Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10 Career Lessons From Major Success Stories

By Sarah Kahwash

The following innovators, authors, entertainers and notable celebrities didn’t find success quickly or easily, but they all share a common denominator—they toughed it out and hit it big. Read on for 10 lessons you can learn from some of Her Campus’s favorite success stories.

1. Steve Jobs: “You’ve got to find what you love.”
You’ve heard it time and again: find something you love and pursue it. Steve Jobs was taking a risk when he dropped out of Reed College and started Apple in his parents’ basement, but three decades later, he found himself at the top of a multi-billion dollar company that probably produced your computer screen. In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Jobs didn’t speak so much about talent or resources or GPA, but instead told the graduates “to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition… everything else is secondary.” It’s still important to be realistic (nobody is going to hire you to surf the Internet just because you love StumbleUpon), but if you love your work, it will be easier and you will do better. In the wise words of Aristotle, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

2. Jennifer Hudson: Success is rarely instant.
Try to remember way back when American Idolactually mattered to the public and Jennifer Hudson was a contestant. She was eliminated before she even reached the top six singers of season 3—and yet, in the long run, she managed to outperform most of the show’s winners from every season. Less than three years after her elimination from Idol, Hudson was belting it out all over the big screen in Dreamgirlsalongside stars like Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. She kept at it and made her way to the top, winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Dreamgirls, releasing a Grammy-winning debut album and landing several more roles in movies like Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees. Learn from Hudson’s story and don’t give up just because you weren’t noticed right away; keep working hard and you’ll earn recognition.

3. Mark Zuckerberg: Build and keep a solid network.

Facebook gets a bad rap for time-wasting, friend-stalking and boy-ogling, but in reality it has brought together millions of people who might not have kept in touch otherwise. Creator Mark Zuckerberg has not only created an extensive network for the world, but for himself as well. Soon after finishing his sophomore year of college, he made connections with technology moguls like Sean Parker of Napster, Peter Thiel of PayPal, and Steve Chen, who later co-founded YouTube. And while Facebook was a smart idea to begin with, these people gave Zuckerberg the tools to materialize it and build the entrepreneurial empire he has today. That isn’t to say you should give a firm handshake and your business card to everyone you see, but keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to meet new people. You never know where it may take you.

Lessons 4 - 10 and Complete Article

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Telepathy and resume content

Susan Gainen

Telepathy is not a job search tool. When drafting resumes and cover letters, you must share information about yourself that will be useful to a prospective employer.
How do you know what an employer  wants to know?
Know about the employer Don’t put the cart before the horse: What do you know about the employer and the work that it does?
If you do not know what the employer does, do some research. You may not learn what the managing partner had for breakfast last Friday, but you should be able to learn some basic information about the employer and its activities. Search tools:, LinkedIn, Google searches, alumni data bases if appropriate. Ask your career services professionals what they know about the employer.
If you have done the work, describe it clearly. Use all of the important buzzwords and markers of accomplishment. If you have not done the work, you must use the language of transferrable skills to show that you have done something similar which shows that you have the capacity to learn.
Caveat writer: Do not write that you are eager to advance your skills set and to grow as a law clerk or lawyer. That you may learn something while working is a collateral benefit to you and of no consequence to an employer who is trying to hire a competent lawyer or clerk to get work done today.
What does the employer know about your school? A second critical and often overlooked question for applicants: is the employer familiar with my school and its programs?
Unless the employer is an adjunct professor or very recent graduate, the answer is usually “no.”
Law schools and their programs change all the time. Unless an employer is a graduate of your law school who pays particular attention to all of the printed and electronic material that the Dean sends regularly to update grads about curriculum, faculty, and new teaching methodology, your prospective employer has no clue about your law school experience.
Someone who graduated more than 10 years ago will have no idea that you represented live clients in your clinic and went to court on their behalf. Experienced lawyers may not know how your other classes may now connect to real world problems, and without specific information, they may dismiss your study abroad program as three months of overseas drinking.

About Susan

It's all about the work...
Susan Gainen
has spent the past 25 years observing market swings, career change, new technologies and new generations bringing their own stamp and styles to work. Her clients benefit from her unique perspective on how work gets done, which combines her expertise in intergenerational communication and experience in the food business, the car business, and the business of law.

Social Media Explained - All You Need To Know

Google+ Nobody knows you peed

Average Minutes Per Visitor to Social-Media Sites in January

Facebook - 405 minutes per visitor
tumblr. - 89
Pinterest - 89
Twitter - 21
Linkedin - 17
myspace - 8
Google+ 3

Data from

Someone sent me the photo so I'm not sure where it originated.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Inside Google's recruiting machine

Silicon Valley's most venerable recruiting setup is operating in one of the most competitive hiring climates ever. It just brought on a record number of new employees. Here's how.

By Anne VanderMey, reporter

FORTUNE -- In the hot war for talent being fought in Silicon Valley, no company has an arsenal quite like Google's. Named Fortune's Best Company to Work For in 2012, the search giant made a record 8,067 hires last year -- boosting total headcount by a third. The thirteen-year-old firm's recruiting has an almost mythical quality about it, particularly for the two million candidates applying to work there each year. In terms of elite American institutions, getting a job at Google ranks with being admitted to Stanford Graduate School of Business or becoming a Navy Seal. Behind the glitz there are a few Googley basics at work: data, money (lots of it), sophisticated programming, and an army of young, eager recruiters.

Google (GOOG) does not release its recruiter headcount. It is likely huge. In 2009, the company revealed that there were about 400 internal recruiters. John Sullivan, a San Francisco State University professor who has studied Google and advises companies on hiring, estimates that the number across all departments and countries is closer to 1,000, with about 300 full-time recruiters in the U.S. and more than 600 contractors. More conservative estimates put the tally at 500. Even if the lower figure was correct, Google would have one recruiter for every 64 employees. That's a far higher ratio than the 577-to-1 average for most large companies, according to the Corporate Executive Board.

Who are Google's recruiters? They're young, highly paid and, often, on a six month contract. "They're probably the company that I've seen that uses the most [contractors]," says Michael A. Morell, co-founder and managing partner of Silicon Valley recruiting firm Riviera Partners. "There's a lot to be said for new people trying to prove themselves in the first six to 12 months." It's difficult to find an accurate or exact employee-to-recruiter ratio at the company, the number of recruiters varies dramatically. At any given time, Sullivan says, 70% of the recruiting staff might be on contract. That changes, though, as Google feels the need to gear up or cut back on hiring. "We want the best of the best to come to Google," says Todd Carlisle, its director of staffing. "We budget what it takes to find the best of the best."

Read The Rest Of The CNNMoney Article

Friday, February 24, 2012

LinkedIn Leads In Social Job Recruiting Followed By Twitter And Facebook

It’s important to note that this study examines activity by recruiters as opposed to actual job hunters. Despitethe rise of Facebook as a source for job seeking and professional networking, Bullhorn’s data shows that recruiters’ LinkedIn networks still drive more views than their Twitter and Facebook networks combined. Recruiters who post jobs on social networks are likely to receive more applications from LinkedIn, with the social network driving almost nine times more applications than Facebook and three times more than Twitter.
One interesting data point from the report—a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job than a LinkedIn connection, and more than eight times more likely to apply than a Facebook follower, indicating that Twitter might be a highly underutilized social recruiting channel. And Twitter followings drive almost twice as many job views per job as their Facebook fan bases.
According to the report, 48 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn exclusively. These recruiters have an average of 661 connections, and don’t leverage the other two networks for social recruiting. From there, recruiters use Twitter more than Facebook. Despite the fact that recruiters have fewer connections on Twitter (37 followers on average), 19 percent are connected to both LinkedIn and Twitter, while only 10 percent are connected to both LinkedIn and Facebook (245 friends on average).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

5 Out-of-Date Job-Search Tactics

Forget the fancy paper and piles of bullets -- and never grovel

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LinkedIn Competitor Branches Out to 300 Million Users

BranchOut, a professional networking app built on Facebook, said it has 10 million registered users that– through Facebook connections–reach 300 million people on the social network.
While trailing far behind its biggest competitor, LinkedIn, in the number of registered users, BranchOut CEO Rick Marini said the site is now taking advantage of Facebook’s network effect to reach hundreds of millions of users, and double the number of users reached through LinkedIn.
It works like this: If someone signs up for BranchOut, all their Facebook friends are immediately put into the apps’ database. This allows BranchOut members and recruiters access to see connections of 300 million Facebook users. Still, the site only has 10 million people who have actually registered full professional profiles.
In essence, BranchOut has taken a bet, similar to companies like social game maker Zynga, on riding Facebook’s 845 million users rather than build an audience from scratch.
The success of companies like BranchOut is important to Facebook, which bases part of its pitch to potential shareholders in its IPO documents on the idea it can serve as a profitable platform for other companies. For example, Facebook currently takes a 30% cut on what Zynga makes using the site, which now amounts to 12% of Facebook’s total revenue.
Marini said BranchOut, which helps link recruiters and job seekers, has experienced rapid user growth. “It’s a network effect business and once you hit a tipping point, then everybody piles on,” he said.
But Marini admits that although BranchOut has a large number of connections, only about 4 million users come back to the app every month.
“If we’re sending people relevant jobs, that’s going to get people to come on a regular basis,” Marini said.
Recruiters also continue to flock to LinkedIn to find job applicants, and the numbers are growing. Last year, 87% of recruiters used LinkedIn, up from 78% the year before, according to data a survey conducted by social recruiting platform Jobvite.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 Big Differences Between the Job Search of Today and Yesterday


1. Google Has Replaced the Resume
Recruiters are now using Google and LinkedIn searches to find talent, instead of paying for job-board or talent databases, like they used to do. In fact, many companies are even mandating that every new application go through a Google screening process. So that means the first page of your Google results matter much more than they ever did before.
The problem is that what Google delivers on a search for your name isn’t regulated and is very difficult for the user to control. After all, background checks are very carefully regulated in order to avoid the types of misunderstandings happening now, online. Furthermore, Google’s algorithm changes several times a year. So what can you do about it?
The last thing you should do is ignore this reality. So the job seeker has two courses of action. First, you become a publisher of your own content and flood Google’s spiders with lots of great keyword rich content, my post on finding keywords. Second, you control the results on a Google search with
2. A Summary is Enough
Today, the resume is used mostly in the screening process while actual decisions are made after interviews. And because there are so many candidates competing for each job, HR people (or hiring managers if they are tasked with recruitment) often scan resumes very briefly. In fact, the average time on a resume is 30 seconds. Most resumes today are no longer than two pages but still include the expanded sections of yesterday’s longer resumes. So keep it short and take out that extra bullet point. Check out the new service called The One Page Job Proposal.
3. Social Proof is a Must
Social proof, testimonials or recommendations seriously reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate. The most costly mistake a hiring manager can make is to hire the wrong person. Some say that if a new-hire leaves within three months, it costs the organization one and half that person’s annual salary. And with the economy as tight as it is, you can understand why hiring managers are so risk averse.
Set their mind at ease by offering testimonials on your resume and LinkedIn profile. A good standard is to have the number of recommendations equal to 10% of the number of contacts in your network.
4. Resumes and Cover letters are Not Read on Paper Anymore
Most organizations are not receiving paper resumes and when they get them via email or their application system, they don’t print them. So expect your resumes and cover letter to be read on a computer screen. This means you have to format your documents in a way that makes screen-scanning easy.
  • Use headlines to break up content
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Use bold and italics to emphasis key points
  • Make sure there is plenty of white space on the page
  • Use color tastefully, consider adding logos, icons or charts

Monday, February 20, 2012

12 tips for successful networking -- in person

By Mark Schnurman/The Star-Ledger 

Networking is a seminal skill for many careers. In the past, networking meant meeting people face to face at chamber of commerce, industry and other social/business events. Technology has changed that and today we network via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Those sites are fabulous, but nothing can replace human interaction. Looking a person in the eye, shaking his or her hand and witnessing body language allows you to build rapport and connect in a manner that social networking cannot. Here are some tips to help you succeed at the "old" art of networking.
Understand your goals. Are you networking to make business connections, learn, volunteer or get a new job? Networking functions have different tenors and purposes; therefore, it is important to visit groups before deciding to join. If you attend several events without results, don’t give up on networking, just find groups that fit better.
Have elevator speech. In about 20 to 30 seconds, be able to answer the question "what do you do?" Write it down and practice so you can articulate it clearly. Tell how you do your job, what makes you different from others and what your unique value proposition is. Whether you are competing for business, looking for referrals or seeking a new job, make it easy for people to understand what you do and remember you.
Be consistent. Have a systematic approach to networking. Create a plan and stick to it. Whether you plan to attend one networking event a week or month, consistency is vital. Over time you will become recognizable and deepen your contacts.
Try to help others. Throughout my career I have found that when I help others, it returns to me in spades. Approach networking from the vantage point of being a resource and offering assistance to others. People will remember you for this and be interested in speaking with you again. Put your goals on the back burner and think about the other person.
Master small talk. Before a networking function, brush up on current events. Being conversant in the news of the day, the financial markets, sports or anything related to the group you are meeting with will enable you to engage in necessary idle banter.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

8 Job Search Tips From the Co-Founder of LinkedIn


Early on in The Start-up of You, Reid Hoffman takes on the sacred cow of career advice books, making it clear that the timeworn exhortations of What Color is Your Parachute? won’t fly in this economy.
“That’s the wrong question,” Hoffman, the co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn writes (with the help of coauthor Ben Casnocha). “What you should be asking yourself is whether your parachute can keep you aloft in changing conditions.”

Hence the central conceit of the book. Just as Detroit’s dinosaurs fell victim to hubris and an inability to adapt, so will you, dear career seeker, if you don’t mimic the nimble startups of Silicon Valley. Though Hoffman and Casnocha see the struggle through the eyes of one percenters (they don’t seem to know anyone who didn’t go to a good college), there’s lots of good advice that you can apply to your own career. We’ve distilled that advice into eight solid tips that you can apply to your job search today.

1. “A Company Hires Me Over Other Professionals Because…”

To answer this question, Hoffman uses the example of Zappos, which focuses on mainstream shoes and clothes. While it might be tempting to adapt the company’s “over-the-top customer service” to other categories as well, that would make Zappos’s unique selling proposition less apparent. “If you try to be the best at everything and better than everyone (that is, if you believe success means ascending one global, mega leaderboard), you’ll be the best at nothing and better than no one,” Hoffman writes. “In other words, don’t try to be the greatest marketing executive in the world; try to be the greatest marketing executive of small-to-midsize companies that compete in the health care industry.”

2. You Don’t Need to “Find Yourself”

Hoffman makes a sharp distinction between his advice and that of Parachute, which, like many self-help books, believes that uncovering your deepest desires is the key to finding your passion. “Contrary to what many bestselling authors and motivational gurus would have you believe, there is not a ‘true self’ deep within that you can uncover via introspection and that will point you in the right direction,” Hoffman writes. “Yes, your aspirations shape what you do. But your aspirations are themselves shaped by your actions and experiences. You remake yourself as you grow and the world changes. Your identity doesn’t get found. It emerges.”

3. Use ABZ Planning

In Hoffman’s formulation, Plan A is what you’re doing right now. Plan B is “what you pivot to when you need to change your goal or your route to getting there.” Plan Z, meanwhile, is your fallback plan. “In business and life, you always want to keep playing the game,” Hoffman writes. “If failure means you end up on the street, that’s an unacceptable failure.”
Hoffman illustrates what he means by Plan Z with a personal anecdote: “When I started my first company, my father offered up an extra room in his house in the event it didn’t work out — living there and finding a job somewhere else to earn money was my Plan Z. This allowed me to be aggressive in my entrepreneurial pursuits, as I knew I could draw my assets down to zero if necessary and still have a roof over my head.” Hoffman writes that if you’re in your twenties and single, working at Starbucks and living with your parents might be a viable Plan Z, but if you’re in your thirties or forties with children, your Plan Z might be cashing in your 401(k).

Read tips 4 - 8 and complete Mashable article

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tip #10: Following Up with Your Network

You’ve made a connection at one of your desired companies, have met with an accountant, business analyst, public relations specialist, or someone who does what you’d like to pursue. Whether you’re an MBA graduate or veteran to the workforce, following up with the people you talk with on your way to a new job is paramount to your success.

Some pundit wrote that it takes seven conversations to solidify a networking connection. Though this number sounds arbitrary, the point is that one conversation with a person you tried hard to meet with will do no good, unless you take control of the new relationship and reach out as many times as it takes to get that person to join your network.

Why does it matter? Like any healthy relationship, you can be of mutual assistance to each other. During the course of your conversation, the public relations specialist indicated that there are no positions immediately available in the company; however:
  1. He knows other people in the industry and can provide contact information;
  2. The company is growing and there could be possibilities in the near future; or
  3. The company is currently looking to fill a marketing communications writer position, but management needs to look internally before advertising.
What’s important is not letting any opportunities slip through your hands. Networking Guru Liz Lynch, Smart Networking, gives five ways to stay in touch with the people you’ve met and would like to keep in your network.

Initiate contact. The day after meeting someone and taking their business card, call her. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll make the call or send an e-mail, which is Liz’s preferred method of initiating contact.

Jog their memory. I always think it’s great to mention something personal you discussed at a meeting the day beforehand. “It was great meeting you last night at the alumni mixer,” you write. “I’m the person who’s considering pursuing business management. By the way, I hope your daughter has a great game this weekend.”

Connect the dots. After the initial greeting you’ll get down to business. “I was impressed with your description of ABC Company’s corporate culture and standing in the marketplace. It sounds like a great place where I could help the company in the accounting department. I would like to talk more about interning there after I graduate with my MBA.”

Read the rest of the original article for more advice

Monday, February 13, 2012

Five Tips to Empower Yourself During the Interview

by Dawn Rasmussen

Eureka! Let’s say you’ve finally landed an interview, did all the research on the target company, and are now sitting in the hot seat, being grilled about your background from a panel of prospective bosses.

Who is exactly in control here? Did you guess the employer?

You BOTH are in control.
Most job applicants mentally hand over all the power in a job search to the prospective employer, being that they (the employer) has something that the candidate wants (the job). It’s easy to think that the target company is the sole decision maker as to whether they hire that person or not.

This is a dangerous attitude to take, because in essence, you are effectively handing over the power of the situation to someone else, when in fact, you equally hold the reins.

If you have carefully managed your career, are confident in your abilities and what it is that you offer to the employer, you also have control in the interview room just as much as the employer. Flip the dynamics around, and suddenly, you are the industry subject matter expert who is top in your field, and what you offer is exactly what the employer is seeking (perhaps even desperately so).

Interviews are a two-way street. You are interviewing the interviewer as well, so here are five essential tips to keep yourself in the driver’s seat along with the employer, when it comes to the balance of power during an interview (well, without being you becoming too over-confident, of course!):

1) Respect Yourself, Just as you Respect the Employer
If the person or people interviewing you aren’t showing you the same amount of respect that you’d expect, write an “X” against the employer. Just like you, the employer’s representatives should be on their best behavior during the interview. Think of this as the ‘courtship’ phase when everything should be all ‘go’ and not any ‘no!’ Don’t like how they are treating you? It’s a sure sign that worse things are yet to come.

2) Test for Chemistry
Just as there are good bosses out there, there are also bad bosses. We’ve seen them. Control freaks, neurotic messes, people with anger issues… they are all out there. The question is: are they sitting in front of you in an interview? I was once interviewing at a large corporation where the HR person (!!!) told me that the CEO that I was going to be directly reporting to had extreme anger issues and treated staff horribly. Then the HR person asked how I would handle that. At that point, I decided I didn’t want to. Who needs that lying on your doorstep every day?? If it isn’t a fit, walk away. You’ll save yourself from ulcers, high blood pressure, and a miserable existence. Sure, it could be the job you’ve always wanted, but at what cost?

3) Watch the Interview Team for Clues on Team Dynamics
If you are in a panel interview, or have successive follow-up interviews, examine how the team communicates. Is there camaraderie? Are they having fun? Or are they sour, droll, or beaten down? Clues to the team dynamic can also give you a heads up on the corporate culture.  I remember during one interview many years ago that there were several people on the panel who seemed rather combative. Fortunately, I had done my research and found out that the organization had been suffering from a lot of external politics, and the observation of these folks in the interview verified this revelation which came from an inside source. I weighed everything after the interview, and that was the determining factor of why I chose not to accept the position. Again, if they were fighting in the interview, what kind of toxic work environment would I be getting myself into??

Tips 4-5 and Complete Article

Friday, February 10, 2012

Job search tip #9: Knocking on companies’ doors with approach letters

Today we’ll examine knocking on companies’ doors by using approach letters.

The other day during a résumé critique one of my customers told me how he had been networking. Something was in the works with a company as a result of him being proactive and knocking on the company’s door. Not literally; although, that’s a viable option. He had sent an approach letter to one of the directors at the company asking for an informational meeting, which then lead to further consideration.

Of course a phone call might have been quicker for my customer than sending a letter, but he felt sending an approach letter was right for him. (By the way, using LinkedIn’s Search Companies feature is a great way to find people at companies.)

For you jobseekers who lean more toward introversion, an approach letter may also feel more comfortable than calling a director, VP, or an individual contributor. There’s more to an approach letter, though, than simply sending an e-mail telling the person that you’d like to get together with her to meet for a short meeting.

With the approach letter, first you’ll research the company so you can write intelligently about why you’d like to meet. You’ll write highly of the company, selling the company to the recipient of your letter. This will show your enthusiasm. It will also show you took the time to visit the company’s website, read articles in the newspaper, and used other methods to research the company. This is the first step you’ll take to impress the recipient.

Next you’ll throw in some kudos about yourself. What makes it worth her while to meet with you? You gained some valuable skills when you worked at the medical device company in their marketing department. You’ll write about the accomplishments you had, like authoring press releases that drew the attention of many of the media, spearheading a direct mail campaign that garnered new business beyond what the company had achieved.

More advice and the rest of the Things Career Related article

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Building a Network in 8 Steps

By Miriam Salpeter

You've probably heard a million times that networking is the way to land a job. But what if you don't have a strong network already? All is not lost—you can start now to build one. Debra Feldman, known as the "JobWhiz," is a professional networking expert and executive job search agent. Follow her suggestions to build a network that will help you land your next opportunity:

1. Develop a short list of target employers. It's always easier to begin by identifying just a few organizations and then taking steps to find people who are affiliated with those places. How can you pick the right companies? Make a list of your most important qualities in a workplace. Factor in everything from the company's location to its reputation. Use data from sources such as,, WetFeet, Vault, and to evaluate the organizations. Narrow down your list to no more than five companies to start; don't worry if these organizations have job openings posted or not.

2. Refine your list by identifying if you know anyone who works in these organizations. Move forward with a combination of online and in-person strategies. If you haven't already built a LinkedIn network, create a profile and then begin to search for people who work in the companies that you've selected. Use the "Advanced" search tab on LinkedIn's toolbar to narrow down people who are connected to your top organizations. Remember, even people who don't currently work at the company may still be able to help.
Leverage the people you know best. Use Facebook! Post a message asking your friends if anyone knows someone who works at one of your target companies. Consider signing up for BeKnown or BranchOut, two applications that could help you create a professional network among your Facebook friends. Tap into's new tool, Inside Connections, to leverage your Facebook friend network and uncover whom you might know at various companies.

Don't forget to ask people you see at family, social, community, and business events or parties about the companies that interest you, and request introductions to people who work there. (Do not make every discussion entirely about your job hunt; try to be subtle and introduce the topic in the course of conversation.)

3. Set up informational meetings (also known as informational interviews). When you approach people, emphasize that you're interested in learning more about them and their businesses, and explain that you do not expect a job as a result. Ask people about their backgrounds, inquire about problems they face at work, and try to learn what kind of people succeed at their organizations. Feldman suggests, "Factor their advice into your research findings. Refine your target list of organizations. This is a critical step—success hinges on targeting the right employers that match your requirements and where you can also meet their needs." And don't forget to always ask for another contact, so you will be able to continue your networking meetings.

Steps 4 - 8 and complete article

Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer, and owner of Keppie Careers. She is author of Social Networking for Career Success. Miriam teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to empower their success. Connect with her via Twitter @Keppie_Careers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

12 Steps To a Smart Resume

By Michelle V. Rafter

On your first job interview in years, you wouldn't wear a suit that went out of style during the Clinton administration.

But when it comes to resumes, people don't think twice about presenting themselves to prospective employers in a format that screams "outdated."

Job hunting has changed, and that includes the type of resume that midlife job seekers should use to put their best foot forward.

Forget creating a one-size-fits-all document stuffed with descriptions of bygone jobs and patterned after something you found online. It won't set you apart from the dozens -- or hundreds -- of other applicants for a position, according to professional resume writers and recruiters.

A resume has to summarize your skills, achievements and work history. But it also should look good and impart your personal brand -- the approach you take to getting work done that distinguishes you from the crowd, says Laura Smith-Proulx, a corporate recruiter-turned-resume writer whose work has won professional awards. Ask yourself the right questions and "you come up with all kinds of values you wouldn't normally think of using on a resume," she says.

Here's how to create a resume that's personal, engaging and fresh:
1. Before doing anything, think about what makes you special.
Pinpoint how you've made a difference in your previous jobs. To do that, Smith-Proulx suggests asking yourself, "How was my department or company better because I worked there?" Maybe when you train other people they grasp the material the first time, or you saved the company money by being a morale booster. Whatever qualities allow you to achieve better results than your peers, even though you do the same work, that's what to put in your resume, she says.
2. Summarize.
Starting a resume with a one-line career objective is passé. Instead, when you've come up with your "it" factor, create a headline that captures it, and run it at the top. Follow that with descriptions of your most important career achievements and skills, and summarize everything else.
3. Include social media contact information.
Since so many companies use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to prospect for job candidates, it's imperative to have an account on at least one of those networks. Then include your user name along with your address, phone number and other contact information. If you're OK with receiving texts from recruiters or hiring managers, include that number, too.
4. Stick to one page.
A resume is a summary, not a laundry list of every position you've ever held. If you've been in the work force 15 years or longer, focus on major accomplishments and use bullet points to summarize other positions. If you absolutely cannot be that concise, use the entire second page; a few lines dribbling onto that extra page makes it look like an afterthought, says Keith Feinberg with Robert Half International, a well-known staffing and placement firm.

Tips 5 -12 and complete article

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our XLVI best tips to make your job search easier

Marc Cenedella, TheLadders

Now that the Vince Lombardi trophy has been awarded, the commercials have been laughed at, applauded, or panned, and you think you finally got all of the chip dip out of the carpet, it’s time for you to get on to your super week of job searching.

To help, I’ve drafted our 46 best tips from the archives. Among the thousands of suggestions, thoughts, and practical bits of advice we’ve given out over the past eight years, these 46 have risen to the top. They’re the most useful — and the most used — job search tips we have.

So consider this your super playbook for the coming months, save this email, and use these tips to get ahead:
Hot Topics — Age and Your Job Search
How to Answer the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Question
The 24-Step Modern Resume
Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Speak Too Soon
10 Questions to Ask a Recruiter (And 1 to Avoid)
How to Write a Great Cover Letter