EMPLOYMENT

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.

Grab Recruiters Attention By Telling Your Story in Job Interviews

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Alan Carniol is the Founder of InterviewSuccessFormula.com, an online training program that helps job seekers deliver powerful answers that prove why they are the right person for the job. Follow Alan and Interview Success Formula on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

VISIT ALSO: Next Great Apps are from Kids!

Imagine sitting in a job interview. You’re already nervous. You know you have something to contribute. You really admire the company. However, when the interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, you buckle. You realize telling your story in person is quite difficult. You stumble or forget the most important pieces of your personal story, potentially damaging your interview experience. Now what?

We create stories about ourselves in mere minutes online in social profiles or blog “about” pages. Why is it so hard to tell the same story in person? Perhaps the solution is to merge your two stories, your online self and offline self, together in order to optimize your image. The following are a few tips that can help you to craft a compelling personal story for job interviews.

Your Two Stories

According to Rafe Gomez, author of What’s In It For Me: A Powerful New Interview Strategy to Get Hired In Today’s Challenging Economy, the trick is to create validations.

“The online story — blog posts, articles, etc. — should validate the assertions and promises made in the offline story — resume — if you’re seeking to leave a positive and memorable impression in a job interview. For instance, if you’re presenting yourself in interviews as being an experienced sales executive who has delivered results for your employers, your online story should support this assertion,” Gomez says.

Further, blending the two stories will back up any career history claims you’ve made during the interview. “Online mentions of, references about, or discussion of your accomplishments will serve to legitimize your offline claims, and make it indisputable that you could be an invaluable addition to your interviewer’s organization.”

Consistency

According to TheLadders job search expert Amanda Augustine, making the two as similar as possible can make telling your story more interesting.

“Your online presence and interview responses give you a chance to provide more color to your career history. You can go into more detail and really show your passion for a particular industry or company in ways that aren’t possible in a resume. However, the bottom line is that both stories should be similarly positioned,” Augustine says.

Look at your interview story as a way to “sell” your accomplishments, strengths and motivations to the interviewer. By doing so, you clearly show why you’re worthy of the position.

“Remember that as a job seeker, you must develop a personal advertising campaign to tell prospective employers and recruiters what you’re great at and passionate about, and how that’s of value to an organization. Your online presence, resume, and how you pitch yourself during networking events and interviews are all components of this campaign. Each of these components needs to tell one consistent story to build a strong personal brand,” Augustine explains.

Be Sure Your Story Checks Out

A recent JobVite survey indicated nearly four out of five hiring managers and recruiters check candidates’ social profiles. It’s possible you will be researched online before your interview. If your offline story does not match your online one, the interviewer may challenge you.

“Before an interview, make sure you Google your name so you know what any recruiter or hiring manager will see when they search for you (and trust me, they will). If any damaging results show up, now you have a chance to try and remove them or at least prepare a response for the interview. The worst thing you can do is look surprised or taken off guard when an interviewer challenges your story based on something they found online,” says Augustine.

It’s also important to spin the conversation back to your accomplishments if things start to go sour. According to George Dutch of JobJoy, flush out concern by asking what caught their attention and if they have any specific concerns about your capabilities.

“Understanding the interview as a risk assessment exercise helps you respond appropriately to these kinds of challenges. It’s not personal — they don’t know you — it’s them doing their due diligence,” Dutch says.

Creating your interview story in a digital era means more than telling the interviewer about yourself. Merge your online and offline stories to create a more cohesive story. Doing so helps the interviewer understand why you’re right for the job.

What do you think? What are some other ways to create your interview story in a digital era?

Ways to Write Recommendations on Amazing LinkedIn

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Most of us have worked with great colleagues, bosses and employees over the years who we’d be happy to recommend on LinkedIn (or anywhere, really) in a heartbeat if asked.

Problem is, of course, that sitting down and writing said recommendation always takes more time than you think it will. What should you say that will make your contact stand out — but still sound genuine? Should you describe every amazing skill this person has — or keep it short and sweet?

Don’t worry. We’ve turned that daunting task into a five-step (and five-minute) process. Next time you’re asked to recommend someone, follow this template (complete with sample lines to cut and paste.

VISIT ALSO: Does Entrepreneur Need a Mentor in their Business

Start With a Knockout Line,

As with any good writing, you want to start with a line that grabs your audience and makes them want to read more. (After all, what good is a great recommendation if no one reads all the way through?)

Ideally, this line will show right away what an awesome person your recommendee is. Be careful, though, to avoid phrases like “one of the best” or “one of my favorite employees” — while, no, not everyone’s going to be the ultimate superlative, there are plenty of words and phrases that sound just as strong, but less qualified.

“It’s rare that you come across standout talent like Mike.”

“Few people have the opportunity to report to a manager who is also a coach and mentor— but I did when I worked for Susan.”

“‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Tim.”

Describe Your Relationship,

Next, you’ll want to give the reader some context as to how you know the person, including your reporting relationship, what you worked on together and the length of time you’ve known each other. While you don’t have to give all the details (LinkedIn will show the company and both of your job titles on your recommendation), it’s important to let readers know why you’re qualified to give the recommendation. (And, of course, be sure to note that it was a positive working relationship.)

“I had the pleasure of working with Jim for two years at the Smith Company, collaborating on several project teams.”

“I hired Carrie as a freelance designer in 2011 after seeing her online portfolio, and she’s completed six flawless projects for me since then.”

“Mark expertly filled the role of social media coordinator for my company’s marketing team for just over a year.”

Share a Standout Trait,

If you’re recommending someone, there’s a good chance you think he or she is smart, talented, organized, wonderful to work with, the list goes on. So, there’s no need to use the limited characters in your recommendation to state the obvious.

Instead, think about one or two things this person does better than anything else — or that really stand out to you above others — and focus your recommendation there. You can also ask the person if there’s something he or she would like you to talk about: For example, if she was your executive assistant but is now applying to her first management role, she’ll likely want you to highlight her experience managing volunteers over her organizational skills.

“I was particularly impressed by Kelly’s ability to handle even the toughest clients — and effortlessly. That skill often takes years to develop among customer service professionals, but it seemed to come perfectly naturally to her.”

“I was always in awe of Fred’s ability to command a room and get people on board with ideas — even people who were initially on completely different pages.”

“Matt’s ability to juggle multiple projects was unlike any I’ve seen before and made a dramatic difference in the productivity level of our team.”

Add a Touch of Personality,

Let’s face it: Everyone wants to hire someone who not only gets the job done, but who’s also great to work with. So, if you can share a tidbit about what it’s like to work with this person or some insight into his or her personality, do so! (Just, you know, know your audience. “Sophie planned the best office happy hours ever!” might not go over so well with her future employers.)

“Oh, and she made sure our Monday morning staff meetings were never without bagels and coffee. Talk about motivating a team!”

“And we still miss her on the office softball league!”

“No matter how tense a meeting, Annie made sure everyone left with a smile.”

End With Your Solid Recommendation,

Finally, it’s always nice to seal your recommendation with a final line that makes it clear that you give your contact an enthusiastic thumbs-up. You don’t need to do much here — think short, sweet and solid.

“Allison would be an asset to any team.”

“As a team member or a leader, Steve earns my highest recommendation.”

“Any employee would be lucky to have Michelle as a manager.”

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Resume Cogitation Among the Recruiters

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There’s a lot of resume advice out there — and some of it conflicting. Which makes it pretty hard for you, the job seeker, to know what to do. Should you stick to the one-page format, or is it OK to veer onto the second page? Will a creative resume catch the eye of a hiring manager, or do most people still prefer the tried-and-true traditional layout?

We know it’s confusing, so we’ve broken down the five most common resume debates. Here’s what the experts have to say—and how you can read between the lines and send the best resume for the job.

VISIT ALSO: Grab you Skilled Place without Resume

Multi-page Resume,

Let’s start with one of the most hotly debated issues . While one camp believes that a candidate’s story can definitely be told in the confines of one page (and gets annoyed when it isn’t), other recruiters say that a second (or third) page is fair game, as long as you make every word and bullet point count. Some even truly despise the one-page rule. (“If I had the names and addresses of every so-called expert who keeps telling professionals that you must have a one-page resume at all costs, I’d egg or toilet paper their houses in the dark of night,” says our friend Jenny Foss, founder of recruiting firm JobJenny and author of The Ridiculously Awesome Resume Kit.)

What Should You Do?

Here’s the truth.What’s much more important than the length of your resume is that it tells a story to the hiring manager about why you’re the right fit for the position. This usually doesn’t mean listing everything you’ve ever done for every position; rather, you want to pick and choose the parts of your background that are most compelling, and make sure they don’t get lost in pages and pages of background information. (Fact: Recruiters spend an average of six seconds on most resumes.)

That said, if you’re applying for an upper-level management gig or a position that requires a wide breadth of skill sets, telling that story means you’ll want to opt for more detail rather than less. Translation: Probably more than one page.

In addition, it’s important to do your research and poll friends and colleagues about your industry norms. In the IT and tech worlds, for example, more than two pages is totally normal (and expected). On the other hand, I know a consulting firm that tells its hiring managers to throw away any resume that comes in over one page. Try to feel out what you’re getting into — so you can target your resume accordingly.

“Creative” Resume,

You’ve likely heard about applicants using videos, infographics or other creative resume formats (origami, anyone?) these days. And with good reason! Thinking outside the bullet-pointed PDF can be an awesome way to stand out from the stack, especially when you’re applying to a startup or creative company or to a position that values design or interactive skills. “Doing extra credit like a video (even if it’s an unedited webcam clip) can go a long way in distinguishing yourself from other candidates,” says Steffi Wu, PR Lead at ZenPayroll.

That said, some hiring managers really still appreciate the good ol’ 8.5×11” piece of paper. If not done really well, a creative resume could go terribly wrong — I’ve seen (and tossed) more than one resume that used bad clip art, a rainbow of colors, or unfortunate photography and did far more harm to the job applicant than good.

“If you act like a clown or do something ludicrous just to stand out, then it’s disingenuous and can put people off,” echoes Dr. Michael Woodward, an executive coach author of The YOU Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy.

What’s more, a recent study showed that “…visual elements reduced recruiters’ analytical capability and hampered decision-making” and kept them from “locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience.” Not exactly what you’re going for.

What Should You Do?

When you’re in a creative field, applying for a creative role, or gunning for a highly competitive company, it’s definitely worth considering. Margot Leong got her dream job after sending an incredible Sliderocket presentation to startup Ridejoy — and we’re pretty sure that Robby Leonardi, creator of the coolest video-game-inspired resume we’ve ever seen, landed a job offer or 50.

Remember, though, at the end of the day, your skills and experience are what matters, so make sure that whatever format you choose showcases — rather than overshadows — them. Also, don’t even think about going down this path unless you’re willing to put in the time, creativity and design work (or the money to pay someone else) to make it truly awe-inspiring. A great traditional resume will be better than a mediocre creative one, every single time.

“Pretty” Resume,

Common resume wisdom says to stick to a legible font that everyone uses, like Times New Roman or Arial, and basic formatting: Your name at the top of the page, followed by your work experience and bullet points — you know the drill.

But some of the most compelling resumes I’ve seen think outside the norm — and as a result, really do stand out in a huge stack of basic black-and-white resumes (take a look at some of these beauties). Stepping it up in the design department can also make you stand out as a candidate who really gets and appreciates aesthetics.

What Should You Do?

First, consider where you’re applying. A traditional law firm? You should probably stick to the basics. A creative (and competitive) place like Pinterest or Warby Parker, on the other hand, might really appreciate something a little more styled.

Then, think about your own skills as well. As Ryan Kahn, founder of the Hired Group and star of MTV’s HIRED, says, you should always seek to “maximize your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.” If you’re not a designer, spend your energy on crafting perfect bullet points, and skip the fancy formatting (or hire a designer or design-savvy friend to give your page a makeover).

And again, make sure you do it right. Use fonts that are clean and legible — doesn’t matter how pretty it is if a hiring manager’s going to have to squint to read it. Your resume should feel like a breath of fresh air, not a PITA to read. Oh, and PDF, PDF, PDF (that is, save it as one). It’s the only way to ensure that the font styling will show up the right way on any screen.

Interests Section,

You’ve probably heard — consistently — to stick to the basics on your resume: Work experience, education, job-related skills, and professional awards and accolades. “Unless the hobbies are relevant to the types of positions you’re pursuing (or amazing, non-controversial conversation starters), leave them off,” says Foss.

But “the non-traditional camp, of which I am a proud member, dissents in part,” says recruiting consultant Michael Wade. “Our view is that there is nothing wrong with an applicant disclosing some personal interests, so long as those inclusions are not bizarre or distasteful.” (True story: A friend of mine added “ice cream making” to his interests section, and it was brought up in every interview he went on.)

What Should You Do?

When it’s relevant for the position, go for it. Adding your guitar playing abilities to your resume when you’re applying to an entertainment company or your photography hobby to a social media role makes a lot of sense — and can nudge you above other candidates with similar work experience. Sharing your scrapbooking skills with a health care organization? Probably won’t have the same effect.

You might also want to get a little personal when you’re applying to a company that clearly cares about its employees’ lives outside of work. Some good cues: The company blog talks as much about picnics and happy hours as it does product updates, or it has a fun-loving team profiled onThe Muse. “I’ve heard employers say they are tired of seeing cookie-cutter candidates. They are pleased when an applicant comes along who appears to be human,” adds Wade.

“Updated” Job Title,

“Usually, job applicants list their ‘official’ job titles on their resumes,” says Sean Weinberg onSimplyHired. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, “the problem with doing this is that most job titles are bland, and your work comes off as equally uninteresting.”

Weinberg — and many other career experts — advocate updating your job title to reflect what you actually did. Say, for instance, your official title is associate producer. That could mean a whole range of things depending on your company, your industry and your role. But adding some descriptors — “associate social media content producer,” for example, can tell a hiring manager a lot more about what you did — and catch his or her eye much more quickly.

What Should You Do?

If you have a vague or unique-to-your-company job title, this approach can be incredibly helpful. In a previous role, for example, my company didn’t use the word “manager,” so my title was “marketing lead” — a term that, as I learned, didn’t work very well in keyword-sensitive applicant tracking systems. When I edited my title and used “marketing manager” instead — I got many more calls back.

But here’s the rub: Remember that employers (very) often call previous employers to fact-check the information you’ve provided on your resume and in your application. So don’t ever update your title to something so obscure, inflated or, well, wrong, that your former employers wouldn’t be comfortable saying you did it.

Advice on your resume, like anything else, isn’t going to be spot-on for 100% of people, 100% of the time. The bottom line? Do your research, then think about what will work best for you — and the positions to which you’re applying.

Your Business Mentors have these Attitudes ?

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When you’re starting a business—or even just thinking about it—the advice you’ll get again and again is to find a mentor. But here’s what’s more important: finding the right mentor.

VISIT ALSO: Ways Startup’s Business can be Creative!

The mentor-mentee relationship is a lot like dating. You must share mutual interests, really want to spend time together, and be equally committed. It takes time to identify the perfect fit, and to be honest, sometimes there’s not a match. There are also fundamental qualities in your mentor that will determine whether or not you’ll get the most from the relationship.

While running my own business, I’ve been fortunate to have several excellent mentor relationships. Looking back, here are the three things that I’ve seen really ensure success.

Chemistry,

The most important thing to find in a mentor is chemistry. There has to be a fit between the two of you if the relationship is going to work.

What does this mean, exactly? First, there should be at least one major interest that the two of you share. What’s more, though, it’s important that your mentor shares some of the same ideas and views that you do on that topic.

If, for example, your business mentor is a sales expert and a firm believer that the customer is always right, but you believe that focusing on customer support is a waste of time, it’s unlikely the two of you will have a lasting relationship. Even if you don’t know what your beliefs are on a particular topic right away, getting to know your mentor’s views on issues you believe are important will be key to finding the right one.

Commitment,

When I think about the best mentors I’ve had, it always came down to commitment—or how much time they were willing to spend with me. Because successful people are usually good at what they do, their time is in constant demand. But if a mentor is willing to carve out even a small slice of his or her day to chat with you, that can make all the difference. It shows their commitment and helps you gain a lot out of the relationship. It allows you to really learn and ask questions. And it provides a sense of support should something come up down the road.

One of my mentors today travels a lot. Although his family and home are in Silicon Valley, he travels to Europe once a month, sometimes for a few weeks at a time, to meet with his team. Despite his hectic schedule, though, he always makes time to speak with me, even if we have to do a quick Skype call at the crack of dawn. For me, that sends a message that he is willing to put in the time even if he’s on a different continent. And that’s exactly what you want.

Honesty,

Yeah, yeah, it sounds cheesy and weird, but it’s true: Honesty and integrity are important in a business mentor.

Maybe it seems obvious, but what I’m really saying here is that you don’t want a mentor who is going to tell you what you want to hear just to make you feel good. If you are going to get any real learning out of a mentorship, you need to have someone who will be honest with you and let you know when you’re moving in the wrong direction. Constant flattery and sugar coating will not help you learn.

This may also mean you need to build up thicker skin to take the criticism, but if it’s done correctly, the result will not only be constructive, but eye-opening. One of my mentors, for example, is great at calling me out and being brutally honest, even when I disagree. Recently, he told me it was time to stop being a founder and start being a CEO. At first I didn’t see the difference, but it was actually a great wake-up call—and I needed it.

Because of his candidness, I have a tremendous amount of trust in him and usually seek his advice on the most important topics. I know that he will always shoot me straight—and that’s invaluable in a business setting.

Many people think you can just go out and ask someone to be your mentor—but that’s sort of like proposing on the first date without buying dinner first. Really, these relationships often evolve spontaneously over time, when it becomes obvious that someone has all of these qualities and is a fit to help guide you through your business. In fact, it hardly ever comes down to “looking” for a mentor at all. Mentors are usually people you respect and have worked with in the past. They’ve given you advice and somehow manage to be a person you go to often when you’re in a bind. Nothing needs to be said about the relationship—because it’s already there.

Seek your Job Out of Your Industry

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Here’s a shocking statistic: 59 percent of Americans would choose a different career if given the chance to do it all over again. Although these professionals may be able to move horizontally in their current organization, oftentimes a complete industry switch is necessary.

When you find yourself in the position of job seeking in an industry you’re not familiar with, it’s important to take some alternative routes. Here are some valuable steps to keep in mind.

Figure Out The Skills that you found  from you,

Your new industry may require certain skills you don’t have. For instance, a design position may involve understanding various applications or programs. So, although your extensive marketing background is impressive, it may not be enough to land you a job.

Tip: Do your research and understand what skills you need to succeed in a different job. Look at what your desired position may require and ask yourself if you have the necessary skillset to do well. This may mean going back to school or taking an internship. However, if switching careers is your goal, doing the extra legwork is necessary.

Talk To Corporate Members to Level you Up,

No one knows an industry better than those who’ve been working in it for years. Although it may be intimidating to reach out to these seasoned professionals, they could provide you with the inside knowledge you need in order to move forward in a new job.

Tip: Go to in-person networking events or reach out to professionals online through LinkedIn. Not only will you receive real insight, you may also create a connection which can help you in the future. Just don’t make it all about you! Let them know how you can provide value as well.

Switch Up Your Professional Materials,

Your professional materials, such as your cover letter and your resume, reflect who you are as a worker. If they don’t meet industry standards, or if they showcase your skillset in a different industry, you more than likely will be put in the “no” pile and not be considered for the job at all.

Tip: Check out some industry forums online and understand what your professional materials should look like. Some industries may require bringing a full portfolio; others may need a five-page resume. It all depends on the profession and what the typical standard is. You may also want to ask new industry connections if they could go over your materials to gauge what’s good and what needs to be worked on.

Intensify Your Social Networks,

Job seekers, take note: 92 percent of employers are using social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for recruiting purposes. So, although you may not be actively tweeting industry news now, you should start. Your online image is just as important as your offline one and your social networks can give recruiters the insight they need into who you are as a candidate — without having to meet you in-person first.

Tip: When you’re job seeking, you should keep tabs on your online reputation. Google yourself and see what information is out there. Then, delete any questionable materials, enable some basic privacy settings, and be sure to always keep your content up-to-date. Communicate your interest in the industry by posting relevant content, like recent news or opinions. That way, a potential employer can see your enthusiasm, even if you’re new to the industry.

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Apply With Corporate Standards In Mind,

Some industries prefer you apply through basic applicant tracking systems (ATS). Others recruit at job fairs or through speedy interviewers. Some would be partial to those who applied through their social networks. No matter the process, be sure you understand the optimal application process.

Tip: There’s nothing wrong with using some tricks to get noticed. For instance, an ATS typically screens resumes and cover letters for important keywords listed in the job description. Showing up early to a networking fair can help you to avoid the crowd and connect with the recruiter. Linking all your professional content on your social networks can save a recruiter time. These tactics can help you to get to the top of the pile, instead of being just another applicant.

Job seeking outside of your industry can be tricky. However, in the end, it’s all about using every opportunity to your advantage… even if you don’t have a ton of experience. The work you put into getting the job will likely make up for it.

Let us know from your comments about the ” Job Seeker Out Of Their Industry”.

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‘LinkedIn’ Can Help You in Avoiding Job Search Mistakes

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While it’s crucial to do the right things in a job search, it’s also important to avoid making common mistakes. Here are the top five missteps to avoid — and how LinkedIn can help you overcome them:

Mistake 1!: Being uninformed

Companies today want employees who can hit the ground running, and that means knowing as much as possible about what that company does, who its competitors are and what’s happening in its overall industry.

The Remedy:

Beyond thoroughly researching the employer’s own website, you should follow that organization’s Company Page on LinkedIn. Pay special attention to current news the company is posting (which can provide ideas for specific questions to ask during networking conversations and formal job interviews) and the “Products & Services” page, which provides a cheat sheet to the company’s overall structure and offerings.

For general insight into an employer’s industry, subscribe to that industry’s LinkedIn Channel and join a few LinkedIn Groups in that field to get a sense of what industry insiders are talking about. Not sure which groups will be most valuable? Look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who work for your dream employer and join the groups they belong to.

Mistake 2!: Losing touch

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found through networking. This means that every member of your network should be cherished; any lost connection is potentially a lost opportunity.

The Remedy:

You can use LinkedIn Contacts to manage all of your existing connections and integrate them with your daily calendar. This means you’ll never miss an opportunity to congratulate someone on a new job or follow up on a recent meeting. Scan through your LinkedIn feed on a daily basis, too, to look for opportunities to comment on people’s status updates and the news they share. Even a simple “like” on an article someone has posted can lead to a chat, which can lead to an opportunity.

To reengage with people you’ve lost touch with, check out the alumni groups of any corporations you’ve worked for and the LinkedIn Alumni tool to search for former university classmates, then send InMails or customized LinkedIn connection requests. The best way to avoid any potential awkwardness with a long lost contact is to read that person’s LinkedIn profile thoroughly before reaching out, and then mention something specific in your outreach to show you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in knowing that person again. For example:

Hi Susan,

I came across your LinkedIn profile in the Intel alumni group and wanted to get back in touch. It’s terrific to see that you’ve launched your own consulting business! I remember that was a goal of yours. As for me, I’m still working in software sales and am looking to make a transition back to the East Coast. I’d love to reconnect, catch up and perhaps see if we might assist each other. Would you like to chat by phone sometime in the next few weeks?

Thanks and all the best,

Lindsey

Mistake 3!: Using uncommon words

Here’s an example of a mistake I see frequently: wanting to be unique and creative, an aspiring writer will create the LinkedIn headline, “Passionate and clever wordsmith.” That’s great, but when someone is looking to hire a writer, he or she is most likely to search with the word “writer.” Don’t get too fancy!

The Remedy:

Recruiters, in particular, use keywords to find talent, so it’s important to research the keywords that a recruiter might be using to find someone with your particular skills. If you’re not sure what keywords to include in your headline and throughout your profile, scan through the job listings that appeal to you. Recruiters have likely provided you with the exact words they want. To test whether or not you are attracting the right people (including recruiters) to your profile, check out your Who’s Viewed Your Profile stats. In particular, check out the listing of keywords that people used to arrive at your profile. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to adjust the words you are using to describe yourself.

Mistake 4!: Telling not showing

In today’s multimedia world, it’s no longer enough to have a list of bullet points on a resume explaining your fabulousness. More and more, employers want to see actual examples of the work you’ve accomplished, such as PowerPoint slides of presentations you’ve created, videos of speeches you’ve given, photographs of products you’ve designed, examples of code you’ve written and other visuals depending on your industry and job function.

The Remedy:

On LinkedIn, you can add this “rich media” content to your profile to create what is essentially an online professional portfolio. Just be careful not to post any work that is confidential!

Mistake 5!: Hesitating

It’s no secret that jobs can get filled quickly in today’s competitive economy, so don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to submit your application. In my opinion, you should apply for a position within 12 to 24 hours of discovering it. (This means, of course, that you have already invested the time in creating an All-Star-level LinkedIn profile and have drafted template cover letters that you can quickly customize for each position).

The Remedy:

If you are out and about and your LinkedIn profile is ready and waiting, you can now evenapply for positions on LinkedIn directly from your mobile phone. When it comes to landing a job, the early applicant definitely catches the offer!

To summarize, a successful job search requires research, relationships, attention to detail and action. There are never any guarantees in a tough job market, but if you avoid the common mistakes listed above, you’re sure to be way ahead of the competition.