The conundrum when giving job hunting or career advice is the fact that there is no one size fits all solution. But nearly every client we meet starts with the general “so … what should I do?” question. It could be advice for someone looking for a job, trying to get a promotion, changing careers or for someone who likes their job but who wants to move up. Here’s 17 job search tips that work for everyone Read more
Tony and Joe are on notice and will lose their jobs pretty soon if they fail to deliver on their new budget promises, according to Dennis Shanahan from the Australian. Of course, that’s no consolation if you‘ve recently lost your own job, or feel like the writing for imminent job loss is on the wall. Read more
Job hunting sucks. We all know that. The usual job search experiences range from seemingly unending rejections to permanent communication black holes from job sites or recruiting firms. The whole experience is definitely no fun, particularly if you are unemployed with bills to pay. Read more
You’ve been looking all over for a job. But it seems no matter what you do, you just can’t land one. The stress kicks in. Constant rejection destroys your confidence. And your actions are showing that you’re getting desperate. Learn the top 10 job application mistakes everyone makes and how you can avoid them. Read more
I am sure you have heard this adage before: “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. I think it’s old fashioned. This phrase may be spot on for business, but if you are in job hunting mode what you should really be thinking is: It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you. Read more
Whether you like it or not, recruiters, potential employers, the competition and anyone with a computer has the ability to check out your online identity. This is most common on LinkedIn, because that’s what it’s there for: a professional profile making you look all professional (and stuff). BUT it usually doesn’t stop there, as the same people are just as likely to check you out on other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and G+
So if you want to be in the running for that dream job, make sure you stop, think and consider some, or all, of my social media career survival tips next time you post on social networks.
Social Media Monitoring and Checks
Reppler, a social media monitoring service designed to help users manage their online image, conducted a survey of 300 hiring professionals in 2013 – 2014 and found that 91% of respondents thoroughly scrutinize an applicant’s online reputation during the hiring process. Here’s an interesting infographic on the subject.
It’s safe to say that what you do on social media these days can definitely impact your career path and employability. Professionals in the hiring trade will use any tool available to avoid an egg-on-face situation before inviting you to a job interview or introducing you to their client. With this being said, you can secure your social media image with these 10 steps.
# 1 Be a Social Butterfly
Become a listed and active member of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Google+ as this does more than just make you look like a go-getter. It helps to eliminate the possibility of undesirable and uncontrolled information about you from making its way to the top of a Google search. These sites are so popular that results from this page always rank highly. That way any unauthorized content related to you (if it exists) is less likely to make an appearance to a possible employer. Contact us if you want to know more, or simply read up on previous blog posts on the subject.
# 2 First Impressions Count
You have only a few seconds before a view forms an opinion, so ensure that your social media accounts provide the best impression of you.
Everyone can benefit from regularly reviewing their profile once in a while. You’d never go into an interview with an out-of-date CV, so why ignore your social media profiles?
Make sure your social media accounts are completed, ensure that all your profile info is accurate, up-to-date and consistent across your various social media accounts. Most importantly always double check your privacy settings! Use a recent photo where you look smart and casual and don’t forget to smile.
# 3 Be a Social Networking Ninja
The ever-evolving nature of social networking has made it necessary to always clean up, and I mean more than just your browser history. Hide any networking nasties by pumping-up your social media security settings. That means selecting the highest privacy settings possible in all platforms in which you are active. Be aware: setting photos to ‘friends, network and friends of friends’ in Facebook is not going to keep photographic evidence of your naughties in safe hands. If any photos of you caked in beans are visible, make sure it’s you taking part in a charity event. Similarly – review the likes and events you are associated with.
Being part of a sexist or politically sensitive group or showing evidence of attending anything controversial is not likely to win you job application points. Also, check out the security settings of your friends and the stuff they are posting about you. The last thing, you want, is a clueless friend stuffing up your job applications for you. I’m not kidding, contact me anytime if you want to learn more on that subject – I am happy to assist. We have attended to many clients and showed them how important it is always to be aware of privacy settings as the activity of friends can affect your profile through image tagging and wall posting.
From time to time, social media platforms will add new features or update their privacy terms. So, whenever you’re informed of “updates” by-way of an automatic email from your preferred social network, examine privacy settings for signs of change. Profile updates could include reformatting of such settings and introducing new options that are defaulted to whatever the social network site decides.
# 5 Toot your own horn
We all brag a bit from time to time. You just have to look at your CV to know you’re guilty of it. But why not highlight your professional and personal achievements on social media? I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want to be ‘that person’ who’s constantly bragging about their achievements, but it doesn’t hurt to be a little proud of yourself. Good things happen to those who hustle.
Highlight your achievements, post updates about your work and the results you achieve on a regular basis. Source recommendations and referrals from your existing professional contacts: especially when you are in job hunting mode.
# 6 Become a Sounding Board of Good News
It’s ok to do a little self-campaigning but don’t just focus on yourself all the time. No one is interested in being connected with someone who focuses solely on how wonderful and successful they are. Just like you’d interact with different groups, use social networks to post interesting industry news, join in and contribute in discussions and polls on topics relevant to your work or personal interests.
Be genuine and honest and likable. By placing yourself at the centre of topical industry discussions, you’ll not only raise your personal profile among your contemporaries, you’ll demonstrate your passion and engagement with your work: an attractive quality to any future employer! Talk is cheap – potential employers like to hire doer’s not just talkers.
# 7 Perform a Positive Google Bomb
This is a simple but very effective activity if you have some time to kill. Simply conduct repeated Google searches of your own name with added words that highlight achievements. This is especially effective if these searches lead to information about achievements you otherwise wouldn’t put on a resume for the sake of space. Athletic, volunteer or academic achievements are a good example of search terms to Google bomb.
# 8 Shut Up!
I know it’s a bit harsh, but seriously, how else should I describe this one? “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”. Wise words, particularly in relation to anything written online. Written content is everywhere, lasts longer than you think and can be publicly read all over the web. Don’t be tempted to reply negatively to content on Facebook, Twitter or other sites. Don’t bad mouth your employer, boss, colleagues or customers, as these comments have a nasty (yet strangely reliable) habit of being picked up and shared with the very people you’ve insulted.
Don’t allow anyone to do damage to your reputation online. Stay cool, calm, and contact the person directly to suggest that you move the discussion into a more private domain if need be. If employers check you out online, they are likely to see the fall-out of any ongoing argument, so it’s better to be seen as a peace-maker rather than the aggressor.
What about Humour?!
Be careful with humour as it is very subjective and while you may be confident enough that your joke will be appreciated by those who know you, it may be judged as extremely offensive by others, including customers, clients, and potential employers.
# 9 Trust No One and Always Double Check.
These days nothing is private. Trust no one… ever. This a bit dramatic perhaps, but seriously, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable with your parents seeing it, then it’s not appropriate to upload on any social media site. Think twice before you post any images online and always double check the settings. Remember that it’s not just the photos that you personally post that you need to worry about: you also need to keep a close eye on any photos your friends may have posted that feature you.
# 10 Protect Your Reputation Now, and Clean up with these tools.
Regularly review your social media profiles to make sure your content consists of information you would like to share with employers.
For Facebook, Secure.Me is one of many free tools that reviews content, protects profiles from dangerous links, and monitors photos and friends’ posts. If you want to know more about safe online protection tools, contact me or read up on my other blog posts. If you want to get the best image and reputation out on Google, use BrandYourSelf. They can clean up for you and ensure that Recruiters and Hiring Managers only see the very best of you , when they start snooping on Dr. Google.
So there you have it, 10 top tips on how to avoid damaging your employability while using social media. Use some, or all, of these tips and remember to not shy away from being yourself. Everyone has a unique personality, and the variations of our character are what make us special and employable. Continue sharing about yourself, just keep the above tips in mind when posting on a public site.
Share this blog post if you know a job hunter or career changer who would find this interesting and feel free to comment with your own tips and tricks.
Social Media is a great and very effective tool to enhance your job search, just always remember to hunt wisely!
Those who know me know that I don’t think that it’s really helpful if we are silent about the raw side of job hunting in Australia & New Zealand – particularly for Mature Age and Millennial job seekers. I believe that more can be done to help talented job hunters through their negative job search experiences and teach them how to be better and smarter job seekers.
I started pro bono activities in 2013 and expanded them in 2014, contributing free seminar events, free online webinars and chat sessions to educate and help job hunters. 2014 was a great year, and our most successful pro bono activity has been with job search support groups in Sydney and Melbourne. Our pro bono group support has paid off: 30% of people who took part in these group events found full-time or long-term contract work.
Here is some more of the things that work in getting a job interview:
Mature Age Job Seekers
If you are battling bias because you are perceived as less tech savvy, then demonstrate your skills in social media. Use tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and prove that you are up to date in your field. I personally believe that there is no excuse for a job hunter to not understand social media.
Volunteer and take any opportunity to participate and contribute
If you have gaps in your resume, you are likely to get weeded out by software parsing systems. Fill the gaps with volunteer work. There is nothing dishonest about volunteer work. In fact, Australians and New Zealanders value community contributions more than most other nationalities. This might sound old fashioned, but it is one of the values I like the most about living in Australia. I found some of my best friends through my volunteer work and I know that volunteering often leads to job opportunities (directly or indirectly). You can choose to have a gap or contribute and give back to the community and whilst you do it, eliminate a common job gap bias.
Look for local support groups
I know, they are often not very organised, they don’t meet in cool locations and they have other flaws, but joining up with others in the same boat can help and you are likely to feel less alone in your job hunt. There are tonnes of support groups. Use Dr. Google to research or simply go to Eventbrite.
Yes, we all know and appreciate that you grew up with the internet and you use it all the time and, in fact, probably so much that most of your connections are largely ‘virtual’.
Use your online and social media skills and convert them into real and actual connections.
I am glad I don’t need to tell you how to use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and possibly LinkedIn (I’m sure many of you could show me a thing or two) – what you really need to do is use your skills to initiate real meetings. Just like the Mature Age Job Seekers, use support groups, networking events and volunteer work to connect via genuine contributions to create real opportunities.
5 Effective Job Hunting Steps to get an Interview
Step #1 Figure Out What you Want
It might sound silly but before you start searching for jobs, you need to sit down and have a good think about what it is that’s currently making you unhappy and what it is that you actually want. No one can help you if you don’t know what you really want.
Step #2 Update Your Resume and your Profile on Job Sites
Once you’ve figured out what it is you want, you need to update your resume so it reflects the type of role you’re looking to secure – and you need to ensure you’ve created accounts on any relevant job sites. Also note that there are more than just Seek, My Career and LinkedIn job sites. Use Niche Job boards and alternative job sites or sign up direct with employers you may want to work for.
Step #3 Sign Up For Job Alerts N O W
Trust me when I tell you that between December and March job opportunities increase everywhere and it can get a little crazy as old budgets get used up and new budgets come into play so jobs are going to be posted in a lot of places – which means it can be difficult to keep up with new opportunities. Use your skills and sign up for job alerts on job sites and social media and Google Alert so you can be alerted every time a vacancy comes up which matches your criteria … and if you sign up now you’ll be ahead of the game for when it all kicks off in early/mid January.
Step #4 Follow Companies and Job Opportunities on Social Media
You can do what everyone does and just focus all your search on Seek, My Career and maybe even LinkedIn or you can utilise your social media skills and sign up to alerts on services like Twitter. If you’re looking for a new job, you need to be on social media platforms. Why? Because they are amongst the most effective solutions for advertising and finding new jobs – and if you’re not on them, there’s a chance you could miss out.
Step #5 Clean up your Social Profiles
The first thing most employers do before they call you for an interview is check you out and the chances that they skim over your social media footprint is very likely. So, you need to look at yours and make sure your privacy settings are as tight as they need to be and your Twitter, Facebook and other profiles don’t showcase anything which could cost you the job e.g. dodgy pictures or abusive language/material. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you upload a professional image.
So, guys, get with it and jump onto these opportunities, so you are prepared for 2015. Don’t allow anyone to get you down, seek support, use all your social media and networking skills and always remember to hunt wisely!
Job hunting sucks. We all know that, but silly job application mistakes can be so frequent that I struggle to be patient sometimes.
There are the basic mistakes like lengthy resumes, useless “objective/mission” statements, lies and then there are the BIG blunders like embarrassing email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org or letting your online profiles be public instead of private.
Our team at TheJobSearchCoach regularly (and discretely) share some of the funny and not so funny moments of our coaching experiences. I could probably write a book’s worth of funny and sad material on mistakes job seekers make, but that would make for a very lengthy blog post. So for now, I’ll start with the 3 most common job application mistakes that really hurt your chances of getting an interview.
Do you recognise any of these job application mistakes?
#1 You don’t have a proper LinkedIn profile
Seriously guys, we are approaching the last days of 2014 and you are job hunting without a proper LinkedIn profile? For white collar job seekers, that is one of the BIGGEST job application mistakes you can make.
I am amazed how many of our clients have a LinkedIn profile with no content.
First of all, LinkedIn is the leading place for hiring managers to cross check your application and resume information – to check you out so to speak and to find and hire employees. So, if LinkedIn is one of the first places where hiring professionals go to cross check or hire new employees, what possible excuse do you have for not having an up-to-date profile?
Recruiters and hiring managers almost always look up your LinkedIn profile. Why? Because they don’t want to waste their time. Simple. They’re looking for more information in addition to your application to better decide if you’re the right fit for that first step in the recruiting process. You guessed it … the interview. Not having a proper LinkedIn profile puts you at a disadvantage.
Do you want to be perceived as a candidate who understands how to use social media and is therefore be categorised as tech and social media savvy, or do you prefer to be stereotyped as one who doesn’t? LinkedIn is a social media site and when a recruiter cannot find you or check you out on LinkedIn, the first assumption is that you may not understand basic things like Facebook, effectively using the internet, mobile technology, apps or that are simply not social media knowledgeable in general. Invest those 15 or 30 minutes to update your LinkedIn profile and don’t let this silly mistake hurt your chances of finding a great job.
#2 You are too lazy to follow up
I know, job searching is no fun – but suck it up. If you’re seriously searching then you probably don’t have a choice so you need to ALWAYS follow up with employers.
After initially applying for a job, following up is a smart and easy way to separate yourself from the competition.
If 250 people applied for a position, you can’t just rely on the strength of your skills and experiences to get an interview anymore. After all, hiring managers spend an average of only 10 seconds looking at a resume. That’s simply not enough time to make an impression. In today’s age, you have to constantly search for ways to stand out from the competition. A simple follow up can accomplish that goal.
You can follow up in two ways: over the phone or online. Most importantly, each follow up must add value. The goal of a follow up is to engage the hiring manager in a conversation, add value to yourself and ultimately create an impression. You can use your communication skills to start any kind of conversation, but the easiest way is to say your name, why you’re calling and ask a good question.
However, following up in the correct manner can be challenging. We all get nervous and you want to really try and avoid saying the wrong thing or accidently creating the wrong impression. So… practice and prepare before you make that call. Contact us if you need some training or coaching. We can help you master this important skill. Also, why don’t you share your own insights, tips and tricks right here in the comment box? Sharing is Caring.
When you follow up, have a conversation and do your best to say things that add value to you as a potential employee. Remember, you may be talking to the person who is in charge of giving you the interview and possibly, the job. If you have a chance to mention your particular skills or experiences in the conversation, jump at the opportunity to do so. Try to sell yourself at any chance possible and mention anything that would make the hiring manager give you greater consideration.
A follow up encourages a hiring professional to think about you, and that’s exactly what you want. You took the initiative to make the call or send the message and created some kind of impression for yourself. If you do this for every job you apply for then you’re very likely to get more responses and interviews.
#3 Your contact details
In a perfect world, you would end every new business interaction with “do you mind if we exchange business cards? I’m always trying to expand my network.”
How do people get great jobs?
I’ll tell you how. It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you. If you make it too hard for people to get in touch with you then they just won’t be bothered because you are wasting their time. Get it? I am talking about having your details clearly at the top or bottom of your resume, cover letter and your email message (which is currently likely without a proper email signature).
It’s not that hard to set up a proper signature which contains all the info I would want to find about you. No matter what the document is, your name, phone/mobile, email address and possibly mailing address are must haves. If you are switched on, add your LinkedIn tag. Click here to get your own unique LinkedIn badge (you have to login).
Email is still the most common communication tool. An email signature is simply a few words that are automatically added to the end of every email you send. Most people use an email signature to display their contact details like name and phone number. So don’t forget it when you apply for jobs. You can set one up and turn it off and on as well so you don’t have to worry about including your signature on all your personal emails.
Let’s be honest here, there’s a lot more than 3 job application mistakes that people make when job hunting. Don’t be someone that includes a watermark of a fancy design and only half the required contact details, without a contact phone number or LinkedIn profile, and don’t be someone that expects the hiring manager to read and search through the documents to find your contact details. I’ve seen this many times… Ouch – that hurts!
If you want to get a job interview – follow these 3 steps:
- Impress me with your professional application documents, including your contact details
- Prove that you are savvy and connected to today’s world
- Deliver with a professional Follow Up
If you get all that right, I’d consider calling you for a job interview. Don’t wait – do it and remember to hunt wisely!
Some job applicants just always get it right. Here is why.
Should I LinkedIn or not? Should I hunt and focus on a high quantity of connections or focus more on the quality of connections? Read more