Job Search Tips
While jobsinkenya254.com has implemented many protections to ensure that questionable job listings don’t make it into our database, job seekers should always remain vigilant and know what to look for when searching job listings.
Possible Indicators of a Job Scam:
- Listings that ask for your private information such as SSN, driver’s license number, bank accounts, credit card information, etc.
- “Small Businesses” that direct you to a home address for an interview
- Foreign companies that do not have a local office
- Listings for jobs such as stuffing envelopes, email rebates or refunds, data entry, and jewelry-making at home that require payment to start, and require unpaid and tedious work up front
- Listings requiring you to buy products and submit receipts before you get paid; this specifically addresses mystery shopping listings
- Listings that request you to go to a pay-to-attend seminar
- Employers that request you open a new bank account or credit card
- Online applications that do not have the company headline in the URL, or are not password protected
- The same business’ phone numbers and fax numbers with mismatched area codes
- If an employer asks for money, why can’t he deduct from the first salary?
- Email addresses that do not include the company name
- If they contact you only through email.
Set Up a Job Search Email Account
When you’re looking for a job, it’s a good idea to set up an email account just for job searching. That way your professional email won’t get mixed in with your personal mail.
Free Email Accounts
There are a variety of free web-based email services, like Gmail and Yahoo, that you can use. You’ll be able to check your email online from any computer, so using web mail is a good way to stay on top of your job search.
Do be sure you have an email account name that is appropriate for business use i.e. email@example.com not firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you’ve set up the account send a few test messages to make sure you can send and receive mail.
Then use this email account for all your job search communications – to apply for jobs, post your resume, and connect with your contacts. Be sure to check your email frequently so you can respond immediately to employers who are interested in hiring you.
Your Work Email Account
Don’t use your work email address for job searching or networking. Don’t send resumes and cover letters from your work email account or use that email address when you apply for jobs online. Many companies monitor email communications and you don’t want to get caught job searching from work.
You may be thinking about using the Internet to help you in your quest for a new job. If not, you should. Maybe this will persuade you: in 1998, there were over 28 million jobs posted on the Internet. That number includes Job Boards, Corporate Web sites, and Usenet (1999 Electronic Recruiting Index, Interbiznet.com, 1998). According to Job Searching Online for Dummiesby Pam Dixon, 17,000 new jobs are posted online each week and employers and recruiters use the Web to make 48*percent* of all hires.
As you can see, employers and recruiters are making good use of the Internet and so should you. This article will help you learn how to use the Net as a job search tool. Since you are reading this article it’s obvious that you are already using the Internet to help you with some of your career planning needs. You may even be using it to search for a job already. My goal is to help you make full useof what this amazing tool has to offer.
While many of you may be familiar with the general employment sites, such as Monster.com and TrueCareers, you may not be as familiar with niche sites. Niche sites are those sites that specialize in a particular industry or profession, such as OnlineSports.com Job Listings for those looking for jobs in the sports industry. Or perhaps you are looking for a job in government. Did you know that many federal, state, provincial, and local government jobs are listed online? Many companies list their job openings on their corporate Web sites. You can easily find those sites by using any search engine. Another great resource is FlipDog.com, which gathers job listings from company Web sites.
In addition, newspapers often publish their classified ads on the Web. You can access those listings for free. Local employment sites provide help to those who are limiting their search to a specific geographic region and are especially useful to those who are relocating.
Then there are resume banks, which allow you to post your resume on a database which is accessed by recruiters and employers. Many of the sites that list jobs also have resume banks. To list your resume you will have to fill out a form with your employment history, skills, etc. Some resume banks allow you to cut and paste your actual resume into the form. For that you will need an ASCII resume, which is simply your resume without all the fancy formatting. That ASCII resume will also come in handy when you respond to job announcements via email, or when a company requests a scannable resume. A scannable resume is one that can be scanned into an electronic resume database or an electronic resume tracking system. Both are commonly used by employers and recruiters.
Integrating Instant Messaging into Your Job Search
Instant messaging (IM) services can be a good tool to use when job searching. If you have an instant message account you can use it for networking, both with the people on your buddy list and with professional contacts. You can also sign up to receive new job postings via IM.
Instant messaging allows users to be in direct contact in real time, which saves going back and forth via email or playing phone tag.
Here’s how to integrate instant messaging into your job search:
Set Up Instant Message Accounts
The top instant messaging services are AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ, and Google Talk. AIM is the most popular service, but, some users have multiple accounts and login to those accounts simultaneously. There’s also software available, like Trillian, that will let you access several accounts at once and manage your instant messaging.
Choose Your Screen Name Carefully
If you are using instant messaging for job searching, for networking, or for anything remotely related to your career, please make sure that your screen name sounds professional. Consider setting up a new IM account just to use for job searching, so you can keep your personal and your professional lives separate.
Add Your IM Screen Names to Your Profile
In order to use instant messaging when job searching at a site that supports it, you’ll need to add your IM information to your job search account. When you register with job sites and with social / business networking sites you will be able to add your screen name to your profile on some sites. Monster, for example, lets you list your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and ICQ screen names. You can also create a screen name to use on Monster’s message boards. LinkedIn, the networking site, as another example, also lets you add your instant message screen name to your profile.
When you make your profile public, you are making it available to all members. That means that you’ll receive contacts from other members, as well as being able to outreach yourself. So, once you publish your screen name, expect to get contacted.
When you IM a contact who you don’t know, let them know who you are and ask them if you have time to chat. Also let the person know how you found them. If you’re not comfortable having a conversation via instant message, and not everybody is, ask if you can call.
Watch the Clock
If you are networking with a professional contact, be cognizant of the time and try to contact them during business hours, when possible. At the least, don’t start sending job-related instant messages late in the evening.
Use Your Buddy List
One of the benefits of networking is that you never know who might be able to help with your job search. When you’re talking to your buddies, it’s a good idea to mention that you’re looking for new job. Someone may be able to help.
Use Your Contacts
If you belong to social or career networks check to see if you can search for contacts at companies where you want to work. You may be able to IM a company contact for job search assistance.
Many college career offices provide answers to quick questions, and sometimes distance counseling, via instant message. If you’re a college student or graduate check to see how your college can assist you long-distance. There are also career counselors who provide counseling via email and instant message.
Are you using Twitter for your job search? If you have yet to see results, don’t give up! Using the social-networking tool, you can find real jobs and connect with real people who are hiring.
One of Twitter’s most useful aspects is the access it provides you. Recruiters, HR representatives, hiring managers, and executives all use Twitter on a daily basis. Unlike an online job posting where you can only apply via the information provided, Twitter allows you to interact with these people directly by sending them an @ reply or a direct message. Your resume is much more likely to be seen and seriously considered if you’ve interacted with a company representative rather than applying to a job post along with hundreds of other job seekers.
Tips to get noticed and hired on Twitter:
• Create a user-friendly profile. Use your real name and keep your Twitter ID professional. Use the biography to tell the world what you do. Your goal is to be found and followed by like-minded people. Make it easy for others to follow your updates or follow you back.
• Use the website field to link to your online resume. Consider using a service like VisualCV that allows you to post and share your resume online. If you don’t have a digital version of your resume, use your LinkedIn profile as your website.
• Keep your updates public. There’s an option to have public or private updates on Twitter. If the purpose of your Twitter account is to meet people and potentially find your next job, keeping your updates private defeats the purpose. You need an open profile so other users can search for your tweets and easily find you. Recruiters use keywords and hashtag searches (which group tweets by topic) through the Twitter search function to find potential candidates for open positions.
• Find jobs using hastags. Use the integrated Twitter search feature or a third-party applications like TweetDeck to search for keywords or hastags. Hashtags are words with a # prefix. For example, the hashtag #job will yield you the results of every tweet that a user categorized with #job hashtag, but not a tweet that simply says “I’m on my way to my new job.”
People use hashtags on Twitter to categorize the subject of the tweet and make it searchable. Research the hashtags people use to categorize job openings or job-search advice, like #jobs or #jobsearch, as well as hashtags for your specific industry, and set up an automatic search for all tweets with those hashtags. You can also use hashtags to join a conversation about certain subjects and interact with other people using that hashtag.
• Follow people who work in your industry or companies that interest you. Interacting and building relationships with people who are already working at those companies may help you uncover job openings that aren’t posted on popular job boards.
• Use Twitter lists to find new people to follow. This will will help you discover relevant information about your search, as well as more contacts. You can make your own lists to filter information only from people on that list or follow other people’s lists to see people and content you wouldn’t see in your own stream.
• Be consistent. Posting regular updates takes time, but not so much that you can’t easily post an update or two a day. Also find time to interact with the people you follow and scan your automatic searches.
• Promote others before promoting yourself. Blatant self-promotion and a Twitter stream full of self-concerned updates is a big turnoff. You want to share information about yourself and use it to help you, but you also need to help others to gain and maintain an active following. Share interesting information and links. Promote others through retweets, or tweeting what they’ve tweeted, to recognize their efforts, add value to your community and join conversations.
The social network can be a powerful tool for finding employment.
Facebook takes many forms: it’s a social network, a photo album, and a game platform, among other things. But with the recent announcement of a partnership with agencies including the U.S. Department of Labor, Facebook may soon become another entity to its users: a job search site.
The social network launched “Social Jobs”, an online platform that provides advice and tools for the job hunt from its partners at the Department of Labor, DirectEmployers Association, National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
While there is no official jobs tool within the online platform yet, there are ways for students and recent graduates to use the social network to their advantage professionally. Here are five tips for college students to use Facebook strategically while looking for a job:
1. Craft privacy settings appropriately: While it has become standard advice to set privacy settings on Facebook, some students have faced consequences when they’ve failed to follow this guidance.
“We’ve certainly seen instances where employers saw things on Facebook and decided not to extend an offer,” says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration.
While students should protect themselves by blocking potentially damaging content from the public, there can be a distinct advantage to crafting settings to cater to a specific company, says David McDonough, director of career services at Clark University in Massachusetts. For example, if you’re a student interested in a music company, publicly displaying your musical tastes “could be beneficial,” he notes, while settings may have to be more guarded if you’re interested in a Fortune 500 company.
2. Evaluate your profile picture: Although privacy settings may restrict what recruiters see on Facebook, they will be able to view your current profile picture. While employers are not supposed to discriminate, they could be influenced by a photo deemed inappropriate by their standards, Sarikas notes.
“It may be a great picture of you and your buddies with a can of beer in your hand, but that’s probably not what you want an employer to see,” she says. “And if that is the first thing they see, they’re probably not going to call you.”
When a recruiter is looking at a job candidate’s profile picture, he or she is trying to picture that person in a professional setting, says Rob McGovern, founder of CareerBuilder and CEO of Jobfox. “I wouldn’t say on Facebook to have a suit and tie on, but I would say [to] have something where an employer can visualize you as fitting into their culture.”
3. Interact with companies: A student who is interested in career opportunities at a specific company should become a fan of it on Facebook, says Oriana Vogel, vice president for global recruitment and HR operations at American Express.
“We are seeing candidates come to us through Facebook,” Vogel says. “We want them to come to us…and assess if we’re the right fit for them.”
Vogel says that American Express, which recently launched an “Amex Careers” tab on Facebook, has recruiters who monitor Facebook pages and interact with candidates interested in opportunities with the company. Others are following suit, too, says Dave Kerpen, co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a social media marketing firm.
“When people post on our Facebook page who are interested in our company, we get excited,” Kerpen says. “Ideally, every company is looking for people who are passionate about their company, and candidates can take advantage of that by being active on those Facebook pages.”
4. Participate in Facebook groups: Monica Weber, a 2011 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, applied to 168 jobs during her search before landing a position with a public relations firm in Boston. During this time, she interacted and networked with Holy Cross alumni and fellow job seekers in professional groups, such as the Young Professionals Network.
“They’re a great way to band together not only with people with your same interests, but advisers as well,” Weber says. “It’s a great outlet for [college students].”
Jobfox’s McGovern notes that recruiters who have connected with candidates on Facebook will look to see not only if the prospective employee is a member of professional groups, but if they engage in them as well.
“For example, if you are a member of software programming groups, and there’s evidence that you’re participating, that’s good,” McGovern says. “That’s much better than joining a bunch of groups that you’re never really involved in.”
5. Tap into your network: “Getting a job has always been about who you know as much as anything else,” Likeable Media’s Kerpen says. “But the ‘who you know’ is multiplied by 10 from what it might have been 10 years ago thanks to Facebook.”
Yes, all the hype is around Twitter and LinkedIn over the best ways to find a new job these days. But, I still think that Facebook is highly underutilized in the job search. And with the Facebook community being the 3rd largest country in the world, why not look to start here instead?
Logging into Facebook and typing the word “careers” into the search box will bring back 1,700 fan pages. What a great place to begin searching! You are able to search through companies or job types, really anything at all. You could do research on companies, see other fans (most of whom are likely current or former employees), and check out which corporate networks these people belong to. The possibilities are endless here!
In addition to just browsing, you can interact by posting questions. You can get specific and ask about specific positions at a company, or pose questions to fans/employees about the company in general. Maybe ask a smart job seeker question that shows you have already done some research on the company and that you are familiar with what they do. This is a great time to highlight your area of interest. This can really help you to get a foot in the door, so when you get in touch with someone later on, it’s not like a cold call.
Companies have invested lots of time and manpower into their social media efforts, and they want to see them pay off! That means if you apply through a non-traditional source ( not the mainstream job boards,and corporate websites), you may receive increased interest or faster follow-up as a result. Even if you are directed to the corporate website application after initially getting in touch through Facebook, at least someone will have seen your name, contacted you, and will know that you are seriously interested.
Also, if you have friends that work at a business you are interested in, maybe post something on their wall or send them a message asking about the company and how they recommend you get in contact. This will also be a great way for you to make reference in an upcoming interview. The more savvy you are on a site like Facebook the more a company will look at your background. LinkedIn (or just getting on the phone, if you are comfortable doing so) can be useful for this as well.
Something important to keep in mind: if you intend to use Facebook for professional purposes, make sure your profile is squeaky clean! I’ve said this many times, and will say it many more, because it is so critically important. Even if you don’t plan to use Facebook for business/job search, still be mindful of what you post and what is posted about you.
As users and job seekers expand their online presence, companies and recruiters are doing the same to go where you are and work to expand their corporate branding. If you, a job seeker, play into their hand and give them a bit of an ego boost, your social media efforts will be working very well in your favor already.
Have you used Facebook as a job aid yet? Any interviews gained or other success stories? Would love to hear how you are making out.
What do Microsoft, Ebay, Netflix, and Target have in common? All these companies (and many more) have used LinkedIn to recruit candidates for employment.
Kay Luo, Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn, explains why, “The main reason that companies are using LinkedIn is to find passive job candidates. Another reason why companies are using LinkedIn, is because referrals from their employees are highly valued because they typically have a higher success rate (hence the popular “employee referral bonuses”). LinkedIn helps companies leverage the networks of their employees.”
How Employers Use LinkedIn
One LinkedIn member (who will remain nameless because his company doesn’t know he’s job seeking) I spoke to received an inquiry less than 24 hours after posting his profile. He was amazed at how fast a former colleague found him.
Steve Goddard obtained his current job through LinkedIn. Recruiters working for his employer, VMware, Inc., searched LinkedIn’s database of information for people with relevant skills sets and experience pertaining to VMware’s existing requirements.
The recruiter discovered Steve’s work history, downloaded the information, circulated it to group managers, and then contacted him. After a couple of lengthy phone calls, VMWare scheduled an on-site interview. After that, it was hiring as usual.
Steve told me, “I regularly get headhunters or recruiters with small startup operations, that have found my contact information through LinkedIn, calling me or emailing me with new job openings and hiring opportunities.” From the company’s perspective, Steve noted that VMware internal recruitment staff believes that LinkedIn has been a tremendous help with recruiting.
It’s also important to note that LinkedIn has reached a point where it’s almost unprofessional not to be on LinkedIn. There are members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn members comprise 130 different industries, and include 130,000 recruiters.
Take a few minutes to search LinkedIn and I’m sure you’ll find lots of contacts from your current and prior employers, clients, vendors, and schools. All those contacts have the potential to help you grow your career or find a new job. In addition, it can be a good source of employment references, as well as reference checking.
You can search the Jobs section of LinkedIn by keyword and location or use the Advanced Search option to search by more specific criteria.
How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job – Or Have a Job Find You
- Create a Profile. Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current and past), education, industry, and web sites.
- Consider a Photo. You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a larger photo and edit it) to your LinkedIn profile. Note that it must be a small photo – no larger than 80×80 pixels.
- Keywords and Skills. Include all your resume keywords and skills in your profile, so your profile will be found.
- Build Your Network. Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, with one caveat from Kay Luo, “Connect to people you know and trust or have a business relationship with, no need to go crazy and connect with everyone.”
- Get Recommendations. Recommendations from people you have worked with carry a lot of weight.
- Search Jobs. Use the job search section to find job listings.
- Use Answers. The Answers section of LinkedIn is a good way to increase your visibility. Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or assistance.
- Stay Connected. Use LinkedIn Mobile (m.linkedin.com) to view profiles, invite new connections, and access to LinkedIn Answers from your phone.
Is your job search off to a slow start or getting stuck? Here are some quick time-saving job search tips that will help your hunt for a new job go smoothly.
Be Prepared. Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner. This job search toolkit will help you get everything you need set for your job search.
Be More Than Prepared. Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along.
Don’t Wait. If you are laid-off, file for unemployment benefits right away. You may be able to file online or by phone. Waiting could delay your benefits check.
Get Help. Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, state Department of Labor offices or your local public library.
Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed.
Use Job Search Engines. Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job banks, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you.
Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. Use job search agents to sign up and receive job listings by email. All the major job sites have search agents and some web sites specialize in sending announcements.
Time Savers. Strapped for time? Consider getting help writing or editing your resume.
References Ready. Have a list of three references including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers.
Use Your Network. Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.
This tip isn’t a time saver, but, it will broaden your online job search resources.
Don’t Stop. Don’t limit your job searching to the top sites. Check the smaller niche sites that focus on a particular geographic location or career field and you will find plenty of job listings.
As much as we all look for job satisfaction, most workers agree that money is the real reason they get out of bed and go to work each day.
These tips will help you get paid what you deserve and make the most of the money you earn.
1. Work out your value
Thoroughly research what other people with your skills and experience are getting paid so you can back up your salary demands. Remember that the same role can be of different value in different industries so make your research remains relevant to your situation.
2. Improve your negotiation skills
It can be easier holding out for more money when you’re in the process of being offered a job than trying to get a raise when you actually have one. Consider positions of power, bargaining tools and the consequences of non-agreement.
3. Utilise benefit schemes
Employees often undervalue the value of benefits when it comes to negotiating a salary. If your discussions aren’t going particularly well, it’s well worth trying to work into the package benefits that cost next to nothing for you employer, but mean a great deal to you.
4. Make the most of your money
If you’re having a tough time with money, you may have to make a choice between getting into more debt, becoming a hermit, or coming up with some ways to save the pennies. Look to set budgets, destroy credit cards, eat cheaper and consolidate any outstanding loans.
5. Save for the future
It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement. For most companies it’s an obligation to give you access to a pension scheme or at least point you towards a financial advisor who can explain the ins and outs of the thousands of pension options that are available.