05 October 2012

LinkedIn: Why You Should Only Include Your Name Under Name Field

 Why Is This Important?

You probably know some people who do this. When you see their updates they will appear as ‘Bill Johnson - Experienced Marketing Expert’ (or something along those lines) rather than just their name. For all of you thinking it’s a good idea or who do this: PLEASE DON’T.
In addition to the fact that LinkedIn doesn’t allow it (and some people have allegedly had their accounts suspended as a result of doing this) it’s also a bit like walking up to someone in a pub and overwhelming them with information about yourself right upfront. LinkedIn is an online network so it’s wise to treat it as you would a face-to-face networking opportunity. There are plenty of other places within your profile  to include information about who you can help and what you can help them with.
“The LinkedIn User Agreement requires use of true names rather than pseudonyms, business names, associations, groups, email addresses, or other characters when registering on our site. We believe that any information other than first and last names in the name fields undermines the professional nature of our site and services.
User Agreement:

Therefore, we do not allow any additional information (other than certifications) to be added to the name fields.”
If you want to highlight who you can help and what you can help them with, then use the professional headline space to do so. If you want to edit it then select:
  • Profile
  • Edit Profile
  • And click on the Edit button that appears next to your name
This will take you to a form. Half way down you will see the Professional Headline section. Use this to convey your key points.

If you haven’t done so already, you may also want to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is compelling and 100% complete. This will ensure that you position yourself in the best possible light to people who do view your profile or who you are recommended to. Try using BOLD or italics for added emphasis.

19 July 2012

Basic Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Are we connected on Linked In?

Linked In in my opinion, is one of the few social media websites every professional should be using. There are many advantages to using LinkedIn. Plus unlike many sites where it can be time-consuming to build up and maintain a popular profile, LinkedIn requires far less effort. You can obviously use it more frequently if you’d like, but it’s not as necessary as it would be for other social media sites.

So once you’ve signed up and registered your account, here’s ten tips I recommend to optimise your account:

Fully complete your profile

Ensuring that this contains all relevant career history and interests. LinkedIn makes this easy by displaying a percentage score to show how complete your profile is.
A LinkedIn profile basically acts as an online CV, so make sure you’re being honest and describing yourself and career clearly.

Edit profile to claim vanity URL

This should be set to use your name (or closest match if unavailable) within the URL, for example: www.linkedin.com/in/kevingibbons – this will help you to optimise your own name in the search engines and also makes the URL easier to remember if promoted on business cards or email signatures.
Make your profile publicly available – You can set the information which is publicly available to non-members/contacts, be careful with blocking too much information as this will also be unavailable to the search engines. As a minimum, I would recommend providing enough information for the search engines to index your profile and cache the external links you have listed! In terms of optimising your profile, the main goals are normally to rank for your own name, company name and possibly industry keywords related to this.

Make connections

Increase the reach of your profile by connecting with current and former work colleagues, clients, friends and family. I’d also recommend adding any industry contacts, perhaps from people you have met at conferences/events or are connected with on other social media sites and share a similar interest.

Request recommendations

Obviously don’t ask everyone, especially if you don’t know them that well. But having recommendations will help your profile to stand out and will help to build trust in your reputation to visiting users. This will help improve the visibility of your own profile within internal LinkedIn searches too.

Register a company profile

If your company doesn’t already have a company listing, you should create one! Here’s an example of the SEOptimise company profile, if your company does have a profile, you should encourage employees to create their own individual LinkedIn profile’s and ensure the current employer entry is completed. This will automatically update all employees listed on the company profile, providing the company name is exactly matched.

Make use of the 3 website hyperlinks

For SEO value, LinkedIn is very good – they give you the opportunity to add three hyperlinks to websites of your choice. If you’re not trying to optimise your site for “My Website”, “My Portfolio” and “My Blog” it might be an idea to select “Other” and choose your own anchor text instead!

Join related groups

Find groups where other industry professionals have joined and look to participate in (or at least join) these groups. Adding value to your own profile and helping you to get found by other industry contacts.

Use LinkedIn Answers

This can help to build up your reputation within a field. For SEO it also builds the number of internal links pointing to your profile from within LinkedIn, therefore helping to strengthen your profile in the search engines!
Optimise your job title –
LinkedIn now includes your job title within profile title tags. I’m not saying you should lie about your job, but within reason you could include descriptive keywords which may help to attract relevant search engine traffic. For example, using “SEO Account Manager” as a job title instead of “Account Manager”, if appropriate.

Key Questions To Ask When Networking For A New Job

The Number One Thing To Remember When Networking Is...People Have A Favorite Topic Of Discussion – Themselves!

It truly is not about you. It is more about the other person.

Ask questions, find their interesting story, learn from them, ask advice. Strive for a conversation that is 25% you, 75% them.

  • Remember your manners. Smile a lot. Say please and thank you. Hold doors open. Make eye contact. Say “and” more than you say “but.” Be positive. These are the things your mom taught you.

17 July 2012

Looking For A New Career, Here's A Start!

Money. It’s a topic that’s inspired countless songs about its correlation to happiness and health, from the Beatles classic “Can’t Buy Me Love” to the ’90s hit “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G.

While the universal message of these songs is that making tons of money won’t solve all of your problems, most people would be content with earning a decent salary so they can pay their bills, support their family and live comfortably.
Since every worker has his own idea of what his target income would be, we like to highlight jobs at different pay levels and across different industries. Here we’re looking at jobs that pay a median of $45,000 a year, which is approximately $20,000 more than the 2010 median annual pay for U.S. workers of $26,364. Median means half of workers made more and half made less.
Here are nine jobs that pay around $45,000*:

11 July 2012

Building Trust Is Vital For Business In Both The Online AND Offline World

It is a primary element for success. Establishing trust is especially important for online businesses. However, accomplishing this goal is not easy.

Currently, it is a snap to go online, create a website for little to nothing, and attempt to sell any sort of merchandise or service you would like. However, to be profitable and achieve success is something else completely. For that, it is necessary to gain people’s trust.
Trust and credibility go hand in hand. Establishing credibility is an obstacle all its own. It is even more difficult for online business owners due to the absence of in person communications. Potential clients frequently operate on some level of distrust and suspicion because of unfavorable exploits with online swindlers.
In simple terms, to increase online sales, you must build your credibility in order to gain people’s trust. If you fail to do this, then people will not conduct business with you. There are many ways to build credibility and trust. Here are some of the best.

07 July 2012

Are Your Interview Skills Rusty?

Are Your Interview Skills Rusty?

Job Search Tips

Part of any effective job search includes preparing for that all-important interview, but are your interviewing skills up-to-date? What were considered correct responses in the 1990s could actually prevent you from getting a job these days. Why? Because the job climate has shifted and employers have different expectations of a prospective employee than they did even five years ago.

So how do you demonstrate that you're in touch with the business needs of today and aren't a throwback to former times? The following describes the major shifts occurring in the interviewing process and suggests ways to help you respond. You'll gain insight into the mind of today's typical interviewer and ensure that the questions you're asked don't catch you by surprise.

Don't worry about your career aspirations five years from now; show what you are capable of doing now:

Just a few years ago, you walked into an interview nearly certain that you'd be asked the question: "What would you like to be doing five years from now?" The anticipated answer demonstrated a combination of loyalty and ambition -- you expressed a desire to remain with the same organization over a period of time and to step into roles of ever increasing responsibility.

Once a standard part of the interview process, this query is fading from use. Given today's tumultuous economic and social climate, employer concerns about longevity have been replaced with a desire to see rapid results. Three-year plans are practically unheard of, which means you need to show that you're capable of getting up to speed immediately and that you have the skills and experience to solve complex problems effectively and without hesitation. Instead of discussing where you plan to be five years from now, be prepared to answer something like: "How would you characterize a 90-day plan to meet the objectives of this position?"

Demonstrate your ability to create synergy:

Five years ago, when asked to describe your management style, you could impress an interviewer by talking about using performance-management techniques, setting expectations, measuring feedback and rewarding performance -- evidence that you knew how to manage. Now the situation is more complicated -- and more urgent. In addition to showing that you're a capable leader, you must prove that you know how to encourage individuals to work together to accelerate problem-solving. In the past, team-building was recognized primarily for its ability to shape culture. However, given today's accelerated pace, you must show that you understand how to navigate in a complex environment, where how well you work with other parts of the organization is what ultimately produces results.

06 July 2012

Interview Tips During Your Job Search

Job Interview Tips:

jobsearch finding a new job

• Take a portfolio with a notebook and a couple of copies of your resume. 

• I encourage you to take lots of notes.  You, of course, will not remember everything and you will want to refer back to your notes when making a decision about the position. • Of course wear something professional and conservative. 

• If asked to fill out an application fill in every blank – lots of times the resume doesn’t end up in your file with the application and you don’t want any information missing on it.  Under salary requirements use ‘open’ or ‘negotiable’.  If you give a figure it will either under-price or over-price yourself. 

• It’s too early to talk about salary.  If asked about what you are looking for or something like that, just be as generic as you can be.  I like to say something like "You know what I am currently making and I’m sure that whatever you would offer me would be fair and reasonable in today’s market place.” 

• Be sure to have three strengths and one weakness in mind and ready to talk about. 

• Be sure to have short term and long term goal issues sorted out in your mind. 

05 July 2012

Huntsy about Your Job Search?

Looking for a job can be an extremely time consuming and at times.
Whether it’s the actual search itself and the hours spent searching  jobs boards and company websites or the practical elements like creating a well written resume, monitoring and tracking of what you have applied for. It takes time and also requires real focus and organization skills to do it well.
Discover Huntsy - An online dashboard for your Job Search. 

Huntsy is a bit like combining Hootsuite and Pinterest which will help reduce the time you spend searching for a job online.

It only takes a few minutes to create an account, next you can add saved searches from websites such as IndeedSimply HiredCareerBuilder, etc. You can save any jobs that interest you by clicking the bookmarklet or by adding a job manually to the dashboard. You do this directly through job boards and listings. Huntsy widget then extracts the most relevant information from the job listing – the company details, the job title etc.
The dashboard then allows you to keep track of your job search history, where you have applied, interview schedules, what you need to follow up on etc. Huntsy provides you with timed reminder options and to do lists so your job hunting is fully organized! 

04 July 2012

The Power Behind Paying It Forward

I’m sure that many of us want to make a difference, making the world a bit better in their own way. I know that it sounds impossible or utopic but I think that each and everyone of us can take a small step that could make the world a better place.

It is quite common to anticipate getting help from others and to think that someone should reach out a hand when we you are in need. But we have to change our perception and to focus on helping others instead!

Why should I help others, you think for yourself?

03 July 2012

Yes! Companies Use Twitter To Hire

Here are 5 ways Employers Leverage Twitter to Find Employees: Find Out How...

1. Connect with People in Your Industry or Local Areas
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with quantity on Twitter. But for job search purposes, the name of the game is quality. Once you start meeting and following the “A” Players in your industry or geographic area, stay on top of the conversation by separating them from the rest of your Twitter followers.

I’m not saying you need to drop your other friends, rather I am suggesting that you’ll want to stay on top of what’s happening by putting this conversation is a separate place.
Great Twitter applications that allow for categorizing followers are Tweetdeck, HootSuite and Seesmic.

3. Employers Post Jobs Directly (and Get Your Network to RT Them)
Serendipity would be if the job opening and the perfect candidate arrive at the same time. Unfortunately, in the real world that doesn’t happen very often. So when you see a job opening relevant to your industry… post them in your Twitter stream, Follow the Employer and don’t be shy about asking your followers to retweet the posting. Most people are happy to retweet items of value – and having a job opening is always a very valuable thing, especially in a down economy.

Are you Branching Out?

True to its name, the biggest professional networking application on Facebook is Branching Out!

 BranchOut is the largest professional networking application on Facebook with more than 25 million registered users and over 400 million professional profiles.

 BranchOut allows users in more than 200 countries to leverage their Facebook friend network to find jobs, recruit talent, and strengthen relationships with professional contacts.

According to www.branchout.com "Our engineers and designers have been hard at work to continually innovate and improve our user experience to increase engagement, while making it easy for people to network and find jobs".

At least three new people sign up for BranchOut every second, on average. Roughly half the new sign ups come from people outside the U.S., primarily Europe, Australia, Canada and India.
And since BranchOut added mobile functionality in late February, some 40 percent of new signups come from handheld devices.
The company recently closed $25 million in Series C financing led by the Mayfield Fund. Previous investors Accel, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures also participated in the round, bringing BranchOut‘s total funding to $49 million.

Why Not Start Branching Out and Network With Your Friends?

01 July 2012

Desperate Job Seeker, Who Me?

Is this your Job Search Technique?

United States Economy

 How many times have you ever heard someone say to you?
I emailed my resume to 80 different jobs today and I haven't received one response!

So what exactly does a desperate job seeker do wrong and why? They mass-mail their resumes, apply for positions they aren't qualified for, apply to every position listed, work with multiple recruiters and use any opportunity to hand over a resume at a networking event, etc.

I made the exact same mistake during a job transition. My thought was "I will definitely land a new job within a week if I use these methods."
I submitted myself to jobs directly on companies websites, applied for the same job through multiple career channels and worked with a few recruiters on the same job.
I thought my newly updated resume would surely be seen and definitely impress the right people. I was Networking and so Proactive! After joining Richard, Wayne and Roberts as an Executive Recruiter, I learned how wrong my approach was and why that methodology did not work.

Don't take your resume to networking events
Networking events aren't job fairs. For that matter, most resumes get shredded at job fairs, or recycled back at the company. Why? Because most resumes aren't tailored to the unique needs of the employer. Even if you research which companies will be at the job fair, your resume still can't speak exactly to the needs of the hiring manager. Therefore, you should not take it to these events.Do grab the recruiter's or hiring manager's business card. Instead of handing out resumes, take the recruiter's or hiring manager's business card and follow up with them after the event with a nice thank-you note. One nice thank-you note is differ inciting yourself from all the other job seekers.

Don't just apply to any position listed. While you must apply for job openings to receive unemployment benefits, don't just apply to any position listed. Chances are you'll come back to this company at a future date for a position that looks interesting. If you leave a negative mark on the company's applicant tracking system (ATS) Automated tracking system, it will be hard to change that perception later.

29 June 2012

The Importance Of An Updated Resume Today

Very often, your resume speaks for you and represents the first impression you make. It’s almost sad to admit, but it is true. Many recruiters and employers miss out on great candidates because they are too quick to jump to the conclusion that an unpolished resume reflects an unqualified candidate. For this reason, many great candidates also miss out on great job opportunities. With that thought, let’s take a look at the 5 reasons why you’ll need to update your resume before applying to a job.

1. To Show That You’ve Read The Job Description

For an employer, or recruiter, nothing is more annoying than reviewing the resume of someone who did not read the job description. With the internet providing the ease of access to many, many job postings, job seekers are taking a shortcut by creating generic responses and mass sending them to multiple prospective employers. You might be able to get away with this in some cases, but most employers and recruiters are able to pick out generic responses. They know when you neglected to read the job description!

By updating your resume, this gives you an opportunity to add something in your “Objective” or “Summary” that shows that you’ve read the job description and have taken the effort to modify your resume to reflect your candidacy. Of course, updating your cover letter would serve this purpose just as well.

You may also show that you’ve read the job description by mentioning in the body and subject of your email the job title you are applying for and how you qualify.

26 June 2012

7 Strategies for Blogging to Your New Career

Do you have an interest in a few different fields but wonder how to get more information about them? Well you’ve got plenty of company—it’s the biggest problem career-seekers struggle with.

That’s why internships are so helpful — they let you try on new careers to see first-hand whether you like them. But there’s a great strategy to be used in tandem with internships, and it’s blogging.

1. Have a Goal

Your blog can be anything you want. But to improve your odds of success you should first have a goal, says John Rampton, founder of Blogging.org. Rampton said it’s important to figure out what you want your blog to do, and to figure out the topics and, importantly, the keywords, to use in your posts. He also recommends writing your goals down where you can see them and revisiting them regularly.

2. Decide On Your Business Model

According to social media consultant Jay Baer you also need to figure out your business model before you start. Do you want your blog to drive consulting work, do you want to get paid for blogging, do you want to get a job or internship out of it? Baer suggests bloggers sharpen their focus by identifying the audience they’re targeting and the questions that audience has so they can provide the right answers. Failing to do this upfront, he warns, will make it tough to be consistent and present a strong point of view—the two most important qualities of a successful blog.

3. Blog Regularly

Most blogging experts concur that if you don’t publish regularly you’ll fail to get traction. The more you post, the more eyeballs ultimately find their way to your blog, with the majority of eyeballs coming through search. And the more you use popular keywords for your category, the higher you will rank with Google, the holy grail of bloggers (and pretty much everybody).

4. Interview the Experts

Get to the experts early and regularly for interviews, and publish timely, interesting content about your prospective sector as you shape your point of view. According to Investigative reporter and journalism and writing professor Dave Copeland, you shouldn’t get hung up about what to write about. If you interview one or two experts you can come up with enough content to fill 3-4 blog posts. And the more you talk to the experts, and read and write about your field of interest, the more of an expert you yourself become.

And never be afraid to reach out. Stephanie Sammons, CEO and Founder of WiredAdvisor, notes that LinkedIn is the perfect vehicle for contacting experts in the field to ask their advice. Sammons suggests using the InMail feature to make direct contact; just be clear about why you’re contacting that person and be brief and to the point. She adds: “Have the confidence to put yourself out there and don’t hesitate to be persistent. I had a young woman contact me a few months ago about managing social media accounts and she had the skills we’re always looking for. Unfortunately she never followed up so I forgot about her.”

Nervous about approaching well-known experts when you’re still green? Copeland counsels, “A lot of the time I’ll say, ‘I know this is a dumb question but I’m trying to explain it to my readers.’ You’re trying to get them to slow down their explanation to speak to the average reader, who also happens to be you!”

5. Link with Others

Blogging is all about sharing, so be sure to tout other blog posts in the field and create a link building strategy early on to both send and receive traffic to other industry bloggers. Alison Groves, User Experience Manager at Raven Internet MarketingTools, says, “Link building is deceptively simple, and yet most bloggers fail to do it in a strategic and consistent way. The key is to find relevant websites with useful content. Then network with the organization (or blogger) to establish a mutually beneficial relationship including featuring content about them in the hope that they’ll return the favor. How do you find those websites? Use tools such as Google.com/blogsearch or conduct a blog search on Facebook, for starters.”

Zac Johnson, founder of Money Reign, says that commenting on others’ blogs is as important as writing your own posts. Your comments should provide value to the audience—not just be a self-serving commercial about you. He also recommends guest blogging as a strategy to reach a bigger audience and achieve links back to your website from blogs that are better known than yours.

6. Provide a Service to Your Readers

Keep in mind that to encourage people to read your blog you need to provide a service in the form of information and problem-solving. Think about the problems your target audience currently has, and who, if not you, might have some answers. That question will guide your interviewing efforts and help you identify and find resolution for issues in your new sector. Sharing the goal of helping others should embolden you to reach out to industry experts since showcasing their ideas in your blog is beneficial to them and their organization.

7. Be Visible on Social Media

Make sure you have a social media strategy for your blog posts. Get the word out about each post on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as a start. (You can link the three services so they automatically update). Use your LinkedIn groups to promote your posts more specifically by inviting conversation among your group members.

Sammons says, “My general philosophy is that you need to be consistently visible and valuable on the LinkedIn network. This means that you’re there frequently and sharing quality content, some of which should be your own, some of which is culled from others. This will generate profile views. When your connections see you on their home page they’re going to be more likely to click through and find out more about you.

About the Author: Allison Cheston is a New York City-based career advisor who works with established executives and young adults who are in high school, college or are recent graduates, to help them identify their unique value in the marketplace, explore alternative careers and get that all-important job.

25 June 2012

Honesty + Guts Works In An Interview

Speak up and be honest!

Two different situations explain why, no matter how desperate one is for a job, interviewing the same way you would if you had the best job in the world, is the difference between getting an offer and not getting one.

As the economy is slowing we were conducting a retained search for a CFO for a small company in Southern California. The company was starting to consider budget cuts. The final two candidates, in the final interview with the president/owner were both asked; “As my CFO, you will lead the cost reduction program, where will you begin?”

Candidate one answered the usual stuff, look at reducing inventory, cutting overtime, review benefits, and require an across the board reduction in the budget, etc. A solid safe answer the president told me.

Candidate two had a more direct and to the point answer for the owner. He looked the president straight in the eye and said, “I would start with your salary and then the rest of the executive team.”

The president later told me, “any CFO that has the guts (he used different anatomical parts) to tell me that directly to my face is the kind of CFO I want.”

Second situation:

On another retained search for a Director of Human Resources, the candidate was interviewing with a large very well-known multinational company. The final interview was a panel interview. In all of the previous interviews she was kept waiting as much as 30 minutes. Prior to the panel interview it was close to 45 minutes.

She was asked in the panel interview “What would be one of the first changes you would make as the Director.” Her answer was; “The way you hire people. The process of letting candidates wait in the lobby for so long is inappropriate and turns good candidates off. In fact, I was ready to walk out just before someone came to meet me.” The panel apologized. They know she was right and had the integrity to tell it to their face.

The new Director of Human Resources later told me she was informed by those on the panel that not one other candidate brought this point up. We both found that to be amazing.

Displaying confidence is a key attribute in the interview. Too often candidates take the easy or safe answer path and miss a great opportunity.

Just be honest. If you are right, and hiring manager doesn’t want to hear it, the bigger question for you is, “Do you want to work for this person?” If they can’t accept the truth now, what will it be like once you come on board?

If you do accept the position I can almost guarantee you, you will end up in the “Circle of Transition.” As our job search workbook and blog article indicates this is not the place anybody wants to be.

I believe this is one of the most important issues for candidates to know, understand and implement in a job search.

24 June 2012

Tips To Network Your Way Into Your Dream Job

Never Stop Networking!

The best way to connect your cover letter and resume to your dream job is by networking!

What's networking? Networking simply means telling people that you are looking for a job and enlisting them into your job search team.

It is a focused way of developing and building a group of contacts; people who can provide career information that can lead to a new or better job. It can include advice, recommendations, or actually being hired. Each person you meet and have contact with brings you one step closer to getting the job you want.

These people can include your family, friends, neighbors, people you knew at school, former co-workers and professional people like doctors and lawyers. Even if you don't know people very well, most are willing to help if you ask.

Ask the people in your network if they know about any openings. Also ask them to ask their friends, family and co-workers about any possibilities. Research shows that this "third level" can yield results. You will often find a job not through who you know, but through someone that your friend or contact knows.

How Effective Is Networking?

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that 94 percent of successful job hunters claimed that networking had made all the difference for them.
Sixty to 90 percent of jobs are found informally - mainly through friends, relatives, and direct contacts. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 63.4 percent of all workers use informal job finding methods.
Mark S. Granovetter, a Harvard sociologist, reported to Forbes magazine that "informal contacts" account for almost 75 percent of all successful job searches. Agencies find nine percent of new jobs for professional and technical people, and advertisements yield another 10 percent or so.
The Benefits of Networking

If you are serious about finding the best position for your next career move in a timely manner, you must network.
At least 60 percent of job openings in the U.S. are not filled through advertising, recruiters or other traditional methods. They are filled through networking and informal contacts. The goal is to move into the hidden, un-advertised job market, using every available resource that contact with other people will provide you.

Current employees are among the best sources of referrals. Many firms report that 40 to 50 percent of their openings are filled by candidates referred to by staff members. Moreover, companies view such candidates more favorably than those brought in through other methods, because they already know something about the organization and have a personal connection with it.

Here's an example of the extraordinary benefits of networking from The Job Hunting Handbook: Includes the Job Outlook to 2008 by Harry Dahlstrom. Mr. Dahlstrom writes: Just pretend that you are an employer and you have a job opening to fill. Which of the following would you be most eager to interview: (a) an unknown person who answers your advertisement, (b) an unknown person who mails you a resume, or (c) a friend recommended by one of your workers? No doubt, you would choose the "friend". All the other applicants are unknowns. As a manager, you would probably think, "Jennifer is a good employee...hard working...likes the job...someone I can depend on. I'll bet her friend has the same qualities."

If you are wondering why a busy professional would take the time to meet you remember; (1) The average person enjoys helping others, and information and advice are free to give (even when jobs aren't); (2) People enjoy talking about themselves, their ideas, and their opinions; (3) Every now and then, people enjoy a break in their daily routine; and finally, (4) Most people are not so busy that they don't have a free half hour sometime during a week. -- Source: The Job Hunting Handbook: Includes the Job Outlook to 2008 by Harry Dahlstrom.

Brief Statements, BIG Results

Prepare 5 to 10-second statements about yourself and what you have to offer.

It's not enough to have great talents and qualifications to get a job. You have to sound great too! Your opening statement sets the tone for your entire job search strategy. Take Networking for example. Knowing how to ask for, and receive, the valuable information you require is the key to finding the right job.

Delivering 5 to 10-second statements that instantly brings into focus the information you desire is critical to your success. Preparing these brief statements is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort summarizing who you are and what you want. However, your efforts will be rewarded as your listener's will recognize your professionalism and be more willing to help. By skipping this essential step, your chances for success will greatly diminish.

Most job hunters have difficulty describing their area of specialty.

Ask a member of the Career Playbook Team what they do and you might hear, "We help people develop action plans and strategies to succeed in their job search and get the results they want fast". If delivered properly, your listener will ask a follow-up question, such as; Tell me more, or, How do you do that?

An accountant might say, "I'm a Certified Public Accountant. My specialty is business and tax planning. I'm currently looking for a CFO position with an organization that wants to improve their bottom line".

A person in sales might say, "I'm a sales manager with proven experience hiring, training and motivating successful sales teams. I'm looking for a management opportunity helping a company grow sales and open new revenue streams".

Brief statements are a consequence of the breakneck speed of today's business world, as time and attention spans are far too short. It's hard to be concise. But the less you say, the more you are understood.

That's why reporters quote experts who are quotable! They only have a small amount of space to write their story, so they need to be concise. If you have this skill, you will be more successful in your job search.

On average, statements of about five to ten seconds translate into approximately 15 to 30 words. Therefore, carefully choosing the right words to create effective statements is vital. With practice, and knowledge about what you want from your networking contacts, most people will be only too happy to help you.


23 June 2012

Why Start A Blog?

Why Start a Blog?

In this digital-age, everyone has a blog. Blogs come in different styles, types and formats. As a hopeful PR professional, a blog can help jump start your career. While they take time and dedication, the end result is well worth it. Here are a few benefits to launching your own blog.

Writing Examples: As long as your blog showcases a professional writing style, your personal blog can be used when applying to jobs and internships as writing samples. Choose the posts that have the most views or comments and it will be sure to impress your employer.

Showing Knowledge: Your blog should discuss a topic or multiple topics that you are knowledgeable of and have experienced. If you aren’t familiar with the topic, be sure to include research to prove your points.

Building Relationships: Blogs help bring like people together. If you’ve met someone who blogs, build a relationship with them and learn from each other. Blogger friends can help increase website traffic and connect you to other opportunities in the business.
Resume Enhancer: Blogging looks great on a resume. Most employers are attracted to candidates who blog and are digital-savvy. Make sure you discuss your blog when talking to other professionals in the industry.