Category Archives: Personal Branding & Social Media

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A Few Social Media Terms to Help in Your Job Search

Social media is so much a part of our lives these days, and if not so much our own, chances are it has consumed our children’s, nieces’ and nephews’ lives. Terms like ‘trending’ have been added to our vocabulary in recent times.

12. Trending: A word, phrase or topic that is popular on Twitter at a given moment.

17. Tweeps: Twitter + People = Tweople.

21. Link bait: Designed to attract incoming links. News and widget hooks are good examples.

This short post THE TOP 25 SOCIAL MEDIA TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW on Social Media Today gives a snapshot of the key terms.

Being a Generalist V’s Specialist – What’s Best for Your Career?

I was reading an article in the Financial Review last week that looked at those whose careers has boomed during the GFC which suggested that being a specialist held you in good stead in such turbulent times. Apparently employers are wanting to hold onto those with solid expertise in core areas.

The question of generalist V’s specialist in the workforce has always been one that I have never been able to reconcile, as I can see the benefits of each.

Just like an employer brand cannot be everything to everyone, same with your personal brand. Having a focus is certainly valid and can offer your employer and you a competitive advantage. However in an era where things are constantly changing and new skills being required to be learned constantly how feasible is it to be specialist?
Is it a question of the degrees of generalist and specialist skills you posses rather than being so black and white. In posting this discussion topic, it seems that most of us have differing views.

Again in years gone by being a specialist was the norm, you spent your career developing expertise in your chosen field. To read this full post visit the Six Figures Blog

125 Twitter Job Search Tips *e-Book Review

Position Ignition is a leading career consultancy in the UK that produce content to assist job seekers and career changers via their website and blog.  They have a variety of careers e-books, one of which is ‘125 Twitter Job Search Tips’    It is a great resource for those that are either new to Twitter or use it to some degree however not to its full capacity – which is a lot more than most would think.  In this e-book you will find tips on things like:

  • Understanding the basics of Twitter
  • Attracting and following the right people
  • Finding jobs of interest
  • Using Twitter to build your personal brand

The e-book is segmented logically as it takes you briefly through the 125 tips. Even for someone who is reasonably familiar with Twitter I found I learnt a few new things.

Tip 21– talks about using Twitter to ask others for help which is crucial in the job search process and something that many are reluctant to do. Twitter is a perfect platform to leverage the online community, who if communicated with correctly, in my experience are generally more than happy to help.

Tip 28 – the most well know Twitter directory is Twellow  a great resource to find the right people to follow

Tip 103 – you can search for useful tweets about the job search process by using hash tags # i.e. #jobsearch

Tip 108 – join a tweetchat in your relevant fields of interest

This is just a tiny slice of the information that you will find in this e-book ‘125 Twitter Job Search’

‘Job Searching with Social Media (For Dummies)’ Book Review

I am not normally someone who is drawn to the “For Dummies” book series. I suspect it is because I don’t find the look of the books all that appealing and perhaps subconsciously I don’t like to think of myself as a Dummy.   However, when I was approached by the author Joshua Waldman of ‘Job Searching with Social Media (For Dummies)’ I was intrigued by the subject and ready to be open-minded about it all.

Having read the book, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much great content is included.  While there are so many out in the market sprouting and selling all sorts of products and advice on using social media, this book is actually very informative and practical for job seekers. It has only just been released so everything that is included is 100% current.  I like that it also covers off some pretty fundamental personal aspects relating to the job search and is not all just about the latest technology and sites – albeit there is also a lot of this in there too.

The book covers a lot of ground, from understanding what social media is out there for job seekers to leverage, and how to actually set yourself up to utilize the best channels for job search success. There are tips and tools to manage the job search process, information about understanding and building your personal brand, to the basics of online networking.  It goes on to look at key words, elevator pitches (or as Joshua calls them value statements), online resumes, the hidden job market and much more. In fact, it covers so much it is very difficult to give you a taste of the breadth of the content in this short review.

Some of my favourite sections include:
■Tools to track your activity & contacts (sounds simple I know; however most job seekers have a fairly shot gun approach) – focus, tracking and measuring works and there are free tools to help you with this or just use Excel
■Managing your career – yes career management is important in this day and age; it’s not just about finding a job
■Your personal brand, your niche and online reputation management
■Publishing and managing your content online such as online resumes, blogs, newsletters, videos etc

While using social media for job seeking is not for everyone, for those of you who want to develop their skills in this area, the book ‘Job Searching with Social Media (For Dummies)’ is certainly a worthwhile resource to have.

Why life is too short to be doing a job you don’t enjoy!

For most of us work dominates our lives, regardless of if we are doing a job we enjoy or not, or earning a good or bad salary.  It is suggested that work occupies 75% of our waking hours – which includes all working activities, from getting ready for work, driving to work, working, driving home and anything extra we do for our jobs.

What is astounding is the fact that most people spend more time planning a holiday than they have ever spent on planning their actual career.  I kid you not. This could account for why only 18% of people are actually enjoying their jobs

Talk to any successful person and they will tell you that they had a career goal/s in place supported by a strategy and set in place the actions to achieve them. They also no doubt worked dam hard to get where they are, both working on and in their careers. In turn they generally experience both personally satisfying and financially successful careers.

Taking a proactive approach to career management combined with dedicating time and energy into understanding what it is that drives you and setting in place the motions to achieve results is very empowering. This exercise ‘Looking to make a job or career change’ offers a good starting point.

It does take courage, plus time and sometimes money to achieve the career you want, however given how much of our lives work occupies and that fact that it is how we derive our income it is surely worth it.

You can access lots of great free career resources via the Six Figures site. And/or alternatively you can engage professional support from a Career Coach or Strategist like myself to help get you on your way.

Remember, life is too short to be doing a job you don’t enjoy!

The career benefits that come with having a sponsor

As you progress in your career there tends to be a point where you need a sponsor to go higher, particularly if you are fairly ambitious and have a career goal and path in mind.  While some are happy to ‘do their time’ and hope that the opportunities they want will be offered, others take a more proactive approach to enlist a sponsor.  While mentors are fantastic and certainly play an important role in our careers, nothing beats having an internal sponsor on your side to help open doors.  No doubt you have seen those around you, or maybe even you have benefited from having a sponsor.

Below is an excerpt from an ‘Accelerate Your Career: Find a Sponsor’  which looks at how to go about getting a sponsor as it is not always easy to do.
“If your company doesn’t have a program, there are still things you can do to find a sponsor. Offer yourself for “stretch” work assignments and projects that provide visibility to those at the top. Volunteer for committees where you can broaden your contacts and show your skills. Network – and see establishing relationships across the organization as an important part of your job. When you find potential sponsors, seek and heed their feedback. “

According to a study highlighted in the article by the Center for Work-Life Policy, men are 46% more likely to have sponsors than women.  This is certainly something for organizations to take note of who are looking to build up the number of women in senior roles. It also suggests that women need to be more active in enlisting sponsors as a part of their career strategy.

It is important before you make the decision to source a sponsor that you are clear about what your career goals are, your strategy and the type of sponsor best able to assist you in achieving these.

Share your views on having a sponsor.

Words to sell your skills, engage the reader & land the interview

Most Executives and Senior Professionals find preparing their resume a challenge. As a result the resume is put together quickly and reluctantly, and reads like a chronological list of their education and work experience. At its basic level this is what the resume needs to be, however if actually want your resume to stand out and engage the reader, more energy needs to go into how you write about and sell your skills and experiences. It is difficult for most of us to sell ourselves effectively in a couple of pages of text, yet essential for job search success.

Quantify and Qualify Your Skills!

A sentence that says you have ‘exceptional interpersonal and communication skills’ is largely a waste of text! It tells the reader nothing, yet many resumes have a listing of skills or competencies with no supporting evidence to demonstrate them. You know why you are skilled in certain areas however unless you can communicate them to the reader in a powerful way, they are empty words.

To read this full article visit the Six Figures Jobs & Career Services site

Job Seeking? Over-qualified &/or Over-the-hill?

It’s a common scenario. You are out of work and hunting for a new job, but keep getting told that you are overqualified for the jobs you go after.

Kelly Magowan, a director of Six Figures, says it might not make sense, but recruiters are employed to find people who match the profile for a job. People who are too experienced, she says, are a high risk candidate. The big fear is that they will move on when a better job comes along.

I wonder whether that’s the real reason, or is it because managers are worried about employing someone who knows more than they do? And if it’s a fear of the person moving on, why not take advantage of their knowledge in the meantime and develop a career path within the company that can see them returning to something more akin to their status and experience.

Kelly provides some advice for people who have heard the “overqualified” argument one too many times. It means you can’t follow the traditional channels to recruitment.

In my mind, there is no legitimate excuse for turning someone down because they are overqualified. In fact, I’d suggest nine times out of ten it amounts to ageism. What do you think?

To listen to the interview with Phil Dobbie from BTalk and Kelly Magowan from Six Figures visit BTalk.

 

For anyone at the interview stage, this is a must watch video

Having worked in the HR, Recruitment and Careers space for many years, I am always looking for new information and insights to assist job seekers, our Six Figures members and my careers clients.

Occasionally I come across gold like this 4 minute video which is a must watch for anyone who is about to interview or going through the interview process. It is a very powerful message and one that empowers the job seeker and hopefully will bring about a better job search experience for everyone.

If you are a Sales professional you may already be doing what the video suggests, if you are not – chances are you are lacking the sales edge. So, please invest 4 minutes in your career to watch this video.

Watch – The MOST important interview question