Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

5 Strategies for LinkedIn Job Searching

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

LinkedIn has been called the Facebook for professionals… or MySpace (dated reference) with ties. From humble origins, it has grown to become the premier professional networking site, par excellence, throughout the internet, and despite the company’s various attempts to hide its more useful features, especially for job seekers and recruiters, behind pay walls and “premium accounts”, for the most part it is still free and open and certainly one of the best tools a passive or active job seeker has available.

However, as anyone who has been a member for any length of time (and received the countless spam messages from sales and marketing professionals in India) will know, LinkedIn can be used properly and then it can be abused and what goodwill you might have generated may be quickly squandered. Nothing like putting your foot in it when thousands of people are watching. And the more connections you have collected, the more opportunities there are for that grand faux pas that has sunk the career of more than one actor, politician, sports star, and internet thug on Twitter or Facebook.

So how then does one effectively use LinkedIn for a job search without abusing it and without falling into the trap of trying to do “too much”, to the ire of connections and staff admins alike? Here are a few basic tactics to employ that don’t require a premium account or paying for InMails:

Follow a company. You will get updates on who in your network moved where. While it’s interesting to see who the “New Hires” are, more important is where they came from, as these might point toward openings at their old company. Also note what their new positions are to get an idea of a possible career path. And, of course, a company’s “Recent Departures” list also lets you know of openings.

Mine new contacts for even newer ones. Every time someone connects to you, look through his or her list of contacts. View the profiles of those that intrigue you, and reach out to a few of them, citing things like common interests, schools attended, and shared company experience, or even just mention photos they’ve posted… LinkedIn allows people to put up so much content — slide shows, groups, awards, reading lists, articles, blogs, Twitter streams — it’s very easy to find a common reason to connect.

Connect with highly visible people. Search on terms like “speaker,” “author,” “writer,” “coach,” “trainer” “evangelist,” “sales,” “keynote,” “award-winning,” or “expert.” These people are often uber-connectors with thousands of connections. When you find one in your field (or a related one), search for him or her on the Web to find something he or she has written, and send a thoughtful comment or compliment. Make sure it’s sincere. If you get a good response, follow up with an invitation to connect, but don’t pester the person if he or she ignores you. These well-connected types are very busy people. A visit to the person’s Website might reveal an upcoming speaking engagement in your area. Whatever you do, respect an uber-connector’s time. Recruiters are in their own category; they often have connections in the thousands and knowledge of job openings, but they are also overwhelmed. If you contact them, make sure you give them a good reason to link and try to be memorable.

Connect to “interesting” people. Search on an unusual interest of yours to see who else has it. You might get ideas about career direction, or a contact might be able to give you a job lead. Imagine you’re a medical assistant who likes dancing. A search on “flamenco dancer” brought up this title for one person: “Medical Doctor, Wellness Expert, International Speaker, Life Coach, Author & Flamenco Dancer.” You could reach out to say, “Wow, another person in health care who loves flamenco!” It’s a long shot, but life is made up of such coincidences.

Leverage even weak links. I once got an interview by sending a message through LinkedIn to one of my contacts, with whom, truthfully, I was only loosely connected. Not only was she someone I’d never met in real life, but I’d turned her down for an interview! (I got a job offer elsewhere.) A year after our initial connection, I was job searching again, and I noticed she was connected to someone I was targeting. It was gutsy of me to do, but I felt I had nothing to lose, so I contacted her. She forwarded my resume, and I got the interview.

Some people are keen to update their profiles to “Job Seeker” or put something rather desperate sounding in their current title or job description (like “Looking for the Next Great Opportunity!” or “THE Candidate You’ve Been Looking for!”). Always seems a little desperate and likely to attract the wrong sort of attention from recruiters and hiring managers. While it’s always good to be honest about your current job status, no need to wave around being unemployed like dirty underwear.

Get started on LinkedIn BEFORE you are out of work, so you have the resources in place beforehand and it doesn’t look like you’ve joined or become suddenly active only because you’re looking for a job. Then you’re free to use LinkedIn like your online resume for both passive and active opportunities that come up.

Good luck!

5 Tips for Using LinkedIn During Your Job Search | Maureen Nelson via Quint Careers

Top 10 Personal Branding Blunders To Avoid

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The world of personal branding has certainly changed over the past decade or so, especially with the impact of social media. It’s no longer enough to make an impression in person or on the phone; now you have to be sure your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and numerous other online presences are all coordinated and professional, to avoid presenting the wrong image to potential employers and clients who might be snooping around.

In this somewhat more complicated branding landscape, there are countless possible brand blunders one can make that detract from brand value rather than building it. Below are ten of the most egregious errors so you can steer clear of them, keeping the brand called you on a smooth path to success.

1. Be fake. Effective personal branding is based in authenticity. You need to be yourself – your best self. You’ll be found out if you try to fool people by imitating something you’re not or lying to your target audience. Just think about Milli Vanilli, Rosie Ruiz, and Lance Armstrong. Faking it is also a waste of energy. Anne Morrow Lindbergh once said, “The most exhausting thing you can be is inauthentic.”

2. Be wishy-washy. Strong brands express an opinion and take a stand. If you are trying to please all the people, you usually please none. Want to inspire people and connect with them on a deep level? Get clear about your point of view and make it public. Be willing to repel some people – all strong brands do. Know your message and be willing to stick your neck out and express yourself.

3. Act first. Think later. When it comes to personal branding, I see people building Blogs, using social media, and joining associations without any strategic plan for how it will help them build their brand and achieve their goals. Successful branding requires having a plan. Don’t act until you think – and make your decisions based on your brand strategy. Start by identifying your goals. Then get to know yourself, understand your differentiation, and discern what makes you compelling. You have to establish your brand promise before you can start to build the brand itself with your target audience.

4. Shoot for quantity. It’s not about the quantity of random LinkedIn connections or the number of articles you write or the number of tweets you post. Don’t seek quantity at the expense of quality. Quality is what will make your communications stand out and attract those whom you need to influence. Quality will get you noticed and help you build the right following. There’s tremendous pressure to be constantly visible in lots of social media, so our instinct is to just post, post, post without regard to the message we are sending or the suitability of our audience. Avoid this trap by focusing on quality.

5. Seek fame and glory. Branding is not about you, it’s about serving others. Fame is difficult to achieve, and if you make it your goal, you’ll focus too much on the attention you crave instead of focusing on the value you can deliver. You only need to be known to the people who are making decisions about you and those who influence them. I call it selective fame. Work to be known by decision-makers and influencers who will help you reach your goals.

6. Be binary. Branding requires a steady and steadfast approach. Being binary means that you divide your attention and run a two-track career, perhaps even thinking of branding as an activity that is separate from your career. Personal branding is not something you do occasionally with bursts of activity – like at the beginning of the year when you begin to work on your resolutions. Have a single, focused plan and act on it daily. Don’t let yourself run out of steam; slow, consistent actions will sustain you for the long haul.

7. Be exclusively virtual. Personal branding actually went mainstream when social media came onto the scene. This left many people thinking that personal branding is an online activity. It’s not – at least not exclusively. Sure, having a digital strategy for your brand is critical, but your actions every day and the things you can do in the real world matter. Shaking hands and scheduling face time (and I’m not talking about an online video meeting) bring your brand to life. You must put your personal stamp on everything you do. Think of your brand holistically, and you’re on your way to achieving your goals.

8. Go solo. Personal branding sounds like it should be an individual activity, and it is “personal,” but it’s not solo. The Lone Ranger syndrome will work against you. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. Much of the personal branding process has to do with being part of a community and contributing to that community. This is the key to building your personal brand network. Have a mentor, hire a coach, and reach out to colleagues and friends for their opinions. Don’t go it alone.

9. Be selfish. Personal branding is not about you. It’s about what you’re able to give to others. Generosity is one of the best strategies for personal branding. When you give to your network, you remind them you are there through actions that also demonstrate how grateful you are for your success. When you give to your team, you show them you care. When you give away your services, you let people discover firsthand what you’re great at.

10. Forget to measure. You could be spinning your wheels, but you won’t know unless you measure. That means setting up-front goals for your personal branding activities. Your goals might be the number of thought-leaders in your area of expertise who know you, or the influence you create internally, or being recognized by a relevant professional association. Whatever your goals, document them. Focus on them. And measure your momentum as you strive towards them. Regularly – say quarterly or monthly – evaluate your progress against your goals – and refine your strategy accordingly.

If you avoid these personal branding don’ts, you can make a name for yourself that fuels your success for years to come.

Back to the Basics: 10 Job Search Tips for Job Hunting 101

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

People are always looking for innovative job search strategies to set themselves apart from the competition. But it’s important to have the basics down, the most essential elements your job search will need to include if you want to succeed as quickly as possible.

If your job search is off to a slow start, here are some quick and basic tips that will help your hunt for a new job go more smoothly as you navigate the job maze:

  1. Be Prepared. Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Consider getting a separate email account to use for your job search, so you can stay organized. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner.
  2. Be More Than Prepared. Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections who can help you job search.
  3. Time Savers. Strapped for time? Consider getting professional help writing or editing your resume.
  4. Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting.
  5. Look for hidden vacancies. Instead of advertising their available jobs, employers often look to fill vacancies by word-of-mouth, headhunting or simply by recruiting internally. Knowing how to get yourself in contention for these roles could give you a major boost when it comes to finding your next role.
  6. Get employers to come to you. Getting headhunted is no longer the preserve of employees in senior management. When you post your resume online, you are immediately putting your details within reach of thousands of employees may save you the trouble of searching through job adverts.
  7. Target the right companies. Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or would you rather have the safety of a large organization with job security and a clear career path? Knowing what you want allows you to narrow down your search and spend more time on applying for the roles you really want.
  8. Build a network. Networking is getting to know people who can help you develop your career prospects. You don’t need to be a big shot or the most outgoing person in the world to network effectively, just keep your ears open and listen for information that could work to your advantage.
  9. Don’t Stop. Don’t limit your job searching to the top sites like Monster or CareerBuilder. Check the smaller niche sites that focus on a particular geographic location or career field and you will find plenty of job listings. Networking works, too. Tap into your network of contacts to see who might be able to help you with job leads or a referral.
  10. Keep your spirits up. As time passes, the rejections mount up and the budgets get tighter, it’s easy to become disheartened. However, this is exactly the time when you need to dust yourself off and put in more hard work than ever. One of the main attributes of a successful job seeker is persistence.

Finding a new job can almost be a job unto itself. But if you persevere and remain confident, you’ll have a new job in no time.

Crafting Your Online Presence

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The average person is spending more time on the internet than they ever before. Life revolves around social media accounts like Twitter, Naymz, Linkedin, and Facebook. In reality, having a profile on any of these social media sites is like virtually exposing yourself to the world and they can be just as important to your online image as your attire and manner are to your offline image. Therefore, you need to keep these accounts well-managed, updated at all times, and free from images or information that might put you in a bad light.

Social media is a great way to make initial contact with potential business associates and to effectively manage a much larger network than would be possible offline. It is also likely that, unbeknownst to you, your social media profiles are being checked by prospective and current employers, head hunters, and so forth. Thus, social media is a double-edged sword: it can work for your benefit but if not managed properly can lead to missed job opportunities or even termination.

The best way to work with social media is to ensure it works positively for you at all times. The following tips will help you receive the maximum benefit from your online presence and avoid negative results:

  1. Avoid uploading inappropriate photos. A holiday snapshot with your family is fine but one where you are improperly dressed or engaged in inappropriate activity (drinking, partying, etc.) might damage your professional image. With the internet, these sorts of things can potentially go viral in a hurry and you should never assume anything is private after you’ve posted it somewhere on the net.

  2. Be careful about giving your opinions and views on certain subjects in public places. You’ve probably seen a number of celebrities and public figures lately who have regretted posting something on Twitter that ended up costing them a great deal, even their jobs.

  3. If you maintain a personal blog, understand that it may be visited by anyone in the world (including your boss). It is best to keep the content unbiased and steer away from any racist, political, or religious issues or negative comments about the company you work for (or your boss, for that matter). You could also utilize your blog to discuss relevant industry topics and as a place to show off your technical knowledge.

A consistent online presence is important and even some modest efforts will help ensure that your online brand matches not only your offline image but also the professional persona you want to portray to the world. With recruiters and potential employers lurking about the web, it pays to be prudent and proactive.