31 October 2013
Quickly-evolving technological trends have given many jobseekers the ability to stay abreast of career opportunities regardless of where they are. In fact, close to 77 percent of jobseekers are actively using their mobile device as a tool in their job hunt, both to apply for positions as well as to stay cognizant of new job listings through notifications. On the flip side, employers are also taking advantage of mobile technology to source candidates and review resumes. In fact, to make the search and apply process easier than ever before, many companies are now using mobile-optimized design that allows their websites to automatically adjust to fit any screen size. As the hiring and job seeking process continues to become more mobile, it might be time for jobseekers to create a mobile-friendly resume that makes it simple for hiring managers to easily view their background and experience in a smaller amount of space. To keep up with this technological age of the hiring process, here are some things to consider when creating your mobile-friendly resume. Is Your Content Strategically Placed? While it’s easy for a recruiter to do a quick skim of a traditional resume printed on paper, the smaller screen of mobile devices can sometimes make scanning the whole document difficult. As a result, the top third of your resume is most important because if they like what they see, they’re more likely to scroll through the rest, so treat this section as prime real estate by showcasing your most relevant skills and qualifications for the position. Is Your Layout Streamlined? Since your resume is going to be viewed on a smaller screen, you can optimize that portal by simplifying your layout. Because phone screens are vertical, users prefer to scroll down when reading, so make your resume as streamlined as possible, reducing the layout to one column. This will ensure that your resume reads the way you intended. In terms of stylistic details, it’s best to stay basic with standard font types (for example, Times New Roman, Verdana, and Arial), and remove any complicated add-ons, such as any colors, images, tables, and extra graphics. If you’re worried about your resume looking disorganized, try using font sizes between 10pt to 12pt to differentiate your content between sections. Is Your File Size Too Large? Hiring managers using mobile devices to review resumes need to have the ability to download your resume in just a few seconds. As a result, if your resume file is too large you run the risk of not even being seen as a candidate for the position by the hiring manager, so stick to plain-text and a simple format to help those opening your resume avoid any unnecessary hassle. Can You Easily Copy and Paste Your Resume? Knowing that many users may find it difficult to save and upload a resume from an iPhone for instance, employers are increasingly offering copy and paste options for submitting resumes. With this in mind, as a jobseeker, you want to make sure that you have one version of your resume that is easy to copy and paste. For more assistance on creating a mobile resume, there are plenty of apps to help such as Resume Maker On-the-Go. A mobile-friendly resume can give you the advantage over other applicants, and by preparing your applicant materials for all mediums, you increase your chances of having your resume viewed by hiring managers, opening up the number of professional opportunities available to you.
29 October 2013
In yet another move to reach into the world of professional networking, Facebook has discreetly rolled out a new feature to add to your profile: Professional Skills. Though the feature is still being tested out, hence the lack of announcement on its addition, it is already creating quite the buzz.
25 October 2013
For information technology professionals, analyzing big data is part and parcel of the job. It would be hard to imagine another profession that relies so heavily on the accurate interpretation of what is essentially collected code and system-generated informatics, with a number of industries increasingly reliant on this hi-tech information as part of their daily
25 October 2013
When it comes to holiday hires, the most significant indicator of success or failure is a candidate’s fit. As companies hire for the immediate short-term in the fourth quarter, staying cognizant of this is crucial, as the necessity for new staff members to adapt quickly to company culture and begin meeting expectations is a time-sensitive matter. To determine which candidates have the “right stuff” to make it as seasonal workers in your firm, consider using a combination of new technology and traditional evaluation methods to assist in your temporary staffing endeavors. Many companies are now using technological tools to provide more in-depth insight regarding applicants. One of the most popular tools when it comes to candidate screening is the assessment test, which cross-examines many aspects of a candidate’s character and nature. Employers use these tests to gather information on potential hires, which can help to weed out ill-fitting candidates, and to elevate promising candidates to the next round in the hiring process. Ultimately, these tests reduce the time spent with candidates who wouldn’t have been hired regardless of whether or not they made it to the second interview round. Other new technological developments that are strengthening the standard hiring process include in-store kiosks and hiring software. Some of these tools are advanced enough to send a text message to hiring managers about a candidate who is a good fit, or even allow candidates to virtually try out the job. At some organizations, candidates that make it through the technological evaluation are even hired on the spot by managers to begin training immediately. However, to be sure in your hiring efforts, whether you’re using this tool or another method, we recommend setting some time aside to sit down-face-to-face with your top picks. Why? Because when it comes to candidate assessment, there are still some things technology can’t determine. For example, some candidates may be able to guess their way through an assessment test. Or, two candidates may have equal credentials and seemingly similar character traits, but one may trump the other when it comes to fit. As a result if you are using technology to supplement your onboarding process, it’s crucial for you to pair these new tools with traditional screening methods to build the most accurate profiles of applicants. While new innovations can help companies feeling the pressure of the seasonal hiring bustle by eliminating the most irrelevant resumes to narrow down the applicant pool, face-to-face interaction should remain an important part of the hiring process. Asking candidates questions and embracing the opportunity to read body language and observe how fast they can think on their feet, will help hiring managers walk away with the clearest perspective on which candidates have what it takes to staff their team for the seasonal surge.
23 October 2013
Networking can be a daunting task. After all, in what other setting would one have to talk to perfect strangers in the hopes of hearing the magic phrases “I have a job you’d be perfect for,” or “I’ll pass your name along to a friend?” However, the key to networking is sincerity. Instead of looking out for a lucrative tip-off, try making a lasting connection, even if you can’t see the benefit of it immediately. Consider each potential new contact’s position and personality, and the potential ways you both may be able to help each other in the future. As you go to different networking events, try to meet these 6 types of people: The Industry Insider – The industry insider knows the ropes of your chosen industry. They have the knowledge to show you the ins and outs of the business, and the power to connect you with others in your field. With their knowledge, you’ll have access to the right resources, opportunities, information, and people to grow as a professional and demonstrate what it takes to make it. The Mentor– The mentor is someone who has attained the level of success you wish to have. The goal is to build a rapport with someone who has valuable professional knowledge and insight with a wealth of experience. Taking you under their wing, they can offer perspective and advice, and share their proven methods for success. The Idealist – The idealist is the dreamer. They will always be up for brainstorming and workshopping ideas on how to fuel your vision. Judgment-free, the idealist listen to your potential endeavors and enthusiastically pitch in with input on how to make them happen. The Realist – The realist is the opposite of the idealist, but just as helpful. While the idealist looks on the bright side of things, the realist brings you back down to earth. Far from being a negative influence, the realist wants your dreams to come true, but knows that most dreams take hard work. When your expectations exceed your efforts, the realist is there to step in and give you honest and practical feedback. The Influencer – Find that you’re a bit more on the quiet side? Then you need to meet the influencer. Possessing that certain X factor, the charismatic influencer has no qualms about striking up a conversation with anyone, and has a natural ability to influence and persuade people. With the influencer in your court, you’ll have an advocate who promotes your ideas and convinces others to get on board. Study their mannerisms and methods and one day, you can become as persuasive as the influencer. The “Newbie” – As a newbie yourself, it can feel overwhelming to jump headfirst into the job market, but it always helps to have a friend. The newbie is not someone who can necessarily open doors for you, but rather, serves as a comrade in the tricky new world that awaits you both. Sharing experiences, you and the newbie can swap stories and bounce back from missteps together. If you are already an established professional, consider mentoring a bright-eyed newcomer. You never know, one day your student may be able to open a door for you, and at the very least, they can always say their mentor truly kick-started their career. To get the most out of your professional network, and receive the best career advice, it’s important to have a diverse set of contacts to reach out to. Different situations and shifting career goals may call for the support and feedback from a variety of sources, and having such an extensive network can help you be prepared for any situation.
22 October 2013
This is the second post in our social media series! To learn about how Facebook can help you market yourself professionally, please refer to our first post. From its conception, Twitter has been a go-to networking platform for those looking to share information, chat with leaders in their field, and develop a presence to wield in future job searches. Though limited to 140 words or less, tweets have become as powerful as airwaves when it comes to sharing information and news. In fact, in many cases, they’re faster—and it’s precisely because of their speed and brevity that they’ve become such a choice source for information in our fast-paced society. As a result, many take to Twitter first when searching for content and connections, and therefore, having your own Twitter presence can be a great way to stand out in your field and be heard. Don’t let the word “tweeting” fool you—this social media platform gives you a big voice. Here are some ways to harness it: Follow the leaders. Chances are, if a person you look up to in your field is prominent enough, he or she will have a Twitter account. Find them, follow them, and then follow some more. Twitter will tailor a list of recommendations for you based on who you follow, and as a result, you can often find more connections in your field with just a click or two. Some will even follow you back—and who you follow, as well as who follows you, says a lot about you on your profile. Use common #hashtags and keep them short and sweet. The more common the hashtag, the more likely your tweet will be found by others discussing the same subjects. Hashtags are also great ways to discover tweets by others in your industry and spark conversations with people you may otherwise have never spoken to. Deck out your profile. Write an informative bio, create groups to sort your contacts into, and link to your other profiles and online content. Remember, your profile includes your most recent tweets as well, so be sure to tweet about your latest accomplishments and link to whatever published work or projects you may have to show. Keeping your Twitter up-to-date is a helpful way of keeping in touch—and showing that you’re on the move. Do you already have a Twitter account, or is the “140 characters or less” rule too confining for you? Then trying out Tumblr or your very own blog may be the best next step! Keep an eye out next week for our third installment of the series on what Tumblrs and blogs can do for you.
21 October 2013
21 October 2013
So you’ve interviewed for a position and it went well—congratulations! What’s next? If the position has a lot of potential candidates, you could be lined up for a second interview. Since you got through the first round of interviews, both you and the hiring manager know you have the core requirements. Now, more than ever, is the time to really show off what you can do and make sure the company is the right fit for you. The same rules apply to a second interview as apply to the first: dress professionally, show confidence, and bring your resume and other required documents with you. However, second interviews are designed to delve a bit deeper. Here are a number of things you can do to ensure that the second interview goes well: Plan and prepare beforehand. Research the company further, review the topics covered on your first interview, and reread the job description. What did you forget to, or not have time to, address in the last interview? What else do you want to highlight? Maybe you have more questions to ask the hiring manager. In any case, jot some talking points down and get to the interview early to review your cheat sheet. Be ready to answer some deeper questions. There are a number of questions you responded to in your first interview that were asked for the purpose of assessing your skills. A few questions to assess cultural fit might have been thrown in as well, but ultimately, during the second interview, questions will be focused mostly on your compatibility with the company and its employees. To prepare, you can practice answering some example questions, but expect the unexpected. Interviewers have been known to throw curveballs to see how you answer them. Likewise, be prepared to ask deeper questions. Whereas you may have prepared a list of questions for the first interview to show your analytical skills and determine whether you’d enjoy the position, you should now focus more on culture, management style, and the things that matter most to you as a potential employee. Show that you want the job. It might be obvious, considering you’ve accepted a second interview, but you need to express your desire to work for them and why you think you’d be a great choice. Sometimes you might have to refresh your hiring manager’s memory of who you are and what you can bring to the table, or in other cases, you might have a new interviewer to impress. Either way, show that working for that company is your ultimate goal—and that obtaining you as a valued employee should be theirs. Have a repertoire of stories—the questions that will be asked of you will likely require them. Even if you aren’t asked about specific experiences, it’s still helpful to have examples of projects, challenges you managed to overcome, and teamwork from prior positions. Use these stories to show how you handle tough interoffice challenges and used your skills to tackle obstacles or bring a business forward. Say thank you (again). When you last interviewed, you (hopefully) sent a well-thought out follow-up, thanking the interviewer for his or her time. Do the same this time around, and maybe include a specific topic you discussed in the interview, such as “I really found our conversation about ___ interesting and am happy to discuss it further in the near future.”
17 October 2013
Welcome to the first post in our social networking series! This week, we’ll be covering Facebook, arguably the biggest name in social media. For more information on this series, please refer to our introductory post. Facebook is the #2 most-visited website in the world—just under Google—with 1.5 billion total users as of September 2013. It’s largely known for its popularity among millennials as a type of personal profile, and among Gen-Xers looking to reconnect with old classmates and coworkers, but it’s quickly becoming an important professional tool that shouldn’t be left out of anyone’s job search tool box. If Facebook is the second most-visited website in the world and the top social networking platform, shouldn’t you make sure you have a polished presence on the site in order to best represent yourself? After all, 94% of recruiters have used or plan to use social media to scout out possible candidates. Besides the new Graph Search that has everyone talking—which we discussed more thoroughly here—there are a number of ways to turn Facebook into a major professional networking platform. But before proceeding to craft your professional image, be sure to increase your privacy settings on your personal page, if you have one—that way, contacts and recruiters only find appropriate content. When you’ve successfully distinguished your social profile from your professional one, you can… Create a “Page.” Rather than creating another standard profile, consider making a Page, which is a more public profile for businesses, professionals, and products. Having a page will allow people who choose to follow you to “like” you and therefore get access to your content and updates without having to first be accepted as “friends.” This will give you a much wider audience range and easier accessibility. It also allows you to keep your public and personal profiles separate. Organize apps, such as notes, so they are clearly visible. Upload your resume to Notes, as well as any work you’d like to display, and make sure the Notes section is displayed visibly on your profile. You can also upload documents and create a “Documents” tab at the top of the page for viewers to access. Code your work history for success. Recruiters and hiring managers are now using Graph Search to find possible candidates with specific skills and titles in their employment history section, so be sure to include relevant keywords and proper titles in your job descriptions. In addition, be sure to make your work history public so that your current or most recent occupation can be easily found amongst your basic information. If you’ve already put together your Facebook profile and want to cover all your bases, or if you simply prefer trying out a different platform, stay tuned for next week’s post on Twitter!