Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

Do Candidates Need a Premium LinkedIn Account?

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Linkedin have offered premium accounts to the greater public for some time now, these have been popular with salespeople and others for years. Congratulations to all you job seekers out there, the time has cometh for to get your credit cards out.
Cashing in on job seekers
LinkedIn recently announced their new Job Seeker
Premium Accounts, basically charging job seekers to use an enhanced version of LinkedIn. Have LinkedIn gone nasty and exploiting the people that need it most? Not really, they will still allow you to use it the basic version for free so no panic.
There is definitely an online trend to charge for services at the moment. LinkedIn are hopping on the same band wagon as The Ladders, CareerBuilder and other platforms aimed at job seekers. They have all noticed that there is no great shortage of cash out there, however definitely a shortage of jobs. This could very well be due to layoffs avec payoffs.
As long as the value you are getting from a paid account outweighs the cost, it could be worth considering paying a little to speed up your job search.
What are the benefits?
First off, you and your profile will be bumped up to the top of the pile when applying for a particular job. This is very much like a sponsored link on Google, your name will come up highlighted in the applicants list which is likely to get you some attention from the hiring manager (along with the other paying applicants of course).
You will also be able to send InMails straight to employers that aren’t in your network. This is particularly useful when you don’t have any contacts in common and it’s impossible to obtain emails for direct contact outside of LinkedIn.
On top of that, there’s the Profile Organizer feature which lets you track the contact you have with others, save favorites and even add your own notes to others profiles. A good old spreadsheet can probably do the same but this one is automated for you.
Finally, there are some webinars with Lindsey Pollak that act as video tutorials on how to use the new functions and how to search for jobs on Linkedin in general. Lindsey definitely knows her stuff so this could be useful.
What’s the damage?
Your brand new and shiny job seeker premium account comes in three versions; basic, job seeker and job seeker plus.


As you can tell from the image, they vary a bit on price, the only difference in service is the amount of ammunition you will have for each feature.
Basic: With this option you get five folders in your Profile Organizer and you get 100 profiles in your search results. You get 10 introductions to inside sources at companies.
Job Seeker: Here we get five InMails which you can use to contact any employer inside or outside your network. Your search results expand to 250 profiles, you get 10 folders for your Profile Organizer and you get 15 insider introductions.
Job Seeker Plus: The top of the line deal lets you send 10 InMails, 25 folders in your Profile Organizer and your search results of hiring mangers go up to 500 profiles.
Is it worth upgrading?
If you use LinkedIn daily and have hit a wall where you have run out of InMails, can’t seem to get yourself organized enough and think insider introductions will help you – go ahead and try it. As long as you get useful incremental results, stick with it until you get that new job. This is assuming that you have the money to spend, check your budget and ideally cut back on something else instead.
Personally I was never convinced of the ‘regular’ premium accounts, I can live through not having 500 people coming up in my search results (the more precise search, the better anyway). I don’t really see the need for InMails as I tend to get the proper emails of people, more often than not you can guess it.
I think it’s a shame there are no free trials for the job seeker premium account but I can understand why. Job seekers are not long-term customers for any business, as soon as they get a new job they no longer need the service. LinkedIn have decided to milk it from day one which is probably the right decision from a business perspective.
What do you think?
Do you use the premium account today and has it helped you at all? Are you going to try it out?


Job Interview: How to Answer the Greatest Weaknesses Question

Job interviews are stressful and preparing for them can be tough as you typically have no idea what to expect. There are a few classic questions that tend to come up and a huge one is about your weaknesses. It will sometimes be asked along with your greatest strengths, sometimes on its own. Everyone has…


The Cover Letter Format to Use to Get Your Resume Read

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
The job of the resume is to get you an interview, but what if your resume doesn’t even get read? One way of increasing your chances is attaching a great cover letter, as the job of the cover letter is to entice the reader to learn more about you and read that resume.
A well written cover letter will help your resume or CV stand out from the crowd. A hiring manager, recruiter or HR person will be snowed under with applications such as yours and therefore you had better make yours be special.
The key question/problem the cover letter should answer/solve is “Why select you?” This means you have to clearly state what you do better than others, what makes you unique and how the reader would be making a mistake by not considering you for the position. Here are a few guidelines on putting together a killer cover letter today:
Make sure you put the typical details at the top of the page, get all the details right and check them a few times before sending off.
Your Address
Mr. /Ms. (Name of Employer)
Company Name
Their Address
Dear Mr./Ms. (Their Name Again)
First paragraph
We begin with stating our business, basically telling the reader what job you are applying for and why. Let’s keep this short and to about three sentences, cover these points:
• Reason for writing and which role you are applying for.
• Drop any names of people you know in the organization here, e.g. “John Smith in your department encouraged me to send an application as he thinks I have the required skills to succeed.”
• Give any compelling reasons you have applied for the position or company. Keep it short and sweet, with the view to inspire the reader.

Second paragraph
Here’s your chance to tell the employer why you are the man/woman for the job. Bring out some of your most relevant skills and experiences and mention how they will be applied in the new position. Pick out three examples of major achievements and provide the story to back these up.
• Start out with a short introduction focused on your achievements and how your skills and experience will be a good match for the new job.
• Use the rest of the paragraph to support and back up your introduction. This is where you exhibit your evidence in terms of specific positions/roles/responsibilities and so on.
• Keep this paragraph punchy and designed to impress, not to bore anyone. Don’t write too much about one accomplishment that you are the most proud of as you don’t know what the reader will think.
• Wrap things up with the final sentence, repeat the job title and company to further position yourself as the right person for the job in the mind of the reader.
Last paragraph
• A short paragraph that simply mentions your attached resume, tells the employer you are looking forward to an interview and let them know you will be in contact by a specific date.
• Don’t forget to thank the person reading your cover letter for their time and consideration.
Your Signature (scan this)
Your Name
Word of warning
A classic mistake is to use the same cover letter for all applications. This is counter-productive and the employer can spot it a mile away. The one size-fits-all cover letter will result in your resume being deleted before even opened.
For more on cover letters, click here to check out OneClick cover letters.

Image by SocialisBetter


3 Tricks of the Trade for a Successful Job Interview

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Here are three pieces of advice for your job interview: put your best foot forward, make a good first impression, look your interviewer in the eye.
Pretty standard fare, you might be thinking. You’ve heard these tips numerous times. But have you considered what they mean and how important they really are? If not, here are some reasons to do so for each one.
1. Put Your Best Foot Forward
The wording here is a bit odd. It implies that we have three or more feet. It would make more sense and be grammatically correct to say: “Put your better foot forward.” But knowing what it means is what really matters: To start on a journey or task with purpose and gusto. In other words walk into your interview with a determined step, a smile on your face, a friendly handshake, and expectancy in your mind and heart. Be your best self and trust that your authenticity will compel the interviewer to take a good look at YOU, in person and on paper.
2. Make a Good First Impression
It has been said again and again that the first impression is the last impression. How can that be true? People judge one another by what they see and hear first. It stays with them, regardless of what happens next. So it’s worth your time to express your true self rather than to try to impress with affectation and showmanship.
Hiring managers are looking for authentic individuals who are honest, open-faced, quick to smile and shake hands firmly, ask intelligent questions, and speak openly about their qualifications for the job in question. Be positive and optimistic. Show your appreciation for the opportunity, get to the point of how you can benefit the company with your skill set, and avoid throwing verbal stones at previous employers or co-workers.
3. Look Your Interviewer in the Eye
You’ve probably heard the saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” And you know it’s true when you encounter other people. Our eyes sometimes say more than our words. So when you’re in an interview, look the hiring manager in the eye.
Listen and focus on what he or she is saying. And when it’s your turn to respond, hold your gaze and avoid distracting gestures such as playing with coins in your pocket or flicking your fingernails. One way to lose points fast is to look over the interviewer’s shoulder or glance around the room or stare at the floor when you and he or she are engaged in conversation.
The next time you’re preparing for a job interview, review these three not-so-secret secrets, put them into practice, and the wait for those six magic words, “we’d like to offer you the job”.

Fore more tips, click here to check out the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers.

Timebound Workplace

Craiglist and Indeed are the Best Places to Find Jobs

Today we had a chat with Heather Sanford, who is a jobseeker based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The reason I wanted to pick her brains on job hunting is that she is very prolific online and seems to know her way around social media better than most of us. If you think you can help…


How Do You Best Approach a Target Employer?

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
I received a question from a loyal reader the other day. Let’s pretend her name is Ying and that she is in the photo. Ying works in the PR world and has been thinking about moving jobs for while now, let’s hear what she has to say.
“I’m actively looking for a senior in-house PR/comms role in a large organization. Given the current competitive job market, is it more effective to go through recruitment agencies or to directly approach target companies?”
Ying already knows what role she is looking for and possibly what companies as well. This means there is little need for using job boards, this is a case of how to pitch yourself to the employer.
The market is very tough indeed and the best route to a new job is to get introduced to the company by someone credible. By that I mean someone the company trusts and that is willing to put their reputation on the line for you. This someone can either work for the company already, they could be a client or supplier or even a competitor.
In a perfect world, we would have great contacts at every company we want to work for. Whenever we felt like moving jobs, we’d ring that particular contact up and they would introduce us to the right people.
Some people have great networks and are actually close to this, but most of us don’t and have to look at other options.
By getting to know people that work for your target company, you will get a way in. The best way to strike up these acquantancies would be to attend industry events, networking evenings and using social media online to get close to the right people. Networking will take time and a great deal of effort. Don’t expect results to come in overnight and remember that being an effective networker is all about helping others and this way they will return the favor one day.
Using a recruiter basically means you are leveraging their network and contacts to get a new position. Some recruiters have great relationships with hiring managers and can smooth talk them into interviewing you, sometimes even when there is no position going. The recruiter route is quick and can be very effective, the downside is that it will cost the company money to hire you. By using a recuiter you are attaching a price tag to yourself, which for some companies can be an additional hurdle for you to get a job offer.
Networking, recruiters… which is better then?
I would say use both. The networking should really be an integral part to anyone’s career management. The thing with networking is that you never know when a good opportunity comes up, typically when you least expect it. With recruiters it’s more straightforward, they will only look at smoking hot positions that need to filled pronto.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Timebound Workplace

Hate Your Job? He’ll be the Judge of That!

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Today, I spoke to Vincenzo Migliore, who is a Manchester (England) based recruitment veteran and founder/director of the website
Judge the Job.
Tell us Vincenzo, what is Judge the Job all about?
Judge the Job is an anonymous employee review site that allows users to discover the real best companies to work for.
How does it help people out there?
We all know how difficult it can be to make a career move or decide whether or not to join a particular company, so the aim of Judge the Job is not to replace, but to provide another trusted and unbiased source of information, that helps in this process. Actually it’s a little bit like therapy, helping you put things into perspective by encouraging you to take time out, to think about all the elements good and bad that make up your job. And actually after leaving a review… Well, it’s kind of satisfying.
How many reviews are listed?
We currently have almost 100 live reviews for a range companies from Lloyds TSB, British Airways, BT Group and more.
What do companies think about being listed?
Aah yes, interesting one! It really varies, some feel a little uncomfortable with the loss of control and concerned about what people will say, now that we are giving them the chance, whereas other companies, believe it or not, have actively asked their employees to visit the site and get involved, which is great!
Does it cost anything?
No, it’s completely free to use and I quote, “we will never charge users to access reviews”. In fact all we ask is that you submit a quick anonymous review in return for 12 months full access to the site.
Reasons you started it up?
Having worked in the recruitment industry I was becoming a little skeptical of so many companies offering so called ‘great opportunities’, and I realized it would be helpful if there was somewhere people could actually read first hand experiences for themselves.
I also noticed how much time people seemed to be spending reading/writing reviews about holidays, restaurants, and even smaller purchases such as books and CDs…. Yet there seemed very few places for people to review one of the biggest parts of their lives, their jobs.
So I set about creating Judge the Job; allowing users to anonymously discuss their experiences of working at particular companies.
Is Judge the Job just for people to complain about their company?
Well some might think so, but this something we work hard to avoid, we’re aiming for balanced reviews of the workplace. Ok we understand people like to moan about work but on JudgetheJob, companies deserve a fair trial which is why we insist people put the good and bad points before completing their review – no company deserves 0%. After all there’s always something good about your job – even if it’s just the people you work with.
Admittedly it is up to the users to make this work, the more information they share the more useful it will become as a career tool. But isn’t about anonymous ‘revenge’; it’s about honest, open reviews and sharing of that information. All reviews are personally read and approved before they go live on the site. We’ve also put some pretty strict guidelines in place to make sure people treat the community and members with respect.
Where are you taking your site next?
The natural step for us is to include vacancies, something we are looking to introduce fairly soon. We’re also constantly exploring new ways of developing and improving the site and in fact have something very special planned for the coming months….so watch this space!
Give me 3 reasons why people should go to your site right now?
You can access all reviews free of charge, you can read inside information on the companies you want to work for and finally you can get that much needed career therapy!
Grazie mille for your time Vincenzo.
Vincenzo Migliore is the founder of Judge the Job, a site that allows employees to anonymously read/write impartial reviews about their place of work.
You can reach him via

Employer Branding Workplace

Do You Get a Pay Increase when Changing Jobs Internally?

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Got this question from a Linkedin contact today and thought I would share the answer with the world, and at the same time enlighten any other career advancers who are in the same boat.
First off, let’s pretend the contact’s name is Carlos and mainly for comedy effect that he is the mustache sporting gentleman in the photo above. Second, let’s look at the question:
New internal gig, more wonga?
“Can I ask you for an advice? If I am given an opportunity to change my role/responsibilities by moving to a different department in the same company, is it a good idea to ask for a raise?
Thing is a new role has opened up in my company and open for internal people only. I am very much interested. As part of the process, I am required to go through interviews and other recruitment related stuff. I am thinking of asking for compensation raise when I am in the final round. Is this fine thing to do? If yes, what stage should I ask for it – final stage when everything is confirmed or at the first step even before applying for it?”
Of course he should get more moolah
There are really two questions here. The first is, should Carlos ask for raise when moving jobs internally? I would say yes he should. The new position could entail new tasks, more responsibilities or more travelling to different sites – these are all good reasons for giving someone a raise as they increase the workload, stress and learning curve for the employee. But what if the new position is merely a change of scenery, doing the exact same job but in another location? Carlos should still get a raise as he has to make changes in his life, and he is crucially taking a risk moving away from the safe confines of his current position. 
How much does one ask for?
Carlos doesn’t want to rule himself out early in the process by making high demands. In my experience, he has nothing to fear as long as his request is reasonable and he can justify it. Asking for a 10% increase when taking on a new position is realistic, perhaps even 15%. If Carlos goes any higher than this, he could be treading on thin ice.
What about the timing?
Question number two is when does he ask for the pay hike? The more honest and upfront he is, the more he will be respected for it. There is nothing wrong in valuing your own work as long as you can back it up. I say he should prepare the reasons why a raise is justified and then mention it in the first interview. It can even work in Carlos’ favor if the hiring manager realizes that Carlos doesn’t sugar coat anything and speaks his mind on matters like these.
Bottom line
Going for a new internal position is a safer way of learning a new job in a tough economy. You are still taking a risk though and you deserve a reward for it. If you want something, you have to ask for it. And you have to be prepared to back your request up with a good case. As long as you provide value equal to, or exceeding your request – you are in the money. Go for it Carlos and please let us know how it went!
What is your experience of moving jobs internally, more cash or just more work? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


12 Kickass Ways to Love Your Job

Just how happy are you at your workplace? No matter how well you do your job, you may not always be appreciated or rewarded for the work you do. You could also face many challenges in your workplace, such as: Little fulfillment Long hours and tight deadlines Conflicting demands on your time and loyalty Little…