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How Your Online Presence Can Boost or Lower Your Job Chances

Firstly, I want to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope 2013 will be a successful year for you and your family.

One of the most important aspects of our lives is our online presence. What you do, or do not do, online has a major impact on your chances to get the job you want. Even if you are qualified and look great on paper, what is available online may tell another story, or it may give you a far better chance of being accepted. If you want to take advantage of what a good online persona can offer, you need to know what to do as well as the steps you should take to ensure the results you want. If you put the time and effort into doing this, you can find yourself in the job you love and continually viewed as someone who brings more to the company on a regular basis.

Understanding the possibilities of a great online presence is a big thing. When you use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites intelligently and contribute something to the community at large, you can see your chance of jobs and promotions go up. Employers want to know that the people they hire are working to better themselves and give their company a good name, regardless of the position. This is what either brings in or sends away potential customers. When a person is attracted to a business and the employees present themselves professionally, people are more likely to choose them, which ultimately help the company.

Without an online persona, either entirely or one that is good, you cannot experience the types of benefits possible. More than likely, you will see less interest overall and more problems in the workplace. Any person who uses this account solely for social purposes and acts highly unprofessional might not get the interviews or jobs they want. Some people who have acted in this manner have also lost their current job. If you think you can avoid these troubles by not having an account at all, you are mistaken. Many employers might see that as a problem or red flag, causing them to go elsewhere for their employee.

To avoid the dangers and make the best out of your account, make sure it is professional and mature. This is something people are going to be looking through and viewing, making it very important that present and/or future employers like what they see. If you are filling your pages with inappropriate behavior and language that would not be wanted in the workplace, you may not be viewed as a possible candidate or permanent employee.

When you have everything looking decent, try to bring in readers and followers. By posting links to blogs, articles, and various web pages related to your area of work, you can start bringing in an audience that will want to hear what you have to say. This gives your employer a boost, as well, whenever you mention them, something that many want.

Putting the time and effort into not only creating a professional, clean online persona, but also maintaining it can help you reach your dream career. This gives you the ability to reach people and look like someone who will be a productive, rewarding member of the company.

Getting a Job is an Inside Job

Firstly, I want to take a moment to wish everyone happy holidays.

With the economy in a slump and the unemployed rate steadily rising, many people are finding themselves jobless and searching without any luck. Having a degree and experience sometimes just isn’t enough. You can have a perfect resume, but that does not mean you will find employment. Many people nowadays rely solely on sending out applications online or submitting their resumes to employees with little to no interaction with anyone who works at the company. While that may work with some people, it doesn’t always guarantee success for landing a job. It is important to develop personal relationships with the appropriate people in order to find proper employment. In the end, it is those relationships that will have employers coming your way and will expose you to more job opportunities.

It’s an unfortunate fact that many are suffering from long term unemployment. Even those with experience in a certain field and/or a college degree are finding their job inquiries unanswered, are not being called back for interviews, or are having their resumes ignored in general. This is because companies aren’t likely to hire people they don’t know. The only way to solve this problem is to get involved with those people who are affiliated with these companies and make connections. In order to do this, you will have to do some in person marketing and try to “hang out” with people who have connections, and make connections of your own. By knowing the right people, you can get your foot in the door so to speak. Companies are more likely to hire people they are familiar with, than people who blindly send in resumes or apply online. It is also easier to make an impression during an interview this way.

You will be more likely to get an interview if you are referred to the company by someone who works for the company and has the trust of the manager. By gaining the trust of people affiliated or employed by a company, you are also indirectly gaining the trust of the higher-ups in the company, increasing your chances of getting hired. It is important to make these connections that will get you recognized by employers. Sending in a resume online isn’t enough.

Many people go by the assumption that using websites to get jobs is the best choice. It certainly is the easiest. It doesn’t require going on any interviews and it is much faster and impersonal. However, most employers don’t thoroughly review all of the applications they receive online, and that certainly will be a high number considering the amount of people who rely solely on searching for jobs online. If the hiring manager of a company is familiar with the type of work ethic you have based on accounts from people whom are employed by the company, then your chances of being hired have been increased. You are more likely to get hired by knowing the right people than by depending on the internet alone.

6 Tips on Writing a Thank You E-mail After a Job Interview

In today’s culture, writing a thank you e-mail after a job interview is a lost art. Most people would rather text or tweet a ‘thank you note’ than take the time to do it the traditional way. I would argue that writing a thank you e-mail would be looked upon more favorably because no one does it anymore. Below are 7 tips that you should follow when crafting your thank you -email.

1. What’s the purpose of writing a thank you e-mail?

It shows you’re interested in the job and gives you an opportunity to express gratitude to interviewers who take time to talk to you or to meet with you.

2. What’s the content of a thank you e-mail?

Keep your thank you e-mail short. However, you should express appreciation, reiterate qualification, highlight values you’ll bring to the position, ask for the job, or ask for the next step of the interview process in your thank you e-mail.

3. What else should I pay attention to besides the content of a thank you e-mail?

Spell check your thank you e-mail and ask a friend to proof read your e-mail prior sending it. A thank you e-mail is a reflection of you. A thank you e-mail is full of spelling and grammatical errors will reflect you poorly.

4. How soon should I e-mail a thank you e-mail?

A thank you e-mail should be sent within two business days after the interview.

5. How do I e-mail a thank you e-mail if I don’t have hiring manager’s e-mail address?

Ask your recruiter to forward the thank you e-mail. Ask the contact person who sets up the interview to forward the thank you e-mail.

6. Should I send a thank you e-mail after a phone interview?

Yes, everyone loves a thank you e-mail as long as you convey your sincere appreciation towards interviewers in your thank you e-mail as long as you don’t come across as desperate for the position.

6 Things That Might Be Preventing You From Getting a Job

Although you may very well be a highly qualified candidate for the job in which you are applying, the job market is tough. There still could be a plethora of reasons for which you are not being hired for the multiple positions that you have applied for.

Hiring managers in today’s market are looking for certain skills, such as being keen in social media, global perspective, and computer skills. To avoid losing the chance of being considered for a job, review some of the traits that hiring managers do not want to see in a candidate below:

1. Lack of energy. You must show that you have enthusiasm about the company or position for which you are applying. If not, this will be visible to hiring managers during the interview. Showing enthusiasm, in turn, shows that you have the desire to achieve and are driven. This is a quality that hiring managers view as a trait of a hard worker. No one wants to hire a complaining employee with a sour attitude.  Remember that your enthusiasm will be visible as soon as you walk into an interview, so you should commit to being energetic and enthusiastic from the very beginning.

2. Inability to utilize your free time. Hiring managers look for a candidate who has additional interests and a personality outside of the work industry. They want to see you as a human being, and not a “bot”. Hiring managers love seeing someone who has hobbies or possibly has utilized their free time by acquiring a second job. This shows hiring managers that you are capable of managing your free time to expand your interests and skills; which is a quality that is likely to flow into your professional life as well.

3. Procrastinating. Managers look for a candidate that is punctual, and they avoid any traits that do not demonstrate the ability to follow through. Show hiring managers that you are an individual that makes quality use of your time. Give them examples of large projects that you have delivered on time. They will view this as an indication that you will employ the same dedication to their company as well.

4. Being unprepared. If you go to an interview without any knowledge of what the company is about, who they service, what their mission statement is, etc. this will show that you did not do your homework. Make sure that you do your research prior to the interview, and bring some questions with you to ask at the end of the interview. This shows hiring managers that you are already engaged in the company.

5. Job hopping. If you have held several positions in the last couple years, or show a tendency to leave a company prior to being with them for six months. This is a red flag to hiring managers that you could be difficult to work with or that you could be unsure of what you really want to do in your career path.  Do not lie on your resume, however. Simply explain as to why you have changed jobs so many times. Reassure them that although you have shown some job instability in the past, there are also several instances in which you have shown your dependability. Provide them with examples.

6. Lacking social media presence. In this day and age, more and more employers are checking their candidates’ social media sites. You may have noticed that some job applications have asked for your Facebook or Twitter information.  If you are lacking in this area, it could be viewed as you being incapable of paying attention to social trends or that you simply do not care about other’s perception of you. Be sure that you have some sort of social media presence online. You could start your own blog or professional Twitter account, and learn how to brand yourself.

There are a lot of diverse qualities in which hiring managers look for in their candidates. These can vary depending on the nature of the position for which you have applied. However, no hiring manager wants to see the traits listed above. Remove these negative attributes before your next job application or interview. This could make the difference between you remaining unemployed and finally landing that job you applied for. Good luck in your job search and future interviews!

Be Your Own Salesperson When You Search For Jobs

A salesperson would take a different approach to searching for a job than most people take, especially in the current jobs market. Many people simply submit applications and resumes to as many companies as they can, the “logic” being that odds are, one of them will call back to set up an interview. The problem with this approach is that you may end up with a job you hate. Some people mistakenly reason that a job they hate is better than no job at all, but this is not always true. Besides, times wasted applying for jobs you are either over or under qualified for could have been spent positioning yourself for jobs well suited to you.

Think for a moment about the process a typical salesperson follows, and you will gain some fresh insight into how to approach your job search. First, they approach the prospect and attempt to determine their needs. Then, they figure out how they can meet those needs and present their solutions to their prospects. By following a similar approach in marketing yourself during your job search, you will enjoy a much higher success rate than you would have if you had engaged in the more common (but less targeted) “scattered” approach. To borrow from the vernacular of the sales profession, you will “close the deal” far more often this way.

Sales people track their success in a different way from most other people, too, and you could probably learn something from that as well. For example, they measure the number of calls it takes to get through to a decision maker. For you, this might take the form of the number of resumes emailed. Next, they measure the number of appointments it takes to make a sale. Of course, in your case, once you have made your first sale, your job search has come to an end. At least, it should have. If you have only sent resumes to companies offering jobs well suited to your skill set, it will have.

Sales people also evaluate their approach when it is not working. You should do that, too. It could be that your resume is missing some important keywords that it should have. Perhaps your cover letter does not adequately convey the true depth of your desire to work for the company to which you are applying. Fix these problems promptly, and your successes rates will improve.

5 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for 2013

With the holidays approaching, many people who are searching for a new job tend to put their plans on hold and simply wait until the new year. However, December is actually a great time to get everything ready so when January rolls around you will be fully prepared.

This means that you can have everything in order and as soon as the first business day in January arrives you’ll have what you need ready to go. Here are just a few ways you can augment what you need to do in order to land a job very quickly.

1. Know What you Want

This means that you need to know what you are looking for in your next job. After all, you are trying to land the best job for you, not just any job, especially one that you are not well suited. You should create a list that helps you define what you want from your job, your expectations and what you hope to accomplish.

2. Update Your Resume

After you know what you want it is time to update your resume so that it is crafted towards getting the type of employment that you seek. You can highlight areas of your resume that helps land you the type of job that you want.

By doing this after you have come to the conclusion as to what you want to do, you can now fine tune your resume so that it has the best chance to impress.

3. Make a Plan

Now that you know what you want, the next step is to plan out your actions. This means you need to take into account the following;

  • Which job sites you will search
  • Allocate your time spent searching
  • Set specific targets and goals
  • List people you want to network
  • Specific companies that you want to target for employment opportunities

If you can write down your plan, you will help execute it much better when you put your plan into action.

4. Use LinkedIn

There is little question the power of LinkedIn and its effect on getting people jobs. You should have your profile on LinkedIn and fully updated with connections to others that you know. This way, your potential employer can immediately do a search off of your profile. Use a really good photo of yourself and make sure that your profile reflects the best you have to offer.

5. Keep in Contact With Your References

We all too often let our references slide and when it comes time for a potential employer to contact them, the information may be out of date or worse, the person you are using as a reference may be caught off guard. During the holidays you should send a holiday card, email or posting on Facebook for example to remind those who have agreed to be your reference that you will be searching for a new job soon. In this manner, they will be expecting calls and provide you with updated information if needed.

A little preparation this month can save you from expending time, energy and effort next month that could instead be used in finding your next job.

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