ENTERTAINMENT

6 Stuffs Your Online Profiles Should Manifest

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Landing your dream internship is no easy feat. Many employers call for an experienced candidate with relevant skills and a personality compatible with company culture. To stand out, you need to think outside the box — and social media platforms can offer a goldmine of your strongest selling points.

Cover letters and resumes, although a necessary requirement for most job postings, don’t always provide an accurate portrayal of who you are to an internship employer. Your application materials may shout, “Hire me!” — but beefing up your online profiles, includingFacebook, LinkedIn, GitHub and even your personal website or blog, can ultimately be your golden ticket.

What an internship employer finds online can make or break hiring decisions. Here are six things your online profiles need to showcase while you’re on the hunt for a dream job or internship.

VISIT ALSO: 4 Things that Provides a Ways to Knock Off Your Resume

Professionalism,

Cover letters and resumes are almost always going to read as professional documents — but your online profiles can offer perhaps the most accurate reflection of your level of professionalism. While social media profiles are mainly used for, well, socializing, there’s always room for you to flaunt your professional talents: the projects you’ve worked on and various qualities that might appeal to a potential employer. While there’s no golden rule for professional social communication, below are a few tips on how to display professionalism in your online profiles.

  • Participate in relevant conversations on LinkedIn, and be sure that your LinkedIn profile is an adequate reflection of your skills and experience.
  • Engage in professional conversations on Facebook about news stories, expert opinions and industry information. Utilizing relevant hashtags (sparingly) displays your investment in the conversation.
  • Showcase your passion for your future career by mentioning events (like hackathons) you’ve attended, side projects you’ve been involved with and volunteer experiences you’ve completed.
  • Highlight your personality traits by mixing personal and professional posts — be sure that you’re not posting anything too personal. Your “Spring Break ’08” photo album should probably remain for your eyes only.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to professionalism, displaying interest in the industry you wish to enter is a great start.

Industry-related activity,

You may not use your online profiles to engage in career-related conversations, but there are still a variety of ways in which employers can determine whether or not you’re invested in your industry.

  • You may be more interested in following the conversation or sharing valuable information rather than actively participating. If this is the case, be sure you’re following thought leaders and sharing any industry-related links or insights to show you’re keeping up with the conversation.
  • On Twitter, participate in Twitter chats related to your major or industry. Curate your profile with retweets that are intriguing.
  • For LinkedIn, join groups that are specific to your space.

As always, be consistent and stay active so the employer knows it’s not a temporary spike.

Expert communication,

Conversation on social media will often take a more short-form, casual tone. But this doesn’t mean you should throw grammar, spelling and general sentence structure out the window. Rather, your online profiles should highlight your expertise in sharing information, connecting with others and properly representing your interests — and it should do so articulately and intelligently.

  • Post well-crafted updates, confident exchanges of insight and conversations on a variety of topics.
  • Start a blog — whether it’s through Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger — and share your posts to showcase your writing skills and grasp of the industry.

The “wow” factor,

While voice, professionalism and passion are a good start, you shouldn’t be afraid to step it up a notch when applying for an internship. Seize the opportunity to stand out.

  • On Twitter, consider creating a hashtag for your dream internship. This allows you to put your social media profile at the center of the application process and gives the internship employer a sense of your online footprint in real-time.
  • You may also consider posting a video resume, or creating an online campaign to really impress your potential internship employer.

A large, valuable network,

Often, it’s all about who you know when it comes to securing an internship or job. Consider your online network as a group of professional references — while members of your network may not have directly signed off on your expertise, you’ve made the decision to follow and communicate with them.

  • Follow and, if possible, engage with as many influencers, innovators or leaders in your industry as you can. Not only do these interactions highlight your devout interest in your career, but they also provide evidence that you’re staying up-to-date on the relevant conversations taking place online.

Correlating links,

Your online profile should consistently present a variety of applicable links — not only to industry-relevant content, but to your own portfolios, profiles and online work. An internship employer should be able to easily find a link to your personal website, blog, online portfolio and even your resume. This shows commitment and makes your application materials more accessible.

Red flags to avoid

You probably use your online profiles for personal updates, which is unavoidable — but unfortunately, many internship candidates take this a little too far and post some cringe-worthy content. Remain wary of a few warning signs that potential employers may find worrisome.

  • Updates that are opposite of the company’s values
  • Repeated controversial posts on a number of topics
  • Plagiarism or unsourced information
  • Badmouthing your previous employer
  • All-around negativity

If you want that coveted internship, put your best face forward on your online profiles. Show that you’re up-to-date on relevant company information, passionate about the industry and an all-around savvy Internet user: Bonus points if you’ve reached out to the company via social media prior to your screening process.

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3 Must Do Things To Recruit Your Top Tech Talent

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Scott Rothrock is the co-founder and CTO of RemarkableHire, a talent-sourcing platform that uses social evidence to help recruiters and hiring managers find and evaluate the best job candidates. Connect with him and the RemarkableHire team on Facebook and Twitter.

Finding top-notch technical talent can be hard. But are we experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates, or are brilliant minds simply being overlooked? Traditional recruiting methods just don’t cut it in terms of finding highly skilled candidates anymore, and companies may be to blame for their less-than-brazen use of these hiring techniques.

VISIT ALSO: Make your Startup Business Standout from Crowd

Top tech candidates are out there. So, how do you find and hire top talent?

Get serious about seeking talent. While companies say they are looking for the next “game-changing” employee, they certainly aren’t updating their selection processes to do so. Journalist George Anders, author of The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out, observes the incredible shortcomings of companies who rely on conservative selection processes — and end up narrowing their criteria to such a degree that they often miss candidates with unusual potential.

Anders explains that wise leaders shouldn’t expect exceptional talent to come in a neat package. Companies should be scouring the market for candidates with resilience and creativity, while keeping traditional skills, such as work ethic and reliability, in view.

Employers should consider finding talent through methods that are as unique as the candidates they’re seeking. Facebook’s strategy of using online programming puzzles to test and attract new talent stands out as a great example. These forms of tests offer an alternative route for those who might initially be overlooked during an application process.

There’s no doubt that hiring managers and recruiters are serious about the hiring process. But their hiring methods sometimes take too few creative liberties, and therefore pass up serious talent. While the resume was once the mainstay of the HR industry, for instance, you’re likely to miss candidates with serious potential if your hiring process relies solely on resumes. In this day and age, many of the top tech candidates spend much more of their time honing their craft than they do honing their resume.

Recruit to train. Let’s face it: Not all employers are blameless for the talent recruitment struggles they’re facing. Peter Cappelli, a professor and author who recently wrote,Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It, presents a possible solution for this issue. Cappelli argues that companies need to return to the ancient way of doing things —  focus on recruiting talented people, and train them to be the skilled employees you wanted all along.

With the unemployment rate at 7.9%, business leaders are still complaining about the shortage of qualified candidates. These same leaders’ companies offer job descriptions with an impossible number of requirements, and then use software to filter through thousands of applications. The talent search is doomed from the start when there are precise words needed to alert the applicant-tracking software that a candidate should get through the gates and into an interview.

The tech industry should not be forcing applicants to apply through automated resume screening tools. Put more emphasis on a candidate’s core abilities to learn and adapt rather than being overly precise on a given skill set. If you focus on foundational competencies and professional athleticism, you’ll be able to look at a broader pool of qualified candidates and maybe even find the talent that your competitors might have overlooked.

Go niche. Social communities revolving around specific areas of interest — such as GitHub, Dribbble and StackOverflow, for example — exist for every nook and cranny of the tech industry. Use these to attract talent looking for specific jobs rather than post on a generic job board, where your listing can easily be lost or overlooked. Not only can you assess candidates’ qualities even before the first interview and find out if their area of expertise is consistent with yours, but you can also create and build a network of potential candidates to look at when you have other openings.

As more and more tech candidates contribute to these online, peer-reviewed communities, recruiters can get deeper, more objective appreciations for the candidates’ core competencies. By using this information, you can rank candidates based on how well they’ve demonstrated the core set skills you’re looking for, and save time that would otherwise have been spent in screening interviews. Because of the way many of these niche communities are designed, you’ll be able to see actual examples of candidates’ expertise rather than bullet point descriptions of their skills.

Don’t stand in your own way of finding the tech talent you need; take advantage of these tips to set your organization apart, and find a perfect match.

What is your company doing to find and attract top tech talent? Tell us in the comments.

4 Things that Provides a Ways to Knock Off Your Resume

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Brie Weiler Reynolds is the content and social-media manager at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings, and a former career advisor. At FlexJobs, Reynolds offers job seekers career and work-life balance advice through the FlexJobs blog and social media.

One area of job searching that confounds plenty of job seekers is what to include on a resume. Include too much information, and you’ll lose recruiters in unimportant details. But, with too little information, recruiters won’t be sure you’re qualified for the next step in the process.

VISIT ALSO:Resume Cogitation Among the Recruiters

Since most job seekers have excessive information on their resume and don’t know what to eliminate, let’s start with four things you can always leave off of it. These tips will help you better organize your information, and present it in a format that is easy-to-read and quickly understandable for recruiters.

An “objective.” This is the statement at the top of a resume that tells an employer what you’re looking for — but it’s got to go. They already know you’re interested in their job, so it’s unnecessary. Instead, use a “summary of qualifications” to introduce employers to your most relevant skills and experience, and to show them exactly how your experience can fit their needs.

Unrelated awards, hobbies and interests. Our CEO once had a job seeker who claimed to be a “pig-wrestling champion” on his resume, which is a great accomplishment, I’m sure. But it had nothing to do with the job he applied for, and it distracted from the rest of his qualifications. Unless it directly adds to your qualifications for the job or helps the employer see how you fit with their company culture (for example, if you’re applying to an outdoor apparel company and you are an avid hiker, that’s a hobby that matches their culture), leave it off your resume.

Too much formatting. Keep your resume simple, so recruiters can read it quickly and easily. Don’t use bold, italics and underlines all at once. Don’t use more than one font, and be consistent in the way you present information. Bulleted lists are much easier to read than paragraphs. Keep your resume single-spaced, and shrink your margins to a half inch. You’ll be surprised at how much space poor formatting can take up on your resume, pushing it far longer than it needs to be.

Lists of tasks for each job. Instead of telling recruiters what you did at your past jobs, tell them what you accomplished — what were the overarching results of your day-to-day tasks? Rather than rewriting your job description, tell recruiters how you did what you did and why it made a difference to your employer and customers.

What you leave off of your resume can be just as important as what you include, so make sure that precious real estate is taken up with relevant, well-stated, interesting information. Recruiters should be able to check off their list of qualifications easily by reading your resume, and come away with a sense of who you are and the value you can bring to their company.

How Employers Can Create a Livable Culture of Go-ahead

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A recent CareerBuilder survey suggests that 21% of workers plan to change jobs this year -– a 17% jump from last year, and the highest percentage since the recession.

VISIT ALSO: Whether You’ve Outgrown Your Home Office

For employers, this turnover rate can be a frightening thought, especially when you consider the potential impact that the loss of an employee can have on productivity and morale. In this competitive environment, many employers are likely wondering how to keep their brightest stars and how to bring promising fresh blood neatly into the fold.

Not long ago, Big Spaceship held a hack day, in which members of our crew could self-organize to produce anything that made our agency a better place. There were a number of results — from solutions for a healthy workplace to tools to appreciate daily moments of humor and joy. Big Spaceship has been evolving its culture for 14 years, but it wasn’t until recently that a printed book -– a rarity in the digital age -– would illuminate the ins and outs of our company values and what they mean to employees new and old.

Turns out, this simple reminder of our values has been a key ingredient in keeping our already tight-knit crew as cohesive as ever. It’s helped the youngest and newest staff members feel engaged and confident, and encouraged the most senior employees to remain open-minded. Culture is organic; it changes and it can’t be dictated by one person.

As your company begins to look inward to attract and retain employees, here are five tips that any business can use to create its own culture manual.

You can’t mandate culture,

A successful manual must be a manifestation of the culture that already exists at your company. Its origins should be completely organic –- a far cry from many corporate environments, in which a single person or committee is responsible for dictating the culture. Remember: Your culture may be encouraged from the top-down, but it will only take hold from the bottom-up.

One of the ways that smart business leaders can spur this phenomenon is by actively putting hiring power into their employees’ hands and allowing them input on who joins their environment.Google, renowned for its organic culture, is a great example of this; the company institutes committees when taking on new hires, naturally helping everyone feel involved and valued.

Balance friendly encouragement with tough love,

People appreciate the honest truth, because it means you respect their intelligence. A lot of things that make a company great require sacrifices, and your manual should tell both sides of the story.

Encourage your employees to ask for help when they need it; feeling supported is absolutely essential to maintaining worker happiness. But don’t let them get too comfortable. Force them to take initiative and, instead of complaining, take it upon themselves to make changes when and how they see fit. Happiness and productivity both stem as equally from independence and confidence as they do from a sense of support.

People will pitch in if you give them freedom and time,

Freedom and time are golden. In the modern workplace, these are two attributes that can be extremely hard to come by — especially when it seems as if every half-hour a new meeting alert pops up. Technology is turning many employees’ ways of life into a vicious cycle, transforming them into slaves to their calendars.

Don’t let your employees become cogs in the wheel. Give them permission to take a step back from the grind and make culture a priority, not an add-on. Sometimes the best brief will say, “Here’s the general space we’re playing in. The rest is up to you.”

Stand for something,

Studies have proven that purpose-driven brands have greater success than those that are only concerned with maximizing shareholder value. But aligning your company with certain beliefs and behaviors also means that not everyone will be a perfect fit within the company’s culture. To be straightforward at Big Spaceship, we list our values on our careers page, because we know it will help attract the right kind of people — and let others know they might be better off elsewhere.

Southwest Airlines is a brand that’s been lauded for being particularly purpose-driven in recent years. They’ve built up a reputation for being hard-working, respectful and, perhaps most importantly, laid back and friendly. They stay away from candidates who don’t fit the bill, and these efforts have paid off: The company has only a 2% turnover rate.

Find the themes that define the way you work,

It’s important that every workplace articulate its unique features and create themes, both internally and externally, that can be narrowed down and shared with all employees.Defining distinct pillars will help your employees feel grounded in their day-to-day, and will keep the sometimes numerous and potentially overwhelming aspects of your culture in perspective.

Zappos is successful at this type of transparency. Its list of ten core values, while a bit lengthy, manages to convey a simple and flexible framework within which its employees can work and play. It’s a strategy that’s worked for us, as well. Our manual has three chapters: the first is about embracing humanity in the workplace, the second is about collaboration and the third is “We Change.”

Dear Patron’s, how do you inspire Go-ahead in the workplace? Share in the comments.

Whether You’ve Outgrown Your Home Office

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There are numerous reasons to run a business out of your home, with cost savings and an easy commute being the top two. However, there may come a time when the business outgrows the home. Common signs are when boxes of inventory overtake the dining room or you need to invite employees or customers to meet in your living room.

Some people can work successfully from home for years, while others outgrow their home office faster than expected. Here are some of the warning signs that you’re ready to move beyond the home office.

Your home office affects customers or clients,

These days, many people — whether they work for a Fortune 100 company or are self-employed — work from home at least part of the time. While home offices are commonplace, you still need to keep up a level of professionalism to the outside.

If a dog barking, baby crying or roommate’s music interrupts a big call, it might be time to relocate. You need an environment that lets you give clients 100% of your attention when needed.

You can’t separate work and home,

Getting office space outside of the home might be necessary if you find yourself struggling to separate your personal life from your work. For example, do you procrastinate on a big project by doing the dishes or watching TV? Do you find yourself unable to unplug at night?

Sometimes having a physical separation between work and home can help inform your mind when it’s time to focus or relax.

Your house looks more like an office,

Can you walk through your living room without tripping over boxes? Can you eat at your kitchen table without needing to move piles of paper first?

Many people start out working in a spare room, then “work stuff” inevitably migrates to the garage, basement, living room and bedroom. This is particularly true if you’re dealing with any kind of supplies or inventory in the business. If work is invading your home, then it’s time to get more space.

You need to meet with customers and vendors,

Do you ever ask customers or vendors to meet you at your home? Holding meetings on your living room couch or at your kitchen table not only reflects poorly on your business, but also impacts your family or roommates.

You should also consider that increased traffic through your front door can be a red flag for some home associations, and could also affect your homeowners or renters insurance.

You’ve brought on employees,

Many businesses move out of the home once they hire employees who need some kind of workspace.Not every employee is going to want to work in your home, use your personal bathroom or listen to your family discussions.

If your employees can’t work out of their own homes, then it’s only fair that you set up a more conventional office environment so they have the space and resources to do their job. In addition, many homeowners’ policies won’t cover liability for your employees.

You want to be more visible,

Not every business will benefit from a local presence, but some will. Having a physical office with street signage gives your brand local visibility 24 hours a day.

Alternatively, working out of a shared office, executive suite or incubator environment will automatically expand your network of potential customers, partners, and vendors.

You’re stagnating at home,

Maybe you feel you’ve reached a plateau with your business — it’s difficult to get motivated or find inspiration for new ideas. Or maybe you feel like your original home office no longer reflects how your business has grown over the years.

In these cases, you may want to shake things up with a new physical space, and get inspired by joining a community of fellow startups, small businesses and professionals.

Taking the Plunge,

Once you’ve decided it’s time to move out of your home office, you don’t necessarily need to purchase commercial space or sign a longterm lease.

Consider your needs. If inventory and excess boxes are the main issues, maybe you’d benefit from storage space. If you’re looking for a quiet place to concentrate a few times a week for big projects, then you should consider a shared office or executive office center where you can rent space on a part-time or even as-needed basis. There are also co-working and incubator environments for those who’d benefit from the energy and support of a community.

Ways to Trick Out Your Startup’s Office Environment

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Last week we showed you some of the startup world’s most creative office spaces. These colorful environments with airy floor plans and comfortable conference rooms put the cubicle to shame — but before you start shelling out for employee skate parks and rock climbing walls, consider that not all office luxuries will serve your workspace equally well.

Mashable spoke with several startup employees to find out what they loved about their unconventional office spaces, and the results were fairly unanimous: An open floor plan and quirky extras encourage communication, collaboration and general satisfaction far more than cramped cubicles.

“The more comfortable our employees feel in the office environment, the more comfortable they are to speak up and share their opinions and insights with the team,” ZocDoc CFO Netta Samroengraja says in an e-mail.

Most startups have certain crucial design elements in common. These include employee lounge areas with cozy seating and colorful accents, snack-filled kitchens where employees can chat as they refuel and TV monitors used for everything from video-conferencing to gaming.

Startups with enough square footage also tend to shell out for recreational spaces — ZocDoc has a game room outfitted with beanbag chairs, a ping-pong table and an acoustic guitar — that contribute to a playful work environment that’s not just about punching the clock.

Some office add-ons will make sense for only a small segment of businesses; TastingTable, for instance, rents a test kitchen and dining room staffed with two full-time chefs near its SoHo offices. The extra kitchen space is a boon for the food-and-drink newsletter, but is probably a less prudent investment for a software firm.

At Zazzle’s sprawling Redwood City headquarters, everything from the communal desks to the wallpaper was custom-made to reflect the company’s design-it-yourself ethic, according to co-founder and CTO Bobby Beaver. Likewise, Etsy takes a DIY approach to office design with colorful knickknacks, quilts and plushies, all made by Etsy sellers. “My apartment is so boring compared to the office,” says Sarah Starpoli, Etsy’s Employment Experience Manager.

Quirky office additions such as HowAboutWe’s popcorn machine — which one employee assures us is regularly put to good use — or Zazzle’s ping-pong table may not rank as “strictly necessary” for your startup, but they undoubtedly contribute to a more welcoming work environment. “Go to your local IRS office to get a taste of the dark side of an office landscape,”Squarespace’s director of interface, Michael Heilemann, suggests.

There is, however, a fine line between a morale-boosting office perk and a misallocation of your startup’s precious funds. So, when you’re decorating that new exposed-brick loft space, go the more sensible route and avoid the 10 extravagant accessories in the gallery below — ball pits, bike repair shops and Bengal tigers are on the list — that only Google and Facebook can really afford, at least until you’ve made your first million.

Next Great Apps are from Kids!

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Are kids these days really as hopeless and self-absorbed as we claim? Perhaps not.

The next wave of tech extraordinaires seem to get younger and younger, and the app-creating students mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg.

Check out the apps below from impressive, pint-sized developers, who’ve accomplished much more before high school than most people more than twice their age.

Chow Checker,

New Hampshire’s Hampstead Academy is a strictly peanut-free zone due to the relatively high number of students with nut allergies.

This inspired the school’s eighth graders to create the cleverly named Chow Checker app, which identifies food allergens to determine if certain foods, from grocery stores or restaurants, are safe to eat.

You can create a profile and select up to 12 allergens, and then search for a product name or scan a barcode. Either option pulls up a list of ingredients in that food, as well as nutritional content.

The app taps into the daily updated Nutritionix food database, which includes more than 300,000 food items. You can add notes about the food for future reference.

Hampstead students worked with the MIT Media Lab to write the app, which was a Verizon Innovative App Challenge winner in 2013.

Available for free on Android.

Bubble Ball,

When he was 14 years old, Robert Nay’s physics-based puzzle game, Bubble Ball, unseated the seemingly indomitable Angry Birds for the iTunes App Store’s top spot in January 2011. Not bad for someone who created his first website in third grade and already owns his own company, Nay Games LLC.

Nay wrote Bubble Ball with Corona tools from Ansca Mobile. It took him roughly 4,000 lines of code.

The app capitalizes on players’ creativity, prompting you to set up lengths of wood and metal, and activate various power-ups to manipulate your bubble for the sake of reaching the goal.

There are 144 official levels, and because anyone can create a new level, the game is constantly evolving. There are already more than 200 community-created levels to explore.

Available for free on iOS and Android.

Back Door,

David Singer’s app, Backdoor, removes a key component of communication — identity.

Backdoor, which launched in July 2013, is an anonymous messaging app that lets you reach your friends by signing in through either Facebook or Google+. The app gives you clues to learn more about the sender’s identity. In-app purchases provide additional clues, such as gender, likes, interests and more.

Cashing in on people’s desperation and curiosity? Color us impressed.

Singer, who considers himself primarily a UI designer, was 13 years old when he wrote the app. He’s the same kid behind YouTell, the popular website that allows you to post questions and solicit anonymous feedback.

Available for free on iOS.

Things To Thing About,

Second through fifth graders from Jackson County, Mich., worked with two high schoolers in the same district to create iPad app Things to Think About.

Its premise is to jumpstart and foster children’s interest in writing and critical thinking, as well as encourage dialogue about challenging ideas and issues.

The app asks kids to dream big, think through “what would you do” scenarios and expands horizons past kids’ environments.

The students brainstormed 100 writing prompts in 12 categories, including Friends, Family, School, Fun and Feelings. A student’s original hand-drawn illustration and the option of a child’s short voice narration accompanies each prompt.

Available for free on iOS. An Android version is under process.