Archive | February, 2017

How to Prepare Your Social Networks for the Post-College Job Search

February 24, 2017


8583949219_f55657573e_zIt’s clear now more than ever that social media holds power — power to get you recognized, the power to meet new people, and the power to find more opportunities. Unfortunately that power can be a double-edged sword. There have been so many instances of employees losing jobs due to an inappropriate social media post.

Before you begin your job search, get your social networks buttoned up. But don’t ignore them — also start using them to your advantage. Here’s a checklist you can run through before getting “social” during your search.

  •  Google yourself and see what comes up.
  • Upload a consistent profile photo and bio across all networks.
  • Turn on the highest security settings to your personal accounts, especially Facebook.
  • Double-check your security settings occasionally, especially after a new update.
  • Consider creating a personal account and a professional account on a network like Twitter.
  • Connect with industry leaders and alumni who would be willing to network with you.
  • Research the career path of people you aspire to be.
  • Showcase your skills or portfolio on networks like Instagram and LinkedIn.

Image via Jason Howie/Flickr.

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The Interview is Over. Now What?

February 22, 2017


20979939428_237d68fc5a_zWhether the interview went perfectly or not, the waiting period just after can be completely stressful. You may start to overanalyze everything or feel like your destiny is completely out of your control. Fast Company published a stellar article recently called Exactly What to Do While You Wait to Hear Back About a Job.

According to a recent survey mentioned in this article, half of the applicants who apply for a job don’t hear back–at all. The tips in this article can help you take back a little more control of your future. Here’s a summary of the highlights.

Why you may not have heard back after the interview…

  • the recruiter may be waiting to hear back from the hiring manager
  • there may be a lot of candidates left to interview
  • you may not be a great fit

What to do if you haven’t heard back after two weeks…

  • check in up to three times (your handwritten thank you note counts as one check-in)
  • don’t call or use social media–send an email instead
  • be enthusiastic and interested, persistent not pushy

Read more fantastic tips from the Fast Company article here.

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.



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Spotlight on: Tetra

February 21, 2017


Spectrum Brands is a global and diversified consumer products company who owns many top brands like Tetra. Driven by innovation for 60 years, Tetra® brand is the most recognizable and trusted name for fishkeeping, hobbyists and enthusiasts. Tetra® equipment, environments, water care and nutrition, such as TetraMin®, EasyBalance®, AquaSafe®, SafeStart™ and the revolutionary Whisper® filtration, are the most widely used in the industry.


Whether you’re an experienced hobbyist or just starting out, Tetra brand has everything you need – from a large variety of quality fish food, water care and innovative equipment to test kits and décor. Tetra brand is the global leader in the aquatics industry with a standard and tradition that is based on our heritage and experience in aquatics.


For over 60 years, fishkeeping enthusiasts have looked to the Tetra® name for products and solutions that add ease and beauty to their home. Adding a new visual dimension to fishkeeping, Tetra® Brand is rolling out new products for Tetra® GloFish® Aquariums. New GloFish® Cycle Lights make GloFish® color-changing décor transform under four different light modes!


“We’ve seen a terrific response to the existing GloFish® décor line. The new collection includes our popular fluorescent features coupled with a new dimension of color-changing elements. Consumers can create a new visual effect just by changing the light mode, presenting a multitude of captivating designs to personalize their aquariums,” said Division Vice President John Fox, Aquatic Marketing, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Pet, Home & Garden Division.


Visit us at: 



My Aquarium app:

GloFish® is a Trademark of Yorktown Technologies, L.P., and is used under license. For more information, visit

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The Difference Between Networking and Demanding

February 16, 2017

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2765083201_55a958db14_zDuring the job search, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have the upper hand. You may find yourself sending mass messages to your acquaintances like, “Please check out my LinkedIn profile! I need a job!” or “Can you help me find an ‘in’ with your company?” or “Will you recommend me?” There is one problem: these are all demands. This is the opposite of networking. And it’s lazy.

Quality relationships, internal recommendations, helpful advice, and shared knowledge must be earned. It takes time, effort, and strategy. In order to transition from “demanding” to true networking, you’ll have to sweeten the deal for the other person. There are a few ways to do this:

  • free lunch or coffee
  • praise and compliments
  • common interests or experiences
  • even trades (“an eye for an eye”)

Here are a few sample scripts that show these approaches in action.

  • “You really know how to write up a shining resume. If you have five minutes to spare, would you be willing to share some big picture feedback on mine? I’d so appreciate advice from an expert like you.”
  • “Your career is on fire! I’m so impressed by your recent promotion. I’d love to take you out for coffee and learn more about the company. I’m considering applying for a job there and I’d so appreciate your insight.”
  • “Would you be willing to swap recommendations on LinkedIn? I’m looking for past coworkers to vouch for my leadership skills. I’d be happy to talk about your top qualities like problem solving and team building.” 
  • “I admire your amazing career. You’re exactly where I’d like to be in five years. Would you be willing to have a 20 minute phone call with a fellow University of Wisconsin alumni? I’d love to learn more about how you found such success.” 

See the difference? Now it feels like you have the upper hand because you’re suggesting a proposal that will be hard for them to turn down. What a difference a little effort makes!

Image via Ben Smith/Flickr.

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The Only Way You’ll Get Hired

February 14, 2017


8214124711_a9f6738627_z“Check me out on LinkedIn!”

“Give me a call, here’s my number!”

“I’d be a perfect fit for any position in your company! Message me!” 

Recruiters and HR department team members see things like this all the time, especially on social media. Some job seekers believe that sending a “You should hire me!” message is as effective as actually applying for a position. It’s not.

Companies hire new employees for one reason: to fulfill a need within the company. Employees solve the problems that companies have. You need to be the best solution for a specific problem. You may be a great person and a great employee but unless a company has a specific need for your skills, they can’t hire you.

The first step is sending in a sparkling application for an available position. You want to make it as easy as possible for a company to hire you. Asking them to do the leg work by browsing your online profiles and then finding a job that would be a fit for you is not the best way to conduct your job search. It’s your responsibility to see if there’s a position at that company that’s appropriate for you, not the other way around.

If you can’t solve that first problem–how to find and apply for an open position–how will a company be able to trust that you can solve other problems that get thrown your way? You need to be the one that goes out of your way to sell yourself throughout the job search and interview process.

At Spectrum Brands, we list all of our available position on our careers website. You can set up job alerts for new openings. We also tweet new job listings on Twitter @WorkatSpectrum and share postings on LinkedIn.

Image via kate hiscock/Flickr. 

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3 Bad Habits You Need to Break Right Now

February 9, 2017



Small changes can make a big difference, and the following three examples prove this point. Sometimes we go through our day on autopilot. We don’t stop to pay attention to how and why we do it. Take a look at your day-to-day schedule. Which bad habit will you break first?

1. Bringing your phone to bed.
The last thing many people often see at night is a social media feed on their phones. Not only does the blue light emitted from electronic devices interfere with your sleeping patterns, but checking your phone means you’re not doing something that’s a better use of your time–reading. Instead, pick up a Kindle or a book.

2. Hanging out with people who don’t make you feel great.
It’s often said that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. If you find that one of those people is a complainer, someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, or a Negative Nancy, stop spending time with them. Life hack: you don’t have to be friends with people you don’t like.

3. Saying yes to everything.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed and the lines on your forehead are becoming progressively deeper, it’s not time to get Botox–it’s time to start saying “No,” without feeling guilty. Your sleep, your happiness, and your priorities should always come first. Don’t let outside sources change that.

Image via Asja Boroš/Flickr.

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3 Classic Career Books to Add to Your List

February 7, 2017


23104898140_625af7a030_zWhat do Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama have in common? They read. A lot. There are hundreds and hundreds of amazing nonfiction books out there that can expand your mind and increase your potential. So where do you start? We’ve picked just three that can make a big difference in your career right now.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This book was first published in 1937 and it’s still relevant today. It covers a lot of information that will help make you successful in business and in life like the six ways to make people like you and 12 ways to win people into your way of thinking.

2. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter who takes us through detailed research on habits on how we can change them. The key to success may be as simple as understanding how habits work. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, be more productive, or take your career to the next level, this book is worth a read.

3. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey 
First published in 1990, this book still manages to make ‘best business books’ lists. You’ll first learn the ‘paradigm shift’ that you likely need to make in how you view the world. Then you’ll cover the seven habits, which move from personal to interpersonal. It’s no quick read, but it’s an eye-opening one.

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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Is that Networking Event Worth Your Time…or a Waste of It?

February 2, 2017


4464205726_662b4d3ce2_zNetworking events can be hit or miss. You know it’s good for your career, but sometimes you walk away from an event feeling uninspired and unimpressed. Other times, you make a really great connection, learn something new, or discover a fantastic opportunity. So how do you know whether this upcoming networking event is worth your time?

Forbes published a great article recently called, How to Decide if a Networking Opportunity is Worthwhile or a Waste of Time by Avery Blank. She outlines a 3-question process that will help you make a better choice as to whether or not you should attend. Here’s a brief summary:

  1. Who’s going?
  2. Will there actually be time to network?
  3. Does attending this event make you nervous?

When it comes to networking, the guests and speakers can be a great indicator as to how the event will go for you. If you’re not excited to meet these people, why would you attend? Secondly, if there’s not specific time to network, you’ll have to go out of your way to strike up a conversation before or after the event. Are you likely to do that?

Lastly, networking should make you nervous. Surprised, huh? It’s all about broadening your network with people who aren’t just like you — for example, people who have more advanced careers than you or who are come from different backgrounds. For more information about this process, read the full article over at Forbes.

Image via Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr.

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