Be Positive

Searching for a job is a difficult process which frequently takes longer than you anticipated. Personally, I’ve had two job searches while unemployed:  one lasted seven months and the other ten. During these experiences, I learned positive attitude is critical to success. I discovered that job openings in my area of interest didn’t change on a daily basis. Checking them every day became very depressing. There were times when it felt as though I’d never find the right position. I stopped looking every day so I could maintain my positive attitude. Instead, I spent more time networking and also gave myself permission to do some fun things now and then.

Believing you will eventually find the right position is half the battle and one you can control. Figure out a strategy to manage your search to keep up with new openings and applications while maintaining a positive attitude.

Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by

Using Pinterest and Instagram in Your Job Search

One of the ways to use image-based social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and others in your job search is to showcase your talents, strengths, and career highlights. Pinterest Instagram TumblrCreating a visual archive of your accomplishments may impress a recruiter enough to contact you or provide an eScrapbook, ePortfolio, or photo documentation to support your networking strategy, your cover letter, resume, and employment interview.

Images tell a powerful story. These mediums allow you to control the story you tell in a way that shows your dedication and contributions to your job, your industry, your professional development, your career.

As with other social media platforms:

  • Follow and connect with the companies where you would like to work.
  • Follow important professionals in your industry.
  • Follow organizations and publications as well.
  • Share what you learn and images that represent your professional philosophies with those who are following you.
  • As much as possible, keep things in the professional realm. I recommend having accounts that are completely professional—rather than mixing professional updates into your already personal accounts.

From pinning your resume to researching potential careers/companies and posting photos of your volunteer work, here are some websites with great tips on how to use visually-rich social media platforms to find a job.

Forbes

Glassdoor

Mashable

Social Media Today

Let us know which tips you find interesting.

Summertime

The dawning of July means it’s the middle of the summer.  Most people have big plans for the summer including vacations, catching up on projects and spending time with family.  Are you finding that you are working towards your goals or falling behind?  It’s easy to get distracted when the kids are out of school and the blue sky is beckoning.  It’s time to take stock and reenergize yourself on meeting your goals if you have a long to-do list.  There is still plenty of time left to make progress.

Summertime for me is a time to try to get projects completed at work.  Time at home is spent with kids enjoying their time off school.  These words from the song Sunshine and Summertime by Faith Hill sum it up:

“Hey, that’s the way we do it
New friends and blue skies that never end
Hey, that’s the way we do it
Good times, sunshine and summertime”

Posted on July 8th, 2014 by

Using Facebook in Your Job Search

Facebook

Facebook has been the reigning king of social media for nearly a decade. What started off as a quick communications tool between college students has grown into the largest social media platform in the world with over 1.2 billion users (Yes, that’s right, 1.2 billion.) Today, individuals, causes, and organizations are using Facebook to promote products, raise money, locate family members, and yes . . . find jobs.

Organizations have realized that using Facebook is a quick and cost-effective way to find individuals who are already connected with their products/services and tap them for job leads and to apply for jobs themselves. Facebook is second, only to Linkedin, for social media platforms business are using to find and hire talent. To take advantage of this strong and growing trend, here are 10 Actions you can take.

  1. Create a Facebook account specifically for professional use, or make sure that the personal Facebook account that you may currently have is 100% professional. Keeping your personal account professional means making sure that the content added by you, liked by you, commented on by you, and posted by those you subscribe to and have friended is professional, tasteful, and passes the billboard test.
  2. On your page, complete the “Work & Education” profile section. Regularly add images, videos, links, status updates, and comments that reflect your interest and expertise in your industry. Become a resource—a “go to” page—for insights and information in your chosen field. Talk about business books you’re reading, conferences you’ve attended, courses you’ve taken, articles you’ve written, and unique projects that you’re working on. You can use Facebook to aggregate your work samples, or provide a link to an online portfolio of your work. Because Facebook is not as business-formal as Linkedin, you have the opportunity of letting more of your personality come through in your status updates and other information that you choose to share.
  3. “Like” or subscribe to the Company Facebook pages of the organizations for which you would like to work. Become an active member of their online communities. This means staying current on trends in your industry and sharing what you learn on their Facebook pages. Contribute interesting and insightful comments. Talk about yourself using their products and services. When they have contests, online events, and other activities, participate.
  4. Share the interesting things you learn about these organizations with your Facebook friends and subscribers.
  5. Look for high-ranking and influential staff members who work at the organizations you’ve targeted and if they have professional Facebook pages designed for consumer engagement, Like and/or Subscribe to them. Become an active and contributing member of their communities as well. Linkedin is an excellent resource to use to identify these individuals.
  6. Keep track of news, events, and updates posted on these Facebook pages. Identify ways to tie your strengths and unique abilities to the ways in which the companies are growing. When positions come open, use the knowledge you’ve gained from being an active member of the company’s online community to write your cover letter, tailor your resume, and answer interview questions.
  7. Identify challenges that the organizations are facing and—without coming across as a know-it-all—offer quick solutions and ideas to solve these challenges.
  8. Share your “connection story.” Your connection story is the tale of how you came to admire and respect the company.
  9. Create an Interest List for those individuals and companies you identify on Facebook for business networking. (Use Facebook’s Help Center for information on how to do this.)
  10. Use your privacy settings to make sure that your Facebook friends, their friends, and the public only see what you want them to see. (Use Facebook’s Help Center for information on how to do this.)

Notice that none of the above actions say: Let them know your are looking for work; Ask them what it takes to get hired; Ask when the next position in your field of study will be open; Badmouth the competition. Of course, you should watch for jobs that are posted on Facebook and apply for the ones you’re qualified for.

Keep in mind, one of the most important ways you can use Facebook for job search is to build relationships with the organizations where you would like to work and the people who have the influence to hire you into these organizations. Use Facebook to get to know their culture. This will give you a valuable edge over competing applicants and allow you to present yourself as a current member of the company’s professional family.

 

* The Billboard Test is a way to evaluate posts, comments, and items you share via social media. Before posting ask yourself if you would feel comfortable with the post being displayed on a billboard in the middle of your home town with your name as the author. If the answer is yes, then post, comment, and share away! If not, it’s probably best come up with something else that better fits those criteria.

 

Harry’s Advice

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry teaches his fellow students to defend themselves against the dark arts.  He tells his students, “Every great wizard in history has started off as nothing more than we are now, if they can do it, why not us?”

The beginning of many career paths is getting the education needed to get into the field.  Then, you get into an entry level position and work your way to higher positions.  It’s easy to forget that successful people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started out as students with ideas.

Take inspiration from the success stories and build your plan for success.  I recently had the opportunity to learn about a company started by a recent graduate based on his experience overseas.  As a college student, he went to Peru where he taught English to the people in a small village.  The village didn’t have regular running water.  Encouraging hand washing and hygiene was a large part of his role as well.  He experienced firsthand how these people lived, and he wanted to do something to help.  He decided he wanted to start a soap company, so he learned everything he could learn about making soap.  He founded a company to make and sell soap.  For every bar they sell, they donate soap to countries around the world.  (For more information on the company visit www.pachasoap.com.)

Every great professional in the world starts as a person with an idea for the future.  Take your ideas and work to make them a reality.  If others can do it, why not you?

Posted on June 24th, 2014 by