This morning, when I logged into LinkedIn, I had nine connection requests waiting for me. Some were from recruiters, some were from total strangers, some were from fellow writers, and some were from old classmates — but they all said the exact same thing:
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
It baffles me that everyone isn’t customizing their invitations — but in fact, very few people do. Those 300 characters can have a big impact, though: If you’re connecting with someone you know well, it’s a great opportunity to say something nice and reinforce the relationship. If you’re connecting with someone you don’t know well, it’s a great opportunity to remind him or her how you met. If you’re connecting with someone you don’t know at all, it’s your only opportunity to convince him or her to accept. Read more
Let’s face it, we often get a job based on who we know. Without the proper connections, we can constantly feel like we’re on the outside looking in. But the truth is friends of friends can often be the “in” you need. While Facebook can be a useful tool, LinkedIn is the professional arena to reach out to those contacts that you barely know. Read more
You’re ready to make a career move — maybe you’re looking for a new job, launching a side business, or eyeing a promotion. In all of these instances, boosting your personal brand can help you achieve your goal.
That’s because a strong personal brand is a carefully designed message that’s compelling and attracts the right people. It helps you stand out for who you are and what you do best.
You’re probably nodding along, because you already know all of this. You don’t need to be convinced how valuable personal branding is: What’s holding you back is the time commitment. Read more
The age of the private exhibitionist blog is over. Today, blogging has become the single most powerful platform on the internet for the individual, the professional, and the thought-leader.
When I graduated from college in 2000, there were no blogs. I’d had email for only about two years by then. But even then, the principles that make blogging so powerful still applied.
Our graduation keynote speech told the story. I went to Brown University, and if you know about Brown, then you know about its open curriculum. This meant for four years, I didn’t have to take science or math classes.
In fact, at Brown, as long as you fulfilled your concentration requirements, you could take anything you wanted. The school assumes that the student will choose classes they are truly interested in and therefore will work harder to succeed.
As you can imagine, this stance is still quite controversial in academic circles. That summer of 2000, sitting in my graduation gown, wondering if I’d been duped out of a real education by not taking math classes, the dean said something I will always remember.
“There are only two skills you need to have to be successful in life,” he said. “The ability to think critically. And the ability and willingness to communicate your thoughts through effective writing.”
I believe, now that I’m older, that these two skills are ALL anyone needs to win in life. Furthermore, after speaking with many hiring managers, I believe that these two skills are what companies look for above and beyond anything else.
Your blog demonstrates your ability to think and your ability to write, and these abilities are important to your future boss. And if you’re going toe-to-toe with other job candidates, your blog can pole-vault you into the office chair of your choosing.
Starting a blog these days is easier than it ever was.
For setting up a WordPress blog, I think Laura Roeder’s training Zero to Blogging is the best out there.
If you want something simpler, there is Tumblr or Posterous, both platforms that take less than 5 minutes to set up.
In Seth Godin’s Linchpin, he talks about being indispensable to an organization. It’s so easy these days for companies to off-shore or automate jobs. If you aren’t investing real emotional energy, and expressing your full self in the job, your position could be removed. But when someone is a thought leader, puts their heart into the results of the job, and otherwise shows that they are irreplaceable, that person wins in the end.
Your blog makes you irreplaceable. It shows you have something to say and the confidence to say it.
I don’t care if only your mother reads it for the first few months. Your blog is going to become your biggest career asset. Trust me!
If you don’t like your job, you aren’t alone. In fact, two out of three working Americans do not feel engaged at work, according to a Gallup survey. And many of these people spend more of their waking time working than doing anything else.
As a psychology professor at a business school, I have chatted with many unhappy employees. I have found that one big reason people are unhappy at work is that when they choose a job or a project, they are not aware of what will truly matter to them once they are in the midst of it.
People send résumés and go to interviews thinking that they care only about salaries and promotions. These are important, yes, but they are not enough. To identify a satisfying job, people should be thinking about office morale and doing work that is interesting and fun. Read more
“An ideal candidate should have a strong marketing background, five years of experience in the consumer goods industry, a track record of designing and running complex marketing campaigns for new consumer products, proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite, and a graduate-level degree with a focus on marketing or public relations.”
How many times have you found your perfect job — and then taken a look at that list of requirements and decided there was just no way you could apply because you didn’t meet every one of the criteria they’d set out? Read more
It’s a great day in anyone’s job search: A recruiter calls with a new job opening. You hear the details and get excited – it’s sounds like exactly what you’ve been looking for! You go to the interview, hit a home run, and leave the building feeling pretty confident that you’ll hear from them soon.
Two days later, you do – and you hear that they’ve chosen another candidate. Wait, what? Read more
Every job seeker on the planet has experienced the agony of waiting to hear – about a job, an interview, a key contact, a next step in the selection process. These guidelines will help you minimize the waiting without antagonizing your contacts. Read more
One recruiter shares her go-to checklist for the types of resumes that catch her eye.
In my eight years as a recruiter at an investment bank, I reviewed thousands of resumes. I’ve seen and learned a lot, from the importance of proofreading to the art of formatting. It’s enough to know that there isn’t one acceptable format or approach to creating an awesome resume.
There are, however, a few key strategies that can make your resume more effectively do what you intend it to: Catch someone’s eye, clearly communicate your qualifications, and help move you on to the next stage of the hiring process. Read more
When I first moved to New York, I was a cover letter machine. I wrote to every sir or madam with a job opening. I expressed my interest in positions for which I had none. I waxed rhapsodic about companies I’d never heard of. My response rate? A whopping zero percent. Read more