Social Media

What’s the Best Job Search Website: Part 2

The pros and cons of the most popular social media job search sites

Our Assessment

In a previous article, we profiled the major job search websites and highlighted their differences. This time we’re focused on the job search portions of popular social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Each network is unique, with its own culture and available job listings. The job search portions of the sites are also built differently, meaning that you won’t be able to search any two sites the same way.

In a study we conducted late last year, we found that 51% of readers used LinkedIn to job search, with Facebook right behind at 20%. Twitter, surprisingly (given the popularity of the platform), received 0% of the vote.

Although job seekers are welcome to use all three, some may wish to stick to one or two of them. This guide should help you decide which ones are right for you.

Commonalities

Since all three are social media platforms, there are a few things you can do on all three to get your job search started. As noted by StarTribune, these include following the pages of impactful individuals in your industry (who are likely to share job listings), business pages for places you want to work, and journalists who write about your industry. Add a few influential speakers while you’re at it—you never know when their words of wisdom might come in handy!

LinkedIn

For those looking for professional or corporate positions, LinkedIn is a must-have. If you don’t have a profile, you’re missing out on an easy way to network with those in your industry. It’s also an easy to way to keep track of your contacts and their work anniversaries or employment changes.

It all starts with a great profile that shows recruiters and industry contracts who you are and where you’re looking to go. As noted by StarTribune, focus on industry keywords so that you pop up in relevant job searches.

You’re much more likely to see contacts share articles or press releases on LinkedIn than any other social platform. If you see something that appeals to you, like it!

LinkedIn also has a robust job search platform that allows you to narrow search results based on a variety of factors. When applying for a job, LinkedIn even lets you know which contacts have connections at the company you want to work with. It makes it easy to message your contacts to put in a good word with companies for you.

The not so great thing about LinkedIn? Most jobs are professional and most everyone is on the platform to get a job or move up in the world. That environment can be tough for some people, and logging in every day isn’t for everyone. However, you should at least have an updated account in case someone in your industry finds you.

Facebook

Facebook has more than 2 billion active users. Granted, many of those accounts are private and many more are in foreign countries you may never want to work in. However, Facebook can still be a great networking tool. Facebook groups can be like Twitter in that you can find like-minded individuals in your industry and discuss trends and news. There are even groups for resume prep and interview tips.

However, Facebook stands out from Twitter in that it has its own job search feed. This pulls from pages you’ve followed and your local geographic area, showing jobs in your area. Although not as in-depth as LinkedIn’s job search function, the feed is perfect for finding industrial or service-oriented jobs that are rare on the professional-focused platform.

The downside of Facebook as a job search tool is that the site focuses on friends and family above all else. However, business contacts can still see your profile, so you need to stay away from posting anything unprofessional in case a potential employer reviews your profile. It may even be worth it to create a professional Facebook profile separate from your personal one if you want to keep your personal life private.

Twitter

As with any other social media platform, beginning to job search in Twitter starts with building your network. There are over 69 million users on the platform, and even getting in touch with a small piece of that can increase your job search power.

Most people don’t make their accounts private, so you’re free to view and follow users at your leisure. And when you add them, they could add you back.

Everyone is immediately accessible. You can retweet influencers (those in your industry with large amounts of followers) and add a comment of your own in the hopes that they notice you. As noted by LifeHacker, you can also set up job alerts by creating searches and following them.

The downside to Twitter? Sixty-nine million possible connections also mean 69 million people to compete with for attention. However, you don’t need to become an influencer with millions of followers to be successful at networking on the platform; a small sphere of like-minded individuals can still lead to your dream job.

Any other job search websites you want to hear about? Let us know in the comments!

Resolve to Land a Job This Year

ThinkstockPhotos-609804644Resolutions can be great for personal and professional growth, but only if they are commitments that you truly want to see accomplished. You’ve probably heard the statistics, but it’s worth repeating: according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, just 8% of people achieve their resolutions and less than half make it past the first six months of the year.

Of all the New Year’s resolutions you can make this year, landing a new job could be at the top of your list. With the economy recovering and employers becoming more and more optimistic about their prospects for the future, 2017 has the potential to be the year for job seekers.

But which resolutions can you make to help you get a new job this year?

1. Grow Your Network

Whether you are currently working and looking for a new opportunity, just getting out school and looking for your first full-time job, or have been on the job hunt for a while, you have access to a bigger network than you may realize.

If you sat down and wrote out a list of all the people you know—friends, family, former and current co-workers, teachers—you might be surprised at the number of connections you have. The key to networking though, is not to stop with the people you already know; it’s working with those people to grow your network and be introduced to more and more people.

Those connections will either lead to your next job or connect you to the person who can help you land your next job. Resolve to spend more time in 2017 growing your network of connections so you find yourself closing out the year celebrating the great job you’ve earned.

2. Expand Your Skills

If you haven’t noticed, the workforce has changed. More and more jobs that didn’t before, now require technical skills or education, which means it’s important that you make 2017 the year you learn at least one new skill.

If you have an interest in technology, why not check out the many free online resources that provide training on everything from building your own app, to learning how to code and build websites? Having this type of knowledge is a great way to set yourself apart from other job candidates while showing your commitment to ongoing learning.

Maybe you prefer working with your hands. Taking the time to research the various classes offered through the career techs in your area could lead to an exciting career in industries like welding, dentistry, nursing, cosmetology, or culinary arts.

3. Clean Up Your Social Footprint

Do you remember what you said to your friend last Thursday? What about the conversation with your brother last month, what did you say to him?

If you’re having trouble remembering what you said in those conversations, try remembering what you posted on Facebook five years ago, or on Twitter two years ago.

In 2017, more and more employers are doing an online search of your name to see what they find, and if you haven’t taken the time to clean up your social footprint, you may not like what the search results turn up.

4. Make Your Resume Stand Out

If your biggest resolution of 2017 is to land a job, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t take the appropriate steps to make sure your resume stands out from the crowded inboxes of hiring managers.

Set time aside to focus solely on the effectiveness of each section of your resume. Go through it while thinking like someone who’s making the decision to hire, and then ask for someone you trust to do the same thing and give you honest feedback.

Also, consider the way you deliver your resume to a potential employer. Is there a creative way to make sure your resume gets in front of the person making the decision on new hires and piques their interest in you?

In a survey of businesses conducted by Express, respondents gave several interesting ways candidates delivered their resume, including a YouTube video, folded into a paper airplane, and even a gift package containing the resume.

Based on the early indications, 2017 is shaping up to be a great year for the job market, and starting a new career can be accomplished as long as you’re willing to set some resolutions and commit to seeing them through.

What other resolutions would you recommend for someone looking for a job in 2017? Let us know in the comments section belo

Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts Today

Social MediaSocial media is a great way to express yourself and grant others insight into who you are. As a job seeker, it also provides a way for employers to find out more about you than what they’d find on your resume or application.

In fact, a majority of employers will research potential candidates online to gauge professionalism, make sure work experience lines up with a resume, and find out what the candidate represents as a person. With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to avoid any social media snares in your job hunt.

Start out with a search engine.
To get the ball rolling on your social media sweep, check your online reputation with a quick internet search. This will help you get underway in locating unprofessional pictures, compromising posts, and more.

Review your photos.
Speaking of pictures, it’s best to do a thorough scrub of your social media profiles for any images that may depict you as a less-than-ideal candidate. Should you come across any undesirable images, the best thing to do in these instances is to remove it altogether or untag yourself, if possible. If you’re not quite ready to part with certain pictures, you can either move them to a secure cloud service like Google+ or Amazon Prime, or check your privacy settings to adjust who can see those images.

Utilize privacy features when available.
Most social sites have a “private” or “protected” option for users’ profiles. By using this, you can refine who sees what on your account and have more control over the personal brand you’re promoting. For example, on Facebook, you can adjust your settings to review tagged photos of yourself before they appear on your profile, while you can hide your entire profile on sites like Twitter and Instagram.

Paint your professional portrait with LinkedIn.
One of the top social media sites employers check during the hiring process is LinkedIn. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one. This tool was built primarily for networking and serves as a great way to paint a clear picture of who you are as a professional. If you do have an account, review your profile to make sure it aligns with your resume. Take the time to build your professional brand to make yourself a more desirable candidate.

Cover all your social media bases.
Probably the best way to make sure you’ve deep cleaned your online presence is to go through any social media sites you’ve used in recent years and review your activity. Delete or hide anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Remove any posts in which you bad-mouthed a previous employer or status updates about how much you party, in addition to instances of poor spelling and grammar. Ultimately, the goal of your social media scrub is to promote your personal brand as a professional.

Above all else, be intentional.
Whichever social media site(s) you use that are viewable by prospective employers, strive to be purposeful with your presence. Make sure your information is up to date, follow leaders in your desired industry, be consistent in maintaining your profiles, and post content relevant to your professional goals. Employers want to know that if they hire you, your connection to the company won’t be harmed by your online presence, but rather supplement it with a professional image.

How do you keep your social media presence in order? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Cut These Words From Your LinkedIn Profile

buzzwords_linkedin_webEarlier this year, LinkedIn released its fifth annual list of 10 words that are most overused by its members worldwide. In doing so, the social networking site encourages users to avoid words that are empty in meaning and sound good, but say virtually nothing. Those words include:

  1. Motivated
  2. Passionate
  3. Creative
  4. Driven
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Responsible
  7. Strategic
  8. Track record
  9. Organizational
  10. Expert

These words are generic descriptors that don’t offer much true insight into your personality, experience, or work ethic. Instead of simply using the above words on your profile or resume, try to find a way to show them instead.

For example, if you worked in customer service and succeeded in a sales initiative that increased sales by 10%, consider sharing your results. Instead of writing “motivated,” write “drove sales to a 10% increase.” Or, if your creativity led you to solve a problem and save your workplace money, don’t write “creative.” Instead, write “created a solution to a workplace problem that saved the company $1,000 annually.”

After you delete overused buzzwords, your LinkedIn profile may appear a bit empty. Step it up by showcasing your skill set in your summary, customizing your headline, adding volunteer activity and causes, and uploading a professional photo. According to LinkedIn data, profiles with a photo are 14 times more likely to be viewed.

What tips do you have for keeping your LinkedIn profile in shape? Are there other buzzwords that should be cut from profiles? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Don’t Let Your LinkedIn Profile Go On Vacation

linkedin_vacation_webThe season for summer vacations is here! Many people are packing up their suitcases, lathering on the sunscreen, and hitting the hottest vacation spots while school is on a break and the weather is nice. Although it’s important to get away and take time to relax and unwind from school, work, or your job search, you don’t want to let your vacation get in the way of your networking abilities.

It’s true that our culture is suffering from a bit of social media overload, and some online users are so overwhelmed by their social networks and email accounts that they have considered taking a short break from them. In fact, 50% of online users in a recent survey reported that they’ve thought about taking a vacation from social media. While stepping away from Facebook or Twitter for a few days might be a good idea, you may want to take a different approach with your LinkedIn profile. Read on for more tips to keep your LinkedIn profile working while you’re relaxing.

Understand the purpose.
LinkedIn is a very useful network for job seekers, students, and those in the workforce. If you have a LinkedIn profile that you only update on occasion, you’re missing a big opportunity to be seen by recruiters and potential employers. The network allows you to research companies, find connections, and use your friends’ experiences to connect with people you may not be able to reach otherwise.

Write a catchy headline.
Much like your resume, your LinkedIn headline needs to represent you and your career goals. The headline is located just below your name on your LinkedIn profile and is one of the only things, aside from your name and profile photo, someone sees before deciding whether or not to click on your profile. So, make your headline count by spelling out what you’re looking for on LinkedIn. You can use your headline to state that you’re searching for a job, or just looking to network with those in your industry. According to Forbes, an administrative assistant found a job in two weeks after using the clever headline, “Office Manager/Business Air-Traffic Controller Looking for Overstressed CEO to Make Sane.”

Make a list of dream jobs, and network with them.
If there are specific companies you dream of working for, find their company pages on LinkedIn and follow them. When you follow those company pages, you’ll be in-the-know about what’s going on with their company. You may even be able to see job postings or other updates before the rest of the competition does. Plus, when you interact with the content companies share, you put your name in front of potential recruiters.

Do your homework.
If you land an interview, whether through LinkedIn or other means, don’t forget to do your research before the big day. Thankfully, LinkedIn can help with that. Try to find the profile of the person you’ll be interviewing with and learn what you can from it. For example, you may be able to find out where your interviewer went to college. Better yet, it may be the same school you attended. Automatically, you have something to talk about and a way to break the ice during your interview. Checking out their LinkedIn profile will give you a look at who the person is, what their experience consists of, and any community causes that are important to them. Knowing these bits of information can help you feel more comfortable during your interview while also showing you did your homework.

Use LinkedIn for more than networking.
Although being able to connect with potential employers is an important element to LinkedIn, there is more to the social network than simply adding friends. Give your profile substance by adding links to presentations, videos, or other projects you’ve completed. And don’t forget to share any articles, blog posts, or content you write by using the status update feature on your page. Sharing your own content is a great way to encourage interaction and also helps you get noticed faster.

Summer is a great time of year for relaxing, heading to the beach, or just taking some time off. While you’re busy soaking up the sun, don’t forget to keep an eye on your LinkedIn profile so you won’t miss out on important opportunities. During the summer months and holidays, you can easily make networking a part of your vacation by meeting new people and keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date.

How do you make your LinkedIn profile stand out? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Top Rated Job Search Tools

job_search_tools_webFinding a job and scouring the job boards can often be a time-consuming, frustrating, and confusing ordeal. With hundreds of job boards online and even more want ads in the newspapers, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Where do you even start? How do you know where to look? How do you avoid scam sites or “pay” sites?

We’ve compiled a list of helpful sites we think are the best places for job seekers to use their time wisely. While every job seeker is different and has different needs and priorities, these tools are a great place to start if you’re looking for a job.

1. Job Boards
General job boards can be a great place to kick off your search. We’ve included such popular sites as Monster.com, and CareerBuilder because they allow you to search jobs quickly and easily.

There’s also more niche-oriented sites. For example, Idealist.org is a job board dedicated to non-profit jobs. USAJobs is a job board with a huge list of federal job openings. Both are quality tools to help you if you want a job with the government or in the nonprofit realm. Be sure to check and see if there’s a nice specific job board for your industry.

2. LinkedIn
If you are actively looking for a job, you should already be on LinkedIn.

Why? For one, it is the largest professional social networking site in the world, boasting more than 175 million members in more than 200 countries.

Every second, two new members sign up, and more and more hiring managers are looking at LinkedIn profiles for potential candidates. According to Forbes.com, recruiters use LinkedIn more than any other website to connect with job candidates.

Even better is that it is free to use and a great place to show off your work history and qualifications!

3. Facebook and Twitter
Another way to use social media to get your foot in the door is to follow, like, or start conversations online with the companies where you’d like to work for. Commenting or “retweeting” comments from a potential employer on Twitter shows engagement, as does leaving comments or “liking” a post on that company’s Facebook page.

Other social media sites, like Instagram or Pinterest, also allow you to start engagement and conversations with potential employers. Just be careful of what you post – what you say online could stay there forever.

4. Professional Organizations

It’s been said a professional organization exists for every field, and the benefits of joining such organizations are many. Participating in a professional organization allows job seekers to learn from the experience of others, but also allows for top-notch networking opportunities.

By joining a professional group, you have the chance to connect with decision-makers in your industry and hear about job leads. Many of these groups, like the Public Relations Society of America or the Society for Human Resource Management, have extensive job boards that are open to members.

An added benefit of joining these groups is the potential to expand upon skills necessary to your particular field.

5. Recruiters and Staffing Firms
Recruiters and staffing firms like Express Employment Professionals work to bring the right employee and the right employers together. Whether you’re looking for a temporary or a professional position, working with a staffing firm is an easy way to improve your job search.

Staffing companies help match thousands of job seekers to jobs every day. And, the assistance doesn’t stop there. These firms also provide tools like resume writing help, job seeking tips, and job search tools.

And, if you’re new to Movin’ On Up, the Express Employment Professionals job blog, take advantage of the numerous articles and topics designed to help you in your quest for a perfect fit. Articles range from Top Interview Traits Your Future Boss Wants to See to How to Say Yes to a Summer Wardrobe and all topics in between.

Do you have some favorite job search tools that you use? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

3 Steps to Detoxing Your Social Media for Your Job Search

detox_socialmedia_webIn June, CareerBuilder released findings on the number of employers turning to social networking sites to research candidates. The 2014 survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 51% of employees who research job candidates online said they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate, up 8% from the previous year and 17% from 2012. Only 12% of employers surveyed said they don’t currently research candidates on social media, but they also reported that they plan to start in the near future.

If you think your online presence could be poisoning your job chances, it’s probably time to detox your social networks and rid your accounts of content that could keep you from getting a job.

Step 1: Get Rid of the Harmful Stuff Fast

When it comes to detoxing your social media, the first thing to do is to remove anything harmful from your accounts. The CareerBuilder survey reported that some of the most common reasons employers gave for passing on a candidate included:

  • 46% for provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
  • 41% for information posted about the candidate drinking or using drugs
  • 36% for bad-mouthing a previous company or fellow employee
  • 32% for poor communication skills
  • 28% for discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
  • 22% for lying about qualifications

As you start to detox your social accounts, think about what employers are and are not looking for in a candidate. Take a look at your history online and search for anything that could be considered unprofessional or could be misconstrued. If it hurts your chances of getting hired, ask yourself if it’s worth keeping. Then, start deleting. Edit errors. Remove inappropriate posts you’re tagged in. Change your profile photo if it doesn’t reflect the professional image you’d like to portray.  Really take some time to investigate your accounts. It may not be enough to switch out your Facebook profile photo for example. You may also need to delete some of the old profile photos entirely from your account to keep people from looking at your profile history. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to let go of the past for a brighter future.

Step 2: Setup Boundaries and Check Privacy Settings

Once you’ve deleted the things that could be harmful to your job search from your social accounts, take a look at your privacy settings. If you don’t want potential employers looking at your Facebook page for example, make sure only your friends can see the information you share on your profile. If you’re going to leave your Facebook profile open, turn on your Timeline review so you can approve posts you are tagged in before they appear on your page. If you don’t approve a post that you’re tagged in, remember that you may still need to go remove the tag from your friends post. Facebook and other networks are constantly updating their privacy settings, so it’s important to stay up to date on your settings to know who can see your accounts.

Now that you’ve checked your privacy settings and cleaned up your accounts, take some time to think about what you will and will not post in the future. Give yourself some boundaries or create some rules of thumb to follow to keep your social media free of job killing toxins. Tell yourself you will proof read every status update before you post it and try reading your updates out loud before you share them. This will help you catch any grammatical errors and give you time to stop and think about whether or not you should even post it.

Step 3: Replace the Bad Stuff with the Good Stuff

Your social media presence doesn’t have to be toxic to your job search. In fact, it can actually help you get an interview or even a job! While the CareerBuilder survey found that 51% of employers didn’t hire an applicant because of something they saw on social media, 33% of employers also said they’ve found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate as well. And, 23% said they found information that directly led to hiring the candidate!

Some of the most common reasons employers gave for hiring a candidate based on their social networking presence included:

  • 46% of employers felt the applicant was a good fit with their company culture
  • 45% said the candidate’s background information supported their qualifications
  • 43% said their online presence conveyed a professional image
  • 40% said the applicant was well-rounded and showed a wide range of interests

If you want to make the most out of your social media networks to help you land a job, then replace any harmful information with beneficial information that could actually help give your career a boost. A great place to start is with your LinkedIn account since it’s already geared toward helping you make professional connections online. Take time to fill out as much information as you can. Provide links to your work. If you volunteered for something in your community, post about it on all of your accounts. Share industry related information to help show that you’re an expert in your field. Detoxing your social media isn’t just about getting rid of what’s bad. It’s about sharing the good things. Find ways to demonstrate your skills and abilities as well as your personality and your strengths, and you’ll be well on your way to having a robust and healthy image online that could help you stand out from other applicants.

How do you ensure your social presence is free of job-killing toxins? Share about it in our comment’s section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.