LinkedIn Lacking Pizazz? 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Profile

21 03 2017

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It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the king when it comes to social and professional networking for businesses and professionals. Like all social media, it only serves its purpose when the information presented on it is complete and you remain active and update frequently. But a boring LinkedIn page can cause you to be overlooked just as much as an incomplete or messy one, so what can you do to add a little pizazz to your page? Here are three easy ways to professionally spice up your LinkedIn profile or business page.

Write Articles

Whether for your company or as a professional, writing articles to be posted on LinkedIn is a great way to spice up your profile because it demonstrates your professional knowledge of your field and shows that you are active and engaged with the community. Articles published on LinkedIn from your company might also be seen as more legitimate than if they had been posted on your blog. These articles can also showcase images that further add color to your page and catch the eyes of readers. Articles can be regarding just about anything to do with business or LinkedIn itself, but it’s almost always best to focus your subject matter on what you do professionally in a way that best represents the brand you are trying to cultivate.

Have a Business Page

If you run a business, having a profile page for it on LinkedIn like this one is about as important as having a page for it on Facebook. Like this ASEA LinkedIn page, you want to make it look professional and appealing, with your logo as the profile picture and eye-pleasing graphics for your background and header photos. Just like on a personal page, a business page needs to be kept active and updated with relative frequency. Give people a reason to follow you by posting humorous, interesting and engaging content, whether it’s pictures or articles. Graphics need to look professional, so hiring a professional designer to create them is likely what you need to do – DIY graphics rarely look nice enough and can tarnish your business’s image as slipshod.

TIP: If you prefer working with stock photos, here are 10 sites that don’t suck.

Craft a Compelling Headline and Summary

First impressions are everything. To get people hooked from the beginning on your page or profile, take the time to craft a compelling headline and summary that will tell others who you are, what your experience is and what you can do for them. The key is to keep it both short and sweet, while hitting on the main things you want your customers or clients to know about your business. When coming up with your headline, make sure that it says what you do, who you help and why you’re qualified. Summaries can include information such as how long you’ve been in business, what you do and for whom (be as specific and targeted as possible). Appeal to the people you want to attract by knowing what they’re looking for and explain what you can do for them. Just like with major search engines, include key words and phrases that companies or potential clients will search for.

There are any number of other things that can also serve to make your LinkedIn page stand out more, such as having a personalized public profile LinkedIn URL, recommendations from former clients and bosses, all of your professional information and a portfolio of your work. If you are not currently utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest, we’d recommend that you put some more time and effort into it to see just how useful an account can be for your career and your business.

Extra credit reading: 6 Tips for Getting More Out of LinkedIn

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Emma Sturgis!!****

 

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About the author: Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2





18 Next-Level Résumé Tips

14 03 2017

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As you prepare to leave college and head into the world of work, you’ll have one thing on your mind: landing that dream job! Those first months after graduating can be a disheartening time. You may anticipate suffering knock-back after knock-back as you gradually acclimatize to the idea that you’re going to have to settle for less until you have a bit more experience. But you can improve your chances of getting a great position, or at least a nice leaping point, by sprucing up your CV in ways that we know make recruiters pay attention.

List your achievements and experience in reverse-chronological order, so as to grab their attention quickly – many recruiters will look at a résumé for less than ten seconds before moving on if they’re not interested. If you’re graduating for the first time, you might not have much experience to share yet – but you can convey what skills you have learnt in a succinct list of bullet points under your jobs, qualifications and extracurricular activities. Tailor these to each specific job to which you apply: go through their list of requirements, and see how you can promote personal examples under your own job or course descriptions. You may need to think laterally!

You can also make an impact by including a short but unique cover letter. This is your chance to get an edge over the 45% of applicants who won’t bother, and to address the hiring manager by name – a detail which you will of course research in advance, to show what a hot property you are.

For 18 simple tips on how to tweak your CV to perfection, check out this new infographic – it’s full of ways to make that résumé stand out, even if you don’t yet have the experience you feel you need.

****Big thanks to our friends at NeoMam Studios for the graphic!!****

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How Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

1 02 2017

 

Did you share that super-fun, albeit slightly embarrassing story about your wild Friday night on Facebook? How about express a moderately insensitive political viewpoint on a short but pointed tweet? If you’re thinking about a prospective job, you might want to reconsider damaging posts, tags, or rants.

That’s because prospective employers don’t just sit back and let your resume speak for itself. They’re looking at all sorts of information, from references you provide to information you don’t even know you’ve given them—your social media accounts. What’s the risk, and what should you do about it? The information in this graphic helps you make a good assessment.

Additional resources:

How Your Social Accounts Can Impact Your Candidacy

Via AkkenCloud





Why Skills Matter More Than Your Degree

19 01 2017

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When applying for a job, hiring managers are going to look at your education to determine whether or not they feel you are qualified for the job. But your degree and education are not the only important factors when considering if you fit the job needs.

The skills and experiences you have are sometimes more important than your education. In many ways, having the right set of skills will be more beneficial than having the right degree.

But why are your skills so important when applying to a job?

Skills Better Show Your Personality, Values and Goals

While your degree can show you are educated and a hard worker, it doesn’t tell much about you as a person. Your degree can show you’re capable of completing the job tasks, but it doesn’t tell how well you will fulfill the other necessities of the position.

In order to be successful in a job, you need to have communication skills, time management skills, and teamwork and leadership skills. If you’re unable to work as a team, communicate with your coworkers, and properly manage your tasks, your education won’t matter.

A Degree May Get You the Job, But Skills Help You Advance

Your entry-level positon is rarely the job you hope to be in until retirement. While having the right degree and the right education may land you the entry-level position you need to enter the workforce, without necessary skills you won’t move beyond into higher roles and responsibilities.

If you want to continue to receive promotions and be handed bigger and better projects, you need to show you have the skills employers are looking for in long-term employees. Continue to develop your skills even after you’ve been hired into your initial position.

Skills Show Experiences Education Can’t

When you’re ready to enter into the workforce, you’ve had years and years of experiences and challenges behind you that do not relate to your degree. Through part-time jobs you’ve held, internships you’ve participated in, or even military experience, you’ve developed skills, habits and behaviors your degree cannot represent.

If you didn’t have a traditional education or feel your skills better reflect what you can contribute to the position, you may want to consider applying to a job using a different kind of resume. By highlighting your skills instead of your education, you’re putting what you feel to be most important at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind.

Having a Degree is Important the Focus of the Degree is Not

When you go to get a degree, the field of your degree is becoming less and less important. As jobs become more fluid and majors become more specific, it isn’t always clear where a degree lines up in the workforce. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A degree tells a hiring manager you are serious about continuing your education and you are able to follow a rigid course of classes and requirements to achieve a goal. Having a degree is typically a prerequisite for entering the workforce and getting a job, but the focus of your degree is becoming less and less important.

If you’re applying for your first “real” job, don’t stress too much about your degree. As long as you’ve received a quality education, you’re serious about the job you’re applying to, and you’re ready to work hard for the company that hires you, your major or field of focus won’t be the most important application factor. Instead, let your unique skills, values and perceptions land you the job of your dreams and fuel you through promotions and raises.

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also a member of the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum





10 Ways Top Candidates Set Themselves Apart

10 01 2017

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Let’s face it, if you were hired for a job based on your resume alone, there would be no need to interview. But because no one is hired solely as a result of their work experience and/or accomplishments, interviews are a necessary evil. The face-to-face meeting does, however, offer an opportunity to go beyond the resume and set yourself apart from other equally qualified candidates.

So, how do you leverage the interview to rise above the rest? It all comes down to communication. A recent study declared verbal communication the top skill employers value in recent college grads. Being well-spoken is the best way for candidates at every level, in every industry, to gain an edge over their competition.

Here are a few more specifics:

Make your excitement about the opportunity obvious

Companies want to hire people who are eager to work for them, so express enthusiasm while you’re answering interview questions. Oddly enough, candidates don’t always realize that they aren’t fully expressing their interest. More often than we want to admit, recruiters get the following feedback from clients, “I like this candidate but s/he didn’t really seem excited about the position.”  Ouch, that stings and is definitely hard to recover from. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Wouldn’t you pick the candidate who showed more interest and excitement about the opportunity, assuming all the skills were there?

Don’t make the interviewer dig for answers

Solid candidates recognize what the interviewer is trying to uncover based on the line of questioning and respond accordingly. This means they don’t just say, “oh I have great organizational skills,” but they actually offer unprompted examples of how they organize their priorities and how their organizational skills positively impacted the outcome of a certain project.

Leave the generic responses at home

Great candidates usually have a unique point of view and thoughtful answers to questions asked. Don’t be afraid to gather your thoughts in front of the interviewer before responding to a question, rather than rushing to give the generic answer that the interviewer has probably heard a hundred times.

Convey flexibility

It’s wonderful to be committed to a five-year plan or to have clear, professional goal in mind. But you don’t want to come across as rigid, especially since your specific goals may limit you from opportunities and or direction that only become apparent with a new position.

Command the convo regarding your previous experience

When responding to questions, you are either in control of the answer, or the answer is like a runaway train. Candidates with excellent communication skills talk about their past experience in precise terms with specificity. Prior to an interview, brush up on the details of your work history and the progression of your career so that you can talk about any aspect with ease, and use it to your advantage when needed.

Hear what Atrium Recruiters have to say about standing out in a job interview.

Quantify your value

If you have numbers to back up your experience, use them. Whether it’s dollars saved or earned for a company, time-saving efficiencies you introduced or other quantifiable successes, be sure to articulate them during the interview process. #humblebrag

Show that you can take initiative

Effectively communicate that you’re they type of employee who takes initiative. Even at the entry-level, companies hire individuals who will evolve into leaders. Convey this during the interview by providing an example of a project where you self-started or went above and beyond.

Talk about being growth-oriented, without talking about future positions

Great candidates are able to express a desire to grow within a position for their own betterment and to add to their own skill set, not necessarily to climb the ranks. 

Be genuine in your delivery and comfortable in your own skin

An interview can put people on edge and make them tense. Although easier said than done, be yourself. It’s critical that you come across as genuine and authentic in order to build rapport with the interviewer. If you do this well, the interviewer will come away with an idea of what it would be like to have you on his/her team.

Keep the conversation fluid

Make the interview enjoyable for the interviewer! Ask questions that engage the interviewer and facilitate back and forth dialogue.

****For this fantastic post, Campus to Career thanks our friends at Atrium Staffing!!****





5 College Activities to Build Skills for Your Career

20 12 2016

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Making the move from college to starting your career can be an exciting or stressful time for fresh graduates, depending on their preparation, chosen field, and a whole host of factors that are outside anyone’s control. In a market where some are saying a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma in terms of the minimum requirement to get a job, smart college students are developing relevant skills to separate themselves from the pack.

Here are 5 activities you can do while in college that will help you develop valuable skills to boost your resume and improve your job prospects after graduation.

Join career path-related societies – If you have an idea of what you might like to do after you graduate, join a related society on campus. For example, if you want to be a paramedic, you could get involved with the campus emergency services while in college. Aside from learning and applying some of the real skills you may use later, you’ll also develop valuable contacts and networks that may serve you well later. There are societies or organizations in most universities covering the major areas of study, including law societies, engineering societies, and more.

Attend campus talks and networking events – Many talks will be organized by student societies or by the departments themselves, and they are great places to mingle with your peers, professors, and outsiders who attend. Get on the email lists of any department or society you are interested in to see what events are coming up.

Get involved in student government – This could be connected to the particular organization related to your area of study, or to student life at your college in general. Skills you can develop here include leadership, project and event management, and networking. If you have leadership or management aspirations, this is a good way to cut your teeth.

Check out local Meetups – Getting involved in activities off-campus is a great way to expand your network beyond your circle of peers and classmates. Sites like meetup.com hold meetups and networking events on everything under the sun. There are over 140,000 active groups worldwide, with the highest concentration of groups in the biggest cities. The main skill you’ll be developing at meetups is networking, though depending on the meetup you choose to go to, you could be learning and actively doing a wide variety of skills and activities.

Give back with community work – Giving back to the community looks great on a resume, and if you get involved with a cause that is important to you, it gives you something to talk passionately about in an interview. You can learn a wide variety of career skills, depending on the type of community work you choose, but will also develop valuable interpersonal skills like empathy and teamwork.

Editor’s note: Campus to Career recommends that you explore involvement with your local Enactus team. There are over 400 university campuses active in the Enactus United States network and 1,700+ worldwide.  Click here to learn more and find a team. 

The common theme in all of these is networking; if you find an area of interest or activity you are passionate about, the best thing you can do is get more involved and develop a related network. Success in the job hunt today is about a combination of who you know, what you know, and what kind of commitment you have to continued learning and development of new skills.

What other college activities have you found helpful in preparing you for your career? Share your ideas in the comments below!

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Joel Curry!!****

About: Joel Curry is a Career Advisor and Resume Expert who writes for Resume Companion. He helps job seekers craft more compelling cover letters and resumes, and gives career advice to those pursuing leadership and management level positions.





5 Tips for Getting an Awesome Job at a Startup

6 12 2016

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So, you want to work for a startup? They can be exciting to work for, offer up tremendous learning opportunities, and really pay off if you’re working for the best ones.

But getting hired by the best can certainly be a challenge. This is partly because startups have bought into the old Steve Jobs “only hire A players” mentality. But they are also looking for a specific kind of talent.

I’ve both run and worked for startups for the last 10 years. I’ve hired for them and been hired. Here’s my advice for getting in the door.

1. Show them that you’ve got startup-like experience.

Having worked at a startup before will help you a lot in getting hired at a startup. But this of course can be a chicken and egg problem. If you don’t have startup experience, how do you get it?

First off, you don’t necessarily have to have worked at a startup. Look for any experiences you’ve had where expectations were high and supervision was low. Somewhere you got thrown in the deep end and had to sink or swim.

My most startup like-experience, before I actually worked at a startup, was at a restaurant. My first night working at a particular restaurant when I was young was supposed to be training.

But when one of the servers didn’t show, and the restaurant got packed, they asked me to just try waiting as many tables as I could. I had to figure it out as I went, make decisions in the absence of guidance, and do the best I could with what I had.

If you don’t have startup experience, see if you can tell them about a situation you were in that relates.

You can also show this in the way you apply. When I applied to work with Betterteam, part of my test for being hired was writing a long-form article. To make the article really stand out, I cold called and interviewed several influential people in our space, something no other candidate did.

2. Show a love for learning.

The only thing that doesn’t change at a startup is the constant changing. Your job won’t fit into the typical job description.

There’s a good chance that you’ll be doing something completely different on day 1, day 30 and day 90.

Successful startup founders know this, and they’ll be looking for people who can adapt, learn and grow with the startup. Of course, you don’t want to just tell them you’re willing to learn. Show them.

Do you study languages or play instruments in your spare time? Practice a martial art, or run a hobby website?

This is something I’ve seen among my colleagues that make it at startups – they all have multiple hobbies and skills that they’re at varying stages of developing.

3. Know where to look.

When startups post jobs, they don’t always do it on traditional job boards.

A lot of them like to use niche boards that are more likely to bring in the type of candidates they’re looking for. Here are a few you’ll want to check out.

  • Weworkremotely – as the name suggests, mostly focused on remote jobs.

  • AngelList – lots of startups post their jobs here, and many report having success with it.

  • Hacker News – lists jobs with Y Combinator startups.

  • Authentic Jobs – lists jobs for developers, designers and various other startup positions.

4. Know the tools.

When I hired at my startup, I always hated getting resumes sent to me as Word files. PDFs were a little better, but what really showed me that someone had the same sensibilities as our company was getting a Google Doc resume link sent.

I’m not saying you have to be in love with Google Docs, but it’s good to figure out what tools a startup uses, and show familiarity with them.

Other tools that are popular among startups include Slack, Basecamp, Calendly, Asana, Github, Skype and Google Hangouts.

I doubt anyone is going to pass on a great hire because they sent something as a Word doc, but using and knowing the same tools that they use is definitely a sign of cultural fit.

5. Be helpful.

Maybe you’re just not quite ready yet. You either don’t have experience that convinces someone you can function as a startup employee, or don’t have the right skills.

While you’re waiting, see if you can find a way to be helpful to the startups you’d most like to work for.

Automattic, the company responsible for WordPress.com, notes on their job page that if you’re looking to be one of their Happiness Engineers, you may have spent some time helping people out in their forums.

If you’re interested in working for a few particular startups, keep an eye on them with social media, and see if there are ways you can contribute outside the company before you come on, and get on their radar.

That’s what I’ve got! It’s a good time to be looking for startup jobs, skilled employees are hard to find in general, and the startup space is especially in need of great employees. Get out there and get that job!

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Paul Peters!!****

pp1About: Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring and marketing. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.