Tag Archives: career tips

3 Reasons to Ask For a LinkedIn Recommendation

 

Think about the last time you were searching a big purchase. Most likely you used review and recommendation sites to help you in your search and purchase.  Employers are like most buyers.  They want to make sure the person they hire will be a good investment. Recommendations help eliminate some of the perceived risk involved in hiring a potential candidate.  Traditionally, employers will ask for a list of your references before hiring you to authenticate your experience.   LinkedIn recommendations are a great first step to that reference process and allow you to sell yourself immediately.

 A LinkedIn Recommendation Demonstrates Your Strengths–Under each job on your LinkedIn profile you have described your key accomplishments and referenced skills and attributes you used to succeed. A written recommendation from a supervisor adds a level of credibility. It supports your performance and endorses the skills you’ve referenced.  Prospective employers and recruiters can be skeptical of candidates’ claims; a recommendation can remove some of the doubt. A well-written recommendation will also speak to your attitude and work ethic.

 A LinkedIn Recommendation is Public proof—Many years ago, when hard copy letters were the only recommendation were used, these valuable endorsements were private and only shared upon request. Today, LinkedIn recommendations provide public proof of your skills and abilities.  Be sure to set your public profile settings so that your recommendations are displayed and visible to anyone who looks at your profile.

 A LinkedIn Recommendation Makes You a Stand-out Candidate– LinkedIn recommendations can help you differentiate yourself from other candidates.  Many LinkedIn users do not take the time to ask for recommendations either because they don’t know how or don’t want to pester people.  To ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn, go to your profile and click the down arrow to the right of the blue “view my profile” button. Next, select “ask to be recommended” from the drop-down options and then follow the prompts to request the recommendation.

 

 

 

A LinkedIn Recommendation Makes You a Stand-out Candidate– LinkedIn recommendations can help you differentiate yourself from other candidates.  Many LinkedIn users do not take the time to ask for recommendations either because they don’t know how or don’t want to pester people.  To ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn, go to your profile and click the down arrow to the right of the blue “view my profile” button. Next, select “ask to be recommended” from the drop-down options and then follow the prompts to request the recommendation.

 

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3 Resume Trends For Today’s Job Search

 

The resume strategy you used 10 years ago is not the same strategy used today. In fact, the resume you wrote even just a year ago likely needs to be updated. Here are 3 examples of how resume are changing.

1. Old Strategy: Including an objective
New Strategy: Today, objectives are viewed by most employers as outdated.  Instead of an objective, create a resume headline that helps you target jobs and employers.  This headline will help you brand yourself during your job search.

2. Old Strategy: A resume is just the facts
New Strategy: Today, resumes include details and context.  Successful resumes now include details and quantifiable results.  These details help prospective employers to better understand the value you will bring to their organization prior to an interview.

3. Old Strategy: Follow up the uploaded or emailed resume with a hard copy

New Strategy: You may need a printed resume during the interview process; however the initial focus of applying online and/or submitting your resume to a potential hiring manager or recruiter rarely requires a hard copy. The focus now is on digital presentation online.   Focusing on your online presentation, including resume, can help you stand out.

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Talking to Your Manager About Work-Life Balance

 

If you’re struggling to balance your work and personal life, chances are, your manager or direct boss is contributing to these issues. Does you manager constantly give you work over the weekends or ask you to work late? Do you get in trouble if you’re a few minutes late?  If so, it’s time to do something about the issue.

Step 1: Recognize the Problem

If you don’t have any balance between you work and personal life, first look for the reason why.  Are you pushing yourself too hard and constantly competing with your co-workers? Or do you feel pressured by your boss to go above and beyond every day?  Try making a list of the projects your boss has given you that are causing you the most stress. Then, think of some ways you could help yourself. If you try those things and realize your boss truly is the issue, it’s time to call a meeting.

Step 2: Honest Conversation with Your Boss

Arrange a time to meet with your boss to discuss your concerns. Professional honesty is the best tone for the meeting.  The focus of the meeting should be on your position and the responsibilities. Focus on the nature of your position and your ability to accomplish your tasks and goals with working flexibly.

Step 3: Know When to Go To HR

First, make sure you understand your company’s guidelines and policies because every workplace is different.  However, if you have meet with your boss and the problem persists, it’s probably time to go to HR.  Meeting with HR is a great way to understand your organization’s experience with and overall openness to work-life balance. Doing so will help you understand how the company tries to help its employees and getting this background information will help you determine if there are organization barriers or if the challenge really is just dealing with a reluctant manager.

It might seem like a big, scary decision to make, but you’ll be much happier when you have a boss who understands you have a life when you leave the office!

 

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The Best Skills To Have on Your Resume

Popular resume templates and HR pros prompt job seekers to include a list of strategic skills on their resume. You skills section of your resume is a opportunity to show off a bit.

Before grabbing your laptop to edit, follow these five steps to make your resume really shine:

  1. Tailor your list Do some research on job you are targeting.  If you are applying to work as a Java developer, make sure you include Java skills listed as part of your strategic skills.
  2. Emphasize tech skills Being technical is good, but these days you need to distinguish yourself.  So, be specific with your technical skills and include specific tools when appropriate.
  3. Showcase your social media expertise While a large number of Instagram followers is impressive to buddies, it’s not necessarily a skill. However, if you’ve successfully used social media to create a brand or to share your expertise, be sure to include this experience. Make sure to quantify your impact with relevant data.
  4. Know the lingo Every industry has its own insider language and concepts. Show your command of this in the resume and cover letter.  Continue to do your research, so you are aware of the trends in your industry.  Talk to mentors, professors and other professionals to learn what everyone in the industry talks about, so that you can align your skill set with the industry’s standards

 

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How to Quit Your Job Gracefully

Making the decision to quit a job is almost never easy. Deciding to quit your job is a personal decision often based on your career path and career objectives.  However, actually quitting a job is never easy.  Follow these 7 steps with help you quit your job with grace:

  1. Follow protocol

Speak to your manager face-to-face and give two- to three-weeks’ notice. This shows respect is advised unless your employer suggest you leave immediately.  Often positions that include personal or confidential information end immediately at the company’s request.  This is usually for security reasons only.

  1. Pack your things during off hours

Come in after hours to pack your desk and box up your personal items. The goal here is to not disrupt your coworkers.

  1. Be happy but not excessively happy

Keeping others in mind, don’t rub it in people’s faces that you’re leaving. Whether you’re departing for a higher-paying job or an entrepreneurial venture try not to show your glee.

  1. Continue to work

It is easy to feel like you can slack off once you give your two weeks’ notice.  However, continue to attend meetings and maintain.  Additionally, focus your work time  on tying up loose ends and transitioning responsibilities to colleagues.

  1. Prepare a transition document

Often managers will request you create a transition document.  This document should outline the projects you’ve been working on, key information and important contacts to pass along to your team or the person assuming your duties. This transition document is a great way to transition out of a role without burning bridges.

  1. Express your gratitude

No matter what the circumstances are of your exit from the company, thank your manager and colleagues for the years of collaboration, hard work, and achievements. Being appreciative when you exit a position will back off in the long run.

  1. Don’t linger

While it may be awkward to leave, you must stick by your decision to quit. Therefore, say your goodbyes and leave.  Your former team needs to get back to work and you need to move on to your next role.

 

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Use Your Network and Skills to Land A Job

 

Are you asking “How do I get a job”?  If so, remember those referrals are so valued by companies that these companies pay referrals. These incentives encourage staff to bring in talented candidates to interview for open roles.

  1. Identify How You Stand Out

When you first start your job search, take some time to evaluate your experience.  Start by looking at your resume to determine what skills and experience you have that make you unique. Does your resume show your special skills, experience, and talents?

There are probably some changes you can make to better reflect your experiences. Make sure your resume includes quantifiable achievements.  When possible relate your successes to cost savings and business improvements.  Make a new list of your achievements, citing specific examples and stories that showcase how great you are at what you do. These will be an important tool throughout your job search.

2. Network
Use the research you did on social media to strategically make new connections with professionals in your industry. Attending networking events related to your dream job or industry is a great way to make connections regarding open positions.  Use social media to help find targeted events in your area.

Leverage your friends and family to get the word out about your job search. Everyone knows someone and getting the word out you are looking for a new job is important.  Remember that companies pay referral fees, so there is a personal benefit for your friends and network.

Once you establish that you’ve paid attention to their interests, you shouldn’t ask for a job right away. Instead, ask to learn more about what they do in their role, or what they like about working for their company. Put some effort into cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship. If you take the extra time, many people will be happy to help you apply for the role.

3. Ace your interview.

Landing an interview is the first hurdle in your job search, but then recruiters often use challenging interviews to find – and hire – the best talent.

Even if you’re faced with challenging or odd interview questions, use the accomplishment stories you developed earlier to engage the hiring manager. Your answers should reveal how you can solve problems, and why you’re the best person for the job.

4. Remember to Follow Up

It may seem old school in this age of technology, but a thank you note can go a long way. The note can be hand written or via email.

Thank your interviewers individually for the time they spent meeting you, and reference something specific you enjoyed learning from them during your conversation. This is the last key piece of the puzzle is to show your interest for the position and to ask for the job.

 

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