Archive | September, 2013

How to Build Up Your Network with LinkedIn

September 27, 2013

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How to build up your network on linkedinThere’s a big difference between a LinkedIn profile and a resume — your LinkedIn profile is like a living being. It’s a virtual display of yourself and has the ability to “meet” others virtually. But networking on LinkedIn is different from networking in real life. Follow these steps and your online network will build up before your eyes. (P.S. Before you venture out into cyberspace, make sure your profile is perfect (read this post on three ways to improve your LinkedIn profile today).

1. Connect with people you know.
Start small. Link with coworkers, friends, and family. This is the easy part. Just click “connect” and wait for them to hit “accept.” These people will become your core group. They are the people who can introduce you to further connections. You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable asking them to do so.

2. Connect with people you want to stay in touch with.
Did you meet someone interesting at a networking event? Did you see a great speaker at a conference? Connect with them immediately after on LinkedIn. Instead of sending the generic message that LinkedIn includes in connection requests, draft up a nice note explaining who you are and that you appreciated getting to know them at said event.

3. Connect with people you’d like to meet.
The bigger your network is, the more strangers you’ll be able to connect with. Second connections (which means you have a connection in common) can receive a request from you. Choose “friend” and write a personalized message about how you’d like to meet for coffee or chat over the phone some time. You can also connect with people who are in the same industry groups as you. So join a lot of groups. If they’re a third connection, you can request that one of the people you have in common introduce the two of you. That’s where your core group of connections comes in.

Image via Sheila Scarborough/Flickr

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How To Be Happier At Work

September 26, 2013

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How to be happier at work

Don’t love your job? You’re not the only one. According to Gallop’s 2013 State of the American Workplace, only 30 percent of Americans feel “inspired” or “engaged” at work. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, follow these tips that will help you turn your frown upside down:

Take Breaks.
No one is happy sitting at a desk for eight hours straight. Get outside. Go to lunch. Read a few “just-for-fun” articles. And don’t feel guilty about it. Everybody needs a break to reset and refresh. Also, remember not to throw that vacation time out the window. The average American gets 16 vacation days per year according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. It’s yours for the taking — so take it. Even if it means you only take a day off every now and then.

Be Positive.
Smiling makes you happy — and it decreases stress. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and staring at your computer screen, force a smile. Just do it. Also, hold back on the complaining. There’s a difference between venting and ranting. Find the balance. Lastly, share your positivity. Give compliments. Give smiles. Give random acts of kindness. It will make you feel better.

Think About the Future.
Set goals — don’t wait for your boss to do it for you. Is it a promotion? A job change? A career change? What can you do during the workday or during your free time to help you achieve this dream? Break it down into achievable steps and then reward yourself along the way. The journey is half the fun.

Image via Sean Jackson/Flickr.

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Make Sure Your Resume Doesn’t End Up on This List

September 20, 2013

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After reading this list of the most ludicrous things employers have read on a resume, you might start second-guessing your own CV. While this collection of ridiculous stories may seem just that — ridiculous — here are a few lessons you can learn from other’s mistakes:

Get a professional email address.
Even if you must create a brand new email account specifically for your job search, do it. It’s time to say goodbye to iluvunicorns@gmail.com.

Double-check your work.
If you claim that you “pay extreme attention to detail” then prove it. That means no spelling or grammar errors on your resume or cover letter. Read over our list of common job search grammar errors.

Save humor for the interview.
You might think it’s funny to throw in some snarky language or a completely irrelevant skill that shows off you have a sense of humor, but unfortunately, you might just end up the butt of everyone’s joke.

Don’t include a photo.
A photo on a LinkedIn profile is a must. But it’s not appropriate to include a photo — glamour shot or otherwise — with a paper or electronic resume.

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What Employers Do and Don’t Like to See on Social Media

September 18, 2013

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When you’re in the throes of a job search, it’s important to keep your social media profiles in tip-top shape. But what exactly is it that employers like to see? And don’t like to see? The below infographic breaks it down for you. In a nutshell:

1. Do share any volunteering and charity work that you’re involved with.

2. Don’t be too radical when it comes to sharing your political or religious beliefs.

3. Don’t spotlight photos with alcohol or illegal drug use.

4. Keep your social media presence G-rated! That means no swearing or sexual references.

5. Double check your spelling and grammar, even for a simple tweet.

Read more about the dos and the don’ts of your online image.

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Hiring Managers Find Recent Grads Unprepared for Work

September 12, 2013

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Graduate

A recent survey by Adecco found that 66% of hiring managers think recent college graduates are unprepared for the workforce upon graduation. If a degree isn’t enough, what are students to do? Here are a few experiences that look great on recent grad resumes:

1. Internships
We’re not just talking about a second-semester senior year internship. No one is stopping freshmen from jumping on the internship bandwagon. Start getting that experience early — and often. Think of how much experience you’ll have if you can land an internship every summer during your college experience… or even every semester. Try to land some freelance or contract-based projects if you can’t find the perfect internship.

2. Leadership Roles
Internships can be competitive and time-consuming but there’s no excuse not to join a club at your university. Choose one that’s relevant to your major and take on a leadership role within it. The leadership opportunities don’t end there. If you’re in an extracurricular activity like a sports team or a singing, dancing, or acting group, don’t be afraid to take on a leadership position within it.

3. Unique Skills
During your time spent on campus, you have the opportunity to learn non-stop all day every day. Enroll in a language course for credit or sign up for a coding class just for fun. Both can help your career prospects immensely. The opportunities are endless.

Image by Jens Schott Knudsen/Flickr

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3 Advantages Gen Y-ers Have in the Workplace

September 11, 2013

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Gen Y may feel they don’t have as much experience in life and work as their older counterparts. The truth is that being a part of a younger generation is not always bad when it comes to getting hired. Especially for Gen Y. Here’s why:

  • Gen Y speaks social media fluently. Regardless of whether or not your position requires you to manage a social media presence, you “get” it. Digital marketing is a part of your genes — you were raised with it.
  • Gen Y knows how to network — the new way. From LinkedIn to Twitter, you know how to build a relationship digitally. You probably know how to build your own website and personal brand as well.
  • Gen Y knows how to adapt. Although younger and less experienced, you are in tune with what the future holds. You’re eager to learn and advance your career and to make you career thrive into the ever-changing business market.

Read more about the advantages Gen Y has over at Brazen Life.

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Check Before You Accept: Does This Job Have Growth Potential?

September 5, 2013

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During the job hunt, seekers often focus on the prestige surrounding big titles, but there’s something even more important to consider — potential for growth. Doing the same tasks day in and day out is no fun. You’ll get better at your job as each day passes, so if there isn’t a way to make the position more challenging for you, you’re destined to be stuck at a stand still. And likely unhappy. Here’s how to figure out if a potential job offer is worth accepting:

1. Ask what the growth plan is for the position.
During the interview, really dig into the potential of this job. How can the position expand in the future? How does this job support the latest company-wide initiatives? Where did the last person who held this position end up? The answers to these questions will reveal whether or not there is long-term potential in this position. Here are more interview tips to keep you at the top of your game.

2. Decide if you’ll be learning new skills or not.
Of course you must be qualified for any position you apply for but it’s likely that this job requires you to take on some new challenges. Perhaps you’d put your marketing skills to work for a new industry or you’d be testing your writing skills online instead of in print. Make sure that you’re expanding your skills in this position — not limiting them.

3. Have a heart-to-heart with your new future boss.
If you hit it off right away with your potential new boss, there’s a chance that it’s the start to a great working relationship. The more comfortable you feel, the easier it will be to ask difficult questions in the future. Lastly, get a feel for how often you get to check-in with your boss and assess your career development. Twice per year? Once per month? As needed? The more often, the better!

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What’s the Difference Between LinkedIn and a Resume?

September 3, 2013

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Difference between Resume and LinekdInSome job seekers may feel that resumes and LinkedIn profiles are redundant. It’s just more of the same, right? Wrong. Resumes and LinkedIn profiles each serve their own purposes and equal importance should be placed on both of them. (And remember that personal brand of yours?) Here are the two key differences between these job-seeking devices.

Resumes are specific while LinkedIn profiles are elaborate.
A resume should be tailored to each position you apply for, which means that not all of your experiences will be included on every application you send out. Only the relevant ones should be. But a LinkedIn profile is a great place to create a master resume. Show off everything you’ve ever done and feel free to write an elaborate description filled with key words for each one. Plus, a master resume is a great time-saving job search strategy.

Resumes are one-sided while LinkedIn profiles are multi-dimensional.
Your resume is written from your perspective. It’s assumed that you have references to back up your claims, but until your potential employer calls up those people, it’s your word he or she is taking as fact. LinkedIn profiles have the references built right in though — if you can get them. The “recommendations” feature allows former colleagues and bosses to write a referral for you and the “endorse” feature allows the same people to verify your specific skills. Here are a few more tips for improving your LinkedIn profile.

Image by Adriano Gesparri

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