Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Break Free From Your Job Search

break_free_from_job_search_webAs our Canadian friends celebrate Canada Day, Independence Day is just around the corner in the U.S. While both of these holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends, enjoy a picnic, watch a firework show, and celebrate freedom, it’s also an opportunity to declare independence from your job search. If you’ve been looking for work for an extended period of time, you are probably well aware of the struggles a difficult job search can bring. In honor of the July 4th holiday, we want to share some tips that may help you break free from your search and land a job.

Re-evaluate and consider your goals.
When it comes to your job search, there may be a specific job or company you have in mind. While it’s beneficial to have an idea of where you’d like to work or what you’d like to do, it’s possible that too much focus on a specific position may cause you to have tunnel vision. If you’ve submitted resumes and applications for the same type of job over and over, but haven’t landed an interview yet, take some time to step back and evaluate whether or not you’re on the right path. It’s possible that you don’t possess the skills or experience needed for a certain job, and you’re only wasting time pursuing it.

If that’s the case, assess what education or experience you may need to meet the position’s requirements and consider receiving the appropriate training before you apply for similar jobs.

Network both online and offline.
LinkedIn is a great way to make connections with people in the industry or company where you want to work. Making sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date with all of your skills, experience, and educational information to help you stand out to potential employers who find you online. Likewise, your other social media accounts may be visible to recruiters and interviewers as well, so make sure you keep your Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts professional at all times. You never know who is looking at them!

In addition to online networking through social media, it’s just as important to network offline. Consider going to industry events, joining a professional organization, attending local functions, or volunteering in your community. These gatherings give you the opportunity to meet new people face-to-face and network on a personal level. Often, employers don’t post their jobs online. They rely instead on employees or personal networking, so you don’t want to miss out on this unspoken opportunity.

Show excitement during your interview.
If you are asked to visit a company for an interview, there’s no doubt you’ll be excited. But, a recent survey from OI Global Partners reveals that 56% of interviewers think their interviewees don’t show enough excitement or interest during the conversation. While it’s natural to feel nervous during an interview, it’s important that you don’t let those nerves get the best of you. Make sure you show your interest in the job by researching the company before the interview.

When you research, look for something about the company that stands out or relates to you so you can share a personal story about it with your interviewer. This shows that you put effort into learning more about the job and that you’re excited about its purpose. And of course, go to your interview. A recent survey from Express Employment Professionals revealed that an alarming number of job candidates don’t even show up to their interviews. Remember, you can’t get the job if you don’t make the effort. If you’re going to be late, call ahead and let the interviewer know that you’re running behind, but don’t avoid going just because you’re late.

Consider short-term employment.
Even if your end goal is to find a long-term position at a company, you shouldn’t turn down any temporary roles that come your way in the meantime. There are a number of benefits to taking on temporary work while you’re looking for your dream job, including the ability to test out industries you haven’t worked in before. You may be able to find a job in an environment you’re interested in, but don’t have the experience necessary to land permanent work yet. Additionally, many temporary jobs can turn into permanent ones if they’re the right fit for you. If you decide to pursue temporary work during your job search, remember to showcase your work ethic, skills, and dedication every day. You don’t always know when the employer is looking to hire someone full time!

How did you break free from your job search and land the job? Share your stories in the comments section below!

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

How Giving Back Makes You More Employable

giving_back_makes_you_more_employable_webAccording to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), volunteering raises your odds of finding employment in today’s job market. In fact, a recent report from CNCS reveals that volunteers have 27% higher odds of finding employment than non-volunteers, and the relationship between employment and volunteering was strongest for those without a high school diploma or who live in rural areas.

Who Is Volunteering
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of Americans age 16 and older engaged in volunteer opportunities in 2014. This equates to 62.8 million volunteers, and the median number of volunteer hours worked was 50. People most likely to volunteer are those between the ages of 35 and 44, while volunteer rates are lowest amongst those 20 to 24 years of age. The report also found that the organizations people volunteered with most were religious (33%), education or youth-service related (25%), and social or community organizations (14%).

What Are the Benefits
While the benefits of volunteering are numerous, there are a few positive effects that stand out, including:

  • Acquire new skills. When you volunteer your time, you often have the opportunity to learn new skills or trades you may not have been exposed to otherwise. These new skills are not only great for you personally, they are also important to building an impressive resume.
  • Stay engaged in the working world. If you’ve been out of work for a while, the job search can be tough. Volunteering not only allows you a chance to work on a new project that may clear your mind for a bit, it also shows potential employers that you’re driven, motivated, and encouraged to stay working despite gaps between paid jobs.
  • Improve your resume and LinkedIn profile. In addition to adding new skills to your resume, volunteering also helps you beef up the experience portion of this important document. Any experience you can add to your resume will help you stand out from the competition. Additionally, people you meet while volunteering can make great connections on LinkedIn.
  • Make new contacts. Speaking of LinkedIn, volunteering is a great way to kick-start your LinkedIn profile or enhance an otherwise stagnant one. Volunteering is an opportunity for you to network with those in your industry, or in other industries you may like to work.
  • Better understand today’s work environment. If you are an older job seeker or have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, volunteering is a great way to get back out there. You can learn skills that are important to today’s employers while also working with younger generations to better understand the new workforce.
  • Gain self-confidence and lift your spirits. When you volunteer, you experience first-hand the difference you’re making in your community. This feeling can lead to a boost in self-confidence, which may be beneficial if you’re struggling with a particularly stressful job search.

How to Find Volunteer Work
Now that you know how volunteering can make you more employable, it’s important to know where you can find volunteer work. To find your next opportunity, try these methods:

  • Use your skills. Look to your current sets of skills to find an opportunity that’s right for you. For example, if you’re a skilled marketing professional, look for volunteer opportunities in this field. Or if you love to paint, you can search for volunteer work painting homes or other buildings.
  • Plan for the future. If there’s a job you’d like to have, use volunteering as an opportunity to help you reach that goal. Volunteer at organizations that will help you learn the skills you need for your dream jobs and help you find the people who can get you those jobs.
  • Ask your friends. Your friends and family may have volunteer experience you can benefit from, especially if they work in an industry you’re trying to break into. Ask them where they volunteer or who they volunteer with to help you find a new opportunity.
  • Search the internet. There are a number of websites that can help you find the perfect volunteer opportunity based on your skills and interests. Check out sites like VolunteerMatch.org and Serve.gov for local opportunities. If you’re age 55 or older, try the Senior Corps website, which is made specifically to help you find volunteer work.
  • Start your own. If you can’t find the right volunteer opportunity for you, or if you have an idea of your own, consider creating a volunteer opportunity or cause. You may even be able to partner with an organization that can get your idea up and running.
  • Join Express for Brand It Blue Day. On Saturday, June 13, Express offices across North America will set aside time to give back to local food banks, pantries and other nonprofit organizations. Visit ExpressPros.com/BrandItBlueDay to find out if an Express office near you will be a part of this day of service and how you can be involved.

When you look for volunteer work, seek out meaningful jobs that will help you network, learn new skills, and reach your professional goals. And remember to always treat your volunteer job as if you’re being paid. You never know who will be volunteering with you or how they may be able to help you land your next job.

How does giving back make you more employable? Share your stories in the comments section below!

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

Make Your Move: Life After Graduation

make_your_move_life_after_graduation_webFor many, graduation day is around the corner. While graduating from college or high school can be an intimidating time, there’s hope for recent graduates in the job search. According to a survey by Michigan State University, 97% of employers plan to hire at least one new college graduate this year. While the odds are in your favor, you have to put in the effort to land the job of your dreams. To help you join the workforce, check out these five tips for making your move after graduation.

Know what employers are looking for.
A recent Movin’ On Up article compiled survey results from a variety of institutions who conducted research on the 2015 job outlook for recent college graduates. These results included a look at the job forecast, which revealed that employers plan to hire 9.6% more graduates in the United States than they did in 2014, and lists of the most in-demand college degrees and skills for new hires. Before you start your post-graduation job search, check out the statistics to better understand what employers want.

Use the power of social media.
Whether you’re graduating from high school or college, it’s never too early to create a LinkedIn profile. Even if you don’t have much to add to your profile yet, go ahead and get started on your account so you can use it to network with potential employers and get noticed. Forbes states that only one-third of college students have a LinkedIn profile, so creating one of your own is a quick and easy way to stand out from the competition.

Include any jobs you’ve had, from babysitting to retail, and list the skills you gained from those jobs. Make sure you also list your educational achievements, including any degrees, diplomas, and extra-curricular activities like newspaper or debate club. If you received any awards in school or your community, like volunteer or academic honors, list those too.

It’s important to remember that while employers are primarily searching LinkedIn for potential candidates, they can also find your other social media accounts too. So, keep your Facebook, Twitter, and other public profiles clean and professional at all times.

Get an internship, or volunteer in your community.
According to a study by Millennial Branding, a research firm, 85% of college students believe having an internship is either important or very important for their career. Furthermore, 52% said they hope to have had three or more internships before graduating, and 40% have already completed one internship. Since so many college graduates are looking to internships to gain experience, skills, and networking opportunities, you want to make sure you’re one of them. Try to find companies that are easily recognizable, either in the community or nationally, to help your resume stand out.

In addition to internships, you can also get ahead of the competition by actively volunteering in your community. There are numerous volunteer opportunities to consider, from working at a food pantry to helping build houses for the needy. By volunteering, you not only add valuable skills to your resume, but you also have the opportunity to network with others and do something charitable in the process.

Find a mentor.
We’ve talked about the importance of having a mentor, and the results of Millennial Branding’s survey support our stance. In fact, the survey revealed that 70% of college students have at least one mentor. Among the mentors listed were parents, professors, family, friends, and employers. Having a mentor can help you grow both professionally and personally, and can even help you on your job search. But, finding the right mentor is important to making sure you’re learning all you can. When you’re ready to pick a mentor, check out these five traits of a great mentor first.

Call on your school for help.
If you’re a college student, your school’s career services office can help you with the next step in your job search. Career offices can assist with resumes, cover letters, job interviewers, and more, but Millennial Branding reveals that only 29% of students use these offices. Be part of that group by visiting your school’s office and asking about what resources they can offer. In addition to workforce preparation, many offices also have an alumni database, which can help put you in contact with recent graduates in your field of study. Those graduates have already been in the workforce for a few years and may have tips of the trade you could learn, so take advantage of those resources.

Congratulations to the class of 2015, and good luck with your job search! Remember, even if you’re not a recent graduate, these tips can help you with your job search goals. It’s never too early to get started!

How do you plan to make your move after graduation? Let us know 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.

Is Your Online Presence Hurting Your Job Search?

online_identity_webWhat you put online can haunt you forever.

Sound scary? It is.

Remember those parties in college and the pictures of you and your friends doing silly, sometimes inappropriate, things? Well, those fun times may come back to haunt you when you’re looking to impress a potential boss.

Today’s employers are savvy enough to scour the web and social media sites to get a feel for potential employees. So, if your digital footprint shows information you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see, then that footprint needs to be fixed, and fast. It could mean the difference between getting the job of your dreams or missing out.

First things first. Type your name into Google or Bing and see what search results show up. If what appears doesn’t show you in a positive light, you may want to start cleaning up your image. Here are the facts and ways you can improve your digital reputation:

Digging Up Dirt

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. Recruiters for college graduate jobs said the same thing, with 50% saying they’ve found information online that ruined a job offer.

On the other hand, only 3% of job seekers regularly check their online presence; in fact, 74% said they’ve done it only once or twice.

Do you know how you really look online?

Think Before You Post

Photos of that beach party or that outrageous stunt you pulled may be lots of fun to share with friends, but it’s a big red flag for employers.

Even worse are questionable photos or posts. A CareerBuilder.com study said the top reasons someone wasn’t hired were because:

  • Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info – 49%
  • There was information about the candidate drinking or using drugs – 45%
  • Candidate had poor communication skills – 35%
  • Candidate bad mouthed previous employer – 33%
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, or other – 28%
  • Candidate lied about his or her qualifications – 22%

Good Behavior

Don’t despair. Not all online searches yield terrible information that will doom you to unemployment for the rest of your life. Employers can also find the good things about you online too.

According to the same study by CareerBuilder, those good things included:

  • They got a good feel for your personality – 58%
  • You have a professional image –55%
  • Information found proved you were qualified  – 54%
  • You come off as well-rounded and with a wide range of interests – 51%
  • You have great communication skills – 49%
  • You are creative – 44%
  • Other people said great things about you – 34%

What You Can Do

The good news is that you can start cleaning up your online image today. With a little effort, you can make your online presence work in your favor.

But, before we go any further, go to all your social media sites right now and adjust your privacy settings so only people you want can see your posts. It’s okay, we’ll wait.

Now that your sites are private, you can do a couple of other things to erase any bad press a search may turn up. These tips, provided by The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, include:

  • Remove any photos, content and links that are inappropriate or reveal too much information.
  • Be private and selective about who can access your information.
  • Remove inappropriate comments by others.
  • Post links to your work.
  • Don’t vent on a public domain – keep your anger or nasty comments to yourself.
  • Set your social networking profile to private and designate who can view your content.
  • Most importantly, think before you post.

Have you had an experience in which your digital profile meant the difference between getting a job or not getting a job? Share your story in the comments below.

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

Secure Your Social Media

Password_May2014_webSocial media now plays a role in your job search and in the HR world. It’s important to protect your information. Social media security issues often arise as a result of weak passwords. Hackers can easily access your account and hijack your information if you’re not careful about how you choose your passwords.

In 2012, the top three most common passwords were “password,” “123456,” and “12345678.” No matter how many precautions you take to protect your social media networks, if you don’t take the time to protect your password, you may be easy prey for savvy hackers looking to gain access to your accounts.

Passwords and Account Settings

One way to start securing up your social media accounts is by updating your passwords and account settings. It’s important for your safety and online identity to protect yourself by making a few easy changes to your password and account settings.

When it comes to passwords, you’ve got to create sequences of words and letter that are very unique. It’s also important to change up your passwords frequently.

How to Keep Track of all Your Passwords
I know it seems like a daunting task to re-create a unique password every month, not to mention keep track of it, but it could pay off in the future to have safe and protected social media networks.

Having trouble remembering all those different passwords? Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites.

Worth the Investment
With graduation around the corner, you’ll be glad your sites are secured. A recent CareerBuilder study of 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals found that nearly two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. And one in five hiring managers said they found something that has caused them not to hire a candidate. By keeping your accounts secure you lower your risk of fraudulent posts that could be damaging to your reputation. So remember, during your job searching process, the importance of keeping your social media accounts secure and cleaned up.

What have you done to secure your social media accounts? Share with us in the comments section below.

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

Reinvent Your Online Identity

online _identity_May2014Whether you’re looking for a job and want to expand your network or just wanting to freshen up your social media presence, it’s important to frequently revamp your online identity. A revamp doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your social media presence, but it’s a good way to put your best foot forward. Here are some ways you can get started on revamping your online identity today.

First Impression

Some people say first impressions last a lifetime. If that’s the case, your profile needs to be the best representation of yourself it can possibly be. Do you have pictures or posts that aren’t great representations of you? Do yourself a favor and delete things off your page that could potentially hinder or cause a hiring manager to change their mind about you. Also, be mindful that if you’ve applied for jobs, hiring managers are probably already checking out your online identity.

A new survey by CareerBuilder, nearly two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates and according to Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, “Employers are using all the tools available to them to assure they make the correct hiring decision,” and that includes social media.

Stay Active

Do you actively search for job opportunities through social media networks? If not, becoming active through social media groups is a great way to start. You can learn about companies and gain knowledge of different industries just by being part of a group on LinkedIn. You never know if a LinkedIn connection you made through a group can be helpful in getting a job in the future. A recent Jobvite survey shows that more people get hired from online referrals and company career pages than from job boards. So it’s important to stay active online, never stop networking, and keep everything professional.

Keep it Current

Is the information on your profile accurate and up-to-date? Sometimes we get busy and forget to update our information – especially after a move or change in job. Be sure to take a good look at your social media profiles and make sure all your information is current. Not only does your information need to be consistently updated, but it’s also important to keep an up-to-date profile picture.

It’s never too late to reinvent your online identity. You can start today by using these quick tips we’ve shared. Have you recently updated your social media profiles and got a job as a result? Let us know in the comments section below!

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