Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Did you use one of these 10 most overused buzzwords in your LinkedIn profile this year?

Wonder what really makes people cringe when they look at your LinkedIn Profile? It’s those clichéd words and phrases. You know what they are — those ambiguous ones that really don’t tell you anything.

As we head into 2011 our Analytics Team decided to take a crack at finding the most clichéd and overused phrases for the past year using over 85 million LinkedIn profiles. Here are our 2010 top 10 buzzwords used in the USA.

Top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA – 2010

1. Extensive experience
2. Innovative
3. Motivated
4. Results-oriented
5. Dynamic
6. Proven track record
7. Team player
8. Fast-paced
9. Problem solver
10. Entrepreneurial

Given the broad reach of LinkedIn across the world we went a step further and took a look at how overused terms are reflected around the world. While members from the USA, Canada and Australia tend to emphasize their “extensive experience”, Brazilians, Indians and Spaniards identify themselves as “dynamic” professionals. Members in the UK call themselves more “motivated” and the French, the Germans, the Italians and the Dutch see themselves as “innovative”.

Here’s a chart we put together that shows you the #1 most overused LinkedIn profile buzzword in each of those countries.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blend in or stand out? – Job Search Networking Tips

What do you think is a more effective networking strategy? Going to an industry event with others in your same profession? Or going to an event in a totally different industry where you’ll stand out?

One of the best ways to stand out in job search networking is to be the only one in the room like you. Why not crash an event in another industry?

If you’re an accounting professional, you may find some industry contacts from companies or recruiters who are hiring at a CPA society meeting. These folks will likely be crowded by dozens or hundreds of other job seekers at the event – so you can expect a great deal of competition, with little opportunity to stand out.

What if you went to an engineering event instead, in a room full of professionals outside your own profession?

At the engineering event, you probably won’t find many other bean counters. If you break the ice and find some common ground with a few people, an event in a different industry may allow you to create a greater number of contacts valuable to your search.

If you’re a advertising professional looking for another job at a networking event, it can be easier to remain front of mind with others who heard of advertising jobs, if you’re the only advertising person at the event. At an event full of advertising people, it’s tough for even the most talened professional to stand out.

Both types of events have their purpose and value in your networking strategy…but because of the comfort factor and maybe a little fear of the unknown, we tend to stick with our own crowds and go to our own industry events. We tend to not explore events for other industries.

I know it’s counter intuitive, but as a tech professional at a marketing event, it’s much easier to differentiate yourself, because … you’re the only one like you in the room.

How many other-industry events have you crashed?

Original Article




Blog partner Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered, a career coaching service and website. Phil runs the Career Change Central group, one of Linkedin’s largest groups for job seekers. An active blogger about social media and career change, Phil has articles that have been republished by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, AOL, FastCompany, CIO, ZDnet, The Examiner, and the leading job/career/recruiting sites. Phil can be contacted at phil.reCareered@gmail.com.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 10 Job Hunting Tips of 2010

Posted by Lindsey Pollak

I absolutely love end of year lists, and swooned when I found Time.com’s list of The Top 10 of Everything of 2010.

Although Time’s list of lists is pretty comprehensive, ranging from apologies to new species to Twitter moments, I wanted to add my own top 10 list -- top 10 tips for job seekers. And so here are the 10 tips that readers found most helpful to their job search efforts this year.

1. Ask for honest feedback. Recruit a trusted relative, career services staff member, professor or friend to assess you honestly as a job seeker. Ask the person to list your best qualities and most impressive accomplishments. On the flip side, ask for constructive feedback on your weaknesses. Find out if the things you’re most concerned about — lack of experience, a less-than-desirable GPA, shyness, etc. — are legitimate concerns or if you’re obsessing over nothing. If your fears are unfounded, let them go once and for all!

2. Don’t be turned off by the terms “internship” or “part-time.” This tip came from Lauren Porat, co-founder of UrbanInterns.com. In a difficult job market, sometimes you need to be flexible and “settle” for a less-than-perfect opportunity, such as a non-full-time job. According to Lauren, many people have developed incredible careers by serving multiple part-time clients. Also, starting out this way may allow you to get your foot in the door with some very cool, interesting startup companies.

3. Overprepare. Think about your confidence level when you walk into a test for which you’ve studied really thoroughly versus how you feel walking into a test for which you’ve skimmed your notes for ten minutes the night before. Most people don’t realize that a job hunt is something you can study for. Before attending a job fair, spend an hour or two on the websites of companies that will have booths. Before a job interview, spend an hour reading the organization’s website (especially the mission statement, recruiting pages and recent press releases) and study the LinkedIn profiles of the people who will be interviewing you. Read e-newsletters and blogs from your industry to keep up with current events that might be discussed at a networking event. The more preparation you do, the more confident you’ll feel when you interact with recruiters and other professionals you’ll encounter during your job search.

4. Do not ask to “pick someone’s brain.” Okay this one is more about how not to ask me in particular for advice on your job hunt (or anything for that matter!). Some people don’t mind this phrase, but I definitely do. Why? First of all, I think it sounds kind of gross (think about it). Second of all, it is very one-sided: if you are picking my brain, what’s in this conversation for me? It feels as if I’ll be left brainless afterwards. My advice is to always request advice in a way that makes the ask-ee feel respected and like he or she will leave the conversation with something, too.

5. Clean up your online image. According to a Microsoft survey, 85 percent of HR professionals responding said that positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions, and 70 percent said they have rejected candidates based on information they found online. Make no mistake about it: your online image will affect your job search and your career. If you haven’t already, set up strict privacy settings on all social networks (often, including on Facebook, the default setting is for all of your information to be public, so check every setting!), take down any inappropriate pictures or content, set up a 100 percent professional profile on LinkedIn and Google, and think twice before posting any new content on Facebook, Twitter or a blog. In many recruiters’ minds, you are what you post.

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete Article

Help! I’m boring. What would I tweet about?

By jamessnider

I lead social media labs for job seekers in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. After we have spruced up their LinkedIn profile, we frequently move on to Twitter as the next social media platform of interest. I often hear the same objection, “My life is boring….my job is boring…I am boring….what would I possibly have to tweet about?”

Let me introduce myself to you, “Hi. I’m James Snider, semiconductor marketer.” You know, I can not remember the last time I saw an action movie where the main character was a semiconductor marketer. It is just not that interesting.

So what am I going to tweet about? I could talk about the cost of through-hole vias or applications where gallium arsenide makes sense. I would probably put together a network of about 5 super geeky followers. However, it is not the super geeks who are going to hire a marketer. It is upper management I am after.

I am going to tweet about where semiconductor production is ramping up. Hint, think “southeast asia” as in “Viet Nam.” How did I find this information? I went to a Happy Hour with a bunch of my former bosses (and boss’s bosses). They are all VPs, CEOs, angel investors and the like. I just asked the question and then tweeted what they told me.

Which semiconductor companies are starting to make money or held their own during the terrible 2010 market? I stumbled across a great list on the Yahoo! financial web site. I was checking to see if my shares of Google were making any money (getting closer…maybe in 2011) and read an article about what stocks are set to pop…and why. I tweeted it.

Which semiconductor companies are starting to hire aggressively? I read it on Twitter. Retweets are fair.

What sorts of people are interested in this sort information? CEOs, CMOs, VPs Marketing, Directors….all the sorts of people whose attention I would like to attract. By making myself a source of good information…the sort of information people in my segment would like to know about, I build a good reputation and make myself a “person of interest” to people who might like to hire me.

James Snider
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing
jsnider1394@gmail.com
817-905-1394
Anyone can give you social media. I make sure it’s marketing.

Original Post

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2 Tips to Being More Referable

In spite of all the advice out there on how to network, I’m still seeing lots of people failing at two basic, yet vital elements to networking success.

The goal of networking is to get people to refer you. So, the big question is: Are YOU referable?

The way to increase the chances of getting referred is to do the following:

TIP #1 – Make it Easy

Your network members are busy. And quite frankly, getting you a job is not top on their list. So, if you want people to help you, you must make it simple for them to take action. It’s your job to research their LinkedIn connections to see if they know someone at the company you want to land an interview with. It’s also your job to create a short list of ideal employers that you can circulate so they can get a clear sense of what kind of organization you want to work for.

Watch this video to learn more PLUS tip #2

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three Ways to Connect with Online Influencers

By Entrepreneur Staff at Entrepreneur.com


Over the past five years, connecting on social networking sites has rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages millions of internet users. In fact, “member communities” are now visited by more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the global online population, including social networks and blogs, according to The Nielsen Company, a global research firm.

In today's networking space, you need to be efficient with your time and even more effective with whom you choose to connect with. There are two types of networkers online: the posters and the seekers. Your business is a poster, which means you actively post valuable information, resources, tips and offers. The seekers are your customers. They're actively seeking your products and/or services. You'll find seekers in discussion areas, forums, groups and engaging on fan pages.

Connecting with these seekers is a vital element to your small business's overall marketing plan. Here are three ways to connect with them.

Finding the 'High-Level Networker'
The top three social sites to first consider are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Xing, a business networking for professionals, is another. These sites are massive online communities filled with potential high-level networkers. To get started, set up your profile and navigate to get familiar with the sites' offerings.

When searching for quality contacts to network with online, you'll want to look for high-level networkers (HLN). They're active online, have at least 500 connections and have filled out their profiles completely. Make sure these contacts have at least one of the three criteria before you connect with them online.

Some examples of HLNs would be decision makers, executives, the media and people you know as the movers and shakers in your industry. Don't let the fact that you don't yet know the person hold you back from sending an invite to connect. Whether you're offering help, sending them a resource, or introducing them to one of your connections, make sure your invite is about how you can help them, not how they can help you.

Target Your Connections
Target market connections (TMC) are a group of consumers at which your company aims its products and services. They're found by using keywords in the search section on social sites as well as in groups and discussion areas in your area of interest or focus. TMCs are mostly seekers that chat and seek out information by posting questions online.

The key is to join the groups and discussions where your target market is talking and engage with them. You can also send them an invite to connect. Make sure to let them know that you sent them the invite because you have similar interests and you're looking to expand your professional network.

Another way to find your target market is to investigate competitors' marketing methods. See where another business that offers the same or similar products and services advertises their links and posts on social sites. Searching in your field will often turn up places where your audience goes when they're looking for something in your industry.

Engage in Groups and Discussions
Even the most unsociable entrepreneur can interact on message boards and blogs. Groups and discussion areas on social sites are all over the internet and social media sites. It's important to find a dozen or so of these areas and not only join and monitor them but engage in the conversations as well.


Full Article With Additional Tips

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I’ve Regained My Confidence

Sherry Luft is a participant and founding member of the Job Seekers Club at South Metro Career Center.

Let’s start with what line of work you’re in. How and when did you become unemployed?

I was laid off after nine years as a receptionist/administrative assistant for an environmental company. Our contracts changed due to the economy, and I was officially laid off at the end of February.

So how did this job club get started?

Well, I did some research and found South Metro Career Center. It happens to be the closest career center to my home, and it’s also the largest. They have all these great workshops. So I started taking them once or twice a week. I ended up talking to some of the career advisers. One of them happened to be Shauna, who is the facilitator of this job club. She and Linda, the workshop coordinator, both had asked if I’d like to be an organizer of this job club. I said I’d be happy to. We had a couple of meetings beforehand about what we were going to do, how we were going to recruit members, etc. We started it in May.

What does the group do? When do you meet, and so on?

At this point we meet twice a month, for two hours on the first and third Wednesdays. We discuss different topics that pertain to job searching. One day we talked about the letter of introduction you might use to contact someone you don’t know personally, but with whom you’re looking for an informational interview. We also share personal stories of the job hunt, and we practice our public speaking skills. We talked about body language for interviews once. That was fascinating.

So, when we meet, we have an agenda, which is my responsibility. I welcome the people and make sure everyone is on the same page. And then I lead the group in the different topics. Sometimes we have a guest speaker. Sometimes we have presenters from inside the group. The last one happened to be from a member who gave us a brief tutorial on LinkedIn, and showed us how to navigate it for job searching.

What are you looking to get out of it?

We’re looking for job leads, for one. I’m in administrative, for example, so someone else in the job club who’s not looking for that occupation may have a suggestion for me to try this hospital or this field. We do information sharing. That’s part of it.

All of us need the support of the other group members. It’s almost like we have a collective power among our peers. It gives us optimism. We can believe we’ll find the work we’re looking for. Obviously, we’re all going through the same thing, so we all understand what we’re going through. And it gives us focus. Some of us have become very good friends.

Tell me about some of the people in the group. What’s the age range, and what kinds of professions are they in?

We have young people all the way up to those of us who are more mature. It really depends on the week. We have several people from administrative. We have medical people, financial people, a software programmer. There are all different types. Typically, we have 15 to 20 participants in each meeting. But, like I said, it varies. If someone gets a job we call them graduates.

We’re aiming for a mix of ages and industries and experience. We want it to reflect the real world. Most of us are unemployed or underemployed.

Tell me something important you’ve gotten out of this group.

As an organizer, I’ve regained my confidence in talking to people. My speaking and writing abilities and my creativity are kept sharp from the work I do with the job club.

It’s also helpful to see the different perspectives that the outside guest speakers bring.

Can you give me an example of a job-related success you’ve experienced?

Well, the networking has helped me for sure. One of the men in finance introduced me to another person with a possible job opportunity. So this means that instead of sending my résumé to the email universe, I actually get to send it to a person with a name. It’s in process right now. We’ll see what happens.

What would you say to someone looking for work?

I’d say to take the workshops at South Metro and the other career centers. I’d also say to come to our job club. But I want to emphasize that networking in general is really important, even if you’re not in a job club. You have to use every opportunity you can to land work. I think having business cards is also important. That was my first homework with the club. I always take my business cards when I go to all meetings, to the grocery store, wherever I go. They make networking nice and simple. You never know who you’re going to meet.

Original SanDiego Reader Article

Monday, December 6, 2010

What Twitter Chats Can Do For Your Job Search

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve likely at least heard about Twitter chats before. You may have even lurked in on one or two before. But until you actually participate in them, you’re not likely to get much out of a chat besides more job search or career advice—which you likely don’t need at this point because you already regularly read blogs and books on this very topic.

You may be wondering: What else can I get out of an online chat?

Connections. People to add to your professional network and create mutually beneficial relationships with. As you know, networking is still one of the most effective ways to land a job, and that’s because other people can introduce you to key influencers and inform you about unadvertised openings. Career chats involve all types of students and professionals that can benefit from building a relationship with one another.

Specific advice from people who do the hiring or recruiting. In many of the chats focused on the job search, you can submit questions for the experts to answer formally during the chat. Because it’s in real-time, you can ask for clarifications or specific tactics to go along with their advice. You can also talk directly to the experts during the chat. Where else do you get opportunities like that?

Visibility. When you regularly participate in a chat, other regulars take notice of you. Many even have Twitter lists dedicated to different types of job seekers they’ll add you to. Also, if an employer looks for you online, they will see that you’re serious about your job search.

Dedication. Just like blogging shows dedication and professional growth, a Twitter chat can do the same. With the tens or hundreds of different experiences or opinions flying around during the scheduled time, you’re likely to learn something new each time. You may even realize that you can improve some aspect of your search in order to better yourself as a professional.

Twitter Chat Schedule Plus Original Career Rocketeer Article

To make a strong impression, avoid e-mail; network in person instead

Debra J. Johnson lost two jobs in as many years — and she’s still unemployed.

The first job loss was in 2007, when the distributor where she had worked as an event manager for 15 years laid off 50 employees. Two years later, the nonprofit that she was working for eliminated her position as a senior events manager when federal funding dried up.

“At the time, I felt like my left arm was cut off,’’ said Johnson, 48. “And now it was happening again. I felt like I must have done something really bad in a former life.’’

At first, Johnson took her new joblessness in stride, getting additional training and being optimistic about her search for work as a project or events manager. But now, after spending the better part of the past year and half unemployed — she had one temporary, part-time job during that period — the Halifax resident is beginning to get discouraged. So, she applied for a Boston Globe Career Makeover.

When she met with Mark Newall, senior vice president at Keystone Associates, a Boston area career management consulting firm, Johnson said she had been applying for at least 10 jobs a week, networking with “anyone who will speak to me,’’ and using LinkedIn and Facebook to reach out to former employees and co-workers. But she had only landed six interviews.

“Nothing seems to be working in getting my resume and experience in front of hiring managers,’’ she said.

“Networking is a learned technique,’’ said Ne wall, who recommended phone calls and in-person meetings — not e-mails — as the communication tools to uncover the hidden job market. “Reluctant networkers need to step out of their comfort zone and have the important conversations that differentiate you from the competition. You’re selling yourself: the most important thing you’ve ever sold.’’


****

DEBRA J. JOHNSON
Goal: Find a job in events or project management that uses her experience in events and corporate strategy and planning.

Problem: “Events management’’ title is pigeonholing her in a narrow field, but her leadership skills are applicable to any project management position.

Recommendations from career adviser Mark Newall
■ Networking is a learned skill and, in addition to e-mail correspondence, requires in-person meetings or phone calls to help sell skills.
■ Forget the artificial sales pitch — successful networkers establish trust and confidence by developing personal relationships that win people over and make them want to assist in a job search.
■ Don’t be afraid to bring up compensation, since information is power while job-hunting and employers might be making assumptions about salary.
■ Keep LinkedIn profile current by including photo and crucial keywords that can help recruiters find your profile.

****

Read The Rest Of The Article

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are you a passive candidate?

I wanted to clear something up because there seems to be some confusion out there about active versus passive candidates. Surprisingly, the confusion is often from candidates themselves regarding their own status as active or passive. There is also quite a bit of confusion from the folks that work for the job boards about the difference between an active and passive candidate. It’s a pet peeve of mine, so I decided it was time to write about it.

What is a passive candidate?

One thing everyone seems to understand is that, deserved or undeserved, passive candidates are the most desirable to employers. Employers pay headhunters large fees to find the elusive passive candidate. Company recruiters pay top dollar to attend training to learn how to find passive candidates. All of this buzz about passive candidates has created an elite status for anyone who holds that label. Everybody wants a passive candidate so everybody wants to be a passive candidate.

And this has led job seekers to refer to themselves as passive candidates. Read that last sentence again for me: this has led job seekers to refer to themselves as passive candidates. By definition, if you are seeking a job, you are not a passive candidate.

If you tell me, “I’m a passive candidate,” then your resume should not be in my system. If it is in my system, it’s not because you put it there, it’s because I put it there after spending a significant amount of time tracking it down. In fact, if you are truly a passive candidate, you may not even know I have your resume; and honestly, I may not even have a resume that you created, it may be more of a profile of you that I’ve cobbled together from the little pieces of information that I could find on you while doing my research. If you are a passive candidate, your resume can’t be found in databases like Monster or CareerBuilder. If you are a passive candidate, you are not interviewing with other companies at the same time you are interviewing with me. Frankly, if you are a passive candidate, you are not reading this blog post (or any other blog about job searching).

Just because passive candidates are desirable does not mean that active candidates are undesirable

I am NOT saying that active candidates are bad. The reality is, the large majority of people who get hired in any economy are active candidates. They have a few advantages over the passive candidate – they are more readily available, much easier to find and more agreeable to work with. Generally speaking, active candidates return my phone calls, they are usually polite, and they have one thing going for them that you almost never find in a passive candidate: they are eager for the job.

With passive candidates, you have to twist their arm, plead with them, and woo them; hiring managers find this absolutely annoying. Conversely, hiring managers love it when they find someone that is genuinely excited about their job, and this level of excitement is often found in active candidates. So rather than pretending to be a passive candidate (which is pretty transparent by the way), embrace your active status and let your enthusiasm, passion and excitement for the job shine through. That is your secret weapon.

Let’s be honest

Be careful when you use the term “passive candidate” with me. Don’t tell me you’re a passive candidate because you think I’ll like you better because of it. Don’t tell me that your friend told you about my job posting, because of course you weren’t looking for a job and would have never known about my job posting unless someone else brought it to your attention. Don’t wait a few days before returning my phone call because you think it makes you look busy or more interesting. I’ve been doing this a long time, I can see through it, and frankly, it’s insulting to my intelligence when you try to play me like that.

You can be (and should be) selective in your job search. People often tell me, I’m only willing to make a move for the right opportunity. And that’s wise. But, let’s be clear, being selective and smart about your search still does not qualify as being a passive candidate – it simply means that you are looking for the right opportunity. Passive candidates are not looking at all; this is why they are so hard to find and so difficult to recruit. That is why headhunters get paid such big fees to do the hard work of finding and recruiting them.

And for the job board companies who claim to target passive candidates, I get what you’re saying. You place advertisements in places where a person who is not actively looking for a job might see it. That person is then compelled to click on your link, and then the next thing you know, they are on your website and then the next thing you know, they are registering with your database. And you think you just snagged a passive candidate and now you can go market your product to people like me and charge me money to access your database that is chock full of these passive candidates.

It’s funny how, once I’m in your exclusive database, I’m finding candidates who are also in Monster, CareerBuilder, and even my own system. Access to your database is expensive, so you can only imagine how irritated I am when I look around and find a bunch of people I already know about, when you told me there would be passive candidates there. If you really think you have something special, give me some kind of trial – whether it’s a free peek or a big discount to take a closer look inside. If it’s as great as you say it is once I’m able to look under the hood, I’ll buy more.

Personally, I think we’ve all given too much weight to the value of the passive candidate, and this focus has given active candidates an undeserved lower status. I’m interested in great candidates, whether they are active or passive. Great candidates are always hard to find, but I’ll save that topic for another post.

As a contract recruiter, I am actively looking for great candidates (both active and passive) for my Washington DC based client. Visit my LinkedIn profile to learn more about my recruiting work: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lauriebartolo

Orignal "An Honest Day's Work" Posting

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Create Your Own Brand

By GLORIA LAU

Recently, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Paula Loop was at an event talking to MBA students trying to get noticed. "Those who had unique stories and personal brands still stand out in my mind," Loop, the U.S. and global talent leader for PwC, told IBD. "Everybody else ... a recruiter might not remember at all."

People at any point in their careers, not only those just finishing their master's in business, should develop a professional identity and use it to promote themselves, she says. Loop, based at PwC headquarters in New York City, and Ignacio Gallardo, associate director of career services at the University of California, Santa Barbara, share tips on building such an identity.

• Craft an elevator pitch. "Being able to do this well is invaluable," Loop said. Draft five sentences. The first two should highlight your background. Your middle sentence should cover what you've done recently and show your interests. If you spent the summer managing an orphanage in Thailand, mention it. The final sentences should address what you're seeking in a job and career. Keep it succinct, persuasive and memorable.

Loop suggests this approach: "My background is in consumer products. I've always worked in industries where I sell products to children. Recently I went to an innovation conference and saw all the great toys coming out. I want to join one of those companies to help bring their products to market."

• Highlight desires. "Passion is attractive to recruiters and demonstrates traits such as commitment, well-roundedness and enthusiasm," Loop said. "Do some soul-searching. What excites you when you work? ... What made you feel good about your job this week? These are your passions. When you walk out the door, they're still running through your head."

• Maintain links. Your network begins with family and friends, old schoolmates and folks from prior jobs. Schedule an hour every week to call, e-mail or meet contacts. Force yourself to do this regularly.

• Manage your online brand. Having an appropriate online presence can give colleagues and potential employers a good impression. Google yourself to see what pops up and put together a thoughtful profile, including what you've accomplished, on career networking sites such as LinkedIn, the privately held Mountain View, Calif., company. Keep it updated and invite others to join your network. Said Gallardo: "When I go to networking events, I collect business cards, look the names up on LinkedIn and invite them to connect. I customize the invitation to include something we discussed. ... I also use LinkedIn to connect to people I haven't spoken to in a while."

page 2 and the original article

Create Your Own Career Fair

I really liked this idea and I think it could be done even if you aren't in school.


By Heather R. Huhman

If something is not available to me, I’ve always been one to go out and create it myself. When I was in college, I hosted my university’s first (and possibly to this day only) public-relations career fair. It was an incredible success, with more than 200 students and 30 employers in attendance.

How can you duplicate this effort?

Contact the president of your professional association’s student chapter on campus. It is probably best for a student organization, such as the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or Association of Student Accountants (ASA), to plan and run the fair. While the event can be done fairly cheaply, there will still be associated costs. Plus, numerous volunteers will be needed.

Set goals and expectations. How many students do you want to attend? How many employers? Should you charge attendees, and if so, how much? I don’t recommend charging students or employers, unless you really need to generate cash to make up for the cost of the event. You don’t want to exclude potential participants.

Recruit volunteers. Form a committee to plan the event. Depending on the size of your event, you will need approximately five volunteers during the career fair: two people to “register” students as they walk in (so you can keep track of how many people attended), two people to set up and take down the room and one person to walk around during the event in case anyone has questions or other needs.

Pick a date and time. I recommend beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 2:30 p.m. These four hours of the day are most likely to attract foot traffic. With regard to the time of year, career fairs are almost always held in October and/or March. If you want to catch recruiters on their regularly-scheduled travel throughout the country, you should hold yours at the same time. However, if you don’t want to compete against other events, you might want to think about holding an “out of season” career fair in November or April. October and November fairs should be planned in April or May, and March and April fairs in August or September.

Book a room in a central location on campus. Another good reason to plan a career fair through a student organization is that these groups have the capability to book rooms on campus for free. Pick a location that is easy to find and access and has the capacity to support up to 40 employer tables.

Arrange free campus parking for employers. I was able to purchase parking passes through my university close to my event for $5 each, which helped entice employers to travel from up to two hours away.

Feed your employers. It doesn’t have to be a large lunch, but make something available for the employers in attendance to eat and drink. I ended up making plenty of water runs because I didn’t factor this into the equation!

Raise funds. With an event of 40 employers, for example, expect to pay approximately $20 to $25 per employer (to cover costs such as food, drinks and parking). At the maximum, that’s $1,000. Again, partnering with other organizations on campus can offset these costs if they have a budget allowing for this type of event; however, they likely will need you to raise some money. Consider calling local restaurants to set up a date for a fund-raiser. They typically offer organizations 10% to 20% of the proceeds from the agreed-upon day to help raise funds. If they allow it, organize a raffle or silent auction and sell tickets, too.

Invite employers from the surrounding area. Create a database of all the potential employers in your industry within a two-hour drive using tools like LinkedIn, Gist and Twitter. Call the organizations to inquire about the most appropriate individual to receive your invitation. Then, send your invitations via e-mail and snail mail, offering a simple way to RSVP. Be sure to indicate that employers not currently hiring interns or entry-level professionals are welcome to attend to conduct informational interviews. (Do this two to three months before the event, with the RSVP deadline one month before the event.)


More Tips And Full WSJ Story

Monday, November 29, 2010

6 crazy job search tactics

(CareerBuilder.com) -- Taking a non-traditional approach to a job search can be a good thing.

Take the case of Alec Brownstein, an advertising professional who found himself looking for a new job last summer. Fed up with the traditional job search, he decided to try an unprecedented tactic.

Banking on the fact that "everyone Googles themselves," he bought sponsored links attached to the names of top-advertising directors. So, when the directors Googled themselves, Brownstein's ads would appear at the top of the results page.

The ads reportedly said "Hey, [creative director's name]: Goooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too" -- and then provided a link to Bronstein's website. A few months (and only $6) later, Brownstein was employed by top-advertising firm Young & Rubicam.

But, for every unconventional job search strategy that works, there is another that not only doesn't lead to a job, but is just downright ridiculous. Below, job seekers and hiring managers tell us about the strangest job search tactics they've come across.

CareerBuilder.com: How to build your personal brand

1. "One of my clients received the following advice from a previous career coach: Never send a résumé when applying for a job, even when it is requested in the advertisement. Just send a pitch letter requesting a meeting with a company executive."
-- Lavie Margolin, job search advisor, Lion Cub Job Search

2. "I think this may be the craziest one I have ever heard. When I was looking for my first full time job, a friend's then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) told me, quite seriously, that I could assure myself a job by participating in a magical ritual involving crystals and mystical incantations. I asked her if I needed to sacrifice a chicken as well and she was offended, explaining that it was not the correct type of 'Magick' [sic]."
-- Eli Lehrer, national director, Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, The Heartland Institute

3. "I think the worst advice I ever saw was in a LinkedIn group. Someone suggested that, in order to be able to get a chance to speak to someone at the recruiting company, you should [mail] a cover letter saying you have enclosed your CV -- but don't enclose the CV, and leave the envelope open so that it looks like it fell out in the post. The logic was that they'd then call you up to let you know, and you could have a dialogue. I personally would just think 'That person can't even seal an envelope, I wouldn't want to recruit them.'"
-- Antony, marketing manager

Tips 4 - 6

Friday, November 19, 2010

10 LinkedIn Tips For Job Seekers And Career Shifters

1. Stop focussing on the numbers

Networking is not a numbers game, but a relationships game.

It's not about ‘how many’ LinkedIn connections you have. But instead, the quality of the relationships and the level of interaction you have with people in your LinkedIn network that counts.

Plus, of course, the size and relevance of the network that those people are in turn connected to. Which means that someone with 50 highly relevant contacts (who they interact with frequently), will often be much more successful whilst using LinkedIn than someone with 500+ connections to people they hardly know or ever interact with.

2. Remember the 5 second rule

When most people visit your LinkedIn profile for the first time, on average, they’ll scan it for 5 seconds before choosing to take a closer read or simply click away.

So your profile needs to be clear, succinct and unique so as to make the right impression and make visitors read the profile.

Take a quick glance at your own profile – do you pass the 5 second rule?

3. Be careful about the headline title

Your headline title on LinkedIn is one of the most important parts of your profile.

The headline title must convey 3 things:

- What you do

- What you want

- What you want to be known for

I appreciate that if you're currently employed and passively looking for work, not all of these are possible.

But if you are not working then your headline title should make it clear that you're in the market for new opportunities ("Financial Controller seeking fresh opportunities in XYZ")

4. Avoid having a half empty LinkedIn profile

When people Google your name to “check you out” and come across a half completed LinkedIn profile – you’ve just missed a golden opportunity to give them a good first impression of you.

So regardless of whether you’re working, job searching or taking a career break – update that profile now!

5. Be different

"Passionate, innovative, hard working etc ....”

Many profiles start with this type of generic , cliché packed sentence without any kind of back up.

It sounds good at first – but when everyone is saying similar things, you’re unlikely to stand out.

So ask yourself: - What unique skills or experience do I have? What results do I have a track record of delivering? What is my value proposition? Who or what am I targeting right now?

Now incorporate some of your answers into your profile so as to make you a little different from the standard profiles which most people use.

Tips 6 -10 and Complete Article

Thursday, November 18, 2010

6 Ways to Boost Your Job Search on LinkedIn

By Lindsay Olson Lindsay Olson – Thu Nov 18, 10:44 am ET

Networking and job hunting have come a long way in the last 20 years. New research tools and the immediacy of the Internet bring job seekers directly in contact with companies and employers, allowing us to build networks that our counterparts of the past would only envy.

LinkedIn continues to be the most direct and powerful online tool, one that's certainly worth the energy if you're job hunting. But be sure you don't make one of the most common LinkedIn mistakes: being passive about your search. Setting up a profile and adding connections is a good start--but it's just the beginning. To get the most benefit from LinkedIn, you have to become a proactive user, reaching out to others, participating in the community, and continuously working to build your network.

Here are six proactive ways to boost your job search on LinkedIn:

1. Complete your profile--and then some. Add more than just your company and title. Think of LinkedIn as a resume with a personality. Use the summary section not only to show who you are as a professional, but as a person. Play around with the applications to present your work and interests in interesting ways.

Keep in mind as you work on your profile that other LinkedIn users, including hiring managers, recruiters and your fellow job seekers, use keywords to find people with certain skills and interests. What words might a recruiter use to find people with your talent or skill set? Be sure to incorporate those keywords into your profile.


2. Add as many connections as possible. When you add connections, your network grows exponentially, thanks to one of LinkedIn's best features, the third-degree connections. These include not only who you know, but who your connections know. This makes each connection you add even more valuable. In addition to having more helpful contacts for your job search, being connected with more people helps you appear as a third-degree connection for other LinkedIn users.

If you're just getting started, re-connect with old colleagues, friends, and family members. Connect with people in your e-mail address book, and then branch out from there. Once you've added your closest connections, think about how you can reach out even more. When you meet new people at in-person networking events or through work, make a note to connect with them on LinkedIn. Building your network takes time and consistent effort.

3. Personalize your invitations. LinkedIn offers a standard greeting when you look to make a new connection, but it's much more effective to send a personal message. Remind the person where you've met and why you would like to connect.

Tips 4 - 6 & Original Article

Twitter Personal Branding Checklist

by Pete Kistler


You have a Twitter profile that strengthens your personal brand. And your bio and background image exude your core values and align with your career goals. You’re growing your Twitter network – but how do you turn followers into evangelists for your personal brand?

One of the documents we pass around the office is our Twitter Engagement Checklist. It’s a set of actions that ensures our management team and interns are effectively engaging with relevant people on Twitter, growing their personal networks and building brand awareness. You may benefit from the streamlined process we’ve come to rely on. I’d like to share it with you.

Why a checklist?

Twitter is a global networking party, and you should approach it like one – with a goal and a strategy. Your overarching strategy should be to give before you even think about receiving. People are not interested in what you ate for lunch. They are interested in tweets that yield a positive impact on their day. Here’s how we do it at @brandyourself.

Twice a day…

Tweet a blog post relevant to your field. Our followers want to know about the latest trends, controversies and ideas in our space. We keep them in the loop so they know what’s going on. If you aren’t following blogs in your field, find them by searching for industry keywords on top tier blog directories like Technorati and Alltop. Tweet posts that catch your eye to establish yourself as a source of knowledge for your followers.

Once a day…

Tweet a news article about your field. We do a Google News and New York Times search for keywords in our industry. Scan headlines of online industry publications and tweet out news relevant to your followers to become a trusted source of news and updates.

Tweet a tip based on your experience in your field. We tweet personal branding, online reputation management, career development and job search tips based on real experiences we’ve had hiring, finding jobs and building our own brands. What can you tweet about based on personal experience? For example, if you’re in graphic design, tweet a daily Photoshop tip. You’ll soon build your credibility in your field.

Tweet an inspirational quote. We love bite-sized sayings that impact how we think about life and work. Head over to a directory of quotes like BrainyQuote and tweet a quote that might resonate with your followers to become a source of happiness.

Tweet something personal. We try to keep things as human (read: non-spammy) as possible. Tweet stuff related to your life: let people know that you’re planning on going to a big concert next week. Since strictly following a checklist may decrease your tweeting creativity (I recommend a mix of checklist plus your own strategy), I require a certain number of “personal” tweets from my team. Do this on a regular basis to connect on a deeper level with your followers.

Answer a question related to your field. Use Twitter search or a Twitter management app like TweetDeckor Hootsuite to search for people asking questions about your area of expertise. Type a keyword followed by a question mark to filter results, such as “graphic design?” or “civil engineer?” Answers questions and lead people back to your blog (you have one, right?) if your posts have more detailed answers. This is a great way to attract more followers, and establish yourself as an authority in your line of work.

Once a week…

Read the rest of the Brand-Yourself Article

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tips for getting - and keeping - a holiday job

by Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer


With 15 million Americans looking for a job, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. We talked to some hiring experts to get some last-minute tips for getting - and keeping - a job this holiday season.

Get social: The days of walking into a store and filling out an application are virtually over. Many companies require jobseekers to fill out those forms online. UPS workforce planning manager Matt Lavery said 95 percent of the company's ads for its 50,000 job openings this holiday season will appear on the Internet. UPS is on all of the major jobs sites, but it also has begun getting the word out through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Know the company's value and messages: Once you get an interview, K.C. Blonski, a director at workforce consulting firm AchieveGlobal, says showing you researched the company's background and history can help you stand out. Even though you might not know how things work on the inside, understanding corporate philosophy can help you decide whether the job is a good fit.

Ask questions: The work doesn't end once you've landed a job. Experts said the best employees don't just do what they're told. They want to understand why and look for ways to improve on processes and add value. That extra step makes them more valuable to employees and more likely to stay on after the holiday rush is over.

Tell them what you want: Lisa Bordinat, senior vice president at consulting firm Aon Hewitt, said you shouldn't be shy about letting your bosses know you want to be considered for permanent work. Ask them what skills you'll need to keep the job and how you can develop them.
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Be patient: Don't despair if your temporary position doesn't become permanent. Lavery of UPS said often the problem is simply that there are no open positions, not that the employee didn't do a good job. As slots become available, Lavery said managers will often turn to stellar holiday workers first. And don't forget: There's always next holiday season.

Original Washington Post Article

Top 10 Career Moves Even The Happily Employed Should Make

Posted by Caroline Ceniza-Levine

People who seek out career advice are probably dissatisfied with some area of their current job. But even if you’re content with your job, not interested in a promotion, totally satisfied with your pay and 100% secure nothing will change, here are 10 career moves you should make anyway to maintain your blissful situation:

Set aside your lunch hours. Take your 2011 calendar and block out one lunch hour per week. At the very least, you build in a reserve of time for emergencies. Ideally, you use these to catch up with people you normally don’t – think old friends, former colleagues, people outside your immediate department.

Return recruiter phone calls. You’re not looking for a job so these calls don’t seem important. It’s always good to hear what’s on the market – you confirm your value, and you may be able to help a friend who is looking. Recruiters love candidates who aren’t looking but return calls anyway.

Find a mentee. You must be doing the right things to be in your situation. Sharing what you know is a great way to reinforce all these good habits.

Find a mentor. There is always more to learn. While you may not feel the urgency for a formal class, you can learn on your next break. Seek out people you admire (not just for professional reasons, but maybe it’s the colleague with an amazing sense of humor). Hang out with them even occasionally. You take on the habits of people around you, so surround yourself with successful people.

Review your company perks. I worked at a company that was part of a program to get free or dramatically reduced admission to almost all of the museums and cultural venues in the area. A separate program gave over 50% off movie tickets and free popcorn. These benefits may not be life-changing, but they certainly are quality-of-life changing, and they might mean dollars saved.

Review your org chart. If your company has an internal phone directory, how many people do you know? If you work for a very large company, it might be a small fraction but you should at least know people in the departments that impact your job. Roles turn over frequently, and if you don’t pay attention there could be more and more people you should know but don’t. Get to know your coworkers. At the very least, you may find new lunch partners.

Review your resume. No, you don’t need to send your resume anywhere – you’re not looking for a job. But your resume is a great audit tool for your career. Do you have anything to add from the last six months? If not, this could be a sign of stagnation. At the very least, you’d rather update your resume every few months when you’re relaxed and happy, rather than have to cram several years of job memories when the need to job search is urgent.

Review your online brand. Same reasons as above, except that your online profile is separate from your resume. Your online profile is even more important for the content employee than for the active jobseeker because it is your gateway to passive opportunities.

Get some exercise. Career bliss doesn’t last forever. There will be crunch times ahead – it doesn’t have to be a major restructuring but it could be a project with a tight deadline or a difficult client. Being fit gives you the energy to power through these difficult times. While you’re in a stable career phase, build in good exercise and self-care habits now.

Go public. Get quoted in the press about your expertise. Contribute to your local newspaper or your industry trade journal. Speak at a conference or even your alma mater. Media mentions and public speaking are helpful with any career. While you’re feeling good and confident about your career, step out and get noticed.

Full Forbes Blog

Monday, November 15, 2010

Emprove Performance Group, LLC helps 750 Professionals Land Jobs with Cutting-Edge Job Search Tools

Career Search Strategies 2.0 Seminar/Webinar is Creating Raving Fans!

11.12.2010– In March of this year, Emprove Performance Group, LLC, a Seattle-based, corporate learning and development platform set out on a mission to give back to the professional community with the establishment and launch of Career Search Strategies 2.0 (CSS 2.0), a free job search strategy program offered weekly via the web, along with special live sessions in metropolitan areas. The mission was simple: to offer this program to further promote their very unique brand, but to also give back to the professional community by assisting 1000 displaced professionals get back to work!

Since the program's launch in March of this year, the program has assisted close to 800 professionals successfully land jobs through this unique and comprehensive program.

Career Search Strategies 2.0 is a seminar/webinar program that offers job seekers cutting-edge training, tools and resources related to personal branding and social media strategies to gain a competitive advantage over the vast pool of highly-qualified candidates in today's highly-competitive job market. The program offers practical training on how to develop a unique personal brand, a comprehensive professional career marketing website and how to maximize time and effectiveness when using social networking platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. Furthermore, the program shows participants how to build and design powerful interviewing tools, presentations and other unique marketing pieces to ensure success in each and every stage of the job search/hiring process.

The program also offers weekly group Q&A and coaching sessions along with additional webinar programs and events on topics related to resume writing, interviewing skills, candidate video introductions and more. Once participants go through the program, VIP access to a comprehensive Resource/Multimedia Training Library and other tools are offered to augment and guide members through each step of the process.

In addition to the training and support program, Emprove also maintains one of the fastest-growing professional job seeker groups on LinkedIn, Career Search Strategies 2.0. Whether one has attended the program or not, any and all job seekers are welcome to attend this phenomenal support and strategy group. With close to 600 members, participants offer support, leads and success stories to other members. "Many have found this group to be of tremendous support during a very difficult time to overcome the stress and depressive nature of the job search and being unemployed," says Dieter Hertling, Emprove's co-founder and CEO. "People refer to it as the CSS Family, and are out in the group discussions daily, if not hourly."

With close to 800 professionals landing jobs this year as a result of the Emprove mission, Emprove is looking to expand the program even further by offering regularly-scheduled live sessions in major metro areas starting in January of 2011.

"Job search programs these days are a dime a dozen," says Hertling, "It saddens me to see so many people/companies taking advantage of desperate job seekers out there. We are humbled and honored to be able to make such a huge impact on peoples' lives. We don't promise a magic pill or promise the world to anyone. If our clients are willing to embrace our tools and work harder than they did, even when they had a job, they will achieve their desired level of success. It's our little way of helping put this nation back together, one job, one resume, one person, at a time."

You can learn more about this free program and register for their next event via their company website or email them directly. Emprove Performance Group, LLC - Work hard. Work smart. Play later.

Original Article

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don’t Be a LinkedIn “Collector” or “User”

By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Dawn Rasmussen

One of the most valuable career assets any of us can possess is a high quality business and professional network composed of people we’ve worked/collaborated with (or connected to) at some point in our careers.

By taking this approach, there’s something at stake with this LinkedIn approach: the people we choose to connect with have integrity and quality, we know them and they know us, and we feel comfortable helping them out if they ask for assistance.

Let’s take this one level deeper: these people are also the ones with whom we have meaningful relationships and a general level of mutual respect from personal knowledge/connection.

One of my biggest personal pet peeves includes receiving a request from a random person I don’t know…and especially when this person doesn’t even bother to take a moment to let me know why they would like to connect.

You know the types…they cruise LinkedIn looking for people to add. Frequent criteria for these folks include looking for potential connections who have a lot of contacts in their network…or are a mover and shaker with whom they would like to be associated. So the LinkedIn cruiser sends a request to connect…with nary a courtesy introduction as to why they would like to do so in hopes that the recipient just simply clicks “accept invitation.”

Bingo! “Another connection added,” thinks the LinkedIn cruiser. Then they move on to the next contact target.

I call these people “collectors” – it seems their request is all about the number count and getting another notch on their belt to boost their network size.

But what they are actually doing is creating a pretty flimsily-assembled group of people with whom they have no real meaningful connection.

Fortunately, most of us don’t operate that way. And we don’t like being someone else’s statistic, either, if you know what I mean.

Most business people are probably actually quite open to connecting to new contacts, but if a unknown person wants to be a part of your network, having a basis for which to establish a relationship is critical to establishing a meaningful connection.

And when someone doesn’t even take the time to write a short introductory note, then this kind of request screams: “Collector!”

And the sad part is anytime someone sends a request, they are actually missing a true opportunity. A short note explaining how they found you or the reason why they would like to connect is a genuine basis to start a conversation and business relationship. The personalized note acts to authenticate the connection request.

And these days, it’s not so much about the quantity as much as it is totally about quality.

But even after that point, some people simply don’t get it.

An example just from today: I received an e-mail from a stranger without any mutual connections that was nothing more than the basic:

“I would like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”

Sigh.

So, I emailed back:

“Thanks for your request to connect- I only accept invitations with people I know…can you help me by providing some information on where we might have met before? Thanks for understanding!”

This person then e-mailed back and told me to go visit their company website which should be a compelling enough reason for us to connect. Additionally, they mentioned their company has had a ‘surge in clients worldwide’…yet at the same time they told me they had ‘decided to use LinkedIn as a means to find and connect with potential associates around the world who might be able to help me service their requirements.’

Yeah, right.

How motivated would I be to help this person? I basically got hit up with first an anonymous request, then a follow-up one asking me to help someone I don’t know find people to help them with their marketing efforts…and the kicker was this person was too lazy to even make a compelling reason in the personal message to me why I should help them…they simply told me to go to their website!

Ouch. Way off the mark, and totally ineffective.

We all gain something from cultivating strong relationships with our colleagues, co-workers, and professional contacts. Maintaining a quality and personal connection to each one of these people is critical to our mutual success and builds the synergy that composes the give-and-take cycles of healthy relationships.

But when it comes to adding meaningless connections just to ‘get numbers,’ strangers can’t simply just show up to take, and even more so when they offer to give nothing in return. This isn’t an effective use of one’s time nor effort, and ends up missing the critical benefit of LinkedIn.

Simply put: We do business with people we know and trust.

There is no ‘easy’ button in establishing relationships, but an effort needs to be made to personalize a request. It takes time and social skill to define and develop those relationships, and by being a collector or user, you are cutting yourself out of working with a beneficial tool that could make the difference in your career advancement through people motivated to help you by virtual of personal association and knowledge of who you are.

Choose your connections carefully- and when they connect, that means that they have chosen you, and there is weight in their trust of your integrity and personal relationship…and that they have voted ’yes’ by connecting to you.

Original Careerealism Article

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 Ways To Find A Job In 60 Days Or Less

Today the blog features a guest post by Ryon Harms who writes The Social Executive.

find a job, finding a job, 60 days, career strategy, job searchThey say luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. Without the years of networking, personal branding and a voracious consumption of career related blogs like this one, the learning curve of a recently out of work executive would have added three to six months to my unemployment. And while many of you may be out of work for the first time in a long time, there are still some essential lessons I’ve successfully implemented that I believe can get you back to gainful employment within the next 60 days.

Here are the 10 ways to find a job in 60 days or less:

1. Be Together. The first thing I did was organize a team of executives going through the same challenges. I read Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Who’s Got Your Back, and used those principals to recruit five peers from various industries to help vet my transition strategy and keep me on track despite my excuses. Being unemployed can be lonely. Finding the right support group makes a measurable difference, both tactically and emotionally.

2. Be Networking. I didn’t write a single cover letter unless I could get at least one introduction into the hiring company. I refused to waste time sending my carefully written resume and cover letter into the black hole of HR. It’s not HR’s fault, they’re just inundated. Focus your efforts on companies where you’ve got a human connection and you’ll get a human response.

3. Be LinkedIn. LinkedIn isn’t just a place to collect contacts. While most job seekers are on LinkedIn, a tiny minority is actually maximizing it. If you want to master LinkedIn, read blogs like Windmill Networking by my friend Neal Schaffer. The first thing I did was create a list of 100 people from my LinkedIn contacts that I knew had my back. I scheduled a meeting with everybody on that list first, and then I moved on to the rest.

4. Be Relentless. However much work you think it’ll take to find a job, double it. Then double the amount of time. The only way not to underestimate just how much effort it takes is to work harder than you did working full time. That means sacrifices, like not spending a bunch of extra time with your family just because you’re out of work. There were times when my wife got frustrated because I didn’t have a job and still couldn’t help out around the house. I told her that I actually had less time and more pressure than before, and she understood.

5. Be Specific. I can’t tell you how many people I met networking that couldn’t give me a clear answer on what they sought. Sometimes months or years after leaving their last jobs. If you are not crystal clear about what you want, and I mean laser targeted, people won’t know how to help you, even when they really want to. I knew what I wanted and only communicated my experiences that supported that goal. Start with your dream job description and be like a dog with a bone.

6. Be Positive. Even in my lowest moments, I let very few people feel my pain. When I met with a connection or potential employer, my attitude was that I didn’t need a job, but that I would take one if I found one I couldn’t live without. And mostly that was true. There’s no bigger turn off than the smell of desperation. There’s a visceral response to people that are either very optimistic or depressed. The former elicits the response you need to get hired.

7. Be Open. For job search, I highly recommend the shotgun approach. That means reaching out to everybody you’ve ever met, no matter what their industry or background. And since you’re working overtime, you’ll have time to meet them all. It helps to aim generally towards the executive level and at those currently working, but the truth is you never know where the final introduction will originate.

8. Be Blogging. If you don’t have an online presence, you don’t exist. Plain and simple. Your resume can only take you so far. Even well written resumes aren’t much better than a self-written obituary. A blog allows employers to dig deeper for a broader understanding of what you can offer. They also allow you to talk about the present and future of your industry, rather than the past. If you want to live in the past, stick with your resume. If you want to show a company where you’ll take them in the future, write a blog.

9. Be Nostalgic. You don’t always have to be expanding your network with new relationships. There’s a time to meet with new people, but I found my current position by reigniting relationships from transitions past. That meant reaching out to all of my connections on LinkedIn that I made more than two years ago. I spent the vast majority of my time meeting old connections for coffee and whatever was left meeting with new people.

10. Be Giving. Last, but certainly not least, you should be spending 80 percent of your time giving to others, and just 20 percent asking for something in return. Most people flip that equation because they can’t handle taking on the risk of helping others without a guaranteed return. However, the truth is that not helping others is the much bigger risk. Risk isn’t really a good description at that point, because you are almost guaranteed not achieve your goals without first paying it forward.

The story of how I landed my job was unique. I was able to ask and get two warm introductions into my employer. Despite being told by HR that I would be getting a second interview with the hiring manager, one never materialized. Luckily I had met with another executive in the company through an introduction, in a totally unrelated department, and he was able to figure out why my interview process had stalled. Turned out that they had me down as already having been hired somewhere else and so my resume was taken out of circulation. That’s just another example of why you can never rest and why you must take advantage of every possible angle.

Ryon Harms (@thesocialexec) writes about networking, careers and social media for executives at TheSocialExec.com.

Original Article

The true cost of being your own boss

By Amelia Ross, producer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Millions of Americans are out of work despite a long, dedicated job search. And some of those job hunters are choosing to go freelance -- essentially becoming their own bosses. About one in nine American workers are self-employed, according to Bureau of Labor statistics from 2009 and the trend is rising.

In taking that first step to go out on their own, many choose to start their businesses in their own home. But "free office space," has costs -- often hidden -- and it's important to understand these costs before you decide to start out on your own.

Some of the obvious costs of working from home include:

* Longer hours. If your home is your office, you never really leave work.
* No paid vacation days.
* No paid sick days.
* Paying for your own health insurance.
* Funding your retirement plan.
* Paying the half of the Social Security tax that your employer paid for.
* Paying for office equipment, perhaps upgrading your computer, printer and smartphone.
* Buying office supplies.
* Membership in industry organizations.

"The biggest costs are personal. It's very difficult to separate your life especially if you are working from home. Every minute you are not working you could be," said Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of "The Real Cost of Living," to be published in December. "You need to make 20% more, if not more than that, to have the same comfort level you had when on a salary."

And you will have marketing expenses beyond the cost of printing business cards and setting up your website.

One of hardest choices is determining where to put your energy.

"Learn how to price yourself. Know that you have to both do the work and develop the work. Honor your energy stream but never rest on your laurels," said David Holloway, career development coach. "Over time, costs steady and drop a bit. You learn what you need to do. You may not need to belong to all the organizations you need to. But education expenses are ongoing. A freelancer by definition is an expert and you need to maintain your expertise."

You won't have an infrastructure of support personnel and you just might need someone else to fix broken technology. You will need to do your own bill collection, which can be difficult. Your utility bills might increase; certainly look into calling plans. If you are selling goods, and not services, you will need to build inventory.

"Do a constant analysis of where you're at in the short term and keeping cash flow up. Use your contacts to find out what are the new markets, demographics, segments, products," said Tim Haft, president of Punk Rope.

And once you've landed the assignment, don't take a breather. "Go to three to four coffees or lunches a week. If you aren't, you are not creating a pipeline," said Beth Temple, digital business consultant freelancer since 1998. If you don't know who you should be asking to meet you for coffee, ask your existing contacts 'who I should talk to get to know me.'

"If you make it through the first two years, you can make it full time," Temple added.

Tips on starting your own business:

* The best way to develop your own business is to do it while you still have a job.
* Build up as much as you can in cash savings.
* Live below your means -- you will have good months and bad months.
* Always get deals in writing -- contracts are better. Include a payment schedule and try to get an upfront payment to start the project.
* Remember, to maintain the same lifestyle as you had with your last salary you will need to earn 33% more.
* Get medical coverage ASAP. The national option doesn't go into effect until 2013.
* Don't go longer than six months without starting your retirement benefits.
* Hire a lawyer to look into a LLC, S-Corp or a sole proprietorship to protect your personal assets.
* Hire an accountant.
* Keep track of your customer contact with a spreadsheet.
* Use LinkedIn actively for marketing. Get past testimonials on your LinkedIn profile.

Original Money CNN article

Thursday, October 28, 2010

14 ways to make LinkedIn work for your career

By Louisa Veidelis



Whether you’re happy in your job or are itching for new opportunities, signing up to LinkedIn and exploring its features can open up many opportunities for your career down the track.

LinkedIn was launched as a professional networking site 2003 and has become an essential networking tool, with 875,000 users in Australia, more than 50 million worldwide and many employers using the site to recruit staff.

So it’s time to stop ignoring all those invitations, and get linked in now.

1. Starting out: promote yourself
Admit it – do you Google yourself? Well, prospective employers will be sure to check out your online baggage too. Interestingly, an effectively built LinkedIn profile will appear above your Facebook page in search results, which gives a better first professional impression.

Once you sign up, change your profile to public in the ‘edit profile’ options. You can also customise your URL to make it more user friendly, featuring your first and last name. You can now include that URL on your resume and on your personal business cards.

2. Reconnect with old contacts
Finally, here’s a way to reconnect with old colleagues and people you meet at networking events. Better that industry contacts see your amazing work history rather than those embarrassing Facebook pics of you on a pub crawl.

Any less than 30 connections can look a little lonely but don’t go crazy adding every Tom, Dick and Harry – limit your connections to those people you truly want to stay in touch with.

And if any undesirables request you as a contact, you can simply archive their request to avoid awkwardness.

You also have the opportunity to view the connections of your connections (or, ‘second-degree connections’). If you would get in touch with one of them you can simply ask your contact for an introduction.

3. Connect your websites
LinkedIn provides a central hub to connect all the various websites displaying your ideas and skills – including Twitter, blogs, your portfolio and company websites.

4. Include a photo
While the jury’s still out on adding a photo to a traditional resume, including your headshot in your LinkedIn profile is a good way to add your personality to your profile. Make sure it’s a professional-looking shot – it’s not the place to show off your latest designer bikini.

5. Get headhunted – use keywords
LinkedIn recently revealed that over 1000 companies in Australia use LinkedIn Talent Advantage to hire. Companies advertise jobs on the site and search users to find people with the exact skills they need. Promoting your skills effectively could the difference between being noticed and missing out.

People can search the database using keywords. Search results are displayed by keyword relevance, with the most important words being those included in a user’s headline and summary. Keyword density is also a factor, so try to repeat your main keywords a few times throughout your profile.

6. Create a strong headline
LinkedIn will make your current job title your headline by default, but you can change this to something more impressive or eye-catching. For example, if you are a freelance proofreader, you could make your headline ‘Independent Editorial and Proofreading Professional’.



Tips 7 - 14 and Original Article

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Job Search Grind

In March, 2008, the national unemployment rate was 4.8%. By January of 2010, it had risen to a high of 10.6% and in September of 2010 still hovered at 9/2%. In Nevada, the state I live in, unemployment is above 14%. Because of such high unemployment, most of us know someone that is currently looking for a job.
A recent study entitled “The Job Search Grind” published in The Academy of Management Journal sheds some light on the experience of people involved in the job search process. This well designed study followed 233 unemployment insurance recipients that were actively seeking work every day for three weeks.
One of the most interesting findings for me was that 44% of the job seekers in this study spent less than 10 hours a week on their job searches. Only 20% spent at least 25 hours a week searching for a job. There are a number of explanations for individuals spending little time searching for a job, including discouragement, perceived progress, and simply using the time to pursue other interests. The study had four additional findings that I found interesting:
1.      When individuals reported lower job search progress on any given day, it affected their mood (more negative, less positive) and lowered their confidence about their chances of finding a job.
2.      The ability to manage negative thoughts matters. Lower mood on any given day was related to more effort the following day only for those that could disengage from negative thoughts. For individuals that could not disengage from negative thoughts, lower mood on any day resulted in less search effort the following day.
3.      Individuals with financial hardship experience the job search process differently. The study found that financial hardship strengthened the negative effects of low search progress and weakened the positive effects of high search progress.
4.      The more (less) progress people made on any given day, the less (more) time they invested in job search the next day.
Being unemployed and looking for a job is not only hard work, it’s can also be a roller coaster ride of emotions. People that have high financial hardship and have a hard time managing their emotions will experience the job search process the hardest.
Setting realistic goals for daily time spent in the search process, and sticking to those daily goals regardless of the perceived progress on any given day should help. Making job search a daily routine won’t alleviate the roller coaster of emotions, but it should help with the management of those emotions, especially for those that have a harder time with negative thoughts.
Learn to treat perceived daily progress, either good or bad, as noise in the process and not a signal.
Bret L. Simmons, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership, and personal branding to both undergraduate and MBA students. Bret blogs about leadership, followership, and social media at his website Positive Organizational Behavior. You can also find Bret on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.


Original Article

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stop Applying For Jobs And Get Tactical And Creative

I recently stumbled across a post in one of the LinkedIn forums I frequent where a young lady was asking for help. She said: I have a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Finance, and I’ve applied for over 1,500 jobs and nobody will hire me.

Would you like to know what I told her? Stop applying for jobs. Period.

You might be saying that’s harsh, but it really isn’t. Everyone else is doing the same thing she’s doing (and probably you too if you’re on the market), and very few people are getting their desired results. There were tons of other constructive feedback but I felt none of them really dug into the heart of the matter. In today’s job market you have to be tactical and creative. If you’re not finding ways to stand out from the crowd, you’ll be just another resume.
Mentioning that she has her degrees tells me absolutely nothing about what she has accomplished other than she was determined and smart enough to make it through school. People tend to throw around degrees and acronyms like they really hold a lot of weight in the recruiting world. Newsflash, they really don’t (unless of course you’re a doctor).

You have to be sure to let people know what you’ve done, what your expertise is, what makes you that expert, and how you’ve impacted your previous employers. On paper, anyone can look the part. But if I interview you and I can’t determine what you’ve actually contributed or done for your past employers, I consider it a wasted conversation. I’m not being facetious, I’m coming from the perspective of a Recruiter.

So like I said to the young lady with the dilemma, you have to stop applying for jobs. It fascinates me that people don’t stop to think that there are hundreds of other people just like them applying for the same jobs. What makes you so special? That is the million dollar question and trust me, if you want to stand out, you better be prepared to answer it. In the mean time, there are things you can do to make sure you increase your odds of finding a job or creating an opportunity. It’s not enough to apply, you have to work at finding a job.

Tired of not getting interviews? Well take your skills and strike out as a consultant or start your own business. I wouldn’t try to do something that takes you out of your skill set. Consulting work or starting a business that falls back on your skills is a great way to make some money and position yourself as an expert.

But remember, there are a host of other things that come along with running a business such as invoicing, billing, bookkeeping, marketing, sales, etc. If you are going to be a one woman shop, be prepared to take on the many hats that come along with striking out on your own. Be realistic about whether or not you can handle those things. Otherwise, try marketing yourself as a consultant to recruitment firms who specialize in placing consultants.

Remain true to you. When a recruiter scans your resume or profile and they see you moved out of your skill set, a red flag goes up. You may have had honorable intentions or may be filling the time to bring in a check until that ideal job comes. But remember, you are one of hundreds applying. Your resume has 30 seconds to wow a recruiter. Don’t sabotage your chances.

Now I don’t say this to discourage you. I know in these tough economic times, everyone needs to bring in a paycheck. But be careful about what you choose. You want to stay as organic to your strengths as possible. Unless you are looking to change course completely, try to remain in the industry or at least a similar type of position so it won’t look like you’re just passing the time until you find the right job. It spooks hiring managers to see that you will settle for a check instead of holding out for what you are meant to do.

Boost your networking. Don’t just be connected to people, communicate with them. Get involved in networking activities and make yourself known. Make sure you are building a database of ‘must know‘ people and not just connecting with anyone for the sake of connecting.

If you’re hanging out with customer service reps and you should be hanging around finance professionals, it’s time to make a change. True anyone can be a great networking source, but you have to be laser focused when you’re looking for a job. You have heard me say time and time again to get out and build networks and relationships. You can’t just turn to people when you need work. Cultivate those relationships so that when you are in need, people are more receptive and empathetic to you.
Get out and get known online and offline. Do something to showcase your expertise (podcasts, blogs, guest articles, etc). Recruiters are looking at those things more than you know, especially for certain positions. Social media is very powerful and it levels the brand positioning playing field. Building your professional brand is key. Show them what you’ve got and don’t be shy about it. You want recruiters coming to you, not to chase after jobs and recruiters.
Create a job opportunity. Research companies you want to work with and identify sore points that they are dealing with where you know you could be the solution. Speak to the hiring manager, department manager, etc (not HR) and ask to meet with them to network. During the conversation mention their problem and ask for clarification on what ails them. Then offer some (generic) solutions by giving them the what and the why (but not the how…that’s how you come into play) of what they most likely need.
If they seem interested in hearing more, ask for an interview. Then be prepared to blow them away with your knowledge and record of accomplishment.

I have a feeling many of you are going to job boards and applying for everything you are interested in. I’ll let you in on a recruiter secret that’s probably going to get me kicked out of the inner circle. Those are sometimes ads to pipeline candidates. Some (not all, but some) companies have no intention of filling the jobs, only building a database. So if you choose to apply, find out who you need to get in front of that matters and go through them first to let them know you’re interested. Then apply online per protocol.
You must approach online job ads as if there is a potential that it is solely for pipelining. Make sure you back that application up with some roll up your sleeves, investigative work to connect with the true hiring manager. Express your interest in the position, let them know you’ve applied per protocol and make sure it gets to the right people. You just never know in this day of technology and applicant tracking so it’s up to YOU to do the due diligence if you really want the job.


Get More Advice and Read the Complete Original Forbes Article

A LinkedIn Profile That Works! Tips From A Recruiter

By Harry Urschel

image As I’ve said many times before, LinkedIn is a game changer when it comes to an effective job search in today’s online world. There has never been a resource that made it as easy to find the critical information you need when you’re looking for a new job… Companies, Contacts, Interview Prep information, Comparative Job Histories, and venues to discuss topics and challenges related to any job, field, or industry. It’s incredible… and that’s no overstatement.

As much as LinkedIn can be used proactively to gain the information needed, it sure is nice to be “found” once in awhile and pursued for potential opportunities as well. The key to being found, is having a profile that works!

What gets attention, what gets read, what improves your chances of getting a call or an email?

As a recruiter, I look at hundreds of LinkedIn profiles. It’s one of the most powerful and effective tools I have in finding qualified candidates for positions I’m trying to fill. What makes me move on and what gets me to reach out? Here are some key points…

Keywords – Keywords – Keywords!!! The only way anyone is found is by someone entering some keywords in the search box for what they are looking for. Generally, it’s not practical to “browse” 80 MILLION profiles in the hopes of stumbling across the right person. They will enter some words to find people with that specific background. Here’s the tough part… there is no dictionary of terms used to find certain skills. Anyone running a search has to figure it out for themselves.

So… take the time to think about “what are all the possible search terms someone might use to find someone like me?” Then make sure all those words are somewhere in your profile. If someone is looking for a “Payroll Manager”, and your were a “Payroll Supervisor”, they may not find you if you don’t have the word “Manager” in your profile. Incorporate the different terms in your job descriptions if you can. Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to simply have a list of additional keywords somewhere at the bottom of your profile. Be honest about your background, but make sure you turn up in the appropriate searches!

Short Substantive Sound-bites! Like a resume, a LinkedIn profile will typically only get scanned for a few seconds before the reader decides whether you are worth pursuing further or not. In that quick scan, short phrases will get read and long sentences and paragraphs will not. A paragraph may make a powerful argument why you’re a dynamite prospect, but if it never gets read, it has no impact at all.

Figure out what things in your background are the most important, most marketable, and most in demand in your field, and make those experiences pop out in your profile. Take long descriptions and figure out what are the most important points to get across from each sentence. Make those points in a few words in separate bullet points. Each bullet does not have to be a complete sentence, and will have more impact in a few well chosen words.

* 4 consecutive years of 15% or greater sales growth

will more likely get read, and has more impact than…

* Sales production increased by 15% or more in year-over-year growth in each of the last four fiscal years due to increased efforts and new strategies.

The first example has more impact and gets more results, however, the second example is the norm because it seems more complete. In your LinkedIn profile as in your resume, it’s better to be effective than it is to have complete explanations!

“Call me!” Unless you are directly connected as a first level connection in LinkedIn, your contact information is not visible to the reader. If you are hoping to be contacted, make it easy for them to contact you! Put your phone number and email address in the Summary section at the top of your profile. Don’t make them have to send an introduction through another user, or use up one of their “In Mails”, or have to scroll to the bottom of your profile, or try to look you up in some other way. The easier it is, the more likely they will connect.

When I’m hunting for a good candidate for a position I’m working on, and find someone that seems like they might be qualified, but can’t tell for sure from their profile… I will likely call if their contact information is easy to find. If it’s not in their profile and I can’t easily find it otherwise, I will generally simply move on to another candidate… there are plenty to look at. If your profile is on the bubble in their mind, you’d rather get a chance to make your case rather than just have them move on… make it easy to for them to connect!

Make yourself real! Pictures have an interesting effect on LinkedIn. While I would not recommend that anyone put a picture on their resume, having a picture on LinkedIn often sways me to make a call rather than move on. When someone’s profile looks like they might have relevant experience for the position I’m working on, but it’s not crystal clear… I will often connect with them to find out more if they have a professional looking picture displayed. It personalizes it, and makes them more of a real person than a faceless listing.

The picture must be a professional headshot. A vacation picture, or a picture of your boat, or pet, or kids tells me that they don’t understand that LinkedIn is a Professional networking site, not equivalent to Facebook or MySpace. The profile pictures are tiny, a full body shot or even a half body shot will not allow anyone to see your face well enough to make it personal. Get up-close, wear professional clothing (at least on the neck), and smile!

“They LIKE me!” Get recommended! When looking at a profile, I usually look to see if anyone had recommended them. Since LinkedIn allows you to choose which recommendations are visible on your profile and which aren’t, I always assume they are positive so I almost never take the time to read what the recommendations actually say. However, the fact that someone was willing to write something positive about them creates a good impression.

The easiest way to get recommendations… is to give them. Write recommendations on LinkedIn for previous managers, co-workers, customers, or vendors. Usually, at least half the time, they will return the favor. Three or four are good, it’s not necessary or even particular helpful to have 10 or more.



LinkedIn is a great place to have more information than your resume. It’s not necessary to limit yourself to two pages as you should in your resume. However, although you can have more overall length, each line should be shorter. Include all the appropriate keywords you can, include your contact information, include a professional picture, and get recommendations. You will greatly improve your chances of getting found.

Original Post