of your past experience / career goals, extensive editing / rewriting, etc. Professional Resume Writers often charge big bucks for their services because it’s no easy task or quick process. Recruiters may be able to recommend a professional to you (or help you network to find a good one), but this type of request is something that recruiters simply don’t have the bandwidth to accommodate.
4. Can you please send me John Doe’s email address / phone number?If a LinkedIn member wants their contact information to be public knowledge, they’ll be sure to post it on their profile (and many of them do, so be sure to check). If not, then it’s really not appropriate for their network contacts to give it out to others. (You wouldn’t want your network contacts giving out your email address and phone number, would you?) Instead, use the “Introduction Request” feature on LinkedIn. It’s a great feature that enables you to message your target contact without revealing either party’s email address. Most recruiters will gladly pass along introduction requests on your behalf and then your target contact can decide how he or she would like to follow up with you. (Or, if you prefer to go the direct route, you can do a little Google research, as explained in this previous blog post, and easily figure out that person’s email address.)
5. Do you know anyone at Acme Company?Probably! A well-connected recruiter likely knows multiple contacts at your target company. Rather than asking that person to run a search of their network to find a list of all possible contacts at a company, you should instead run a LinkedIn search yourself and sort through the results. You can easily identify an appropriate target or two (recruiters, hiring managers, peers) and then send an introduction request. After all, no one knows better than you why you want to reach out, which departments fit your career goals and who the best contacts at that company might be.
Tips 6-10 and Complete Article
The beginning of a new year, particularly February, is the best time to look for a new job. Budgets are approved, new job requisitions are posted and your confidence is at an all-time high.
Every year in January I hear from hundreds of people ready to start a job search. They really want a new job. They’re eager to get started. And slowly but surely, they fail. It’s not a lack of talent, experience or desire. They’re just doing it wrong.
Are you ready for a new job in 2013? Here’s how not to be successful — guaranteed:
- Lack self-awareness and confidence. If you don’t know and believe in your strengths, no one else will. If you come across as hesitant or unsure about your qualifications, you invite others to question your qualifications. Ignore your strengths, feedback from previous work experiences and doubt yourself — that will really help your chances.
- Don’t tell anyone. The fewer people that know about your job search, the better. Keep it totally quiet and under wraps. Don’t get any feedback on your resume or strategy from friends or former colleagues. It’s also good to ignore any networking connections those friends might have.
- Cold-apply to as many jobs as possible. Hide behind your computer and look for jobs at companies where you don’t know anyone. Find any job that sounds relatively interesting and apply. Don’t follow up, either. Sit back and wait for the calls to start pouring in. And when they don’t, keep applying. Volume is always better.
- Let your resume speak for itself. Any savvy recruiter or hiring manager should be able to translate your resume to fit the job. Let them do it! Don’t customize your resume for the job. Don’t look for contacts in the organization that can help make your case for you. And definitely don’t do any informational or exploratory interviews to learn what matters most to a hiring manager or organization before you apply.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
One of the primary benefits of joining LinkedIn as a social network is its focus on career-related connections. This can take off some of the pressure that may exist on other platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) to be witty, clever, or even somewhat controversial. You do, however, need to be professional as you make connections and build a profile that represents you online.
Over time, LinkedIn members have developed preferred ways to communicate with each other via the system’s features and functions. It’s a powerful resource – with potential for networking, career development, and job search success for online students and instructors alike – but as the platform has evolved, some techniques have become more effective than others.
How can you make the best of your LinkedIn account? Here are a few tips as you proceed with your next profile update:
- Don’t just send the default invitation to connect. “I’d like to add you to my professional network” is the standard text you’ll find when you decide to send an invitation to another LinkedIn user. Leaving this as-is doesn’t say much about who you are and why you want to connect. And it’s easy to add a sentence or two to personalize a message for each recipient. Public relations expert Sakita Holley provides six scenarios (e.g., former boss, prospective employer) and invitation examples.
- Don’t connect as a “friend” if you’re not a friend. Unless … this is the only way you have to make the connection and you can explain why you want to connect per item #1 above. Can you find an email address for the person online? Are you members of the same LinkedIn Groups? Social media consultant Jeff Bullas notes that connecting as a friend “is a major pet peeve for many professionals on LinkedIn.” Exhaust the other available options before selecting “friend” when you send out an invitation.
- Don’t describe yourself with overused or effusive terms. “Creative” and “motivated” are just two professional buzzwords recently identified by LinkedIn. Used on their own, they don’t really convey much about your qualifications and potential. Are they in your profile headline? Jeff Haden recommends an alternative approach: consider how you introduce yourself to someone you meet in person. Would you say: “I’m a passionate, innovative, dynamic provider of services”? Probably not. In a way, your LinkedIn profile is speaking for you – how are you being introduced?
Ready for a happier career in 2013?
The CareerBliss annual 50 Happiest Companies in America awards is a great place to start your job search because these companies have been voted by their very own employees as a happy, rewarding workplace.
To reveal the top happiest companies, CareerBliss analyzes thousands of independent employee-submitted reviews. The reviews ask professionals to rank how they feel about key happiness factors at work, such as the culture of the company, compensation and people you work with.
“Being able to be truly happy at work is one of the keys to being happy in life,” says Heidi Golledge, CEO and Co-founder of CareerBliss. “CareerBliss recognizes companies that excel at providing happy work environments since it is a vital part of the CareerBliss mission to foster rich and rewarding work cultures for everyone.” Check out the full happiest companies below!
Think your company should be on the list?Post a quick company review to nominate your company for next year!
Looking for a happier job in 2013?
Start your job search now and take a look at 3.5 million happier jobs on CareerBliss!
Monday, January 28, 2013
I was recently interviewed about LinkedIn and Social Recruiting in the Australian version of Men’s Health and as most of our readers live outside Oz (including myself) I thought I’d republish a little bit of the article here. Please note that I only endorse my blog and LinkedIn, the other tips are from Men’s Health.
Nick Broughall writes:
Cyber AdviserCareer guidance counsellors are rife – and most of them charge like medieval knights. If you’d rather keep your cash for pleasure, hit the groundbreaking blog The Undercover Recruiter to reboot your working life.
Typical of its more conventional content are tips on getting headhunted and nailing job interviews. But founder Jorgen Sundberg, a social media trainer and consultant specialising in recruiting and branding, also leads the site with guidance on using Facebook and Twitter.
“You can even use Pinterest as a snapshot of your personal brand, so a recruiter can get a good, quick insight into who you are and what you can do”, says Sundberg. (Free; theundercoverrecruiter.com)
Smooth OperatorIf you want to shift your career from idle to overdrive, you have to get organised. A cloud-based project management tool like Wunderkit makes the process simple, syncing between your PC and iPhone app seamlessly.
But to make the software work for you, you’re going to need a system to track your progress. “List twenty companies you want to work for then systematically trawl through LinkedIn and Twitter to map out the people who can hire you”, says Sundberg. “Start relationships with them somewhere online with a view to meeting up.” From there, simply tick off your goals in Wunderkit’s task management app and wait for the job offers to pour in.
Sharp-Dressed ManFirst impressions count. So rocking up to a job interview in some ill-fitting suit that makes you look like Sir Les Patterson is a no-no. Enter InStitchu, an online store where you can order suits and shirts tailored to your exact measurements.
At a fraction of the cost of traditional tailors, InStitchu puts a touch of Clooney in your clobber. “A well-fitting suit makes you feel more confident and demonstrates that you mean business”, says InStitchu co-founder Robin McGowan.
When building your office wardrobe start out with navy and charcoal suits. “Both are hugely versatile and will work with almost any shirt and tie combination”, adds McGowan.
More Tips and Complete Article
My favorite comments, however, were those from managers who shared their own "killer" interview questions. Here are the 32 interview questions you posted. Some are brilliant and others perhaps a little less so but I will let you be the judge.
- What’s the biggest mistake you mistake you made in your life and what did you learn from it?
- If in 3months you found the job not to be what you expected it to be, what would it look like?
- What superhero would you be and why?
- What is one misconception people have about you?
- If you were a kitchen appliance what would you be?
- Why shouldn’t I call for a reference and why?
- So what are you going to do for us?
- Who are your heroes and why?
- What works for you and why? How can you increase your interaction with the energy generators? And what can you do to be one yourself?
- Who at your former place of work gave you the most energy and why?
Friday, January 25, 2013
One of the features of LinkedIn that tends to be underutilized is the “LinkedIn Status Update” (also called your “Network Update”) in your LinkedIn Profile. Your status update “block” is a white box located just below your picture on your “View My Profile” page. If you don’t see such a block, then you’ve not posted a status update.
From your LinkedIn home page or your “Edit My Profile” page, you can change your status update as frequently as you desire. EVERY time you update your status, the home page of ALL of your network connections is “pinged” with your status update. Status updates are also distributed to your network via email when LinkedIn sends you your weekly “Network Update.” Your latest status update is always displayed on your LinkedIn profile.
Your status updated is limited to 140 characters – just like Twitter – so keep that in mind, particularly when cutting and pasting information into your status update “window.”
Updating your LinkedIn status is a great way to communicate to your network on a frequent and ongoing basis. I update my status at least once each day with different types of information. 10 tips for effectively using your status update to distribute useful information are presented below:
1. Insert the title and a “shortened” URL link to one of your recent blog articles. Bit.ly is a great resource for shortening URL’s.
2. Insert the title and a “shortened” URL to a blog article you read and really liked. Particularly one that is timely, informative and relates to your “brand” or area of specialty in some way.
3. A link to a newsworthy web posting or news item. Include the title and a shortened URL. Alignment with you brand “voice” or area of specialty makes it more powerful. I like to focus on POSITIVE news as opposed to negative news.
4. A great “quote of the day.” A great source of quotes of to search the #quote “hashtag” on Twitter. Since Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters, you’ll find quotes that fit the LinkedIn status update window.
5. A brief piece of advice relevant to your brand or area of specialty.
Tips 6-10 and Complete Careerealism Article
What’s the secret to being a successful networker? Well, we all know how important it is to balance the online and offline networking and connecting what we are doing now.
We can’t only live online, or offline anymore. Each one is mutually interdependent and inter-related. They work so well in tandem.
Both have their importance, purpose and value. We know being “online” is simply smart and essential because that is where people converge, gather and interact. But, “offline” is where the true personal connections are made to explore the mutuality and develop the relationship. If you are not in physical proximity with someone, what are some of the ways and things you can do to accelerate relationship building?
Are you meeting, picking up the phone or Skyping regularly when you make new social friends?
How To Be A Successful NetworkerHere are nine things you can do that will help you develop some warm connections, stand out, and be remembered.
1. Share Your Passion, Authenticity, And StoryPeople really connect with your real side and everyone has a story. It’s the new “elevator pitch.”
2. Target Your AudienceLearn about the community where you are meeting. Research and find out about them on websites, blogs and through others that may know about them, or are members of the group.
3. Know The Guest ListWhen you know some specific people that will be there, that you will want to meet, do your homework and find out about them. Company, awards, community activity, accomplishments. This is great fodder for conversation. How would you feel when someone you didn’t know yet, approaches you and says, “I loved the blog post you wrote on how to be a Mom and grow a business”? It certainly says something to me about them.
4. Work The RoomMix and mingle, and try to have several warm interactions. Don’t monopolize or be monopolized. Engage and encourage mutual conversation and include others into it.
5. Pair Up With A MentorFind someone who knows the crowd and group and rely on them to introduce you around. Coming with someone others know and respect says something about you. “You are judged by the company you keep,” is the quote isn’t it?
Tips 6-9 and Complete Careerealism Article
Thursday, January 24, 2013
The job search is a challenge unlike any other when it comes down to the variety of emotions and experiences you are faced with. While relatively wholesome in nature, a challenging job search–on its hardest day–can knock even the most confident and sane individual off their feet. But similar…
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
You know all about getting your resume noticed. (Clean layout! Accomplishments, not duties!) But do you know what’s on the flipside? What you might be doing that could cause recruiters to overlook your resume—or worse, toss it in the trash?
Gasp! The trash? I know what you’re thinking, but the truth is, recruiters have dozens, even hundreds, of resumes to comb through every day. So, in an effort to cull them down to a reasonable amount, they’ll simply toss any that don’t meet what they’re looking for.
To learn more, I sat down with a few recruiters and asked them about the resumes that make the cut and those that get tossed. Here are three of their deal-breakers.
1. You Don’t Meet the Basic RequirementsFirst and foremost, review the requirements listed in the job description and confirm that you have the skills and experience the recruiter is looking for. This is the “first knockout factor” for many, says Christina Lord, a technical recruiter at Dealer.com. “Make sure you look at the requirements before applying to the job, and identify if your skills are a match,” she says.
Sounds basic, but job seekers make this mistake more often than you might think, thanks to career counselors and advice websites that say to go ahead and apply for a job even without all of the qualifications. And while you shouldn’t be afraid to aim high, no amount of resume tailoring will cover for the fact that you only have three years of management experience, not 10, or don’t have the technical skills required to do the job. “Resumes just won’t be considered if the basic skills aren’t there,” agrees Joanna Thomas, a human resources professional at an agency in Burlington, VT.
A similar mistake: You have the basic requirements, but they’re obscured by extra or unnecessary information. “Lay it out simply for me—that means less investigation I’ll have to do,” says Thomas. For example, if you’re applying for a position in marketing, but your experience is a combination of marketing and sales, tailor your resume to focus on your marketing experience and skills, and minimize—or even remove—the sales information.
2. You’re Not a Culture FitIt’s of utmost importance to recruiters to find a candidate who’s a “cultural fit as well as a skill set fit,” according to Thomas. They love when a candidate “gets it”—and they’ll toss your resume if you look like “just someone looking for a job.” (Think summary statements that cover a wide range of skills and industries, or cover letters that don’t mention the company by name—or at all.)
To avoid the circular file, you’ll want to tweak your resume based on the position and company, making deliberate connections of how your experience, skills, and personality are a perfect fit for the job. Use industry terms, spell out accomplishments that you know will make an impact, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Thomas remembers an applicant who listed, “I’ll drink an iced Americano any time, day or night” under the interests section, which not only revealed the applicant’s “personality and sense of humor,” it was a great fit for Thomas’ agency, a highly creative design firm with its own specialty coffee shop in the basement.
Okay, you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, updated all of your past experience and education, so you’re all set to go, right? Wrong. If you don’t actually DO something with your LinkedIn account and make the most of it, then you’re missing out. Here’s what you REALLY need to know about LinkedIn to land that dream job.
1. You never know who your friends know.-That college kid who cuts your grass? His dad is the CEO of XYZ, your dream company.
-Your frat brother from college? His sister works in HR at XYZ.
-Your neighbor? He was the best man in the wedding of that hiring manager at XYZ.
-Your poker buddy? He used to work at XYZ and knows hundreds of employees there.
A business card can’t tell you any of this, but LinkedIn can. At the end of the day, this difference is what makes LinkedIn the most important tool in your job search strategy.
To do: Start connecting and build your network. How? See #2 on this list.
2. A small, limited network is an ineffective network.“It’s not WHAT you know… it’s WHO you know.” Never has this saying been more true than in a bad economy and job market. People feel safer hiring a known quantity so the wider your network, the better your chances. Each first-level connection links you to everyone THEY know and everyone that THOSE people know. Powerful, huh?
To do: Really grow your network. Connect with friends, family members, past & present coworkers / clients, neighbors, classmates, professors, recruiters and maybe even a handful super-connectors (to really give your network a boost). Then network with those connections to land that dream job. Your buddy putting in a good word for you could be the tipping point that landed YOU the interview instead of some other guy/gal.
3. If you don’t think about keywords, you’ll miss the bus.LinkedIn is the biggest, best resume database ever created (plus a ton more, obviously – see #5 below – but the resume database part is key to my point here). 93% of recruiters used LinkedIn to hire last year and that number is only growing. We do searches to find candidates who meet the requirements for our openings. We use long, elaborate “search strings” to sift through the 200 million user profiles in LinkedIn. Yes, 200 MILLION. (Did anyone else just hear Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil in their head? ) We search for specific keywords and only look at resumes that contain the right combinations of those keywords. If your resume doesn’t contain those specific terms, recruiters aren’t even looking at your resume. And you can’t win the prize if you’re not even running in the race.
To do: Look at job descriptions for your dream job. What skills are listed as requirements? What job titles are they using? What specific terms are listed in these descriptions? Is the same concept listed three different ways by three different companies? Make sure your resume is varied and diverse in its language to incorporate each possible way of saying the same thing. (For me, it might be “recruiter” v. “talent acquisition” v. “staffing” v. “sourcer”…) Use keywords to be found.
Things 4,5, and Complete Article
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
You’ve tirelessly searched for a job. You’ve made contacts. You’ve sent emails. You’ve gone through the interview experience.
Now you can just sit back and wait for the golden phone call, right? If only it were that easy.
For some job seekers, landing an interview can seem like a one-way ticket to getting hired. However, this is not always the case. There are probably dozens of people applying for the same job. These candidates could be saying the same exact things you did. They may even have better articulation or know the CEO in some way. In other words, they may be at an advantage. So, how are you going to stand out?
One of the things many job candidates fail to do correctly is taking those next steps after the interview. This means more than waiting for a phone call. It means closing the interview properly so that phone call happens.
Here’s how to tactfully close an interview and beat the competition:
Ask about next steps
When your interview comes to a close, you need to do more than shake the interviewer’s hand and leave. Always ask about the next steps in the interview process. For instance, the organization may require a second interview. They may need samples of your work. They may not anticipate actually filling the position for another month. You don’t want to be waiting for a response. You want to be completely aware of every step you can take to ensure a positive end-result.
How to do this better than the competition: It’s all about taking charge of the situation. If the company suggests sending a list of references, do so. If they want to connect on LinkedIn, don’t wait. If they’d like a second meeting, respond promptly. Always see that your plan extends beyond the first meeting.
Send a thank you note
One of the token ways to reach out after a job interview is to send a thank you note. Some suggest going the traditional route and sending a handwritten note through snail mail, while others recommend email. Some even advise doing both. The method through which you send a thank you note is obviously situational. For example, more formal organizations may appreciate something traditional, while laid-back offices would prefer an email. However, thank you notes are more important than ever because the pool is so saturated with candidates.
How to do this better than the competition: Regardless of your method of choice, remember a few things: Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Additionally, note a few conversation points which particularly spoke to you. For example, if you and the interviewer connected on long-term organizational goals, be sure to mention it in the thank you note. If you both found a portion of the interview amusing -- and the situation is casual enough -- bring it up. This solidifies any sort of relationship that was made during the interview, which will hopefully translate into a job opportunity in the future.
Monday, January 21, 2013
A LinkedIn Company Page gives a business a fantastic opportunity to promote its products and services, recruit top talent, and share important, interesting, and useful updates.
Anyone with a company name and company email address can create a LinkedIn Company Page within minutes. The best part is that it’s free and easy.
LinkedIn has 200 million members. It’s the leading social networking site for professionals, so business-to-business companies should absolutely create Company Pages as soon as possible.
While Facebook is generally considered the best social network for business-to-consumer companies to interact with consumers (learn how to create a Facebook Company Page), the millions of professionals are consumers, too. That means there is certainly success to be found for business-to-consumer companies on LinkedIn as well.
Following are 10 simple steps that you can take to create a great LinkedIn Company Page that motivates people to click the “follow” button.
1. Write a compelling summary.The home page on a LinkedIn Company Page includes a cover photo, company updates, links to products and services, links to careers, and more. A brief description of the company is included near the bottom of the page.
Even though the “About Us” section of your LinkedIn Company Page is way down at the bottom of your home page, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to write a great description of your business. If someone makes the effort to scroll down and find your description, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re interested in your business. Don’t disappoint them by not providing the information they want. Furthermore, be sure to use keywords, so people can find your LinkedIn Company Page through relevant searches.
2. Add products and services.Your LinkedIn Company Page includes a Products and Services tab where you can share images of your products, descriptions, links to purchase them, and more. This is the “sales” section of your LinkedIn Company Page, so go ahead and try to sell the benefits of your products and services.
3. Make sure your most important product is listed first.The first product or service listed on your Products and Services page is also displayed as featured content in sidebar of your home page. That means more people will see it. With that in mind, make sure the first product on your Products and Services page is the one that you want to promote on your home page.
4. Capture attention with a fantastic cover image.The cover photo appears at the top of the home page of your LinkedIn Company Page. Choose a cover photo that is visually dynamic, capture’s people’s attention, and lures them in to take a closer look at your Page content. Don’t forget that your company summary is hidden at the bottom of your home page, so it’s a good idea to include a message in your cover image that describes what your company does in a few words.
Tips 6-10 and Complete Formes Article
Here are six ways to get started.
1. Be bold about social media networking. Spend time each day on social media sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. On LinkedIn, search for people you know and invite them to connect with you. Ask colleagues for LinkedIn recommendations to build out your professional profile on the site. Join your alumni, peer and industry groups on LinkedIn for more networking and to stay abreast of job openings. AARP's Work Reimagined group on LinkedIn is a good place for job hunters to start. Sign up for customized job alert postings in your field of interest.
Engage in social media by commenting on posts, retweeting and so on. Then make at least one lunch or coffee date each week to meet someone from your online network the old-fashioned way, face to face.
Networking peer groups are active in churches, synagogues and community centers. You might also consider joining a peer group associated with your profession.
If you hear of a local event that sounds intriguing, push yourself to make room in your schedule. I try to go to two a month.
Real networking isn't about finding someone to help you get a job today. It's about making contacts over time. At each network event, I try to meet three new people and get their contact information. Afterward, I jot down notes on the backs of their business cards about where we met and what we discussed. I follow up via email in the next day or so and try to make plans to meet in the near future to continue our conversation.
3. Help others connect. Virtual introductions are easy and a win for everyone. Pride yourself on being a good matchmaker? Then when someone says, "I'm looking for someone who can do this," craft an email introducing the two parties and let them take it from there. It's a nice thing to do, and it feels good.
Tips 4-6 and Complete Article
Friday, January 18, 2013
Over the years, hiring managers have born witness to every hiring, interviewing, résumé, cover letter and negotiation mistake there is.
You know what these blunders are. We've told you several times. Yet you (and hundreds of other job seekers) continue to make common job search mistakes.
From those who see your mistakes over and over, here are 16 common job search mistakes to avoid -- and some of them may surprise you.
1. You don't keep your options open"Candidates tend to think that if they interview for a job they will get an offer, so they do not apply and interview for multiple positions," says Joanie Spain, director of public relations and career services, School of Advertising Art, a graphic design college. "They wait until one plays out completely, putting their job search on hold until knowing for sure they didn't get the offer."
"By having many more irons in the fire, you diversify the risk and disappointment that is inevitable when any single opportunity disappears," adds Roy Cohen, author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach."
"You also present yourself as a more passionate and energetic candidate. You're in the 'zone' -- a point where you're in the flow of information and ideas -- and that makes you more valuable."
2. You turn up your nose at job descriptions"Entry-level candidates are reluctant to apply for a position unless the job sounds like their 'dream job' or they have all qualifications listed," Spain says. "Rather than going on an interview to get more information, they base decisions about applying on the job description alone. They fail to see that all interview experience is good experience, or that, until there is an offer on the table, there is no decision to make."
3. You haven't perfected the thank-you note"Don't be too verbose with a thank-you note after an interview. Sending out a version of "War and Peace" can come across as desperate and needy for a job. However, sending a one or two sentence thank-you note comes across as flippant, not well thought-out and potentially shows indifference regarding the job to the employer," says Mike Barefoot, senior account manager at Red Zone Resources, a recruitment firm. "We encourage candidates to keep them to four to eight sentences."
4. You don't check your references"Always give out references that you've pre-screened. We sometimes see candidates give out references that were never checked with and the references feedback isn't always kind," Barefoot says. "Also, make sure they're predominantly managers. An occasional colleague is okay, but contemporaries and friends really don't carry that much weight in helping you land a position."
5. You've got poor business acumen"Managers are becoming more savvy and are taking candidates out to lunch for interviews. They want to see how you treat a restaurant staff and see the 'real' you. If you're rude to them or don't seem appreciative for their hard work to make your meal pleasurable, managers wonder how you'll treat contemporaries you work with," Barefoot says.
6. You have a messy briefcase"A messy briefcase can imply the person is unorganized, messy and unprepared, and that their work will be less than optimal," says Ronald Kaufman, author of "Anatomy of Success." "Someone who is neat, clean, organized and prepared in all areas conveys they're serious about getting a job and working."
7. You discount temporary positions"Many employers coming out of a recession want to hire on a temporary or temp- to perm- basis. We have already seen several contractors be offered permanent positions after they have proven themselves," says Jeffrey Weinstock, Esq. president, Rhodes & Weinstock, a recruiting firm. "Not only will the temporary position pay some bills, think of it as an audition for a potential perm position, or at least a way to get a good reference for another position."
8. You have a bad attitude"Poor attitudes come through in telephone calls and in interviews. If you are not positive, why would a potential employer want to hire you?" asks Weinstock. "It may take some time, but by being positive, by doing all the right things, by seeing each position as an opportunity, it will happen."
Tips 9-16 and Complete CareerBuilder Article
Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or you’re a seasoned user, connecting with new people can be a challenge, especially when you’re not sure what to write in your LinkedIn invitation.
You might be tempted to use the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” template, but beware! By not personalizing your message, you could lose a precious opportunity to network.
How To Write A LinkedIn InvitationHere are seven great tips on writing LinkedIn invitations from our approved career experts:
1. Be Honest“Explain why you want to connect with the person,” says Amanda Haddaway, author of Destination Real World: Success After Graduation For New And Soon-To-Be College Graduates. ”Just say something. There’s nothing worse than receiving a LinkedIn request with the standard, generic format and not having any earthly idea who the person is or why he/she wants to connect with you.”
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of Next Chapter New Life says honesty is the best policy when trying to connect with someone, especially if you’re looking to do some serious networking.
“If you want to work for their company,” Tannahill-Moran says, “don’t be shy about admitting that they are working for your targeted company and are looking for insights about that company. Open communication is always best.”
2. Tell Them How You Know Them“I get a lot of requests and I always appreciate a brief mention of why the person wants to connect,” says Jenny Yerrick Martin of Your Industry Insider. ”Whether they saw my post on a LinkedIn group, found me through my website, or know someone who knows me in real life, that extra step usually gets me to accept the invitation.”
3. Find Something In CommonWhen trying to to find something in common with your potential connection, Haddaway suggests asking yourself these questions:
- Is it a mutual career field or interest?
- Do you have connections in common?
- Are you connected through LinkedIn Groups?
Example: Dear Jane: I see that you are a member of xxx group. I am also engaged with this group and would like to share some ideas with you. Please accept my invitation to connect.This example is short and sweet, but it gets the point across effectively.
4. Make It Personal
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I hope that you have thought of or already found some ways to put last week's list of LinkedIn Strategies for Small Business to good use.
We covered the first of the 6 LinkedIn Strategies that I'll share with you:
- Building a live community
- Business development
- Promoting a blog/branding/building traffic
- Getting work as a freelancer or consultant
- Promoting a product
- Strategies for everyone
A piece of advice that I will never forget receiving from an older, wiser mentor of mine who started and ran 2 successful businesses including a luxury goods marketing firm — he has a rolodex of more than 1,000 people who he keeps in touch with on a regular basis. How does he do this? For him it's a simple phone call that usually lasts no more than 5-10 minutes and if appropriate leads to a follow up email and possible work. This very simple technique kept him busy.
One of the simplest ways of using LinkedIn is just as a "modern Rolodex" a list of the people you want to communicate with on a regular basis so that they remember you're out there, what you have to offer, and why they like you. The only tools you need for this is your LinkedIn profile, sending LinkedIn invitations to people you know and an hour per day to make phone calls. One of the biggest challenges for a freelancer or consultant is just making sure people remember you when they need something you offer. These quick check-in calls (with an appropriate time lapse in between) are a great way to just stay on your prospect's radar.
Of course LinkedIn search is also a great tool for this — whether you are searching within your networking or outside of it, using keyword searches on LinkedIn to find people who match your target audience is a great way to "mine the network".
NileGuide, a trip planning website, used LinkedIn to help with a variety of successful "business development" campaigns.
The primary tools? LinkedIn Search & LinkedIn InMail. Here are the 3 ways they used it:
- Fundraising - to identify relevant venture capital firms during their fundraising process
- PR - to identify a target list of publications to build awareness of their product, they searched on the publication names, and proactively contacted journalists with whom they had at least a "friend of a friend" connection.
- Strategic Partnerships - to contact people in the right departments at target companies with whom they wanted to explore business partnerships in selected industries. Their goal was to find partners who were interested in providing personalized travel guide functionality to their users.
How NileGuide used LinkedIn to build Strategic Partnerships
- Identify Companies they identified the top 20 companies to partner with in each of several target sectors within the travel and online media space.
- Identify Contacts they laid out a process to search for people with specific job descriptions in these organizations that aligned with who they believed would either be the key decision maker for a business development partnership, or one rung up or down the ladder.
- Filter Contacts - given the effort invested per contact, the contact list was filtered for both relevance and "closeness" to improve response rates. Contacts had to be at least 3rd level (i.e. a "friend of a friend of a friend"), and they carefully decided whether to reach out to the contact directly using LinkedIn's InMail tool (which requires a paid subscription), or to request an introduction through a mutual contact when the relationship with that mutual contact was strong.
Is your goal to organize your job search this year?
As the New Year rolls in, many of us resolve to quit smoking, control our finances, or lose weight. I know I could shed more than a few pounds.
In order to write something that would be useful to you for your New Year’s resolution, but keep it career-related, I thought I’d do a little research first. According to the website Statistic Brain, the most popular resolution was to lose weight. (I think they are trying to tell me something.) The second most popular was “Getting Organized.” Third was “Spend Less, Save More.”
Organize Your Job Search With These ToolsWhile I can’t help you with the weight loss, (actually, I did major in Dietetics, so I should be able to, but I’ll stick to careers) I can help you with staying organized and spending less on your career management or job search.
Here are some great job search tools to help you keep your thoughts straight for little or no cost when it comes to your career.
1. EvernoteHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
With this website, you can create “notes” within a “notebook” and further organize these into a “stack.” As a job seeker, you could have stacks like “Career Documents,” “Employers,” “Social Media,” and so on.
Within the “Career Documents,” you have a notebook with versions of your resume, another with cover letters, reference dossiers, and any other categories of correspondence. Start an “Atta Girl” or “Atta Boy” note with testimonials from performance reviews or your boss or stats from projects you worked on for inclusion on your resume.
Within Employers, start a notebook for each company on your target list. Notes might be: “Website Notes,” “Networking Contacts,” and “Financials,” for example. The possibilities are endless!
It’s pretty slick, and you can tag each note with keywords, so it’s easier to search for them than to find that old Post-It you scribbled on six months ago.
2. Jibber JobberThis website has a funny name, but a seriously bad-ass capability to manage relationships, companies, and processes for your job search. Plus, the free version will keep all of your contacts and information indefinitely, so it’s available to you for your next search.
Jibber Jobber allows you to import social media contacts, keep detailed notes about the relationship, develop action items, and link them to your target companies. With video tutorials, webinars, and a great FAQ, it’s easy to learn and implement right away.
3. DoodleNot the drawings you do in a meeting when you’re bored, but a tech-savvy way to set up networking meetings and keep yourself sane while doing it. Pick some times that are good for you to meet for coffee with your contact, set up a poll on Doodle, invite the participants, and confirm the final date and time.
Compared to emailing back and forth multiple times to set up meetings, it’s amazingly simple. Especially when multiple people are involved.
4. DropboxI don’t know what I’d do without this service. It gives me access to all of my files, audios, and images on my desktop, laptop, iPad, and phone. I can share stuff with people without having to e-mail it. Google Drive is great, too, but I prefer the layout of Dropbox and the ability to restore previous versions of documents.
Tool 5-7 and Complete Careerealism Article
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
On LinkedIn, make it easier to be found for the services you offer
One of the most basic considerations for creating and editing our Professional Profile on LinkedIn is to ensure it is well stocked with the words and phrases we want to be found for – our ideal search terms.
By the way, for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t so far delved into this area much, the jargon term is “keywords”. I have to admit it took me quite a while to figure out that the term “key words and phrases” is more accurate and might be more quickly understood by people who are not search experts. “Coach” can be a keyword: so can “business coach” “sales and marketing coach”, “Chicago business coach”, and so on.
There are a couple of ways we can test for what we might call the “keyword effectiveness” of what we’ve done in setting up our LinkedIn profile.
One process I always recommend in my LinkedIn coaching is to set aside some time to do some searching on LinkedIn ourselves, using those search terms (keywords) we want to be found for, and seeing where our profiles come up in the results. The process is similar to what we might do with Google or other search engines – first page has top ten results etc – but with the difference that if we tweak the words in the profile the differences in ranking can come up pretty well immediately.
This can take some time and I find that it’s more efficient when you don’t have to stop in mid course to do something else. Which is why I suggest that it is something to do on the weekend if you can.
Turn off notifications
To save annoying our network with multiple notifications of changes we make while experimenting, it is a good idea to switch off those notifications before starting – Settings -> Privacy Controls – and then on again when we finish.
The testing processThe basic procedure I use for testing is as follows:
First set up a simple system for recording your changes and the results. I use a notepad like a legal pad, or (paper) notebook, and keep a running score, with times. You could use a spreadsheet if you prefer.
Before making any change, search for your preferred term under People (top right corner of your LinkedIn page), leaving the Relevance filter untouched. Search through the results and see where you come up in your network. As for Google, the ideal is to be in the top three, preferably number one, but the top ten is good too. Each page of results, as for Google, has ten results.
On your notepad or spreadsheet record where you come, which may be zero at this stage, and the time.
Then add in the search term you want to be found for. When you start to make changes, at first change one element at a time (later you can make a few changes at a time) and then test the result. I usually start with the Professional Headline (just under your name on your profile).
For example, if you want to be found for the term “Business Strategist”, put that in your Professional Headline (without the quotation marks).
What I do then, having done a global search and recorded the result, is search with a location filter – Advanced Search, left hand sidebar – usually by country first, and sometimes then by a more specific location. (You can of course use other filters with, or besides, the location one.)
And then note those results.
Then make some more changes and test each of those. I usually go from the Professional Headline to the Summary, then to other elements of the profile.
What if you keep getting a zero result? - More Advice and Complete Article
With 12.2 million Americans currently unemployed and a reported 86% of employees interested in finding a new job in 2013, landing your dream job may be more competitive than ever.
For those who may not know where to begin, the most important thing you can do is “get out there and start today rather than waiting to be totally ready,” says Carol Camerino, a certified career management coach. At a professional networking event hosted by job-search firm TheLadders, which attracted over 3,500 job seekers in New York, Camerino offered her seven-step plan for successfully rebooting your job search and getting back to work.
Define What You Want
According to Camerino, one of the most difficult questions for job seekers is also the most basic: What are you looking for? “Think of yourself as standing at the counter of the cosmic career Starbucks,” she says, “and the barista asks, ‘What do you want?’ Oftentimes, people don’t know how to answer.” She advises taking a step back and considering where you want to be. Which strengths and skills do you want to act on? What kind of people, culture and work environment do you want to invest your time in? Answering some of these foundational questions will inform your job search strategies. Moreover, people will be better able to help you if you know what to ask for.
Determine And Polish Relevant Skills
“Chances are you’re used to your old company’s way of doing things,” says Camerino. However, to be a competitive candidate it’s important to understand which skills are most relevant and in demand to advance your job search. Then, create a plan to polish those skills or gain them. She recommends seeking internships, taking strategic volunteering positions, leveraging professional associations or creating a blog to highlight the expertise necessary for the job you hope to land.
Beware The Worst Job Search Obstacles
Despite their best intentions for landing a new job, Camerino sees job seekers fall into the same traps again and again. Chief among these barriers is a narrow, negative mindset, as many people get rooted in the identity of their former job. Instead, she recommends transmitting where you’re going versus where you’ve been. Another common obstacle is clutter. She says a disorganized physical workspace or job-search system can produce mental clutter that interferes with productivity. Finally, she suggests guarding your time. “When people find out you’re free during the day, your dance card can get full,” she says. Fall back on the fail-safe response, “I’d love to, but my job is job searching, so I can’t.”
Tips 4-7 and Complete Forbes Article
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
With those goals in mind, here are three career trends I’m predicting for 2013 and tips on how you can incorporate them, with the help of LinkedIn, into your New Year’s job search:
LinkedIn profiles replace resumes
We’ve seen this happening for some time — people leading with their LinkedIn profile vs their resume. I believe 2013 is the year that many employers will rely more on LinkedIn than traditional resumes to make their hiring decisions. Employers may still request traditional resumes, but those will take a backseat to your LinkedIn presence. The reasons why are numerous: a LinkedIn profile provides so much more information and richer context for one’s career path, skills and experience; a resume limits you to one or two pages while a LinkedIn profile is unlimited; and your LinkedIn profile is public, so employers consider it to be more trustworthy (i.e., very few people lie on their LinkedIn profiles because their connections would quickly call out any untruths or exaggerations).
In some ways, your LinkedIn profile needs to mirror your resume. Factual information, such as your job titles, dates of employment and educational credentials, need to match exactly. And your overall skill set, experience level and areas of professional focus need to remain consistent so you don’t appear to be two completely different job candidates.
Beyond those basic similarities with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is completely customizable. To make your profile most appealing to employers, first craft a compelling, keyword-rich headline, such as “Big Idea Salesperson with Track Record of Success in the Construction Sector.” Not sure what to say? Gather inspiration by researching the LinkedIn profile headlines of some successful people who have the type of job you want.
Next, add a professional photograph to your profile to help recruiters match your name with your face when they meet you in person. Then, make sure that the rest of your profile acts as a more comprehensive version of your resume, including all of your experience, unique accomplishments, measurable results (e.g., “decreased average customer service call wait time by over 2 minutes”) and recommendations from former colleagues and managers.
Once you feel your profile is the best it can be, tap a few trusted friends or family members to review it with a critical eye. Specifically, ask them two questions:
- Is it clear from my profile what kind of job opportunities would be a good fit?
- Is it clear what makes me unique and valuable?
One last point: remember that your LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing representation of you, so regularly revisit your profile to make sure it’s up-to-date with new accomplishments. You can also keep your profile fresh and appealing to recruiters by frequently sharing interesting articles or brief commentary about topics that matter to you. These shares appear right at the top of your profile in the “Activity” section, so they will keep your profile looking active and compelling.
Employers seek more specialized skills. - More Advice and Complete Article