Tag Archives: social media

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.

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.

5 Spring Cleaning Career Tips

spring_cleaning_webSpring has sprung, and with longer days, more sunshine, and warmer weather, it’s time to shake those winter blues! The best way to start embracing the new season is with some spring cleaning. It’s time to de-clutter, throw away, and organize for a more productive and efficient workday.

Whether you’re feeling less engaged with your job, looking for a new career, trying to advance to the next level, or just need a little push when it comes to tidiness, here are some tips everyone can use to add some pep to your step!

  1. Tidy up your workspace.
    Your desk or work environment is where you spend a lot of time, so tackle it first. Feeling swamped with papers? Create a filing system for your current projects, articles to read, invoices, and other documents. Organize them in a way that works best for you and set a day of the week to go through each folder and do maintenance. Also, keep in mind that less is more. Don’t clutter your desk with stuff you don’t use regularly. A clean and simple desk allows you quick and easy access to what you need.
  2. De-clutter your e-mail and desktop.
    Many people feel overwhelmed with their computer and email organization, or lack thereof. Instead of letting your inbox grow to an overwhelming amount, create a digital filing system. Categorize the emails you need to keep, and delete what you don’t. Also, it’s easy for your computer desktop to become a catchall for items you need fast access to. Try to organize these things into a reasonable amount of files. A clean computer will help prevent you from feeling panicked when you need to look for a file or important email.
  3. Pay attention to your calendar.
    Feel like you’re always on the go and never have enough hours in the day? If so, it’s time your calendar becomes a proactive tool in your life rather than an enemy. Look at your calendar daily to see what you’ve got going on. Be sure to not overload yourself to the point of exhaustion or burnout. Learn to say no to some requests that come your way or suggest a time that works better for you. Also, set reminders on your calendar to alert you before an event so you’re not rushing from one thing to the next.
  4. Clean up your social media accounts.
    This is a perfect time to go through your accounts like LinkedIn and Facebook. On LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to keep your profile current, even if you love your current job. Pay attention to any new people you should connect with or groups you should delete. The same rules apply to Facebook. Are there groups that are sending you way too many messages you don’t want? Do you have any pictures or posts you need to remove? Is there anyone you need to connect with? Although many people see social media as tools just for fun, they can have a big impact on your professional life too. Be mindful of what yours says about you.
  5. Perfect your resume.
    Spring is a great time to ensure your resume is up-to-date. Whether you are looking for a job, seeking a promotion, or applying for a volunteer position, it’s important to do regular maintenance on your resume. Add any new skills you’ve learned or projects you’ve taken on, ensure all dates are correct, and update your contact information if necessary. Also, do a quick look over your reference list. Is there someone listed that you haven’t talked to in a while? Give them a call or schedule a lunch to catch up. It’s important to keep these contacts current so you can take advantage of networking.

In addition to these tips, there are many other ways you can spring clean for your career. What are some of your favorites? Share them in the comments section below.

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

It’s Cold Outside – But Your Job Search Doesn’t Have to Be

it's_cold_outside_webWinter officially kicks off in late December, but it’s already getting cold outside. With a chill in the air, this could be the perfect time to heat up your job search techniques and defrost your career.

Don’t let your job search take a vacation just because everyone else might be requesting time off for trips and holidays. And, don’t succumb to the temptation to take a holiday from looking for that perfect job.

For the serious job seeker, Christmastime and snow days mean business as usual. Despite the cold weather, recruiters and companies continue to work on a typical business schedule, and so should you. We know it’s hard to be motivated when egg nog and cozy fireplaces tempt us with the lure of warmth and relaxation, so here are five tips that will help heat up your job search and put you ahead of your vacationing competition.

1. Don’t let the holidays sabotage your momentum.
While winter is traditionally a time for vacations and spending time with family, it’s also a valuable time to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. The competition for the same job position lessens as others take time off, so you have a real chance to stand out from the competition by maintaining a steady effort during the holidays and winter slumps.

Keep searching the job boards and don’t stop networking. The end of the year is also a time when positions open up for the next year, so you may find great job leads by maintaining your job search momentum.

2. Stay connected.
The holiday season means visits from family and long school breaks. But, that doesn’t mean you need to turn off your email or mobile device the entire time.

Even if you are away from home or welcoming visitors, your mobile device should be on just in case you receive a call from that important potential employer. Make time each day to check your email for responses to applications and return important calls the day you receive them. Family should respect your need to be professional and motivated about finding that perfect job. Of course, there’s a fine line to walk when it comes to cell phone etiquette. Checking your email during holiday dinner may not be appropriate and is likely unnecessary since most recruiters and hiring managers aren’t checking theirs on holidays either.

3. Update your resume and social media profiles.
If you’re stuck at home thanks to snow, ice, or extreme cold, use the downtime to spruce up your online footprint and your resume. Remove old information on your resume and look up industry keywords that highlight your skills. These keywords are vital in today’s job search world as many applications are scanned electronically.

Winter break is also a great time to assess your skill sets and sign up for workshops or trainings to build any skills that you lack. You can also use the holiday time to clean up any old or embarrassing social media entries, renew conversations about job hunting, network, and remind people that you are still eager to work.

4. Network at the holiday events.
Attend as many community and industry events as you can during the winter months so you can network and spread the news about your job search. Because many winter and holiday events are casual, you have a better chance to approach the decision-makers you normally wouldn’t have access to.

Use social events to build a network of like-minded professionals who can send job openings your way or introduce you to others who are hiring. Don’t forget to be on your best behavior at these social events, though. Don’t overindulge or act inappropriately. Winter social events can be great opportunities for contacts, but you can also ruin your reputation if you’re not careful.

5. Don’t discount seasonal work.
Sure, you want a full-time position. But, many companies need extra help around the holidays and winter months. By accepting temporary positions, you get your foot in the door and open opportunities for future work. Working while others are on vacation also shows you are a motivated and eager employee.

Use temporary or seasonal positions to boost your skills, pump up your resume, and make important contacts who can help you with your career down the road.
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Shorter, colder days can lead to the winter blues and it’s an easy temptation to nest and shut yourself in at home. While it’s important to maintain your job search techniques, it’s also vital to eat healthy and get some kind of exercise. Taking care of your health during these cold winter months gives you the energy and focus you need to find that perfect job.

How do you boost your job search when the weather turns chilly? Share your tips in the comment section below.

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

Resume Selfie: What Your Resume Says About You

resume_selfie_webLove ‘em or hate ‘em, selfies don’t appear to be going away any time soon. Those sometimes cute and sometimes in bad taste self photos that say “look at me” are still a growing trend, so much so that The Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the Word of the Year in 2013. There are good things and bad things to say about selfies, but as a job seeker there is one aspect of the selfie you would be wise to emulate.

Just like those images attract attention, your resume should be doing the same. And just as those pictures can tell you a lot about the person being photographed, your resume tells potential employers a lot about you. With that in mind, it’s critical that what your resume says about you is positive, accurate, and intriguing. As Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, a career and workplace adviser at Glassdoor, tells Forbes, “Resumes are the heartbeat of a career search. If done well, your resume will tell your story and sell you.”

Capture Your Good Side
There is a lot of good advice out there on what not to say in your resume and how you can make it better. However, you also really need to specifically consider what you want it to say – what kind of impression you want your resume to give. Every job and employer is different, but there are some basic characteristics that are desirable in every position or company, and you want to ensure your resume highlights those.

So check out these five things you want your resume to say about you and how to get the message across.

I’m Detailed
The best way to say you’re detail-oriented is by displaying it in your resume. Start by ensuring that there are no spelling mistakes within your resume and that your formatting is consistent throughout. Based on the position’s job description, include only the most effective information in your resume, and that means quantifying, not just describing, your accomplishments. As another Forbes article states, “We live in a metrics driven work culture and it’s no longer enough to state that you increased sales or productivity, you need to back it up with quantifiable data whenever possible.”

I Have Skills
Don’t confuse job responsibilities with skills. You want employers to have a full picture of what you can do and all the skills you bring to the table. Matt Tarpey, a career adviser with CareerBuilder, tells Forbes, “A list of hard skills and examples of how you put those skills to use in previous positions is a great way to stand out from the pack.”

I’m Driven
Learned a new skill on your own time, taken on a leadership position within a professional organization, or working toward an advanced degree in the evenings? Include it in your resume. As US News explains, “Employers seek people who will take upon themselves more than what is actually expected or required.”

I Work Well With Others
Employers don’t want drama between their employees, so highlight your interpersonal skills. Include any experience you’ve had in a leadership role, successfully working on a team, or acting as a mediator between clients and vendors. This can also include experience outside the workplace, such as industry associations or non-profit organizations. “Employers want to hire people who can play well with others in the ‘corporate sandbox,’” another US News article says.

I’m A Good Communicator
Your resume will tell an employer very quickly whether or not you can communicate well. Providing succinct information that makes sense and uses proper grammar is vital. And, since communicating is also about listening and understanding, show that you understand what the employer is looking for by tailoring your resume to the specific position.

While the written resume may seem old-school compared to the selfie, it’s still very much a part of the job search. “Even as technology has advanced and changed the way job seekers find open positions, the resume remains an integral part of the hiring process,” Tarpey reinforces. And, as the ultimate selfie, you want your resume to scream, “Look at me!” for all the right reasons.

What else do you want your resume to communicate to employers? How do you ensure that your resume represents an accurate, positive picture? Share your thoughts on your own resume selfie in the comments section below.

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

4 Summer Blockbusters that Can Help In Your Job Search

blockbuster_movies_webSummer brings the big hits to the box office, and this year’s selection of action movies were full of lessons that job seekers can take away. In fact, most of the heroes in big movies have traits you need while you’re looking for that perfect career – courage, creativity, an open mind, and a positive attitude. Like movie heroes, you’re facing a big conflict or a villain (in this case, unemployment), but you also have the traits to overcome and win in the end.

So, let’s take a look at this summer’s blockbusters and how they can help you land a job.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Asking for Help
An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” can teach you a thing or two about networking and unlikely alliances.

When adventurer Peter Quill becomes a hunted man after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by a powerful villain, he has to team up with a group of misfits—Rocket, a gun-happy raccoon; Groot, a tree-like creature; the deadly and mysterious Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. Together, this group must make a desperate last stand to save the galaxy’s fate.

Okay, so you aren’t saving the galaxy, but you are saving your career and future happiness. What “Guardians of the Galaxy” says about networking and getting some help from your friends can apply to your job search as well.

Enlist your network of people by asking them to refer you to job openings, introduce you to people they know, and use them as references. Don’t discount anyone – your hairdresser, gym trainer, or even the family doctor may know of job opportunities that could be perfect for you.

Taking a team approach to job seeking is helpful. It never hurts to have somebody else to share ideas and progress with on a regular basis.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hidden Possibilities
This family-favorite blockbuster has a lot to say about discovering something special where you least expect it. Five years after Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk, the two have charted the island’s unmapped territories. When they find a secret cave that houses hundreds of wild dragons, they also find themselves at the center of a battle to protect Berk from a power-hungry warrior named Drago.

You too can find hidden job leads in places you normally wouldn’t look, but you have to be as tenacious and adventurous as Hiccup and Toothless. Upward of 80% of jobs are obtained through networking, so try beefing up your networking efforts. Your secret caves of social media can be a goldmine of connections.

For instance, how many Facebook friends do you have? How many have jobs? How many of your LinkedIn connections work in your field? Start asking them about employment opportunities or if they know other people to connect with.

Look for opportunities to network in places you normally wouldn’t. That unadvertised job opening might be hidden in plain sight.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Correcting Past Mistakes
This summer movie is a lesson in past mistakes, and how they can catch up to you if you aren’t careful. A population of genetically evolved apes comes head to head with human survivors of a devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. Though a truce is declared, both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

The rise of the apes was due to an experiment led by humans, and now that mistake has all but wiped out the human race. So, don’t let your past mistakes wipe out your job future! If you’re searching for a career, take time to clean up your online profile. When it comes to potential employers, it’s important to make sure that what they see online represents who you are.

Google your name and find out what pops up. Remove distasteful or offensive posts from your social media, and while you are at it, set your Facebook posts to private.

If you find offensive results on Google, Google has a process for removing them. For more tips on making your online reputation shine, check out this blog post.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Staying Positive
Having a good attitude is everything, and these pizza-loving turtles have plenty of that. The teenage terrapins Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael live in the sewers beneath New York City, but the brothers can’t stand by while evil Shredder and his minions harm the city.

Our intrepid heroes never let anything get them down, even when their plans seem to go awry. They just dust themselves off and get back to saving the city. Attitude and optimism are just as important if you are unemployed, too.

Regardless of how tough your job search is, it’s absolutely vital to keep a positive attitude during your job search. Some great tips to maintain that attitude are to take charge by being present, accountable, and ready; talking positively about yourself and your abilities; exercising to relieve stress; and making a job search schedule and sticking to it.

Few people score the very first job they apply to. So, instead of seeing job rejection as a personal attack, look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself.

What job search tips did you take away from your favorite summer movies? Let us know in the comments section below!

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