Friday, July 30, 2010

5 Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Extended Network

When it comes to thinking about staying connected with your extended network,  especially if you

have a large one, it can almost be as daunting as, say, public speaking for a lot of people. But, it can be broken down into manageable steps. The most important thing with networking is that you stay in touch with those you connect with and you make every effort to keep a relationship going – even if you don’t “need” something at the moment.

Here are our five best tips for continued networking success.

1) Pass Along Articles of Interest to Your Contacts

One great way to stay in touch is to pass along anything of interest to your contacts. You want to continually demonstrate that you’re not only passionate about your industry (and follow it regularly), but also that you are genuinely interested in your contact’s best interest. It never hurts to reach out to someone you know and say, “Hi, John, I came across this article and thought of you. Perhaps you’d find the statistic on the growing demographics of 18- to 24-year-olds interesting for your research. I hope you’re well. All my best, Paul.”
2) Keep Your Network Posted of Your Updates

We recommend that you touch base with your contacts at least twice a year. A year can be quite a bit of time, and a lot can happen. If you are hired for a position, pick up a new internship, move to a new city or start a new blog, these are all reasons to update your network on what’s happening in your life. It’s also important that you use these opportunities to thank those that have helped you become who you are or get you to where you are today.

3) Remember Special Occasions

This can be a hard one. In a perfect world, we would all remember everyone’s birthdays and important events, but unfortunately, real life can get in the way of that. If there are certain members of your network who are your friends on Facebook, make it a daily habit to look at the “Birthdays” reminder to see if there’s anyone you should reach out to. And this doesn’t mean you should leave a generic “Happy Birthday” on someone’s wall; rather take the time to type out an e-mail and let the person know you’re thinking of them. It doesn’t take a lot of additional effort, and it’s an easy way to stand out from the “Facebook wall clutter.” In addition, keep an eye on big events announced by your contacts. If you want to get into public relations and you see that your friend launched a new campaign, send them a congratulatory note.

4) Create Google Alerts for Your Contacts and/or Their Businesses

One great way to keep tabs on a contact or his or her company is by creating a Google Alert. It’s free and takes less than a minute, and the service can send you valuable information on a colleague that you might have been too busy to notice. Then, when you see big news about someone or his or her company, take a minute to send an e-mail and follow up. If you’re not sure how to set up a Google Alert, check out our recent post on the CareerSparx blog, “Your Dream Employer? Do More Than Google Them.”

5) Follow Them on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn

Again, the idea is to stay connected with your contacts and what’s going on in their lives. If you see that a birthday is coming up or something important just happened, make note of what you see on your social media accounts and follow up via a personalized e-mail. Another tactic is to hit “like” if they post something produced by their company on a Facebook profile, or retweet a Twitter update for a big project of theirs. They will appreciate the support, and you will achieve your goal of staying connected and on their radar.

By following these five easy tips, you will be able to stay better connected to your network. And as you’ll see, it really isn’t as hard or as overwhelming as it seems. Best of luck.

Informational Interviews Using LinkedIn

Article Contributed by Peggy McKee,
One of the many, many fantastic applications of LinkedIn is that you can use it to land informational interviews. Informational interviews are just what they sound like: they are interviews that you conduct to gather information, usually about a job or a career field you’re interested in. They last 20-30 minutes, and give you an opportunity to get answers about what a typical day is like, what the person likes or dislikes about the field, and what it takes to be successful. You can also use it as a mentoring session and ask for their advice on your situation and your best career/job search moves. Research tips for informational interviews to help you compile your list of questions. Informational interviews are strictly for you to get the “inside scoop” from someone who knows, and they help you to expand your network. (FYI: If you’re lucky, you might get a job lead, but it’s bad form to go into the interview expecting this person to help you get a job.)
But how do you go about setting up an informational interview if you can’t do it through your current contacts?
Use LinkedIn. Once you create a profile, you can make connections and introduce yourself to people on LinkedIn, and then ask them directly for an informational interview. Most people are flattered to be asked, and won’t mind talking to you for 20 minutes. If they’re really pressed for time, they might offer to answer questions by email–which you should definitely follow through on. Also, you can join groups and participate in discussions, and post your questions there. This can be an especially effective tactic for entry-level job seekers. I’ve seen some really great LinkedIn discussions packed with valuable information for job seekers.
LinkedIn pages are tremendous sources of information on people you’d like to interview and companies you’re interested in. Once you’ve set up your interview, use LinkedIn to prepare for it just as thoroughly as you would for a job interview. Get all your ducks in a row so that you don’t waste that person’s time by asking questions you can look up the answers to. Coming to the interview prepared with background knowledge and intelligent questions leaves them with a great impression of you as a confident, competent go-getter they will remember (in case they run across a job opportunity for you later).
After the interview, remember to send a thank you letter. If you can, include a relevant article or a solution to a company problem–something helpful to them. Then, include them in your network by routinely contacting them every few months. A successful informational interview gains you valuable information and an expanded professional network–and who knows where that might lead?
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Mistakes Online Job Hunters Make

In a tight job market, building and maintaining an online presence is critical to networking and job hunting. Done right, it can be an important tool for present and future networking and useful for potential employers trying to get a sense of who you are, your talents and your experience. Done wrong, it can easily take you out of the running for most positions.
Here are five mistakes online job hunters make:
1. Forgetting manners.
If you use Twitter or you write a blog, you should assume that hiring managers and recruiters will read your updates and your posts. A December 2009 study by Microsoft Corp. found that 79% of hiring managers and job recruiters review online information about job applicants before making a hiring decision. Of those, 70% said that they have rejected candidates based on information that they found online. Top reasons listed? Concerns about lifestyle, inappropriate comments, and unsuitable photos and videos.
"Everything is indexed and able to be searched," says Miriam Salpeter, an Atlanta-based job search and social media coach. "Even Facebook, which many people consider a more private network, can easily become a trap for job seekers who post things they would not want a prospective boss to see."
Don't be lulled into thinking your privacy settings are foolproof. "All it takes is one person sharing information you might not want shared, forwarding a post, or otherwise breaching a trust for the illusion of privacy in a closed network to be eliminated," says Ms. Salpeter, who recommends not posting anything illegal (even if it's a joke), criticism of a boss, coworker or client, information about an interviewer, or anything sexual or discriminatory. "Assume your future boss is reading everything you share online," she says.
2. Overkill.
Blanketing social media networks with half-done profiles accomplishes nothing except to annoy the exact people you want to impress: prospective employees trying to find out more about on you.
One online profile done well is far more effective than several unpolished and incomplete ones, says Sree Sreenivasan, dean of students at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He made the decision early on to limit himself to three social-networking sites: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. "There is just not enough time," he says. "Pick two or three, then cultivate a presence there."

Many people make the mistake of joining LinkedIn and other social media sites and then just letting their profiles sit publicly unfinished, says Krista Canfield, a LinkedIn spokesperson. "Just signing up for an account simply isn't enough," she says. "At a bare minimum, make sure you're connected to at least 35 people and make sure your profile is 100 percent complete. Members with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn."
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the three most popular social networking sites for human resources managers to use for recruiting, according to a survey released last month by JobVite, a maker of recruiting software.
3. Not getting the word out.
When accounting firm Dixon Hughes recently had an opening for a business development executive, Emily Bennington, the company's director of marketing and development, posted a link to the opportunity on her Facebook page. "I immediately got private emails from a host of people in my network, none of whom I knew were in the market for a new job," she says. " I understand that there are privacy concerns when it comes to job hunting, but if no one knows you're looking, that's a problem, too."
Changing this can be as simple as updating your status on LinkedIn and other social networking sites to let people know that you are open to new positions. If you're currently employed and don't want your boss to find out that you're looking, you'll need to be more subtle. One way to do this is to give prospective employers a sense of how you might fit in, says Dan Schawbel, author of "Me 2.0" and founder of Millennial Branding. "I recommend a positioning, or personal brand statement, that depicts who you are, what you do, and what audience you serve, so that people get a feeling for how you can benefit their company."
4. Quantity over quality.
Choose connections wisely; only add people you actually know or with whom you've done business. Whether it's on LinkedIn, Facebook or any other networking site, "it's much more of a quality game than a quantity game," says Ms. Canfield. A recruiter may choose to contact one of your connections to ask about you; make sure that person is someone you know and trust.
And there's really no excuse for sending an automated, generic introduction, says Ms. Canfield. "Taking the extra five to 10 seconds to write a line or two about how you know the other person and why'd you'd like to connect to them can make the difference between them accepting or declining your connection request," she says. "It also doesn't hurt to mention that you're more than willing to help them or introduce them to other people in your network."
5. Online exclusivity.
Early last year, Washington's Tacoma Public Utilities posted a water meter reader position on its website. The response? More than 1,600 people applied for the $17.76 an hour position.
With the larger number of people currently unemployed (and under-employed), many employers are being inundated with huge numbers of applications for any positions they post. In order to limit the applicant pool, some have stopped posting positions on their websites and job boards, says Tim Schoonover, chairman of career consulting firm OI Partners.
Scouring the Web for a position and doing nothing else is rarely the best way to go. "When job-seekers choose to search for jobs exclusively online– rather than also include in-person networking–they may be missing out on 'hidden' opportunities," says Mr. Schoonover. "Higher-level jobs are not posted as often as lower-level jobs online. In-person networking may be needed to uncover these higher-level positions, which may be filled by executive recruiters."

Original WSJ Article

How to Get the Job You Find

Brian Ray

Hooray! You find a great-for-you job online. Now, how do you hook and reel it in?
Here’s what you don’t do. Immediately click ‘Apply.’ Fill out form. Attach or paste your resume. Then you wait, and wait, and wait, and… well, you get the idea. Instead, try these 3 job-landing tips:

Job-Landing Tip #1: Do your homework.

Be an A+ candidate! Just 15+ minutes could pay you big bucks in a new job. Start by going to employer’s website and clicking key tabs:
  • About Us – Check out their services, products and markets. Learn how big they are: annual sales or budget and number of employees. Find out whether they are local, regional, national, or global. Review their vision, mission and values. If you are still interested, make a list of what you like, as well as questions you have.
  • Press or Newsroom – Look for recent news about financial reports and special announcements. Is their growth up, down or sideways? What are their plans for the future? Are there new executives that recently joined (who want want to make changes in their departments)? Are there special opportunities you see for you?
  • Career or Jobs – look for the job you found online. Look for other jobs that interest you. Checkout their benefits and training.
  • Go to Google. Type in the employer’s name to search ‘Web and News’ for more information.
  • Print most relevant information and put in file folder marked with employer name. Very handy for resume writing and interviews. Make notes on key people related to job you want.
  • Beware: If the job posting you find does not identify the employer, type key words from posting in Google, and see if employer name pops up. If not, then drop it. May be a scam!

Job-Landing Tip #2: Rewrite Your Resumes

Based on your homework, you can hook employers by customizing each resume for each job and employer. It might be another 15+ minutes extra work per resume… but worth it when you get the call for interviews.
  • Copy keywords from the job posting that are true of you. Paste them in your resume.
  • Connect what you do and like best with what the employer seems to need most for the Objective or Summary section of your resume.
  • Resumes that get results show results. Highlight accomplishments on page 1 of your resume that are most relevant to the employer and job.
  • If you saw news or special announcements related to your experience, abilities or interests, mention them in your cover letter.

Job-Landing Tip #3: Network for Personal Referrals

Ask everyone you know and new people you meet. Keep an active list of employers with jobs and names of key employees. A private corporate study revealed that if jobseekers had a personal referral into the company, the odds of them getting hired was 42 times greater than those with no referral. Try networking everyday for at least 15+ minutes at least a couple of weeks. It’s like mining for gold. You shovel a lot of dirt to find the golden nugget. But it is worth it.
  • Ask appropriately and politely “do you know who is or was at (name of employer)?”
  • Search Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter for employers and names of key employees.
  • Follow up with referrals with phone calls using names of referring people. Remember, it is the personal referral that reels them in.
  • Your ultimate goal is to find the hiring manager for the job in which you are interested. When you all-of-a-sudden find them, you will be ready with your customized resume.
By the time you make the right connections in the employer’s organization, you might be asked to submit your resume through their website job posting. That’s the perfect time to click ‘Apply’, because now someone is looking for you.

Original Article

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top 100 career advice blogs

1. Career Realism – “We are the only career advice blog that ‘approves’ their experts, writes Career Realism’s founder, J.T. O’Donnell, who has been cited in The New York Times,,, and various other popular publications. “We make each expert apply to our program and we personally review their credentials and writing style to ensure they match with our goal of providing cutting-edge career advice. We have over 30 experts who provide advice on a daily basis and are currently ranked as one of the top 5 career advice blogs on the Internet.” Her tips for the unemployed? “Unemployed job seekers need to focus on connecting with people they don’t know,” she explains. “It’s easy to network with friends and family, but to find a job you have to expand your network. Start by asking people you do know to introduce you to the one person they think you should meet.” Recommended posts: “Resume Tips for a Career Change,” and “20 Powerful Action Verbs to Kick Your Resume Up a Notch!
2. WebWorkerDaily – Although most of the articles touch on unemployment and career advice, blogger Imran Ali also writes about the latest technology tools for UK-based business owners and professionals. This easy-to-use and interactive blog allows readers to click on articles related to a specific topic such as Apps, how-to guides, social media, and browsers, as well as Apple, Google, and Windows products. Recommended posts: “Sincerely, Me: What Our Email Sign-offs Say About Us,” and “DevCheatSheet: More Useful Free Reference Cards.”
3.  Position Ignition –  ”Position Ignition’s career blog offers a host of free information, advice, and guidance for people of all ages and who are serious about their careers,” writes Nisa Chitakasem, one of the co-founders of the site. “We have a number of Guides who all contribute to the blog and who have had real life and career experiences of their own to draw from. Not only are they great career guides and are highly qualified coaches –they have all had very successful careers –being HR Directors, Headhunters, CEOs, COOs, senior managers in top firms and more. The co-founder Simon North has been working in transition and change for over 25 years and has helped many individuals with their careers.” She advises the unemployed to “stay positive and also get focused…Being unfocused and untargeted in the market is the worst thing you could do. Too many people we come across have a scattergun approach – firing out CVs everywhere and applying for anything they can get hold of. What’s more effective is getting clear about what you want, why you want it, why you’re the one to do it and how to get that across effectively in the market. This is what we help people do and they all end up in the right places for them!”  Recommended posts: “5 Popular Career Personality Tests” and “Job searching: Find the Needle.”
4. Career Copilot – Career Strategist and Pro Resume Writer Dan Keller helps job seekers “navigate through the changes and challenges of the job hunt.” Keller’s background includes experience in executive search and corporate recruiting, and offers readers his advice from his own experiences and insight “from the trenches.” He is also the owner of Recommended posts: “How to find a job on Linkedin,” 5 tips to help you through a career change,” and “Why Job Boards are evil.
5. Punk Rock HR – Forget Sheena, Laurie Ruettimann is the true punk rocker…of the career-advice blogging world. After reading its tagline (“Team building is for suckers”), it becomes apparent that Laurie has a lot to say about the HR world, and isn’t afraid to say it. For the past ten years, she has worked as a “seasoned and cynical HR professional,” and currently serves as a member of The Society for Human Resources Management. Her blog has been listed as one of the “Top 50 Blogs” by Evan Carmichael in 2010, as well as”Top 25 HR Digital” blog awards by HR Examiner, and her writing has been featured in The New York Times, US News & World Report, CFO Magazine, and Men’s Health. Recommended posts: “Mentors: Who Needs ‘Em?” and “You Are Not Allowed to Criticize HR.”

Blogs 6 - 100

Monday, July 19, 2010

Landing a New Job - Don't Leave Your Old Job

If you've been marking time at work and hoping to get a new job, you're not alone. But employment experts caution restless job seekers from jumping ship too soon. If you move too quickly you might end up in a new job that you dislike even more. Still, you can improve your odds of finding something worthwhile by planning ahead and doing some research.
The first thing to do is re-evaluate why you're dissatisfied at your current job. If you aren't challenged enough, there might be a way to make a change without leaving. "There may be ways that your job can be changed for the better or your role in the company expanded to offer more challenges," says Tony Mulkern, a management consultant based in Los Angeles.
Look Inside and Out
Scout job openings in other departments or at higher levels that you may qualify for with some additional extended education or skills and ask your manager to support your effort to get the training you need.
If the opportunities just aren't there or you're simply dissatisfied and aching to move, tap your personal and professional network for information on who's hiring; many job postings go up with a candidate in mind already, so it's best to do your homework before a position is listed publicly.
If you know someone at the companies you are targeting—or someone in your network does—work to get personal referrals. But be discreet with your inquiries. Keep requests off social-networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
When you land an interview, use the opportunity to learn about the company. You should get as much from them as they will try to get from you, says Sharon Armstrong, a human-resources consultant in Washington. Salary and benefits are important, but you also want to make sure you're compatible. It's difficult to tell what the workplace culture is like from casual visits. Don't be shy about calling for more information and contact current and former employees, if possible, to get a feel for the company and opportunities.
If you get an offer, before you accept, consider doing more in-depth financial research on the company; try the Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR Public Dissemination Service (
For private firms and startups, Gail Rosen, an accountant based in Martinsville, N.J., says to look for a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, references, a business plan and a list of where the company is getting funding. "You may not get that all, but it doesn't hurt to ask, and they might at least give you something else you can use," she says. Some information also can be found on fee services like Hoovers or on business blogs.
Don't Leave Your Old Job
Whatever you do, don't quit your job until you're certain that you're hired, says Ms. Armstrong. "Even if a job offer seems imminent, there are a lot of things that can happen at the last minute."
If your current company wants to keep you and replies with a counteroffer, keep in mind why you're leaving. "People seldom move just for money, so don't be swayed by a bigger paycheck if everything else stays the same," says Ms. Armstrong. "Job satisfaction comes from a lot of different places. If the boss offers to help change the other things that are making you unhappy, that might be worth at least discussing."
Write to Dennis Nishi at

Original WSJ Article

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tips for transitioning from a stay-at-home parent into a career-track professional

I took about five months of maternity leave after my daughter was born. It felt more like five years when I returned. 

In my first few months back on the job, I could barely manage to get to work without yogurt smeared on my clothes. Report breaking-news stories? Write on deadline? Yeesh.

Now imagine returning after taking off years to raise a family.

I talked with Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder of iRelaunch and co-author of Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work, which came out in 2007. What tips, I asked her, can you give someone who is looking to rejoin the workforce after taking time off to spend with family?

She offers seven tips for styling your own personal relaunch, as she calls it: (And you can also keep up on advice from Fishman Cohen and her co-author, Vivian Steir Rabin, at the Back on the Career Track blog here.

Relaunch or not -- you decide. Basically, you need to fully think through your feelings, needs and issues about whether you are ready to return to the work force. What are your childcare needs? Do you have family and spousal support? Are there other issues, such as a recent move or a spouse that's just changed jobs that can complicate returning to work?

Learn confidence. Your co-workers from the past remember you as you were, she said. It can be a "huge confidence builder" to get back in touch with co-workers from the past and hear their enthusiasm about your decision to return to work, she said.

Another way to help build that up? Start talking. Talk first with your nonjudgmental friends and family about your interest in returning to work and what you want to do. At first, you might not sound so polished. But talking it out lets you practice and get feedback on what you're saying or how you're saying it. Broaden the audience to people you know more casually. All of this is a kind of rehearsal for an interview down the road. The more you rehearse ahead of time, the better you will sound.
Assess your career options. You need to figure out if your skills and interests have changed. You want to look at each of your prior significant work and volunteer experiences, look at all the pieces of those jobs and identify the ones that you love doing and think you're best at. You might find that you were exactly on the right career path to begin with, she said, and want to return. Or you might find that your old career is no longer compatible with your lifestyle.

Update your professional and job-search skills. Subscribe to industry journals, attend conferences, get back in touch with your alma mater which may offer alumni career services.
Consider whether you need to update your training by taking classes at a community college or enrolling in a certificate program. For some people, schooling provides a networking or internship opportunity that may translate into a full-time job.
Volunteering with nonprofits can often provide relevant experiences that are resume-worthy, she said.
Network and market yourself. Set up an online professional profile on LinkedIn. Join professional organizations, alumni groups and other associations through your LinkedIn profile.

"Nothing beats getting out of your house," she said. "We hear over and over, 'I sent out 100 resumes and I'm not getting any responses,'" Fishman Cohen said. "You can do that if you want, but your most productive networking is going to be in person.

That means going to parent-teacher organization meetings or soccer games or political committee meetings, she said. Have conversations with people about their work -- and once in a while, you'll connect with someone whose interests are similar to yours.

Channel family support. Make sure you talk with them and strategize how you're going to handle child-care, pick-ups, housework or other needs that will arise with your absence.

Handle the job -- or find another. Be strategic about your relaunch, but if you end up having to take a job that's not your ideal, work on a plan B. Don't necessarily turn down a contractor position or one that offers less responsibility because you can show your skills and earn more responsibility over time.

Those are the official seven tips. But she has a few other pieces of advice to keep on track.

Be relentless. Keep going and keep moving forward. If you land a job interview and it doesn't turn into an offer, don't give up.

Pair up with a relaunch buddy. Find someone who is also interested in returning to work. Then set up a regular time to check in with that friend about how your week's efforts are going. This provides you with a scheduled check-in, so that you keep making progress, as well as gives you a sounding board.    

And one more tip -- how do you discuss the years that you took off to stay at home?
One reason the networking piece is so important, she said, is because that information will already be out there before you get to an interview. At that point, she said, don't apologize. "Be very brief about it and move on. For example, you might say "I took a career break to take care of my kids, but I can't wait to come back to work. One reason I was so excited about this job is...." and move the conversation on to talk about your qualifications and skills.   
IRelaunch has several online resources, including a readiness quiz and a resume guide on its website. It also has compiled a list of dozens of career re-entry programs -- including some free ones -- that people can look into as well. 

-- Helen Jung

Original Article

Monday, July 12, 2010

Promoting Your Job Search When You're Employed

Q: How should you go about advertising yourself on LinkedIn when you are already employed? It seems like you wouldn't want to be too overt, since people from your present company are likely to see your posting. Is it OK to note that you are open to job queries?
A: You are right to assume that someone from your company probably will view your profile at some point, so it would be best not to announce that you are actively looking for another job. Luckily, there are ways you can subtly let it be known that you are open to opportunities.
"Your LinkedIn profile is public, which means that everyone has access to it in and out of your company," says Dan Schawbel, author of "Me 2.0" and managing partner at Millennial Branding LLC. "You can, however, be cautious and avoid sending public updates that you want to quit your job or that you hate your manager."

Unless your company knows that there are extenuating circumstances – such as expected layoffs, you're relocating, or you are seeking opportunities in a different field – you won't want to advertise your availability, says Catherine Ricker, vice president of human resources at Affinity Federal Credit Union in Basking Ridge, N.J. "Colleagues, and possibly your supervisor, are likely to learn of your search, which may send the impression that you are unhappy with your current employer or manager, even if you are not, and cause the employer to question your commitment to the organization," she says.
Instead, use your profile to detail you prior work experience and to emphasize your present job position title, job responsibilities and future career aspirations, suggests Ms. Ricker. "Solicit professional recommendations for posting on your LinkedIn page and direct prospective employers accordingly," she says. She recommends joining groups in your specific field of interest. "Savvy recruiters generally seek out potential candidates through these groups," she says.
When job hunting in "stealth" mode, get comfortable using your account settings, recommends LinkedIn's senior public relations manager, Krista Canfield. For example, many users don't know that they can adjust their settings so that their connections won't be notified each time they update their status or make changes to their profile. "That way, if you suddenly decide to connect to 15 local recruiters, your boss won't notice that these folks have been added to your network via status updates," says Ms. Canfield.

On the flip side, LinkedIn users often forget to indicate that they are interested in career opportunities and that they will accept messages from other members. If you disable these features, you'll be making yourself much harder to contact and could lose out on job opportunities.

Mr. Schawbel recommends approaching your LinkedIn headline as a "positioning statement, detailing what you do and who you do it for." In addition, you'll want to figure out the keywords a recruiter would use to search for people in your desired field and include them as part of your profile. "This way, recruiters will find you, and you'll start getting job queries for positions that you're truly passionate about," says Mr. Schawbel.
"Above everything else, make sure you update and expand your profile," says Ms. Canfield. Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn than those with incomplete profiles, she says.

Original WSJ Article

Friday, July 9, 2010

Facebook Becomes Job Search Engine

SimplyHired, a job search aggregation site, announced that it's just released new features allowing integration with user Facebook friends. How does this help job seekers?

This integration marks the first time Facebook has entered mainstream job search. Facebook has long been a way that a candidate can be found by recruiters and hiring managers who are searching for an employee. Now SimplyHired makes it easier to find companies where they have Facebook friends to contact about the hidden job market.

SimplyHired has featured integration with Linkedin for awhile, allowing Linkedin users to overlay network contacts on top of job ads. Facebook integration is a little different, allowing candidates some different ways to search for jobs.

“Simply Hired is showing what’s possible when you make it easy to find jobs through friends,” said Ethan Beard, director of the Facebook Developer Network. “Personal relationships and professional networking have always been the best ways to find a new job. By integrating with Facebook, Simply Hired is bringing this to life online and helping users tap into their social connections to personalize the job search process.”

There are some broad similarities in how SimplyHired integrates with Linkedin vs how SimplyHired achieves integration with Facebook. There are many differences, making each integration a unique tool for job search, used in different ways.

Similarities to Linkedin/SimplyHired Integration:
* Connections ...
* Sign-in ...
* Privacy ...

“Personalization is the next generation of job search,” said Simply Hired CEO Gautam Godhwani. “Today, Simply Hired takes another significant step toward making job search simple by combining the largest social graph with the largest job database. Finally, your friends can help you find a job online.”

Differences Between Linkedin/SH integration and Facebook/SH integration:
* Linkedin contacts are displayed to the side ...
* Facebook friends are displayed in sections ...
* Different assumptions ...
* Degrees of separation ...
* Types of searches ...

( Continued ... How To Set Up & Use SimplyHired/Facebook Integration )

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

15 Twitter Job Search Apps

From the standpoint of a job seeker, if used correctly, Twitter can turn your job search from feeling like the dreaded fail whale to landing you the job of your dreams. With the right tools Twitter can become a never-ending source of information to assist you along your way.

Other than Tweeting about your job search and putting your job pitch in your bio, here are 15 Twitter Applications and Tricks to help you along the path (keep in mind there are hundreds of applications for Twitter and most of them can be used in someway or another for a job search, these are just the ones I found most interesting):

1. ConnectTweet – See what is going on inside the doors of a potential company, through the Tweets of their employees. ConnectTweet allows individuals at the front lines of the company to add a #tag to their company relevant tweets, those tagged tweets are then filtered and posted to the companies @org’s Twitter account, allowing the company’s followers to clearly see the human voices on the inside.

2. TwitterJobCast – A local job search that allows you to see who is hiring on Twitter by browsing for jobs by city, state or zip code. It works by making requests to the Twitter API. Additionally, the Yahoo! Maps API is used to translate locations into geocodes for use with the Twitter API.

3. TwitterJobSearch – An open source search engine for jobs posted on Twitter, TwitterJobSearch has posted 44,165 new jobs in the last 7 days. Many of the jobs listed are tech related jobs, but through their search you can look for the position you want in the city you want.

4. Twellow – Also know as the Yellow Pages for Twitter it allows you to cut through the clutter Twitter sometimes creates. It enables you to find real people who really matter. The Twellow service grabs publically available messages from Twitter, analyzes and then categorizes the tweets into categories. By using this service you can narrow your searching to specific niches and find who you are looking for, that way you can follow specific Tweeters and network your heart away.

5. TweetBeep – “TweetBeep is like Google Alerts for Twitter” TweetBeep is very simple, you signup for an account, confirm your email and set up alerts to be delivered to your email. Want to know whenever someone posts a job for a Java Dev? Set up and alert for that and you will be notified through email on a daily or hourly basis.

Tips 6 - 15

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Speaking of Gaming Job-Search Technology...

Speaking of gaming technology to make your resume look more impressive, here's a no-no for jobseekers: white-fonting.
Apparently this is a "thing" in the same way that SEO "experts" leaving nonsense keywords scattered at the bottom of a page is a "thing" and spammers quoting Proust is a "thing": it's a sneaky trick to get you past a robotic gatekeeper, but likely won't work on any human with half a brain.
Heather Huhman explains exactly what white fonting is: "when an applicant submits a resume via an applicant tracking system (ATS) that appears to be nicely formatted with a traditional black font; however, scattered in the margins of the document are keywords pertaining to the job and employer. In theory, white font applicants hope that those keywords will be enough to get their resume through to a second round of consideration."
The computer can read the "invisible" text, but humans can't, so it's a way to squeeze in more keywords.
This won't work for a number of reasons: first, if a recruiter scans your resume and doesn't see the keywords that her ATS swears are there, she'll probably conclude it's a bug and throw out your resume. If she doesn't conclude it's a bug and figures out that you've snuck invisible text in there...well, now you've just proven you're sneaky. Which may be a positive trait in some jobs, but most hiring managers want to see straight-shooters, not wily foxes.
"If a job seeker does not possess the necessary experience required to be able to honestly and visibly insert those key terms into the body of their resume," Carolyn Yencharis Corcoran, assistant director of the Insalaco Center for Career Development at Misericordia University, told Huhman, "then white fonting would probably not be an effective method of getting their resume noticed. Even worse, it could be perceived by a potential employer as unethical, aggressive and manipulative."
No kidding.
We're gonna say, don't try this at home.

Original Article

10 Blogs to Boost Your Social Network Savvy

Here's a roster of experts who regularly offer tips and observations about networking to greatest effect.

Kristin Burnham, CIO

Keeping tabs on the evolving world of social media isn't easy. Facebook, as we've seen, has endured several privacy fiascos and consequent criticisms. LinkedIn has made impressive progress in making the site more social by rolling out important updates to its site. Meanwhile, Twitter continues to struggle with simply handling its increasing traffic.

To better understand the changing landscape -- and to discover how it can help you and your business -- you need expert help. I've compiled a list of my 10 favorite blogs (in no particular order) from practitioners, experts and thinkers. Follow these blogs for the latest news, tips, insights and case studies that will keep you at the top of your social media game.

Chris Brogan
What you'll find: Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs shares video book reviews, thoughts on and tips for maximizing the value of social media, and puts into greater context what the news means for you.
Sample posts: "LinkedIn Recommendation Tips;" "Beyond Project Management;" "Automate the Easy Stuff."

All Facebook
What you'll find:
coverage of new Facebook applications, general news and analysis about the future of Facebook. The blog also features statistics on the top Facebook Apps and Pages.
Sample posts:
"Facebook Driving More Users to Make Their Homepage;" "Facebook's New Permissions Dialogue Goes Live on All Applications;" "Facebook Clarifies Policy on Site Scrapers as Robots.Txt Gets Updated."

Carol Rozwell
What you'll find: Carol Rozwell, Gartner VP and a member of Gartner's Social Software and Collaboration team, writes on the dynamics of collaborating in social networks and communities, and innovation. Expect advice and practical use-cases.
Sample posts: "Social Networking Redo: Fixing a Broken Implementation Program;" "Social Media Stumbles-E-Business Redux;" "Social Media Panelists Share Experiences at PCC."

SmartBlog on Social Media
What you'll find: SmartBlog picks the most relevant social media news on the Web, summarizes it and links to the original source if you want to read the article in full. Check in here for poll analysis, news, tips and case studies.
Sample posts: "How LEGO Supports Their Growing Network of Fans;" "Getting a Handle on Twitter Followers;" "Gov 2.0: How to Engage Your Hispanic Fans."" rel="nofollow">Stowe Boyd
What you'll find:
Stowe Boyd, director at and president at focuses on social tools and their impact on media, business and society. Boyd recently moved his blog; for all old entries, go here.
Sample posts:
"ACLU Fact Checks Facebook's Response to Open Letter;" "Twitter Taps Into Facebook and LinkedIn Networks;" "Sliderocket: The Last Stage of Jettisoning Desktop Office Apps."

Social Media B2B
What you'll find: News and discussions on social media's impact on B2B companies and social media adoption within B2B companies.
Sample posts: "Unclutter You B2B Social Media Sources;" "B2B Case Study: Supply Chain Firm Drives Traffic With Online Community;" "Social Media Monitoring and Developing B2B Thought Leadership."

Socialnomics-Social Media Blog
What you'll find: Socialnomics covers the latest trends in social media, focusing on news and what it means for users and businesses. It's known for its irreverent viewpoints of a popular topic. This blog complement's Erik Qualman's book of the same title.
Sample posts: "Steve Jobs=Social Media King;" "What BP Should Be Doing With Social Media;" "Facebook Statistics & History in Picture Form."

Andrew McAfee's Blog
What you'll find: McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT's Center for Digital Business, coined the phrase "Enterprise 2.0." He writes on the ways that IT affects businesses.
Sample posts: "Why Some Geeks Hate the iPad So Much;" "In the Age of the Smart Machine, What Are WE Good For?;" "Memes to Watch Out For."

What you'll find: advice on social media strategy, news, trends, tools and resources.
Sample posts: "Everything You Need to Know About SEO;" "Mark Zuckerberg Makes the Big Time;" "Successful Techniques for Building Your Industry Voice With Social Media."

What you'll find: Robert Scoble, managing director at Rackspace, is best known for his views on the social media landscape. You'll find video interviews with upstarts, product reviews and analysis on the latest and greatest in the Web 2.0 world.
Sample posts: "Meet the team that knows who is REALLY influential on Twitter (Klout);" " First look video: Toshiba "touch" netbook prototype shows how Japanese might fight back against iPad (oh, and a cool 3D laptop, too);" " Two location companies that are more important than Foursquare, MyTown, Loopt, Gowalla, or Whrrl."

Staff Writer Kristin Burnham covers consumer Web and social technologies for She writes frequently on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. You can follow her on Twitter: @kmburnham.

Original Article 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to Identify Industries That Are Hiring

If the economy has affected your employment prospects, consider applying your skills in a new industry. The health-care, high-tech, energy and life-sciences sectors of the economy continue to drive demand for professional and management talent, according to some recruitment-industry consultants.
But before leaping to another field, you’ll need to first identify the right industry and reposition yourself as a legitimate candidate.
Find an area that interests you. A hobby or personal interest may lead to your next career. For example, if you are in financial services and are a technology buff, consider looking at in-house finance positions at tech companies.
Learn the landscape. To assess opportunities, research the market for your functional areas of expertise and the relative health of any sector you might go into. Look beyond research on compensation and industry trends by educating yourself on how a company or industry runs and any pending legislation that may affect the employment outlook in a field. Review analyst reports, scour RSS feeds, and set up Google News Alerts by keyword once you’ve narrowed a field of interest.
Examine your experience. Identify transferable skills and value. It’s not uncommon for professionals to cross industries. In those cases, you’re hired not as an industry expert but as an innovative leader with potential. Try working with a career adviser to identify your strengths and figure out what differentiates you and what might put you above others with experience in your targeted field.
Develop a communications strategy. Create a core message that shows your value and identifies your point of differentiation. Use your resume, cover letter and networking sites such as LinkedIn to build visibility and credibility. To refine your message, consider, an interactive site that will help you create a summary statement.
Consider a recruitment agency. Some agencies will present clients with candidates who aren’t industry insiders. Many clients are willing to consider cross-over talent in industries where the demand for talent exceeds the supply. To find firms that work with “cross-over” talent, check out recruiter directories such as,, and
Be prepared for compensation adjustments. A change of industry may affect your bottom line; prepare your financial strategy in private and show that you can adjust. “Demonstrate that you are willing to put your own skin in the game,” says one recruiter.

Original WSJ Article