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Talent Acquisition Workplace

What Does Your Online Persona Say About Your Personal Brand?

Social networking sites are often advertised as a place where you can socialize with friends, family and acquaintances. Nobody ever thought they’d find purpose in background checks! But then more and more recruiters and employers are using these sites as a valuable tool when screening potential employees.
 
So if you’re currently looking for a job, seeking a promotion or jumping into a different career, then you may want to be wary of what your online profiles contain. Some of the things you post may seem harmless or even funny to you but without context, it can project a different image of you to a very calculating recruiter.
 
You may not be aware of it, but here are a few things that your online persona can say about you:
 

Sociable or Loner?

 
If you only have two friends on your Facebook account (i.e. your parents) then you may not be considered a good candidate in sales or marketing as this involves a lot of human interaction On the other hand, if you have a lot of followers or friends, you can be perceived as sociable. However, pictures of yourself hanging out with a biker gang or on unruly drunken night outs with your buddies may show that while you’re fun to be with, you may not exactly be the serious type.
 

Prim and Proper or All Out Wild?

 
Pictures and comments your friends post on your social page can either be constructive or harmful. You may have been aware that recruiters now look at social pages so you keep your wacky pictures or comments on the wraps but what if your friends aren’t aware of this? You could lose a potential interview spot if a friend comments about how you were running naked on the beach completely wasted.
 

Honest or Two-faced?

 
We all struggle to keep our thoughts and personal opinions to ourselves and put on a pleasant face. But if a recruiter took a quick peek into your Twitter posts and saw exactly what you think about sensitive issues (e.g. race, sexual orientation, creed/religion, color, etc.), would you still be complacent that you will get the job? Being honest is okay; being insensitive and crude is not.
 

Reasonably Emotional or Nothing but a Complainer?

 
It is perfectly understandable for everyone to be completely emotional about some things some times. But then complaining about every other thing all the time can send out an impression that you’re going to be such a pain to work with. Nobody wants to hire a complainer! Make sure your social pages don’t reflect this side of you.
 

Good or Bad?

 
Have you just managed to conjure such a winning masterpiece of a resume filled with all your greatness? Good for you if it gets you an interview. But then too bad if you have falsified some information on your social pages before in your employment, called in sick (when you weren’t), participated in an affair, or worse.
 

Bottom Line

 
Be careful of what you post out there. Be mindful of what your friends do too. Keep things or thoughts that you don’t want to reflect negatively on you in private. Don’t let your personal escapades ruin your career!
  

 @ResumeChick. Don’t be fooled by impostor Chicks! And for goodness sake, when a groovy resume is what you want… Resume Chick-It! 

Categories
Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

3 Things that Must NOT Be on a Candidate’s Resume

Although it seems that the things you should exclude on resumes can be determined easily enough through common sense, some job seekers still manage to commit gaffes that are quite unthinkable. 
 
What is considered common knowledge for resume experts and for recruiters may escape job applicants, especially new ones who may not know that there are some items in their resume that just don’t work. Take a look at the list below and make sure that they aren’t part of your resume.
 

Objectives

 
The wide use of objectives can be attributed to old resume wizards that applicants use to create their resumes. These days it makes more sense to develop a branding statement or professional summary to tell recruiters and potential employers exactly what you are about and what you have to offer.

So ditch the objectives altogether!
 

Too Much Jargon

 
Using too much or too little technical or industry jargon can be a major turn off for recruiters and potential employers; too much is overkill, too little may reflect inexperience. Here’s a tip: scan the job advertisement and see what keywords or jargon are used, then insert them strategically in your branding statement or professional summary (ideally the first sentence).
 
Remember though that you have to back up whatever you put in your resume…so if your experience doesn’t reflect it, better leave the jargon out. If you happen to be changing careers, then it is prudent to avoid using jargon from your previous industry.
 
Focus on your transferable skills and experiences, and elaborate on how they can be applied to the new industry you wish to enter.
 

 

Personal Information

 
Don’t ever include your social security number, professional license numbers and other forms of identification; this could open the door to identity theft, and that’s the last thing you need to worry about during a job search. Provide this information only when asked (and this usually happens after you are interviewed, not before), so protect yourself.
 
Also, any non-professional related affiliations are better left unsaid, unless you are applying for a non-profit organization that is focused on a specific cause, and you happen to be affiliated with a group that advocates that cause.
 
Remember also to check and double-check your resume for typographical, grammatical and syntax errors. If you are directing recruiters or potential employers to a link, such as a blog, a social media page or an online resume or portfolio, make sure the links are not broken and that the information is in sync with the resume you are submitting.
 
Keep your resume simple, clean, complete and relevant. Stay focused on the facts, strengthen your achievements with numbers and don’t be afraid to show a little personality.

Related: How To Make LinkedIn and Your Resume Work Together.

Over the past 10 years, Karen Flowers has assisted thousands of job seekers by providing them with a resume that brought them the confidence and professionalism they needed to get an interview. Utilizing a creative edge, she helps make job hunting easier with her company, TheResumeChick.com, as an affordable way to get top notch, custom resumes in a jiffy. 

Categories
Talent Acquisition

How Professional is Your Recruiter? LinkedIn Will Tell You!

A LinkedIn profile is powerful, but LinkedIn itself can tell you a whole lot more than you think…. I loved this recent piece I read from Punk Rock HR’s Laurie Ruettimann on questions to ask a recruitment consultant. She includes things such as asking for a bio, asking the consultant to talk about their networking…

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Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

5 Ways to Boost Your Twitter Profile

How important is Twitter to you? Chances are you have more followers on Twitter than any other social media network, mainly because it’s less personal and acceptable to follow complete strangers. I would venture to say Twitter is as important to you as your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Some tech recruiters even say they won’t…

Categories
Talent Acquisition Workplace

10 Secrets to Getting Yourself Headhunted

“Where did you get my name?” If you receive a call from nowhere from a head-hunter, you’ll always ask this question. But you won’t get any real answer – from a professional head-hunter at least. They’ll never reveal their sources, or even discuss the job with you on the first phone call. So what’s with…

Categories
Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

Who Needs a Bio and Why?

Most job seekers will use two documents in their job search; their resume and cover letter. That’s a good start, but how about professional bio as well? They are no longer just for authors, musicians and politicians. Anyone that has an online presence across social media and blogging (which is just about everyone nowadays) can…

Categories
Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

Career Burnout: Don’t Let it Happen to You

The first contact of the year came from the brother of a friend of mine. My friendship with my friend had started some years ago when he had returned from overseas and was trying to find an executive role in the UK. Now his brother needed help. These are bright guys – excellent academic backgrounds…

Categories
Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

5 Good Ways NOT to Network

I went to this networking event a few weeks ago featuring a good speaker named Andy Lopata. I hadn’t actually heard of him before but apparently he’s known as Mr Networker for those in the know. I liked what he went on about as it seemed very aligned my own thinking. The points outlined below…

Categories
Talent Acquisition Workplace

Top 10 Things to Do Before You Change Jobs


In today’s world, individuals will change careers on average 7 times more in their lifetime, compared to only a couple of decades ago – and this rate is rising. There is more choice available to us – especially for those with talent, drive and ambition. Currently the support that we tend to find is really limited. It’s also pretty generic – maybe some careers advice from your school, uni or MBA school. Otherwise not much support until you are really senior in an organisation – and even then whether it is effective or not is debatable!
 
What results is a combination of lack of control and a cycle of movement from one unfulfilling job to another, or getting stuck at a ‘dead end’. However – do not fear – you do not need to stay in this ‘rut’. New horizons could be just around the corner..
 
So – you want to look for a new and the right role. This can be challenging, difficult, lonely, and sometimes stressful. You might want to consider getting someone to ‘walk the path’ with you and help you get clear about what your options are, what you want to do and how to get there can be hugely valuable. It is even more helpful when you know that the person accompanying you has been involved in this process before on many occasions and is a real expert. So if you work with someone to help with your career change look at their work and life experience to make sure they know what they are on about!
 
Right – so you are ready to change careers and want to find that right role. In order to succeed bare in mind the following tips:
 
1. Invest in yourself
 
This journey is important – so give yourself time to work it all out. You will need a significant amount of thought, consideration, time and investment in order to make this change smoothly and to make it the right career change. There are many key stages and turning points to consider so take the time to do it.
 
2. Get Clarity 
 
Without real clarity about what you want to do or how to get it, achieving any sense of fulfilment or being in control of your future will be very difficult. Therefore it is really important to work on getting clear about what your central goal is and how to achieve it. If you want to learn about the different ways to do this then feel free to drop us a note.
 
3. Create an action plan
 
Simply knowing what you want will not ensure that you get it. You need to be clear about your plan of action and how to carry out what you have specifically designed for yourself. Get clear achievable steps in place. Outline it so that it is broken down into steps that you can work through towards that bigger goal. Reward yourself and be proud of yourself as you get through each stage of your plan.
 
 

 
4. Focus your energy on the task
 
Making a change and finding the right role is not always an easy task. It can be tough, tiresome and long. You need to stay really focused and be efficient around where you put your energy and effort to get the outcome you want. Make sure that you are in control of the key elements in your world and are able to drive forward with the career and life of your choosing. You will need perseverance and determination to help. Being smart about how you spend your time is crucial.
 
5. Understanding your strengths
 
Get to know yourself better. Identify what your key strengths are. What are you really good at? What do you enjoy that you are also good at? What skills have you learnt? What are you naturally inclined to do and be better at? Make sure that you get right to the core of it. The more you know yourself the more confident you will become and the better you will be at identify the right role for you and projecting yourself in order to get it.
 
6. Ignite that passion
  
Without real passion for a role – it will be difficult to get. Even if you do get it – you will find it difficult to maintain and grow within and beyond it. What you want here is the right role. This means something that you are truly passionate about. It might take a bit of experimenting to find what ‘floats your boat’ – but it will be worth it when you have found it.
 
7. Know your boundaries
  
Being clear about what works and what doesn’t work for you in order to be happy can be groundbreaking. It sounds simple but so many of us do not actually take the time to work it out. In each different work situation – we may have different boundaries. By being clear about what they are and then communicating this clearly to others and staying true to what is important – will make a huge difference. This impacts work and your personal settings.
 
8. Manage and improve relationships
  
This is important from all aspects. If you learn to manage your relationships effectively you will be able to control the process and transition. You will be able to manage your exit smoothly from your current or old role. Understanding where your old boss is coming from and the impact you have on him/her – and how you interact could really influence how you leave a job. How you get your next job and keep it may also rely heavily on your ability to manage relationships well.
 
9. Leverage your connections
  
Learn how to network and harness your connections effectively. This does not mean bombarding people you do not know with emails or adding everyone you can find to linkedin. Neither is this picking up as many business cards you can at a networking event and calling that person part of your ‘network’. Real networking is about getting to know people. You need to work on identifying and getting to know those who can help you along your way.
 
10. Rid yourself of blocks, fears and insecurities
  
All of us have them at one stage or another. Many of us keep them for years. However, do not let them stop you. If you are afraid – that is ok – just do not let it take over and control what you do or do not do. If something is blocking you from moving forward – take the time and action you need to confront it, deal with it and resolve it. This does not have to be done alone. Find support from those around you. Get support from a professional if it is a deep personal issue that is troubling you. If you do not deal with it now – it will keep blocking you in different ways throughout your career and life. Once you have worked through the blocks – you will be so much more energised, comfortable, confident and free.
 
Those are the 10 pieces of the pie that you must do before or as you start your journey and change careers. Each step requires some work, time and thought – but they are important if you really want to make it work. There might be a lot to do – but you are not alone and you CAN do it. 

 
Nisa Chitakasem is the founder of Position Ignition – a careers company dedicated to taking you to the next step in your career. Nisa is passionate about helping individuals find the right career path for them whether it involves finding a more rewarding career, making a career change, figuring out the right career plan or being creative about career directions.
 
For free advice, guidance and information on careers visit the Position Ignition Career
Blog or find her on Twitter [url=http://www.twitter.com/posignition”>@PosIgnition

Top image by toniblay