Tag Archives: LinkedIn

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!

Is Your Online Activity Costing You the Job?

Your lack of interviews could be due to what you said online years ago.

The internet is a huge and wonderful place. You can search for tips on how to fix your sink, buy a used car, and leave a review for your favorite restaurant. However, it’s important to remember that anything you say online is pretty much permanent. An angry review or a sarcastic comment from years ago could come back to haunt you later.

This is incredibly relevant to the job search. The lack of a face-to-face connection might seem to give you some degree of anonymity, but it doesn’t. Recruiters and interviewers will see what you’ve done and said online and factor that into their consideration of you as a candidate, for better or worse.

According to the HUHS Library Media Center, 45% of all hiring managers use search engines to find information on people who applied for jobs. And, 63% said that something on a job seeker’s social media site caused them to not offer them a job.
And the best way to avoid that situation? Not doing anything bad in the first place. But what exactly is “bad” when it comes to the internet and your job search? We’ve got you covered.

Don’t Complain on Social Media

If you had food poisoning during a recent trip to Sherry’s Crab Emporium, it’s fine and dandy to let them know on social media or a review site. However, avoid ranting or using any rude language. Be concerned and polite. That review might come up when you’re being considered for a great job, and it could be the deciding factor that throws you out as a candidate.

Avoid complaining about a boss or co-worker on any of your pages. Even if you aren’t social media friends with these individuals, it’s still possible they could see your comments through a shared contact. And if you’re applying for a new position, your potential employer could write you off as a temperamental employee.

Don’t Breach the Line Between Business and Personal

Social media can be a great networking tool. However, don’t add interviewers on any social platform. Keep the personal and professional separate. Your online interactions with the company should always be strictly professional.

Avoid contacting companies you’ve applied or interviewed with via social media. A quick question to your interviewer via email is fine, but writing a post to a company’s Facebook page is not. The person in charge of the Facebook page most likely has nothing to do with your interview. And, if you post directly to the company’s Twitter or Facebook feed, you’re letting everybody else see your conversation.

Don’t bother your contacts on social media. Don’t message them just because you can. Avoid doing anything that could be seen as begging for a job. Realize that there is a line between social media for business and social media for personal use.

DO Be the Best Version of Yourself

When you want to impress someone in the real world, you bring your A game. You put on a nice suit, smile, and take care to be as polite as possible.

The internet should be no different. If your name is in any way attached, realize that whatever you say or do is there to stay. Don’t post pictures of yourself partying or say anything overtly political. Keep complaints to yourself, and don’t use any profanity.

To keep your personal life private, it’s important to adjust your privacy settings. Although the method for this will change depending on the platform, you usually can adjust what the general public (non-friends/followers) see on social media through something on the site’s “settings” tab.

Don’t Forget to Log-Out

The internet is a great place, but nothing replaces the power of a true one-on-one, face-to-face interaction. Go the extra mile and deliver your resume and cover letter to a business in person.

If you have questions, pick up the phone. Call the office and schedule an in-person appointment to meet with someone and discuss your concerns politely and succinctly.

Whenever an interview is over, send a handwritten thank you card in the mail. That little bit of extra effort goes a long way.

In all that you do, be quick, polite, and kind. That’s something truly memorable.

Have questions about how to behave online? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll Results: What’s Your Go-To Social Network for Finding a Job

A few months ago, we polled readers, asking them what their go-to social network was for finding a job.

The results leaned toward LinkedIn with 51% of the vote. “Other” followed in second with 29%, with Facebook close behind at 20%. Twitter, surprisingly (given the popularity of the platform), received 0% of the vote.

“Other” responses included readers using Indeed.com or Cragislist.com as their social media platform of choice. However, although these are incredibly helpful job search websites, they are not social networks.

What does all of this mean? It means that different people choose to network in different ways whether they’re online or off. In the real world, some prefer professional groups while others prefer charity groups. Online networking is similarly split, with people choosing one platform or another due to personal tastes.

However, the heavy tilt towards LinkedIn does show that you should have LinkedIn for networking. Fifty percent of our voters are on LinkedIn, and you can’t connect with them if you aren’t there too!

Have anything to share about your preferred social media platform for finding a job? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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.

Start Building Your New Career Today

start_your_new_career_today_webAre you a recent graduate? Are you new to the workforce? Are you looking for a career change?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you may be in the process of building your new career. Getting started can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you’re motivated to make your new career a success, your dream job can become a reality. To help you get started, check out these tips for building your new career today.

Know what you want.
Whether you just graduated, are entering the workforce for the first time, or considering a career change, the first step is knowing what you want in a job. Do a self-assessment of your values, hobbies, experience, and work preferences so you know when a job opportunity may be right for you. Knowing what you want before you apply helps you avoid getting stuck in a work environment that doesn’t match what you need. According to a Forbes article, “When your values are dramatically misaligned with those of your employer, you will become disengaged and possibly even disgruntled.”

Customize your resume for every job application.
Making sure your resume matches each job description helps you stand out from the competition and ensures that you’re the right fit for the job. Don’t forget to check for spelling and grammatical errors in both your resume and cover letter. Sending out material with mistakes may make you appear lazy to hiring managers and prevent you from landing an interview.

Spread the news!
Tell your friends, family, and mentors that you’re looking for work so they can help you search. You never know what connections are out there, and someone you know may be able to connect you with a potential employer. Networking is essential when you’re looking for a job, especially if you’re thinking about changing careers or are just starting out in the workforce.

Consider finding temporary or short-term roles.
Temporary work is not only a great way to earn an income while you’re searching for that perfect job, it’s also a chance to gain experience and skills you may not otherwise have. Temporary jobs even allow you to test out a career you may be interested in by helping you get your foot in the door. You can gain knowledge, skills, experience, and networking opportunities by working a short-term job in a field you want to explore. And, that temporary job could even turn into a permanent one. Consider applying with a staffing agency to find temporary or contract work that’s right for you.

Take advantage of social media.
Some of your social media sites can be a useful tool in your job search. LinkedIn, for example, is a great way to get noticed and find employers who are hiring. Think of LinkedIn and your other social networks like a digital resume and use them to showcase your skills, experience, and education. Remember to keep your social media clean and free of anything that may not make you an ideal job candidate for employers. If your social media profiles are public, chances are potential employers will look at them. In fact, a 2014 survey by Harris Poll revealed that 51% of employers who research job candidates online said they’ve found content that caused them not to hire the candidate. Think twice before sharing any photos, updates, or links that may be questionable or paint you in a bad light. When it comes to your job search, social media can make or break you.

Freelance or start a side business.
If you currently have a job, but have a hobby or skill you’d like to explore, consider freelance work. For example, if you love to write, but don’t know where to find writing jobs, try contacting websites or local newspapers to see if they’re looking for freelance writers. Or if you are really good at math, but don’t know how to use that in your career, reach out to schools and other organizations that may be looking for tutors. Freelancing allows you to take on small projects that use your skills while adding to your portfolio and experience.

Educate yourself.
If you want to change careers, you may need the proper training to do so. According to the University of Southern California, some college graduates earn more than twice as much as high school graduates. If higher education is in your future, start by looking for vocational schools and colleges in your area. In some cases, the training you need may be as simple as online certifications or courses. If you’re looking for a career change, check out this list of careers that will make going back to school worthwhile..

Make a list of companies where you’d like to work.
Forbes suggests taking the time to learn about companies you’d like to work for, and familiarizing yourself with that company’s leaders and the industry they’re in. Know what issues affect the industry and determine whether or not you have the experience and skills to offer possible solutions to those issues. Knowing industry trends is also a great way to start a conversation with potential employers and hiring managers.

What tips do you have for building a new career? Share with us in the comment 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.

Holiday Weekends Are a Great Time to Network

holiday_weekend_networking_webWith the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, many Americans will find themselves traveling, camping, enjoying cook-outs, and gathering with family and friends. While it’s a great time to make memories and enjoy a firework show, it’s also a prime time to make sure you’re thinking about your career.

How can a holiday weekend make an impact on your job search? It’s all about networking. Whether you’re planning to attend a neighborhood pool party, barbeque with friends, or participate in a community event, there’s always an opportunity to network and make connections that could help you on your career path. Take a look at these tips for enhancing your summer holiday through the power of networking.

Be friendly.
You never know who you may run into at a social gathering, so it’s always important to put your best foot forward. In fact, it’s a commonly held belief that people will form an impression of you in the first seven seconds. When you meet someone new, consider it an informal job interview. Be friendly and positive and don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies, what you enjoy doing for work, or your career goals. Even if the person you’re meeting doesn’t seem to possess any direct connections to a new job or company you want to work for, they may know someone who does. And, the first impression you give them could make or break your chance at that relationship.

Give yourself value.
When you meet someone for the first time, it may be easy to talk about yourself and share your career goals with the other person. While it’s important to introduce yourself, make sure you also allow your new connection time to speak. And don’t forget to give yourself value by explaining what you can do for the relationship. If you have experience, certain skills, or training that could benefit the other person, make it known. For example, if you’re an experienced welder and you find out your cousin’s friend owns a machine shop that’s looking for welders, be sure to introduce yourself and make your skills known.

Share your contact information.
If you happen to meet someone with connections or a job they’re trying to fill, make sure you get their contact information so you can follow up with them after the holiday weekend. You may want to consider carrying around business cards with your name and contact information for networking purposes. Keep a pen handy so you can write a note on the back of the card, like “Jim’s BBQ” or “Sarah’s Firework Stand” so they will remember where you met when they find your card after the holiday weekend. You may also consider sharing your LinkedIn profile with any new connections. If you have a smart phone or tablet handy, you can even look up the profile of those you network with and add them as a connection before you forget.

Don’t forget to follow up.
After the holiday weekend has ended, consider sending your new contact a handwritten note thanking them for their time or interest and asking if there’s a convenient time for you to meet and further discuss the open position or your career goals. Sending a quick note through email is another way to make a memorable impression and keep your name at the forefront of your new connection’s mind.

How do you plan to network during the holiday weekend? Have you made a job connection through a social event? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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