Top Tips For Class of 2021 Entering the Job Market In A COVID World

Graduates entering the job market in 2021 are faced with new and unusual challenges. When companies shut down or moved their workers to remote work due to the pandemic, the job market changed and now looks very different than it did just a few years ago.

Entering the job market

Many people are still working from home and may continue to do so for a long time to come. Meetings are online through video chats. And collaborative work is done through apps and software programs instead of around a workstation.

Top Tips For Entering the Job Market

While some may thrive in this kind of job market, others may struggle. Here are the best tips for 2021 graduates preparing to enter the job market.

1. Prepare For A Long Job Search

Hiring and onboarding new employees is slower than usual right now. With many department heads working from home, it’s taking longer than expected to process applications, schedule and conduct interviews virtually, make offers, and onboard new employees.

Be patient. If there’s a job you’re interested in, talk to the HR manager to find out the timeline for filling the position. Don’t assume the worst if it takes longer than expected. According to a Forbes article, “Think of your career as a marathon—not a sprint. ”

2. Prepare To Work From Home

Working remotely is more common now, and many companies are choosing to reduce their overhead and continue to let employees work remotely on a permanent basis. Recognize that this may be a job requirement and start preparing for how you’ll manage that.

You’ll need a quiet workspace where you won’t be interrupted, a computer, and a strong internet connection at the least. Some companies will require you to install their own software and join online work sites for collaboration with coworkers. Remember working from home can contribute to promotions and success too.

Be honest with yourself and potential employers regarding whether you can comply with their requirements for working from home.

3. Do Your Research

With some companies struggling to get back to their full earning potential, you may be offered a lower salary than you’d expect. Do your research and find out what the starting salary is for a position you’re looking for, set up job alerts through work search sites, and keep your options open.

This may be an excellent time to learn some negotiation skills as well. While your salary offer may be lower, you may be able to negotiate extra time off or additional benefits in exchange for a higher salary.

4. Apply For Help

With the hiring process taking longer than usual, you may find yourself in a financial bind. Federal, state, and local governments are offering a variety of relief efforts to help.

You can find help with financial aid, food and meals, delayed rent and mortgage payments, and deferred student loans.

5. Consider An Interim Job

Consider looking for an “in-between” job to get you through. Many retail stores and restaurants are in desperate need of staff, and the income can help you get through until you find a permanent job.

Plus, having some kind of job experience on your resume and proving that you’re willing to work even if it’s not your ideal job will impress your future employer.

The 2021 job market is unique for recent graduates with little or no experience. Take your time, do your research, and find a temporary job to hold you over. The right job will come along; it just may take a little longer.

Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?

If you need help updating your resume to include all of your qualifications, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:34:34-05:00June 8th, 2021|career search, Job Search|Comments Off on Top Tips For Class of 2021 Entering the Job Market In A COVID World

Quick and Easy Tips for a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Is your LinkedIn profile complete?  LinkedIn is a great way to connect with potential employers. LinkedIn has over 760 million professional members and over 303 million are active users looking for connections. Of those LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis. LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook where you can spend hours of time.  It is used sparingly, so you only have to invest a few minutes to make an impact. Users only spend about 17 minutes per month on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile

You can use LinkedIn to build an online presence as well as a professional identity. Anyone who wants to extend their reach and connect with potential employers should be using LinkedIn to do it. Let’s get started with your LinkedIn Profile.

Whether you currently have a profile or are just setting one up, there are few things you need to know regarding accounts available and ways to improve your profile.

Types of Accounts

On LinkedIn, you are a person, first and foremost. When you signup, you create a free personal account and profile, which includes background and professional information relevant to your potential employers.

LinkedIn offers two types of accounts, free and paid. The main difference between the two is that the paid account does not limit the number or frequency of your actions, as the free account does. With a paid account, you can join more groups, send more messages (InMail) and introductions, view more profile information, see everyone who has viewed your profile, and check references, among other things. Most people begin with a free account and only upgrade if the need arises.  So don’t get out your credit card till you need a paid account.  Use the free one until you outgrow it.

Whether you have a free or paid account, your profile is the foundation you build on. Let’s go over the parts of a profile so that you can have your information and details ready to add to each section. It’s important to include as much information as possible.  Remember,  you want people to read your profile and want to connect with you.

Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has set up each personal profile to include information that is similar to a resume. You can include links, images, videos, slide shows, and more. Most of these sections can be repositioned to your liking; however, the headshot is always the first section.

Check out these tips to have a stellar LinkedIn Profile:

  • Headshot

You’ll need a professional-looking profile photo. You should stick to the professional images in order to get the best results. But don’t worry; you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. Just get someone to take a high-resolution, high-quality headshot or torso shot.

Tip: You should be looking at the camera and your head should fill at least 60 percent of the frame.

  • Profile Headline

Look at various profiles. A headline area appears under each member’s name. In this area, write a headline that identifies and describes you. This helps others to find you, even if they don’t know you on a personal level yet.

Tip:  Don’t get too long-winded here.  Say as much as you can but do it succinctly.

  • Summary

This area should include a well-written summary of your experience, education, and knowledge.

Tip: Consider using bullet points for easy readability. Use power words to grab attention and include keywords. Keep it professional. Your authority, credibility, and reputation are at stake.  Make yourself look good, but be honest.

  • Professional Experience

Here, enter in each job you’ve had.

Tip: List each job separately even if you worked for the same company, but did different things or had different supervisors.    This part is important because if you worked on a specific project and you want a reference, it’s a good idea to list them separately. This allows the people you worked with to link their references to that particular project or task.

  • Skills & Endorsements

In this area, check off everything you have experience with including software programs and more. Your connections can then endorse anything that you’ve said you can do in order to validate your experience.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask previous employers or coworkers for endorsements.  You will be surprised by the people who will be happy to help you by endorsing you and your work. Every endorsement gives you increased credibility.

  • Recommendations

This area is where people can recommend you. LinkedIn provides an easy way to request recommendations from people you’ve worked with and are connected to. A recommendation carries more weight than an endorsement.

Tip: Send personalized, individual requests for the best results. Mass messages tend to be frowned upon by those who receive them and are less likely to take the action you’d prefer.  Remind them of what project you worked on or any special accomplishments or details you want them to focus on in their recommendation.

  • Education

This is where you should include any education you’ve received. Even if you didn’t finish your course of study, include it so that you can connect with fellow alumni.

Tip: If you received some type of recognition or excelled at something, include the specifics.

  • Groups

Any groups you join will show up in this section. You don’t have to do anything but join.

Tip: Try to keep the first 8 to 10 groups related to your career goals.

  • Add Media

You’ll notice that under Summary and some other areas, you’ll be allowed to add a document, photo, link, video, or presentation.

Tip:  This is a great way to introduce yourself and help viewers get to know you.  Remember a photo speaks a thousand words.  Multiply that for video.  These are the extra things that many don’t bother doing.  Adding any or all of these items will make you stand out.

  • Publications

If you’ve written any books or published works, you can list and link to them in this area.

Tip: This is a wonderful way to show your professionalism.

LinkedIn constantly improves the profile area. Whenever there is a change, take note of it and make use of the improved or added functionality. The more areas you complete in your LinkedIn profile, the more likely you are to make meaningful connections.  The goal of your profile is to make people like, know, and trust you so they will want to connect.  This is very important when searching for a job or new career.

Time to Update Your LinkedIn Profile

So now it is your turn.  Time to go and start completing or updating your profile.  Short on time? Try one or two areas each day.  In a week or two,  you will have a completed professional LinkedIn profile.  Then you are ready to start connecting with those potential employers.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:36:03-05:00December 17th, 2020|Job Search|Comments Off on Quick and Easy Tips for a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Are You Neglecting Your Network of Professional Contacts?

During normal times it is easy to find yourself neglecting your network of professional contacts. During this trying year, it is even more likely that you might be neglecting to reach out if you are not on a zoom meeting with them.

Neglecting Your Network

Active job-hunters know social networking sites, especially LinkedIn, can be some of the best tools for finding employment opportunities because it is easy to network with other professionals, friends, family, co-workers, and new contacts. But suppose you are happy in your job. In that case, you forget to continue to update your LinkedIn profile with recent accomplishments and connect with new co-workers and industry contacts you’ve met at previous conferences.

While we don’t think you need to be always looking for the next best thing, we do believe that you need to be prepared when life throws you an unexpected curveball, especially during a year like this. In other words, you never know when you may need to utilize your resume and contacts again.

Tips to Connect With Your Network of Professional Contacts

Here are four tips to help you stay on track with your resume and professional contacts:

  • Stay in Touch

Carve out time each week to go through your business cards of new and old connections and get LinkedIn with them. It’s an easy way to say “it was nice to meet you” or “remember me, I met you at…” and that you would like to stay in touch.

  • Help Others

Help Others

If you know a professional contact, friend, or family member looking for a job and you can help, don’t hesitate. Getting recommended for an interview gives that job-seeker a leg up on the competition. You also never know where that person may be able to help you out in the future. During trying times, helping someone else can be a mental health boost for both you and the recipient.

Consider using any free time you might have to give others recommendations on LinkedIn. When employers see current recommendations, they usually feel the person is a relevant candidate, especially if they are getting genuine recommendations during this time.

  • Show Off

When you further your education by taking some classes, getting promoted, or landing a big client, don’t be afraid to add that to your LinkedIn profile and resume. As your job changes and grows, so should your resume. The easiest way to update your resume is through your LinkedIn profile, where co-workers, clients, and even your boss can comment on a job well done. Be sure to thank them for their comments and keep the connection going.

  • Promote Good Things That Happen To Someone In Your Network Of Professional Contacts

Another opportunity to connect is when you see something positive happening for someone else.  You comment and share their good fortune on social. According to a post on the Muse, “When they get a new job, give a great presentation, or publish an article on a major website, send them a quick note to congratulate them on their milestones and tell them that you admire the work they are doing.” The person who congratulates and promotes others always looks good and others see you actively helping others.

A job search strategy isn’t something you should only think about when you are actively looking for a new job. It’s what you do BEFORE you start looking for a new job that’s equally important. If you have been neglecting your network of professional contacts, now is the time to do something about it.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:33:42-05:00November 18th, 2020|Job Search, Professional Contacts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Are You Neglecting Your Network of Professional Contacts?

Thank You Note Secrets

When you are in the process of interviewing for a job, don’t forget a very important step… the post-interview Thank You note.

In this competitive job market, people write Thank You notes more than you may think. An emailed Thank You note is better than sending nothing, however in order to stand out from the crowd, you have to write, not type, a killer Thank You note.  Consider doing both – writing and sending an email Thank You note right after the interview ends, and then sending a handwritten note to follow up!

Thank you note secrets

Why Do Both?

Isn’t it redundant, you may be thinking? Well, we are in a very technologically connected society. It would be odd to not email a Thank You note right away, in which you thank them for taking the time to meet with you, express your interest in moving forward in the hiring process, and indicate that you want the job.

Then, you write a handwritten Thank You note and send it the same day.

The emailed Thank You note shows them that you are tenacious, very interested in the role and are excited about the opportunity.  The longer you wait to email a Thank You note, the less interested you look, and they may move forward with someone else who shows more enthusiasm.

Not many people write Thank You notes by hand anymore because email is so easy.  Taking the time to write a handwritten Thank You note, finding a stamp, putting it on the letter and dropping it in the mailbox shows potential employers that you are very interested in the role and are willing to take extra time to show them how much you want the job.  By the time your handwritten Thank You note reaches their desk, the potential employer will have moved on to other tasks and will be pleasantly surprised and impressed by you, days after your interview. It makes a fantastic impression.

Tips for Writing A Thank You Note

While a bad Thank You note will most likely not reverse the opinion of the interviewer, a good one may make a difference.  So how do you write that winning Thank You note?

Whether writing an email Thank You or a handwritten Thank You note, the following tips will help you to compose a memorable note.

Thank you note emailThank Them

Remember to thank them for their time and the interview.

Reference The Interviewer’s Comment

Don’t be afraid to reference a comment made by the interviewer.  Reflect back on the conversation and mention at least one point of interest.  For example, “You mentioned your group has been extra busy since the merger and I appreciate you spending an hour of your time with me.” or showcase your qualifications, “You mentioned the need for graphic design skills, I’ve created graphic designs for several years for xxx company.”

Provide Qualification and Experience Proof

Offer proof of your qualifications and experiences. Reference specific details from the interview that remind the interviewer how your skills could help the company.

Keep Your Promises

If you told them you would provide something or send links, be sure to include them.  Even if you didn’t promise them you can always send a link to an online portfolio or another item of interest that lends credibility to your application.

Keep It Short

The interviewer’s time is limited.  Keep your note short and sweet and to the point.

Use Your Full Name

Sign with both your first and last name and if sending an email, include your contact info. (There could be a dozen people with the same first name applying.)

Proofread - Thank you note secretsProofread

Besides obviously spelling the interviewer’s name wrong; are there typos or grammar mistakes in your note? If so, you run the risk of looking sloppy and/or unprofessional.  Always proofread and it helps to read it out loud to make sure the flow sounds nice.

Be Specific

Don’t be too generic. Could someone who didn’t even participate in the interview have written this? If your answer is yes, start all over.  Be specific!

Be Timely

Send the Thank You notes as soon as possible.  Keep your name at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.  The emailed Thank You note should be emailed RIGHT AWAY after the interview.  Use nice stationery and nice penmanship when writing your handwritten note, and put in the mailbox the same day.

If you want the job, it’s worth the time to handwrite a Thank You note.  A well written Thank You note will help improve your chances of moving forward in the interviewing process. It’s one of those things that helps to differentiate you from the pack and shows that you are not afraid to put in the work and go above and beyond, which are all good things that employers want their employees to possess.

Thank you not secretsInfographic for Email Thank You Notes

Check out this link to an infographic created by a Recruiter I love to refer clients to (Diane Delgado LeMaire) that shows the steps in sending an email Thank You note.

Other Posts of Interest

You might also find these posts helpful.

How to Master a Phone Interview in 5 Easy Steps

9 Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Need Help With Interview Skills?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find, to schedule a meeting to practice your interviewing skills and learn new ones that will differentiate you from your competition which will help you feel confident as you start the interview process.

By |2021-06-14T17:38:28-05:00September 10th, 2020|Interview Prep, Job Search|Comments Off on Thank You Note Secrets

How to Organize Your Job Search

How do you organize your job search information and tracking?   If you’re in the midst of a job search, you know how hard it can be to keep track of all your applications. Which company did you send a resume to? Who was your contact? Did you respond to a job board posting, see the job on the company website, or blindly send a resume?

And you need to keep track of your interviews. Did you interview with them already? Are you waiting for a second interview? Who did you meet with? Did you send a thank you note?

A thorough job search involves a lot of details and organization in order to be productive and professional. These are some easy ways to organize your job search so you can keep track of all the details.

Easy Ways to Organize Your Job Search

Create a Spreadsheet

A spreadsheet is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your application status without being overwhelmed with paper. One simple document on your computer keeps all the details in order.

Create columns for each detail you need to keep track of. For instance:

  • Company name
  • Contact name and email or phone
  • Date you sent your resume, cover letter, and any additional information
  • Date you received a call back
  • A brief job description
  • Date you interviewed and notes of that interview
  • Date you followed up and the kind of follow up you sent . . . thank you note in the mail or email
  • Current status of your application process

If you’re not comfortable with Excel, you can also create a table in a Word document that contains the same information.

Use a Google Account

You can use Google calendar to set important appointments like interviews as well as reminders like sending thank you notes. You can sync this calendar with your phone or tablet through your Google account so it’s readily available.

Google Docs and Google Drive is also a great place to store a copy of your resume and cover letter for easy sharing or sending.

Create Job Alerts

Many job boards have alerts that let you know when a new job is posted. You can create alerts through these sites specific to the type of job you’re looking for. When a job is posted that fits your specifications, you’ll receive an email so that you can be one of the first applicants.

Use an App

There are job search management apps available for both iOS and Android that can help you keep track of important details on the go. Simply download the app and enter the pertinent information.

Organize on Job Search Sites

Job search sites like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and Monster offer built-in tools to help you keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for. You only need to set up an account and login each time you start a job search. Unfortunate, there is one downfall. They only keep track of the jobs you apply for on their sites, not the jobs you apply for elsewhere.

Keeping track of all the details involved in your job search can seem like a huge task, but if you use one of these methods to organize your job search, you’ll easily be able to keep track of all the information you need.

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these hard times, consider reaching out to  Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:26:03-05:00August 10th, 2020|Job Search|Comments Off on How to Organize Your Job Search

Social Media CheckUp

Do you need a social media checkup?  In today’s professional world, it should be assumed that a company will check a candidate’s social media presence when they are looking for employment with that company. It is important to find out how your potential candidate presents themselves to the world and what they choose to share on social media.

Social Media Checkup

Why Should I be Concerned?

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.  They look for information supporting the candidate’s qualifications as well as the negative stuff.

One job hunter named Sarah was in her third and final round of interviews at a company. Unfortunately, she forgot to clean up her Facebook page prior to beginning her job hunt. She was not extended an offer because of the passionate and derogatory views that she expressed about a previous employer. Another candidate, Matthew, did not remove images that he posted on Instagram of drinking and partying with his friends on a weekly basis. The company decided that they didn’t want to deal with a party animal showing up late to work. They never extended an offer to him.

Sam posted a lot of discriminatory comments on his page with hateful remarks about people of a different race and sex.  When the employer saw how negative and polarizing his posts were, they chose not to offer a second interview.  Another job hunter bragged on social media about skipping work and going to the lake for the day.  Although he had been the top candidate, he was not offered the job.

Clean Up Your Accounts

As far as employers are concerned, in today’s world, everything you choose to put on social media is a direct reflection of who you are.  So you might want to consider a social media checkup.

I always advise my clients to clean up their social media accounts prior to starting their job search. On Facebook, it’s not just the images that you post and the information that you put out there, it is also what you have been tagged in. It is wise to look at all of your posts, as well as anything you have been tagged in. Untag, hide, or delete items prior to beginning your job search.

Lastly, there is always the option to suspend your account temporarily while you are on the job market.  But be aware that employers expect you to have social media of some sort and if everything is deleted, it could be a red flag.

In this day and age, you must be exceptionally vigilant about what you share on social media and what the content says about you.

Stand Out From the Crowd

When you are looking for your next opportunity, it is extremely important to be at your professional best and to differentiate yourself from other job seekers. Take the time to complete a social media checkup and make sure you are putting your best foot forward.  If you need help, we can get you on the right track to get the job you want.  Contact Rachel Schneider to schedule an appointment.

 

 

By |2021-06-14T20:30:17-05:00July 30th, 2020|Career Success, Job Search|Comments Off on Social Media CheckUp
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