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Nov 20 2014

revu Hannah MorganYou’ve heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, why not use this concept to show off your talent?

You aren’t looking for a job, you are running a marketing campaign! And visual content is a hot trend in marketing right now. Marketers use pictures, videos, infographics, and presentations to convey complex information, enable faster processing, and leave a lasting impression.

Why Is This Happening?

Today’s workforce is increasingly reliant on mobile devices, bombarded with information and habitually multi-tasking. It is faster and easier to view pictures and images than it is to read text. Using pictures and images can make it easier for potential employers to learn about you. In job search, your challenge is capture an employer’s attention and provide clear logic as to why someone should hire you. No small feat since recruiters and hiring managers review hundreds of resumes.

Here are three reasons to use visuals to highlight your talent during job search:

  • 43 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates (CareerBuilder, June 2014) and visual content shows up in search results.
  • 73 percent of recruiters have hired based on social network profiles (Jobvite 2014). Adding visuals makes your profile stand out and sets you apart.
  • 65% of people are visual learners (Social Science Research Network). More than half the people will enjoy seeing visuals.

Will It Work?

Companies searching for new talent are googling candidates and are using social networks to source potential candidates. Top recruiters, recognized as Glassdoor’s Talent Warriors, were asked how a candidate could get on a recruiter’s radar. The recruiters, representing companies from Adidas to Sodexo, said creativity, personal branding, and interacting via the company’s social channels on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, would set candidates apart.

Nov 17 2014

The Death of the Verb

You and I have both heard the typical line from career counselors, “use power verbs in your résumé .” Right? They’ve even given us lists and lists of verbs to begin sentences:

  • Managed team of 10 engineers in highly competitive RFP process
  • Resolved difficult customer service issue for high stakes sale
  • Safeguarded company position through advanced marketing strategy

The problem with all of these verbs is that online, verbs are not as powerful as  nouns.

Thanks to search engines, and by extension, résumé-crawling software that HR departments use to pre-filter candidates, using the right nouns can either get you a job or keep you in the unemployment line.

The New Rules of Résumé Language

I’m not suggesting that you pack in as many nouns related to your field as possible. Keep it real, and just change the focus from verbs to nouns.

Careful. If you take this too far, your online résumé might look like this:

Originally posted 2009-08-17 10:20:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Nov 10 2014

In 2006, when I still worked at Cisco, I started a little LinkedIn Group called “Cisco.”  Okay, not very creative or original. But I thought it was a good idea at the time to help Cisco folks leverage our mutual LinkedIn networks for career opportunities. HR didn’t like the idea though — which only made me want to do it more  ;-)

Today, my group has over 17,000 people, grows by 100 people every week, and houses discussions about job postings, business strategy, and even sales on Cisco gear.

Recently, however, requests to join became overwhelming, and I “hired” a co-manager to facilitate the group.

What is a LinkedIn Group?

Simply, within the vast network of separated professionals on LinkedIn, groups allow people to connect on a single theme. Groups are a great way to network with NEW people without introductions or cold calling. Why? Because you have something in common.

Groups can be anything from alumni associations, professional associations, common interests, even companies and subsets within companies. Hell, you can even create your own group in about 2 minutes.

Why groups are a great job search tool

By joining and participating in a group, you (the job seeker) have a powerful way of adding value to and growing your online reputation. As a group facilitator, I can tell you who are the leaders of the discussion, and who are the valued contributors to the group. When you participate, people notice.

Furthermore, by being members of the same group as your target company, your odds of getting a favorable response to your job inquiry are much higher.

Group Guidelines for the Job Seeker

  1. Join a group that takes you where you want to go, not one that keeps you where you are.
  2. Join a group that you WILL participate in. Don’t be a fly on the wall.
  3. Participation in a group means posting and responding to discussion. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward, be positive, show your motivation.
  4. Tell your truth but don’t shout! If you are unemployed, then don’t be ashamed and try to keep it a secret, but don’t flaunt it either. Just be cool and make sure that you are always honest about where you are and what you are looking for.
  5. Identify other leaders in the group and determine whether they could be valuable connections or information sources; if so, then by all means reach out to them.

Originally posted 2009-08-10 10:14:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Nov 03 2014

Inevitably, in every audience I speak to, there are people who find some reason NOT to follow my advice on using social media for their job search.

Sometimes these people really want jobs but are overwhelmed. Sometimes they simply don’t want to get a job and change their situation.

As long as you are willing to adopt NEW ways of doing things, NEW things will happen.

To help you identify where your resistance may be coming from, I’ve identified the top 3 reasons people don’t use social media in their job search. If you can name your resistance, it will have less power over you.

I’m Too Old or I’m Too Young

This is a sensitive one and I want to get it out of the way first. I know Age-ism is real. My uncle had to lie about his age for years to keep his job in the dry goods industry.

This manifests in concerns such as, “I am not comfortable putting my picture on my profile where they can see my silver hair” or “I look so young and inexperienced, they’ll never choose me.”

Another way this manifests is in this excuse, “I’m too old to use social media” and the humorous “Twitter is not for old people.”

Fact: The fastest growing Facebook demographic is people 55 and older.

Fact: Many of the best selling Twitter books are written my people in their 50s.

Social media is NOT about your age. It’s about your willingness to try new things and your openness to getting different results.

If age were ever a real issue, our 80-year-old citizens would never go to the movies, drive in SUVs or use pushbutton phones. Clearly this is not the case.

I Don’t Like Spending So Much Time in Front of Computers

The danger of wasting time on the internet has been around since the internet was invented. The advent of social media doesn’t change anything.

Before, people simply limited their time online, say for an hour.

The point of your social media efforts is to get a job.

So do as much as you need to accomplish that goal.

Write your plan and follow it, then there is no danger of spending more time than you are comfortable with spending on a computer.

Remember the main point of all of this is to take your online relationships and bring them off line.

I’m Overwhelmed and Don’t Know Where to Start

If you had a club sandwich in front of you, with 10 layers of BLT goodness, would you try to wrap your mouth around the whole thing?

Of course not.

Similarly, with anything new, begin somewhere and in small bits. I teach a 5-step process, and each of those steps is broken down into even smaller bits.

No one expects you to be an expert on this stuff overnight.

Remember, you need to do only as much as you need to in order to get the job done.

I play drums. My drum teacher Paul Mason used to say, “There is nothing you can’t do, as long as you break it up into small and manageable parts.”

Our lesson would start off with his demonstrating what he wanted me to do, usually some crazy display of rhythm and limb-independence. I would groan. I’d say, “That’s too hard.”

So we broke down each limb, each part, then begin to combine them one by one. Slowly I got two limbs working together, then three. Finally, by the end of the week, I could play for him what I had thought was impossible.

In this way my confidence as a drummer was developed.

Take a part of social media, like your LinkedIn profile, and spend a day mastering it. Then move on to Groups, spend a day, master it. And so forth.

The biggest resistance is resistance itself. Don’t accept any excuses.

If you want a job, the choice is clear. Use social media.

Comments? Please share them below.

Originally posted 2009-09-16 12:07:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Oct 30 2014

Are job seekers and recruiters from different planets? With unemployed people outnumbering job openings three to one, you’d think recruiters could find the talent they need to fill positions. The problem is only 50 percent of job seekers actually have the qualifications needed for the job they apply to. It’s time to bridge the gap in communication between recruiter needs and job seeker strategies.

This infographic, compiled by MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web, provides solutions for common miscommunications between job seekers and employers. Some points to note include:

  • 38 percent of companies have open positions they cannot find talent to fill
  • 46 percent of resumes submitted contain some form of false information
  • On average, it takes 24.5 working days to fill a position
  • In the tech industry, it takes 38.9 days to fill a position

Check out the full infographic below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Oct 27 2014

If you are big into personal effectiveness then you are familiar with Steven Covey’s 2nd Habit: Begin With the End in Mind. Actually, this principle extends far beyond the realm of self-help and into all aspects of our lives.

A Sculpture is first conceived of in the mind of the artists, and then emerges from the stone. A symphony is first heard in the mind of the composer, and then written to the score.

Likewise, in your effective job search, your end result must be clearly defined because the tools you’ll use to get there won’t know what you want!

Let me put it another way, to use social media without being clear about what you want, would be like a sculptor relying on his chisel to produce the art.

Most social media guru’s teach how to get more clients or customers. To simply rely on their advice means you may not get that Job Interview as quickly as you’d hoped.

You mean you don’t need more customers!

So what makes the job search any different?

Originally posted 2009-08-03 09:46:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Oct 20 2014

Editor’s Note: Updated February, 21 2014

I previously wrote about the death of the verb and the rise of the Noun, so I won’t explain that here. But if you haven’t read that post, I suggest you do so.

I’m often asked, “Well, if I need nouns, how do I know what nouns to use?” Here is a simple list of some great places to begin growing your Keyword list.

Use Your Brain

I’m not being cheeky by saying that. I think we often overlook our own common sense because the online tools are so convenient.

Sit down with a blank paper and come up with as many industry specific nouns as you can. Don’t judge what happens, now is the time to get as big a list as possible. Later, we’ll hone it down.

Use Related Job Descriptions

I always tell people that Job Boards are good for at least one thing…finding job descriptions to mine for keywords. Companies will often (not always) include the keywords they look for when screen resumes in the descriptions.

Visit three of your favorite job boards, like SimplyHired, Indeed or Monster. The location doesn’t matter, so just enter the job title you are aiming for. Copy three different job descriptions from three different job boards and copy them all into a word cloud generator (see next section).

Originally posted 2009-09-28 07:49:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Oct 08 2014

linkedin-400850_640Most job seekers follow what could generously be called the black hole strategy.  They “update” their resume, trawl every job board available, and just start shooting out copies of their resume everywhere they can.  Day after day, they send out dozens of resumes, so many that when a recruiter does call them, the job seeker can’t even remember what company they’re talking about.

Many people stay unemployed for years, robotically spamming out resumes day in and day out and never even considering that they might be doing something wrong.  More commonly though, job seekers with at least some valuable skills will simply broaden their search and lower their standards until they get a job.  It won’t be the job they want, it won’t pay very well, and it may not offer much in the way of future opportunities, but they simply won’t have a choice.

Thankfully, there’s a better way.  It requires a lot of up front work, and won’t get you a job within a month, but you can leverage the power of social media to research targeted companies and build a network specifically designed to help you get the jobs you really want.  Within a few months, you can have multiple job offers, at least one of which will be your dream job.

Clarify what you want to do

When people ask me if I know anyone who’s hiring, all I can say is “Yeah, a lot of people are hiring.”  When people ask me if I know of any late-stage tech startups hiring product managers, I know exactly who I can talk to to help that person find a job.  Too often, job seekers set goals like “I want a job that pays well, with cool coworkers and decent hours, work I enjoy and a short commute.”  That’s just waaaaay too vague; it provides no focus for you, and no way for your network to know how they can help you.  A good goal should sound like “I want to be a consumer marketing manager for a snack food company with revenue between fifty and five hundred million dollars a year.”

There are two components to this: your job title and ideal companies.  Everything else- pay, work environment, how much you’ll enjoy the work- stems from that.  First off, figure out your ideal job title, or 2-3 closely related job titles.  To do this, first off, Google “What does a (job title) do” and read some of the answers, assuming the job title is one you haven’t held before.  Second, look at job postings for descriptions of what people with those job titles actually do to see if you meet (most of) the requirements, and think you would enjoy the work.

Oct 06 2014

linkedin+facebook+twitterSocial Media can be a real time sink. There is no doubt. And with out a strategy, the danger of spending hours online and getting nothing accomplished is very real.

So in response to this apparent need of saving people time online, Social Media Aggregation services were invented. These services allow you to simply post your update once, and 40 of your social media sites get the update simultaneously.

Seems like a good idea, right?

Well, I say Absolutely NOT. That’s like going to a baseball game and asking who is playing guard.

Each Social Media community carries it’s own level of intimacy. And if you have a strategy for using Social Media to get your next job, then you wouldn’t have the time sink issue to begin with.

Lets review some of the most popular social media sites and what is and is not acceptable. I call this the “Rules of Intimacy”.

LinkedIn Rules of Intimacy

  • Yes, LinkedIn allow you to post updates about what you are doing. But it NOT Twitter.
  • Don’t post more than 1 time per day
  • It’s not the place for personal details
  • Do post using your professional keywords

Twitter Rules of Intimacy

  • This is the place to be personal, and you should be at least 80% of the time
  • The more you tweet, the more followers you’ll get and the better your network
  • Don’t try to sell people anything, and likewise, only tweet about your job search 5-10% of the time
  • Interact, thank people for re-tweeting and reply to direct messages

Facebook Rules of Intimacy

Just a quick note, CareerBuilder.com said that 34% of employers rejected someone based on what they found on Facebook. Be Careful!

  • If you don’t want to use Facebook for your job search, then lock it down. Make sure employers can’t get in there.
  • If you do want to use Facebook for your job search, decide if you’ll let strangers see your profile and keep it clean
  • Delete obscene photos, games or applications as well as messages from friends that won’t go over well
  • Option: if you want to keep Facebook for friends but still want to leverage it for your job search, just start your own Fan Page

Some friends of mine decided to call in sick to work and go surfing. They took some great photos of their time at the coast and one friend posted on the other friend’s wall, “We should call in sick more often”.

Their boss had access to their profiles and was checking up on them. Yikes. They didn’t get fired, but they aren’t on good standing either.

Take time to learn the social rules of each community and then follow them. Remember, quality of interaction is WAY more important than being able to post to 40 sites at once. I’d rather have one good cookie then a bag full of bad ones.

What are your reactions to this post? Do you have a funny story to tell? More advice for other readers? Please share them in the comments below.

Originally posted 2009-09-14 08:02:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Sep 29 2014

A recent CNN Money feature made the point that smaller businesses are adopting twitter and other social media outlets to find candidates. Why?

First off, recruiters are expensive — and posting to job boards costs money.

Second, smaller businesses are looking for creative folks who are willing to share their work portfolios online.

Third, social media interactions help hiring managers figure out who you are. One bad hire for a small business has WAY more consequence than for a large corporation.

“It can give you deeper insight into a potential employee,” says David Bowman, Lucrum’s director of marketing. He notes that this more personal approach to hiring can benefit smaller businesses, which often place a premium on finding employees who fit the company culture. “One bad hire for a small company can be a death knell,” he says.

Finally, social media allows small companies to find specialists — and find them more easily. One company even skipped LinkedIn and went straight to a Drupal users’ community to find their next hire.

You can read the whole article on CNN Money online.

Originally posted 2009-08-28 12:18:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter