Tag Archives: social media

Poll: How Do You Build Your Network Outside of Social Media?

On a planet full of tweets and status updates, how do you meet people face-to-face?

MOV_POLL-ICONWhether it’s a night on the town with friends or meeting with a monthly professional group, networking has always been part of the employment scene. When it comes to pretty much any job, “who you know” really does matter. Which makes sense, given that an employer is more likely to trust a new hire that they know personally or was referred rather than an impressive resume from an unknown applicant.

How do you keep it real in a digital world? Let us know by voting in our poll! 

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

Tips for Surviving Today’s Changing Workforce

Changing Workforce_blogToday’s workforce is in the middle of a transformation that is altering the way employees, new and old, work on a daily basis. With technological advances, a shift in the overall age and work style of employees, and more, it can be tough to discern how to effectively manage one’s career and be an effective employee. But, never fear! We’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate this unique time in your career and survive in today’s changing workforce.

Be flexible.
The workplace of today is not the same as it was in years past. You may end up at a company where shared workspaces and collaborative meetings are the norm, rather than individual cubicles or offices. Work schedules may also be different from what you’re used to or would expect. Instead of being frustrated or thrown off by the way companies are evolving, keep your stress levels in check to stay productive in this ever-changing environment.

Take advantage of training.
Whether it’s an internship or company-offered training, don’t shy away from opportunities to learn and add value to an organization. As baby boomers retire and younger generations fill those roles, employees and job seekers should bridge the skills gap by taking it upon themselves to be trained and ready to step into those shoes.

Keep a balanced life while working hard.
As younger generations move into roles, there is a stronger desire for improved work-life balance. Regardless of what your employer promotes, keep in mind that you will still have to put in the hours to work your way up the company ladder. The commitment to work hard isn’t a quality employers expect to see disappear. If your company does promote a strong work-life balance, be sure to utilize it without abusing it. Your life outside of work is full of people who are important to you, and finding a good balance will keep you happy in years to come, regardless of change.

Develop your skills.
Today’s changing workforce requires employees to be able to think critically across disciplines, while also being able to communicate effectively. As you adapt, it’s important to consider what skills you bring to the table. People skills are just as important as business and technical skills, and companies will want to know what value you can add to their business.

If you’re wondering where to get started, one option may be to engage a mentor or someone who can help develop those soft skills and give you guidance on achieving success. With the generational variety in the workplace now, it’s a great time to build relationships and learn from other age groups.

Get connected.
As social media continues to grow, it’s important to utilize these platforms to promote your professional brand and establish key career connections. While a traditional resume is still required for most job applications, a social profile promoting your skills and accomplishments can go a long way, as well. With the easy access, you can use social media to network, share your ideas and work examples, and demonstrate your personality to potential employers before they even meet you.

A word of caution: Be smart about what you’re posting on social media. For tips on how to clean up your social media accounts to garner positive attention, view this Movin’ On Up article from April.

Can you think of other ways to survive today’s changing workforce? Share with us in the comments section below!

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

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.

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.

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.