Tag Archives: social media

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.

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.

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.