Thursday, April 30, 2020

Six Job Search Tips To Get You Started As We Move Closer To Reopening The Economy

Jack Kelly

You’ve been at home for weeks or maybe a couple of months now. It's hard to keep track of time, as the days have started to blur together. Helplessly, you watch the news about 26 million people losing their jobs since mid-March and filing for unemployment. There’s a constant struggle to work from home, homeschool your kids and try not to go stir-crazy from being housebound for so long. If you’ve lost your job or are currently worried about losing it, you suffer with an added overhang of stress and anxiety. 

There’s some hope on the horizon. We’re getting closer to the economy reopening and returning to some sort of a new normalcy. This also comes with trepidation about health risks and how the economy will hold up. Will we face a resurgent virus outbreak once we settle into our routine, which includes commuting on crowded trains and buses? 

If you’re in between jobs or worried about losing your position, future prospects look bleak. In addition to the millions already downsized, there’s talk of millions more who will suffer the same fate. Companies are enacting hiring freezes, as they don’t have a clue as to what will happen next. You'll be thrusted into the worst job market since the Great Depression.

The reality is that—for many—you have no choice but to forge ahead despite the strong headwind working against you. Here’s what you need to do now.

1) Start doing something and take action, even if it's little baby steps

It's easy to tell yourself that you’ll wait until things get better. That may or may not happen any time soon. Procrastination won't change anything—only proactive actions will. There’s nothing to gain by feeling sorry for yourself. It's okay to be afraid of jumping off of the high diving board. For now, just dip your toe in the water and start swimming later.   


2) Prepare a plan of attack. 

If you can remember football games or live sports, the players just don't run around willy-nilly. The teams devise plans that they’ll execute on game day and continually practice and run drills. Similarly, you will need to create a job search game plan

You can start by updating your résumé and Linkedin profile. Then, contact some recruiters who specialize in your space. Search job boards and apply to relevant listings. Tap into your network to gain leads to find the right person at the company you want to work at. 

Practice your elevator pitch and role play the interview with someone you trust. 

Familiarize yourself with Zoom and other online video technologies, as that is what companies will use to interview for the foreseeable future.

See all 6 tips and the complete Forbes article 


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Update Your LinkedIn Profile with These 8 Creative LinkedIn Profile Tips

by Neal Schaffer

Isn’t it time that you update your LinkedIn Profile?
Considering that LinkedIn profiles are the most viewed pages on LinkedIn, and your profile page really is every professional’s starting place to claim and create their own professional brand, you should be regularly reviewing your LinkedIn profile to see how you can optimize it with every user interface change. With that in mind, here are the key areas in which you should focus your optimization efforts on:

2.) Make Your Profile More Discoverable

Unless you try to edit your profile you won’t see it, but LinkedIn has created more granular ways for you to decide which specific profile content you want to make more visible. Assuming that you are on LinkedIn to be found, it makes sense that you would want your entire profile visible to the public search engines. However, even though my profile has always been set to be as publicly on display as possible, I noticed that the new LinkedIn settings meant that certain sections were NOT being exposed to search engines. Below is the screenshot of what my settings looked like when I first saw them. You’ll want to make sure that you check off every box like I ended up doing.

new linkedin profile search engine settings 

3.) Get Active!

In the world of online marketing, what appears “above the fold” on your website is critical in that this is the content a viewer will see without having to scroll down. What features prominently in the new profile is your “Activity,” or status updates as well as other actions that you perform on LinkedIn, which wipes out all but the title of your professional summary. This makes your most recent LinkedIn status update all the more crucial as it will be featured rather prominently above the fold and visible to all who view your profile. LinkedIn’s decision to prevent you from automating publishing every tweet as a status update was a welcome move to make your network updates more professional, but you still need to ask yourself before posting any status update if they are truly 1) professional and 2) aligned with your branding. You also want to make sure you post at a certain frequency, say a minimum of once a week, so that your latest update doesn’t seem stale and out of date. You can easily use LinkedIn Today to curate relevant content to share with your network, so now’s the time to make that feature part of your LinkedIn routine.


8.) Increasing your Connectivity and Commonalities

My final LinkedIn profile tip is a general one about increasing both your connectivity as well as commonalities on LinkedIn. Why? Because you want to create as many data points as possible to allow relevant people you are trying to easily reach out and start a conversation with you. All of this information is being displayed in the righthand side of anyone who visits your profile, so maximize this functionality by increasing your connectivity and commonalities as follows:

Connections:

Every additional connection you make gives you the ability to find, and be found, by many more people. Although this doesn’t appear on all profiles yet, the below image gives you a feel for how prominently your connectivity status with a 2nd degree connection will be shown:
linkedin new profile common connections display visual
Increase your LinkedIn connections to increase your connectivity to any given user.
If you haven’t added any new LinkedIn connections for awhile, see my video below for how many LinkedIn connections I recommend you should have!
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXegeRJkvu0&w=480&h=360]

Groups:

Being a member of the maximum 50 groups will increase your connectivity AND commonality with any given profile by not only showing the common groups that you are both a member of, but also by allowing that 2nd degree or beyond connection the ability to easily message you by going to that common group.

Skills:

Imagine if you’re trying to attract CMOs to your profile, yet your Skills and theirs don’t overlap. Wouldn’t that be strange? Showcasing commonality in skills with those who you are trying to attract to your profile should be another priority in helping you increase your thread of commonalities. Of course, if you’re trying to attract an audience that has nothing in common with you it is one thing, but just by looking at the skills that a representative sampling of the audience you want to attract have and aligning a few of your skills where appropriate could make a positive impression by showing off your commonality in this area. As LinkedIn continues to roll out the new user interface to its user base (I only got mine this week), I am sure that we will see more changes as they continue to implement their vision for their platform. However, the above profile tips are the things that you can do immediately to truly maximize the potential for the new personal profile page user interface. Any other profile tips that you would add? Please chime in!

See all 8 tips and the complete NealShaffer post



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

6 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

In efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19, many companies have adapted to remote work by leveraging video systems like Zoom to connect virtually with their employees. Employers, who are still actively hiring, like Instacart, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, are opting for virtual interactions to take the place of in-person job interviews. This shift in the career marketplace has changed the way we conduct our professional lives and hiring processes. So what’s a virtual interview? If you’ve never experienced a virtual interview before, a virtual interview is an interview that takes place remotely, often using technology like video conferencing. 
 
Although the interviewer’s questions are likely to be similar to ones posed in an in-person interview, there will be differences between interviewing in-person versus interviewing virtually. For prospective employees, trying to make a pitch about their career qualifications and sharing their brand narrative via video conferencing software, such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, can feel a bit overwhelming. 
 
If you’re currently on the job hunt or moving to the next step of the hiring process, here are some best practices and answered questions from our recruiting team at Glassdoor to help you ace your virtual interview and to get you set up for success. 
 

1. Position yourself in a well-lit, quiet, clean space.
It’s essential to choose a quiet, well-lit, neutral, and clean space to conduct your interview, especially if you’re taking the virtual interview from home to limit distractions. Unlike interviewing in the office or a public space, virtual interviews provide an intimate glimpse into your personal life. Be sure to give a great first impression by keeping your area clean and limit any interruptions from family members, pets, partners, and roommates.


2. Test your technology beforehand. 
It’s imperative that you check and test your technology several times before the interview and that day to ensure success. Be sure to double-check your wifi connection, camera and audio, and video conferencing platforms to confirm they are all working seamlessly. Being technologically savvy is a coveted skill that employers are looking for, and by not doing your due diligence to ensure that you’re good to go in the technology realm, you could have the hiring manager or interviewer questioning if you’re the right candidate for the position. 

Read all six tips and the complete glassdoor article
 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

18 Freelance Sites to Find Your Next Gig



VIP Contributor
Co-founder of Hostt 
 
Consider this: Freelancers are expected to become the U.S. workforce majority in the near future. That means we can expect to see more and more freelancing job boards appear. That's not to say we need them. Take a look at the Google search results for “freelance jobs.” You’ll find hundreds of websites that can connect you with prospective clients.

The problem, however, is that not all job boards are created equal. Some are a bit suspicious, causing both freelancers and businesses to question their legitimacy. Others are meant only for seasoned veterans. There are also boards capable of finding work quickly for freelancers, but they won’t get paid very much. Consider it the "price of entry" to the freelance realm.

These obstacles make finding freelance work more complicated than it has to be. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 18 freelance sites to help entrepreneurs find their next gig. Each of these sites is reputable and can be used by freelancers of all experience levels, empowering people to make the most of their skills in a shaky economy.

4. Upwork

Upwork has been around in some form for years. Elance and oDesk were formed in 1999 and 2003, respectively, and merged to found Upwork. Today, Upwork is one of the largest freelance marketplaces in the world, hosting millions of freelancers in industries like design, development, accounting, marketing, writing and customer service.

Like Toptal, freelancers can find short-term tasks, recurring projects and even full-time contract work. Upwork is good for both entry-level and experienced freelancers because of the variety of work listed.

5. Freelancer

Freelancer states that it’s the “the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace,” connecting more than 30 million employees and freelancers across 247 countries. With Freelancer, you can a find a couple of different ways to work. The first way is by creating a profile that highlights your freelancing skills. When a client needs your specific skills, he can chat with you in real time.

The other way is by browsing for work and placing bids on projects that match your talents and interests. When your work is complete, you’ll receive a secure payment via the site’s Milestone Payment System.

6. SimplyHired

SimplyHired is a job search engine that helps people find remote or local work in 12 different countries. SimplyHired contains more than 100 job boards, meaning you'll have access to millions of job openings ranging from marketing to customer service. You can even find nursing and warehouse work.

You can also search for both part-time and full-time work, making SimplyHired a great platform to quickly land a job. It produces a blog that contains helpful advice on how to make yourself more attractive to recruiters.

See all 18 sites and the complete Entrepreneur article

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Stop Ignoring Your LinkedIn Profile. Best Ways To Update It Now

Robin Ryan
Today I worked with Susan, 59, an IT Manager working in the healthcare field. She has been working in her company for over 20 years. She has ignored LinkedIn as she likes her job, that is, until awhile ago. Her manager changed, and a promised promotion went to someone else. Her husband encouraged her to job hunt, and she contacted me to help her write her LinkedIn Profile. 
Susan didn’t have a profile. No connections, no professional experiences, no skills, — she had nothing. As a career counselor who writes 4 or 5 LinkedIn profiles a week, I haven’t had anyone recently who had no LinkedIn presence at all. Then, today I worked with Dominick, 60, and he just lost his job. He has decided to go ahead and formally launch his consulting business and wanted help creating his LinkedIn profile. He also didn’t have anything written on his LinkedIn Profile page, confessing he didn’t think he needed it before.
Last week, I had two people who had Profiles with nothing really on them besides their current job title and a photo. I thought, “Could this be a baby boomer trend from the coronavirus? Are people who have no profiles deciding to join the world’s largest professional network?” You have to wonder. We hear so much about the importance of a well written and up-to-date LinkedIn profile; I question how people are missing that career message. I can’t stress enough that you need a well-composed LinkedIn Profile. Ask any career counselor, and they will agree with that statement. 
Whether it’s because you lost your job, or are taking a new career path, or want a better position, your LinkedIn Profile is crucial to your job search. There are still some companies hiring. There are still recruiters searching for candidates on LinkedIn every day. You don’t want to be embarrassed when a recruiter, hiring manager, or a colleague comes to look at your profile. You want to be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. Since 90% of America is stuck at home, now is the right time to make an effort to update your LinkedIn Profile. 
Making More Connections
You won’t automatically start getting all kinds of action if you don’t have any connections. LinkedIn says that having connections with people you know is vital. It is also how the algorithm works. You want to try to connect with 300 or more people. You need that many to make LinkedIn effective in noticing you. Who makes good connections? Current and past bosses, coworkers, professional colleagues, association and club officers, friends, college classmates, and business owners. Start making requests. Just note that you are limited and can only send 30 individual invitations per day.
Here is a much faster way to get connections. LinkedIn has made it easier to add your email contacts to build your social network....  Read the full Forbes article to find out how and more tips and tricks.
 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Job Searching During A Crisis? Here Are 7 Things You Need To Know

Heidi Lynne Kurter

In the past four weeks, more than 22 millions Americans filed for unemployment. People across all industries have been impacted in some way either through losing their job or having their hours reduced. As unemployment surges, gig workers and the self employed are also struggling to keep their businesses afloat. Funding for small businesses ran out faster than anticipated leaving the self-employed and gig economy with no other option than to join the millions of other workers seeking work.

Data published by C Space, sponsored by Monster, revealed more than a third (34%) of employees are actively seeking a job, though confidence is low. The job search process will undoubtedly prove to be difficult for college seniors, some gig workers, self-employed and the unemployed. If job seekers want to prevail, they need to be adaptable, persistent and have a strong mindset to overcome mass rejections.

Here are seven things to help job seekers be successful in their job search during this crisis.

1) Explore Alternative Possibilities

Candidates shouldn’t overlook the possibility of contract, temporary or gig roles. Additionally, they should remain open-minded about flexible hours. Brandi Frattini, Talent Acquisition Manager at CareerBuilder, recommended “job seekers should also look for opportunities in other businesses within similar sections where the demand is growing.”

Focusing on in demand industries and companies such as healthcare, telecommuting software, shipping and delivery services, tech support, warehousing and logistics and food supply chain are great ways to increase ones chance in finding a job. 

CareerBuilder released new data sharing current in demand companies and jobs.
The top businesses hiring are:
  • Amazon
  • Dollar General
  • Aldi
  • Oracle
  • Walgreens
  • Decker Truck Line
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
The jobs with the highest growth are:
  • Financial analysts and advisors
  • Nurses
  • Sales (retail and insurance agents)
  • Customer services representatives
  • Laborers
  • Data entry and administrative support
  • Managers (frontline, project, etc...)
  • Truck drivers
There are alternative ways to gain experience while job searching. Unpaid opportunities provide invaluable experience and keep skills relevant while job hunting. For this reason, job seekers shouldn’t overlook internships, apprenticeships, volunteering or organizing virtual efforts such as masterminds.

5) Build A Personal Brand

Northeastern University describes a personal brand as being “who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace, and the way in which you express those values.” A job seekers personal brand is what will set them apart from the competition. A personal brand forms regardless if someone is intentional or not about creating one. The more clear and aligned someones brand is, the more it appeals to an employer.

Building a personal brand goes beyond a resume and cover letter. Employers are known to Google candiates to see what their online presence portrays about them. Employers want to avoid hiring potential liabilities and those who contradict their core values. An example would be a company promoting inclusivity but has employees making discriminatory comments. 

In addition to maintaining their current social media channels, job seekers should entertain additional avenues to demonstrate their skills. These can include creating a YouTube series, writing a blog, contributing to industry publications or designing a website to showcase their talents.

See all 7 things and the complete Forbes article


 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Get Job-Search Ready: Seven Items To Prepare While You Shelter In Place

Caroline Ceniza-Levine

It can be harder to concentrate while working from home, and social distancing may impede your networking, but you can still get job search ready while you wait for the economy to open up. Here are seven items you can work on while you shelter in place:

1 - Story for why you are looking

It’s no secret that the economy and therefore the job market is expected to be adversely affected by the pandemic. Therefore, if you already have a job, prospective employers will want to know why you are looking now. Why are you willing to take a risk and venture out into a shrinking, more competitive job pool? If you don’t have a good answer, some will assume the worst – that you are being pushed out.

The fix? Never go negative on your current job and instead focus on what is exciting about your next job. Tailor your response to the employer you’re talking to. Job search is like dating – employers want to know you’re genuinely interested in them, not just looking to get away from your ex. If you were laid off during the pandemic, you still need a story about what you’re looking for, and it should also be what is exciting about your next job, not how desperate you are about any job. Again, think of the dating parallel – employers don’t want to be the rebound relationship. 

4 - Video interview

Video interviews are not the same as live interviews, so you need to prepare for video interviews specifically. In addition, there are recorded video interviews (e.g., Interview Stream, Easy Hire) where you don’t have a live interaction but rather receive a set of questions and answer to a recording. Be aware that employers are using these tools, so you can prepare now.

The fix? With the increase in video calls because of social distancing mandates, it’s easy to get complacent with the technology and act too familiar on an interview. You’re also in your home instead of a formal office – more encouragement to get casual. Practice video interviewing for jobs specifically. Enlist a friend from HR or a coach to take you through a mock video interview. Record a video interview from start-to-finish to simulate the recorded interviews you may be asked to do.

All 7 items and the complete Forbes article





Thursday, April 9, 2020

Here's How You Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Strengthen Your Personal Brand

By Amy George

Here's a question I get asked a lot: Do you do SEO on clients' LinkedIn profiles? The answer: Yes.
There are steps I take to increase the chances that profiles I work on turn up in Internet searches and LinkedIn searches, too. And you can use these strategies to optimize your own professional profile.  


1. Sprinkle keywords throughout your profile.

Think about the terms people would use to search for someone with your expertise. These are your keywords, and you should sprinkle them throughout your profile, starting with your headline.
With your headline think of the words that prospective clients and recruiters would use to find someone like you. Think job function, specialty and career tenure. For example, Marketing Director and Senior Communications Strategist conveys long established marketing and communications expertise. Marketing Director and Senior Financial Communications strategist adds another layer, specific industry experience. 
Make sure current and past titles and job descriptions -- those in the Experience section -- are likewise optimized.
In the About section, which is the bio section, I recommend using keywords but only to the degree that they don't interfere with telling a story. This section is less about stringing together industry words and more about telling a story that makes you stand out. Think of it as your "why" -- why you do what you do and how you got here -- versus a listing of accomplishments, which is what the Experience section is for.

3. Use hashtags in your posts.

When you post to LinkedIn, use hashtags that correspond to your keywords. For example, when I share stories that I've read or written about LinkedIn or public relations, I include hashtags like #linkedin #linkedmakeover #publicrelations #PR.
I recently asked a LinkedIn makeover client who lives in New York how she found me. It was simple. She was searching on LinkedIn. This happens a lot. It works.

See all the steps and the complete Inc. article


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

4 Video interview tips for remote job interviews



If you are applying for remote roles or if you are looking for jobs during this period of social distancing, mastering video interviews is very important. Likely you have some experience with taking phone and even some Zoom/Google Hangout interviews in the past, but we wanted to compile a list of video interview tips so that you go into these calls with confidence.

Most companies follow the same general interview flow:
  1. Phone screen with HR/recruiter
  2. Technical phone or video interview
  3. Onsite/video interview, which includes technical, behavioral, and cross-functional interviews
We have worked with hundreds of people through their phone screens and the rest of their interviews so that they can land great jobs and we wanted to share some of our top tips to prepare for these video interviews so you can go in with confidence.

1. Learn what is important to the company

You need to research the company before your phone screen and all behavioral interviews so that you have a good understanding of the company’s mission, values, and products. 

Knowledge of the company mission will help you when you talk about yourself, in your elevator pitch (introduction) and throughout the behavioral questions. You want to connect your experience and goals to the company’s values so they know you are a good culture fit. Check out the company’s About page, Culture page, and Jobs/Careers page for information on what they look for in a good candidate and team member. If you are looking for an elevator pitch template to adapt for yourself, check out our guide.

You should also make sure you have a good sense of the products that the company works on. A lot of people skip this step when they are interviewing with big tech companies because they already use the products. While it is beneficial for you to be a user of the product, so much so that you should consider downloading the app or signing up before interviewing, you should also make sure you read about each product on their website to get a better understanding of the history and goals. You should be able to speak intelligently about how you can drive impact, especially if you are applying for a specific product team, like Oculus at Facebook.

2. Prepare responses to common behavioral interview questions

Don’t let yourself be taken by surprise. There are some questions you know you will be asked, so you should prepare your responses as best you can before the interview. You don’t want to come across as rehearsed, but you do get the added advantage of being behind the computer screen, so you can use notes to help you while you respond.

Phone interviews are typically brief and more conversational, but behavioral interviews in your “onsite” will be more in depth. Some questions you will likely see are:
  • What is your greatest weakness and strength?
  • Talk about a conflict you have had at work and how you resolved it.
  • Share an example of a time you were able to motivate a coworker.
We’ve outlined answers to these behavioral interview questions that you can adapt based on your own experience and background. In general, you should make sure that your answers are succinct and that you avoid rambling. We always recommend that you offer to go into more detail, which gives the interviewer the chance to make a decision on whether or not you should continue talking about that topic.

For even more behavioral interview questions from top tech companies, check out our guide.

Read tips 3,4, and the complete PathRise article