One of the ways to improve your online brand is by being active online in ways that focus on your professional arena.You can start out by using search engines to find news in your field, but you can also find niche communities of your peers and connect on social media sites like LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.
Once you have some professional places to hang out on the web it’s a good idea to start interacting with others on those sites. Make intelligent comments on blog posts, have discussions that are courteous, and always have a link back to your own blog under your name. Be the opposite of a troll. This gives you a wide audience of people who view you favorably and probably will be interested in visiting your blog to see if there is more good stuff to be found.
When they come to your blog, have some good stuff there. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds:
link to content that you found helpful and make some comments then ask for opinions
write a short (250-500 word) post every few days about something in your field
have a mix of news items and evergreen content that is always useful
If you do a little bit every day, it slowly builds up into an impressive, authoritative presence that gives weight to your online brand. When potential employers look you up online, you look good. Many people actually are hired based on internet activity that created a relationship and developed respect for the knowledge displayed. The job offer came as a result of the added authority of their online presence.
If you decide you need professional help for your online brand, we offer online branding/profile development coaching that just might be what you are looking for.
Among the rest of the things you need to do before that job interview, looking at your credit report is up there in priority. Actually, your credit is something you should be in the habit of checking several times a year. Here’s why it should be done before that job interview:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal law covering the whole issue. This link is to a pdf of the law. It’s a little overwhelming.
According to Workplace Fairness, it boils down to the fact that if an employer asks and gets your written permission, they can do a credit check any time after that, even if you have been employed for a while.
If there is something negative in your credit report, and they decide that is reason not to hire you (or reason to fire you), the federal law doesn’t have any remedies for it even if the report is inaccurate. Some states have laws covering this area.
If you are rejected for a job based “in whole or in part” on a negative credit report, the employer has to follow guidelines laid out in the law: give you a copy of that report, and written instructions on challenging the accuracy of the report (like handing you a brochure like “A Summary of Your Rights Under The FCRA” by the FTA).
Employment Background Checks are a fact of life in the US, so the Federal Trade Commission monitors them. This link is to their page explaining things in a quick summary.
If you have been keeping up on your credit report monitoring, you are already prepared to explain any negative things on that report. You are familiar with the way it all works because you’ve been consistently learning about it. So you aren’t being hit with a bunch of unfamiliar stuff and you are ready.
Honestly, if you aren’t paying attention to things like your credit report, you are kind of like the guy who puts his dollar bills in a pile and gets surprised when they disappear in the wind. He is making the mistake of thinking a minor detail won’t affect much. It’s really important these days because identity theft happens to anybody and that regular credit check will let you know it happened to you.
Professional Resume Services has covered credit checks along with a lot of other topics on this blog. You can poke around in the archives and get a lot of information! Best of all, you’ll see a little popup (Let’s Talk!) that gives you a chance to ask questions and get answers.
People have been fired over what they’ve said in blog posts or on social media sites. Sharing confidential information or making negative comments about a business have cost many employees their jobs. Some employees have even been fired over making positive comments about their company. What is grounds for termination in the cyber-world and how can social media affect your job search? Can having a personal blog, professional blog or social media account impact your job search? It most certainly could and probably will. If you post about how you conduct yourself in interviews or if you post about how you embellish your resume, potential employers will be able to see it. You want to have a profile that does not scream “bad employee” and that could be anything from bragging about excessive drinking to how you steal notepads from work. Is it alright for prospective employers to be reading your blog or social media account? Perhaps not, but, when you post something on the Internet, it’s there for anyone to see, no matter what their motives might be. Some people, who have taken extra steps with their job search, will list their personal site or social media address on their resumes. Again, you should only do this if there is nothing you want to keep from a prospective employer on your site. Who hasn’t Googled someone they were interested in? Well, HR managers do the same thing with prospective employees. If you have it on your resume, then the employer will definitely look at it. Most hiring managers will look at a prospect’s website if they list it. Others will try to find out as much personal information as they can. This is not the days of “3 references” anymore, now your 3 references are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If your blog is hidden or private and people in the office or a hiring manager finds out your identity, they can still look up sensitive information about you. They certainly won’t mind reading it, so don’t put anything negative about current coworkers or any past employers you have had. Once again, do not include a link on your resume to your social media site or personal website if it contains anything that might be damaging to your job search. Always be careful about what you put online. If you have a social media account, people will probably have no problem reading it, after all, you put your information out there, so it’s public domain now. Even if you think only your friends can access it, you still have to take caution and be proactive about what you put out. If you’re unemployed, consider putting together a website or social media site that’s specifically related to your job search. You can position yourself as an expert in your field. Attach samples of your resume, portfolio or any certifications you have.
People are searching, so when they find you, what do you want them to see?
If you aren’t living under a rock, you have been hearing lots of buzz about “branding“. So, what exactly IS branding and how will it help my executive resume? What will it do for me?
With the tight job market today, and thousands of qualified senior level candidates, employers can afford to be picky. How do you get to the top of the pile? How are you going to stand out? Your brand.
Your personal brand is the promise of the value you bring to the company. Your unique-ness. What makes you, you.
Think “Heinz”. When I say that, what immediately comes to mind? Ketchup. You know exactly what it will look like, taste like, smell like, etc. Heinz’ brand offers the promise of tomatoe-y goodness on a french fry or hot dog, right?
It’s more about action, rather than words. What you can do for the company? I talk to my clients about that all the time. In promoting your executive brand on your resume, you are stating to the company, “This is who I am, these are what my strengths are, and this is what I can do for you.” You have to uncover your assets and cultivate them in order to drive credibility and increase your professional/executive presence.
There is so much to be gained from branding your executive resume for the job search. One of the main reasons I like branding resumes is because there is no guesswork involved in what the person does, what their strengths are, and what they are recognized for. Any recruiter out there would agree– there is nothing worse than getting a resume that has no identifiable statements at first glance of what they do– you have to read line by line halfway down the page to figure out, “Ohhhhh, they are Senior VP at the firm, OK.”
I will get more into executive branding in future posts– how it can help you: increase your visibility and online presence, differentiate you from your peers, help you achieve professional success, realize how people will be drawn to you, want to follow/listen to you, and more.
So, in the mean time, dig deep, discover what makes you tick– your strengths, drive, and interests– and start building your brand.
I have been MIA lately… it’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog, I really have, it’s just that I’ve been doing something really exciting and had to wait until it was completed until I could blog again. It was worth the wait. I launched a new website.
It’s been a long time coming.
For those of you who had to double check what you spelled when you realized the page you were on looked nothing like my old site, it really is the same company, Professional Résumé Services.
I’ve had a vision in my head for a long time of what I wanted my new site to look like, but kept putting it off because it seemed like a lot of work, time, money, effort, work, time, time, time…
Then I met Carl Chapman.
Not only is Carl an SEO expert, designer and all around nice guy, but he also creates very cool websites. I took a look at a couple of sites he’s created and thought… SOLD! He has made this a very painless process and took over all of the work I thought I’d have to do (my old web host really didn’t do a thing for me except charge me a lot each month in fees—buh bye!). I like not having to think all of the time on what I could be doing to improve my site. We are all busy, so you can relate. I’ve never delegated a thing in my life. But hiring Carl has been wonderful. Ahhhhh.
So, now I have this new website that showcases what I offer, is fun to look at, and easy to maneuver through. Plus, I’ve been able to add things to the site I always wanted and it has allowed me to expand my product and services offerings.
Having said that, I hope you stop by my site and let me know what you think of it.
Welcome to Professional Resume Services first ever BLOG! We have finally ventured into the age of blogging!
My name is Erin Kennedy and I am the owner of Professional Resume Services. My goal, and the goal of the writers here, is to create a blog that is very useful for the job seeker with information written in an easy-to-read format. We don’t want to load it down with long pages per post, rather just short, simple and useful tools for the job search journey. We want to share all of the articles we study, conferences/seminars/webinars we attend, and industry knowledge we become privy to.
We are dedicated to helping ease your transition to your next job by creating powerful resumes, cover letters, cv’s, and bio’s that grab the employer’s attention and get you the job you want.