Job Search Blog
This article first appeared in the Indian publication me.inc.
In the United States, a population of just 300 million, more than 2,000 people on LinkedIn share the exact same name as criminals on the FBIs most wanted list.
In India, with 1.2 billion people, imagine how much the odds increase that an inaccurate representation of you might show up on some background check, or even just a casual Google search by a potential employer. Organizations like Price Waterhouse Cooper make googling candidates part of their standard operational procedure. Yet many serious professionals don’t take these three easy steps to regain their online identity.
Step One: Re-Brand
In the hiring process, by the time someone Googles your name chances are they’ve already seen your resume. They Google you because they want to learn more about you. They’re curious. But when they do, all kinds of versions of you show up on the results page. This can be really frustrating for a company.
Guest post by Mona Abdel-Halim:
While holiday activities may be keeping you plenty busy this season, it is important that you stay dedicated to your job search. Businesses aren’t taking the whole season off, and neither should you.
Lucky for you, there is good news for those individuals looking to job search this season. Not only will you have less competition this time of year, but employers are still hiring, just like any other season. Now, they just might have year-end goals to fulfill and job spots to fill for the coming year.
Try to balance your job search with fun holiday activities this season. You must remember to enjoy your holiday season, but taking this time while everyone else is lounging to really ramp up your job hunt will serve you well. Listed below are a couple of tips for this holiday season’s job search.
Network at Holiday Parties
While your job search might not be your favorite topic of discussion at holiday parties, it might be beneficial to enter into this conversation. Holiday parties are full of relatives, friends, and friends of friends. All of these people will be open to employment conversations and just might be able to help you by either providing you with leads or advice.
You should take this chance to network at holiday parties while people are in a giving and positive mood. Remember to make it clear that you are open to any advice that they can offer and that you are trying very hard on your own in the search.
Stay Positive and Make Connections
You must keep your spirits high during your job hunt this holiday season. Holiday parties are great opportunities to network with your family and friends, but there are many other options available at this time. The holidays are a great excuse to get back in touch with peers and past colleagues. Send out a quick note of warm wishes and include some updates on your life. Whether you are maintaining or renewing a connection, holiday cards are great for making contact and breaking the ice.
Do you have more tips for job seekers on keeping up with their job search during the holiday season? Leave us your feedback in the comments.
Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of Resunate.com, the world’s only search engine optimizing resume builder. You can find Mona and Resunate on Facebook and Twitter.
Wouldn’t it be great to find out if a Human Resources Manager opened your email? And wouldn’t it be even better to know if the company you applied for clicked on your LinkedIn profile or resume link in that email?
Recently, I discovered www.yesware.com, an gmail add-on for salespeople that allows you to track your emails. Since job seekers try to sell themselves to companies,?I figured out that this tool is brilliant for applicants to easily keep track of their application emails. Yesware works like a newsletter service. It embeds a tracking pixel in your email, and your email still looks like the same. There is just a tiny picture (one pixel) attached for tracking purposes.
For recent grads facing professional job interviews for the first time, Job Interview Skills 101 is a book designed just for you. Author, Ellyn Enisman, sees a gap in new grads’ preparation for finding a job after college: “I have spent my career recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and helping find jobs for candidates just like you and I am still surprised at how unprepared most students are when they graduate.”
If you’re feeling intimidated by the interviewing process you’re not alone. Confidence and clarity in an interview require preparation. The advice in this book can lessen beginner’s mistakes and sharpen your effectiveness.
Take Some Advice from the Interviewers Themselves
This book doesn’t give you textbook answers to common interview questions because “textbook answers don’t work—that’s not what interviewers want to hear.”
Did you know that there are thousands of new jobs posted on Twitter each day?
Imagine you are a small company, and you are growing rapidly despite the naysayers in the news about the economy. It’s time to hire a full-time sales person.
Will you spend $600-$800 to post on Monster?
Will you enjoy being spammed when posting jobs on Craigslist, just to get an entry-level person?
I doubt it!
I would prefer to get a referral to fill my position. And I trust my friends on Facebook and Twitter to be my referral network for several reasons.
First, it’s free.
With recruiters and employers using search phrases to dig up applicants, using the right words or phrases in your resume or online profiles is more important than ever. For example, should you use the term accountant or bursar, insurance agent or actuarial? There are very clear answers to questions like this if you know where to look. And finding these choice keywords could mean the difference between getting hired fast, or falling behind the crowd. Check out the tactics in this article to find out how.
Use the right terms
In today’s job market, companies are increasingly getting creative with their job titles and descriptions. What might have once been referred to as to as a secretary or office assistant position might now be called “administrative technician” or office support team member.” And that’s not even at the extreme end of the job title spectrum. In an effort to catch the attention of top talent, companies have integrated “ambassador,” “ninja,” “evangelist,” and other innovative monikers into their job ads.
Warning: what I’m about to share with you might actually get you hired faster than you intended. Only follow these instructions if you want a job at your dream company within a few months and you are willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
These two techniques are based on a single human characteristic, ego.
Almost everyone googles themselves. Even Lady Gaga googles herself, as if there were any risk of her not showing up! Most busy executives take the time to google themselves too. And if they don’t, then their admins or customers do.
Oh, and guess what the cheapest ads are to buy on Google and Facebook? That’s right, someone’s name. Are you catching on yet? Let me break this down step by step.
Prerequisite 1: Know Your Dream Company
For this ninja technique to work, you should first know who your top 10 dream companies are, and the names of the executives (or managers) who might have some say in hiring you.
Hi Joshua, I’ve been working at a high-end boutique in SoHo for about a year now while still trying to apply for corporate jobs. Should I put this retail sales (fashion) position in my profile at all? I’ve been told my having a retail job on my résumé might jeopardize my career path.
I’m a Communications major (1992) and have worked in sales/marketing in the past. I’m working on toward a marketing certificate at NYU’s School of Continuing & Professional Studies.
Thanks – Victoria
You might not like that I will begin my answer to you with, “It depends.” Don’t kick me!
It depends on which company you are applying to. It depends on your personal brand. It depends on how full your résumé is without it.
Let’s tackle each dependency one at a time.
A Customized Résumé Is No Longer Optional
In earlier posts, I mentioned that LinkedIn’s drawback is that it allows you only a single profile. In a way, this is where you might pack in as much as you can.
However, when applying for a specific company, just using a LinkedIn profile, or any other generic résumé, is not really an option.
The days of spray-and-pray are long over.
Hal Thomas, who was a guest in a recent webinar, did extensive research on his target company. He determined that they value creativity, have a non-conservative/innovative spirit, and require blog writing as a prerequisite skill.
Therefore, he customized his application to include a link to his blog, a Wired magazine cover mock-up, and a résumé filled with creative positions.
If your target company works with fashion companies, or requires you to have frequent customer interaction, then including your retail experience might be good.
On the other hand, if the target company is more conservative, and your role would not include customer interaction, then including your retail experience adds little value.
All Decisions are Branding Decisions
A new flight attendant came up to the CEO of Southwest Airlines and said, “I would like to serve chicken salad on our flight from Chicago to Las Vegas. Will you approve that?”
To which the CEO replied, “Will serving chicken salad make us the ‘Low Cost Airline?’” The flight attendant smiled and walked away.
So now I ask you, will including retail at a high-end boutique make the Victoria you want to be obvious to other people on your résumé? The answer may very well be yes.
But to answer that question, you’ll need to know what your brand is first. Try reading Tom Peter’s original article about personal branding or read Chris Brogan’s ebook. Both are great resources to get started.
I need to make this clear, I am not a résumé expert, neither in certification nor in practice. However, I have talked with enough hiring managers in my research to know that if you are first entering the workforce, there is absolutely no reason to have a résumé longer than one page.
That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the other stuff.
However, the lower you are on the rung, the more competition. And that means the more résumés hiring managers have to read just to make one choice.
They will LOVE you for making that job easier.
If you believe you can’t fit it all into one page, then it’s time to make some executive decisions based on your personal brand. Then supplement your cover letter and résumé with links to your online résumés, like Visual CV.
I want to leave you with one thought. If we were to consider our job search as just like running a business, then the idea of strategy begins to make better sense. What I mean is that the core of every business decision is rooted in a single thought process:
Will this decision fit within my strategy?
I recommend all job seekers take a weekend and really write out a business plan with that strategy. It is a lot of work to do this; however, when you come up against decisions, it will be easy to hold it up against your plan and get your answer.
Who knows, you might get multiple offers. Now that would be a good problem to have!
On May 1, InternMatch will host a two-part Google+ panel for students and employers from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST to help both sides learn about the future of the social media industry and how students can succeed in the field. The panel will include some of the country’s leading digital marketing experts, including:
I’ve interviewed Nathan Parcells, InternMatch’s Chief Marketing Officer to find out what the end of the Cover Letter is all about, you can read it here: