[/url" class="aligncenter"/> With the big announcement of Google Buzz, your Google profile has suddenly become very important. I know what you’re thinking: “What, another profile?” Yes my friends, another profile indeed. And a profile you cannot afford to ignore as it’s from Google itself. Having a properly filled out Google Profile will SEO-boost your name and help you get found via organic searches. Personal branding is all about staking your claim online and this one is critical. Use Google Profiles as your portal The folks at Google are a pretty clever bunch. They know that we are on tonnes of different platforms already and they have kept it simple. You can fill in as little or as much as you like. You can add your other social networking profiles as clickable links on our Google profile. This means that instead of starting from scratch, you are able to send visitors to different corners of the web where you are mentioned. One could say that your Google profile serves as a personal website, only much simpler and actually much better optimized for search engines. Example from my profile: For jobseekers Use your Google Profile to link to your online resume/CV, to your blog, to any relevant personal branding tools that will put you in good stead in the eyes of an employer. Make sure you put all your industry buzzwords in the description so that you will come up on recruiter searches. If you have an effective Linkedin profile, you can copy the summary and specialties section. For recruiters Link your profile to your company, any relevant sites that you recommend to candidates as well as your Linkedin page and blog if you have one. Again, fill up on buzzwords so potential clients and candidates can find you through searching. What’s this Google Buzz I’ve been hearing about Buzz is Google’s answer to Twitter and Facebook status updates. It’s easily switched on from your Gmail account, and it’s going to be huge as 175 million people use Gmail already. Compare that to Linkedin who “only” have 60 million users. Google profiles and Google Buzz are integrated nicely on your profile so that your visitors can see what you have been buzzing. Compare the Buzz page to your Facebook wall. Although Buzz is only in it's cradle, it's fair to say that it will become a serious contender to the big troika that consists of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. For further Google Profiles set up instructions, see here.
[/url" class="aligncenter"/> A job interview is essentially a sales meeting. The product or service you are selling and marketing is yourself. The best sales people are very good listeners and thus your most important interviewing skill is listening. Being a good listener allows you to pick up on the subtle details that could indicate interest; these are known as buying signals. The buying signals will typically come in the shape of questions, comments and reactions to your performance. Buying signals is your clue to an advance in your relationship, this can be a second interview, a technical screening or even a job offer. Here are the top 5 job interview buying signals to keep an eye out for: 1. Your availability When did you say you could start again? When an employer asks this question, it’s safe to assume that they are picturing you in their office doing the job already. If the hiring manager has a big need in their project or sales team for instance, the sooner someone can start the better. Availability shouldn’t be a knock out factor unless it’s down to you and one other candidate who is equally good. Whoever can start earlier will inevitably be offered the position first. In my experience, candidates fare well when they say: “I have one month’s notice but can take vacation days so should be able to start within 3 weeks”. Indicate that you and your current employer can be flexible on your dates. 2. Your price What salary are you looking for? This means the employer is calculating how much money they can make by having you on the team. Unless you get this question, you cannot be sure to progress to the next stage. Everyone wants a price tag on what they are buying, your salary will be it. The trick here is to price yourself high enough so that you are comfortable with the salary moving forward. Never go in too low, as it is notoriously tricky to negotiate your way up. 3. Comments and reactions Verbal buying signals consist of comments like: "exactly what I was thinking, good to speak to a fellow expert" or "that’s the way we should be doing it as well”. When you find the interviewer agreeing with you, deliver some more wisdom and let them soak up every word. 4. Specifics Although a position might require X, Y & Z skills, sometimes the hiring manager will have experienced recent issues with a very specific topic that their people are struggling with. You are likely to receive an unusual amount of questions on this particular subject that day. Stick to it and demonstrate that you either know your stuff or you sympathize and are eager to learn more about the topic. You will see buying signals sparkle instantly. Humor the interviewer and keep talking about it as long as they like. By the end of the meeting, you will be soul mates and this will surely improve your chances drastically. Your ability to switch from a general interview spiel to a directed sales pitch could win you the job. 5. Body language Last but certainly not least are the nonverbal buying signals. Is the employer leaning forwards with open arms, smiling and looking you in the eye? Probably a very good sign. Are they slouching back over a chair, checking their BlackBerry and avoiding to look at you? Probably not so good. There are lots of rules for body language, most of it is common sense though. My point is that you should look out for it and work it to your advantage. If one person looks interested and the other isn’t, try to work the uninterested person more and win them over. It goes without saying that your own body language should be that of a very polite and keen candidate. For more interview preparation tips, check out the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers. What buying signal told you the job was yours? Which is the most important of them all? Feel free to add a comment below!
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[/url" class="aligncenter"/> “Have a nice day”, I love New York Tee shirts, Canary Yellow Cabs, and Elevator pitches. Being a true Brit my instant feelings towards an elevator pitch is clear – a collision of Anglo-American culture that is hard for everyone in Britain to instantly align themselves with. Admittedly, the benefits that can come from a smooth, well-groomed few lines of self-promotion are effectively limitless but it takes courage and practice. The brief is simple, you walk into an elevator (lift for us Brits) and you meet your future employer or future business partner – someone who could change your life considerably – even if they don’t know it yet. One important aspect is that it doesn’t have to be an elevator to make this pitch and I would also advise against dwelling in a lobby as you may get some strange looks or even some kind of injunction. You have two options either let the opportunity walk away or take those moments of coincidence to deliver a brief, snappy, memorable introduction regarding your person. Simple! However, this is when the palms start to sweat, you get the shakes or your stomach is growling for lunch, brunch or even elevenses. STOP! Always run with the ethos that not only does practice make perfect it also makes permanent. Let's prepare Spend time practicing your pitch before it is released into the world. Remember elevators are small places and usually when moving only has one place to go – through the ceiling and that isn’t easy. Take some time to learn your words and don’t feel odd about practicing in front of other people or in front of a mirror. Content is king I always find that the use of a mind map is a great way of working on getting my ideas from my brain onto paper and then they breed to concepts and ideas. Only your mother or your Gran wants to hear your life story so keep it relevant and don’t get stuck in the details. The total time you have to deliver your lines is anywhere in the region of 1-3 minutes. Sell yourself, what can you do that no one else can – introduce any unique selling points you possess. Don’t be afraid of telling them your achievements especially if you’re involved in sales – tell them how much money you could make them. Stand and deliver A balance is needed – don’t come across too scripted and monotone, saying that don’t come across too flamboyant. Unless you are industry that requires either of those character traits but generally speaking stay in that middle range. Enthusiasm is important; if you can’t be enthusiastic about yourself no one will be able to. One of the most important things you own is your name – use it twice in the opening sentence. When introducing myself I always say hi, my name is Benjamin, Benjamin Eddy. I do this to increase the likelihood of my name sticking in the head of those being pitched. Once you are confident using it, I would always do it in front of a colleague or friend who you are happy taking constructive criticism from so you have a feedback loop that helps to develop your pitch further. I would recommend that everyone has this up there sleeve, you never know when you get the opportunity to advance your career, business situation Remember, this is your door way to potentially a greener more prosperous future so take it seriously and nail it. Benjamin Eddy is a SAP recruitment professional working at Europe's leading SAP recruiter Red Commerce. Working in the German market Benjamin is working with some of Germany's leading firms in delivering SAP experts. You can find him on LinkedIn. If you are interested in writing a guest post, see the guidelines here.
[/url" class="aligncenter"/> Come along with me on this recap of the great interview you just had, and how your preparation made it rock. Let's pretend... You've been keeping a list of possible interview questions and the best stories from your past history to illustrate those. The stories are very specific, crafted to leave a positive impression to the listener. You put all these together on a continuous basis, and at times when you weren't stressed about an upcoming interview. When new experiences at work occur that make good stories, you add them to this list. Your interview preparation is very proactive! Additionally, you list highlights and results, again being specific as possible. 130% increase in customer satisfaction scores, etc. When you found this job posting, it was easy to pick out the highlights and results to put on your resume. You selected a subset from your master list, customized to the company and role. Not to mention You already had nice report covers ready to go. When they called you for the interview, it was simple to package up the specific resume and cover letters for the position. You asked who would be interviewing you, checking spelling to be sure you had their names right and what their title is. Those cover letters for the portfolios are written specifically to them. Easy. And you included relevant examples of your work, documentation of awards received, certifications, letters of recommendation, etc. in the packet. It only took a few minutes because you already had it ready to go, right? You put together enough portfolios for everyone interviewing you plus 2 extra generic ones just in case. Now it's interview time You are relaxed. Calm. Heck, you review these stories from your past on a regular basis. You know them like the back of your hand. You are confident that given any question, you will have a closely related match from your prepared history when it comes up in the interview. No answers of the generic "I would do this..." nature. No way. Those are easily forgotten by a hiring manager. No, you have a gamut of real-life stories at your fingertips. When those managers think about all those candidates they interviewed, you will stand out. Why? Because of the specificity of your answers. The way you told a story. Set up the characters and situation, relayed the challenges and how you tackled them. Because of your awesome interview preparation, now you can sit back and have a conversation. To get ready for the interview, you just need to come up with some good questions about the company. Not questions you could research online. Questions about the culture, about how they do whatever function you specialize in. Ask what challenges they are experiencing. Offer advice based on your expertise. For more on interview preparation, click here for the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers. Josh Nankivel is the founder of pmStudent.com, a site dedicated to helping new and aspiring project managers succeed. He has over a decade of project management experience in several industries, a Bachelor of Science degree in Project Management, and is PMP certified. Josh is also the instructor of WBS Coach, a work breakdown structure training program. Follow Josh on [url=http://twitter.com/pmstudent">Twitter. If you are interested in writing a guest post, see the guidelines here.
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