How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful networking site, but it can be confusing to job seekers when they first visit. You don’t have the ability to post on anyone’s walls, create picture albums or play games. So what do you do?

LinkedIn can be used for many things, but there are certain parts of the site I think are particularly useful in helping you find a job.  Here are 5 things you can do today to get more value from LinkedIn:

  1. Join professional groups. Click on the “More” tab at the top of the page and select the “Skills and Expertise” option. Plug in your major, the industry you’re interested in or a skill you have that you would like to use in a future job. It will give you suggested professional groups to join based on what you typed in among other useful pieces of information. A lot of groups will have an internal “Jobs” tab that could give you leads. If nothing else, it can help you identify other people you could network with that are interested in the same area as you. Don’t be shy! Message someone and ask them for advice or tips on how you can break into the field.
  2. Make people want to talk to you. Make your profile dynamic by adding in samples of your work: PowerPoint presentations, professional blogs, or a portfolio are just a few of your options. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations from previous employers so you can include that on your profile. You can also request for your connections to endorse your skills.
  3. Create a keyword rich profile. If you click on the “Jobs” tab in the top bar you’ll see that LinkedIn suggests jobs you may be interested in based on the information you included in your profile. If you aren’t sure what career you want to pursue in the future, this could be a great place to get ideas! It also has a broader job board you can search through using keywords.FYI–Some employers seek out inactive job seekers using keywords so you may even get contacted about future opportunities if you strategically use them!
  4. Create conversation. Share information in groups or pose questions. This may help you get noticed by other members who might click on your profile (aka your online resume). If you start building professional relationships, you naturally have an insider’s advantage if you apply to positions that are affiliated with your networking contacts.
  5. Contact members directly. You’ve got a name. You know where they work. Google it! See if you can find an email address so you can contact them outside of LinkedIn if you can’t message them directly through the site. Just don’t ask if they have any jobs open. A better way to get the same information would be to ask a question like “I’m really interested in pursuing a career similar to yours in the future. Do you have any tips or advice that you would be willing to share with me?” If you make a good impression they’ll tell you about any open jobs they have now and if they don’t have any at least you got some advice that could lead to a job.  And who knows? Maybe a position will open up a few weeks after you talked. Again, if you impressed them, you can bet they will be emailing or calling you to get you to apply.

Tip: Do an advanced people search to see if any UGA alums work in your targeted organizations or industries. People are more likely to respond to these requests when they can relate to you.

 

The key thing you should take away from this is that you have to take action.  A job isn’t going to fall out of the sky and into your lap. However, the more you increase your network and maintain it, the more likely you’ll hear of future openings!

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The Secret Hook: How To Engage and Keep Your Customers

You’ve probably heard that millenials and Gen Y as a whole is the “trophy generation,” meaning they think the mere act of participating in something should result in an award. Many grew up with teachers and coaches that gave them a trophy for virtually everything.  You may think of this as coddling or ridiculous, but businesses and higher education would benefit if they would stop fighting the “helicopter parent” mentality and show some appreciation not only to Gen Y, but to their customers as a whole.

Celebrities are the best at this. Take this scenario: Kim Kardashian will occasionally retweet a fan’s comment. Fan freaks out. Tells all her friends on Facebook & Twitter. However many friends that fan has, now knows about Kim Kardashian and is more likely to see who she is and what she does. Conveniently, there is a direct link to her new perfume on her Twitter profile. Coincidence? I think not.  That is the mark of a savvy businesswoman. By the simple act of recognition, her follower becomes an even more avid fan, and new followers may engage with her social media presence that might not have done so before.

You may be thinking that you’re not a celebrity, so obviously the same scenario couldn’t happen to you. I’ve got a few examples that would beg to differ, however.  This phenomenon is an example of a new trend in consumer behavior: recognition. They want to have their questions answered. Be featured on your social media pages. Thanked for sharing your posts. Feel like someone is paying attention to them period.

My definition of recognition is a little broader than the trophy concept. It’s showing your customer respect. Respect for their opinions, showing that you listen, and demonstrating that you act based on what you heard.

How do you show that you’re paying attention to your fans?

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?

Consistency is Key in Social Media

I’m guilty of not following one of the cardinal rules to successfully using social media for your business/organization: consistency.  I’ve been traveling and working on several different projects for my office, so posting blogs got pushed to the back burner temporarily.  It’s no excuse, but it’s what happened.

We all have times like this in our lives where the here and now overtake us and we lose sight of other things that are important.  Sometimes you can’t predict this, but other times you know it’s coming.

 

That every September you’ll get rush of clients.

That you’ve got a big deadline coming up.

Ultimately, that something else more important that social media is happening in your life.

If you can predict these things are coming up, it’s important for you to go ahead and plan early.  Go ahead and write a few “filler” blogs or social media posts.  You can even go back and recycle some of your content because likely your audience isn’t going to remember you already posted that tweet.  They could’ve missed it all together.

We don’t always know when we’ll be busy or when things we can’t predict are going to come up.  We can, however, have our “just in case” content in place to keep you on track.

 

The Secret to Creating a Successful Social Media Campaign

Yesterday I flew to Las Vegas for the National Association of Colleges & Employers annual conference and I couldn’t help but be excited.  Why? It’s because I was a finalist for a marketing and branding award for the UGA Career Center’s social media strategy.  This post isn’t about that award, but it inspired today’s post:   the secret to successful social media campaigns.

You can look at case studies all day long, but being successful in the social media realm has a few core truths that hold true regardless of your industry or organization. These are:

  1. Listen.  It sounds so simple, but that is the first step towards a successful campaign.  Listening means not only listening to your audience, but to also listen to your competition.  How are you stacking up? Are you showing your audience that you even care that they’ve chosen to connect with you?
  2. Plan.  Any successful campaign must first have set goals. You’ve heard of the old saying “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know one when you get there?”  Determine if you want to increase followers, foster conversation, identify prospects or some other goal.  Try to set a few at first to make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed.  Creating a calendar of content (keep in mind you can likely recycle this later!) can help you stay organized and ensure your messages are consistent and appropriate.
  3. Recognition.  There’s a reason why women from teenage girls to middle age women beg their favorite celebrities to retweet them or tell them happy birthday on Facebook.  On some level, we all crave for attention, some more so than others.  Going along with listening, are you paying attention to the questions your audience is asking?  Are you highlighting your top followers and fans to acknowledge them?
  4. Monitor.  Keep track of where you stand in the beginning and check in monthly or weekly.  If your audience isn’t paying attention to the dry articles you’re sending out, try posting pictures or asking questions.  You might have to try a few different things before you see what sticks.

It can seem overwhelming when you get started, but if you take the time to plan upfront, it’s easier to make sure you’re on task in the middle of your busy times. Remember, the more you use it, the better you’ll get!

What other elements do you think are essential for social media campaigns?

 

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

Pinterest & Higher Education: What’s the deal?

Pinterest has been blowing up the social media news and it was reported that it’s now the 3rd most visited social media site behind Facebook & Twitter.  Pinning, boards, followers, activity…what does it all mean? Today I wanted to give a brief overview of Pinterest and how you can use it for your customers, students or other targeted populations.

Let’s start with boards.  Think of these as a bulletin board that you use to visual represent online resources (videos, blogs, podcasts, articles, etc.) around a specific topic.  Pinterest has been most popular with those designing a house or getting prepared for an upcoming wedding, but it can be used for informative purposes as well.  Below is an example of how the UGA Career Center uses Pinterest:

Pinterest Board

Click on the “Add” button and you can upload documents, link to other websites or create a board. It’s user friendly and pretty easy to navigate.  If you’re just starting, I recommend clicking in the search bar in the top left corner and searching for other users that are “pinning” about topics you are interested in. After you start your search, 3 links will pop up directly underneath the search bar to help you find pins (aka links), boards, or people.

By using Pinterest and pinning more interactive media (videos, podcasts, etc. on our boards), we’ve been able to cover topics in a way we’ve never been able to before. We don’t have enough staff to create YouTube videos and podcasts at this time, but we’re able to leverage the resources we find on the internet to share the best tips for our students in a format they like to learn.

Have you been using Pinterest?  Do you have other ideas on how it could be used in Education?