Archive for July, 2011

Using Social Media in Your Job Search

Jul 13 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Social media is more than just a place to catch up with friends; it can also serve as a useful tool in your job search. Social media is essentially networking with technology, so use it to your advantage. Gain exposure and credibility by getting your name and experience out there for all to see. Here are a few suggestions to get you started, along with some helpful tips:

LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com)
LinkedIn is the obvious place for job searchers to start. LinkedIn has a great reputation for connecting individuals on a professional level. When using LinkedIn, be sure to use a professional picture, completely fill out your information and job history, and get recommendations. LinkedIn is great about guiding you through completing your profile and finding contacts. You can only connect with contacts that you have worked with, done business with, or that are in your “network.” It helps to connect with anyone and everyone you know professionally and personally. This opens you up to a larger network. A little trick to expanding your network: connect with political figures and high-level executives since their network is larger than most. LinkedIn also allows you to apply for jobs right from their website, which will link employers back to your impressive LinkedIn profile.

Facebook (www.facebook.com)
Facebook can work for you AND against you. The first thing you should do when starting your job search is make sure your profile privacy settings are set to “private.” Do not allow people who are not your “friend” to see your wall, information, or pictures. Your profile picture will still be seen, so make sure it is not offensive. Many employers look at Facebook pages to find out more about candidates.

Facebook recently started offering an application that is similar to LinkedIn called BranchOut (http://www.facebook.com/BranchOutApp). It’s still fairly new, so there are a few kinks they have to work out, but it’s a more professional way to use Facebook. BranchOut allows you to create a professional profile with your job history and recommendations. You can search for jobs and see which of your connections have an “in.”

InTheDoor.com (www.inthedoor.com)
You must use your Facebook login information to use this website. InTheDoor.com takes your Facebook connections and links them with jobs available on Indeed.com, then shows you what jobs are available and which of your Facebook friends have a connection to the company. There are many search options to filter results. This is a great way to connect the dots and use your current connections to get ahead.

WordPress (www.wordpress.com)
Blogging is a great way to show your knowledge in a particular area. Start a blog, then post on your topic of expertise everyday. The blog will quickly build a library of knowledge to share to potential employers. You have to be careful, stay professional, and know that everything you say can and will be used against you, so it is important to keep your comments and opinions neutral. WordPress can also be used to post your resume and build your own website to showcase your experience. It is a great tool to show your individuality.

 Twitter (www.twitter.com)
Like Facebook, Twitter can help AND hurt you. It’s so easy to say something that may hurt your reputation, so only use Twitter if your tweets are appropriate. If your tweets are harmless, Twitter is a great way to get into a company. You can follow companies and people that you are interested in working for. Companies often post jobs on Twitter and share insider information. You can search Twitter for other people who share your interests or job field, then follow them for good information on job leads. You should try to build you number of followers to build credibility, so start by following others, tweeting often, and promoting your Twitter page on your other social networking pages like LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure you follow us: @QuitOrNot (http://twitter.com/#!/QuitOrNot)

YouTube (www.YouTube.com)
One unique way to get an employer’s attention is to create a YouTube video resume. This is an opportunity to show employers your personality and get a taste for who you are as a professional.

Here is an example of a YouTube video resume: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D411EyRiyU8  

It’s okay to have a script and cue cards to help guide you through; visuals also help make your video more catchy. Once you determine which social media outlets fit your needs best, add links to your resume. These links fit nicely at the top of your resume near your address and contact information. Make sure you share what you worked so hard on developing. Visit your social networking sites often and stay up-to-date on what is happening with your connections to make the most of your networking opportunities. Thanks and tweet you later!

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The Interview Stages

Jul 05 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The interview process can be grueling. There are a few variations, but most companies follow the same interview process to find their perfect match. How you handle each step determines if you move onto the next. The more you go through the process, the easier it gets. To help you skip through some of the learning process, QuitOrNot.com presents you with some of the hurdles you should plan to jump:

Phone Interview
Depending on a company’s size, the phone interview is typically done by a hiring manager or someone in their Human Resources department. If you have landed a phone interview, they are obviously considering you for the job. This is essentially a screening process to put together the pieces of your resume. Questions are centered around the facts of your resume. Usually, the phone interview does not delve too deep into situational questions.

  • If you have any time gaps in your resume, be prepared to explain.
  • Keep your answers very direct and answer the questions with confidence.
  • Be positive. This is your fist chance to show them you are pleasant to work with. Even if you left a job for negative reasons, try to put a positive spin on the situation.
  • Often times, hiring managers are not completely familiar with the job they are screening for. Make sure you clearly walk them through your resume. If you talk about something that may be proprietary to your past companies, explain briefly what you are talking about. You want the interviewer to leave the phone conversation with a clear understanding of your skills and what you can bring to the table.
  • When you are offered the chance to ask questions, make sure you ask at least 3-5 well thought out questions. This is your chance to ask some basics to also qualify whether you are interested in pursuing the next step.
  • Before finishing your phone conversation, you should ask how well you did and if you can count on the interviewer’s recommendation to move onto the next step. Also find out what the next step will be and what their time frame is.

Although a phone interview is just the beginning, you should be sure to send a thank you to the interviewer. If it is a hiring manager, an email will suffice. If your interview was with the person you will report to directly, a hand-written thank you note would be more appropriate. Here are some other tips you may find helpful: http://asktherecruiter.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-to-nail-phone-interview.html

 In-Person Interview
Although it is very cliché, this is your first chance to make a good impression. Be sure to get a list of exactly who will be involved in the interview so you can do research on each interviewer. The new trend is to have a search committee and multiple people involved in the hiring. This makes the interview a little more difficult because now you have to impress multiple personalities. Whether it is one interviewer or many, the basics stay the same.  The interviewer(s) are judging you on your communication skills, professionalism, ability to think on your feet, and appearance.  Body language is also important, so use your posture and gestures to show your excitement without overdoing it. The questions will be directed towards the skills they are looking for most. Your job is to connect the dots for them and show how your experience can be transferred to the job you are interviewing for. You want to leave the interview knowing that you told them what you can bring to the table that no one else can.

 Behavioral Interview
This may or may not be a part of the interview process, but it’s still good to be prepared. In this part of the interview process, you will be asked to give examples to back up your skills. The questions can get complicated and you will need to have good real-life situations to talk about. It helps to think about what situations you may use before walking into the interview. Some examples of behaviorally-focused situations they may pin point are:

  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Multi-tasking
  • Motivation
  • Dealing with tough situations
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication

Have an example ready for each topic that shows your ability to handle each with ease (http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/acing-behavioral-interview). Behavioral interviewing is structured to see how well you tell a story, so get your facts straight and avoid backing yourself into a corner. Know what major skills they are looking for so you can mold your answers to fit their expectations.

Skills Test
Some positions require that you walk the walk and prove your abilities through an aptitude test. This is only necessary for technical jobs with measurable tests, like graphic designers, medical professionals, information technology, electricians, etc. The company should make you aware of the test before coming in for your interview, so be sure to freshen up your knowledge and get plenty of rest so you can focus on answering the test questions as best possible. There are online tests for practice, so find a test that fits your skills or try generic reasoning tests to get warmed up (http://www.practiceaptitudetests.com/).

Follow-Up
Hand-written thank you notes are crucial after your in-person interview(s). Make sure they do not forget about you. No matter how confident you are, you are probably not the only candidate. By sharpening your skills and being prepared for what is next, you will stand out from the rest.

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