Tag Archives: online

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!

Mentoring in the Digital Age

digital_mentorship_webMany successful people can say they’ve met at least one person who has left a significant positive impact on their life or career. That person may be a teacher, coach, boss, co-worker, or other important relationship.

Today, an increasing number of professionals are seeking out mentors as a professional development tool, and through mentoring, many have seen improvements in productivity, leadership skills, and career advancement.

In this digital age, mentoring takes on a whole different look. No longer are we limited to coffee shop meetings or phone calls. With the advent of social media and email, mentoring now comes in easy, fast, and variable forms.

Though the way mentees communicate with mentors may have changed, one thing remains the same. If you want a mentor, you have to seek one out and be deliberate and proactive in that search.

And to help you make the most of your mentor relationship, we’ve gathered four useful tips.

  1. Respect your mentor’s time. Even with the ease of technology, digital mentors may not be able to reply to you or contact you immediately. It’s important to set expectations with your mentor and ask for their support before bombarding them with questions or tight deadlines.
  2. Don’t discriminate on age. Not all mentors have to be older than you. In today’s digital world, many people can learn from younger mentors who are tech-savvy. Mentorship is about having a trusted relationship, a desire to learn, and an open mind. Don’t discount potential digital mentors simply because of their age.
  3. Mentoring online requires trust. Any professional relationship needs to be confidential, so resist the urge to share what your mentor or your mentee tells you on social media or other digital platforms. A mentoring relationship is based on being honest about fears and failures, and if you share those fears publically without permission, you’re likely to lose the trust of your mentor or mentee.
  4. Don’t limit yourself. While reaching out online for a mentor is acceptable, it’s likely that you will want to meet your mentor in person at some point. Good mentoring relationships may begin digitally, but end with a real connection. Whether that connection is an actual meeting or a phone call, be prepared to move your mentoring relationship into the real world.

The internet and platforms like Periscope, Facebook, and instant messaging are creating opportunities for mentees to connect with mentors on a global scale. Furthermore, they offer a place to interact in real time with those mentors.

Remember, when done well, mentorship is a give-and-take relationship. Both parties, either in person or online, can enrich their knowledge and improve their careers.

Have you had a digital mentor? How did that relationship work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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

New Year, New Job! Enhance Your Chances of Getting Hired

new_year_new_job_webAs the final minutes of 2014 slipped away, many people pledged their New Year’s resolutions for 2015. What did you pledge? Exercise more, eat healthier, read new books, wake up earlier?

If you chose to find a new job as your resolution in 2015, Express Employment Professionals is hosting a free online event that could help you reach your goal.

Many people are stumped on where to look for jobs, how to write a resume, or how to prepare for an interview. Since so much has changed in the world of job seeking, those wanting a new and rewarding career need to stay up to date on top trends and best practices.

Tell Me More
This new educational online event is designed specifically to enhance your chances of getting hired. “New Year, New Job” is an exclusive free event that allows you to attend from the comfort of your own home. The online job seekers’ event will let you:

  • Learn the details of each step of the job hunt process
  • Chat with a recruiter about best practices
  • Discover practical leadership lessons from the experts
  • Connect with other resources to amplify your job search
  • Win prizes
  • See the jobs Express has available

Need Another Reason?
Job seekers with the new career resolution can also win prizes during the “New Year, New Job” online event to help them with their search. For instance, those who download resources, participate in chats, and watch videos can win:

  • A Power Bank Rechargeable Battery Charger
  • An eBook download of the eBook “Think. Execute. Dominate. 31 Truths to Boost Peak Performance,” by motivational speaker and former NBA player Walter Bond
  • A DVD presentation “No One Can Stop You, But You!” featuring Walter Bond
  • A copy of “The Emerging Leader,” by Express vice president of franchising David Lewis

But, Wait! There’s More
Register today for the live event, taking place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Just signing up for the event registers you to win a Bluetooth speaker.

So if you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution you can stick to and that can really pay off in 2015, sign up today for “New Year, New Job” hosted by Express Employment Professionals.

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.

Don’t Let Spring Break Ruin Your Reputation

Spring_Break_Reputation_March2014Spring break is finally here, and students everywhere are in the home stretch of this semester! The time has come for many students to take a much needed week away from school. It’s a time for fun, relaxation, and a chance to recoup from late night study sessions and homework. As you begin planning for your spring break, keep in mind that it’s easy for your reputation to be tainted in a short amount of time if you’re not careful. Here is some trustworthy advice to remember before you start your spring break shenanigans.

Protect Your Online Reputation
How can you protect your online reputation? By keeping your social media profiles private and being aware of what others post to them can help guard your reputation. When you and your friends get together there will probably be some pictures taken, and with the accessibility of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you could find pictures posted you wish had never been taken. Your friends could also include you in posts or status updates, so it’s important to have strict privacy settings on your social media networks before Spring Break begins. According to a study by CareerBuilder, two in five employers use social media to screen candidates. So you never know when a prospective employer is searching for you. If they happen to find an inappropriate picture or see something that they don’t like it can impact your job search.

Spring Break Precautions
Most students don’t plan on getting into trouble on Spring Break. Of course you want to have a good time, but if you’re not careful you could find yourself tangled with the law, or worse. While a “YOLO” attitude may serve you well in the moment, take a pause to consider future implications of snap decisions.

Take Advantage of Spring Break
Spring Break is a great time to jumpstart your career. You may not be able to get a job or intern at a company in a short week’s time, but there is another alternative – job shadowing. Shadowing someone for a few days will provide you with great insight into the everyday aspects of a job. Ask your friends and family if you could tag along and learn what a day in their life at work is like. Instead of going on a trip or just staying at home, get out and learn more about the career you want to have.

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself, so get a jumpstart on your future this Spring Break! How are you planning to get started on your job search, or are you already in the process? Let us know in the comments section below.

Easy Tips to Job Search on Facebook

Easy_Tips_to_Search_Jobs_On_FB_March2014According to a recent survey from Jobvite, 83% of people looking for a job use Facebook to search for work. As Forbes writer, Susan Adams, points out in her article 4 Ways to Use Facebook to Find a Job, with 1.23 billion users, job seekers should tap into Facebook’s networking power to help them find work. If you don’t already have a social media presence, you should consider creating an account on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Here are three tips to help you get started.

1. Take Advantage of Facebook’s Graph Search
Networking is an important step in finding a job whether you’re online or off. To start your job search, first you should use the Facebook Graph Search tool. Last year, Facebook implemented Graph Search which they say helps “you find more of the people, places, and things you’re looking for and discover new connections” which can include connections to jobs!

Learn more about Facebook Graph Search

Graph search is a good way to identify networking opportunities and connections you didn’t know you have. For example, if there’s a job at a specific company that you’re interested in, consider searching on Facebook for any friends or acquaintances you have who already work there. Search terms such as “my friends that work at (name of company)” and a list of connections should appear. You can also search for things like “people who work at (name of company)” to see if you have any mutual friends with their employees. If you’re not directly connected to an employee, maybe you know someone who can introduce you.

As you network, don’t just hunt down your friends to ask them to help you get a job at their company. Be considerate of their time, work on building those friendships, and keep networking.

2. Interact Online with the Companies You Apply At
A good way to stay up to date with companies you’re interested in applying at is to Like their company page on Facebook. Many companies post jobs and other relevant information that could be helpful to know. When you “Like” their page, you’ll start seeing more of their information show up on your newsfeed. Keeping up with the companies you’re interested in will allow you to learn more about them. When you have something to say that is relevant, post it on their Facebook wall and begin to professionally interact with them.

While it’s important to stay engaged with your prospective company’s Facebook pages, be careful not to say something out of place or irrelevant. Keep in mind that company Facebook pages are generally not the place to post resumes or follow up on your application.

3. Subscribe to Job Feeds
Did you know some companies like Gap, Inc. and UPS have job feeds on Facebook that allow you to search for jobs? Some of these job feeds can even alert you when a job is open and you can even apply for jobs directly on their page. Some will even match your profile to search for jobs most relevant to you. Check out the app section of the company’s Facebook page to see if they provide job alerts. These job alerts are not available on mobile versions of Facebook so hop on a desktop computer to take a look are job feeds.

As you search for jobs online it’s important to remember that recruiters and potential employers can and will search for you on social media too. As you begin your Facebook job search, remember to put your best foot forward and present a professional image on your social media profiles.

How has Facebook helped your job search? Let us know in the comments section below.

Cracking the Code: 5 Must Have Computer Skills

Cracking_The_Code_Feb2014No matter how tech savvy you may be, technology is always changing, so it’s important that you stay proficient in your computer skills as you’re looking for a job or trying to further your career. We asked a few current recruiters what their top five must-have computer skills were, and here is what they shared with us.

1. Microsoft Office, Including Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
Microsoft Office is not just a computer system you have to use to get through some college classes; it’s used often in almost every corporate setting. From emailing, writing articles, creating PowerPoint presentations, to making a spreadsheet, you’ll most likely use Microsoft Office at some point in your career. If you need to touch up on these computers skills, Microsoft offers free training if you have purchased the software. You can also find courses that teach Microsoft Office skills at many different community colleges and through continuing education programs.

2. Be Comfortable Conducting Business Online
Surfing the World Wide Web is as easy as clicking a button, but most jobs require much more internet knowledge than just the fundamentals. Employers look for people with online skills including: managing passwords, completing transactions, filling out online time cards, ordering supplies, and logging activities. They’re also looking for people they can trust with having a computer and internet access.

3. Basic Typing Skills
Communicating via text or email requires some form of a keyboard, so having basic typing skills is a necessity. Not only are these skills helpful in our everyday lives, they’re an important skill to have when searching for a job. In fact, many employers will administer a typing test before a final interview to see if you can to type efficiently. To improve your typing speed and for typing practice, check out 10fastfingers.com.

4. Working Knowledge of Both PC and Mac
We all need to have some understanding of computers and how they work. Some of the differences between PCs and Mac are their design, software, and technical specifications. Whether you’re searching for a job, working for a corporate company, or are a barista at a coffee shop, it’s good to have a basic familiarity with operating a computer.

5. Knowledge of How to use a Smartphone
Smartphones have advanced to having many of the same capabilities as computers. They can be used for making phone calls, accessing the internet, managing social media, organizing contact information, sending emails, and even finding jobs. A Wall Street Journal article shared, “Employers are starting to experiment with the next frontiers of mobile recruiting: using QR codes and text-messaging, two capabilities that are specifically geared to smartphones.” Getting your foot in the door could be as easy as having knowledge of computers and your smartphone.

Most 21st century jobs require basic computer knowledge. What skills do you have that helped you get a job? Share with us in the comments section below.