is networking helping or hurting your career?

You hear the word “networking” in a positive light most of the time, but think about it: Who are you networking with? If every conversation is gossip or complaining, then it has an effect on the way you think and act. In addition to how it affects you, there’s an effect on how your employer or potential employer perceives your character. It’s true; your online lifestyle can ruin a career opportunity.

But the opposite is also true; the way you interact on social media can create and enhance a career opportunity. One way to do this is by curating who you follow on Twitter.  I don’t mean you can’t follow your favorite celebrity, but think about the type of information you are taking in. If you are reading blogs that you find beneficial for your career field, see if the blogger has a Twitter feed and get small chunks of inspiration throughout the day. You could even develop a relationship with that person as you interact.

You’d be surprised at how many online mentoring moments take place when there’s a two-way conversation about more serious topics than who got drunk at the party. Basically, the internet is a tool, and the way you use that tool reveals what you are interested in knowing more about. That’s why a lot of employers are so interested in the online brand of their employees, and it’s not going to change. The type of person you are online is how you might be in a stressful situation at work, and they know it.

If you are not sure who would be good to follow on Twitter, I have a suggestion: the Savvy Intern at YouTern recently came out with their Top 50 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers MUST Follow (2014). I know that this is a good list not because I’m on it but because I follow some of them myself.

 

 

If you’re a teenager or college student, or the parent of a teenager or college student, then you all know what time of year it is…time to find that much needed summer job.  While the economy has picked up a bit, there are many places, including here in Michigan where scoring a summer job is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Don’t give up – there are things you can do to help make your summer job search a success.

Seasonal Jobs

Head to your local garden centers, greenhouses, and home improvement stores.  Many of these retailers hire extra help during the summer as more people are busy with remodeling and home improvement projects during the warm summer months. You could also check out your local government agencies, as they also hire students to help with extra lawn work during the summer. If you enjoy working with children, there are always parents looking for childcare while their kids are out of school for the summer, or you could look into opportunities at local youth camps.

Application/Interview Etiquette

Even if you are only putting in an application, dress professionally.  If you are offered an interview on the spot, you want the hiring manager to focus on your qualifications and work ethic, not your short shorts or ripped jeans. Carry your resume and reference information with you to make the application process go faster, as well to show that you’re prepared in the event the employer asks for a resume.

Digital Dirt

Don’t think that because you’re only seeking summer employment that a hiring manager may not “Google” you or look you up on Facebook. If your status updates or tweets are filled with profanity and/or pictures of your weekend escapades, the hiring manager may decide right then and there that you are not the type of person who would be a responsible employee.  Clean up your digital dirt before you start applying for jobs and remove inappropriate posts/comments from friends who have access to your online profiles. Finally, make sure you have a professional greeting on your voice mail. An employer doesn’t want to hear “This is Joe – hit me up” when they need to leave a message for you. Simply state your name and confirm your phone number in your voice mail so that the employer knows they have the right person.

With a little bit of patience, hard work, and perseverance, you will surely land that coveted summer job.

social media
Social media is a massive part of many of our lives now that using it seems almost second nature. Whether we are liking Facebook statuses, tweeting our friends or sending photos via Tumblr, we are all used to making the most of social networking. In fact, we also know that it can help us to keep in touch with friends, get back in touch with old friends and even to meet new people!

What many people don’t realize is the benefit that they can have if they use social media for job search. Fair enough. You might not be able to “tweet” to apply for a job vacancy, but there are plenty of ways to use social media to your advantage when you are job hunting.

In fact, there are even social networking websites that are aimed towards professionals. They allow you to create an online version of your resume, connect with colleagues and employers and meet new people. It is a great way of networking and getting the inside information on companies and any vacancies that may be coming up! Remember that it has always been “not what you know but who you know.” By getting involved in social media job hunting you can be sure that you are making the most of every avenue open to you when it comes to enhancing your career and getting the job of your dreams.

Once you join one of these websites you will see that there are loads of other people already using them – which you can always use to your advantage!

Follow The Tweet

You’ve done everything you can possibly think of to get your executive resume out to businesses and still it’s hard to find a job. What else can you do? Think about social media sites such as Twitter.

Many people now use tweets to get their resumes out to businesses faster. It’s also a great place to look for jobs. A lot of companies are now advertising online versus the regular way of newspapers and job boards. It’s also very easy to tweet a resume.

As many know, tweets are usually only 140 characters or less. You don’t put your complete resume there; it’s impossible. But, you can do special coding in the tweet in order to link it to your resume.

Hashtags are used when searching for the best phrase for the type of job you are looking for. For example, the # sign will go before the phrase, such as #executivejobs. Place this in your tweet box and a number of phrases will appear for you to choose from.

You will need a Twitter account and once you have that you can enter the hashtags of your choice. You will also want to save your resume on your computer as a .DOC, RTF, PDF or TXT file.

You can use third-party resume tweeting service like TweetMyResume to share your resume online. When that is accomplished, you can add a tweet like #resume and add it to your tweet in order to share it. Also, put in your profile what job skills and the type of job you are looking for. Prospective employers will see your tweet and possibly contact you about an interview.

Social media has become the proving ground for job searches and resumes. In addition to Twitter, you can also use LinkedIn, Facebook and others. Make sure you retweet your resume weekly to keep it fresh and on top of other resume tweets. Hundreds of people have founds jobs by doing this on Twitter. This just may be the way to get that job you have been waiting around for.

Word Spreads

With all the new technology available on the Internet today, there is absolutely no reason anyone should simply stop once a resume has been completed and sent. There is a wide world of other venues just waiting for you to use them to market your personal brand. Blogging is only part of it.

Some may think blogging and job searches are two different things. They are, but they aren’t. There has never been a better time to be able to talk to people, to get the word out about you and your skills than blogging.

Build a blog site that highlights your job skills and your previous jobs. Talk about something every day. Add links to your resume and use the social networks to retweet or repost your site.

There are numerous job boards for you to use to post your resume, whether it’s an executive resume, professional or entry level. And there are people who will retweet your blog post so others can see it. Before long, you have reached thousands of people. Before, you would have sent it to only a few. So, what’s smarter?

Twitter has a very easy way to help individuals with their blog posts and to be able to integrate both together. Facebook does as well, and LinkedIn too.

Now, you can increase your visibility and get more options available to you during your job search. Take a chance and see how much fun it is and how much it will help at the same time.

Before you send your next resume out, give blogging and social media sites a try. You just may have more opportunities than you originally thought.

Finding the right Social Media balance takes more than just knowing how to update your profiles. Firing off quick Twitter updates or Facebook comments will not get you noticed on job boards or help you find open positions.

If you’re not receiving the right kind of attention through Social Media, you should change your strategy. You must be able to connect with your Social Media peers. It’s not as simple as it seems and you must be diligent.

Learning on the fly can be hard, but these tips will help you on your way:

1. Update your LinkedIn profile with the most accurate, up-to-date information.

I cannot advocate this enough – you need to a strong representation of your talents, skills and experience in order to have a fully functional LinkedIn account. Review your Summary and Specialties areas with appropriate keywords, phrases and any information prospective employers look for. Have past coworkers give you quality recommendations. Return the favor with similar recommendations from people who have helped you. Build your network by inviting past colleagues and friends who you want to stay connected with.

2. Post your resume to the right online job board.

You want to be highly visible on job sites so that HR managers can find your resume. Some HR managers search job boards, LinkedIn and niche job sites – you need to have your resume in the right place so that when the opportunity comes along you have your resume where people can find it.

3. Update LinkedIn status bar along with your job board resumes.

LinkedIn sends weekly emails to your connections which gives a summary of the activities their connections are involved in. Updating your status allows these connections to know that you are actively looking for a new position.

Recruiters who browse job sites also get weekly updated resume notifications. Whenever you update your resume or save a new one, it gets posted to the job board, allowing HR managers to see your resume more often. Get your name out there!

4. Network!

Talk to your family, friends, colleagues, or anyone. Talk to anyone who might know of an open position with a company you like. You can have them make introductions through LinkedIn to the appropriate person within their company. Many people find their jobs through networking situations, so it’s always a good idea to talk to people and explain that you are interested in their company or open position. Don’t rely on email. You want to be able to actually speak with the right person – putting a face to a voice or an ear to words will go a lot further than simply emailing someone.

5. Create your professional online identity.

This is a combined effort of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ in a coordinated effort to showcase your talents, skills and expertise. Building yourself up online gives you credibility beyond simply seeing a resume. If HR managers can find out pertinent information about you online, it will improve your chances.


 

Leaving an interview  knowing that you did not do everything in your power to get it can be demoralizing. But, it’s also a learning experience. What went wrong? How can I correct this problem? What is holding me back?

There are some things you should examine about your resume and how you showcase yourself. Here are some tips to updating your resume and getting that job interview to go in your favor.

1. Include your contact information whenever you send out emails. A quick fix, adding an email signature.

2. Forgetting to attach your resume or documents to your emails. As soon as you write, “attached” make sure you attach the document. Gmail actually has a function that asks if you want to attach something when you write “attach”.

3. Sending an email before you’re ready. Try sending it to yourself before sending it to HR managers. This way you can proof your email and make sure that it’s exactly what you want to send.

4. Leaving odd, incomplete or incoherent phone messages. Nothing sounds worse than being rushed or fumbling through your words as you leave a message, “”Umm, Hi. What? Oh, Hi, this is John…”  What if the voicemail server doesn’t have a redo function? Now you look a little silly. Speak slowly so that you can gather your words and leave a smart, coherent message. Leave your name at the beginning and end with your name and phone number.

5. Lying on your LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. Saying that you’re a consultant when you’ve been out of work for 2 years does not look good. People will think you’re employed and look over you for prospective positions. Instead, say that you’re looking for “new opportunities” or “a change of pace”.

6. Not telling people that you are looking for a job. Send an email to your friends and family and let them know that you’re actively seeking a job. You would be surprised at the amount of people who will come to you with new opportunities. Update your LinkedIn profile to let people know that you are looking for a job. The more people who know that you’re looking, the higher your chances of landing a job.

7. Forgetting to use your most current email address. Many people leave older email address on their resume and fail to check their mail as they move on to new servers. You can solve this problem by email all of your contacts from your new email address, as well as updating your resume with the most up-to-date information. Make sure your online profiles include your email address as well.

8. Check your email messages for grammar or spelling errors. Nothing is worse than crafting a thought out email, sending it and then realizing that you’ve misspelled “Marketnig”. It’s a dead giveaway that you do not possess the eye for detail you claim. Spell check before you send that message.

The job market has seen it’s share of ups and downs, but how does everything look at the halfway point in the year? Finding the right career means staying on top of the latest studies and trends about employment, salaries, and the behavior of employers. Here are four career-related studies you should definitely follow – as well as expert advice on how to use them to find (and continue) your dream job.

1. Salaries are increasing – but barely…

Recent studies have shown that employee raises are expected to increase around 3 percent, according to The Conference Board. Here’s what you do – set up a meeting before your annual review. By the time you get to your review, the company knows what type of increase you will be getting. The key is to get in before the decision has been made, plant the seeds early by asking what you need to do to increase your salary, and plan accordingly. Take action so that you get the most out of your position.

2. Long-term unemployment is still going to be around…

Of the 14 million Americans who were unemployed in December, almost a third of them have not had a steady job in over a year. This is a 25% increase from last year – which means that many people are waiting even longer for jobs than they had to previously. Start by building your online brand. Make your name synonymous with your field. Your online brand is the same as McDonalds, Ford or Google. If people know you by name recognition, you will stand out above the rest.

3. Gmail is the king of all mail…

According to British email company Mimecast, up to 85% of young employees are using Gmail for work related purposes. But experts advise prospective employees avoid this situation because it leaves both your personal and business relationships open to hackers, malicious software and the possibility of having your work compromised. Remember that anything that you create while working for a company is considered their property and once it is sent out on the internet, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. Especially avoid using personal mail to send out confidential information, even if it’s to other coworkers – you never know when their email may be compromised. It’s not just about protecting you but about protecting the companies interest as well.

4. More people are involved in social media than ever before

And more people are finding jobs that involve Twitter than ever before. Besides, if celebrities can make a name of themselves through Twitter, why can’t the average American turn it into a moneymaking venture. The goal is simple – focus on what you love. Would you go to your friend who takes the bus for advice on buying a car? Of course not, so why would you focus your endeavors on anything but what you know and love? Just develop your social media skills. They will go a long way towards building your brand and finding you a new career.

One of the biggest mistakes that an executive could make while looking for a position is treating their job search as if they were still a manager. When you reach the level of an executive, you’ve entered into another world, so you have to treat your job search just like that. This means focusing on different inroads to success and applying cutting-edge search techniques.

If you’re coming into the world of an executive and want to know how to make your job search easier, don’t just sit back without reviewing every avenue possible. Try using every path to your advantage, it’s no doubt that you’ve made friends along the way, that’s just one area for you to search. These tips will help you find the right job for you.

Begin with Networking

It has been shown that over 80 percent of executives got their current job through one form of networking. Executive jobs are not like lower-level jobs which can be easily filled through online applications. Executives meet through social clubs, business meetings and professional routes. You could easily run into someone who knows the vice president of ABC Corporation and be the person they were looking to hire. Don’t ever forget the value of networking, the more you get your face out there, the better off you will be. If you don’t focus on networking, you could be missing out on a lot of great job opportunities.

Make the Most out of Social Media

LinkedIn is the number one job networking and search site on the web, so set up an account (if you haven’t already), because it’s incredible important that you make the most out of social media. Just setting up an account is not enough- you have to make yourself be known. By just focusing your LinkedIn profile on your resume, you’re missing out on many of the site’s benefits.

Your profile allows you to not only highlight your past professional and education history, it also allows you the opportunity to network and make connections with other executives in your field. Networking with other professionals gives you an opportunity to find new positions or to develop professional recommendations. Through recommendations from the right executives, you can transform your LinkedIn profile into an online resume that sells. Never take for granted the power of the web, many partnerships and employment opportunities have been built on the backs of social media sites.

Your Name and Reputation are Important

When you become an executive, you take on a burden of work that is different than the average worker – so you have to outperform the average worker. You have to care more about the company’s overall success because it will directly reflect your business acumen. If you don’t maintain a stellar reputation, it could affect your job search and your ability to find the right position. This means avoiding the silly Facebook page. You’re being judged on your actions, as well as the people you associate yourself with. Make sure your name and your reputation are held in high regard.

**I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a certain topic. This month, we are talking about Social Media and our careers. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective. You can also view the other member’s interesting posts at the end of the article.

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Today it seems that everyone from your 10-year-old nephew to your Great Grandmother Mildred has at least a Facebook account filled to the brim with information that you may or may not want them, or other people from divulging – everyone, which includes the same hiring manager you sent your last resume to. Now it’s just much easier for prospective employers to Google your name and find out information about you, your family and your habits. So, what’s the best site and the best methods to keep your personal information private?

With the vast resources of personal data so readily available through social networking sites, it is very tempting for recruiters, HR managers and even yourself, to use these methods to screen prospective employees or to just find out information about an old friend. Microsoft recently released a commissioned study that shows 79% of people will look at an applicants’ online profile. Reviewing a candidates social networking site can help companies know more about how those candidates handle themselves, both personally and professionally. It can also provide information that is illegal to ask during interviews.

It’s true that in today’s world you have to be online in order to get noticed, but what sites are right for keeping your personal information private, while still giving you a measure of freedom online? The most well known sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Myspace all have their ups and downs. Myspace has virtually vanished as a peer-to-peer social media information site in favor of it’s traditional focus as being a music house for artist. Facebook has it’s many detractors thanks to gaping security holes and the ability to gleam information quickly and easily, even after that information has been deleted. Twitter doesn’t really carry the same weight as the other sites, it’s good for quick burst of information but you cannot really customize it in order to share professional information. LinkedIn is the site that many professionals think of when they are looking for another job. People post links to jobs, information about their companies and things they are looking for. If you stay diligent and become friends with people in your industry, there is no way that LinkedIn would not benefit you.

It also presents an ethical conundrum. What if an HR manager stumbles upon your Facebook page with pictures from a wild party or of your growing baby belly? Would they be more or less inclined to hire you based on what they determine online? According to Microsoft’s study, 84% believe that it is OK to use social media to gather information about a candidate.

Do you know what that means? It means you have to stay up on what you have posted online and watch anything that could prevent you from finding that job. Make sure that you pick the right social media site and use it properly. In the right hands social media can be a very powerful thing, but it can also prevent you from gaining what you want.

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Read on for more great Career Collective articles:

Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana, #careercollective

You 2.0: The Brave New World of Social Media and Online Job Searches, @dawnrasmussen #careercollective

How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman #careercollective

Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW #careercollective

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman #careercollective

Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy #careercollective

Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland #careercollective

We Get By With a Little Recs from Our Friends, @chandlee #careercollective

Expat Careers & Social Media: Social Media is Potentially 6 Times more Influential than a CV or Resume, @expatcoachmegan #careercollective

Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search, @KatCareerGal #careercollective

Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa #careercollective

How Having Your Own Website Helps You, @keppie_careers #careercollective

Social Media: So what’s the point?, @DawnBugni #CareerCollective

Tools that change your world, @WorkWithIllness #CareerCollective

HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist #CareerCollective

Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice #CareerCollective

Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords #CareerCollective

Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach #CareerCollective

Social Media Primer for Job Seekers, @LaurieBerenson #CareerCollective

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