Category Archives: Network

Unemployment Handbook website

A great site worth checking out is

It is free.

The mission and goal of The Unemployment Handbook is to provide a free and easy to understand guide to:

  1. Surviving getting laid off from your job and being unemployed.
  2. Filing for unemployment benefits.
  3. Conducting a successful job search.
  4. Getting back on your feet, getting another job, and beginning again.

It is a shock to lose your job, no matter who you are or where you work.  It is an even bigger shock to lose your job when your husband or wife lost their job 2 months ago, and you’ve been the only income for your family of four.  Most people go through a range of emotions:  disbelief, anger, resentment, surprise, shame, pity, helplessness, and more.  Through we give you the information you need to handle the problems that go along with losing your job, but we also try to help you cope with all of the emotions and fears you may be experiencing and be a source of support, and a big part of that is through the discussion forum.

We want to show people that they are not alone, there is help for them, and that others have been in the same situation and gotten through it.  The forum includes a section where you can tell your story about getting laid off from your job, and the things you go through being unemployed.  It also has a section where you can tell your success story.  There are several more forums, about job hunting, etc… and we’ll be adding more.

We’ll be adding more information every day, doing design changes, etc. but we wanted to get the site up as soon as possible, because the need is great, and growing every day.

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Filed under Job Search, Network, Tool Box, Uncategorized, Unexpected

What Are The Seven Layers of Your Personal Network?


When it comes to your network, you have to strike a cool balance. To ensure you’re building the right kind of network, it is important to note that adding people to your network for reasons both substantive and shallow is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. Why? Because your network, when strategically built, should also be well balanced. I’ve created the “Seven Layers of Your Personal Network” to help you evaluate your current network and determine where you might need to add a few people here and there.

1. The “Move A Body” Friend

Brene Brown once said we should all have at least one friend who would, without hesitation, “help you move a body.” Now, let’s hope you never call anyone looking for a shovel. But if you did, ask yourself this: Who would you call? We sometimes forget to include these people in our network because their connection with is intensely personal and not professional. Big mistake!

2. Cheerleaders And Shoulders To Cry On

Hopefully, you’ve collected quite a few people who rest in this second layer of your personal network. They’re the kind of friends you’d call if you went through a break-up, needed help moving across town, or wanted someone to look over a cover letter before you apply for a job. They’re the first people you’d call when you need a boost or had a bad day, and the easiest people in your life to show your true feelings to.

3. Cheers To You!

This layer consists of people you’d invite to your birthday party at the hot new restaurant, the people you’d call when you’re in the mood for a Wednesday night happy hour, and generally fall more into the “friend” category than the “business connection” category. They’re an important part of your network because their relationship with you is largely personal, but they’re usually willing to act as a reference, connect you to someone they know at a company you might be interested in, and if they’re a social butterfly, even better!

4. Coffee Mates And Lunch Dates

When you’re thinking about the kinds of people who reside in this layer, you’ll think about former co-workers you continue to keep in touch with, individuals you may have met at a professional luncheon or event, potential employers you’re networking with intentionally, and others you’d consider close to you, but in a professional capacity only.

5. Conjunction Connections

Any child of the 1970s or 1980s will remember School House Rock. One of its most famous ditties went like this, “Conjunction junction, what’s your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.” It’s exactly that reason that the fifth layer of your personal network is labeled “Conjunction Connections.” The people in this layer aren’t “hooking up words and phrases and clauses” but they are hooking up people and information and opportunities. They don’t know everybody, but the people they do know, they’re always linking to one another.

6. Stand Still, Look Pretty

We don’t always want to admit it, but we all have these people in our networks. They’re, for lack of a better word, decorative. You’ve done work with them, and they tend to have a good name in their field, but you know and so does everyone else that they’re all talk, little substance. Why is this person valuable to your network? Because she knows everybody! Usually, these “Stand Still, Look Pretty” types are also pretty big gossips, and you don’t want to be on her bad side.

7. What’s Your Name Again?

The seventh layer of your personal network is clear. You met someone, you took their business card, and maybe you even added them as a LinkedIn connection or followed them on Twitter. But the truth is, you would struggle to remember their name or their face if casually asked. If you wanted to get in touch with one of these connections, you’d begin your email by reminding her where you met or a little about yourself because you know that, for her, you’re likely a seventh layer connection as well.

You’ve hopefully taken the time to both think through and list out a number of your connections in each of the seven layers of your personal network. Which layers are you heavy in and which have fewer connections? None of these results is good or bad. It simply helps you to see the current diversity of your network specifically related to their proximity to you and your ability to immediately connect with them on certain issues and needs.


This is a book excerpt with minor edits from You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works by Marcy Twete.

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Conversation Tips for Networking Events

I think one of the hardest things about networking events is just getting a conversation going with someone – without being awkward about it.

Approaching someone new can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

So, what are some natural and easy ways to break the ice? Here are some tips and tricks:

Go Fishing At The Food Table

While waiting in line for the food, start chatting up the person next to you. This is a great opportunity to get a conversation started because you already have something in common: the food. Everyone is thinking the same thing, What am I going to try? What looks good?

So, instead of just standing there in silence, start a conversation. Here are a few conversation starters for this situation:

  • “Oh man, everything looks so good… I’m not sure what to get! What are you thinking?”
  • “Yummy, they have ___! Have you ever tried it?”
  • “Hmm, I’m not quite sure what that dish is… do you know?”

Who knows, you might leave the buffet with a better plate of food AND a new contact! That’s a win-win in my book.

Find A Loner
If you see someone standing alone in the corner, clutching his or her drink, and looking miserable, don’t be afraid to walk up and introduce yourself. Typically, these people need a little help getting the conversation going.

Here are some ice breakers:

  • “Man, these networking events can be so crazy. Mind if I join you over here where it’s a little quieter?”
  • “Wow, there are a ton of people here! The food must be good, huh?”
  • If someone is standing alone, he or she is probably feeling uncomfortable or unconfident. If you initiate the conversation, it could make them feel more relaxed and willing to connect.

Compliment Them
Everyone loves compliments, especially when they are feeling insecure (and many people do feel that way when attending networking events). If you’re struggling to start a conversation with someone, find something to compliment.

Here are some ideas:

  • “Yum, that drink looks good. What is it?”
  • “Cute shoes! Where did you get them?”
  • Talk About Sports
  • People love talking about sports. If you’re a sports person, use it to your advantage!

See someone wearing a Red Sox cap? Say something like, “Red Sox fan, huh? Did you catch the game yesterday?”

Overhear a group of people talking about last night’s game? Express your interest in the conversation by saying something like, “Are you talking about ……?”, then chime in.

Just Say Hello
Sometimes, the easiest way to meet someone is to offer a handshake and say, “Hi, I’m Peter.” Simply introducing yourself with a smile and a dash of confidence can work wonders.

Keeping The Conversation Going
I know what you’re thinking, Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, but how can I keep the conversation going after the initial question?

It’s easy! Talk about something else you have in common – the event itself! Here are some ideas:

  • “I’m Gina, by the way, nice to meet you…”
  • “So, is this your first time at one of these events?”
  • “So, how did you hear about this event?”
  • “What a great place for an event, huh? Have you ever been here before?”

After that, try learning more about them. Questions can include:

“Are you from the area?”
“What line of work are you in or trying to get in?”
Next step: get them talking. Remember, people generally like to talk about themselves. So, once they tell you what they do, ask questions about it. Here are a few:

  • “That’s very interesting…”
  • “What drew you to that line of work?”
  • “What do you like about your job?”
  • “Why are you interested in working in that industry specifically?”

Your Exit Strategy
It’s that time: your drink is dry and you’re ready to move on. When the conversation starts to wind down, don’t try to force more. Remember, you’re there to mix and mingle – don’t chain yourself to one person all night.

If you’d like to exit a conversation, try one of these lines:

  • “Alright, I’m going to get some food now that the line has died down a bit. It was great meeting you!”
  • “Have you met Lisa? She works in your industry as well. I’m sure you both will have plenty to talk about. I’ve got to say hello to someone, but I’ll be back.”
  • “Well, I think it’s time for me to head out. I would love to talk with you again, though. May I have your card/contact information?”

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Job Search: Play the numbers game when job-hunting this summer

School’s out and we’re staring at a summer of warm weather, vacations and plenty of outdoor events. For many, job hunting takes a back seat to family fun, especially if you’re underemployed. Sure, you want and need a better job, but at least you have some money coming in. What can it hurt to take a month or two off to enjoy yourself?

Only you know your finances and how long you can afford to remain unemployed or underemployed. If you’ve recently lost your position, you’ll find this job market unlike most any other. Your search will probably take longer, and you’ll find the days of simply answering an ad are over.

Job hunting is all about networking. It’s about positioning yourself in the front of a prospective employer’s mind … and demonstrating real value to the organization. Job hunting also is a numbers game.

For companies that want a new person to start during the fourth quarter of 2012, now is the time for them to start the hiring process. If you wait until after Labor Day to restart your search, it’s likely a number of good jobs will have passed you by. So the number of available jobs won’t necessarily decrease during the summertime.

But many seekers do take time off during the summer, so the ratio of seekers to openings changes in your favor. Wouldn’t it make sense to compete for the publicly known openings against fewer people?

Networking is the central component of a successful job search. Networking is a process. It becomes a mindset and somewhat of a lifestyle. It’s not something you can easily turn on and off. Successful networkers stay with it.

If you sit out for a couple of months, you’ll no longer remain in the front of your contacts’ minds. Your network, like your summertime garden, requires attention if you expect it to bear fruit. Why not run through your list of networking contacts and contact them again, ideally leading with some online article of interest to them?

Another approach to your networking contacts is to ask for specific help in gaining access to a particular person. Use LinkedIn to look through your network contact’s connections. Find connections you’d like to be introduced to, and pick up the phone to make that request. Don’t rely on the LinkedIn website’s internal method for requesting an introduction.

Keep your momentum alive. Halting your search not only deprives you of seeing advertised openings with less competition, but also takes you away from the networking habit. Networking is difficult enough for many people without the strain of having to restart the process. Remember, it only takes that one company to say yes. Keep at it and good luck!

Article originally found in Winston-Salem Journal

 WIN Randy Wooten

Randy Wooden is a longtime Triad career consultant and director of Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC’s Professional Center. You may reach him at

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Filed under Initiative, Network, Skill, Tool Box

10 Ways to be a Terrible Intern

Sometimes, to get your foot in the door, you have to do an internship to gain experience.  Here is a great tongue-in-cheek column about how to be a terrible intern.  That means DON’T DO THESE THINGS!!!

1. Ignore criticism and continue doing things your way. Why listen to professionals who are successful and know what they are doing? Instead, do things the way you—with no professional experience—think they should be done and assume everyone else is wrong.

2. Sit around and relax while you wait for your next assignment. Hurry and finish a task and then avoid your supervisor until he or she notices that you aren’t doing anything. That way you can get by with doing the least amount of work and have nothing to show in your portfolio.

3. Give half an effort—it’s only an internship. You might be an unpaid intern, whose work isn’t expected to be perfect. So why try? Sloppily get things done and show your supervisor you couldn’t care less.

4. Huff and puff over grunt work. Throw a fit when you’re given less meaningful tasks to complete. That way you will show your supervisor you can’t complete small tasks without having a tantrum, so you aren’t ready for larger, more significant assignments.

5. Don’t ask questions; instead, assume you will do it right. When you get an assignment that you don’t understand, just guess and never ask for clarification.

6. Constantly refresh social media sites on your computer and smart phone. Obviously, your social life is more important than anything else. End of story. If you are asked to complete an assignment make sure you refresh Twitter at least seven times before getting started.

7. Just get up and leave when it’s time for you to go. Never check in with your supervisor when you are about to leave because he or she might give you more work to do. Instead, the minute it’s time for you to leave, just charge out the door without saying a word.

8. Don’t make friends. Be mean to everyone and roll your eyes or ignore anyone who is nice to you. If you must communicate, be short and emotionless in your response. It’s not important to make friends, you are here to complete an internship and move on.

9. Talk all the time and share every detail of your life.
 Stop whoever walks by your desk and tell them about your friend’s sister’s cousin who recently broke up with her boyfriend. It doesn’t matter that you’re at work and trying to actually, you know, work.

10. Never say a word and sneakily linger around others. Sneak around the office without being noticed. If you are asked your opinion in a meeting, pretend you are mute. That way they will never know if you have a good thought or idea.

So, careless interns, if you wish to gain absolutely nothing from your internship experience, except for maybe a few gruesome recommendations, follow these tips closely. And don’t forget to scowl at your supervisor every morning.

[Editor's note: Unlike the people described in this article, Megan Skelly, the author of this story, has been described as a "dream intern" by her superiors.]

Megan Skelly is a senior PR and Advertising major at Ball State University and will be graduating this May. Megan served as the 2012 spring B2B PR intern at BLASTmedia in Indianapolis. A version of this story first appeared on the BLASTmedia blog.

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Filed under Attitude, Network, Skill

Finding Work When Moving

Moving to a new city or state can be an exciting adventure, but moving without a job is a terrifying prospect for many.  The reasons that you may want, or need, to move somewhere are numerous, but there are some resources that can make the job hunt in your new city easier.  Many times, you can start looking before you even pack your bags.


With job searching increasingly moving online, it has become very easy to scope out job listings ahead of time.  Websites such as Craigslist and Indeed allow job seekers to see job listing anywhere in the U.S.  On the right side of Craigslist’s main page you will see “Nearby CL” and links for U.S. Cities, States, and even worldwide.  Clink on these links to view jobs and housing anywhere you would like to go.  Indeed makes it even easier.  Simply put the city where you are thinking of moving in the “Where” box, and Indeed will search listings and companies near your destination.


Indeed and Craigslist are not the only places to look for work.  Most Chamber of Commerce sites have lists of major employers in their area.  Most major companies accept applications online, and many have a long hiring process that allows you to submit applications in advance of a move.  Most cities also have a free weekly paper that lists job and housing opportunities on their website.  Just search “free weekly paper” and your destination city to find it.


Of course another great option is to get involved with the Goodwill in the area that you are moving.  A Google search of “Goodwill” along with the city that you are moving will bring you to the website of the Goodwill covering that area.  Although all Goodwills are unique, most offer services to help people find work.


Looking for work can be stressful, especially if you are not living in the area you want to work.  Now more than ever, technology is making it easier to find work before moving.  These are a few ideas to get you started!


Jeremy Woolard

Career Connections Specialist

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Filed under Initiative, Network, Skill

10 Ways to Get a Better Job

So your job is a drag. You could resign yourself to a life of dull (or even miserable) days in the office or you could set aside some time and get a better job. Here are ten great tips to help you put together a great application, ace the interview, and ultimately work for a company you’ll love rather than hate.

10. Put Together a Resume That’s Actually Compelling

While I’m no fan of the resume—as they’re often documents skimmed rather than read—they’re still requested by the majority of jobs you’ll come across. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but a little creativity can set you apart and help you stand out from the pool. Online tools can be of great help when it comes to creating something a little less ordinary. can create an attractive infographic. Sites like and Zerply help you create professional landing pages that can serve as digital resumes. and can be tailored to do the same. Use the tool that suits you best and make sure your page or resume stands out. Often times it is just as simple as choosing the right font and color. It doesn’t take much to make a resume look nice, so put in that little additional effort to keep yours from ending up in the generic pile.

9. Ensure Your Resume Isn’t Filled with Common Words and Redundant Phrasing

When writing your resume, you don’t want to use the sort of language that’ll make you sound like everyone else. That means avoiding overused terms (e.g motivated, innovative, dynamic) and cliche phrases (e.g. detail oriented, team player, excellent communication skills). Also, terms like “references available upon request” are implied statements, waste space, and do not need to be on your resume. It helps to read your resume from bottom to top to help catch errors, and when you’re done you can run it through RezScore to find out where you can still improve.

8. Search Unconventional and Career-Specific Job Sites

If you don’t know where you want to work you’re obviously going to have to search for some options., but you’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack if you go to popular sites like and Craigslist. That isn’t to say they won’t have a great job here and there, but you’ll find yourself wading through a lot of undesirable positions just to find the ones you want. Instead of going the traditional route, try an unconventional job site like, which sends opportunities to your email inbox every day. SimplyHired is a seemingly standard job search, but it aggregates listings directly from company web sites and other locations so you’re not just pulling directly from one big pool. TweetMyJobs will handle the searching for you. Just tell it what kind of job you want and it’ll text, tweet, and email options to you as they’re discovered. Even if you’re several years out of college, you may also want to look at any job listings provided to alumni. Even if overqualified for the jobs being offered, you’ll learn about companies that are friendly to graduates of your school. You can look on the company’s site for more suitable positions and apply for those.

Alternatively, you can focus on sites that target the specific kind of job you want. For example, is a good option for tech-related jobs and Authentic Jobs is a great option for designers and developers. Conduct a web search for the type of job you’re looking for and the term “job search site” and you may find a tool that’s more focused on your specific needs.

7. Find a Better Job by Searching for a Great Company Rather Than a Position

Getting a great job isn’t just about doing something you enjoy, but also about working in a good environment. That means you want to seek out companies who have a reputation for treating their employees well. You don’t have to apply to Google or Zappos—companies well-known for their great benefits—but just seek out companies that interest you and do a little research. All you have to do is call them up and talk to pretty much anybody. Just tell them this: “I’m thinking about applying for a job at your company but I wanted to know what it’s like to work there. Would you mind telling me how you like it?” Most people will be happy to share their opinion, and if they’re busy you can always schedule a call later. If the company sounds good, you’ve likely just made a friend who you can call back when you’re ready to apply and get some additional help. It’s a double win. In the event this doesn’t work as planned, however, Glassdoor is an online resource that can help you learn about a specific company from people who definitely want to share.

6. Learn to Make Even Your Irrelevant Experience Seem Relevant

I’ve never gotten a job because my previous work experience was particularly relevant, but rather because I learned how to spin my past experience to make it seem relevant. This doesn’t mean I lied, but instead concentrated on tasks in previous positions that were applicable to the job I wanted to get. If your current job is much different from the one you want, think about anything and everything you’ve done at your current job that’s out of the ordinary. Often times you’ll find examples of things that relate to the job you want because you were always excited to do that kind of work if it presented itself where you are now. If not, you can always start creating relevant experience now so you can use it when you’re on your interview. For example, if you work in a non-creative field but want to become a designer you would have plenty of opportunities. If you make lots of graphs and flow charts, finds ways to make them more attractive. If your company is having an outing, ask to design the flyer. When I worked in customer support, I used to create posters about inside jokes in the office or images based on funny things customers said. Sometimes I’d show these at interviews if I needed to demonstrate my Photoshop skills. As silly as that sounds, it not only demonstrated my capabilities but also showed how close I was with my team. When you put yourself into you work, you’ll find that your seemingly irrelevant experience can easily be tailored to most of the jobs you’ll apply for. You may have to start lower than you’d like, but if you work hard you’ll work your way up pretty quickly.

5. Dress Well for the Interview

Dressing for the interview doesn’t necessarily mean putting on crisply-ironed formalwear. Depending on the company, they may prefer you came in your everyday attire or just wore something that shows you can look nice without overdoing it. If you’re not sure what you should wear to an interview, just call the company and ask to speak with the human resources department. Let them know you’re coming in for an interview and that you want to know the expected dress code. In most cases, they’ll be happy to help you out. If you have to go in uninformed, however, business casual is generally a good bet. While nobody really knows what business casual actually is, you’ll generally be safe in a nice pair of pants and a button down shirt or sweater. Your goal is really to show that you’re capable of grooming yourself and looking presentable. If your clothing fits, is well-ironed, and isn’t something you’d wear around the house you’re probably in good shape. For some extra assistance, the Dress Code Guide can help you figure out the proper attire.

4. Learn to Read Body Language for a More Successful Interview

Learning to read body language is helpful in a lot of situations, but understanding the cues you send out and reading cues from others can be immensely helpful in a job interview. It’s especially important that you come of as pleasant and charming right off the bat because many decisions are made on the basis of a first impression. The most important thing is to avoid negative body language. For the most part you just want to avoid nervous ticks like touching your face and letting your leg become restless. You also don’t want to slouch or sit to rigidly. Basically, your goal is to appear comfortable but professional. If you can do that, you’ll be in good shape.

3. Know How to Give Great Answers to Common Job Interview Questions

What’s your greatest weakness? It’s an obnoxious question but you’ll hear it on the majority of job interviews in your life, and there are many others where it came from. (There’s plenty of debate on how to answer this question. I’ve always found the best strategy is to pick a skill you are actually bad at that sounds relevant to the job but really isn’t. Then you come across as honest but your weakness won’t hurt you.) You have to answer the questions if you want to get the job, so there are two things you want to do: understand the motivation behind the questions and prepare your answers in advance. Understanding the motivation is generally as simple as putting yourself in the company’s shoes. Why would they want to know your greatest weakness? Probably more to know how you respond to a question that asks you to be vulnerable than to actually find out where you can improve. They may also ask because they want to know if you can realistically gauge your abilities accurately. Once you consider the motivation behind these common questions it’ll be easier to tailor the answers you want to give. You don’t want to script them out and memorize them in advance, of course, but developing a list of sound bites can help you go in prepared while still being able to provide natural responses.

2. Ask for a Signing Bonus

Congratulations, you got the job! But you might be throwing away an extra month’s salary if you don’t ask for a signing bonus before accepting the position. If apply for a competitive job, chances are the company will really want to hire you if you’re chosen and they may be willing to pay you a little bit extra to get you on board. All you have to do is ask if they offer a bonus. You’re not demanding one, but simply asking the question. Whether you’re considering other options or not, asking this question will make it seem that way and they’ll be more inclined to offer you that bonus if they really want you. If they can’t, they’ll tell you no and there’s likely no harm done. It’s one of those low-risk questions that can often yield a high reward.

1. Leave Your Current Job Without Burning Any Bridges

If you hate your current job, it can be tempting to let everyone know it when you leave. As cathartic as that may seem, it’ll cause you trouble down the line. You want to leave your current company on good terms. You never know when you may encounter a coworker again or need to call that company for information or a favor. Burning bridges simply isn’t in your best interest. If you hate your job so much that you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, however, you can reference these sample resignation letters and read tips on how to resign gracefully. Before you quit for real, run your plan by a friend or two to gauge their reaction. It always helps to have a few outside opinions to help ensure you don’t make a mistake you’ll regret.


Original post found here

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Filed under Grooming, Network, Resume, Self-Improvement, Social Media, Tool Box

Uncommon tips for job interviews

If you’re serious about your search, I have “off the beaten path” tips for that first interview:

Be conversational with the receptionist or administrative assistant.

Might not seem like a big deal, but in some ways, the administrative assistant will be the most important person you meet at that interview. Later in the day, the hiring manager will walk by the front desk and ask the assistant what he or she thought of you. Make sure the answer is overwhelmingly positive.

Follow up … with resources

You’ll be ahead of half the competition if you follow up after the interview. You’ll be ahead of 99.9 percent of the competition if you follow up with resources.

What do I mean?

As a final piece to your follow-up note, send the hiring manager an interesting article you read in the last week around a topic you discussed, a recent case study that’s relevant, a new social media tool that might be of interest based on your conversation, and so on.

The useful information you share will stand out. You’ll position yourself as a resourceful employee and someone who takes initiative.

Ask your own questions—about the interviewer

Based on another insider tip: Always make a list of questions to ask the interviewer (another thing I’m always surprised more people don’t do in an interview setting).

I’d take it one step further. Develop questions to ask the interviewer about the role and company and add a few about the interviewer. Personalize the questions. Research the interviewer online before you meet and tailor questions to the person’s specific interests. The interviewer will be pleasantly surprised (as long as you’re not creepy about it).

Show confidence and humility

Employers definitely want confident young people. But they also want people who are humble and who know how to work well with others. Be confident, but don’t be afraid to show a little humility.

Write a post for the company blog

This tip might seem a little aggressive, but if you really want to separate yourself from the competition, consider writing a post for the company blog.

Pick a topic. If it’s an agency, maybe it’s a post about a recent social media trend. If it’s a corporate blog, you could address a topic they’ve already covered, except do it from your unique perspective. Writing a post for the company blog will demonstrate initiative, creativity, and critical thinking. All qualities they’re most likely looking for in an ideal candidate.

Make sure your leave-behind is memorable

Lastly, make sure whatever it is you leave behind after the interview sticks in that hiring manager’s memory. Whether it’s your résumé or a collection of clips, your leave behind is a big opportunity to carve out a place in the hiring manager’s brain.

Arik C. Hanson is the principal of ACH Communications, a digital communications consultancy. He blogs at 
Communications Conversations, where a version of this story originally appeared. 

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6 Tips For Experienced Job Seekers Who Have Been Unemployed Long-Term

The tight job market has affected all demographics — but older workers have really felt the squeeze, particularly if they found themselves out of work for one reason or another. Statistics show that older workers are unemployed for an average of 44 weeks (more than 10 months), according to an AARP report.

After a recent post by my co-founder Sean, on the things employers want to see on your resume, we recognized how easy it is to get frustrated and want to give up during the job search. But staying active and positive is the key to job search success. Follow the tips below to maximize your job search and get one step closer to your ideal position.

1. Sell, sell, sell. Consistently, the biggest mistake we see is that people write a ‘me’ focused resume. A primary example of this is the outdated objective statement – if you have the word ‘seeking’ on your resume, you’re writing a ‘me’ resume. Employers don’t hire you for your satisfaction; they hire you to fill their own critical need. Think of it this way. If you were in sales, would you ever say to a customer “Buy this item because I need the commission”? And if you were the customer, would you buy? A ‘me’ centered resume says essentially the same thing.

Your job is to think of the potential employer as a customer. You’ve know they’re a hot lead because they’ve taken the time to post the job – so someone is going to close the deal with them. How do you make sure they go with you? By selling to them like you would sell to anyone else. Figure out their pain points. Why are they hiring? Who have they hired in the past? What’s their most critical need? And then go in there with your sales guns blazing; be the solution to their problem.

2. Really tap your network. As you’ve heard before, “it’s who you know” that often helps you land a job. This is especially true with small businesses who cannot afford to post jobs on pricey job boards (or don’t have the time to sift through the hundreds of applications they may receive), but some larger companies also rely on referrals to fill open positions.

Actively keep in touch with former colleagues, friends, and family, and let them know you’re on the job search. If you know someone who works at an organization you’d like to work for, ask them to grab coffee or lunch to strengthen your relationship and inquire about possible opportunities there.

3. Perfect your resume. If you’re on the job search, your first priority should be your resume. It must show your value to potential employers to ensure you make it to the interview round. Make sure resume uses active writing to show hiring managers and recruiters what you accomplished and what you’re capable of.

Make sure that your resume is clean and clutter free. Anything that does not effectively sell your skills needs to go. Clean up your resume by using the ever faithful bullet points. Always keep in mind that less is sometimes more. You don’t need to get too fancy with fonts, language or formatting.
4. Search for free using your resources. Find job opportunities from sites across the Web — from job boards and government sites, to company career sites and newspapers, and more. Set up email alerts or RSS feeds to learn about jobs as they’re posted. Keeping on top of new postings can help you be one of the first to apply and ensure you get your resume in front of employers before the position is filled.

5. Learn new skills. Although you likely have a lot of experience in your industry, there’s always room to learn something new, particularly if you have been unemployed for several months. Look for certification programs or relevant classes you can take to boost your resume and impress potential employers.

6. Use social media for personal branding and networking. According to a study by Jobvite, 16 percent of job seekers (a combination of unemployed and looking, employed and looking, or employed and open to a new job) said “an online social network directly led to finding their current/most recent job.” Of those, the majority (78 percent) attributed their job to Facebook, 40% to LinkedIn, and 42% to Twitter. Since each network can be beneficial to your job search in different ways, it’s important you don’t write off certain online opportunities because you don’t see the value or think your age demographic isn’t right for them.

You should also keep in mind that your presence on these networks represents your online brand. The majority of employers now use social media to screen job candidates, and 68 percent said they have hired someone based on what they saw about them online (such as giving a positive impression or supporting professional qualifications).

What do you think? Are there other tactics that helped you land a job when you were unemployed? Please share in the comments below!

Gerrit Hall is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free Web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes — instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.

Cross posted from Simplyhired

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Filed under Network, Resume, Self-Improvement, Skill, Social Media

Glassdoor Mines Your Facebook Connections to Help You Find a Job

When you’re looking for a job, who are the first people you turn to? Glassdoor, the careers site that regularly serves up lists of odd interview questions, is betting that it’s the friends and family in your personal network rather than your professional network. That’s why it’s introducing a deep integration with Facebook, called Inside Connections.

Now when you connect Glassdoor to Facebook and click on a company, you’ll be able to see which of your Facebook friends are connected to that company — either by being an employee or having worked there in the past. You’ll also see friends of friends who are connected, too.

“Inside Connections is Glassdoor plus Facebook,” says company founder Tim Besse. “It’s about finding the ‘in’ you have at a company through the friends you already have on Facebook and combining it with all the information Glassdoor already has — all of our job listings, reviews, salaries and interview details.”

Why connect with Facebook and not the possibly more obvious professional network of LinkedIn? Apart from the fact that Glassdoor competes with LinkedIn, Besse maintains that a person’s network of personal friends is actually where people turn when they’re looking for a job. He also says that Glassdoor’s customers tend to be younger, and many are more active on Facebook than LinkedIn.

“We’ve been taught to think that Facebook is just our personal or social lives and Linkedin is our professional lives, but the reality is that when you’re boots-on-the-street looking for a job, some of the very first people that you turn to are your closest friends. And what Glassdoor does is make it really easy to tap into these connections.”

Besides offering up potential contacts at companies you’re targeting, Glassdoor’s Facebook integration further personalizes your experience with the site. The software taps into your Facebook history and network to present you with jobs and companies you actually may be interested in as you browse the site.

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Filed under Network, Social Media, Tool Box, Unexpected