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  • job huntAcceptance of the Job Isn’t the End of the Process

    If you are a fan of the NBA, then you know that when it comes to your favorite player, he can be speedy, strong, and have dribble/drive skills beyond belief. But if he cannot “finish” the play, he will never be considered one of the best. When it comes to the job hunt, accepting the job offer is not the last of it. Or at least it should not be. Remember, along with the short term position, you have a long-term career to manage. The following are some things you can do to tie up all the loose ends once you have been offered the position and the job hunt ends.

    Get the Offer in Writing

    The hiring manager has called you and offered you the position. That is great! The job hunt is over! But don’t start doing the happy dance just yet. If the salary and benefits are to your liking, go ahead and verbally accept, but request that a copy be sent to you in writing. You want to go here is to avoid any misunderstanding should your application have to cycle through other individuals and departments for the details. If you are told that you are being offered $80,000 annually, you do not want to find out on the back end that somehow this was changed to $72,000 and have no documentation to refute that. Be sure all benefits and perks are mentioned within the document. Ensure that you can access a copy of this when going through your onboarding process. This is just good business, people.

    Change LinkedIn Profile

    A “current” LinkedIn profile is a good profile. When the timing is right after your job hunt, log in and add the new position to your profile. Don’t forget to change the previous position to past tense verbiage and provide an ending date. Follow the new company via your profile as well. While I recommend that the alerts on profile changes usually be turned off, you may wish to inform the world of your new position. If so, then turn on alerts before entering the new position and it will automatically update your timeline. What??? You do not have a LinkedIn page yet? Then click here so I can help you join the 21st century, will you please?

    Inform Colleagues of your New Position

    If you have been conducting your job hunt the right way, you have your colleagues also keeping an ear to the ground for positions that may be of interest to you. Once you have accepted a new position, take the time to let all of your colleagues and networking contacts know that you have done so. This not only prompts them to stop expending effort for you, it provides you with the opportunity to thank them for their assistance. The “thank you” is a powerful gesture. While you should be doing so all the time, small gestures such as this help to maintain your relationships. Remember, one’s network is still the #1 avenue for finding new employment, even in our highly technological age.

    Reach Out to Strong Interests to Inform of Acceptance

    Hey, let’s not forget those hot irons you had in the fire. While most people will simply break off communication with other potential employers after landing a position, what you should do is reach out to those hiring managers to inform them that you have accepted another position. Why? You may have to reach out to these hiring authorities again in the future, be it with these companies or the next. Again, little gestures carry more weight than most people think. With these individuals considering bringing on professionals, you will save them time by letting them know you have taken your hat out of the ring. This will make their job easier, and perhaps even open up long-term lines of communication that adds to your trusted network. (HINT: it is always, always about the long game!)

    Research new Position, Prepare Questions to Hit Ground Running

    Ok, you have think your network, advised by the potential employers, now it is time to prep for your new role. Do as much homework as you can on the new job that you have been offered. The more you know going in the door, the more impressed they will be. Have your questions prepared in advance if you can. First impressions have always been important. (That is why you got your new resume from a certified resume writer, right?)

    I know there is a lot to account for and plenty to do to prep for your new position. But taking care of these seemingly minor items can do a lot for positioning you for expedited movement in the future. If you are managing your career correctly, you are always working the long game. That new job you accepted could abruptly end in six months. You want to be ready just in case.

    Now go WOW them!

     

  • interviewsHow to Make the Most of Your New Resume to Manage Your Career

    In our last blog article, we addressed a couple of the things that you should do to manage your career once you have your brand new resume in hand. We went over storing electronic copies in various places for easy access. We also went over how to treat your social media, at least during a job search. Keep it clean, keep your professional.

     

    Build a Complete and Search-Friendly LinkedIn Profile

    Your brand new resume is only part of your toolbox in getting a new job to help manage your career. A LinkedIn profile is quickly becoming a necessary part of your job search package. Did you know that there were more than 300 million LinkedIn users and that 1 in 20 of these are recruiters? Folks, I’m afraid LinkedIn isn’t optional anymore. A few weeks ago, I ran across a job posting that specifically asked for the LinkedIn URL and not to send in the resume. LinkedIn is here to stay people!

    Be sure to develop your profile fully. Incomplete profiles do not score as well in their search database. Also, sit for and upload a professional photo. Did you know that a LinkedIn profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if there is a photo in the profile? Flesh out each of your professional experience positions as well. LinkedIn profiles allow up to 2000 characters for each of these. Best to make use of the available space to help with Search strength. And don’t forget to make connections and get recommendations.

     

    Make Your Battle Plan In Writing

    So now that you have your resume, a refined LinkedIn profile, and a cleaned up social media space, it is time to create a plan for your approach. How many hours per day will you spend networking vs applying for openings to mange your career? How much time will you spend researching companies that hire people with your skill set, but just may not have posted openings yet? Identify those viable targets and build an action plan for reaching out to each and every one of them. Put those whom you communicate with, be sure to track those conversations for future reference. Always seek to make your communications a personal one. Your competition won’t always do so. Use any scheduling software on your phone or computer to ensure that you execute all stages of your plan in a timely fashion. (No, that fancy phone isn’t just for playing Candy Crush)

     

    Get a Mentor

    Now, this is more of a long term strategy than a short term job search move. What a mentor will do for you is keep you from unnecessary making mistakes in your career path. Often, a mentor’s personal experiences, trials and tribulations can serve as warnings to you to ensure that you reach your goals with minimal stress. Perhaps there were classes you are planning to take that are unnecessary. Your mentor may know this as they took those classes and found that it was a waste of time and resources. And perhaps they can be of some short-term service to you. As a member of the industry or profession and which you are seeking membership, they may have a colleague looking for someone exactly like you.

  • quitting rantSo you have an annoying and jerk of a boss, and you just reached the point where you’ve taken all that you can from them. You sit in your office and plan the most elaborate quitting rant that you can. You really want to show this jerk, and your fellow jerk coworkers where they can stick this job. It is going to be epic, right! RIGHT?

    Not so fast. Enjoy this scenario in your head while you eat lunch, but be sure that you keep this performance to yourself. The truth is, going with an elaborate “quitting show” is a very short-term pleasure ride to take for potentially throwing away your career.

    First of all, you never know who your jerk boss, his boss, or those annoying co-workers know. When your resume comes across someone else’s desk, they may see your former company’s name and realize that her friend from college works there. And what do you think that friend will say to them after seeing your quitting rant performance? And it doesn’t have to be a co-worker with whom you don’t get along. Even those who you may have called friend will have a hard time putting their own reputations on the line by recommending you.

    Second, in the age of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, you can just bet that if your tirade lasts any longer than 10 seconds, it will be recorded and uploaded before you can get to your car. You will have to worry during every interview as to whether the will recognize you. And even if the first interviewer does not, the second one might, or one of your new coworkers.

    Lastly, depending upon the size of your industry or profession, word may just get around to all places that were potential new landing spots before you even update your resume. Yes you may find yourself blackballed the industry because of your need to tell your former employer and fellow employees about themselves.

    Look, we all know that we have those moments where did will feel really, really good to lay into your boss and walk out the door with the old song “Take This Job and Shove It” blasting from your smartphone. But you must to consider the long game before going on an elaborate quitting rant. You may need these people for future references and networking opportunities. Hey, you may even need to return to that company once the present agitators have cycled out due to attrition, which sometimes happens. Things are just too tough out there right now to burn any bridges. Keep all options  open and bridges  intact, as you never know when you have to backtrack over it.

  • Hidden Job SearchI know the title “The Hidden Job Market” may cause one to envision some rogue website on the dark web, or perhaps some trench coat-clad guy in a hat in an alleyway holding a new employee pack. But in truth, most facets of the hidden job market are in fact hidden in plain sight. Many of us know every aspect of it, we just underestimate its importance in our overall plan. So in effect, we very often hide these strategies from ourselves.

    If you are in the midst of a job search right now (or in the near future), here are some things to consider to increase the speed of your search, as well as expand your options:

    Professional Relationships

    It doesn’t matter how many apps or websites they develop. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will replace good ol’ networking as the #1 avenue for finding employment. The problem is that in an age where everyone’s face is buried in their cell phones, people don’t nurture these relationships the way they should. People prefer to hire those that they either know, or are referred to them by people that they know. Feed and water your most valuable professional relationships often. You never know when you will need them.

    LinkedIn

    Ladies and gentlemen, did you know that LinkedIn is effectively the job board is the biggest on the planet? We are talking about the largest professional network on the planet, and you would be surprised at the number of professionals who do not even have a LinkedIn account, much less take an active participating stance as they should. As of February 2015, LinkedIn had 347 million users and 40% of them check in on the platform daily. Also, 1 in 20 profiles belong to recruiters. But here is a number to knock your socks off:

    94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet their candidates.

    So, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, or your profile is naked, what does that say to them? Fully develop your profile and ensure that it is optimized for those searching four your skill set. And don’t forget to participate in LinkedIn group discussions.

    Opportunities Never Posted

    It is well known that more than half of available positions are filled before the positions even become public. If this is the case, then you’re only accessing less than half of them by only applying to posted openings, right? There is no need to wait for a posting to contact an employer to put your resume in their system BEFORE the opening comes available. If you are an accountant and think Proctor and Gamble would be a great place to work. Submit your resume now! Don’t wait for a posting that may never come. Also, try hunting down a hiring authority in a department in which you can contribute and reach out. Need a name but the front desk won’t give it? The folks in the mail room might help you. (Yes, I used this one in the past). Also, remember that LinkedIn thing? That is a good way to touch base with someone in that company as well.

    Niche Job Boards

    Everyone knows about the popular job boards such as Monster.com, Careerbuilders.com, Indeed.com and glassdoor.com. So if everyone knows about it, then the competition is going to be greater. Look for those boards that specialize in your niche. If you are in sales, have you ever heard of SalesCareerForum, SalesClassifieds or SalesGravy? How about you accountants? Have you accessed websites such as AccountingJobsToday, Bankjobs or FinancialJobBank?

    Professional Associations

    We all know that associations are a great way to keep your ear to the ground with regard to changes in your profession or industry. But communicating with your fellow association members is also a good way to find out the latest on employment opportunity developments. Association websites will sometimes communicate employment opportunities you won’t see on the job boards simply because the likelihood of receiving resumes from those who meet the qualifications are greater. Additionally, your fellow professionals with other companies are likely to know when the department is expanding or looking to hire. And don’t forget to attend the annual conventions to see find out the buzz regarding opportunities available for those in your field.

  • How Industry Associations Can Bolster Your Career

    whodoitellaboutmyjobsearchTo establishing yourself as an expert in your field usually takes hours of study, time and patience. But to make the road easier to travel, you want to have access to as many resources as possible. Industry associations provide a wealth of benefits that can support you on your way to subject matter expert status.

    Networking Opportunities

    Industry associations serve as a hub for the best and the brightest within any particular craft. If there are movers and shakers within your shown profession, you can bet that they have a strong presence within these types of organizations. Joining an industry association gives you access to other professionals with which you can build supportive relationships. As a member of the same association, you have common ground with other professionals with which you can form strategic alliances that can help your career endeavors through information sharing or introductions to other bigger players within your profession.

    Continuing Education

    Most credible industry associations offer programs that help their members to strengthen their knowledge base within the profession, secure valuable career-advancing certifications and gain CEUs to keep them. One can usually access course recordings online (some free, some for a small fee) to listen to at your convenience.

    Resources

    A good industry association will provide its members with tools that help them improve the value of their professional “product”. Membership should provide members with advantages not enjoyed by non-members, or why else would they join? For example, resume writers have several organizations that provide everything from keyword research tools to job descriptions to help its members provide a higher quality product to their clients. Most associations also have message boards and chat rooms where professionals discuss their challenges and get input on resolving them. Good associations will also provide their members with excellent discounts programs on items, product and services as excellent incentives for membership.

    Branding

    When employers see that you are an active member of a credible organization, they feel better about you being one who takes their career seriously. This gives you a bit of a leg up on those unaffiliated with such organizations. Employers know it is possible that you bring to the table the three points mentioned above (a network, access to resources) and a strong knowledge base), which only helps their cause.

    Aligning yourself with a strong industry associations is always a good move. You will find that the bonds you form with fellow industry professionals can provide you with numerous benefits in the form of support, new business partnerships, industry intelligence, or perhaps just someone to listen that understands your plight.

  • 7 additional linkedin factsA few weeks ago, we wrote about 7 little known LinkedIn facts that can bolster your LinkedIn profile performance (Hopefully you all have gone over these and applied these strategies to your LinkedIn profiles already). But you know what, you just can’t make too many improvements to a profile. So here are 7 more little known LinkedIn profile tips that can make you more marketable and searchable on the popular business networking platform.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #1: Limit LinkedIn Skill Entries to No More Than 25

    Your LinkedIn profile allows you to bolster your profile targeting by entering per-determined skill categories that can be endorsed by your connections. While the LinkedIn platform allows you to enter up to 50 of these categories, what most don’t realize is that too many of the secondary categories can water down the search strength of the others. As such, we recommend no more than 25 entries. You should also re-order them by importance to your goals and target interests of those who will be looking for you. What you may have noticed is that your connections may end up endorsing you for skills in addition to those you have select. As such, I recommend reviewing your skills list weekly to delete any additional skills for which you may have been endorsed.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #2: You Can Review the Profiles of Others Using the Anonymous Setting

    The LinkedIn profile has a specific purpose: to build networking relationships for career management purposes. If your industry or profession is a close-knit one, you may not want to make it known that you are reviewing the profiles of other professionals in the circle. This situation may require discretion on some level to protect against the wrong individuals discovering your activities. You know, like your boss! Simply go under “Edit My Profile” to “Settings”. From there, you will see the option to “Customize Visibility”. I have heard some voices out there that really do not like that members can review their profiles anonymously, but if one is that paranoid about the information on their LinkedIn profile, perhaps the medium is not for them.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #3: Re-order Your Sections by Importance

    When constructing a powerful resume, you always start off with strengths so that your reader absorbs them early on. Your LinkedIn profile allows you to use the same strategy. If you hold a valuable certification that that is critical to your goal but your formal education was in a different area, perhaps you should move the certification up. Perhaps your work experience is of little relevance to the reader. Why not relegate it below the skills section.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #4: Use the Project Section to Boost Your Profile

    Not many people I know bother to use the Project section. But this is a great place to add quality content for reviewers of your profile. For one of our clients in the construction industry, we decided to enter photos of projects he managed. We have also used this section Slideshare presentations.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #5: Profile Photo Makes a Difference

    Did you know that having your photo in your LinkedIn profile makes it seven times more likely to be clicked by others? I have had clients concerned about their perceived “lack of photogenic prowess”, but no photo means fewer visitors. Of course, you should not use the photo of you partying in Bermuda. Find a photographer that specializes in head shots. This will cause others see you a professional and help to establish your brand. If you are a business professional, the corporate head shot is for you. For those in less formal occupations, you can go with something that is in line with how you want to be perceived. So if you are in the travel agency or party business, then maybe that Bermuda pic works after all.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #6: Add Connections to Increase Search Strength

    The way the LinkedIn algorithm works, the more relevant connections you have, the more likely you are to come up in searches. When you do reach out to those connections, try to avoid using the standardized introduction verbiage. It is best to personalize your message so the recipient feels engaged. Also, when the connection has been accepted, it it is good to reach out and thank the new connection.

    LinkedIn Profile Tip #7: Create A Vanity URL

    Okay, I am not sure this is a “little known” fact, but it bears mentioning because many still don’t take advantage of it. A vanity URL that includes your name is going to be more memorable and should also contain fewer characters. This comes in handy when including the URL in other documentation such as your resume, a bio, business cards or other promotional literature.

    These tips and the tips in the earlier blog post should provide you with the tools needed to greatly improve your LinkedIn profiles effectiveness. However, if you decide you need a professional touch to help you get to get to the next level, we offer LinkedIn profile development services that pair well with a targeted resume.

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