Friday, May 29, 2009
Yeah, not what I expected in a business meeting. But the point is, it was fun, relaxed, and very easy to meet people. When I introduce myself as from Wichita State, most people assume I'm a student (grr). No, I explain, we're Career Services, we have free job postings and interviews... But if I were, say, a business student, these vice-presidents and entrepreneurs would be equally glad to meet me, exchange cards, and talk about their companies.
Networking activities like this are everywhere. Google local Chambers of Commerce to find their events, many of which are free or $10. The Nonprofit Chamber of Service hosts meetings as well, including a wide range of Sedgwick County nonprofits and agencies:
So get out, have some fun, meet people... who knows where it may lead. A mariachi party, a money machine; maybe even a job.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Seeing as a blog is "Web 2.0," it seems appropriate to post this Web 2.0 wisdom from GottaMentor.com, sent by my colleague at UGA...
Using Social Media to Create Job Leads
By: Andrea Rice Updated: 05/27/2009
The days of just sending in a resume and cover letter for a position and crossing your fingers for an invitation to interview are rapidly disappearing in a growing number of industries.You don’t have to be part of Generation OMG!!! to take advantage of social media.
In fact, for some jobs you’re meaningfully limiting your opportunities to market yourself and turn up new leads if you ignore the communication medium of choice. Social media allows you to be much more proactive in your job search, and can meaningfully increase the likelihood of uncovering the job opportunities that never get posted.
Professionalize your online presence
Recruiters are increasingly conducting background checks using popular sites like Facebook. Take down any suggestive pictures of yourself or public commentary about that embarrassing tattoo you got when you were drunk. That`s not the kind of thing that will impress prospective employers. You can control your privacy settings on sites you post content on, but what if one of your hundreds of friends passes something along. Better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure you have a professional personal email. Many social media sites allow you to list your email in the profile section. Don`t take yourself out of the running with an email you`d be embarrassed to have on a business card.
Take advantage of LinkedIn
LinkedIn has the largest database of professionals and attracts a lot of recruiters. Complete your profile as you would your resume with job titles, time frames, and IMPACT-FOCUSED job descriptions. Make sure to use key industry jargon or search terms for the position you’re seeking.
Start connecting. You can do this in several ways: allowing LinkedIn to check your webmail accounts to see who you know that is already on LI, import contacts from other address book software, invite people directly, search past or present colleagues and classmates.
Get at least 1 co-worker or business partner to recommend you. Provide them with key descriptors or terms that reinforce the key traits for the opportunity you’re targeting. Include the link to your LinkedIn public profile in your email signature. People will be able to easily see your background, figure out who you know in common, and read the glowing recommendations you`ve received for your work.
Get the word out
The majority of jobs are not posted, and are instead filled through referrals from others. If people don’t know you’re looking, you’re less likely to be contacted about an opportunity. Let people know what steps you’re interested in taking next.
How can you share the word?- Complete My Objectives in a profile on Gotta Mentor and share it with others- Put your objective in your status update on LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s not that common, but people have received job offers or interviews by tweeting that they were looking for a new job or had just been laid off.
Google people you know at the companies you’re targeting. Have they been quoted in any articles, spoken at conferences? Referencing something personal about them is a better way to start the conversation. Use sites like LinkedIn or Plaxo to figure out if you know people in common. If so, get them to put in a good word for you and read the action step on arming those who can help you below to make sure you make the most of that introduction.
Arm those who can help you
Whether you’re using Gotta Mentor, LinkedIn, Twitter or some other platform to find or connect to people, make sure you give the people who can help you the information that will allow them to promote you effectively. If you are asking for someone to make an introduction, in addition to having a complete professional profile, give the individual a paragraph with a brief description of relevant background highlighting your impact and any key skills.
Build your personal profile
Contribute to the conversation. Identify the higher profile, relevant blogs in your target space and monitor these sites. Sign up to have the blogs sent to your email and join the dialogue with comments and constructive critique.
Launch your own blog. Share your insights on the industry and attract people and opportunities to you. For the more technically savvy, set up a Twitter account and begin to follow people at the companies you’re targeting. Make sure you have a bio. People you follow receive a message when someone chooses to follow with them. Don’t miss the first opportunity to let them know who you are. Communicate with them occasionally.
When possible walk before you run
If you have the luxury of time, try to establish some connections with people at your target companies before asking about job openings. The more people know you and genuinely like you, the better advocates they can be. This takes more effort and commitment, but is a great way to highlight your expertise for recruiters.
Think before you type
Be careful. Don`t be too flippant or too casual about your presence online and how you engage others. Social media is a great way to stay connected to people, but it is also very public.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Welcome to your first cup of Career Coffee. A coffee cup, you say? What’s with the metaphor?
Well, we debated a lot of titles. “Career Memo” – too boring. “Career Catsup” – too random. The idea is a mini-magazine, with no lectures, no announcements, no exhortations to attend our events (though we hope you do).
These will be articles you can sip casually, savor some tips and humor, and perhaps get a jolt towards a career, a job, a promotion.
Who are “we,” anyway? The author isn’t using the “royal we” from some delusion of grandeur. We are the staff of Wichita State Career Services, and we’ll work together to brew up issues and answer your most embarrassing career questions.
So, please holler at us with questions and feedback. Shoot emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and say what you want to hear.
A few ideas already are percolating: How to Talk to Strangers (yes, we’re all grown up, it’s okay now); How to Pick a Major (decisions!! augh!!!); How to Dress Without Looking or Feeling Like an Idiot (been there, done that, got the leopard-print blouse…)
It’s going to be a fun year.