Tag Archives: online profile

What’s Your Brand?

DSC_0015Over the past three years the Career Thought Leaders Consortium gathered to discuss employment trends for the now, the new, and the next. For those seeking professional guidance, visiting www.careerthoughleaders.com may be your smartest move as the contributors are recognized leaders within career management.

For now, let’s do a quick review, followed by a worthy analysis and recommendation.

When it comes to branding, here’s the latest scoop according to findings published March 1, 2014, by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium:

The NOW:

     * Branding is a particular problem for those just entering the workforce. Because they have little experience, they don’t know how to assess their value. Even if they have a sense of their value, they don’t know how to translate it well.

The NEW:

     * Branding and social media searches are having an increased impact on the job search. Job seekers should use video and evolving social media tools to create on-brand online images.

The NEXT:

     * Branding will continue to grow in importance as contract and portfolio careers increase. In a rapidly shifting job market, applicants without a clear and compelling brand will be at a serious disadvantage. Whether you are a seasoned executive or a newbie in the job market, developing a strong professional brand is not an option… it is a requirement. Stop the squirming as we delve into the basic “how to create an effective professional brand” session.

By way of priority, professional brands should be that: professional.

  • Leave out personal information NOT related to employment or information which could be used in a discriminatory manner. Things such as religious affiliations, children/family life, political agendas, things you’ve done over the weekend, and/or medical issues.
  • Information to include in your professional brand: accomplishment stories and details, relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities, unique/value added benefits, and assets you bring to organizations.
    • Consider what you believe to be your greatest strength. If you decide to go with one strength, have an actual employment story supporting it. For example, don’t claim in your brand that you specialize in logistics if you have never examined and improved back-end operations.
  • Much like an elevator speech, your professional brand should not bore the reader or be excessive in length.
    • Keep your brand down to three or four sentences (75 – 100 words)

Think about a potential hiring manager and what she most likely would be interested in knowing about you. The secret is in keeping it short, powerful, and packed with value (from the employer’s perspective). If you have any questions or if you would like one of our certified writers evaluate your brand statement (even throw in a few suggestions along the way), don’t hesitate to share.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? For those at a disadvantage, take control of your career by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions).

Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com

Career Advantage: Truth and Digital Clean-Up

When I was younger, in the years just before digital networking launched into full force, I refused to change my voicemail. I liked having a crazy voicemail recording that would throw people off. The messages received in return were hilarious to me. Sometimes I would play songs that sounded vaguely relevant to missing a call, sometimes I would make up a character and use a different voice. Of course, I also did that trick where you make the caller think that you answered the phone to make them feel dumb.

When I was applying for summer jobs during college, I neglected to think of the fact I was putting my cell phone number on these applications and that my voicemail was ridiculously unprofessional. I wasn’t applying for jobs on Wall Street or anything. But I still learned my lesson the hard way when I missed a call from the manager of a book store where I really wanted to work. Needless to say, he did not leave a message, and when I called the number back, I was humiliated (and embarrassed) as he told me why.

The days of silly voicemails are long gone for most of us, even when we’re not job-hunting. But also gone are the days where our phones were the first point of contact between us and a potential employer. Now you can be googled, facebooked, pinned, tweeted, and linked in before you’re even aware that someone knows your name.

No longer a voice-line first impression, online comes with her own set of conquests and consequences…

What does your online personality say about you?

Don’t want to double down what you already know, but it’s no new thing to warn about social networking. Movies and TV shows, career workshops, and our well-meaning conservative relatives have been telling us for at least a few years now.

First truth is, now is the right time for a digital clean-up.

Take an objective look at your online performance. From someone else’s computer, and perhaps even in someone else’s company, peruse your profiles. Search your own name. Make sure you not only check the web search, but the image search as well. If you find something questionable, fix it.

Objective honesty is the second truth… after examining your online presence, what three things (images included) do you believe should be edited or removed immediately?

Third truth: Editing or removing questionable content and images is not about censorship. Perhaps I used to think it was but I don’t believe that anyone, not even a potential employer, wants a carbon copy of every overly-dedicated “yuppie” out there.

Ultimate truth: Cleaning up your digital presence is about maintaining your credibility along with your individuality so that you don’t sabotage either the pursuit or stability of your career.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Twitter: YOUR 140 Character Opportunity

Though small, remains bigAre you taking full advantage of instant updates from your friends, industry experts, favorite celebrities, and what’s happening around the world? Unless you live in a machine and reside eternally within the digital networking world, priorities need to be your guide. After all, who in their right mind has the time to respond to every Tweet, LinkedIn discussion, and Facebook entry?

Perhaps it’s ripe time to evaluate the benefits of digital networking without bogging time down to a crawl. Though most individuals are familiar with the basics of Twitter, there’s a method of self-career marketing many are not taking full advantage. So, what exactly is this Twitter craze sweeping the nation and are you in the round?

Keeping you in the loop, Twitter is a social networking site and micro-blogging service that enables its user to send and read tweets, text-based posts of up to 140 characters. The key feature of this site is the ability to “Follow” individuals. Whenever a user tweets anything, all of his or her followers are notified instantly.

Twitter tip: Be careful to keep your Tweets relevant and not too personal or what you say may come back to haunt you.

While some users write what they’re fixing for dinner or give blow-by-blow descriptions of their favorite soap operas, as professionals, we’re only interested in the “industry experts” of our field. With the right strategy and proper planning, Twitter can become an effective tool.

For those yet to be within the Twitter family, begin by opening a web browser and entering http://www.twitter.com into the address bar to reach Twitter’s home page.

If you are new to the site, look for “New to Twitter?” Here is where you’ll start creating your free Twitter account. The Sign up entry fields for Twitter are simpler than other sites, only requiring Full name, Email, and a Password.

Once in and ready to take on the world, remember that an online presence represents you, your skills, accomplishments and creativeness. Ultimately, your Twitter resume/profile presents a brief version of personal, educational, and professional qualifications as that of a job applicant, all in 140 characters (or less).

According to the latest, Twitter is more than a social networking site and its use within the career management field has expanded beyond boundaries. Twitter has become one of the first sights hiring recruiters venture to in order to locate high quality candidates… and this is where your 140-character profile must be strong enough to lift you above the crowd of millions.

Atop a stingy foundation, many recruiters and job seekers are turning to Twitter to impress companies by way of quality, not quantity. Throw in a six-second video and the world can be your oyster. Though in its infancy stage, in corners of the job market, such as media and technology, candidates and recruiters are claiming Twitter’s value.

Twitter, stating that it has more than 200 million monthly active users, just may be the elevator pitch medium of the future. I know what you’re asking and shaking that bobble head about: how does one write a 140-character career marketing document/slogan that summarizes one’s experience and unique attributes?

Glad you asked, as so did a recent graduate I have been coaching asked. Here’s the scoop, Megan had been using Twitter for several years, providing insight on dining, her whereabouts, and whatever happened to fancy her throughout the most peculiar times of the day. In other words, like most of us, she held a Twitter account but did not take advantage… until now.

With several creative sessions and less than drab correspondence, Megan came to recognize the many contributions she can add to an organization. Our next step was to ensure she could transfer her uniqueness quickly. Our first attempt more than doubled the allowed character limit so we knew multiple revisions were in store.

Working back and forth, Megan created a Twitter profile packed with industry keywords that would arouse the recruiter interest. Let’s take a look at her Twitter resume/profile as a format and then tailor your Twitter marketing document on the spaces provided.

Megan: “Recent health service grad, dedicated to patient care and support, ethical, creative, multi-tasker looking for a career in #atl.”

Megan replaced her personal profile with the above and three weeks later received several inquiries. As of this date, she has yet to land her dream job but has received four phone interviews and one face-to-face interview… pretty good odds… now we have to work on her interview skills!

Are you taking advantage of Twitter? If not, no better time than now to work on your profile. To push you along the way, in the space below, create your 140 character (or less) Twitter branding statement:

Once completed (and before submitting it live on Twitter), send it along our way for a quick critique.

Twitter tip: Some career professionals say Facebook and Twitter have surpassed LinkedIn as Job-search networking tools.

We’ll continue offering professional insight and review career marketing strategies so continue checking for the next submission. With this in mind, if you have career questions and would like a team of professionally certified writers and coaches input, don’t hesitate to ask.

For those interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters. Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. You may also contact our staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com