Maintaining Professional Social Media Pages

Social media can be a great resource for job seekers, but it can also be a large hindrance for those who don’t monitor their pages’ content. Make sure your social media pages present you as an employable, respectable professional before using them as a resource in your job hunt. Even if you don’t use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to help you network and apply for jobs, some organizations go out of their way to check social media pages before presenting a candidate with a job offer. Read over our tips below to make sure your social media pages present you as a great candidate to any potential employer.

  1. Use a professional, flattering photo as your profile picture or avatar. This means no pictures of you in your Halloween costume, making a funny face, or partying in college.
  2. Set your privacy settings accordingly. If there are any inappropriate or unprofessional pictures or posts on your social media page that you cannot delete, make sure they are not visible to anyone who visits your page.
  3. Delete anything you wouldn’t want a potential boss or coworker to see. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so even if you think your pictures are completely private, it might just be better to get rid of them.
  4. Link your social media pages to an email address you don’t list on your resume. Changing your name on Facebook or using a nickname on Twitter does not mean an employer can’t find your profile. If your profile is linked to the same email address you have on your resume, all an employer has to do is search for that email address to find your profile.

Keeping your social media pages looking professional and presentable will definitely help you in your job search. Don’t give potential employers any excuse to disregard you as an applicant by making sure your social media pages present you as a desirable, hirable professional.

Networking

When you are unemployed, it’s important to take advantage of every resource you have in order to find a job. While you are submitting your resume to every job posting you feel qualified for, you should also pursue some less traditional means. For example, networking is a great way to learn about new job opportunities and get your name in with the right people.

You should discuss your career goals with your friends and even your former colleagues. Your friends are great networking tools, especially if they work in a similar industry. They might know of companies in your industry that are hiring, or have connections to such companies. If your friend is employed and satisfied with their current career, they might not pay attention to job openings they hear about. That’s why it’s important for you to let them know you are in the market for work, so they can keep an ear out for you. Also, if any of your former coworkers left to work at a new company, than that company is a great place to look into. They are clearly hiring candidates with a similar background and experience to your background, and your former coworker could provide a reference on your behalf to the hiring supervisor.

Linked In is another useful networking resource. You can use the professional networking website to connect with hiring managers, former colleagues and the like. Also, you can ask your former supervisors or colleagues to provide recommendations for you to post on your profile. These recommendations are a great resource to bring to job interviews. They also boost your chances of getting an interview if a hiring manager looks you up on Linked In after reviewing your submitted resume. Companies will post job openings on their Linked In page, so it’s a good idea to connect with companies you are interested in working for as well.

Do not leave any resource untapped when searching for new employment. Help could come from anywhere, and you don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity.

How to Tell Your Boss You’re Leaving

Whether you are working in a permanent or temporary position, quitting your job is a complicated procedure. The key to a successful career is networking with peers and coworkers, so you don’t want to burn bridges when leaving a position.

Guidelines to follow:

  • Give Proper Notice
    • When telling your supervisor that you are quitting, you want to give them as much notice as possible in order to give them time to fill your position.
    • Announcing to your boss that you are quitting and today is going to be your last day leaves them with the same amount of work, but less people around to help.
    • Your employer was kind enough to give you a chance and a job in the first place, so the least you can do is give them a couple weeks to find your replacement.
    • Two weeks notice is the acceptable amount of time recommended to most professionals. If you are in a temporary position however, one week should be fine.
  • Quit in Person
    • You wouldn’t break up with a person through an email, and it is just as rude to quit your job through one.
    • Arrange a time to sit face-to-face with your boss to tell them you will be ending your position.
    • Your boss will be much more appreciative if you give them the respect of quitting in person, where you can look them in the eye and explain your situation thoroughly.
  • Don’t Burn Bridges
    • As we mentioned previously, you do not want to lose the connections you made at your position when you quit.
    • Be as respectful and appreciative as possible when quitting, because without your current employer and the experience you gained from them, you might not have been qualified for a new job in the first place.
    • Even if you didn’t use your current employer as a reference for your new position, you might need to use them in the future.

Make sure you leave your job on good terms, so you can use them as a reference if you ever need to. Also, you want to make sure that the reference they provide will be a good one!

The Do’s & Don’ts of Requesting Time Off

DO:
• Give your employer plenty of notice before taking time off.
• Try to plan your vacations, trips, etc. around your supervisor’s and coworkers’ schedules to avoid taking time off at the same time as the rest of the office.
• Put your time off request in writing – a verbal request could easily be forgotten.
• Try to schedule any doctor’s appointments, etc. during your lunch break, so that you don’t need to miss work.
• Save your sick days for when you are actually sick – you never know when/if you will need them.

DON’T:
• Request a lot of time off after just starting a new position.
• Request time off at the last minute – for example, you shouldn’t wait until Friday to ask for that Monday off.
• Assume you are guaranteed time off around holidays – always be sure to ask your employer about the holiday schedule and request time off if needed.
Use all of your paid time off at once – try to avoid missing a large amount of work at one time by spreading out your time off throughout the year.

Last Minute Interview Checklist

You’re about to head out to an interview for your dream job and your mind is running a mile a minute. Before you step out the door, take a moment to go over this short checklist to make sure you are fully prepared.

  • Read over your resume again. Check for any small grammatical or spelling errors you might have missed the first time around.
  • Check yourself out in the mirror. Make sure your tie is straight, your shirt is tucked in, and there isn’t a hair out of place.
  • Make sure you have everything your interviewer asked you to bring. This could include the proper amount of resume copies, proper identification, a list of references, or a sample of your work.
  • Don’t bring anything you don’t need in the interview. Don’t bring food or drinks into your interview and avoid eating right before going in. You don’t want to spill anything on your suit or get something stuck in your teeth.
  • Look over the job description one last time. Also, it would be good to check out the company’s “About Us” section on their website. Make sure to completely familiarize yourself with the job and the company before your interview. You want to be fully informed so you can both ask thoughtful questions and answer questions thoughtfully.
  • Check the time again. While you don’t want to be late for your interview, you also don’t want to be too early. Showing up too early is just as rude as being late. Try not to arrive more than 10 minutes early for your interview, but leave some wiggle room in your schedule to allow for any traffic or public transportation issues that may arise. If you end up arriving to the building earlier than you would like, find somewhere cool to take a seat and look over your resume again before going in.
  • Right before you walk out the door, take one last look in the mirror and repeat a positive affirmation. Make eye contact with yourself and repeat a phrase like “I will get this job.” Affirmations are a great way to build confidence, and interviewers will be more inclined to hire a confident candidate than a nervous one.

Check off every item on this list, then take a deep breath and get going!

Choosing Quality References

You had a successful interview and you have a job offer pending, but in order to complete the process your new employer wants to check your references. If you have questions about how to choose the right references to lock in that offer, look no further! We’ve answered some basic questions to help you provide the best references possible.

  1. Who makes a great reference?
    • An ideal reference would be a former supervisor – not a family member or coworker.
    • Even if you worked for a family member, employers do not consider them to be good references. A family member will most likely be biased and provide a good reference for you no matter what.
    • Coworkers also make bad references, because as far as the employer knows, any coworker could be your best friend. In that case, they will also be biased and inclined to provide a good reference for you.
    • A former supervisor is most likely to be honest in their answers when providing a reference, and they are most knowledgeable of your work ethic and quality of work. They also know how you follow instructions and take initiative better than anyone else.
    • If you can’t use a direct supervisor as a reference, the next best person would be a coworker who was in a superior position to you.
  2. What information do I need to provide for my reference contacts?
    • After choosing your references, it’s important to make sure you have their full contact information.
    • Make sure to provide your references’ first and last name, phone number, email address and business address. Also, include their professional title and the name of their company. If a reference you worked with in the past is no longer with the same company, it helps to include both their current and former titles and companies.
  3. Do I need to call my references before using them?
    • Be sure to get approval from your references before giving them to your potential new employer. That way, you are sure their contact information is correct and they know to expect a phone call from your new company.
    • Also, it’s good to reconnect with a former supervisor before they receive a call asking for a reference. If it’s been a while since you were last in touch, they will have a fresh, positive memory of you.
    • Some corporations do not allow their employees to give references and will only allow employment verifications through Human Resources. If you call a former boss ahead of time, you will know whether or not they are even allowed to provide a reference.

Employers strongly rely on references to verify a potential employee’s background and work ethic, so it’s important that you provide them with references that will impress them. Follow the advice we’ve provided and you’ll be sure to land your dream job!

How to Succeed as a Temporary Employee

As we have mentioned time and time again, working as a temp while you pursue a permanent job can benefit you in numerous ways, including helping you find that ideal position! Although, keep in mind that the work doesn’t end once you register with one or more staffing agencies. The work you do as a temp could greatly benefit or hurt you in the long run. Find out what you need to do to succeed as a temp in our advice below:

  1. Show Interest:
    • First of all, it’s important that you show the agencies you’re registered with that you’re interested in working. Agencies are more likely to call temps who are ready and eager to start working.
    • Instead of waiting around for the agency to call you with an assignment, check in with them regularly to let them know you are still available and eager to work.
    • It’s also important that you show interest in your temp work while on assignment. A temporary job could be the gateway to a permanent position, so make sure your onsite supervisor sees that you care about doing a good job and making a good impression.
  2. Be Dependable:
    • If you are frequently late for assignments, make a lot of excuses, and/or fail to show up at assignments all together, your agency will be a lot less likely to keep calling you with work. They need to trust that you will be at an assignment on time because it’s not only your professional reputation at stake, theirs is too!
    • You should treat temporary work the same as you would any other position. The professionals who do well in temporary assignments are the ones who end up being offered permanent positions with the companies they temp for.
    • You should aim to consistently show up early or on time for assignments, turn in all of your projects on time, and avoid taking time off.
  3. Be Available:
    • If you turn down every assignment you are offered by your agency, they will eventually stop calling you. If you always seem to be busy and you’re never available to pick up work, your agency will assume that calling you for assignments is a waste of their time.
    • Most staffing agencies get a lot of one or two day assignments with little notice. Frequently, they will get calls from clients requesting someone to come in that very same day. If you are always available to work with little to no notice, your agency will appreciate your availability and dependability, and they will call you more frequently.
    • When an agency gets a new temp assignment in, they will immediately start making calls and sending out emails until they fill the opening. You should always keep your phone on, and be aware that a missed call from your agency can very well mean the loss of a great opportunity.

Follow these tips and you will be guaranteed to succeed as a temporary employee and make your transition into a permanent employee that much easier.

Facing Rejection In Your Job Search

Unless you get an offer from the first job you apply to, you will probably face a lot of rejection during your job search. Maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude can be the key to a successful job hunt, so don’t let the rejection get you down.

Grow a thick skin and accept that you probably won’t hear back from most of the jobs you apply for. Interviews can be difficult and some hiring managers will want to challenge you, so be prepared to work for the job you want. A thick skin will definitely help you withstand the rejection you may face over the course of your job search.

It’s also important that you don’t take the rejection personally. You have certain experiences and skills that you can offer an employer and they might not be a perfect fit for every job opening. It’s not your fault (or the employer’s) if you don’t have the exact perfect skill set for the job you want, so don’t take it as a personal slight if you don’t receive an offer.

You should learn from your experiences during your job search, whether they are positive or negative. Each interview you go on can serve as practice for future interviews. Every interaction you have with a potential employer will further develop your professional communication skills. Rather than be disappointed in a missed opportunity, use it to improve yourself so you can increase your chances of getting the next job you apply to.

Lastly, whatever you do, don’t give up! The only way you will get a job is to keep applying, interviewing, and putting yourself out there. Don’t get discouraged by the rejection, use it as inspiration to work harder!

Writing a Professional Email

Whether you are a job seeker applying for positions and corresponding with hiring managers, or a working professional writing to coworkers, superiors and clients, being able to write a professional email is a critical skill. Learn how to avoid making simple mistakes and seeming unprofessional by following our tips below:

  1. Attach your documents FIRST.
    • Before you do anything else, attach any documents you need to include. For example: your resume, a report, etc.
    • If you’ve ever sent an email and realized a second too late that you’ve forgotten to include the attachment, this tip will definitely benefit you!
  2. Fill in your contact’s email address LAST:
    • This way, if you accidentally hit send before your email is finished it will not go to your intended recipient.
  3. Set up an automatic signature with your phone number and email address:
    • Then you’ll never have to worry about including your contact information in your emails.
  4. Proofread out loud:
    • Always read your emails aloud before sending them. Your ear will pick up on any spelling, wording, or grammar mistakes that you might have missed otherwise.
  5. Choose your subject line AFTER writing the body of your email:
    • Your email subject should reflect what is written in your email, so it’s easier to choose a more relevant subject line once you know exactly what your email will say.

How to Job Search While You’re Still Employed

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself, so looking for work while you’re still employed can be especially difficult. It’s important that you set time aside to devote to your job search – and this means outside of your regularly scheduled working hours! Also, you want to avoid letting your current employer know that you’re looking elsewhere until you’re ready to give notice. Learn how to do just that by following our advice below:

  1. Don’t job hunt while you’re at work!
    • This includes working on your resume, applying for jobs, surfing the job boards, etc.
  2. Don’t take/make calls and emails from hiring managers or recruiters at your desk.
    • If you need to communicate regarding a potential opportunity, do so over your lunch or coffee break, and make sure to leave your office to make these calls in private.
    • This also means you should list your personal phone number and email address on your resume – not your work contact info.
  3. Don’t post your resume all over job boards.
    • If your current employer is hiring, it’s very likely that they browse job boards in order to find candidates, and they will know that you are looking elsewhere if they come across your resume.
    • Take advantage of job alerts instead of posting your resume. This way you will receive emails about potential job opportunities directly from the job boards.