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I’m the Right Person in the Wrong Job

Before you start thinking that I don’t like where I work, know that the point of this article is to talk about what it’s like to feel that you are in the “wrong job” while still enjoying what you do. Let me make it clear that I LOVE my job and the people that I work with. My goal after college & graduate school has never wavered (once I figured it out): to help college students achieve their true potential. My way of doing that is to make sure that students can easily find a job after graduation by working in collegiate career services.

BUT, I watch videos, read blogs and research careers and what people should be doing with their career all the time. That made me start thinking…am I doing what I should be doing? Am I the A professional or B professional like the one you hear about in the below video?

When I first started my career, I remember feeling like I wasn’t smart enough for my job because I felt different than all of the other Career Consultants Counselors around me. It wasn’t that I was treated differently or felt like I wasn’t good enough for the job, rather I wasn’t sure if I was good enough. I was told by my supervisors and co-workers that I was doing a good job, but I just couldn’t quite believe it. How could I believe it if I wasn’t sure what a “great” Career Consultant was? Is there one way how to do it or one standard?

That’s when I came to this conclusion:

No, there isn’t one way how to be “good” because I didn’t factor in my personality. I may not be a “true” counselor in the sense that my master’s was not focused in counseling, but I help students ALL the time, in a different way.  Different doesn’t mean bad if it achieves the same results, and it did. So why worry?

I definitely wouldn’t feel the way I do today without the encouragement of my colleagues who “brought” me with them.  I hope this story helps to inspire you to believe in yourself and remember how great YOU are at your job. Sometimes we have to look into ourselves from time to time and believe that we’ve got what it takes. After all, results don’t lie.

How Students can use Twitter to Explore Careers & Find a Job

twitter-job-searchThe purpose of Twitter is to share pictures, links and information in 140 characters or less. Love it or hate it, it is an excellent way for you to get connected with people, including those hard to find employers who don’t like to publish their email addresses. Depending on who you follow, it can help you discover new information and build connections. Even if you don’t want to tweet, you can use Twitter to listen. It is used by many individuals to stay abreast of what is going on their industry, and it can be used by you to stay informed.

Career Exploration

A. Profile – what should/should not be included

Think of your 160 character Twitter bio as your purpose for being on Twitter. Consider including your full name, major, when you graduate and your future career goals. It is okay to include some of your hobbies, but if you plan on using this to interact with other Twitter users for career purposes, critically think about how you are presenting yourself through your bio.

Here are two examples:

  1. Student at the University of Georgia, Anthropology major, Soccer player, & VP of DZ. Seeking an internship in a museum or national park.
  2. UGA 2015 Advertising Student|New Media Fan|Traveler|Photoshop/InDesign Wizard|Future Graphic Artist & Journalist. Visit my blog: http://www.professionalblog.com

B. How to Research Careers

A good place to start is to identify Twitter users that put out useful career-related content. Visit www.twellow.com or www.wefollow.com and look for industry leaders in careers you are considering. Type a few different terms into the search bar like “career information” or “[industry] careers” and follow users that share information about their industry. You can also follow general career advice accounts, like Heather Huhman’s shown below.

It also wouldn’t hurt to ask directly questions to users. Here’s a sample tweet of how to do it:

@username How did you break into your career? Any advice for a current UGA student?

Before asking a question like the one above, build the relationship by commenting on the Twitter users posts or sharing information you think would be relevant to them.

Another way to explore careers is to read job postings listed on Twitter. There are some companies that have accounts dedicated to solely posting jobs. In addition, you can type in “[industry] jobs” and look to see if there is an account that posts positions in that field.

C.  Case Study

Lillian is a sophomore Advertising major at UGA. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after she graduated, so she set out to identify UGA alumni who were advertising majors on Twitter and follow them. After commenting on a few of their posts, she reached out directly to ask for advice. Though some alumni did not get back to her, she had a few that told her to direct message her email and phone number to connect for an informational interview. After a few of these conversations, she was able to get a better sense understanding of the various career paths in advertising and what would be the best fit for her.

Job Searching & Networking

A.     Ways to do it

Do you want to know the number one way UGA students find employment? Year after year, networking is at the top of the list. The goal of networking should be to build reciprocal relationships in which both parties benefit. It isn’t something only the well-connected can do. Twitter and social media can be used to create a network and manage your built-in networks that consist of friends, family professors, and anyone that you meet.

Here are a few quick tips to get started:

  • Identify users that have something in common with you: UGA, hobbies, extracurricular involvement or industry interests.
  • Create “lists” to keep your Twitter followers organized.
  • Share relevant industry news and information with your followers.
  • Comment on what others post to help you build a relationship.
  • Follow accounts that tweet job listings.

B.     General Tips

  • Keep your Twitter profile public so that others can follow and interact with you.
  • Don’t forget that everyone can see what you post. Think before you tweet.
  • Do share relevant information relevant to your career goals.
  • Don’t over tweet. Your followers will stop following you if you post too often.
  • Know that you don’t have to tweet often, but if you do, you are more likely to have people reply to your posts and want to follow you.
  • Build your network before you need it. Don’t be “that guy” who only contacts people when they want something.
  • It’s ok to post things outside of your future career interests, but don’t overdo it.
  • Think of your Twitter profile as a billboard. If you wouldn’t want your tweet plastered on a sign by the highway, don’t post it.
  • Follow hashtags and engage in chats.
  • You have to give to get. Comment on what others post if you want to get noticed.

C.     Sample Communication

There are many ways that you can use Twitter to communicate with potential hiring managers. Below are a few examples:

Follow up after an application

@companyname I just applied for the ______ position with your company. I would love to work there and would be glad to answer any questions if you have any.

To get noticed by an individual recruiter

@recruitername Any advice on what I can do to make myself more competitive for future internships? Here’s my LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/18WJYOe

@recruiter Thanks for sharing that article! I am interested in breaking into that industry and found it helpful.

Showcase your industry knowledge

Here’s a great article on the future of cloud computing: http://bit.ly/10ugvI6 #IT #ITcareers

D.    Case Study

Lydia May is a 2nd year student at UGA and is considering a career in either Journalism or Advertising. She used Twellow and WeFollow to identify Twitter users to follow that tweeted about her careers of interests and then took it a step further by looking at what Twitter accounts these top accounts followed. Eventually, it became hard to keep up with all the people she was following, so Lydia created an Advertising Twitter List and a Journalism Twitter list to help her keep her information organized.

By following these industry leaders, she identified accounts that tweeted jobs of interest to her.  She also was able to get advice from employees working at companies she is considering applying to for internships by asking when she should start applying and where she should look. Doing this helped her make sure she didn’t miss important application deadlines and it even gave her a leg up on her competition. Because she had established these industry relationships early, her name was passed along directly to the hiring manager and ultimately got hired.

Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13

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Heather Tranen is spot on with this blog. Read this if you plan on tweeting during an upcoming professional conference!

Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13.

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Interviewing 2.0: Answering “Tell me about yourself”

Year after year, I get complaints from employers that students don’t do enough company research before going into an interview. However, I really feel that the problem is not that students don’t do it. Rather, they just don’t know how to communicate it back to the employer. A great way any job seeker can demonstrate their company knowledge is through their answer to “Tell me about yourself.”

Remember the purpose of the interview: it’s to get a job. Always keep in mind that even though “tell me about yourself” is broad, the underlying reason why employers ask that is because they want you to tell them something RELEVANT and related to the job about yourself.

My basic model is:

Give a brief introduction (Name, major, graduation date). Bring up skills, knowledge, experience, projects or leadership/involvement related to the job. End with a summary statement that links your examples to the job to which you are applying.

Shortened Example (Imagine the job I’m interviewing for is marketing/social media related):

“My name is Laura Ledgerwood and I’m a 2007 graduate of Clemson University where I majored in marketing. In the past, I’ve been involved in several professional committees dedicated to marketing and social media where I learned a lot about effective strategies to engage your audience through the use of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. In my current role at the University of Georgia, I coordinate social media on the behalf of my office and keep track of social media analytics using Hootsuite and bit.ly. In addition to these experiences, I’ve been learning about the Adobe Creative Suite on the side to enhance my creative capabilities in the hope that I can get into a role more in line with that interest. Because of these experiences and my future career goals, I feel like I would be a great fit for [insert company name/job title].”

How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar

It sounds a lot more complicated than it really is.  You can create one on Google, Outlook, or (what I do) through Publisher.

The trick is figuring out WHAT your audience wants to hear about and WHEN. That’s not easy to figure out necessarily either, unless if you have kept track of your analytics using something like Hootsuite or Bit.ly.  If you’ve been shortening your links using Hootsuite or bit.ly and identifying popular topics, all you have to do is lay it out on the calendar.

Here’s a basic outline of what I plan on posting for my audiences this Fall.  Note that’s it’s not complete, and I did that intentionally.  You can’t give away all your trade secrets, right??

If you haven’t been keeping track of how your audience is engaging with you, I recommend that if you go ahead and create a content calendar that you also create a plan of how you are going to measure whether or not your calendar was effective.  Facebook insights and Hootsuite can tell you a lot of information as to whether or not your followers/fans are paying attention to what you’re posting.

Note that with many things in life, sometimes it’s trial and error.  You may think you’ve got the perfect plan in place, but it’s important to monitor your progress to see if you need to adjust in the future.

Do you have any other tips on how to create a content calendar?

LinkedIn for Students – Making the Most of it

To build upon what I wrote about on SoshITech, I wanted to share some more information about how college students can leverage LinkedIn in the job search and as they start their careers.

Jasmine Hall shared the infographic seen below and shared an excellent blog they posted here. Check it out!

6 Things You NEED to do to Land a Job

Over the past 5 years that I’ve worked with students who are searching for jobs, I’ve started to notice some common trends between those that find jobs and those that don’t.  You might think to yourself that one candidate had better grades, more experience, or better connections and that’s why they got the job.  Sometimes that’s right, but a lot of times it’s wrong.  There’s so much more to getting a job than being the “ideal candidate.”

Below are my main tips on how you can be successful in finding a job, no matter what your background is, hang-ups are or challenges you face–

  1. Open up your mind to new possibilities. Like the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover,” neither should you judge a job by its obscure company name, job title or anything else until you’ve done your research.  Try it and you just might like it.
  2. Get over your major.  You have multiple options on how you can apply your degree.  Figure out where you want to live, an industry you want to work in, something. Have you noticed that a lot of job descriptions focus on skills more than specific degrees?  If you haven’t, you aren’t looking in the right places.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ….which leads me to….
  3. Stop focusing on large job boards. Go into a targeted group on LinkedIn or consider joining a professional association. Many employers like to focus on targeted groups rather than post on Monster or Careerbuilder. It makes sense.  Go where you’re more likely to find a successful match.
  4. Get out from behind the computer screen. A recruiter once told me “I hire people, not paper.” Recruiters are human beings that like to get to know candidates. Put yourself out there and give them a call. Come to a career fair. Attend an event you know they will participate in and introduce yourself. Don’t be afraid.
  5. Show that you’ve got some sense.  iF u can’t type a sentence correctly and uze crazy emoticons 🙂 all the time, youre going to turn off a lot of people.  (Note that I intentionally typed that horrific sentence.  My English Teacher Mother is rolling in her grave as you read this.)
  6. Act like you like what you’re interviewing for.  I don’t care if you’re interviewing to scrape horse doo at the circus, you need to act like you like the job.  If you can’t even muster a smile or a small laugh during the interview, they’re going to think that you could care less about the job.  If you aren’t enthusiastic now, why would you be a positive force on the job??? No employer wants to work with Debbie Downer.

That’s it!! Simple enough, right??  What do you think?

Pinterest Infographic: Uses in Education

Linda Ross shared this great infographic on how educators are using Pinterest & I wanted to share it with you all.  I especially like the tip on creating an online library.  While our career library is a great resource, students seem to rarely use it these days, so referencing more up-to-date editions and how they can access these resources seems like a great idea.

Though I have yet to use the collaboration function, it seems like it has potential. Pinterest users have the ability to open their boards to collaborators (ones you select, or it can be open to the public) to share information around a specific topic.  It could be an academic subject, news, job leads, anything you can imagine.

Check out some additional tips below!

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

Thank you Linda!!!
From: Online Universities Blog