Tag Archives: social-media

Using Online Tools to Gain Your Interview Edge

DSC_0024The world is a global village; the internet and digital resources continue to play a key role in making this a reality. Having said this, it is mind bugging to know people are still not taking advantage of the opportunities the internet affords them.

The birth of the internet comes with a rising number of Social Media and Networking sites which makes communication and rubbing of excellent minds indispensable. Top Social Media and professional networking sites such as Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and a host of others can give a candidate added advantages in preparedness for an interview.

Recognizing knowledge is power, especially when it comes to career success, let’s take a look at some added advantages gained by using online tools and resources to prepare for an interview:

  • Researching the company: Using the internet to research a company gives you insight and information concerning the company you’re interested in. Be sure and become more than familiar with the company mission
  • Learning about top skills employers are looking for in a prospective employee: When you attend an interview, you want to be in a position of strength by knowing you have the skills and educational background of the job you’re interested in
  • Identifying local employers and top hiring companies: Many sites provide information concerning top jobs in the market and companies that are hiring
  • Searching for job listings: Sites like O-net and Twitter are valuable assets when it comes to following companies and searching for job listings. Also, online networking sites give you an opportunity to make amazing professional connections with different people which keeps you afloat in terms of being informed

When faced with questions like ‘tell me what you know about our company.’ or ‘you tell me what attracts you to our company?’ the only way you can be prepared to answer such questions would be if you have taken time to research the company AND job.

To your advantage, many candidates show up for a job interview dressed to impress but hit a dead end when the conversation turns to the company itself.  Researching about a company using online tools available is very pertinent AND your advantage.  If you cannot state the reasons why you’re attracted to a company or say all you know about them as an entity at the snap of a finger, it would be difficult to sell yourself as a great fit for the company. BTW, you do not have to memorize the company’s entire profile but at least browse their website and go to their “about us” section.

CC Career Tip: Not knowing anything about a company is an immediate red flag

Make that Connection: In addition to browsing a company’s website and learning a thing or two about them, the internet is also a great tool for Professional Networking (making valuable connections). On a personal note, I know a several people who lost their jobs but made valuable connections to land them a new job or even a better job by staying in touch with their professional online connections. You can ask questions, ask for help in reaching prospective employers, using the Social Media sites like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of them are important tools that can afford you that opportunity.

Get Connected!
Alache Mary Bagna
Your CC Connection

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

Friend of a Friend

DSC_0130So you are on the hunt for a job and you have all the basics to land an interview, but you aren’t getting many responses.  Submitting resumes and applying on large job sites can be discouraging and make you feel like you are falling into the cracks of a very large database.  After scratching your head, you begin brainstorming as to what else you can do to have that extra push to land an interview.  The answer is simple: ask for job referrals.

Common sense and statistics make one thing clear: companies are hiring based on employee referrals and will typically give a person with a referral more of a chance to land an interview.  According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, applicants are twice as likely to get interviews and 40 percent more likely to get hired if they have a referral.  But how do you get these great referrals?

Career Success Tip of the Day:  Networking is the way to go.

Social Media

Social media is at an all-time high and if you want to land a dream job, networking is a crucial building block to obtain referrals.  Sites such as LinkedIn, CareerCloud, and even Facebook and Twitter can be effective ways to network and gain contacts.  The best thing about social media networking is that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to find your way into the company.

In Person Networking

There is no better way to network than in person.  People remember faces and have a harder time saying no when they are face to face.  It can be as simple as running into a former coworker at the grocery store or making a new connection while watching your son’s football game.  The secret to in person networking is to be sociable.  Truth is, people refer people that they like.

Then What?

So you used your resources and found out that you have connections into companies you would like to work for.  How do you ask?  Well, unless it is someone who knows you well, it is best to ask if they feel they know your work enough to refer you.  If they don’t, but still would like to refer you, give them a copy of your resume.  That way they are knowledgeable of your qualifications and work experience.  They can then provide you with a referral letter or a contact within the company’s Human Resource department.

Just Remember…

More and more companies actively take advantage of referral programs. Employees are also taking advantage of referral program rewards and would be enthused to meet a “great match” for the position.

When searching for your dream career, take advantage of all the resources out there to assist with obtaining a referral and make sure you act professionally in public.  You never know, the person waiting in the checkout line next to you could be your next business contact.

Looking forward to our next career meeting, I am.

Mari Brooks
Your CC Connection

Career Breakout: Where the jobs are…

“I can never find any good job listings. Am I missing something or searching in the wrong place?”

This question was sent in by Kirsty Walden, who, like many, can’t seem to find any of the jobs they’re looking for. To answer her question directly… yes, you are searching in the wrong place.

According to the Career Thought Leaders Group, 80% of job listings are located in what is known as the “hidden job market.” This means your searches on sites such as Monster.com, or even local newspaper listings, are only advertising a minority of the jobs that need to be filled. In other words, you are, like many others, concentrating on 20% of the jobs out there. How can this be? You ask naïvely…

You see, the truth of the matter is, not all companies advertise jobs that need to be filled. Before shaking your hands in the air, there is logic to their madness. Companies that hire/promote from within, for example, will not spend the money to advertise. Would you? Additionally, given tight budgets and vast pool of qualified applicants, many companies don’t have the time or resources to create several listings for an opening. So why not tap a free online resource of global applicants and place an advertisement at a lower cost (if at all) via the World Wide Web?

Regardless of the reasoning, the key thing to remember is there are many perks for searching in the hidden job market. You want to be looking here, trust me. After all, would I steer you wrong?

Once you’ve found the hidden job market, you can expect less rejection, less waiting, and, best of all, less competition. According to Dice, on average you’ll be competing with fewer than 10 people for a position.

While this may sound too good to be true, I challenge you to think otherwise. Many people, like Kirsty, don’t know there is a hidden job market. The mainstream approach is to visit a common job search engine such as Monster and hope for the best. While this is not a bad approach and should be your first of many steps, strategies such as these don’t often lead to hiring.

A better approach, instead, is to find jobs in this hidden market by networking–it’s one of the most useful skills you should master as a career professional. It’s not hard to master either; it simply takes time and effort.

Here at Education Career Services, we teach the 1:50 rule. For every 1 person, there are at least 50 potential contacts to be used. These contacts can be from your personal, social, or professional life.

Career tip and activity: Make a list of all these people mentioned above, noting what industry and career path they are part of. Ask them if their companies are hiring in your line of work.

The results will be surprising!

One of the many perks of networking is familiarity. If one of your contacts does find a job opening for you, they can put in a good word… placing you immediately in the advantage. Likewise, hiring managers will be impressed by your ability to find the opening, rather than browsing online listings. Any advantage is a good advantage.

Don’t give up on the networking strategy. If none of your direct contacts have anything for you, expand your network. Find contacts of your contacts, then ask them for an informational interview or send them a networking letter introducing yourself.

Career tip: The job market is a system powered by who you know; therefore, the more people you know, the more power you have.

The important thing to remember is don’t be discouraged. Contacts may not always have useful information for you or job openings that need to be filled. That’s to be expected. However, you never know when a contact of yours will suddenly have an opening or a tip for you. Maintain that network and it will pay off eventually.

If you would like additional information or assistance in any career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com. Cutting edge single topic career workbooks and complete career lifecycle books are available at our website (www.edu-cs.com) or visit us at Amazon.com (search Danny at ECS).

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services