Tag Archives: social media

How to Say ‘Look at Me!’ to an Online Recruiter

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IF you are thinking of looking for a job this year, or are already searching for one, be warned: for some job seekers, the rules have changed. Technology and social media have altered the way some employers consider candidates. Simply sifting through job postings and sending out applications en masse was never a good route to success, and is even less so now.

One of the most important questions that many job seekers can ask these days is this: How searchable am I? Some employers aren’t even bothering to post jobs, but are instead searching online for the right candidate, said Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, a career management firm in New York.

Not having an Internet presence can be damaging, Ms. Safani said. She is among those who recommend that job seekers spend serious time detailing their skills and experience on commercial sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, with an eye toward making their names a magnet for search engines.

“Having a blog can be a good way to show that you are a thought leader” while improving your professional visibility, she said. And consider YouTube as a way to enhance your searchability, she advised. If an employer comes across a video of you giving a speech or a training presentation, she said, you may gain an advantage.

More companies are turning to Twitter as a way to broadcast job openings, so you should use it to follow recruiters, industry leaders and individual companies, said Alison Doyle, a job search specialist for About.com. She said that by linking to articles and sharing your expertise on Twitter, you can enhance your professional reputation — though you should beware of the site’s potential as a time drain.

On Facebook, “liking” a company can mean receiving early notice of job openings and other news. But privacy concerns make Facebook tricky, Ms. Doyle said: Make sure you understand who is receiving which of your posts, or resolve to be thoroughly professional on Facebook at all times, she said. Be aware that hiring managers may see what you post on any of the major social media outlets, she added.

OLD-FASHIONED, personal networking can still be an effective way to land a job, but online networking now supplements it in many fields. Both Ms. Safani and Ms. Doyle say LinkedIn is a very important Web tool for making those connections.

The site offers premium services for a fee, but almost all of the main features for job seekers are free, Ms. Doyle said. Spend a few minutes on the site each day making new connections, she advised, and keep your profile up to date.

To improve the chances that a connection request will be accepted, especially from someone you don’t know, send a personal message along with it, noting, say, your similar backgrounds, said Nicole Williams, a consultant who works as a career expert for LinkedIn.

Baldly asking someone at a company for help in landing a job is never a good idea, on LinkedIn or anywhere else. Share links and advice with people in your LinkedIn network before asking for a favor like an introduction to a hiring manager or a written recommendation that would appear on the site. If you are seeking a particular position, Ms. Doyle said, you might say something like: “I’m interested in this job. Do you have any information that you can share with me?”

Joining industry groups on LinkedIn can build your visibility. You can also join college alumni organizations or other focused groups, like one for working mothers.

Make full use of the skills section of LinkedIn, Ms. Williams advised, and the more specific you are, the better. Instead of saying that you have marketing skills, note the exact areas — direct mail campaigns, for example. LinkedIn can direct you to companies that are seeking these skills so you can follow them. Listing your skills could also bring you to the notice of a recruiter.

Be aware, too, that an employer may be viewing your application via a mobile phone. Mobile traffic involving job search more than doubled in 2012 over 2011 at the employment site Indeed.com, said Rony Kahan, a co-founder and C.E.O. So make sure you know how your résumé and cover letter look on a small screen. Résumés should be in a PDF format so they can be viewed on a variety of phones.

In the age of online applications, one school of thought holds that cover letters are a waste of time, but Ms. Doyle disagrees. Cover letters are still a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition, she said — and the rise of applications via cellphone just means they should be more concise, and specific to the job at hand.

Cross posted from the NY Times

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How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression

Odds are someone is searching the web for you right now, or at least has looked you up fairly recently. Do you know what they learned? Better yet, do you control the pages and profiles they visited? If not, it’s time to take your online reputation into your own hands instead of leaving it to Google. Here’s how.

Why First Impressions Matter on the Internet

It’s no secret that friends, nosy family members, and potential employers will all take to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to look for more information about you when they want it. In the case of family and friends, they already know you. When it comes to potential employers or people interested in working with you, it’s important to make sure that the things they find about you are representative of who you are (or who you want them to think you are.) 

 

You don’t have to be a job-seeker to understand the importance of your online reputation, though. You can be a freelancer or entrepreneur who wants to control their image, or just someone who doesn’t your name dragged through the mud. It may seem like the wall of Google search results when you search your name is impossible to control, but there are some clever things you can do. In this post, we’ll tackle some of them, and by the end you’ll have a better picture of what people find when they search for you. With work, you’ll even have better control over what they find.

Step One: Find Out Where You Stand (and Erase Embarrassments)

Before we get started, it’s a good idea to see what others see when they search for you. Then we can tweak what we find so it’s representative of the “you” that you want the public to see, not just what Google collects.

Search For Yourself on Google and Facebook

We’ll start with Google. You’ve probably done a vanity Google search before, but if not, now’s the time. Just log out of your Google accounts or use a browser where you’re not logged in (Google personalizes results based on your account activity) and search for your name. Don’t bother going more than a few pages deep, and make note of what you see. Remember, making a good first impression requires actually making an impression. While turning up nothing means no one will find anything bad, it also means they won’t learn anything good about you, and that can be pretty bad too.  Next, let’s check Facebook. You can view your public self on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+:

 

  1. Log out (or use a browser that’s logged out) and search for yourself by name. Even if you don’t use your name as your account ID, it may be easy to find yourself with a quick name search. See if that’s the case, and see what’s visible.
  2. Log back in and view your profile “as public.” Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ all make it easy to do this from your profile page. This way you can see what your profile looks like to someone who stumbles on you, even if you’re not easily found.
  3. Optional: Go deeper.We’ve covered how to do an even deeper dive on someone before. Most people won’t go to such lengths, but if you’re curious, give it a try.

Clean Up Any Results You Don’t Like

Now that you’ve seen what others see, it’s time to get rid of anything you don’t like. You can’t trust you’ll have the opportunity to explain the bad stuff away in a phone or in-person interview. We’ve discussed how to fix internet embarrassments before. Whether the behavior is your own, someone trolled you and set up fake profiles to defame you, or someone’s been impersonating you online, here’s how to handle it for each service:

  •  Google and Other Search Engines: If you found the offending results at Google or another search engine, ask them to remove the pages from their results. Google has a process for this, and another for Google Images, but they only apply to pages that have been taken down, or old, cached versions of pages that are still up-it’s not for pulling down any old page. DuckDuckGo has a feedback form, as does Bing, where you can submit takedown requests for non-legal reasons.
  • Facebook: Deleting is your best option (so no one takes screenshots or makes your private posts public without you knowing.) Alternatively, change post visibility individually, or can go go to Privacy Settings > Limit Past Post Visibility to hide everything at once. Get familiar with Facebook’s privacy options, and if the content is on Facebook but not under your control, we have some tips to help. Don’t get caught making the same mistake Lindsey Stone did. Make sure private posts are truly private, the only things public are the ones that showcase your public persona, and you think before you post.
  •  Twitter: Twitter is easy, just look at your profile by name. If your profile is public, everyone can see it, and if you use your real name as your handle, it’s easy to find. You can take your account private, but that won’t stop public users from quoting you (although it does stop retweets) or responding to you publicly. Remember, Twitter is probably the most public of all networks. Think before you tweet.
  • Google+: Your posts at Google+ aren’t as important as your Google profile. Hide anything you saw but wanted private when you viewed your profile earlier. Make useful details (a contact email address, links to your portfolio or personal web site, etc) are visible. Create topical circles for sharing andfamiliarize yourself with Google+’s privacy settings.
  • LinkedIn: If you post articles to LinkedIn, make sure they’re professional in nature and relevant to the public persona you want to put forward. While you’re there, go ahead and fill out your profile with additional details: odds are your profile may be incomplete, or the last time you updated it was the last time you changed jobs.

If all else fails, you can turn to services that promise to protect your online reputation. They’re usually effective, but they all cost money. For example, previously mentioned BrandYourselfand Reputation.com (formerly Reputation Defender) will all help streamline this process for you.

Step Two: Beef Up Your Online Presence with Better Profiles, a Nameplate Site, and More

Now that we’ve ditched the bad stuff, it’s time to build up the good stuff. Potential employers, business contacts, and people you network with will look you up anyway, so why not make sure what they find is what you want them to know?

Spruce Up Your Social Networks. Your social networks can be valuable tools if you use them. Update your LinkedIn profile with your interests and skills, not just your work history. Add some relevant interests to Facebook and leave them public. You may even want to like a few job or industry-related pages, or create a Facebook page specifically for your professional persona. Upload a good-looking profile photo to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google profiles, and consider filling out your photo gallery with flattering shots of you, your work, or even your projects and things you’ve worked on. Use every opportunity to showcase your skills, talents and interests, whether it’s in the “Likes” section of your Facebook profile, or the photos in your Instagram account. There’s nothing wrong with food photos at Instagram if you’re a self-described foodie, for example.

Sign up for new services that best showcase your skills. For example, if you want your indie film to get attention or you want to expand the audience of your video podcast, consider signing up for Vimeo as well as YouTube. You get access to a whole new community, and much more exposure. Are you a writer? Consider nabbing a named Tumblr account, even if you already blog at Wordpress. If you’re a photographer and want to build a portfolio, consider hosting your photos at Flickr, Smugmug, and Picasa to get the most exposure and make it easy for people to find you. At the very least, you can direct visitors to the service you regularly use.

Get a nameplate site (or several) that accurately reflects who you are. Choose the best nameplate site for the information you want to convey and sign up. For example, almost anyone can benefit from anAbout.me, Flavors.me, or Vizify account, but students may want to try Seelio because you can upload videos and projects that show off your skills even if you don’t have a resume to speak of. Business owners with projects can use Sidengo because their template pages feature things like contact pages, maps, and document downloads for things like forms and menus. They’re all free, and do a great job of linking visitors to networks you already use while conveying useful information.

Get your own domain and use it as a portfolio and for email. Owning your own domain is extremely valuable and worth more than the money you’ll pay to get it. Before you say “all the best domains are gone,” keep in mind that even if you can’t get yourname.com, you should be able to get a variation on it that’s close enough. If you can’t use your name, pick a domain you’re comfortable using as your personal banner and use that instead. Once you’re registered with a great registrar, choose a great hosting company and set up shop. If you’re a writer, host your own blog, or publish selected clips of your writing from other blogs. Republish yourself if you wrote something amazing elsewhere. If you’re a photographer or artist, use your domain as a portfolio to showcase your work. You can even just use it as an additional nameplate site. Behind the scenes, use your domain for email. It looks professional and every email you send is an invitation for the recipient to come and see your portfolio, full of links to the things you want them to see.

Make the most of those services. Make sure all of your profiles are filled out with as much useful information as possible. Don’t just sign up and walk away. Upload a good photo of yourself to your social networks and nameplates—preferably a flattering one—so potential employers and new friends alike see you at your best. Use a consistent email address across all of those services so it’s easy to get in touch with you, and cross-link them to one another frequently. This makes sure anyone who lands on one can easily get to everything else you do, and makes it easier for Google to index the real you.

Keep an eye on the results. For people who just want a good face and impression, you can stop here. For others who enjoy analyzing how people find them, most nameplate services offer analytics so you can see how people find you and where they click to leave. Add Google Analytics to your personal site and portfolio to see how well you’re being recieved, and what people come to your site to see. This way you can keep an eye on who’s looking for you and what their eyes are drawn to when they find you.

Step Three: Keep Your Best Foot Forward

By now, you’ve done your homework to find out what other people find when they look for you, cleaned up your profiles, and added content to the web that you control so people only see what you want them to learn about you. As you go forward with your shiny, professional online persona, make sure to keep it clean by following the fundamental rule of sharing on the internet: don’t post it if you don’t want it to be public. The internet is a big place with a long memory. Internet Shame Insurance can remind you if you’re about to post something you might regret.

Keep in mind that your ideal online first impression doesn’t have to be a perfect, rosy picture of your personality, just a truthful one. We agree with XKCD on this point—if putting your best foot forward keeps you from being a jerk, then great, but don’t let it stifle your brilliance or keep you from expressing your opinion and being true to your ideals. After all, those are the things we want people to learn about us when they go looking.

 

cross-posted from lifehacker

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How Social Media Distracts You at Work

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Think about it…

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20 tips to Twitter job search succes

Like blogging, Twitter is a terrific way to reinforce your personal brand by showing your professional expertise and helping people. To find a job with Twitter, keep this in mind all the time.

I used all the following tips to create my own Twitter profile, so visit http://twitter.com/jacobshare to get examples of everything recommended here below.

1. Discover Twitter. Spend some time surfing Twitter profiles to get a feel for how people are using Twitter. Bookmark a first group of people you’d like to follow. See what you like and don’t like and take notes for reference later. (That’s how I was able to put together this article so quickly)

2. Create a Twitter strategy. Your main goal is to find a job, but what are your secondary goals? Specific people to meet, industry news to follow, etc.? Plan to Twitter accordingly. Sketch out all your goals and ideas on how to reach them but don’t spend too much time on this initially, because there’s a good chance that your ideas will change once you start using the service heavily. And that’s ok, just rewrite your goals and strategy when it happens.

3. Sign up to Twitter. Create an account using your “home work” email address – the one you would use strictly for job searching as well – and choose a username that’s either your full name, first name and profession (think “Joe the Plumber”) or a pseudonym based on a formula of [Adjective][Country][Profession] e.g. SmartTechGuy. If you’re planning to twitter a lot about your private life, consider a second Twitter account.

4. Don’t follow your friends while signing up. After creating your account, Twitter will suggest that you immediately search through your email contacts to find friends that are already on Twitter. SKIP THIS because you’ll do it later. You want to create an impressive profile before telling anyone that you’re on Twitter.

5. Design your profile to impress. For the ‘More Info URL’, put the url of your blog, LinkedIn profile or other brand-reinforcing website. For the ‘One Line Bio’, use the personal tagline I told you about in 37 Ideas to Grow Your Job Search Network Right Now and mention that you’re available for hire. In the Picture tab, choose a clear, professional-looking portrait of yourself that looks good at all the different avatar sizes used in Twitter. Create a Twitter background image with personal branding & contact information and then upload it in the Design tab.

6. Prepare to simulcast. Set up Facebook and LinkedIn to include your tweets as status updates and check out free services like HelloTXT.com to broadcast your tweets as status messages for your other social network profiles. This is a good way to get more return on your Twitter investment but make sure you’ll be able to reply when people also respond outside of Twitter. Not all tweets will make sense off-Twitter, so only simulcast when your tweet can stand on its own e.g. shared links, tips or answers to Twitter’s famous “What’s happening?”

7. Pick the best tools for your tweets. I like Twhirl from my PC and m.twitter.com from my mobile but using the standard Web interface is fine in a pinch and it’s what most people use. Other tools worth trying are TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop, which let you categorize the people you follow for easy organization. There’s also Twitterrific for Mac, the multi-platform Spaz and Pwytter, the nice-looking Snitter, iTweet.Net, fring and Logpost for mobile phones, Twitter Tools if you have a WordPress blog, Twadget on Windows Vista, the Twitter Google Gadget, and many others.

8. Setup Auto-Follow. Use a service like SocialOomph so that when people follow you, you automatically follow them back. Prune your followers list from time to time to weed out spam-like followers who aren’t contributing to your conversations or because their tweets just don’t interest you.

9. Choose an url-shortening service to share links. Stay with a service like su.pr or bit.ly that allows you to track how many people click on your link. Even if you’ve tweeted a link before, create a new “shorturl” every time you mention a link so that you can measure the number of clicks separately.

10. Keep handy updated versions of your resume. Have a short url to your optimized LinkedIn profile or blog-hosted resume that you can send in a tweet, so you don’t hesitate when someone asks you to send it over. You can also use a service like Tweetafile to send someone your resume file over Twitter.

11. Start twittering! Before you have any followers, twitter a handful of messages to set expectations and give people a taste of what they’ll see when they follow you. Then continue doing it, at least 15-30 minutes per day as you slowly grow your network.

12. Be someone worth following. Provide value by twittering tips, sharing news or resource links about your profession and answering as many questions as you can, quickly and well. Enjoy yourself too, while helping your followers as much as you can.

13. Follow people who are likely to follow you back. To gain some momentum in getting followers quickly, use Twitter’s Find People tool to invite your email friends and contacts to follow you now that your Twitter profile is ready to show off.

14. Browse Twitter directories to find industry professionals to follow. Examples are Wefollow, TwitDir, Twellow and Just Tweet It.

15. Follow people who might have jobs to offer. Use Twitter Search to look for people who have twittered relevant job offers in the past and follow them until you can sense if it will happen again. Notice any keywords in common and then search on those too. Also, watch how people reacted to those offers. Search more keywords to find conversations among other industry pros and follow them too.

16. Follow industry-specific job feeds. Use my massive Twitter job feeds guide to follow your industry’s job openings, in your country, region or city. When you see a job opening to apply for, save it as a Favorite until you’ve applied for it.

17. Grow your network some more. Use a tool like Twubble to follow who your followers are following. Visit tweeters’ profiles and see their starred favorites to get to know them. Also, don’t forget the list of people you drew up when you researched Twitter at the beginning of this guide. Do keep in mind the tip above, because you don’t want to give the impression of being a spammer either.

18. Find your best time of day for Twitter conversations. Twitter is best when people discuss and help each other out live but not everyone connects at the same time, often spanning many time zones. Watch the people you follow and choose your Twitter time of day accordingly.

19. Twitter from time to time about your job search. Your Twitter friends need to know that you’re job hunting. An occasional reminder is critical to cut through the river of tweets. Ask if you have a job search question. Post updates on your job search tactics to see what people think. And ask for referrals after you’ve just helped someone with your expertise because that’s precisely the moment they are most impressed by you.

20. Follow me at http://twitter.com/jacobshare. I’ll follow you back, and I’m always happy to give you feedback and suggestions about your Twitter profile. Or if you prefer, contact me before signing up to Twitter and I’ll help you focus your ideas to achieve your goals from the start.

Bonus tip

21. Avoid Twitter spammers. Some twitterers are simply broadcasting ads or links to sites that can help you gain lots of followers while taking your Twitter username and password with questionable credibility. Another example- accounts where the number of “following” is much higher than the number of followers.

If you liked this article, you’ll enjoy my ebook The Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide, available as a free download for subscribers of my free job tips newsletter.

Jacob Share

@jacobshare Israel
Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.
Useful Tools to manage your social media sites in one program:

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A Professional Email Address is Crucial

Every small detail enhances that first impression of you.  Something as small as an email address can speak volumes about your personality.  That is not the proper place for self-expression when seeking employment.  Electronic mail has become crucial for communication in the business world and often times the preferred method of contact by a prospective interviewer/employer.

That is why it is so important that you should create a functional, professional email address.  There are numerous free email services out there.  Create a new address strictly for job searching purposes.  Make sure your email address is just your name or a shortened variation of it – sanjolley@email.com; sjolley101@gmail.com, not a nickname like elvisfan22@hotmail.com or mikesgirl@yahoo.com.

There are two obvious reasons for doing this:

  1. It isn’t funny, and the potential employer won’t take you seriously.
  2. The potential employer will have an easier time remembering your email address.

Finding a job is serious business, so take it seriously.  You will then find that other people will take you seriously as well and perhaps offer you a job.

Sandy Jolley

Employment Specialist

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Job Fair Survival

Kenny Beck from WXII-12 in Winston-Salem has some great timeless tips for job fair attendees that were broadcast before last year’s Goodwill of Northwest North Carolina’s Employment and Resource Fair.

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Do Your References Know That They Are Your References?

It is imperative when you are job searching that you alert your references, personal and professional, and tell them that you need their support. Remind them that you are job searching, tell them why you chose them, and make sure their contact information is updated. Although we are now deeply immersed in a world of texts, emails and social media, a phone call is still a very accepted means of communication. So do yourself a favor and call your references and thank them in advance for helping you to land a job and prepare them to be an effective spokesperson for you.

Tanika Hawkins

Career Connections Coordinator

Prosperity Center

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